Fraser Fair (FB'67)


Renowned Australian artist Fraser Fair was recently interviewed for auction house Leonard Joel's Design Icons Week. Fraser discussed his extraordinary friendship with Andy Warhol and how it began by chance. In the context of New York in the 1980s, Fraser reflected on his friendship with the artist, his practice and his inspirations, offering a rare glimpse into the life of one of the most influential and interesting figures in contemporary art.

Fraser was commissioned in 1984 to paint a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. As well as being the first Australian to do so, at age 35 he was also the youngest artist commissioned to paint a member of the Royal Family. His work is represented in the National Collection, Canberra, and in institutional and private collections throughout Australia and the United States.


Sandra Peake (Li'74)

Professor Sandra Peake, pictured above with daughter Juliette Moran (He'15) at the OGG SA Branch Dinner in 2016, is currently serving as an intensive care specialist on the National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. She is Director of the Department of Intensive Care Medicine at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. She is Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group (ANZICS CTG) Committee, and a committee member or Chair of several ANZICS CTG endorsed multi-centre trials, including the Australasian Resuscitation In Sepsis Evaluation trial (ARISE), The Augmented versus Routine approach to Giving Energy Trial (TARGET), and the Sampling Antibiotics in Renal Replacement Therapy trial (SMARRT).

Sandra has been involved in many areas of research from the effects of delivering nutrition at different calorie levels during critical illness, to studies into sepsis and its more severe version septic shock. Sepsis and septic shock can occur when infection spreads to the bloodstream, starving vital tissues and organs of oxygen. Common causes of sepsis include pneumonia and urinary tract infections, but many different infections throughout the body can lead to sepsis. The fatality rate among patients hospitalised with sepsis is between 20-50%. International guidelines for the treatment of sepsis continue to be debated among clinicians and researchers.

Beginning in 20201, Sandra and emergency medicine specialist Stephen McDonald from Perth will co-lead part of a new study which will aim to determine if restricted intravenous fluids and earlier introduction of blood pressure medication, compared to usual-care intravenous fluid with later blood pressure medication, improves outcomes for patients with septic shock presenting to emergency departments in Australia and New Zealand.

Sandra attended The Hermitage school in 1971 and 1972, before transferring to GGS in fifth form (Year 11) in 1973, the second full year that girls attended GGS.



Nikolai Petrovsky (Li'76)

Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, Director of Endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre with a conjoint position as Professor of Medicine at Flinders University, is active in diabetes, endocrinology and vaccine research. He is Vice-President and Secretary-General of the International Immunomics Society and the founder of Vaxine, a company funded by the US National Institutes of Health to develop novel vaccine technologies.

Vaxine and researchers at Flinders University have recently developed a Covid-19 vaccine named ‘COVAX-19’. The Central Adelaide Local Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee has given the green light for the vaccine to begin phase 2 trials after preliminary safety data from phase 1 trials found it to be safe and to successfully generate an immune response. The COVAX-19 vaccine is the first candidate to clear phase 1 trials in Australia. It is also one of only a handful that have progressed beyond the first phase of human trials in the world.

Led by Nikolai Petrovsky, the randomised trial was conducted at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and involved 40 healthy volunteers aged 18–65. Thirty participants received two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart, and 10 were given a placebo. ‘The subjects have had the vaccine, they’ve had no problems at all, and so that now allows us to move forward into much bigger studies to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine,’ Nikolai told newsGP. ‘There’s a whole lot of different groups in the community that behave differently, there’s the elderly, there’s young children, there’s people with chronic disease and cancer. So basically, we have to progressively do studies in all of those groups.’ Phase two trials for COVAX-19, set to involve between 400 and 500 volunteers, are scheduled to begin in September.

In terms of the elderly, in an interview with SBS last week Nikolai said, “They are the people that we really need to protect. The irony is that a lot of the work on vaccines is being directed at how to protect young people and so the elderly are being a bit ignored … We're particularly interested to go early into those vulnerable populations because that's where the vaccine is going to ultimately need to work, and where it will have its biggest impact."

