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Blog: Find Your Voice

Grace (Year 12) found her voice in Year 6. Ever since, she has been unafraid to speak out against injustice or rally for positive change.

For anyone who knows me, I'm a person who likes to talk… a lot! In fact, I can safely say that half of our Renaissance Studies class is filled with my belly-aching about the current political climate. However, contrary to popular belief, there was a time when I was terrified to use my voice.

In Junior School, I was the girl who was nice to everyone. I would go out of my way to make the people around me feel comfortable and included, even if it meant compromising my own integrity and happiness. Although this can be a good quality to have, I realised that I needed to change on my last day of Year Six. One of my closest friends was being bullied by girls in our year. Up to that point, I’d been too scared to use my voice and call them out on what they were doing. It was only on our last day that I finally decided to say something. I plucked up the courage, turned to the girls and told them to stop. I asked them how they would like it if the same things were being said to them. Though this may seem like a heroic moment, it was one of the most terrifying of my life. I was so scared that the girls would hate me, or bully me too, but instead, they stopped. And they apologised to my friend and to me.

From that moment on – and at the same time as I started at Wenona – I decided I’d never be silent about anything that I felt was wrong or unjust. I decided I’d be 100% unapologetically myself. The outcome is the person you see before you. Someone, who may have sweaty palms and nervous butterflies about giving this speech, but someone who is not afraid to use their voice. For me, this has taken the form of advocating against social justice. Calling out my male friends when they make a sexist comment. Standing up and lending my voice to those who can’t use it themselves. And pushing for positive change in areas that I believe need it.

I challenge you all to do the same. Be unafraid to use your voice, as you may be surprised (as I was) about the repercussions that a simple ‘Stop!’ can have on your life, and the lives of those around you. Although you might not believe it, your voices have power. And it’s important that we use them in a way that is kind and respectful to others.

GraceW

Grace (Year 12)
Community and Service Learning Prefect

You can view Grace's speech here