Impact of Giving

Your gift, whether it be for scholarships and bursaries or our capital works projects, will have a lasting impact on our students.

Scroll to read about the ideas and inspiration behind gifts from fellow St Andrew’s alumni, parents and friends— and share yours with us.

Impact of Giving - Indigenous Scholarship Program
(L-R) Kiahn Ladkin, Bayden Kruger, Leon Mason-Bunton, Elyne Tighe and Gagara Farrawell

The establishment of the Indigenous Scholarship Fund in 2009 was a concerted effort by a dedicated group of St Andrew’s alumni, staff and councillors to address the underrepresentation of First Nations students in higher education. The key instigators of the fund Tom Yim (Fr 1966), David Anstice AO (Fr 1966), and Peter Plaskitt (Fr 1958), recognised the pressing need to create a more diverse and inclusive College community.

By establishing the Indigenous Scholarship Program, we have created a way to encourage more people to give to this area and the endowment is complemented by additional scholarships provided by our individual donors.

These scholarships not only empower students but also contribute to broader Reconciliation efforts by acknowledging and addressing the historical marginalisation and discrimination faced by First Nations people in education.

By enabling more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to attend St Andrew’s and access tertiary education, the scholarships pave the way for a more inclusive College community that values diversity and embraces our First Nations cultures and perspectives.

We recently spoke with three of our 2023 Indigenous Scholarship recipients, Kiahn Ladkin (Fr 2023), Elyne Tighe. Fr 2023) and Malcolm Ward (Fr 2020), who shared their perspectives on how this vital fund contributes not only to individual lives but also to the wider College community.

Kiahn, who is studying for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney, emphasised how the Scholarship Program attracts students from diverse backgrounds and experiences, stating, “interacting with peers who bring different life stories and perspectives fosters a sense of understanding, tolerance, and acceptance.” This diversity, she says, “creates a dynamic and inclusive environment within the College.”

Echoing Kiahn’s sentiments, Elyne, who is studying Medicine at the University of New South Wales, emphasises how the scholarship program supports and showcases students’ unique strengths and abilities. She says, “by recognising and nurturing individual talents, the program not only benefits the recipients but also enriches the overall community at Drew’s.”

Malcolm, currently completing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, acknowledged that receiving financial support has enabled him to pursue sporting interests alongside his studies. In 2023, he had the opportunity to travel and participate in competitions at an elite level, where he placed 5th for USYD in Ultimate Frisbee at Indigenous Nationals, 2nd for USYD in Mixed Netball at Div 1 UniSport Nationals, and represented NSW at the Australian U22 Ultimate Championships. He states, “All of the travel has been expensive, and without financial support from the College, I would have been more hesitant to commit.”

This underscores another vital aspect of the scholarship program: its role in fostering a more diverse student cohort while enabling these students to pursue their passions beyond academics. By alleviating financial burdens, the program allows students to dedicate greater time to not only their studies, but extracurricular activities as well, contributing to a vibrant College environment.

In addition to their insights, the recipients express heartfelt gratitude for the support they’ve received. Kiahn, Elyne, and Malcolm also shared their aspirations to give back in the future, highlighting the cyclical nature of support within the College community. Malcolm commented that he felt incredibly grateful, aspiring to “one day pay it forward to help future students enjoy this experience.”

For Kiahn, the knowledge that someone believed in her potential has served as a powerful motivator in her approach to studying. Elyne echoes this sentiment, conveying a heartfelt message to the program’s benefactors: “I aspire to make you proud with my academic achievements and contributions to Drew’s.”

We sincerely thank the original instigators and are grateful for the ongoing support from our community over the past fifteen years, whose gifts have meant the Indigenous Scholarship Program has continued to expand.

Today, the College is proud to be the home away from home for 14 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. It is becoming increasingly evident that the impact of these scholarships extends far beyond the individuals they directly support to the entire College community and is shaping the ethos and culture of the College for generations to come.

Impact of Giving - Vielun Pastoral Company Rural Scholarship
Archie Craig (Fr 2022)

Archie Craig (Fr 2022) grew up on a rural property near Toowoomba in Queensland. His goal of pursuing a career in finance made Sydney an appealing option. The Vielun Pastoral Company Rural Scholarship helped Archie to move to the city and reside at Drew’s. Archie is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Advanced Studies, majoring in Finance and Banking, at the University of Sydney. As the recipient of the Vielun Pastoral Company Rural Scholarship in 2022 and 2023, Archie is thankful for the opportunities to give back wherever possible.

How has 2023 been for you? What did you participate in at College, and what were the highs and lows?

In 2023, I took on the role of Secretary for the Rawson Swimming Team, which was an incredible experience. It allowed me to connect with the new Freshers and contribute to the team’s success. The camaraderie and the sense of achievement from our victory was certainly a high for me.

In terms of academics, I think I have gotten my head around my University studies, which has been evident in my results the past semester. I have developed quite a passion for my Banking major and am excited to see where this leads in future years.

However, like any year, there were lows too. Balancing academics, extracurricular, and social life was challenging at times, leading to moments of stress and anxiety. Overall, the opportunities to branch out socially from my initial social circle in my fresher year have been enriching.

What are your hopes and plans for 2024 and the future?

In 2024, I aim to continue my involvement with the Rawson Swimming Team. Additionally, I want to participate in as many sports as possible. Academically, I’m determined to enhance my achievements further, exploring new areas of interest and challenging myself intellectually. As for my role on the House Committee as the Alumni Secretary, I’m eager to contribute to the continuity and growth of the College community, fostering connections and creating opportunities for current and former students.

How important has receiving financial support been to you this year? How has it impacted you?

Coming from rural Queensland, having the opportunity to study and live in Sydney has been a transformative experience. Receiving financial support this year has been crucial in enabling me to pursue my academics whilst also having the opportunity to reside in an amazing community at Drew’s. Without it, I would not have been able to access these opportunities and continue my education here.

Thankfully, I have been able to give back to this community I am happy to call home through volunteering and other opportunities made available in 2023.

How do you think the scholarship program contributes to the life and community of the College?

It is really so important in that it allows people with academic or sporting potential the opportunity to pursue their dreams and live in a place where they may not have otherwise been able to live because of financial circumstances. For rural and regional students especially, it makes the relocation to Sydney far less of a financial burden, allowing students to pursue their education at globally recognised institutions as well as excel in other interests, such as sports and music.

Do you have any comments that you would like to personally direct to your benefactors?

I would like to extend my utmost gratitude for their generosity. Without their support, I would not be who or where I am today. I have them to thank for the opportunities that are possible, not only because of living at College but also because of being given the ability to live in Sydney.

Impact of Giving - Vielun Pastoral Company Scholarship - Broinowski Family
(L-R) Dan Bisa, Alison Broinowski, Ian Simpson, Zara Broinowski and Sam Broinowski at the Founders & Benefactors Dinner, 2023

Established by the Broinowski family in 2021, the Vielun Pastoral Company Rural Scholarship provides substantial support for a rural and regional student with financial need to experience College and University in Sydney. We spoke with Sam, Alison and Zara Broinowski (Fr 2021) about their scholarship and the inspiration behind their philanthropic endeavours.

Can you please share with us how your connection with College began – how did you hear about St Andrew’s, and what inspired you to become more involved as a family?

As Sydney University students in the late 1980s, we had many friends at St Andrew’s. Our connection was enhanced when Zara decided to apply for College in her final year of school. Upon Zara’s entrance to College, the community was clearly one that has continued to provide exceptional living and learning opportunities for young adults – and we were inspired to support the College.

Zara, you were instrumental in establishing the Vielun Pastoral Company Scholarship. Can you tell us how the scholarship came about and why?

I have always had a drive to give back and help others which my parents instilled, and this was reflected when I started at St Andrew’s. The community was so lovely and caring that I brought it up to my parents on how it would be best to give back and help others gain the experience that I was having. As a family, we thought we should donate money in some way. From this, I went to meet with Hannah Atwell, Director of Advancement, and she aided in shaping and directing us in the direction of starting the VPC Scholarship.

In your own words, could you explain the purpose behind the scholarship and what impact you hope it will have on the students it supports?

To aid rural Australian students who may not have the financial situation to allow them to attend College and Sydney Uni. We have always believed that education can be life-changing, and supporting education is one way that we can provide opportunities to others for the ongoing benefit of rural and regional areas.

Can you tell us a bit more about the Vielun Pastoral Company; the name behind the scholarship?

Vielun is the town in Poland from where Zara’s 3rd-great-grandfather grew up, yet was forced to flee during war in Europe. Our family business is Vielun Pastoral Company as a nod to that heritage and history.

What is it that motivates your family and inspires you to give? What drives your philanthropy?

Gracius Josef Broinowski initiated a multi-generational history of philanthropy when he arrived from Poland in the 1860s. We have been fortunate financially and like to give back and support others – giving is an essential aspect of who we are as a family, and we have instilled this in our children and in other aspects of our lives.

Zara, how would you describe your experience as a student at St Andrew’s? What’s been your favourite part so far?

As a student of St Andrew’s, I have enjoyed meeting a diverse community and making friends with people I would not have had the opportunity to otherwise. The entire scholarship program is able to bring people from all walks of life together in one place regardless of who they are or where they have come from, and being around all types of people is also able to broaden my perspective and understand opinions I otherwise would not have been exposed to. The camaraderie and community of St Andrew’s has also been a wonderful experience, I have been able to meet many alumni and connect due to our common experience of both being Androvians. This experience of history, and the care from all those who are or were at Drew’s, which is able to bring people together, is something special. I have not had that experience anywhere else in my past.

And, having seen it first hand, how have you seen scholarships at Drew’s making a difference for students and for the culture at College?

Scholarships allow students from all walks of life to experience College life which enhances and creates a more inclusive culture. The traditional “bubble of wealth” is broken down by the more inclusive environment – and is more of a microcosm of the larger community of life – providing benefit to all who live and learn in St Andrew’s College.

