2022 Dux Nico Cacayorin addresses Laureate Assembly

Find happiness amid the chaos.

Some months after leaving Blackfriars as a student for the final time, 2022 Dux Nico Cacayorin has returned to address the Laureate Assembly.

The annual Laurate Assembly celebrates graduates who achieved ATARs of 90 or above, as well as Blackfriars scholarship recipients and other award winners.

Addressing the assembly, Nico, who achieved an ATAR of 99.20 and is studying Law at Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, encouraged students to seek happiness.

“No matter how chaotic things become, you must keep your head up high, embracing change and making the most of the opportunities you have in front of you,” Nico told the assembly.

“At Blackfriars, you have so many teachers and peers who are willing to help you not only pursue your interests and passions, but teachers and peers who will put a genuine effort into creating opportunities for you to thrive and become something greater.”

He likened his Year 12 journey to that of Sisyphus – the figure from Greek mythology who was forced to eternally roll a stone to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll down again.

“Sisyphus is met with disappointment, but must stay committed to his duties,” he said.

“Year 12 is similar in how after one assignment, or after one test, you are instantly bombarded by the next one. And when all goes wrong, you are met with chaos, but must finish all your assignments.

“However, in the story of Sisyphus, it is mentioned that, ‘The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill one’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.’ Just as Sisyphus embraces change by changing his perspective on things, realising his happiness lies in his duties and not the outcome, Year 12 is one and the same.”

2022 Dux Nicholas “Nico” Cacayorin addresses the Laureate Assembly.

He said a change of perspective would allow students to “find happiness amidst a chaotic year”.

“This is the main message I would like to impart onto all of you: find happiness amid chaos – just as Sisyphus does,” he said.

“Just like all these years before, the grades and achievements you receive in Year 12 do not dictate your happiness. Your happiness ultimately lies in the memories and relationships you share with your peers, your teachers, and your families.

“Just like how you must keep your head up high at times of adversity, just keep doing the things that fulfill you and make you happy and you will eventually conquer this seemingly endless mountain called school.”

2022 90+ ATAR recipients, from left, Sang Le, Alan Banh, Hy Bao Buu, Nico Cacayorin, Cooper Smith, Finn Hudson, Lachlan Pedersen and Matthew van der Woude with Board Chairman David O’Loughlin and Principal David Ruggiero at the Laureate Assembly.

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