30 May 2017

Thank you! – Salvo’s Red Shield Appeal 2017

The weather put on a show on Sunday, 28 May for the annual Red Shield Door knock Appeal. With more than 275 Newington boys and 85 parent and staff drivers working side-by-side members of the Salvation Army and Rotary, the sense of community was palpable.

The public responded magnificently to the boys charm, exemplary personal appearance and willingness to serve the community. 

On the day, we raised a total of $18,146 cash, with more still to come from the donation envelopes left in mailboxes and on doorsteps.

Until next year. Thank you to everyone who knocked, drove, collected and donated! 

Mr Mick Madden
Head of Service Learning

Year 11 IB Boys bring Science to Life

Recently, our Science Superlabs played host to two classes of budding scientists from Year 1 at Wyvern House. This was the first step in a new initiative aimed at enlivening the STEM curriculum for the Wyvern boys and giving them a taste of high school science.

The workshops were organised by Ms Lindsay Bosch (STEM Teacher at Wyvern) and facilitated by six of our Year 11 students undertaking the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The workshops involved our boys leading experimental demonstrations about sound and light, to support the science unit ‘Look! Listen!’.

The experiments included: revealing laser light with talcum powder; exploring fibre optics; making Star Wars lightsabers; vibrating phones in boxes; and using Slinkys and styrofoam cups to recreate iconic Star Wars sounds.

Well done to the following Year 11 boys: Sam Wyrill (11/MO), Angus Crump (11/LE), Richard Ge (11/PR), Jock Ferguson (11/KL), Kenny Chen (11/FL) and Kelvin Du (11/ME) for working with the teachers at Wyvern to develop and present the workshops. They led the younger boys with flare and expertise, taking care to explain concepts and answer questions, and maintaining high levels of engagement and enthusiasm at all times.

The relationship will continue with these young men taking on science mentoring roles with selected Wyvern boys as part of their ongoing IB service component. The quotes below show that they are thoroughly enjoying their involvement.

“It was a wonderful opportunity working with the Year 1 Wyvern students and developing their interest in STEM” said Richard Ge.

“What was most rewarding was seeing their faces light up when participating in the workshops and watching their curiosity guide and drive them in various experiments with light and sound.”  

Jock Ferguson said, “The Wyvern Science shows were a really good opportunity to introduce a few fundamental concepts, such as light and sound, that the kids will encounter while studying senior science in a few years. They really seemed to get a lot out of the sessions through the more interactive nature of our shows, compared to what they would usually experience in the classroom. They seemed to especially enjoy our Star Wars light sabre / glow stick sections to the demonstrations.”

Mr Andrew Millar
Head of Science


Is it time we talked? – Pornography and Young People

‘Pornography’ and ‘young people’ are not words we like to see in the same sentence. It’s not a topic that makes for easy conversation, nor is it a topic that we are well-equipped to tackle. In the second Wellbeing Series lecture for 2017, researcher, social commentator and documentary producer Maree Crabbe stood firmly in front of a full audience in the Old Boys Lecture Theatre to ask ‘Is it time we talked?’

“Porn is having an impact on the lives of young people – from those who seek it out to those who don’t’, said Ms Crabbe. 90 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls have been exposed to it in some form, according to a survey taken in 2013 and not only this, due to it’s prevalence in mainstream popular culture, it’s increasingly becoming the main sex educator for young men and women.

“Porn is not new, it is not the first time young people have been exposed to porn, but porn has changed”, argued Ms Crabbe. Having produced two documentaries about the porn industry, she showed interview footage that illustrated the aggression, abuse and depravity that is now prevalent in mainstream porn. It showcased a fertile industry unwilling to stop and eager to push boundaries. 

“88% of scenes include physical aggression, 48% verbal aggression, 94% of cases include violence towards women including degradation.

“Pornography conveys deeply problematic issues to do with body image, pleasure, negotiating consent, gender, power and aggression”, said Ms Crabbe. It misrepresents male and female sexual relations and sells sex short.

