St Clare's High School leadership team deliver inspiring speeches in Taree

Proud Australians: St Clare's High School (from left) vice captain Rhys Hood, captain Macabe Grass, captain Ruby McIntosh and vice captain Jennifer Wesley.
Proud Australians: St Clare's High School (from left) vice captain Rhys Hood, captain Macabe Grass, captain Ruby McIntosh and vice captain Jennifer Wesley.

Ask Macabe Grass to talk about Australia and he cites “the sounds of Kookaburras calling in the summer breeze” as one of the things he would share with an overseas visitor.

The St Clare’s High School captain recently shared his thoughts about Australia in his Australia Day address, along with captain Ruby McIntosh and vice captains Rhys Hood and Jennifer Wesley.

Ask vice captain Jennifer Wesley to reflect on what it means to be an Australian and she recalls the moment she received her citizenship certificate. 

“I could now call myself an Australian, I could identify with this beautiful land and its glorious diversity … it was the welcoming by this community that made it so special, an acceptance.”

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The latest St Clare’s newsletter shares the speeches of the school’s 2018 leadership team and their words provide an insight into the views of young leaders in our community. Following is an edited extract of their speeches.

Macabe Grass (captain)

“If I was to share my thoughts about our country I would tell them about the sounds of Kookaburras calling in the summer breeze, rain on the hot tin roof, life savers on our golden sand, Sydney Cove, the Opera House, ferries on the harbour, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, the sounds of Cold Chisel and INXS playing in the background,” Macabe said.

...a community of people living in a place where the blue skies stretch out forever and where land and sea whisper to those who listen.

Macabe Grass

“I empathise with the words of Peter Garrett in that I think of us as a community of people living in a place where the blue skies stretch out forever and where land and sea whisper to those who listen. We are the lucky ones.

“My hope is that Australia Day can include both celebration and reflection.”

Ruby McIntosh (captain)

Ruby McIntosh sees Australia Day as “ultimately about acknowledging and celebrating the contribution that each and every one of us makes to our nation irrespective of our different nationalities.”

“The date, January 26 is a significant date in our history that has evolved to what is now a celebration of Australia, and the great diversity that our country brings. It is also a day for reflection, a day where we acknowledge the fact that, whilst it is a day where we celebrate all things great about Australia, it is also a day that brings much sorrow and mourning … it is a day where we reflect on just how lucky we are to call a place like this home.”

...it is a day where we reflect on just how lucky we are to call a place like this home.

Ruby McIntosh

Rhys Hood (vice captain)

Rhs Hood says “Australians dig deep, look to family, faith and mates to overcome the adversities life throws our way.”

“We should never forget those who were here before us, acknowledge those who are here now and welcome those who will come in the future.

... the Australian persona is one of great mateship, comradeship and a will to never give up.

Rhys Hood

“The country also brings a great demeanour of being ‘Australian’. Whether we would look to the past, our involvement in the world wars, or the present, with new sporting stars such as Alex De Minaur - the Australian persona is one of great mateship, comradeship and a will to never give up.”

Jennifer Wesley (vice captain)

Jennifer Wesley reflected on her decision to become an Australian citizen.

“When I was born, my parents never imagined becoming Australians. But with the passage of time, they looked for a place where we could all be happy and safe. They realised Australia could provide that. This special day reminds me of when I became an Australian citizen not too long ago.

.....and now when people ask me where I come from I proudly say Australia.

Jennifer Wesley

“It was the welcoming by this community that made it so special, an acceptance. Receiving my citizenship certificate, some might say is small but to me it symbolised much more. I could now call myself an Australian. I could identify with this beautiful land and its glorious diversity, and now when people ask me where I come from I proudly say Australia.”