Page 1



The performing arts are alive and thriving at BGS WINTER 2017

EDITOR IN CHIEF Natalie van Wetering CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Nicci Dodanwela DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Ross Donnan Hayley Kringas PHOTOGRAPHY Dr Andrew Lee Ben Wolstencroft Jesse Marlow PRINTER Adams Print PRINT REGISTRATION Registered by Australia Post: 100001167

“The performing arts enable boys to explore and express emotions, feel a strong sense of connection to themselves and each other, be empathetic and PER PER RTS F R M I N G ARTS F caring, cast off inhibitions Oand stress, ORMING A and of course, simply have fun.� Ross Featherston, Headmaster




The power of performance At BGS, we believe that being exposed to and involved in the arts is highly beneficial for boys of all ages.



In her much-shared article on the BGS blog Understanding Boys, ELC specialist teacher Claire Clarke talks about the power of performing arts specifically as it relates to younger boys. Claire has found that young boys’ play naturally involves song, role-play, rhythm and expressive movement. They are hardwired to embrace performance from an early age. Here are some of the reasons we should embrace the power of performing arts.

Encourages creative thinking Performing arts enable boys to expand their creative thinking – creativity is vital for innovation. When performing, boys need to think on their feet, just as we do in real life. Through performance, boys learn to be adaptable, and to be aware and respectful of others.

Teaches collaboration


Promotes early literacy skills


It’s fun!

Builds confidence Performing arts offer those boys who might usually shy away from taking the lead a safe space in which to step forward with confidence. A simple costume or prop can validate a boy’s ability to explore other identities or empower a quieter boy to find his voice when ‘in character’. In costume, a boy can explore his bravery, wisdom or caring nature without fear of rejection. ‘Being someone else’ can help a young boy move beyond how others may see him and help him feel confident to express the many facets of his developing character.




Singing is a collaborative experience, which fosters respectful participation from all involved as we learn to use our voices together. This is also true of movement.

The performing arts help support early literacy as the ear is tuned to the rhythms, rhymes and patterns held in language. Music and vocal expression are also highly stimulating for memory.

Whether singing, dancing or acting, performance connects us to the fun and magical world of our imagination. Boys are so much more open to learning when they are playing. So next time your son’s performing, whether it’s taking part in a school concert or putting on a puppet show at home, make sure you’re the first to give him a standing ovation.




Our rising star I

NT H E M E DI A Patrick Sanders, Head of the SS Science Faculty, has been named one of 30 Rising Stars across Australia by The Educator magazine.

Rising Stars are young up-and-coming leaders in the education sector (from Prep to Year 12) who, according to The Educator, ‘eschew acceptance of the status quo and spend considerable time and energy on efforts to innovate and to improve their students’ learning outcomes by exploring new concepts’. Patrick has worked with his team and invested a great deal of time to develop a new Years 7–12 practical report rubric to improve the ability of students to track their own progress. He has also committed to improving academic literacy and has begun implementing Marzano’s ‘Six Steps’ across science. According to Marzano: “When students copy the teacher’s explanation or description of a term instead of generating their own explanation, the results are not as strong. Ideally, student explanations should come from their own lives.” An instructional video created by Patrick will be used to teach staff how to apply Marzano’s method in their classes, regardless of subject. We’re proud to have Patrick on staff and excited by the new processes he is introducing. Congratulations!






This year, two significant programs have been built into the English curriculum. One is a heightened focus upon reading and the other is the introduction of Daily Writing.

Paul Stewart, Head of English, answers our questions.

At the start of every lesson, the boys enter the room and start writing. Ten new topics are up on the classroom screens. From the moment they enter to the moment they put down their pens, the students work in a bubble of silence. This is not an attempt to subject your children to the schoolroom regimen of the Dickensian era, but rather a means to protect the learner. Writing is a discipline and we want to give every student the greatest opportunity to access their best ideas.

How long do the boys write for? The boys spend the first ten minutes of every class writing – not typing. Everything is handwritten. Some boys write furiously and it is not uncommon to see them shaking their hands to get the blood flowing in the latter half of the session. After ten minutes, the class moves on to other aspects of English. Occasionally, we give the boys an opportunity to read their work aloud. Invariably, after a couple of tentative volunteers, just about every hand goes up to take part. Every boy has a story in them and just about every boy wants that story to be told.



Writing is a discipline and we want to give every student the greatest opportunity to access their best ideas.

How does Daily Writing work?

Paul Stewart, Head of English

Then what happens?

For homework, the students are expected to transfer their handwritten work to OneNote, where their classroom teacher can access it. This is not just an act of transcription – students are expected to use this opportunity to polish their work, remove errors and, when the mood takes them, extend it. English teachers will read the OneNote notebooks once a week to ensure the boys are finishing the task. A boy will often find a comment left by his teacher indicating that the work has been read (and appreciated).

Sounds great, but you must be getting some resistance?

Wouldn’t it be better to use computers for Daily Writing?

Surprisingly, no. In fact, the English faculty has been stunned by the way in which the students have taken to Daily Writing. The only complaint we’ve had thus far is when we ask the boys to stop writing – quite a few just want to keep going. Which they can do... once they get home.

In English, we want to save the computers for computer-reliant tasks, such as recording podcasts and creating graphic novels. In addition, we want to give our boys plenty of practice handwriting. In their senior years, exams are handwritten and we want assessors to be able to access their meaning easily. We also want our boys to be able to devote all of their working memory to expression and ideas, and not to dilute that by having to focus excessively on handwriting.

What will you do with all of this writing? We’ll publish the best of it. Each student will polish his favourite piece and submit that for inclusion in an anthology that will go to print. We’ll have copies in the school libraries and hope to make copies available for purchase.

It sounds wonderful. How can I help? Please encourage reading at home. The boys are currently flourishing in Daily Writing but the quality of their work will plateau if they are not being exposed to a range of writing styles outside the classroom. Ideally, consider sitting down and reading at the same time as your son. WINTER 2017



Goodbye to our Mr Chips Rick Pemberton has announced his retirement after an extraordinary 60 years’ connection to BGS. Rick is a much-admired, generous, loyal and devoted teacher. There is not a section of the School that has not benefitted from his freely given time, passion and dedication. Rick was born in 1952 at the Brighton Community Hospital (now Cabrini) and lived in Cadby Street behind the Junior School. He commenced in Prep in 1957, in the St Andrew’s School House, followed by Year 1 in what is now the Senior School Hancock Wing, before crossing New Street to Wilson House for Year 3, then back for Years 4–6 at Rosstrevor. Years 7 and 8 were spent upstairs in the Tower Wing. Rick was in the Senior School from 1965, and was appointed School Captain in 1971, as well as Captain of Athletics and Cadet CUO. 8


Rick with Junior School Librarian Pauline Anthony and Junior School staff member Clair Marshall

Rick didn’t stray far from BGS during his studies at Mercer House Teachers College in Malvern between 1972 and 1974. During this time, he continued his involvement with cadets, athletics and the Frankston Camp. In 1975, Rick joined the Junior School Staff and, over a period of 43 years, served in a variety of roles: classroom and special education teacher; sportsmaster (1989– 1997); and Deputy Head of Junior School (1998–2014). In 2014 he took long-service leave, returning in a part-time capacity mid-2015.


Mothers joined us for various celebrations across the School in May. The boys’ faces alone show how much they love having their mums at School!

Rick in 1998

On leaving school, Rick joined the OBGS. In 1976 he became Secretary, a position he held for 19 years. In 1995, he became Vice President, a role he held until March 2017. Rick has been a remarkable servant of BGS. He is much-loved by the boys, parents and colleagues, and embodies absolutely our School motto: ‘Let us follow better things.’ Over the past two years, Rick has voluntarily assisted Jane Carolan to establish the BGS archives. Long may Rick’s presence continue at BGS.

The Year 12 boys were looking sharp at their Bond-themed Formal at the end of Term 1. WINTER 2017



Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) Thirteen-year-old Jordan Bourke started in Year 8 this year, 3900 km from home – the remote community of Pirlangimpi on Melville Island, north of Darwin. Along with Troy Cook (Year 8), Jordan came to Melbourne as part of the inaugural intake of the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS). After a year at MITS, the students attend private schools and stay with local families. Jordan is staying with Jakub Williams (Year 9) and his family. BGS will waive the boys’ fees until they finish Year 12. Jordan was featured in a story in The Age on 1 February. 10


BGS on display in Baltimore Joanne Davies (Teaching and Learning Coordinator, Junior School) and Raelene Plozza (Literacy Coach, Prep–Year 8) presented a workshop at the International Boys’ Schools Coalition (IBSC) conference in Baltimore in June. The IBSC, of which BGS is a member school, is a not-for-profit organisation ‘dedicated to enhancing the education, wellbeing and development of boys worldwide’. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Beyond innovation: creativity, discovery and engagement’. Joanne and Raelene’s workshop, called ‘A coaching approach to staff professional learning’, discussed the latest research into instructional coaching for teachers, and how this can improve practice. Coaches help teachers to move through a cycle of goal setting, learning, observation, data collection and reflection. Instructional coaches bring a level of expertise to the coaching relationship. The workshop used BGS as an illustration of how coaching can improve instructional practice and staff collaboration to improve student learning outcomes. It was extremely well received, with many delegates asking questions afterwards about BGS practice. This professional development was funded by the BGS teachers’ Reward and Recognition program. Last year, Joanne and Raelene won awards for their outstanding contribution to the School’s teaching. They are excited about the learning opportunity the conference provided them in their respective roles at BGS.

