A round up of happenings and achievements in the Grammar community


Jack Bugden (IV) on the slopes

Over the winter holidays, I set off to work with high-functioning autistic adolescents. On Sunday 10 July I headed to Jindabyne. There were eight adolescents that I was working with as well as the two organisers and two carers.

Throughout the week I was able to help them develop their skills in socialisation and aid them in their quest to becomes skiers. The first day, Monday, was a day of relaxation in which we became acquainted with each other and I was able to talk to each one and learn a little bit about them. Among the group were varying levels of social abilities and it was a delight to hear about their diverse interests.

After they’d been fitted with ski gear, we all headed back to the accommodation to play some board games and do a team building activity. The next day, we headed to Thredbo to hit the slopes. None of them had skied previously so it was a rocky start. There were different levels of ability and it was inspiring to see their determination to improve. Throughout the rest of the week, they became stronger and more accomplished skiers, moving from the magic carpet onto the chairlift and then from the chairlift onto a more challenging chairlift. I continued to bond with them and aid them in their progress on this immense adventure.

All in all, over the week I did many things. I learned from them, helped them make this camp as enjoyable as possible, but most importantly, I gained new friendships and a profound awareness of autism and how interesting and cool people with autism are.

Chickens and knitting at Edgecliff

A popular highlight in Year One was looking after a peep of cute and cuddly chicks. Observing them grow in height and weight, and keeping journals of their habits and behaviours, offered many opportunities for exploration of life cycles and prompted the ever-present discussion around, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” Another resounding hit has been weekly ‘French Knitting’ sessions. Shared responses to why this is so great: “It’s relaxing. It’s good for your hand-eye coordination. There’s Maths in it. It’s not a competition, we are encouraged to help each other. It’s just really fun.”

Evatt Model UN Competition

The state final for the Evatt Model UN Competition was held at State Parliament in July. There were fifteen teams (countries) of two pupils competing. Congratulations are due to the boys who participated:

Eamon Nicholas (VI) and Evan Wang (VI) represented Gabon; Jai Nandan (V) and Matthew Scolyer (V) represented Norway; and Kasra Roushan (V) and Remy Sloan (V) represented India.

Volunteers at Our Big Kitchen

Grammar and Ascham Form III pupils volunteered at the Bondi food kitchen, Our Big Kitchen (OBK). The pupils have had the opportunity to help OBK by making and packing food whilst socialising and having fun. OBK made over 80,000 meals last year, distributed to disadvantaged Australians.

Click here to read more about OBK


Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW

Dr Andrew Bell SC (OS 1983) has been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Dr Bell won dual University Medals in Law and Arts from the University of Sydney and he became Rhodes Scholar for New South Wales in 1990. He topped the Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford in his year, before earning his doctorate from Oxford the following year. Dr Bell joined the Bar in 1995 and took silk in 2006. He served as Senior Vice President of the NSW Bar Association and was appointed President of the Court of Appeal in 2019.

Sydney Grammar School offers its very warm congratulations and best wishes to Dr Bell on this most significant appointment.


Adult congenital heart disease

In early July, Jason Chami (OS 2016 and Senior Prefect) won the Three Minute Thesis competition at the Australian Medical Students’ Association National Convention for his work on implementing, optimising, and utilising a national database of adults with congenital heart disease in Australia. Thousands of children are born every year with congenital heart disease and consequently much cardiology research has focused on the treatment of paediatric patients. In the past, many of these children would die young; however, modern medicine has improved to the point where many live into adulthood. This important work will allow for better management and future clinical guidelines for understanding and managing adult congenital heart disease.

Jason graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) from the University of Sydney in 2019 winning the University of Sydney Academic Award and making the Dean’s List of Academic Excellence. He went on to read theology at the University of Oxford and is currently completing a Doctor of Medicine concurrently with a Master of Philosophy at the University of Sydney with Professor David Celermajer AO (OS 1978) and Associate Professor Rachael Cordina. He is also working on Strauss’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat and learning Arabic in his free time.

