1431 Sturt Street Ballarat, Victoria, 3350
Phone:   +61 3 53 311688

Boarding Report - September 15, 2017

author: Mike Silcock

12 Sep

Boarding Report - September 15, 2017

As we reach the final edition of our College’s Crest newsletter for Term 3, I thought I would turn the tables and ask our Year 12s who now move into the final straight as a boarder at SPC to reflect on their time with us. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.


“I came to St Patrick’s College in 2014 when I was in Year 9 as a 14-year-old. I heard about St Patrick's from a relative Shane McAuliffe who was also attending the College. My favourite highlight from my time here would be meeting new people and experiencing a new lifestyle, also being able to make great friends. I've learnt how to do things on my own and developed resilience and learnt new skills from great leaders within the college and to also be a leader myself.

Where to next? I see myself teaching and continuing on to be a leader and a great role model to the kids in my community and to show them that you can achieve whatever and to accept the challenges and opportunities that I have and to work hard to reach success."

Osmond Green King – Anula, Northern Territory


"I came to St Patrick's through a desired lifestyle change and to broaden my networks. The biggest highlight for me personally would have to be the mates I’ve made through other boarders and also day boys. The opportunity to board at St Patrick's has taught me the value of Mum’s cooking and the value of some peace and quiet. After finishing Year 12, I plan to go home and chill out for a while and get ready for potentially university next year."

Zak Wilson – Narooma, New South Wales


"I came to be at St Patrick's through word of mouth around my local community as well as my Pa having been an Old Boy at the College. Many people had advised me about the good reputation for both sporting opportunities and to further develop my academic abilities so I decided to give it a go and it has been a great experience.

My highlights of boarding have been getting to know all the different people you live with and their backgrounds and making connections with people all across Australia.

Whilst boarding at St Patrick's I have learnt to be more independent and cope with everyday challenges.

Next year I'm still undecided as to what I'll be doing. I'll either look to go to uni or go back to my local town and take up a job in something that involves being outdoors amongst the elements for a year or two."

Harry Hobbs – Ellerslie, Victoria


"I came to be at SPC with previous people from back home going through the school they had said how good the school was. It had a reputation of a school that had a good footy program that compliments the schooling along with an enjoyable boarding program. This appealed to me as something I'd really enjoy and it would be a good opportunity for me to improve my football, schooling and social life.

A highlight for me is the school footy program, playing 1st XVIII on Simonds Stadium even though we lost but just playing footy with your schoolmates.

I've learnt how to make new friends, become more independent and learnt how to adapt with change.

From here, I want to go to uni but I'm still unsure as to what course I want to do and where I want to go."

Tom Morrish – Ouyen, Victoria


"I came to be at St Patrick's after I followed in my older brothers’ footsteps of moving back from Dubai, where we were living at the time, to board here. My mum is from Maryborough and had known about SPC for a while and this is one of the reasons we chose it.

One of my highlights of boarding is spending one of the final days of Term 4 with the boys out the front of Kenny House playing cricket, footy and messing around with an inflatable pool.

Being a boarder I have learnt what it is like to live with a bunch of different people and the ups and downs that come with this lifestyle. Boarding has also taught me the benefit of routine which has helped in adjusting my work ethic for the better and this I can say I am very happy with.

For me, next year I will hopefully be at university in Melbourne studying Commerce. I am saddened to be leaving Ballarat and SPC but this is outweighed by my excitement for what the future holds."

Seb Paul – Dubai, UAE


"My journey to St Patrick's College all started with a teacher James Castles coming from Victoria to a small town in Western Australia, the heart of the Kimberly's, Halls Creek. He was a teacher there when I was in Year 10 and he started playing for the local football club, Halls Creek Hawks, and from having a few games with each other, our friendship started to build and grow and we became close friends.

From then on, we would always have a conversation, at recess and lunch and then halfway through the year, he just asked me out of the blue, “Would you repeat year 12 again?” I thought about it and at the moment I was wanting to leave my home town because there was really nothing for me to do and I just said, "I'm keen mate". He left that year but he stayed in touch from time to time and last year he brought up a group of students from the town of Camperdown to Halls Creek and that's when we had our last talk about St Patrick's and I just said, “Yes mate I'll take this opportunity, it only comes once in a life time”, and that's how I ended up here.

