Aquinas College Foundation Newsletter - Issue 6 - 2021

Page 1



NEWS 2021





Message from the Chair

Welcome - a strange way to open an annual newsletter in December, but the timing is good. After a period of relative hardship in the school and wider community, for most it seems things are starting to look up, which makes for an upbeat message to open this edition. That said, while the majority of families are enjoying good times, some families are struggling to meet the increasing cost of rent, essential services and, obviously, school fees. As our minds now turn to Christmas and beyond, it’s a good time to reflect on the role that the Foundation plays at Aquinas College. Firstly, a couple of notable words of thanks, starting with outgoing Councillor Michael Hughes who stands down this month. Michael has had a long association with the College as a student (‘75), past parent, past Board Chair and, more recently, Foundation Councillor. We wish Michael all the best after countless years of dedicated service to Aquinas, and certainly expect to see him around the place from time to time. Thank you to our immediate past Chair Julian Lodge who, after 10 years on the Foundation Council, handed over the reins to yours truly earlier in the year. Julian’s resignation marked the end of a period of transformation for the Foundation, as it refocused its energies on two main priorities - supporting capital works projects for the College and funding bursaries for families who

would otherwise not be able to provide an Aquinas education for their boys. We thank Julian for his guidance during this period and celebrate the difference his contribution has made to students and families of the College. While some may not fully understand the role of the Foundation at Aquinas, in a world of increased levels of inequity in the community and the rising costs of education, the Foundation has become ever more important to the College, as it strives to continue to deliver a unique education for our boys that builds good men. Without the funds donated by previous generations of Aquinas families, much of what our boys experience today would not be possible. It is with this in mind that we shoulder the responsibility of maintaining and enhancing the student diversity and capital of the College for future generations. Some of the key Foundation fundraising activities from the past 12 months include: Annual Bursary/Building Fund Appeal - Current Parents Annual Appeal for Bursaries Alumni Class of 2021 Scholarship Gift Gift in Will Program (Bequests) Lights, Camera, Action Foundation Ball 2021 Foundation Christmas Auction 2021 Looking ahead to the New Year, the focus will be on optimising returns from our corpus of funds with the assistance of a newly appointed wealth management firm. We will also be looking to identify new and different sources of income for the Foundation to increase our support to the College. Thank you to my fellow Foundation Councillors - Caroline Bryndzej

(Deputy Chair), Julia Schortinghuis, Fiona Gebauer, Jonathan Murray and Matthew Noonan-Crowe - for all their hard work and support this year. Thank you also to the dedicated group from our school community who volunteer at our events or donate their time to sit on the various sub-committees of the Foundation that focus on the key areas of Investments, Fundraising, and the biennial Foundation Ball. A big thank you to our Executive Officer Louise Symonds who, without fail, goes above and beyond requirements to ensure the Foundation can deliver on its objectives. Thank you also to David McFadden, Principal and Ex-officio Member of the Foundation, and Peter Robertson who are both vital links between the Foundation and the broader College. Finally a big thank you to every one of you who has been able to support the Foundation financially throughout the year. We sincerely appreciate your gifts - big and small – which together help to fund the College’s capital improvements required to keep our facilities at a level that will support your sons and grandsons well into the future – and, more importantly, ensure diversity and inclusivity through the provision of bursaries to boys from various backgrounds. I encourage you to continue your much needed support for OUR Foundation in 2022. Ashley Bacon Chair Aquinas College Foundation


From the Principal

Central to the charism of our College’s founder Blessed Edmund Rice, were the rights of all children and young people to be healthy, happy and safe. Our Mission must therefore always be inclusive of those young people who find themselves on the margins of society. In its first 100 years, Aquinas College built up a valuable endowment through the generosity of its parents, Old Boys and the work of the Christian Brothers. This continued tradition of giving is a reflection of the College community’s generosity, for which we are most grateful. This endowment continues to be used to support families in need. Established in 1997, the Aquinas College Foundation (ACF) assists the College to manage and develop this endowment. In particular, it provides funds for the College to award bursaries. Today, the ACF supports in excess of 40 student bursary places each year, which are given on the basis of need. This is opposed to scholarships rewarded for outstanding achievements and talent in, for example, academic work, music, sport, art or drama. This year’s publication Missing out Matters: Child poverty in Western Australia by the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA has, however, highlighted the increasing

