Careers in Government Panel: A rewarding career for talented & servant-hearted Paulines

by Katie Newcombe, Senior Tutor

Our seminar series for students’ future and career planning continued at the end of Semester 2 with our Careers in Government panel. Having held careers nights for students interested in medicine, engineering, law, and further study, we were delighted to share with our students the rewarding career opportunities to be found in the public service. 

On 3 October in the JCR, after our first Formal Dinner back after the mid-sem break, we welcomed a panel of dedicated NSW public servants, each from different stages of their public service careers. On the panel were: Alison Morgan, Executive Director in the Premier’s Department and long-term career public servant with over 30 years experience across multiple agencies; Emma Martinho-Truswell, Director of Strategy and Projects in the NSW Department of Education, who has worked with government agencies in both the public and private sectors for the last 20 years; and Lizzie Miller, a solicitor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, who entered the public service as a Graduate Policy Officer, working for the Department of Education, the Minister for Education and Early Learning, before joining the Legal Development Programme. 

Discussion ranged from the type of creative and team-driven work to be found in the public service, to the flexibility working in government provides to experience a variety of projects and teams, to, crucially, the rewarding nature of government work – helping members of our broader community in direct and tangible ways. As our hope for all St Paul’s students is for them to be outward looking and servant-hearted leaders, this was an inspiring message for our young people. Students from both St Paul’s and Sancta Sophia College attended the seminar, with many students staying on after to chat to our panellists and more lively discussions and questions followed! 

The Senior Tutor, together with the Community and Development Office, are looking forward to continuing our careers panel series in 2024. They are an important educational offering for our students, whether in their 1st or final year of university study, as they think about where to take their degrees and their university and St Paul’s education. 

Shortly information will be provided to alumni who may be willing to assist in these panels and as mentors for senior students. Please contact Richard Morgan at the College if you would like to volunteer.

Graduate House Ball

To conclude the social calendar of Graduate House 120 members and friends converged on Pier One Darling Harbour for a glittering formal ball on Saturday 21 October. The MCR Executive in 2023 have made a huge effort to ensure the social life of Graduate House is very much alive. From cultural and national celebrations; to gaming; to late night around-the-fire-pit or the Roof Top Terrace, ‘the house’ has been a very happy home-away-from-home for all its members who live elsewhere in Australia or have come to us from overseas.  

Valedictory Dinner

I count myself in nothing else so happy, as a soul remembering my good friends (Shakespeare, Richard III

On 25 October the members of the Undergraduate College gathered to acknowledge the 69 Paulines departing after three or more years at St Paul’s. Tributes or ‘valetes’ were made by Henry Blackwell, James Camilleri, Lucy Eyres, Fin Hancock, Alex Johnston, Hugh Kennedy, Mikey Mingay, Mathu Pushpakumar and Oliver Thorne. Alex Back proposed the Loyal Toast and Ed Taylor proposed the Toast to the Valedictorians. The Senior Student Simon Toscan proposed the Toast to the College and in doing so reminded the community of its obligations to do well in the world when they emerge from their time at Paul’s, and as future alumni, continue to take an active interest in the life of the College. 

First Female Pauline now Juris Doctor

Tiffany Kwong, in College 2018-21, was the first female student to be admitted to St Paul’s College and was the very first applicant accepted into Graduate House back in 2018. Along with large numbers of other USyd students she was a “COVID-graduand” and denied the formal University graduate ceremony during that period.  In the spirit of tradition the University organised a day of special ceremonies in October for anyone wanting a catch-up.

Tiffany (JD) and a fellow Graduate House alumnus Yash Bhoola (MBus), in College 2019-20 and Tutor 2021-23, had their conferring of degree ceremony on 18 October and in the staff procession were the Dean of the Sydney Law School Prof Simon Bronitt, Academic Resident in College 2019-20, and Director of Community Engagement at Paul’s Richard Morgan. 

