North Queensland Register

Connection at the core of boarding at St Peters

Family ties: Being co-educational, St Peters boarding enables siblings to attend the one school.

This is branded content for St Peters Lutheran College.

Many things make boarding at St Peters Lutheran College special, but perhaps the most important aspect is the sense of connection. It is the reason Girls Boarding Coordinator Kim Holman left a fulfilling teaching career for a boarding role at St Peters and is why she is still here 17 years on.

"This job allows you to meet and become a second family to so many wonderful and amazing young people from all over the world," said Mrs Holman.

With three children of her own, Mrs Holman has always strived to create a place that she would be proud to send them to.

"It's why I put my heart and soul into the job," she said.

For more than 75 years, St Peters has provided a home away from home for boarders from the bush to the coast and overseas.

Prior to her role at St Peters, Mrs Holman taught for 24 years including stints in Toomelah in regional New South Wales and Goondiwindi in southern Queensland, so she knows firsthand what country families face when educating their children away from home.

For more than 75 years, St Peters has provided a home away from home for boarders from the bush to the coast and overseas and the boarding staff work hard to create a positive and caring community for them.

To help new boarders settle in, they are assigned a 'Family Group' with a mix of students from different year levels.

From the moment they step into the boarding house they are welcomed by a Year 12 boarder who is the 'parent' of the 'family' and junior boarding resident or 'cool aunt/uncle'.

The 'families' gather for sport, social activities, house camps and celebrations such as birthdays.

Year 10 student Char Stanford comes from a small rural locality north of Roma and said the 'Family Group' was the most helpful thing as a new boarder.

"When I first came, my whole family group came up to me and I didn't feel sad or scared," she said. "I just felt welcomed into the boarding community."

Miss Stanford also feels that boarding at St Peters has taken her outside of her 'little bubble' and helped to build her confidence and make new friends.

Another wellbeing initiative which provides an additional layer of support for boarders is the 'Adopt a Boarder' program, now in its fourteenth year.

Through this program, staff members are paired with a boarding student, and they meet up each term over lunch. They may also cheer them on at sporting events or take them on outings.

Cassie Twemlow works in Community Engagement at St Peters and has two daughters at the College. Involved in the Adopt a Boarder program since 2019, Ms Twemlow has 'adopted' three students in that time, two of whom have since graduated.

"I love meeting new people and being a part of their lives, especially if I can help," Ms Twemlow said. "My girls love it too."

"Some of the boarders are new to Brisbane, so we've taken them hiking up Mt Coot-tha and out to Eat Street. I bring them care packages every now and then, especially on their birthdays and during exam time or if I know they're feeling a bit down."

Proud boarding tradition: Student leaders at St Peters.

St Peters welcomes boarders from Year 6 onwards. Being co-educational, boarding at St Peters enables all family members to attend the one school, providing a sense of stability and continuity for siblings.

Year 12 student Barney Radel has boarded since Year 7 and is the last of five siblings to attend St Peters. Sharing daily life with boarders from a range of language, cultural and faith backgrounds, he loves that there is always someone to relate to and that no one feels left out.

"Once you find people to gel with, that brings you closer to the brotherhood," he said.

St Peters Lutheran College has a proud boarding tradition, and its boarders enjoy myriad educational, social, sporting and cultural opportunities within a close-knit and supportive environment.

For more information about boarding at St Peters contact Admissions at admissions@stpeters.qld.edu.au or visit the St Peters website.

This is branded content for St Peters Lutheran College.