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Despite the ongoing COVID-related absences amongst staff and students, campus life at Wesley College has again bloomed. From February through to April we’ve been able to enjoy an unbroken 11-week Term 1, complete with normal classes, excursions, performances, camps and sports, and even unmasked assemblies and community events.

The one and only community event we got to run last year was our International Women’s Day celebration in early March; exactly a year later, our first full community gathering since restrictions were lifted has been that same event – see our coverage on page 10.

House Activities have returned to our campuses and students have re-embraced them with a sense of delight and urgency that can only come from the rediscovered pleasure of living in the moment, surrounded by others. The faces of our students tell the whole story on page 18.

So we’re re-establishing patterns, and in some cases, we’re forging exciting new ones.

In sport, we’ve again had a dominating summer with a premiership hat trick in three sports. Both our Girls First VIII Rowing crew and our Girls First Tennis team have won their respective APS finals two years in a row (and, in the case of our tennis girls, it’s their third premiership in the past four years). Remarkably, both the Girls and Boys First Tennis teams won the APS Premiership this year for the first time in Wesley tennis history. See their stories on pages 14 and 15. To cap it off, our Girls First Volleyball team had a phenomenal season as well, also taking out the APS premiership.

Head of St Kilda Road Campus Kim Bence introduces us to the new ROAR approach to wellbeing across the College on page 8. Developed in response to signs of disengagement and disconnection brought on by these disruptive times, the new approach represents a significant change in the way we nurture wellbeing in our community.

Our cover story for this edition features our nine duces of 2021 who, despite the depravations of the pandemic, somehow managed to achieve perfect ATARs – the highest number for any school in Victoria for the year. It’s a remarkable achievement for an open-entry school such as ours. All nine share their stories on pages 4 and 5.

Their successes are the headlines, but the fact is that all of our students can feel tremendously proud of their own stories of success at Wesley, academic or otherwise. As Nick Evans states, ‘As a College, we are immensely proud of all students who achieve their best, whatever their best may be.

Paul Munn, Lion Editor and Features writer

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