As it stands St Paul’s is placed second in Rawson, and sixth in Rosebowl.

By Harry Croker, Dean of Undergraduates


The Rawson Football team continued their phenomenal winning record, taking out a fifth consecutive tournament win. The outstanding effort was only exacerbated by the fact that they didn’t concede a single goal throughout the entire campaign. Photo of their ‘black tie’ Victory Dinner held outside in the Quad.

Def. St John’s 3-0, def. Wesley 3-0, def. St Andrew’s 2-0.

The Rosebowl side showed a lot of promise, unearthing some talented prospects on the way to their equal third place finish. The future is bright.

Def. by St Andrew’s 2-1, def. Wesley 1-0, def. by Women’s 1-0, def. Sancta 1-0, def. by John’s 1-0.


Basketball is one of the few Rawson sports that is still any college’s game. A nail-biting victory against Drew’s, and bouncing back from a 17pt deficit against John’s meant the Paulines finished second place overall. Wesley took the gold, and the Androvians ended the tournament in an unfamiliar third place.

Def. by Wesley 64-59, def. St Andrew’s 63-61, def. St John’s 57-39.

The Rosebowl team showed no signs of chucking the towel in, despite their final placement on the ladder. Many players had not played much basketball before, but rolled up the sleeves anyway and got on with it.

Def. by St Andrew’s 53-24, def. by St John’s 43-35, def. by Wesley 57-25, def. by Sancta 52-44, def. by Women’s 43-20.


Rawson: 3rd place.

Rosebowl: 5th place.

(Final results have not been released yet).

Both athletics teams are training hard to finish 2023 in strong fashion. Most afternoons, there are great numbers putting in work on the Oval.

Other Sporting News:

A mixed college touch football tournament was held on the Oval in the afternoon of Friday September 15 to raise funds for the Boys to the Bush Charity. It was a great occasion attended by many. A raffle was held at the end of the day with some fantastic prizes, including a ticket to the highly coveted 2023 St Paul’s College Formal held in October.

The College rugby league team had two fixtures pencilled in against arch rivals St Andrew’s during the early weeks of semester 2, however, both fell through due player shortages on the opposition’s part. Hopefully this initiative will come back bigger and better in 2024 and the 13-man code continues to grow its presence on the intercollegiate scene.

What do exercise, kidney disease and cardiac arrest have in common?

Answer: they are each the subject matter of MD projects which were presented in a Monday Dinner Seminar on 18 September. Three 3rd year MD student members of Graduate House presented their mid-year project work to an enthralled audience including their MD colleagues and plenty of others doing non-medial courses.

The MD project is a 14-week research block undertaken by the University of Sydney medical students in the middle of their third academic year. After submitting preferences for pre-approved projects or organising their own the year prior, they are matched with a supervisor and provided with a research topic. The projects vary from literature reviews and product development to original laboratory-based research, culminating in an oral presentation and final report for review and marking.

Picture above: the Anderson Stuart Building, completed in 1892 from the McMillan Building Rooftop Terrace. Sydney Medical School is the graduate medical school of the University of Sydney. Established in 1856, it is the first medical school in Australia.

Richard Henchman: Development of a Lab Protocol to Analyse Blood Metabolites for the PROFASTA Clinical Trial on Fasting and Exercise. Richard reports:

The PROFASTA Clinical Trial will examine the effect of fasting and exercise on a wide range of health parameters in humans. Blood tests are a valuable way to assess health. The aim of this project was to develop a method to separate blood into red cells, white cells and plasma and analyse their metabolites that was suitable for PROFASTA. In brief, blood components were separated by centrifugation and the metabolites in each component were isolated using extraction media and measured using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Aspects of the method examined were tubes for blood samples, extraction media types and volumes, solution for washing, numbers of cells required, centrifuge speeds, whether to dry metabolites, and whether to freeze and thaw prior to metabolite extraction. Improvements were made in an iterative manner until a suitable protocol was found. The protocol was written up in a standard operating procedure ready for implementation in PROFASTA.

