Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Yiramalay sesquicentenary event

Posted 24 June 2016
Yiramalay Sesquicentenary Event

Last week I had the great pleasure of attending two outstanding College events. The first was our Wesley annual Business Breakfast, held at the Sofitel on Wednesday morning. The breakfast has become a significant event in the College calendar over the last few years, and this year was no exception. 400 guests enjoyed the thought-provoking presentations by panellists Dr Ken Henry AC, Chair of NAB and former Secretary of the Commonwealth Treasury, Lindsay Tanner, Senior Advisor, Lazards and former Federal Finance Minister and Jennifer Westacott, CEO, Business Council of Australia. They discussed economic issues of the past, the present and where to in the future, in a panel-style forum with Professor Graeme Samuel AC (OW1963) Vice Chancellor's Professional Fellow, Monash University.

The second was the Yiramalay sesquicentenary event held on Friday 17 June, to celebrate the opening of the new kitchen/dining community facility on site at Yiramalay. We were delighted to welcome more than 250 guests, many of whom were families of students who had travelled considerable distances to attend this very special community event. I was also pleased to welcome, as special guests, the newly-inducted senator for Western Australia, Pat Dodson, former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and 2014 Senior Australian of the Year, Fred Chaney AO and the new Chair of the Yiramalay Steering Committee June Oscar AO, who has recently won the Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship for 2016. This prestigious award celebrates individuals doing extraordinary work in reconciliation and past winners of the award include world famous Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Both June and Pat gave powerful and persuasive addresses, before the new kitchen and dining room were officially opened by June Oscar and Marianne Stillwell, President of the Wesley College Council. This new facility is a wonderful addition to the infrastructure at Yiramalay and provides a commercial-style kitchen and a spacious and flexible dining space.

We were very pleased that ABC Radio in Broome was also able to broadcast the Breakfast Show on Friday morning, live from the Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School. This included interviews with Yiramalay staff, students and community leaders and was broadcast all over the Kimberley from 6.30am – 7.45am and it was heard by many! An ABC cameraman also attended the opening of the kitchen/dining room and we are hoping that a story from Yiramalay will be included with a number of other stories on ABC TV national news during NAIDOC Week, which starts on Sunday 3 July. 

It has been a busy term and I'm sure that you will enjoy the Term 2 holidays with your families. I look forward to seeing many of you at the next sesquicentenary event, the 150th Anniversary Dinner, on 30 July. It promises to be a superb evening and I know that more than 1,000 guests are already attending!
With best wishes to you all for a safe and happy term break.

Helen Drennen, Principal

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