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Core Values! What do core values mean to us?

Ganesh Kanapathy

Ganesh Kanapathy

My father, God rest his soul, was my dad. It meant that I put up with his views, lived through it when he verbalised those views and swallowed the harshness of growing up. In one way or another, we all put up with someone close in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, my dad and I got along most times, but he was a very one-tracked-minded individual with a one-sided view and often ended up offending or hurting someone else without even realising it. Was he a good dad? He got better over the years, but damages were done that needed more time to repair past experiences.


When I got married, I married a strong-minded person who had views and could articulate these views. However, when it came to my old man, she confined her thoughts to our chats and left it as it was, as she did not think it was necessary to correct an older person or create any form of unhappiness between my dad and me. This meant that she did not interact with him much in the years we married. She never resented him but just never interacted much. 


When my dad passed, she was there, hand-in-hand, to help with the necessary arrangements. Her values of respect, kindness and responsibility kicked in, putting away how she felt and standing by me in my time of grief. This behaviour is something one does not think of and takes for granted. I had a chance to witness these values recently. We returned from our travels, and after settling in and freshening up, she made her way to the pictures of my mum and dad and quietly paid her respects. This action caught me by surprise as she did not have to do it but did it because these values are core to her and define her!


At work, we have our set of values. It drives us and defines us. Inculcating it into who we are and what we do on a day-on-day basis is the goal. It would mean that we all think alike and carry out our duties with these values.

On a recent professional development day, we conducted an induction programme for our staff members. The programme is to help new staff members understand why and how we do things and provides a refresher to older staff members. During this PD, we engaged in a lively discussion where we agreed that core values are essential to us individually, defining how we behave. We agreed that we each have our set of values and, when viewed, do not differ much from the company’s values. We agreed that values are not something you can force down someone’s throat and force them to follow. Core values are traits or qualities that are not just worthwhile, representing an individual’s or an organisation’s highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces. They are the heart of what our organisation and our staff members stand for. It is what we sincerely believe.


At Melbourne International School and The Guild International College, we have five values driving our work. These values are common in every one of us. It would mean we are not changing ourselves to fit into something we don’t believe. We agree that on poor days, the values that we turn to for support drive and define us. Together, we can Make THAT Difference in the lives of our students!

Melbourne International School and The Guild International College are small, fully inclusive international schools and colleges in Singapore. We offer the Australian Victorian Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum and are at the forefront of progressive education. We are an inclusive community that caters to the needs of mainstream students and students with additional needs. The Melbourne International School caters to students ages three to 12, and The Guild International College caters to students ages 13 to 25. Visit us and be part of our inclusive community.