To all in our wonderful alumni community, welcome to the second edition of The Scotsonian - our alumni e-newsletter.
In this edition, we present a pictorial record of our 50 Years of Scots Gala Dinner held just last Saturday night. It was a wonderful celebration of Scots in the Albury community and to reflect on the many achievements of the school over the years.
We were privileged to hear from three of our former Principals: Mr Alistair Todd, Mr Warren Howlett and Mrs Heather Norton. They certainly have played a significant role in shaping Scots into the school we are proud to call ours today.
Read about the experiences and progress of two of our scholarship holders, School Captain Thalia Cross and promising footballer, Charles Ledger. They are proving worthy recipients of a scholarship with their dedication, loyalty, leadership qualities and application to their work. I’m sure they are destined for big things.
We launch our Giving Day tomorrow. Just as you are proud to be a part of Scots long, proud history, we encourage you to be part of our strong vibrant future, too. We invite members of our Alumni community to join us in the Call Centre Headquarters as we aim to raise significant funds for the Senior Study Centre. Every donation tomorrow will be doubled by our generous matching donors. Help us expand our reach through Giving Day; ensuring our students will soon have access to a contemporary, purpose-built Senior Study Centre encompassing technology and connectivity unsurpassed in our region.
And, finally, we have set a date for our alumni weekend. Save the date of Saturday 29 October and Sunday 30 October.
The Scotsonian is distributed via email to all alumni and we ask that you pass it on to other alumni if you know they haven't received it. Chances are that means we don't have their email address, so also encourage them to update their details on our website: Update your details here . Through this organic networking tree, we hope to restore our database to its former glory.
Mark Geraets Principal
Giving Day • Tuesday, 21 June 2022
For 156 years, Scots has led the way in providing young people with opportunity to reach their full potential. And, it is thanks to the generosity of people from across the School community that our students have always benefited from world-class learning facilities so crucial to students’ successes.
Tomorrow, Tuesday 21 June, help us expand our reach through Giving Day; ensuring our students will soon have access to a contemporary, purpose-built Senior Study Centre encompassing technology and connectivity unsurpassed in our region.
For only one day, when you make a gift to Scots, it will be doubled by our generous matching donors.
Foundation chair Geoff Wright has very proudly made the first pledge as a matching donor. Geoff, who is a proud long term supporter of Scots and who is still closely affiliated to the school through his Year 10 son and two grandchildren, encourages others to dig deep for this cause.
Through Geoff’s generosity and others in our community just like him, when you donate $1 it becomes $2.
$50 becomes $100 $100 becomes $200 $1000 becomes $2000 … and so on.
We welcome donors from a complete range of philanthropic aspirations, so, no matter your goals, your gift will have a positive impact. All donations are tax deductible.
We will run a live tally throughout the day, so you can follow at: scotsgiving.com.au
Thank you for being a part of our School’s long, proud history. On Giving Day we ask you to be a part of our strong, vibrant future, too.
Giving Day • join us in Call Centre Headquarters
We are seeking volunteers to join us in the Call Centre Headquarters on Giving Day. The Scots Board Room will be transformed to become a hub of activity tomorrow. We have parents, staff, executive, board members and friends from the Foundation popping in throughout the day to make a few phone calls to potential donors.
We have calling scripts and will provide training. But really, all you need is a love for the School and a desire to see our Giving Day succeed. We are assured by our partners in Giving Day, Charidy (who do this all the time) that after the first phone call it all becomes much easier. The team atmosphere will be the wind beneath your wings! There will be random prizes for securing donations of a secret amount and a bell to ring when you’ve had a win. We said it would be fun!
If you have a spare hour or two and would like to help, please register HERE.
Why I love Scots
With Giving Day just around the corner, we thought we'd ask some of our current students and staff what they love about Scots.
Giving - Geoff Wright on the warmth of giving
Whenever Geoff Wright has thought about his own mortality, it is with the wisdom of knowing what he needs to do right now to enjoy life, his family and to make a difference in the world.
It is a wisdom borne of business success and life experience; and it has underpinned his generous philanthropy since his retirement in 2016.
This year, Geoff and the family have pledged a significant amount over three years to help build the Senior Study Centre at The Scots School Albury and that gesture is on the back of an even larger donation over 10 years, which they pledged in 2016.
“We’ve always been invested in the school with our four kids going through the school. But now we’ve got grandkids at the school and we want to help the school for them, and for thousands of other kids who will come through Scots.
