The Grammarian | May 2018: Message from the OBA President



The Brisbane Grammar School Old Boys’ Association AGM was conducted on 16 April this year and I’m pleased to advise that the following committee has been elected:

​President: Christopher Austin ‘79
Vice President: Michael Forrest ‘87
Immediate Past President: Stuart Rees ‘79
Secretary: John Emery ‘83
Treasurer: Jim MacPherson ‘85
Committee Members: Stephen Bizzell ’84; Cameron McLeod ’88; Geoff Clarke ’64; Cameron Feltham ’86; Timothy Sharpless ’11; Garth Hobson ’86; Richard Wheeler ‘99

I’d like to thank Julian Potten ‘07, Jeremy Hunt ‘16 and Nathan Huehne ‘11 for their time on the Committee and the valuable contribution they have made.

It has again been my privilege to chair the BGS OBA through another busy 12-month period. I’d like to thank the entire 2017 Committee for their support over the past year and I look forward to working with most of you again over the next year.

The relationship with BGS and particularly the strong support from the Advancement and Community Relations team has helped increase the OBA Committee’s capacity to conduct more activities and connect with more Old Boys.

The Class of 2017 were the first year-group to graduate as Life Members of the OBA. A highlight of the past 12 months was joining with other members of the Committee in presenting these graduating students with their Old Boy ties after having the opportunity to welcome them as new members of the Association. I encourage all other Old Boys to consider joining the OBA.

Several successful networking activities have now been conducted by the Association over the past 18 months. The recent law evening proved another success with over 70 attending and most of them under 30 years of age. These events create a wonderful opportunity for young Old Boys to meet with well-established Old Boys in their area of interest or chosen vocation.

Other activities conducted by the association over the past 12 months include:

Continued support and ongoing growth of the Grammarians’ Rowing Club
OBA display at Open Day
The Annual Reunion Dinner
Participation in interstate community reunions
Old Boy reconnect nights at Jade Buddha
Foundation Day cocktail party

This year’s Foundation Day cocktail party was another OBA highlight with around 80 people in attendance. New Old Boy parents were invited to join existing Old Boy parents and all parent Old Boys were presented with a unique Old Boys cap.

The following dates have been agreed for upcoming activities:

29 May – Melbourne BGS150 celebration
31 May – Sydney BGS150 celebration
27 July – Annual Reunion Dinner
22 August – Professional networking - Finance
15 September – BGS Open Day
11 November – Remembrance Day ceremony and War Memorial Library ‘opening’

​During my next and final 12 months as President I wish to focus on the following:
Increasing engagement with Old Boys by at least 20%
Increasing our contact with Old Boys through an enhanced social media strategy
Establish a mentoring program

Old Boys are currently raising funds in support of upgrades to the War Memorial Library. I wish to thank all those who have contributed and encourage others to support this important cause. The ‘reopening’ of the WML will occur close to Remembrance Day 2018 and donors will be invited to attend the ceremony.

I remain impressed with the continued growth of the Brisbane Grammarians Rowing Club. The Grammarians have around 55 members and are the most active component of the OBA. I congratulate Neil Alcorn and his committee on their continued success in building membership numbers, growing their fleet and maintaining a busy training and competitive program. The OBA is supportive of other Old Boys who may be keen to establish other interest groups.

Finally, I congratulate the School on their 150-year anniversary. The celebrations surrounding this milestone that have involved the broader community have been a joy to attend and I look forward to a few more events before year end.

Christopher Austin ‘79
President BGSOBA​