The year draws to a close and with the long summer holiday, the College is undergoing a substantial works program to rejuvenate the dining room and attend to some much needed renovations of some of the older buildings. Keeping the College buildings and grounds looking good is a constant challenge, but a necessary one at times when the entire residential college community is facing external pressures. While other colleges have had a difficult year (some other UQ colleges have vacancy rates of 50+ beds), St John’s remains substantially full. Next year, 118 of 128 freshers will be returning, which is an historically very high retention rate. The College faces, and continues to address, the other pressures that impact on large residential colleges. There is a constant need to remain current in terms of addressing “culture” and the Broderick review of Sydney colleges has highlighted the problems that can arise when leadership is not vigilant. Special thanks go to the Vice Warden, Mr Glen Cronan and Chaplain, Dr Ceri Wynne, for their fantastic leadership over the past year.
The past year has been a difficult one for the Warden, Reverend Professor Rodney Wolff, as he has had to take some considerable time off with illness. We wish him the very best for his recovery.
The end of the year brings some other changes to the Council as Dr Douglas Porter (pictured below) retires after nearly thirty years service on the Council, including as Chair for the past ten. The College community owes much to his wise stewardship over the years and we thank him also for his efforts. Mr John Peden QC has taken over as Chair and is looking forward to the challenges of the New Year.