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Established: 1986

Named for: Fr Tom Burke O.P. (1830-1883)

Colours: Black / Gold

Flag: Composed of equal vertical thirds of black, gold and red. Black signifies the Dominicans and the yellow and red are from the Burke family crest that features “a cross gules, in the dexter canton, a lion rampant sable.”

Patron: St Peter Verona (Feast Day: 4 June)

2020 House Captain: Cooper O’Leary / Deputy: Ricky Le

2020 Head of House: Mrs Alison Colombo

2020 Home Group Teachers:

House Awards

Fr John Neill Athletics Cup (est.1987)

  • Winner: 1999, 2002
  • Runner-up: 2004, 2006, 2009

Annual Swimming Carnival (est. 1987)

  • Winner: –
  • Runner-up: –

St Albert’s Shield for Academic Excellence (est. 1993)

  • Winner: 2009
  • Runner-up: 2002, 2007

House Spirit Shield (est. 2004)

  • Winner: 2009
  • Runner-up: 2007

House Captains

  • 1987 –
  • 1988 – Derek Mayger
  • 1989 – Frank Dimasi
  • 1990 – John Kouzaba
  • 1991 – Manuv Suri, Stephen Averis (Deputy)
  • 1992 – Peter Pessios, Stephen Averis (Deputy)
  • 1993 – Brad Pertini, Ricky Russo (Deputy)
  • 1994 – Anthony Kennedy, Domenic Mileto (Deputy)
  • 1995 – Sav Tucci, Brad Pertini (Deputy)
  • 1996 – Brad Bezzina, Mario Cecere-Palazzo (Deputy)
  • 1997 – Marco Paolino, Marco Soda (Deputy)
  • 1998 – Tim Edwards, Gabriel Bucco (Deputy)
  • 1999 – Andrew Brolese, Andrew Snowball (Deputy)
  • 2000 – Zaheer Aleem, Mario Nguyen (Deputy)
  • 2001 – Luke Rogers, Tomasz Kaczor (Deputy)
  • 2002 – Josh Bechara, Jimmy Hoac (Deputy)
  • 2003 – Jeffrey Glue
  • 2004 – Alexander Rogers, Jake Georgonicas (Deputy)
  • 2005 – Aidan Clancy
  • 2006 – Thomas Perham
  • 2007 – Tom Georgonicas
  • 2008 – Wade Stokes, Corey Borg (Deputy)
  • 2009 – Tom McCue, Daniel Weekley (Deputy)
  • 2010 – Luke Valente, Henry Holland (Deputy)
  • 2011 –
  • 2012 –
  • 2013 –
  • 2014 –
  • 2015 –
  • 2016 –
  • 2017 –
  • 2018 –
  • 2019 – Jordan Papic, Ricky Le (Deputy)
  • 2020 – Cooper O’Leary, Ricky Le (Deputy)

Heads of House

  • 1987 to 1992 – Mr James Donaghy
  • 1993 to 1996 – Mr Robin Burgess
  • 1997 to 1998 – Mr Bernie van Eyk
  • 1999 to 2005 – Mr William Zytnik
  • 2006 to – Mr Marcus Trimboli
  • to present – Mrs Alison Colombo (nee de Souza)

Individual Awards

Magnus Medal & Nicholas Altman Prize – School Dux

  • 1988 – Derek Mayger (Humanities)
  • 1989 – Tarun Bastiampillai (Science / Mathematics)
  • 1998 – Gabriel Bucco
  • 2001 – Tomasz Kaczor

Jordan of Saxony School Spirit Award

  • 2008 – Wade Stokes

St Martin de Porres Service to the Community Award

  • 2004 – Jason Ip
  • 2007 – Jarrad Panes

Frassati Sportsman Award

  • 2009 – Daniel Weekley

Prefects

  • 1987 – Jamie Doubtfire, Matthew Mead
  • 1988 – David Mifsud, Jay Mikromanolis, Matthew Mead
  • 1989 – Tarun Bastiampillai, Frank Dimasi
  • 1990 – Joseph Bedford, John Kouzaba, John Tesselaar
  • 1991 – Manuv Suri
  • 1992 – David Ruggiero
  • 1994 – Luke Lalor
  • 1995 – Anthony Kennedy
  • 1996 – Mario Cecere-Palazzo
  • 1999 – Tim Lock, Charles Mayger, Jay Trevena
  • 2000 – Zaheer Aheem, Mario Nguyen
  • 2002 – Joshua Bechara
  • 2003 – David Conti
  • 2004 – Jake Georgonicas, Jason Ip, Alexander Rogers
  • 2006 – Nicholas Ridge, John Vugts
  • 2008 – Corey Borg, Wade Stokes*
  • 2009 – Daniel Weekley
  • 2010 – Vincent Acuna*, Henry Holland^, Nadeem Shaki, Luke ValenteJafari

* denotes Head Prefect
^ denotes Deputy Head Prefect


Fr Thomas Burke O.P.

Thomas Burke is a model for us at Blackfriars as one who embodied the ideal of veritas – that is preaching the truth; the truth which is God.

If ever there was an example of what a preacher should be, Thomas Burke would be it. Burke’s vocation to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ was the only claim to fame this Dominican ever had. Hence the Dominican vocation to be a ‘Preacher of Grace’ was fully embodied by this irrepressible Irishman.

Nicholas Burke was born in Galway, Ireland, in 1830, to a poor but hard working family. His father was a baker and his mother looked after the family. One of Burke’s biographers notes his mischievous nature as a child: “At school Nicholas was the class clown, he was exceptionally bright but often his antics led to keeping the class in uproar.”

In 1847 Nicholas decided to join the Dominican Order. It was this choice that led him to be one of the greatest heralds of the gospel in the 19th century. Nicholas entered the Order in Perugia, Italy, as Ireland had no monastery in which to train as a Dominican. He was given as a religious name Thomas, after St Thomas Aquinas.

Young Br Thomas continued his formation for priesthood in two monasteries in Rome. While Thomas was at Santa Sabina he came under the notice of Fr Alexander Jandel, the Master-General of the Dominican Order. Jandel wanted friars to go to England so as to build up the Dominican presence there and chose Burke to be the novice master for the English Province. The English did not receive him with much enthusiasm, nevertheless, within a few months the relationship between the English and the Irishman thawed and Burke won his brothers over with his goodness, friendliness and his ability to make people laugh.

After Burke’s tour of duty in England he was moved back to Rome to be the superior of a community of Irish Dominicans at the Church of San Clemente. It was at this ancient church that Burke made his name as a brilliant preacher. His ability to mix wit, humour and clear teaching on the Catholic faith made him a successful communicator of God’s love.

Fr Burke preached in Ireland, Italy and he made a successful preaching tour of the United States. It was in the US that he had a remarkable impact. In fact it was observed that the churches would be packed to capacity an hour or so before Fr Burke was to preach, so eager were the people to hear him. Fr Burke’s last sermon was preached in Ireland where he pleaded for financial support on behalf of 5,000 starving children in county Donegal.

Fr Thomas Burke passed on to his eternal reward on 31 May 1883, aged 54.