Principal Marc Light looks at the camera, he is wearing a grey suit and smiling. The King David School's logo is behind him, silver on a wood background.

Our uplifting and abiding spirit of community

Last Sunday we hosted the classes of 2004, 2014 and 2019 for their 20, 10 and 5 year reunions.

The event was well attended by alumni and current and former staff who were very eager to come together and reminisce.

To open the event, David Opat, our Vice Principal Student Wellbeing, expressed what was clearly felt by so many in attendance when he said simply, “Welcome home!”

Our longest serving principal, Michele Bernshaw spoke to the attendees too and passed on much wisdom including that some coming to events like these feel pressure to be presented as a “finished product” to their contemporaries. She made the point that we are all works in progress and it is a genuine delight to be able to speak to our alumni and former colleagues to hear what they are up to.

I addressed the reunions and spoke of my connection to each of the cohorts. While I was meeting many in the 2004 cohort for the first time, I shared my link to them that I am also an alumnus of The King David School and hoped that, like me, they will forever hold a tender place in their hearts for our beautiful school that has grown with them over the years.

The class of 2014 is the year that Michele and I shared, as we transitioned at the start of Term 2. For this reason I will always remember them with special fondness. I took the moment to express my gratitude to them because that Year 12 group was key to my happy arrival at the school. They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel that, even though we only shared the last three terms together, I was a part of their journey too.

It was also brilliant to reconnect with the class of 2019. They are at an exciting life point where many are in the final stages of their undergraduate degrees or transitioning to postgraduate studies. Others are exploring part or full time work and travel. While some were overwhelmed in exam preparation, it was still easy to feel their life force and potential.

I mentioned to all our alumni that we want to remain a part of their lives. We recognise that the School can serve a different role for each of them. We might continue to be the glue that holds their cohort together by putting on social events or keeping them updated about alumni news. We might provide opportunities for them to obtain professional advancement through networking events and direct connections with members of our community who might be in similar areas of work.

The greatest joy for me was to hear that each of these cohorts had maintained strong connections among the group whether it was through sporting teams, shared travel experiences or even social media contact. It truly felt that the relationships forged in their school days were lasting bonds for many of our alumni. The immediate warmth that I witnessed on those that had drifted reinforced this further.

In the week before the reunions we held our annual Careers Morning and were thrilled to welcome back many of our alumni who told the story of their journey through studies and into their preferred career. They were so generous with their time and their advice. Our Senior School students gained valuable insights into the diverse pathways on offer after graduating from King David.

This week more of our alumni played important roles in supporting our VCE Theatre class in their brilliant production of Ruby Moon.

All of these events demonstrate the multiple ways we strive to stay closely connected with our alumni. They show that the sense of belonging we engender in our school days carries through to the next stages of our lives. It is such a blessing to be able to meaningfully continue to share in the journeys of our graduates.

These moments have been such an uplifting reminder of the mutual relationships and abiding spirit of community that lies at the heart of The King David School’s DNA.

Shabbat Shalom,
Marc Light