From Delhi to College

Recent stories about two Graduate House members have highlighted the great work St Paul’s College, in partnership with the University, is doing with the Indian charity Asha Community Health and Development Society which supports postgraduate coursework for students from slum communities in India.

Sumit started in Graduate House this year to study a Masters in Public Policy at the University. During his undergraduate studies in New Delhi he was selected to become an Asha Ambassador which gave him the opportunity to study abroad. Read more about Sumit in IndianLink News and AFR.

Tushar Joshi joined Graduate House in December 2021 after commencing his Masters in International Relations remotely at home. He is the recipient of a Sydney Scholars India Equity Scholarship and was also selected for this opportunity through the Asha program in India. For more on Tushar’s story see USyd News.

Both Sumit and Tushar are actively contributing to the life of St Paul’s. They bring a world view that is vastly different to the majority of students at Paul’s but they are embracing and celebrating the values of Australia and the traditions of collegiate life. Both young men involved in the Middle Common Room and are active participants in the social life of Graduate House. Here is a great Sumit details his new life thanks to the College and his scholarship: video clip HERE.

Photo above Tushar Joshi in Delhi (credit: The University of Sydney SAM)

Ben Saul elected to University Senate

Prof Ben Saul FASSA, in College 1995-97, is the current Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, was elected to the University Senate in May. He joins another distinguished Pauline, the Deputy Chancellor Richard Freudenstein, in College 1983-85, who is one of the Minister’s appointments.

Ben’s research interests include international law, in particular, international aspects of anti-terrorism law, humanitarian law, human rights law, among others. See a Law School staff spotlight video HERE


The 39 Steps: The Glorious Resurrection of the Impresario’s Players

a review by Lady Whistledown

Directed by: Meheer Zaveri and Sanjay Yapabandara | Starring: Arnav Shetty, Kate Mountain, Campbell Wilson, Charlie Hua, Vered Lalrinpuii, Nusrat Asad, Lauren Lovegrove, Archa Gamage, Jim Wong | Sound and lighting: Richard Henchman and Hope Finegold | Administration, Front of House, Everything: Catherine Trueman

Saturday 20th May. The McMillan Building Refectory is buzzing with friends, family, Paulines past and present, as we eagerly await the Impresario’s Players and their interpretation of The 39 Steps. Directors Meheer Zaveri and Sanjay Yapabandara are the last remaining members of the Impresario’s Players, a troupe that has not been seen since late 2020. The two have worked tirelessly to bring the theatre back to Graduate House, ably supported by their cast and crew. The stage is empty but for a blue velvet chair, and a side table adorned with whisky…

Patrick Barlow’s ‘The 39 Steps’ was a perfectly pitched vehicle by which to resurrect the Impresario’s Players. Entertaining from start to finish, with some superb comic timing and slapstick humour throughout, each cast member was allowed to shine and show off their many and various strengths. 

From the get-go Arnav Shetty was charming as Richard Hannay. Afforded a chance to wear his new matching tweed vest and trousers, Arnav looked at home in the world he had created for himself. His lines were delivered with poise and always excellent timing. A particular highlight was the exchange in the Music Hall about Pamela’s Uncle, the commissioner of Scotland Yard, “Bob? Bob’s your Uncle?”

In order of appearance, Lauren Lovegrove, Vered Lalrinpuii and Nusrat Asad shone in small but integral supporting roles. Lauren was dynamic as the MC in the music hall, introducing Vered’s hilarious Mr Memory – shall we ever be certain of the Dean’s age? Both characters will return to play an essential part in the story later down the track, but no spoilers shall be found here. Enter Nusrat as Annabelle and the story really begins! Nusrat delivers a very fine performance in her debut with the Impresario’s players, and sets up what we are now sure will be a rollercoaster for the remaining hour and a half. 

