Newman News Summer 2009 - Newman College



Newman News Summer 2009 - Newman College
Newman College Newsletter – Summer 2009
Volume 41 – Number 2
content s
peter steele sj – recent poems
rector’s report
rise and progress of universities
the council of the college
forum dinner
the mountains come next
news around and about
newman college in winter
the peter l’estrange music prize
the mannix memorial lecture
valete mass and dinner
the arthur boyd tapestries
noca president’s letter
george conrad hannan
noca dinner 2009
news of former collegians
a kestral’s view of koroit
from the archives
the courage of christ
the compassion of christ
peter steele sj – more recent poems 43
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Cover: Triptych by Justin O’Brien, Newman College Art Collection
Peter Steele SJ – recent poems...
After some weeks of compassion and of scorn
He took a spell to pray and muse alone,
Surprised that, early, he should feel so worn –
The much expressed and yet the little known.
Touching the bier with its cooling burden, he
Thought of his own mother, a widow too,
And what the news of her son’s death would be
To her: accepted, but a piercing through.
His mother’s wisdom was to praise their food,
That benediction from the hand of God,
And so he found the coriander good
And blessed the little broad beans in the pod.
He bent and called the young man from the dead
And gave him back to his mother. The crowd moved off,
Back to the souk of Naim, the fresh-baked bread,
The chickens foraging by the drinking trough,
Almonds, pistachios, mulberries, new cheese,
He told them over as a psalmist might:
Mustard, and lamb, the husbandry of bees,
And pomegranate gleaming to the bite.
The melons and the olives. What to say
Beyond those words of power, here by the gate,
To these who’d known such darkness for a day
As even awe could not eradicate?
Well now, he thought, perhaps they’ll know me best
As bread and wine delivered with the rest.
(Matt. 26: 26–28)
A driven man, he blessed the call to roam,
But dreamed that night, and afterwards, of home.
(Luke 7: 11–16)
Closing the scroll and sitting down to preach
He went to war. His people, tired by the quern
Or the long slog at the plough, might hope to reach
A blurred tranquillity, but not to burn
As the lines did in the old book when they claimed
That every prison should be breached, the blind
Drink at the blessed font of light, the maimed
Walk tall, the poor be heard when they spoke their mind.
He knew a maggot in their hearts, the one
That eats away at the long hopes, to unman
Even the boldest. ‘Nothing under the sun
Endures’, it said. ‘All is under a ban.’
Now or never, he thought, and made his play,
His body, a prophet’s, out on the line, to stay.
(Luke 4: 16–22)
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Rector’s Report – College, University
and Community
On Tuesday, October 13th
the Heads of the twelve
University Colleges met for
lunch at University House
with the Chancellor of the
University, the ViceChancellor and the Chair of
the Academic Board. This
has become in recent years
a regular meeting to discuss
matters of mutual concern,
and it complements the quarterly meetings with the Deputy
Vice-Chancellor and members of the Academic Board.
One of the continuing concerns of the University
administration is the impersonal nature of the current
university experience. To a certain degree this is inevitable
granted the size of the University. It varies, too, from
faculty to faculty. In the professional and graduate courses
with prescribed units there is more constant student-tostudent interaction. But in the large undergraduate faculties,
it is not uncommon for students to find that the university
experience is lonely and impersonal.
The University, of course, has been trying to remedy
this situation. Student “hubs” have been established and
administrative centres have been decentralised. In
Orientation Week a programme of student “hosts” has been
introduced. Clubs and societies, too, offer opportunities
for student interaction, although their activities hsave been
curtailed significantly since the introduction of voluntary
student unionism.
In November 2007 the then Chancellor of the University,
Mr Ian Renard, a former resident of both Ormond and
Newman Colleges, addressed the annual Chairs of Council
and Heads of Colleges dinner. In his address he suggested
that there was an opportunity for Colleges and the University
to cooperate to a greater degree to assist the implementation
of the Melbourne Model. The provision of graduate
accommodation, the daytime use of College facilities, the
coordination of scholarship and bursary programmes and the
reinvigoration of student non-resident tutorials were
suggested as some avenues of greater University/College
cooperation. Although the University has been either
unwilling or unable to support these initiatives financially,
they have remained, as it were, on the table, and the theme
of cooperation is regularly invoked at the various meetings
between College Heads and members of the University
administration. At the higher levels of the administration
there seems to be recognition that the Colleges are not
merely elitist institutions, but that they model in some
sense what the ideal university experience might be.
Thanks to some far-sighted decisions of the College Council
over the past twenty years and the beneficence of our
benefactors, particularly Mr Allan Myers and Mr John and
Gerry Higgins, the College has been able both to anticipate
and to respond to these overtures from the University. The
acquisition of a number of properties in Swanston Street
and the provision of scholarships and bursaries at later-year
undergraduate and graduate levels have enabled the College
both to retain and attract graduate and postgraduate
students. With the completion of the 842–844 Swanston
Street complex in early January there will be 48 of our
280 residents living in Swanston Street in 2010.
Professor Michael Hubbard in Dentistry and Professor
Elizabeth Malcolm in Irish Studies are installed under
a Gerry Higgins Newman and University agreement, and
in February 2010 the first of two international visiting
fellows sponsored under the Allan and Maria Myers
International Visitor Fellowship for 2010 will be speaking at
the College. Professor Deniz Kirik, Head of Brain Repair
and Imaging in the Neural Systems Unit at Lund University,
will speak in the Outreach Programme in the second week
in February. Further, the College has agreed once again to
underwrite the Poetry and Medieval Art Seminars of
Professors Peter Steele, S.J., and Professor Margaret Manion,
I.B.V.M., in "the first semester of 2010. Finally, there are
negotiations currently underway with the Dean of the
Faculty of Arts, Professor Mark Considine, to establish two
further three year lectureships, one in Medieval Art History
and the other in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century
Philosophy, under the umbrella of the Higgins bequest.
The Archbishop Mannix/Newman College Travelling
Scholarship has been advertised for 2010 and there have been
seven applicants to date. This year the annual stipend has
been increased from $30,000 to $50,000, and it seems to
have attracted a higher quality of applicants.
A four week exhibition of eight of the Arthur Boyd tapestries
of the life of St Francis of Assisi and St. Clare was held in the
College Chapel during November. These tapestries which
were executed by Arthur Boyd and his colleagues in Portugal
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
in 1972–74 were donated to the National Gallery of Australia
in Canberra in 1975, but they had never been displayed
heretofore. Arranging the current exhibition was a major
undertaking – negotiating with the National Gallery,
arranging the transportation of the tapestries from Canberra
to Melbourne, preparing the Chapel, supervising the hanging
of the tapestries, and, above all, seeking sponsorship for the
not inconsiderable expenses associated with the exhibition.
All this would have been impossible without the initiative,
expertise and perseverance of the Director of the Outreach
Programme of the St Mary’s – Newman Academic Centre,
Professor Margaret Manion, I.B.V.M. Without her contacts
in the art world such an enterprise would have foundered,
but with the assistance of many of her colleagues and the
encouragement of the National Gallery of Australia her vision
came to fruition. There were almost 150 guests at the official
opening on Friday, October 30th. Sir James Gobbo launched
the exhibition, and the guests were entertained to “drinks
and canapés” in the College Dining Room. A side benefit of
the operation was that the whole interior of the chapel was
professionally cleaned – something, I suspect, so thorough
had not occurred since the opening of the Chapel in 1942.
There were three Outreach lectures associated with the
tapestries during November.
The exhibition remained in place for the Advent Festival of
Choral Music which took place in the Chapel, the Oratory
and the Dining Room over the weekend of the First Sunday
of Advent, November 28th and 29th. This was an initiative
of the Director of the College Choir, Dr Gary Ekkel, and the
College became in effect a monastery over the two days.
Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, None, Vespers and Compline
were all sung, and there was a choral Mass on both days.
Non-Resident Programme
Responding to the various overtures from the University
and building on the success of the initiatives the College
is taking to open its doors to a wider profile of students and
the community generally, in 2010: the College will be
attempting to re-invigorate its non-resident programme.
The non-resident programme has a long history. In the
1950s non-resident as well as resident scholarships were
offered for competition each year, and in the 1970s and
1980s there were strong numbers of non-residents in the
College tutorials, especially in Arts, Science and the
professional faculties. This was true not only of Newman
Newman Newsletter Winter 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 1
but also for the other Colleges which had broad-ranging
tutorial programmes.
Over the years, however, not only at Newman but also at
the other Colleges these programmes have withered away.
This is somewhat surprising, as in the expanding University
tutorials in many faculties have increased significantly in
numbers. The Colleges’ tutorial programmes have not,
however, been promoted or marketed, and at times various
academics at the University have complained that College
tutorials give College residents an unfair advantage, and
they have actively agitated to have them discontinued. This
has sometimes resulted in the Colleges ensuring that their
tutorial programmes assume a low profile.
Newman intends to reinvigorate its non-resident programme
in a modest way. Twenty non-residential scholarships will be
advertised for the coming year. The successful applicants
will have access to the College’s tutorial programme, to the
Academic Centre, to evening meals at the College (virtually
all tutorials are conducted in the evening), and they will be
invited to participate in the College’s Orientation programme.
Applicants will be interviewed by the Deputy Rector and the
Dean. Preference will be given to Catholics from the outer
metropolitan area or from regional areas who are living with
relatives in the metropolitan area. As with bursary applicants
for residential places, living circumstances and family profiles
will be taken into account. Far from being a money-making
venture, the non-residential programme will be an extension
of the College’s current scholarship and bursary programme,
as it was originally in the 1940s and 1950s. Of course, the
experience of non-residents will not be the same as the core
experience of residential members, but it will be an attempt
to extend some of the benefits of the College experience to
a wider clientele than are presently able to avail themselves of
these benefits. Each year we have a number of applicants
for residence who, when their applications are successful,
nonetheless, even with bursary assistance, are unable to
accept our offer for financial and other reasons. Perhaps
non-residential scholarships will appeal to them.
This programme, of course, will make absolutely minimal
impact on the University’s problems of student disenchantment.
That is not its aim. It is primarily an extension of our
scholarship and bursary programme. It may also alleviate the
elitist image which many members of the University have of
the Colleges.
Cardinal Newman
During the semester a number of speakers addressed the
College at various celebratory dinners. The Australian
author, Michael McGirr, drew on his recent book, “The Lost
Art of Sleep”, to encourage students to explore their personal
and family history at the second semester Commencement
Dinner. Justice Bernard Bongiorno reprised a similar theme
at the Council Dinner when he recalled his family history,
especially the experience of his grandfather who had no
formal education. County Court Judge, Liz Gaynor, spoke
of her undergraduate experience at St Mary’s College, and her
own rather mixed experiences as a fledgling lawyer in
exhorting students to be adventurous in seeking a career path.
Present indications are that the beatification of Cardinal
Newman will not take place in May 2010 as originally
scheduled, but will be postponed until the Pope visits
England in September. It seems likely that the ceremony
will take place in Birmingham.
The Michael Scott Prize for Visual Arts and the Peter
L’Estrange Prize for Music attracted record entries, and
they were of a uniformly high standard. Both the
Valedictory Dinner and the Old Collegians Dinner not
only passed without incident but were very enjoyable.
