St Thomas More College Health and Wellbeing

Meet our Residents

Below you’ll see the profiles of our Resident Advisors for 2020

Before arriving at Tommy, I was so excited to start this new chapter of my life. Coming from a home where I shared the house with five other people, I was particularly keen to get some space of my own and showcase some independence.

Growing up, my extended family were huge advocates of the college life, with my aunty staying at St George’s College throughout the duration of her degree. It was for this reason that I made a definitive choice to move to a college once I started university. The decision to live at Tommy was purely based on the experience I had on Open Day, when I first visited Tommy. The atmosphere was like nothing I’d ever felt before; somehow it just felt like home. There was a real sense of belonging.

Now after completing my undergraduate here, that feeling has only grown more intense. Being a member of STMC has helped me grow and develop as a human being. Particularly through my involvement in the outreach program, I just know my life would forever be in lacking if I’d made the decision to live anywhere else.

Jessica Fenton (Senior Resident Advisor, 2019 – 2020)
Mandurah, Western Australia
Doctor of Medicine, University of Western Australia

RA Grace Bowdidge

I came to Tommy first and foremost for the convenience. I wanted a place where I could be independent but also supported and looked out for. But what I have gained has been so much more. I have become part of an inclusive community within which I am encouraged and supported in my studies and in my social life.

The main hesitation I had coming to Tommy, and moving to Perth in general, was that I didn’t know anyone, and thus was going to struggle making friends and meeting new people. But the inclusive and community-based lifestyle that college offered right from move-in-day extinguished those fears almost instantly. O-Week especially made it super easy to meet new people and make friends! Before moving to Tommy, I had expected to become part of a close-knit and supportive community. But what surprised me most was just how genuinely invested all members of the college admin and leadership teams were in supporting and encouraging each student to thrive, not only in their academics, but in their social lives as well. What makes Tommy unique is most definitely its Outreach Program. Not only does such an initiative promote the benefits of volunteering to your university experience, but also encourages people to expand beyond their comfort zones and become part of something greater than themselves. Such an opportunity, to engage in an array of outreach prospects, isn’t offered everywhere and is most definitely not as integral to the heart of many other college experiences as it is at Tommy. Attending the annual Cambodia Collaboration as part of the Outreach Program has most definitely been a highlight (followed very closely by O-Week).

Being in Cambodia was beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. Not only are you allowed the opportunity to be immersed in a new culture and explore a new country, but also awarded the chance to experience and view life from a different perspective. This partnered with the chance to become part of the gorgeous Arrupe Centre (Battambang) is an experience I will never forget!

Take every single opportunity offered to you. at college, at University and in your extracurriculars. There are so many chances to join clubs, be part of events, volunteer and become part of leadership teams. Every little thing adds up and becoming part of such opportunities can only add more to your character and build you as a person. Expand your horizons and explore every aspect of college life so you can leave with absolutely no regrets!

Grace Bowdidge
Kalgoorlie
Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Environmental Science/Social Justice, University of Notre Dame

I’d heard Tommy was pretty sports orientated and the campus looked great so I had no hesitation and looked forward to coming.  I wasn’t ready for how busy College life could get, but I enjoyed the chaos of it all for a little while, however soon worked into a structured lifestyle that could support both my Uni life and social life. The people are fantastic and winning flags in inter-college sports has been a highlight… along with Parmi night of course!

Ewan George
Busselton
Biomedical Science, The University of Western Australia

I was really looking forward to coming to Tommy at the start of 2018, and had chosen to come to Tommy a long time ago. I had heard a lot of good things about the College, and had a family connection with the here too.

What makes Tommy special to me is certainly the large amount of opportunities it offers; opportunities to make new friends, to get involved in volunteering and outreach events, and providing a great place to live while studying at uni. Personal highlights include all the social events, such as the formal dinners, and the Inter-college sports, as well as the many hours spent procrastinating with a game of ping pong.

Andrew Italiano
Dardanup
Bachelor of Physics, Curtin University

I decided to come to Tommy as it was something different. I moved into Tommy in 2017 and it was way more than I expected in a good way. It’s a small community and everyone knows everyone and looks out for each other. As a Resident Advisor I am really looking forward to the experience and getting to know a whole new bunch of residents as well as the returners.

Iesha Brown
South Hedland
Bachelor of Science, Major in Human Anatomy, The University of Western Australia

Moving to Tommy was an easy decision for me once I realised it was nothing like boarding school.

I came to Tommy as I thought it would be easier than moving out of home and that I would have enough independence from my parents to call myself an adult (but also keep mum happy that I would have some of my meals cooked for me so she knew I would eat some veggies!)

My favourite part of Tommy is the huge sense of community and belonging that I have here. There is always someone looking out for you and if you ever need help there will always be someone there for you. The first week at college is easily one of the best weeks of my life. You meet so many people and end up bonding with the other freshers over things like a fresher dance and laser tag. The second you step foot in the quad in your fresher shirt you know you’re now a part of something that’s pretty special and there is definitely not many other things that are like it.

