Thorold House

Mr Keith Fennell, Thorold Housemaster

I think it is apt to quote one of our Year 11 Dorm Captains, Rabura Rabura, who told me what he thought of the house this year: ‘The house is in great shape Sir, and I think our leaders, especially Sam, are doing a great job’. Rabura was in the front passenger seat of my car as we drove to the hospital. I looked across at his dislocated finger, that was jutting out at a freaky right angle, and in that moment probably didn’t share his optimism. He was looking at me, nodding and smiling, strangely oblivious to the deformity that lay across his lap. I asked him if his finger hurt and he said, ‘yeah, it’s really starting to hurt now’. Mmm, funny that, I thought.

While we are on the theme of toughness, it is worth acknowledging the mental fortitude of our Year 11s who impressed our Year 12s with their induction workout in the gym. The boys were required to complete a 45-minute workout that was designed to test their ability to endure discomfort. Although this is a physical workout, the challenge is not in the physicality, but in the ability to remain focused and committed to the cohort. I was impressed by the manner in which our Year 12s not only offered support, but in the way that our Year 11s supported each other. All the boys performed well with Saxon Thomas and Dougal Jones setting the standard. Well done gents and welcome to the Senior Common Room.

Lachie Hale, Hugh McDonald and Guy Gibson have been instrumental in motivating our boys to commit to cross country this term. The aim of the cross country training is to build esprit-de-corps where each boy commits to something bigger than the self. Our training is generally run on the grass in a tight circuit so all boys are connected, supported and accountable to their mates. Zemin Goh has started to challenge Guy at the front whilst Mr Fennell—yep, speaking about myself in the third person—has been battling it out with Saxon Thomas. What impresses me the most is when you see a boy who is not built for running blowing like a steam train and extending himself. This sense of pride cannot be bought and the only way to get it is to earn it.

Mack Lawton will address our house this evening at our house meeting (9/2) where he will discuss his role and what he thinks it takes to build a positive culture of brotherhood. I’ve seen Mack speak a couple of times and I’ll pay him in advance as I’m sure his delivery will be heartfelt, reflective and honest.

Our Dorm Captains will share their insights of what it is like to be a Dorm Captain.

Harrison Balch

Being a Dorm Senior is vastly different to being a senior upstairs. The role comes with many challenges which include needing to schedule extra study periods and ensuring the boys get their tech in and they get to bed by 9pm. It is also important to be organised as your time is more limited. All in all it is fun and I’m glad that I put my hand up for the job.

Archie Cameron

I think that being a Dorm Captain is probably one of the most challenging yet rewarding decisions I have made in my life. I find that the relationships I have made and will continue to build with the younger boys are amazing. The kids in my dorm are very energetic and crazy and can be a hand full sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, the level of maturity and decency that these boys possess is more than I could have ever expected from a bunch of 13-year-old boys. As their Dorm Captain I am there to nurture and guide these fine young boys to become great, successful and kind young men that know how to use their power not to harm others but to help others. I remember how much I hated my time in Year 8, hiding under my blanket when the Dorm Captains door opens, not knowing what was going to happen. Under no circumstances will I ever hurt or inflict pain on any boy younger than me and I hope that the way I teach these boys to treat each other will still be present when they become Dorm Captains and face the same challenges​ as I do.

Charlie Chandler

My name is Charlie Chandler and I am one of the Dorm Captains of Dorm 3.

The thing I find most challenging about being a Dorm Captain would have to be the fact that I always have to be aware of the boys in my dorm. I’ve got to make sure they are feeling alright, they’re never down in the dumps because they’ve had a bad day or they’re homesick. I’ve got to be sure also that they aren’t playing up. I know that when I was in a dorm at their age, there would be a few muck ups at night time, so I sort of know what to expect from them. I have to be sure that the boys are in bed at the right times with their technology handed in, and although it may sound like an easy task, it can sometimes be challenging. I have to use a combination of being relaxed and laid back as well as a bit of sternness to keep the boys from getting out of hand.

So far this term my dormitory has been going well, with none of the boys handing their technology in late or running around after lights out. The thing I love most about my dorm would have to be the mateship I see between all the boys in the dorm. Everyone has got each others back no matter what the situation. All the boys settled in so quickly, and I believe it was purely because they were all there for each other, and they all knew that. I mean who wouldn’t like the big rooms you get being a Dorm Cap, and a lot of boys do it just for the larger rooms, but for me it’s the feeling of always being there for someone, being part of the dormitory community as someone they respect and someone they look up to. I love it!

Euan Edwards

Being a Dorm Captain so far has been really good. The boys in my dorm are starting to create a good culture with everyone becoming good mates with each other over the past week and a half. As a Dorm Captain, it is sometimes hard to stay on top of everything that is going on. However, with the support of Mr Hellier and Mr Fennell, they have helped me settle into the role and given me constructive feedback on how Archie and I run the dorm. I love being a Dorm Captain and I can’t wait for what lies ahead.

Dougal Jones

I am thoroughly enjoying my position as dorm captain. I have been given the opportunity to engage and interact with the younger boys of the house. I have had little to no issues with my dorm and have gotten to know my dorm better. I believe every boy in my dorm have been good blokes and have helped when ever needed, this has made the dorm so much easier to be around, and made the dorm a fun place to be.

Will O’Brien

Some of the positives of being a dorm Captain would definitely be having that big old ceiling fan and being able to make mates with some of the younger kids you wouldn’t normally talk to. Some negatives would be getting the younger kids to listen and having to find strategies that work. Putting the boys to bed after a bit of a rowdy afternoon can also be a bit of a challenge.​

Rabura Rabura

My role as a Dorm Captain has been very positive. In Dorm 4, the boys have a great connection with Dougal and me. They have been respectful in many ways, especially after lights out. The boys know when to annoy us and when not to annoy us. Things I find challenging would be putting my schoolwork and my Dorm Captain role together, but apart from that, the boys are very respectful. Someone who has stood out to me in the dorm would be Jack Sargood. Jack knows when to have a joke or yarn and when to keep quiet. Jack has stood up a lot from last as he has got more respect for me and Dougal.

Thomas Vanderstok

Over the first week it has been both challenging and a great experience, getting to know all of the boys in my dorm. It has been a bumpy first week as we have gone through a lot with some of the boys but overall the first week was really good. Some of the challenges for myself would be that I’ve had to multitask as you need to be both on the ball with all subjects and homework and also being able to help the younger boys out if they need it. It can be hard during the week as some boys are a bit rowdy at times, some of the positives about being in the dorm is that it’s good to be able to get to know more of the boys such as where they are from, what they like to do and just about themselves. Overall, it will be an experience that will come with challenges that we will just need to overcome. ​


Warm regards and best,



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