Senior School Thursday, 23 June 2022

Collective Shout Presentations

On Tuesday 21st June, the Aquinas P and F sponsored four presentations from Collective Shout. The first two were during the day for Year 9 and Year 10 students and given by Daniel Principe, a 2005 graduate from Trinity College, and now a health professional, with a background in PR, marketing and media. Melinda Tankard Reist ran the presentations for teachers and parents. She is an author of six books, media commentator and advocate for young people and is world renowned for her work addressing sexualisation, objectification, harms of pornography, sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence against women.

Both Daniel and Melinda spoke to the question “How does pop culture shape your attitudes towards gender, sex & sexuality, social media, body image, ideas of manhood, mental health, violence etc?” They dissected the impacts of harmful messaging from media, advertising, pop culture and the global porn industry and discussed how cultural forces fuel distorted ideas and attitudes about bodies, relationships and sex. Daniel’s message empowered boys to navigate these cultural challenges and step outside the ‘Man Box’ resisting the harmful masculine stereotypes. He encouraged boys to be courageous and resist these harmful messages as they aspire to become good men.

WHAT DID THE BOYS THINK?

“During the presentation I thought that the speaker (Daniel) was really good and he kept me entertained in the topic. After the presentation I realised how bad pornography is and how women really feel about us men, and it also made me think that I need to make a change as well by being more respectful towards women and to not be tempted to watch pornography. I learnt from the presentation how badly women are portrayed by the media almost as if they are objects. Daniel showed us advertisements from real world shopping malls and posters, and it was very bad how women were always half naked and men were always dressed. A positive action that we can take to step outside the “Man Box” was to stop thinking of women as objects and to stop thinking of women only in a sexual way.”
Lucas Ali

“Before the presentation I was feeling a bit awkward about the whole thing and didn’t know what to expect. The presentation made me feel sad and shocked about the things that people do as jokes about women and how some people only look at women like objects. What I learnt from the presentation was that pornography is bad for your body and your mental health, it can affect the way you approach women and the relationships that you have throughout your life. I also learnt that we shouldn’t look at women as objects but for who they are as a person. What Daniel said was to be yourself and not get pressured by anyone to do stuff that you don’t want to do and to try to do the right things and make the right choices.”
Mitchell Pentony

“I honestly was not sure what to expect from the presentation, but during the presentation I was shocked to see all this info about just how women are sexualised to sell goods. After it made me feel educated and aware of what people do to women and how they feel themselves about this. I learnt how women are exploited and what girls my age feel about boys doing things like making sexual moaning sounds, or just inappropriate things in general.”
Jack Lee Steere

“From the presentation I learnt many things including: women are expected to live up to expectations that surround them every day, women are advertised as sex objects. I also learnt that many women are pressured into doing things that they don’t want to do such as sending nudes. We also got stories and quotes from young girls about how boys want to sexualise everything and that they can’t have a normal conversation. A positive action I can take, is to respect women for who they are.”
Brady Gardiner

“Before the presentation, I did not know that the world compares men and women differently. I learnt that women are usually treated poorly by men and the world is targeting underaged children towards pornography which makes them go down to the wrong path. The main thing I learnt from the presentation is to treat women with respect, as nowadays men tend to treat women as an object. Daniel said a couple of positive actions that we could take to step outside the ‘Man Box’ was to understand better what the actual problem is and be more educated about this for us to snap out of the cycle. We could also educate others on the danger of pornography and how it could affect our mental health.”
Jason Sutisna

“Before the talk I felt this is going to be so boring spending over an hour listening to some guy talking about pornography and I didn’t want to go because I thought I wouldn’t relate to it or not have any idea about what he’s talking about. When he started talking and doing his presentation it was good and related to me and wasn’t what I was expecting, he sounded like he really knew what he was talking about and did lots of research and everything in the PowerPoint was related to my kind of age. While he was doing his presentation, I was taking it in and going woah with all the facts that were stated. I realized that watching porn online can cause things like erectile dysfunction and bad relationships between you and your partner. I learnt the pornography industry is messed up and they force young women into doing porn and they don’t care about what it does to your brain they only care about how much money is going into their bank account.”
Luca Capararo

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Middle School Tuesday, 07 June 2022

Kids Helping Kids

The Give Write group provides school supplies to kids who cannot afford to buy their own. Give Write takes donations of new and pre-loved stationery and recycles, repackages and redistributes to kids in need so they have the tools to feel engaged and inspired to learn.

On Friday of the EXEAT weekend, Year 7 student Noah Sachse and his younger sister spent a few hours of their own personal time to put together stationary packs for children from all around WA. Noah wrote “it was really good and I enjoyed it knowing that every pack I made was helping another kid somewhere”.

It is these little acts of kindness that makes every day at Aquinas a better day for others!

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Senior School Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Sorry Day Assembly

On Thursday 26 May 2022, Aquinas students Tre Healy and Tremaine Baxter-Edwards attended the Perth College Sorry Day Assembly to give a speech.

"They delivered a powerful, moving and emotional speech and they should be proud of themselves, their school and the Indigenous people."

“Tre and Tremaine were super compelling, and I found the whole Sorry Day Assembly meaningful and moving.“

“What a credit they are to themselves, their families, people and Aquinas.“

"The boys were phenominal yesterday. Thank you for allowing them to come and share the deep meaning of Sorry Day for them. I felt an honour to MC the assembly with such strong role models."

