It would be remiss of me not to mention the loving and caring parents of the ATC community who sacrifice so much for us, from early Monday morning drop-offs to late Saturday trivia nights. I am so very grateful for all of your contributions and involvements over the course of the last 12 months and would like to let you know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.
And of course the Senior class of 2019, a diverse collection of academics, sportsman, musicians and mates, who have been the front-runners in establishing the culture and legacy of this great school since the beginning of 2015. To you, I extend my deepest admiration and respect for the manner in which you have supported me, conducted yourselves and lead the way in all aspects of College life, this year and in previous years.
2019 saw the launch of the ATC man of COURAGE initiative which invites students from across the three schools within the College to exhibit characteristics of to be Compassionate, Optimistic, Upstanding, Respectful , Accountable, Grateful, and Empowering servant Leaders. For me this year, the most tangible manifestation of this ‘call to action’ was present during the inaugural – a word we have become very accustomed to over our time at ATC – Claddagh retreat. The underlying message of Brotherhood and unity that permeated through this experience, between teachers and students alike, established a strong foundation for the year ahead. I will always remember the war cry at 1am in the morning that echoed throughout the rolling hills for kilometres on end. Interestingly, it was the first and it maybe the last College war cry ever performed in pyjamas!
The significant 30th of March date marked the single biggest sporting event of the year, with our First XV and First XI playing on Jack Bowers Oval. Despite the final score, students from Year 4 all the way to Year 12 stood arm in arm and belted chants in support for our teams in the pouring rain. This is the legacy our cohort has been pioneering for the last five years. A culture where young men empower others within and around the community to achieve their personal excellence. We hope that every student past and present strives for their own personal best, but also can help others in their pursuit of excellence.
It fills me and the cohort with immense pride knowing that our legacy will be furthered by the incoming leadership team of School Captain, Tom and Vice Captains Rory and Mitch. I have been privileged to get to know these ATC men over my time here and I am confident they and the current Year 11 cohort will wear the white shirt in 2020 with the respect it deserves.
Last term our OP eligible students sat the first and last ever QCS test. This process was challenging for us, but it was also a testament to the commitment and dedication of the staff here at ATC. Through multiple practise tests, in-class lessons and revision we walked away from the two days of intense testing with nothing left in the tank, knowing well and truly that each and every one of us had given 100%, as there is no such thing as 110%. It is hard not to be overwhelmed by that sense of Brotherhood, when you are sitting an exam that could potentially impact your future with the knowledge that the people in the senior jerseys sitting around you are exerting blood, sweat and tears to achieve the best for themselves and for the group.
In our cohort, we are fortunate enough to not just have OP students, but also a tight-knit collective of VET students who are already doing their part to make a difference in the wider community. Our hospitality students regularly attend events and functions to use their knowledge to help and serve others. As well as this, the construction crew were responsible for the immaculate fencing that stands guard over the gully, as a means of preserving the work of the eco-warriors. Notwithstanding our ambitions after school, we are a band of brothers that are there for one another for the good times and the bad.
It has been a truly momentous year, filled with lots of firsts and countless fond memories that will last a lifetime. As all good things do, our time at this school is coming to an end but that does not mean an end to our connections with it. Many of us will come back, whether for coaching, refereeing or possibly even teaching, and when we do we hope to see a continuation of building upon the legacy we have left at the College as its inaugural Senior cohort. Thank you so much to everyone who has been with us throughout the various stages of our formation into young men, we are all so grateful for your faith in us. It really was the perfect end to a five year-long journey at ATC.
College Captain 2019