20 Nov 2018

“In white and black, we’ve got your back”

On Wednesday, 14 November the Newington College’s Senior Leaders revealed the motto for 2019 during Assembly. “In white and black, we’ve got your back”. Its aim is to promote support for one another, and a significant part of that will focus on mental health. Senior Prefect Mark Elwaw addressed staff and students to provide context around their decision. His speech is below.

Good morning Headmaster, Mr Roberts, Mr Quinane, Mr Driver, staff and boys.

Nostalgic of the times when Newington’s mottos were “be you, be true, be new” and “strive thrive one five”, the 2019 school leaders collectively decided to bring back the rhyme. The motto for 2019 is: “In white and black, we’ve got your back”. Yes, we’ve brought back the rhyme. But this doesn’t take away from the serious issues that we will address this year. Our vision for 2019 is focused around promoting support for one another – and a significant part of that surrounds our mental health. This theme has been of focus in previous years and is something the college has addressed very well, but its growing prevalence amongst young men is calling for our attention.

It is estimated that at any point in time, 1 in 4 young men are experiencing symptoms of mental illness. Boys take a look at the people sitting around you. Would you be able to pick the ones who are suffering? The ones putting on a brave face? Would you know if it was one of your mates? In this room, there may be up to 250 boys battling with mental health problems as I speak, of which only half may have sought help. My message to all these boys is: “we’ve got your back”.

In 2019, we want to continue to promote awareness and education of this important issue. We want to further encourage boys not to suffer in silence but to be able to speak out and feel supported when doing so. And it is not just about having these conversations. It is also about having the tools to help ourselves and help others in challenging and stressful times. At some point in our lives, we may all be affected in some way by mental health issues; through our own hardships or those of our loved ones. Knowing what to do can change or even save a life.

We also want to recognise that depression is not the only mental health problem. Without a doubt, many of us will face tough times throughout our schooling years. Early on, it may be getting used to high school or finding new friends, and as we get older it may be about exam stress, social media, relationships or our image. Regardless of the issue, we need to do our best to fight this statistic at Newington. We have a long way to go, but we are aiming in the right direction.

Our motto also emphasises the importance of supporting one another in every one of our pursuits at school. We’d like to continue to enhance the strong sense of unity and camaraderie between all boys who wear black and white: whether it be a tough match on Saturday; a sleepless night at Sleep Rough; an endless trek on camp; or delivering a speech, performance, or that perfect note in front of a crowd. In whatever we choose to do at the college, we must recognise and support one another.

We must also challenge each other to become better men in all areas of our lives. When it comes to our relationships with women or acting selflessly in the community, don’t stop at your own behaviour; but encourage others to do what’s right and to give back. Even the smallest acts of support can make a huge difference to our community.

On this theme, many of you will be busy with exams or nervously awaiting your results, and for the Year 12’s, preparing for our first official assessments. Look after yourselves and look out for each other. Speak up if you need help.

In 2019, I ask every Newington man to stand proudly behind his brothers. In white and black, we’ve got your back.

Science success for Kelvin Du

As part of their International Baccalaureate (IB) program, students are required to conduct an Internal Assessment (IA) for each subject. In Physics, as with the other sciences, this involves conducting an extended laboratory investigation to produce a comprehensive formal report which is submitted for assessment.

Kelvin Du (12/ME) submitted an IA report of such high quality that we decided to enter it in the 2018 NSW Young Scientists Awards. The project entry was titled: ‘Does the addition of a humidity sensor reduce water related nuisance smoke alarms?’

Recently we received the fantastic news that Kelvin’s entry was awarded 2nd place in the Scientific Investigation (Years 11-12) Physics category of the 2018 NSW Young Scientists Awards. Additionally, Kelvin’s work was then selected to represent Australia next May at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona USA.

Kelvin is no stranger to success in Science competitions. Last year he also won a prize in the NSW Young Scientists Awards for his project on hand dryers in public toilets before being selected as a semi-finalist in the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards.

Such outstanding achievements demonstrate the powerful possibilities that arise when boys are provided with the opportunities and structures to explore areas of personal interest. We congratulate Kelvin on his wonderful achievements.

