Today, for Celebration Month, we are celebrating this beautiful speech by graduating International Student, Darin Dai. On the final day of Year 12, in front of all of his fellow Year 12s, Darin made an incredible proclamation of solidarity and friendship. Darin came to Ivanhoe Grammar School from China in 2014 and in his speech, he told us that what he enjoys the most about Ivanhoe is... the air
Read his inspiring speech below.
Dear all graduates,
I am truly honoured to have the privilege to speak at the final assembly for the class of 2017.
Looking back on my years at Ivanhoe Grammar, what I would say I enjoyed most at Ivanhoe is probably the air. Yes, really, the air. But I’m not talking about the air we breathe however, but the air rich with knowledge, an air of new cultural experience and an air in which I’ve encountered constant challenges I have experienced during my 3 years at this school.
Before I came to Australia, I only knew the typical Australian stereotypes: kangaroos, poisonous animals and throwing a shrimp on the barbie. The idea of Australia and its people were just foreign concepts to me. However, what I have received and gained from life at Ivanhoe is more than words can tell. I was able to not only increase my depth of understanding of your typical maths and sciences, but also broaden my knowledge of the world. For example, in the play black diggers, a play I am sure we have all studied to death, I learnt the importance of reflecting on the past, as you ‘can’t put history back in the bottle.’ What shocked me was how in Australia, you have the freedom to openly talk about such matters, with many different perspectives of truth that happened not too long ago.
My time at Ivanhoe has had many highs and lows but what I can always rely on is having my friends there with me. I have made many friends during my time at Ivanhoe. I met a local friend who taught me the importance of freedom of speech, I met another friend who was always willing to put time aside to teach me things I did not understand in class and of course, I met lots of Chinese friends who had similar good qualities and shared the same challenges as I did, I guess you could have said we bonded through the challenges and the new experience here at Ivanhoe. As one of many international students, I am very proud to contribute to the cultural diversity in this school.
Finally, I want to say 谢谢. 谢谢 means thank you in Chinese. I want to say 谢谢 to the people who helped me when I met language barriers. I want to say 谢谢 to the teachers who are always willing to sacrifice their time to help me. I want to say 谢谢 to the warmth and love here in Ivanhoe Grammar School.
In the close future, some of us may go to universities, some of us may choose to return to our home countries or some of us may embark on a journey of exploration and self-knowledge, but whatever road we may take in the near future, always remember your time at Ivanhoe Grammar School, as this school gave us the opportunity to not only broaden our knowledge but also develop our character.
As I have the privilege to experience the new air in Australia. I would love to extend a warm welcome to everyone here to visit China. To breathe the exotic air, and to experience the friendly and hospitable Chinese culture.
My friends, enjoy the new peaceful air, and never let it go.