Meet our new Senior Student Patrick Bates

By Emily McAuliffe

It's that time of year when we welcome our Residential College's new Senior Student, who heads up our TCAC student committee. A big congratulations to Patrick for being elected to the role for 2022!

Where are you from and why did you come to Trinity?

It has always been difficult for my brothers and me to agree on where we are from. Mum grew up in Sydney, Australia, and Dad comes from Cornwall, England. As for me, I was born in Miami and grew up in New York, USA. Living in the US, it always felt very special to explain to my friends that I was Australian, but, from 2015, when I began boarding at Geelong Grammar here in Victoria, I always considered myself American. It was only until I came to Trinity and met students from all over the world and with similar backgrounds that I realised I don’t have to be one or the other, American, or Australian, it doesn’t really matter.

In part, that’s why I came to Trinity. When I graduated from school and chose to enrol in a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne, I was not only looking for a new place to call home but a community with which I could belong. After visiting the college on Open Day and speaking to some alumni, I knew Trinity would be the perfect choice for me. Since joining Trinity in 2020, despite the extraordinary circumstances, I have met so many new people, formed lifelong friendships, and have unforgettable memories.

What has been your favourite experience at Trinity so far? 

I have loved that college offers every opportunity to try new things and participate in the widest variety of activities. Between a cappella groups and sporting teams, literary journals and community outreach organisations, Trinity has provided me with so many unique experiences. I have been especially grateful for my role as President of the Trinity Recreational Alpine Club (TRAC). Leading the TRAC committee has not only been a lesson in leadership but has allowed me to share my love for the outdoors with the community and encourage my friends to try new things. A highlight of this would have to be TRAC’s mid-year trip to Tasmania, where, over the course of two weeks, about 30 Trinity students camped, hiked, and explored everything the state had to offer. I know TRAC trips like this will remain as some of my fondest memories of college.

Why did you apply for the Senior Student position? 

I applied for the Senior Student position as I have always wanted to make positive change in my community. With lockdowns being a constant feature of my time here at college, I have recognised the importance of proactive and conscientious leadership. Therefore, as a Student Coordinator this year, I have loved the opportunity to bring people together and foster inclusive and supportive relationships. I hope to continue this as Senior Student in 2022. Although I am sure restrictions won’t be a thing of the past, I have no doubt Trinity is a collection of resilient, positive, and like-minded people, the sum of which, makes this community prepared to tackle any obstacle.

What opportunities does 2022 bring? 

2022 will be our best chance to return to the aspects of college that make it so special. Equally, with an understanding of what’s ‘normal’ thrown out the window, we have an opportunity to enact meaningful change and shape college to what we, the students, want to make of it. Everything from our events to the academic tutorial program and most importantly, our culture, can always be improved. I know staff and students alike are optimistic for the new year, so I am so excited for everything to come.


06 Sep 2021