The Leadership Afternoon Tea series provides a platform for QAHS students, Student Leaders and staff to connect with inspiring individuals beyond their daily interactions in order to develop their capacity for thinking, consider global issues more critically and, importantly, enjoy some afternoon tea. The first speaker for the year set the highest of standards as we were enthralled by the presentation of Dr Daniel Brennan, Associate Professor and Teaching Fellow from Bond University. Dr Brennan came to QAHS after being highly recommended by our own teaching and administrative staff who saw him speak recently at the Gold Coast Secondary Principals' Alliance Leadership breakfast and were inspired and intrigued by all he had to say, including some very thoughtful insights regarding the use of Chat GPT.
Dr Brennan's areas of expertise are diverse and include teaching Critical Thinking and Communication; Responsibility, Integrity and Civic Discourse; and Philosophy and Film. Some of his research includes exploring and exposing philosophies of resistance which promote violence, messianic gestures, and sacrifice as the best form of resistance, as well as the philosophy of resistance which emphasises the political and social significance of actions which are not usually deemed to be political, such as friendship, small acts of kindness, and the development of virtues. Dr Brennan is also a published author of a book titled Surfing and the Philosophy of Sport, which examines the role of sports in conceptualising the good life, the aesthetic nature of sport, the place of technology in sport, surfing's embodiment of the principles of Olympism, issues of institutionalised sexism in sport and the effect of this on athletic performance.
Despite this considerable list, Dr Brennan centred his presentation to our students around something quite removed from these ideas- bioethics and health ethics. His presentation interwove stories of people who recognised unethical or unfair behaviour speaking up against power in situations where this is not usually done, the public condemnation of evil forces, a plea to hear the voices of those affected by discrimination and the importance of embracing being uncertain and unknowing.
During the question-and-answer session, our students asked about the use of Artificial Intelligence chatbots in education, viewing access to health as justice, the capacity to see the complexity in moral problems and various Theory of Knowledge title inspired queries.
Dr Brennan's presentation was truly engaging, relevant and interesting for our staff and students. We'd like to thank Dr Brennan for being so generous with his wisdom and time. A big thank you as well to our wonderful Year 12 hosts, Regina Hoare and Katya Gratchev who facilitated the afternoon with confidence and flair.
A reminder to our QAHS community that Leadership Afternoon Teas take place once per term and all are very welcome to attend. Details for next term's event will soon be posted to MyQA News and the fortnightly 'What's On' publication.
Teacher of English & Student Leadership Coordinator