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In our first edition of Lion this year, we celebrated the history-making academic achievements of the Class of 2021; we’re bookending that in this edition with a celebration of the diverse achievements, big and small, of our Class of 2022 students outside of the classroom.

One of the big achievements of the year was the historic win for the Boys’ Athletics team in this year’s APS Athletics Competition - the first time we’ve lifted the Premiership Cup since 1947. Our cover story details how they did it and takes us back to that last win via two of our OWs, who witnessed it themselves some 75 years ago. We also celebrate our girls’ team for their dominance in the athletics arena over the past decade.

Achievement has many faces, and our next feature shines a light on the various guises of success for the Class of 2022. Six of our final year students share what accomplishment in Year 12 looks and feels like for them. Our Junior School students also felt a sense of accomplishment with the presentation of their own special passion projects at the PYPX: Primary Years Program Exhibition. In our story on pages 12-13, the Year 6 teachers at Glen Waverley Campus explain the guiding principles behind this annual rite of passage, and the young presenters share what they learnt in the process.

We also turn the pages of a new biography about Harold Holt, written by Ross Walker (OW1974) and launched at a special event at Wesley in September. It’s an absorbing story that opens up the life of the lesser known of our two Old Wesleyan prime ministers, who occupied the top job for less than two years before tragically drowning on the Mornington Peninsula. Ross’s broad research and lively story-telling combine to form a fascinating portrayal of Holt, the person and the politician. His research produced some surprises. Particularly interesting given the nature of Holt’s tragic end is his comment that he ‘hadn’t realised just how reckless he was. I uncovered a clear pattern of him putting himself in harm’s way.’

If there was one good thing to come out of the pandemic years for our Class of 2022, it was their heightened appreciation of the now and their readiness to experience the moment, surrounded by others. And, thankfully, we were at last able to make so many moments available to them again. As Silas Mitchell says in his reflection on page 9, ‘Wesley is the place to have a leave-no-stone-unturned mentality, because there’s so much opportunity everywhere you look.’

Watching the Year 12’s grab these opportunities - the excitement of the sports, the energy of the shows, the House activity hysterics, the anything and everything goes – was a lesson in itself.

We’re not all young, of course; but what a life, if we take on that spirit for ourselves.

Paul Munn, Lion Editor and Features writer