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St. Pius X High School

Wall of Fame

In its more than 50 year history, this school has educated many young people who have subsequently made a significant contribution to our community and our nation. These individuals have achieved at an outstanding level in their chosen field of endeavour.

Professor Richard Lennan was Dux of St Pius X in 1972. He gained degrees in Arts and Sacred Theology, a Masters of Philosophy and Doctorate in Theology. He was ordained in this diocese in 1983 and served as university chaplain. He became a senior lecturer at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, Associate Professor in Cambridge (USA) and currently is a Professor of Theology in Boston. Professor Lennan has authored and edited many published works. He is a truly brilliant thinker.
                                                                      Richard Lennan

Mr Mark Sargent is certainly famous face in the Newcastle region. Mr Sargent graduated from St Pius X in 1980. He began his Rugby League career with Central Charlestown, won a premiership with Canterbury Bankstown, and served as Club Captain for the Newcastle Knights. He played a total of 146 first grade matches.  He represented Country, NSW and Australia, culminating in the World Cup Victory in 1992.  Mark Sargent has been awarded a Rothman’s Medal, Australian Sports Medal for Services to Rugby League, inducted into the Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame, and made Newcastle Knights Team of the Era Member.  He is testimony that sport and study do coexist, with two Masters Degrees and a successful career in business.
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                                                                       Mark Sargent

Mr Graham Jennings graduated from St Pius X in 1977. He began his soccer career with his local club, Adamstown Rosebuds. He went on to play for Sydney Olympic and Croatia, Leichhardt, Toronto Awaba and the Newcastle Breakers. He represented Northern NSW, NSW and spent seven years as an Australian Socceroo. Mr Jennings had been inducted into the Hunter Sports Hall of Fame and the Australian Football Hall of Fame. He is another example of both sport and intellect, having received a University Medal for Honours in Education.
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                                                                      Graham Jennings

Mr Richard Campbell graduated from St Pius X in 2002. He went on to gain a scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport and play in the Australian Schoolboys Team, Youth Team and National All Stars Team. After being decorated as the National League’s Highest Goal Scorer of 2007, he competed in the FINA World League Super Finals and Olympic Games in Beijing. He has competed in 63 international games to date and won gold in the 2009 World University Games. Richard currently lives, competes and studies in Spain.
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                                                                       Richard Campbell

Mr Andrew Walker was Vice Captain of St Pius X in 1988. He began to act in television commercials, drama and cooperative theatre. However, his real talent was in television production. He has worked in various roles: as art department coordinator, associate producer, production manager and casting director on many programs. Some of these include: Echopoint, Something In the Air, Stingers, Life, Silver Sun, Big Reef, Answered by Fire and Satisfaction. Andrew Walker has been nominated for numerous national and international awards including Logies, Emmies and AIF. His most recent series won the 2009 ASTRA Award for Most Outstanding Drama.
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                                                                        Andrew Walker

Suzy Batkovic graduated from St Pius X in 1995, having earned an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship. She has played basketball for the Sydney Panthers, Townsville Fires, Australian Opals, Seattle Storm, and competed in the French and Euroleague Championships. In 2002 and 2009, Suzy Batkovic was named ‘International Player of the Year’. She has won silver medals in two Olympic Games, both in Athens and Beijing. Suzy continues to compete at the highest level of international competition and has been named in the ‘Euroleague World All Star Team’.
                                                                         Suzy Batkovic

Geon van der Wyst graduated from St Pius in 1986 and studied with the Australian Ballet School. He entered the Australian Ballet Company in 1991 and was promoted to soloist and senior artist. In 2001, he joined the National Ballet of Canada in the role of Principal Dancer. He has lead roles in numerous performances including Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew.
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                                                                   Geon van der Wyst

Rachel Hennessy attended St Pius X in 1988 and studied another two years at the National Playwright’s Centre. She has authored award winning drama, novels, short stories and films. These have received a Patrick White’s Playwright Award, Varuna Playwork’s Fellowship and Australian Vogel Award.  Rachel Hennessy has a Masters Degree and PhD in Creative Writing. She is a Peer Advisor to the Literature Board of the Australia and gained a Developing Writers' Grant from the Australia Council.
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                                                                   Rachel Hennessy

