In all the years that New Town High School has existed, we were lucky enough to be departing the school in its hundredth year of education and building fine young men. Furthermore, we feel even more blessed to have been given the honour of Prefect in such a monumental year.  2019 has been far from dull – between centenary celebrations, fundraisers and various other events, the Prefect Board has been busier than ever.

The GRIP Leadership Conference, held in late February, was the first event attended by the Prefect board.  Organised by Ms Jones, the conference was pivotal in the consolidation our leadership skills.  With a course designed to inform on fundraise strategies and creating positive change in a school, it was a day that served to be invaluable to our growth and development as a team of leaders.

The skills we developed at the GRIP Leadership Conference were useful almost immediately – the next task the leadership board faced was the conundrum of the Gift to the School.  Every year, the departing grade fundraises the means necessary to grant the school a parting gift as a token of gratitude and remembrance; and this year it was decided that such gift would be two flag poles to be placed on the bell tower.  One such flag was the Australian flag and the other was the indigenous flag – both huge national symbols that had been missing from our school for quite some time. In order to garner enough funds to enliven the project, a sub-committee was formed for the so-called ‘Flagpole Project.’ With generous donations coming from various places all across the community from politicians to old scholars, the Flagpole Project had monetary backing in just a few short months – an assembly was held in honour of the new establishment.  We hope students can proudly look up at those flags over the next hundred years.

Fundraising was a key aspect of the Prefect Board’s existence this year.  Fundraising was multi-faceted this year; with our long-standing partnership with CanTeen demonstrating continued success alongside the Leaver’s Dinner and Leaver’s Week fundraising.  Our first fundraiser of the year came in the form of Shrove Tuesday – under Ms. Weitenaur’s capable watch and assistance, we sold pancakes to raise funds for CanTeen.  Our biggest fundraiser of the year came in the form of our annual National Bandana Day fundraiser at the athletics carnival – a tradition since Grade 7 – the fundraiser has earned almost a thousand dollars for four consecutive years through the sale of assorted Bandanas.  It’s a tradition we’ll look back on fondly; and one we look forward to handing on to next year’s Grade 7s.

This year we have had the privilege of hosting events which celebrated one hundred years of New Town High School. Being present at these events gave us an insight into the way New Town High has moulded a community of men who have lifelong connections and continue to care for the school.  A celebratory event hosted by Kate Warner, Governor of Tasmania at Government House was attended by hundreds – a grand testimony to the impact New Town High has had over greater Hobart.  Conversations with these ex-scholars, from 18 year olds to 80 year olds, is absolutely eye opening, and has made us grateful to be a part of the legacy of New Town High.  Just recently a hundred year dinner was held at the Elwick Race Course in Derwent Park – we were humbled to form a guard of honour as the Old Boys and distinguished community members made their way into the venue.  We look forward to participating in and attending the same events as guests in the coming decades.

We also owe a huge thanks to some people who have got us to the point we’re at today, the people who ‘invented’ us. Our Grade Supervisors’ unwavering support and leadership has been tantamount to our success, we would have been totally rudderless without this year.  Ms Noonan and Ms. Mulholland have provided us with infinite support and leadership and were truly the reason we could accomplish all we have.  A Special thanks must be given to Ms Mulholland for standing by us since Grade 7; we’ve seen some come and go but you’ve stayed loyal for four long years.  To Mr Wilson, Ms Burrill, and Mr Heidenreich – each were our Assistant Principals at various points – we couldn’t have done it without you.

As we hang up our blazers and look on to the next group of leaders taking on the role of prefect, we can rest easy knowing the school is in highly capable hands.  For some of us, our journey here isn’t over; the subjects offered here in Years 11 and 12 will ensure some of us have a few more years roaming these halls.  Either way, we’ve strived to build for the future this year – our grade is 100 years in the making, and we look to the next hundred years.