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Summer 2017

In This Issue:

›› Boarding at BGS ›› Power of Philanthropy ›› Global Achievements


8 Our Purpose Brisbane Grammar School educates boys within a strong learning culture that is innovative yet respectful of its traditions, by nurturing their intellectual, physical and emotional wellbeing to become thoughtful and confident men of character who contribute to their communities.



Our Ambition Brisbane Grammar School aspires to be the best school for boys in Australia, and an international leader in teaching and learning. The School is committed to offering premium educational and leadership opportunities for boys of all backgrounds, to strengthen its global connections, and to build a vibrant school community among students, parents, staff, Old Boys and the broader society.



Our Values •






Our Motto nil sine labore – nothing without work The School is committed to a liberal education philosophy. Our major goals for each boy are: •

To develop attitudes, skills, and a base of knowledge as a foundation for critical intelligence, imaginative and creative powers, effective communication and the capacity and enthusiasm for independent, life-long learning.

To develop and extend personal character and talents.

To develop a strong sense of service, community, leadership and loyalty to others.





Registered by Australia Post Publication No. QBN 4259




16 BOARDING AT BGS gn grammar news is produced by Advancement and Community Relations Brisbane Grammar School Gregory Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000 Telephone: Email: Website: BrisbaneGrammarSchool

+61 7 3834 5200 brisbane-grammar-school

Editorial Team Heather Watson Executive Director Advancement and Community Relations Philippa Cable Marketing and Publications Manager Chris Walker Communications Manager Julia Goodwin Graphic Designer Contributors Mark Adi Chris Austin Angela Brown Rebecca Campbell John Clancy Jack Coates Simon Conway Rhys Cox Callum Dargavel

Greg Di-Losa Daniel Dossetor Jevin Gunawardana Carla Hardy Vivien Harris Peter Ingram Tom Landy Matt McClennan Anthony Micallef


Blake Micallef Phil Mooney James Morris Tanya Neilsen Connor O’Grady Darrington Overstreet Helen Penrose Raziq Qasimi Derek Smith brisbanegrammar BrisbaneGrammar

Jamie Smith Matt Smith Jeremy Sun Abigail Twyman Alison Walters Berian William-Jones

Thank you to our community for sending in your photos that are featured within this publication. Cover image: 100 BGS boarders in the Great Hall this year. Steeped in tradition, the foundation stone was laid in 1879, the iconic building still remains at the centre of school life. The photo won a national social media competition run by the Australian Boarding School Association.

Back cover image: The Jacaranda trees in bloom in front of Harlin House, spring 2016


Below are excerpts from letters to the editor following the winter 2016 edition of grammar news. If you have a story you would like to share please send your letters to us or email

Dear editor,

From the editor

I appreciate receiving Grammar News magazines. In the spirit of accuracy and nothing else, I was a contemporary of David Ogilvie (story page 17 GN winter 2016), and he was a wonderfully talented sportsman, who is worthy of the accolades. Can I say he was in the First XV and the First XI during this time, but reluctantly, I do not recall the School winning the First’s premiership during those years, as much as we would have wished. The rugby coach during this period was Alan Jones. With respect to the First IV tennis, yes, the School did win all the premierships (and even more) once again under the expert coaching of Alan Jones.

Thank you for contacting the School and sharing with us your knowledge of David Ogilvie. We would also like to highlight another BGS Olympian who was excluded from the list in the last edition of GN. BGS Old Boy Lou Hailey, who left BGS in 1942 after completing Year 10, was a dual Olympian and should have been included in the BGS Olympic History story on page 17 GN winter 2016. Competing in hockey, Mr Hailey was a talented goalkeeper who represented Australia at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, and 1960 Rome Olympics. The Melbourne Olympics was the first time Australia completed in an Olympic hockey tournament, finishing fifth.

Cheers, Nicholas Sandford

Hailey retired from international competition in 1961, but continued to play club hockey. Alongside two other former Olympians, he helped Queensland University capture their first state premiership in 1964. He went on to serve as an Australian selector. Following his successful hockey career, Hailey enjoyed a successful career as an architect.

Dear editor,

From the editor

I just want to let you know that I consider this to be the most outstanding grammar news that the School has produced. It is a great read for future, current and past parent as well as Old Boys. The messaging is right on the money. Keep up the good work

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the last edition of grammar news. The editorial team works toward making each edition engaging and always welomes feedback from our community.

Kind regards, Chris Morton

Tell us what you think of this edition of grammar news via email

grammar news summer 2017



// CELEBRATING BOARDING AT BGS Anthony Micallef | Headmaster


s I look back on a year that quickly raced by, it is clear that 2016 was another year of success, across all areas of our great school. I offer my congratulations to the Class of 2016, our newest Old Boys, and wish them the best for their life journey beyond BGS.

Roe Building opened to boarders in February 1887. But boarding at the School actually dates back to its opening in 1869, when boarders lived in a row of cottages on Petrie Terrace. BGS boarders have been an integral part of the School for almost 150 years, and this edition serves to highlight its significance over the years and its relevance today.

In the classroom our students continue to achieve, and while we celebrate these results, the School continues to investigate new practices that will enhance teacher instruction and student engagement. On the sporting field BGS operates the most extensive extracurricular program of its type in the GPS Association, this year recording four GPS premierships and six podium finishes. The study of the Arts, considered an indispensable factor of a broad, liberal education, was again on show through the School’s cultural program. A number of standout musical and dramatic performances, and art design exhibitions highlighted BGS as a dynamic and absorbing place for the Arts.

Also in this edition, inspiring stories will connect you with alumni at home and abroad. We profile the incredible success story of one of our bursary students, who escaped war-torn Afghanistan for a better life in Australia. Another alumni story profiles the work of an Old Boy using coffee to provide a pathway out of poverty for disadvantaged minorities in Laos. You can also read about current students who are also making a difference locally and overseas through our public purpose program, as well as stories that highlight the power of philanthropy.

Throughout all areas of the School, our students continue to live our core values of endeavour, learning, respect, leadership, and community. This is evidenced in our graduating seniors, who have developed into fine Grammar Men: thoughtful, respectful, and confident young men of character, ready to contribute to their communities.

Our Global Achievers section showcases two of the School’s tremendous talents; one a 10-year-old piano prodigy, the other an exceptional designer. While regular sections, the Reunion Roundup, His Future, and On Campus, will keep you abreast of all the BGS happenings. I encourage you to send through your feedback or insights through letters to the editor and stay connected to us through our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

In this edition of grammar news we focus on the history and success of our boarding community. A year ahead of celebrating the School’s sesquicentenary in 2018, we celebrate 130 years of on-site boarding at BGS, after the



Celebrating our volunteers The many BGS volunteers were celebrated in October at the annual volunteers’ thank you function in The Lilley Centre. The occasion included the presentation of the Betty Howell Awards, named after Mrs Elizabeth (Betty) Howell, who during her 25-year association with the School was a willing volunteer with the Art Committee and the Auxiliary. With her usual graciousness Mrs Howell presented the 2016 awards to: Mrs Rhonda Cochrane for her involvement in the Auxiliary, the rowing program, and boarding house; Mr Mark and Mrs Shauna Schulz for their significant contribution to the basketball program; and Mr Ian Whittle AM, for his long standing contribution to the BGS Old Boys’ Association.

Community service for the RSPCA This year the ever-energetic Year 5 Community Service group worked enthusiastically to support RSPCA Queensland in their quest to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals across the state. Throughout the year they completed the Million Paws Walk, held the annual Winter Donation Drive, and celebrated Cupcake Day for the RSPCA, raising $1044 – a new Middle School record. R U OK? Day The BGS Middle School got behind R U OK? Day in September. A number of students presented on assembly and explained connecting regularly by asking ‘are you ok?’ was an easy but powerful way to make a difference to someone struggling. More than 100 Middle School students gathered on the oval to spell out the question in human form, with the event captured on BGS Old Boy James Petersen’s ’15 home built quadcopter.

Geography students lead the state For the seventh consecutive year BGS topped the state in the Australian Geography Competition, taking fourth place in Australia. Six BGS students placed in the top 1% in Australia in their respective year levels: Daniel Carroll, Sijing Zheng, William ShorrockBrowne, Adrian Brown, Peter Marendy, and Jack Chapman. Nationally 65,000 students participated in the competition, with three BGS students placing first in Queensland: William Scott (Year 9), Matthew Lauder (Year 10) and Finn Greville (Year 12).

grammar news summer 2016


Debating on the world stage In July this year, talented BGS debaters Callum Dargavel and Xavier Redmond combined to help Australia make it through to the semi-final of the World Schools Debating Championship in Germany. The Year 12 pair were named 11th and 15th best debaters in the world respectively, and are pictured with BGS Old Boy Nick Salmon ’12; BGS 9.1 coach, Queensland state team coach and an adjudicator at the WSDC. The Australian team was coached by Bo Seo, the world’s best speaker as a schoolboy and adult.