What would you say to encourage someone to support the scholarship program at St Andrew’s College?

Please consider how donations, even if modest, can have a positive impact, and a large impact, on the lives of students who may not have the means otherwise yet can give so much to the wider community and contribute to College life.

Impact of Giving - The Thyne Reid Link Building
Mikhaela Lirantzis (Fr 2021) and Lucinda Stening (Fr 2021) in one of the new Thyne Reid Link apartments

Having now concluded our $7m Accessing Andrew’s Campaign, we celebrate one of its most prominent achievements, the Thyne Reid Link Building, which was completed in 2020. Through the generous contributions and collaborative spirit of alumni, parents, staff and friends of Andrew’s, this project has significantly enhanced the College’s facilities and enriched the student experience, creating a vibrant and inclusive environment. We recognise the profound impact of their generosity, which has transformed our College and the lives of our students.

The opening ceremony of the Thyne Reid Link Building on March 6, 2021 (delayed a year by COVID-19), marked a significant milestone in the 150-year history of St Andrew’s College. It also presented an opportunity to welcome everyone who had supported the project to College and to see the finished result of their efforts. Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, the Governor of New South Wales, officially opened the Thyne Reid Link Building, and Gadigal Elder Allen Madden performed the Welcome to Country.

Four years later, the impact of this initiative remains profound:

  • More than 250 residents have benefited from the 85 new bedrooms
  • The gym continues to be a hub of activity for all students
  • The tutorial rooms are used 24/7
  • The soundproof music rooms are welcome spaces for students to practice at any hour

Reflecting on these achievements, we celebrate the support that made it all possible.

The Taylor Gym

Former Chair of Council, Charlie Taylor (Fr 1982, SS 1985), helped lead the way for the Thyne Reid Link (TRL), making a gift early on towards the establishment of the new Gym in the TRL. This state-of-the-art facility, intended for both elite athletes and everyday users, is a significant upgrade from the previous gym located across the oval in Angus Hall. Equipped with a wide range of weight and cardio machines, as well as a dedicated studio space for small group sessions, rehearsals, stretching, and circuit training, the Taylor Gym offers enhanced accessibility and convenience to our students, positioning it as a central hub for fitness and well-being activity on campus. The College and Students’ Club continues to add new equipment to the gym each year as the space and needs of the students evolve.

The Kenyon Common Room

Alumnus David Kenyon (Fr 1975) and The Kenyon Foundation generously supported the establishment of the Kenyon Common Room through a significant philanthropic gift pledged over multiple years. This space, serving as the student hub for this section of the College, features three tutorial rooms, four music rehearsal rooms, a kitchenette, and a spacious, multipurpose foyer. In addition to The Kenyon’s gift, the St Andrew’s College Alumni Society contributed $50,000 towards the fit-out of the Common Room and Kitchen space, ensuring it meets the specific needs of the Students’ Club.

Senior Students’ Corridor Fund

The Senior Students’ corridor was an idea proposed and backed by a number of Senior Students who were in leadership positions on the College Council, Alumni Society, Foundation and Students’ Club at the time, including Campbell Hanan (Fr 1989), Charlie Taylor (Fr 1982, SS 1984), Alex Rhydderch (Fr 1994, SS 1997), Andrew Murray (Fr 1961, SS 1966) and Susannah Cooke (Fr 2016, SS 2018). The Senior Students’ Corridor Appeal aimed to support the construction of the 14 new bedrooms in the new top-floor of the Reid Building as part of the Thyne Reid Link development. Thanks to the collective effort and donations from 24 past Senior Students, six bedrooms were able to be fully funded in the newly added level of the Reid Building, which is now aptly named The Senior Students’ Corridor.

The bedrooms are each generously sized and have their own ensuite bathroom. Half of the rooms on the corridor provide residents with magnificent views of the city skyline while the other half have view of the Glen and new First Nations Garden, as well as the Main Building. These are highly sought after rooms in the Students’ Club Room Draw for later year students.

1959 Freshers’ Appeal

Two members of the 1959 fresher year group, Robert ‘Hori’ Wines, former Chairman of the St Andrew’s College Foundation, and Robert ‘Bob’ Stitt, a current Director of the Foundation Board of Management, spearheaded the 1959 Freshers’ Appeal. Their aim was to rally enough support from their peers to fund an entire bedroom in the Thyne Reid Link Building. With contributions from 13 individuals from their year group, they successfully reached their $50,000 target. In lasting recognition of their efforts, a room is dedicated in their name. The 1959 Freshers, who still gather annually for reunions, earnestly hope that many more students will have the opportunity to forge enduring friendships at St Andrew’s, just as they did.

The Ryan Family Music Room

One of the four dedicated rehearsal rooms situated within the Kenyon Common Room, The Ryan Family Music Room, was donated with thanks to Justin and Joanna Ryan (past parents) of the Ryan Family Foundation. Their contribution enables our students to practice and rehearse in a state-of-the-art soundproof music room right here at their home away from home. Furthermore, within the Ryan Family Music Room sits a beautiful Thalburg piano for our students to use, which was kindly gifted to the College by Dr Philip Marchant (Fr 1943).

Thank You for More Spaces for More Students

More than 150 years ago, collective fundraising efforts made it possible to lay the foundations for St Andrew’s College, and it is that generosity of spirit that continues to shape our future. Just as in our founding years, the combined contributions of many towards the Thyne Reid Link Building have had a profound impact by creating more spaces for more students to access and experience College and university in Sydney.

Throughout the Accessing Andrew’s Campaign, 80 individuals, couples and families contributed over $1.7M towards the Thyne Reid Link Building, either through Annual Giving or with significant, one-off gifts and pledges. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of our community who gave to this project and recognise that their collective generosity has been instrumental in the continued growth and success of St Andrew’s College and the residential experience of our students.

We acknowledge those whose significant contributions funded an entire bedroom

Room 401 – The Taylor Room

Donated by Charlie Taylor (Fr 1982, SS 1985)

Room 402 – The William Porges OAM Room

Donated by Andrew Murray AM (Fr 1961 SS 1966)

Room 403 – The Jackman Room

Donated by Xander Jackman (Fr 2014)

Room 404 – The Hanan Room

Donated by Penny & Campbell Hanan (Fr 1989)

Room 405 – The Wines Family Room

Donated by Lian & Andrew Wines (Fr 1988, SS 1991)

Room 406 – Taylor Room

Donated by Angus Taylor (Fr 1986, SS 1989) & Louise Clegg

Room 630 – The Jackman Room

Donated by the Jackman Family

Room 637 – The Celtic Room

Donated by Laura & Russell McKinnon (Councillor) and Andrew Murray AM (Fr 1961)

Room 640 – The Happy Days Room

Donated by Peter Taylor (Fr 1955)

Room 642 – The Iona Room

Donated by Ken Neale (Fr 1961) & Hamish Dalziell (Fr 1961)

Room 643 – The Subscribers of 1868

Donated by Mark Burrows AO (Fr 1962)

Room 644 – The 1959 Freshers’ Room

Donated by the Freshers of 1959

Room 645 – The Buildcorp Room

Donated by the Sukkar Family.

Impact of Giving - Displaced Students Trust Scholarships
Antonina Bessonova and Ian Jackman at the 2023 University & Schools Dinner

Established in 2022, the Displaced Students Trust (DST) has been a beacon of hope for university students affected by crises. The Trust provides means-tested scholarships to support displaced students, enabling them to continue their education despite challenging circumstances.

Nicola and Ian Jackman (Fr 1981) became aware of Antonina (Tonia) Bessonova and her mothers’ arrival from Ukraine in 2022, facing significant challenges. Tonia, midway through her Ukrainian school leaving certificate when they fled the conflict, was told she would have to enrol as an international student at Sydney University, a costly endeavour. Furthermore, she lacked any form of a support network in Sydney.

Determined to help, Nicola and Ian engaged with the Ukrainian community to identify others in similar situations. Together with Mark Elliott (Chairman of St Paul’s College), John Coorey (Chairman of St John’s College), renowned educators Rowena Danziger and John Vallance, and a Vietnam veteran, Gwynn Boyd, they formed a group to address the challenges. They successfully secured tax-deductible status for the DST, allowing them to raise funds to support displaced students before the 2023 academic year began.

The DST is currently partnering with St Andrew’s and St Paul’s to support students attending universities such as Sydney, UTS, and UWS. Four students are now being supported at St Andrew’s – Tonia, Maksym, Danyil and Oleksandra. These students have all excelled academically and embraced College life, grateful for the opportunities on offer and for the friendships they have formed.

Maksym Derlytsia, one of the current recipients at St Andrew’s, has achieved straight High Distinctions in Biomechanical Engineering. He expressed sincere gratitude for the scholarship and said, “Ever since I can remember, I have always dreamed of obtaining a university degree and being part of a welcoming and supportive community. Since arriving in Australia with almost nothing but a genuine belief in the power of education, I feel incredibly fortunate to be a member of St Andrew’s College. Here, I am able to realise my full potential both academically and interpersonally. It provides me with focus on my goals, reduces my anxiety about the war, and gives me a sense of belonging. This empowering experience is a real blessing, as I have learnt so much from the erudition, generosity, and kind hearts of Australians, and I strive to be worthy and distinguished well.”

“The Displaced Students Trust scholarship represents more than just financial support; it’s a symbol of hope and a chance to build a brighter future for me and others who share a similar background. My dad, who is currently defending Ukraine, often says, “a friend in need is a friend indeed,” and I will never forget the support the donors and this scholarship provide for my development.”

Tonia, whose situation originally motivated the Jackmans, described her experience and how it has made an impact for her so far:

“This past year at College was an amazing experience for me. Coming to Australia very recently and hearing a fairly limited amount of information, I was not sure what to expect. However, this place has been wonderful. I have made great close friends and enjoyed every minute spent at St Andrew’s.

