Farewell Class of 2020

In the final week of Term Three, the College farewelled the Class of 2020 celebrating friendship, family and academic achievement.


2020 College Captain, Alicia John reflected on their journey at the Year 12 Graduation Assembly.

We walked behind the red brick wall with the new Bennies hats on our heads and MYBennies on our timetables.  In Year 8, we had the STEM Days and the 50-year Jubilee celebrations. Year 9 brought the inaugural Inspire Week and Transform Night, and the next year, we were the first grade to be seniors in Year 10, with senior uniforms and the REAL Program, the Hildegard Centre was opened, and we all came to love the switch to five period days. In Year 11, we had the uncertainty of new syllabuses, farewelled Mrs Pearson and entered the MSB Centre. 

And then came Year 12 and the year that was 2020. Well… I don’t think we need a recap for this one.! No one could have predicted this next stop on the journey, and many of us might wish it was all a bad dream. But there are two reasons why in Year 12, we shouldn’t wish 2020 away.


Reason 1 – as difficult as it has been, this year has been incredibly formative and will serve us well for the challenges that lay ahead of us. For example, online learning? We can do it. Major works from home? We can do it. Socialising on zoom? We can do it. Global pandemic? We can do it. Coping with countless disappointments and an enormous shift in life as we know it? We have done it.

Year 12 have proved they are just like coal; put them under pressure, and they turn into the sparkliest diamonds I have ever seen. We can, and we will confidently conquer what lies beyond Bennies, whether it be full-time employment, future study, apprenticeships, or solo travel. We are more future-ready than any cohort that has come before us.

Reason 2 – this year has only highlighted the astronomical strength and courage of every Year 12 student, especially their amazing capacity to offer service and support of each other. I would be lying if I didn’t admit, that for a few years, we have quietly high-fived ourselves for being such a great grade, but I think it is safe to say we have more than proved it. We have all prioritised each other’s wellbeing, health and happiness as if it was our own, and that is truly remarkable. 2020 has demonstrated how incredibly strong year 12 is, and how our bonds with each other are even stronger.


When I googled what ‘graduate’ means, I was disappointed with the boring answer of “successfully complete an academic degree, course of training or high school”. Yes, this is true, but it does not encompass the distinguished accomplishments of year 12, nor our legacy of resilience, passion, service and determination, which we leave behind as a guiding light for the generations of Bennies girls to come.

And whilst it is often with sadness, we reflect on the things we leave behind as we graduate, we should positively focus on what we take with us. We take with us a realisation of our abilities, passions and talents; we take with us equal measures of academic skills and life skills to equip us for the future, we take with us countless positive memories and friendships. All of this is what it means to graduate.

On behalf of year 12, I would like to extend our immense gratitude to the most amazing staff, for their limitless dedication, support and enthusiasm, led by our wonderful new Principal Mr Hanratty. Bennies is truly blessed to have you all. We would also like to thank our biggest cheerleaders – our parents. Thank you so much for your unconditional support and love.

What I am most proud of this year, is to say that I belong to the graduating class of Bennies for 2020, who have only become closer this year, strengthening our relationships to become a cohort of lifelong friends.