College Captain Mitch Tuddenham’s apology speech

June 27, 2017

The following is a full transcript of the speech delivered by 2017 College Captain Mitch Tuddenham on June 27, 2017 which formed part of the ceremony around the College’s apology to those affected by child sexual abuse and to mark the opening of the reflective garden and monument.

A full video of the ceremony can be seen at this link

On behalf of the student body, I offer my deepest sympathies for the truly shameful actions that have faced past students at the hands of those who had been trusted. It is impossible for us to fully comprehend the hurt, pain and grief that have fallen upon these individuals, along with their families, siblings, peers and the broader community. Today’s event offers us a chance to acknowledge and apologise for the actions of the past, but also gives us a sense of hope to assist in the healing process, as we take another step in the right direction for the future.

I would like to take this opportunity today to relay a message on behalf of the student body here at St Patrick’s. This school has come a long way in our nearly 125 years of history. The school that was, although very much still a part of who we are today, is vastly different to the school that is.-

This is a College where fine boys thrive and grow into great young men. This is a College that expresses genuine care for each and every boy who walks through the front gates. We believe this school is a fine educational institution, where students relish in the many positive opportunities it presents.-

We, as the current students of St Patrick’s College, are proud to be a part of the long-lasting tradition which exists and continues to prosper, and are grateful and appreciative for the support and guidance we receive on a day-to-day basis. This care and support creates a beneficial environment for students to learn, succeed and grow.-

We are proud of the school we attend today. It is a school immersed in diversity; a school which lives and breathes culture and spirit. It is a school built upon the pillars of Faith, Tradition, Excellence and Relationships, which provides a rich sense pride and dignity.

Attending St Patrick’s in 2017 means you belong to something far greater than just a school. You belong to over 120 years of history and tradition; you have your own opportunity to leave a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come. At St Patrick’s, there is an honest appreciation of mateship and unity, which cannot be truly understood without experiencing it firsthand. This appreciation of mateship underpins the values of the College; it is what keeps the spirit of this school alive.-

The importance of today cannot be underestimated. It marks a significant step forward in the right direction.-

A full transcript of the speech delivered by Headmaster John Crowley can be found at this link

A full transcript of a speech delivered by Old Collegian Phil Nagle can be found at this link