Arnav Shetty: Novel Therapeutic Antibodies in Chronic Kidney Disease: Current Concepts and Future Directions. Arnav reports:

Novel antibody-based therapeutics have revolutionised outcomes in many fields of clinical medicine such as cancer therapy by outcompeting their small-molecule counterparts in specificity and effector function. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) poses a growing burden on global morbidity and mortality and is characterised by irreversible and progressive loss of kidney function. Current therapeutics can only slow this progression, so new therapeutic modalities such as antibody technology are sorely needed to target specific molecular processes and improve patient outcomes. Looking particularly at preclinical studies published in the last five years and clinical trials, this study aims to explore, describe, and discuss novel strategies utilising antibody technology in order to treat diabetic kidney disease (DKD) – the chief cause of CKD – and renal fibrosis. Despite the limitations in developing antibody-based therapeutics, the modality hold promise for the future therapy of DKD and renal fibrosis due to their potential to reverse fibrotic pathogenesis rather than just delaying it, as is the effect of current therapy. Antibody technology also has a diverse potential outside of the scope of this study, such as identifying novel targets for future drug design, diagnostics and disease monitoring, and enhancing other novel therapeutic modalities.

Meheer Zaveri: The grim reaper hates this one new trick that can bring back the dead! A look at the use of ECMO in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Meheer reports:

We’ve all seen the pen tracheotomies, emergency needle decompressions, precordial thumps, and other wondrous, wild, and whacky techniques used to bring ‘dead’ patients back to life on television with astounding success. Unfortunately, what Meredith Grey didn’t tell you is that out of hospital cardiac arrest has a success rate of barely 5% in optimal conditions. Further, once you get return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), the chances of the patient re-arresting are high. eCPR is a technique which uses ECMO (heart and lung bypass) to keep out of hospital cardiac arrest patients alive while their underlying pathology is treated. I did a retrospective cohort study looking back at how this has gone so far at Westmead Hospital Emergency and Intensive Care. I will also be discussing how it has been going around the world, and where the future lies. If time permits, I will briefly touch on an ethical dilemma in resuscitative medicine for you all to ponder over a glass of madeira.

Guidance for Academic Success

Tutorials in academic writing are just one part of the offerings of the St Paul’s College Tutorial program. In September as Semester 2 moves rapidly towards finalisation of thesis work, major assignments and coursework reportage the Dean of Graduate House, Dr Antone Martinho-Truswell led a tute on writing for scholastic success “Writing with Beauty and Clarity”.

Antone is a graduate of Harvard University where he studied Neurobiology and has a doctorate in Zoology from Oxford, where he co-founded the Oxford Duckling Laboratory. Prior to his role at St Paul’s he was in the Department of Zoology at Oxford, where he was a Fellow and member of the governing body of Magdalen College, as well as a Lecturer in Biology at Pembroke College.

The talk focused on sentence structure and how to avoid the pitfalls of dense academic writing and provided undergraduates and post-graduates with the benefit of some practical skills development not generally available at the University.

NSW Premier’s History Award 2023 winner – Alan Atkinson

The Australian History Prize for 2023 was won by Emeritus Professor Alan Atkinson (in College 1964-67, Fellow 2011-16, Senior Tutor 2010-16) for his recent book Elizabeth and John: The Macarthurs of Elizabeth Farm, 2022. The NSW Premier The Hon Chris Minns congratulated Alan and the other prize winners at an awards ceremony at the State Library on 7 September. He has spent his much of his life researching and writing about the Macarthurs of Elizabeth Farm and this most recent book is a wonderful product of that work.

Alan previously won the same Prize in 2015 for his monumental work The Europeans in Australia: Volume Three, Nation which took him 10 years to write, twice as long as the first two volumes of The Europeans in Australia. He also won the 2015 Victorian Prize for Literature for Volume Three.

The NSW Premier’s History Awards were first presented in 1997 to honour distinguished achievement in history by Australian citizens and permanent residents. The awards acknowledge the contribution of historical research to our culture and communities, and to society at large.

Alan is the author of the College’s history Hearts and Minds, 2017. While Senior Tutor and resident at Paul’s he contributed to the improvement of the College’s library and archival collection and the importance of protecting and preserving the College’s history. He is an honorary professor and Doctor of Letters with The University of Sydney, and an honorary senior research fellow with The University of Western Australia.

The College community congratulates Alan on his 2023 prize winning work Elizabeth and John available in all good bookshops.

