Search icon
Explore icon

Please note: This post is from our website archive. Some of the information within this post may now be out-of-date.

Head’s Message

Strategic Plan Update, Accolades and Honouring Mums

From the Head of College, Graham Leddie

May Procession

Thank you to staff, parents, students and Old Boys who made last week’s May Procession a moving occasion. The Director of Mission’s report on this year’s May Procession includes the full speech by guest speaker Sister Jan Barnett. If you missed the event, I encourage you to read her beautiful words. Thank you to the Parent Association, helpers and all who donated towards the beautiful afternoon tea provided.

L to R Graham Leddie, Fr Bernie Thomas ofm, Salvatore Riolo and Sr Jan Barnett rsj.

There was quite a bit of food left over at the end of the May Procession afternoon tea, so the Isaac family took a number of platters and delivered them to the William Booth Hostel in Albion Street for the clients to enjoy. Well done to Naomi Isaac and her sons Alistair (Year 7) and Lachlan (Year 5) for their thoughtfulness.

Mother’s Day

Thank you to all Mothers, Step Mothers, Grandmothers and significant women that make such a huge difference in the lives of the boys at Waverley. Your unique gifts, talents and the sacrifices do not go unnoticed and set these young men up for their future. Your devotion to your sons and perseverance is inspiring. I wish each one of you a happy Mother’s Day.

Thank you to the Mothers who are attending our Mother’s Day Mass and luncheon on Friday – a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our faith with your son. For the first time, we are making the Mother’s Mass available to senior school students and their mums, as well as to the junior school. I look forward to seeing you at Mass and at lunch afterwards.


Beanies for Brain Cancer

We were all left speechless on Assembly today after Year 5 student, Digger Callander shared his story and asked for all of our help and support. Digger lost his Dad last year to brain cancer. Please look at the following video. Digger’s Mum, Anne spoke at this week’s Parents’ Association meeting and also asked for assistance. On 24 May there is a World record attempt “Australia’s Biggest Gathering of Beanies on a Beach” at Bondi between 5.30am to 8.30am. Students and their families can purchase a beanie for $20 at school on Friday and next week. Beanies will also be on sale at tomorrow’s Mothers’ Day lunch.

The following video was shown to students at today’s assembly. It explains how Matt Callander came to create Beanies for Brain Cancer:

Here is the transcript of a speech by Digger’s Waverley College ‘Big Brother’, James Waterhouse:

Speech by James Waterhouse, Year 10 Big Brother

“As some of you may be aware, last term the Year 10 cohort was fortunate enough to engage in the Little Brother/Big Brother program with the Year 5 boys down at the Waterford Campus. This program is a way for us to engage with some younger boys throughout their college life and, when they enter the high school, they will have a friendly figure to go to for help, advice or just a chat. I was fortunate to be paired up with Digger Callander, a lively 11-year-old boy with a sparkle in his eye. He told me about all his passions; swimming, rugby, cricket – the list seemed to go on endlessly. However, I was informed of a recent loss in Digger’s family; late last year Digger’s father sadly passed away from brain cancer. 

Some of you may have heard about this in the news as his father, Matt, was a well-known figure in the community and was the former head of NRL at Channel Nine. He battled for 18 months with brain cancer and unfortunately passed away in late October 2017. 

Matt left a huge legacy behind him. Months before his passing, he began to raise awareness for brain cancer, by introducing the Beanies for Brain Cancer Round to the NRL (which is linked with the Mark Hughes Foundation). This initiative encouraged rugby supporters to donate to the cause on a wide scale, helping to raise a whopping $2.3 million last year for research towards curing brain cancer.

As highlighted on the Beanies for Brain Cancer Foundation website, brain cancer kills more children than any other disease, and kills more people under 40 in Australia than any other cancer – yet it receives less than 5% of government cancer research funding. This year, they’re hoping to raise more, with our help here at Waverley. It would be strongly appreciated, not only by the Foundation but especially by the Callander family.

To launch the NRL Beanie for Brain Cancer Round on Thursday 24 May, Channel Nine’s Today Show will be broadcasting live from 5:30am on Bondi Beach. Waverley College students and their families are invited and encouraged to take part in a World Record attempt for ‘The largest gathering of people wearing beanies’. We are asking for your participation in this huge event! It’s easy, just rock up to Bondi Beach in a beanie of your choice or preferably purchase one from the foundation, to be counted in the record, which will be counted up at 8.00am.

So boys, please attempt to get down there as a good deed for the day, it would be amazing if there was a sea of blue and gold blazers at Bondi Beach and would provide the Callander family with a lot of pride knowing that we are behind them as a community in this time of loss. We will be selling beanies at recess on Friday. Each beanie will cost $20 but it’s going towards a great cause so please tell your mum and dad and maybe ask them for a bit of money to go towards a beanie.

Thanks for your support.”

Beanies for Brain Cancer presentation



Congratulations to the following boys who were awarded a Head of College Academic Award at today’s assembly:

  • Charles Hely-Hammond (7)
  • Harry Lee (7)
  • John Walsh (7)
  • Jamie Khov (7)
  • Daniel Palacio (7)
  • Hugh McDonald (7)
  • Gabriel Johnson (7)
  • Jett Mitchell (7)
  • Finn Nebauer (8)
  • Dylan McCulloch (8)
  • Marley Bridge  (8)
  • Giulian D’Ettorre (9)
  • Cooper O’Donnell (9)
  • Hayden Wild (9)
  • Dennis Baphis (9)
  • Joseph Petroni (10)
  • Flynn Schulz (12)


Congratulations to the following boys who were awarded the Sydney University

Science Recognition Award

  • Lachlan Muir (9)
  • Hayden Wild (9)
  • Michael Hamill (9)


Waverley College Old Boys Union AGM

The AGM for the Old Boys’ Union was held after the May Procession and the following executive members were elected:


President – Mr Salvatore Riolo

Vice President – Mr Col Blake

Treasurer – Mr Peter Foley

Secretary – Mr Chris O’Sullivan

Council Members

Mr Warren Boyd, Mr Michael Dignam, Mr Peter Hannigan, Mr Sam Hardjono, Mr John Hilton, Mr Richard Jackson, Mr John Karas, Mr Craig Markham, Mr Brandon Perry, Mr Cooper Silk
Congratulations to these gentlemen and I look forward to working with them over the coming year.


