Nothcote High School

Let us follow the better path




How to Join the Northcote High School Alumni

Northcote High School’s Ex-Students’ Association is a developing organisation which promotes the interests of NHS and is a link to NHS alumni maintaining school contacts. The association of 500 members warmly welcomes all ex-students and staff to join. Membership entitles you to obtain information about NHS, a copy of the annual Ripples magazine, an invitation to the ex-student reunion day and various NHS events. Contact Ms Kate Challis at the General Office on 9488 2300 or by email .


Past Students Register: Appendix 7 from the history of Northcote High School (Click to download)


June News 2018

The Annual ‘Back to’ Lunch was held on Tuesday June 5th with the Northern Polytechnic Restaurant well patronized by members and NHS staff. It was great to see many familiar faces and several new ones. The first address was delivered by the new and fifteenth principal of the School, Ms Sue Harrap. She told those present of her early life and career progress and indicated strong support for the Association. Sue was followed by ex-student (Class of 1955) Associate Professor Alex Lopata who enchanted those present with a data show around his memories of days at NHS. He spoke of his fond memories of Headmaster Mr. Moodie and his wife Doris, of teachers and subjects and old school mates. It was “a trip down memory lane”. Alex went on to tell us a little of his work as a medical researcher being involved in the first IVF baby in Melbourne working in the team with Professor Karl Wood.


Sincere thanks go to Ms. Harrap for her support and encouragement and to Kate Challis and Assistant Principal, Jocelyn Hill for all their hard work to organize the lunch. Thanks too go to the Polytechnic Restaurant for looking after us so well. Hope to see you all next year and many thanks for your attendance.


PS the mystery singer of the 1947 Speech Night program was solved. It was not the great Donald Smith of the opera stage but a very competent Donald Smith of Year 11 that year.


May 2018 News 

The Back- to lunch for 2018 is set for June 5th at Preston TAFE Campus in the restaurant. Cost $25. Guest Speaker is ex-student, Associate Professor Alex Lopata (1955) a medical researcher. It was hoped to hold the lunch at the School but building works make that impossible. Perhaps next year? Do come along and meet the new Principal, Ms. Sue Harrap. If you have not received an invite in the mail please contact Kate Challis on 9488 2332 or at Bring an old class mate. RSVP 24/5/18

Mathematics Teacher of the 1960s, Rod Watson, has informed the School of the passing of Brian John Chatterton Taylor, whom Rod describes as “fine teacher of English” at NHS in the 1960s. Vale Brian. We extend sincere condolences to Brian’s family.

Speech Night 1947. This interesting document has turned up for the archives and was George Stirling’s personal copy. Guests of Honour were Sir Edmund and Lady Mary Herring. What is most intriguing is a musical item, The Last Rose of Summer, sung by a DONAL SMITH who is not noted as a student. Could it be that Music Director Stuart Wilkie, with his extensive contacts in the musical world, invited this budding young tenor to the School. Donald went on to be one of Australia’s and the world’s greatest operatic tenors. Awards go to Warren Bartlett (Year 6), Bruce Campbell (Year 5), Norm Wearne (Year 3) etc. Can anyone remember this event and cast light on the singer?

Passing of Ken Inglis

The Ex-student Association is deeply saddened by the passing on Friday last (December 1st) of Professor Ken Inglis (Class of 1944). Ken was Dux of School in 1944 and went on to lead a distinguished academic career, being awarded an Officership in the Order of Australia and holding the Professorship in Australian History at the Australian National University. He held the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Letters (University of Melbourne) and Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford University. He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea from 1972 to 1975 and was Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. His research and publications were extensive and highly regarded. In 1996 he greatly interested members of Federal Parliament when he presented his superb and witty analysis of Parliamentary speeches since Federation in the Senate Occasional Lecture Series. His family established the Ken Inglis Scholarship at NHS in recent years and following the enrolment of his grand children at the School. Ken always lived up to our motto Meliora Sequamur. Vale Ken. Deepest sympathy is extended to the family and close friends.


November 2017 News

The Ex-students’ Association bids farewell to current Principal, Ms. Kate Morris, who has resigned her position for 2018. Ms. Morris has strongly supported all the activities of the Association, taken a keen interest in ex-students and encouraged their involvement with the School. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the School to provide appropriate buildings for the huge rise in enrolments and to continue the improvement of academic standards and links with China. She will be missed by her many friends amongst our alumni. We take this opportunity to thank her for her friendship and to wish her well for her future endeavours.Reunions


  • *The 40 Year Reunion of the Class of 1977 on Oct 27th was a notable success with more than 60 Old Boys attending at Croxton Park Hotel to reminisce and enjoy a meal. It was great to see former staff member Ms. Jill Sainsbury there, as bubbly as ever. Thanks are extended to Con Dinopoulos, Ange Tosso and Tass Tousimis for organizing the event.
  • *The annual reunion of the Class of 1948 on Nov 1st saw two full tables of the group enjoy lunch at the Old England Hotel, Heidelberg. Well done boys and thanks again to Bruce Campbell and John Hines for their organization.


are extended by the Association to Doug McLaren, Class of 1956, on the recent passing of his wife Shirley. Sincere sympathies go to Doug and the family.


September 2017 News

The reunion of the Class of 1977 planned for October 20th 2017 has been moved to Friday October 27th 2017. Former students and staff interested in attending are asked to contact  Tass Tousimis by email 


The Ex-students’ Association congratulates present Year 11 student, Donovan Toohey, who was selected to play in the Crusaders’ Cricket England Tour this year. One game was played at Windsor Castle against the staff. Donovan was batting when the Queen and Prince Phillip arrived. The lads changed into their formal uniforms for a presentation. Here we see Donovan being presented to Her Majesty. Donovan made 49 runs not out while the Royal couple looked on.


How many other ex-students have met the Queen? We know of Frank Lees (Class of 1941) who received his MBE at the Palace from HM and Joe Franzie (Class of 1978) was presented on the occasion of the Queen visiting Australia when he was a senior student. Several ex-students served with distinction in the armed forces in the UK during WWII and may well have received decorations from King George VI.




Overseas Students at NHS

Present parent, Professor Julie Wills, Dean of Architecture at Melbourne University, came across Dato John Lau in Sarawak. The title “Dato” is an honorific one bestowed by the State and is rather like “Sir” in the British system. John attended NHS in 1967 for Matriculation before studying architecture at Melbourne Uni. He is now a prominent architect in Kuching. He said four lads from Sarawak were at Northcote that year and they were probably there as part of the Columbo Plan operating in the 1950s, 60s to help educate worthy students of SE Asia. He continues friendly with one, Peter Wong. John struggled with English back then having to translate his text books to understand. He was very pleased to hear the School now teaches Mandarin. The Ex-students’ Association sends greeting to John and Peter and expresses thanks to Professor Wills for informing us.



July News 2017

Ronald Goodey (Class of 1951) has written to the School and supplied interesting additions for the archives. In particular, he has donated his copies of Ripples Minor for 1950-51, not previously held by the School. The 1950 edition leads us to learn of Old Boy, Ian Manly Reed, who won a Gold Medal in discuss at the Empire Games in Auckland of 1950 and represented Australia at the Helsinki Olympics. Ian is still throwing discuss for the World Masters competition and is first in the world in his age group. Ronald is now a Companion of the Order of New Zealand and a distinguished otolaryngologist in Auckland, New Zealand. 1950 was quite a watershed year for NHS with the departure from the staff of distinguished masters like Messrs. George Stirling (English), A. Rogers (French), L. McAvoy (Chemistry), J. Flynn, etc. Jack Thomas was Head Prefect. Another news item recounts the effects of a tram strike and the problems of getting to school. Staff cars arrive packed with “sore, stiff and sorry” pupils packed in beyond the legal limits. Many thanks are extended to Ronald for writing and for the donation. Congratulations go to Ronald and Ian on their achievements.


More Letters – James Oliver (Class of 1951) has also written, as has Mervyn Ward of around the same time. James loved being in the School Cadet Corps and learning to dance with the girls from Preston GHS. He was not so fond of Mr Potter the Maths teacher and his strap. Mervyn attended with his brothers Roy (a Prefect and later Principal of Epping PS), Graeme and Robert. The Ward boys made a great contribution to the School in these years. Great to hear from both “boys” and best wishes form the Ex-students’ Association.


