Senior School Wednesday, 26 July 2023

Barista Training Program

Congratulations to Edward Cole, Edmond Whyte, Ashton Smith, William Farrell, William Munns, and Liam O'Neil on completing the 5-week Barista Training through Dimattina Coffee! This is a remarkable achievement, and it demonstrates your dedication and commitment to honing your barista skills. Your hard work and determination have paid off, and you are now equipped with valuable knowledge and expertise in the art of coffee making.

Being a barista requires precision, creativity, and a passion for delivering excellent coffee experiences to customers. With your newfound skills, you have the potential to excel in the coffee industry and bring joy to countless customers with every cup you serve. Whether it's crafting the perfect espresso shot, creating latte art, or experimenting with unique coffee flavors, your training has prepared you for success.

As you move forward in your careers, remember to continue learning and refining your craft. The world of coffee is constantly evolving, and there will always be new techniques and trends to explore. Stay curious and open to new possibilities, and you'll undoubtedly continue to thrive in this field.

Once again, congratulations on your accomplishment, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors part time baristas. May your journey in the coffee world be filled with exciting opportunities and memorable experiences!

Carla Higgins
VET Admin

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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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Senior School Monday, 29 May 2023

PSA Summer Sport

Please see the final standings below for the 2022/2023 PSA Summer Season including the Head of the River and PSA Swimming Interschool Carnival.

Congratulations to all boys who represented the College and displayed great sportsmanship and effort throughout their respective seasons.


Congratulations to Coach Alex Hayman and Captain Roman Lutton on winning the Blackwood Trophy. Aquinas basketball continues to produce competitive teams from Year 7-12 and that is demonstrated by the 1st V securing the Blackwood for a 6th time in nine years.

Finishing 2nd to Hale in the 2021/22 season was enough to drive our boys to train harder, commit to the program and ultimately put everything into this season. I am so proud of how the young men handled themselves and to return the Blackwood to Aquinas College was outstanding.


Our Cricket, Water Polo, Volleyball and 1st VIII Rowers all had amazing seasons and were so close to ultimate glory. Although they fell agonisingly short in 2nd place, they must be proud of their efforts and the way they all represented the red and black. All four groups of athletes took on the challenge to improve from the 2021/22 season and that is exactly what they did.

Our 1st XI Cricket were exceptional and fell short only to Christ Church, who they drew with in the head to head fixture in Term One. Congratulations to Coach Kristian Morisey and Captain Presley Campbell for the culture you have created and attitudes across all Aquinas Cricketers. Cricket at Aquinas is in a very good place and there is a genuine chance to celebrate Darlot Cup success in the very near future.

It was a similar story for 1st Water Polo Coach Tom Hoad, Captain Aidan Harvey and the playing squad who finished 2nd. With a draw in Term Four, the Round Nine match with Christ Church was going to be an early grand final. Unfortunately, the red and black were not at their best and with Aidan Harvey playing with a shoulder injury, the 2023 title would again be celebrated at Christ Church. With the majority of players returning and some talented young prospects coming through our Middle School, I am excited at what lies ahead for AC water polo.

Ethan Dodd and Captain Mitchell Barnett again took on the challenge to defeat Hale School in volleyball for the Br Carrigg Shield. The two schools have produced an exceptional standard of volleyball over the last two seasons and with the addition of Sam Hoskin as Assistant Coach, there was a feeling that this could be our year to return to the top of the table. The senior players took on extra sessions, adjusted the way they played and with the help of numerous games against former Aquinians, they were very well prepared for the top to the table clash late in Term One. Sadly, once again, Hale were too good and celebrated back-to-back Br Carrigg Shield success.

This year, the first VIII rowers was again led by old boy, Steve Saunders, having returned to the College last season. The boys challenged at the Head of the River in 2022 and with many Year 11’s returning in 2023, Aquinas’ Challenge Cup drought of 25 Years was potentially going to end. With numerous wins at lead up regattas, everyone knew the Head of the River was going to be a tightly contested event. Our boys put on a great display of teamwork, comradery and determination and were edged out of glory by a very efficient Trinity Crew. Although 2nd place is not what the boys were aiming for, they should hold their heads high for what was a great season.

Credit to all crews and coaches for ensuring Aquinas remained on the podium in 3rd position for overall points and congratulations to Trinity College who retain the Hamer Cup with a very dominate day on the water.


Although tennis at Aquinas has not had the success of other sport recently doesn’t mean they aren’t making progress. With numerous Middle School players knocking on the door of the 1st VI and the inclusion of international tennis player Jessica Moore to the coaching ranks, there was a vibe amongst the players that success was near.

With close losses throughout the season the momentum was building and the squad knew the Term One rematch with Hale was going to be our best chance for a win, and that’s exactly what they did. Aquinas 1st VI tennis celebrated their first win in over 4 years. Credit to Coach Mike Gill, Manager Ben Puris, Assistant coaches Dwayne Augustin and Jessica Moore as well as the players for constantly striving for improvement even without the weekly success. Your efforts have been recognised and I hope to see all tennis players return stronger and hungrier for success and competitive tennis in Term Four.


