We arrived at School on our last first day of our school career. We found our lockers, put away our heavy book-filled bags and entered our House Tute rooms. After a quick introduction to our two new Tute teachers, and a brief run through of SEQTA, we headed down the stairs in the Doug Swingler building to St. Gregory’s Chapel. There we received our Leavers Jackets, and a blessing from Reverend Deeny and words of welcome from Mr Lomas and Mrs Swain as our parents watched over us from the balcony above.

After Chapel we went back to our Tute classes, where we were given letters written to us by our parents. A comfortable silence filled every room as we soaked up each precious word. Tears were shed and tissue boxes emptied, as we read how our parents felt about our commencement of Year 12. Following this, we were each tasked with writing a letter in response to those given to us. This was the hardest part of the whole day. Trying to put into words our deepest feelings and fully express our gratitude to our parents for all they have done for us was difficult. Then, it was time for our first Recess in the Year 12 Common Room!

After what felt like the shortest Recess ever, we were split up by gender and received talks from two different guest speakers. The girls’ talk by Christina Self featured commentary on sexualisation in the media, self-esteem, and body confidence. While Adam Przytula addressed the boys on self-esteem, the dangers of mob and alpha mentality and what it means to be a ‘man’. We then had lunch, which was followed by some more talks, which this time were tailored to both ATAR and General Pathway students.

ATAR students received a talk from Mr. Briggs in which the ATAR scoring and standardisation system was re-explained in more detail, and the importance of working together was stressed like never before. General students received three talks in the Lecture Theatre, the first of which detailed the idea of junior apprenticeships and TAFE courses. The next speech expanded on apprenticeships but was focused on construction. The final speech discussed what it is to be a volunteer firefighter in the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). After these talks the clocks hit 3pm and we were dismissed, now ready and eager for the new year ahead.

Thank you to Mrs Swain and all our House Tutors for making our last first day a day to remember.