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Aungier House – End of Year Reflection

From Head of Aungier House, John McCoy

“One can choose to go back towards safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again” – Abraham Maslow.

Fear is a very limiting term. It is something that restricts all of us and often forces us to stop what we are doing and leap into a secure space. This is a space we may struggle to find growth. Individuals can find it difficult to jump out of that space by themselves. Often, however, a helping hand from another individual or group can carry that person back to a pathway where they may continue on their growth journey, 

The Wellbeing structures at Waverley College allows students to take on a range of challenges while knowing that someone ‘has their back’ and will be supporting them throughout their days at school. This might come in the form of a Mentor, a ‘Big Brother’, a House Prefect or a Head of House.

Throughout 2019, students in Aungier House faced up to a number of challenges across a range of activities. The young men in Aungier conducted themselves with confidence throughout the course of the year. Recognition must be given to those figures who met with students each day, sharing uplifting stories and being able to detect if some extra assistance might be needed. 

Furthermore, the Aungier Student Leaders did a stellar job in being there to guide the younger students. Thomas Jaeger, Gabriel Cuenca, Matthew Gallagher, Connor Phibbs, Luke Mazza and Dion Hatziandreou have without a doubt left a lasting legacy on our House. We welcome the newly appointed Student Leaders who take the reins moving into 2020. Jim Waterhouse (College Vice-Captain), Zac Wotherspoon (House Captain), Emile Stephenson, Sam Markert, and Ryan von der Heyden, have already created a strong impact with the Aungier Handshake being a feature at the locker area at the commencement of the day between students.

The variety of competitions and activities were well received by the student body in 2019. The House Swimming Carnival took place at Des Renford Pool in Term 1. The House Athletics Carnival took place at the conclusion of Term 2 at ES Marks Field. Aungier was also involved in several House Competitions which engaged a diverse range of students. The Waterford representatives did their House proud at both the Blitz Day and the Walkathon. Thanks to all those boys in Red, who gave their all for our House at each of these events. 

The House Mass was moved to a new evening timeslot this year, to give more families the chance to attend. This change in schedule proved to be a success as a number of people were able to attend. Following Mass, which was led by Father Bernie, the Aungier Community were able to enjoy supper together in the College Library.

Aungier was heavily involved in a range of social justice initiatives in 2019 – not only to support those outside of our community but to support those within. Again, the ‘Beanies for Brain Cancer’ initiative, led by Digger Callender (Year 6), was a focus of support for students, staff, and families. Furthermore, Aungier was involved in the promotion of Refugee Week. The animation film titled, “Ali and the Long Journey to Australia”, was selected by students to be played at the College Assembly. This story resonated with a number of young men who could sense the difficult position many young people are forced into in our world today. 

Thanks to Aungier Mentors Mrs Elizabeth Watson, Miss Nohara Binyamin, Mrs Vanessa Purnell, Miss Nicola Silsby, Miss Charlotte Stephens, Miss Shannon Bronkhorst, Miss Alison Carlile, Mrs Prue Fitzsimmons, Mr Anthony Stanton, Mr Stephen Wilmot, Mr Garth Aird, Mr James Spargo, Mr Martin Barrett, Mr Robert Tall, Mr Thomas Mitton and Mr Matthew Mountfort.

2019 will go down as a year of growth where Aungier students walk with confidence with the knowledge that someone will always be standing behind them. I would like to wish all students and families the very best as we move into the next decade together.