Heyington Club 30 Year Reunion

This week at St Catherine’s, our Parent Auxiliary, The Heyington Club, celebrated the 30 year reunion of competitive rowing at the School. The Season Launch, held at Mercantile on Tuesday evening, provided an opportunity to welcome the return of past parents, coaching staff and rowers to acknowledge their contribution to the development of the Rowing program across the 30 year time period. Providing great synergy on the night was current Heyington Club President and Old Girl, Mrs Lucy Fortey (’87), who actually rowed for the School in these early crews. Lucy reflected on her memories of rowing at the School, some 30 years ago, in borrowed boats from the local boys’ schools but with an equally dedicated group of parents to support the program.

I enjoyed recently reading an article titled “The Danish way of creating champions” highlighting the success of Denmark at the Rio Olympics last year. Author, Nicklas Pyrdol, suggested that with a relatively small population creating a ‘talent development environment, one that nurtures and motivates as many athletes as possible, for as long as possible’ is key to Denmark’s success. Explaining that when you do not have thousands of athletes, you do not “just push to see who breaks and comes out on top, you treat every one of them like a valuable part of the group”.

I likened this approach to our Rowing program and more broadly the St Catherine’s Sports Program. Whilst relatively a small school, we are known to ‘punch above our weight’ in the sporting arena, and, like Denmark, we encourage girls to maintain a level of physical activity at both a competitive level and participating just for fun with a focus on making sure we keep as many girls as possible in the sport for as long as possible. Head of Sport, Mr Lloyd Knight and Head of Rowing, Mr Dave Fraumano, aim to create a flexible environment, encouraging girls to enjoy their others sports and School activities as well across the year.

St Catherine’s Old Girl and 2016 Rowing Captain, Annie Anezakis (’16), has utilised her school girl rowing experience and our 2016 Nationals success to open an academic door at Princeton University this year. Annie, who has commenced studying a Liberal Arts degree at Princeton University, will compete for Princeton for the first time this weekend, rowing in their First VIII crew at the Head of the Charles in Boston and Princeton Chase next weekend.

The Heyington Club has established some real momentum with their fundraising efforts in recent years and are again proud to purchase for the School a Super Sykes Quad. This boat was ‘christened’ on Tuesday night at the 30 Year Reunion. This provided an opportunity to recognise the continuing support of our girls and tireless work of Year 12 Dean, Miss Jeanette Gunn. Jeanette’s experience as the Australian Women’s Water Polo Manager from 1995 to 2008 including the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and many world championships has enabled a level of expertise in supporting the girls. She is quietly a wise mentor to our Senior girls, assisting the rowers juggle the demands of training with the commitments of school work. This acknowledgement of having a boat named after her is so richly deserved. We look forward to seeing the ‘Jeanette Gunn’ on the water this forthcoming season.

Like the Heyington Club, our School Auxiliaries rely on the dedicated work of many volunteering parents. As the end of the School year draws near, I wish to thank the tireless work of all parents who have been actively involved in our Auxiliaries, all the whilst enjoying their daughters participation in the School’s programs.

The School Council and I are very much looking forward to thanking all our hard working and dedicated 2017 volunteers at the End of Year Thank You event being held on Monday 27 November, at the Mary Davis Café, 7.00pm.

Years 9 to 12 Speech Night

Next Tuesday evening, the School looks forward to acknowledging the academic and co-curricular achievements of students in Years 9 to 12. The Annual Speech and Awards evening is a compulsory evening for all students in Years 9 and 12, with the evening commencing at 7.00pm in the St Catherine’s Hall. All girls are reminded to be correctly attired in their summer uniform and blazer. The Award recipients will be advised during Assembly on Monday morning. The Annual Speech Night is a much-celebrated event and I encourage all parents in Years 9-12 to attend.

Congratulations to Humanities staff

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dan Tehan awarded St Catherine’s State Winner of the 2017 Australian Government Anzac Day Secondary Schools Award. Of the 79 schools nationwide to enter the Anzac Day School Awards, St Catherine’s submission stood out for the innovative teaching methods facilitated by Year 10 teachers, Mr Alex Borlenghi, Mrs Katrina Davey and Mr Tim Hay. The Minister commented “it was a blend of traditional and innovative approaches to learning”. St Catherine’s Year 10 history students had the remarkable opportunity to undergo the process of digital storytelling, creating a short-filmed presentation displayed in augmented reality! Congratulations to Mr Alex Borlenghi, Mrs Katrina Davey and Mr Tim Hay for this honour and recognition of your ongoing commitment to present subjects in new and interesting ways!

Mrs Michelle Carroll, Principal