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Prefect Newsletter - Term 3, Week 10

Posted on 24 September 2021
Prefect Newsletter - Term 3, Week 10

Prefect Newsletter - Term 3 

The broad and rich opportunities of a Rostrevor education were abundantly evident in Term 3 as our students immersed themselves in academic and Co-curricular pursuits, social justice initiatives and events such as Intercol, Marian Day, Athletics Carnivals and Music Night. What better way to re-live the highlights of a busy term than through the eyes of our Prefects? Please enjoy their accounts below.

Manish Augustine Head Prefect  |   Alastair Lord Deputy Head Prefect  |  Jayden Gale Head Boarder  |  Jayden Iuliano Community Activities  |  Jordan Zorzi Internal Services  |  Tristan Hunter Social Justice  |  Charles Kemp House Captain - Barron  |  Tyson Walls House Captain - Egan  |  Hussain Hardwarewala House Captain - Gurr  |  Henry Brasher House Captain - Murphy  |  Fabian Di Iulio House Captain - O'Brien  |  Stuart Greenslade House Captain - Webb

What a term it has been! From a lockdown early in Week 1, to mandatory face masks, an adapted celebration of the rich tradition that is Intercol, all culminating in the tension of meeting final deadlines. It has been a pleasure to witness the amazing growth of all my peers, particularly my fellow Year 12 cohort. Watching them engage in varying forms of leadership and embracing the spirit of the Red and Black has been inspirational.

Respectful Relationships

One of the key Prefect initiatives this year has been our collaboration with Loreto College to delve into the topic of Respectful Relationships. As an all-boys school, we felt the need to develop something that sparks conversation in this space; something that amplifies the voice of this seemingly unspoken social issue and calls us to improve and respect all people irrespective of gender, race or religion. 

As students, we are far from experts. Despite how much we wish to fully empathise, it would be ignorant to believe that we alone could truly understand the full impacts of gendered violence, injustice and, thus, disrespect. Through consultation with our sister school Loreto College, we collectively believe that to truly combat this seemingly gendered issue, we must unify both women and men to open the dialogue and gain a sense of understanding of other perspectives. To put thoughts and words into action, we met with the Loreto Prefects in May, placing an emphasis on our mutual desire to be a part of the movement towards change. This began with writing a statement, which underpinned our passion and the rationale for starting this initiative. Together, we wrote:

In solidarity, Loreto College and Rostrevor College recognise the importance of  respectful relationships. We are committed to be a part of the movement towards change where all individuals feel valued, safe and respected.

A video has been recently created to make our visions more tangible. In the coming weeks, it will play a vital role in encouraging further conversations around the practice of consent, gender equality and gender justice.

From the standpoint of a Rostrevor College student, we hope to remain open-minded to all perspectives. Through listening, learning from and taking on-board these perspectives, we hope to push each other to be the best versions of ourselves and truly become "men for others", a concept that always begins with being a good human.

I hope you all have a blessed Term 3 break and are replenished for our fourth and final lap of 2021. 


Check-In

As 2021 nears its end, we find ourselves embarking on the final term of the year and, for some of us, our final term of schooling at Rostrevor. As assignments have been piling up for months and exam deadlines draw closer and closer, it is as important as ever to support each other and continue to look out for ourselves for the remainder of the year. Although Blue Week took place more than a term ago, in Week 5 of Term 2, the Prefects have ensured our boys’ mental health has been at the forefront of school life through our follow-up initiative called Check-In

Check-In aims to create a safe and empowering environment where students can share their successes and emotions within an inclusive and confidential group. The trial process began late in Term 2, while the first official sessions kicked off this term in Week 7. The first session was a huge success thanks to the Prefects involved and College Counsellor Leah Schultz. At this stage, the initiative has been run with Year 11 and 12 students who voluntarily meet in the Equity Hub at designated recess times, to engage in conversation and personal sharing. The 2021 Prefects are extremely proud of the Check-In initiative and we hope to see the Prefects of 2022 continue it next year and beyond.