TEDxYouth@BGS In term 3, BGS hosted TEDxYouth@BGS – a studentdriven TEDx event providing a platform for thinkers, visionaries, and learners to inspire and be inspired by others. The theme was Moving Forward and saw speakers and performers from BGS, Brisbane Girls Grammar School and external high profile guests, cover a diverse range of topics collectively aimed at creatively improving the future. There was music from Harry Jans, Ethan Gillan spoke about his passion for closing the gap for Indigenous people, ahead of a moving didgeridoo performance by fellow student Dylan Minniecon. In a brilliant speech, Xavier Redmond challenged the concept of heroism, and Sachin De Silva showed potential as a future physicist by exploring hidden dimensions. Year 9 student Keng Tan added some comedic value to the event by reading his hilarious poem A-.

New space opens for Years 11 and 12 boarders With student numbers in Harlin House continuing to grow, the new senior common room opened in September. Located above the boarders’ dining room in the S.W. Griffith building, the interior of the heritage listed building has been transformed into a new recreation and study space. Senior boarders have access to the rooms during the evenings and on weekends; providing an invaluable space for shared learning, private tutoring, and to relax.


THE ARTS String Festivals Term 3 is String Festival season at BGS with four festivals held either at BGS or BGGS; each with its own character. The senior festival, featuring the very finest players not only from the School but throughout South-East Queensland, come together to perform as individual and combined ensembles and orchestra. The result was magnificent. The intermediate festival featured a massed ensemble of more than 350 players – something to behold. The upper intermediate and junior festivals were in the form of intensive workshops, culminating with an informal concert. Festival of Voices Hobart Choir Tour Singing is important at BGS; reflected by the huge numbers of boys involved in the choral program. In the mid-year holidays, members of the Grammarphones and Chamber Choir participated in one of the largest singing gatherings, the Festival of Voices in Hobart. They braved the cold Tasmanian winter to charm the local audiences as they presented several feature concerts, and joined with hundreds of other singers to perform at the renowned Federation Concert Hall. Composer-in-Residence This program, which is all about our budding young composers finding their own unique musical voice, had well-known local composer Chris Perren from The University of Queensland working with our musicians at their special retreat at the beautiful Binna Burra. After a week of productive work, with the help of their peers, they premiered their brand new works at a concert with noteworthy support and encouragement from the boys’ many admirers. To top off the experience, the new music pieces were entered into the state-wide Young Composers Competition with BGS being awarded four of the six awards. GPS Music Day of Excellence Our Middle School musicians enjoyed a fabulous day of making music with other top musicians from all GPS schools at the annual GPS Music Day of Excellence, hosted by Ipswich Grammar School in term 3. All three massed ensembles – concert band, choir, and string orchestra – met at IGS and worked incredibly hard to prepare a very challenging repertoire, different to what they would normally perform. BGS had one of the largest contingents and excelled. More importantly, they grew as musicians, which bodes well for their future in the Music program.

grammar news summer 2017


// 2016 DRAMATIC PRODUCTIONS Cosi This year’s Senior Dramatic Production was an adaption of Louis Nowra’s Cosi, an Australian comedy classic. Set in an asylum during the Vietnam War, Cosi follows the adventures of young Lewis, a mild mannered university student, who has taken on the task of directing a show in a mental institution. The cast and crew were exceptional, revealing acting and technological capacities well beyond their years. Orbit The Junior Dramatic Production, Orbit by David Burton, showcased Years 9 and 10 students in the exciting science fiction adventure. It is told in a unique dramatic style that interweaves technology through an exploration of ambition, identity, and success. The story follows a group of teenagers vying to be selected as the pioneers of interplanetary living. The dream of living on Mars is alluring, but prospective colonisers must face gruelling tests to ensure they are mentally and physically capable of survival. Peter Pan Jr A talented ensemble cast from BGS and BGGS teamed for the Middle School Dramatic Production, Peter Pan Jr. Based on the Disney film and J.M. Barrie’s enchanting play, Peter Pan Jr is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who did not want to grow up. The cast and crew captivated audiences as they embarked on a memorable journey past the second star on the right and straight on till morning.


SPORTS ROUNDUP B A S K E T B A L L | BGS put forward 35 teams in this year’s GPS competition; this is a testament to the support and popularity of the game in all year levels of the BGS community. This year’s program experienced a great amount of success, particularly in Middle School, while the Third V topped the table and earned the premiership. With the level of participation, enthusiasm, and this year’s results, it is evident that BGS basketball has a positive future on the horizon. C H E S S | The 2016 GPS chess season was an outstanding success, with the Premier team securing the GPS trophy for the ninth time in the past 11 years. The teams won seven outright premierships and shared two, after winning 83% of their games. The Premier team again proved their strength and skill level at the Queensland Interschool State Finals, achieving first place for the fifth consecutive year, securing a spot to compete in Perth at the Australian Schools’ Teams Championships. C R O S S C O U N T R Y | One more! That was the catch cry for the 2016 cross country season; personified by the work ethic of the boys in training and their commitment to completing one more session, one more rep, and improving one more position throughout the lead-up meets. This bore fruition, with the team winning the GPS shield for the first time in a number of years. D E B AT I N G | The Senior A team had the honour of being undefeated GPS premiers for the fourth year in a row and also won the QDU Senior A competition. The 9.1 team won the QDU Year 9 grand final for the second year running. For the fourth successive year, the community won the QDU overall champion school. F O O T B A L L | BGS fielded an incredible 48 teams this year, made up of 782 boys. BGS won or drew 209 of the 273 official fixtures contested, resulting in a win/draw ratio of 76%. A total of 16 teams finished GPS champions, up one on last year and more than double the 2014 result. For the third year in a row, head-to-head against all schools we had eight winning Saturdays. Congratulations to Jake Marshall and Dayan Baker for their leadership of the First XI, and a special mention to Jake for being selected in the GPS team of the season.

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G Y M N A S T I C S | This year proved as fast and full as ever in the gymnastics world at BGS. The School had students competing through the year representing their school, state, and country. This year saw BGS host its first GPS gymnastics championship in over two decades, and the gymnasts certainly rose to the occasion. In what was a tight competition, the gymnasts won the GPS championship for the sixth straight year, with another clean sweep of each division. R U G B Y | BGS fielded 24 rugby teams each weekend, from the under 11Ds up to our First XV. All teams displayed great spirit and camaraderie. Our season results this year were an improvement on those of the previous year. First XV captain Fraser McReight and Hamiso Tabuai were the BGS senior and junior rugby players of the year. Fraser was also selected in the Australian Schools side who toured Samoa and New Zealand in September and October this year. T E N N I S | Following another great season of GPS tennis a total of 15 BGS teams went undefeated, with 16 teams finishing at the top of their respective tables. These results combined to make us the overall best school in the GPS tennis competition. The program finished with a 143/23 win/loss ratio for the season. William Peden was crowned the BGS school champion, with Andy Watterson runner-up. T R A C K A N D F I E L D | The 2016 season was very successful, with both the junior and senior teams placing third at their respective GPS track and field championships. The juniors won eight events, with standout performances from Will Gatehouse who won three events, and Andrew McLeod breaking the GPS 11-years high jump record. The senior team performed above expectations to win 13 events, with three athletes winning two titles. Jeremy Hunt won the Open 3000m and 1500m, Riley Womal won the 15-years 800m and 400m, while Tom Stunden won the 13-years shot put and discus.

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ollowing a cricket tour of Sri Lanka in 2015, BGS Year 11 students Blake Micallef and Jevin Gunawardana saw a possibility to make a difference to the cricket-mad country and help those less fortunate in the Neluwa community, in southern Sri Lanka.

A six from the first ball set the scene for an exciting tournament, with Neluwa College going on to win the final against Lankagama College. “All the school kids came down in support,” Blake said. “We prayed with them, played with them, sang with them, danced with them, laughed with them, sharing unforgettable cricketing moments with them that will be cherished for life.”

The pair approached World Vision to turn their plan into action, and collaborated with them to set up a website to accept online donations.

At the end of the day, in a moving presentation, every participating student from all the schools was given their own cricket bat.

“Through our shared fondness of cricket, we endeavoured to reach out and aid this community in need,” Blake said. “After observing the great hardships and basic appreciation for small but everyday necessities from the locals, we felt compelled to undertake a project where we could make a lasting contribution. With that in mind, we were able to establish the fundamental roots that would drive the inaugural 2016 Neluwa Project.”