Strategic Plan

As you know, Erebus International Consultants have been assisting the College develop its next Strategic Plan 2019-2022. They have been conducting focus groups across students, staff, parents, the Board and other key stakeholders.

There are three phases of the planning process:

  • 1) Scan of current and future operating environment
  • 2) Data gathering in relation to possible future directions for the College
  • 3) Detailed development of identified strategic directions

We are currently at phase 2.

At this stage of data gathering, the consultants report the following key themes have emerged, and are summarised below.


Theme 1 – Inspired Student Learning

  • opportunities for an increasing focus on evidence-based practice as a tool for teachers
  • to plan and implement appropriate learning experiences for students
  • need for a consistent pedagogical framework to be followed by all teachers
  • to facilitate communication between all teachers from Years 5-12
  • to ensure consistency of approaches and student outcomes across all key learning outcomes
  • to increase student ownership of their own learning as a result of a more visible and explicit approach to pedagogy adopted by all teachers


Theme 2 – Contemporary Facilities for Learning

  • existing classroom facilities and structures currently inhibit more student-centred approaches to learning due to the inflexibility of learning spaces
  • outdated furniture in some classrooms as well as uncomfortable learning spaces
  • other aspects of the school site also need attention
  • Masterplan needs to accompany the strategic plan – support its progressive implementation in accordance with budgetary expectations
  • the need for a dedicated space for year 12 students to engage socially as well as focus on extended study periods is a further example of site planning required


Theme 3 – Distinctive School Identity

  • the ongoing challenges of the limited space available on school site(s) is also acknowledged, including negotiation of access to Queens Park sporting facilities
  • all stakeholder groups identified the need to strengthen the culture of high expectations for student achievement
  • there was strong support also for the need to continue to reinforce the importance of Edmund Rice philosophy and Catholic ethos of the school including key notions of social justice and inclusion, as part of the all-round development of students
  • strengthening college practices that promote student safety, compassion and fair discipline received strong support
  • there is a need to build a perception with the community that the college provides high value for money due to its range of achievements and offerings in light of the fees charged


Theme 4 – Enhanced Teacher Quality

  • to facilitate high quality student learning outcomes, there is a need to plan and implement targeted teacher professional development to specifically address the learning needs of students in line with the priorities for 21st century learning identified in the strategic plan (and past Learning Statements)
  • increased opportunities should be provided for teachers to engage in continuing collaboration and reflection as part of their normal practice
  • there needs to be an increasing focus by teachers on student-centred learning that is directly differentiated according to student achievement levels


Theme 5 – Operational Excellence

  • opportunities for enhancing the current operation of the school are possible, including minimising to disruptions to learning (including movement of students between lessons throughout the day)
  • a need to develop a more transparent process in the allocation of student scholarships that focus on the promotion of learning excellence
  • more responsible use of technology by students
  • greater participation in school life by alumni
  • strategies must continue to be emphasised that ensure the seamless transition of students for Year 6 to Year 7


Theme 6 – All-round Student Development

  • stakeholders identified the need for students’ social and emotional development
  • as well as academic studies to remain a strong feature of the school
  • they stressed the importance of concepts of restorative justice, community participation and social justice
  • stakeholders also stressed the importance of a culture of achievement in all its forms is provided, valued and celebrated
  • stakeholders identified the following characteristics of an exit profile of a successful Year 12 student of the college: compassionate, confident, helpful, happy, achieving maximum potential, strong communicator, self-disciplined, leader

It should be emphasised that these issues have been identified as actions required to make a good school great rather than criticisms or deficiencies. The Consultants are asking  parents to respond to the following survey as further part of the data gathering process. It is quite a short survey, so it will not require too much of your time. Thank you for your consideration in filling this out.


Accolades for HSC 2017 student art

Part of Matthew Miller’s (2017) HSC major artwork has been chosen by the Woollahra Council’s Youth Photographic Award and Short Film Competition for use on their brochure and posters. This is a very prestigious student competition across the Eastern suburbs. Entries are now open and close 10 August 2018. Matthew’s artwork is an image of his little sister is both a strong and captivating portrait. Below is information about Matthew’s work:

KAGISO “Child of Peace” – Matthew Miller (2017)

Kagiso is a South African name meaning ‘peace’ in Tswana. Through my chosen medium of photography printed on smooth pearl paper, I have attempted to depict Kagiso’s journey into her new life while also showing her peaceful and happy nature that lifts all those around her. 

Kagiso is originally from Johannesburg in South Africa where she lived with her mother.  However due to certain circumstances, her new mother, Lara, adopted her at a young age. With this, Kagiso began her new life with the Da Silva family in South Africa. In 2015, Kagi and Lara began another new chapter in their life as they moved to Australia to join my family and I. This was a very challenging experience for Kagiso as she was entering a whole different environment, leaving all her friends and family behind. Her courage, strength, and positive outlook on all things she is faced with in life has influenced me to attempt to depict her story through my work.