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Yarralumla Primary School Year 6 Graduation Ceremony, Canberra [Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley]


What a wonderful rendition of the Australian and Italian national anthems. Well done. I don’t speak Italian, but I know a good performance when I hear one!

I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good morning, Year 6! Good morning, everyone.

David and I are very excited to be here today for the Yarralumla Primary School Year 6 Graduation Ceremony.

To the students — thank you for inviting us and thank you for designing the invitation yourselves.

Today is a very significant day in your life. You are graduating from Primary School.

It is a wonderful achievement and you should be very proud. You might not realise it, but your family will be even more proud.

As a former teacher, I know how hard this year has been for you — and also your family and teachers. There have been many challenges and distractions — the smoke from the bushfires, the ongoing building works here at the school, and COVID-19. There have also been disappointments — the trip to Italy this year to visit other schools and to practise your Italian had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. School camp and other excursions were also cancelled.

It’s been a really difficult year for many Australians.

But you, the Year 6 students at Yarralumla Primary School, have faced those challenges. You have worked hard, and now you are graduating.

These qualities of perseverance and determination will serve you well in High School. When you find yourself in a similar situation at High School, I encourage you to remember the strength you showed while at Primary School.

Shortly, David and I will present some awards to the graduating classes.

Behind the successes we are celebrating today are the teachers at Yarralumla Primary School and the parents and families of the students.

Thank you for the hard work and long hours you have invested in the students. You, too, have survived the year. Look at the smiles on the faces of the students — THAT is what makes it all worthwhile!

Again, congratulations to the Year 6 students. And congratulations to the teachers, parents and families.