Kenneth von Bibra (Cu'52)

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) in Launceston recently bestowed Kenneth von Bibra AM with the inaugural QVMAG Arts Foundation award for his service. Described as a 'living legend', Kenneth is credited with pioneering so much in the way of contemporary art in Launceston. He was the inaugural Chair of QVMAG Arts Foundation, holding that position from 1985 until 2004. 

The medallion was designed by renowned Tasmanian artist, Michael McWilliams and features three Nativehens. Ironically, Kenneth was involved in the protection of the bird, "nativehens were on the vermin list ... and I got legislation passed to take one of our endemic birds off the list".

Kenneth received the award at a function held at Brickendon Estate in Longford and spoke of the impact of Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack* during his time at Geelong Grammar School. "He was a modernist and I learnt a lot of what he was trying to tell, and what the modern painters were trying to tell, and that gave me a basis which I have continued to live by for the rest of my life."

* A major illustrated biography of Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack will be published in April 2021. Written by Resi Schwarzbauer, with the support of Hirschfeld-Mack’s grandson, Chris Bell, this comprehensive work reveals, for the first time, the full details of Hirschfeld-Mack’s extraordinary life and the circumstances of his departure from Germany and arrival in Australia. It includes three chapters on his experiences at Geelong Grammar School, incorporating the reminiscences of many OGGs who were fortunate enough to have been taught by Hirschfeld-Mack. Further details, including a link for pre-ordering your copy, will be provided in a future OGG Update.

Photo: Phillip Biggs, The Examiner


Richard Weatherly (M'66)

Richard-Weathely-A-Brush-with-Birds-Cover-PSInternationally renowned environmental artist and ornithologist, Richard Weatherly OAM will exhibit illustrations and paintings from his newest book A Brush with Birds at The HIve Gallery in Ocean Grove.  

The exhibition opens at 1.00pm on Saturday 31 October with a book launch and signing on Saturday 21 November. Concurrently, at the same exhibition, renowned sculptor Lucy McEachern (Ga'99) will also launch her latest bronze sculpture, the Lotus Bird, and exhibit a significant selection of her works.

Richard, pictured above as guest speaker at the Tower Lunch at Geelong Grammar School in November 2016, is a wool grower, environmentalist and artist, world renowned for his environmental paintings. After reading History at Cambridge University, he held his first solo exhibitions in London. He travelled throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea, collaborating with CSIRO ornithologist Dr Richard Schodde on The Fairy-Wrens – a Monograph of the Maluridae, which won the Whitley Medal in 1982, Australia’s highest award for zoological publishing.

Richard and his wife Jenny took over the family property Connewarran in the early 1980s, where he juggled painting with merino sheep and developing revegetation technology that enhances the environment so as to greatly increase productivity. Beyond his boundary, this grew into the Banksia Award winning Watershed 2000, a community project combining educational, social, business and environmental sectors for the restoration of 800,000 hectares of habitat as a 200 kilometre connection between the Otways and the Grampians. This model has been adopted for urban design by Habitat Melbourne Trust, initially for the Western Suburbs and the City of Melbourne.

Richard has worked with various environmental groups. He was the founding President of Watershed 2000, the Future Environment Fund and the Wildlife Art Society of Australasia. He is also an Honorary Associate in Ornithology with the Museum of Victoria. He has guided groups of ornithologists through Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and spent months in Antarctica, working for the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, studying Adélie penguins.  In 2015 he was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia for contributions to the visual arts and to conservation.

Richard’s exquisite paintings have been exhibited in Europe, Africa, Canada, America, China and Japan.


Amanda Elliott (Bayles, Clyde '69)

Amanda was listed at the top of the Herald Sun's Most influential Victorian women of past 30 years, alongside scientists, business leaders, a High Court judge, a Prime Minister, Kath & Kim, and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (Greene, Clyde '26). Appointed the first female chairman at the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) in 2017, the Herald Sun reported that Amanda "has had a far reaching impact on Melbourne not just in terms of elite racing, but also the enormous flow on affect the sport has".

