Maintaining and observing any tradition is important, however, when that particular tradition happens to be an annual event that includes two groups of young achievers, both of whom have reached a critical and significant time in their lives, then it is of the utmost importance that the tradition is not cancelled.

So, in true Ormiston College spirit, it was decided that the annual Speech Night would go ahead, even if it was under unusual circumstances and with less slightly ceremony than was the norm. It was important that our Year 6 students were acknowledged for having completed their Junior School studies and were ready to take their next step by entering Secondary School.It was of very great importance that, after thirteen years of schooling, our Year 12 students were seen as young adult graduates who had achieved outstanding goals and were now moving on to life beyond the classroom.

On Thursday 15 October, the Somerset Sports Centre was transported to new heights. Instead of the usual venue at The Chandler Sports Complex, which has hosted the Ormiston College Speech Night each year since its inauguration in 1994, Ormiston College became the host.

Government restrictions needed to be adhered to: families were limited to the absolute minimum, only a small number of staff were allowed to attend, people had to sit in designated seats and the venue was much smaller. Nevertheless, the magic of Speech Night was present, and the overwhelming feeling and acceptance of achievement was experienced by Junior and Senior graduates and the many, many prize winners.

The evening commenced with relaxing entertainment from our Big Band, prior to the audience standing for the entry of the Official Party, which was accompanied by the Wind Symphony. We then sang Advance Australia Fair together. The Chorale presented a piece, leading into a very warm welcome from our Guest speaker, the Redlands City Deputy Mayor, Councillor Julie Talty. After another performance from the Chorale, the Headmaster, Mr Brett Webster, presented his address.

The official prize giving commenced with our youngest students receiving their academic prizes, moving from Junior School to Middle School and then on to Senior School. This was followed by a much-loved highlight, the annual Year in Review video. Whilst this year has been one of change, uncertainty and much difficulty, the Ormiston College 2020 video displayed outstanding school spirit, fun, laughter, smiles, frivolity, friendship and great team spirit from both staff and students.

The evening then saw the Year 6 and Year 12 Graduates come together to be presented to the audience. Whilst it has always been our tradition for those students to shake hands, this year families witnessed what has now become the accepted ‘elbow touch’. A wonderful moment when both groups came together in recognition of the achievement of two different age groups.

The Symphony Strings then entertained, prior to the Special Awards being presented to both Junior and Secondary students, along with Debating, the Sports Colours and the Duke of Edinburgh Silver and Gold Awards. Our 2020 College Captains, Paul Bletchly and Lauren Sullivan then took the floor for one of their last addresses as Captains of the College. This was followed by a speech from the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Tony Williams. The crowd stood for the School Prayer and the recessional, which was played by the Vibrato Guitar Ensemble.

It was an unusual Speech Night in so many ways, but it was a very successful event. More importantly, it was in keeping with the wonderful tradition of Ormiston College. Our 26th Speech Night was one that will be remembered fondly by those Year 6 and Year 12 students and their family members.

We wish the very best to both groups of graduates, those entering Middle School and those entering life as a young adult. We want you to know we are very proud of your achievements. As for Speech Night, it was a wonderful success, due to two very important factors, one – it was an Ormiston College tradition, and two – it consisted of members of the Ormiston College community.

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