Old Sydneians’ Newsletter - Volume 32

Sydney Grammar School

From the President of the OSU

The year is racing by but we are ever closer to the next big event – The Great Debate. The Committee has assembled an exceptional team this year to take on the all-conquering School team, that recently won the ISDA championship for the third year running. If you haven’t booked your places, please do so immediately as we are expecting record numbers this year. 

It will take place on Friday 21 July at the School in the Alastair Mackerras Theatre. Click on image below to book tickets.

 Sydney Grammar School will hold a parliamentary style debate on the topic:

That the Royal Family should surrender their sceptres

Join us as the Old Boys take on Grammar’s finest debaters 

The Speaker:

The Hon Justice François Kunc (OS 1980) and his son Thomas (OS 2017) are both proud Old Sydneians. His Honour debated throughout his time at College Street, ending as Captain of Debating in between being Editor of The Sydneian and School Archivist, as well as taking part in numerous musical activities. After six years as a solicitor at Allen Allen & Hemsley, he was called to the Bar, taking silk in 2007 and then was appointed to the NSW Supreme Court in 2013. While used to presiding in a court room, he hasn’t debated for some time. His last outing representing the School was at the GPS Gold Challenge. Guaranteed however, his Honour will be well in control of this debate.

The Government:

James Hooke (OS 1988) debated for the Grammar GPS Firsts, combined GPS, NSW Schools and Australian Schools Debating Team who were runners up at the inaugural World Schools Debating Championship. He debated at university and coached ISDA teams at Grammar. He has worked a lawyer, freelance writer, management consultant, newspaper publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, and with Macquarie Group, where he served as CEO of New York and Australian Stock Exchange listed companies. He is now a company director. 
Damien Timms (OS 1994) is another frustrated lawyer. He works during the day at a serious law firm doing serious law things. But at night he is TippyTappy Sports, a platform for alternative sports commentary. He has made sports documentaries in exotic locales like Vanuatu, India and… Narrabeen. He’s best known for being the Tony Curtis straight man to Dom Knight’s Jerry Lewis.
Dom Knight (OS 1994) views Timms as more of a Jack Lemmon. At Grammar, he edited a disreputable magazine called The Tiger, and later founded a disreputable satirical newspaper called The Chaser. At university, he ran GPS and ISDA adjudicating, and in that capacity, has already awarded this debate to the OSU. He has been a radio presenter, television writer and novelist, and like everyone else in comedy, is now doing a podcast. He’s considering giving up on the media and starting a hedge fund, whatever that is.

The Opposition:

The Sydney Grammar Team is captained by Remy Sloan (VI) who is ready for an exciting rematch against the Old Boys. Remy’s pilgrim ancestry provides a sense of patriotic duty to win this debate.
Kasra Roushan (VI), who embodies the ancient civilisation of Persia right up to its fractured modern history, is still bitter about British involvement in the 1953 Iranian coup. From this, he will aim to seek his revenge in the debate.
Will Ellis (V) has a unique ability to make the most complex things simple. This simplicity often leads his opponent into a trap of complacency, in debate changing moments.
Daniel Lloyd Hurwitz (V) has an ambivalent perspective of the crown. Being a UK citizen and also a member of the opposition, Dan will be able to reveal the weaknesses of the Old Boys’ team—weaknesses they may not themselves realise exist.

Back to Weigall

The following day is the official Back to Weigall day where the School will be competing against Shore in rugby and The Scots College in football; please come along to support the boys. The First XV are undefeated and the Second XV have two wins from three in the GPS competition, while the First XI are one from three and building, and the Second XI are undefeated. It is a great opportunity to gather to watch some quality action on the field and share some even better stories of your past sporting exploits. (Firsts XI at 10:30am and Firsts XV at 11:00 am).

2023 Annual Long Lunch

I am pleased to update that the Annual Long Lunch will take place on Friday 22 September in the Strangers’ Room at NSW Parliament House, a fantastic venue for our 130th celebration. The celebration will start at 12:00pm. There is an early bird offer, book a table of ten and receive a 10% discount before 5 August 2023, prizes to be won and several exciting and exceptional Old Sydneians sharing their stories. This is not one to be missed so please gather together your year groups and book your tickets here without delay.

OSU Scholarship

Congratulations to Will Jones (VI) who is the recipient of the 2023 OSU Scholarship.