Raelene Plozza

Joanne Davies





Annandale makes way for new sports facility



After 61 years of playing host to thousands of APS sporting teams, the sun officially set on Annandale Pavilion in May to make way for an exciting new sporting precinct. The new project will include up to eight changing rooms, a versatile function room, a viewing platform for both the Crowther and Mitchell Ovals, learning spaces, strength and conditioning facilities, a canteen and extensive equipment storage. The new project looks set for completion in the first half of 2018.

Technology in the Tower Wing This term the Tower Wing refurbishment has been completed, resulting in 14 new classroom spaces with vastly improved natural lighting, the latest technology and larger whiteboards. Importantly, the Tower Room itself has also been returned to student use, and will now be used as the Prefect study.

We’re not sure what made Headmaster Ross Featherston happier – that the project has started or that he got to have a play in the digger.

There is a story about an Old Boy who, years ago, would ride his horse to School, arrive ceremonially late, and leave the horse tethered to a tree outside the Tower classrooms – much to the chagrin of the teaching master. Although the inventiveness of student behaviour may not have changed, technology has. Along with the new renovations to the Hancock Wing and the Senior Quad, the refurbished Tower Wing is a valuable facility in our aim to enable the boys to learn to the best of their ability.




Kicks and compassion Martial arts have infiltrated the Middle School during the first half of 2017 – and the learning has been about much more than kicks. With Chen Yuan Xin as their guide, the Year 8s have been practising to be still, to be challenged and to be focused. They have learnt the signs of respect used before any kung fu fight as a reminder to have compassion and remain humble. The sessions were also designed to increase the boys’ awareness of traditional Chinese culture. The focus of the second term’s Expanding the Possibilities program, run in the Middle Years Library at lunchtimes, was respect. A viewing of the classic film The Karate Kid stimulated great discussion on the subject. The boys also tried out some kung fu moves with Chen Yuan Xin.



I feel the friendly of BGS… The Year 7 boys paint boomerangs to illustrate a milestone event in their lives, before learning how to throw them. Tim Tso (Year 7) illustrated the following story, written in his own words, on his boomerang: “The first day of my study life at BGS was a great day. I will remember it forever. That day was the 13th of July 2016 which is a Wednesday. It is a sunny day. I was really nervous about what will happen. I arrived at the School early in the morning, I get a few stuff from the reception and walk to my class teacher, Mrs Turek. She was really nice and friendly. After a while, a few boys came

By Tim Tso

upstairs to the classroom. The first boy went up to me and shake my hand – Henry Pearson, and other boys. I played soccer during recess and lunch that day, I met many new friends such as Jorge and Ben. After the day, I had shaken about 70 hands. I feel the friendly of BGS boys, I feel really happy that I can learn with them. I felt really glad, I am excited about the time at BGS. In the night I tell my mum and dad about the first day of BGS. They feel really happy about me because they think my English is good to meet friends. I am excited about what will happen in the future because my new life is fabulous.”



In 1562, Michaelangelo, aged 87, wrote this on one of his sketches.

Ancora imparo I’m still learning


Two boys receive Premier’s VCE Awards

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, The Hon. James Merlino, presents the awards to Julian and Saasha.

Congratulations to Year 12 students Julian Ou and Saasha Parsons, who each received a Premier’s VCE Award for thjeir outstanding VCE results as Year 11s in 2016. The prestigious annual awards were presented at a ceremony in front of more than 1100 guests on 27 April. Julian received a Study Award for Music Studies and Sasha received a Study Award for Economics.



Tiwi Islands visit strengthens bonds Eight lucky Year 6 boys and three Firbank girls spent eight days at the Milikapiti School on the Tiwi Islands in June, continuing the program begun in 2010. The boys spent some of their time in classrooms, working closely with the local students. They also visited local sites and learnt about the history and culture of the Tiwi people. Visits to the Nine-Mile and Taracumbi Falls were welcome (croc-free) escapes from the heat. Fishing allowed the boys to test their skills with the hand reel and build some patience, as the fish were just not biting on the day! Both boys and staff were overwhelmed by the kindness of the locals, especially the students. The relationships developed during the visit have further strengthened our relationship with this remote Indigenous community. We now eagerly await the arrival of a small group of Milikapiti students when they visit us later this year. Luke Fensling, Year 6 Teacher WINTER 2017



Camp Rock PER




This year’s combined BGS and FGS Middle School production was the light-hearted Disney musical Camp Rock. The large cast of 71 students demonstrated the importance of inclusiveness through the arts, developing performance, expressive and interpersonal skills. New friendships were made and new talents uncovered. Everyone worked extremely hard and contributed to the show’s success. The lead roles were captivating and well supported by an energetic ensemble. And, of course, the show would not have been possible without the backing of the amazing Camp Rock Production Team. Adrienne Mewett, Director and Choreographer






Behind the scenes: Legally Blonde PER

As a cast member and lead role in this year’s senior production with Firbank, Legally Blonde, I can say that the work behind the scenes was massive! From February we rehearsed on Fridays and Sundays – a total of around six hours a week. At times, we felt the work was tough, but in the end we reaped the rewards and were extremely pleased with how the show turned out. My favourite part of the show was getting to work with the large group of boys and girls, and getting to meet so many people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met.






Although I felt comfortable singing for the show, I struggled with some of the dancing. But, with the help of the creative team, I was able to learn the dances and had so much fun in doing so. As I finish Year 12, Legally and the other productions I have been part of over the years will stay with me forever. They have taught me so much that I could never learn in a classroom and I will cherish the time I spent rehearsing and performing. Steven Alesi (Year 12), Captain of Drama



Outdoor ed a different style of learning

The 12-day Great South West Journey tests even the fittest boys (Year 9s) physically and mentally as they trek, cycle and kayak the rivers and beaches of south-west Victoria.

Year 8s go bush and practise rock climbing in the Grampians. 22


Year 4s hit the surf at Anglesea in the first wintry week of the season.

The wet weather didn’t stop the Year 6s from canoeing, bike riding, sailing and camping out at Camp Coolamatong.

Year 9s packing for the Great South West Journey. WINTER 2017


A focus on wellbeing

We are proud to be one of the 100 schools named as a lead school in the Victorian Government’s Respectful Relationships program. Living in a country where domestic violence continues to be a major social issue and suicide is the leading cause of death in young men, I believe we have a fundamental responsibility to do all we can to ensure our boys have a strong sense of wellbeing so that they are able to lead happy, meaningful and fulfilling lives. Ross Featherston, Headmaster



Everything we do at Brighton Grammar is undertaken with the wellbeing of our boys at the forefront of our minds.

BGS named as a lead school in Respectful Relationships initiative




The bond of buddies The BGS buddy program is an integral part of the Junior School, reinforcing the friendly and caring environment and culture inherent at BGS. Older boys are paired with younger boys from ELC 3 to Year 6 (with the exception of the Year 3 boys, who work together as ‘big buddies in training’). Buddies meet weekly to talk, share and work with their partners. The focus of these sessions is each boy’s sense of belonging, safety and friendship.

Symbols of friendship The Alannah and Madeline Foundation Better Buddy Bear – a fun-loving and caring purple bear – is the Better Buddies symbol. Boys whose buddy partnerships reflect the values of the program have the opportunity to receive Buddy Bear, along with a certificate of recognition, at Assembly. This is a great way to formally acknowledge and celebrate boys whose buddy partnership embodies kindness and mateship. We have also introduced a buddy bench, where boys can sit if they feel sad or alone. All the boys are encouraged to approach 26


anyone sitting on the buddy bench and include him in their games.

The buddy bond Over the year, the boys build a strong bond with their buddies. For many of the boys, the buddy session is the highlight of their week. The program helps boys to develop so much more than friendships outside their own year levels – it helps them build social skills, empathy and trust, and to value difference. Monica Le Couteur, JS Student Wellbeing Coordinator

The importance of the relationships between boys and their teachers

A reflection by James Gerstman, teacher of Health and PE. I began teaching and coaching boys nearly 20 years ago. When I first started, I was curious as to whether I would lose my connection with them. When would I get to the age when I couldn’t relate? But as the years have gone by, my relationships haven’t seemed to waiver. This is something I’m proud of as I think it’s a crucial part of education. I believe this connection is achieved through a number of processes, but the most important thing, in my opinion, is listening and communication. I have always made an effort to find out a boy’s favourite band, the team they support, the sport or instrument they play or their hobby. When I see them in or out of the classroom, I make sure I follow up on these things. Teaching from Year 7 to Year 12 gives me a great opportunity to constantly build on these discussions and relationships. So by the time the boys are getting to the end of school, I’ve been able to build a strong relationship with them based on something they care about. It’s amazing how many times a boy has

started talking to me about football, music or the weekend and, by the end of the conversation, is sharing with me information about something he needs help with – family, friends, relationships or school. I don’t feel the boys would have shared these kinds of details without the relationships we have built. Naturally, over time, your students learn about you, too. They begin to realise you have more in common with them than they might have thought. They see you have similar interests and passions, find the same things funny, and experience the ups and downs of life just like them. They realise that you understand the difficulties they might be going through because you have been through them yourself. Teenage boys can be complicated and it’s not always easy extracting information from them. They have days they want to chat and others they don’t. It’s never something that should be forced but it’s important they know you’re always going to listen. Building these foundations is an integral part of being a teacher. WINTER 2017



Why being your best doesn’t mean being the best In line with our focus on developing a positive male culture at BGS, World Champion Ironman Trevor Hendy was invited to speak at a special assembly for all Secondary School boys to start the new year.

