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June 2012


CONTENTS //

FROM THE HEADMASTER

June 2012 02 04 06 09 10 12 22 25 26 28 30

From the Headmaster From the Chairman of School Council Preparatory School Celebrating the Life of Hamish Martyr Boarding at Knox Life at Knox Knox Academy of Performing Arts Gala Day Knox Sports Academy Archive & Museum Old Knox Grammarians

From the Headmaster background. Such distinctiveness endeared him to many and it was with great excitement that he was welcomed back to Knox as a resident boarding house master in 1962 to McNeil House and then to Gillespie House where he supervised boys in the boarding houses, tutored them and coached them at sports. At this early stage of his life he was already giving back to his alma mater which he recognised had given so much to him. Nic’s close involvement with Knox ebbed and flowed as the demands and responsibilities of his career and family increased but he never lost contact and when the School was embarking on a major building program in the 1980s, Nic threw himself tirelessly into the capital campaign to turn the School’s vision into a reality. What limited time and energy he had available to him he again gave to his alma mater.

Knox Grammar School is a leading Australian day and boarding school for boys. Knox, a Uniting Church school from Years K-12, aims to develop, within a caring environment, young men of faith, wisdom, integrity and compassion. Knox opened in 1924 and today offers an outstanding range of educational and development opportunities.

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Thanking Dr Nic Jools In recent weeks we have celebrated a truly extraordinary gift to the School. On the front cover – Year 9 students Hamish Cameron (left) and James Plasto enjoying the rides at Gala Day.

acknowledgements This edition of The Thistle was prepared by Janet Naylon, Print Publications Manager, Knox Grammar School. Design and print management by ARTSPEC / Brand Engagement, www.artspec.com.au Acknowledgements – proofreading by David Hayes, photography by Paul Wright, Knox staff, students and parents. The Thistle is printed on Mega Silk Art paper which is manufactured under and adheres to the rigorous international environmental standards of FSC accredited stock. Printed by ISO accredited and FSC accredited printer.

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Former Knox student and prominent North Shore obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Nic Jools, AM, has bequeathed his collection of artworks by Australian and international artists including Margaret Olley, Jeffrey Smart, Brett Whiteley and Sidney Nolan to Knox. A special celebratory dinner was held in May to thank Nic and his wife, Barbara, for this generous gift. As Nic Jools puts it himself, Knox Grammar School and those he encountered in this wonderful school for boys provided him with more than a good education. It was here that his diverse interests were encouraged, where he found stability and life-long friendships so important to a boy of European immigrants in 1950s Australia. Following five happy years at Knox, Nic left for university in 1959 with the required marks to study medicine - a rare achievement. He had been a popular boy with distinctive features and behaviours which came from his European

“Knox Grammar School and those he encountered in this wonderful school for boys provided him with more than a good education. It was here that his diverse interests were encouraged...” Nic’s generous donation of his eclectic and valuable art collection to Knox Grammar School should not be a complete surprise given his commitment to his old school over the past 45 years. Nic is one of those rare human beings who not only remembers those people and institutions which helped him become so successful in life but feels a sense of duty to show his gratitude by ‘giving back’ so that the institution is strengthened for future of generations. This collection of some 100 artworks by Australian artists such as Jeffrey Smart, Sidney Nolan, Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker, Russell Drysdale, William Dobell, John Brack, Albert Namatjira, and Margaret Olley has been carefully considered and collected by Nic over the past 40 years. It contains a great deal of history both about the artists, the evolution of Australian society and importantly of Nic Jools himself.


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Giving back For more information about making a donation or bequest to Knox, visit www.knox.nsw.edu.au or contact Jan Maher on 9487 0101.

Knox community celebration

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Old Boys, parents and the wider Knox community are invited to come together at the School to celebrate the end of the winter sport season on Saturday, 11 August. The 1st XI Football Team will play Barker at 11.15am at Curagul 1 and the 1st XV Rugby Team will play Barker at 3.15pm at Knox 1 Oval.

Shortly the collection will take up residency at Knox in a gallery dedicated for this purpose. The benefits for our boys and the School will be significant and Nic hopes that this philanthropic commitment to Knox will be an encouragement for other Old Knox Grammarians to follow suit. We thank Dr Nic Jools for this significant donation. His lasting legacy to Knox is twofold. Firstly there is this fine collection and even more importantly is his example of appreciation to his alma mater.

Get together a group of family and friends and join us for this ‘gathering of the clan’. 4

A grateful School thanks him. Mr John W Weeks Headmaster

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The Headmaster John W Weeks with Dr Nic Jools

2  Jeffrey Smart ‘Paringa’, 1951 3 Margaret Olley ‘Hill End’, 1956 4 Charles Blackman ‘School girl and buildings’, 1952-3 5 Sidney Nolan ‘Head Kelly Series’

Stay in touch with Knox via Facebook and Twitter For the latest news from the School, make sure you ‘follow’ us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/knoxgrammar and ‘like’ us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/knoxgrammar

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Extracts from Chairman’s Address Years 7-11 Speech Day , 7 December 2011 - The Four Yorkshire Men upmanship as they compared notes about how under-privileged they were and how tough they had it while growing up. Without wanting to sound too much like one of those four Pythonesque Yorkshire men, let me say that when I was a student here for eight years in the sixties there were no new buildings constructed and we only had five sports and a few co-curricular activities – and caning was commonplace. In the last eight years, there have been four new stunning buildings constructed and at last count you boys had 23 summer sports, 17 winter and 39 co-curricular activities and there is a more enlightened view of physical punishment. But hey, who’s counting or comparing?

Welcome to you all. After four years of building works in this location, and more if you count the KG1 building, it is wonderful to be able to celebrate Speech Day in the Great Hall as a whole School and in such grand surroundings. Further Improvements

One of the great hallmarks of the School’s current operations is our strong financial management of which the Headmaster, the Business Manager and the Council are justifiably proud. That strong financial management, coupled with strong enrolments, which reflect the desirability of Knox’s educational offering, have enabled the School, on the one hand, to build the Great Hall and Aquatic Centre and the Boarding Centre in quick succession after the construction of the KG1 and K-2 buildings and, on the other hand, to limit fee increases to, on average, the same or less than like schools. Some of you boys may have heard of Monty Python’s Flying Circus – a surreal and quite absurd, but very funny, British comedy group which first aired on the BBC in 1969. One of their original skits involved four Yorkshire men engaging in ever-escalating skiting and oneThe Thistle / June 2012 | 4

I concede though that as a 1960s Knox student I wasn’t as badly off as the fourth Yorkshire man. The Monty Python skit tells us that, ‘he had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before he went to bed, (which I know is impossible), and then drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work 29 hours a day down at the mill and pay the mill owner for permission to go to work there and when he got home his father and mother would kill him and dance on his grave singing ‘Hallelujah’, or so he said! But for you lucky Knox men or North Shore men, the Knox construction program doesn’t stop at the four buildings and other important works which have been completed over the last eight years. There are further major works still planned for your benefit in the short term, which include: • The restoration of Ewan House internally and externally to create a new centre for Year 6 boys as well as a relocated Prep Administration Office; • The re-landscaping of the roadway and other areas adjacent to the Main School Building. These works will be a very attractive extension of the new Boulevard, so that as you pass between the Great Hall and Boarding Centre and arrive at Knox 1, it doesn’t look like you have travelled from beautiful San Diego, California across the border to the fluoro-green rubber grass land of Tijuana, Mexico; and • Our next major building priority, a Senior Student Academy, which will house the key teaching faculties of English, Mathematics and Sciences for Years 11 and 12 and is

to be located where the demountables are now. The design of the Academy and its learning and ancillary facilities will recognise that the educational and social needs of senior students require different approaches and facilities for teaching and learning to suit not just their level of maturity but also the specific requirements of the courses they study and the way they study them. I know that you will be more than impressed with the Senior Student Academy’s facilities. These building works, except of course the Academy, will hopefully be undertaken over the Christmas break and will provide something new and exciting to come back to in 2012. As to the Senior Student Academy, the timeline for its construction is dependent on many variables including most importantly funding. But we aim to complete it in the shorter term, so we fervently hope that all members of the Knox community will support the School financially to the extent that they have the capacity to do so. Without hopefully labouring the point, you boys are the privileged beneficiaries of what are already wonderful facilities and which are getting better each year. Consequently, you are definitely much better off than the fourth Yorkshire man. You could even be more like the third Yorkshire man, who had it tough, but not as tough as his mate because, ‘he lived in a shoe box got up at twelve o’clock at night and after licking the road clean with tongue, had two bits of cold gravel for breakfast, worked 24 hours a day at the mill for sixpence every four years, and when he got home his Dad would slice him in two with a bread knife.’ A bit gory I know, but it’s amazing what you say sometimes in the heat of a skiting battle!

Positive Education

But buildings are only ever buildings and there are much more fundamentally important projects that are taking place around here. Without doubt, the largest and most significant project over the last year or so has been, and in the immediate future will be, the restructure of the pastoral care program – something which I proudly announced at the last Speech Day.


The new boulevard provided a great setting for the stalls and associated activities of the annual Gala Day

The hallway provides a grand entrance to the Year 6 Learning Centre in the newly refurbished Ewan House.

This is the Headmaster’s passion, fully endorsed by the School Council, and a grand passion it is, being a major shift and cultural change, the goal of which is to improve the mental and emotional wellbeing of you boys and, ambitiously, our entire School community.

The Result

The program is, as you know, based on the science of Positive Psychology and the art of mentoring and coaching. What you may not know is that during the past year over 200 members of staff have taken part in professional training and have benefited personally and professionally from this. They are now equipped with a deep knowledge of Positive Psychology and enhanced skills for mentoring and coaching - attributes which will make them effective in their new roles as Student Mentors. Supportive structures have been determined, programs written and we are in the process of communicating these to students and parents. The program will be rolled out in 2012.Yet another thing to look forward to! With the benefits of Positive Education and mentoring, you boys will hopefully be feeling much better than the third Yorkshire man probably more like the second. ‘He lived in a lake and only had to get out of bed at six o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of old gravel for breakfast, work a 20 hour day at the mill for tuppence a month and when he came home his father would thrash him to sleep with a broken bottle, if he was lucky.’

What a great life he had in comparison to the third and fourth Yorkshire men!

Teachers

But when it really comes down to it, even Positive Education, as good as it is, is still just a wonderful program. Our key resources and the ones which have the main impact on you boys and our core business of academic learning, are our mentors, motivators, role models and authors of inspiration - our hard working and dedicated teachers. In relation to the ongoing professional development of our teachers, great strides have taken place and a culture of life-long learning is evident in many areas. • Our incentive scheme for post-graduate study has seen 40 members of staff commence and complete a Masters level course; • The number of senior Mentor Teachers has increased and this has become a valued position in the School; • Peer tutoring has become a natural part of the Knox culture with increasing numbers involved; and • The involvement of our teachers in state, national and international conferences as presenters is developing. • In 2012, eight members of staff have been approached to present to colleagues on the work they have undertaken.

The result of vastly improved facilities and enthusiastic teachers, combined with extensive and continuing professional development and other inputs aimed at improving teaching quality, is evidenced by the improved results you boys are achieving in the core academic area. As a consequence, those results, based on NAPLAN tests and School Certificate, Higher School Certificate and ATAR scores, are trending ever upward. No doubt because of that boys you may now be feeling as privileged as the first Yorkshire man, ‘He lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank, got out of bed at six o’clock in the morning, ate a crust of stale bread for breakfast, went to work down at the mill for 14 hours a day, week in week out, for sixpence a week and when he got home his father would thrash him to sleep with his belt.’ What a life! After all that skiting, the first Yorkshire man said to the others, ‘You try and tell that to the young people of today … they won’t believe you!’ But what you can believe boys is that everything your Headmaster, your teachers and the School Council do, and all these facilities and programs, are aimed at giving you the chance to be as good as you can be. The rest, as they say, is up to you. Mr Rob Wannan Chairman, School Council The Thistle / June 2012 | 5


Preparatory School

Knoxigations - Inquiry-based learning at the Prep

Research skills were developed through each Knoxigation

‘Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand’. ‘Involve me and I understand’ is the essence of inquiry-based learning and a major component of 21st Century teaching and learning pedagogy. Inquiry implies involvement that leads to student understanding. During Term 1,Years 3-6 involved themselves fully in a Knoxigation. Each year group worked through an inquiry-based unit where the teachers posed questions to provoke curiosity and to elicit questions and interest from the students. The students were encouraged to do the talking and thinking and to research their topic. At the end of the inquiry unit, the students displayed their work and gave an in-depth explanation of their Knoxigation.

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Year 3 boys enjoyed the challenge and investigations of designing a new Australia. This unit of work was integrated into the Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) topic of ‘Australia You’re Standing In It’. The boys’ background knowledge combined with the activities explored in the first few weeks of HSIE enabled each boy to design or modify something Australian. Some of the projects undertaken included designing: • • • • •

A new parliament house; A new Australian flag; A new National anthem; A new Australian sport; and Even a new Australian immigration policy.

