From Head of Brennan House, James Horrocks
Each year, the end of Term 3 brings about the end of a significant period in the lives of all our Year 12 students. For some of these students it is a journey that began 8 years ago when they walked through the gates of the Junior School as Year 5 students. No matter the length of the journey in years, the end of their time at Waverley is an emotional experience as they begin to plan for life, studies and work after school. These senior students have had a profound impact on the school and their peers in other grades over the years and their leadership has continued to build upon the work of prior Year 12 cohorts in creating a close and supportive Brennan House environment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Year 12 students for their contribution to the college. On behalf of the entire Waverley College community, I would like to wish you all the best in your HSC Examinations and every success in whatever direction your next journey in life takes you.
Our 2019 Brennan House Year 12 students include:
In addition to this, I would like to recognise the efforts of the Brennan House Prefects for 2019; Joshua Gleeson, Darcy Mullins, Alexander Kapos, Tommy Tyson, Will Davison and Max Curry. These young men have worked exceptionally hard throughout the last twelve months to lead House activities, spearhead College initiatives, lead Brennan to victory at the Swimming Carnival and set an outstanding example of the younger Brennan members. Their efforts have set the house in very good stead for the years to come and have set a very high benchmark for our future leaders in 2020 and beyond.
In our other year levels, Year 11 completed their final preliminary examinations. These exams marked the end of the Preliminary Course. When these students return in Term 4, they will take over as Brennan’s Year 12 leaders. Good luck to all in your results and I hope your study has paid off for you. This year also saw the most ever applicants for a leadership role in Brennan House for 2020. The quality of candidate this year was exceptional, making it an incredibly tough decision and close race for these positions. I look forward to formally announcing and recognising the successful applicants at the beginning of Term 4 as they commence their leadership roles.
Year 10 had their first school formal experience with the running of the Year 10 Harbour Cruise. This is always a fun event and gives Year 10 a chance to show off their style and fashion sense in a great night on the Harbour. All students were respectful and gracious hosts to their guests for the night and it was a fun night for all.
Year 9 embarked on their annual camp. For many, this is the most rigorous outdoor experience they have ever had, pushing them well out of their comfort zones. As a part of this experience, students were not only challenged by the environment but also in areas such as problem solving and teamwork. Through these camps, students are able to further develop these important skills and continue to be lifelong learners. We also continued the initiative, brought in last year, where all students were able to invite their father/male role model to join them for the final night of camp to share in the experience. This again received fantastic feedback from all involved.
With the conclusion of the Winter Sport Season this term, it was great to see and share in the success of many of our Waverley Teams. In particular, our 1sts AFL team who secured their first-ever Independent Premiership, defeating all CAS and GPS schools to take out the titled. Congratulations also to the 2nds, 3rds and 16A’s Rugby sides on their premierships. No matter the result, the involvement this season has been excellent. The Co-Curricular program of the College offers students the chance to show their skills in areas beyond the classroom. It also offers the chance to learn important lessons about teamwork, sportsmanship, being humble in both victory and defeat, and the value of hard work. Congratulations to all on another great season.
Other achievements of Brennan House members this term included:
Damien and Nicholas Poulos – competing at the Australian Kyokushin Karate Championships. Nicholas placed 1st in the Male Open Division and Damien placed 1st in the Full Contact 14-16 Yrs Middleweight Division.
Sean Govender – Sean competed in the Shotokan Karate International World Titles in the Czech Republic.
Ryan Abbott – Ryan received an Australian Olympic Change-Maker Program Award and also competed as a member of the Australian U17 Basketball team at the Oceania Championships in Noumea. They went through undefeated to win gold and gain entry into the 2020 Asia Cup.
Will Cooley – Will added to his list of incredible achievements in the sailing world by becoming the Youth Sailing World Champion in his Nacra 15 class. Will was also the recipient of an Australian Olympic Change-Maker Program Award.
Charlie Winkelmeier – Charlie was invited to Canberra to meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison and be awarded with the. ‘National Rescue of the Year’. When a sandbar collapsed at North Cronulla, Charlie was part of a team that helped save over 40 people.
Alex Rice – Alex was rewarded for his hard work this Rugby season, gaining selection in the NSW U18 Rugby team.
The following students also received awards at our recent Winter Sports Awards Assembly for their fantastic achievements over the past season; Alex Rice, Sean Kearns, Daniel McSweeny, Sam Connor, Darcy Mullins, Kyle Goulding, Tommy Tyson, Bodhi Reiners, Reid McNamara, Oliver Pether, Will Paterson, Cameron Abbott, Hayden Walker, Oscar Mason and Will Cooley. Congratulations to all of these young men.
In Week 9, the 90th Annual CAS Athletics Championships took place in Homebush. This is always a massive night for the College and the culmination of roughly six weeks of intense training for our Track and Field Team. All members of this team deserve special recognition. This season of sport is a voluntary one and as such, all who take part do so out of a desire to test themselves, compete and represent the college. Their dedication at a time when many others are taking a break from sport is a credit to them all. Well done all.
The Holdsworth Ball took place on 31 August this year and is always the flagship charity event in the Brennan House calendar. Waverley has a strong tradition of working with the Holdsworth Community, a local organisation that supports children and adults living with intellectual disabilities, their families and caregivers throughout Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs. Since the beginning of Term Two, a group of Year 11 students from Waverley and St Clare’s have been meeting to plan the annual ball. This is a significant undertaking for those involved, who are responsible for every aspect of the night; planning the entertainment, seating, decorations, and prizes, as well as cooking and serving a full three-course dinner. In addition to all of this, they are also responsible for raising all of the funds to pay for the night. I would like to thank and congratulate the following students for their hard work in creating such a successful and memorable night for all involved:
Thanks also goes to the staff who generously gave up their time to help with the preparations for and running of the night:
Natalie Oates and the Art Department
Garth Aird and the TAS Department
Chris Balkizas and the Music Department
Jaimi Walker, Emma Laurence and the Marketing Department
Thank you also to Mr Graham Leddie for taking the time to attend and show your support on the night.
The Holdsworth Ball is one of the most rewarding activities that you can involve yourself in at Waverley College. The difference that students are able to make in such a worthwhile area of our local community is immense. Each year, the students who put their hands up to organise this event do an incredible job. They are a credit to their school, themselves and their families. Thank you, everyone, for your efforts.
A final word to Year 12. As your high school career comes to a close you should be proud of all that you have achieved during your time here at Waverley. Your final exams are just around the corner and it is important that you finish strong and stay focused on your goals. Make sure you keep your study habits going throughout the holidays and stay in contact with your teachers to get as much guidance as you can in the lead up to the HSC exam period, they are there to help! Also, never underestimate the impact that you have had on those around you throughout your time at Waverley. Even if it was just a hello in the morning, you have impacted countless others over the years. Good luck in your examinations, you have done the hard work and it is almost time to reap the rewards!
Lastly, as always, thank you to all the Brennan House Mentors for your hard work this term. Wishing everyone a happy and restorative holiday break and I look forward to seeing you all in Term Four for a great finish to the year.