2014 Dux Assembly – Dux’s Speech

2014 College Dux, Nathan D’Souza, addressed the audience at the 2014 Dux Assembly on Tuesday 17 February.

Mr Brennan, Father Papworth, teachers, staff, parents and students.

I stand here today, humbled and honoured, to have been named the Dux of Salesian College for 2014.

I began Year 12 with a dream, to be where I am today, but this was an aspiration for which I had to work tirelessly. I knew that I faced fierce competition with my peers and rivals, who are just as deserving to be in my place.

And so, I wish to congratulate each one of you standing here today. We are an example of the rewards that hard work and commitment can bring. We have achieved excellence, and this is our first step to a successful and prosperous future. Through the years, we each pushed each other to achieve our full potential, which led to each of us achieving great results. Yet, we were part of a group which grew closer and closer together, thus providing a sense of mateship and community that was, and still is, a unique and unbreakable bond that will last a lifetime. This is why I am proud to be speaking today, to share congratulations, and to know that I am a part of the incredible class of 2014, who were not just my classmates or rivals, but my friends.

I would like to thank and express my gratitude to my wonderful parents. You provide me with unconditional love and support, and are always here for me when I need guidance. You helped me in every way possible, from easing my other responsibilities when exams were on the horizon, to putting up with and freeing me from the stresses of study. There was probably just as much pressure on you as there was for me during the course of the year, but you persisted, and never stopped supporting me. I am so thankful for everything that you have done for me, and I hope that I may be able to repay you one day.

On behalf of the 2014 cohort, I would like to thank all our parents for your continuous encouragement and support throughout our lives. We are extremely grateful.

Throughout my time at Salesian College, I was blessed to have been given such amazing teachers and staff, even those who I haven’t had the opportunity to work with. Thank you to each one of you, who genuinely have our best interests at heart, and create an environment that each of us can grow and thrive in. I’d like to thank my Unit 3/4 teachers, Ms Hubber, Mr Carter, Mr Visentin, Fr Cantamessa, Mr McDonald and Ms Tran, as well as my Unit 1/2 teachers, Mr Johnstone, Mr Pye and Ms Kimstra, for your knowledge, wisdom, enthusiasm and devotion to teaching and helping us become great men.

Special thanks to Mr Brennan for all the work and dedication that you have put in to make Salesian College even greater. It is not just your efforts to renovate the school’s facilities and such, but your heartfelt dedication to helping us grow and develop into great men that I really appreciate, so thank you. I truly could not have asked for better people to teach and guide me at school. I will always remember each one of you, and I wish you all the best for the years ahead.

Though school can, at times, be difficult and challenging, it is always important to reflect on those memories that makes everyone come together a little more. We won’t be forgetting Grant’s infamous misadventures on the roof of the Mannix campus! And our countless sessions playing 13. How about Aidan’s perfect dancing to All The Single Ladies? And Justin tearing up the dance floor with DJ Collins on the decks! But I’ll always appreciate Maneesh’s care and concern for others, as was shown when he just had to ask where the fire exits at Year 10 Retreat were! Still, I guess our most notable memories of our year level will forever be our singing of the Salesian Anthem, our SCC chants, our “So Happy Together” sing-alongs, and our unique SCC14 hashtag. Our year level has such a rich bond that Robbie describes too well: opulence is essence!

To the future graduates of 2015, and to those who follow in the years ahead, I wish you all the very best in all of your endeavours. I would also like to impart some advice to you that, hopefully, you will take to heart. VCE will be a very challenging time, but if you strive to do your best, you will be rewarded. Don’t procrastinate, and don’t work above your limits. Make sure to always get enough sleep, as this is critical to boosting performance. Maintain your friendships, and keep a balanced lifestyle. This is something that my parents encourage me to do, and it helps me to stay focused and not get too stressed. Aim to find your perfect balance. Hopefully, when the end comes, you will be happy with what you have done, and you will be able to look back on Year 12 fondly and keep your friendships as I have.

I would like to conclude with two quotes that inspired me:
“Mistakes are painful, but as time goes by, it becomes a collection of experiences called lessons. Live life, and embrace life lessons.”
“It doesn’t really matter who you used to be. What matters is who you become.”

Once again, congratulations to the class of SCC14, and thank you Salesian College.