28 Mar 2017

Boarders share the power of song with patients at MetroRehab Hospital

Newington’s Tongan brothers contribute immensely to the spirit of Edmund Webb Boarding House and the wider community – they are role models of humility, compassion, service and faith, and their singing is unfailingly joyous and uplifting. On Wednesday, March 8, seven boys: Mai Tolu (12/FL), Anthony Kama (11/FL), Tua Mahe (11/FL), Sione Mone (11/FL), Nas Ofahenguae (11/FL), Harold Uhila (10/FL), Tu’uta Atiola (10/FL) sang a mix of popular and traditional numbers at MetroRehab Hospital, evoking some wonderful memories for staff and patients.

The Boarding House and the College are blessed by these young men and the Boarding staff strongly urge the community to support our Tongan brothers by collecting resources for Tupou College.

You can hear some of the magical moments from the MetroRehab visit below. 


Fencing advances to new home in Alexandria

With an increasing number of boys at Newington taking on the challenge of Fencing, the sport has moved over to an exciting new venue in Alexandria. The venue has provided some necessary extra space and equipment for the growing program.

When reflecting on the move, fencer Henry Armstrong-Bailey (8/LE) said, “The new facility is nice as we have a lot more room for training and fencing, obviously. Also a specific thing that I really enjoy about the new facility is how the metal strips offer a lot more traction which makes it far easier to fence.”

Fencing is a fast-paced and demanding sport that helps participants develop a unique skill-set. Director of Fencing, Ms Karen Lak described Fencing as “A sport of agility and skill”.

Henry Armstong-Bailey echoed this sentiment, adding that, “a huge part of Fencing is the fact that you have to be quick on not only your feet (agility) but you must also make decisions in the moment. These are good both in all sports and in life as a whole.”

When asked what he enjoys most about the sport, Henry said, “I enjoy the fast paced part of Fencing and the fact that every bout is different as you have to deal with a variation of situations such as the height of your opponent or what hand is his dominant one. These factors make for a game that is always interesting not only for the audience but also for the fencers.”  

While the boys are sometimes competitors, Fencing at Newington has a strong team environment. Ms Lak described the collaborative spirit of the Fencing boys as one of healthy competition and camaraderie, “They need to encourage each other and assist each other to find and improve on their weaknesses and work towards their strengths”, she said.

Newington Swimming AAGPS

Sport Report

It has been a great few weeks for Newington sport with some impressive performances particularly in Swimming, Tennis and Water Polo.  



The 2017 AAGPS Swimming Championships concluded the Summer Sports Season. The final placings were:

Senior Premiership

Place School Total
1st Newington 446
2nd Saint Ignatius’ 442
3rd Shore 393
4th King’s 339
5th Scots College 298
6th St. Joseph’s 290
7th Sydney Boys High 282
8th Sydney Grammar 194

Intermediate Division

Place School Total
1st Saint Ignatius’ 467
2nd Newington 456
3rd Shore 415
4th Sydney Grammar 372
5th Sydney Boys High 268
6th King’s 267
7th St Joseph’s 229
8th Scots College 205


Junior Division

Place School Total
1st Scots College 589
2nd King’s 527
3rd Newington 521
4th Saint Ignatius’ 430
5th Shore 398
6th Sydney Boys’ High 354
7th Sydney Grammar 319
8th St Joseph’s 303

We would like to acknowledge all the boys who participated in the 2017 season and represented themselves and the College in such fine style. To Mr Ryan Moar and his team, we thank you for your time and efforts over the season.



Three Newington Tennis players were selected to represent CIS at the NSW All Schools tennis trials in Bathurst last week, Mark Papadopoulos (12/LE), Jun Sasagawa (11/LE) and Paul Howe (11/ME). We believe this is the first time three Newington boys have gone to the Pizzey Cup trials.

Mark Papadopoulos saved seven match points in his last match to win and gain selection in the NSW All School team. Jun and Paul were eliminated in their last match. Jun, however, was selected as a reserve for the team.

All three boys were selected to play for GPS, against CAS. Unfortunately, Jun and Paul could not take their place in the team due to injury and illness respectively. Mark did play for the GPS 1sts, who defeated CAS, 17 matches to 1, to win the John Brown trophy.

Congratulations boys on your achievements.


Water Polo

Two Newington Water Polo players were selected to represent CIS at the recent NSW All Schools Water Polo Championships. Harry Dickens (12/LE), and Matthew Sharpe (11/MA) both played pivotal roles in CIS reaching the final which they lost to CHS. At the conclusion of the tournament Harry and Matthew were selected in the NSW All Schools team to contest the National Championships in May.

