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School Captain’s Valedictory Speech
Father Papworth, Mr Brennan, Parents, Staff and Students,
Commencing year 7 back in 2009, I arrived here a shy kid at a school not knowing a soul, but soon found that the easiest way to introduce myself to new school mates was to vomit due to heatstroke in the opening mass on day one. Not a single year has gone by that I haven’t been reminded of it but the only thing to have topped it since has been ‘Refugee’ in the first prayer as College Captain. It just goes to show that no matter what your beginnings, that with perseverance and the support of others that it is the way you finish that counts most.
It is my privilege to speak to you today. Not only to mark the end of the 2014 school year for the year 12’s at Salesian College, but also to celebrate the end of an era for which we thank and acknowledge those who have been part of this journey and end of a unique story that will belong to every single man of SCC14.
As we part ways and embark on many new experiences in all aspects of our lives, many things will change. Our responsibilities become greater, careers will define us as we establish new networks and make new life experiences on our new journey. One thing that will always remain is our connection through our schooling years. Each one of us has been lucky to share many great experiences over the course of our time here at Salesian. Through these experiences we inherit a bond that cannot be broken, for the memories of our time here will remain fond in our minds for a long time to come.
It is timely that we reflect on the many great opportunities that have been presented to us at Salesian College. It has been without a doubt a great place for us to develop from young boys to adolescents, learning off the great role models and leaders that have come before us. It is the influence of these leaders that have helped us grow through the challenges of school and inherently fulfil positions of leadership. As a result of this we as a cohort have grown from a bunch of misfits to a maturing group that has instigated change. Whether it be all wearing Hawaiian shirts to retreat, chanting with a blow up dolphin at the ACC swimming carnival or singing ‘So happy together’ as a cohort. It is through these things that we have embraced what it is to be Salesian this year and have been part of some new and exciting things. It is this change as a cohort that I hope ignites a passion for success and change in the student body of the future and the culture that we have begun continues as we leave our mark on this great school.
We extend our congratulations to next year’s College Captains and wish them all the best in their chance to leave their own legacy. It is our hope that you continue to develop a culture of involvement and striving for excellence in all that you do. For the College Community we hope that you continue to wear the College crest like a badge of honour. There will come a day like us that you realise that your journey here is over and you will look back with pride at what you have achieved as a year level group and leave the College a better place than when you started.
Before we enter into the next phase of our journey, we must also acknowledge the teachers who have helped us unwaveringly over the duration of our time here. On many occasions they have gone beyond what is expected with countless extra hours of hard work and dedication over the years that have guided us to where we are today. On behalf of the student body I thank you all for what you have given our cohort, especially all of our year 12 teachers and wish you, the staff, all of the success in continuing to make Salesian College the special place that it is today.
To our leadership team this year. What a privilege it has been to be part of this dedicated and hard working group. I congratulate you on your overwhelming contributions to making this year a success in leaving a legacy of change and being an example for future leaders of this great school. The talent that each of you possesses will take you to incredible places in the future and we as a College community thank you for all of your work this year.
To Aidan and Rob, our captains. I would not be standing here as proud of what we have achieved had it not been for the two of you. Everyone here knows that you have been the captains that Salesian College deserves and we as a cohort could not ask for two finer men to call brothers this year. You have been an inspiration and the most dedicated example for all of the College to see. So can Aidan and Rob please stand and for everyone to join me in recognising and thanking them for all their efforts this year.
To the families of each and every one of the year 12 boys including my own, we thank you for all the love and unending support that you have provided us over our thirteen years of schooling. The life lessons that you have taught us have shaped us into the young men that we are today and you’re continued involvement with the College has been significant in the way that we have been able to partake in the many events that have been an integral part of our memories here at Salesian. We express our full gratitude and hope that we have made you proud of who we have become. And it is at this time we pay tribute to a lost son and brother in Richard Tu, who will be forever in our memories.
One of the things that has stuck with me this year has been that giving up is easy, but it’s the sacrifices that we make to push that little bit further that makes us successful in our own right. Each of us this year have made sacrifices; we have had to put the best interests of everyone before our own friendship groups, we have had to learn how to stand up to our friends when we know that enough is enough, we have had to put the fun on hold to focus on an important year of study but we as a collective have grown from the experience. And for the boys who will follow in our footsteps and enter into this experience in the years to come I say embrace the change and become stronger because of it.
I would like to leave the boys from year 7 to 11 with a short story. My sister came to me the other day disappointed that she had missed out on a house captain position for next year. She was devastated as she did all that she could but felt like she would never be given the chance to show what she could do as a leader. It was then that I told her about my friend and Annecy house Captain this year Simon Hawkins. His perseverance allowed him to achieve his goals and he never gave up on what he wanted. He was rewarded this year with the captaincy and to his deserving credit an Omnia Award. This applies to all aspects of College life and to anyone who ever feels as though things aren’t going right for you, never give up; be the difference, be the change and excel in what makes you unique.
Finally to the boys of SCC14; what a journey it has been. This cohort has never produced a dull moment and it has been special and an absolute honour to count myself amongst you. The memories that have been made over the years and what we will leave with shall never be forgotten. I wish you all the success in your future endeavours and it is with great hope that I have made you all proud this year and that what we have become as a group continues with the great memories we leave with. I bid you all a fond farewell and thank you for believing in me and this cohort as a whole. It has been an honour.
2014 School Captain