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Farewell to the class of 2023

Ashton White (Head of Year 12)

The time has come where we bid farewell to the class of 2023. On Monday all of the students gathered at the College for a day out at Adventure World. It was a scorcher with a top of 37 degrees. The students had an absolute ball racing down the water slides and going on the rides. The students were even convincing the teachers to step out of their comfort zone and ride on the rollercoaster with them.

“The weather was amazing! We loved watching students screaming on The Abyss as they were catapulted into the air.” – Year 12 student Antonio

On Tuesday the students had their final day together as a cohort. It kicked off with Breakfast on the Green starting at 7:30am. The Year 12 Leaders for 2024 cooked and served breakfast for the current Year 12 students and staff who enjoyed the morning together in the sunshine. Students then set off for their final PC and House assemblies where each student was farewelled by their House. It was fitting that we ended the afternoon with a final Year 12 Mass. The students spoke of hope, joy and friendship and standing at the crossroads of their lives. “Where to from here?” was on everyone’s minds. As is tradition, upon leaving the Chapel the Year 12s were greeted by the Year 7 students who had formed a guard of honour down the Avenue to farewell them one last time. The circle was now complete.

“It was great to see the smiling faces of the Year 7 students that I had built connections with in PC.” – Year 12 student  James

In the evening, the Year 12s returned to the College for the last time to celebrate their time at Kolbe. Students were presented with their graduation sash by their PC teacher in their House colour and a pin of St Maximillion Kolbe to guide them on their new journey ahead. Students had time to mingle, get photos with their PC, House, teachers and friends before processing through the teacher guard of honour over to the Sports Hall for their graduation.

“It was a bittersweet knowing this was the last time that we would all be together as a year group. It was a great way to end our time at the College.” Year 12 student Gabby

Parents, families and friends had filled the Sports Hall in anticipation of seeing the 175 Year 12 Kolbe graduates as they processed in together for this momentous occasion. Father Giovanni gave a heartfelt homily about what a special occasion this was, and blessed the crosses the students had made at retreat earlier in the year. We had some parents join their students on stage to present symbols of their time at Kolbe and the student executive team thanked their peers, staff and families for their time at the College. Throughout the evening the guests were treated to memories of the students on their first day at school and a transition of their first and last school photo at Kolbe. As the students walked the stage to receive their graduation certificate and their cross, I read a citation about each student which talked about their achievements and what they would like to be doing in the future. Graduation concluded with our Principal Mr Neil Alweyn bidding the students farewell and wishing them a safe and happy journey ahead. He asked them to remember that Kolbe will always be a place that they can call home.

“It was such a happy way to end six years of High School together.” Year 12 student Olivia

After the ceremony guests were asked to join the students out on the green for refreshments. It was a great evening with lots of laughter, a few tears and lots of memories shared. It was my absolute pleasure to lead the Class of 2023 as their Head of Year and I wish them all the best as they commence their new chapters. I hope that they will look back fondly on their time at the College.

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