Tuesday, 31 January 2012



Susan Matlick (nee Miller)

After graduating TPHS in 1962, I spent the next year at Secretarial College and went to the Public Service Board in 1964.  I left the Public Service in 1966 to work at the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, which was one of the Moon Landing Stations, leaving in September 1968 to commence ‘travels’ that included a year in Washington DC at the Australian Embassy, a year traveling through Great Britain, Russia, Eastern Europe, Spain, France and Morocco, and a year at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC, before marrying my husband (Tom, American) and settling down as a ‘resident alien’ in the US (albeit with regular trips back to Australia).  

In 1972 I dabbled in some part time university before going to work in 1973 for a trade association representing the home building industry, and served as Executive VP of the organization until December 2008, doing state and local county lobbying, events management and public relations.   It was a great job, intellectually and emotionally fulfilling and also provided tremendous opportunities for travel throughout the US.

In 2008 (age 62) I decided that regardless of how satisfying both the job and the pay check were, it was time to move on and find out how to live a life without a pre-ordained schedule and since then have explored the mysteries of vegetable and rose gardening, studying German, tennis, charity volunteering and traveling.

Personal –  Live in Highland, MD midway between Washington DC and Baltimore, MD on six glorious acres with 1 husband, no children, 2 cats, multiple deer and numerous fat squirrels.


Kim Odgers ........ and a battered box of beaut memories

Deep down and at the back of a rarely used cupboard in my house sits a battered box of Telopea memorabilia. I had forgotten I had it really until this recent xmas when one of my grandchildren launched into the cupboard contents, seizing on my old LP collection. I assume, given his age, he thought them merely Frisbees and was busy whistling them into my neighbouring reserve before I final grabbed his wrist preventing The Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers” suffering the same fate.

Anyway, about this battered box.

I noticed it as I was stacking back what was left of my LP collection. It is a treasure chest of TPHS memorabilia. Class and sports team posed photographs took up a lot of the space. Piled on top of these photographs were several issues of “Capitol” that for some reason contained a number of short stories and poems submitted by me anonymously. What was going on in those days?
I had kept many of my school reports that I still intend to keep away from my children.

Most of us also have what is listed above. I have a TPHS hockey pennant flag won mostly through the efforts of Norm Collings and I – OK, with perhaps a little help from Gerrin Hingee. There is a scattering of school cadets’ souvenirs.

Also in the box is my Griffith Primary school badge. This badge, featuring a rampant red griffin, was distributed to each student of that very first Griffith Primary year. This new Primary area arrangement was the only year I was not in TPHS during my entire schooling journey.                          
Each griffin badge was uniquely numbered on the back – mine was 84. I can remember the great George Hurrell requesting that we return to the school after 50 years and donate the badge to the school records. I did just that only to find the school permanently closed.

Still working through my treasure box……

I have kept no favoured pics of favoured teachers. No surprises there. I do have a schoolyard pic of Sue Miller taken with my brownie-box, who I had a huge crush on. The long grey skirt does not cut it in 2012, but looked fine to me in ’63. I have a small, neatly folded female hanky, origins unknown. Initials JS - a mystery.

Anyway, that’s it. A battered box with beaut memories.

Monday, 30 January 2012


Pamela Balm (Jones)

Born in Wellington, New Zealand January 1945, my parents moved in 1950 to Timaru in the South Island.

In 1958 we moved to Canberra, Australia for 2 years.  I attended Telopea Park High from May 1958 to May 1960 then returned to Timaru to complete my schooling at Timaru Girls’ High.

In 1962 I began a cadetship for Cartographic Branch of Lands and Survey NZ in Wellington. My family had moved again!  I spent 18 months there and then transferred to NZ Post Office as an Architectural Draughtswoman.

January 1966 I married David Balm, whom I had met while working in the Cartographic Branch. Our family was completed with 2 sons over the next 5 years.

Over the years since then we have lived in Masterton, (7 years), a year in Enschede, The Netherlands and settled in Lower Hutt where we still live.

After raising children to teenagers I returned to work in IT in the Computer support area setting up and managing Help Desks and later Service and Contract Management. I am now retired but managing a small gift shop in Lower Hutt for Save the Children NZ. I also get to buy the goods to sell which is great!

