2015: A College Odyssey

This past year has certainly been an adventure, full of changes, exciting moments and late nights of study. I would like to dedicate this blog to this past year and all the amazing people who I have shared it with.

O-Week:Pic 1

This year at Concannon we used O-Week to conquer (pun intended) all the parties, all the activities, and most importantly meet everyone. My personal highlights of 2015 O-Week include; Steele Rudd’s Rodeo, Concannon’s Beach party and the Concannon Wedding, always a highlight. Special mention to all the incredible Concannon freshers who spent O-Week looking fly in their sun safe hats.



Concannon’s 30th Birthday party, was an amazing time, costumes that all started with ‘C’, and birthday cake, what more could I have asked for? Also the amazing semi-formals that Steele Rudd (Famous People) and McGregor (Superheroes and Villains) hosted, I was lucky enough to be able to wear the same costume to all the semi-formals, the best way to justify the purchase of an expensive costume.

Pic 2

Concannon Parties:

Who doesn’t love a themed party? Life is too short to spend your time with people who don’t like dressing up for a themed party. Some of Concannon’s themed parties from this year included; St. Patricks Day party, Hero Day (to celebrate our graduates) and Golf Day (since we are such incredible athletes).

Formal:Pic 3

Formal, what would a year on college be without formal? Concannon’s Casino night
involved a little panic (setting up) and a lot of fun. And in classic Concannon fashion we made sure there was lots of laughing, lots of dancing and excellent food. Thank you to the RSC for organising the formal and getting everything done, to the Block representatives for all their support and to all the residents who attended and made sure it was an incredible night.


To all the college residents of 2015, thank you for making 2015 an amazing year, and of course, make 2016 an amazing year as well.  Have an incredible rest of the year and best of luck to everyone during these final weeks of university and during exam block!

Pic 4

RSC – The Crazy Folks

When you first move to college you hear about these Concannon Group Shotweird people who volunteer on your college RSC (Resident Student Club). Why are they weird you may ask? They volunteer their time to do stuff for the college and try to keep residents happy (not an easy job). They sound crazy, but they are actually kind of amazing for juggling everything they do. They plan all major college parties and events, they organise social sports clubs and college merchandise. And why do they do all this? Because they love college. As a second year RSC veteran, I can reassure you that being in the RSC is tough, you do a lot of extra work that often residents don’t notice or realise is necessary, and we do it for free. I like to think of the RSC as the college fun committee, cause it’s what we want college to be, FUN!

There are five positions on the RSC; Secretary, Treasurer, Social Coordinator, Sports Coordinator and President. And although there are different titles within the RSC, we all work together to make sure events are the best they can be.

So what does the President do? From what I have observed my own President doing they keep the team on track and make sure things get done. The President is kind of the boss and boosts up the team when things don’t go to plan.

Next is the Sports Coordinator, Concannon’s Sports Coordinator Alex has unwavering team spirit, the ability to motivate and a never give up attitude. He works with the other colleges to play regular sporting events so that we all occasionally leave our rooms.

On Tabletop mountainSocial Coordinator is next, and I actually have some experience in this role (a little bit last year). The Social Coordinator is in charge of organising all major college social events such as semi-formal and formal.

Secretary and Treasurer are often the forgotten roles, the nerds of the group (I’ve allowed to say it I’m one of them). These roles are responsible for keeping everything legal and everyone on track. Don’t take these two for granted though, they have their own important jobs to do too.

So, what is the best part about being on your colleges RSC? Getting to make college life better. If you see something that needs improving on college, do something or tell someone. We want you to enjoy college, and make it the best it can be. Don’t forget to nominate later this year for the 2016 RSC. THANKS GUYS!

