The Class of 2016 might have begun their schooling in the Preschool classes of some fine institutions but 24 of them started here at Somerset. Thirteen years ago, when they were enjoying their first year at school, I was Principal of Whitsunday Anglican School, Mackay.
- Qantas launched its discount domestic airline, Jetstar.
- Liberal candidate Campbell Newman becomes Lord Mayor of Brisbane, thus ending 13 years of Labor government in Brisbane.
- Mary Donaldson of Tasmania married Frederick, Crown Prince of Denmark in Copenhagen to become Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
- Australian Jennifer Hawkins won the Miss Universe contest.
- Casey Donovan won the second series of Australian Idol defeating favourite, Anthony Callea
- Australian captain Steve Waugh retired from Test cricket.
- At the Olympic Games in Athens, Somerset Alumnus, Sara Carrigan won the Road Race, our first (but not last!) Gold Medallist.
- Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup for the second consecutive year.
- TV sitcom Friends had its final season in the US.
- The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
- The Boston Red Sox win the World Series in baseball for the first time since 1918. (Of course, the Cubs just ended Baseball’s longest drought!)
- President George Bush beats Democratic challenger John Kerry to gain a second term of office
- Facebook was launched as a social networking site only open to students from Harvard in February by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow students.
- The strongest earthquake in 40 years originated from the Indian Ocean close to Indonesia, measuring 9.3 on the Richter Scale. At least 290,000 people were confirmed to have died from South Asia to as far as South Africa.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the academy award for Best Picture.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor of California
- Saddam Hussein is captured by US forces
- Apple launched iTunes which becames a major success selling 10 million songs within four months of launch.
- JK Rowling's fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was released
- Australia hosted the Rugby World Cup with Australia being defeated in the final by England after a last minute field goal from Jonny Wilkinson in extra time (that still hurts!).
Along the way, the originals were joined by others; between one to four in Years 1 to 5 with larger groups of 22 in Year 6, 21 in Year 7, 26 in Year 8, 5 in Year 9 and 8 in Year 10, and 9 in Year 11.
Thirteen years on, it has been a delight to work with them, these past eight years. I am so very proud of their achievements, their medals and certificates, badges and ribbons, the paraphernalia of College life. I have laughed with them, at them, cried with them, marvelled at their spirit, their care for each other, their skill and their love of life. And I have loved every minute of their time.
It occurred to me, as we moved through the last semester, that it would be the last time I would see them perform on our various stages (theatre, music, debating, mooting, Rugby, Netball, Volleyball, swimming, the list goes on) study, laugh, worry and play. I am very blessed to have witnessed these things.
So, after many days with me, over 4,000 in total at school, there remains many memories to cherish as they move on to the next phase of their lives!
You have done a great job, Class of 2016.
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