A copy of Kelvin’s project is on display in the College Library.

Mr Andrew Millar
Head of Science

Newington welcomes Alafua Fisi’ihoi

Rev Alafua Fisi’ihoi recently spent nine days at Newington College as part of a teaching secondment program with our brother school, Tupou College in Tonga. We caught up with Rev Fisi’ihoi to learn more about his experiences on campus.

Have you visited Newington College before?

This is my first time here at Newington and Sydney. What a school, it is amazing and so beautiful, clean facilities and a clean environment. My gratitude to the Headmaster Dr Mulford for this great opportunity. It is my privilege and honour to be part of  Newington College in these nine days.

What subjects do you teach at Tupou College?

I teach Science, Maths and Bible. I am also the  Assistance Coordinator for the International stream.

What similarities do you notice between Tupou and Newington?

We are very different in many things. Newington is only three years ahead of Tupou College in time of establishment (1863 vs 1866) but it seems like 100 years apart in everything, as I looked at the similarities between Tupou College and Newington College. My appreciation to Dr Mulford and the Newington College Council for their kindness and continued partnership that you share with your younger brother school in Tonga.

Tupou College has started this year teaching the Newington syllabus with Year 7, and it is taught exclusively in the English language. There will be another level for Year 8 starting in 2019. Tupou College is very fortunate to have two Newington College teachers on secondment this year. Mary Nosworthy (English teacher) and Klarissa Stellmacher (Maths teacher). They have made an enormous contribution to Tupou College for this new academic pathway with their great teaching experiences and discipline, talents, sense of humour and humbleness.

What have been some of your favourite moments about your visit?

  • Sharing with staff their experiences, teaching resources, teaching and learning strategies.
  • Dialogue with students in class and around campus.
  • Meeting with the Tongan boys at the boarding house.
  • Having a taste of the menu at Newington dining room. It is amazing.
  • Experiencing modern technology, the Science laboratories and Newington models.
  • The PDHPE class programs are all inspiring.
  • Taylor Sports Centre is gigantic!

Newington has a great and enormous infrastructure! The facilities are amazing and very convenient for teaching and learning. I think it’s a great idea having the teachers of the same subjects in separate staff rooms, which enables them to help one another and chat about their subject.

This is the first opportunity for Tupou College staff to be part of the secondments between Tupou College and Newington College. It is a rare opportunity and I am very fortunate to have this opportunity to visit Australia and experience the education programs at Newington.

I am so grateful for the staff that I have met, both teaching and non-teaching as we build up relationships and expand our community and get to know what is available and relevant for Tupou College in any aspects.

I would like to thank Cameron Quince and all the staff at Newington for your great hospitality and friendliness. I also appreciate the respect from the students. Each time I entered the classrooms, they stood up quietly with their warm welcome greeting to me. Thanks to Rev Geordie Barham and his family for the Christmas BBQ and the “Polotu” fellowship with the Tongan students at his house.

Last but not least, my salute and farewell to Dr Mulford on his retirement next month. It was nice to meet and talk with him in his office. His smiling and joking put me at ease at Newington.

I am very happy because I came to Newington with a page of things to learn and observe, but I have been blessed with a book of many pages of interesting stories to share in my life at Tupou College. Tupou College will continue to follow in Newington’s footsteps as we pursue the best education possible for our students. Even though we are geographically far away from Australia, in a very tiny island with limited resources. God is near.  

Rev Alafua Fisi’ihoi 
Tupou College

To Mars and beyond

One of the distinctive features of the IB program is the requirement for students to look beyond the immediate and specific needs of each of their academic courses. In this spirit then, each cohort of IB students undertake a cross-disciplinary project known as the ‘Group 4 Project’. Over two full days regular lessons are put to one side, and instead, students work in small teams of their peers from different disciplines to solve a common problem. In this way, they gain an appreciation of how problems are solved in the real world, where it is not usually the case that scientists operate in isolated silos.

