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brainstorm, theory-craft and put our ideas into action. We organised the year’s events and activities around different themes – with a focus on physical health in Term 1, connecting with others in Term 2, giving back in Term 3, and lastly knuckling down on academics in Term 4. Events in Term 1 included Zorb Bumper Balls on the field, casual cricket on the Quad and Spikeball competitions. Term 2 gave me one of the greatest opportunities I had at College – speaking in school assemblies. I regularly gave speeches to the school, often revolving around men's mental health, as my main goal for this leadership position was to champion the normalisation of the men's mental health discussion. The introduction of I AM HOPE wristbands inspired real change within the school. Championing this initiative brought a great sense of achievement, as there was an overwhelming amount of support for this new idea, making us better at reaching out to our friends in need. This small but significant symbol has a powerful message – and when you wear your wristband, you are saying: • I will not judge • I will not shame • I will not anger or inflame • I will not gossip • I am hope and I've got your back It brings me great pride whenever I see the white bands of hope inside or outside school. In Term 3 we gave back by hosting multiple mufti days where we

encouraged students to bring a gold coin donation, the proceeds of which went to support our chosen charity, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. In Term 4 we finished strongly with the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, yoga on the Quad run by teacher Lisa Trundley-Banks, and free ice blocks for the whole school. We certainly experienced our fair share of trials and tribulations as a result of Covid-19 regulations, which created restrictions on our planned events, but we compromised and overcame. Our committee's Facebook page contributed to the success of our organised and productive year, and on it we shared polls, questions, and wellbeing related articles, inviting the boys to voice their opinion. In addition, our committee excelled at being the primary communication link between the administration and the student community, raising important issues relating to students’ welfare – including whether they are having trouble as a result of Covid-19, workload management, personal issues, or balancing sport, cultural and academic commitments. Our connection with our very approachable leader, Mr Quinn, allowed us to be transparent and candid in discussions about the issues experienced, to the point where we could be truly honest with the status quo. Throughout the year, I attended wellbeing hui and conferences with members of the committee. These social gatherings gave us the opportunity to consider many new initiatives, as we heard how other

schools approach improving health and wellbeing. At the same time, we could also provide ideas of our own to aid other schools who don’t have the same amount of focus and direction on wellbeing as College does. To reflect our Term 2 theme of connecting, we thought it would be beneficial to display posters around the school provided by the Mental Health Foundation and the Canterbury District Health Board through the All Right? campaign. These posters added vibrancy to the campus and acted as a reminder that it is normal to feel down at times. This year, Mr Quinn and the Wellbeing committee also founded the Diversity Group, which is designed to be a community for like-minded people to seek and support those who are passionate about equality and suggest ways to embrace diversity at College. It provides a safe place to talk about identity, lifestyle choices, human rights, ethical issues and the LGBTQIA+ community, and has helped bring solace to a few students within the school. Despite low student participation, this has embedded a seed for our school to grow. We have to start small to grow bigger. I am very comfortable to hand over the reins to next year's Head of Wellbeing, Tom Stephens. Tom’s composed and relaxed approach means he is a very approachable figure around the school, and his willingness to help others means he is the ideal candidate for this role. He is an all-round genuine man, and I know he will excel. Huge thanks to Mr Quinn for always helping me in times of need and for setting me up for a successful end of school finish. Mr Quinn not only does his job well, but also goes above and beyond for our boys. He exemplifies what it means to be a good human, and I look forward to seeing him again in the future.

Lachie Kitchen Head of Wellbeing


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