Ms Crabbe wants schools and communities to break the cone of silence around this tricky issue because “one of the most compelling reasons to address pornography’s impact is that it is a driver of violence against women”, she said.

“It eroticises the key driver of violence against women – it eroticises inequality. And it changes the way we understand who we are. Who women are, who men are”.

So what can parents and educators do to combat some of these pressing concerns? 

Ms Crabbe had some advice.

  1. LIMIT young peoples exposure to porn
  2. EQUIP and encourage young people to critique what they see
  3. HELP young people to develop skills to resist porn
  4. INSPIRE young people to have better relationships and to seek something beyond porn.

“We need to have the conversations that show young people that relationships can be so much better than porn” said Ms Crabbe.

For more resources on how you can broach the topic of porn with your son and have a meaningful conversation, visit the website Is it time we talked? As a College with a student body who are doing something about gender inequality and domestic violence, the boys have already spoken up. Let’s join the conversation.


New into Fencing Nationals

Congratulations to our Fencing teams who have made it into the Nationals in Brisbane this coming June.

Coming equal third out of 11 teams was our Senior Foil A team made up of:

  • Winston Lin (12/FL)
  • Jack Murtough-Coombes (11/KL)
  • Deklan Rollason (11/MO)
  • Ben Diskin (9/MO)

Coming second out of three teams was our Senior Sabre A team, made up of:

  • Tom Barker (11/FL)
  • Leon Qian (10/MA)
  • Alistair Shaw (9/LE)
  • Oliver Smart (9/KL)

Senior Sabre A team representative Leon Qian said the National qualifier was both enjoyable and challenging as they tried to defeat a difficult adversary.

A tip to junior players, Leon adds “I think something upcoming fencers should learn is to have confidence in their decisions during a bout. An attack was often lost because the attacker would hesitate or even stop. However, fencers should also recognise when they can’t attack and when they should retreat. Blade control and footwork are paramount”

Fellow teammate, Alistair Shaw agreed saying the experience was “exciting, empowering and definitely confidence-building”. His tip to other players is to make the most out of training sessions “Don’t just mess around. Think about what you need to improve on and work on it”. For him, he said the best part of competing the National qualifier was the opportunity to train and compete across various age groups and go against really good athletes.

Our fingers are crossed as our New representatives head into tougher competition ground in only a matter of weeks. Best of luck to them, and their dedicated coaches and supporters.

Discipline – The Essential Ingredient

When parents are looking for a school, discipline is close to, or at the top of the list. A school with good order, rules that ensure learning is not disrupted, and students who are safe and cared for, is a given for many parents.

Most secondary age boys would also agree, even if they don’t admit to it to their friends, that a structured school with consistently applied standards of behaviour makes for a safe and secure environment that can be relied upon. Of course, boundaries will be tested and this is quite normal as boys wish to see how far these rules will be applied and thus contributes to their familiarity with their environment.

There has been a shift in the philosophy of discipline over the last few decades, especially in schools which are interested in growing character as well as the academic prowess of their students. There is a shift from controlling by rules with consequences and punishment towards a more ‘self-discipline’ approach where behaving respectfully ensures the environment remains ordered and safe. There is a strong argument for promoting ‘self-discipline’, as for many, self-regulation of behaviour is a character strength that keeps us safe, healthy and connected to family and friends in adult life.

Managing impulses, appetites and behaviour is an essential quality in good relationships. Young people, however, do not have the skills to regulate their own behaviour, and ensuring fellow students feel safe and learn in a respectful environment requires certain forms of discipline. Newington uses many forms of discipline to help the boys grow in character.

The first is ‘positive discipline’. This is based on praise and affirmation. Rewarding good, respectful behaviour both verbally and in the form of merits, reinforces what we would like to see more of in them.

‘Redirective’ or ‘gentle discipline’ steers the boys away from poor behaviour towards the good.

‘Boundary discipline’ is very common in schools and clear consequences for poor behaviour are sometimes required. Consequences act as a deterrent for poor behaviour as students tend to want to avoid consequences and as such behave in a certain way.

