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Living Authentically

Palmer House Captain and Bravo Company 2IC for Cadets Bronte, looks back on what Wenona has taught her about being authentic, and owning every aspect of herself and her story.

As I undergo my last few terms at Wenona, I have reflected a lot on my time here as well as my own personal story. I came to a definite conclusion: I am the most embarrassing person I know. I have always pushed myself out of my comfort zone and am often met with humiliation. However, my strength is in owning who I am, no matter what other people think.

So this morning, I thought I’d own my story by telling the entire School some of my most embarrassing moments, in the hope that you are all inspired to be comfortable with yourselves, just as I have learnt to be.

Firstly, Year 7: This year was the one I wore bright blue rectangular glasses, believing I was somewhat of a supermodel. I wasn’t like other girls. I was also kindly reminded by Tahlia West yesterday how I used to end up with an orange ring of pasta sauce around my mouth at lunchtime, completely oblivious.

Year 8: My German class performed in the Wenona Eurovision Contest. We were the OG fans of the song ‘Baby Shark’, but for us, it was called ‘Kleiner Hai’. I had the privilege of introducing our act in front of the entire School, in a skirt that went two inches below my knees and a pre-pubescent high-pitched voice.

Year 9: Now this was the year I genuinely thought I was mature and fashionable. I got my braces off, purchased a navy-blue bucket hat, and attended my first ever boy-girl party! I was somewhat shocked that no boy decided to approach me, as I felt my dark green top with sparkly golden stripes made me quite a catch!

Year 10: The beginning of COVID! We were about one week into lockdown, and it was somewhat the end of the world for me. I decided I needed a change. I walked to my local IGA and purchased blonde hair dye! I was a little upset to find that after soaking for half an hour, my hair was in fact bright orange!

Year 11: After testing positive for glandular fever and tonsillitis within three months of each other, I was ready for the year to be over. Unfortunately, my immunity had other ideas when I tested positive for COVID on Boxing Day! Thankfully, my younger siblings were there to help by banging on my isolation room window yelling, “Thanks for ruining our New Year!”

Year 12: Where to begin with all the embarrassing moments from this year! For a start, the Palmer girls will be accustomed to coming into meetings on Fridays to see me wearing a bright yellow wig!

Now that you’ve all realised how weird I am, I’d like you to know that owning your story is about embracing everything you’ve done in your life, even if it was as bad as publicly wearing a shirt with the words ‘The more cake you eat, the harder to be kidnapped it is’, on it.

All of our stories are full of mistakes and regretful moments. But these are the moments we must own and have a laugh at, because they make up who we are.

Embrace every single part of you, no matter how embarrassing you are or what others perceive to be embarrassing. Own them, and own who you are.

Thank you.


Bronte, Year 12