12 Sep 2017

Filling in the Gaps – The last box to tick

At this time of every year, there are 230-ish boys doing lots of things with the word ‘last’ in front of them.  Their last school assembly, last double Biology lesson, last Cadet parade, last concert, the last time they will walk up the stairs in N-block to a class on Thursday Week A on their timetable. Those sorts of things.

It is a time of emotional rollercoasters for Year 12.  They have come a long distance in their time on the Stanmore campus in so many different and individual ways, and each small last is one piece of a bigger conclusion to what has been a big ride for them all.  It is a privilege sharing that with them, and watching them reflect on their time here, but in so many ways it is rewarding seeing them being so ready to take on the challenges beyond the gates.

However, as we celebrate them at their Valedictory lunch and their farewell assembly in front of their family, there is still a strong sense of unfinished business.  With HSC and IB exams on the (not as distant as they were before) horizon there will be lots of things happening over the coming weeks that will not have the word last popped on the front. 

It will be a while before the boys will lay claim to that last review of their notes, that last practice paper, that last essay plan, that last revision of that proof. Between now and November still lie challenges, and still lie real opportunities to get closer to academic goals.

A challenge they will face is to ensure that their best intentions are not undone by what makes them feel good when they put the time aside to study.  Researchers and psychologists tell us that when we sit ourselves down we grab those books, those notes, those questions that are full of the content and concepts we know well.  We like to experience success when we study, and we feel successful when we read or grapple with something we already understand. We fall into the trap of spending more time studying what we do know, rather than what we don’t. We feel good about what we have learned, but I am not sure it helps us make that next jump in performance we want so much.

Irrespective of whether we are aiming up at our final Year 12 examinations or getting ready for that Year 7 ‘end of topic’ test in Period 4 on Friday, good study is about actively looking for those things we don’t yet realise that we don’t understand. How we study helps us find them. And when we find something we don’t understand, we can fill that gap, and be that little bit better.

So, how do you find the holes? Revision questions are great in this regard, but grinding them out can wear you down. Doing one under time pressure with no assistance, then spending the same amount of time going back over it with notes and books, working out what else could have gone into it (the things you didn’t know) identifies your gaps and fills them in one fell swoop. Looking at that same question, then changing two words or numbers in it (could that increase become a decrease, could that 2x become -2x?) changes your focus – but this time do it all open book, and don’t include anything in the answer you didn’t already know.

Too often we associate study with a solitary life, chained to a desk, pouring over books. Often others find our gaps better than we do, be they around a desk in a seminar room in a library pooling knowledge to break open a problem, or over the dinner table in the evening with a pile of flash cards with definitions and quotes on them. Is it about passing the 90 second test – can you explain that idea or concept or cause or event to someone who knows nothing about it in under two minutes?  Feel confident at doing that, and you know you can look for your holes elsewhere. 

I am consistently intrigued, as boys of all ages move towards assessments or exams, how much time is spent reading notes and books.  I wonder if it is like training for Saturday’s rugby fixture by watching replays of Wallabies matches, or preparing for Founders Concert by listening to downloaded music.  There are so few assessments that boys will do where Question 11 reads ‘write out what you can remember from your notes’.  Using, manipulating and applying concepts and ideas are what they are required to do, and the best study recognises that and mimics it. Effective study is not a memory game.

When we plan, we use our time better, and we get more out of it.  So often we think about a study plan to be setting aside blocks of time each week, distributing them between English, Maths, Commerce and Extension Macramé.  The most effective plans, however, are the ones done in the five minutes before we sit down, that focus on how we will spend that time.  Effective study is so infrequently about how much we do, more about what we do. 

While the Year 12 boys are lining up for their last big push towards the exams, we wish them well and hope they know that they have the support of their teachers and the school in their run to their last lasts.  I hope they feel at the end that, for one last time, they got the best out of themselves.  But, I hope that the same is true for all boys, that they can feel they showed everyone their best learning as they head through Term 4 towards the end of the year.

Mr Trent Driver
Head of Academic





NEWtalks – Real teachers talk about how they teach

Newington is committed to continuous improvement. There are many conversations and professional programs at the College which aim to improve teaching and learning. A new program which is available to parents is NEWtalks – a series of presentations from teaching staff on elements of Teaching and Learning.

