Talk Times with Executive Principal Grimes
The A.B. Paterson College Foundation was established in 2019 for the advancement of education and to provide financial support for those families who otherwise would not be able to afford such an education. Library resources, facilities, and learning programs however all come at a cost.
Education has changed much in a generation — in terms of content, teaching and learning practices, use of technology, and the expectations of society in general.
Just as our education systems have changed, so too has society, our economic outlook, job security, and expectations with respect to ‘what is a life well lived’. The pressures on families to provide, and to be seen to be providing, a certain lifestyle has changed too.
As a boy, I was broadly sheltered from the financial pressures of my parents, but knew they did not have a great deal. Family holidays were rare, but our home was a happy one.
It seems that nowadays, however, our children are far more aware of family pressures and the challenges faced by their parents. Our parents feel the pressure of rapidly advancing changes, the need to give their child the very best start and, sometimes, dare I say, protect their child from all possible obstacles.
History has certainly known significant challenges, including the Great Depression, as well as horrific and far-reaching world conflicts.
Through these challenges, Australians have rallied, united, and been strengthened in community.
Our lives and our access to global opportunities have, however, taken us far away from family, friends, and possibly the communities in which we once felt secure.
The reality is educational communities have played an increasingly important role in the lives of young people and their families and may potentially be one of the few remaining societal networks for families in this transient age.
The added responsibility that this places on a school is significant. This is not to say that educational communities cannot be such a cornerstone of society, but rather that we, as a society, must recognise the importance of our school communities — not only to current students, but to their parents, to their graduates, and to society in general — as they steer and help define the very culture of our country.
The question is that if society now accepts that educational communities are the centralised and dominant network for families, how can we as a society best support these communities and the people within them?
The need to support people has been significant in recent years, and with the challenges around climate change and what seems increasing levels of natural disasters, there is a need for people to be supported. The question of who should provide such support is indeed interesting. Should it be our governments? Should it be individuals in society? Should we expect more from our more affluent members?
Research makes clear that the greatest proportion of donations (per income) actually comes from relatively low socio-economic areas of our country. The argument proposed by such researchers is that people who have struggled themselves — those who have known dreadful illness, tragedy, or severe financial stress — know the pain, know the struggle, understand how it feels, and so give whatever they can to help others. Clearly, this is a generalisation, as there are many well-off individuals who do indeed give most generously to help others, but nevertheless it is an interesting discussion.
The reality is that if as a society we had a greater philanthropic stance, with all individuals giving even just the cost of two cups of coffee each and every year, what a difference we could all make together. With an estimated 600,000 people on the Gold Coast alone — this would be a wonderful and welcomed contribution to many people.
Established in 2019, The A.B. Paterson College Foundation was established for the advancement of education by providing financial support for those families who otherwise could not afford such an education, and to provide better opportunity for young people whether through the enhancement of library resources, facilities, or programs.
Throughout our lives, we are influenced by others, by their actions, by their generosity, and by their kindness. We ourselves have tried to live a good life, supported others, raised our families as best we can, and made the most of the opportunities presented to us.
Life is a journey, but it must be so much more than this in itself, for if it was a mere journey, what is the true meaning and purpose of life?
Some of the greatest minds in history have pondered this question, and yet we are still found searching.
What we do know is that, ultimately, we all want to have lived a life with meaning, a life with purpose, a life in which we made a difference, a life that stood for something.
I believe that a life in which we have truly given to others, one in which we have given of ourselves, one in which we have gifted to others a better start than we ourselves had is indeed one with meaning and purpose — it is a life well-lived.
In offering a bequest to the A.B. Paterson College Foundation, you can do exactly this.
You can leave a lasting legacy for the next generation by gifting a scholarship or providing support to our Building Foundation, so that the young people who follow will get the very best start in life.
In offering a gift, you also commence a chain reaction of generosity in which others will see your generosity and look to follow your example, thereby instilling a culture of genuine philanthropy, generosity to others, and in many ways aiding others in seeing the higher purpose and meaning in life.
I have worked very hard for all of my working career to support the education of young people. I have been able to give small gifts and donations along the way, but wanted to know that my life’s work not only provided a direct benefit to my daughter and her future family, but also that I was gifting a legacy to future generations long after I had passed away. It is my hope that my bequest will make an unforgettable and lasting difference for young people for generations to come and will inspire others to do the same and commence a culture of philanthropy and genuine community.
Our society, its moral compass, and its hopes rest on the shoulders of the young people coming through our educational communities, and so it befalls on all of us to foster their growth, nurture their development, and provide them with the best opportunities we can. Sadly, too many people cannot see the inextricable link between the development of the next generation and our own personal prosperity, but whether we see it or not, we need our young people to lead and develop our country.
It is for these reasons I ask you to join me in making a bequest to the A.B. Paterson College Foundation for the young people who will join this community for generations to come. I ask you to help raise and nurture these young minds so that they can meet the difficult challenges ahead — many of which we ourselves have created.
If you would like to have a confidential discussion about how you could make a donation or perhaps even make a bequest to a community already well-known for its care and development of some of the most inspiring and capable leaders, then I invite you to call my office direct on 07 5561 4120. Your generosity can make a true difference to a child!
Brian Grimes, Executive Principal/Chief Executive Officer