Flash Back to … 1967
Building of New College began in June 1967, building works were conducted by “Mainline Constructions”, and several construction issues meant that by December of ’67, the building had only reached the second floor. Some of these issues included the senior partner of “Mainline Constructions”, Mr Woodward breaking up the partnership to devote himself exclusively to the design of fountains; other issues included sub-contractors underquoting to gain the work and the subcontractor responsible for the off-form concrete walking off the job. This resulted in several weeks delay with the demolition of sections of concrete columns and surfits.
In December of ’67 Rev. Noel Pollard (pictured above left and with the first Tutors above right) was appointed full-time as foundation Master to carry on as acting Secretary of New University Colleges Council (NUCC), to prepare advance publicity for the College and to seek out suitable academic and office staff.
“Constant frustrations and delays characterised the progress of the building as, for example, may be seen by the rooting up of the entire floor tiling in the building because of the wrong floor levels, so that the building was not completed until December 1968”, said then NUCC Secretary John Hawkes.
New College opens ... 1969
The College opened its doors in February 1969, with a full complement of students and tutors, including 80 students from the Pacific area, representing a wealth of different cultures and initiating a magnificent experiment in international cooperation. At the time John Hawkes said “Although the College is simple in lines and a little austere, I have no doubt that in the years ahead, the addition of bright furnishings and pictures will achieve a pleasing and suitable environment. It has been a great honour to have had a small hand in the planning of this College. I believe wholeheartedly, that under God’s guidance and the capable administration of the Master and his staff, in harmony with the students’ Council (Association), the whole Collegiate body, the Board, NUCC and not least with the usual goodwill of the University authorities, a genuine and natural fusion of spiritual values with intellectual achievement will be accomplished.”
The College opened in February 1969 with a full intake of 210 male students. Apart from care and support for students, the College sought to engage intellectually with the University and wider community. See a brief History of New.
The existence of New College is due to the vision of a group of Christians in the Sydney area. I first heard about New College when Phil Grouse, a computer expert at the University of New South Wales, asked me to consider being a Tutor at the College. Most of the first Tutors were active members of the Evangelical Union and were well known to Phil Grouse, who was a frequent speaker at our weekly lunchtime meetings. Most of the other Tutors were active members of the Overseas Christian Fellowship. I watched with fascination huge pile drivers driving into the sandy soil in order to provide a secure foundation for the college. First, the Master Rev Noel Pollard, a Church Historian, moved into the college and then the Dean Phil Grouse and the six Tutors moved into their flats. I occupied a first floor flat from which I was able to watch Warrane College being built.
The operation of the college was mainly determined by the Master, with the Dean responsible for discipline. Formal dinners with academic gowns were held during the week during term time. Before each formal dinner, the Tutors met with the Master and Dean in the Senior Common Room. We then processed to the High Table in the Dining Room. Outside speakers were sometimes invited to give an address after the meal. The academic staff met once a week in the Master’s Study for a brief period of fellowship and to discuss College problems. Usually the main problem discussed was excessive noise by the students late at night, especially by those who lived above the Master’s flat who disturbed the sleep of his young children.
The academic staff shared a common vision of providing a relaxed background in which the Christian faith could be discussed with those students who wished to enquire about religious belief. The weekly Saturday evenings hosted by the Dean and his wife, Margaret, in their flat were particularly well attended and appreciated by the students. Some Saturdays we would screen one of the Moody Institute Fact and Faith Films in a Tutorial Room in order to stimulate discussion. On Sundays at 8am, the Master presided over a brief Holy Communion service held in the Library. This was attended mainly by the Dean and a few of the Tutors.
Normally each of the six Tutors gave two hours of tutorials in academic subjects each week in one of the Tutorial Rooms to residential students. These tutorials were supplemented by visiting tutors who gave tutorials in academic subjects outside the expertise of the resident Tutors. The most useful tutorial help was often given on an individual basis in the Tutors’ flats. Academic excellence was encouraged and it was a very intellectually stimulating environment in which to live. For example, Phil Grouse gave a course in New Testament Greek which then led me to obtain a Certificate in Theology by correspondence from Moore Theological College.
There was a good mix of nationalities amongst both the academic staff and students. In addition, there was a very wide variation in religious belief amongst the students. Although cultural events were held for the whole college, the most important interactions seemed to occur in the four student common rooms on each floor, where discussions often continued late into the night. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the first years of New College.
Dr John Higinbotham (New College 1969-1971)
Douglas Swinbourne (New College 1969-1974)
Douglas graduated from UNSW with BSc (Hons I) and PhD in metallurgy. Douglas joined New College in its first year. “I was there before the undergraduates (I was a postgraduate then) and so there were only about 5-6 residents when I joined. The place was still being finished off by the builders … for a few weeks we had no washing machines, TV etc. I remember one night at formal dinner we were served beef, and were all surprised to find it riddled with shotgun pellets! Somebody had used the poor cow for target practice. Formal dinners had good speakers, but often we couldn’t hear them well so the Master installed a radio microphone system. Unfortunately it was tuned to the same frequency as the Ambulance Service so when he turned it on, all we got were ambulance messages – loud and clear. The large room on the ground floor beside the dining room was our TV room – and from there I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon … the Master was Noel Pollard and the Dean was Phil Grouse, both very fine men. Phil especially suffered from the noise from Anzac Parade so he bought a white noise generator. When you walked into his flat the hissing noise was weird, but after a few minutes you ignored it and it did cover the traffic noise.” Douglas has worked at RMIT since 1981. He is currently Head of Chemical Engineering, and will relinquish this position in 2008.
Colin Denney shared the north-east corner group of rooms on the first floor during 1969, the first year of New College. Featured here are some photos from that era and a present day one of Colin.
Colin graduated from UNSW with a BSc (1971) and DipEd (1972) and then commenced science teaching in 1973.
“I have taught in Adelong, Young, Norfolk Island, Macksville and finally Nambucca Heads when its High School opened in 1993. I am still there, but am looking forward to retirement in July 2009 and some serious travelling.”
Flash Back to … 1970s
Christopher Barnett writes: “New College memories for me range from things such as late nights, fun runs, rugby and surfing to benefiting from the accessibility of university life. Importantly, I was there when the Vietnam war was in full swing. The College had a number of Vietnam students who I recall watched (often in tears) the nightly news which portrayed graphically the war. I was also prompted to consider, with many others in College, the Christian way of life, something I had not previously, seriously examined. I must admit that living in close proximity with others was great fun and I still have numerous memories of this stage of my life.”