For those interested copies of Hearts and Minds can be purchased by contacting the College.

Brian Pockley – First Australian Officer KIA in WW1

11 September, 109 years ago: Having landed at New Britain, Pockley volunteered to join a small party entrusted with capturing an inland radio station. On the way they shot a German soldier in the hand and, believing that the man would otherwise die, Pockley amputated on the spot, doing his best to talk in his broken German as he worked. The party ran into serious resistance and an Australian seaman was shot in the stomach. Pockley had him carried to the rear, and he gave him his red-cross armband as protection, stuck in the man’s hat, the insignia of being a prohibited target. Then he went forward again himself. Now unprotected by his red cross, he was almost immediately shot in the chest and carried in turn to the rear. Pockley and the seaman both died that afternoon. [Alan Atkinson, Hearts and Minds, 2017, p. 203]

[PICTURE: from The Pauline, 1914]

The year after he finished his MB degree, when he was a resident doctor at Sydney Hospital, Dr Brian Pockley enlisted at Victorian Barracks on 18 August as a result of the anticipated large-scale war that was announced on 31 July 1914. Brian had been at Paul’s from 1909 to 1910 and again in 1913 where he was involved in the dance committee, rowing and rugby. He became a Captain in the Australian Army Medical Corps and within weeks was on his way to German New Guinea with the initial contingent of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force.

In a sermon in the College Chapel to mark the death of Brian Pockley the Warden, Revd Dr Lewis Radford, said: “[his] life stands forth in a new glory of service and sacrifice which will be for many generation of freshmen and graduates a very beacon-light of college tradition” [L B Radford, In Memory of Brian Colden Anthill Pockley, M.B., Captain, Australian Army Medical Corps (Sydney, 1914), pp 1-7]

Brian Pockley is commemorated in the College’s War Memorial Chapel his name alongside the other 19 Paulines who died in WW1 out of 170 men who enlisted.

For the recent SMH article on him CLICK HERE

For his Australian War Memorial virtual memorial CLICK HERE

For his obituary in The Pauline November 1914 CLICK HERE

[MAIN PICTURE ABOVE: Men of the University of Sydney onboard HMAS Berrima. Capt Pockley front row second from left]

Mothers Gather for Annual Dinners with Sons and Daughters

With a 165 year old dining hall designed and built for a College of about 50, the popular Mothers’ Dinner was held over two nights on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 September. Welcomed by the College Chaplain, Revd Antony Weiss, on Friday and Warden, Revd Dr Ed Loane, on Saturday both nights were a joyous celebration of mothers and motherhood. Toasts were proposed on Friday by Jonah O’Sullivan, Simon Toscan and the Vice Warden, TJ Christie, on Friday and Tom Nivison, Sophie Jeffries and the Warden on Saturday with responses from Mrs Melinda Toscan and Mrs Naomi Jeffries respectively. Highlights included musical performances by jazz combo Max Phillips, Ben Varella, Charlie Smith (Friday) and Michael Dowe on guitar and vocals (Saturday)

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” (Rudyard Kipling)

Scroll down for the photo gallery.

A celebration of composer William Byrd

The English Renaissance composer William Byrd is considered amongst the greatest composers of the Renaissance and is regarded as one of the major influencers on the development of western polyphonic music. This year marks the 400th anniversary of his death in July 1623 was remembered in a service of evensong in the Chapel on 12 September. During the sermon the College Chaplain, Revd Antony Weiss, gave a Biblical survey of the importance of music before a fascinating account of the life and musical influence of Byrd on the Catholic Church, the Church of England and his protection by, and patronage from the (Protestant) Queen Elizabeth I, linking it all to the wonderful musical tradition of the Anglican Church today.

The College Choir sang Psalm 122 Laetatus Sum arranged by David Drury based on Byrd’s setting.  Similarly the Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis as well as the Preces and Responses were all from Byrd’s Service. The accompaniment was reconstructed for viols by David Skinner. Guests of the College were the critically acclaimed chamber group Josie and the Emeralds, Australia’s finest viol players, who accompanied the choir for all of the works by Byrd. They also played Byrd’s In Nomine à4 as the postlude. The organ accompaniment as usual was provided by the College Organist and Composer-in-Residence, David Drury.