“I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have been given here. I would have never hoped to be here at College had it not been for the scholarship and support I have received, and it truly means the world to me. This experience has been life-changing, and it has been one of the best years of my life. I am unbelievably thankful for this.”

The DST has not only practically supported displaced Ukrainians but has also enriched the College community, fostering friendships between donors and students. It has received generous donations from alumni and friends and plans to raise more money in the future. Those interested in contributing to the DST can contact Ian Jackman directly via –

Impact of Giving. The Halliday Rural & Regional Scholarship - Phoebe Lyne and Gian Wynn
Alex with his scholarship recipients, Phoebe and Gian

St Andrew’s has become Phoebe and Gian’s home away from home whilst they pursue their academic passions at university

Phoebe was born and raised on a mixed crop and livestock property in Cootamundra, southwest of Sydney, and is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing. At the same time, Gian relocated from the family property just outside of Orange in regional NSW to undertake the Bachelor of Accounting Co-op Scholar Program, majoring in Finance and Accounting. Here they reflect on their College experience so far and the impact of the support they have received.

How has 2023 been for you? What did you participate in at College, and what were the highs and lows?

Phoebe: I have absolutely loved my fresher year in 2023 and have immersed myself in every opportunity Drew’s has given me! I was a part of the Women’s Rugby 7s team in Semester 1 and photographed numerous intercollegiate sports on behalf of the College. I particularly enjoy supporting my friends on the sidelines and being a part of such a strong and supportive community.

I have been involved in many College events, such as the Highland Ball, Oktoberfest and Highland Wedding. I tried out for Palladian Art and presented artwork at Drew’s Creative Arts and Ideas Festival. Additionally, I have helped the College’s Marketing Team with their promotional videos, revisiting my experience with recording.

Gian: College life has been a fantastic experience, to say the least. I have done my absolute best to get as hands-on as possible, involving myself in the House Committee as Fresher Rep, the Palladian Cup for Drama Solo and Dance, Investment Club, B-Lane Social Swimming, Big Boars, ‘We Need to Talk’, and my new appointment for 2024 as a Pastoral Care Leader, which I am very excited about.

What are your hopes and plans for 2024, and the future?

Phoebe: My priority is to continue to obtain adequate university marks while maintaining a good work/life balance with College and friends. I would love to get more involved in the Rosebowl competition and try out for a wider variety of sports. I enjoyed my experience with the Rugby 7s team this year, so I hope to try out for more sports next year. I look forward to continuing to photograph on behalf of the College at sports games; it really captures the excitement and thrill of being a part of St Andrew’s community.

Gian: I am extremely excited to continue my leadership within the College from fresher rep to PCL in 2024. I also hope to continue working next year, in a part-time capacity so I can still undertake my university degree. I also hope to secure some Investment Banking experience next year, as this is a career path I am very eager to build.

How important has receiving financial support been to you this year? How has it impacted you?

Phoebe: I feel very appreciative to receive financial support this year; it has been a huge help in managing my first year at university. Thanks to this scholarship, I have been able to focus on my studies without constantly worrying about the finances needed for College. It has allowed me to be a part of the vibrant Drew’s environment while only having to work a few days a week, so I am hugely grateful. As someone from a rural area, I knew that pursuing my university degree would be a financial challenge for my family. The scholarship has lightened the burden on my family, who would have otherwise struggled to support my education.

Gian: Financial support has been instrumental in my College attendance. It has provided me with the opportunity to not only attend Drew’s but also come to university in Sydney.

Do you have any comments that you would like to personally direct to your benefactors?

Phoebe: I have loved getting to know my benefactor, Alex Halliday, and express my strong appreciation for his support. It has really alleviated the financial challenge for my family, especially with sheep prices down, competing with my parents’ decision to have no crop this year. The scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies and get involved in the exciting and flourishing community of St Andrew’s. I cannot thank Alex enough for this!

Gian: I would just like to thank Alex, and the whole Halliday family for making this past year possible for me.


Impact of Giving - Halliday Rural and Regional Scholarship
Alex with past recipient, Sophie Hoskins-Murphy and Alison Halliday

Alex Halliday (Fr 1965) wanted to do something to give back to others, so in 2019, he established the Halliday Rural & Regional Scholarship to support students from the country to take up educational opportunities in Sydney and attend St Andrew’s College.

ST ANDREW’S ALUMNUS Alex Halliday’s connection to St Andrew’s College is deeply rooted, dating back to the early 1900s when his uncle, John Howell Halliday (Fr 1917) became the first in his family to attend. This legacy continued with Leigh Howell Halliday (Fr 1928), followed by Richard or ‘Dick’ Halliday in the 1950s, and Austin and Hugh Halliday in the 1960s.

Alex joined St Andrew’s in 1965, following in his brother Hugh’s footsteps. Alex’s favourite recollections of his time at College are of the rugby team’s remarkable four-year unbeaten streak from 1965 to 1968. While he has fond memories of the past, he also appreciates the College’s evolution, especially the admission of women, which he views as a significant improvement.

More recently, Alex’s connection with College has been through the Halliday Rural & Regional Scholarship, which has so far supported four students. The Scholarship, a product of Alex’s desire to give back, aims to provide opportunities for young people in need. He was inspired by his own experience of receiving a repatriation scholarship after his father’s passing during his first year at College, which made it possible for him to stay at Andrew’s and continue his university studies, going on to become a successful lawyer after university. It is no surprise that Alex understands and believes in the transformative power of education in shaping individuals and benefiting society at large.

“I thought, what can I do now that I can afford to give back? I was always very keen on the fact that young people who are given opportunities in education, more than anything else, can better themselves, contribute more to society, reach their potential, and hopefully, one day in the future, do something as well to give back.”

The Scholarship’s purpose is clear: to ease the financial burden on students and enable them to reach their full potential, particularly in cases where they would not have had the opportunity otherwise.

The Halliday Foundation’s support extends beyond St Andrew’s College to Yanco Agricultural High School, a government boarding school in Leeton, NSW. Here too, Alex recognises the importance of providing education for rural and regional students and highlighting the need to develop well-educated individuals who can contribute to their communities. He encourages others to support scholarship programs, believing that helping others better themselves is a worthy endeavour.

“It’s pretty simple. If you think you benefited and can afford to do it, do it because you can help someone else. You might not have been the beneficiary of a scholarship yourself, but if you can help someone better themselves and at the same time get the benefit of all of the alternative activities and support that Andrew’s provides (compared to studying at home or another accommodation), that is enormous.”

Through the Halliday Foundation’s Scholarship, Alex, his wife Alison and daughter Matilda have not only had the chance to meet and support individual students but also, in a couple of cases, meet their families, fostering a sense of community and gratitude. He believes in the power of education to transform lives and hopes others will consider joining him in supporting this worthwhile cause.

The Halliday family’s legacy at St Andrew’s College is one of generosity, community, and a commitment to providing education and opportunities for future generations. Read about the two current recipients of the Halliday Foundation, Phoebe Lyne and Gian Wynn, and how the support has impacted them.

Louisa Patterson, Sophia Wood, Hannah Atwell, Sarah Pranic and Jack Wall at the 2022 University & Schools Dinner

James Patterson Gardner was due to arrive at St Andrew’s College in 2015 as a fresher, joining family friends from New Zealand who were already at the College to begin his university journey. He was planning to study engineering at the University of Sydney, and major in aeronautical engineering.

Tragically, James passed away in a helicopter crash near Queenstown the day before leaving for Sydney alongside experienced instructor pilot Stephen Combes. No one knows for sure why their Robinson helicopter broke up in flight, and, like many others, a Transport Accident Investigation Commission report concluded if the chopper were fitted with a cockpit audio-visual device, it would have been able to provide answers.

After this devastating crash and the loss of her son, James’ mother (experienced pilot and business owner) Louisa ‘Choppy’ Patterson and her team invented and developed ‘Eye in the Sky’.

The ‘Eye in the Sky’ is an affordable, lightweight data recording device that is fitted inside the cockpit and captures 160-degree, high-definition, wide-angle video and audio; GPS data, and information on speed, altitude and position; pitch, roll and yaw, as well as the nuances of what’s happening in the cockpit. Sale proceeds from the ‘Eye in the Sky’ go to the James PG Foundation.

The James PG Foundation is a registered charitable trust established in memory of James Patterson Gardner to provide opportunities for the youth of New Zealand to reach their full potential. The Trustees of the Foundation are James’ cousin, stepbrother, friend, and lawyer.

One of the objectives of the Foundation is to create opportunities and open doors that may not be normally accessible, to find placement for enterprising young adults from the aviation industry into opportunities that will provide further education, career development and enhance aviation safety.


The Foundation established The James PG Foundation Scholarship at St Andrew’s College in James’ memory to support other young New Zealanders to study engineering and realise their potential. There is a preference for the student to be studying engineering at the University of Sydney, specifically Aeronautical Engineering.

James and Louisa “Choppy” Patterson at USYD

We asked Louisa to share in her own words how the scholarship came to be:

Louisa, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be connected with St Andrew’s College?

James had attended St Andrew’s College in Christchurch for his high school years. His great grandfather was a first World War Otago Mounted rifleman, a doctor and a clergyman. After Gallipoli, he spread the word of God by horseback through the outback of Australia before settling down as a Presbyterian Clergyman in the South Island of New Zealand.

Our family are connected with St Andrew’s through our protestant values and the love of St Andrew’s in New Zealand.

Can you tell us in your own words how this scholarship came about at St Andrew’s College in Sydney?

James’s friend Ed Davies is a trustee of the James PG Foundation. Ed passed on his love of St Andrew’s College to James, who was so excited about attending.

The scholarship came about as a result of the kindness of Wayne Erickson and his staff following the tragic loss of James, and their support in the mandate of the James PG Foundation in finding a high school graduate from New Zealand to take up studies at the University of Sydney (engineering aeronautical) with a residential placement at St Andrew’s as James had intended to do.

Can you share more about James and who he was?