Jevin said that after returning home to Australia, the life-changing experiences in Neluwa remained prominent in their minds. “Playing cricket among the local children was a personal highlight as it emphasised the irrelevance of language barriers and differing ethnicities in being able to socialise and compete through our beloved sport, cricket,” he said.

Their efforts generated $17,500 to support the Neluwa community, which in real terms contributed to buying school sports equipment, funding playground refurbishments, and improving housing for vulnerable families.

“We found ourselves admiring the raw talent and abilities of our new teammates and friends, while unfortunately being aware that they would not have access to the same facilities we take for granted.”

Blake, Jevin and their Moreton cricket team timed their visit to coincide with a six-a-side cricket tournament involving 10 local schools. After a traditional Sri Lankan blessing, Blake and Jevin walked through a guard of honour set by all the competitors and lit a torch to start the tournament.

“Nonetheless, after our collective fundraising efforts and the work with World Vision was completed, we felt satisfied that we were making a positive impact on the community; not only for now but for generations to come.”



ver the September holidays, a group of 27 BGS Year 11 students participated in an incredible immersion experience to the Cape York Peninsula. The boys made an enduring connection to remote Indigenous Australia through Red Earth.

During an extensive reflection session at the end of the trip, the boys discovered they had formed a much deeper and more spiritual connection with one another, strengthening the ties of friendship. Read about the students’ experiences firsthand in their blog:

During the week-long trip, students visited small rural towns and Indigenous communities, learning about local cultural ceremonies and traditions and engaging in meaningful conversations with elders.

Red Earth is an Australian organisation that seeks to open the eyes and hearts of young people to those living in remote Indigenous Australia. They do this by helping Elders and Traditional Owners who live in remote Australia welcome groups onto their land to show them their way of life. They hope young people from cities maintain a lasting connection to the land and to the people.

There was hiking, fishing, swimming, painting, and also hard work mending fences in blistering heat. The BGS students were taught about traditional medical treatment through plants, watched on in awe as a didgeridoo was crafted, and spent plenty of time bonding with local Indigenous children.

Look out for the eGrammar News for an in-depth story on the Cambodian immersion. / 13


// MEET THE ENROLMENTS TEAM I was always impressed with the calibre of young men this school produced. They were confident, resilient, and well-rounded young men, ready and able to tackle the many challenges life presents after high school.

Jamie Smith | Director of Enrolments


GS continues to command very high demand locally, regionally, and internationally. Our academic record speaks for itself, however I believe the outstanding pastoral program and student services further this reputation with prospective families.

Considering our upcoming sesquicentenary celebrations and future plans, it is an exciting time to be involved with BGS.

The heritage aspects of the campus, combined with the latest technology and innovations, appeals to prospective families. Despite these positives and many others, I believe it is our staff and students who make our great school what it is today. Our teaching and professional staff set the example for other schools to try to match. While our students continue to excel in a broad range of fields.

Alison Walters | Enrolments Manager This is my sixth year in enrolments, but my association with BGS goes back much further, as my two sons attended the School. During that time I was involved as a volunteer in a number of the School’s community activities. Prior to settling in Brisbane I was a career diplomat. I believe my firsthand experiences as a BGS parent, and a nomadic diplomat navigating international schooling options for my sons, are an asset when talking with prospective parents.

I commenced as Director of Enrolments in January and already feel part of the BGS community. I brought a diverse background to BGS, with a Bachelor of Education and a Masters and Associate degree in the fields of pastoral care and boys’ education. I have worked in other secondary schools as a Maths and Science teacher, head of year, head of boarding, sportsmaster, and director of cricket.

Making choices about a child’s education is not taken lightly. Every parent wants to make the right decision for their children. I enjoy assisting parents with that process and meeting boys as they embark on their BGS journey.

Before joining BGS, I worked in the tertiary sector at King’s College, UQ. I enjoyed my time in this role but always held the desire to return to secondary schools. Having had many BGS Old Boys come through Kings,

grammar news summer 2016

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e recognise the important need to help our students at Brisbane Grammar School develop two types of leadership: leading self and leading others. The Years 7 to 9 Learn2Lead Program was introduced to provide action-based opportunities for our students to become effective leaders.

Working in small groups students then designed their own PowerPoint lesson to deliver to a Years 5 or 6 class. Both younger and older boys learned much about the virtues of mindfulness and how this relates to their school work and everyday life. Learning from the Year 9 students was an extremely valuable opportunity for the younger boys to take on board the comments and suggestions of their older peers.

In order to have a student leadership model of integrity, there needs to be opportunities for all students to lead and influence in some way. Every student possesses a unique set of skills, abilities and strengths enabling them to lead others with kindness, humility, selflessness, and service.

Mindfulness is an important topic for students in Years 5 and 6, as they learn to juggle various commitments and often find themselves leading much busier lives than they did before commencing at BGS. Learning to take the time to stop, think, and just be still, helps them to develop strategies when faced with stressful situations.

A major part of the program in Year 9 is the students as teachers series; where Year 9 students deliver a student wellbeing lesson to boys in Years 5 and 6. In term 2, Year 9 students attended a three-hour training workshop by Optus Digital Thumbprint inspiring them to deliver a ‘digital citizenship’ lesson.

Better ways to handle the demands of homework was a pertinent take away message for many of the younger students. The benefits of this student led program positively impacts our youngest students in many ways.

Following the success of these lessons, in term 3, students attended a mindfulness training workshop, covering key aspects such as the ‘mindful’ verses ‘mind full’ dichotomy, challenging autopilot, managing distraction, and learning practical activities such as mindful observation, mindful writing, and mindful eating.

Rebecca Campbell | Head of Year 5 and 6



GS Year 7 boys were joined by their dads, or significant male role models in their lives, for the annual Father’s Day breakfast on the Boarders’ Lawn. The breakfast followed a touching speech by Michael Knight, founder of Peer Power and an expert in adolescent leadership and character development, who reflected on his relationship with his father.

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Boarding is synonymous with Brisbane Grammar School, dating back almost 150 years, to its opening in 1869. Over the coming pages read about the history of boarding at BGS, get lost in a feature focusing on Headmasters’ wives during war-time, delve into quirky boarding trivia, go behind the scenes to experience a day in the life of a boarder, learn about the modern boarding programs on offer to support boys on their BGS journey, and hear from a longstanding House Tutor and our new Director of Boarding. Also, read about the international success of a former boarder and the 2016 Speech Day guest speaker on page 33, and a boarding generational story on page 36.

grammar news summer 2017

/ 16 Some senior boarders in 2016

Boarders in 1875



GS’ association with boarding dates back to its opening in 1869. Homestay arrangements were offered by teachers, with the rare surviving example of a row of attached cottages on Petrie Terrace, housing some of the first boarders. Second Master Donald Cameron rented one of these four cottages and was paid a fee by the School for accommodating up to 11 boarders here in homestay arrangements.

during WWII. Stretched beyond capacity to 110 boys during the mid-1950s, an extra 20 places were created when the Headmaster and his family moved into the new and separate headmaster’s residence in 1962. In 1969 a dining room opened on the ground floor of the Centenary Building underneath the library, and old boarding house kitchens were converted to bathrooms. Boys moved into the newly built Harlin House in 1972, and the original boarding house was renovated to provide student common rooms, a housemaster’s flat, matron’s quarters, and an enlarged sickbay. Numbers peaked at 175 in 1989. In 1992 the original boarding house was renovated and renamed the Roe Building. At the same time, Harlin House was renovated and modernised.

Third Master Frances Keogh also took in boarders at his premises on Wickham Terrace from 1871. The Petrie Terrace cottages were built by Queen Street chemist, grocer and developer William John Costin in 1863, and originally known as ‘Costin’s Cottages’. Costin’s son, William, attended Brisbane Grammar School from 1875 to 1879.

BGS boarding continues to develop its facilities to improve the experience for students. The dining room and kitchen were relocated again in 2013, to the ground floor of the S.W. Griffith building. and a senior common room was completed earlier this year. The senior common room offers a flexible and spacious area for shared learning and private tutoring.