The boys researched their topic, explained why they thought it needed changing or updating and presented their work to the class in a PowerPoint presentation, cardboard poster or model. The boys discussed their method, the features of their new design and

the materials required. The feedback from their peers was very positive with valuable tips and ideas for further development. As part of the HSIE unit in Term 2,Year 4 researched living conditions in England and Australia in 1788. Leading from this, the boys were challenged to individually design and produce a realistic model of a hut that was utilised by convicts, replicating materials available at that time. The building phase of the process was quite challenging and pushed some boys out of their comfort zone. Year 5 Knoxigations was based around the HSIE topic of ‘Our Australian Identity’ and took the form of a game called Operation Blackout. Dr Evil, a rogue staff member, sent a Voci to all Year 5 boys threatening to shut down the technology in the school by 1 April unless they could work out his true identity. To earn the letters of his name, the boys had to complete a series of tasks and record


Knox Prep class takes out Aussie gold in World Education Games

their investigations in a logbook. Luckily two students completed the tasks and were able to foil his dastardly plan by revealing who he was! The overarching question of the unit was ‘What makes us Australian?’ and the activities were designed to help the boys learn about how an identity forms and changes over time, whether it is a personal identity or a national one. The boys researched how the culture of Australia has changed since the First Fleet arrived by determining significant events which have occurred to bring people to our country, where they have come from and why. Researching national symbols and icons, famous Australians and what Aussies are known for around the world were part of their studies.The unit also tied in with English as the novel for the term, Thai-riffic, was based on a Thai boy who was struggling to be a ‘normal’ Aussie while his parents owned and ran a Thai restaurant. The Year 5 boys chose whether to work in small groups or complete tasks individually, and particular IT skills were woven into the tasks to introduce the boys to the Knox Portal, Z drive, sending and receiving emails and so forth. The boys were highly motivated by the game format of the unit and worked solidly to solve clues, complete tasks and earn the letters they needed. Year 6 embarked on a journey which saw the boys and staff transported from the depths of the underworld and into the highest heavens. They met unfamiliar characters such as Sekhmet, Guan Di, Tangaroa, Eshu, and of course, reacquainted themselves with old favourites such as Thor, Zeus, Medusa, Jason, Perseus and Pandora. The boys were provided with opportunities to develop and deepen their knowledge, skills and understandings from their current reservoir of proficiencies in the area of myths and legends. They were driven and encouraged to explore based on their individual interests, curiosities and learning preferences. Our inquiries began at the roots of our ancient Tree of Knowledge. Here the boys recorded their prior knowledge about myths and legends. From there, they proceeded up the trunk of the tree and became fully immersed in the magic and wonder of these traditional stories. We asked the essential question, ‘What is

William Liu (left) and Ezra Ng at the Opera House presentation The Year 4 boys did an exceptional job with hut building

the significance of these traditional tales on contemporary society?’. The boys were keen to discover what it is that has contributed to the longevity of these stories. As the term progressed, the boys posed their own questions and began to use the range of researching and note-taking strategies taught in class to delve deeper into their own area of study. On their quest for new knowledge, new questions arose and new pathways of research were followed. Opportunities to share this interim knowledge were provided to the boys in the form of speeches (panegyrics, fictional scenarios and portrait galleries), bio poems and bio riddles and of course their own myth based on the qualities of enduring contemporary heroes.

Year 5 class, ‘5B’ won the equivalent of a national gold medal, placing first out of 55,000 Australian schools in the World Education Games. The class, taught by Mr Geordie Barham, placed first in all divisions (spelling, maths and science) of the competition, which took place in Term 1.

‘The boys were really excited about the opportunity to compete on the world stage via the internet. The fact that it was a class victory was far more satisfying than to have one or two really top-notch achievers’. – Mr Geordie Barham

The canopy of our Tree of Knowledge represented new growth as the boys completed their big picture of learning. The cycle of growth culminated in a celebration of learning in the Great Hall in Term 2. Here, the boys shared their newfound knowledge and discoveries with family, friends, staff and members of the wider education community.

The students competed in live head-to-head competitions against other students from around the world on their laptops. More than 5.5 million students from 200 countries competed in the UNICEF competition.

Our units of inquiry have been successfully driven by the interests and motivation of the boys.We have started off with just one ‘tree’ and we are now looking forward to cultivating the minds of the boys to generate an entire forest.

In March, Mr Barham and two students from the class, William Liu and Ezra Ng, attended an official presentation at Sydney Opera House and received a certificate from the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, in recognition of 5B’s achievement.

Ms Kathy Morelli Director of Curriculum K-6

The class ranked 27th in the world in spelling, 36th in maths and 20th in science.

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Preparatory School

Service Learning at the Prep The Service Learning vision is for Prep boys to support our local community and make a difference to the lives of others. We can achieve this goal by Knox students giving their time, energy and skills to work with our neighbours and enrich their lives. Each year group works on different projects to allow the boys to experience and contribute to a variety of projects throughout their time at the Prep.

Year 4 – Aboriginal education and helping others

K-2 Program - Meeting Seniors

Treats galore – a popular fundraising stall in support of Jarjum College

Year 4 boys have established a partnership with Jarjum College in Redfern. This year they hope to have inter-school visits and help supply equipment for the college by holding fundraising stalls. The boys also restore second-hand wooden furniture which is donated to UnitingCare Burnside. These activities help the boys understand the needs of others. Seniors are welcomed at Knox Prep to interact with K-2 boys

Twice a term, the K-2 boys host a group of senior citizens from Wesley Gardens Retirement Village for music performances, classroom tours and morning tea. The seniors are also invited to chapel services and Christmas concerts. These visits provide the boys with an opportunity to engage with and gain an understanding of elderly people as well as forming a connection with the visitors.

Year 3 – Cooking for the Homeless

Meal collection by a volunteer from The Dish

Year 3 boys help the homeless by cooking food for St John’s Uniting Church ‘The Dish’, a program which provides meals to homeless people in Hornsby. The boys select a meal to cook, write down the ingredients, assist with shopping and preparation of the meal and bring the food to school on Friday morning for collection by ‘The Dish’ volunteers. Participation in this program aims to give the boys an understanding of the needs of the homeless, provide a simple act of kindness and help the boys engage with their parents while preparing meals.

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Year 5 – Fundraising for a microloan program Each Year 5 boy is asked to raise $25 by doing odd jobs at home and around their neighbourhood. The funds are pooled to sponsor a person to start a business through the KIVA (www.kiva.org) microloans program. This is an educational journey where boys learn about the difficulties that others face worldwide. The program allows them to help address poverty in a real and meaningful way.

Year 6 – Helping people with a disability

Class 6V with equipment ready for donation to St Lucy’s

Each Monday and Friday, a Year 6 class visits St Lucy’s Primary School, a school in Wahroonga for students with a disability. The Knox boys meet with the St Lucy’s students and assist with outdoor sports lessons. The Prep students also collect dockets for supermarket school equipment promotions and donate the equipment to St Lucy’s. The Year 6 students are role models providing social interaction with the St Lucy’s students which helps their social and emotional development. Mr Peter Ayling Director of Students


REQUIESCAT IN PACE

Celebrating the life of Hamish Martyr I will forever remember Hamish – he was always happy, he was fun to be with, he was optimistic about everything, he would always try as hard as he could, and he had a great laugh. I remember when we were in the Pipe Band together playing at Knox at Home, or rather were meant to be playing, and Hamish got the giggles. It was so infectious that half the pipers started giggling too; I imagine the sound from the band was not too good, and it certainly drew attention from Mr Hart! Hamish and I were in the Pipe Band together, we did agriculture (Hamish being the vegie growing champion), we did orienteering and we played handball every recess and every lunch, except for Friday lunches when we would scuff our cadet boots and have to spend the time instead polishing them. He was always a good partner in orienteering - his speed and flexibility to bush bash and my map reading skills (that is, finding the shortest route even if it meant going off the track through the thickest vegetation) were an ideal combination. On a recent visit when he wasn’t so well, and he found it hard to talk, he was still keen to hear stories. I told him that I wanted to stay with him all afternoon as my sister had locked herself out of the house and couldn’t get in until I got home. Although he couldn’t speak, he raised his hand and gave me the thumbs up, as in ‘good one, she can wait!’ I will always remember too the last time I saw Hamish. He was in some discomfort yet, when I was leaving, he was able to give me a strong handshake goodbye. Hamish, mate, words cannot describe how much you meant to us. Thanks for making us realise never to give up, even when times are tough, to do things now rather than put them off and to do things with a smile. You will always be missed and have a place in our hearts. I am proud to have been your mate. Alistair Wilson

Hamish Martyr was a good laugh, a good mate and, above all, he was a good guy. He always had a smile ready, even in his worst days. I remember on his visit to Government House, when he was receiving his Silver Duke of Ed Award, that the Governor commented on his cheeky grin, and how she hoped that he would keep it. Even the last time I saw him, one week before he passed, as I walked through the door, his eyes lit up and that smile popped up again. Some of you may already know this, but Hamish and I were born on the same day. I was born a mere four hours before Hamish. Because of this, and because of the close friendship that our fathers have, I have literally known Hamish from the day we were born. Almost every time I would see Hamish, he would greet me with ‘It’s my brother from another mother!’. In Years 5 and 6 on our birthday we would meet up somewhere at school and exchange cupcakes. These are some of the best memories I have of Hamish and I will cherish them forever.

Hamish Martyr (front) with older brother, William and their parents Meg and Richard at a Pipe Band Dinner

Year 10 student, Hamish Martyr died on 1 April 2012, after losing a three and a half year battle with a rare form of brain cancer. The Knox community came together on 24 April in the Great Hall to not only farewell Hamish but also to celebrate his life. Three of Hamish’s close friends, Axel Wong, Alistair Wilson and Sam Johnson shared their memories of Hamish with the Knox community and extracts are included here. Hamish Martyr’s final weeks were spent at Bear Cottage, Manly. The non-profit organisation, established in 2001, is a children’s hospice helping families care for a child with a life-limiting illness. www.bearcottage.chw.edu.au

Last year for the annual Cadet Camp, Hamish came even though he did not have to. He stood by his company and travelled around the entire range. Even after his compulsory year had finished, he continued in the cadet unit as a Pioneer. He was also a steadfast member of the Pipe Band. He had started in Year 5, and even after his illness he continued to participate in the band, even joining in the Anzac Day Parade in both 2010 and 2011.This is a clear indication of his determination to follow through with his commitments. In the end, the most important thing that you need to know about Hamish is that he was the bravest man I have ever known, and that he was very special to all of us, both family and friends. Sam Johnson

One of the things I liked about Hamish was when we were younger, we used to always build Lego in his room. He had the best collection I had ever seen. When we’re not building Lego, we’d be climbing the tree at the front of his house. He introduced me to the James Bond movies and lent me his DVD collection. But his ultimate favourite was the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We spent hours on end in his garage trying to build a crossbow and in many of our play-overs we had sword battles, equipped with wooden weapons. Hamish was virtually part of our family. My mum used to call us twins, even though he had red hair and didn’t eat Chinese food… except for chicken buns. At my younger brother’s birthday party, Hamish was the only one of us who was brave enough to let the little kids attack him with toilet paper. He was a really good sport. Hamish has many great friends from primary school and these are their thoughts: • ‘Always positive and by far the funniest kid’ • ‘Always having a smile on his face. When he was younger he had the biggest collection of farm toys - a country kid born in the city’ • ‘His cheeky sense of humour and, of course, the big smile’ • ‘A lot of fun memories with the Under 9 Lindfield Bucks with Hamish as the hooker’ It’s been an honour to have known Hamish and I am very grateful to be one of his good friends. By knowing Hamish I know what friendship is. Axel Wong

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Boarding AT KNOX

Being a Rural Boarder The Knox boarding community has always been a diverse one; with boarders coming to Knox from all over NSW and Australia, from overseas, and from Sydney itself. It is a diversity the School values greatly as it continues to promote its wonderful boarding facilities, programs and staffing. The ritual arrival, with the unpacking of suitcases is something unique to boarding, and the opportunity it provides for catch up conversations and fellowship is evidence of the community feeling boarding develops. It is also a sign of the fact that, unlike day boys who go home to families every day, boarders are separated from their families and from the day to day lives of their families.

This was very apparent in Term 1, as we turned on the news and saw massive flooding across many parts of eastern Australia. Each night we watched the waters spread and move, engulfing vast areas of land. And every night we had boarders at Knox not just worrying about that piece of English homework, or that part of sport practice, but also their family homes. Even though first term went smoothly for the Knox community, there were a number of boarders worried about their homes and properties in rural NSW. What was it like for these boarders? How did it impact on their thoughts and on their views of boarding? We interviewed three Year 7 boarders from rural NSW to find out.

Hughie Browning From Narromine, 1 hour west of Dubbo

Hughie Browning (back) with older brother, Billy (OKG11), on their property at Narromine.

How did the floods affect you?