Preventing poor behaviour is better than having to correct it once it has occurred. Over my many years in schools, there does not seem to be a bullet-proof system that will suit every student all of the time.

At Newington however, much is made of the relationship between the staff and the students, especially the Mentors (House Tutor) and the student. Modelling good behaviour is essential, and being clear to boys about what is expected of them is essential. However, some ‘boundary-based’ discipline is essential at school as it is in the family home.

To simply hope that 1,360 boys will do the right thing all of the time is obviously wishful thinking. The adult analogy of road rules and laws is an example of how we can keep people safe on the road. We as adults need ‘boundary-based’ rules and ‘preventative’ methods to ensure we comply for the greater good and safety of all. The same is true in schools. Basic rules and punishment do keep us heading in the right direction and can prevent many minor, as well as major transgressions. Many teaching colleagues, however, do make the point that there has been a shift in parental support for schools.

Parents questioning the discipline policies of the school, especially when it is applied to one of their own children, seems to be more prevalent. As a parent myself, it is challenging to view some consequences as a positive in the long run, but it is essential. Defending poor or unsociable behaviour simply compounds the problem for the student and may lead to more serious issues in the future. Fortunately, Newington enjoys supportive parents most of the time, making consistent positive discipline easy to reinforce.

The consequences or punishments for ‘boundary discipline’ are not ideal some of the time. Detentions are the ‘fast food’ solution to minor infractions. However, the reflection statements taken from the students during detention do encourage them to plan future behaviour differently.

In conclusion, discipline is for the benefit of all in a community where self-discipline is lacking and consequences applied. The aim is to create a safe, respectful and enjoyable community where students feel safe and protected. As our boys grow into men of substance, it is hoped that the ‘boundary discipline’ consequences will no longer be required as self-regulation and responsibility take over.

Mr Robert Meakin
Deputy Head of Stanmore – Students

dominic garner

Mr Garner recognised for 10 year Service

Earlier this month, Newington technology teacher and Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator Mr Dominic Garner along with 25 others were recognised for their contribution and long service to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Scheme at a ceremony in Parliament House. The awardees received 10, 20 and 30 year medals presented to them by the Honorable Stuart Ayers, MP representing the Minister for Sport. 

Mr Garner has been a Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator for more than 10 years. We congratulate him on this well-deserved award and look forward to many more years with him as co-ordinator here at Newington. 

Congratulations, Mr Garner!



Body Image – It’s more than how you look

MAYDAYS is a campaign to raise awareness for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders throughout the month of May.

The 2015 Annual Youth Survey recently released by Mission Australia found that young people are most concerned about coping with stress, school / study problems and body image. 

Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result, essentially – how you see your body, how you feel about your body and how you think about your body.

‘A negative body image is when someone is consistently unhappy with their appearance leading to body dissatisfaction. Feeling like this can affect self-esteem and a person’s sense of wellbeing’.

The media, family, friends, advertising and cultural influences can all have an impact on how we feel. People who are teased about their weight/height or appearance have an increased chance of developing body dissatisfaction.

Other factors include:

  • Age – body image is shaped during adolescence but body dissatisfaction affects all age groups,
  • Girls are more prone to having body dissatisfaction, but rates in boys are increasing
  • Those with low self-esteem and / or depression
  • Perfectionist type personalities, high achievers and those who compare themselves with others
  • Having friends or family who regularly diet and are concerned about body image
  • Larger body size increases your risk of body dissatisfaction

People who become fixated on changing their shape can become disappointed with their results and develop feelings of shame and guilt, increasing the risk of an eating disorder. 

Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice or a cry for attention. These are serious mental illnesses where eating, exercise and weight become the person’s main focus and interfere with the person’s day to day life. Many people with an eating disorder suffer from depression or anxiety.

