16 October, 2023 7-12 spotlight - Community

Valedictory celebrations light up the School

On Thursday 12 October, St Michael’s bid farewell to the Class of 2023. The Year 12 students’ final day of school was filled with special events and emotional moments that marked the end of their academic journey with St Michael’s.

Valedictory Day at the School is a significant milestone that encapsulates the essence of a rite of passage. It is a day of farewells, gratitude, and anticipation for the future. The Class of 2023 will always be remembered as an inspiring and unique cohort, leaving an indelible mark on the School’s history.

The day began with a Valedictory Breakfast hosted in our gym. The graduating class gathered to enjoy light refreshments and music, while reminiscing about their time at St Michael’s. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and nostalgia as they prepared to say goodbye to their teachers, classrooms, and set out to embark on a new chapter beyond the School gates.

Following the Valedictory Breakfast was the traditional Guard of Honour; an opportunity for Years 7-12 students along with staff to send off our graduating class. Due to poor weather conditions, the traditional Guard of Honour, usually held along Coleman Walk, was modified. Instead, it took place under the cover of Gipson Commons. The School was filled with the sounds of whistles and deafening cheers as we waved, hi-fived and applauded our 2023 graduating class.

After the Guard of Honour, the students attended their Final House Assemblies, a significant event that allowed each house to reflect on their achievements and lovingly send off their graduating housemates. Filled with bittersweet moments, younger students expressed their shared memories and gratitude for the support they received throughout their time at St Michael’s.

One highlight of the day was the Valedictory Eucharist held at All Saints Church. The Co-Captains of the School, Tassara (12B) and Nicholas (12M), delivered an emotional speech that touched the hearts of everyone present, there was not a dry eye in sight. They expressed their gratitude to their classmates, teachers, and the entire St Michael’s community for the invaluable experiences and friendships they had formed.

‘It sounds cliché to say, but as we’ve gone through each of our lasts, one by one, it’s become ever clearer how much more than just a school this place is.’ – Tassara (12B).

To our fellow peers, from Years 7-11. It has been a pleasure to be your leaders, friends, and representatives this year, we have loved every minute of it... Thank you to everyone who took up our offer and stopped us for a chat, to everyone who trusted us to help them with their struggles, to everyone who shared the things that they are proud of, thank you so much for being what makes St Michael's the warm place it is.Nicholas (12M)

To conclude the Eucharist, each Year 12 student held a candle adorned with the School Crest, lighting it from the St Michael’s Candle and carried their flame into the world. This symbolic gesture, cherished by our Old Michaelians, signifies their journey from students to young adults, ready to embrace the challenges and adventures that lie ahead.

The much-anticipated Valedictory Dinner, held in the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria, served as a splendid finale to the graduating class’ journey. Accompanied by their parents, guardians, and staff, the evening was a delightful blend of laughter, nostalgia and celebration. It was a fitting end to their time at St Michael’s, marking the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

As the students bid farewell to their alma mater, St Michael’s extends its heartfelt wishes to their Year 12 graduates. While this milestone may signify the end of their education journey at St Micheal’s, they will always hold a special place within the School’s community and narrative. We eagerly look forward to following their future accomplishments and welcoming them back as Old Michaelians.

To echo the words from the Co-Captain’s final speech ‘To those we’ll farewell, we’ll miss you the most, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have been your hosts…’ Tassara (12B).