Aquinas College Foundation Thursday, 23 Mar 2023

Terry Bourke (’43) welcomed into Veritas Society

At a special event on Tuesday afternoon, the College and the Foundation proudly welcomed Terence (Terry) Bourke (’43) into the Veritas Society, established to thank and celebrate members of the community who leave a gift to the College in their will. Terry’s three children - Jenny, Libby and Michael - were present at the ceremony, along with past and current recipients of the Terry Bourke Family Bursary, several parents and Foundation and College representatives. In his keynote address, Veritas Society Patron, Justice Eric Heenan (’62), spoke about a humble and extremely successful Aquinian who lived a life of incredible service. Principal Robert Henderson and the Aquinas College Foundation thank the Bourke family for their continuing loyalty and support of Aquinas College.

Read More
Aquinas College Foundation Monday, 30 Jan 2023

Welcome New Foundation Councillors

After an extensive recruitment process in late 2022, the Aquinas College Foundation and Aquinas College are delighted to announce the following appointments to the Aquinas College Foundation Council, effective November 2022.

Ian Burvill (’79)
Ian commenced at Aquinas College in 1971 and was dux of the school in 1979. He has Bachelor of Engineering and MBA degrees from The University of Western Australia. Ian has lived in Perth, Sydney and Denver (in the USA). He has worked in the mining industry as an engineer, banker, private equity investor and public company director, and comes to the Foundation with extensive board and committee experience. Ian and his wife Sharon have three adult children. Ian is a keen sailor and has competed many times for Aquinas in the College Cup.

Michael Prandi (’81)
Born and raised in Kojonup, Michael attended Aquinas as a boarder from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, he returned to Kojonup to work in the building industry, taking over the family business which he successfully ran for 32 years. Michael has been married to Suzanne since 1992 and has had two sons pass through boarding at Aquinas (between 2010 and 2017). Well known to the Aquinas community, Michael has served on the Aquinas Advisory Council (2017-2022), the Aquinas Building and Grounds Committee (2012-2022) and the Boarding Parent Committee (2016). In 2020, Michael and Suzanne moved to Perth to pursue business interests. Michael is looking forward to contributing to the Foundation.

Kirsty Burnett
Kirsty is a qualified accountant with over 15 years' business and administration experience in the corporate sector. Over the last five years she has focussed her energy in the not for profit sector, in particular organisations whose work directly benefits children. Driven by the desire to improve the lives of children in need, both locally and overseas, Kirsty hopes to provide opportunities for children to thrive within the Aquinas community in her role at the Foundation. Kirsty and her husband Norman have a son in Year 10 at Aquinas.

Read More
Aquinas College Foundation Monday, 14 Nov 2022

Annual Foundation Philanthropy Award

In conjunction with Mr John Richards, Director of Christian Service-Learning, the Aquinas College Foundation was proud to launch the Annual Foundation Philanthropy Award this year to recognise students – across Junior School, Middle School and Senior School - and staff who actively embraced our four touchstones of Liberating Education, Gospel Spirituality, Inclusive Community and Justice and Solidarity during the year, and made outstanding contributions to the College or local community.

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated throughout Term 3. The quality of nominees was outstanding, making selection a challenge. After much deliberation by the selection committee, Noah Myers (Year 7) emerged as the Middle School winner and Jack Sheppard (Year 11) the Senior School winner (there were no Junior School or staff winners for 2022). Certificates of commendation are presented to the winners at their relevant Presentation Nights. Read on to find out more about our Middle School and Senior School winners.

Noah Myers, Middle School Winner

Noah demonstrated great initiative by finding placements at Foodbank and Conservation Volunteers during his school holiday breaks. These agencies normally engage much older students and adults, so for a Year 7 student, like Noah, this was a wonderful achievement and service to his community. Noah has selected the Cancer Council WA as the recipient of his $500 prize money.

“I first volunteered when I did the Ignite Award in year 5 & 6 and I really enjoyed it. I chose Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA). In Year 7, I found out we had to do a minimum of 10 hours of community service. I thought about volunteering for another organisation, as well as CVA, and decided on Foodbank, as I knew about what they did as a charity and I wanted to help. This Award means that I can give back to another organisation. If I can play a part in that, then it means the volunteer hours have even more meaning. My Nan sadly passed away from cancer and my parents told me how proud she would have been to know I made a contribution to Cancer Council in not only her memory, but for everyone affected by the disease.”
Noah Myers (Year 7)

“We are so proud of Noah’s achievements. Every time he volunteers, he gets stuck right in and just gets on with whatever he is asked to do. Noah is so pleased he can give back by donating some well-needed money to his chosen cause which is the Cancer Council WA. Having lost his much-loved Nan to cancer, it’s a cause close to his heart. Noah is lucky to have Aquinas support him in his endeavours. We wholly encourage not only Noah’s, but also any young man’s, efforts in giving back. We feel blessed we continue to be able to do this. It truly does impact positively on everyone involved.”
Sally and David Myers

Noah Myers
Caroline Bryndzej from the Cancer Council with award winner Noah Myers

Jack Sheppard, Senior School Winner

Jack is the founder of Jack’s Creative Kitchen, and has been baking, packaging and selling cookies since he was fourteen years old. Jack donates all his proceeds to local charities, including Saint Barts Refuge and Autism Association WA. In addition, Jack has used his Christmas wrapping skills to raise more than $1500 for Variety Club WA, donated 150 cookie bags for Edmund Rice Day 2021, helping to raise funds for Edmund Rice ministries, and spent personal time caring for autistic children. Jack has selected Autism Association of WA as the recipient of his $500 prize money.