problem of inequality in WA - in particular the increasing percentage of WA children living below the poverty line, which has now reached in excess of 100,000 children. How are we to respond? How can we ensure the Aquinas community continues to help deliver affordability to families who otherwise would be unable to afford an Aquinas College education? This is our challenge to meet the needs of an increasing number of boys who find themselves less fortunate than us and enable them to attend Aquinas College. The ability of the ACF to meet the financial needs of the School Bursary Program depends critically on significant funding to grow the endowment and increase investment returns, whilst ensuring that the realterm value of the endowment is protected for the future. This is only possible through the continued generosity from our community and beyond. For all those involved, thank you for your support and generosity. David McFadden Principal Aquinas College

Edmund Rice

For of those to whom much is given, much is required. Luke 12:48


We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Giving 2021

Winston Churchill

Generosity is one of the hallmarks of a strong and united school community and was front and centre at Aquinas College throughout 2021, across all segments of the community. The success of the Foundation and the support it can provide to the College and our boys is dependent on the support of the broader Aquinas College family. The Foundation therefore extends its ongoing gratitude for your individual and collective support during 2021 - and into the future.

Current Parent Annual Appeal Thank you to all the families that were able to contribute to the Current Parent Annual Appeal this year. Providing parents with the first-time option of a tax-deductible contribution to either the Scholarship and Bursary Fund or the Building Fund was well received and will continue to be an offering on the Annual Fee Statement moving forward. During 2021, your contributions to the Scholarship and Bursary Fund have enabled the College to provide life-changing bursaries to more boys who would otherwise not be able to attend the College, while your Building Fund contributions have assisted with the continuous improvement of our facilities that support learning. The Current Parent Annual Appeal runs until 31 December each year. All contributions to the Scholarship and Bursary Fund and the Building Fund are tax deductible with receipts issued by the Foundation.

Veritas Society The Veritas Society was established to recognise individuals who have advised the Foundation that they would like to leave a gift to the College in their Will. Thank you to all our members whose generosity will have a lasting impact on the College. A special thank you to our Veritas Society Patron, Justice Eric Heenan, for his ongoing stewardship of the Gift in Will Program.


2021 Annual Appeal for Bursaries: Together we did it! Bursaries have the ability to help young boys become the men they dream of being. By donating to the Annual Appeal for Bursaries, you can assist them in overcoming boundaries well outside of their control, so that they can focus upon and tackle the things they can control.” Dylan Blair (’16) Terry Bourke Family Scholarship recipient. The Annual Appeal for Bursaries, launched in May each year, continues to grow in support, and now receives contributions from alumni, past parents, current parents and staff. One of the key priorities of the Foundation is to expand its bursary support and thanks to the generosity of our Aquinas College family, the 2021 Annual Appeal for Bursaries has received a staggering $139,000 in contributions. Together, these contributions enable the College to provide significantly more life-changing opportunities to boys like Dylan Blair who would struggle to attend Aquinas without support. In turn, College life is enriched by the diversity these boys and their families add. The Annual Appeal for Bursaries runs until 31 December each year.All contributions to the Appeal are tax deductible with receipts issued by the Foundation. Read on to find out more about Dylan Blair’s Aquinas College Bursary experience.

Dylan Blair came to Aquinas from St Dominic’s Innaloo at the commencement of Year 5. The oldest brother to two younger siblings, Dylan’s childhood was challenging, to say the least. His mother suffered from severe health issues resulting in his parents divorcing while Dylan was still in primary school. Dylan’s father took on the role of sole parent to three children and Dylan continued his Aquinas education, affording him a “grounding foundation to support myself in my endeavours and grow past my struggles at home.” As Dylan approached the start of Year 11, however, the family’s financial situation could no longer support an Aquinas education and Dylan’s future was on the line – “I was at risk of losing the opportunities I had worked so hard for in academics and sport, not to mention the spiritual aspects of an Aquinas education”.

