Senior School Friday, 03 Dec 2021

Young Volunteer of the Year 2021

On Thursday 2 December, Kurtis Tanna was awarded the Young Volunteer of the Year by the City of South Perth. For many years, Kurtis has been active with Capes for Kids and has made over 50 capes. He is now collaborating with Santa Maria College which will take the production to a whole new level. But Kurtis does much more than this. He has also volunteered his time for Edmund Rice Camps for Kids, After-School Environment, Homework Club, Peer Support, Ocean Heroes, Leeuwin Volunteer Program and let's go Surfing

for the Disabled. His generosity of spirit and commitment is inspiring. Well done Kurtis!

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Senior School Friday, 26 Nov 2021

It's a Long Way to Tipperary

Another group of Aquinas students are participating in a program providing a rare learning space for young people from different parts of the world to connect and get to know each other. This group of students are in discussions with peers from The Abbey School in Tipperary, Ireland. While this might seem a long way away, it is less than 100kms down the road from Waterford, where Edmund Rice opened the first Edmund Rice School in 1802 – in so doing he sparked a global movement to bring young people an education that liberates, delivered in the context of a formation for life that transforms their capacity to live life to the full.

We are blessed to have two groups of enthusiastic, open-minded young men who are excited to learn about Edmund Rice Education globally, develop their cross-cultural knowledge and communication skills. There are no set expectations about where these connections ‘beyond borders’ will lead us, instead, we are open to what may arise. Stay tuned for more updates in the future.

(The Global Classroom Partners Program is an initiative of Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders and coordinated through Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) and Edmund Rice England.)

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Senior School Tuesday, 23 Nov 2021

Designing For Modern Times

The last two years have seen the world change dramatically, with a worldwide pandemic that has altered the way we interact and move around the globe. Travel as we know it has changed in many ways, with the steps a traveller must take to be able to move between countries is no longer as simple as packing your bags, grabbing your passport and off you go!

As part of the year 12 ATAR Design course, the students have been tasked with providing an architectural solution to replace the current hotel quarantine situation. They have been provided with a brief that outlines what the state government has provided in terms of their requirements for the project, along with a location for the facility. The buildings are also hoped to be of multiple-use, based on the current global environment. When not in use for pandemic relief, they are required to be easily transported to other locations, for such purposes as temporary housing for towns that have been destroyed by fire, accommodation for immigrants escaping war-torn countries or even utilised for large scale entertainment events, where staff and acts can stay nearby the location.

Students will be using the complete design process to ensure they are able to design and prototype an appropriate solution to their design problem.

Whilst still in the early stages of the project, the students have been compiling initial research from both local and global concepts ranging from Olympic athlete villages to facilities such as Howard Springs in Darwin. They have been collating data, based on surveys that have included feedback from past quarantine travellers and those with a desire to head abroad, once more.

Over the next 12 months, the year 12 design students will continue to build a 15-page design portfolio, as part of their practical examination. Which showcases their journey through the design process, from the initial problem right through to a computer-generated set of renderings and drawings, using commercial grade architectural software, that delivers their solution to the quarantine situation, currently present in Western Australia, as well as presenting it as an option for alternative uses beyond the current pandemic.

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Senior School Monday, 22 Nov 2021

Flying at Dawn - Art Exhibition

Thank you to everyone who visited the Art, Media, Design and Technology Exhibition last week.

It was wonderful to see so many students, parents and grandparents visit the exhibition and celebrate the talents of our students.

The votes for the Peoples Choice Award have been counted and I am delighted to announce that Matthew Cox, ‘Volare al’alba’ (Flying at dawn) as the most favoured artwork and the clear winner of the Peoples Choice Award.

He was followed closely by Nathan Manhey for his work ‘Trashed’ and in 3rd place was Aaron Chan Kai, congratulations!

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Senior School Friday, 12 Nov 2021

Global Classroom

A few years ago, inspired by the vision of connecting ‘Beyond Borders’ across the global Edmund Rice movement, our peers in Arusha, Tanzania invited Aquinas College to visit and get to know what the Edmund Rice vision looks like in a different context. During a wonderful few weeks there in January 2020, invisible barriers were dissolved, friendships were formed and hopes were raised for future connections. Obviously, the last 18 months have not been conducive to travel, and schools have often been closed for long periods – however, the sense of connection and desire to share stories has never faded.