Congratulations to Harry and Matthew on your selection.

Newington Swimming AAGPS

Seniors win Premiership second year in a row

On Friday night, the Black and White Army were out in full force as the Newington swimmers made their way into the pool at the AAGPS Swimming Championships at SOPAC. 

Admirably led by Captain of Swimming Jason Hartill (12/MO) and Vice Captain Harry Carr (12/ME), the Newington Swim team had many highlights in the final including becoming the GPS Senior Swimming Premiers for the second consecutive year as well as the GPS Open Relay Championship Premiers for the third year in a row.

Congratulations to all of our swimmers particularly Newington’s Intermediate team who finished second, narrowly missing out on the top spot to St Ignatius’ College and our Junior team who placed third behind Scots and Kings.

Newington Swim team members who broke the following AAGPS Swimming Records in the 2017 season are listed below.

Christopher Mina (8/PR)

  • 14 Years 50 m Butterfly (27.88sec)
  • 14 Years 100 m Butterfly (1min 03.44sec)
  • 14 Years 200 m Butterfly (2min 23.08sec)

Luca Polvere (11/KL)

  • 17 Years 50 m Breaststroke (30.72sec)

Jason Hartill (12/MO) (Newington College Longcourse Record)

  • Senior 100 m Butterfly (1min 01.98sec)

The following Newington College Longcourse and Shortcourse records that have been broken so far in 2017:

Christopher Mina (8/PR) (shortcourse)

  • 14 Years 50 m Butterfly (28.99sec)

Christopher Mina (8/PR) (longcourse)

  • Junior 100 m Butterfly (1min.03.44sec)
  • Junior 200 m Butterfly (2min23.08sec)

Jack Rudkins (11/MA) (shortcourse)

  • 16 Years 100 m Freestyle (54.62sec)

Luca Polvere (11/KL) (shortcourse)

  • 17 Years 100 m Freestyle (54.49sec)
  • 17 Years 50 m Breaststroke (31.76sec)
  • 17 Years 50 m Butterfly (26.66sec)

Luca Polvere (11/KL) (longcourse)

  • 17 Years 50 m Breaststroke (30.72sec)

Newington’s Head of Aquatics, Mr Ryan Moar said he was very proud of the efforts that the Newington swimmers made throughout the summer season. “The 2017 season has been a very successful one for Newington College with camaraderie amongst the team at an all time high.  I am extremely happy for the Senior boys, particularly the Year 12 students who helped lead the team and brought home the Senior Premiership trophy at the season’s end.

“The season continues for our College’s GPS Swim Team representatives who will continue training hard in preparation for the CIS Swimming Championships which take place early in Term 2,” said Mr Moar.

resinous margins

Concordia Gallery Exhibition: Resinous Margins

Recently the Year 11 Art students spent a day in-studio with resident artist Nick Dorey where they were asked to think through material conventions to produce a series of reactive machines. This built on their learning at the Visual Arts Camp at Bundanon, where Mr Andrew Thompson, Ms Amy Dunn and Mr Andrew Pawley led an in-depth critical and historical tutorial of this year’s subject matter.

Nick Dorey’s practice speaks about the logic and material investment of place, and his large-scale performative installations are born out of necessity and resourcefulness. Over the past three months, Dorey has been transforming Concordia Gallery into a lab of renewal and distillation, sourcing material from in and around Newington College to produce a series of scents and structures.

We warmly invite you to Resinous Margins, an exhibition of the resulting works from the Bundanon Visual Arts Camp, the one-day workshop and Dorey’s three-month residency at Newington. Join us at the opening on tonight, Tuesday, 28 March at Concordia Gallery from 6:00 PM.

If you can’t make it tonight, the exhibition will be on display over the coming weeks at Concordia Gallery, open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 – 3 PM or by appointment.

Kailana Armstrong-Sommer
Acting Curator, Concordia Gallery


Speaking on point at the Rostum Voice of Youth Competition

Congratulations to Christos Tatsis (12/MO) and Rohan Gandhi (8/KL) who were awarded runners up in the first round heats of the Rostrum Voice of Youth competition held at Santa Sabina on Tuesday, 21 March.

Both boys spoke eloquently. Rohan spoke on the topic of “Against the odds,” and Christos spoke about “The Lottery of Life.” The boys drew on their own experiences to deliver compelling speeches. They will now go onto the next round.

Well done boys!

