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Volume 18 Issue 1 JUNE 2016


PRESIDENTS’ PAST CROMWELL - THEN & NOW A magazine for Old Collegians, Friends of Cromwell, Current Residents and their Families





Welcome to the first publication of the reformed Cromwell Old Collegians’ Association (COCA). I take this opportunity to sincerely thank COCA President Daniel Baum and his Management Committee for their work in reforming our Past Students’ Association which has been dormant since 2005. For some of you reading this, your Cromwell experience was recent, and for others it was decades ago. Wherever you sit on that timeline, I hope that the pages and editions that follow will spark within you the spirit of reminiscing. Cromwell today has seen many legislative changes from days gone by, but what has and should never change is the very tight-knit community spirit of the college. This has always been the heartbeat of the place. Long live Crommie Ticker! The pastoral care of students remains the prime function of the college. Our staff and student leadership teams have been excellent in this regard. The home away from home feeling here at Cromwell far surpasses any physical aspects of the College, superb as they are. Student leadership teams and staff engage collaboratively as worthy traditions are celebrated and new ones created to replace outdated ones. The Grade Point Average of 5.22 across our 249 students is reflective of the strong academic culture within the College. The ICC sporting and cultural competitions see high participation rate levels, with results beyond what might be expected from the smallest UQ coeducational college. Spiritual enquiry remains relatively strong, and a variety of social activities with and without alcohol provide the necessary down time from the rigours of academic work. The Zambia Service Project in remote Mongu saw Cromwell students and staff involved from 2014. Enrolment interest remains strong with annual demand consistently exceeding supply. In short, Cromwell is an outstanding community. I offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to every person associated with this place whose dedication and commitment combines to make such a positive difference in the lives of the emerging adults who we are privileged to serve here. I am very proud to be the Principal of Cromwell and as I enter my seventh year here, my wife Jenny and I would not be anywhere else! Enjoy the articles that follow and please stay in touch!




Daniel ‘The Prodigy’ Baum (2011 - 2014)

The build up to this, my first report as President of COCA, has been long in planning, yet a thoroughly exciting and enjoyable voyage none the less, one that I would like to take

• Ordinary Member – Ben ‘Husky’ Durance

the opportunity to briefly recount.

• Ordinary Member – Joanne ‘Hip-Hop’ Landmark

The initial stirrings leading to a decision to resurrect COCA began at the end of 2013. With a group extending from the Management Committee (whom I will introduce shortly), the first question asked was what do we hope to achieve by resurrecting COCA. Not withstanding the close, tight friendships and camaraderie enjoyed between all those who attend Cromwell, something that our community prides itself on, leaving the College often brought farewells. In an age of communication, we realised that this need not be so, and a belief that something should be done about it surfaced. This then was our principle goal. We therefore set out to re-establish our dormant Alumni Association. At first it was thought resurrecting COCA would be a simple task, however our naivety was soon found out. Much work was required and it has been a collective effort involving many people who share the same commitment and passion for Cromwell. Constitutions had to be settled, counsel taken, the College had to be fully engaged, bank accounts opened, and events planned and actioned.

Student Association Social Convenor in 2012 Student Association President in 2010

Once the Management Committee had been formed we began to look deeper into the Alumni database. It was then that we saw how many inaccuracies there were and how out of date the data was, and realised how big the task of reconnecting with our fellow Old Cromwellians was going to be/still is. In this knowledge, we set about reconnecting with Cromwellians, new and old. With the unhesitating support of the College Foundation, we organised and held our first event to ‘Reconnect Cromwell’ at Customs House, Brisbane, which was extremely well received with over 100 guests attending. Having established contact with various vintages of Cromwellians, it was clear that we weren’t alone in the desire to re-establish COCA, and as such we knew that to take it seriously, formally incorporating the Association was the obvious next step. This process required a lengthy process of establishing a constitution that would allow for the growth and longevity of COCA, and in December of 2015, this application was approved. The first event held as an incorporated association, was the successful COCA gathering in London, UK. A few beers, and nostalgic memories were shared by all.

Although many people have been involved in this journey to date, too many to mention here, I would like to take the opportunity to thank COCA’s current Management Committee, without whom Having an association that can function socially reaching this landmark in COCA’S development and professionally around the world is fantastic, would not have been possible. conditional on a good line of communication with its members. With a grossly inadequate database • Vice-President – Daniel ‘Samwell’ Henalla Student in dire need of resuscitation, and with only limited Association President in 2014 resources, much of our communication was/ • Treasurer – Heidi ‘Kyph’ Hunter is being lost in the post. With the support of the Student Association Treasurer in 2012 Principal Ross Switzer, the College engaged Ms • Secretary – Alan ‘K+’ Wrigley Tania Dempsey, Cromwell’s new Community RA of North in 2012 Relations Officer. Since joining the Cromwell


