As our graduates of 2020 prepare for University commencement next week, it is appropriate that we hear their reflections on their learning journey at Bishop Tyrrell and their growth and development into fine young people of good character. They took every chance to Seize the Day when opportunities presented themselves.

At the forthcoming Year 12 Retreat, College Alumni will feature in the Retreat program as students prepare for their final year of schooling and important examinations. Surprisingly reflections from our alumni are not too focused on academic success, which was part of the journey; but rather, on how well they were prepared to enter the world of work and further study.

Three such graduates have returned to the College in their working lives to give back to the community which they love.

Tara O’Sullivan
After completing her HSC, Tara commenced an accounting traineeship which involved full-time work at an accounting firm and part-time study at the University of Newcastle. She soon, however, realised that this career choice was not the right fit. Tara transferred to a Bachelor of Mathematics/Bachelor of Secondary Teaching and knew straight away she had made the right decision.

After five years of teaching, the opportunity to return to Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College as a teacher was a dream come true for Tara. Having been a student at the College since Year 2, returning to Bishop Tyrrell felt like she was “returning home”.

Tara has provided some advice for our current students:
You will be dedicating many hours of study towards your subjects in Years 11 and 12, so study the subjects that you are interested in.

It is not the end of the world if you are not sure what career path you want to take when you finish Year 12. As young adults, you have the time to explore different opportunities that are in front of you, so follow your interests. If you change your mind and choose to take a different path, then you are one step closer to finding what is right for you.

Bishop Tyrrell always supported me to try new things and develop my skills across a range of areas. Having teachers who valued my contributions to class really helped build my confidence.

Melanie Hannan
After finishing school in 2011, Melanie completed a Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Newcastle and a Master of Professional Psychology at the University of New England.

After a few years working in private practice, Melanie returned to Bishop Tyrrell and started working as the College Psychologist this year.

Her advice for our graduating students is:
Take some time to figure out what your values and interests are before choosing a career path. There are lots of pathways to completing a degree and no time limit on when you can enrol, so you don’t have to rush.

Megan Wallace
Megan graduated from the College in 2017, she went straight to university and is in her 4th year of studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary). Megan is the Vice-President of the Secondary Education Society at UoN and has been welcoming the new first-year students to the degree. Megan has returned to Bishop Tyrrell to volunteer her time in various programs to give back to the school she loves. Her plan was to travel once she finished her degree, however she has had to rethink these plans with COVID.

Megan has some wonderful words of wisdom for our current students:
As corny as it sounds really try to enjoy the little time you have left at school. Cherish the friendships you have made and give everything a go! Be true to yourself and put your energy into your passions. If you feel overwhelmed or unsure always talk to someone. Your mental health is incredibly important and with this last leg, you may find that you need more support than before. Try and leave Year 12 feeling like you gave everything your best shot and tried everything you wanted to experience.

I have always believed Bishop Tyrrell to be a school that values its community. An aspect of this is the value placed on helping build students to be decent people. I will never forget learning about the five keys back in Primary School. Persistence, Resilience, Getting Along, Confidence and Organisation are skills that I believe are essential to success and were skills that I carried throughout my time at school. Bishop Tyrrell taught me to give everything a go, reach for my goals, and always Seize the Day.

Indeed! Seize the Day!

Suzanne Bain