arriet Grimsey, Dux of 2017 achieved at ATAR of 99.65. Harriet also received the Premier’s Award for Psychology. This year, Harriet is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne. She has plans to study a post-graduate in law or politics, potentially overseas. This year she is involved in various sports both with the university and outside of the university, and she’s tutoring VCE students. After graduating last year, Harriet and her family visited Tanzania (which she had previously visited on the first Tanzania trip run by Strathcona) and saw her sponsor child again. Harriet is planning to visit Chile in the summer holidays to go travelling with her host sister who she met through Strathcona’s cultural exchange program to Chile when she was in Year 10. ‘It’s fair to say that the school has certainly had a profound and long-lasting impact on me beyond academics’.
Dux Speech 2017
t’s an honour to be standing here today as Strathcona’s Dux of the school for 2017, which is something I never thought would happen. At the end of every year I always wished I could swap places with the year twelves so that I could have that year over and done with. I was envious of them – envious that they
6 | Leadership
had that one dreadful year behind them. This was what naïve young Harriet never failed to wish every year at Presentation Night, and then again when VCE results came out, and then again when the Scholars Assembly was held at the start of each year, ever since Year 7. I call myself naïve because I believed that Year 12 was a painful and grueling experience – one that was filled with constant study, suffocating pressure and no fun. Let me tell you all right now that I was wrong. Being wrong is not something I like to admit to, but in this instance I have no proof to back my previous beliefs, because whilst Year 12 was difficult at times, it certainly was not a horrible experience. Year 12 is more than study in many ways. You cannot physically sit at a desk and study endlessly. I mean, you need sleep, of course, but you also need to give yourself a break. I learnt that if you work hard and, importantly, play hard, you will be rewarded. During Year 12 I did work hard but I also played hard – some may even argue I played harder than I worked. I kept up my extra curricular activities such as GSV sport every term and sport external to school, whilst balancing the role of deputy school captain. On top of this, I also managed to exhaust the Netflix library. You name it, I’ve watched it. I used it as a reward system after I’d had a study session. Also I couldn’t let myself fall behind on the 2017 trends just because of Year 12, even if Riverdale is a terrible show. I encourage you all
to find something like this to reward yourself with. It’s important to balance out study time and fun time, because having fun does actually complement your studies. If you asked me what I thought made the difference in Year 12, I’d give you two tips. The first one is to use your resources. When I say this, I’m not referring to those smiggle highlighters you bought at the start of the year, although I do still recommend you use them because they’ll make for really cute study notes. What I’m actually referring to are your teachers. Believe it or not, they’re actually really nice people and they can become more like friends than teachers. It wouldn’t be unusual to start discussing comparative essays and end up talking about what you’ll wear to formal, who you’ll be taking, or whose AFL team is going to make it into the grand final (which is unfortunately a bet I lost to Mr Bradshaw). They’re there to provide not only academic, but emotional support. Even though they often see you at your worst, they never fail to help you bring out your best. My second vital tip is to plan ahead. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit of an organisational freak and I honestly believe that this was my savior throughout VCE. Study plans act as a much-needed reassurance that anything you can’t complete one night will eventually get done. In fact, most of my study plans didn’t even work out how they were supposed