NEWtalks began with a riveting lecture from the Head of Academic (Teaching and Learning) at Stanmore, Mr Trent Driver, who responded to questions about the “holy grail” of teaching and learning – differentiation – sometimes known as personalised learning. 

Trent was first asked, “What is quality teaching?” His response began with an important reflection that teaching is about developing relationships with all boys in the class and responding to their unique needs. Trent went on to discuss his ideals about personalised assessment, where there is no ceiling to how a student may respond to an assessment. This challenges the high performance learner to delve deeper a subject area. In essence, differentiation is a system which allows for all learners to engage at their level and demonstrate what they know and can do, and be inspired to do better.

Trent’s NEWtalk was the first in a series which will address a range of issues associated with tailoring learning so that it meets the needs of each boy. To come NEWtalks will explore differentiation across departments from Maths and Science to Journalism and High Potential.

View Trent’s talk on ClickView here.

Stay tuned for NEWtalks in the near future.

Mr Vic Branson
Assistant to the Headmaster

Maths not a problem for UNSW School Competition Winner Adrian Lo

Year 9 student Adrian Lo (9/LE), was awarded 1st Prize in the Junior Division of the UNSW School Mathematics Competition on Friday, 8 September. Adrian is in Year 9 at Newington, and at just 13 years of age, is currently completing his HSC in Extension 2 Maths.

The Competition is open to all students in NSW and the ACT, and is devised to measure mathematical insight and ingenuity beyond what is assessed in standard testing. A total of the 679 top maths students in the State participated and of these, only around 60 students receive an award. 

“Unlike syllabus maths where you follow a standard method, the problems in the UNSW Maths Comp require more thinking outside the box,” Adrian said.

“It can take an hour to find the correct approach to a problem. However, once the correct approach is found, the question can be solved in less than 15 minutes.”

Adrian was joined by Thomas Newham (10/MA) and Kenny Chen (11/FL) who placed in the top 60 in the State in the Junior and Senior Divisions respectively.

Head of Maths at Newington, Mr Graeme Phillips said, “This is a tremendous achievement for each of the boys.

“Typically, only the top Mathematics students sit this exam – it is difficult. To gain any award is indeed an achievement.”

The competition has been open each year since 1962, and recently has served as a springboard to joining the Australian team in the International Mathematics Olympiad. Some winners like Adrian have gone on to achieve medals at the contest.

Adrian aims to work towards a career in Maths or Physics, and enjoys the certainty and concision of maths.

“Maths is very concise – you are right or you are wrong. It is very rare to be neither right nor wrong,” he said. “I get an immense satisfaction after solving a really hard problem, as well as when I discover new concepts.”

Continuing Journey of a “New” Boy – From Senior Captain to Year 7 Coach

At the Football End of Season Dinner, the audience of supporters, players, coaches and directors were rewarded with a heartfelt speech given by the 2016 Captain of Football, Old Newingtonian and now year 7 coach Sam Mehmet. Speaking about both his transition from player to coach, and reflecting on the good times he’s had as both, his address is testament to the strength of our Football community.

The past 12 months have been incredible, although it has left me with a deep hole in my heart, a burning desire to play for Newington Football again. Despite Mr Verco telling me to just shave and chuck on a Newington Jersey, I have had to succumb to the sideline this year as a Coach.

This year as a coach I have had the pleasure of taking the Open 8ths team and the 13Cs. In the 13s age group I have taken every team on a Saturday from the 13As down to the Hs; with the added pleasure today of travelling from the Shire to King’s by 7:30 AM. Likewise I have been coaching with the open 5ths to 10ths at training. While I hope that I was able to expand these boys’ knowledge about football, I learnt that they had expanded mine.

I was with boys from teams that I had never engaged with before, not even in my year as Captain last season. I was able to see the smile on Athan Tragotsalos’ (7/JN) face when his 13Hs team scored a goal, coming up to me after the game saying “We did it Sir, We did it”; ultimately putting a smile on my face. Or the opportunity to coach some of the most genuine and nicest men I’ve met; Tom Whitnall (11/PR), Danny Kalis (12/LE), Eden Ding (11/MA), Yusuf Ali (12/KL), Sebastian Jackson (11/ME); even at times Jeremiah Diskoros (11/MA) “Mehmet cuz, what’d yous get up to on the weekend.” You see, these are the boys that are the backbone of the Football Program; they never get their name mentioned on SPACES or at Assembly, but each week I see them putting in their hard work no matter what team they are in.