June News 2017

The Annual “back to” lunch was another conspicuous success with a goodly crowd enjoying the food and company at Preston TAFE restaurant. Keith Froebel (1936-39) was there, hale and hearty and with many other ex-students enjoyed the key note address from His Honour Graham Fricke (1947-51), LLB, LLM, QC Retired County Judge, law lecturer and author of law books and books of general interest. His Honour entertained with details of his varied career and some of the cases which came before him. The Ex-student Association again thanks Principal Kate Morris for her support and most interesting address about the progress of the School, plans for a NHS Foundation, building plans and educational matters generally. Deputy Principal Jocelyn Hill and Administrative Officer Kate Challis are thanked most sincerely for all their hard work to organize the event. It is planned to hold the event later in the year in future.


Jac Nasser AO is moving to the retirement stage following his prestigious career with Ford Motor Corporation, BHP and Commonwealth Bank. The Association warmly congratulates Jac on his outstanding contribution to business and various charities and wishes him a long, happy and healthy retirement. Jac was honoured in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday honors with the award of the AC. (Companion of the Order of Australia). Congratulations Jac, you have certainly lived up to the School’s motto, Meliora Sequamur.


The Association notes with sadness the passing of two ex-students and extends condolences to the families and friends. James Mangopoulos LLB (Hons) (1960-65) was a distinguished business law practioner and outstanding soccer player. He was a Prefect in 1965 and Captain of Soccer from 1964. James passed away very recently. Wayne Duncan attended NHS in the 1950s (one year behind Normie Rowe). At School Wayne was involved in music and Cadets. He was a renowned bass guitarist in major groups including Daddy Cool, Ramrods and the Lincolns. He enjoyed an outstanding musical career and passed away on December 4th 2016.


News from Graeme Fellows .The School regularly hears from ex-students and staff and learns much from these communications. Graeme attended from 1957 to 1961. He has written of his memories at NHS during these years. He particularly remembers Metal Work teacher Mr. Shipley and his favourite saying to his students, “Don’t bash it, tap it” referring to shaping of the metal. Graeme began work with Leader newspapers and later became a hotelier in country Victoria. Great to hear from you Graeme.


February News 2017

The Association is saddened by the recent passing of Ron Tucker Class of 1959.  Ron matriculated in 1959 and had a long career as an administrative manager, finishing his working life with The Asthma Foundation of Victoria. At School he was a keen cricket player and member of the First XI. He played cricket and coached with Northcote and Ivanhoe Cricket Teams. He will be sadly missed by his class mates at the regular reunion lunches. Deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Sue and the family.


A Reunion of the Class of 1977 is being planned for October 20th 2017 by School Captain of that year Con Dinopoulos, Tass Tousimis and Ange Tosso. At this stage the plan is to hold a dinner at the Croxton Park Hotel. Interested former students and staff are invited to contact Tass by email


December News


The Association is saddened by the passing on Saturday December 18th of Itiel Bereson, teacher of the 1950s and 1960s. He was a good friend of the School until the very end having served a long career in the Education Department as a secondary teacher and principal (Reservoir High School). Most recently he co-authored the section of the School History, The Green, the Purple and the Gold, which dealt with his period at the School. We publish this eulogy written by Dr. Barry York, distinguished Australian historian, for his old History teacher.

“I was a pupil of Itiel's at Northcote High in the 1960s. He was a wonderful, indeed exemplary, History teacher. It was a blessing to have him as a teacher, at that stage of life when one's mind is open to ideas and seeking to understand what makes the world tick. He was conservative in style but challenging in content.


My lasting memory of him back then is of a human whirlwind in a black flowing academic gown, entering the classroom with all the drama and excitement of a Shakespearean actor. He would hurry to the blackboard, and write words on it in chalk and then, using his wooden pointer, point to the words while spinning around to face the class. "YORK!", he exclaimed on one occasion. "What is the 'Ancien Regime'?!"


Like many others, it was almost impossible not to become an enthusiast for History after being taught by such a passionate and brilliant teacher. And when it came to the Ancien Regime, many of us learned the correct lesson: that it was the old order of things, an order that may seem 'solid' but which eventually 'melts into air' when it ceases to serve the people – despite the ruling class presenting themselves as the natural order of things.


Itiel aroused our curiosity about the past, which put some of us in very good stead to pursue the study of History and, in my case, to take it up as a career.


It was such a privilege, for a young kid from the low income Brunswick migrant working class to learn from him. He could have taught at the best elite private schools. And it was a privilege to keep in touch and visit him over the decades. He was a good friend as well as a great teacher. His enthusiasm and passion, and his interest in his former students, never seemed to diminish.”


Keith Corcoran passed away on Friday December 16th after a short illness. He was a staunchly loyal Old Boy who attended NHS from 1951 to 1956. He completed his degrees at Melbourne University and taught French with distinction in various high schools. In 1976 he joined the Board of Secondary School Inspectors and later held various senior Departmental roles up until his retirement. At School he was the very efficient bell boy who was awarded many prizes and scholarships for good citizenship and academic excellence. I taught with Keith in my first year at Melbourne High where Keith acted as my mentor. His professionalism, sense of humour  and support were so appreciated. Gary Israel


The School has lost two of its greatest friends who will be sadly missed.


Meliora Sequamur


November News 
















The Class of 1996 held a most successful reunion on Saturday 12th November at the Bar Cafe spot on High Street. A large number of the year attended (over 70) including Eliza Caldow ( McCormack) who flew down from Darwin for the occasion. A great job was done by Vicky Damilatis in setting the night up and a sincere vote of thanks must go to her. She was assisted by many but notably Stephanie Katsonis (Papdopoulos) and Kathy Goutsicas. It was great to see the former Level Coordinators Shirley Barbara and Terry Chapman in attendance. Terry travelled down from Castlemaine. Also helping were staff and former staff members –Danny Leondidas, Con Dinopoulos, Tass Tousimis, John Heyworth and Gary Israel. A great reunion!!

The Class of 1948 annual reunion lunch was held at the Old England Hotel on Wednesday 26th October and was well attended. Approximately 20 of “the boys” were able to make it including the Hon. John Cain, former Premier of Victoria. Memories and chats were enjoyed by all including Principal Kate Morris and her PA, Kate Challis. Thanks to Bruce Campbell and John Hines for the organizing. Gary Israel.


October News 2016


  • * The class of 1996 will hold a 20 year reunion on Saturday November 12th from 7.00pm at the new bar and courtyard at 520 High St Northcote . All welcome. Contact Vicky Damilatis email
  • * Class of 1948 annual lunch will be held at Old England Hotel Heidelberg from 12 noon on October 26th 2016. Contact Bruce Campbell for further details.


RAAF Bombers Over Germany 1941-1942 is a recently published book written by Anthony Cooper which pays high tribute to Old Boy, Wing Commander Keith Kaufman, DFC and Bar. Keith was Commanding Officer of 460 Squadron under the Commander of Bomber Command’s, Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Harris. Keith took over the Squadron in the middle of 1942 at the age of 27 and immediately improved morale with what the author describes as his engaging personality. When he visited the sergeants’ mess on his first day he took off his tunic and said “I believe you blokes are pretty good drinkers; let’s get stuck into it and see how good you are” (Page 200). He had the common touch and spoke easily to men of all ranks. He was always positive and encouraging. That night all Wellington bomber crews returned safely. Kaufman flew himself the following night in an attack on Bremen. He survived the War being twice decorated for bravery in the air. Meliora Sequamur served him well!








August 2016 News


Congratulations to Alan Monger on OAM. Alan attended NHS from 1955 to 1958 and became a licensed surveyor. He was awarded an OAM in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the community and surveying. He worked for CRB in Melbourne and at surveying for high rise buildings in Melbourne and London. From 1976 he worked in private practice as a surveyor in Wangaratta and Benalla areas. He has served the Benalla community with distinction in Rotary (President for a period) and Probus. He won the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship in 2009. He has been involved on School Councils, local history association and the Benalla Arts Council. He has served as an honorary associate of Museum Victoria, being an authority on the shells/molluscs of SE Australia and writing on this subject. At School he was on the SRC in 1958 and featured in athletics and basketball teams. He was School pianist of 1958. Well done Alan and hearty congratulations on the OAM!