L to R: Mr Walter MacCallum, Will Jones (VI) and Dr Richard Malpass

Lastly, Grammar shone brightly again this year in the King’s Birthday honours. The Committee proudly congratulates the following Old Sydneians on their well-deserved awards:

King’s Birthday Honours 2023

Officer (AO) of The Order of Australia in The General Division

Mr Orwell Peter Phillips AO (OS 1968, Former OSU President 1997-1999)

For distinguished service to heritage conservation, to architecture, and to professional organisations.

Medal (OAM) of The Order of Australia in The General Division

Mr Donald Wilson Mackay OAM (OS 1951)

For service to the arts.

Mr Simon Pennington OAM (OS 1993)

For service to rowing.

Mr John Harcourt Turner OAM (OS 1967)

For service to the people of and Parliament of New South Wales.

Dr Brett Andrew O’Donnell OAM (OS 1976)

For service to ophthalmology.

Member (AM) of The Order of Australia in The Military Division

Brigadier Hugh Walter Meggitt AM CSC (OS 1988)

For exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in capability development, modernisation and diplomatic relations.

Walter MacCallum


The biennial Music Festival was based on ‘Music for Kings and Queens’. The festival opened with a cabaret performance by the College Street vocal pupils, and this was quickly followed by Grammarpalooza and a guitar concert. The festival culminated in the Term II Concert on Thursday 11 May, which included ensembles from College Street, Edgecliff and St Ives Preparatory. The finale of the evening was a performance of Handel’s coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, sung by boys from all three campuses and a special festival choir made up of parents, staff and Old Sydneians, and accompanied by the School Orchestra. This performance, involving over 400 performers, was a stunning conclusion to the festival.


The football programme continues to grow and competes at the highest level on a weekly basis. The First XI beat St Ignatius’ College 3-2 away from home to get their season started in the right direction. The Second XI won the pre-season Plate Cup 1-0 against Shore. This triggered a great start to the season, and they are sitting mid-table with a win and two draws after a convincing 3-0 routing of The King’s School. The Junior teams are showing great promise, particularly the 15As. They have come together as a team and are playing a free-flowing game. With thirty teams going out to battle weekly, the football programme sits in a very stable position.

The Second XI after winning the Plate Cup


The First XV have won all three GPS rounds, beating St Joseph’s College at home, St Ignatius’ College away at Leichhardt Oval and The Armidale School away in Armidale. The goal is to increase the effort and focus going into the holiday training block before the second half of the season in Term III.

Congratulations to Oliver Burton and Bo Baffsky (both VI), who have both won GPS representation. Oliver has been selected in the GPS Blue (Third) team, and Bo was named in the GPS White (Fourth) team. Mr Tyrone Smith, Director of Rugby and coach of the First XV, will be coaching the GPS First XV team, and Mr Jordan Goddard who coaches the First XV forwards will coach the GPS Blue (Third) team.

It was a ‘family affair’ at Weigall on Saturday 27 May for the Baffskys.
Daniel (OS 1990) is wearing his father’s (David OS 1958) leather jacket and his sons, Arky (V) and Bo (VI) are beside him.

Daniel’s original 12 and 13, Arky’s 14 and Bo’s 15 First XV jerseys

Please note Back to Weigall Day is:

Saturday 22 July

Rugby v Shore
Football v The Scots College

Cross Country

In the recent CIS Cross Country Championships, 14 Sydney Grammar runners qualified, with Julian Wylie (IV) progressing to the NSW Championships in July. Our relay team also placed third in this year’s Head of the Hill senior relay in the Balmoral Burn. Finally, at the midpoint of the season, the strong intermediates team has a cumulative second place in the GPS.


Twelve of our intermediate fencers qualified for the National Schools Championships. The Championships were held on Saturday 17 June and Ryan Zhu (Form II) won a silver medal in the individual event, and our A team – comprised of Ryan and Ethan He (Form II) and Benjamin Allton and Kiran Gallego Sivaraman (both Form III) – won gold in the team event.

The Melbourne A-Team


Whilst the volleyball competition rounds continue, Finlay McDonald, Sam Garvin and Sam Patradoon (all VI) were selected for the NSWCIS team. They competed at the NSW All Schools Tri-Series but were unfortunately defeated in a close game. Finlay McDonald, Sam Garvin, and Kai Clement (V) have also been selected for the GPS Volleyball Representative Team.