Flash Back to … 1972
Hijacking the Union Jack
One of the great achievements was the extraction of a union jack from the Sydney Town Hall (as far as I can remember). I forget the names of the rescuers but they arrived back at college around 2–3 am and we all celebrated. I think that most of the guys were up all night celebrating (no alcohol of course!).
The abduction of the Greymen’s Booth
We borrowed the Greymen’s booth from over near the Roundhouse. This involved unbolting it from the ground, disconnecting the electricity and phone, and carrying it over to New College. When we arrived, we had to get it up the back stairs but we could not get it through the door at the first floor. To solve this, we had to ‘bend” it and remove the roof — this was achieved on the stair case itself. I don’t know what its like now, but the Greymen (university guards) had a couple of small weather boxes around the campus, mostly on the lower campus — this one was near the Roundhouse and on Foundation Day evening, about midnight, about 20 of us decided to borrow this one. It took 3 or 4 hours to get it set up on the courtyard. Eventually we got it up onto the first floor and reassembled it. I believe that the two people standing next to it are Tim Shea (Industrial Engineering) (front) and myself (J. Paul Robinson) behind Tim. The photo was taken from around 1C group in those days. Warrane college is in the background and the stocks are clearly visible. I don’t remember the ramifications, but I think the College was fined $50 and eventually the booth disappeared — if I recall, Greymen arrived one day and smashed it to bits and took it away. I don’t think the Master was happy N with us that year.
New College Ball 1975 — I was social director (best job in College) for those two years and I was responsible for organizing the College ball. We made it an Al Capone night — and these two students were the doormen! I attended with my future wife to be Susan — it was a fun Ball — with the entrance through an old car — this was at the front door of the dining room. The advantage of being social director, was that I got invited to all the College balls at all the Sydney campuses!!
Prof J. Paul Robinson (1972-1975)
Flash Back to … 1973
Dr Ralph Craven (New Collegian 1973–75)
I started my postgraduate studies at UNSW in 1973 and was a resident of New College for three years. In 1974 and 1975 I was a New College tutor and by 1976, when Dr Babbage was Master at New College, I was awarded my PhD in Electrical Engineering.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at New College and made lots of great friends during the three years I was a resident. I moved to Brisbane soon after finishing at UNSW and lost touch with many New Collegians. In 1977 I married Libby (a Sydney girl who many of my friends at New College knew well).
You have to wonder what went through Ian Lockart’s mind when he was filling out his application for New College last year contemplating what to write down in the half line provided to record the names of any relatives who have lived at New College. There’s his older brother David of course who is a current resident. Oh, yeah, that’s right, Dad was Chairman of the Exec back in 1975. Wait a minute—didn’t he meet Mum here as well? And didn’t Uncle Craig, Uncle Steve, Aunt Julie, Aunt Leonie and Aunt Carolyn come here as well? So how do I fit all these names in the 5 cm allotted to this question?
That’s right—a total of nine members of the Lockart/Mountain/Wearing families have attended New College! It could have been even more amazing if all three of the Lockart triplets (Ian being one of them) had decided to study at UNSW! It all gets a bit confusing so there’s a family tree provided to help you follow all the connections. Grant Lockart (’73–’76) arrived at New College in 1973 when Tony Lord was Chairman of the NCSA (Tony’s daughter Jacqui has been a resident at New College since the beginning of 2004 and is the current Social Director). In O’Week 1974 he met a wide-eyed fresher named Sue Mountain (’74–’75) and they remained an item for the duration of their time at College getting married in 1978. Craig Lockart (’75– ’77) came to College in 1975 and met Leonie Thompson (’77–’78). Both mow work as solicitors. Steve Wearing was in College for four years (’78–’81) before moving out into one of the houses that College used to own in the local area. He met Julie Mountain (’79–’81) who he later married and is currently an Associate Professor at UTS. Julie works as a physiotherapist and Carolyn Lockart (’78) currently works as a nurse.
Apart from meeting his future wife, Grant also became a Christian during his first year at College, was the captain and coach of the basketball team in that year, also playing soccer, football and cricket, was treasurer of the NCSA in 1974, Chairman (President) in 1975, director of the shop in 1976, producer of the revue in the same year and voted Collegian of the year in 1976. “I wish I’d spent the time getting involved in more of the things that College had to offer” says Grant. During his spare time he completed a degree in civil engineering.
Clearly, Grant’s time at New College was a significant time in his life. He met people who would be lifelong friends, had opportunities to get involved in many different aspects of College life, take on roles of responsibility and grow spiritually as a Christian. Yet New College continues to play a major role in Grant’s life through the involvement of his two sons. Last year many people in College were aware of Grant’s need to have a serious operation and were praying for the doctors involved and members of Grant’s family at this difficult time. Thinking back on this time, David was greatly encouraged by the support that members of the College community demonstrated. “It was really quite amazing— people would come up to me weeks and months later to say they had been praying for my dad”. But what of other members of the Lockart/Mountain/Wearing family? Each of them have their own stories to tell about their time at New College. There is the general obsession with water (Steve Wearing won the King Neptune Award in 1980 and Julie Mountain was bucketed or showered 1537 times according to the writers of her VD speech), Craig Lockart following in the family tradition being treasurer of the NCSA in 1976 and Chairman (President) of the NCSA in 1977 and both Sue and Julie were keen hockey players (Sue being awarded a College ‘pink’ for hockey).
There are many current or recent collegians with families like the Lockhart’s, with involvement with New College that has continued over many years. For example, David Gabb, a resident last year, has parents who were married by Canon Stuart Babbage. Andrew Boyton’s father Graham was a resident with Matthew Frazer’s father Richard. Amy and Laura Morrison’s father Bruce was also in College around this time. Jonathon Barnett’s father Chris was a resident in the early ‘70’s and Anna Pankhurst’s father Ian was a member of the College community at the same time as Jacqui Lord’s father Tony. But if you thought the Lockarts were the exception rather than the rule, consider young Emily Blanch who will probably apply to be a resident at New College in about 2015. Her father, David and his three brothers Greg, Allan and Peter all came to New College between 1988 and 1997. During their time at New College, they all just happened to meet the women they would later marry—Annette Jones, Karina Turnham, Kathryn Nash and Sarah Rowe meaning that young Emily (if she comes to New) will be able to claim that both her parents attended New College as well as six of her uncles and aunts!
New is looking new again. But, I can still find my way around College, unlike the Uni campus. Take off the fourth floor, a few coats of paint and the ground floor alterations and our beloved dark brown brick and grey concrete College of the mid seventies is still there. In some ways not much has changed, but in other ways it is not the same world as 1973–1976 when I had the privilege of being part of the New community.
