Friday, 23 December 2011


The photos show a Telopea Park related activity that was part of the 60th birthday celebrations of Sue King (was Upton). We won’t say which year, or decade! The birthday bash bus stopped to allow a compulsory dance of the Hokey Pokey on the Telopea Park School oval.

The first photo shows a “pupil” laying on the oval attempting to get out of dancing by claiming a sore leg.

The second photo shows the “PE Mistress” and “Headmaster" examining for evidence of the ailment. 

Note the then fashionable pleated skirts!!!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011



This one is from Charlie Charuvastra in Thailand:

1955 Was sent to Darjeeling to a Church of England boarding school, Mt Herman School, learned how to watch out for myself there, didn’t speak a word of English on arrival.

End of 1957 flew into Australia via BOAC Super Constellation.  Landed in Canberra and wondered what the hell my father was doing bringing the family to just bush and a small village.

Was sent to Canberra Boys Grammar, spend two years there before moving to Telopea Park in 1960.

After leaving Telopea Park High went to Canberra Tech (TAFE) came out as a Fitter and Turner, (no choice, father signed me up) finished studying Mechanical Engineering and went to work with Information Electronics as Supervisor of Drafting section.

Married to Virginia Sue Kent in February 1968, and Anastacia and Sasha (1969 and 71) respectively, our two beautiful daughters were born.

Lived in Canberra in Curtin, then moved to Deakin before moving out to the country near Bungendore, started up Phillip Exhaust Center and sold the business before we moved (immigrated back) to Thailand in 1990.

I am now 66 but there is no thought of stopping work or retiring, consulting foreigners who want to set up business here in Thailand, enjoy playing golf and relaxing reading books and eating all the wrong foods!!.

We have four grand children three boys aged 18, 15, 7 and a girl 4. Anastacia lives with her partner in Melbourne and Sasha is with her partner in Ho Chi Min soon to be Brisbane.

Living just out of Pattaya, (sin city) in an apartment not far from the beach, ocean views and beautiful sea breezes, lovely weather all year round.    Our kids want us to move back to Australia!!

More BIOs and "head shot" photos most welcome.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

This BIO is a bit longer than usual, but full of interest.

It is from Rod Gilhome:


B.A. at ANU (majored in football and parties).


Dip.Ed. at Sydney Teachers’ College, lived at Manly Beach so lots of surfing got done, but somehow managed to satisfy requirements for the diploma.


Appointed to Pendle Hill High School (just west of Parramatta) teaching Maths, no doubt influenced by the one and only Earl McGann.


Appointed to Tumut High School.


Married Helen Trudinger (aka Trudi for obvious reasons), a Canberra girl who had attended Lyneham High 1963-64. I had known her from uni days and she coincidentally had been appointed to Tumut High in 1969. We were married in Canberra at the Uniting Church directly opposite Telopea Park High School and had our reception at the Yacht Club.


Appointed to Toormina High School, Sawtell (just south of Coffs Harbour) as one of the inaugural staff members


Moved to Armidale, NSW.

1990 -1993:

Taught at The Armidale School (TAS), a boys’ school administered by the Anglican Church and which is for some reason a member of the GPS schools association based in Sydney. TAS has occasionally won the shooting championships but figures only very rarely in other events. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in this most interesting town with an educational and a musical feel about it.


We moved to Brisbane, following our two eldest daughters who were both attending the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (singing). I accepted a transfer to Slade School, Warwick (about 2 hours down the New England Highway) and lived on the campus during the week, visiting my family at weekends. Not good.

1995 – 2011:

Taught maths at Marist College, Ashgrove here in Brisbane before retiring in July 2011. In the latter half of 2010 we travelled for 6 months through France, England, Ireland and other fantastic European destinations so it was almost inevitable that I would retire after that.


·         Shelli, born 1973, is married with 2 children living in Brisbane; trained as an opera singer, is performing and teaching at the Qld Conservatorium.

·         Natalie, born 1975 is based in New York, having started in musical theatre here in Australia and is currently working in choreography.

·         Bryce, born 1978, lives in Melbourne but spends much time visiting Canadian girlfriend, but plays guitar and trombone with various groups in and around Melbourne, likes to make his own music.

·         Emily born 1983, lives in Brisbane and has recently formed her own production company (Oscar Theatre Company) producing musicals to Brisbane audiences.

Hobbies, interests:


I have been making leadlights (window panels, lamps etc) as a hobby and sometimes on commission, since owner-building a house in Sawtell in 1980.



I am still sailing a 14’ catamaran I bought in 1978 from the “Maricat” agent who was at Yarralumla Motors at that time.


