This edition of our community newsletter will be the last for 2018 and it is with this in mind that I want to share with you some of the many highlights that have characterised what has been another very successful year for Westbourne.
As many in our community will remember, the year began with Westbourne’s first-ever Food Truck Festival. A spectacular success for our school, the Festival attracted a huge crowd of excited parents, students and staff who came to enjoy the food, rides, family picnics, music and wonderful community atmosphere.
At Williamstown we were delighted to see the completion of what has been a major upgrade to the campus. The work has delivered a new Resource Centre located in the historic Victorian house, Monomeith, renovations to the ‘sailor’s dorms’; new, flexible learning spaces; and landscaping. At Truganina our students in the Verdon Centre have been involved in service activities that complement both their learning programs and the school values, while our whole-school fundraising endeavour – Kampuchea House in Cambodia – was once again strongly supported.
Throughout the year, we have seen some very exciting results for our athletes whose success in numerous team and individual House and inter-school sporting events is a testament to their enthusiasm, commitment and skill. One standout achievement for our First XVIII was their spectacular win in the annual Geoffrey Ryan Cup which is played against St Michael’s Grammar.
At the same time, Westbourne’s inclusive and challenging arts program has provided some wonderful opportunities for students of all ages to engage in both the performing and visual arts. Over the course of the year we saw excellent productions of Anything Goes, Bugsy Malone Jr and The Merchant of Venice; the annual concert at the Recital Centre, music and choral festivals and exhibitions of photography and art from some very creative students.
At the beginning of Term 2 we welcomed our new chaplain, the Reverend Steve Morrison and completed the last addition to the JR Pascoe Chapel. This was the installation in the bell tower of the beautiful stained-glass windows – a project originally envisioned by our first chaplain, the late Reverend George duRinck.
2018 marked the retirement of one of our school’s longest serving staff members, Lennie Fester. Over her thirty-eight years of dedicated service to Westbourne, Lennie has been involved in the evolution of our student health and wellbeing services, taking them from a small sick bay to the purpose-built Health Centre of today.
This year has also seen our very enthusiastic school community get together in support of events such as: an elegant Mother’s Day lunch; Father’s Day breakfasts; Fun Run, annual Golf Day, our Old Grammarians Football Club Ivan Board Coterie lunch, a multi-year-level reunion for our past students and the Westbourne Grammarians football teams. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Friends of Westbourne Association (FOWA) and other stakeholder groups for their continued support and involvement throughout the year and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to our very hard working volunteers.
Finally, as everyone in our extended school community is aware, having our own pool has been a long-held dream – one that became fully realised when early in Term 4 Year 12 students were given the opportunity to ‘christen’ the pool. As someone who has been closely involved with Westbourne since I began teaching here in 1987, to see this magnificent new facility is truly inspirational.
In closing, I extend my sincere thanks to my very dedicated management team, to my colleagues on the teaching staff and to the professional staff who keep our grounds looking so beautiful and the administration running so smoothly.
With the approach of Christmas and the end of our school year, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy break over the holidays.