16 May 2017

Back to Newington Day 29 July 2017 – Everyone is Welcome

Back to Newington Day is our annual on-campus celebration and you’re invited!

Come in for fresh produce, gorgeous flowers, delicious fruit and veggie boxes, hot soup, hot corn, the all-day breakfast, ‘Big BBQ’, dessert crêpes, homemade cakes, sweets and lemonade, gelato and much more.

Browse in the Marketplace for stylish gifts, homewares, jewellery,recycled and new fashion and novelty items. And for the little ones, there are games and activities galore. 

Everyone is Welcome to come Back to Newington


MOONs Annual Lunch – Back to Newington Day 29 July 2017

The Mothers of Old Newingtonians (MOONs) annual lunch will be held on 29 July on Back to Newington Day. This is a wonderful opportunity for the new MOONs from 2016 to join the MOONs and enjoy lunch back on the grounds of the College. 

There will be a photo on the steps of Founders and the luncheon will commencing in Prescott Hall at 12:30pm.

Book your tickets $50 per person via the link to secure your table.

Click here for payment

The MOONs will have an opportunity to visit the Marketplace before and after lunch or enjoy the 1st XV Rugby at 3:15pm

Rugby Season Launch 2nd June 2017 – Dockside Darling Harbour

We would like you to join our celebrations. Come along or create a table of ten, a fantastic way to catch up with the families of Newington

The details are below:

Rugby Season Launch

Date: 2nd June 2017

Time: 12:00-4:00pm

Venue: Dockside, Darling Harbour.

Guest Speaker – Benn Robinson (72 Caps for Wallabies 2006-2015)

MC – Gordon Bray (The Voice of Rugby)

It’s a great fundraising event for the Newington College Rugby Association and you can book tickets online by clicking here

When completing your details, select the special requirements section and include that you would like to sit on your year group and we can do the rest.

If you have any questions or queries about the 2017 Rugby Season Launch please contact

Paul Rathborne – pljrat@gmail.com or Mobile 0418 622976

Johnson Oval re-dedication at the ANZAC Day Parade

One of the highlights of the Anzac Parade was the re-dedication of the Johnson Oval — named in memory of Gunner Jack Johnson (ON 1913) — as a war memorial a hundred years after his death in the First World War.

John ‘Jack’ Johnson attended Newington College from 1910 to 1913. A keen cricketer, rugby player, athlete and Cadet, he was described in The Newingtonian as ‘deservedly one of the most popular boys in the School … beloved by masters and boys alike.’ After enlisting in 1916 he served with the Artillery on the Western Front. He was severely wounded during a German bombardment of his battery’s position at Ypres and died on 23 October 1917.

Wishing to establish a perpetual memorial to their son, Jack’s parents funded the construction of a new oval, saying ‘it was just the kind of thing he would have delighted to see done.’ Previously a rough field, unsatisfactory for cricket or football matches, the construction involved extensive excavation, levelling and drainage works and provided the College with ‘a football area of full size’ for the first time. Jack’s parents also erected a brass memorial tablet in his memory, joining the others already on the walls of the Prescott Hall. These tablets now line the Chapel Walkway.

The College was honoured to have Jack’s niece, Dr Valerie Havyatt, and her sons Geoffrey and Warwick Havyatt, to represent Jack’s family for the re-dedication of the Johnson Oval. The formal act of re-dedication was the unveiling of a plaque by the Deputy Chairman of the College Council, his Honour Magistrate Greg Grogin (ON 1976). At a morning tea for guests after the Parade, the Headmaster, Dr Mulford, presented the plaque to Dr Havyatt. A fully weatherproofed version will be installed on the Johnson Scoreboard.

Jack Johnson was a member of the College’s Cadet Team who were the Commonwealth Champions in the 1912-13 Cadet Competitions. Each member of the team was presented with a gold medal at a parade at Newington in March 1914. Following the re-dedication ceremony, Dr Havyatt generously presented Jack’s medal to the College, received on our behalf by Major Rodney Wood, Commanding Officer of the Newington College Cadet Unit.

