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St John’s College Goes to the Show!

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News | 12 Apr 2024
The Sydney Royal Easter Show stands as the oldest and largest annual event in Australia. Yet, it serves a deeper purpose by bringing agriculture and competition to the city, aiming to educate, engage, and entertain.
Through his role as the Vice President of the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW, the Rector can provide opportunities for our College students to participate as stewards, judges, and general attendees for various events throughout the course of the Show.
But what makes this even more special, is that the students of St John’s are given exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and access to unique aspects of the organisation and the Show.
There are very few places in Australia where the diversity of our nation’s agriculture can be found in one location.
Our students were given opportunities to handle animals, including horses, beef and dairy cattle, pigs, goats, alpacas, poultry, dogs, cats, and reptiles. This opportunity was also extended to horticulture, arts and crafts and woodchopping.

Sheep Farmer and RAS Council Member Yvette McKenzie teaching the art of shearing to Second Year and College RA Henry Madigan with First Year Billy Brooks.

First Year Liam Grover mastering the art of identifying ear markings on sheep.

First Year student Isobel Edmonstone (Springside) assisting the vets with morning Farmyard Nursery rounds.

First Year Student Peter Gordon with Dean of Student Life Ms Christie Breakspear handling a Hereford Bull.

A poultry effort from First Year Arjun Shah!

Third Year rural students Ella Salvestro (Griffith), Charlotte Cluff (Dunedoo), Anna Garnsey (Wagga Wagga) and Eliza Haire (Wee Waa).

First Years Xanthe Carolan and Ella Macarounas assisting with the Reptile Competitions.

In addition to his roles as College Rector and Vice President of the RAS of NSW, the Rector also holds the most distinguished position of the Easter Show’s “Chief Ride Judge”. A team of expert youth ride judges was assembled from students of St John’s, who undertook their heavy responsibility with great professionalism and diligence. Their dedicated work was so impressive that it featured in a Channel 9 news story.
That news story can be found here (watch the video until the end!).

2024 Ride Judges:  Evangeline Marr, Oliver Godfrey-Hill, Tom Busby and Brianna Duck.

Another new tradition for St John’s College is the hosting of dinners at the RAS of NSW for Student Leaders, the College’s rural students, and our College students who play for Sydney Uni Football Club. Each dinner allowed these students to meet councillors of the RAS of NSW, as well as exhibitors and farmers.

College Council Member and current parent Mr Matt Gordon joins the Student Leaders’ and Regional Students’ Dinner, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour at the Easter Show. Charlie Mason (Bathurst) sporting a broken arm, was ably assisted by Flynn Thompsett (Newcastle) and Tom Gordon (Tamworth).

SUFC Director of Rugby Nick Ryan with St John’s College rugby players at the RAS-SUFC Dinner.

First Year student Joseph Mangelsdorf assisting the Rector’s children delivering their paintings for the Children’s Art Classes.

Our College veterinary students were given an unmissable opportunity to work with the 50 veterinarians who come from all over NSW – many of whom are leading specialists in their fields.
Finally, the Easter Show offers people the chance to forge lasting friendships and connections, providing a unique setting to catch up with old friends. A heartfelt thank you to all the students who volunteered at the various competitions and attended events on behalf of the College, particularly our regional and rural students. I eagerly anticipate even greater involvement next year, where St John’s will undoubtedly showcase expert cake bakers, woodchoppers, and showjumpers!

College Council Member Mr Khan Horne (NAB Executive of Regional and Agribusiness) at the Easter Show’s Beef Cattle Alpha Young Auctioneer Competition, catching up with the Rector.

First Year student Joe Denman (Lucknow) at the Farmyard Nursery.

Old Ignatians catching up with current Riverview students at the Schools Steer Competition. 

Mr Adrian Saines (Former President of the Australian Pig and Goat Breeders Association) educating our students on Boer Goats.

After the Ride Judging, the students were shown the floral competitions at the Easter Show.






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