James is often described as someone who had the X factor, someone that had that special magic. Intelligent and hardworking, empathetic, charismatic and humble. He made the most of any opportunities and had been lucky enough to travel the world. He learned from these experiences how to model his life with education and kindness to make a difference.

The James PG Foundation will encourage others and ensure this spirit lives on.

What is the purpose behind the scholarship, and what impact do you hope it will have for the students it supports?

The James PG Foundation will encourage and support New Zealand youth between the age of 17 and 26 to reach their full potential.

James’ life was full of opportunities that he took advantage of, our Foundation’s purpose is to continue his legacy, opening doors by assisting youth and giving them the tools to approach their life with that same dignity and drive.

What would you say to encourage someone to support the scholarships program at St Andrew’s College?

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Leaders.

Scholarships provide not only a meaningful source of financial support but also encouragement for the academic and personal growth of talented individuals that would not otherwise be afforded.

St Andrew’s is a lively university college community with a deep commitment to academic and intellectual excellence and the development of the individual.

Sophia Wood is a St Andrew’s resident and the recipient of the James P G Foundation Scholarship

As a St Andrew’s resident and the recipient of the James P G Foundation Scholarship, Sophia has endeavoured to embrace everything on offer here at College in her first year, and shared with us her Drew’s experience so far.

Reflecting on 2022, can you share some of the highlights and challenges you’ve experienced? What have you participated in throughout the year?

Attending St Andrew’s College has been an amazing experience throughout 2022, where there is never a dull moment and help is never far away. Moving away from home was incredibly challenging for me, but having a place that I can call home, with friends who I now consider family, has been the best support I could ask for.

St Andrew’s has so many events and activities that support new connections and friendships, but I think that my favourite aspect of College is the everyday connections I have with others. Whether that be a quick chat in the hallway, a study session, or staying up late watching movies with my friends, there is always a shoulder to lean on and a person to talk to. I often get homesick, and with my busy schedule I can feel overwhelmed, so having this support system around me is amazing and I know that everyone is in the same boat as I am.

I enjoy taking part in the Jazz Band here at College. It is fun and engaging, a great outlet to escape my busy study schedule, jam out and enjoy music. I got to go to my first formal – due to COVID both my school balls were cancelled – so having a formal at university was a great first experience.

I have loved studying aeronautics at university and even though it’s like being thrown straight into the deep end, it’s also incredibly rewarding. My favourite activity this semester was taking part in building a real aircraft during class. It’s incredible that even in this first year I got to have hands-on experience with aircraft building on a large scale. I loved working in the lab, getting my hands dirty, and seeing our work come to life. Learning this way instead of only writing papers or completing equations makes this degree so much more rewarding. It makes me very happy with my decision to attend USYD as I don’t think I would have had the same opportunities if I had stayed in New Zealand.

What aspirations do you have for 2023 and beyond?

The first year at College was definitely a steep learning curve, so going into 2023 with solid roots at St Andrew’s is reassuring, and exciting. Entering my second year at university will feel somewhat daunting, as I know the workload will only increase and become more challenging, but of course, more rewarding.

Next year I hope to apply for Jazz Band secretary. I want to be able to foster the same fun culture that I experienced during my first year in the band. I am excited to join committees and take part in planning the events I have enjoyed so much during my first year here at St Andrew’s.

I am also looking forward to the new year of learning and experiences within my degree. The first year was fundamentals, taking mostly maths and general physics units. Second year will be more specific and I will get to learn more about the work I want to do in the future. I also hope to strengthen my connections with my peers, through both coursework and other university activities.

How do you think the scholarship program contributes to the life and community of the College?

The scholarship program provides so many students with an amazing opportunity to create a new home and find community. Giving opportunities to students from a range of backgrounds creates a community filled with different stories and experiences. Increasing the diversity of students at College makes it a more interesting and welcoming place for new students. Initially, I was nervous moving into College as I was worried that I would stick out, or feel disadvantaged within my cohort. Just knowing that so many other students are in my position is validating and makes everyone feel included.

Learning from and living with people from a range of different backgrounds is important as it allows personal growth for every student attending St Andrew’s. Another important factor is that everyone here wants to be here. Students work hard to maintain good grades and take part in sports and art competitions, which creates a healthy working environment where each student is pushed to do their best.


Anna receives her scholarship certificate from the Governor of NSW at the 20YUGW Launch in March 2023

Anna Hunt grew up on a property in Grenfell, located in Central West New South Wales. In 2022 she relocated to Sydney to pursue a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Sydney. Anna is honoured to be the first-ever recipient of the St Andrew’s 20 Years of Undergraduate Women Scholarship and shared how she found her first year at College.

How has 2022 been for you? What did you participate in at College, and what were the highs and lows?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my 2022 College experience, particularly in the second semester where I’ve developed a better understanding of the demands of my course and effective studying. I am also involved in both the Rosebowl soccer and athletics teams and have found a great support network among the people at Sydney University Soccer Football Club (SUSFC). As the season progressed I became more comfortable and confident within myself and the team, which was rewarded with a championship win at the end of the season.

The beginning of the year, however, was a challenge with my transition from home to Sydney. It also started with me having COVID and an injury, which was difficult. Since then, I have made a conscious effort to involve myself in a range of College activities, including volunteer work, supporting Palladian events and joining the Sub-Committee for the Mother’s Day event.

One of my greatest highlights of this year has been meeting and creating friendships with other students, who are all exceptional in their areas of interest. I am grateful to be surrounded by so many like-minded and incredible individuals.

What are your hopes and plans for 2023, and the future?

I hope to continue achieving well in my academic studies and building on the friendships created this year. With greater confidence leading into next year, I aim to involve myself wholeheartedly in College activities to promote a positive culture and environment for the upcoming freshers. My goal is to continue playing for the SUSFC Senior Squad with the support provided by the University of Sydney’s Elite Athlete Program and St Andrew’s and hopefully carry the success of last season into next year.

Do you have any comments that you would like to add?

I am incredibly grateful for the financial assistance that my scholarship has provided me with, enabling me to attend St Andrew’s and have a truly enriching College experience. I would like to personally thank the generous benefactors who made this possible. Their support means I can attend university and have the best opportunity to pursue my sporting endeavours, where I can focus on honing my skills and improving my performance.



Hugh and Hilary Cairns
Hilary and Hugh at the 2022 University & Schools dinner with former Chair of Council, Charlie Taylor

Hugh and Hilary Cairns arrived at St Andrew’s College from Scotland in 1975 for Hugh to take up the role of Principal. Hugh had been brought up in England and moved to Scotland in his 20s. He became a brilliant sportsman representing his schools in rugby, soccer, cricket, fives and hockey and captaining most of the top sides.

HUGH was Head of School at both the Dragon School in Oxford and Charterhouse. He also captained Oxford University and Scotland in hockey. Hugh worked in a parish and schools in Scotland before coming to Australia to become the Principal at St Andrew’s College.

Hugh had originally heard about the College from Professor John McIntyre and Andrew’s alumnus Angus Holland. Later, when he saw an advertisement in a magazine, ‘all the bells in my head started to ring’ and he applied.

When Hugh and Hilary arrived at College, things were a little different compared to now. Women were not exactly welcome in the Main Building, but as time went on Hilary would attend more and more events and Hugh appointed a number of female tutors to join the College.

Some of Hugh’s favourite memories of his time as Principal involved afternoons playing cricket on the College Oval when he would go out to bat against the students (he was playing for the Senior Common Room team). Hilary has fond memories of hosting lunches for the valedicting students in their house, and has never forgotten the time she served them a ‘summer pudding’ which became known as a dessert haggis and in turn, ‘Hilary’s Haggis’.

Hugh and Hilary have been strong supporters of the College since their arrival all those years ago and over time have become members of the Highlander Club, 1867 Circle and Ambassadors of the St Andrew’s College Foundation. In 2021, Hugh and Hilary established the Cairns Indigenous Scholarship to support young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who want to come to College and university in Sydney.

Hugh’s interest in Aboriginal Australians and their culture was sparked by a lecture in Oxford when he was about six years old; and Standing Stones, ancient Neolithic Tombs and studies in the Classics kept it alive. In 1975, Hugh began studying early astronomies after visiting the renowned sacred Aboriginal sites in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and learning of the Ancient Astronomers.

Hugh’s exploration of Aboriginal culture took him to Wardaman Country in the Northern Territory in 1979. During a subsequent trip to the area in 1997, he met Wardaman Senior Elder Bill Yidumduma Harney. This meeting came about when Hugh drove his colleague, Julie Drew, to work on Bill’s cattle station, known as ‘Menngen,’ to assist her in gathering material for her Master’s Thesis. It was during this time that a strong friendship began to form between Hugh and Bill. According to Bill, Hugh was the first white man to ask him anything about the stars. Bill explained how the movement of the stars and planets across the sky orders the Wardaman people’s year. The stars dictate the timing of their ceremonies; they know when to move to the next food source by the stars. They did not need a watch when he was on watch as a stockman, as the stars tell the time too.

Hugh has since written two books with Bill – Dark Sparklers and Four Circles. Dark Sparklers is considered the first integrated indigenous Astronomy published anywhere in the world and presents the intellectual world of the Wardaman People. Four Circles is a book about the Wardaman People’s Customary Law and describes how the Wardman People lived: their way of life, customs, ceremonies, education, marriage laws, discipline and punishment of wrongdoers, which is educational, determined to bring them back to be a valuable member of society.

Hugh and Hilary have also always been heavily involved and interested in education. Thus, they understand how difficult it can be to access, especially if it is far from home, as Sydney is for many people living in other parts of Australia. They considered the impact they could make by giving someone from a rural or remote community access to education when creating their scholarship, and sought to specifically help young indigenous people realise their academic goals. As Hugh put it:

“If a young person can go to St Andrew’s, they will have the opportunity to move into the modern world, be introduced to different ways of thinking, and broaden their horizons. The College is also a good environment for this and provides a good support framework for young people to find their way in the world.”

