Thirty-seven years ago I graduated from Balwyn High School’s Year 12 class of 1986. I left the school with mixed memories.
On the one hand I came away with a fine appreciation for maths and science, made a lifelong friend, and passed my HSC with decent results that got me into college.
On the other hand I had been the victim of homophobic bullying and torment throughout my time there, and suffered greatly as a result of it, and of my fear of being gay. The school had no support for gay students, at least that I was aware of. It was a topic that simply wasn’t spoken about.
I am thrilled beyond belief to find that in 2023 my alma mater not only supports gay students but is committed to providing a safe, nourishing and inclusive space for all LGBTQI+ students.
When invited to submit a contribution for their Lion newsletter on the occasion of receiving my Order of Australia, I had no idea it would be intentionally included to time with IDAHOBIT Day on May 17.
Students at Balwyn High are most fortunate to have a school environment that values diversity, particularly under the leadership of Principal Deborah Harman.
Thank you Balwyn High School.
Our Alumni Spotlights continue – Malcolm Speed AO and Michael Barnett OAM
This week we feature international sporting administrator, Malcolm Speed, who was inducted into the Sport Hall of Achievement in 2012, and Michael Barnett, who was recently awarded an OAM in the New Year’s Honours List. The spotlight on Michael deliberately coincides with this week’s celebrations for IDAHOBIT Day that we marked on Wednesday.
Both Malcolm and Michael are marvellous ambassadors for our school community, and we congratulate them for the impact they have made in their careers. I hope you enjoy reading their stories.
Deborah Harman | Principal
(See pages 2, 6 and 18-19 in this edition of The Lion)20230518-BHS-The-Lion-Edition-7