Recently, Edmund Rice Secondary School Sinon has been in contact with us again, as part of the EREBB ‘Global Classroom partners’ program. On Tuesday 9th November a small group of students from each school spent an hour connected via Zoom. As we navigated language and internet hurdles, there was the familiar warmth, openness and sense of unity.

While we don’t know where exactly these kinds of connections can lead us, it is not about a predetermined destination – rather it is about being open to a journey together, come what may. Each time we connect we stumble upon glimpses of cultural common ground and also some beautiful differences. We are united by our shared charism and the youthful exuberance that students bring to these kinds of encounters. As time goes by, we hope a rhythm between the groups can develop as they connect online. EREBB GCP will provide some structure and support along the way, the rest is up to the small groups of Edmund Rice students to remain open to whatever may emerge. These images show a glimpse of both our time together last year and this week’s Zoom discussion.

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Senior School Friday, 05 Nov 2021

Taste Of Fishing

One of many of the 4-week programmes offered to all Senior School students during Term 4 is the Industry and Enterprise Taster. This program exposes students to the key components of the Certificate II Aquaculture and Certificate II Fishing Operations qualifications and related industry occupations.

The students gained hands-on experience and knowledge about;

  • Key fishing hatcheries in Australia and the growth of the aquacultural sector
  • Sedating and grading locally grown Yellow Tailed Kingfish
  • Fishing and landing catch onboard a commercial fishing boat
  • The role that research is playing to improve fish stocks and the management of a sustainable industry for commercial and recreational use into the future

This opportunity and others like it have been forged through a unique partnership between South Metro TAFE and Aquinas College which as a community we are very grateful for.

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Senior School Tuesday, 02 Nov 2021

Serving My Community

Service is defined as work done by one person or group that benefits another. I feel as if we all show service in different aspects of our lives at Aquinas College. Helping a mate with math questions they haven’t wrapped their head around yet, thanking the teacher after getting a good mark on a test. We all perform service every day, it’s just in some cases the service is recognised more than others. Personally, my journey through service at Aquinas has ranged from helping my local football club, the Manning Rippers through boundary umpiring, scoreboard changer, etc. On seniors, reserves and colt’s level. I also participated in a few clean-up Australia days, helping around the Salter Point and Manning streets and parks, and finally cleaning the bush next to the Aquinas College main entry gate. Throughout Middle School, I am aware I could’ve done a bit more in terms of direct help to people. Aquinas College has helped me reach out and provide service to my community, without this opportunity there’s a large chance I wouldn’t have done anywhere near the amount of service I have done.

At first, I saw committing to doing three soup patrols would be a non-enjoyable task I had to do to graduate, a very negative mindset. Until I heard my mates that would come back from committing their soup patrols, with only positive stories. The leaders or ‘drivers’ were nothing short of amazing people with positive mindsets about teaching me and my friends whilst helping the homeless themselves. Something that is so easy and accessible to us private schoolboys, like fresh fruit, bread and warm soup, means so much more to those less advantaged and privileged than us. The people to who we served soup were all grateful for the time we spent out of our days to support them. I had multiple jobs I wanted to participate in during the soup patrol itself. I poured the soup into the cups, and I would put the lids on the cups. I am not the type of person to go out of my way to talk to strangers, so I enjoyed being the backstage type of role during my patrols.

The highlight of my soup patrols would be during my second patrol when we got to play music out of the van, playing rappers like Drake and Kanye West led to the people we were serving being happier and loving the music, giving us all topics to talk about, people wearing Kanye West t-shirts really enjoying the music. It allowed me to appreciate how alike I was, we all listen to the same music, live in the same city, just some of us are born into more advantaged lifestyles than others. Being posted on to the official Aquinas College Instagram serving the community was great as it showed how happy all four of us boys were to help the community, big smiles were not placed on us when the camera came out, they stayed there all night as we loved every part of it. Appreciating that this wasn’t a chore or something we must do to graduate is a massive part of fulfilling service learning at Aquinas College.

