Dear Parents,

Our front desk helped say how we all feel about the last day for our Year 12’s.

Below is an excerpt of what I shared with our Class of 2017.

‘There’s a well known traditional African proverb that says: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Another well known phrase says: ‘You are the company you keep’.

Year 12’s, let me suggest to you that significant people within our village are here tonight. By way of quick recognition:

‘Mr Reece Whitby MLA wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He appreciated the opportunity to create a future by studying journalism, then made it happen. He has aspired to become a leader in our community by using his gifts and talents to support families in Rockingham. Mayor Sammels has been making Rockingham a better place for 14 years as our Mayor, and contributing as a local resident for 35 years. Mr Murray Martin helps local businesses connect with each other, and the wider community. Pastor Galambosi and the SCBC Board Members provide governance for our college community. Governance means they direct and nurture the college’s vision, as well as uphold and exceed compliance with State and Federal government acts of Parliament.  Without them, the college as an association would not exist. We are deeply appreciative for their commitment to our college’s mission and wellbeing. Recognising our college history, we also acknowledge with deep gratitude Rockingham Baptist Church for initiating Maranatha Christian College 30 years ago, the school we now know as South Coast Baptist College. For our school community, ‘ministry and mission sets the framework for economy and cleverness’.

Your head of School – Mr Oates, and other senior leadership do their job with a passionate desire to honour God, by helping each and every one of you experience being empowered by an excellent education. Along with Pastor Birch, they hope that you have personally sensed God’s unconditional love in your life at South Coast Baptist College.

And then you have your parents and guardians. They didn’t have to send you here. It was an intentional choice. Actually, it’s significantly cheaper to not enrol in an independent school. Your parents made you their priority. Their practical expression of love involved personal sacrifice. Their decision to enrol you at SCBC is evidence of real love in action.

In partnership with your parent’s choice, the South Coast staff have done their utmost to help you experience success. You have been in their focus every school day of the year, and many of their holidays. You’ve made you way into their hearts, and have resultantly had a presence in their own families. They believe you were made in the image of God. This means they believe you are profoundly unique, talented, and immeasurably precious. You have been educated by distinguished professionals who love helping you feel valued and succeed in your educational journey. It’s been said that love and hate are not on opposite ends of the continuum. Actually, love and apathy are opposites, not love and hate. If you ever experienced their annoyance, it’s because they cared enough for you to know something better that what was familiar at the time. It’s been said students learn more from what you do than what you say. Year 12’s, if staff have shown faithfulness, respect, determination, love, honesty, wisdom, leadership, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, and thankfulness; then they have lived out our school values, and lead by personal example.

I also want to recognise younger brothers and sisters … it’s good to have someone to blame on your bad days  😉  Actually, they have gone the journey with you, and they’ve been there for you, as a familiar, loving presence in your life, on your good days, the bad ones, and the ordinary days.

It seems to me that your village, and the company you have been with, have helped you be here today, as a Year 12 graduate of South Coast Baptist College. I think you have been, and are very blessed. As a reflection of our respect and appreciation, let’s express our thankfulness in a show of applause.

Year 12’s, at this juncture in your special night, I invite you to make your way to the front.

We are now at the tail end of the celebration, the time where we begin to say farewell.  We have recognised the achievements of this group of young people.  We also recognise the commitment of all the staff, both primary and secondary, who have helped you experience excellence.

Well done!  We look forward to hearing more about the next chapter of your life.


I charge you as Leavers of South Coast Baptist College:

  • To apply with vigour and integrity your knowledge and skills and to advance these by appropriate study and enquiry.
  • To use your talents in the wider service of those with whom you work and of your community.
  • To be of Godly character and influence by continually seeking personal excellence as lifelong learners in your spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical and social development.
  • To uphold the values of the College that have underpinned your learning journey thus far.
  • To uphold the motto of the College, to have rigorous minds and compassionate hearts.
  • To the end that you may enjoy satisfaction in your lives and work in the community, nation and world to leave South Coast Baptist College and “make a positive difference” where ever you go.

God Bless you.’

Des Mitchell