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Head Prefect Opening Speech 2019

Written on the 8 February 2019 by Rostrevor College

Head Prefect Opening Speech 2019

Good Morning, Principal Mr Brian Schumacher, special guest speaker Mr James Kelly, invited guests, families, staff and students. I would like to start by extending a warm welcome to everyone here today, especially all of our new students, who have just commenced their Rostrevor Journey; the students in Year 12 who have spent their entire 13 years of schooling as red and black men; all my fellow Year 12 students starting our final year of our secondary education, and all the other students in the school.  I wish you all the best of luck and hope that you take advantage of every opportunity available to you throughout the course of this year.

My Rostrevor Journey started in 2013 as a 12-year-old boy, on a Monday morning in Term 3. I stood on the front lawn, looking up at the White House in the same fashion as many of you probably did. An over-sized blazer, socks up, my brothers next to me, and shivering due to the late winter breeze, and undoubtedly my nerves. It's with great honour that I now stand before you today, 6 years on, as the New Head Prefect of this prestigious College.

I've had a rather unique childhood, born in Australia and then stretching out 12 years of education over three continents and four countries. My family and I lived as expats for 12 years, moving to a new school every four years or so, never sure where we were going to end up, until one cloudy summers day in England, my dad said we were moving back to Australia and we were going to Rostrevor College, his alma mater. Dad always spoke fondly of his time at the College, the friendships he made and the things he achieved, and now following in his footsteps it's my honour to serve the College as he once did.

I started my Christmas holidays last year, in the crowded, chaotic streets of some of India's biggest cities, on a journey which hundreds of previous Rostrevor boys have been a part of, cementing myself into the past of this great College. This trip is known as the Indian Pilgrimage. We volunteered in dozens of different locations from homes of the sick and dying, to rural high schools with students the same age as us, regardless of where we were, we seemed to be having the same impact, we left our legacy with them. The biggest example I can express is a Talent Show we were invited to, for disadvantaged children who were in rural schools, or in schools where Talent Shows and initiatives like this weren't offered. The show was run by the Brother Patrick Foundation, and went on for a considerable amount of time, but after the show, we were asked to take a photo with all the performers, and after shake hands and talk to them. Seeing how late it was and how long they had been there I remember a few of us thinking surely, they want to go home and rest, but it was pointed out to us, "this moment, meeting you, is one of the most exciting moments of their lives, and there is nowhere they'd rather be." This resonated with me, seeing how my action of being somewhere and doing a small thing like shaking hands which I have been brought up to do as common courtesy, made such an impact in their lives

The Prefect team have decided to name this year, 2019, as the Year of Legacy, and for the year 12s this is our last year to leave our mark on the College.  How will you remember us?

I challenge all of you to ask this of yourselves, how will they remember me? In school and in life. The only certainty in life is that all things will come to an end. This year will come to an end in 334 days, for us year 12s that marks the end of our last year at the College, and as school students. One thing I'm sure we all want when things come to an end is to be remembered, nobody wants to fade into the background, or fade away like an echo. In life, in school, and as a school we need to try to be the voice, not the echo. The voice is what we remember, and what creates the echo, and each of your voices are unique, make sure you use it.

I believe this is how we can make Rostrevor a better place and a place we can be proud of. So, start looking at the bigger picture, and how things will look not today, but tomorrow. Working with the staff at the College to be the best version of yourself possible in all that you choose to do at Rostrevor. I would like to say on behalf of all the prefects, don't ever hesitate to come talk to anyone of us, whether it's your first week in year 7 or your last in year 12. Whether it's a simple hello or something more complicated, we are here to assist you through your experience. We are looking forward to working with each and every one of you, throughout all of the initiatives we have planned for 2019.

So, I invite all of you this year, to seize every opportunity you are given, to grow, refine and learn new skills, build and repair relationships. Be the voice, try to see the world from others perspectives, remember the little things you do matter, take this year and use it as a stepping stone into how you live the rest of your life. Together with your peers, your friends, your teachers and the Rostrevor community, you can leave a legacy that you can be proud of, and become the person you hope to be tomorrow, today.

Thank You

Joshua Rahaley
Head Prefect


Author: Rostrevor College
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