Four kilo’s of flour, a scissor lift and a world champion athlete.
What could possibly go wrong?

We have been busy photographing more of our amazing staff.  Here is a sneak peak  – we look forward to sharing their stories with you very soon!

Four kilo’s of flour, a scissor lift and a world champion athlete.
What could possibly go wrong?

We have been busy photographing more of our amazing staff.  Here is a sneak peak  – we look forward to sharing their stories with you very soon!



At Scotch Oakburn College, we firmly believe it’s the people that make our College great. Their life experiences and the journey that has brought them to Scotch Oakburn influences the way they conduct themselves as they interact with students and parents alike. Quite simply, we like to think we inspire others to do remarkable things, helping them to reach their full potential.

In our second round of photos we are pleased to introduce you to some more of our amazing staff. We believe that collectively our teams of teachers, works and grounds crews and administrators are the best thinkers, creators, mentors and leaders in the business.

They all pack a passion for lifelong learning into every day and they aren’t slowing down any time soon.


Experience the fun and excitement of Scotch Oakburn College. Take your virtual tour of the College now.


Rebecca Ballard

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights?  Rebecca has, and the experience tops her list of travels, going right up into the arctic circle in Finland and risking snowmobiles up a mountain.

What else does Rebecca do in her spare time?  Perhaps a better question is what does Rebecca not do?

Travel and the outdoors are high on her list and Rebecca is constantly taking herself out of her comfort zone to see new parts of the world.  As well as Finland, she has journeyed through Japan, “done the South Island” of New Zealand in a camper and has also spent time closer to home, recently walking the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

An avid gardener, Rebecca is currently designing the landscaping for her new home, which she has filled with indoor plants.

Her home is also often filled with the beautiful sounds of her own music, where her accomplishments are many. She plays piano and clarinet but is also a self-taught guitarist and has ‘dabbled’ with a flute, a French horn for a few years, and is now trying to learn a bit of cello. She currently coordinates a team of 40 musicians for a local church and has played in orchestras and jazz bands including St Joe’s Big Band. She would love to join a new orchestra if you know of one!

But it is baking that takes the cake for Rebecca! When asked of her favourite recipe? “Oh, so many favourites!! Probably my absolute is a Spiced Caramel Mud Cake with rose water cream cheese frosting!” Her trademark decoration is fresh flowers and she loves any excuse for a celebratory cake.

You will find Rebecca in our Junior School, feeding staff with treats and teaching our younger students to have a go at everything that comes their way, just like she does.


Alister (Ali) Foot

Ali’s story is one of commitment, dedication, sacrifice, success and a little controversy…

A ‘Scotchie’ through and through, Ali’s journey began as a four-year-old in our Early Learning Centre in 1991 and continued through until his Year 12 graduation in 2005.

A highly decorated and celebrated rower, Ali’s achievements include bronze medals at three World Cups, silver at the 2010 and 2013 World Championships, World Champion in 2011 and part of the 2012 London Olympics as a reserve for the Lightweight Four.

When in his peak, Ali would commit seven and a half hours per day every weekday and up to four hours a day on the weekend, often commuting to Hobart for intensive training.  Ali still manages to squeeze something in every day as he aspires to succeed in marathon running and ironman events, recently receiving his pro license and finishing seventh in his first pro race.

Enlisting the support of good mates and sporting thoroughbreds, Richie Porte and Will Clark you’ll often find Ali rolling around the sidling or enjoying a coffee afterwards.

Not one to shy away from having a voice and standing up for what he believes in, Ali publicly slammed a controversial decision that left he and his team mates out of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, even taking their appeal to an independent tribunal which was later thrown out.

We encourage all students at the College to have a voice and stand up for what they believe in. Understanding that, at times, life isn’t all smooth sailing, if you get knocked down, dust yourself off and get straight back up.

In all Ali’s spare time he works on Ben Lomond at the Foot family owned business, Ben Lomond Snow Sports, and coaches the College Open Girls rowing crew as well as the Seconds Boys football team.

Ali’s amazing journey so far demonstrates the tenacity and commitment skills he teaches our students every day. A world champion leading by example.


Robyn Ockerby

Think back. It’s quite likely that over your childhood, you encountered some wonderfully influential people, perhaps someone who was like a mother figure to you. A second mum. Someone who helped you achieve your full potential, supported you in your endeavours and encouraged your dreams. Someone who just helped you find your socks! For our Boarding House students this someone is Robyn Ockerby, our Boarding House Student Support.

