Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Newcastle Grammar boys then; Warrane boys now

Trading country life for the city can be hard, so it’s a pretty cool thing that a handful of boys who went to school at Newcastle Grammar ended up together at Warrane. Of the six boys, three gave us a look at how they ended up in Sydney, what they’re studying at UNSW, and life at Warrane.

21-year old Eugene Wai plays soccer for UNSW on the weekends and likes to conjure up a tune or two on the Warrane piano during the week. Born in Hong Kong, his parents decided to move to Australia for the sake of a better education, so he’s been in Newcastle since the age of seven. Now, he’s studying Civil & Environmental Engineering; having completed his first year at Newcastle Uni before transferring to UNSW last year.

“During my first year…I realised I wasn’t doing anything productive. So I wanted a change of environment,” said Eugene. “I had a friend who came to Warrane and I was talking to him about moving to Sydney; and he said there are more opportunities and the social life’s better…so I’m here!”

Anthony Moon, who is turning 20 this year, loves a bit of karaoke and is in his second year of a Bachelor Degree + Honours of Nanoscience. He was born in South Korea but has been in Australia for 11 years now. He too discovered Warrane through a friend who was living there, and thought that the friendly atmosphere and home-cooked meals sounded better than the share-house situation he was in at that time – not to mention that it would help him to get rid of a long commute. 

And then there’s Mechanical Engineering student, Sam Davidson, a 19-year old who boasts three brothers and two sisters. For him, ending up at Warrane was more of a fluke. “Pretty much just put in my application… originally as a backup,” he said. “But when I came to the interview everyone was just so nice, and everyone was so welcoming. At the other college they were pretty abrupt and in your face, and they didn’t care much about if you came or not – you were just another person. But at Warrane everyone said hello…”

Seeing familiar faces from their school days in Newcastle made a pleasant start at Warrane for these boys. “We just became friends straightaway because we’re all from Newcastle,” said Eugene. “The boys from Newcastle are actually some of my best friends.”

“You can meet new people through your old friends,” said Anthony. “And they can help you with studies!”

Sam added, “I think for the first couple of weeks it’s nice to have someone you know just in case… Now it’s nice to see them because we can catch up on our families and people we know from school.”

For all three boys, it’s clear that Warrane made a welcoming impression right from the start. “Everyone is pretty close and friendly,” said Eugene. “I feel like coming from country Newcastle…they just helped me settle down.” Eugene also added that Warrane has helped him to develop his character. “It makes me become a better person, because after you live with other people, you start to be more considerate… it’s definitely great for personal development.”

“It’s amazing actually,” said Sam. “There’s always someone helping you out if you’re struggling; there’s always someone to have a coffee with in the morning or watch a movie with at night. It’s just a really good atmosphere. Everyone kind of just gets around and supports each other.”

Anthony Moon was on the same page too. “It’s really social, and everyone’s very easy to talk with. There’s pretty much the ability to talk to everyone in a comfortable way. And also the food!” he said with a laugh.

To finish off, who inspires these boys from Newcastle? Their answers were varied as they were wonderful.

“One of my closest friends,” said Eugene. “He’s probably the smartest guy I know and he does so well at uni! So he inspires me to be better. I didn’t do so well last year; he just motivates me to try get a better result.”

For Anthony, inspiration comes in the form of some well-known figures. “Major scientists like Einstein…also Bill Gates and Elon Musk, head of SpaceX and Tesla,” he said. “They just strive for future technology, which I also look forward to and I strive towards as well… it inspires me to study science.”

As for Sam, his inspiration is his dad. “He’s always been there for me, he’s always been a great role model,” he said. “He’s never wronged the family, always put us first – which I think, especially for a father who had a good job, is a really huge thing. You’ve got to put family above your friends and definitely got to put it above your workload. That’s kind of how I try and live my life as well.”