On Friday 16 October, for only the second time, the entire school community gathered together to farewell our Year 12 young men and women at the Valedictory Service.
Not only was this a special occasion to pause and reflect on the contribution of our Year 12 students, the community was also introduced to our incoming Chaplain, Reverend Alison Andrew-Smith, who will be joining us at the commencement of 2016.
Father Stewart Taplin performed a Transition Liturgy for Reverend Alison Andrew-Smith, presenting her with a number of symbolic gifts on behalf of the school.
Mr Fry spoke to the metaphor of gum trees, introducing the eucalypt seedling as young and fragile – rather like our ELC and Prep students, but who grow into mature trees – like our graduating Year 12s. “Our students are like the eucalypt; vulnerable when young and underdeveloped but even more resilient than we might imagine, growing progressively as saplings, bending and giving way before the adolescent forces of Hamlet’s ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, like the winds of a hurricane but afterwards not only still standing, but stronger and more resilient.”
As a symbol, our Year 12 students were presented with a eucalypt seedling by our Prep students. They were urged to take the seedling home and plant it in their back yard so that they may watch it grow and remember in times of difficulty the foundation that Tintern provided them.