Introducing our 2016 Boarding Captains, Morgan O’Brien and Ruyi Zheng
How did you come to board at St Catherine’s?
Morgan: I began boarding at St Catherine’s in 2013 when I was in Year 9. We looked at a few different boarding schools, but St Catherine’s definitely stood out as being the most ‘homely’ and the staff and boarders were so friendly and welcoming. My sisters and I all walked away saying ‘we really want to go here!’
Ruyi: I commenced boarding at St Catherine’s when I was in Year 10. The first time I stepped into Illawarra I was amazed at the delicate architecture and thought about the history of the building. Illawarra feels so comfortable and warm. It makes me feel at home.
What aspects of boarding life do you most enjoy?
Morgan: Throughout my time in the boarding house I have been lucky enough to develop close friendships with many girls, not just in my Year level, but also in the younger years. I definitely think this is unique to boarding as you would not normally integrate with other Year levels if you just attended School as a day student. I also love the sense of family and community you gain through boarding, especially at St Catherine’s where we are lucky enough to have such a small number of boarders, as you have the opportunity to develop strong friendships with almost every girl in the Boarding House.
Ruyi: One of the things I appreciate most about boarding is the considerable amount of friends I have made across different Year levels. I have received huge amounts of advice on study and life, and now as a Boarding Captain I can help other girls feel comfortable at St Catherine’s, especially in Boarding House.
What are your duties as Boarding Captain?
Morgan: As Boarding Captain, I am responsible for organising the ‘closed weekend’ at the beginning of Term 1, which is designed to provide all the boarders the opportunity to get to know each other whilst also participating in fun activities. Another significant duty of ours is to be there for the girls, I encourage girls to come and chat with me, whether it be just to say hello or to discuss any issues or worries they might have.
Ruyi: As the Boarding Captain, I assist Boarding House staff to organise activities for the girls. Our Closed Weekend, held on the first weekend of the School year, is an essential and meaningful activity for all our boarders. Furthermore, I try to be the bridge between the girls and the staff in order to make our family even better.
What kind of legacy would you like to leave as Boarding Captain at St Catherine’s?
Morgan: I would like to be remembered as the kind of Captain who was always consistent and got things done, and also as someone who people could talk to and have a genuinely good time with.
Ruyi: I hope during my year as a Boarding Captain the girls will enjoy their lives here, as well as all the activities on offer.