The Boarding Family

Each boarding house is managed by live-in Heads of Boarding who are responsible for the wellbeing of the students in their care. Heads of Boarding are supported by trained, certified staff who assist with the daily running of the houses and ensure that each boarder is made to feel welcome, secure, included and very much part of the boarding family.

Our boarders become part of a wonderful community of fellow students who become lifelong friends.


From the Head of Boarding

Ash Keatch, Head of Boarding

Head of Boarding, Ash Keatch believes that a student’s boarding experience should be rich and rewarding. With 16 years’ experience in boarding at one of Western Australia’s leading independent schools and 17 years’ in education, Ash says the School’s boarding house will not replace home, however we will look to create an environment where students feel happy, safe, valued and understood as we undertake a co-parenting role.

Boarding provides wonderful opportunities for our students to develop their independence and leadership in a supportive environment, as well as the encouragement of lifelong friendships.

It is imperative that the academic abilities of our students are identified, and opportunities provided for each one of them to be successful in their chosen career pathway.

Close monitoring of each student’s academic and pastoral development thought the Curriculum and Head of House Leadership team both in the day and boarding systems is extremely important.

Providing excellent role models as they grow and develop are a number of families who reside within the grounds of the School including Headmaster, Richard Ford and his family. This ensures that there are many people on hand within the community to nurture and inspire boarders.

Ash Keatch

Head of Boarding

Meet the Boarders

It is always great to hear first-hand from our boarders what boarding is like at Launceston Grammar. Here are some boarders providing an insight into their boarding journey so far.

Meet Kiara
What is the one thing you enjoy most about boarding at Launceston Grammar?

Being able to come here and see close friends that I have made through the boarding house.

Has boarding provided you with additional opportunities to make friends and be part of a community? If so, in what way?

The boarding community has provided many opportunities to make friends when first starting at Launceston Grammar. Most of the people at the boarding house are down to earth and welcoming.

What are some of the lessons you have learnt so far as a boarder?

I am more independent and can handle a lot more responsibilities.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a boarder?

Don’t be afraid to reach out and introduce yourself to new people.

Meet Warrick
What is the one thing you enjoy most about boarding at Launceston Grammar?

Spending time with my mates; there is a far bigger connection between boarders than any other person in the day school.

Has boarding provided you with additional opportunities to make friends and be part of a community? If so, in what way?

Yes, I was the only person from my primary school to come to Launceston Grammar, so I didn’t know anyone. Being a boarder gave me a far better opportunity to meet the mates that I have today. The fact that we spend so much time together helps us better understand each other becoming closer friends.

Do you have any special memories of boarding at Launceston Grammar that you will take with you when you leave?

Being a younger student running around the school after hours climbing trees and kicking the footy on the oval.

What are some of the lessons you have learnt so far as a boarder?

How to interact with people and also how to do my own washing!

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a boarder?

Put your hand up to do activities and don’t be shy as we are all in the same boat as one another.

Meet Julia
What is the one thing you enjoy most about boarding at Launceston Grammar?

I really enjoy the atmosphere in the boarding house. We always have lots of fun with the things we do together after school.

Has boarding provided you with additional opportunities to make friends and be part of a community? If so, in what way?

Yes, I get along very well with the boarders I have been introduced to. I am areally happy about that.

Do you have any special memories of boarding at Launceston Grammar that you will take with you when you leave?

Because this is my first year at Launceston Grammar, I haven’t spent a lot of time with everyone however I hope to do so in the near future.

What are some of the lessons you have learnt so far as a boarder?

As a border I have learnt to deal with problems on my own and have become more independent.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a boarder?

Don’t worry too much, because if you have any problems, the staff are always be happy to help you.

Meet the Staff

Our dedicated team of staff live within an assigned house and are available to students for support, transportation needs and co-ordinating leave arrangements. They include Ms Zoe Vandervelde who is responsible for girls’ house and Mr Theunis Pieters, responsible for the boys’ house.

Tutors also reside within each boarding house on a roster-system caring for the boarders with four tutors to a house.

Ash Keatch

Head of Boarding

Ash Keatch

Head of Boarding

Ashley Keatch starting in 2021 is the Head of Boarding Launceston Church Grammar School

My vision for a healthy boarding community is to promote open, transparent and honest relationships between staff, students and parents where ultimately every person who lives, works or visits the boarding community feels like they belong to a special community within Launceston Church Grammar School.

Ash has more than 17 years’ experience in education, teaching boys and girls from Grades 6 – 12 in Design and Technology. He has been a Curriculum Leader – Technology and a Project Leader Round Square in South Africa and Nepal where he led 50 international students and staff in building 5 classrooms.

