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Current and past students of St Augustine’s College talk about chasing their dreams, and how an Augustinian education encourages young men to reach their full potential.

Angus McInnes, Class of 2024 Head Prefect

One of my best achievements is what I'm currently doing, running a fundraiser called Cut for a Cure for my brother's fund to raise money for brain cancer research [Isaac passed away from a brain tumour in 2018 aged 13]. I really want to travel the world, that's my dream. So in uni, I'd really like to do an exchange program in England, and I can travel around there. If all goes well, I'm hoping to study international relations and law so I can be a diplomat when I'm older.

I love that the College helps us to build connections throughout the years. Through drama productions and just through school, I became good friends with the former College Captain, and he's the one that gave me the idea of becoming a diplomat because he's studying those courses at uni now. You can learn from the students above you so they can give you an idea of what you might be able to do in the future. I’m inspired by Hugh Brogden [Class of 2023], Hugh has been directing us in this year’s drama production. I ask him a lot of questions all the time. Relationships, with ex-students and our teachers, helps us achieve. We are very close with our drama teacher and I'm very close with a lot of my teachers who have helped me significantly, going beyond their role as teachers to help me, sharing their experiences with me so I can learn from them.

Harvey Cordukes, Class of 2022 College Captain

I loved my time at Saints, I got a lot out of it. For me it was the opportunities to do whatever you wanted, and I did drama, rugby, rowing and basketball, and Italian. I did as much as I could and there were so many chances to try different things. It’s set me up and I’m so confident to go to ANU in Canberra. I originally didn’t come to uni here for rugby at all, but I played for Uni-North Owls for a season and then the coaches of the Under 19 ACT Brumbies reached out and wanted me to play in the state competition, and after that I was selected for the Under 20s Australia squad. I've just come back from the Sunshine Coast for the Under 20 Rugby Championship, and we played Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. Being able to sing the national anthem was a massive dream come true and now I’m putting my head down and training hard to see how far I can go.

At school I was always keen on sport but just never thought I could do it or that it was a possibility. At the College my coaches and teachers all the way through were very supportive of my rugby and I couldn’t have done anything without them, the strength and conditioning throughout my time there was extremely important. I was set up with a good foundation of who I am and what my values are, so I felt comfortable enough to leave Sydney and try a new setting. I’m doing a double degree that includes politics, philosophy, economics and arts.

To current students I would say take every opportunity you can and maximise it. I've been lucky enough to get some pretty good opportunities and I was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of them.

* Harvey's photo courtesy of Rugby Australia

Hayden Quinn, Class of 2004

We have our 20 year reunion this year and my little nephew is about to start at St Augustine’s College next year in Year 5. I have been a part of the College mentoring program, a great way to give back. Last year I attended the Careers Workshop, to give an understanding of what happens after school, because that's just only a fraction of your life.

I think the best thing about my experience as a student was the people, whether it be the teachers or the classmates, we had great people around us all the time. My best mates and a lot of my colleagues and business partners are people that I went to St Augustine’s with. Me and fellow Old Boys own a gym in Brookvale that we've had for 10 years now. My Director of Photography and cameraman Tim is my best mate and was my best man at my wedding.

The College supported and encouraged me to pursue my dreams by providing good role models. There were great teachers, male and female, but being young men, you look up to the men in your life a lot. It was just a very positive environment to be in.

My dream for the future when I was at school was to continue doing the things I loved and that was being in and around the ocean, food, sport, health and wellbeing. Fortunately I get to do that every day. The advice I would give current students is to follow your gut, follow your heart, work hard, and listen to people that are happy to give you advice. Most importantly, you've got to be willing to work hard and you've got to be willing to gain experience.

I really want to get to 10 seasons of “Taste of Australia”, that would be 100 episodes. I want to continue growing the “Taste of Australia” brand, building up our gym, and being the best person I can be, having a good time along the way and making sure my wife is happy.

