At Somerset College we have prided ourselves in the implementing a vibrant pastoral program that aims to develop the social and emotional wellbeing of all our students. Our programmes are backed by scientific research and founded by experts in the field of adolescent development. In 2022 the Somerset experience was further enhanced by the introductory of single sex programs that acknowledge the unique gender-based experiences and challenges uniquely faced.

The Year 7 boys engaged with a 'soft trial' of Glen Gerryn’s Men of Honour X programme. Over the past 10 years, I have been an advocate for boys’ education, and I have had the privilege of watching Glen inspire, motivate, and transform the boys I have pastorally led. For the past 20 years Glen has shared his message of hope with over a million people around the world; engaging with students, parents, teachers, employees, sporting groups and community leaders. Glen’s been invited to speak at TEDx events and on national TV and radio. He’s authored five books and created the ‘Men of Honour’ character development course.

The boys engaged in a series of five workshops which were delivered by experienced staff members and student leaders. The workshops aimed to highlight the power of an individual’s choice. For the 2022 Year 7 programme we chose to explore the areas of Exercise, Nutrition, Relationships, Online Presence, and Masculinity. The boys explored the portrayal of men in society, perpetuated by the media, and the subsequent effects on male identity and behaviour. The evidence-based sessions, all allowed the boys to exercise core skills and cultivate characteristics that are proven to strengthen resilience and good mental health. The workshops also emphasised the power of mentorship from honourable men, something that our boys need and should seek out.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the boys for taking part in the ‘soft release’ of this important programme. They have all played a vital role in pioneering a program that aims to better support the boys in our college. It has been such a pleasure hearing the positive feedback from students, and I hope this will be an effective tool they can utilise as a part of their Somerset journey and beyond.

And of course, no program can run without the generosity and commitment of staff. The following teachers have been acting as positive mentors for the boys. They have not only delivered the program, but they also demonstrated their commitment in ensuring our boys are supported along their journey into being honourable Somerset graduates. On behalf of Year 7, I would like to thank:

  • Nick Brice (Deputy Principal)
  • Ash Abdou
  • Spencer Attoe
  • Tom Betts
  • Stephen Walther
  • Jeff Grocott 
  • Ben Goodall
  • Jordan Gasmier

I would also like to thank the Year 7 2023 Captains Jake Johnson and Amy Barry for also helping to deliver the programme to the Year 7 boys. It was such a pleasure watching Jake and Amy demonstrate and develop their leadership capacity in a way which was so positively influential to our boys.

The Men of Honour will be 're-designed' with the guidance of Glen Gerryn and the feedback received from students. In 2023 we are hoping to make the program bigger and better than ever.

To conclude I leave with this quote from St Augustine:

The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but – what is worse – the slave of as many masters as he has vices.

Watch the story on Somerset Stream.

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