His Honour Mervyn Kimm has contacted the School. He attended NHS from 1944 to 1948 and went on to obtain an LL. B (Hons) from Melbourne University. He served as a barrister at law at the Victorian Bar, as Deputy Chairman of the Liquor Control Commission 1982-88 and as a County Court Judge from 1968 to 2002. The Association wishes Mervyn well in retirement and notes that he has certainly followed the motto, Meliora Sequamur!


Passing of Rex Chadwick. Rex passed away very recently having retired as Principal of Apollo Parkways Primary School and after long service in the Victorian Education Department. As a Principal, his very successful school was one of the Navigator Schools working with NHS in the mid 1990s, leading change for Victorian schools. He attended NHS from 1954 to 1958 and was a keen footballer and swimmer. The Association extends deepest sympathy to his family. Vale Rex!.


July News 2016


Great to hear from Graeme Fellows (Class of 1961).  He remembers his teachers so clearly – Heads Alec Sutherland and Jack McGregor, Tex McAvoy, Messrs Stevens, Shipley, Shineberg, Weston, Carter, and Whiteley. Fondly remembers the metalwork teacher’s instructions “Don,t bash it, Tap it”. He recalls class mates like Waler Bourke, later star of the Australian Ballet and Wayne Duncan, key vocalist and bass with the famous pop group Daddy Cool. Graeme worked for the Northcote Leader rising to Print Manager and later became an hotelier. He played cricket outside School and umpired 62 senior VFL matches. He recently caught up with Ron Bailey and Neil McLean also ex-student VFL umpires. Graeme supplied interesting insights, memories and old photographs. Well done Graeme!


Back to Afternoon,  June 21st was a great success with a large crowd of ex-students and staff, etc attending to hear the Hon. John Cain, former Victorian Premier, talk about his days at NHS and of changes he has seen in education over the years. Those present greatly enjoyed his address.  The School band and ensemble entertained with some very impressive playing and the School Captains and present Principal, Ms. Kate Morris, updated the audience on the nature of the present school. Tours and a splendid afternoon tea followed. The Association heartily thanks all those responsible for the hard work to organize the day. Food, displays, tours etc don’t occur smoothly without hard work and detailed planning. Thanks go especially to Kate Morris, Kate Challis, Jocelyn Hill and all those directly involved.




90th Anniversary Launch 2016

The celebrations for the School’s 90th year will formally commence on Monday March 21st with a School Assembly being addressed by the Minister for Education and Deputy Premier, the Hon. James Merlino. Representatives of the decades have been invited as space is limited by students and staff filling the hall. Ex-students will be invited to a special open day in April and the grand “Back to” cocktail party in September.


News of Ashley Richiardi

Ashley was a student of the Class of 1993 and later graduated with a Bachelor in Construction Management (Hons) from Deakin and with Diplomas in Applied Science (Building) from Gordon Institute. He worked for several construction companies from 2001 to 2011. He is now teaching English as a Second Language in Poland and has indulged his passion for travel, visiting a staggering 80 countries around the world. At School he was a keen chess player, Student council member and competed in teams in swimming and track. Well done Ashley and best wishes from the Ex-student Association.


An interesting contact

The School has been contacted by the nephew of Victor Nathaniel Barclay from Switzerland. Victor left NHS in 1935 to become a clerk with the Victorian Lands’ Department. He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1940 and served on HMAS Sydney which was sunk by enemy action the following year with the loss of all hands. Victor and three other NHS “boys” perished in this wartime tragedy. Victor’s nephew was seeking details from the School records regarding his uncle and we were able to help. Victor came to NHS from Wales Street Primary School, was a good scholar and a keen sportsman. Victor’s name is recorded on the School’s brass memorial plaque in the entrance area.


Passing of Gillian Campbell (Fergusson)

Former staff member Gillian Campbell, known to the School as Gillian Fergusson, passed away on November15th of 2015, after a short illness. She graduated Bachelor of Science with Honours from London University in Geology and Geography. She worked as a geologist in Namibia, lectured in teaching training and taught at schools in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Melbourne before joining the NHS staff in 1981 as a Geography teacher. She inspired generations of students in her subject and strongly encouraged new staff members. Her wonderful teaching, organisational skills and abilities saw her hold many senior positions in her 23 years at NHS. Her deep concern for the progress and welfare of her students and her wisdom and experience made her a much loved Year level Coordinator and staff member. She will be very much missed by generations of her students and the staffing colleagues privileged to work with her.

The School community and Ex-students’ Association offer deepest sympathy to Gillian’s husband Dave and her family in Bishop Auckland, England.  Gillian had returned to the UK not long after retirement in 2004.


November 2015 News

The Class of 1948 held its annual reunion lunch on Wednesday 28th October at the Old England Hotel, Lower Heidelberg Road. It was good to see 16 class mates enjoying themselves and basically looking so well. This was one of the first groups to sit for Matriculation from the School after the War. Head Prefect Bruce Campbell and John Hines acted as hosts and welcomed all to the lunch, including former Premier of Victoria, the Hon. John Cain. Gary Israel represented the School and reminded those attending of the forth coming 90th anniversary of the School in 2016. It is pleasing that this group, like many others, informs the School of its activities.


First Student of Greek Background at NHS. 

The School History, The Green the Purple and the Gold noted that the first student of Greek background in 1929 was Dimitrios Varvarigos . An obituary appeared in the Age newspaper of October 28th 2015 for Dr Andrew Varigos (originally Varvarigos), brother of Dimitrios. Dr Andrew, an old boy of Melbourne High, passed away aged 100. We are now trying to find out what happened to Dimitrios who passed away in 2010. The obituary for Andrew noted that this family had a special place in Greek Australian History and, of course, over the years, the School had a proud history of Greek enrolments. Northcote was one of the first Government Schools to teach Modern Greek, still in the curriculum from Years 7 to 12.

October 2015 News

The Class of 1955 celebrated sixty years since graduation from NHS on October 7th. The day began with classmates and, in some instances, wives meeting at the School for a chat, morning tea and viewing of a selection of photographs from the archives. Several staff members joined in for the morning tea. Speeches were made by Principal Kate Morris, Gary Israel and Allan Wilcox, convenor of the celebrations and then it was time for a tour of the present day School with assistance from several student leaders. Allan pointed out that it was this group which achieved the School’s best ever Year 12 results and Principal Morris stated that she had challenged the Class of 2015 to “beat” this record.

The Class later adjourned to the Peacock Hotel for a celebratory luncheon.

In attendance were Rex Brady, Arthur Coombs, Ken Cunningham, Doug Fraser, Alex Lopata, Kevin and Lyla Maguire, Bill Newell, Tony Shallcross, Andy and Jan Treadwell, Peter Tsitas and Allan and Mavis Wilcox

July 2015 News

The Annual Back to Lunch in June was another great success with Mr. Chris Leptos AM, School Captain of 1976, presenting the address. Chris spoke about his School days in the 1970s and of his great admiration for his young Mathematics teacher, Mr Peter Kerwick. Peter passed away tragically a few years later. Chris proposed an annual teachers’ award in Peter’s name and offered to help set this in place. Chris also spoke of his outstanding career in the business world and in assisting Government at various times. He spoke too of the need to give back to his School and in the community to help the less fortunate. Chris was joined by a group of men from the 1970s which included Con Dinopoulos, School Captain 1977 and Jim Lambrineas School Captain 1978.

The Principal, Kate Morris, spoke of the approaching ninetieth anniversary of the School in 2016 and of the need to plan special celebrations. The following people, present at the meeting, volunteered to join a committee helping with plans for next year; Ian Rechtman, John Gowans, Stephan Brown, Greg and Kris Stamboulidis, Michael Loterzo and Con Dinopoulos. Any others interested in joining this group please contact Kate Challis at the School on 9488-2332. Ms Morris pointed out the phenomenal growth of student numbers at NHS and of the urgent need for major building works which has been a problem for the School, on and off, since its establishment in 1926. The present buildings were designed for 1200 pupils and the enrolment has risen to around 1600 putting huge pressure on facilities.

The Association thanks the School for its fine work in organizing the lunch and, in particular, Ms. Kate Challis of the administrative staff. Ms Kate Morris is thanked for her ongoing support of the NHS Ex-students’ Association.


