2024 Principal High Achievers Assembly Speech

Good morning students, staff and parents,

It is lovely to welcome back graduates from the Class of 2023 at our High Achievers Assembly this morning as well as celebrate other student academic achievements across all year levels at the College.

I begin by recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ spiritual and cultural connection to Country and a commitment to Reconciliation, I would like to acknowledge the First Peoples and the Traditional Owners and custodians of the Country. We respectfully acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging and remember that they have passed on their wisdom to us in various ways.

As a Salesian school that prepares students for life we encourage a passion for life-long learning and a quest for excellence.

Our celebration today highlights the achievements of those who have dreamt, set goals and worked towards academic excellence. These students have achieved ATARs above 90, 40+ study scores and the highest academic achievement across a year level, thus it is fitting that they are acknowledged and celebrated by current students, staff, and friends of the College. Due to the outstanding results attained by this year level, there are many former students and families joining us in our Kimberley Hall for the celebration.

It brings me great joy to stand here today to celebrate our high achievers who utilised their God given talents to achieve personal excellence. Our expectations were exceeded by the Class of 2023’s academic achievements.

20% of the eligible cohort achieved ATARs above 90. 13% achieved ATARs above 95. Of those 31 students, four students achieved an ATAR above 99. 100% of students who applied to university achieved an offer and those who wanted an apprenticeship all achieved their goal. We also had two perfect 50 study score commendations awarded to Hardu Ginoya (Further Mathematics) and Damon Occiuto (Environmental Science).

I congratulate Hardu Ginoya and Gavriel Hariyanto who are our VCE co-Duxes for 2024, both achieving 99.75, an amazing achievement considering that they are in the top 0.2% of all Year 12 students in the country.

Hardu achieved a perfect study score of 50 in General Mathematics, 49 in Chemistry, 47 in English, 41 in Italian and 40 in Mathematical Methods. Hardu intends to study Medicine at Monash University or Dentistry at The University of Melbourne.

Achieving a study score of 46 in Physics, 46 in Mathematical Methods, 45 in English as an additional Language, 43 in Chemistry and 41 in Specialist Mathematics, Gavriel intends to study his first preference of Biomedicine at The University of Melbourne.

Interestingly, eighteen Year 11 students also achieved study scores over 40 with numerous others achieving scores in the high 30s. Congratulations.

On behalf of Salesian College Chadstone, we congratulate James Avedissian-Brown as the 2023 VCE VM Student of the Year recipient. He demonstrated commitment and perseverance over the course of his time at Salesian College Chadstone and during 2023.

James demonstrated consistent leadership in class, in projects and events and was a positive advocate for the Applied Learning program within the College as well as the wider community. He demonstrated commitment to both his studies and to his career development through his work placement, exemplified by his success in securing an electrotechnology apprenticeship. He led and supported Applied Learning initiatives including the Food Around the World Festival, Bake Sale, World’s Greatest Shave and the Salesian Cup. James was a dedicated leader, who showcased consistent excellence in academics, and community engagement.

These are outstanding individual and year level achievements and continues our tradition of strong academic excellence.  Congratulations.

Whilst celebrating high achievers today, there are many students not here today who achieved personal excellence in their chosen pathway, many achieving well beyond their own expectations due to their hard work and support from the College staff, peers and family. Some of these students represent the growing trend of graduates leaving Chadstone with a VCE Vocational Major qualification or VCE Certificate having experienced Year 12 in an unscored program complimented with work placements, apprenticeships and further study.

The quest for excellence was there for all to see in the dedicated collaborative approach in the classroom, study hall and library.

A Salesian education is more than just an ATAR number, rather it represents a love of learning fostered through holistic pursuits of prayer, sport, public speaking, leadership and performing arts. Through our Oratory program, our Class of 2023 alumni leave Salesian College Chadstone as “good Christians and honest citizens” nourished by the Salesian charism, College values and fond friendships with one another and of our school. Our Class of 2023 demonstrated these aspects of school life with each other and our community.

I am proud of every one of our graduates.

The achievements were exceptional by the boys and I would like to commend all students, staff, parents, and members within our community who have contributed to the individual stories. I especially affirm the Year 12 Oratory teachers and VCE teachers who worked with the Class of 2023.

We wish our alumni all the best for their exciting next chapter as they venture beyond the Bosco and Savio Street gates.

I congratulate our students from Years 8 to 12 who have received recognition for their academic achievements in 2023. It gives me joy to celebrate your success. I encourage you to continue your studies in a diligent manner and to support others in your classes with their learning.

Thank you to our amazing educators who promote initiative, a spirit of enquiry and a desire to strive for academic excellence in our school. Our Salesian staff are replicating Bosco’s work of the original Oratory by providing opportunities so that you can achieve personal excellence. Thank you.

Hopefully today’s ceremony provides each of you as students an opportunity to reflect and contemplate the possibilities ahead with your studies.

The Rector Major last year spoke of the importance of dreams to “ensure happiness is at play”. As we celebrate the 200-year anniversary of Don Bosco’s dream with our 2024 Strenna, “The Dream that makes you dream”, I encourage you to dream big, to dream crazy about your own goals and aspirations.2023 Dux

I wish each of you all the best for your learning and encourage you to access the opportunities available to you at our great school.