family in March, Tania has made waves in patiently researching and rebuilding alumni contact, through this, quickly appreciating the value of the Cromwell Community. Without Tania’s enthusiasm, this edition of COCA News would have been limited, both in reach and content, so a grateful thanks and acknowledgement must be given to her. Although we have now reached this point, it is not a time for complacency. There is still a long way to go until all Old Cromwellians are reconnected. This association belongs to you, the Old Cromwellians. Through word of mouth and reaching out to old friends and acquaintances, the strength and resource of COCA can only but grow. To see COCA succeed requires your support. I urge you to engage with COCA, be it through attendance at our various social and professional functions, tutoring of Cromwell students, contributing to the COCA News, general networking, or even if

you want more direct involvement, by joining the Management Committee. No matter how big or small your contribution may be, it is essential! I would like to finish my first report by saying thank you again to the Cromwell College Foundation, thank you to the COCA team, to Tania Dempsey, to the Cromwell Foundation, and to Cromwell itself. Please spread the word, and help us ensure that nobody’s invitation is lost in the post again! I look forward to seeing you at the COCA Ball on October the 15th! Daniel Baum COCA President

L to R: Daniel ‘Samwell’ Henalla, Heidi ‘Kyph’ Hunter, Daniel ‘The Prodigy’ Baum, Alan ‘K+’ Wrigley

7pm ~ 15th October 2016 VENUE: Brisbane City Hall DRESS: Formal TICKETS: $125 (group discounts apply)


It’s scary to think that we’re about to reach the end of semester one with exams just around the corner. As is the case every year 2016 kicked off to an incredibly busy start. Dancing, holding hands, kilometres of skipping and wrestling aren’t quite what you’d expect from an ordinary orientation week. However, Cromwell College has never settled for anything less than extraordinary; which is a fine word to describe our O-Week program. Late February saw 99 bright faced and nervous freshers join the ultimate quest to become a fully-fledged Cromwellian. This year we had students travel from all corners of Australia as well as international students from New Zealand, the UK and Dubai to join the Crommie crew. Although exhausting for both freshers and leaders, the week was a huge success and I believe that our 99 freshers finished the week with 98 new friends. I’d like to hugely thank O-Week convenor Sam ‘Cirqu Du So-Lame’ Travers-Jones and the O-Week committee for their selfless hard work. The crommie ticker which was demonstrated throughout the week by the 2016 leadership team was strongly reflected in the freshers and I’m positive that this energy will be sustained for what has already shaped up to be another fantastic year at Cromwell. Cromwell’s premier events Closed Bunker and Cromorrow Land (Open Bunker) exceeded everyone’s expectations this year and proved to be hugely successful setting the bar very high for years to come; headlining acts included DJs Joel Fletcher and BONKA. Chris ‘Absolut’ Davis, James ‘A-a-ron’ Preston, Daniel ‘Gimli’ White and Alexandra ‘Honey Badger’ Newton must be congratulated for their professionalism in creating such ‘lit’ events with high hopes to make second semester Bunker even more unforgettable. If the ICC scored points for the most heart and passion shown in sports and at cultural events, then without a doubt Cromwell would be far ahead of any college on the leader board. Although this might not be the case it should be strongly noted that everyone involved in first semester sports and cultural events whether they were participating, supporting or convening showed huge amounts of crommie ticker and gave it their absolute best. 6 COCA NEWS

STUDENT PRESIDENT Sophie ’Hazard’ Davis

Sporting highlights of semester one include: men’s and women’s tennis, touch football, waterpolo, men’s cricket, women’s hockey alongside the physically and mentally gruelling men’s and women’s table tennis and badminton. A special acknowledgment should be extended to all the rowers who put in harsh hours of training and racing throughout the semester which created some fantastic results with the girl’s placing 4th and the boys placing 5th overall. Culturally, Cromwell has consistently risen to the occasion with many fantastic performances, vigorous enthusiasm and an extremely high calibre of creativity. Sadly, Cromwell has also been consistently robbed when it comes to results. Nonetheless we are certain that semester two will be Cromwell’s time to shine on the cultural scene. Semester one cultural highlights include: College Idol, Choral Fest, Band Fest, Debating, Chess and ICC Art. Cromwell’s cultural event ‘Boat Cruise’ (which for the last two years has ironically taken place on land) was organised and planned to perfection by our cultural convenor Antonia ‘Switch’ O’Flaherty. Cromwellian’s were transported back in time to the 1920’s for a classy evening of cocktails, live entertainment and familiar faces with old and new

