Good morning teachers, parents and students. I am honoured to be receiving this scholarship. To the Pollock family; I, and the wider community, are so appreciative of this continuing contribution to the school, gifts such as these enable learning and are a wonderful opportunity for students of the college, such as myself to follow their passions and pass on these passions. Thank you. I will be forever grateful and remember your generosity.
To the executive, especially Mr McGovern and Mr Tadros, thank you for your consideration and continued generosity. Thank you for the guidance and encouragement of my academic progress from years 7 to 12. The role modelling you have provided to my life will also stay with me, give me purpose and make me a better person. Know that this gesture and assistance is much appreciated. The culture you have created at the college enables not only the students but also the first class team of teachers you have recruited, in all subjects but especially science, to work cooperatively in striving for excellence.
My teachers, you have taught more than formulas and rules to myself and my peers. The gift of education is one of the greatest there is, and the passion and dedication you bring to this place is inspiring. Thank you, and your families, for the personal sacrifices you have made through the years and will continue to make. Because of you and the inspiring way you have mentored many young men, the world is better off, there are now people out there with not only knowledge, but also character, resilience and the wisdom to use their knowledge. In particular, I would like to thank Ms Davis, whose Year 9 medical problem solving case studies, based on the very degree I am doing, first interested me in studying medicine. Also Mr Meyer, who I think had to endure me everyday on his timetable in years eleven and twelve. Thank you for the great culture you built in our class, you brought us all closer and helped us get to where we wanted to go. You also never made mistakes on the board… Yousef and I made sure.
All the teaching and support staff, thank you, congratulations, and may your work continue to be fruitful and rewarding.
My parents and family; your support has been essential. Thank you for giving me this opportunity at this school, encouraging me to apply myself and putting up with my late night, alright early morning sometimes, studying and late rising.
I would also like to thank my peers, for pushing each other, only academically of course, bringing out the best in each other and supporting each other with hardly any sarcasm and only high quality humour. I feel we’ve succeeded and I know you will make the most of your opportunities and will go far.
As for myself I will be studying a Bachelor of Medical Science, Doctor of Medicine double degree at the UON. Studying medicine is a dream come true and I am very fortunate that attending Edmund rice has allowed me to pursue and fulfil this.
Reflecting on the past 6 years I have learnt a lot, especially about how to maximise who I am as a person and get the most out of life. Taking every opportunity and always giving everything your all… That’s your civic duty, that’s what’s most important, that’s what must be done. Be proud of trying hard and never shy away from your passion and drive for the fear of being labelled a tryhard… Regardless of whether you are pursuing a career as a mechanic, carpenter, accountant or surgeon, God gave you a short time on this earth to serve him with your talents, give it everything you have got.
Another asset so critical and unique to the highest achievers in any area, be it academic, sport, music, or in anything, is discipline. The greatest marathoner ever said “Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.” After seeing many approaches to the HSC, I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. The biggest success story I know of through the uniquely trying 2020 HSC is one of my friends who kept to a 930pm curfew and strict and healthy routine, including daily physical exercise, for all of year twelve and achieved a higher atar than myself, and dux of their school. They ensured their brain had adequate sleep and was fit, something the vast majority of students neglect, I definitely did. This little extra effort now over a few years will give you more options for later in life, as it has for my friend, and more than pays off as you learn extensively about yourself and what your abilities truly are. I admire this person and can testify that being a little tough on yourself now brings results, pressure is needed to create diamonds.
Along with my technical understanding of science I also from this school take an understanding of the dignity of the human person, informed by the Catholic faith. Therefore I hope to have the opportunity to apply the learnings and benefits of science as a doctor for the well-being of all patients, from conception to natural death. This is an unmatched legacy of this school. Graduates of Edmund Rice know that science, medicine, faith and reason are all coherent and complementary.
Overall my experience of this college has been wonderful, and I am forever grateful to this place, the culture and the people for making me who I am and who you all will be. Thank you, keep up this culture and the work you are doing.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.