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In Week 3 we celebrated National Boarding Week, acknowledging the rich diversity our boarders bring to our School community.

Here’s a few fun facts we learnt about our boarding community across the week:

  • The two boarders with home addresses that are geographically the furthest apart are Andrew (South East of SA) and Henry (UK).
  • Ruben (Year 7) was operating a bull catcher at the age of 6 on his family’s cattle station Elkedra.
  • Ned (Year 12) recently took one of the greatest marks ever seen playing U18 football for Norwood.
  • Jett (Year 12) holds a pilot license and Ben (Year 11) will soon hold one.
  • Harry (Year 10) competed in the Athletics National Championships – his PB for High Jump is 1.94m and Triple Jump 13.40m.
  • Our boarders hail from eight different countries and five Australian states and territories.
  • The combined area of land owned and managed by our boarding families is comparable to Tasmania’s land mass of 68,000 km².

Thank you to our boarding parents for entrusting us to educate, develop and care for your sons, and for playing such an integral part of our community. Thank you also to our boarding staff who create a home away from home for our boarders. You foster in them a sense of belonging, give them the courage to be themselves and help them make the most of every opportunity.

Muster Address – Ben Allen (Year 11)

Good afternoon official party, staff, and boys.

My name is Ben Allen, and I am a Year 11 boarder here at St Peter’s College. Today I am fortunate enough to share my journey as a boarder for National Boarding Week.

My boarding journey started last year as a Year 10 when I joined the boarding house from Arthurton, South Australia. Arthurton is roughly two hours in a car from Adelaide. Joining the boarding house was a new experience for me and took a lot of getting used to. Although I found living away from home hard at first, it was amazing coming to a place and seeing over 80 unfamiliar faces that all had different stories on where they came from and what their life is like. I was fortunate enough that my older brother graduated in 2021 and he was able to share what boarding was like so that I could have a guide to get into boarder life and the routine. After a few weeks of being in the boarding house, I had made some good mates that made me feel like I was already at home.

Before becoming a boarder I spent my life  on a cropping farm around 160 Kilometres north-west of Adelaide. The farming operation is all cropping and has around 1800 hectares. A typical day on the farm is never really the same as the seasons change. During Autumn and sometimes Winter, we find ourselves seeding the crop and, in the Spring, and Summer months we are harvesting the crop. I love being home as I am able to be outdoors, operate farm machinery, do hands-on work, go up in the plane with dad or even go for a ride on motorbikes with mates. I was hesitant to become a boarder and leave home, but deep down I knew it was what was best for me.

Boarding is a very one-of-a-kind experience and is best described as a yearlong sleepover with your mates. I look at it like you are living with your closest mates as you get to know these boys better than anyone else when you start to live with them. Sometimes you do start to get sick of people, but the great part is there is always someone else wanting to do something and making it more fun than being by yourself. After school time in the afternoon is often spent going down the road to the servo, going to the avenues, interacting with your mates in the boarding house, kicking the footy or relaxing in your room.

Coming off a farm, where from after school until dinner time, you could do basically anything you wanted, then coming to a boarding house where your days are structured and in routine, took some getting used to for the first couple of terms. But I found the thing that stood out the most, is that the whole community within the boarding house was very close with each other, and everyone gets around each other at all times. The relationships boarders have are almost indescribable, but it really shows in school events when the whole House is out supporting one another and seeing the House spirit show in all the boys.

National Boarding Week is a week that celebrates boarders around the country. I personally don’t think I can imagine my life without boarding despite it sometimes being challenging. There are upsides and I thank my parents and St Peter’s College for giving me the opportunity to attend such a great school as a boarder.

Muster Address – Russell Tan (Year 11)

Good afternoon Headmaster, official party, staff, and students. My name is Russell, I’m a Year 11 boarder from the School and Allen House. I started boarding at the start of 2023 as a Year 10 student and would just like to share how my life in boarding has been.

I live in Singapore, which is a small city off the base of Malaysia, where me and my family have been staying since I was born. I live with a family of 13, including both my family and my aunt’s family and attended primary and high school education in neighborhood catholic schools. It is quite nice there and I was generally happy, but when my mother offered me the option to study overseas in Australia of all places, I just couldn’t resist.

I started boarding on the 28th of January 2023, and since then I’ve been living my life to the best of it. The students in the boarding house are some of the best guys I’ve ever met and so are the staff members who show genuine compassion and care for the students. But not only is the boarding house great, so is this school. I can’t say I’ve had this much fun attending school. The schools in Singapore were mundane to say the least. There was no energy in classes and even the teachers struggled keeping the classes entertained. Furthermore, there wasn’t really a choice of subjects that you could pick from, this being limited to whether you wanted to do higher math or triple Science. Compare this to Saints, a vibrant environment with students bustling with energy and such a wide variety of subjects… this just blew me away when I first came here will be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

So, to the challenges I’ve had since coming to Saints. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t experience any hardship since I’ve come here, but I can’t say that they were all that bad. The first challenge I had was on the trial night prior to starting school. That was probably one of the hardest nights of my life. I was so used to living with my family and being just a few steps away from any family member. So naturally, being so far away from home for the first time really was quite a struggle, but with the support of the staff members and fellow students, it was no big obstacle to overcome, not to say I don’t miss home anymore. The second challenge for me was Year 10 camp. Just to clarify this isn’t me saying that it was a bad experience, in fact it was great, I just needed something to fill this slide. Now, I will admit I had no experience with camping prior and the camp was a completely new experience, but with the support of my camp group and instructors, it was also one of the best experiences of my life.

So, what makes boarding so great? I think I’ve said it quite a few times throughout this presentation and it is just the atmosphere that is produced there. The caring staff members that make my time in the boarding house so much more accommodating, my fellow peers who never fail to brighten up the mood if there are any downs and of course, every member of the School & Allen community including the Da Costa cooking staff who provide food for us boys. Overall, there’d be so many points to elaborate on that it’d be the end of muster by the time I finish, so I’ll just sum it up in a few words, “being a boarder is great”. Thank you.