Dr Havyatt, with her sons, also honoured Jack Johnson’s memory by laying a wreath at the Memorial to the Dead and, after the Parade, placing a poppy by his name on the 1914–18 Honour Roll at the entrance to the Founders Building.

Finding Dr Havyatt and her family was a result of good fortune. Back in 2002, she visited the College and sent us a copy of an article that she had written about Jack. Re-discovering the article in the Archives this year, we were able to track down the family, despite changed contact details, thanks to a family tree attached to the article.

In many ways, Jack Johnson’s story epitomises the impact of the War on so many young men: keen to do his duty, despite the awful risks, his young life cut short by the cruel lottery of war. Unlike our other Fallen, however, Jack is remembered in a name that we use every day, now dedicated again a century later.

Lest we forget.

David Roberts – Archivist

Endowment Fund update

Last November, we were proud to let you know all about the College’s Endowment Fund following the successful launch of the Fund at the P&F Newington Ball. On that night some 600 parents and a few Old Boys donated a combined $170,000 to kick start the Newington parents’ involvement in supporting the Endowment Fund.

The Endowment Fund has the goal to raise sufficient funds to provide up to 100 Bursaries at any one time, so that Boys of Promise whose families cannot afford a Newington education have the opportunity to become Newington Men of Substance. Newington’s diversity has always been its strength and the Endowment Fund will ensure that in perpetuity, our socio-economic diversity will be maintained – for the benefit of all the boys at Newington.

We hope that, as past parents of the College with Newington fees well behind you, that you have had the chance to reflect on the value of the Newington education that you provided for your son. Perhaps you may think it would be a good thing to provide, in a small way, the opportunity for another boy not in as secure financial circumstances, to also benefit from a Newington education.

With the end of the financial year fast approaching, a fully tax deductible donation to the Endowment Fund for the equivalent of an instalment; a term or a year’s fees, will make a big difference to another boy’s life, forever.

The Endowment Fund is ambitious but essential if we are to keep Newington available for all boys, of all backgrounds.

Will you help us meet this goal? To make a donation or find out more, click on this link to visit our Endowment Fund.

They say that one can only see so far because we stand on the shoulders of giants that have come before.

Will you join us in being the giants for the next Newington generation?

Phillip Harris Davis OAM (1924-2017)

It can seem a cliché to say that a teacher was loved by generations of students, but in Phil Davis’ case it was simply true. He taught for forty-six years, all but three at Newington, and was a member of the staff for fifty years, making him the third-longest serving staff member in the College’s history.

Phillip Harris Davis served as an Army Radar Technician in northern Australia in the Second World War. After being ‘de-mobbed’ he gained teaching qualifications and taught at Granville Technical College. He was appointed to teach Mathematics and Science at Newington in 1951.

In 1953, Phil instituted the Remedial Class (‘3R’), in which he taught all subjects except English until 1956.  After this, he concentrated on Mathematics, teaching it to the Leaving Certificate, and then the HSC, level, His black jacket, embedded with chalk dust, became a part of Newington folklore. His approach to teaching endeared him to his students. ‘My style is that students really have to enjoy maths to learn it,’ he said in 2000. ‘You have to give a bit of humour to the lesson and you have to give students a sense of accomplishment.’ He was also thoroughly organised and invested much time in lesson planning.

Phil joined the College’s Cadet Corps as an officer in 1953 and served as its Commanding Officer from 1954 to 1963. He led a succession of innovations and raised standards in the unit to a level equal to the best in the country.

In the 1950s Phil coached Cricket and Rugby teams and later had charge of the Sports kit room, ensuring that equipment was well organised and cared for by the boys. He had many other roles, at different times serving as a Housemaster, Secretary of the Housemasters’ meetings, and Chairman of the Common Room, and organising Speech Nights, prizes, school photographs, detentions, transport and examinations. Less formally, he performed as part of a staff barbershop quartet and was known for his Al Jolson routine at many functions.