Alister Currey

From Goodooga, near Walgett in far western NSW What’s it like being a country boarder? Country boarders are not as used to having as many people around or having so many things readily accessible. Before I came to Knox, I studied via distance education where most of my lessons were done on the computer. I was able to listen to my teacher and hear some of the other students but we were unable to see each other or be in a classroom. Once every two weeks I would travel to Walgett, which is 150km from where I live, for an integration day. At this time all the students from my school came together for some classes and at most there were 50 students. I always enjoyed these days because it was good to see other people and catch up with my friends in town. How did the floods affect you? We had done some preparations for the floods. Dad built a levy bank and when we heard that our area was in danger of flooding, Dad added to the levy bank. During the floods the water came about three quarters up the levy so our house wasn’t affected. Since then, most of the water has subsided but the mail delivery was not possible for quite a while because the lakes were too high. My parents made a weekly trip to Walgett to get our mail and other supplies.

The floods started shortly after I became a boarder in first term. I wasn’t able to see my parents until the second half of term which was really hard for me because most of the other boys had seen their parents and I was really worried about what was going on at home. When my parents did finally make it to see me, my dad had to fly out by helicopter. What is your favourite thing about boarding? My favourite thing about boarding is having so many of my friends with me all the time. Living with a room-mate is hard because I don’t always agree with him, but we understand that we are from different places, have been brought up differently and have different opinions. We usually only fight about the little things like who will take the laundry down or whose turn it is to do the duties! What do you do in your spare time at home? At home I ride motorbikes, go hunting and work with my dad on the farm; I usually help him with the muster. What do you do in your spare time at school? In my spare time at school, I like to play rugby, watch TV, play computer games, go to Wahroonga shops and play with Mr Manuel’s children.

Last year, 3500 acres of our land went underwater. We almost lost two houses on the property and our cotton crop was damaged. Because I am not on my property, I often wonder how things are going. What do you like about being a boarder? I like everything! In particular, the help I receive with my school work during prep time. Each night we have a teacher come into the boarding house to help us with our homework and study. When I first arrived I really needed some extra help with organisation. What is your favourite thing about boarding? My favourite thing about boarding is being able to enjoy all the school facilities like the gym, pool, library, basketball courts and handball courts. I also really like being able to go to Wahroonga shops after school, going to the movies on weekends and the special outings our Head of House, Mr Manuel, organises for us; in a few weeks we are going rock climbing. How do you like living in the city? I like living in the city to attend school because there are more opportunities and more things for me to do when I am bored. I really like going home in the holidays to the country because there is more space. What do you do in your spare time at home? We ride motorbikes, I drive the tractor and help with work on our property. What do you do in your spare time at school? I play a lot of touch football and basketball with my friends.

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Jack Piper From Coolah between Mudgee and Gunnedah

Images of the floods experienced by boarder families

How did the floods affect you? The waters rose over our creek bed and my family were flooded in to our property. This affected a few paddocks where we have some cattle. I try to call home a lot to see how things are.

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What’s it like being a country boarder? Country boarders are a lot tougher than city boarders. Most of us learn to work on the farm from an early age so we are used to hard tasks. What is your favourite thing about boarding? Being able to play games with my friends; at home I only have my younger brother, Sam.

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What do you do in your spare time at home? I like to make things out of wood, ride motor bikes and go swimming in the creek. What do you do in your spare time at school? After school and in my spare time I like to play basketball, go to the gym, go to the pool and best of all we play hide and seek around the school! What is the difference between city and country living? I find living in the city things are more rushed and there are lots more people. I prefer to live in the country because there is more space, there are no traffic lights and there is nothing you have to wait for that frustrates you. 4 1 The Currey family’s property near Walgett during the floods 2 Cambalong Bridge near Bombala

3 Road damage near Bombala in south-west NSW 4 Year 7 boarder, Hamish Steven’s hometown of Bombala The Thistle / June 2012 | 11


Life at Knox

Global learning through teacher exchange Knox teacher Wayne Inwood and Scottish teacher Simon Mein and their families have switched schools, homes and countries for a year. David Hayes, Media and Communications Coordinator, spoke with both of them about their experiences.

Olivia, Jacinta and Trish Inwood in London

Wayne Inwood with some of his students at an outdoor education camp in the Lake District, England.

A year in Scotland: Mr Wayne Inwood Exchange location: Dalbeattie High School, Scotland Why did you decide to go on exchange? Both my wife Trish, who taught ancient history at Knox for 16 years and now teaches at Abbotsleigh, and I have long wanted to do a teaching exchange. Until now, the age of our two children had prevented us from undertaking an exchange but our girls, Jacinta, 7, and Olivia, 10, are now old enough to absorb the experience. An exchange offers us a rich opportunity to become fully immersed in a community and culture of people. What are your first impressions of your school and Scotland? Scotland is a wonderful country to visit. Rich in culture and amazing scenery, much of Scotland reminds me of the highland areas in Victoria and Tasmania. The Scots are extremely welcoming people, willing and wanting to help us out wherever and however they can. We have easily settled into life in a small rural town. Dalbeattie has only a few thousand people with a small local primary school and high school. I have been teaching at Dalbeattie High School since 5 January, but I can’t really describe my first impressions of Dalbeattie High as it was pitch black at 7.45am in the middle of winter when I reported for my first day of teaching. A school of just 400 students, it is markedly different from Knox. The staff are very dedicated and supportive to student needs The Thistle / June 2012 | 12

as well as those of fellow colleagues. While there is a huge range of student ability levels, I have enjoyed the opportunity and challenge of teaching them. What does your family think of Scotland? Thankfully our daughters have not missed a beat as they settled into life in a new school. They have enjoyed every day of their travels, learning new things all the time and making new friends. Trish has been doing local volunteer work with handicapped children while also pursuing her interest of writing by working on a novel. What do you miss most from home? The sun, the pool, our beautiful harbour city, our family and friends and our dog, Bo. While we love travelling, we will always maintain that the best country in the world to live in is, without a doubt, Australia. What places have you visited so far and where are you planning to go? We arrived in London on 16 December and spent five days there showing our children the sights. We spent Christmas with friends in Jedburgh, Scotland, before making home at Dalbeattie. We have not had any snow this winter in Dalbeattie, which is unusual, but we did spend two days skiing in Aviemore in the Cairngorm National Park in the Scottish Highlands.

We have also been outdoor ice skating at the bottom of Edinburgh Castle and been to Glasgow, Loch Ness, Inverness and Italy. We have Spain and Ireland to explore in the summer break while dropping in on New York for Christmas on our way home. How have you coped with the Scottish climate? To be truthful, the weather so far in Scotland has not been that different to a cold winter back in my hometown of Bathurst in the central west of NSW. The thing about Scottish weather is that it is relentlessly cold and is very changeable. On a recent charity bike ride with my daughter and Scouts, we started in sunshine, had rain, then wind and light snow followed by sunshine, all in the space of six hours. How is your school different to Knox? Dalbeattie High is as different to Knox as any school could be. A rural public co-ed high school presents many different experiences to teaching at Knox. One thing that remains the same however is the learning needs of young adolescent students. The students on average may not be as skilled or motivated as most Knox students but they are wellmannered, receptive and very interested in any description of life ‘Down Under’. What are the challenges of teaching in a new country? By far the biggest challenges to teaching is understanding the way the academic curriculum works at a secondary level in Scotland compared to the NSW curriculum. Another challenge has been picking up classes which are half way through their academic year and program. In this regard, however, my exchange partner, Simon Mein, left plenty of support material.


A year in Australia: Mr Simon Mein Exchange location: Knox Grammar School, Sydney Why did you decide to go on exchange? Professionally, I had been in my current school for 10 years and although I like being there, I felt a bit of a change would be healthy for me and for the school; a chance to step back and get a different view of education and how things might be done. As a family, we live in a small town and our kids have never known another place as home. My wife and I both travelled and lived abroad in our twenties and we were keen to expose our children to some different places and cultures as they grow up. What are your first impressions of Knox and Australia? Australia’s big! We kind of knew that, but still. It was nice of you to lay on such a wet summer to make us feel at home and ease the transition though. Knox is very different in some respects – boys only not mixed, private rather than public, 1,600 students rather than 400 – but there is also a lot that is similar. Some of the issues that are ‘live’ at Knox just now are the same ones we have been wrestling with at Dalbeattie such as debating the mentor role and finding constructive ways to incorporate assessments into teaching programs.

Simon, Katie, Izzy, Tom and Louise Mein at the Three Sisters, Blue Mountains

kangaroos, penguins and dolphins was fantastic. The kids have also joined local netball, soccer, cricket and dance clubs. What places have you explored in Australia so far and where are you planning to go? We’re getting around the ‘classic’ Sydney sights such as the harbour, Olympic Park and Taronga Zoo and enjoying the city enormously. Further afield, we’re thinking about how best to see the Great Barrier Reef. How are schools different in the UK to Australia?

Different but the same! Clearly being in the private sector makes a significant difference Can you tell us about your family and regardless of the country. In my school at what they think of Australia? home, we could only dream of the levels of I’m here with my wife Louise and three children, parental involvement and support that we Izzy, 10,Tom, 7, and Katie, 5.The kids are all at enjoy at Knox. primary school in the area and are enjoying it. Louise has just completed a distance learning The level of technology use here is also well Diploma in Spanish and is now looking for ahead of what I’m used to. At Dalbeattie, we temporary work as a teacher also.We have are moving in the direction of using more really settled in well here; people have been very technology and that may be one of the most friendly and supportive and the Inwoods made useful bits of my school experience here. sure we received a warm welcome on arrival. Learning how to integrate technology such as What do you like to do in your free time? We’re quite keen to get out and about and see the country. A highlight so far has been Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which we love. The Blue Mountains was a fun trip too. Exploring the South Coast of NSW and Victoria in the Easter break and seeing

Tom and Simon trying out their new toy a second-hand kayak

Has it been challenging teaching geography in a different country?

I had one or two ‘moments’. For example, winds circle clockwise round a depression in the Southern hemisphere (but the other way in the Northern hemisphere). As my kids will tell you, I am a very geeky geography teacher, wikis, blogs and iPads into my teaching effectively way too into my subject, so finding out about is already a fascinating part of the year. a new place is great. Similarities are plentiful too.To a large extent, kids are kids and teachers across the board face challenges of how to motivate and support students and how to manage classrooms.

The geography staff here have been fabulous and the department is well organised and resourced. At Dalbeattie I am the sole geography teacher, so I was quite looking forward to being part of a department for a change.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 13


Life at Knox

Student Leadership in Action The Knox Prefects started their leadership year in Term 4, 2011 by setting their goals for the year ahead. The 2011/2012 Knox Prefects gathered for their first meeting on the Prefect training day in Term 4, 2011 where we discussed the directions that the Prefect body would take during our time as Senior School Leaders at Knox. Under the leadership of the School Captain Andrew Seton, assisted by the School Vice Captains Edward Falls and Marco van Westing, the Prefect body determined three key goals that would be their focus. The first goal was to honour the past by building upon the achievements and initiatives of previous leadership teams, thereby establishing a firm foundation for the upcoming year.The second was to maintain and build school spirit amongst the boys of Knox.The last goal was to model strong, positive leadership to all year groups with the aim of inspiring leadership for the future.With these three clear goals determined, the focus for the 2011/2012 Prefect body was firmly established. In order to effectively carry out our goals and to provide real purpose to senior student leadership at Knox, the Prefects set to work in the seven leadership Portfolios to which each was appointed. Each Prefect quickly demonstrated a genuine passion and commitment to the activities and pursuits of their allocated portfolio. This commitment and passion has assisted in building the future of each particular portfolio and helps younger students to flourish through their involvement in these school activities. The seven Portfolios are: • The Co-curricular Portfolio, led by Head Prefect Alex Lennon, promotes leadership and creative direction for activities such as music, drama, Pipe Band and all areas associated with creative performance in the School. Some examples of how this has been achieved is through the mentoring of Year 8 students during the Year 8 production of Small Poppies; and the Pep band which plays music during sporting events in order to create a festive atmosphere. • The Sporting House Portfolio, led by Head Prefect Hugh Cameron continues to strongly encourage and foster participation in the many organised house activities and sporting events. This has been evidenced The Thistle / June 2012 | 14

Knox spirit in action at the CAS Swimming Championships

by the continued enthusiastic involvement of so many boys in the lunchtime house events, both as participants and spectators. • The Chapel Portfolio, led by Head Prefect Ben Cochrane, gives the opportunity for students to become involved the spiritual direction of the School through Chapel and Ignite.The focus this year has been on communicating a relevant message that is applicable and direct to the students.With regards to Ignite, the Prefects have been focussed on building growth relationships throughout the grades of the School.The whole School Worship Services and fortnightly Chapel Services have been well received and are a very positive move in 2012. • The Social Justice Portfolio, led by Head Prefect Rory White has a number of goals and aims for the year including fundraising, increasing involvement and strengthening the bond between Knox Grammar and the village of Lelehudi in Papua New Guinea. The fundraising has and will involve several different methods of raising money for a range of different charities including; White Ribbon Day, Purple Ribbon Day, Pink Ribbon Day, Daffodil Day, mobile phone recycling collection, the Santa Fun Run, Crazy Hat Day, Wacky Tie Day, Sunnies for Sight Day and the Compassion Organisation. • The Year Group Portfolio, led by Head Prefect Ed Brentnall provides each year group with leaders who give assistance and advice to the year group and also builds strong positive relationships between the older students and all year groups at Knox. This is working well and is being achieved by maintaining a regular presence in their year group locker area, assisting the Year Team Leader and Year Committee in the running of year group activities such as assemblies, year group dances, year committee meetings and year group barbeques.

