Mitcham Girls High School


2020 Dux of the School

06-Apr-212020 Dux of the School, Rosanna Barani, shares her speech presented at International Women's Day 2021.

Good morning everyone; thank you for having me here today to help celebrate the achievements of women and the achievements of the girls here at Mitcham Girls High School. It's lovely to be back at school and see some familiar faces. I definitely loved my time here.

I would firstly like to thank the Millhouse family, and Ms Gardner, for this very kind and generous award. Each year you present this to a student of Mitcham Girls to help them on their journey into further study, which is very admirable, and I am so grateful to be the recipient of the Millhouse Scholarship for 2020. I would also like to give a big thank you to the teachers here at Mitcham and especially to those who taught me last year. You have all been so supportive and helped me through a very challenging and stressful 2020. And of course, a huge thanks to my mum and dad for never doubting me and for putting up with my mental breakdowns. I wouldn’t be up here today if it weren’t for all of your encouragement and guidance, so thank you.

And to you girls, I wish you the best of success with your studies. You’ve probably heard it many times before but your time here at Mitcham truly does go by quickly, so treasure every moment.

I’d like to share with you some of the biggest things I learnt over my time here in the hope that you carry them with you during your time at school, and after school for that matter. When I reflect back to my early days at Mitcham, I remember myself as a quiet student who was too shy to put their hand up in class, to ask the teacher questions and to take up opportunities as they came my way. But those who know me now probably remember me as the student who kept throwing questions back and forth with the teacher until I finally understood what I was learning. The student who kept demanding feedback to improve their work further and the student who asked the teacher for additional practise questions since I’d already finished the entire workbook. I ask myself now why I didn’t do this from the beginning, why I didn’t ask those questions sooner or challenge myself further, because if I did, where that would put me now? So, don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek guidance and challenge yourself. It helps you to grow not only as a learner but as an individual too.

The biggest lesson I learned is that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. I know that you’ve probably heard it before, but these words are true. Whether your goal is to pass a subject you find challenging or to receive your graduation certificate at the end of year 12, putting in your best efforts will always get you over the finish line one way or another. My goal was always to do the best I could, and not to BE the best. This has led me to where I am today and will lead you too to achieving your goals.

And my advice to the year 12s. As you’ve probably experienced already, your last year of high school can be very stressful and tiring. There will be many “I have sooo much to do” moments and questions as to how you will finish it all before the due date. And if you haven’t already, you will have at least one meltdown. But I promise you will get there in the end and you will learn so much during your last year of school.

Here are my top tips for getting through year 12 and achieving your goals:

  1. Always finish an assignment at least a week before it’s due… yes, a week. This not only makes sure that you are on top of your work but gives you plenty of time to ask for feedback and improve the assignment further.
     
  2. If you are studying heavy content subjects, like biology, physics and chemistry, always handwrite your notes and write chapter summaries each week in your own words.
     
  3. Complete as many practise questions as you can. These are super handy as they help you to identify gaps in your learning and to practise writing content in your own words.
     
  4. Read, read and re-read your work to make sure you are happy with your assignment and how you have worded your piece. By reading your work several times, you will be able to pick out small faults that can ultimately help you achieve a better grade.
     
  5. And finally, the most important and sometimes most challenging tip. Take time to rest. Take time to switch off your brain and focus on the things that you love. This was probably the hardest part of year 12 for me. I never really allowed myself to take breaks and even when I did, I was too busy thinking about school to even rest. But it is really important to do so, as I have now learned the hard way. So if you have a hobby, like sport, music or dance, don’t give it up to have more time for study in year 12. These hobbies are crucial in helping you stay grounded and healthy during what can be a very stressful time.

I really hope you will find these points useful as you work through your studies here at Mitcham. Remember to always ask questions, take up opportunities, do the best you can and allow yourself to rest. It has truly been wonderful to speak with you all today and I can’t wait to hear about the achievements of the Mitcham Girls High School later this year.

Once again, my sincerest thanks to the Millhouse family and to Ms Gardner for such a generous award. I hope to share your generosity and give back to the community when I finish my studies as a paramedic.

Rosanna Barani
2020 Dux of Mitcham Girls High School


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