This afternoon the 10th of February 2022, the college celebrated the academic successes of our students last year, livestreaming the event across the whole school. We invited high achievers from the graduating class of 2021 to return to the school, each of them examples of dedication and talent.
Travis Pemberton, Dux of 2021 shared a speech to the students of Salesian College Chadstone, with wisdom from well beyond his years. Read Travis’ speech below, and see all photos from today’s event:
“Good afternoon Mr Ashmore, Fr Dinh, staff, students and guests. It is a privilege to be here today representing the Class of 2021 alongside many other high achievers who I am proud to call my friends. I would also like to acknowledge the members of our cohort not in attendance today, who should be proud of their hard work, especially considering the circumstances of completing VCE through the COVID restrictions. The truth is, I would most definitely not be standing here today speaking to you all without the assistance and companionship of all my fellow classmates, and the collective success of the recent VCE results is an achievement that I cannot take credit for myself, as it is a representation of the diligence, dedication and comradery of the graduates both here today and elsewhere preparing for the next stage of their lives.
Year 12 is built up to be one of the most stress inducing years of schooling life, and there’s no doubt that alongside the effects of the coronavirus, last year was made all the more challenging for not only all of the Year 12 students, but for the entire community. That is why I would like to convey my greatest appreciation for the teachers of Salesian College, who have also had to endure this rocky and tumultuous period of their lives whilst being accountable for the education of both my year level and the entire school. The immense dedication and support I have received from my teachers has been instrumental in my successes as a student, and in particular I would like to thank a few teachers that have had a profound impact on me, both as a student and as a person. Mr Chow, thank you for the past three years of English and Oratory. Your advice, wisdom and encouragement to explore every opportunity in life has unlocked a great depth of personal growth, particularly for my confidence and courage. Ms Romano, your compassion and interest in always regulating my workload whilst also pushing me to new limits were crucial in maintaining my mental fortitude and passion for writing. Mr Shaw, your eccentric ability to incorporate your own passions into teaching has made learning both Science in Year 7 and Environmental Science in the last two years the most immersive and enjoyable experience, and has led to me sharing similar interests to you in ecology. Mr McDonald, learning Methods has never been easier than with your intricate explanations of concepts and dedication to connecting with your students. Mrs Roberts and Ms Apostolopoulos, despite the challenges of remote learning you both made Chemistry the most interactive experience possible and alleviated a lot of the stress of Year 12 with our lighthearted chats. You all had belief in me and my abilities and I hope I made you all proud with my results. Finally, I’d like to thank Mr Chen for making biology an entertaining experience whilst also keeping an interest in my life outside of class, and being our coordinator before Mrs Rabot, who also did a great job creating opportunities amidst the unpredictable circumstances of the last two years. Thank you all for being a part of my schooling journey.
Furthermore, I would also like to extend my thanks to the parents of all the Year 12 students, who have shown excellent resilience and compassion to support us throughout 2021 and prior. Even if your hard work may appear to go unnoticed by your boys I can assure you that our love for you and your endeavors to assist us in reaching our full potential as both students and people in general goes beyond words. In particular, I’d like to send a big thank you to my parents, who are in attendance today, for everything you have done for me, not only throughout Year 12 but through my whole life. I know that I am sometimes a difficult person to manage, however you have my deepest gratitude and love that cannot be expressed in words for your support and receptiveness to my every need, and your ability to help me navigate and overcome every obstacle and boundary that I have faced.
To this year’s high school graduates, I implore you to make the most of your limited time here at Salesian College. Manage your time appropriately to excel in your studies, but do not forget to cherish the moments that you get to spend amongst the wonderful community that everyone has developed here, and use them as a springboard to catapult you into a bright future that I know every single one of you has the opportunity to embrace. This also relates to those of you in the lower year levels. Take advantage of all the experiences that are offered to you throughout the years to come, from camps to extracurriculars and community events. The time can be now to start establishing your influence on this world, it is up to you to take everything with both hands. Find a passion to motivate you, whether it be academic or elsewhere, dedicate yourself to what you wish to achieve, and you will find a way to extend yourself to new heights.
Thank you all and I wish all of you every success for this year and into the future.”