Exams are over and the CMC Class of 2021 is celebrating!18/11/2021
It was with a great sense of gratitude and accomplishment that Catherine McAuley College’s Class of 2021 celebrated their graduation today.
As restrictions and obstacles were gradually lessened, organisers were able to quickly restructure the day’s plans to allow parents and carers to attend in person.
With VCE exams finally concluded yesterday, Year 12s were welcomed back to the College as one group to enjoy a relaxed and sociable breakfast together. After a group photo on the lawns before Coolock House, the students gathered in their Mentor groups for the last time, to take leave of their teachers and peers, and reflect on their years of school together.
This was followed by the Mass and formal Graduation Ceremony which was able to take place in the Marian Centre in the presence of parents and carers. The event was also livestreamed to allow extended family members and loved ones to be part of the celebrations.
Students Carissa Brook and Jack Craig provided a nostalgic reflection on the collective experience of the cohort; from awkward Year 7s through to confident, optimistic Year 12s. They noted the unexpected challenges of the pandemic – what they had missed out on – but also some gains, such as getting up for school one minute before a Google Meet was due to start.
The Year 12s were proud to cross the stage to be presented with their graduation certificates as well as a mission Cross and a compass to represent the unique call and mission of each student going forward from the community of faith. The compasses were inscribed: “May you always be guided by the light of Mercy”.
The Mass concluded with a ceremony of light to represent endings and beginnings. The ceremony was represented by the College Captains; Abbey Clohesy and Tom Coleman, the Director of Pastoral Care, Mr Matthew Smith, Mr Paul Wilkinson representing parents, and the College Principal Mr Brian Turner. Mr Turner called on the students to “be as God called you to be. As the stars in the night, as the sun in the sky. A source of light for all you will meet on the way. Be a light for the world.”
In his final address, Mr Turner congratulated the students on their graduation, for having persevered through adversity and for their care of each other. He also praised them for following advice that enable the VCE exams to go ahead without interruption.
“To have completed Year 12 in 2021 is a badge of honour that you will take forward in your lives. I am proud of your resilience and strength of character, together with the care and support you have shown for each other, during your final year. I wish you every success into the future.”
The Graduation Ceremony was followed up by a relaxed celebration at the Bendigo Jockey Club in the evening.