I hear that there are still water fights, presumably still using the waste paper bins so thoughtfully provided in each room. The “Matt Giblin Memorial Urinal” dedication plaque still proudly remembers a med student of those years. The food at College still earns comments of dubious virtue.1 The “Nationwide” caterers of 1973 were replaced by SHRM in 1974. After “Smirsh”, as they were known, had exhausted the 101 ways of presenting cabbage (including ‘black Monday’ when it was all too much) the College management had a pretty good go at running the kitchen in-house.
Some of the building alterations have hidden some “special memories”. The Master, Dr Stuart Barton Babbage and his wife used to live in College around the corner from the Dean, Phil Grouse and his family. The current library and disabled toilet were part of the Dean’s living room where the Christians used to gather on Sunday evenings. Part of the current office area was the Master’s office where one might be “interviewed”. It was also the place for College church on Sunday morning and where the College Board of Management met. Continuing down what used to be a long corridor took you to the TV room and the games room.
A few of the early College traditions have ceased or have been transformed during the intervening years. The original stocks were a prized possession and were still in active service, not the ceremonial replica that exists today. A thriving shop ran out of the tiny room next to the front foyer. Apart from the basics like chocolate, lollies, and toiletries the shop was a meeting place straight after dinner and again at about 10pm. Its other main function was as the dispenser of coca-cola, the transfusion of choice for collegians. The College Ball used to be held in the dining/common room. The College theatrical talent found expression at “Garden Night” concerts held in the dining room. This annual event had been inaugurated in 1971 to raise funds to beautify the courtyard. About forty student desks made a good stage. We had some memorable shows where the usual suspects turned up in costume (i.e. cross dressing) and considerable (dubious?) musical talent was displayed. I’m not sure if the lads of 3H in 1975 went together to a lingerie shop to get their costumes or whether they raided the girls rooms. The construction of the fourth floor showed us again the old roof which was the “set” for the escape route for the inmates in the black and white silent movie that was made in 1973. Another tradition of the early era was the Foundation Day lunch on the Anzac Parade median strip. It was a formal occasion seated at the long dining room tables and wearing academic gowns. The other colleges tried to join in the fun with flour bombs. These special celebration lunches continued until one year the Randwick Council water cart started to clean up and sprayed everything while main course was still being eaten!
A final memory is of the College motto “Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini” (from the Latin version of Ps 111:10). Maybe it is accepted that the translation is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” However, it used to be more affectionately understood to be “The fear of the master is the beginning of wisdom.”
Playing cards, usually “500” and drinking coffee took up a big chunk of each night. Somehow we all managed to survive and graduate. All in all, it is great to reminisce and celebrate the old traditions. But, it is equally good to see how traditions are reinterpreted by each generation. This way, that which is New gets old then new again. So grows the identity and traditions (myths?) of New College.
In 1973, there were still some remnants of the original 1969 crew. It was a privilege to have known some of the instigators of a few of New’s prestigious annual awards, such as the Award for the Most Outstanding Act of Crass Stupidity, (the trophy being a wooden sculpture of a square peg in a round hole), and also the Stirrer of the Year and Slob of the Year Awards.
Building matters were on the minds of collegians even in 1973. The fourth floor was considered back then. An enthusiastic group of Collegians also had a day out at Nielson Park to view the official opening of the Sydney Opera House. Regular doses of culture were taken with trips to see the SSO at the Opera House over the subsequent years.
That year also saw the last of male only occupation. 1974 brought with it the first females and a new dimension to College activities like the water fights. The College women’s sporting teams soon drew a big following, especially the “frilly nickers”, as the women's hockey team was called. The presence of women in College also started a new trend of residents finding their future spouse. It was not long before I followed the trend and married Sue who was amongst the first group of women.
Car parking was as much a problem in the 70’s as it is now. It soon became quite an exciting challenge for Collegians who owned cars to evade the University security “grey men” and get their cars through the Uni entrance gates. It was said that when the entrance boom gate was closed then you used the exit. Some Collegians even had car chases with the “grey men”. Each year it was considered to be an accomplishment to be the first Collegian to collect 100 parking violation notices. Car parking became quite a skill for some Collegians. This was best demonstrated by the parking of a Tutor’s car between the concrete columns at the back door with approximately 75mm clearance between the columns and the front and rear ends.
The world seems to have undergone a transformation since my College years. In 1973 the Vietnam war was still being fought, Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister of Australia and the rugby league grand finals were played at the SCG and in the day time. Gough’s Labour government had abolished tertiary fees and the voting age was reduced from 21 to 18yrs. In College the head of the New College Students Association (NCSA) was called the Chairman and formal dinners (with ties and academic gowns for all) were a weekly event. College students were even encouraged to take kids from orphanages on day trips without anyone having to sign “prohibited person” declarations or have police checks done to ensure the kids would be safe with us.
Clothing and fashion was a serious issue in 1974. Flairs were the normal type of jeans for everyone. College sweatshirts and T-shirts were introduced that year. A College tie was also produced. New sporting uniforms were also introduced. This presented an opportunity to change the College sporting colours from red and black to match the academic colours of black, blue and grey. The interest in College sport also saw the introduction of sporting “blues” as part of the annual presentation of College awards. The interest in College institutional attire was followed the next year with the purchase from England of crockery emblazoned with the College crest.
They were fairly heady days in 1975. Saigon finally fell to the North Vietnamese. This was particularly felt by many Collegians for whom Vietnam was home. The College Dean (Philip Grouse) went over to help locate the refugees from South Vietnam using his skills in computing to assist with databases. We were never sure if there would be an appearance of men in suits talking into their sleeves, although there were a lot of strange crackling noises on the Dean’s telephone. No-one would have been surprised at anything to do with politics that year. Gough Whitlam’s Labour party was dismissed by the Governor General in November. It has been suggested that the Federal government was only taking a cue from the NCSA activities earlier that year when the Executive didn’t survive a “no confidence” motion and were dismissed. However, fresh elections saw five of the seven original Executive members returned to office, which was more than Gough could manage. One of the highlights of the awards that year was the introduction of the Neptune Award for prowess in water fighting. This award was instigated by the Senior Tutor on the premise that “any fool can participate in a water fight. But we expect more from a prospective graduate.”
Grant Lockart (1973–1976)
E N D N OT E
1. While it’s still part of the fun at New to make fun of the food, the current residents receive a quality of food that former residents could only have dreamed of. In fact, the Dean James Pietsch who lived at New in 1988–1991 claims that food has improved beyond belief.
- A new Master assumed responsibility for the College on March 1, his name: Stuart Barton Babbage.