The Mannix Lecture delivered by the Honourable Alistair
Nicholson, former Chief Justice of the Family Court,
attracted a healthy audience, and his remarks on human
rights were reported two days later in the Age newspaper.
But we did not win the football (runners-up to St Hilda’s),
nor did we win the netball (4th)!
Jesuit Staffing
After nine years residence in the College Father Brian
McCoy will be leaving the Jesuit Community at the end
of the year. During this time he has completed doctoral
studies in aboriginal men’s health, and for the last four years
has been a post-doctoral fellow at La Trobe University. His
doctoral thesis was converted into a book, “Holding the
Man”, which was launched in 2008 and has since received
critical acclaim. Father McCoy has been on active member
of the Senior Common Room, and has been much
appreciated for his thought-provoking sermons and homilies.
He was farewelled by the College at the Valedictory Dinner
and presented with a painting of the interior of the Chapel.
During 2010 he will reside with the Park Drive community
and take sabbatical leave in the second half of the year.
Unfortunately, he will not be replaced at Newman, but
Fathers Steele and Horvat and Brother Elias will continue
in residence.
Father Andrew Hamilton S.J. will deliver the fourth Cardinal
Newman Lecture at the College on Friday evening, February
19th, 2010. His topic will be Newman’s appreciation of the
writing of the early Church Fathers on the divinity of Jesus.
Stonework and Scholarships
In early October the College received a telephone call
from an officer of the Federal Department of Environment,
Heritage and Water to inform us that our application for
funding for the fourth stage of the restoration project, the
Junior Common Room, has been approved at $1,000,000.
We had applied for $2.5m, so the response was bitter-sweet.
Unless further funds are forthcoming – we are still waiting
on a response from the Victorian Division of Property
Australia – we will only be able to embark on a partial
restoration of the JCR. After consultation with the Building
Committee and the heritage architect, the restoration of the
west “wailing” wall is favoured. Works will probably begin
in the New Year.
The Scholarship Appeal now stands at $2.6m, and the total
corpus at $5.4m. This year we awarded almost $400,000 in
scholarships and bursaries, and the College disbursed another
$90,000 to students who work mainly in the dining room
and kitchen in the College.
Already a number of students returning for 2010 have applied
for (further) bursary assistance. Although the Australian
economy is recovering, single parent families and families in
country and regional areas seem to be struggling, and we
would anticipate a greater demand on our bursary resources
in the coming years.
W. J. Uren S.J.
Rector, Newman College
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Rise and Progress of Universities
John Henry Newman
A University embodies the principal (sic) of progress, and
a College that of stability; the one is the sail, and the
other the ballast; each is insufficient in itself for the pursuit,
extension, and inculcation of knowledge; each is useful to the
other. A University is the scene of enthusiasm, of pleasurable
exertion, of brilliant display, of winning influence, of diffusive
and potent sympathy; and a College is the scene of order,
of obedience, of modest and persevering diligence, of
conscientious fulfilment of duty, of mutual private services,
and deep and lasting attachments. The University is for the
world, and the College is for the nation. The University is for
the Professor, and the College for the Tutor; the University is
for the philosophical discourse, the eloquent sermon, or the
well contested disputation; and the College for the
catechetical lecture. The University is for theology, law and
medicine, for natural history, for physical science, and for the
sciences generally and their promulgation; the College is
for the formation of character, intellectual and moral, for
the cultivation of the mind, for the improvement
of the individual, for the study of literature, for the classics,
and those rudimental sciences which strengthen and
sharpen and intellect. The University being the element of
advance, will fail in making good its ground as it goes; the
College, from its Conservative tendencies, will be sure to go
back, because it does not go forward. It would seem as if
an University seated and living in Colleges, would be a
perfect institution, as possessing excellences of opposite kinds.
But such a union, such salutary balance and mutual
complement of opposite advantages, is of difficult and
rare attainment.
The Council of the College
The Council of the College meet four times a year – photographed here are
Dr. Jane Page, Professor Margaret Manion IBVM, and Dr. Elizabeth Hepburn IBVM,
the Principal of St. Mary’s College.
Professor Peter Steele SJ and Br. Bill Wilding CFC.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Council members – Dr. Sue McNicol and Ms Alice Muhlebach.
Council members – Mr. Robert Fels (Chair of the Finance and Investment Committees),
Mr. Steve Cortese (Chair of the Building Committee), and Professor Brian Galligan
from the University of Melbourne.
Forum Dinner 2009
Our guest speaker at the 2009 Forum
Dinner was former Collegian, Gemma
Rice (now Gemma Sisia) – shown below
with the Rector following the Dinner. In
2002, Gemma opened a small school in
Northern Tanzania with the help of
friends, her family and the local Rotary
Club. This school has grown and now has
almost 1200 students enrolled, with 130
teachers, and 200 staff. Over 90% of the
children at the school receive a totally
free education which not only includes
educational fees, but also uniforms,
stationery, hot meals, and transport.
In 2008, another free primary school
was opened with an enrolment of
550 students. In 2009, Gemma visited
Australia seeking sponsorship for her
school and spent an evening in College
addressing all on the School of St. Jude.
It was a particularly moving experience
for all present.
Anyone wishing to assist with sponsorship should visit the school’s website
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
An address given by teacher and writer Michael McGirr
at the Commencement Dinner for Semester 2, 2009.
Thankyou for the chance to share the start of this semester
with you and to pay tribute to the spirituality which sustains
this community. Today, as you know, is the feast of St Ignatius,
the gent who started the Jesuits. I spent many years living in
Jesuit communities. Allow me to share just one memory from
that time.
About ten years ago, I was living in a Jesuit house not far from
here. About midnight, I came down to the kitchen in search of
a glass of water and walked in on a conversation. One of the
people talking was Rod who used to travel the world
conducting opera. He was an expert on the works of Benjamin
Britten, but at this time he was doing Tosca for Opera Australia.
He was a profoundly cultured man, not to mention a wonderful
cook. With him were two young men, George and Lawrence,
who were visiting us as guests of Fr Brian McCoy. George and
Lawrence came from the desert, from Balgo in Western
Australia, and were among the thousand or so native speakers
of the Kukatja language. Their hesitant English was such that
conversation with Rod was difficult. These young men were no
less cultured than Rod, it’s just that they belonged to a different
culture, no less ancient and no less subtle. At the moment
I walked in, the three of them were trying to fix a garlic press.
It is hard to imagine anywhere in the world that George and
Lawrence and the conductor of Opera Australia would be bent
together over an uncooperative garlic press than under the
auspices of St Ignatius. Ignatius believed that all things could
tell us something about God if only we took the pains to look
at them the right way, which means to look at them freely.
Everybody in this room tonight shares the sense that the world
is a rich and wonderfully complex experience. It is God’s riddle.
To untangle the riddle, we have to make choices. St Ignatius
may have said that we can find God in all things. But there is
no greater tragedy than somebody who thinks they need
everything to find God. St Ignatius is one of the patrons of wise
choices; his spirituality invites us into a lifetime of letting go.
He said: ‘it is not knowing much, but realising things interiorly,
that contents and satisfies the soul.’ You don’t need many
things to find God.
Your patrons, St Ignatius and Cardinal Newman, lived in
different centuries and different countries. But they shared
a few things. They both wrote a lot of letters. We have,
I believe, 7,000 letters written by St Ignatius, one of the biggest
collections from a person in the sixteenth century, not to
mention the replies that came to him from all over the world.
Historians love them. They reveal so much. Of course, I think
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
there are 7,000 emails somewhere in my computer. But the
difference is that Ignatius letters were all made by hand. He
put himself into his words.
Likewise Cardinal Newman. Newman lived at a time when
he could get a letter in the morning, post a reply and have the
response back to him by evening. Almost as good as email.
People talk about the intellectual currents of Newman’s time.
But don’t forget the ways these relate to technological
currents, both in his time and ours. The 1840s may have seen
the Oxford Movement in high tide. But it also saw the
introduction of the postage stamp and the famous penny post.
Newman, like Ignatius, chose his words and lived in them.
I won’t tell the whole story, but some years ago I stumbled
across some relatives of Cardinal Newman living in a modest
ground floor flat in Armadale in Melbourne. They had in their
possession, in an old leather bag, all the diaries which Newman’s
sister, Harriett, had kept throughout her life. They also had a
dozen or so of Newman’s own letters, including the last one he
wrote in his life. In an unsteady hand it says ‘I am sometimes
engaged with the doctors.’ Newman wrote volumes on all sorts
of subjects. But this little note moved me most of all: it showed
the presence of a real but frail and vulnerable human being.
There was someone living in those words.
I guess that is really what I want to say tonight. I would like to
invite you to choose your words and to really live in them. There
are a lot of words spilled around the place in all our lives. We live
in a tired and noisy world. Our culture behaves like a child that
can’t stop screaming, but is saying nothing coherent, because
it desperately needs to rest. I believe we face a challenge to say
less and mean more.
The ABC once ran a competition to find the best love letter
anyone could think of. The entries were wonderful. They came
from the greatest poets and lyricists of history. But do you know
what won? It was a scrap of paper that a plumber had in his
wallet for twenty years or more. He had found it in his lunchbox
one day when his marriage had reached a hard place. It simply
said, ‘I love you with all my heart.’ Those few words untangled
a difficult riddle for him.
Think of the cemetery across the road, a great place for reading.
I hope in the course of a semester you might visit it and see how
people can live in a few heartfelt words. On your left inside the
gate is a plaque in recognition of ‘mothers whose children were
adopted and have subsequently died before reunion.’ It says:
‘But we were not separated in our hearts. Tomorrow we will sit
Michael McGirr with the Rector and Carmel Britt.
with you and hear you laugh.’ I got a lump in my throat the
first time I read that. Further along you will find the grave of
Jim Scullin, Australia’s Prime Minister during the Great
Depression. On it are some of his own words: ‘Justice and
humanity demand interference whenever the weak are being
crushed by the strong.’ His fairly ordinary grave, shared with
his wife, sits among many other ordinary graves. We are all
equal in death.
One of the best moments of this year for me, perhaps of my
whole life so far, has been seeing my five year old son write his
name for the first time. Benny is in prep. One Saturday afternoon
in March, he pulled out a piece of paper and a crayon because
there was something he wanted to show me that he could do.
Slowly, laboriously, he produced a B and then an E, admittedly
with the prongs facing the wrong way. Then he looked up at me
with his wide eyes. ‘Daddy,’ he said, ‘do the mountains come
next?’ He meant the double N. He remembered what they
were because they look like mountains. But I heard him saying
something more. He was in the foothills of something
wonderful, and so I said a prayer for that little boy writing his
name. There are mountains for the whole human family. We
need to choose the path that will take us through them.
Michael McGirr is the Head of Faith and Mission at St Kevin’s
College. His latest book is The Lost Art of Sleep (Picador).
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
SCR member Hazwan Razak (Engineering 4) writes: “Recently
I was lucky enough to be accepted to attend the International
Development Design Summit in Ghana. The month-long summit
was organised by a few institutions including the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in the USA and the Kwame Nkrumah
University of Science and Technology in Ghana. The participants
at IDDS, about 80 of them from over 21 countries, were students,
engineers, doctors, nurses, community workers and teachers.
