Mark Hassell, Dean of Students, joins us this week from the Wetlands, highlighting
the benefits of this unique asset to our College, both to learning and to our community.


2021 was another wonderful year in the College’s history, a year of amazing highlights, community events and student achievements; from the day-to-day activities, in and out of the classroom, to the special events that involved our amazing students, enabled by the College’s passionate and dedicated staff. There have been so many wonderful events and achievements over the last 12 months that have been celebrated in our news each week, that to name any selection would inadvertently do a disservice to those not listed.

The highlights that you have read about in the news, witnessed first-hand or shared on various forms of media to be read about soon after they happen are inspiring for us all. What is often not visible is the work that goes on in preparation and behind the scenes to bring these activities and events to fruition. The diligence and determination of our staff, teaching and non-teaching, and our Board of Directors, to stay at the forefront of education, educational practices, governance and those less obvious but no less important aspects that add value to our students’ education, is where the love of learning is enabled and reinforced.

Scotch Oakburn truly is a lived example of the ‘Gestalt phenomenon’, where the whole is greater than the sum of its constituent parts. This is a metaphor for our students’ collective efforts where together they achieve far more than each of them could do if working in isolation, whether that be on the sporting field, the stage, the outdoors or in the classroom. All student involvements are vital parts in creating the somewhat intangible dynamic that we call ‘school spirit’ and is at the root of the culture that we so enjoy and that we should never take for granted. That culture is collectively generated and reinforced by staff, students and families in all that we say and do.

To all our community I say a heartfelt, ‘thank you’ for your ongoing and enthusiastic support of the College throughout 2021. I wish you a safe and relaxing Christmas break and look forward to another wonderful year in 2022.

Andy Müller


We invite our community to watch our live stream of Celebration, being held on Tuesday 14 December at 6.30pm.

Please share this link with others who may be interested in tuning in.  Join us @

Should you have any questions about Celebration please email Nicole Willcox at


Following on from the success of Shrek – The Musical this year, Scotch Oakburn College is delighted to be able to announce its productions for 2022 for both the Middle and Senior Schools.

Middle School students will be performing the Roald Dahl classic Fantastic Mr Fox in May. This timeless classic has been adapted to the stage by playwright David Wood. Roald Dahl’s much-loved story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, one fat, one short, one lean, to get rid of the fox who regularly steals food from their farms. They try to kill him by any means possible. Outwitted at every turn, the farmer’s ploys backfire. Fantastic Mr Fox devises a plan which will ensure full stomachs for not only his family but all his friends, who celebrate with a sumptuous feast.

Our Senior School students will be performing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the end of August. This musical follows an eclectic group of six teenagers who vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

Fantastic Mr Fox is being performed by arrangement with OriginTM Theatrical on behalf of Samuel French, a Concord Theatricals Company.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was conceived by Rebecca Feldman, additional material by Jay Reiss, music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin and is licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia). All performance materials supplied by Hal Leonard Australia.

Andy Prideaux
College Production Coordinator

Stephen King
Head of Visual and Performing Arts


Keep moving over summer and take advantage of the College Fitness Centre.

Our Fitness Centre will be open at certain times during the summer holidays and Tim Reese, our qualified personal trainer will be happy to put you through your paces.

Feel free to join in one of the group sessions or alternatively ask Tim for a program to suit your goals and ambitions. This service is free to all members of our College community and one we continue to strongly encourage to all, in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Open from 6.00am until 8.00am on the following dates:

Monday 20 December
Wednesday 22 December
Friday 24 December
Monday 10 January
Wednesday 12 January
Friday 14 January
Monday 17 January
Wednesday 19 January
Friday 21 January
Monday 24 January
Friday 28 January
Monday 31 January

From Wednesday 2 February the fitness centre will return to its normal operating hours of 6.00am until 8.15am Monday to Friday and 3.30pm until 6.00pm Monday to Thursday.

Paul McKendrick
Head of Health and Physical Education


/ Junior School

How have the gifts of others enabled our learning community to flourish?

This question was the spark that inspired the Thursday evening Family Carol Service on the Elphin Oval this week. Woven through a program of choral singing and instrumental music, and also featuring items by the Junior School Rock Band and the Stay Sharp singers from the Senior School,  Year 4 speakers shared their gratitude for the gifts given by their parents, teachers, learning assistants, support staff, peers and all who have contributed in so many ways big and small to our learning community this year.

Along with the messages about the gifts of giving and gratitude, the Service included reminders about inclusivity – the essence of community – in and beyond our College community from the Chaplain and the Principal.

