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Editors • Denis McMullen & Ina Thiessen • Volume 5 • Issue 1

N ew s

C r o m w e l l

C o l l e g e

Within the University of Queensland


2 0 0 6


Commencement dinners are significant moments in the life of a College. They symbolise two important activities: the beginning of another Academic Year and the integration into the College of the new residents for the year, the “Freshers”. This ceremony included a welcome to the University as the College was honoured to host both the Vice Chancellor, Prof John Hay, and the Registrar, Mr Douglas Porter. Other guests were members of the Board of Governors and partners. The approach adopted towards Commencement Dinner by Cromwell College gives quite an insight into the nature of the College and the directions in which it has been taken by successive Principals. The themes of the night were a welcome to the new residents and an acceptance of them into the College community, and the intent of the College to challenge and inspire all residents, old and new, to lift their sights above the fascinating and exciting present that they are experiencing to think on aspects of the meaning that they give that experience. Continued page 4

A Magazine for Old Collegians, Friends of Cromwell, Current Residents and their Families

What’s I n s ide

President’s Report


From the Principal


Congratulations to Rev Dr Hugh Begbie


Collgege Refurbishment Continues


Sex, Booze & Honour Rolls


Farewell & Welcome


Congratulations Dr Dame Carol Kidu


Helen Begbie Memorial Bursary




Year of the COBRA


Chronicles of Cromwell


O Week


o Cca

Greetings one and all. As advertised in the previous edition of COCA NEWS we held a COCA meeting at Cromwell on Wednesday the 8th March. At that meeting the future structure of COCA was discussed and the following decided:

• COCA is an informal community of ex-members of the College. It has no income and no real functioning structure. It does not operate according to its original constitution. With this in mind the meeting rejected any thought of creating a separately incorporated body and resolved instead to officially become (what in effect it already is) an informal organization operating under the umbrella of the College.

President’s Report • It was suggested that the centre of planning, data recording and organization would be the College, particularly the Development Manager. • It was agreed that an effective pattern to explore would be the pursuit of key volunteers, one from every 3 or 4 years of the Colleges life, who agree to be the point of contact and communication for members who attended during the same period. The Development Manager would seek their advice for ideas for events that suited their particularly generation. This Committee could still meet together from time to time to advise the Development Manager and the College regarding Old Collegian affairs. • It was suggested that the possibility of a whole of community ball be held every 5 years, much in the manner of the 50th Anniversary Ball, should be considered.

• It was agreed that the accounts should be closed and any moneys contained within those accounts divided 50/50 between the retiring of Student Association debt for the Lion’s Den and investing in the Foundation for the COCA prize. • This would mean that the title COCA PRESIDENT would ceases to exist and the College would find some other way to give voice to ex Collegians in the COCA NEWS. Perhaps a different COCA member could be approached each edition to write an editorial article of some sort. It is my intention as the about to retire President that we hold one more meeting on 21st June 2006 at 7.30pm in the JCR. At that meeting the above matters be formally ratified. This means, that by attending the meeting, you all have one last chance to either confirm or reject the proposal. There is still a great deal of interest in COCA particularly amongst the younger generations of ex-Cromwellians and evidenced by the number of people who have come to various COCA meetings over the last 12 months. I look forward to seeing how COCA develops in the years to come.

Dr Stuart Bade

Would you like to

Get Together?

Past COCA events have shown how much Old Collegians and parents of current residents enjoyed and appreciate the opportunity to come together and indulge in memories and exchange their experiences of College. Parents enjoy listening to these stories and meeting the Principal and other College staff.




19th May 2006


17th July

We would like to organise get-togethers while the Principal or Dean of Students and Development Manager are touring around Queensland in order to promote the College to potential residents at different locations. We would like to spend some time with Old Collegians and parents of current residents and to the right are listed some possible dates. A definite get-together is planned for the 1st August 2006 in Toowoomba. Old


18th July


19th July

Sunshine Coast

20th July

Gold Coast

30-31st July


1st August – definite get-together


14th August

Collegian, Darren Lewis, (1990-94) is assisting in the organisation of this event. Thank you Darren for your help. If you would like to get together please contact Ina Thiessen on (07) 3377 1232 or email If your city is not listed but you wish to get together or assist a get together, please contact Ina Thiessen. COCA News 2006 • Page 

From the


What is the difference between a vision and fantasy, a genuine goal and an unrealistic dream? When it comes to the future of Cromwell College, the answer to that question depends very much on you. I have shared with you before that ‘I have a dream’, a dream to leave this place one day in the best possible condition and with as many presently unresolved problems solved as possible. This dream can be easily summarised in the following way: 1. Completely refurbish every room, including: • the installation of new switch boards in each wing and the re-wiring of each room; • the installation of a sprinkler system in anticipation that the law will eventually be changed to require it; • renovate every room, replace painted surfaces with poster friendly ones, install king single beds; • renew the water main that was built with incompatible materials and different sizes and probably leaks in many places; • explore the possibility of rain water tanks for gardens to minimize water use and any other devices to reduce the cost of both power and water; and • develop a plan for the up-grading of dated and poorly levelled sewerage pipes. 2. Work towards a new development that will solve the following problems: • Increase the number of self-catered rooms available. This would fill a demand and increase the financial depth of the College and its ability to maintain and improve services without increasing the number of fullcatered undergraduate places. This enables the rich level of community to be retained at the same time as the financial capacity is increased. • Move all students out of the Lockley (Carmody) Wing by re-locating them to an extension of the Hancock Wing.

