by Peter Carruthers
FOR 17-year-old rising triathlon star Emma Hogan, the Proserpine State High School end-of-year formal at the Coral Sea Resort on Wednesday night marked the end of an epic era.
Emma, in an elegant but modern look, wore a cascading floral skirt with a white crocheted sleeveless crop top, accessorised with a silver clutch and pearl earnings.
Her date, Finnbarr Barett, also presented a dashing figure and sported an off-white single breasted suit with a white shirt and floral tie.
Arriving at the night to end all nights in a 1968 Ford Mustang, Emma said it was special to see her cohort all dressed up in what was both a happy and sad evening.
"We are leaving but we are leaving and it's good,” she said.
Having completed six years of secondary education at Proserpine State High and with most of her peers present at the Coral Sea Resort, Emma said she had formed many close bonds.
"I couldn't tell you one person here that I wouldn't get a photo with and am not good friends with,” she said.
Even going through primary school with some of these kids, you make such strong bonds and it makes it even harder to leave.
"I am so excited about tonight.”
On Friday, the class of 2017 will officially come to an end with the final school assembly and graduation.
Heading into Schoolies celebrations, Emma said she had registered but was not sure about how much time she would spend partying at Airlie Beach.
Emma said she had applied for Melbourne University in 2018 as her triathlon coach is based in Australia's second largest city. She hopes to become a professional triathlete and train in Melbourne.
Year 12 co-ordinator Erin Hinschen said students finished the last of their exams on Wednesday and the formal was the big celebration.
Ms Hinschen thanked the Coral Sea Resort, which accommodated the festivities, as the usual venue, the Proserpine Entertainment Centre, is out of action in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.
For all the glam pictures of the Prossie students on their special night, turn to our souvenir four page liftout from page 11.