Thank you to the more than 200 students who played a part in the Service, to the Music Staff and Year 4 Staff who coordinated the evening, and to the large gathering of families  – from grandparents to parents to children of all ages  – who filled the oval and sang along with the family carols. The positive vibe rippling around the venue was felt by all who were fortunate to share the experience.

The Carol Service embodied one of the very special aspects of our College – the incredibly strong sense of community expressed through the strong school-home partnership that we all enjoy. The active engagement of families in their children’s school life enhances the learning and wellbeing outcomes for students of all ages, and the support to the College itself from all members of our community reaps rewards for all of us – students, staff, families.

The last week and a half of the school year has been a wonderful demonstration of this partnership.

On Wednesday, Year Level celebrations for each of the Prep and Year 1 cohorts saw the HPEC@Elphin buzzing with excitement and pride as the students sang, played instruments, acted and displayed their public speaking skills to ‘full house’ audiences of parents and family members.

On Thursday morning Early Learning Erina students brought the main oval at Scotch Oakburn Park alive with their singing and Christmas message to the large group of families gathered in front of the Eastman pavilion.

On Friday the Final Assembly for Year 5 students was a special occasion for the 82 students who received their Mary Fox Certificate marking the finish of their Junior School days from the Principal in front of another capacity audience of parents.

Next Tuesday will see Early Learning Elphin students celebrating the end of their school year with their families at a celebration and picnic in Claremont Park with their parents.

For Penquite Campus families, this week’s Middle School Final Assembly and next week’s College Celebration at which the Year 12 students are farewelled are further events exemplifying the school-home partnership across the College.

Thank you to all members of the College family for your community contributions all the way through 2021. These contributions both big and small have enabled our learning community to flourish.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

End of the school year

The finish of the school year is racing to meet us! Thank you to all Junior School students, families and staff for your part in a wonderful school year for all of us.

Term 4 finishes for all classes on Wednesday 15 December between 2.50pm and 3.00pm. All Year 5 parents are invited on-campus (outdoors) from 2.45pm to share the moment as the Year 5 students depart the HPEC@Elphin through the farewell avenue of their Junior School peers.

After school Care closes at 6.00pm this same day.

The Vacation Care program commences on Thursday 16 December at 8.00am and runs until 6.00pm on Thursday 23 December. The January program then commences on Wednesday 5 January 5 and runs until Tuesday 1 February before Term 1 2022 commences on Wednesday 2 February.

The Junior School Office closes at 4.00pm on Wednesday 22 December and reopens at 8.00am on Thursday 27 January.  The Penquite Campus office will be open 9.00am to 4.00pm from Wednesday 5 January and the Junior School can be contacted through this office if required.

Best wishes to all members of our community for a joyous festive season, a restful family holiday break and a prosperous New Year.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Picnic Day

Class picnics are a traditional end of year activity for all Junior Students. Early Learning Erina started the ball rolling at Scotch Oakburn  Park this week, the Prep to Year 5 picnics (various venues) are on Monday 13 December and Early Learning Elphin on Tuesday 13 December.  In wishing everyone a happy picnic day with friends in their class of 2021, an important reminder is for sun protection to be a priority – wearing clothing that gives good protection, applying sunscreen as needed, maximising time in the shade.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

College Celebration

76 Year 4 and 5 students will join with Middle and Senior School students in the massed choir singing at the College Celebration night at the Silverdome on Tuesday 14 December. A number of other Junior School students will participate in on-stage reflections of the 2021 school year in the feature Showcase part of the Celebration program. Our community can watch the event live @

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Vacation Care

Full details of the programs and booking process for the December and January Vacation Care programs can be found on this link on the College Website. They are also available from the Outside School Hours Care room in the Early Learning Erina building.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

The Soggy Bottom Cardboard Box Boat Regatta 2022

In the Junior School, our Year 4 classes love being part of the Soggy Bottom Boat Regatta each year, using the event as part of a science-based learning unit with the testing of student-designed and made boats in the College pool prior to the big day being much anticipated by the Year 4’s as well as their student audience!