Crommies mingling on the deck and Dowling/Hancock lawn. The night was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the cultural talent at Cromwell. The academic program and tutorial system is running very smoothly thanks to the work of Senior Tutor Joshua ‘Ylvis’ Sheehy. This hard work is reflected in Cromwell’s dedicated tutors and newly introduced academic mentors who are responsible for different faculties and looking after students’ academic welfare. These new roles have created large amounts of support for any student who may be struggling academically. The 2016 Leadership team has been working very hard throughout the semester to ensure Cromwellian’s are living in an equitable environment in which students are at peace to be themselves. The Executive has continued with the implementation of the ‘Equity Policy’ an initiative created by last year’s Executive. The Leadership team and I are completely invested in creating a college culture free from discrimination and prejudice and we are delighted to see all Cromwellians aligning with this perspective. Building on from this, our exec have been planning a Wellness Week to be called ‘Cromwellness Week’ which will be taking place early to mid second semester. The week will be organised by our Vice President Melissa ‘Ban’er’ Morshead who has some fantastic ideas and already has done so much to ensure the week’s success. Cromwellness Week aims to start a dialogue about prevalent issues that have traditionally been ignored by young adolescent such

as mental health and sexual/physical health, whilst raising funds for associated charities. Semester one has been extremely busy for all, and by the end of exams Crommies will have earned a very long – very well deserved break. I am extremely impressed and proud of our first years, their enthusiasm for all things Cromwell has contributed significantly to our spirit. I am certain that semester two will be equally, if not more spectacular than this one, and I personally can’t wait until it kicks off. Warm Regards, Sophie ‘Hazard’ Davis President, Cromwell College Students’ Association Inc.



Michael Crome

Academic Breakfasts Academic Breakfasts were first introduced last year. They have once again been a feature this semester. The idea behind them is for a group of students from a particular area of study, to meet with an invited guest who is from the same area of study, but has been in the industry for a number of years. This provides them the opportunity to find out about the guest's background, how they got into their industry, the positives and pitfalls of their job, best things to do to promote oneself, what employers are looking for from graduates etc. To date the Academic Breakfasts have been very well received and seen a number of ex Cromwellians return to the College to participate. If you are interested in being part of this program please contact me at the College on

On Thursday 5th May we were lucky enough to have Claire ‘Grainger’ Griffin visit the College to meet with a number of Allied Health students for an Academic Breakfast. Claire attended Cromwell from 2007-2010 and graduated from the University of Queensland as an Occupational Therapist. She now works as a Team Lead in an allied health company working with Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists directly. Claire provided a valuable insight into the work that she does and the enjoyment her job brings to her, particularly in her work across a number of rural sectors in Queensland. Claire gave the students in attendance valuable tips to improve their

employability and some insight into the current job market within Queensland. Claire’s partner, Nick ‘MaryJoLisa’ Bartholomew, was also in on Thursday 14 April to speak to students at an Academic Breakfast associated with Information Technology. Nick was at Cromwell for three years and was on the 2011 student executive committee in his final year. He graduated with a Bachelor of Multimedia Design and has since worked as a technical analyst, and service desk manager, at a Brisbane based international software company building and supporting the Career Hub application used by 110 universities in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Nick indicated the types of computer based skills required of students entering the workforce at the moment and encouraged the students present to gain whatever work experience they could in the industry, or develop their own applications, to assist in making themselves more marketable. Photograph L to R: Mr Michael Crome, Maddison Batchelor, Ms Claire Griffin, Jannikka Balko

Formal Dinners Formal dinners this semester have provided an opportunity for students in the College to hear from a variety of guest speakers from the wider community.

Alana Boyd

Our guest speaker on Tuesday 12 April was duel Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games champion Alana Boyd. Alana won gold in the pole vault at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games; defending her gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She made her Olympic debut in 2008 at Beijing, placing 16th and then bettered this to 11th at the 2012 London Games. At her Olympic debut in Beijing, Alana made Australian Olympic history when she became the first athlete to join both parents as Olympians. Her mother Denise (née Robertson) won the 200m gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton and ran in two Olympic finals. Her father and coach Ray Boyd was also a Commonwealth Games champion and dual Olympic pole vaulter. 8 COCA NEWS

Alana gave an inspirational address to the students at the College and highlighted the significant amount of work required to achieve what she has and what has driven her to constantly improve. She spoke of a number of injuries and disappointments she has had to overcome during her long career and the importance of persistence and hard work in achieving personal goals. Her message was certainly very relevant to students at the moment who are in the midst of mid-semester assessment. Alana attended Immanuel Lutheran College as a student and met with a number of Cromwell students from her old school after dinner. Alana is also very familiar with UQ having graduated with a Bachelor of Business Management in 2004. We will all be looking on with interest as Alana heads to Rio in a few months time, buoyed by the fact she set a new Australian pole vault L to R: Douglas Payne, Tristan Payne, Jake Humzy, Alana Boyd, Jesse Taylor, Jaymin record earlier this year when she cleared Pratt, Keelan Smith 4.77 metres at a meet in Brisbane.

David Vidler

Students had the opportunity to commemorate Anzac Day at the formal dinner on Tuesday 26 April. Romany Martin, accompanied by Jaryu Shaw, set the scene for the evening with a beautiful rendition of “Travelling Soldier”. We were fortunate to have Mr David Vidler as our guest speaker. Dave recently retired from the Army after 22 years of service. He spoke about the highlights and challenges he faced from the time he enlisted and was posted to Gallipoli Barracks at Enoggera, to becoming a Senior Advisor for Physical and Recreational Training for the Multi National Force and Observers in Egypt. Dave also gave a moving account of what Anzac Day means to him, and the traditions he L to R: Ms Romany Martin, Mr Jaryu Shaw, Mr Ross Switzer, has established around his family, to remember those who have Mr David Vidler, Mr Michael Crome, Mr Mark Fisher fallen. Matthew, the catering manager, and his staff, assisted on the night with a menu that had a distinctive Australian theme. It consisted of barramundi, “damper”, coleslaw and a side dish of vegetables and couscous, followed by pavlova for dessert. To conclude the evening Mark Fisher played the Last Post and Reveille which was a fitting end to the night.

