Westbourne Grammar School is very proud of the Class of 2022. These students have been exceptional in their contribution to both the school and to their fellow students. This year’s excellent VCE results are a testament not only to their hard work and dedication to their studies, but also a recognition of the professionalism of Westbourne’s teachers.
Adrian Camm | Principal
I'm excited to see how our cohort impacts the world, whether that be on a small or large scale. We are a group of very diverse interests and passions, and I'm certain that everyone will go on to create some form of change in whatever do, both within and outside of a work environment. Calvin Lam | School Co-Captain
When I reflect back on my time at Westbourne, it was filled with many highs and lows, but mostly lessons and fond memories. I still vividly remember my first day of school in Year 7 when the sheer scale of school left me disoriented and confused and incredibly nervous. However, fast forward six years, I can safely say that I made it to the end without too many anxiety-inducing affairs.
If I had to sum up 2022 in three words it would: roller-coaster ride. In a way it was rather contradictory; Year 12 was simultaneously way more stressful than I anticipated, but also not as much of a disaster as I made it out to be in my head. One thing is for sure—which is what I realised on my last day at school when everyone was hugging everyone in the chapel as we sobbed our eyes out—I will look back on my school life as a time of momentary struggles, but mainly, the best time of my life.
Why do we cry at the end of high school? When all throughout the year the only thing we could think about was the day when classes would finish and exams would be over and we could close that chapter of our lives. But then it hits us, that we’re closing a chapter of our lives. A time of lunchtimes sitting on the grass with the friends we see every day. The most pressing matter on our minds is the SAC next week we still haven’t studied for and buying our outfit for the Formal. It’s the time of our lives where we learn the most and grow the most. Going from a twelve-year-old barely-teenager to an eighteen-year-old legal adult is a wild journey.
Those figures that have inspired me throughout this journey are without a doubt my wonderful and amazing teachers who have imparted upon me their wisdom, especially during my VCE years. They not only gave me encouragement and useful feedback, but most importantly, their emphasis on open-minded thinking. The best learning does not involve the teacher giving you the answer, but rather imploring the students to form their own interpretation and analysis. At least with the subjects I chose to study which mainly centred around English and Humanities – there was never one definitive right answer, and that’s what I loved about it.
I think the significance of a Westbourne education is that it provided me not only with learning opportunities, but also the ability to explore other interests. Throughout my time at school, I was mainly involved in music, being both a part of the Senior Choir and Symphonic Wind Band. Most of my closest friends and I share memories of performing at the Annual Concert and Westbourne Celebrates, but also attending weekly rehearsals under the guidance of the incredible music staff.
I’ve never been very athletically gifted, so swimming and athletics were never my forte. However, House Monologues is something I participated in every year, which really helped to solidify my love of performing as well as increasing my confidence. During Year 12, I also participated in the Senior Play, The Laramie Project, and I can say with certainty, that it was the best experience I have ever had. Not only did the story touch me on a deep, emotional level, I witnessed first-hand the power of theatre when I was told that the people in the audience were moved to tears. Therefore, a Westbourne education involves not only the learning inside the classroom, but outside of it, which is equally as valuable.
Now, I’m looking forward to attending university next year and studying Creative Writing. I have always had a love for writing and I’m excited to be able to hone in on that skill in my further education. I enjoy writing stories and novels in my spare time and I’m aspiring to become a published author one day. I’m sure that with the lessons I’ve learned at Westbourne along with my grit and determination, this dream of mine is not so out of reach.
Yolanda Wu | 12F
‘Reclaiming missed opportunities’ is what comes to mind when summing up this year. Reconnecting and spending time with people dearest to me, whether it was in classes, at lunchtime, or just any school related event, there was never a dull moment when I had my friends with me. Surprising as it might sound, my specialist maths class never failed to make me laugh and laughter is what creates true relief in what can be a stressful year.
Being part of some of Westbourne’s co-curricular communities is among the highlight of my school life. I will never forget the musicals, concerts, or ACS carnivals which I was fortunate to be a part of, and of course will equally never forget the endless rehearsals and early morning trainings that came along with it. Through choir especially, I made some of my closest friends, not only in my cohort but in other year groups, who I hope to stay close with beyond high school.
I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life – for as much as I enjoyed my time at school, I’m equally excited to move into the next phase. With a new sense of freedom and independence, I’m looking forward to not only pursuing my further education, but moreover, being able to experience the world on my own terms.
Calvin Lam | 12M
If I’m to summarise the year in three words they’d be ‘bittersweet, hardwork and friendship’. It is the friendships and connections that I will remember forever. Those same people, the memories we’ve made and the experiences we have had together, have shaped me, helped make me who I am today. Community spirit is a huge part of Westbourne and in those years where it’s been possible ,I have embraced House events and every other opportunity to participate in and build my community.
At the end of my secondary school education I can honestly say that I’ve done my best. Throughout my education my teachers have supported me, encouraged me to work hard and enabled me to find my best and through it all, school has been an amazing experience. The opportunities presented at Westbourne, such as sport, music and the camps, have been significant in creating a well-rounded education for me.
And now, as always with the amazing support and encouragement from my parents, I am looking foward to moving forward – the opportunity to broaden my knowledge as I embark upon my university years.
Alysha Khatri | 12F
Sonya Lil | Director of Commerce
2022 saw the Year 12 cohort return onsite. The excitement of being together in the classroom fuelled their desire to learn. Reconnecting with peers and teachers, the engagement of everyday academic life coupled with sporting and House activities allowed for the Year 12s to experience the strong community spirit. Across Commerce classes students continued to make connections with real life global economic uncertainties, the need for changes in laws and businesses needing to adopt more flexible work practices. It is a credit to the resilience of these young people that they met the demands of completing Year 12 in such a positive and unwavering way.
The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.
― Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven
Mary Lou Callan | VCE biology
After 2 years of on and off remote learning, it was a courageous but cautious bunch of Year 12’s who returned to school.
Unsure about how long we would last on campus without further lockdowns at the start of 2022, it was a shock to everyone’s collective energy levels and self-assurances to dive back into the rigours of Year 12 curriculum (brand new and very challenging in Biology), face-to-face learning, collaborative work, projects, practical tasks and SACS along with sport, music, assemblies, activities and events that had been on hold for much of the previous 24 months.
As the year progressed and their collective confidences returned, it was great to see this Year 12 bunch extend themselves beyond the very small worlds to which that had become accustomed. They began to stretch their academic legs, take calculated risks, embrace life in and out of the classroom and develop a sense of belief in the possibility of a ‘normal’ life after school. Because of this, individual goals were reassessed, and most students upped their aims and ambitions and developed a new sense of positivity.
For this cohort, it has been a valuable year in resilience training, feeling gratitude, expressing care for each other and how to make the most of the learning and opportunities that are on offer here at Westbourne. The marks will look after themselves.