The Grammarian - Summer Edition 2024

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From the President

As we embrace the new year with enthusiasm, I am delighted to extend warm greetings to every one of you. The beginning of 2024 brings a period of reflection, celebration, and anticipation for what lies ahead for The Rockhampton Grammar School and the Alumni community.

One of the hallmarks of the School community is the tradition of the Generations Breakfast, held on the same day as the School’s Foundation and Leadership ceremony which acknowledges the current Year 12 Seniors. The second annual breakfast once again brought together current students and their alumni relatives. The atmosphere in the Memorial Assembly Hall was filled with laughter, shared memories, and a sense of pride in the School’s rich heritage. We eagerly anticipate continuing this tradition in the future, fostering bonds that transcend generations.

Attention, Classes of 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004, and 2014 - it’s your reunion year and we invite you to join these joyous occasions. Reunions are filled with nostalgia, laughter, and the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and mentors.

We also extend a special invitation to our Alumni residing in Christchurch, New Zealand, to actively engage with us.

For further details and to register your interest, please don’t hesitate to contact Rachel Trump, RGS Alumni Engagement Officer at rgsalumni@rgs.

Finally, I am thrilled to share the remarkable achievements of one of our own, Taryn Roberts (Class of 2023). Taryn’s outstanding performance at the Australian Open Water Championships in Busselton, Western Australia, is a

source of immense pride for our community. Her remarkable feat of winning gold in the 18 years 10km and 5km events, coupled with podium finishes in the open category, exemplifies the unwavering spirit of excellence that defines The Rockhampton Grammar School.

Taryn’s story is one you will read about in the Summer edition of The Grammarian. Your stories, experiences, and achievements serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of The Rockhampton Grammar School. To contact the Association email

You can also stay in touch with the Association by visiting the RGS

On the cover: Max Somes, Julia Becker (RGS 2017) and her brother Harrison Becker (RGS 2023). Read morePage 4

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The next generation

Kate unites rural industry advocates

A passion for the agriculture industry is driving Kate Drury (nee Pini, RGS 2012) to love keeping busy in both her roles as a Suncorp Bank Agribusiness District Manager and a member of the 2024 Beef Australia Next Gen Committee.

Kate is Suncorp Bank’s Western Queensland District Manager and loves nothing more than the agriculture sector’s people and the opportunities it provides.

“There is not just one career role that is clearly defined in the Ag Industry,’’ said Kate, who often meets people who have moved to regional locations and started new small businesses, contributing to the sector from not the status quo agricultural role.

“People are really respectful, grateful, and appreciative in country areas. “The industry needs young people to step up into advocacy roles, to be progressive in the direction and viewpoint of our industry – and I am always amazed by the young ones already stepping up and the difference they make.”

Kate is gaining a further insight into the industry’s potential through her Beef 2024 Next Gen role, with the committee’s programme aimed at helping shape the future leaders of the beef community.

Before being recommended, and approved by the Board for the Beef role, Kate had already built strong connections through growing up in the beef industry, through boarding at RGS and working for Suncorp.

“The committee is organising six events for 18 to 35-year-olds during Beef24. It’s all about educating, empowering, and inspiring the young generation of beef industry leaders. The programme ranges from formal speaking events to social networking opportunities,’’ Kate said.

“Not everyone is comfortable stepping into an advocate role, but I see the value it adds for me. I asked lots of questions when I started in the workforce, and I want others to feel comfortable doing the same.

“I’ve been lucky working for Suncorp with the great leaders and mentors I’ve had. Tthe way they have conveyed their faith in me along every step of the way in my career to date, has made all the difference.”

After her early years of schooling via Capricornia School of the Air, Kate arrived in RGS boarding in Year 8 from a property north of Moranbah in the Mt Coolon district. After graduating from Year 12 in 2012, Kate returned home to the family property for a year before her mum and dad asked her to “go try something else”.

“I received a decent OP at school but deferred Uni a year to go back and reacquaint myself with my family and home. After the year at home, I studied a Bachelor of Economics at UQ,’’ Kate said.

“I always loved Economics at school. Andrew Junge was a great teacher.” Nearing the end of her degree, Kate was offered an agribusiness graduate position with Suncorp Bank.

“I didn’t really see myself getting into banking. I just wanted to continue to work in the ag industry and it seemed like a good fit at the time,’’ Kate said. Posted to Rockhampton for her graduate programme, Kate later accepted an offer as an Assistant Manager in St George, Queensland, and six months later stepped into the Manager role for the next four years. Kate then moved into a senior manager role in Roma for one year before becoming a District Manager in late 2022.

Kate, who was married in early 2023, continues to work for Suncorp but is now based on her husband’s family feedlot and grazing property at Condamine.

Working in a District Manager’s role is all about flexibility, and plenty of travel, for Kate, with her region covering Roma, St George, Miles, and Longreach districts.

“Suncorp has four District Managers in Queensland, and I’m one, managing around 16 staff and around $1.2 billion in funds. There’s a lot of people management in my role now so I am learning a new set of skills that are adding to my toolkit,’’ Kate said.

“There’s a growing remote workforce these days, and I am doing it as well often travelling three to four days a week. I make a huge effort to go to the branches every week. I enjoy the job more being around people.”

While Kate grows into her work roles, she still finds herself feeling “out of her depth” when she takes on new challenges.

Kate was a panellist alongside Emily Pullen (CEO, Jim’s Jerky) and Amelia Booth (General Manager People, Culture & Safety at Mort & Co) at a Women in Ag Forum in Toowoomba last October. The panel spoke about leadership, mentorship, sponsors, and breaking down barriers.

“Sitting there alongside women with more leadership experience, I was feeling out of my depth, and I kept asking myself, why am I here?” Kate said.

“I was second guessing if I was making the most of the opportunity and platform I was provided, but one of the other speakers made the comment that while she had more years of leadership experience, she hadn’t been in the ag industry near as many years as I had. I guess that’s the different value I added.”

Kate, who has also been invited to sit on an ICPA (Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association) panel during Beef, said the more of these speaker forums she does, the better and more comfortable she becomes.

Like Kate’s career journey, Beef 2024 will provide a host of networking opportunities for people of all experiences, both across the beef industry and in other associated industries. The event also provides an opportunity for people unfamiliar with the industry to discover more about Australia’s agriculture sector.

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Kate (pictured far left) with her fellow Next Gen committee members.

Stud Cattle Chair

Beef events offers leadership opportunity

James Kent (RGS 2008) is taking on the role of Stud Cattle Championship Committee Chair at Beef 2024. It’s also a clean sweep of RGS alumni in the cattle chair roles this year with Angus Creedon (RGS 2006) and David Hill (RGS 1985) Chairs of the Commercial Cattle Championship Committee and National Beef Carcase Competition Committee respectively. James is putting the final pieces in place before another whirlwind Beef event. James was born into the beef industry. His parents (Susan and Darren Kent) own and operate OOLINE Brahmans, in Central Queensland’s Goovigen district. James was a boarder at RGS from 2004 to 2008. During this time James was captain of the RGS Show Cattle Team. Mr Dan Avenell was the team’s Teacher-in-Charge during that time.

“Mr Avenell really increased my passion for the livestock industry, making me want to carve a career in it,’’ James said.

“Following school I worked on various properties until I started with Elders in 2012, as a Territory Sales Manager and auctioneer. The skills I picked up through public speaking at shows through school really helped set me up for this role. I then worked in other livestock coordinator roles throughout Central Queensland.”

In 2015, James was awarded the Edgar Hudgins Memorial Scholarship, which included a threemonth trip in the USA as well as being part of the Advancing Beef Leaders programme. Completing the scholarship in 2022, James and his wife

Cassandra (pictured above with their son Artie) then purchased “Westcourt”, 918 acres in the Callide Valley.

“I’m extremely passionate and engaged with the idea of supplying the global population protein. Although we are an extremely small part of that, it’s this idea that I find extremely rewarding,’’ James said.

Juggling his property and family commitments, along with preparing for Beef 2024, is keeping James extremely busy.

