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.


This week we farewelled our successful sporting Year 12 cohort. I would like to thank them for their years of service in sport at the College and wish them all the best for the future.

Please note this weekend is a long weekend, so SATIS cricket rosters don’t have matches scheduled for 30 October. I would also like to make a note that if you are ill and can’t attend training for your summer sport, could you please email your coach and relevant sport PIC so they can keep track of your attendance. Please make sure you check the relevant Dash sport page for training times and other information. Thank you.

Ali Foot
Head of Sport


Our Mountain bike riders have begun the twilight season on offer from the Launceston Mountain Bike Club on Wednesday nights. Mr Luke Hammond was excited to see our students racing again. I would like to thank Mr Hammond for organising the racing season. The results and racing times can be found at LMBC – Home (

Ali Foot
Head of Sport

Student Achievements


Congratulations to Oliver Hadley (Year 12) for winning the Tasmanian Pardey Shield for 2021. This is the holy grail of individual school tennis trophies.

Great work Oliver and we appreciate you working with our junior tennis players prior to the SATIS season starting next year.


Last weekend  Scotch Oakburn College was represented by twelve students at the 2021 Tasmanian All Schools Track and Field State Championships at the St Leonard’s Athletics Centre.  The students achieved some excellent results for the school despite very challenging weather conditions over the weekend.  Selection for the Athletics Tasmania State Team is based on performances from this event, however, national Championships scheduled for December have been cancelled.  Instead, Athletics Tasmania will announce a virtual state team for successful athletes in the U14, U16 & U18 age groups shortly.

A summary of the results:

10 Year Old Girls: Bronte Krapf – 3rd place Long Jump

11 Year Old Girls: Zoe Jarvis – 1st place Combined Event (Long Jump, Shot Put, 100m, 800m), 3rd place Long Jump, 3rd place Shot Put, 3rd place 100m, 3rd place 200m; Grace Watters – 4th place Combined Event (Long Jump, Shot Put, 100m, 800m), 4th place Discus, 2nd place High Jump, 7th place Shot Put,

Under 14 Girls: Bella Shaw – 1st place 800m, 1st place 1500m, 6th place Javelin, Eva Shaw – 10th place Javelin

Under 16 Girls: Blaise Fitzallen – 3rd place Javelin, 3rd place Shot Put, 5th place Discus; Sophie Marshall – 1st place 400m; Abbey Berlese – 2nd place 400m, 1st place 90m Hurdles,           4th place Shot Put

Under 16 Boys: Tom Watters – equal 1st place High Jump, 4th place Javelin, 5th place Discus, 4th place Shot Put, 1st place 100m Hurdles

Under 18 Girls: Kate Atherton – 3rd place 100m, 4th place 200m, 2nd place 400m; Kate McShane – 2nd place Hammer Throw, 5th place Shot Put, 5th place Discus

Under 18 Boys: Sandy (Alexander) Wood – 3rd place 400m, 3rd place 800m, 4th place 1500m

Ali Foot
Head of Sport




Who am I? What do I want? How do I get there?

These three questions are at the heart of what Ash Barty’s mindset coach asks her to focus on. Barty sees Ben Crowe as a critical part of her coaching team. What is a ‘mindset coach’?

Over the last two decades or so much research has been done around ‘mindsets’ in many aspects of life and many fields of work and in education. Prof. Carol Dweck’s writings about growth mindsets (as opposed to fixed mindsets) are widely referred to in business, sport, and education. Prof. Jo Boaler’s work on mathematical mindsets in education is another example. Dr Martyn Newman’s work on the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for leaders in the corporate world identified an optimistic mindset as a key competency of successful leaders.

A mindset can be defined as ‘a disposition, or a frame of mind: a mindset is your collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought habits.’ Our mindsets in a whole range of areas lead our thinking and our actions to tend one way or the other, generally somewhere on a continuum rather than at one end or the other of a balance. Importantly, we now know that while our mindsets are to some extent inherent in our nature, in large part they can be taught and learned. We can rewire our brains.

Taking optimism as an example, research suggests that 85% of people have either an optimistic or a pessimistic mindset (measured by brain activity), with a spread of the degree to which we are one or the other of these. Those with an optimistic (glass half full) mindset experience many life benefits in comparison with those nearer to the pessimistic end of the spectrum, with the proviso that it is ‘realistic optimism’.

Some of the benefits of an optimistic mindset reported include better mental health, better physical health, better coping strategies when faced with adversity, stronger resilience, greater flexibility, increased problem-solving capacity and longer life span.