After completing my three soup patrols, I was finished with my service for Aquinas College, but I questioned myself with all these opportunities Aquinas has given me, I should give back. The Relay for Life social for year 8’s and 9’s from both Aquinas and Santa Maria practically called my name. I would say nine of every ten people participating in the event as a student leader were doing it for their prefect or captain service project. I wanted to participate in it because I thought I would enjoy it. Three to four hours before the event I emailed Head of Middle School, not asking if he needed any assistance but telling him I would love to help. Coming together with Santa Maria Leaders it felt great to help raise money for the Cancer Council Australia. Giving my support to the younger kids at both Santa Maria and Aquinas was enjoyable, I wanted to be the friendliest person I could be. Talking to them and starting conversations between the two schools’ students. Doing all of this whilst raising money for charity just seemed perfect to me. Seven hours felt like twenty minutes. Doing laps around the oval, playing volleyball, having dance competitions are all great fun activities that helped a group of people suffering from the worst disease ever.

Aquinas College has so many opportunities given to students, such as gardening, soup patrols, surfing with the disabled, etc. I attempted to help with as many as I could. I don’t feel like doing service only helps other people, but equally helps yourself. I enjoyed fulfilling my service duties, I would do a lot more if my focus wasn’t placed upon my ATAR in Year 12. It doesn’t stop now though; service doesn’t end after Mr Richards no longer ticks off your name. Aquinas College has taught us how to serve others, how we must act once we leave school. Following in the footsteps of those soup patrol drivers who take time out of their busy schedules to serve those less fortunate. Completing my service learning at Aquinas College from 2017 to 2022 has been nothing but an honour, I am grateful for Mr Richards and other staff who have given me the opportunities to serve my community.

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Senior School Thursday, 28 Oct 2021

Captains Speech 2022 - Ashton Teixeria

Good morning, Staff, Students, parents and official party. My name is Ashton Teixeira, and it is an honour to stand before you today as your college captain for 2022. Before I begin the substantive component of this speech, I would like to tell you a bit about myself and my Aquinas journey.

My time at Aquinas began almost 8 years ago in the junior schools most prestigious class - 4 White. It was in my earliest years where I began to first understand what it means to be an Aquinian and the weight that such a privilege holds. As time went on, this understanding grew. I now know the importance of the crest which represents more than one hundred years of rich history, and the legacy of thousands of Aquinians who have gone before us.

We must never forget that the Aquinians of today will one day form a part of the story for those who come after us. This is our chance to add to the story. We need to do our utmost to make the best contribution that we can. We will not get another chance.

To others, the crest may appear to be a symbol of entitlement, arrogance, or ignorance, but not to an Aquinian. To an Aquinian it means so much more, it is the thing that connects all of us to the sacred brotherhood which is everlasting, and it reminds us of our connection to the place that we will forever be able to call our home. We must wear the crest with pride. We must wear it well. We must demonstrate to the broader community that we acknowledge that we are privileged to have an Aquinas education, and that will honour that opportunity by being the best people we can be, not for ourselves, but for the people around us. Being an Aquinian is a full-time commitment. We might take off the blazer sometimes, but the values are within us.

Aquinians have long cherished a culture of excellence. We thrive on the successes of ourselves and our peers, whether it be on the sporting field, in a classroom or on a stage. Speaking of stages, I’d like to take this opportunity to formally recognise the incredible work of Ollie Lim over the past months. He set himself the goal of raising $500. At last count, he’d raised $46,000, largely from within the Aquinas College Community. What an incredible effort! When boys like Ollie raise the bar, we all benefit from having such examples to follow. This is what a culture of excellence entails. A desire to be the best we can be. It’s in our blood, the power of the red and black calling on all of us to leave our own personal mark on the College and beyond. To do so we must show courage, and in many different forms. A battle will never be won by a man who accepts what he knows is wrong and chooses to do nothing about it. Courage is found in going for that mark or taking that penalty, but it’s also found in questioning ideas, standing up to bullies, choosing to say no, admitting a mistake or asking for help. Courage is easier to describe than it is to embody. We will all fail to embody this virtue from time to time, myself included. But the measure of a man is not how he experiences success, but how he learns from failure.