Trevor shared his story of how, at 25, he had a change of mindset from wanting to win “at all costs” to wanting to win “at all levels”. He had won trophies and been the best, but he realised he wasn’t being his best. “I had to explore the idea that I could slow down and be a better version of myself and win at all levels. And I began to win more, more often, more easily. I finished

my career winning from a more centred place.” Trevor, now a holistic life coach, believes we need to break the mindset of winning at all costs in our boys. “You are not a winner when you beat someone,” he said. “You are a winner when you overcome something, when you break through something, when you get less affected by the result but feel proud about your effort.”

Trevor also has tips for parents wanting to help their sons to be real winners.




Realise that your son is following in your footsteps – good or bad.

Treat your son with the love and understanding that you needed at the same age.

Don’t use your son for social positioning.

Our boys are doing what they learnt from us – from parents, teachers, coaches, older kids, what they watch on YouTube. When they do something wrong, there is no point in getting angry with them. You can turn your anger into understanding to help them grow.

Your son will make mistakes and he will get it wrong sometimes. But he needs to feel loved so he can learn from his mistakes. When you criticise him, it suggests that you would never have made a mistake like that. This can lead to your son suppressing and hiding not only his feelings but also the truth of what he actually did.



If we are socially competitive as parents, we can’t be that village that makes it safe for our boys to grow and learn. Parents need to come together to help raise our boys, not judge them. One day your son may be on track and the boy next to him might be offtrack. That boy needs you. On another day, it might be your son who is off-track and another boy’s parents might step in to help.




Ask your son way more than you tell him.

Allow your son to be right, even when it makes you wrong.

Go easy on yourself.

Boys respond best to being acknowledged as powerful, with their own answers inside them. When we ask questions, we give them a space to find the answers. If your son does not follow his own ethics, he is more likely to follow his peer group’s ethics.

Never be scared to correct the record, to apologise to your son for the way you reacted or the assumption you made. This teaches your son to graciously admit he is wrong when he is wrong.

Parenting is the most difficult and the most rewarding job in the world. Just as our sons are not perfect, neither are we. Going easy on yourself allows you to go easy on your son.




You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with Friendships are a central part of our daily lives and I am always delighted to observe the connections that form as boys progress through the middle years. These may be the result of common interests or classes held together, or maybe friendships are formed when boys travel on the same train. Some boys discover their best mates early on, others maintain a wide selection of friends throughout their school years. Regardless, these friendships provide support, encouragement, challenge, counsel, motivation and connectedness. Our closest friends are highly influential in our lives. One of my favourite quotes comes from American entrepreneur Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That is, the people closest to you shape who you are, and are often responsible for defining your way of thinking and decision making – an idea so simple and yet so poignant. Our choice of friends is a crucial aspect of our personal development. 30


I suggest that when boys feel compromised by or uncomfortable with the words or actions of a friend, they ask themselves whether this friendship is worth cultivating. In the classroom, is the boy who is distracting them being a good friend? In the playground or on the sports field, is the boy who makes unkind comments or teases others worth associating with? On the flip side, is the friendship strong enough that they could speak to their friend about their concerns? Perhaps the most salient point is that our best friends should be the ones that bring out the best in us. Often this comes down to their attitude, so ask yourself whether your friends’ attitudes are worth catching! Ultimately, it is important that we have similar values, standards and philosophies to our friends, otherwise we can find our personal wellbeing and growth compromised by unhelpful friendships. Peter Furey, Head of House (Year 8)

BGS boys meet a Red Bull In an incredible effort, the Year 9 BGS ‘F1 in Schools’ team came first in the state finals. Over 17,000 schools are involved in the program, across 31 nations. A highlight for the BGS team was the chance to meet Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo. The team is looking forward to putting some new ideas into practice next season. Watch out for these guys!

Australian Design Review celebrates the Wellbeing Centre at BGS The BGS Wellbeing Centre, designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke, was recently featured in the prestigious Australian Design Review as a leading example of beautiful design that also successfully promotes wellbeing. The new space helps the boys develop their emotional intelligence and improves the School’s culture of positive masculinity. According to Australian Design Review: The centre is the culmination of Brighton Grammar’s three-year program of wellbeing, which is taught to all boys aged from three to 18 and includes teaching daily mindfulness. The school is the only Victorian boys’ school to have implemented such an extensive

and multifaceted health framework and has been spearheaded by Ross Featherston, who is passionate about developing positive masculinity and a positive male culture. “Community response to the project has been very strong, overwhelming really. I think most people understand the need for all of us, including schools, to play our part in attempting to address the mental health of our young people. The fact that the renovation was fully funded by support from our community indicates the significant support for this project,” explains Featherston. WINTER 2017



By Thomas Doan (Year 6)

What is kindness?

Kindness is when you do something nice to someone. Kindness doesn’t need to be something big; even a small, kind action can help people feel happy. An act of kindness doesn’t require money, but it does require heart. No matter what you do, if it is kind, you’re helping someone feel better. Even if someone isn’t kind to you, be kind to them, because that act of kindness will help them to be kind too. L-R Xavier Bates and Jack Stavrakis working together.

Kindness acrostic By Oliver Howell (Year 6)

Kindness to someone that is in need of it



Including people in your lunchtime game

Nice to someone

Donate to charity

Never forget to be kind

Engaging in someone’s conversation

Smiling at someone and saying good morning

Shaking your teacher’s hand WINTER 2017



Learning from the best Senior Big Band member Steven Zhang (Year 11) was chosen as a member of the Division 3 Superband at the 2017 Generations in Jazz festival, an ensemble made up of the best players on their instrument for that division. Out of 54 bands, Steven was selected as the best vibraphone player. The festival, held annually in Mount Gambier, is billed as ‘the ultimate threeday jam session for several thousand artists at varying stages of their musical journey’. It brings together more than 4000 of Australia’s most talented musicians and a line-up of worldfamous artists. Secondary school students from more than 100 Australian schools compete in the Stage Band Awards, as well as taking part in clinics and concerts. The big top pavilion, set up in the middle of a paddock, seats more than 6000 people and the sound is breathtaking. During the festival, the boys had the opportunity to attend concerts and workshops by world-class musicians, including Australian trumpeter and event founder James Morrison and Romanian jazz pianist Marian Petrescu. 34


Steven Zhang, Year 11

Disaster averted at Carnegie Hall, New York


Zac’s achievements _ Only Australian winner of the American Protégé Competition in his category _ Cello AMEB Grade 7 _ Piano AMEB Grade 6 _ Music Theory AMEB Grade 3 _ Performs regularly as a soloist and orchestra member with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra and at State Music Camp and AUSTA Strings Festivals.

After achieving second place in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, Zac Shieh (Year 6) was invited to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in April. Zac was relieved to receive his cello a day after his arrival in New York, after it failed to arrive with the baggage. However, the cello’s bridge was broken and had to be fixed – in a hurry. Then, during a rehearsal a day before his performance, Zac’s bow snapped in half. Being Easter Saturday, with shops closed, this could have been disastrous! Fortunately, a new bow was procured in time and Zac was able to perform as scheduled. Zac enjoyed hearing the sound his cello produced in Carnegie Hall, as well as chatting with other performers from all over the world. His sister Chloe (Year 7 at Firbank Grammar) was also a place-getter in the Competition and played her violin at the same recital.

Did you know? Learning an instrument allows boys to develop skills beyond music itself, including: • refining time management and organisational skills • working as a member of a team • perseverance, resilience and self-discipline • improving reading and comprehension skills • improving coordination, concentration and memory capacity • improving wellbeing through a sense of worth, achievement and social connections. WINTER 2017



Top of the class for Julian The VCE Season of Excellence presents works created by VCE students in the performing arts and other subjects. Top Class presents eleven concerts by outstanding VCE performing arts students. Cellist Julian Ou (Year 12) performed in one of these concerts, which are held at the Melbourne Recital Centre. In 2016, Julian achieved a perfect score of 50 when he studied VCE Music Performance. What an extraordinary achievement – and one which has taken years of practice. Congratulations, Julian!



Success for BGS Music

• 100% of boys achieved a study score over 40

Julian’s achievement is part of a bigger story of success for the BGS class of 2016 music students. Check out the stats:

• The overall mean result for our boys for their 25-minute Solo Performance, worth 50% of their study score, was 98.2% (compared to the state average of 73.2%)



• 1 perfect study score (50/50)



• The BGS mean result for Theory and Aural Comprehension was 91.7% (state mean of 59.4%) • The BGS mean result for Analysis of Pre-recorded Works was 85% (state mean of 49.8%). This is high performance at its best! Well done to the boys and their teachers for these great results.