Boarding House Upgrade

2021 has been extremely exciting for Rostrevor boarders for many reasons, none more so than the refurbishment of Duggan House.  The renovation was difficult and challenging for the boys as they were moved around with limited notice and required to adjust to new routines, all mixed with the ever-rolling COVID-19 complications and disruptions. However, all these challenges were met front on and the boys really made the most of the situation.

The Giving Day fundraiser, held in the middle of Term 2, raised an additional $113,000, which helped enormously with the Duggan House upgrade. Some of the awesome features within the refurbished Boarding House included brand new, lockable doors replacing curtains; and new common rooms with table tennis, pool tables and furniture. These upgrades have allowed all the boys to regain privacy by simply closing their door.

The added common spaces have promoted the chats and improved the mental health of the boys living far away from home. This would not be possible without the support of the entire Rostrevor community. On behalf of the boarding community, thank you very much.  


Athletics Carnival

As we approach the end of our 2021 school year and, for the Year 12s, our final year of secondary schooling, it is important we do not become too overwhelmed by the countless expectations. I’m almost certain all the Year 12 boys, including myself, will feel as if a part of them is missing as they leave the gates of Rostrevor College, however, it is important we cherish those memories of our College experience that brought the Rostrevor community and the Year 12 cohort closer together.

Athletics Carnival, held in Week 6 of Term 3, has always been a highlight throughout my years at the College, and I’m sure this is the case for many. The Carnival allows us to display heartfelt actions of teamwork, camaraderie, good sportsmanship and, above all, empowerment of others through their actions and support throughout the Carnival. This year, Egan took home its 9th consecutive overall shield as well as the individual Middle and Senior Shield which could not have been done without the efforts of Egan Head of House Tom Hodkinson, Egan House Captain Tyson Walls and, most importantly, the Egan boys for displaying fantastic efforts which lifted others to participate to the best of their ability.

As the Prefect of Community Activities, I want to thank all the staff for their extraordinary efforts to ensure Athletics Carnival took place – despite the COVID-19 restrictions. Most importantly, I thank my peers for the way they conducted themselves on the day and for displaying the core values of the College and, ultimately, showed what it truly means to be Rostrevor “men for others”.


Loreto vs Rostrevor Netball Tournament

On 20 September, the Loreto Prefects visited Rostrevor for the highly-anticipated re-match of the biannual, inter-school netball tournament. With the initial match going Rostrevor’s way earlier in the year, Loreto came to Rostrevor eager for redemption. However, in this match, the Prefects broke with tradition for the first time, fielding mixed teams from both Rostrevor and Loreto students in the tournament. This allowed for a more competitive match as strong players from both sides went head-to-head, whilst facilitating 'respectful relationships' between our schools.

The Purton was packed as the lunchtime game commenced, with students flocking to the stadium to watch the game unfold. The first half was nail biting with all-star performances from Charles Kemp (Rostrevor) and Daisy Heard (Loreto) keeping the scores neck and neck. The second half saw a rise in intensity. A head on collision between Charles Kemp and Tristan Hunter saw Tristan hitting the deck hard, with a controversial penalty awarded to the blue and white. However, Rossi managed to win the arm wrestle, pulling ahead at the end of the second half and securing the win.

Not only was this match a grand spectacle of lunchtime entertainment, it promoted the work done by both Prefect groups in the joint ‘Respectful Relationships’ initiative which has been in the works throughout most of this year. 


Social Justice Initiatives

While COVID-19 has halted Rostrevor's Indian Pilgrimage in recent times, several students enjoyed a special online visit with the Sisters, children and young adults of the Mithra Rehabilitation Centre in Chennai in Week 4 of this term. Mithra, which means "friend", supports disadvantaged people living with intellectual and physical disabilities and the College has had a deep relationship with the Sisters and residents for almost 50 years.

Although we are worlds apart and can’t even imagine what many disadvantaged people in India have been going through these past two years, it was good to briefly regain some connection and have a chat with our friends from Mithra. There were smiles all round as our Social Justice students and Prefects said hello and exchanged stories via our Zoom meeting, arranged with the support of Mr Adam Whitefield.