Dr John Harrison

On 10th May our guest speaker for the evening was Dr John Harrison. John holds a PhD in Computer Science, and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. He lectured at the University of Queensland for 8 years and taught thousands of UQ students within UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. After UQ, he joined a startup software company based in Silicon Valley (California). Currently John oversees information security at a large government organisation. He spoke about the impact L to R: Mr Ross Switzer, Dr John Harrison, Mr Michael Crome technology has had on both individuals and the way that businesses are conducted today. In particular the issue of data security, and the ease by which private information can be accessed by individuals, was of great interest and of major concern to listeners. COCA NEWS 9

Deputy Principal news (cont.) Dr Stephen Ganko

On Tuesday 24 May Dr Stephen Ganko was our guest speaker at the last formal dinner for semester one. Dr Ganko is a dental graduate from the University of Queensland, and Rotarian, who in 2015 ventured to Nepal in order to trek to Base Camp. Stephen was with a group of people who spent a significant period of time training and planning the requirements for what is a very demanding journey. Stephen explained in great detail the feeling of being on the mountain and showed a number of photographs of Mt Everest, its villages and people. He then went on talk about the expedition and in particular a point, about 30 minutes from Base camp, when the group’s Sherpa made them stop to have some potato and garlic soup. The delay saved them from experiencing a series of avalanches that were triggered by an earthquake in Nepal. There were a number of deaths at Base Camp and Nepal as well as significant structural damage both at the camp, in the city and in villages around the mountain. Fortunately no one in Stephen’s party was seriously injured. Stephen believes that this was quite possibly because of the L to R: Mr Ross Switzer, Mrs Rhonda Ganko, Dr Stephen Ganko delay in eating soup. Stephen also spoke about advancements that are being made in dentistry and in particular the role of 3D printing, stem cell technology and vaccinations in his area of work. We want to thank Stephen, and his wife Rhonda, for taking the time to visit Cromwell.

In Memorium

Rev. J.C. Cribb

It is with great sadness that we have been advised of the passing of Rev. John B. Cribb. John joined Cromwell College in 1954 as Vice Principal, whilst completing his final year of Divinity studies. In the words of Rev Lockley, “No resident will forget John’s easy, genuine, and constant, friendliness, his organisation of musical activities among two dozen not very musical men, his baby Austin, and the clutter of belongings that he left everywhere but where he could find them”. He left Cromwell to become a missionary in Papua New Guinea and a Uniting Church Minister, and joined the College Board of Governors for a short time. John and his wife Hazel went on to settle in Wales. He passed away on 20 March 2016 at ‘Bryn Cadno’, Todleth Hill, Wales.




Cec Fairbank is a real treasure. She has been a dedicated catering attendant at Cromwell College for 22 years and is our longest serving staff member. Cec has therefore been working in the kitchen longer than any of our students have been alive! Cec turned 60 on Tuesday 10 May and has been congratulated by many students and staff. A special morning tea was held. The whole Cromwell community wishes Cec all the best for her milestone birthday.

Tania Dempsey

Community Relations/ Reception Tania joined the Cromwell team in March 2016. She is enjoying unearthing the treasuers of alumni past from the archives, organising COCA events with Daniel and getting herself immersed in the day to day running of the front office reception.

Jason March

Business Manager Jason started in December 2015, and it wasn’t until Fresher Sunday that he got a true sense of what life would be like at Cromwell College. Jason is responsible for all finance and administration aspects of the College. COCA NEWS 11



PRESIDENTS’ PAST STEVE MISKIN To have a collection of Presidents from the past years together will be wonderful and it is sad to miss it. I very much enjoyed my time as President in 1983 and from that and other experiences at Cromwell, I learned much about team work, leadership and service. At that time I would not have been able to see how those experiences would serve me well in my future career and community life. All of us Presidents would remember the organisation of O-Weeks, bunkers, At Homes and Balls and meetings in the JCR – a lot of work, but a lot of fun helping to maintain a happy and cohesive community. I have maintained a commitment to service to the community in many ways over the years but I see my contribution to the education of young learners over the past 32 years as the most valuable. I am currently Principal at Heatley Secondary College in Townsville where I try my best to inspire and support the next generation. I remember Dr Krohn as College Principal very well and I hope he would have been proud of my commitment to social justice and the advancement of equal opportunity for all regardless of circumstances. It’s amazing how many Cromwellians I still keep in touch with or meet. We maintained our family connections with Cromwell – I met my wife Ute there and both of our daughters Hayley and Alyssa are Crommie graduates. My brother Alan and his wife Linda and two of our nephews also attended Cromwell. So, Cromwell has played a fairly significant role in our lives! The strangest thing about having your children attend your old college is