Robyn controls all the ins and outs of the Boarding House and is also the First Aid Officer for the Junior School, with many young students visiting ‘Matron’ for minor scrapes and serious conditions. But her patient and caring nature and passion to help people does not stop at our College gates, it overwhelmingly flows into the community.

Through personal experience (Robyn’s third child Joel was born with Down Syndrome) Robyn

started a support group for families with a baby with Down Syndrome, after discovering there wasn’t anything available for Northern Tasmanian families. Although experiencing challenges herself, Robyn’s nature to always put others first drove her to start a morning tea group, which soon developed into what is now known as the Northern Tasmanian Down Syndrome Group. Robyn is also an active member of New Horizons Tasmania (NHT) who provide sport, recreational and social opportunities for local people with disability – with a focus on ability. She helps organise the social events for NHT, from high teas to balls.

Robyn’s commitment to service and always putting others before herself is something we admire and traits we encourage our students to mirror. Our boarding students are very lucky to have such a caring soul to guide them.


John Poynter

Mt Everest, bush running, rowing, cycling and family.  Mix all these together and you have John Poynter, Design and Technology Teacher.

Beginning his career in the building industry as an Architectural Draughtsman and Estimator, John studied as a mature aged student to become a teacher and now holds a hefty 33 years of teaching experience under his well-equipped tool belt.

When you talk to John about his many loves, rowing clearly takes the lead. Having represented Tasmania on several occasions, winning State titles and being awarded the coveted Simon Dean Memorial Trophy in 1987 for Tasmanian Oarsman of the Year.

Of course, it was a natural fit for John to be Director of Rowing at the College, coaching the Boys 1st VIII and winning three Head of the Rivers.  John marks 1997 as an incredibly proud year, with the College winning both the boys and girls Head of the River.

A testament to his passion and his commitment to our students, he keeps in touch with some of his student rowers and deems himself very fortunate to be involved with some of their children as they come through the College  

Equally impressive as his on-water success, off the water John has developed a love for the great outdoors. With wife of almost 40 years, Aileen, he has trekked the 17,600-foot journey to Everest base camp in Nepal, completed some of New Zealand’s greatest walks and has travelled to many snow destinations to connect with his love of snow skiing.  

He competed as a runner and crewman five times in Australian Three Peaks Race, fostering his love of bush running and the sea. This has evolved into a passion for cycling. With his son Andrew, John recently completed a six-week, 2500-kilometre cycle through Patagonia in Chile and Argentina.  

John said, “I feel so fortunate to be able to work with so many great people at Scotch Oakburn and perhaps even have a little impact on the lives of students”.  We know the significant positive impact that John and his journeys have had on many past students and they will impact many more to come.  



Andy Prideaux

If you have a spare hour, ask Andy about West Ham United FC – he’s a Pom and a passionate fan.  Better yet, ask him in Spanish, he can speak that too.

Anything musical, you can count Andy in. He’s a performer, singer, pianist and cellist and has toured the UK, Germany, France, Italy & America.  Before leaving the UK, Andy loved belting out Sinatra classics as a vocalist in the ‘David Pickthall Big Band’.

Andy has ‘walked the boards’ in many a production including playing Rapunzel’s Prince in ‘Into the Woods’, Seymour in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, Enjolras in ‘Les Miserables’ (twice!) and Pharaoh in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, just to name a few.

With a Diploma in Musical Theatre Performance from the London College of Music, a Grade 8 in Classical Singing and a certification in professional piano moving (who knew that existed!), Andy worked in a music shop while striving for his next passion and getting his teaching degree.

As a Musical Director, Andy has worked on shows like ‘Rent’, ‘Hairspray’, ‘Chess’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘Aida’, and ‘Spamalot’ in both community and professional theatre and is now the Executive Musical Director and a committee member for the Launceston Musical Society.  It’s no wonder that he is fantastic at directing his class of young students every day, guiding them towards their own passions and challenging them to contribute.

Leading by example to always try something new, Andy has dived into all things tech this year immersing himself into robotics.  Is there a robot musical on the horizon?


Mark Hassell

Mark is our Dean of Students. To put it simply, Mark’s role is to support staff and students in pastoral matters as well as student transitions from Junior to Middle School and Middle to Senior School.

Having studied Outdoor Education at university, Mark embarked on a one year working trip to Canada on a working visa and ended up staying for eight years. During this time Mark worked as a cave guide, taking people into wild cave systems, completed four expeditions to Peru with British and Canadian cavers and was a member of the first group of people to explore and map the deepest cave in South America at 638 metres deep.

