Grade 6 Graduating Speech 2020

Wuman Ninje everyone, meaning hello and welcome in the Gunaikurnai language.

Good evening staff, students, parents and families, both present here with us tonight, or viewing from home.

Tonight we are speaking on behalf of all of the 2020 Bairnsdale West Grade 6 Graduates.

Although 2020 has been been a long, challenging and unique year, we never gave up on experiencing success and seeing our friends back at school.

The troubles we have all faced have been intense. From the devastating bush fires, to having to live and learn from home, to help us all live through a pandemic.

Even though times were hard, our teachers and families tried their best to make our final year of primary school special.

We are here to celebrate not just our final year, but also our group’s journey through Primary school, our experiences at Bairnsdale West together with our friends, family and staff members.

The beginning of our final year of Primary school was fun and enjoyable, until COVID-19 impacted us hard.

Before we could put one foot on the bus and head off on our Grade 6 camp we instead unpacked our bags and headed home for what felt like forever.

Our new lessons arrived in the form of packs and folders full of worksheets from our teachers and aides but the learning from home experience was different for all of us.

Many of us felt like it was hard, or challenging, boring and were not in a routine. While others had fun with extra time to relax, spending time with family, going on walks more often, getting our work done, having the opportunity to do WebEx chats and do things like cooking, drawing, singing and dancing.

We didn’t see any of our friends, other than through a screen, plus many of us had to spend a lot more time with our siblings, well that is a story for another time.

Our Graduating group this year is a diverse one, with many different interests, talents and abilities to share with others and learn about.

We thought it would interest you to know that of the 47 graduating students tonight, only 14 of us began here as at BWPS as cute little preppies, like me.

About half of us have transferred from local schools, and others seeking a bit of a tree change or to be closer to family, and others have moved from Melbourne or interstate.

However, no matter how long we’ve been here, during our time at Bairnsdale West we have been offered many opportunities at this great school. Some of those opportunities have included making new friends, going on cool excursions, competing against other schools in sports, participating in Extension programs, being members of the Student Leadership team, taking part in our great Instrumental program, working very hard to complete our Rotary award, going on excellent camps and many more.

When our Grade 6’s were asked “What are your favourite things at West?” The most popular responses have been:

Our friends and how wonderful they are, other responses included the opportunities we have been given, how staff and the school have helped us to be better and of course how happy and safe our school environment is.

On behalf of the group we would like to say a big thanks to all of the teachers and staff that have helped us along the way, no matter how big or small.

We are very grateful for those that have worked hard to make sure we still got to go on our final camp to Coolamatong recently.

We were also thankful for everyone’s efforts in making tonight happen, and allowing us to celebrate this special occasion with our family and share the night with important people in our lives.

We’re proud of ourselves and the memories we have left behind and we look forward to exciting times in the future. For all we have lost this year we can be assured that we can work well with others to face any challenge that may come our way.

Thank you - Grade 6 Students