‘I am responsible for…’

The College theme for this year was “I am responsible for…”.

The dictionary defines ‘responsibility’ as having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one’s job or role. Of course this means following the rules and acting ethically, however I believe that when Mr Davis gave this speech at the beginning of the year, that he was not just talking about our jobs and the rules to be followed. Responsibilities are not just actions we take to avoid guilt, or trouble, but those we do in order to improve something. Responsibilities are choices we decide for ourselves, and actions whereby we give a sense of purpose to our lives, and as Mr Davis discussed in his end of year speech at speech night, it is less important to discover the meaning of life, but to give our lives meaning, and this is what we are responsible for.

By phrasing it as “I am responsible for” and not “you are responsible for”, it allows each one of us to decide our own moral obligations and goals, and creates a much greater sense of meaning as it is founded upon a sense of intrinsic value and purpose, and instead of controlling others, it’s about controlling ourselves.

Although it is now the end of the school year, I have realised what it is I am responsible for.

It has come to my attention this year, that a lot of people know me around the school, and a couple of people may even look up to me. Whether I intended upon this or not, I am a role model of some description, and I am responsible for leading by a good example. I am responsible for standing up for what is right, and paving the way to a better future. I am responsible for returning the same love and encouragement that was shown to me, and I am responsible for continuing to make school a safer place for LGBTQ+ students, because I know there are people out there that do not have the confidence or the means, or the acceptance within themselves to speak up. I do not represent or speak for every queer perspective, but I am continuously witnessing the progress the school is making, with bathrooms, and language, but in particular the uniforms, and this fills me with so much joy. St Leonard’s College has come an enormous way, and this has helped me immensely, yet I know we can do even better.

I am responsible for paying back the love and care that has been shown to me throughout my schooling journey, and I am responsible for being the change I want to see in the world, because, as the wonderful Emma Watson states “if not me then who”, and “if not now, then when”.

Ultimately, everyone has their own interests, beliefs and strengths, and we are able to actively make the decision about what it is we wish to do. The only people in control of our own actions are ourselves, and we are responsible for acting in a way that betters ourselves and others, and makes the world a happier place. I truly believe that we are responsible for using whatever is in our power to make a change for the better. We are responsible for using our education, and privilege in order to create an environment that we are proud of.

Elise Kervin
Year 12 Student