While checking the school archives for the previous post, I noted that the 2017 Record was now online. Over 60 years ago I was a student on the Record Committee; happens it was the 75th anniversary of the school. I am now as old as the school was then, a fact I am only just coping with! Last year I posted about my delight in the way the school has progressed in recent years under the watch of Dr Kim Jaggar. This year same again in spades! Get your own copy! A sample:
Now an extract from Dr Jaggar’s 2017 Presentation Night address:
This evening I would again like to share some thoughts with the graduating Year 12 group about the world High alumni are moving into. One doesn’t have to be a Marxist historian to understand, that first social, and then political movements, have their genesis in changes to economic conditions. The globalisation of economic activity made possible by improved transport and the very rapid growth of technology, particularly in data storage and manipulation in devices, from mobile phones to mainframe computers servicing the cloud, has created international winners and losers. In developed countries, the winners are in services industries and those trading in the internet of things, the losers are in manufacturing. The proliferation of robotics in manufacturing has made many jobs redundant. Companies outsourcing and offshoring have benefitted developing economies by relocating labour intensive tasks to where there is cheap labour by global standards. Nowadays, our economic realities are grounded in interdependence and interconnectedness.
There have emerged political movements led by people who purport to represent the interests of those disadvantaged by globalisation – workers in traditional industries like steel making, car manufacturing and whitegoods. Populist leaders champion pushback against the effects of globalisation, appealing to nationalistic sentiment. They argue that the inexorable changes to economic life, occasioned by globalisation, can somehow be stopped, delayed or at least lessened, in their effects on the forgotten workers, who were the backbone of the superseded industrial economy. People who don’t want the world to be the way it is are finding voice through politicians who say they have a solution – they can fix things and bring back the good old days. They scapegoat minorities and play to xenophobic tendencies….
The Trump presidency might prompt a ‘rebirth of freedom’ style backlash, with republican values reinstated: a renewed reverence for truth, a more sober patriotism, leaders more grounded in duty, a renewed respect for law, a greater commitment to tradition, and a deeper knowledge of US history. Alternatively, Trump might become ‘a subject of horrified wonder in our grand-children’s history books’.
Whatever happens in the USA, Australia needs international free trade and open borders. You will be entering the workforce at a time of great uncertainty and heightened tension…