Community Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

International Women's Day

We celebrated International Women's Day on Wednesday 8 March 2023 at Aquinas College. We had a special morning tea for all of the female staff. Our student leaders across the College served for us and did an amazing job.

Women play a unique role in an all boys setting and an important role for our young men at Aquinas College. We can assist boys to be aware of the contribution that women have made and continue to make in society.

It is worth noting the importance of female roles models is especially crucial for young boys in primary school. At this stage of their development young boys are still forming their beliefs and attitudes about gender roles and may be more influenced by the adults in their lives.

Having female educators and mentors can help boys to see females as competent and capable leaders, breaking down any gender stereotypes they may have. Learning from women will assist our students to develop empathy and understanding for people from different backgrounds and have tolerance for different perspectives.

In a world where gender inequality still exists it is important for our students to understand the importance of inclusivity and equality. Seeing women as successful role models can help our students to be more inclusive and supportive of women in all aspects of life.

More specifically when we consider the curriculum here are some of the ways we may show our support for women.

History- Teach boys about the contribution women have made throughout history. Highlight notable female role models such as; Mary Seacole, Rosa Parks, Mahala Yousafzai and Miriam- Rose Ungenmerr- Baumann

Literature- Expose boys to literature written by women that feature female protagonists. Hermoine Granger- Harry Potter and Princess Pearl- Zog

Science- The curriculum can showcase the achievements of female scientists throughout history from Marie Curie to Rosalind Franklin.

Politics and Society- Teach about the suffragette movement and the ongoing issues with equal pay for women.

We also celebrated this week by asking each student to wear a colourful tie in recognition and support of the amazing women in their lives. Programs that we introduce in the Junior School such as Making New Friends where we engage with girls schools in meaningful and authentic ways as well as our Character Education programs and great respect we have for our Mother of the Church Mary as a part of our Catholic Faith, are just some of the ways we embed an admiration and respect for women in our daily lives.

Nicole Monzu
Head of Junior School

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Community Monday, 27 Mar 2023

Disabled Surfers Association

Saturday 25 March was the last session with the Disabled Surfers Association at Leighton Beach. Many Aquinas students volunteered for this program during the summer which occurs once a month from November to March. The Disabled Surfers Association prepares a fantastic morning for clients who have a wide range of disabilities and helps them get on a surfboard and catch some waves under the guiding hands of a team of volunteers. The March event can get chilly and overcast and last weekend was no exception. But by mid-morning, the sun was up and the wind died down and it was all worth it. Thank you to Dante Aldegheri, Matthew Drake-Brockman and Bryan Prinsloo who attended this month’s event, and to the many others who helped over the summer. The program will start again in November.

John Richards
Director of Christian Service-Learning

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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.

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Community Monday, 20 Feb 2023

Containers For Change Drop Point

Containers for Change Logo

Aquinas College is an official Containers for Change drop off point. A green cage is located by the Hockey Pavilion, where parents and students alike can drop off eligible containers as a donation to the school’s Sustainability Council and school run projects. The Containers for Change program can also be accessed through purple bins across the school at key points.

Donating containers goes a long way to helping the school and more importantly, helping out the environment around us. So far donating through Aquinas has collectively achieved 1.06 tonnes of carbon dioxide taken out of the atmosphere! That’s 7134 bottles donated, almost 3 whole SUVs worth, and 7274 kilometres worth of carbon emissions created from driving.

Impact Snapshot
Eligible Containers

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Community Friday, 10 Feb 2023

Principal's Commissioning Assembly

This week’s Principal Commissioning Ceremony was a special occasion for my family. Hopefully, it was also significant to the College given it marked the first appointment of an Old Aquinian to the role of Principal.

During the assembly, I provided the following message:
“It is wonderful to have students from the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools present here today.

The three biggest influences on my life have been my family, my friends and Aquinas College. It is particularly special for me to have my wife, Robyn in attendance and to have my brother Sean involved in the ceremony. We are a close family. Our childhood home is just across from the McMahon Oval and Aquinas has played a huge role in my family for the past 50 years. I am proud to be an Aquinian.

When I first walked into the grounds of Aquinas College as a Junior School student, I was filled with wonder and awe. As a much older Aquinian, I still have those feelings as I wander around our campus.

I was here when the Christian Brothers ran the College. Here in our Chapel is where I really learned to pray and got married; I was here when the first concrete was poured for our Swimming Pool; I was here when the Redmond Library was built. I was here when students used to run around the bottom ovals, which we knew as ‘the Desert’.

All that is history. Hopefully, today is much more about our Aquinas than it is about me.

As well as my family and EREA being present, we also have guests representing Catholic Education Western. We are part of a wider network of Catholic schools, and I am delighted that the Principals of Santa Maria College, John XXIII College, St Norbert College, Corpus Christi and Mazenod College are in attendance. They are my friends as well as my colleagues.

Mrs. Oaten’s presence is particularly important as we are both keen to further harness the relationship between Aquinas and Santa Maria. Mrs. Oaten is a former student of Santa Maria so we are both in quite a unique position.

Thank you to Dr O’Connell from Scotch College for joining us today. We are a PSA school and it is great to have that network represented.

I am absolutely delighted that my former colleagues from John XXIII College are in attendance. I love that school. I have always been very loyal to JTC, and I know that loyalty has been reciprocated. I learnt the value of loyalty as an Aquinian.

Thank you also to representatives of our College Advisory Council, Foundation and Parent Groups for their attendance. Most importantly, thank you to the young Aquinians and our staff, in front of me. You are the reason I am at Aquinas.

