From the Senior Years

On Monday 22 May we welcomed guest speaker Glen Gerreyn, from the Hopeful Institute to speak to Year 12 and 10 students about hope, talent and purpose. Glen spoke with honesty and candour about his personal journey as a highly successful junior athlete struck down by illness that changed the trajectory of his life. For Glen, a key to recovery was through service to others becoming Young Australian of the Year establishing community centres for young people in his community, as well as his panache as an organiser of youth festival events at 17 years of age – no easy feat!

Glen shared the powerful idea of choices reflecting ‘hopes’ rather than ‘fears’, challenging Nelson Mandela’s famous aspirational call to action.

This is an important theme for students in the Senior Years (11-12) at the moment, when they draw on their personal strength of ‘hope’ during the examination period either Unit 1 or Unit 3 trial examinations. Speaking with a number of students in Year 11, many have implemented the recommendations from their Elevate Education sessions which has been a key positive to see that positive actions and behaviours have resulted from these sessions. This is worthy of praise from teachers, parents and student peers. Regardless of the performance and outcome of their examinations, the process and ‘praise for strategic effort’ is important. Affirmation and reflection on ‘what worked well,’ what could be ‘even better if’ and what ‘questions remain’ for students in their learning are conversations to be encouraged at the present time.

Below are two student reflections on the experience. In them, you will see the key takeaways for students.

Glenn inspired us with four points to help us productively nurture our seeds of greatness which were; Planting it in good soil, Watering the seed, Weeding any negativity, doubt and fear and putting it in a good environment. He gave us the idea of making a vision board of photos where we put all our dreams and goals on to it. This has encouraged me to also do one, especially in year 12, putting my ambitious dreams of what I want to do after high school and reminding me to never give up. Purpose is important because it's meaningful intention that helps you achieve great things in life. My purpose for this year is to complete VCE to the best of my ability so that I may be able to get into the course I want. My hope for my year level is for them to also strive to the best of their ability, knowing that there is hope for them and year 12 is just a season.
Peniel S (12B)
Gerreyn had told us that everybody no matter who you were had seeds of greatness. The analogy of all individuals having a seed made us think of the factors that needed to be well present when turning the seed into a flower and we were able to relate the scenario and link it back to growing as individuals. [A key takeaway for me was to be] patient and go through the seasons (which mentioned before was about getting through the different challenges and stresses in life and coming out stronger) and waiting till your seed grows into a tree (which was the idea that after the hard and challenging times, your plant will come out stronger and more fulfilled).
Ja-Ine C (12A)

Tom Crowle
Senior Years Leader