The effort that goes into effortlessness High-waisted pants. Patent leather shoes. Fox-trot. Not words you associate with your average Australian male teen. But Jaxon Putland (Year 9) is far from average. He is a super-fit, medal-winning ballroom dancer who invests hours in practising his craft. Jaxon started dancing because of his parents (both former Australian ballroom dancing champions) when he was about 8, and entered his first competition in Year 5. Since then, he has had three competition partners. His current partner, Nicola, travels several times a week from Bendigo to train in Essendon with Jaxon. “People don’t see the immense work we put into it – to make it look like we’re doing no work,” Jaxon explained. The foxtrot is Jaxon’s dance of choice. “If you do it right, it’s a nice smooth dance. It is the hardest but I am good at it. The waltz is also a nice one.” The tango is interesting, he points out, because the faster you do it, the smoother you look. Dancing in state and national competitions takes enormous focus, discipline and a lot of core strength. “The muscles in the back of your shoulders keep your arms up,” says Jaxon, “and after doing 10 to 15 dances in an average competition, you really feel it.” The music is important to Jaxon. “If you like the music, you dance better; good music gives you more of a reason to dance really well.” PER FO R M I N G ARTS Jaxon will be competing in the 2017 Australian DanceSport Championship at Hisense Arena in December. We wish him and Nicola the best of luck - and strong shoulders!



Jaxon dancing with his partner, Nicola. “Doing the fake smile, which you have to do, is not my strength,” Jaxon wryly explained.




Ned does it differently

Ned Wright-Smith (Year 12) recently performed a full-length solo organ concert as part of the 2017 Grand Organ Master Series at St Andrew’s Church. Ned’s youthful and energetic concert was well received by the appreciative audience, perhaps made larger by the great promotional photo and article published in the Herald Sun in the week leading up to the concert. Ned is no ordinary teenager. He is passionate about music. Apart from being a master of the pipe organ, he plays the piano by ear and the French horn in the prestigious Melbourne Youth Orchestra; he is a chorister



in the St Andrew’s Choir; and he was one of the leads in this year’s BGS/FGS production, Legally Blonde. Initially self-taught, Ned began playing organ in Year 7 almost by accident when the School didn’t have anyone to play for assembly. He soon realised he had both a passion and talent for the imposing instrument and so began lessons under internationally acclaimed Thomas Heywood. Ned explains, “I love the organ because you have the whole orchestra at your fingertips. You can make it sound like a rock band, marching band, an orchestra or anything in between.”




Alex, Lord of the Dance


Ned Wright-Smith does it differently. He really is a trailblazer.

Julie Houghton, 3MBS

Ned’s favourite organ playing experiences to date have been on the organ in the Melbourne Town Hall, which, at three storeys high, is the largest in the Southern hemisphere. What most people don’t know is that the organ also houses its own shower and toilet!

Alex Tognarini (Year 7) out-performed more than 150 boys across the state to snag a coveted role in the Australian season of Lord of the Flies, based on the classic William Golding novel, at the Arts Centre in April. During rehearsals for the contemporary dance/theatre production, Alex worked with Australian and international professional dancers, choreographers and designers. On The Project, Alex surprised his interviewer, Dannii Minogue, by saying that he’d never danced before! Alex is surely a talent to watch. Mum Kate says, “Thank you BGS – your support has been invaluable and Alex has truly grown through this amazing experience.”




One boy’s voyage of discovery By Max Kinsman (Year 11)

The first questions everyone asked me when I got back from my 10-day voyage on the Young Endeavour were ‘Were you sick?’ and ‘Were you scared?’ Well, everyone was sick at first, and I think everyone got scared. For me, the most frightening thing was being sent up the mast to untie a knot in the middle of the night in Bass Strait. It was really rough and windy, and at night the sea and sky are just black. But I knew I could do it. That’s one of the best things about the Young Endeavour – you learn that you can do things you never thought you would be capable of. My voyage sailed from Stanley in Tasmania to Geelong. The first two days were spent getting organised and learning what to do. One of the first skills we learnt was climbing aloft. You always climb with someone else so you can do buddy checks on your harnesses. 40


The Young Endeavour is a square rigger and the crew need to climb up to release and set the sails using the furling line. It feels amazing to be up so high, looking down on the ship, and it was one of my favourite things. The Young Endeavour is run by the Australian Navy, so there is a pretty strict routine. I think I earned the reputation as the untidiest person on board – not even the Navy could make me keep my bunk organised! On the second-last day (Command Day), we were put in charge of the ship, with one of the Youth Crew as Captain. When we sailed into Geelong on the final day I felt very proud of what we had achieved and sad that it was over. Yes, I was sick, and yes, I got scared, but it was an experience that I will never forget, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Extreme experience excites Noah

Noah Jones (Year 10) underwent some real-life resilience training over the summer when he spent several months in the Canadian and Austrian snowfields.

in the gym and had one day ‘off’. On top of that, he was responsible for keeping up with schoolwork, managing his own laundry, and travelling solo between countries.

When Noah started skiing, aged 9, he didn’t like the sport – he was scared of falling over the edge of the snow-covered slopes. But things have changed. Now he ranks in the top five in Australia, “really, really likes the sport” and believes he is living the dream!

So what was the purpose of the trip? “I was really trying to improve my skiing before I move from Under 16 to the Open division next season. I also wanted to experience international racing. Skiing is the dominant sport in Austria so to race there was a great experience.”

In the last few years, Noah has taken skiing seriously, spending two winters living in Mt Bulla as well as skiing abroad during the Australian summer. His recent Northern Hemisphere experience was intense. Each week, he spent five days training on the snow (in temperatures as low as –30°C), one day

And the highlight? “It was really, really fun!” This attitude surely bodes well for future success – as we all know, it’s much easier to put in the hard yards if you enjoy what you do. Good luck for the 2017 season, Noah.




‘Try’ rugby with the Rebels There was a great turnout at the Year 7/8 ‘Try’ rugby clinic, which was run jointly by the Melbourne Rebels and BGS staff. Rebels players Tom English and Mitch Inman were on hand to encourage the boys – many of whom are new to rugby – to just have a go and enjoy it. Particularly popular (despite some boys being in full school uniform!) was the opportunity to hit the tackle pads.

Rowing off the record Tonners do us proud The records show that BGS came third in the U17 Schoolboys Coxed Eight at the National Titles in Sydney in April. What the records don’t show is that the BGS rowers surrendered their bronze medals to the Melbourne Grammar crew, who came in third on the day but were later disqualified on a boat technicality.



“The BGS boys reminded us that rowing is just a vehicle; the real lessons are far deeper and more meaningful than can be shown on any scorecard.” Posted on Facebook by Sarah, a Melbourne Grammar parent.

APS Pink Round First XVIII in inaugural Pride Round The 20 May APS round vs MGS took on a special significance for the 1st XVIII, with both teams participating in an inaugural Pride Round in support of equality and respect. This followed a visit to the school by 2017 Young Australian of the Year Jason Ball. Jason was the first male Aussie Rules footballer at any level to publicly come out as gay in the national media. He spoke in assembly, inspiring the boys to take a stand.

The Junior School APS round took on a pink theme in May as the boys wore pink socks or sweatbands to raise money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Network Australia. Prior to the games, Year 5 and 6 boys heard from BGS staff member and cancer survivor Natalie van Wetering, who gave the boys further insight and an opportunity to ask any questions they had.

Training with a difference

Christian Salem training Year 7 boys

When the Year 7 footballers arrived at the Crowther for a regular Wednesday afternoon training session in June, they were greeted by Melbourne Football Club players Christian Salem (OB 2013), Jack Viney and Billy Stretch. The three players needed some boys to train as part of their assessment for an advanced coaching course. Our boys were more than happy to oblige! WINTER 2017



Athletics Many thanks to Tom Morehouse (BGS teacher), who has been coaching and managing our boys, as well as his squad in Sydney. Congratulations also to Tom on his appointment as national coach for the Australian track and field team heading to the Maccabiah Games in Israel in July this year. At the Australian Athletics Championships held in Sydney in March, Tristan Scheirs (Year 11) blitzed the field to become the best triple jumper in the country in the U18 category. Each athlete was allowed a total of six jumps. Tristan was the only jumper to clear 14m and in fact jumped further than this length in four of his six jumps. At 14.39m, his winning jump was a full metre further than any other competitor!

Sam Flockart (Year 8) finished second in the U13 1500m final at the 2017 Australian Little Athletics Championships in April in Sydney. Sam was just beaten in the final 80m of the race, settling for a silver medal at the Nationals, which is a terrific achievement!



Congratulations to Aaron Leferink (Year 10), who won the U17 200m at the Nationals in February. This is in addition to 1st with the U18 4 x 100m Victorian relay team and 4th in the U17 100m (a photo-finish).

Baseball Congratulations to Year 9 student Dante Caruso. Dante’s Victorian U16 team returned victorious from the National Youth Baseball Championships in January. Not only did third baseman Dante return with a gold medal, he also received the coveted Golden Bat award for the best hitter in the competition.

