On Friday 26th July, 11 Old Aquinians from the Class of 1977 enjoyed a sumptuous three-course luncheon in the Waterford Dining Room.

The event was courtesy of Brad (’77) and Lisa Sinclair who successfully bid for the luncheon at the 2018 Foundation Ball Silent Auction.

According to Brad, the group thoroughly enjoyed its afternoon at the College and was amazed at the “beyond-restaurant quality” served up by Steve Lewis and his staff.

“Everything was fabulous and I had a most enjoyable afternoon catching up with our ’77 group,” said Brad. “The meal was nothing short of amazing …  a far cry from back in our Aquinas days.  Everyone has contacted me since the lunch to say what a terrific day it was.  It surpassed all of our expectations.”

“We all thoroughly enjoyed a very special day back at Aquinas and all felt so privileged to have attended such a wonderful school and to have such long-standing friendships from our time spent at Aquinas.”

Headmaster David McFadden, Dean of Development Peter Robertson and Head of Boarding Sean Henderson all dropped by to say hello.  With 10 out of 11 of the group former boarders, Sean Henderson also took the group on a guided tour of the new boarding facilities.

“A big thank you to Nichole (Alumni & Events Administrator) for putting it all together – the Power Point and Annuals, matching the wines, taking photos on the day and organising  a visit from the Headmaster: it set the mood for a good trip down memory lane for us all, ” said Brad.


The haze is coming! Red Haze Day coincides with the clash between Trinity and Aquinas this year – celebrating our combined 125 year anniversary at the final winter fixture of the season!

The P&F and Old Aquinians’ Association are encouraging community members to wear red and come along to support our teams – or purchase some select supporters’ apparel on the day!

There will be coffee and food trucks on site and plenty of action on the fields to keep family members of all ages entertained.

Competition starts at 8am and the 1st teams will play;

Badminton – 9am – Br Paull Centre

Football – 10.30am – Memorial Oval

Hockey – 10.30am – Hockey Turf

Rugby – 11am – McMahon Oval West

Soccer – 10.45am – McMahon Oval East

Old Aquinian and four-time Olympic Rowing coach Nicholas (Nick) Garratt AM (’65) passed away suddenly on 8th July as he prepared the U23 Australian Rowing team for the World Rowing Championships in the US this week.

Aquinas College, the Swan River Rowing Club and Rowing WA invite community members to a special Memorial Service to celebrate Nick’s life at Aquinas College this Sunday 21st July at 2pm in the College Chapel, followed by a Wake at the Swan River Rowing Club at 3pm (2 The Esplanade, Mt Pleasant).

Nick’s sudden passing has been felt across all levels of Australian rowing, with Rowing Australia President Rob Scott describing Nick as “… a passionate rowing coach who worked tirelessly to develop and support Australian rowers from grassroots to Olympic level. He was a greatly loved and admired member of our rowing family and we are all feeling this profound loss.”

Australian Olympic Committee chair John Coates said Nick’s dedication to Australian rowing and Olympic competition spanned many decades.

“At Olympic level, at national level and at club level, there are many hundreds of rowers, young and mature, who are in his debt as a coach and mentor,” Mr Coates told Rowing Australia.

Nick graduated from Aquinas College in 1965. He was a prefect and crew member of the 1st VIII in his final year at school. From the boatsheds of Aquinas and the Swan River Rowing Club (where he was Champion in the Senior VIIIs and a lifelong member since 1965) he continued his rowing accolades, including stroking for the WA King’s Cup crew three years in a row, before turning his hand to coaching.

Nick’s Olympic coaching career included four successive games, beginning with Sydney in 2000. He coached six world champions or medalists (Junior, U23 and Senior A) from 1995 onwards and coached more than 26 Australian champions.

His career was highlighted by many achievements, including his appointment as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2016 and being named 2018 Pathway Coach of the Year. He was current Head Coach of the ACT Academy of Sport.

Nick’s funeral will be held in Canberra on Thursday 18th July. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Heart Foundation via https://heartfoundationinmemoriam.everydayhero.com/au/in-honour-of-nick-garratt-am

The Aquinas College community celebrated the annual Ladies’ Auxiliary July Morning Tea on the final day of Term 2.