We were divided into groups of about 5 or 6 and each group
was tasked to work on a specific developmental project. Our
group was tasked with offering a solution to the problem of rice
production in Ghana. 70% of rice in Ghana is imported, and
local production suffered from the lack of proper machinery.
After weeks spent in the workshop and 3 village visits to test
our prototype, we came up with a treadle-powered low-cost rice
thresher. It cost just under a 100 USD, and all the parts were
locally sourced.” The photograph shows Hazwan receiving user
feedback on the Prototype during one of the village visits.
Edward, one of the village elders, commented on the need for
more safety features in the device. His thoughts were very useful
in producing a second (and better) prototype.
Senior Common Room member, Professor Richard Divall,
became the first member of the Order of Malta in the Southern
Hemisphere to become a Professed Knight, taking religious vows
in the Chapel of the Scared Heart, Acceuil Saint-Frais, Lourdes.
Current Senior Common Room member, Simon Belluzzo, was
awarded the 2009 Frances Elizabeth Thomson Honours
Scholarship by the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health
Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Earlier this year, long serving member of the Senior Common
Room, Dr. Augustine Meaher IV (‘Four’) left the College to take
up a history lectureship at North Georgia College and State
University. Four, a native of Mobile, Alabama, first arrived at
Newman College in July 1995 (aboard MV Columbia Stara) as a
study abroad student and lived in Donovan for two semesters.
A graduate of Georgetown University and of Tulane University
(New Orleans), he returned to the University of Melbourne and
Newman College in August 2002 and was awarded his PhD from
the University in 2008. In August 2006, he was appointed College
Archivist and has done a mighty task in preparing the archives
for the planned history of the College that is to be written to
mark the centenary of the College (2018). During his time with us,
Four has been ‘called upon’ to perform a number of tasks – to
teach for a semester at the United States Military Academy at
West Point; to be part of a briefing team to the two presidential
campaigns (Obama and McCain) on Civil-Military Relations; to
be part of NATO teams in Iceland and later in Gaza. We shall miss
‘Four’ for his many valuable contributions in this community
(including periods as editor of the Griffin and treasurer of the
SCR), for his dry and laconic humour, his friendship, and for his
often perceptive analysis of situations and people.
Senior Common Room members Renae and Frith Foottit who visited the USA
in July of this year caught up with former SCR member Dr. Four Meaher at the
Camellia Grill in New Orleans.
Current third year Science student, Michael Neeson, has been
selected by the University of Melbourne to attend the annual
Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference at the
University of Glasgow to present his research work on the
hydrodynamics of micro bubbles (which is fluid mechanics).
Guest speaker at the Newman College Students’ Club Dinner, Judge Elizabeth
Gaynor, with Senior Common Room member, Frith Foottit.
The Students’ Club presented Thornton Wilder’s ‘The Skin of our
Teeth’ as the College production for 2009. The organiser of the
play this year was Tom Reilly (Arts/Eng 3).
The Jesuit Province gathering in Sydney – July 2009.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
SCR Members Jason and Liza Freddi departed from the College
during this semester. Shown below is Reuben Freddi on his last
day in College receiving ‘instructions’ from Father Peter Steele SJ.
The SCR have held a number of Sunset Seminars throughout
this year. They include:
Seminar 1
Walter Reinhardt – The Global Financial Crisis: an Insider’s View
Rowena Silcock – Health for All. Challenges of Health Care in
Developing Setting: Rural India and Nepal
Seminar 2
Jason Freddi – Shakespeare, Politics and Christianity
Seminar 3
Br. Elias Mokua SJ – Jesuits in Africa: works and activities
Simon Belluzzo – Legionella pneuophila: The Accidental Killer?
Seminar 4
Ben Moore – Robocup: AI and Vision
The Faculty of Arts had a
very busy week in July
hosting two major
international conferences
– the 2009 Melbourne
Conference on China running
on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14
July, and Journalism in the
21st Century: Between
Globalization and the
National Identity on
Thursday and Friday, July 16
and 17. Brother Elias Mokua SJ was one of the guest speakers at
the second conference.
Sean Burke – The Paris Missionary Society (Missions Evangeliques
de Paris) in Barotseland (Central Africa) 1885–1924
Luke Ainsworth – The Clouds of Heaven: an unfinished novel
Seminar 5
Hazwan Razak – Little interventions in Ghana, and while you’re
at it, please wear your Safety Goggles!
Julia List – Erasmus Darwin: Science, Evolution and Eighteenth
century Poetry
Mitchell Black – Meteorological Bombs: Explosively Developing
Cyclone Systems
Above: Brother Elias Mokua SJ – a member of the Jesuit Community.
Frank Farooq Ahmad, David Hooton, Andrew Flanders, Conrad Reckerman
and Sam Brooker preparing for one of our many dinners.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Winner of the Michael Scott Prize, Frith Foottit.
As part of the Heldar Camara Lecture series for 2009, the
College hosted a ‘discussion’ between visiting American priest,
Father James Bacik, and journalist and writer, Martin Flanagan.
The topic of the discussion was: Is there really a God? Searching
for mystery in a culture of doubt. Martin was also the guest
speaker at the Community Service Dinner organized by the
Students’ Club, under the leadership of Chris Runiciman.
The College participated in all the various inter-collegiate
events during this past semester. On the sporting field, the
highlights included a narrow loss in the men’s football
finals to St. Hilda’s College, and some sterling efforts in the
athletics by Peter Shearman and Paula Charlton.
SCR member, James Gutteridge, has been selected to be part of
a new Government initiative, Teach for Australia. This two year
programme is aimed at attracting talented young graduates of
all disciplines, to teach in schools where there is a high
proportion of the educationally disadvantaged. Iwan Walters,
the Students’ Club President of 2008, has also been selected to
participate in this programme.
Scholar’s Presentations this semester have been given by:
Lauren Sanders Sexual Politics: the Problem with Consent
Jarryd Poyner Geomatics: a World of Emerging Technologies
Thomas Litfin Key Thinkers in Science
Bernard Kuek
History of the Classical Guitar
Hats in winter in Melbourne – Melissa De Souza, Tanya Rajendra, Elyse Shelley,
Swathikka Krishnamoorthy and Emily Keogh.
Photographed left and below are the teams
involved in the JCR/SCR Debate – from the
left: Adjudicator Alice Muhlebach (Newman
College 2001–2005); Denis Mackinnon, Jack
Barry and Patrick Sloyan (all from the JCR);
Debating Organiser, Shovan Rath: Luke
Ainsworth, Frith Foottit, and Jason Freddi
(from the SCR). The JCR won the debate.
The other photograph taken at the Debate
shows part of the audience.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Newman College in Winter – a photograph from first year student Michael Keem – his entry in the Michael Scott Art Prize.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
The PeTer L’esTrange sJ
Music Prize for 2009
The third Peter L’Estrange SJ Music Prize was held in the College
during the second semester. This Prize was established in 2007
to recognise Jesuit Priest Father Peter L’Estrange who was
Rector of Newman College from 1991 to 2005. He entered the
Society of Jesus in 1967 and was ordained a priest in Sydney in
December 1979. A multitalented individual, he was School
Captain and Dux of St Aloysius’ College in 1966. He subsequently
graduated in Arts from the University of Melbourne with
First Class Honours and the Dwight Prize, and in Divinity from
the Melbourne College of Divinity. He additionally achieved
a MA and a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of
Oxford in the Faculty of Theology. He has lectured in History at
the United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne, and at the University
of Melbourne; has tutored in Psychology and Medicine at
Newman College; and has represented Victoria in rugby.
Father L’Estrange has chaired the Heads of Colleges of the
University of Melbourne and the Council for Chaplaincies in
Tertiary Institutions. He has been a member of numerous
religious and academic boards, councils and committees. Finally,
he left his position as Rector of Newman College to take up
a position as Master of Campion Hall at Oxford University in
2006–2008 and has recently taken up an appointment at
Georgetown University in the USA.
Lisa Hanley
Lisa Hanley, You Are My Rock – Voice and Pianoforte
Adrian Khoo
Franz Liszt, La Campanella from Grandes Etudes – Pianoforte
Chris Runciman
Elton John, Your Song – Voice (accompanied by Rohan Phelps)
Pete Toohey
Frederick Chopin, Ballade in G minor – Pianoforte
Lauren Foy
Charles Gabriel and Civilla Martin,
His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Voice
Lisette Stevens
Edward Elgar, Cello Concerto (1st Movement) – Cello
(accompanied by Alvin Chong)
A great supporter of music and the arts, Father L’Estrange
founded the current choir of Newman College and established
several music awards. He believed that if people were to
surround themselves with the beauty of music and art, they
might themselves become more beautiful and artistic.
Xavier Nicolo
John Williams, Theme From Schindler’s List – Violin
(accompanied by John Paul Nicolo)
Jarrod Lee
Claude-Michel Schonberg, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
from Les Miserables – Voice (accompanied by Alvin Chong)
Bernard Kuek
Heiter Villa-Lobos, Prelude No.5 – Acoustic Guitar
Isuri Munasinghe
Phil Collins, Against All Odds – Voice
(accompanied by Rohan Phelps)
Sarina Walter
Joseph Haydn, Concerto in G. – Violin
(accompanied by Pete Toohey)
Alvin Chong
Gabriel Fauré, Improptu in A Flat – Pianoforte
Charlotte Kavenagh
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Wishing You Were Somehow
Here Again from Phantom of the Opera – Voice
(accompanied by Rohan Phelps)
John-Paul Nicolo
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Elegie, Opus 3 No.1 – Pianoforte
The winner of this year’s Prize was Alvin Chong.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
This year the guest speaker at the 30th Daniel Mannix
Lecture was Professor the Honourable Alastair Nicholson,
AO RFD QC, former Chief Justice of the Family Court of
Australia. His address was entitled: A Failure in Leadership?
The reluctance to enforce human rights requirements in Australia.
His challenging address focussed in three areas – Indigenous
people, immigration, and children. He concluded with
these words:
This year’s Lecture was organised by Niamh Mooney
and Patrick Sloyan. To mark the 30th anniversary of this
Lecture, we reproduce the list of previous speakers and
their topic below:
B.A. Santamaria on Archbishop Daniel Mannix
Sir Zelman Cowen on Sir Isaac Isaacs
Sir Paul Hasluck on Sir Robert Menzies
“I have endeavoured in this lecture to draw attention to serious
problems facing our country in the area of human rights. We are
always quick to condemn human rights breaches that take place
elsewhere, but we are far too complacent about what occurs in our
own backyard. In particular we have failed our Indigenous people
and our children.
Sir Bernard Callinan on Sir John Monash
Ranald McDonald on David Syme
Dr Phillip Law on Sir Douglas Mawson
Sir Ninian Stephen on George Higginbotham
Professor Leonie Kramer on James McAuley
There are a number of steps that I believe should be taken.
Professor Manning Clark on Rt Hon. John Curtin
First we should encourage and vote for leaders and political parties
who are prepared to lead on human rights issues, rather than follow
what they perceive to be public opinion, which is often manipulated
by the mass media.