Friday 14 July 

**NEW EVENT** 1955-1957 Lunch, Weigall – book here 

Saturday 22 July

1988 35th Reunion, Back to Weigall Day, School Tour, Lord Roberts (Convenor: Gavin Lesnie) – book here 

Friday 4 August 

1993 30th Reunion, School Tour, Big School Cocktail Party (Convenor: Costa Cominos) - book here

Saturday 12 August

1968 55th Reunion Lunch, Nick’s Seafood Restaurant Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay Promenade (Convenor: Kim Rudder)

Saturday 2 September

1983 40th Reunion, School Tour, Verandah Bar (Convenors: Nigel Head, Paul Simos, Andrew Ferster) 

Friday 8 September

1973 50th Reunion Lunch, Union Hotel North Sydney, (Convenors: Tony Crawford, Jon Abbott, Geoff Stewart) 

Friday 3 November

1963 60th Reunion Lunch, Weigall (Convenors: Jim Barkell, Tim Ross) 

Saturday 11 November

2003 20th Reunion, School Tour, Big School Cocktail Party (Convenor: Jeremy Atkin) 

Wednesday 15 November

1950-1954 Annual Lunch (with partners), Alastair Mackerras Theatre Foyer 

To be confirmed: 

2013 10th Reunion on 18 November (Convenors: Emmanuel Hart, William Lee) 

2018 5th Reunion (Convenor: Charlie Abel) 

On Thursday 27 April, seven Old Sydneians visited St Ives Preparatory School. They all commenced at St Ives in 1955 (its first full year) and made it through to leave College Street in 1967. 

L to R: David Archbold, Bruce Walker, David Fairlie, Geoff Power, John Cutler AM, Richard Hughes and Allan Farrar

Children’s Literacy Presentation for Old Sydneians

Mrs Rowena Lee, former Headmaster of St Ives Preparatory School, will be giving a presentation for Old Sydneians and their partners to enhance children’s literacy and to develop their reading and writing skills. Rowena’s presentation will be on Thursday 31 August at 6:30pm for 7:00pm in the School Hall at Sydney Grammar School St Ives.

All Old Sydneians, who are parents to children aged 0-14, are invited to attend with their partners, irrespective of their association with St Ives. 

Rowena’s presentation will include reading guides as well as strategies to develop positive reading habits.

For further information, please contact Edwina Alexander on 8302 5218. Bookings are now being accepted, please click here to make a booking.

Philip Creagh (OS 1966)

Philip was at College Street for eight years, and still remembers many masters with affection. History was one of his favourite subjects with Major Alec Hill (‘the Baron’), as well as that wonderful character Paul DuToit. On reflection, he believes that the best lessons his masters taught were to inspire and instil a sense of curiosity about life.

Philip ‘conquered’ Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney and then disappeared overseas for four years in Africa, Canada, England and the USA. The next thirty years were spent in Canberra in private practice, before seeking warmer climes in Narooma.

However, history and the School’s wonderful Great War Memorial beckoned. A pilgrimage of several overseas trips ensued to visit all the Old Boys’ battlefields and their final resting places. Twelve years later, after countless hours of study, a book was published on the stories of our Old Boys on the centre panel.

Philip regards it as an honour and a privilege to have visited these brave Old Boys and bring the story of their lives to our attention. Their stories are part of our School's heritage and are now available to all in his published book In Gallant Company.

Book for Sale

Dr Philip Creagh’s book honouring the Old Sydneians who died in World War I is available, at a cost of $65 plus postage via the link below. It includes short biographies of each Old Sydneian who didn’t make it home, comprising details of their school career, the circumstances in which they found themselves during the war and events leading to their untimely demise. Purchase a copy here

Tom Levi (OS 2003)

Tom started his law career with an internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and an arbitration between Sudan and South Sudan at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. After a stint in commercial law back in Australia, he decided to change careers to work more creatively on problems. Supported by an MBA at INSEAD, he moved into management consulting at Nous Group. His work is focused on improved societal outcomes, such as a government school system that better supports students with disability and enables effective teacher workloads, a re-designed gambling help system to reduce the impacts of problem gambling, and more effective support operations at defence bases.