“As you get older you start to think about this sort of thing. Once you get to my age … well, I started thinking: “We have a duty here: to give back to the school that has done so much for our family.”
His eldest three children, Kim, Chris and Jake, went through Scots from Preschool to Year 12. His youngest child, Damon, is in Year 10, and now two of his grandchildren are in Preschool and Year 1.
The Wright Family is generous to many causes in the Albury community but Geoff believes you have to have one big passion. His philosophy: Pick a project of passion and go hard!
It’s better to give when your hand is warm than when it’s cold.
It’s not unlike his working life philosophy. He opened his first KFC restaurant in 1987 and built an empire of 13 restaurants through long hours, hard work and sacrifice.
His company divested a large part of his interest in the fast food franchise in 2016 and today Geoff oversees the company’s large and diverse investment portfolio.
“I was so involved in running KFC that I didn’t have time to think about philanthropy, what Scots needed or anything else. Now we are enjoying seeing our daughter Kim become involved in the school through her two children. We can’t wait for the day when we have a new Junior School and we are keen to see the construction of the Senior Study Centre. Year 11 and 12s need a space they can call their own; where they can go for a bit of peace and quiet and focus on their study.”
Clearly, Geoff is an astute businessman who has made good financial decisions throughout his life, but he also possesses an unusual humility.
He doesn’t need recognition for his philanthropic gestures and indeed, only agreed to this article to encourage others ahead of Giving Day on Tuesday 21 June.
“There is a certain warmth that you feel when you give and I want to be able to enjoy that while I’m alive. There’s a saying that I think is very apt: It’s better to give when your hand is warm than when it’s cold.
“I don’t know if that’s selfish; wanting to see the impact our assistance can make. But, we don’t do it for the recognition, we do it because it feels nice to be able to give and we want to enjoy that.”
As Chair of the Scots Foundation, Geoff has been a key driver in the bid to secure matching donors ahead of Giving Day. Then, on Giving Day, when someone donates an amount, it will be matched from the Matching Donors pool.
The response has been very positive.
“People are very interested in what we are doing, both with the Senior Study Centre and the proposed new Junior School. Most people I’ve spoken with have donated something. And every donation makes a difference.”
Scholarship Q&A • School Captain Thalia Cross
Year 12 student and School Captain Thalia Cross shares her reflections on Scots and Scholarships. Thalia was awarded an academic scholarship from Year 9-12.
Q1. What has been the best thing about being on a scholarship at Scots?
The opportunities this scholarship has provided me with have been endless. Mainly though, it has given me the opportunity to remain and study at Scots for my Senior School years. WIth this, I have been given surplus opportunities to further myself academically, on the sporting field and the stage. Through these experiences, I have grown so much as an individual, gaining skills along the way as well as memories that I am sure to carry with me for the rest of my life.
Q2. Does being on a scholarship make you feel any deeper connection with the school or more committed to study or have you found it a heavy weight on your shoulders?
Having a scholarship has definitely motivated me to work as hard as I can. I think it's important to note that I was not successful the first time I went for a scholarship. However, I put the work in and dedicated myself to my studies. So for me, the scholarship was almost a reward for the work that I had put in and the progress I had made. In the following years after receiving the scholarship I have continued to remain dedicated to school and have further developed my love for learning.
Q4. In reviewing your answer above, how have you managed the expectation of the school and your own expectation?
Honestly, I have always found the school to be supportive. While they expect us as students to always put our best foot forward, they understand that we're not always going to get it right. As an individual with quite high expectations of themself, knowing this is quite reassuring. The teachers and staff at the school have been very supportive of me and my aspirations. Teachers pushing me when I need that extra push, but also being there to tell me not to go overboard to the point of burning out. In that sense, I feel like I've been able to manage the expectations of the school alongside my own. Yes, there have been challenging points, but I believe that stems from me being individually disappointed in myself for not meeting my own expectations, not from feeling pressure from the school to be a 'perfect' student.
Q5. Where are you hoping to study/do beyond Scots?
It has only been within the current term that I have discovered a possible career path. Being incredibly indecisive, I believe I have been a bit of work for our Careers adviser Ms Mitchell, coming to her with a different degree option every few weeks. However, I think I have narrowed it down to either Physiotherapy or Radiography. I have always been interested in the health and medical field, but have no ambition to be a doctor. I'm hoping to go to university next year to begin a course within this field. Aiming to study at either The University of Sydney, or at Monash in Melbourne.