Jack Feng, Class of 2024 International Prefect

The best thing about St Augustine’s College is the community. The inclusive atmosphere makes me feel truly welcomed and valued. I am most proud of becoming the International Prefect of the Class of 2024. I have learned more about teamwork and responsibility.

The College has provided me with a lot of help in my academic studies. My teachers give me suggestions to help me improve. It also provides me with many opportunities to challenge myself, such as leadership. This gave me a stronger sense of responsibility and I have learned to be a leader. This school give us opportunity so students should try to use the opportunity to improve themselves and become a better person.

My dream for the future is to successfully enter the major I want to study. I want to do Accounting, one of the subjects in Bachelor of Commerce. My father is a businessman. My dream is to become like him and have my own business so I can take care of my family in the future.

Joa Aitken, Class of 2018, Dux and College Captain

I've just finished uni studying physiotherapy and now I've started working at a private practice on the northern beaches. I always had a bit of an idea that I was keen to move into health. I played around with the idea of medicine or sports science and eventually found my way to physio.

I'm involved with St Augustine's Football with the Old Boys team and I've also been back for the Careers Night Expo. I’m passionate about getting back there and giving people a good insight into my journey through uni and career so they can make decisions that will suit their lives. I still do a lot of tutoring on the side of my physio work.

Graduating Year 12, I was School Captain and Dux, which were two big achievements that I was proud of. I also loved being involved with the First XI Football. I look after a few football players in my physio practice, and always see a lot of Old Boys in there.

The best thing about the College was the sense of community and friendship. My year group was really tight-knit and a lot of us are still in touch. I'll still organise a reunion at the end of every year and we all rock up and go down to the pub and we all get along like a house on fire.

Both the teaching staff and the support staff did absolutely everything possible for us during Year 12. The teachers were always generous with their time and always offered to have a meeting or discuss career prospects with students. On top of that is all the extracurricular and self-development activities. They're almost more important than the academia for creating good people as opposed to just getting good marks.

Since leaving school, I've set myself goals. I’d love to start my own business or clinic at some point but I’m working on getting some experience and then see where the road takes me from there. I’m trying to set the bar high and see what I can achieve.

Liam Hankinson, Class of 2024 Prefect & House Captain

I’m most proud of being in the school productions and succeeding in my role. This year I’m a member of the “A Few Good Men” cast playing Captain Whitaker. Previously, I've played much bigger roles that seemed daunting at first and then I managed to do them. Drama and productions are one of my favourite things to do at school, ever since Year 5. I'm really passionate about surfing and music, so I want to be involved in either one of those somehow and travel as well, travel around the world. I’ve had the same guitar tutor about two years now. It's really fantastic and I can see myself getting better every single week, I know Old Boy Jimmy Breslin pursued music professionally after school, he also plays the guitar and he’s got a band and I see things about him online including gigs he’s got coming up.

Marcus Oates, Class of 2018 Prefect

After school I studied at UNSW and graduated just a couple of days ago [May 2024] with Honours. I did a double degree in Mechatronic Engineering and Computer Science.

We have a group of friends from Saints that continued right through uni and I’m still catching up with them. We were motivated to learn but also sporty and interested in things outside of school. There’s a great balance. I did rowing, rugby, soccer and ceramics. There's a lot on offer.

It felt like the teachers were always on our side. They wanted what was best for us, helping us learn, helping us be good at sport and be good people overall. The best thing about it was the community all getting to work together.

When you get older your dreams for the future change, they become a bit more realistic and are a bit more grounded. Instead of wanting things, you want to prove to yourself that you can do things you didn't think you could do before. Set yourself some hard goals and then try to achieve them or at least have a good crack at them.

Now that the dream of graduating uni is over, I want to advance my career in software engineering. I do automation integrations on the back ends of systems and I'd still like to do coding and get my hands in it, but also have more of a say in the planning and execution overall. Another dream would be to do the Ironman next year in Port Macquarie. I started getting into running during COVID and now doing the Ironman in May is a big life goal.

