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International students Tom Williams (left) and Tristan Seeto have found a home at Joeys.

Renowned for its inclusive, family atmosphere and academic results, St Joseph’s College in Sydney’s Hunters Hill was a natural secondary school choice for Tristan Seeto. But for Tristan, who’d completed his primary years at an international school in Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, it was a big step. In PNG, he’d had as few as seven students in his year group; now he’d be attending Australia’s largest boarding school for boys, alongside day students from all over the globe.

“Coming from such a small place, more than 3000 kilometres away, I wasn’t that talkative,” he says. “But being at Joeys has brought me out of my shell. I’ve made so many new mates from Australia and Asia.”

Joe-Boy for life

At Joeys, there’s a saying: you’re a new boy for one day and a Joe-Boy for life. Boarders and day students study, play and sit down to a hot lunch in the dining rooms together, forming strong friendships. The dormitories are social hubs for the school’s 1000-plus students (about half are boarders). On weeknights, more than 80 per cent of day students enjoy study sessions, co-curricular activities, plus sporting opportunities. Sports facilities include rugby fields, tennis courts, cricket nets and gyms, plus a pool, running track and rowing shed.

On weekends, boarders enjoy supervised excursions to amusement parks and football matches or can visit local friends. Parents receive regular updates from the boarding coordinators, which is especially reassuring for those based overseas.

“We know that he’s in a caring environment,” says Tristan’s mother, Katherine, who runs an autoparts sales and repair workshop with her husband, Brendan, in PNG. “Tristan is a long way from us but we’ve seen his confidence grow over the years and he’s matured considerably at Joeys.”

One of Tristan’s biggest fears was that he’d struggle to catch up academically. Instead, he has flourished under the guidance of the teaching staff and the college’s Extended Day Program, which ensures all boys become consistent, self-motivated learners.

“In Year 7, I was in the lower English and maths classes so I put in a lot of effort and I’m now in the top classes,” he says. Currently in Year 11, Tristan has received several academic awards and is weighing up his career options.

International students Tom Williams (left) and Tristan Seeto have found a home at Joeys.

Structure & consistency

The unique learning programme was a major reason Peter and Catherine Williams chose the college for their son, Tom. Australian expats in Hong Kong – who both work in finance – the Williams met the headmaster on one of his international tours and were impressed by what they’d heard from other parents.

“We felt Tom needed structure and consistency,” says Peter. “Joeys gave him the support and the nudge he needed. Previously, when I’d ask him what he was doing at school, he wouldn’t say much. Now he tells me about his assignments and he’s enthusiastic.”

“I also lost my American accent,” says Tom, laughing – a legacy of the international school he previously attended. He says being part of a big, diverse boarding community, which includes several boys from Hong Kong and Singapore, made boarding in Australia a much less daunting proposition.

“I thought of it as a fresh start,” says Tom, now a senior student and making plans for life beyond Joeys. His academic results are impressive and his parents can rest assured he has the pastoral care and career guidance he needs at this important time. “We’ve never had reason to worry about Tom,” says his father. “We have seen him develop into a resilient and thoughtful young man.”


Want to make your son a Joe-Boy for life? Learn more at www.joeys.org or contact admissions@joeys.org.