Farewell, Arrivederci, Berpamitan – Year 12

I am delighted to deliver my Year 12 address to formally farewell the Class of 2019 as they finish their formal schooling today!

I wonder Year 12s what you are thinking at the moment. What is going through your mind? I suspect for most of you it is comprehending that you are at the end of your schooling, that you have to finish your last tasks or prepare for your exams and that your graduation is only four weeks away. I wonder what you will remember about Cardijn as you prepare to finish. What you will miss about Cardijn, what has been life-giving for you, what you can be proud of, what your greatest moment and greatest achievement has been to date.

Last week, I hosted the 30th anniversary of the class of 1989. We met at the Woodcroft Tavern and had a great night of reconnecting, sharing stories of their school days and listening to life events post-school. Events such as raising children, work, challenges of life and passions such as sport. For most old scholars they couldn’t recall any specific lessons but they recalled their teachers. They spoke fondly of the relationship between students and teachers, especially how it shaped their lives and how they were inspired to be the people they are today. One student fondly remembered being co-opted to play in the Tension exchange basketball team, never having played basketball. At just over 5 foot tall he was very short and told by the Cardijn coach to get on for just five minutes and cause as much havoc as possible before being fouled off. I said to him I didn’t believe him but he tells the story with a badge of honour. I know you will have many stories to tell when you gather for your reunion in 2029, 2039 and 2049 (Oh gosh, that’s the middle of this century!!)

As for today, congratulations on reaching this amazing milestone in your life, your last official school day. School is over for you, no more bells, no more uniform, lessons 1-7, house meetings, sports days, Athon days, no more making that daily journey to Noarlunga Downs – you are about to embark on a new part of your adult life. Congratulations, we are very proud of you. You have set the example to the rest of the school about faith, learning, leadership and community. Today, we give thanks to God for your presence and commitment to Cardijn College. Your formal schooling has come to an end. Together, we have worked very hard to ensure you have the best possible chance for success and to complete your studies at Cardijn.

We have experienced many high points and celebrated your successes and we have also supported you in times of struggle. Your teachers have supported you immensely throughout your schooling. You have been well-educated 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 of conviction. Our motto “SEE, JUDGE and ACT”, I hope will resonate with you forever. I know that each one of you knows what it means “to make a difference in the world”.

Our work with you has come to an end, but our hopes, aspirations and belief in you will not be realised unless you take responsibility to bring into action all that you have experienced and learnt over the last 13 years.

Our faith, our learning and our community have provided you with a foundation that will put you in good stead into the future. I acknowledge the dedicated and committed work of all teachers and education support officers who have had an impact on each of you over the last five years. It is important that you acknowledge this, not only your Year 12 teachers but all your teachers who have been part of your schooling. I extend my deep gratitude and appreciation to both Sophie and Indy. They have been outstanding captains and role models, all-round achievers and excellent School Captains and we sincerely thank them.

Year 12s, I want you to know that Cardijn College is your home – it will always be a place where you will be welcomed back. As you now embark on the final stages of your education as you complete your studies and exams, I ask for God’s blessing on each of you on this your last official day at Cardijn College.

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.

2 comments on “Farewell, Arrivederci, Berpamitan – Year 12

  1. Jacqui Good

    Oh my goodness, my boy is only in year 7, the first intake of this age. Your farewell has left me so proud that he is at your school. I have tears in my eyes as I know that each and every one of the year 12s will have been given the best that is available to them. I know how lucky and blessed we are to a part of this community.

    Thank you and all the very best to all of the year 12s.


  2. Peter Sando

    You also must take credit Paul for the excellent mentoring of both staff and students over many years, well done .


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