The Zoom Forum was recorded in full. To watch the hour long forum click on this link.
Junior Leadership Program 2020 was successfully delivered to Year 10 students at Melbourne High School and The MacRobertson Girls High School. When COVID19 lock down was enforced in Victoria, all face-to-face teaching and extracurricular programs on campus came to a complete halt. As a result, only 3 out of 6 sessions were delivered by the end of April 2020.
Incidentally, several MHS student requested to continue the program and started concurrent discussion on leadership with peers using various virtual platforms. It was during that time, that the JLP organising committee saw the need to continue JLP using technology to conduct virtual sessions. The committee stepped up to the challenge and re-designed session 4 (Ethics) and session 5 (Developing as a Leader) for virtual delivery, as well as updated the training for our group leaders. Despite the disruption, JLP2020 delivered all the remainder sessions and a final leadership webinar by October with the support from both schools.
During the webinar, we were fortunate to have our symposium speakers joining us again to share their leadership experience and interact with the students’ based on their feedback. The Q&A session provided an excellent opportunity to further explore the students’ curiosity on ‘what does leadership look like’. I would like to thank the three outstanding speakers in 2020 and their frank and honest discussion.
JLP2020 Key achievements:
The JLP committee has learnt many lessons during the COVID19 lockdown and will continue to apply these learning points into future iterations of JLP. Our committee has also grown with more interested group leaders returning to join us. This will allow JLP2021 to expand and explore other initiatives. So, watch this space!!
Lastly, JLP2020 would not be delivered in its entirety without the hard work and expertise from Darryl Brooks, Deniz Atakan, Alan Stein, Sally Ng and Mangala Prestia. I would like to thank each and every one of you, as well as GM&B and MHSOBA for their guidance. I look forward to JLP2021.
This was to have been a year of consolidating the Archive’s physical collection, a project started in 2016 with the stabilising of the collection. Previous work has ensured that the collection is safely stored and accessible, though much work remains in sorting and organising. The COVID19 lockdown though has delayed this for a year or two. At the beginning of the year, with funding from the Green Maroon and Black Patron’s Club, an A3 scanner was purchased. The first project was digitising The Unicorn, of which 44 have now been done. For text documents, the scanner software creates a PDF which is cropped and text recognition which means it can be searched. When the COVID19 lockdown became imminent, we focussed on scanning as many Unicorns as possible. The scanned Unicorns have been invaluable for information and photos when writing obituaries, Australian Honours, and other such articles during the year, as well as responding to enquiries.
19 items have been accessioned this year, our smallest since cataloguing recommenced in 2018, reflecting the effect of the lockdown. Highlights are”
The main work this year has been to build on John Elden’s research work on the students. John published this as the School Register in the Old Boys magazine during the 1950’s and 1960’s with biographical details, war service, honours, degrees, etc. Starting from the first intake of 1905, every former student has been researched, focusing on Victorian Birth Deaths and Marriages, Public Record Office of Victoria, National Archives of Australia, National Library of Australia Trove database and google, plus other sites as needed such as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs WWII, Korean and Vietnam Honour Rolls, the CWGC, etc. The project is currently up to the 1930 intake. The systematic search, covering both the girls and the boys, has found substantial new material and achievement we were not aware of before. This creates a dataset that can now be used for a number of other projects, such as updating the WWI and WWII Honour Rolls. Interesting tid-bits have been published as History Notes in the Old Boys Magazine.
A number of articles have been written for the Old Boys magazine, which has been a great way to publicise the archives. Special projects were the Australian Day and the Queens’ Birthday Honours, as well as ANZAC day and George Langley’s birthday.
The Archivist was online Guest Speaker to the Port Phillip Historical Society.
Enquiries from old boys, family of former students and the general public have been steady throughout the year. Some have been initiated by the Archives (such as the Archies 100, but also when finding contacting family of former students).
With the lockdown now easing, access will be possible briefly before the end of the year allowing completing of some urgent projects, namely research for an upcoming book, several enquiries that require access to physical items and completion of the scanning of publications. Priority is to complete the Unicorns, then Speech Night Programmes, the Old Boys’ Magazine, Ours (Spring Street).
At the end of 2019, due to the outstanding success of younger Old Boys as Group Leaders for the JLP and Mentors for the Mentor Program, the Executive of the GM&B decided to offer Program Memberships as a gesture of our appreciation for their current involvement.
The GM&B Program Membership entitles one to
At this point there has been an 11 members uptake of this offer. Due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions this offer will be extended through to end of 2022.
It is important that we involve our younger Old Boys in our current and future school-based programs. We are hopeful of increasing our overall GM&B membership, currently 89, to well over 100 members in the next few years.
