Farewell Year 12 – You leave today as young men and women of faith

It is my privilege to say a few words before our Year 12s finish their official schooling today! Year 12s, congratulations, we are very proud of you. You have made it!!! Today we give thanks to God for your achievements and leadership over the last five years. Your formal schooling has finally come to an end. I wonder if you are thinking – this is the last time that we gather as a school, a year level, a house and as a homeroom. I am sure that some of you would be very happy with this as it means that you are about to enter a new and exciting journey finishing school. Some of you will feel somewhat sad but let me assure you that this will pass very quickly.

Together with your teachers you have worked very hard to ensure that you have completed all your subject tasks and that you are well prepared for your final exams and final moderation. Together we have experienced many high points and low points but during this time you know we walked with you, all the way.

You have been educated well and you should be very proud of your efforts. You have been carefully nurtured and today you stand tall as well rounded young women and men who are ready to face the future with hope, optimism and purpose. I hope that our motto “SEE, JUDGE and ACT” will continue to resonate with you into the future. I know that each one of you knows what it means “to make a difference in the world”.

For five years, Cardijn College has been like your second home, a home which has drawn you together as a community of friends and family. A home which has shown you the way in your education. A home which has protected you from danger or conflict. Our work with you is coming to an end, but our mission or our purpose of schooling is not accomplished unless you take responsibility to bring into action all that you have learnt and experienced. You are sent forth to be Cardijn’s leaders and change agents with your families, your friends, your community and the world.

Today we acknowledge you and thank you for your wonderful contribution to the College. In your journey through school, I acknowledge the dedicated and committed work of all staff, from your teachers to the staff in the front office, in the canteen and all those who work at Cardijn to make it such a good place. It is important that you acknowledge this, not only your Year 12 teachers but all staff who have been part of your schooling in these last five years.

I extend my gratitude and appreciation to Sisilina and Isaac. You have been outstanding Captains, gracious, full of energy, positivity and commitment. No wonder both of you were recognised this Wednesday at Government House by the Governor with the Order of Australia Student Citizen Award for your leadership and commitment to the community. You were among 10 students awarded this honour in South Australia. You have left an amazing legacy and we thank you.

In February next year we celebrate our 35th anniversary as a school. This is quite young compared to some schools who have been around for over 150 years. Many past students have returned to the College to see staff and the facilities. The class of 1988 has recently celebrated their 30 year reunion and the class of 1998 celebrated their 20 year reunion last week. In a few weeks’ time the class 2008 will be celebrating their 10th anniversary.

Remember, Cardijn College is your home, it will always be a place where you will be welcomed back, and I hope that in the Year 2028 you will return for your 10 year reunion. As you now embark on the final stages of your education, I ask for God’s Blessing on each one of you to be at your very best. So, this is my final prayer for you and your future:

You leave today
As young men and women of faith
Light of the sun and radiance of the moon
God’s creation, ready for the world
Wind at your back, steadiness of mind

You leave today
With God’s strength to pilot you
God’s strength to look before you,
God’s wisdom to guide you
God’s shield to protect you

You leave today
With the blessings of this place
With the warmth of this home
With the hope of this people
And with the love of your family

You leave today
With our love and blessings

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

1 comment on “Farewell Year 12 – You leave today as young men and women of faith

  1. Gary Frost

    I sincerely thank all teachers and staff at Cardijn for helping, guiding and mentoring my son through the good and challenging times from year 8 to 12. It struck me that supporting academic endeavour is a given in all schools across the state, but Cardijn truly shined in its commitment, energy and professionalism.

    More importantly, you helped guide my son in areas that he excelled and enjoyed. You supported him in difficult times when “growing up” is very challenging. You didn’t hesitate to provide respectful and thoughtful discipline when needed. You helped him on his journey in becoming a respectful, confident and thoughtful person.

    Cardijn you did more than help with academic achievement, you helped shepherd my son into adulthood and I thank you all.


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