On Saturday 16th July, COCA is hosting a Student Presidents from 1954 to presen over the next few pages, either because

seeing how things have both kept the same but also changed. I still struggle with the mandatory naming of freshers as our daughters still refer to their college friends with both fresher names and their real names, leaving us somewhat confused about who they are talking about. In our day, nicknames just occasionally were handed out. The only name you didn’t want was ‘Underboy’. So many unbelievable times. Some of my memories include: “Shop’s Opennnnnn!”; Debating; Hockey; John Chudleigh’s “Hey Ocker!” and his outrageous laugh; Treasure Hunt; Greasy Harry’s; Golf trips to Ocean Shores; Bernard; River Runs; Concerts; “Grace Girls!”; foiling crashers at the At-homes; the Rec club; the Triple room; morning teas in Swat-Vac; bloody 8am Cloudland exams in winter; Faggy; that old drinks machine Chris Betros would fill in bottom Dowling; May the cleaner saying “Young man!” – the mind runs wild. This reflection on Cromwell days brings back both joyous and embarrassing memories but as I tell my students; every experience; both good and bad; helps shapes the person you become. I think Cromwell has helped turn out some pretty impressive people in its time. I do hope the COCA Presidents’ Dinner goes very well. I believe the Presidents I knew from my time included Mike Rival, Margaret Gordon and Guy Lampe. And one other fun fact is that Cromwell’s current Principal Ross Switzer and I were actually best friends in high school. Talk about connections. All the best

Steven “Skin” Miskin (1979 – 1983)

L to R: Ute, Hayley, Alyssa and Steven Miskin at Hayley’s UQ Graduation

an inaugural COCA Presidents’ Dinner at Cromwell - a celebratory dinner to gather Cromwell nt. Some Presidents have contributed stories towards our COCA News relaunch edition, featured e they cannot make the evening themselves, or they are contributing to ‘stories’ on the night. Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The jewel in the crown however was the Grand Opening of Studio City, Macau. A James Packer co-owned property, this event brought together Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorcese to screen the film they had made, and all starred in, set in Studio City itself. Following the Red Carpet and Screening, we held a concert featuring Mariah Carey and Asian superstars Aaron Kowk and SISTAR as well as a VIP Gala Dinner for celebrities, billionaires and global gaming and film industry heavyweights. The highlight reel is here

ANDREW CHURCHILL After leaving Cromwell, I worked in policy advisory roles for the Qld State Government. After a few years in economic and climate change, I was proudly appointed as the Senior Advisor (Police) to the Minister for Police, Corrective and Emergency Services, the Hon. Neil Roberts. This was a position I was very fond of, leading the re-writing of the Weapons Act, the biggest funding and recruitment allocation in the history of the QPS and a record decrease in crime rates across the State. I was also heavily involved in campaigning for the future of our local communities, as President of the Ashgrove branch, supporting Kate Jones. With the loss of the Bligh Government in 2012 however, this forced a career change. After recording an album with my band, and touring the UK, I was inspired to take up concert and major event management. I freelanced in many roles, executing hundreds of weddings, corporate launches and

gala dinners across Brisbane; however it was my involvement in managing some of our biggest music festivals that spurned my passion for more. As a result, I took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville in the United States for the Country Music Awards Week. The experience was priceless; Music City has a wonderfully vibrant culture and I made many lifelong friends. At the conclusion of this stint, I was very fortunately offered a position with a German live communication agency in Hong Kong. I have been here now for 2 years, and have loved every minute of it. The city is a crazy hub of cross-cultural excitement that continues to astound me each day. Professionally I have been fortunate to act as a Lead Producer, Show Director or Head of Artist Management on many awardwinning projects across Asia, Europe and the United States. Some of these projects include the HSBC Hong Kong Rugby 7s, Clockenflap 3-day Music & Arts Festival, Longines Masters of Hong Kong, and Launch of the

Personally, I continue to pursue some of my outdoor passions; hiking volcanos in Hawaii, Indonesia and Iceland, scuba diving wrecks in the Philippines, continental plates in Silfra, and the cenotes of Mexico, and running a charity that supports the forgotten homeless of Hong Kong. I have a great desire to return to Australia, and I look forward to seeing how far Cromwell has progressed over the last 10 years. Attached a recent picture from the summit of Mauna Kea on the The (Big) Island of Hawaii. Cheers!

