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Check the ABSA Calendar for all 2017 events.



At the Victorian AGM held at Trinity Grammar School, Kew in November 2016 the following Executive were nominated and elected for 2017:

  • Mike Silcock, Chair, St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
  • Michael Shaw, Melbourne Grammar School
  • Carolyn Matthews, The Geelong College
  • Chris Van Styn, Ballarat Grammar
  • Mark Brady, Melbourne Grammar School
  • Tamara Westwood, St Patrick's College, Ballarat
  • Jane Shone, Methodist Ladies College



At the recent Heads of Boarding meeting:



This year, the ABSA (Victoria) State Conference took an alternative approach – turning to a day of hands-on learning. The event provided attendees with the opportunity to share their experiences in running activities within a boarding house and leave with a ‘Toolkit’ to aid all boarding staff in their many roles.

Proceedings commenced with a welcome by Mike Silcock, State Chair, and an outline of the program from Mark Brady, Melbourne Grammar School and Tamara Westwood, St Patrick’s College, who both facilitated the events of the day. Then in groups and under the guidance of our creative leaders (Mark, Tam and Jane Horne, from Geelong Grammar School) we were shown a range of fantastic activities and shared our own ideas that we could all take back to our boarders. Whether you were wanting to create an orientation experience, fill in time on a rainy day or lift spirits during the busy exam period – the many suggestions catered for all. Ranging from eating competitions, drama games and ‘minute to win it’ ideas, everyone walked away with something practical and tangible. 

Thanks must go to Head of Girls’ Boarding Carolyn Matthews, Principal Dr Peter Miller and The Geelong College community, as well as Victorian State Board members Tamara and Mark for organising this unique event.



The 2016 academic year gathers pace – and the ABSA (Victorian) division is alive and well. Whilst our many member schools look to the forthcoming Easter holiday for a moment of rest and reflection after the usual busyness of Term (One) – in these past days The Hamilton and Alexandra College, under the boarding leadership of Paul Churchill and a new Principal, Dr Andrew Hirst, welcomed an eager group of Victorian boarding staff members to their fine establishment for the first ‘Look Inside’ of the ABSA (Victorian) event calendar. These opportunities occur on the generosity and good will of the host school and The Hamilton and Alexandra College did not disappoint. The event started with a welcome by Paul Churchill, Director of Boarding, and an introduction to some of the boarding student leaders who were to conduct the guided tours around the boarding facilities. Ultimately we all do what we do for the betterment of the boarding experience that our boarders enjoy – and it was most evident that the boarders of The Hamilton and Alexandra College enjoy their time at the College. The guides were both informative and engaging – and it was their honesty that was so appreciated and refreshing. Upon the conclusion of the tour across the boarding facilities the group was bused to the main College campus for a look at the College’s new Middle Year’s centre, Sports Centre and Performing Arts Centre. What first class facilities on offer – to compliment the enthused and talented staffing body that was evident in both the classrooms and in conversations with many of our visiting group.

Following the various tours we returned to the boarding campus for a delicious luncheon and an opportunity for the attendees to meet the 2016 ABSA (Victorian) Board. I commenced the introductions with an outline of the board’s vision for 2016, highlighting the Term (Two) events, and then each member introduced themselves. The intention was to build an open, transparent, inclusive Victorian boarding community and this was certainly achieved.

Thanks must go to Paul Churchill, his staff and the Principal, Dr Andrew Hirst, for hosting this wonderful event – it has certainly set an impressive tone for all that will follow this year.  

Some great activities to use in your boarding house (supplied by Victoria Heads of Boarding)

The Amazing Race (thanks to Mark Brady from Melbourne Grammar)


Division Annual Report at AGM, 2016

Photos from the AGM



ABSA - Australian Boarding Schools Association