It is hard to believe that we are already well into Semester Two and that the academic year is more than half over.
The first semester of 2018 was very busy for the students and the College and we wanted to take this opportunity to brief you on some of the news, activities and events.
St John’s College students make historic decision to amend constitution to elect two House Presidents
In an historic move the St John’s College Students Club has passed a special resolution to enable the election of male and female House Presidents, commencing with elections for the 2019 House Committee.
This decision brings the leadership of our House Committee into alignment with the gender diversity of St John’s College and provides greater opportunities for all students.
“This is something we’ve been working toward all year and it’s great to see the House respond so positively to the change. We’re confident that going forward, this system will create better opportunities for all students and better outcomes for the College community,” said House President, Amos Potter.
The Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Belinda Hutchinson, and Vice-Chancellor, Michael Spence, sent a letter of congratulations saying “This is good news not only for young women who will have equal leadership opportunities at St John’s, but for the future generations of men and women who will benefit from a richer, more diverse and inclusive community.”
The decision to enable election of tmale and female House Presidents is another step in the ongoing work at St John’s to strengthen diversity and inclusiveness and follows the recent proclamation of the new Saint John’s College Act 2018.
Rector Adrian Diethelm said,“This is indeed an historic event and I should like to acknowledge the outstanding leadership of the House Executive, Amos, Lachlan and Matt on this issue. They have been supported by a number of other truly exceptional students in St John’s this year, and on behalf of the College I congratulate all for working to achieve this result.”
The 2nd July 2018 was an historic and remarkable day on two fronts.
It marked the 160th anniversary of the establishment of St John’s College following the publication in the Government Gazette of the proclamation by the NSW Governor in 1858.
And on the same day, 160 years later, the new St John’s College Act 2018 commenced. This marks another significant step forward for the College with improvements in our governance that will underpin and strengthen our future as we head towards our bicentenary.
Lights on the Lawn – Black Dog Institute Fundraiser
Students at the College have been busy with a range of activities in the first half of the year including the fundraiser for the Black Dog Institute called ‘Lights on the Lawn’.
This annual event, which is student run and includes participation by other colleges on campus, raises funds for the Black Dog Institute and focuses on encouraging students to be open about mental health issues.
The night featured a presentation by a representative of the Black Dog Institute as well as performances including student bands. “The fundraiser was a great success with nearly $5000 raised on the night”, said Event Co-ordinator Charlie Debus.
“In addition to raising funds for a good cause the night provides a platform for some fantastic music and performances from students and this year was no exception” he said.
Black Dog Institute thanked St John’s College students and highlighted the importance of open discussion about mental health issues.
“University is an incredibly exciting time but it can also be a time when some young people struggle with mental health issues.
“Making sure that we talk about these issues and importantly how young people can get help when they need it, is vital. Events such as ‘Lights on the Lawn” mean these conversations happen naturally and in circumstances young people feel comfortable with”, said Evan Jackson, Community Fundraising Program Manager from the Black Dog Institute.
Check out the new College website
The College’s website has had a makeover providing a contemporary, modern look for the College.
It contains a wide range of information and services for students, alumni and the St John’s Community.
The 2018 Laffo’s Long Lunch was a huge success with approximately $56,000 raised for the scholarship that bears his name at St John’s College as well as the Hearts in Union charity.
This annual event which is now in its 10th year celebrates a unique and cherished Alumnus of St John’s Matt Laffan.
Matt was a talented lawyer with the Department of Public Prosecutions, tireless campaigner for those with disabilities, Sydney Lord Mayor aspirant and a proud and loyal Johnsman. He lived his 38 years with a severe disability called diastrophic displasia. While Matt was confined to a wheelchair he never let his disabilities get in his way. St John’s College provided many unique and enriching experiences for Matt where he made countless lifelong friends.
The collective proceeds from Laffo’s Long Lunch have so far supported three young people with disabilities to attend St John’s College. With your support we can continue this important work in Matt’s memory.