“During Beef the Stud Cattle Committee will be the main point of call to ensure all logistics involved in the competition run smoothly, being a contact for all exhibitors, and ensuring cattle arrivals are as smooth as possible from weighing, scanning, sawdust deliveries and removal,’’ James said.

“Central Queensland is a hub for beef. It has three major processor plants as well as an extremely dense population of beef cattle, which is testament to the quality of country that we are fortunate to possess in the region.”

Post Beef, James is looking forward to growing his family’s business, alongside his wife Cassandra and children Artie, 2, and Francesca, 10-monthsold.

“Hopefully some of the skills and leadership I have picked up from the Stud Cattle Committee can help my future personal and community goals,’’ James said.

RGS eagerly anticipates reconnecting with Alumni at Beef 2024, held from May 6 to 10.

Look for us in the Walter Pierce Pavilion at site WP3-WP4.

Drop in for a chat and to collect your limited edition ‘RGS Alumni’ cap. See you there!

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Overseas adventures

Nepal trek pushes mental and physical boundaries

Julia Becker (RGS 2017), her brother Harrison Becker (RGS 2023) and Julia’s partner Max Somes decided to push themselves to the limit as they embarked on a very cold journey to Everest Base Camp last November. Julia shares her experience.

“The first inspiration for this trek was our older brother, Lachlan (RGS 2014), doing EBC (Everest Base Camp) when he first graduated school. Also, the opportunity to see such a naturally beautiful and interesting part of the world whilst also experiencing a sense of accomplishment seemed to be an exciting combination.

We didn’t find ourselves too concerned with preparation. We were all fit and healthy individuals, thankfully with no underlying medical conditions. The trekking company sent us a preparation guide and packing checklist. Based off these lists, we essentially were just running regularly and buying the warmest hiking clothes we could find.

We flew into Kathmandu and met our group of 12 others from Australia, Brazil, and the USA. Here we also met our guides, who had grown up in various parts of the Himalayas.

We flew from Kathmandu into the world’s most dangerous airport in Lukla. We then began our eight-day ascent from 2860m elevation to 5364m above sea level. We trekked through many villages, and were hosted by generous and kind Nepalese locals. We passed yaks and mountain goats, walked across suspension bridges, over rivers, and through glaciers into temperatures exceeding -20 degrees Celcius. We reached Everest Base Camp safely on 7 December.

We then took four days to descend back to Lukla, where we welcomed our first hot shower after 150km of trekking through beautiful, yet harsh country.

It was difficult, both physically and mentally. We were never clean, and rarely warm. Resources are very limited at the altitudes we were reaching. Most of the group got altitude sickness, and nausea and headaches followed them all the way to Base Camp. Rhinovirus also followed us down the mountain and back to Australia! However, we were safe, together and knew that we were achieving something worthwhile. It was either a good time, or a good story! It is an experience that we will never forget and we are very grateful to have had the opportunity.”

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Pictured right: Max, Julia and Harrison.
“You walk away with a newfound confidence in yourself that makes you feel like you can take on anything.”

My story


(RGS 2019)

Initially unsure whether she had accomplished enough at a young age, Isabella Hanson was at first reluctant to enter the 2023 Queensland Country LIfe Showgirl Awards. While Isabella was helping organise the Theordore Show, the commitee was struggling to find showgirl entrants so Isabella helped out in what would become a rewarding decision, eventually winning the State Final.

“After the Theodore Show, I went on to the Central Queensland sub chamber finals, hosted at Ridgelands, and was successful at that level which meant I went on to the State Finals at the Ekka and was fortunate enough to take out the title of the 2023 QCL Showgirl.

The competition truly offers so much more than what I can put into words. You walk away with a newfound confidence in yourself that makes you feel like you can take on anything. It combines personal and professional development in a programme that allows you to take as much away from it as you put in. In reflection, it is far more of an opportunity to network, learn about yourself and make lifelong friendships than a competition.

The role now involves advocating and representing the showgirl movement which is to recognise, develop and celebrate young female leaders in our rural communities. I’ll continue to attend the local shows within my sub chamber throughout 2024 and hope to get more ladies involved with the Showgirl programme.

It also involves some major perks like being invited to the Queensland Governor’s Christmas Reception, and attending the Sydney Royal Easter Show as a mentor for their Young Woman of the Year programme. In August, I will then pass on my sash to the next QCL Showgirl, but I can’t see my involvement ending there.

Having spent time away living in Sydney after graduating from RGS, it really made me come to appreciate what I had back home. There’s no other lifestyle quite like it. Each day is different to the next and there’s always a new hurdle to overcome. Knowing that

we’re contributing to the industry that feeds and clothes Australians is always exciting. The beef industry in particular is where my heart lies because there’s nothing like selling a bull, seeing the progeny it produces for someone and then seeing that product end up in restaurants or supermarkets. It’s one of the only industries where you can really witness the whole supply chain from conception to consumption.

I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in Journalism and Business Communication, online through Griffith University. Study fits in amongst my other jobs.

Aside from working at home on our property and handling the marketing of our stud, Bullakeana Brangus and Ultrablacks, I work as a freelance writer, podcast producer, and media consultant for our local MP as well as teaching local students singing, violin and piano in the afternoon. The days are diverse from mustering, photographing bulls, running various social media accounts, hooking into an assignment, interviewing candidates for a story or writing a media release on the latest political ploy.

Becoming a part of the local show society, especially if you’re new to an area, is a great way to immerse yourself in the community and get involved. You’ll also be exposed to all sectors within the rural industry, and it can be a great way to find employment. I know I have certainly leveraged that with my involvement. Also, always be open to new opportunities and experiences because you never know where it may lead.”

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The Morris sisters

Exploring new worlds leads to rewarding careers

Madeleine Morris (RGS 1994), Margot Morris (RGS 1997), and Elizabeth Morris (2000) discovered what the world had to offer after completing their school years at RGS. Madeleine pursued a media career, Margot discovered a new world of international relations and health, while Elizabeth embarked on a music career and is now teaching in Europe.

Madeleine Morris: (journalist)

Where has life taken you since departing ABC News Breakfast?

I’ve been taking a blissful three months off! And doing all the life admin that you never get time to do when you are working full time. It’s been a wonderful time to recharge after four years of 3am alarms, and now I’m gearing up for my next steps. I’m looking to move into the sustainability and ESG worlds, working towards making businesses more compatible with climate goals and social responsibilities. It’s very much a growing field and I hope I can bring some of the skills I’ve gained in over two decades in domestic and global journalism.

Tell us more about your media career?

I did a double degree in journalism and French at UQ (University of Queensland) and then was lucky to land a job with the ABC in Rockhampton as a producer. It was a terrific learning ground for a young journalist. After a year I had itchy feet and moved to France and Germany for a year before getting a job as a freelance producer with the BBC in London. From there I joined the staff, reporting and presenting for the BBC’s international radio and TV outlets, with a stint as a Washington correspondent too. Highlights - there are so many! I’ve been incredibly fortunate to travel to more than 20 countries for work. Standout memories include spending two months in Uganda and Zambia looking at HIV issues, taking my then 2-year old daughter to a Beijing boarding school for three-year-olds for a documentary and interviewing Robbie Williams! The work I am most proud of is my book, Guilt-Free Bottle-Feeding: Why your formula-fed baby can be happy, healthy and smart, because I know that it has changed lives.

You were the finance presenter on ABC News Breakfast, what were some of the other key media genres you focused on during your reporting days?

I was a specialist on developing world issues at the BBC, and did a lot of reporting on HIV in developing countries in particular. I’ve done a lot of health reporting and obviously when I was in Washington on US issues. I did quite a lot of investigative work when I was a reporter at 7.30 (The 7.30 Report, ABC TV).

What did you love about working in media?

The variety. You are privileged to speak to people from so many different backgrounds, from the Prime Minister to farmers, from celebrities to business leaders. My favourite interviews are always the ones with ordinary people, though. They are often the most extraordinary stories.