We extend a tremendous amount of gratitude to the coaches and managers for their exceptional coaching expertise and unwavering support of our sporting program. The enthusiastic staff have been instrumental in ensuring that our sporting program is the best it can possibly be, and we recognize that without their time, effort, and support, none of this would be possible.

Our heartfelt thanks go to Steve Burke, Shaun Williams, and the Ground Staff at Aquinas for their tireless efforts in maintaining and setting up the sporting facilities for us. The boys are fortunate to have such excellent facilities at their disposal, and we appreciate all of the hard work that goes into keeping them in top condition.

We would also like to express our appreciation to the medical staff and our outstanding admin team for their hard work and organization behind the scenes. Your contributions have not gone unnoticed and have been critical to the success of our program.

Lastly, we extend our sincere thanks to Tom Campbell from Total Sports Photography for capturing the incredible moments of our program on social media. To stay up-to-date with the Aquinas College Sports program, please follow our 'aquinascollegesports' Instagram account.

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Senior School Monday, 29 May 2023

Senior Rowing Tour

Tasmania 2023

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time for many students – the return to school, catching up with friends, and getting back into a routine. However, for the senior rowing team at Aquinas College, the start of the year meant a trip to Tasmania for a rowing tour like no other.

The tour took place over two weeks, with the first five days spent in Hobart. With the boys rowing out of The Hutchins School shed, they were treated to some of the best views of the Derwent River and surrounding hills. The first two days were used to get a feel for the river and some of the unique challenges that come with rowing in a new environment, such as negotiating the large cruise ships and active port in the centre of Hobart.

In addition to on-water training, the team was able to explore their surroundings by hiking Mount Wellington through the extraordinary Lost Field, where they enjoyed spectacular views of Hobart and the region. The group also took part in laser skirmish and visited the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). These activities offered a chance to bond and create memories outside of their shared passion for rowing.

The on-water rowing training increased throughout the week, with additional ergo sessions at the University of Tasmania and running sessions in Sandy Bay adding to the training load. A rest from training over the weekend was well earned as the boys departed Hobart for the next leg of the tour.

The next two nights were spent on the east coast of Tasmania where the boys visited the Port Arthur Historic Site and explored the fascinating history of the region. They also enjoyed a thrilling jet boat ride around the Tasman Peninsula, which gave them a new perspective of Tasmania's rugged coastline. A lunch break at Fortescue Bay saw the boys take the challenge of plunging into the icy cold waters of South-East Tasmania for a very refreshing swim.

One of the highlights of their trip was a trek on the Freycinet Peninsula. The six-hour hike provided an awe-inspiring view of the beach and cerulean waters of Wineglass Bay. The boys descended into Wineglass Bay before trekking across to the remote Hazards Beach.

After all the excursion had to offer, the team travelled to Lake Barrington International Regatta Centre for their last week of training. As one of Australia's premier rowing facilities, Lake Barrington offered the ideal location for the team to prepare for the upcoming season. The team had been looking forward to the opportunity to train in such a well-equipped facility. The International Regatta Centre was the boys base for next five days as the focus of the tour changed to preparing for the weekends racing.

The conditions on Lake Barrington for training were perfect, with calm waters and stunning weather surrounded by the amazing forests of North-West Tasmania. The boys were able to train hard and focus on the finer details of their technique and preparation for the regatta.

During their last few days in Tasmania, the team participated in a regatta against other schools and clubs from the area. It was a fitting way to end the trip, testing their newfound skills and experiences from the previous weeks. The team was able to put into practice all that they had learned and develop into a well-oiled machine, with all boats performing to their best abilities.

Despite the challenging conditions of racing against unfamiliar crews and some extreme weather conditions on the last day, the boys did exceptionally well. Their hard work and dedication paid off as they won multiple races.

The team bonded and strengthened their connection during the trip, affirming the College's longstanding tradition of developing top-tier rowers. For many, the tour was one of the highlights of their time at Aquinas College, providing memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

The tour to Tasmania was also an opportunity for the boys to connect with the wider rowing community in Australia, as they met new competitors and potential future teammates. The exposure and experience gained from racing against other schools and clubs will undoubtedly aid them later on in their individual careers.

As the boys departed from Tasmania for their return to Perth, they were left with newfound skills, memories, and experiences that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. As First Eight coach, Steve Saunders, reflected on the success of the tour, he spoke of the pride in the team's hard work and the joy of watching them mature and excel both on and off the water.

The tour to Tasmania was more than just a rowing trip, it was a testament to the power of shared experiences and dedicating oneself to a common goal. Every member of the team came out of the tour with a greater understanding of their teammates, the sport, and themselves. The trip will no doubt inspire the Aquinas senior rowing team in years to come, serving as a benchmark to aim for. For the younger rowers, the next tour is planned for January of 2025.