Homestay accommodation for boarders proved to be unsatisfactory in the longer term and this practice changed after the School relocated from Roma Street to its new premises on Gregory Terrace in 1881. Headmaster Reginald Roe identified a purpose-built boarding house as a top priority. Known as School House, it opened in 1887 and grew to 90 boarders

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eadmasters’ wives played a traditional and essential part of the fabric and functioning of Brisbane Grammar School’s boarding house. From 1887, when the Roe Building opened as the first onsite boarding house, headmasters’ families lived there until the headmaster’s residence was built in 1962. In such close confines, and with little privacy, their lives intersected daily with generations of boarders. Headmasters’ wives nurtured these boys, and two – Martha (Mattie) Bousfield and Maud Carson-Cooling – between them devoted 34 years’ service in this role. It was unpaid work, and they were ‘on duty’ seven days a week.

and a boarding house championship was played. She also took the boys to the pictures once a month and established a boarding house library. During the 1930s, she introduced a boarders’ golf tournament, which they enjoyed on the boarders’ lawn with saplings and tennis balls. GS Kelly, the winner in 1938, received half a guinea, and doubled that by beating Mr CarsonCooling. In 1939, Old Boys honoured her by naming a new Old Boys’ Association rowing eight the ‘Maud Carson-Cooling’, and Mrs Bousfield performed the christening ceremony. When Maud Carson-Cooling died in February 1947, boarders were deeply saddened. As the ‘guiding spirit’ of the boarding house for 12 years, she was remembered for her ‘kindness and generosity’, ‘outstanding efficiency and dignity’ and abilities as a ‘gracious hostess’. A stained glass window was later installed in the Great Hall as a permanent memorial to her contribution to the School.

Before their marriage in 1900, Mrs Bousfield (as Miss Martha Roberts) taught technical work at Brisbane Girls Grammar School for three years. These subjects included cooking, dress making, millinery and needlework. With experience also as a resident mistress, she was eminently qualified for her work in the School’s boarding house when she and Mr Bousfield, then Second Master, took over its management from Headmaster Reginald Roe in 1906. Much loved by boarders for 22 years, Mrs Bousfield spoiled them with gifts and special activities. In 1911 she purchased a phonograph, and frequently gave boarders new records to listen to. A ping pong craze was fostered by her when she donated prizes for competition winners. In 1921 she employed a singer every third Saturday evening to teach boys ‘glee’ singing, which they found ‘very entertaining’. Until 1928 when Mr Bousfield retired, they both shepherded boarders of Anglican background to and from Christ Church Milton on Sundays.

Headmasters’ families continued to live in the Roe Building until a separate headmaster’s residence was built in 1962. The headmaster and his wife and family maintained close ties with the boarding community, but from 1964 its management passed into the hands of the new position of resident housemaster.

Alice Stephenson, Headmaster Stuart Stephenson’s daughter, ably filled the headmaster’s wife’s traditional role in charge of the boarding house after Mrs Stephenson died in 1928. Eventually Mr Stephenson handed over the boarding house to George and Maud Carson-Cooling in the middle of 1935. Mrs Carson-Cooling installed a warm shower in the boarding house in 1936 at her own expense for use by ‘delicate boys’. The Board of Trustees allowed this on the condition that ‘the general run of boys should not be encouraged to evade their cold baths’. Eventually, on her watch, hot water showers for all the boys were installed in 1944. She provided a billiards table in 1936

grammar news summer 2017

Mrs Mattie Bousfield

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// A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BGS BOARDERS Saturday 29 October – Brad Mills | Year 9

Monday 31 October – Dayan Baker | Year 12

This weekend was the final whole House weekend for the year, where boarders participated in many activates. It began last night, with boarding boys spectating the GPS track and field championships, alongside some quality company. Today began with a game of paintball or laser skirmish, competing in three rounds of capture the flag. After that we had the option to spend some time in the city to shop or buy food. We returned to BGS in time for dinner, and finished the day with a game show quiz. Tomorrow we will visit Cedar Creek to spend a few hours in the beautiful surroundings and have the option to do pilates. The whole House weekend will conclude with a battle for the Inter-House Cup, with our Year 12 boarders taking on House Tutors in touch football.

Every day in the House starts at 7.00am. After getting dressed, I head to the dining hall to get stuck into a hot breakfast cooked by Mr Perrett and the kitchen staff. Afterwards I go to the laundry and drop-off my clothes. I leave the House for Form Class at 8.05am and signout. Throughout the day I return to the dining hall to get morning tea and lunch and have a meal with other boarders. After school I’m usually busy with training, but quite often a game of touch football among the boarders follows, as was the case today. After dinner at 5.30pm we start study prep from 6.00pm until 8.30pm. Then there’s time for a quick chat, some toast in the senior common room, before it’s off to bed after a typically busy day in Harlin House.

An outbreak of dengue fever in 1905 struck down every domestic employee in the boarding house. Headmaster Reginald Roe helped with the cooking, until he too succumbed to the illness.


In 1922 two boarders caught an inebriated thief trying to steal chickens from the fowl house behind the boarding house.


A fire in the boarding house in 1921 destroyed Headmaster Frederick Bousfield’s study.


In 2013 the gratitude program was introduced, with all boarding students writing notes of gratitude to graduating senior boarders.

The boarding house mascot in 1939 was ‘Tortle’ – no one knew if it was a turtle or tortoise. Tortle ate worms in the garden.

N G The first electric refrigerator purchased for the boarding house in 1935.

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I V During the 1980s Saturday evening entertainment was a reel-to-reel movie, collected by the duty boy in the CBD on Friday afternoon.




s well as benefiting from a tightknit community and connected culture, boarders have access to a number of modern programs, keeping them engaged and supported through their BGS journey. These include everything from academic and activities enrichment programs, to public purpose, and learning life skills. There is also the possibility for boys to move into leadership positions within Harlin House.

Life Skills Program This program aims to equip boarders with everyday skills, aiming to fill in the gaps in their education that being away from home sometimes creates. Topics include positive psychology, through to learning skills like ironing, sewing, organisation and car maintenance for the older boarders. Public Purpose Program The boarders learn about giving up their time for public purpose as part of this program. This includes working with charities and service groups to provide support for the disadvantaged and homeless, through to mentoring children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Academic Enrichment Program Boarders are taught by experienced and expert teachers during prep time in a program aligned to the boys’ assessment schedules. All key subject areas are covered, with micro teaching sessions covering the other subjects. Years 7 and 8 boarders also benefit from the Harlin House Homework Club.

Leadership Program There is a wide range of leadership roles in Harlin House. Year 12 boarders can strive to be House Captain and Vice Caption, as well as House Prefects. Some Prefects will live with and look after the junior boys in a ‘big brother’ role, others will be responsible for key areas of House life.

Activities Enrichment Program This program covers four key areas: cultural, sporting, adventure, and value-added. From whole-House activities on weekends on and off campus, to organised afternoon activities, the program has never been more exciting.

// MEET THE DIRECTOR OF BOARDING Berian Williams-Jones | Director of Boarding


n excellent boarding community is one in which individuals are valued for who they are and for what they offer, and are supported by people who take a genuine interest in their journey through the school.

evident that strong relationships within these groups have been formed, and it is wonderful that all boys have a further layer of support they are able to rely upon. I have been very impressed by the care shown by the boys to each other, in particular the Prefects and senior boys to the juniors. They lead the House with great care and compassion, and are outstanding role models for the younger students. The way in which they supervise, support, encourage, and most importantly of all, set the tone, is exemplary. In reality, they play the role of the older brother.

Having been at BGS for a just a few short months, I have already come to recognise the exceptional care in place for all of our students, and especially those in Harlin House. The pastoral care and support programs in the House are the best I have witnessed. I have been impressed with the ability of the House staff to demonstrate a clear understanding of the performance of each boy, and the contextualisation of that performance. Their ability to see the bigger picture, and the boys performance as part of a progressive journey through the School, differentiates the fundamental ethos of pastoral care at BGS.

I am committed to maintaining the excellent pastoral care at the heart of Harlin House. While we can never truly offer a home away from home, we are committed to being the very best next option.

We are also fortunate to have a talented and committed team of tutors within the House, which complements what is already in place in the day school. Each tutor is responsible for a small group, making up an important pastoral unit within the context of the House. It is

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// DEVELOPING A MUTUAL BOND Rhys Cox | House Tutor


s a student at BGS from 2001–2005 I cannot recall entering Harlin House, but it’s now clear I missed out on a significant BGS experience. I started working in Harlin House in term 3 of 2010, when the likes of Adrian Lingwoodock, the 2016 Harlin House captain, was in Year 7. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many boys as they progressed through the BGS boarding experience. I have also enjoyed working alongside a number of House Tutors from different backgrounds and with diverse interests.

different backgrounds. I have learned strength spotting to assist with problem solving, and promoting a growth mindset when faced with challenges, all skills that require action on a daily basis in the House and skills that stay with you for a lifetime. There is nothing more satisfying then watching students achieve their personal goals, solving problems and embracing challenges, all of which occur in Harlin House on a regular basis. In coaching, I speak about ROAR athletes (resilience, ownership, accountability, responsibility), as compared with BED athletes (blame, excuse, deny). I think this applies to everyday life, in particular in Harlin House. In boarding, boys must demonstrate resilience living away from home, take ownership of a problem or issue, be accountable for their actions, and be a responsible member of the community. I think every member of the House develops these attributes.