Some people are not fans of the media. What thoughts do you have on this career and how does it fit into today’s society?

I can understand that some people aren’t fans of the

Elizabeth Morris (musician/teacher)

After graduating from RGS, where did your studies take you?

I’d say that I took my studies in lots of different directions! I found it difficult to choose one area to focus on at uni. I had always enjoyed doing lots of different subjects at school, and I remember that I found it super hard to suddenly only choose one thing that was supposedly my career. Of course, life isn’t like that! In the end, I started a music degree at QUT (Queensland University of Technology), but I changed after a year or so to law. This was

media. It’s often so depressing to read the news, and the media industry needs to take responsibility for that and there needs to be a definite reckoning of news values I think. People just can’t handle being deluged with bad news all the time. However, a vibrant, professional media is critical to functioning society. My advice to people is to limit the amount of news you read and choose high quality outlets, rather than the junk.

Any advice for people who want to pursue a media career?

It is honestly becoming increasingly difficult to be a journalist with the instant feedback to your work on social media. You need to just learn to screen that out, which can be hard. It is still a wonderful job, however. Studying journalism at uni is an obvious first step, and then getting a job in a regional area where you can hone your craft is always a good idea. People also need to be proficient at all areas of production, so make sure you can shoot and edit. You can also do so much of your own journalism on TikTok and Instagram now, so build a portfolio of that too. The more versatile you are, the more likely you are to land a job.

a bit of an odd choice, and I remember my father particularly being unimpressed with that - he wanted me to be an artist, not a barrister! In the end he got one of his barrister mates to talk me out of my law degree. Probably a good call in the end, but I did enjoy the challenge of my legal studies. In the end, I stuck everything under an Arts degree at UQ (University of Queensland), which funnily enough is where I encountered some of the music education philosophy I would later put to use in my own teaching practice.

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(Elizabeth Morris)

But I didn’t know that at the time. As soon as I had enough credit points I graduated and happily put my university career behind me (although I would later take a master’s degree at the Norwegian Music Academy). I took the first plane to London! That’s where Madeleine was living, I missed her and I wanted to start a band like the Go-Betweens. I didn’t know how but I figured London was the place to go. In the end, of course, it was.

How did you get started in the music industry?

I studied music at school. I loved Mrs Cuyler - she was my teacher inspiration! I loved doing choir and small ensembles at RGS, it was really helpful to my music education. I have been a music obsessive all my life. I have loved singing and listening to music and playing music for as long as I can remember. To me it has always been a way of expressing my feelings and understanding myself. Music is completely essential to my life. I still love it. If I am in a bad mood, I always listen to something to cheer myself up. It is a lifelong love affair!

I got involved with playing music when I first moved to London. I very quickly found “my people” and a super active and supportive music scene. I formed a band and we played lots and lots of shows, first in London, then all over the UK, Europe, North America and even Australia once. We made lots of friends through music, everything was very DIY and independent. I have always very purposely stayed away from anything that purports to be very

Margot Morris (health)

After graduating from RGS, where did your studies take you?

I did my undergraduate degree in International Relations at the University of Queensland and then a few years later went to London to do a Master of Health Policy at the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

music industry. The music industry itself is horrible, greedy, and unsupportive, and quite far removed from anything that I love about music.

You started the band Allo Darlin’ in London. How did that all come about and how would you describe the group’s music style?

Allo Darlin’ came about through serendipity, and I was very lucky to find people that were not only brilliant musicians, but who would become my closest friends. I don’t know if bands can still start in the way that ours did, but basically I was playing solo shows around London, and some people with labels starting paying attention to what I was doing. I didn’t want to make music alone and just asked some very clever people I knew to play some shows and record with me. It was that simple. I would describe the group’s style as indie pop.

What did you enjoy about performing?

The connection with the audience, the connection with the band onstage, the connection with the people behind the scenes who help the band make the music and put on the show, the way music affects both the people who play it, and the audience. It’s very special and I feel so lucky to be able to do it.

You then started teaching English in European schools?

Through my band I met my husband, Ola Innset, who is also an amazing musician, as well as a highly

accomplished historian. He is Norwegian, but was going to do his PhD in Firenze. We moved to Italy for a few years and that’s where I first started teaching. I taught English, which was a lot of fun. I’m now living in Norway. I am a music teacher at the local primary school, as well as a mum to two small, delightful Norwegian Australians, Astrid and Klara. I’m also making a new album with Allo Darln’ in the summer, so I’m doing lots of writing at the moment. Right now we also spend a lot of time indoors because it’s been so cold, it’s been -20 degrees Celcius in Norway, so we are looking forward to spring!

Any advice for RGS alumni looking at following their passions overseas?

Go for it! You never know where life is going to take you. I never would have thought that by following my dream to become a songwriter and musician that I would end up living here, in beautiful Norway. I never would have guessed that I would learn Italian and Norwegian, study at the Norwegian Music Academy, have played my own music around the world and have a beautiful Norwegian family. Going abroad is absolutely the best way to learn about your own place, where you come from. It’s essential that we widen our horizons and learn about other cultures and places. So please, even if it’s scary, go for it!

How did you start your career with DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)?

I had been working for international development organisations in Australia, and also overseas, which helped me get a position in what was then the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) in Canberra. AusAID was merged into DFAT about 10 years ago, so I’ve been at DFAT since then.

You had overseas postings in Cambodia and Fiji, what were your roles with the international postings, and what did you discover most from these experiences?

My career has focused mostly on supporting better health care and health outcomes for people in developing countries. In Cambodia, I ran Australia’s programme of support for Cambodia’s health system. While living in Fiji for my husband’s posting I also worked briefly in the Fijian Ministry of Health responding to a measles outbreak. I developed a really deep respect for people living in different countries in our region - and their commitment to improving health, education, the environment, etc in their countries and globally. We face lots of shared challenges and have so much to learn from the experience of people in our region.

Now based in Canberra, what did your work with pandemic preparedness involve, and how much has this health focus changed since COVID-19 captured the world’s attention?

Since returning to Canberra, I worked on the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, and now work on improving access to medicines for other diseases in our region.

What do you enjoy most about this type of work?

It’s an incredible privilege to be able to represent your country and do such interesting (and meaningful) work in exciting places all around the world. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity.

Any advice for RGS graduates looking at pursuing careers in this field?

There are lots of different avenues for this sort of work - through government, non-government organisations, businesses and international organisations. I would encourage RGS graduates to be open to all opportunities - and certainly to give DFAT a try!

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RGS Alumni –

Netball trailblazers

Netball is one of the most popular sports at RGS, and it’s all thanks to a group of young women who were determined to take the court.

Early trailblazers of RGS netball were recognised at a morning tea in the School’s Memorial Assembly Hall in late 2023.

Netball captains were acknowledged on the RGS Netball honour board from 1980, however, netball was also played in 1978 and 1979.

An all-boys school for many years, netball was not on the sporting agenda at RGS. A return to coeducation in 1977 changed the School’s sporting landscape.

Six RGS alumni from 1978 and 1979 returned to the School for the unveiling of the updated Netball Honour Board, recognising past leaders and founders of the sport at RGS. Also, joining the

occasion were netballers in the 2023 RGS First VII Magic team.

The founding RGS players dedication and commitment was integral in shaping the legacy of today’s RGS netball programme, and the success of netball would not have been possible without the passion and tenacity of these ladies.

Starting netball was not an easy task, having to plead with the bus drivers to drop them at Jardine Park for fixtures, sewing their own bibs, and running lamington drives to help fund trips away to carnivals. In 1979 the School’s highest-ranking team won their division at the Baralaba Carnival. Even though much time has passed, and it has been a while since these ladies wore the red and

black, they have stayed connected to RGS Netball via the School’s social media platforms and are proud of the young women and what they have since achieved on the netball courts for RGS. This theme resonated from the alumni in attendance as they spoke to the 2023 Magic players – “We were so proud to pave the way. You girls (current Magic players) should be so proud of yourself and thank you so much for continuing netball at Rockhampton Grammar.”