"I believe that as the first female Chairman of the Victoria Racing Club, I have brought a different vision and perspective to the organisation regarded as the most important racing jurisdiction in Australia," Amanda told the Herald Sun. "Leading Australia's original major event – Melbourne Cup Week – gives one the responsibility of enormous exposure for Melbourne, both globally and Australia wide. This has the ability to influence inbound tourism and drive economic activity within our State to the tune of approximately $450 million last year."

Earlier this week, Amanda expressed her disappointment with the State government's decision not to allow racehorse owners at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival. The four-day Melbourne Cup carnival kicks off with the Victoria Derby meeting at Flemington this Saturday, October 31, with only essential workers permitted trackside. The VRC had been hoping a small number of owners would be cleared to watch their horses race and the club invested significantly to implement a strict COVID-safe plan. "Owners are critical to our sport and industry. Their support has played a major part in sustaining racing during the pandemic. We are devastated that they cannot be at Flemington."

A passionate advocate for horse racing, Amanda told the Herald Sun that her position of influence comes with a responsibility to make a positive difference. "By its very nature, influence comes with a responsibility to make a difference to our society." She is also mindful of being a woman in a traditional male leadership role (she is the VRC's first female Chairman in its 153-year history). "Providing an example which leads women to consider their own possibilities, indeed daring them to dream is enormously gratifying."



Simon Fieldhouse (Cu'72)

Australian Galleries in Paddington, Sydney launch an exhibition, Recent works - Simon Fieldhouse starting tomorrow, Saturday 31 October from 11.00am-5pm which Simon will attend in person. 

Simon, an established Sydney based artist who works primarily in watercolour and pen, is known for his intricate and vibrant line drawings of iconic buildings, monuments and landscapes from around the world.

“Simon Fieldhouse infuses his work with warmth, whimsy and palpable reverence for his subject matter. A sharp observer with a deep appreciation for structures both ecological and architectural, Fieldhouse draws the viewer in through meticulous linework and vibrant colour harmonies.
In this exhibition, Fieldhouse showcases his mastery of technique through his signature ink drawings, as well as a new and exciting series of paintings in oil.
Recent works is a visual celebration of iconic monuments and landscapes from the artist’s beloved Sydney, and international locations including Vienna, Barcelona, London and Paris. These highly engaging works are deeply infused with personal and cultural significance. ”

“I am interested in depicting the collective things that we do as a society and also the wonderful architectural beauty that surrounds us in our everyday lives – with whimsy and humour!” – Simon Fieldhouse

The exhibition runs until Sunday 22 November 2020.


Greg Fleet (A'79)

Stand-up comedian Greg Fleet featured in one of the voxdocs short films directed by Ian Darling (P'79) about life for performing artists during Covid -19. The Comedian is part of the innovative voxdocs project, eight short documentaries about the state of the performing arts.

Actors, dancers, singers, comedians - performers have been among the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic, their work depending as it does upon a group of people amassed in a confined space. That is, on an audience.

Shark Island Institute and the Documentary Australia Foundation, in collaboration with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, have responded to this crisis by turning the spotlight squarely back onto performers. The result is voxdocs, a series of eight short films that explore what it's like to be a performing artist today.


Andrew Shearer (Glamorgan '72)

The Prime Minister has announced today that he intends to recommend to the Governor-General, that Andrew Shearer be appointed as the new Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) commencing in December 2020, for a five-year term.

The grandson of former Geelong Grammar School Headmaster, Sir J.R. Darling, Andrew has served Australia and its national interests domestically and overseas through a long and distinguished career in national security and intelligence. He was the former national security adviser to prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, a senior diplomat at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and has held a range of positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Since 2019 he has served as Cabinet Secretary to the Commonwealth Government and worked through an unprecedented time in Australia’s history.

"Mr Shearer has served Australia and its national interests domestically and overseas through a long and distinguished career in national security and intelligence," Mr Morrison said.


Tim Marwood (FB'84)

As part of Timboon Fine Ice Cream's 21st Birthday celebrations, founder Tim Marwood has launched three new flavours inspired by the coronavirus pandemic. Karen from Briiiighton is a bitter orange marmalade flavour, Same Same but Sourdough is an oven-baked caramelised sourdough folded through vanilla. The Tipsy is a Grampians Estate Shiraz and vanilla bean swirl, Tim is mindful this might be popular with parents who survived remote learning!