• The Student Leadership Portfolio, led by Head Prefect Dylan Hopcroft, supports and guides school leadership throughout the school by facilitating student participation in the running of their Year Group Committees, the Peer Support Program and in the body of the current Student Representative Council. A key focus this year has been to review the purpose and value of the school’s SRC with a view to establishing more relevant junior leadership opportunities for more students. • The Academic Portfolio, led by Head Prefect Tom Baker, is a new portfolio this year and was created to build a positive perception of academic studies and achievement, to motivate the student body to strive for personal fulfilment through academic goals and to promote academic support systems and reward structures within the School. These goals have been worked towards through senior students providing academic mentoring to junior students; assisting students in the process of setting learning goals and providing regular examination preparation advice. In addition to working within the portfolios, the Prefect Body work as a unified team to tap the energy and passion of Knox boys in the support of their peers at major school activities such as the CAS Swimming and CAS Athletics carnivals, home games, musicals and so on. We believe that the passion of the boys at Knox for the school is a real distinction of Knox. The three key goals to honour the past, maintain and build school spirit and to model strong, positive leadership continues to keep the leadership team well focussed in all school endeavours throughout 2012. Andrew Seton (School Captain), Marco van Westing (School Vice Captain), Damian Morris (Senior Cadet Under Officer) and Mr John Starreveld (Dean of Students)


Why Do I Swim?

For many, there is little more to swimming than early mornings and endless hours up and down the ‘black line.’ Quite often I get asked, ‘What’s so great about swimming?’ and ‘Don’t you ever get bored?’. So why do I swim and what have I got out of swimming at Knox? My experience with Knox swimming began six years ago at the Knox Prep Swimming Championships. Back then, I had no real interest to be competitive and was only an average swimmer. At that time, I swam afternoons twice a week and was still developing a decent stroke. However, when I saw my peers receiving their medals as age champions, I felt inspired and knew what I wanted to accomplish. I set myself a personal goal of achieving a top three position in the Year 7 Swim Championships the following year. Simple, but I was determined to succeed. I started swimming a couple of morning sessions and moved through the school squads to the Junior Competitive Squad, or Red Squad, as it’s known at Knox. From then, I trained through the summer holidays with my goal set firmly. Sure enough, when the School Championships came, I reached my goal and proudly received a gold medal at the following school assembly. But it didn’t stop there; that was only the beginning. Since then, more goals have been set and I have improved from first qualifying for the Sydney Metropolitan Championships to swimming at the Australian Age Championships each year.

So when people ask me why I swim competitively and why I still train all year round, even through my preparations for the HSC, I give a number of reasons. Swimming is a fantastic sport for building fitness, strength and overall good health, but it is so much more than that. The thrill of racing competitively is a real buzz for me and the absolute pinnacle for my swimming achievements has been competing in the CAS Swimming Championships. Standing behind the starting blocks at Homebush with 700 plus Knox boys shouting my name sends shivers down my spine. The CAS Swimming Carnival beats any other carnival hands down in terms of atmosphere and captaining the Knox Swim Team this year has been a major highlight for me. Swimming has also taught me important life skills such as setting and achieving goals through determination and hard work. Of course, it hasn’t always been successful for me. Dealing with disappointment has developed my resilience and determination to succeed. The life skills I have developed from swimming have also helped me to set and achieve goals with my studies. For those who think you can’t train intensively and achieve academically, it’s simply not true.

“Standing behind the starting blocks at Homebush with 700 plus Knox boys shouting my name sends shivers down my spine” Perhaps the most important reason why I swim, and why I’m able to get out of bed so early each morning for training, is for my mates. Some see swimming as an individual sport, but I disagree entirely. Although much of your training is individual and you measure your successes against the personal goals you have set for yourself, your mates are the ones that help you achieve them. To be honest, I don’t think I would be anywhere near the level I am if I didn’t have somebody to swim alongside and push me along. My experience with swimming at Knox has been a very positive one. For those students, as well as parents, who have an interest in swimming I wholeheartedly recommend it. Whether you swim for general fitness or at a competitive level, swimming is a lifetime sport that benefits the body and the whole person. Lachlan Mackay Year 12 student, Knox Swimming Captain

The Thistle / June 2012 | 15


Life at Knox

Crime and Young Offenders Year 12 Legal Studies recently travelled to Kariong Juvenile Correctional Centre near Gosford to gain a better understanding of the Year 12 Legal Studies topic, ‘Crime and Young Offenders’. This was organised through Mrs Foster’s husband who is the principal of the school which the detainees attend whist in jail. We were first shown the old centre where the juveniles were kept from the turn of the century until 1997. We were then taken to the high security centre for the worst juvenile offenders in the state. We had to go through a strict security clearance to ensure we weren’t sneaking in contraband and had a quick tour of the outdoor parts of the centre. Corrective Services staff described their role in the supervision of the juveniles and also gave us a rundown of a day in the life of one of these young offenders. The School Principal, Mr Foster, described the importance of education in reducing recidivism. The excursion was certainly an eye opener and aided us enormously in our assessment task for this unit of work.

Tim Abbott and Daniel van der Griend outside Kariong Juvenile Correctional Centre

Tim Abbott Year 12 Legal Studies student

Parents in the Classroom In Term 4, 2011, the Languages and Cultures Department once again gave parents the opportunity to study two of the languages offered to students at Knox. Parents had the choice of learning German or Japanese and, just like in 2010, these courses proved to be very popular. The classes combined some useful vocabulary, basic grammar and showcased some of the culture found in these two countries. Parents came away from the eight week courses not just with some useful language skills for their next overseas trip but also an insight into how languages are taught in the 21st Century. Many parents still believe that languages are all about filling in tedious grammar books in a teacher-centred classroom and are not aware of the interactive approach that languages teachers now adopt. There is a heavy reliance on ICT and student-centred learning in language classrooms at Knox. The parents had the opportunity to witness the different web applications, websites and innovative ideas and concepts that are used across all years at Knox. For German, two one hour options were offered for parents on Monday evenings. The early bird class at 4pm appealed to parents who lived close to the school and did not find themselves at work on a Monday afternoon. The later class at 6pm contained many working parents who had come straight to school following a hard day’s work in the city. The environment in the classroom was relaxed and friendly and teaching was tailored to individual learning styles. There was plenty of interaction in the target language, including obligatory quick-fire German questions at the start of each session! As their confidence grew over the eight weeks, the parents started to talk to each other more and more in German and many new friendships were forged in the process. The Thistle / June 2012 | 16

The Street View application on Google Maps proved to be highly popular when teaching how to ask for and give directions in German cities. The parents had the illusion that they were walking down a street in an idyllic German town, when in reality they were sitting in a classroom in Wahroonga! The German course for both classes ended in style with a trip to the Lowenbrau German restaurant in The Rocks. The two head chefs gave a one-hour cooking demonstration; showing how to cook perfect crispy pork belly among other German specialty dishes. The parents were invited to take part in the demonstration and ask numerous questions. The highlight was sitting around the ‘Stammtisch’ (big local’s table) and eating all the food that had been prepared. The good news is that the German parent course will once again run in Term 4, 2012. Mr Richard Winstanley Languages and Cultures Teacher


Model car racing in the name of Science Junior Science Club

Titration Club

Junior Science Club racer challenge

The fourth floor of the Science Block is buzzing with after school cocurricular science activities. The Junior Science Club boys have been engaged with inquiry learning activities which have included a model racer car challenge, crystal growing competition, monitoring the native bee-hive, robotics and pursuing their own projects through the CSIRO CREST award program. Some of the Year 10 boys have used Science Club to work on their action research science projects.

William Sun and Mark Wang completing a titration

The Titration Club includes Years 11 and 12 chemistry students and runs on Wednesday and Thursday after school. The boys participate in the National Titration Competition. This competition is based on precision in carrying out a chemical neutralisation reaction and the boys train for the inter-school competitions much like training for a sport. After a very successful year in 2011, the club has grown, increasing in popularity under the expert guidance of Mr Greg Nunan. For further information:

Junior Science Club contact Deborah de Ridder – deridderd@knox.nsw,edu.au Titration Club contact Greg Nunan – nunang@knox.nsw.edu.au

Science Extension Activities

Crystal growing - Paul Kwon (left) and Stephan du Plooy

Each activity is inquiry-based and allows the boys the freedom to devise and research their own experiments. The Year 7 and 8 boys have been particularly inventive in their approach to the Royal Australian Chemistry Institute’s crystal growing competition and have produced some amazing results. The club runs on Monday and Tuesday after school from 3.30 to 5pm although many of the boys visit regularly to check on their current experiments.

James Priest (Y12) attended the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra at the Australian National University during January. It is a two week live-in science forum for students from across Australia. James focused on physics during his stay at the ANU and was given a taste of university life in his chosen field. James also won a position to attend the International Youth Science Forum in Canada during May this year. This has been a great opportunity for James. The sponsorship and continued support of the St Ives Rotary Club has been appreciated. Year 10 students William North and Ben Moss attended the ‘Science Experience’ at Macquarie University. This is also a Rotary Club sponsored forum for Years 9 and 10 students. They were shown a range of interactive activities that highlighted some of the areas of science at university. These opportunities inspire the boys and assist them in working out some post-school study options.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 17


ABBOX of Fun

Computers galore

Angus Fabian (Y12, back) who has attended the past three computer building courses assists Sean Nettleship (Y7) and Giacomo Fitzmaurice (Y7) as they build their computers during the Easter holidays.

ABBOX of Fun is a four-day residential camp for children with special needs. The camp will be run at Knox (staying in the Boarding Centre) from 8-11 December 2012. Sponsored by Sony Foundation Australia, the camp provides a very special experience for the children, some much needed respite for their families and an opportunity for the student and staff volunteers to improve their understanding of the challenges faced by those with disability. Applications to attend the camp, volunteer or donate goods and services should be directed to Mrs Helen Clark at Knox on 0404 839 762, clarkeh@knox.nsw.edu.au or Mr Mike Farrell at Abbotsleigh on 9473 7829, farrellm@abbotsleigh.nsw.edu.au. Nicholas Gongolidis (Y8) and Jack Sharp (Y8) watch Liam Denning preparing to put the final component on his computer at the Computer Building Course.

Donate your old mobile phones Henry Forsaith-Breese (Y9) is collecting old mobile phones as part of his participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Sony Foundation You Can program. Sony Foundation, together with CanTeen, has launched a national youth cancer fundraising campaign encouraging school students to give their old phones the flick. The You Can program calls on school students to donate their old mobile phones to help raise money to build specialised teenage cancer centres. It is estimated there are 20 million unwanted mobile phones in Australian homes. Henry’s target is to collect 820 phones.You can help by depositing your phone in the collection box in Room 19.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 18


Wisdom Life Faith Studies

Finding the ‘Right’ Piece of Information Teachers and students have many demands on their time and, as information specialists, we believe our program of working with specific faculties in the school, across all year groups, enables us to train students in the skills required for effective and efficient use of good quality information, thus saving them time. In partnership with the Wisdom Life Faith Studies Department, we have introduced students in Years 7 and 8 to the skills of critical reading for meaning, note-taking in print and digital formats and constructing a bibliography. Year 10 students are investigating what constitutes an authoritative, reliable website and applying these criteria to their own searches.

From left: Julius Auffermann (Y11) and Year 12 students, William Martyr and Rory White at the International Women’s Day Breakfast.

Wisdom Faith Life Studies (WFLS), introduced at Knox in 2012, is an addition to the curriculum for Years 7-10. The new course is based on the ethos of the Uniting Church in Australia. The vision for the course is to connect both theoretically and practically to the words of the Knox values of Faith, Wisdom, Integrity and Compassion in conjunction with the school’s worship and chapel program. Students have embraced this new approach as WLFS connect with issues they encounter in their life. The program allows them to think and share ideas about faith, belief, sacred text, ritual, prayer, ethics, morality and how to live a purposeful life. WLFS provides an environment where students can grow in self-knowledge, explore ideas and traditions of faith and learn skills of collaboration, tolerance and self-reflection. Time for reflection is built into each lesson. An integral part of Knox Wisdom Life Faith Studies is a commitment to social justice, an opportunity for our students to advocate for justice and act with compassion and integrity. Each social justice initiative supports a framework of learning which incorporates social, emotional and spiritual development within our Positive Psychology framework. Last December senior boys participated in the ABBOX of Fun Camp, hosted in our new Knox Boarding Centre for the first time. The senior boys care and support of the children attending the camp was inspiring. Knox will host this camp again in 2012. Social Justice Prefects have led initiatives for International Women’s Day, Bandaged Bear Day, Legacy, the Yes You Can Mobile Phone Collection, the Teen Variety Santa Fun Run and Children’s Christmas Party, the Wesley Mission Easter Appeal and The Kids Cancer Project. Mrs Helen Clarke Head of Wisdom Life Faith Studies

In our work with all students we focus on developing information literacy specifically pertaining to defining their task, locating and selecting relevant sources, organising and presenting their findings and then evaluating their end result. To facilitate the presentation of these skills to the students in their class groups, teacher librarians may work within the library environment or in the classroom.

