From the Head of Brennan House, James Horrocks
Term Two brings about the end of Semester One for 2017, a period over which the young men of Brennan House have not only achieved a great deal, but contributed even more to life and growth here at Waverley College.
The Prefect body continue to do an incredible job and have been brilliant role models for all students at the College. They have set a theme for the year of “strength through diversity” and this has set the tone for all that we aim to do this year in Brennan House and the College as a whole. We are very conscious of the fact that it is the diversity of backgrounds that each member of our community brings that makes us stronger, and is something that should be celebrated on a regular basis. Part of this involves recognition of some of the significant feats achieved by members of Brennan House. These include:
- Taaj Davis – One of five Year 12 students who has displayed exceptional leadership qualities since the start of the year and has been selected to become a new member of the Prefect body.
- Carter Hjorring – One of our Junior School members who was successful in being selected for the U/11 state swimming squad. This achievement is a just reward for his exceptional dedication to his training.
- Cameron Walker – Selected to attend the National Youth Science Forum in Singapore during the last week of school this term. We wish him all the best and look forward to hearing about his experiences over there.
- Stephen Croft – Selected to speak at the Lawrence Campbell Public Speaking Competition and represented the College with pride.
- Nicholas Blakey – Has been playing in the Sydney Swans Academy side and has experienced great success this year, seeing him receive an award at a recent Sydney Swans home game during half time.
Spirituality is always a significant aspect of College life and in Term Two it was highlighted by our celebration of the 107th Annual May Procession. This is a significant event in the College calendar and it was very pleasing to see our SRC and Prefect representatives setting a high standard throughout their involvement with proceedings on the day. All members of Brennan should also be commended on the fantastic way they presented themselves and observed the day.
This term has also seen the start of the winter sport season and new opportunities for the boys to display their sporting prowess in a number of areas. Congratulations to all boys who have been involved in our Co-Curricular programs this term, with special congratulations going to our 1st XV and 1st XI squads who are enjoying very successful CAS seasons so far!
In a number of our House Assemblies this term we have been competing in a Brennan House Futsal competition. Teams have been based on Wellbeing Groups, with our Junior School members being partnered with a senior Wellbeing Group. It has been great to see all Brennan boys from Years Five to Twelve enjoying this time together and competing for bragging rights amongst the Brennan Wellbeing Groups. Students (and Mentors included!) have been fiercely competitive in this competition and it has been a true spectacle of sporting ability.
Continuing along the lines of sport, this term involved the annual House Athletics Carnival. There was some exceptional talent on display throughout the day end even better house spirit. Brennan House were able to stage a comeback for the ages. After being in seventh position after the first count of the day, the boys rallied and made sure to get out and participate in as many events as possible. The comeback was sealed with Brennan winning the House chant competition, catapulting us into first place by a very narrow margin! Congratulations to all who took part in the day and represented their house with pride!
The flagship charity event for Brennan House also got underway this term. Just over a dozen senior Brennan students have started to attend meetings every Wednesday after school. They meet in organising committees with a number of students from St Clare’s, to work on the annual Holdsworth Ball. The Holdsworth Ball is a Waverley College initiative that works with local charity organisation, The Holdsworth Community, to provide a ball for their clients, primarily consisting of adults living with intellectual disabilities. This event is something that all Holdsworth clients look forward to each year and is always a sellout event. The students are well underway planning an incredible night again for 2017. This year’s theme is a Masquerade Ball and is going to involve a full three course dinner, live music, lucky door prizes and much more! The event is funded and run entirely by the fundraising and donations organised by the students themselves and they are already well underway with their work in these areas. As such if you, or someone you know would like to donate any prizes that could be raffled off on the night or used as lucky door prizes we would love to hear from you. If you are interested, please feel free to email me directly for further information. The Holdsworth Community is an incredible organisation who do some amazing work in our local community. Their primary goals are to support children and adults living with intellectual disabilities; families with young children; older people who may be frail, ill, lacking mobility, experiencing social isolation or living with dementia; and their families and caregivers. They aim to build a community where all people have the support and services they need in order to build their personal capacity; have a voice and make choices; and make the meaningful social connections they need to live an active and happy life in the community. Allowing our students to work with them is such an incredible opportunity and the young men involved learn a great deal about some topics of great significance to all Australians.
Another topic of importance to all of the young men at Waverley was recognised last week with Men’s Health week taking place. There were numerous activities held that highlighted the importance of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle such as dawn yoga at Bondi Beach, guided gym sessions at lunch and healthy food options being provided for free at breakfast and recess. It was very encouraging to see the number of students getting involved in these activities and demonstrating healthy lifestyle choices throughout the week.
As always, Term Two is a busy term with Half-Yearly Exams taking place and Semester One Reports being distributed. The end of the term allows the opportunity for a well-earned rest, an opportunity to reflect on Semester One and the chance to begin planning for Semester Two. For our Year 12 students it marks the coming of their final full term of high school and I wish them all the best of luck in their Trial HSC Examinations which take place soon after their return for Term Three.
Last, but not least, my sincere thanks goes to all of the Brennan House Wellbeing Mentors. Their fantastic work in all aspects of student formation is a testament to their genuine care for every student in their charge. I am truly thankful for everything they have done as part of Brennan House this term and am blessed to work with such a great group of professionals.
I would like to wish every member of the Brennan Community, and wider Waverley College Community a safe and relaxing holiday period and look forward to the start of a new semester and term after the break.