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Year 12 Clontarf Graduates 2023

Term 4 - Week 1

Clontarf Academy

The Clontarf Academy has completed it’s first week of Term 4.

We have welcomed Ashley Hynch into the Narrabri Clontarf Academy. He's new to the industry but learning quickly and he'll be an asset to our team. If you see him around the school, please introduce yourself as he customises himself with his new surroundings.

We have changed our schedule for this term and the proceeding terms to come:

Homework club and health sessions on Monday afternoons 3:30pm

Afternoon activities on Tuesday and Thursdays 3:30pm

Morning training on Wednesday and Fridays 7:00am

On 12th October eight Narrabri Clontarf Academy boys went to Gunnedah to be a part of the Cricket Australia Activity Day. All boys were welcome to come along and join in the fun day, most of the boys were inexperienced, never picked up a bat or ball but gave it all their best realising they all could do it. All boys learnt something different throughout the day about playing cricket.

The boys got to meet an Australian cricket player, some NSW representatives as well. The boys were surprised how they all got so far in the sport they love.

Some valuable of advice the boys took away from the day was “Never put your head down and never give up even if your winning”.

Term 4 - Week 2


Week 2 is done and dusted, but before I give a recap of the week I would like to invite all boys, their family members, careers and school staff to our annual Clontarf awards night. The night will be held later this term, Friday 8th December. It will start at 4:30pm and run for approximately one hour.  We will provide some snacks and refreshments during this time. I'd like to encourage as many people as possible to attend. It's a time to congratulate our Year 12 students on graduating, as well as, celebrating the successes of all academy members throughout the year. Any questions please give Clayton Pursche a call on 0498 221 417.

Numbers have started increasing at our morning and afternoon activities, but we'd still like to see more of the boys getting involved. Liam Mair TAS & Math teacher and Steve Rees school councillor each gave up a bit of their mornings to come down and train with our academy this week. Thank you to both staff for attending and we hope to see more of the school staff in the future. This week we participated in a range of games and activities including touch football, basketball, cricket, Purscheball and swimming. It's been a lot of fun. 

We also had Luke Taylor, our employment officer, visit the school to talk to our Year 10 students regarding an opportunity to partake in a school based traineeship next year. The boys will do Primary Industries at school and have one paid day of work each week. Gaining a Certificate 2 in Horticulture by the end of the year. We desperately need the help and experience in horticulture as our academy garden is struggling at the moment (see photo below). 

As we are in Term 4, I would also like to congratulate our Year 11 students who will all be starting their HSC course this term. On Thursday I was able to visit the metal work room and see some of the boys hard at work. 

Term 4 - Week 3


This week we saw the last of our Year 12 students complete their HSC. Our primary focus is supporting our young men to complete school and attain their HSC. A massive congratulations to all 5 of our very soon to be graduates. For everyone reading please do not forget about our upcoming awards ceremony, taking place later this term (week 9 Friday 8th December at 4:30pm) where we will fully celebrate our graduates and reflect on the year that has been.

This week we went fishing by the creeks edge. You'll see our one and only catch of the week as well as the boys showing the size of the fish they saw or that they tell us they caught on the weekend.  We went for a swim at the town pool. Our new go to spot during these warmer months. Our numbers at morning trainings are ever increasing and we hope to build open this again for next week.  Wednesday 1st November, we have invited local partners and supporting businesses down to join in and see firsthand what we do.

On Thursday 26th October 8 of our boys travelled to Moree for a table tennis carnival. We had two teams of 4 players, the "guns" those playing for glory and bragging rights and the "funs" those playing for the love of the game even if they don't have all the skills. We spent the night in Moree enjoying a movie on the large inflatable screen. The boys all played very well, with great Clontarf spirit. Shaking hands before and after each game, encouraging others, keeping the place clean and tidy, wearing their uniforms with pride and as always playing fairly. Cody French received our Clontarf Spirit award for this camp. He was exceptional in all areas mentioned above and went above and beyond.