Some Warning Signs:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Fainting and dizziness, change in menstruation, decreased libido
  • Feeling tired, low energy, not sleeping well
  • Damage to teeth, bad breath, calluses on knuckles due to vomiting
  • Feeling cold
  • Irritable or anxious at meal times
  • Preoccupied with diet, weight, food
  • Change in clothing – wearing baggy gear
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom around mealtimes
  • Excessive exercising or gym workouts
  • Eating slowly, secretive behaviour


Seeking help as early as possible greatly reduces the impact and severity of an eating disorder.

Treatment involves referral for professional help. Psychotherapy is used, helping the person to understand the way they think about food, themselves, patterns and motivation. Educating the whole family on the condition and how to support someone with an eating disorder is important. Treatment involves self-help techniques in combination with nutritional advice and medication is useful if the person has depression or anxiety.

Some body image tips:

  • Treat your body well
  • Don’t compare the way you look to anyone else
  • Focus on the parts of yourself you like
  • Don’t try to be someone else
  • Go easy on yourself and others
  • You are much more that the way you look
  • Spend time with others who are positive and help you feel good
  • Find your own style

Website resources:


Sister Margaret Bates
School Nurse




2017 Concerto Competition

When considering the concerto as a musical form, the musicologist Sir Donald Francis Tovey wrote: “Nothing in human life or history is much more thrilling or of more ancient and universal experience than the antithesis of the individual and the crowd; an antithesis which is familiar in every degree from flat opposition to harmonious reconciliation.”

From 8-9 May, 37 boys from Years 7 to 12 embraced the opportunity to perform a movement from a concerto for their instrument on the Prescott Hall stage to a supportive and expectant crowd in the annual Concerto Competition. Lyrical melodies, flashing arpeggios, emotional restraint and bravura existed alongside each other in a broad palette of repertoire from the Baroque Period to the Modern Age. It was a particular delight to hear the first movement of our Composer in Residence’s violin concerto presented by our Leader of Orchestra, Year 12 student James Rossé (12/PR).

Adjudicators for the Senior and Junior event were Susan Newsome (Sydney Conservatorium) and Benjamin Adler (ON 2009) respectively.

Congratulations to everyone who slaved away for hours learning their pieces. The winners on the night were:

Senior Competition:
1st place Eric Liu (11/JN) – Trombone
2nd place (eq) Geordie Maclean (11/KL) – Violin; Nico Maclean (11/KL) – Saxophone; Andrew Wang (10/LE) – Violin
3rd place Angus Mackie-Williams (11/PR) – Clarinet
Highly Commended Jack Crawford (12/KL) – French Horn; Angellos Korsanos (10/FL) – Guitar; James Rossé (12/PR) – Violin; Rohen Wong (11/LE) – Cello; Andrew Xie (10/PR) – Flute

Junior Competition:
1st place (eq) Hugh Matthews (8/JN) – Violin; Leroy Ma (8/KL) – Piano
3rd Place Yusei Matsuoka (8/FL) – Violin
Highly Commended Christian McLoughlin (9/JN) – Percussion; Julian Potkonjak (8/PR) – Violin; Max Tobin (9/PR) – Clarinet.

Mr Mark Scott
Head of Music

Day in the life of a New Barista

At the beginning of Term 2, the Year 12 HSC Hospitality class attended a day course in the city at ‘Coffee School Sydney,’ where they learnt the ins and outs of brewing perfect coffee. Each boy was setup with their own machine and were thrown into the deep end, with real coffee and milk. By making coffee after coffee, they started to get the hang of things and began producing cafe quality coffees. 

From cappuccinos to macchiatos, mochas to flat whites, they were put through their paces, completing time-based challenges where students paired up and requested an order then made coffees for one another. In the afternoon, the boys were taught the skill of latte art; many hearts were made (and broken) along with leaves, stars, abstract designs and even a map of Australia!

At the end of the day, the boys were exhausted, being on their feet for over five hours crafting hundreds of coffees, but had gained knowledge,  and developed skills of producing all sorts of coffees by name; texturing the perfect silky milk, brewing fresh coffee then distributing the correct amounts dependent on the coffee choice. All in all, everyone was able to get something out of it, for those who don’t wish to continue into the hospitality industry – good experience and qualification for a part time job in the coming years after the HSC, and for those hoping to enter the industry, an essential skill to add to their repertoire.