Through all the years since college I have continued to study and enjoy music, specifically piano and vocal.  I belong to the Orpheus Choir of Wellington and have been with them for 25 years. I hope to continue as long as my body allows me to stand for long periods of music and that I also pass the auditions. The standing may get me first!

We have 4 grandchildren, 2 for each son and this year the family were together for Christmas, a bonus as they will be taking off in to the world over the next few years.

David and I both love travel and have enjoyed visiting many parts of Australia.  We also really enjoy Canal Boating in France and travelling to other countries on the way.  We still have lots of places to see and hopefully plenty of time.

Thanks Pam, now all you others can send one in too! 

Friday, 27 January 2012



I have just read the most interesting bios on the blog and feel I must have early onset Alzeimers – all the things people remember about school, the teachers, fellow pupils, goings on behind bike sheds, and I have very few memories.  Some of the things I do remember are:

·         Watching Helen Andrews do cartwheels or some other amazing gymnastic feats across the school oval.  Also Vicky Glass and some other purple dressed people on the school oval

·         Doing everyone’s sewing (cross stitch) in 3rd year sewing as part of the final test – when it came to the results, everyone passed – me included

·         Behind the sheds at the tennis courts in Reid where we were playing sport – I think we were smoking but what the heck!

·         And reading “Poo Lorn of the Elephants” with our English teacher Mrs Pridmore

·         And pinning rude messages on Mr Wigney’s sports jacket and saying at the beginning of each class “Bonjour M de Vigne (his French surname)”

·         And the list could go on but at the  risk of  total boredom I  won’t continue

Post TPHS:

·         On leaving TPHS, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do (definitely not university) so worked in the Public Service for 6 months before starting nursing training at the Canberra Community Hospital in mid1963 together Sue Geach and Penny Palmer from TPHS. After a couple of years I went back to the ”service”.

·         Went overseas in 1968 – to England for the next 2 years.  Had some interesting jobs in Harrods and the UK Foreign Office until I returned to Australia in 1970.

·         I worked with my dear late mother in 1970 at Metropolitan Business College in Canberra before going to the John Curtin School of Medical Research, working for the Professor of Immunology.

·         In 1975 I went to Paris for 2 years where my (then) husband worked as a post-doctoral  medical researcher at the University of Southern Paris.  I worked in the OECD and we had many interesting travels, both in France and also in England, Ireland ,Scandinavia, East Africa.  We came back to Canberra in 1976 where our son, Andrew, was born in 1977.

·         Following my divorce, I returned with my son to live in Canberra in 1980 where I went back to the Metropolitan Business College to work, and continued there, as Director, for the next 20 years.  It was a fascinating time to work in the training sector, one that I enjoyed immensely.

·         In 1999 I made a career change from the private sector and moved to the public sector for the last 10 years of my working life.  I retired in March 2010 from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  

·         From my time living in France I developed a great love for French textiles and home furnishings.  For the last 8-10 years I have enjoyed this hobby and my many French friends have indulged me in my love of speaking French.  Other hobbies are movies, reading, sewing, patchwork, and volunteering for Bosom Buddies, a Canberra support group for those of us who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

·         Another great love is travel and I have been to France many times over the past 10-15 years pursuing my hobby.  I have just returned from a trip to Boston to spend Christmas with my son Andrew who has worked there for the past 6 years as a post-doctoral medical researcher. 

All in all, when I read what I have written, I realise I am lucky to have had an enjoyable life and  I look forward to meeting all of you who are able to come to the reunion – I hope you will recognise me and that I am able to recognise you!


Monday, 23 January 2012


Some of you have been missing out on a great opportunity - to make comments on the BLOG.

You can place a comment on any of the POSTS be they BIOs or other posts.

Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of a POST,

write your comment,

click the down arrow in "Comment as:",

select one,

gloat on your work by clicking "Preview" 

and finally

click on "Publish".

There, isn't that easy.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

This is great, we have another BIO!

This one is from James McIntyre:

After leaving school, I started Law at Sydney University, living at St Andrews College in the university. After the 4-year course I graduated, but during the course I was called up in the 2nd national service ballot. My service was deferred until May of 1968, by which time I had been admitted as a solicitor in NSW. I was offered a short service commission (5 years) as a legal officer, which I accepted, as it beat working as a barman in the sergeant’s mess hands down!