Touch Football Congratulations to Henry Moir (Year 12), who represented the Victorian men’s team in the National Touch League held in Coffs Harbour.

Cycling Tom Benton (Year 12) was selected to represent Victoria at the Australian Track Cycling Nationals held in Brisbane in March. Tom’s selection was based on his performance at the Victorian Track Cycling Championships, where he rode strongly in a number of events and won the bronze medal in the timetrial.

BGS boy at tennis Nationals Congratulations to Connor Hipwell (Year 11), who participated in the Pizzey Cup national schools tennis tournament in May 2017 as part of the Victorian team. The prestigious tournament is supported by Tennis Australia and attracts Australian Ranking points.




Cricket Congratulations to the following boys, who played cricket at state and local representative levels in various competitions over the Christmas holidays. These squads are part of elite pathways towards state-level programs within Victoria and for some at national level. As a result, the standard is extremely high, so selection is a great honour in itself. • Nathan Murphy (Captain of Cricket, Year 12) trained at the highperformance National Cricket Centre in Brisbane under the guidance of Australian batting coach, Graeme Hick.

• Jonty Leadbeater (Year 11) represented Victoria at the U18 Male Championships. • Spencer Wood (Year 9) captained the South East Breakers U14 team to victory in the State Championships. Spencer was named player of the final, scoring a matchwinning 72. • Ben Pryor (Year 11) represented the South East Breakers at the State Championships, making 219 runs at an average of 54.7.

• Aidan Nicholls (Year 10) and Lukas Galanopoulos (Year 9) played in the championship-winning J. G. Craig Competition. • Jack Munnings (Year 11), Joseph Micari (Year 12), Michael Fitzgerald (Year 11), Max James (Year 10), Greg Hick (Year 10), Max Stroud (Year 11) and Aidan Nicholls (Year 10) all played local representative cricket.

Swimming Nationals – Brisbane 2017



Six boys from BGS travelled to Brisbane to compete at the 2017 Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships in April. Our swimming captain Julian Wilson (Year 12), as well as Harrison Preston (Year 10), Ewan Smith, Billy Pearson, Lachie Jackett-Simpson and Charlie Lamont (Year 9), all competed. Numerous PBs were achieved. Of particular note, Julian finished 9th in his 100m freestyle and his 4 x 100m medley relay finished 1st. Harry finished 9th in his 200 breaststroke with an amazing swim. Ewan competed in the individual 200m backstroke and finished 19th overall. Billy, Ewan, Lachie and Charlie smashed their entry times in both the medley relay and the freestyle relay, finishing 11th overall in Australia. All competitors showed true BGS spirit and swam their absolute best.

Sailing In March, the BGS 1sts Sailing Team won the John Middleton Saturday Regatta Series. In the State Championships shortly afterwards, they came in 2nd, after Scotch College, securing a place at the Nationals in Perth in July. A stellar effort from all!

Congratulations to Matty Goss (Year 6), who has been selected to represent Australia in the Youth Match Racing World Championships in New Caledonia later in the year, confirming him as one of the best U12 sailors in the country.

Hockey Congratulations to Craig Marais (Year 9), who was selected to captain the U15 Victorian hockey team. The team won silver at the National Championships in Sydney in April.

Up and over! Cam Hathway (Year 8) and his dad had an unusual 1900-km road trip to Sydney in March, with Cam’s vaulting pole strapped to the car. But the degree of difficulty was well worth it when Cam came 6th in the U15 competition at the Australian Athletics Championships. He also gained the Sandringham Club record, with a jump of 2.75 m. WINTER 2017


As a school, I think we have an obligation to do all that we can to provide more young men with such an opportunity. Ross Featherston

Something magical happened at BGS on Wednesday 21 June. Through the use of a new crowdfunding platform, we were able to raise an amazing $424,678 in just 24 hours – more than doubling our original target of $200,000 and more than doubling the number of people in our community who usually give to our Annual Appeal. To the ‘matchers’ in our community who supported the Appeal at the highest levels and to the 427 staff, students, parents, Old Boys, sponsors and friends who gave on the day, a sincere thank you. Your overwhelming support and your embrace of our innovative approach to the Appeal means that we are able to offer not one but two new meanstested scholarships next year, giving two boys who would otherwise miss out a BGS education.

The Annual Giving team hard at work in Rosstrevor during the 24-hour Appeal.

The hard work was well worth it. 48


A magical day at BGS

BRIGHTON GRAMMAR Motown mamas raise 2017 PINK DINNER record donation


Just the word ‘Motown’ makes you feel good, never mind attending an event with 360 other women dressed in sixties splendour, eating a delicious meal and dancing the night away to the best of big Motown numbers courtesy of a ninepiece band. From the moment we entered the venue, which was decked out with colourful peace signs and old vinyl record placemats, we knew we were in for a great night. Comedian Lawrence Mooney didn’t disappoint, nor did ‘Motown man’ MC Tim Marshall. To simply say ‘thank you’ to our amazing parent committee of four – Patty Chantoz, Robyn Berry and Margaret Hamilton, led by Susan Middlemiss – seems somewhat inadequate. They put in hours and hours of work to ensure the night was such a success. Congratulations for all that, but thanks too for enabling the best financial result ever from the Pink Dinner. The committee presented $22,000 to the Mirabel Foundation on behalf of BGS – a donation that will truly make a positive difference to the lives of many children. The commitee presents a $22,000 cheque to the Mirabel Foundation




Concert marks 175 year anniversary Picture this. The date is 1842 and the population of Melbourne is just 6000. In the tiny settlement of Brighton, the first church building, barely able to seat 100, is opened. It happens to be St Andrew’s Day, so the church is named St Andrew’s. A choir is formed. This choir, now Victoria’s oldest, has sung every week since, as Melbourne has grown from small beginnings to the major city it is today. To mark the choir’s 175th anniversary, on 21 May, the current St Andrew’s Choir treated a full house to a concert of some of the finest

choral music composed over 300 years – and it was simply sublime. The choir is composed of BGS and Firbank students, past students and a few adults. They were accompanied by the Australian Festival Chamber Orchestra. Under the masterful direction of Thomas Heywood, who is the St Andrew’s Organist and the Director of Music, the choir has never sounded so angelic. Highlights included the two organs (yes, there are two organs in St Andrew’s!) playing a spectacular duet, and the Hallelujah Chorus finale.

Past Mothers’ High Tea Once a BGS Mum, always a BGS Mum. Even after you finish school, we like to stay in touch with not only you, but your parents as well. The 75th Past Mothers’ High Tea in May was a glorious example.



Sequamur Society

The Sequamur Society honours and thanks those who have confirmed their intention to include Brighton Grammar School in their will.

Annual Cocktail Party The Crescent (formerly Rylands) was the venue for this year’s Sequamur Society Cocktail Party, sponsored by the Buxton Group. It was a most enjoyable return to this venue. Early in the evening, guests were treated to a delightful performance by the Senior School String Quartet. Peter Ickeringill, Chairman of Council, then addressed the gathering, followed by the Headmaster, who outlined some exciting plans for the School.

Ian Robertson, Tim Renouf, Phillip Hamilton

Monty Stephens, Trudy Talbot, Margaret Templeton, Michael Talbot

George Thomson, Peter Ickeringill, Gary Jones




Keith Ferguson leaves $200K to BGS Bob Alexander, partner of Keith Ferguson, has donated $200,000 on behalf of Keith’s estate to establish the Keith Ferguson Bursary Fund. A former teacher at BGS, Keith died in September 2016. Keith joined the Middle School in 1963 before moving to the Junior School in 1966, where he taught for 24 years. Keith resigned in December 1990.

One of Keith’s greatest concerns was for those boys who had to be withdrawn from the School when their parents encountered financial difficulties. This is the genesis of his bursary – to invest $200,000, with the interest assisting parents. Parents who receive financial assistance from the bursary will be encouraged to donate back to this fund, if and when their financial situation improves.

Geoff McCalman bequest for the Building Fund The School expresses its appreciation for the generous gift of $20,000 bequeathed by Sequamur Society member Geoff McCalman (OB 1958). Geoff died in March 2016. Geoff entered BGS in 1945 and enjoyed a lifelong relationship with the School. He was



L-R Graeme Templeton, Peter Toms, Geoff McCalman and Geoff’s step-son, Kim Ellis (OB 1986) at the 2015 Sequamur Society Cocktail Party

a member of the Top Enders and a great cricket enthusiast. His heightened interest in horse-racing and wine was infectious, and he was a committed supporter of Old Boys’ football.

Allan Zavod Jazz Prize Later this year, Director of Music Jamie Ransome will award the inaugural Allan Zavod Jazz Prize in memory of former BGS musical genius and member of the Hall of Fame, Dr Allan Zavod OAM (OB 1965). Allan, a pianist, composer and occasional conductor, whose career unfolded mainly in America, died in November 2016. He had written scores for more than 40 films, documentaries, television and theatre, and in 2015 performed on board ship at a dawn service in Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. This year, Allan’s wife Christine and their son Zac received Allan’s Medal of the Order of Australia at an investiture ceremony at Government House. Early in 2017, Dr John Redhead (OB 1962) approached the School to endow this prize in recognition of Allan’s extraordinary contribution to the world of jazz. John’s three boys, Michael (OB 2007), James (OB 2009) and Peter (OB 2011), are all talented musicians and were prominent members of the Senior School Big Band.

