Speech from incoming 2022 College Captain James Clark

October 19, 2021

Incoming 2022 College Captain James Clark gave his first speech at the recent Transfer of Leadership and Awards Assembly, which was unable to go ahead as a full school assembly due to ongoing restrictions and was instead filmed in the College’s Black Box Theatre.

Here is a copy of James’ speech, which we hope you enjoy:

“Good afternoon Mr O’Connor, Mr McCrum and all who give witness to our ceremony today.

Firstly, on behalf of the incoming council members, I would like to congratulate and thank Darcy, Dan, and Jack along with the entire council of 2021, for their dedication and ongoing commitment to ensure that their strong leadership was portrayed in such trying and testing times for everyone this year. I’m sure once you accepted these roles you didn’t envisage yourselves not being able to address regular assemblies or attend events because of the imposed restrictions; however, in such difficult times we as a school community were enriched by your ongoing commitment and sacrifice to lead the college in the best way possible. 

 I along with the incoming vice captains, Isaac and Zenon supported by all of the student council for 2022 pledge to ensure we undertake our leadership roles for each member of the St Patrick’s College Community. We will endeavour to support and work with the leadership team under the direction of Mr O’Connor to ensure that everything we set forth to achieve is primarily in the best interests for the entire college community. 

Furthermore, to all members of the SPC community and most importantly my fellow students, the student council and I will work tirelessly to uplift the culture and what it means to be a proud “paddy” boy. I want to ensure that the academic rigour of the school is increased whereby academic success is applauded by all boys, where it is common practice to strive for high ATAR scores whilst also creating a learning environment that is based on hard work, growth and personal best achievement. We will exemplify our pride through our high dress standards, an area which has recently been poor and needs to be addressed and improved. St Patrick’s College should and will continue to be regarded as a respectful and inclusive school – characterised by students who are proud to enter the gates and call St Pat’s their home. I truly believe that St Pats can be a community leader in the area of gender equality and awareness, changing common public perceptions of the operations and culture of all boys’ schools, which has recently been tarnished.

I want the Ballarat community and beyond to recognise St Pat’s, its students, teachers, staff and leaders as beacons within the community which values its core beliefs and is unwavering in its goal to raise fine boys to the status of great men. 

On behalf of the Student Council for 2022, I would like to extend my gratitude to all those who elected us in our respective roles and entrusted us with this immense responsibility. It now gives me great pleasure to introduce the Student Council for 2022.”