I regularly ride around Brisbane and have been known to go for the longer ride (to the Gold Coast etc) every now and then, strictly for recreational/fitness.

REMEMBER THE EARLIER WARNING: Don't miss out on those earlier BIOs and photos. You only get to see recent ones on this first page. You need to scroll down to the very end of this web page and click on the words "Older Post" at the very bottom right, and keep clicking on "Older Post" until you've read them all!!!


This one takes  us from Brian Leonard in the late '50s to now:

My family migrated to Australia in early 1956, and we originally settled in Adelaide, with my father working as a compositor for the Adelaide News.  My mother was particularly homesick, and in late 1957 opportunities arose for both my parents to get work at the Government Printing Office in Canberra.  My family settled into Bremer Street, Griffith, and in 1958 I enrolled at TPHS.

At school, I enjoyed cricket, tennis and softball; however, my gymnastic skills left a lot to be desired!  My memories include the 3rd Year Farewell concert in 1958 (or 1959?) when some of the students strummed guitars and mimed the latest pop records in the tuck shop area; I thought they were great!  Also, a memory of several of us who used to gather before school started each morning near the woodwork / tech drawing block (not for a smoke, I hasten to add!).   Looking back, we were very lucky to have the teachers we had; I had Mrs Thompson for English (and Modern History?), Mr Wigney for French, Mr Fleisher for Woodwork, Mr Gamble for Metalwork, Mr McNab for Gym and Ms Grant for Biology.  Maths was my favourite subject, with Mr Cameron, Mr McGann, Mr Backhouse, Mr Martin and Mr Robinson (or Robertson?).   I remember one Christmas giving Mr Robinson a gift of a pair of socks!  I now reflect on my schooling, and realise that I tended to view it solely as a ‘necessary’ time, rather than as a base from which to plan one’s life direction.

On the afternoon following my final Leaving Certificate exam in 1962, my father took me to the Public Service Board,  and I had with me a letter that the Commonwealth Statistician had sent to all 5th Year Maths I & II students inviting them  to consider a future in the Census and Statistics Office.  I commenced work there next day, in West Block.  That was the start of a 38 years’ public service career in statistics, social security and taxation; with postings to Adelaide and Sydney. I held various senior management and executive positions, including Deputy Commonwealth Statistician (South Australia), Assistant Secretary (Social Security) and Assistant Commissioner of Taxation. Since leaving the Service in 2001 I have worked for local government, aged care facilities, building developers, community radio and indigenous media; mainly in the areas of strategic planning, and financial modelling & management.

From 1963 to 1971 I undertook an Economics degree part-time at the ANU, graduating in 1972 with a University Prize in Accounting.  My part-time studies took a long time, as I became pre-occupied with the girl whom I married in 1969; a nurse, Sue Donovan.  Next August, we celebrate 43 years of marriage; and we have been blessed with 3 children & 2 grandchildren (and another due in March), all of whom live locally. 

My hobbies include overseas travel, Rotary and community radio.  I am currently with Queanbeyan West Rotary, and ArtSound FM 92.7 at Manuka.   Semi-retired, I still do the occasional consultancy.


and please send in your BIO and photo, there is still room and time!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


The BIO today is from Vicki Dreese now Holmes:

Upon leaving school I joined the Public Service in Patents and Copyright until old enough to commence nursing studies at the Canberra Community Hospital. I managed a little mischief by climbing fire escapes and clambering in through open windows in ball gowns or joining others standing under the fire sprinkler with a candle!  Some of us managed to gain extra late nights out by slipping past the doorman or staying out all night until the doors opened in the morning. We were the first group to have the four year course reduced to 46 months which over time became three years. Following graduation in1967 I married Rod and moved to Hobart where I trained as a midwife (1968) before deciding to start our family with a son in 1969.

Shortly after Stephen was born we moved to Brisbane where I commenced work at the Royal Brisbane Women’s hospital until the birth of our daughter Michelle. I worked in many private and public Queensland hospitals until spending the majority of my career as a Director of Nursing.

Along the way I managed to accumulate a Diploma in Nursing Administration Brisbane 1976, Bachelor of Business QIT Brisbane 1983 (majoring in Health Administration) and a Masters in Health Administration. Sydney 1992. Strange considering that whilst at TPHS I never envisaged attending University! So now as a retiree I have enrolled for Spanish classes at U3A.

Stephen has a family and settled into a career as a submariner, travelling places I will never see, whilst Michelle has moved from the tourist industry to studying Accounting.

