Something that very few of you know about me is that I was originally meant to go to a private school in the country. However, I did not even need to look at the school to know that it was not for me. Once my parents and I came to the agreement that I wanted to stay in Melbourne for high school, we had a look at the many different schools Melbourne had to offer. Some we looked at were Santa Maria College, Melbourne Girls Grammar, Lauriston, Preston, Heidelberg, and even the school I was zoned to; Northcote High.
Even though it felt like we had looked at every school around my area I didn’t feel like I belonged in any one of them. And so in one last attempt, we toured Fitzroy, and instantly I felt at home. Not only was it the no uniform that was appealing to 12-year-old me, but it was also the feeling that I had walking through the school. I had all of those schools to choose from and I’m aware that’s a really privileged position to be in. I chose Fitzroy and I am forever grateful that I did because I knew that I was going to be able to grow as a person in a safe and open environment in this school. The staff were supportive and safe. The students, creative and inclusive, and we still are. Fitzroy is colorful, youthful, and maybe because it’s a small school, it is sociable and engaging.
And because of this, during my time in Fitzroy, I have been able to be a part of many different programs. In year 8, I and a number of other students helped in supporting the year sevens to adjust to high school during peer support. Showing our younger student body that we were just some of the many people who they could trust at this school. Fast forward a year and myself, including 19 of my peers, were able to go to Bogong Leadership camp, where we learnt how to work together as a team and create a new form of engagement between classmates. In the middle of year ten, some of my peers and I were asked to do a workshop in a respectful relationships program to modify the out-dated program for future students. I know that all four of us up here today have benefited greatly by being involved with the many activities offered through the school, and I look around today at this whole year group who have done so many wonderful things during their time at Fitzroy including the activities that I wasn’t a part of, like the sport leaders, the art program and early VCE students. Those are just some of the incredible things that we have accomplished as a year level.
We come from a school that is really impressive in its own right, with a small but supportive, inclusive, creative and kindhearted student body. I have loved being at this school and I am looking forward to going with most of you to pursue the last two years of our secondary schooling at Wurun.