The morning began with the awards ceremony and liturgy which saw parents and friends attending to support their children and to give thanks for a successful and positive school year.
Rev John Mahony opened the graduation with a blessing for the students before reading a poem he had penned, wishing them good fortune, love and blessings.
“We gather today with a common purpose - to celebrate the triumphs, successes and achievements of our students throughout the year,” said Veronica McLoughlin, Principal of St Dominic’s.
“Diamond mining is very similar to education, particularly special education. Before any actual mining even takes place, prospectors need to locate diamond sources first. To hit pay dirt and get to the larger-sized crystals, geologists often follow a trail in the hope that more diamonds are discovered.
“This is parallel to the journey that together we take with our students, your children. We identify their strengths and then follow the trail to uncover the larger size crystals, often hidden beneath layers of challenges we team up to face.
“Your children are the ultimate gems, sent to you in their exquisite and brilliant setting, to make the world shine even brighter. Thank you for trusting us with your most precious gems.
“So to our miners, thank you for all you do to uncover our own diamonds and their brilliant shine and sparkle every day. We see you, we honour you and we thank you. These awards are as much yours as they are the students.
“And to our diamonds – enjoy today, where all of your hard work, tenacity and resolve are formally recognised in front of those who go into battle for you each and every day.”
The Awards presented included:
- The Sisters of St Dominic’s Encouragement Award - Laura Malone
- St Dominic’s Secondary Sport Award: Ethan Murphy
- St Dominic’s Primary Sport Award: Jack Moyle
- St Dominic’s Creative Arts Awards - Jazmin Trappel
- Christian Leadership Award - Conor Calvin
- The Principal’s Award - Harry Lynan
- School Service Award - Morgan Carter
- The Tim Crakanthorp Community and Social Justice Award: Megan Nay
The winner of the House Cup was also announced. This year it was awarded to Hogan House for earning the most tokens throughout the year based on the school’s Positive Behaviour Learning program. The Individual House Cup was awarded to Issac Ward.
In the evening, attention turned to honour St Dominic’s graduating Year 10 students, Megan Nay and James Markey. The student’s Case Manager, Mr Drinkwater, spoke about the strengths of each student and their journey of growth and maturity throughout their time at St Dominic’s.
“Megan and James you are coming to the end of just one chapter of your lives. Change is good, but it is not easy. Move forward knowing your place in this world,” said Veronica.
“You are here to teach others how to be brave, compassionate, kind, strong and to live in truth. Go into this world with the strength and love and from a whole village of people who believe in you.
“Your purpose is to make this world a better place, simply by being you, because you have been made in the image of God. Always remember who you are and where you came from, so that if you ever need, you can come home again.
“Megan and James, keep life simple. Too often, we focus on what we don’t have, or what may go wrong. Channel your energy into gratitude and hope, and watch as the possibilities unfold before your eyes.
“As you enter adulthood, with added responsibility and expectations, don’t lose the innocent excitement of childhood. Keep looking to the stars in wonder. Always dance like no-one is watching.
“Our community will hold you in our hearts and prayers and we wish you every joy and success as you travel through this life. God bless.”
Students and their families then had some time to let their hair down as they enjoyed the photo booth, the food and the cutting of the cake before taking part in a Parent-Child Waltz which they have been learning throughout the term.
Each student received a photobook with a selection of memories from their time at school before formalities of the evening came to an end.
Photography by Emily Wilson and Amy Theodore.