Checking Below the Belt

Testicular Injury

Granted this may not be a common topic over dinner, but nevertheless it is an important one.

The testes are male sex glands which hang outside the body, that produce sex hormones and sperm. The temperature of the testes are about two degrees lower than the body temperature for sperm production. They are not protected by bone or muscle and so can be more easily injured when hit, kicked or crushed. Prompt medical attention is required.

Twisting of the spermatic cord (torsion) can cut off the blood supply to the testes. Torsion is most common in adolescent males, although all men can be affected. It can occur at rest or during physical activity, following an injury or during a period of rapid growth during puberty. Torsion usually occurs on only one side.


  • Severe pain
  • Swelling can affect one side or the whole scrotum
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness.

Diagnosis is made by physical examination and an ultrasound which shows the blood flow to the testicle.

Treatment for a torsion is surgery within 4 – 6 hours, to undo the twist and preserve the testicle. If treatment is not carried out quickly the testicle may need to be removed.

So the main message to get across to the boys is even though it seems embarrassing, it is definitely not something to be ignored. They need to be taken to hospital promptly for a check as soon as they feel the pain. Other causes of pain may be infection, fluid swelling, blood collection in a vein or a lump.

Click here to learn how to do testicular self-examination each month.


Sister Margaret Bates
School Nurse

Year 8 find out what it takes to run a restaurant

Current restaurateur, Ibrahim Kasif (ON 2004) finished his HSC at Newington in 2004. Since then he has worked as a chef in some of Sydney’s best restaurants. A few years ago Ibrahim partnered together with Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz of the restaurant Porteno for their next project in Enmore. Together, they purchased and restored an old 1950s hair salon and opened a Turkish -inspired eatery called Stanbuli. Since opening, Stanbuli has been awarded a coveted chef’s hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.

Earlier this year, the Year 8 Business of Food class visited Stanbuli and took a behind the scenes look at this popular Inner West diner. Ibrahim welcomed the boys into his restaurant and kept the boys enthralled with the story of his career and just what it takes to run a successful restaurant.

If you have a spare evening and don’t feel like cooking then I can highly recommend Stanbuli.


Mr Karl Watson
Head of Economics/Geography

Behind the Boarder: Max Ventura (10/FL)

The Edmund Webb Boarding House at Newington College is the home away from home for many of our boys. Whether they are from out of Sydney, or overseas, this series ‘Behind the Boarder’ will give you a chance to go behind the scenes and get to meet some of different faces and personalities that make up this vibrant community.


Where are you from?
I’m from Newcastle, NSW.

How long have you been a boarder?
I just started boarding at the beginning of the year.

How have you come to be a boarder at Newington / Why did you decide to be a boarder?
The opportunities at a GPS school are immense. Initially when my family decided that I would board we saw different Sydney schools, but decided Newington was the best fit. I’m a regional boarder so it’s easier to board rather than travel for hours to school.

What is it like living in the Boarding House?
There is separation from school in the Boarding House so it doesn’t feel like you’re at school all the time. Living in boarding, you’re constantly surrounded by friends which is good if you want to play friendly sport or need help with schoolwork.

Best things about being a boarder?
The boarding community is very close and welcoming. This makes coming into boarding a lot easier. The structured day of the boarder allows you to plan schoolwork and any other co-curricular activities efficiently.

Who has the messiest/cleanest room?
My roommate is very tidy. I aspire to his levels of organisation. However, I’m not sure who has the messiest room, most of the rooms I’ve seen couldn’t be classified as messy. When you’re living with other people, you gain a new awareness of how your mess could affect them.

Favourite co-curricular activities and why?
My favourite co-curricular activity is football because it is a complex game, full of passion and is a good team sport.

Advice to those boys considering boarding?
You will be bombarded with lots of new things to process, just know that eventually you’ll get used to everything and ask a lot of questions because people will always be happy to answer them. Try to get involved and you will find yourself having a great time.

A Preparatory School at Bexley?

We all know that the Lindfield Preparatory School, originally established at Killara in 1957, is Newington’s only campus beyond Stanmore. In 1907, however, the College came close to founding a ‘prep school’ in the southern Sydney suburb of Bexley.

At a meeting of the College Council’s House Committee on 21 January 1907, the Headmaster, Rev Charles Prescott, suggested the desirability of opening a preparatory school on the Illawarra Line. Such suburbs as Arncliffe, Bexley and Hurstville had experienced rapid development in the preceding years and it seems that Prescott wanted to tap into this growth as a source of students. His suggestion sparked a discussion about whether such a strategy should be pursued or whether the College should make arrangements with existing schools on the Western Line, or both, ‘with a view to getting feeders for the College’. The matter was set aside for further consideration.

