Wednesday, 06 December 2023

Cabra Dominican College Celebrates

I am delighted to be with you as Cabra celebrates. Thank you for the warm welcome.

The end of the school year is a wonderful time to not only celebrate achievement, but also to take a look over the horizon and consider what is to come.

Well done on all your hard work this year, and congratulations to those receiving awards.

I was pleased to meet Cabra student leaders at Government House in October for the School Captain’s Reception.

And it’s good to be able to come to you on this special day.

Your school has a long and rich history, stretching back to 1886; a history of which you can be proud.

The founders, the Dominican Sisters had a passion to honour academic learning, but also to provide an environment for personal growth. That commitment has endured through to today.

Knowing I would be attending several school end-of-year celebrations, I spent some time recently re-reading a diary I kept in Years 11 and 12.

Of course, I can now the words I wrote 45 years ago from a different perspective. One where greater life experience has shaped my thoughts within a setting of different times.

My love of sport leapt out from the pages and in many ways the skills I learned through sport: teamwork, determination and overcoming setbacks helped shape my career as a diplomat.

Also in my diary I recorded test, essay and results. They loomed large then, but it is perhaps no surprise that they had been all but forgotten.

What stands out for me now is something many of you will be familiar with also – the dedication of my teachers, the support of my parents, and the practising of my Christian faith.

But there was something else there too; lots of snippets about friends, what we had done together, and how much we enjoyed each other’s company.

On those pages were stories about the volunteering work we had undertaken and the satisfaction we got from helping others, the sports we enjoyed and how we had contributed to their organisation.

These stories were testament to how education is as much about life as it is about academic learning – and I know that is a foundation of your learning at Cabra.

In hindsight too, through those diaries, I can look back with more mature eyes and realise that perhaps not all my fellow students had as enjoyable a time at school as I did.

If I have one regret, it would be to have not recognised that at the time. I am sure we could all have done more to check in on each other, be available for each other, and help make everyone feel they belonged.

And that’s a key to your theme this year of “Grounded in Good.” Recognising the good around you and working towards being your best selves and supporting others.

This can be sought and achieved not only on in personal relationships but through social and community structures.

As you return to school next year, I encourage you to be kind to each other and work at maintaining and broadening your friendships and your community engagement.

I was delighted to note that Cabra embraced the Debating SA competition in 2022 and the Governor’s Civic Awards this year and last year. (2022 awardee Giordan Kovacevic in the individual Year 10 Category who will be one of the 2024 college captains)

I hope that through these awards young people can learn more of our rich history and how they can contribute to our community as engaged citizens.

Because you are the leaders of tomorrow. The future is what you make it.

Whether that’s in your own individual way, or by joining with others to tackle the big issues you care about.

Because it is within you to be what you want to be.


I thank the teachers and support staff for their efforts during the year in nurturing well-rounded citizens of the future.

You’ve celebrated many milestones this year such as the opening of the Angelico Centre, the college musical and the Japanese Sister School visit.

I’m disappointed I missed the social justice initiative where your principal abseiled down the Intercontinental Hotel, although I might have been able to spot her from Government House had I known!

As the end of the school year nears, I wish everyone an enjoyable Christmas holiday ahead of a great 2024 school year.

Then, as now, may you always be “Grounded in Good.”

Coming events