After the recent global concern about the Russian Sputnik vaccine, Nikolai was quoted in a Hospital Heath article: “It is positive to see multiple COVID-19 vaccines steadily advancing through human trials, although no vaccine has yet to definitely show efficacy against human disease. A key challenge is at what stage a vaccine should be authorised for more general use.

“The key point is that a general marketing authorisation that would allow a vaccine to be used indiscriminately across entire populations of hundreds of millions of people should never be issued without first confirming safety and effectiveness in each specific population in which it is going to be used. This would generally require a large phase 3 clinical trial with completely open recruitment, ie no exclusions, or a series of large phase 2 trials looking at each specific population. This is not to say that a vaccine should not be used more widely prior to completion of phase 3 trials, just that a marketing authorisation should not be issued until after the phase 3 trials.

For Nikolai’s team to properly test the COVAX-19 vaccine in the population, they will have to send it to a country where the virus is in the community. Most vaccines in phase three will be sent to countries in Latin America, the US, India or South Africa, which are currently hardest hit by Covid-19.

The debate around vaccines — pitting optimists against pessimists — was the topic of the June 2020 (Episode 64) podcast of the Going Viral series by Healthed Australia, a Covid-19 update for health professionals. Hosted by Dr Harry Nespolon, GP and President of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Nikolai Petrovsky provided the optimistic viewpoint, while Nobel Prize recipient Professor Ian Frazer, developer of the cervical cancer vaccine based at the University of Queensland, spoke from the pessimistic viewpoint. The podcast can be heard here.



Sally Wilson (Cl'92)

Internationally renowned opera singer and now change coach Sally Wilson was a recent guest of ABC radio's The Conversation Hour when she discussed Impostor Syndrome, a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. Sally revealed during the interview that she felt she suffered from Impostor Syndrome even while at school, which may seem surprising as Sally received the Francis Hope Lascelles and Lady Robinson Prizes for Reading in years 10, 11, and 12, the Timothy Gibson Happell Prize for Japanese, the John H. W. Bone Memorial Choir Prize, 30 distinctions, colours for netball, music and work, House Colours and was a House Prefect. However, as Sally pointed out, Impostor Syndrome can persist despite that evident success

Sally went on from school to become one of Australia's most exciting and versatile mezzo soprano singers having studied in Melbourne, Vienna and New York, where she graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in 2000. Sally travelled the world, performing to packed houses in roles including world premieres as well as revivals of lesser known Vivaldi and Handel operas. She covered the entire range from early baroque to classical, impressionist and contemporary. She was also heavily involved in concert work and chamber music, Sally appeared in recitals and concerts with such internationally acclaimed festivals and orchestras as the Ravinia Festival (Chicago) performing Ravel's Chansons Madecasses with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Caramoor International Festival of Music and the Arts (New York), Baltimore Handel Choir and the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Aldeburgh Festival (England), St. Petersburg Festival of Early Music (Russia) and the Donnell Library Recital Series (New York, USA), where she performed songs of Rossini. We were also deeply honoured to have Sally perform at our inaugural OGG Asia Dinner held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2007.

Sally no longer performs on the world stage nor does she still have Impostor Syndrome. During The Conversation Hour interview she revealed how changing the neural networks and subconscious programming led to this outcome. Sally now helps people in her role as a change coach to overcome and eradicate this syndrome from their lives as well as "Supporting stressed out go-getters to ditch their baggage and lighten the hell up."

