Much has been achieved this year. Our Strategic and Operational Plans set the roadmap to achieve our goals. More students and schools are engaged in more regions. Evidence is growing about our impact.
This has been a year of transition, furthering the settings for growth and sustainability. Our focus remains firmly on empowering gifted and talented year 11 and 12 students from disadvantaged backgrounds to overcome barriers and thrive through education and personal growth, in a caring and likeminded community. Our unique two year experience of residential programs, workshops, financial reimbursement and personal support is consolidated by lifelong connection in an inclusive, respectful and supportive alumni network. Our impact features strengthening Confidence – sense of self-worth, reduced anxiety, developed personal skills; Social Connection – through our Skyline community and alumni network, improved interpersonal skills and expanded opportunities; Security – improved educational achievement and university opportunities, uplifted employability and an appreciation of ‘I know myself and my place in the world’; and Leadership - leaders of the future, Skyline community influential relationships and new opportunities for ongoing growth.
It takes a village to raise a child is an African proverb meaning it takes an entire community of different people interacting with children in order for a child to experience and grow in a safe environment. The Skyline village is an extraordinary one with an exceptional impact, not just in years 11 and 12, but through our Alumni community, lifelong.
Next year our 93 students will come from 25 schools across the State with new schools in the North East region – in Mansfield, Alexandra and Yea and the Geelong region with Geelong and North Geelong Secondary College. Our Program has been expanded and refined and an exciting journey of experiences is evolving to stretch and stimulate our high performing students.
Thank you for the role you have played, whether in leadership, or as a participant, in enabling this strong underpinning which sets us up for an even brighter future. Particularly I thank our Ambassador The Right Reverend the Honourable Dr Peter Hollingworth AC OBE and Patrons The Honourable Lex Lasry AM QC and Professor Kwong Lee Dow AO. A very special thanks to our very dedicated and expert Board, led by Chair Katrina Reynen, along with Alistair Mytton, Allison Gibson, Bev Brock, Elizabeth Hartnell-Young, Jasmin Isobe, Wendy Bonicci, our Company Secretary Cameron March, our critical and enduring and advocates including Geoff Cullen, James Orloff, Thely Nguyen, Rachna D'mello, Vicki McConchie, Julie McKenna, our expert and hard-working executive team Annie Harper, Ron Watkins and Grace Rankin, our esteemed evaluators Ian and Jacqui Phillips, our many wonderful volunteers, our dedicated schools and our incredible supporters – your generosity is pivotal and invaluable to us empowering our students.
Above all we pay tribute to our inspirational students who astound us daily with their brilliance, tenacity, humility and potential – you are our purpose and together we congratulate you on your achievements to date and look forward to sharing your bright future together, recognising that challenges are inevitable, and that we are here to support.
On behalf of the Skyline community, I wish you happiness in this celebratory season. Let your festivity be loving, be it Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Diwali, New Year, the Solstice, or your own reason to come together. As the year draws to a close though, please take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. May this wonderful time of the year touch your heart in a special way. Wishing you much happiness not just today, but throughout the year ahead when we together aim to continue our pursuit in enabling our students to realise their dreams.
It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. Agnes M. Pharo
My warm wishes and gratitude. Jane Sydenham-Clarke Chief Executive Officer