Patrick McCaughey on Fred Williams
Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser on Sir Robert Menzies
Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Gibb on Sir Samuel Griffiths
Ita Buttrose on Mother Mary McKillop
Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen on Sir Henry Bolte
John Ralph on Sir Maurice Mawby
Peter Garrett on Dr. H.C ‘Nugget’ Coombs
Hon. Alexander Downer on
‘The Constitutional Forefathers’
Hon. Gareth Evans on Rt Hon. Dr H. V. Evatt
Patrick Dodson on Paddy Djagiween
Sir Gustav Nossal on Sir Frank McFarlane Burnett
Hon. Kim Beazley on Hon. Gough Whitlam
Maj. Gen. Peter Cosgrove on
Lt. Gen. Sir Leslie Morshead
Dr Peter Hollingworth on Fr Gerard Tucker
Hon. John Button on ‘Imagining Leadership’
Rev. Tim Costello on Professor Manning Clark
John Lewis on ‘Man, Leadership and Machine’
Waleed Aly on ‘Michael Long: Sport and
Public Leadership’
Julian Burnside on ‘Leading the Wrong Way’
Sir James Gobbo on ‘Caroline Chisholm and
Profiles in Leadership’
Secondly and most importantly, we should strengthen the democratic
process by the passage of a meaningful Bill of Rights that is justiciable
at the instance of individuals. Had we done so in the past we
would have avoided the abuses that took place in relation to asylum
seekers, the Northern Territory Intervention and mandatory
sentencing, to name but a few. Such a Bill should include the
provisions of the present Racial Discrimination Act to protect it from
governments that seek to amend or weaken it for populist purposes,
as we saw in connection with the Northern Territory Intervention.
Thirdly we should pass legislation and act upon it to protect our
children from those, including governments, that would act to their
detriment. A first step would be to incorporate the CRC into domestic
law, preferably as part of such a Bill of Rights. The Federal
Government should appoint a Minister and set up a Department
with specific responsibility for children and youth, and finally an
office of Children’s Commissioner at Federal level should be set up
as a watchdog on behalf of children.
It is time that we overcame torpor and complacency and addressed
some of the real issues that confront us in the area of human rights.”
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Valete Mass and Dinner 2009
Once again a successful evening was
held in College to farewell those who are to
leave the College at the end of this year.
Father Brian McCoy SJ,
who is also to leave
the College at the
end of 2009 after nine
years, gave the
following homily at
the Mass.
Valetants for 2009 were (*SCR):
Hugh Boylan*
Sarah Coull
Matthew Silk
Phillip Moore
Ben Moore*
Luwa Lin*
Patrick O’Sullivan*
Hazwan Bin Razak*
James Gutteridge*
Natasha Sertori
Claire Davis
Anthony Wan*
Alex Fin
Gabriella Muto
Yau Nga
Joseph Ciantar
Melissa De Souza
Swathikka Krishnamorthy
Charlotte Landy
Caitlin Mahony
John-Paul Nicolo*
Teruni Nugawila
Tanya Rajendra
Paula Charlton*
A few years ago in North Queensland a train guard was given
a carton of eggs from the Egg Board in Townsville to deliver to
a railway station out west. However, as the train was
approaching the station, the guard realised he had forgotten to
tell the driver to stop. So, as the train went through the station,
he decided to take the risk and he threw out the carton of eggs.
The carton crashed down on the railway platform and all the
eggs were broken. A short time later a claim was made against
the railway for the damaged eggs, and a letter was sent to the
train guard to explain his actions. He replied: ‘General Manager,
Townsville. I was guard on the train that particular day and I did
have possession of the carton of eggs that was to be delivered.
However, let me be clear, all those eggs were in perfectly good
condition when they left my hands.’
Simon Belluzzo*
While some of you tonight may not wish to be compared with
a carton of eggs or a rather undignified exit from a train (or
even a College), it is important to remember that this night, as
the word ‘valete’ means, is about farewells, letting go, taking
Phillip Moore and the Rector.
JCR President Patrick Tehan with the Rector.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
However, this night offers more than saying farewell, and
that ‘more’ is based on a deeper appreciation of the word valete.
There is an Aboriginal saying I am often fond of quoting,
‘marlakarti nyawa, kurranyu nyinama’ – ‘look backwards if
you want to go forwards’. This is a paradox, and it is a paradox
we perform tonight and one that Christians regularly do. It is
not enough simply to leave the College and move on. It is
about allowing the past to remind us as who we are, where
we have come from and what might inspire us as to what
we might become.
Waiting for the College photograph.
risks and moving on. It celebrates those who have shared
Newman community life over recent years and are about to
begin the next chapter of their lives. It is also a celebration for
all who have lived at Newman in 2009. Tonight we are called
to remember the past year and how, in so many ways, we
each leave this College better resourced and prepared to face
whatever happens next. We leave, not perfect, but in pretty
good condition.
When we hear St Paul say to his friends at Philippi: ‘I thank my
God every time I remember you’, he captures something of the
gratitude we each might claim this night. We have much to give
thanks for: the richness, variety, generosity, talents and life of
this community, of students and staff. We might pause and
remember how much we each have been blessed by living here.
Valetant Simon Belluzzo with the Rector.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
In the gospel reading tonight we hear that Jesus has come back
to his home village and synagogue, the community where he
was brought up. It is from the prophet Isaiah that he quotes and
which we also heard: ‘the spirit of the Lord is upon me… because
the Lord has anointed me … to bring good news to the
oppressed … to the brokenhearted … to captives and … to
prisoners’. Jesus comes home and announces to his family the
new direction of his life and mission. It is to the poor and the
broken. At its centre is healing, reconciliation and it involves
great risk. Not surprisingly, his family find it difficult to
accept the challenge he offers and the episode ends in him
nearly being killed.
Being people of deep gratitude will always take us to new places
and to those who have less in life than ourselves. In the time
I have been in Newman, I have been struck by people who done
remarkable things after they left College. I think of Justin
Coburn who left Newman in the eighties and who spoke to us
last year. He is currently the Latin American Coordinator for
Oxfam. Gemma Sisia, whom we heard speak earlier in the year,
NOCA President, Justice Richard Tracey, with Milly Dynon, Adele Balkin and
Rosemary Tracey.
The resources and talents that you here tonight bring to our
world are rich and impressive. Never, in the history of this
country, have our young people been so well prepared and, at
the same time, for a world which so desperately cries out for
moral leadership, courage and a deeply grounded spirituality.
Whether it be the economy that faces the temptations of greed,
the environment and the ravages of exploitation, or the health
of our Indigenous people and the legacy of colonisation,
enormous challenges remain.
There are times in life when we can feel a little fragile, like those
eggs tossed out onto that outback railway station. Or, like that
train guard, unsure what decision and risk to take next. Valete
night reminds us that we all can leave this College knowing
that we have been well prepared and extremely well blessed. In
addition, we always have before us the example and company
of Him who came to bring good news to the oppressed and, as
lived in many remarkable people before us, a vision to
encourage and inspire our futures.
Valetant Sarah Coull, from Tasmania, with Patrick Sloyan.
left Newman in the nineties. We will always remember her
school of St Jude’s in Tanzania. In recent years there have been
people like Ben Kiely and Anna Martin who have committed
themselves to the international organisation, Reprieve, that
seeks to support prisoners on death row and the removal of the
death penalty. There are many others.
Earlier we heard St Paul pray for those he loved that their lives
might ‘overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight
to help … determine what is best’. May this be our prayer for our
College and each other tonight.
Teruni Nugawila, Jane Sitch, Sarah Coull, Claire Davis, Caitlin Mahony, Natasha Sertori and Kristen Battye.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Vale – Newman College
A reflection from Father McCoy written for this newsletter
on the eve of his dispature from the College.
When asked by the Rector to offer the homily at the Eucharist
on Valete night I realised that this was not going to be just
another Newman homily, however challenging I have always
found them to be. This was also to be my Valete night, after
nine years of living in the College.
When I returned to Melbourne University in 2001 to begin
a PhD, it was nearly thirty years since I had last studied at the
same University. From 2001 to 2004 I completed a PhD in
Aboriginal health and then in 2006 moved to the city campus
of La Trobe with a NHMRC postdoctoral fellowship in
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. That will conclude
early next year.
Over these past nine years I have moved regularly between the
University, Newman and Aboriginal communities of the north,
particularly those in the more remote south-east Kimberley
desert region of WA. There have been times when my shifting
across these vast distances and differences of culture has
proved quite enjoyable. At other times I have experienced quite
sharp emotional jolts as I encountered a contrast of very
different languages and values and extremes of wealth and
lifestyle. After decades of living in north Australia, I needed to
re-learn urban life and the opportunities that are provided in a
city like Melbourne with its wide range of cultural, sporting and
intellectual opportunities.
However, never expecting to turn to the possibilities that
doctoral studies provide, I found I was being given much more
besides. Newman became a home where I could face the host
of challenges that postgraduate study promises, particularly
for one returning to University later in life. At Newman, as at the
University, I could study within an environment where
ideas, creativity and youthful energy abounded. I will always
treasure some wonderful and engaging conversations with
younger and older College students and also with University
teachers and colleagues.
At the same time, living at Newman did not protect me from
that mix of human life that touches us all. Over these nine years
I have experienced funerals and baptisms, graduations and
weddings, celebrations, birthdays and some very sad times. At
the same time, I had to learn how to pray and preach in urban
English and within a new and very different worshipping
community. I was fortunate to be able to reconnect with my
immediate family and also my Jesuit one. My father had died
just prior to my coming to Newman, and my mother entered
a nursing home in my first year.
These words that I offered on Valete night attempted to show
how much these years had greatly enriched my life. It is not a
simple thing to admit privilege, but that is what Newman and
two Universities have provided me over these years. I am
particularly grateful that this privilege has offered me renewed
hope and further skills that I hope I can now offer the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people of this country.
Father Brian McCoy SJ.
Valetants Tanya Rajendra, Caitlin Mahony and Joe Ciantar.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
At the Dinner following the Mass,
a number of awards were made on behalf
of the Students’ Club and the College.
These included:
Albert Power SJ Medallion for Debating
Shovan Rath
Simon Farley Medallion for Dramatics
Brigid McCarthy, Emily Bray, Claire Sheed-Finck
Mary Gurry Medallion for Music
Rohan Phelps & John-Paul Nicolo
James McInerney SJ Medallion for Service
to the Community
Chris Runciman, Ben Moore, Eliza Elliott,
Erin Spiden, Sarah Bowyer, Xavier Nicolo,
Simon Belluzzo, Daniel Hickey & Tim Gorton
Peter L’Estrange SJ Medallion for Leadership
in the Community
Luwa Lin, James Gutteridge, Kate Boggon May,
Charlotte Kavenagh, Yau Nga
Senior Common Room members Sarah Bowyer (MA) and Paula Charlton
(M Physiotherapy).
At the Dinner, Valetant, Hugh Boylan, gave
the following reflection to the College:
Time’s up.