Aquinas Achievements House Captain of Redmond Recipient of the Long Tan Leadership Award Year 11 Visual Arts ATAR Prize Various Academic Distinction Awards 2015/16 Captain 1st XV Rugby Team 1st VIII HOR Rowing Team 2015/16 Best Year 11 Oarsman 1st XV Rugby: Best & Fairest 1st XV Rugby: Players’ Player

Receiving the Terry Bourke Family Scholarship (which provides full fee remission for the last two years of high school) in Year 11 secured Dylan’s future. Grateful for the chance to continue his Aquinas studies, Dylan made the absolute most of his last two years at school, throwing his energy behind as many academic, cultural, sporting and service opportunities as humanly possible. Since leaving Aquinas, Dylan has obtained a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (with high distinction) from the University of Notre Dame and currently works in a pathology lab as an assistant. In 2022, he plans to move to Karratha to gain some experience in rural health, which he hopes will bolster his chances of gaining entry to Medicine and one day becoming a doctor.

“Terry Bourke will forever hold a very special place in my heart for what he and his family did for me, and anyone who is willing to assist in a similar project could have the same effect on someone else’s education. Dylan Blair


Why I support the Foundation My journey from a student at Trinity College to where I am today as a teacher at Aquinas College is due, in large part, to the support of the Christian Brothers after some personal family hardship. I experienced a family breakdown when my mother suddenly left us when I was in Year 8. We went from a two-income middle-class family to a single income family that was struggling to pay the bills and keep food on the table. My father met with the Brothers and told them that he could not afford the school fees anymore. The Brothers said not to worry about that and so I remained at Trinity until I graduated. But more than the waiving of fees, the Brothers made sure I could participate in all the extra-curricular activities, providing me with any uniforms or equipment I needed. I never went without. I took part in cadets and went on to represent Trinity in the First XI Hockey and First VIII Tennis. When I finally did my TEE, I did not get the full marks I needed to go to university. But the Brothers had two spots reserved at W.A.I.T for students who they thought could benefit from a university education despite not having the marks. I was one of them. From there, I went on to get my Degree and Honours. When it was time to make a career change, I took a year off to complete my B.A Secondary Education. I was hoping and

praying for a position at a Christian Brothers school and along came Aquinas College. Being at Aquinas allowed me to maintain my connection to the Christian Brothers for whom I have great respect and admiration. In the following years, I was involved in all kinds of charity and service work and in 1996, the major change in how Religious Formation would develop at Aquinas allowed me to take up a position as the Christian Service Coordinator. The rest is history! The Christian Service-Learning Program is now in its 25th year and I am now in my 31st year of teaching in the one and only school I’ve ever taught at – Aquinas College. Over the years, I have measured my success by the quality and quantity of what I’ve been able to give back to my community and to the Brothers who have helped shape my life. I see this happening to dozens of families at Aquinas College who for some reason or another find themselves unable to meet the costs of a private education. It is important enough to get support when it is needed and that is why I feel so strongly about supporting the bursary work of the Foundation. It keeps dreams and hopes alive. John Richards Director of Christian-Service Learning Aquinas College


Class of 2021 Peer Scholarship Gift The Class of 2021 has continued the tradition of raising funds towards a two-year half-bursary for another boy to attend Aquinas College, as their Leaving Class gift to the College.Fundraising efforts included a $50 contribution from participating Year 12 families, a major Year 12 fundraising activity during the year, and surplus funds from the Year 12 Ball, raising more than $7,000 towards a bursary for a boy who will commence at the College in 2022. The Peer Scholarship Gift was instigated by the Class of 2017 as an alternative to a physical, parting gift to the College. It has since become the norm at Aquinas, providing our Year 12 boys with the opportunity to become philanthropists throughout the year – and beyond - providing the life-changing gift of an Aquinas education. A plaque commemorating the generosity of the Class of 2021 is currently in production and will be hung alongside the existing Peer Scholarship Gift plaques in the Heritage Room in early January 2022.

