TAYLOR ROBINSON, Senior Tutor 2019
Studying Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bachelor of Business (Finance) at University of South Australia.
Why I stayed at College for my whole degree
“I was part way through moving into college on my first day when I told my parents I would be staying here for my whole degree. My mum told me to slow down, there was no need to make such a big decision straight away, and how did I know I was even going to like it?
In less than a week, I had made a great group of friends, who four years later I am still very close to. College also made the transition to university that much easier as I did not need to worry about cooking or cleaning, everything was done for me. It was also located close to everything. North Adelaide is a beautiful area and I could catch a free bus to my Uni campus. Why would I want to leave?
At the end of my second year of college, the majority of my close friends were moving out. My mum asked me if I wanted to move out too, to be with my friends. I said no, it had always been my plan to stay for my entire four-year degree, as these were the only four years of my whole life I would have the chance to live at College.
I am so glad I stayed for four years. I have seen friends come and go, but we have stayed in touch, and I have always made new friends as we have new students entering College each year. My years spent at St Ann’s have been the best years of my life so far.
The advantages of being a Residential Tutor
I did not let this loss dishearten me. Still eager to be involved, I was voted onto the Open Show and Ball committees for my second and third years at College. Working with the teams to put on these events was an amazing experience and I had a lot of fun. Even during this time tutorship is something I did not even think to consider. It really wasn’t until later in my third year of College that I thought about becoming a tutor.
During my first few years at College, tutorship is not something I considered. At the end of my first year I knew I wanted to be more involved in College life, so I campaigned for the role of treasurer on College Club, and lost.
I have seen a lot of personal change and development throughout my time at College. The student who walked in here four years ago is a very different person to the graduate who will be leaving this year. I owe this to the experiences I have had at College, especially tutorship.
Being the Senior Tutor of St Ann’s College during my final year has been incredibly rewarding. It has also enabled me to develop many of the soft skills which are in high demand with employers today. My experiences at College equipped me with the skills I needed to land my dream graduate role with a big 4 accounting firm.
I will be forever grateful for my time spent at St Ann’s, and thankful for the opportunity to work with the most amazing tutor team. It is the highlight of my university experience.
JULIAN ZHENG, St Ann’s Collegian
Julian resided at St Ann’s for 5 years (2015-2019). In 2019 he graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Honours Degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Structural Engineering).
“I lived at St Ann’s College for more than 5 years. During that time, the College has provided me with an outstanding academic community where I have grown from a shy teenager to a confident young professional.
The language barrier is one of the biggest challenges encountered by many international students. Living with 180+ Australian students has enabled me to step out of my comfort zone and practice English on a daily basis. As a result, I received an IELTS score of 9/9 in listening and 8.5/9 in speaking in 2018 on my very first attempt. These results gave me a competitive edge in the selection process and enabled me to become an Australian permanent resident in a few months after graduation.
There is no better way to form a solid foundation of cross-cultural friendships than living in a dormitory environment where everyone shares meals, studies and socialises together every day. Through these opportunities offered by St Ann’s College, I have made several life-long Australian friends who have supported me through thick and thin and positively influenced me through their inspiring thoughts. Had I not lived at St Ann’s; I may not have received that.
The College offers a range of leadership positions, from organising events to managing a group of students in a corridor. The Principal never hesitates to offer encouragement to students or genuine praise for our achievements. Her inspirational words often have positive long-lasting impacts on College residents.
St Ann’s College provides extensive subject tutoring and an excellent academic atmosphere which plays a critical role for students wishing to excel in their university studies. The College facilities including the library and the new Kennedy Brooks Enterprise Deck, encourage us to study in groups, where I have received a lot of mutual support from fellow residents. St Ann’s College is far more than a place to live. It is an engaging and supportive environment where international students can improve their learning and cultural experience in an authentic Australian community. I highly recommend this College to all international students who would like to unlock their potential and make the most of their university experience here in Australia.
SAMANTHA PIENIACKI, St Ann’s Collegian
Samantha resided at St Ann’s College throughout 2018 and 2019. She moved to Adelaide from Alice Springs to study Bachelor of History and Cultural Studies at UniSA. Below is her speech from the 2019 Valedictory Dinner.
