Principal, Andy Müller and Selena Palmer, Chairperson of the Foundation Committee,
are excited to announce our Giving Day, raising funds for our Community Service Scholarship.


On Thursday 20 May, the College is hosting a 24-hour Giving Day focused on generating support to fully fund the Community Service Scholarship. These scholarships will be offered to new students entering the College in Year 11 and will be fully funded to cover all costs through to the end of Year 12. Your donation will contribute to supporting up to 12 students including six boarders.

With your help, we can reach our Giving Day goal of $467,600.

For the 24 hour period, your tax-deductible gift will be matched by our generous matched donors, thereby multiplying every dollar five times ($10 = $50).

We encourage you to follow the countdown to Giving Day by using this link.

It gives us great pleasure to share with you a video that has been produced to launch the scholarship. You can view the video below.

With 13 days until Giving Day, please give thought as to how you can support this worthwhile initiative.

If you have any questions at all, our Community and Events Manager, Nicole Willcox, is always happy to assist. Contact Nicole at or (03) 3663 3368.

We thank you in anticipation of your support.

Andy Müller
Selena Palmer
Foundation Committee Chairperson



The Middle and Senior School InterHouse Cross Country Carnival will be held on Tuesday 18 May at Scotch Oakburn Park. Starting times are as follows –

Year 6 Girls and Boys  12.50pm
U/13 Girls and Boys  1.05pm
U/14 Girls and Boys   1.20pm
U/15  Girls and Boys   1.40pm
U/16 and  Open Girls   2.10pm
U/16 and Open Boys    2.40pm

In order to guarantee the safety of students on the cross-country course, no student, staff or parent vehicles will be allowed to enter or exit the grounds at Scotch Oakburn Park throughout the duration of the carnival (12.00pm – 3.25pm). Please park in the College Car Park or on Penquite Road. All students must walk up to be collected from Penquite campus as usual at the completion of the Carnival. Year 6 students will finish the Carnival at 3.00pm.

We will be having a running group again this year on Wednesday mornings. We meet at the HPEC at 7.15am the whole of Term 2. This is open to all staff and students if they would like to attend.

We wish all runners the best of luck and enjoyment during the Cross Country Carnival.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


/ Junior School


Years 3 and 5 students (also Years 7 and 9 at the Penquite Campus) will be undertaking their 2021 NAPLAN assessments over the next two weeks. All families with students in Years 3 or 5 have received details of this national online assessment schedule.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Cross Country

Cross Country running will be a thread running through much of Term 2 for many Junior School students. The importance of regular physical exercise for students of all ages is well-known and this Term the HPE program in the Junior School has a strong focus on building up fitness levels through endurance running alongside other activities.

85 students from across the Junior School started the Newstead Athletics Inter-School Cross country series last Saturday with a run at Tailrace Park. This was the first of six Saturday races in the series, with this week’s run being at Scotch Oakburn Park.

All students in Years 3,4,5 are invited to join a before-school running training group (7.45am – 8.15am) on 11,13,18,20 and 25 May as we lead up towards 27 May, our Inter-House Cross Country. Year 5 Teacher Mr Tim Bristow will lead this activity.

On Thursday 27 May the Junior School Inter-House Cross Country Carnival at Scotch Oakburn Park is an opportunity for every Year 2-5 student to represent their House in a run around the sports precinct and through the Wetlands as well as enjoy the camaraderie that is a big part of all House activities.

On Thursday 3 June there is an on-campus fun run for all Prep and Year 1 students.

On Wednesday 9 June a team of Years 3-6 runners will represent the College as one of nine schools participating in the NIJSSA Carnival. Then on Tuesday 22 June a College team will take part in Athletics Tasmania’s State Primary All Schools Cross Country event at Symmons Plains.

