From the Director of Boarding, Adrian Byrne
In 1880, Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview was founded as a Boarding School under the care of the Society of Jesus. While day boys were officially admitted from 1923, the boarding community remains central to the heart and soul of the College.
Comprised of a special mix of students from around the globe and across the country, including a strong contingent of rural and regional families, the boarding community at Riverview is unlike any other. The humour, generosity of spirit and unique perspective of these boys bring something special to Riverview, enriching what could simply have been just another Sydney private school.
As the Director of Boarding, it is a privilege for me to witness the boys grow and mature in the boarding house into “men for others”. The journey is one that I have seen many times but never tire of: a young, homesick new boarder arrives and is greeted by their senior buddy, who helps them organise their room and shows them how to tie their tie. They soon find themselves surrounded by mates and supportive boarding staff, developing lifelong friendships through all the simple things: walking to the refectory for breakfast together, sharing laughs over games and movies in the common room, and playing touch footy on the field outside. Fast forward a few years and now they are the leaders of the boarding community, a senior buddy to a newbie to whom they now show the ropes.
While the College has provided all the amenities and furnishings to make the boarding house a home, it is the people who make this community truly special. What the boys receive here is not just a bed in a school, it’s a place in the world.
Here are a few things our boarding parents have to say:
“We gave Riverview a disengaged student barely passing his school subjects, a nonchalant teenager and a boy like so many other 15 years olds, desperately trying to find his tribe. Four years later they gave us back a young man who was focussed and motivated to keep studying and now is in his second year of University. But more importantly, Riverview gave us back a young man who had learned to be “a man for others”, which is something that we hold above everything else and for which we will be eternally grateful.”
“All the men in our family were boarders at the College for the entirety of their high school years. Whilst there are always a few challenges with living away from home at such a young age, they would all say, without hesitation, that they loved their time at Riverview, and that they were grateful to be given the opportunities an Ignatian education afforded them.
We are all well aware that Riverview is an exceptional educational institution giving every opportunity to its students to learn, to lead, to play sport, to debate, sing and perform – to truly achieve their best in both curricular and co-curricular areas. But it is the core values of faith, concern for fellow brothers and sisters, courage and service for others that have made and continue to make this school special. They lie at the heart of an Ignatian education. They are what make good men better and they are what bring the Riverview family together.”
“In year 9, our son made the choice to take up the opportunity to study and live at Riverview. Riverview offered him a whole range of experiences which would not have otherwise been available to him, most significantly the opportunity to be the member of a boarding community and to have access to the many diverse experiences which stem from this amazing community.
Many schools pride themselves on a culture based upon traditions of humility and service, however, Riverview truly provides an education totally bound up with these values. Whilst offering the most amazing facilities for its students, the school emphasises the need for humility, compassion, and service, and these values define the school. Becoming a boarder at Riverview engenders maturity, self-sufficiency, dedication to learning, and an ethos of service which we are extremely impressed by.”