As we hurtle towards Christmas at a dazzling pace, it can be hard to find the time to step back and reflect at what we’ve achieved. At TGA, we’re thrilled to have been able to seize the opportunity to be part of a range of school and community events over the past few months, and have been able to support the great work that is happening in our community, as well as our students and alumni.
In October, we had the privilege of giving out our signature Care Packages to the Year 12s – in person this time! It was wonderful to be able to meet them all face to face, to share with them how proud we are of what they’ve achieved over the past few years, the challenges they’ve overcome with tenacity, perseverance, and care for each other, and to wish them well for their final exams.
A special shout out goes to alumna Stephanie Deveson (YG2008), Owner of Willow & Jackson in Healesville, for the delicious and heartfelt handmade cookies in each care packages with a personal message to remind the Year 12s that ‘You’ve got this!’.
Having not attended a Celebration Evening for over a decade, it was a humbling moment to be welcomed back to share this special evening watching the whole school come together; and to join in the unveiling of the new school song. It was a delight to cheer on the achievements of the students – from years 7 through to school leavers – and hear their reflections on the year that was. As always, watching the Year 12s take their final steps proceeding out of Robert Blackwood Hall and towards wherever their future path might lead them was a symbolic and poignant moment, reminding me of taking those same steps years ago.
The Year 12 Valedictory dinner was a wonderful finish to the school year, and a privilege to share the spirit of celebration, reflection, and coming together for one last time as students with the company and support of their families. Looking out at the class of 2022, expressing congratulations for this tremendous achievement, we can’t wait to see where they go next, and extend our support as a place they can always come back to for guidance and support in the years ahead.
Before we know it, we’re 10, 20, 30, 50 years out of school… it was great to join the Year Groups of 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992 and 2002 on Saturday 5 November for the Reunion Festival. To see the joy of people reconnecting after years and their shock at how the school grounds have transformed over time was lovely to witness, and brought home what it means to be a part of the Tintern community. No matter where you go, it will always be a part of you, and despite graduating years apart I found a palpable sense of connection to every person I talked to – whether through shared interests or common values, a gratitude for the opportunities that opened doors later in life, a sense of being ‘down to earth’, and a genuine curiosity for, and positive attitude to life.
It would seem that this holds true even for the more recently graduated alumni, some of whom I had the pleasure of interviewing as part of a panel discussion for the Year 12 Conference, on 29 November. Joined by Ashleigh Dowling (YG2020), Angus Maynard (YG2017), Lachie O’Reilly (YG2019) and Alexandra Wakeley (YG2012), we shared our insights with the incoming class of 2023 on what skills and habits would help set them up for success in Year 12, where the alumni were up to now and the paths they have taken, some of the challenges and forks in the road they didn’t expect, and the importance of networking and building connections with others.
Although you might not realise it at school or even until years after, the shared values that are instilled through this formative time stay with you throughout your life and career, and can offer a door to opportunities and directions you never thought you might take. The importance of interpersonal skills, taking initiative, putting yourself out there and following your passions were all consistently evident in the stories the alumni shared. After the panel, the students were able to test some of their networking skills with the panellists, which was a great opportunity not only for us to answer their questions, but to get to know the next generation of students, and to help them form a connection with their alumni community that will be there to help guide and support them beyond school.
In all, this year has been challenging and rewarding as we focus on our direction and priorities as an organisation, and begin to develop and build our presence in the community. The TGA Committee can’t wait to share with you what we have in store for next year…and look forward to seeing you at an event soon! Have a wonderful festive season, stay well – until next time.
~ Emily Mignot and The TGA Committee
As the TGA continue to grow and strengthen, our hope is to support alumni to connect with one another, unlock opportunities, and create spaces to learn and share ideas. We are always looking for passionate, like minded people who want to give back – and understand that this can take many forms. If this sounds like you, and you would like to hear more about how you could be involved, we would love to hear from you! Please get in touch with us at email@example.com
For more information and to see what we’re about, check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/TinternGrammarAlumni
EOI – The TGA Committee are currently seeking people with experience in finance / accounting and an interest in giving back to their alumni community. If this sounds like you, or you know a fellow alum who might be interested, we would love to hear from you! Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org