Eloise Caruana

Commencing at GVGS in Year 5, Eloise Caruana has always been passionate about her sport. “I’ve competed in the school netball teams – both VNA and ICCES – every single year since I started,” says the Sports Prefect for 2019. “Netball has always been something I’m super passionate about.” In her early years at GVGS, Eloise had the opportunity to explore her love of music, leading to her being involved heavily in the Music Department during her time at the school. “In Years 5 and 6, you trial a lot of instruments and then pick your favourite to continue on with it,” she says. “I’ve been a part of the ensembles and a few bands…and I enjoy singing as well.”

Year 12 Coordinator, Chelsea Pohlner says Eloise’s leadership style over the past year has been characterised by positivity and inclusiveness. “Her determined efforts in her studies have not limited her long-standing commitment to the diverse range of co-curricular activities on offer at school,” Ms Pohlner says. “Even this year, she has continued to be an integral member of the Music Programme; playing and singing in bands, ensembles and orchestras.”

Heavily involved in extracurricular activities during her schooling, Eloise has never felt pressured to choose between her academic studies and her love of sport and music. “The school gives you a lot of opportunity to do whatever you want,” Eloise says. “If you’re musically inclined there are opportunities to be successful in that, or if you’re more sports inclined then they accommodate that as well.” With much of her spare time consumed by netball and playing the saxophone, Eloise knows that the skills she learns on the court and in rehearsals ultimately help her with her studies. “Everything that you do outside class ties back into what you do during class in one way or another,” she says. “I like to keep myself busy…it helps me to relax.”

With her VCE studies now complete, Eloise looks back on her time at GVGS and is grateful for the opportunities she had. “When mum and dad decided to send me and Georgia (Class of 2017) to GVGS, I think they knew it was the best way to make sure we would have the best possible chance at achieving our goals,” she says. Eloise commends her teachers, saying that they have each had an impact on her personal growth and academic success. “If I ever was unsure about something, I never hesitated to ask for help,” she says. “The teachers have always been super supportive and pushed me to do my best with my school work.” Eloise highlights that the commitment her Year 5 and 6 teachers had to her learning during her early years at GVGS, saying it played a vital role in her completing her VCE. “There was a time when I was really struggling with my reading and they reassured me that I was learning at my own pace and to just keep going with it”, she says. “When you’re struggling, the teachers here just know how to take you back to basics and work with you from there so you can work out where you’re not understanding the concepts.”

Eloise also believes that the support services available to students at GVGS were crucial in getting her through to being the Class of 2019 graduate she is now. “Year 11 and 12 were really challenging for me,” she says. “Having counsellors and psychologists available if you needed them was really important and helped me a lot.” The support services the school provided for Eloise have helped her to get into a good head space and eventually make the move down to Melbourne to continue with further studies. “I’ve gained a lot of tools to help me,” she says. “The school sets you up so well and prepares you for the rest of your life.”

As for 2020, Eloise is looking forward to undertaking her sports traineeship at GVGS. “I’m excited to get some experience and work out if teaching is something I want to do in the future,” she says. Beyond that, she is planning on heading down to Melbourne to begin her tertiary education. “Being in this school environment has made me want to work helping other people because I’ve been so well supported,” she says. “I want to do a job that is focused on other people and bettering their lives so I’m thinking either criminology or maybe teaching.” With ATAR results now released, Eloise’s focus is on being the best version of herself. “What’s important to me is doing everything to the best of my abilities,” she says. “That doesn’t mean being top of the class, it just means doing your best.”