The Paul’s Formal – stand-out event

The Paul’s Formal took place on Friday 20 October under a star-filled sky in the College Quad. Everything was meticulously planned and executed by the Formal Committee of the 2023 Students’ Club plus their ringmaster and assistants! ‘Circus’ was the theme enhanced by the lighting, ‘tent’, side-shows, donkeys and ferris wheel which created a fantastic ‘wow’ moment for the 800 guests as they entered. the event included DJs and fireworks, cocktail bars, dancing, roving performers and, of course, the College wonderful caterers TWS providing a range of food and beverage options throughout the night.

The next opportunity to party in the Quad will be the St Paul’s College Union’s Summer Soiree from 6pm on Saturday 2 December. Book your tickets here.

Pictures above: Richard Morgan

Pictures above: Sub-Zero Photography

Opera House 50th and its links to St Paul’s        

As the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, the performing arts in Australia are particularly in focus. Much is being said this year about the great impact the building has had on the arts in Australia and, of course, the image of the building making Sydney one of the most recognizable cities in the world. Fortunately all aspects of art, performance, drama, composition, writing, architecture, physics, chemistry, design, engineering and construction are all embodied in this one iconic structure—a great modern wonder of the world.

There is an enduring but little-known connection with our Chapel. John Coburn’s Curtain of the Sun and Curtain of the Moon (1973) have recently been restored and Sun is returned to the stage of the Joan Sutherland Opera Theatre. At St Paul’s our Chapel features significant modern art including the set of limited edition screen prints Seven Days of Creation by John Coburn (1969-70) which were printed by his wife Barbara Coburn.

The architecture for the Chapel was influenced by Henry Ashworth “who was working with Corbet Gore on the Sydney Opera House” (A Atkinson, Hearts and Minds, 2017, p. 308). Ultimately the design was the work of John Mansfield (in College 1924-28) and Peter Reed (in College 1928-32).  The Warden at that time, Rev’d Peter Bennie, was also Opera House-connected and was one of the leading lights to come to the defence of Jørn Utzon.

Pictured: the works by John Coburn in the Chapel (top); below is “The 6th Day God created man”. Next is “Curtain of the Sun” on show in the Opera House for its 50th Anniversary ‘open house tours on 21 October 2023. Bottom is the College Chapel and the Opera House shells.

We are interested to learn of any more Pauline connections to SOH which may form the basis of another news post. Please contact Richard Morgan at the College.

Graduate House Monday Seminar Series with Jake Davies

Unauthorised immigration arrival by boat was the topic of PhD student Jake Davies, in College 2022-22, on Monday 16 October. During this seminar Jakes presented his research findings from a comparative study that reviewed the Fraser Government years to the present. He has worked from relevant archives and current policies of successive Australian governments and the UNHCR, and assessed the “diplomatic overtures” to Australia’s relatively harsher methods of handling illegal arrivals by boat after 1999. Like all the Graduate House Seminars this presentation caused lively debate amongst students from many different parts of the world. A truly international gathering.  

UN Appointment for Old Pauline

The College community is delighted to learn that Prof Ben Saul (in College 1995-97) has been appointed as a Special Rapporteur to the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. Ben is the Sydney University Challis Chair of International Law and a Fellow of the University Senate.

Ben’s work with UNHRC54 will provide independent advice on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. This is a mandated role which has been operating since 2005. Ben succeeds a long list of eminent international jurors and is the first Australian appointed to this important unpaid role. These mandate-holders act independently of governments and as such play an important role in monitoring sovereign nations and democratically elected governments and policies.

Victoriana! 59th Season Triumph

Over three nights of full houses in late September the College presented the 59th season of Victoriana! under the direction of Jack Stephens, the College’s Director of Music. Performing the traditional ‘fare’ was a large group of current College men and women singers backed by members of the Chapel Choir. This musical talent was supported by old Paulines at the piano and on the stage and another 18 current Paulines working behind the scenes. From Tattinger to Queensland prawns; from Fandango to the Galloping Major, the show was a great success.

In 2024 planning is underway for four big nights to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Victoriana! either side of the Semester 2 mid-sem break – Fri 27, Sat 28 September, Fri 4 and Sat 5 October.

Boomalakka May News

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

Click HERE