Message From the Principal
Friday is the 20th anniversary of Cathy Freeman’s gold in the 400m Sydney Olympics in 2000. She won gold as the first Indigenous person to win an individual medal at the Olympics, and carried with her the hope of her people. This week we have had our Gold (Awards) Assembly, we have farewelled Year 12 and we have announced our new student leadership team for 2021, so it is fitting to look at “gold” and what it means.
What was so extraordinary about Cathy Freeman was that she didn’t win gold for herself. She ran for her people and for all Australians. When we think of Olympic Gold medals, individuals may run for their country but in reality they win it for themselves. Not for Cathy Freeman. In the recent documentary she spoke of feeling the lift her ancestors gave her – she knew no one else could possibly beat her. Equally, she felt the power and strength gained from the crowds in the stands.
And whilst it was an incredible ground-breaking moment, she captures something true for all medal-winners – individual medals are a myth. She won it because of her hard work and perseverance, but it was made possible by the love and support of family, the coaches who trained her, the training partners who helped hone her skills, the competitors who beat her and made her strive harder. “Talent” not enough.
And the same is true for our Year 12’s, for everyone who has won a gold award, or gained a leadership position. Yes, they have worked hard and have shown individual persistence, but they haven’t done it alone – and they couldn’t. Like Cathy Freeman who felt lifted by those cheering her on, each person has been cheered on, lifted up and supported. In the words of John Donne, we are not islands, rather a part of a continent, we rise and fall together. Our strength lies in our community that supports each other with courage, compassion and hope.
Our blessings and prayers go with our Year 12 for their final HSC preparations! We are cheering you on!