The 39 Steps was first adapted by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon who, apart from having excellent names, condensed it to only four actors. This to me seems an extraordinary feat, especially considering the volume of characters portrayed throughout the evening by Charlie Hua and Campbell Wilson. I began by writing them down, but stopped at 10 characters as the list was never-ending. These two were hilarious every time they stepped on stage, from their first appearance as thugs by a lamppost to Campbell’s many appearances as various wives, and Charlie’s blond moustache. Special mention must go to Campbell as the Professor’s wife in a fetching backless pink dress, and to Charlie’s sartorial combination of sports shorts, vest and tie. Both actors displayed range, comic timing and a sense of fearlessness as they navigated genders, ages and various miscellaneous accents.

Jim Wong made an appearance as Jim Wong reading the news. Jim’s delivery of his lines is in the classic Jim Wong style, hilariously well-timed and with just the right level of dry wit. From the second he was wheeled onto the stage the audience ate up his every word. 

Special mention must go to Meheer Zaveri’s very fine Scottish accent, as his character John struck fear into the hearts of all present. His commitment was extraordinary, as were the argyle socks that left us in no doubt of his nationality. Archa Gamage as his beautiful, very slightly unfaithful, long-suffering wife was stunning as she provided a humorous distraction to the protagonist on his journey. 

Here I must make mention of the excellent choices re lighting and sound. Where romance was involved, the scene turned to a vivid purple; when we crossed into Scotland the bagpipes ably assisted our imagination, and there were countless times where the audio and lighting expertly guided our interpretation of this wonderful play. Richard Henchman and Hope Finegold took charge of these roles with professionalism, and didn’t miss a single beat. 

When Sanjay Yapabandara appeared as the Professor, we knew we were in safe hands. His elite-level power move to force the protagonist to push him across the stage on a desk chair was an extraordinary opening (I will be borrowing this), and it only got more entertaining from there. Sanjay’s accents were both fantastic, and he transformed seamlessly from the exceedingly lovely Sanjay we all know around the house to the ruthless head of a secret spy ring, details about which were soon to be revealed.

Kate Mountain’s Pamela was not easily won over by Richard and his fanciful stories of murders he was somehow present for but did not commit. Kate was poised and strong, not giving an inch to Arnav’s Richard until they inevitably fell head over heels for each other. Kate’s delivery of each of her lines showed a strong young woman who wasn’t afraid to be so, and her speaking voice could easily be imagined as a future audiobook narrator. Perhaps a side hustle is in order?

As the story came to its resolution in an all-out showdown in the Music Hall, Vered and Lauren returned as Mr Memory and the MC. The Dining Hall space was cleverly used as the Professor appeared in a theatre ‘box’ at the back of the hall, and pointed the ‘real but fake but real’ blue gun at Mr Memory. Special mention must go to the sobs of Lauren Lovegrove, as she mourned the loss of her friend Mr Memory.

As they say in the theatre, a quick resolution is a good one, and suddenly we were back where we began. Can a jaded bachelor change his ways? Will the decorators ever leave his flat? Apparently so.

I hope the celebrations post-closing were plentiful, as they were thoroughly deserved. This reviewer only hopes that the weekend’s theatrical offerings were the start of even more 5 star evenings from the Impresario’s Players.

Rawson and Rosebowl End of Sem 1 Up-date

from the Dean of Undergraduates Harry Croker

The Rawson Cup and Rosebowl tournaments have produced varying levels of success this semester, and have been thoroughly enjoyed by those participating and supporting, alike. As it stands, The College is 2nd in Rawson and 6th in Rosebowl.

The Rosebowl hockey team displayed a valiant effort during the tournament. The experienced players displayed their prowess, and those who were playing for the first time showed promise. Fresher, Bella Taylor, embodied the Pauline spirit, fearlessly defending the goals.

Scores: St Andrew’s 5 b St Paul’s 0, St John’s 3 b St Paul’s 0, Wesley 5 b St Paul’s 0, Women’s 6 b Paul’s 0, Sancta 11 b Paul’s 0.

The Rawson XV proved strong, once again, defeating Wesley 49-7 and St John’s 47-0 before losing to St Andrew’s 32-20 in a see-sawing affair at No. 2 Oval (now SUFG) on Wednesday 24th May.

