Victory College awards night turns spotlight on students’ successes
Victory College principal Brett Costin’s address to the recent awards night at the Pavilion. IT SEEMS a lifetime ago that I stood at the first assembly looking over the sea of faces to address the students that were before me.
The expectation on the students’ faces, the questions they seemed to be asking: what was this year to behold? What was the new principal like? Will I have a good year? What will I achieve? I was asking myself some of the same questions.
Now I am looking back at a year that has unfolded with juxtaposing moments of wonderful successes and immense challenges. I cannot express enough the joy of getting to know the students and community, and assisting to build our College vision; to help every child find their element, purpose and passion for learning.
This year we have watched as our Kindy (MyKindy) expanded their numbers.
Our primary school continued to see wonderful results in reading development, not only in the lower primary where our results from our Read Write Inc. program were so positive that our Director of Lower Primary was flown to Sydney to share the successes of our students, but also in the upper primary where the introduction of the Daily Five program has witnessed outstanding results in our students reading comprehension growth.
In senior school, the young nervous leaders that started the year, like jacaranda trees, have blossomed into wonderful leaders we are all so proud of. I remember them wondering if anyone would turn up to their first organised event – the Sunday Clean up Australia day – as we were the first school in Gympie to hold an event on the actual Sunday of the clean-up. They were so pleased that our college community had supported their initiative. Their first step of leadership was a success.
As with success there is always challenges and this year young (student) Tristan’s heart-rending accident impacted our community greatly, we don’t understand all things but we know God was able to allow a river of His love to flow in the ocean of despair. The support, love and actions of our caring students, staff, parents and the wider community demonstrated the values that our college is built on, faith, honour, excellence, understanding and service.
I was humbled to be part of our college as I witnessed our students, especially Tristan’s mates, and our amazing staff assist with the Day for Tristan where the whole college came together for a greater cause. We have also witnessed Tristan’s great courage to continue to fight for his own recovery. It is not in success but in adversity that we see what we are really made of, and in these moments we have witnessed our College community reflect the values that the college was built on. Thank you to PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED
Pastors George and Margaret, our previous principals, staff, parents and students that have built such a legacy.
To our Year 12 graduands, when you started school, flip phones were the go with the latest one megapixel camera and the smaller better. There wasn’t a thing called Facebook, the social media world was ruled by Myspace and a new video sharing site called Youtube was about to be launched.
Since then things have changed, but so have you. You have gone from a little prep child learning sounds and writing on a blackboard to a young adult learning algebraic equations and using interactive screens. I pray through this time you have learnt to hold on to the values the college has given you.
I would like to leave with two pieces of advice: 1. life is not about you and 2. it’s all about you. That sounds like an oxymoron or paradox I know.
One, you started each morning at college with prayer and thanks to God; don’t neglect it. It helps you remember life isn’t about you. Honour God, be thankful to God for what you have, it will keep you humble. Talking to God will keep you balanced and remind you of the values that will make your life, marriage, friendships and family a success. It will also mean you have hope when it seems hopeless, dreams when dreams are shattered, love when the ones you love dumps you, it means you’ll look up when you fall into a pit and see a way out. Talking to God means you are never alone.
Secondly, It’s all about you – I would remind you, as Matthew McConaughey once said, “have a hero to chase, and make that hero the you, you want to be in 10 years’ time”, then set daily goals to be that person you know you should be a person that loves more today than they did yesterday, gives more to the community today than they did yesterday, shows grit when it’s tough, picks yourself up when your fall. Each day you have 1440 minutes, how many you use to move towards your goals will determine whether you reach the wonderful potential that we all see today.
Your potential is just that – potential. It will not lead to success, it is just potential, but the daily choices and patterns you set each day,
they will be what will determine if you become the hero that you hope to be. As Edward E Hale said, “I am only one, but still one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and because I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something which I can do”.
Some of those choices, values and patterns Victory College and your parents have encouraged and helped you – now it is up to you. Be all that we hope and know that you can be. I suppose Jesus summed this up in the two commandments he gave: love God and love your neighbour as you love yourself.
See it’s not about you but it is all about you.
We look forward to hearing your stories as you build on the potential that God has placed within each of you and share your unique gifts to the world. Congratulations on graduating I can truly say you are the best graduating class I have seen at Victory (of course you are the only one) we are all so proud of you.
Tonight, at this moment, it is all about you. Go and be awesome.
Harriet Taunton-Burnet (left), Abigail-Rose McAllister and Aaron Brading.
PROUD MOMENT: Gympie Mayor Mick Curran with Jack Brebner and Rhiley Davey.
Rosemary Horn congratulates Abigail-Rose McAllister and Jade Elkington-Harris.
Award winners Harriet Taunton-Burnett (left) and Alichia Snowdon with Cathy Cooper (centre).
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett congratulates Shaun Lehman.
Victory College awards night.
Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien (left) with award winners Jacqueline Pekar, Alichia Snowdon and Jon Cantillana.
Mayor Mick Curran with (from left) Ruby Aitofi, Mia Ketterer, Kye Stevens and M’Kaila Start.
Callum Lehman, Elijah Allen and Kayla Donohue.