My name is Alex Korenevski and I am one of the student Directors at QACI. I would like to talk to you about my journey as a QACI student. Let me begin by giving you a brief introduction about myself. I am a music student, majoring in piano, the youngest of three siblings, all of which have attended QACI. As a result, I was very fortunate to become associated with the QACI culture from a young age. I can honestly tell you right now that it feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in the theatre at a QACI Open Day, feeling a bit nervous but definitely eager to find out more about QACI. I was wondering what QACI was all about; I wanted to know if I would belong here.
Personally, what made me finally decide to take the leap and come to QACI was my passion for my music and my wish to pursue it on a deeper level. I enjoyed being challenged and wanted to strive to achieve my full potential. I had heard all too well from my older siblings about the rigor of this international program that had a seemingly unpronounceable name. I understood that by attending QACI, I would be choosing to commit to a rigorous and challenging three years ahead.
But from the first day of this incredible journey, I was immediately immersed within the QACI culture. As I walked through those doors, it became clear to me what this school really was. QACI was a community; a community built on respect, support, and a passion and drive to achieve. As I was completing the pre-IB program in year 10, I was looking for ways to get involved within the QACI community. I joined our stage band, participated in Open Days, and was even invited to partake in QACI’s very own choir, Vocal Collective. With singing not being my forte, and also being put on the spot at the time, I thought to myself “Well, here goes nothing”. Two and a half years later I couldn’t be more glad that I had taken that opportunity. I received so many benefits as a result, with my musicality and aural skills drastically improving. There are so many amazing opportunities at QACI, if you choose to embrace them and get involved.
As the journey went on, my cohort and I became associated with an integral part of our QACI culture: Earned Autonomy. As you may know, Earned Autonomy is a privilege that is passed on to students at QACI when they have been recognised for being responsible and respectful young people, not just to each other and within the community, but also within our interaction and respect towards the incredible state-of-the-art facilities that QACI has to offer. Between our teachers and students, there is a mutual relationship of respect and passion for our subjects. For instance, I have undertaken multiple opportunities to form music ensembles with fellow students, not controlled by teachers but rather supported and encouraged. These were a part of our Creative Ensembles showcases, where we independently develop and showcase our creativity as young artists in performance. Embracing those opportunities in this supportive environment further strengthened my desire to enhance my skills, as is the case across all the arts in their curriculum.
From an academic perspective, transitioning into the IB diploma program in year 11 was a challenge. My workload increased, with assignments being handed out what seemed like every few weeks or so, which made time management critical and required planning ahead to become a natural routine. I always remember a favourite saying from our own Deputy Principal, Mrs Williamson: “plan your work, work your plan”. I’m sure she’s very proud that it has managed to sink in, and rightly so! I have already mentioned how the IB is a very rigorous academic program and the students who come here are passionate because they embrace the challenge both within their art and their other subjects. No doubt there are times where it seems like more than a substantial amount to handle, but I’m here to tell you now, it is all manageable. Even while doing the IB, I managed to complete a course last semester at the University of Queensland, oddly enough not studying music, but studying international relations, an area I am interested in. This was something that would have been extremely difficult to carry out if not for my family and QACI’s support and encouragement to pursue my passion. Because of the way QACI has pushed me and allowed me to explore what I can achieve if I push myself, I was able to achieve my goal, and still retain all the tings I wanted to pursue, including my music.
All in all, coming to QACI is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. It allowed me to grow as a person, and develop new skills both within my art and outside of it, whilst at the same time learning to connect several bus routes. The culture of QACI is supportive and unique, and I believe that if you are passionate about what you do and want to push yourself to achieve more, this is definitely the right place for you!
Before I came to QACI, I never saw my own potential, working became more of an obligation rather than an opportunity. In 2013 I decided to go to a QACI Open day, I could not believe how amazing the school’s facilities were. I saw the pride and enthusiasm within the QACI students as they toured me around the school. It became clear to me that QACI is not an ordinary school…it is truly extraordinary. From the moment I found out that I got accepted into QACI, my attitude towards learning changed. QACI encourages a positive environment filled with passionate and creative people. On the first day of grade 10 we were warmly welcomed into the QACI flock, I was so nervous yet so excited for the journey I was about to go on.
Immediately we were all introduced to the QACI Culture. Although QACI is still comparatively quite a young school, the creativity and talent from the previous years has accumulated and inspired what we stand for today. The culture is something you have to be immersed in to fully understand; everyone here demonstrates culture through their dedication for their art, their desire to learn and their positive attitude towards each other. The talent within QACI is exceptional, I felt so motivated, proud and encouraged by everyone else’s success. In 2014, after coming to a grade 11 film night, my friends and I created a film, becoming a finalist in Tropfest Jr, which gave us the opportunity to fly to Sydney for the screening. QACI gave us so much support, and has continued to always have the student’s best interest at heart.
As a part of the QACI culture we aim to achieve earned autonomy. By demonstrating integrity and respect towards our peers, teachers, faculty and facilities, we are given trust and responsibilities. We work hard because we want to be the best we can be, we lift each other up so we can all see further and we fly in a V formation in order to support each other. We do not look at what we’ve got to do but instead, we see how much we get to do. Every year one third of the flock changes, and so many new fresh, excited faces enter the building. The new grade 10’s for this year recently went off to camp. I was able to come a long on the camp to help assist the year 11 House Managers.
It was such an incredible and unique camp that effectively introduced the grade 10’s to the expectations and opportunities QACI presents. The camp was filled with many different activities; it was a great time for all the grade 10’s to push themselves and think about their goals for their QACI experience. I know that QACI has helped me grow so much as a global learner, leader and human being. I look forward to coming to school every day and being able to share the experience with all three grades. As a person who didn’t care too much about schoolwork at my old school, I definitely believe that in the right, positive learning environment – my passion for growing has flourished.
Although the work can be hard and tiring, you will always remember that what you put in is what you get out. You get to choose to embrace the challenges, you get to choose whether your experience will be extraordinary. I am so thankful with my decision to come to QACI. I couldn’t be prouder of this school. Not only do I feel more prepared for university, I have had so much fun and so much laughter along the way.