I would not presume to assert that I understand the pain and anguish that is being felt by the Berry family and Stella’s friends at this difficult time. I do hope, however, that as Principal of Shenton College, I have the responsibility and right to respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the life of Stella Berry – Shenton student, Year 11.
Stella came to us last year – and I think it would be fair to say that at her enrolment we knew that we were inheriting a very special individual. She came to us with a clear sense of what she wanted from the school and an impressive sense of conviction about where she was at in her life and what she hoped to achieve. She wanted to run a marathon, she saw herself completing school and going to explore life overseas. In her short time here at Shenton College Stella has given embodiment to her name – for Stella, like her name, was a star. She radiated light into the lives of others and had a lasting positive impact on everyone she touched. Stella illuminated classrooms and friendships with laughter and a smile. It speaks volumes of who she was, that in the relatively brief period of time that she has been part of our direct school community, her light has shone on so many people.
I do hope I also have the right to acknowledge those wonderful personal attributes of Stella: Resilient, Artistic, Adventurous, Compassionate, Caring, Inquisitive, Inclusive and Tolerant.
The influence that Stella has had on our community reaches beyond Shenton’s boundaries and into the hallways and classrooms of St Hilda’s, Scotch and MLC. Shining lights, like Stella, radiate over vast areas and leave a warmth that nurtures, generates growth and nourishes.
I hope we will remember Stella by living out her values and attributes. I hope we will continue to be resilient during times of struggle and compassionate of others in need. I hope we maintain our adventurous spirit and inclusive way of being.
Shenton College acknowledges Stella Berry and the significant impact she had on the communities across the Western Suburbs. We pass on our sincerest condolences to Sophie, Matt and Mae to whom she was a loving daughter and sister, and we will try and continue to live out the values that Stella showed us. That is how Shenton will pay tribute to this shining light.