Earlier in the year, we ran a Social Justice Day for the Junior Years to show the younger students what we do in the Senior Years and get the young boys around it. It was a very successful and well-structured day which included tree planting, a recycle-relay and discussions around Mini Vinnies and other charitable and ecological initiatives. The younger boys loved it and we older students really enjoyed spending time with the next generation of Social Justice ambassadors, hopefully, inspiring them.

More recently, we held the Lighten the Load initiative for the second year, which was a very successful campaign with 14 bins filled with top quality donated clothes and other household items.


Inter-House Basketball Fundraiser

After the success of our Australian basketballers at the recent Olympics, as well as the popularity of last year’s Inter-House Basketball competition, the Prefect body decided to bring back the Middle and Senior Years competitions this term. The incentive behind the competition was to raise money for Edmund Rice Camps with each player making a $5 donation.

The Middle Years competition saw the six Houses facing off across two separate pools, with Gurr, Egan, O’Brien and Webb proceeding to the next round. The semi-finals the following day saw Gurr topple Egan, and O’Brien defeat Webb. This set the stage for a Gurr vs O’Brien grand-final. After the blowout loss to Barron in last year’s Middle Years grand-final, O’Brien was seeking redemption. However, led by Anton Pascale’s three-point shooting, Gurr ultimately came away victorious, winning 30 to 27 in an overtime thriller.

The Senior Years competition was played in the same format, with Barron, O’Brien, Webb and Murphy going through to the semi-finals, in which Barron beat O’Brien and Webb beat Murphy to earn their spots in the grand final. After a close first half, Webb pulled away to win 57 to 44 and secure the win for the Senior Years for the second year in a row. Thanks must go to Mr Steel for his refereeing, and to all those students who supported their Houses from the sidelines.


Intercol

The 98th Intercol hosted by Sacred Heart College, was a fantastic event spanning across a week which showcased some of Rostrevor’s best sporting talent. Although Sacred Heart won more fixtures than us, the boys and the school collectively should hold our heads high in the way we conducted ourselves both on and off the field.  

Rostrevor’s great school spirit was on show for the whole weekend, providing the that extra energy and inspiration to get us over the line. Special mention must go to the Red and Black Army which travelled all the way to West Beach for the soccer and to Somerton Park for both football and basketball fixtures. Thanks also go to the broader Rostrevor Community which came out to either support their children or the College. It was terrific to see so many teachers and Rostrevor Old Scholars on the sidelines cheering on the students from all year levels.

Lastly, on behalf of the students, I would like to thank all the coaches, team managers and volunteers who have put countless hours into developing us as players and people. Finally, to Mr Luke Manuel for all the organising behind the scenes to ensure that we are granted such opportunities to represent the school and compete with our best mates. Thank you to all the year 12s in their final year who either played, chanted or just came to support. Your contributions to the Co-curricular Program over the years has been invaluable to the College.  


Annual Music Night

The 2021 Music Night looked a little bit different this year for our budding musicians. After a lacklustre year for the Music Department last year due to multiple event cancellations as a result of COVID-19, the boys were eager and excited to participate in this year’s revised Music Night. The night consisted of two segments, one for the Junior and Middle Years performances while the Senior bands rounded off the proceedings in the second concert of the night.

It was very heartening to see the Junior boys perform in front of big crowds consisting of proud parents and teachers alike, with the Junior Choir being one of the highlights of the first concert as well as the Junior Jazz, Junior Rock and Junior Stage bands performing very well. With fan favorites like Men at Work’s Land Down Under and Michael Jackson’s Beat It, the quality of the Junior and Middle Years concert exceeded expectations and affirmed all the practice and hard work throughout the year that had gone into their respective performances.