A Word from the College Captain of 2021 / Naveen Nimalan Reflecting on the year of 2021, our Senior School leadership team of over two hundred Year 10 to Year 12 students across the 14 councils were able to proactively work together to achieve many of our planned projects for the year, and with strong involvement from many students we had the opportunity to raise the much-needed funds to provide a future student with an Aquinian education (through the Class of 2021 Peer Scholarship Gift), as we had received. We were able to raise the funds with a portion of profits from council stalls and events throughout the year, but most of our funds raised - beyond the Ball profits and the invaluable graduating class parent donations came from one of our major projects of the year, the student-run Year 10 Perth College and Aquinas College Trivia Night Social. While reflecting on our school journey, the Senior School

leadership team of 2021 realised the challenge of enabling our young Senior School Aquinians to respectfully socialise with those beyond our all-boys College, and to address this we initiated an all-student-run Trivia Night that would foster positive conversations between the students. Despite the monumental task of organising the many intricacies of a social event, we realised the importance that an extra opportunity for our younger boys to socialise would be, and to provide them with an enjoyable night was a heartwarming result. That the event was able to raise valuable money for the Class of 2021 Peer Scholarship Gift and help to provide the education and opportunities that Aquinas offers for a future student, added to the success of the evening. We are proud to continue this tradition of Aquinas students giving back to our community with the Peer Scholarship Gift and I wish the Class of 2022 much success as they continue the Program in 2022.


EVENTS 2021 River Centre Supporters’ Function The Foundation hosted a sundowner at the new River Centre on Saturday 30 January to thank everyone who contributed their time, services, expertise or cash donations to the River Centre project over twenty plus years. The weather, the Canning River and the River Centre itself combined to provide a magnificent evening for more than 80 guests who gathered together to swap rowing stories and to see the fruits of their labour: a world-class facility for our thriving rowing community.

As the sun set on a very warm evening, guests gathered on the hardstand for the naming of three quads and one eight, all dedicated to Aquinians who have given much to rowing and the College over the years. Congratulations to John Perry ('65), Mike Scott ('57), Stuart Reside ('95) and Nick Guidera ('00). The names of four boat bays were also revealed on the night, representing four great men of Aquinas rowing: BR N Wilson ('46), Brian Tonkin ('67), Peter Hutchinson ('76) and Stuart Reside ('95).

You can check out their stories in our Legacy posters down at the River Centre or via our website here. We wish our boys great success on the water for the 2021/22 rowing season.


2021 Lights, Camera, Action! Foundation Ball a Glittering Success! The biennial Foundation Ball at Crown Perth on 4 September was a glittering night, as the broader Aquinas College family came together to celebrate the spirit of our College and to raise funds for the new Music School and Recital Hall Project. 560 guests enjoyed an evening with friends that included fine dining and live entertainment. International opera singer and current parent Paul O’Neill (’96), along with soprano Harriet Marshall, kicked off the evening in style with a selection of some of the most famous operatic arias and duets. At the other end of the evening, Diamond Road Band did not disappoint, with three, solid 45minute sets that rocked the venue and filled the dance floor until well past midnight.

Special thanks to Chris McMillan for his exemplary MC duties and to Josh Brockhurst (’92) from Century 21 Team Brockhurst for conducting the live auction. Thank you to our major sponsor, Karlayura Group, all our other donors and sponsors and our 560 Foundation Ball guests; your tremendous support for the 2021 Lights, Camera, Action! Foundation Ball - our 7th biennial Foundation Ball - raised more than $80,000 for the Music School and Recital Hall project. No Foundation Ball would be possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteers. Thank you to: our Foundation Ball Committee comprising Emma Chapman, Danielle Green, Caroline Bryndzej, Fiona Gebauer, Claire Griffiths, Emely Jakovich, Jodie Trezise and Chair

Save the Date Foundation Ball 2023 Saturday 2 September Crown Grand Ballroom

Louise Symonds for months of hard work; thank you to the support team on the night, including representatives from the Ladies’ Auxiliary and Aquinas College staff; and thank you to the Aquinas College staff who provided support behind the scenes pre and post event. Be sure to mark your diaries now for the 2023 Foundation Ball and start the countdown.


