Farewell Year 12 – Class of 2021

My dear Year 12 students:

This farewell is very different and truly not fitting to what you rightfully deserve, but here we are virtually to mark the end of your formal schooling. Although it is our intention to invite you to an in-person Valedictory assembly as soon as we are allowed to do so, we thought it was important to acknowledge you on your last day of school.

I personally, have walked the path alongside many of you for 13 years. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve you in my various roles throughout that time. I have watched you grow into resilient, wonderful young men and women; and because of that, I am very proud of each of you.

The role of a School and its staff, is to provide each of you with a safe haven where you are supported through your challenges and mistakes; and where you are encouraged to use those experiences, to learn and grow as individuals. Was the journey and easy one? Of course not.

There is no doubt that your last two years of schooling have been extremely challenging, you have experienced two lockdowns, two virtual online learning episodes that amounted to over three months of learning online. That is indeed a huge amount of time away from your school, your friends and your teachers. Nevertheless, by comparison to what other students in other schools have gone through – you were in the best school during this time. Your school and your teachers did everything in their power to ensure you were well supported both pastorally and academically. Together we have shared in your disappointment, confusion, frustration, anxiety and worry. All throughout, you have been at the forefront of our thoughts and every decision.

The resilience, perseverance and grit you have been asked to demonstrate time and time again, is possibly beyond your years.  I encourage you to use this experience as an opportunity to learn from; use it to your advantage in your life; to guide you in your inevitable encounter with more adversities.

The world at this present time can appear scary, uncertain and challenging but as I’ve said before, the storm will pass. With our partnership with your families, you have been given the firm foundations required to take on the challenges the future brings.

Our aim has always been to influence the growth of young men and women who are proud of their rich Hellenic heritage, who practise their faith and have respect and empathy for humanity. I know we have achieved this with you. The All Saints Grammar graduate is first and foremost a well-rounded decent human being who has a social and moral conscience. When it comes to that success criteria, you have all graduated with First Class Honours, or in the ATAR world scored a 99.5!

My constant message to you all is, stay close to your faith, stay close to your family, surround yourself with good friends, and never compromise your self-respect. Be resilient, dream big and have a go at what may appear unachievable and you will succeed. This is my advice to you all.

On behalf of your teachers past and present, and the entire All Saints Community we thank you for the wonderful memories we have acquired during the journey we have undertaken together. Thank you for reminding us all of why we entered this noble profession of education, and how rewarding it can be.

With a very proud heart, I say this Goodbye.

May God bless you always.

Elfa Lillis

Head of School