In other 15-man code news, St Paul’s fielded a team in the Intercollegiate Women’s Rugby 7s tournament on Sunday 14th May. Despite being Mother’s Day, there was a large turnout at St John’s Oval, where the tournament was held. The women in gold and gules played well and advanced to the quarter final where they were beaten by the hosts.

The Rawson VIII held on in an extremely tight race at SIRC on Tuesday 23rd May to beat St Andrew’s by 0.34 seconds, and claim a fourth straight victory. As always, work ethic was paramount in the lead up to this race, with Henry Blackwell taking the reins from rowing stalwarts, Oscar Carr-Middleton and Nick Trotter, for 2023. This impressive attitude towards training and preparation was embraced by the Rosebowl VIII al well, who demonstrated lots of potential in their race. They finished in fifth place, and the mixed VIII finished third.


In other sporting news, the College Aussie Rules and rugby league teams will have their first hit out for 2023 this Sunday at 9am on the College Oval, and 2:30pm on St Andrew’s Oval, respectively.

That’s all she wrote for this semester. We’re looking forward to watching the sportsmen and women represent the College again in the next.

Intercol Women Rugby Sevens

In another of our 2023 “firsts” St Paul’s has participated in Intercol Women’s Rugby Sevens. Coached by current Paulines Jack Sproats, Jonah O’sulivian and Edward Bell, the team attracted a great crowd (the largest group was from Paul’s!) for the tournament on Sunday 14 May at St John’s Oval. Our two teams were:

  • Pauls 1: Tilly Wittenoom, Skye Kelton, Phoebe Langord, Sahara Elfar, Ami Natio, Maddy Freeman, Julliete Malcom, Sophie Lyne, Kate Brenner, Brooke Elliot, Allegra Flemming, Eleanor Campbell, Masie Reid and
  • Pauls 2: Bella Deale, Lucy Eyres, Heidi O’Sullivian, Amelia Tabrary-Edwards, Aya-Lani Elias, Bis James, Gigi O’Rouke, Holly Whitaker, Olivia Thoma, Matilda Walker, Zoe Mchutchison.

Convenors Brooke Elliott and Sophie Lyne were delighted with the huge effort of both teams on the day, a result of three-day-a-week training over the last month and great camararderie. Most Valuable Players were Ami Natio, Sahara Elfar (Pauls 1) and Zoe Mchutchison (Pauls 2).

Well done to all involved. The participation rate of the women at Paul’s is amazing. They are the smallest cohort of women in any of the colleges and are playing in every USyd Intercol comp. They are being greatly supported by the men and women of St Paul’s.

Womens 7s Vid


NSW Gains Pauline as Legislative Council President

The Hon Ben Franklin MLC has been sworn in as the new President of the upper house in the NSW Parliament. Ben was at Paul’s 1990-96 and from 1994-96 was Assistant Sub-Warden. His elevation has attracted a lot of media attention because he is a member of the Opposition. Some of his National Party colleagues have been unhappy with the move because it effectively removes one of the votes from their side of a potential ‘hung parliament’ in the upper house.

Ben has led a stellar career in NSW politics. He was State Director of the National Party between 2008 and 2015, and was elected to the Legislative Council in 2015 for the Nationals. His other portfolios were Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts, Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW and from 2021 Ben was Minister for the Arts and Indigenous Affairs until the government changed in May.

Paulines have contributed in many ways to the government of the NSW. From the earliest years of the College a number of Fellows were MLCs including Charles Campbell (Fellow 1864-86), George Henry Cox (Fellow 1886-1901), Charles Kemp (Fellow 1855-64), Rear-Adm Phillip Parker King (Fellow 1855-56), Robert Johnson (Fellow 1855-66), James Macarthur (Fellow 1855-59), James Mitchell (Fellow 1855-69), James Norton (Fellow1869-1906) and Chief Justice the Hon Sir Alfred Stephen KCMG CB (Fellow and Chairman 1855-70).

