Read More: Year 7 Camp, Students of the World Club, Old Boy Kurt von Hofe talk and International Women’s Day Assembly.
International Women’s Day Assembly – Address by Ms Belinda Buchan
On 8 March International Women’s Day is celebrated annually throughout the world. It is a significant day when we celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, take action for equality, and reflect on what we can do to build more respectful relationships.
On 4 March 2021 Waverley College marked International Women’s Day with a staff morning tea and also at our Years 5-12 College assembly. Our special assembly guests were young ladies from St Clare’s College and St Catherine’s School Waverley, and their principals and some staff.
What was different this year was that students led the assembly, beginning with Waverley students who spoke of Edmund Rice and how “the feminine influence in his life deepened his capacity for compassion and empathy.” Male and female students also led prayers.
Ms Belinda Buchan gave the motivating International Women’s Day address, speaking passionately about feminism. She asked everyone to ‘choose to challenge gender inequity’ via a performance poem delivered by an African American woman poet. For those who missed Ms Buchan’s address, or who would like to read it again, please click on the link below:
Principal Mr Graham Leddie also addressed the assembly, appealing to Waverley students to reflect on their attitudes and behaviours towards the women in their lives, and recognising the positive contributions of the large number of women staff at Waverley. He reinforced that all women in the College community play a critical role in contributing significantly to making Waverley an educational environment that is forward thinking, that wants to do better, can do better, and will do better.
College archivist Ms Venettia Miller put together a memorable slide presentation of dynamic women who have worked tirelessly at Waverley from the past to today, and this was prominently displayed on the large screens with an inspiring soundtrack. Such women include and have included mother volunteers in the canteen and as fundraisers, and female staff working as educators and in administration, finance, HR, marketing and in the day-to-day running of Waverley College.
Following the assembly, Waverley College prefects hosted a celebratory lunch for our St Clare’s and St Catherine’s guests where they shared friendship and positive conversation.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Conlon Win the Inter House Touch Football Competition!
From Ms Sue Walsh, Director of Identity and Student Formation
Congratulations to Conlon House who won the Inter House Touch Football Competition last week. Brennan House were the runners up. Both teams played with great sportsmanship and had defeated the tough opponents of Quinn and O’Connor House to make it to the finals.
It was great to see so many enthusiastic supporters throughout the competition, and a special thanks to all those who helped make the competition possible. Congratulations to all Houses on a great effort and especially to Tevlin and Lacey who organised this event.
Our next event will be celebrated on the 17 March St Patrick’s Day with green cakes, lollies and refreshments available for purchase at recess, and a staff/ student Gaelic football game at lunchtime. Bring your money along to purchase some of these goodies and celebrate this special day.
Students of the World Club Set to Save the Planet!
From Ms Rebecca Sutcliffe, Geography teacher
In term 3 2020, Ms Rebecca Sutcliffe took the initiative to create a specialist club for targeted Years 7-10 Geography students. The fortnightly lunch Club, called ‘Students of the World’, has attracted a core number of students primarily from Year 7 2020.
Conversations vary from current affairs, political issues, global issues and more importantly issues of sustainability. Introducing new ideas for discussion, the Club uses resources such as BBC Radio Four podcasts in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society, who present 39 ideas to relieve the stress that climate change is exerting on the planet. Via these discussions, the students have raised several ideas on how to improve the College’s carbon footprint, which we are looking to take to the College’s Ecology Committee this year.
We are also piloting a new online course created by the GTA NSW & ACT (Geography Teachers’ Association) especially for students. Ms Sutcliffe is on the GTA Council and one of its key factors is to provide students and their teachers with different opportunities and resources to learn about Geography.
With the help of Ms Stephanie Boyce we are excited to be looking to enter many geographical competitions throughout the year.
These students are a vital part of building changes for the future not only at Waverley but continually throughout their own lives and the lives of people they come into contact with.
Ms Sutcliffe’s main aim is to highlight the importance, the relevance and the connection to Geography for all students. Empowering them to make the world a better place. They are after all the generation to save the planet – well she thinks so anyway!
Old Boy Kurt von Hofe Enthuses About Space!
On 2 March 2021 we were delighted to welcome back Old Boy Kurt von Hofe (Class of 2014, 1st Football team) as a speaker in the Academic Mentoring Program. Kurt attracted many interested students to his lunchtime presentation in the Senior Library where he spoke eloquently about his journey from school through to university, and to his current exciting role at the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research.
Kurt completed a Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering (Honours) at the University of New South Wales in 2020, with a final research project developing autonomous flight for an indoor-purposed drone using a single on board 2D laser scanner. During university he actively participated in extra-curricular activities including the UNSW Rocketry Team!
He also spoke of his time working at Cochlear Limited, a worldwide medical device designer and manufacturer that specialises in inner ear functionality. In the role of New Product Industrialisation Engineer, his team was responsible for working with development engineers to design a product that is feasible to build.
Unpacking the fascinating elements of his current role at the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, where he is helping to develop a space global satellite system receiver to model the ionosphere, Kurt displayed GPS receivers in space and types of hardware on the large screens. In glowing terms he explained that the space industry in Australia is growing. We now have niche access to space! This is very good news for students interested in careers in Space, Engineering and Science.
Kurt requested questions from Waverley students (including students in the Junior School where his talk was being live-streamed!), and they responded keenly. Many were curious to know the subjects Kurt chose in Years 9-12, and he suggested that students who enjoy problem-solving with mathematics would be a good fit for this type of career. Many were surprised to learn that along with Advanced Mathematics, Economics and PE in Years 11 and 12, Kurt did not study science! He did however do a physics bridging course prior to starting university.
Kurt suggested that students interested in space might like to think about starting a double university degree in maths and engineering to see where their interests lie, with the option to alter this path as they go along. He explained that each university has a space research centre and are always seeking new university students.
We sincerely thank Kurt von Hofe for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his inside knowledge and insights with Waverley students and staff, and for being an excellent academic mentor.
Year 7 Camp Yarramundi
From Ben Cromer and Charlie Carter (Year 7 Conlon students)
On 22 February Year 7 went on a three day camp to Camp Yarramundi.
The camp was so much fun and we experienced so many new things. It pushed our limits and allowed us to get out of our comfort zones. We did team building and fun activities like Abseiling, The Giant Swing, High Ropes, Kayaking and Ga-Ga Ball which were all amazing, and let us relax and have fun with our friends. The food was also good, butter chicken and nachos for dinner, and bacon and eggs for breakfast. New friendships were formed and others strengthened as we did our activities and slept in our house groups; it also let us get to know the other people in our House who we will be seeing a lot throughout our next six years of school.
We were extremely lucky to have our Heads of House and other teachers staying with us throughout all of our activities, and the camp also taught us to be cooperative and encouraging. It was so much fun and everyone agreed it passed way too quickly; nobody wanted to go back to school. When we finally got on the bus home we were very tired from two late nights and jam-packed days. We were looking forward to a night in our own bed. We would like to thank all the teachers who accompanied us to Yarramundi on this journey and who put in the effort behind the scenes to make our first camp so memorable.
Five Tips for Fasting During Lent
From Father Bernie, College Chaplain and Ms Sue Walsh, Director of Identity and Student Formation
Try these five tips for fasting over the next five weeks. Kindly sent by Father Bernie, they originally come from a list of 11 by Pope Francis.
- 1-7 March: Fast from hurting words and say kind words
- 8-14 March: Fast from anger and be ﬁlled with patience
- 15-21 March: Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity
- 22-28 March: Fast from grudges and be reconciled
- 29-4 April: Fast from words and be silent so you can listen: perfect this week as this is Holy Week