Wavell State High School Year 12 Graduation Ceremony
Member for Stafford, Mr Jimmy Sullivan MP; Wavell State High School Executive Principal, Mrs Elisabeth Foster and staff; Year 12 graduates, your family and guests; students and supporters; distinguished guests.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here today.
I am delighted to be joining you this morning for what is a very special occasion on your school calendar: acknowledging the graduating class of 2023.
Thank you for the opportunity to play a part in this moment that draws a distinction between what was, and what will be. You are placed, only momentarily, at a point in time that separates you from what is now so familiar to you – your sense of belonging to Wavell State High – and the wide-open fields of the future.
Certainly, there will be celebrations to be had but there may also be some sadness for the days past – though maybe it is a little too soon to imagine that?
Gone will be the times when your friends were with you all day long, learning and having fun together in classes, at morning tea and lunchtimes when you shared each other’s company, and maybe each other’s food (particularly if theirs looked better than yours)!
Gone will be your daily interactions with those teachers and staff who expertly guided you to academic achievement, doing so with great care and compassion.
Yes, you will be leaving these behind, but you will be going forward in the knowledge that the school’s purpose was to equip, enable and empower you to contribute to the world.
This has been a joint venture with your teachers, parents and families, and from what I can see today, this purpose has been achieved.
So, what lies ahead for you? No longer the school student – what will you become?
Look around and take in this community of which you have been such an important part, remembering that whatever it is that you do choose to become, the lessons in character that you learned here will reside in your consciousness, and a piece of Wavell State High School will always remain in your heart. You will forever remain connected as the cohort of 2023.
Treasure this time together and know that you are not leaving Wavell alone. I can’t help but echo the oft quoted words of the great poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson when he said,
‘I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world…’.
So, now it is your time to look upon that untravelled world but do it knowing that your past will hold you in good stead for your future.
I congratulate you on everything that you have achieved and wish you all the best for what is to come.