Class of 2023 Graduation

Graduation is the ending of an old era but the start of a new chapter in our lives. Not only is this sad, exciting and a little bit scary for us but also a time to reflect on our achievements and how far we have all come. It Is amazing how time quickly passes from the moment you enter high school in Year 7 to finally sitting amongst your friends, graduating high school. It is fair to say that these past six years have gone by too quickly.  

Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the unwavering guidance of our parents, siblings, guardians, and family. We would not be present tonight without your support. From helping us in our early years of life, to dealing with our teenage meltdowns over the kitchen table over the assignment we left until last minute, to teaching us how to drive. You have taught us many life lessons and ultimately helped us to become the people we are today. We cannot thank you enough for your sacrifices, patience, love and for being by our side each step of the way.  

We would also like to acknowledge the teachers and staff who have helped us along our academic journey as well as the person that over the past three years who has guided us through the ups and downs of high school life. Mr Leech, thank you for supporting and showing us how to be better versions of ourselves. We truly needed you to get through these crucial final years. We have enjoyed your bubbly personality and your many stories that were infused with many life lessons. You have never failed to be there to support us, and you’ve made the journey to graduation that much easier. Thank you and good luck for what’s next. Continue to be a caring and enthusiastic Head of Year for the next year group who will be lucky to have you.  

Now that we are graduating, we come to realise that there will be no more next weeks, no more lunches with our mates, no more trips to Gateways after school, and no more moments of the shared experiences of high school with our peers. Instead of saying “see you tomorrow” or “next school year”, it will be “I hope to see you one day again”.  

It is in this realisation that someday we will look back on this moment with sadness and recognise that this chapter of our lives will become part of our story and one we will never forget.  

Nobody wants to admit it right now, but when we think about our lasts, we will reminisce if we’ll ever laugh as much as we did in those relief classes and how we will cherish the memories that hopefully will not become a blur.  

Somewhere between when we initially walked through the gates of Emmanuel to this final moment of walking out for the last time, 

‘Welcome to Year 7’ became ‘welcome to our final year’.  

‘What time are you coming to school’ became ‘meet me in the carpark’.  

‘What subjects did you choose’ became ‘what are your plans for the future’.  

Six years became this moment and our final goodbye. Somewhere between then and now we grew up, and sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.  

For the past 15 years, our lives have been determined by school, getting up every morning, following the same routine. Now it’s all going to change. Over the course of our lives, some of us will get married, travel the world, settle down and work to achieve our dreams. To create our own pathways to the future.   

Throughout our high school experience, we have learned and grown together. Our past six years have been like an evolving novel; we have written our chapters, developed our characters with many plot twists along the way, but now the time has come for volume 2, entitled ‘What’s Next?’.  

This next volume will require you to not skip chapters, read every line and meet new and diverse characters. Some chapters will make you cry, and some will have moments when you don’t want it to end. Your next volume is waiting for to write it.  

So always remember hold onto all the memories, do things that are scary, make mistakes because how else will we learn? Live for yourself, laugh like no one is watching, always aim high and work hard. Change your mind again and again and remember that this is the beginning of a new journey. It’s your time to make your impact on the world, where you get to decide your own destiny.  

As Dr Seuss once said – “I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.” 

And as you walk across the stage tonight for the final time, be proud of how far you’ve come, how much you have sacrificed and how much you have achieved.  The world is at your feet, and it is waiting for you to make your mark. Share your passions, use your skills, and leave behind a legacy worth remembering.   

Congratulations Class of 2023.  

We wish you all the best in the future, God bless and remember to ‘Just be a good friend.’ 

Lucy Lankford & Jayden Draper
Head Prefects 2023