RGS alumni attending the morning tea were Jenny Hillman, Louise Lawrie (nee Eather), Glenda Smyth (nee Spencer), Patrice Brown (nee Purcell), Kathy Andrew (nee Burton), and Donna Lawrie (nee Hetherington).

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RGS netballers from across the generations, still all proud of wearing the red and black; (right) RGS netball in 1979.

Living a dream in the Navy

Travis pursues lifetime aviation dream

Travis Hutt (RGS 2022) was Commissioned as a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Officer in March 2023, before completing the New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) at the Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell. Travis shares his story of following his dreams to become a Navy pilot.

“I always loved aviation as a kid,’’ Travis said. “Combining my passion for aviation and a desire to serve in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), meant joining the RAN as a Pilot as that was my aspiration since Year 6. It’s a long and competitive process, but if you want to make it happen, you will.”

Travis joined the RAN through the ADF Gap Year –Navy Programme.

“Unlike the Royal Australian Air Force or the Australian Army, if you join the ADF Gap Year – Navy programme, you’ll complete Officer training prior to going to the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA),’’ Travis said.

“This means on completion of training at Creswell, you spend 6 to 12 months experiencing Navy life all around Australia, accumulating experience at shore bases and on warships.

“There are plenty of opportunities to be involved in events, my favourite being the annual Indo-Pacific Sea Power Conference. It was a great experience networking with Navy personnel from other countries, such as the United States Navy and Royal Navy.”

Through the ADF Gap Year Navy programme, Travis was assessed and approved through a highly selective process to transfer from a Gap Year to a Navy Pilot.

Travis is now at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra, preparing to commence Pilot training following graduation from ADFA. It’s an exciting opportunity for the aviation enthusiast.

“Flight school starts with the Pilatus PC-21, before moving to Service-specific airframe training,’’ Travis said.

“The operational platform RAN utilises is the MH-60R Seahawk; the ‘Romeo’. The Romeo’s

main responsibility is to provide additional antisubmarine (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities to the warship or taskforce to which it is attached. The aircraft also provides Search and Rescue (SAR) and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) assistance when required, proving it an exceptionally robust platform.”

The upcoming ADFA opportunity follows Travis’ commitment to NEOC training, which consisted of comprehensive military training over 15 weeks.

“It comprised of everything from basic military knowledge and behaviours, to field exercises involving complex leadership scenarios,’’ Travis said.

“All of this combined helped equip me with the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours required of a Junior Officer to serve in the Royal Australian Navy.” While at ADFA, Travis will also concurrently study for a degree.

Travis said studying at ADFA was a great opportunity that “not enough people are aware of.”

“Studying at ADFA provides world-class military training whilst also providing fully-funded study toward accredited degrees managed by the University of New South Wales (UNSW),’’ Travis said. Travis encouraged Secondary School graduates to consider a career in the Australian Defence Force via ADFA entry.

“In addition to the world-class training, you make friends for life,’’ Travis said.

“I am not aware of any other institutions, such as ADFA, which will not only pay for your degree, but also provide you with a competitive salary and leadership development.”

Travis said his best advice was to start the application process early, as it could take anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

Travis Hutt is
“It’s been a long and competitive process, but if you want to make it happen, you will.”
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pursuing his childhood dreams of joining the Royal Australian Navy flying ranks.
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Nigel Burnett (1995, Ian’s son), Beth Burnett (nee Hart, 1994), Harland Burnett (2022, Ian’s grandson), Mave Burnett (Year 12, Ian’s granddaughter), Millie Burnett (Year 10, Nigel and Beth’s daughter and Ian’s granddaughter), Sophie Dendle (Year 8, David’s granddaughter), Ian Burnett (1970) and David Bennett (1958) - Ian and David are cousins! Bob Humphreys (1973) with granddaughters Ivy (Year 12) and Molly Murphy (Year 8). Craig (1997) and Melissa (nee Bradbury, 1997) Maxwell with children Flynn (Year 7) and Lara (Year 9). Rob White (RGS 1986) with daughters Polly (Year 9), Charli (Year 11) and Skye (Year 7) Jordan Geddes (1995) with daughters Addie (Year 2) and Willa (Prep) Renee Gamero (nee Harth, 1996) and daughter Gabriella Gamero-Harth (Year 12) Jaclyn (nee Bracewell, 1995) and Matt Ray (1995) with Vivienne (Year 6). Class of 1995 - Nathan Hume, Rachel Trump (nee Milnes), Ben Miller, Barbara Miller (nee Ashton), Jordan Geddes, Jaclyn Ray (nee Bracewell), Matt Ray, Nigel Burnett and Todd Wells. Kate Delaney (nee Handley, 2003) with children Harrison (Year 4) and Aria (Year 3) Jessica Williams (nee Davis, 2006) and son Jack (Prep) Peter Besch (1994) with children Matthew (Year 8), Alice (Year 12), Spencer (Year 10) and Sarah (Year 6). Warwick Anderson (1988) and daughter Munroe (Year 4) RGS Headmaster Dr Phillip Moulds with Harrison Delaney (Year 4)

Generations Breakfast

RGS Alumni, and past School Captain, Steve Deaves (RGS 1987) briefly addressed the audience of both current and future RGS Alumni in the School’s Memorial Assembly Hall at the second annual breakfast.

Steve spoke about the physical differences of the School, from the 1980s to now - the buildings that have gone and the new buildings that have appeared on the RGS landscape.

Memories of the teaching staff, many with long careers at RGS, food in the kitchen and memories of students sweeping the pathways and driveways each morning at “fatigues”.

Steve said, what had not changed, was the School spirit.

“To me it is visible in the kinship between the Alumni regardless of when they came here,’’ said Steve, who also reminded the breakfast attendees about the importance of how quickly spirit can evaporate so it was important to continue to strive to keep that spirit alive. Steve said two elements that he felt mattered the most were the belief that if you try your hardest you can achieve anything, and the promotion of kindness between one another.

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Jason and Penny Wells (both 1999) with daughters Bella (Year 12) and Lilly (Year 8). Guest speaker Steve Deaves ( 1987) David Stubbs (1979) and grandson Damien Bradshaw (Year 10) Ben and Barbara (nee Ashton) Miller (both 1995) with daughter Kadie (Year 7) Nathan Hume (1995) with Saxon (Year 8) and Lucian (Year 7). Steve Deaves (1987) with Duncan (Year 2) and Fletcher (Year 4) Tahlee Bridges (nee Hind, 2004) with Briar (Year 1) and Sloane (Year 5) Rachel Trump (nee Milnes, 1995) and Lana (Year 6) Bill Hungerford (1985) with Tillie (Year 11) and Marnie (2014). Tracie Walker (nee Menzies, 1995) and Quinten (Year 5) Cousins Ian Burnett (1970) and David Bennett (1958)

Where are they now?

Class of 1983

Liz Bamford (nee Isler)

“I studied HR at USQ (University of Southern Queensland) in Toowoomba, ended up working in corporate banking and got off track career-wise. I went back to uni at UQ (University of Queensland) to study psychology and then set up a private practice in Brisbane. I now love helping people with their career decision-making, depression, anxiety and stress, as well as providing Christian counselling. The 1983 reunion was a great opportunity to reconnect and re-form a treasured community group, to journey through our future lives together. I was reminded that boarding at RGS for five years created family-like relationships that stand the test of time; friendships that are valuable and precious.”

Alan White

“After leaving school I returned to Gladstone and became a dual traded electrical and instrument technician working in the minerals refining and chemical manufacturing industries (major hazardous facilities) in maintenance and reliability roles. I then moved into management roles and completed my Masters of Management whilst studying externally. We then moved to Brisbane, and I became involved in oil and gas mega projects working for companies including Santos and Origin Energy. Currently I am the Project Controls Manager for Ampol Future Fuels, located at Lytton, which is one of two remaining oil refineries in Australia. We are delivering a project which will improve the gasoline standard in Australia. I am married with three daughters, all of us are living in Brisbane. It was great to see the students meeting again after 40 years apart in most cases. After a short while it was very evident that we were all old friends re-connecting, it was like we were back in Year 12 (including the jokes and the banter!) I was very interested to hear what people had been doing since they left school. There were so many interesting stories. It was personally satisfying to see such an enjoyable event take place after taking the risk to organise it and not knowing how people would respond. My advice to other former students who are contemplating organising a reunion – Just Do it!”

