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Headmaster's Update

College Blog Headmaster's Update
5 November 2021

In this week's article, Headmaster Fenner discusses boys and feelings, a uniform reminder, staffing matters and more.

Boys and feelings
I have reflected further on the Valedictory events that took place in the second week of term for our Year 12 students. As I mentioned in my last newsletter piece, the Valedictory events went very well and reflected positively on what has been a strong group going through the College. There was one aspect of the Valedictory events that I wish to comment on further.

In the speeches given at both the Valedictory Assembly and the Valedictory Dinner, the boys all talked openly about their feelings and emotions on this occasion. They talked about the significance of finishing school, their feelings towards their classmates knowing that this is the last time they were all altogether, the support of their teachers and the love and care of their parents. It was both moving and humbling to hear these young men speak openly of their love for the important people in their lives.

We know how important it is for young men to be able to express their emotions openly. All too often, their concern about how they might be viewed in doing so can prevent them from sharing their feelings. It was therefore wonderful to see are Year 12 leavers setting a fine example to all our students in speaking openly in this way. Long may this continue.


We have had a number of Secondary School boys arriving at school in recent weeks wearing non-uniform socks. As we point out to them, if they can organise to wear the correct shirt and shorts, they can also wear the correct socks. I seek parents’ support in ensuring the boys are always dressed in the correct uniform when they leave home to come to school and thank you for your assistance with this.


Recent months have seen a good deal of work on our staffing appointments for next year, a number of which are listed below. Employing good staff is of course one of the most important things that we do. We have been very pleased with the quality of candidates that we have had this year and hence we have been able to make some excellent appointments. I believe this is one of the strongest cohorts we have seen and I am affirmed by the quality and range of applicants that we have had.

We have appointed James Mower as Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning for the IB Diploma Program and teacher of commercial subjects. Originally from the UK, James has a BSc (Hons) in Business from Cardiff University and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University of Worcester. He also holds a Master of Education in International Baccalaureate from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Leadership and Management in Education from the University of Newcastle, Australia. After teaching at Mount St Bernard College and Mentone Grammar School in Melbourne, James has worked for the last 10 years in international schools in Beijing, Bangkok, Dubai and Penang. He is currently the Assistant Principal involved in establishing Stonyhurst International School, a new school in Penang. We look forward to welcoming James and his family to Prince Alfred College at the beginning of next year.

Chris McGuire has been appointed Head of Boys’ Education and Professional Learning, with effect from the beginning of next year. In this role, Chris will oversee professional learning in the Secondary School and boys’ education matters throughout the College. He will encourage and support staff in undertaking appropriate professional learning to meet College needs and strategic directions, together with individual development objectives.

Bianca Willson-Keelan will join us at the beginning of 2022 as a teacher of English and other subjects in this the Secondary School with effect from the beginning of 2022. Bianca attended Pembroke School after which she completed Degrees in Education and Arts at the University of Adelaide. She will be known to many Secondary School teachers as she completed a teaching placement at PAC in 2019. For the last two years, she has taught at Pembroke School.

Alex Hill, Old Scholar and recent Olympic gold medallist, has joined our rowing program to work as a Development Coach across the different levels. In addition, Alex will connect with other students who are following potentially elite sporting pathways to provide advice and mentoring.

Olivia McKenzie, who is currently teaching Middle School Mathematics, will return to the Preparatory School in 2022 as a class teacher in Year 5.

School Nurse Anita Greco left us this week to take up the School Nurse position at another school. School Nurse Shanna Dragovic will also be leaving us at the end of the school year to take up a permanent position at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. We thank both Anita and Shanna for their outstanding work in our Health Centre in recent years under some challenging circumstances at times.

Preparatory School teacher Matthew Tothill has resigned from the College, with effect from the end of the year, to take up a teaching position in the Junior School at Concordia College. I thank Matthew for his good work over a number of years and wish him well for the future.

Bradley Fenner