Needs-based bursaries are vital for opening the doors to driven students who would otherwise not be able to attend BGS, and to ensuring diversity at the School.
Over the past year, 65 BGS Old Boys gifted approximately $1.5M to bursaries, including year-group bursaries (1943, 1966, 1979/80, 1982), Jamie Pherous ’85, Simon Fenwick ’86, Jim Truesdale ’43 and the Heath-Huxley and Pullar families.
These gifts provide essential financial assistance to deserving students, helping them to embark on their BGS journey. It is a journey where each student is challenged to rise to their best, where individual talents are nurtured in a caring and supportive environment, allowing students to grow into thoughtful and confident young men of character who contribute to their communities.
The impact of a BGS bursary can best be explained by those who receive them. In 2017 Archie Attwooll graduated from the School after attending BGS on a bursary funded by the 1966 year group. Archie, who comes from a rural Queensland town of just 100 people, said the bursary had changed his life.
“There were three people in my year group and 32 kids in the whole school when I left home to become a boarder at BGS,” he said. “Year 9 was pretty tough adapting, but I made really close mates and loved it from then on. The bursary gave me the opportunity to attend BGS and opened new doors.”
His father, BGS Old Boy Scott Attwooll ’87, said Archie had developed into a mature young man while at the School. “An education is so important and there is no comparison to BGS,” he said. “Without a bursary it wouldn’t have been possible, so we’re very thankful.”
BGS Old Boys Ross Parry and Bob Hunter were two of the 18 Old Boys from the Class of 1966 who funded Archie’s bursary. Both emphasised the importance of philanthropy for those with the means.
“My father didn’t have an education, but his greatest priority was to educate his kids, and he made many sacrifices to make that happen,” Dr Parry said. “I was fortunate to receive a great education and have a career where I’ve been able to give back.”
Mr Hunter attended BGS on a bursary and was happy to contribute to see other students gain the same opportunities. “My dad came from Belfast and escaped a terrible situation there to start a life in Australia, so the bursary made a big difference for our family.”
Headmaster Anthony Micallef said BGS aimed to nurture an inclusive community, where students from varied backgrounds combined to live the core values of endeavour, learning, respect, leadership, and community.
“The transformative potential of a BGS education, through incredible academic, extracurricular and cultural opportunities, is immeasurable,” he said. “We need people from different backgrounds to get a broad view of the world and bursaries help to make that diversity possible.”