From the Head of Brennan House, James Horrocks
The end of Term Four brings about the end of a year that has seen a lot of change throughout the entire college, changes which I would like to thoroughly thank all members of the Brennan House community for embracing and supporting to the fullest extent.
Term Four has also seen a strong finish to the year by the Brennan House “Wolf Pack”. The boys have continued to set an excellent standard in terms of their involvement in the wide range of activities and opportunities provided to them. As the saying goes “You only get out what you put in” and the students of Brennan have certainly taken a lot away from this term.
Year 12 2018
The start of the term saw our new Year 12 cohort stepping up to the role of leaders of the college. Part of this process involved these boys taking part in the annual Year 12 Retreat. Brennan House ventured out to Toukley for 2 nights and undertook a program of self development and reflection. It was a privilege to be a part of this program, to see the mature way the students approached the program and the incredible personal and spiritual growth in all of the students in such a short period of time. Even more pleasing was to hear the positive reports the camp received from all involved.
The beginning of the term also saw the announcement of our new House Prefects for 2017/18 and I would like to congratulate the following students on their new appointments:
- Ethan Reid – Academic Prefect
- Coen Finati – Community Prefect
- Luca Zanarini – Spirituality Prefect
- Daniel Hassan – Wellbeing Prefect
- Daniel Andrews – College Vice-Captain
Every single one of these boys have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities throughout their time at Waverley and excelled throughout the selection process. Already this term they have approached their new duties with enthusiasm, maturity and genuine care for all students within the house and I am keenly looking forward to working with them throughout 2018. They are each thoroughly deserving of their new roles and I would like to extend my congratulations to each of them.
The Inter House Diving Competition took place in Week 4 and saw Charlie Alexander, Freddy Felix and Isaiah Close-Brown step up to represent their house with pride. In a very tough competition against a number of other trained divers the boys did a great job, finishing in a very respectable 4th place.
Later, in Week 8, the Inter House Tug O’ War Competition also took place. After winning the Brennan House Mentor Group Competition, Brennan 5 took on the top mentor groups from the other Houses. They were fantastic and used their teamwork to finish in 3rd. Congratulations on a great effort boys!
These two competitions were the final opportunity to win valuable House Points. Thanks to the efforts of the entire Brennan Wolf Pack throughout the year we were able to finish in 2nd place, narrowly behind Quinn House and with the final standings coming right down to the final Tug O’ War event. Well done to everyone involved and “up, up the Wolf Pack”.
The Junior School students have had a very busy term as well, with Year 5 heading out on camp to Vision Valley and the completion of the final term in the Junior School lives of the Year 6 students. Major events for this term included the Music Festival evening, French Day and the culmination of fundraising efforts for the Walkathon. Special mentions here go to Eddie Beswick (Year 6) and Brock Randall (Year 5) who raised $745 and $605 respectively. The entire Junior School should be congratulated on their monumental effort in raising over $50,000 for a range of different charities through this event, an incredible achievement!
As part of their work this term the Year 5 and 6 boys put together a fantastic House Assembly presentation about their year long mission to inspire kindness and the work they have been doing based off of the “Kindness Factory” program. The students spoke about the importance of even the smallest of actions to show kindness to others and the difference that it can make in the lives of other people. They also gave some excellent examples of the wonderful efforts they have been making this year to live up to these ideals. The work they have been doing is a testament to their teachers and families and demonstrates fantastic key characteristics that we encourage all Waverlians to strive for. Well done boys!
If you want to find out more about this initiative or would like to follow the lead of the Junior School and log your own act of kindness, visit https://kindnessfactory.com/
Following on from this we had the Year 7 2018 Orientation Day. Over the course of the day the students were given an introduction to a wide range of aspects of life in the Senior School including Design and Technology, Social Justice, Sport and Swimming Trials. It was also an excellent opportunity for the boys from the Junior School to meet all of the students from other schools who will be joining them as part of the Brennan House Family in 2018. It was fantastic to see all boys mixing well and enjoying themselves throughout the day. I am looking forward to welcoming them all into the Senior School in 2018. A special mention also to our five House Prefects who were brilliant throughout the day and provided a kind, welcoming and caring face for the future Year 7 students to look for and guide them in their transition.
