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Celebrating the Class of 2017

At our recent Valedictory Ceremony and Dinner, we celebrated the efforts and achievements of the Woodleigh School Class of 2017.

So many of this group, over their time here have taken a stand on issues and articulated what it is that they care about. It is a year level that has impacted our school culture in ways which I hope will last a lifetime.

The Class of 2017 have shown commitment to tackle the big issues. They have challenged the status quo and imagined a better future. These attributes fill us all with enormous hope. They are an exceptional group – as varied in their talents and interests as they will be in their paths beyond the school. Their drive, to strive for personal excellence be it in the Arts, on the Sporting field or in the Academic program – these achievements define both their individual character, and the way they operate as a group.  

As the confines of the school are released and a global world presents itself, we know they will put those skills into action and make a difference.

In her Valedictory speech, Woodleigh Prize Winner Anna Van Vliet reflected on the community who have come together to create this group. “Looking back on it all now I can see just how special Woodleigh is. And how honoured I am to have shared it with all of you. I’ve come to realise that part of the reason Woodleigh is the way it is, is because of the people.”

I agree with Anna, it is “Quite hard to work out what makes Woodleigh, Woodleigh,” but the people and the relationships that exist here at our school are key to the experience of students, staff and parents alike. The experiences we offer and the relationships they build mean that students at Woodleigh understand me when I say that the value of our lives is not determined by what we do for ourselves, but rather what we do for others.

These young adults will not be bystanders who blame the world for the problems we face.  As they leave the safe confines of Woodleigh ready for the excitement and challenge that further study, travel and work present, we wish the Class of 2017 every success in the futures they design for themselves.

Jonathan Walter – Woodleigh School Principal


The Woodleigh Prize

Anna Van Vliet

Award Citation

Anna Van Vliet is an exceptionally talented young woman. She was the recipient of the Year 10 and Year 12 ADF Leadership and Teamwork Awards, the King Constantine Medal for her commitment to, and leadership of, Community Service initiatives, and is a finalist in the 2017 VCAA VCE Leadership Awards. She was awarded the Year 12 Personal Development Faculty Prize.

Her academic award list is impressive indeed. As well as receiving numerous Certificates of Achievement every year of her secondary schooling and a clean sweep of every unit of her VCE, she has been awarded Certificates of Academic Excellence over the past three years.

Anna’s Community Service involvement is unsurpassed. She has given tirelessly to the Brotherhood of St Laurence Homework and Learning Club and to the Oaktree Foundation. She has shown outstanding leadership through the Woodleigh Committee and has volunteered for an endless variety of tasks within the school community, including organising and presenting at Assemblies and speaking or volunteering at parent evenings. Her fundraising efforts for multiple causes are phenomenal.

Anna is not only a fine scholar, but also a young woman with outstanding personal qualities, including passion, empathy, and the drive to make a difference to the world around her. In recognition of her many fine achievements and her enormous contribution to the life of the school community, she is a most worthy recipient of the Woodleigh Prize for the Best All-Round Student in the middle and senior years at Woodleigh School.

Faculty Award Winners

English Katie Lee and Edward Wiggins

Mathematics Sean Parker

Humanities Max Wiggins

Personal Development Anna Van Vliet

Science Felix Friedlander

Arts Alex Ferguson

LOTE Alex Ferguson

Principal's Award Winners

Samantha Beaumont, Alexander Ferguson, Felix Friedlander, Kaya Grocott, Rebecca Gynes, Katie Lee, Ella McCarthy, Alex Simpson, Ryan Taylor, Edward Wiggins and Max Wiggins