I’ve often been asked the question; “If you don’t make it professionally Mehm after all these years, then what was the point?”

The point is that despite professional football, I can name over 100 situations where football itself and playing football will help you with a life situation – it teaches you discipline, maturity, respect, teamwork. These are all things that Newington embodies and things I’ve learnt on a football pitch.

But after all, yes football may help with these things, but it is also the game that I love. And what is life without passions? Just working away and not enjoying yourself? I encourage each of you to find your passion away from study and work and never let go of these things; passions are the very things that keep us sane and ultimately let us live life itself. Amongst my career and however busy I get, I’ve learnt to always continue and never lose sight of my passions.

For the Year 7s to 11s I hope you continue with the Football Program next season, but specifically for the Year 12s; I hope you all continue to play next year and don’t lose sight of your own passions. Play for your Uni, play for the local club, trial for Reps, whatever level; I urge you guys to continue playing.

This year I was fortunate enough to play at Hakoah U20s with my Striking partner Connor Eldridge (ON 2016) from last season. While it has been an enjoyable season at Hakoah, I never forget Mr Verco’s words from the dressing room in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“Lads… look around you … make the most of this opportunity playing for the College, alongside your mates, because once you walk out those gates you will never have the same opportunity to play with your best friends like this again.” 

When I look back on my footballing journey at Newington, the thing I will remember most is playing with my mates and being able to come together to share what we love.

Sadly for this year’s Year 12 they have played their last game together, but for the younger boys, every time you wear that Wyvern, treat it likes it’s your last game.

Sam Mehmet (ON 2016)
Football Coach

Ethical farming at Feather and Bone

On Monday, 28 August both of the classes in the Year 10 Food Technology course went on an excursion to the Feather and Bone Butchery owned by Grant and Laura Dalrymple – proud supporters of the ethical and sustainable farming movement. The excursion was conducted to teach the boys about the process of food making in the food product development module in the two-year course.   

The butchery is located in Marrickville and was established in 2011 with the intent of trying to give a market to the farmers that practice rotational farming, which is more sustainable and healthier for the consumers. Rotational farming is a systematic way of farming animals in which the animals are moved from paddock to paddock allowing the grass to naturally reproduce and therefore not have to use any chemicals or harmful pesticides that will eventually be found in the food. When explaining why they opened the butcher

Laura said “We wanted to bring the terroir around wine making into the farming industry.” Terroir is essentially the context of the grapes regarding the process of making wine and Grant and Laura thought that would be a healthy philosophy to apply to our consumption of meat. They then quickly found out that meat tasted better if it had been brought up on organic foods and had not been exposed to harsh chemicals meaning consumers were willing to pay a little extra for better quality meat.

When the business started in 2011, the butcher was sourcing from around 5 to 6 different farms as the technique was not proffered by the farmers but now they are sourcing from 30 to 35 farms. Laura said “The rotational organic farming industry has grown immensely in the last five years as the consumers have decided that they prefer the taste and knowledge around the food that they are eating. Grant admitted himself that their products cost slightly more than the conventional way of farming but the process is ethically worth it.

The boys really enjoyed the excursion especially the demonstrations and practicals that were completed which included the piping of sausages, making sausage meat and de-boning a whole organic chicken.

When asked about the excursion Ben Leung () replied “I reckon I will use the skill of being able to de-bone a chicken many times later in life.” While Ethan Kelly said “I preferred the making of the sausages because I would not normally be able to use the equipment and it was a good experience”. It is evident that the students definitely enjoyed the excursion as it was the perfect mix of practical and theory.

Overall, the general feeling of the boys after the excursion was that they supported the ethics that Laura and Grant wanted to achieve while owning a butcher, and would recommend the excursion to the other year groups. I personally would go to the Feather and Bone to buy quality meat when needed.  

William Christensen (10/ME)

Amorality and the Artist

On Wednesday, 6 September the Centre for Ethics welcomed Pulitzer Prize winner Mr Sebastian Smee to present a lecture titled ‘Artistic License – Why do so many great artists defy conventional morality?’.

Mr Smee is the current Art Critic for the Boston Globe and author of numerous books on Modern Art. He is no stranger to the tumultous personal lives of Pablo PIcasso and Willem de Kooning to name just two, and noticed a trend of great artists behaving badly while writing his book The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art.