Year 10 Camp and Reflection Days
Year 10 students embarked on the always popular Year 10 Camp to Somerset in Week 7, an annual event that is always listed as a major highlight in the school life of many Waverley College students upon graduation. This camp is a brilliant opportunity for students to put themselves in an environment that allows them to test themselves and develop important life skills such as perseverance and teamwork. Both camp staff and the supervising teachers were highly impressed with the involvement of the Year 10 students and the proactive way in which they approached the challenges presented to them throughout the week. Upon their return from camp the boys all reported that they had a great time and really took a lot out of their experiences, things which they will be able to take with them into their Preliminary HSC studies in 2018.
Following their camp the students took part in two reflection days which saw them take part in a number of activities and seminars to get them thinking about who they are in the world and what they can do to be the change that they want to see. They were lucky enough to hear from a number of inspiration speakers with backgrounds in spirituality, dealing with homelessness and Holocaust survivors who provided the students with a lot to think about and reflect upon over their Christmas Holidays.
As it does every year, Term Four saw the commencement of the Summer Sport season. So far it has proven to be a very successful season for many of the boys and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate a number of boys on their achievements so far:
- Oliver Pether – Captain of Media Group
- Luca Zanarini – Captain of Basketball and 1st V Basketball
- Ryan Abbott – 1st V Basketball
- Kyle Goulding – 1st V Basketball
- Hayden Walton – 1st V Basketball
- Reid McNamara – 1st XI Cricket
Well done to these boys and everyone involved in Summer Sport. I look forward to seeing these excellent results continue in Term 1 2018.
Academic Award Winners
Another area of college life that students have been excelling in is the academic field. It has been a pleasure to hear about the successes of the boys academically and even better to hear about boys who have made huge efforts over 2017 to improve their results and approach their studies with enthusiasm. More than anything, what is most important is work ethic and the desire to improve upon a previous best and this is what I am most impressed to see in many Brennan students.
I would also like to congratulate the following boys who have received Academic Awards during our two Presentation Evenings:
- Brandon Reid
- William Dodd
- Daniel McSweeny
- Alessio Imhoff
- Reid McNamara
- Ryan Abbott
- Nicholas Poulos
- Lachlan Foley
- Marco Emery
- Nat Yarrow
- Mac Jenkins
- William Davison
- Oliver Read
- Riley Singles-Fotopoulos
- Luca Galeazzi
- Noah Havard
Congratulations to all students and I look forward to seeing these efforts continue to build into 2018.
As the year comes to a close it is important to thank the many people who have worked so hard throughout the year to support every student within Brennan House. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated and caring team of mentors who go above and beyond every day to make sure that the boys get as much as possible out of our new Wellbeing program. They have all made this year of change work so well and ensure that it benefits all students in Brennan House. The mentor team for this year has been:
- Ms Stephens
- Ms Crewdson
- Mr O’Donnell
- Mr Chen
- Mr Mosna
- Mrs Porter
- Ms Richards
- Ms De Joux
- Ms Jeffries
- Mr Bannerman
- Ms Pinter
- Mr Balkizas
- Mr Gibbs
- Mr Rowlings
- Mr Murphie
- Mr Pryor
They have all been wonderful and I look forward to working with them again in 2018.
Congratulations also go out to two Brennan members of staff. Firstly, Mr Graeme Bannerman on his appointment to the position of Head of Department – Art for 2018. Secondly, congratulations to Ms Amy Crewdson on her new position at Scots College which will commence in 2018. We are all very sad that you are leaving us, but also thankful for the amazing work you have done with the boys throughout your time at the college. Best wishes to both of you in your new roles.
The Christmas holiday period is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family that you may not always get to see during term time. Make sure you take the chance to see someone you have not seen in awhile and spread the spirit of the Christmas season. Also ensure that you take the time to relax and recharge after an incredibly busy year. Reflect on and be proud of what you have achieved over the last 12 months, then start to look forward and plan for the upcoming year and how to make it your most successful one yet.
Finally, I would also like to set a challenge for every member of Brennan House. That is to do something good for someone else without being asked. If you see a need in your community, family, friendship circle or any other area of your life, do your best to fill that need. Christmas is the season of giving and the chance to spread some happiness.
Merry Christmas to the entire Waverley College community. I hope that each of you enjoy a holy Christmas with your family and a restorative New Year period. I look forward to seeing you all in 2018 for another successful year in Brennan House.