Nick Kimball, Class of 2024 Sport Prefect

The best thing about being a student here is the sport and co-curricular activities the College provides, there's an opportunity for everyone. I'm keen on basketball, it has been my main thing since Year 7.

I was proud when I became the Sport Prefect. That was a pretty big moment in my school life. And then just yesterday [May 2024] I had the NSW School State trial and I made the team for the tournament in mid-June. Another Saints student made the team as well.

I would like to go to America to college hopefully, and I would also like to play basketball there. It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a young kid. St Augustine’s went on a basketball tour of the USA in December… it was just a really cool experience. Our Careers Advisors have outlined how to get to America, what the processes are, and that’s been helpful. My brother Zac graduated three years ago and he's taken a similar journey. After graduation he went to America where he's been playing basketball and continued his education at a college, and I’d like to follow in his footsteps.

Nik Pender, Class of 2020

Coming into St Augustine's I wasn't the most academically driven person and I wanted to be a rugby player. Then I started rowing and was encouraged to develop my academics, and I ended up really enjoying my subjects in Year 12 and continued that into university. I’m now studying Actuarial Studies majoring in Risk Management and Advanced Mathematics majoring in Statistics.

The best thing about the College is the community. The teachers are very welcoming, you always feel like it's a safe place to learn, a safe place to go. You're always encouraged to do more and be more, which often isn't comfortable, but it's important to learn and to grow and to be pushed to be better.

I tutor current students in maths, physics, engineering and English. It's one of the best initiatives that the College has, bringing Old Boys back, and I found it useful when I was going through Year 12 to have a second opinion on things like English essays or maths questions.

I was inspired by the nature of Old Boys more so than by their achievements. They were so friendly and welcoming when they were in Year 12 and I was in Year 8. That really inspired me to try and do the same for the younger boys coming through.

My proudest achievement was making the Australian Rowing team at 16 years old. I put a lot of effort and energy into it, so seeing it pay off while I was still at school was very exciting. I’m still rowing now, in the Australian Under 23 Men’s team, and we’ll be racing at the World Championships later this year in Canada.

The two current goals I have are firstly to graduate from uni, hopefully at the end of this year. After I graduate I want to make the 2028 Olympics in LA.

* Nik's photo courtesy of Rowing Australia (edited to blur team mates)

Rory Graham, Class of 2021

The best thing about being a student at St Augustine’s College was finding a community of young men who really understood me and encouraged me to grow. It's hard work finding people who understand you and want you to better yourself everyday, but once you do it is so rewarding.

I remember performing in all of the school plays and loving every second of it. By the time I was in Year 12 I wanted to be an actor, though I didn't really know what that entailed or how to get there. It was the College Drama department that made me think my dreams could become a reality. My teacher helped me film self-tapes, wrote letters of recommendations for Acting schools internationally, and ultimately told me she thought I had what it takes. Sometimes all it takes is one person you admire choosing to believe in you. St Augustine’s taught me that, although we are all different, we all have value and that value deserves to be nourished by ourselves and by others.

I am currently an undergraduate at University College London (UCL), studying Hons. English. I have debuted as a professional actor here in the UK and am participating in pre-professional plays, musicals and short films. I will also be performing in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August! I've always felt like an artist, inside and out, so I plan on finding a way to merge creative fulfillment with financial security, whether that be in a more corporate setting at a company like The National Theatre here in London, or a more traditional artistic plan of acting.

To students wishing to pursue performance art: it's okay to second-guess yourself, it's okay to wonder what you are doing or what you actually want, and it is okay to change your mind. Why limit yourself to what you could conceive of your future at 18 years old? Welcome changes, dive head-first into everything you enjoy, and learn to love the process of becoming!

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Our College offers families the opportunity to access world-class and award-winning facilities close to home on the Northern Beaches. We are known for our strong sense of community care and spirit, uniting students, families and staff. We would love to welcome you and your son into our community.

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