Farewell, Roger!

From the English Domain

We will miss you in English Roger. 


We will miss your enthusiastic attendance at debating, we will miss your generous endorsement of our pedagogical experimentation, as we introduce new texts, and new courses to our students. We will miss your obvious joy in the creative pursuits of the children, and your many cameos in the Nossal Transfer videos. We will miss your practical support of our attendance at a range of PL and your celebration of our participation in a variety of roles at VCAA. We will miss your unwavering commitment to excellence and improvement and we will miss your sudden appearances outside our classrooms, with a tour group when we're in the middle of discussing the sexual imagery of a Shakespearian sonnet. We are grateful for the many ways in which you have facilitated us in achieving our potential as educators and we are grateful for the faith and trust you have had in us, as we do our best to do our best job for the children.


We wish you well in retirement and we look forward to seeing you often.


The English Domain of 2022.

From the Languages Domain 

The Languages Domain would like to thank Mr Roger Page for his ongoing support of the Japanese and French language programs at the school.  


Over the years, Mr Page has been invited to and attended annual formal functions at the Consulate General of Japan in Melbourne with a range of language staff, to celebrate the continued link and sharing of cultural practices between Australia and Japan. He has furthermore travelled to our Japanese Sister School in the Chosei District of Japan to sign a formal agreement with Chosei High School, for an ongoing student exchange program between our two schools.   


In recent years, Mr Page has also supported the establishment of a sister school relationship with Collège Félix le Dantec in Lannion, Brittany, France for our students of French. He attended some functions during the inaugural student exchange visit to Nossal High School in 2019 and has been encouraging in the planning of our next student exchange trip to France in 2023.  


We wish Mr Page good health, happiness and lots of travel as he enters retirement.


The Languages Domain of 2022. 

From the Arts & Technology Domain

Dear Mr Page, 


We will miss you. Thank you for everything that you have done for the Art and Technology domain. 


Mr Page has enthusiastically supported our thespians by attending every drama production and has listened to endless hours of Winter and Spring Concert music performed by our talented student and staff musicians. He has also attended many evening events like the opening night of the Top Designs Exhibition, held at the Melbourne Museum, in support of one of our talented Visual Communication Design Students who was exhibiting their work with only twelve other VCD students in the state. 


Mr Page has always embraced opportunities for our students and staff. He accompanied Ms Leanne Ansaldi and a small group of students to Maningrida on a cultural exchange developed by the University of Melbourne. The initial intention of this exchange was to benefit young indigenous students, but our staff and students have amazing memories that they will always treasure. Maningrida is an Aboriginal community in the heart of Arnhem land, 500 km east of Darwin. Mr Page, Ms Ansaldi and our students were immersed in the traditions, culture and arts of these First Nations People for ten days. Nossal High School hosted a group of primary students for a day of learning and fun activities. If you have ever wondered about the provenance of the amazing First Nations bark painting and sculpture which are proudly displayed in the foyer of Nossal High School, it was on this trip that Mr Page purchased them. 


For many years, Mr Page drove a large group of students and staff in a hired minibus across to Mount Gambier, South Australia, for the annual Generations in Jazz weekend festival. It is held in May and brings together many young jazz musicians from all over Australia and New Zealand. 


Again, thank you for everything - we will miss you very much! Best wishes.

The Arts and Technology Domain of 2022. 

From Humanities Domain

The Humanities Domain will miss many things about Roger. He has always given us a great deal of trust and autonomy in how we approach our diverse curriculum and unique students. He has encouraged us to take risks, be innovative, adopt a unique approach and play to our strengths and interests. From the beginning of the school, Roger has been an advocate for a strong and vibrant Humanities program, even when the majority of our students are inclined toward the Maths and Sciences. This support has helped our Domain not only survive but thrive. Thanks to the culture Roger has built over the last 13 years of adult learning, student autonomy, academic excellence and collective effort we are able to teach the Humanities in a way that best realises the ambition of our subjects. We know this legacy will live on long after Roger has gone.

Angus Clark on behalf of the Humanities Domain

A Memory of Roger

As a parent of a Year 9 Nossal student in 2013 (some years before I started teaching at Nossal HS), I was touched by Roger’s compassionate and generous spirit.  My son came home one afternoon feeling a little agitated because he had misplaced the raffle tickets he was required to sell or return if unsold.  ‘I took everything out of my locker and couldn’t find them, and they’re not in my bag either.  Our tutorial teacher told us that we will be sent to Mr Page’s office if we don’t return the tickets by tomorrow morning’, my son anxiously informed me.  Feeling his pain, I reassured him by telling him that I would write Mr Page a note explaining the situation and enclose the cost of the tickets in an envelope.  After school the next day, my son produced an envelope addressed to me from Roger. Inside was a note which read:

Dear Julie,
Have written off the missing raffle book and issued you with new tickets for your ‘donation’.  Took the liberty of putting your name and mobile number on the stubs C/O Nossal HS.  Hope that is ok.
Roger Page


Mrs Julie Ward,

English Teacher & former Nossal Parent

A View from the Front of the School

In my time working at Nossal I have faced the challenge of being the public voice expressing the gratitude of the community for Roger's contributions on more than one occasion. In one way, this is a very easy task. One only has to look around the school and tell the truth about the ways in which he has shaped and enabled its success. I tend in these moments to fall back on the adage that "as goes the Principal, so goes the school" for the simple reason that so much of what we value at Nossal is a direct reflection of Roger's own vision and values. 


At the very core of Roger's professional practice - and so at the very core of his vision for the school - is his willingness to give the gift of trust to each individual he encounters. He approaches each interaction with the expectation that the other person is acting in good faith, he looks for their capability rather than their limitations, and he enables that capability by making space for them to solve problems in their own way and by celebrating their solutions.


Balancing this openness is a strong mind, well-skilled in critical thinking and eager for a better way of doing things. One of the characteristics of his leadership of Nossal's fledgling years was his refusal to simply recreate what was usually done, or what had been done in other schools. He sought colleagues who were student-centered in their approach, and who were idealistic in their outlook. While all schools are utopian ventures, seeking to turn ideals into reality, he recognised that at Nossal we would have the best possible conditions for achieving such a project. He imagined a genuinely innovative, genuinely adult learning environment which both encouraged and enabled the growth of every person in the space from the education support and the teaching staff right through to the students and, indeed, their parents, and he refused to give ground on that ideal. He was willing to take risks in pursuit of this vision, and coupled his desire for continuous improvement at Nossal with a deep commitment to ensuring that what we learned and achieved was translated into support for the rest of the education system. 


At the start of this, I said that it was easy to say "Thank you" to Roger, because there is so much to be grateful for. Of course, this also makes the task almost impossible. The impact of an effective leader is complex and difficult to trace; their legacy is often situated in things that we come to treat as normal, having forgotten that anyone ever had to introduce such an obviously useful approach or idea. The impact of a good person is doubly difficult to encapsulate. Roger is a good person. His ethical standards are exemplary, his decision-making is tempered by compassion, his work ethic is indefatigable and his community spirit unbounded. He has made our lives better by being himself, and by making space for us to embrace the challenge of being ourselves too. Faced with the impossible, all we can do is hope that our efforts to maintain and develop the community and the culture he has established at Nossal might serve as an appropriate tribute to his work on our behalf.


Many thanks and best of luck as you launch the next stage of your life, Roger. We'll miss you.


Tracey Mackin

Assistant Principal