“In this time of information overload, we must filter and organise available information to match the needs of students” The Senior Library realises that our function has gone beyond merely providing access to resources. In this time of information overload, we must filter and organise available information to match the needs of students. We are committed to providing quality instruction in essential research skills to prepare our boys for lifelong learning. The collaboration between the WLFS Department and Knox Senior Library is an important link in the development of our students’ skills and awareness. The WLFS Department is conscious of enhancing the literacy needs of our students and consciously building this in each lesson. The library lessons have given the boys the tools of research of online journals and differentiating and critiquing of websites. Students’ use of library resources that are online and accessible has developed more authentic use of sources and great note-taking skills and referencing in their work. The WLFS Department, with the library staff, is supporting the resource list for the Challenge Based Learning Assessment and the Action Based Research. Such collaboration by academic departments is the key to our students’ progress and confidence in their learning. Ms Beth Treseder Head of Information Services

The Thistle / June 2012 | 19


Leading by Example Staff not only prepare lessons, teach, mark assignments, coach or mentor students; many are involved in their own ‘extracurricular’ activities. By sharing their stories, these staff hope to highlight that having an interest and participating in their chosen field is important for a healthy lifestyle and work-life balance.

Phil Harmer (Senior Academic Master – Stage 6) An active cyclist and kayaker Phil Harmer has completed three big rides with Bike for Bibles (Australian Bible Society): Canberra to Sydney; Sydney to Adelaide; and Townsville to Darwin. When not cycling he can be found paddling the local waterways and last year placed first in the 50+ age group of the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic, completing the 111km in 12 hours 21 minutes. After almost 30 years of teaching boys, he is on Long Service Leave for Terms 2, 3 and 4. Phil’s wife, Alison, a senior lecturer in physiotherapy at Sydney University, is taking a sabbatical and will be based at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where her research will include brain fatigue. Phil Harmer (right) and Lyall Pogue in Breaks National Park, Virginia

Phil has always wanted to visit the United States – he loves the politics, the writing (McCarthy, Steinbeck,Twain); the music (Jerry Douglas, Bella Fleck, Josh Ritter); the sport, the movies, the history, and the people. And what better way to experience all this than to ride across America! Riding for She’s My Sister, Phil and long-time friend, Lyall Pogue departed from Yorktown,Virginia on 28 April and plan to arrive in Astoria, Oregon in mid-July; a distance of over 6,000km. Time magazine has described the Congolese war as the deadliest war in the world; while officially, this war has come to an end, the poverty and violence continues. She’s My Sister is a consortium of faith-based groups led by the American Bible Society; its mission being to help local leaders provide Scripture-based programs of restoration for victims of brutal rape, forced dislocation, extreme poverty, child abduction and other symptoms of war throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo. Phil says, “Riding across the US is my way of supporting ‘She’s My Sister’. By the time we have reached Oregon, I hope to have spoken to as many people as possible about the campaign and to have experienced a little of America.” You can follow Phil’s progress at: www.mysistertour.org/blog

Mike Israel (Manager, ICT) After sporting a broken arm from falling off his bike last year, Mike Israel took part in the BikeBuller Festival, a three day mountain bike stage race for 600 riders held in March at Mt Buller. He finished third is his age group and 19th overall. For the rest of 2012, Mike is focussing on the premier race series in NSW called the STM 8 Hour Series. There are six races where he will be riding solo for eight hours at a time. What drives him? Mike says, “It’s a few things really, my competitive nature (I love to race), the social side (I have made many new friends through cycling) and the desire to keep fit and healthy. Actually cycling is a central element to my mental health too. If I am not getting up in the morning and training or going for a ride I get quite demotivated.” You can read his blog at: mightymike-mtb.blogspot.com

Janet Naylon (Print Publications Manager) During the Easter holidays Janet Naylon attended the World Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships in Jyvaskyla, Finland as the Team Manager for Australia. The 27-strong team returned home with 38 medals and 10th place on the medal tally. It was unseasonably cold with sub-zero temperatures outside and stifling hot conditions on the 200m indoor track. Not only did Janet fulfil her duties as Team Manager, she contributed to the medal tally with a bronze in the W45 4x200m relay. She also reached the finals of the long jump, placing 8th, and the 60m sprint, placing 9th, having run a season’s best and national record in the heats. She says, “I love the lifestyle – training, being healthy, the opportunity to travel and experience new places, having friends all over the world and helping team-mates achieve their goals. Having access to the facilities at Knox, especially the pool, was really important for my preparation with deep water running part of the training regime.”

The Thistle / December 2011 | 20


Flights of Fancy Dale Thompson, Liz Ruff, Andrew Jeppesen and Nicky Stewart

Andrew Jeppesen running with Montgomery House at Six Event Day

What do these four staff members have in common, and it’s not the subject they teach? Dale Thompson (Learning Support), Liz Ruff (Maths), Andrew Jeppesen (Languages and Cultures) and Nicky Stewart (Learning Support) have a passion for long distance running in the bush. Ms Ruff and Mr Jeppesen will be running 100km through the bush from Brooklyn to Mosman in this year’s Oxfam Trailwalker.They hope to complete the distance with their team-mates (Ms Thompson’s husband and daughter, Bruce and Holly Inglis) in under 18 hours and raise over $5,000. Support team KNOXfam II at www. trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/Sydney. Nicky Stewart completed Sydney CoastTrek, which is a 50km run along the coastline from Palm Beach to Balmoral, with friends to raise money for the great work of The Fred Hollows Foundation. Dale Thompson won the NSW Rogaine Association’s 3 hour Minigaine for super veteran females and, together Dale and Nicky, won the NSW Rogaine Association’s 6 hour Metrogaine for veteran females. Dale says, “I enjoy the challenge of these events and there is a great camaraderie among the contestants.”

Deborah de Ridder (Head of Science)

Ms Debbie de Ridder follows the ‘black line’ of the pool, training at Knox in the masters’ squad two days a week and with her own club at Castle Hill RSL Masters on the weekend. She says, “The Knox masters training is great and each swimmer is extended to their own ability.” Humble when asked about her recent competitions, Ms de Ridder said, “I am not that good! My focus is on fitness and fun rather than the competitive side.” Despite this, she won three medals in the NSW State Long Course Masters Championships: gold 50-54 years 100m Butterfly, bronze 50-54 years 100m backstroke and bronze 50-54 years 50m Butterfly.

The Tucker Bequest is awarded each year in memory of Simon Tucker (OKG99), a young man who used his GAP year to constantly seek out adventure and new experiences. It seeks enable an enterprising Knox GAP student to benefit from cultural and/or sporting opportunities whilst overseas. Stirling Mackay (OKG10) spent 2011 on GAP at Frensham Heights School in Surrey. Awarded the Simon John Macintyre Tucker Travel Bequest, he had wanted to fly a Spitfire but this was prevented by UK Aviation. He therefore set out to fly the next best thing. Here is his story. My joy flight, thanks to the Tucker Travel Bequest, was supposed to be in a World War II Harvard which turned out to be in a 1930 Tiger Moth. The Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire, in all its 1950s glory, is a stock standard English aerodrome complete with a grass runway. I had one shot at getting up in the air. The conditions had to be right, not too windy otherwise the incredibly light plane would be buffeted around. Nor could it be raining otherwise the plane’s lack of brakes would make landing on the grass far too treacherous. The Tiger Moth looked magnificent on its wheels and tail skid. The owner greeted me with a broad smile, clearly as excited as I was. He handed me the leather helmet and a thick cosy jacket and ran me through the features of the aircraft. Fortunately the conditions were satisfactory, slightly overcast with a slight breeze so we cruised out to our take off position and upon clearance accelerated down the lush runway, becoming airborne in no time. I soon had the controls. Although the rudders did need some working the controls were so light and the Tiger Moth really responsive. Being in an open cockpit of such a wonderful plane was incredible. The view of the English countryside at 3000ft is amazing; patchwork fields of green, hedgerows and laneways. Soon this view would be replaced by nothing but white. The journey through the clouds was totally disorientating. We lingered above the clouds then spiralled back down, a truly surreal experience. The approach to the aerodrome was high then we descended rapidly and glided in smoothly, eventually coming to a stop. All too soon my joy flight was over. My GAP year was full of so many memories. It provided me with opportunities to travel and meet a huge array of people. My favourite cities were Budapest and Prague. Life at Frensham Heights was such a fun experience. The entire school was so welcoming and I couldn’t have wished for a better GAP year. Stirling Mackay (OKG10) The Thistle / December 2011 | 21


Pippin From the Director’s Notes

Pippin is the story of a privileged teenager (his father is Charlemagne) who goes looking for meaning in a confusing society. This is not the Europe of the Middle Ages. It is the product of our hero’s imagination. To help him with his fantasies a company of actors act out his thoughts to their disappointing conclusions. Finally they tempt him with suicide to prove that he is as ‘extraordinary’ as he believes. Mr Charles Hambling Head of the Knox Academy of Performing Arts

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6

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1  Pippin (Sam Suleyman) is encouraged to go out in a blaze of glory in the finale by the Leading players; Jaimie Donovan, David Taylor, Alex Landsberry, Erin Filan and Will Gulson (not in picture). 2  ‘Home is where the heart is …’ Austin Menso, Sam Suleyman and Josie Ellem.

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3 Temptations of the flesh. Sam Suleyman with (left to right) Jaimie Donovan, Eleanor Katelaris, Pru Thompson, Elizabeth Dodd, Hannah Clare, Emily Hunyor, Mia Modaro and Isabelle Gray. 4 Charlemagne (Jasper Dweck) inspires his troops before battle. 5 Pippin tries kingship after killing his father at prayer. 6 The ensemble with ‘Magic to Do’. 7  ‘War is a Science’ no matter what you are wearing. 8 The calypso life. Matthew Saunders (Dance Captain), Will Cole, Erin Filan and Emma Grosbard. 9  ‘It’s all my fault.’ Producer/Director Charles Hambling and Sound Designer Bob Wheatley.

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10  ‘Who is that masked man?’ Will Gulson as a Leading player.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 23


KNOX ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS

KAPA’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Symphonic Wind Ensemble to Tour the USA

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‘If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended’ The KAPA production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream followed on from last year’s successful production of Romeo and Juliet in providing an opportunity for Knox students to experience a play set for academic study in a live performance context as Shakespeare intended it should be. The 2012 KAPA interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream took the play into a contemporary context. The ‘wood’ of the original Elizabethan setting, traditionally a place of mystery, danger and alternative hierarchies of power was transformed into a modern inner city world dominated by an alternative urban culture led by the ‘King of Shadows’, Oberon. The fairies of the original setting became street wise beings who expressed themselves through disciplined hip hop dancing and who yet were vulnerable and dependent upon their queen and king; Titania and Oberon. This world was driven by contemporary music and the deceptively luminous impact of city lights. Athens conversely became a rural and austere rural setting governed by rigid and inflexible rules which were reflected in the harsh and geometrical black and white sets and costumes.The delightful mechanicals planned their play for the Duke within the walls of a modern supermarket in which they ply their respective contemporary trades.

2 That’s right; you may have heard the news… Our very own Knox Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) is heading to the USA to take the international stage at the end of Term 4. The aim of the tour is to provide a musical and educationally rich experience beyond the classroom, giving the students opportunities to experience many musical genres in their social, cultural and historical contexts. Our Knox boys will participate in a variety of concerts, workshops and master classes with American experts, perform in a variety of venues and attend concerts and performances in a range of musical genres. Highlights include: • New York - participation in a Harlem church service, visit the famous Julliard School of Music, attend a Broadway musical and climb up the Empire State Building • Chicago - attend the Midwest Band and Orchestra Directors Conference in Chicago, master class with a leading US Service Band Conductor, attend the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble concert and get into the Christmas mood at the famous festive Christkindlmarkt • Los Angeles - Perform at Disneyland as part of Magic Music Days and guided tour of the famous Hollywood Bowl and Museum

The play has provided students from Years 8 to 11 with opportunities not only in performance but also in production design, promotion and technical operation. Under the guidance of Ms Leah Crockett, Audio/ Visual Technician and Tech Crew Manager, students developed skills in technical operations such as lighting and sound.