- A new NCSA Executive was elected on March 7. In contrast to 1972 the new members were elected as independents rather than representatives of certain politics or factions. Thus the first Exec meeting held dealt mainly with the formulation of basic policy and a reaffirmation of former Executive aims
- The Board of Management convened a sub committee to examine the admission of women into New College in 1974.
- General meetings of the NCSA in 1972 tended to be relatively dreary affairs compared to the preceding years fare. In fact, News’ News referred to them as being “comedies of errors” as well as failing to provide “comic relief”. A Constitutional amendment was passed making the Annual General Meeting compulsory, but all other general meetings voluntary.
Flash Back to … 1974
- Tom Walsh was elected New College Students Association (NCSA) Chair and Bill Barwick Secretary.
- Women were admitted to New College for the first time as residents. The Chair of the NSCA wrote: “The year has been the first (of many, I hope) with female New Collegians, who have, as anticipated, altered College life. College life, as a whole, has been enriched by their presence, but their contribution could be increased. Their numbers will be increased in 1975 and I hope their presence will be felt even more. Their contribution has been felt and this can only enhance advantages of living in New College.
- A system of College Blues was created for achievement in sports and leadership; the NCSA’s first of these awards were made at the 1974 Valedictory Dinner.
- The first O’Week committee was set up in 1974; prior to this it was coordinated by a single organizer, this resulted in “a much more exciting Orientation Week programme than ever before, emphasis was placed on creating opportunities for members to meet one another.”
- Did you know the sporting colours of New College were originally red and black? But 1974 saw a change of sporting colours to black, blue and grey, in order to bring both the sporting and academic colours together.
Flash Back to … 1976
- The Shop went from strength to strength. Demand for musk sticks was in excess of 200 per day when Rob Upfold and John Davey were in. A line that achieved astronomical sales was Coke.
- A running battle with the Greymen occurred. [The Greymen were the security on campus who ‘lived’ in the booths at entry points, e.g. at Gate 14.] The Greymen would place little pieces of paper under your windscreen wiper, beginning with the words “This vehicle is parked in contravention of the University parking and traffic rules”. In 1976 the residents managed to “collect” 110 of these pieces of paper. However, they were not wasted; several were replaced under the wipers of official Greyman cars. The campaign to beat the Greymen reached new heights when Fred Brain arrived at the gate one day and purposely stopped in front of the Greyman. He beckoned him over and handed him a piece of paper, to which he added these words — “Give this to your boss — it gives us permission to park”. With that he drove straight on. The piece of paper inevitably said “This vehicle is parked …
- Favourite Quote: “Lectures — the process by which the information on the lecture’s notes is transferred to the students’ note pad without passing through the brain of either”.
Flash Back to … 1977
- The NCSA Fee was called a House fee and it was $20 p.a.
- Their were two NCSA Chairman Craig Lockart (S. 1) and Stephen May (S. 2)
- 15 members of the NSW Police Force ‘attended’ the College’s Anzac Parade luncheon
- Stephen Hodgkinson was in his first year at New College and did more than double his fair share of work. Steve had this quality to get out of bed in the morning after a Ball and clean up the mess of 400 “raging” persons.
- Ashley Cooper (New College 1977–1979) was in his first year: “Despite having graduated with an Honours degree in Psychology I have worked in IT for over 20 years. In between work I still manage to travel fairly frequently, with my 17 year old son already having visited 4 continents with his parents. I actually dropped in to have a look around the College last year (2007). It of course looks different with an extra floor added, but it still brought back many fond memories of my time at New. It is no exaggeration to say that people I met there had a profound impact on my life since then – including my subsequent career choice.”
- Gary Crerie (New Collegian 1977-1979) remembers: “I have the fondest memories of New College. Arriving late one evening, bags in hand, knowing no-one and making great friends, learning about life and Australia through other students. Skits for New in Review … seems a lot more professional now from latest New ’n’ Old. Great water fights and getting rousted out of bed for intercollege “social rugby” by Sam Issa. Playing soccer and squash for the college. Keep on keeping on at New.”
Flash Back to … 1979
Anne Robinson (nee Strange) (New Collegian 1979 – 1980) “I studied Textile Technology (BSc (Hons) – ’83) at UNSW. I was a New College resident in 1979 and 1980 (the Kennedy St House) and was part of the first ever “mixed” group as the numbers didn’t add up that year. They were good times and I am still in touch with a number of friends.” Anne can be contacted at email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flash Back to … 1981
- Nando Nicotra was in his 5th year of Architecture, had an HD average and only slept “10 hours a week”. A keen sportsman, Nando was a member of College’s victorious squash team, and also captained College’s Soccer 2nds to victory in the final against Warrane!
- Dave McDonald was College Shop Manager and a hard working Director and participator at Garden Night.
- The New College Men’s Tennis Team “miraculously” won the intercollege competition, winning 5 matches and losing one (to Warrane). Warrane and Shalom were the main opposition. Karl Gubbay, Paul Drabsch, Mario Pacak, Bruce Barry, Warren Smith, Greg Thackeray and Peter Hicks all played.
- The College Ball was held in the courtyard with the theme Spaceshuffle and it was “a great night of dancing, socializing and fun” according to organizer Jude Capel.
- Mark Holloway pushed his vehicle from Broadway to Kensington in the annual Car Rally, and participants did “a quick run up and back 81 Basser steps”
- Peter Hicks was a member of the Netball Team: “I had the privilege of being a New College resident from 1980 to 1984. It represents some of the great things about New College. We were a group of diverse ages, home bases and university studies. In this group is at least one social worker, civil engineer, psychologist, Doctor and town planner. We came from Wollongong, Canberra and Yass to name a few home locations and comprised freshers through to postgraduate students. Yet we all under the New College banner donned our Netball skirts to uphold the sporting tradition of New! I have great memories of my time at New and now enjoy helping as a Board Member at Robert Menzies College at Macquarie University. In two years time my eldest daughter will be considering University and who knows she may attend New!”
Flash Back to … 1982
James Oglethorpe (New Collegian 1980-82)
I have very fond memories of my three years at New College. The College presented a very diverse environment that offered great opportunities to meet people of different viewpoints and backgrounds. I’m also pleased to record I met my wife (Tomoko Kuriyama) through New College! She was a temporary resident whilst I was finishing my graduating year. We ended up sharing a flat together quite by chance!
The early eighties was a time of tolerance for College pranks that now seems almost unimaginable. The best thing that can be said about the inter-college rivalry is that there were no fatalities (but only just!)
