Panos Menidis’ 2018 College Captain Address
Panos Menidis – Academic Awards and Investiture Address
Good morning parents, staff, old Collegians, esteemed guests and my fellow Lasallian brothers. It is indeed an honour to stand in front of you here in 2018. Welcome to our 2018 school year. To all newcomers, on behalf of everyone, I welcome you to De La Salle College and to our Lasallian family. We all have less than 280 days to make this year one to remember.
280 days until you Year 7s are Year 8s with twice the amount of responsibility.
280 days until you Year 8s are the big boys on Tiverton Campus.
280 days until you Year 9s are welcomed to the Kinnoull Campus.
280 days until you Year 10s are commencing your VCE studies and 280 days until you Year 11s are where I stand today, ready to go through all of the things that make our school great, one … last … time …
This is a fact you must be conscious of but not scared of …
280 days to make a difference …
280 days to improve …
280 days to have a positive impact on someone new …
These next years to come are going to be some of the most enjoyable years of your life with brothers you will have for life, but try not hold yourself back from any opportunity given to you. I have reflected upon all the opportunities I have taken up here at De La Salle and there is not one single opportunity that I look back on and regret.
I have been lucky enough to partake in several of the extra-curricular activities on offer at our College, most noticeably for me is the hockey team. Coming to De La Salle in Year 7, I had never played a game of hockey in my life or even watched the sport. Fast forward six years to now and playing for the team is one of the most enjoyable experiences I have all year. I got the hockey keeping gig by pure accident, by just putting my hand up and handing in a form to Mr Barns… by giving it a shot.
Don’t hold yourself back from that experience for you. With all the ACC Sports, ACC Debating, Public Speaking, UN Model Meetings, Mathematics Competitions, Cross Country, Athletics Carnivals, Swimming Carnivals, the Yalawu Immersion Program, the Papua New Guinea Immersion Program, the New Zealand Ski Trip, the Philippines Cultural Exchange Program, our Lunchtime Activities Program, the Music Camp, all the bands that are available to join, the Arts Show, the Year 7 – 9 Camps … and if all goes to plan a FIFA and 2K lunchtime comp at Kinnoull Campus.
There is certainly no lack of opportunities that every one of us in this room can partake in and I implore every single one of you to try one new thing this year. It might just change you.
On the topic of opportunity around six weeks ago, myself Joshua and John were given the chance to travel to Sydney for the trip of a lifetime, really getting to know what our Lasallian community looks like. Meeting other College leaders from nearly every state in Australia, New Zealand and Papa New Guinea. Finding connections between our Colleges and leaving that retreat as a proud Lasallian. One of the many things we took away from that fantastic week was a talk about how we are all limited edition.
That every single one of us in this room are different with different strengths and weaknesses. It is not a difficult concept to understand however looking back on this it really resonated with me how different and diverse we are and that the more we are able to express our difference, the more we are able to help each other with our weaknesses and become stronger. Whether that is on the sporting field or in the classroom, the better we are at expressing ourselves the stronger we will be as a team. Don’t be afraid to put yourselves out there and ask for a hand this year and all your years to come, all you can do is learn.
This year our Year 12 Student Leadership Team has come up with the motto of: “Who are we to hold back?” This idea of pushing ourselves to better ourselves is something that we want every student here to achieve or set out to achieve in the future. We are going to focus this year on excellence in all aspects of schooling, presence throughout the college and in the house system, participation in all events and extracurricular activities and the connection between our junior and senior campuses.
These areas are what the Year 12 Student Leadership Team has set for our goals for the year and we are committed to achieving them.
Finally to my fellow Year 12s, good luck. This is all our final year here at the College. Every day that passes from here on out is one to treasure and remember, in eight months we will be reflecting on all our time spent within these grounds …
… on all our teachers and classes …
… our achievements …
… the teams we were a part of, the new people we met and the friendships we’ve made and will continue to take into the future.
This year is the year we make our final mark so let’s not waste a second of it. I wish every single one of you the best of luck this year. Make this year a year which you look back on with great fondness, one that you enjoyed and one that you will remember forever.
This speech was given by 2018 College Captain, Panos Menidis, to the Academic Awards and Investiture Assembly, 23 February 2018.