All of these events are preceded by preparatory fitness activities led by the Junior School HPE Staff.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


National Walk to School Day

‘Now in its 22nd year, National Walk Safely to School Day on May 14 is an annual event when all Primary School children are encouraged to walk and commute safely to school. It is a Community Event seeking to promote Road Safety, Health, Public Transport and the Environment.’

All Junior School students are invited to our Walk to School Day group on Friday 14 May. We will meet at Princes Square (St Johns Church corner) for a 7.30am start, and walk as a group to the Elphin Campus, arriving at about 8.20am. Younger walkers can join the group at the RACT corner or at the Aquatic Centre corner. A team of staff will lead the walk and parents are welcome to join in. Early Learning students should be accompanied by a parent.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

House Captains

Congratulations to the new Junior School House Captains for the Term 2 Cross Country season:

Nance: Anika Agarwal and Lachlan Goninon

Fox: James Dobson and Samantha Strong

Briggs: Pallavi Haribhakth and William Donald

Dean: Zoe Jarvis and Thomas Byrne

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


School Photograph Day

Annual school photographs are scheduled for May 20 and 21 for all Early Learning – Year 5. All classes have been advised which of the two days their photographs are scheduled on. All students should wear winter school uniform to school on their photograph day. Classes with HPE on the same day will bring sports uniforms and change for HPE lessons as needed. Any students in the Year 3-5 before-school running training group can wear HPE uniforms to school and change into winter uniform after training.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Junior School Rock Band

The Junior School Rock Band (Year 5) made their debut stage performance on Thursday this week! A capacity audience of all ages across the Junior School spent some of their lunchtime rocking to the music in the Mary Fox Hall. The Rock Band is a new initiative in the Junior School Music program this year, offering one more opportunity for students to engage in music learning experiences on the Elphin Campus. Music Teacher  Mr Jamon Dingemanse is working with this group.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


/ Middle School

Finding the Gold Within

Several years ago, I was privileged to accompany a group of Year 5 and Year 6 students to a Junior Round Square Conference, titled: Finding the Gold Within!

The concept was clear, we all have strengths to share with others, to help others, for others to benefit from us, it is the gold within!  Term Two, 2021 offers us all a chance to share our strengths, to further improve and to empower our confidence from these personal ‘strengths’ and to try new opportunities.

One of these opportunities for Year 8 is the EY8 Project.  This is a focus upon ‘servant leadership’ providing a long-term vision to benefiting others from a personal passion or pursuit, supported and guided by a mentor.  This project is definitely a ‘finding the gold within’ moment!  For some students, it is career-defining, for others it is soul-searching, but for all of us, it provides a chance for the Year 8 students (our Middle School Leaders) to lead by example in their learning, to bring enthusiasm, tenacity and resilience to their project, so that the entire Middle School benefits from their approach and attitude.

I look forward to learning more about the ‘gold’ from our community in the coming weeks and months.

Ben Green
Head of Middle School

Children’s Day Japan

This week the Year 6 Japanese classes celebrated Children’s Day. In Japan, this day is on the 5 May and is a national holiday.  It is a time to celebrate children.  Families pray for their children to grow up healthy and strong.  Koi (carp) kites are flown to symbolise the qualities people hope for their children.  Carp swim upstream, against the current and must be determined, show perseverance and have the strength to do this. Our Year 6s made a koi kite each and hung these in a beautiful display from the Year 6 balcony.  Look up when passing the Middle School over the next week and you will see them.

Happy Children’s Day everyone.

Hayley McLeod

Year 6 Passion Projects

Each week 6 Dondas and 6 Robinson collaborate to complete passion projects. The aim of these student-initiated activities is to promote creativity and innovative thinking. Students develop self-awareness, self-management, and responsible decision-making skills and are able to solve real-world problems with a group of like-minded peers.

This term there are groups experiencing cooking, woodwork, band, arts and crafts, sports, entrepreneurship, book club and gardening.

