St Thomas More College Health and Wellbeing

Meet our Residents

Below you’ll see the profiles of our Resident Advisors for 2019

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 at the finality of my second year 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)
Mandurah, Western Australia
Double Major in Medical and Psychological Sciences, University of Western Australia

Salim Arsiwala | Study Abroad Student| St Thomas More College - What is it like to study abroad in Australia

When I think about decisions that I have made in my entire life, choosing to live at St Thomas More College goes down as one of the best decisions I could have ever made.

I remember sitting alone in the dining hall, intimidated by the lack of familiar surroundings and being in a new and foreign place. But that uneasy feeling was soon dispelled when my fellow collegians came up and initiated a conversation with me. It has been amazing ever since. Living on your own can seem daunting but being surrounded by so many magnificent humans makes the experience so much better. You feel a sense of belonging and that is priceless.

My biggest fear about coming to study in Australia was that I would miss my family but Tommy and the people who live here acts as a kind of surrogate family and provide you with the help and support that you need to ensure that you get the best out of your academic and life experience at university.

You also have the opportunity to meet so many new people outside of your classes and lectures which is pretty cool too. College life encourages you to be more outgoing and engage in a lot of social, cultural and sport-related events which encourages you to live a more rounded and enriching life

The highlight of living at Tommy for me so far was when I was voted Mr Congeniality at the annual Tommy Ball this year. I felt so loved and grateful, the entire experience was so brilliant.

And who could forget this final perk. The fact that you are so close to UWA means you can sneak in those 10 extra minutes of sleep every morning. Any university student will tell you the importance of those precious few minutes in bed!

Salim Arsiwala
Mumbai, India and Cardiff, United Kingdom
Masters of Biotechnology: Environmental Biotechnology, University of Western Australia

Coming to Perth, I was always planning on moving to a college and Tommy More was the best fit for me.

I came here to meet new people and be surrounded by a loving and caring community of friends that could help me navigate beginning Uni life and adjust to living away from home. Tommy is the place where your friends become your family, you have the freedom and support to grow as a young adult and explore yourself and the crazy life of the big city. For me, Tommy has been the place to get wiggly on a Wednesday, engage in friendly sporting rivalries on the weekends and make lifelong friends from all over the world.

The people I have met here are definitely my highlights. I have met so many people from such diverse walks of life that have become some of my best friends who I have shared many adventures with already!

Sarah Hegney
Busselton
Bachelor of Education, Primary, The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle

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

Before I moved to Tommy I was really scared of leaving Geraldton and my family and friends. It was very intimidating coming to such a big city and moving into college with hundreds of people I didn’t know.

My granddad, mum, aunties and uncles all went to colleges when they were at university so I always knew that I wanted to come to live on College Row, I just didn’t know where. A few of the older guys from my water polo club were at Tommy so I decided to come here so that I would at least have a couple of familiar faces around.

I think that the most important part about Tommy is the family that you have here. You’re surrounded by like-minded people who come from very similar situations and backgrounds and making friendships is so easy. I came into O-week only knowing one person and have ended up with a group of people who I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life.

The highlight of being at Tommy so far for me has been the ball, river cruise and committee events like killer week. But the absolute best part about Tommy is the friendships I’ve made. Living with a bunch of really cool people is super fun but also really supportive and there’s always someone around to hang out with.

Ellie Pead
Geraldton
Bachelor of Science – Chiropractic and Bachelor of Clinical Chiropractic, Murdoch University

Anirudh Rangajaran | Study Abroad Student| St Thomas More College - What is it like to study abroad in Australia

As a new kid on the block, Tommy gave me a group of people who were always around me and who I knew would look out for me.

I think if you put individuals in a shared living space, you develop a sense of intimacy that you wouldn’t be able to replicate on the outside.

As a fairly active person, something that I find particularly helpful is that people are always up to play pick-up basketball. It’s also really helpful that getting a meal is also a great way to take a break from studying and just engage with people in the wider community.

Anurudh Rangajaran
Chennai, India
Masters of Asian Studies, 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 time at Tommy has been some of the most influential of my whole life. Apart from the obvious benefits of being so close to uni and enjoying meals being prepared for you, Tommy represents so much for me. What makes college so special is the safe and homely feel you get from living within a community that genuinely cares about your involvement and well-being.

