The start to the year was undoubtedly one of the most significant in our 20 year history and saw many momentous milestones reached and important projects completed. Firstly, I’m excited to announce that our Term 1 enrolment exceeded 8,000 boys, up from 6,125 at the conclusion of 2018.
This number includes more than 700 Year 12 students who will complete their secondary studies in 2019. I’m extremely proud of this achievement as it brings us ever closer to reaching our commitment of supporting 10,500 young men by the end of 2020.
While enrolment numbers at our existing programmes have been as strong as ever, enrolments at our new academies have been particularly encouraging. This term we opened 23 new programmes – the most we’ve opened in a single year – and welcomed more than 1,000 boys into them.
To cater for this substantial increase in enrolments, we engaged in an extensive recruitment drive at the end of 2018. I had the opportunity to meet many of our new staff members during their induction in Perth in January and I was pleased to see that the entire group was extremely enthusiastic and raring to get to work in the academies.
As always, our Development Team has sourced and recruited the right people for the job. In particular, I want to acknowledge our General Manager for Development, Liam Toner and our Human Resources Officer, Lee Stewart, for the tremendous job they’ve done over the past year. Their efforts, combined with so many others, have been fundamental in ensuring the smooth opening of our new programmes. Looking forward, they have a big job ahead of them in terms of identifying and scoping the next stage of expansion for our ever growing organisation, though I am more than confident they are up to the task.
The recent expansion included the commencement of South Australian operations, comprised of three academies located in Adelaide, Port Augusta and Port Lincoln. Initial reports from teaching staff, the community and Clontarf staff members are all very positive and I look forward to sharing their stories in future Quarterlies.
I’m excited to announce that the fourth programme of our South Australian expansion, located in Whyalla, will open in the first week of Term 2, rounding out our official launch in the state.
Another new academy located at South Grafton High School in New South Wales will also open in Term 2, taking the total number of academies in the state to 46. With more than 2,800 boys enrolled in NSW, the state has quickly become our largest by number of participants – an outstanding achievement.
I want to thank all of our supporters, partners and advocates who have made this expansion possible and for allowing our programme to reach as many young men as possible.
Enjoy the fantastic stories in this edition of the Quarterly and I look forward to sharing an update on our new academies with you at the conclusion of the semester.