Boarding BLOG


First and Final Speech for Elouise

Sadly, 2022 Head Girl, Elouise Parsons, delivered her first and final speech to the students and staff at last week’s Mercy Day Assembly. Due to COVID restrictions, it was the first time we had all come together as a school community since Elouise was elected.

Below is her speech…

It is with great privilege that I stand before you today, as one of my last official duties as Head Girl for 2022 – now I know what you are all thinking, Last…. this is the first time we’ve seen you! Well, you’re not wrong. 2022 bought along many great memories however it also bought along many cases of covid, consequently, I stand before you today and for the first time in my role I’m able to address our wonderful college.

As my time here at the College is coming to a close, I find myself looking back over the last six years and particularly our much anticipated final year. The Year 12s and I have learnt a lot over our final year, how to write a comparative essay, hundreds of objective sheets and even how to apply for jobs and uni, but if there is one skill that has most prepared us for life and one legacy we get to leave behind, it’s how to adapt to change.

I know every person here has experienced that wave of frustration when your perfect plan is interrupted or when traditions change just when it gets to your turn. Believe me, it was not ideal having to wear a mask to our Year 12 ball or spending our last cross country running up the Roberts Road hill.

However, whilst being faced with these challenges, the incredible group of girls I get to call my peers not only adapted to these circumstances but found the light in every situation and creatively came up with new ways to celebrate the traditional lasts of high school. 

The ability to adapt to change is the greatest lesson we have collectively learnt as a year group. Personally, it made me realise the truth behind the overused and a little cringeworthy saying “believe in yourself.” We all doubt our capabilities from time to time. Our sporting ability, our knowledge before a test or, our capacity to put ourselves forward for leadership. But over the past year, I’ve learnt how much you can achieve when you stop comparing yourself to others, focus on your strengths and truly believe in yourself. To the remarkable young women who sit before me, I hope you know how unique, intelligent, and simply beautiful you all are, I hope you know that when life throws you curve balls you have the strength to take it in your stride and to be adaptive to change.

Without going any further there are many important people I need to thank on behalf on behalf of my Year 12 cohort.

To our incredible staff, thank you for ensuring that we have an outstanding education and for making our time here at the College enjoyable and memorable. We all have that light bulb moment in high school when we realise teachers also have a social life and at that moment, we become even more grateful for the many early mornings, late nights and weekends you sacrifice for us. Your passion is our greatest lesson.

To the members of our College who have behind the scenes roles, there are not enough words to explain how thankful we are for you. We understand that our timetables don’t just appear on Edval, the thousands of rose bushes don’t prune themselves overnight and that the Weekly Wrap Up doesn’t just pop up on your Instagram feed without countless hours of sometimes unrecognised work – thankyou.

To our wonderful Deans Mrs Schubert and Mrs Kinsella, the Year 12s and I are so grateful that you were able to join our high school journey at the start of this year. Your ongoing support, open doors and a bowl full of choccies have made our final year one to remember. An extended thank you goes to the previous Deans of our cohort, each one of you has played a pivotal role in our time at Santa Maria, and for that, we are so grateful. 

Although the thought of saying goodbye to what has been my home and the girls who have become my family for the last six years is difficult, knowing that you are in the wonderful hands of Nishi, Lily, Alice, Grace and the 2023 SLC is very settling. Congratulations on your election girls, and I know you are going to do a marvellous job.

To all students, enjoy every moment. I know it seems like your turn to wear the piggy tails in the great court is so far away, however, take it from us, don’t wish your high school years away. Embrace it, grab every opportunity with both hands because before you know it, you’ll be down there too and we hope like us, you look back and can be extremely proud of your achievements at Santa Maria.

I wish you all the best of luck in school and your journeys after, I cannot wait to see you all touch the hearts of our communities and leave your mark on this world.

It has been an incredible privilege and honour to be your Head Girl for 2022 and to that, I say thank you.

Elouise Parsons, Head Girl 2022

Shaping Future Leaders- Jennifer Oaten

At Santa Maria College, we believe that leadership is a journey of learning, not just a title or position. For over 80 years, our Year 12 students have been at the forefront of shaping our school’s culture through their leadership. As one cohort graduates and another takes the helm, the baton of leadership is passed, igniting the potential within each new group of young women.

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