Professionally, my role at BGS extends beyond the walls of Harlin House, as Director and Head Coach of Volleyball, Athletic Development Coach, and Basketball Administrator. All of these roles allow me to interact with boarders in their ‘day school life’ at varying times throughout the year. It is quite a unique situation, not only do I interact with students during the day, but also spend time hearing about their lives outside of BGS when they return to Harlin House in the afternoons and on weekends.

The dynamic between House Tutors and boarders has certainly changed in my time in Harlin House, with the ‘us’ and ‘them’ approach replaced by a respectful, genuine bond between boarder and tutor. Support programs, such as the academic and activities enrichment programs, also contribute the positive culture of the house, allowing boarders to flourish and extend themselves to maximise their opportunities.

This is one of the best things about being a House Tutor, spending time in the foyer listening to the boys share experiences and moments with one another, there is never a dull moment. The core Harlin House values of diversity, mateship, and service are embedded in every story and moment the boys share and I am grateful to be a part of it.

As his time in the House comes to a close, Cox reflects on his time: “I will be forever indebted to the staff and boys I have worked with, past and present. I have enjoyed every moment servicing this wonderful, connected community.”

In truth, when I was approached to become a House Tutor I was a little nervous, given I had never contemplated working in a boarding house, but I quickly learned it was more than just a job. Being a House Tutor teaches you a lot about yourself, developing your ability to engage with students from all

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e may be just 10-years-old and in Year 5 at BGS, but Jeremy Sun could already be described as a piano virtuoso. With musical maturity well beyond his years, Jeremy continues to amass prizes and awards, both locally and internationally.

award for the most outstanding performer of the competition. BGS Head of Year 5 and 6 Rebecca Campbell said the School had been fortunate to be treated to a number of his performances this year, wowing his fellow students on assembly, and astounding parents at the Year 5 Mothers’ Day Morning Tea.

Earlier this year he competed in the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival in China. Out of an original 12,000 competitors from around the world, Jeremy won the outstanding performance prize and placed fourth in the piano solo 10–13 years category, where he was the youngest competitor. Jeremy then combined with his sister Grace, to win first prize in the piano duet open age category.

“From the moment Jeremy took the stage at our assembly, he had the audience captivated and we knew we were all witnessing something very special,” Ms Campbell said. “Part of the initial surprise was the fact that a boy so young could play the piano with such skill and precision. The audience looked on with wonderment and awe as he engaged so beautifully with the music and took us all on his musical journey.”

China is not the only country to recognise his talents. Jeremy also won first place in the Vienna Grand Prize International Competition this year. He received the young exceptional talent special prize, and again teamed with his sister to win first prize in the duet category. In honour of his fine video performances, he was invited to perform live in the historic Saal Mozarteum Vienna.

“Jeremy is an extremely humble and motivated young man and I’m sure this, coupled with his amazing talent, will see him performing to audiences around the world in years to come.”

Jeremy followed his successes in China and Austria with further success in Milan, Italy. He competed and won the Piano Talents International Competition 9–10 years category, scoring 98/100 and also securing the Prodigy Kids Prize. The score recognised Jeremy was playing some of the most difficult piano pieces ever composed almost perfectly.

He is preparing for his LMusA (Licentiate Diploma) which he intends to sit soon. To see Jeremy perform in the Great Hall visit the BGS Facebook page and click on videos. Jeremy plays the difficult Chopin Grand Waltz Opus 42 perfectly.

This year Jeremy also won a number of Australian prizes, including scoring 100/100 at the Gold Coast Eisteddfod and being awarded the City of Gold Coast

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e was just 11 when one of his original dress designs graced the Brownlow Medal’s red carpet, worn by Sarah Holmes, wife of then Brisbane Lions CEO Malcolm Holmes. Fast forward four years and fashion star Connor O’Grady continues to succeed with needle and thread. But it wasn’t easy starting in fashion as a boy.

This year proved even more successful for Connor, winning the Queensland Young Achiever of the Year Award for arts and fashion. The honour reflected more than just his design talents, recognising his work in making turbans for people having cancer treatment. Initially he paid for the materials and accessories for the turbans with his own money, made from part time work, but after winning $2000 as part of the Young Achiever Award, he put his prize money to the cause. He will donate his turbans to the Wesley Hospital Choices Cancer Support Centre who will sell them for between $20 and $25 – turning his $2000 prize into a $5000 donation to the centre.

“Since I was three I wanted to be a designer, and I started sewing lessons when I was six,” Connor said. “I remember it was quite hard to find sewing lessons because I kept getting hung up on because I was a boy.” Connor was undeterred, getting his first sewing machine at the age of seven. His development was fast, between 2012–2014 he became a three-time grand champion at the RNA Natural Fibres Creations fashion titles as part of the Ekka. He had to be ‘retired’ to give others a chance, but was invited back as a judge.

It has been a successful year for Connor who also won the supreme award at the Australian Wool Fashion Awards, and the Queensland young designer of the year for formal and casual wear at the Apex Teenage Fashion Awards.

Last year Connor travelled to Melbourne to represent Queensland at the AATFA – Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards. Stunning the judges with his dressmaking skills and ability to paint on the fabric, he claimed first place in Australia for the formal wear section. He won a week-long workshop at the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Melbourne, and a trip to Sydney to spend the day with White Runway, giving him a behind the scenes look into their business.

Looking to the future, Connor said he aimed to be accepted at the esteemed Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London. “One day I hope to own my own fashion business, but before then I will study and then hope to work for other fashion designers and see how companies work, I find that really interesting,” he said.

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OLD BOYS‘ ASSOCIATION // OBA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Chris Austin | President Old Boys’ Association


he 2016 Speech Day was a wonderful occasion for many parents and Old Boys. After listening to quality performances by the vocal and instrumental groups, and various presentations, I was stirred as I rose to my feet with the Class of 2016 and other Old Boys, to sing the first verse of the School song.

As I addressed the Year 12s, I encouraged them to remain in contact with the School. I spoke about the Association’s plans to enhance our offer to young Old Boys through further development of our professional networking program and the conduct of more community events. I also mentioned my desire to recruit some younger members to the OBA Committee. The OBA extends their congratulations to the Class of 2016 and welcomes them to the next part of the BGS journey.

This year the Association introduced a new inititiave by presenting the Year 12s with an OBA tie during the Valedictory dinner, welcoming them into the BGS Old Boy community.



he Annual Reunion Dinner was held on 26 August at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre with 320 Old Boys in attendance. Throughout the night Old Boy Alec Evans ’57, was honoured with a tribute and recognised for his dedication to the School as a teacher and sports master.

1984 Grand Slam tour, he was a renowned player for Queensland for more than a decade from the late 1950s. His contributions to the sport are recognised annually with the awarding of the Alec Evans Medal to the Queensland Premier Rugby Player of the Year. In 2010 Evans was honoured with a Queensland Service to Sport Award for his contribution to the game of rugby. In October 2016, Evans was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Australian rugby with the Joe French Award.

As well as his dedication to the School, Evans made an invaluable contribution to the game of rugby. Before going on to coach the Welsh team at the 1995 World Cup and Australia’s assistant coach in their famous


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BGS student’s connection with the School doesn’t end when he graduates – it only grows stronger. In the latter half of this year our Old Boys connected at reunions in San Francisco, New York, Melbourne and at peer coordinated milestone reunions in Brisbane. Melbourne based Old Boys came together for a reunion, with the event drawing attendees that spanned an incredible 70 years; from 1945 graduate John Mills, to Thomas Tod who graduated in 2014. The Class of 1966 held their 50 year reunion in the Great Hall, with 67 Old Boys celebrating the occasion. Guests included three 1966 Masters; Alan Jones, Trevor Bryce, and Barry Montague. A highlight of the evening was an audio-visual presentation of 1966 nostalgia, including interviews with Old Boys, and amusing anecdotes. Old Boys and their partners living in the San Francisco Bay​area, together with alumni and staff from Newington College (Sydney) and Abbotsleigh (Sydney), met for a reunion. Special guests at the function included Chairman Doug Elix and Board Member Ian Diery of The Australian Independent Schools (AIS) USA Foundation.​ The Class of 1956-1959 held their 60 year reunion lunch in The Lilley Centre. A total of 65 Old Boys, including some from interstate and rural Queensland, attended. The guest speaker was Rob Macklin, a distinguished historian, biographer, journalist, and author. Old Boys were kept on their toes by researcher Cliff Dawson, who conducted a 1956 trivia session. Old Boys met for an evening of great comradery in New York City. Headmaster Anthony Micallef shared news of BGS’ future vision and master planning, along with plans for the upcoming sesquicentenary, for which the School hopes to involve alumni and community from home and abroad for the 2018 celebrations. A number of special guests, including former Headmaster Brian Short, and former teachers Alec Evans, Ron Moore, Frank Meeking, and Brad Tacey attended the 40 year reunion. There was an especially strong boarder turnout among the 66 guests at a dinner held in The Great Hall. Evans declared without fear or favour that the Class of 1976 was the best of his time at the School, and Lindsay Close, swimmer, rugby player, and athlete, was the best schoolboy athlete he’d been associated with. The evening was hosted by organiser Peter Blucher, and featured insightful speeches from Dr Cameron Bell and Dr Don Markwell, Captain and Vice Captain of ’76. The 30 year reunion for the Class of 1986 was held at Darling & Co at Paddington, with 40 Old Boys turning out to reminisce. The reunion later joined up with the Brisbane Girls Grammar School Class of 1986, also celebrating their 30 year reunion on the same evening. Old Boys from the Class of 1996 celebrated their 20 year reunion with a tour of the Spring Hill campus. The tour was followed by a gathering of 70 Old Boys at Darling and Co for a casual catch up. Milestone reunions are being planned for 2017. If you would like to assist with organising your peer year’s reunion please contact Carla Hardy, Alumni and Community Relations Officer, at / 25


