InsideR’s Captains of Education Series – Part 2
The Robina area is home to some of the Gold Coast’s leading schools and educational institutions. InsideR is pleased to share with you a new series, profiling a selection of key educational game-changers, who have our children’s futures in their hands, over the coming months.
When an educator of 30 years – and Headmaster of one of the Gold Coast’s leading private schools – calls Robina an ‘education heaven’, those who live here know they’ve chosen the right place to hang their hat.
Patrick Wallas has been Headmaster at All Saints Anglican School for 17 years. In that time, he’s held firmly to his belief that Robina and its surrounds have unmatched access to some of the Gold Coast’s premier schools, universities and educational facilities.
“We are blessed with some remarkable schools in this area – government, catholic and independent,” he said.
“I was attracted to All Saints because of its reputation as a young and vibrant community, which had been superbly steered through its infancy and adolescence by my predecessor, Len Nairn.
“I can speak from personal experience that there also exists a delightful collegiality between the leaders of these schools,” Patrick added.
“Our school also enjoys excellent relations with Bond University and I always value spending time talking about education with the erudite and forward-looking Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Brailsford.
“For me, this area of the Coast represents education heaven.”
Patrick’s passion for education is infectious. It’s obvious upon visiting the school that his enthusiasm is shared with his fellow teachers and the 1850 students who call all 40 hectares of All Saints their school.
“I love everything about my role and I truly believe I have the best job in the world – even though there are still days when I look in the mirror and think, ‘How did you ever become a Headmaster?’,” said Patrick, from south-east England, who emigrated to Australia in 1988 to teach at Pembroke School in Adelaide, before becoming Head of English at Hale School in Perth.
“I have always been passionate about education and feel profoundly blessed to have discovered at an early age what I was put on this earth to do.
“I still teach a class – Year 10 English – every day,” added Patrick, who holds a graduate degree in English Literature from Manchester College Oxford and a postgraduate Certificate in Education from Balliol College Oxford.
“I find myself surrounded by delightful children and young adults, and a sensitive, intelligent and unbelievably committed staff.”
While Patrick’s job is often not an easy one, his mission is clear: attracting the very best educators from across Australia – and the world – to teach at All Saints.
“If the staff are motivated, determined to constantly reflect upon and refine their craft, and feel valued and nurtured by the school, then there is every chance that the students in their classes will flourish and feel engaged,” he said.
“If the children arrive at school excited to be here, and looking forward to learning, then leave us each day with stories to tell and happy hearts, it seems likely that their parents will be happy, too!”
When Patrick is not at All Saints, he calls Robina’s Glades Golf Club home – and he’s long been an advocate of his home suburb taking on a more official CBD status.
“I love living in this part of the Gold Coast, and have long held the view that Robina is the most suitable and well-placed area to house the Gold Coast’s CBD,” he said.
“It is easy to get to, has superb infrastructure and is a stone’s throw away from the motorway.
“Robina has all the amenities one could possibly need and with all the schools and universities nearby, it has a youthful energy that is infectious.
“It has been designed intelligently and thoughtfully and there is a pleasant aesthetic synergy that seems to have underpinned the planning process.
“God willing, I will be living here for many years to come.”
Be sure to check out last month’s insideR where we spoke to Somerset College’s Headmaster of 10 years, Craig Bassingthwaighte, about why he believes our area is a national education hub, and the reasons he calls Robina home.
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