After an hour break and thorough cleanse of the theatre, the second segment of the night was ready to commence. The senior concert displayed many of the more experienced musicians as well as those very new to their instrument. Nevertheless, all students performed commendably, with the Senior Rock Band providing an emphatic end to the night. The sentimental year 12s were farewelled with a token from the College which rounded out a wonderful end to the 2021 Rostrevor Music Night.

Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to all the music staff including Mrs Tiggemann, Mr Waterman, Mr Osman and Mr Degeorge as well as the instrumental teachers for their tireless efforts throughout the year in preparing the boys for the musical highlight of this year.


Blue Week

Blue Week, held in Week 5 of Term 2, demonstrated the rich camaraderie that defines the Rostrevor experience. Highlighting the importance of men’s mental health has been an essential initiative for the Prefects as we encourage boys to open up about their feelings.

As a Prefect group, we aimed to overcome the common stigmas surrounding men’s mental health and show other students that openness and vulnerability isn’t weakness. Several Prefects and other senior students were particularly brave by sharing ‘The last time I cried’ in front of the entire school. The group leading the Blue Week Assembly received positive feedback from students and numerous staff on their sensitive and valuable handing of this important conversation.

The assembly was supported by an activity in Pastoral Care groups where students were asked to identify the things that help them cope with mental health issues and write them on a blue paper cut-out of a hand.  Students of all ages were encouraged to consider what healthy coping mechanisms they have and the names of those they felt comfortable talking to when issues arise.

This activity encouraged students to get words on to paper about how they can deal with mental health issues. The Blue Week initiative encouraged more open and healthy conversations between friends, teachers and counsellors - which was our goal as a Prefect group. 

As the Year 12s edge closer to their final assessments and begin preparing for exams, I wish the class of 2021 all the best and encourage them to keep their foot on the pedal for one last push before exams. I wish you all a safe break and hope you are ready for a short but important Term 4


The Ration Challenge

The beginning of Term 3 was both unorthodox and challenging with several Prefects joining the Loreto Executive Team in the "Ration Challenge”. The participants ate the same amount of food as a Syrian Refugee for a week to increase awareness of the inhumane treatment that many refugees experience, while also raising funds to support refugees. The rations box for five days included 120g of red lentils, 60g of dried chickpeas, 40g of red kidney beans, 300ml of vegetable oil, 1.2 kg of rice, 250g of flour, one can of tinned sardines and recipes created by various people. By the end of the challenge, Rostrevor had raised $4700, placing it amongst the highest fundraising schools in Australia. This challenge opened our eyes to the struggles which many people endure and enabled us to consider our comfortable lives from a different perspective.

To further support our solidarity with refugees, the Social Justice Group participated in a lunchtime initiative known as “Detention for Detention.” As a part of Refugee Week, the groups expressed their empathy for those who are inhumanely held in detention by sitting in silence holding informative posters outlining their plight. 

I would finally like to congratulate the members of the O’Brien House for another great effort winning the Spirit Shield for the second time this year. It was another fantastic display of leadership, passion and pride for the men in blue as we secured the Spirit Shield for both the Swimming and Athletics Carnival for 2021.


Marian Day & Walkathon

The College celebrated its annual Marian Day in Week 4 of Term 3 in recognition of one of the most significant days in our College calendar. August 15 is a special day in the Catholic Church as it is the Feast of the Assumption and we take the time to give thanks to our mothers and to emphasise the respect that all men should show for women, especially our mothers who have made so many sacrifices for us.

The other major activity celebrated on this day was the annual Walkathon which looked a bit different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, the traditional Walk-a-Mile event in the city in support of the Hutt St Centre was unable to proceed, however, our own annual Walkathon was able to go ahead on the College campus.

This week, the Prefect body introduced another initiative - the selling of hot chips to raise money for the Indian Pilgrimage which we hope can go ahead in the near future. Given the various disruptions associated with COVID-19, it was very pleasing to all come together as a community and have such a successful term.

I hope all have a refreshing holiday and come back ready for Term 4. Good luck to all Rostrevor students for the remainder of the year and a special good luck to my fellow Year 12s who have just two weeks of lessons left!!

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