In the ‘Battle of the Oval’ in 1982, a phalanx of about 100 Kensington College males (spurred on by a raucous crowd of female camp followers) appeared after dark to bombard Fortress Warrane with an impressive armoury of Roman Candles, rockets and other pyrotechnic devices which have since (quite sensibly) been banned from private ownership. It made for a very impressive display. Even more so when the Warrane boys replied by hurling down from their battlements what can only be described as small bombs – metal chair legs filled with gunpowder!
To the observing New Collegians the situation was obviously getting out of hand, so we formed a scratch ‘bucket brigade’ and mounted a very successful surprise flanking attack from the 25-metre line. The chilly deluge served to dampen the enthusiasm of the combatants and the riot dispersed.
During my time at College, New maintained clear superiority in academic and sporting honours and repeatedly won the Foundation Day ‘scavenger hunt’. I believe this competition was discontinued when a UNSW student (thankfully not from New) hijacked a bus during the driver changeover and parked it neatly in the Roundhouse.
One year, New College scooped the pool with points after getting 30 Collegians to ride the morning commuter ferry from Manly wearing nothing but garbage bags emblazoned with the word “SPING!”, holding bananas in their left ears and emitting loud random “BEEP!” noises. Our explanation to the perplexed commuters was that we were sponsored by the National Institute for Street Theatre and the performance was part of a trilogy called The Commuter (we even scored a few donations). Sometimes the stunts within College itself were equally imaginative. At the start of one academic year (with the compliance of the Master, Dr Babbage) a room in 3F was ‘modified’ with jib rock to eliminate half the floor space and hide the window, desk and cupboard. Several freshers were greeted on arrival by the student president and shown to ‘their’ room as the large number of card-playing observers in the 3F Common Room maintained appropriate poker faces all the while. Most of the freshers twigged to the joke fairly quickly but the longest occupancy actually stretched out to three days.
Another interesting reverse-psychology stunt was arranged for the occasion of a major formal dinner. The word went around that one of New’s most notable lads, Mick Braund (now sadly deceased), was organising a professional stripper to appear during proceedings. The football team were very impressed with this idea. They contributed generously to the collection and were unprecedentedly prompt on the evening to secure a front-row table. Goodness, some of them had even taken the trouble to shave. But Mick had the last laugh when the bump-and-grind music started up and a stripper of the male gender appeared. The looks on the faces of the strategically positioned football jocks were quite priceless.
But probably the ultimate stunt I observed took place during the end-of-year stuvac of 1982. A number of notable Collegians were puzzled to find plaster models of Mini-Minor racing cars in their locked bedrooms. The cars were fetchingly painted in College football colours with individual racing numbers indicating a countdown: 7, 6, 5, 4… The same individuals then found their names inscribed on large banners in the locked dining hall overnight announcing various personal embarrassments under the heading ‘The New College Awards for Excellence’.
The stunt came to a climax after several days when the recipient of the top prize returned from his evening job and tried to enter his room in 1F: his door bumped against an object inside. A loud sound of engine revving filled the air. A hundred concealed observers emerged to absorb the astounding sight of a full-sized Mini-Minor assembled in a New College room. It was beautifully presented in College pale blue with a cheeky black and white racing stripe and a number ‘1’ circled on the bonnet. It also had a UNSW ‘This car is illegally parked’ notice under the wiper for added authenticity. Why a Mini in a room? Apparently just to prove that an apocryphal American college yarn could come true at New College. Dr Babbage’s grandchildren were delighted with the sudden appearance of the new play equipment.
It often amuses me to think that the people who perpetuated this mayhem are now counted amongst the ‘pillars of society’ – admirals, surgeons, judges, professors and captains of industry. Certainly we owe a great debt of gratitude to all those in authority who tolerated so much blowing off of steam whilst we were in the process of ‘gaining wisdom’. In a way, it was all part of growing up, but that unique College environment must still remain a fond memory for all who experienced it.
Flash Back to … 1983
In 1983 Dr Kaye was appointed as the College’s third Master serving in the role until 1994. Dr Kaye followed on in the role of Master from prominent clergyman Rev Dr Stuart Barton Babbage. After leaving New College in 1994 he became the General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Australia General Synod. Dr Kaye continued as general secretary until 2004. During his time at New College Dr Kaye made many contributions including two significant initiatives that still have influence today. First he set up the Institute for Values Research (IVR) as an academic institute to explore and research the issues related to the values and ethics espoused by different groups and organisations including churches, the media and government bodies. This was the foundation for CASE. Second, Dr Kaye founded the New College Lectures which have continued as an annual public lecture series from 1987 to today.
- The College’s third Master, Dr Bruce A Kaye, took up his appointment assuming the Master’s role in January.
- The Rugby Union First Fifteen’s victory at the Grand Final was the first in the College’s history.
- The venue for the College Ball, “Gourmet at the Gate”, was changed to the Hyatt Kingsgate Hotel, the function was a great success, and demonstrated the value of experimenting with College functions, and not just repeating what had been done for the past 14 years. Previous to this venue change the Ball had always been held on the College premises. The Ball thus evolved to being a true formal. The bus service to and from the Hyatt was well utilised and managed to have everyone arrive during pre-dinner drinks.
- For the New College Christian Fellowship, the regular Sunday night meetings in the Private Dining Room were one of the main activities of the group. This meeting involved talking, praying and eating, and occasionally listening to guestspeakers. The highlight of the year was the NCCF house party in second session when forty or so headed for the Royal National Park. Other activities during the year included two dialogue meetings and the Hudson Taylor film.
Flash Back to … 1984
- As usual New showed its superiority on the sporting field, winning not only in the glamour sports of rugby union and soccer, but also at chess and badminton ensuring that the 1984 champions were again New.
- Music life in the College took a step forward with the establishment of a Music Room off the eastern colonnade of the College and a visit to the College by the Australia Ensemble. The amenities of the College were enhanced with the purchase of a big screen video projector and video deck.
- New items in the annual program of social events were introduced, such as an inter-floor sports day and a Halloween Night social function.
- 1984 saw 105 new New Freshers who arrived on Sunday 26 February. In October the 15th Anniversary of the founding of the College was celebrated with an Alumni Dinner.
- A trust was announced for an annual series of lectures to be called the New College Lectures.
Flash Back to … 1985
- Garden Night ’85 New Clear Summit was a “blatant attempt to raise the level of social and intellectual awareness of Collegians and other students”. From the Director’s report we learnt that “scientific surveys have proven that only 1 of every 3 Garden Night Directors pass their final exams”. The list of the 10 best and worst of the Garden Night included, best: Tim Nelson’s ad libs; worst: rehearsals.
- The year was packed with functions of one type or another including Ball (a “mammoth success” according to Chairman Brad Reed), April Fools formal dinner, VD Dinner and the Psychedelic Sixties informal.
