Opportunity – What a difference it makes!

Since its days on the Terrace, the Aquinas College community has shown its generous spirit, supporting many programs, activities and capital developments across our history to create today’s College landscape, which provides diverse learning opportunities for boys in the tradition of Edmund Rice.

In recognition of our recent 125th anniversary year, we invite members of the community to contribute to the Aquinas College Scholarship Fund. Aquinas College awards scholarships to more than 40 students each year, with preference given to those in genuine financial need. In the spirit of Edmund Rice, join us in granting more scholarship opportunities to the next generation of Aquinians.

All contributions to the Aquinas College Scholarship Fund are tax deductible under the name of ‘Aquinas College Foundation Inc.’ ABN 93 078 219 075, with receipts issued. Donations can be made at the College Online Store or by filling in the attached form and returning it to the Foundation.

Over the years, many talented and motivated young men with a genuine thirst for lifelong learning have passed through the College’s Scholarship Program, forever altering the course of their lives, students like Sam Shales (’04), Jonas Aranda (’13) and Jiah Reidy (’16).

Sam Shales (’04)
Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, uncles and cousins (from both sides of the family), Sam came to Aquinas as a day student in Year 5 and was subsequently awarded the Old Aquinians’ Association Scholarship for Year 8 – 12. At school, Sam was heavily involved in most aspects of school life: representing the College in 1st XVIII Football and the school Athletics team; performing in multiple school productions and receiving Music and Drama awards; participating in the Peer Support Program; serving as a Eucharistic Minister; and undertaking many hours of community service.

Years at Aquinas 1997 – 2004
Degrees Bachelor of Biomedical Science from Notre Dame University, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Notre Dame University

After Aquinas
“Since leaving Aquinas, I have completed several degrees. I am currently on the Orthopaedic Training Program and have just received another scholarship to undertake part of my training in the US. Over the years, I have travelled to Papua New Guinea as well as multiple Australian rural and remote locations to provide medical services to people in need. I have presented research at national and international meetings. To fund my studies, I have worked as a bar manager and a promotional manager. In my spare time, I have managed to satisfy my dramatic side with some small television and movie roles, and stage musicals.”

What Opportunity Means to Me
“To me, the opportunity of an Aquinas education enabled me to achieve all of the above and it enabled my parents to afford the cost of sending my younger brother to Aquinas. There is no way I thought I would end up being a surgeon, but Aquinas gave me the tools and the moral values to strive and succeed in the real world.”

Jonas Aranda (’13)
Jonas came to Aquinas in Year 8 and was the first person in his family to attend the College. Following consistently high academic results between Year 8 and 10, Jonas was awarded the Terry Bourke Family Scholarship for Year 11 and 12. In addition to his academic prowess, Jonas also excelled in the athletics arena. In his final year at Aquinas, as Redmond House Captain, Jonas scooped the pool at the PSA Athletics Carnival, winning the 1500m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m races.

Years at Aquinas 2009 – 2013
Degree A.B. in Physics from Harvard University                                

After Aquinas
Following graduation from Aquinas, I moved to the US on a scholarship to Harvard University to study Physics, graduating in May 2018. Throughout my four collegiate years, I also competed in the middle distance events (800m and mile) for the Harvard University Track and Field Program, travelling around the US and internationally. Following graduation from Harvard, I moved to New York to take up a position as a Data Analyst for the New York University Department of Emergency Medicine, where I am in charge of collecting and analysing data from clinical databases to help the medical centre improve their emergency care delivery systems and, ultimately, patient care.”

What Opportunity Means to Me
“To me, opportunity is the chance to grow and develop as a person, and to be open to the influx of knowledge to align one’s self with the ultimate goal of achieving greatness. Being granted an opportunity (like an Aquinas Scholarship) does not automatically grant you success; you have to be able to make the sacrifices that the majority aren’t willing to do, so that opportunities can be nourished to make a real difference in not only your own life, but in the lives of others.”

Jiah Reidy (‘16)
Jiah came to Aquinas in Year 8 after receiving a MADALAH (Making a Difference and Leading Ahead) Scholarship, and grabbed opportunity with both hands. The first person in his family to attend the College, Jiah immediately excelled in the sporting arena, representing the College in 1st XVIII Football and 1st V Basketball. Throughout his time at Aquinas, Jiah’s leadership qualities rivalled his sporting prowess. In Year 12, he became the first indigenous Captain of Boarding, was elected Athletics Captain and was the worthy recipient of the Ray Brown Medal for Outstanding Leadership in the Boarding Community.

Years at Aquinas 2012 – 2016
Degree BSc UWA, with a double major in Sport Science and Exercise and Health (3rd year)                           

After Aquinas
Since graduating from Aquinas in 2016, I have divided my time between studying and playing football, debuting for the Swan Districts league team in Round 2 of the 2018 season. Study and football permitting, I volunteer in a mentoring program through Swan Districts for at-risk youths, taking part in camp outs or simply having a kick with some young kids.”

What Opportunity Means to Me
“Opportunity to me is a chance at a better future. To have the opportunity to go from a small country town as a young indigenous student, coming from a low socioeconomic background, to one of the most prestigious schools in Perth means that I have a better chance at making a better future for myself and my family. Opportunity is like a second chance, where you get to wipe the board clean and choose your own destiny.”