A month later the Headmaster reported that he had information that was favourable to the proposal and, on 18 March, the Committee declared itself ‘in favour of opening at Bexley as early as possible.’

Over the following months the detailed arrangements were made: Mr Jennings, a current teacher who had recently received a salary increase to persuade him not to accept a job offer from another school, was to be offered a salary of £60 per year, plus ‘half the fees beyond the point where expenses were covered.’ The Bexley Parish Hall was leased for 12 months, desks and other furniture were acquired, new accounts for receiving fees were opened and enquiries were made about securing a suitable playing field. The ambitious Mr Jennings was to agree not to set up a rival school within four miles for three years, should he leave Newington’s employment.

Then on 22 July the Headmaster reported that ‘the attempt to start the Prep School at Bexley had failed.’ No reasons were recorded but, happily, the financial loss was minimal. Indeed, at the Committee’s September meeting, ‘the question of attempting the same thing at Strathfield was discussed.’ This time, however, the Headmaster’s preliminary enquiries were so unfavourable that the Committee decided to abandon the proposal.

David Roberts
College Archivist

Junior STEM Competition Winners

Newington College entered a range of student design and engineering works in the University of Wollongong – Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences 2016 NSW Junior STEM Competition.

Joshua Cappello (10/LE) and Angellos Korsanos (10/FL) were finalists in the Year 9 Engineering Competition while Jaison Burgess (11/MA) was awarded Winner of the Design and Technology Award in the 2016 Year 10 STEM competition for his contemporary Mirror design and was named runner-up of the Graphics Technology Award in the 2016 Year 10 STEM competition. He created a graphical representation of a Pokémon inspired egg cup holder. Jaison was presented with a cheque for $125 for his efforts.

Congratulations to all the boys on these outstanding results!



The Essence of Easter

Luke 24:1-6 ‘…At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus. They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words…’                 

  (From the Message translation of the Bible)


In just a few weeks, the College will break for the Easter holiday period. As is the custom every year, Good Friday through to Easter Sunday marks the celebration that many would argue to be the most significant event in the history of mankind; a bold statement, yet not without substance!

Easter is a period of time set aside to acknowledge the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Good Friday symbolises the day when Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb (whilst the Sabbath Day was observed), while Sunday marks the day when the women went to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body for burial, only to find that he was not there. With the makings of a ‘cold case’ or ‘unsolved mystery’, the Old Testament prophecy found in Psalm 16:10 suggests that, although the Messiah was destined to die, his body would never see decay ‘… For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay…’ Once the resurrected Jesus appeared to all the people mentioned in the Bible, the mystery was solved.

For those not so widely acquainted with the Easter story, the thing that we all have to celebrate during this Easter break are the values that manifest, that are connected to this great event. These include:

Love – Spending time with family and loved ones is something that we are all free to enjoy. The business of life and the frustrations of minor matters can rob us of the opportunity to relish the presence of those we so dearly love. The Easter break is such a time to enjoy each others company, remembering that life is not about the successes and profits, but the privilege it is to love and to be loved.

Forgiveness – Often considered to be a powerful tool in resolving conflict, forgiving others must also be considered as a powerful source for our own healing. Injustice and prejudice may cause us all to feel unsettled and bitter inside, where the decision to forgive those who have wronged us, whether they deserve the forgiveness or not, diminishes the debilitating effects of bitterness (that are merely scars of injustice), thereby healing the entanglement we feel inside. On the cross as Jesus saw the people beneath scoffing and mocking him, Jesus exclaimed, ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’

Hope – a powerful force that motivates us to look to an exciting tomorrow. When we cannot see the light beyond difficult times, we run the gauntlet of despair and discouragement that zaps the fulfilling life that we should all experience. When we can see the light beyond times of difficulty, we approach life with a completely different mindset. Easter reminds us of the hope there is for all mankind.

Transformation – What lies at the heart of Easter is that Jesus was transformed in being resurrected. Everyone loves the notion of new beginnings; the opportunity to move on from the past, to reset our focus and change what needs to be changed. The Easter break serves as a valuable opportunity to reflect on the days ahead, recalibrating our priorities so that we might be transformed to be the person we want to be.

Whatever way you view the Easter celebration, may it be a most fulfilling, relaxing and enjoyable time for everyone within the Newington community, as we all recalibrate our bearings and look forward to a fulfilling Term 2.

Rev Geordie Barham
College Chaplain