Malcolm Nock

“I became electrician, played a lot of cricket, both indoor and outdoor, loved golf, raised two wonderful young adults, and love watching my extended family grow. I’ve worked in underground coal mining for past 22 years. The reunion

proved how strong our bond was at RGS. Love, respect, and banter - that was evident throughout weekend. For me, RGS was the first step in a big world. Living away from my country family was daunting. I was homesick (only for short period), but it wasn’t long until I felt I had discovered that RGS was going to have such an indelible impact on my life. I always contemplated and pondered what some of my classmates and mates where doing. I have now have reconnected memories and mateship with my past days at school.”

Leyland Barnett

“I started working in the rural industry after leaving RGS and progressed to operating heavy machinery in property development and road construction. I now have a driving school business, “Evolution in Training “, that I started over 20 years ago and I have stood for council on three elections. I often wondered how all of my friends travelled after leaving school. A lot has happened over 40 years. Thank you RGS and all the organisers for the reunion opportunity.”

Cyril Close

“Since leaving RGS in 1983, I have worked n the livestock and property business as an agent and Auctioneer. I worked in Taroom, Miles, Rockhampton, Charters Towers, and Roma for the past 28 years. Since 2007 I have owned our own franchise in Roma, then in 2010 I became a part owner of the whole TopX business in Queensland. I married Sue 30 years ago and have a son Cody, who now works in the business with us and a daughter Sally who is about to graduate as a primary school teacher. We also own a property between Roma and Injune running around 500 cows. The bit of spare time we have we enjoy camping and water skiing. The reunion was a blast from the past literally. It was lovely being reacquainted with friends and colleagues from all those years ago.”

Joceyln Gordon (nee Andison)

“After leaving RGS, I obtained my private pilot’s licence (fixed-wing) and was on my way to becoming a commercial pilot when I fell in love, married and moved to the cattle property that my husband and I run today, raising five children along the way. I had a wonderful time at the reunion. How amazing that the connection we shared at School is still there after 40 years, without being in

Continued next page

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Cyril, Alistair, Health, Helen, Malcolm, Joc, Liz, Sandra, Leanne, Julie, Leyland, Andrew, Alan, Brad, Rodney RIGHT: (Front Row) Cyril Close, Alan White, Jocelyn Gordon (nee Andison), Sandra Bishop, John Fossey, Leyland Barnett, Liz Bamford (nee Isler), Rodney Wust, Craig Hawley, Heath Robertson; (Back Row)Andrew Cosgrove, Leanne Best (nee Birkett), Malcolm Nock, Brad Russell, Wayne Spencer, Andrew McKenzie, Michael Beak, John Olive, Simon Hole, Brendan White John Olive and Andrew MacKenzie Sandra Bishop, Joceyln Gordon (nee Andison), Leanne Birkett (nee Best)

touch in that time? Everyone who attended was friendly and welcoming and great to chat with. They have grown into very interesting people. Personally, to go back and be reminded of who I was back then and how my two years as a boarder at RGS broadened my education, and therefore my life, in so many ways, was humbling. Most importantly, I looked back with no regrets on the 40 years since and that is uplifting.”

Commodore Heath Robertson, CSC, RAN

“It was great to catch up with my old classmates. Once we caught up, faded memories came flooding back – especially the fun ones. After leaving RGS, I dabbled in a few jobs before joining the Navy as a Warfare Officer. I wanted a job that was both mentally and physically demanding. The Navy has certainly been that. I specialised as a Navigating Officer (when we navigated by the stars). A highlight was becoming Navy’s Nuclear Pilot - bringing nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers into port. I went on to command several ships. A highlight was commanding HMAS Parramatta in the Middle East where we caught some pirates and conducted counter-terrorism operations. These days, I command all of Navy’s bases, among other things. I don’t know what I will be when I grow up, but in the meantime Navy is still lots of fun. Have a great Navy Day!”

Helen Mclaughlin (nee Oakes)

“When I left RGS I worked on sheep properties throughout Queensland and NSW. After having a family I worked in the aged care and disability sector for the past 16 plus years. Seeing everyone at the reunion was so amazing. There was so much to catch up on. It was a really good weekend.”

Brad Russell

“After leaving RGS in 1983, I studied law in Brisbane graduating in 1988. I subsequently studied a Masters of Law and International Maritime Law. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in the USA, UK and Norway, eventually settling into life in Brisbane. I became a partner at a young age with Gadens Lawyers and for the past 23 years, I’ve been a partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers (where another RGS old boy works, Matt Bradbury, 13 years my junior, is one of my partners). Attending RGS gave me grounding, drive and generosity

to others, the foundations by which I have lived my life. When I found out that our 40 year school reunion was a reality I couldn’t wait to catch up with my school year. Meeting them again after 40 years was fantastic and we all seemed to slip easily back into the school kids we once were. I’m a proud Grammarian and thrilled to see how well we all turned out. It was fantastic to see how magnificently the school has developed and what a success it has become. I want to thank all those that made our school reunion a reality. Thank you.”

John Olive

“Upon leaving school in 1983, I continued to farm on my parents property in Rockhampton until the sale in 2007. I purchased a small retail business in Stockland Rockhampton and sold in 2014. I then commenced with Queensland Magnesia as a contract supervisor. I really enjoyed the weekend, meeting everyone again and sharing some old school stories. Alan White gave my wife an envelope and asked her to give it me after the Saturday night function. I opened it and to my surprise there was $200 in it with a note: Thanks for the loan on the footy trip, now paying you back has bothered me for decades. I will enjoy staying in contact with everyone.”

Bob Barnes

“Most of my working life was spent in mining, both coal and metal, progressing from surveying to management. I retired in 2015 and I’m now loving life. Meeting up with past mates, some of whom I haven’t seen since 1983 was my highlight as we carried on like the good old days, only a little slower!”

Sandra Bishop

“I left RGS in 1983 and commenced a Bachelor of Business degree majoring in Marketing & Economics at CQUniversity. I have worked for a number of Industrial and Financial services business in various roles covering finance, quality, supply change logistics, Procurement and Property. I currently live in Brisbane. The Class of 1983 reunion was a wonderful experience to reconnect with class members and surprisingly, discover several of us have been living in neighbouring suburbs of Brisbane for many years. Some of us have already made plans to reconnect again in 2024.”

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Jocelyn Gordon (nee Andison), Helen Oakes, Andrew Cosgrove, Julie Donovan, Brad Russell, Sandra Bishop, Liz Isler (nee Bamford), Cyril Close, Leanne, Alan Whtie, and Rodney Wust. Heath Robertson and Alan White Leanne Birkett (nee Best), Sandra Bishop and Jocelyn Gordon (nee Andison) ABOVE: Cyril Close, Malcolm Nock, Brad Russell LEFT: Liz Isler (nee Bamford), Sandra Bishop, Alistair Kirk, Alan Whtie, Jocelyn Gordon (nee Andison)

Congratulations Uni Graduates

RGS Alumni share their graduation news

William Old (2019)

Bachelor of Aviation (Griffith University).

Will’s long term goal is to become a commercial pilot or fly with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. He now plans to head bush to gain the necessary flying hours before pursuing further aviation goals.

Emily Horsley (2019)

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) (CQU).

Emily is now working at Therapy Works CQ in Rockhampton.

Remy Funch (2016)

Bachelor of Speech Pathology – Honours (University of Queensland).

Remy completed a traineeship at the Rockhampton Base Hospital and is now working in a graduate appointment at Ipswich Hospital.

Samantha Namasasu (2019)

Bachelor of Medical Imaging (CQU).

Samantha has been working at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital as a graduate radiographer since October 2023.