Casey Shields
Boxwood Hill
Bachelor of Primary Education, University of Notre Dame

My brother went to Tommy More before me and I liked the look of it whenever I visited. Getting to play against other college teams in inter-college events like frisbee and dodgeball is awesome. I suggest you try as many things as you can like college events, interwing tournaments, inter-college sports, University clubs, all of it.

Ben Kirke
Bunbury
Bachelor of Science – Double Major in Psychology, University of Western Australia

I came to Tommy More because it’s conveniently located and close to University. Tommy also has very well-appointed and modern rooms. I was initially worried about getting engaged in the College community, such as getting used to the lifestyle and making friends with domestic students. However, the people at Tommy were friendly to international students and cared about every resident so I didn’t need to worry at all.

Also Tommy More has the one and only College gym. I love getting involved with the Aussie college lifestyle while also keeping my own vibe. Come join us if you wanna live a (much) better life in Aussie!

Sophia (Longkai) Li
China
Psychology Honours, The University of Western Australia

Leading into my time at Tommy I was both incredibly nervous and excited, as with any new environment, comes new faces, new surroundings, and new experiences to be had.

Having spent an entire gap year working at Red Rooster and growing my hair out, choosing Tommy was never a hard decision as I looked to get my degree up and running. With its imposing mark on College Row, it’s brand new facilities, being across the road from UWA, and the overall friendly vibe that the college presents, it was a no brainer.

For me, what makes Tommy so great isn’t just the manicured front quad fit for any casual sporting activity, or the variation in meal selections from the dining hall, it’s more or less the constant family-like community that creates a home, away from home. Looking back on it, choosing to come to Tommy is hands down one of the best decisions I possibly could have made. I have made friends and met people I never knew I would in this life, and there is rarely a dull moment to be had with its many social and inter-college sporting events.

As a wise man once told me, ‘live it up,’ it’s not often you can be part of a community much like the one here at Tommy.

Robbie Pattison
Dongara, Western Australia
Bachelor of Science, Double Major in Agricultural Science and Urban Planning, University of Western Australia

Moving to the big city was a daunting prospect for a 17 year old kid fresh out of school. I wanted to make the transition as seamless as possible (in other words I didn’t know how to cook) so living at a residential college was my first choice. I did my research and was impressed by the new, world class facilities Tommy had and its strong sporting culture.

A last minute course change to Curtin meant the location was no longer crazily convenient. However, no other accommodation came close to what College Row offered. The perks easily made up for the extra travel time. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming to Tommy. What I discovered was a friendly, vibrant and welcoming community that I immediately felt comfortable in. I was surprised by the amount of students that went to other universities as well, which opened up the opportunity to carpool. Whether it’s meeting new people in the dining hall, kicking the footy on the quad, studying hard in one of the learning centres, or relaxing in the rec room, Tommy has something for everyone. My highlight so far is winning inter college AFL. Closely following that glorious day is the Tommy Ball, which always promises to be a great night. Just don’t expect the resident dog Monkey to like you! 😉   

Paul Schilling
Bunbury, Western Australia
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Curtin University

I was very excited to come to Tommy and embark on a new chapter of my life after finishing Year 12 and chose Tommy for the friendly culture it promoted and the incredible facilities it had on offer.

The fact that Tommy is also situated opposite UWA means my life as an Architecture student is a lot easier as it’s a quick walk to Uni each morning and I’m constantly taking models or sketches in with me. My experience at Tommy over the last two years has been very positive and allowed me to build on and create so many new friendships. The social events run by our Student Club and Admin are always amazing and very unique to our College. The transition into university life can be quite difficult but I strongly believe that coming to Tommy gives you a second family, who are there to support you along the way!

Amira Benterrak
Broome, Western Australia
Bachelor of Design (Architecture), University of Western Australia

When I visited on open day I felt instantly at home. Everyone was so welcoming, and the vibe of the college made me feel as though I would fit in perfectly here. I didn’t know anyone so was rather hesitant of moving away from everyone I knew/grew up with. However, once I moved in those hesitations were cleared with the warm welcome I received from everyone at the college.

The great culture and facilities you see on tours and Open Day is exactly what you get. The people are what makes Tommy special. Everyone is so accepting and welcoming, there’s always somebody around to have a chat with in the common areas. The staff are super supportive and want you to get the best out of your residential stay. We are one of the few colleges nationwide that still has a student club meaning the students are always having social and sporting events that everyone can get involved in. Being the 2018 Student Club President gave me an amazing opportunity to work with like minded people and it taught me so many life skills regarding organisation that will be useful when applying for future jobs. You’ve got to make the most of your time here. And fully throw yourself into all the events happening and don’t be afraid to sit next to a stranger in the dining hall- you never know what stories they may have to tell.

