Celebrating the Class of 2021
Last week was just the second time in the history of Mary MacKillop Catholic College, that we celebrated our Graduating Class of Year 12's with a week of festivities! The week commenced with a Graduation Breakfast, a service day, a retreat day, and finally Graduation Day. Our Graduation Day is full of new traditions, giving all students from Prep to Year 12 the opportunity to celebrate together.
At the Valedictory Lunch on Friday, Director of Formation & Culture, Leisa Radley, gave a speech to our graduates and their families, that we would like to share with you.
"Good afternoon Year 12 students, parents and staff. My name is Leisa Radley and I am honoured to have been asked to speak today on behalf of the Mary MacKillop Catholic College staff.
I’d like to begin with a brief story...
BIRTHDAYS...What they don't understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that whenyou are eleven, you're also ten, and nine and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don't. You open your eyes and everything's just like yesterday only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten. And you are - underneath the year that makes you eleven.
Like some days you might say something silly, and that's the part of you that's ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mum's lap because you're scared, and that's the part of you that's five. And maybe one day when you're all grown up maybe you still need to cry like if you're three, and that's okay.
Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That's how being eleven years old is. You don't feel eleven. Not right away. It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say eleven when they ask you. And you don't feel smart eleven, not until you're almost twelve. That's the way it is.
Sandra Cisneros | Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
Sitting next to you and amongst us today, we have a wonderful group of young men and women. Just as the story suggests, on the exterior they are seventeen and eighteen, wrinkle free and ready to take on the world.
But, more importantly, and again as the story suggests, underneath the exterior there are layers of experience. Year 12s, for many of you, those layers include thirteen years of education at Mary MacKillop. You have scraped knees on the pathways at Prep; broken arms falling from money bars; dressed as storybook characters for Book Week; represented the College on the sports fields; built a chapel and trailer; attended school discos and sung proudly at Mass; and narrowly escaped explosions in science.
Each of these experiences, each year of Junior and Senior School, is another layer contributing to the young adult you are today. Never forget where you have come from. Never forget the values that have been instilled in you during your time at Mary MacKillop Catholic College.
Understandably, we speak a lot of MMCC about Mary MacKillop. She left a legacy that, importantly, is a part of your legacy too. When you exited the gates for the last time earlier today, you left behind a footprint for others to follow. While in this footprint you have left some of yourselves behind, what you have gained in return contributes to the layer of experience within.
As you go forth into the world as psychologists, mechanics, nurses, engineers and educators, take with you the legacy of Mary MacKillop’s 6Ps. She believed in possibilities; always worked in partnership; had the courage to persevere; acted practically for the common good; believed in the power of prayer and was passionate about her vocation.
These qualities exist within each of you as well—they have supported you through Year 12 and will continue to support you years from now.
Year 12, on behalf of the staff at MMCC, we wish you all the best. When life is hard—and at times it undoubtedly will be—look within at the layers beneath. They are coloured navy and maroon and have the legacies of McCormack, Cunningham, Penola and Tenison etched into them.
They are irrevocably a part of you, just as you will always be a part of us."
Please enjoy the gallery of images from each of the celebrations.