While not wanting to pass judgment on artists whose works have transcended time and culture, Mr Smee said “I simply wanted to know what happened, yet what I found was dismaying… did [Edgar] Degas have to be so prickly towards women and an Anti-semite at the end of his life?”

Mr Smee said that today when we look back on the bad behaviour of these artists, what we see is an age-old cliche – the artist as boheme, the artist as rabble-rouser, and the artist as the pervert. Yet, it remains evident in so many examples that bad behaviour and good art often goes hand-in-hand. But why?

Mr Smee used Edvard Munch, Iris Murdoch, Jackson Pollock and Lucien Freud as examples of historical figures who fit this stereotype. Why has showcasing moral and personal failings at the same time as hosting the capacity to create sublime works that defy convention become so commonplace amongst these cultural elites he asks.

“Iris Murdoch was complicated. She was capable of great selfishness, betrayal and had a weakness for cruelty”, said Mr Smee. But Ms Murdoch was also interested in ethics, and her works held an ethical purpose in showing people the very decay that they avoid and shun.

“Murdoch believed in realism and imagination as a moral discipline. Attention is a form of love and good artists are very good at paying attention”.

Mr Smee said that attention gives no explanation or excuse for the misanthropy, craziness and personal failings of the artists he’s written about but suggests an alternative way of seeing them.

“Successful creativity comes from a state of mind that is hugely enviable – it’s about being on a roll and moving by instinct not by custom” he said.

“The rest of us are fascinated by this state of being and feel threatened by them, so we caricature them… I am not at all recommending bad behaviour thinking that you need to be a poseur to be creatively excellent, but artists are just like us, just more so. They are not asking us to like them as moral beings”

Join us for the next Centre for Ethics Public lecture with Rachel Botsman on the Changing Rules of Trust. Rachel joins us on Wednesday, 29 November from 6:30 PM in OBLT. Contact Newington College Reception on 02 9568 9333 or contact@newington.nsw.edu.au to reserve your place

“Sarg, can you help?”

Staff are one of the most valuable assets of our community here at Newington. When asked which staff members contribute the most to the lives of the students, names of teachers usually pop up, but another two that might be at the forefront of a boy’s mind would be Mr Dodson and Ms Byrant.

John Dodson and Valerie Bryant are two of our Duty Officers or “Sergeants” at the Stanmore 7-12 Campus. They are both former police officers and draw on their combined 60 years of knowledge in community policing to make sure that boys are safe before, after and during school.

One of their daily tasks is ‘crossing duty’ on the corner of Holt Street and Cambridge Street at Stanmore Station, watching quietly as the boys pour off the trains and navigate their way up to Stanmore 7-12 or to Wyvern House. As daily commuters, Mr Bruce Wilson and his son Richard in Year 2 at Wyvern, stop to chat with John on a regular basis and Richard shares his love of AFL. Mr Wilson took this photo and shared it with John.

“We gain respect by interacting with the boys before school, at recess and lunch when they are not involved in their normal classroom environment,” said John.

While in the past the ‘sergeants’ role was one of instilling fear for infringements these days it is more about helping the boys to be the best they can be, keeping standards of reasonable and considerate behaviour as the benchmark and being safe. The Duty Officers spend a great deal of time ensuring that lose ends are tied up and that the boys are found when, and where, they need to be. 

But one of the most significant value moments in their day would have to be the relief when there is a reunion of a boy and his belongings! “The most common question we are asked is, ‘Sarg, can you help me? I have lost my iPad or my school bag?’ “. The return rate we are delighted to say is high, after interrogating questions such as, “Where did you last have it?”






The little things behind big ideas

During the last school holidays Year 11 student Angus Crump (11/LE) was selected to attend the Yale Young Global Scholars Program in Applied Sciences and Engineering at Yale University.

The program ran for an action-packed two weeks that involved numerous activities that challenged students to participate lectures, seminars, discussion sections and to mingle with other students and professors from around the world. This year’s course covered topics ranging from International Security to Economics and Law. Angus gave us a snapshot of what it was like to visit and learn at one of the top universities in the world. 