A – Caving in Peru, Mark helped map the deepest cave in South America.
B – A passion for blacksmithing also keeps Mark busy.
C – As a dog-sled guide, Mark completed a 400km trek along the Arctic coast.
D – Kayaking in Tibet, Mark explored previously unpaddled rivers.

Mark also worked as a dog-sled guide and successfully completed a 400km ski trip along the Arctic coast.

One of Mark’s highlights was spending a month in Tibet on a kayaking expedition to paddle rivers that hadn’t been paddled before, along with backpacking and cycling through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

In Mark’s spare time he does a bit of long-distance swimming, with a couple of highlights being a 12km lake swim in Canada, and an 11km ocean swim from Bondi Beach through the heads of Sydney Harbour to Watson’s Bay. He also loves to spend time blacksmithing.

With a passion for bush survival, Mark runs the Year 10 survival program for Education Outdoors and as the Senior School Round Square Coordinator, is extremely passionate about Round Square and its IDEALS.

Meet Mark and more amazing people like him.
Click here to book your tour of the College today.




Nardia Deverell

We would like you to meet Nardia…but perhaps you already have?  Nardia is generally our first point of contact for people thinking about joining our community.  She can juggle many things in her very busy days and is still able to give you all the time you need to show you around and answer your questions. To cite the traditional duck analogy, you will always find her calm on the surface but paddling like mad underneath.

Life for Nardia is all about family.  Whether it is caring for her young daughter, assisting her husband with his business, or helping others with promotions and events, you will always find Nardia with a smile on her face.  Finding opportunity in every day has seen, amongst other things, the creation of No. 7 Candles.  Spending far too much money on candles, Nardia and her husband decided to make their own and you can now find these in retail stores around town.  

And still she finds time to give to the community. For the last 16 years Nardia has visited the children’s ward at the hospital once a month to donate gifts and time.  It is something she enjoys doing with her daughter now, teaching the gift of giving.  They recently donated 80 pairs of gumboots so children who were feeling able could enjoy going outside while staying dry. She is also part of a planning team to sponsor a room at Ronald McDonald House in Hobart, providing a space for parents to sleep and recharge.   

Nardia’s passion and enthusiasm for all she does rubs off on everyone with whom she comes into contact and our College is a happier and more positive environment as a result.  Being busy is what Nardia does, and we are very lucky that she does it well.  

Meet Nardia and more amazing people like her.
Click here to book your tour of the College today.




Tristan Stroud

When thinking of a school, you’d be forgiven for thinking that teachers, principals or even tuckshop staff are the backbone and rest assured, these people are critical to building a learning environment that encourages students to ask questions, discover and challenge the norm. However, schools also require a mountain of other people – cleaners, administrative staff and in Scotch Oakburn’s case, our ever important Works Department – and this is where we introduce you to Tristan Stroud. 

Tristan’s role (along with a very dedicated team) is to maintain all of Scotch Oakburn’s buildings, property, plant and equipment to the highest of standards. You’ll often see Tristan roaming about the College, suited up in his ‘oranges’, toolbelt strapped on, looking for the next door to swing or problem to solve.  

Resilient and adaptable is a good way to explain Tristan. Having grown up in a military family, Tristan experienced the world from a very young age (including 3 years of living and schooling in America) and after being the ‘new kid’ in over 10 different schools across Australia, he developed a deep understanding for other cultures and a passion for travel. 

If you think Tristan’s face may look familiar, then you are right. When not on the end of a nail gun, or swinging a hammer, Tristan can be found operating the family-owned business, Trio of Dips, a successful local artisan business. He and his wife live by a simple philosophy – food is best enjoyed with family and friends. 

Meet Tristan and more amazing people like him.
Click here to book your tour of the College today.




Katie Hill

What do puppeteering, stand-up comedy, physical theatre performance and stage management all have in common? Scotch Oakburn’s very own Katie Hill.

Katie has a love for helping students expand their learning and confidence through the Performing Arts. It’s not often you’ll see Katie on stage at one of Scotch Oakburn’s many performances; rather, Katie is plying her extensive knowledge of technical theatre and design behind the scenes to ensure a ‘performance spectacular’.

Whilst completing her Bachelor of Contemporary Arts in Theatre, Katie had the opportunity to study Wayang Kulit, a form of traditional Southeast Asian shadow puppetry. This new-found passion led her to complete her Honours focusing on blacklight puppetry, writing, designing, creating and directing the experimental ultra-violet puppetry piece, What’s under Adam?. It’s safe to say Katie is truly one of a kind, in no-one’s shadow! 

