Boarding Report – September 10, 2015

September 9, 2015

Director of Boarding

So often I regale you with an anecdote, some advice or simply use this opportunity to showcase the wonderful myriad of achievements our boarders accomplish each day. However in this fortnight’s contribution I turn the spotlight to our Senior Weekend Coordinator, Sports & Welfare Liaison Officer, our Kenny Housemaster -“ Ms Tamara Westwood. Tam has worked within boarding for almost two years now and has just flourished in this unique environment. Her success comes from her love of our boarders and a desire to give them the very best experience. She needs no introduction to you all but, having recently been in Alice Springs, representing the College at the ABSA National Conference, I thought it was time to let her tell you more about her love of boarding, her journey to date into the position she currently is and her time in the Red Centre.

Look after yourselves.

Mike Silcock.

My Journey to Date, by Tam Westwood

It is actually difficult to pin point the exact moment that I began working in boarding, as my role as the SPC Sports Administrator meant that I have been loosely involved with boarders for the past 6 years. However, I do remember the phone call I received one night, from the basketball stadium, indicating that one of the boys ( a boarder from Portland), had suffered quite a serious facial injury during a game and was needing immediate hospital treatment. As I was heavily involved in basketball and the staff at the stadium were aware that I worked at SPC, they gave me a call.

I won’t go into too many details, but immediate surgery was required and being the first time that this boy had been in hospital, meant that I was instructed to -‘scrub’ up and spent the night in hospital. I returned to the College and spoke with Mike Silcock and together, we created the Sports and Welfare Liaison role.

At the conclusion of Term 1, 2014 an opening arose following the departure of a boarding staff member, in the role of Senior Weekend Coordinator. I had always wanted to work within boarding, and this was the perfect opportunity to see if I was suited to the life of a boarding staff member. I loved it and pestered Mike constantly for more hours. I’m sure this was around the time a lock went on Mike’s office door.

The next step saw me land in the Kenny Housemaster role. A slight staff reshuffle across the other boarding houses resulted in the opportunity for me to apply for this role, and after obviously being successful, I have not looked back.

I thoroughly enjoy the challenges that boarding presents, never knowing each day what I will be dealing with. From the enlightening conversation with the boys, and the comradery with the staff, I hope to continue my journey in SPC Boarding and I can’t wait to see what my next role could be!

Leaders in Residential Communities Symposium

Wow. What an amazing opportunity and experience I was privileged to have during the recent Exeat weekend. I was lucky enough to attend the ABSA National Conference held in Alice Springs. I had never visited Alice Springs and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Before the conference began, we were invited to attend the famous -‘Henley on Todd Regatta’ which was an experience in itself! From the boat race (on the river with no water), to the sand dig and hamster wheel race, at one point, I wasn’t even sure where to look! This however, proved to be a wonderful opportunity to meet and catch up with fellow boarding staff that I would be spending the next few days with.

The conference started with a bang -“ listening to the Keynote Speaker, Waverley Stanley, who is the Founder of Yalari, a not-for-profit organisation that offers secondary education scholarships at Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities. Waverley’s talk, -‘Educating Indigenous Children – Raise Your Expectations So They Will Raise Theirs’, offered plenty of suggestions and ideas that could be applied – to all of our boarders, and gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own personal expectations of the SPC Boarders and ways that I can encourage individual growth.

My second workshop was titled -‘Isolated Students – Producing Australia’s Next Top Crop’. This was such an eye opening topic which covered so many aspects of our students that come to us from remote and rural towns. One of the main considerations that I took from this was our difficult it must be for some parents to entrust the care of their boys to our Boarding Staff. I will definitely be looking at techniques that I can embrace to make this transition period easier, not only for the new boys joining us, but also for the parents, families and guardians that are saying goodbye to their sons and brothers at the College gates.

As well as the amazing subjects that were covered during the conference, I participated in one of the best experiences of my life to date -“ -‘Dinner under the Stars’. Our only instruction before boarding the bus was to dress warm and for the outback! Plenty of jeans, boots and akubras filed the seats as we travelled almost 45mins down a long, bumpy, red dirt road, to Ooraminna Station. To say that I was surprised with what was waiting for us is a huge understatement.

Black table-clothed tables covered in tea light candles, fire filled drums and country music was just the beginning. Dinner was shared and plenty of laughs were heard, but it was when we were asked to blow the candles out that the night really came to life. The stars definitely came out. I have never seen the night sky as full and clear as I did that night. While the didgeridoo was played, we were given a tour of the many constellations and stories that filled the sky. This experience will stay with me for a very long time.

All in all, I walked away from this conference with so many new ideas, possible techniques and an increased passion for boarding and I can’t wait to continue in my roles within SPC Boarding.-

2nd V Basketball Grand Final

SPC Blue (Boarders) 45 defeated SPC Green 43

For the third year running, the Boarders Basketball team successfully made it through to the BAS basketball Grand Final. This followed an undefeated season under the guidance of coach, Mr Silcock.

Early on in the game, the SPC Blue side looked like they would be in the driver’s seat, with scores coming easily, especially from Yestin Eades who had no trouble finding the basket. It was when SPC Green found their feet that we had a game on our hands. Although the boarders had a 5 point lead at the first half, the momentum had begun to swing towards the SPC Green side. The second half was almost goal for goal, with both teams playing aggressively on offense, and solid defence. For the boarders, Jarrod Illig took control of the ball, while Max Scales worked tirelessly around the basket. Yestin continued his dominance on the scoreboard, scoring 11 points in the second half, but he was ably assisted by both David Smith and Chris Saunders. Jarrod Kemp, Jimmy Halloran and Tim Liston were, as always, consistent in their approach of the game, but it was a last minute, clutch shot by a young gun on the SPC Green side which forced the game into overtime, 40 points apiece.

Overtime saw a different SPC Blue side come out -“ more composed and smarter with the ball. Jarrod Illig and Max Scales both scored early in the period, but SPC Green were not going to lie down, scoring another clutch 3 pointer to put them only two behind at the final siren.

It was a wonderful match to watch and it was played with great sportsmanship. Congratulations to the SPC Blue boarders and Mr Silcock on a fantastic result.