The Knox Symphonic Wind Ensemble prepared the necessary audition CD/DVD recordings during in Term 1 in order to audition for the best clinicians and concert venues within the USA.

The play is studied by all Year 8 students as a core text for English. Attendance at a performance and experience of its impact formed part of the boys’ assessment task at the end of Term 2. At the time of writing, other independent secondary schools in the area expressed an interest in attending a performance.

Mr James Brice Director of Instrumental Performance, KAPA

Mr Michael Griffiths Head of Drama

The Thistle / June 2012 | 24

Boys still interested in joining the tour should contact Mr Brice at bricej@knox.nsw.edu.au.

1  Hip hop dancers - Scott Nelson and Daniel Li 2  Members of SWE form the inaugural ‘Knox Pep Band’ providing music during breaks of play on the rugby and football fields at Gala Day


Gala Day

Gala Day One of the themes our boys have studied in HSC English revolves around the concept of ‘belonging’. We all ‘belong’ to, with and for others in a wide range of contexts. Boys belong to families, their school, clubs and many other organisations where they find acceptance and have interest. At a school level we also talk about, contribute to and experience school spirit, that undeniable sense of connection where we feel involved, accepted, supported and proud; this all comes from belonging. What I have found is that the more we involve ourselves in the activities of the school, the more able we are to identify with the school community and appreciate that sense of belonging. In recent weeks we have shared in that sense of belonging at Knox. Gala Day was a classic example of our great community coming together. Mr John W Weeks Headmaster

The Thistle / June 2012 | 25


The Positive Six Event

Educational outcomes can be achieved in a variety of ways for the benefit of the boys.

‘After a wonderful Six Event career I feel it is fitting to pass the torch of achievement to the Year 11 McKenzie group. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the variety of events and look forward to trying out for the School CAS Track and Field Team in Term 3.’ – William Bickersteth (Y12 McKenzie)

The School Cross Country Championships is an excellent opportunity for boys to take part and show their strengths beyond the classroom. But being in the positive environment of the Knox Sports Academy gives all our boys the strength and courage to push themselves forward, to participate with enthusiasm, and to enjoy the event for what it is, not necessarily always a personal first place win. At the recent Six Event in Term 1 it was wonderful to see boys encouraging and supporting each other, showing determination, from the back runners spurred on by the encouragement of their peers, to the talented athletes who once they had finished a race immediately went on to cheer the other boys onto the finish. These young men were truly giving of their very best. A new innovation this year is the introduction of The Spirit Cup which is awarded at the end of each house event to the House which best exhibits the qualities of sportsmanship, motivation, encouragement and participation. Boys in the school have come to recognise the significance and the values for which it stands. The character and strength of energy is essential with our sporting endeavours as it drives the body and mind to achieve the results and goals that each individual desires The Thistle / June 2012 | 26

to accomplish. Energy is what makes boys get up early in the morning, go to training and it is the stuff that makes us get up again after we have been knocked down and to continue moving forward when all seems lost. Energy is infectious and we are proud to see the boys motivating each other to ‘have a go’. Even if you do not finish first, you have given it your all, you can be rightly proud of yourself. Mr Chuck Ardron Head of the Knox Sports Academy

‘It’s great to see the whole School competing and having fun with the sport that I am passionate about, track and field. Looking around I am confident that Knox can perform well as a team in the CAS Track and Field Championships in September.’ – Kyle Plant (Y12 Gillespie)


‘Six Event gives everyone in the House a chance to bond through competing against other Houses.’ – Lachlan Thornton (Y10 Reid)

‘I really enjoyed Six Event; it gives boys who do not normally represent their house a chance to compete.’ – Daniel Li (Y10 Bryden)

‘Six Event is a wonderful day where house spirit creates a great atmosphere.’ – Brenton Husodo (Y12 Turnbull)

‘It was a good day, where my house performed well across all events.’ – Harrison Waddington (Y12 Adamson) The Thistle / June 2012 | 27


ARCHIVE & MUSEUM

50th Anniversary of the Chapel – 4 November 2012

Anniversaries provide opportunities for reflection. We rely on our corporate memory to remind us of our origins, recall those decisions that allowed us to weather the economic and social storms of the past and define a distinctive heritage that each generation both takes from and gives to. In Australia, education and religion have been constant companions and though Knox is a young and therefore by comparison a modern institution, it fits firmly in that mould. A chapel for the school had been a long held wish of William McIlrath. Power Adam and Munnings, the first school architects, designed the little chapel in 1927. The Great Depression hindered those early plans and, given its diminutive statue, it was probably for the best. The first prospectus records the pattern of religious instruction of the school. ‘The School was founded in 1924 owned and controlled by the Presbyterian Church of New South Wales… Religious instruction forms part of the regular curriculum, and morning school is preceded each day by prayers. Boarders worship on Sundays with the Wahroonga Presbyterian congregation, unless parents or guardians request that they attend the Church of another denomination.’ Leavers from 1924-1962 would recognise this as the pattern to the School’s spiritual life.The very first outing for the fledgling school saw boys travel via train, then ferry to St Stephen’s Church in the city for an Anzac Day Service where Knox boys joined other Presbyterian schools in worship. Here they heard their Headmaster (Captain) Neil MacNeil, who had received a Military Cross for his service on the Western Front in WWI, read the lesson.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 28

Spot a familiar face? These historic snaps (above) of the first boys to attend the Memorial Chapel were taken by AAK Gifford in 1963. If you can help identify any of these boys, please contact the Archives on 9487 0403 or taitj@knox.nsw.edu.au.


Reverend DJ Flockhart

Above: Knox Grammar School on its way to the Annual Church Service at St John’s in 1954. Left: The wedding of Barbara de Groot and Peter Wood on 22 November 1962 was the first of many important social contracts to be made in the Chapel.

A regular visitor to the school in these early days was Reverend DJ Flockhart. From 1927 to 1956 he performed weekly services that boarders attended at St John’s and half term addresses to the School. The Annual Church Service remained at St John’s until the arrival of the School Chapel. The school processed up Lane Cove Road, which eventually became the Pacific Highway, and down Redleaf Avenue, over the railway line to St John’s with the Brass Band leading the Pipes and Drums and the School following six abreast. The photographic collection has only one image that documents this feature of local Wahroonga life; the late Mr Ian Ramage (OKG42) captured it on slide film in 1954.

William McIlrath, in whose honour the chapel is now named.

William McIlrath did not live to see his plan for a chapel come to fruition but his widow Catherine was able to make financial provision for the building once land was purchased for the purpose. The chapel designed by J Aubry Kerr was opened and the east window was unveiled on 4 November 1962 by the Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Northcott. It gave the School its own spiritual home and the Knox community began celebrating its most important social contracts under its roof.

This hand coloured drawing of the proposed chapel in 1927 can be found in the School’s Archive. The 1924 Anzac Day program at St Stephen’s.

Ms Jo Tait School Archivist The Thistle / June 2012 | 29


Old Knox Grammarians

President’s From the President Column not replace, our existing, more traditional channels of communication. In the area of networking and mentoring we are developing programs that seek to benefit Old Boys of all ages and differing life stages. For our mentoring program we will be enlisting the support of members who would like to become involved in mentoring of Old Boys of all ages in their respective industries. Of course the confidentiality of all involved in this program will be of paramount importance. Further details of these programs will be forthcoming during the year however if you would like to register your interest in becoming involved in this program please talk to Executive Officer of the OKGA, Sarah Gregory.

It was an honour to take over the Presidency of the OKGA at the AGM held on 5 March this year. I am indeed fortunate to be taking over the leadership of the OKGA at a time when it is so well positioned to take advantage of its tremendous potential. Much of this has been formulated and achieved under the leadership of Michael Kelynack. During the past three years the OKGA has faced some challenging times necessitating a good deal of questioning and introspection. It is a tribute to Michael that under his leadership the OKGA not only withstood those challenges but has emerged refocused and reinvigorated. The School and the OKGA are inevitably connected.This close working relationship leverages the benefits delivered to both. In this respect the OKGA is indebted for the support provided to us by the School and in particular the Headmaster, Mr John Weeks. I sincerely look forward to working with John and his team to continue to strengthen this relationship. We are planning some exciting initiatives for the year ahead. Our communication is already undergoing a substantial revamp with a new website, electronic newsletter and social media being brought on line to supplement, but The Thistle / June 2012 ||30 30

This year we will be holding functions in a range of places with plans underway for dinners in Brisbane, Tasmania and London and discussions happening for quite a number of other locations. We are also progressing with our development of assistance to reunion organisers to make their experience as pleasant and productive as possible. For our affiliated associations we will be continuing our program of assistance with entity structure, including constituent documents. We are also launching a program to elicit the support of Old Boys in medical and related professions who would be prepared to offer services to Old Boys’ Sporting Club members at preferential rates. If anyone would like to participate in this initiative, please contact Sarah Gregory. We are determined to make a concerted attack on our database to bring it up-to-date and institute procedures to maintain it as such. We have clearly heard the disgruntled feedback from many reunion organisers regarding the quality of the data provided by us to them. Finally, we are tremendously excited to continue the wonderful initiative in honouring the many Senior Knoxonians that have given so much of their time energy and support to the OKGA and Knox over so many years. As to the committee for the coming year, I am particularly pleased that it has representation of a broad range of age,

covering years of leaving from 1955 to 2005. To the members elected I congratulate you and look forward to working as a team to continue to implement the great initiatives we have inherited and to develop many more. Mr Rob Tulloch OKGA President

The OKGA Committee Patron John Weeks, Headmaster President Rob Tulloch (OKG75) Vice President Mark Wilson (OKG80) – Benevolence Hon. Secretary Ian Frame (OKG64) - Events Hon. Treasurer Ian King (OKG69) - Finance Immediate Past President Michael Kelynack (OKG85) - Benevolence KGS Council Liaison John Cooper Committee David Atkinson (OKG70) – Networking and Mentoring Geoff Cramp (OKG82) – Affiliated Associations and Membership Ross Dinnell (OKG59)– Data Base Cameron Ellis (OKG05)– Networking and Mentoring Ian MacPherson (OKG55) – Membership and Benevolence Robert Shute (OKG60) – Affiliated Associations David Thompson (OKG73) – Past Parents Scott Ward (OKG92) – Communications Matt Wormald (OKG90) – Communications Honorary Historian Tony Osman (OKG57) Senior Knoxonians Edric Chaffer (OKG51) Auditor James Winter – Partner, Grant Thornton


Michael Kelynack Retires as President President from 1994 to 1996 and Charlie was President from 1996 to 1998. Plus both men served on the OKGA Committee; Dick from 1994 to 1996 and Charlie from 1996 to 1998; both rarely missing our monthly meetings. Some of the initiatives these men have been involved in are: • The War Service Honour Roll in the Chapel • The Swords and Drums presentation now known as the Honour Parade • The maintenance of the history of Knox, where both men worked together to produce the Knox Over 70 Club Profiles of Members Dick and Charlie are men who do not seek recognition and there are unquestionably other services they have given to the OKGA and the School that we are not aware of. Michael Kelynack presented the Thistle Medal to Richard Miles (OKG39) and Charles Wannan (OKG38)

At the AGM this year where Michael Kelynack retired as President, he took the opportunity to thank the many committee members, Old Boys, John Weeks and the School Council who had supported him and worked with him over his three years as President. As his final act as President he introduced the OKGA Thistle Medal. Michael and the committee, on behalf of members of the OKGA, resolved to create the OKGA Thistle Medal as a way of recognising many years of distinguished service to the School and the OKGA. Here is an excerpt of Michael’s speech: Over the past three years of my presidency I have been in awe of the contribution of so many Old Boys, whether it was on the OKGA Committee, managing our Old Boy sporting clubs, participating in the Old Boy Pipe Band or working as part of the Senior Knoxonians. While none of these Old Boys seek recognition or accolades, I proposed to the OKGA committee, and they unanimously endorsed, the casting and presentation of a medal to be awarded for long and distinguished service to the OKGA and Knox.

The reason for this initiative will become apparent when the details of the contribution to the OKGA and the School over the past 50+ years of the first two recipients are outlined.

As I said at the beginning, there are many other Old Knox men who have given dedicated service to the OKGA and the School and it is our intention to acknowledge their contribution in the future. However, I cannot imagine two more worthy Old Boys to be the inaugural recipients of the OKGA Thistle Medal.

The inaugural recipients for this prestigious award are Mr Richard Miles (OKG39) and Mr Charles Wannan (OKG38) Both left Knox in 1938 and served Australia with distinction in World War II. – Dick with the anti-tank boys and Charlie flying Mustangs in the air force. After their discharge, Dick became a chartered accountant and Charlie a lawyer. Dick was the OKGA Auditor from 1962 to 1966. Charlie represented the OKGA on School Council from 1971 to 1978 and was a member of Lodge Knox. Both became committee men of the Over 70s in 1992 and they are still serving in what has become the Senior Knoxonians.