Mums, aunties, grandmothers and friends gathered to enjoy a delicious morning tea with family and new acquaintances. Guest speaker Amanda Viviers inspired audience members, discussing the importance of identity, taking time out for yourself and finding a creative outlet to alleviate stress in your day-to-day life.

Kelly Chisolm also spoke at the event, sharing stories of her time in Ruanda and being part of a supportive community of women. Aquinas College musicians, drama students and the Schola Choir also entertained guests on arrival and throughout the morning.

The annual July Morning Tea is the Ladies’ Auxiliary’s main fundraising event of the year. Each year a Major Raffle is held to raise funds, congratulations to the Major Raffle Prize winners;

1st Prize $10,000: Christine Bacon
2nd Prize $4,000: Michelle Latham
3rd Prize $1,000: Virginia Bradshaw

This event is organised and run by dedicated volunteers each year, and could not be possible without their ongoing support of the event. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s July Morning Tea.

(LAX President Janine Stanley [centre] pictured with second prize winner Michelle Latham and third prize winner Virginia Bradshaw)

The spirit of Aquinas College Rowing was alive and well on Friday 21st June when a group of Old Aquinian rowers from the 1950s reunited for a special luncheon in the Waterford Room.

Head of Rowing and MC for the day, Nick Collins, kicked off the reunion with a bus ride down to the N.N. Wilson Boatshed. As well as taking a walk around the current Boatshed, the group keenly inspected the remains of their rowing shed – the original boatshed built in 1938 – now just a few pylons in the water and a heap of memories.

With just a touch of bias, they all agreed the 1938 boatshed, built in the traditional manner over the water, was the superior boatshed, despite spontaneously toppling into the Canning River in 1969, following the completion of the Br N.N. Wilson Boatshed.

Whilst at the river, Nick Collins took the opportunity to explain to the group why the College needs a new boatshed, citing the poor state of the current shed, the lack of amenities in the shed (toilets, showers, change rooms) and the desperate need for more space to cater for a robust rowing community: we have 180 boys involved in rowing in 2019 compared with 40 boys in 1969.

Nick went on to explain the design of the new shed, which will include storage space for racing shells, tender boats and maintenance, a meeting room and a weights and ergo room, adding that it would serve the College well for the next 50 years. The group was particularly impressed with the size of the new facility and the inclusion of a weights and ergo room.

Next stop was lunch in the Waterford Room, with the ever-present Canning River in the background. David McFadden opened proceedings by welcoming the group back to the College and thanking them for their contributions to the College and to rowing, whilst Steven Lewis and his team provided a sumptuous three-course meal.

Despite the passage of more than 60 years, College pride and comradery was more than evident amongst the group as stories of their Aquinas College rowing days were shared around the table with much vigour: the good times and the hard times; the early morning starts; the back breaking training sessions; and those magical moments when it all came together on the river.

Thank you to all our rowers from the 1950s who were able to attend the luncheon, along with our Boatshed Appeal Patron, Brian Tonkin – it was a pleasure to have you back at the College. Thank you also to all of our rowers from the 1950s who have generously contributed to the Boatshed Renewal Appeal since its May launch. Your support will have a significant impact on our rowing endeavours.

Special thanks must go to Olympian and College legend Max Cunningham for coordinating the reunion. Armed with a list of names and some contact numbers, Max spent several days at the College tracking down a large number of rowers from the 1950s, and managing to obtain 19 positive RSVP’s for the reunion.

Thank you also to the following for making the luncheon a huge success:

  • Steven Lewis and his catering team
  • P&F President Mat Scott for running the bar
  • Megan Sweeting and the Grounds and Maintenance staff – Steve Burke and Jacob Bester – for helping with set up, driving the bus, etc
  • Andre Trentini from IT for providing our AV requirements
  • Nichole Rowson, Alumni & Events Administrator, for pulling this successful event together at short notice

If you would like to support the Boatshed Renewal Appeal and receive a tax receipt, please visit our Online Store.