The College Choir and musicians continue to delight congregations at our weekly services of Evensong at 5.15pm every Tuesday during Semester. Many visitors now attend and all are welcome to join us – the main gate at 9 City Road is open from 5 pm for all those interested in joining the service, and often are able to stay for dinner in the Hall with the undergraduate members and staff of the College. The Chapel Choir sings a wide range of musical styles especially from the English cathedral choir repertoire as well as contemporary works, including those written by music students associated with St Paul’s.

The Choir is directed by Jack Stephens, Director of Music at the College. Jack, David, Antony and the choir are preparing the itinerary for the Choir Tour to UK and France in December 2024 and January 2025 and we are looking for support from the wider Paul’s community to help supplement the costs of this trip through a donation to the College’s Music Fund [click here]. This trip will be significant for its ‘international showcasing’ of the quality of the musicianship of St Paul’s.

John Kenny – International Rower

When Freshman John Kenny arrived in the UK on June 13 to join the crew at Oxford Brookes University Boat Club he wore his St Paul’s College rowing zootie. John is a national-level rower and was part of the victorious Rawson Cup College crew in 2023. In his June trip to Henley as a member of Sydney Rowing Club he was a stroke-side reserve for the men’s squad, prepared to substitute into either the Thames Challenge Cup VIII, or the Britannia Challenge Cup coxed IV.

John rowed with the bow-side reserve in a Pair (minus cox) at the Marlow Regatta, hosted at Eton Dorney, the venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics. John’s Pair came 4th in the A final behind Oxford University in 1st, 2nd and 3rd!

His team’s Henley campaign went smoothly in the sense that there were no injuries, however, both the IV and the VIII were knocked out in the semi-finals. 

The 2023 Law Dinner – another thought-provoking guest of honour

The Law Dinner guest of honour was Professor Ben Saul (in College 1995-97) who is Challis Professor of International Law and was elected to the University Senate earlier this year. He has appeared as an advocate in international, regional and national courts outside Australia, and he is also a barrister in New South Wales. Ben is an Associate Fellow of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague, and an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. He was the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University in 2019, and is a former Associate Fellow of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London. He has published 20 books, over 100 refereed articles, and hundreds of other publications. For his full resume click here.

20 old Paulines and academics joined the undergraduate and post graduate Law students for the annual law-feast dinner and JCR seminar on 11 September. Ben’s address was about the various responses throughout the world to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but also dwelt on Western self-interest and double standards in not enforcing international law in other grave situations.

There was a lively Q & A following, including questions on the upcoming referendum on The Voice to Parliament. The support of alumni like Ben Saul who come back to College to inspire students provide a truly academic stream to the activities of Paul’s, encouraging listening, questioning, scrutiny, debate, tolerance, analysis, and appreciation of deeper learning.

Pictures: Ben Saul; Law Dinner Convener Jason Zhu He speaks [credit: Tia Durovich]

Croquet Revived with Links at Strathfield

An approach from the head coach of Strathfield Croquet Club, Ruth Bridger, led to a croquet reactivation of sorts. A small group of undergraduate Paulines ventured off to the club in August and gained a better understanding of two croquet games after learning the basic skills needed for both. Quite a number of attendees really stood out as natural players. The session was run as a Club Hub activity to provide an opportunity to strengthen croquet community ties between the Club and the College.

Ruth Bridger is writing about the 120 years of Croquet in Sydney’s Inner West and stumbled upon mention of St Paul’s College playing in local tournaments around the time of Federation. She approached Richard Morgan about the College Archives to see what material on croquet was in the collection. So far we have found some mentions, as below, and a number of photos from the 60s and 70s.

If any Paulines have croquet references or memorabilia they’d like to share, both the College and the Strathfield Club would be very interested

The earliest mention of members of the College playing croquet dates back to 1878 in the dairy of Arthur Feez, a prolific sportsman of his time (Alan Atkinson, Heats and Minds, 2017, p. 133 ff).  Some great photos are emerging as you can see.

Ted Griffin (at Paul’s 1965-68) joined the undergraduate visitors. Ted was an early, if not the first, Lord Warden of the Mallets and can be seen pictured here with friends at a Mummers Croquet game in the Quad sometime in 1968!