Monday, 20 February 2023

Temple Christian College Chapel Service

It’s my great pleasure to join the Temple community this morning, as you celebrate 40 years of Temple Christian College in 2023.

The rate at which your school has grown, from 33 students in its first year to more than 1000 students over 3 campuses today, speaks to the value that South Australian parents see in the education and community offered here at Temple.

Today is the first time I have visited one of the Temple campuses, and I’d like to share a little of my personal story and what I have learned as a result, in the hope this may be useful to students.

During my term so far it’s been a pleasure to visit a wide range of South Australian schools across the state, independent and Catholic systems, in both the city and country areas.

I plan to visit many more in the future, not only to talk about the role of the Governor and our system of government, but to encourage students to feel empowered and to take action as informed citizens.

Recently I have attended a number of school assemblies celebrating the achievements of last year’s Year 12s, and I congratulate Temple graduates on a 100 percent completion rate for their SACE in 2022.

This speaks to the hard work and dedication of every single graduate, as well as their teachers and parents.

While our community often focuses on students’ academic achievement, especially at this time of year, we know that your growth as a person, your contribution to your community, and the care and respect you have for others are important parts of a bigger picture.

I am aware that an understanding of the value of service and of the needs of those less fortunate in society burns bright in your school and others like it.

Through that understanding, you will help build a stronger community as you travel through life, wherever that takes you.

When I first left school, I thought I had my future mapped out, if only in pencil. I certainly didn’t think I would one day become Governor of South Australia.

After High School, I thought Law would be a good thing to do but settled on Economics at the University of Adelaide.

This led me to a career after graduation in foreign affairs, eventually becoming the first female Australian Ambassador to China and subsequently the first female head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

None of this was on my radar when I was young.

I share this with you to show that no-one knows exactly where their life’s journey will take them. Hopes and dreams change. Our Christian faith can be tested. The journey has many twists and the road can sometimes make an unexpected turn.

During my career, I have learned that the achievement of goals is not the sole measure of success.

It’s also about how you deal with the obstacles you encounter, how you draw on your resilience and resourcefulness to overcome them, and how you learn from that experience.

Over time, this will develop your character, as well as give you an inner sense of strength and confidence to set goals for yourself.

However, at all stages in my life, I have discovered the new prospects that saying “Yes”, when presented with opportunities, can bring.

Saying “Yes” to the subject choice or job that you hadn’t really thought about but which will nevertheless bring valuable experience.

Saying “Yes” to volunteering opportunities that enable you to give back to your community and be engaged citizens. It’s a great feeling.

Saying “Yes” to sharing ideas and considering the opinions of others; to spending time with people who are different to you, and hold different beliefs and values, to challenge your own thinking and perspectives on the world.

At all times I would encourage you all to think creatively, be innovative and engage with your community as active citizens.

Last week I welcomed students from a range of schools to Government House for a presentation of the 2022 Governor’s Civics Awards, which encourage students to develop awareness and skills as active and informed citizens, in a multicultural and democratic society.

Preparing entries for the Governor’s Civics Awards teaches students about the privileges and responsibilities we have as Australian citizens, and how to put this into practice in their lives.

If teachers are not familiar with the awards, I encourage you to go online or to search out the information the Department for Education is currently distributing to all schools for the 2023 awards.

Mr Rijken, thank you once again for inviting me to spend time with you all this morning.

Students, I wish you the very best as you continue your schooling, and as you move out into the world.

May you all pursue your highest potential, and in doing so, contribute as active, compassionate citizens to the success of our community.

Coming events