Mr Dan Saw, McKinley Housemaster Elect

Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People uses the analogy, “Schedule the big rocks, don’t sort gravel”, when referring to goal setting.  In other works, organise and focus on your most important priorities and limit your time in the reactionary space.  This is easier said than done in the dynamic and fast paced life of Boarding; however, as a team, the boys and staff of McKinley have clearly demonstrated a commitment to executing our “big rocks”.  We should be proud of our start to 2020!

Our ‘3 big rocks’ include:

  1. ‘Culture is King’ – foster and grow
    • We protect the vulnerable (and we all feel vulnerable at times!)
      • Our Yr. 11 and 10 Dorm captains have been on fire! It is a big step for Yr. 8 to assimilate and settle into a Senior Boarding House, but with caring and supportive approach of the Dorm Captain’s, Yr. 8 are well on there way to living and breathing McKinley culture
    • We support and celebrate our mates
      • Thank you to Seniors Josh Rafter and Finn Smith for getting along to the first round of GPS debating to support Tom Ramsay! (When I asked Tom how he went during the debate, his first comment back was “a few Micky boys came down and watched!”)
    • Challenge by Choice
      • It is a privilege to attend TSS and be blessed with so many opportunities. However, you must choose to challenge yourself and commit to these opportunities for personal growth and success.  Prime examples of this approach are Nic Baltus and Finn Smith.  After many years of dedication to their sports, last week Nic was recognized as GPS Swimming captain and Finn was awarded with a TSS baggy (member of the 1st XI Cricket team)!


  1. Raising the Academic profile and expectation
    • We have launched a new one-on-one mentoring program with the McKinley Mentor/Roll call academic staff. The boys get a chance to meet once or twice a Term to have an intimate chat about their overall welfare and academic progress.
    • We are happy to announce that later this Term we will be developing Collaborative Study Area upstairs. It will be fit for purpose and include ICT integration. More info to come but thank you to Mr. Wain for the support!
    • Our Resident Masters have kindly offered to provide academic support to the boys, specifically in their subject specialties. The poster below is a prominent feature around the House!


3. Commitment to community engagement and service

    • Our Yr. 12 are committed to making this their final legacy! They have 2 clear objectives:
      • Service to the House – the initial plans are to build a seating area under the sails
      • Service to the Community – the plan is to develop a project that the boys are proud of and that will become a cornerstone of the McKinley calendar. Watch this space but we have a plan that is not for the fainted hearted!

Captains Corner

As the year progresses our Captains will use this platform to communicate their experiences in the House.

Boarder in Profile – Sam Breen

In the essence of developing our sense community we will profile one of the boys each Newsletter.  ‘First cab of the rank’ is new boy, Sam Breen!

“My name is Sam Breen and I am 14 years old. I live in the Byron Bay area and I play rugby and basketball. I like to surf and hangout with my mates. So far, I think McKinley has been a good, welcoming house and I think it will be a good year. This year I am looking forward to all the opportunities that TSS provides and taking all the opportunities I can!”


Resident Master Team – Introductions

Our Resident Master team are a significant part of the boy’s life in McKinley. Following is a brief bio of each gentlemen.  Be sure to drop by the MOD desk and say G’day next time you are in!

Tim Browne

“I have been in the Education sector for the past 6 years and before that the Hospitality industry for 25 years with the last 15 years in Senior Management positions. For the past 4 years I have been a trainer and assessor at TAFE QLD Gold Coast training Diploma and Certificate III in hospitality, Diploma of Leadership & Management both with internal clients and corporate clients.  In Hospitality, I was a General Manager for ACCOR Hotels and was part of a program (Food and Beverage advisor), called Peopleology, where we developed and implemented a program that was about a “new way of thinking about, understanding and connecting with people”. This was rolled out across Asia Pacific ACCOR properties and later Qantas.

I love travelling and trying to get out in the surf most days as well as the occasional wine. I’m an TSS Old Boy and have been working at the school for just over 5 years. ​”


Dechlan Day 

“I am 21 years of age and entered The Southport School into Delpratt house back in 2014. I am proud to say that I graduated as the First XV captain, school sacristan and school prefect.
I come from a humble town in Brisbane called Logan and I am Tongan/PNG heritage. I am the eldest of 3 siblings and love my family. I am an aspiring apprentice in the electrical trade and looking to strap the rugby boots back on.

I am so grateful to be back at TSS in McKinley house. There are no words that can explain the love I have for this school and I cannot wait to see these young boys turn into Strong and respectful men.”


Jason Leonidas

“I’m a Victorian boy from the south east suburbs of Melbourne. My life revolves mostly around sport, having played and coached AFL, cricket and Basketball, as well as working in and out of footy clubs and gyms since then. I’ve taken myself back to university now to become a sports physio, so come say hi anytime you hurt yourself mucking around outside. Big fan of a good chicken parmi at the pub with boys, watching a bit of sport on the TV and talking nonsense, as well as live music and travelling the world.”


Dale Quain 

“I grew up on a sheep farm on the south coast of WA, in a country town called Manypeaks. After finishing school, I completed an Exercise & Health Science degree and worked as a Sports Scientist for 3 years before my partner and I decided to move to the Gold Coast. I ended up going back to Uni and started teaching at TSS in 2019. I’m passionate about health and fitness and am heavily involved with TSS cricket. In my spare time I like to surf, dive and go camping along the coast and enjoy exploring other countries on my holidays.”


Guy Murray

“I am the new JRM of McKinley House for 2020. I am from Cape Town In South Africa. I previously went to a boarding school called St Andrews College for 5 years. The rest of my family lives in South Africa, my father lives in Johannesburg and my mother lives in Cape Town. I am very passionate about all my sports that I am involved in such as Cricket,Tennis, Soccer, Golf and Rugby. I enjoy getting involved and helping people wherever I can. I enjoy working with people and I always learn new things everyday from the people I meet and the people that are around me.  I know Australia has so much to offer so I am very excited about this opportunity.”

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