Book Review: Good Morning, Mr Sarra

by on Mar, Fri, 2013 in Books, Stronger Smarter News | 1 comment

Good Morning, Mr Sarra

Good Morning, Mr Sarra

By Peter King. Principal, Byron Bay High School; Leadership Program graduate 2011.

“He does not believe, that does not live according to his belief”. Fuller 1732

If you ever doubted Chris Sarra’s courage or the strength of his conviction then you can refresh your memory by reading his autobiography “Good Morning Mr Sarra”.

As a teenager Chris was more into footy than school. He would be the first to admit that he was fortunate to have some wonderful adult mentors who encouraged him to pursue academic studies after high school.

Chris didn’t see himself as an academic. The work ethic instilled in him at a young age by his parents enabled him to work hard and succeed. He grew into his belief and confidence.

The major section of the book deals with Chris’ time as Principal of Cherbourg State School. It’s an incredibly inspiring story. The school had been placed in the “too hard” basket for a long time. Chris details the struggles and the setbacks, the tragedies as well as the triumphs. At no stage does he waver from his conviction and his vision for Cherbourg.

As Theodore Hesburgh said of leaders “You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet”.

Following Cherbourg, Chris details how “Stronger Smarter” came into existence and flourished. The national leadership program now reaches thousands of teachers and impacts on many thousands of students.

The thing that still inspires me is Chris’ commitment, his passion to make a difference, his vision for achieving positive change, and his courage to take action. He made things happen, he never accepted any limitations.

Enjoy this book about a great Australian and find in it the inspiration and courage to continue your own leadership.

One Comment

  1. I will get a copy of this book and read it then pass it onto my son. I taught at Dunwich State Primary School, on North Stradbroke Island for 19 years from 1982 til 2001. Chris Sara came to talk to us on one of our school development days, when the “High-Top,” years 8 to 10, was a few years old. I’ll never forget his passion and commitment to educating Aboriginal students. My children were very lucky to grow up on Straddie and attend all their school there. I have been teaching at Byron Bay Public School for the last 10 years and am now semi-retired and on casual contracts there. I still partly live on Straddie and am very connected to land and people there. I was sad when the High-Top of Dunwich school was shut down due to lack of numbers. It is a fantastic facility for Aboriginal and all island students who now have to travel to the mainland again for high school. This building should be opened again for island students and could become an amazing “Saltwater School.” for all students. My son, Ryan Ricks, has gone on to become an English/History High School teacher for the last 2 years. He is looking for a contract again to teach in 2014 and has a commitment and passion for teaching in schools with a high indigenous population. Growing up on Straddie with his Murri mates and living his early years in Canada’s north with Native Canadian children has made him a very special teacher who I am proud to have nurtured and I know Ryan can make a positive contribution wherever he teaches.

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