Harrison Stirton (12/PR)
Year 12 HSC Hospitality Student

Year 7 and 8 at Da Vinci Decathlon

Our Year 7 and 8 boys travelled to Knox Grammar School in mid May to compete in the Da Vinci Decathlon.

Our Year 7 boys achieved an outstanding third place in a pool of around 70 other schools in the English division.

Congratulations to the following team members:

  • Luke Canter (7/JN)
  • Thomas Osborne (7/LE)
  • Will Douglas (7/PR)
  • Jonathon Kerr (7/FL)
  • Tom Smee (7/LE)
  • Aiden Carter (7/MO)
  • David Upcroft (7/LE)
  • Abrahim Ali (7/KL)

The Year 8 Da Vinci team were also highly successful coming second in the art and poetry divisions.

Congratulations to our Year 8s:

  • Alex Lynch (8/FL)
  • Rohan Gandhi (8/KL)
  • James Smith (8/MA)
  • Addison Eastway (8/MO)
  • James Hedge (8/KL)
  • Leroy Ma (8/KL)
  • Xavier Teo Soucy (8/JN)
  • Hamish Thompson (8/ME)

Service Learning Initiatives

Support for CanTeen

Life should be full of opportunities and happiness, but sometimes for some individuals and their families, cancer gets in the way of life and blocks their dreams from becoming reality. This is where CanTeen steps in.

On Friday, 12 May Mr Kendall Warren from NSW Independent Education Union of Australia (NSWIEU) donated approximately $800 on behalf of a recent charity cricket match to the Le Couteur and Fletcher charity CanTeen.

This money will be used by the CanTeen community to provide families in need with support through workshops, camps and activities. The annual fundraiser, which has been in place at the College for the past ten years, is from Mr Warren’s annual cricket match that allows money to be raised in an enjoyable way. “This is seen as a positive way of seeing old friends such as Mr Potter who also was a part of the day”, said Mr Warren.

Mr Warren sees that through his love of playing sport he can also contribute to an organisation that benefits the less fortunate.

Declan Marlow (11/LE)

Year 10 Boys meet students from Eileen O’Connor Catholic School

Recently, many of the Le Couteur Year 10 students participated in a meet and greet with students from the Eileen O’Connor Catholic School in Lewisham, as part of their service learning.

The uniqueness of this meet and greet is in the fact that many students of the Eileen O’Connor school have moderate intellectual disability and complex learning needs.

During the meeting, Newington boys shared stories and showed photos of their families and pets with the Eileen O’Connor students hoping to gain their trust before moving onto a game of basketball, cricket and a quick tour around the Senior Campus.

Overall, the day was a great experience for all involved and the Le Couteur boys look forward to many more meet and greets with their friends from Lewisham. 

Mr Graham Potter
Head of Le Couteur House


Can you code it?

In the lead up to the HSC, there are various interesting projects coming to life as you take a stroll around the technology rooms. One particular course that isn’t often heard of is the HSC Software Design and Development class.

Building on skills learnt across various streams of computer software design, this year’s cohort have come up with some very interesting concepts for their Major Design project.

Take for example George Litsas’ (12/KL) exam timer software program that will allow the exam supervisor to display multiple exams at once and run them concurrently. The timer will be able to pause, start and stop exams independently and allow reading times to be set independently.

Harrison Stirton (12/PR) is designing an online web application linked with the Newington College login system, which enables members of the Newington College Cadet Unit to more effectively administrate, manage and organise cadets gear and events.

Meanwhile, Thomas David (12/MA) is designing a website that allows users to discover bands from their preferred genre while Lachlan Fisher (12/FL) discovered a problem with the diary on SPACES in that to access it you have to load SPACES on a web browser and sometimes it logs you out. His idea is to create a simple web/phone app that can be used to access the schools timetable system.