Meg Dondas

Student Achievements

On Saturday 24 April Little Athletics Tasmania hosted a state competition at the St Leonard’s athletics track for all of the athletes selected in the 2020 and 2021 Tasmanian state teams who have been unable to compete at a national level due to COVID-19 cancellations of the Australian Little Athletics Championships (ALAC) in these years.

Six Scotch Oakburn College students were selected in these teams and participated in this event including Tom Watters (Year 9), Year 8 students Abbey Berlese, Mia Green, Tahlia Muller and Blaise Fitzallen, and Bella Shaw (Year 7).

Ben Green 
Head of Middle School




/ Senior School

The Seven Laws of Salem

Kurt Hahn is possibly not a name known to many in our community but so much of what he proposed as an educator permeates through Scotch Oakburn’s learning programs.

Next week half of the Year 10 students will put themselves out of their comfort zones in unknown workplaces and the other half will be scattered across Tasmania experiencing a range of adventures, including white-water rafting, mountain biking, bushwalking and rock-climbing. It is therefore appropriate to celebrate the contribution Kurt Hahn has had in the development of modern experiential education.

Hahn was a key figure in the development of adventure education, founder of Salem Schools in Germany (1920), Gordonstoun School in Scotland (1934), Outward Bound (1941), the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (1954-56), the Atlantic Colleges (1957) and Round Square (1966).

Kurt Hahn believed that education must contribute to the ’rounded’ character of a student. This heavily influenced the evolution of the Round Square IDEALS and Discoveries which in turn have impacted the development of Scotch Oakburn’s own Learner Attributes.

Hahn concluded that there was a need to educate so that people would speak of their convictions. In 1930 he set out the Seven Laws of Salem in a document:

1. Give the children opportunities for self-discovery.

2. Make the children meet with triumph and defeat.

3. Give the children the opportunity of self-effacement in the common cause.

4. Provide periods of silence.

5. Train the imagination.

6. Make games important but not predominant.

7. Free the sons of the wealthy and powerful from the enervating sense of privilege.

Clearly ahead of his time, Hahn’s approach emphasized character-building and he downplayed the development of intellectual ability to some extent. He believed that students should be able to work (academically) more at their own pace.

We hope that all our Year 10s have an experience next week that challenges them and that when they reflect on the activities of their week, they are able to identify with some of the elements of The Seven Laws of Salem.

Remember Kurt Hahn’s famous quote –

“There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less”

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School



The Launceston Running Club and Scotch Oakburn College are holding a Fun Run on Saturday 5 June at Scotch Oakburn Park.

Registrations open Saturday 29 May from 12.00pm – Go to to register.

$5 entry fee

Three distances available: 1.5km or 2.5km (starts at 9.40am) or 5km (starts at 11.00am).

These events are handicapped and handicaps will be available on the Launceston Running Club Facebook page by 8.00pm the night before the event.

We look forward to seeing members of our College community there!

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


Author: Michael Grose


In a recent conversation, a 16-year-old told me how he’s enjoyed some great conversations with his father since the COVID-19 pandemic. What I heard from this young man was that his father is not just an affable person but also a very ‘askable’ parent.

The young man told me that he could talk to his dad about anything, which I suspect would be music to his father’s ears. I imagine that many parents would love to hear their kids say that about them. The notion of being a parent that young people can discuss personal problems with and seek answers to some of life’s bigger issues such as politics, religion and sexuality has been a source of personal reflection and study over many years.

While young people can be notoriously secretive about what’s on their mind, parent attitude and behaviour certainly impacts on their willingness to communicate. The following strategies will maximise your chances of being seen as an askable parent in your young person’s eyes:

Be there

Proximity aids communication and relationship-building. The more time you spend in close proximity to a young person the more likely you are to have meaningful conversations.

Be attentive

Pay close attention when a young person starts a conversation or asks a question, as they are easily put off by parental indifference. Many young people experience difficulty articulating their thoughts, so they are extremely appreciative when parents pay them full attention when they have something to say.

