Our Year 12 graduates enjoyed their Valedictory Dinner in October before the start of exams. Jingyun Wu and Liza Clerehan were named Class of 2017 Valedictorians and gave these speeches.

Jingyun: I’m so proud to be here with Liza as a Valedictorian. Maybe I should start with a big thank you to everyone in Year 12. Thanks for believing in me to represent the whole year level, and for your friendship and support these last three years. I still can remember when I first walked into Elwood College in 2014. I thought, “Nice, cool, this looks like a park”. I remember at that time, the Year 9s still had their own building next to the G block and the library was still standing in front of the Science and Language Centre.

We have all had an amazing time at Elwood College. A lot of funny things have happened throughout the whole year. I will always remember Mr Alexander’s message to ‘chip, chip away’ to keep us motivated. Sometimes teachers say wise things and sometimes they don’t. For example in my physics class. Mr Barr just couldn’t pronounce my name, so he ended up calling me ‘chicken wing’. I mean, I like eating chicken wings, but I might not choose to keep this nickname.

Joking aside, we need to say thank you to all the teachers and peers that we met throughout our lives in Elwood, especially to Ms Hutton and Mr Alexander for keeping us on track in Year 12. As an international student, we want to say thank you to Ms Stella and Mr Spring, thank you for looking after us for both our life and study. And I personally want to say thank you to Ms Tran, Mrs McDonald, Ms Pritchard and Mr Barr. Thanks for helping us through our course work and giving our class many tips for university life. We are so glad we met lots of good people here. Now, I want to represent the whole Year 12, to say thank you to every parent, teacher and peer who has helped us become better! Thank you!

Liza: Well, we made it. And I don’t just mean that we survived Year 12, or even high school. We did it, got through 13 years of school. And for that, I want to congratulate the class of 2017. During year 12, even when we are all stressed and irritable, little things have made us laugh. Like the commentary of Olly, whose quotes even made their own facebook page. Or Kyan, as he is always trying to find an excuse to get his top off; whether it be at house swimming when he hasn’t actually enrolled to race, or when we are getting injections. Also, elements of support at school, such as the mentoring program in which teachers were assigned to students to take them out for a coffee or lunch, just to see how things are going and to give some advice. I am grateful for my cafe trips with Ms Pollock, as her counsel gave me perspective on the year and allowed me to calm myself down.

I want to thank all the parents that have been there to support us not just this year, but all through high school. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the encouragement of my own.

Our ATARs do not define us. Our memories, our relationships with others, and how we view ourselves does. And with thanks to my experience at Elwood College, it has given me a huge supply of moments that I will always carry with me and will always keep a place in my heart. The unique energy of Elwood College is so special. Where the teachers go out of their way for you. I know I’ll miss Mrs McDonald’s tangents about her countless brushes with death, or Mr Alexander’s aerobics classes and inspirational anecdotes, or Mr Green and Mr Stokes’ passing comments in the hallway. And Rhonda, the heart and soul of the school. Most of all, I know I will miss seeing my friends each day. 

I wish each and every one of the Class of 2017 the best of luck for the rest of your lives. Whilst you would have grown from the tough times of high school, I hope you never forget the good moments.

The following students received awards on Presentation Night.

Year 12 Special Awards

College Councillors’ Award: Liza Clerehan

Outstanding Contribution to College Life Award: Paul Pekaj

Outstanding Dedication to VCE Studies Award: Jayde Elvey

International Student Award: Gabriela Turella Mielzynski and Jingyun (Ainy) Wu

Creative Contribution Award: Zali Guecia-Ghelardini

The Melanie Jones Trophy (Sports Contribution Award): Kye Gray


Year 11

Academic Achievement: Hugh Cowie, Zoe Eyles, Jikyeong Jeong, Leslie Kirkness, Henry Lucas and Georgie Stone.

Arts (Visual & Performing): Kiki Jin and Harrison Stone.

Senior Sports (Year 11 & 12): Maeve Brown, Sally Davis, Nelson Gray and Liam Harari.

Citizenship: Jacques Steedman.



Accounting: Niles Wang

Biology: Maeve Brown (Year 11 student)

Business Management: Dae Szydlik

Chemistry: Jonathan Zuk (Year 11)

Chinese As A First Language: Jingyun Wu

English: Liza Clerehan

English As An Additional Language: Jingyun Wu

Food Technology: Jayde Elvey

French: Liza Clerehan

Further Maths: Qikun Sui

Geography: Zali Guecia-Ghelardini

Health & Human Development: Dae Szydlik

History - Revolutions: Frank Ward

Informatics: Vadhana Anil Ram (Year 11)

Japanese As A Second Language: Shiyu Chen

Literature: Oliver Woods

Maths Methods: Jingyun (Ainy) Wu

Media: Niamh Mulcahy (Year 11)

Music - Solo Performance: Georgie Stone (Year 11)

Physics: Jonathan Zuk (Year 11)

Psychology: Finlea Daniels (Year 11)

Studio Arts: Zali Guecia-Ghelardini

Visual Communication & Design: Henry Lucas (Year 11)

The following students received awards at Presentation Night.

Year 9

Academic Achievement: Vylette Besas, Riley Griss, Stanley Ka, Mathias Loft, Faith Rodrick and Victoria Zheng.

Arts (Visual & Performing): Henry Manallack and Faith Rodrick.

Sports: India Ross-Lawson and Marlon Trevitt.

Citizenship: Duke Wilson.

Duke of Edinburgh Award: Lenie Chin, Eva Freeman, Jordie Gray, Megan Hall, Sophia Hodych, Skye Lolicato-Welsh, Brier McLean, Charlotte Millar, Lily Rekittke, Declan Sicari, Neelu Sidhu and Harriet Woods.


Year 10

Academic Achievement: Thomas Finch, Harper Massey, Catherine Oliver, Sabrina Phillips, Hugo Radovanovic and Ruby Woods.

Arts (Visual & Performing): Sabrina Phillips and Harry Steedman.

Sports: Catherine Oliver and Evan Warman.

Citizenship: Raffy Blay.


Elwood College Basketball Academy 

Outstanding Achievement Award: Elijah McMeekan (Year 9)

Coaches’ Excellence Award: Ruby Woods (Year 10)

Congratulations to our Year 7 and 8 award winners, who received their awards at Presentation Night.

Year 7

Academic Achievement: Monica Ising, Finn Kluge, Maggie Lambrechts, Lily Lau, William McCarthy and Eden Saunders.

Arts (Visual & Performing): Aditya Arya and Gigi McQueen.

Sports: Briealyn Bartleet and William McCarthy.

Citizenship: Timna Shushan.


Year 8

Academic Achievement: Blanche Flaster, Amy Richardson, Nicholas Sinodinos, Oliver Smith, Kitty Smyth and Felix Tam.

Arts (Visual & Performing): Zeta Hamilton-Durkin and Zisis Zikos.

Sports: Spencer Curran and Enya Talbot.

Citizenship: Kitty Smyth.


Elwood College Basketball Academy

Outstanding Achievement AwardAlexandra Thomas (Year 7)

Coaches’ Excellence Award: Nicholas Kearney (Year 8)

The day our basketball courts became a skate park! Our Year 7s had a 'wheely' great time learning to skate, as part of their academic progression activities moving into Year 8.