A great tradition, thanks to our great oval, is ‘tip’ (touch footy). It began with a bang in Welcome Week and is a favourite excuse to burn some energy every day. Tip was occasionally played in the 1960s and “thanks to the marshalling efforts of James Bell, touch became a pre-dinner activity for everyone interested, freshers versus the rest, at least while evenings were long and warm” (A Atkinson, Hearts and Minds, 2017, p 418).

At about 5pm most days the Tip Convener encourages the residents with a call “tip, tip, tip…” which echoes through the Quad and beyond.

Rawson Cup Cricket Starts Well

The Rawson Cup Cricket team played a scheduled pre-comp game last week. The College played I Zingari Australia which is one of the premier cricket clubs in the country, founded in 1888. IZ plays regular games and has an amazing schedule of fixtures every year. The match on 15 February was played on the Paul’s oval with a win to St Paul’s. We wish our cricketers well for the forthcoming campaign.

Sir Jonathan Mills’s Illustrious Career

Musician and composer Jonathan Mills returned to College in January and had the opportunity to visit the Waddy Centre during its construction. Jonathan was in College in 1981 and during his BMus at Sydney University he studied under Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE.

Between 1992 and 2003 he made a significant contribution to Australian  music through RMIT, firstly as research fellow and composer in residence, and studying a Master of Architecture, focusing on acoustic design and the role of sound in the built environment.  Between 1998 and 2003 he was an adjunct professor. He was Vice-Chancellor’s (Professorial) Fellow at the University of Melbourne, director of the Alfred Deakin Lectures and an artistic advisor to the Melbourne Recital Centre (including Elisabeth Murdoch Hall).

As a composer his works includes two operas, an oratorio, a ballet, song cycles, concertos, and chamber music. In 2001 he wrote Sandakan Threnody, an oratorio for tenor, choir and orchestra, and in 2005 it was awarded the Prix Italia.

He was the artistic director of music festivals in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and in 2006 he was appointed director and chief executive of the Edinburgh International Festival. His term was twice extended, and concluded at the end of 2014.

Sir Jonathan has been recognised with the Australian Centenary of Federation Medal (2003), an honorary doctorate of the University of Stirling (2008), appointed Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2010), appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), “for distinguished service to the performing arts as a composer and director of international festivals, through the promotion of cultural exchange, and to public debate” (2011), an honorary doctor of the University of Edinburgh (2012), he was knighted in the UK Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2013, appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2013), awarded the Zasłużony Kulturze – Gloria Artis medal of Poland (2013), an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of St Andrews (2013), an honorary doctorate of arts by RMIT University (2013), an honorary doctorate of music by the University of Sydney (2015).

The College community is indeed fortunate to have amongst is alumni one in Sir Jonathan who has made such an important contribution to the world of music which has been so well recognised in Europe and Australia.

Ave Atque Vale: Robert Otto Albert

Robert Albert AO RFD RD 14 December 1934 – 07 February 2024

Benefactor, philanthropist, sailor, husband of Libby, father, grandfather, pianist Robert Albert AO RFD RD has died at the age of 89. Not only was he an astute businessman and generous supporter of the arts, his long-term and exceedingly generous support of St Paul’s College was unprecedented.  

Robert was at College 1953-56 and studied Arts/Law. He was elected Fellow 1981 including being the College Bursar from 1987 and retired from the College Council in 2001. His good efforts as Honorary Treasurer of the St Paul’s College Union spurred Lloyd Waddy to persuade him to help found and then chair the St Paul’s College Foundation in 1977. Robert went on to be its chairman, significant donor and fundraiser until he retired in 2016. Lloyd Waddy remembers:

When one night after a Council meeting, I suggested to another Fellow of the College, Robert’s father Sir Alexis Albert, that we should set up a tax-deductable Foundation, where I would do the work and he inspire the donors, he declined and said I should approach his (eldest) son, Robert, who enthusiastically agreed to become the chairman. After the launch and first year’s endeavours, Robert retained the chairmanship AND took the management into his own office. Whilst I remained virtually his deputy, I was very happy to read what my thoughts were when I received a copy of the annual reports! Robert not only endowed the Foundation, but guided it to its present position, retaining all donations as investments after the gifts of well over $20m as scholarships and donations aid to the College itself. Moreover, if there weren’t enough scholarships for all who deserved them, he would surreptitiously make private gifts to enable them.

