On Tuesday 10 October, the St Margaret’s community of students, staff and parents gathered at QPAC’s Concert Hall to recognise the achievements of students and enjoy stunning musical performances at the 126th Speech Night and Prize Giving Ceremony.
St Margaret’s Old Girl Dr Sally Magoffin (’14) gave an honest, humorous, and inspiring address, sharing the values instilled in her at school as a boarder that have carried her through her journey to becoming a surgeon.
“The lessons of perseverance, hard work and determination that I learned during my time at St Margaret’s helped me through these years, and I have often reflected on how grateful I am to have received the education that I did at St Margaret’s.
“It is not only the wonderful education that you receive at St Margaret’s that will help you through life, but it is also the values of courage, determination and a never say die attitude that will get you through,” Sally said.
Sally also highlighted the importance of enduring school friendships.
“Cherish the friendships that you’ve made here at St Margaret’s. These girls will be your sisters for years beyond school and you will share so many special memories throughout life together. Friends for life. Just one of the gifts you get from being a Maggies girl,” she said.
She concluded with these words of advice to the graduating 2023 cohort: “Remember that, in life, we are not defined by how we handle success, but rather, how we respond to our failures and move forward in difficult times.
“Even when the odds seem stacked against you, keep in mind that the only person who can really stop you from achieving what you want to achieve is you.
“Every single one of you sitting here tonight is intelligent, capable and a force to be reckoned with.
“You are the underdog, and even though the journey may not end up looking like what you had envisaged, if you are determined enough, you will reach your destination in the end.”
Principal Ms Curtis gave a thought-provoking address around the theme of authenticity and discernment in the era of Artificial Intelligence.
“More than any other generation, you need to be discerning.”
“The confidence required to navigate current and future society requires a strong values system and St Margaret’s school values embedded in the Christian faith of spirit, inclusivity, integrity, courage, respect and passion will support you as you navigate the future.
“I encourage you to seek, find and contribute to truth, good and all things about positive community. We should aspire to words and actions that support these goals, now more than ever.”
She concluded with these parting words to the Year 12s: “Your schooling has given you a very firm foundation for a values-led approach to life and to the use of AI. The rest now is up to you.
“If you learned your lessons well at school and achieved the school’s mission, you are the confident, compassionate and capable young women able to contribute to this new future just around the corner for all of us. And whether you like it or not, all that is good in society is depending on you and your generation. Best wishes to you all for a most discerning and authentic future.”
Staff awards went to Alina Layton, who received the Staff Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, while Fiona Spooner received the Staff Award for Service to the School Community.
Co School Captain Se Yeon Kim was awarded The Raymond Rees Award for Dux (internal) while Ha Phuong Nhu Le received the Proxime Accessit to the Dux (internal).
The Primary School Year 6 Dux was awarded to Agnes Fennessy and the Proxime Accessit to Primary School Year 6 Dux went to Grace Elliott.
Co Boarder Captain Hadassah Todd was awarded the prestigious Old Girls’ Prize and Lily Alford was awarded The Foundation Prize.
While the speeches and presentations gave an opportunity to reflect on the 2023 year, so too did the highlights video which captured many memories made throughout the year.
Speech Night was livestreamed and recorded and the complete video recording of the evening is available to view online here: Speech Night Live Stream - St Margaret's (stmargarets.qld.edu.au)
Congratulations to all students who received awards at the 2023 Speech Night.