The wait is finally over for more than 64,800 Victorian students who received their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) results this morning.
Faced with an unpredictable year, students demonstrated commitment and resilience as they moved between onsite and remote and flexible learning due to the pandemic.
Bentleigh Secondary College school captain Tia Lambas said to The Greek Herald that before she received her ATAR, she wasn’t sure if she would be “crying or screaming of happiness” for her family to come to her room.
“But I did neither. I just saw my scores, did a little dance and smiled with pride and relief,” Tia said to The Greek Herald.
“It was a nice feeling finally looking at my ATAR after what felt like such a perpetual wait and thinking ‘I did it, I survived the COVID year’.”
Tia said that being school captain in year plagued by COVID-19 was “not easy”, being unable to run the traditional events that the SRC would organise.
“…We couldn’t speak at assemblies and address the whole school and there were plenty other things we couldn’t do.”
Instead, Tia and her co-captain, Bayden Hill, filmed weekly “Keeping Up with Bentleigh” vlogs that were posted on the year 12 Facebook page, as well as through to the school community.
“We also got in contact with some local celebrities to give some warm wishes to our cohort, ensuring that our peers knew that they’re not alone and there are people in the world here to support them,” Tia said.
“Ultimately, we really had to think outside of the box like never before of ways in order to stay connected to the community and help those who were struggling most.”
Speaking to The Age, Tia’s mum, Mary Lambas, said she “slipped the congratulations cards under the doorway” at 6:50 a.m.
“I saw her work so hard, to not get what you wanted would have been a little devastating so I’m really happy for her,” Mary said.
Tia is looking to study medical imaging, yet says what matters most is that students “survived the year”.
“I’m really proud of all my peers,” she added.
Bentleigh principal Helen Hiotis said to ABC News that the students deserved to be able to celebrate after an unprecedented year.
“They’re what I call the students who survived COVID and I’m so incredibly proud of them this morning,” she said.