Rod and I have managed to be bitten by the travel bug travelling to Fiji, New Zealand, Singapore and many places in Europe.  We thoroughly enjoyed our last trip through Italy, Sicily, Greece and the Greek Islands.

Well, this is the last BIO we have, so the large number of you out there who have been reading the 23 BIOs in this BLOG with great interest and haven't amazed us with your story, and stunned us with your photo, get to it, we all are waiting.....................

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

We hope you have been enjoying all the interesting stories from the past. Here are a couple more.

The first one is from Judy Summerhayes (Richmond):

I have my TPHS English teacher, Mrs Zurek, to thank for her encouraging words in Fifth Year, which propelled me in the direction of ANU and a career in teaching, which I am still continuing today, in my ‘retirement’.

Most of my 36 teaching (and learning) years was spent in the ACT government and independent systems, from 1967, working with students at senior secondary level in subjects like Economics, Business Management, Legal Studies, Careers and Commerce.  In 1969/70, I also taught English in Germany and returned to this subject after I retired from the ACT schools sector in 2002. Shortly after that, I became involved for three years as a volunteer home tutor and assistant in conversation activities at the Canberra Institute of Technology Migrant English program.  Then, in 2009, I completed a Grad Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and since then have worked part-time as an English tutor to international students in Canberra.

Canberra has been my home since I finished school and I love its change of seasons and the interesting people who live here, not to mention the wonderful cultural institutions and Lake Burley Griffin, on which I dragon-boat once or twice a week with the ACT Dragons Abreast (breast cancer) group. It is such a privilege to be on this beautiful body of water, seeing the city and environs from another perspective.

My husband Tim and I have two children now in their mid 30s and two delightful grandchildren with another imminent!  They add such a dimension to one’s life!  For the last two years I’ve been very happily living about half a kilometre from the family house that was my base during my Telopea years.

I’ve been doing the registrations for the Reunion and as I’ve been delighted to see so many names coming in, I’ve also recalled many events and stories from those schooldays.  I’m sorry that Alex Jesulenko can’t be at the Reunion, as I’d love to chat to him about some aspects of his life before he became such a great footballer.  I remember when Alex used to light little fires in his desk at the back of the classroom when Mr Bradfield, one of the Economics teachers, used unusual teaching methods to teach us some Economics by getting us to sit in a circle at the front of the room.  He would then teach us to sing some old British trade union songs like “Here we go around the vicious circle, wages following prices’!!

I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in March!

The next BIO is from:

Name:              Jim Holland

Age:                 64

Spouse:            Sekai Holland, Co-Minister for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration

Family:            Two adopted children + two grandchildren

Location:         Harare, Zimbabwe

Work:              System Administrator, Mango (non-profit email service)

Mechanical Engineer (working all over Africa installing, maintaining and training 
staff in relation to Australian condom testing equipment!)

Interests:         Providing support for the 20 children we currently have living with us (orphans, underprivileged and survivors of political violence).

Working on establishment of children's educational centre.

Supporting the democratic process in Zimbabwe.

Please keep those BIOs and photos coming in, and please send in your registrations for the reunion, we are all getting excited as it gets closer! Meeting up again after 50 years will be an amazing experience.

REMEMBER THE EARLIER WARNING: Don't miss out on those earlier BIOs and photos. You only get to see recent ones on this first page. You need to scroll down to the very end of this web page and click on the words "Older Post" at the very bottom right, and keep clicking on "Older Post" until you've read them all!!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

It's great to be able to post another couple of interesting BIOs.

WARNING: Don't miss out on those earlier BIOs and photos. You only get to see recent ones on this first page. You need to scroll down to the very end of this web page and click on the words "Older Post" at the very bottom right, and keep clicking on "Older Post" until you've read them all!!!

The first one up in today's posting is from Toss Gascoigne:

It's a very challenging task, writing bio notes for a school reunion. Almost as challenging as trying to lose 5 kg and grow more hair so you don't look the oldest, the fattest and most decrepit of the class of 62: it's a competitive world out there.

I'm going to pick out a few career highlights.

First I was a bus driver in Cambridge in the UK. My girlfriend was doing a PhD, I needed a job, and became the driver of red double decker busses. In a four month career, I hit:

a. a Humber Super Snipe,

b. a large road sign pointing the way to London,

c. a student from Oklahoma (he'd arrived in England the day before and looked the wrong way); and 

d. knocked out my conductor (long story).

At least the student got a free bus ride back to his college, and a good story to send home on a postcard: "Dear Mum. Arrived safely. Have settled in. Today run over by red double-decker but am ok."

