News & Events

Year 12 Final Assembly Speeches

The College Captains, Will Tobin and Charlotte Turner, gave thoughtful and inspiring speeches to the assembled students and staff for the last time.

Charlotte Turner, College Captain

Good morning everyone. Will and I would like to begin our final college address by thanking Catherine McAuley College (CMC) for allowing us to be your 2019 College Captains. We would like to thank our Year 12 cohort. You’ve been a wonderful group of peers and Will and I hope you all succeed in your exams and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.

On behalf of the Class of 2019, we would like to thank the staff of CMC. Throughout our time here, you have been phenomenal in your support of our education – extending many opportunities which helped us to grow into the people we are today. We would also like to extend a special thank you to all the staff at Coolock. We remember many of you fondly and, although it has been sometime since we have seen you all, we are especially thankful for the hard work you did for us during our time in your care.

Thank you to each of the leadership staff of CMC. Your dedication to the College is always appreciated and the changes that you have assisted in implementing – although often unpopular – can always be seen to improve the community and quality of the education your students receive.

Thank you to the staff who work to keep our College beautiful and clean, and the staff who work tirelessly in our canteens to keep us all fed – your work is greatly appreciated.

To the parents and caregivers of students across our College, we would like to say thank you. Thank you for supporting us and cheering us on. Throughout the year, you have been by our sides to push us further and give us perspective. We are so grateful for all the things you have done and will continue to do.

I want to share a quote with you all:

“Bravery is the audacity to be unhindered by failures, and to walk with freedom, strength and hope in the face of things unknown.”

Being brave is difficult. Being brave enough to do and say the things you believe is even more difficult. Having the courage to challenge the norm, to stand firmly in your own belief and refuse to budge for anyone else is often close to impossible.

We’re often taught that bravery is expressed in grand gestures. Someone must be in danger to truly act bravely. It’s not true. We see small acts of courage every day. In the people who have morals and live by them. The girls who refuse to be belittled because of their gender. The intelligent students who refuse to ‘dumb it down’ to fit in. The students who refuse to be typecast or labelled. The students who continue to be authentically themselves.

One of the bravest things a student can be is a leader. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Leaders aren’t usually popular – they have new and challenging ideas. They refuse to allow people to settle. They encourage people to push their limits. They are strong because they empower the people who follow them. And they have a far greater impact than they realise. But the best leaders are challenged. They are forced into the same instability as those they lead, they must adapt and overcome their own unpopularity. They need to be comfortable with the knowledge that the people they lead won’t always like them.

But leadership is not the only way to be brave. Being an upstanding member of our college community is brave. Being yourself is the bravest thing of all. So, whether you are a Year 7 or a Year 11, be brave. And remember that bravery is not the lack of fear, but the ability to move forward in spite of fear.

Will Tobin, College Captain

Our six long years at Catholic College Bendigo/Catherine McAuley College have taught me, and all other Year 12s some very valuable life lessons. It has shaped us into who we are today, and who we will become tomorrow and into the future.

From running around the quad at La Valla and yoghurt fights on Wright Street, to studying rigorously in the library during lunch or attending after school classes, it’s safe to say we have come a long way.

As a year level, we have managed to perform a world class theatre performance of ‘Grease’ and have also managed to fight for the return of the yearbook. Who knows what else we may do?

We’ve been tested as a group, been through many ups and downs, but none as hard as the past five weeks. For many of us, these past few weeks have been the hardest of our lives. But we never let it defeat us.

Losing someone so close to you in Tic [Lachlan Horan], a fellow Year 12 member, is the hardest thing to go through, but we rallied together, helped each other through it, ensured that no one was left behind, and we got closer collectively. The journey is far from over, but I couldn’t think of a better group of people to go through it with.

We’ve been so supportive of each other and so incredibly strong. I, along with many others in this room, am so proud of each and every one of you sitting before me. You are the best group of classmates I could ever dream of having, and for that, I will be forever privileged and grateful.

If these past weeks have taught me anything, it’s that life is too unpredictable and too short. Its taught me not to take my belongings, family, opportunities and friends for granted. It’s taught me not to dwell on the little things. I’ve realised that life is so much bigger then my assignment due tomorrow or the SAC I’m stressing about. While I know these things are important, I have learnt that there are sometimes more important things in life to direct my energy towards. I’ve also learnt that we need to enjoy the little things and live life to the fullest.

People will drift in and out of our lives, unfortunately that’s just how life works. But let’s appreciate each and every person that is involved in your life, no matter how short or long for. Appreciate everything they contributed to you.

Let’s tell our friends how much they mean to us, tell them how much we love them, tell them how proud we are of them, before it’s too late.

Tell yourself how much you love yourself, tell yourself that you’re proud to be you and are proud of what you have achieved and what you have become. Treat yourself the way you would treat your best mate.

Let’s enjoy each other’s company and not stress over the little things.

Let’s enjoy our lives before our time is up. It’s not going to be easy, but with the right people around us, we can all do it.

Let’s make each other proud, and let’s make that one special person up there proud.

Let’s have the time of our lives!