On Friday 1 December, we held our annual Speech Night at the Sydney Olympic Park Quaycentre. It was a wonderful celebration of our community as well as an opportunity to offer special acknowledgement and recognition of the many academic, cultural and sporting achievements which exists amongst us.
The theme for this year’s Speech Night, ‘Shine,’ beautifully encapsulated the spirit of our College motto, ‘Let your Light Shine.’ This theme infused the evening as we enjoyed entertainment, highlighting the talents of students and staff through on-stage performances and media presentations.
During her address, Dr Lavorato shared insights from her journey to Ireland earlier in the year. This pilgrimage allowed her to deepen her connection with the inspiring story of Blessed Edmund Rice and the challenges he surmounted in his quest to empower children through education. She proceeded to articulate her aspirations for our boys, emphasising the benefits of an education rooted in the principles of Edmund Rice. Dr Lavorato expressed pride in our diverse group of boys, highlighting their achievements, whether in academics or through various co-curricular pursuits.
Following this, Dr Lavorato proposed this year’s posthumous recipient of the Luceat Award, Old Boy Brian Walsh (’73), for his outstanding contribution to the media, arts and entertainment industry in Australian and internationally. She declared the following: “He exemplified our theme of this year’s Speech Night, ‘Shine,’ perfectly, not just by letting his own light shine brightly, but by illuminating the path of so many others.” Dr Lavorato presented the award to Brian’s youngest sister Bernadette and Brian’s nephew Harrison. In accepting the award, Harrison spoke about the type of person his uncle was, and how he was inspired to live the College motto and follow his passions with integrity and humility.
It was wonderful to also have in attendance three of Brian’s closest school friends also from the Class of 1973; Rick Russo, Paul Sheehan and Greg Stewart, along with his Year 12 Master, Br Brian Berg. Another of our special guests was former colleague and good friend, Old Boy Damian Cleary (’93).
The grand finale of ‘Shine’ was a perfect conclusion, featuring unexpected singers alongside the choir and performers. The night concluded with everyone joining together, singing the College anthem with gusto and pride.
Once again, Speech Night was a celebration of all who make up our vibrant St Patrick’s College community!