When I first came to Newman in 2003 I was 17, did not know
how to catch a tram, and had only been to Melbourne twice. My
mother bought me a dressing gown because it was on the list
of things I should bring to college. It is this that I want to talk to
you about tonight. I am about to become an old collegian for
the second time, so it seems appropriate to address the things we
bring to Newman, the things we leave behind, and what we take
with us when we go.
Apart from my never-worn dressing gown, I brought two CDs,
some pictures from home, a few books, probably some clothes,
and a computer so large it was barely supported by the wooden
desk in my room in Kenny. I also brought a colossal bundle of
nerves, dwarfed only by a large dose of excitement. But I found
something strange when I packed up Kenny Four. The things
I brought to college no longer fit in the bags I arrived with.
I seemed to have accumulated an enormous pile of what could
only be described as Newman detritus. Posters, turn costumes,
books, exam notes, photos, a fridge as well as the thousands of
other knick-knacks that seemed to be everywhere around my
room. I am sure the hoarders among you understand. I stayed at
Newman for three years, and each year the pile of things I had
to take home seemed to get bigger and bigger. In fact, some of
my things, including a fridge and a large blue sombrero from
Mexican night, remained at Newman long after I had left.
So it would seem that without ever intending for it to be the case,
I brought hardly anything to Newman, took much from it when
I left, and a couple of pieces of me even remained behind.
What did I take? I had no idea what to expect of college, and even
less idea what it would expect from me. Newman manifested
itself in time. It became a place difficult to separate oneself from
– and I remember thinking how odd it would have been had I
never have come to Newman, how different. Newman fulfilled
any expectations I could possibly have had and then some. There
were things about college that the website could not convey.
How quickly I would feel at home here, how soon after my arrival
I would become attached to the place, how much attending
college would add to my university experience and, most
importantly, how long the friendships I would make here would
last. The college gave those things to me and I willingly took
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
We owe the College something; it is a part of your having
attended Newman that you give something back to it – you leave
something behind.
Anna Gudkovs with Valetants Gabriella Muto and Alex Fin.
them, and I know that Newman will never ask me to give them
back; because these are things gifted to all of us by the college.
I hope that I have never taken this for granted.
Evelyn Waugh, of all people, wrote that ‘your actions, and your
actions alone, determine your worth’. Like many things he said
and wrote, I think this is a little bit true and a little bit false. It is
true that your actions at College are what you will remember
when you leave, and what the College will remember you by. You
have incredible opportunities to participate and leave your mark
on Newman. Seize them: College does not have an edit/undo
function, and you do not want to leave here with regrets. I think,
however, if nothing else, two words may be the most important
thing to leave behind. Thank you. To my parents for being so
generous in sending me to Newman, to the Jesuits for letting me
stay, and to each and every one of you for making the College the
terrific place it is.
Goodnight, good luck, goodbye.
As in my first three years at college, I am leaving now with far
more than I brought. Though Dennis the Duck has disappeared
from Murphy Court Two, it still seems to be cluttered with yet
another year’s worth of Newman detritus. Another year’s worth
of ‘Newman’ to pack up when I leave.
This year I have met some great people in both the senior and
junior common rooms, and all of them have given me more
things to take from Newman. In fact, each year I have spent at
Newman has had an irritating habit of attempting to eclipse the
previous ones, and it becomes impossible to say which year, which
experiences, I have enjoyed the most. I do not think that I have
even scratched the surface of giving back to Newman the amount
of things it gave to me. I will always be in the college’s debt.
What is each of us going to leave behind? This is a question that
can only be answered individually, and you never really know
the answer until you have left– or in some cases, until you come
back again. The members of the Junior Common Room have
many opportunities to leave their stamp on Newman, and I have
seen many examples of such this year. I did not realize the ability
of Newman students to leave some important things behind
until I returned to the college and saw how much it has changed
over the years since I first arrived. This is a result of seven years
worth of students arriving at the college and leaving it a better
place having worked hard to give something back to Newman.
The words of the college song are rarely given any thought, but
consider the words ‘do your share’ and ‘for Newman’s name’.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Alvin Chong (Optometry 4) with Nga Yau (Architecture 3).
The Arthur Boyd Tapestries of St Francis of Assisi
The address given by Sir James Gobbo in
the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Newman
College, University of Melbourne on
Friday 30th October, 2009 at the opening
of the Exhibition.
It is something of an intimidating task to open an Exhibition
of Arthur Boyd tapestries given the greatness of this artist
and given that this is the first exhibition ever of a group of
these works – even though they have been part of the
collection of the National Gallery of Australia since 1975.
It is even more intimidating to be doing so, not in the
customary relaxed background of drinks and canapés, but
in this very beautiful Chapel of the Holy Spirit – a perfect
setting for these great works. As some of you may not have
visited this Chapel before, may I say something about it.
The principal architect was Thomas Payne and the builders
were Lodge Brothers. It was completed and consecrated in
1942 and was made possible by the generosity of Mr
Patrick Brennan, of Yarram, Victoria, although substantial
donations had already been made by Victorian Catholics to
the Archbishop Carr Memorial Chapel Fund. It was not, as
is sometimes thought, designed by Walter Burley Griffin,
who did, of course, design the World Heritage Newman
College, which lies to the north of the chapel. Griffin did
design a proposed chapel, as part of his overall plans, but
cost considerations precluded it.
When I came to Newman as a freshman in 1950, we were
subjected to a process called Initiation. This included hours
of enforced enlightenment on the splendours of the college
architecture. I learnt then and oddly never forgot details
about the chapel, including the fact that the pews, with their
exquisite carvings, were of Manchurian Oak. I learnt, too,
of the brilliant workmanship of the stone altar, the stone
cladding and the splendid ceiling – and, above all, the pure,
tranquil lines and serenity of the design of this Chapel. It is
a chapel which welcomes these beautiful tapestries.
The story of the tapestries commences with Arthur Boyd’s
visit to Italy, in particular Umbria, and his fascination with
Francis of Assisi – the turmoils which characterised his early
life and later the much recounted tale of Francis and the
Wolf of Gubbio.
Father Peter Steele SJ with Mr Joseph Sanatmaria.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Sir James Gobbo opening the Exhibition.
When Arthur Boyd returned to his base in England, he met
with Professor Thomas Boase, a leading art historian whom he
had originally met in Melbourne and who had written a book
on the life of St Francis. Boyd suggested that Boase write a
second edition of this work for which Boyd would provide the
illustrations, being ultimately sixteen lithographs based on
pastels of the life of St Francis.
I never, unfortunately, met Arthur Boyd, but I had the good
fortune to know Professor Boase well, as he was President
of Magdalen College, Oxford, where I resided for three years.
Magdalen College is one of the most beautiful colleges in
Oxford. President Boase headed a distinguished Senior
Common Room, which had such outstanding dons as
C.S. Lewis and A.J.P. Taylor. President Boase – or Tom Boase
as we knew him – was the soul of charm, urbanity and wit.
There are many anecdotes about him.
Margaret Pont first approached me about six years ago to
see if I could suggest any likely source of funds to assist her
to have the tapestries exhibited in Assisi, which was keen
to have them. I gently expressed the view that it would be
difficult to secure support for such a venture when the
tapestries were almost unknown, as they had never once
been exhibited in Australia. Margaret Pont, as a start,
completed her book, which I had the honour of launching
in 2004. There still remained the next and logical step
forward to bring about the exhibiting of these tapestries.
The over thirty years which lapsed between the creation of
the tapestries and their exhibition can scarcely have been due
to any falling off in interest, for, in addition to Margaret Pont’s
book on the tapestries themselves, there were books on the
Boyd family by Brenda Niall, and, more recently, a life of
Arthur Boyd by Darleen Bungey, in which the chapter entitled,
Days on Fire, discusses Boyd and St Francis. The author writes:
“Arthur had been aware of the legend of St Francis since his
childhood. Francis’ beliefs were echoed in the faith of Arthur’s
parents: in a disregard of possessions and an unequivocal
acceptance of their fellow men and all living creatures.”
After the new life of St Francis was published in 1968, Boyd,
at his own expense, commissioned the famous Portuguese
tapestry workshop, Manufacture Tapecarias de Portalegre,
to create tapestries from his original pastels. At that time,
i.e. about 1970, I should note that the Victorian Tapestry
Workshop was not yet established; otherwise, it seems likely
Arthur Boyd would have given it the Commission.
When these twenty tapestries were completed in 1974, Boyd
presented them to the National Gallery of Australia at cost.
Then some thirty years later, another partnership of two
scholars came into being, no less formidable than the
partnership between Boyd and Boase. I refer to Dr Margaret
Pont, who wrote the splendid book entitled, Arthur Boyd and
St Francis of Assisi, and Professor Margaret Manion, who wrote
the Introduction to that book and who has now brought
about this Exhibition of eight of the tapestries here at
Newman College.
Professor Margaret Manion IBVM.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
which links Boyd’s work on St Francis with his lifelong
intellectual and imaginative preoccupations, as Pont
persuasively demonstrates.”
Boyd saw the special appeal of Francis and was able to convey
holiness in a way which is especially eloquent in a secular
society that is very materialistic and questioning of religion,
even aggressively so.
The staging of this Exhibition is a triumph for persistence, faith
and scholarship – and here Margaret Manion deserves our
warmest congratulations and gratitude. Similarly, our thanks to
Father Rector and the Jesuit community and staff here at
Newman College for providing the hospitality of this holy place
for this Exhibition. I thank the National Gallery of Australia and
Stewart Purves and Australian Galleries for their roles. Warm
thanks also to the generous sponsors who made all this possible.
Finally, eight tapestries were kindly lent by the National Gallery
of Australia. The eight, selected with Margaret Manion’s
valuable input, fairly convey the character of Boyd’s insight. As
Boyd said, if one was seeking to convey St Francis’ tranquillity
and gentleness, one could not go past Giotto. Rather, Boyd was
interested in the personal turmoil in Francis’ life. As Margaret
Pont points out, almost none of the pastels – and so the
tapestries – show Francis in a position of reverence before God
or the Virgin – rather, he is seen in personal tension, whether
meeting the leper or the Wolf of Gubbio.
I note that one of our sponsors is the Rino Grollo and Diana
Ruzzene Foundation. It reminds me of a personal experience
and special debt I owe to St Francis. Years ago an Italian
community group in which I was involved purchased for some
millions a large Mercy Convent at Rosanna to house aged
Italians. The purchase price was, fortunately, underwritten by
the Grollo family, which might fairly have expected overall
naming rights for the Centre, even though the cost was to be
raised by a public appeal.
So many artists had presented the legend of the Wolf of Gubbio
as a fierce animal which had been made tranquil and, in effect,
domesticated by Francis. This, of course, is not the image
conveyed by Boyd, who presents what is said to be a struggle
between bestial and spiritual forces, a savage combat looking to
earlier, more primitive forces.