Andrew Churchill. (2004-2006) Major Show Producer. Head of Entertainment Procurement & Music Supervision, Hong Kong, Macau & Greater China



Greg Keane (Student President 1977)


I attended College between 1973 & 1977, serving as editor of the fortnightly “Protector” student newsletter in 1975, secretary of the student association in 1976 and president in 1977. My academic career was undistinguished, bombing out of engineering in 1974 and ultimately graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce. I addressed my lack of academic zeal by getting a postgrad qualification so that I could escape the public service. For a long time, I thought that going back to visit college would be a step back into the past when I prefer to look forwards and haven’t worked in areas where I have academic qualifications for a long time. With age has come a realisation that there’s nothing wrong in remembering and celebrating the past, as long as you don’t continue to live there. The invitation to the Presidents’ Dinner came at the right time, and got me looking at old photos and other keepsakes that had been stored away and largely forgotten for decades. For me as a non-academic and someone who came from a fairly dysfunctional background, college was the highlight of my uni life and gave me a great opportunity to grow as a person. I can’t say that it wasn’t clumsy and awkward at times, but the community spirit of college provided the environment for making mistakes, learning from them but not being defined by them. Thank you, Cromwell. I have had the pleasure of visiting Cromwell to meet Daniel and current principal Ross Switzer, and to look around the College to see what has changed, and meet some of the students including current student president Sophie ‘Hazard’ Davis. I was offered the opportunity to do a presentation on “Then and Now” as part of the Presidents’ Dinner in July, and researching this was an interesting and rewarding experience. Sophie has helped me with information about the College today, while Registrar Robyn Slater showed me around the College and introduced me to some current students. Cromwell & University Perhaps the most obvious changes are the addition of the Begbie building for student accommodation, and the addition of a deck to the dining hall. As a resident of Carmody Road wing when it opened to students in 1976, I note that it has changed name to Lockley wing and the rooms have gone considerably upmarket. An issue in my time was a call by the University Student Union president of the time for colleges to be abolished and replaced by self-contained student accommodation. I sent a heated response – college students formed 10% of the uni population (more than his total election vote – which was pointed out to him) and we vehemently disagreed with his claim that colleges were elitist. Today colleges are thriving, but self-contained student accommodation is now a feature of the university that coexists with traditional colleges. Cromwell even offers this type of accommodation, although its Left: rowing practice in the old games room, the Lions Den has now taken it’s place

Right: all that rowing practice led to good performance at the Collympics 16 COCA NEWS

residents take no part in college life. The games room under the dining hall has been replaced by the Lion’s Den, and the shop has disappeared from the bottom of Dowling wing and now resides under the dining hall. The old games room had a table tennis table and a billiards table, and my memories of the table tennis table are of it being used for selection of the men’s and women’s rowing eights – the land-based version that involved team drinking. While Cromwell was generally a participant rather than a force in traditional inter-college sports, it was deadly serious when it came to rowing and I seem to recall being part of a victorious team – don’t ask me to remember the year. I gather that the Collympics – the inter-college celebration of excess and grossness – has gone by the way, and that’s not surprising in today’s era of liability. Another vague memory of the Collympics is being part of a 4 x 400 metres relay team where each runner sculled a pot every 100 metres. The participants were even faster afterwards in finding a spare piece of grass to recycle their relay largesse and previous meal. I will, however, credit participation in these events with helping me when I took on the New Zealand Sponge while on a rugby club tour of the North Island in 1980. We may not have won the rugby but we didn’t return empty-handed. For the sceptics, the tour also helped our rugby and we didn’t lose a game afterwards until the grand final – we were in last place when we commenced the tour. I gather from Sophie that while there are some stand-out exceptions, College involvement in sport is more about participating than winning. It also seems that there may be a bit more inter-college camaraderie than in the old days. It also seems that Orientation Week at college has changed a lot from the old days. I don’t recall any real hazing as a fresher, but remember a tour of uni that included a trip through a pipe near the University Lake, marching through other colleges (quickly) while making a bit of noise, and a group bus trip that ended up at Cabarita 1977. It wasn’t the Cabarita of today: there was the pub on the beach, a caravan park and lake, a few houses and not much else, and it was a very relaxing place to be. I often went to Cabarita on weekends with friends, and we would sail or get towed on a tyre tube behind the jet boat. A lot more planning and communal activity goes into O-week these days, and the best way to check it out is the video The college shop of the early 1970s sold cigarettes, and was located on the bottom floor at the junction of Thatcher and Dowling wings. There is now a lounge in this location. I was not a smoker myself but believe the price at the time was around 35 cents a packet. This was before the big taxes and the health warning. Now smoking is banned at the University. Smoking was so common that the kitchen staff smoked – so much so that there was a student petition to ban smoking in the kitchen. Food quality was an issue for students through the whole time I was at college, but I was impressed by the meal I had at College recently. Student Association motions to ban smoking in some common areas were generally passed in 1973, but the motion to ban it in the TV room, which formed part of what is now the bunker, failed. Left top: a lounge has taken the place of the old shop Left bottom: the new shop COCA NEWS 17

The Bunker - then and now: the old TV room took up half the space of the current bunker, the Lion’s Den is now the main party area