In this Section 30 President’s Report 32 Events 34 OKG Sport 35 Reunions 36 News of Old Boys

That’s 20 years of continuous service. Dick has also been Treasurer of the Senior Knoxonians from 1992 to 1994 and

The OKG section of The Thistle was prepared by the OKGA Committee.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 31


OLD KNOX GRAMMARIANS

OKGA Past Presidents’ Dinner

Senior Knoxonians’ Lunch

Rex Godfrey and Lysle Roberts

Recent Past Presidents of the OKGA held a Dinner on 1 May to welcome incoming President, Rob Tulloch to the Chair. In attendance were Bill Henry, Ian McPherson, Roger Perkins, Peter Roach, Phil Tuck, Alan Foulkes, Rob Tulloch and Michael Kelynack. This is the third such dinner that has been held and the group used the occasion to discuss a wide range of topics relevant to the OKGA and the School.

Senior Knoxonians Visit to Ewan House

On Wednesday 14 March, 97 guests attended the Senior Knoxonians’ first luncheon of the year. Their AGM was held before the Old Boys adjourned to lunch. Lysle Roberts was the guest speaker and regaled the audience with his reminiscences of his time at Knox. It has been said that Lysle Roberts is one of the best all-rounders that Knox has produced.At school he was outstanding at athletics, football, cricket, swimming, boxing and was the Cadets Senior Under Officer. To cap this career off, he was School Captain in 1942.Among his many achievements since school, he is currently President of the Spitfire Association. The Headmaster Mr John Weeks addressed the group on current developments at the School and the OKGA President advised of the awarding of the OKGA Thistle Medal.

Most Improved Awards

Several members of the Senior Knoxonians enjoyed a morning tea and tour of the newly refurbished Ewan House in the Prep School. Head of the Prep School Mark Hemphill led the tour and imparted a great deal of history about the home itself and the surrounding district. A number of those present had been boarders or students in Ewan House in the 1930s and 40s and the tour evoked a lot of memories.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 32

Ian Frame (OKG64) and Sam White (OKG04) presented the Senior School Summer Most Improved Awards at an Assembly on 1 March 2012. The Most Improved Awards are an integral part of what the Old Boys do to recognise students who are determined to be the best they can be. These awards are in the areas of sport and cultural activities and are highly valued by the boys.


OKGA Pipe Band Allan Watts and bagpipes

The mist clung low in the valleys, a chill was in the air and the sounds of the pipes and drums was everywhere. Bundanoon was again Brigadoon and the Knox Old Boys’ Pipe Band was there. With nine pipers and our sturdy drummer, along with 20 other bands we marched onto the oval forming into the massed bands. 300 pipers and drummers then played a stirring set of tunes to open the gathering before a crowd of over 15,000. Later in the day we had the chance to put on our own individual band display. Bundanoon is just one of the events at which the band plays. We also play at a number of Anzac Day services, charity balls, country fairs and other Old Boy events. The band has a practice at 5pm each Sunday at the School Pipe Band Room. We accommodate a diverse range of commitment levels with some attending each week and other less regularly. We welcome all pipers and drummers with a connection to Knox who wish to keep their skills intact and continue to enjoy playing in a Pipe Band.

People often comment on the bagpipes that I play with the Old Boys’ Pipe Band. They are indeed a remarkable set of pipes. They originally belonged to John G Slattery who was pipe major of the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards from 1974 to 1980.You will find his picture in Volume II of the Scots Guards Standard Settings of Pipe Music, much of which he arranged. The pipes were presented to John on his retirement. When John died, the pipes were left to his brother, Gerry. Gerry Slattery was the assistant general duties master and master-incharge of the Pipe Band at Knox from 1994 to 1996. He was also the pipe major of the fledgling Knox Old Boys’ Pipe Band during that time. Sadly, Gerry died in December 1996, aged 52. He left the pipes to the Knox Old Boys’ Pipe Band. We still greatly miss Gerry, he was a great friend. He wanted the pipes to be played and it is the greatest privilege to do so in memory of him. Allan Watts Pipe Major, Knox Old Boys’ Pipe Band

For further details on the band, please contact the OKGA Office on 9487 0419.

Gala Day 2012

Betty Taylor - 100 Not Out! Miss Betty Taylor, much-loved Prep School teacher and Senior School music teacher in the 1950s through to the 1970s, continues to sing. She celebrated her 100th birthday in March by singing the School Song followed by the Mugs Song with legendary teacher and 1956 School Captain Barry Blackwell.

• Basketball - An Old Boys team of the current Knox Old Boy Club players (from the Wolves, Warriors and Colonels) played a mini round-robin against the School’s current students. It is always a fun yet competitive game and has been an annual tradition for decades. • OKGA Stall - The OKGA manned a stall at the 2012 Knox Gala Day. A number of Old Boys dropped by to catch up and to purchase some of the OKGA merchandise. An added bonus was the attendance by three pipers from the OKGA Pipe Band to entertain the visitors. The Thistle / June 2012 | 33


OLD KNOX GRAMMARIANS

OKG Sport Cricket

Remembering Hamish Martyr, Stan Shaw and Dancing Dave Hartnell On 14 April the Knox Old Boys’ Rugby Club played Barker Old Boys at Barra Brui oval. Before the start of the first grade game, both teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of Stan Shaw (OKG70), a member of Knox’s Burke Cup team in the seventies, and Hamish Martyr, Year 10 student and son of Richard Martyr (OKG70), past president of the Knox Rugby Club. At half time in the first grade game Graeme Pratt (OKG77) introduced Sue Hartnell, widow of ‘Dancing Dave’ Hartnell, and his son Oliver who, together, opened the stand named in honour of Dave for his 30 years’ service to the Knox Rugby Club.

Heavily affected by inclement weather, many players in the Old Knoxonians Cricket Club felt the season ‘never really got going’. At one stage, we had seven games in eight weeks disrupted by rain. There was a change to the Jack Pace Shield. Ordinarily a knockout competition, this year a round-robin preliminary round was used to form the standings for a final series. We were undefeated in the round-robin. Meanwhile, in the concurrent city and suburban ‘friendlies’ we notched up a couple of huge wins, including one where we declared after 20 overs in a 35 over fixture, such was the threat of the rain and our confidence in our score. As it turned out, we only just managed to bowl out the other team before the deluge. We ended up losing one game in the friendlies, to Cricketer’s Club, as we stumbled in the run chase.

Knox and Barker Old Boys Rugby Kentwell Cup sides observing a minute’s silence

In the semi-final of the Jack Pace Shield, we were once more vanquished by Cricketer’s Club. Our club struggled with numbers at the start of the year, but an injection of fresh faces and youth has helped with the renewal of the Club, and we look to build on this next year.The strength of our club is its social element and opt-in basis, whereby players can play every week, or once in a blue-moon. This sees us draw on a few ‘legends’ of the Old Boys community. Thanks are extended to Evan Hattersley, who captained the team with distinction and topped the bowling tables. Evan is relinquishing the captaincy next year, having just welcomed his first child.

Dave Hartnell receiving the Reliance Shield as Club Champions in 1992

Golf Day The OKGA Golf Day was held on an extremely wet November day last year. However, many teams braved the weather to play some solid rounds of golf. The winners on the day were: • Individual Stableford – Alan Foulkes, 43 Points • Two Ball Team Stableford – Alan Foulkes and Peter Watson, 48 Points • Father and Son Stableford – Richard and Robert Cox, 45 Points • Nearest The Pin – Robert Cox • Longest Drive – Greg Baker The 2012 Golf Day will once again be at Avondale Golf Club on Wednesday, 21 November 2012.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 34


Reunions

OKGA Reunions 2012

1956 Reunion Lunch

Refer to www.okga.org.au for more details

The 55 year reunion was held in conjunction with the Senior Knoxonians’ Lunch in September.We had 17 attendees including John Weeks, the Headmaster, and Ian MacPherson as our guest speakers reliving some of the most turbulent years of the School’s history. The Thistle Room of KG1 at School was a fitting venue. Some of our members had not been back to the School since leaving and others from the Pipe and Brass Bands had not seen each other since their school days.

Tasmanian Dinner

Class of

Reunion Date, Venue, Other info

Contact

1952

60 Years 11/08/2012 – Luncheon Thistle Room, Knox

John Bagley – 0419 635 900

1957

55 Years 19/09/2012 – Luncheon Thistle Room, Knox

Warren Norris – 0408 965 472 warren.norris@tpg.com.au

1962

50 Years 11/08/2012 – Dinner Portrait Room, Knox

Alan Foulkes – 0411 1296 616 Warwick Doughty – 0416 061700

1967

45 Years TBA

1972

40 Years 8/09/2012 – 6.30pm Ross Browning The Willara Room, 2nd Floor, rossmbrowning@me.com The Grace Hotel, 77 York Street, Sydney

1977

35 Years 20/10/2012 Australian Club for dinner

Phil Tuck – 0416 219 959 ptuck@interimexecs.com.au

1982

30 Years 20/10/2012 – 7pm Chatswood Club, 11 Help St, Chatswood

Tim Shorter – 0414 246 327 02 9905 6152 tim@fametrivia.com.au

Please RSVP with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ asap and also email Tim for our questionnaire

1987

25 Years 24/11/2012 – 12.30pm Sunset Bar, Newport Arms Hotel

Andrew Wines – 0409 437 401 apwines@bigpond.com

1992

20 Years 8/09/2012 Cabana Bar, St Leonards

Steve Brown – 0414 414 427 sbrown@dmgradio.com.au Scott Ward – 0408 160 208 scott@digitalinfusions.com

Thanks to Andrew Nesbitt (OKG71) for organising the Tasmanian Reunion Dinner on Friday 11 May. Twelve Old Boys met at the Athenaeum Club in Hobart for a great night. It was such a success that it is hoped that this will become an annual event.

1997

15 Years 22/9/12 - 5pm Waverton North Sydney Club, Woolcott Street, Waverton

Frazer Dowling – 0412 395 902 frazer@winstonhillsmall.com.au Facebook: Knox Class of 02

2002

10 Years 25/8/12 Join the Facebook page

Jeremy Farrell – 0438 653 007 jeremypatrickfarrell@gmail.com

2007

5 Years

Mitch Donaldson – 0405 651 311 mitchelljdonaldson@gmail.com

6/10/2012 Wentworth Park

Richard Cox

OKGA Reunions 2013

Forthcoming Events

Planning is underway for the 1963 Leavers 50 Year Reunion next year. Some dates proposed are 27 July or 3, 17 or 24 August 2013. David Gray, Jock Ewing and their committee would like feedback on the best time of year to have this event, especially if the general timing is considered unsuitable. Please consider your calendar and get back to David or Jock with preferred dates. Please contact: David (david.gray@visy.com.au or 0412 114 055) or Jock (lewing@bigpond.net.au or 0418 638 864).

Hong Kong Gathering of the Clan 25 June 2012, The Island Shangri-La Hotel, 2 Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road Central, Hong Kong. Contact Sarah Gregory gregorys@knox.nsw.edu.au or Susan Beverley beverleys@knox.nsw.edu.au. Old Boys are warmly encouraged to attend.

Please contact the OKGA Office with your updated contact details: gregorys@knox.nsw.edu.au

London Dinner Join the Headmaster, John Weeks and his wife Denise at a London gathering on Sunday, 8 July. Please contact Sarah Gregory gregorys@knox.nsw.edu.au if you are interested in attending. Sydney Dinner Friday, 24 August 2012, Killara Golf Club Brisbane Dinner Friday, 5 October 2012, United Services Club. Contact: David Charlton (OKG53)

The Thistle / June 2012 | 35


OLD KNOX GRAMMARIANS

News of Old Boys

Luncheon for Professor Stuart Semple

Stuart Semple

A luncheon was held on 27 April at the Greengate Hotel with Adjunct Professor Stuart Semple who taught at Knox from 1957-1963. Prof Semple was a very popular Housemaster of Gillespie who is now in his 56th year as a geography teacher. Married with two daughters, he lives in Canada and teaches at Mount Allison University. In 1998 the Canadian Association of Geographers presented him with an award for Excellence in Teaching. Most recently, Stuart has been appointed Chief Examiner for the International Baccalaureate Program in Geography. In this position he now oversees the curriculum of geography in over 100 countries.

Justin Cantelo (OKG95)

Justin has been working in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory with his fiancée, Tanya Moscrop, for the last two years. They initially journeyed to Kintore for a bit of adventure and time out from Sydney, but it has become a life changing experience for them both. The first 18 months was in Kintore, 500km west of Alice Springs along a dirt road. It is one of the most remote communities in Australia and is famous for being the area where the last of the Pintupi Tribe, who lived a traditional hunter gatherer life, came in off the desert in 1985. Justin worked as the Health Promotion Coordinator setting up a preventative health program to address the high prevalence of lifestyle related disease.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 36

Rick Capel

The last few months Justin has been working as the Project Manager for a new initiative called the ‘Healthy Sport Project’ based in the Ti Tree region, about 200km north of Alice Springs. The project aims to engage unemployed community members into occupational and lifestyle training using sport as the vehicle for change. Justin and Tanya have found the most rewarding aspect of working in remote communities to be the relationships with local Aboriginal people.They have a gentle honest nature and the children are so welcoming and excitable. Sometimes life can be hard as there are limited services; supplies need to be ordered in advance for the fortnightly truck delivery and there are no shops, restaurants or cafes. However, there is good camping and plenty of opportunities such as visiting cultural sites, playing in the local football competition, hunting with the locals, taking children on school excursions and being involved in local dance and ceremony.