“My years at St Ann’s have been some of the most treasured of my life. So many amazing things have happened along the way – making friends, starting a band, all the way to winning the High Table Cup (Go Boons!).
The last couple of months have been hard and emotional, as I come to terms with having to say goodbye to all you amazing people. Looking back, St Ann’s has taught me many valuable lessons, so I’m going to share just three, in the hope that you’ll take them on board.
1 – Appreciate what you have here!
We are so fortunate to have such a fantastic place to stay. We have three meals a day cooked by the incredible kitchen staff, a Principal focused on what is best for us as a group and as individuals, we have supportive and caring staff, devoted tutors, an awesome president and CC members. Many are not so fortunate to have what we have here at Ann’s.
2 – Don’t forget to tell those around you just how amazing they are!
You are all amazing! I have made so many incredible friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life. If it were not for all of you, my time at Ann’s would have been completely different. You are what makes Ann’s a home away from home. I could not be more grateful for my amazing Ann’s family.
3 – Don’t take your time at Ann’s for granted!
I urge you, cherish the time you have here, because once the time comes to leave, you’re going to miss it. So, if you find yourself debating whether to attend that event or try out for that sport, please do it. You will only regret the chances you never took. Thank you all for everything. I’ll miss you greatly, my amazing Ann’s family.
BRIE HAMERSLEY, St Ann’s Collegian
Brie studied Mechanical and Sports Engineering at the University of Adelaide. She’s from Greenwich in New South Wales. Below is her speech from the 2019 Valedictory Dinner.
“When I first started at college, at no point did I think I would stay for the entirety of my degree. But it was the people like you – all of you sitting here in front of me – that made it impossible to leave then. And even harder to leave now, four years later.
Before arriving at St Ann’s, I had no idea what to expect, especially as I enrolled very late in the year and had no chance to visit from my home in Sydney. Of course, downsizing from Sydney to Adelaide meant I was constantly being asked “Sydney? Why are you here?” If moving to a city I had never even visited seemed like a good idea at the beginning, I was definitely having second thoughts on the night before. My move-in day was a little different, too — my mum needed to return home, so I had to move in on a Saturday morning with most of the returning students. It meant I missed O Week. There I was, sat in my 211 room, not knowing where the food was, in a city with no friends or family. Luckily, the tutors saw through my façade of confidence and collected me for a meal with the big kids. And it wasn’t long before I was calling College home.
In my time here, I have seen a lot of change. I have worked under three different senior tutors, experienced the pre-air-conditioned dining room, the building of the Enterprise Deck, the change of Principals, lived on four very different corridors and been to formal tea with over 400 different students.
GFS was my first corridor, and as far as I know, it is still one of the busiest corridors around. I remember countless pub nights when I’d made it to bed safely – only to be kept awake by fellow Collegians deciding a chat in the stairwell was a good idea! The next year was my first as a tutor. I had LGFS, and what I’d confidently claim to be the rowdiest bunch of First Years I’ve ever known. They provided quality entertainment, like each sitting in their rooms with the doors open having conversations across the corridor so as to not have too many students in a room.
LAWW was a corridor that involved a majority of senior students — and hosted the best-ever corridor party theme, 101 Dalmatians. LAWW helped strengthen the friendships I had developed in my first and second year and helped form some new ones, too. Moving to DRM Roma, I had initial reservations about how far away I’d be from the kitchen. However, this year has changed my mind, and I can honestly say DRM Roma was the perfect corridor for my final year, both at College and at uni.
When I arrived, I came with a single suitcase and a fresh set of pillows. Now, I’ll be leaving with a lot more. Not just the exam notes and headbands I’ve collected, but the memories and friendships that I will look back upon fondly in the future. Thank you everyone for being a part of my home away from home, and I will miss you all immensely. Love you all.
MIRIAM SANTIC, St Ann’s Collegian
Miriam, originally from Port Lincoln, is studying Nursing at the University of Adelaide. Below is her speech from the 2019 Valedictory Dinner.
