In a fitting and poignant farewell, Principal Mrs Maryanne Davis highlighted important elements from every theme she had chosen for each year of the Davis Decade at Danebank when she gave her final Senior School assembly talk on Wednesday.
Mrs Maryanne Davis, Principle, Danebank Anglican School for Girls
2010: Glass half full or half empty

In 2010 my theme was: Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? When you look at a doughnut, do you see the doughnut or the doughnut hole. In other words, are you always looking at the negative or are you always looking at the positive? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
You do have a choice, even though it might take an effort. As Albus Dumbledore said: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

2011: Shine like stars

In this year, I talked about shining like stars.

S represents spiritual understanding and life, Spiritual understanding is essential to shining like a star.
T represents the traditions that support and guide us and which represent our values.
A represents achievement, not just in school work, but also in sport, music debating and even areas of life like friendships and personal, mental and emotional health.
R represents respect, respect for God, others and self.
S represents service.

Really, this summarises all that I want for you at Danebank, which is why I continued to focus on it. Shine like stars will probably always be the saying from the Davis Decade at Danebank!

2012: Are you an eagle or an Eeyore?

In 2012, I asked the question: Are you an eagle or an Eeyore? So, do you have a strength mindset, or a deficit mindset? Do you have a growth mindset that works on growing your strengths and the strengths of others, or are you always concentrating on your own weaknesses and faults and the faults and weaknesses of others.

Eagle: Strength Mindset

  • Build capacity
  • Release potential
  • Nurture competence
  • Concentrate on what’s right with people

Eeyore: Deficit Mindset

  • Concentrates on repairing problems
  • Healing wounds
  • Identifying defects
  • Studying what’s wrong with people

It is your choice, and, to repeat what Albus Dumbledore said: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

2013: Strive to be a seeker

This year, I encouraged everyone to Strive to be a seeker … not just to be willing to adopt other people’s ideas, but to seek and seek and seek for the truth, especially the truth about Jesus. To seek and seek and seek greater understanding, knowledge and skills in each of your classes.

Characteristics of heroes

I also asked: Are you a hero? Look at these characteristics of a hero. Do they describe you?

  • Heroes are active not passive
  • Heroes look to serve others
  • Heroes have a quest
  • Heroes don’t look for personal glory
  • Heroes confront their dragons
  • Heroes ask questions, seek the way forward and don’t stop seeking different options until they achieve their goal

I also wonder: Who is your hero? This is something you should think about … the person you have as your hero is the person you will inevitable strive to emulate. You will respect them and imitate them. This is where your achievements will be centred. So who is your hero?

2014: A year of big ideas

In 2014, I asked: What is your Big Idea? We should all have a big idea. What is yours?


Serving others as you shine like stars

I talked about the big ideas that others have had, people we respect, like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and the great scientists, philosophers and theologians of our time who brought big ideas to the world and therefore changed the world. Their spiritual understanding, traditions and achievements deserve our respect and inspire us to service.

2015: Where are my keys?

The theme for this year was: Where are my keys? What are the keys you need to find and use to improve your understanding of all that Christianity proposes, the keys to improve your friendships, to improve your study, to improve life at home, to improve your service to others?

The five keys to achieving great things

We also looked at the five things that mean that you will be able to go from strength to strength in all aspects of your life:

  • Passion
  • Purpose
  • Planning
  • Patience
  • Persistence
2016: Piece of the puzzle

In 2016, we looked at A piece of the puzzle … what are the pieces in your puzzle that are important to you. The pieces of the puzzle that just aren’t fitting for you and that you need to seek help for from the counsellors, teachers, parents and other adults in your life.

2017: Time to build

In 2017 we had the theme It’s time to build. This was because we were building the Pre-K and Junior school, but it made me think that every one of us needs to keep on building our lives. We need to keep building to be the person we want to be. Who do you want to be? Often we are are asked what do you want to be when you leave school … I would ask you: “Who do you want to be?”

2018: Walk the talk

As a follow-on from building who you want to be, in 2018 I challenged you to Walk the talk, to make sure that you live out who you want to be … that you make sure that people around you see the REAL you.

2019: SEAL

This year we took that a step further and I asked you to look at specific areas of your life and to think about how you measure up to the Danebank SEAL of Approval: Service, Enthusiasm, Agility of thinking, and Leadership

Shine like stars

Throughout every year I have encouraged you to Shine like stars as you hold firmly to the Word of God.

May you go through life remembering to Shine as you look to increase your understanding of God, stand tall on the traditions that surround you through family, culture and school, strive to achieve – to be all that you can be, respect others and yourself and look to serve.

As Nelson Mandela quoted Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light that frightens us most. We ask ourselves: ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Remember … You were all born to be stars as you hold firmly to the Word of Life.