By Nick Collins
Director of Rowing

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Senior School Thursday, 11 May 2023

Year 11/12 ATAR Art Excursion

At the beginning of the week 3, we were lucky enough to visit the Art Gallery of WA to visit the PULSE perspectives exhibition, which features a selection of the top Year 12 Art students from around WA. This was a great experience for the students to view other artworks created by their peers.

They also participated in a workshop called “Exquisite Bodies”, curated by WA artist Bruno Booth. The students had to work collaboratively to create quick 3D sculptures exploring the form of the body.

Overall this was a great day out, which sparked several insightful discussions around the artworks they viewed and how they may have inspired them in their own artistic practices.

Bina Butcher
Art Technician

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Senior School Thursday, 04 May 2023

From Exams to Reports - Challenging the Mindset

Through the 19th century industrialised age, education quite ruthlessly separated those who were perceived to be capable and therefore worthy of either further education or notable employment, and those who should be relegated to menial labour who did not deserve further education. There were necessary means to measure the academic potential of individuals and groups. There became a need to analyse, categorize, separate, distinguish, and label human beings. This was done to determine who were “fit”, and which individuals were not.

Charles Spearman’s theory of general intelligence was also born in this era, based on the now outdated notion that one’s intellect is relatively fixed, inherited through genes and chromosomes. Edward Thorndike then published his “associationist” theory, suggesting that knowledge is the collection between external stimuli and internal mental responses from the individual.

When reflecting on Spearman and Thorndike’s work, unfortunately the growth of standardised testing in schools and arguably outdated instruments used to measure success seems to be a hallmark of these 19thcentury theories which initially served as a rationale for these educational practices.

So why the history lesson here…?

This is because more recently, research supports the fact that intelligence is not fixed, and one can improve their mental capacity if they believe contemporary research to be true and are willing to improve their academic behaviours (Perkins 1995, Kotulak, 1997).

So why publish this article now, once exams are finished for Year 11 & 12 students… ?

In order to see intelligence grow incrementally, we need to develop learning goals that reflect the belief that ability is not fixed. That improved academic behaviours and effort can lead to a continuously expandable repertoire of skills and have a significant impact on one’s learning potential.

Receiving exam results or an academic report at the conclusion of a school semester is an ideal opportunity to sit together and discuss a number of things. Whilst it is easy to immediately focus on the performance, such as grades and exam scores, what really matters is the reflection on a student’s output. Fostering quality discussion and reflection in respect towards a student’s academic behaviours, their goals and their commitments for the following year cannot be understated and should be an important part of academic reporting. For a concise ‘vimeo’ summary of the research into “The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance” by the University of Chicago (2011), please use the following link

Brendan Chapman
Head of Academic Studies

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Senior School Monday, 27 Feb 2023

Senior School Swimming Carnival

This year’s Senior School Swimming Carnival went spectacularly, with the Cullity Lions roaring their team-mates on, the Durack Dragons firing through the water, the Prendiville Panthers Clawing their way through into 2nd place. But in the end, it was the mighty Wolf Pack of Chaney that howled with success, taking home the House Swimming Trophy and dowsing the Head of Chaney and alpha wolf, Mr Montgomery, in a shower of ice-cold water. Overall, the support and effort from all boys and staff present was palpable and made for a great morning and start to the Inter-House competitions for the year.

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Senior School Monday, 13 Feb 2023

Curtin Fine Arts Conference

The Year 11 & 12 art students had the opportunity to visit Curtin University for a Fine Art Conference on campus last week. They first had a lecture from Dr Keiran Broadhurst on analysing artworks and some tips for art exam prep. They then had a life drawing workshop with Di Cubbit, and still life painting workshop with Tori Benz in the University studios. It was a great opportunity for the boys to learn some new skills and experience University life.

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Senior School Monday, 13 Feb 2023


Some of the brightest minds in the Year 11 cohort have been enjoying the challenge of the Research Skills and Methods unit at the University of Notre Dame in preparation for both LOGOS and the Cambridge IPQ on Friday’s as part of the myFUTURE program. They have definitely risen to the challenge of a move from Year 10 to university standard academic research and writing! We are already looking forward to their presentations on the UN Sustainability Goals in the coming weeks.

"For the last two weeks, this Notre Dame research course has taught me very valuable research skills. This is very useful for me as I am completing the Cambridge IPQ research project after this. All of the research skills such as the CRAAP Validation Method and the ability to identify key parts of a research question will be very useful in my own literature review." – David Stopforth

"The Notre Dame Research Skills and Methods course has been a new and informative experience. My peers and I have thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a taste of Uni life and have loved our time on such a lovely campus. In the first 2 weeks, we have been able to gain skills to help us conduct high-level academic research and I look forward to what’s to come." - Nishok Nimalan

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