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Valedicts praise College environment

Waqar Rayani

Two of Warrane’s Valedicts for 2012 – Waqar Rayani and Faraz Siddiqi – took the opportunity at the dinner for this year’s Valedicts to pay tribute to each other and to Warrane for providing an environment in which they could not only grow in friendship, but come to see each other as “brothers”.

Faraz was born in India and moved with his parents and two sisters to Australia for his primary schooling at Canterbury Primary School in Melbourne. His family then moved to Kuwait where he completed his secondary education at the New English School of Kuwait before returning to Australia and entering the University of NSW.

While at Warrane he has completed a Bachelor of Medical Science degree and is now looking at doing either an honours degree or a postgraduate degree in medicine. He has been a Warrane scholar for the past two years, and as Waqar pointed out in his speech, has a “passion for knowledge and science”.

Faraz has also been a keen contributor to College life. He was a member of the Warrane cricket and basketball teams, was this year’s Basketball coach and has taken part in social soccer and tennis while in College.

He was also involved in the Ipswich work camp and other Warrane community initiatives including participation in the St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol and helping out the Little Sisters of the Poor in Randwick. While noting that we normally can’t chose members of our own family, Waqar concluded his speech by saying that you can after all “choose a family for now Faraz is my brother”.

Waqar also has many achievements of his own. He recently graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce with a high distinction, has been a College scholar and on the Dean’s list in the UNSW School of Business for the past two years.

He has been a Warrane Academic Tutor for Commerce and Senior Academic Tutor as well as a tutor in the UNSW School of Accounting. In 2011, he was Treasurer for the Warrane Activities Committee and is a keen runner who has represented Warrane in intercollege cross country.

But it was Waqar’s personal qualities that Faraz emphasised during his speech.

“He has shown spontaneity, self-belief, bravery, and a desire to be there and to share experiences with his friends, and a willingness to try something new,” Faraz said.

“Waqar is not afraid of walking his own path. It was due to hard work, self-discipline and innate intelligence that he achieved his results. One thing that is special and that is not common with many high achieving people is that he achieved this without becoming a social pariah and with a strong disposition to help his fellow collegians academically. He is a fantastic role model for younger collegians to follow.”

Waqar said that he had enjoyed his time at Warrane immensely, and that the environment in College had helped him not only to become friends with Faraz but with many others as well.

“In first year I didn’t know anybody,” he said. “But after I came to Warrane there was suddenly more than a hundred people that I felt close to. If I could, I would continue to live in College as long as possible.”

Both residents’ valedictory speeches were spiked with humour. One of the highlights was a story about Waqar’s decision to jump into the UNSW swimming pool after the Warrane team won the 2010 Intercollege Water polo competition. Waqar jumped in despite the fact that he didn’t know how to swim and swiftly sank to the bottom of the pool before being pulled out of the pool by his friend, Faraz.

If you want to hear the full story, watch the video of their Valedicts speeches here.