Hilary and Hugh at the 2022 University & Schools dinner with former Chair of Council, Charlie Taylor

Destiny Batman-Peris is the 2022 and 2023 recipient of the Cairns Indigenous Scholarship. Destiny is currently completing her third year of a Nursing Degree at the University of Notre Dame, as well as competing in both intercollegiate and national level hockey. Destiny shared with us her College and university experience so far and her plans for the future.

Can you tell us a little about where you have moved from?

I am proud to be Bunitj from West Arnhem Land, and Gidja and Yawuru from the East and West Kimberley, respectfully. However, I grew up on Larrakia Country (Darwin), and call that home. As much as I miss it, being in Sydney offers the best opportunities for my studies and sport.

How are your studies going so far?

Next year will be the final year of my degree. This year, I’m doing my Bachelor of Nursing part-time so I can also complete a Certificate III in Mentoring Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, via TAFE’s Eora Centre. I am passionate about health promotion and preventative health, especially in Aboriginal communities. I also currently work as a mentor to Aboriginal High School students. This aligns well with my future goals in the field of nursing I aim to go into.

Can you share some of your academic highlights?

There is a handful of St Andrew’s students doing the Bachelor of Nursing at Notre Dame which is great, particularly during exam blocks where we can study together and support each other. One of the classes I am doing this Semester is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Health, which will be invaluable for my career as a nurse. The lecturer is a proud Bundjalung woman and I love learning from her.

Emotionally, it is really beneficial for me to be surrounded by Mob – it makes it easier to be away from home. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across all of the University of Sydney’s residential colleges have been networking and building a strong community here, which is positive for all of us.

How has 2022 been for you? What did you participate in at College, and what were the highs and lows?

2022 was a year of both success and challenge. I represented St Andrew’s in Rosebowl Hockey and Athletics and was selected for my first Australian squad: the Australian Junior (U21) Indoor Hockey Squad. Three students from St Andrew’s College were selected for this squad of 30 from all around the nation. I competed in the U21 Australian Hockey Championships in Perth, representing the combined NT/SA team. A highlight was also competing at the UniSport Indigenous Nationals in Brisbane. My University couldn’t field a team so I competed for Charles Darwin University with cousins and family friends I grew up with. Although I achieved a lot in my sports I battled injuries for much of the year. The flow-on effect of this, however, was that I could discover who I am beyond sport and explore my particular passions in nursing and make plans to pursue these.

What are your hopes and plans for 2023, and the future?

I have a strong connection to my Country in West Arnhem Land – I go out there often during Dry Season. However, I would like to develop a stronger connection to my Country in the Kimberley and intend to do one of my nursing placements in Broome. I lived there when I was younger – it is my great-grandfather’s Country – and Notre Dame has a campus there. This experience would be invaluable for me culturally as well as professionally, as the healthcare demographics in Broome are similar to that of Darwin and will better prepare me for the post-graduate work I plan to do in the Top End.

With recent injuries behind me, I am very keen to resume intercollegiate hockey later this Semester. We always have such a great group of girls and I value the connections I make or strengthen each year during the inter-col hockey campaign. The last game always falls during National Reconciliation Week or the Indigenous Round, and I am designing the artwork for the socks we will wear for that game.

How do you think the Scholarship Program contributes to the life and community of the College?

I really believe the Scholarship Program at St Andrew’s encourages diversity, as students from different places, socioeconomic statuses, and ethnicities come together and bond. We learn from each other and it encourages us to develop curiosity, sensitivity, and sociocultural awareness.

Do you have any comments that you would like to personally direct to your benefactors?

I wouldn’t be able to study here on Gadigal Country without scholarship support. I am achieving high distinctions in my studies and love being able to play quality hockey. Relocation, travel, registration, equipment and uniforms are expensive, which makes the generosity of the Cairns’ invaluable to me being able to achieve my goals. I am incredibly grateful to be at St Andrew’s and have the wealth of opportunities that come with being a resident here.

David (centre) with scholarship recipients Elliott Earnshaw (David Anstice Rural and Regional Scholarship) and Dyone Bettega (Bill Caldwell Scholarship).

Despite having spent the last 30 years living and working in the united states, David Anstice has maintained a strong connection with his Australian roots, and with his college, St Andrew’s. in 1998, David established a Scholarship, together with Tom Yim (Fr 1966), in memoriam of their friend Bill Caldwell (Fr 1964). David also supported three rooms in the new Hanks building a number of years ago. More recently, he established a new annual scholarship, The David Anstice Rural & Regional Scholarship, to give a student from the country the opportunity to experience their university education in a residential college.

What would you say was the best thing about your time at College?

The lifelong friends I made at St Andrew’s.

What made you choose to live at St Andrew’s rather than anywhere else?

As a boy from Wagga Wagga, I could not attend University and live at home. I was Presbyterian, and had been to The Scots College. St Andrew’s was linked by its religion and was a known quantity to my parents. I am so glad I never went to Paul’s or Wesley, and John’s was never in the mix!

Why did you choose to study Economics at University? Do you have any advice for students in the same focus and looking to enter the workforce soon?

I wanted a business (or maybe a federal government) career, preferably with an international footprint or focus. I did not want to go into a profession such as medicine, dentistry or law.  Economics did not equip you for business per se, but it did equip me well for thinking about and analyzing interesting business and political issues.

College was quite different in your time to today – what are the main changes that stand out to you today?

Inclusion of women, obviously. A great addition! Technology-enabled learning today must be a big difference from my time. I think the significant emphasis on academic achievement is to be applauded – that was less so in my time. What has not changed is the sense of College as a real community, which provides an openness to disciplines and activities beyond the strict confines of any one faculty or school. What has changed is likely superficial (I am sure the food is better). The spirit of community whilst at University is the critical advantage of college.

How did the College shape your future employment and life opportunities?

Employment, not directly at all I would say – there were no careers events, no networks of business folks, and so on back then. Most students were in one or the other of the professions. But College did equip me for life, in all its abundance. It was formative in my first three years of being responsible for myself.

In your opinion, what is the most important work that the College does?

Provide, through a full-blooded residential experience, a sense of community, and an understanding of the need for pursuing seriously what you have chosen to do with your life, and connecting with likeminded others. You finally get a chance to know who you are, and what you might be capable of doing.

What contribution or achievement in relation to College are you proudest of?

That I graduated – given all the distractions!

You have been based in the US now for nearly 30 years – what are the differences to Australia in lifestyle and career?

The USA exists on a grander scale and a more global stage. Development of talent is taken very seriously in the corporate sector, enhancing diversity is second nature (although it may not always seem so from this distance), and quality of effort is all. Standards are set high and pursued – at least that is what I found (but I was lucky in my lifelong employer). By contrast, I would say Australia is simply less ambitious, and willing to take a better lifestyle as a trade-off. That is not a criticism. I understand the attractions of the Australian work/life balance. But if you want to find out how good you are, you have to play in the major leagues. I guess I believe fundamentally that each person should contribute to their full capacity – and you have to find out what that is. Australians do that in sport actually.

What do you like to do in your spare time away from work?

Swim. Play tennis. Watch (and play) cricket. Walk. Travel extensively. Read history. Go to the opera, and the theatre. Support Australia.

Why did you choose to establish the Bill Caldwell scholarship?

Bill was a good friend, and someone who was destined for great achievements. His life was cut short by a freak accident, and he left a wife and four young children. A way to remember him was very important.

Your scholarship supports a student who has achieved across their academics and extra-curricular activities (sport/culture/music/arts) and shown leadership. Can you expand further on why these values were important to this scholarship?

A residential college experience adds significantly to a University degree. An individual needs to understand and appreciate others, to develop perspective and an appreciation of life beyond narrow confines. Sport, music, culture, travel, reading outside your job needs – these all broaden horizons and deepen understanding of others. Leaders, properly experienced and equipped, can take people and organisations to better places that they had not imagined before.

What motivates you to stay involved with the College?

It gave me much at a very formative part of my life – I cannot repay those who went before me in any better way than to support those following behind me.

As a supporter of the College, an alumnus and a philanthropist, what advice would you give others considering making a gift or leaving a bequest?

Make gifts every year (I have not always!), and make gifts that you are comfortable with financially – $20 is fine (it means you care). When you are considering a larger gift, talk to people at the College about what are the most important needs today, and find an intersection point for common ground.


In 2020, David established a significant annual scholarship that will support a rural and regional student to come to St Andrew’s for the next three years. In conjunction with this, David has also set the College and Foundation a fundraising challenge: If we can match his new scholarship with three similar size gifts (solo donations, or a group donation), he has pledged to give a second scholarship the same size as the first. If you think you might be interested in helping us double the size of David’s scholarship gift and support even more students, please get in contact with Hannah Atwell, Director of Advancement for more information via: T: +61 2 9565 7303 or E:

You can read about the impact of David’s giving in our interview with Adele Burke (Fr 2018) below, who was the recipient of the Bill Caldwell Scholarship in 2020.

The Advancement Office would like to thank David for taking the time to share his story with us and for setting this fundraising challenge.

Adele giving a speech as the Honorary Secretary at the 2020 Valedictory Dinner.

The Bill Caldwell Scholarship was established in 1998 to honour Bill Caldwell (Fr 1964), who was tragically killed in 1993. The scholarship was created by a group of dedicated friends, led by Tom Yim (Fr 1966) and David Anstice AO (Fr 1966). Now over twenty years on, the scholarship has supported 15 students. We spoke to the most recent recipient, Adele Burke, to find out how the scholarship has helped her this past year.

Adele Burke (Fr 2018) was awarded the Bill Caldwell Scholarship in 2020. During her time at College she was part of the Palladian Dance Team, competed in Oration (and won), was a member of the Rosebowl Swimming Team and in her third year, served as Honorary Secretary. Adele is currently completing her studies in Engineering (Honors) with Mechanical Space Engineering/Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) at The University of Sydney. Below, she reflects on her time at St Andrew’s, and how the scholarship affected her.

What has been your favourite thing about College?

