Academic Awards Semester 1 2022

“To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion it becomes a reality.”

“To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion it becomes a reality.”

Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

All great athletes, musicians, academics, entrepreneurs and spiritual leaders share one vital characteristic…belief. They know, implicitly or explicitly, that success flows from belief. We know that belief or faith is central to our way of being here at Merici College, that is why we have Fidelitas on our crest and as one of our four values. We act in service to others because of our beliefs and values, especially in 2022, our year focusing on the theme of Serviam.

I like to read the Good News Network website and a little story of belief initiating action…leading to success…struck me. During the worst of the pandemic, a little town in the UK, Long Newton in Gloucestershire, planted wildflowers along the roadside and in traffic islands in the hope of improving biodiversity and to do something proactive in a dark time. They succeeded in creating beautiful wildflower meadows. An interesting twist to this story shows that sometimes, intended success criteria might be met but that surprising, wonderful, positive outcomes can also come from action driven by belief. The wildflower meadows this village created were so beautiful that they now act as natural speed traps from motorists slowing down to look at them. Strict speed limits and signage had not slowed traffic passing through their home but natural beauty did. The village is now relying on its flowers to do the work that the road signs could not, paying for the blooms with crowdfunding in the village.

What does this pattern of belief driven action and thus success require?

  • Sometimes caution and timidity need to be thrown away – approach challenges with confidence, ditch doubt, build a ‘can do attitude’ and do not apologise for being you!
  • Dream big and pursue those dreams with passion
  • Be courageous and willing to give something a go
  • Be determined, exhibit “stickability” and grit to see things through
  • Reach beyond self to impact positively on others and our world – people will then travel with you on your journey to success – wherever it may lead

I want to congratulate all awardees today. You have demonstrated the qualities I have just outlined. Stay strong, determined, ethical and proud of your uniqueness.

For all here today , I challenge you to consider three things this coming semester:

  1. What are the areas in your learning and life where you want to “believe bigger”?
  2. What are the areas where you want to doubt less?
  3. What are you going to do about it?

As Dr Seuss says so eloquently:


Today is your day

You’re off to great places

You’re off and away

You have brains in your head

You have feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

I have great pleasure in welcoming ex-student Taylor Perrin here today. Snce graduating Merici College as Tullow Vice Captain in 2011, Taylor went on to pursue a career in construction. She is a qualified cabinet maker by trade, and is currently a commercial project manager and estimator at Capital Veneering here in Canberra. Her day to day role means she is running multi million dollar fitouts for some of Canberra's most innovative buildings. In her time she has been awarded National Association of Women in Construction's tradeswomen of the year in 2018 and is currently the youngest on her team and the only female. Welcome Taylor, it is great to see you here!

Again, my congratulations to all our students for working so hard last Semester, and well done to all our award recipients today!

Anna Masters



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