This would get all the undergraduates together in the one area of the College and allow the Lockley rooms to be returned to visitor rooms. The exception would be the rooms on the ground floor of Lockley (that have a dungeon feel) which could be used for much needed storage. • Resolve student storage space. The current baggage room is insecure and insufficient. • Provide a hall independent of the dining room to allow functions to be held without disturbing the dining room and its furniture. This could also be rented out during the year. • Resolve parking issues. Underground parking would be ideal. • Resolve a problem with unsightly fill below Hancock.

generations and be generous in fulfilling our community responsibilities. Of course, there are many demands and I give to many organizations, but it is something we need to consider. In relation to this College that was once your home - I long to fulfil this important dream. I cannot do it without you. I ask you, therefore, to consider Cromwell in your annual giving program and consider Cromwell in your wills. After all, your country college needs you.

This combination of problems could be solved with one carefully planned development in the area between the Hancock Wing and the University. It is at this point that I return to my initial question. Are these two dreams pure fantasy or a part of a realistic vision? Clearly the desire to refurbish has an urgency about it. Given that we have 50 year old wiring and sewerage and water mains trying to deal with age (and in the case of the wiring, 21st century technology) we must bring this dream to fulfilment. A plan is being developed and we will keep you in touch, but at a guess, it would cost between $2 - 3 million to achieve. The College could possibly borrow to achieve this objective although donations and bequests would clearly help students by bringing the need for borrowings down to a manageable level. In relation to the development, this is another matter. At the moment this dream is fantasy. Clearly such a project would cost many millions of dollars to achieve. Only an injection of funds from outside could achieve this much needed outcome. Once I would have been embarrassed to raise such matters, but I now realize that each of us needs to consider future



in Sight!

David (Deputy to the Principal) and Kristy Richards have announced that they are expecting their first Baby in August. Richard Lagas (Kitchen and part-time groundsman) and Kathryn Cross are also expecting a baby in October. We wish the families all the best and good health as they are waiting for the arrival of their babies!

COCA News 2006 • Page 


The Pianist Sam Eldridge at Commencement Dinner the Promise. The freshers then went on to sign the College Register. The College Promise was recited by all new residents led by Kate Rutherford. Some residents, returning and new, joined the High Table folk at Coffee in the JCR afterwards Chair of the Governors Ben de Jong with “Freshers” Rebecca Smith (Left) and Alex Russel (right) The latter theme was focused by the Guest Speaker, Mr Michael Knight. Michael has 22 years experience as a youth worker and educator across many schools in Queensland. He has a range of programs designed for adolescents including workshops on life skills, coping with school graduation, dealing with drugs, alcohol and sexuality. Michael spoke on the decline in belief in the world. The relativism which says that “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then it is OK” , that each person must find the truth that is right for him or her. But as belief crumbles, there is a rise in credulity; we may believe in horoscopes or flying saucers or new age gurus, but even democracy now is treated with cynicism. He quoted G.K. Chesterton who spoke about the rise of scepticism where everything becomes a matter of doubt.

Entertainment was provided by David Khlentzos and Joshua Lessing, who played guitars and sang. Sam Eldridge provided music on the grand piano to accompany the entrance and departure of High Table as well as occasional music through out the meal. He also played the music for the Ode to Joy to accompany the Cromwell College Song at the end of Dinner. The ceremony of acceptance of the new residents consisted of the introduction of each new resident by the College President, Mr Andrew Churchill to the Chair of the Board of Governors, Mr Ben De Jong and Principal, Rev Dr Hugh Begbie, who presented each fresher with a College badge and a copy of the words of

There was a warm and very pleasant feeling in the Hall throughout the Dinner and subsequent comment from both old and new residents confirmed this impression that this was a most successful and memorable College evening. The Promise As a resident of Cromwell College, I promise to respect others; build community and welcome visitors. I will strive to do my best, live a balanced life, serve others and care for the environment in which I live. Finally I promise, in the presence of this gathering, to enjoy my freedom in a mature and responsible way that maintains the reputation of the College and is thoughtful towards others.

Michael’s challenge to the students was to ask “what is it you are rebelling against? Be careful that you don’t lose your right to rebel against anything. You’re at university because you can, because you’ve been accepted, but deeper than that I suspect because of some sense or conviction to make a difference in our society. What difference will that be and how will that impact upon our society.” Whilst the feast was not quite up to Hogwarts standards, with magical ingredients that explode as you eat them, the delights produced by Head Chef David Abbey and his staff were very positively commented on. The seafood cocktail and rack of lamb were well presented and tasty whilst the Chantilly Strawberry chocolate baskets were very well received. This was followed by a well-stocked cheese platter.

COCA News 2006 • Page 

David Khlentzos (left) and Joshua Lessing (right)

Congratulations The 7th February this year was an important day for the College as it was Graduation Day for the Principal, now Rev Dr Hugh Begbie. This day was the culmination of five years of determined work, building on Hugh’s five and a half years as a serving Chaplain in the Army. Dr Begbie pursued his research through the Australian College of Theology, supervised by the Principal of the Queensland Bible College. He received the degree of Doctor of Ministry Dr Begbie’s Thesis is entitled, “In This Sign, Conquer” and it focuses on the role of Defence Force Chaplains in times of war. The thesis basically uses photography, testimony and poetry to draw the new chaplain into the reality of war. It also includes an analysis of the nature of language used in war, both in the Bible and in other literature. In summary, the argument is that whether war is considered ‘just’ or ‘unjust’ it is a dark force that perverts human life and language creating a network of deceit which infects the integrity of both the nation and the individual. War draws both into a process by which the enemy is depersonalised or dehumanised. It is easier, after all, to kill a non person than one with a name, a smile, a wife and child.

to Rev Dr Hugh Begbie!