This year’s theme was To Mars and Beyond. Newington students were asked to analyse particular issues with setting up a human colony on planet Mars and to offer some possible solutions. This is, of course, a huge topic area and over two days we can only scratch the surface of the underlying issues. Nevertheless, the ideas quickly flowed and some wonderfully creative and sometimes quirky topics were pursued. At the end of the two days, the boys showcased their findings, which included prototype gyms for maintaining optimum levels of health and fitness on the low gravity, weak atmosphere and freezing conditions on Mars. We also had models built of transportation options, housing choices and supplying food for the new citizens of Mars. The boys accessed a wide range of technologies including the use of 3D printing to quickly build and test prototypes.

Sadly, the project was over all too soon, but the seeds of some powerful ideas were planted among the boys. Hopefully, one day they will have another chance to consider the possibilities of living on Mars. In the short term though, some of the concepts they worked on may fact form the basis for the boys’ Internal Investigations next year (which is a mandatory component of the assessment program for each Group 4 subject).

Craig Fitzsimmons
Science Teacher

Building character on the court

For those who have spent any time around the tennis courts, you would have undoubtedly heard myself or the coaches talking about “attitude”. Everything we attempt to cultivate with the boys emanates from the attitude they bring to the courts. Even our Saturday fixtures team selections are devised of criteria carved from the Newington cultural values: Enjoyment, Growth, Hard Work, Resilience, Respect, Unity.

This past weekend, we have one of the finest examples of two students who personify the tennis program philosophy and the mission of Newington College as an educational vehicle. Tommy Clark (7/JN) and Lewis Lee (7/MO) were playing in the 14D’s team against St Ignatius College – Riverview. Their opponents that day were two boys who live with disability. One boy has autism and the other Asperger syndrome. The Riverview staff had mentioned to the Newington manager that these boys were unable to rally or score but wanted them to experience a tennis match and the feeling that comes with making contact between racquet and ball. What makes this story special was Tommy and Lewis not only played a game of tennis with these boys but also engaged with these boys offering smiles and encouragement which in turn fetched laughter and enthusiasm from the Riverview opponents. This was likely a small part of the tennis season for Tommy and Lewis, however, it was likely a very big part of the tennis season for those two boys. I am very proud of the character Tommy and Lewis displayed last Saturday and it is a pertinent reminder of the essence of Sport – measuring one’s self and helping those around you rise..!

Chris Steel
Director of Tennis

Tommy Clark & Lewis Lee

Rowing wins Downer Trophy

On Saturday, 17 November, the Newington senior rowing crews competed against The King’s School for the Downer Trophy, which is an annual contest that has been running since 1950. The event was held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre at Penrith. Newington ended up winning the event three races to one, with wins in the 2nd IV, 1st IV and 2nd VIII, while narrowly going down to King’s in the 1st VIII. After the regatta, the 1st and 2nd VIII’s gathered for a reception, which is a tradition that has been carried on for many years. The Newington Captain of Boats Finn Tainsh (11/MO) made a speech along with Dr Mulford and the King’s Headmaster Mr Tony George. A lavish lunch was provided by the Newington College Rowing Association which was much enjoyed by the hungry rowers.

Richard Roach
Director of Rowing

Advent – preparing to celebrate Christmas

The Sovereign Lord comes with power,
    and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

(Isaiah 40:10-11)

It’s crazy to think that Christmas is just over a month away, yet exciting all the same. The anticipation of joy, celebration, giving, receiving and spending time with our loved ones is so much what the Christmas celebration is all about. The weeks leading up to Christmas are traditionally referred to as Advent; the expectation of ‘the coming’. Christmas is the time we celebrate the coming of Christ into the world, as depicted in the scripture above. This is why the focus of our remaining chapel services for 2018 will be based around the four tenets of Advent; Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

“Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting.” – Henri Nouwen

Hope is the confident expectation that there will be a positive outcome because we have an anchor to secure this hope to. If you think about it, it’s entirely appropriate for Jesus Christ, the Christian hope of the world, to have come in the form of a baby, because babies are hope personified. They are pure potential. Their lives are all about the future. Is there a mother or father who hasn’t looked into the face of their newborn baby and wondered, “What will this little child accomplish, what will he become? A doctor saving lives, a lawyer pursuing justice, an engineer, painter, astronaut, college professor, athlete or research scientist…anything is possible.

