GC Annual Lecture 2023

June 06, 2023 | Girls’ College | Author: Olimpia Benfield (Deputy Chair of the PTA)

On Friday 19 May 2023, in partnership with the GC PTA, the Girls’ College held its Second Annual Lecture over a breakfast at the Bryanston Country Club.

This year our invited speaker was Mr Brent Lindeque, Founder of Good Things Guy as well as journalist, blogger, influencer and change maker. He is regularly featured in the media for spreading good news about South Africa and casting light on how ordinary South Africans are doing extraordinary things. Mr Lindeque had been asked to talk to the 2023 theme of “A Legacy of Happy Fulfilment” and how regular people have the potential to be “Hope Changers” in South Africa.  In addition, he was also asked to touch on how we all have the responsibility to be positive and engaging role models – that our conduct and the example that we set for our children and those around us in the wider community is vitally important. It has the power to transform the world around us!

The function, entitled “Breakfast with Brent” was designed to reignite hope and rekindle light in our GC and wider Saints’ community. Please click here for the digital programme of the morning’s events 

The morning was most ably hosted by Mr Richard Sibeko and Dr Sally James officially opened the event with a brief welcome outlining the meaning behind the 2023 theme of “A Legacy of Happy Fulfilment”. She was followed by Mrs Olimpia Benfield (Deputy Chair of the GC PTA) who gave an outline of the inspiration behind the event as well as officially announcing that the PTA would be partnering with the GC to raise funds towards a much-needed Performing Arts Centre. The vision for the Performing Arts Centre is currently in its scoping phase, but the College Exco together with the Operations Department and Council Planning and Development Committee, are excited about the prospect of a large-scale venue being built on campus that would include a stage, state of the art lighting and sound technology as well as breakaway venues that could host smaller rehearsals and performances.

Talented Grade 10 student, Stacey Whitby, entertained guests with a wonderful vocal and ukulele performance. She was followed by an inspiring piece by Nonkululeko Mbalula (Grade 11) on the Saxophone accompanied by Mrs Jaline Oelefse on the keyboard. In addition to these two uplifting performances, Zoe Earlam (Grade 11) played the harp and provided beautiful background music as guests arrived at the function venue. These performances were followed by grace and a prayer of thanksgiving by Reverend Philippa Cole.

After breakfast, Mr Richard Sibeko formally introduced our guest speaker. In his keynote address, Mr Brent Lindeque spoke about how current news is important for an understanding of events happening around us but that prolonged exposure to bad or negative news can lead to despair. He reminded us that balance is necessary and that there are good news stories that can make us proud to be South African again. He demonstrated to us that there are incredibly positive things happening in our beautiful country as well as in the world. Mr Lindeque shared with the audience how, when he was a child, his mother would soothe his fears with a quote credited to Fred Rogers – “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” He encouraged us that when day to day life becomes overwhelming or the news is filled with only the negative, to look for these helpers because they are indeed always there. He also challenged us to be one of those very same helpers in situations when one is not immediately obvious. In this way, every person has the power to change not only the narrative, but everything!

Throughout the morning guests were also treated to spot prizes generously sponsored by our Saints’ parent community. Along with the creative art work of our talented visual art students which was exhibited on the patio, the uplifting music, and delicious breakfast, guests left having had their spirits lifted and filled with “all the happy feels” as our guest speaker would have said.

Our sincere appreciation to:

Mr Malose Kekana, Mrs Olimpia Benfield, Mrs Teresa Knight & Mrs Sam Nupen – PTA members and project champions of the event

Mrs Anele Yaka for event management

Mr Richard Sibeko for emceeing the morning

Ms Bronwyn Myles for setting up the Visual Art display

Mrs Jaline Oelefse for assisting and accompanying the Musical Students

Our parent body for sponsoring spot prizes – Mrs Jen Bradford (Flavr), Mrs Kim Miller (Ripple Inspired Jewellery), Mrs Tarryn Leishman (spa vouchers) and Mrs Tasha Ludlow Furlong (fragrance gifts from Bacher&Co)

Mr Brent Lindeque for being an incredible role model of positivity and proponent of the power of change. May we take on the challenges he has set before us on changing our mindsets and being a helper in our communities, our country, and the world.

If you would like more information on the proposed Performing Arts Centre or to donate towards the build please click here

Photos: Anele Yaka