- New just missed out on retaining the Sports Shields but put in great performances in individual sports. In men’s hockey, for example, the team was undefeated all season beating International House in the final. Simon Hoy captained the team, and earned a College Blue for his good work and leadership.
Flash Back to … 1986
Melanie Simpson (nee Adiseshan) (New Collegian 1986) “I was delighted to read about last September’s New College Alumni Dinner and tickled to see Ewen McKenzie featured as guest speaker. I was the Arts Tutor (1986) charged with the care of his “crazy bunch” and remember each of them well too! I graduated from Macquarie with a BA (French major, German sub-major) in 1982, completed a Certificate to teach ESL/EFL at the Institute of Languages at UNSW also in 1982. I had one year at New College in 1986 during my graduate DipEd. It was a very busy year as the only female tutor out of six in residence, but I did manage to score a formal invitation to Warrane College when they hosted a neighbourly get together. Believe this was a first. They were very happy and often hilarious days and nights. I remember so many people and yet have so little contact with UNSW friends.” Melanie can be contacted on email at Melanie@scv.com.au.
Flash Back to … 1987
I’ve been around so long that it’s all a blur, but I often bring to mind particular personalities doing bizarre things – Richard Stiles running a ‘hammock’ across the courtyard at the fourth-floor level and sleeping the night there; Strath Clarke painstakingly drawing up plans to demonstrate that the Opera House was sinking (and getting national TV coverage for Foundation Day as a result); the gentle giant Manoa Kamikamika receiving Fijian dignitaries in full ethnic regalia to his College room at 3 am; Bruce Russell sacrificing his Honours thesis to watch the entire two weeks of the 1988 Olympics. Coming back to College as a Senior Tutor with my wife Amelia in 1994, I appreciated what a great environment New College is – how friendly, inspiring, safe and enjoyable. As a student, I just took those things for granted and didn’t realise how much they depend on the College’s Christian underpinnings.
Dr Greg Clarke
Flash Back to … 1988
“Within the College community there remains a joie de vivre, an intellectual curiosity and a passion for the truth in all its forms that makes New College such a unique place,” said former Collegian James Pietsch who took up the role of Dean of New College on 28 January 2003. “From my own experience, I know what a unique place New College is and the many opportunities it provides to nurture sporting, artistic and academic talents and to be challenged to consider the big questions in life." James recalls the rich culture and strong social fabric of New College during his student residence from 1988 to 1993. “I appreciated the opportunity to be involved in a plethora of activities such as the Revue, music nights, debates, social activities and sporting competitions,” he said. “There are many aspects of New College that have changed since Margie and I were residents – tutors are now called resident advisers, the stocks have disappeared and the food is much, much better. “During my time of residence, with the strong Christian foundation of the College, I also remember being challenged to look again at the person of Jesus and at what it means to follow Him,” James said.
- The ’88 Exec worked hard to create a computer room for College, with the help of Andrew Gray, Ducky (Steven Duckworth) and others. The Amigas were purchased by the NCSA and the room got plenty of use. While this cost a considerable amount of money the decision was vindicated by the constant use the computers received.
- The social calendar was hectic with numerous Harbour Cruises, the Hunter Valley wine trip, Race Day, Bush Dance, Melbourne Cup Day, Union Bar Rages, BBQs, Ball and the list went on.
- The 1988 Group of the Year was 1E; they were selected for “their participation in College activities and their friendliness and cohesiveness, despite being a diverse group of Collegians”. Both 1E and 1F in 1988 were male groups.
Flash Back to … 1989
- 1989 was a ladies year at New College. Collegian of the Year (Leah Allen), Group of the Year (1B), Mick Braund Award (Nadine Peiser), Inter-collegiate Spor ts Shield and a strong representation in the Service Awards all went to the women in the College.
- The first ever New College Play Michael Gow’s Away was performed with real “style and panache” according to then Master Rev Dr Bruce Kaye. Highlights (in Sue McCallum’s report) included:
- Infamous TV room “sessions” where the cast members were coaxed (?!?) into getting in touch with the deepest feelings of their characters.
- The creation of a technically brilliant set (acquired by the technical crew using their perseverance and charm more than any other currency).
- The peculiar way in which all those characteristics so successfully displayed ON stage by the actors — the confusion, hysteria, stubbornness, frustration, pouting, arguing, humour and coping with adversity were often disturbingly replicated OFF stage, by the extraordinary crew (extraordinarily talented we mean).
- Garden Night officially became the NC Revue in 1989, pictured: Jay Quince (centre) commentates on the 1989 Ashes series for the New College Revue.
Flash Back to … 1993
“I have nothing but fond memories of my time at New College (even if I was stocked, called a "Seppo", and teased for my love of baked goods and my American boyfriend Chad, whom I have since married!)"
Katy Mack Clark (New College 1993)
Flash Back to … 1995
He arrived as John Quinn in 1995, quickly became just plain ‘Quinny’ and left as Dr Quinn! In his own words “I was a wide eyed country boy, having grown up in the town of Coolamon between Wagga and Griffith—this was my first taste of the city. I had little idea of what awaited me over the next few years.” In his time at New College he has filled just about every role open to him. He was Social Director of the NCSA in 1996 (difficult to believe but true!), a Tutor (now Resident Adviser) in 1997-98, Senior Tutor/Senior Resident Adviser from 2000-2002 and Acting Dean from July till December 2002. During these 7 years he completed his Bachelor of Science (Hons 1) and PhD. His PhD was completed recently and was titled “Synthetic and Kinetic Studies of Reversible Addition- Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization”. As his various roles suggest, John has always been an active participant in New College life. Sometimes this involvement came at a price. First year was a Baptism of fire—aside from all the O’Week shenanigans that I did (and still do) find somewhat testing, I settled down to life in 3G. There were six freshers in the group, and three second years. It didn’t take the old boys long to work out that I was an easy target, and as such I found myself perpetually under fire. Queensland wins the state of origin, let’s basin John. NSW wins the state of origin, let’s basin John. John’s doing his washing, let’s bucket him. John’s in the toilet let’s bucket him. John has a Maths test let’s bucket him. At one point I was bucketed, basined or showered no less than 14 times in two weeks—which isn’t that impressive until you consider that I wasn’t there for four days in the middle of it. John has epitomised what it is to be a New Collegian. He has been involved widely in the social, academic and spiritual life of the College and University and has sought to serve others. He has achieved highly in a community of high achievers, and he has touched many lives with his sense of fun and wit, his friendship and commitment to God. It is the growth in John’s relationship with God that he believes has been the most significant part of his time at New College. “….there have been a lot of lessons, but what is the most important one. Well, it has nothing to do with chemistry or polymer science or research though I certainly did learn a lot about that. It hasn’t got to do with communal living – though those lessons will be handy in the work place. The most important thing I learnt is that I am a sinner—I can’t stand before God’s judgement and expect anything other than punishment – I continually try and live my way, on my terms. Despite that, though I live my life in rebellion from Him, God loved me (and you) enough that he would send his Son into the world, that he might go to the cross and in doing so take the punishment for our sin, and so that through him we might have life. In the First Epistle of John, the Author writes: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin.” Similarly, in Paul’s letter to the Romans “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man one might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Flash Back to … 1996
- The play produced was Rumours: A Farce directed by Sarah Adeney, it starred Michelle Stonehouse as Officer Pudney with Pete Butchatsky as Lenny Ganz.