Q6. Do you have any tips for other students coming through on similar scholarships or for anyone looking to apply for scholarships?
My advice to those applying for scholarships is to just give it a go. The entry test is hard and all you can expect from yourself is to give it a go. To those at Scots currently on scholarships, keep working hard. Remember, that being on a scholarship comes with expectations. Put the work in, get involved in the school whether that's in the numerous sports that they offer, service learning activities or the performing arts. Make the most of the opportunity you have been offered. Each day is a chance for you to expand yourself, develop your knowledge and grow your passions.
Q7. Do you think its important for schools like Scots to have scholarships?
I believe it is incredibly important for schools like Scots to have scholarships. They provide the opportunity for talented and dedicated students to attend the school who otherwise might not be able to. Opportunities like this really can change the path of a young person's life. Take me for example. Without this opportunity to study at Scots I honestly don't know where I'd be. It has provided me with a vast skill set, nurtured my love of learning and enabled me to grow not only as an individual but as a leader. Without this scholarship, I would have never received the leadership opportunities that I have at Scots. That is why it's important that schools like Scots continue to have scholarships. So that there is an opportunity for all that put the work in to enter an supportive environment that will ensure their success. Otherwise, these amazing schools would only be accessible to those who can afford them. These scholarships really are life changing and play an important role in schools like Scots.
Charles Ledger • Scholarship recipient
Schools were falling over themselves to enrol Charles Ledger and it’s not hard to see why. He has a quiet confidence, a strong work ethic, a likeable personality and a wry, shy grin.
And, the 17-year-old just might be the next Scots student to make a name for himself in AFL football.
Scots stood tall in the battle for the Year 7 Ledger back in 2018; and his parents Kim and Matthew have since doubled down on their decision by sending younger siblings Georgie and Clancy to join their big brother.
The Ledgers chose Scots over offers from Scotch and Xavier in Melbourne and Churchie in Brisbane as much because they felt Scots offered an environment in which Charles, who is well known and regarded for leadership, humility and empathy, would be valued and in turn add value to the Scots community.
“We moved to the area from Sydney and came for our initial look at Scots for Junior School, and were impressed by the high regard shown to Charles,” Kim Ledger said. “In the end, we decided Charles was too young to make the hour-long trip each way from the other side of Wangaratta for Junior School but I stayed in touch with Robyn Smith over the proceeding years. Robin was a wonderful contact and her understated approach in promoting the school and following up on my enquiries over the years ultimately resulted in Charles’ enrolment for Senior School. The small class sizes, explicit teaching, focus on academic rigour and the school’s unique geographic position in the region were compelling reasons to make our investment in a Scots learning journey.”
Charles, who started in Year 7, is now in Year 11 and into his second year of a three-year scholarship that ensures he will see out his school days as a Scots student.
He is securing his future by studying Advanced Maths and English with plans for university, but he is 100% committed to simultaneously chasing his AFL dream.
“It feels nice to be on a scholarship, but I don’t put myself ahead of anyone else just because I’m on a scholarship,” Charles said. “I like the small classes at Scots and the teachers are very helpful. And obviously, I want to make the most of the scholarship, so I apply myself pretty hard. I want to get the best marks I can.”
As a member of the Talented Athlete Program At Scots (TAPAS), Charles has support to balance his academic pressures alongside his sporting pursuit. He can tap into a range of specialist sessions dealing with mental strength, recovery techniques, organisational skills and has joined motivational sessions with elite athletes, such as former world No.1 skier Britt Cox.
“It feels nice to be on a scholarship, but I don’t put myself ahead of anyone else just because I’m on a scholarship,”
To catch the eye of AFL recruiters, Charles has a personal performance coach, has an ex AFL player as a mentor and one-on-one football coach along with a clear pathway through the grades.
He started with Wangaratta Imperials as a junior footballer, was a member of the V-Squad Football Academy and, after interest from a number of Ovens and Murray Football clubs, decided to join the Wangaratta Rovers, playing under-18s as a 15-year-old turning 16 in 2021.
Recently Charles was influential on the O&M backline in his first under-18 interleague win against Goulburn Valley. He’s presently in the development squad with the Murray Bushrangers with an eye on being selected into the U19s Bushrangers team which plays in the AFL NAB League for next year.
“I enjoy stepping-up to each progression level with my football, it requires a substantial commitment and I have been working on my speed and explosive power, along with my overall performance and skills. My kicking is probably my strength - I’m a right footer but I can kick pretty well with both feet - and my endurance,” Charles said.
