In December the five Australian GAP students (or Gappies), who have graced the groves of Clongowes since January 2017, began to make their way back home for a bit of sunshine before embarking on the next stage of their lives at Third Level. Andrew Cheok, Jack Kofod, Joe Flannery, Philip Playoust and William Hartwig 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The departing Gappies have just been replaced by Nicholas O’Sullivan, Matthew Toomey, Charlie Crawford, Tim Ross and Matthew Williams (left to right above; see below for more details), who arrived from the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.
Charlie Crawford hails from the small rural town of Moree (known for cattle and cotton) and attended St Joseph’s College. His interests include playing basketball and rugby and he relishes the group dynamic to be found in team sports. When he returns from Ireland he hopes to study for a combined Bachelor of Business and Law. 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.
Nick O’Sullivan is from the north shore of Sydney (with great views of the harbour!) and enjoys spending time on the beach – especially riding a surfboard. A keen sportsman, Nick played rugby, cricket and AFL while at school in Riverview and also enjoys a game of golf. He is undecided as to his path at third level but is leaning in the direction of Medical Science. Nick 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.
Tim Ross is also from the north shore of Sydney (also with great views of the harbour!) and enjoys hiking and running cross-country through the extensive parklands that teem with wildlife. Tim was Sportsman of the Year in Riverview, where he played rugby, cricket, AFL and golf while also being a keen athlete. Not surprisingly, Tim is very keen to get involved in the sports programme here at Clongowes. As well as spending time in another academic system he also wants to travel in order to immerse himself in other cultures befor returning home to study Commerce along with Psychology.
Matthew Toomey lives fairly close to the centre of Sydney and is looking forward to experiencing the more rural environment at Clongowes. He played soccer and cricket while at school in St Joseph’s, where he was also heavily involved in debating. 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 before returning home to pursue a combined Bachelor of Software Engineering and Arts.
Matthew Williams completes the Sydney quartet of Gappies and – like his colleagues – is very much looking forward travel and seeing new places both in Ireland and in mainland Europe as well as experiencing a different school culture here in Clongowes. Matthew’s hobbies include reading and sport – especially basketball, which he has played since he was ten. When his GAP year is over he hopes to return home to study for a Bachelor of Business.
Declan O’Keeffe, Head of Communications