Monday Evening Seminars at Graduate House

Graduate House Seminars provide an edifying forum for a range of topics that, so far this semester, have proven both popular and stimulating for post graduate and undergraduate members of St Paul’s.

The first dinner seminar on 19 February was presented by Dr James Dunk a research fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. His topic “Ecological anxiety and planetary mental health” explored the steep rise in anxiety caused by eco-anxiety, climate anxiety, ecological anxiety.

The second dinner seminar on 26 February was presented by old Pauline Dr Lukas Opacic on the topic “Religion, Public Reason, and Neutrality”. Lukas teaches constitutional law at Sydney Law School. He completed a PhD here in 2021 and has also taught constitutional law and jurisprudence at Macquarie University. He was a resident of St Paul’s 2011-13. His paper argued that public reason cannot form a fair basis for determining whether religious exemptions to laws of general application are justified. He created plenty of discussion amongst the jurors and philosophers in the room about partisanship. Lukas posed several questions including: should someone be allowed to discriminate in a modern liberal society? The discussion ventured into the space of religious law in places where there is no liberal democracy, as well as the tension between religious law and state law in places like India. The Q&A also drew out discussion about the benefits of widely held and wide-ranging public values in western-style democracies.

The third seminar on March 4 March with Prof Nick Enfield discussed the topic “Does language control you?”.  Nick is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. He is the author of the book “Language vs. Reality: Why Language is Good for Lawyers and Bad for Scientists”. Nick states, “we use language in all walks of life and it is like water for fish: it surrounds us but we are seldom aware of it.” He discussed some of the ways that people are both made by language and played by language. This produced some robust discussion and Nick concluded how language directs our attention and shapes our understanding of the world.

In week five the fourth seminar was held on 18 March. It was great to welcome our own Dr David Martinez-Martin who is one of the longest-standing members of Graduate House and is a physicist and innovator who has created multiple patented technologies that are already in commercialisation. David is Deputy Director of Sydney Microscopy and Microanalysis, co-chair of the sensors and diagnostics cluster of the Nanohealth Network and Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Sydney. In his topic “Along my journey of innovation”, David shared his passion and journey through the exciting world of creating and translating new technologies to addressing key scientific and technological gaps. He discussed how the application of some of these technologies has enabled him to discover new phenomena that challenge the status quo in areas of physics and cell biology, particularly regarding our understanding of one of the most basic processes of life: the regulation of a cell’s mass and size, a process whose dysregulation is linked to many disorders including cancers, hypertrophies, obesity, and aging.

The tremendous value of these seminars makes them a very popular part of the offerings of being a Pauline these days. They also forge a strong bond between academia, the College and the University. The seminars are open to all residents and guests. The programme continues during semester weeks on a Monday at 6.10 pm in the McCredie Room.

Renovations in the Christmas Break

Over the long break the College was surging with tradies completing much needed renovations of the student facilities and conservation of heritage items.

The bathrooms refresh this year included those in Tower and Albert Wings which were completely stripped out so remodelling and new waterproofing could be completed.

Throughout the residential wings re-painting and many repairs to the internal fabric occurred. External work included the sanding and repainting of many of the metal framed windows and in Blacket and Radford repairs to leadlight windows by a stained-glass window specialist.

An exciting refurbishment was done to the City Road Gates. This heritage item is part of the extensive university fencing that runs along City Rd from the corner of Carillon Ave to Broadway which was installed in the 1890s. The orange sandstone gate posts of the College are carved as cylindrical stone blocks with a semi-spherical and crenelated capstone which are in contrast to the square cut designs of the University gates. The Paul’s gates have wrought iron work and a pair of lamps atop the posts and both feature a Tudor crown. The metalwork has been sanded back, rust-proofed and painted in shiny jet black with gold leaf highlights.     

The Senior Common Room was also renovated with new paint colours, new rug and sanded and coated floor timbers. The new decorative scheme will be completed in due course with gold curtaining to complement the traditional College colours.

The Hall dining chairs are a constant maintenance task and the in-house team provide the craftsmanship and care for these items year-round. Dr Antone Martinho-Truswell, our Dean of Graduate House, who is a skilled carpenter, has put the finishing touches on the new table legs of several of the refurbished hall tables and he is pictured above applying his hand-carved timber shields to the cross beams.

Scaffolding of the Ivan Head and McMillan buildings also occurred to provide safe work platforms for the corrective work being undertaken by the builders. All the balconies and some of the very tops of the external walls required realignment to rectify the problems resulting in rainwater intrusion.

The final touches to the Waddy Performance Centre and Tag Gym expansion were also underway. This large space has been fitted out as a theatre for music, drama, lecture and performance events. A large studio for ballet, dance, pilates, yoga, stretch and other aerobic activity has been built. Also a space has been provided for additional resistance training machines greatly expanding the ever-popular gym space. 