2015 RSC

Batman and the Bin Bandits

Every Year, as part of the Residential Shield competition, each college is required to submit a short film for judging and comparison between the three colleges. We are supplied with a set of unusual criteria, and asked to devise, write and film an 8-10 minute film based on these. As an Acting student, and someone with relatively few otherwise useful talents, this is one of the only competitive cross-college events that I’m any use in. That said, it’s also quite possibly the most fun of the lot. I’ve attached McGregor’s 2013 video, which consists of all things unusual from Batman to Bart Simpson, to Bandits riding in bins. The criteria for this video dictated that they each video must include:

A Glee Style Music Number

  • The Song Footloose
  • Bart Simpson
  • Brad Pitt
  • The 1950’s Batman theme
  • A dustpan and brush
  • A Cheerleader
  • A scene shot in the new Refectory

Naturally this peculiar mix makes for quite a unique artistic predicament among the creative team for the video, and poses a special set of challenges for us as a unit. We are, however, extremely confident that we effectively met almost all of these terms with our film, and, let’s face it, produced an award-worthy piece of art. We didn’t take home any Oscars, but boy were we worthy.
This masterpiece stars yours truly as Officer Niel Raymonds, and Emily Martin as his partner ‘Happy’. Filmed and Edited by Simon Merange and featuring the supporting Talents of Brendan O’Leary, Jennifer Laycock, Steph ‘Batman’ Piper and Thomas Pitt Hooley. Special Thanks to Steph for the Link.

Until Next Time,


Boot Camp

“But isn’t O-week a total waste of time? That’s what my friend at work told me.”
“Your friend at work must be great at parties.” I responded.
This year, I begin my studying journey with my mother. While I’m doing an honours project on Group A Strep vaccination research, she’s taking the plunge and studying business. This is a rare point in our relationship where I become the mother and she becomes the fresher noob.
“O-week is a pretty much a party except while you’re having fun and making friends, you’re also learning everything you need to know to get stuck into your study.”
I’m living on Steele Rudd College this year, and damn, O-week was a party. A well organised, well executed party that required two weeks of training beforehand by Residential Advisors and Residential Student Club members.
It began with leadership camp, which should be more accurately re-named “Camp of ultimate punishment and toilet lacking doom”.

Boot Camp 1
Here’s how things went:

11.00AM: We arrive at Murphy’s Creek. Are told to discard things like ‘spare underwear’, ‘hygienic items’ and ‘dignity’.

12.00PM: Get given instructions: “Follow compass bearing 340° until you reach the road”. Nek minnit, or should I say, nek two hours of hiking through pathless death terrain of pointy trees.
Boot Camp 2

2.00PM: Arrived at the road. It felt nice to have branches not high fiving us in the face. We were then told that some water jerries were injured and we needed to get them to another destination of unknown length and ridiculousness.

2.30PM: We arrived at the abseiling activity point (fear not, the water jerries lived) and abseiled 30 meters to our next activity point. It wasn’t really abseiling though, it was more overhang freefall without a parachute after the first 2m of rock.
Boot Camp 3

3.30PM: We then embarked on a cliff walk. I’m fairly certain the song “Don’t push me, cause I’m close to the edge” was inspired by this activity.
Boot Camp 4

5.00-7.30PM: After detaching ourselves from the rock face, we dined on lukewarm space stew. Smuggling coffee in was the best popularity-gaining strategy I’ve ever made. Katharine Bigby, our boss, off-handedly mentions that she was planning to go to Dreamworld for Leadership camp instead of Murphy’s Creek. That was the worst popularity-gaining strategy she’s ever made.
Boot Camp 5

7.30-12.00AM: We then embarked on what we thought was a brief, final hike to our campsite. However, we were faced by an unexpected obstacle after the first twenty minutes – Peter, our camp leader (aka, punishment overlord mature Channing Tatum lookalike) with his Nissan Navara. “Looks like my ute has broken down. You will need to get it to camp along with these injured water jerries.” By the time we were ready to re-embark, we had set up the ultimate vehicle moving team. We put our abseiling harnesses back on, and set up a husky dog style pulling system tied on from the front bull bar in conjunction with people pushing from the back as well as two teams of eight water jerry paramedics. We made it to our camp after 6 kilometers, 5 hours and a 100% gradient terrain hike of intensity.
Nissan Navara