Zac and Christine Zavod with Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Hon. Linda Dessau AC.

Gift of art to BGS BGS Hall of Fame member, Graham White OBE, ASM (OB 1949) and Judy White, Sequamur Society members, visited BGS from Sydney in early March to present Ross Featherston with a beautiful ‘Out Back’ painting by Jack Absalom OAM, one of the renowned Australian artists from Broken Hill.



Old Boys

From the OBGS President Stepping into the big shoes of Sam Paynter (OB 86), I am humbled to be your new OBGS President at an exciting time for the Society. In an era of much change, the OBGS is no different. With the advent of a newly instituted funding model, and some new faces on the committee, the direction and exposure of the OBGS within the School community will certainly be more prominent moving forward. I am delighted to welcome Kate Birrell as our new Alumni and Community Manager. Kate has joined us from Carey, where she masterfully guided their alumni initiatives for the past five years. Kate has already made a big impact in her short time in the position, and the passion and enthusiasm with which she has set about her role bodes well for the Socie ty and the School. We are very proud to announce that a scholarship in the name of the OBGS has been established for sons of Old Boys (either currently attending or external to BGS), which will commence in 2018. I look forward to updating you as the year progresses and keeping you advised on new initiatives. Steve Dimer (OB 96), OBGS President




Kate comes to BGS Kate Birrell joined BGS as Alumni and Community Manager in April and has hit the ground running. In her first term, Kate has been involved in eight OBGS/School events and published her first OBGS eNewsletter. (Did you get it? Email Kate if you’d like a copy: kbirrell@ Kate is delighted to be doing what she loves in her local community, after spending the last five years heading up Alumni Relations at Carey Grammar. She has been busy getting to know the BGS community and developing exciting plans for the OBGS, building on the great work of Andrew Biggin and introducing new initiatives. A third-generation MLC (Kew) girl, Kate is familiar with the single-sex school environment and has been delighted by the warm welcome given to Brighton’s firstever female Alumni Manager! Kate is keen to hear from Old Brighton Grammarians about what they want from their Society in the future. If you have an idea or would like to get involved, please email Kate or make a time to drop in to 86 Outer Crescent. Outside of work, Kate can be found at a bayside playground with her six-year-old son (and future BGS boy!) and two retired greyhounds, or stealing a few moments for a run around the streets of Brighton. She doesn’t mind a spot of footy watching, either, especially given the success of Old Brighton (who are doing better than the Pies!).

2017 OBGS Committee: President: Steve Dimer (OB 1996) VPs: Tim Marshall (OB 2000), Ben Talbot (OB) 1993, Mark Flavell (OB 1979) Hon. Treasurer: Evan Stewart (OB 1990) Imm. Past Pres: Sam Paynter (OB 1986) Committee Members: Jim Begg (OB 1958), Geof Hosie (OB 1959), Roger Wilson (OB 1961) School Council Nominee: Peter Scott (OB 1976) Executive Officer/Hon. Secretary: Kate Birrell Please keep updated on OBGS events at the BGS website and feel free to contact Steve Dimer at obgspresident@brightongrammar.




99 (x 2) and still going strong The annual ANZAC service was even more moving this year, with two of our oldest Old Boys in attendance. Jim Poynter and David Madden are both from the Class of 1934 and are both aged 99. As it was about 75 years since they last met, these gents had a lot of catching up to do. Jim, who hails from Gippsland, was a boarder. He studied pharmacy after leaving school, graduating from university on the day World War II began. During the war he served as the Chief Government Pharmacist in the Central Medical Store as well as caring for 1000 prisoners at a POW camp near Wangaratta. Post-war, Jim moved to Tasmania, where he was the Chief Pharmacist at the Royal Hobart Hospital for many years. Jim is remembered for being a great advocate in the fight for equal pay for female pharmacists. He also opened the very first batch of penicillin – a miracle drug now taken for granted – in Australia.



L–R Head of Senior School, Ray Swann, Jim Poynter (OB 1934), new Alumni Relations Manager, Kate Birrell, David Madden (OB 1934) and Headmaster, Ross Featherston.

Jim retired at 65 and, since then, he and his wife Roberta have followed their passions for adventure travel, photography and family. Jim’s 92-year-old younger brother Alan (OB 1940), who was an analytical chemist, also loves to travel and recently headed off to the UK and France by himself. The ever-dashing David Madden was the Major of the 1st Parachute Battalion, established in 1943. For many years after the end of World War II, David served as President of the Australian Paratroopers Association. His professional life began at 16 when he started as an office boy at Ampol, before working his way through the ranks to company executive – firstly in oil and then in finance, property and advertising. In his leisure time, David has been an enthusiastic and passionate sailor, chalking up a 60-year membership at the Sandringham Yacht Club and 50 years as a member of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.


‘Career choice’ can be daunting words. It’s one thing to consider a list of professions but quite another to understand what these roles involve on a daily basis. BGS boys are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to hear about a wide variety of careers, in practice, at the biennial Futures Forum. In May, the boys heard from more than 60 presenters, almost half of whom were Old Boys, but also parents, staff and friends. Presenters represented roles as various as diplomat, industrial designer, humanitarian, software engineer, director, actor, paramedic and entrepreneur. It was clearly a valuable afternoon for the boys.

“The Futures Forum got the students thinking about their own future in society and gave them a taste of the life that lies beyond the school walls.” Kieran Farrell, Year 10 “The visitors from out of School, including Old Boys, were able to provide advice and assistance as well as a basic outline of each possible career.” Daniel Parish, Year 12

28 Old Boys present at the 2017 Futures Forum!

“It was nice to hear from people who have made it and what they have done to get there.” Rob Capp, Year 12




Lock it in, Eddie! Jandre Olivier (OB 2015), currently studying Commerce/Law at Monash University, walked away from Channel 9’s ‘Millionaire Hot Seat’ recently with a cool $50K after answering just one question. Jandre is planning some European travel.

Where there’s a Will… A day before his 19th birthday in February, Will Pucovski (OB 2015) debuted for the Victoria Bushrangers at the MCG. In late 2016, Pucovski dominated the U19 Championships, notching up four centuries and an average of 162.50. He donated the $1000 worth of Kookaburra gear he earned as a result of his return of 650 runs (an unprecedented total) to students of Hampton Primary School, where he was at school. He also volunteered at the school, supporting children with learning challenges. Will has been unlucky with injury and has had time to contemplate his future while unable to play. His cricketing ambition is to maximise the opportunities he’s worked hard for since his days on the Hampton Primary pitch, and to enjoy each minute he’s on the field. 58


Jerry Lee (OB 2016) “During Year 11, I began the process of applying for US colleges. I’m very excited to have been admitted to my first preference, Northwestern University. Ranked 12th on US News’ list of Best Overall US Colleges, Northwestern is located in Chicago, Illinois and I will be attending its Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. (I believe that BGS Old Boy Andrew Maglio was admitted to the same university on a sports scholarship a few years ago.) I could not have achieved this dream without the constant support of BGS teachers, who backed me to actualise my initiatives and ideas, helped me in the SAT, and wrote letters of recommendation. I cannot thank you all enough for helping me to seize this exciting opportunity.”

MasterChef Charlie Charlie Carrington (OB 2011), owner and chef at Melbourne’s Atlas Dining, was a special guest competitor on MasterChef this year. He was beaten in an intense cook-off but says, “I definitely held my head high”. Charlie has been cooking in restaurants around the world since he was 15. He opened Atlas Dining in South Yarra aged only 22. The creative menu changes every few months, depending on Charlie’s travel destinations.

Charlie Carrington at his restaurant, Atlas Dining, with Shannon Bennett.

Jack flies out Jack Rutter (OB 2013) left Australia this year to play professional cricket for the Calmore Sports Cricket Club in the Hampshire League. He immediately demonstrated his skill with both bat and ball, taking three wickets in every game and making two half centuries. Jack coached BGS Middle School cricket in 2014 and played for Brighton Cricket Club. Having dreamt of being a pilot since he was 14, he completed his Bachelor of Aviation at Swinburne in 2017.

Nick Barrow and Bruce McAvaney

Logie for Nick Nick Barrow (OB 1992) won a Logie Award in April. Nick is the Executive Producer of Sport for Channel 7, and he and his team won the Logie for their coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Nick is pictured here with legendary sports commentator Bruce McAvaney. Nick’s sister, Amelia Barrow, is the Director of the ELC.




At home in Alabama

Three years ago, Joel Dixon (OB 2009) left Melbourne for Stockton, California, to study Business Management at San Joaquin Delta College and enter the American College system football competition (see Meliora Sequamur Winter 2014). Now at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Joel is feeling well looked after.

“My life at Delta was rather interesting.

The city of Stockton has an incredibly high crime rate, as it was one of the first towns in America to claim bankruptcy during the recession. I was only allowed on the sporting field during school football hours, and nowhere else was safe enough to practice. As a community college, Delta was challenging. After football, I was given very little guidance in my other activities, and limited help with tutoring. However, I met a lot of great people and learnt more things in my two short years there than I had in my whole life. After two and a half years on the West Coast in Northern California, I received a full sporting scholarship as the punter for University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). It is incredible how much the university looks after its football players. It provides free education, tutors when required and free food.



