Peter FitzSimons, guest speaker at TAS Speech Day, December 5, 2013
Students urged to ‘suck’ the juice of opportunity
School should not be about remembering dates and facts, but hearing the ‘ping’ of something that sparks passion and interest, author, newspaper columnist and former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons believes.
The most published non-fiction Australian author of the past 10 years, FitzSimons urged students at The Armidale School’s annual speech day to drink in the opportunities offered to them during their time at school. He said two of his great passions were ignited during his own schooling at Knox Grammar, “when I was the first of 19 FitzSimons who had attended Knox, not to ever get to the stage on speech day”.
“In Year 7 they asked for volunteers for debating, and a friend and I put our hands up and did it for the next five years. We were pretty hopeless early on but improved a lot – I now do about 100 speeches a hear, while (my friend) is a Senior Counsel.”
The former Wallaby said he didn’t take well to rugby early on, but good coaches and teammates helped him find a passion for it. Similarly, an interest in history began when his teacher brought a pivotal event to life.
“For much of the time in his class I used to count the bricks on the wall from bottom to the top – and then he started speaking about the Eureka Stockade.”
Most importantly he urged students to devour the opportunities they had been given, in order they find their own passions.
“To quote a line, ‘suck the juice from the marrow of life until it runs down your chin’. Resist the temptation of inertia. It won’t all be plain sailing, but take the fabulous opportunities offered to you, and go hard for it.”
Outgoing Senior Prefect Darcy James reinforced the message, and told boys to stay true to themselves.
(1) Author, newspaper columnist and former Wallaby speaks to Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and TAS Headmaster Murray Guest, following The Armidale School’s speech day.
(2) Peter FitzSimons and TAS Headmaster Murray Guest at TAS Speech Day.
For more information on this release contact Tim Hughes on 0409 662 420