As official guest and speaker at the seventh annual Kalamunda Day celebrations at Kalamunda Senior High School on August 8, Commissioner O’Callaghan spoke extensively about respect ” one of the school’s values.
As a former student at the school, Commissioner O’Callaghan previously addressed students in 2007.
He said he wanted the students to know that the thing they will be remembered for in life was not wealth or power, but the way they made people feel.
‘People remember how you treat them,’ he said. WA’s top cop especially emphasised treating others with dignity and compassion and related this to social media, where ‘people often hide behind a new-found power.’
He said they used social media to hurt others and because they did not have to face the people they were abusing, the actions were cowardly and showed no respect.
Commissioner O’Callaghan told students not to forget the school’s values when using the internet and interacting with people online.
He mentioned other school values, which include compassion, equality and diversity.
‘No one is perfect, you are not perfect, so be happy with yourself and all your faults because we all have them,’ he said.
He referred to his work in the North West of WA, where he said ‘everyone has the right to participate, belong, and feel good about themselves’.
He spoke of children there who had not been to school because they were affected by fetal alcohol syndrome.
‘But everyone has the right to belong, to feel good about themselves and how they look,’ he said.
He still held the record for taking out The Lord of the Rings from the school library five times ” the most times the book had been borrowed.
Students were told his favourite word was ‘be’.
‘Be who you are and let others be who they are, and that is the basis of respect,’ he said.