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Community Monday, 30 May 2022

Telethon Fundraiser

On a beautiful but chilly Saturday morning, eight young Aquinians supported a Telethon Fundraiser at a local soccer club at Len Shearer Reserve in Booragoon. Ollie Lim was also there to lend his support and the boys helped to set up and serve at the sausage sizzle as well as sell Telethon Bears. Organisers Sam and Brendan Valente commented on what an amazing group of young men they were.

All the feedback I'm getting from parents is about how good the boys feel for doing something like this. They took their roles in their stride. There was the AC song at the beginning of the morning. There were multiple Aquinas council meetings before action stations. The boys and adults had a ball! Many thanks to Fiona McAllister for spending her morning off and helping to run the smooth operation at the canteen/BBQ and clean up”

The aim was to raise $500, but closer to $1100 was raised at this event. It was a blessing to have eager, happy boys, staff, parents and family assist with this worthy cause.

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Community Monday, 02 May 2022

Why Can't They?

Earlier this year, a Year 12 student asked me if he could tag along for one of our weekly Breakfast Patrols in the city so that he could put together a portfolio of photographs of homeless people living on the streets. I’m not a fan of ‘poverty tourism’ but on this occasion, the request was accepted because I think he will have a story to tell.

I have come to know many of these people on a first-name basis and they know all the team leaders and volunteers who have been serving them breakfast every weekend since mid-2020. As expected, there was no shortage of smiling faces for the portfolio and along with that came the usual banter and stories that make these patrols so worthwhile. I have often asked myself "What could we do to give these people back their livelihoods?", "Why don’t they just sign up to get a job at Centrelink?", "Aren’t they sick and tired of sleeping on pavements and eating the same food that is given to them day in and day out?", "Aren’t they tired of starvation, the cold, the heat, the physical and verbal abuse and the hard floors?"

The solution is not as simple as one would think. It never is. On one morning a young patrol officer took an interest in what we were doing. He too, asked the same question "There are so many jobs, why can’t they apply for them?"

The people I see have fallen through the cracks because they have been abandoned. There is no cure for abandonment except belonging. Everything else is just a band-aid to help them get through another day. But band-aids are important!

Getting them to a point of even wanting to work, after possibly years of rejection, depression, anxiety or low self-esteem is simply not possible. When you add the comfort they find in alcohol and drugs (not always), they often wake up to days that are just a blur and it gets worse after that. Then, in a moment of sobriety when they do feel like taking control of their lives, they find they have no paper-work, no resumes, no clean clothes to wear to an interview, no transport and no-one to remind them about appointments. Adding to that, a possible criminal record (30% of people leaving prisons are frictionally homeless for months) or a mental illness, makes some people practically unemployable. And finally, in 2022, we are seeing more people who cannot afford to put food on the table for themselves and their children or pay their rent. They take to the streets because they have no choice. They may be waiting for their first Centrelink payment or their next pay cheque. For the many I speak to, it’s the waiting that’s killing them!

Many people will rely on the charity of others this winter and beyond.

Our Aquinas College community has been incredibly generous with its Winter and Advent appeals. Even during the lockdowns, people brought their donations via the drive-thru program. I want you to know that your donations make a difference! There are so many ways to help and so many ways we can help others feel like they belong somewhere.

John Richards
Director of Christian Service-Learning

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Community Thursday, 28 Apr 2022

ANZAC Day 2022

This week, Aquinas College will be acknowledging Anzac Day through a variety of smaller ceremonies which are appropriate given our Term 2 COVID-19 protocols. These ceremonies will honour the lives of all who served during war, as well as the remembrance of all Australians killed in military operations; including those who have served through recent conflicts and on peacekeeping missions. To commence these ceremonies, College Captain Ashton Teixeira and Year 6 student Lachlan Harney joined Mr Brendan Chapman in laying the wreath.

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Senior School Thursday, 24 Mar 2022

Clean-Up Australia Day 2022

On Friday the 18th of March, 90+ students from both Middle School and Senior School donned hats, gloves and masks to help clean-up Australia.

After a delicious cinnamon scroll and a fruit drink, the students were keen to make a difference in their own back yard. They set off in small groups, led by either a staff member or a senior student group. Fourteen different groups cleaned up the river foreshore, basketball courts, the College entrance, the ovals and around school buildings.

The great news is that not a lot of rubbish was collected as the College was already quite clean! We usually fill a school ute at least twice and this time we only filled barely half a ute.

The sustainability group did an amazing job collecting the 10c containers that had been thrown away in a variety of bins. They managed to collect far for recyclable material than everyone else did actual rubbish. This is a great sign that the sustainability group is really getting their message across and students are using the bins provided for recycling.

A big thank you must go to Mrs Monks, Mr Speechley and the entire Design and Technology Department for volunteering to help out on the day. Mr Speechley was especially welcomed, as his presence meant the senior students could utilise the school dinghy’s to get access to the area under the Mt Henry Bridge. This area is notorious for collecting rubbish both from the river and the freeway.

The Senior School Service committee also did a great job organising and assisting on the day.

We hope everyone is enjoying the cleaner College grounds!

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