2020 is a year we will never forget. From Monday 6 April, we introduced new mode of delivering school, remote and flexible learning. A global pandemic had hit town, and we were about to find out how resilient, flexible and responsive this generation could be.
Class went online, video conferences became normal and the streets became eerily silent. There was uncertainty around assessment, the GAT and end of year exams. As it turned out all three underwent significant changes. Course designs were altered to reflect the new timelines around external assessment. It seemed that every week a new challenge would be thrown at us and increasing uncertainty was becoming the norm.
Surely our year 12 students would not cope with this, the experts said. For years we had been told we had bred a generation of soft teenagers lacking resilience.
Well what we did find out was that the future of our country is in good hands. Our Year 12 students adapted and lifted to the challenge ahead. They didn’t whinge or complain, they didn’t lament for what they had lost. Sure, they were disappointed that many elements of year 12 that are significant markers in time seemed to be gone, but they found new ways.
Our year 12 community stayed strong, they stayed together and they got through the toughest set of prolonged challenges I have ever witnessed. You found new ways to learn, to collaborate and to communicate. Some of you thrived and some of you found it difficult. None of you let it beat you. You stand here today receiving your VCE. This is the culmination of at least 13 years of formal schooling. It is a significant achievement. It is something that no matter what you do in the future, no one can take this away from you. It becomes a foundation for you to construct the rest of your life on and around.
I would like to thank the contributions of the sub school team in maintaining your positivity and optimism. Mr Blowers, Ms Fraser, Miss Mauna and Miss Hendrickson have maintained a sense of “normal” in this ever changing year, to allow you to have as positive an experience as possible in year 12.
Your teachers and support staff deserve the highest of praise. Let’s put our hands together for all of the staff who have encouraged, supported, challenged and guided you through this most incredible of years. They have been magnificent.
As you now enter the formal assessment phase of the year, know we are still here, and will always be here to support you. We are proud of you. We know the amazing young people that you have become and we look forward to you returning to us in the future to proudly let us know what you are doing. Dream big, work hard and draw great strength out of the character and resilience you have shown this year.
Finally thank you for the contributions you have made to our great College. We are a better place for having had you in our community. You have enriched us and leave us a better place than when you arrived.
Take care, and all the best for your exam period.