L-R: Sachin Mahajan, Jason Chami, Harrison, Khan and James Kalas (all OS 2016)

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Jason Chami

Vale Clare Payne

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of bassoon tutor and primary music specialist Clare Payne, after a long and brave battle with cancer.

Clare was part of the School community for over thirty years and made an outstanding contribution as a teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. She played a significant role in shaping music at all three campuses.

Clare began her career in her hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. After an initial post as a primary school teacher, she moved to Australia in the early 1980s to further her bassoon studies. Her early professional career was as a bassoonist with the Victorian Wind Quintet in Bendigo before moving to Sydney to freelance and teach.

Clare first taught bassoon at College Street from 1986 to 1988. She took some time out to raise her sons and returned in 1995 where she continued to teach with enthusiasm and passion until her illness in 2020 forced her to stop.

In 1998 Clare began teaching at Edgecliff Preparatory School. During her twenty years at Edgecliff she taught classroom music to infant classes, conducted ensembles and accompanied numerous Combined Preparatory School Orchestra tours to WA, NZ and Singapore. Clare also taught Science from 2010-2013, during which time she established the corner veggie garden, ran the popular gardening club and installed the sundial in the playground with the able assistance of the Year 4 boys. She also coached junior t-ball and football teams at Edgecliff.

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From the early 1990s, St Ives Preparatory and College Street also benefitted from Clare’s inspiring teaching. She led the ever-growing Bassoon Ensemble.

She introduced the fagottino or mini bassoon at Grammar and gave a presentation on “Teaching Fagottino” at the International Double Reed Society Conference in Granada, Spain. She also ran Double Reed conferences and learning days in Sydney, which were open to teachers and pupils from all over NSW.

Clare was a dear and loyal friend and her departure leaves a huge gap in many lives. She fought cancer with the same determination that she approached all aspects of her life.

Our thoughts are with her husband David (OS 1974) and her sons Matthew (OS 2006) and Sam (OS 2009). Both boys were Music Scholars at College Street. She will be missed by all of us, but her legacy of having produced the best school bassoon studio in the country will live on forever.

Rugby tours

During the holidays, the Grammar rugby boys were involved in several rugby tours and camps. Forms II and III participated in a tour to Coffs Harbour, while Forms IV, V and VI attended a Narrabeen tour. Unfortunately, our Weigall rugby camps were cancelled due to the poor weather.

The Coffs Harbour tour was a first for the boys and gave them a chance to be involved in the Coffs Coast Rugby Challenge 10’s competition, where they played three games per day over the three-day period. Unfortunately, the last day’s matches were cancelled due to severe weather warnings.

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Form II and III boys at Coffs Harbour

All boys got the opportunity to fly to Coffs Harbour and enjoy their stay at Big4 Park Beach Holiday Park whilst bonding as a group by doing team activities, such as laser tag, quizzes and visiting the Big Banana.

The Narrabeen tour was ideal preparation for the back end of the rugby season and helped develop the team’s cohesion by using the strength and condition facilities and rugby fields as well as enjoying some team building activities. The open group got the chance to play a fixture against the St Aloysius College Open team and then all of the touring party watched the final decider match between the Wallabies and England at the Sydney Football stadium.

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Form IV, V and VI boys at Narrabeen

Vale Rod Coady

Rod Coady, a long serving member of the Sydney Grammar School Common Room, passed away on 23 May 2022. Rod retired in 1997 after thirty-one years of service from 1966–1997. He was a Second English Master from 1969–89 and Second English Master Emeritus from 1992–93. He then became Master-In-Charge of the Audio-Visual from 1994–1997.

He coached Rugby including the First XV with the same patience, precision, and good sense that he showed in the classroom. He was an accomplished rugby player particularly as a five-eight for Eastern Suburbs and Drummoyne Clubs in Sydney and for Leicester in England.

Rod served as a Tutor for twenty-one years, edited The Sydneian from 1994–1997 and was Chairman of the Common Room in the early 1980s. His son, Brendan Coady, attended College Street from 1980–85 and was a Prefect in 1984–85.

