We Are Kirrawee High School

There are now five simple words emblazoned across our school canteen:

“We Are Kirrawee High School”.

These five simple words speak to realizable ideals such as unity, school pride, and a common humanity. At KHS, we strive for all these things.

As year cohorts and as a school, we want unity. Every day, we work towards worthwhile and significant goals, which we can achieve as one. Our Signature Strengths call all members of our school community to “embrace a common humanity” – to look for common ground, as opposed to differences, in the knowledge that we are all, ultimately, human. The Signature Strengths also point us towards the desire to be proud of ourselves (firstly) and to be proud of our school.

Above all, the ideals presented in the words “We Are Kirrawee High School” communicate the idea of ‘family’.

We are a FAMILY at Kirrawee High School. We are a very special and elite family that compares to no other. We are a family that has grown over more than 55 years and a family that has had a profound impact on the lives of its members. We are a big family with more than 3500 members currently, made up of our students, parents/carers, and staff (the people that directly contribute to our family), as well as our extended family of alumni and former staff members.

At their best, all good families work together, make memories together, look after each other, pick each other up and navigate the tough times together, and celebrate individual achievements as successes for the entire family.

This is precisely the Kirrawee High School family at its very best. As students, staff and parents/carers, the trinity (“tri-unity”) of a school community, our core business is to work together as a family to share the journey of Kirrawee High School students achieving their absolute personal best, in the classroom and beyond.

Through the classroom and through the myriad of co-curricula opportunities, our family makes memories that last a lifetime.

Our school is not just something to attend and survive until life really begins after the HSC. Kirrawee High School students leave with memories of fostering a love of learning; memories of a lesson that will always be remembered; memories of being in the school musical production (poignant as we head into a production term); memories of sport road trips and winning state championships (44 of them in 55 years!); memories of culturally rich overseas experiences across 4 different continents; memories of challenge, growth, and achievement in student leadership, social justice initiatives, and fundraising; memories of success and “putting yourself out there” in debating, mock trial and public speaking competitions; memories of those people and relationships that really matter.

The KHS family is renowned as a culture that looks after each other, that digs deep for each other, that goes “above and beyond” for each other. It is a tangible culture that has been nurtured and passed on by generations of KHS staff members, students, and parent/carer community. For decades, our school’s reputation has been built upon the foundation of academic success. As an application of the “above and beyond” culture of the KHS family, our teaching team (for decades, as a passed down culture) has gone above and beyond to enable student personal best achievement. You only have to scroll through our Facebook pages to see what our amazing students have achieved in so many areas over so many years, and we celebrate them, together, as a family. We push back against the stereotypical Australian culture of tall poppy syndrome and genuinely rejoice in personal best achievement.

But, at times, even the very best of families need to work hard at being a cohesive family unit. Sometimes it is frontline, “in the trenches” type hard work. Sometimes it is difficult being a member of a family when you have been let down, been hurt by another family member, or when you haven’t felt understood. We Are Kirrawee High School speaks to looking to include others, rather than exclude. We Are Kirrawee High School speaks not only to having no part in bullying, but also to reporting bullying and standing-up to bullying, especially in its early stages.

‘We Are Kirrawee High School’ speaks to playing your part as an individual on the small things to improve the big things as a collective.

And so, those five simple words that dominate the school quadrangle (the centrepiece of our school site) are a reminder to us all on a daily basis to work towards, embrace, connect with and cherish our membership in the Kirrawee High School family. One article, and one sign, will not make this so. It is on us all, every single day, to commit to the KHS family, contribute towards the KHS family, and take full advantage of the benefits our family has to offer.