In December the five Australian GAP students (or Gappies), who have graced the groves of Clongowes since January 2016, began to make their way back home for a bit of sunshine before embarking on the next stage of their lives at Third Level. Luke O’Brien, Dominic Tynan, Angus (Gus) Reynolds, Joe Schwager, Conor Mulcahy added much to the rich tapestry of Clongowes life over the last year. We bid them a fond farewell and hope that they will come and visit us the next time they find themselves back in this hemisphere.
The Gappies who come to Clongowes each year hail from New South Wales and come from three Catholic schools in Sydney: St. Ignatius’ College (Riverview), St. Joseph’s College (Joey’s) and Saint Aloysius’ College. Over many years they have become a vital part of the year in Clongowes as they assist with many aspects of school life including tutoring and coaching. They have a wide variety of skills and experience between them and always immerse themselves fully in the life of the college.
The departing Gappies have just been replaced by Andrew Cheok, Jack Kofod, Joe Flannery, Philip Playoust and William Hartwig (see below for more details), who arrived from the Australian heat to the inviting wind and rain of Ireland just after Christmas and have been quietly making their presence felt ever since. Mr Steven Gray has ensured that the guys have settled well into their new surrounds and are being fully immersed into the world of Clongowes. All five are working in the dorms alongside the prefects and also helping in tutoring and coaching roles. In addition they will accompany students and teachers on trips within Ireland and to other European countries as well as doing their own travel throughout Europe during the school breaks.
Pictured above are: William Hartwig, Andrew Choek, Philip Playoust (standing) and Jack Kofod and Joe Flannery (seated).
Mr Declan O’Keeffe
Andrew Cheok is from Sydney and attended St Ignatius’ College, Riverview. His interests include playing basketball and rugby, cinema and all kinds of water sports. When he returns from Ireland he hopes to attend the University of Technology Sydney to study Medical Science, which could potentially lead to studying medicine. This year he hopes to explore Europe, experience a lot of new cultures, meet a whole lot of new people and enjoy the year being away from home.
Jack Kofod hails from a coastal part of Sydney called Coogee, where he grew up around the beach and the surf which he still enjoys to this day. He attended St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill (Joeys), where his sporting interests included Rugby, Basketball, Golf and Athletics. In 2018 he intends to pursue a bachelor of Arts/Commerce at the University of New South Wales. He is looking forward to connecting with the boys and staff here at Clongowes while also travelling around Europe and experiencing things that he could only dream of back home.
Joe Flannery was born in the small country town of Forbes, New South Wales, Australia. Like Jack, Joe was a student at St Josephs College and graduated in the class of 2016. He too is very interested in sport, particularly rugby and tennis, and as a result of this intends to study a bachelor of sports and exercise science at the University of Sydney once back in Australia. This year he hopes to get an insight into the working world, as well as to meet new people and do a lot of travelling.
Philip Playoust is the only Gappie this year from Saint Aloysius’ College and lives in Sydney. His interetsts include acting in drama and musical productions and he also enjoys fencing and ping pong and follows Australian politics with a passion. After his GAP year Philip hopes to either study at an acting college or take a degree of politics, economics and philosophy at the Australian National University. While traveling throughout Europe, and working at Clongowes, he wants to meet new people and learn their way of telling stories, so that he can enhance his abilities as a performer.
William Hartwig was born and raised in a small country town called Temora in New South Wales and attended St Ignatius’ College, Riverview. It was here that he developed a love for sport in all areas including rugby, basketball and skiing. In the year following Clongowes he hopes to continue his studies in Canberra and to incorporate all the new lessons learned from an exciting year in Ireland. This year he hopes to meet many new people and explore the remainder of Europe in the summer.