I am incredibly impressed with the young men I have met to date and our staff are wonderful. As Aquinians, I am determined that we will win with grace and lose with dignity in everything that we do. I am excited to be part of Aquinas College with all of you in the years to come.”

Robert Henderson

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Community Friday, 10 Feb 2023

Point Walter Triathlon

On the 26th of January there is a triathlon held each year at Point Walter. This year it was great to see a number of staff, current students and old boys racing. Congratulations to everyone who competed!

Photographed: Lucas Brown (Class of 2018 and current Boarding Supervisor in Brothers House), Barton Mincham (Yr 11), James McPherson (Junior School Assistant Principal), Nathan Eaton (Assistant Director of Sport), Nelson Aranda (Class of 2018) and James O’Neill (Director of Nunan House). Absent from the photo but also competed were William Kilshaw (Class of 2021) and Xavier Mitchell (Class of 2016).

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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.

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Community Monday, 05 Dec 2022

Past College Captains Day

College Captains Day was another success in 2022. It is a day I mark in the calendar as one not to be missed. It is so enjoyable catching up with fellow Aquinians from years gone by and, despite the 12 months between each event, conversations tend to continue from where they left off the year before. Matteo Conte provided an inspirational speech, his first as Captain of the College. His words and message to his fellow students was simple - be men for others. Mr Schumacher cited Mother Teresa’s selfless life in his address, following similarly humble themes to those explored by Matteo. It is so reassuring to hear those anecdotes being told to these impressive young men. What’s even more impressive is the way they live these values. As always, I had trouble leaving at the conclusion of the function. Old memories, different ones, came back to me wherever I looked. You might forget what happened, but you’ll never forget how a place made you feel. That’s Aquinas. As I looked back at the grounds when leaving, I knew that Aquinas remained in very good hands and will continue to produce men for others. There is no more important brief.

Daniel Spencer (’03)

An eclectic group of young and not so young men had assembled around a caravan. They had one thing in common: each had at one time been College Captain of Aquinas College. Tom Hoad (’57) and John McCormack (‘58) represented their decade. The younger cohort covered each of the subsequent decades right up until Naveen Nimalan the 2021 College Captain. The van was the Holy Ground Coffee Van. It was but one of the changes they observed on an area best remembered by those more senior as the Redmond Oval. Discussion within the group gradually became a synopsis of the growth of the College from when it was a solitary building with boarders sleeping in dormitories, to the magnificent educational edifice that spread before their eyes. The highlight of the day was the announcement of the incoming College Student Leadership Team. It had come a long way from when the students lined up in the quadrangle and the Head Master called up a dozen or so young men to present them with their Prefect Badges after which the College Captain was given access to the school phone to call his parents. This year’s family-centred ceremony gave this group a detailed insight into the comprehensive structure of 21st Century student leadership. Matteo Conte, the College Captain for 2023, won the respect of his predecessors as he gave an extraordinary acceptance speech. Aquinas will be in good hands in 2023.

Mike O’Meara (’66)

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Community Monday, 05 Dec 2022

66th Annual PSA Golf Day

28 OCT 2022

What a great day at Cottesloe GC where 128 players representing all seven PSA schools, gathered to play for the Shield this year. It was great to enjoy the camaraderie of old and new school friends and foes. In what turned out to be a tough day on the course with the conditions warm and windy, the scores certainly reflected that was the case. As is expected the Cottesloe was in superb condition and the greens very challenging. Needless to say there are always some players that rise to the challenge and manage the course.

This year the best score was Peter “Fingers” Annear who scored 39 points for his Christ Church Grammar School team. Despite Fingers’ mighty effort it wasn’t enough to carry his school to the Shield on this occasion.

As we have seen before the Scotch team rose to the challenge and amassed enough points from their top four players to take hold of the Shield for 2022. Well done Scotch College. No doubt some local knowledge was useful on the day but a big congratulations to Tony “Bo” Bovell, Rod Sedgwick, Richard Young and Alex Gordon for getting the job done! A small history of this event, Scotch College won the very first event in 1959, and at that time the best six scores counted and the event was Par.

Since then Scotch has continued to stand on the podium 23 times, the latest being 2019 before COVID hit. There has only seen one recorded draw in 1983 between Aquinas and Christ Church. Hale has won the event 15 times, Aquinas 10 times, Wesley seven times, Guildford six times, Christ Church three times and Trinity once.

We hope everyone had an enjoyable day and found the event met their expectations. There has been some welcome feedback in regard to playing off the blue tees which we plan to implement the option of players aged over 75yo playing off the white tees with a two shot penalty on their handicap. As well we plan to introduce a perpetual trophy for best individual score on the day. A number of players have suggested sponsorship options and if you are interested for 2023 please contact us.

There are a number of people to thank for making the day such a success including the Cottesloe Golf Club and staff. Thanks to Tracey-Lea, Luke, Damian and Connor I the pro shop, Ben and his staff in the bar, Kurt and the catering team who all went above and beyond to make the day a success, well done. In addition all of the schools alumni and development offices assisted the promotion and communications with the event to their respective alumnis.

As advised on the day we were generously sponsored by Peter “Pumpa” Hughes from the Apil Group. Thanks Pumpa your sponsorship is much appreciated Finally the day is about having fun, catching up with old and new friends, and competing in a game of golf. Thanks to all who participated, organised teams and replacements when required. We want to keep it simple and we would like any feedback on the event to make it even better going forward. We look forward to seeing you next year.

Phil Willis & Mick Stroud

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