You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
from To Kill A Mockingbird
The Guilford Young College graduates of 2015 were sent beyond the College gates with a two-fold message from the Principal, Mrs Bobby Court: the value of reciprocity – now.
“Essentially, (reciprocity) is the belief that people should aim to treat each other as they would like to be treated themselves – with tolerance, consideration and compassion,” she said. “It requires us to be conscious of others and to try to imagine how they might think and feel. It is a simple and clear default position for moral decision-making.”
Through the exchange of receiving and the giving back “nothing is diminished; in fact it becomes a grace through which our lives are enhanced”.
Mrs Court said that her message was for the graduates to reciprocate the friendships and unconditional positive regard they have experienced at GYC and carry this forward for the rest of their lives. “The grace of reciprocity will lift you to a place of goodness, peace and contentment.”
And the when was now.
“(The decade of your twenties) is probably the most important 10 years in your entire life of self-determination. Don’t be enticed to put things off by the popular notion that 30 is the new 20 and you have a bank of years in which to remain a teenager, in an extended adolescence, a glorious ‘gap decade’ of developmental down-time … Claim your twenties from the beginning … continue to give back, add value to who you are, who you might want to be next.”
Mrs Court concluded: “May the grace of reciprocity be yours at this very moment and always. Every blessing to you, our Graduates of 2015.”
Earlier in the evening, about 400 graduands had been presented to the Archbishop of Hobart, the Most Rev. Julian Porteous and Mrs Court. They were announced by the Deputy Principals, Ms Helen Spencer (Hobart Campus) and Ms Susan Bunkum (Glenorchy Campus).
The Graduation was a memorable night which showcased, in particular, the musical talents of students as they entertained before and during ceremony.
The girls from this year’s Music Performance class with their teacher, Ms Jo Legosz, sang beautifully the haunting “The Deer’s Cry” during the reflection based on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si. Penguin (Brady Titmus, Matthew Harris, Joshua Cannan, Liam Pullen and Lily Russell) later performed its own composition, “Final Chance”, also based on the reflection and 2015 Carmel House Captain Andrew Mansour played the Third Movement from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C Minor.
However, undoubtedly the highlight of the musical presentations was the very colourful and upbeat “The Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show presented brilliantly by the Music Performance (Foundation Practical Study UTAS) students.
Each of the College Captains – Patrick Beven and Lauren Rowlands (Glenorchy) and Alex Donnelly and Blaise Heaney (Hobart) – spoke passionately about their year in leadership and wished their fellow students well in their future lives.
Acknowledgement of Country was given by graduand Bethany Swain and Archbishop Porteous addressed the gathering of more than 2000 people on “sustaining human ecology”.The ceremony’s MC was Glenorchy Campus teacher Ms Michelle Harris.
In a simple gesture of putting a hand on shoulder, the Student Leaders of 2015 handed over the leadership to the Student Leaders of 2016, who will be commissioned at the Commendation Ceremony in March 2016.
The soon-to-be new ‘old scholars of GYC’ left the auditorium through an honour guard of teachers to the ovation of all those gathered and the words of the “Irish Blessing”, sung to them by the teachers still hanging in the air.