YOUR LARGEST GLOBAL NETWORK
Class of 2017: Five Year Reunion
The Girton Grammar Class of 2017 and those who would have graduated in 2017 are warmly invited to The National in Bendigo to attend their Five Year Reunion for a night of friendship and fun. Date: Saturday 3rd September, 2022 Time: 6:00pm til late Venue: The National, Courtyard (entry via the Bar) Tickets: $30 Nibbles provided, drinks available at bar prices Booking Details: https://www.trybooking.com/CAKEM
Class of 1980, 1981 and 1982: Forty Year Reunion
The Girton Grammar Class of 1980, 1981 and 1982 and those who would have graduated in these years are warmly invited to their Forty Year Reunion at the Brougham Arms in Bendigo for a night of friendship and fun. Date: Saturday 17th September, 2022 Time: 6:00pm til late Venue: The Brougham Arms Hotel Cost: $30 Nibbles provided, drinks are available at bar prices Booking Details: https://www.trybooking.com/CAKFO The OGA will host a casual school tour from under the Peppercorn Tree at 4pm on the same day for those interested in a walk down memory lane. *Please note that these reunions will run simultaneously in the same private function room.
Class of 1970, 1971 and 1972: Fifty Year Reunion
The Girton Grammar Class of 1970, 1971 and 1972 along with those who would have graduated in these years, are warmly invited to attend a reunion morning tea at Girton Grammar School. The day will include a preview of Girton House and a school tour followed by lunch at The Wine Bank. Join the morning tea at 10.45am under the Monkey Puzzle tree (105 MacKenzie Street), followed by an optional school tour at 11.30am, or simply attend the lunch at 12.30pm at The Wine Bank On View. The tour will involve about 45 minutes of walking. Lunch will be ordered from the menu and pay on the day. Date: Friday 21st October, 2022 When and Where: 10:45am Complimentary Morning Tea under the Monkey Puzzle Tree, Girton Grammar School 12.30pm Lunch at The Wine Bank Cost: Pay on the day Register attendance via *Please note that the reunions will run simultaneously with a combined morning tea and tour. The group will then be seated in their relevant year at separate tables during lunch.
Class of 1960, 1961 and 1962: Sixty Year Reunion
The Girton Grammar Class of 1960, 1961 and 1962 along with those who would have graduated in these years, are warmly invited to attend a reunion morning tea at Girton Grammar School. The day will include a preview of Girton House and a school tour followed by lunch at The Wine Bank. Join the morning tea at 10.45am at Girton House (105 MacKenzie Street), followed by a school tour at 11.30am, or simply attend the lunch at 12.30pm at The Wine Bank On View. The tour will involve about 45 minutes of walking. Lunch will be ordered from the menu and pay on the day. Date: Friday 4th November, 2022 Time: 10:45am When and Where: 10:45am Complimentary Morning Tea under the Monkey Puzzle Tree, Girton Grammar School 12.30pm Lunch at The Wine Bank Cost: Pay on the day Register attendance via: *Please note that the reunions will run simultaneously with a combined morning tea and tour. The group will then be seated in their relevant year at separate tables during lunch.
Engineered to Succeed
In her professional life, Sue Brown has taken one job at a time with no specific ambition to be at the top of a corporate tree. And yet, from where she currently sits, the view is panoramic. Sue graduated from Girton in 1990 (Aherne) and now reports to the CEO of a major global engineering firm, Worley, that delivers projects for the energy, chemicals and resources sectors. Worley is an Australian company with 50,000 people working in 49 countries, delivering various engineering and consultancy projects. The organisation is instrumental in delivering the projects that will decarbonise our global energy system and supply chains. Sue’s current job title is Executive Group Director, Sustainability, and her work is as impressive as it sounds. Sue recently attended the OGA 30-year reunion and spoke with Alumni Manager Kristi Mitchell about her life and work. Here is what Sue had to say; Sue’s yearbook quote from the 1990 Girtonian “In Year 12, I studied Maths A, Maths B, Chemistry, French, English. At Girton, there were quite a few influential teachers. I liked Miss Pitzer for her organised and succinct way of presenting the material. These are attributes I value now in a work context. I also had a teacher called Miss Mattschoss, who taught some of the maths and chemistry subjects in Years 11 and 12. I liked her because she was very organised and methodical but would also have a laugh with us occasionally. Mr Schumann, who taught maths, was also very good. Straight after graduating from Girton, I went to Melbourne University and completed a combined Chemical Engineering and Science degree. Approximately ten years into my career, I did some post-graduate level studies in Climate Change at the Australian National University. When I was a teenager, I saw a documentary about pollution and the environmental impact of industry and thought it was something I’d like to help improve. Then, at Girton, I found myself in many maths/science classes with overseas students who wanted to be engineers. I had no idea what an engineer was, and I can honestly say that my fellow students at Girton even put it on my radar. When the university ‘open days’ occurred in Melbourne, I visited the engineering schools to learn more about what they did. To be perfectly frank, my mother was not at all happy that I was going to study engineering. She was very keen that I study medicine, but that didn’t capture my imagination like engineering did. I loved my time at Melbourne Uni and have always ‘clicked’ with fellow engineers over the course of my career. They are very smart, very humble and very can-do. The training from an engineering degree gives you very highly developed problem-solving skills that can be applied in any number of situations. Straight out of my degree, I took the unorthodox step of working for the government with the Victorian Environment Protection Authority. I loved my time there (five and a half years). I did a lot of on-the-job learning about the different industrial companies operating in Melbourne’s western suburbs and the various environmental issues they had. I got good exposure to environmental legislation. One of the great things about that job was that I got thrown into the deep end and was on the front line of ensuring legal compliance for all sorts of issues with big companies. At the end of my time with EPA, I worked with all the major oil companies on a range of issues, including a significant shared historical contamination issue that BP had. BP later tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to join their team and manage the environmental issues in the APAC region for their downstream assets. I had some reservations about moving ‘to the other side’, but I liked the team at BP, and they were leaders in terms of the environmental performance of all the oil companies I’d had anything to do with. It was a really exciting time to be at BP because the global CEO, Lord John Browne, was the first to accept that climate change was due to human activity, that the oil industry had played a role and that the global energy supply needed to decarbonised. He described all this in a renowned speech at Stanford University in 1997. I built a team at BP and really got them ready to face the increasing scrutiny that regulators were applying to their operations. Sue and her husband Greg in Malibu earlier this year I took a break to have a couple of kids toward the end of my time with BP and then spent two years with AGL leading an environmental/sustainability team there. At AGL, I had my first involvement in reporting up to the Board level of the company. That was interesting, and AGL is also a very dynamic business and was building many large wind farms at that time, so it was exciting to learn more about that. From AGL, I then joined WorleyParsons (now Worley). I joined WorleyParsons to lead a team of consultants. It was the first time in my career that I had profit and loss accountability. I found that very challenging, as shortly after I joined the iron ore and oil prices tanked, which meant that many companies delayed projects they had planned, and we were in the midst of a major downturn after years of boom. I spent much of my first 18 months with Worley trying to redeploy people in my team or letting them go. Three years ago, I got a corporate role within Worley, leading our Corporate Affairs function. I loved my time in Corporate Affairs, in which I oversaw our government engagement program, focusing on elevating our corporate profile, especially in Australia, where I think we are a little-known success story. Now I lead an agenda that is central to our company’s purpose and business strategy. I had no particular aspiration to achieve this level in corporate Australia. I have always just wanted to work in the environmental/sustainability arena with industry and to do interesting and challenging work. Hands down, the most impactful life change, aside from having three kids and the inherent chaos it brings, is dealing with my husband’s serious and complex health issues, which developed after we were married. A few years into our marriage, my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. It was picked up by chance and then laid dormant for approximately 7-8 years and had no impact on our day-to-day life. Then, in 2016, the doctors started picking up some changes in his status, leading to two years of intensive medical treatment and interventions. I can honestly say that those two years were the most difficult of my life. I had children aged 2, 8 and 10 years and worked part-time through the period, with some chunks of leave during specific treatment regimes. It was a relentless slog for two years – waiting for test results, waiting for appointments with relevant specialists, undergoing treatment, experiencing unanticipated side effects, and various unexpected twists and turns on the way. Having come out the other side of that intense experience has had a lasting impact on my gratitude for all I have and my ability to manage incredibly stressful situations. I think having weathered that storm, I matured and became more resilient, which are attributes I think factored into me being in the executive role I now have at Worley. Sue at 10 Downing Street in November 2021 with Worley CEO, Chris Ashton
Fit for Legal Purpose
Dean Armstrong (Jones 2011) does not call himself a gym junkie but that is only because his day job is working as a lawyer. But come night times or early mornings, he can be found teaching BodyAttack (which is sports inspired aerobics) and BodyPump (which is weight-based resistance training) to a group of hardcore gym members. Dean recently spoke to Year 12 students at an OGA Careers Event. He was warm, passionate and hugely likable. He said that he did not have a concrete idea of exactly what he wanted to achieve after leaving Girton, so he simply took every micro-opportunity that interested him and inspired him, which has led to where he is today as an HR Attorney at IBM Australia. His personal life has also played a part in his where he has ended up. “Growing up gay and staying ‘in the closet’ until I was 20, I did not expect the immediate acceptance and love I would be afforded coming out and living my true self, both personally and professionally,” he said. Ms Mo Watanabe was Dean’s most influential teacher and his affection for her is clear. “Some of my favourite memories from high school stem from my Japanese classes with Ms Watanabe. “She was incredibly passionate in sharing the Japanese language with her students and her classes were always engaging, interesting, inspiring and educating. She always deeply cared for her students and treated them with the utmost respect. “I remember everyone loved her classes and spending time with Ms Watanabe, even the students did not intend on continuing with Japanese, and her approach to teaching was able to bring out the best in every student, including those who would not always enjoy school. “Ms Watanabe also facilitated some of the best experiences I had while I was at Girton including two trips to Japan on exchange, and hosting a number of Japanese exchange students. “My Girton experience would not have been the same without her.” After applying himself diligently to his studies and graduating from Girton as Dux, Dean studied a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne followed by the Juris Doctor at Melbourne Law School. He initially started working as a food and beverage attendant in corporate suites at the MCG, Etihad Stadium (now called Marvel Stadium) and Rod Laver Arena, which afforded him tickets to a number of AFL grand finals and concerts while working at the same time, including Katy Perry, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac and Kendrick Lamar. Dean then became a tutor at the University of Melbourne and at some of the University of Melbourne colleges tutoring Microeconomics, Econometrics, Quantitative Methods, Taxation Law and Corporate Law. Following this, he clerked/interned and was a paralegal at a number of law firms before becoming a graduate lawyer at Ashurst. “These first jobs afforded me great opportunities including being part of the legal team representing ANZ on the Financial Services Royal Commission, working on multibillion dollar mergers and being seconded to AGL Energy and EnergyAustralia. “My passion for employment law however then led me to working for a specialist employment law firm, HR Legal, where I represented employers and high net worth individuals in a variety of employment law matters, including general protection and unfair dismissal claims and industrial bargaining”. Recently, Dean concluded his time at HR Legal, and has now started as a HR Attorney at IBM Australia. “I love that being an employment lawyer, my work revolves around things people do in the workplace. Not one day goes by that is the same, and it never ceases to surprise me what trouble-making activities employees can get up to while at work! “It is always a highlight when we have a successful judgment given in favour of our clients,” he said. Dean has lived in Melbourne since finishing High School and has travelled in Australia and overseas. He lives in South Yarra, just off the hustle and bustle of Chapel Street and does not have far to travel to teach his fitness classes, about which, he is clearly passionate. “If you are ever at Fitness First Richmond or Goodlife Prahran, come and do a class with me!”. Dean teaching a Body Pump class Dean reconnecting with Ms Mo Watanabe at the recent OGA Careers Event
Once a Girtonian, Always a Girtonian
Edward and his wife Susannah and two boys Teddy and Clancy It is not unusual for Old Girtonians to credit their time at school, or particular teachers, with shaping who they have become personally or professionally. Edward Smelt attended Girton from Year 3 and graduated in Year 12 (Riley) in 2003. He generously and fondly acknowledges both the school and many teachers for continuing to shape him nearly twenty years later. He credits the leadership and support of the staff that helped set him on the fulfilling and interesting course he has chartered since graduating. Edward commenced at Girton in its second year of becoming a Grammar school after the collapse of Girton College. He describes his time at the school as one of “growing up together”. He believes he was shaped by the strong sense of community and service created in the formative years of the new school. Edward says that many of Girton’s early years’ leaders and teachers significantly influenced his leadership interest and style. “Mr Clayton Jones (Headmaster), Mr Roger Oates (Senior Master), and Mr Dennis Garoni (Head of Junior School) instilled in me the importance of hard work, discipline, integrity, and service to the broader community. “Mr Jones always reminded us that ‘to whom much has been given, much is expected’. This idea of giving back to our community has always stayed with me. “Mr Peter Kendrick, as my House Tutor, was very upbeat, always supportive and had a great sense of humour. Mrs Betty Jenkin supported me in writing school speeches and gave me the confidence to excel in English after focusing more on the maths and sciences. Mrs Marijke Horvath’s Duke of Edinburgh and outdoor education programs encouraged a love of the outdoors and adventure. “My time at Girton encouraged me to take on new challenges and embrace opportunities. My ten years at the school set the foundations for what I have been able to achieve since,” Edward said. Edward is an engineer who loves problem solving. He studied Civil Engineering at the University of Melbourne (2004-2007), including living at Queen’s College for three years. He then returned to complete a Master of Business Administration (2014-2016), which included a term studying at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2015. Edwards’s profession has led to a range of roles, including designing bridges as a graduate with GHD; project engineer with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Victorian Government) constructing bridges and culverts across regional Victoria; and a design risk manager on the Regional Rail Link project to support additional rail services to country Victoria. He then completed a stint as the Transport Sector Lead and Principal Engineer at Infrastructure Victoria, which produced the first 30-year Infrastructure Strategy for Victoria In 2019, Edward moved to Darwin to experience the opportunities of the Territory lifestyle and be close to his wife’s family. “I am now a Senior Director with the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (Northern Territory Government), leading the Transport Assets and Program Development Unit. “My job entails the planning for the upgrade and sealing of many outback roads, including the Central Arnhem Road, Tanami Road and Port Keats Road. Only 30% of the Northern Territory Government roads are sealed. “Being the NT, my role also includes asset management of aerodromes, bus stops, barge landings, boat ramps and more,” Edward said. Edward believes that representing and giving back to the community has been instilled in him since his school days. As a result, last year, he put his hand up for the local government elections and was elected to the City of Darwin Council on a platform of making Darwin the ‘Outdoor Capital of Australia’. “As part of my election platform, I focused on grassroots issues like great infrastructure, clean and safe public places and cooling and greening our neighbourhoods. I enjoy solving problems and working hard with others to make a better community,” he said. Edward and his wife Susannah Ritchie have four sons Teddy, Clancy and twin boys Henry and Frank who were born earlier this month. Edward and Susannah will raise their children in an old, elevated home in Nightcliff that survived Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Adding to his responsibilities as husband, father, engineer and Councillor, Edward has returned to playing club cricket with the Nightcliff Cricket Club and, in 2020, joined the Berry Springs Volunteer Bushfire Brigade. Perhaps, all the Girton co-curricular requirements and involvement in community service while at school have influenced this Old Girtonian in seeking a fulfilling life with a focus on giving back to his community. Edward and his son in fire fighting gear from the Berry Springs Volunteer Bushfire Brigade Edward at his inauguration
30 Year Reunion: Classes of 90, 91 & 92
It was a blast from the past for the classes of 90, 91 & 92 at their 30 Year reunion on Saturday 11th June. Memories were shared of learning to type on an electric typewriter, lifelong friends and pranks in the Boarding House, teachers who held a special place in their former students’ hearts, dear school friends who are no longer with us, the move across to the St Aidans campus, the devastating news that the school was closing and that one time where all the school chairs mysteriously ended up on the oval overnight. Thank you to alumni who travelled near and far to reconnect with old friends.
OGA Careers Event 2022
Year 12 students enjoyed a Careers event hosted by the OGA on Wednesday 25th May. Three Old Girtonians returned to their grassroots to share their professional and life experiences since leaving Girton with our Year 12 students. Students heard from a Clinical Embryologist, an Employment Lawyer and a local farmer and former AFL player. Audrey Scott (Jenkin, 2011) had always envisioned herself working in maternal/foetal health and initially pursued doing this through an obstetrician/paediatric route. However it was a couple of years later, when Audrey switched to the highly specialised field of Clinical Embryology, that she truly found her passion. Audrey enthralled our Year 12 students with her videos of what she sees through the microscope in the world of Artificial Reproductive Technology. Dean Armstrong (Jones, 2011) was a Senior Prefect and was equal Dux in his final year at school. Dean noted that his VCE results did not come easily to him and that it was an incredible amount of hard work and study. This drive and determination has led him to a wonderful career in employment law, where Dean has represented employers and high net worth individuals in a variety of employment law matters, including general protection and unfair dismissal claims and industrial bargaining. Dean reflected on his time during his VCE years and had some advice for our Year 12 students on the importance of finding the balance between study and life. Our third speaker was Andrew Collins (Aherne, 2006), who immediately after school was drafted into the Richmond Football Club. Andrew had a dream start as a professional athlete, being named the Tiger’s best on ground several times and receiving votes for the Brownlow Medal. After Andrew moved to Carlton in 2010, Andrew spoke about how repeated injuries led him to finish his career with the AFL three years later. Andrew shared with our Year 12 students how life’s hard lessons have the reward of building resilience and opening doors to new opportunities. Andrew returned home where he has found a second passion working alongside his parents and wife in farming. Andrew and his family have a busy and successful business in Bridgewater farming wheat, barley, canola and sheep. It was an informative and fun afternoon, where our students enjoyed hearing from alumni and gaining some insights into what their future may look like. The OGA is very grateful for the time that the three speakers gave to our Year 12 students.
Class of 2001 and 2002 Reunions
It was an absolute blast at the 20 Year Reunion on Saturday 7th May for the classes of 2001 and 2002. Memories were shared of Mr Jones’ Milky Way challenge, last day pranks in the Year 12 Common Room and the infamous canteen cookies. It was especially delightful to see the founding Head of Millward, Mr John McMillan reconnect with the inaugural House Captain of Millward House, Erin Colley.
Class of 2010 and 2012 Ten Year Reunions
We caught up with the Classes of 2010 and 2012 over the weekend for their 10 Year reunions at the Brougham Arms. This fascinating group of Alumni have embarked on all types of careers from a GP, a teacher, a social worker and a project manager to a mechanic, a financial planner, a geologist and a member of the Navy.