Community News

2020 College Captain | Giacomo Carbone

Picture of Adriano Di Prato
2020 College Captain | Giacomo Carbone
by Adriano Di Prato - Friday, 11 October 2019, 11:29 AM

On Friday 11 October the 2020 College Captain Giacomo Carbone presented his inaugural address to the community:

Good morning Mr Murphy, invited guests, parents, staff and my fellow students,

Words can’t describe the gratitude I feel for this opportunity to serve all of you through this role. I have always looked up to our College Captains as an embodiment of the Marist values. The idea that I have been given the privilege to follow in the footsteps of some of the people I’ve idolised throughout my time at Marcellin brings me great honour.  I hope to continue and build on the legacy set by our past leaders, while enriching and building on our culture, paving the way for leaders to come. As leaders of our community, I believe this is the responsibility of Patrick, Harrison and I for next year. We are excited to work with you next year in contributing to the ever-growing story of our village on the hill.

When I look around this hall, every person I see reminds me that life is precious and beautiful. Because as people, though we are inherently imperfect and flawed; all of us live with the same driving force inside of us - the construct of love, despite fear. Nobody in this hall is of more or less value than any other, nor more or less worthy, of happiness, joy, support, hope and love. Yet, I see nobody in this hall who lives their life free of pain, suffering and distress.

The reason I love Marcellin so much is because when I came here, I felt worthy, because I was shown love and care. New friends invested in me, I was supported by new teachers, smiled at by senior students who I thought would have been too busy to notice a short, mushroom haired kid like me. And now, as my time has progressed through this College, I have begun to miss that about our community. It seems, many have lost sight of the value in showing people simple care, even in the smallest of ways. 

As an individual with a leadership title in this community, I - along with Harrison and Patrick - don’t wish to separate ourselves from anyone else. Personally, I am not more important and therefore more deserving of love and support than anybody here simply because I stand on this stage.

It is easy for me to stand up here and say that I don’t care when people judge and speak negatively about me, but it takes more courage to understand how those people feel, and say that I care about them, that they deserve love just as much as anyone, and sincere forgiveness. 

In Luke 23:33, during his crucifixion, Jesus begged forgiveness of the very people who had been driving nails through his hands and feet, ‘for they do not know what they are doing.’ Jesus saw through the hatred, towards people just like him, with the tragic absence of their knowledge about the goodness within them.

I see great value in forgiveness. Value in the form of freedom. As young people all we want to do is be free - to live life without boundaries. I know what the urge to be free feels like. But Life without forgiveness, is a life lived within the bounds of hatred. Hatred isn’t freeing. Hatred is heavy. It weighs us down - makes us feel angry, scared, anxious, judgemental. The American Theologian Lewis B Smedes and author of Forgive and Forget, said that “To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.” When we forgive, we free ourselves from the restraints of hate. Forgiveness removes any reason to be angry at what others have done to us, or to be scared of what they think - because we no longer place importance on the past. We no longer bear the burden of our judgements. When we forgive, we free others of the pressure to be a person who is a result of their past rights and wrongs. Forgiveness allows us the freedom to strive for the highest and encourage others to do the same.

I know many of you look at teachers as though they don’t know what it’s like to be you. They don’t understand and that they don’t care. Let me tell you, teachers believe in us. They see power in the people of tomorrow. Teachers have all been where we are now. They too go through pain and suffering. Nothing makes them less worthy of love and compassion than you. Take the time to listen, connect and engage with your teachers. Look at them knowing that their life isn't perfect either. Every teacher is a beautiful and valuable person. They go through suffering too. They’re not better than you. They don’t think that they are. They are here because they want to help you become the greatest version of yourself.

There is no us and them when we strip all the titles away. There is no teachers and students, No good and bad, No powerful and no weak. There are only people. What if we all cared for one another with the love we’d give to our very best friend? Or our mother? Or our father? Or ourselves?

So, place yourself in the shoes of those around you. If you show someone you care, then you show someone they are valuable and worthy. What if you smiled at someone who didn't believe they were worth smiling at? What if you spent five minutes speaking with someone who didn't believe they were worth looking at, let alone being cared enough about to talk to? These small actions can save lives, inspire hope and nurture self-worth and confidence within the young men at our school. So that they believe in their power to become men of virtue and courage, who by living every day on this earth, make it a better place.

I’m not asking you to be more, because you already have in you everything you're ever going to need. I’m just asking you to be you. The you beneath the busyness and complications of our modern lives. The you that isn't hidden by hatred and judgement. The you that loves and is loved, because that’s the real you.

When we live as our true selves, we can live knowing that we are trying our best, to be our best. We accept that we are not perfect; we are able to be content with the fact that hardship and making mistakes are a part of our personal growth, because we feel supported by the love within and all around us. 

Marcellin is a place where I feel loved and at home. Patrick, Harrison and I wish for that Family Spirit and Nest culture to empower each of you, and everybody who is yet commence their journey through our community.

I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude for the people in my life that have seen me through the happiest and toughest moments, supporting me when I needed them, and being proud of every part of me. My family are responsible for helping shape me into the person I am today and I’m eternally loving and grateful for having them in my life.

I believe the greatest leaders are the ones we can see ourselves in, because they show us that we have the power to make a mark - to live, and not simply exist. You don’t have to like me, but I want you to find hope and strength within yourself in the fact I'm standing here speaking to all of you right now. Because I'm just a person, a kid like any other, just like you. And if I am able to achieve positive things through living a simple life of love, compassion and forgiveness, then you can do the same. Each person here today deserves to strive for the highest, to be the best version of yourself because you want to, not because anyone tells you to. Know you are enough, you are loved, and you are powerful. Show others their value, by embracing your own.

I’d like to finish by leaving you with this quote from one of history’s greatest peacemakers - Mahatma Gandhi.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Thank you.