I’m making a lot of great connections via the football program. I feel that Alabama has some similarities to Wodonga, where I grew up before moving to Melbourne – it has a ‘small country town’ feeling and the people are open and willing to help each other. The thing I like most is the laid-back vibe. I’m located in an amazing spot here in Birmingham, surrounded by a huge amount of history. Travelling each way, within five hours I can be in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans or Atlanta. If I were to recommend any place to visit, it would have to be down south!”

Blake has a punt We’re proud to share the news Blake Hayes, Vice Captain of School 2016, has accepted a scholarship to join the University of Illinois football team, where he will soon be playing before 60K+ stadium crowds. Blake began taking an interest in NFL (American Football) in Year 9. He was attracted to the intensity and physicality of the game. And being the intelligent guy that he is, the strategic side of the game soon had him hooked. “It’s not unlike a game of chess,” Blake explained. Despite being an accomplished Australian Rules player (three times BGS premiership player and Captain of the BGS First XVIII in 2016), Blake was determined not to follow the usual path of school, uni, work. Instead, he began exploring how he might be able to study in the USA while playing the game he was beginning to love. By the end of Year 11, Blake knew that no matter how well he could kick, his passport to a university scholarship was an academic one. He applied himself and achieved a 90+ ATAR in Year 12. Blake’s plan was to work and train in 2017, and start studying in 2018. He spent the summer

working in his dad’s factory and started at BGS as the AFL intern in February. Simultaneously, he was training hard with specialist coach and former NFL punter Nathan Chapman and kicking coach John Smith. Along with the kicking coaching three times a week, Blake was also attending Conquest Fitness gym with strength and conditioning coach Dave Tuinauvai, who has trained many Australian punters and gridiron players. Blake’s positive characteristics are obvious to anyone who meets him. So it was no surprise – but no less of an achievement – when the prestigious University of Illinois, known for its academic strength, offered him a four-year scholarship to study kinesiology as well as a place in their football team. Blake has joined the big league. In contrast to playing in front of 2000 on a big day around the Crowther, his new Division 1 team plays in stadiums that hold 100,000 plus. When playing an away game, if the trip will take more than four hours on the road, the team simply charters a plane! We look forward to watching this Tonner making his mark on NFL. Go Blake! WINTER 2017



Old Boy turns Wilcannia hotel into a different kind of ‘public house’ When Andrew Stacey (OB 1978) purchased the derelict Queens Head Hotel last year after visiting Wilcannia, it wasn’t to serve beer. However, he does want the building to retain its purpose as a ‘public house’. After speaking with the local Indigenous community, he made plans to restore the building and turn it into a gallery managed and run by locals. As a gallery, it will be a place for artists to display their work, an opportunity for the local Barkindji people to present themselves and their culture to the visitors that come through, and a public asset where locals can meet. 62


Andrew is himself an accomplished artist who loves painting the country around Wilcannia in far-west New South Wales. (“As a painter, as an artist, I wanted to connect with this landscape because it had really, really grabbed me.”) He said he will pay for the cost of the renovation by applying for heritage grants and using his own funds. He expects the project to take about five years to complete and is grateful for friends who have volunteered their time to help. Above all, Andrew would like the project to be for the town’s young people.

Noel McNicol at a boat christening in 2016

Meliora Club Dinner

“[The hope is] that it’ll provide for them some type of meaning for the education that they’re trying to go through,” he said. “It’ll give to them a sense of why it’s worth going to school. And it’ll give to them a kind of shopfront where they can display the artworks and the things they do in school, and also see their parents and their elders doing the same thing.” The public space/gallery was opened in April 2017. BGS very much appreciate two of Andrew’s paintings, which he kindly donated, and are displayed in the Senior School library.

The Meliora Club Dinner, held annually on the Tuesday before the Head of the River Regatta on Nagambie Lake, was attended by about 100 rowers, former rowers and friends of the sport. A highlight of the event was the speech given by Director of Rowing Dick Bartlett, acknowledging the extraordinary contribution of Noel McNicol, who resigned mid-2016 after serving 27 years as Boatman. During his tenure, Noel was responsible for the maintenance of the boats and other related equipment to support the rowing programs from Carrum, Albert Park and Princess Bridge. His name became synonymous with BGS rowing. On conclusion of Dick’s speech, the audience – many of whom had been the beneficiaries of Noel’s great work – stood as one in sustained ovation.




Young Guns into Australian U21 Rowing Squad Kate Birrell caught up with Alex Clarke (OB 2014) and Ben Canham (OB 2015) to hear about their journey to selection in the Under 21 Australian Rowing Squad. After starting at BGS in Year 5, Alex completed Year 12 in 2014. He commenced rowing at BGS in the 10B crew in 2012. He was a very tall and not particularly coordinated rower in his first year. He rowed in the 2nd VIII in Year 11 and, the following year, in the 1st VIII, which finished in 3rd place at the Head of the River. After finishing school, Alex immediately joined the Mercantile Rowing Club. Ben arrived at BGS in Year 6, completing Year 12 in 2015. Ben rowed in the 9As in 2012 and the 10As in 2013, before taking a year’s break to focus on basketball outside school. Missing his old crewmates, he rejoined rowing in Year 12, competing with the 1st VIII, which finished in 3rd place at the Head of the River. Ben holds the record (in recent years) on the rowing machine, with a time of 6:09 for 2000 metres. After finishing school, he took a short break from rowing, getting back in the boat in 2016 with the University of Melbourne Rowing 64


Club, before switching to Mercantile Rowing Club. Both Alex and Ben took their school rowing experience and trained hard, rowing in different pairs. Under expert guidance, they quickly went from strength to strength. Intense training and a clearly defined path revealed just where their hard work might take them. The possibility of rowing for Victoria and even Australia arose after consistent competition results. Amazingly, the boys only got in a boat together two weeks before trials for the Nationals. However, their shared BGS

background made for a fairly smooth transition and they achieved a best time and 2nd at trials, and 4th in Australia at Nationals – against pairs that had been rowing together for months or more! This has secured them both a place in the Under 21 Australian Rowing Squad. Since selection, Alex and Ben have been training in Melbourne. In June, they were in Sydney for a training camp, before heading overseas to take on New Zealand in August. In between training sessions, both boys are studying Industrial Design. We wish them all the best as they look to Tokyo in 2020.

Finding the (theatre) light at the end of the tunnel

For Tom Willis (OB 2002), the road to success in theatre lighting design hasn’t always been clear. But by getting experience wherever he could, seeking out his own path and finding mentors, he has forged ahead and realised some dreams. “It took me a few years after I finished school to really find my place in the industry. There aren’t clear career paths when you want to be something obscure like a theatre lighting designer. I started off by working for lighting hire companies while I was still at School, along with contributing as much as I could to School productions. I was lucky that our drama teacher at the time (Peter Wiles) was a big advocate for getting students involved at all levels of the production process. Later, while I was studying an Arts Degree at Melbourne Uni, I got involved with student productions through the Union House Theatre Company. From there, I enrolled at the VCA School of Production in 2006 and graduated in 2008. I have been designing, more or less, ever since. It hasn’t always been an easy road. For many years, I struggled to find financial and professional security. With any kind of arts practice, it takes a long time to

build momentum. What’s hard is that it’s different for everyone. No two paths or experiences in the industry are ever the same. You have to find your own way, and at times it can be impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A bit of faith and a lot of determination is vital. I was very lucky in many ways. More than once I considered changing careers – finding something safer, more conventional. Ultimately, I was fortunate to have some pretty amazing mentors and a great network of friends and collaborators, and was able to stick with my profession long enough to find some success. I now work out of a warehouse in Cheltenham. My work is quite varied. I support a lot of school productions, but also do work for mainstage and commercial companies. This year I’ll be doing some work for both the Fruit Fly Circus and Circus Oz, which is really exciting (I’ve wanted to light circus ever since I saw Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Saltimbanco’ as a teenager). I’m also working on a play for Red Stitch and another for La Mama, and will be collaborating on a worldpremiere dance piece at Chapel Off Chapel. And funnily enough, I’m still lighting shows for BGS – Camp Rock was my 21st show!” WINTER 2017



Just a small project among friends… In the years since Will Atkinson (OB 2003) left BGS, his ambition and dedication to a life in the theatre and to the craft of acting have led him on a very unconventional career path. After graduating with a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Monash University, Will went on to study, travel, direct and perform around the world. Now, one of his biggest ongoing projects is Bounce Patrol Kids, a YouTube channel featuring songs aimed at kids aged 2–8 years. With over 1.6 million subscribers and 1.3 billion views across the channel, it's come a long way from what started out just five years ago as a small project among friends. Appearances on the Today Show and several OVA (Online Video Award) nominations later, Bounce Patrol Kids is now one of Australia's most watched YouTube channels, and one of the most popular kids’ channels around the globe. At the other end of the performing spectrum, Will is a founding ensemble member of Q44 Theatre Company. Based in Richmond, this small independent company is growing to be one of the most recognised in Australia. Q44 aims to produce plays of artistic integrity and to present them with skill, artistry and humanity. Most recently, Will appeared as the character Mickey in David Rabe's play Hurlyburly – a character



famously portrayed by Kevin Spacey, both on Broadway and in the 1998 screen adaption. Will traces his passion for theatre back to his earliest days at BGS. He is thankful for the exposure he had to so many creative influences during his time at School, and for the support he received in pursuing his love of the arts.

