- Mrs. Sue Simadri
Victorian Government Schools Recruitment Trip— China
I returned to Melbourne last Wednesday following a 10-day trip to China, travelling with a team of Assistant Principals and International Student Coordinators from neighbouring Victorian government schools. We were there to promote the International Program and our individual schools to potential students and their families, as well as, to many of the agencies that assist students in China to begin the process of applying to Australian schools. Our trip included stopovers in Qingdao, Jinan, Beijing and Wuhan.
I was very fortunate to meet with parents of a few of our current international students to provide them with teacher feedback, and to reassure them that their children were making suitable academic progress.
The International Program at Westall is one of the largest in the state as we have more than 25% of our student population made up of international students, not only from China, but also, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Japan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. I was extremely proud to speak about our school, our students, the programs we offer, our results, and the international team, headed by Ms Ngian! Many of the agents knew Westall well, particularly with regard to our strong Mathematics program. Agents and families were very interested to hear about our classroom delivery using the new EDI model.
We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Chinese agencies and further developing our International Program at the school.
To the Class of 2018
It is with a great sense of pride that I, with the rest of the Westall Secondary College Learning Community, congratulate each one of you for staying the course and completing your journey - 13 years of schooling!
While it is a time of celebration, it is also a time of some sadness. Whether or not WSC has been your second home for the last six years, this is where you developed long-lasting friendships, where you had the opportunity to participate in a variety of iCreate subjects, where you were involved in Market Day and school productions, where you succeeded in achieving your grading belt in Taekwondo. It is also the place where you celebrated your ethnicity on Multicultural Day, competed in the annual swimming and athletics carnivals, and participated in the activities on RUOK Day.
Such memories can very well make you feel a little nervous, to have to leave all that has become so familiar. However, the end of this journey signifies the start of a brand new one; one that is fresh, exciting and interesting! You are privileged to have been part of a warm and caring learning community, which has prepared you for life beyond school. During your time here, I am sure that each one of you has been encouraged, supported, challenged, inspired, motivated, rewarded, applauded, and, even disciplined. Your experiences at WSC, the skills you have developed and what you’ve learned, will hold you in good stead for the future.
Each one of you is unique, remarkable and talented. Many of you have endured extraordinary circumstances during the year and have managed to come through it all. Well done! Life will present itself with obstacles and challenges; face them head on, for each time you overcome a challenge or an obstacle, you become stronger and it becomes easier to deal with the next stumbling block.
This well-known story of the butterfly illustrates the importance of addressing challenges in order to become all that we can be.
A young boy found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn't go any further. So the boy decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The boy continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body. Neither happened! In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.
What the boy in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening, was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.
Going through life without the ability to deal with obstacles would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could be and we would never fly. So, remember, we all have it within us to confront and conquer life’s many struggles.
In all the excitement of finishing school, I hope you will not overlook the lasting value of the people you have shared this meaningful journey with, your teachers, year level coordinators, careers counsellor, wellbeing coordinator, mentors, and your parents/guardians/host families. They have supported and guided you, and they’ve been your most ardent advocates, providing you with strength, motivation, doing what was needed to keep your dreams alive, and most of all, loved you for who you are.
I wish you well as you head towards your exams. Your finish-line is in sight – focus and give it all you’ve got. Remember to always have a positive attitude to life and know that you can achieve anything you want to; ‘if you can imagine it, you can achieve it’. Dream big and don’t let anyone tell you, ‘you cannot make it’! After all, as the powerful play of life goes on, each one of us may ‘contribute a verse’; ….. what will your verse be?
In conclusion, some appropriate words from Napoleon Hill:
‘The starting point of all achievement is desire. Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success!’
Good luck and thank you for a great year!