The COVID inspired flavours are only available for four weeks from October 21 and it is hoped they bring a bit of fun to the birthday celebration.

Tim and his wife Caroline wanted to add value to the milk they produced on the family dairy farm in South West Victoria and so founded their ice-creamery in 1999. Not long after, they opened the Timboon Distillery in 2007 to ensure year-round sales and a shop front for all their products. This began the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail in the region which now includes 11 food artisans along the way!

When business was booming, Tim and Caroline sold the distillery to current owner, Josh Walker and Timboon Fine Ice Cream now operates from an ice creamery just across the creek.

Photo: Mark Witte


Sally Lynch (Wright, Ga'84)

Growing up on a farm in Peechelba, North East Victoria where food was grown and picked daily, it wasn't until Sally Wright started her cooking life that she realised just how special that was and how it had woven its way into her core.

Initially catering for film crews and production houses in Melbourne, a few pubs and a Spotted Dog cafe later, she headed for the sunshine of Brisbane where The Loaded Larder food manufacturing wholesale business was born and offloaded.

Whilst still dabbling in festival catering and private chef work on the side, because events, travel and catering was what she loved best, cooking school and food tour company Taste Trekkers was launched. Moving back to Beechworth in NE Victoria in 2016, Taste Trekkers trekked with her, now catering for weddings and hosting cooking classes in the local area.

In 2016 the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) led a consortium of 20 local families and philanthropic organisations in a local buy-back of the Old Beechworth Gaol. The site was purchased with a vision to create a vibrant precinct for the social, cultural and economic benefit of the region and a centre of excellence to inspire rural communities across Australia. Fast forward to 2020 and the Old Gaol has been transformed, with business, community and cultural activity.

When the opportunity to utilise the kitchen at the Old Beechworth Gaol materialised, Sally jumped at it and established The Big House Cooking School. Hosting cooking classes and tours of the gaol, it also offers the opportunity to see the parts of the original kitchen that still remain. For Sally, working in a building with a distinct ‘presence” didn’t worry her too much, despite some hair-raising, late night experiences.

The onset of covid meant no more wedding catering and cooking classes were relegated to Zoom classes (pictured), which, although fun and still included a tour of the gaol, caused Sally to pause and reflect as the second lockdown hit. How long would this ‘covid normal’ last? As one of her French friends exclaimed, Sally became the expert at the “pivotee” and launched a third business, Food Direct, “Healthy and delicious ready-made meals, direct from our kitchen to yours.” Available for delivery in North East Victoria or pick up in Wangaratta. With systems and processes firmly in place, Sally has been able to employ other chefs in the region who would otherwise have been out of work during the recent tight restrictions.

As Victoria opens back up, cooking classes will resume in the gaol soon. Sally is a fine example of resilience and tenacity having established job security, not only for herself, but for several others in the region as well.


Ben Ibrahim (FB'96)

Malaysian based Sports Management, Media, and Education Specialist, Ben has recently begun his own on-line interview series, Sunday Learnings with Ben Ibrahim. The series to date features interviews with well-known sporting identities about their careers.

Episode’s 1-6 include interviews with Liverpool FC legend John Barnes, Springboks World Champion Rugby physiotherapist Rene Naylor, former Rugby World Cup winning Wallaby, Toutai Kefu and Paul Thompson and Noel Donaldson talking about how to win an a Olympic Gold Medal (Rowing). In his most recent interview released last Sunday, Ben interviews Australian Opal’s basketball star, Bec Allen.

With plans for the series to move to entertainment and political and corporate leaders as well, all of Ben’s interviews can be viewed here.

Ben has worked previously as a TV anchor, field reporter and commentator for FOX sports and also has roles in event and communications management and as a high performance business consultant for Global Rapid Rugby.