Term 4 - Week 4


We've been very busy this week finalising the activities for our 2 end of year camps. Next week (6 November to 10 November) our best and brightest Year 9,10 and 11 boys will head to the Gold Coast. With Years 7 and 8 heading to Newcastle the week following. Our end of year trips are our biggest and best camps of each year. They are a reward for the Clontarf students who have over 80% school and class attendance, follow school rules and consistently display the Clontarf spirit.

On the morning of Wednesday 1 November, we had local partners and supporters beat the sunrise getting up early to join us for our morning training session. It was fantastic to see Bunnings, Santos and Specialised Civil joining in, getting around the boys and enjoying our BBQ cooked breakfast. They were assets to the session and their continued support is greatly appreciated.

The boys have also started collecting cans and bottles from around the school and its surrounds. Intending to clean up the area and cash in the recycling at the return and earn bins. Equally motivated with the desire to beautify the school and save up the money for a movie night at the end of term. An incentive we will continue into next year.

All our activities this week were full of smiling faces and enthusiastic participants. A reminder that all Clontarf boys are invited to our activities and if they live in town, we can offer pick-ups and drop-offs. We'll make efforts to arrange transport for those boys who live out of town. More to come next week.

Term 4 - Week 5


This week Ashley (on his first camp) and I had the pleasure of taking a group of Narrabri Clontarf's Year 9,10 and 11 students to the Gold Coast for their end of year camp. Our excursions and camps are designed to get better as the year progresses. This wasn't one to disappoint. Staying in the beautiful Runaway Bay the boys had an entire lodge to themselves with fantastic sporting facilities on site. First day after our arrival the boys enjoyed a swim at Surfers Paradise, playing touch football, volleyball all before some shopping and exploring Cavill Avenue. Blake Christian was eager to show off his new Nike Air Max Plus TNs and Hayden Purvis easily the best ground on ground (as that is where he spent most of his time) during the volleyball games. The day was topped off with some go kart racing followed by dinner and ball driving at top golf. Isaiah Cochrane was fastest around the course, but Mason Kebby will swear it was a tied race and he is equal first. Dusitn Cuell finished the night with the longest drive and Braedon Mason was the most accurate, often scoring the most points over the different games. On the second and final day of activities we spent the morning touring one of the NRL's (a Clontarf Partner) team's facilities. Learning what it's like in the day of a professional rugby league player and we were lucky enough to get to watch the Titan's first day back at preseason training. It looked brutal. Last but not least we got to play laser tag around the Gold Coast Performance Centre. The boys we are able to test if their gaming skills converted to real life skills. It was all a lot of fun and I'm grateful to the boys who came along for the trip. 

Term 4 - Week 6


Last week the Year 7 and 8 Emus had their end of year camp. They began their journey with an overnight stay at the school watching a scary movie in the hall. Before heading off to Newcastle for the next two nights.

Tuesday morning after a dip at the pool they headed to Newcastle making their first stop in Scone for a packed lunch. After which they continued on to the city, arriving at Newcastle's Regional Clontarf Office. Finishing the afternoon at the driving range before free time at Newcastle Uni sporting grounds and bed.

Wednesday the boys were lucky enough to visit Newcastle Knights Centre of Excellence. The boys had the pleasure of meeting Phoenix Crossland, Kaylan Ponga, Tamika Upton, and Dylan Lucas. Impressively Narrabri Emus are the first academy to visit the new centre. We would like to acknowledge and thank Jake Harris, the Knights Community Engagement Coordinator, for allowing us to tour the newly built facility. Something the boys won’t ever forget. After the Knights tour, the boys had a big dinner at Harry's Schnitzel before heading to Charlestown for a game of Laser Tag. There was an unexpected casualty at laser tag. Tyreake Dixon and Douglas parker ran into each other at high velocity. Poor Douglas came off second best.

Thursday morning the boys woke up early and headed to Stockton Beach for their morning training session with Hunter River and Irrawang Clontarf Academies. Catching up with ex Narrabri Clontarf staff member Shaun Doonan.

They enjoyed a hot breakfast at Hunter River Academy before heading back home to Narrabri.

Back in Narrabri land we had our first trip to the return and earn, cashing in all the bottles and cans we have picked up to help keep the school a little cleaner. We finally started to see some life in our garden with our sunflowers poking their heads out. Lastly, we saw our year 12 students dressed to the nines for the formal night. Of which all who attended reported it was a lovely night out.