Margaret Manion in her introduction to Margaret Pont’s
book, says:
“Boyd’s concern was rather with the conflict that exists within
even the most saintly of individuals, and which might be defined
in terms of the struggle between unselfish love and the quest for
good on the one hand, and, on the other, the narcissistic and
aggressive tendencies to which no one is immune. It is this
Jarrod Lee, Therese Mount, Sophie Gascoigne-Cohen, and Mitchell Black – at the opening
of the Exhibition.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
I wrestled with two aims – first, that we name the Centre after
a Saint, to carry on the special religious significance of the site
and, secondly, that we find a saint that the large Italian
community would all agree upon. The second task was not an
easy one, for Italy has an abundance of saints. Every village has
a special saint – indeed, even parts of villages boast their own
saints not to be found in any directory of Saints. The one saint
who could be guaranteed universal approval was St Francis of
Assisi. And, once St Francis had been chosen, the Grollo family
generously waived any naming rights.
So the great Saint is still at work in our own times. And now
Arthur Boyd uses his art and imagination to tell us more about
St Francis here in this splendid Exhibition, which I now have
great pleasure in opening.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
From the President of the Newman
Old Collegians’ Association
October is always a busy month in the life of the College. As the
University teaching year draws to an end the Valete Dinner, the
Old Collegians’ Dinner and the Founders and Benefactors Mass all
take place in quick succession.
I had the privilege of attending the Valete dinner and of
welcoming the Valetants and other students who were leaving
College to the ranks of the Old Collegians. There were 26
Valetants – a significant increase from the 5 who were farewelled
three years ago. It was pleasing to note that, among them, were
students who had been at the College throughout their courses,
some for six years. Although the number of students who remain
in College for the duration of their studies has not returned to the
level which was normal 20 or 30 years ago, there does appear to
be a trend towards an increase in the number of older students.
This can but assist the younger students by providing mentors
and role models. It was clear from the speeches made by
representatives of the departing students that, like their
predecessors, they hold the College in great affection and that
they have formed lasting friendships during their time in College.
The Old Collegians’ Dinner was held on the following Friday. As
has become usual in recent years it was well attended. The age
range of those attending spanned over sixty years from the
1940’s through to students who had left last year. It was pleasing
to see a large number of students from 2006 to 2008 present.
About thirty of those who entered College in 1969 held a reunion
at the dinner. Many reminiscences were shared. The Association is
most grateful to the Rector and the staff of the College for
providing the facilities of the College for this annual event which
enables members of the College community to enjoy each other’s
company and renew friendships in familiar surroundings.
The annual Founders and Benefactors’ Mass provided the
opportunity to remember the contributions of so many people
who have been part of the College’s life for ninety years and to
pray for the souls of deceased Old Collegians. This year the list
included Senator George Hannan who, at the time of his death in
May, was the oldest living member of the College community.
An obituary appears in this edition.
As this will be the final Newman News for the year may I take
this opportunity to wish all Old Collegians a happy, holy and
safe Christmas.
Richard Tracey President
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
GEORGE CONR A D H A N NA N (1910 –20 09)
Retired Senator George Hannan, who attended Newman
between 1929–1933, died on 1 May 2009 in his 99th year. At
the time of his death he was the oldest living Old Collegian.
radio set while still in boarding school. It was not, therefore,
surprising that he was assigned to the Radar Division. He was
discharged at the end of the war with the rank of Lieutenant.
He thoroughly enjoyed his years at Newman. While in
College he and 14 other undergraduates cobbled together
15 guineas to purchase an old car dubbed the “yellow peril”.
Somehow or other they managed to work out a system
whereby they all had access to it when needed. He retained an
interest in his old College throughout his life. He was among
the donors who made contributions to one of the recent
building appeals.
He joined the Liberal party in 1946 while working as
a solicitor. He was an active member and held various
elected positions.
George Conrad Hannan was born in Wagga Wagga and grew
up in Albury. He came to Melbourne to study law, graduating
in 1933. He had not long been admitted to practice when the
Second World War broke out and he joined the Royal
Australian Navy Volunteer Reserve. He had a great interest in
communications technology, having made his first crystal
The College in 1932.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
In 1956 he was chosen by the Victorian Parliament to fill
a casual vacancy in the Senate. He retained his seat at the
1958 election. In 1964 he held the third position on the
Liberal/Country Party Senate ticket in Victoria. The first
two candidates on the Labour Party and Liberal/Country
Party tickets were elected. George was edged out of the fifth
available position by his friend, Senator Frank McManus.
He returned to the Senate in 1970 to fill another casual
vacancy and served a further four years.
In the era before the Labour Party split of the mid 1950’s
and, indeed for a considerable time thereafter, it was unusual
for Catholics to be members of a Liberal Party which was
perceived as being dominated by the Protestant establishment.
George was one of very few Catholics to rise to prominence
in the party in the 1950’s and 60’s. His contributions to
Senate debates reflected the Catholic social values to which he
adhered in matters such as reform of divorce laws and content
guidelines for public broadcasting.
Although he was forthright in expressing his views in the
Senate and on the public platform, he adhered to the dictum
attributed to Sir Thomas More that “I am the King’s true
subject, and pray for him and all the realm. I do none harm,
I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not
enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live.”
As a result he maintained strong friendships across
political barriers.
George was passionately interested in the development of
an Australian film and television industry. He was a member
of the Senate Select Committee on the encouragement
of Australian production for television. In 1963 he wrote
a section of the Vincent Report which recommended the
establishment of the Australian Film Development
Corporation which is now titled the Australian Film and
Television School. He himself appeared in a number of
Australian productions. He was the judge in the Crawford
Productions series, “Consider Your Verdict”, and appeared in
various episodes of “Homicide”. He took much pride in his
membership of the Actors’ Union, Actors and Announcers
Equity. Although he supported Australian film production,
he drew the line at the use of public money to subsidise the
production of “The Adventures of Barry McKenzie”, which
he denounced as “a ghastly, vulgar film”. This denunciation
appears to this day on the DVD cover of the film. During
the interregnum between his two Senate terms he served on
the Broadcasting Control Board.
George maintained his legal practice until he was well into
his 70’s. He was renowned, in an era before pro bono
appearances were common, for not charging clients who were
in difficult financial circumstances. He appeared regularly in
Magistrates Courts matters and was a sharp cross-examiner.
George was a strong family man. He was married to
Eileen for 71 years. They were a devoted and loving couple.
About two years ago Gough Whitlam made the mistake
of stating publicly that he had been married for longer than
any other former federal politician. A gentle correction
quickly appeared in the Herald Sun letters column signed
by G.C. Hannan. George is survived by his wife and four
children, Judith, Peter, Michael and Eilene and many
grand children.
Requiem mass for the repose of George’s soul was offered at
the Carmelite Monastery Chapel in Kew. The service was
conducted by his old friend Father John Cowburn SJ and his
nephew, Father Brian McCoy SJ, from the College.
In later life he became an amateur film maker and an active
member of his local cine club. He also had an on-going
interest in the mechanics of quality cars. He acquired a
significant knowledge of ancient history. He became an expert
on the Peloponesian wars, the Roman Empire and the Trojan
War. Horatius was one of his favourites and he could and
did often recite many of the verses from MacAuley’s “Lays
of Ancient Rome.”
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
N.O.C.A. Dinner 2009
On Friday the 23rd October the Newman Old Collegians Association
held their annual dinner in the Dining Room of the College. Former
Collegians from 1948 – 2008 were in attendance at the dinner.
Peter Stevenson (1961–62) and James Boston (1957).
Former Collegian Father Patrick O’Sullivan SJ (1948–50) with Father Brian McCoy SJ,
who has been a member of the Jesuit Community at the College from 2001.
Iwan Walters (2006–2008), Anne Staude (2006–08) and Elise Kearns (2006–07).
Father Rector and Paul McCaffrey (1965–68).
Chris Kearney (2006–07)and Louise McCarthy (2006–07).
Father and son – Philip
(2003–03) and
Richard Tracey
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Michael McGuirk (1969–72) and Michael Tehan (1970).
Eamon Clarke (2004–06), Nathan Williams (2004–06), and Joe Sobolweski (2004–06).
Father Rector with Jane Carmody (2007–08) and Hugo Batten (2002–05).
Deputy Rector Sean Burke, Peter Muhlebach (2004–06) and Hannah Li
(2003–2005, 2008).
Peggy Tobin (2004–05) and Daniel Reilly (2004–06).
Back: Hannah Li (2003–2005, 2008), Jessica Hehir (2007–08), Johanna
Gleeson (2007), Front: Kevin Ndungu (2003–2008), Juliana Betts (2007–08),
Edward Crouch (2005–2007) and Georgie Scanlon (2007–08).
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Jack Lahy (2006–08), Nic Fogarty (2007–08), Alex Barnett (2005–07),
Emmett O’Dywer (2005–07) and Alan Clinch (2005–06).
Leon Moran (1969–71), Terry Ryan (1969–70), John Connell (1969–73),
Phil Dickinson (1969–70) and Andrew Buxton (1969–72).
Sarah McNicol (2003–
2005, 2006–2007)
and Xavier Nardino
Marie McCaffrey, Christine Allanadale, and the Dean, Angela O’Dywer.
Michael Sweeney(1971–74), Father Brian McCoy SJ, Paul McCaffrey(1965–68), and Tim Conellan (1973–74).
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Sam Halliwell (2005–06)
and Diana Bowman
Former Collegian, Mr Brendan Dooley (1948–1952), on the
occasion of the conferring of the Degree of Honorary Doctorate
of the Australian Catholic University on Tuesday, 6th May, 2009.
Photographed are: Br Julian McDonald on the left, Bishop Tim
Costelloe, Mr Brendan Dooley and Vice-Chancellor Professor
Greg Craven.
Brendan Devlin (Science – 2004–2006) writes: Currently I am
living in Copenhagen, studying at the University here on
exchange. It is a fascinating place to be at the moment. I came
here to scrub up on my economics, but little did I know that
I would be doing masters subjects, but that is the hand I have
been dealt. It is really good being around the climate issues, and
the university here is quite proactive in it, with guest lecturers
here twice weekly, although the message is always quite guarded
along the lines of, “We need to get a deal done, but will probably
have to wait until the US gets past it’s health care amendments.”
I have been here for some three months now and could be here
for any time between another two or until June/July next year,
depending if I am able to find some work. More than likely I will
be back home in late March to work for a few months before
finishing off my Commerce degree.
Matthew Doyle (2005–2008) is at present on university
exchange in Sweden. He writes on recent happenings: The
travels have been so incredible. I took a ‘banya’ (Russian sauna)
at Lake Baikal, had a four day continuous train ride to Moscow,
drank fermented yak’s milk in Mongolia, saw Red Square,
wandered through the Hermitage in St Petersburg, had my
birthday in Helsinki at a world heritage sea fortress island, and
relaxed in the streets of Tallinn.
Former staff member Claire Staples (1908–2009) died earlier
this year. She was the College Matron from 1943 until 1956. She
was the aunt of the late Father Geoffrey James SJ.
Former Collegian, Bryce Leen (2007–08) has been awarded the
Frederick Richard O’Connell Scholarship administered by the
Timber Merchants Association.
This Scholarship is given to promote industrial harmony in
Australia and to improve relationships between employers and
employees within the timber industry.