Charles leaves little to chance in his pursuit of both academic and sporting excellence. He joins after school Maths study sessions once a week, trains with the Bushies on Monday and Wednesdays, with the Wangaratta Rovers on Tuesdays and Thursdays and plays on the weekends. All that while juggling the two hour travel each day to Scots.
“Charles has always been highly regarded for his positive influence on others both at School and in the community,” Kim said. “I was told by his prep teacher that he would be a school leader and that is exactly what occurred in our junior school.
“He has a strong work ethic, is broad minded and demonstrates natural leadership. Charles has always been the person teachers would place other students next to that needed a calming influence and a role model. I’d like to think that Charles is highly valued at Scots for what he brings to the School. He has quite a high profile in the community and that is a plus for Scots. He is a genuine Ambassador for the school. He shares some pretty special relationships amongst the teachers and I am sincerely grateful to those people and Scots more broadly for their investment in Charles. I know he regards himself as fortunate to attend Scots and the scholarship is certainly a wonderful recognition of his value.”
Scots scholarships and world-class learning facilities are available to our students thanks to the generosity of people from across the School community. Tomorrow, help us expand our reach through Giving Day - a single day when every donation toward the construction of the Senior Study Centre will be doubled by our matching donors.
Alumni profile • Colin Barry Taylor Class of 1968
A friendship forged in the shared hardships of boarding life at Albury Grammar School in the late 1960s has endured for Colin Barry Taylor, of Hobart, and his friend Richard (Rick) Arnold Sutherland, who now lives in Thologolong.
Barry, now 71, was a boarder at Scots founding school, Albury Grammar School, from 1963 until 1968 and though his memories of his school days are fond, he still claims he has never felt cold like that in Albury.
“The first year I was here, I was in the sawtooth building and I nearly froze,” Barry said. “It snowed - 2 inches of snow on the ground - and even though I came from Hobart, I nearly froze. I told my grandparents: ‘I’m nearly freezing to death here’ and they bought me some fur-lined leather gloves. It was pretty tough compared with what it is now. And our generation had it easier than the previous generation.”
Barry remembers his classmates and teachers well, though Rick Sutherland is his firmest friend from his school years. They visit each other regularly, most recently on Anzac Day this year when Barry came back to the region for a visit.
“We keep in touch with one another and see each other regularly,” Barry said. “He went to Tassie with work after school and we kept in touch then. We talk politics mostly, or probably more rightly, we argue about politics.
“David Easton also was one of my friends, and John Bottoms was in my year. We were in Sellars House, in a big dormitory with a box where we put all our clothes. I remember my school days well, they were very formative years, and I remember each and every one of my teachers. Bruce Smith played a big part in our lives; he taught English and used to hold the chalk in a particular way that made a sound on the chalk board that, oh, used to set my teeth on edge.
“I came back for the sesquicentenary in 2016. That was the last time we saw all the masters together. A lot of them have deceased since then.”
Barry stayed in touch with Albury Grammar School through the Merlin magazine and admitted his school pride endured when it amalgamated to form Scots and continues to this day.
“There is too much involved to put it down to any one thing. I had great respect for the Principal of the time, Mr Sellars. He was a fantastic principal. He really got the school built. He went out into the regions and spread the word.
“I am still very invested in the school and keen to see what’s going on. They've had to go co-ed, which I think is a good thing. That’s the way to go because of costs; to try and ameliorate the costs, you have to have a broader base for income.
But it’s clear Albury’s weather has left a lasting impression on Barry.
“I can’t get over the difference in boarding compared with what we had. Back then, there was no carpet, we just had floorboards. I couldn’t believe how cold it was. My grandfather gave me a kangaroo skin rug to put on my bed, and, by gee I needed it!”
Barry was the eldest of four children and is grateful for the sacrifice his parents made so he could attend Albury Grammar. His Hobart-based parents chose Grammar because his maternal grandparents lived in Albury and could, in Barry’s words: “keep an eye on me.”
“I was the only one to come to the School. I think my parents missed seeing me in my formative years and they are your formative years - those years are critical for boys and girls.
“But you don’t get time to miss your parents in a boarding school. The Principal never let the boarders have too much time to think. We were up at 6am and on the bus to go swimming. His idea was to keep everyone really busy and not let them have a chance to get into mischief.”
Colin Barry Taylor was named after his father’s brother, Colin, who was killed while riding on the back of a motorbike. But as he grew up, he proved to be nothing like Uncle Colin and so his parents decided to call him Barry and that’s the name his schoolmates will remember.