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We will remember Rod for his composure and sense of being in control, independent of the prevailing circumstances both in the school setting and on the rugby field. You always felt that he was totally dedicated to whatever task he took on. He was a real gentleman who made a real difference for the better in the lives of so many people. He is a great loss!

Rod and his wife Pauline moved permanently to their property near Braidwood when he retired, and they have lived in the area since then. We extend our sympathy to Pauline and children Nicola and Brendan. We also offer our condolences to his brother, Michael Coady, who also taught English at Sydney Grammar School.

1961 First XV reunite at Weigall


In the 1961 GPS Rugby Competition, The King’s School and Newington College were Joint Premiers, St Joseph’s College were third and Sydney Grammar School fourth. Grammar lost to the Joint Premiers. However, in round five, in a game in which the lead had changed seven times, we “...upset previously undefeated St Joseph’s College in a rugby match GPS followers rated the best since the war.” (The Sydney Morning Herald 23 July 1961) That game created a special bond and camaraderie among the Grammar team.

When we chose to have our 60-year reunion at Weigall (postponed from last year due to the pandemic) the team was kindly invited to present the black jerseys to the current team at the Weigall Pavilion. That was the start of what was to be a memorable day. We then had the opportunity to meet with the coaches and to watch the early game before the First XV ran out against The Scots College at noon and played entertaining rugby, resulting in a well-earned victory. In the Weigall Pavilion afterwards, mixing with the boys who were still in their rugby gear, and meeting with their parents and friends, was most enjoyable and a great end to the day.

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The 1961 team gave an impromptu singing of its team song The Eyes of Grammar are upon You and the current team responded with an “Alligator”. Of the nineteen boys who played in the First XV in 1961, thirteen attended the 60-year reunion, and hope to be invited to present the black jerseys to the 2026 team at our 65-year reunion.

1988 Firsts basketball reunion

Five members of the fabled 1988 Grammar Firsts basketball team held a reunion dinner this year in Sydney with their coach, Geoff Simmons. It was the first time in 34 years the team had come together, and there was much laughter as they recalled their remarkable string of victories in 1987 and 1988. Now much greyer and balder (and a little sore in the knees) the players recollected the low expectations nearly everyone had held for them. At the start of the pre-season in 1987, the general consensus was that the Grammar Firsts lacked star players and would finish somewhere at the bottom of the competition. Yet they went on to be undefeated GPS champions and they remain the only Grammar Firsts basketball team ever to win a GPS premiership. Today, the team attributes its surprising success to selfless teamwork and a collective focus on getting the little things right. Those at the dinner recalled with amusement that Mr Simmons offered no set plays. Unlike some of their opponents, and in contrast to the model of play favoured today, they had no white boards, secret calls, or special hand signals. Instead, they remembered being drilled relentlessly on the basics, especially passing. Dribbling was often banned from training, so they learned better than any of their opponents the magic of spontaneous teamwork and the art of the beautiful pass. They were also one of the fittest teams in the competition and brought a gritty determination to win – an attitude that still shines through.

From L-R: Sam Fung (point guard), Mathew Walker (Deputy Captain), Rowan Gillies (Captain), Geoff Simmons (Coach), Brydon Stace (guard), and Thomas Barlow (forward). Absent: Adam Wrublewski (guard), Chris Mills (forward), Justin Pearson (forward).

Future leaders for gender equality

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L-R: Dr Richard Malpass and Mr Jack Jacobs

It was our pleasure to host Mr Jack Jacobs at Assembly on Friday 4 March. Mr Jacobs was introduced by one of our Prefects, Gigi Doumani (VI), who has had the opportunity to work closely with Jack, his colleagues, and other pupils in addressing the issue of gender equality, both in the context of coeducational and single-sex Sydney schools, as part of the Future Leaders programme. Jack is a Co-Founder of the programme: a not-for profit initiative that aims to catalyse pupil action on gender equality and respectful relationships in NSW schools. He was Senior Prefect at Newington College in 2016, where he led a campaign to promote gender equality amongst his male peers under the motto, “Value You. Support Him. Stand With Her.” Since then, Jack has worked at Elizabeth Broderick & Co. on the cultural renewal of the University of Sydney’s residential colleges, and at the Australian Human Rights Commission on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces. Jack has a first-class honours degree in philosophy from the University of Sydney and is currently co-authoring a book on reform leadership with Professor Don Markwell. Jack Story (Senior Prefect) and Gigi Doumani (VI) have been looking forward to expanding their own discussion groups and activities in Tutorials, further addressing gender equality to the younger boys with the full support of Jack Jacobs. Furthermore, they have also collaborated with Joy Townsend from Learning Consent to implement programmes in the School educating boys on consent and related matters.