Phil gave long service to the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of NSW (AAGPS), serving as Shooting Convenor, then as Honorary Treasurer for twenty years and subsequently as Vice-President.

Phil retired from teaching in 1993 and served in administrative roles until retiring at the end of 2000. In 2003 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to education, particularly through Newington College, and to the community. He was a member of the Honorary Common Room, while he had already been elected an Honorary Life Member of the Old Newingtonians’ Union in 1984.

Phil remained an active participant in College life, attending numerous reunions of past students and staff, 70 Club events and less formal get-togethers. From 2004 he served as a volunteer in the College Archives, where his orderly mind and unparalleled knowledge of Newington were invaluable. He was the Co-Patron of the Founders Society, the College’s bequest program. In 2014 he provided funds to establish the Phillip Davis OAM Mathematics Bursary Fund. The same year the Year 12 Common Room was named in his honour.

Phil Davis was a member of the Newington family for sixty-six years. We mourn his passing but will remember his life and service with love and gratitude.

Phillip Davis OAM Mathematics Bursary

In 1951 a young Phillip Davis first walked through the Millner Gates and realised there and then that he had “found his home”. 66 years later, through the Bursary he established, the Late Phil Davis’ legacy will continue to educate boys of Mathematical ability at Newington.

The Phillip Davis OAM Mathematics Bursary was established by Mr Davis in 2014 to celebrate his 90th Birthday and to emphasise to all that “you can’t take it with you”. As Co-Patron of the Founders Society – the College’s Bequest program, Phil was keen to promote the idea of leaving a legacy that will extend long after one’s lifetime.

And so, whilst we now mourn Phil’s passing, we can rejoice in his generous philanthropy that established this Bursary in his memory. But Phil knew his legacy alone would not be enough and was confident that those Old Boys he taught over the years would support his vision in his memory.

It is only through the generosity of an anonymous Old Boy, known only to Phil, that this Bursary was able to commence during his lifetime. But to guarantee the future of the Davis Bursary we need your support.

What better way to say “thank you” to Phil Davis for the start in life that he gave you, than to support his call to donate to his Bursary. Every donation, large or small; single or by regular giving; cash or by way of provision in your Will, is a personal gift to recognize a life of devotion to you and your fellow students. He was a Newington Man through and through.

You can donate directly via the College’s Community website or contact Director of Community and Development Rod Bosman (ON 1978) at rbosman@newington.nsw.edu.au or 02 9568 9540 if you would like to discuss your support.

Phil Davis was a Newington man through and through. We have lost a Living Legend but gained a legacy that neither time or man can erase.

Rowing Awards Dinner 2017

The Newington College Rowing Association held their End of Season Rowing dinner with a more formal format for Season 2016/2017.

Over 290 rowers, parents and guests attended the function held in the Centenary Hall on Thursday 27 April.

The night started with a ceremony to celebrate the christening of two boats, four seat christened – Nick Wainman (ON 1991) and eight seat christened for 1976 Olympian, Stuart Carter (ON 1976), a very special moment for Newington Rowing.

Throughout the night the rowers were presented with awards ranging from Most Valuable Rower through to Most Improved Rower and the inaugural award of Academic Prize for the senior rower who continued to commit to their studies throughout the rowing season.

Alex Nichol, Captain of Boats gave a heart-warming yet raw speech about the pressures and success of being a Newington Rower that left the audience moved.

One of the ongoing Newington traditions is to recognise the rowers that have been a continuous member since commencing the sport in Year 7. The eight Year 12 rowers stood proudly on stage to collect their Continuous Rowing Medal and we look forward to increasing this number in future years as the boys develop the passion for rowing.

The aim of the night was to celebrate the end of the rowing season and the success Newington has had through the Head of the River and the various season regattas. Overall the night was deemed a success with money raised for the boat program through donations being contributed from Year 7 parents through to Old Boys that still have the passion for Rowing.

