British actor Tom Felton made a surprise appearance via video at the Bray Park State High School Year 12 formal.
Better known as Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter movie franchise, Felton told the Year 12s he and year level co-ordinator and performing arts teacher Courtney Fegan had been working on the surprise for months.
“My name is Tom Felton, better known as Draco Malfoy, in a really ludicrous muggle disguise just to keep myself out of the loop,” Felton says in the video, in which he wears a tie-dyed sweatshirt.
“Your teacher and I have been thinking about this for months really, about the best way to bring in a congratulations on graduating, but our plans to have a cup of tea together, for me to come to the school, have all been ballsed up by COVID, which has put quite a spanner in the works.
“(But) we’re still here to lift your spirits.”
Principal Peter Turner says the students were delighted by the message and the school has worked hard to make the year one to remember for all the right reasons.
“They’ve had a series of firsts – they were the first Grade 7s, the first to have ATAR (an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank), the first bomb scare during an exam and the first to finish school in a pandemic,” Peter says.
“We’re trying to make it a great year in terms of not letting them miss out on the culminating activities.”
He says the Year 12s stepped up to deal with remote learning and held a virtual Anzac ceremony.
“Then their senior jerseys arrived in the middle of shutdown so all the teachers drove around delivering them.
Year 12s were welcomed back to the school after the COVID-19 shutdowns with a guard of honour, and farewelled the same way on their final day.
“We wanted to let them know the world’s for them,” Peter says.
In his video message, Felton offers some sage advice.
“Thank your teacher – she’s clearly a gem.
“I know these are very scary and weird times, but the future is going to be redrawn by the likes of you – you are now in power.
“You get the chance to shape your own future, so that’s exciting, although it’s a bit scary at times.
“Look after each other, look after the teacher and I look forward to seeing you in the Slytherin common room at Hogwarts.”
Peter says Courtney organised the video through Cameo, an app that provides personalised messages from celebrities for a fee.
“She paid for it herself and we played it at the formal as a surprise – it was just another way to show them they're special.”
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