School Life - Although we are small, we are mighty

My name is Olivia Damore and I am the 2018 School Captain at Cobram Anglican Grammar School.

During Year 10, I made the decision to move to Cobram AGS. When I first started here, my grades were not good and I rarely went to school. I aspired to be a beautician and I thought I would spend the rest of my life in Cobram.

Making the decision to move to Cobram AGS was the best decision I have made for my schooling. I have been given the guidance and support I needed to realise that this time in my life is the most critical. Here is where I have begun to shape my future and, with the help of the teachers, my future seems so much brighter.

Although we are small we are mighty. The students at Cobram AGS develop strong relationships with each other and their teachers, in an environment where they are known, and appreciated, as a whole person. Close peer relationships help the students in our small school feel safe and included. Strong student-teacher relationships help students feel comfortable taking risks, both academically and socially, whether it be the confidence to put your hand up in class or walk into a room and feel comfortable to talk to students from different year levels. There’s a level of acceptance that is profound among the students here. They feel supported by the school and their classmates, and that makes them open to learn and to connect with their teachers, each other and, ultimately, be the best they can be.

As a student at Cobram AGS, I have been provided with the opportunity and freedom to explore my interests. A passion of mine is Special Effects makeup. While I was completing Units 3/4 Arts, my focus was all types of makeup. I studied SFX makeup, bringing a new and exciting area of art into the school. I was also given the opportunity to do the make-up for our School Musical production and be the makeup artist for ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’ scene, turning the Year 5/6 students into alien plants from outer space. I have always felt encouraged in all that I do at CAGS. In 2017, I received the Senior School Arts award and, based on my Art portfolio, I was excited to receive a study offer from the National Academy of Beauty.

Throughout my time at Cobram AGS, I have held leadership positions and organised events and activities within the school. I soon began to realise that my leadership skills are a quality that I pride myself on and love to practice. I began thinking about where this quality could lead me in my future and broaden my idea of my career options and saw many more opportunities opening for me. I explored university courses and completed a period of work experience within a Primary School and fell in love with the role of teaching. But then I discovered the Australian Defence Force. I started working even harder to ensure that I would receive the ATAR I needed to be accepted into a career that excited me. My new goal is to be in the Air Force, I would like to be an officer in Airbase Protection and Security. I chose to apply to the defence force to put myself outside of my comfort zone, to challenge myself, both physically and mentally, and to develop life skills.

If I had not made the decision to study at Cobram AGS, I would not have these dreams or goals. With the encouragement and support of the School, I now know that I can be anything I want to be as long as I set my mind to it.