From the Head of Brennan House, Mr James Horrocks
The end of Term 2 brings about the end of a successful semester for the members of Brennan House. This term has also seen the beginning of the Winter season of sport and the commencement of the Brennan House major charity project, the Holdsworth Ball. All boys have continued to involve themselves in all that the college has to offer and have represented both Brennan House and Waverley College with pride.
Term 2 began with our Year 12 cohort sitting their Half Yearly Examinations. It was good to hear from so many boys after their exams who were able to say that they had applied themselves well to their studies and had been very happy with the results that they achieved in these exams. The work ethic that a number of our Year 12 students are demonstrating at the moment is setting a great example for all boys entering Year 12 in the coming years.
Two key members of the Year 12 cohort were also rewarded for their continued efforts and commitment to the college by being selected as mid-year prefects. These two students were Sebastian Rasmussen and Oliver Read. These boys were two of just eleven students to be recognised in this manner and are very deserving recipients. Despite not being named as prefects in Term Four last year, they have both demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the entire Waverley College community and since their appointment have already been working hard to add to our already very strong 2018 prefect student body.
There has also been a broad range of student achievements this term which we have celebrated within Brennan House and throughout the broader college as well. These achievements include:
Will Cooley – Continues to excel in the field of sailing. He has been training 6 days a week with the AIS and has been involved in a number of competitions during the term where he has experienced great successes. This exceptional dedication to his discipline has earnt Will selection in the Australian Youth Olympic team. This is a huge achievement and is a tribute to the amount of work Will has put in over a number of years. We wish Will all the best for the Youth Olympics later this year and also in Texas, this holiday break, where he will also be competing. We all look forward to hearing how he goes!
Daniel Andrews – Has experienced success on the rugby field, attaining selection in the CAS Rugby 2nds team.
Daniel McSweeny – Has been the first member of Brennan House to receive a Head of College Award, after already receiving three Gold Awards this year, for both academic achievement and positive contribution to the college community.
Tom Donaldson – Took part in an Open Chess tournament in Parramatta where he came first. A great achievement against some older opposition.
Alex Sideris – Competed in and won a 50cc Go-Kart race in the Under 12 division at Eastern Creek.
Campbell Scally – Has earned selection into the CIS hockey team.
Fred Carmody – Displayed his surfing prowess, winning the Bondi Boardriders Competition in the Micro-groms division.
Maximilian Fischer – Continues to take the golfing world by storm, winning a major golf tournament (The Harvey Norman Week of Golf).
The spirituality program has also been at the forefront of Term Two, with the celebration of our 108th Annual May Procession. This is always a very significant event in the life of the college and it was wonderful to see the leadership displayed by our SRC and Prefect representatives, as they carried out their various roles on the day. The entire house should also be commended on the reverent and respectful way in which they conducted themselves throughout the event.
Term 2 has also seen the commencement of the winter season of co curricular activities. The amount of opportunities for boys to hone their skills in a wide variety of disciplines continues to grow every year and it is wonderful to see the successes of Brennan students in all areas. Special congratulations goes to all students in Brennan house who have achieved selection in a Firsts team and who have been representing Waverley proudly so far. Supporter’s duty has also seen some changes this year, that allows boys to attend any “Firsts” team competition during their allocated week to help support all co curricular activities. It has been great to hear about boys getting to sports they normally would not get the opportunity to see, such as debating, and showing their support.
This Friday sees the running of our House Athletics Carnival which is always a great day for House spirit and a chance for all boys to show off their athletic skills. It is also a chance to repeat or efforts from last year and go back to back with another victory this year. Our prefects and Year 12 students have been working hard teaching everyone the house chants and I look forward to seeing how we go on the day. I encourage everyone to get involved and give an event that you would not normally do a try, all house points are valuable on the day! We are also looking forward to having the Junior School attend the carnival. It will be the first time that we have competed as a combined Junior and Senior School and it should be a great day for all involved.
Organisation of the Holdsworth Ball also commenced this term for roughly 20 Year 11 students. The Holdsworth Ball is the primary social justice initiative for Brennan House and runs during Term Three each year. The volunteers from Year 11 have been meeting every Wednesday after school to plan the event. They meet in organising committees with a similar number of students from Year 11 at St Clare’s, to focus on organising all aspects of the night. The ball itself 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, as well as a major fundraiser for the organisation. The students are already well into planning this year’s event with a theme of “A night at the Oscars”. It will involve a 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. 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 Junior School have already been busy fundraising for the Ball and have held a raffle and a sports competition at the Waterford Campus.
The Holdsworth Community is an incredible organisation who do some amazing work in our local community. Their primary goals are stated as being “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. We 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 needed to live an active and happy life in the community.” The chance for 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. If you would like more information about the Holdsworth Community and their work, feel free to visit their website.
Men’s Health Week was celebrated in Week Seven with a wide range of activities encouraging students to stay aware of their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. There were also a range of competitions that were run with House Points on the line. Brennan House was strongly represented across the week with a number of great achievements. Connor Andrews and Luca Whitaker had an excellent 1, 2 finish in the Junior “Waverley’s Fastest Man” competition. In the “3 vs 3 Basketball” competition we finished 2nd in the Juniors and 1st in the Seniors. Congratulations to Oscar Walters-Green, Cameron Abbott, Thomas Gleeson, Ryan Abbott, Ben Walton, Kyle Goulding and Jonathan Chen who were members of those two teams. Well done also to all students who attended the reading sessions in the library and the guided meditation session.
Academically, Term 2 is also an immensely busy time for all students, with Half-Yearly Exams taking place and Semester One Reports being distributed. I encourage all students to carefully read the feedback they receive in each subject so that they can start planning for an even more successful Semester 2. The end of Term 2 provides a good opportunity to rest and reflect on Semester 1 and all that has occurred this year so far, before returning ready to begin the second half of the year fresh. For those in Year 12, it marks the eve of their final full term of High School. I wish them all the best for their Trial HSC exams, which will be taking place soon after their return to school next term.
As with every term, I would like to once again thank the wonderful Wellbeing Mentors of Brennan House. These mentors work very hard every day to ensure that they are there to support the members of their Wellbeing Groups and I am blessed to work with such a great group of professionals. The success of all house activities relies upon their hard work and support, thank you.
Finally, I would like to wish all members of Brennan House, and the wider College Community, a safe and relaxing holiday period. Good luck to all students taking part in the Red Earth and Timor Leste Immersions and also to all involved in the Music Tour. I look forward to seeing you all next term for the start of Semester Two.