It is noteworthy that some of these Fellow were also MLCs at the time the Legislative Council passed the Saint Paul’s College Act in 1854.

MLCs who were students include: the Hon George Thorne, in College in its first year of residents 1858, Queensland MLC 1874-78 (he was the 6th Premier of Queensland 1876-77); Sir John Peden KCMG KC, in College 1891-99, Vice Warden 1892-99, Fellow 1898-1928, MLC 1917-46, and Legislative Council President 1929-46; Sir Norman Kater, Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, in College 1893-85, MLC 1923-54; Harold White CMG DSO m.i.d Croix de Guerre, in College 1903-04, MLC 1932-34; and most recently Dr Peter Phelps, in College 1990-93, MLC 2011-19.

The College community congratulates Ben on his election to the President’s Chair.

Main image above is the Hon Ben Franklin becoming President of the NSW Legislative Assembly (SMH 11 May 2023)

Robert Ebeneza Johnson (St Paul’s College Archives)

Sir Alfred Stephen (St Paul’s College collection)

The Hon George Thorn (Wikipedia)




How we Celebrated the Coronation

Coronation night at the College was a festival of great music, great food, great wine and great company. A gathering of over 180 people helped with some much-needed fundraising for the Chapel Choir all centred on the Coronation of King Charles III. The evening began with splendid music taken from many of the Coronation Services (ie. the best of the best) sung by the choir so ably supported by David Drury on organ and members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra brass. The roof of the Chapel reverberated in the grand sounds of Bullock’s Entrance Fanfare (1953). Parry’s I was Glad (1902) , Handel’s Zadok the Priest (1727) and Vaughan Williams All People that on Earth do Dwell (1953) and psalms and other famous anthems.

Following the chapel concert everyone moved to the Dining Hall, where TWG put on a a fine meal which included some Victoriana numbers Where did you get that hat?, The Road to Mandalay and Land of Hope and Glory.

Then it was to the Quad so the gathering, joined by other residents, watched the Coronation Service on the big screen. The festivities continued with refreshments including ice creams and joining in the Homage of the People God Save King Charles!

Pauline Selected to Netball Australia National Pathway Squad

Mia Baggett, one of our 2023 Freshers, has been selected in the 19/U Netball Australia National Pathway Squad for 2023-24. Mia, from Mudgee NSW, was one of the stars of the history-making Paul’s netball team in Semester 1 and Mia will be joining an elite group of 28 players from around Australia in her age group. Netball Australia refers to the “impressive skill to react under pressure” of the women in the 19/U and 17/U squads. Mia’s goal is to be selected as a training partner in the Suncorp Super Netball clubs and aspires to play in the Origin Australian Diamonds, the Australian National Netball Team.

The College community congratulates Mia on her contribution to the life of the College and her recent selection to the national training quad programme this year.

Pauline scholars celebrated at Academic Dinner

From Katie Newcombe, Senior Tutor

Our annual undergraduate Academic Dinner for 2023 was once again a wonderful night full of celebrations, congratulations, and comradery. It was a great pleasure to recognise and celebrate the hard work and academic talent of our students.

The guest of honour this year was The Honourable Chief Justice Andrew Bell. An Old Pauline and distinguished jurist and Rhodes Scholar, Chief Justice Bell addressed our students at dinner, giving us a powerful reminder of the importance of community, listening to each other, and that learning communities such as St Paul’s can be a wonderful antidote to social and intellectual isolation. Together with the Warden, Chief Justice Bell presented prizes to some of our highest achieving students.

Prizes were awarded for high achievement in specific subject areas, as well as service to the College, and excellent academic achievement overall. It was particularly fantastic to welcome back Paulines whose valedictory was last year and congratulate them on their achievements in their final year of College. A special mention must also go to Ed Taylor (BE(Hons)/BA) for achieving not only the highest Fresher marks last year but the highest in the College overall!

