Bendigo students let hair down to celebrate year’s end

EMOTIONS were running high as Year 12 students across Bendigo completed their final day of school yesterday.

Girton Grammar and Catholic College Bendigo celebrated the day with final-year students attending morning church services, followed by a farewell assembly.

Girton principal Matthew Maruss said there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when it came time for students to say goodbye.

“It’s a solemn thing for them,” he said.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College – also the largest VCE exam centre in that state – sent its students off with a bang, hosting a day of music and activities following a farewell assembly of their own.

The school invited its 1048 VCE students to dress up to mark the celebrations.

The graduating cohort poured into the courtyard of old Bendigo Gaol, which featured an inflatable obstacle course, photo booths, snow cones, DJ and “Year 12 2012” temporary tattoos.

Costumes varied from the weird and wonderful to downright bizarre.

But it was 19-year-old Jordana Sayle who stole the show.

The Bendigo teenager dressed as Cinderella, complete with a horse-drawn pumpkin carriage and tiara.

Proud mother Annette Sayle helped to create the costume, transforming Jordana’s motorised scooter using recycled materials. 

Measuring up to six feet tall, the carriage did not fit inside a taxi so Jordana drove the scooter to school from her Flora Hill home instead.

“We were afraid the add ons wouldn’t hold up over the distance, but they did,” Annette said.

“We had a few people stop to run over the road and tell her how beautiful she looked.

“She manages to touch a lot of people’s hearts.”

Jordana attended the end-of-school celebrations just three weeks after falling victim to severe bursitis – where fluid that lies between tendon and skin or bone becomes inflamed – resulting in a week-long stint in hospital.

Having lived with cerebal palsy all her life, Annette said very little can erode Jordana’s positive outlook on life. The Bendigo teenager will next week sit her end-of-year exams after completing her VCE over three years. She said she hoped to study Information Technology at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus next year.

“It would mean everything to me to go to university. It will mean I can get a job,” she said.

While students continued the celebrations outside of school last night, it will be straight back to books for many ahead of next week’s written exams.

The VCE exams commenced earlier this month with language oral exams and performance exams held from October 8. Written exams will begin November 1.

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