Wednesday, 06 December 2023
Balaklava High School Presentation Night
My husband Rod and I are delighted to be with you for the Balaklava High School Presentation Night.
It is good to visit Balaklava and the Mid North again, and to be at your school for the first time. Thank you for your warm welcome.
Congratulations everyone on your achievements! You’ve studied hard and overcome any hurdles on the way.
To the Year 12s, I wish you all the best for the next stage of your life.
To those who will be continuing High School next year, I wish you well for your studies, you have already shown great aptitude.
And you have all accomplished something that your parents and grandparents didn’t: you’ve studied at High School during a global pandemic.
While there were many challenges during that time, you have shown flexibility, resilience, and patience - qualities which will stand you in good stead many times wherever your life takes you.
When I finished High School in Adelaide I looked forward to the future with some optimism, but also with a degree of trepidation wondering what it would bring in the long term.
I didn’t have a firm roadmap. I knew I wanted to go to University and began studying economics and law. I soon decided law wasn’t for me.
After graduating, I went to Canberra to join the Department of Foreign Affairs, and this led me to a long career as a diplomat representing Australia all over the world.
Now I have the honour to be Governor of South Australia. When I was at school, I never dreamed this could be possible, and it wasn’t on my radar.
I share this with you because hopes and dreams change, there are many twists in the road. Yet being open to opportunities and gaining wide experience can lead to many possibilities.
Today, be very proud of what you have accomplished. Many people have supported you and wanted you to do well - your parents, fellow students, friends, teachers and principal – because they all care about you.
But there are others who you might not know who also care about your success, and as your Governor, I count myself among them.
I congratulate the school staff and leaders for developing a strong sense of community amongst such a diverse student body. There is strength in experiencing other cultures and differing points of view.
I know many of you took the bus each day to come to school, taking up a big part of your day, but I trust it was a good time to meet up with friends and catch up on reading or putting the final touches to homework, if at times for those living the furthest away, it was a little tiring.
For the Year 12s, there are many possibilities before you. You may take a gap year, enter the workforce, go on to further study, take on a trade, work on the land.
This is a great time to be taking that next step.
South Australia is well placed to provide jobs which play to our strengths - defence industries, cyber and space technologies, agriculture, renewables, medical research, the arts, sport. The possibilities are almost endless.
One of the joys of being Governor is to travel throughout the State and meet many people and visit many schools.
At my most recent school visit, I was asked if I was an optimist or a pessimist. I immediately answered that I was absolutely an optimist and went on to point out all the good things that were happening in South Australia; those that I touched on earlier.
But I missed an opportunity in answering that question that day, and I will rectify that now.
If I have one message to young people, it is that the future is what you make it.
You have the opportunity to shape your future, whether that’s in your own way as an individual, or potentially to join with others to tackle the big issues that you care about.
The potential is within you all.
In saying that, I hope that throughout life that you will always uphold the values of Balaklava High: positive relationships, respect, integrity, dedication, and excellence.
Those values will stand you in good stead for the future.
Again congratulations. I wish everyone an enjoyable Christmas Break and a wonderful 2024.