(L to R): Ross Parry, Ann-Maree Attwooll (mother), Archie Attwooll, Scott Attwooll (father), Bob Hunter, Anthony Micallef.

// AN EDUCATION FOR ALL eeds-based bursaries are vital for opening the doors to driven students who would otherwise not be able to attend BGS, and to ensuring diversity at the School.


BGS Old Boys Ross Parry and Bob Hunter were two of the 18 Old Boys from the Class of 1966 who funded Archie’s bursary. Both emphasised the importance of philanthropy for those with the means.

Over the past year, 65 BGS Old Boys gifted approximately $1.5M to bursaries, including year-group bursaries (1943, 1966, 1979/80, 1982), Jamie Pherous ’85, Simon Fenwick ’86, Jim Truesdale ’43 and the Heath-Huxley and Pullar families.

“My father didn’t have an education, but his greatest priority was to educate his kids, and he made many sacrifices to make that happen,” Dr Parry said. “I was fortunate to receive a great education and have a career where I’ve been able to give back.”

These gifts provide essential financial assistance to deserving students, helping them to embark on their BGS journey. It is a journey where each student is challenged to rise to their best, where individual talents are nurtured in a caring and supportive environment, allowing students to grow into thoughtful and confident young men of character who contribute to their communities.

Mr Hunter attended BGS on a bursary and was happy to contribute to see other students gain the same opportunities. “My dad came from Belfast and escaped a terrible situation there to start a life in Australia, so the bursary made a big difference for our family.” Headmaster Anthony Micallef said BGS aimed to nurture an inclusive community, where students from varied backgrounds combined to live the core values of endeavour, learning, respect, leadership, and community.

The impact of a BGS bursary can best be explained by those who receive them. This year Archie Attwooll graduated from the School after attending BGS on a bursary funded by the 1966 year group. Archie, who comes from a rural Queensland town of just 100 people, said the bursary had changed his life.

“The transformative potential of a BGS education, through incredible academic, extracurricular and cultural opportunities, is immeasurable,” he said. “We need people from different backgrounds to get a broad view of the world and bursaries help to make that diversity possible.”

“There were three people in my year group and 32 kids in the whole school when I left home to become a boarder at BGS,” he said. “Year 9 was pretty tough adapting, but I made really close mates and loved it from then on. The bursary gave me the opportunity to attend BGS and opened new doors.”

The School must continue to build its endowment fund to ensure it is an option for students from different backgrounds now and for future generations. Donations towards need-based bursaries will change lives for the better, equipping boys to make lasting contributions to the community. To find out more about nurturing future generations of boys, email

His father, BGS Old Boy Scott Attwooll ’87, said Archie had developed into a mature young man while at the School. “An education is so important and there is no comparison to BGS,” he said. “Without a bursary it wouldn’t have been possible, so we’re very thankful.”

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hilanthropy in Australia is well and truly alive, with donations to universities and schools continuing. Last year BGS benefited from approximately $1.5m of transformative donations towards scholarships and bursaries.

700 applicants across Australia who successfully received a scholarship. “It’s not necessarily giving money, but about giving back at some point in some way,” he said. “I personally have a number of issues I am very passionate about, like gender equality and mental health.”

One of the School’s newest Old Boys, Callum Dargavel will benefit from the largest educational philanthropic gift in Australia, a Tuckwell Scholarship to the Australian National University (ANU) in 2017.

Year 12 Head of Year Simon Conway said Callum was a worthy recipient of the scholarship. “As a Prefect, Callum has always worked tirelessly to achieve across multiple areas at BGS,” he said. “His journey has been marked with academic success and he has been a wonderful leader of the debating community.”

The scholarships for gifted all-rounders, widely regarded as the most difficult scholarship to obtain in the country, were made possible by an initial donation of $50 million in 2013 from the Graham & Louise Tuckwell Foundation to ANU. Following the undeniable success of the program, the Tuckwells donated a further $100 million this year.

“Callum is a great example of what can be achieved when hard work and determination meets opportunity, clearly having taken advantage of some of the many opportunities that exist at BGS,” Mr Conway said.

The Graham & Louise Tuckwell Foundation was established by the Tuckwells to help young people reach their potential and achieve their ambitions, with the Tuckwell Scholarship part of their vision and passion for the transformative impact of education.

The Tuckwell Scholarship Program aims to offer the most transformational undergraduate scholarship in Australia, providing financial support but also helping its students make an impact at a local and global level.

“This program is designed to be the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in Australia, for a group of students and alumni that will build over time and who will inspire and support each other to achieve great things,” Mr Tuckwell said.

For more information visit

Excited about his move to ANU in February and hopeful of following in the philanthropic footsteps of the Tuckwells, Callum was one of 25 students out of the

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or Raziq Qasimi, an Afghan refugee who graduated from BGS in 2014, Australia was a name whispered as being a heaven on earth, a name he had heard many times, and a name that symbolised a new life.

Perhaps most importantly, Qasimi said BGS provided him with the opportunity to continue to chase his dreams. “I am currently studying a Bachelor of Law and Justice at QUT, which I chose because of my background,” he said. “I have witnessed a lot of suffering; I’m Hazara, so my ethnicity has been persecuted for a very long time.”

As an orphan, Qasimi’s journey to Australia started when his oldest brother braved the seas to seek asylum in 1999. Accepted as a refugee, his brother eventually received permanent residency status and sponsored Raziq and his other brother to move to Australia in 2010.

“Both law and justice are interesting degrees, as justice examines the social issues and the implication it has on the community. While law is more black and white and provides thorough detail about the implementation of the rule of law.”

“We escaped a country that has been crippled with decades of war and terror,” Qasimi said. “We escaped because Afghanistan was a place where education was not valued and respected; we escaped in hope of a better life.”

The future looks bright for Qasimi, who hopes to one day become a human rights lawyer and activist, with the aim of making an impact on the global stage. “I want to be the voice for voiceless and get out there and make a contribution to the community,” he said.

Touching down in Melbourne remains a vivid memory for Qasimi. “It was absolutely crazy when we walked out of the airport and I saw all these tall high-rise buildings, I’d never seen anything like it,” he said. “Australia symbolised a new life. It is a beautiful country with countless opportunities out there to grab.”

It is obvious how grateful Qasimi is for his BGS journey; for a broad variety of areas: “During my time at BGS I met inspirational teachers and academics and want to thank all of them for their generous support and dedication. One particular memory I won’t forget is that before attending BGS I did not know how to swim. However, in 2014 a teacher gave up his time every Wednesday morning to teach me how to swim; an essential life skill to have in Australia. Thank you for dedicating your time Mr Logan and making a difference in someone’s life.

Starting at BGS on a bursary in Year 11, Qasimi endured a challenging beginning but was supported to combat those as he adjusted to life at BGS. “Attending the School was something that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams. But I’m happy to tell the world that I was the first Afghan-Australian student to attend Brisbane Grammar School.” Appreciative of the opportunities available, Qasimi involved himself in plenty of extracurricular activities and also got involved in public purpose – volunteering at a nursing home each week and helping mentor refugees as part of the Homework Club. “I loved and enjoyed every moment of being part of the BGS community,” he said. “It was a once in a life time opportunity and I feel privileged to have been part of this amazing community.” Qasimi credits BGS with preparing him well for life after school, helping him become a role model and instilling a strong worth ethic. “BGS played a crucial role not only in my education, but also to help me to grow as better human being,” he said. “Nil sine labore, nothing without labour, is something that I will remember for the rest of life.”

