To go from a classroom in the dusty Queensland outback to the lush grounds at a city boarding school could be daunting, to say the least.
But across Toowoomba this week, hundreds of eager students are doing just that – leaving behind the only classroom they’ve ever known, in some cases their only peers their siblings, and entering a world that will open a myriad of opportunities in return.
And it’s not just boarders who are taking that massive step, with Prep and Year 1 students embarking on years of education.
They’re the young minds that need to be cultivated and taught not just their ABCs and 1,2,3s, but how to be good, kind and caring people.
Less than three weeks ago, the tragic death of teen Dolly Everett shocked the nation and sparked a national movement to end bullying in all its forms.
That’s the lesson that we as a community, and schools as educators, cannot afford to forget.
There will no doubt have been tears at many school gates yesterday, and probably more today as students enter the classroom for the first time and say goodbye to their parents for the first term.
But let those tears be the only ones our students and the next generation shed this year, and not caused by bullies in any of their gutless forms.