Boarding Report – February 23, 2017

February 22, 2017

This past Friday saw our first Boarding Community event for 2017. It was a wonderful occasion with a poignant Liturgy, led by old SPC Boarder Fr Justin, followed by such a warming Smoking Ceremony, as two cultures came together to celebrate the inclusivity of our boarding family, before the evening concluded with a -‘magical’ themed dinner prepared by our Chartwells and our catering team. Thank you to all who were able to attend, it was very special to see our dining room alive with such cheer at the start of our new year. For those unable to attend I include my speech from the evening that focuses on what it means to be a member of our boarding community. Enjoy.

-Father Justin, Headmaster, Deputy Headmasters, Members of the College’s Leadership, Boarding Staff, Staff, Parents, Guardians and, most importantly, our 2017 Boarding Cohort.

Tonight is not the night for a lengthy address from me -“ tonight is for the acknowledgement of all that it means to be a boarder -“ for all that it means to be a member of this thriving boarding community. Tonight is about welcoming all. And all are most welcome. For many of you tonight may mark your first experience of the many wonderful social gatherings that are offered by our College. I am certain that tonight will present an opportunity for new friendships to be formed, as they have within our boarding houses for the past few weeks. For our boarding community is not simply our boarders, it is our boarders’ families and the many supportive staff, some of whom are able to be with us this evening. So I encourage you all to grasp this opportunity.

When you are welcomed to a community it goes without saying that to feel comfortable, familiar with your surroundings, to feel apart there needs to be an understanding of that community. So tonight I wish for you to know what being a member of our boarding community means. First and foremost, it means you will be well supported. This past week Jake Bailey spoke with our boarders of adversity. He said that the development of resilience was an essential leadership skill for all as we navigate the inevitable adversities in our lives. His intention was not to be either pessimistic or morbid -“ he saw this as something that facilitated a sense of purpose, of grasping opportunity. As a member of our boarding community you have an opportunity -“ an opportunity that is not afforded to all -“ and one that is unique. At the start of this week our four student leaders spoke at our first -‘Monday Night Guest Speaker’ evening. Harry, Charlie, Ossie and Sam shared their vision for our boarders for the year ahead. They spoke passionately and genuinely of the need for each of us to recognise the opportunity that being a boarder at St Patrick’s College affords -“ an opportunity that is not exclusive to academic support and sporting aspirations -“ but opportunity to engage in our own and the wider community to help others. Their message of support for one another, to face, as Jake spoke of, the inevitable adversities, was developed to challenge our boys to support others. I sat with the leaders at the end of last year and discussed how this would practically materialise. We decided that the focus must be on those that do, not those that don’t. As a College, as a boarding staff, we will support those in their journey to seek to support others. This is one of the -‘value added’ components of a boarding education. Ossie spoke of his challenging journey to and through this College. He emphasised the importance of a support network, which we develop for all our boarders and is unique to each boarder. To see so many of our College staff represented here this evening highlights the willingness to support all our students, perhaps though especially our boarders as their journey, day to day, is done away from their families. Both Jake and our leaders stressed the importance of grasping each day, with each new opportunity, not simply because it will be or could be our last, but because it enriches our lives and those that we support. Showing a respect for those that came before, those that travel with us and those to follow is integral in recognising and grasping life’s daily opportunities, especially here as a member of our boarding community.

So as you are all warmly welcomed into our boarding community know that you have a new member of your own support network -“ and that is us -“ and we shall endeavour to do all we can to support you in facing adversity, tackling life’s challenges, not missing opportunities -“ and, most importantly, looking after one another. Boarders thrive when they are provided with steadiness and support; when they know where the boundaries are; when they are cared for and inspired. Our boarding community can provide this.

Have a wonderful evening, eat, drink, be merry, make new friends -“ don’t miss an opportunity.-

Look after yourselves.

Mike Silcock

Director of Boarding

Phyland/Farley House Focus:

This fortnight saw the Phyland/Farley boys in the full swing of things within the boarding house, school and other commitments. Despite the underlying facts and pressures of these commitments each individual has in good nature showed support to others around them. The traits and leadership set out by the year 12’s in the house highlights a positive path for the juniors to follow. The simplest gesture of including, not one, but all in an open invitation to go to the gym after study period or to spend a couple of hours together after school or on the weekends is great to see. It was with great pleasure having all Phyland-Farley boys attend the Boarders -‘Welcome to Community’ event last Friday and it was an even more pleasurable evening sharing the evening with family, friends and colleagues. From this we continue to focus on the elements of doing for others and I believe the foundations for -‘doing for others’ have cemented itself in the day-to-day happenings within the house.

Miss Shelly-Ann du Plooy

Housemaster, Phyland and Farley

With the turmoil a new year brings finally settling down; Phyland/Farley has begun to also find a rhythm. The boys continue to support each other suggesting places to go in Ballarat during their down time, finding the best café around town and helping with that all important decision, which football team do I sign up for? What has been really great to witness is the boarders taking the chances offered to them; engaging in activities both from within the college community and outside. This I hope will increase as the college and boarding calendar continue to fill up over the year, the current attitude however, of seizing the opportunities offered is a great start to the year.

Mr Daniel Willey

Weekend Housemaster, Phyland/Farley

Kenny House Catch-up

Week 4 is already upon us and it is pleasing to see many of our boarders, new and returning, taking the many opportunities that are offered to them within the school.

One such opportunity is the SPC Swimming Sports this Wednesday at the Eureka Pool. Many of our boys will be competing for House pride and a possible place on the SPC swimming team that will compete against other Ballarat schools in the BAS competition.

It is also extremely pleasing to see the boys take their opportunities within the classrooms. It is a proud moment when you observe a student making the effort to contact teachers or support staff for that extra bit of guidance that may be needed for understanding or clarification.

Many opportunities are also available to the boys outside of the College and within the community. It is pleasing to see some students grasp the challenge of taking up a new sport, joining an external club or volunteering their time for those that may be less fortunate than themselves.

Opportunity is all around, some boys may need a little help to recognise it, but when they do, I am nothing short of proud and impressed by the many talents that these boys possess.

Kenny House has become an engaging environment with plenty of laughter, fun and friendships. I could not be happier with how all of the boys have settled in to the routines, both during the day and within the boarding house.

Miss Tamara Westwood

Senior Housemaster, Kenny House

An eventful few weeks are behind us with our boarders’ now finding their rhythm in both class requirements as well as assimilating to an expanded home environment in their respective boarding houses. It is wonderful to see all our new boys doing so well in Kenny house blending perfectly into the pre-existing family with ease. Our weekend activities have commenced with Go Karting last weekend and 18 holes of golf to enjoy this week. With tradition both staff and boarders continue to attend Mass every Sunday. Our new boys have been very quick to embrace this weekly event with their superb behaviour and respect truly a perfect testament to our school’s ideals. Another successful Boarders Mass/Dinner was held last Friday evening. The first for the year which sees a `Welcome to Community ‘ event with a traditional indigenous `smoking ceremony’ performed again to help bolster both inclusivity and acceptance, a lovely evening!! In this early phase of the year all looks very promising with our boarders performing high above our expectations. More news in a couple of weeks.

Ewen Larsen

Weekend Housemaster, Kenny House