30th November 2018
Dear O’Loughlin Community,
I must say, once again, how proud and privileged I feel to be a part of the O’Loughlin Community. There have been many wonderful events and occasions celebrated in the last two weeks that highlight the strength and values of our Catholic community.
The Graduation for the Class of 2018 occurred last Saturday night and was a magnificent celebration. As both Principal and Parent, I was moved by the powerful spirit of community and joy that permeated the night.
Thank you all to parents, carers, family and friends who have been with the Class of 2018 throughout their schooling and lives, and thank you for celebrating with us.
I wish to share with you Kara Handberg’s speech given on the night. Kara has been a powerful influence and guide for the Class and her speech is worth reading many times. Thank you, Kara!
Year 12 Graduation
Team Leader’s Address by Kara Handberg
“Good evening everyone,
I am incredibly honoured to be standing here today as the Year 12 Team Leader and on behalf of the Principal, Mr Rhett Bowden, and the Head of Senior School, Mrs Debra Bonde, I would like to welcome the graduating students, family members, staff and esteemed guests to the Year 12 Graduation dinner for O’Loughlin Catholic College.
Tonight, is a celebration! It is a wonderful achievement to graduate from Year 12 and you are all here today due to your continued hard work. As your secondary schooling experience comes to an end, this is a time not to be sad but to be grateful for the times that you have shared with one another.
Whilst I may not have been there for your entire journey at the College, I can confidently say that I was there for the most important years. I was your Year 9 Science teacher. I was that super-strict teacher that you were oddly scared by, and probably still are. You were these cheeky, quick-witted and energetic middle schoolers who sure liked to test the boundaries. Every day was a challenge but it was one that I enjoyed.
It wasn’t until Year 11 when I became your Team Leader that I started to build more meaningful relationships with you all. I had regular visitors to my small office and I become your unofficial counsellor. From giving you advice on how to handle a fallout with a friend, to making a plan of action to get you back on track when you had lost all motivation; I was there through it all.
After spending three years building a rapport with you all, I was pleased to be able to follow you through to your final year of schooling. Year 12 was a turbulent year; it challenged you socially, emotionally and intellectually. The pursuit for learning continued but with far more complex concepts and finding the balance between your studies and maintaining a social life was difficult.
Over the years, you have helped me grow as a person. You have taught me that some things are far beyond my control, that patience really is a virtue, and that some days all you need is a bit of laughter. I am grateful for the advice that we have shared; the jokes that we have made; and the tears that we have shed.
So, as you begin your journey into life after-school, I wish to offer you three pieces of advice:
1. Make a plan to travel. It may not be next year or the year after that but consider the idea of going somewhere that is unfamiliar to you. You don’t need to jet set to the other side of the world but contemplate travelling to somewhere you’ve never been before. Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer. Consider, exploring the natural beauty of the outback, living in a fast-paced city or navigating your way through a foreign country. When we travel, we learn so much more about ourselves - we discover the type of person we want to be, the people we want to be surrounded by; and the things that matter the most to us. We learn to be brave, to be patient and to be adaptable. I guarantee that if, or when, you return to the Territory, you will have a far greater appreciation for this place; and when you are reunited with your family and friends, it will be as if time and distance never separated you.
2. Find a career that you enjoy doing. Some of you may have an idea about what you want to pursue after school, others may not and that is fine. Your career should ultimately lead to financial security, but if money is the defining motivator, it’s unlikely that you’ll end up doing something that you love. Focus on the things that you both enjoy and do well in order to help you decide. When you work every day in a job that is rewarding then your purpose in life becomes more meaningful. Whether you realise it or not, you are in a room filled with future doctors, nurses, teachers, psychologists, police officers and engineers, amongst other occupations. Years down the track you may change your mind about what you want to do and that’s okay. Often, your truest passions emerge during your childhood, only to be squandered by real life pressures, so if you’re ever unsure on what to do, think back to what you loved when you were a child.
3. Learn to love yourself. It is essential for your personal growth, the fulfilment of your dreams and to develop healthy relationships with others. Care as much about yourself as you do for others. It is not selfish to love yourself but in fact, the opposite. By being compassionate for yourself, it means you are showing a concern for your own feelings and the feelings of others. When you love yourself, you show a deep appreciation for who you are. You accept all your peculiarities and wonderful qualities too. Life is a voyage of self-discovery. When we know who and what we really are, we have the ability to change for the better.
To finish, I wish you the very best of luck in the pursuit of your dreams and goals. It is both an unnerving and exciting time for you all and I feel privileged to have been a part of your journey. Thank you for being the hardworking, clever and amusing individuals that have made up the Class of 2018. Congratulations!” - Ms Kara Handberg
I am looking forward to completing the year on a very positive note. See you at our Presentation Afternoon.
All the best.