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Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne: The Influencers

Garth Wynne
Christ’s College Executive Principal

One of the great challenges facing people in education, be it schools, universities or other tertiary organisations, is the impact and influence of ‘new’ technologies that are really questioning the validity of ‘old’ knowledge.

The world is changing more quickly than in previous generations because of the digital revolution, and educators are challenged by the ‘relevance’ question more seriously now than ever before. Can we just keep doing what we have been or do we need to fundamentally do something different?

When ‘answers’ can be found at the click of a button, perhaps education needs to be more about the question?  Where does the balance lie between the ‘academic’ skills of the past and the ‘soft’ skills of the future? For us at Christ’s College, we’ve had a hugely successful year in terms of academic achievements. But our measure of success is equally about our graduate character, in particular, exhibiting what we call our graduate outcome.


These are dispositions and attitudes that include compassion and empathy, courage and resilience, and enterprise and curiosity; all linked to our Christian virtues. The mystery of faith fundamentally speaks to the need to be curious.

As Dr Stephen Hawking said: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious and, however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.”



The Influencers Column: Garth Wynne

Men’s behaviour towards women is, quite rightly, under scrutiny. The message is clear. Men need to understand respect.
Having worked in schools for 35 years, I am convinced the key challenge we face is to help our young men grow emotional confidence.
Emotional confidence – and associated self-awareness and empathy – is a core strength for men and demands a subtle rethinking of our view of masculinity and its expression.
By growing emotional confidence in our boys, we can help them navigate the complexity of life in a more honest and constructive way, bringing out their best and the best in others.
In my experience at Christ’s College, I sense the boys themselves are ready for a different level of conversation about “being a man” in the 21st century – young men being confident in who they are.
As educators, our role is not simply about academic achievement. We need to support our young men to understand and develop character strengths, to live by virtues such as respect, honesty, loyalty, integrity, compassion and manners.
I believe we should challenge what it means to be a New Zealand male – and help our young men grow in the areas in which Kiwi men have not traditionally been so strong.
There are a lot of confusing messages about masculinity on the Internet and in social media. We need to make sure our young men have healthy and positive role models, so they are good men who respect women.