I attended the Applied Science & Engineering session which is designed for students interested in the learning and application of scientific principles to solve real world problems. It was a truly revolutionary experience and I am so glad that I went. In this, I am also extremely grateful to those who helped me get there. Through YYGS, I have not only gained a vast sum of content knowledge, but more importantly, learnt many important life lessons. In reflection of my time at Yale, I have come to realise the importance of the little things in life. 

Mundanity has always been my greatest fear. I am afraid of wasting my time here on earth. I am conscious that my reality is bound by death and hence have felt pressured into success. I am in internal strife, in a battle between my grand plans and the seemingly insurmountable blockades they pose. But YYGS has provided light in this dark hole of circular reasoning.

YYGS has come to show me the importance of the little things in tackling big and small issues alike – from how to combat climate change to how to make a friend. Although the task may at first seem hard, it always starts with a simple action. You must look at the pathway that lays at your feet, and not the mountain that resides above. Climate policy change could be sparked by a simple email and a great friendship kindled from a simple “hello”. 

Prior to YYGS, I would look up to the intellectual elite as if they were the ‘untouchables’. I wanted to be one, but as the name suggests, I couldn’t get anywhere near them, let alone be a part of them. YYGS allowed for me to sit among this group of intellects, in the form of students and presenters alike. Being able to interact with such people, I could see that they too were not born into success but had to work their way up from the bottom. 

Before YYGS I felt as if I were useless – how could I succeed if I weren’t even the smartest kid in my school? This experience exposed me to so many people from so many situations, and for that, I am so grateful. The diversity of their selves and their experiences has exposed to me the non-linear path of success. I can now recognise that, although I may not yet be great, success lays before me, and all that must be done is to follow the path that lays before me, step by step.

Angus Crump (11/ LE)

Year 7 Father and Son Breakfast

On Friday, 8 September, our Year 7s bought along their fathers, grandfathers, uncles or other significant men to the annual Year 7 Father and Son Breakfast.

With over 220 boys and guests in Centenary Hall the coffee and hot chocolate was much needed for both our boys and their guests.

One father said, “It was hard to drag him out of bed so early, but great to meet so many the fathers of Year 7”.

Thank you to Helen Graham and Kathy Walsh from the NEW Women P&F group who began preparing for the event at the crack of dawn, and for leading the team of wonderful NEW Women assistants in the organisation.

Over 13 litres of coffee and 50 litres of hot chocolate and 100 apples were served and as a souvenir. each father and son received their very own Newington College Keep Cup to take home.

This year on the menu our guests were fed breakfast pizzas from Lacantro in Leichhardt.

Congratulations goes to Mark Conor who won the lucky door prize of a Father and Son strength and conditioning session with our own Director of Strength and Conditioning, Mr Nathan Parnham, and a special thanks goes to our Head of Year 7, Ms Colleen Scalone.

Can a tick make you sick?

Ticks are small eight legged parasites that feed on animal and human blood. This picture shows a tick and then an engorged tick.

The most significant tick in Australia is the paralysis tick and is found along a 20km wide band along the eastern seaboard and possibly into Tasmania. This tick is most active during periods of high humidity, especially after rain, and this is when you should take particular care to avoid tick bites, but you can be bitten all year round.

Paralysis ticks rely on passing animals/humans to feed on their blood. They climb up along stems of grass or low branches but do not drop from trees. Once on a person they generally move up the body and attach to the neck, head or scalp. It attaches by piercing its mouth into the skin and feeds on our blood. We are only bitten by female ticks!

Most tick bites do not cause problems except for minor irritation and redness at the site but some bites can cause tick disease, tick paralysis or allergy.

Tick Paralysis is more common in children and causes headaches, rash, flu like symptoms, unsteady walk and partial facial paralysis. These symptoms develop over days and recovery is slow.

Tick typhus is an infection that can develop and is treated with antibiotics. Other serious illnesses, such as a Lyme disease-like syndrome, may be caused by exposure to Australian ticks, however there is no evidence yet this is the case.

Tick allergy/anaphylaxis can cause swelling of the throat, breathing difficulties and collapse. It is important to note people who suffer an anaphylactic reaction to a tick only do so when the tick is disturbed.

So how do you remove a tick?

Well the latest advice from experts is FREEZE IT; DON’T SQUEEZE IT

If you use household tweezers or a hook like tool then the tick can inject more saliva which is potentially infectious, meaning you could pick up a disease from the tick, become allergic to the tick or you could develop an allergy to meat. Do not reach for Methylated spirits, Kerosene, needles or lit matches!