Boys, we’re a team, a team with a foundation of support and respect for each other, a team that’s success is a culmination of our courage, our passion and the relentless desire to be more than just an Aquinas College student, but to become an Aquinian. One of the most vital parts of a successful team is the shared commitment amongst its members to hold one another accountable. You must have the courage, and the personal integrity calls out those of your peers who act in ways which may tarnish our reputation, and in particular, the reputation of those who’ve come before us. Men like Alaric Pindaboor, JJ Savage and Brother Bryan Clery. You must not accept anything other than excellence and you must not allow the actions of others to compromise your values and choices. Veritas Vincit; Truth Conquers, is our college’s motto, but have you stopped to think about what it means to you? Can you relate to it? Personally, I believe that not only does it relate to being true to others, but it also relates to being true to yourself. As a team, we’re only as strong as our weakest link, so in striving to do our best, we must strive to achieve, encourage, inspire and support.

The year ahead is going to be a busy one, as myself, Hamish and the rest of the elected captains aim to consolidate what the captains of 2021 left behind. For all of you, 2022 will be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, with each and every journey being unique. Please, boys, try to remember that behind the many faces you see every day are stories and struggles you do not know. This is why it is so important to practise kindness and affirm the value of the people around us.

It is vital that we stick together and support each other in times of struggle, standing beside our brothers with the willingness and courage to start those awkward conversations that need to be had. Always remember that if you’re going through a rough patch, the red and black family will undoubtedly welcome you with open arms. As a school, we have made it through difficult times and I truly believe that as a community we can survive anything. On the other side of any struggle, we will emerge united, because our bond is too strong to be broken.

As James Kerr, writer of the book, Legacy, once said, “a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they will never see.” In the past week, the class of 2021 has graduated, handing over the mantle to the new graduating class. It’s a surreal feeling and it’s honestly quite scary to think that my time at this great school is nearly over. This is it, our last leg of arguably one of the most valuable journeys that we will ever undertake. Personally, I love Aquinas and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that it has provided for me. In the coming year, I plan to give back in every way possible, “Planting trees”, which will contribute to my legacy and eventually “provide shade” for the generations of Aquinians who will walk the guard of honour after me. The crest is a powerful thing, boys, and there’s a reason that it's worn so close to the heart. Historically, crests were to tell the stories of families, dynasties, and they were worn into battle. To fight in medieval times without a crest upon your armour was to fight for nothing at all. There are crests to be seen everywhere at Aquinas, but in reality, there’s only one. Cherish your time being a part of it because as any old boy will tell you, in the blink of an eye your time at the college will be over.

The dawn of a new year will provide a clean slate for all of us. It gives us an opportunity to sit back, reflect, and analyse the year that has passed, while also making decisions and setting goals for the future. A new year gifts everyone the opportunity for new beginnings, no matter what bumps you may have experienced in your journey to date. I would encourage all of you to take the time in the coming weeks, to separate yourself from the stress that may come with school or sport. Take time to truly reflect on what you have achieved in your journey, and what your goals and aspirations may be. To my fellow peers; the class of 2022. We each have one final page to write in our college journey. Will your page be filled with the times that you have given back to the college? Or will it be left blank? The crest doesn’t have the power to make you act. In the end, the choice is yours.

Thank you

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Senior School Thursday, 28 Oct 2021


AC TV has been striving in leaps and bounds in 2021, producing more shows and at a higher quality than previously. Being a part of AC TV is amazing with everyone working as a group towards an end goal of producing an episode. Sometimes that is very challenging with an intense conversation on the Microsoft Teams Page leading to throwing all plans for the current episode in the bin. These setbacks, however, make the episodes better as we strive to produce a higher quality show every time.

Through the help of Mr Lachlan Bowyer, Mrs Virginia Eastman and Ms Ashayla Ramsey we have been able to learn new things about videography including framing and video editing. Using their wealth of experience, it has enabled us to think outside the box and to be more creative in how we produce our stories. I have been able to learn lots about videography and I am doing it while enjoying myself, doing something that I am passionate about.

Being a part of AC TV is very fun, producing a story on something at the college with friends is very enjoyable and rewarding!

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