The highlights for me would be the amount of sports that are played here. It is crazy! I have never been to a school that plays so many varieties of sports and they play it at a good level. The most highlight for me was playing for the 1st XVIII footy team program and playing basketball for the boarding team and just seeing how us boarders became closer from Term 1 when we didn't even know each other and now I have heaps of mates in the boarding house and school.

I've learnt that being a boarder is that you live under a boarding house with a whole different group of boys you have never seen before and a lot of different cultures are all under one roof so you have to try to come out of your comfort zone. To learn about other people and their background and once you start to get to know people, your friendship grows with them and next thing you know, you have mates for life all over the place and whenever you end up back in their home town, you have mates to catch up with that you haven’t seen for years.

 From here I am heading back home for Christmas and New Year’s and in that time I'm away I'll be thinking about what I'm going to do next year and were I want to be with a job and playing footy. It's possible that I could end up back in Ballarat next year. If that doesn't work out, I'll probably be back in Halls Creek, doing a labouring job as a plumber."

Dale Cox – Halls Creek, Western Australia


"I was a Year 10 student at a little school in Ararat called Marian College. I had always thought that going to boarding school in Ballarat could open up so many more opportunities not only with sport but to further my education. With this only a thought in the back of my mind, I wondered into Hamilton Sheepvention in 2015 like I did with my family every year, not knowing what would come of it and how this day would change my life forever. As we were walking through one of many sheds full of wonderful stalls, I came across the St Patrick’s College stall where I met Mr Silcock, who then explained what life like a boarder is like and the benefits it can have. I was hooked straight away and I couldn’t wait to start my new life as a boarder. My first week did not go as I had expected with being away from home beginning to set in, but with the wonderful support I received from the boarding staff at St Patrick's I remained and if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.

One benefit of being a boarder at St Patrick's is having the ability to strive and perform your best in your preferred sport, which in my case, was cricket. It had only been my fourth week at St Patrick's when I played my first 1st XI game against Grammar. It was such an honour to represent St Patrick's even though I was fairly new to the school and it still fills me with great honour to walk out onto that oval wearing the blue and white colours.

Being at St Patrick's may have helped me strive to become a better cricketer and further my education but to me the most important thing St Patrick's did for me, was creating lifelong friendships with not only other boarders but those who were day students.

Life as a boarder is fun and there is never a dull moment but it is the life after boarding that is the real test. I feel that being a boarder has prepared me for the coming years which for me is either attending uni to study Business Management, my first year out of school, or getting a job to make some money to set myself up for Uni the year after. Either way I am so appreciative for being able to attend St Patrick’s College and for all it has done for me."

Sam Pilgrim – Warrak, Victoria


"I came to St Patrick's for a change of lifestyle and improve my opportunities in football and school.

The biggest highlight for me personally would have to be the mates I've made through other boarders and also day boys, and the memories we have had in the two years. The opportunity of boarding has made me realise how important good food and sleep is and not taking it for granted.

After completing Year 12, I plan to go home, chill out for a while and then either go to uni or just get a job. See what happens."

Izaac Johnson – Echuca, Victoria


"I came to being at St Patrick’s through the Rebels Football Program as Gerard Fitzgerald, the coach of the Rebels, thought it would be very beneficial to my football development if I was to make the move to Ballarat, allowing me to train with the squad on both nights.

One of my highlights for this year would definitely be having the opportunity to play for the school football team for the season and another would be the build-up to the Head of the Lake where I was given the opportunity of being involved in war cries along with the entire Year 12 cohort.

Through being a boarder, it has given me greater independence in not having my parents around telling me what to do and what not. Where to next, I’m not quite sure but I know I’ll be definitely having a break from study after a long year of Year 12 and then we’ll just see what the future holds for me, I guess."

Keegan Gray – Heywood, Victoria


"In 2014, I made a life-changing decision to make the transition to move to St Patrick's College Ballarat, to enter the world of boarding. Following the exponential decrease in students, which was largely and soon becoming a problem for my social, academic, and sporting life at school, I, through the assistance and guidance of my parents, and brother, decided to move from Derrinallum P-12 college.