The thesis, both from a study of the Bible and by an analysis of practical ministry, explores how the Chaplain, who represents a Gospel of grace and love, can minister in a context of “ungrace”, chaotic violence and hatred. The conclusion is that there is no simple answer but Dr Begbie argues that it is both possible and necessary for the Chaplain to maintain a light, no matter how weak or blasted by the winds of war and to offer some hope of light in a very dark place. The Chaplain should resist the temptation to provide a theological justification for war (God on our side). As difficult as it is the Chaplain must reflect the moral ambiguity of war in his ministry, so that when the soldier’s conscience begins to hurt he sees in the Chaplain a friend who can understand, a counsellor who knows the way to the place (to the person) where forgiveness and renewal can be found. In a letter of congratulation, the Chair of the College Board of Governors, Mr Ben de Jong, said, “As you know, Hugh did his studies for his doctorate during the illness and death of Helen and he is to be admired for his determination to complete the course of studies during difficult times. I am sure that you will rejoice

Dr Begbie receives his testamur from the Principal of the Bible College of Queensland, Rev. Dr Peter Ralphs whilst Rev Dr Mark Harding , Dean of the Australian College of Theology looks on. with him and to congratulate him on his achievement.” As a College, we do rejoice and congratulate the Rev Dr Begbie on this significant professional and personal achievement.

College Refurbishment Continues After the spectacular development of the Lion’s Den, over the long vacation College staff turned to two new projects: the former Senior Common Room which has been returned to some of its past glory, and the far more prosaic Student laundry, which now boasts five new washing machines and dryers. Stainless steel benches and a thorough renovation of the laundry room itself, gives residents the best possible environment to misplace their socks and underwear.

COCA News 2006 • Page 

Valedictorians 2005


to the

leaders of the College

for 2006

Seniors Sarah Bull, Kathryn Brooks, Andrew Churchill, Gareth Davies, Lauren Glynn, Justine Graham, Michelle Hillman, Kathryn Jelbart, Shane Midgley, Sam Rippon, David Stone, Amy Robinson, Rowan Walker, Cobi Van der Werff, Executive

April Chesters (2003-05) Riley Cook (2003-2005) Rachel Cook (2003-2005) Katherine Deacon (2003-2005) Luke Eldridge (2002-2005) Susan Forder (2003-2005) Zanna Franks (2003-2005) Katherine Hamilton (2003-2005)


Andrew Churchill

Vice-President/ Fundraising Officer:

Rowan Walker


Lauren Glynn


Michelle Hillman

Social Convenors:

Jarrett Owen, Regan Ireland, Peter Chong

Media Representative:

Kirsty Fanton

Annemarie Lindner (2003-2005)

Female Sports Convenor:

Sarah Bull

Gregory Matthews (2003-2005)

Male Sports Convenor:

Gareth Davies

Emily Mcauliffe (2003-2005)

Cultural Convenor:

Cassie Aprile

Liam Morrisson (2003-2005)

Non Executive Positions

Jay Harrison (2003-2005) Shaun Hopkirk (2003-2005) Philipp Kearney (2003-2005) Alexander Khlentzos (2002-2005)

Hayley Mudge (2003-2005)


Oliver Hamilton, Joshua Lessing, David Khlentzos, Benjamin Evans, David Moran

Board of Governors Representative:

Stephen Pick

International Student Officer:

Justine Graham

Robert Smith (2003-2005)

O week Coordinator: (elected)

Emily Goldsmith

Manroop Soin (2003-2005)

O week Coordinator: (appointed)

Cobi van der Werff

O Week Action Committee:

Amanda McCosker, Kate Sprogis, Laura Morrissey, Oliver Hamilton, Iain More, Daniel Moran

ICC Representative (Social):

Suzzanne Duell in hospital Those who remember Suzzanne Duell will be saddened to note that she had a stroke recently while visiting family in the U.K. It will be a long time until she returns to Australia and we wish her well as she begins the long road to rehabilitation.

COCA News 2006 • Page 

Susan Potter (2003-2005) Katrina Price (2003-2005)

Alex Steed (2003-2005) Christopher Talbot (2003-2005) Leisa Walsh (2003-2005)

Taryn Wockner

Condolences to the McGregor Family


It is with great sadness that I wish to inform friends of Kimberley McGregor that she recently lost her mum in a car accident. Kimberley is a current resident of the College who has made a wonderful contribution in her time here so far. Our prayers go the family as they begin the long and difficult path of adjusting to the loss of wife and mother.

We have lost some of the information about those who wanted the Coca News by email only, by email and hard copy, or by hard copy only. If you are not happy about the way you received Coca News or want to change it, please let Ina Thiessen know which way you prefer. We apologise for any inconvenience that we might have caused.


On the 2nd March 2006, over 100 students (most first year students and seniors) attended the Seminar with Matt Noffs on “Drugs, Alcohol and Promiscuity”. Funded by the Uniting Church Foundation, the seminar aimed to challenge students in the area of alcohol, drugs and sex. Matt’s interactive seminar included selected scenes from ‘STAR WARS’ and case studies. Matt especially drew an analogy from Star Wars with the journey of students who have just embarked on their journey in leaving home and going to university, facing “newly gained’ freedom and temptation. He strongly emphasized the importance of this transitional time demonstrating the fine line of making choices that are life building and those which are life destroying. Matt impressively demonstrated that making healthy choices and having fun are not mutually excluding terms. 26 year old Matt Noffs is the Development Manager at The Ted Noffs Foundation (TNF). He has worked in the Drug and Alcohol field for over four years. He is a voice in the community and the media for young people, especially those suffering from drug and alcohol dependency.

Matt Noffs with David Stone & Adam Bartels

After developing a unique community awareness strategy for the TNF in 2001 (‘Doing Something Youthful’) he was asked to create other charity campaigns (which he renamed ‘Youth Solutions’) for Wesley Mission and the Macarthur Drug and Alcohol Youth Project.

alcohol associated problems. He works extensively with the media in discussing issues directly related to young Australians and the spirituality all young people possess.