What happens when people don’t have hope or lose hope? Spouses give up on marriage. Parents give up on their teenage children. Leaders give up on their people. Healthy emotions, such as contentment and peace are replaced with the toxic emotions of confusion, shame, worry and disappointment. In short, it’s impossible to be spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, or relationally healthy without hope. This is why the ‘Advent’ message focuses on looking at what we put our hope in.

Peace is what we all desire. We all want to be able to rest, to not worry, to feel free to enjoy life, family, friends, work, church, hobbies, entertainment, and much more. We want to be able to enjoy ourselves and not be burdened down with worries that rob us of vigour, life, and purpose. Our Year 12 students have finished their HSC and IB examinations, and the rest of the college is in the throes of their Yearly exams. Within the coming weeks, desiring peace amidst the pressure to perform and succeed is something worth anticipating. Pursuing peace is a fitting tenet in anticipation of the Christmas celebration.

Joy. Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous Scottish novelist who wrote Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, at life’s end famously quoted; “To miss the joy is to miss everything!” Our lives are filled with opportunity, adventure, experience: the next holiday, moving into a new house, the next level of challenge; which are all meant to be immersed with joy, but can often be amiss. Advent is a time to be reminded that we are to be filled with joy in all we experience.

Love. ‘All you need is love’ (The Beatles), ‘Love is an open door’ (from ‘Frozen’ the movie), ‘Love makes the World go round’ (Madonna), ‘Without Love, life is like the seasons with no summer’ (from ‘Hairspray’ the movie). Such song lyrics remind us that society values love as an essential part of our existence, no matter what our cultural or religious heritage might be. The love of God finds its most profound and life-giving expression in the Christmas event. Such love is a mystery beyond our understanding and, certainly, beyond our deserving. This arrival of God in the man Jesus is the heart of what the Advent season is all about.

In conclusion, to quote Dr. Seuss;

‘Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! 
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. 
What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’

Please place in your diaries the invitation to our Christmas celebrations on the 8th and 9th December. The invitation is located on Spaces and has all of the details. Please plan on being part of these festivities, as it will be Dr Mulford’s final celebrations here at Newington and will be hosted by our brother school in Tonga, Tupou College.

Rev. Geordie Barham 
College Chaplain

Happy 50th Birthday IB

On 25 October 1968 the International Baccalaureate Programme was born in Geneva in Switzerland. It was based around the idea that the way to lasting peace in the world was through the education of the young to become globally aware, empathetic, well-rounded members of society with a deep understanding of culture, service to others and academic rigour.

This year, our new Year 12 boys joined in the celebrations as part of a community of over 1.4 million students aged 3-19 around the world by enjoying birthday cupcakes during their Group 4 Science days. Happy Birthday, IB!

Cheryl Priest
Head of IB

Hands-on service learning

On 14 November, 20 Kelynack and Johnstone boys volunteered their time to support the charity Oasis. The Salvation Army’s Oasis Youth Support Network is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of homeless and disadvantaged youth. Kelynack and Johnstone Houses participate in numerous support programs for Oasis. This one entailed the 20 boys heading out to a warehouse in Sydney’s west where they packed products into 800 candle bags to be sold during Carols in The Domain. The task seemed simple enough but the boys had to work with a high-intensity for a condensed three-hour session in order to get the job done. Each bag contained $100 worth of Woolworths donated supermarket goodies which are sold for $20 each on the night. Our Newington volunteers packed only a proportion of the 10,000 bags that will ultimately be sold this year on 22 December. Woolworths Carols in The Domain is an annual Christmas concert attended by around 80,000 people and is Oasis’ largest fundraiser. The two organisations have partnered (for Carols in The Domain) to raise awareness and provide support to homeless and disadvantaged youth for the past 36 years.