Sarah Cragg (2018)

Bachelor of Medical Imaging (CQUniversity, Mackay).

After completing her degree Sarah was offered a position in Rockhampton with Central Queensland Radiology where she completed her last 29 weeks of placement. Sarah is currently working for the company as a radiographer in Rockhampton.

Austen Routley (RGS 2018)

Bachelor of Aviation, University of New South Wales. Recently based in Sydney, Austen is preparing to move to Western Australia in search of charter flight work before later applying for the airlines.

Lara Shannon (2016)

Bachelor of Medical Imaging (CQU).

Graduated with Distinction and gained a Diploma of Health Science. In October, Lara accepted a job with The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane as a Graduate Radiographer.

Grace Shannon (2018)

Bachelor of Education (Primary) (CQU).

Grace started her studies in 2019. Covid-19 changed the course from a four to five year degree, and the course moved from classroom lectures to online studies. Last August, Grace moved to the Gold Coast to work as a supply teacher and plans to continue this work in 2024.

Neeve Saw (2018)

Bachelor of Education (CQUniversity). Graduating with Distinction, and selected as the Graduate Representative Speaker at the graduation ceremony, Neeve completed her course over five years following Covid-19 delays. Neeve found practical work in the schools both rewarding and challenging. Neeve now works with the RGS Music Department and is continuing her private music tutor work.

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A curiosity of the unknown continues to spark James Vandeleur’s interest in Science.

James, the RGS 2019 Dux and Queensland’s top student that same year, returned to RGS during Term 4 with the UQ (University of Queensland) Science Demo Troupe.

The Troupe consists of University of Queensland students interested in spreading enthusiasm for science, with the group visiting schools across the State to run science activities.

James graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Advanced Science, with honours, and a Physics major. His honours research project looked at hyperfine structure in atoms. In 2024, James will be based in Sydney to study his PhD, on the early universe, at the University of New South Wales.

“My PhD will look at early universe big bang things,’’ James said.

“Being on the forefront of knowledge is really cool. Sometimes you look around you and see your peers doing cool things that are useful and applicable and I’m doing things that are a bit further down the production train. It’s a long term pay off and it feels really good,’’ James said.

James said he enjoyed delving into the unknown, while taking nothing for granted.

In his final years at RGS James, who was also RGS Captain of Music and Robotics in Year 12, initially looked at engineering studies to pursue after school.

“I kept asking questions and ended up in Physics,’’ said James, who sees a different side of Science now to when he was at school.

“Secondary school students know the concept of a scientist who does research, but they don’t know what else there really is and I was the same at school.

“When you do science and see scientists working you see how broadly applicable the skills are.”


Taryn Roberts (RGS 2023) was a standout competitor at the Australian Open Water Championships in Busselton, Western Australia, in late January. Swimming for the Rocky City Swimming Club, Taryn won gold in both the 18 years 10km and 5km events. Taryn also placed 3rd in the open 5km event and 6th in the open 10km event.


Benedict Wright (pictured left, RGS 2022) took to a different stage in late 2023, raising much needed funds for children in Cambodia. After gracing the Pilbeam Theatre stage for many years of RGS musicals, Ben is now studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at University of Melbourne. “I feel that most of time we do acts based on some sort of impulse, whether that be rational or not. In early 2023, I lost my grandad to cancer, so I shaved my head to raise $10,000 dollars for the Leukemia Foundation. Later that year, my grandma became very sick and likely not to see Christmas. Fortunately, I was asked to compete in a charity boxing match to raise funds for children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was an opportunity to dedicate a form of art to my grandma. In the months leading up to the charity fight, I raised another $10,000 dollars to provide opportunities for people less fortunate than myself but would hopefully make my grandparents proud from above. Despite not winning this fight, I felt no toll or loss of selfrespect. She passed away, but I know she would’ve been proud of my commitment. Love you nan.”


In 2023, Bronson caught up with RGS Headmaster Dr Phillip Moulds during his visit to Mossman to meet with RGS Cape York Leadership Programme (CYLP) families. Bronson was a familiar face in the fullback jersey for the RGS First XIII during his school days and is still playing at fullback, now for the Cairns Brothers team in the Far North Queensland Rugby League competition.


RGS Headmaster Dr Phillip Moulds OAM met with Meg Magarry (nee Wilson RGS 1995) to present her RGS Alumni Outstanding Achiever Award. Meg won this award in 2022 but was unable to attend the awards night. Meg received the award for her bravery in a rescue situation in 2013. Dr Moulds enjoyed catching up with Meg and hearing about her life and career since leaving RGS.

The School’s Annual Distinguished RGS Alumni Award will be held at the School on 27 July in the Memorial Assembly Hall.

Alumni News The Grammarian Page 15
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Chris Peterson, David Peel, Rob Grambower, John Baker, Steven Smith, Ian Dearden, Bruce Saxby, Ian Manttan and Tony Lomasney Back – Andy Ireland, Chris Petersen, Tony Lomasney, Rob Grambower, Bob Humphreys, Steven Smith, John Baker, Bruce Saxby Front – Ian Manttan, Ian Dearden, Gordon Rickertt, Bob Barnes Ian Manttan, John Baker, Ian Dearden, Steven Smith 1973 School Dux - Ian Dearden Kate Delaney, Ashley Williams, Alan Loader, Dean Taylor, Cameron Coulston, Angus Wilson, Tent McKinlay, and Elise McKinlay Ashley Williams, Tent McKinlay, Elsie McKinlay, Alan Loader, Cameron Coulston, Kieran McAulay-Powell, Meleisha Lill, Tim Shearer, Kate Delaney, Angus Wilson, Angus Lee, Dean Taylor Alan Loader and Cameron Coulston Rob Grambower, Steven Smith, and Ian Manttan John Baker, Rob Grambower, Ian Manttan, Ian Dearden, and Chris Peterson Andy Ireland, Tony Lomasney, John Baker, Rob Grambower, Ian Manttan, Ian Dearden

Alumni News

Lasting Friendships

Melbourne connections

Amicitia Vita Est “Friendship is Life” was the feeling at the Class of 1959 Reunion lunch today. Six members from Class of 1959 had lunch to celebrate 65 years since leaving The Rockhampton Grammar School. The memories came flooding back as they shared their experiences with Dr Moulds and Alumni Engagement Officer, Mrs Rachel Trump (nee Milnes, RGS 1995). We were delighted to hear that the group has largely stayed in touch over the years, and in some cases live in the same suburb. Among the group there were several teachers, dentists, doctors, engineers and business owners. Our RGS Alumni is an active community and it was evident with this special group of Grammarians.

Pictured: (Back Row, from left) Lance Currie, Kev Anderson, Bob Johnson, Gordon Pullar; (Front Row, from left) Ken Goody and John McDougall.

Reconnecting with RGS

RGS Alumni enjoyed breakfast at Higher Ground in Melbourne on 19 February, joining RGS Headmaster Dr Phillip Moulds and Alumni Engagement Officer, Mrs Rachel Trump. Reminiscing about their RGS school days, and life after school, were:

(front) John Brown (RGS 1950), Felix Modlmayr (RGS 2011);

(back) Kwok Wong (RGS 1984), Sansuka De Silva (RGS 2022), Catherine Mitchell (RGS 1991), and Jodie Katada (nee Arrowsmith, RGS 1991).

Emily Pryor (RGS 2014) also earlier attended the breakfast.

RGS Headmaster, Dr Moulds and Alumni Engagement Officer Mrs Rachel Trump had the privilege of meeting RGS Alumni Mr John Maclean (RGS 1941) in early February. Both travelled to Baralaba, the beautiful home of Mr and Mrs Maclean. From the moment they arrived at their property, Dr Moulds and Rachel were welcomed with warm hospitality and enriched conversations over morning tea. The visit would not have been complete without a visit to Mr Maclean’s carefully curated history room followed by a ride in his restored WW2 jeep. Thank you, Mr and Mrs MacLean, for your hospitality.

