Middle School Thursday, 27 July 2023

Canberra Tour

During the last few days of Term 2 and the initial week of the holidays, 32 Year 9 boys embarked on an exciting journey to Canberra – our first return tour post-COVID! The main focus of this trip was to immerse the students in Australia's history, culture, heritage, and democracy through various activities and educational programs. We were grateful to receive support from the Australian Government's Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program, which contributed $510 per student towards the tour expenses. Their recognition of the significance of such experiences for young Australians in their Civics and Citizenship education is appreciated.

Our adventure commenced late in the evening at Perth airport, where all the students gathered, eagerly anticipating the midnight flight. Our first destination was Sydney, where we had the incredible opportunity to climb the Harbour Bridge. The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed a delightful breakfast beneath the Bridge. Caelyn Beard expressed her enjoyment of the Bridge Climb, remarking on the tour guide's informative insights about the area and the fascinating history of the bridge's creation. Albie Cowan also shared his thoughts on the tour, describing it as a packed trip filled with enjoyable activities that taught them a great deal about how the nation's capital operates. From spending a day in the snow to touring Government House, every experience left a lasting impression.

The tour was a whirlwind of excitement, and we visited numerous attractions, including Parliament House, Museum of Democracy, High Court, Questacon, The Dinosaur Museum, and The Australian Institute of Sport, among others. One of the pleasant surprises was the National Library, where Caelyn was captivated by the display of old and antique items, ranging from the 2006 Olympics torch to Captain Cook's original Journal.

Despite the Australian War Memorial being under renovation, we were fortunate enough to pay our respects and participate in the Last Post Ceremony, during which Jack Sharman and Harrison Agnihotri laid a wreath on behalf of Aquinas. Their gesture was deeply appreciated.

Lastly, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Brendan Crozier, Hannah Smith, and Tyrell Wallam for generously giving up their time to accompany us on this tour. Without their invaluable assistance, this memorable journey would not have been possible. The 2023 tour was undoubtedly the smoothest and most enjoyable one, all thanks to this amazing crew.

Megan Monks
Director Academic Scholars Program

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Senior School Wednesday, 31 May 2023

2023 Photography Competition

This year's photography competition had a focus on nature and wildlife. In conjunction with the Arts & Culture Council and the Sustainability Council Captains, the theme was aimed to encourage students to engage and explore their surrounding wildlife. With a huge number of amazing entries from Year 7 to Year 12, the guest judges, Mr Paul West and Mr Cyril Hitie, had the tough task of choosing the winners for 2023.

Staff and students were able to vote for their favourites in the People’s Choice Award. The Captains of the Arts & Culture Council and the Sustainability Council gave out a special award this year as well.

The winners were:
1st Place: Tobias Melang Year 12 "New Holand Honey Eater"
2nd Place: Noah Myers Year 8 "Lets Hop to the Beach"
3rd Place: Kha Pham Year 8 "Natures Symmetry"
Highly Commended: Isaac Valente Year 9 "Through the Rock"
Peoples Choice Award: Charles Maverick Year 11 “Reverse Ducked Air Con”
Arts & Culture and Sustainability Council Captains Award: Hanvin Ryu Year 7 “Flower”

Congratulations to all the winners, and a huge thank you to all of the students who entered this year! All awards will be officially handed out at the end of year presentation evening.

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Middle School Monday, 29 May 2023

Grandparent’s Day

On the 10th of March we celebrated Grandparents Day. I was very excited because they had to fly from the station, in Port Hedland, to come and spend Grandparents' Day with me. We celebrated the start of the day with a Liturgy and then we had an assembly where my grandparents heard about all the experiences I have at Aquinas College and they listened to what it is like for me to be a boarder. After the liturgy, we had a sausage sizzle lunch and a cup of tea. It was nice to have a meal together. From here, my grandparents watched me play basketball against Trinity College. Grandparents’ Day was fun and allowed me to spend time with my much-loved grandparents as well as them getting a chance to see what life is like for me at Aquinas College.
Jack Steele - 7 Bryan West

On Friday the 10th of March, we all celebrated Grandparent’s Day. It started off with a beautiful liturgy which was accompanied by the joyous sound of the Aquinas College Scholar Cantorum. It was a great liturgy with amazing readings from our Year 7 cohort. After the liturgy, we all attended the Grandparents Day assembly. As the MC, I relished the opportunity to get to talk in front of my fellow peers and my grandparents. The assembly gave the grandparents a taste of what it is like at Aquinas College with speeches from Year 7 students about sport, music, the College, the Year 7 camp, and what it is like to be a boarder. We even had art presentations and music performances from some of the students. After this, we had the sausage sizzle in the Year 7 courtyard where all the grandparents came together. The sausages were all amazing and the helpers did a really good job. After we had eaten the sausages, the grandparents were invited to go to our PSA games where we all had lots of fun. Overall, this day was a great success, and I am very glad that we had the opportunity to have experienced it.
Daniel Vinci - 7 Glowrey East

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Middle School Thursday, 18 May 2023

Year 9 Boys Dance Their Way Out of The Man Box

A major part of the Year 9 Odyssey Program revolves around the concept of the ‘Man Box’, the set of beliefs within and across society, that stereotype masculinity and place pressure on men to act and behave a certain way, for example: to be tough, not to show any emotions, be the breadwinner, always be in control, use violence to solve problems and have many sexual partners. Research has found that if we can educate boys to recognise and understand the implications of the ‘Man Box’ we can go a long way in improving their physical and mental health, plus their ability to build healthy relationships with females. Sadly, evidence shows that it is men whose behaviour mirrors the principles of the ‘Man Box’ who are at higher risk of poor health and harmful behaviours such as violence and sexual harassment. During this term teachers will promote positive strategies for stepping outside the ‘Man Box’ as well as encouraging boys to develop the character traits of courage, empathy, and kindness which will allow them to truly be themselves with increased self-confidence and self-esteem.