How, then, do we support students (as well as ourselves) to develop and enact more optimistic mindsets? A handful of easy to implement strategies to consider are:

  • Shifting one’s perspective simply by consciously thinking happy thoughts. The more frequently this is done, it starts to change one’s mindset and the longer this continues the brain is being trained to instinctively think more positively.
  • Model social environments for young children where the atmosphere is relaxed, predictable, caring and loving.
  • Positive emotions are contagious (as are negative emotions), so be sure to choose some optimists among close friendship groups and peers.
  • Turn off the news! A few minutes of news to catch important headlines can be valuable, but the longer news is viewed or listened to the harder it is to maintain an optimistic outlook,
  • Writing in a diary or journal each day just one or two or three things that we are grateful for from the day has been shown to yield increased optimism and build resilience. Better sleep, improved heart health and fewer depressive symptoms are benefits identified from daily journal writing in this way. This is a central element of the Resilience Project implemented across the College this year.
  • Practising mindfulness helps to resist the tendency to over-think daily stressors and to focus more on things within our control. Acknowledge what we can control and what we can’t control.
  • Remember to still acknowledge the negative side of situations at the same time as striving to be optimistic. Optimism is seeing the positives, but not through rose-coloured glasses.

The development of our own mindsets is something that we can control. The learning and life benefits of an optimistic mindset are very significant.

Who am I? What do I want? How do I get there?

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


VIBES was held last night at the Penquite Campus and for those who came along, I hope you had as much fun as I did!

VIBES really was a team effort and I’d like to say a huge thank you to our MC, The Honourable Nick Duigan MLC (’87), all staff and students who volunteered, our current and past students for performing, the Works team for the amazing setup, the Marketing and Community team for their planning and coordination and our College community for embracing this wonderful event.

Ben Marsland
Deputy Principal


After 31 years at Scotch Oakburn College John Poynter has decided that he is ready to move onto the next stage of his career, whatever that may be.

John’s CV is incredibly extensive and diverse, encompassing working in the building industry prior to re-training as a teacher. He then taught at George Town High, then Ravenswood High prior to commencing at Scotch Oakburn in January 1991. At Scotch Oakburn he has taught Design and Technology in Years 7 to 12 for 30 years including Pre-tertiary Housing and Design at TCE level for the last 15 years. His work in industry has allowed him to bring a lived experience into his teaching which his colleagues and all students who have been under his tutelage have benefitted from. Further to that, in 2005 he was seconded to UTAS to lecture in Design and Technology teacher education. John also held the important pastoral role of Head of Fox House from 1999 to 2002.

In the co-curricular field, John coached rowing across many age groups from 1991 to 2004, after his own very successful rowing career, winning three Head of the River titles in 1994, 1996 and 1997, which were real highlights for him. Half of the ’97 eight then went on to win the National Schoolboy Coxed Four title. John also had two stints as Director of Rowing, 1998 – 2004, and again in 2009 – 2012. However, rowing has not been his only co-curricular involvement. He was Person-in-Charge of Hockey from 2004 to 2009 and Athletics from 2012 to 2019. Finally, John was involved in both junior soccer and cricket in the early 2000s.

Beyond sport, John ran the College Snow Skiing camp for many years and has been involved in many Education Outdoors camps in his 31 years, all experiences that have allowed him to see students in a different environment, which he has greatly appreciated.

John will finish his career at Scotch Oakburn in mid-March 2022, after covering for a member of the Creative Design Industries team who is on long service leave for the early part of 2022, after which we will appropriately celebrate his outstanding career at the College and wish him well for the future.

In the meantime, on behalf of the College community, I say, “Thank you, John, for 31 years of outstanding teaching, mentoring, coaching and collegiality.”

Andy Müller


/ Senior School

Two Year 12 students, Harrison Gee and Alice McLauchlan have been named as Olympic Changemakers by the Australian Olympic Committee after being nominated by the college. These awards are made in recognition of the student’s demonstration of the Olympic Spirit through leadership and driving positive change in their community. The Tokyo Olympic Games celebrated the values of excellence, friendship, and respect, with an aim to build a better world through sport. Australia’s young and emerging leaders make a difference in their communities by modelling the same Olympic spirit.

Congratulations to Alice and Harrison who are two of these fine young leaders in the Scotch Oakburn Community.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School


The media recently reported that in Victoria only 6% of those people in hospital due to COVID-19 were double vaccinated. Further to this, Governments interstate have mandated employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 in a number of vocations, including education.

Scotch Oakburn staff were recently surveyed as to their COVID vaccination status and to date, approximately 75% of staff have responded to the survey. Of those responses, 91% of staff have been fully vaccinated and 5% have had their first dose.

Andy Müller


As you drive past the Penquite Campus you will note that the signs we have at our entrances are covered and for those going past early in the morning you will also see a security company car parked outside. Unfortunately, each year at this time, when Year 12 students across the state finish classes and begin final preparations for their exams, the College is vandalised. The covering of signs and security is a precaution to deter vandals or at least minimise the damage. It is incredibly disappointing that a small minority of young adults in the Launceston community feel that damaging property is an appropriate way to celebrate their end of Year 12, and in so doing tarnish the experience for others.

Andy Müller


The Department of Education has advised that Friday 29 October will be a student-free day in northern Tasmania for state primary and high schools. As the secondary colleges and the majority of non-government schools will be open as normal, Metro’s Launceston general access network will continue to operate to the Term weekday timetable as normal.


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