A man of discrimination, generous with his time and assets, a lover of his fellow man and a wonderful husband and father, he was a profound exemplum of a College he always loved. For me he was a friend of over sixty years, ever a leader and an inspiration, often to be seen at College with the Wardens, in the chapel or dining in hall, St Paul’s College was in his blood.

The Foundation has become the main-stay of the fundraising effort for St Paul’s and has built a substantial capital fund which today supports around 80 students annually with scholarships. The St Paul’s College Foundation continues to grow for future needs thanks to the generosity of hundreds of annual donors.

Robert’s family has been connected with Paul’s for five generations. His father Sir Alexis Albert was not only a council chairman but also donor of the Flentrop pipe organ in 1972 and a significant donor to the chapel building appeal in the 1950s. Robert generously funded the refurbishment of the organ in 2019-20.

As Bursar Robert was instrumental in the creation of a ‘master plan’ to bring the built environment ‘back up to scratch’. This vision is a legacy enjoyed by all residents today. The Albert Wing is named in honour of the family because of their wonderful support throughout the modern era of the College. This significant 4 storey, sandstone-clad building was one of Robert’s great visions and was largely funded through his personal donations.  

The benefaction of the Albert Family guided by Robert has included over 90 charities, mostly in the arts, including the Australian Ballet (where he was on the board for many years), SSO, ACO, and Sydney Dance Company. His sailing and Naval interests also led to support for the Navy League and the Sydney Heritage Fleet, where he donated the family motor yacht “Boomerang”. He gave substantially to medical and community causes including Westmead Hospital and Mission Australia.

His long-standing and generous benefaction to the University of Sydney was recognised by the award of Honorary Fellow of the University in 2002. He was recognised by the nation when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1993 and again in 2001 when he was elevated to Officer (AO).

SMH Obituary Businessman Robert Albert dies (smh.com.au)


It starts with mindset. It is about being supportive and enabling others to accomplishments through working together. For the last sixteen decades St Paul’s has been a crucible for development of young men, and since 2019 also young women, to contribute positively and meaningfully to the world.

With this background 22 young people have been tackling the ethics, authenticity, creativity, communications and behaviours of leadership in the St Paul’s undergraduate context.

Leadership Week began with a retreat in the Southern Tablelands where key discussions were held about the College, where it is placed in modern society, and how the student body makes the College a great place to live.

The group included the ResLife Team of pastoral staff, the Students’ Club Committee and our Junior Deans. On their return to College last week they were joined by the Welcome Week Team and the effort began on planning for the year ahead, especially Welcome Week just concluded. The learning then switched to ethics, behaviour and the Code of Conduct. Academics, first aid and mental health first aid were also taught in the context of the academic and caring environment of St Paul’s.

Young Alumna on Screen

Tiffany Wong (GH 2019) is a third generation Pauline and was one of the pioneering first cohort of resident women students. She completed a BA and was one of the founders of the Graduate House theatre group The Impresarios. She was very involved in the musical and theatrical life of St Paul’s, was a cast member of Victoriana! and participated in University theatre productions before starting a career in teaching and as a professional actor.

She has starred in her first feature film, “With Five Blind Dates” which has premiered on Prime this week.

For more see the ABC News review HERE

Image courtesy of ABC News

New Dean, new College baby

The College is delighted to share that the Senior Tutor, Katie Newcombe, has given birth to a son, Alfred, during the Christmas break. Katie and Matthew Newcombe (in College 2019-21) moved into the Gate Keepers Lodge after marrying in March last year.

This year Matthew was appointed Dean of Undergraduates, following in the footsteps of Harry Croker. Matthew previously worked as Tipstaff to the Hon. Justice François Kunc of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The young family have now moved into the Dean’s Flat in the Denison Wing. Congratulations Matthew and welcome back!

While Katie is on maternity leave, the Assistant Dean of Undergraduates, Lucy Williams, has stepped into the role of Acting Senior Tutor.