Tom Matthews (OKG08)

At school, Tom was the halfback for the 2nds but with a lot of hard work and perseverance, he is now Gordon’s 1st grade outside centre and has already played two games for the Australian Barbarians.

Rick Capel (OKG72)

Rick Capel (OKG72) rode 1,800km raising awareness and funds for his favourite charity, ReachOut.com. ReachOut provides support to young boys and girls suffering depression and mental health problems and is Australia’s leading online youth mental health service. Rick, who is a past treasurer of the OKGA, spends four days each year on the Corners for Kids Ride. In March this year, riding his 1150 BMW GS, Rick visited Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Walcha and finally Gloucester, where he was checked by police on the lookout for outlaw, Malcolm Naden. Fortunately Rick did not fit the description and will be free to ride again next year.

Peter Kay (OKG64)

Peter Kay has lived for the last 30 years in southern Tasmania where he has been honing his writing skills. Over his career he has written fiction, features, news journalism and literary criticism; now he has turned to the novel, and his first novel, Blood has been awarded the Best Fiction Award in the Interactive Press Pick 2012 Awards. This is a national writing competition for unpublished manuscripts. Blood also won him a Varuna Fellowship and is part of a PhD project at the Central Queensland University. Publication of Blood is scheduled for November this year in both hardcopy and digital formats.


Green Way Up

Green Way Up

Bob Miles (OKG04) and Chuck Anderson (OKG04) have joined with two others to form the Green Way Up. They are the brains behind a website which specialises in collecting interesting stories in the world of Designer Sustainability. Their goal is to travel from the bottom of Australia to the top of Europe without filling up at a petrol station, crossing 30 countries through Asia, the Middle East and Europe - about 50,000km of fossil fuel-free travel. 2011 saw them complete the Australian leg of the expedition, passing through every state and territory over three months and about 12,000kms. They used their portable biodiesel processor to change waste oil and grease to 100% biodiesel which can be used in any standard vehicle. Their favourite places to find fuel were pub bistros, fish and chip shops, restaurants, abattoirs, canola fields, and poultry farms. The Australian leg of the expedition has been turned into a documentary called the Aussie Way Up on Nat Geo Adventure. They’re now in the planning phase for part two, Darwin to Norway, www.thegreenwayup.com

Michael Naude (OKG98)

Michael recently qualified for the Essex Tae Kwon Do Championships which were in Romford; where he placed 4th. He also placed third in the Men’s Individual High Speed Keta section.

Matthew Adams’ production Nicodemus

Matthew Adams (OKG74)

Matthew has co-written and produced a musical called Nicodemus. The musical was presented seven times to over 1,500 people including interstate visitors. It was a huge success. Michael Bayliss (OKG74) was in the cast as Pilate and Aaron and Ms Beth Goddard (Science teacher at Knox) played Mary.

Tim Shorter (OKG82)

Tim and his brother Jonathan (OKG84) run FAME Trivia which is Australia’s largest trivia night company. They currently employ over 80 staff and put on 120 weekly shows around the country as well as a monthly trivia night in Kandahar Province for the Aussie troops in Afghanistan. The troops who get to play, rate this as the ‘best night of the month’. FAME Trivia will be launching in Canada later this year.

Matt Paterson (OKG91)

Matt and Sally Paterson recently welcomed their third child, daughter Penelope Grace Paterson, born 23 April at North Shore Private Hospital. Lachlan, aged 7, and Abbie, aged 4, are proud siblings to baby Penelope. This is the 9th grandchild for Ian and Marjorie Paterson. Matt and Sally will be re-locating to Melbourne where Matt has recently started a role with Insurance Australia Group.

Jeremy Samuel (OKG90)

Jeremy is about to launch Anacacia II, a private equity investment fund following the award winning first Anacacia fund that he founded in 2007.

Nick Stirzaker (OKG09)

Nick has been signed to the Rebels to play in the Super 15 this year. Nick was selected for the Australian School Boys’ Rugby Team in 2009 and played for two years in the 1st XV in 2008 and 2009.

Owen Blake (OKG98) Archer Christopher Peter Blake was born on 24 August, 2011. Archer is the first child for Owen and Bridie Blake of Harefield.

The Thistle / June 2012 | 37


OLD KNOX GRAMMARIANS

Obituaries Brian Barr (OKG64): 1947-2011

Brian was Captain of Gillespie House, a CUO and Captain of Swimming. He graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Sydney University in 1972. Always an outstanding athlete, Brian took up triathlons and by 1993 at age 46 years he was competing in the Hawaiian Ironman. Never prepared to give anything but his best, Brian won his age group at the World Triathlon Championships in 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009. Along the way he collected an Australian Windsurfing Championship.

David Albert Cecil Howard Boult (OKG47): 1930-2012

have sat easily with Stan, he made his mark on the rugby grounds of the Central West and met the love of his life, Tina Hackney. Stan was a born salesman who worked his way up the ladder in a number of companies. In later years, despite his illness, Stan made his mark on the wine industry where he held senior positions with Chateau Tanunda and Ballast Stone Wines. Stan played a number of seasons with the Knox Old Boys’ Rugby Club and later enjoyed regular games of golf at Pennant Hills Golf Club. Stan was instrumental in organising the 1970 leavers’ reunions where his drive and humour always made these events something to remember.

As School Captain, Barton spoke of how his headmaster, Mr MacNeil, encouraged him to make his own decisions. Barton said, “Mr MacNeil never overruled my proposals and he taught me to have the courage to do what you consider is in the best interest of others, as well as yourself.” He was an OKGA committee member from 1960-1970 and 1987-1992, becoming Secretary of the Knox Over 70 Club from 1993 until 1999.

Geoff White (OKG69): 1951-2012

Neill Latimer (OKG46): 1930-2012

David and older brother Cedric both attended Knox from kindergarten to leaving. Family holidays on their yacht, ‘Rambler’, on Pittwater were where David’s love of boats, sailing and all things nautical developed. His schooling was during the war years where cadets was one of the main extra-curricular activities, along with rugby, cricket, woodwork and metalwork.The war ended before he left school, giving him a free choice of careers. Following a stint in the hardware business, David moved to Humpdee Doo in the Northern Territory. He undertook a Diploma of Business Management at night school and, after retirement from the Office of Small Business, he became a volunteer guide at the Maritime Museum, joined the Woodworkers Group of NSW, the Wooden Boat Association of NSW and still remained very active in sailing, canoeing and bushwalking. David was also a member of the Senior Knoxonians.

Stan Shaw (OKG70): 1953-2012

Stan Shaw passed away in March after battling ill-health for a number of years. Stan began at Knox in 1965 and was an integral member of the Knox family. He completed his HSC in 1970, and went to Mitchell CAE, Bathurst, to study business. While academic life may not

The Thistle / June 2012 | 38

Neill Latimer was born in Melbourne but completed his secondary schooling at Knox. While playing for Gordon Club and without having ever represented NSW, he was selected for his first and only test cap for the Wallabies in 1957 against a touring All Blacks side in Brisbane. Despite consistently playing good hard rugby for his club, it was extremely difficult for Neill to force his way into the NSW team and gain further Wallaby caps.

Barton Perkins (OKG37): 1920-2011

Barton started at Knox in 1st Class in 1926 at six years of age and left in 1938 as School Captain, Captain of Cricket and SUO. Barton’s son Roger (OKG67) and his three grandsons Adam, Scott and Ryan inherited Barton’s sporting prowess and all played in the 1st X1 and 1st XV. Barton graduated from Sydney University as an engineer in 1943 and joined the RAAF as Assistant Chief Technical Officer at Wagga Wagga and Laverton Aircraft Depots. On being demobilised in 1945, Barton joined Australian National Industries and was involved in the production of the GMH Holden car. After 30 years Barton became a consultant focussed on product costing before retiring in 1990.

Extracts from the Obituary written by Bruce Guthrie which appeared in the SMH, 6/2/2012 Professor Geoff White was a pioneering and world-renowned Australian vascular surgeon whose patients included Kerry Packer as well as thousands of people in public hospital care at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. For the most part he kept his substantial achievements to himself, often slipping out of the dinner parties he hosted with his wife, Kathy, to perform hours-long transplant surgery, usually just telling guests, “I’ve got to duck into the hospital”. Geoff was born in Newcastle, the eldest of five children. Growing up on the shores of Lake Macquarie, he learnt to sail a Heron and developed a lifetime love of boats. He won a scholarship to Knox and was awarded another to study medicine at the University of Sydney, not surprising given his grandfather, father and three uncles were doctors. He graduated in 1976 before starting training in general and vascular surgery at RPA. He was admitted as a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1982 and in 1984 headed for the US with Kathy (nee Gallagher) and their first child for a position at California’s Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre. White’s years in California were extremely productive, igniting his interest in vascular research and laying the


foundation for his achievements in the new field of endovascular surgery. Previously major surgery to fix blocked arteries and aneurysms had been invasive and painful, with long recovery times. Endovascular surgery repaired problems from inside arteries and veins, inserting lasers, catheters, balloons and stents through tiny incisions.With this new treatment, patients could often be discharged the next day.

Deaths The OKGA extends its sincere sympathy to the families of the following Old Knox Grammarians who have passed away. Ian Murray Ewart Angus (OKG48)

24 May 2011

Anton Willem Bakker (OKG45)

5 May 2011

Brian William Barr (OKG64)

31 October 2011

Hugh Strachan Bingham (OKG46)

30 June 2010

Russel Irwin Bridgford (OKG48)

2 May 2012

Walter Ronald Burnside (OKG38)

17 November 2010

Graham Everleigh Chapman (OKG48)

8 November 2011

Kenneth Chia (OKG57)

6 September 2010

David Arthur Crocker (OKG40)

23 December 2011

Robert Leslie Denison (OKG45)

22 July 2011

In 1989, White returned home to take up clinical practice and, later, an appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney. While on sabbatical at the University of California, in 1993, he implanted the first component aortic graft in a human. It became known as the ‘trombone technique’ (music-loving White said the grafts resembled the instrument’s slide), leading to the development of practical aortic endografts for the treatment of life-threatening aneurysms, making open surgery almost obsolete.

Emeritus Professor Trevor Alan Jones (OKG49)

26 April 2012

Vasanth Devadath Joseph (OKG51)

9 November 2011

Thomas Murray Knox (OKG37)

26 June 2011

Neill Latimer (OKG46)

2 February 2012

John Machin Lees (OKG45)

20 November 2009

Douglas Dawson Livermore (OKG65)

2 May 2011

Ian Alexander Scott-Orr (OKG43)

31 January 2012

Barton Perkins (OKG37)

20 October 2011

Michael Shiu Chiu Seto (OKG56)

19 November 2011

Stan Shaw (OKG70)

14 March 2012

Geoff became the Head of the Department of Vascular Surgery at RPA in 2000. Over the next decade, in addition to caring for patients at RPA, he continued to develop medical devices for less-invasive treatment of vascular disorders and mentoring surgeons in Australia and overseas. He was a much sought-after speaker at major symposiums around the world and collected many distinguished awards for his research.

John Frederick Armour Shield (OKG39)

11 January 2011

Albert George Stirling (OKG45)

20 April 2011

John Graham Stockwell (OKG51) (known as Graham)

2 February 2012

Donald Swinton (OKG41)

6 August 2011

John Robert Jeffrey Taylor (OKG48)

26 May 2011

Peter John Tyler (OKG50)

5 May 2012

Kenneth Henry Walters (OKG45)

17 July 2011

Adam George Winter (OKG46)

29 March 2010

John ‘Ollie’ Wright (OKG64)

26 December 2011

While in the US, White was appointed the Assistant Professor of Surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine and Chief of Vascular Surgery at the VA Wadsworth Medical Centre in Los Angeles. He would patch up gunshot victims in the hospital’s emergency ward while using the centre’s extraordinary research facilities to develop his expertise.

In early 2010, he was diagnosed with melanoma and succumbed after a two-year battle, during which he continued to work and travel, enjoy sport, cinema, theatre and eating out.

John ‘Ollie’ Wright (OKG64): 1946-2011 A ‘Gillespie man’, John was 30 minutes older than his twin brother, Paul. He excelled at long distance running and loved his rugby. After school he attended TOCAL Agricultural College and was College Captain for two years before becoming the Livestock Superintendent at the University of New England.

From 1968, John managed country properties, primarily the 52,000 acre Alawoona in south-west Queensland before ultimately settling in 1990 at his Kenmore Park property north west of Gympie with his wife, Jean and daughter, Jennifer.

John Wright (OKG64) The Thistle / June 2012 | 39


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The Thistle - June 2012