ISDA Debating Semi-finalists

After the initial competition stages occurred over Zoom, Edgecliff boys gathered momentum and

completed a highly successful debating season with the B Team making the semi-finals. The boys put up a strong case for ‘It should be compulsory for professional athletes to donate to charity’; however, victory wasn’t to be theirs this year, and they were gracious in defeat. The boys are already talking about joining debating when they graduate to College Street!

Stuart Wylie remembered

On Saturday 30 July Old Boys who were contemporaries of Stuart Wylie gathered at the Grammar vs Riverview rugby game at Weigall to mark the tenth anniversary of his passing. The gathering was organised by Stuart’s brothers, Lachie and James, who chose the date to coincide with Stuart’s thirty first birthday. Lachie Wylie is presently a master at Riverview, making the choice of date even more significant. A healthy turnout was present to share recollections and honour Stuart’s memory.

Edgecliff Mother’s Day Breakfast

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The Term II Mother’s Day Breakfast marked a return to onsite activities for parents and relatives.

On this occasion, Edgecliff boys had the responsibility of looking after and spending some time with their loved ones in the Reg Billing Hall. Boys and their special guests took the opportunity to have a photo on entry, and then enjoyed food provided by the Parents’ Association. Guests were treated to some fine performances from the Chamber Choir, Year 5 Chorale, Edgecliff’s Bach Quartet and Mr Bailey reciting one of his favourite poems.

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Cadets meet Peter Cosgrove


Grammar Army Cadets received an invitation to attend a morning tea honouring General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO MC (Retd). SUO Taj Astill (VI), XO Joshua Zhang (VI) and LT Forsyth attended and had the pleasure of meeting Peter Cosgrove who had recently been announced as the first Patron of the ADF Cadets.

International Women’s Day

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Edgecliff boys were encouraged to think and discuss why this might be ‘a day’, letting the boys share their opinions on this, whilst acknowledging the special women in their life. One aspirational leader shared his love for his mum, whilst also commenting that when he became Prime Minister, he’d “introduce International Men’s Day – just to make it fair!”

Careers Convention


The Careers Convention was a tremendous success, with over seventy tertiary education providers in attendance. We had a large group of pupils from St Andrew’s Cathedral School, St Mary’s Cathedral College, International Grammar School, Wenona, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, Newington College and Conservatorium High School. The pupils appreciated the extensive range of tertiary education advice offered.

Hide and Go Seek-athon

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St Ives boys had an exhilarating 25 minutes of hiding from the Year 6 Cowper boys and there were many excited and sweaty boys that returned to the classroom after the event! I’m so proud of the way the boys were keen to get involved and the generosity of parents, relatives, friends, and other sponsors who supported them. $20,000 was raised for the Sir Eric Woodward School, which will be extremely grateful for these much-needed funds. On behalf of the Sir Eric Woodward School, I wish to pass on my sincere thanks.

Prefects’ charity

Dr Richard Malpass and our Prefects had the pleasure of inviting Mr Gandhi Sindyana and his colleagues from Lighthouse Community (Support) Services. The boys were given the opportunity to hear about the inspirational programmes offered to families in times of need and their initiatives with disadvantaged youth during Assembly. Lighthouse Community (Support) Services provide aid for a whole range of familial issues, from families that struggle to make ends meet, to ones that are socially isolated due to deeper engrained issues. Our Prefects chose Lighthouse Community (Support) Services as their preferred charity for 2022 and raised in excess of $50k.

