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2019 St Brendan’s College Captain Joseph O’Brien, a boarder from Gladstone, has big plans for his year as leader of the all-boys secondary school in Yeppoon, committed to fostering greater school spirit and encouraging students to take advantage of every opportunity at the College.
With a full senior study load and working towards studying medicine at James Cook University in Townsville in 2020, Joseph is also committed to giving back to the College in his year as College Captain.
“I’ve got a full study load and I need to find a balance, but I do want to give back to the College that’s given me so much in my time here,” Joseph said.
“Boarding life is great, and the mateship I share with boarders is very strong,”
“The opportunities are just amazing, and I want students here to see that, and to just get in and give it a go.”
“Even if you aren’t sure, give it a crack; try new experiences because that relates back to culture and building strong relationships throughout the school,” he said.
Joseph certainly has certainly ‘given it a crack’, across academia, culture and sport since arriving in Year 8.
Consistently rewarded with academic achievement awards in his years at the College, Joseph has also participated strongly in the College music program, playing the drums, guitar and trumpet; has played in College rugby league and basketball teams, and even though he is out of action in 2018 with injury, is using the College’s swimming pool for rehabilitation, swimming one kilometre every morning before school.
When asked about finding time for study amongst his hectic schedule, Joseph said the College’s requisite one-hour study from 7pm to 8pm for Years 7 to 12 sets you up as the study load increases in senior years.
Joseph’s study program includes Mathematics B, Mathematics C, Chemistry, Study of Religion, English and Physical Education, with private music lessons for guitar and drums scheduled across his timetable.
“Hopefully if I keep working as I am now, I will be able to get my grades up and get to my goal of studying medicine at James Cook University.”
“Especially in boarding, you find that the hour of study from 7-8pm is very good as they make you sit down and do your work, so by the end of the week you’ve got a free weekend.”
“When it comes to assignment times or studying for exams, a lot of the OP boys find themselves studying for about an hour as well as the set study hour, so it’s about two to three hours every day of study.”
And while Joseph’s time off sport with injury isn’t ideal, it has given him exposure to the health industry and sparked a potential pathway for his future.
“I’ve had a fair few injuries over the time, and initially wanted to do chiropractic or physio,” he said.
“But I’ve done work with Gladstone Community Linking Agency over the holidays as a Disability Support Worker and just the thought of helping people with their medical needs suits me.”
“You get experience helping people with different disabilities; people who have trouble with their verbal communication, you get to support people with training and physical handling, and the relationships you make with clients; it’s just a really good feeling.”
“I’m also trying to line up work experience with the Mater Hospital in Gladstone over the holidays to see if I really want to go down that path.”
Principal Robert Corboy said that Joseph was a shining example for students to follow of the rewards that come as a result of taking advantage of the significant opportunities at the College.
“There is so much on offer across our College and across boarding, sport, music and academic life.
“Our teachers and staff are dedicated to supporting all students to develop and extend their knowledge, learning and experiences and it really is up to each individual young man to take hold and see where these opportunities can take him; to become better students, better sportsmen, better musicians and better young men,” Mr Corboy said.
St Brendan’s College is the leading choice for boys’ education in Central Queensland; a Catholic day and boarding School in the Edmund Rice tradition catering for young men from Years 7 to 12. The College is located on 300-acres at Yeppoon and offers a diverse curriculum and extra-curricular program. For more information please visit www.stbrendans.qld.edu.au