Outside of work, Tom is the chairperson of Little Dreamers Australia, which supports children that have caring responsibilities for siblings, parents and other family members with disability, injury, illness or addiction. He is also a director of the NSW Board of Jewish Education, and a surf lifesaving patrol captain at Bondi Beach.

Tom has fond memories of his time at Sydney Grammar School, including the inaugural Prefects Charity Committee, the Year 10 trip to France with Jose Pavis, project managing large musicals like Into the Woods, and trumpet playing with the late Vlad Khusid!

Anthony Chan (OS 2016)

Anthony recently graduated with a Bachelor in Music (Violin Performance) at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston after initial studies at the Manhattan School of Music. During his time overseas, he was fortunate enough to participate in masterclasses with the Pacifica String Quartet, the American String Quartet and the Borromeo String Quartet. A particular highlight of this period included festival appearances at the Aspen Music Festival, Vivace Music Foundation and the Keshet Eilon Summer Mastercourse Series.

He has performed as the associate concertmaster of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and regularly casuals with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.  

Anthony will be returning to America this August to begin postgraduate studies at The Juilliard School in New York. He hopes to use this opportunity to develop his dream of creating a chamber music organisation in Australia. 

Looking back at his time at School, he fondly remembers taking part in various musicals and orchestral ensembles, and he feels that leading the Orchestra helped in developing his understanding of orchestral playing and leadership. He continues to teach casually at College Street during the US summer holidays and guides the boys in chamber music. Anthony will be performing two concerts next term, one in the first week of Term III at College Street and the other on the 28 July at St Ives Preparatory School. 

Alfred Edward Pickard (History Master from 1965-1994)

Alf was appointed at Sydney Grammar School in 1965, to teach History and Geography, but from 1969 taught History alone. In 1970 he became Subject Master in History. He relinquished that post in 1992 becoming a Subject Master Emeritus until his retirement in 1994.  

Alf was passionate about History, and he introduced new approaches to the teaching of the subject at Grammar during his tenure as Subject Master in History. He coached the First XI Cricket from 1969-1973, and rugby from 1966-69 and 1975-87. Alf was also responsible for co-founding the Philosophical Society and for reviving the pupil newspaper Tiger in 1989.

Alf’s contribution to the teaching of History extended beyond the School. He was a member of the Modern History Syllabus Committee from 1975-1982 and 1988-1990, and of the Examination Committee 1979-1981. He was a very active member of the History Teachers’ Association, serving on its executive for 15 years. His enthusiasm for the teaching of History did not end with his retirement and he continued his work with the HTA for some years after his retirement.

Sadly, Alf passed away on 23 April, aged 88 years.  

The latest edition of SGS MagazineEdition 16, Autumn 2023 is available in an online electronic format here

A vast number of hard copy magazines are ‘returned to sender’ each time the School sends a new edition out to subscribers through the post. If you are regularly on the move and would prefer to receive the SGS Magazine online via email, or would no longer wish to receive a hard copy of the magazine via post, please kindly notify the Alumni Office on (02) 9332 5843 or alumni@sydgram.nsw.edu.au.

You are able to view most editions of SGS Magazine anytime via the School’s website.  

The School’s Archives would appreciate some assistance from the Sydney Grammar community in identifying the following rugby photo. We suspect that it may be from the 1960s.


Any information can be passed on via sgsarchives@sydgram.nsw.edu.au and please let us know whether you do not want your name to be acknowledged as a contributor in the next newsletter.

Thank you to Ian Stevens, Greg Fayn and Geoff Krieger for all their assistance in identifying the following photo from the April edition. 

Answers to the photo of the SGS Cricket 13C XI 1975:

Back row, L-R: Ian Stevens; Matthew Thompson; Robert Laycock; Tony Linton-Jones; Alex Hay; Stephen Mohr

Middle row: Martin Woodhams; Robert McKenzie; David Cotton; Mr JS Sheldon (staff); James McBurney; Andrew Stabback; Scott Fentie

Front row: Geoff Krieger; Geoff Ridalgh

Correction from the April Newsletter

In the listing of the 1968 Under 14Gs Rugby, it said that the Assistant Coach was David Goldstein, but it was Michael Goldstein. Apologies to Michael.

Old Sydneians Newsletter


Mr Steve Gonski


Alumni Office 

Ms Wendy Scotter
Ms Charlotte McColl


Publications Office

Ms Dimetra Skondras-Silva