Thank you to the organising committee of Marty Nichols (ON 1987), Pip Bulbeck and Maria Rossi that brought the rowing community together and will continue the annual dinner in this same format for next season. A special thanks goes to Richard Roach (Director of Rowing) for his highlights of the rowing season and his in depth presentation.

Harry Crouch selected for World Junior Rowing Championships 2017

On Saturday 29th April, Year 11 student Harry Crouch was selected to represent Australia at the World Junior Rowing Championships, to be held in Trakai, Lithuania in August 2017. Harry was selected to row in the two seat of the Under 19 Men’s Quad Scull. The crew is made up of four rowers from Sydney. The other three rowers are Year 12 students, two currently at Shore (Jackson Kench and Lachlan Stevenson) and the other at St Augustine’s (Daniel Samus).

In order to gain selection, Harry competed in a series of selection races spread over a week at Penrith. The selection trials commenced with a 2k erg test, in which Harry achieved his PB time of 6min 15 seconds. This placed him third overall on weight adjusted ranking out of 80 rowers trying out for the team. Harry then went through a series of sculling races, in which he ended up ranked 4th overall in a very high quality field. This ranking ensured Harry was able to be placed in a strong crew for the remainder of the trials and his crew ended up going well under the bench mark times set by the Australian rowing selectors. The trials were a harrowing experience, with trialling rowers being cut out each day in Survivor elimination style.

To make this feat more remarkable, in the two weeks leading into the selection regatta, Harry effectively trained on his own, as he went home to Condobolin for the holidays, many miles from the nearest rowing club or coaches. Harry had to travel considerable distances in order to row each day. He split his training across three different waterways. Long rows were done out at Lake Cargelligo, while shorter rows were done on a small dam near Condobolin or on a creek near Forbes. In addition, Harry’s house was severely damaged in floods earlier in the year and his family has had to live in a caravan.

We commend Harry on this achievement and we wish him all the best with the hard training that he will do through the winter in preparation for the World Championships. 


Cameron Murray (ON 2015) – Junior Kangaroo and debut South Sydney

A blistering first-half performance lifted the Junior Kangaroos to a convincing 46-22 win over the Junior Kiwis at Canberra’s GIO Stadium to make it three-straight victories in the mid-year Test. 

‌The Aussies raced out to a 30-0 lead at the break and looked set to go on with the job courtesy of back-to-back tries to start the second stanza, but New Zealand showed plenty of spirit to ensure they avoided a record defeat. 

 Cameron Murray – We profile the man who led the NSW Under-18 side to glory in 2016: 

With a standout performance for the NSW Under-18 side last year, it’s little wonder that the South Sydney Rabbitohs have moved quickly to secure the future of Cameron Murray.

The Mascot Jets junior, who has played in the second row for the Rabbitohs’ Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Holden Cup outfits, has turned plenty of heads in his years in the NSWRL Pathways system so far. Murray captained the South Sydney under-16s side in 2014, before helping the under-18s to a grand final in 2015, also representing his state in his respective age group each year. Having also captained the Newington College 1st XV in Rugby Union in 2015, Murray is talented in both codes, but that year signed a contract with the Rabbitohs which will see him through until the end of 2019.

Cameron debuted for South Sydney on Friday 21 April 2017 against the Brisbane Broncos.

We wish Cameron all the best of luck for the rest of the season.

Jon Aspro (ON 2014) selected for Australian Under 23 AFC

An extract from SMH 20 April 2017 

In round one the season looked bleak for Jonathan Aspropotamitis. He was one of five centre-backs vying for two starting positions at Western Sydney Wanderers and if the team sheet for their first game suggested anything, he was at the bottom of the pecking order. Of the five, he was the only one available yet was not selected for the clash against Sydney FC.

As the youngest of the five, his omission was seen as a preference for experience in a game played before a record crowd and the beginning of a year in which his education would come on the training ground, not with the Wanderers’ first XI.

He acknowledged the uphill battle he faced as early as pre-season and Aspropotamitis’ mission was to make coach Tony Popovic’s selection choice as difficult as possible. Being fifth-choice wouldn’t mean his season was one spent learning, rather challenging the experienced quartet.

