Bellarine Campus Twenty Year Anniversary
On the last Sunday of last term the Bellarine Campus celebrated its twentieth year anniversary. It was a marvellous day and our 2016 College Captain Katie Rowe’s speech was a highlight. I felt that this speech gave us so much of what Bellarine has been and continues to be in the lives of so many.
I thank Katie for allowing me to include her speech.
It’s an amazing thing, an astounding thing, when geographically I’m pretty far away from this campus, yet, spiritually and emotionally I feel as connected as ever to Bellarine. I do believe this can be attributed to the fact that during my time at Christian College Geelong I have spent a lot of time at the Bellarine campus, on my way to the Bellarine campus, or just talking about my memories of the Bellarine campus. I still feel like, despite the distance, I am still present at this campus.
Our culture is riddled with examples of humans wishing to challenge, control or change time. And whether it is in times of celebration or in times of difficulty, it important to stop, take a moment and reflect on the present, the now. So for this opportunity to speak I am truly grateful, and it is a joy to be a part of today’s event.
It is always a good feeling to belong to something which has a sense of history. Celebrating and reflecting on 20 years today, it gives us a sense a belonging and being part of such a rich community. Throughout my duration at this campus and beyond, I have seen wonderful growth. Despite the trepidations and fears that we may associate with change and alteration, these transformations as we move forward into a changing world, are quite a beautiful and poignant thing.
I remember my childish excitement in my young Year 5 days, when it was announced that there was a plan, just a plan, for this spectacular venue in which we are seated today. I have memories of changes in staff, new members coming in, and old ones leaving. I remember my excitement this year when, becoming aware of the leadership changes at the campus, my homeroom teacher, Mr. Watson becoming the new Head of Campus, my Year 9 Mathematics teacher, Mr. Tony Costa, becoming the Head of Middle School and my old Head of Campus Mr. Scott Elliss stepping up to become the Vice Principal of the College. However, despite these changes, whether it be in leadership, infrastructure, and staff, there is one constant that has not changed, and I honestly believe it never will and that is the Bellarine campus understands the importance of education in making “a real difference” to lives, a “learning that matters.” The Bellarine Campus is, and will continue to be about supportive and close-knit environment that nurtures the Christian faith and produces the best kinds of people. I see it here today as I look out into this auditorium. Past students, current students, past teachers, current teachers, parents and members of the College, we are all here for the same reason. Because we believe in this school, it’s Christian ethos and core values.
When I look back on who I am today, I see how a lot of who I am has been influenced by this campus. I am a Christian because of the Christian education I received from people such as Mr. Gary Crole and Miss Kristi Van Es. I believe in equality of all people because I learnt from determined and passionate Humanities teachers. I am (hopefully) a leader, because of the remarkable team that led me in my first introduction to leadership. I pray that this school can influence the 465 students who currently attend this campus to become deep thinkers, global citizens and people who are willing to contribute to the life of the College and the wider community.
In my role as College Captain this year, there have certainly been times of uncertainty, doubt and fear, but it is in these unpredictable and challenging times that I call upon the things that I learnt here, at Bellarine. I learnt that it takes a whole village to do something; I cannot do everything, and that I will always need the support of others in my endeavours. It is an incredibly reassuring feeling to know that when times get tough, as they do, that not only do I have the support of Senior School, but I will always have the support from Bellarine. A steadfast and strong support this is ever-lasting and something that I am eternally grateful for.
For many, school can become tiring and a struggle, but at Bellarine, despite the occasional adversities, it was an honour, privilege and, ultimately, a joy to walk through those gates every morning, knowing that I was being given an opportunity that millions worldwide can only dream of; an education that is truly worth having.
We are Christian College for a reason, we desire to build a strong Christian foundation into the lives of others, and it is with no hesitation that I say that this campus has been successful in doing so. I will always cherish my time here and I take great pride when telling people I am a graduate of the Bellarine Campus, because I am proud of where this campus has come from, it’s humble beginnings, to where it is now, and where it is heading in the exciting future.
Graeme Dent,Head of Senior School