The importance of collaboration

In this edition of Grammar News, you will read numerous stories about success and achievement.

These include an article about Jessica Morrison (OM 2010), our newest Old Melburnian Olympic Gold Medallist. While competing in two Rowing events with fierce determination at the 2021 Tokyo Games, she also demonstrated humility and respect for others throughout her campaign. Congratulations to Jessica on her outstanding achievement.

Well done too, to the six current and former students who were recently recognised for their academic excellence through the 2021 Premier’s Awards. These Awards are given to the top few students in each VCE subject each year. It is a remarkable accomplishment to be included and these young men also deserve our heartiest congratulations.

Whether in sport, education, business, the arts or any other facet of life, being the best at what you do is admirable and impressive. However, it is important this is underpinned with strong values, empathy, gratitude and the recognition that ‘no person is an island’.

Some people seem to be born with a fiercely competitive streak, and this becomes particularly apparent when there is a reward involved – perhaps an exam mark, a premiership or a promotion. They simply have an inherent desire to beat everyone else and, for some, will stop at nothing to reach their goal.

For others, the motivation to succeed can be more complex and be driven by internal factors such as finding purpose or self-worth through success. Factors such as initiative, self-confidence and helping others to be successful may also come into play.

In either case, recognising that collaboration and teamwork play a crucial role in reaching a goal is equally, if not more, important. The first steps to learning this often occurs both in the classroom and outside the classroom via our extensive cocurricular program.

Effective and productive collaboration doesn’t necessarily come easy to us all. However, it can be learnt. For Melbourne Grammar School students, we endeavour to instil the skills and approaches that are needed for strong collaborative outcomes throughout each students’ time with us.

Many of our best athletes refer to the importance of the team around them as central to their success. This team can include their coach, family members and, if a team sport, their team members. In my opinion, the finest athletes recognise this and express their thanks to their team throughout the journey to the top.

It is my hope that all Melbourne Grammar students graduate with the desire to achieve their best in whatever field they choose to apply themselves, and that they appreciate that their accomplishments reflect their talents, determination and capacity for collaboration.

Philip Grutzner