The annual Presentation Evening is an opportunity to reflect on another year. Below are the addresses from the College Council Chairman and 2017 College Captain.
From the College Council Chairman
Good Evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Mentone Girls’ Secondary College’s Presentation Evening for 2017.
Tonight gives us with the opportunity to recognise the outstanding achievements of our students in all areas of the school curriculum and also, most importantly, the chance to wish all of our Year 12s the best of luck and fortune for the future.
Tonight is the last time our Year 12 students will wear their school uniform and be together as a group at Mentone Girls’. The entire school community will have the opportunity to officially farewell them as they face their next adventure, now that they have finished their high school years. I know that the wonderful experiences that they’ve had and the knowledge that they’ve gained at Mentone Girls’ will equip them well in their future endeavours, whatever that may be or wherever it may take them. They just need to remember the school’s motto “through courage and work” as they head out to face the new challenges ahead of them.
As School Council President I can tell you that it’s been a very busy and productive year at Mentone Girls’. Our new principal, Ms Linda Brown, has been at the school for just over a year and has pushed through many significant and much needed change to the school, which has benefited the entire school community – you can see the extent of those changes as you walk though the front gates and which have been carried through the entire school, from the staff room to the class room.
As an enthusiastic and passionate leader of our school and an ardent advocate on the education of young women, I very much look forward to working closely with Linda in the years ahead.
We have been very fortunate to have welcomed back Assistant Principal, Ms Bronwyn Moline, after being away for the entire year in 2016. Together with our other Assistant Principal, Ms Carol Duggan, they have both been a most wonderful and important support to Linda and the wider school community. Thankyou Bronwyn and Carol for the care and passion you bring every day to Mentone Girls’.
However, sadly we farewelled Assistant Principal, Mr David Russell, who for a while acted in the role of principal whilst the school was in a period of transition. The College Council sincerely thanks David for his commitment and most importantly his leadership during his time at the school.
I’d also like to thank all of the teaching, support and administration staff for their on-going commitment to our school. Your role in educating, supporting and inspiring our daughters to reach their full potential cannot be underestimated.
To all the parents who get involved with the school and volunteer, thank you. Your gift of time and commitment makes the school community a vibrant and stronger one and I encourage as many parents as possible to participate.
To the girls who have been selected to be part of the leadership team at Mentone Girls’ in 2018, I wish you a wonderful and exciting year ahead.
Finally, I would like to leave you with some words from a man that truly inspired a generation of people, the generation of girls who are finishing at Mentone Girls’ tonight. In a famous speech to Stanford's 2005 graduating class, Steve Jobs laid out his philosophy, lessons that any of tonight’s graduates would be wise to learn from.
The two that stand out to me are:
- Follow your heart and trust that it knows where it's going, and
- Don't let anything drown out your inner voice
Farewell and good luck to all of the girls of the class of 2017.
From the College Captain
“The Real World.” It’s a mystical land. It’s one that you can’t pretend that you understand unless you have been in it. Unless you have been in the rink, which, if you think about it, is pretty similar to Year 12. We told those younger years don’t complain about stress until you’re in Year 12, but our parents have told us our whole lives, “You don’t know what it is like in the real world.” And now, we are standing at the door to this unknown place, where if we are lost, google maps can’t help us. Where if we do something wrong, it can’t be fixed by an after school detention. But, the question is, are we ready to venture out into this unknown? How will I enter the real world if I don’t know whether I need to pre-soak my chips? How will I enter the real world knowing psychology isn’t a real science?
We have been preparing for adulthood since the moment we received our pen license in primary school. But the reward of receiving our pen licenses wore off, until we arrived at high school and got our Bunsen burner license. You could now legally light a fire. We levelled up from using chat room on our Nintendo DS’s to iMessaging our friends, or if you were cool kid, you lied about your age on Facebook so you could chat with your friends. At this point in time, we thought we were mature, but we all know year 7 was a time filled with embarrassing moments that were captured on someone’s flip phone.
