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Injarra Harbour, a boarder at Nudgee College.
Injarra Harbour, a boarder at Nudgee College. Brody Grogan

Camaraderie key for Nudgee students

IT IS the holistic approach to life and education that makes boarding school St Joseph's Nudgee College stand out from the crowd.

Currently home to 280 boarders and more than 1600 students, the Catholic boys' school, based in north Brisbane, offers a rich culture of academia, sports, creativity and family spirit, in a supportive environment ideal for a child's development.

Across the 136 hectare campus, young men from across Australia enjoy living in four light-filled boarding houses amidst world-class sporting facilities, including playing fields, an Olympic-standard athletics track, two heated swimming pools, a gymnasium, modern music and art studios and a 400-seat auditorium.

The Bathersby Boarding Village offers spacious, individual rooms, shared common areas, and a large communal hall with an eco-friendly design.

However it's the onsite guidance and nurturing in both the areas of study and personal development that benefits the boarding students the most.

"Every member of the boarding team is dedicated to building a strong rapport with the boys in their care, so they can support them during the challenging times and celebrate with them during moments of success,"

Dean of boarding, Christian Oneto, says. He oversees the 45-person team who ensure the boys have optimum care, at all hours of the day and night.

"The quality of care is high, given the level of experience and the carers' abilities," he says.

"Of our 45 people working in boarding, about 20 to 25 would be teachers."

He names the college's high level of academic support to the boarders as a hallmark of the school.  "Academic support is something we do fairly significantly - particularly in our junior dorm for years 7, 8 and 9," he says.  

Nudgee College prides itself on its balance between academia, sport and community spirit.
Nudgee College prides itself on its balance between academia, sport and community spirit. Brody Grogan

"We engage a tutoring company that comes in to work with students on their study skills; and it's not just about assignments, but about how to study, how to revise, how to prepare for assignments and exams. It's really beneficial."

Hailing from Winton, Queensland, Grade 11 student Injarra Harbour agrees.

"The support is great," he says. "Every weeknight we have a two-hour study period, and probably every second night we have a Reach for the Stars program where teachers volunteer to come into the boarding house and tutor people that need help. Those teachers specialise in individual subjects, and it's really helpful - especially in the senior school in regards to science and the like. It's great."

Staff appreciate the need for balance between academia and recreation, too. From Friday night through until Sunday night, the program is filled with trips and events. "We run recreational activities every day on our weekend program," Mr Oneto explains.

"The boys get to go and see the Broncos play, and the Reds, and go to Laser Tag and ten pin bowling - all those sorts of fun activities. Plus, we're very much connected with Stuartholme School (catholic girls' school). It's a nice balance."

Grade 12 student Xavier Bundock from Warialda in New South Wales says that, in addition to the study support however, it's the family environment and camaraderie with the other boys that he loves about boarding at Nudgee.

"The boys that I started with in my first night in boarding in Grade 9 are actually still two of my closest friends - they're basically family," he says.

"Just the connections you make and the mentors you have - especially with the older lads when first starting - it keeps you going. It's such a family environment and to have that support constantly in a school environment situation - it's incredible."  

For more information about Nudgee College's boarding program, head HERE.     

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