- In 1996, as in every year there was much panic and hysteria in the days leading up to the opening night of the Revue, Innewendo. There were the usual dummy spits from the Directors and Producers, and some very grim faces from several guest critics brought into inspect the dress rehearsals. The video projector died a horrible death, just prior to opening night and the videos became complicated – things were looking shaky. But, as if by magic, the entire production came together in what some described as the best Revue in the last 5 years! The Toby Winton-Brown and Ben Goldsmith led band set new standards for the quality of Revue music, and the production ran like clockwork. Here are a few of the more memorable moments:
- Grant Mitchell as the Mad Scientist, with the red cordial consuming henchman, Igor (James Bradley)
- Ross Fox as an adolescent paper boy, and a crew member of the Enterprise (again).
- Video sequences that actually worked during the performances! • The “Mystery Mooner” and the rest of the cast of “Waterprats”, including arch-criminals, Anthony Moore and Greg Fox.
- The New College anthem performed before a paying audience for the first time.
- Sally Yue, as loud as ever, as an angry young breakfast eating woman.
- James Downie and Daintree Peters as sensitive beer drinkers.
Flash Back to … 1997
- John Quinn received the New College Award in only his second year in residence at New College. In his time at New College he was 1996 NCSA Social Director, 1997 New College Play Director, 1997–1998 Tutor; 2001–June 2002 Senior Resident Adviser and Session 2 2002 Acting Dean of Residents.
- Ian Walker entered his fourth year as Dean of New College, Allan Beavis his third year as Master.
- Rev. Brian Stolarczyk (see photos below) was an exchange student from the U.S. in 1997 living in 3AB. He is married to Sarah with a 5 month old baby boy Raymond. “We currently reside in Merrill, Wisconsin, USA. I have been back to visit the friends I made at New College four times since leaving and have very fond memories of the friendships I made there.”
Flash Back to … 1999
Known to some in her groups in college as ‘mum’—and to this day some of them still call her this, a Collegian by the name of Angela Barrett started her time at College in 1999 arriving from Canberra to study Chemical Engineering. She immersed herself in the College culture from the very first minute, getting involved in everything college had to offer. Throughout her first two years in College she played Basketball and Volleyball and was always an avid supporter of Rugby Union. She also danced in Revues and participated in behind the scenes work for the major productions during her time. In 2001 she started College life in a new capacity as an RA, a role that she helped to transform. One of Ange’s contributions was to argue for stronger involvement of RAs in social activities, helping to set the ‘tone’ of functions and providing duty of care for the College. She led by example in this area. In 2003 she became Senior Residential Adviser and working with the Dean and Master saw a transformation in the role of RA’s.
Not only does Ange have a zest for College life and great desire to serve the College community, but she has also broadened her service to the greater UNSW population on campus. She was a member of the Student Guild Council, Head of CASOC, Postgraduate Board member and recently a student representative on the University Council.
Ange has contributed in so many ways to help Collegians to grow and experience the community that is found in New College. The ultimate acknowledgment was given to her at her final Valedictory Dinner when the NCSA inducted her as the first female life member of the New College Students Association.
Much of the work that Ange has done at College has gone unnoticed, however there is no doubt that she has given amazing service to the College. In her own words in her application for Senior RA, she said “I love this place and hope that others can be as privileged as I have been and can experience the amazing warmth that is found in New College.”
Angela Barrett (New College 1999 - 2006)
After 11 years of dedicated service to New College, Jaqcui Hughes has left us to work in the Sutherland Shire for MIG Associates closer to home and in a part time capacity. Jacqui saw many residents and staff members come and go since joining the College staff in 1999. As the College Secretary and Conference and Casual Accommodation Administrator, Jacqui played an important part in presenting New College to the wider community. She always did this with excellence and also developed a good rapport with many residents, particularly those in their upper years of study. Jacqui will be missed at New College but we wish her all the very best in the next phase of her life with her husband Marty, and their baby Nikita.
Flash Back to … 2000
Former New Collegian Ben Lange graduated from UNSW in April with the degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical). He holds the distinction of being the first Indigenous electrical engineer and the first Indigenous engineering graduate at UNSW. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of others” Ben said (to UNSW media) at his graduation. Ben lived in New College for two years from 2000. Former Dean of Residents Ian Walker admitted Ben Lange to New College in 2000: “it was hard not to” he recalls, “his commitment in coming down from Cairns with his mother to look us over, plus, of course, his great personality”. Ben was involved in College sports, playing in the oldies team in the 2001 Freshers Oldies hockey match (see pictures). Interestingly, while at UNSW Ben studied the acoustics of the famous Indigenous instrument the didgeridoo and vocal tract in a research project through the School of Physics’ Music Acoustics centre.
- The role of (NCSA) Chairman became known as President.
- The Exec of 2000 was the first cohort in the history of the College to be fully elected before the end of the proceeding year, Simon Angus commented in his report, “this provided a great deal of time to get our collective acts together and plan effectively for the year to come”.
- Mission: Impossible NEW was performed on 10, 11 and 12 August (Week 4, Session 2) at 8pm. Tickets were $8 adults and $5 students.
Some fast facts:
- 344 people saw the revue over 3 nights; 125 people were involved in the production in some way (including video extras); Running time: 113 minutes; 14 weeks of planning and preparations, 4 weeks of rehearsals including 12.5 hours on one day and 2am being the latest rehearsal finish; 70 t-shirts and 60 videos were sold; 35 p eople appeared on stage; one $6000 stage was stolen (yes stolen!)
Flash Back to … 2002
It’s been two years since I left New College: what do I miss most about College life? How have my decisions been influenced by my time in ‘New’? When I applied to Oxford for my Masters in 2005, my first choice of college was ‘New College’; and then in 2007 when I had to choose between the ‘Old’ and the ‘New’ Graduate College in Princeton for my PhD, the choice was too obvious.
