De La Salle College

2019 College Captain — opening speech

On Friday 22 February 2019, College Captain Liam Jenkins, gave the following address at the Academic Awards and Investiture Assembly.

A new school year, a new chapter, a new page or just the same old story? Ultimately, you write it — the choice is yours. 

Good morning parents, staff, distinguished guests, Old Collegians and my Lasallian brothers. My name is Liam Jenkins and I am honoured to have received the privileged position of College Captain to lead you, my fellow students in 2019.

For all of us 2019 is a new start, a clean slate, a new beginning. We each have our own brand new page to add to the new chapter of our college journey. This is an opportunity to show our true selves and demonstrate our unique gifts and talents. Your page can be filled with exciting moments and significant achievements that make this year special or it could be left blank to symbolise just another year going by. What you write on your page is up to you — the choice is yours. 

In the Lasallian Calendar, 2019 presents as significant year with the Tercentenary of the death of our founder, St John Baptist de La Salle. This milestone is an opportunity for us to celebrate our origins, our strong Lasallian values and principles, which are the solid foundations for the quality education we receive today.

2019 also marks a momentous occasion for our College with the unveiling of our new Holy Eucharist Year 9 Campus. This significant and historic event symbolises a new era for De La with the school expanding its horizons in having a greater imprint on the community and providing a customised program for our Year 9 students.

During the holidays the two college Vice Captains, Morgan Morffew and Amedeo Perri joined me in our travel to Sydney for the Lasallian Student Leadership Seminar. During our time in Collaroy we were able to take away some influential and crucial messages that are very valuable for all the students here today. We learnt that everyone here and around us are “limited editions.” In this world, there is no one exactly like you or me. We are all unique and possess our own strengths and weaknesses that can be put to great use if used efficiently. Don’t waste your abilities on trying to be someone that you’re not, be your best self and embrace it.

We should never fear, no matter the circumstance, the risk of vulnerability. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what is right even if there are restrictions holding you back. The difficult decisions and choices in life require the most bravery and courage to tackle however; they are capable of achieving the greatest inroads to assist your upcoming year and beyond. 

This year the leadership team for 2019 has developed a goal or leadership motto that acts as motivation for the year we face ahead. It reads “Inspire To Lead, Lead To Inspire”. Although this is our leadership motto, the College leaders believe that this applies to all students at De La Salle. Everyone here has experienced or witnessed leadership around them whether that was seeing a captain of a sports team marshalling their teammates, or maybe a classmate introducing himself to the new kid at school. 

I believe that leadership is the opportunity to inspire onlookers to become their own leaders in demonstrating the correct behaviours shown by a leader. Leadership is based on inspiration — not domination, on cooperation — not intimidation. Everyone here has the ability to lead and inspire the person next to you. So don’t wait, make 2019 the year where you make a difference to the school, to your classmates and most importantly to yourselves. 

To the Year 7’s and new students of the school, I extend my warmest welcome to you. You boys are now part of a culture that has been over 100 years in the making, strengthened by brotherhood and the De La spirit that flows within us all. Once you slip on that blue and gold blazer and have entered the College grounds you are a De La boy and always will be. 

De La will offer endless opportunities for you to succeed and thrive. These opportunities will enable you to establish yourself here at De La, so it the moment is there why not take it. 

To my fellow Year 12’s, we are almost there, we are at the last leg of the race, and the finish line is in sight and almost within reach. Together we have accomplished so much and have worked so well to be at the point we are at today. Let this last year together be a memorable one where you can truly tell yourself that I gave everything I had and that there is nothing left to give — because there is only one chance to compete in this race, it won’t come again so why not push your limit till the last stride across that finish line.

This year is an opportunity for all us to exceed expectations and strive for success. Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing — not the getting, it’s in the trying — not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us. 

We can all endeavour to become a better person, better student, and a better friend than we were last year, last week and even yesterday. We should all challenge ourselves to accomplish our own goals whatever they are, to see wherever they can take us. Whether it’s making a particular ACC team, raising $100 for Mission Action Day, passing a math test or even finding the confidence to speak in front of the whole school. 

Let 2019 be a year where you tackle every challenge, grow from every setback and take every opportunity that comes your way. 

Let 2019 be a year that you would be proud of when you read your page, your chapter and reflect on your time at De La. 

So on that note I invite all my De La brothers to please stand with me — united as one. 


Thank you.

Liam Jenkins
College Captain 2019

2019 College Captain Liam Jenkins receiving his captain’s badge from College Principal, Peter Houlihan