BACK TO SCHOOL: St Mary's School Captains Elizabeth Watson and Kyron Clegg. Photo: contributed
BACK TO SCHOOL: St Mary's School Captains Elizabeth Watson and Kyron Clegg. Photo: contributed

Pandemic pushes students to consider essential careers

THE 2020 Year 12 cohort have arguably faced more obstacles than any grade before them, however St Mary's cohort have found a silver lining and lesson to be learnt from their struggles.

St Mary's Year 12 wellbeing leader Bronwyn Langford Martoo said she was incredibly proud of her cohort.

"Year 12 is such an important year, full of meaningful moments. As a Prep to Year 12 school some of these students have been together for the past 13 years," she said.

"We have a wonderful group of seniors this year with a great group of student leaders. Our Year 12s have faced these difficult times with grace and dignity.

"They have continued to log in and study with all the determination we have to come to expect from this wonderful group.

"We are using this time as an opportunity to show our students that kids from regional areas can access and study online. We hope that this will inspire even more students to study at a tertiary level without the cost of having to move away."

Mrs Langford Martoo said she believed the pandemic had taught the cohort to prioritise and pursue careers that have been deemed 'essential' throughout the pandemic.

"The media applauding essential industries might also be helping our Year 12s to see a variety of careers and industries in their best possible light," she said.

"Necessity is the mother of invention and we will just have to come up with new ways of doing things.

"You never know, a future immunologist, Chief Medical Officer, or an economist to get us back on track might just be sitting quietly in front of us in the classroom right now.

"Without this pandemic they may have never considered a career where they can save lives. "Adversity is offering them opportunity."

St Mary's students Elizabeth Watson, Dawn Druery and Devynn Pomerenke now all want to pursue 'essential' careers.

Elizabeth wants to explore career options in health and education, Dawn wants to work in age care, and Devynn wants to be a teacher.

All industries where their employees have had consistent and reliable work throughout the pandemic.

St Mary's school captain Elizabeth said her advice for year 12 students this year was to stay positive.

"Just breathe," she said.

"We're all in the same boat. But, we will all get through this and be more resilient than ever. "If ATAR wasn't enough, we've had COVID-19 too."