This term we provide an authentic opportunity for Year 9 boys to step out of the ‘Man Box’ by undertaking a six-week intensive dance program where they learn a choreographed routine to perform in front of family and friends. We put the boys through this Dance Program because it offers so many benefits to their personal growth and development.

I. Teaching boys to dance helps break down stereotypical ‘Man Box’ ideology that only females’ dance.

II. It provides a safe environment allowing boys to learn how to feel comfortable being in uncomfortable situations, encouraging the development of a Growth Mindset.

III. Dancing on stage needs boys to overcome their fear of embarrassment and feeling of vulnerability, creating an experience for boys to demonstrate the character strength of courage as well as practice applying strategies to manage anxiety.

IV. Learning something new that is outside the comfort zone of most teenage boys requires the activation of the character strengths of resilience, determination, and perseverance as they don’t learn the dance steps straight away.

V. A choreographed routine involves boys learning to collaborate to put on a performance as a team.

All family and friends of Year 9 boys are invited to attend the upcoming dance performance evening on Wednesday 31st May at 6pm in the Br Paull Centre.

Mark Weston
Director of Character Education and Leadership

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Middle School Monday, 27 Mar 2023

Earth Assist Beach Clean-up’s

This term, the Middle School Service Program offered 3 beach clean-up opportunities for students to assist with achieving their 10 hours of Community Service. Each session was keenly attended and the students always have a great time. The beach itself has been relatively clean which is a great sign that people are starting to do the right thing when leaving the beach by taking their rubbish away, however, where a lot of rubbish was found was in the car parks and near footpaths.

More sessions have been planned for next term so make sure you sign up quickly when you get a message that spots are available!

Paul Rich
Director of Middle School Christian Service Learning

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Junior School Thursday, 23 Mar 2023

Education Perfect Languages

Education Perfect Languages – Global Championships

Last week, Aquinas College participated in the Education Perfect Languages’ Global Championships.

Students had a week to obtain as many points for correct answers (for the school and individuals) as possible. There were 2,532 schools competing globally in this competition.

Our superb effort saw us achieve:

  • Second place overall for Italian – an amazing achievement;
  • First for Italian in Australian for schools with 501-1000 students category;
  • Sixth overall in Western Australia;
  • 31st overall in Australia; and
  • 46th overall globally.

Congratulations to Kale Thong (Year 7) who received an Emerald Certificate for reaching the highest level with over 5,000 points. Congratulations also to the following boys who received Gold Certificates: Brando Lomma (Year 7), Christian Perkis (Year 8), Roman Mondello (Year 6) and Thomas Van Dyk (Year 6)

We also had many boys receive Silver and Bronze certificates. Bravissimi ragazzi!

Ms Nicole Aquilia
Coordinator of Languages

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Middle School Tuesday, 07 Mar 2023

Odyssey Commencement Ceremony

The Year 9 Odyssey Commencement Ceremony was held on Monday 6 March 2023 in the College Chapel. Mr Weston outlined the structure and framework of the Odyssey Program and explained the importance of why Aquinas runs this Male Rite of Passage. The key messages he spoke about were:

  1. We clarify a boy’s purpose in growing into a Christian adult via our classroom lessons.
  2. In the lessons we intentionally identify the risks of adulthood and focus on how boys can develop positive character traits required to mitigate these risks, enabling them to become confident and capable adults.
  3. The Odyssey Program has high calibre teachers allocated as role models and mentors to teach, guide and train boys in readiness for adulthood.
  4. Throughout the year we provide many practical opportunities away from the classroom for boys to step outside their comfort zone, this is what we call “growing beyond the edge”. By doing this we see exponential growth occurs in a boy’s emotional, spiritual and character development.
  5. Being a year-long program provides a generous amount of time for boys to comprehend and self-reflect on their personal transition to adulthood.
  6. We explicitly focus on developing in our boys the Character traits of perseverance, courage, teamwork, empathy, service, gratitude, leadership, spirituality, and wisdom.
  7. Greater benefit to boys happens if collaboration between Aquinas and families occurs. Some helpful hints and strategies were supplied for parents to use at home in support of the Odyssey Program.

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Middle School Monday, 27 Feb 2023

Middle School Swimming Carnival

A dip in the College pool was welcome relief for the whole Middle School on what was a scorching summer afternoon. The carnival catered for all levels and motivations – quality individual swims for those targeting competitive endeavours, two divisions/distance relays for House success and WAR games which maximised participation. Our final novelty event of the day saw an initially confident group of Year 9 boys take on the staff ‘dream team’ including; Mr Matkovich, Mr O’Neill, Mr Justin Morisey, Mr Kristian Morisey, Mr Dempsey and Mr James Valentine. Class and experience shone through with the teachers finishing 30 metres ahead at the wall!

Two of our Middle School students have summarised their experiences;

“Overall, I thought it was an awesome day. I liked how everyone got to participate. It was a great way to meet new people early in the year, chatting behind the blocks before the races.” Brodie Moir (Year 7 Bryan)

“As part of the winning Glowrey House team, everyone there was really cooperative, with lots of chanting and excitement that made the environment really fun to be in and showed the great attitude of Aquinians.” James Harwood (Year 9 Glowrey)

The final standings saw Glowrey first, Treacy second and Bryan third ahead of Edmund House. Many thanks to the staff and parents that assisted on the day and of course, the students for their outstanding efforts and behaviour on the day.

Mr Craig Herbert
Head of Treacy House

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