Waverley College Old Boys are actively involved in shaping the future of the College. Many take an active role in supporting and mentoring current students and recent graduates, providing an invaluable source of inspiration and experience. The connections the students make during their school days often last for life - and even continue for generations. Here, Old Boys Col Blake and Chris O'Sullivan share their Waverley experiences with us.
My first and second sons were at Waverley with Col’s first and second sons. My family association goes back to the 1920s when my grandfather was a voluntary teacher here. Dad was schooled here from 1932 to 1938, and I was here from 1961 to 1966. My other two sons went through Waverley as well. Dad’s business was looking after the College buses that you can see in the photo. I guess we keep coming back because we feel like Waverley is a faith-based family. It’s a place where family traditions really come through, and it supports those values. You really do develop lifelong associations.
I got involved with the College again when the kids were in Junior School. I started the Track and Field supporters’ group. In those days we didn’t have a supporters’ group. When my boys started athletics, the parents weren’t that involved. At a meet everyone was sitting together and you didn’t know who was with Waverley. So I started the group and it took seven years from coming last to winning it. And one reason we won was because the parents were involved. For the kids it was more of a social thing. These days, there are parent supporters’ groups for everything from Music to Water Polo.
No school is perfect, but the great thing about Waverley is that it is striving to get there! There is a balance between academic emphasis and co-curricular activities. It’s great to see a strong learning culture being developed that’s supported with great new learning spaces. More importantly, my wife and I were very aware of the needs of our sons and Waverley was able to meet that broad range of needs.
Some other schools attract a narrow range of students, but Waverley attracts people from every background. You get to meet the different kinds of people that you’ll encounter in adult life. That’s why you get these lifelong friendships – and it’s really important because that’s what will support you later on. Now Chris and I are on the Executive of the Old Boys’ Union and working to maintain connections post-school.
The school has great traditions – in sport, in Cadets…
It even has Australia’s oldest Marian Procession – it’s been running for over 100 years. The Old Boys’ Union sponsors reunions and runs a website that keeps people in touch. We have amazing graduates in every field. I guess one of the most well-known in recent years is former Governor-General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Waverley helps the boys develop their Catholic faith through social justice and a strong Religious Education program. Social justice makes the man. It’s a Christian way of being, an attitude that means you will always step up for your fellow man. At Waverley we call it the Edmund Rice Tradition.
The Waverley approach helps the boys develop a sense of mateship and teamwork. You leave Waverley with a diverse range of friendships and an understanding of the need for respecting and being tolerant of one another. But there’s also a sense of being part of the Waverley story. You look back on the years there and you laugh. There are great memories! In my opinion, at Waverley the students get the experiences and things they will need to make their world a better place.