What will you do when you leave Homebush Boys High School? Have you ever stopped to think about life after school? Do you even know what you really want to do with your life after school? And have you ever stopped to think about what the school has given you?

These are questions we pose to our sons when they are in their final years of school but how many of us really know what we want to do when we leave school. The romantic idea that all will just fall into place is a myth for most as it is harder to find employment than you may think despite the fact that Australia has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the world, however, official figures from the Australia Bureau of Statistics show Australia's unemployment rate has increased to 5.7 per cent. The result means the unemployment rate is now at its highest level since September 2009. For those boys who chose not to enter Tertiary Education or take an apprenticeship or be lucky enough to have a job lined up after they leave school then the rest are faced with the prospect of job searching and this can be extremely stressful to the boys and their families.

When our sons leave school, will they leave with positive thoughts about their five or six years there. Will they leave 'better' people than when they arrived? Will they leave with the confidence to achieve whatever they want in life?

So we posed these questions to some Ex-Old Bushy Boys, and our grateful thanks to Mr Ken Burton for his reflections.


Living no more than 800m away in the mid 1970’s, Homebush Boys’ was always going to be the high school I attended. If Homebush Boys was good enough for my brother in the late 1950s and my uncle in the late 1930s then it was obvious I would be attending there also. For me and I assume other boys, school was a means to an end. It was something I had to do, and at times, endure.  It did give me however a level of education where I was able to obtain employment.

Sport at Homebush Boys was a good escape for many, myself included. It was a way to forget about the classroom for one afternoon per week. Sport gave me a sense of belonging and pride: to be part of a team; and to be able to represent and compete on behalf of Homebush Boys.

After leaving school I never gave much thought to what Homebush Boys had instilled in me. I didn’t hold negative feelings for the school: I was never ashamed or felt stigmatised regarding the high school I had attended. It was not until having sons of my own and having them attend Homebush Boys that I realised how important the school is to me, my family of origin and to my family now.  This was and is our school. It reflects the community: multicultural and diverse in many ways. It has given boys an education and direction. HBHS has taught us how to be in community and instilled in us an ethic to try and make a positive contribution in whatever we do.  I have been amazed at the difference I have seen in my sons from when they started high school to where they are now. Some of this can be attributed to what they have gained from being a part of Homebush Boys.

To young men who are on the verge of leaving Homebush Boys and starting the next chapter of life, I hope you realise well before I did what you have gained from being part of the Homebush fraternity. At times whilst in it, things may not have been as good as hoped for, I am sure that if you consider the boy you were to the young man you are on leaving,  there have been many changes and mostly these have been for the better. Homebush has given you the chance to have a go and be involved even if at times you may have felt stretched to your limits. Homebush has prepared you for your next chapter. Go and make a positive and significant impact in your world!
 Once a Bushy Boy always a Bushy Boy.