EVENTS 2021 Welcome back Class of 2020! On Friday 17 September 2021, the Foundation hosted the annual Aquinas College Foundation Leavers’ Function, welcoming back more than 60 boys from the Leaving Class of 2020. Over a sausage sizzle in the Staff Common Room, the boys enjoyed the chance to catch up with classmates and class tutors and have a first look at the 2020 College Annual. Foundation Chair and Old Boy Ashley Bacon (’92) warmly welcomed the graduates, highlighting the importance of the Leavers’ Function as an opportunity for the boys to connect back to the College and each other in their first year out of school. “It’s also an opportunity for the Foundation and the College to thank you all for contributing to the Class of 2020 Peer Scholarship Gift,” said Ashley.

“Thanks to your generosity and the generosity of your parents, another boy – who commenced at the College this year – is receiving all the benefits of a life-changing Aquinas College education, the very same opportunities you all received.” President of the Old Aquinians’ Association (OAA), Matthew NoonanCrowe (’99), also addressed the boys, welcoming them to the OAA and encouraging them to take advantage of the social and networking opportunities available to them through membership. Before the boys headed off-campus to continue their celebrations, the plaque commemorating the Class of 2020 Scholarship Gift (which hangs in the Heritage Room alongside previous Peer Scholarship Gifts) was unveiled and will be a permanent reminder to the community of the generosity of the Class of 2020.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the evening a huge success: representatives from the Ladies’ Auxiliary, the OAA and the Foundation, class tutors, Peter Robertson and Nichole Rowson from the Development Office. Best of luck to the Class of 2020 as you navigate the next exciting stage of your lives. We look forward to many more opportunities to welcome you back to Aquinas College. P.S. If you left your Annual behind on the night, please contact Nichole Rowson via email to arrange collection.

Special Mention In October this year, the Class of 2020 lived up to the Aquinas tradition of being good men for others, getting behind the fundraising efforts of this year’s Telethon boy – and current Year 9 student – Ollie Lim. Peer-to-peer, the Class of 2020 raised more than $2,000 towards Ollie’s (and the MS Crew’s) amazing final figure of $46,000+. The Foundation and the College are very proud of the fine young men of the Class of 2020.


Old Aquinians & Friends Reunion Tour Lunch As with so many events and activities over the past two school years, Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the Old Aquinians and Friends Reunion Tour to the Margaret River region in 2020. This ruined a running streak of 14 years, during which time the group has raised more than $57,000 for our Bursary Program and toured many iconic WA locations. Despite the Covid-19 disruption, the intrepid group of travellers still managed to present the Foundation with a cheque for $800

at their annual Thank You Luncheon in the Waterford Room in late January 2021. The 2021 Reunion Tour – the 15th tour for the group – went ahead in the first week of November 2021, taking in the beautiful Margaret River region, and will be the last outing for the group. Longtime tour organiser, Jack Bana (’54), explained that many in the group are now experiencing ill health and/or mobility issues, with the percentage of ‘real’ Old Aquinians continuing to fall. The Foundation and the College

would like to express their sincere gratitude to everyone who has been a part of the Old Aquinians Reunion Tour group over the past 15 years. Your generosity and your commitment to helping more boys receive an Aquinas education has changed many lives for the better. We look forward to welcoming you back in January 2022 to once again thank you in person.


EVENTS 2021 Welcome New Parents Evening Acting Principal Sean Henderson warmly welcomed more than 120 of our new, 2022 parents to the Welcome Parents Evening on Friday 29 October 2021. This annual event, proudly sponsored by the Aquinas College Foundation, provides an opportunity for pending new families to experience the welcoming spirit of Aquinas College, make some new friends and learn a bit about the work of the Foundation and the various parent groups, ahead of the new school year. Chair of the Aquinas College Foundation, Ashley Bacon, told the parents he hoped the evening would be the beginning of an amazing journey for them and their boys.He spoke about the important work of the Foundation in support of the College, and what families can do to help.