Invitations to the official opening on Saturday 4 May will be sent out via email from the College soon.

Zachary (Zac) Simon Lerner (9 December 2003 – 16 March 2024)

The College is in mourning at the sudden and tragic death of Zac Lerner at St Paul’s on 16 March 2024. Zac came to St Paul’s in 2022 from Auckland Grammar School where he had been a school prefect, played tennis at the highest level and been in the Big Band. He was in his third year of a commerce degree and had followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers to St Paul’s, Jacob (2018-20) and Ben (2020-21).

Zac was a much loved member of the College community. He was a respected leader and had significant roles organising Surreal Sounds and the College Formal as well as representing the College in Tennis and serving as that sport’s Convenor in 2023. Zac was gifted academically and was excelling in his studies. He was known for his selflessness and always being willing to do anything for his mates.

With a wonderful sense of humour and an infectious smile, Zac arrived at St Paul’s with an impressive afro. He quickly became a well-respected member of his cohort. When he wasn’t representing the College himself, he was a proud supporter of his fellow students in their endeavours. He was a very devoted member of the Boomaladbrokes club and enjoyed all that was involved in their activities.

Zac will be greatly missed in our College. We will continue to hold Zac’s mother, Rachel, and his brothers in our prayers along with his close friends and wider family.  

The Largest Distinction and High Distinction Cohort to Date

The Academic Dinner at the start of Week 3 acknowledged the highest individual scholarly achievements of 2023. There were 26 students honoured for attaining High Distinction averages and another 103 honoured for attaining Distinction average in 2023. That is a very healthy 40% of the 2023 cohort.  Eleven of them were awarded University prizes for 2023. Another 41, all Freshers, are winners of University’s Entry awards for 2024. The full list is below.  

The Guest of Honour was Professor Nicholas Davis who was at Paul’s 1997-2001 and is Industry Professor of Emerging Technology and teaches about artificial intelligence at UTS. Nick presented the College prizes and spoke to the gathering about his career, which included being a senior member of staff at the World Economic Forum, and how he structured his life and learning goals around a model rather than a plan.  

Nick competed LLB while at Paul’s and later an MBA at Oxford. As well as a professorship at UTS he is also co-Director of the Human Technology Institute (HTI). HTI aims to put human values at the centre of Australia’s capability to develop, deploy and govern emerging technologies, thereby ensuring they are accountable, accurate, fair and fit-for-purpose.  He was formerly the World Economic Forum’s Head of Society and Innovation and a member of the Forum’s Executive Committee.

Ben Varela (saxophone) and Alexander Back (piano) performed ‘The Swan’ from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) during the dinner.

The College is delighted to also acknowledge and congratulate its prize winners for 2023:

  • ST PAUL’S COLLEGE TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD, awarded to the most outstanding Tutor nominated by their fellow students: Ed Taylor
  • MCWILLIAM PRIZE, Established through the generosity of Bruce McWilliam (College 1974-79),
  • later a Fellow and Bursar of the College, awarded for Law other than final year and for service to College: Jack Holt and Julian Visalli
  • JUDGE HUMFRY HENCHMAN PRIZE, in memory of Hereward John Humfry Henchman (College 1922-28), Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW and Judge of all District Courts in NSW, awarded to a student in final year Law: [Not Awarded]
  • SIR IAN MCFARLANE PRIZE, in memory of Ian McFarlane (College 1941-44), engineer, economist, philanthropist and major innovator in exploration for shale oil in Australia, awarded for exceptional results in Economics and/or Commerce and for service to College: Alessandro Petagna
  • PORTUS PRIZE, in memory of Garnet Vere Portus (College 1903-04), the College’s first Rhodes Scholar, awarded for exceptional examination results in History, Economic History or Philosophy: Isander Mesimeris
  • UTHER PRIZE, established by a bequest from Allan Hammill Uther (College 1888-90), principal founder of the University Sports Union and Fellow of the College, awarded for three years’ distinguished examination results and service to College: Riley Jones

Examination Results 2023

High Distinction Average (85-100)

  • Jack Bouvier
  • Andrew Brennan
  • Kate Brenner
  • Ashley Buchanan
  • William Defina
  • Tia Durovich
  • Rebecca Galeano
  • Nicholas Horne
  • Riley Jones
  • Ben Lee
  • Jack Lockhart
  • Tommy Lu
  • Austin Markwick
  • Luka Mattani
  • Isander Mesimeris
  • Abbey Ridgewell
  • Miku Sugimura
  • Edward Taylor
  • Isabella Taylor
  • Elinor Trevelyan-Jones
  • Lucy Tucker
  • Ben Varela
  • Julian Visalli
  • Luka Vujanovic
  • Adam Wong
  • Andy Xie