Photographed are
former Collegian
John Kearney QC,
with his wife, Mrs
Alison Kearney, after
she had received an
Honorary Doctorate
from Bond University
for her long support
and significant
contributions to
the University.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Bill Lang, former student
(1981–1986) and President of
the Newman College Students
Club (1984), has just released
his first book: Scores on the
BoardTM – the 5-Part System for
Building Skills, Teams and
Businesses. Published globally
by Wiley in New York, the book
is written as a life and
business fable that focuses on individual and team performance
improvement. While completing his Bachelor of Commerce and
Law (Honours), Bill co-founded the Doctor Dog mobile fast food
business. He then went on to work with KPMG, McKinsey &
Company and Macquarie Bank, and was awarded a Fulbright
Scholarship to attend Harvard Business School where he
graduated top of his MBA class as a Baker Scholar in 1991.
In 2000, Bill co-founded Sharinga
Networks Inc, a technology
start-up in Silicon Valley.
He is currently CEO of Bill
Lang International, a provider
of business and performance
improvement solutions to
companies operating in
50 countries. Bill Lang
International has offices in
Melbourne, Singapore, London
and San Francisco.
It was with great sadness that we learned in June of the sudden
passing of Keith Steele. Keith was the father of former Collegian,
Sarah Steele, and brother-in-law of former Rector, Father Peter
L’Estrange SJ. Keith and his wife Margaret were good friends and
benefactors to Newman College. Our deepest condolences go to
Margaret and the family.
Pictured above are Keith, Sarah, Margaret, and Michael Steele,
at Sarah’s graduation in 2008.
Shown here former Collegian, Piermario Porcheddu (2006–
2008), at his graduation from the University of Melbourne (LLB)
with his parents, Giovanni and Cristina, and brother, Daniele,
with another former Collegian, Allan Myers AO QC.
Justice Geoffrey Giudice (Newman College 1966–70) was
appointed President of Fair Work Australia earlier this year. Fair
Work Australia now assumes most of the functions of the AIRC.
Justice Giudice was appointed President of the ARIC in 1997.
Former Collegian Jeremy Mould (1968–1970) who, along with
fellow astronomers, Wendy Freedman and Robert Kennicutt,
have been awarded the 2009 Gruber Prize for Cosmology.
Jeremy is a professor and astronomer in The University of
Melbourne’s School of Physics.
James Gorman (1977–1980) has been appointed Chief Executive
Officer of banking giant, Morgan Stanley in New York, from the
beginning of 2010.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Former architecture student, Adam Haddow (1992–1993), is a
New South Wales Chapter Councillor of the Australian Institute
of Architects and is a director of SJB Architects NSW. He was
awarded the 40th Anniversary Churchill Fellowship in 2006 to
study alternatives to conventional models of urban design, and
in 2008 was the recipient of the Property Council of Australia
Future Leader Award.
Our guest speaker at a Dinner held in College in August for
Members of the Council of the College, students and their
parents, was the Honourable Justice Bernard D. Bongiorno.
Justice Bongiorno was educated at St. Joseph’s Christian
Brothers College in Geelong and the University of Melbourne.
He was a member of Newman College between 1962 and 1965.
In 1991, he was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions in
Victoria, and in 2000 was appointed to the Bench of the
Supreme Court of Victoria. Early this year he was elevated to the
Court of Appeal in Victoria. Justice Bongiorno maintains an
ongoing involvement with local community organisations, the
Father Bob Maguire Foundation and the Emerald Hill Mission.
He is a Committee Member and former President of the
Commitato Assistenza Italiani (Co.As.It.), a non-profit social
welfare organisation devoted to the welfare of Italo-Australians
and the promotion of Italian Language and culture in Australia.
He was also a member of the Board of the Christian Brothers
Foundation for Charitable Works.
Act of Parliament.’ On the other hand, that volume also records
the judgement that ‘For any ceremonial purposes the otherwise
excellent liquid, water, is unsuitable in colour and other respects.’
On the evidence of what we have heard from Justice Bongiorno,
we might suppose him to doubt the first of these propositions
and to confirm the second. True, the law is no joke, however many
jokes are made about it; but that is no reason why its ways should
not be treated with a certain buoyancy of spirit; and anyone who
knows Bernard Bongiorno will be aware that that is an essential
element in his own thoughts, his words, and his deeds. Wit and
wisdom are often coupled in a phrase, but they are less often to
be found together in life’s everyday affairs, a fact which should
make us the more grateful when they express themselves in one
voice, as has often been the case with our speaker.
Following his address, Father Peter Steele replied on behalf
of all thus:
Many years ago I read of an English judge, not normally thought
to be all that thirsty, who was discovered in his club one morning
working away at the port. When he was asked what he was up to,
he replied, ‘I have a jury trial at noon, and I’m trying to drink
myself down to their level.’ I have every confidence that this is
a fiction; but in any case, I think of Bernard Bongiorno as
representing a stark contrast with such an attitude, in that he is
above all a member, not so much of the legal fraternity, as of the
human fraternity. He is one of those people in whom urbanity
is of a piece with his humanity – as will I think have been clear to
us all from his words this evening.
Ladies and Gentlemen, at this solemn moment I am reminded of
a dictum taken from A.P. Herbert’s valuable book, Misleading
Cases, in which it is laid down that ‘People must not do things for
fun. We are not here for fun. There is no reference to fun in any
He has, over the years, been a faithful and generous friend to this
College, which helped to nurture him. His words to us this evening
are another instance of that friendship; and for that I invite you
to join me in thanking him once more.
At the Dinner, Justice Bongiorno gave a moving address centred
on this grandfather who had migrated to Australia from Italy in
the mid twentieth century. His address highlighted the
difficulties faced by migrants to this country – then and now.
It also challenged us in our thinking and our doing.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Mulvaney, D.J. and Joyce, E.B., 1965, meet again in 2009.
won the following impressive array of prizes:
• R. G. Wilson Scholarship.
• Wyselaskie Scholarship in Classical and
Comparative Philology and Logic.
• Leeper Medal.
• Commonwealth Postgraduate Award.
At the present time he is reading in the Tripos as he resides ‘midst
the Gothic grandeur of St. John’s College and spends balmy
afternoons punting up the Cam.
The first recipient, in 1951, of the Archbishop Mannix
Travelling Scholarship, and former Newman College student
and tutor (1946–1951), Derek Mulvaney, AO, CMG, MA
(Melb.), MA, PhD (Cantab), FAHA, FSA, FBA, FRAI, visited the
College early in November to view the Arthur Boyd Tapestries
of St. Francis of Assisi Exhibition in the Chapel. He is now
Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He
was accompanied by another former Newman College
student and tutor (1960–1962), Associate Professor Bernie
Joyce, who is now an Honorary Principal Fellow of the School
of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. In 1965,
they had collaborated to publish Archaeological and
geomorphological investigations on Mt. Moffat Station,
Queensland, Australia. Proc. Prehist. Soc. 31, 147–212.
Bernie Joyce later worked on the geology of other
archaelogical sites, including Keilor, north of Melbourne, and
in Syria with the late Peter Connor, a classics Scholar at the
University and also former Newman student (1961–1962). For
fourty years Bernie Joyce taught geology and geomorphology
at the University, for some years working with Jim Bowler,
another past Newman student (1955–1959). His main
research has been on young Victorian volcanoes and their
physical activity, and this has taken him from Western
Victoria to study other volcanoes in East Africa, Hawaii,
Iceland, the Azores and Mexico.
A ‘visit’ to the 1962 College Magazine gives this bit of
information on Peter Connor. The College congratulates
Mr. Peter Connor on being awarded The Shell Postgraduate
Arts Scholarship and the Jebb Scholarship from the
University of Cambridge. After a brilliant Classics course,
he gained first place in his Final Examinations and
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Stephen Clarke (2006–2008) writes from Mwandi in Zambia
where he is working at a mission which was originally
established in 1885 by the Paris Missionary Society. The mission
is sited on the banks of the Zambesi River about three hours
drive north west of Livingstone and the Victoria Falls.
Stephen, like many before him, is entranced by the sunset over
the Zambesi River – where sometimes hippopotami swim.
The College has recently heard from former Collegian, Emeritus
Professor Manfred Jurgensen AM (1963–1966), from the
University of Queensland. Originally from Denmark, Manfred
Jurgensen settled in Australia at the age of twenty-one, working
as actor, playwright and reviewer. He started publishing poetry in
the early seventies and, to date, he has produced thirteen
collections. He has taught literature at the Universities of
Melbourne, Monash and Queensland, where he was appointed to
a Personal Chair. From 1984 to 1996 he edited the influential
journal of multicultural literature, Outrider. In 1988, he edited the
bicentennial Penguin anthology, Australian Writing Now (coeditor Robert Adamson). Over the last twenty years he has
published novels, plays, film scripts, diaries, essays, short stories,
literary criticism and poetry. In addition to his writings in English,
much of his literary and academic work appears in German.
A Kestrel’s View of Koroit
Slow movement:
I finger the strings of the south west wind
and swing over eucalypt and wattle,
hunting pardelotes.
Cockatoos drift like jellyfish,
Kangaroos break cover,
filing down the wooded crater wall
to the lake.
Damian Clarke (2004–2006) – photographed on the right
with a friend – writes from Chile: Five years is certainly a long
time to study for an undergraduate degree, although perhaps,
the grace of this arrangement has been the opportunity of a
year’s study away from The Melbourne University, in a place
called Valparaíso, Chile.
Educationally, it has been a return to first principles, as more
often than not, the challenge has been to master the language,
rather than the study material. This is not to suggest that the
study material has always been simple. This year has been an
opportunity to pursue some subjects slightly further away from
the path trodden by my Melbourne degree, varying from the
legal philosophy of economics, to the particulars of the Chilean
political system; hardly the inorganic chemistry, or derivative
securities to which I was accustomed.
Away from the desk, there has been plenty of action; building
houses, learning sign language, rowing, following Chile’s world
cup qualifying tilt (successful), as well as observing with interest
the steps in Chilean society and politics as it approaches first
world status whilst at the same time trying to retain its history.
Indeed, my greatest source of enjoyment has been Latin American
hospitality; it certainly doesn’t lead to feelings of loneliness or
estrangement despite the oft unfamiliar surroundings.
It has certainly been an atypical year with respect to the rest.
However, at the tail end of undergraduate studies it is a welcome
and necessary change of atmosphere, and provides a different
outlook for what is ahead.
I was watching
when first they came
and carved this place upon their bones,
making fires,
giving names and stories
to hill and rock and water.
Their shadow
falls upon this land.
I ease to the east,
over a land
squared with roads and trees,
and heat rising from the stubble.
Silver roofs set in cypress
and sloping roofs over churches
bear the names of town and saints
from far away.
Their name is carved upon this land,
the land upon the people’s bones.
Now rails rust under blackberries,
grass roads cross the rail.
The fields are sown with eucalypt
and farm gates never open.
Through the church gutters,
hang tufts of grass.
What once was carved
now weathers away.
I drift across the land,
over the crater wall,
over middens, fields, and rails
where nothing carved is lost,
nothing owned.
Andrew Hamilton SJ
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Newman College 1928.
Newman College 1918.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
The swimming pool in 1918 – it is now A Extension.