John (on the right) accepting the award for Splunk Americas Partner of the Year.


Hitting the ground running

John Ansett (OB 2002)

“After leaving BGS, I worked at NAB as a technical analyst and then for a small tech firm in Hawthorn before travelling extensively and eventually moving to England in 2008. It was a tough time to move because the UK especially was in the throes of the GFC and work was limited. Fortunately, I managed to secure a job at a mid-market e-commerce company in Eynsham, Oxfordshire. I spent the next two years working and travelling Europe, backpacking my way back to Australia in 2010.

On 13 May, Alexander Georgiou (OB 2006) married Marian at St Eustathios in South Melbourne. His brother Phillip Georgiou (OB 2010) was best man.

In Melbourne, I hit the ground running as a technical consultant for O2 Networks, which was ultimately acquired by Telstra. With itchy feet again, I won the ‘Greencard lottery’ in 2012, packed up and moved to North America. Timing was on my side this time and, through mutual connections, I secured a job as a solutions architect with a private systems integrator company in Irvine, California. When I moved to the USA, I started competitive running again. I hadn’t competed since School (where I ran track and competed in the state trials for 400 metres). I have since run the San Francisco, New York, Chicago, London and Boston marathons (I came in 239th at Boston, with a time of 2:44:09), and am currently in training for the Berlin Marathon. Four years on, my girlfriend and I are still living in California. I'm running a division at Trace3 as Director of Operational and Security Intelligence. We've just been acquired by a private equity firm, H.I.G. Capital, and it's time for another chapter as I decide on the next move in my career and life.”

Former School Captain and son of Maggie and Frank Lynch, Andy Lynch (OB 2007) married Jasmine Tremblay in April. Andy and Jaz met as students at Ormond College. Andy is now working for Corrs Chambers Westgate and Jaz is a chemistry teacher at University High School. WINTER 2017



Well and truly on the green Mark Ashton (OB 2012) “After finishing school, I commenced my PGA traineeship in 2013. The PGA traineeship is an industry-based learning pathway to Australian PGA membership and work within the golf industry. For the three years of the traineeship I spent five days a week working in the Pro Shop and two days playing and practising. I also completed online study and assignments. After completing my traineeship, I took six months off work to practise and play full-time in the Ladbrokes Pro-Am series. It was an eye-opening experience to play against guys who have been playing full-time golf for onwards of five years. I am now working as the Director of Golf and Pro Shop Manager at the Rossdale Golf Club and playing part-time on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.”

The value of uncommon sense After completing a degree in commerce at Swinburne, Jordan Michaelides (OB 2008) travelled extensively. Since then, he has worked in the financial services industry. He is currently Account Manager at IBISWorld, a data-intelligence firm. He has also founded a 3D printing startup. However, it was the discovery that he has a chronic immune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, that spurred him into co-founding a content media service focused on performance. At, Jordan writes a blog and records interviews (the Uncommon Podcast) that help the listener ‘to build the Uncommon Sense crucial to increasing performance’. Guests so far have ranged from venture capitalists to chefs to bodybuilders. Recent guests include BGS Old Boys Charlie Carrington (OB 2011), on his rise in the restaurant world, and Anthony Ross (OB 2006) on evolutionary biology and health. 68


Scholar-athlete to join Western Michigan Broncos Izaak Gerkis (OB 2016) signed in February with Division 1 Western Michigan University as an official 2017 football recruit. Izaak left BGS in 2012 when he moved to the US with his family. Having played Aussie Rules since the age of four, Izaak joined school (American) football and “fell in love with the game”. He played for Birmingham Seaholm in Michigan as a defensive back and slot receiver before beginning to excel as a punter. By the time he was in Year 12, he had earned a top 50 ranking in the US’ prep punters, and had received Seaholm’s Most Valuable Player award. In February, Izaak was officially selected in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) National Signing Day by Western Michigan University as a ‘preferred walk-on’ for the Broncos. “It was always my goal to play American football and, now that I have it, it’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier.” However, football is far from Izaak’s only talent. As an academic all-state nominee for the past two years, he is a scholar-athlete and has been accepted into the Lee Honors College to study premedicine.



30 Year Reunion Class of 1987 Everyone was delighted that Shingo Date made a special trip to Melbourne for the 1987 Reunion. Shingo is an Assoc. Prof. at the National Defence Academy of Japan. He attended BGS with his two brothers, Koji and Yohei, and on returning to Japan, studied chemical engineering at the University of Tokyo, completing a Doctorate of Engineering in 1998.



01 Simon Moran, front row four from the right, flew out from Bangkok especially for the reunion. 02 L-R Ray Joy, Ian Smith, Shingo Date and Cameron Black 03





10 Year Reunion Class of 2007 The 10 year reunion welcomed 56 Old Boys back including 28 who toured the School’s new facilities first. It was a great night enjoyed by all in the Middle School Nexus.



01 L-R Jonathan Waddell, Mitch Hutchison, Stuart McKell 02 L-R Joshua Sucharov, Finn Maddison, Bennett Pascoe 03 L-R Elliot Yeatman, James Siapantas, Tom White, Jack Baenziger 03



5 Year Reunion Class of 2012

02 03


01 Jackson Bilu, Josh Ward, Ollie Cavallaro, Headmaster Ross Featherston 02 L-R Tim Edmonds, Jack Knight, Brad Johnson 03 L-R Mac Powell, Reid Wakeham, George Bonazzi




60 Years On Reunion Pendennis Club Vale

It was great to welcome back so many Old Boys who left school more than 60 years ago to join us at the annual Historical Assembly.

Barry Dove (1951)

It is with sadness we advise the names of Old Brighton Grammarians who have passed away. Our condolences to their families.

Paul Haymes (1973) Gary Hodges (1964) Peter Isaacson (1937) BGS Hall of Fame

Father Reginald Cyril Johnson (OB 1937) Kenneth Lacey (1948) Robin Wade (1940) Victor Wakley (1946)

Remaining OBGS Reunion Calendar for 2017 REUNION





Class of 1992 (25 Years)


RSC Hall

11 August


Top Enders


Sandringham Club

25 August

12 noon

Sydney Reunion



15 September

Brisbane Reunion



16 September

Top Enders


Sandringham Club

6 October

12 noon

Class of 1977 (40 Years)


RSC Hall

13 October


50 Years On


RSC Hall

27 October


Top Enders


Sandringham Club

8 December

12 noon



Brighton Grammar School 90 Outer Crescent Brighton VIC 3186 Australia t 03 8591 2200 w CRICOS Provider No. 00132K ABN 61 004 117 668

Vale Peter Isaacson (OB 1937) The BGS community mourned the passing of distinguished Old Boy Peter Stuart Isaacson AM, DFC, AFC, DFM on 7 April this year, aged 96. As one of our inaugural Hall of Fame members, Peter was a highly decorated World War II pilot, an entrepreneurial newspaper publisher, a Life Governor of the Shrine of Remembrance, an inductee in the prestigious Melbourne Press Club Hall of Fame, and a most generous philanthropist. Peter began his media career aged 16 as a messenger boy at The Age; he ended that career as the largest independent publisher in the country. After his wartime commission was terminated (Peter was a skillful bomber pilot and famously flew his plane under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1943), Peter was appointed an aviation correspondent for The Argus. He established his first newspaper, the Elsternwick Advertiser, in 1947, before setting up Peter Isaacson Publications, which oversaw numerous suburban newspapers including the Southern Cross. Peter also

published Melbourne’s Sunday Observer and a host of business and industry magazines. In 1991, Peter was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia ‘for service to the print media and the community’. Peter has been a generous benefactor to BGS, particularly in his support of our Library Resource Centre and his funding of our war veteran honour boards. As members of the BGS community, we are truly grateful for Peter’s rich legacy and his life, characterised by

John Cooper, Neil MacGlash, in BGS Cadet uniform on Brighton Pier

extraordinary courage, entrepreneurial skill and abundant kindness. Peter Toms, Bequests Officer



Cruz Maisano and Cale Donald (ELC) helped us out during a photoshoot. Despite the cold weather, they threw mud, climbed trees and donned tutus most graciously. 76


Do you know someone who should be in the BGS Hall of Fame?



We are seeking nominations for three categories: 2018 BGS Hall of Fame, BGS Rising Stars and BGS Young Achievers. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of students since they left the School. Areas of endeavour include business, the professions, entrepreneurship, community service, defence forces and sport. Nominations close Friday 27 October 2017. Details regarding the 2018 Hall of Fame dinner, held once every three years, will be published in the next edition of Meliora Sequmaur and on the BGS website. Anyone can nominate – and you can nominate yourself. Criteria and nomination forms are available on our website home page

Meliora Sequamur Magazine Winter 2017  

The winter edition of Brighton Grammar's bi-annual magazine, the Meliora Sequamur.