PAST students, families and staff enjoyed an evening of inspiration at Emmanuel College’s alumni dinner on Saturday.
The Inspiring Alumni induction brought back former students, including Brisbane Lions captain Jonathan Brown, academic Professor Colin Ferguson, theology lecturer Sister Adele Howard, AFL umpire Shaun Ryan and midwife Karan Smith.
Journalist Martin Flanagan also spoke at the event, interviewing each inductee and inviting the audience to informally ask questions.
Emmanuel College principal Philip Morison said the induction nights were aimed at inspiring current students.
“It’s about being role models for the kids,” Mr Morison said.
“We’re trying to show there are ordinary people just like them who go on to do extraordinary things, and that happens through planning and sheer hard work.
“If we can get kids to see it’s not their job to sit back; it’s their job to have a dream, to go out and get it, or more importantly, to go out and be a service to others, to have a positive impact on the world, that’s what we’re trying to achieve. Eventually the halls of our school will be filled of inspiration for our students.”
Mr Morrison said this year’s alumni inductees each exemplified the example as hard workers from humble backgrounds.
“They’re a very special group of people. They’re all different and that’s the beauty of it,” he said.
“Every one of them has done something in their specific area that can inspire us.
“Each year it gets bigger and better.
“As Martin Flanagan said to me last night, there’s a general feel of community and it’s fantastic.”
While students did not attend the event, Mr Morison said they would watch a DVD of the inductees’ stories.
College marketing director Jean Christie said each inductee was chosen not only for their hard work and success, but for giving back to the community.
“I think it is inspiring to hear people’s stories,” she said.
“The unifying trait of all inductees so far is they’ve each given something back to the community.
“It involves everyone; rather than a night of formal speeches. A lot of people would be worthy of the honour, it’s just a matter of finding out about them.
“Most inductees have been a bit reluctant to see it as receiving an award; it’s more putting it out there as ex-students, saying ‘If you go to school in this town you can do as well as these people’, achieving your goals, with a bit of hard work and commitment.”