The bunker was opened in 1973 – also the first year that Cromwell went co-ed – but I don’t think the two are officially connected. The Lion’s Den now performs much of the function of the old bunker in providing a communal place to party. Sophie tells me that the College shop of today has a microwave and serves things like warmed up garlic bread and nachos, as well as sweets, ice creams and energy drinks. While microwaves were around in the 1970s, they were prohibitively expensive. Wikipedia tells me that even by 1986, only 25% of US households had a microwave, compared to over 90% by the end of that century. On the subject of munchies, I recall occasional late night trips in to the Valley for pizza, and to Greasy Harry’s (not sure if that was its correct name) on Petrie Terrace for fast food – must have been good, because you competed with taxis for a parking space. I think there was a place called Mona’s in the St Lucia shopping centre, as well as an IGA supermarket and a petrol station. You went to the RE bottle shop at Toowong for alcohol. It seems that students don’t have the same wanderlust for food today, the IGA supermarket is still around but bigger, the petrol station has disappeared, there’s a Liquorland in the shopping centre, and while Mona’s has disappeared there’s a number of restaurants in the current centre. In the era before mobile phones and PCs, there was a communal phone in each wing for incoming calls and local calls out. This was in the location of some of the current lounges, and the position of the phone made it impractical to use the area as a lounge. Someone passing the phone would answer it, make a quick effort to find the person being called and, failing that, leave a note on their door with a callback – that was the theory anyway. The phone area was also a collection area for empty bottles. Today there are phones in all rooms, but Sophie tells me that they are mainly used for punking fellow residents. She tells me that all students have mobile phones and PCs, and some have a tablet as well. In 1973 there was only one computer in the whole of the uni – a Fortran mainframe machine that took up the basement of the Engineering building. While Facebook is currently used for College messaging and student executive communications, the College noticeboard outside the dining hall used to be the source of all messaging – both official and informal. There was also a fortnightly student newsletter, the Protector, and this was typed, reproduced on the College Roneo machine (look it up on Wikipedia) and distributed under all doors. The early equivalent of an external email, if you wanted to get a message delivered in a hurry, was the Telegram (yeah, another Wikipedia job). That’s really just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully readers young and old get something out of it. Above: phone similar to the type that would have been hung on the wall. Below: the old lounge was a bottle collection area and new lounge; telegram updating the college on travels of a wandering band of student minstrels who pooled their meagre savings to cover petrol


CROMWELL’S OLYMPIC PAST John McBryde (1957-61, 1964) I wish you very best of luck for the revitalisation of COCA. Having read issues of the publication over the years, I note that Cromwell has remained a vibrant institution with a strong College spirit, reminding me of my own happy student days there from Freshman year in 1957 until graduation. Please pass on my warm sentiments, together with best wishes for the future to the College, its alumni and students in residence. With your request to write a short summary about competing in the 2015 Australian Masters Hockey Championships in Cairns FNQ, Queensland ended up winning the Over-70 Division for the first time. At the conclusion of the Aussie Masters, my brother Bruce and I were both selected to play in the Australian Over75 team at the World Grand Masters Hockey Tournament in Newcastle NSW, where last month we successfully defended our Over-75 World Cup title won in 2014 at the first-ever Over-75 tournament in Holland. Not especially related to the Olympics, which is an open-age competition, but a very welcome addition to international competition for those who have continued to play into older age. Little did Bruce and I dream in the late 1950s as we played together for Cromwell in Inter-College Hockey that we would represent Australia as team-mates at Masters level nearly 6 decades later! Ubi Spiritus - Ibi Libertas John McBryde (Student President 1960) (Olympian 1960, 1964)

INTERNATIONAL RUBGY REFEREE DEBUT Jamie ‘Impluse/Jerry’ Baum (2009 - 2011)

On the 21st of May, Jamie ‘Impulse/Jerry’ Baum (Cromwell 2009-11) was called up to referee his first International Rugby Test Match in a Rugby World Cup Qualifier between the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. After the successful completion of his Chartered Accountant exams, and having notched up 4 years working in the Ernest and Young (EY) Brisbane Office, Jamie decided it was time for change and accepted a transfer to the EY Bermuda branch in 2015. Quickly finding his feet in the rugby community, Jamie’s experience refereeing in Australia placed him well to continue onto the International Rugby scene. Jamie’s involvement in rugby sprung into existence when he was 6 years old living in Hong Kong. He continued his rugby and refereeing development after moving to Australia, whilst attending The Southport School. Jamie made his Cromwell Rugby debut in 2009, playing fresher and opens rugby, making the ICC selection team in 2011, and assisting with the coaching and management of the rugby teams throughout. He has never been too far from rugby, playing for the UQRFC from 2009-2015, amassing over 100 games for the club. Jamie will continue his International refereeing career, with further involvement in matches including Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and British Guyana. We would like to wish him all the best in the future and extend his invite to any old Cromwellian to look him up if they find themselves in Bermuda. Jamie (centre), after refereeing in the Cayman Islands



Hayley ‘Scootin’ Canton (Student President 2012)