Sally's path from international opera singer to life coach was interesting too. After 20 years she decided she no longer wanted to travel the world and perform. She returned to Australia only to find without the costumes and applause she felt lost. On her website she explains "My fragile sense of self-worth was crushed and the unconscious beliefs I’d held about myself since childhood were exposed. I knew I loved singing so I started teaching classical voice at a university. I was alarmed to find that most of my students had mental health issues and their therapy wasn’t working. I was determined to find solutions, to stop these issues at the cause both for my students and myself. As a performer, I’d learned a lot about the connection between mind, body and performance. But I wanted to know more. I trained in The Richards Trauma Process™ (TRTP™), followed the process myself and experienced life-changing results. I started coaching clients and was astounded at their transformations in as little as three sessions. It was breathtaking. My purpose was revealed and my business was born."



Nic Walker (FB'95)

Beautiful images taken by photographer Nic Walker of the fire-ravaged Snowy Mountains in the depths of Winter were recently published by The Sydney Morning Herald

After starting his career journey in marketing, Nic soon discovered that wasn't for him and decided to study commercial photography. His first job was doing picture research for The Australian Financial Review.

Before too long he was offered a job as a staff photographer, working his way up to taking cover story portraits for The Australian Financial Review Magazine and Good Weekend. His work also features regularly in Sunday Life magazine, Spectrum and across the news and feature pages of both The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review.

Nic has worked for Fairfax Media over the past decade and during this time has won numerous awards including two Walkleys. His photographic subjects have ranged from prime ministers Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull to business people on Forbes' Australia's Richest list such as Bob Pratt, Frank Lowy and Harry Triguboff, and cultural figures including Marina Abramovic, Cate Blanchett, Melissa McCarthy and Willem Dafoe.


Andrew Mackinnon (M'97)

Former President of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation Australia, Founder and Managing Director of creative agency The Taboo Group, Andrew Mackinnon is also co-owner of Ponyfish Island Bar in the middle of the Yarra River.

Ponyfish Island is soon to receive a makeover and Andrew described some of the details in a recent Broadsheet article. For those who enjoy the bar, the makeover is due for completion in November. Hopefully this is perfectly timed for the easing of restrictions!



Brenton Systermans (A'02)

After a stint as an emergency medicine registrar at University Hospital, Geelong, Dr Brenton Systermans has recently commenced work as an expedition medical practitioner for the Australian Antarctic Division. He is scheduled to sail south on board the RV Investigator for a summer of scientific research. With an interest in working in austere and remote environments he has had a varied career that has led him to work in every state of Australia as well as New Zealand, Ireland, Nepal and China.

Brenton also has current positions with the Australian Army Reserve and as a lecturer at the University of Tasmania in their Healthcare in Remote and Extreme Environment programme. Brenton, a former OGG mentor for the OGG Careers Day held at GGS for year 10 students, is also a keen mountaineer, skier, trail runner and cyclist. He has volunteered in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal with the Himalayan Rescue Association as well as at EverestER for the 2018 Mt Everest Climbing season. He was disappointed but philosophic when his return to EverestER for the 2020 climbing season was scuttled by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent interview with healthcare recruitment service provider Blugibbon, Brenton also reveals he is currently setting up a new service – Mountain Medicine Australia. Mountain Medicine Australia will fill a critical void helping to assess, manage and treat Australians who develop new-onset medical conditions whilst travelling at high altitude.

  Elliott-Watkins grace-watkins richard-heath

Elliott Watkins (Cu'12), Grace Watkins (Ga'10) and Richard Heath (A'12)

Former law student, YouTuber Elliott Watkins has done what many others of his era dream of - built a channel so successful that it has now become his full-time career. Featuring live gaming, tutorials and vlogs, Muselk as he is known online, became famous for playing Team Fortress 2 and Fortnite. He live-streamed commentary for other games and built up his 'Muselk' channel which now has over 9.3 miilion subscribers and he is super keen to close in on that 10 million number! Since 2015 when it began, Muselk has had 3,380,515,349 views. Yes, that is 3.38 billion views. His August 19 clip How I got INFINITE Health on Fortnight has had over 1 million views in four days.