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1 September 2023

Guest speaker, former Wallabies captain and RGS Alumni, Stephen Moore with graduating RGS Year 12 rugby union and rugby league players. John Lynch (RGS 1987) and Brett Morrison (RGS 1985) Andrew Hill (RGS 2000) and Stephen Moore (1993 - 1996) Stephen Moore with the Wright brothers - Oliver (RGS 2000), Ben (RGS 1988) and Julien (RGS 1989) Mark Collins (RGS 2000), Julia Wright, Oliver Wright (RGS 2000) and Dane Barrett (2000) Andrew Wedel (RGS 1991) Stephen Moore thanks event supporters, South Geldard Lawyer’s Gordon Stunzer (RGS 1986) and Ben Wright (RGS 1988) Stephen Moore, Anthony Trump and Rachel Trump (nee Milnes, RGS 1995) RGS Director of Co-Curricular Todd Wells (RGS 1995) RGS 2010 Alumni Geordie Cawthray and James Mclachlan Lachlan Knuth (RGS 2015), Jason Wells (RGS 1999) and Robin Adams (RGS 1988). Craig Wight (RGS 1988) Troy Morrison (RGS 1990), Brett Morrison (RGS 1985), Warwick Anderson (RGS 1988), Glenn WIlliams (RGS 1987) and Steve Deaves (RGS 1987)
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Tyron Harvey and Ashleigh Harvey (nee Norford, RGS 2005)

Alumni News

RGS cricketers reunited for Queensland Country duties in the New South Wales Hunter Valley during January.

Joe McGahan and Logan Whitfield joined the winning Queensland Country open men’s cricket team, coached by fellow RGS alumni, and current RGS Head of Health and Physical Education, Jason Wells.

The trio enjoyed earlier success before the National Championships, when Jason coached Joe and Logan in the Central Queensland Seamers open men’s cricket team, to win the Bulls Masters Country Challenge title against Far North Queensland at Brisbane’s Gabba in December. The Seamers team also included fellow RGS alumni Callum McMahon (2013) and Jack Harris (2019).

Jason reflects on his coaching opportunities:

“Coaching cricket is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed for over 20 years here at RGS. You get to see young students enter into the cricket programme with very little experience and then over time, watch them grow and develop as cricketers, striving one day to be selected in the First XI. Many of these young students not only play cricket whilst at RGS, but we have a very strong tradition of our students continuing on their passion of cricket post their schooling, in one of the many senior cricket competitions around the State. Our coaches in the RGS programme also share similar aspirations to coach beyond RGS with many of them over the years coaching representative sides at various levels.


Les Hayes, who forged a life on the Central Queensland Gemfields, at Rubyvale, after his RGS school days, visited RGS in 2023. In 2011, Les was awarded the Central Highlands Regional Council Citizen of the Year award for 40 years service as a volunteer. On receiving that award Les said “I have always said to others that they shouldn’t do it for the praise, they should do it to help people, because that’s really what it’s all about and helping others really is the greatest feeling of all.” Les helped establish the Sapphire community swimming pool, volunteered with the Gemfields Rural Fire Brigade, was the Gem Swim president, was a committee member for the Anakie and Gemfields RSL, and a council advisory committee member.

Personally, I have been blessed with opportunities to coach at all levels in the country cricket programme, highlighted by the most recent opportunity to coach the Queensland Country Open Mens side at the National Championships in Newcastle, January 2024. This in itself was a career highlight and I was fortunate enough to be able to share this experience with two other past students, in Joe McGahan (2007) and Logan Whitfield (2017). I first coached both Joe and Logan during their time as juniors in the RGS Cricket programme, and then as both men continued on their cricket here in Rockhampton, I coached them at the Frenchville Falcons Cricket Club. Now senior players at Frenchville, both Joe and Logan entered the representative pathway, where I have been fortunate enough to coach them at every level:

• Rockhampton Grammar School Juniors

• Frenchville Falcons A Grade

• Rockhampton Open Men

• Central Queensland Open Men

• Nor th Queensland Open Men

• Queensland Country Open Men

These experiences have been priceless, and par t of the reason I love coaching so much. Witnessing these two men all the way through their cricket journeys so far, has been nothing short of exceptional. Add to this, that I can also call them both great mates.”

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JOE MCGAHAN (RGS 2007), JASON WELLS (RGS 1999, current staff), LOGAN WHITFIELD (RGS 2017)

The Rockhampton Grammar School’s 48th annual Sports Meeting was held at the Agriculture Society’s Show Grounds on Thursday, September 13th, 1928. The annual day of sporting glory included everything from the 100 yard races and the mile handicap, to putting the weight, high jump, obstacle races and the egg and spoon race. The Rockhampton Grammar School magazine of 1928 reported:

There was a large crowd of spectators present, who were provided with an excellent exhibition of all round athletics. It was in I882 that the championship cup was first competed for, and its winner was V. Hatfield. Since then, the cup has passed through many hands.

This year there were four competitors for the trophy - C. Clark, M. Parsons, C. Gudman, and J. Miller. When the points were reckoned up at the close of the day, C. Clark was declared the winner with a total of 14. The next best was M. Parsons, whose total was 9. There was never any doubt about W. Etherden in the Junior Cup, and he amassed 12 points on the five events. The next best was R. Macfarlane with 9 points.

The Old Boys minor cup will be, held for the ensuing year by Ron. Macdonald. With the exception of the 100 yards championship, he secured the maximum

from the Archives

points, thus scoring eleven points for the day.

The 200 yards Bracelet was won by Parsons, nominated by Miss J. Coxon. White and Miller, nominated by Misses J. Elwing and M. Bunn respectively, filled the second and third places.

The “Old Boys” Bracelet, over 220 yards, was an easy win for J. Withers, with L. Emery and C. Geddes second and third respectively.

The principal trophies won during the day were presented: by Mrs. J. R. Gair, and she extended her congratulations to each boy.

Two new cups were received for competition this year, one for the 440 yards event (won by R. Messer, 50 yards), presented by Mr. C. C. Adair, and one for the mile (won by L. Dunn (110 yards), presented by Mr. S. R. Macdonald. The officials were:-President, Mr. Kellow; Committee, The Masters and Prefects; Judges and Stewards, The Chairman and Members of the Board of Trustees; His Worship the Mayor Alderman Dunlop, His Honour Mr. Justice Brennan, Messrs. W. H. Kettle, R. A. W oolcock, A. J. Millroy, A R. Kirby, C. Luck. Timekeepers, Mr. C. Adair and Mr. E. Breckels; Starter, Mr. C. Hadgraft; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. F. Jardine; Hon. Secretary, Mr. W. R. Cook.

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RGS - early 1960s “Top Oval Workout”

RGS Today

Out of Africa - RGS students lessons abroad

the 2022 International Conference in the UK. RGS will host a Round Square Global Conference in June this year.

2024 School Captains

Farewell Mrs Kayes

Lee Ann Kayes has farewelled RGS after first starting work at the School in 2001.

“I never thought I would be in this position for over 20 years, but as I enjoyed working at the School, so much time just passed by and here I am finally making the move,’’ Mrs Kayes said.

In 2001, Mr Islay Lee was Headmaster, and Mr Steve Ryan was Head of Primary. The Primary Office was in what is now Mrs Kennedy’s Prep classroom. That building was also home to the Head of Primary’s office, a staffroom, a small storeroom, and the Learning Support teacher office. Year 7 was still a part of Primary.

Mrs Kayes recalls two strands of Year 6 and Year 7 and one strand of Years 1 to 5. There were 220

RGS Partnerships

RGS students have the opportunity to further develop their rugby and league skills, and reach their full potential while being based in a regional centre. The Rebels and Titans partnerships will provide a range of valuable opportunities, from the Super Rugby and NRL clubs sending coaching staff to RGS to assist with training sessions while at the same time providing a wealth of resources to help RGS coaches prepare their players for the 2024 seasons. Melbourne Rebels General Manager of Rugby Nick Stiles held a training session with RGS rugby players and coaches last year and the Titans staff visited RGS this year.

students in RGS Primary.