ASCIA (the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) recommend that you freeze the adult tick using Wart Off Freeze, or Elastoplast Cold Spray as these products contain ether. The tick can be left in place and will drop off within 24 hours usually, taking care not to press or squeeze it in the meantime. Then wash the area with an antiseptic or soap and water. If the tick has to be removed once frozen, you could use a fine toothed surgical tweezers. Grip close to the mouth and pull up in one motion.

People who have anaphylaxis (severe life threatening allergy) to ticks should always carry an Epipen.

Small larvae or nymphs can be treated by using a permethrin cream (e.g. Lyclear) from the chemist. DAB IT, DON’T GRAB IT!

Watch this YouTube video on how to remove ticks from Assoc Prof Sheryl Van Nunen (Royal North Shore Hospital). Dr Van Nunen was the first to describe the association between tick bites and meat anaphylaxis:

Mammalian Meat Allergy (MMA) is becoming more common and was first discovered in Australia in 2008. MMA is an allergy to meat and sometimes dairy and gelatine, caused by being sensitised earlier to tick bites. Australia has the highest rate of MMA in the world.

Imagine this scenario – a tick bites a possum and part of a sugar molecule from the possum gets into the gut of the tick. The tick then bites a person in October – Harry – and may transmit this molecule to Harry. Now in most cases where ticks bite a person nothing happens but for some reason not fully understood this particular Harry can develop an allergy to meat 1-6 months after the tick bite. This particular Harry may eat his dinner as usual the following March – meat and veg – and then 2-10 hours later as the meat is being digested he suddenly develops symptoms –

  • stomach pains
  • generalised itching and feeling of warmth
  • shortness of breath, wheeze, feeling of impending doom
  • tightening of the throat and collapse

Dial 000 and give Epipen(s) if available.

Treatment of mammalian meat allergy MMA involves total avoidance of meat from mammals (e.g. pork, beef, lamb, veal, goat, rabbit, kangaroo etc. but NOT seafood or chicken). People with MMA may also react to gelatine and mammalian milk so those will need to avoid foods and products containing gelatine like marshmallows, stock cubes, jam, yogurt as well as some medical products. It is best to consult an allergy specialist and a dietitian experienced in MMA regarding what is safe to eat or use. You would also carry an Epipen.

Prevention of tick bites from ASCIA website

Do not scratch anything you can’t see if you live in a tick-endemic area

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when walking in areas where ticks occur;
  • Tuck shirt into trousers;
  • Tuck trouser legs into long socks;
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat;
  • Wear light-coloured clothes, which makes it easier to see ticks;
  • Brush clothing before coming inside to remove ticks;
  • Undress and check for ticks daily, checking carefully in the neck and scalp;
  • An insect repellent may help, particularly ones containing DEET (e.g. RID®, Tropical RID®, Tropical Aerogard®, Bushmans®);
  • Consider using permethrin-treated clothing when exposed to tick habitat (e.g. gardening in tick endemic areas).

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to email me mbates@newington.nsw.edu.au


Sister Margaret Bates
College Nurse

Is this our oldest Cricket team photo?

While clearing up some unprocessed material in the archives recently, I came across what appears to be our earliest original photograph of a Newington cricket team.

The photograph is a studio portrait showing the members of a team dressed in cricket whites, along with an adult wearing a suit. The photograph is mounted on a card, the reverse of which shows it to have been taken in the studio of ‘Artist Photographer’ A.L. Lamartiniere, of 320 George Street, Sydney.

Alexandre Henri Lamartiniere had worked for other Sydney photographers before setting up his own studio, where he specialised in portrait photography, in about 1873. In 1875 he was joined by Charles Kerry, later one of Sydney’s most prominent photographers, who became a partner in the business in 1882: according to Kerry’s biography, the partnership ended soon after when Lamartiniere absconded with Kerry’s money.

On the basis of these dates, it appears that our photograph was taken some time between 1873 and 1882. Our earliest original cricket team photograph previously identified was taken at the College at Stanmore in 1886. The man in the photograph may be Joseph Coates, who taught at Newington from 1864 to 1873 and returned as Head Master in 1877.

