Meet our Boarding Captains
Our 2013 Boarding Captains
Meet our Boarding Captains, Rosemary Eldershaw and Jessica Martin
How did you come to board at St Catherine’s?
Rosemary: I’ve always wanted to go to boarding school, so when my two older sisters decided to move from our home town of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales to Melbourne for university, it made sense that I’d go to school here! My mum was a Melbourne boarder and she loved it. St Catherine’s seemed like a close-knit, welcoming school with girls from all around the world.
Jessica: I get asked this question a lot and to be honest I’m not really sure. People are often confused, as my two older brothers were educated in my home town of Mansfield, Victoria but I guess the decision was really quite random. One day, boarding school arose in conversation with the family, we knew a girl from home who attended St Catherine’s and so we came along to a school tour. I enrolled to begin in Year 10 and my sister was enrolled to start here the following year.
What aspects of boarding life do you most enjoy?
Rosemary: I find it gives you a great sense of independence and allows you to focus on the things that are important, as well as giving you a sense of appreciation for what’s back home. It feels really relaxing to be in a house full of girls around my own age and there’s this whole feeling that, as cliché as it sounds, we’re all in it together, celebrating our final years of Secondary School. I love the fact that, without even meaning to, you become close friends with nearly everybody, including the staff. You feel so close to the girls that it gets to a point where if you don’t see one of them for a night, it feels like they’ve been away forever.
Jessica: Boarding was a whole new way of life for me, different to anything I’d experienced before. You meet so many new people and considering there is no escaping each other, in the same way you can’t choose your family, you have no choice but to become friends. There is always someone to ‘play with’ as Rosie often says, and you’re never lacking someone to talk to (which can be a wonderful procrastination!). I love that a mere couple of periods can make it seem like forever since I’ve seen a fellow boarder. It demonstrates the bonds created in Illawarra; I have made friends that know me better than anyone else. The Boarding House has given me the opportunity to make lifelong friends.
What are your duties as Boarding Captains?
Rosemary: Probably our main duty is just to have a general idea of how all the girls are getting along. I’d like to think that the girls know that they can come to Jess or me for any reason at all, and ask us anything. Our first official duty is to organise the annual Closed Weekend, which happens on the first weekend back in the Boarding House. The purpose of the Closed Weekend is to help all the girls get to know one another and find out who they’re going to be living with!
Jessica: As Boarding Captains we look out for all the boarders and ensure that there’s always a friendly face around the Boarding House. The girls can talk to either Rosie or me at any time and it’s not uncommon to find us with a room full of visitors. Through the planning of the Closed Weekend and other activities, we aim to help the girls get to know each other and minimise the first few days of ‘awkwardness’, as it is often described.
What kind of legacy would you like to leave as Boarding Captains at St Catherine’s?
Rosemary: I think Jess and I are both in agreement that we would really like to instil in the girls the fact that we are all dependent on one another and we really are like a little family. I’d like everyone to have an attitude that says we are all here for one another and ready to support each other whenever one of us might need it.
Jessica: We would like to show the girls that being in the minority at School, we boarders must look out for one another and, in the absence of family, be supportive and understanding of one another. I would like the boarding community at St Catherine’s to become known as a tight knit family of ‘sisters’ living under one roof.