My highlights would be in my first year of boarding, soaking in the life of a boarder like a sponge, and expressing my experiences to others was a huge part of my journey. A highlight of my time at the college are the friendships that I have made, and certainly aim to maintain after my graduation from the school. I have more importantly enjoyed spending 4 years of my life at the base of the school grounds. This time at the college has really changed my perspective on life, and has promoted the fact that boarding is really fun.

While being a boarder, I've learnt not everything falls the way you'd like it. There are challenges faced as a boarder, and a boarder essentially needs to withhold a sense of resilience and optimism in order to cope with the expectations of such a different transition. I've learnt that school, and boarding to an extent, don't always lead to a favourable outcome, and, keeping a positive mindset, through determination and commitment, will have greater rewards and benefits in the years to come.

If my academic aspirations go accordingly, I'd love to study commerce and law at a desired university."

Tom Millard – Derrinallum, Victoria


"I came to St Patrick’s College at the start of Year 10 in 2015 as my family and I saw SPC as a school which catered for my needs academically and recreationally. Over the past two and a half years I have been presented with opportunities giving me the ability to broaden my networks and increase the number of skills and abilities which I offer. I came to St Patrick’s to better my education and opportunities in study, as well as engage in rugby at the college.

Over the years I have been a part of the boarding community, it would be safe to say that some of my fondest memories from time at the college included the week leading up to boat race (Head of the Lake) and the 2015 BAS Grand Final which the boarders team competed in, both events really highlighted the true pride and spirit which our college as a whole possess.

Next year I intend on taking a gap year, spending the time travelling and part-time working in an effort save up for university in the year to follow."

Charlie Pollard – Camperdown, Victoria


"I came to St Patrick’s College after Mum and I had a discussion about my future for both academics and for further development of my football. It was also through Mr Silcock’s generosity that I was able to attend boarding and with it, the benefits of a boarding lifestyle.

My highlight would have to be the numerous times I was able to spend time with the other boarding boys, but also my achievements through my athletics and my football as well.

This year I've learnt many things such as a structured way of life and have developed ways to set and achieve goals and manage stress.

Next year I hope to continue with my footy and attend uni, although I am unsure in what to study."

Tom Scott – Wallacedale, Victoria


"The way I ended up at St Patrick’s College was because of the many opportunities both the school and Ballarat had to offer. From academic to sporting opportunities, St Patrick’s and Ballarat had it all.

Coming from a small country town of Birchip with a population of 1200, SPC was the right place to finish off my schooling education.

One of my most memorable moments of the College would be the week leading up to my last boat race. One of the things I have learnt by being a boarder is to learn to live with others by sharing rooms together, despite different personalities.

My next year plan is to either study Agriculture in Melbourne or get a building apprenticeship close to home."

Joe O’Donnell – Birchip, Victoria


"I first started my boarding pilgrimage at the tender age of 15, moving in to year 10. It was a daunting experience as a young schoolboy, coming from my home town of Culgoa with a humble population of 90, to the overwhelming presence of St Patrick's College with 1500 students.

Wanting to broaden my horizons, I saw that St Patrick's was the best option for me, with the vast number of opportunities it has available. With two of my three brothers also having done boarding at another school, I felt that it was the best choice for me.

Some of the experiences that stick with me most throughout my time here include the week prior and day of Head of the Lake. This was really close to my heart, as it gave me a sense of real togetherness and great comradery. One of my fondest memories within the boarding community was when we did the bread run. It was a real eye opener for me, and showed a side of the world that I had not seen before. Boarding has given me good life skills, such as communication and interaction with others. Being in such close quarters with people, it helped me to be more resilient and versatile in situations involving others. Once I have completed my time at St Pats, and become an old collegian, I plan on going to university in Melbourne studying in the health sciences. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at St Pats, have made a lot of new mates which I'm sure I will have for years to come, and who have taught me things I will use for the rest of my life.”

Pat Barry – Culgoa, Victoria


Look after yourselves.


Mike Silcock

Director of Boarding