“My philanthropic work is something that I hold close to me. I get to do something I love, baking and creating has always been a passion of mine, and I always wanted to do it on a large scale. The prospect to raise money to help others was a great opportunity. I have personally seen the wonderful work charities like St Barts, Variety WA and Autism Association of WA have done and it makes me proud to know my hard work goes to worthwhile causes. I’m just a person who loves helping people. It just feels natural to me and puts the biggest smile on my face. Especially when I’m using my time to do something worthwhile. It’s a very special feeling when you give your time to make someone else happy … the most amazing part of the award was the $500 prize money that I was able to donate to the Autism Association of WA. I have always wanted to acknowledge those living with Autism in our Aquinas community and show my care and support. Jack Sheppard (Year 11)

We love Jack’s enthusiasm for service. Nothing is ever too much trouble. He is always willing and able, provided the support and the opportunity is there to help him. We encourage all parents to support their sons in pursuit of activities they enjoy that can also help others. Whether it is organised by themselves or the school, it is a spiritually rewarding experience that they should not miss as part of the holistic education offered at Aquinas. As Jack enters adulthood, service will always be a part of his life and we are so thankful to all the teachers and staff for supporting him in this area of his education. We are blessed to have a son who, more often than not, places others before himself and we are extremely proud of the beautiful man he is becoming.”
Fiona and Mark Sheppard

It is reassuring to know there is a generation of young philanthropists in our own community who are already making a difference in their world.

Jack Sheppard
Award winner Jack Sheppard with Paul Baird from Autism Association WA

Read More
Aquinas College Foundation Thursday, 24 Feb 2022

End of an Era

Farewell to the Old Aquinians and Friends Reunion Tour Group

After 15 tours to iconic WA locations between 2006 and 2022 (missing 2020 only due to Covid), the end of the line has come for the Old Aquinians and Friends Reunion Tour Group. The original group of travellers was comprised of Aquinas graduates from the 1950’s, with ‘friends’ added along the way as numbers dwindled. Fast forward to 2022 and many of the original group have passed away or now find touring too difficult due to illness or incapacity.

As reported in the December 2021 issue of Fish Magazine, the 15th tour to Margaret River in November last year was the group’s swansong tour. Since their first tour to New Norcia and Wongan Hills in 2006 - the brainchild of Bill Boekeman (’54) - the group has covered key locations between Kalbarri in the north, Albany in the south and Kalgoorlie to the east, savouring the local attractions at every stop while raising more than $60,000 for Aquinas College Bursaries along the way.

Each tour was arranged and conducted with military precision, thanks mostly to the organisational efforts of Jack (’54) and Ronda Bana. Each year a tour booklet was produced, incorporating the full tour itinerary – dates and times - the names and contact details of all the tour participants, details of all previous tours, details of all previous Foundation contributions and Helpful hints for a happy trip.

Each tour included a special dinner with a live auction of various goods donated by members of the tour group, with the proceeds of the auction - and any leftover tour fees or donations - forming the basis of the annual contribution to the Foundation.

On Thursday 20 January 2022, the College and the Foundation welcomed more than 40 past members of the group for a final, annual Foundation thank you luncheon. The event afforded the group an opportunity to come together for a formal windup that included presentations to key tour group players, speeches and the handing over of their final Foundation cheque for $4,915.

On accepting the cheque - along with a special commemorative plaque - Principal David McFadden thanked the group for their tremendous contributions to Aquinas College Bursaries over many years, contributions that have directly supported the mission of the College to educate boys who would otherwise not be able to attend Aquinas.

Although there was a feeling of great sadness at the closing of an era, there was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the fun and the camaraderie shared by all who took part in the tours over 15 years, as well as a great sense of pride in helping many young boys to receive an Aquinas education.

From the College, a big thank you to everyone involved. Your generosity has provided many bright and deserving boys with the opportunity to realise their dreams and change their lives for the better. We wish you all good health and look forward to other opportunities to welcome you back to the College.

Louise Symonds
Executive Officer | Aquinas College Foundation

Read More
Aquinas College Foundation Monday, 11 Oct 2021

Annual Appeal to Current Parents: Thank You from the Foundation

With the 2021 school year now in its final term, there is still time to make a voluntary, tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation and receive a tax receipt for the 2022 financial year. Contributions of any amount can be made by visiting the Online Shop and selecting ‘ACF Inc Annual Bursary Appeal’ or ‘ACF Inc Building Fund’ from the dropdown menu.

Contributions to the Scholarship Fund via the Annual Bursary Appeal have the power to change the lives of boys who would otherwise not be able to attend the College, while contributions to the Building Fund enrich the learning environment for all our boys.

All gifts to the Building Fund and the Scholarship Fund are allowable tax deductions under the name of ‘Aquinas College Foundation Inc Building Fund’ ABN 93 078 219 075 or ‘Aquinas College Foundation Inc. Scholarship Fund’ ABN 93 078 219 075 respectively, with tax receipts provided by the Foundation.

A sincere thank you to all our families who have supported the Foundation during 2021. Every contribution, whether small or large, makes a big difference to the lives of our boys and the future success of the College.

Read More