As you got on the 825 bus with your friends, you called you Mum to say you were going to Southland and she told you that you were not going to buy a dress from Valley Girl that day. So you told her “I can do what I want Mum I’m 12 now,” as you said with braces in your mouth holding a phone that she was paying for. It’s funny how this side ponytail version of ourselves thought that we were at our wisest moment, when in fact our Year 9 self shrugged in disbelief at that embarrassing time of our life.
Year 9. You were a little edgy, dress tied back with an elastic band, not bringing your blazer to college assembly and meeting with your friends and some St Bede's boys at Mentone Station. You sat in the back of personal learning watching make-up tutorials and scrolling through Tumblr, and then subtly changed tabs to Education Perfect when the teacher suspected you weren’t completing your digital portfolio. You thought you were mature, but just because you were over your One Direction phase. It didn’t mean that you were grown up.
And at the beginning of Year 12, we too thought we were mature. We weren’t "twelvies", we were "Year twelvies". Our hair was no longer in a side pony tail, was no longer straightened, but had that “I just woke up” look. You didn’t sit at the back of class watching make-up tutorials, instead you typed numbers into Atar Calc thinking you needed a 45 in everything to get into your course even though everything really belongs in your 10%. And now, it’s the end of our journeys as high school students. We have grown up to become young, independent women of the 21st century. We are at our wisest moment yet, we are ready to go into the real world, but our parents are thinking, “You ain’t mature yet. Wait till you have kids. Buy a house. Get a home loan. Hopefully not in that order. Then talk to me about maturity.”
But with maturity, mistakes were made. And I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase from your parents “I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did.” If your parents asked you why you were going to two parties in one weekend instead of studying, it’s because they probably made that mistake when they were younger. It wasn’t called "a gath", it was called a Blue Light Disco. In fact, I’m sure many of us here have regretted some things this year, and even made a few mistakes here or there. Whether it was choosing to go out clubbing on a Friday night instead of revising for that SAC. But hey, you learn from every mistake. Or when Stranger Things 2 came out five days before the English exam and you kept telling yourself, "just one more episode". But hey, you learn from every mistake. Or when you took a half hour study break that accidentily turned into the whole year.
Everybody makes mistakes.
Everybody has those days.
Everybody knows what, what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Everybody gets that way, yeah!
Mistakes are even made by the people we look up to .... VCAA. Last year, they sent out a small majority of texts too early. For some, they thought they had been pranked by the Prank Patrol, but Scotty and the ninjas didn’t appear. It was not a hoax. I made a mistake of choosing to do Methods, (sorry Mr. Hughes it’s not you, it’s me). And Tina hosted the Halloween party, I will say no more.
Mistakes are constantly made, and this is how we grow. These mistakes are what enable us to prepare for this so called door to adulthood.
It is our teachers and our parents who have always pushed us to do greater things and this support and encouragement will stay with us as we continue to grow and mature and hopefully buy a house and get a home loan, once again, not in that order. From the wise words of Phil Dunphy, “Never be afraid to reach for the stars, because even if you fall, you’ll always be using a parent-chute.”
But the real reason that we got through our high school years is because of each other. A friend is someone in a crowded corridor who pushes you, not pushes into you. Without them, lining up in the canteen would not be a pleasant experience. If you are ever in a pickle, count on your friends. Unless you are tied to a pole outside the school. Some friendships have formed since Year 7. Some only recently. But the biggest bonds are with the people you meet waiting outside the toilet at an 18th. I mean, name a more iconic class of 2017, I’ll wait.
I wish I could bake you all a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and stay together forever.” We have grown together for six years, and I cannot believe that many of us are about to part ways, to follow our different aspirations. You all have a special place in my heart, and it has been an honour to have spent my high schooling with you. I cannot wait to see where the future takes you. Whether the path is short because you have your red Ps, or longer because you have to take the bus, remember to enjoy the journey.
And from the wise words of Nickelback, with a little twist of MGSC:
Every memory of lookin' out the classroom door
I have making waves spread out on my bedroom floor
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Good bye, good bye