I have been careful to say ‘earliest original photograph’ here because the Centenary history of the College (David S MacMillan, Newington College 1863-1963, 1963) contains reproductions of two other cricket team portraits from the 1870s. However we do not know the origin of these images and do not have the original photographs.

With the cricket team portrait were three studio portraits of Newington rugby teams also from Lamartiniere’s studio and the same period. Our very earliest rugby team photograph, however, is believed to date from 1870.


Mr David Roberts
College Archivist


Seasons of Change

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…He has made everything beautiful in its time.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 8

As we rapidly move from winter into spring, with the flowers blossoming and the temperature warming, it is worth noting the purpose behind the cyclic nature of life. For Newington boys, the winter sports season has come to a hasty end; the football posts have been removed and the cricket nets and pitches have been installed. As we savour the successes, the defeats and the memories of a competitive winter sporting season, our attention rapidly shifts to a new season packed with new experiences, new challenges and new outcomes.

Seasons of life have a purpose. The passage from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes suggests that it is God’s intention to allow us to go through contrasting times in our life, including heartache and setbacks, as what we can learn through the various challenges we face is critical in shaping our character and essential in shaping our values; who we are and what we stand for. Take trees, flowers and fruit for example; they all start as sprouts nestled in the dirt – yes the dirt. When we excuse the dirt and mess that we go through in life as simply being bad, we dismiss the platform that ensures we ‘sprout forth’ all the good that can come from such seasons. We will do well to embrace each season as a stepping stone toward living life to the full.

Each season brings new opportunities. We can often sit around waiting for a particular season to pass, waiting for another to come, and in the process miss the magic that is within each season. Cold and bitter times in life help us to seek the warmth that comes from those who are wanting to love. Such seasons also help inspire us to put our hope in what will protect us from the winds of despair.

During seasons of illness and injury, we are reminded that we are made to heal, that we are by nature broken and need fixing. Such seasons also provide the necessary platform in learning to be compassionate, empathetic and understanding toward those who will one day experience similar seasons. As much as we would rather avoid such a season, we are reminded that is just that…a season.

There are also seasons of privilege and untold blessing that we can quite easily fail to embrace. Each day as the staff and boys make their way through the Millner Gates, down Memorial Drive into the College, there is so much to be thankful and praise God for. What an honour it is to be part of a community that is rich in values and history, whose educators, sports coaches, music tutors, pastoral mentors and staff alike, care about the development and well being of each of the boys. Even through the more challenging seasons we face, if we honour and respect each season for what it brings, we will grow in wisdom and be enriched in so many ways.

What season of life would you say you are in?  How can you honour and respect that season?  What wisdom do you need in order to grow during this phase of your life?


Reverend Geordie Barham
College Chaplain

Class of 2017 Football remember the season that was

What is success? – Success in school? Success in sport? Success in life? Success in Newington Football?

What is the yardstick for success? Is it simply the accumulation of silverware?

The 2017 Newington College Senior squads did amass silverware, tasted victory, scored goals, and earned representation at AAGPS level in record numbers. However success for Newington students must be measured through the growth of our boys characters, their genuine unity of purpose, the degrees to which they commit to the hard work required to forge those incremental steps, the respect transmitted to colleagues, staff, opponents and officials alike, the resilience which endures into adult life in so many facets of that life, and the ultimate satisfaction and enjoyment that only reveals itself when this progressive evolution comes to a finale.

This is indeed the story of the class of 2017, a class not just comprising the 11 players that started the final King’s match, but the 40 plus boys who individually committed to strive to attain the honour and distinction of wearing the white Wyvern-bedecked jersey, each boy sacrificing much on the journey.

But the journey for the departing Year 12 football contingent was not just a reflection of a single year, but the coalescence of years of football “growing up” at Newington, at Wyvern, at Lindfield, and at other educational institutions. Nobody tells it better than the boys themselves.

What did you take away from the Newington Football Program?

“I remember in Year 10, playing under Mr Mountain. He told me that if I didn’t work on my crossing, I’d never be able to make it in a senior team. I remember how deflated I was, yet how this encounter sparked a burning desire to improve. I think this memory reflects my experience of the Newington College Football Program. Celebrating the highs, and overcoming the lows, made my time at Newington Football a true rollercoaster ride, however I think it taught me a lot about resilience, about following passion, and making sacrifices for those around you. The opportunity over the last 6 years to be a part of something larger than myself, to work in a team to achieve common goals, has been a unique journey, and has made memories I’m sure I’ll cherish in years to come.”