Then I stood as an ALP candidate in the State elections in Tasmania, "the new face in Tasmanian politics". Apparently I was not new enough, failing to win although it was a close call. This was probably a merciful release, because I discovered what a rotten job it was to go round knocking on people's doors to solicit votes.

Then a modest success: joining CSIRO and publicising a story on measuring methane emissions from cows. Why would anyone want to do that? The media was interested and that sort-of launched an unexpected career sideline in training scientists to publicise their work.

There was a stint as a lobbyist for researchers. That has to be another failure (but a noble one): we failed to persuade Governments of both persuasions to invest the sort of money in science and research that Australia needs.

An enduring failure over 40 years is a complete inability to grow lemons, either in Hobart or Canberra. My wife says it's something to do with the quality of the urine which I thought lemon trees loved. Suggestions and advice welcome.

To finish off today's posting we have a BIO from Tony Preston-Stanley:

After finally completing the leaving certificate at Telopea Park in 1964, I went first to Wagga Agricultural College then in early 1966 to Kapooka Army base for the start of what turned out to be a brief and inglorious career in the Army.  Numerous inconsequential jobs followed, including in the agricultural, transport and mineral exploration industries in various parts of Australia before an accident led me into the Australian Public Service.  I remained there for an unexpected number of years, acquiring a couple of degrees and moving around several agencies, a Ministerial office, and a posting overseas among other things.  I resigned shortly before my 55th birthday to take up another career as a Consultant in what have become known as “post conflict” countries, although in most of them the war continues.   First up was a job as Minister for Finance in Kosovo until they found a real one a couple of years later.

This last career has taken me to other such attractive places as, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, the Philippines and Montenegro to advise on arcane aspects of institution building and better government.  My current areas of interest are centre of government improvement and the improvement of education in societies in conflict and I am a professional associate at the ANZ School of Governance.

I remain married to my first wife and we have two adult children and two young grandchildren. We live variously in Canberra, Malua Bay and an off road caravan when not bringing order and better schools to failed states or travelling to the World Interhash in some other exotic location.

Keep those BIOs and photos coming, so we all know about your post school life and what you look like so we can recognise you at the reunion!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Unless something dramatic happens, we are getting near the end of the BIOs.

This BIO posting starts with (Keith) Rory Barnes from Adelaide:

I won’t be coming to the reunion as I’m needed in Adelaide where my wife has cancer.  All the more reason for posting a bio.

I enrolled in TPHS in second term 1958 and was warmly if perfunctorily greeted by teachers who looked down at the paperwork and addressed me by my first name. This was not a name I’d ever used, but, for reasons that now escape me, I didn’t kick up a fuss. So at Telopea I was Keith. Everywhere else I was Rory, and still am. I didn’t much mind Telopea. It was just a school: the fairly tedious place you went to in between weekends and holidays.

When I left school I went down to Monash and lived for five years with a girl who subsequently declared herself a lesbian.  I graduated with an honours degree in Philosophy and went to work for the Victorian Education Department, trying to make schools less tedious. I doubt that I succeeded. I went travelling and wrote a novel about radical students and teachers in Melbourne – it didn’t find a publisher until, years later, my friend Damien Broderick re-wrote it setting the action 4,000 years into the future on a planet called Bolte. The University of Queensland Press published it in 1983.

Since then I’ve written or co-written another fifteen novels. None of them has made me rich. If you really want to you can read all about them on my website:

Otherwise: I’ve held a fellowship at Stanford University, taught Dip.Ed students at Melbourne University and creative writing students at the NSW Institute of Technology. I once delivered a baby. On one occasion when I was hitch-hiking I got a lift in a hearse. I walked from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea without getting shot.

These days I live with Annie in Adelaide as I have for the past thirty years. Our two sons live within walking distance. One’s an audio-engineer, the other designs boxes. If it wasn’t for the bloody cancer, things would be just fine.

To end this BIO posting we have one from Rob Hughes:

After the Leaving Certificate I spent two years at Wagga Teachers College. Apart from learning how to be a good teacher, the highlight of my time there was being a part of the Bruce Lucas Band. Those gigs in pubs and wool sheds inspired me to play music professionally, which I did in a part time capacity for the next forty years.

I was appointed to Bombala Public School in 1965, and I took early retirement from the position of Principal at Holsworthy Public School 35 years later in 2000. There were about eleven schools in between, and I enjoyed every minute of my career in Education.

For ten years from 1990 to 2000, on the weekends, I was MC and sax player at Trethaway Gardens, a function centre at Petersham in Sydney. During that time we hosted more than 1,000 weddings. This was useful experience for my current job.

