Last week, our Year 12 students were privileged to participate in a wonderful formation experience during their House retreats. These retreats took place at four different venues across New South Wales:
- Aungier and Quinn: Benedict XVI Retreat Centre at Grose Vale
- Conlon and O’Connor: Catalina Lakefront Retreat at Rathmines
- Brennan and Tevlin: Mount Schoenstatt Spiritual Centre in Mulgoa
- Green and Lacey: Mount Carmel Retreat Centre in Varroville
Below you can read variety of reflections on these retreats from both staff and students.
A Reflection from Mr Nick Sposari (teacher)
A retreat experience at Waverley draws on the four EREA touchstones, as such was witnessed on Year 12 Retreat 2022: liberating the minds of young men through deep reflection, bridging life stories with the Gospel, ensuring inclusivity and respect for every young man in attendance, and educating about the importance of justice and solidarity that is learnt through lived experience.
As a new teacher at Waverley, I was privileged to attend the Year 12 Retreat. It was vital I built a strong foundation early on with the students, in which I earned trust by sharing my own story, listening to their stories, offering a safe place for open and honest dialogue, and ensuring there were plenty of laughs.
Highlights included small group discussions, affirmations, +3 – 3, warm-ups involving balloons, and the highly-competitive ping pong championships during free time. And who could forget mud footy. Witnessing the boys in action, harnessing their gifts and sharing these with everyone else, was incredibly powerful.
This unique retreat experience offers all students in their final year, the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships, and make new ones, with a focus on the individual and their life story – i.e. who am I? Who makes me who I am? Who do I want to be? I won’t forget my first Year 12 retreat at Waverley – what a truly awesome experience it was!
A Reflection from Lachlan Varcoe (Year 12 student)
As a group, we reflected on the year ahead, as well as the plans for our future. Some activities that Tevlin and Brennan were involved in were affirmations of our peers and ‘ice breakers.’ These experiences broke down the social walls for both classmates and teachers, which inevitably brought us closer together throughout our time.
I also was able to reflect on my years of schooling and the goals I wish to achieve throughout my last year at Waverley. Overall, I personally created stronger friendships with both students and teachers, solidifying bonds for years to come.
A Reflection From Thomas Wilkins (Year 12 student)
During the retreat, we completed a wide range of activities within our small and larger groups, which encouraged me to talk and form relationships with people that I hadn’t connected with before.
In addition, it made me explore my existing relationships and further develop my understanding of my relationship with God and others. All in all, I had a wonderful time away, and enjoyed getting to understand myself and my year group more deeply.
Thank you to all the staff who made this experience possible, and to all the students for their enthusiastic participation. It was indeed a pleasure to see all our Year 12s so authentically engaged.
Ms Suzanne Walsh
Director of Identity & Student Formation