College Captain’s Address
At our recent Awards Assembly, St Mary’s College captain Daniel Stark delivered this address to our staff and students. Daniele is pictured here (left) with 2021 College Captain Kasey Weier.
I can’t believe that this year is already drawing to a close and that for our senior students, we are almost finished school! People always told me how quickly this year would fly by, but it is only now as I’m about to hand over my leadership position, that the finality of the year is sinking in. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on this past rollercoaster of a year, a year that saw unprecedented challenges and many periods of uncertainty. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that my 2020 planner was a terrible investment – no one could have foreseen what this year had in store
Instead of dwelling on the negatives however, I thought it crucial that as a community we remember 2020 for our ability to persevere through the obstacles, adapt to the changes and remain motivated through one of the most difficult times our college has seen. In the face of everything that this year has thrown at us, we, as a community, have embodied what it means to be true women of mercy and took every hurdle in our stride.
This year saw countless firsts for our community; our first period of at-home learning, our first experience with online assemblies and our first being away from the social security that our grounds offer. Earlier this week we were privileged to host our first ever combined mission, sport and cultural breakfast where we celebrated our students’ achievements and reflected on the remarkable year that we’ve had so far.
Mission at St Marys College saw the introduction of our first ever Mercy Day, a day filled with faith, using our gifts to give back to those struggling the most as well as some amazing activities which brought each cohort together in unity and love. Our Connect Group was also initiated this year allowing our girls to open up to each other in their journey of faith, learning from scripture as women in the 21st century. The year was also filled with fundraisers including our Vinnies winter and Christmas appeals, our house coin trail for Caritas our Valentine’s Day rose fundraiser as well as our Beirut appeal, all raising thousands for those most in need.
COVID couldn’t hinder our Cultural Department at the College with the Open Dance Troupe competing in an Online Dance Challenge – a HUGE success and performances from our Show Choir and Dance Troupes enhancing some of our Term 3 assemblies. To keep the cultural program alive, our very own Journalism and Media team worked tirelessly to create exciting projects such as the photography and narrative writing competitions which our students could compete in, even while learning from home. Last week the cultural department hosted the fourth annual Dance Spectacular over two amazing nights showcasing the Colleges dance troupes, Show Choir and sports aerobics teams, allowing students to share their talents with friends and family. What a success!
Sport remained vibrant within the College this year, celebrating an array of successes including some State and Regional representatives, which we as a community should all be extremely proud of. Our Sports Eerobics teams thrived with two teams receiving state championships and the another receiving runner up only to our senior team. Our year 10 CISSSA netball team also won their competition and our College swimming and cross-country teams placed 2nd and 3rd in the CaSSSA competitions respectively. Amazing job ladies.
Now, at the beginning of the year I challenged you all to make yourselves proud. Those on our extensive list of award recipients today those in the audience who I’ve seen involved in College life this year- I am proud of you. Those who stepped out of their comfort zone and tried something new – I am proud of you. Those who knuckled down and gave their all to their studies – I am proud of you. Those who persevered during these difficult times and continued coming to class, even when it felt impossible – I am proud of you. I am beyond proud of each and every one of you for persisting through this year, and I hope that you feel within yourselves that you stepped up to my challenge, if not this year, then try again the next – I believe in you.
To the Year 12 cohort who have missed out on so much this year. We have so much to be grateful for; we were the first grade sevens to enter high school, the first to undergo the vigorous ATAR testing and the first to graduate during this pandemic. I know that these challenges have shaped us into the strong, independent, women of mercy that St Mary’s College has equipped us to be. We have persevered through so much and I am extremely proud of each and everyone of you for getting to where we are today and incredibly grateful to have gone through this journey alongside you. I ask you all to join me in applauding these super-women!
To the student leaders of 2021: I wish you all the best in your endeavours next year as you develop as young women in the Mercy tradition. Never lose sight of your dreams or the values that have gotten you to where you are. I pray that you will all serve this community with a grace and passion which will see our College succeed well into the future under your exceptional displays of servant leadership. If I have learnt anything this year, it is not to take anything for granted, so I urge you all to cherish each and every moment as it will be over before you know it and never forget the support system who have assisted you in your journey.
On behalf of the 2020 student leaders, I’d like to thank the College Leadership Team for continuously inspiring and motivating us to achieve our goals and pursue our passions. It is your exceptional guidance which saw our successes this year, and for this, we will be forever grateful.
It was with great honour that I had the opportunity to lead you all this year, and it is my hope that I have inspired someone to follow in the
I’d like to leave you all with a quote which I believe to be extremely relevant to our current circumstances, which inspired me to continue on during this difficult period;
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”