Bursary student and BGS Old Boy Toby Buckley '17 took a unique path to Brisbane Grammar School. It started with a letter to Headmaster Anthony Micallef in 2015. But it wasn't a normal letter. He penned it himself – without his parents' knowledge – when partway through Year 10 at a small beach-side school in NSW.
It was a bold move for those who know Buckley as a polite and quietly spoken young man but one he never once regretted. “In my letter I told Mr Micallef about myself, my family and my reasons for wanting to attend BGS," Buckley said. “As things progressed I had to tell my parents and initially they were shocked, but soon they were ecstatic. Thanks to Mr Micallef's generosity and the BGS community's continuous contribution to bursary endowments, I received an offer that changed the course of my life."
Buckley was offered a bursary to attend BGS and lived as a boarder in Harlin House, where he completed Years 11 and 12. From day one he immersed himself in the School community. “I met a lot of incredible people while involving myself in the football program, mechatronics, the spirit committee, the student representative body, chess, academic services, titration, physics and chemistry Olympiads, volunteer work with Orange Sky Laundry and Rosies food van, and all things boarding."
“BGS taught me how to study effectively, work under pressure and in a team. But more importantly, the School taught me the importance of hard work and has instilled in me core values that I am confident are great preparation for life after school."
Graduating last year with a perfect 99.95 ATAR and runner up to Dux, doors were open to Buckley all over the world, but he couldn't pass up on the valuable connections he had made in Brisbane. After being awarded a BGS Foundation Day scholarship to attend The University of Queensland, he started a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with provisional entry into medicine this year.
Long term Buckley said he hoped to work with not for profit organisations to provide medical aid to third world countries and was also interested in medical research. He also hoped to be able to help others start their BGS journeys. “I hope to eventually give back to BGS and Harlin House through the 2017 Year Group Bursary," he said.
Buckley said he couldn't find the words to adequately describe the impact his BGS bursary had on him and his family. “BGS helped me to reach my potential and has taught me so much more than I could have imagined," he said. “Without the BGS bursary I would have struggled to pursue a tertiary education. It changed the course of my life and has allowed me to meet many incredible people from all walks of life."
“A lot of my mates back home could have benefitted from a BGS education just as much as I have. I believe bursaries are extremely important to provide boys from financially disadvantaged backgrounds an environment in which to thrive. A bursary benefits the recipient, but it also creates diversity in classrooms, which is important."
Click here to read more about the power of philanthropy at Brisbane Grammar School in the winter 2018 edition of Grammar News out now.
Our 2018 Annual Appeal
aims to raise funds to support current and future generations of boys, like Stephen, Zeke and Micah, who attend BGS on needs-based bursaries. Click here
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Together, we can provide life-changing opportunities for boys in financial need to attend BGS.