The General Committee of 1963. Back Row: F. Denahy, D. Ellis, J. Woodward, A. Adams, N. Sissons,
R. De Latour. Front Row: G. Keogh, J. Higgins (Sec.), D. Dickinson (Pres.), W. Cushing (Treas.), J. McEncroe.
D. Ellis, J. Funder, B. Bongiorno – the Debating Team 1963.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
The original library of the College in 1918.
A view of the College in 1918.
The General Committee of 1979. Left to Right: W. McCombe, J. Gorman, T. Dillon,
J. Cortese, E. Hallett, T. Kelly, B. Mueller.
The Hockey Team of 1980. Back row: C. Roberts, T. McCarthy, A. McCarthy, E. Awburn,
J. Halse, F. Gobbo Front Row: M. Jarvie, C. Hallett, M. Hulin, C. Wright.
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
The Courage of Christ
A few days ago I consulted the catalogue of the main libraries
of this university, looking up the word ‘courage’. There
were almost a thousand entries which had that word in their
titles or as a point of reference. There was ‘The Courage to
Be’, and ‘The Red Badge of Courage’, and ‘Women of
Courage’, and ‘The Cost of Courage’, and ‘The Courage
of Their Convictions’, and so on, and on. I did this not out
of pure idleness, but because I have for some time been
haunted by a fragment of prayer which we will hear once
more in the Preface for this Mass. In it, we thank God our
Father for sending us his Son, ‘so that you might see and
love in us what you see and love in Christ.’
‘That you might see and love in us what you see and love in
Christ’: it is indeed a haunting saying. I plan to explore it a
little on a couple of other occasions: but this time, when
I ask myself what is one of the things which the Father might
love in Christ, the answer is, ‘courage.’ Those near-athousand titles in the libraries clearly regard courage as
something admirable, something to cherish; and so, I think,
do we all. Granted, there can be courage in bad causes:
plenty of SS soldiers were courageous, and all too many
suicide bombers are courageous. But the thing itself is
something to be treasured, and without it, it is very unlikely
that the human race would be in anything like as good shape
as it enjoys at present, imperfect though that is. So what are
one or two of the kinds of courage which we can identify in
Christ, and may hope to share in, ourselves?
The first one I would mention is not dramatized in any single
episode in the Gospels, but we may fairly judge that it must
have been there. It is the plain courage to go on growing, in
unspectacular circumstances, over the years. St Luke says
of Jesus from the years between twelve and about thirty,
‘he advanced in wisdom with the years, and in favour both
with God and with men.’ The betting is that he did this
through unexciting hard work, growing food for himself and
his mother, looking for all the world as if he would, like most
people, vanish eventually into death with little or nothing
to mark his passage. The American thinker Henry David
Thoreau wrote once that ‘Most men live lives of quiet
desperation’, which may be pitching it too strongly: but many
men, and many women, can certainly give in to a fatalistic
assumption that life is something to be got through with as
little fuss as possible, and with little expectation of
flourishing, or of bringing others to flourish.
But the Jesus whose entry on the public scene is marked by
an encounter with a devil who tempts him to perpetual
mediocrity and perpetual self-absorption – that Jesus, who
stalks free of those seductions, has plainly been in training
over the years, over the decades, in courage. It is in the way
that we deal with the commonplace things that we may grow
to be more than commonplace. It may seem weird to us for
someone to claim that the battle of Waterloo was won on the
playing fields of Eton; but the notion that we may be schooled
in courage domestically is not weird at all. God makes saints
out of sinners; there is nowhere else to get them; and God
invites the saints and the sinners alike to re-invest in courage
in the common days and the common tasks. A poet wrote
once that, ‘In the lost childhood of Judas, Christ was
betrayed’, which is sheer guesswork; but it is not guesswork
to say that those opportunities for courage which we are
offered early in our lives may be the making or the breaking
of us as full-grown men and women. Jesus, the confronter
of injustice, and the encourager of others, must have been
a veteran of many small campaigns for courage in his own
small town, year by year.
Later, there were to be those daring acts in which he risked
his life, and eventually lost it, but (as we say) he saved his
soul: the defiance of police and politicians; the insistence that
his Father was intent on a revolutionary change of heart in
human beings, a costly upheaval of love; the live-or-die,
take-it-or-leave-it proposing of that love to man, woman and
child; the sheer wildness of the whole project, a wildness we
still fear and try to contain. The cross, at the end, was to be
the insignia of his courage, as it remains the insignia of the
courage to which we, he followers, are called. But the cross of
courage is still something for which we are braced by God
every day; and sometimes, as when we bless ourselves, it is
good to remember that God is intent of seeing and loving in
our courage the same courage that he sees and loves in Christ.
P eter S teele SJ: N ewm a n , A ugust 14th 2009
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
The Compassion of Christ
I mentioned last week how
struck I have been, and remain,
by the prayer of gratitude in
the Preface of the Mass which
I shall use again today – that
prayer which thanks God our
Father that he gave us his Son,
‘ that You may see and love
in us what you see and love in
Christ.’ I spoke a little then of the gift of courage as one of the
things which we are given to share with Christ our Lord, and this
time I shall say a word or two about another precious quality,
namely compassion.
The Church goes so far as to call Christ himself ‘the compassion
of God’. What is meant by this is at least that our Lord is
flooded with that concern for our weak and disarrayed human
community which moved his Father to send him to us. A Christ
shorn of his compassion would be a contradiction in terms: he
would be a nonentity indeed. A devotion to the Sacred Heart
of Jesus is less popular than it once was, which is perhaps
understandable: but any clear-eyed devotion to Jesus, any wellfounded understanding of him, has to presuppose that he is,
indeed, ‘all heart,’ There is a spectacular moment in the Gospels
at which, when Jesus is being baptized in the Jordan River, his
divine Father speaks and says, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom
I am well pleased’, and one thing which is certainly endorsed
there, and proclaimed there, is that Jesus is, as we might say,
compassion itself.
There is not a single action of our Lord’s in the Gospels, not
a single one of his teachings, which does not spring from
his compassion. The feeding, the healing, the cleaning, the
confrontation of injustice, the challenges to abused authority –
all of it is a fanning out of the river of his concern in the streams
required by the living situations. He does the walking as well as
the talking: he does the reaching as well as the teaching. And
his compassion is contagious; he expects his apostles, and their
disciples, and in time all of his followers, to ‘catch’ compassion.
In the episode of the grand feeding of thousands in the Gospels,
he does not stand alone and have people file past to be fed:
it is the apostles who do much of the feeding, just as it is the
apostles who, when the job is done, pick up the generous
remnant of bread and of fish.
Samuel Beckett, that Irish maker of countless grim jokes, has a
play for radio called All That Fall. The title is ironic. It refers to the
psalmist’s claim that ‘the Lord supports all that fall’, and Beckett
does not believe that for a moment. At a certain point in the
play, one character asks another, ‘Is it my arm you want then?
Is it my arm you want, Mrs Rooney, or what is it?’, to receive the
explosive reply, ‘Your arm! Any arm! A helping hand! For five
seconds! Christ what a planet!’ Centuries ago, another writer
had said, ‘Oaths in anguish count as prayers’, and to a degree
that Mrs Rooney does not understand, ‘Christ what a planet’
may very properly be a prayer. When you think about it, it might
indeed be a cry from the suffering heart of humanity – raped,
deranged, starving, bereft – to the heart of Christ himself.
Beckett wrote for the most part as though all the news about
the human condition were bad news. I hope that you do not
believe that, firstly because it is not true, and secondly because
it would make a nonsense of your being here at this festival of
resurrection, which is what every Mass is, and in particular a
Sunday Mass. But as it happens one of many other Irish sayings
is the one that goes, ‘It’s easy to lie on another man’s wound’,
meaning that we can all too easily put up with the sorrows and
sufferings of others, and it bears remembering, every day.
There is no such thing as a Christian trick, but the conduct of
an authentically Christian life does involve something of a
paradox. It involves believing on the one hand that, as Pascal
said, ‘Christ is in agony until the end of the world, and who are
we to sleep?’, and on the other hand, that the Holy Spirit of the
same Christ works unsleepingly to bless, better and gradually
transform a wounded world. The Creed which we will recite
together in a few minutes’ time ends with the words, ‘We look
for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world t0
come,’ and we, together with all of humanity, are at present
of the kingdom of the dying, as well as citizens in hope of a
deathless condition. Living with Christian genuineness, living
with human genuineness, asks of us to live that dual citizenship.
‘Your arm! Any arm! A helping hand!’: if we have not said that
ourselves, the betting is that we will do so, perhaps in tears,
before the game is over. And there is no doubting that it will be
said to us, whether from the other side of the world, or perhaps
from only metres away. ‘Christ what a planet’, whatever Beckett
thought, involves us all, because as we were told from the
beginning, each of us is called to be filled with the Holy Spirit of
that Christ who is the compassion of God. It is then and there
that our Father may be said to see and love in us what he sees
and loves in Christ. ‘Christ what a planet!’: it is a prayer to haunt
our dreams.
Peter Steele SJ Newman, August 2009
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Peter Steele SJ – some more recent poems...
The day so blistering and the well so deep,
He sat down in the dirt for a while in hope
Of water hauled-up by a stranger. Sleep
Might be his friend until a dripping rope
Could herald life as more than something borne,
A dance in vein and vessel, a green plain
Across whose miles the cry of the ram’s horn
Would call good news of mercy and of rain.
He woke and asked the woman for a drink
And got surprise, and would not let her fence.
Try as she might, in anger, to out-think
The dry-lipped alien, he slipped through her defence.
The jar forgotten as he talked, she found
Herself at last, testing the native ground.
(John 4: 1–26)
In from the country, and making for the Feast,
He found himself impressed, not for a spell
With the pack of a legionnaire, but like a beast
Yoked for a death-walk, up the hill to hell.
A long way this from Spain, he thought, and swung
From the high saddle, Boar of the Tenth at his throat,
As though unclean, and doubly so. The young,
Watching his cane, affected to devote
The other poor devil was only half alive,
Raked by a flogger who knew his craft and meant
The world to see it. Even to survive
To the Place of the Skull would leave him overspent.
Mind and heart and body to his will,
As to the City’s, even on alien soil:
Their blood and wits were his, he knew, to spill:
Mars of the Legion took them all for spoil.
He got the man behind him and they dragged
The head-beam forward, yard by bloody yard:
The Syrian corporal and his detail slagged
At both of them to keep the labour hard.
But here he was with empty hands, his boy
Riven with palsy, to ask a native’s word
Of healing. How engage him, how employ
Arguments that his men had never heard?
When it was over and the dead thing left,
He felt, as never before or since, bereft.
(Matt. 27: 32–33)
All at one throw, he gave himself away,
The three victorious in a single day.
(Matt. 8: 5-13)
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2
Further information can be obtained
from Newman College
or from The Rector, Newman College
887 Swanston Street,
Parkville VIC 3052
p: 03 9347 5577 f: 03 9349 2592
e: [email protected]
Newman Newsletter Summer 2009 – Volume 41 – Number 2

Similar documents

Newman News Summer 2008 - Newman College

Newman News Summer 2008 - Newman College We here are not like that, and this is why I leave Newman with so many great memories and fond feelings. This place has been, to extend the metaphor, a power supply that helps us all shine our litt...

More information