Class of 2020 – Claire Hayne

Claire joined St Catherine’s in Year 7 and has made a significant contribution to Co-curricular activities at School. As a member of the Student Executive, Claire worked with her peers throughout 2020 to manage a range of activities that were enjoyed by the School community. Her leadership of the Great St Catherine’s Bake-Off during the Learn@Home program was exceptional. 

A talented performer, she took on the role of Pastor Brenda in the Senior School Performance of Freaky Friday. Further, she has represented the School on the GSV Tennis Team, and has also participated in House Athletics, Cross Country and Drama Club activities.  

As Claire steps away from St Catherine’s, hear about her aspirations for the future, and her reflections of her time at School. 

What do you plan to study post school?
A double degree in Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Genetics. 

Where do you hope to study?
Australian National University in Canberra, ACT. 

COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for 2020. Has it changed your perspective of where you see yourself in five years’ time?
No, although 2020 has thrown unexpected hurdles at everyone this year, I have tried to remain hopeful and confident that the missed opportunities will be limited to 2020. I’m sure my pathway and position will change course many times in the span of the next five years, and if 2020’s challenges are the cause of any changes I will simply be thankful for new opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. 

What have been some of the highlights of your time at St Catherine’s?
The highlights tend to lean towards acknowledging that big award you won, the sporting match that had the spectators on the edge of their seats or the musical performance that heard a resounding encore during its curtain call. While I have examples of all these moments during my six years at St Catherine’s, my most important highlights occurred in the classroom, the clocktower, the common room and everything in between. My highlights are laughing with my friends while running to a class we were late for, being dragged to the Café 3 times in one lunch time, thanking the girl who picked up my glasses for me after dropping them for the third time that day and so many more. It is the small moments that lead up to the big ones that make them so memorable. 

Despite COVID-19 what will you take away from this year?
I will take away a special bond with my peers that no other class before or after us can imagine. We got through this year together while apart, and I will carry that shared experience of growth and resilience with me for the rest of my life. 

What are some life lessons you have learnt from your time at St Catherine’s, and particularly from 2020?
If I could pick the three most influential life lessons, I will take away from my time at St Catherine’s they would be these: 

  1. Overreacting is like throwing a boulder into a swimming pool, unforgiving and simply unnecessary.
  2. Asking for help will always be infinitely better than struggling on your own.
  3. Say hello when you pass by someone, it could make their day.

What has COVID-19 taught you that you will be able to transfer into the next phase of your journey?
No matter the amount of time spent planning and organising (in our case 12 years of schooling was the precursor to this year) the world will not follow my schedule. Being flexible and adaptable to any situation thrown at me will be something I hope to permanently adopt post-2020. 

How do you believe St Catherine’s and your teachers have helped you reach your goals?
The majority of the St Catherine’s community may be made up of students and parents, but to me it is the teachers who create a great school. The teachers at St Catherine’s are supportive, committed and understanding. They are the ones we see every day, the ones who guide us to alternative pathways when our first one doesn’t work out. The teachers of St Catherine’s are the frontline and my complete lack of regrets when walking out of the gates for the last time is evidence enough that they are doing a brilliant job. 

What advice would you like to provide to future Year 12 students?
Spend time in the common room during your spares instead of going home. Do it for the girls that couldn’t and do it for yourselves because trust me time will go by faster than the speed of light!!  


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