Responsibility and care

In our most recent Assembly, we spoke about Responsibility, using three examples that are lessons for us all.

Every year in October I am reminded of the wonderful story of the “World’s Greatest Air Race” for the MacRobertson Trophy, held in 1934.


Sir Macpherson Robertson was a renowned philanthropist (and owner of MacRobertson chocolates, later to be taken over by Cadburys), who sponsored many events including a world croquet tournament and an Antarctic exploration. To celebrate Melbourne’s Centenary, he sponsored the Air race from England to Australia. After two days of flying, the Uiver, a Douglas DC2 entered by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, was heading towards Melbourne when it hit a fierce thunderstorm, and subsequently lost radio contact, and its bearings.

The townsfolk of Albury were like millions around the world, and had been following the progress of the race. They were soon to realise that the sound of the plane circling above them was in fact the Uiver.

The mayor decided that the town would help the Uiver to find its bearings by flashing the name ALBURY in Morse Code, using all of the town’s lights.

Meanwhile, the local radio station appealed for those with cars to drive to the racecourse and light up a ‘runaway’, allowing the Uiver to land safely, which it did.

The next morning, the people of Albury flocked to the racecourse to not only see the Uiver, but to then pull it out of its bogged state, and send it on its way to the finish line in Melbourne…an amazing example of people helping one another.

We then spoke of another tragic incident, in which a 16 year old girl lost her life when the car in which she was travelling on the lap of a front seat passenger, as one of 9 occupants, lost control and hit a power pole in Mt Evelyn. With alcohol and speed allegedly a factor, we discussed responsibility, care of self and others, and how decision making and risk taking behaviours become a habit, and that habit is formed NOW though actions and consequences.

Finally, we watched a very brief video (above) that features a soccer game in 2003 between Denmark and Iran. Towards the end of the first half, a member of the crowd whistles, leading to an Iranian player thinking it is half time and picking up the ball in the penalty area. When the referee awards Denmark a penalty, the coach of Denmark instructs his player to deliberately miss the penalty, which he does. This led to an interesting discussion not only about integrity, and personal values, but about sportsmanship.

As always, our boys were reflective and mature with regard to their discussion and feedback.

by Adam Kenny, Head of Southwood and Boys Education







2023 Term Dates