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Canberra Secondary School’s GRC journey has now moved into its second year. While I trod many unchartered paths alongside Canberrans and other treasured stakeholders, many have asked me, “Why GRC?”. Perhaps it is fitting that I explain at this juncture of my stint as Principal of Canberra Secondary school.
My personal GRC journey started years back. My late Mother who was the main breadwinner of my family earned a mere $200 monthly but was able to support me to complete my studies at University which enabled me to be a teacher. Never once had I heard her complaining about having too little, instead, she was always grateful for what she had and was ready to exercise compassion by helping others who were in need around her. She taught me the unconditional respect and high regard I should bestow my teachers and was full of conviction that teachers are always right. These values that she inculcated in me have since become the way I live my life.
In 2006, when my Mother passed on, I continued this tradition of unconditional giving I saw in her, by setting aside the pocket money I used to give her, to help others around me. When I was heading the previous school which I was posted to, I awarded 6 students an honorarium of $500 each yearly. These students were not necessarily those who did well academically but were the ones who demonstrated the values of GRC consistently. I hope that more people in society will give more recognition to character among other things.
It is also my dream that there are no lonely people in society. Uncle David is no stranger in Canberra Secondary School. While lacking in the physical domain, he made no excuses to stand up against what is wrong and I respect that courage in him. I befriended him as I knew he had no family for support. In all these years I have been with him, I am grateful that I have learnt much from him about conviction and how a little compassion can make a great difference in one’s life. Today, Uncle David is part of my family and I am thankful to be able to contribute in my small ways to see him smile.
I take it as a personal duty as the Principal of Canberra Secondary School to share what my late Mother believed in. The values of GRC will slowly, but surely become the DNA of the Canberran family if we bestow GRC to people we walk alongside with through our small little actions everyday. And soon enough, we will hear that Canberrans are not only gifted in the academics but are also rich in values.
Mr Ng Tiong Nam