Toby Goldschmidt (10/KL)

Creative contributions in Le Couteur House

On the 16th of November, Mr Kendal Warren, who works for the Independent Education Union, spoke to Le Couteur House regarding the cricket match he organises for a fundraiser. As he has a long-term association with the Le Couteur Head of House, Mr Graham Potter, he has used the Buchanan Oval to help raise funds for the Le Couteur charity. He came to Newington to explain to the boys in the House how a fun event such as a cricket match can be used to assist the community. This year the funds will be donated to CanTeen, however, as of 2019 Le Couteur will be supporting the Exodus Foundation and their mission to support the homeless off the street. Approximately $800 was raised on the day of the match. Mr Warren talked about contributing to society in a creative way, and this really rang true with a lot of the boys because it opened up opportunities they hadn’t thought of before, such as the cricket fundraiser. This idea of a creative contribution is what has driven a lot of people to help foundations such as Exodus and will continue to do so in the future.

Sebastian Wyatt (12/LE)

Newington hosts Sports Science Seminar

Recently Newington co-hosted a Sports Science Seminar with Fusion Sports. Fusion Sports is a leader in Sports Science Support for hundreds of Professional Sports Franchises all over the globe.

The seminar’s theme was ‘Working with Emerging Talent’. There were three major presentations on the day.

Andrew Sharp who works for the Greater Western Sydney Giants described how they use vision taking software to determine an athletes ability to make fast and accurate decisions

Paul Hallam is an Australian track and field coach who currently runs the Strength and Conditioning Program at Cranbrook. Paul concluded that we should not fear speed training and that it is not necessarily the major cause of hamstring injuries. Poor programming and athlete consideration were far greater risk factors than speed itself.

I presented my strategies for improving performance and how we can get the most out of today’s youth. I also highlighted the importance of the athlete being able to switch on and off and also the need to be extremely efficient with our training. Another key issue discussed was how do we help to maintain enjoyment in our sports training?

A number of professionals attending the seminar were extremely impressed with the facilities that Newington offered. ‘What a wonderful space’ was heard frequently.

James Grigson from Fusion concluded the day thanking Newington and recapped the day; ‘As Emerging athletes we need to enjoy ourselves, train efficiently and smartly and to expose yourself to difficult situations in order to master your trade.’

Cameron Black
Strength and Conditioning Manager

Support for Rio’s Run

On Monday 1 October, Ryan Fowler commenced a run from Melbourne to Sydney with the support of his brother Chad. He set off from Very Special Kids, an organisation in the suburbs of Melbourne that cares for children with life-threatening conditions. 

On Friday 26 October, Ryan and Chad ran past the gates of Newington College after 1000km on the road and continued on to Scots College, Bellevue Hill. Ryan is a teacher at Scots who lost his 18-month-old boy Rio to a rare vascular issue in January of this year. Rio was My godson.

In the eight months after Rio’s passing, Ryan and his wife Karen started Rio’s Legacy in Rio’s name and set about planning this run as a fundraiser for families who need support for their sick children. It was wonderful to see approximately 40 Newington boys get out and support Ryan as he ran the final leg of his journey home, to Scots College.

Their efforts over the 26 days raised over $50,000. Ryan was welcomed home to Scots in front of the entire school with an escort of pipes and drums. Even as a rival school, one could not help but marvel at the community spirit shown by Scots on that day. Our Newington boys were only a small, but no less important part of the journey.

Cameron Black
Strength and Conditioning Manager

Staying safe at schoolies

Schoolies is coming up so here is some advice for parents and boys. This was popular last year.

I know as parents we all worry about what might happen and what the schoolies might get up to, but keep things in perspective. The media reports on problems, bad behaviour and crime. Having a good time doesn’t make the headlines.

Practical tips for schoolies

  • ID is essential, wear it at all times and don’t fake it.
  • Budget your money so that you don’t run out of funds.
  • Put the address of where you are staying in your phone – it can be difficult to find at night! Keep credit on your phone.
  • Eat before or while drinking alcohol (junk food is OK this week). Parents, run through a few simple meals that can be prepared quickly like Spaghetti Bolognese, tacos, toasted sandwiches in the frying pan, etc.
  • Simply say ‘no’ to drugs – you have no idea what you are taking. Remember paramedics are there to help you and not to report you, so be honest if you or a friend have used drugs. Mixing drugs and alcohol is dangerous.

