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”.

The Foundation Stone – 168 Years

“At noon yesterday, being the anniversary of the Conversion of St. Paul, a very large number of ladies and gentlemen assembled at Grose Farm to witness the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of St. Paul’s College, by his Excellency the Governor-General” (SMH 26 January 1856 p. 4). On that occasion the Church of England and the very new University of Sydney were well represented along with the Fellows of the College and members of the judiciary, educators and the general public in attendance.

That was 168 years ago, two years after Royal Assent to the Saint Paul’s College Act and two years before the Warden and first students moved in.

The Foundation stone has remained in its approximate location on the southern ridge of the Grose Farm estate but it was not incorporated into any of the buildings. The original ‘Blacket Wing’ accommodation was completed some 50m to the south being ready in 1858 for the first students and the Warden’s family. The dining hall, the kitchens and amenities to the west were ready in 1859.

Today the foundation stone sits proudly at the entrance to the main quadrangle outside the Albert Wing archway. The significant carving on the stone “Jan 25 1856” often goes unnoticed but when visitors realise its significance it becomes a favourite place for photos.

As happened 168 years ago a big ‘three cheers’ to the College on this anniversary day.

David Llewellyn and Antibodies

Young Pauline Dr David Llewellyn, in College 2006-09, graduated from Sydney University in 2010 with BSc(Advanced Studies)(Honours) and was a NSW Rhodes Scholar for 2010. He went on to do a PhD at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute in 2010.  He worked to develop vaccines and research malaria and with another like-minded student, Dr Joe Illingworth, went on to pitch new ideas for the use of immunology to make antibody drugs. Eventually this idea landed them grants and they began a biotech startup under very strict protocols and industry rigor.

Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to recognise and neutralize harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses.

Their work continued in Oxford in humble surroundings using second-hand equipment until their success and momentum with their proprietary HEPTAD platform landed a take-over deal worth $255 million. Today David is managing director of DJS Antibodies which is part of the multi-national pharmaceutical R&D company AbbVie which employees 29,000 people globally. “DJS was built on the principles of scientific curiosity and an aspiration to discover clinically meaningful innovative medicines. We’ve been privileged to grow the company within the world-class scientific and entrepreneurial community of Oxford, from an initial concept through to a successful biotech comprising an extremely talented team,” said David Llewellyn and Joe Illingworth in 2022.

In May 2023 they were honoured with admission to the “20 under 40 in Biopharma” by Endpoints News for their international success.

The College community congratulates David and his team for their innovation which is very inspiring for current Paulines.

With our best wishes for Christmas

Here is a link to the Choir’s YouTube channel where you will find a video of them singing Elizabeth Poston’s Jesus Christ the Apple Tree at the 2023 Carol Service. CLICK HERE

Merry Christmas from the community of St Paul’s College students, staff, parents, alumni and friends.

A Teaching College: Tutorials Wrap-Up for 2023!

Evenings at St Paul’s College can be busy and full of action! But if you look closely, after Formal Dinners, around Palladian performances, and amidst Rawson and Rosebowl competitions, Evensong, guest speakers, wonderful events such as Victoriana and the Formal, there are, on average, also around 12 College tutorials taking place each night!

It has been a wonderful year for St Paul’s as a teaching College. Over 1300 tutorials took place this year, of which 85% were in our undergraduate community and 15% took place for our graduates or were mixed undergraduate and graduate tutorials. This year’s Freshers were a particularly diverse cohort in their degree selection and so we had tutorials on varied subjects from animal science and ancient history to nursing clinical skills and software engineering, in addition to our usual offering of law, arts, commerce, engineering and medicine. The tutorial programme offers help not only in tackling university subjects but a way to learn with fellow Paulines and deepen friendships. One student reported: ‘The interactive learning approach that Paul’s tutors offer was instrumental in aiding my learning and exam skills. [Our tutor] provided clear explanations along with visual aids, which were crucial in understanding complex concepts and terms. ….Studying with these tutors has turned into more than just lessons—it’s become friendships. As we tackle tough subjects together, the shared experiences create a bond that goes beyond the class. The switch from tutor to friend shows how supportive and friendly the Pauline tutorial program is.”

This year saw some new initiatives in the tutorial programme. The new engineering tutorial programme provided each first-year student a dedicated mentor for their stream and to guide them as they begin to accrue hours towards their professional engineering practicals. We also had a dedicated clinical skills programme for our nursing and allied health students and GAMSAT preparation tutorials. As one of our students reported: “College tutorials were incredibly valuable for reinforcing content and deepening my understanding of a subject. The array of tutorials offered also included topics outside of university courses, such as GAMSAT preparation, aiding my preparation for graduate medicine entry.”

In Graduate House, under the guidance of our Assistant Senior Tutor for Medicine, Meheer Zaveri, our medical tutorial programme continued to support all 1st and 2nd year MD students. Meheer said of his time as Assistant Senior Tutor: “In my role as Assistant Senior Tutor (Medicine), I had the unique privilege of overseeing the development of the medical students at Graduate House and managing the tutorial programme. Every week, senior medical students imparted their knowledge and wisdom onto the first and second year students. The consistently remarkable medical knowledge and clinical proficiency of the younger medical students in the house never ceased to amaze me, and I’m incredibly proud to say that I helped, in part, to form their experience at St Paul’s College. Having met some of the aspiring medical students currently progressing through undergraduate degrees, and those pursuing allied health degrees, I have a profound optimism for the future of medicine and health in this esteemed institution.

