College Captain Valedictory Speech
Good Afternoon Mr Ashmore, Fr Dinh, Salesian parents, staff, students, and distinguished guests,
For those of you who may not know me, my name is Daniel Amendola, and over the last year I have had the honour and privilege of representing this incredible Year 12 cohort as College Captain for 2022. Six years ago in February, 2017, together with you boys, I walked through the front gates Salesian College for the first time. An experience, that I will never forget as I can vividly remember, the excitement of endless opportunities, the chance for new friendships, and access to a canteen, all fulfilled me to walk into school that day with a smile on my face. Luckily for me, I had two brothers who were already attending the College which made my first experience a little less daunting. My brothers would always talk about Salesian, and before entering on that day, I was never really able to comprehend as to how words such as “brotherhood”, “passion”, and “pride” could be associated with a school. Although, after 6 years, I find myself using those exact words to describe this great College. Although, it is not the College itself that inaugurated this high regard, but more so the people in it, and there is no better example of that then Class of 2022.
For the last 2 weeks I have been thinking diligently about how to best describe the Class of 2022, a group of young, capable men, destined for greatness. Throughout my deliberation, I discovered a Bible verse that adequately captures the brilliance of this year level. Jesus once said:
“For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in times of calamity”.
All you boys have accentuated the notion of fortitude although not only as individuals, but together we’ve been able to prosper at the face of adversity and support those around us to do the same. This remains one of the many reasons, as to why I have always spoken so highly about you, and the undeniable comradery that we have shown throughout the years is admirable, and I am truly grateful to be standing here together with you boys as a brotherhood. It saddens me knowing that departure awaits, and that eventually, our time here at Salesian will become a distant memory, although I will always be indebted to what you have done for me, which is so much then you know. Not only have you all gifted me with fond memories but largely because of you, these last 6 years have been the best years of my life. Therefore, as you leave here today, and continue your own individual journey, I encourage all of you, to strive for excellence, as I genuinely believe that you all, are capable of doing whatever you desire, which is testament to the young men that Salesian College Chadstone produces.
However, before we leave today, it is important that on behalf of the Class of 2022 I commend those who have had such monumental impacts on our development and have served as a catalyst for our overall maturation. Throughout our time here at Salesian, there have been an abundance of people who from our first day in Year 7, to the present day, ranging from our past and present Year Level Coordinators, Oratory Teachers, Learning Support staff, I.T. Staff, Student Wellbeing, Facilities team, Canteen staff and everyone else who I may have forgotten, have shown us constant support and guidance, which has not gone unnoticed and once again I sincerely thank you for all you’ve done for us.
To our year level coordinator Ms Rabot, thank you whole heartedly for all that you have done for us over the last 12 months. Everyday you have worked tirelessly to support and guide us through this stressful year and whilst doing so, always maintained a positive and joyous attitude.
To Mr Beurs, you have always been someone who I have admired greatly. You are undeniably an individual that emulates the core values of a Salesian extraordinarily. Throughout the year, you have always put the needs of us boys above your own self-interests despite your own personal hardships. Regardless, although you may often be the first person to tell boys to tuck their shirt in, put their blazer on, and take off their jewellery, we know these high standards that you have set for us have been imperative in our development, and we thank you so much for that.
I would also like to extend this gratitude to our college principle Mr Ashmore, Sir, I sincerely thank you for your devotion and commitment to us boys over the last 12 months, despite the short time we had together, you made constant efforts to familiarize yourself with us and throughout this year, you have been an individual who has personally helped me develop into not only a better leader, but an overall better person.
My family has always been the most important part of my life, being the youngest son, cohesively they have taught me an abundance of lessons that have shaped me to be the person I am today. My parents, have always been the most loving, caring, and helpful people, who have guided me and my brothers through life which I am eternally grateful for. To my eldest brother Michael, thank you for instilling in me an everlasting passion for Salesian College you have been an immensely influential person in my life and I couldn’t ask for a better big brother. Lastly to my brother Robert, throughout my whole life I have tried desperately to emulate the person that you are, and despite me being constantly referred to as “Robert’s brother” throughout my junior years, you, have always been my biggest supporter and have helped me develop in to the person I want to be and for that, I thank you. Although, I am aware that family is purely a depiction of an individual, therefore to all you parents and families who have shaped the great men that I stand here with today, thank you too, as your continuous love and support is what has allowed us to be here today.
However, along with my incredible family, many teachers have been crucial in my Salesian journey, and I would like to take this opportunity to say some personal thankyou’s.
Firstly, to Miss Dow and Mr Chow, as the Leadership Coordinators, I have had the pleasure of working alongside you throughout the year. You have helped me tremendously this year and have allowed me to develop as College Captain and for that I thank you both.
To Mr Selwood, Mr Loonstra, Mr Campisano and the rest of the Sporting Department, as an avid sportsman myself, you all have been incredibly influential in my Salesian life, all the laughs and memories that we have shared, will remain in my heart forever.
To Ms Bonne and Ms Barcelona, you have been my “Nonni” throughout my Salesian journey, always supporting me over the years and have helped so much not only with my studies but with my personal life and out of school commitments so thank you so much and I will always cherish the memories we shared together.
My current legal studies teacher, Ms Marshall, you truly are a remarkable person, you have always gone above and beyond for me and the rest of the boys at this College, constantly checking on our wellbeing and willing to help in any way possible, whether it’s through genuine helpful conversations or the occasional homemade brownie you have always put us first and I thank you whole heartedly for that.
Lastly, to Miss Capomolla, thank you for all that you have done for both me and my brothers over the years. You too, are an extraordinary person, your compassionate and hardworking nature are qualities that I hope to emulate in the future.
Although, acknowledging that these teachers have personally helped me in my development, I’d like to encourage all you boys to express your gratitude to the staff who have had colossal impacts on your own individual Salesian journey’s.
My tenure here as College Captain would not have been possible, if it wasn’t for the continual support from my fellow College Captain’s Mitchell Wain and Jake Johnston. Throughout the last year we have constructed a wonderful bond, and it’s been an honour to lead this school side by side with you boys. Both of you are phenomenal, and I’m genuinely excited to see the excellent stature, that you truly are destined for.
Although our reign as College captains has now sadly come to an end, I am thrilled for the 2023 Vice Captains, Peter Holland and Peter Liptai, together with College Captain Marcellino Baseylous to relish this opportunity. What awaits this College, are three, extremely capable and accomplished leaders, who I’m sure, will excel in their position, and I wish my best to not only these three, but the entire selected student leaders for 2023.
Finally, before, collectively, my Year 12 brothers and I depart this College for the last time, I want to conclude this speech with a Bible reference which I believe sufficiently apprehends the nature of this College.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you too will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Never feel ashamed of who you are, show pride in your faith, show pride in your culture, and show pride in your College. Salesian remains a place that allows all of us to prosper, therefore, relish in the opportunities that this great College provides and honour our story forever as part of the Salesian family, therefore on behalf of the entire Year 12 cohort, thank you for everything and we wish you all the best.
2022 College Captain