2018 College Dux address to College Community

8 February 2019 | 2016_News

Dux speech presented to the College community: February 2019

 

Good morning Ms Farah, staff, students and my fellow graduates of 2018.

 

My name is Christine and it is an absolute honour to be back here, speaking to all of you as the Dux of 2018. What a journey it was last year, both the lowest of low and the highest of high, but nonetheless it was a year to cherish and a year to never forget. Above all else, it was a step closer for all of us in becoming fine young women ready to step out into the real world and make an even bigger impact well worthy to be part of St Aloysius’ alumni.

 

Entering the school in year 8, as an international student, knowing very little of English, I faced my academic future not with excitement, nor did I view it with earnest anticipation. I was scared, doubtful, as to whether or not I could make an impact in my time here in the College. I was never the smartest in the class, never the quickest thinker, nor the hardest worker. It seemed that, in no matter what aspect of schooling life I involved myself in, there was always someone smarter, quicker, and just all-round better than I was. It wasn’t something that bothered me, but it did become the norm, something I expected to come after everything that I did.

 

Over my time at the college, I developed an earnest ambition to go to medical school. I knew that in order to me to turn that dream to reality, I needed to push myself far beyond the boundaries I once believed to be my limit. I stayed up later, spent countless hours in the library alone each day after school. I was driven, and persistent in actualising my goal. BUT, there was something missing. I realised that I could not do this alone. I needed a teacher, a friend, an inspiration, a role model and a pillar of support in this quest for knowledge. And for that, I have great pleasure in acknowledging my gratitude to everyone in this hall today for being a part of this journey, without you, there would not be the same environment and challenges that shape me to become who I am today.

 

First and foremost, I would like to praise God for giving me the strength, the knowledge, the ability to persevere and to be able to stand here speaking to you as the Dux of 2018. Without His blessings, this achievement would not have been possible.

 

Secondly, this achievement would be incomplete without thanking the biggest source of my strength, my mother. I thank her for her unwavering support and unselfish love during the last 18 years. No matter what we faced in life as a family, she always made sure that my wellbeing and education was never once compromised. She sacrificed so much, just so I could stand a chance in this new country we call home. Had it not been for you, mum, none of this would have been possible. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

 

Furthermore, I would like to extend my gratitude to this exceptional institution, where I have been so proud to call it a home away from home during the last 5 years. We have a great school, a great community, one that not only nurtures, but helps us realise our own potential even when we don’t realise it ourselves. To Ms Hampton, Ms Daunt, Ms Lodge, Ms Aberlado, Mr Dulhunty, and Mr Stephens, I thank you for your heartfelt support and invaluable guidance to ensure that the fire in me keep burning through the course of this high school journey and to give me the motivation I needed to turn that dream to reality.

 

And to all the teachers who have taught me and Ms Lonsdale, I’d like to say sorry for doing physics in chem, methods in spesh, spesh in English, and English at lunch time.

 

To my cohort of 2018, I can’t thank you enough for making this a memorable journey. From countless hours spent in the library to the last minute cramming for the SACs that we totally remembered. Over our time together, it is safe to say that we have become more than just school mates, but something greater. Although our high school chapter has come to a close, it is far from the end. For whatever, we may venture into, and whatever the future may hold, I am sure that we will never forget our time at St Als and that in 5, 10, 20 years from now, we will all continue to strive for higher things.

 

To the class of 2019, make use of your final year in high school. In all this wonderful institution has to offer, use this year to not only build upon what you already know, but take the final chance to immerse yourself in something new. If you’ve never swam in the swimming carnival before, go have a splash this year. If you’ve always wanted to see the school play, or a student concert, grab a ticket and go see your friends perform. The esteemed Dr Janet Prideaux once emphasised man’s true purpose is to be the achievement of eudemonia, that is, to have a good life. And so don’t get so caught up VCE that you let the good times go by. Live each and every day as it is, and no matter how intense the journey becomes always ensure you have the time to take a step back, and enjoy all life has to offer.

 

With that being said, to quote Ms Daunt on our very last chemistry class, “try your absolute best from day 1, and put everything that you have to offer, and as long as you have no regrets the moment you put your pen down on those final exams, that is all we could ever ask for”. So, before you embark on your year 12 journey, have a passion to work hard and come back from adversity without fail each and every day and I can assure you that you will one day reap the fruits that you have so earnestly planted.

 

And so, let 2019 be a year of growth, and like the year before be one of ups and downs. And as the apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”.