The annual Soggy Bottom Boat Regatta returns in 2022. This community event, run by the Youngtown  Rotary Club to raise funds for young people in the community living with challenges, will be held at Waverley Lake on Sunday 6 March next year. Family groups, sporting clubs and businesses are encouraged to be creative, build their own cardboard boats and enter events on the day. All families and members of the community are invited to the day which includes on-shore as well as water-based activities. College grandparent Leigh Dyson coordinates the event and details can be found online at

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School



/ Middle School


Throughout 2021 the Middle School community has connected and shown commitment to ‘bemore’.  At this exciting time of the year, it is important that we all continue to ‘bemore’ to others and think of the needs of others rather than ourselves.  The notion of giving rather than receiving for young and old is a great quality and connects well to our Learner Attributes.  For the upcoming summer holidays, I wish everyone a safe and rewarding break with family and friends.  I am looking forward to the exciting opportunities and curriculum developments in 2022 in the Middle School as we continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities that develop all the aspects of becoming a lifelong learner.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School

Da Vinci Awards

To complete the year, Year 8X were invited to create useful, pioneering, and creative inventions to celebrate their learning about the Renaissance.  Given old school stationery to upcycle and recycle, teams of students sweated it out to think innovatively much as Leonardo da Vinci did. Our classroom became a messy hive of creativity as inventions such as the Vend-o-matic Candy Sorter and the Rock Slinger 10 000 were launched. Many thanks to our official judges: Mr Nick Bean and Mr Dean Hawkins for their time and consideration in giving out Da Vinci Awards.

In a world today where we need creative and dynamic thinkers, 8X is leading the way!

Katie Lester

Tasmanian Science Talent Search

Students in Year 6 were recognised for their work preparing a comprehensive research investigation in this competition across Tasmania. The standard of work by Scotch Oakburn Students was very high, and a Merit Award was been awarded to Arlo Lancaster and Benben Boonsiri for their work investigating Wing Shapes in Paper Planes. Well done to the boys for their excellent report.

Fiona Taylor



/ Senior School

Gratitude and Best Wishes from the Senior School

As the school year draws to a close, I would like to express grateful thanks to all those that have made 2021 such a successful year in the Senior School. The time has come to slow down and reflect on the busyness of the year and celebrate the contribution of all concerned.

To all staff, teaching and non-teaching, we are always grateful for everything you do to make the experience of our students so fulfilling. So many staff put in extra time and effort, beyond what is asked of them, and this does not go unnoticed. Working in education is often referred to as a ‘calling’ rather than a job, and many of the Scotch Oakburn staff are living proof of this.

To all parents and guardians, the Senior School community thanks you for your continued support and collaboration in making the experience of your children exceptional. Teenagers sometimes do not express their gratitude openly, but you can always be assured that they genuinely appreciate the opportunities that you afford them by sending them to Scotch Oakburn.

To all our students, we thank you most of all because without you there would be no school. Your enthusiasm and willingness to lead the College and set an example for the younger students is very evident. Your participation in such a wide range of activities and programs is a joy to witness, we know that this will be the key that contributes to your own success in the Senior School and in life.

A special word to the current Year 8 cohort, it has been a joy spending time with you over the past week, both in your classes and on transition day. I am very excited to welcome you into the Senior School in 2022 as Year 9 students and I can tell that your move across the road into the Helix space will make the Senior School an even better place. Congratulations on graduating from Middle School today.

To all members of our wider community, we wish you a safe and happy holiday period. Wishing you everything that is good in the world, be grateful to each other and to those around you for the very lucky life we all lead here in Tasmania.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School

Senior School Transition Day

Students in Years 8 and 9 combined for activities and challenges designed to build links between the future students leading the Senior School. Leadership and respect were common themes and these attributes were lived and experienced by staff and students on the day. Year 8 students finished the day with a Race Around the Campus to find people and places they will need to connect with in the future. Many thanks to all the staff and Year 9 students who helped develop a spirit of positive collaboration throughout the day.

Fiona Taylor
Year 9/10 Coordinator

Students selected for ArtRage 2021

ArtRage is an annual exhibition that showcases the talents of students across the state, who have just completed TCE Art Production or Art Studio Practice. Scotch Oakburn College has had 5 students selected to be in this year’s show: Eva Baonza, Sally Smith, Olivia Willows, Sydney Carnie and Hannah Seymour.

All of our TCE Art students have worked incredibly hard to produce their folios of work and should be proud of what they have created. For Eva, Sally, Olivia, Sydney and Hannah to achieve the additional recognition of being selected to be in ArtRage is very special.

ArtRage opens this weekend at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Inveresk for family and friends of participating students. It will be open to the general public in the new year before travelling to Hobart.

