Gympie Regional Council Daryl Dodt, Mal Gear, DAn Stewart, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Leitch, Glen Hartwig, James Cochrane, Mark McDonald and Hilary Smerdon.
Gympie Regional Council Daryl Dodt, Mal Gear, DAn Stewart, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Leitch, Glen Hartwig, James Cochrane, Mark McDonald and Hilary Smerdon. Renee Albrecht

No surprises in Gympie council's self-assesment

Letter to the Editor

No surprise in council's self-assesment

THERE were few surprises to be found in reading "How they rate themselves a year on”(The Gympie Times, April 22, 2017).

After all the exercise was pretty much like asking the Year 7s at an exclusive boys' private school to write their own report cards at the end of Semester 1. And the result was just as predictable.

Everyone passed - most with flying colours!

Class Captain Curran listed several completed liveability projects, including especially the Aquatic Recreation Centre which assignment was handed in on time properly set out. (This must have been a group project as three or four others gave it special mention in their self-assessments.)

Cr Curran concludes the list of assignments completed or being planned with the assurance, "Good governance continues”.

This perhaps a veiled and modest reference to his role in assisting the Form Teacher with class management.

He, like most of his classmates, shows a commendable concern for keeping school fees affordable while providing a satisfactory educational program.

One boy, McDonald, found room in his self-assessment to endorse the efforts of his Class Captain, while another, Gear, lauded the efforts of the class as a whole.

Another boy, Dodt, offered a mature and interesting definition of "good governance” as "fuelled by co-operation between all involved - the mayor, councillors, CEO and staff, stakeholders and community groups”.

Unfortunately, he did not say whether this was the current working model or "a consummation devoutly to be wished”.

But he did, revealing a penchant for physics, give the class a resounding endorsement in asserting, "We get 400MW of service from a few AAA batteries of rates”.

In layman speak, "We boys give you mums and dads much more than you should expect for the paltry school fees you pay”.

If this is a misinterpretation I apologise. Physics was never my strongest subject.

There were however a few boys less sanguine about their progress in Semester 1.

They were in not so much the familiar "could do better” category but rather the "would like to be able to do better”.

First among those is the Hartwig boy who is clearly dissatisfied with the lines of communication between the class and the wider community.

He throws doubt on some of the decisions taken in the past at the school administration level and admits to not having finished the Fredman investigative project. Other students who initially committed to that project did not mention it. Perhaps they negotiated an exemption?

Hartwig encapsulates the curriculum tension between Urban Studies (liveability projects) and Regional Studies (rural roads).

The Stewart boy echoes Hartwig's concern for openness to the community declaring, "Honesty is the best policy” and backs his classmate's push for greater emphasis on the study of rural roads.

Another boy, Smerdon,s ays that he has been a good listener and that he has tried to persuade the class to direct more of their study effort to the regions.

And Leitch promises that the class will place greater emphasis on Regional Studies in coming semesters.

Cochrane, sounding very much the new boy, declared frankly the semester "has been a huge challenge but very educational”.

Unfortunately, he did not elaborate on these experiences. It was a great opportunity to dispel the cynical, but widely-held perception that he and his classmates are on to a sinecure.

But he quite succinctly reduced the core curriculum to the three Rs: roads, rubbish and rates.

Was he absent for the Liveability lesson?

Overall one gets the impression that most of the boys are genuinely proud of their progress and are hopeful of reenrolment in due course.

But there are a few boys for whom Semester 1 has been somewhat frustrating. It is to be eagerly hoped that their frustration does not descend into disillusionment and that they will continue to resist any peer pressure and go on "fighting the good fight”.

Merv Welch,

The Palms.

Gympie Times


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