May 2015 News


John Bold was a Prefect in 1930 and appears in the fine large photograph of the Prefects from that period with Headmaster F.W. Johnson now hanging in the School foyer. His son, also named John, recently connected with the School and provided details of John Senior’s life. He attended the School from Thomastown where he lived on the family farm. He had to walk or run a considerable distance to the station, which his son thinks was the reason he was a very successful runner in the School athletic team. He trained as a primary school teacher and taught in the Wimmera and NE Victoria before service with the Army. During his early teaching years he completed a BA and Dip.Ed at Melbourne University. In the 1950s he taught in the Brunswick and Reservoir areas and lectured at Melbourne Teachers’ College. He was Assistant Principal at Keon Park Primary and Principal of Lalor Primary until 1974.He was active with the Teachers’ Union and served as a representative on the Teachers’ Tribunal. He later became District Inspector at Coburg and then Broadmeadows but passed away in 1976. John’s photograph appears in the School history on page 58.

The School is always very keen to gather biographical information on its ex-students.


Old Boys’ Blazer returns in Glory . The School has been delighted to receive, as a donation, a beautifully framed Old Boys’ Blazer from Geoff Allen. It belonged to his father Harold Matthew Baster Allen, a boy of the 1930s. Geoff has added a brass plaque as a memorial to his late father. This was presented to the Principal Kate Morris for hanging in the foyer and she plans to display it at the ‘Back to’ lunch on June 3rd. The School and Ex-student Association thank Geoff most sincerely for this caring thought.

The Association is saddened to learn of the passing of the wives of two of our esteemed members.  Mrs. Amirah Inglis, wife of Professor Ken Inglis, passed away on the 2nd of May this year and Mrs Nan Gallagher, wife of Hec Gallagher, very recently. Nan was a highly respected teacher of Geography during her working years. Condolences are extended to both men and their families.


April 2015 News

The “Back To” Lunch for 2015 has been announced for Wednesday June 3rd at 12.30 pm. Again it will be held at St. Georges Restaurant, NMIT Preston Campus. $25 per person for 3 course lunch with wine included. Contact Kate Challis at the School on 9488 2332 or Guest speaker will be Mr. Chris Leptos, AM, B.Comm, MBA.Chris attended NHS from1971-1976 and was School Captain of 1976. Chris is CEO and Managing Director of Southrock Corporation, Partner of KPMG. He was head of corporate development at Western Mining and Chief of Staff to Senator John Button when Minister for Industry. His AM was awarded for his work on sustainability of the global mining sector. He is also on the Faculty Board of the Commerce Faculty at the University of Melbourne. Chris is a major figure in the Australian business sector.


Passing of Sunny Cheng NHS 1953 -55. B.Eng. (Melb), Grad. Dip. Marketing. University Blue in Soccer and Half Blue in Table Tennis. The Association is saddened by Sunny’s passing. He was born to a Chinese family and forced to move around South East Asia to avoid the Japanese invasion during WWII but the family ended up interned by the Japanese and both his parents died during this period. He came to NHS in 1953 graduating in Mathematics and Science. As an industrial engineer graduating from Melbourne University he worked for Ford and, later ACI Glass. He became their industrial engineering manager responsible for Australia and SE Asia. He managed a Melbourne rubber company before setting up his own renovation company, retiring in 2004. We are grateful to Allan Wilcox for these notes and Allan fondly remembers Sunny undertaking a physics experiment with a wire attached to an odometer and accelerating on his motor bike along St. Georges Road back and forth across Merri Creek Bridge. Sunny is to right of teacher in the photograph of the ’53 Soccer team (shown below). Vale Sunny! Deepest sympathy is extended to Sunny’s wife Carol and the family.











February News 2015

Norm McMurtrie has made the Association aware of Peter McMurtrie of the Class of 1959. Peter lives in Queensland and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2013 for distinguished service to the Queensland community through leadership in the areas of emergency patient care and health service management and contributions to professional organizations. He is also a Knight of St. John. He holds a Masters’ degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland, amongst other Fellowships and qualifications. Well done Peter and congratulations.

Archives keep turning up and many thanks to those who keep the School in mind when “clearing out” occurs at home. We recently received a copy of the Speech Night program for 1939. It was held in Northcote Town Hall in the first year of World War II and the address was delivered by Mr. J.A. Seitz, MSc, MCE, Director of Education. Mr F.W. Johnson was Headmaster and the orchestra was directed by the famed Mr. Stuart Wilkie with Brahms and Offenbach on the program. A. Armstrong was the Head Prefect and Councillor Olver, Chairman of the Advisory Council. Keith Allen was Dux of Form V (senior class then) and Eric Ballantyne and Trevor Rowe equal Dux Year IV. Trevor is a regular at our “back to” days. This document was not in the Archives until now.


Dr. Max Lay AM, Class of 1954, was honoured late last year with the award of the Peter Nichol Russell Memorial Medal. This is a most prestigious annual award for a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers making a notable contribution to the science /practice of engineering in Australia. Max served as executive Director of the Australian Road Research Board, Director of Quality and Technical Services VicRoads and Major Projects Director in 1993.He career in engineering is a most distinguished one. The School and Association offer hearty congratulations on Max’s latest award.


Charles Cornwallis, Class of 2010, was awarded the Rosemary Merlo Prize for second Year History at the University of Melbourne at the end of 2014 for the best essay “Were there common aspects of Statehood/Non Statehood that defined Muslim and Christian attitudes to outside groups and civilizations”. He was also awarded the Felix Raab Prize for this work. Congratulations Charles!











Reunion Class of 2004 The November 2014 notes told of the reunion of this group. 


Vale Dr. Max Kirwan, MB, BS (Melb), Class of 1944. Max practised medicine in Mandurah, Western Australia and passed away on Nov.6th 2014. We extend our sympathies to his family on the loss of Max, a highly regarded medico.


November News 2014

A Reunion of the Class of 2004 was held on October 31st beginning at the School with refreshments and a tour of the School site and then at the local Peacock Hotel for a night of remembering. Present Principal, Ms Kate Morris and former Principal, Gary Israel addressed the group at the School. It was a most successful evening and special thanks go to Gilly Trikaliotis, Co-School Captain, 2004 and Kate Challis of the School staff for all the work to make the reunion a happy one. It was interesting to note that several marriages have or are about to occur between ex-students. The Association wishes Gilly and Nick Gogas all the very best for their approaching nuptials.


Omar Hammoud has contacted the Association. Omar graduated from the School in 1992 and then completed a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Swinburne. He is currently Manager for the NBN wireless network at Ericsson Australia. He recently won the 2014 Leadership Award for his company and has represented them locally and internationally.  Hearty congratulations Omar!


Another contact has come from Ray Smith student 1943 to 1946 and later student teacher at NHS. After obtaining secondary teaching qualifications and a Diploma of Advertising Art, Ray taught at secondary schools before heading up the Advertising Art Diploma course at Chisholm Institute. He was a star runner for Merri House and the School Athletic Team. Ray remembers being lucky to be one of only four boys from his primary school to be accepted at NHS. He says the school was then known as “The Northcote Horse Stables (NHS)” to students at other schools. He remembers being actively involved in Cadets, soccer, tennis, band and tippety-run cricket as well as track events in athletics. A mate at School’s father was the City coroner who showed the boys through the morgue to celebrate VE day!! Then there was “Tex” McAvoy, the Chemistry teacher, upon whom the boys perpetrated an unexpected and considerable explosion in the lab. The wrong lad was marched off to see the Head, “Percy” Bishop. Ray has provided interesting anecdotes about the Cadets and “fun” in the old lockers. Very best wishes Ray!


The Association is saddened to learn of the passing of George Perry (1930-32), one of our oldest surviving students of the early 30s. George provided wonderful information about his school days which were used in the School history. Keith Williams of the class of 1944 has let us know of the passing of another Old Boy, Barry Brown, classmate of those years. We say Vale to both George and Barry and extend our condolences to the families.


The Association wishes Professor Ken Inglis AO (Class of 1944) well after a bout in hospital. We hope he is soon “on the mend”


Master plan Launch. A new Master Plan was launched at the School on Tuesday the 28th October by the Hon. Fiona Richardson, MP for Northcote. She announced that a Labor Government would contribute $3million to set the programme in motion. The dramatic rise in enrolments in the last ten years means that provision needs to be made for further facilities. It was good to see the Hon. John Cain, former Premier and Alan Wilcox (1950 -55) at the launch, both  ex-students.