Distinction Average (75-84.99)

  • Luke Amjah
  • Mitchell Arcus
  • Fergus Back
  • Alexander Back
  • Mia Baggett
  • Annica Bendall
  • Hamish Beveridge
  • Charlie Bishop
  • Henry Blackwell
  • Claire Blattman
  • Ryan Bond
  • Eric Bong
  • Sakura Brennan
  • Benjamin Broadley
  • Thomas Burge
  • Rohan Cameron
  • Allegra Carlton
  • Samuel Choi
  • Elodie Crichton
  • Jack Dawson
  • Alice Dawson-Damer
  • Gabriel Desiderio
  • Charles Dight
  • Lachlan Donaldson
  • Michael Dowe
  • Nicholas Dower
  • William Edwards
  • Alexandra Edwards
  • James Edwards
  • Louis Eglinton
  • Chloe Gunning
  • Joshua Hall-Johnston
  • Max Hammond
  • Phoebe Henry
  • Archer Howard
  • Finn Johnson
  • Annika Johnson
  • Harry Joils
  • Helen Jordan
  • Hugh Jordan
  • Dominic Kadmon
  • Caleb Kadmon
  • Elise Kraska
  • Armand Larché
  • Olivia Laverty
  • Matthew Leijer
  • Christopher Lennox
  • Leo Li
  • Ryan Lynch
  • Juliet Malcolm
  • Rocco Marcolongo
  • Owen Marschner
  • Velvet Martino Zlojutro
  • Samuel Matruglio
  • Sam McCredie
  • Zoe McHutchison
  • Michael Mingay
  • Theodore Mower
  • Lucy O’Brien
  • Eugenie O’Rourke
  • Jack Parker
  • Alessandro Petagna
  • Maximilian Philips
  • Mathu Pushpakumar
  • Thomas Ramsay
  • Alexander Ranson
  • Dylan Reid
  • Zoe Renowden
  • Samuel Richards
  • Holly Richards
  • Aidan Riethmuller
  • William Rivlin
  • Timothy Robinson
  • Alexander Robinson
  • Jack Sandelin
  • James Saywell
  • Harry Scambler
  • Joseph Scopas
  • Gabe Scott
  • Belle Sherlock
  • Aakash Singh
  • Toby Smith
  • Mia Sorensen
  • Georgia St John
  • William Stafford
  • Joska Steinbusch
  • Joshua Taleb
  • Phoebe Then
  • Alexandre Thevenon
  • Olivia Thoma
  • Orlando Throsby
  • Simon Toscan
  • Joshua Turner
  • Charlie Veeneklaas
  • Matilda Walker
  • Bligh Walter
  • Everett Whelan
  • Gemma White
  • Lucas Woods
  • Jason Zhu He

University Prizes and Awards 2023 (as notified to date)

  • Dalyell Scholar (awarded on 1st Year university results): William Edwards
  • Dean’s List of Excellence: Bryson Constable (Economics), Austin Markwick (Engineering), Luka Mattani (Vet. Science), Julian Visalli (Law)
  • Business School Change Maker Scholarship: Ryan Lynch
  • Ashurst Litigation Prize: Julian Visalli
  • PD Jack Prize: Rocco Marcolongo, Armand Larché
  • Walter Reid Memorial Prize: Charles Dight, Sophie Jones

Awards on Entry to University 2024

Dalyell Scholars:

  • Zoe Anderson
  • Jackson Beck
  • Heidi Best
  • Jackson Broad
  • Libby Carey
  • Aidan Cheung
  • Luke Chopra
  • William Cox
  • Oscar Everett
  • Tom Girle
  • Ella Graves
  • Sean Hamadi
  • Olivia Hills
  • Charlotte Hocking
  • Sahara Hotchin
  • Arlo Johns-Hammond
  • Matilda Johnson
  • Darcy Maple-Brown
  • James McCreery
  • Ethan Melton
  • Grace Merrilees
  • Francesca Richards
  • Robert Sanderson
  • Maya Stapleton
  • Zoe Thompson
  • Tom Wait
  • Levi Williams
  • Ella Winterbottom
  • Lily Wood
  • Sophie Wright
  • William Wright

Chancellor’s Scholarships: Stella Constable, Grace Merrilees

Business School Change Maker Scholarship: Jack Beck

Business School Scholarship for All-Round Excellence: Victoria Spark

Women in Engineering Excellence Scholarship: Christine Smith, Jacqueline Masamba

SUSF Elite Athlete Scholarship: Sophie Bradshaw (AFL), Eleanor Campbell (Water Polo), Grace Morrow (Sailing), George Perkins (Athletics), Mason O’Brien (Water Polo)