In 2001, after retiring from school, I became an outback tour guide, driving 4wd vehicles on soft adventure and camping tours to all the usual tourist spots all over Australia. My background in both music and education had prepared me well for entertaining my passengers around the campfire at night with bush poetry, musical saw, clarinet and didgeridoo.

By 2005 I was over the thrill of sunset at Uluru and the corrugations of the Gibb River Road, and I gained accreditation as a Civil Marriage Celebrant in that year. I'm now averaging 35 weddings a year. (see: Weddings are mostly on the weekend. During the week I do the Herald crossword, and if the weather is good, perhaps a spot of fishing in Botany Bay or on Sydney Harbour.

For more than forty years I've been an active Freemason. Some will recognise my current rank of PJGW in that organisation.

In 1972 I married Julianne, having met her when we both taught at Mt Druitt school. We have two children, Jillian, 33, and Alison 30. They are both married, and Jill and Matt have two children, Lucy, 4, and Sam, 2. We are enjoying our golden years. Julianne now works as a Life Coach, and whilst we live in Oatley, Sydney, we try to get to our small property in Bemboka as often as we can.

Come on all you ex-students, you've been reading all these BIOs with interest, so now it's your turn to amaze, disturb, interest, fascinate, or as they now say "whatever" other ex-students with your BIOs and photos.

Friday, 2 December 2011

We are still receiving BIOs and that is really exciting and interesting.

In this posting the first one is from Ruth Whitrod Blackburn:

About me - my parents thought I would make a good preschool teacher. They were right, of course, but first I went nursing at the Royal Canberra Hospital along with Marg Davies.  Keith and I married. We have three kids, all of whom oddly, have careers in Science. We have travelled a great deal, perhaps too much. We lived in Kabul, then Manila. Later we went to Kiev and Kuwait. At different points along the way, I was a child care director.  Because of the demands of this work, I felt the need for counseling qualifications which led naturally to a degree in Social Welfare, completed primarily externally. I am aware of the strongly radicalizing effect of Uni. Currently I manage a drop in centre and my interest in the needs of the marginalized is strong. We have primarily resettled in Canberra where I am happy although I should admit to the fact that one of us is chronically restless.

In addition, I need to mention that as a consequence of all this travel, I encountered several of my old school buddies in weird and unexpected locations such as Sally in a department store in Beijing and, less weird, Rory in Adelaide. Then there was that male person whose name I have forgotten, sorry, on a remote Greek border crossing in the late seventies (Macedonia/Yugoslavia). Enid Watson should be pleased with me. I have dabbled in four or five languages. My Russian is OK but, sorry Sally, no Mandarin.  

and our second BIO for this posting is from  Sue Price (Holmes):



After leaving Telopea, I went to Sydney to do a 3 year course of study to become a teacher. I then returned to Canberra and taught for 5 years.
During this time I met and married (1968) Jim Holmes, a New Zealander. 

In 1972 we moved to Otaki, New Zealand with our 1 year old, Sarah, to the Holmes family farm. Here our 2nd daughter Katie was born.
Australian have to have a thick skin while living in NZ, but I hold my head high and my car rego plate is OZ1 !!!!

In 1976 we purchased a Sheep and Cattle farm near Taumarunui (Central North Island) and farmed there for 20 years. A complete change of lifestyle for me where I was involved in farming business and practice ...... heading sheep off, docking lambs, feeding shearers/stockagents, cookie tins always filled, some fleece throwing, up in a helicopter dropping off fencing gear, collecting eggs, fattening pigs, milking a house cow, driving daughters to and from their one teacher school .......  while enjoying the peace and tranquility, the vista up and down our own valley, the fresh air and the green GREEN grass .... a large garden ..... and perpetually chasing out the errant stock of our neighbours!! Teachers were in short supply, somehow my 'arm was twisted' and I returned to teaching for 8 years!   In Taumarunui our interests in golf and bridge developed.

In 1996 we semi-retired to Auckland. Our daughters now live in Auckland after 9 years of travelling and working overseas. Also we are 4.5 hours closer to OZ!!
We have made many new friends through Jim's Rotary involvement and through golf - not even time for bridge!

I enjoy golf, overseas travel, walking (some tramping), patchwork/sewing, reading, I belong to Inner Wheel and I do a little relief teaching.

My Dad, Bill Price, English and History Master at TPHS 1955 -1971, died in 1995, while playing golf at the RCGC. What a way to go!

Keep checking our BLOG, and I hope we soon receive some more interesting BIOs and "head shot" photos ......