Published on: 20 September 2023

Last Thursday, the Student Wellbeing Committee and the Wynne Centre for Health and Wellbeing facilitated a number of initiatives to recognise R U OK? Day. Our central theme for this year’s R U OK? Day focused on the idea of ‘showing up’ in a positive way for those around us to build authentic connections. This theme resonates deeply with our mission to foster a caring and nurturing environment within our school under the values of Respect, Care and Compassion.

The day started with ‘Mindful Milo with Mates’ in the Refectory, where students enjoyed a chat over a hot drink to check in with one another in the spirit of the day. Students then moved to their tutorial groups to continue conversations surrounding mental health and wellbeing with their peers and teachers. Next was a ‘Dap Up’ competition at recess, where boys aimed for the loudest, most accurate and firm combination of a handshake/high five. As a team competition, students selected a partner whom they felt they had a strong connection with to compete as a pair. Director of the Wynne Centre for Health and Wellbeing Mr Brad Gardner was on hand with a team of Year 11 students to judge the competition. Ultimately, Carter Mackay-Coghill and Benjamin Fick came away with the win. You can watch a snippet of the event here.

The activities continued into lunchtime with a 3-pointer competition for Senior School students. Students had five attempts to make as many three-point goals as possible from marked positions, all in under a minute. The activity was designed to facilitate conversations in a sporting context, as sport plays an important role in our curriculum. The activity highlighted that sport, and particularly team sport, has the power to form strong, authentic connections. All R U OK? Day initiatives were well-attended and popular with students, which was a very positive outcome.

Outside of the student cohort, all staff were assigned an R U OK? buddy to check in with. As we continue to navigate the challenges of the year as a community, it’s crucial that we take the time to authentically check in with ourselves and those around us, messages reinforced to the students, staff and wider community by our wellbeing partners Mike Dyson and Paddy Upton.