Maggie Biffin
Collie
Exercise, Sport and Rehabilitation Science

I initially came to Tommy for the convenience. It is situated in a central location and has great facilities. But this isn’t the reason why I’ve stayed; I’ve stayed for the people, the atmosphere and the experience.

Moving to the city to study at university, where the number of first years in my course was close to number of student in my high school, was rather intimidating and nerve-racking. It was also the first time that I was away from family for more than a week. However, after moving in, I found that there was so many others who were in the same boat. Between making new friends, orientation activities and meeting those also studying engineering at Tommy, I realised that Tommy was the perfect place to make this transition.

I found myself surrounded by a bright, friendly and welcoming community full of people ready to help out, have fun and earn a degree. They say that if the only thing you get out of university is a degree, then you’re missing out, and the Tommy community certainly makes this true. These people that you meet, they become friends for life and more than that they become your family.

Kiera Albertsen
Bunbury
Masters of Professional Engineering (Chemical Engineering), University of Western Australia

I’ve lived at Tommy for two years now and I’m now going into my third. I enjoy having my social life been brought to me, it’s not hard to find something to do or someone to talk to when you have so many people to bounce off. The added convenience of living across the road from university makes it hard for me to justify moving out.

O’Week was one of my most memorable moments here, and you are guaranteed to meet some of you lifelong friends here at Tommy More.

Liam Chick
Northampton
Bachelor of Science (Agricultural Science), University of Western Australia

I stayed here for a short amount of time in year 12 for an ATAR Revision course and it seemed like a really convenient place to stay. After comparing all the colleges, Tommy was the most worthwhile taking all expenses into account. It was a much larger community than I’d expected and I had no idea of what college was before coming here, all I knew was that I’d be living in a room and see some people in the dining hall every day. I had no idea I’d make this many long lasting friends and connections. Tommy’s Outreach program is second to none and being lucky enough to join the Cambodia trip in 2018 was incredible as well as all of the other outreach events we run to give back to the community. Being on the Student Club Committee in 2019 and helping in run some of the incredible events like the Ball and River Cruise has been great! If you thinking of coming to college, just do it!

It’s by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Living right next door to your best friend is a dream we all have as a kid, imagine a whole college full of friends!

Shae Richardson
Albany
Bachelor of Science in Sport Science and Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia

Before coming to Tommy I was fairly quiet and reserved. As I moved into campus, I  didn’t know what to expect and I remember being genuinely terrified upon arrival after only recognising a handful of people. Enter O’Week. You are thrown into all sorts of activities with the other freshers (first year college students) and this is where your first friendships are made. Even after my first few weeks within college I noticed a difference. Relying more heavily on myself really brought me out of that so-called shell.

Initially I came to Tommy for the convenience of living close to campus but boy, oh boy did I get more than I bargained for. Between the friends I have made, growth as an individual and the overall supportive community filled with like-minded people, I couldn’t recommend Tommy enough.

What separates Tommy from the other colleges is the people. Cliché? Yeah. But I can guarantee after one year you’ll be saying the exact same thing.

Jesse Musitano
Brunswick
Bachelor of Science (Psychology and Management), The University of Western Australia

When I came to Australia for my studies, I was really excited but also a little apprehensive about whether I would be able to fit in here. I chose to live here at Tommy because I saw that it looked the newest out of all the colleges.

After one and a half years here, I now realise that the exterior of the College was impressive, but not the major takeaway from St Thomas More College. The people and their energy makes Tommy More what it is. Everywhere you go in college, you are greeted with a smile and a “How’s it going?”

As an international student, it isn’t easy to find a place that makes you feel at home. Tommy More has given me more than that. I have found friends from all over the world that I will keep for life and learned so much from those around me.

Sean Soh
Singapore
Bachelor of Arts (Communications and Media Studies, and Marketing), The University of Western Australia

I chose to come to Tommy because In all my tours of the colleges in Year 12 I enjoyed the atmosphere of Tommy the most and the rooms are the best in College Row.

Meeting new people as one of the few people from Bunbury coming in my fresher year was a little bit of a daunting task but my fears quickly diminished once I had arrived on campus. It was super easy to meet people and make new friends around Tommy, and the committee and RAs were incredibly friendly to all of us.

I believe Tommy has one of the best cultures on College Row. There’s always someone you can talk to about anything that is on your mind, and we have a heavy involvement in our Outreach and volunteering programs like the Ronald McDonald House breakfasts.

My highlight so far has been my time on committee where I had the opportunity to meet many new people who I wouldn’t normally and in doing so I learnt more about the College and my fellow collegiates.

If I could give one tip it would be go to every meal in the Dining Room. It is a great place to meet new people and engage in the vibrant Tommy culture.

Liam Tilbrook
Bunbury
Masters of Clinical Pathology, The University of Western Australia