Year 12 Graduation
Dear Parents, Carers and Friends of Bethany,
Congratulations to our Graduating Class of 2019. Last Tuesday we had a wonderful Graduation Day beginning with an assembly in the morning shared with Years 10 and 11, staff and families. At this assembly students were awarded their Graduation Certificates as well as academic and special awards. At 5pm Year 12, staff and families returned to our newly transformed hall which was reconfigured to a reverent space for the Graduation Mass followed by dinner at the Bellevue at Bankstown. I thank Year 12 for the way that they graduated with such dignity and grace and for their years of service to our College. Shared with you are the memorable moments of the day and speeches from our College leaders, a parent and myself. We look forward to seeing Year 12 return for their HSC exams early Term 4.
Graduation Day Speeches
Principal’s Address at Graduation Mass
“Fr Janusz thank you for your guidance and the spiritual opportunities that you have provided for our girls, not just tonight but throughout the years at Bethany.
Parents, for the majority of you, tonight signifies the end of 13 years of quality education, a type of education that you went out of your way to choose because it models Catholic values and attempts to teach in the way of Jesus. Throughout their time at Bethany, the girls have been stretched to be in relationship with God and to understand this relationship as best as they know how in an ever increasing secular world. Girls, I hope that you are proud to have been educated in the Catholic tradition where honesty, compassion and looking out for other are not just taught, but celebrated and valued. I pray that you remember your special Masses, times when we have gathered in prayer and lessons you have learned about our faith and the need for interfaith dialogue and acceptance and understanding.
Our Mass this evening has celebrated your value of wholeness, a value that we have for each Year 12 cohort as it signifies the coming together and the end of 1 journey. To us in a Catholic setting, wholeness completes us, you have achieved the outcomes of your set curriculum for the HSC but personally, you have also arrived at a destination where together with your parents, we have rounded you off and put a full stop to your near compulsory years of Catholic Education. Now it is over to you. It would be the hope that each of our graduating students, find a special place and special time for God. We hope that the busyness of life and new opportunities next year and beyond do not stand as excuses for spending time and making sacrifices for God and for others in our community who may be in need.
I thank each of you and your families for making our school whole as well. Thank you for the lessons that you have taught us, the opportunities and ideas that you have brought forward to enhance the Catholic values in others and for the care and concern that you have shown for one another. My favourite part of the Gospel stories is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, WHY? Because it is the ultimate story of hope. It speaks to me of another chance of renewal but most of all of resilience.
As a College who celebrates part of its history in Mary MacKillop,we know from Mary’s life story that after leaving school, she was challenged by the poverty and helplessness of the poor of her time. She was challenged to find ways of educating and helping others. Her life’s journey presented many challenges, but she persevered against great odds to attain her goals. Her trust in God, her faith in her beliefs was steadfast. She made mistakes, but she never stopped learning from them and moving forward.
Jesus also saw a willingness to learn.
St Luke tells us that ‘As Jesus prepares to send his disciples into the world he prays for them. He gives thanks for the time of instruction, he asks for their protection, and looks forward to the amazing ministry they will do in his name.
So to the graduating class of 2019 – The Pearls – this prayer becomes our own as those here with you now : as parents, family and friends, send you forth with our congratulations and blessings into important new chapters of your lives. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe in His care and may you always be reminded To act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God. God bless each any every one of you and may you always find comfort in your Bethany story.
Mrs Josephine Di Costanzo
“I was asked as a parent to share a few words on our daughter’s journey here at Bethany College.
Some that spring to mind are welcoming, engaging, exciting, disciplining, roller coaster, stressful, enlightening, faith enriching, and most importantly grateful. Grateful as I’m sure you all are to see our beautiful daughters graduating today.
Clearly every family has had their own epic journey that needs retelling no matter how great or rocky the stories are, and we must remember everyone that built the grand cohort that started in 2014. Some have moved on expectedly and not so expectedly, and these connections and friendships have shaped the growth of our girls that will last a lifetime.
Our daughter brought new people into our lives that are family now.
Reminiscing, your first steps into Bethany all started in 2014 with Mrs Lavorato as principal, and Mrs Barnes as yr7 coordinator.
On the first day, you went to get acquainted with new surroundings and other girls you hadn’t met. From there best friends were made. You met teachers, that guided you perhaps better than your family through the years. It seemed that they appeared to understand you better than us at times.
You were determined to adjust, whatever it took, steadily building up resilience, endurance, walking between classes, lugging books to and from school that literally weighed a tonne. Keeping on top of things you took it all on including the challenge of the PDHPE fitness beep test.
There were teachers over the years who helped to make classes engaging and fun. I distinctly recall our daughter telling us about Mr Culleton with his discussion-filled religion classes and your many teachers challenging you to create professional looking websites and videos to share your knowledge and research.