September Update

The Class of 2004 is to hold a reunionon Friday October 31st 2014 beginning at the School at 6.00 pm. Light refreshments will be served and tours of the School available. The group will then adjourn to the Peacock Hotel 210 High St Northcote to continue the celebrations. Drinks and meals available there. If wanting information and to register interest contact Jilly Trikaliotos on 0403531694.


John Tasioulas attended NHS in the middle 1970s and then proceeded to Melbourne High.  In 1989 the Hon. John Cain, Premier of Victoria, announced at NHS, in John’s presence, that he had been awarded the Rhodes’ Scholarship for that year. John then studied Philosophy at Oxford University. John has added many degrees and honours to his name since that time, most recently he has been awarded a Professorship at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London and will be Director of a new centre dedicated to his fields of research funded by a seven million pound gift from the Royal Family of Malaysia. This is an inaugural Chair of Politics, Philosophy and Law. John is a leading philosopher of law and he currently holds a Chair in Jurisprudence at UCL. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow of Melbourne University’s Law School, Distinguished Research Fellow at Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. John holds degrees in Arts and Law from University of Melbourne and a D. Phil from Oxford. In 1999 he was made a Bicentennial Fellow. The Ex-students’ Association congratulates John on his outstanding achievements.  



July Update

The Class of 1985 held a reunion recently and enjoyed a great evening, according to organiser Bill Papageoriou. Many attending remember 1985 as a year of triumph for the Senior Soccer Team which won the All Schools’ title, coached by Messrs. Craig Price and Jim Tangas. From left to right- Front- Steven Tsitas - First row – Michael Sangas, Nick Kolendrianos, Jim Michels, Kon Vasiliou, George Archimendritis. Second row – Bill Pikos, Kyriakos Intziadias, Bill Papageorgiou,George Stingas, Con Papadopoulos, Kon Mastrogiannis, Matthew Katakis. Third row – Nick Tsaktsiras, Louis Papadimitriou, Tom Kogionis, Lakis Nikolakoudis. Out of the room Foti Banasios and Darren Cons.



Ex-student Wins Award

Congratulations go to Hannah Lewis (Class of 2006). Hannah has been awarded a Manuel Gelman Award for Teaching Excellence in Languages in the University of Melbourne’s Graduate Diploma of Education studies this year. The late Manuel Gelman was a distinguished teacher of French at the Secondary Teachers’ College and the University and his family has established this award in Education and Music studies. In his very early days Mr. Gelman taught at NHS.


Passing of Ms Eva Youren, teacher of English 1977 to 1989. Ms. Youren taught English and Mathematics, particularly, senior English, with excellent results. She was well respected by her students and colleagues but succumbed to serious illness on July 6th of this year in the UK. The School and Ex-students’ Association extend condolences to her husband Michel Faber and family. 



May 2014 News and Back to Luncheon

The 2014 “Back to School” luncheon at St. George’s Restaurant, NMIT was another conspicuous success with a very good attendance of ex-students, school staff and some present day students. An excellent lunch was enjoyed with addresses by Principal Kate Morris and Gary Israel about alumni matters. The guest speaker was Associate Professor Peter Barlis (Class of 1991) and all would agree with the comments emailed in by John Hodgson “Many thanks for another wonderful lunch yesterday. The guest speaker was outstanding ...a great Australian”.


Peter outlined his studies since leaving school and after receiving his academic prizes from Professor Sir Gustav Nossal at the Year 12 Graduation in Olver Hall at the end of 1991. He studied Medicine at the University of Melbourne and after intern years at Austin and Northern Hospitals began his specialization as a cardiologist. He became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and studied further in London under a leading international cardiologist, later publishing a major book on cardiology with this Professor. Returning to Melbourne, Peter completed a Master’s degree in Public Health from Monash and continued his private and public practice. Ph. D studies took him to Rotterdam in the Netherlands where his thesis in cardiovascular medicine under a renowned Dutch specialist was accepted under the exacting terms of this University. Along the way, Peter has forged links with cardiologists from all round the world.


Back in Melbourne Peter’s outstanding research to improve the placement of stents has led to a major breakthrough in cardiac surgical technology which is now being taken up around the world by surgeons. Peter is an Associate Professor in Medicine at the University of Melbourne and working hard to set up a centre of innovation and research in cardiovascular medicine to make his city, State and nation world leaders in this field. Earlier this year Peter was elected as a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Cardiologists, travelling to the USA for the ceremony.


At 41 years of age, Peter has achieved so very much. We all congratulate him on this success which benefits humanity at large. Meliora Sequamur is certainly his personal motto. We do thank him for making time available yesterday to interact with his old school.






March 2014 News


James Barrett attended NHS from 1952 to 1955. He would be of the graduating class of 1957. He has contacted us recently and is keen to make contact with old class mates and teachers. Can you help? If so contact Gary at .


The Class of 1955 held its annual lunch at Watsonia RSL. Attendees included Dr. Lawrie Shears, former Director-General of Education and Mrs Eleanor Peeler, historian. This year group will celebrate “60 years on” in 2015 and plans are in hand for a special celebration. Contact Allan Wilcox if interested.

The photograph below shows Left to Right Allan Wilcox (former Principal Kilmore International School, Vic Irving (former Principal of Thornbury High School), Ken Cunningham (former Principal of St. Helena Post Primary School) and Andy Treadwell (former Principal of Lakeside secondary College) enjoying lunch and a “catch up”.












James Corbaleski and the class of 1989. Jim has contacted the School with the news that the group has met regularly since leaving school and is wanting a special celebration this year, 25 years on from graduation! Discussions will be held with the School about the occasion. The photograph shows the group at a recent reunion, Jim in the middle right. Anyone  interested can contact on











February 2014 News

Professor Graeme Young has been honoured in this year’s Australia Day Honours with membership of the Order of Australia (AM). He is a world renowned gastroenterologist and medical scientist who did address NHS on one occasion when he was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne. His award is for services to medicine. He played a key role in developing Australia’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Last year he was named South Australian Scientist of the Year.


Graeme attended NHS in the late 1950s, matriculating in 1963. He was a Prefect, Captain of Debating and won the Sutherland Prize for Sport and Study as well as the School Council prizes for General Mathematics and Biology. The Ex-students ‘Association and the School offer hearty congratulations to Graeme on his Order of Australia. 



Harold Mackrell, OAM passed away in 2012. Harold was a long-time member of the ALP and served as a Fitzroy Councillor from 1973 to 1976 and again from 1979 to 1982. He was Mayor of Fitzroy in 1981. He is still remembered for his service to the community, particularly in the City of Yarra. The University of Melbourne, where he graduated in Science, has recently announced that Harold has left a bequest in his will to create the Harold Mackrell Indigenous Student Scholarship to assisit two indigenous students with their living and studying expenses each year.


Harold's legacy will continue to benefit others through social justice long after his passing. He attended NHS from 1936 to 1940. 



November 2013 News

Northcote High School Archives has been subject to intensive sorting and indexing over recent months and we have discovered that we lack photographs pre-1945 and would be keen to obtain any currently residing with ex-students or families. If made available these could be copied and returned. It is handy to have the names of those in the photographs.


Bill Horman

Bill Horman was mentioned in the last news and more information has surfaced. Bill attended NHS from 1952 to 1954. He achieved a career of distinguished service in law enforcement and emergency management. He is a Member of the Order of Australia, holds the Australian Police Medal along with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Diploma of Criminology. He rose to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police in Victoria (Operations) and Commissioner of Police in Tasmania. He was involved in major international peacekeeping operations in his time as well. Congratulations Bill, on a life of outstanding service to the community.


Passing of Micky Wirt

Mark Warcaba, student of the 1950s,has written this tribute to his former class mate who passed away in July. We extend sincere sympathy to Micky’s family.

Miki, Mike, Micky, even Michael Wirt was born Miodrag ( my dear one ) on 23rd December 1940 in Valevo, Serbia, of a Ukrainian father and a Serbian mother.

In 1954, at Northcote High School I was assigned to look after this new kid who didn't know a word of English so we established a hybrid  Serbo-Ukrainian language which sufficed until his English progressed.