Also awarded at our Academic Dinner was the St Paul’s College Teaching Excellence Award, given to the tutor, nominated by their peers, who most embodies the Pauline values of excellence and supporting others. We had over 10 nominations this year and the prize went, with raucous applause, to Mathu Pushpakumar (BE(Aero-Space)(Hons)/BComm). 2022 was a particularly successful year for our tutorial programme with over 1100 tutorials taking place throughout the year.

We are incredibly proud of our prize winners and high achievers honoured at our Academic Dinner and also proud of the friends, tutors, and peers that encourage all students to do their best and aim high at St Paul’s College.

Prizes were awarded to:

  • Ed Taylor Prize for the Highest Annual Average Mark in College
  • Jack Holt McWilliam Prize for law and service to College
  • Jackson Rogers Uther Prize for three years’ distinguished examination results and service to College
  • Bryson Constable Sir Ian McFarlane Prize for exceptional results in economics/commerce and for service to college
  • Hayden Fleming Portus Prize for exceptional examination results in History, Economic History of Philosophy
  • Mathu Pushpakumar Prize for Most Outstanding Tutor – nominated by his peers

Those gaining a High Distinction average in 2022 were:

  • Bryson Constable
  • Nicholas Jones
  • Riley Jones
  • Tommy Lu
  • Austin Markwick
  • Luka Mattani
  • Alessandro Petagna
  • Joseph Scopas
  • Aakash Singh
  • Alexander Siu
  • Harsh Talathi
  • Joshua Taleb
  • Edward Taylor
  • Julian Visalli
  • Tylor Wessels

Those gaining Distinction average in 2022 were:

  • Harry Algar
  • Wiley Anderson
  • Oliver Andronicus
  • Mitchell Arcus
  • Luke Arnold
  • Henry Blackwell
  • Jack Bouvier
  • Lachlan Bowen
  • Lachlan Brewer
  • Lachlan Brown
  • Thomas Burge
  • Oscar Carr-Middleton
  • Samuel Choi
  • Charles Dight
  • Lachlan Donaldson
  • Nicholas Dower
  • Joe Dyson
  • James Feetham
  • Hayden Fleming
  • Thomas Follett
  • Oliver Freeman
  • Auxence Gide
  • Nathaniel Gleeson
  • Thomas Green
  • Joshua Hall-Johnston
  • Sebastian Hodge
  • Walter (Jack) Holt
  • Nicholas Horne
  • John Houstone
  • Marcus Howes
  • Alan Huang
  • Henry Hughes
  • Archibald Hyles
  • Thomas Jarvis
  • Joshua Jones
  • Nicholas Laforest
  • Matthew Leijer
  • Henry Lewis-Thorpe
  • Leo Li
  • Benjamin Locke
  • Hunter McAuliffe
  • Isander Mesimeris
  • Michael Mingay
  • Nicholas Moroni
  • Isaac Morse
  • Theodore Mower
  • Finnegan Murdoch
  • Cooper Nagy
  • William Nicholas
  • Jonah O’Sullivan
  • Thomas Phelps
  • Maximilian Philips
  • Max Prince
  • Mathu Pushpakumar
  • Alexander Ranson
  • Samuel Richards
  • Aidan Riethmuller
  • Jackson Rogers
  • Alexander Rosic
  • Charles Rutledge
  • Jack Sandelin
  • Oliver Schnitker
  • Sebastian Shanahan
  • Toby Smith
  • Kyle Soepono
  • Joska Steinbusch
  • Zinzan Still
  • William Studdert
  • Simon Toscan
  • Nicholas Trotter
  • Joshua Turner
  • Hugo Walker
  • Harry Whitehead
  • Lachlan Whitehead
  • Connor Whiteley
  • Devon Wilson
  • David Zhang
  • Jason Zhu He

The College community congratulates all these Paulines on their achievements.

Rhodes Scholars of St Paul’s who gathered in 1996 – Andrew Bell 2nd from right

Boomalakka April News

Here is a pdf copy of the May Boomalakka which can be viewed on screen or downloaded to your computer and printed.

Click HERE