Leadership and Belonging

Leadership in a residential community can take many different forms.  

In the past year, our boarders have been led by two supportive and empathetic leaders, Boarding Captains Annabelle Green, and Jasmine Glass.  

Elected at the end of Term 3, 2021 when we were emerging from many months of lockdown, Annabelle and Jasmine’s goal was to create an inclusive and welcoming Boarding House environment for all our returning and new boarders.  

Throughout their captaincies they have created many wonderful opportunities to make our boarding girls feel at home. This commenced with our annual Christmas Party at the end of last year, where they had everyone up dancing and feeling part of the Illawarra Family.  

Early in Term 1, the Captains organised activities as part of our annual Closed Weekend, which created a special time for everyone to join as a new boarding community and have a role to play.  

Other activities throughout 2022 have included: 

  • Reconciliation Week yarning circle 
  • Boarders’ socials 
  • Op Shop Charity Fashion Show
  • Birthday celebrations 
  • Easter egg hunt 
  • Dragon Boat Festival afternoon (organised and supported by the local Chinese mothers) 
  • Make your own cupcakes/pavlova afternoon teas 
  • Winter Night Market at Queen Victoria Market 

Thanks to the generosity of our Boarding families and St Catherine’s Parents’ and Friends’ Association, the Boarding House is now equipped with a new table tennis table. It has been a wonderful addition to Illawarra for the girls, with more boarders sharing time together before and after dinner. To quote one Year 12 boarder, “it is my favourite thing at Illawarra.”  

Last week the boarders voted for their 2023 Boarding Co-Captains. We congratulate Charlotte Rowe and Phoebe Russell on their election. The new leaders already have a number of ideas for activities during Term 4, 2022. 

This year our boarders have also all had the opportunity to contribute their voice during our food focus groups. Through their ideas we have been able to introduce many changes.  

Belonging is so important in a boarding community. Within Illawarra there are daily examples of older boarders supporting younger boarders. Friendships across Year levels are common and from comments from past boarders these friendships last well after departing Illawarra.  

Recently a number of past boarders have returned to Illawarra to visit and reconnect with an important part of their life. It was wonderful to hear them speak of our Boarding House as a place where they belonged and felt supported. 

To our wonderful Year 12 boarders, many of whom have been with us for a number of years, we say thank you for your leadership and support. We also wish you the best for your final exams and for your future endeavours. 


Mrs Sue Collister

Head of Boarding Services

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