‘Blunited’ – the unity of Strathcona Girls

The following speech was delivered by Raffaela Skourletos, School Captain 2017, at Strathcona’s Leaders’ Induction Assembly

Girls, take a look around you. Look at the girls sitting either side of you, in front of you, behind you. Say hi, give them a wave. Now take a look at what you’re wearing, and what they’re wearing. Notice anything similar? Anything the same? Anything, uniform, you might say? I hope you do now because that was a dead giveaway – our school uniforms, of course.

These clothes we wear every day to school are not a symbol of uniformity – despite what the name suggests – they are a symbol of unity. We are all here for the same reasons. We are here to learn, to strive and to grow, we’re here to play sport, to paint, to act, to write, to discuss, to think. We are all here to thrive together.

This is what is fundamental about our school. Our unity. The feeling as though you belong. It’s that simple, humbling experience of getting to your school locker in the morning or walking into your first class and seeing all these girls around you who are actually all your friends, in the most basic sense of the word. Because maybe they’re not in your group or you don’t see them all on the weekends, but you share something powerful – and that is a purpose. This shared purpose is essentially, to get the most out of our schooling experience as we can. This includes everything from learning a language to joining the softball team to raising money from your class stall. And when you see your shared goals coming to fruition, like when you all nail a dance in house dance/drama or you all make Ms Nagy proud with your alto singing in Combined Choirs – you get that warm, fuzzy feeling of pride and joy that you can just sense everyone else is feeling too.

The feats that we will pull off together this year will be a reflection of our unity. We’ll be interacting far more between the year levels, collaborating and working together to reach successes. But this will start with the little things; you have to stick by each other, help each other out if you’re stuck on a question in class, cheer for each other at house competitions, show each other that you care. Soon, you’ll come to realise, when you’re at the ripe old age of 17 and starting year 12, how much these girls mean to you and how much of an influence they have actually had on your life.

So, my message to you all this year, is while we must aim to reach the full extent our 0.06% – we can’t forget the rest. We are all Strathy girls and we always will be. This uniform speaks of our unity and I can tell you on behalf of all of your leaders this year that we are all beyond proud to wear it alongside you.

I’d like to summarise my words with something we came up with earlier that I think everyone can use in their daily life: #blunited.

Pictured above L-R: Clare Duyker, Deputy School Captain, Raffaela Skourletos, School Captain, and Harriet Grimsey, Deputy School Captain, 2017.