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O’Connor House – End of Year Reflection

Head of O’Connor House, Matthew Barr

Side by side we stand like brothers, one for all and all together…

The words above are from our House song and are very symbolic of the culture and unity we the O’Connor House represents here at Waverley College. A culture and unified community that as their Head of House I am very proud of and hope to see continue to develop and grow in future years.

Each year the O’Connor students continue to thrive in all aspects of College life, aspiring to forge lifelong memories, create friendships and share achievements that will hold them in good stead as positive and active citizens of our community and the wider world. The O’Connor students continue to demonstrate a ‘Growth Mindset’ never thinking that they ‘can’t’, instead of thinking ‘they can’t right now’.

With our excited and eager new Year 7 students joining us in January, the year commenced for them with camp at Broken Bay, a fantastic opportunity for bonding and simply spending time with new and old friends alike. The camp activities were bushwalking, swimming, kayaking, archery and reflection sessions, with all boys participating enthusiastically developing interpersonal and team-building skills.

The other grades also were fortunate to attend camp at the following venues: Year 8 – Cadet Camp, Year 9 – Camp Somerset, Year 10 – Activity Week due to Bushfires, Year 11/12 Retreat – St Benedict’s XV, Gross Vale

Once again O’Connor House raised funds and constructed the Solar Buddies for energy poverty regions. This year our students took them on the Timor Leste Immersion to donate to students and families. The students constructed the Solar Buddies during House Assembly time and this allowed the students to work together to create the finished product.

Our 2019 House Prefects continued their positive efforts in participation and leadership at the Swimming Carnival in Term 1 and Athletics Carnival in Term 3, motivating the junior students to maximize their participation and encourage them in races. These Carnivals are always fantastic occasions for the boys to demonstrate great enthusiasm and active participation. As usual, there were a large number of strong performers, however, a memorable moment from both was indeed winning the House chants, with the boys displaying great House spirit and passion.

O’Connor House Mass was held in the College Chapel Term 2, it was a night of reverence, prayer and community gathering. It was fantastic to see so many parents from both the Senior and Junior schools in attendance to celebrate our Catholic faith. The new format of a night-time mass followed by a supper seemed highly valuable in parents, teachers, and students continuing to build links and embrace our sense of community. I would like to thank the House Prefects for organising and special thanks to Father Bernie Thomas for leading the mass.

The 2019 College Musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ certainly did not disappoint. Audiences were treated to a fantastic array of music, song, and dance – with a number of members in O’Connor House displaying their vast musical talents and dazzling us with their onstage performances. Special mention to Roman Kotecsky who played a lead role in the musical. O’Connor also had on stage two Year 8 students, Pierre Bourel and Mitchell Cahill, whom I am sure will have learned a great deal and they are sure to have a big role in future musicals. Part of the Production crew to help ensure everything ran smoothly backstage included: Brock Preston, Eddie Williamson, Riley James Cebokli, Oscar Rowson, Jordan Hulme, and Patrick Chan.

Our Year 12 students made an excellent effort in providing strong leadership for the College. They were outstanding role models and inspired others through their enthusiasm and commitment. I would like to particularly thank the House Prefects Luke Harris, Noah Glasel, Nikita Hatjiniktas and William Durkin who were instrumental in helping facilitate and deliver the content of the fortnightly assemblies. Congratulations must also go to Patrick Kite and Grayson Thomas who were elected as mid-year Prefects and worked well to support the other leaders, whilst bringing their own strengths and talents to the position.

Congratulations to the following students that received a prize or award at the End of Year Presentation day. Well done on a great year of hard work, effort, and commitment to curricular and co-curricular activities. Aodhan Williams, Jake Perks, Thomas Wilkins, Mack Flintcroft, Tom Cahill, Luke McLellan, Flynn Herbert, Maksymilian Klimczak and Riley-James Cibokli. Special mention to Luke Harris who was awarded Dux of the College at the Year 12 Graduation.

The O’Connor students have had a successful year highlighted by the culture and unity that has been created as mentioned above. Their ever-growing sense of maturity, diligence, and positive relationships, care and compassion for one another. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for me to guide and observe their positive attitude to life at Waverley. I would like to conclude by thanking all those teachers, counsellors and mentors who have worked with the O’Connor House boys this year, as well as the students themselves for their outstanding attitude throughout 2019.

See you in 2020.