It’s not all spotlights and curtain calls for Katie…she enjoys the sportier side of life and loves playing soccer and Futsal. She can often be found kayaking with her partner and their adventurous (well-behaved) dog, Alfie.

Katie’s passion and life experiences flow through to our students to create on-stage magic. The tangible skills she shares will remain with them for life.

Meet Katie and more amazing people like her.
Click here to book your tour of the College today.




Katrina Edmunds

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to look at Jupiter and see the Galilean moons orbiting its surface? If you have (or even if you haven’t), you need to look no further than Scotch Oakburn College’s resident astronomer (and winner of the best suit competition), Katrina Edmunds.

Blood moons, supermoons, nebulas, globular clusters and the Milky Way are all part of a normal conversation when you have the opportunity to sit down with Katrina. Katrina reflects on how her passion for the stars and everything beyond started as a child when she was looking up at the stars, wondering what was going on.

It’s this style of inquisitiveness and learning that Katrina encourages in the students she supports every day.

Did you know that the light you see from the sun (which is 150,000 million kilometres away) takes 8 minutes

and 20 seconds to reach your eyes? Effectively, every time Katrina looks up at the night sky she’s time travelling, looking back at history. It’s this quirky perspective and thinking that she shares with our students on a daily basis to encourage inquisitive learning.

Katrina loves to share., exclaiming “the ‘oohs’ and excitement I hear when people see Saturn for the first time through my telescope is so rewarding”.

Her love for space and science has developed a heightened appreciation for how special our planet is, and how lucky we are to be on it. She sees nature in a different light now and the beauty that surrounds us each day. It’s no wonder Katrina is a hit amongst students (young and old), her continuous learning and passion to explore are passed onto those lucky enough to meet her.

Meet Katrina and more amazing people like her.
Click here to book your tour of the College today.




Naomie O’Loughlin

A – Signed Australian cricket team and George Bailey bats; part of Naomie’s awards. B – 2011 Alan Border Medal Volunteer of the Year Tasmania Award.

Giving back is a trait that comes naturally to Naomie O’Loughlin having spent 14 years doing something she loves, coordinating, coaching and playing cricket. Starting in 2004 when teaching five to eight year olds the basics in a fun format, to more recently as a junior female coach and member a senior women’s team, Naomie has always been passionate about the game.    

It’s often said that volunteers do not necessarily have the time, but they have the heart. This is certainly the case with Naomie – she has been recognised twice at a national level for her contributions. In 2011 she was recognised for her work in the cricket community as the Tasmanian Volunteer award winner at the Alan Border Medal Awards, attending again in 2012, she was a member of the winning Tasmanian Milo In2Cricket centre.   

As a Round Square school, Naomie’s passion for service to the community fits perfectly within the College ethos and the Round Square IDEALS. As a teacher, she is constantly giving her time to others and encouraging her students to follow their own passions. She certainly leads by example. 

Naomie says she has been very fortunate to meet and coach some talented players. We think perhaps the reverse may also be true! 

Meet Naomie and more amazing people like her.
Click here to book your tour of the College today.




Miranda Creak

If wearing a wetsuit every day sounds intriguing to you, then you certainly must meet Teachers Assistant, Miranda Creak.  

It must be said – when Miranda walks into a room it simply lights up. With a beaming smile and light-hearted nature, you can appreciate and understand her passion for marine conservation, her great love for the ocean and everything in it.

Having worked at Sea World for 16 years, conducting educational programs and tours to thousands of kids, it’s easy to see how this love for education, sharing and helping others has now transferred through to Scotch Oakburn and its students! One of the oldest theatre adages is ‘never work with children or animals’… well, Miranda has worked with both!  

Miranda has enjoyed many experiences including interacting with polar bears, sharks, stingrays, all types of fish, dolphins, seals, penguins and more, and feeding and training many different marine animals (some quite large). She is no stranger to getting her hands dirty, having spent hours shucking mussels, peeling prawns and cutting up fish for these amazing animals. Highlights of her time at Sea World include watching people’s faces as they got ‘up close and personal’ with marine life, as well as swimming with nearly 100 stingrays during feeding time to ensure all had the opportunity to feed. 

It is traits like adventure, environmentalism, service, leadership, democracy and internationalism that people like Miranda empower our students to live, preparing them for life in ways that demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution. 

Meet Miranda and more amazing people like her.
Click here to book your tour of the College today.