Real sense of family

ST CATHERINE’S School in Toorak proudly touts its National Trust-listed Victorian boarding house, Illawarra, as a “home away from home” for boarding students. 

With mother-of-four Sue Collister as director of boarding,  the phrase rings true. Underpinned by Sue’s expectations – the same she held while raising her own children – a real sense of family permeates the house. “At Illawarra, we value each student as an individual, ensuring all our boarders feel nurtured and supported,” Mrs Collister said. The school prides itself on the quality of relationships that exist throughout the school community, particularly in the boarding house, home to girls from all over the world.

Girls share in each other’s joys, successes and disappointments, learn to appreciate each other’s differences and develop an awareness of other cultures. This could not be more true for Year 12 boarders Jessica Walsh and Esther Teow. With Jessica from rural Victoria and Esther from bustling Kuala Lumpur, the girls could not have come from more different backgrounds. Since they crossed paths in the boarding house, the pair are now affectionately known by friends as “Jester”, and have become best friends, leaders and role models.

Boarding tutors play an important role in academic progress and provide a point of contact for parents. Specialist tutors are also available to help younger boarders with homework. The unique and real-world experiences offered to boarders allow students to immerse themselves in an education where learning and growth underpin all activities.

Applications for St Catherine’s scholarships close on Friday, February 9.

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