The highlight of my College experience over the past three years has certainly been the opportunity to meet, become such good friends with, and be inspired by, so many different types of people from so many different parts of Australia. I think the people I was surrounded by, certainly made each and every experience so much better.

My favourite experience over my time at College was the opportunity to participate in the Sony Children’s Camps in 2018 and 2019, first, as a companion and second, as Convenor of the camp. Throughout the camp, a team of about 50 students (mostly Drew’s, with a couple of Women’s, Pauls and John’s students) spend 4 days providing 24-hour supervision for 20 campers with mental and physical disability. The joy the campers and the respite the parents get from the Camp made both weeks the best two weeks of my College experience by far. They are very special memories I will hold onto forever!

How has receiving financial support helped you this year?

In 2020 I was juggling quite a few balls, including three very big ones – College (as Honorary Secretary), Uni (as a Mechanical Space Engineering and Maths student who spent a lot of time at the library) and work (as a tutor at Drew’s, and a Student Ambassador at the University). Receiving financial support this year allowed me to gracefully lower the last ball, instead of being forced to drop one at some point throughout the year. And so, in a year where both Uni and College had to be tackled with a bit more energy (in order to manage online lectures and tutorials, and reimagine 50-year-old college events, respectively), I was able to walk away from both really happy with what I achieved. Without receiving financial support this year, I do not think the same could have been said. So, thank you!

How necessary do you think scholarships are to the College?

To the College overall, scholarships are so important in achieving the diversity which I mentioned earlier. I am so grateful to be part of the 2018 Fresher year group, who had a higher percentage of students come from outside the Sydney Metropolitan area than usual – I think that scholarships would have been a significant enabler in achieving this. It allowed our year group to meet new people with unfamiliar experiences, and in turn, we were able to discuss new and unfamiliar ideas.

I was able to expand my, arguably, quite insular worldview, coming from a private girl’s school in The Canberra Bubble. I had discussions and debates with people with very different opinions and backgrounds on a whole range of topics. In one instance, after having a conversation with a student in our year about the benefits of it, I began practicing mindfulness every day. And the same student, who was raised on a cattle farm, became vegetarian after I explained the reasons why I was one myself, and suggested a book for him to read on the topic. These discussions and debates, which were made so much richer due to the diversity in our year group, allowed us to become more well-rounded people over the past three years, and I think that the diversity of our year group came as a result of the generosity of benefactors and the availability of scholarships.

What is your plan for this next year?

This year I will work towards completing my second to last year of University and will move into a share house in Darlinghurst with two of my friends from Drew’s. I will be around Drew’s a little – working as the Senior Academic Tutor for STEM, and also as a 2021 Taylor Scholar.

Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your benefactors?

Thank you for your generosity, because I think it is donations like yours that really make Drew’s what it is. When I was accepted into Drew’s, I soon realised that there is a culture here of striving to better oneself every day, and this is true whether academics, sports, performing arts or community service is ‘your thing.’

Financial support is the backbone of that culture. It allowed the people who I looked up to when I first came to Drew’s – people who were striving to better themselves, and thus, excelling in ‘their thing’ – to be here. It also allowed me to be here and to see that, and so, encouraged me to achieve in ‘my things’ – academics, leadership, debating and public speaking. When I was recognised for those achievements by being awarded with financial support, it provided me with a nudge to keep on going.

I hope that I was fortunate enough to be a part of continuing that culture, and I know it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I cannot thank you enough for helping me to experience it in the first place.

To hear from one of the benefactors of the Bill Caldwell Scholarship, read our interview with David Anstice (Fr 1966) above, whose support makes it possible for students like Adele to attend College.

The Advancement Office would like to thank Adele for taking the time to share her story with us.

Colin (right) with his wife Suzanne and Principal, Wayne Erickson.

What are some of your favourite memories of your time being associated with the College?

  • Meeting not only other students from similar schools and backgrounds but also those from more diverse origins.
  • Although controversial these days, the strong bond forged through the fresher initiation ceremonies.
  • The life-long friendships formed with fellow students.
  • The inter-collegiate sport competitions.
  • Since 2002, the satisfaction of being able to serve the College in various ways and hopefully repaying it for all the benefits received whilst a student.

What would you say was the best thing you remember about your time at College as a student?

Generally, the whole experience and the life-long friendships I made. However, it was all good. Maybe getting the chance to play Rugby with three then-current Wallabies.

What made you choose to live at St Andrew’s rather than anywhere else?

I came from Newcastle, so I had to live somewhere. College was a natural progression from boarding at The Scots College as both were then run by the Presbyterian Church of which my parents were members.

College was quite different in your time to today – what are the main changes that stand out to you today?

  • There were no women! (A great step now)
  • The improvements in accommodation and facilities, and the food is better!
  • The improved tutorial program
  • There is greater interaction with the Principal and staff.

In your opinion, what is the most important work that the College does?

Shaping the lives of young people in many meaningful ways in the sometimes difficult transaction from youth to adulthood.

You studied law and went on to become a Judge in the Compensation Court. Do you have any advice for students entering studying law and looking to make a career in it?

First and foremost, only do it if you find it enjoyable. And as with all Faculties, team up with a fellow student to “bounce off” in your study.

How did College help you to shape your future employment/life opportunities?

It probably played a part in getting me my first job as an Articled Clerk with two good law firms whilst still doing my course. As a young Barrister it may also have had some influence on the Solicitors who sent me the work to appear in Court.

What do you like to do in your spare time now that you are retired?

I like to go sailing or walking. I socialise with family and old friends, and travel both overseas and in Australia. And I like to read.

Why do you choose to give to St Andrew’s?

As a modest repayment for all it has given me. And to, in some way, help other young people gain the experience and benefit it has given me.

What motivates you to stay involved with the College?

As above, and for the satisfying social interaction it provides in my retirement.

Do you have an anecdote about the College that really moved you?

This is a hard one. Whilst probably not directly relevant, it gives me the opportunity to acknowledge the extraordinary service rendered to College by the late Professor Ian Jack.

You are also a member of the 1867 Circle, having indicated you have left a bequest to the College. Could you expand further on why you chose to do this and why you think it is important that we have bequests?

I have chosen to leave a bequest as a very modest gesture of the great value I place upon what College did in shaping my future life. Obviously bequests assist College to provide some of its benefits to its students.

What do you hope the organisation will achieve in the near future? In the long term?

I don’t really feel qualified to answer this question other than to say that I believe the organisation has never been better in my life-time and probably in its history. So – just keep up the good work.

As a supporter of the College, an alumnus and a philanthropist, what advice would you give to others considering making a gift or leaving a bequest?

Just do it!

Far left: Rural Scholarship recipient Michael Baldock (Fr 2018) with his fellow Androvians.

“Consider what the evident benefits are that your son or daughter has had by attending St Andrew’s. Think about the sector or area you believe your help can make a difference. Discuss with the great staff at the College!”

In 2015, Grant and Sandra Close made the pivotal decision to provide their support to St Andrew’s College by establishing a scholarship to assist students from rural or regional Australia.

The first mention of St Andrew’s College came from their daughter Emily, who met an Androvian while she was at a sports camp in Australia and was impressed by what she heard. Even though she was 25 years old at the time and had already finished University, she still decided to relay the information to her family and especially to her younger brother Edward who was nearing the time of choosing where to study. Edward went to an all-boys boarding school in New Zealand, and so St Andrew’s, having moved to a co-education system in 2002, was a perfect match for the opportunity to have a diverse and new experience. With this in mind, Edward and the family flew over just to visit St Andrew’s (no other Colleges), applied, and was accepted to start his first year in 2014.

Grant explained that being from New Zealand can feel like “a big fish in a little pond”, whilst Australia is “a big country, with big skies and big opportunities”. Like their wish for their son to experience these opportunities, they also wished to help other students who had the hope to “broaden their horizons and have a breadth of experience” and as students from rural or regional Australia are the most affected by financial constraints, this was added as a requirement to their scholarship. Grant and Sandra both know the benefits of studying and working in a large country and so through their scholarship, they hope to enable more students to experience college life and a university education.

Michael Baldock is one of the students currently benefiting from the Close’s generosity. He was awarded the scholarship in 2018 and again in 2019, during his second year at College. Michael, originally from Armidale, remembers walking around Drew’s when he came for his interview and ending up spending the whole day here “just loving it”. He was able to meet Grant and Sandra in May for an informal afternoon tea whilst they were in Sydney earlier this year, where he expressed his appreciation for the support that they have given him that has enabled him to experience College life to the full, whilst studying for a BA in Health Sciences and Physical Education. He is a keen rugby player, so discussions were had on the Wallabies and the All Blacks. They were also joined by another past recipient of the Close Scholarship, Illie Hewitt (Fr 2016). Now an alumna of St Andrew’s, she took the opportunity to thank the Close family for their support in 2016 and 2017, inform them of her progress since leaving College and share memories of her time at Drew’s. Similarly to Michael, she remembers Drew’s feeling “more authentic, kind and welcoming” than other colleges nearby and thankful that support was offered.

In addition to supporting St Andrew’s, Grant and Sandra are long-time patrons of the arts, supporting the Christchurch Art Gallery and local Arts initiatives. Grant’s building firm ‘PlaceMakers Riccarton’ has been instrumental in helping with the city’s restoration after the earthquake. This philanthropic nature is evident in many of our supporters and we thank them for providing opportunities for more students who would be otherwise unable, to become part of the St Andrew’s family.

Elizabeth Plaskitt, Sam Brandwood (Fr 2016), Liam Brandwood (Fr 2017), Fergus Bragg (Fr 2017), Peter Plaskitt (Fr 1958)

The Plaskitt Family Scholarship was established by Peter and Libby Plaskitt in 2017. Their connection with St Andrew’s College began with Peter, who became an Andrewsman in 1958. However, his road to College wasn’t the most conventional nor easiest of paths. After a year jackerooing on the family farm at Quirindi he decided to go to Sydney to study economics and to “take the business world by storm”! However, his application to Drews did not have the outcome he desired. Instead of “taking no for an answer”, Peter caught the midnight mail train and knocked on Principal Dougan’s door early on a Sunday morning!

