College Corner: 2019 Reflections

2019 was a remarkable year for St John’s – one that is unparalleled to any other!

As I’m sure you will appreciate the convenience of numbers over paragraphs, here is a numeric description of the year, 2019 saw:


  • 306 Johnians
  • 141 whip-outs
  • 87 Touch@4s
  • 39 nights in the Buttery
  • 21 formal dinners
  • 2 weighted sporting shields
  • 1 cultural shield


As much as I prefer a factual approach, no statistic or numerical value can accurately capture the essence of this year, or as a matter of fact, any year at St John’s College!

2019 held high expectations following our winning of all four sporting shields in 2018, and the Johnians did not disappoint. The year began with a bang as the Johnian women secured a well-deserved 1st place in the swimming carnival. For what was the first whipout of the year, it filled us with pride to witness the Johnian spirit bursting out of every Jabba at the beginning of every race. As Semester 2 came around, the College spirit remained vibrant and the sea of bumblebees remained as supportive as ever. After a tough season, the cricketers brought a well-earned premiership home, followed by the women who dominated the Netball courts and obtained 1st place. The choc and gold appeared brighter than any other colour on every field – track and court, and all Johnians represented the College with immense pride, finishing the year in 2nd place for the men’s and women’s shields, and 1st overall for the weighted shield in both divisions. A massive thank you must be extended to all convenors, players, sponsors and finally, to my two favourite competitors Ali Westmore and Tristan Page who never failed to support our Johnian athletes.

SJC Swimming Carnival 2019 Image
Photo: Swimming Carnival 2019

St John’s received a significant influx of cultural talent from the first years, setting us up nicely for another successful year. Our predictions were verified as a fusion of our College bands, the new-born collective named Does Anyone Have a Printer I Can Borrow? brought home a well-deserved 1st place in the inter-college Bandfest competition. Prior to the closing event of the cultural season – Dancefest, Emmanuel were leading the cup by quite a margin. Many rehearsals and a few broken limbs later, the Johnians achieved the unachievable and tied 1st place overall, allowing us to reclaim the Cultural Cup. Above the outstanding result, 170 Johnians partook in cultural activities this year and hats off to Charlotte Wright who, despite a torn meniscus, was able to consistently rally the troops, somehow teach Angus McRae how to dance and lead us to cultural victory.

On the community front, it is my honour to report that many records were broken. Indeed, our annual executive auction and the John’s Movember Team raised $3,150 and $3,285, respectively. St John’s also saw record numbers participate for Do It in a Dress, Clean Up Australia Day and the ICC Blood Drive. A huge thank you to Renee Williams, the Wellness Week Committee and everyone who participated in these activities, for all their efforts and donations – let’s keep smashing records!

SJC Wellness Week Image
Photo: Wellness Week – Bring Your Dog to College Day

On the social front, arguably St John’s most notorious area of expertise, 2019 did not disappoint. With the introduction of the 70’s themed Groovin’ on the Green, another spectacular John’s Ball and our infamous Jazz Night, the Social’s efforts were out of this world. Thank you to our social convenors, Xanthe Cerutti and Jan Bakker, as well as their committee for all their hard work. Additionally, the gates of the Buttery Bar remained open throughout the year to Johnians seeking a few social lubricants and yearning to share a few yarns. It made us proud to witness College Road, Eagle Rock and Good light in Broome bellowed at the top of everyone’s lungs and I would like to thank my two partners in crime Gracie Forbes and Redvers Morgan for maintaining the culture of the College and the functioning of the Buttery.

Despite the high turnover of governance experienced this year, the College is still receiving high numbers of enrolments and seeing all cohorts end the year with the same positive outlook. 2019 saw the Jabba spirit instilled in and fostered by every Johnian more than ever. This year we were proudly outspoken about the values we aim to uphold and the future we wish to see for the College. I would like to wish the 2020 Student Executive and our first female Warden Rose Alwyn the best of luck for what I hope will be a more stable and prosperous time for our College.

SJC Student Executive Committee Image
Photo: Student Executive – O Week Committee


After three years, I have come to understand that the benefits of attending St John’s College cannot simply be quantified or put into words. The supportive community and the strong comradeship that St John’s fosters is unmatched by any alternate accommodation facility. The people you meet, the traditions you cherish and the history you share are truly unique experiences that we are extremely lucky to enjoy. Never forget that it is always an exciting time to be a Johnian.

Julien Sennane
Student Club President