To the Graduating Class of 2020
and the Entire St Dominic’s Community
Good morning Mr Ronchetti, staff, students, and families watching our live stream.
Wow. I cannot believe that our schooling life is finally coming to an end. A strenuous thirteen-year journey almost over. It has had its ups and its downs, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anybody else. It truly feels like only yesterday we were walking through these gates for the first time, seeing a daunting school full of men and having Mr. Turner, one of the scariest yet soft people you’ll ever meet as our Pastoral Coordinator. Dom’s quickly turned from a place of the unknown to a second home. As everyone grew and found their spot amongst their peers, one thing stayed consistent. Mateship. The inseparable brotherly connection between all of the boys here is very apparent. It didn’t matter which group you sat with at lunch or recess, you were, and forever will be, a Dommies boy.
I know today is unconventional or unique, different; whatever you want to call it. It wasn’t what we expected. Our year has suffered greatly from COVID-19, but our resilience and choice not to give up when times were tough shows just how determined and committed our year group is. Missing out on face-to-face lessons or major events has left many of us feeling empty. No matter what though, we held our chins high and kept going. Mr Levy, Mr Ronchetti and a few other key figures loved to remind us of how much time we had left at the College. Fifteen weeks turned to fifteen days in about fifteen seconds. They were right, time does fly.
Throughout this unforgettable journey of secondary school, one person in particular has had a memorable impact on each of the year twelve students. He’s somebody that has been dedicated to our year group since year nine. Emphasising his RAP rules and showing his dance moves off in the videos for Dommies Day. Mr Levy. You have been not only a role model, but somebody who truly cared for each and every one of us. You have a heart of gold. Your commitment to making sure we are all doing okay has not gone unnoticed. Despite your many missed prefect meetings, we forgive you. Mr Levy, if it weren’t for you, I’m sure our year group would not have the same energy and mateship connection that it does today. We all have the utmost respect for you, and we are genuinely grateful we got to spend your last few years at the College with you. We wish you the absolute best as you enter retirement.
For the friends and families watching from work, the lounge room, or wherever you happen to be. Hi! I really wish you all could have been here. Ultimately, we are doing this to keep everyone safe, but it is disappointing you couldn’t stand here with us today. You have all poured your love, support, and time into us, especially this challenging year where we all really needed it. Thank you so, so much. No words can describe how grateful we are.
Now to reminisce on some memories that some of us can share. It is scary and sad to see an era come to an end, but it marks a new beginning as well. The year seven core classes. The camps retreats and the carnivals. Mr Ronchetti’s long-winded speeches. Mr Kilbourne’s obsession with the Ski Trip. Mr Gerlach’s quotes such as… ‘actually I’m not going to do that’. Mrs. Torpy’s yelling, echoing down the halls. Mr Mackinnon’s commitment to year twelve winning the prefect oz tag game and so, so much more. These memories will stick with us forever. The shared Dommies experience.
Overall boys, thank you. All of you. It has been an absolute honour being able to lead you all. The differences, yet brotherhood of all of you boys has made my role easy. Thank you to all of you that came to me for ideas for the College or even just to announce your support for me. You have made this journey so worthwhile. It is daunting to pass the role on, and for all of us to move back into ‘little fish’ in a big pond. But I know ultimately that we’re all ready. Never forget who we are lads. We are Dommies boys. That doesn’t mean we need to wear it across our chest, it means that no matter where we go from here, we have brothers all around us that can support us when needed.
I will miss each and every one of you.
I leave you with these last words:
The opportunities at this College allow each and every one of us to have a voice. What stops most using it is a fear of being different. Don’t ever let that stop you. Your voice is the most powerful tool you have. Use it wisely. Stand up for what you believe in. Be yourself.
Cooper Hill – College Captain