He is also on the steering committee for the National Drug and Alcohol Awards, works with the Premier’s Department Community Drug Action Team in Randwick and works with NSW Police State Crime Command on issues related to youth at risk of drug and

We thank the Uniting Church Foundation for their generous support which made event possible.

COCA News 2006 • Page 

Farewell&Welcome Farewell to Jane It was with sadness that we farewelled Jane Thomas at the end of 2005. Jane was first appointed to help organize the 50th Anniversary Dinner. She did this with such warmth and style that she was invited to stay on as Marketing and Development Officer. Jane left to take up a position with the Cystic Fibrosis Association. Jane (or at least Jane’s friendly voice on the phone) is known to many old-Cromwellians and she played an important role in re-awakening the thankfulness many had for the College and their interest in it. As Principal I want to personally thank Jane for her warmth and friendship and her hard work and wish her well in her new appointment. Jane Thomas

The position has been filled by Ms Ina Thiessen. I trust that you will give to her the support you gave to Jane.

Welcome Denis McMullen Dean of Students Appointed This year, the College welcomes Mr Denis McMullen to the position of Dean of Students. This role is new to Cromwell but well established over many years in other University Colleges. The decision to appoint a Dean arose from the need to provide support for the Principal and to build up the provision of pastoral care to the residents. Whilst the prime responsibility for pastoral care will always lie with the Principal, he also has many other competing issues vying for his attention. The Dean will provide leadership to the Seniors in their work with residents, particularly with the freshers, work closely with the Principal in developing closer relationships with the residents, provide advice and support to residents on academic and personal matters and assist in the development of the Cromwell experience so that it will continue to challenge all residents to be the best that they can be. Denis comes to Cromwell with considerable experience in tertiary education and residential life. Having trained and worked as a secondary school teacher of English and History, Denis was appointed as a lecturer in Teacher Education at Bathurst Teachers College and Mitchell CAE, (now Charles Sturt University). Whilst there, Denis moved into residential life, for five years managing the five Halls of Residence on

COCA News 2006 • Page 

campus with up to 720 residents as well as carrying a part-time lecturing role. For another five years, Denis was Principal of St Hilda’s College in the University of Melbourne, which experience included representing the Vice-Chancellor on the University Union Board, being VicePresident of the Sports Union and Chair of the University’s Open Day Committee. He also represented the Heads of Colleges on the University Council. Denis then spent 15 years as Assistant Director of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and RMIT University, responsible for student matters and Student Services. He built up the services to students, which included Counselling, Health Service, Careers and Employment, Housing, Academic Support, Chaplaincy, International Students support, the Koorie Education Centre, and Disability Support. He was, again, the University’s representative on the Student Union Board, chaired the Discipline Committee and ran Open Day for some years.

Apart from his Teaching qualification, Denis has a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney, an MA in Australian Literature from the University of Melbourne and, since coming to Brisbane, a TESOL post-graduate teaching qualification. Denis was married to Colleen for thirty years until her death in 1995 and has five children and six grandchildren (with another on the way!) His wife/partner, Kath Ellerman-Bull, is a psychologist and Director of Counselling at Kids Help Line, a national telephone counselling service for young people where she is responsible for a large counselling and supervisory staff. Denis’ interests, apart from being a voracious reader, are Rugby, bushwalking, travel, drama, jazz, cycling, kayaking and, when he can, sailing.

After leaving RMIT in 1997, Denis worked for the YMCA as Manager, Student Accommodation, developing alternative accommodation options for the University of Melbourne, including College Square, an apartment type complex for, now, 1,100 residents in Lygon St, Carlton. His most recent appointment has been as Deputy Master of King’s College at UQ in 2004 and 2005.

Denis McMullen

Welcome Ina Thiessen Ina Thiessen – Development Manager

looking after the marketing and fundraising for the College as well as the alumni database, events, COCA News and lots more. I also will be involved on Tuesday night with the formal dinners and chapel program. In addition, I would like to make a contribution to student life on campus. Due to my experience in event and project management, I have made myself available to assist students in their event planning. I was born in Russia, grew up in Germany, lived in South America and worked in Germany, France and Switzerland. I obtained my first degree in Business Management and worked for six years in the area of marketing, sales and project management. Motivated by my personal Christian conviction, I came to Australia in 2002 to pursue biblical studies. I enjoyed it so much that I kept going and just graduated with my Masters of Divinity. I also enjoyed the Australian lifestyle so much that I decided to stay in Australia. At the moment I am in the process of applying for permanent residency.

Ina at her graduation in February 2006. Hi there! I would like to introduce myself. I have already been in contact with some of you personally, via email or phone, and hope to meet you one day in person. I started at Cromwell College in January and have taken over from Jane who has gone to work with the Cystic Fibrosis Association. I will be

I speak six languages (German, Russian, English, French, Spanish, Italian) more or less fluently and might be able to practise the languages with some of you. I have also studied Ancient Greek and Hebrew and I am always up to trying to decipher old manuscripts. I love sports (especially tennis, table tennis and Badminton), reading, travelling, hiking, fishing, 4-wheel driving and going to the theatre. I haven’t been at Cromwell for very long, but I love it already. The College staff are just wonderful people who offered me a very warm welcome and made me feel at home straight away. I am looking forward to getting to know the students on Campus, their parents and hopefully as many ex-Cromwellians and friends of the College as possible in the near future. Now that I have told you my story, I would love to hear yours. Please feel free to contact me via email, phone or just call in and have a meal or coffee with me.

