Dear Delany community,
I wish to thank all staff, students and parents for your support this term. We have so much to celebrate academically and culturally. In particular our NAPLAN results indicate significant growth beyond our expectations in reading, spelling and numeracy. We also are extremely grateful for people’s generosity in giving to the Delany Foundation.
We wish Mrs Findlay well in her future endeavours as she leaves us at the end of term. Thank you for all your efforts in the classroom and supporting the school in Debating and Literacy.
Finally, I have included my Principal address at the Year 12 Graduation ceremony which I believe can be a lesson for all students as they end the term and prepare for the next semester:
Walt Disney spent his entire life dreaming. He came from humble beginnings from a stable family with parents that valued hard work, persistence and simplicity. He was known for his imaginative mind and skill in drawing.
Disney faced enormous challenges in his early career from failed business ventures, bankruptcy and lost opportunities. Nonetheless, Disney never gave up on his dreams.
I have included four of his most popular quotes and a comment as to what you can learn from Walt Disney’s life experiences.
Life has you believe that if you comply and be a follower than all will be provided. While we spend most of our time abiding to the rules, we begin to forget what it means to dream. For example, when we dreamed of becoming an author, an explorer, a scientist, and an artist. Most dreamers die due to the pressure of social norms and burden of economic production. Being a dreamer is not easy, you’ll most likely face hardships, have to forgo meals, and constantly worry about next month’s rent. But fulfilling that dream is worth all the hardships. You need to have the courage to take the risk and follow your dreams.
Don’t be a “Wantrepreneur”. That is, someone who wants to build a start-up, but doesn’t actually take the leap. Don’t be the person who would spend hours drawing wire-frames and writing down ideas, while not actually creating a single product. It’s better to simply start. Start creating an incomplete product and learn from doing. The unknown is terrifying and meaningless procrastination always seems like the safe bet. But procrastination is just a Sisyphean stroll inside your own closet.
There’s a certain thrill that comes from beating an impossible level in a game when you were little. And it gets more interesting when you build reusable rockets when everyone disagreed with you. When you’re trying to achieve the impossible you eventually just mute out all the naysayers. Despite all the negative comments one may encounter, all you have to do is provide evidence in the contrary. It’s fun to do the impossible.
It’s hard to imagine nowadays that Groupon started off as a single blog post. That AirBnb started by renting off a single airbed in their apartment. And Instagram simply started off as a photo filter app. “Big things have small beginnings” — Lawrence of Arabia. You don’t have to have a grand plan to start the next unicorn start-up, you just need to start with a small MVP to validate your hypothesis, then scale from there. After all Disney started from a single cartoon of a mouse.
I remember wanting to grow up quickly so I could experience being an adult. Have the freedom of buying what I want, going to the movies on my own and driving my own car. When we grow we become lost in the busyness of adult world and lose that burning passion of wanting and playing with our simple surroundings. I used to be able to spend hours with a simple Lego block. Hours filled with imaginations are now just items in a garage. While growing up has its benefits we mustn’t forget the simple ideas and dreams we had when we were younger.
My challenge for you, Year 12, is to be dreamers and not let your circumstances or other people or negative experiences get in the way of your successes.