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After working as a schoolteacher for 13 years, Smith learned about Saffron Coffee, and started work at the company, combining his passions for social development and coffee.

“I was never a particularly talented sportsman, but through good coaching and the opportunity to captain a few teams, I enjoyed the challenge of drawing better performances from other players, which proved crucial in developing a passion for PE teaching and sport coaching,” Smith said.

“Given our guarantee to purchase all coffee grown in partner villages, Arabica coffee provides a pathway out of poverty for Hmong, Yao, Gasak and Khmu minorities,” Smith said. “By directly engaging with farmers we avoid the need for corporate coffee plantations, providing planting materials, support, and ongoing training covering coffee plot cultivation and harvest. We focus on long-term viability for hill tribe farmers, working with 780 farming families in 18 villages.”

After graduating from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in human movement and economics in 1999, and a Master of Teaching from QUT in 2001, he went on to teach in schools in Charters Towers and Brisbane. A love of coffee, developed while working as a barista during his time at university, led him to purchase and manage a coffee vending business for two years, with profits going to local charities.

The potential for social development in Southeast Asia and around the world is huge, Smith said. “My opinion would be that the world needs more idealists,” he said. “More people willing to dream about things being better and then set about decreasing the distance between the real and the ideal. There’s so much scope in Southeast Asia for people to use their business skills and experience for social development. I imagine this would be the same in many cases around the world.”

Together with his wife, the pair made the life-changing decision to move to Malaysia in 2012. “My wife and I were always interested in social development in Southeast Asia,” Smith said. “We wanted to make a contribution and use our skills and time in practical ways. We wanted our three children to learn about the world through their own eyes, through experience, and not just textbooks, the internet or TV.”

“We need people who are greedy – not for their own gain or their company’s financial bottom line – but for justice and equity for all people. If people pursued justice and equity with the same passion with which they pursue wealth, fame, and power, the world would be a better place.”

orking for Saffron Coffee, BGS Old Boy Derek Smith ’95 calls Luang Prabang in Laos home. The company was introduced in 2006 to help hill tribe farmers replace their illegal traditional crop of opium with coffee. Smith’s path to Laos started at BGS, where he involved himself in sport and music, learning the value of hard work and developing a passion for teaching and coaching.

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// A CALL FOR RESPECT FOR WOMEN Tom Landy and Mark Adi | Year 12


n recent years gender equality has been thrust into the spotlight in Australia. Domestic violence, along with enduring institutionalised prejudices and sexism continues to impact on Australian society. The Gender Respect Committee, led by the Year 12 seniors and encompassing all grades, has made its primary task to raise awareness and provide funds to help Micah Projects combat the impact of domestic violence upon Australian women and their families.

aims to combat the ‘bystander culture’ that is becoming endemic within Australian society. Through encouraging boys to call out sexism they see and becoming involved in actively and vocally combating and condemning these actions, respect can blossom. The scourge of domestic and sexual violence that has infected Australian society for too long has its roots in a lack of respect. By changing perceptions and understanding of these issues, the Committee can foster an enduring culture of respect within the School.

Furthermore, the Committee seeks to raise awareness among the BGS community to change perceptions of sexism and gender inequality and expand upon just how pervasive such prejudices are within the wider community. Through harnessing this understanding, the Committee seeks to change these perceptions both within the BGS community and wider society.

Such a culture can then be carried beyond the confines of the school community by its members and into wider society, where they too can change perceptions and understanding. This will, in turn, influence a change in societal expectations and values to counter the impact of gender inequality through the prisms of domestic violence, the pay gap, and entrenched sexism.

Through spreading this awareness and changing perceptions, particularly among boys, the Committee

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// BGS ART SHOW 2016


he BGS Art Show is one of the signature social events on the BGS calendar, and this year’s exhibition Impressions was a resounding success, with 340 people welcomed to the 47th edition of the event.

Thanks also to the host of BGS teaching and professional services staff, along with the sponsors, the young men from the service committee who served as cheerful and gracious waiters, and the talented BGS musicians who kept people entertained.

The evening was officially opened by BGS Old Boy Lachlan Henderson ’82, Manager of Philip Bacon Galleries. The show featured the works of artist Colley Whisson, one of Australia’s finest modern impressionists. His works were complemented by a wide variety of high quality paintings, photography, ceramics, jewellery, and sculpture.

Following the Art Show, the School acquired seven works from four artists to add to the BGS Collection. The first, an oil on canvas donated by Whisson, is an example of a contemporary approach to the tradition of impressionist painting. Marcel Desbiens donated a highly detailed painting that is mystifying in its formal approach. While the series of photographic works by Keith Saunders and Marina Meier emphasise the depth of approach to fine art through the use of photography.

Art Committee President Nicola Rahman, embraced the challenge of change of location from the Art Centre to Centenary Hall to accommodate the growing number of guests. She superbly led a hard working group of parents to make this show one of the most memorable.





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risbane Grammar School’s Speech Day provides an opportunity to recognise highachieving academic and extracurricular performers, as well as farewell the graduating seniors. The occasion also offers the opportunity to hear from the School’s leaders, as well as guest speaker, Old Boy Matthew McLennan ’86. This year Speech Day was live-streamed for the first time, taking the event to a broader audience. Headmaster Anthony Micallef reflected on a year of enormous progress and much deliberation about the future. He called the graduating Class of 2016 a most unified and enthusiastic year group, and singled out student leaders Jeremy Hunt, Tom Ryan, Jacob Li, Adrian Lingwoodock and Declan Curran for their “splendid personal efforts” in steering the senior cohort. Board of Trustees Chairman Howard Stack spoke about the future for BGS, including the development of the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) complex, calling it arguably the most ambitious and most important in the School’s history. Mr Stack told the School’s newest Old Boys they could change the world for the better. “Believe in yourself, and take your next steps with confidence,” he said. “Don’t forget where you came from, and when you are ready, come back to help make BGS a better place.” Outgoing School Captain Jeremy Hunt gave a stirring address, reviewing the year’s achievements in terms of his inaugural theme “collective endeavour” and engaged the audience with his analysis of the power and potential of a codependent student community unified in mutual purpose. Jeremy finished the speech to a standing ovation from his fellow students. Throughout the event the audience was treated to incredible musical performances, from the School’s symphony orchestra, symphonic band, and vocal ensemble, who presented a range of popular pieces from famous productions.

To read the Speech Day addresses visit

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peech Day 2016 guest speaker, BGS Old Boy Matt McLennan ’86, is truly an inspiring success story. From a childhood home with no electricity, to boarding at Brisbane Grammar School from 12-years-old, today McLennan is a New York based fund manager considered one of the most influential Australian investors in the world.

But looking back he learned failure was actually an opportunity. “Rather than fear failure, you should relish the opportunity to learn how you can climb the mountain of personal betterment, one step at a time,” he said. “It is not about being born gifted but rather stepping forward and letting learning from mistakes be a torch light to help illuminate a better path. Commit yourself to being a learner.”

McLennan, who graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Commerce with firstclass honours, credits education as the reason behind his success, calling it the “ultimate gift” to future generations. “I once asked my mother what I could do to repay her for my education and she simply responded with ‘provide the same opportunities for your children’,” he said.

True to his key message of the importance of education, McLennan continues to invest in future generations of students, serving on a number of educational boards, including President of the Trinity School Board of Trustees, a member of the Board of Dean’s Advisors at the Harvard School of Public Health, a Board member of The University of Queensland in America and a Trustee of the Library of America.

Growing up, McLennan’s home may have lacked modern comforts, but it wasn’t without love and learning, providing a solid grounding for his move to Brisbane. “I arrived at BGS as a boarder in 1982,” he said. “For a lad from the bush, it was truly coming to the ‘big smoke’. I was accustomed to the freedom of hiking gullies, riding my bike until twilight, and the responsibility of chopping wood for our cast iron stove.”

Speaking directly to the graduating Class of 2016, McLennan reminded the boys of the School motto nil sine labore – nothing without labour – and urged the newest BGS Old Boys to become self-assured and kind-hearted men, determined to lead accomplished and fulfilling lives whose actions and leadership make a difference. “Brisbane Grammar School has given you something more than technical knowledge, it has given you the values of hard work and selfbetterment,” McLennan said. “It has taught you to play a contributory role as a citizen, to be a giver and not just a taker.”