Starting up, it was a hard climb to get on top of the mountains of things to do. With that came an attitude, slight maturity, lots of ‘you don’t get it mum, ‘I don’t have time to cleanup the dishes’ and ‘Don’t you know mum teenage girls don’t wake up until later in the morning’. To all the mums and dads, siblings, families and friends – Well, we can say we made it too!
Through the unimaginable firey glances, the icy comments “I’m not talking to you”, the pillows hailed across the room and the placid snowfall of hugs and kisses after the storm. Definitely all worthwhile to see you emerge into the young ladies you are here tonight.
We’re sure you and your families are stronger in every way. This all rang true yes we can only do so much. In Year 9 we saw girls pushed to their limits, we saw some of our confident girls slip into self doubt. But despite the breakdowns and tears, with Mrs Barnes’ support, and our prayers, you all came out the other side stronger and more capable with coping strategies to overcome daunting situations. These life skills along with many other strategies have become a natural part of your life and have helped to shape you all, the amazing young women that form the Class of 2019.
Year 10 came and you were seniors, all I could hear was talk of sweet sixteenths, big sisters, all fun things. Then came Picking Year 12 subjects and the big decisions needed to happen. Knowing what you wanted and loved to do was key to the outcome. It has been so inspiring to see you all achieve in your chosen subject areas, pursuing your passions and putting your time and efforts into projects and learning you really care about.
Thank you to Miss Rodwell for her caring speeches and the incredible Teachers and Staff that have allowed our daughter to mentally explore, spiritually grow & mature and reward our daughters for all their efforts. Confidently you girls have all excelled to be here now ready to take on the world. Incredibly you’ve reached your destination, the end of yr12.
You’re amazing, encouraging young women, who’ve we’ve seen receive academic, sporting and Duke of Edinburgh awards. Over the years, we’ve seen extremely talented girls in music, drama and dance performances. Many have supported school initiatives, such as the Vinnies Sleepouts, College Youth Masses, Bingo Night and the Design Showcases right here in this hall. There’s been re-energising retreats; watching the yr12 debating team win the finals; and hearing about the triumphs of sporting gala days. Some of you have managed to get your L’s and P’s, take on a job and even save up to buy your own car. Thats real world stuff that you can all do at your own pace and have fun as you go, with friends and people who care for you.
A day ago, I heard Olympian, Alexi Pappas, say “Imagine the outcome, see it and all that remains is the physical performance!”
You now should have everything you need to get on your way and give this last horizon of hurdles all you’ve got and finish this journey.
Just have the end clear in sight and be ready to tackle the next 5-6 weeks. I thank you all for being our daughter’s amazing peers, leaders and teachers on this journey. From our family to yours we send our love, blessings, clarity and our favourite quote from Nelson Mandela…
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” With God’s love and guidance, go get it done girls.”
The College Captain and Vice Captain
“Good Morning to Ms Rodwell and Mrs Hughes, special guests, to all staff members, parents, students and my fellow graduates, as you may know I am Alexis Maalouf and I am the 2019 school captain here at Bethany College. It is an absolute honour for Claudia, the vice captain and I to be speaking in front of you today for one of the last times in our 2019 school year. We want to formally and personally welcome you to this very special ceremony, graduation, one which should be full of celebration and joy as we come to the end of our learning journey here at Bethany College. And whilst this may be the end of our schooling journey, it is only the beginning of our lives ahead and I think that our graduating class of 2019, our beloved pearls, are more than capable to take on the world’s greatest endeavors, after today.
Since being elected to lead the school in term 4 of 2018, Alexis and I have been lucky enough to embark on one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences and are so grateful for all the opportunities that have come our way and the privileges we have had in leading our school. We have been proud to see you all work hard in every aspect of school life, whether it be success in academic achievement, on the sporting field, in the arts, TAS and performing arts showcases, and so much more, we are always so impressed by the students efforts and you leave us so proud to be your school leaders. Over the course of this year, Alexis and I have worked closely with our wonderful year 12 leadership team, aiming to lead with the girls rather than in front and thanks to these members of the team as well as our prefects, we were able to successfully and diligently lead the school and work towards many of our goals. Whilst these members played a profound role in achieving a collective success, we could not have done without our cooperative year group who have raised suggestions and ideas and to all students here at Bethany, who have constantly remained at the heart of all our decisions.
To our wonderful staff and teachers, thank you for leading us through our high school years with your expertise and assistance. Thank you for being with us every step of the way in both our junior and senior studies. You taught us to strive for our goals, and with the help of all your extra marking, many emails, extra classes and profound effort, we have been able to achieve these. Thank you for making our time here at Bethany so memorable.