I initially came to Tommy as both my parents had come before me for their university studies and it just made sense at the time. As the years have gone by the reason behind me choosing to return has nothing to do with my family, but rather the memories I’ve made and the irreplaceable lifestyle offered.

The highlight of my five years here, so far, is a very close contest between my O-Week as a fresher way back in 2014 and my time as Student Club Committee President in 2017. Both experiences have exposed me to whole variety of new people and ways of thinking and have positively developed me as a person.

Christopher Jones
Perth, Western Australia
Masters of Professional Engineering – Mechanical, University of Western Australia

I was so excited to come to college. You hear stories from siblings or friends about their college experience and I couldn’t wait to make my own memories.

College is filled with not only amazing activities and programs, but also a whole campus of like-minded, enthusiastic individuals. Tommy More provides you with not only with a home away from home and a mini family, but a great support group of students and staff alike.

Tommy is heavily involved with volunteering and community work which really appealed to me when applying. Their outreach programs are something I was eager to look into and have provided myself and others with a lot of fun whilst also giving back to the community.

Eloise Pascoe
Margaret River
Bachelor of Nursing, University of Notre Dame

Gaby Nel | Study Abroad Student| St Thomas More College - What is it like to study abroad in Australia

Moving to Australia, whilst being exciting, was also a daunting experience. St Thomas More College played a vital role in assisting with a smooth adjustment by encouraging integration into a new community.

Tommy is not simply a residential college in my eyes; it has become my home with all its residents being my extended family. Whether relaxing on the hammocks, having a barbeque in the quad, playing inter-wing competitions or studying in the study rooms, Tommy creates a positive and welcoming atmosphere.

It is, however, the residents and people who make Tommy the place where I feel like I belong. The diversity of students that attend the college creates an environment of inclusiveness and allows you to create lifelong friendships and networks around the world.

No matter the day or time, you are guaranteed to find a smiling face and activity to join in on at college. This allows you to develop a balanced life, with Tommy providing an escape from university and work stresses. With all the benefits and attributes that Tommy offers, it is no wonder that we believe that there is, “ Only One Tommy More!”

Gaby Nel
Johannesburg, South Africa
Bachelor of Medical Science, Direct Pathway to Medicine, 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

Before moving to Tommy, I was very nervous to be moving a distance away from home with barely anyone I knew. Before long, the nervousness turned into excitement with all the O-week activities and new friends I was making.

Tommy More over the years has made living and going to university convenient and fun. Highlights of my time here are all the events organised by college; like the College Ball,  formal dinners and RSD events. Living at college has helped me learn about balancing study, work and social life with a very strong support team from staff and other collegians.

I love my Tommy More family and honestly couldn’t think of any other way I would have liked to start my university life.

Rebecca Golder
Bunbury, Western Australia
Bachelor of Science – 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

Leaving high school and quickly moving from a tiny country town to the big city was undoubtedly daunting, I was so unprepared to live alone and away from everything I knew, but my O Week quickly showed me that I had nothing to be scared about, the openness and friendliness of the collegians was so reassuring that I knew this was the place for me.

Tommy is so unique in the way that every resident really does feel a sense of community and pride to live here. We might not be the biggest college, but we definitely have the biggest spirit on College Row. I’m so thankful for all the amazing friends I’ve made here and the memories we share, the Ball and River Cruise are always a great time, but even just cheering on at weekend sports is a laugh.

Lydia Kerrell-Vaughan
Busselton, Western Australia
Bachelor of Arts, History and English, University of Western Australia

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

Liam Chick - Resident Advisor

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

Moving to a new place to study sounded daunting and overwhelming, but being at Tommy More, those feelings didn’t last long. Tommy for me, is not just student accommodation, but it is a community with great living and an unrivalled learning experience.

Through the various social and academic activates held throughout the year, I have had the opportunity to get the most out of my student life. What I like the most about Tommy is its welcoming, diverse and inclusive community. At Tommy More, you will not only be exposed to friendships with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, but I have developed a true sense of belonging, which I believe is invaluable.

One of the highlights of my time at Tommy is having the opportunity to represent the College at the 2017 NAAUC Conference in Melbourne, which was a great learning experience.

Hayat Nowruzi
Adelaide and Mazar
Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance), University of Western Australia

Hayat Nowruzi - St Thomas More College - Resident Advisor
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