“We had no electricity, took showers under a tree outside and had to plug our TV into a car battery. But I was fortunate indeed to be in a house full of love, learning and adventure.” Arriving as a “small fish in a big pond” at the School, McLennan said expectation weighed heavily on him. / 33


// TIME TO REFLECT Simon Conway | Head of Year


t is important to reflect on the many wonderful experiences and achievements of the Class of 2016, while acknowledging the core values that have underpinned their success across so many domains. We have seen this cohort become a fine group of young men of character, who have positively contributed to the communities in which they have operated.

challenges posed within this theme. The school leaders’ work was ably supported by their fellow senior students, including Prefects and Form Seniors. A hallmark of this cohort has been their servant leadership, or leadership in the service of others. The Community Service Committee has again been a key driver of this throughout the year. It is particularly pleasing to note this notion of leadership permeating all domains of the seniors’ operation, which has such a positive influence on both their own and younger peers within the student body.

It was in the Middle School that this cohort first identified as one community, and began to embody the core BGS values of respect, community, leadership, learning, and endeavour. Since the establishment of that solid foundation, one or more of these values have positively pervaded every aspect of their school journey to wonderful effect.

Across the academic, extracurricular, and cultural domains, the Class of 2016 has been committed and successful. The tripartite approach to boys’ education that we espouse has been in full action this year, as it has for the duration of this cohort’s BGS journey.

While he did not reveal the theme until early in 2016, School Captain Jeremy Hunt decided it was to be the ‘year of endeavour’. In his inaugural assembly address to the student body, Jeremy positioned endeavour as being the core value that most influenced the School’s other core values.

Our newest BGS Old Boys leave the School having established a wonderful tone among the student body and lofty standards to which future senior cohorts will aspire. I wish them every success in their future endeavours. I am sure they will contribute to the many and varied communities in which they will play a role during their life journey.

Jeremy, alongside the School Vice Captains of Tom Ryan and Jacob Li, Harlin House Captain Adrian Lingwoodock and Vice Captain Declan Curran, have done a splendid job in helping all students meet the

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hen BGS Old Boy James Morris ’82 started boarding at the School in the late 1970s, his parents lived in America, fast forward more than 30 years and now he lives in America while his eldest son Grant boards at BGS. James has two other children; Isabel who graduated from Somerville House this year, and Cameron who will start Year 8 at BGS midway through 2017, joining his brother in Harlin House.

Dr Morris said the fact that his three children all came to the same decision to leave home in San Francisco for Brisbane spoke volumes for what boarding continues to offer. “I hope BGS continues to support Harlin House in the coming decades by appreciating the important role it plays in the life of the school and in the lives of the boys,” he said. The other great learning tool Dr Morris was exposed to at BGS was sport, calling it his greatest teacher outside the classroom. “The intense sporting culture of BGS exposed me to tremendous physical and mental challenges that stretched me in ways I’d never thought possible. Nil sine labore is actually a deeply profound mantra that can be applied to so many aspects of life, whether it be creative pursuits, personal, and familial relationships, sports, work or simply how to live well.”

All three children made their own decisions to leave home in San Francisco to attend boarding school in Brisbane, but Dr Morris didn’t dissuade them from the idea. “Boarding taught me not only the expected independence one gains from living away from family, but also the more important social-emotional skills of collaboration and teamwork,” he said. Harvard educated, Dr Morris works as a general and thoracic surgeon in the largest US medical group, Kaiser Permanente, serving as the group’s Chair of Surgery. Now regularly performing lifesaving surgeries, he traced much of his development back to the collaborative and leadership skills learned at Harlin House. “Boarding also taught me about friendship. Living for years with your mates develops incredibly strong bonds that remain stable over many decades,” Dr Morris said. “My BGS friends are very special people in my life and I feel fortunate to have so many solid enduring relationships from Harlin House and the day school.” As well as commending the BGS boarding and school communities, Dr Morris said the Brisbane community as a whole offered something American cities could not. “Unless you live away from Australia for some time, I think it’s difficult to appreciate what a balanced and civilised place Brisbane is,” he said. “Living for the last few decades in America, I find that civility is actually very fragile and it can unravel so easily.” “Brisbane has changed tremendously for the better over the years, becoming more cosmopolitan and accepting of other cultures and races. It maintains a remarkable sense of community and caring that is being lost here in America. I wanted my children to understand and be impressed by that Australia, so I’ve supported each of their individual decisions to attend boarding school.”

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Grant Morris interacts with local children on the Cambodia service trip this year. It is opportunities like this that convinced him to follow in his father’s footsteps and board at BGS.

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// BGS GOLF DAY 2016 BGS Golf Day 2016, held on a perfect autumn day at Indooroopilly Golf Club on Friday 27 May, proved a resounding success, raising $29,500 to go towards a needs-based bursary. Audi again came on board as event partner, offering the opportunity for participants to hit a hole in one and claim a car. The School would like to thank the many generous sponsors and donors who made the event a success. Save the date for the 2017 Golf Day on 26 May 2017

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// SALUTE TO A SIBLING Vivien Harris | School Archivist


t was a moving moment when Headmaster Anthony Micallef was on hand to formally receive three silver trophies from one brother on behalf of another.

member of the school committee and a lieutenant in the BGS rifles. He is listed on several honour boards in The Great Hall for winning the Bowen Prize, Woolcock Prize, Walker Prize, OBA Essay Prize, Cockle Prize, and Queensland University Scholarship.

Old Boy Jules Hoffman, who attended BGS from 1944 to 1946, made a special trip back to the School from Sydney with his wife on 28 July this year, to donate three sporting trophies won by his elder brother Adolph, who was killed during World War II.

Just two years after leaving BGS, Adolf enlisted in the RAAF, receiving his navigator’s wings aged 19 and was posted to a RAAF squadron in England. With only two flying missions left to go, his Lancaster heavy bomber was shot down when returning from a raid over Europe. Flying Officer Adolph David Leon Hoffman was 20-years-old when he was killed in action on Anzac Day, 25 April 1944.

Jules said the trophies, which included the OBA Cup for Champion Athlete in 1939 and the Norman Waraker Memorial Cup for 440-yard Champion in 1939 and 1940, had been restored to their former glory. “It has been an honour to return them to the School where they can be appreciated for years to come,” he said. “Adolph was my idol and I was very proud of what he achieved academically and in the sporting sphere when he was at Grammar.”

Jules said that in 1980 he visited Adolph’s grave at Heverlee War Cemetery near Louvain in Belgium, which enabled him ‘to close the book’ so to speak on a very sad chapter in his family’s life. Adolph wrote a poem in his last year at BGS which was published in the School Magazine. The last line of the poem is a fitting epitaph to him: “In Duty’s wake he did attend.”

Jules was delighted the cups were on display in the War Memorial Library for Open Day this year. “He gave the School his all and really appreciated the tutelage he received when a student here from 1936-1940,” he said.

The A.D.L. Hoffman Memorial Prize for proficiency in English in Form Vl was founded in 1945 by his parents Mr and Mrs C.S. Hoffman and family in memory of their son.

Adolph’s many awards included the Woolcock Challenge Cup and the Reginald Heber Roe Bursary. He excelled in athletics, cricket, and gymnastics, was a Prefect, House Captain, editor of the School Magazine,

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// AN UNLIKELY OFFICE Helen Penrose | BGS Sesquicentenary Historian


n 1964 the War Memorial Library was transformed for use as a temporary fundraising office. Itself the result of a long fundraising campaign from 1916, led by Stuart Stephenson (Second Master 1910–28 and later Headmaster 1928–40) and a dedicated committee of BGS Old Boys, the War Memorial Library was the only space available for the 1964 campaign.

by several Australian independent schools during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Old Boys assisted with the enormous task of individually contacting every person on the list of 8,000 potential donors. In 1964, the communication options were limited to telephone or letter, so this work took months to complete. One thousand people, mostly Old Boys, attended two dinners held in Brisbane in September 1964 to launch the Centenary Building Fund Appeal. Regional dinners to gather support were also organised around Queensland, as well as in Sydney and Melbourne. The Manual Training block and two Science laboratories, for General Science and Biology, opened in 1967. Because the appeal fell short of expectations, a supplementary appeal began in 1967 while promises from the 1964 appeal were still being collected.

Brisbane Grammar School expanded that year to include Year 8, after the Queensland Government added a fifth year to the secondary school course. By then the School boasted a relatively new gymnasium and swimming pool, and new science laboratories and classrooms to teach the extra boys. Nevertheless, the increase in student population from 885 to 1000 and growing public demand for modern educational facilities, demanded a larger hall, and modern, spacious library.

The dream of two major buildings – the Centenary Hall, and the Centenary Library with a dining room underneath – remained the goals. Funds collected from both 1964 and 1967 appeals ($276,000) were directed to these buildings, which opened in 1969.

Representatives from the National Fund Raising Counsel worked in the War Memorial Library from August 1964 until March 1965. A Sydney firm employed to lead this and several other major school fundraising campaigns at BGS, was commonly used

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GN summer 2017  

Summer 2017 edition

GN summer 2017  

Summer 2017 edition