The start of 2022 signals the beginning of my eleventh year serving at Encounter and having been in one community for ten years certainly offers a unique perspective. The honeymoon period is long gone, the first impressions have faded and I have to simply rely upon being myself. I guess it’s handy I’ve had plenty of practice.

As well as being part of Encounter for 10 years, I’ve also been a member of the Victor Harbor and South Coast community for a decade. My three kids have spent all or most most of their childhood here and are invested in sport, church and community in all sorts of wonderful ways. Seeing community through the perspective of a family, as well as being a school leader, is a true blessing. It enables me to see school life from an academic, but also from a broader vantage point. School is important, but community is critical. Being part of something bigger than just yourself contributes enormously to social, emotional and physical wellbeing. It’s what keep us ticking in good times and bad and at Encounter we try to impart the importance of balance at all stages of life.

Throughout my time at Encounter I’ve met hundreds of young people, parents, business owners, community members and retirees. The common thread amongst these groups is a shared love of living in this precious part of the world and at Encounter we want to embrace that too. As many people would know, we have 69 acres of the Fleurieu at the entrance of Victor Harbor that we want to share with community. Our vision is to create partnership opportunities and to help play our part in making this part of the world an even better place to be.

The most important thing we try to teach young people at Encounter is the value of trying your hardest and contributing to community and we love the idea of extending the hand of friendship to as many people as we can across this thriving community.

As we begin a unique, yet exciting year at Encounter, I look forward to meeting many more of you as we connect at school or in the broader community.

Kelvin Grivell