Norbertus Issue 33

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JUNE 2019 • ISSUE 33



May 11 is not a highly-referenced day on the

world calendar, but the history of St Norbert College places this day back in 1959 as a poignant moment to celebrate. Xanten House celebrates this day annually as Founding Father’s Day – the day back in 1959 when Father Peter O’Reilly and Fr John Reynolds disembarked from the ocean liner Orsova, in the port of Fremantle, to commence God’s work which ultimately led to the establishment of St Norbert College in Queens Park in 1965. As you will read in this wonderful edition of Norbertus, this year is the 60th anniversary of that


EDITOR Welcome

to Issue 33 of Norbertus, the magazine that tells the stories of the alumni of St Norbert College. Of course, there would be no St Norbert College and no St Norbert College alumni without the courage, vision and dedication of our Norbertine “Founding Fathers” who came to Western Australia 60 years ago this year. Fr Peter O’Reilly and Fr John Reynolds arrived in May 1959 and were later joined by Fr Stephen Cooney in September to sow the seeds - both literally at York, and metaphorically in Queens Park - of a Norbertine tradition which has had a marked influence on the lives of so many Western Australians. In this issue we look at the Class of 2018’s excellent

arrival of our “Founding Fathers”, later to be joined by Fr Stephen Cooney in September of that year and many other past and present Norbertines in the six following decades. Whilst we acknowledge that both Fr O’Reilly and Fr Reynolds have since passed, earlier in February this year Fr Stephen celebrated his 90th birthday. Legacies only die when people forget about them and it is important to always remember the legacy left by all past and present Norbertines, as well as those families and friends of St Norbert College, who have contributed so much to our growth and development as a vibrant, relevant and esteemed Christ-centred community.

academic results, span a few decades by examining what the College was like in 1979 and 2009, recall the contributions of Fr Reynolds and legendary St Norbert College teacher Brian Rogan on the 10th anniversary of their passing, meet the Dhillon family in “Family Ties”, hear from Old Boys John Wilson, Jim Lewis, Kyle March and Vince George, and tag along to the reunions of the Classes of 1984 and 2009. Christine West (Class of 1984) has published her first book, “Think Savvy, Revise Smart” and kindly donated a copy to the library, so encourage your kids to check it out for some unique insights into how to really study effectively. Speaking of donations, Mark George (Class of 1973) has generously decided to hand in to the College archives some reports, achievement certificates and trophies he earned in the 1960s and 1970s – all contributing to tell the history of St Norbert College. Norbertus’ foreign operatives were given the task of tracking down some former staff members in various corners of the globe; in Ireland we catch up Bridget “Boomerang” Murphy, in Portugal Mick Italiano recounts

Norbertus is a great record of those legacies and I thank all those who have contributed to this edition, along with our editor, Mr Frank Mulligan. I read, with particular interest, the exciting update from Kara Vandeleur in New Zealand – Miss Vandeleur was my art teacher when I was in Year 8 – if only I’d known what it could become, I would’ve paid more attention! Please enjoy and keep in touch! God Bless. Simon Harvey Principal

his international teaching experiences and in New Zealand, former St Norbert College art teacher Kara Vandeleur tells of her incredible journey since leaving the College in 1986. You could really make a movie about it! If, like Norbertus, you are a big fan of fashion, check out our special feature which looks at the careers of three former students who are making a name for themselves in the world of fashion due partly to some inspiration gained from teachers such as Mick Italiano and Sam Mark, but mainly due to a lot of hard work and dedication. SNESA is going well this year and President Rafic Aoun has once again been kind enough to tell us about the season to date and Mrs Janine Parker has provided some great shots of the boys in action. All this and more in Issue 33 of Norbertus. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue and, as always, if you have any news about St Norbert College alumni, please contact Frank Mulligan Editor


Thankful I have been promising Norbertus this

article for a couple of months now, looking for the time to genuinely reflect on my memories, trying to string a few lines together that would at very least give poor Ms Gardner the solace that at some point in my life my English improved to the point of being worthy of print. Instead I have just plaited a ten-year-old’s hair while she complained about the knots and fought with her seven-year-old sister about who was going to lie down on the outdoor setting. So yeah, perfect time! I have made the pilgrimage down south along with the rest of Perth for the Easter break; it’s Easter Sunday morning, the egg hunt has ended with the kids out on the footpath handing out most of the eggs they found to passers-by, wishing them a Happy Easter. I’m looking down the table at two mates, reading the paper and chillaxing while downing some coffee. I have known these two boys for over 35 years. It feels like a blink in time, same as the time that has passed since my last day at St Norbert College. I remember school so vividly, from my very first day to my very last, and much of what was in between. The first day was the morning I caught the the train from Lathlain Station where I met my very first fellow student, Marco Angie. The last day was making a video of everyone signing shirts and wishing each other luck. That video lasted through to the late 1990s before it


was accidently taped over (not by me by the way). Unlike everyone else who started at St Norbert’s who had been together from Grade 1 to 7 at crazy-named schools like St Munchkins (or so I thought it was called!), I went to a public primary school and did not know anyone, so I had to make new friends and “fit in”, which was not always easy. I spent a good portion of Years 8 and 9 hanging out with Willy Walker and Ricky Dan from the Kimberley. Great lads, they didn’t talk much, but I kinda talked enough for all three of us. I remember Willy talking of his grandmother and how when he went home on holidays she would take him out bush and teach him about their country and about The Dreaming. I wish I had known then what a gift that was; at the time I just thought they were pretty cool stories. One day Willy didn’t come back from school holidays, Ricky told me that he had been initiated and we would not be seeing him again. Thinking back, it is a little hard for me to reel off my achievements. In some ways making it through to that last day was an achievement in itself. An only child, my father passed away two weeks into Year 11, so my last two years of school were a roller coaster. He passed on the Tuesday and I simply rolled up the next day to an early morning biology class with Miss Diana Tersigni. I don’t know who was more shocked, Miss Tersigni to see me at school, or me to see the look of shock on her face. When she asked what I was doing at school I simply replied that “Dad never let me have a day off school unless I was dying, no pun intended Miss, so here I am.”

I never got to thank you properly Diana. You were a major influence who encouraged me and challenged me, you never allowed me to do anything other than my best and helped me negotiate those two very difficult years. I have never forgotten that, so thank you. OK, I do have to come clean on one thing, Diana … I do have to confess that I spent the day before my TAE biology exam down at the Quicksilver Surfing Championships at Trigg Beach, I scored 78% for my exam and achieved a Grade of 2, just saying … (more about my TAE results later). I guess the one thing I remember above all else about St Norbert College was that the College community was my extended family. Fr Peter shaking his head at me for whatever stupid thing I was doing at that point in time, dear Miss Gleeson in Maths IV smiling kindly, notwithstanding the fact I still did not get the concept of x + 5 = 8 despite being in Year 12 at the time, (OK, maybe a little exaggerated, but you get my drift), through to Mr O’Sullivan who seemed to know every kid’s name. A great man, both in stature and spirit, he was so kind and generous but at the same time commanded the utmost respect and could silence an assembly with a look. I could go on about the things we got up to, like the time we took turns standing on the pottery wheel in art

John’s Year 12 entry in the 1985 Koinonia.

John (right) as a member of the 1985 WAHA Saturday morning hockey team.




to see who could stay on the longest, or our Friday afternoon “study periods” spent in the Xanten Theatre under the guise of working on a theatrical production but really listening to The Smiths, Hunters and Collectors and INXS. I could tell you more but I know Fr Peter will be reading this, so I won’t! I had friends from all years, from Year 8 through to Year 12 by the time I finished at St Norbert College in 1985. Of the lads in this photo (opposite) two are sitting next to me and of the rest there are only a couple that I don’t see practically weekly or at the least every month or two and feel guilty if it is that long. These people were and are my family, but unlike most people, I got to choose my family! And I chose well … Leaving school that summer I opened up my TAE results and soon realised that being an aeronautics engineer for NASA was just not going to happen for me (apparently getting that whole x + 5 = 8 thing is pretty crucial if you want to do that job). So I applied for the State public service and the Commonwealth public service. Now there are two critical points to be made here; first, the Commonwealth public service had an entrance exam and, second, the State public service did not. What it did have, however, was my cousin working in the recruitment branch! So, I started working for the great people of Western Australia on the February 12, 1986 in the Supreme Court of Western Australia (so old school and yet I can’t break the habit of stating the full formal title). I was bench clerk through the turbulent years of WA Inc. I saw a number of ex-premiers go to jail, I saw tycoons like Bond and Connell reduced to tears and sadly I saw the hangover of those heady days with

the lives of everyday people turned upside down by greed and unethical behaviour by governments, and those with the means and money to get away with it, or so they thought. The Micklebergs, the Bernies … I was there when John Button walked free having been pardoned with the realisation that had the death penalty still been in place when he was found guilty, he would never have had the chance to walk. Eventually I thought I would give the whole university thing a crack, sat the mature age entrance exam and shock, horror - Curtin University said they would accept me. I studied part-time while working full time for a few years before I shifted to the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, much to the delight of Mr Peter Glasson my Year 11 and 12 science teacher. On the day of graduation he remarked to my father-in-law who happened to work at Notre Dame: “We always knew he would make it one day.”

Peter Robert, John Wilson, Dominic Daly, Claude Di Prinzio, Anthony Harper and Kevin Kelly.

I completed my Bachelor of Human Resources and then went on to do a Masters of Counselling. I worked in the area of HR for the last 10 years of my public sector career up until I resigned on February 12, 2018. I now work with my business partner in our consultancy business which is eight months old and counting. I look back since I left school and realise that in some ways I never really left. For the past 30 years I have been involved with SNESA and that has given me the opportunity to maintain my friendships and make new ones, some with players who only finished at the College last year. I look back now with great affection, thankful that I had such a great time, thankful that I met so many amazing people and thankful that I went to St Norbert College.

Last day of school 1985: Paul Downes, Claude Di Prinzio, Peter Robert, Kevin Kelly, Dominic Daly, Anthony Harper, John Wilson with Joe Sciorilli lying down.





Excellent academic results for the Class of 2018: Ethan Ricafranca, Michael McLevie, Faith Desmond, Michael Hegney and Aayushi Subba.

The first College assembly for the year

was an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and achievement of the students of the Class of 2018. We also congratulated the recent additions to the St Norbert College “95 Club”. Michael Hegney achieved an ATAR of 99.6 as well as receiving the Certificate of Distinction, which acknowledges a student who achieves an overall aggregate of 190 – 200 points in their last three consecutive years of senior secondary WACE enrolment. The points are accrued from 20 Year 11 and Year 12 units, of which 10 are in Year 12. Michael was also awarded the Certificate of Excellence for (ATAR) physics and will commence his studies in engineering at Curtin University. In addition to this, Michael has been awarded a scholarship by Curtin University to the value of $15,000 towards his studies.

“95 Club” members: Ethan Ricafranca, left, listens as 2018 Dux of St Norbert College Michael Hegney addresses the College assembly in February.

Linda Yeoh achieved an ATAR of 97.05 as well as being awarded the Certificate of Distinction, and in 2019, Linda will commence studies in environmental engineering at Murdoch University. Linda is the recipient of a scholarship for her studies as well. Faith Desmond achieved

an ATAR of 95.7 and will commence a physiotherapy degree at Curtin University this year. The final member of the “95 Club” for the Class of 2018 is Ethan Ricafranca, who achieved an ATAR 95.55 and will study pathology at the University of Western Australia. The College also congratulated Aayushi Subba for the achievement of the VET Certificate of Excellence – Community Services, Health and Education. Aayushi was shortlisted and selected by an interview panel of industry experts and teachers as the top VET student in Western Australia in this industry area. This is an amazing achievement, and Aayushi will commence studies in nursing at Murdoch University. There were seven students who achieved the Certificate of Merit, with an overall aggregate of between 150 and 189 points in their last three consecutive years of senior secondary WACE enrolment. The College congratulates the following students:

• Samuel Eaton achieved an ATAR of 93.9 and is taking a gap year before deciding his course pathway. • Amy Murphy achieved an ATAR of 93.5 and will be studying for a double degree in applied geology and finance at Curtin University. • Ira Sanchez achieved an ATAR of 91.3 and will be studying journalism and international relations at Curtin University. • Bronwyn Brims will commence studies in fine art at Curtin University in 2019. In addition, the College congratulates the following vocational pathway students who achieved the Certificate of Merit: • Melisse Burgoyne who is studying nursing at Edith Cowan University. • Michael McLevie who has commenced a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University. • Jayden Smeschkal has commenced a Diploma in Screen and Media, whilst currently completing an additional Certificate IV to obtain a dual qualification in IT. Jayden has also been accepted into IIBT, a university course pathway provider for Curtin University and Edith Cowan University.



In Memoriam of Fr John Reynolds and Mr Brian Rogan 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the passing into eternal life of Fr John Reynolds O. Praem and Mr Brian Rogan, two long-serving and much-loved members of the St Norbert College community, as the following excerpts from the 2009 Koinonia reflect …

Fr John Declan Reynolds O. Praem passed

peacefully to his eternal reward Tuesday, August 11th, after a short illness. He was wellprepared to meet the Lord who he loved and served for over 50 years in Western Australia, and before that at Kilnacrott Abbey, Ireland. A native of Killeen, Granard, Co Longford, Ireland, he was born on May 9th, 1932. He was clothed in the white habit of St Norbert on September 8th, 1951. He was professed on September 8th, 1953 and ordained a priest on July 9th, 1957. Fr John was one of the founding members of the Norbertine community in Western Australia, arriving in Perth on May 11th, 1959. Fr John served as Parish Priest of Queens Park and York and assisted in many parishes of the Archdiocese of Perth and the Diocese of Bunbury. He was a member of the staff of St Norbert College, Queens Park, for some years. Fr John’s gentleness and quietness endeared him to many; his ministry was very often behind the scenes, effective nevertheless. His faithfulness to his ministry as priest and religious was exemplary. Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.

MR BRIAN ROGAN In 1974, Brian Rogan came to work as a teacher at St Norbert College and his

teaching area for most of his time at Queens Park was Italian. It was fascinating that Brian had such a broad Irish accent yet spoke Italian so perfectly, mainly due to his years as a young man and student, when Latin was a prerequisite for higher learning. Brian’s role at every Presentation Night until his retirement was that of MC, which he did with great aplomb, delighting the audience over more than two decades with a neverending supply of “Brian” jokes. Brian was always at home behind a microphone and for many years kept the entire College community enthralled with his commentaries, anecdotes and enthusiasm at inter-House swimming and athletics carnivals. Maybe it was his fondness for the colour red (the colour of Tongerlo House) and green (the colour of his beloved Emerald Isle), combined with Italian that led to his devotion to the Fremantle Dockers. Brian could be seen at home games at Subiaco and, no matter what the outcome of the match, would always have a positive recall of the game, for such was the man. Brian has left us. Those of us who have known, worked with and learned from him are the better for having shared his many years at St Norbert College. We extend our love and sympathy to his wife Helen, and his daughters Ruth, Catherine and Rachel. Brian farewelled the audience of every Presentation Night he compered with his Irish blessing. Since his retirement it has been immortalised in his honour by subsequent comperes of that evening. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


farming property, Kerry Downs, was purchased to become a priory and also to provide a source of income to pay off a rather substantial mortgage Fr O’Reilly had signed. A boarding agricultural school was planned for the property but this idea lost popularity when its feasibility was closely considered in the light of several other similar schools in the surrounding rural hinterland. After much consideration and deliberation, and as a result of some determined lobbying from Fr Jeremiah O’Farrell, in 1964 Archbishop Prindiville decided to establish a boys’ school in Perth’s southeast corridor and he invited the Norbertines to build a school in Queens Park.

In the 1950s, Perth Archbishop

Redmond Prindiville was keen to establish more Catholic schools and provide more parish priests in the growing state of Western Australia. The Norbertine Canons of Kilnacrott Abbey in Ireland answered his call and in May, 1959 Fr Peter O’Reilly and Fr John Reynolds disembarked at Fremantle, soon followed by Fr Stephen Cooney in September. The Avon Valley parish, centred around the picturesque town of York, became the first Norbertine ministry in Australia and the priests soon immersed themselves in serving the parishioners for many miles around. A

Fr John Reynolds and Fr Peter O’Reilly in 1959.

In 1965 Fr Laurence Anderson became foundation Principal of St Norbert College which consisted of three classrooms built by parishioners M. Bianchini and Sons on seven acres of land. Gerard Connell has the distinction of being the first of 27 boys to be enrolled for the College’s first year. It is 60 years since Fr O’Reilly and Fr Reynolds walked down the gangplank at Fremantle passenger terminal and well over 50 years since St Norbert College was established. They, along with numerous other Norbertines who have followed their lead, have made an outstanding contribution to the fabric of Catholic life in Western Australia. Norbertus acknowledges this contribution and congratulates all Norbertines, past and present, on this magnificent milestone.

Fr Cooney with the first black lamb he ever saw.

The founding fathers in York, 1960: Fr John Reynolds, Fr Peter O’Reilly and Fr Stephen Cooney.

Three Sisters of Nazereth pictured with Fr Cooney and Fr Reynolds.


Fr Peter O’Reilly, Fr John Reynolds, Fr Laurence Anderson, Fr Joe O’Donohoe, Fr Stephen Cooney and Abbot Colwell.

Fr Peter O’Reilly pictured in Ireland just prior to his journey to Fremantle.

Kerry Downs homestead near York.

Fr Peter O’Reilly and Archbishop Goody in 1965.

A priests’ retreat held at Kerry Downs, York.


Fr Peter O’Reilly, Fr John Reynolds, Fr Laurence Anderson, Fr Joe O’Donohoe, Fr Stephen Cooney and Abbot Colwell.

St Norbert College in 1965.

Fr Augustine Heron.

Fr William Fitzgerald during one of his visits to St Norbert College.

The Norbertines celebrate the College Community Mass.

Abbott Noyens inspects the statue of St Norbert.


This article appeared in The Record in 2009 to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Norbertines in Western Australia. It is reproduced courtesy of The Record.



The Dhillon Family

When Mr Harjit Singh Dhillon (Class of

1992) and Mrs Deborah Dhillon (nee Hall, Class of 1992) commenced as Year 8 students at St Norbert College back in 1988, little did they know that some 16 years later they would marry and eventually have two children – Madeline, who commenced as a Year 7 student at the College this year, and Austin, who is due to start in 2020.

The Dhillon family: Deborah, Austin, Madeline and Harjit Singh Dhillon.

Deborah and Harjit as Year 12 students in the 1992 Koinonia.

Harjit was a member of Ms Alice Alibrandi’s Prémontré Homeroom and has fond memories of the variety of sports and outdoor education that were on offer, especially the athletics carnivals and playing football for the St Norbert College First XVIII. Deborah, meanwhile, was some 50 metres away in Mrs Maureen Loveland’s Kilnacrott Homeroom where biology and mathematics were her preferred subjects. “Mrs Loveland was a very caring and helpful Homeroom teacher,” Deborah recalled, “and my prominent memories of school include the College ball, winning the biology and mathematics awards in Year 12, and of course meeting my friends and my future husband.” Deborah was also a member of the Xanten Singers in Years 8 and 9. Harjit became a Telstra telecommunications technician but recently has been a selfemployed finance broker while Deborah studied an Associate Diploma in Dental Therapy at Curtin University and has been working at The Orthodontists dental practice for 25 years. When Madeline was born in 2007, she was soon enrolled at St Joseph’s School and the decision was made to go on to St Norbert College.

“I know the school and some of the teachers, as well as the Principal Simon Harvey, so it gave me confidence Madeline would get a good education,” Harjit said. Deborah agreed: “I love that she is going to St Norbert’s. I think it was a great starting point for my education and I am confident the College has only improved in its guidance and support since I went there. The communication is well-organised so we know exactly what is going on at school.” When Madeline was making arrangements to attend St Norbert College the touchy subject of which House she should join came up but eventually Kilnacrott won out and she is now a member of Ms Sam Eloff’s K4 Homeroom and has settled into her new school “very nicely.” Madeline has made a lot of “wonderful new friends” and has navigated her way through her new surroundings, the lack of bells and different subjects with many teachers very comfortably. “I think the College’s facilities are brilliant and easy to find,” Madeline said. “The teaching methods are great and at this stage my electives, science and drama are really interesting and fun!” One difference between Madeline and her mother Deborah is their mathematical prowess. “I don’t really find things at school challenging, but maths really isn’t my strong point,” she laughed. In addition to a busy school life Madeline does netball, arts and crafts, cooking and plays soccer with younger brother Austin. The Dhillon family have enjoyed comparing their respective generational experiences at St Norbert College. As Harjit pointed out, the College is now

a lot bigger and more advanced than when he and Deborah were at school. “The College facilities are excellent and there is a good balance of buildings and grassed areas,” he said. “Teaching and learning are a lot different to when we went to school; things are more focused on IT and computers now, which is a good thing. The school is growing fast and I feel confident it will provide my children with plenty of opportunities.” Deborah agreed. “We used pen and paper and did typing as a subject. No-one had laptops and probably not even a computer at home.” She has been impressed with how Madeline has settled into St Norbert College and she puts this down to both Madeline’s personality and the good support network the College has put in place to make the students’ transition to high school as smooth as possible. “I have enjoyed discussing school with Madeline – she’s asked about my electives, drama and music and school life in general,” Deborah said. “Just the other day I showed her where her dad and I used to wait to be picked up every day, and we laughed at how the uniform has barely changed in 25 years!” In addition to being alumni of St Norbert College, Harjit and Deborah still have a lot of friends who were former classmates and they were quite involved in SNESA, so the Norbertine influence with its values and ethics has permeated their lives for many years. With Madeline joining the College this year and Austin coming soon, it looks like St Norbert College will be a big part of their lives for many more years to come. Norbertus wishes the Dhillon family well for the future.






Tamara Loo (Class of 2012) attended St Norbert

College from 2008 to 2012 and was a member of Ms Marsh’s Xanten Homeroom class. Tamara is now working full-time in the fashion industry in Perth which is a little surprising given that initially she found working with fabrics challenging when she first entered Mrs Sam Mark’s textiles class in 2010. With some persistence and dedication, coupled with a passion for the industry, Tamara discovered that a career in fashion was to become her calling. Recently Norbertus caught up with Tamara at a fashion show in the city. Norbertus (N): Tamara Loo, welcome to Norbertus and thank you for taking some time to speak to us during Perth Fashion Festival, a very busy time of the year for you. Tamara Loo (T.L.): Hi Norbertus, not a problem at all. Happy to take some time out of my day to speak to you! N: Thinking back to your time at St Norbert College, what stands out as being a significant or memorable experience for you?

Tamara Loo (Class of 2012) is currently working as an accessories designer for Rusty Australia.

T.L: It’s funny now, but for a 14-year-old girl … N: On other, non-prison issues do you still keep in touch with any of your friends from school? T.L: Ancille Kashaba. I never thought that we were ever going to be friends but we ended up having every single class together in Year 11 and Year 12 which sparked our friendship. We then ended up studying fashion design together at TAFE from 2013 to 2015 which meant that I saw her every day for five-years straight. We still talk every single day! Not sure how this friendship has lasted this long - joking - but we definitely have each other’s back. And Grace Girsang. It’s funny - we probably only said only five words to each other throughout the whole duration of high school but became best friends after St Norbert’s. We talk every day, go to the gym, party, grab a bite and go to church together. She’s a nurse now, so usually when I have petty medical problems I call her up to come and fix me. N: Any memorable subjects or teachers you recall from school?

T.L: I’ll never forget the time when I was in Year 9 and we went on the Fremantle Prison night tour. There were actors at the prison and one in particular was a lady who ripped the church doors open and I screamed so loudly because she scared the daylights out of me! The next day I got in trouble for screaming!

T.L: I’d like to send a shout-out out to Ms Lim. She made my most hated subject – feel like a breeze. And Mr Italiano taught a few of my favourite classes – photography and graphics. I’ve been able to apply my skills from graphics class to my current job at Rusty.

N: Norbertus recalls that particular excursion - the first and final of its type - which took about 10 years off Norbertus’ life. Bit of bad luck to be told off for being scared!

N: That’s excellent that the skills you learnt at school apply directly to your occupation. When did you decide to pursue a career in fashion? Was there a particular year or moment or subject you studied?


T.L: Leaving St Norbert’s was exciting yet terrifying at the same time. It really opened my eyes to the “real world”. No one’s going to hold your hand or guide you down the right path and that’s something you have to be ready for. And one tip for current students - don’t take the food at the canteen for granted; I never realised how expensive food and drinks are until I left high school! I studied fashion design at TAFE and gained a lot of personal skills such as time management, organisational skills as well as sewing/pattern making skills. People underestimate the work, time and effort needed to pursue fashion design. I would start TAFE at 7am and I would normally leave at 11pm at night. I barely had a social life and it was financially challenging working as a casual retail assistant. N: They are certainly long hours, Tamara. Norbertus has seen the odd fashion show on TV but you certainly don’t think about all the study and

T.L.: After TAFE I was fortunate enough to be approached by the Perth Fashion Festival to be a part of the New Generation show that features new and up-and-coming Perth designers. I spent most of 2016 designing, sewing and prepping for the fashion show. I had people approaching me after the show to purchase my designs, but it wasn’t until then that I realised I needed a whole team behind me to have my own fashion label. The following year I interned at Garbage TV, a Perth based label. I created patterns, sewed garments, hats and bags, and assisted at photoshoots. N: Did your internship lead to a permanent position? T.L: Not immediately. Two years after I graduated, I finally found a full-time position. I am currently an accessories designer for Rusty Australia. I face a lot of problemsolving challenges but every day is a different day! I’ve never had the same day twice. I love what I do and I think it’s important to be happy in your career. N: Fantastic that all your hard work finally paid off in securing a position at Rusty. While it is very early days, what would you consider to be your career highlight to date?

T.L: In my first year at Rusty, I was blessed to be able to travel to Hong Kong for a business trip. I was able to do further research and design development while overseas as well as eat so much food and do a bit of shopping along the way! N: What are your goals for the future?


T.L: My current end goal is to have my own fashion business of some sort. I would love to have my own label but who knows where my mindset will be in the years that lie ahead. N: Norbertus is confident that with the passion, dedication and sheer hard work you demonstrated in your career to date that you will get there, Tamara. Congratulations on your achievements to date, best wishes for a happy and successful future. Thank you very much for talking to Norbertus.

Sammy Garza models one of Tamara’s designs which was part of a collection she unveiled at the New Generation Show during this year’s Perth Fashion Festival.

T.L: Thanks so much for having me! I hope my journey has somewhat inspired someone to study or set a goal in the field that they see themselves working in. N: Norbertus feels certain that your story will only have a positive impact on our St Norbert College students and our readers. And if Norbertus might be permitted to leave you with one piece of fashion industry advice: measure twice and cut once!


N: That it does. Could you please tell our Norbertus readers a little bit about your study pathway after leaving school?

work you have touched on that goes on behind the glamour of a runway show. What happened after you graduated from TAFE?


T.L: It was all because of textiles class with Mrs Mark in Year 10. It was my favourite subject and wish I could have done it all day! Now that I have gained experience and skills in sewing, it’s crazy to think back to how textiles class was a challenge for me. Practice makes perfect!

T.L.: So true! But I’m not the best at maths so I have to measure like 100 times! The Reflected Baseball Dress designed by Tamara Loo, modelled by Jordy Kuriata.



Ancille Kashaba (Class of 2012) spent five

Norbertus (N): Ancille Kashaba, thank you for agreeing to speak to Norbertus. Welcome along. Ancille Kashaba (A.K.): Thank you for having me. N: What are a few of your happy or memorable experiences you had during your time at St Norbert College? Did you enjoy your time there? A.K.: I had a lot of fun at St Norbert College. I loved being part of the dance club and being in drama plays. I enjoyed Miss Chung’s English class. I am especially grateful for how supportive the teaching staff was during my time at the school. Ancille Kashaba, Class of 2012.

N: That’s very kind of you. I’m sure your teachers will appreciate that observation. Do you still keep in touch with any of your friends from school? A.K.: Yes, I do. I made some lifelong friends that I met at St Norbert College.

N: Any other memorable subjects or teachers come to mind? A.K.: I really enjoyed photography with Mr Italiano, English with Miss Chung and being in Mr Mulligan’s history class. N: Your mother worked in fashion, didn’t she? When did you get the spark and decide to go into fashion full-time? Was there a particular year or moment, or subject you studied? A.K.: Yes, my mother was a fashion designer for over 15 years. In my culture fashion and textiles are extremely important and I remember watching her sew as child and being completely fascinated by her work. As I grew older my passion for fashion only grew stronger. I decided to pursue a career in fashion when I was in year 10. Studying at North Metro TAFE really cemented that working in fashion is that I want to do with my life. I have a great love for the design, the design process and production of textiles. N: So, what exactly did you study at TAFE?



years at St Norbert College and was a member of Mrs Stacey Jones’ Kilnacrott Homeroom. From a very early age Ancille was exposed to sewing and textiles as she watched her mother design garments, and by Year 10 she had decided to pursue fashion as a career. Currently Ancille is designing medical compression garments but is also keen to develop her own fashion label. Norbertus recently caught up with Ancille in Perth.


Ancille Kashaba

A.K.: After I finished studying at St Norbert College, I went on to obtain an Advanced Diploma in Fashion and Textile Design at North Metro TAFE. I followed that up with completing a bachelor degree in fashion. N: Where has this taken you? What are you doing at present? A.K.: I am currently employed as a medical patternmaker for a compression brand.


overwhelming process but one of the most incredible achievement for me in my career so far.

A.K.: The company that I am working for produces medical garments for people all around the word. My job is to design garments that help people in their healing process. It’s the most challenging and yet the most rewarding job. It’s a privilege to be able to do it.

N: Congratulations Ancille! What an amazing accolade for such a young designer. Come to think of it, Norbertus bumped into you at Perth Airport a few years ago, on your way overseas for some fashion assignment.

David Okello Adupa (Class of 2009) models an Ancille Kashaba creation.

A.K.: Thank you very much. Yes, I was heading to Japan actually. Some other highlights include showing my work at Perth Fashion Festival on several occasions, being selected as an emerging designer for the City of Joondalup and winning a wool scholarship. Also, working with incredible people and making lifelong friends has been very rewarding.

A.K.: At the moment I am focusing on gaining as much experience in my current role however I am also planning my business on the side.

N: Where do you see yourself in 10 or 15 years from now?

N: As far as fashion is concerned, how would you sum up your inspiration, style and interests?

N: Other than your career, how else do you spend your time?

A.K.: Hopefully I’ll have my own label.

A.K.: I love to read, shop and travel. A.K.: My style is very androgynous when it comes to my design work. I am constantly inspired by my surroundings which can be anything from a plant with some really interesting shapes, or from an emotion that I feel about a particular event. My work tends to challenge what society views as the norm in fashion for a male and female. N: Is that David Okello Adupa in the shots you have provided? A St Norbert alumnus, about the Class of 2009? A.K.: Yes, that’s right. I actually reached out to David on instagram to see if he would want to model for me. I was looking for a model that had a nomadic vibe to them and David was perfect. His images are really aesthetically pleasing and down to earth and he photographs really well. It worked perfectly with the concept for the collection.

N: It has been a pleasure catching up, Ancille. Congratulations on your awards to date and also for the work you do in the medical field. Best wishes for a successful and happy future and we look forward to your own label becoming a reality. A.K.: It’s my pleasure. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the school community at St Norbert College. I will forever be grateful for everything I learnt at the College and for the friendships I made.



N: That is wonderful, Ancille. As you say, it must be rewarding to know that your design skills can be of such assistance to people in a time of need during their recuperation. Do you still have time to pursue other design interests?


N: Very practical, worthwhile work by the sounds of it. What does this entail?

N: What has been your career highlight to date?

Model Zephora Gayle wearing an Ancille Kashaba design.

A.K.: Winning the Hyogo Banshu Fashion Textile competition was such an incredible learning experience. I had the oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Japan and design my own fabric designs for a textile company that has produced fabric for many big name brands such as Burberry and Chanel. Getting to design my own fabric was the most

Fashion designers Ancille Kashaba (second from left) and Tamara Loo (right) pictured with Stefani Cirillo and Valerie Chikonga in the 2012 Koinonia.



Donna Dumas (Class of 2011) commenced

Donna Dumas celebrates her graduation with one of her four dogs Gucci, a rescue dog who had already been given his name by a previous owner.

Sydney. It was a great experience and gave me a lot of opportunities within the fashion industry. N: Are you glad to be home? D.D.: I’m absolutely loving it. Perth will always be home to me. N: We’ll come back to your career and fashion in a moment, but first let’s talk about your time at St Norbert College D.D.: Sure! N: What is one of your most significant memories from the time you spent at St Norbert College? D.D.: The Year 12 Ball was one of the most memorable for me. It’s a pretty significant event! I had decided over the summer I was going to design and sew my own dress, and so for several weeks leading up to the night I was stressing out and having little breakdowns over the sewing machine. I think I was sewing up until the day of the ball and had to sticky tape the hem up! N: Do you still keep in touch with any of your friends from school? If so, who? D.D.: Since returning from Sydney I’ve been back in touch with Tori Forward, Bianca Lupini, Gerald Tan and a couple others.



as a Year 8 student at St Norbert College in 2007 and graduated in 2011, when she was also the College Media Captain. A member of Prémontré House, Donna’s Homeroom teachers included Ms Tatum, Mr Gherardi and Mr Rozario. When selecting her subjects for senior school, Donna initially chose a science and mathematics course but - with some counselling from her father – changed at the last minute to more creative subjects which has led her to a career in the fashion industry. Donna has worked and studied in Sydney and also overseas and this has helped prompt her to look towards setting up a charitable foundation to help educate and safeguard the rights of textiles workers in developing countries. Donna was kind enough to speak with Norbertus in Perth recently. Norbertus (N): Donna Dumas, welcome to Norbertus, and thank you very much for your time. Donna Dumas (D.D.): Thanks for having me! N: You have just returned from Sydney. How long were you there for and what was the experience like? D.D.: I was in Sydney for four years. I moved there after finishing my Advanced Diploma in Fashion and Textile design at Central Institute of Technology, to complete my bachelor’s degree at the University of Technology in


Donna Dumas


N: Please give a brief description of your studies and career path after leaving St Norbert College and a brief description of your current job. D.D.: I graduated from St Norbert’s in 2011 and went straight to the Central Institute of Technology for three years to complete my Advanced Diploma in Fashion and Textile Design. I finished the course at the age of 20 and still felt like there was so much more to learn about the industry, so I decided to One of Donna’s favourite pieces from her Central Institute of Technology collection.



D.D.: Mr Italiano taught my photography classes from Year 8 through to Year 12. Definitely one of my favourite subjects for the ability to express my creativity and to develop an opportunity to learn about something I was really interested in. N: When did you decide to pursue a career in fashion? Was there a particular year or moment or subject you studied? D.D.: I did textiles every year at school and Mrs Mark was my teacher throughout my five years at St Norbert College. I didn’t realise it was something I loved or was even good at until I received my first report. It was only in Year 11 that I decided I wanted to pursue a career in fashion but I had initially signed up for 2A/B physics, 2A/B chemistry, 2A/B mathematics and specialist mathematics, without knowing what I was going to do at university. My dad actually stopped me and said “Why aren’t you doing any creative subjects?” And it made me question my whole future in the best way possible. I switched to art, photography and textiles, and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

apply to the University of Technology in Sydney, which has one of the best fashion courses in the country. I was accepted in late 2014 and spent the next three years studying in Sydney. UTS flew me overseas for global subjects in fashion and I also did a semester abroad which was incredible. After graduating there I spent the next year working in the industry, from small brands such as Dharma Bums Activewear to more established companies such as Camilla & Marc. I worked at Camilla & Marc most recently which was an amazing experience, however returning home was always a part of the end goal. I’m currently freelancing for small brands and working for myself, including starting up a not-for-profit organisation to launch next year hopefully! N: They all sound like wonderful experiences, Donna. As far as fashion is concerned, please give a brief description of your inspiration, style and interests. Is it true that a certain humanities teacher you had in lower school inspired you with his clever combination of Target and K-Mart style? D.D.: Yes, that certain teacher’s Target and K-Mart outfits were definitely inspiring, almost as much as Gucci and Miu Miu, a couple of my favourite high end brands. My personal style and design aesthetic is very over the top, and so I really look up to designers that push the envelope and aren’t scared to try something new. Delpozo, Cecilie Bahnsen and Ulyana Sergeenko always inspire me. N: Norbertus must confess that a couple of these names are a little unfamiliar but will keep an eye out for them in future! What would you say has been your career highlight to date, Donna?


N: Any memorable subjects or teachers spring to mind when you think back to your time at school? If so, why?


RAW Australia in April. I’m also planning an exhibition in a few months. Yoga, swimming and hanging out with my four dogs takes up the rest of my time when I’m not working! N: Having been out of school now for a few years and with your work, study and travel, what advice would you give to current students at St Norbert College?



D.D.: Explore your curiosities, challenge yourself constantly and pursue your passions and dreams despite how scary it might be. N: Thank you very much for your time Donna. Congratulations on your achievements to date and best wishes with your charitable endeavours. Good luck for what promises to be an amazing future. D.D.: No worries, thanks again for having me!


D.D.: Completing the course at the Central Institute of Technology and presenting eight looks on the runway at our fashion show is one of my biggest career highlights. I was given three industry awards for design, construction and innovation as well as a scholarship for my final year. Graduating at the University Technology in Sydney was another massive highlight for me as it officially marked the end of my studies. N: What are your goals and aims for the future, Donna? Could you tell our Norbertus readers a little more about your idea to set up a not-for-profit organisation – its rationale and its aims? D.D.: As I briefly mentioned I intend starting up an organisation, which I’m currently working on now. The idea is to challenge ethics within the fashion industry and expand on the sustainable and fair-trade movement. Exploitation and slave labour is still so prominent in the industry and factory workers in third world countries are risking their lives for minimum wages every single day. I plan on establishing ethical production houses in Southeast Asia that monitor working rights and regulations of all employees, providing fair wages in a safe environment. Working with local Australian designers to begin with, profits will then in turn allow us to build sewing schools within the factories to offer opportunities to those unable to get jobs otherwise. N: What a commendable idea, Donna, congratulations. Norbertus wishes you every success in this outstanding endeavour and would love to hear about your progress over time. It is another example of living out the College motto of being “prepared for all good works”. D.D.: Thank you! It’s been in the works for the past few years and I think everything from high school studies, moving to Sydney and experiencing the world through travel has led me to wanting to pursue this.

A garment from Donna’s final collection at the University of Technology in Sydney.

N: Apart from your fashion career, and now your charitable work, how do you relax and spend your time? D.D.: I’ve always loved drawing and painting and am also currently pursuing art on the side. I mostly do abstract portraits and have a showcase coming up at

Donna’s Media Captain portrait in 2011.



Norbertus (N): Well, Bridget, Norbertus has finally tracked you down to a beautiful location here in County Kilkenny on the outskirts of Paulstown. Welcome to Norbertus and thanks for taking the time to talk to us. B.M.: It was a lovely surprise to open the door to Norbertus. Thank you for taking the time to visit us in Paulstown. Desirée (Grzenda-Day) called it “The Sticks”, when she and John were here. We have had a lot of Aussie visitors over the years. My father-in-law warned me to “never tell an Aussie your address” because when they say they’re coming, they mean it. N: Some of Norbertus’ readers would be familiar with you and your family’s story, but for some, you and your family’s relationship and story with Australia – and St Norbert College in particular – is quite the remarkable one. When did you and your husband Ger decide to migrate to Australia in the first place? B.M.: We first arrived in Australia in August of 1999 after honeymooning in California. We basically got married, went on honeymoon and continued on to Australia for what was supposed to be a year-long adventure. My husband Ger and I had little or no money at that

stage so Ger quickly got a temporary job in Mount Magnet and I got a parttime job for Term 4 at Morley Senior High School. I continued to look for a more permanent position and, after applying for numerous positions in various schools, I was offered positions in St Luke’s in Karratha, Nagle Catholic College in Geraldton and of course St Norbert College. I chose the one that felt most like home, St Norbert’s. I remember the interview well with Fr Peter, Peter Hayes and Sharon Rainford. They laughed throughout the interview and I still haven’t worked out if they were laughing at me or with me? N: Probably the language barrier! So, you set up home in Lathlain and commenced teaching at St Norbert College. How did the St Norbert College experience compare with your old school in Dublin? B.M.: I had come from an all-boys rugby school in Dublin – St Mary’s College in Rathmines – which produces a lot of Ireland’s rugby players. St Norbert College was very different. The first thing that hit me was its wonderful multi-cultural dimension and having to teach girls for the first time. It took me many

months to learn to pronounce the names of the students there and it took them just as long to understand my Irish accent. Pete Chandler taught next door to me in P1; he told me that listening to me reminded him of his school days with the Irish nuns. Not that I was very nun-like! The weather was very different – you don’t really have “weather” in Perth, not in the Irish context anyway. This gave rise to many outdoor activities and adventures. I joined many camps in my first year, to get a feel for the real Australia. I remember white water rafting, reptiles, snakes, abseiling, caving and all sorts of shenanigans. All really great fun. Having Houses in the College, the vertical Homeroom system and the diversity of opportunity for leadership roles made it a really interesting experience that has stood me in good stead all through my life. The biggest effect it has had in my life is the sense of belonging I feel when I even think about St Norbert College. Once a Norbertine, always a Norbertine. I know that I will always be welcome there.

Bridget and Ger Murphy with children Seamus, Nichola and Kevin in Gosnells in 2017.

N: What are some of your memories about the teachers and students you met at Queens Park? What are some of your happier experiences or what are some of the memorable events you recall?


B.M.: There are so many, I don’t know where to begin. The mathematics department was always a special place with “special” people in every sense of the word. The early days were so much fun: going on maths camp with Pete Chandler, trying to kayak when I could hardly swim, abseiling near Margaret River when I was afraid of heights, walking the Bibbulmun Track with John Hulshoff, Pete Chandler and Donald Nield on numerous occasions, and having to put up with the banter. Crashing my car into a pillar with Sharon Rainford. Lyndsey Cardenia’s beautiful wedding to Frank, and being part of their lives. The most special memory I have is the day my special friend Sharon Rainford arrived at my door wearing a face-mask and carrying a box of food to help us during a Murphy Epidemic. We were all so sick and Sharon turned up to cook, clean and feed us. I will never forget that! There are many special students who will forever stay in my memory. They know who they are, and I feel privileged every day that I had the opportunity to meet and teach them. I think as teachers, we feel a sense of pride when our students move on to living their lives, and especially proud when you may have had a small part in enhancing that journey. At this time, I was also Acting Head of House for Prémontré, standing in for the current Principal Mr Harvey for a term. I was also Head of House for Xanten during this stint. Both experiences were fantastic. In more recent times, I have had the pleasure of being the Head of Mathematics. A very different experience

than before, but equally satisfying. Those poor maths teaches put up with so much change and hard work, that I was surprised when they didn’t seek work elsewhere. I am missing you all and especially Mrs Miranda’s curry puffs. What does one have to do to get a recipe? N: Don’t worry Bridget, Norbertus will get our people to fax your people the curry puffs recipe. After four years, however, and much to the disappointment of many people at St Norbert College, you and Ger decide to return to Ireland. What prompted that move? B.M.: We were still renting in Perth and felt we needed to get our lives in order - perhaps buy or build a house, start a family and so on. We needed to decide where that was going to be. We decided to return to Ireland and try make a beginning there. It didn’t work out as planned! N: Yes, Murphy’s Law, no doubt! Again, you pack up and make the move back to Perth and St Norbert College. What was the reason for that? Were any of your children born by then? Where were they born? BM: We spent four months trying to find employment in Ireland with little success. Our savings were dwindling and decisions needed to be made fast. We both decided that returning home to Ireland probably hadn’t been the best idea at that time with the economic situation as it was. We

purchased an acre of land in Ireland with the intention of returning one day and returned to Perth where we purchased a house in Redcliffe. I was lucky enough to be re-hired by St Norbert College who happened to have a position for me. That was a stroke of luck! It was during that time that our two sons Kevin and Seamus were born. Both were baptised by the wonderful Fr Peter. Fr Peter also officiated over their confessions, communions and confirmations. He may even officiate at their weddings one day. N: Was your second stint at St Norbert College as enjoyable as the first? You were promoted to Head of House or Head of Department, weren’t you? What type of work was Ger pursuing? B.M.: Yes, this was the time when my middle management experience began. I was Head of House for Magdeburg over the coming years with two pregnancies. I really loved that time although it was extremely busy for me. Perhaps less fun and more responsibility – life was beginning to get serious. My husband worked both locally and away in the mines up north. We were settled in Redcliffe with excellent neighbours. There were evenings when I would arrive home to a dinner on my doorstep left by my lovely neighbour Isobel Quain. This was also the time that my father passed away. It started me thinking a lot about home, our place in the world and what life was all about.

Magdeburg House Captains Christopher Daniels, Jessica Nugent and Candice Reed with Head of House Bridget Murphy in 2007.

N: Then in 2007 you drop the bombshell that the pull of the old country was too strong and, for a variety of personal reasons, you were returning to Kilkenny.


B.M.: You put that very well, Norbertus. My father had passed away in tragic circumstances, my husband fell ill and I had two small babies. It was a tough time for us all. But thankfully we got through it. We had started building on the block of land in Ireland a year or two previously and it was almost complete. My brother in Ireland was taking care of things while we were in Perth. I am one of ten children and I was really starting to feel the pull of home. I wanted my boys to know who they were and their culture, and most especially their family back home. I also felt I needed to be near my mother at this difficult time. So Ger and I returned with two little boys to live in our newly built home in Paulstown. N: It must have been an incredibly stressful time for you all. At least you did have this magnificent house to move into. Did you return to your former school? B.M.: I had contacted my old school from my student days to see if any positions might be coming up and sure enough there happened to be a perfect position for me - teaching mathematics. My own, old mathematics teacher happened to be retiring. I did an interview over the phone in my pyjamas in Perth and got the job. This move felt easier as I, at least, had a job unlike our previous attempt. So, we rented our house in Redcliffe and off we went with two small babies. N: That wasn’t a Face Time interview was it, Bridget? There were significant

developments and changes in education at this time. How did the two countries’ systems compare? Could you see similar emerging developments in both systems? BM: At this stage, most of my experience had been in Perth and I felt that there were still significant differences between the two countries. I returned home with so many new ideas and experiences that I had hoped would help me in the Irish system. If anyone ever does a comparison of Presentation De La Salle College in Bagenalstown, Carlow and St Norbert College, they may find a few similarities. I wonder how that happened? But I have also brought ideas from Ireland over to Perth. Internationally, education has become more globalised so I see fewer differences as time passes. All systems are seeking the most effective techniques in teaching and learning, so different educational systems are becoming less distinct. N: So, back in Ireland for five years. I am sure some of our readers can guess what happens next. You decide to pack up the family and return to Perth for your third stint. The position of Head of Mathematics must have been an attraction, but what else inspired the third “campaign”? B.M.: Back in Ireland for five years and the economic recession in Ireland and Europe had really hit at this stage. I was working, but anyone in a trade, such as my husband,

found themselves unemployed. The building trade and its spin-offs just completely shut down. You would hardly see a truck on any road. We struggled on with everyone else in the country for five years but it became increasingly evident that we had to return to Perth. At least we had a choice, unlike many others. Ger’s health had improved and the kids were a little older. Our daughter Nichola had also been born during this period. I was able to take an approved career break for five years and still hold on to my job. This was an initiative set up by the government to create jobs in the teaching profession for younger teachers. So, we returned to Perth with three children aged three, seven and eight. We had an investment property in Gosnells that we moved into. We subdivided that block later and built a new house that we moved into in early 2015. N: And here we are now in early 2019 having a cup of tea in Kilkenny with the family back in Ireland. As mentioned you have a magnificent home and the countryside is stunning, but the reason for coming home? B.M.: We had visited Ireland for a holiday in 2015 to keep the memories alive for the children. By 2017, they were eight, 11 and 12. I knew that if we didn’t return then, we would never return. Once children become embedded into a culture, especially in their teens, it’s far too disruptive

Bridget at a College retreat in 2004.


to pluck them out of that. They still loved Ireland and were eager to return. Also, my career break was coming to an end. This meant that if I didn’t return then, my job was lost. I wasn’t willing to give that up. So here we are, back in Ireland once more. N: As you mentioned before, you come from a large family, so Norbertus assumes that is always an attraction? B.M.: Yes, I am the eldest of 10 children. I come from a very close family that provide a strong support system. It’s important that our children know who they are. My siblings include three builders, a mechanic, an accountant, a policewoman, a computer programmer, a graphic designer and a restaurant supervisor. Our parents did a good job. Our children have approximately 40 first cousins between both sides of the family. N: How have your children coped with the travel, the different schools and different countries and lifestyles? B.M.: We have very resilient kids who have sailed through the many journeys in their lives. They now have friends from all over the world. That is such a privilege. The experiences that they have had has made them all the better. N: How have your comings and goings been viewed by your family and friends, and the staff at your school in Presentation De La Salle College in Bagenalstown?

B.M.: Most people think we’re crazy people. I believe we have been blessed with the many opportunities that life has provided for us. I am also blessed to have met the amazing people that enriched my life for the better. Australia is not left behind. We will definitely return one day to catch up with everyone. N: If Norbertus was to conduct a survey of all five Murphy family members right here and now, what would be the Ireland - Australia vote as preferred place to live? B.M.: My husband would most definitely pick Australia, but myself and the children are for Ireland. I believe the children will return one day and we will be wherever they are. My ideal retirement would be six months in Australia and six months in Ireland. What a life that would be! N: Norbertus prides itself on being second to no other print or online media in bringing St Norbert College news to our readers and the St Norbert College community, so we would like a straight answer to the following question if you don’t mind. Can you, Bridget Murphy, categorically and unequivocally rule out the possibility of the Murphy family returning to Perth, or is the possibility of a fourth campaign something you might consider in future? Norbertus did a property records search before tracking you down and noticed that you still have some property interests in Perth.

B.M.: I can categorically state that we will definitely be back to Australia one day. It has become such a big part of our lives, there’s no denying that. I have begun studying for my Master’s in Educational Management here in Ireland and am pursuing a position as Deputy Principal here at the moment. I’ll keep you posted. I am also bringing a group of Irish students to NASA in April 2020. I might meet some Australian colleagues there. The coming years are busy but that will change. N: Do you still keep in touch with friends and former work colleagues from Perth? Have you had many visitors from Perth? B.M.: We have had a constant flow. We have a spare bedroom in our house named by the kids as “Fr Peter’s bedroom”. It is always open to visitors. We love to see them coming. Social media has made things far easier nowadays. We are always in touch with the “goings-on” down under.

Mrs Bridget Murphy and her son Kevin (Class of 2022) were surprised when Norbertus’ Republic of Ireland operative knocked on the door in January this year.

N: You will soon be on a long summer holiday. Any plans? B.M.: Hoping to take the kids to Europe this year. France and Italy are on our list. Really looking forward to that. It will be our first holiday since our return. N: What is the best thing about Ireland you missed when you were living in Oz, and what is the best thing about Australia that you miss now that you are back home?

The Murphy home in Paulstown, County Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland in winter 2017.


B.M.: When in Australia we really missed family mostly – the weddings, birthdays and all the other family events. I also missed the scenery and greenery of Ireland although Australia has a beauty of its own. Now that we’re back, I miss the brilliant people we had in our lives in Australia. I miss St Norbert College and its community. I miss the wonderful restaurants and the sunshine. However, it was always too hot for redheads and when it cooled in the evenings, the mosquitoes made sure that we remained house-bound. N: Any messages for your legion of fans back at Treasure Road? B.M.: Miss you all terribly. We have made friends for life and feel blessed in every sense of the word. I will see you again one day whether here or there. Fr Peter’s room is ready to go. N: Well, thank you very much for your contribution to St Norbert College and the many students you taught, and thank you very much for talking to Norbertus. B.M.: Thank you for including me. I love that you asked me, although answering these questions has been just as taxing as writing the academic essays on my Master’s course! N: Taxing? You should try trying to write all your responses in shorthand! Just one more thing, Bridget, you don’t know the way to Dublin Airport do you? B.M.: As luck would have it, I certainly do. As well as the way to Perth Airport! N: To be sure!

Kevin Murphy

(CLASS OF 2022)


Norbertus (N): Thank you for agreeing to talk to Norbertus, Kevin. By the way, congratulations on becoming the youngest alumnus to be interviewed in this magazine. Kevin Murphy (K.M.): Thank you for considering me for this magazine. And it is a privilege to be the youngest ever alumnus to be featured. N: You were roughly halfway through Year 7 when you heard that the family was relocating to Ireland. How did you feel at the time? K.M.: I was sort of sad to be leaving my school but excited to move to Ireland and meet my family again. I was also nervous since I was starting school one week after returning to Ireland.

N: Do you think you’ll return to Australia in the future? Do you hold an Australian passport? K.M.: I will probably return to Australia to work in the future and I will probably come back to travel as well. I hold an Australian passport which will come in handy if needed. N: Would you like to send a message to some of your friends at St Norbert College? K.M.: I hope you’re having a great time in St Norbert’s and best of luck with all your tests in the future. N: Thank you very much Kevin. Best wishes for the future K.M.: Thank you again for considering me for the magazine.

N: What are some of the main differences and similarities between the Irish and the Australian education systems? Which do you prefer and why? K.M.: The uniform is a lot simpler here and the student s don’t use their own technology while learning throughout the day. The school is also all indoors unlike Australia where you had to go outside to get to your class. N: What about the lifestyles – sports, your leisure time, television and so on. How does Paulstown compare to living in Perth? K.M.: Paulstown is nothing like Perth. There is not much in Paulstown except a few estates. We have to travel to Kilkenny to get to sports and leisure facilities. The television is similar here, but the news is mostly local since Ireland is so small.

Kevin Murphy (Class of 2012) and Bridget.


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Mr Michael (Mick) Italiano Mr Michael (Mick) Italiano was born,

raised and educated in the southwest town of Collie before completing his university studies in Perth and commencing work as a teacher at several Perth schools including South Fremantle Senior High School, Belridge Senior High School, Trinity College and St Norbert College. Mick joined the staff of St Norbert’s in 2007 and during his seven years at the College Mick taught design, was a Xanten Homeroom teacher, coached sport, made a large contribution to the creative arts display evenings and also coordinated the Year 9 and Year 10 adventure camps for several years. Mick’s sense of adventure and his desire to seek out new career challenges saw him leave St Norbert College in June 2015 to take up a position at an international school in Singapore. “For me, life is as rich as the experiences you encounter,” Mick said. “I had been in Perth for 16 years and felt it was time to see the rest of the world.” He made the move and was soon teaching the international baccalaureate MYP design course to students in Grades 6 to 11. Initially Mick was a little apprehensive about the type of students he was going to encounter in such a school, but his fears were soon allayed as the students proved to be well-mannered and focused on achieving good results. One stark difference to Mick’s experience at St Norbert College was the vastly different physical

environment where he worked in Singapore. “The school in Singapore was located in a multi-storey building on Orchard Road in the middle of the shopping district, with Gucci and Prada outlets and a massive Apple store as its neighbours,” Mick said. “The school had one football pitch where the students spent their break times, and it also served as the school oval, basketball courts and PE classrooms – a massive contrast to St Norbert College’s vast open spaces.” Mick found Singapore an extremely vibrant and fast-paced city with little time to rest but devised a plan to overcome the relentless hustle and bustle. “Changi Airport was very accessible and every other weekend there was the opportunity to escape to a relaxing tropical island,” he said. After a couple of years in Singapore and keen to explore more of the world, Mick was ready for a complete change of scenery and narrowed his choice down to either Atlanta in the USA or Lisbon in Portugal. Mick eventually settled on Lisbon and secured a similar position in an international school but this time he was also teaching design technology to the senior Grade 11 and 12 students. Once again Mick has found the students to be multicultural and diverse, similar to St Norbert’s and

Singapore, but with a slightly different emphasis. “Given Portugal’s history, a lot of the students here are from Brazil or Portuguese-speaking African nations which makes for a very colourful and vibrant environment,” Mick said. He also added that some students at such schools live in as many as ten countries during their school career. “For example, of the eight students in my current Grade 11 design class, four of the students speak at least four languages fluently.” Mick is enjoying life in Lisbon and is making the most of the travel opportunities the city’s European location affords. “Having cities like Madrid, Paris and Rome an easy one or two- hour flight away makes weekend getaways accessible and I’ve also managed some visits to countries in the Middle East and Central and South America.” Like his school environment, Mick finds life and the culture in Portugal very vibrant with the people very welcoming. “It took me a while to get used to eating dinner at 11pm, and I do miss the tropical beaches in South East Asia occasionally, but Portugal is fantastic and I’ll be here for at least another year,” Mick said. “After that I’ll hopefully move on to Central America somewhere.” Norbertus salutes your sense of adventure, Mick, and wishes you happy trails as you cross more countries off your list. Somehow the drive home through the suburbs of Perth will seem just that little bit blander today.

Mr Mick Italiano is currently teaching in Lisbon, Portugal.

Mick pictured with some Homeroom members in 2011.


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The last issue of Norbertus featured a story about Michael Speechly (Class of 1986) who recently had a book published as part of a deal with Penguin Random House publishers. When asked about his time at St Norbert College, Michael recalled how art was one of his favourite subjects due to the efforts of an inspirational art teacher who enabled students to explore their artistic capabilities in a very comfortable environment. That teacher was recently-graduated Miss Kara Vandeleur who taught at St Norbert’s for only three years from 1984 to 1986. With the help of former St Norbert College English teacher Christopher Kowald, Norbertus set about tracking down Kara and soon one of our operatives found her living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. It turns out that St Norbert College was her first and final high school teaching post, and since 1986 Kara has embarked on an amazing journey of adventure and discovery through several continents and a variety of occupations. She and her partner Frank now run a successful business which has played a part in the production of some experiences that virtually everyone in the St Norbert College community has enjoyed at some time. Recently Kara was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to tell her amazing story.

MICHAEL SPEECHLEY REMEMBERS KARA VANDELEUR My main memories (of St Norbert College) are of the art room. It was a place that I just loved. My Year 11 and 12 teacher was Kara Vandeleur and she inspired me because she loved art herself and she would play her music and paint and draw at the same time as us. It was such a brilliant learning environment and it never seemed like schoolwork. She certainly got my artistic side rolling, which is a sign of a great teacher.


Beginnings I was born in the small country town of Morawa, the site of the first iron ore mine in Western Australia. My parents were wheat-sheep farmers who are now in their eighties and happily retired, still living in Morawa and still blessed with good health. My primary education was a ten-mile school bus trip into town to attend the local convent under the Dominican Sisters. The next five years of my secondary education was boarding with the Presentation Sisters in Geraldton before heading down to the big smoke. Nana Inspires Looking back my creativity was initially ignited by my very creative grandmother. She was a school teacher but also a fine artist and a never-ending source of wonder to me. After church on Sundays all the cousins would converge at her house and we would explore this wonderland: dressmaking on her treadle sewing machine, pastel painting on black paper, and playing hairdressers with the clippers, scissors and metal perm rollers. Although my time with her was relatively brief she was buried on my twelfth birthday - as the years pass I realised she is very much part of me. Nana was also a huge blessing to my mother, who was a naive city girl who fell in love with “a bushie” and was then thrown in at the deep end when she left the comforts of the city to only have kerosene lamps and wood-fired boilers! Nana quietly supported her and helped teach her how

A self-proclaimed “new-age hippie”, Kara says she is “living the dream” in Wellington, New Zealand.

to sew and knit, repurposing her business tweed coats to create trousers for my older brothers. These skills she then passed onto me and I would spend my holidays on the farm creating myself a new wardrobe to wear on my next teacher’s practicum in the coming year. I still wear a jumper I knitted 35 years ago and looking at a threepiece tweed suit I made back then, I realise just how much things have changed in a few decades - creating such outfits from scratch is no longer a feasible consideration.


Learning to Teach Unfortunately, academia wasn’t a strong trait of mine and I was lucky to scrape into secondary teacher training at what was then Nedlands College of Advanced Education. Looking back, it was the perfect foundation course for me and over the three years I spent hours in life-art immersion workshops and learnt many methodologies of art and material assembly, knowledge which continues to be the basis of my daily life. As far as teaching is concerned, St Norbert’s was my first and only secondary teaching position which I held for three years before leaving to travel overseas. Two people I remember very fondly of during my time at St Norbert’s were Des O’Sullivan and Brian Rogan. I will be eternally grateful to Des for giving me the opportunity as a new graduate, and for the support and kindness he offered me in my first year. It was a challenge with my eldest student fewer than three years younger than me so gaining their respect and control was a bit of steep learning curve. Des’ support was a constant reassurance as I gained experience. Brian was another who showed me kindness. I shared an office with him and a few others, and he while he never interfered, his quiet presence and occasional advice were always on the money and appreciated. Overseas Adventures After leaving St Norbert’s I headed to London for an overseas adventure and didn’t return to Oz for over three years. In London I bluffed my way into the temping secretarial world where my high school typing classes came in handy - a skill I urge everyone to learn - and after two years was fairly confident with about 10 different “word processing packages”.

After two years of saving some pounds by working in London, I started my travels. I flew to Nairobi in Kenya and picked up a spot on a soft-top MAN military truck and spent three months crossing the continent, firstly west to the coast through central Africa and then north through the Sahara to Morocco. Upon returning to London I convinced a ski company that I could cook and spent the next five months in a ski season in Meribel, in the Trois Valley in France, as the sole caretaker of a 10-bed chalet. I learnt very quickly to be very efficient in all areas of hospitality, particularly cooking. Armed with a few recipe books including Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of Cookery, I had to produce a cooked breakfast at 7am, cake on the table by 4pm and a three-course meal six-nights a week. It was a baptism of fire with no time to ski, but cooking is now a breeze. When the snow melted, I returned to London and found a Kombi with a few Kiwis and spent the next five months touring around Europe with our only deadlines being to reach Pamplona for the running of the bulls and to be in Munich in time for the beer festival. By the time I returned home three years later, I had travelled and crossed 31 countries.

1985 Koinonia staff photograph: Anne Keillor, Mark Carrol, Cheryl Gardner, John Hulshoff and second-year-out art teacher Kara Vandeleur.

In Perth I decided to try secretarial work and became the personal assistant to the student guild president at the University of Western Australia. After some exposure to the student political scene, I thought working in advertising would be a natural step to help mold social consciousness, but after three years of dealing with too many advertising executives’ egos, I returned to teaching art history and introductory computing at TAFE.


Peter Jackson Beckons After a few years teaching at TAFE I went travelling with my Kiwi animator boyfriend. When we were in Los Angeles we learnt Peter Jackson was in the final months of postproduction on “The Frighteners” so we both joined the team at Weta Digital where I ended up staying for 17 years with some time spent on other pursuits. During this time Peter Jackson was writing the scripts for “Lord of the Rings”. As I was confident I would be able to get work once filming was completed, in the interim I decided to enjoy some light-hearted hospitality work in a popular restaurant, serving hobbits beers at night while dressmaking for friends during the day. Once a week I enjoyed night life drawing classes and, as I was managing the art exhibitions in the restaurant, took the opportunity have two solo exhibitions. One year I successfully entered a piece into the World of Wearable Art, which has become a major week-long event in Wellington. Los Angeles Another break from Weta Digital was in 2005 when I went to work at Digital Domain in Venice, Los Angeles, with Frank Rueter, my partner, to work on “Speedracer”. To our surprise we enjoyed LA more than we thought and have lots of fond memories: a few RV road trips through national parks, our daily ride to work along the boardwalk on our beach cruisers and the excitement of Barack Obama’s election. Weta and Digital Domain are regarded as two of the best visual effects (VFX) post production facilities and so we learnt to deliver high quality production which was perfect training for our VFX business today. My Weta work experience was in both 2D and 3D. During the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy I worked as a compositing assistant doing rotoscoping and 2D paint plate clean-up - cutting out flapping rubber ork spears and bouncing silicone hobbit feet - to enable integration with other live footage or CG creatures. After the trilogy Jackson moved

on to “King Kong” which was a big step-up for Weta Digital as “Lord of the Rings” was mostly live footage with a few “creatures”. King Kong required the entire island of Manhattan to be modelled in 3D and so many of our department were retrained as texture artists to paint all the buildings. When we went to Digital Domain in LA, I had been working on “Avatar” and “Tintin” but as both were completely 3D projects, I got to work on them again when we returned 18 months later. Over the next few years I painted over 100 models, which are referred to as assets. Living the Dream in Wellington Now I am living the dream, working with Frank from home in Wellington. I am blessed to be where I am today - working with the perfect partner in our dream setup. Frank is a clever German whom I met at Weta when he came to work as a compositor on “Return of the King”. Coming from a boutique production house in Wiesbaden, he brought a wealth of generalist experience - from onset supervising to 3D animation. As an avid problem-solver he is constantly refining processes, teaching himself whatever is required to automate and create better processes wherever he can. He is generous and patient and loves to share his knowledge which is very fortunate for me as the past decade has been my steepest learning curve, but at the same time, the most enjoyable! Our office has great views overlooking the South Island. We chose a Maori word for the name of our company - ohu - which means a communal working group which best expresses our desire to work with others as a team which permits all members’ input throughout the process. When you are part of a big machine you are just a small cog and consistency is paramount leaving little room for artist input. Now being part of the creative direction of most projects feels like I have come “full circle” back to the classroom at

Just some of the many films Kara has worked on.


St Norbert’s encouraging others how to best explore ways how to best tell the story. In 2009 while I was back at Weta, Frank started building the business, offering our services to local film makers and built up our professional network by working on many short films. Being involved from script development to the final production, allows us to offer ideas as to how to best tell the story within the budget and time constraints. Our projects and teams vary from year to year, which comes with some uncertainty but also provides abundant opportunity. Some Big Projects Recent bigger projects have included Russell Crowe’s “The Water Diviner” and Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge”. We are currently loving working with our favourite team at Assembly in Auckland on a six-part BBC television series “The Luminaries”, based on the 2017 Man Booker Prize winning novel of the same name by New Zealand author Eleanor Catton. Principle photography is still in progress but so far the shots are looking great thanks to the director and DOP team, coupled with Eleanor having written the screenplays herself and Eva Green being perfectly cast in the role of the main nemesis. Another team we have been part of is OHU Domes. We are a small team of five who have produced three short films for the Auckland planetarium. For each film we negotiated more time which allowed us to grow as a team on all levels - creative, assembly construction and story-telling. The first two have received acknowledgements from international dome festivals and we have now entered the final piece on the festival circuit and have hopes it will also be well received.

An Evolving Lifestyle For most of my career I have been creating on a computer screen. Modifying pixels and seeing them on the big screen has some satisfaction though I find it’s not as rewarding as being able to hold your completed project. Often work is quieter over the summer months allowing us to get onto some exterior projects, doing repairs and building our sustainability (greenhouse, chickens, etc) which fits perfectly as usually the winter months are busy with VFX work. I get great satisfaction from restoring vintage items to their former glory and hoard materials for reuse so I’m grateful to see today we have come full circle and an awareness of the importance to repurpose and upcycle, minimising our impact on resources. Since moving to Aotearoa 22 years ago I’ve evolved into a new-age hippie. It was the beginning of my awareness of natural clean options - in terms of diet, behaviour and lifestyle – in which my learning continues to grow. Knowing the ingredients of products and the awareness that food is medicine now sees me rarely visit my doctor. I’ve learnt to apply the saying “use it or lose it” to most things as it pretty much highlights a responsibility for us to be the caretakers of ourselves. And embracing the ways of old today is so accessible with the abundance of knowledge on everything available online. The rate we are now changing is illustrated by the ubiquitous buzz-word “multi-tasking” within a few years having flipped to become a negative as we now face information overload and need to reduce our digital distractions and find ways to filter and manage our time better. How to achieve moderation in all things, to keep balance of the old and the new and still enjoyment in them all is a crossroads we are now at. Hopefully we will continue to draw on the past to better guide us as to what to keep and avoid, while considering what needs to be changed, and ways to explore the future.

Principal Mr Des O’Sullivan visits the art room in the early 1980s. Kara was grateful for Des’ support and kindness and she also remembers Brian Rogan as another teacher who gently guided her as she commenced teaching at St Norbert College.




RAAF WING COMMANDER (RTD) A Chance Meeting In Port Hedland In 1985 Norbertus walked into the Ansett Airlines office in Port Hedland to confirm a flight to Perth a few days later, to be greeted by an old classmate, Jim Lewis, who happened to be working there. After a few pleasantries were exchanged, Jim revealed that he had just passed his pilot’s test the day before and would be more than happy to take Norbertus and a couple of other blokes up in the air to see the sights of Port Hedland. Despite Norbertus compiling a rather convincing argument that Port Hedland had no sights of any real significance and that unnecessarily burning aviation fuel would probably incur a negative environmental impact, within two minutes Jim had borrowed a plane and we were set. Twenty-four hours later, after Jim meticulously went through the pre-flight safety checklist, including blowing through a whistle in one of the wings, he pulled his window down, yelled “Clear prop!” to a vacant airfield, and we were off on Jim’s inaugural flight as the pilot of a light aircraft! In a ride that Norbertus recalls was as noisy, bumpy and shaky as Norbertus’ brother’s 1962 Volkswagen Beetle on a corrugated country gravel road, Jim revealed some of the stunning views of that part of the Pilbara which were truly breathtaking and worth burning a bit of nervous energy for. After the landing (which Jim added a bit of interest to by bouncing from side-to-side a couple of times), one of the blokes kissed the ground in appreciation, a couple of blokes promised to review their

outlook on life, and we all thanked Jim for definitely the flight of a lifetime! Little did Norbertus know that this was the beginning of a magnificent aviation career for Jim that would see him become a Wing Commander (Air Combat Officer) in the Royal Australian Airforce and serve with distinction in a variety of roles and combat zones around the world. Jim recently retired from the Royal Australian Air Force after 32 years’ service. Towards the end of last year, roughly 35 years after that Port Hedland meeting, Norbertus bumped into Jim again and was surprised to learn that he is a St Norbert College alumnus; he had in fact spent a year at St Norbert College as a Year 6 student in 1970. After reminiscing about that memorable flight in 1985 (which Norbertus recalls took place largely due to Norbertus’ encouragement and enthusiasm!), Jim was kind enough to pen a few words about his stint at St Norbert’s and his Air Force career. Some of Jim’s flying adventures are available on YouTube, including this link which shows him delivering a plane he built to its new owner in Sydney: watch?v=4K8Mfot38mU Norbertus and the St Norbert College community thank Jim Lewis for his service to the Royal Australian Air Force and wish him well in retirement.

Wing Commander Jim Lewis pictured in late October, 2013, just prior to boarding a C-130 Hercules at Kabul Air Base for the trip back to Australia via Tarin Kowt, Kandahar, and the RAAF Middle East staging base.



Although I only spent a short time at St Norbert College - Year 6 in 1970 - it was very enjoyable and memorable. My form teacher was Mr Scafidi, who had a very philosophical view on life: “If you work, you’ll live. If you don’t work, you’ll die!” True on so many levels! St Norbert’s was my transition from a fairly breezy primary school mentality to a realisation that I needed to put in some work in order to succeed. St Norbert’s facilitated that transition and was really great at supporting and rewarding us for putting in the effort. It was a lot of fun too; the annual camp at Manjedal (near Serpentine) was a real blast, with swimming, games and lots of bushwalking. I really loved my time there. After St Norbert College I attended Trinity College, graduating in 1976. I joined the RAAF in 1977 as a radio technician trainee but lacked three necessary attributes for radio work – aptitude, ability and motivation. So, after about a year I left the RAAF and had a few jobs, including working at the National Bank and Ansett Airlines, and as a public servant with the Department of Social Security. I re-entered the Air Force in 1986 with a commission as an administrative officer, later changing to air defence (air combat). I did my fighter intercept training at RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW (home of the F/A-18 Hornet), in 1990. After a couple of tours as a fighter intercept controller, I was selected for space operations training in the United States, and then posted to the US 5th Space Warning Squadron, responsible for operating a constellation of early warning satellites that detected and reported on intercontinental ballistic missile launches around the world. Later I was sent to the US as an exchange

officer at the US Air Force Space Command Headquarters in Colorado. I was Deputy Director of the Defence Space Coordination Office in Canberra and Commanding Officer of the Surveillance and Control Training Unit at RAAF BASE Williamtown, plus Deputy Commandant of the RAAF College, RAAF Base Wagga Wagga, NSW. I was deployed to several exotic locations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, including Kandahar and Kabul. One of my classmates from St Norbert’s, Bernard Voysey, also joined the RAAF and flew Mirage lll fighters. I studied for a Diploma in Administrative Studies through the RAAF College and later was sponsored to attend the Queensland University of Technology to study for a Graduate Certificate in Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. As a qualified pilot, I have built and flown my own aeroplane, including several trips across Australia. In 2016 I retired from the Royal Australian Air Force after 32 years’ total service and look forward to spending a lot more time with my wife Carol. It will be a new experience to not travel around Australia and the world, but to just settle down for a while, without the prospect of yet another interstate or overseas posting. I would encourage students at St Norbert’s to maintain a balance - study hard, but don’t make it your whole focus. Family, friends and having fun are important factors in your development for the future. Best wishes to everyone associated with St Norbert College. PS: The only thing I remember of that flight in 1985 is Norbertus screaming “We’re going to die! We’re going to die!” over and over again!

Wing Commander Jim Lewis retired in 2018 after 32 years’ distinguished service in the Royal Australian Air Force.




St Norbert College alumnus Dr

Brendan McQuillan MB BS PhD W.Aust., FRACP (Class of 1983) completed a medical degree at the University of Western Australia before commencing work as a doctor at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Eventually his interest in cardiovascular medicine saw him commence three years of research at the Heart Research Institute of Western Australia before going on to complete a PhD in vascular biology. Dr McQuillan then moved to the United States where he accepted a post-doctoral research fellowship at Harvard University and worked and studied at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr McQuillan is currently Head of School/Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine at the University of Western Australia, as well as holding senior cardiologist positions at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and supervising and training junior doctors and senior medical students at St John of God Hospital, Subiaco. In addition to all these positions and achievements, Dr McQuillan has also found time to be involved in many medical boards and associations and share his wealth

of experience with medical student and colleagues. This year six St Norbert College Year 12 students who are aspiring to study medicine at university next year were extremely fortunate to be able to spend some time with Dr McQuillan, who spoke about his time at St Norbert College, his career path in medicine and answered questions to give the students a real insight into what to expect in this demanding profession. Dawn Saji of Kilnacrott found the meeting with Dr McQuillan to be very rewarding: “Not only did he share his personal story and answer questions but what really inspired me was the passion for medicine that Dr McQuillan has. This has made me more determined than ever to reach my goal of becoming a doctor.� The St Norbert College community congratulates and thanks Dr Brendan McQuillan for his untiring efforts and extremely selfless dedication to the pursuit of improved public health in Western Australia, and for showing an interest in our students and their prospective medical careers.

Dr Brendan McQuillan with Aldric Ratnasekera, Millen Paneru, Ana De Verya, Dylan Wemyss, Shanzae Jehangiri and Dawn Saji.




Mr Mark George (Class of 1973) was in one

of the first year groups to complete Year 12 at St Norbert College. Mark commenced as a Year 5 student in 1966 and recalls that conditions at the College were very spartan during his eight years there. “The early years were very tough, as the school was under-resourced and corporal punishment was central to keeping all the boys on task,” Mark said. Little wonder, then, that Mark’s favourite teacher was Joe McIntyre who taught English and was less inclined to use the strap. “Joe was a little quirky and definitely more relaxed in his approach than the other teachers with their over-the-top discipline,” Mark recalled. Mark also remembers an initiative in the late 1960s to build some school spirit by making the boys jog around the school perimeter through puddles in full winter uniform, complete with suit jacket and cap. “It wasn’t our favourite way to start a winter’s day,” Mark said. “Needless to say, many boys became sick.” Mark was one of the former students who was instrumental in establishing the SNESA Football Club and says it was one of the positives he took away from his time at St Norbert College because of the great friendships that were formed and still flourish to this day. Some of these friendships were forged in battles on and off the field. “The foundation era was great, although it was marred with so many

clashes on and off the field which probably galvanised so many St Norbert’s boys to stick together,” Mark said. After leaving school Mark commenced an internship with the retail chain Boans (now Myer) and after four years moved into wholesaling. Today Mark owns and operates his own industrial textile wholesale business, H.L. Jessop Pty Ltd. Looking back on his career at St Norbert College, Mark paid tribute to the ideals and efforts of all associated with St Norbert College in its early years, but says it was generally a struggle for all concerned, with some good times thrown in. “We did have plenty of fun times,” Mark recalled, “and the boys still tell some funny stories, but most of these are not for publication of course!”

Mark George enjoys a sunset in Broome in May, 2018, during a trip to visit his daughter Courtney who was teaching at St Mary’s College.

Mark singled out and paid special tribute to Mick Devine for his contribution to the College, which he says helped set it on the path to becoming the great school it is today. Mark recently visited the College and donated some of his awards, reports and trophies to the school archives. St Norbert College thanks Mark for his contribution to the history of the College and his great work in helping to establish the SNESA Football Club.

Mark was an integral member of the 1973 St Norbert College athletics team. A Café 135@Treasure voucher is on offer to the first Norbertus reader to correctly identify Mark in this team photograph.



Mark’s U/11 Athletics Champion trophy, a spoon awarded for becoming the 1966 Athletics Junior Champion, and his BB trophy which Mark won at some stage for being Best Boy.

Mark’s Year 11 and Year 12 report cards. Norbertus noticed that mathematics needed “careful attention” according to his Homeroom teacher Mr Joseph McIntyre, but on a positive note, Mark was performing very well in economics and Christian Doctrine, and topped the class in history in Year 11, earning the comment “A keen and conscientious worker”.

1990 St Norbert College Silver Jubilee medal distributed to attendees at a celebration dinner and ball which was coordinated by Mr Mick Devine.

A merit certificate for outstanding achievement in Year 11 economics in 1972.

If you would like to donate any St Norbert College artefacts, documents, or items of interest please contact


Congratulations Jess Nugent AND


Congratulations to Jess Nugent (Class of 2007) and Andy Pheasant who were married last October. The couple enjoyed a wonderful day with family and friends, as Jess points out: “October 26, 2018, was one of the most special and exciting days of my life, having dear family members and friends surround me and my husband Andy as we exchanged vows on the banks of the Swan River at Burswood, with the city of Perth as a beautiful backdrop. We were fortunate to have many Kiwis from Andy’s side of the family fly all the way to Perth for the special day and it has been a delight to become part of their family. As newlywed Pheasants, we flew to Port Douglas and Cairns in North Queensland for a tropical honeymoon, where we explored the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The whole experience could not have been better!” Norbertus wishes Jess and Andy many happy years together.

Jordan Parker AND


Jordan Parker (Class of 2009) studied criminology at university and then enrolled as a recruit at the Western Australia Police Academy in 2012, graduating in early 2013 as the youngest member of his intake. At the academy, Jordan met fellow recruit Lauren Emmerson and the couple started dating after graduating. In September 2017, during a holiday in New Zealand, Jordan proposed to Lauren and the couple married in early March this year at Eight Willows Retreat in Metricup. Three of Jordan’s groomsmen were St Norbert College alumni, including his brother and fellow police officer Joel (Class of 2012), Jadon Geilingh (Class of 2009) and Darren Biddle (Class of 2010). The master of ceremonies was SNESA identity and water boy Phil Rigg, father of Ben (Class of 2007) and Stephen (Class of 2010), who led the charge when the SNESA club song was sung with gusto during the reception! Jordan and Lauren enjoyed the beautiful occasion immensely and were lucky enough to enjoy some special time together on an extended honeymoon to Mexico - where they attended another wedding - New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Hawaii. Norbertus congratulates Jordan and Lauren on their marriage and wishes them many years of happiness together.


Congratulations Elly White AND


Elly White (Class of 2010) married Wade Burgoyne (also Class of 2010) on May 11 this year at Nanga Bush Camp surrounded by family and friends. It was a beautiful day which was 3582 days in the making – they started dating back in 2009 in Year 11 when Elly was getting ready to make sure she had a “nice” date for the Year 12 Ball. The day was made special by the personal touches that Elly and Wade included, from making the hexagon-shaped arbour, all the tables, easels, scented candles, twine covered bottles for the flowers and including favourite foods prepared by family members.

Many of the wedding guests were alumni of St Norbert College, pictured on the next page, from left to right: Jamie George (Class of 1989) – married, three children, working in the transport industry. Scott George (Class of 1990) – married with two children, one of whom currently attends St Norbert College, with the younger one coming next year. Scott works in the fire and security business. Ethan George (Class of 2022) – son of Scott George, currently in Year 9 student at St Norbert College. Raphael Bianchini (Class of 2010) – groomsman. Just returned to Australia from a couple of years working on the snowfields of Canada, currently working in retail. Kolbe Burgoyne (Class of 2011) – studying primary school teaching at Edith Cowan University. Deborah George (Class of 1986) – working as an occupational therapist at Osborne Park Hospital. Wade Burgoyne (Class of 2010) groom – working as a subcontractor in the fire and security industry Michael Burgoyne (Class of 1985) – one very relieved and happy father of the groom who is a regional sales manager with Hills Limited.


Elly Burgoyne (Class of 2010, nee White) bride – a nurse at Osborne Park Hospital.

Paul Kelly (Class of 1977) – married, six children who all attended St Norbert College, four grandchildren, an accountant.

Melisse Burgoyne (Class of 2018) bridesmaid – currently studying nursing at Edith Cowan University.

Kneeling (left to right):

Tracey Burgoyne (Class of 1985) – working in administration at St Norbert College. Rachel Kuser (Class of 2010) maid of Honour – a midwife at Armadale Hospital. David Burgoyne (Dux of the Class of 1975) – married with three children and one grandson, looking forward to retiring and returning to WA in July this year. Hayden Burgoyne (Class of 2009) best man – SNESA player, working as operations supervisor in the transport industry. Jasmine York (Class of 2009) – new mum currently on maternity leave from payroll position at City of Canning. Jadon Gielingh (Class of 2009) – SNESA player, Head of Learning Area (Health & Physical Education) at Pinjarra Senior High School.

Darren Biddle (Class of 2010) – SNESA player, working as an electrician. Joel Parker (Class of 2012) – SNESA player, a member of the WA Police Force. Mark Colace (Class of 2009) – SNESA player, recently married, currently working as a glazier. Caius Kelly (Class of 2009) – SNESA player, currently working as a leading hand for QANTAS. There were two other ex-students that were present at the wedding but unfortunately missed being included in the photo: Cameron Antenucci (Class of 2010) – groomsman, currently working as an electrician. Courtney Ishiguchi (Class of 2006, nee White) – new mum currently on maternity leave. Garreth Ishiguchi (Class of 2006) met Courtney White (now his wife) in Year 12 at St Norbert College. Lou Pasquale (Class of 1971).

Hayden Scott (Class of 2009) – SNESA player, currently studying geology.



Mark Colace AND


Congratulations to Mark Colace (Class of 2009) and Elle Therese Ventris who got married on December 1st last year. The wedding ceremony was conducted in the Santa Maria Chapel in front of many family and friends who later all celebrated Mark and Elle’s happy day at a beautiful reception at Sandalford Wines on the banks of the Swan River in Caversham. There was a distinct St Norbert College and SNESA connection, with many of Mark’s classmates and teammates in attendance to witness and celebrate Mark and Elle’s marriage. Norbertus and the St Norbert College community wish the couple all of God’s blessings.

Caius Kelly (Class of 2009) was Mark’s best man.

Darren Biddle (Class of 2010), Kurt Ford, Oliver Desvaux, Jordan Parker (all Class of 2009) and Tyson Ford (Class of 2011).

Sean Holland, Josh Marangon, Tyson Ford, Mark Colace, Caius Kelly, Olivier Desvaux, Kurt Ford and Hayden Burgoyne.


1979 St Norbert College

Neville Hoes receives his Dux award from Principal Des O’Sullivan at Presentation Night.

After the 1979 St Norbert College Community Mass.

PRIOR: Fr Peter O’Reilly O. Praem PRINCIPAL: Mr Des O’Sullivan DEPUTY PRINCIPAL: Mr Michael Devine TEACHER IN CHARGE – GIRLS: Mrs Kathy Jones ST NORBERT COLLEGE IMPORTANT MILESTONES and DEVELOPMENTS: • 1979 marked the 20th anniversary of the Norbertines’ presence in Australia • On February 15 Brother William was ordained a deacon by Bishop Peter Quinn in the presence of Abbott Kevin from Kilnacrott Abbey in Ireland • The Rt Rev Kevin Smith O. Praem, Abbot of Kilnacrott, blessed and opened the new wing of the Priory on February 10 • His Lordship, Bishop Robert Healy blessed, and Senator Fred Chaney opened, the Connell Centre on May 6 • College Principal Mr Des O’Sullivan is elected President of the Association of Independent Schools – the first ever President from a co-educational school • The College celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of Western Australia by conducting a beautification and greening programme of the College grounds, an open day and the celebration of a St Norbert College Thanksgiving Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral • Dawkins Centre (Tongerlo block) was completed • The St Norbert College Ladies’ Auxiliary distributed textbooks • Tennis and netball courts were erected and courtyard gardens established • The AFS Student Exchange Programme was established • The Kagoshima (Japan) Student Exchange Programme commenced • St Norbert Little Athletic Club joined the Southern Districts Little Athletic Centre after a long association with Belmont Little Athletic Centre • St Norbert Men’s Hockey Club was formed, fielding two teams • SNESA Scholarship made available to students entering Year 11 • First Year 12 girls sat the Tertiary Admissions Examinations • Uniform change - the girls’ cardigan was changed to a blazer


1979 St Norbert College

1979 students gathered near Prémontré block on the left with Tongerlo block in the distance.

The 1979 St Norbert College Ladies’ Auxiliary Committee.

HEADS of DEPARTMENTS: • CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: Fr G. Cusack O.Praem • ENGLISH and LANGUAGE: Mr J. Price • SCIENCE: Mr R. Craig • MATHEMATICS: Mr D. Pinto • PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Mr D. Rees • GENERAL STUDIES: Mrs K. Jones ACADEMIC BOARD: Mr D. Rees, Mr P. Murray, Fr G. Cusack, Mr R. Craig, Mr J. Price, Mr D. Pinto, Mrs K. Jones, Mr D. O’Sullivan, Mr M. Devine who oversee: • The nature and objectives of the College • The development and review of academic planning, policies and procedures • The selection and implementation of courses • The achievement and maintenance of proper educational standards • Student care, counselling and awards MANAGEMENT ADVISORY BOARD: Mr N. Dawkins (Chairman), Fr P. O’Reilly, Mr M. Devine, Mr N. Rees, Mr R. Tavani, Mr P. Miller, Mr D. O’Sullivan, Mrs K. Jones, Fr G. Cusack, Mr A. Connell who oversee: • The Building Development Project including securing the services of M. Bianchini & Sons to build the final school block in 1980 • The consolidation and extension of loan arrangements and monitoring possible funding opportunities from the Schools Commission and the Western Australian and federal governments • Ensuring St Norbert College students have expanded curriculum, sporting and cultural opportunities • Monitoring youth employment trends to give St Norbert College students the best employment and study opportunities PARENTS & FRIENDS ASSOCIATION: Mr P. Miller (President), Mr B. Malacari (Vice-President), Mrs M. Jones (Secretary), Mr B. Carroll (Treasurer), Mr D. O’Sullivan, Mrs S. Alberts, Mrs P. Isaia, Mr R. Tavani, Mr R. Dempsey, Mr R. Jahn, Mr I. Drummond, Mrs D. Pollaers, Mrs M. Park who oversee: • The College fete on October 21 which raised funds for fencing around the tennis courts • Meetings with parents to discuss College and student issues


1979 St Norbert College

Home economics students.

ST NORBERT COLLEGE LADIES AUXILIARY: Mrs M. Park (President), Mrs S. Alberts, Mrs M. Bianchini, Mrs M. Dempsey, Mrs P. Isaia, Mrs F. Williams, Mrs D.Pollaers, Mrs J. Black, Mrs V. Mukerjie who oversee: • The distribution of student textbooks at the commencement of the year • Various fundraising activities including a lamington drive, a quiz night at the Lynwood Arms hotel and stalls at the Friends of the Norbertine Fathers Fair ENROLMENT: 524 students (319 boys, 205 girls) DUX: Neville Hoes STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL (SENIOR): P. Monneron (President), L. Giglia (VicePresident), A. Porreca (Secretary), D. Volaric (Treasurer) and fellow councillors who oversee: • Continued support of foster child Sulasmi • Years 10, 11 and 12 disco in Term 1 and Years 8 and 9 disco in Term 2 • The purchase and distribution of sports equipment • The creation of sub-committees such as the Cheer Squad Committee • Free dress days • Support and participation in the College fete STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL (JUNIOR): L. Giglia (President), A-L. Patterson (Vice-President), I. Nicholson (Secretary), A. Woods (Treasurer) HOUSE CAPTAINS: • St George’s: P. Monneron, F. Foale, R. Voysey, C. Williams • St Luke’s: S. Perrett, F. Gomes, J. Thomas, H. Pollard • St John’s: M. Caruso, W. Taylor, J. O’Sullivan, J. Piggott • St Mark’s: K. March, R. Jamieson, S. Connolly, M. Cullen WINNERS OF SPORTS CARNIVALS: • SWIMMING: St Mark’s • ATHLETICS: St John’s CHAMPION SPORTING HOUSE: St John’s

Kilnacrott block on the left with the swimming pool in the background in this 1979 scene.



Kyle March


Kyle March (Class of 1979) spent

two years at St Norbert College where he enhanced his love of sports and made some life-long mates. After gaining a degree in health and physical education, Kyle taught in the Catholic school system before travelling the world for a year in 1990 with his future wife Gail, who, unbeknown to Kyle, would eventually become a Dockers supporter! After a stint in sports medicine education, Kyle secured his current position as the Director of Sport for the Associated and Catholic Colleges of WA, a position which has seen him return to St Norbert College on several occasions to address the College and make presentations to students. A keen cyclist, traveller, West Coast Eagles and music enthusiast, Kyle lives in Wembley with Gail. They have daughter Madeleine, 24, and sadly their other daughter Charlotte passed away in 2017. In this, the 40th year since he graduated from St Norbert College, Kyle was kind enough to answer some questions for Norbertus. Norbertus (N): Welcome to Norbertus, Kyle, and thank you for your time. What were a few of your happy or significant experiences and memories during your time at St Norbert College? Kyle March (K.M.): Thanks a lot. I loved my time at St Norbert College - great years and the best memories

are the great mates that I made at the school who are still close friends now. The teachers were tremendous and really committed to the students’ learning. Sport was a highlight. I loved playing all sports and represented the school in hockey, athletics, cross country, cricket and swimming. Wet days were fun when we had an ACC bye week as the school oval would flood and we would play football or rugby in the mud. On the academic side of things, geography camps to York and Yallingup were highlights too. N: Do you recall any favourite teachers or subjects? K.M.: My favourite subjects were sport and human biology. I loved leaning about the human body and Mrs Bairstow really supported and encouraged me to excel in this area. I had several exceptional teachers including Dennis Rees (physical education and sport), Lou Morrison (geography), Paul Andrews (history and economics), just to name a few. The Principal, Des O’Sullivan, was a good influence too. N: Did you have a particular teacher, or a particular year or time period which helped you decide on your career path or aspects of your life in general?

K.M.: Many of the teachers with their amazing commitment and dedication inspired me to become a teacher. Dennis was a great mentor for me and really helped me establish a career in physical education. N: You mentioned the great life-long mates you made at St Norbert College. Obviously, you still keep in touch with a few? K.M.: Yes, certainly. We still have a wide group of friends that I keep in touch with including, from my class, Vince George, Danny Volaric, Danny Voysey, Steve Perrett, Stewart Redwood and Peter Bottecchia. The SNESA Football Club has also been really important in keeping many past students connected.

Mr Kyle March (Class of 1979) addresses a school assembly in his role as Director of Sport for the Associated and Catholic Colleges of Western Australia.

N: Could you please give a brief description of your studies and career path after leaving St Norbert College? K.M.: I studied physical and health education at Edith Cowan University and commenced my career as Sports Master at CBC Leederville in 1983. In 1986 I become the Head of Physical Education at Aranmore College and stayed there until 1989. I met my wife Gail at the school - she was the Italian teacher - and in 1990 we both left and backpacked around the world for a year. In 1991 I finished off my bachelor degree in PE and did relief teaching at

Kyle presents Morgan Doecke (Class of 2016) with an award in 2014 to recognise her achievements in ACC sport.


a range of schools. From 1992-98 I worked as the education manager at Sports Medicine Australia and was based at the Superdrome in Mt Claremont. In 1999 I started as the Director of Sport for the Associated and Catholic Colleges of WA. N: What are your main duties in your current employment position? K.M.: As the Director of Sport for the ACC I am responsible for managing the interschool sport programs for 81 independent secondary schools in WA. It has been my dream job and a privilege. N: It is always great to see you come back to St Norbert College in your capacity as ACC Director of Sport to make some presentations and address the school community. What is it like coming back to your old school? What changes have you noticed or sensed? K.M.: I always love going back to my old school where I have so many happy memories. I still feel like one of the students even though it was so long ago. The big difference I see is the size of the school and the facilities. In 1979 we had about 25 students in the whole of Year 12, today it would be over 100 probably. The facilities now are exceptional and are as

good as any Catholic school in the State. The students at the College have always come from a wide ethic background but now it is even more widespread with students from all over the globe. The College is a really positive example of multiculturalism. N: Has there ever been an occasion when the Norbertine spirit or ethos, or the College motto of “prepared for all good works” has come to mind since you left school? K.M.: The College motto is never far from my mind and I always felt that the school helped to prepare me for life. The concept that if you work hard you can achieve great things was instilled well. The College also taught me that your station or position in life should not be a barrier. At St Norbert College we all came from humble beginnings but that never stopped us from achieving our dreams. The importance of community was a large part of the College ethos. Positive communities are essential in life. To work together and support each other to make the world a better place, is an invaluable life lesson. All the ex-students that I know are very community minded and have made great contributions in their own local communities.

N: What advice would you give to the students at St Norbert College today?


K.M.: Dare to dream. Work hard. Care about other people. Look after your health. Have fun. N: Some short, sharp nuggets of advice, indeed, Kyle. Finally, in a few words, how would you sum up your approach to your career or your approach to life in general? K.M.: The three Ps – Passion, People and Purpose. Be passionate about everything you do; work family, friends. You need people around you. Work hard at personal relationships at home and at work – it is the people around you that make life fun and will help you achieve your dreams. Have a purposeful life. Do everything with a purpose and try to make that purpose to improve the lives of others.

Kyle (front, right) as a member of the College 1st XI hockey team in 1979.

N: You certainly have a passion for people and your work, Kyle. Thank you for the special interest you take in St Norbert College, including adding energy and humour to the College assemblies you have addressed, and thank you for speaking with Norbertus. K.M.: Been a pleasure. Best wishes to everyone associated with St Norbert College.

Year 12 Homeroom photograph in the 1979 Koinonia.


Vince George

CHANGE FOR THE POSITIVE Vince George is one of several

Class of 1979 graduates who have stuck together since leaving St Norbert College and remain great mates to this day. Vince commenced as a Grade 6 student in 1973 and graduated as a member of Mr John Price’s Year 12 Homeroom group in St John’s House. Despite the fairly basic conditions at the College in the early years, Vince immersed himself in a range of activities and sports and enjoyed his education and experiences during his seven years at St Norbert’s. After leaving school, Vince became a refrigeration and airconditioning mechanic and moved to the North West, a region he fell in love with and still spends a lot of his time in today in his current position as a pastoral access manager for Fortescue Metals Group. Norbertus was lucky enough to catch up with Vince in Perth recently to discuss his time at St Norbert College and beyond. Norbertus (N): Thank you for your time, Vince, and welcome to Norbertus. Vince George (V.G.): My pleasure. N: Here we are in 2019, Vince. Are you surprised that this is the 40 th anniversary of your graduation from St Norbert College?


V.G.: I can’t believe where the last 40 years have gone. When I look back I have squeezed a lot into those 40 years and here I am now pushing 60 and my kids have finished their schooling! N: You are a member of the Class of 1979, a class that Norbertus suspects is one of the most closeknit groups of alumni that the College has ever produced. Do you still keep in touch with any of your friends from St Norbert College? V.G.: Keep in touch! After 47 years I still can’t get rid of them! From my own year group, I am still very close with Dan Voysey (from Grade 1 in 1968), Stuart Redwood, Peter Bottecchia, Dan Volaric and Kyle March. All of our kids are friends also. N: When you left school, there were no mobile phones, email or Facebook. What role did the SNESA Football Club play in keeping members of the early years together? V.G.: A very big role. Having played and being involved with SNESA Footy Club for many years we have a lot of friends from other year groups as well, covering a period of probably 15 years of Year 12 groups.

Class of 1979 alumni at the 2015 reunion: Vince George, Will Janissen, Joe Beerkens and Stuart Redwood.


N: Mark George (Class of 1973) appears elsewhere in this issue of Norbertus and says the facilities and discipline back in the early 1970s were quite challenging. You commenced at St Norbert’s the year Mark left. How was your experience? V.G.: Starting at the College in 1973 (Grade 6), the school was very basic and rudimentary. Things improved over the next seven years but we never seemed to be up there with some of the other schools in terms of facilities. Regardless it didn’t seem to make much difference, we had a lot of fun and all ended up with a good education. N: And the discipline component? V.G.: Discipline was meted out very liberally in the early days, and most of us remember copping a whack with a T-square or ruler for what we considered to be minor infringements. This was the way of the world in those days but things did change for the positive over the next few years. N: Did you have any favourite teachers or subjects? Why? V.G.: John Hulshoff, Lou Morrison, Paul Andrews and Dudley Pinto would have to be right up there. They all had a great rapport with their students and were very committed. Also, Brother (as he was known then) Bill Fitzgerald

was a very popular member of the staff and quite a few of us made a point of singing really badly in order to not get selected in the school choir. He no doubt knew what we were up to but never pushed the issue. In the early 1990s my parents and I dropped in to see him in Ireland and he not only remembered us but treated us like royalty over lunch at the Norbertine community. N: You mentioned SNESA before. What type of a role did sport play during your time at St Norbert College? Was football very popular? V.G.: We punched above our weight in interschool sports and had a very strong 1st XVIII in our final year. Unfortunately, we fell short in the grand final against CBC Highgate. In one game against Newman College we were 51 points down at half-time and staged an incredible fightback to win the game. Our coach Mick Devine used to bring WAFL (and later VFL) stars Peter Bosustow and Rob Wiley to some of our games, and we obviously took some inspiration from them on that day. Newman College was in uproar as they had not lost a game in something like six years. Coincidentally some of the guys playing for Newman that day are now friends of mine.


N: Mick Devine certainly made his mark on the College and SNESA. Apart from the sport, what were a couple of your other happy, memorable, or significant experiences at St Norbert College? V.G.: Wow, there are so many of them. Working at the Norbertines’ Kerry Downs farm near York was also one of the favourite things a few of us used to do, including riding in the back of a truck all the way from the College to the farm. I couldn’t imagine that happening these days. N: You can say that again, Vince, those days are long gone. Was there much mischief on behalf of the students back in those days or are you sworn to secrecy like the rest of the blokes from the 1970s? Without giving too much away, do any funny incidents or characters spring to mind V.G.: Too many to mention and many not suitable for publication! School camps were always great fun and we still have a laugh about some of the things we got up to. Back at school, while in Year 12, one of our classmates (no names) somehow managed to get to work in the tuck shop and we used to get very good value for our money when he was behind the counter. And then we used to enjoy

Vince in 1976.


annoying the librarian Mrs Mills by walking along the book shelves making “Book! Book! Book! Book-out!” sounds like a chicken. N: How was co-education greeted by the boys in the 1970s? V.G.: In 1976 the school went co-educational in Year 8 only, and our year was the last class of all boys. They enrolled a few girls in each of the higher grades from 1977 onwards and in Year 12 we had the grand total of 21 in the class, of which only five were girls. Looking back, it must have been pretty tough for them. N: So, overall it would be true to say that you enjoyed your St Norbert College experience all those 40-plus years ago, Vince? V.G.: Yes. When asked what school I attended many people respond with “Where’s that?”. Considering the size of our school when we were there, I can honestly say that St Norbert’s produced many well-educated, well-balanced, honest and successful people (not just financially) who have all made a significant contribution to society and have no doubt that this has continued over the following years. N: What career path did you take when you left school? V.G.: Upon leaving school I completed an apprenticeship in refrigeration and airconditioning with the Commonwealth Department of Aviation and moved to Port Hedland with them in 1984 where I spent some of the best years of my life and developed a very strong affiliation with the North West. I remained in the Pilbara until approximately 1989, when I went overseas for 15 months of backpacking. Upon my return to Australia I went back to the Pilbara and met Liz, my-wife-to-be, in Karratha, of all places.

N: You get married and eventually return to Perth? V.G.: Yes, we returned to Perth in approximately 1992 and I continued working in a variety of roles in my trade in Perth. In 2006 I was given the opportunity to join Fortescue Metals Group as a pastoral access manager and have been with them ever since.


N: What does this position entail? V.G.: My role involves dealing with cattle stations upon which FMG have exploration, mining and rail operations and associated infrastructure, and I still spend half of my time in the Pilbara. N: Apart from work and catching up with the other Class of 1979 members, how else do you pass the time? V.G.: We have lived in Scarborough for 26 years in an old War Service home, on which I have spent countless hours renovating and extending. I still love my footy and cricket and have always enjoyed outdoor activities such as camping, fishing and 4-wheel driving. I have been married to my wife Liz for 24-years and have a 23-year-old daughter, Morgan, and a 20-year-old son, Mitchell. N: Thank you very much, Vince, for providing some details and memories about your time at school which all help contribute to make up the rich history of St Norbert College. Norbertus is grateful for your time and wishes you and your family well for the years that lie ahead. V.G.: You and the College are most welcome.

2019 crabbing expedition: Dan Voysey, Peter Bottecchia, Vince George and Stuart Redwood.

Vince was Vice-Captain of the 1st XVIII in 1979 and was awarded Best Team Man Award.

Vince George in his Year 12 Homeroom photograph in the 1979 Koinonia.


2009 St Norbert College

The 1979 St Norbert College Ladies’ Auxiliary Committee.

Head Boy Jadon Gielingh and Head Girl Olivia Palermo.

PRIOR: Fr Peter Stiglich O. Praem PRINCIPAL: Mrs Desirée Grezenda-Day DEPUTY PRINCIPALS: • Mrs Franca Coutts (Pastoral Care) • Mr Donald Nield (Curriculum) DEAN OF STUDIES: Ms Sharon Rainford ST NORBERT COLLEGE IMPORTANT MILESTONES: • Fr John Reynolds, a co-founder of our community in 1959, passed away • Mr Brian Rogan, who commenced teaching at St Norbert College in 1974, passed away • 875th anniversary of St Norbert’s death was celebrated • 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Norbertine Canons was celebrated ST NORBERT COLLEGE DEVELOPMENTS AND INNOVATIONS: • Shade structures constructed in the Year 12 quadrangle • External sports courts refurbished • The swimming pools safety and security features are upgraded • A wireless wi-fi system is installed and 144 laptops are purchased • The Design, and Technology and Enterprise Studio for Textiles was opened in January • Café 135@Treasure was opened in Term 3 • Interactive whiteboards are installed in classrooms in the Br Patrick Doolan Learning Centre • Work commences on the $1.98 million language centre, now called the Cappenburg Centre • An application to the federal government to build a $1.4 million trade training centre is successful

Prémontré won all the sports carnivals and was also crowned Champion House for 2009.


2009 St Norbert College

Year 10 camp.

Café 135@Treasure opened in Term 3.

HEADS of DEPARTMENTS: • RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: Mr John Van Nus • ENGLISH: Mrs Anna Garton • MATHEMATICS: Mrs Joan Davies • SCIENCE: Mrs Kylee Chung • SOCIETY & ENVIRONMENT: Mr Bronson Gherardi • HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Mr Mark Pavy HOUSE COORDINATORS: • KILNACROTT: Mr Don Parnell • MAGDEBURG: Dr Killian O’Reilly • PRÉMONTRÉ: Ms Helen Moore • TONGERLO: Miss Erica Bursey • XANTEN: Mr Simon Schmidberger COLLEGE MANAGEMENT ADVISORY BOARD: Mrs Dianne Begg (Chairwoman), Fr Peter Stiglich, Mrs Desirée Grezenda-Day, Mrs Franca Coutts, Mr Michael Papali, Mr Keith George, Mrs Gloria White, Mrs Sally Desmond and Mrs Annette McRae who oversaw the College’s capital development, information technology policy, marketing, finance and strategic planning PARENTS and FRIENDS’ ASSOCIATION: Mrs Shelley Verren (President), Mrs Janine Parker (Vice-President), Mrs Jennifer Morrison (Secretary), Mrs Tracey Burgoyne (Treasurer) and committee members Mrs Robyn Kelly and Mrs Leanne McKay who oversee: • Supplying a sausage sizzle after the Community Mass in February • A quiz night which raised funds for smartboards and digital cameras • Sponsorship of the Year 12 revision courses, Year 8 – 12 study skills, the Amanda Young Leadership Camp, and the Warmun Immersion • Supplying afternoon tea at two College Open Days • A guest lecture on the topic of cyber bullying by Dr Julian Dooley ENROLMENT: 683 students


2009 St Norbert College

The Year 11 and 12 river cruise.

HEAD GIRL: Olivia Palermo HEAD BOY: Jadon Gielingh DUX: Joshua De Gersigny NORBERTINE CANONS’ AWARD: Emma Longcake STUDENT MINISTRY AWARD: Olivia Palermo STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL: Jake Silvestri (President), Kelvin Janissen (Vice-President) and Jessica Watson (Secretary) who, with fellow councillors, help organise: • The Year 8 and Year 9 socials, the Year 10 and Years 11 and 12 river-cruises, the inaugural Year 11 dinner-dance and the Year 12 ball. • The inaugural Purple Day which raised $3000 for Caritas • A significant donation to the cost of the portrait of Br Patrick Doolan which hangs in the Br Patrick Doolan Learning Centre HOUSE CAPTAINS: • KILNACROTT: Isabel Cullen, Jessica Harrison, Hayden Burgoyne, Jadon Gielingh • MAGDEBURG: Hannah Culley, Orla McConnon, Kevin Murphy, Kyle Hewitt • PRÉMONTRÉ: Emma Longcake, Shauni Hillman, Jordan Parker, David Okello Adupa • TONGERLO: Hayley Cummane, Shannon Andersen, Mark Colace, Olivier Desvaux • XANTEN: Larissa Mitic, Natalie Marangon, Joshua Marangon, Craig Kelly PRINCIPAL’S MEDALLIONS: Hayden Burgoyne, Hayley Cummane, Joshua De Gersigny, Olivia Palermo WINNERS OF SPORTS CARNIVALS: • SWIMMING: Prémontré • ATHLETICS: Prémontré • CROSS COUNTRY: Prémontré • CHAMPION HOUSE: Prémontré

The Cappenburg Centre under construction.



Jade Papas

Jayde Papas was a member of Ms Su Fen Chung’s Magdeburg’s Homeroom who decided to leave St Norbert College at the end of Year 10 to pursue a career in business. After gaining a Certificate III in Floristry, Jayde set up Poppy’s Florist and Gifts before rebranding the business Supply & Co in 2014 and expanding into other lines such as scented candles and succulents, all the time working full-time as a receptionist at her father’s business, John Papas Trailers. Even though Jayde left St Norbert’s early, she still holds very fond memories of her time at school, rates outdoor education, basketball and swimming among her favourite pursuits, and says all her teachers were “amazing”. Jayde still keeps in touch with Ashlee Johnson, Jessica Harrison and Erika Winter from the Class of 2009 and has travelled extensively, including five cruises and a three-month tour of Europe with Ashlee.

Olivia Palermo

While Jayde entered business and the world of work at quite a young age, she recommends that today’s students enjoy their teenage years and don’t rush growing up. With business blooming, Jayde’s looking forward to eventually settling down and having a family, then opening her ultimate florist shop in Victoria Park.

Olivia Palermo (Class of 2009) doesn’t feel as though ten years have passed since she left school because her youngest sister only graduated two years ago, her mother works at the College and Olivia still likes to attend most College events and functions. “I only realise how long it has been when I walk around the school and see all the new buildings and notice all the new teachers,” she said. Olivia enjoyed her time at St Norbert College, particularly some of the extra-curricular activities she participated in. “I especially remember our College productions, service learning experiences, the Italian cultural exchange program and various leadership opportunities,” Olivia recalled. A member of Miss Hilton’s Xanten Homeroom, Olivia recently completed a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle and is currently in her first year of teaching at St Joseph’s Primary School, Queens Park, where she is “enjoying every minute”.



2009 Reunion

On Saturday May 18 the Class of 2009 gathered at The Camfield, Burswood, for our 10-year reunion. There was a buzz around the room as everyone caught up and reconnected with disbelief at how fast time had flown. It was a great turnout with about 40 ex-St Norbert students attending. Thank you to Mr Mulligan for being the ever-vigilant coordinator and helping us celebrate this anniversary! Olivia Palermo (Class of 2009) (Many thanks to Olivia for her generous assistance in organising this reunion! The Editor)

Carlie Franks and Ben Hall.

Mikhail Ratnam, Keelan Maciuk-Hurt, Ophelia Campbell and partner Ryan Kempster, with Laureta Gressieux (Class of 2011) in the centre and Dorian May in front.

Olivia Palermo, Aaron Stommels, Shannon Andersen, Elana Sorgiovanni (nee Pepe) and Jayde Papas.

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2009 Reunion

Olivia Palermo, Sarah-Jane Nazroo (nee Wood) and Denis Hands.

Rebecca Cullen and Belinda McKinley.

Jessica Watson and Simone Stephen.

Jake Silvestri, Joshua Marangon and Larissa Maslin (nee Mitic).

Colby Bignell and Clayton Colkers.

Olivier Desvaux and Aaron Stommels.

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2009 Reunion Philomena Fox, Heather De Comarmond and Larissa Maslin (nee Mitic).

Josh Terriaca, Declan Butler and Peter Lockyer.

Kyle Hewitt, Philomena Fox, Heather De Comarmond, Jayde Papas and Shannon Andersen.

Jemma Ranger (nee North) and Gabriela Napoli.

Christine Dee (nee Booth) and Isabel Cullen.

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2009 Reunion Jessica Del Borello, Ashlee Johnson, Emma Longcake and Daniel Baptist.

Jayde Papas and Alex Grainger.

Jordan Parker, Olivia Palermo and Hayden Burgoyne.

Mikhail Ratnam, Laureta Gressiuex (Class of 2011) and Paul Monaldi.

Natalie Marangon, Elana Sorgiovanni (nee Pepe) and Erika Winter.

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1984 Reunion The Class of 1984.

John Hulshoff, Sam Connor (nee Vink) and Georgie Millar. Sam and Georgie discovered that they both attended the same boarding school in Harare in the 1980s.

Lisa Hinton (nee Slattery) and Colleen Kiddle.

Stewart Nicolson and DesirĂŠe Grzenda-Day.

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1984 Reunion Nick Hayes, Brad Short, Gary Wright, Vivienne Cantem and David Boyce.

Lisa Bassi, Rebecca O’Sullivan and Lisa Jansen (nee Athanasoff).

Gary Wright, Rebecca O’Sullivan, Colleen Kiddle and Vivienne Cantem.

Vivienne Cantem and John Hulshoff

Terry Burnett, Desirée Grzenda-Day and Nick Hayes.

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1984 Reunion

The three Lisas in the 1984 Koinonia.

The three Lisas in 2019: Lisa Bassi, Lisa Hinton and Lisa Jansen.

David Boyce and Kathy Rugerro.

Brendan and Lisa Jansen with David Boyce.

John Hulshoff and Sonia Ventrelli (nee Didio).

Rebecca O’Sullivan and Colleen Kiddle (nee Wilson).

Desirée Grzenda-Day, David Boyce and Vivienne Cantem.

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CLASS OF 1984 NEWS AND VIEWS Vivienne Cantem was in Mr John Hulshoff’s Homeroom and nominates him and Miss Cox as two of her favourite teachers. Vivienne recalls that her class was the inaugural St Norbert College class to go on the Year 10 survival camp in 1982, travelling by train to Brunswick. Her enduring memory of the camp was that it was a complete wash-out and sanctuary had to be sought at St Brigid’s School, Collie. Vivienne is married with four children, Emily (25), Erica (22), Joseph (14) and Joshua (13). David Boyce is an enthusiastic West Coast Eagles supporter who is currently working for Diamond Offshore in the oil and gas industry in Bass Strait. He has two sons, Jordan (18) and Mathew (13). Nick Hayes has “four kids and six-point-five grandkids” and works as a truck driver delivering supplies and chemicals to mine-sites. He enjoyed catching up with his Class of 1984 classmates and spoke from the heart about the mateship and respect for each other which has seen the group stick together for nearly 40 years. He also reminisced about how he used to enjoy Saturday morning detentions, although Norbertus detected a distinct hint of sarcasm in those sentiments.

Chris Pudney in the 1984 Koinonia.

Chris Pudney, on the other hand, was proud of his Saturday morning detention-free record and rates the life-long friendships with the great mates he made at St Norbert College as the best thing about the school. He also remembers Miss Collins as being a great English teacher. Chris works in IT and has a daughter Lauren (14). Gary Wright has worked in after sales service with BMW for over 30 years and has a son, Tim (24) and daughter, Kelly (20). A keen golfer and soccer enthusiast, Gary remembers some of his favourite teachers as being Miss Gardner (English) and Mr Steel (woodwork).

Rebecca O’Sullivan is married to husband Des and is a licensed marriage celebrant. She has three children, Craig (32), Leigh (31) and Jack (21) and two grandchildren. Rebecca remembers Mr Papineau, Miss Grzenda and Mr Hulshoff as some of her favourite and influential teachers and has promised to divulge to Norbertus just who was a member of the group who used to smoke in the girls’ toilets at the next Class of 1984 reunion. Colleen Wilson (nee Kiddle) is a businesswoman with various commercial interests including Decadence Nail and Beauty where she works as a beauty therapist. Favourite teachers included Homeroom teacher Mr Papineau, Mr Allen and Mr McAllister who taught her social studies, mathematics and Indonesian, and for typing, Mrs Tavani who used to test the students’ knowledge of the keyboard by covering it with a box. One vivid memory Colleen has is walking down the lane to St Joseph’s School with Rebecca O’Sullivan on the last day of Year 10, sobbing uncontrollably because a number of their classmates were leaving St Norbert’s to enter the workforce. Colleen’s older sister, Miss Wilson, taught at the College in 1984-85. Lisa Jansen (nee Athanasoff) is an account manager with Le Creuset Cookware Australia. Married to Brendan, the couple has three children: Sarah (23), Olivia (19) and Tom (18). The family spent seven years living in Sydney but are now enjoying the beautiful rural setting of Brigadoon in the Swan Valley. Lisa remembers her mathematics and Homeroom teacher Mr Alexander as being one of her favourite teachers at St Norbert College. Sam Connor (nee Vink) has happy memories of Years 8 and 9 at St Norbert College, with Mr Hulshoff, Mr Pollaers and Fr Peter being some of her favourite teachers. Sam’s parents felt a bording school education might be beneficial for her so she was sent to Arundel School in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1982 for Years 10, 11 and 12. Sam’s Class of 1984 classmate Terry Burnett’s partner Georgie Millar attended the reunion and everyone was amazed that Sam and Georgie both attended Arundel at the same time in the 1980s, a couple of year levels apart. Lisa Bassi is an education assistant at Rossmoyne Primary School and rates Mr Papineau as one of her favourite teachers. Like many of the Class of 1984, the Year 10 adventure camp wash-out looms large in Lisa’s memory and she clearly recalls her and her girlfriends sneaking off

to Lisa Jansen’s grandmother’s house in Collie where they were revived with a hot shower and some Mars Bars. Lisa Hinton (nee Slattery) has fond memories of Mr Hulshoff, Mr Papineau and Miss Grzenda from the 1980s and also recalls the infamous wash-out at the Year 10 adventure camp. Lisa was sharing a tent with Sam Vink (now Connor) and Sam’s father had insisted the girls practise putting up the tent until it became second nature. When the big storm hit, Lisa and Sam’s tent stood up to the elements well while all the other tents got washed away. Lisa has vivid memories of singing “it’s a long way to Wellington Dam” (to the tune of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”) with Mrs Morrison, and also dating her husband Phil in Year 11 before they went their separate ways only to meet up and marry some 25 years later! Stewart Nicolson has remained very firm mates with Terry Burnett and recalled happy memories of the special school train that departed Queens Park Station just after the finish of school each day, full of St Norbert College students who were glad the school day was over. Stewart spent some years in the Australian Army before joining the Australian Federal Police as a sworn public servant radio technician. He also volunteers his time at North Cottesloe Surf Lifesaving Club alongside current St Norbert College English teacher Ms Georgette Alliss. Brad Short is a cricket-loving car dealer who got married in St Joseph’s church and recalls Mr John Hulshoff, Mr Brian Rogan and Mr Shenton de Rozario as special teachers, although Shenton could never tell the difference between Brad and his cousin. Terry Burnett only recently discovered that David Boyce and Nick Hayes live less than 500 metres from his house. Terry runs his own earthmoving company and is a massive motorsports and speedway fanatic and participant. Christine West (nee Bailey) initially commenced her working life as a chemistry teacher at Lumen Christi College before accepting a variety of government and private positions centred around science and chemistry. Married to Nigel with two children, Caity (18) and Josh (20), Christine recently launched a book entitled “Think Savvy, Revise Smart” which provides effective study advice to students and their parents. (See page 58 for an article about Christine.)

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Christine West

FINDING THE OTHER WAY Mrs Christine West (nee Bailey, Class

of 1984) commenced her working career as a science teacher at Lumen Christi College before pursuing a variety of roles in the government and private industry sectors based around science, and chemistry in particular. During the time Christine’s two children - now aged 18 and 20 - were at high school, she became aware of the fact that some students seemed to lack the necessary skills and strategies to achieve academic success, so she set about writing “Think Savvy, Revise Smart”, a book designed to assist students and provide advice and support for their parents. The book was launched on February 24 this year and after the formalities were over, Christine was kind enough to answer a few questions for Norbertus. Norbertus (N): Welcome to Norbertus and congratulations on the official launch of “Think Savvy, Revise Smart”. You must be both proud and relieved that the book has finally come to fruition. Christine West (C.W.): Yes, I am very happy with the end result. The book launch was good fun, but it is nice to be able to put my feet up and have a little break. N: Before we discuss your book, can we go back to the early 1980s when you were a student at St Norbert College? When were you there and which House were you in?

C.W.: I commenced at St Norbert College in 1980 and graduated in 1984. I am not sure of the House but it was the red faction and I was in Miss Cox’s Year 8 Homeroom I recall. N: Do any happy or significant memories spring to mind from all those years ago? C.W.: I was quite a shy student so I kept to myself a bit and had a small group of close friends. I enjoyed school camps and being part of the Young Christian Students (YCS) group, especially when we got to go away together. One of my clear memories was dancing to the song “Come on Eileen” on a river cruise, as part of the end-of-year celebrations. N: Do you still keep in touch with any of your friends from school? C.W.: I try to keep in contact with Lisa Gale (nee Slattery) and Jacqui Hunt (nee de Rosario). Life can be busy, so I don’t see them as much as I would like to. N: Did you have any favourite subjects or any memorable teachers that you recall? C.W.: When I was at St Norbert College, I had a number of dedicated and intelligent teachers who both taught really well and had the best interests of their students at heart. They loved their subjects, held high standards for

themselves and their students, and held us, as students, accountable. Teachers who readily spring to mind are Mrs Jepp (mathematics), Miss Collins (English), Mr Papineau and Miss Grzenda (history). But there were so many good teachers at St Norbert’s, it is hard to mention them all. I remember when the lunch bell rang, Mr Pinto, a mathematics teacher, would announce with his dry sense of humour, that it was time to “satisfy the inner man”. N: Have you visited the College lately? C.W.: No, I haven’t. I was probably there over 15 years ago. Some friends of mine sent their children to St Norbert College and, in talking to them, I know that the school has developed a lot. I know there is a great basketball program that the school runs. N: There have been significant changes since you left, so if ever you are in the vicinity please feel free to drop in and have a look around. Could you please tell our Norbertus readers a little bit about your studies and career path after leaving St Norbert College? C.W.: After St Norbert’s, I went to Curtin University to study chemistry and after completing a diploma of education, I started working at Lumen Christi College in Gosnells as a science teacher. I taught there for six years and also marked Year 12 ATAR papers. After leaving Lumen I have had a number

Christine West’s (nee Bailey) Year 12 portrait in the 1984 Koinonia. Christine was awarded the Proxime Award at Presentation Night as well the Christian Education and English Head of Department Awards and the Mathematics Head of Department Achievement Award. During her time at St Norbert College Christine was a member of the Student Representative Council for five years and also wrote articles for the SRC newspaper. She was a choir member, participated in YCS and represented the College in volleyball.


of jobs in the science or chemistry areas. I worked as a petroleum geochemist for nearly 10 years analysing samples and writing technical reports for oil and gas exploration companies. I had my own consultancy for a while, mainly doing quality control of technical data and developing environmental sampling programs. I also was part of a startup environmental consultancy which won a Telstra Small Business Award (WA). My last science-based job was at the Department of Environment Regulation reviewing environmental licence applications for businesses, ranging from pig farming to the industries on the Kwinana industrial strip. I currently work as the innovation coordinator at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The work is not science-based at all, but instead looks at how we can harness the ideas of staff and over 12,000 volunteers to solve some of our bigger problems to improve our service to the community. I manage an online platform for ideas collection, as well as working with different business areas to help them work more innovatively and implement improvements. N: That is quite an impressive CV, Christine. And while you were involved in these pursuits, you managed to find time to commence researching and writing “Think Savvy, Revise Smart”. What was the inspiration or motivation for writing the book?

C.W.: The inspiration for this book was my own children, now aged 20 and 18. Both are hard-working and proactive, but they both struggled a bit under the workload and pressure of Year 11 and 12. In talking to my friends and family with children of similar age, I knew they were not alone. I have always been a big fan of study skills. In my experience, both as a teacher and as a student myself, I know the positive impact good study skills can make. It pained me to know that students often do not perform at their best because they do not know how to study. This puts them and their parents under needless pressure. I wanted to do something to help, and this led me to write “Think Savvy, Revise Smart”. N: Norbertus has heard that you have employed scientific research and evidence to support the study strategies you promote in “Think Savvy, Revise Smart”. It that true, and how does your book differ from other self-help study guides and books? C.W.: Yes, that’s right. There are three key differences between “Think Savvy, Revise Smart” and other study skill books. First, the book is suitable for both students and parents, and can be easily read in an afternoon. Many parents who have read the book on behalf of their children, have learnt things they can use in their own lives, both personally and professionally. Second, the book allows students and parents to “dip in and out”, as the

need arises. Some strategies are best implemented at the start of the year. However, many strategies can be implemented a few weeks before exams, or used during the exam itself. Finally, the strategies provided in the book are based on recent neuroscience research, as well as my personal experience as a teacher, student and exam marker. The aim is to help students work smarter, not harder, by providing study skills and strategies which work with their brains, not against them.


N: What did you learn by researching and writing this book? What are they key messages? C.W.: I learnt that the brain is an amazing organ. We are all capable of performing at our best if we work with our brain, not against it. There are specific strategies, skills and tools which we can all use to study smarter, not harder. The sooner students put these study skills in place, the better. The key message of the book is “all things work together for good”. My research indicated that when we make time for our health, we learn better and perform better. Sleep, exercise and relaxation are key elements for Year 11 and 12 students’ success. Often Year 11 and 12 students and their families can feel overwhelmed by these two years. I want the book to say to them: “There is another way.”

Christine (left) is pictured with J. de Rozario and S. Kang of the premiership winning B volleyball team.

“Think Savvy, Revise Smart” by Christine West was launched on February 24 this year.


N: You have a website at www. What can Norbertus readers expect to find there? C.W.: Visitors can download a free e-poster (“Top Tips for a Top Year”) which summarises some of the key elements of the book. A helpful hint for parents is to display the poster in the toilet, so the key messages are “front and centre” for their children during Years 11 and 12. The poster can also be purchased from the website, if parents prefer a professionally printed poster delivered to their door. Of course, the book itself can be purchased from the website. I have donated a copy of the book to the St Norbert College library, if anyone would like to check it out. I also offer one-to-one consultations on time management, based on the strategies outlined in the book. I think this is a key skill students need to get through Years 11 and 12. Over the course of 2019, I plan to start a blog on study skillsand continue to post study strategieson my Facebook page (@ thinksavvylearning). N: Thank you very much for the library copy, Christine. After experiencing your children go through high school, and developing your study skills book, what similarities and differences can you see between their education and yours, about 35 years ago in the 1980s? C.W.: The use of technology and the implications this brings is the biggest difference. In the 1980s, all

my textbooks were hardcopy and I took all my notes by hand. My assignments were either hand-written or typed on a manual typewriter. If I needed to edit an essay, I had to rewrite or retype all of it, not just the sentence or paragraph I wanted to edit. All my exam notes and summaries were also hand-written. It will be interesting to see how this one change will impact our children. Preliminary research indicates that our brains need the hand-writing process to learn well. It is not well understood as yet, but the process of forming letters by hand and drawing pictures, seems to activate the brain better than a simple “copy-and-paste” on a keyboard. One thing which has not changed over the past 30 years is the importance of teachers. Capable, enthusiastic teachers who care about students can have a huge impact on how students learn. I felt this myself when I was studying at St Norbert College, and I have seen that in my own children. My daughter, for example, has decided to study law and politics this year, a decision positively encouraged by her teachers.

N: Thank you for sharing your post-St Norbert College life story with Norbertus and congratulations and best wishes for “Think Savvy, Revise Smart” and all your future endeavours, Christine. C.W.: Thank you for the opportunity to speak about my book. I wish all St Norbert families the best for 2019.


N: With raising a family, your various work positions and writing your study skills materials, do you have any time for some personal pursuits such as hobbies or travel? C.W.: I must admit, reading and writing are my two big passions. I have plans for other “Think Savvy” books, so I make time for this on a regular basis. My other big loves are my family, cooking (not on a weeknight) travelling and being in the outdoors, close to nature.

A copy of “Think Savvy, Revise Smart” was donated to the College library by the author.

Mrs Christine West with her nephew Matt Bailey who illustrated the book.




VOLUME 6, ISSUE 1, APRIL 1999 Fr Peter O’Reilly and artist Mr Nick Athanasoff pictured with Fr O’Reilly’s portrait which was unveiled at the opening of the ORC on Sunday, 14 February, 1999.

The first issue of Norbertus in 1999

covered a variety of topics including the opening of the O’Reilly Centre (ORC), the return of former students Mr Christopher Brehaut and Mr Simon Harvey as teachers, SNESA football and cricket updates, farewells to Miss Desirée Grzenda and Mrs Marian Lukosious, a story by a Japanese exchange student and a couple of photographs recording Magdeburg’s first ever win in the 1999 St Norbert College Inter-House Swimming Carnival. Principal Peter Hayes also submitted a report in which he gave his thoughts on the opening of the O’Reilly Centre and what it meant for the students of St Norbert College:

Volume 6, Issue 1 of Norbertus, April 1999.

“On Sunday, February 14, 1200 members of the St Norbert College gathered to celebrate the opening of the O’Reilly Centre, a multipurpose recreational venue named after the man whose vision and untiring efforts established St Norbert College over 30 years earlier, Fr Peter O’Reilly. The centre, now commonly referred to as the ORC, was blessed and commissioned by Abbott General Emeritus Marcel van de Ven,

O. Praem, and Mrs Therese Temby, Director of Catholic Education in Western Australia. In his speech, Fr O’Reilly paid tribute to all the people - past, present and future who have lived up to the College motto of ‘prepared for all good works’ and, in a sign that everyone in the centre recognised Fr O’Reilly’s magnificent contribution to the College, he was given a sustained standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech. A portrait of Fr O’Reilly by artist Mr Nick Athanasoff was unveiled just prior to his speech.” 1999 saw the return of former students Chris Brehaut (Class of 1987) and Simon Harvey (Class of 1988) as St Norbert College staff members. Chris, who taught at the College from 1999 to 2011 and was Head of Xanten for a lot of that time, penned his thoughts on returning to work at the College where he studied, commenting on the improved grounds and facilities, the novelty of working alongside his former teachers and the positive and welcoming atmosphere he experienced at the College. Chris is currently Head of Technologies at Aquinas College.

The recently completed 1998-99 SNESA cricket season did not go according to plan as the club’s premiership winning streak came to an abrupt end when both teams missed out on finals berths. The 1999 SNESA football season was just about to commence and there was an air of excitement around the club due to the relocation to a new ground, Wyong Reserve. Club President Richard Bianchini wrote proudly of “the hard-working volunteers and committee members doing so much for the club, and the accredited and professional coaches Sean Kelly (C Colts), Robert Bormolini (D Reserves) and Jack McGillivray (D League).” This issue of Norbertus bade farewell to two longstanding staff members, Desirée Grzenda and Marian Lukosious. Desirée Grzenda started teaching at St Norbert College in 1980 and went on to hold numerous positions including House Coordinator of Magdeburg, Head of Department of Social Studies, Deputy




Principal, Vice Principal and a stint as Acting Principal when Peter Hayes was on long service leave in 1998. The article points out that she arrived as a graduate teacher driving a lime green Celica but left as “quintessentially a person who is imbued with the spirit of St Norbert, ‘prepared for all good works’. Her loyalty to the Norbertines, to the staff and the school community, parents and students stands as a real inspiration for many of us”. Desirée left St Norbert College to take up a position at the Catholic Education Office as the Coordinator of the Secondary Teaching Team. Desirée returned to St Norbert College as Principal in 2009 for four years before taking a break from a long and distinguished career in education at the start of 2013. Marian Lukosious spent a “significant number of years” as a member of the St Norbert College community as a parent and then manager of the College shop, selling uniforms and books and coordinating volunteer parents and friends. The Norbertus article highlighted Marian’s cheerfulness, friendliness and efficiency, and wished her well in her retirement at her lovely home in Rolystone.


Magdeburg House was victorious for the first time in the Interhouse Swimming Carnival.

Principal Mr Peter Hayes was joined by former Principals Mrs Carole Hayes (1996-96), Mr Des Sullivan (1975-85), Fr Joe O’Donohoe (1971-74) and Mr Tom Corcoran (1985-94) at the opening of the ORC.

St Norbert College alumni Mr Christopher Brehaut and Mr Simon Harvey commenced teaching at St Norbert College in 1999.




ISSUE 10, MAY 2009

Jessica Harrison and Hayden Burgoyne show Fr Joe O’Donohoe and Fr Gerard Cusack the St Norbert College campus.

By 2009 Norbertus had grown to become an



ISSUE 10 • MAY 2009

St Norbert College

Irish accent and yet spoke Italian so perfectly. I am sure that was due to his years as a young man and student, when Latin was a prerequisite for higher learning. Brian’s role at every Presentation Night until his retirement was that of MC, which he did with great aplomb, delighting the audience over more than two decades with a never-ending supply of “Brian” jokes. At Presentation Night 2008, Brian was back behind the lectern, this time to farewell and pay tribute to another staff member, John Hulshoff, who was retiring after 36 years of teaching at St Norbert’s. Brian was always at home behind a microphone and for many years kept the entire college community enthralled with his commentaries, anecdotes and enthusiasm at Interhouse swimming and athletics carnivals. Brian was a Tongerlonian at St Norbert’s. Maybe it was his fondness for the colour red (the colour of Tongerlo House) and green (the colour of his beloved Emerald Isle), combined with Italian (the subject he taught) that led to his devotion to the Fremantle Dockers Football Club. Brian could be seen arriving at and leaving home games at Subiaco and, no matter what the outcome of the match, would always have a positive recall of the game, for such was the man.

BRIAN ROGAN 15 April 1931 – 18 April 2009

Brian has left us. Those of us who have known, worked with and learned from him are the better for having shared his many years at St Norbert College. We extend our love and sympathy to his wife Helen, and his daughters, Ruth, Catherine and Rachel.

In 1974, Brian Rogan came to work as a teacher at St Norbert College. The Headmaster at the time, Fr Joe O’Donohue O.Praem, together with the Deputy Principal, Michael Devine, made him very welcome.

Brian farewelled the audience of every Presentation Night he compered with this Irish blessing. Since his retirement it has been immortalised in his honour by subsequent comperes of that evening.

After 42 years of teaching Brian decided it was time to retire. During his retirement speech, he reflected as follows: “… Some of you may remember that in 1974 the college conducted two primary classes and I took responsibility for Year 7, Mrs Sophie Pryce taught Year 6. I remember with great joy the presentation of Cinderella at the annual Speech Night. Given that the school was all boys, the roles of Cindy and the three ugly sisters were difficult to fill”!

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Brian’s teaching area for most of his time at St Norbert’s included the language of Italy. It always fascinated me that Brian had such a broad

Rest in Peace, Brian Maureen Tavani

eight-page magazine, but there was something about Issue 10 that was even more remarkable – it was to be the final hard copy, as Norbertus was “going green”, and all future editions were to be accessed online. The cover story was about the passing of Mr Brian Rogan who had worked at St Norbert College from 1974 as part of his 42-year teaching career. Please see page ___ for a story about Brian’s passing into eternal life. New Principal Mrs Desirée Grzenda-Day wrote her first column for Norbertus and mentioned that 2009 represented the 875th anniversary of the death of St Norbert and – coincidentally – was the 50 th anniversary of the arrival of the Norbertine Canons in Western Australia: Fr Peter O’Reilly and Fr John Reynolds in May, 1959 and Fr Stephen Cooney in November of the same year. Desirée spoke of preparations being made for the arrival of Year 7 students in 2010 and also touched on the building program the College was in the midst of, particularly the construction of the Br Patrick Doolan Learning Centre where the new Year 7s would spend most of their school day. In “saving the best news for last”, Desirée highlighted the

St Norbert College victory in the recent ACC Interschool Swimming Carnival, congratulating the students, parents and coaches, and paying particular attention to the role played by Mr Mark Pavy, Head of Physical Education and Sport, who had devised the Saint Swim Program designed to break St Norbert’s swimming victory drought. In a separate story about swimming, Mark Pavy elaborated on the D Division victory where the final tally showed that St Norbert College had won by only five points over such strong schools as Ursula Frayne Catholic College and Lumen Christi College. The final event was vital and Mark paid tribute to our senior boys relay team, consisting of Joshua De Gersigny, David Daley, Caius Kelly and Scott Lonick, who ensured St Norbert’s got over the line by securing a strong second placing. Strong individual performances included Aurea Kelly (Under 15 girls champion), Elly White (second in Under 17 girls), Cobi Caughey (second in Under 14 girls), Joshua De Gersigny (second in Open boys) and Cameron McRae (fourth in Under 14 boys). Several students from the Class of 1999 contributed stories about what they had been doing since leaving school including legal office manager and international Irish dancer




ISSUE 10, MAY 2009

Sheenagh Delany, newly married teacher Sabrina Arumugam, patent attorney and IT specialist Trent Smith, international accountant Tammy Lane, business lecturer Dean Roeppen and molecular biologist Ian Majewski who was heading to the Netherlands to participate in a research program. Finally, on Wednesday 18 March, the College was paid a visit by Fr Joe O’Donohoe O. Praem and Fr Gerard Cusack O. Praem who were in Perth on their way to York to celebrate the 150 th anniversary of the establishment of the York Catholic Parish of St Patrick. Fr Joe was the second Headmaster of St Norbert College from 1971 to 1975 before moving to the USA, while Fr Gerard taught at Queens Park from 1970 to 1983 before returning to Ireland. Many former teaching colleagues, students, parents and St Joseph’s parishioners caught up with our visitors over afternoon tea in the library.

Mrs Desirée Grzenda-Day commenced as Principal of St Norbert College.

Victory in the ACC D Division Swimming Carnival.




Fletcher Clemmence (Class of 2018) was one of several SNESA football players who gave up their Sunday afternoon to cook over a thousand sausages and many kilos of onions. Fletcher is currently working as a personal trainer but hopes to accept a basketball scholarship in the United States later on this year.

Joseph Lewis (Class of 2008) is a metallurgist with Fortescue Metals Group.

Kade Best (Class of 2008) has commenced a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University with a double-major in economics and international relations. Kade is an accomplished ballroom dancer and recently was awarded fourth place in the Under 21 division of the National Ballroom Championships held in Melbourne.

Lennon Butler (Class of 2018) looked the part in his apron. He is studying sports psychology at TAFE.

Saifadin Kassem (Class of 2015) has nearly completed his electrical apprenticeship and provided his culinary expertise to the cause.

Darlene Min (Class of 1992) is an Assistant Principal at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School. She is pictured with her daughter Chanelle who is a Year 8 Xanten student.




Caiden Vales de Menezes (Class of 2015) is studying primary education at the University of Notre Dame. He works part-time supervising after school study in the St Norbert College library and also works in the chaplaincy at St Joseph’s School.

Noel Mancuveni (Class of 2018) ensured he was present at the sausage sizzle. He is currently working at an auto parts shop but soon aims to be studying electrical engineering at Curtin University.

Mark Fernandez (Class of 1986) is a business adviser.

Michael Pambuka (Class of 2018) assumed a supervisory role at the barbeques. He is currently studying a Certificate III in disabilities at Thornlie TAFE.


SNESA The Season So Far After what was one of the most positive preseasons in recent times, the SNESA Football Club has made a solid start to the 2019 season.

Fielding three senior teams once again this year, sixteen new players have been added to the Saints’ list. Over 110 players have already played at least one game this year with over 130 players registered. This is an early indication that the club is growing exponentially. Unfortunately, we could not field a Colts team this year. However, we are working extremely hard with our 14 colts-aged players (nine of whom are ex-students) to build something special for 2020 as the football club as a whole continues to grow. SNESA’s League side is holding firm in third position of the C3 ladder. League Coach Mark Lupica says that the League team are progressing as expected. We are still in the tinkering phase of our game plan and while the results have been positively surprising, they have also been well-earned and deserved. The Reserves team is also picking up from where it left off last season. They currently sit fifth on the C3R Ladder. Still a long way to go

this season but they are thoroughly enjoying their football and looking forward to the remainder of the season.

Blake Wilkinson is chaired off the ground after his 100th game for SNESA

The Thirds team has improved in leaps and bounds. This time last year the team had suffered significant losses and morale was down. However, the increase in club numbers has resulted in more support and a positive vibe, keeping the Thirds team in touch with the E3 top six. The club already welcomed a new life member in Hayden Scott (Class of 2009), while club legend Daniel Williams (class of 2005) celebrated game number 200. Blake Wilkinson played his 100th, with many more milestones to hopefully come throughout the year. Still a long season ahead but SNESA’s systems and culture are as strong as ever and we are optimistic in making SNESA a destination club for all students after school and all exstudents wanting to maintain strong ties with friends. I look forward to updating you all with our progress in our next Norbertus.

SNESA President, Mr Rafic Aoun (Class of 2004).

Senior coach Mark Lupica (Class of 2005, right) and assistant coach Dean Nelson (Class of 2004) share a laugh during the pre-game warm-up.

Ladies’Day at SNESA.

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