What's in a name? An awful lot.
'I have called you by name - you are mine'.
This sentence, from the Book of Isaiah, is surrounded by reassurance and and promises from God to the people of Israel. It is sandwiched within 2 of the 366 times that God tells believers to not be afraid. I see a strong link between the calling 'by name', and the promise of security, protection and love.
The first act of a new parent is to name their child. Names are special - sacred really. The child's first aspiration towards consciousness and self-concept is through their name. Often, they will refer to themselves in the third person as they begin to understand the power of self, and the fact that they have a mind, and agency, and can influence and be influenced by their surroundings. Even in classrooms today, the best way to silence a noisy lesson is to mention a few names. There is an immediate focus on responsibility and self. Australians in particular are renowned for applying nicknames or slang terms for friends, which in its own way is a reflection of the spirit implied by Isaiah - 'you are mine'.
I am very aware of the importance of names at present because one of my current tasks is leading the naming of the new College buildings that will emerge over the next few years. We are yet to formally name our new sports oval, and as we will very likely have at least three new buildings between now and 2027, we need to start focussing on what names will resonate with our community. Certainly, there is a need to tell our story; our Josephite story, which begins long before the foundation of our College in 2003. We also need to reconcile the anomaly of some buildings named after geographical features and buildings named after saints, holy places, priests and nuns.
In all of it, those words from Isaiah really ring true to me. What we call these buildings MAKE them ours, not just as a Highfields community now but as a Josephite community with an esteemed history and a desire to thrive into the future.
Mr Chris Gabbett