Obviously, those caught selling or supplying drugs will be prosecuted.

  • Be careful about posting images on social media. Don’t let a photo ruin a future. Police have said that this is their number one concern this year. Charges are most likely to be laid against young people who coerced or forced others to take the indecent images. You could face child pornography charges if the photograph or footage is of someone under the age of 18.
  • It’s OK to walk away from confrontation.
  • Drink plenty of water – visit the Recharge zones for free water.
  • Keep an eye on your drink – never leave it unattended. If you think a friend has had their drink spiked get them medical attention. Don’t leave them alone with a stranger.
  • Stay with your mates.
  • No means No – unwanted sexual behaviour is a crime.
  • If having sex – always use a condom. STI’s are at an all-time high. Alcohol is proven to lower inhibitions and impair judgement. Only ‘yes’ means ‘yes’.
  • Be especially careful on a balcony – no balcony hopping/planking.
  • Wear sunscreen. Stay safe in the surf. Don’t swim alone, at night or if drunk. Don’t play breath holding games underwater or similar as this has ended in tragedy in the past.
  • Don’t drink and drive or get in the car with a drunk driver.
  • Avoid getting a tattoo, especially overseas where infection control and quality standards are not enforced.
  • Keep your accommodation locked to avoid theft and watch your valuables on the beach.
  • Don’t be afraid to call 000 if necessary.

Schoolies venues have wonderful volunteers and professional people to help look after you. Look out for the Red Frog volunteers 1300 557 123 who provide support, pancake breakfasts, a walk home service and of course red frogs! They are now also in Bali and Fiji. Check out their website.

If travelling overseas ensure you have appropriate travel insurance, make copies of your travel documents and know the penalties for breaking the rules in the country you are visiting. Activities like bungee jumping or driving a scooter are not covered but if you participate in other activities under the effects of drugs or alcohol, your cover can be void so check your policy!

Avoid contact with dogs or monkeys in these overseas islands because of the risk of rabies and always seek medical attention early if bitten.

Click here for a Schoolies checklist.

Fines (Queensland)

  • Drinking in a public place (18 years and over): $130
  • Underage drinking or possession of liquor in a public place, even if you’re holding a drink for your friend who is over 18: $391
  • Being under 18 and found on licensed premises: $391
  • If you’re 18 and you supply alcohol to your underage mates you could face a fine of $10,444
  • Buying alcohol over the internet is also illegal if you’re under 18. A maximum court imposed fine of $2,200, or an on-the-spot penalty of $220 applies.
  • In Queensland, 17-year-olds have their drug offences determined in the adult court system.
  • If you use a friend’s ID you can be fined $391
  • If you make and use a fake ID you may be fined $261 on the spot. All fake IDs will be confiscated.

Parents, let your son know that you can be contacted 24 hours a day for any reason and that you will always listen and help. If they feel the reaction will be angry they probably won’t call. Be positive. Tell them to have a fantastic time and return safely!

For more great info check out this link.

Sister Margaret Bates
School Nurse 

Newington P&F elects new President

On Tuesday, 13 November, the Stanmore Parents and Friends Association held their Annual General Meeting in Prescott Hall. David Sanders, current P&F President welcomed the College parents and presented the highlights and commitments the P&F has undertaken in 2018.

The P&F sponsors such programs as the STEM Festival and the Wellbeing Series that involves the students with outside presenters. Back To Newington Day and the Newington P&F Ball were highly successful events.

As 2018 is David’s final year, the election of roles for the P&F Executive took place and the committee for 2019 was decided upon.

2019 Newington College Stanmore P&F Executive Committee

President – Toni Ottavio

Vice President – Marnie Reid

Vice President – Philip Argy

Vice President/New Women President – Helen Graham

Secretary – Anna Diniotis

Treasurer – Donna Stubbs

Assistant Treasurer – Philip Argy

Communications Officer – Gwyneth Howell

Toni takes on the role as the first female P&F President for Stanmore since 1995 for Stanmore and with her strong focus on community engagement, the Newington Community will be in good hands.

Congratulations to all the new members.