We would also like to extend a special thank you to our wonderful year coordinators – to Mrs Barnes, and to Miss Sukkar, who has rejoined on this exciting day. Thank you to Miss Sukkar, who laid the foundation of our senior years from year 10 to 11, helping us through some of the hardest times as well as happiest times. Although it was hard to say goodbye to the lovely miss Sukkar, we couldn’t have asked for better with Mrs Barnes…you have truly been our rock this year. You have connected with each and every one of us, and have become a role model for many of the girls, with your kind, selfless way of leading. We have made so many good memories with you over the years that I’m sure we will cherish forever. We would also like to sincerely thank Ms Rodwell and Mrs Hughes, for being such a strong support for all our year 12 girls. We especially thank you for your guidance in our leadership positions, for allowing us to truly be a voice for the students, and helping us achieve our goals for the school.
To our families. We could not have done this without you. Your constant support and guidance has helped us get to where we are today. Thank you for helping us in every way possible over the years, whether it be with our homework in kindergarten, or simply dealing with our sometimes very frazzled year 12 selves, we will continue to need that support as we go into our final exams. Thank you for all the small things – like the drop offs, the last minute Officeworks runs, that have all contributed in some way or another to us standing on this stage today, receiving our graduation certificate. Thank you for being by our sides throughout this journey, you have helped make us who we are today.
As we graduate as the class of 2019, we would like to give some parting advice to the rest of the student body, who will be following in the Pearl’s footsteps in the years to come. Every day, we are extremely proud to see each and every one of you living out the Bethany values, and as we look to the future of Bethany, we know that you will continue these ways, acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with our God. We encourage you to continue to work hard in everything that you do and surround yourself with a positive support system and mindset. Finally, enjoy your time at school, trust me it goes by quicker than you think!
Now, to our graduates, the 2019 pearls. You are strong-willed, intelligent and creative group of young women. The colourful combination of personalities add to the lively dynamic of our year group and whilst we all bring different flavours to the mix, with the right amount of stirring and a sprinkle of Mrs Barnes… together we are a cohesive group of respectable and graceful young woman. I think all the teachers, parents, and friends here today are all so proud of what you have achieved and most importantly to Claudia and I genuinely feel so blessed to have had all of your love and support behind us since day 1. You have made our job too easy at times and we are thankful for your cooperation and understanding in some of the tough times. As a collective we have truly grown over the years and I believe the bond between this group of year 12vs since day 1 in yr 7 was always something truly special and should never be forgotten. When I look at all your beaming faces, it reminds me of our our very first day at school, we were so young so fresh, we had too much excitement…mostly nerves because we had no clue what we were in for but most importantly I think we all felt this sense of readiness. Despite the anxiousness… we knew deep down that it was time to start a new chapter, we had no choice but to grow up… just a little, I mean my parents still make me my lunch every single day but that’s besides the point. My point is, that is exactly the same feeling we have here today, ending one chapter to start the next, full of excitement for the future but also nervous for what it may hold. Its that same sense of readiness.
Now, I am not one to promote the binge-watching tv shows when you are so overloaded with homework and study that all you can possibly fathom doing is…absolutely nothing. I am definitely not going to promote that…but I can attest to the fact that you may get some pretty good quotes out of those marathon procrastination sessions. And here is one from One Tree Hill that can apply to all students and I think perfectly describes what a lot of us are feeling right now. “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you are 17 and planning for someday. And then quietly without you ever really noticing, someday is today and then someday is yesterday and this is your life.” Year 12 and the rest of our lives have always seemed so far away! Like some to-do list in the future that we would all get to eventually. But here we are. And I congratulate all of you for making it!! Thank you to all year groups for your support and we wish you all luck for the rest of Your journey here at Bethany. As for our yr 12 pearls… WE DID IT! Thank you.”
Semester 2 Student Leader Recognition
Semester 2 Academic Awards
Semester 2 Special Awards
Principal’s Gold Pin Award
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards
Frank Bendeich Gold Expedition Award
Bexley RSL Bob Narromore Memorial Prize for First Place in Modern History
Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC Governor of New South Wales Award for First place in Legal Studies
Sydney Catholic Schools Executive Director’s VET Award
Southern Sydney Business Education Network Award – Business Services
Ranier Design Group Award
Excellence in Sport Award
College Commitment to Sport Award
ADF Long Tan
Caltex Best All Rounder Award
Reuben F Scarf Award for Commitment
Archbishop’s Award for Student Excellence
Christian Leadership Award
Martha of Bethany Award
Semester 2 Reports – Principal’s Awards
|Eve Fernando||Olivia Di Costanzo|
|Ella Hankinson||Louisa Leone|
|Julia Lo Russo||Georgia Morrison|
|Anna Pemberton||Grace Steriovski|