While learning to drive, Nicholas Flood (12/MO) realised that the most tedious and annoying part in the process is the filling out of a log book. In response to this, he is designing an electronic log book which is aimed at making the log book a lot more efficient and easy to use.

This year the diversity has really challenged each boy in the way he adapts his skills and problem solve – a true testament to the great design culture that exists within the class headed by their teacher Mr David Phillips.

We can’t wait to see the outcome of these various projects later in the year.

Mr Richard Burgess
Head of Design and Technology


Travelling Upstream – Success in Swimming and Water Polo


Congratulations to Jack Rudkins (11/MA) and Christopher Mina (8/PR) two top performers in the Newington College Swim Team.  So far in Term 2, 2017, Jack and Christopher have successfully represented the AAGPS Combined Team and the New South Wales CIS Team at the representative level.

As a result of their stellar racing efforts, both boys have now earned a position in the NSW All Schools Swim Team and will compete at the 2017 Pacific School Games to be held in Adelaide in December.

Jack will be racing in the prestigious 17 years 100 meter Freestyle event against the fastest swimmers in Australia.  Christopher has a position to swim in the 14 years 100 and 200 meter Butterfly events which are two of the most gruelling races in swimming. 

Water Polo

Harry Dickens (12/LE) and Matthew Sharp (11/MA) have been successful in capturing a gold medal at the School Sport Australia National Water Polo Championships in Noosa, Queensland.

The NSW All Schools team, comprising of the best secondary student water polo players in the state, completed a tough, week-long tournament with a dramatic win by penalty shoot-out against the Queenslanders.

Both Newington students were key players and members of the starting line up for NSW and at the conclusion of the tournament Matthew was named as a member of the Australian Schoolboys Team.

Wild Success at the National Chinese Eisteddfod

On Sunday 21 May Language students and brothers Felix Wild (7/FL) and Arky Wild (9/FL) represented Newington at the National Chinese Eisteddfod, attended by 300 students. Ably prepared by Ms Linda Gu, the boys had to recite a poem in Chinese.

Felix was awarded first place in the 10 to 12 Year Age Group division for non-native speakers and Arky was invited to participate in the Sydney Chinese Spectacular to be held on 23 October.

We congratulate both boys on their wonderful success.

Ms Cheryl Priest
Head of Languages

‘It was fifty years ago today…’

‘It was fifty years ago today’, to adapt the Fab Four’s famous line, that their album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was released. With the album often described as ‘the soundtrack to the Summer of Love’, it is fitting that the organisers of this year’s upcoming RockFest have chosen ‘Songs of Peace and Protest’ as its theme.

Over the last two weeks, more than twenty student bands have played their heart out in auditions for RockFest in the hope of being selected for the RockFest Concert.

RockFest, like rock music itself, is now something of an institution. The performance showcase of the College’s Contemporary Music program, RockFest was inaugurated in 2007 to increase the musical spectrum of performance and creativity available to our students. A ‘rock culture’ had already been developing at Newington: a Rock Band program was started by the Music Department in 2005 and, the next year, a group of Year 11 boys competed in Abbotsleigh’s Battle of the Bands. Both the Preparatory Schools were also incorporating rock music in their programs at this time.

Newington’s rock roots go back much further, however. The School Concert of 1960 was closed by a student rock and roll band, ‘Ricky and the Ramrods’. It seems that Newington was not yet ready to rock: the performance was reported as ‘somewhat marred by the lack of atmosphere and audience response.’

The Old Newingtonian who best fitted the description of 1960s protest singer was Gary Shearston (ON 1955). Best known for his deadpan cover of Cole Porter’s ‘I Get a Kick Out of You’, a hit in 1974, he was a singer/songwriter with a strong social conscience, as well as a researcher and interpreter of traditional bush songs. He recorded his first album in 1964 and another thirteen over the succeeding decades, the last in 2012, the year before he died.

Bruce Belbin (ON 1967) was a member of the Guitar Club at school and, by the time he left Newington, was already performing in a band outside school. Subsequently he played bass in the blues-rock band Gutbucket and then in the short-lived but seminal progressive rock outfit, Galdriel.