Being so close, we tended to gravitate towards the same activities such as athletics, soccer, art and eventually into our common profession of Architecture.

At NHS, Miki excelled in all departments, becoming a feared goal scorer in our soccer team which became the premier of the High School competition. In athletics he was a standout in the sprints and long jump with many wins in the Combined Schools Carnivals. His art background led to great success as an architect in London, Edinburgh and back in Melbourne with two highly respected architectural firms. Being elected Prefect and House Captain was proof of his popularity at school. I, along with his many friends, mourned his passing on the 24th July 2013 at the age of 72.


Passing of Stuart McDiarmid

The Association is saddened to learn of Stuart’s passing on 21 October 2013 . Stuart was, at first, a parent who was elected to School Council. He served as President of Council from 1985 to 1987 and again from 1992 to 1999, staying on after his sons had left the School. He was a hard-working President, who successfully realised  the many splendid new buildings which are now enjoyed. This involved meetings with Departmental and political figures to convince them of NHS’s needs. He liaised with the Fitzroy College community during the time of its closure. He served on the Northern Region’s Education Board.  He will be missed as a friend of NHS. Condolences are extended to his wife Noela, sons Andrew and Gordon, Carolyn and family.                



October 2013 News

Morning Tea.On Tuesday, 10 September NHS hosted a morning tea and tour of the School at work. A goodly number of ex-students and staff enjoyed the outstanding music provided by the school’s large Symphony Orchestra and, later, the Big Band. The high standard of the performances astounded many present and thanks and congratulations go to Mr Peter Lewis, Director of Music and players, for their time and superb playing. The tours were especially interesting as the ex-students could view classes at work and learn about the latest educational developments. A fine morning tea concluded the morning. The Ex-students’ Association thanks the Principal , Ms Kate Morris, Ms Kate Challis of the Office Staff and all other staff involved for providing this opportunity and for the hard work to put it all in place.


Passing of Alec Weston

Alec was originally (1940s) a groundsman for the Northcote Council on Merri Park. He became a sports and physical education teacher of the School in the 1950s, although he lacked formal teacher education and was known to generations of boys from that time until he left the School in 1975. He passed away in September this year in country Victoria. He will be fondly remembered by many ex-students and former staff.

Vale Alec!


Dr. Noel Battye

The recent morning tea saw several ex-students mentioning old class mates with whom the Association has lost contact. Noel appears in a photograph in the School History (Page 145) in the role of Eustace P. Smith in the NHS musical of 1951 Leave it to P. Smith but little else was known of him until now. Noel proceeded to the University of Melbourne and was active in student theatricals in the Union Theatre. He completed degrees, including PH. D at Cornell in New York becoming a lecturer in history at Melbourne State College and, later, in the faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne. Well done Noel!


Can you help? At the recent morning tea one member drew the School’s attention to the fact that Bill Horman, former Deputy Commissioner of Victoria Police, attended NHS. We haven’t been able to contact Bill and ask that the member who mentioned this contact Gary on 03 9889 0740 or if anyone else can help please contact.



June News 2013

A highly successful back to lunch was held in June 2013, with over 80 attendees.


2013 Back To Day  attendee list


The Back To Lunch was held on Wednesday, 12 June at Northern TAFE’s restaurant (St. George’s). Over 80 ex-students attended for a fine three-course lunch and address by the present Principal, Ms. Kate Morris and key note address by the Reverend Dr. Warren Bartlett OAM, ex-student of the 1940s. Warren has been Head of the Psychology Department at University of Melbourne, Minister and Moderator for Victoria of the Uniting Church. A very experienced public speaker, he spoke of daily life at NHS during the war years and of his personal experience of the wonderful teaching of his senior mathematics master, Mr. Roy Maher. Mr. Maher went on to be Deputy Principal of Melbourne High but is still remembered for his teaching by “boys” of NHS.


Warren spoke frankly about his professional life at the University and with the Uniting Church. Those attending, including former Premier, the Hon. John Cain, seemed to enjoy the day.


Thanks go to NMIT, Ms Kate Morris (Principal) and Ms Kate Challis of the NHS Office for the work put into organizing the lunch.


News from the Plustwik family

It was good to hear from Bernadette Plustwik (now Price) who attended NHS in the 1990s to 2000. Two brothers also attended around this time, Stephen and Peter. Bernadette studied Speech Pathology at La Trobe, practiced in the public health area and now operates a small private practice. Peter completed degrees in Arts and Law and works in management for Insurance Australia Group and Stephen followed up his BA with studies as a personal care attendant and works in this field. Their father was Deputy President of the School Council and provided much support to the School.


Dr. Barry York OAM

Barry attended NHS in the 1960s, is an historian in Canberra and is presently working to help celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. The Old Parliament House in Canberra has one of the few original copies. Details can be found at  Barry would love to see comments posted on his relevant blog.


April News 2013


Tom Darragh 

Tom (Class of 1958) has recently been in touch with his NHS. Tom graduated from Melbourne University with a Masters in Science and a PhD. He was later honoured with Fellowship of the Royal Society of Victoria. He has been Curator of Fossils at Museum Victoria, Deputy Director of the Museum and Head of the Geology Museum. Now retired, he maintains an interest in cycling. NHS is pleased to renew the acquaintance and congratulates Tom on his achievements.


A ‘Special’ Reunion took place on Wednesday, 24 April. We reported last month that Brian Brown OAM had passed away after a long and distinguished career in Music. His wife, Dr. Ros McMillan, held a senior position in the University’s Faculty of Music and caught up with two of Brian’s old mates and NHS ex-students. Ros organised for all three to tour the School and listen to the splendid Big Band of 2013. John Fordham (1948) and Keith Johnstone (1953) are professional musicians and, as lads at NHS, were players in the Big Bands of their day. They spoke fondly of their teacher and band conductor, Stuart Wilkie. We were pleased to welcome all three to NHS and thanks go to Peter Lewis, Director of Music and Nick Murphy, Assistant Principal for their assistance with the visit.



March 2013 News

The Class of 1955 held their 2013 Annual Luncheon at the Watsonia RSL on Wednesday afternoon, 6th March.

In attendance were:  Graeme Balaam, Lyndsay Burton, Ken Cunningham , Doug Fraser, Allan Gray, Geoff Henning, Ray Hood (& Gail), Harry Langham, Alex Lopata, Bill Newell, Tony Shallcross, Andy Treadwell (and Jan), Peter Tsitas and Allan Wilcox

(Photo-Back row, L to R; Alex Lopata Harry Langham Doug Fraser Lyndsay Burton Andy Treadwell. Front row, L to R; Allan Wilcox (holding the football), Bill Newell Peter Tsitas)


As the group gathered over drinks it was easy to see that the Annual meeting was now clearly a meeting of old friends rather than a reunion of strangers.


During lunch we remembered that this was the first annual gathering without one of our teachers as Alan Smith had passed away shortly after our 2012 meeting last March. Several spoke about their relationship with Alan and the remarkable career that he had at Carey after leaving NHS. We also remembered the recent passing of John Tsitas in December and several who attended his funeral spoke about the very large turnout of friends who came to pay their respects to John’s family.


Lunch continued with the usual reminiscing and eventually wound up around 2:30pm though the last  five to leave left a good 15 mins later as it took that long to help one of our colleagues (who shall remain nameless)  to find where he’d left his car..Given our advancing age, we may need to keep this in mind for future gatherings!!.


During the day we agreed to again have next year’s Annual Lunch at the Watsonia RSL on the Wednesday before the Labour Day Weekend, which we finally determined was Wed March 5, 2014. It was then pointed out that as 2015 would be the 60th Anniversary of the Graduation of the Class of ’55, which as we all are aware, was an event that didn’t happen in those days. (Q. When was the first NHS Graduation Ceremony held?) To celebrate this memorable occasion, we agreed that we should probably do something somewhere more memorable than the Watsonia RSL!! Suggestions for the location, time and date are welcome and we agreed to confirm this no later than our 2014 luncheon. We also agreed to try harder to locate our missing members and see if we can get them to attend. Those of you who live interstate or overseas should now start saving your pennies (sorry 5c pieces) for the fares. And to finish this on a very positive note, Bill has just informed me that he has just located

E. Barrie Kenney, B.D.Sc., D.D.S., M.S., F.R.A.C.D.S.


Dr. Barrie Kenney is Director of the UCLA Periodontics and Implant Surgery Faculty Practice at UCLA, who apparently graduated from Melb University in 1961.

