‘A night they deserve’: Lismore’s year-12 formal endures

After two once-in-a-generation floods and a pandemic, Richmond River High’s class of 2022 dress up, dance and put a truly harrowing year behind them

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The final years of high school are normally plagued by an uncomfortable combination of weird body things, long afternoons on public transport and the looming pressure of exams, but the graduating class of Richmond River High 2022 have survived much more than the usual tribulations of adolescence.

Richmond River High is in Lismore, New South Wales, in the part of town that was completely submerged in floodwaters in February just as the school year was getting under way. The class of 2022 have weathered crisis after crisis. In the years they’ve been at high school, global heating has inflicted two once-in-a-generation floods. Their town faces acute shortages in housing, alongside rising costs of living. Not to mention the small matter of a global pandemic. But happily, a time-honoured tradition of graduation has endured: the high school formal.

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