Having studied in three universities which all take pride in having excellent college systems, I am proud to say that we in New College UNSW can boast that we are the best! The unique physical structure of New – an inward-facing rectangular block which takes the courtyard as the centre stage of college life, and the ‘group structures’ which create communal spaces where residents living in close proximity grow in one another’s friendship and rapport – and the social, pastoral and academic support networks provided by the RAs, tutors and NCSA, is unique only to New and one which makes us truly special.
What do I miss about College? The alarm of the smoke detectors going off without warning, catching you totally unawares! Dan’s cooking (I mean, seriously!) Returning to my room each day and seeing an orange light on my phone, remembering that there are friends out there whom I love and love me in return. The orange light could either be: (i) a delightful message from Debbie telling you a package from a loved one is waiting to be picked up from the office; (ii) a warning from James (1988–91; 1993) that he has found a bottle of port in your common room fridge (!); or (iii) another original made-up song from one-half of my best friends Shuxiang Goh! This truly is a unique way in which New Collegians express their affinity for one another!
We truly are blessed to have all been a part of New. This is a place where eternal mateships are bonded, meaningful relationships formed, characters moulded and lives changed. Having a far shorter history than many of the top British and American residential colleges therefore frees us of the baggage of tradition that impedes necessary change. We have an extremely openminded Master and Dean who are ever ready to discuss issues with any resident on suggestions for the betterment of New. For me, nothing could be exchanged for my four years in College. I hope you too will meet with life-changing experiences in your time as New College residents, and treasure these friendships which will help shape your lives along the way – ones which will continue long into your lives after your ‘New’ days. Wah Guan Lim (New College 2002–2006)
Flash Back to … 2004
Bec Barnes speaks in glowing terms of the College and her experiences. Bec has been Senior Academic Tutor for past two years. This involved organising the tutoring program, training and supporting the tutors (a team of 10), and providing students with academic help and advice. In her last year in the College Bec tutored first year Mathematics and was always there to help people; she was willing to drop everything to pray with someone at any time of the day; her concern for others reflecting her Christian faith. Bec spent a lot of time pastorally caring and counselling students in her role.
Not surprisingly, Bec won the 2004 Mick Bruand award (the top community service award in College). In her last year she also taught Sunday school classes, played music at various College and church services, and continued to be a mentor to many younger members of College over the duration of her time here. Bec was actively involved in the New College Christian Fellowship and loved leading a second year girls College Bible Study. Even with all her commitments Bec was still able to study effectively recently being awarded the prestigious 2004 University Medal in Environmental Engineering.
When talking of her college experiences Bec (like so many others) remarked: “It’s nothing without the people”. Bec described the College community where everyone had a definite character and beautiful traits and the people in College are ‘different’, they are selfless in encouraging and applauding each others gifts. Everyone is brilliant at something she said, whether extraordinary gentleness, people skills, sense of humour, academic ability, sports, community service, social gifts or their faith.
Discussing the future…“I went through my midlife crisis when I was nine years old, I asked myself, ‘What am I going to do with my future?’ and at that point in my life I could see only one thing that appeared to have any lasting value—telling people about Jesus.” Bec decided to become a missionary and was particularly interested in the Philippines. In February 2004, Bec trialled being a missionary with a trip to India with Engineering Ministries International, she spent her summer in India, doing engineering projects and Christian work in the snowy Himalayan town of Mussoorie. Bec wants to continue in this direction.
For her post graduate studies, Bec has gained a UNSW scholarship and will be doing a PhD in 2005 after a 6 month gap period working with homeless and poor people in the Washington DC ghettos. Her PhD will be in the area of water engineering, she wants to take it beyond the theoretical to the practical so she can make a difference! Bec will hopefully be able to do her project in conjunction with a Missionary based organisation. Bec is currently thinking of going to the Southern Philippines to help a community there. Her Research project will involve water treatment, distribution and disposal involving the development of systems that are hygienic and safe to stop local people from becoming sick.
Debbie Falson finished as New College’s receptionist in mid September after almost four years. Trevor wrote in the Weekly Newsletter when she left: “I can recall the first day I interviewed her. At that time I thought, this person’s personality will enable her to be a great bridge between the residents and the office. I wasn’t wrong. Now at times when I heard her yelling at someone at the counter to “go away”, or letting them know that they only had to “ring the buzzer ONCE!”, or when I heard yet another strange noise emanating from the front desk, I wasn’t sure what was going on. But what I came to realise was that in her own unique way she was building relationships with everyone in the building. The office won’t be quite the same without her – it will certainly be less crazy! I know how much residents have appreciated Debbie (please tell her). We’ll miss you Debbie.”
Highlights from this year included:
- The building: while the impact of the first stage of NC’s redevelopment and renovations was felt by the community, the College witnessed the first expansion of New College since it was founded. This was a realization of a dream that had been around since the earliest days of NC. As a result of this development 37 extra people now get to live in New College each year.
- College Services: these fortnightly Christian services, only in their second year, regularly attracted an average of 40–60 Collegians.
- The first ever Fresher Dance was held, making this year’s crop a little different.
- The College tradition of Collegians being eager to make a difference in the community outside New College saw 15 residents go to Fiji in the mid year break to build a house with Habitat. This community service has become an annual tradition.
Flash Back to … 2005
It was six weeks before my departure from America and I still had no place to live in Sydney. I stumbled across the New College website on the UNSW housing website and I knew at that instant that I had found a place that I could call home. I emailed the office and the next day faxed my application and before I knew it a phone call had come from Sydney to tell me that I had been accepted into New College.
The realisation of being so far from home didn’t hit me until I got into my room. Finally I was here and the only thing I wanted to do was … go home! My homesickness wore off with each new person that moved into College. With time I felt like I had found a family at New College.
I decided to take Australian Studies courses while I was at UNSW in order to gain a better understanding of the new country that I was living in. However, my education grew beyond the classroom by living in College. My fellow Australians contributed to my understanding of world events, Australian history, and of course, sports. My experience of Australia was also expanded through travelling around the country to visit various residents’ homes. I chased kangaroos through the paddocks and even milked a cow on a dairy farm in rural Victoria!
New College provided an accepting and challenging environment to aid in my growth not only as a student but also in my Christian life. Through the encouragement and example of residents and opportunities through NCCF and Unichurch I was able to expand on my knowledge of what it means to live as a Christian.
I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to live in Sydney for six months but I am even more thankful that I was able to experience life at New College during that time. There is an old expression that says “home is where the heart is”. I know that I will always have two homes, one in the States and one that will always belong with my New College family.
Jenna Rump, resident New College 2005