Barry left Albury to study engineering at Swinburne but was only part-way through the course when his father asked him to return to Hobart to work in the family refrigeration business. Eventually becoming Managing Director, Barry steered the company out of refrigeration in 1995 so he could concentrate on managing the company’s investments. His sister now runs the company, although Barry and his other siblings are integral to its investment strategy.
Barry married Lynette, whom he met while he was living in Melbourne, and together they have two boys, two girls and 11 grandchildren.
“The first year I was here, I was in the sawtooth building and I nearly froze."
Boarding • Meet Director of Boarding John Hill
We warmly welcome John Hill to the Scots community as our new Director of Boarding.
John has spent most of his professional education career working in boarding across a variety of roles and models; and he joins us from his recent position as Head of House at Toowoomba Grammar School, Queensland.
John and his family have spent the better half of a decade in boarding. His son Fletcher, 7, only knows life in a boarding school having had his second birthday in a dining hall surrounded by almost 100 big ‘brothers and sisters’. He has been raised by boarders and is excited, along with his two sisters Madeleine, 13, and Charlotte, 9, to meet all the Scots boarders and getting to know them more. Both girls are relieved to be living back at a co-educational school.
John’s wife, Sheridan, also will help in boarding and take on some relief Learning Assistant work in the Junior and Senior School.
John said he and his family believed in immersing themselves in boarding life and creating a family feel. They will reside on campus, ensuring John is contactable and present throughout a boarders’ journey.
“My family and I have lived and breathed boarding for the past seven years and have absolutely loved the experience. Scots aligns well to my own family, ethos and educational values; I am looking forward to experiencing all areas of the school,” John said.
John holds a Masters in Education, majoring in Leading and Managing along with an undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Southern Queensland. He is a strong advocate for all students feeling safe and welcomed in a school environment and feels it is particularly important in a boarding context.
“Boarding should be a second home for these students; a place where they feel valued and encouraged to give back to their school,” he said.
As well as working in the boarding house, John is teaching Year 10 Mathematics and hopes to get involved in the co-curricular space later in the year.
Staff profile • Rick Woods, Scots Bursar 1972
Rick Woods had a lasting impact on the development of The Scots School Albury - his influence stretching well beyond his employment as Bursar in the mid 1970s.
Rick joined Scots in 1972 and although he was in the job for less than three years, he was pivotal in securing his successor, Ken Chalker, who remained in the role until 1995.
A young and ambitious Rick was very happy with his position as Burser at Scots. He had started his working life as a junior sales boy at a general produce store in Albury and studied accountancy at night. Once he qualified, he joined the Producers Co-op Distributors Society where he eventually managed the financials for offices in Albury, Leeton and Griffith.
Then Albury Grammar School and Woodstock Girls Presbyterian School amalgamated and Rick was brought on to manage the budget and payroll as well as oversee the maintenance staff.
“I really liked my job and wasn’t really thinking about moving,” Rick said.
“Roxburgh Accounting was managing Albury Grammar accounting in the early days and so I spent a lot of time at their offices straight after the amalgamation. I managed the invoicing for fees, prepared the payroll and I remember I had to terminate a staff member, which was the first time I’d ever had to do that.”
But Rick’s career was on an upward trajectory and he was snapped up by the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation within three years - on double his Scots salary, making it an offer too good to refuse.
So the position sat vacant until Ken Chalker applied for a job at the AWDC.
“I remember I interviewed him for a job for which he was way overqualified so I suggested he talk to Scots about the Bursar role. The rest is history.”
Ken, who was an alumni in the Class of 1964, was the Scots Bursar from 1979 until 1995. He passed away in 1999.
Alumni Reunion Weekend • 29 & 30 October
We've set a date for our Alumni Reunion Weekend. Get your year level group together to join in the fun!
50 Years of Scots Gala Dinner Gallery
The Scots School Albury former Principals Mr Alistair Todd, Mr Warren Howlett and Mrs Heather Norton, together with current Principal Mark Geraets, headlined a showcase of all that is great about Scots as we celebrated 50 Years of Scots in the Albury community at the Albury Entertainment Centre on Saturday.
Guests turned out in droves to hear Master of Ceremonies, Ian Cover OAM, interview the former principals, hear the Pipe Band, Jazz Gang and Dynamix in action, watch performers from the School musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, perform the lead number and witness a performance from our Talented Artists Program At Scots students.