“You will be asked to consider making a $500 tax-deductible contribution each year to either the Scholarship and Bursary Fund or the Building Fund,” said Ashley. “And I strongly encourage you to support either of these Funds (if you are able) – a gift to the Scholarship and Bursary Fund can change the life of a boy who would otherwise not be able to attend Aquinas, while a gift to the Building Fund allows for the continuous improvement of the amazing educational facilities all our boys enjoy at the College.” P&F President Mat Scott also addressed the new parents, detailing the roles of the various parent support groups available at the College, and urging our new parents to get involved. Welcome to our newest members of the Aquinas College family. We look forward to working with you as you journey through the College.


Annual Thank You Sundowner The 2021 Thank You Sundowner, jointly hosted by the College and the Foundation, was held in the Waterford room on Friday 26 November 2021. Numbers for this event continue to grow each year, highlighting the generosity of the Aquinas College community. This event is an opportunity to show our gratitude to everyone who has given time, services, donations and expertise in support of the various programs and activities of both the College and the Foundation. With the beautiful Canning River as the backdrop, more than 100 guests, across alumni, current/past parents and staff, came together in celebration. In his welcome address, David McFadden spoke about the incredible support the College receives from the community throughout the year and thanked everyone present for their various contributions. Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, Chair Ashley Bacon welcomed everyone to the

2021 Thank You Sundowner - with a special welcome to our Gift in Will Patron, Eric Heenan, and his wife Elizabeth - praising the amazing generosity of the Aquinas College community during his first year as Chair. “The College we see today is the result of generations of philanthropy from community members just like you,” said Ashley. “Raising funds for the College is essential to the Foundation, so thank you for your support of the various activities that we have run throughout the year: the Annual Appeal for Bursaries: the Lights, Camera, Action! Foundation Ball: the Annual Appeal to Current Parents; and the Leaving Class of 2021 Peer Scholarship Gift.” “… as supporters, it is important that you know that the funds raised are being used for good cause in funding our two main priorities – bursaries and improving our facilities.” Ashley advised that during 2021, the Foundation was pleased to contribute just under $200,000 to the College to

maintain existing buildings and facilities, and $358,000 towards the Bursary Program for boys who would otherwise not be able to attend the College. He looks forward to working with the community again in 2022. Thank you to all our amazing supporters – whether or not you attended the event - for making Aquinas College the wonderful and vibrant community that it is.



To fulfil its long-term objective to enhance the College’s financial sustainability well into the future, a major area of the Foundation’s work is the stewardship of funds, in particular our Endowment Fund monies. Through the Endowment Fund, the Foundation continues to grow a healthy capital base. Over the longer term, this base will provide a reliable, ongoing income stream, while also ensuring that the Foundation can support the College in meeting its shorterterm objectives. In growing our capital base, our main sources of revenue for the Foundation are: Donations – tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible Fundraising generated from events and initiatives Distributions from investments Gifts in Wills In 2021, the Foundation is proud to have supported the College’s two main priorities with the following contributions: $358,000 for Bursaries to the Scholarship & Bursary Fund $190,000 for improvement of our facilities to the Building Fund

Funds Under Management Since May 2017, the Foundation has worked closely with our incumbent wealth Manager, Vantage Wealth Management, to prudently grow the corpus of funds in our Endowment Fund. In the 12 months to 31 October 2021, our portfolio returned 11.11%. However, as an exercise in good governance, the Investment Sub-committee commenced a lengthy review of our wealth manager in August this year, with five strong candidates involved in a tender process. After much consideration, the Investment Sub-committee made the decision to part ways with Vantage Wealth Management, signing on with JBWere in early November. As the leading provider of investment management services to the not for profit sector in Australia, JBWere are well placed to provide us with not only investment advisory services, but with a host of other, philanthropic services including strategy, education, insights and governance. In short, the move to JBWere will afford us: A dedicated Perth-based team Managers who are experienced board members of school foundations An open architecture investment approach A market leading responsible investment/ESG offering Local strength, global reach Philanthropic services The Foundation would like to thank Frank Sciarrone and the team at Vantage Wealth Management for a long and successful partnership over the past 4+ years. The Foundation is well placed moving forward.

Contact the Foundation 58 Mount Henry Road Salter Point WA 6152 T: 08 9450 0799 E: