Describe your experience at Trinity College
I have been fortunate to have experienced the culture and depth of Trinity College as a student (1967-74); as a member of staff (1985-99) and as an active member of the Trinity Old Boys Association (TOBA). I was very excited to apply and be appointed Bursar in 1985 at the relatively young age of 27. Apart from playing the odd game of squash in the old court where the Treacy Centre now stands, I had not had much contact back at the old school until this appointment. That of course changed dramatically and I have experienced the significant developments at the College first-hand since then.
What path did your life take after TC?
Whilst our Class of ‘74 – with me included - did not have strong Leaving (Year 12) academic results, we have had a very successful list of achievers in many walks of life including nine school Principals, musicians, AFL footballers, lawyers, vintners and publicans, accountants, business leaders and generally solid hard-working citizens. Our Class also holds the distinctive reputation of being the only year without Prefects and no Head Boy. As the winner of the ANZ Bank Leaving Accountancy prize in 1974, and being the statistician for the First XVIII, a career with numbers and maybe sport was on the cards.
I went to the West Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) to study a Bachelor of Business in Accountancy. I struggled at Uni and after a few years scored an Assistant Accountant job for Dalgety Australia in their Real Estate and the Insurance divisions. My passion for sport, in particular football, then led me to successfully apply for the position of accountant at the Swan Districts Football Club – the club I had supported since early days.
After five years at Swans, the move into bursaring at Trinity was a turning point into a successful thirty-year career in the business of independent schools. After 14 years at Trinity I had nine years at Newman College and seven years at John XXIII as Business Manager. I continued my support and involvement in sport and currently sit on the Board of Swan Districts as Finance Director.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
It is interesting to note that a current motto of the school is Men for Others. Whilst that was not a published ‘theme’ when I was at school, my career and values have had a distinctive sense of fulfillment in the not-for-profit sector and service in the community. Following my recent retirement from the workforce, I have written a book on the history of the Association of School Business Administrators, acknowledging the role played by Bursars and the rewarding career in contributing to the teaching and learning of young people in our schools.
What is your fondest memory of your time at TC?
With a strong sporting and administrative background, I enjoyed the involvement in ‘extra-curricular’ activities at the College. I coached cricket and football teams and between 1993 and 1999 was manager of the successful First XVIII football team under Gary Malarkey, which included several touring and training camps in Melbourne and winning titles.
Another highlight was the construction of the outdoor education Camp Kelly at Dwellingup. A great community-building project involving parent busy bees over four years, under the direction of Brian Dillon.
What type of changes did you see happen while you were at Trinity?
My student years included the education reforms and social changes of the 1970’s. This may have contributed to our year being the only one in Trinity history, not to elect a prefect body and Head Boy. They came back the following year. The large class sizes and majority of teaching Brothers were slowly changing and reducing.
Back as a member of staff in the late 1980’s and 1990’s saw the installation of a school Board, the appointment of the first lay Headmaster (Mr Tony Curtis, my old English teacher) and an increased focus on school improvements, marketing and the four pillars. I was heavily involved in building the Foley Centre, in renovating the old Brothers House into a Junior School, commencing the Centenary fence and planning for the Treacy Centre.
We talk of the school spirit at Trinity, and that is also very evident with staff, parent and old boy support and the charism of the Brothers. The increased relevance of TOBA and connection with history is a strong influence on present and past students. My successful career and community involvement are equally as a result of my parent’s influence, the education received at Trinity College and the ongoing support of my family.