Congratulations, Dr Dame Carol Kidu The University of Queensland Senate conferred an Honorary Doctorate on Dame Carol Kidu, widow of Sir Buri Kidu (19661969) in November 2005. According to her own words, this Doctorate completed an unfinished part of her life.

decorate the chapel as his contribution as best man at the wedding.

In 1966 and 1967, Dame Carol was an Arts Faculty student majoring in anthropology at the University of Queensland and was very much in love with a student from PNG, Buri Kidu, a resident at Cromwell, whom she has met in 1964. Carol left her studies, which she never finished. Instead, she decided to work while Buri Kidu completed his study. In 1969 Carol and Buri married on Campus at Cromwell College. And Moi Avei (1969-1972), now Sir Moi Avei, Deputy Prime Minister of PNG, stole flowers from the gardens of St. Lucia to

Dr. the Honourable Dame Carol Kidu, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, secondary teaching certificate of the University of Queensland and Kelvin Grove Teachers’ College, Doctor of the University of Queensland, member of Parliament and the Minister for Community Development in the national parliament in PNG, responded humbly to the conferral of the doctorate tile, “There are many people far more worthy than me for such a high award.”

40 years have passed but Carol never finished the degree although she often intended to. This is why this title holds a special significance for Dame Carol Kidu.

After the death of her husband in 1993, Dame Carol Kidu continued her husband’s

fight for political justice. She described her experience of being a city girl in Australia, a village wife and teacher, then moving to a role as a national politician as a “sudden roller coaster journey”. Dame Carol encouraged the graduates to use their qualifications and skills to bring about a time “when the power of love will replace the love of power. Only then will the world know the true meaning of peace.”

(photo: Chris Stacey, The University of Queensland)

COCA News 2006 • Page 

Masoud Abdollahpouri Not many Colleges at UQ have the distinction of having a champion Thai Kick Boxer as a resident, but this year the Queensland Kick Boxing Champ is a humble fresher at Cromwell. Masoud Abdollahpouri came to Australia as a member of the Iranian National Team to compete in the World Championships. He had been competing internationally for some years, achieving a Second placing in the World Championships in Thailand in 2002, but being eliminated in 2003. Masoud comes from Mohabad, a town in North-western Iran. Located in the mountains, it is the most important Kurdish town in Iran. His family are all still there, his father is a merchant importing goods from Turkey and Iraq. He describes his family as being very close and he still misses them, though they can chat using a video cam, which helps him to keep in touch. He has two brothers and two sisters; one brother is studying Architecture and a sister is studying English. The two youngest are in preUniversity studies and at high school. His home town is a far cry from Brisbane, in all respects, as there are three months of snow each year and the snow covers the ground for another two months. Masoud ran into trouble with Iranian authorities during the tour to Kazakhstan when the tour party was photographed with Israeli boxers. As well, there was conflict about the different attitudes held by the Kurdish members of the party who do not support the extreme view of Sharia law espoused by the Iranians. In Brisbane, in 2004, these matters came to a head with members of the tour group partying on and breaking some of the strict rules. When one member of the group fled, the rest were under suspicion of being implicated in his escape. At this stage, Masoud believed that he was in danger and decided not to return to Iran. His visa application was processed relatively swiftly and he was granted Permanent Resident status.

COCA News 2006 • Page 10

Tim Courtis and Masoud Abdollahpouri meet up at the Commencement Dinner Masoud came to Cromwell College through the support of his lawyer, Mr Tim Courtice, a member of the College Board of Governors and ex-Cromwellian (1963-66). At first, he was taken in by the Principal and lived in the Principal’s Residence. Now, he is a fully-fledged member of the College living in lower Hancock. Having spent 2005 studying English at Hilton International College, Masoud communicates very effectively. Although he had graduated as a Nurse in Iran five years ago, he was unable to access any qualifications from there as the Government froze all his documentation. They also froze access to his bank accounts. As a result, Masoud was unable to practice his profession in Australia and has had to re-qualify here. Back in Iran, his defection has created problems for his family where they have experienced trouble from the Government. He is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing program at QUT. “Some subjects are difficult, especially the Bio-medical ones. I have to use a dictionary from the Internet as there are many technical terms not in the book dictionary.”

Masoud is supported by the Helen Begbie Memorial Bursary and by his part-time work as a security officer. He loved O Week and is enjoying College as a student. “College has been a great supporter of me. It feels like my home. The students have been very helpful, they have assisted me with my English.” Masoud wants to get involved in college life, “I want to play Rugby and swim for the College!” How do you feel about being in Australia? “I love Australia and love Australians. People have been really friendly and helpful. When I first came, I was uncertain about this country, but my experience here is that Australians have helped me to get on track.” As for ambitions: “I would love to finish my degree and go back to my profession. I want to continue kick-boxing and be Australian champion! But I also want to go back to my country and see my family when that is possible.” No guesses about Masoud’s fresher name, it’s Kostya!

Kate Rutherford The 2006 Helen Begbie memorial Bursary recipient, Kate Rutherford, comes from Maryborough where she has lived since she was “3 or 4 when we came down from Rockhampton to be nearer my Mum’s parents.”

question, particularly with a younger sister following her through Fraser Coast Anglican College. She applied for the Helen Begbie Foundation scholarship and the news that she had been successful was a great relief to Kate and to her family.

Growing up in Maryborough now seems “rather boring”, but her memories are of coming home from primary school with a crowd of friends, playing cricket in the street, building BMX jumps in a friend’s backyard and doing the things that children do – running off to play all day on holidays or weekends and turning up at home for meals.

Starting University and living at Cromwell has been a massive change. “Life has gone from working 6 extremely dull days a week, picking up and dropping kids at school, looking after dad and helping out any way I can at home while my dad has been sick. Now it’s 15 hours of Uni “work” a week, and even though I’m studying, it’s still more spare time than I was getting. It’s great to finally be learning, doing something I want and using my brain for the first time in a year!”