I then served in Northern Australia, South Vietnam (for a year at the HQ of the Australian Task Force south east of Saigon), after which I was posted to Singapore for 3 years. I was then to be posted to Canberra, but I thought that enough was enough, so I resigned my commission and returned to Sydney to be admitted to the NSW bar, where I have practised ever since. I currently live on a farm in the NSW southern highlands that I bought about 30 years ago.

Work at the bar has been mainly in the field of personal injury and asbestos litigation. I also spent 1 year briefed to appear for the Australian Government in the Nuclear Tests Royal Commission in the early 1980’s. Over the last few years, I have been scaling back my work, as I am developing some commercial interests (retailing fishing tackle and ships chandlery, and running the town marina) in the township of Franklin in the Huon Valley in South East Tasmania. In fact I am currently in the process of moving into a house I have bought in the village of Franklin, and will alternate between there and the southern highlands.

Unlike most of you, I have remained single. The right person just didn’t come around! This does make however for a deal more of disposable income…

Looking forward to meeting you all again soon.

We still have time for us to post your BIO so send them in!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year to all the TPHS BLOG readers and here is the first one for 2012 and hopefully not the last before the reunion!

This one is from Paul Gottlieb:

School: I loved school and, with the exception of Grade 6 at Yarralumla Primary after the introduction of area schools, spent my entire school life at Telopea Park.

I have fond memories of three teachers. Earle McGann who showed me what fun Mathematics and Physics could be and who knew full well that caning the class record holder for “cuts” was pointless. Doug Webster introduced me to Latin and gave me my love of Grammar and foreign languages. And finally, my 5B English teacher, whose name escapes me, who through her enthusiasm, inspired me and Jill Moore to get an A in English to spite Bill Price (sorry Sue) who had demoted no-hopers like me from his precious 5A class.

After School: I spent three fun years at ANU getting a degree in Mathematics and Physics with the likes of Malcolm McIntosh, Bill Wilson and others where we majored in baiting the “cordies”, drinking, rugby and  dangerous driving. I soon realized that I was not cut out for academia and went to Sydney University in 1966 to study Electrical Engineering. With my BSc, I had a lot of exemptions and a very small workload and majored in Cryptic Crosswords in the morning in the Buttery, lunch time movies in the Union Theatre and boozy evenings at the Forest Lodge hotel with the occasional lecture thrown in. This life of leisure was interrupted in 1967, when I spent a year working as a caterpillar tractor driver on a Kibbutz in Israel after the six day war carrying my trusty UZI and avoiding land mines. I returned to Sydney University in 1968 to complete engineering and start a Master’s Degree in computer hardware design. I met my life’s partner Kay Pearse, a Geneticist from Queensland, in 1968 at Sydney University’s International House.

Work: It was time in 1972 to stop being a perennial student. When I couldn’t defer my Cadetship bond with Defense, Science and Technology any longer, Kay and I moved to Melbourne to work at the Aeronautical Research Laboratories. I didn’t use any of my previous training in developing computer simulations of F111 bombers. Simultaneously Malcolm McIntosh was working at another DSTO organization in Adelaide. In 1980, Kay and I spent six months travelling the USA in a camper van – fantastic experience!

More Work: I finally put my engineering skills to work in 1983 when I moved to CSIRO Mineral Chemistry in Melbourne to develop a mineral analyzer. Since then, I have worked developing and applying that technology around the world in the mining and oil & gas Industries. Despite burning down the prototype and its entire laboratory later that year, it was a great success. In 1992 CSIRO moved us to Brisbane to set up a new research facility for the mining industry.

Even More Work: In 2003, a few of us formed a spin-out company to commercialize the technology. We lasted until the GFC in 2008, when the mining industry shut down and so did we. Subsequently, the technology was acquired by a US company. We have set up a “Center [sic] of Excellence” in Brisbane and I have worked for them for the last three years going “back to the bench” inventing stuff. I am enjoying it tremendously and have earned the nickname “never retire”.

Most of those nearly 30 years have been spent travelling the world to mines and oil rigs in weird and wonderful places.

Family:  Kay and I eventually got married in 1980 “to make my parents happy” - and we have two wonderful sons and one granddaughter –one son works for Ausaid, and tragically, lives “On the Northside” in Turner. The other is a sports journalist at Fox Sports in Sydney. Both parents’ science genes were lost somewhere along the way.

Thanks TPHS for giving me a great start in life.

You still have time to submit your BIO and "head shot" photo! Also don't forget to check out all the earlier BIOs not displayed on this page.