There is a common catchcry around these days that goes something like ‘the future is here now’. And when I look at what you are doing in your classrooms I believe this to be true. You have been swiping and typing and coding and creating your way into the future since Prep and Year 1 and are now on the cusp of one of the most revolutionary periods in human history – and that is the automation of much human activity.
This new world will bring innovation and excitement and new possibilities. It will also bring new ways of working and living together as we explore new laws and ethical standards and the impact of this on our environment and developing nations.
This little invention here demonstrated ably by Zara and Millie is set to change your lives in ways you could never have imagined. Zara and Millie have been part of a Drone Squad assisting Mrs Allan introduce this technology into our school curriculum. I’d like to acknowledge these girls as well as Hayley Clarke, Jessica Gavin and Lila McIntyre for the work they have done in this area this year. These cute little things are, of course, drones. And I know many of you have one at home for photography and to play with.
These amazing machines though are about more that passing the time in an entertaining way. They will shape your careers and the way you live your lives – they actually already are – and perhaps you just haven’t noticed yet.
Drones are used for filming movies and many other exciting entertainment. They are, however, extremely useful in the daily lives of our scientists and other professionals. For example
- a geologist uses drones to hunt for clues in the landscape
- a marine scientist uses drones to monitor whales and sharks either from the beach or from boats
- a landscape ecologist uses her aviation skills to look after the environment in NT
- They assist with pest identification and improving the speed and efficiency of which they can be removed.
- They can be programmed to recognise types of sharks – the difference between bull sharks, bronze whalers and nurse sharks on our beaches is significant. In the desert they can be programmed to recognise foxes, feral cats and dogs and wild boar.
- They can help farmers identify ripe crops
- Drones in all shapes and sizes are being used to deliver life saving equipment, help out in accidents, to search and rescue, to deliver pizza, for crop dusting and weed spraying. Sending a drone to do the work is cheaper, more efficient and less time consuming than having a person do it
The bottom line is that it is all about the choices you make and how your choices apply to all areas of your lives, all our lives. It applies to whether you choose to make the best of your high school years or fritter them away. It applies to how hard you work, the effort you are prepared to put in, how you manage peer pressure. It applies to how you respond when you are harassed by someone or see an injustice affecting someone else. It applies to your stance on violence, and it applies to the value you place on your own and other’s learning.
All these habits of mind have been at the forefront of your education at our school. How you have responded to this is what makes our school so special – that is, the people and the interactions between us. Teaching you about relationships, effort and choice has been at the core of everything we do at Peregian Springs SS. And the ultimate reward for your teachers, teacher aides, Mr Foxover, Mrs Reid, Ms Marszalek, Mr Slocombe, Ms Slattery, Ms Westlake and I is when we see you happy, managing yourselves well, even in trying situations, and achieving your very best.
You have had the benefit of world class teachers in every year you have been at Peregian Springs. I’d like to thank Andrea, Justin, Chris, Sandy, and Kent for the work you have done with our Year 6s. You continue to learn yourselves and teach with such innovation, passion, courage and care – again this year you have challenged your students to learn; you’ve set high expectations; you have tried new strategies and new approaches to learning; kept them on the straight and narrow; cared about each and every one of them; and have worked hard to instil a love of learning they will take with them to high school and beyond. Every child in front of me this evening is a better person for your dedication and commitment.
And this is true of all the teachers and teacher aides you have worked with this year – Mrs Hobson, Mrs Ellison, Mr Rickert, Ms Deady, Mr Huxley, Ms Johnson, Mr Hutchins, Mrs Dean and Toni. Without realising, you have learned an enormous amount from being at this school – not just about English, Maths, Science and History but also about the more important attributes of how to be a better person in this world, in this country, in this community.
Graduation from Year 6 marks the end of an important chapter in your young lives. We hope that your time here has begun to prepare you for the complex future ahead – a future in which you will realise that you have the power for making something of yourself, and for contributing towards a better community and world.