The College community congratulates Matthew and Katie on their wonderful news. We look forward to seeing Matthew, Katie, Alfred, and Lucy’s contributions to college life in 2024!

Remembering Selwyn Owen 1943-2024

Our long-time former Alumni Officer, Selwyn Owen, has died at the age of 80 after a long illness.  Selwyn was an undergraduate student at Paul’s 1964-66 and at the University he graduated BE(Chem) in 1967. Selwyn was a tireless worker and advocate for his old College. He was well known throughout the ranks of alumni and was highly regarded as one of the happiest ‘characters’ of College life by students when he was working here from 2004 to 2016 as Alumni Officer.

Selwyn came to College from North Sydney Technical High School and enrolled at the University as a Commonwealth Scholar and a Repatriation Scholar. Selwyn’s first job was teaching at The Kings School 1967-69. He then worked for CSR in Ingham Qld as an investigating chemical engineer. In 1971 he moved to Adelaide where he taught at St Peter’s College. In 1984 he moved to Geelong Grammar where he taught Maths and was head of department 1984-92, then a housemaster until 2001 when he moved back to Sydney.  

Always lean and fit he was a talented rower and competed as a member of the University and College crews. In 1968 he was elected secretary of the Sydney Rowing Club and a decade later was elected Secretary of the Adelaide Rowing Club. His interest in maritime pursuits saw him as a volunteer crew member aboard Our Svanen in the First Fleet Re-enactment Voyage as part of the 1988 Australian Bicentenary.   Living in Bondi Selwyn was a member of Bondi Icebergs Club and even as a swimmer in his 70s was a regular top swimmer in club events.

His memorial service will be held in the Chapel at 2pm on Friday 23 February.

Pictured below:

Selwyn in 1967; Selwyn presents a sterling silver stirrup jug to Tiffany Kwong who was the first applicant accepted to Graduate House and the first Woman Pauline (2019); Selwyn with Pat Hall and Warden Ivan Head discussing the Pauline (2017); Selwyn (right) at a meeting of members of the Union Committee (2017); Featured image above: Selwyn presents the new Warden with one of his College mementos (2020).

For those interested in Pauline obituaries please see HERE

Welcoming David Wright – Student Minister for Graduate House

New in 2024 is the David Edwards Theological Bequest which is offered to a student of Theology or current Anglican minister for a residency at St Paul’s College. It is a great pleasure to welcome David Wright to the College community as our first Edwards Fellow. David will be fulfilling the role of student minister for our post graduate community and will be involved in the Chapel life of the College assisting the Chaplain, Revd Antony Weiss.

David grew up on a property outside Orange NSW and studied Arts at UNSW while living at New College where he was also a resident advisor and a ministry trainee.

David is in his second year of study at Moore Theological College completing a BTh/ThM and hopes to gain a parish in the Armidale region after his ordination. He hopes to provide the Pauline community the benefit of his experiences ministering to students and is excited about living at St Paul’s while he completes his study.

Dr K D G (David) Edwards who was in College 1947-52, made a significant bequest to Paul’s on his death in 2016 which has been the subject of protracted probate while his overseas assets have been wound up. The Bequest specifically provides theological student fellowships in honour of Bishop Felix Arnott and Bishop Max Thomas (previous Wardens of St Paul’s College).

Dr Edwards graduated MB BS (Syd) in 1953 and he represented the College in athletics, cricket, golf, rugby and tennis, represented the University in cricket and tennis. David was a nephrologist who commenced his medical career in Sydney in 1954 and internationally in 1959. He was an inventor of the artificial kidney, published extensively and while living in the US was a professor at Cornell University and Rockerfeller University.

The College community welcomes David Wright as the first Student Minister.

Pictured above: The school-age David Edwards (right) with his brother Tony; David with his wife Margery.

(Margery Edwards 1933-89) was an artist influenced by Abstract Expressionism, the dominant movement in American painting in the late 1940s and 1950s. One of her paintings NY 906 is hung in the College Chapel. It is one of a series of images that trace a journey both earthbound and spiritual; in her own words: “a progression through darkness and light”.