To complement his strengths in the air, reading the game and playing out of defence, Aspropotamitis picked one of the fittest and fastest players in his squad and challenged himself to reach the lofty standards set by the fullback, Scott Neville.

Aspro has been selected for the Australian Under 23 training camp to be held in Sydney from 14-19 May 2017 in preparation for the AFC U-23 Championship China 2018 Qualifiers to be held in July in Myanmar. 

We wish Jon all the very best.

Olympics in reach for Wallaby’s Daughter

Congratulations to Phil (ON 1984) and Julie Kearns – an article from The Australian, 17 April 2017.

Tilly Kearns has already achieved considerable sporting success even before we start talking of her goal to play water polo at an Olympic Games.

The teenager has been able to loosen rugby union’s grip on her famous Wallaby father Phil Kearns and get some chlorine on his skin as opposed to Dencorub.

Kearns, who won two World Cups in his 67 Tests for Australia, actually played water polo until the age of 16 before rugby took over.

“I knew it was a great game so I was thrilled when she decided to go in that direction,” Kearns said.

“I was driving home with her one time and tried to give her some advice about water polo and she said ‘Dad, how would you know, you don’t even play it’. So I started playing water polo again.”

He is now a proud member of the Wizards men’s social team.

“It’s a great bunch of old blokes. Our goalie is 71.”

Tilly, 16, is on her own sporting springboard by being named in a 19-player squad for the Stingers, Australia’s women’s water polo team. The squad goes into a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport next week, where 13 will emerge to play several internationals before the July world championships in Hungary.

“The Olympics is the main goal for me whether it’s the next one in Tokyo or the one after in 2024,” she said. “I’ve got enough motivation that if I don’t make this one, I’ll go for the next one.”

She plays in the national water polo league for the Sydney Uni Lions, which boasts four Olym­pians including Rio Stingers member Hannah Buckling.

“Tilly is a very talented player who is only 16. She has great determination,” Buckling said. “She’s only lacking in experience and that’s what she’s going to get in spades this year.

“We only have five from the Rio Olympic squad still continuing in the sport so there’s sweeping change moving across the team and Tilly can be one who benefits from that.”

Tilly counts herself lucky to have her parents supporting her in the background.

“He and mum (Julie) are great for advice but Dad has the experience behind him from playing rugby. He has really helped me on the mental side. He knows when I’m tired or when I’m not playing well, and knows how to bring me out of it.”

Kearns said: “I just want her to love what she’s doing and the way she’s going at the moment she’s on a wonderful trajectory to achieve that goal of being an Olympian.

“My job is make sure she keeps enjoying that journey. I’ve seen kids pushed by parents and fail, and I’ve also seen kids that have done too much, too early, and fail.

“It’s a delicate balance for ­parents.”

Tilly is in Perth for the under-18 club championships with the Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers. Phil is with his second daughter Andie at the under-14 club titles on the Gold Coast.

“We’re doing Easter on either side of the continent,” he said.


Water polo player Nick Dempsey (ON 2014) suffers spinal injuries in an accident.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Nick Dempsey (ON 2014) and his family after he suffered serious injuries in January.

The Border Mail published that Nick suffered a C4 vertebrae fracture and an Alfred Hospital spokesman said about 2am, a man in his 20’s was airlifted from Albury with spinal injuries sustained during a pool accident..

The young Albury Tigers player has represented Australia in water polo and played in division two for Sydney University. 

In 2014, he travelled to Turkey as part of a national team at the under-18 World Championships.

Nick had been nominated for the Albury Young Achiever of the Year award multiple times and is well-known for his abilities in the local area and interstate.

 The ONU Dinner to be held on Friday 28 July at Doltone House will be raising funds for Nick and his family.


NEWS Magazine online

Keep up to date with Newington NEWS. 

The magazine is now “online” so grab a coffee, put your feet up and enjoy Newington NEWS.

Click on the link below to view the magazine.

Newington NEWS Magazine 

“Discover what’s Possible”