To my boarding family and soon to be new sisters and their parents,
I would like to start by introducing myself, my name is Micaela Beeck, and I am excited and honoured to be your Captain of Boarding for 2021. I come from a small town in the Great Southern called Gnowangerup, where I grew up on our family farm. I started my Penrhos journey as a young Year 7 student in 2016, where I met my new family that I was going to grow up with for the next six years. I also have a younger sister in boarding with me, Sienna – who is currently in Year 9.
To our new families joining us in 2021, I hope you enjoyed Orientation Day (if you couldn’t make it, we are very much looking forward to meeting you). We could feel your excitement and understand that there were a few nerves too. I can assure you, the boarding community is one that you will grow to love and treasure. Parents, I want you to know that the current boarders, especially my year group, the current Year 11s – are committed to making your experience at Penrhos the best it can be.
It might help our new families, or even our current girls, to take a trip with me down memory lane to reflect on my first few years as a Penrhos boarder and show you some of the wonderful opportunities that Penrhos has to offer.
The photo below, was taken just as my parents were about to leave me after setting up my new room in the Penrhos Boarding House. My emotions were all over the place and I remember not knowing how to feel being in a new environment and around new people. Honestly, this night was really difficult, and I felt very homesick for the first week, with many phone calls home and hugs in Mrs Hay’s office. I think our current boarders can all agree that this is very normal during the transition period and things will only improve. This all may sound scary, but I can’t begin to describe the relationships I have made at Penrhos, ones that will stay with me forever. The Buddy System really helped me in my first year as I got to know other girls from different year groups and was a great support system for me.
I remember my dad calling on my first morning and asking for a photo in my new school uniform. I highly recommend any parent doing this, because now looking back, I can see how fast time has gone and how far we all have come.
Our boarding year group has definitely expanded in numbers since the photo below was taken. This was our year group (minus one) in Year 7 on our first trip out of the Boarding House. Then Principal, Mrs Melville, and Head of Boarding, Mrs Hay, treated us to lunch at Garden City at the David Jones café…it was so exciting! Something the Year 7s look forward to every year.
Boarders Netball is a highlight for many, and is played in Terms 2 and 3. Playing netball every Saturday morning in Fremantle is a great way to get out of the Boarding House and socialise with other teams. Our Year 7 netball team, coached by Penrhos alumni Renae and Keley, won the Grand Final, and now a few years on as Year 11s, we won the Grand Final again, this time coached by Alex.
I am heavily involved in the Music Program here at Penrhos. I have been participating in Choir since Year 4, back when my mum was my Music Teacher. Once I came to Penrhos, I joined the Year 7/8 Choir (Sotto Voce), and currently I am in the Year 9-12 Choir (Chorale). I also played the flute from Year 4 to Year 11. Through my involvement in the Music Program, I was lucky enough to travel to six different countries in Europe where I sang and played the flute. Mrs Hay even travelled with us as the College Nurse, and we happily represented the Boarding House all the way around Europe.
These are just a few examples of the opportunities I have appreciated being a part of since becoming a boarder at Penrhos. I strongly recommend all girls get involved in some sort of co-curricular activity, whether it be in sports, music, dance, or drama.
I would also like to make special mention to our outgoing 2020 Boarding Captain, Amber Dixon, who has done an amazing job, especially considering the unprecedented year we have had. She has certainly helped me and has given excellent advice as I move forward into the role of Boarding Captain in 2021.
The Boarding House is such a great way to develop friendships and lifelong bonds, and being a boarder is a really special experience that we are fortunate to enjoy. As Boarding Captain, I will endeavor to make the Boarding House feel even more like a home away from home, and to make sure every girl feels welcomed and included. I look forward to the opportunity to lead the Boarding House and create new bonds with current and new students in 2021.
I encourage and welcome any boarder who would like to make contact for a chat or to ask questions about boarding, to email me via firstname.lastname@example.org or the Head of Boarding, Michele Hay, is always available to answer any parent queries you may have by calling (08) 9368 9524.
Micaela Beeck (2021)
Captain of Boarding