Over the 2016 Anzac Day weekend, the 8th annual Anzac Cup took place in VillersBretonneux, France. This is an AFL match between France and Australia celebrating the connection established between Australians and the town of Villers-Bretonneux, formed when our Australian soldiers reclaimed the town from the Germans on April 25 1918, at a great personal loss. The town was covered in Australian flags and paraphernalia and the teams were welcomed with open arms. This year saw the first ever women’s match, with both the Australian men and women’s sides taking on the French. Cromwell old girl Hayley ‘Scootin’ Canton (2010-12) was selected to represent Australia after taking up AFL on her move to London 18 months ago, where she plays for Wandsworth Demons. After hard fought matches, both Australian

teams were successful with the women winning 107 to 5. Following the match both nations were hosted at the town hall for a home cooked hog roast and presentations. It was a fantastic way to foster relationships between the two countries, and a fun night was had by all. Over the weekend the teams visited the local war memorials and paid tribute to those who lost their lives. All players were taken in by local host families who showed amazing hospitality and warmth. The weekend finished with a Dawn Service at the Villers- Bretonneux memorial on Monday, which was attended by our Governor General Peter Cosgrove. The weekend was a truly incredible experience, and was organised and executed by Cromwell old boy Ben ‘Husky’ Durance (2010-12) and his colleagues at AFL Europe.



I am writing this article in the hope that Crommie Ticker is still well and truly alive, because one of our members really needs it right now. Many of you might not know Masoud ‘Kostya’ Abdollahpouri, who came to Australia as a member of the Iranian National Team to compete in the Thai Kick Boxing World Championships in 2004. After one member of his team fled, Kostya and the rest of his group were placed under investigation by the Iranian government. Sensing danger, Kostya decided not to return to Iran and was granted asylum by the Australian government. Despite being a fully-qualified nurse in Iran, the Iranian government froze all his documents and he was unable to access them in order to work in his profession here. This meant that Kostya had to enrol in university and study his degree all over again. Luckily for us, however, it also meant that Kostya joined the Cromwell community in 2006, supported by the Helen Begbie Memorial Bursary and by his part-time work as a security officer. Kostya and I were both freshers in Lockley House, and became friends. It was hard not to like Kostya, who was (and still is), a kind, sweet and funny gentleman. Anyone who had the chance to get to know him will tell you what a decent, caring person he was. Kostya was dedicated to caring for others. In a true testament to his values, Kostya went on to study to become a paramedic after finishing his nursing degree in 2012. Tragically, in 2013, Kostya suffered an Acquired Brain Injury only twelve days after his father passed away. Kostya now requires full round-theclock care, as his injury has left him a paraplegic. Despite speaking six languages (including Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and English), he is now also unable to communicate verbally. Kostya, a bright, caring, strong 35-year-old man who should be enjoying the prime of his life, is now living at

Helping ‘Kostya’ Home

Sofia ‘Sucre’ Robleda (2006 – 2008)

an aged-care facility (Cooinda House Aged Care), and faces a lifetime there, unless we are able to intervene. Using all their life savings, his mother and brother Edris travelled to Brisbane from Iran this year, to help care for him. They are desperate to take him back home to Iran. They are asking for support to raise money for flights and necessary care equipment to provide him with the best care possible in the company of those who love him. So far, $12,000 has been raised, but the family are still short of the nearly $70,000 they need for the specialised medical equipment and flights for all three of them. I ask that you please draw on your best Crommie Ticker, and consider donating to Kostya’s cause. His brother has set up a GoFundMe campaign under the following website: You can also contact Edris Abdollahpouri on (+61) 0413 401 447 if you have any further questions, information, or assistance that you think might be helpful to Kostya and his family. Thank you in advance for your generosity and compassion for this member of our community.


Saturday 15th October @ 7pm Brisbane City Hall Tickets available at The COCA Ball is back. Take the opportunity on October the 15th to catch up with old friends and relive the glory days of the fabled Cromwell College Ball. The event is open to all Old Cromwellians’ and your partners. Don’t forget to share the event and invite all of your Crommie mates! COCA Christmas ‘Drinks on the Deck’ December 2016

7pm ~ 15th October 2016 VENUE: Brisbane City Hall DRESS: Formal TICKETS: $125 (group discounts apply) COCA NEWS 23


Cromwell College Song Cromwell is the greatest College, Proved by every kind of test; Seeking for the highest knowledge, Aiming always for the best. Generous when we have the victory, Gracious if we know defeat, This is Cromwell’s firm tradition; Freeing Spirit, our heartbeat! God’s own Spirit brings us freedom Is the Motto we profess; It provides us inspiration, Gives us strength in times of stress. Hail or shine we stick together, Whether near or far apart; Ever caring, true and loyal, We bear Cromwell in out heart. The song is sung to the music of “Hymn to Joy” (92 in the Australian Hymn Book)


Tania Dempsey

COCA President Daniel Baum CONTACT

Tania Dempsey or Daniel Baum



Walcott Street, ST LUCIA, QLD 4067



COCA News June 2016 Edition  

The newly relaunched and redesigned COCA News is available now

COCA News June 2016 Edition  

The newly relaunched and redesigned COCA News is available now