Rites of Passage and Good Clean Coloured Fun

Mr Kyle Thompson | Principal

This week, I am thrilled to say, has allowed me to reflect on the success of our Year 12 Cardinal. It has also made me reflect on the progress and different stages of development of all of our students as well as thinking back to significant milestones or events in my own girls’ lives.

I remember hosting a formal event at a previous school whereby one of my responsibilities was greeting students on arrival, much like I do at our Cardinal. On this occasion my youngest daughter was attending the evening. As I was involved in the organisation, I did not see her get ready for the event and she arrived independently with her partner.

The young people had been briefed on how to introduce themselves to me on arrival and I was busy giving attention to each couple as they entered the venue so wasn’t aware of who was in the line to enter. I then turned to a young woman with an outstretched hand saying ‘Good evening, I’m Sarah Thompson”. I genuinely did not recognise, at first, the young woman standing before me and then a variety of thoughts flooded my mind. These included: ‘how and when did that happen’, ‘wow, she is a beautiful young woman’, and immense feeling of pride and realising that the days of parenting little girls was drawing to an end.

I am sure many of the parents of our Year 12s had similar moments last weekend when seeing their ‘babies’ dressed up and looking spectacular and mature beyond their years. Our boys and girls presented themselves so beautifully. You could see the adults that they are becoming. It is a wonderful, yet a little confronting, moment in being a parent. I cannot speak highly enough of those Year 12 students, the people they are becoming and the manner in which they have handled challenge after challenge during their schooling. And, this is also a reflection on their parents and families. I hope that all involved took the time to reflect and enjoy this important rite of passage for our young people.

It is also worth noting that in spite of their maturing appearances there is still a little way to go in reaching adulthood. I liken this to being able to wear high heels for an extended period of time (our girls aren’t quite there yet) or being comfortable in a suit and tie for an entire evening (not there yet either). It is similar to something I’ve written before about training wheels for adulthood.

Of equal importance has been the reflections I’ve had on those same students participating in our track and field carnival and the sheer joy and laughter that surrounded our inaugural colour run. These same students that looked so mature and serious in their formal attire still displayed the excitement and need for fun that a small child would display when jumping in puddles. It has been great to see our kids still find happiness in ‘kid like’ things. Even if some of those kids are 18 years old.

I believe we all can learn from this. There are times when we need to be formal and behave according to ‘time and place’. Equally as important, there are times when we all need to experience pure fun and joy, regardless of our ages. This was quite evident as I watch the parents in attendance at both of our colour runs smiling and laughing as they observed their children just having fun. That happiness has been a highlight for me this term. I do wonder how many of the adults watching would have loved to have joined in? I was lucky, I got to!

These events have been a great way to end what has been a challenging term. It is with relief that we know our borders can return home and then return to school. It is time for rest and revitalisation for all of our students and staff. I thank our entire College community for their continued support, good humour and commitment to the College and their children’s education. I thank and applaud our staff for their adaptability, professionalism and engagement with all of our boys and girls. And, I thank all of our students for their tenacity and making us who we are. Also for the lessons they provide to all of us, every day.

I wish everyone a safe and restful break and I look forward to seeing everyone return next term with a renewed energy for whatever the remainder of the year brings.