High School meant Fraser Coast Anglican School at Hervey Bay, to which Kate won an academic scholarship. By her final year, Kate was College Captain and had represented the school and region in netball.

Kate has continued her interests in art and sport. She has signed up for the College netball team and should be a great asset there. Kate has also joined the UQ Dance Club and is looking forward to that as well. “My ambition is to be successful doing something that I enjoy doing. I would love to work in the City, there is lots of work there and I enjoy the faster pace of City life.” Any ambitions of following Danielle and marrying a Cromwell boy? “Hm… that’s pretty embarrassing! I think that I would have to get to know a few of them a lot better before I could answer that!”

Kate was also involved in drama, being part of a big project that saw a number of schools cooperating to stage a re-working in Brisbane of the Mayne Inheritance story, called XLD Express, using physical theatre techniques. Coming to University meant Cromwell, if possible. Kate’s older sister, Danielle, had been a Cromwell resident whilst she studied Radiography and completed the full Cromwell experience by marrying a fellow Cromwell resident, David Jesser, after he graduated in Law. He now works for McInnes Wilson in the City and he and Danielle have three little boys, the youngest of whom is only 6 months. What’s it like being an aunt? “I really love it. I baby-sit them and they are so beautiful!” When Kate was in Senior, she contemplated Architecture as she enjoyed design. But after she had heard about Regional and Town Planning, she thought that this would offer greater possibilities than Architecture. As well, Kate liked the wider range of studies in RTP. A dark cloud lay over Kate’s future, however. Her father has been ill for 14 months, and College seemed out of the

Kate Rutherford

COCA News 2006 • Page 11


Round Up

Hans Weemaes (1996-98)

Danielle (1994-96) & David (1992-95) Jesser Dave and I are close to celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary, we can not believe how quickly this has come. It has been a wonderful 6 years lived at quite a fast pace but full of enjoyment and adventures, overseas trips and buying houses as well as the sorrows and sadness that life offer. Earlier this year Dave finished an MBA and Masters of Law at QUT and has gone on to be made a partner at the firm he has been with most of his career – McInnes Wilson. We were very proud of these achievements as he undertook the study etc. I have stayed at home raising our boys and trying to keep things running smoothly so that all this was possible. Our latest and by far most exciting news though is the birth of our third son, Daniel. Born only a few weeks ago on 30/09/05 he arrived safe and well after a very eventful pregnancy that has kept me tied up for quite a few months. Daniel and I are both very well now though and it won’t be long before he is running around after his brothers William and Ben. So now we are the proud parents of 3 boys born in the last three years! Possibly you can understand why I have not had much time to myself, although we often have thought of Cromwell and regularly keep up with a lot of our friends from those years. We especially enjoyed the 50th Anniversary last year and look forward to more celebrations like it. Danielle Darren Lewis (1990-1994) Darren Lewis is now the proud father of a daughter, Isabella Charlotte, born on 18 December 2005. Darren has been married to Amanda, a food technologist, since 2003 and they have thereafter lived in Toowoomba. The celebrant at their wedding was Dr. Krohn. Until recently, Darren was in general practice as a solicitor at C.W. Hooper & Hooper in Laidley. He is now employed as a Family Lawyer at the Toowoomba office of Legal Aid Queensland. The Lewis’ recently called upon Alan Brown (1991-1993) and his wife and child at their home in Brisbane. Darren has also caught up with Allan McGregor (1992-1995), by way of email, who reported that he is progressing well within the engineering branch of Orica Chemicals at Gladstone. As well as family life and the law, Darren is kept busy with various community and social groups. He hopes to see as many Old Collegians and connections as possible at the social function planned for 1st August 2006 at Toowoomba.

From left Hans Weemaes (1996-98), Stephen Gordon Jones (1996-98) and Ken Oleary. Dear Mr Begbie Just a short email to wish you and your family all the best for the New Year. I also thought that I would bring you up to speed on what I have been up to over the past few years. I must also apologise for not taking up the opportunity last year to attend the Canberra old collegians function (I was in Sydney with work at the time). As you probably know, for the past five years I’ve been based in Canberra where I have spent three years at the Federal Treasury and two years with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These departments have been excellent training grounds in economics and trade and have really motivated me to pursue a career in international finance. I have recently completed two more post-graduate degrees at the Australian National University - a Master in Economics (for which I won the faculty prize in 2004) and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Management. I have also been offered an invitation to complete my Master of Business Administration at the University of Chicago next year. I hope that this experience will open the door to US based international financial firms. On a personal level, I married my Union College girlfriend, and partner of nine years, Hayley Herden earlier last year on the Gold Coast. My best man was old boy Stephen Jones who you would remember attended college with me in 1996-1998. Hayley and I intend to have children after we’ve both finished studying in a couple of years time. I am glad to see that the college is stronger than ever and I wish you and the college all the best for 2006. Kind regards and all the best Hans

COCA News 2006 • Page 12

Edwin Chew (1994)

From the School Newsletter:

“If I can do it, why can’t you”, is the living mantra of school teacher Edwin Chew, who was honoured with the prestigious President’s Award for Teachers presented by President SR Nathan at the recent Teachers’ Day reception held at the Istana on Friday, 2 September 2005. This award is the nation’s highest accolade in the teaching fraternity and honours outstanding teachers who have contributed to total development of students, as well as demonstrated passion, courage and perseverance to nurture nation’s youth. Edwin Chew began his teaching career eight years ago and was nominated for the award by his students from Sembawang Secondary School. When asked about their teacher, the unanimous sentiment is that Chew is both a role model and an inspiration. With a mind to graduate with a degree and be a teacher, he persevered on and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Geography) at the University of Queensland. Edwin’s passion for education was not limited to the walls within the classrooms but overflows pass boundaries as he motivates his students by involving them in community work and environmental preservation projects. To him, every child has the potential to do well and achieve his dreams. His curriculum involved a variety of creative teaching methods such as role-play, debates and fieldwork to develop his students’ interest in his subject. Edwin never fails to relate his stories to his students, who were impressed by his perseverance and drive to succeed. His exemplary teaching methods and life experiences had proved that anyone could succeed, as long as he or she has the determination and the drive to do well. Although he is currently on a one-year sabbatical from teaching, and has gone on to England to further his studies, we are sure that it won’t be long before he returns to his calling. And to his students, he would always be the endearing Mr Chew who would go the extra mile to help anyone in need. Davide Cottone (1966) Hi Ina, Thanks for thinking of me. Cromwell was a great place and the stories too numerous to tell of some of the exploits of that era... I wonder if anyone remembers the night Meta Ransome (then Miss Queensland) allowed herself to be “voluntarily kidnapped” by Cromwellians... who just wanted to be able to say they had been out with Miss Queensland. She was of course treated like the Princess that she was as only Cromwellians knew how. Buri Kidu (former Chief Justice PNG who died in 1993) carrying his little test tube of coloured sands from Noosa and telling me the most romantic story I ever heard in my life about courting his future wife Carol (now a Minister in the PNG government) and his great mates Kipling Uiari and Moi Avei whose friendship brought me to the shores of PNG as a teacher in 1973-1976. And Chester Wilson and Rod Wilson and all those other characters who I read about from time to time. After Cromwell, I married a Brisbane girl went to New Guinea! I had five kids, went to China and Hong Kong and then retired only to return to Hong Kong where I am now. Almost

PRESIDENT’S AWARD WINNER The school congratulates SMB’s first President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) winner, Mr Edwin Chew. He was conferred the nation’s highest accolade for the teaching fraternity by President S R Nathan for demonstrating passion, courage and perseverance in inspiring and shaping both the minds and character of his students. A friend and mentor to both his colleagues and students, Mr Chew is always willing to go the extra mile to enrich the learning experience of the students under his charge. His ability to motivate and challenge them to maximise their potential has certainly made him deserving of this distinction. Well done, Mr Chew. We are extremely proud of you.

A truly exemplary teacher with his PAT Trophy.

made the big reunions at Cromwell but am determined to make at least one in the future. Wrote a book called Generation Z: The Male Mutants... those who knew me would probably enjoy it... will forward a copy for the College Library. Warm regards. Dave Cottone. Dave wrote into the book: A copy for the Cromwell library. I think my room was the closest to the library in those days… anyhow it was the one right at the end of the block nearest the library. Shadows of Cromwell lurk somewhere in this book. Best regards Davide Cottone About the Author Born and bred in the small sugarcane growing town of Babinda in Far North Queensland, the author, as a child, was brought up in a world of men. As the adolescent, he worked in the cane fields and tobacco fields with men of every nationality from post-war Europe, the Indian sub-continent, New Zealand and the Torres Strait Islands. He had a great love for literature and in particularly storytelling and developed a keen interest in anthropology, sociology, psychology and genetics. He became a teacher and taught in Papua New Guinea,

Queensland, Shanghai and recently Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, he wrote produced and directed The Comeback Kid, a musical based on The Tragedy of Dr. Faustus called Soul for Sale scheduled for performance in Hong Kong in 2003. A poet and playwright, he has written two novels and a guide for males to the battle of the sexes, but Generation Z: The Male Mutants, is his first attempt at publication.

COCA News 2006 • Page 13

Pat Wysel (2002-2004) and Naomi Stuart (2002-2004) HELLO FROM PAT WYSEL (a.k.a Sohcahtoa) AND NAOMI STUART (a.k.a Doogie) (Top and Bottom North Seniors 2004)  Hi fellow Cromwellians! Just a little note to share our happy news with you all - we are engaged! I guess this goes to prove that North really does have the love! We are very excited as you can imagine and busy planning the wedding for later this year. Here is what else we have been up to.... PAT: Over the past year I have been living with Karl (Choco) and Grant (Gus) in Toowong (hi guys!), and working in Human Resources at FirstMac Ltd. - a mortgage management firm in the city. Yes, I’m living the business man’s stereotype, but it has been fun to just “get out there and do it” for a while. Other then that, I’ve just been extending my cooking options and playing a bit of sport... oh, and I proposed to my girlfriend. NAOMI: After a busy year of study and prac last year I graduated from Optometry and decided to take a job in Toowoomba which I will start at the end of January. I am looking forward to finally putting my study to use and fortunately will be working with some really wonderful people! Recently my sister (Mel) and I spent 3 weeks touring New Zealand and I would recommend it to everyone! All the best! God Bless. Love Pat and Naomi Matthew Jackson (2000-2003)

From left to right: Tim, Pat, Major Peter Hill & Matthew Jackson within the Ghurka Barracks A brief prologue for those of you who may not know, I’m travelling with two mates, Tim Porter (2000)(Australian) and Patrick Moloney (2001) (American unfortunately), both who I met through Cromwell College and we’re doing a

relatively extended tour through Nepal, Tibet and India for a little over 3 months. One of the highlights of my trip so far was an opportunity that we had to tour the main Ghurka army barracks in Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal, and enjoy lunch with the very hospitable and generous Major Peter Hill, the barracks commander, and his lovely wife Rebeccah, whom I had met by chance back in Kathmandu. In case you’re not aware, the Ghurkas are a very elite unit of the British army that recruit the best of the best of the rugged, tough and ridiculously fit young men of the mountains of Nepal and have done for some 200 years. They have a fierce reputation despite the average height of