12.00-2.00AM: We ended the hike with a memorable quote from Peter. “You’ve all done very well today, but today is now tomorrow and we begin tomorrow.” Peter is a man of his word, and we continued activities with the 60km/ph flying fox of crotch pain. At this point in time, we were all very tired and found out that we all do very funny things when we’ve reached the wall. My puns were getting steadily worse, Lachlan was snoring on a rock and Josh was telling his infinite punchline-less joke (ask him about it, I dare you).

2.00-6.00AM: Sweet, glorious sleep. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t showered (sunscreen bath counts, doesn’t it?) or that we were sleeping on nothing but the ground. Sleep was sleep.

The next day was a blur of leadership and team building activities, but the mid-ropes course stood out in particular. Peter gave us a preliminary safety briefing, concluding with “Don’t worry everyone, I’ve only had to rescue two people in the park’s history.” Needless to say, he rescued five of us that day. We were on the log avoiding section of the course, and without warning, the steel cable we were balancing on broke off from the tree and we all fell into the hanging position of crotch pain. We all made good use of the opportunity though, and performed an accurate rendition of ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus while we were waiting to be rescued.
Boot Camp 6

Although there was just as much pain after the weekend as during the weekend, it was worth it. I got to know my new Steele Rudd College team better, and in the words of Jack Black, “You’re not hard core unless you live hard core.”


Rudd 2013 Formal

So as of September 14th the Steele Rudd College formal is over and from my experience it turned out to be one of the best in my years on this great college. Each year we have a formal to celebrate our university accomplishments, the college year, reflect on what happened, celebrate the graduates and issue awards to those how have accomplished at a university level, contributed to college life and not to mention, followed by some pretty wild after-parties.

This event is run by the RSC and without the dedication and commitment of these amazing people, the college experience wouldn’t be half of what it is. But beyond the formals, the RSC is responsible for organizing a range of activities for the college including the Residential Shield competition, social events like bush dancing, Funday Sunday, after-parties and O-Week.

To give you an idea of a typical formal night we usually start with a big college picture of all residents; this time we wanted an afternoon shot as the sun was setting. With the orange background along with the open grass field and tree’s in the background it was really spectacular. We’re still getting the photos developed so you might have to take my word on it. Pre-drinks are held in the college Junior Common Room where we gather to admire the girls’ gorgeous dresses and talk before heading into our dining hall to commence the night.


During the night we have a variety of events to entertain us like block videos made by each of the college blocks. These video represent the block’s lifestyle and the students that reside in that block. These aren’t really structured but we all get a laugh or a protest depending on which block does what.

Being the President of the Steele Rudd RSC I was expected to make an announcement regarding the college year which brings me to a particular topic; Phobia (Abnormal intense fear of a given situation, Organism or object). Our phobias change over as we develop but public speaking remains on average the number one phobia, ahead of Nerophobia – fear of death, Arachibutyrophobia – fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth, Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – fear of long words and Levophobia – Fear of things to the left side of the body. Unfortunately I am a part of the one in three people who suffer from speech anxiety, so doing a presentation to a group of my fellow residents is no easy task. Having a particularly low voice that sometimes is hard to understand doesn’t help either. However the highlight of my speech was a poem dedicated to the residents of B Block which I’d like to share with you.