When Daryl Brooks and John McIntosh broached the subject with me in early August 2020 of buying an organ online I naturally considered the demographics of the GM&B membership and, noting John’s commercial background, momentarily reflected on whether he had stumbled onto a new revenue stream for the Patrons’ Club.
Alas, we were not destined to scour the dark web for bodily bits and pieces to fix up the membership but were responding to a call for assistance from the MHS Music Department, specifically Gareth de Korte and Jennifer Chou. The MHS organ in the Memorial Hall was kaput, it had ceased to function in early 2019 and a replacement organ was an expensive proposition.
In June 2020 an option was identified; a Johannus, Sweelinck 37 SE with 6 x Johannus UL 2200 passive loudspeakers, 1 x Johannus UL 4400 active loudspeaker, seat, storage unit & speaker stands. In seemingly good condition having spent a few decades in the RAAF Chapel at Point Cook it was considered a credible successor to the MHS organ.
In August there was some discussion about the potential of a direct purchase but in accordance with Department of Defence disposal requirements the organ was slated for sale through Pickles Auctions and after general discussion it was acknowledged within the GM&B Executive that such a purchase was a worthy contribution to the School.
The organ was scheduled to be auctioned over the period 9-14 October (9am finish on the 14th) and in quick succession the Pickles online auction process was reviewed, a surety was attained from Pickles that the organ could not be sold early and a basic bidding strategy was discussed.
In reality the Pickles process can continue indefinitely if a higher bid is submitted within a rolling 10 minute timeframe at the end of the auction, this meant that while the preceding five days would be mildly interesting all the action would galvanise around the last 30 minutes. Once registered it was also obvious that while this item was important to the GM&B and the MHS Music Department only a couple of other bidders may be involved; how hard could it be?
Over a four day period the bidding edged through the $1,000 mark but in sporadic bursts. On the Tuesday night the GM&B Executive convened to endorse the objective of purchasing the organ and set a purchase target noting the extra cost of the buyer’s premium. Establishing a benchmark for a quality used organ proved challenging with quotes varying between $15,000-$30,000.
By 8.30 am on the 14th two bidders had edged the price up to over $4,500 and the arm wrestle started as the GM&B weighed in, in $100 increments the price pushed through the $6,500 mark and the nominal close at 9 am. One other bidder consistently matched us. Over the next hour, which included two calls to Daryl Brooks, a final price of $10,000 + buyer’s premium was targeted. Using a combination of automatic and manual bids of different increments and managing the elapsed time between bids, the auction extended past 10 am but we prevailed at our final price.
Within an hour of the outcome being formalised Gareth de Korte had contacted Pickles to confirm the process, swung into action to organise the pick up and had passed on his thanks on behalf of the Music Department to the GM&B. After more than four months it all came down to the last two hours.
The GM&B has paid $11,650 in total to secure the Johannus, Sweelinck Organ 37 SE with 6 x Johannus UL 2200 passive loudspeakers, 1 x Johannus UL 4400 active loudspeaker, seat, storage unit & speaker stands.
We are soon to launch an appeal, supported by the MHS Foundation, for GM&B members to donate to this fund. We already have acquired $3,500. By contacting Colin Green, 0411 759 132, he will then liaise with the MHS Foundation to accept your donation and then issue and email a tax-deductible receipt.
Over the past seven months the MHSOBA has invested in the development and delivery of an online Business Directory.
Launched in October 2020 and located on the MHSOBA website, the Directory is integrated with the OBA’s new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.
Designed to support B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customer) opportunities, the Directory is also intended to connect Old Boys with the greater MHS community – parents, teachers, MHS staff and stakeholders.
Users can search by surname, industry category, location, business name, MHS exit year or a combination of these. Subscriptions for Listings are modest and – as a networking and marketing tool – fully tax deductible. Creating or updating a Listing requires no passwords as processes are underpinned by a subscriber’s email address. To protect subscriber’s privacy, contact details are protected within online forms.
A number of Old Boys are already on board including Lindsay Fox, David Saul, Max Grundmann, Ted Goldstein and Frank Penhalluriack.
Whether an individual professional or a business owner, MHSOBA invites and encourages members of the GM&B to join the Directory and take out a Listing.
School Council has already indicated its enthusiasm for the GM&B to produce a virtual online session on Introduction to Entrepreneurship & innovation early in the new school year. Preparing for this is now underway. If there is an enthusiastic response from students, then a more detailed program could be developed and undertaken.
We are mindful of the lack of personal face-to-face contact with members that we usually experience at Forums and Dinners. We will endeavour to host a Member Function, possibly at the Unicorn Club, as soon as conditions warrant and allow.
The GM&B is currently preparing its 2021 Calendar of Meetings and Events. We will publish this on our website and via Newsletter once confirmed.