Carmel Dilger

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Gold Award

The end of November 2021 saw the first opportunity in two years to celebrate the success of those young people from across Tasmania who achieved the highest possible standard within the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, the Gold Award. This particular award is highly regarded due to the dedicated commitment required over at least 18 months and with the added component of a Residential Project, in addition to other standard categories that require completion; Physical Recreation, Service, Skill, and an Adventurous Journey.

Very few students complete their Gold Award, this year only 12 students from across Tasmania were welcomed to Government House in Hobart to receive their award from Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, Tasmania’s 29th Governor.

Angus Foster (Year 12) was one of those students honoured at the proceedings at Government House. His Residential Project took him out of his comfort zone of agriculture and immersed him in the world of aquaculture. Angus spent 12 days at Freycinet Marine Farm as a farmhand with his aim being to learn more about these two industries, as a whole, but also about their similarities, differences, and best practice opportunities. His activities ranged from harvesting and grading oysters, repacking oysters for sale, shucking oysters in the cellar door, as well as preparing mussel lines for the upcoming season by placing droppers on the line in Great Oyster Bay.

The College would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Angus on this achievement and his commitment to achieving his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Simon Dray

Library returns

We are seeking to have all items on loan that are due back this year to be returned by Tuesday 14 December.  If there are any problems with returning items, please alert Library staff before then.

We encourage students to use the Libraries Tasmania network – all public libraries throughout the state are part of this network.  It is easy to join up online through the Libraries Tasmania portal.

Wishing you all happy holiday reading!

David Morris


/ Middle School, Senior School

Student Achievements

In September 2021, Swimming Tasmania announced their State Team, which would have competed at the Short Course National State Teams Championships in October at the AIS.

Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, for the second year in a row. College students that were members of the team were Taylor Brock (year 8), Atlan Devin (Year 8), Ella Fischer (Year 9), Grace Mitchell (Year 8), Bella Muldoon (Year 8), Xavier Nesbit (Year 9) and Charlotte Pilsbury-Milne (Year 10).

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


Our boys’ senor cricket team played in four games at a T20 cricket competition.

St Brendan Shaw College won the first game scoring 5/81 against our 78.  Top scorers were Charlie Skipper 23 from 22 and Tom Hawkins 16 from 15 and bowlers, Charlie Skipper 2/12 from 4 overs and Roy Penn 1/13 off 4 overs. We bowled with fire and set an electric fielding standard but our score was chased down in the 19th over.

In our second game again St Virgils College saw exceptional bowling and fielding once again. Roy Penn 3/18 off 4, Tom Hawkins 2/11 off 4 and Lachlan Goldschmeid 2/21 off 4.

Our batting mainstay Oliver Hadley held the team together opening and batting through for 36 off 50 balls. Charlie Skipper (12 no off 7 balls) late in the innings and Eli Bellinger (17 off 25) both caught up some ground to have the game on an even keel. With only several balls to go we were chasing hard but just fell short by 5 runs in a great game.

On day 2, games were played against Marist College and Launceston Christian School (LCS). After 10 overs, Marist was 5/57 after some incredible fielding and catching efforts and they finished with a modest total of 8/95. Oliver Hadley bowled well with 3/13 off 4 as did Roy Penn with 2/16 from 4.  Struggling with the bat the game ended with an 18 run loss.

In the final game, our bowlers never missed the spot and remarkably bowled out LCS for just 15 in 3.4 overs! Roy Penn was instrumental in the attack taking 5/4 from 2 overs.  We won the game in the 2nd over at the loss of 1 wicket.

Thank you to Oliver Hadley, Roy Penn and Tom Gatenby for each leading the team in a game and to Quinn Elliot and Oliver Atkins from Year 8 for stepping up to help out our 1st XI for the tournament.


Our girls’ cricket has never been more advanced than it is now. After our girls won the NHSSSA Hurricanes Cup our numbers for the SATIS T20 comp went through the roof and we entered three teams of 11 players. Navy, Maroon and Gold. Most girls were first time players and we are all so proud of how they presented themselves in the contest.

On day one, Navy had two convincing wins, against our Maroon team and LCS. Maroon also LCS but fell short of a win. Gold played a competitive Launceston Grammar team and Guildford Young College (GYC) in their games and were unable to secure wins.  playDAY 1

After another win against LCS and a loss to GYC Navy finished second in our first girls SATIS competition, Maroon finished fifth and Gold fourth in a very competitive environment.

Thank you to Belinda Wegman and Alice McLauchlan for their efforts and time taken out of their schedules to coach the teams and to Naomi O’Loughlin who has always been there for the girls, but sadly was unable to attend.

Dean Hawkins
Director Of Cricket


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