As our students prepare for their upcoming exams and Semester Two coming to a close, we thought we would share some of the news items that have been circulating around the College community.
Opening of the restored library at St John’s College
The College celebrated a major addition to the College’s academic and learning life on Wednesday 7th November with the opening of the new Nagle Library.
The restoration of the library spaces was funded by a generous bequest made by one of Australia’s great jurists, and St John’s alumnus, Justice John Nagle. Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, the Most Reverend Terence Brady blessed the library and NSW Minister for Education the Hon. Rob Stokes addressed approximately 100 guests at the opening of the new facility.
The Library and the Philosophical Room at its entrance are at the heart of William Wardell’s original vision of three spaces arranged in a triangle around the staircase: Chapel, Hall and Library.
The bequest of John Nagle has enabled the restoration of the library within the space that Wardell originally designed for it nearly 160 years earlier.
“John Nagle, who died in 2009, gave two gifts to the College in his Will; one was for a Window in the Chapel depicting John Henry Newman and the other for purposes connected with the library,” said Rector of St John’s College, Adrian Diethelm.
“The works undertaken have included the restoration of the Philosophical Room including the ceiling and ‘Frieze of the Prologue’ with verses from St John’s Gospel.
“Next door the Reading Room has been fully renovated with the inclusion of a mezzanine level looking out to the University campus and to the city beyond, and facilities for students including study areas and pods.
“The Library will house the College’s unique collection of historical and current books as well as providing new spaces for learning and academic endeavour.
“The generosity of the Nagle Family is very much now a part of the physical fabric of the College with the new Library joining other important bequests including windows in the College Chapel.
“We are very grateful to the Nagle Family for this outstanding contribution to the learning environment at St John’s College for students now and well into the future”, said Mr Diethelm.
Chair of Council welcomes implementation of new St John’s College Act
Chair of Council, Dr Bernadette Tobin, addressed guests at the annual Council Dinner held at the College on Thursday 11th October.
In front of an audience of over 40 guests, Dr Tobin reflected on the journey that the College has taken since 2012, recognising significant achievements made specifically within the governance and culture of the College.
During her speech she referenced the late John Phillips, a past Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank and previous Chair of College Council.
“Since the death of John Phillips, much has changed in the cultural context in which residential University colleges exist. But, in the processes of reform and renewal he set in motion here at St John’s, processes which have been adopted and developed not only here but also in other colleges, in particular those two key initiatives I mentioned at the outset, John seems to have had extraordinary foresight. May this college continue to live up to his expectations!” said Dr Tobin.
Following the landmark decision from the 2018 House to amend the constitution to ensure that a male and female student will lead St John’s College each year, the 2019 House Committee was confirmed in October.
The 2019 House Executive comprises of House Presidents, Lucy Blanzan and James Hansen, with Douglas Gibson elected to the position of Secretary and James Flipo to the role of Treasurer. The House Executive work collaboratively with members of the St John’s staff including the Rector, Vice-Rector, Dean and Dean of Students as representatives of the student body.
The House Committee is involved in organising the College cultural, sporting and social activities available to the students as well as any intercollege events. The Committee includes Rawson and Rosebowl Secretaries, Social Secretary, Palladian Secretary and Charity Secretary.
Being part of the St John’s College House Committee provides valuable leadership opportunities to members of this student team.
Eleanor Schwager and Lachlan Pickering were jointly awarded the Benning Prize at the annual Valedictory Dinner for their significant contributions, academic achievements and dedication to the College.
The Benning Prize was established in memory of Herbert Francis Benning, a Fellow and first Chairman of College Council (1969-1980). It is awarded annually to a student who has been in residence for at least five semesters, has shown consistent academic progress and made significant contribution to College life, particuarly in relation to leadership.
“The 2018 awardees have consistently achieved academic distinction while being involved in the sporting, cultural, spiritual and recreational life of the College. Not afraid to stand up for those who feel marginalised or call out behaviour that goes against the College’s values, they are individuals who lead by example, have deep affection for the College and seek to lead a life of service,” said Chair of Council, Dr Bernadette Tobin, during the ceremony.
Throughout 2018 Eleanor and Lachlan have served as members of the 2018 House Committee and made many significant contributions to the College. We congratulate them.
Pancakes the currency to raise funds for Aussie Farmers
Pancakes were top of the breakfast menu on Friday 19th October as the College joined forces with Rural Aid to support Australian farmers struggling in the drought with a special fundraiser.
Members of the College Community, including students, staff, and external suppliers, enjoyed a Pancake Breakfast which raised over $2,660 for Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale initiative, which supplies farmers across Australia with feed for stock.
General Manager of Rural Aid, Mr Wayne Thomson, was expected to join everyone for the Pancake Breakfast but unfortunately was delayed by flights and thanked everyone at lunch instead.
“On behalf of Rural Aid and farmers across Australia, I would like to thank the community of St John’s College for their initiative and generosity in supporting our Buy a Bale campaign,” said Mr Thomson.
“Today’s breakfast is yet another demonstration of the commitment of so many communities across Australia to help our farmers and rural communities in their time of need.”
“Thank you to St John’s College for the strong message of support that they have shown farmers this morning. The jersey that’s been kindly donated will become a prize in the Rural Aid Christmas Raffle,” said Mr Thomson.
This semester, the College launched a student driven initiative to provide an additional pathway for reporting unacceptable behaviour.
The College’s Equality Liaison Group,comprising of staff and students, has worked with the provider of an anti-bullying app to tailor a solution for the College, which has now been launched.
The Anonymous Alerts App enables confidential reporting to the College’s Student Life Team of any matter relating to bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification or other behaviour or actions.
The App is another tool supporting and strengthening the College’s zero tolerance policy on any behaviour that threatens student safety and/or wellbeing.
College Resident Tutor showcases plastic circular economy concept for refugees at United Nations
Australian social entrepreneur and St John’s College Resident Tutor, William Chan, recently presented his innovative plastic upcycling project for youth in refugee camps at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York. William intends to share his experience with students at St John’s College and inspire them to adopt environmentally sustainable practices.
William shared his social design initiative at the High Level Meeting on Social Business, Youth and Technology to an esteemed panel of global leaders including Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and MIT Professor of Practice, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Rajesh Nair.
The event brought together government and business leaders, social entrepreneurs, civil society leaders and inspiring young thinkers to apply the methodology of social business, harness the creativity of youth and the power of rapidly changing technology to commit young people to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Featuring as a Forward in Hong Kong’s line-up, Ellie began her campaign opening game against Japan.
“The Asian Games is the second largest multi-sport competition after the Olympics. I am very excited to compete and am looking forward to living in the athletes’ village with many other elite athletes. It’s going to be life-changing and wonderful”, said Ellie.
Currently studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney and First Year at St John’s, Ellie has been busy juggling her studies and hockey playing commitments. “At first, it was really hard to fit in both hockey and studying. Time management has been the real key to being able to fit it all in. Also, the support I have received from both my high school, the Uni and the College have allowed me to balance both commitments.”