Term 4 - Week 7


It's been a slow week in the academy room this week. All staff are busy preparing for our Year 12 major camp next week and our awards afternoon the week following (Friday 8 December 4:30pm at Betty Berriman Hall, Narrabri High School).

The gloomy and wet weather meant we had to adjust our weekly activities, with most our time spent in the academy room or on the basketball courts at school. None the less we had a good group of our boys brave the early mornings and later afternoons to join in. Playing basketball, cricket, touch football and frisbee games. The academy room now features a newly reorganised "seniors only" area. Open to our current year 10 and 11 boys it will serve as a safe place to hang out. Featuring newish couches, a mini fridge and soon to come microwave.

Meanwhile, new operations officer Ashley Hynch has been busy getting around the school inviting all staff to come down and try out any of our activities. It's a great way to interact with the boys and is how I learnt so much about the program in my teaching years.  Rumour has it that Principal Simon Warden will come down as early as next week to join in one of our sessions. Morning trainings are afternoon activities are both twice weekly. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30pm and Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7:00am. All staff always welcome.

Clontarf garden continues to show improvement with blooming sunflowers and carrots nearly ready for harvest. The boys continue their mission to recycle all the dropped bottles and cans. 

Term 4 - Week 8


As we edge closer to the end of term and the big Christmas break, we begin to look back at the year that was. We'll celebrate this year's graduates and the achievements of all Clontarf members this Friday afternoon from 4:30pm at the Betty Berriman Hall. Hope to see as many people there as possible. 

Speaking of our graduates we had 5 Clontarf members graduate this year 2 of whom, Blake Boney and Clayton Laws, came on the major trip to Perth. All Clontarf boys are invited on a celebration camp at the end of year 12 for completing high school. This year we joined up with other local academies Moree, Inverell and the coasties from Irrawang to fly over to Perth. 

It was the first time on a plane for a lot of the boys and they were not very impressed by the size of the plane we took from Moree to Sydney. Proud to say all boys faced their fears and were better for it when we landed.  After the long-haul travel day, we went and visited Clontarf partners the Clough group in Perth CBD. The boys gave a presentation to 40 plus staff members. Informing them of what Clontarf does and how it helped the boys this year. We finished the day off at the driving range and with a game of putt putt.

On the next morning we travelled by Ferry to Rottnest Island. We met the bizarre and cute animals the quokka before exploring the island by swimming, segway and bike. Next day was a bit slower as we were worn out from the hot sun. We visited the head office to the Clontarf Foundation where it all began, a tour of Optus Stadium and then watched the NBL by night. Days five and six were also jam packed with activities as we went on waterslides, rollercoasters, indoor skydiving, paintball, body surfing at the beach and had a lovely feed to top the week off. 

On the long flights back with a long layover I asked the boys what they liked most about the trip and will share their responses with you both.

Blake Boney - On this trip it was my first time on a plane and first time in WA. The activities I enjoyed most were the tour of Optus stadium and sightseeing around Perth. I really enjoyed the architecture of the city I took so many photos. It was a pleasure to meet the people at Clough group I feel like I learned a lot from our partners. I also had a lot of laughs with some interesting characters from the other academies. 


Clayton Laws - This was my first time being on a plane, I was a bit anxious about the flight and didn't know what to expect. After we got on the plane, I was more scared than anything but once we left the runway and got up in the sky it wasn't so bad. I enjoyed the flight over being so high in the sky, some awesome scenery up there. Over the first two days I didn't talk to many people from the other academies but as the final couple days rolled around, we were talking like we knew each other since primary school. I can't pick a favourite day or activity they were all so good. 

Whilst I was away in Perth Corey and Ash continued to run the academy room as usual with 2 morning trainings and 2 afternoon activities. 

Term 4 - Week 9


Good afternoon all, this will be the last recap email from the Clontarf academy for the term and therefore year. 