What Duff really thinks of B Block

It’s finally here, like a dream come true
B Block this is what I think of you


I hate you B Block, I really do
I sit and wonder what can I do


You say hello, I say goodbye
You think the reason is because I’m shy


Katharine thinks you’re cute and also funny
But to the RSC you just cost money


You make me laugh, you make me cry
It’s like being back in junior high


Thank God we’re separated by a wall
I have considered a B Block brawl


You complain so much, and say “it’s not fair”
But other blocks just do not care


You talk of love, like you have a clue
And wonder why you’ve caught the flu


You say we’ll miss you Duff
I laugh at you 
But secretly I’ll miss you too

I’m quite the poet I’ve realized. Anyway getting back to the formal, it went well and to top off the evening we had a pretty awesome band to finish our night. Now this band just so happens to be a Rudd resident Ayden Ribbits, and his band “The Whisky Fox Run”. Rather than describing the music I found a video of them performing so if you love your music check them out. Yeah they’re still a little green but they’re pretty good.


Now onto the after party – the most important point of the evening! It was pretty cool and I won’t get into the “who, what, when, where, why and how’s” of the evening because I could go on for pages. However, a party with a $400 drinking tab on the bar is a pretty good recipe for a good night out.

I am, by no means a big drinker but on occasions when I do have a big night out I may consider doing stuff a little out of the usual. This time it was Tequila Suicide and for those who are unfamiliar, I’d rather write about it than show you an example of what is involved in a Tequila Suicide. There is one performed by an actor called Sascha Gilly Israel you can look up if you want more information, or just a laugh.

 Yeah, so we snorted salt, downed Tequila and squished lemon juice in our eyes. Why did I do this you ask? Well it seemed like a good idea at the time – again I don’t overly support this, but a one off experience can be really painful but a lot of fun.

Anyway that’s pretty much everything worthy of noting from our 2013 Formal.


I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and check back as I’ll be putting a new blog up soon.

College Survival Tips

So, today I spent a few hours thinking of things I thought people would find interesting, while keeping it related to University and College (Steele Rudd college). Because this is my last year, I’ll try to pass on some guide-lines or “survival tips” that I’ve learnt from both college and university life. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be the usual ‘make sure you submit your assignments on time’ lecture, but rather things that I have learned in the early stages of Uni and things I wish I learned sooner than I actually did.

Firstly, invest time in yourself. I see it all too often on college, people needing approval and be liked by other people. While this alone is not a bad thing, those who try too hard for approval often get distracted from their important goal, which for most of us is to achieve a university degree. While wanting to constantly be in the social loop is not terrible, you will either: a) achieve your goal but not to your full potential, or b) become a copycat that everyone loves rather than drawing people who are interested in you.

Secondly, don’t be that guy who has these amazing ideas with no action to follow. The world is full of people like that and I believe it says so much about your character if you say and do. This will make you one in eight people that can be held accountable. Now, this doesn’t always have to be big, like save the world and devote your life, it can be as simple as returning that video to your friend when you said you would.

Thirdly, when you have free time talk to the people you may not necessary talk to, this goes double for those you may classify as “uncool” or not outgoing. I guarantee there’s a lot more to that person than you may expect. For the most part there’s a really good reason why that person is who they are, and spending those extra few minutes talking to that person will really help you to see them in a new perspective. It may help you relate to them better and more importantly, stop you from being an ignorant sheep and judging without proper reason.

Lastly, this may come across as being bad, particularly coming from a college student, but saying ‘yes’ to spontaneous things that occur can sometimes be a good thing. Now, I don’t mean going out partying when you said you were going to study. This means those few times in a year when someone might propose something that’s a little out of your comfort zone or even different again, not just drinking or the opposite sex. In these situations you’ll learn something cool or experience something different. My example would be last year when I choose to participate in a poorly organized but fun road trip with an American exchange student called Christiano. We went to places like the Great Southern Road and Melbourne. The fact that most of it was last minute was kind of what made it exciting and yes a lot of things went wrong but that also added to the fun.

Anyway, I hope my guide-lines for university and college have some meaning to you. Obviously you can and should mold it to properly fit your beliefs or lifestyle. I’d like to finish by leaving you with a few tips myself and the other Rudd RSC (Residential Student Committee) members gave to Steele Rudd about becoming an RSC member.