Listen without judging or advising

Giving unsolicited advice is a sure-fire way to prevent young people confiding in you. Young people are more likely to discuss personal matters and difficult subjects if they know their thoughts and feelings won’t be judged adversely or that they’ll be deluged by advice. The use of Ahh statements (“Ahh, so that’s what’s bothering you?”) is great way to show young people that you are listening without judgement or advice.

Be prepared to challenge

There are times when you need to challenge the validity of a young person’s views, their behaviour or the values they express. Misinformation, disrespectful attitudes and revelations about unsafe behaviour need to be discussed rather than ignored or criticised. It’s wise to pick a time and a place that’s likely to promote rational discussion rather than responding when emotions are high.

Engage in banter

Respected Australian educator Dr. Tim Hawkes writes in his book ‘Ten Conversations you must have with your son’ that light-hearted banter is a prelude to more serious discussions. Not only does banter build relationships but it gives parents’ permission to discuss thorny or personal issues with kids.

At a time when a parent’s voice is easily drowned out by increased media and digital noise, it’s more important than ever to connect with a child or teenager on a personal level. Being an askable parent will help you build deeper connections with the young person in your life.


Kylie Wolstencroft
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Psychologist


We are pleased to provide a community news section in our news highlighting events in the wider Launceston community that may be of interest to families. Included this week:

  • Tasdance Ballet – 4 years and up
  • eSafety guide to parental control – a free parent webinar
  • Royal Society of Tasmania public lecture – Impact of Plastic on Marine Wildlife
  • East Launceston Junior Football Club – 8-16 years
Go to community news


Welcome to Term 2 at Scotch Oakburn. I hope everyone had an enjoyable break and are ready for an exciting and rewarding term ahead. Staff returned for a day of professional learning on Monday with students returning following that.

This term we welcome 14 new students from Early Learning to Year 10 and five new staff. We also welcomed back three staff back from leave in Term 1, and so I send out a special welcome to all those people and families. In recent years the College has begun a practice of recognising staff members who have reached milestones in their service to Scotch Oakburn. On Monday I recognised three staff who have completed 10 years of service to the College: Mr Cale O’Keefe, Mr Andrew Robinson and Mrs Fiona Taylor – congratulations to those colleagues.

After what seems like a long wait, we welcomed Mr Ben Marsland, our Deputy Principal, this week. He officially started during the holiday break, but it never feels like you’re at a school until the students and all staff return and so on Tuesday morning Mr Marsland was welcomed by our Junior School students and on Wednesday by those in Middle and Senior School. I have written about Mr Marsland in the past but in summary, his background is in the performing arts, where he has had an extensive career in and outside of schools and has most recently been the Head of Wesley College’s Clunes Campus (Year 9 residential campus outside Ballarat). Mr Marsland wowed the Junior School audience with his saxophone skills, playing a few very recognisable tunes and spoke at the Penquite assembly about his desire to get to know all the students, being the most important people in a school.

I am looking forward to watching as the term unfolds and all the wonderful learning experiences our students have along the way.

Andy Müller


For all families thinking of planning holidays in 2022, we have published the Scotch Oakburn College term dates. They can be found anytime on our website or The Dash.

Term 1 starts Wednesday 2 February
Term 1 ends Thursday 14 April

Easter – Good Friday 15 April to Tuesday 19 April (inclusive)

Term 2 starts Tuesday 3 May (Junior School)
Tuesday 3 May – Middle and Senior School Parent/Student/Teacher conferences
Term 2 starts Wednesday 4 May (Middle & Senior School)
Term 2 ends Friday 1 July

Term 3 starts Tuesday 26 July
Term 3 ends Friday 30 September

Term 4 Starts Monday 17 October
Term 4 ends Wednesday 14 December

End of Term 4 – Wednesday 14 December

Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal

Looking for older news?  Go to the next page using the link above.