Dear Members of the Villanova College Family
What is your gift? Why work in an educational institution?
There are often times when I reflect on why I ended up in teaching….and remain. Sometimes, this reflection results in questions of why poor choices were made! Like most of the staff here at Villanova College, I have been involved in various and numerous conversations with staff and students over recent weeks. Other than with my learned colleagues, some of the most powerful conversations have been in my Year 12 ACP class. We share stories of trials and tribulations, successes, and failures. We set goals, we laugh, we talk…the boys work…mostly! Sometimes our conversations turn to ‘what or who inspires you?’ You may be shocked by their response. Having spent 14 years at Villanova, I am not.
No longer are the inspirational figures in their lives sporting heroes, movie stars or the rich and famous. These figures are far from the rich and famous…they are our staff! The staff at Villa, the whole staff, are held in such high esteem and regard. For many of our boys, they are the sole purpose why they do what they do. There are boys here who simply get out of bed in the morning because of the staff. They care, they believe, they inspire, they love. We are their family. We are community.
The care and concern of our staff has not gone unnoticed. They may not receive the continuous gratitude they deserve but know that it is there. I read an article recently by Br. Damien Price cfc. I attach it here for your reference: https://brisbanecatholic.org.au/articles/believe-power-within/
Damien is a Christian Brother and has worked in many schools, including St. Laurence’s, Nudgee, and Terrace. In the article, he speaks of Paul ‘Woody’ Forrester and Br. Sherriff. I had the privilege to know and experience both men at St. Laurence’s College as a student. I certainly concur with Damien’s assessment and inspiration of the teachers he so warmly speaks about. For me, that person at SLC who inspired me, was in fact Br. Damien Price. I could easily spend time and minimal effort recounting the stories, fun, tears, trials, and tribulations of the work I encountered with this wonderful human being. Along with Mr. Andrew McTaggart, these are the people who inspired me to join the vocation of teaching. They were the reason I got out of bed all those years ago.
I am also reminded of people such as Annette Cook and Kevin Couper during my time at Townsville Grammar School. Annette was the Services Manager, looking after the cleaning, boarding kitchen, and tuckshop. Kevin was the Facilities Manager, often found atop a ladder or on a mower. Although not classroom teachers, they were two of the most effective teachers on staff. What did they do to enable this? They cared. They built relationships…they were part of the community. They engaged with and challenged the students. This is no different here at Villa. We have some of the most talented teachers working inside and outside the classroom. The common thread…relationships.
Continuing with the theme of relationships, we offer our congratulations to Mr Graeme George who has been awarded the Excellence in Physics Teaching Award from the Australian Institute of Physics, QLD Branch. It is a great honour for Graeme and a wonderful recognition for his work in the classroom and beyond. What makes this award special is the nomination came from Graeme’s students, both past and present. One such nomination noted, “Today, as a university professor, I aspire to even show a fraction of the commitment and patience that Graeme constantly exhibited to me as a student. Not only was he an engaging teacher in class, but Graeme constantly made himself available to tutor us through our studies in physics and mathematics. I still have wonderful memories of heading to school on Sunday afternoons with my classmates to work through exercises and problem sets together under Graeme’s supervision. The sheer quantity of hours he put into helping us work on our mathematical and physical understanding set us up for future successes in our university studies and beyond. My understanding is that 20+ years later Graeme is as devoted as he ever was to guide his students through their studies, running out-of-hours tutorials and providing feedback for his students 24/7 (especially around exams and assignment deadlines).”
Congratulations to the Senior Titration Team following the competition in the National finals this week, where the team received two gold and one silver. Well done to Year 12 students Ben Sciacca, Jake Blackwell, and Paddy Perrier. Hopefully there will be further good news once all the team results are finalised.
We also acknowledge the call to service from our Student Leadership Team in 2022. We congratulate the following boys on their willingness to take the College forward over the next twelve months. We wish them every blessing as they embark on their leadership journey:
College Captain: Riley Richards
College Vice Captain: Cameron Wallis
Student Council President: Thomas Price
Academic Captain: Lachlan McGregor
Cultural Captain: Aston Gapes
Ministry Captain: Jose Sibi
Music Captain: Blake Waugh
Sports Captain: Dimitri Horton
Crane House Captain: Ruben Webb
Goold House Captain: Alex Friedman
Heavey House Captain: Jorge Makras
Murray House Captain: Michael Gordon
During the week, the College was informed that Year 12 students Gus Godwin and Tom Twaddell have been selected in the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union A Team. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, these boys will not get the opportunity to play against an international opponent. This is an incredible achievement and appropriate recognition of the perseverance and dedication of these boys. We will have an opportunity to present these boys with their jerseys soon.
This Sunday, we celebrate Father’s Day across the nation. I wish all our dads and significant males a wonderful weekend and thank you for the wonderful contribution you make to the lives of your sons. Being a dad is not easy, especially in dealing with adolescent boys! At the end of the day, I always aim to make a lifetime of memories – of love, laughter, and tears, as we journey together.
As we enter Week 9, Term 3 and the feet are sore, the head is weary and the energy low…know that each and every one of the staff here at Villanova have a gift. For most, that gift is their presence. Know that although their flame may be flickering in various forms of intensity, it is the light that guides the boys in our care. Thank you!
You have made us for Yourself O Lord
And our hearts are restless until they rest in You.
Mr Steven Bremner, Acting Principal
In keeping with the spirit of Reconciliation, Villanova College acknowledges the Yuggera and Turrbal peoples, as the Traditional Custodians of this land on which we stand. We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. This has always been, and always will be, a place of teaching and learning connected to country, culture and community.