LADS FEELING their oats tend to want flex with muscle cars, even if their L and P plates don’t permit it. But a few in the high school’s graduating class of 2018 started what looked like a counter-SS movement by arriving at their formal on mobility scooters.
In recent years, the town’s young and the glamorous have spread their wings by stepping off horses and out of helicopters, prime movers, hotrods and vintage cars. So the choice, by young men who have yet to gain their full driver’s licences, of electric conveyances designed for people who have been stripped of theirs, was a head spinner.
Three girls also stepped out of a boat, another couple turned up in a horse-drawn trap and Skye Burey rode a piebald horse, her sky blue gown stretching from its shoulders to its tail.
Deputy principal Vanessa Moller said the stunt was typical of the 33 graduates of 2018. “They’re a very eclectic crowd of young people who are predominantly very self-assured, which is lovely to see,” she said. “What impressed me was the girls looked fantastic. They dressed beautifully and elegantly, and none of the dresses were inappropriate. The boys were more creative with what they wore. Luke Dierk had a purple Joker suit, Reuben Vaggs was in a floral shirt.”
The crowd in the auditorium of the racecourse complex on 10 November numbered about 150. The theme was navy, gold and pastel pink. Leith Brennan did the catering. The main course was chicken schnitzel or steak, with brownie or cheesecake for dessert. The students had some input into seniors coordinator Lauren Butler’s playlist and the party wrapped up by 10pm.
The year 12s had completed the last of their exams on the Wednesday, with their last assessments due by Friday. A week later, Friday 16 November, they tossed hats in the air and drove slowly through the school grounds in convoy as teachers and students waved them off.
The deputy sobbed inconsolably. She said it was gratifying to see her charges evolve from awkward 15-year-olds in year 10 to confident seniors. All of them had worked out what they wanted to do after school, from apprenticeships and traineeships to university courses and the military. Seventeen sat the QCS test for university OP scores while 19 completed school-based traineeships, four of which converted to apprenticeships.
Only three graduates took on schoolies week at the Gold Coast. A group went camping near Rockhampton and another lot parachuted out of a plane. Some went straight to work to save money for university next year. Vanessa said school dux Blair Shearwin had an interview to study medicine at James Cook university in Townville.
Principal Matt Samson said at the school’s annual awards ceremony that the word nice was bandied around a lot at the formal to describe the year 12 class. He advised them to keep being nice to everyone, because they might end up being a boss, or a husband or wife.
“As you travel through life, people won’t necessarily remember what you said or did, but they will always remember the way you made them feel,” he said. “Make people feel welcome and appreciated, and I am sure they will remember you forever, and will feel that their lives are all the richer for having crossed paths with you.”
The 2019 school leaders were announced at the end of the awards presentation. Senior captains are Lucy Frousheger and Clarissa Taule’alo, vices Jennie Le and Ella Bartulis. Junior captains Nathyn Jackson and Clara Roche. Year 9 rep Oliver Rowland, year 8 Indie Everitt. Alamein house captains Harry Springall and Lucy Watts. Kokoda captains Catie Baker, Mackenzie Ross and Abby Percival. Tobruk captains Ryley Coble and Jordan Anderson.