“Like many beginnings, the beginning of college was nerve-racking… I will never forget locking eyes with Lucy Norton, who I knew from Cummins Area School. Cummins kids were tough, notorious for ‘coat hanging’ opponents in football carnivals – so you can understand my concern when I heard her scream, “Look, it’s Miriam!” moments before she started to chase me down. Turns out she wanted to ensure I had maximum help getting my belongings into my new home. This was the first step into a college community that I would soon come to love.
I loved the inclusive attitude at sports (whether you’re on the field or cheering in the crowd), the tea breaks (that for Norman and I would last for a bit too long) and the controversial turn-out to pub nights. And I still love it. There’s no part of college that I don’t enjoy. Everyone is so supportive.
At Ann’s we all see the best in each other. We focus on the positives. I love being able to go down the corridor to annoy my friends, I love there’s always someone in the kitty keen for a chat. And if something does go wrong you always know who you can turn to (even if it means admitting that you’ve lost your keys for the 5th time that day). This is a reflection of our mutual support as a college community, the can-do mindset demonstrated through acts of kindness – like lending components of a last-minute pub outfit or when Kiara Couteral volunteered to do a kitchen duty during Marksenfest (what a legend!). Even when things go south, we manage to stick together, offering words of wisdom on how to fix a problem rather than playing the blame-game. A prime example of this was Chelsea and Macka’s determination to persevere with basketball dates, despite continuous external obstacles – a massive credit to both of them.
I think we could all agree that personal growth has been, in some way, big for all of us in 2019. Looking back on the person who joined O-Week, I know that I’ve developed a lot. As you can probably tell, I have used this speech to talk a lot about the people of St Ann’s. This is simply because it’s the people who make St Ann’s the amazing, wonderful place it is. Although it’s sad that so many of us are leaving, we’ve made life-long friendships – so we know it’s only a ‘see ya later’. Bring on second year.
SAMUEL ARTHURSON, St Ann’s Collegian
Samuel Arthurson is from the Barossa Valley. He studied civil and structural engineering at the University of Adelaide.
“In early 2015, I was both nervous and excited for the transition from high school to university. Reflecting upon my tertiary education thus far, I can wholeheartedly say that residing at St Ann’s College was the greatest decision I have made to support me in this change.
I still remember my first days living at college, where I was quite sick. The amount of care and support that so many new faces provided truly was wonderful, and since then living at St Ann’s has been eye-opening, exciting and naturally comfortable. It has provided ample opportunities that have enabled me to further develop my leadership and interpersonal skills.
As someone who takes my education quite seriously, St Ann’s sustains my motivation and aspirations to strive for high academic success. More importantly, however, the greatest thing about college is that after the first week, you can sit back, reflect and realise that in the short space of just 7 days, you feel more than welcome into the “Ann’s Family” and have made over 100 friends who all come from different walks of life. Personally, I know that I have some of my lifelong best friends here, and for that I am eternally grateful.
RENAE KRETSCHMER, St Ann’s Collegian
In 2018, Renae Kretschmer made the move from Wirrabara to St Ann’s College. She is studying Animal Science at the University of Adelaide. In 2018, Renae was awarded a Regional Science & Engineering Scholarship by the Playford Trust, which provided assistance with College fees, creating a smooth transition to Adelaide for her and the family.
“My move to Adelaide in 2018 was a challenge because of my big involvement in the family farm.
The Playford Trust Scholarship, which was an honour to receive, gave me confidence that the move was the right decision, as finances had been a great concern. St Ann’s College and its welcoming community of people experiencing similar changes helped me adapt to a new lifestyle right from day one.
ASHLEY HAMS, Chair St Ann’s Council
Ashley studied Bachelor of Technology in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering at University of South Australia and resided in College 1990 to 1994. He is currently the Chair of St Ann’s College Council.
“My five years at St Ann’s were very influential on my life. The College provided me with a safe environment that was academically supportive, allowing me focus on my studies.
Also, the leadership positions I held at College gave me a great foundation for dealing with people from all walks of life – something which has been essential in my career as a general manager of a large mining company. Just as importantly, I formed what have been lifelong friendships with people from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study. It was the start of a network of people I still reach out to even now. St Ann’s was a wonderful experience for me. I’m very thankful to have been part of it.