It's hard to believe that it is 2 May and this is the first opportunity I've had to post an update on the website!
This is week 9 of a 13 week semester at UWA. It is incredible to think that we are starting to plan for our end of semester formal dinner celebrations!
I am pleased to report that the College has continued to grow having had 330 residents in Semester 2, 2016 and currently we have 370 residents with a capacity of 397. We have a wonderful mix of domestic and international students adding to the rich cultural tapestry of the College.
Just over a week ago, the students had their study break from UWA while those at other universities also had their break about that time. For many students this presents a reprieve from the academic rigour while for those who are not quite so lucky, it is an opportunity to prepare for assessments that follow the break. A good number of our international students take the opportunity to travel to the north-west or south-west of the state to enrich their experience on exchange. Domestic students often visit loved ones at home depending upon the degree of travel that they need to do. For my part, I enjoyed a wonderful family holiday to celebrate my son finishing Year 12. He now joins his older sister as a UWA student and proud member of the Tommy More community.
Our fledgeling initiatives such as the Graduate Association and the Indigenous Students Association have both held events with stunning success. Bec and I are both very much indebted to Lauren Ovens and Jay McLean who Chair these respective associations.
The social, sporting, and cultural activities conducted by the College and by the Student Club Committee, under the dedicated leadership of Chris Jones, have added an amazing vibrance to our community and have served to cement the bonds of friendship between residents here at STMC - these friendships will for many be lifelong.
Our 17 Resident Advisors have been fantastic, working behind the scenes to ensure the welfare of all the residents under their guidance. Their empathy and commitment to serve the community is as good as I have seen in my 10 years in university colleges.
Outreach continues to be a special part of what we do here at the College and a large number of students have embraced the opportunities presented. Certainly UWA students who contribute to the Tommy More Outreach Program, are able to have their contributions recognised on the academic transcript. This has been a great move forward for the students and for those that they are seeking to help. There are many local programs assisting with indigenous numeracy and literacy, providing tutoring and optimism for school age girls who have had to move out of main stream education for a range of reasons, and being a friendly presence in centres for the homeless.
I am pleased to announce here that the College is embarking on an initiative in Cambodia to assist children and young adults in the province of Battambang who have been victims of polio or have tragically lost limbs by accidentally stepping on a landmine. These landmines continue to be a curse with the government committing to having the country clear of them by 2025 some 45 plus years after the fall of Pol Pot. Cambodia is a devastated country that benefits greatly when those that are more privileged are prepared to contribute to a better future for its people. Part of our mission will be to raise a significant amount of money to contribute to the education of children in the remote villages. It is well recognised that education is perhaps the most significant protection for the young children who are vulnerable to exploitation and child trafficking. Currently we have 22 students who have expressed a desire to be a part of this initiative. This demonstrates the sort of community that we have here at Tommy More. No doubt those in the community who are unable to be physically present will assist us in raising the funds to enhance the education of these young Cambodians.
With best wishes from Bec and I
Head of College