We are particularly thankful to Assistant Senior Tutors Riley Jones and Meheer Zaveri for all their support in making the programme, with so many moving parts, run smoothly and leading the team of tutors this year. Both Riley and Meheer are valedicting in 2023 – Riley onto internships and his final years of his Bachelor of Advanced Computing/Bachelor of Science degree, and (now Dr!) Meheer onto a Junior Doctor position at St George’s. We wish them both all the best and thank them for their service.

The numbers of tutorials may grow, the subjects may change, tutors graduate, new tutors join the team, and each year there are new Paulines to encourage and mentor in our tutorial programme. But some things don’t change – the heart of our tutorial programme remains the over 60 talented people – current Paulines, alumni, and friends of the College – who gave their time to teach, mentor, and guide our students. We are a teaching College!

Photo: Assistant Senior Tutor, Mr Riley Jones, and Senior Tutor, Mrs Katie Newcombe

The Annual Carol Service Popular

The College’s Annual Carol Service rounded out the ‘Chapel Year’. It was held after the Semester 2 Exams in the form of the Nine Lessons and Carols, so beautifully created by Right Revd Edward White Benson, at that time Bishop of Truro, for Christmas Eve in 1880.


The service, officiated this year by the Warden, featured uplifting carols by the Chapel Choir, led by Director of Music Jack Stephens. These included “O Holy Night”, Vaughan Williams’s “This is the Truth Sent from Above”, Elizabeth Poston’s “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”, Matthew Owens’s recent scoring of “The Holly and the Ivy”, John Gardners’s 20th century scoring of “Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day” and and Philip Stopfords’s recent scoring of “Lully, Lulla, Lullay”. The large congregation of mostly alumni and friends of the College joined in the signing of other carols and hymns for the Advent/ Christmas seasons with the full sound of the wonderful Flentrop Organ, again so masterfully played by College Organist and Composer-in-Residence David Drury. Lessons were read by students and staff and visitors including Damian Furlong (in College 1976-78) and Em Prof Michael Lawrence. After the service refreshments and festive entertainment were provided in the Salisbury Bar.

We have an exciting year ahead for the Chapel Choir, culminating with an international tour at the end of 2024. Up coming events with the choir:

  • Sat 04 February, 4 pm – regional Evensong at St Jude’s, Bowral
  • Fri 15 March, 7 pm – Handel’s Messiah at St Stephen’s, Newtown
  • Sat 16 March, 7 pm – Handel’s Messiah at St Thomas’s, North Sydney
  • 4 – 7 April – Reginal Tour to Southern Tablelands
  • Friday 19 July, 5 pm – combined concert with Trinity College Melbourne at St Jude’s, Bowral
  • Saturday 20 July, 7 pm – combined concert with Trinity College Melbourne in Sydney
  • Saturday 27 July, 7 pm – Christmas in July at St Paul’s College

To support the choir tour with donations CLICK HERE

First University Blue awarded to a Female Pauline

Mia Baggett, Fresher 2023, is the first woman at Paul’s to be awarded a University of Sydney Blue for excellence in sport. Mia’s award was for one of just two Netball players representing the University in competition level. Mia is a national-level Netballer with ambition to play professionally for the Origin Australia Diamonds. She was also one of the stars of the history-making Paul’s netball team in Semester 1

Mia is one of our growing number of regional Paulines, her home is in Mudgee in the Central West of NSW. She is studying BEd(Primary).

We actually have two residents with Blues in College now. Mia joins Lucy Mauviel who was in Graduate House this year and came to us with a Blue in Athletics, received in 2022. Lucy has a World Athletics ranking and has represented the University at competition level.

There are well over 100 Paulines who have been awarded a University Blue since the inception of the award in 1892. The first Pauline awarded a Blue was Charles Louise Tange (in College 1878-80) for Rugby 1893-99.

A future project is to create the full list of recipients of a Blue for the archival record and future honour board.

From the College Collection – a University Blue from the 1930s, donated by Dick Rogers (in College 1931-35)

Students’ Club Takes Christmas Giving to a New Level

This year’s Students’ Club Committee decided to give added meaning to our final Formal Hall for the year which was a Christmas themed dinner.  The Hon Treasurer, Jack Holt formed a small group of planners which included general committee members Zoe Renowden, Tom Green and the Chaplain to plan a Chapel Service and Dinner which would lift the spirits of others this Christmas by supporting the Barnardos Gifts for Kids Christmas appeal.  The undergraduates got together in their ANZAC Day groups to buy Christmas presents to place under the empty tree in Hall as they arrived for the dinner.

The Chapel Choir entertained a full hall who joined in the singing of carols culminating in the Dean of Graduate House Antone Martinho-Truswell leading a very participative version of The Twelve Days of Christmas

At the end of the night, a pile of toys and gifts were ready to be loaded into the back of House Committee member Zoe Renowden’s car to be taken to the local Barnardos centre at Marrickville.

Thank you to all the members of the College who went out and bought a gift and placed it under the our empty tree.

Director of Community Engagement Richard Morgan reflected: “one of the greatest benefits of being a Pauline is that we learn about service and sacrifice and giving as we journey through our years as residents of the College. Whether this was a couple of generations ago or in 2023 the tradition is firmly in place.”