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Social conscience part of journey


Music, cricket and social justice initiatives were some of the extra-curricular activities that featured in the Year 12 journey for two of Rostrevor College’s top students.

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Head prefect Manish Augustine said given the uncertainties presented by the pandemic, part of his role as a college leader was to ensure there was “connection throughout the school” and “adapting and changing” as needed.

“With COVID it was a bit restricting in what you could and couldn’t do but fortunately we were lucky because we were able to be at school,” he said.

Heavily involved in a range of social justice initiatives supporting the environment, Indigenous and women’s rights, those living in poverty and detention, Manish said one of the highlights during the year was volunteering at a couple of Edmund Rice camps.

These camps offer recreational activities for children who otherwise could not afford or access such opportunities, while at the same time providing personal growth and development for the young adult volunteers who serve as friends and mentors.

“Obviously this is a great community that thrives on connection, forging relationships and just being there for each other,” Manish explained.

“For me in terms of finding a sense of purpose it has been really fulfilling. Being able to meet the kids, work with them and see them grow as people – they change us just as much as we change them.”

Manish received a Governor’s Commendation for his service in the community, which included participating in a social cricket competition on weekends, where he has forged relationships with recently arrived migrants.

“Cricket for me was very much a release during Year 12,” he said.

“I got to meet a lot of different people from different places and they all have different stories. I was able to meet with different people from my Tamil community… they’ve embraced me and I’ve learnt a lot from them. They are really good mentors for me.”

Still contemplating if he will study this year or take a gap year working in the health field, Manish said he was committed to continuing his involvement in social justice initiatives and is hoping to volunteer at more Edmund Rice camps.

Fellow prefect, Jordan Zorzi, who was named Dux of Rostrevor College with an ATAR of 99.85, also found getting involved in extra-curricular activities helped balance the demands of study.

Ranked in the top four student guitarists in Australia and a talented pianist as well, Jordan took part in several school bands and was invited to attend the Jazz SA Under21 Super Band, based at the University of Adelaide.

“It was a bit of a release,” he said modestly of his music endeavours.

In addition to providing musical guidance to his fellow students, Jordan also mentored younger boys with ideas and techniques for another of his passions – speech writing and delivery.

A strong advocate for men’s mental health initiatives, he was involved in the college’s Blue Week, inspiring others to reach out and seek help if needed. Somehow Jordan also found time to volunteer as a mentor in an after-school Homework Club.

Hoping to study medicine this year, Jordan one day aims to work as a psychiatrist.


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