Last week we were busy applying the final touches to the hall and rushing around organising our awards afternoon. It was a fantastic afternoon with 38 of our 79 boys, roughly the same amount (if not more) family members, approximately 15 school staff and 3 of our corporate partners all in attendance. With over 20 award winners there was a lot to celebrate. We gave out awards for yearly attendance over 90%, education awards (as nominated by classroom teachers, thank you once again), encouragement award, employment award, graduation certificates, David Pierce's young achiever award, Principal's award and our most important award the Emu of the year (our Clontarf spirit award).

All individual award winners gave a speech and one member spoke on behalf of the group where there were multiple winners. Equally impressive was Zeiken Green-Murray doing welcome to country in language for the first time. Speeches from the likes of Jacob Teer and Kayden Lamb were very emotional and heartfelt. Leaving a few audience members reaching for their tissues. I'll add an excerpt from my own speech below, highlighting some of the moments that stood out the most to me this year. 

"a brief recap of the year"

  • The students gained valuable experiences through weekly morning training sessions, afternoon activities and on our camps. The boys covered some ground this year visiting, Goondiwindi; Gold Coast; Lightning Ridge; Moree; Warialda; Gunnedah; Tamworth; Newcastle; Sydney and Perth.    
  • The Year 9/10 rugby league team competed in the state-wide competition Ross Kelly Cup. Declan Rooney was selected on the day for the representative team and was a stand out in the games he played.  
  • 2 of our year 11 students were selected in the NSW Clontarf state of origin side. They flew to Townsville playing at Queensland Rugby League Stadium with the game streaming on Kayo. Well done to Isaiah Cochrane and Clarence Morgan. I hope you play again next year.  
  • We had engagements by different NRL and Super Rugby teams. The QLD reds, Newcastle Knights, South Sydney Rabbitohs, North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans.  
  • Hours of practice paid off with several of our senior students receiving their learner or provisional licenses. 
  • We saw more of our boys explore employment this year with 16 working part time and a further 5 partaking in work experience. 
  • 3 graduates from 2022 remain in employment and still remain engaged in the program, a couple of whom are here today. 
  • Of the five year 12 graduates two have just returned from a weeklong trip to Perth. Both Clayton and Blake took their first flights. 

The ceremony was a huge success with only a couple of minor hiccups (like the attendance award slide displayed during the education awards), enough to keep the audience laughing. Thank you to Simon, Emily, Rozi, Cliff and Suzanne for getting on stage to present awards. Thank you to Steph for taking all the great photos. Thank you to all staff who attended your support means a lot to the boys and I appreciate the efforts. 

Thank you to all the family members and partners who also came along. Hope everyone enjoys the break.

2023 award winners:-

The Attendance Awards:

Year 7 – Mavrick Croaker, Beau Laws, Eli Clark, Troydell Ward, Jacob Teer, Tyreake Dixon and Kostah Rooney.

Year 8 – Rodney Gibbs-Eulo, Douglas Parker, Koby Hennessy, Leondre Smith, Cody French, Levi French and Khynen Gibbs.

Year 9 – Ethan Harris, Jason Dick, Zeiken Green-Murray and Lane Shoobert.

Year 10 – William Murray-Smith.

Year 11 – Jye Norris.

The Education Awards:

Year 7 – Jacob Teer, Kostah Rooney, Lucas Summers-Lawler, Jarrad Lawler and Cooper Rickard.

Year 8 – Cody French, Ethan Burns, Douglas Parker, Jamarlee Chapman-Kelly, Michael Stanford, Rodney Gibbs-Eulo, Jonothan Anderson, Koby Hennessy and Leondre Smith.

Year 9 – Zeiken Green-Murray.

Year 10 – Blake Christian, Mason Kebby and William Murray-Smith.

Year 11 – Clarence Morgan.

The Encouragement Awards: David Kelly, Michael Stanford, Geoffrey Crean and Clarence Morgan.

The Employment Award: Kaden Harvey

Graduating students for 2023: Blake Boney, Joss Kennedy, Kayden Lamb, Clayton Laws, Jaylan Shaprley.

The Young Achiever Award: Deacon Cuell.

The Principals Award: William Murray-Smith.

Clontarf Spirit Award winner and Emu of the Year: Clayton Laws.

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