“The camaraderie, the competitiveness and the bonds that were formed eclipsed all of my previous expectations.”

“Trips to Canberra and Narrabean for pre-season and to Adelaide for the IBC cup allowed all the boys to get close and really form a true squad of players who will fight for each other no matter the circumstances.”

“I guess Newington football been an integral part of my growth as an individual and character- being able to play with and learn from some of the most amazing people. I feel like what I’ve gained from the program is to treat every occasion as if it were your last, leaving yourself with no regrets and at the end of the season, in turn, allowing yourself to be the best player you can be.”

“The bonds and memories I have shared with the boys will be with me for years and years. Participating in the football program was an opportunity to test myself as a person and an athlete. It not only made me grow as an individual but taught me the value of teamwork.”

“Newington football has played a huge role in my schooling life, being involved in the program for 10 years. What I’ve found to be the best part of Newington football however is how its culture differs from the culture at many club organisations. You know you’ll be playing for the school week-in, week-out, and it’s always enjoyable to play with people who are your close mates and people who you see 6 times a week, and that’s why Newington football for me has been so special.”

“This program has allowed me to form memories and relationships that I will never forget. Besides this, the program has taught me to be resilient and possess grit.”

“How no individual, can ever exceed the importance of the team, no matter how well you’ve played, no matter how long you’ve played, and certainly no matter how good you think you are.

The GPS competition and CIS Cup, provide different types of opposition, widening your scope, in terms of football experience. To embrace the competition and battle within your team, but more so, yourself.  Treat every moment in the limelight of Newington Football, whether you have your very own article or photo or mention on spaces, as a privilege and with humility. Because at no stage ever, in football and life is your position locked-in, because after every run, pass, half, game, season, your football ability and performance changes for the better or the worse.  Treat every moment on the football pitch as an opportunity. Here at Newington, boys aren’t necessarily dropped to the bench, boys are given the opportunity to shine in a lower team.”

“If there’s one thing that this program has taught me, is what it means to be tough. To have a strong, secure, impenetrable mental and moral makeup, capable of responding to adversity with eager anticipation to overcome the opportunity. To be able to pick up a mirror, face your own flawed self, and refuse run away from your insecurities, so that you can develop self-sufficiency through self-perseverance and self-criticism.”

“I hope that you can receive that surprise call up to the firsts in the very first CIS Cup fixture next year, but also to hope that you open your emails to see that your name isn’t on the list, so you value the privilege of playing for the First XI of Newington College. I hope that you have the skill and composure to score the winning goal, or make the final penalty save in the premiership game of the 2018 GPS season, but also hope that you air-swing the final shot into an open goal, or mistime a tackle in your own penalty box, so you value the reaffirming trust and support from the coaching staff in your footballing ability to perform. It’s turbulent moments like these that create men, that separate boys from men, but more importantly contribute to the makeup of your character, which will act as a foundation for any future endeavours.”

“We were honoured to host former Socceroos Manager, Rale Rasic OAM, as he spoke to us about his footballing experiences. We remembered Rale’s advice on the key to success. To quote Rale, “In football, and in life, to succeed you need desire”. And it was this phrase that stuck within us all, becoming an unofficial motto for the Senior Squad of 2017. What we had was mateship, and in keeping with our school theme of My strength is you support, having all your teammates beside you when you’re feeling down gives you and incredible amount of strength to continue going.”

“I started high school football playing in the 13Bs coached by my then mentor, Mrs Diana Organ. I remember her speaking about her own coaching career, boasting an undefeated school record which she wanted to maintain. And yet, despite the pressure, we managed to do so, something I will forever cherish. Her passing was a significant loss for me and her spirit around the school will be dearly missed. Mrs Organ always encouraged us to pursue what we desired.”

“Never settle for mediocre, have the desire to want more.”

Now that’s Success. A growth Mindset. A willingness to acknowledge that meeting adversity  and overcoming it is the true barometer of success in sport and in life. The 2017 Senior squad have left an indelible impression for the next generation. The baton passes on. The classes of 2018 and beyond have a clear “guide to success” writ large on their horizons. Success is a many faceted entity. Sincere thanks to all our departing Year 12 boys for leaving personal legacies which have enriched us all.