Allan Wilcox


The Class of 1959 enjoyed a fine lunch by way of a reunion at La Notte Restaurant in Carlton on 28 February 2013.

The event was organised by John Gowans and was attended by as many ex-students as John was able to contact. The intention now is to have regular lunches of the group and contact John at gowans.john@gmail.comif interested. Head Prefect Roy Ward was on hand for the occasion as was Les Comte who served a period on the NHS Council. The “boys” enjoyed catching up and renewing acquaintance.



(Photo from Left to Right -  Dave Warry, Roy Ward, Charles Parkinson, Frank MackNamara, Ian Nicholls, Peter Bennett, Alan Pinkerton, John Fawcett, John Gowans, Colin Glazebrook, Gary Israel [representing the School], Les Comte, Doug McLaren and Roy McCarthy. Present but not included Ron Tucker and Ian Southwell [Photographer]).



February 2013 News

Letter from Roy Ward

Roy was Head Prefect of 1959 as well as Captain of Darebin House and Captain of the First XI and has written to NHS. He became a primary school teacher and later Principal of Epping Primary School. He has pointed out that in 1955 he captained the Under 14 Football team to the premiership under Alan Smith, Coach.


The team lost at one point to University High but the umpiring was deemed “unfair” and a replay was ordered with NHS winning. It is recorded in the history as “Rematch ordered” but should correctly be recorded as a premiership to NHS! Thank you for that information Roy.


Roy points out that in 1956 four Ward brothers were in attendance at NHS Roy, Graeme, Robert and Mervyn. Alec Sutherland, Headmaster, made all four stand up at assembly which highlighted this milestone for the School. Roy was somewhat uncomfortable with this attention.



Since the last news we have lost a number of people associated with NHS.


Bill Moorhouse

Bill Moorhouse attended NHS 1937 to 1941 and later became a cost accountant with Lincoln Mills in Coburg and later a public accountant. He was Captain of the First XI, Baseball team and was a member of Diamond House. He strongly supported the Ex-Students’ Association and will be missed at the luncheons. He was a respected supporter of Scots Uniting Church, Heidelberg and passed away on 7 December 7 2012. He is survived by wife Rae and family.


Brian Brown OAM

Brian attended NHS 1946-1949 and became an architect before following a career as a soprano saxophone musician. He was for many years at the forefront of new Australian music and Head of Improvisation Studies at the Victorian College of the Arts. He had over 60 LPs and CDs of original music accredited to his name and his passing resulted in some major obituaries in daily newspapers. He played in the first Big Band at NHS and also captained the Under 16 Cricket and Football teams. He died on 29  January 2013 and is survived by his wife, Dr Ros McMillan and family.


Walter ROBERT Giles Bridges

Walter died on 9 February 2013 after a battle with cancer. He taught at NHS on and off over 23 years from 1973 to 2004. He was a revered teacher of English and History who was a specialist in Year 12 English and Senior Greek History.  He was a co-author of The Green, the Purple and the Gold, History of Northcote High School. His perfect polite manner and constant support to his students meant that he was the ‘Mr Chips' of his era. A large crowd at his funeral in Thornbury was testament to his standing as an educationalist.


The Ex-students’ Association mourns the three men above and extends sincere sympathy to their families Meliora Sequamur.



August News 2012

Ex-student and distinguished long-serving teacher of humanities and languages at Northcote High School, Mr Chris Manousopoulos passed away suddenly on 29 July 29 2012 resulting in shock and grief for his family, colleagues, friends, students and parents. At his funeral at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church, Templestowe, on 6 August  a very large congregation bid a sad farewell to a beloved man. He completed Year 12 at NHS in 1977 with outstanding results in humanities and proceeded to take an Arts Honours degree and Diploma of Education at the University of Melbourne.


In his final year of Arts, Chris obtained a First Class honour in Roman History, the quality of which was attested to at the funeral by his Professor in Classics, Ron Ridley. His teaching was highly respected by students, colleagues and parents. He had coordinated Humanities and Year 12 in his time and acted as a Learning Technologies Coach to colleagues within the School, the State and from overseas. He had later obtained a Graduate Diploma in Computer Science which he put to good use demonstrating the role of learning technologies in humanities. He was always the professional with an approachable and friendly manner and his sense of humour was legendary.


The Ex-students’ Association extends sincere and heart-felt sympathy to his wife Diana, son Dinitri, his mother, sister and family. A Memorial Service was held in the schoolhall. The very large and impressive School orchestra played and several speakers voiced their feelings and gratitude for what Chris had brought to their lives and to NHS.  Vale Chris. Meliora Sequamur!


Ten Year Reunion

On Friday evening August 10th the “first ten year on” reunion was held for the Class of 2002. The reunion was led by former School Captain, Riste Avramoski, now an engineer working in New Caledonia and Deputy Captain, Anthony Cianflone, electoral assistant to a Federal MP. A goodly crowd of the class members and former teachers attended to enjoy refreshments and speeches by Riste, Anthony, former Principal Gary Israel and former Deputy Principal Sally Clarke. The ex-students later adjourned to a local hostelry to continue the celebrations. It was a most successful event which will be followed up by another next year for the Class of 2003. Thanks go to the School (especially Anna Foundling) and to Riste and Tony for their work in preparing the function.


May News 2012

The Back to Day luncheon held on 9 May was a conspicuous success with some fifty ex-students and staff attending in the pleasant surroundings of NMIT restaurant, Preston. Guest speaker, Gordon Duxbury OAM (1938 to ‘42) delivered an interesting and often amusing account of his life as a Senior Partner in a Law firm, company chairman and director and leader in the formation of Guide Dog Association Victoria. He has been honoured with an OAM, Gold Medal Community Service Award and was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Principal Kate Morris informed the group that the School would host an Afternoon Tea Tour at the School later in the year. It was interesting to chat to Ron Sainsbury who started at the School in 1934 and clearly remembered Headmasters Johnson and Kitson!


Vale Alan Leslie Hawthorn Smith.

Alan passed away on 17 April 2013. He attended NHS from 1942 to 1947 and later graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Master of Science degree and Diploma of Education. He became a research scientist but was tempted to take on teaching at his old School by Headmaster Alex Sutherland. He was an outstanding teacher of Science and Chemistry.


In his first year of teaching Matriculation, students in the class obtained several first class honours and the State Exhibition in Chemistry. He taught at NHS from 1955 to 1959 but was then “head hunted” by Carey Grammar. He taught there until his retirement in 1992. He was Deputy Principal of Carey from 1976 to 1992. At NHS as a student he was House Captain of Merri, Prefect, played in the first XVIII, Athletics Team member, Magazine Committee and Debating Team member.


He was an active member of the NHS Ex-Student Association and gave invaluable support to the writing of the recent School history. Alan’s memorial service at Carey was very well attended and included several NHS ex-students many of whom are medical doctors. Several commented that they obtained places in Medicine because of their results in Chemistry as members of Alan’s class. Condolences were extended to his wife Noel and family on behalf of NHS through a notice in the Melbourne Age. The Association has lost a dear friend.


Herald Sun article about Northcote High School

An article in the Herald-Sun criticised the School for ignoring old boy football personalities in its Ex-student Register. It was actually referring to a Wikipedia site which was not created by NHS, although staff occasionally correct it from time to time. The newspaper was made aware of the official site (and the extensive list on the top of this page) which includes many of the footballers’ names, which the journalist accused the school of ignoring! The official Register does not claim to have the names of all ex-students and our goal is to keep adding information as it comes to hand. The School takes pride in the achievements of all ex-students.


