Oakhill School was exceptionally pleased to present its 3rd annual Oakhill Careers Day last Wednesday, 9 May 2018 with a variety of presenters from volunteer community members and tertiary institutions representing well over 40 careers. These presenters shared inspirational career information with our youth. Senior pupils from schools within the community were warmly welcomed, with Knysna Secondere, Knynsa High and Knysna Montessori School joining in the learning experience. The day certainly fulfilled its aim to inspire, motivate, and enrich the lives of our youth by showcasing some of the many options and opportunities available to students after leaving school.
It was a significant opportunity and privilege to have Gill Marcus, previous Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, as the keynote speaker of the day. Marcus having previously served as Deputy Minister of Finance, as well as a member of Parliament, shared her opening address to over 350 high school pupils speaking with an authentic personal experience of South Africa about the past, present and what the youth should anticipate for their future. Her wisdom was focused on using one’s career to make a difference in the community.
Marcus’ message was truly inspiring, encouraging each individual that “Every one of you matters. You can shape the future”. She shared that she would like to see the youth show confidence in our future and that it takes all of us working together, putting aside our differences. She asked the audience to question themselves: “Do I feel included in the future and can I shape mine?” She acknowledged that “for a shared future you need a common experience. To see yourselves in the future you need to have hope and understand that YOU are what makes it happen, but not at the expense of others.”
“There is NO substitute for hard work and you should have passion for what you do” said Marcus. With a deep understanding of the history of our country and the young democracy, Marcus realistically shared that “without education it is difficult”, however that “it doesn’t matter your circumstance – no one can do it for you”. She continued to encourage the youth to show passion, commitment and integrity in what they pursue.
She further acknowledged that there “is a big difference, in that it is possible today to shape your future” expanding that it’s important to have the courage to do the right thing. ”It’s easier to stand for what is right than stand against what is wrong“.
She spoke of what she values – the “right to life, respecting life, respecting others, taking the opportunities to be the best you can be”. This takes a genuine curiosity about life and Marcus said the key is to “enjoy and get the love of reading. Reading opens the world”.
Oakhill’s philosophy of the joy of learning and a growth mindset was further reiterated as Marcus closed her speech wishing this young generation to “live your life to the full and create your future”.
Jannie de Villiers, Head of Oakhill School commented “I was thrilled to hear Gill Marcus challenging young people to consider their career options by bearing in mind the purpose they want to serve. Why do you do what you do? This is the question that helps us find meaning and fulfilment in the career we pursue. A good education empowers young people to answer this question with confidence – a privilege that every child in our country deserves”.
After the key-note address, each student had the opportunity to attend four sessions that they had pre-selected. Spoilt for choice with a vast array of career professionals and representatives, future-minded experiences were shared … from an Oceanographer Exploring Antarctica, a Paediatric Cardiologist, and a Spacecraft Engineer, to Architecture, Producers in the Film Industry, Chef School, Advertising and Copy Writing, Veterinary Science, Animal Therapy, Adventure Tourism Blogging, Conservation, Yacht Building, Flight School, Clothing and Textile Design, and a plethora of other potential careers.
Oakhill extends their sincere thanks to all the guest speakers who graciously shared their career experiences with Oakhill and other pupils – it was a truly enriching encounter which has left impressions on the youth well beyond the classroom.