This just bugs the heck out of me! Must be a sign, here’s what my fortune cookie said last week: “If you have a job without aggravations, you don’t have a job.”

It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take that mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise, that they wear it well.

I firmly believe in this. Those who seek leadership and power just for the rewards are found out, and no more poignantly than when they miss out. Their response speaks volumes. Some who sought office and were disappointed responded by abrogating responsibilities, reneging on promises and truanting school.

That’s a quote from a 17 year old School Captain of Knox Grammar in Sydney. He delivered this speech in front of 1350 fellow students, 150 teachers and 600 parents in the school assembly hall. This kid has guts!

Teenage boys have been forced to face up to the pressures of power hungry parents. Those hypocrites who have slung the most mud do so because of a deep-seeded sense of paranoia, inferiority and the unquenchable desire to social climb. In a great paradox, these people are the embodiment of tall poppy syndrome yet all they crave is power. They accuse of intimidation, yet they are the biggest bullies of them all. They are selfish – because for every time their child is accommodated, another is displaced. They would never admit to doing so but must surely recognise it within themselves. Just as parents who berate officials on the sidelines set a poor example, parents who undermine the authority of the school fail to recognize that life doesn’t always deal in fairness, and you cannot excuse deplorable behaviour under the euphemism of wanting a ‘fair go’. It is time for Knox to have learnt its lessons. I believe that this school understands. To those who play the politics game, you have lost.

They might not realise it yet, but life will be the great leveler. It is difficult for most of us to appreciate this and it’s a concept I’m yet to understand but its one that I hold faith in. Whilst I cannot claim to comprehend the forces of karma, most of us have the foresight to see that Knox is not the be all and end all. Because once you pass through those doors, the real world takes over. Beginning with the HSC yet reaching far beyond, the schoolboy bubble will have burst. Mum and Dad are not with you in your job interview to defend you, or to make threats on your behalf, yet can only arm you with the lessons that they have instilled upon you. To our parents, most of you have done so admirably, teaching the virtues of commitment, discipline and loyalty. You have given us a chance to prosper. We are all grateful.

It is these virtues upon which the men of this year group have thrived.