Yearof theCOBRA That’s right, sports fans! Australia’s premier Cromwell ex-collegiate rugby team is at it again, ready to conquer the world of lower division third grade suburban rugby. The Cromwell Old Boys’ Rugby Association (COBRA) is going ahead in leaps and bounds and now has it’s own logo, jerseys, training equipment, reserves (?) and an executive committee. The season is starting up in April so we’re getting into a little pre-season fitness. If you’re keen to play some rugby or even just get some fitness in, come on down to Wests Rugby Club on Sylvan Road in Toowong, preferably at 6:30pm on a Wednesday. Once again, we’re also looking for people to help out with training and games. Whether it be coaching, cheering, first aid or just sitting at the Wests’ bar to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere while the match is on, we’d love to have you. To get on the mailing list or to have any questions you have answered, email us at or otherwise check out the website at Cheers, Your COBRA Executive Chook, Grug, Texas & Eftpos

COCA News 2006 • Page 14

only 5’3’’, and they are known throughout the world as some of the most lethal and effective soldiers out there. The Ghurka legend was well known to me and so this opportunity was one I took with great excitement. After enjoying a wonderful afternoon in the company of Peter and Rebekkah, we very fortunately were allowed to purchase some authentic kukuri knives, a heavy machete like blade which is the symbol of the Ghurkas and a weapon which is issued to them upon enlisting. Great souvenir indeed, particularly coming from the Ghurka army depot, but little did I know the drama that was to unfold a month later on a typical day in Mumbai...

Chroniclesof DID YOU LIVE IN THATCHER? Cromwell

The first of a series of articles on people after whom the residential wings were named.

It is generally well known that Cromwell College was able to be founded on the promise of a gift of £40 000 from Mr V E Hancock of Ipswich. It is less well known that the first money actually received was the comparatively small amount of £5, marked “In memory of G.W.T.” “G.W.T.” was the Rev Dr Griffithes Wheeler Thatcher, M.A., D.D., who had died only a few days before the gift was made and, when the college opened for residence in 1954, the first wing occupied by students was named “Thatcher”. The fact that both the Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Principal had studied under Dr Thatcher suggests the reason for the name. Thatcher was born in Melbourne in 1863 and, at the age of 18, enrolled in the Victorian Congregational College to study for the Christian ministry. He was, in fact, the first student permitted by the College to study for a degree from Melbourne University concurrently with his theological studies. Although he enrolled in Arts, many of the subjects studied were scientific (there was no Science Faculty in Melbourne in those days). Graduating B.A. in 1883, he gained his M.A. with first class honours in the School of Natural Sciences two years later. Leaving Victoria, he completed his theological studies at the University of Edinburgh in half the time normally required. At age 25 he became Professor of Biblical Languages and Literature at the Victorian College and was ordained early in 1888, but he was not to remain in Australia for long. He spent a year studying in the Middle East before settling at Mansfield College, Oxford, graduating M.A. in the Honours School of Oriental Studies and remaining as an Oxford don until 1910, during which time he published several books in the area of Semitic studies.

Rev G.W. Thatcher, M.A, D.D.

In March of 1910 he arrived in Sydney, accompanied by 53 cases of books, to take up the position of Warden of Camden College (the NSW Congregational Theological College). One of his former students, the Rev Dr G L Lockley, commented later: He might have had a chair in several famous universities, and it came as a surprise to his British and Continental friends when he left England to become Warden of a numerically small Congregational theological college in Australia. -----Perhaps his return was due to a belief that he owed a duty to the country and to the churches which had enabled him to embark upon his career. But this alone would not have been a sufficient reason for placing limitations on his life of research. Only a sense of compulsion [i.e. the call of God] could have brought Thatcher to a small Sydney college. Thatcher remained as Warden of Camden until 1933, making the college residential in 1915, being instrumental in establishing the United Theological Faculty and a Divinity course at Sydney University and gaining the undying loyalty and affection of his students. Even after retirement, at the age of 70, he continued to lecture in Hebrew and Old Testament. It gives an interesting insight into the character of the man that he also founded

a small discussion group called “Heretics” from which later developed the Sydney Theological Society. Lockley records that ‘he had no desire to mould men to a pattern, and his belief [was] that he had to educate theologically men who would retain their own personality and characteristics.’ Thatcher’s obituary sums him up as: ‘A distinguished scholar, a pre-eminent teacher and a man of deep and earnest piety, he combined high learning with a simple faith and exercised among his students an influence rich with understanding.’ Cromwell has yet another connection with Dr Thatcher: the Lely portrait of Oliver Cromwell which hangs in the Senior Common Room was purchased from Dr Thatcher’s estate by Mr & Mrs C B Thistlethwayte and given to the College. Sources: Lockley, G.L. (1964) Grads and Undergrads and Fellows, Brisbane: Cromwell College. in MacLaurin, E.C.B. (ed.) (1967) Essays in Honour of Griffithes Wheeler Thatcher, Sydney University Press. Congregational Union of NSW Year Books 1936 & 1951

COCA News 2006 • Page 15


Lunch Wit h



Week One Way to Learn Fresher Names

O week is both an exciting and scary time. With everyone anxious (including leaders) and with an intense program, the possibility of things going wrong is always present. The vast majority of new students enjoyed their O week this year or at least, in hindsight, saw its value. However, there is always room for improvement and by the time this edition goes to print a post- O week review will have been held. I thank the leaders for their hard work in building quickly a sense of belonging and community amongst the new students.

First Formal Dinner

e’ Moving the ‘A-Fram

Plank Walking


& More Action in O We

The Fresher Dan


Plugging the ‘Holey Barrel’

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COCA News April 2006  
COCA News April 2006