A message from the 2022 Dux of School

At the 2022 Scholar's assembly, the 2022 Dux of School Jerry Chen delivered a crowd pleasing and heart warming speech to the students of the Secondary School. 

Good morning, Mr Featherston, Dr Swann, Mr Angus, teachers, staff, parents and boys.

Thanks for having me back! It’s wonderful to be here again, especially as the one who’s giving the boring speech, instead of the one who’s listening to it.

Anyway, I won’t bore you with too much of the stereotypical study advice because I’m sure you’ve all heard enough of it, instead, I’d like to share some of my stories and experiences during my secondary years.

Goals and Academics

To start with, one thing that I’ve heard countless times last year is that you need to “make your final year at school count”. Everyone will interpret that differently, but I think we all need to realise how fortunate we are at BGS to have the choice to pursue your passion.

For those of you striving for a high grade, I believe the most useful skill to have is independent thinking. Do you know what I’m doing while other hardworking students are being tutored? I watch YouTube and play games! The point is, there’s no magic success formula which you can just copy off of someone else. I don’t devote all my weekends to studying, because then, it’s just a matter of time before my interest becomes a burden.

On the other hand, if studying is not your thing, that’s fine! You don’t need a high ATAR to live a fulfilling life! But whatever your goal is, you must be willing to put in unrelenting effort and have faith in yourself to achieve it.

The way I see it, working towards a goal is like hiking in a seemingly endless tunnel. It’s dark in there, you can’t see the other end except for a faint light. You head towards that light, but it doesn’t seem to be getting closer no matter how long you walk. However, you must focus on what’s right in front of you, steadily progress one step at a time, because maybe, just maybe, with an extra pinch of hard work and determination, the seemingly unreachable “other end” of the tunnel isn’t so elusive after all.

Fairness and Gratitude

Of course, life isn’t just about big goals. In my everyday life, I’ve noticed that many people often complain about things being unfair, and I’m no different! My younger self just could not understand why my friends get to buy whatever they want, and go on a holiday on the other side of the world every three months.

But as I grew up, I realised that everyone feels the same way. I realised that we tend to overly focus on other people’s advantages over us, because it’s an easy way to cope with our own shortcomings. Isn’t it a fortune that we can go to bed with a full tummy? Isn’t it a great fortune that we are able to pursue our passion, knowing that the teachers and mates at BGS will have our backs?

And how lucky I am to have supportive and loving parents? I still remember my first visit to Australia, my dad asked me if I wanted to study here. I said yes, just so I could do less homework. Little did I know, my rather thoughtless response meant that my father had to expend several times more to cover my living and education costs. And my mother, she devoted the best years of her life to supporting me, mustering up the incredible strength to live away from home, even when she could barely speak English when we first arrived.

No amount of words can adequately express my gratitude for my parents for bringing me to where I am today, and I’m sure you all feel the same way. So to finish, I’d like to leave you with a challenge: when you have a disagreement with your parents, don’t argue with them. Instead, think about the difficulties of parenthood. Always keep in mind that they are trying their hardest to provide you with the best they can. When you go home, give your parents a hug and let them know how much appreciation and love you have for them, before it’s too late.