This resulted in being placed in “a broom cupboard under the stairs with a gentleman from Newcastle” for his first year, and he was very happy to be in St Andrew’s.

His grades improved while at Drews studying Economics, which eventually led to his career in property development. During his four years, Peter was part of the shooting team (which does not exist today but group photos can be seen along the Main Building’s corridor) and also a less formal Sherry Club which involved buying a “flagon of sherry and gathering in Hugh Lander’s room for a tipple before dinner”. Peter has many fond memories of his time at St Andrew’s and this was a major factor in his and Libby’s decision to support the College. “The experience stays with you – friends, grades, parties etc!”

Peter’s connection with College extended to his position 35 years later on the College Council for 9 years. Peter was heavily involved with the development of the Hanks building and the College’s transition to co-residential (claiming “it was one of the best things the College ever did”). Peter is now part of the Major Works Committee that is currently involved with the Thyne Reid Link Building. Peter and Libby even hosted an Elizabethan themed party in the Dining Hall a number of years ago. Their two daughters, Hannah and Sarah, although not alumni, are university graduates and both are thrilled that young women now have the opportunity to attend St Andrew’s.

The Scholarship is awarded annually to two students, one from west of the Great Dividing Range NSW and the other from New Zealand, with a preference to the South Island. Why these two areas? As Peter put it:

“You feel you owe something to places that have contributed to your life”.

Peter (being from Quirindi NSW, west of the Great Dividing Range) and Libby (graduate of WA Uni), live in Sydney but co-owned a sheep station on the South Island of NZ for 10 years and thereafter built a holiday home in Queenstown which they have enjoyed for the past 20 years.

These two areas have given them so many good experiences in life that they felt that their scholarship should reflect this. In this context their aim was to encourage the diversity of students at Drews. Libby noted their desire “that St Andrew’s have a mix, of overseas, interstate, country and city and if more stay beyond second or third year, as Peter did, a greater spread of ages also results”.

Peter and Libby recently met with the 2019 Plaskitt Family Scholarship recipients over Formal Dinner at the College. Fergus Bragg (from Aberdeen, NSW) and Liam Brandwood (from Wellington, NZ) are both currently in their third year at St Andrew’s and thoroughly enjoying their time here. They both discussed how integrated they have become in Drews life and especially with its sporting culture. This year, Fergus led the Rawson Rugby team to victory and Liam was a member of the successful Rawson cricket team. Whilst Fergus is pursuing a Bachelor of Economics at the University of Sydney, which echoes Peter’s own studies, Liam is studying for a Bachelor of Architecture, but both students agree that they are passionate about their courses and are excelling in their fields. An addition to the evening was Liam’s brother, Sam Brandwood, a recent alumnus who the Plaskitt Family also assisted as part of their scholarship the year previous. Although Sam has moved on from Andrew’s after graduating with a degree in Economics, he still took up the opportunity to see Peter and Libby again, as being the recipient of a scholarship comes with a long-lasting feeling of gratitude.

Our thanks go to the Plaskitt Family for their support and commitment to St Andrew’s and its students. It is through these types of scholarships that more young people get to experience the unique College Life that Andrew’s provides.

Tom Woodcock at the White House (USA) | Mei Zheng with her Cornell University supervisors (USA)

The Petre Foundation was founded by husband and wife Daniel and Carolyn Petre over 20 years ago. The organisations they support are numerous, and include the Sydney Theatre Company, Garvan Foundation, Social Ventures Australia, Westmead Children’s Hospital, Ravenswood School for Girls and The Inspire Foundation. They have also funded 3 chairs in medical research (Paediatric, Neurology, Cancer Genomics and Prostate Cancer) and support multiple other causes. Their family view is that:

“If you have been fortunate in life, then it is your responsibility to give back to others less fortunate. Choose a cause that matters to you.”

Having both grown up at the time when University was free, it was worlds away from when their 3 daughters attended the University of Technology in Sydney and subsequently St Andrew’s College. In choosing to reside at St Andrew’s, Grace (Fr 2008), Eliza (Fr 2013) and Alice (Fr 2016) marked the foundation of the connection between the Petres and the College. All three were very involved within the College, supporting sports and arts teams in their collegiate competitions and managing to find ”a sense of belonging”. More recently, Grace has taken up a position on the Foundation’s Board of Management.

Whilst the time at university and college is incredibly rewarding, the family were also conscious of the “bubble of Sydney” and so have travelled extensively to counter this. All three daughters have gone a step further and undertaken separate major projects in under-privileged countries which they believe has helped them “develop perspective on the world”. This understanding was a contributing factor to the Petre’s decision to establish the Petre Foundation Travelling Scholarship.

“We felt that giving outstanding students the ability to travel to locations/institutions where they could engage in world class learning and broaden their horizons would add value to their lives, and without the support they probably could not have had these experiences”.

The Travelling Scholarship has been in place since 2014 and to date, has helped over 20 students experience life-changing exchange programs. Previous recipients of the scholarship have expressed their gratitude to the Petre Family for their incredible generosity and for providing them with the otherwise unattainable opportunity which helped them develop personally and culturally whilst enhancing their university studies on their return.

The Petre’s support for the College continues in 2019 in a new form, following the family’s decision to direct their support to provide funding specifically for female undergraduate students in need of financial support. As a family with 4 women, there is a particularly strong and meaningful understanding that:

“Females are still not provided the same level of career opportunity that males do.. by focusing on female students we hopefully are giving some female students opportunities to enhance their career aspirations”.

The College and our students thank the entire Petre Family for their generosity and continued commitment to providing deserving young adults with the opportunity to experience university and college life.

Tom Woodcock, a 2nd year law student at the University of Sydney, attended an exchange program to Washington, DC over the 2018 summer break after being awarded the Petre Foundation Travelling Scholarship in 2018.

“The program, which was organised by the United States Studies Centre comprised of two main components: internship in the US Congressional Offices, and two subjects of university.

I was fortunate to intern 4 days per week for Congressman Mike Bost from Illinois. Some of my roles included managing constituent enquiries from Illinois, attending policy briefings on behalf of legislative assistants, and writing floor speeches for the Congressman. Highlights included a trip to the West Wing where we went inside the oval office, being in the room at the Cohen Hearing and personally watching the House of Representatives vote on the government shutdown.

We studied and lived at the University of California, DC Campus (UCDC). Class was scheduled two nights per week after work. Although I am completing a Bachelor of Commerce and Laws at USYD, it was very interesting taking politically based electives over there, particularly as we would study policy that was being discussed at work.

The whole experience has enabled me to develop skills which are transferrable to any industry I choose to work in. In fact, the internship has inadvertently contributed to my employment at a law firm back in Sydney. [The Petres’] generosity has given me a significant head start as a 2nd Year law student, from which I will continue to benefit from for years to come.”

Mei Zheng, a 3rd year Advanced Science student at the University of Sydney, attended Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences during semester 2 of 2018 with the help of the Petre Foundation Travelling Scholarship.

“Academically, I thrived a lot at Cornell University, where professors are extremely passionate in their field of research and the classes they teach. One class helped me clarify my direction for future study and research and I now aspire to become an epidemiologist.

Another highlight of my exchange semester was that I was able to join the Cornell University Wind Symphony. After my semester, I also travelled with the Symphony to Haiti and the Dominican Republic on a service-learning tour.

Studying abroad has really help me a lot personally, allowing me to understand more about myself and develop stronger independent living skills. It has also allowed me to be exposed to new scientific ideas and cultures which have inspired my future research pathway.

This exchange programme has not only been a professional development opportunity but has also enhanced my global awareness and cultural competence as an individual. It’s been an exciting semester for me to gain other worldly experiences and insights which I now look forward to share with other students at St Andrew’s and the University of Sydney. I’m extremely grateful to be able to have experienced such an exciting semester at Cornell University and will treasure these memories for a lifetime.”

For many young Australians, a scholarship is more than a prize. It means being able to follow dreams over the socioeconomic bridge towards a university degree. As the educational sector of Australia continually pushes the boundaries of excellence, juggling the expense and issues of daily life with the pressure to achieve the results at University is a struggle for many young adults. St Andrew’s College has always understood that many students face financial stress during their time at university, and strive to help alleviate this. Fortunately, St Andrew’s has had incredible support from its alumni and parent community, who agree with this view and so make it possible for the College to award scholarships and bursaries to residents in need.

Mrs Robin Stevenson established the ‘WRD Stevenson Scholarship’ in 2000, in honour of her late husband, William Robert Dill Stevenson OBE (Fr 1932). Her intention was simple: to help inspire and support the next generation of lawyers. William, who was known as Bob both during and after his time at St Andrew’s, came to the college on the ‘Knox Grammar Scholarship’. This scholarship, established in 1926, provided its recipients with between £40 to £60 and was awarded based on merit. Without this scholarship, Bob would not have been able to attend the college. He later went on to become a distinguished Australian war veteran of WWII and president of the Law Society of NSW.

Bob was only able to attend St Andrew’s for one year, but it was a monumental year of his life. The Honorable Judge Paul Brereton, the nephew of Mr and Mrs. Stevenson, has recalled with fondness the way his uncle would reminisce about his time in college and the lifelong friendships he forged during his stay. Bob’s story is similar to so many St Andrew’s alumni, those who were given the gift of financial relief, only to find that the real prize was in the form of a community and a supported future at university and beyond.

Today, 18 years after the WRD Stevenson Scholarship was founded, many St Andrew’s residents have come and gone through the college having received the same opportunities as Bob. Emily Tyrrell, the recipient in 2018 and 2019, studies Law at the University of Sydney and described it as her dream university. Emily has said that,

“If not for the scholarship, I would not have been able to afford residency.”

