Graduating

While they don't really do cap-and-gown graduations here, Maddy had plenty of fun events commemorating the end of her high school career, including the Year 12 formals, a reception for IB students and their parents at the home of one of her teachers, a graduation chapel service, and an awards banquet for students and parents in the Parliament ballroom. 

 Coming out of the chapel service. Standing and singing Jerusalem all together gets me every time. "And did those feet in ancient time..."

Coming out of the chapel service. Standing and singing Jerusalem all together gets me every time. "And did those feet in ancient time..."

 My parents timed their trip to be here when M graduated so we snuck them into the chapel service where technically each student could bring just two guests. 

My parents timed their trip to be here when M graduated so we snuck them into the chapel service where technically each student could bring just two guests. 

 Before the awards banquet, looking down from Parliament to the Old Parliament building and the War Memorial

Before the awards banquet, looking down from Parliament to the Old Parliament building and the War Memorial

She was chuffed and surprised to come home from the awards banquet with the school award for leadership and teamwork, the prize for IB global citizenship, and the prize for Student Representative Council.

I think I've said it before but I'm a bit in awe of this girl (and, truthfully, still get a little teary thinking about it) who moved here pretty cheerfully right before year 11 and navigated a new country, completely different school system/philosophy, and (sometimes a painfully bumpy) social landscape. By the end of that first year she was elected to the student council and selected to chair the Safe Schools committee, which organizes and leads activities and addresses issues like inclusiveness, multi-culturalism, anti-bullying, and mental health awareness at the school level. It's not always been an easy rerouting for her but she's handled it with grace and patience even through the occasional anxiety and tears. I've come to think that a big part of our reason for being here was for this opportunity for her to bloom in Australian soil. But that blooming was a choice, not a given, and I'm so proud of her for it. Way to go, Maddy girl.