In 2017 Elliott (pictured above left) also co-founded Click Management with his older sister, chartered accountant Grace Watkins (Ga'09) (pictured above centre). With a background in Commerce & Law, Grace has previously worked as Strategy Director for Australia's largest youth led campaign, Live Below the Line and as a consultant with PwC Australia, working for some of Australia's largest listed businesses in the entertainment and media industry.

Click Management is a talent and brand management company for gaming and technology influencers which represents some of the country’s biggest gamers. Also working at Click Management is Richard Heath (A'12) (pictured above right). Richard has a background in music management, representing some of the biggest artists in the Australian music scene including Sticky Fingers and Boo Seeka. Richard’s love of video games started with Battlefield 2 and has grown. At Click Management he now develops valuable relationships with some of the world’s leading talent.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, viewing numbers have risen by between 30 and 60 per cent. The Click Management YouTube channel is filled with truth or dare challenges, amusing videos and live gameplays, all presented by Elliott and a team of gamers and video makers. Elliott is one of the most influential figures in Australia’s gaming community and the videos are viewed more than a million times a day. He has worked closely with partners including HP, Samsung and EA (Electronic Arts) to work from strategy to execution on branded content collaborations. He has also worked as a presenter on Disney’s weekly TV show Gamefest.



Charlie Baylis (M'16)

Charlie began his studies in chemical engineering at the University of Melbourne before switching to geology. After completing a geotechnical engineer internship with BHP at their Olympic Dam in South Australia, he has now taken up a contract position, ongoing from this internship project, as a geotechnical engineer contractor, interpreting and analysing structural data. In addition to this, Charlie has taken an undergraduate engineer position with Douglas Partners Pty Ltd, an engineering consultancy specialising in the fields of geotechnics, environment and groundwater.

Charlie was also featured in a recent Trinity College article about his time as a resident there.


More from the August OGG Update

GGS Coriobald Virtual Exhibition
See the welcome video from the Visual Arts Captains, explore the virtual exhibition then vote in the People's Choice award before Sunday 6 September!
News of OGGs
News of OGGs Fraser Fair (FB'67), Sandra Peake (Li'74), Nikolai Petrovsky (Li'76), Sally Wilson (Cl'92), Nic Walker (FB'95), Andrew Mackinnon (M'97), Brenton Systermans (A'02), Grace Watkins (Ga'09), ...
Virtual Choir Collaboration
Men and women Old Geelong Grammarians are invited to participate with GGS students and staff in a virtual choir collaboration. Conducted remotely, it follows on from a successful collaboration comple ...
Notice of HOGA AGM
Members of The Hermitage Old Girls' Association are notified that the 2020 Annual General Meeting will now take place virtually via video conferencing service Zoom next Thursday 3 September at 11.00am ...
OGG Mentoring - Register for 2020
Sign up for OGG Mentoring. Now more than ever, mentors from all industries and all jobs are encouraged to register their interest along with OGGs wishing to find a mentor.
GGS Treasures - Letter to Florence Nightingale
GGS is home to a remarkable collection of artefacts and ephemera, accumulated over the 165 years of its history. These ‘Treasures’ are being featured as a digital cabinet of curiosities. This month, ...
From the Archivist
Can you help? The Archivist, Geoff Laurenson, is looking to complete the collection of House, School Prefects, Choir, Band and Sport photographs and hoping some may be donated by OGGs who no longer wi ...
Healing and Hope
Members of our Geelong Grammar School community have faced significant challenges from hurt of the past. In recent years, the School has been working to provide an authentic response to survivors of s ...
When is my next Reunion?
COVID restrictions have stopped all the fun but this won't last forever. Reunions will resume if restrictions allow. Read on for details of postponement dates...
Calendar of Events 2020
The COVID-19 situation has led to many OGG, COGA and HOGA reunions and events being postponed or cancelled for 2020. We will update events as restrictions allow.