Lucy McEachern (Ga'99)Lucy Mceachern sculpture

Renowned bronze sculptor Lucy McEachern will launch her latest bronze sculpture, the Lotus Bird, and exhibit a significant selection of her works in an exhibition at The HIve Gallery in Ocean Grove, opening at 1.00pm on Saturday 31 October. Richard Weatherly OAM is also exhibiting illustrations and paintings from his newest book A Brush with Birds. Richard's book launch and signing will take place at The Hive on Saturday 21 November.

Drawing inspiration from her rural Australian surroundings and demonstrating her affinity with the local birdlife, Lucy’s bird sculptures are tactile and uniquely styled. Her work can be found in galleries throughout Australia and collections worldwide and she is a regular feature in the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson annual “Birds in Art” Exhibition in the U.S.A.


Warit Namchaisiri (M'08)

After a stint as Principal Consultant, Network and Security for a cloud networking and security solutions company in Melbourne, Warit Namchaisiri has returned to Bangkok to join KPMG Thailand at the beginning of 2021.

Having been appointed as Associate Director in KPMG Cyber Advisory practice, he will be leading program delivery as well as maintaining focus on business development. He will be working with teams from across the Management Consulting division in assisting clients to develop a security-enabled business model allowing management of cyber risk, while concurrently enhancing their ability to meet business objectives.

Upon finishing at GGS, Warit completed a Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering with Honours at the University of Melbourne. He then held several roles in the industry across Telecommunications, Information Technology, and Cyber Security.

Commenting on his new role, he said, “I’m delighted to become part of the leading consulting firm in my home country with such world-renowned global network. I aim to work closely with the teams to raise cyber security awareness in Thailand, bringing together the best talents and technology to protect organisations and our communities from the ever-growing cyber threats.”

“When it comes to security consultancy, it is important to focus on customer experience and manage cyber risk in a way that empowers business, enterprise, and government to thrive in a disrupted world” he added.

During his consulting time in Australia, he was instrumental in securing contracts and developing security strategies for major customers including ANZ, IAG, Afterpay Touch, Property Exchange Australia, and The Bureau of Meteorology.

Vixens 2020

Emily Mannix (Fr'12), Tayla Honey (Ga'15) and Allie Smith (A'17)

Congratulations to Emily Mannix, Tayla Honey, Allie Smith and Vixens training partner Ruby Barkmeyer (Ga'18) on securing 2020's Super Netball premiership in an enthralling grand final vs West Coast Fever.

Emily played the entire game at GK and was largely responsible for marking the league's dominant scorer, Jhaniele Fowler. While it was an understandably tough match for Emily, she was able to combine with Vixens GD Jo Weston to complete a crucial rebound in the final two minutes which effectively secured the win for Melbourne. Allie entered the court for the final five minutes at WD while Tayla, in a match with very few substitutions, didn't receive any court time in the final.

Jam Sheahan

Jam Sheahan (P'15)

In a little under two weeks Jam Sheahan will step out onto the field as the California Golden Bears' punter, becoming the first Old Geelong Grammarian to play college football. While the long-term goal for Jam is to join fellow Australians Michael Dickson (Seattle) and Mitch Wishnowski (San Francisco) punting in the NFL, the first major step will come on Sunday November 8 at 2.30pm (AEDT) in his home debut for the Golden Bears against the Washington Huskies.

After finishing at GGS, Jam spent a season with the Bendigo Pioneers as an overage player. In 2018, Jam received the best first-year player award with Essendon's VFL team before shifting his focus to securing a scholarship as a punter. He worked with former VFL/AFL footballer Nathan Chapman and his punting and place-kicking academy, ProKick Australia. His time with ProKick helped Jam earn a three-year football scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). It has been an interrupted start to Jam's college life, with different events cancelled, postponed, rescheduled, or all of the above. Cal play in the PAC-12 conference and, while their season was originally cancelled in August due to Covid-19, their rescheduled condensed season is set to commence next weekend.

Jam will major in economics and business administration. Berkeley has been a very popular destination for OGGs in recent years, with Maddison Brown (EM'15) (recently graduated), Oliver Arter (Cu'17), Sarah Harte (A'16), Jane Perrignon (EM'17) and Fred Roper (M'17) all rowing for Cal.