Naval Aviation Prospects Scheme

The Naval Aviation Prospects Scheme (NAPS) visited the combined Sydney Grammar School and SCEGGS 306 SQN. Cadets were provided the opportunity to operate high-tech flight simulators with motion and VR goggles. Cadets were able to experience flying helicopters and conduct rescue winching operations under the guidance of Navy personnel. A huge thank you is due to the NAPS team for visiting and delivering an outstanding aviation experience.

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Social chess


From Term II the School has been engaging in social chess with SCEGGS Darlinghurst in the historic Old Science Block. The initiative has seen pupils of all ages participating in a range of activities led by FIDE Master Brett Tindall. Boys and girls played and socialised over games with doubles transfer chess being a popular option. Chess puzzles were also another interesting alternative with masters of both schools even getting involved in the antics. The initiative is continuing twice a term on Fridays and all pupils are encouraged to take part.

Handball for charity


In their first charity event of 2022, the Prefects hosted a full-school handball tournament in teams of two, allowing the younger boys to experience the true nature of Grammar handball. We saw a great turnout across all forms. With a free “big boppa” and a “skip the line pass” up for grabs, the boys battled through blood, sweat and fiery teammates until each form obtained an individual winner. In a finals bracket, the Form V team reigned supreme, achieving ultimate glory and the “King of the School” title.

SCEGGS vs Grammar basketball

Despite the inconsistencies of COVID-19 we were fortunate enough to have two matches against our long-time rival SCEGGS. Both matches were characterised by freakish displays of skill and athleticism – to be expected when fourteen of Grammar’s finest are put to the test. Despite excellent ball movement, flashy yet effective passes and even a full court shot from Jack Davis, a strong, aggressive SCEGGS defence proved too formidable for the boys.

One draw and one loss for Grammar was recorded in the battle vs SCEGGS for 2022. All boys involved represented Grammar well and should be proud of their efforts.

Tyrone Smith

Assistant Director of Rugby Mr Tyrone Smith has been selected to coach the AAGPS First XV in 2022, after coaching the AAGPS Blues team in 2021. He has been coaching the Sydney Grammar First XV for the last four years and completed his Rugby Australia Level 3 (Emerging Talent) coaching accreditation in 2021. Tyrone also just coached the Manly U12 team to joint premiers in the 2022 State Championships.


Youth Mental Health First Aid programme

Instructors Ms Kymberly Govers and Ms Cheryl Sewell ran an accredited Youth Mental Health First Aid programme on Thursday 7 April at School.

The aim of the programme is to extend the concept of first aid training to include mental health problems so that participants are empowered to provide initial support to youths who might be developing a mental health problem or who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Eleven enthusiastic staff completed an eLearning component and a day in the classroom role-playing, listening and watching case studies around youth depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis and substance misuse. All are well trained in the ‘A.L.G.E.E’ mental health first aid action plan.


Drug discovery

Stone Woo (OS 2014) recently published some of his current research in the journal Nature, one of the world’s top multidisciplinary science journals (Woo, S., Shenvi, R.A. ‘Synthesis and target annotation of the alkaloid GB18’. Nature 606, 917–921 (2022).) The paper describes the innovative, multi-step organic synthesis of compound GB18, a natural product known to have psychoactive properties and first isolated in very limited quantities from the bark of Galbulimima plants native to Papua New Guinea and used in traditional medicine. GB18 was screened against a panel of human receptors and revealed to be a potent and selective blocker of κ- and μ-opioid receptors. This is similar to the medicine naltrexone used clinically to manage opioid addiction and raises fascinating prospects for future drug discovery.

Stone completed his Bachelor of Science (Advanced) at the University of Sydney in 2018 and was awarded Honours Class 1 and the University Medal, as well as the CH Wilson Prize and the Edna Maude Goulston Prize in Organic Chemistry. He is completing his PhD at Scripps Research in California with Professor Ryan Shenvi and currently holds the American Australian Association Graduate Education Fund Scholarship.

Forum on young adult fiction

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is the only organisation in the country whose primary focus is the creation, promotion, and dissemination of high-quality literature for young adults. YA fiction is an increasingly lucrative field for authors and competition for recognition is fierce.

