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Celebrating Growth: 2023 End Of Year Celebrations

Friday 8th December was a celebration event to remember for Gateway Community High. Nothing can be better than a room full of proud students, families, staff and supporters celebrating the hard work and achievements of our 32 Year 10 students who graduated with their ROSA - and our year 9 and 10 students receiving more than 20 special awards.


The event started with a beautiful Welcome to Country from Theresa Ardler, a proud Gweagal woman of the Eora region, educator, artist, and a friend of the School. 

Theresa Collignon, CEO of Macquarie Community College, beamed as she welcomed students and their families to the celebration. 

“It is fabulous to stand here looking at YOU – our amazing young people who we are celebrating today, at the end of our 3rd year of creating this wonderfully unique School. You made a brave decision to make a change and be part of the Gateway community -  where we are incredibly committed to being a School for you to Achieve, Belong and Grow. We chose those three words on purpose – we try to live and breathe them every day.” 

Notable guests at the event included The Hon. Dominic Perrottet, Member for Epping, guest speaker James Ynson, representatives of the Member for Bennelong, Carlingford Rotary Club, and the Defence Force.  

Natalie Creighton, Head of Campus at Gateway Community High, spoke from the heart about what she has seen and deeply appreciated in her first year at the School -  inclusion, diversity and persistence: 

“Our students from Gateway Community High, every one of you has your own strengths, your own intelligence and your own way of doing things to be successful. It’s up to you to find the way that you need to swim, whether that’s with the current or against it.” 

James Ynson, educator of 15+ years and special guest speaker, further echoed this idea of success looking different for everyone. 

“I hope you realise that success takes on various forms for each individual journey. It’s subjective. If you surround yourself with people that add value, and chip away at attainable goals, you will find your own measure of success.” 

Our student voices said it best 

The students themselves echo a sense of community and appreciation of each other, the staff and the alternative approaches Gateway takes. 

Students Max and Nyx delivered the student address at the ceremony, and their experiences at Gateway were shown to be nothing less than transformational. 

Nyx reminisced on some favourite moments during Years 9 and 10 at Gateway. 

“I started at the beginning of last year and it’s been an amazing journey, our teachers have been our guides, and not only have they taught us but they’ve also inspired us. For me, they guided a passion for learning so strong that I now aspire to be a teacher myself.” 

Max also took a moment to compare his time at Gateway Community High with his last experience. 

“At my previous school, it was a challenge for me to last the whole day without leaving early. At Gateway, however, that hasn’t been the case. To look back on myself around a year ago, it’s shocking to see how much I’ve changed for the better” Max said. 

The speech by Max and Nyx was a great showcase of the talents that the students demonstrated.  

From a rendition of the Fleetwood Mac song The Chain  by Mars and Molly to an wonderful ceremonial Haka performance, the joy exuding from the community as a whole was priceless. 

Proud parents and loved ones alike watched as their children, siblings, and friends received various awards, as well as their ROSA certifications. It was a beautiful morning of the power of community in action. 

The closing message was simple: 

“Congratulations on your achievements. We believe, and you have proven, that education is a game changer. Remember, when you are climbing the ladder of learning it doesn’t matter what rung you start on – just keep going, moving forward, whether it’s one rung or ten rungs at a time. You might drop back a couple of rungs, but keep climbing and keep on learning.” 

With a final quote before the cutting of the cake our graduates and award winners were urged to“Go into the world and do well, but most importantly, go into the world and do good.” 

The Gateway Community High difference 

At Gateway Community High, we offer a supportive, personalised approach in a small school setting so that young people at risk of disengaging from their formal schooling in years 9 /10 can make a fresh start to complete their Year 10 studies. They can then pathway to their HSC or Vocational Education options and move into the world of work. 

We pride ourselves on making sure that our students can thrive, because they feel valued and supported as a whole person. Our focus on wellbeing makes sure that we are able to create a place of safety and belonging, setting realistic goals, and creating a strong foundation for a strong future.  

This celebration of community was one we won’t forget. We invite you to join us on our journey and help support our young people.  



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