John Button Visit
Imagine at 19 years of age standing fearfully before a court judge and jury who are about to decide your fate… to be convicted of wilful murder and be hanged until dead, or to return home a free man. This was the frightening predicament posed to Years 12, 11 and 10 English students by guest speaker John Button. Mr Button visited the College in Week 2 to speak to the students about his wrongful conviction of the manslaughter of his girlfriend Rosemary Anderson, which brought him a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment to be served at Fremantle Prison and Karnup Prison Farm. Mr Button’s autobiography Why Me, Lord!, a text studied in the Year 11 General English course, expands upon how serial killer Eric Edgar Cooke confessed to the murder before himself being hanged, yet Mr Button was not exonerated until 39 years after being convicted. When queried in the question and answer portion of the incursion about what helped him deal with the miscarriage of justice against him, Mr Button emphasised that forgiveness of both Cooke and those who put him in prison was the only way to be able to move forward. Students and staff were greatly inspired by this and feel privileged to have heard from Mr Button. Many thanks to Ms Canas for organising this terrific incursion.
Western Australian Debating League Regional Competition
Last Thursday marked the much anticipated commencement of the Western Australian Debating League Competition in Mandurah. Our College’s three teams got off to a wonderful start, with our Junior Team, consisting of Kate Wellburn, Manav Kumar and Mitchell Pieri, winning their debate against Mandurah Catholic College. Our two Senior Teams were unfortunately drafted to debate each other, but both delivered excellent performances. Senior Team 1, consisting of Jannah Teo, Jack Ellery and Esther Watts, won the debate by a narrow margin. At the conclusion of the evening, adjudicators congratulated our College on the very high standard of the debate, with one adjudicator commenting that she believed our students would be very competitive in the Perth competition, amongst schools who have been participating for decades! Congratulations to our students. A big thank you must be extended to Jake Norris, who stepped in at the last minute on the day to fill a vacancy, and without whom, our teams would have had to forfeit. Thank you also to Ms McGavock, who accompanied us to the debate and provided our students with support and advice.
Mr James Trimble
Head of English