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Head’s Message

Caring for our students

Graham Leddie

From the Head of College, Graham Leddie

Father’s Day

I hope all dads, grandads, stepdads and other significant male carers had an enjoyable Father’s Day last Sunday. Thank you to all for the large attendance at our Junior and Senior School Father’s Day masses held by Father Bernie Thomas.

It is Child Protection Week

Every child has the right to feel safe and should be free to trust those who are in positions of care and leadership around them. We all have a part to play in protecting children and Child Protection Week is a timely reminder of our obligations.

The College has a zero tolerance of child abuse and all allegations and safety concerns are treated seriously, consistent with our robust policies and procedures. We have a legal and moral obligation to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously. This policy is in accord with the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Charter and underpinned by EREA core values. EREA endorses the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs’ ‘Educational Goals for Young Australians’ and The National Safe Schools Framework.

The College complies with all child protection legislation and applies robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff, contractors and volunteers. It is Waverley College policy that all staff have compulsory up-to-date Working with Children certification and the College is compliant with every legislated safeguard including obligatory police clearances, working with children clearances and mandatory reporting training. These, in conjunction with strict codes of conduct for staff behaviour, give full effect to our priority to provide a safe environment for all children at our school.


Thursday, 14 September is RUOK? Day, which provides an annual focus on suicide prevention. The College will be taking the opportunity to remind students and staff that ‘a conversation can change a life’.

The College has very strong links to this charity through the Larkin family, whose late father, Gavin, founded the organisation. Gavin and Maryanne’s son, Van, is currently in Year 6 and Van’s late brother, Gus, was part of the Class of 2016. Sadly, Gus died from brain cancer in 2013.

A cake stall fundraiser for RUOK? will be held on Thursday at recess (10.15am – 10.35am), so please make sure your child brings a gold coin to support this event.  If you are able to bake or supply some cakes or biscuits it would be greatly appreciated; just drop them at the Senior School Reception on Thursday morning.

Common Theme

I have had excellent reports back from the Somerset Outdoor Education Centre on our Year 9 students from their adventure last week. I also received similar endorsement from the cruise operators of our Year 10 students after their Dinner Dance on Sydney Harbour last Friday evening. The common themes were that our students were the best they had seen for quite some time in terms of their manners, behaviour and respect – a great endorsement of our parents and the College. Thank you to all the staff that assisted in making these rich learning experiences possible.

Drama Evening

Congratulations to our Year 12 Drama students who presented their major works last week to a large audience in the Performing Arts Centre. The standard of performance was impressive, as was the support they received from their peers, who turned out to support them en masse. Such support for each other is indicative of the camaraderie among Year 12 students this year. Thank you to Mr Peter Lamb and Ms Alison Jinga for hosting and coordinating the evening.

Archbishop of Sydney Award for Student Excellence

Congratulations to Angus Mullins who is the 2017 recipient of this prestigious award. Angus will be presented with his award by the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher OP at a ceremony on Friday 8 September at St Mary’s Cathedral.  This award acknowledges a student’s achievements and contribution to school life in areas including leadership, academic and sporting life, social justice, parish life and faith, and community service.

Southern Sydney Business Education Network Awards

Congratulations to Year 12 student Will Johnston and Ms Kath Knowles, Head of Senior Studies & Careers, who both received excellence in VET awards at a ceremony held at Bonnie Doon Golf Course this week.

Woollahra Film and Photography Awards

Congratulations to the following students who have been recognised out of 200 entries for their outstanding photography and film work:

Bradley Marzol (10) – Title of work: ” Fading Past ” – Photography

Dylan Quirk (12) – Title of work: “Nature’s Embodiment” – Photography

James Campbell (12) – Title of work: “Medicine Salt” – Film

ADFA Education Award

Congratulations to Mark Rynberg of Year 12 on being awarded the highly prestigious  Australian Defence Force Academy Education Award. The ADFA Education Award is presented annually to Year 12 students in recognition of outstanding achievement exhibited during the recruiting process for entry to ADFA. The Award is presented to students who have excelled in academics, sporting achievement and leadership potential. The selection process is extremely competitive. Award recipients are selected after completing psychometric testing, psychological and recruiting officer interviews and finally an Officer Selection Board in which all applicants are ranked in order of merit. The aim is to identify those candidates with the most potential to be tomorrow’s military leaders.

Swimming Championships

Congratulations to Stuart Swinburn (Year 10) who recently competed at the Junior World Championships in Indianapolis. Stuart came tenth overall in the 200m Backstroke, moving up 5 places from his previous rank. The Head Coach made special mention of Stuart’s attitude and maturity at the event.

Congratulations are also due to Erwan Le Pechoux (Year 12) who competed at the NSW Short Course Championships where he picked up silver in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 200m freestyle.

World Junior Water Polo Titles

Congratulations to Nikita Strbac (Year 9) who has recently returned from the 19th FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships in Belgrade. Nikita was one of the team’s strongest and most consistent players.

World Open Water Paddling Championships

Congratulations to the following students who have been officially selected to compete for Australia in Hong Kong at the world championships: Zach Havard (Year 12), Noah Havard (Year 11), Jeremy Heys (Year 12) and Ben Walker (Year 12).

Worldskills Cookery and Construction Competitions

Congratulations to Dominic Augoustis who placed 3rd in the Eastern Regions Inter Schools 2017 Cookery Competition last week and has made it through to the next round.  Liam Flanagan also performed very well in the competition. Congratulations to Maximo Coleman who competed in the Construction Competition and who has made it through to the next round.

NSW School Band Festival

The Waterford Concert Band was awarded Gold for their performance in the NSW School Band Festival, held at the Sir John Clancy Auditorium, University of New South Wales last week. This young band had to present a hymn or slow melody, with at least one piece by an Australian composer and one of their own choice – Congratulations!

Encouraging Boys to Read

Thank you to the parents and students who attended the reading evening held last week in the Library. Guest speaker Paul Macdonald unpacked some great tips on encouraging reading and the latest popular books for boys. College Captain, Tyler von der Heyden really hit a chord with the younger boys who were most interested in what he reads. We are looking at asking more senior students to share what they enjoy reading with Years 7 and 8 students in the future.

Holdsworth Ball

Congratulations to our Year 10 students and the St Clare’s College students who hosted the annual Holdsworth Ball last weekend. Thank you to Ms Stephanie Boyce, Ms Geraldine Cullen, Mr John Kara and Mr James Horrocks for assisting and coordinating the evening along with St Clare’s staff. The CEO commented that this night is the most anticipated event on the Holdsworth calendar. The Holdsworth Community supports children and adults living with intellectual disabilities and their families and caregivers throughout Sydney.