Valedictory Evening

From Year 12

On Thursday 19 October, Year 12 students, parents and carers, and St Aloysius College staff celebrated the Valedictory Mass at St Brendan’s Church in Flemington followed by the celebration Valedictory dinner at San Remo Ballroom in Carlton North. Both events celebrated the ‘Class of 2023’ as “shinning lamps giving light to all around [them]” (Catherine McAuley).

The events allowed students, parents and carers and staff to reflect with warmth, humour, and joy on all the years and memories that the graduating Year 12 students have made at the College.

The Valedictory Mass and dinner are both an important life milestone: all Year 12 students are now St Aloysius College ‘alumni.’ Speaking with a number of Year 12 students at the Valedictory dinner about what it means to be an ‘alumni’ it was noticeable that this was meaningful for them. It is my hope that, in 20 years time, they will remember fond memories, joys and the challenges that they have shared together as a year level throughout their time at St Aloysius College. The bonds as the ‘Class of 2023’ alumni may very well become stronger with time. Indeed, memories from high school tend to age well over time and students indeed savoured them on the night and will no doubt do so again in the future.

Finally, graduation is a time for gratitude. This was captured best by the 2023 Valedictorian, Charlotte Nelson, who spoke to the Class of 2023 expressing the numerous joys, commiserated the few ups and downs along the way, and the major successes for the year. She did so with candour, a sense of humour and grace in thanking the many people who have supported every student in 2023. Below is an excerpt from Charlotte speech that captures her experience and that of many other students this year:

The year level was flying through the year now, and with the infamous Term 3 of Year 12 upon us, work was piling on our desks and stress was even more evident. Long gone were the bubbly, excited study sessions of Term 1 or mornings hanging out in the Common Room. Now, only headphones were seen and alongside faces that clearly communicated: “Don’t talk to me I have 3 SACs today.” Speaking personally and on behalf of many Year 12s that completed extended folio tasks (or multiple) this year, Term 3 consisted of many hours staying behind at school, many late nights and all the more obviously, many tears shed. Thank you to all teachers of these subjects, our peers and our parents and carers for supporting us through this. […]Thank you to Ms Franze who has seen us through our journey from our Year 7 years through to our Year 12 RE teacher. Our Year 12 Pastoral leaders Mr Valladares, Ms Lonsdale and Mr Smith. As well as Ms Bloomfield who worked so closely with Year 12 Prefects throughout the year and lastly, to the Year 12 teachers that have transitioned so easily into the College, including our Senior Years Leader, Mr Crowle and our Deputy Principal Ms Valentine and our Principal Ms Farah. All of your contributions to our education will impact us long after our graduation at St Aloysius. I also wish to extended a big thank you to our family and friends for the support shown though the many tears and angry outbursts. (I’m sure you’re all aware school work was the cause of many of them). Finally, on a departing note to all Year 12s here tonight, as we head into our final exams I’ll leave us with Mr Valladares most iconic words of advice; “Don’t be mid. Be fire!”
Ad Altiora

Tom Crowle
Senior Years Leader