2019 Celebrating Our Community

Brisbane Grammar School volunteers and donors were recognised at the annual 'Celebrating Our Community'​ function on Wednesday 16 October. Six Betty Howell Awards were presented to volunteers for their service and contribution to the School.

BGS has a vibrant volunteer community who carve time out of their increasingly busy schedules to build something that money can't buy.

Every hour volunteered at the Tuckshop or Grammar Shop, pitching a tent at a regatta, selling tickets at a concert, staffing the basketball canteen or assisting at Northgate helps to build a community that not only contributes to tangible benefits but also builds relationships between people.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the School's Art Committee, which formed in 1969 and staged the School's first Art Show in 1970. Over the last five decades, parents on the Committee, now known as the Art Support Group, have devoted hours to planning, preparing and executing the annual Art Show, which is a highlight of the School's social and cultural calendars.

Donors again made a remarkable contribution to the School this year and we thank them for their support. To date, BGS has received over $3.7 million from 250 donors. These funds go to bursaries for students in financial need and various infrastructure projects. Some of the most significant donations include:

  • The P&F Auxiliary donated $1.25 million in recent years – $500,000 over five years to a needs-based bursary, $500,000 to the Northgate upgrade, and has a recent commitment to support boarding renovations.
  • This year the School also received a very generous donation from an anonymous donor of $2.8 million to fund bursaries for students in financial need.

Our BGS150 sponsors have continued to support us in 2019. We thank major sponsors ANZ, Morgans, and Audi Centre Brisbane, whose contribution to the School is valued at over $250,000.


The Betty Howell Awards, established for volunteers in 2011, are named in honour of Mrs Joan Elizabeth (Betty) Howell, who during her 25-year association with the School as the wife of Maxwell A. Howell, Headmaster from 1965 to 1989, was a passionate volunteer with the Art Committee and the Auxiliary.

Congratulations to the Betty Howell Awards​ recipients this year:

Dr Graham and Mrs Judith Bell

Judith is a former Trustee and member of the BGS150 History Committee. Graham gave years of dedicated service to the BGS Cricket community and is a co-founder of the Willow Club. The pair were also heavily involved in the BGS Tennis community. Their son Patrick was School Captain and graduated in 1991.


Mr Ian Reeves OAM

Ian is a co-founder of the Willow Club and a tremendous supporter of BGS Cricket. He ran cricket scoring workshops and coordinated the Double Wicket Knockout Competition for the School. His three sons, Shaun, Peter and Dean graduated in 1983, 1987 and 1991 respectively.


Dr Leah Edwards

Leah was involved with a long list of BGS sports and activities, including swimming, water polo, the Art Support Group and P&F Auxiliary. She introduced the Spirit of Rugby Award and is perhaps best known as the face of the Normanby Blues during her time at the School. Her sons Ben and David graduated in 2009 and 2011.


Mr Craig and Mrs Kirsten Whip

Craig is a former President of both the P&F Auxiliary and the Willow Club. Together with Kirsten, they were dedicated volunteers within the Cricket and Rugby communities and the P&F Auxiliary. Craig played a significant role in developing a sense of community at BGS. Their sons Tom a School Vice Captain, Ben and Nick, graduated in 2011, 2013 and 2017 respectively.


Mr Marcus and Mrs Christine Tod

Marcus and Christine were passionate supporters of the Rowing, Volleyball and Music communities, and the P&F Auxiliary. They were very hard workers, particularly for Tipperoo. Christine was Treasurer of the BGS Art Support Group for many years. Their sons Alex, Tom and Harry, graduated in 2012, 2014 and 2017 respectively.


Dr Julie and Dr Jonathan Cichero '85

The Cicheros have given an incredible generational contribution to the BGS community, spanning four generatio​ns. Julie and Jonathan were active participators in school life and gave significant service to the Rowing and Rugby communities. They initiated new programs, such as developing a nutrition guide for school athletes. Jonathan continues to referee schoolboy rugby and Julie photographs schoolboy rugby and rowing. Their sons Elliot and Xavier graduated in 2014 and 2018.