Last week Emily Bourke, MAS alumni and MLC visited our school to present to us Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s report cards for the time he attended Maitland. Emily was looking through the Bob Hawke library at UniSA when she came across these and thought it would be nice to have this memento at school.

Emily came to present this to us on the same day that our students were recognised for their efforts in the Premier’s ANZAC Spirit Award. Emily’s speech was inspirational and focused on resilience over natural talent. Bob’s first report card said that “Bob is capable of very good work and would have obtained higher marks but for carelessness.” Emily went onto say that Bob had two choices, to let this define him as a student, or take the feedback on board and improve. Bob decided to take up the challenge to improve. By the end of the year, Bob graduated as the top student in his class and scored perfect marks in all areas except writing, where he got a 9/10. His attitude to always do better is what drove him to become a Rhodes Scholar, Union Leader and ultimately one of the most successful Prime Ministers of Australia.

What really resonated with me from Emily’s speech was that it doesn’t matter what your background is, if you have the right attitude and never give in you can become anything you want to be. Demography does not mean destination!
On behalf of our school I want to thank Emily for her donation to the school and her continual support of our community. Bob’s report cards will be on display in our front office as a challenge to us.

What small thing will we do tomorrow to make ourselves better than today?