Meet the team!
This year, we introduced a new Boarding House Student Council, with each year group voting for two representatives (apart from Year 12, which has four representatives) to take up office for an initial term of one semester. The purpose of the Council is to increase opportunities for our boarders to have a recognised collective voice and an active role in decision making.
Our four Year 12 representatives each have a specific portfolio: Bella Critch is the Captain of Boarding, Hayleigh Duck focuses on arts and activities, Molly Greaves covers wellbeing, and Georgia Hitsert concentrates on sports and fitness.
Let’s hear a little from each of them.
“I came to Penrhos in 2017, as a Year 7 from a small country town in the mid-west Wheatbelt called Mullewa. The little school I went to only had 50 students! It was so tiny and very different to Penrhos, where I now have almost 100 girls in my year alone! Due to its small size, there weren’t many options for sport, but I played footy with the boys and travelled to Geraldton (about an hour away) for dance classes every Saturday.
When I started at Penrhos, it had the most varied range of co-curricular activities I could have imagined! In 2021, I was able to take part in rowing, IGGSA dance, basketball, hockey, mock trials and more! There are so many options and, as a boarder, it is all very accessible. For most activities, I simply walk 100m into the sports centre or dance studio!
Being a boarder is a unique experience, and I am so lucky to have experienced it. I grew up reading Enid Blyton’s books about midnight feasts, living with your best friends and having the most glorious time in boarding houses. I always thought the stories were a bit unrealistic and exaggerated, but it is really exactly what boarding is! Almost every night, I can sit in the common room and chat away to my friends, who all live right next to me – something not many people can do!
Although it is fun, and you make some of your strongest and most amazing friendships, it can also be hard to adjust and challenging to find your way at first. But once you have settled in, it really is the best experience.”
Bella says that if boarders have any questions or concerns, there is always someone to talk to – any member of the Boarding Council, the lovely staff or the Head of Boarding (Ms Langdon) will be pleased to help out or lend a hand wherever needed.
“I come from a small town in the central Wheatbelt, called Moora, which is around two hours north of Perth. I first joined the Penrhos boarding community in Year 8. Being at Penrhos has allowed me to make some amazing friends and to be a part of another family. Choosing Penrhos was the perfect decision for my family and myself, as we all find it a home-away-from-home.
Boarding has given me many opportunities to expand my friendships and create strong bonds with all my peers, that I know will last for ever. At first, boarding can be daunting, but you soon realise that those few moments of fear pale into insignificance against many years of memories, laughter and friends. I, for sure, was extremely nervous about starting my new adventure away from my family, but now I know it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Hayleigh says her role is focused on creating and maintaining a positive and open space that allows for creativity and fun; she will be setting up themed dinners and arranging after-school or weekend activities for all to enjoy – suggestions from boarders are most welcome!
“Last year, at the beginning of Year 11, I left my hometown in Dunsborough (three hours south of Perth) to come on this new adventure, to find out what Penrhos and the boarding experience had to offer.
I could not have asked for a better opportunity. This community of amazing Penrhos staff and students instantly made me feel welcome, it was like I had found a second home. Now I want to reciprocate and ensure that others starting out at Penrhos find it just as amazing.
Starting a new school away from home is daunting and challenging, yet it is also an incredibly positive experience. Not everyone gets to live with their closest friends during high school! Building such strong friendships is amazing, especially as we come from so many different places and would otherwise never have met. I guarantee that new starters will make – and cherish – many happy memories that will last a lifetime here in the Penrhos community.”
Molly encourages boarders to get involved with at least one of the many sports, academic and recreational activities on offer at Penrhos. She recommends trying out new hobbies, especially ones that are outside of usual comfort zones!
With wellbeing as her focus, Molly aims to personally connect with all members of the boarding community. She will be working on range of environmentally based and community service inspired opportunities and activities for all boarders.
“I come from a small town called Borden, in the Great Southern, which is about 377kms from Perth. My family’s farm is near the Stirling Ranges, and I absolutely love where I live.
Leaving home and coming to boarding is exciting, but it can feel a bit scary – especially having grown up in a small community where everyone knows everyone else. Little did I know that I would come out of College with 100 new sisters by my side!
Boarding has helped me make many diverse friendships with girls from across WA – from the Wheatbelt, the Kimberly, Pilbara, Great Southern and even some international students! Boarders create friendships that are especially strong – they are like no other. Not everyone gets to say they share a house with 100 of their friends!”
In her Boarding Council role promoting sports and fitness, Georgia encourages boarders to take advantage of the many sporting opportunities that Penrhos has to offer. She believes playing sport is not only good for your health, but it also encourages new friendships.
“There was nothing quite like playing sport in your country town on the weekends, whether it was footy, netball or hockey. Fortunately, at Penrhos, we have all this – and more!”