​Our Next Generation

Wednesday, 14 Sept 2022

It is that time of year again when we farewell our Year 12 students as they leave school for the last time. This of course, is inevitable. If we have done our job well, as parents and teachers, our Year 12 students will be sad to be saying farewell to their friends and teachers but will be ready for the next stage.

One would think that after years in these pastoral roles, I would tire of these annual milestones. The truth is that every year I am inspired and motivated by the young people who are leaving school to continue their journey in the adult world. I find them graceful, thoughtful, and competent – and this year particularly patient and accepting of change.

By 18, many of these young people have experienced a great deal; the good, the bad and the ugly. There is no protecting them from the realities of life and I am often saddened at how tough young people do it at times.

Yet, for all the challenges they face, they are a remarkable generation, holding on to the joy of life. Our young people at Bishop Druitt College are positive, optimistic and idealistic about the future. They want to do life well. They want to make a difference in the lives of others and, while some are still showing signs of the egocentricity of youth, very few of them are selfish. They want to contribute. The news may be full of the one or two “rogue” elements but, by far, most young people are responsible, happy and contributing wonderfully.

It is also easy to accept the stereotype of a teenager as being temperamental or sullen. And, from time to time, young people do have stages, which are very tough, or they might go through bouts of depression or mental illness that affect their reactions to life. But this is not their identity. It is our role as adults to help and support young people as they navigate these times, while doing all we can to minimise the negative impact.

Overall though, teenagers are like other children and adults. They have good days and bad days. They have stressful times and relaxed times. But they are learning to cope with it all, and they are learning well.

As we farewell the class of 2022, we give thanks for the great role and influence they play in our community, and the way they have learnt to juggle life so far. And as we pause to give thanks for the impact and influence of these young people at Bishop Druitt College, particularly those in Year 12, we also give thanks to the parents who often get little thanks!

You do an amazing job of loving unconditionally; holding the bar high and doing all you can to support and assist your child go from strength to strength. Schools cannot do what you do! We can support you, but we cannot replace you. Thank you for everything you do in raising a wonderful generation to be great adults. Congratulations and farewell to the class of 2022.

Sue O'Connor
Director of Student Wellbeing K-12