Alan Sandow (ON 1970) left Newington in 1968 and, in July the next year, aged seventeen, joined a new band called Sherbet as their drummer. He played with them for the next fifteen years during their heyday as one of Australia’s most successful pop/rock outfits, as well as more recent reunions.

Crispin Dye’s (ON 1970) talents as a musician and actor were well established before he left Newington, notably through a remarkable 1970 musical adaptation of ‘The Tempest’. His major contribution to rock was as a band manager over a period of fifteen years, including seven managing AC/DC in the 1980s, when he helped them become one of the world’s biggest bands. He was celebrating the success of his first solo album when his life was tragically cut short by a violent assault in 1993.

As we journey back through fifty years of songs of peace and protest at RockFest, we can reflect on the long involvement of Newington and Newingtonians in rock and contemporary music.

RockFest 17: Songs of Peace and Protest takes the stage of the Centenary Hall on the evening of 17 June.

Mr David Roberts
College Archivist


Does God Make Mistakes?

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5b).

“The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does” (Psalm 145:17).

Earlier this month, the renowned English comedian and actor Stephen Fry was investigated by the Irish police over the charge of blasphemy, after comments he made on the Irish TV show ‘The Meaning of Life’. The host of the show asked Mr Fry what he would say to God when he met Him at the Pearly Gates of Heaven, to which Fry replied ‘“How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It’s not our fault? It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil.” Such comments prompt consideration as to why God would create a world where there are clearly mistakes, with some bearing serious consequences including diseases, war and distress.

There’s no doubt that mistakes are part of our learning process, yet allowing humanity to experience the outcomes connected to mistakes is worth discussing. Having recently visited some injured Newington boys in hospital, I noted that the things we enjoy, including the expansive sporting culture within our community, has the possibility of set backs. Yet, where would we be if we didn’t have the choice to experience so many aspects in life where mistakes are a possibility?

In a report from the NSW Education Department (2015), it was reported that ‘During our normal day to day activities we face internal and external factors and influences that make it uncertain whether, when and the extent to which we will achieve or exceed our objectives. The effect this uncertainty has on our objectives is “risk”.

Each and every one of us has a responsibility for managing risk.

All our activities involve risk. We manage risk by anticipating, understanding and deciding whether to modify it. Throughout this process we communicate and consult with stakeholders and monitor and review the risk and the controls that are modifying the risk.

There’s no doubt that every activity has a certain level of risk which may result in inevitable mistakes. Although we try to anticipate such risks, the total avoidance of injury and mistakes is impossible to eliminate without the removal of choice. We make choices that sometimes lead to mistakes. If God were to wipe out the possibility of mistakes, would this also involve the removal of choice?

Here lies the conundrum in terms of God making mistakes – if God were to eliminate the mistakes we experience, would this include removing choice? Imagine life without choice; relationships, jobs, sports, foods, careers, holiday destinations…. how exciting could this be?

God states in Deuteronomy 30:19 ‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.’ Here, it is suggested that God grants us choice. Our responsibility is to navigate the best choices that enable each of us to live fulfilling lives

These kinds of difficult questions are amongst an array posted by various students throughout Term One. In light of this, the focus in our chapel services throughout Term Two has been to address such questions, with the desire to encourage thinking, deeper discussions and to seek an understanding about complex matters that are important in our lives.


Rev Geordie Barham
College Chaplain

Sport Report

With plenty of sport happening every weekend there have been plenty of boys achieving representation across a number of sports.


Congratulations to the Newington 1sts Basketball team who were recently crowned Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Champions after defeating Trinity in the final 92-58. The boys will now compete in the NSW All Schools tournament. Congratulations boys and coaching staff.

Sam Clemens (10/MO) has been selected in the NSW Metro U16 boys’ Basketball team meaning he will be competing at the upcoming National Championships being held in Perth from the 8 –15 July. Sam has been selected in the point guard position and will be looking forward to a big week steering the Metro boys around the court. Congratulations and good luck Sam.