He has 16 years’ experience in boarding at one of Western Australia’s leading independent schools, his roles in boarding have included Assistant Residential Head of Year 6 – 8, Residential Head of Student Wellbeing and Recreation Grades 6 – 12 and Residential Head of Grades 10, 11 and 12.

This is Ash and Lisa’s first time living in wonderful Tasmania. They are parents to two beautiful children Katherine 20 years old in her final year of nursing at Notre Dame University in Fremantle WA and Joshua 18 years old, just finished at Scotch College with 2 Honours, 12 Colours and Captain of Keys House. Josh is studying Sport Science and Exercise and Health at UWA.

Theunis Pieters

Head of Boys' Boarding House

Theunis Pieters

Head of Boys' Boarding House

Zoe Vandervelde

Head of Girls' Boarding House

Zoe Vandervelde

Head of Girls' Boarding House

am joining the Launceston Grammar Boarding community in 2021 as well as continuing my work as Events Officer in the Community Engagement Team. 

In my time at Launceston Grammar I have had the opportunity to interact with a range of people within the School community, developing positive working relationships with teachers, students, parents, and alumni and I am excited for this to now include the boarders

Having worked previously at another boarding school in Launceston I am excited to bring my residential care skills to the School and contribute to the supportive and healthy environment we are building in the boarding houseNoresiding on campusI am eager to get to know all the boarders and tutors anencourage them through their time at Launceston Grammar.  

Ella Marshall

Boarding House Assistant

Ella Marshall

Boarding House Assistant

Hannah Van Der Velde

Boarding House Tutor

Hannah Van Der Velde

Boarding House Tutor

Our role as Boarding House Tutors is to provide a safe, supportive, and comfortable environment for the boarders, nurturing and caring for them while they are away from home. This includes the regular day-to-day things like maintaining a healthy routine, helping with homework, and also coming alongside them as they work through the many ups and downs of life. My favourite parts of the role are building relationships of mutual respect and care, being able to have fun together, and the sense of community that comes with being part of the Boarding House family. I love being able to look back and see how many of the boarders have grown in maturity, as well as in their relationships with staff and each other.

I’ve studied psychology, sociology, and counselling, and the Boarding House gives me opportunities to put what I have learned into practice. I’ve been involved in youth work at my church for several years, which has also given me experience with working alongside teenagers.

Sarah Durkin

Boarding House Tutor

Sarah Durkin

Boarding House Tutor

Christine Palmer

Boarding House Tutor

Christine Palmer

Boarding House Tutor

Ting Bie

Boarding House Tutor

Ting Bie

Boarding House Tutor

Tony Kang

Boarding House Tutor

Tony Kang

Boarding House Tutor

Will Robertson

Boarding House Tutor

Will Robertson

Boarding House Tutor

Gus Tomlinson Smith

Boarding House Tutor

Gus Tomlinson Smith

Boarding House Tutor

Care and Support

Boarding is an incredible opportunity. Our boarders experience new social situations, live with students from various backgrounds and ethnicities, and receive academic and pastoral support.

Our School is committed to offering a safe, secure and nurturing environment for boarders. The physical safety, mental health and overall wellbeing of boarders is of utmost importance.

Our study area and library called the Learning Hub at our Senior Campus is open before and after school on weekdays. Free tutoring is offered by highly specialised teaching staff, ensuring that your child can ask questions and seek advice as they progress through their academic journey. From Grades 5 to 9, students complete their weeknight homework under the direct supervision of boarding staff. In Grade 10, students transition to self-directed study. As part of this process boarding staff monitor student’s work in terms of submission of work, recent reports and teacher comments. Grade 11 and 12 students are responsible for organising their own study schedules but can continue to access the educational support of boarding staff as required.

The safety and wellbeing of your child is our primary concern while they are living away from home. Boarder’s leave is coordinated via an online leave system which allows leave requests to be viewed, entered and approved by parents or guardians and boarding staff. This means that the process for applying for and approving leave is easy and secure.

Weekend activities are varied with boarders able to visit local tourist attractions and sporting venues, as well as spending time cooking, or simply relaxing in the School’s stunning grounds.

Community

At Launceston Grammar you will discover a strong, supportive environment reflected in our genuine warmth and connection between students, families and staff. Our boarders become part of a nurturing community that ensures they are made to feel welcome, secure and included.

We believe that involvement in all aspects of School life increases a student’s sense of belonging, expands friendship groups and leads to higher levels of motivation and engagement. We encourage our boarders to become involved in co-curricular activities across sporting, visual arts and performance and music pursuits.

We have five families living on campus and along with a growing menagerie of boarding pets we are starting a Boarding House Kitchen Garden full of wonderful fresh produce for harvesting and sharing within and beyond our Boarding House family.