Principal News – Week 4

Mrs Mary Anne Evans

As Term 4 steadily progresses, the Junior Examination period is upon us. The girls know what they must do and are the masters of their destiny. If any of the girls find they need some inspiration they need look no further than to our three students – Anna Campbell, Claudia Neate and Lucy Redden who admirably completed the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic in 16 hours.

The 111km fun paddle has a serious purpose with each year up to 600 participants paddling overnight to raise money for the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation. This foundation gives hope to people suffering from diseases treatable by bone marrow and adult stem cell transplants. Congratulations to the three girls on such an inspiring effort of service for others.

Another source of inspiration came from our new Head Girl, Emily Barton, who at last week’s Assembly addressed the student body with her “Journey That Makes Us” speech. It was testament to the character, strength and diligence of Emily and it clearly defines why she was elected to this role. I have attached this for an insight into the character of our new leader of NEGS.

 

“My journey may not be all that different to many of yours, growing up on a property west of Collarenebri, in north western NSW. Growing up I was surrounded by all kinds of pets with the usual poddy lambs and poddy calves but I would occasionally find myself with the odd goat or joey. My parents, like many families in the district are fourth generation farmers, running cattle, sheep and cropping.

Growing up on a farm, my weekends and school holidays were never dull. Mum and Dad always kept us busy, instilling the value of having a strong work ethic from a very young age. A normal day would usually involve a very early start, something I seem to be struggling with more as I get older , and we wouldn’t stop until the sun was down. Depending on what was happening, we could be doing anything from mustering sheep, cattle or goats to fencing, which was particularly painful during summer.

When it came time for my older brother to go to school, my parents had few options but decided to enrol us in Distance Education, otherwise known as School of the Air. Jack was like many young boys, much more interested in what was happening beyond the classroom, than tackling his look-cover-write-check. It seems my enthusiasm to learn started before I even reached school, as I would gladly help, and in many cases do Jack’s school work for him. This only happened for a few weeks before Mum promptly put an end to it. I thoroughly enjoyed my primary school years as Distance Ed provided me with a certain aspect of freedom, teaching me the value of independence and maturity.

Starting my high school years at PLC in Year 7 was a major step for me. Becoming a boarder was the first time I had really left home, so I know first hand how challenging it can be to leave family and friends – putting yourself out of your comfort zone. I initially struggled to settle into the normal routines of both boarding and the everyday school timetable, suffering from terrible homesickness. For those girls who may be able to relate, I would just like to say that it does get easier and I can guarantee you will make friends for life.

As my family were faced with the worst drought on record, I realised the importance of resilience, but more importantly the value of being supportive whilst having the strength of character to be able to persist through challenging times. As we continued to miss out on the rain, receiving less than 15 inches in 4 years, my family made the decision to take our remaining cattle on the road. As we had over a 1000 head of cattle, my parents enrolled my brother and I in the Dubbo School of Distance Education and it became a family affair. Whilst it was exciting at first, droving didn’t come without its challenges. The monotonous nature of the work combined with the early starts and late nights, trying to complete school work after the sun went down, building upon my diligent nature.

After 6 months on the road, we were forced to sell the majority of our stock as the feed on the road was fast running out. This engrained the importance of having a strong work ethic and as we overcame obstacles together, we became closer as a family.

In Year 9 I moved to NEGS where I have gone from strength to strength, both academically and in extra curricular activities. NEGS has allowed me to pursue my passions and has provided a relaxed and nurturing learning environment in which I have been able to succeed. I have been a committed member of the Livestock Team and have been privileged to represent NEGS on various occasions at both local and prestigious shows like Sydney and Brisbane Royal Shows. I have also represented NEGS in various sports, including hockey, athletics and rugby. The relaxed and warm atmosphere in which we are able to achieve both our academic and extra curricular goals, whether it be sport or equestrian is second to none.

I am truly privileged and grateful to have had the past 3 years at NEGS where I have undoubtedly made friends for life, and made many memories that I will forever treasure. As my time at NEGS is coming to an end, I can happily look back and say that I’m a better person for my time here and will be forever grateful. NEGS has played a significant role in shaping the person I am today and the lessons I have learnt during my time at NEGS will have a lasting impact. I can honestly say I’m proud to be a NEGS girl and look forward to my final year, in which I hope to leave behind a legacy we can all be proud of.  Thank you.”