Cross Country

The boys listed below are members of the Newington Cross Country team who have been selected to compete at the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Carnival at Eastern Creek.

  • Henry Isherwood (7/MA)
  • Ali Hammoud (7/KL)
  • Bailey Habler (7/MO)
  • William Smith (8/MA)
  • James Smith (8/MA)
  • Joe Dyster (8/FL)
  • Callum Gasowski (8/MO)
  • Angus Beer (10/ME)
  • Samuel Clemens (10/MO)
  • Matt Dyster (11/FL)
  • Louis Banning Taylor (10/ME)
  • Oliver Smith (11/MA)
  • Hugo Charlton (11/MA)
  • Geordie Maclean (11/KL)
  • David Charlton (12/MA)
  • Max Quinn (12/KL)


Newington College contributed nine players to the sixteen man AAGPS  Representative Squad. GPS were just pipped for first place in the final match, Previously the boys had won three and drawn one of their games, scoring eight goals in the process with Newington players accounting for six of them.

The boys were exemplary on and off the pitch and held the three main teams, CAS, AICES and ISA to a solitary goal conceded, for the record, the “Newington Nine” are: 

  • Jacob Sayle (12/JN)
  • Jacob Nastasi (12/PR)
  • Mitchell Long (12/MA)
  • Carlo Ottavio (11/ME)
  • Sam Hochuli (12/JN) 
  • Ellis Bellos (11/JN)
  • Elmore Alexander (12/FL)
  • Liam Nikos (11/LE)
  • Kallen Ferrero (12/LE)

Congratulations on your 2nd place finish and on representing the GPS and Newington College with such pride, honour and grace.

Founders Society

The Founders Society is Newington’s Bequest program, established to recognise, honour and cherish during their lifetime those who have left a bequest to Newington in their Will.  

The annual Founders Society Lunch was held this year on Friday, 19 May, welcoming four new members to the Founders Society. Those present were honoured to experience the outstanding talent of Year 8 Scholarship holder Hugh Matthews performing one of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concertos to a standing ovation.

Each year at the Founder Society Lunch, seven members are invited to speak about their time at Newington, the impact it has made on their lives and how they want to ensure boys of the future receive the same experience.

Rob Wild (ON 1965), son and father of late Old Boys himself, expressed the following thoughts…

“When we complete our education at Newington, we walk out those gates taking a lot away with us. But what do we leave? What do we give that can enhance the experience of future generations of students and help ensure the sustainability of what Newington offers?

“The answer for many of us is – not much!

“Including Newington in your Will is a tangible way of doing just that – maybe only in a small way individually but in a major way collectively. It feels right to give something back.”

Rob’s words echo the sentiment of all members of the Founders Society – the opportunity to leave a legacy – small or large – that will benefit generations of boys, forever.

The Founders Society supports the College’s Endowment Fund as they recognise that our Diversity is our strength. With 124 members, these generous benefactors will, in time, ensure that we have the College we want in the years ahead. But we need more members. We aim to reach 400 members to make a more meaningful difference for the future.

Will you join the Club? – your legacy, large or small, will make a difference.

If you would like to join the Founders Society or have a confidential chat about the College’s Bequest program with the Director of Community and Development Rod Bosman (ON 1978), you can contact Rod by phone 02 9568 9540 or email at rbosman@newington.nsw.edu.au

Latin students dine out at Classics Dinner

On Thursday 4 May, eight Year 11 Latin students attended the Classics Dinner, held at the Athenian Restaurant. There was a sumptuous feast of various Greek dishes, culminating with the famous lamb enjoyed by classics students from Newington, PLC and Ravenswood.

Prizes were awarded for best fancy-dress costume, as well as for high scorers in the Classics Quiz.  Whilst not a symposium in the strictest sense of the word, there was at least a great deal of commensality and intermingling between students from many schools. Luckily, no slaves were poisoned whilst tasting the food and senators, gods and goddesses and soldiers alike made it home safely.