Year 12 student Holly Marchant has been a St Margaret’s girl for more than half her life having started in Prep when she was aged five.
Little did anyone know the small girl with bouncing pigtails and some nerves on her first day of Prep was about to embark on a journey that would see her find her passions, realise her strengths and become an outstanding role model for her peers stepping into the role of school leader not once but twice.
“For the past twelve years, I have been a proud and passionate Maggies girl and I feel so grateful and honoured to have been named both primary and secondary school captains during my time at the school.
“St Margaret’s has played a very important role in shaping me into the person I am today and I am so excited to be able to serve the school this year as a leader,” Holly said.
Fondly reminiscing about her first days in Prep, Holly recalls the Year 5 buddies who would play games with her, read picture books to her and show her how to use a computer. “I am still friends with my buddy today who is now in university,” she said.
Holly says the friendships she has made at school are lifelong connections. “The girl that I sat next to on the first day of Prep remains one of my closest friends today. I have literally grown up with many of my friends which is not something I take for granted. I have built friendships with girls in my year level and other year levels who are from vastly different backgrounds including day students that are local girls and boarders from all over Australia and the globe. I know these girls will be lifelong sisters of mine.
“My favourite thing about St Margaret’s has always been the inclusive and supportive community. Throughout my time here, I have been inspired by the way that every girl encourages each other, lifting each other up to help everyone be at their best. I am so grateful for our sisterhood at St Margaret’s and the lifelong friendships that I have made with girls across the school,” Holly said.
After 12 years at the school, Holly says starting at St Margaret’s in Prep has helped make her education journey smooth because of St Margaret’s measured transition programs. “Transitions within the school have always been made easy whether through Orientation Days to help with moving into Year 7 or opportunities to make friends and have ‘big sisters’ in other cohorts who I could always rely on for advice. I have always felt supported by both my teachers and peers.
From very early on, Holly discovered her passion for music. In Year 3 she had the opportunity to learn a string instrument and she later became a member of the school’s extracurricular bands and choirs. In her secondary years she has played several instruments across four bands and has performed in three school musicals.
“Through extracurricular music, I have learnt the dedication and motivation it takes to learn an instrument and the commitment required to be a part of an ensemble. These are lessons that I can translate into all aspects of my life from sporting teams to academics, and will take with me into life after school. I have also enjoyed the rewarding experience of mentoring younger students to persevere with their music goals through the music department’s mentoring program,” Holly said.
Through her involvement in the music program, Holly also had the opportunity to broaden her global outlook as part of the International Music Tour to Europe. “We travelled to Prague, Vienna and Salzburg where we had some incredible performance opportunities and were able to meet young musicians from all around the world. On this trip I developed my independence adaptability. I am so grateful to have had this once in a lifetime global learning opportunity.”
St Margaret’s has a strong culture of philanthropy which aims to inspire students to begin a lifelong commitment to giving. Holly has been a member of the school’s Toc H group since she was in Year 7, giving back to the community through various activities such as food, toiletry and toy drives for those in need and visiting elderly residents in retirement homes.
Embarking on her final year at St Margaret’s, Holly is ready to embrace her new leadership role, following in the footsteps of those she has looked up to for the past 12 years. “Attending St Margaret’s since Prep has meant I have always had strong role models to look up to and aspire to be like. To me, being a leader means being someone who motivates, supports and inspires others and that is what I hope to achieve as school captain next year.”
Looking to the future, Holly aspires to study medicine when she leaves school and hopes to combine her passion for caring for and working with children by specialising in either paediatrics or obstetrics.
"As I enter my final year at St Margaret's, it is definitely a bittersweet feeling. Thinking about graduating and beginning my journey after leaving school is so exciting. I can only imagine the feeling of accomplishment that my cohort will feel as we sit our last exams or attend our last Speech Night. But on the other hand, I have grown up at St Margaret's and it is hard to imagine life without seeing my friends and teachers every day. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been provided over the past 12 years and so, walking out of the school gates and taking off my panama for the last time, will definitely be a sad moment for me," Holly said.