“I loved watching the students leave Primary, a little unsure of themselves, then move into Secondary school and become beautiful young adults. RGS has been my safe place for over 20 years, and I will certainly miss that,’’ Mrs Kayes said.

Thank you Mrs Kayes.

Captain - Martha Dingle Captain - Riley Sullivan Vice Captain - Gracie FingerVice Captain - Lachlan Wilson RGS continues to broaden student experiences as a Round Square school. In 2023, three Year 11 students - Alice, Millie and Charlie, had the opportunity to attend the Round Square International Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme was “The New Africa”. This followed RGS students attending
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Lara Bishop (nee Nobbs, RGS 2017)

Lara married Matt Bishop at Jimbour House, Dalby, on 28 October. The wedding party included Lara’s three sisters, including Gabby Russell (nee Nobbs, RGS 2011) and Oliva McDouall (nee Nobbs, 2009) who both attended RGS, along with Olivia Marks (RGS 2017). The wedding party also included Ryan Olive (RGS 2004), and Lachlan Kirk (RGS 2008). Lara and Matt are now living on a property in the Bauhinia district, which is close to Lara’s family property in the Moura district where she will continue to work.

Meaghan Borich (nee Boyce, RGS 2017)

Meaghan married Jacob Borich in Rockhampton on 30 September 2023. The wedding ceremony, and reception, were both held on the lawn at the RGS Rowing Club. Joining the wedding party as Meaghan’s Maid of Honour was her younger sister Hannah Boyce (RGS 2021). Meaghan and Jacob live in Rockhampton.

Jaime Charlton (nee Hadwen, RGS 2009)

Jaime Hadwen married Taylor Charlton on 27 January, 2024, in Brisbane. Jaime’s sister Katie Jenner (nee Hadwen, RGS 2006) was the Maid of Honor and the wedding celebrant was Fraser Orford (RGS 2007). Fraser and Jaime first met at Rockhampton Little Theatre in 2002 but solidified their friendship through the RGS secondary school musicals such as The Wiz, Beauty and The Beast and Alice. Fraser and Jaime both moved to Sydney in 2011 and continued our friendship through their love of theatre. Sarah Chapman (RGS 2009), Jaime’s best friend from secondary school, was Jaime and Taylor’s witness for their marriage certificate. Other RGS alumni guests were Annie Belonogoff (RGS 2009) and her wife Samantha, and Matt Fleming (RGS 2009) and his wife Ashleigh. Jaime and Taylor’s son Benji was also part of the day and even said “I Do” on the microphone when asked to love his Mummy and Daddy and accept me as a Charlton.

Page 22 The Grammarian


Claudia Jones (RGS 2011) and William Keating (RGS 2005)

Claudia and Will were married on 11 November 2023. The wedding ceremony was held in the garden at The Stamford Plaza in Brisbane, followed by the reception on Yot Club. Claudia’s sister, Brittany Mathews (nee Jones, RGS 2008) was the Maid of Honour. Will’s Best Man was Ben Park (RGS 2005). Will, a lawyer, has accepted a secondment with his job and the couple have moved to New York where they will be based for at least the next two years.

Kate Drury (nee Pini, RGS 2012)

Kate married Tim Drury on 3 March at “Condabri”, Miles. Kate and Tim now live near the feedlot at “Condabri” on a property called “Sherwood”. Tim works for the family feedlot, farming and grazing business while Kate is working for Suncorp. Many wedding guests had RGS connections while five of the six bridesmaids were RGS Alumni - Sophie Cumming (nee Anderson, 2012), Bek Maguire (RGS 2012), Madi Stagg (nee Minns, RGS 2012), Millie Volck (RGS 2014), and Kate Drury (nee Wagner, RGS 2010) - who is now Kate’s sister-in-law. Two of Kate’s brothers Bryce (RGS 2014) and Dale (RGS 2016) were involved in the wedding.

The Grammarian Page 23

Keith Ireland (RGS 1954 - 1957)

(as published in The Morning Bulletin)

Keith Ireland was born on 25 August 1939, and passed away on 25 July 2023 aged 83 years.

During his school years at RGS, Keith was a School Prefect, Wheatley House Captain, an Under Officer in the Cadets, and played sport for RGS in cricket, football, tennis, and participated in School athletics, boxing and debating. He was a familiar face in the Rockhampton community - a newspaper columnist and bird enthusiast, whose photos were immortalised in calendars that helped raise vital funds for cancer, a teacher, an award-winning photographer and a Rotarian of the Rockhampton North Rotary for 43 years. In 2007, Keith was diagnosed with prostate cancer and then thyroid cancer in 2013. It was in 2010 he and Dr Mike Fay began to put together a yearly calendar with his photos to donate money for cancer research. The calendars raised more than $300,000 for the RBWH/Genesis Research Foundations and recently the Mark Hughes Foundation.

The calendars received international recognition from the Rotary International Significant Project Award and various state printing awards for City Printing Works including Gold Printing Award and Gold Calendar award.

As well as his calendars, Keith published Bird Anecdotes books following the “overwhelming” popularity of his column, with many readers asking for his articles to be put into a book.

Keith was also involved with the annual Rotary School Quiz which was run by the Rockhampton North club, and for the past 14 years he wrote the questions and compered the event.

Rockhampton North Rotary Club president Ashley Pierpoint said Mr Ireland was a “great Rotarian” in life and his dedication to his passions.

“From being principal of Park Avenue State School, his love of photography with native birds and teaching others to about the subject, to the acclaimed Bird Calendar he made a difference,” Mr Pierpoint said.

Mr Ireland was a beloved husband to his wife Glenda, much loved father and father-in-law to Gavin and Fiona, Shareen and Gavin. He was also a much loved grandad and great grandad and brother to Robyn Morreau and Jan (dec).

Mike Peacock (RGS 1955 - 1956)

RGS Alumni Michael Peacock (RGS 1955 - 1956 ), of The Caves, passed away on 31 December 2023, aged 82 years. Michael was a boarder from Dululu, Michael was an all-round sportsman during his time at RGS with success in cricket, football and cross country.

Trevor Treacy (RGS 1957 - 1959)

Trevor Treacy (RGS 1957 – 1959) passed away last year. During his time at RGS, Trevor represented Kellow house with pride in football and inter-house platoon competitions, placing on several occasions. Trevor was also a member of the RGS Cadet Corps.

Page 24 The Grammarian


Trevor C Thompson (RGS 1961 - 1964)

Trevor passed away in 2023. During his years at RGS, Trevor excelled at academia. In 1964, Trevor received a special mention in the senior division of a statewide mathematics competition, participated in debating and Cadets and was on the 1964 Prize list for Senior Form prizes for best average, third. Trevor’s academic achievements also included: (1963) Sub-senior Form Prizes Second; (1962) Junior form prize best average – third, Theodore Kingel Memorial prize for science and maths; and (1961) sub-junior form prize best average e- second, David and Trevor Patterson for Science and Maths.

Pamela King (RGS 1977 - 1978)

Pamela passed away on 12 January 2024, aged 62 years with her funeral service held in Traralgon, Victoria. Pamela was a boarder from Moranbah and was in the 1977 cohort when girls returned to RGS, again making the school co-educational. At RGS, Pamela participated in swimming, hockey, and basketball, and excelled in English studies.

Robert Westmoreland (RGS 1956 - 1959)

Legendary NQ Paediatrician and RGS Alumni (1958) Robert Westmoreland “Westie” passed away in Townsville in 2023. Robert attended RGS from 1956 to 1959. During his time at RGS he played football and was very much involved with Oratory, winning the Oratory Prize in 1957 for sub-junior. In 1958, he was a Junior Prefect, and won the Mrs J Wheatcroft Memorial Prize for English. In 1959, Robert was appointed a Senior Prefect, member of the Cadet Corps, and was successful in the Rockhampton final of the inter-school Public Speaking contest ‘Youth Speaks for Australia”.

The Rockhampton Grammar School Archer Street, Rockhampton Qld 4700 P 07 4936 0600 | W | E CRICOS Provider No. 00507F

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