What a rich mixture of top quality students are part of the community, both those who are residential and those who live the other side of the world. Most students have been here on advanced short courses over the Easter break in addition to those who have just joined us today on the 10-week en route course. This place is dynamic and I have had many great conversations whether whilst playing volleyball, over lunch, in the corridors and in tutor rooms. The topics of those conversations have varied enormously from practical leadership dilemmas to currently thinking on conflict and child soldiers. And every day there is something new, whether it’s thinking through the next steps beyond college, ideas to develop new course content, partnership and marketing links, and the list goes on!

I’ve discovered that we have a lot of meetings! So, one of my first things was to give the Chairmanship of many of these to the experts who are doing the work. My role becomes that of participant, active of course, but then we all need to be that. The details of buying a minibus and a new catering oven are mixed in with planning for Programme content and future staffing.

An impressive Victorian building has it significant attractions and its resource hungry maintenance needs. And the beautiful woods and open spaces around the college building are changing as spring rain and sun sees growth all around – but that includes the weeds and bramble too! How to utilise these incredible assets has also exercised my mind in these early days.

Of top priority to me are the people who are All Nations. In addition to the students I have mentioned, it’s the many volunteers and staff, both teaching and support services. They are outstanding, incredible, awesome and amazing! They are also quite tired, often overstretched and its tough balancing all the demands on them. I have been keen to listen well, to make some immediate changes to lighten their loads and to see how we can bring in new staffing resources.

The adventure of life, learning, growing the business with balancing busy-ness is energising and engaging! I am really pleased to be here, leading the team and I am learning new things every day. I am definitely looking forward to the next 50 days. Watch this space for more reflections on the journey. Hey, and even consider for yourself if you’d like to join us – whether as a student, as staff, a volunteer, partner with us in developing the programmes and utilise these incredible facilities and space! You are most welcome at All Nations!

Andy Dipper
Principal and CEO

 

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