The CBCA awards prizes to what are considered outstanding works (fiction and non-fiction for older and younger readers) in a variety of categories. The winners are usually announced in Book Week, which this year was on 20 – 26 August, 2022.

This year the library participated in an inter-school forum to discuss the six shortlisted titles in the Older Readers category and our three representatives (or ‘literary ambassadors’) were Lucian Samuels (III), Asher Raphael (III) and Alex Austin Evans (III).

This was an exciting opportunity to discuss the role of literature in shaping and reflecting society (and our lives) as well as to engage in a conversation about the importance of and many benefits to be had from reading for pleasure.

Law high achievers

Our Year of 2016 were notable performers at the Prize Giving Ceremony at The University of Sydney Law School, Tuesday 31 May 2022. Here follows a list of recipients:

Samuel Goldberg (OS 2016) ED Roper Memorial Prize No. 2 for Equity and Corporations LawGeorge and Matilda Harris Scholarship No. I for Second Year Dean’s List of Excellence for Academic Performance.


Dean Psihoyos (OS 2016)
University Medallist in Law John George Dalley Prize No. 1A Joye Prize in Law Nancy Gordon Smith Prize for Honours at Graduation RG Henderson Memorial Prize (NSW Bar Association) Walter Reid Memorial Prize II for Private International Law Dean’s List of Excellence for Academic Performance.


Justin Huang (OS 2016)
Walter Reid Memorial Prize II for Private International Law Dean’s List of Excellence for Academic Performance.


Jake Slaytor (OS 2016)
ED Roper Memorial Prize No. 1 for Equity and Corporations Law Walter Reid Memorial Prize II for Corporations Law Dean’s List of Excellence for Academic Performance.


Another boy, Grant Kynaston (OS 2014), whilst doing a PhD in classical linguistics at Cambridge, also achieved the following awards: Nancy Gordon Smith Prize for Honours at Graduation Sir Dudley Williams Prize

National Emergency medal

When Mr John Rimmer (JRR) moved to Killcare he decided to try his hand at something new. He joined the NSW Rural Fire Service in 2019 and within two weeks of qualifying he was faced with an unprecedented fire season.

The following weeks saw him attend fire fronts in Bilpin, Somersby, and Charmhaven, which were part of the 5.3 million hectares (6.7% of the state) that were burnt in NSW in 2019/20.

On Saturday 9 April, Mr Rimmer was awarded the National Emergency Medal, presented to him by NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Field Operations, Peter McKechnie and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch.

NSW Rural Fire Service is the world’s largest fire service with over 72,000 volunteers.


L-R: Mr Adam Crouch, Mr John Rimmer and Mr Peter McKechnie


Elevator pitch competition

The Sydney Grammar School Business Society and Prefects hosted an ‘elevator pitch’ competition on Thursday 10 March.

Participants had 90 seconds to engagingly express an entrepreneurial idea of their choice, Shark-Tank style. It was a great success with pitches encompassing everything from spiritual cardboard boxes and Jam start-ups to a ‘turtle elevator’; slow enough that one could actually pitch a business idea in the time between floors. Thank you to all the competitors and, in particular, the masters who judged and helped organise the event: Ms Thompson, Ms Ditmarsch and Mr Gill.

Congratulations to Anthony Greenall-Ota (VI) and Jaxon Brady (VI) who presented the winning pitch on a real-time parking spot tracker.

St Ives Rugby Farewells Mr Audas

The energy was high for our last game of senior rugby this season against Tudor House as Mr Audas led us onto the field for his last game coaching Grammar rugby after 34 years.

To top off the season, we played a friendly match against Edgecliff’s Year 6 team who defeated us in a tough game and we can’t wait to combine forces with them at College Street next year. One of the season highlights of our undefeated season was when some of the senior College Street boys came to show their appreciation to Mr Audas by cheering on our team in the game against Trinity Grammar. After the game, the College Street boys chanted the Grammar rugby war cry to farewell Mr Audas, and the outgoing Grammar rugby coach offered this motto: “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” His legacy will live on in Grammar rugby for many years to come.

Tom Webster (Year 6)