The WRD Stevenson Scholarship continues every year to provide a high quality law student with the opportunity to maximize their experience of university and give them every opportunity to be the best student and person that they can be.

When she was first accepted into the course, Emily found it difficult to travel between university and her home in Western Sydney whilst working at the same time, and felt she missed the opportunity to fully engage in university life or establish friendships with her peers.

Since receiving the scholarship, Emily has not only had the burden of travel and the stress of a work-life balance alleviated, but she’s also been given the freedom to pursue her interest in creative writing, which led to her winning the Principals Prize for Creative Writing in 2018. It has enabled Emily to achieve more in her Law studies, whilst allowing her to dedicate as much energy to her English Major, as both require a myriad of skills and time.

The validity of a collegiate experience has gone under the spotlight after many contemporary criticisms of Sydney colleges in the last few years. For past and present residents of St Andrew’s College however, there is no question of the benefits they received as part of this community. St Andrew’s College continues to deliver a fulfilling and unique experience for all its residents and thanks its community for their support through scholarships such as the WRD Stevenson Scholarship, which are key to enabling more young adults access to this invaluable life experience.

Adrian Whitehall (Fr 2016), Tony Damian (Fr 1990), David Bartholot (Fr 2015)

Growing up in Forster NSW, Tony Damian (Fr 1990) resided at St Andrew’s College for seven years whilst completing his studies. He now holds a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Master of Laws from the University of Sydney. Previously a tutor at St Andrew’s College, he continues to lecture at the university and is a Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney. He decided to make St Andrew’s his “home away from home” due to the warm reception he received from students and the Principal during his application interview – “…it was welcoming and most accepting of students irrespective of their background.” He felt he could be himself and didn’t have to fit a “mould” at St Andrew’s, and describes his time here fondly, saying he formed “friendships for life” and had valuable opportunities for leadership via the position of Honorary Treasurer of the House Committee.

After seeing a request to fund scholarships in a St Andrew’s newsletter, he decided to give back to the College through the Tony Damian Scholarship which he says “…allowed me to reconnect with the College”. Having had a regional upbringing, Tony understands how difficult it can be for students to attend metropolitan universities and experience College life. Hence, a condition of the scholarship is for recipients to come from a regional background – “the rural and regional element is a small gesture to make sure those people have opportunities.” He believes that everyone should have a chance to experience College life and he encourages diversity. This condition was greatly appreciated by David Bartholot (Fr 2015) and Adrian Whitehall (Fr 2016) who come from Forster and Wollongong, respectively.

David is studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) at the University of Sydney and is an elite rower at the Sydney University Boat Club. Growing up in Forster, and coincidentally attending the same high school as Tony, David was attracted to St Andrew’s because of the athletic opportunities and the College’s rowing history. David and his mother were ecstatic when he received the Tony Damian Scholarship in 2017, describing it as “life changing”. Studying full-time and training more than 35 hours a week, David has minimal time to sustain an occupation. The scholarship relieved the financial burden of living expenses such as accommodation and food, giving him more time to focus on his studies and training.

When he first came to St Andrew’s, David was surprised at the diversity and capabilities of his fellow students, describing them as “all very talented”, and praises the College as a great place to live. He was named Rowing New South Wales’ Novice Rower of the Year in 2016 and aims to trial for the National Rowing Team in Canberra. He’s currently enrolled in the Army Reserves and wants to complete his studies before commencing rowing full time.

Adrian is studying a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and specialises in performing the double bass. Adrian started playing music when he was three, and has specialised in bass since the age of ten. His mother said he knew how to play music before he could talk! He grew up in Wollongong and wanted to study at the Conservatorium because of its world class programs and professors. He heard about St Andrew’s in a Careers Session and was enticed by the renowned music program and high profile musicians who attended the College, such as Alice Morgan and Minami Takahashi.

Receiving the Tony Damian Scholarship in 2018 was a relief for Adrian and his family because he could study at the Conservatorium without the burden of transporting his instruments to and from Wollongong. It has also allowed him to easily attend evening musical performances in the city. Residing at St Andrew’s has given Adrian an abundance of opportunities, having recently performed in Melbourne with the Australian Youth Orchestra and travelled to Europe for a master class in conducting with the world renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He describes the music tutor program at College as “amazing” and that it “…is unbelievable compared to the other Colleges. Andrew’s is on a whole other level.”

Tony’s generosity has provided outstanding opportunities for both David and Adrian in their respective fields. Both recipients were able to excel in their studies and professions without the financial burden and stress of living expenses. Additionally, they had the opportunity to access St Andrew’s superior programs and be part of a community that will benefit them for a lifetime. David and Adrian both agree they wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for the Tony Damian Scholarship. Tony said he simply wanted

“to provide a little bit of help to some people doing wonderful things and help them… focus on the things they are good at”,

and through his scholarship he has been able to achieve exactly that.

Don Jamieson (Fr 1954), Erin Wright (Fr 2014)

Don Jamieson knew he liked chemistry and physics. However, when his Head Master asked him what he wanted to do when he left Kempsey High School in 1953, Don didn’t know for the simple reason that he hadn’t thought about it. “I knew I was interested in industrial chemistry, but that was about the extent of it,” says Don, “my parents, who didn’t go to university, saw two options: the local mechanic or working on my father’s boat.”

Fortunately, the Head Master, Mr Albert Gray, had greater ambitions for Don: studying chemical engineering at the University of Sydney.  While Don’s family didn’t have the financial capacity to pay for Don to go to university, Mr Gray organised for Don to receive a Commonwealth Scholarship.

And somewhere to live in Sydney? Mr Gray recommended his College, St Andrew’s, organising not only a place but also a bursary to cover the fees. And that is how, in 1954, Don came to live at St Andrew’s College. In those first few years, with hundreds of students studying engineering, Don’s closest friends were from College. Decades on, this is a familiar story to 2016 Jamieson Scholar, Erin Wright (Fr 2014). “There can be thousands in the lecture theatre. You don’t get to know anyone,” she says of her medical degree at UNSW, “most of my friends are here.”

After commencing an Arts/Science degree at the University of Sydney, Erin found her calling in Medicine in 2013 after watching her friend’s experience with cancer. “Her family had to move to Sydney,” Erin recalls, “because there aren’t enough doctors in regional Australia. I knew I wanted to be a doctor in a regional community.”

Don left Sydney soon after finishing his degree to pursue his career in chemical engineering, later moving into management and then venture capitalism. About 15 years ago, Don reconnected with St Andrew’s through his friends, attending a number of events and, as he says, being “exposed to giving.” Through this, Don decided that he would like to support students who, like him, wouldn’t be able to come to St Andrew’s or university without a scholarship, “I couldn’t have possibly have had so many interesting jobs without a degree and couldn’t have gone to university without being at Andrew’s.”

Initially, Don gave his scholarship annually, with pledge to leave an endowment as a bequest. However, after meeting the first recipients, Don changed his mind.

“I wanted to give the College certainty that there would be a scholarship and I realised that you won’t know who they [the recipients] are if you wait until a bequest. This is so much more satisfying and I’m tremendously glad I did.”

Like Don, Erin wouldn’t be at St Andrew’s without a scholarship. The Jamieson Scholarship, which supports a student from rural or regional Australia, gives Erin the certainty of a home away from her home in Armidale. “It means everything to be able to get this level of education which I wouldn’t get back home,” says Erin, “meeting Don makes it real, rather than a name on a page. You realise that they [the benefactors] had lives, made money and gave it to you…”

Will Cesta (Fr 2013)

“His mantle is passed on.” David Anstice (Fr 1966)

In July 2014, Will Cesta (Fr 2013) undertook a comprehensive one-month European study trip that started with a week’s mentorship with renowned concert pianist Angela Hewitt and ended at the International Masterclass Series in Portugal under Professor Boris Berman of Yale University and Professor Luiz de Moura Castra of Hartford University. As the 2014 recipient of the Bill Caldwell Scholarship, which is awarded for academic excellence and leadership, Will was able to use the Scholarship to fund a trip that has significantly enhanced his performance talents and skills. In the second year of a Bachelor of Music (Performance) majoring in piano at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Will was grateful for the opportunity to broaden his experience in Europe, “had it not been for this scholarship, I would not have had access to such an intensive and fruitful setting in which to challenge my own ideas about music, perform internationally and refine my playing.”

The Bill Caldwell Memorial Scholarship was established in 1998 to honour the life of Bill Caldwell (Fr 1964) who was tragically killed in 1993. The Scholarship was created thanks the benefaction of a group of dedicated friends including David Anstice (Fr 1966) and Tom Yim (Fr 1966) who wanted to honour Bill’s life and contribution to St Andrew’s and the community.

“Bill Caldwell, was a wonderful family man, and friend, and a gifted lawyer. He was tragically and undeservingly taken from his family, friends and profession in the middle of his life. His memory is cherished by all who knew him,” says David Anstice, “scholarships in his name, and supported by his friends, are a wonderful way of making his memory live on, and in a productive and enriching way for future generations. His mantle is passed on.”

In addition to recognising academic excellence and leadership, the Scholarship recognises significant participation in College life and, Will has certainly contributed to College. In addition to tutoring, Will enjoys participating in the College’s cultural programs, saying he relishes “playing concerts and contributing to events such as the Palladian Cup or Intercol Orchestra concerts.” However, Wills’ favourite part of College life is “witnessing the way in which people with completely different talents and interests collaborate to form a united and supportive community. I used to think that it was great to see a group of ‘Rowers’ at a Palladian event or ‘Dramatists’ at a Rosebowl Hockey game, but now I realise that we aren’t defined by what we do but how we do it. Regardless of what that the interests are, there is recognition of their value displayed by all members of our community.”

Bill Caldwell was a distinguished and much loved member of College. A 1964 Fresher, Bill completed Arts and Law degrees during his six years at College. He rowed no.2 in the College boat in his first year at College and was stroke for four years from 1966 to 1969. Bill served on the House Committee for four years, including as Senior Student in 1968.