From our Head of School
Monday, 15 May 2023

A very warm welcome to our community of Old Andreans. We are now firmly in the swing of Term 2, but I wanted to share with you the many highlights from our recent holidays.  


We began the term with an ANZAC Service to honour all Australian men and women, past and present, who have served in various fields of conflict. In the service we paid special tribute to our Old Andreans and community members who served or are currently serving members of our armed forces. May we never forget the sacrifices of many made on our behalf. 

2023 Italian Music Tour 

At 8pm on April 20th, a single St Andrew's Cathedral School student emerged through the arrivals gate at Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport. The body of expectant parents cheered with joy, delighted by the events of the past two weeks and relieved that the group was safely home. 

For those of you who may not be aware, our biannual music tour took place during the Easter holidays. Led by the excellent Dr Christian Watson, the trip spanned Rome, Siena, Florence, Padua, Venice, Verona and Milan. A total of 85 students, 12 staff members and three tour managers made up the party, together with an orchestra of instruments and numerous cases full of repertoire for choir and orchestra alike. The tour had been 12 months in the planning and six months in the rehearsal room and it did not disappoint. 

Those who went on tour join a long line of Old Andreans who have embarked on a SACS Music tour. Our School has been going on Music Tours consistently since 2001 and our Cathedral Choir have been on regular international tours for more than 50 years.  

Although not usually short of words (given my Irish blood!), in this instance I cannot do justice to this trip in the space allocated in this newsletter, therefore, I would urge you to simply click here to enjoy every detail (and many performance videos) from this exquisite trip. My thanks to the marvelous Dr Kirsten Macaulay who was the mastermind behind these posts. 

Please also read the following letter I received from someone who ‘happened upon’ one of the concerts whilst in Venice: 

Visiting Venice and happening upon your schools’ student performance on Monday last truly feels like a sign from the gods. I was strolling along the canal when the most amazing sound wafted over the air.  Following it into the church took my breath away. The altar was full, a choir in the rear and a small orchestra in the front. What followed was the most exquisite experience, in the most exquisite of locations. The passion demonstrated by all involved... students and teachers, singers, players and conductors... was a sight... and sound ... to behold. I am certain it is something all those fortunate enough to have experienced will never forget. 
I could not leave the event pass without acknowledging the passion, professionalism, talent and sheer joy of all those involved, all of whom are a credit to themselves, their profession, your institution and indeed, Australia. 
Many, many, many thanks ... 

 Of course, the music tour was not the only event that took place over the holidays. On the final day of Term 1 we had the Summer Sports dinner, where we heard from former professional rugby league player, Danny Buderus, and recognised the hard work and excellence of our students. Many congratulations to all of our students and their coaches, especially to our First V Basketball Team and exceptional coach Mr Will Hill, who were rightly recognised as the team of the season. My sincere thanks to the sports staff also, ably headed up by Ms Tamsyn Kelson and directed by Mr Ric Van Wachem. 

This was followed by a glorious weekend of music from our choristers, the pinnacle of which was their performance of the Messiah on Good Friday – thank you Mr Ross Cobb and the choristers – you re-energised our souls. 

After Easter, the School was busy with additional lessons for our Year 12 students, coaching in preparation for our winter sports season, Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and our Junior School students, who took part in the World Scholars Cup, and all won places at the next round. Thank you, staff, students and parents, there is so much to celebrate. 

We also published over the holidays our Academic Excellence Brochure for the 2022 cohort. Please take a moment to read about this superb group of students here

So, praise God for the term that’s gone and here’s to the term ahead. 

One diary date to note for this term is a new series that we are launching called, ‘Big Questions’. This is a series of community conversations about topics of importance. It is an opportunity for staff, students, and parents to hear from experts in a field of interest and to debate some of the issues attached to each question. Read more at the link below and sign up today! It will not disappoint. 

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” - Psalm 118:1