The article did however have a positive slant to it and has led to further contacts with ex-students;


  • John Greening attended NHS in 1967 while playing at Collingwood football Club. He played 107 games, kicked 70 goals and was noted for his strong running and balancing skills. He was severely injured in a game in 1974 and did not play again until the 1975–1976 seasons. He won the J.J.Joyce Trophy twice (1970, 1972). He was recently granted Life Membership of Collingwood Football Club.
  • Brian Downie has contacted NHS after reading the article. A student of 1942 to 1943 he later worked in accounting in various firms, rising ultimately to being Sales’ Manager for McAlpine & Co., Bakery and, later, running his own wholesale wine business. Brian umpired in the VFL including 3 Grand Finals (Reserves 1948 and Seniors 1949-1950). He was Captain of Victoria’s Under 18 Basket ball Team in 1946 and was presented to Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Opening of the Commonwealth Games in 2006 on behalf of Guides at the MCG.
  • Trevor Johnson OAM was a well-known footballer with the Melbourne Club in the 1950s and 1960s. He was nicknamed ‘The Phantom’, playing in seven final series and five Grand Finals. He played in 118 games in total. The author is presently seeking further information about Trevor from the Western Demons Support Club.


April 2012 News


Kevin Yon, Principal of NHS from 1975 to 1980, passed away in early February this year. Kevin was Principal of Eltham High School before coming to Northcote and spent a year as Principal of Waverley High School after his time at NHS. The 1970s were turbulent times in State education but, while Kevin stood for traditional educational values, he was also progressive on many issues. His contribution to NHS was to strengthen and widen the curriculum, work hard to improve building stock culminating in the opening of the new Gymnasium and to strengthen the place of sport and physical education in what was then a boys’ school. Kevin was a junior State tennis champion in his day and achieved a Blue in tennis from the University of Melbourne. Vale Kevin!


Ex-students’ Association stalwart, Harold Mackrell, OAM, passed away on April 1st, 2012. He served with the 6th Division, AIF, in New Guinea during World War 2 and was a Commonwealth Public Servant. He served as Councillor of the City of Fitzroy from 1973 and was Mayor in 1981. He was named City of Yarra Citizen of the Year in 2002. He remained actively involved in many community ventures- St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Fitzroy, Friends of Merri Creek, Fitzroy Historical Society, etc. A scholarship for Indigenous students will be established at Melbourne University in his memory. He attended the School from 1936 to 1940.

Condolences are extended to both families on behalf of the School and Ex-students’ Association.



February 2012 News

Congratulations go the Reverend Dr. Warren Bartlett on the award of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the recent Australia Day honours. Warren attended the School from 1942 to 1947. He became a Methodist Church minister becoming part of the Uniting Church after the union of several churches. He holds degrees from the University of Melbourne in Arts, Science and Divinity and a Ph.D. He was Head of the University’s Department of Psychology from 1978 to 1983 and Moderator of the Uniting Church of Victoria from 1994 to 1997. He was Deputy Head Prefect and Dux of School in 1947. He was pleased to receive a letter of congratulations from the Ex-Students’ Association and, in reply, paid tribute to his old school and especially his Mathematics teacher, Mr. Roy Maher. His award was for services to the Church and tertiary education.


Saturday AgeNewspaper (4/2/12) carried the story of several Australian students studying at Oxford University. Recent NHS ex-student Alessandro (Alex) Caputo was one of those highlighted. After his studies at Northcote, Alessandro completed a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours at Melbourne University working part time at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. This work aroused his interests in structural Biology and DNA and he is now reading for a DPhil at Magdalen College, Oxford. His research there looks at how the hepatitis C virus manipulates ions in order to replicate itself. His findings may help with a cure. Well done Alex.


Anthony Cianfloneattended NHS from 1997 to 2002. He completed a BA from RMIT and has become Electoral Assistant to Hon. K. Thompson, Federal Member for Wills. He was Moreland’s Young Australian of the Year in 2011, is founder and chair of Oxygen Youth Project Committee, chair of Moreland’s Youth Action Committee and Youth Advisory Group, Australian Young Labor Senior Vice-President and President of the Coburg West ALP Branch. He was School Co-Vice Captain and Captain of Soccer in 2002. A very talented soccer player this continues to be a keen interest of his. We congratulate Anthony on his many achievements and note with interest that he is keen to see a reunion of the Class of 2002 this year, ten years after the Class graduated.


November  2011 News

The School and Ex-Students’ Association were saddened by the passing of Mr. Geoff McComas on 10th of September, 2011. He and his brother Warwick attended NHS in the 1930s. Geoff worked in a stockbroker’s office and then for the Harbour Trust before going into radio with 3BA Ballarat and then 3DB in Melbourne. A well known announcer, he advanced to Studio Manager and then went into television announcing/news reading (HSV 7), etc. He trained people for media roles via his company Speech Dynamics P/L. He always supported NHS and acted as announcer at two major School jubilee functions (1976 and 1986). He was present at the School late in 2010 for the launch of the School history. He was Captain of Diamond House in 1939. Vale Geoff!

Ex-students continue to contact the School to renew memories and let us know a little of their life journeys since leaving School;


*The Reverend Dr. Robert Goldstein attended Princeton, Yale and Abilene (Texas) graduating in Theology. His calling was to the Lutheran Church of America where he served several parishes, key committees and Church agencies. He tutored in Theology at Yale and Princeton. He attended NHS from 1956 to 1960 and is in Melbourne at present.


*Malcolm Edmiston (1955-56) is a Queensland JP and civil engineer. He has specialized in fire safety and served 21 years with the Royal Australian Army Engineers’ Corps, including service in South Vietnam in the late 60s. Much of his later career was with local government and Queensland State Government.


*Joe Franzi (1973-77) continues to have a distinguished career in the Federal Defence Department. His qualifications in intelligence telecommunications, signals and public sector management have served him well in his latest position as Assistant Secretary Information Security Operations, Defence Signals Directorate. He was the first civilian Director-General, Support for Military Operations, in key conflicts such as Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.


*Paul Gallichio (1971-76) has a degree in Business and an MBA. He worked for NAB as program director for NABConnect (online platform) and now for GE Capital Finance. He set up an operations centre for GE to support credit card offerings in Guangzhou, China.

The School and Association congratulate these four men on their achievements and distinguished service in their fields. They certainly have observed their School Motto, Meliora Sequamur!


September 2011 News

Aristotle Spencer (Sapountzis) has emailed the School after receiving his copy of The Green, the Purple and the Gold. He attended the School from 1960 to 1965 and was Deputy Head Prefect in his final years. He trained as a secondary teacher adding a Master of Education degree from Deakin to his qualifications in 2003. Inspired by his NHS History teacher Mr Itiel Bereson, he devoted most of his career to teaching history and school leadership positions. He has recently retired.

He was disappointed that the History did not say more about the Latin murals in Room 13. It is interesting to note that Aristotle and his classmate, friend Daniel Russo, created the murals as Year 9 boys in late 1962 under the supervision of Latin Teacher, Dr. Kovacs. The fine scenes depicting life and events in ancient Rome are still much admired for their drama and skill. Aristotle remembers working with difficulty but also enjoyment, on scaffolds made of class tables and chairs.

Aristotle believes the School helped to inculcate in him values of hard work, honesty, duty and perseverance.


Vale the Reverend Albert Bayne Mc Pherson , MA (Trinity, University of Melbourne), Th. L. Priest of the Anglican Church. Albert was a student at NHS in the 1950s and passed away very recently. His funeral was at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne on August 26th. He held various senior appointments in the Church including Archdeacon of Melbourne and Precentor of St. Paul’s Cathedral. From 1970 to 1971 he was an assistant priest at the Episcopalian Cathedral of St. John the Redeemer in New York. After his retirement as Precentor, Albert was Chaplain to the Arts and the Melbourne Arts Centre as well as to the Canterbury Fellowship. His life was one of devoted service to the Church and the community. Meliora Sequamur!


The School and Ex-students’ Association is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Neville Garner, another fine student of the 1950s. Neville was a primary teacher with the Victorian Education Department. He added qualifications from Swinburne University and became a lecturer at the Police Academy (1970-75). He served as Deputy Principal of Collingwood Education Centre (1983), Principal of Spensley Street Primary School (1986) and as a School Support Officer at the now defunct Inner City School Support Centre. In this role he worked directly with his old school. He worked in Curriculum design and professional development, ran for the Seat of Sandringham for the Labor Party, was on the State Council of the Victorian Teachers’ Union and travelled to the USA on a Brown Scholarship. His wider interests were skiing, real estate, the Bright Art Gallery and golf. His was a life of service to State Education and the community. He will be sadly missed by friends and former colleagues.

The Ex-students’ Association extends condolences to the families of both men.