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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the events of this year with the Covid-19 pandemic could not have been imagined six months ago, and the challenges brought upon the School and wider society have been truly significant.

It is easy to dwell on the impacts Covid-19 has had on the Saints community such as the cancellations of events and postponements of school milestones that many students often look forward to. Despite these challenges, I would like to highlight the impressive perseverance of the student body and the good nature with which they have adapted to change.

I now consider myself fortunate to have had an uninterrupted Year 12; and I can cast my mind back fondly on the milestones and significant events of the year that I enjoyed. To think that some of this year’s highlights and milestone events  may be missed by the Class of 2020 is an indescribable shame. The entire student body has adapted well to these challenges, especially the Year 12 cohort. Having such world events occur in a year where your primary focus is studying hard, only creates more challenges that need to be met. The Year 12 cohort has risen to the challenge faced by COVID-19 – in academics, activities and spirit – that should be greatly commended. With the postponements and cancellations of events including summer intercols, music celebrations and interstate trips (which are often highlights for Year 12s) or during the period of home learning, the entire student body never let the “why me?” mindset take shape, and have simply moved forward. There have been challenges, frustrations, doubts and confusion, but the ways in which the boys have emerged from these trials is remarkable and should be acknowledged.

It is also important to recognise the significant efforts of staff. In such short timeframes and under pressure, all staff went to extraordinary lengths to create effective home learning. The work by the ICT staff was especially significant. On such short notice and to cater for the entire School’s learning was a mammoth task, and is an excellent example of the lengths staff went to assist students across the School.

Moreover, the significant efforts and arrangements made by the Sports Department and the Senior Leadership Team to save events like the 2020 Head of the River and to make adjustments for winter intercols and the postponed summer intercols are also greatly appreciated by the boys who were able to have their efforts and time commitments rewarded. There are countless examples of adjustments and efforts made by the Saints community to ensure students have the best year possible despite the challenges, and I speak on behalf of the Saints boys when I thank the staff and community for all of your remarkable efforts and sacrifices during this historical period.

Oliver Cobain
School Vice Captain