Chad Edser began his surfing career at fifteen years of age by winning local schoolboys’ titles in 1987. After success in Newcastle, state and national cadet titles in 1988, Chad Edser was chosen in the Australian team to tour the American West Coast and then later, New Zealand. The following year, he won many competitions including his division in the Merewether Pointscore, the Tracks Cup, Surfest, NSW individuals, and the Australian All Stars Team. In 1992, Chad Edser won the Junior World Surfing Championship in France.
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                                                                          Chad Edser

Tim Richards graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1999. He is an acclaimed actor in theatre, television and film. He has starred in productions with Freewheels, Hunter Valley Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Company B, and is well known for his role in Disney’s The Lion King. You may recognise Tim Richards from his role in the television programs: All Saints, the Farm, Backberner and Blue Water High. His latest play, A Streetcar Named Desire, co-starring Cate Blanchett is a ‘sell out’ and about to tour the United States.
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                                                                          Tim Richards

Helen Kapalos graduated from St Pius X in 1986. She began her career in journalism as a reporter for ABC Radio. When she won a scholarship for the National Year of Tolerance, Helen Kapalos moved to SBS television, Sydney. She is recognized locally for her role as a reporter and newsreader for NBN News. Her coverage of the closure of BHP, won a NSW Prodi Award for Best Feature Documentary. Helen Kapalos has worked as a reporter and newsreader for Network Nine on Nightline, a Current Affair and the Athens Olympics.  She currently is contracted to Network Ten, Melbourne.
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                                                                             Helen Kapalos

Gary Haberl is an Olympic Table Tennis Champion. In 1977, at just 14 years of age, he began winning national, age, singles and doubles titles. He holds a total of 30 national titles and has represented Australia on 105 occasions. These include the World Championships, World Cup, Commonwealth Championships, and Seoul Olympics.
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                                                                         Gary Haberl
Dr Peter Gibson
·        Specialist respiratory physician St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney
·        Asthma research Firestone Chest and Allergy Clinic, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
·        1989 staff specialist John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle
·        Developed a clinical service for investigating, assessing and managing people with asthma
·        Established an active research group and trained clinicians and scientists in practice and research
·        Senior staff specialist and Director of the Ambulatory Care Service in the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at John Hunter Hospital
·        Conjoint Professor of Medicine in the Faculty of Health at University of Newcastle
·        Co-director of the Centre of Asthma and Respiratory Diseases at University of Newcastle
·        Co-director of the VIVA programme in the Hunter Medical Research Institute
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                                                                     Dr Peter Gibson
Dr Elizabeth Leane
Senior Lecturer
BSc Adel, BA Adel, M.Stud. Oxon, D.Phil. Oxon
Employment History: University of Tasmania
·        Senior Lecturer in English Literature
·        Lecturer, School of English, Journalism and European Languages
·        Widely published in both Literature and Science
·        Shortlisted for the British Society for Literature and Science Book Prize
·        2001-2012 Grant recipient for work in human-animal relations in Antarctica, creative responses to the continent for Science, Antarctica as scientific utopia, and a comparison of fictional and non-fictional representations of Antarctic science and scientists.
Research Project/s:
Amundsen in Hobart, Antarctic Bibliography, Antarctic Imaginations, Considering Animals, Lost in the Southern Ocean: F.I.S. Endeavour disappears without a trace, South Pole.
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                                                   Dr Elizabeth Leane
Ross Abbs
Lecturer Sydney Law School
Degrees and Qualifications: BA LLB UoN BCL Oxf
Courses Taught: Torts, Criminal Law
Research Interests: Criminal Law and Procedure, Sentencing, Torts
Brief Biographical Details:
·        2012 appointed to the position of Lecturer Sydney Law School
·        2010 completed the Bachelor of Civil Law programme at the University of Oxford
·        Worked as an associate to the Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG of the High Court of Australia and as a research assistant at the Victorian Law Reform Commission
·        Currently undertaking research for a PhD thesis on criminal justice in the High Court of Australia
Co-authored publications on Transnational Law and Practice, Liability and Climate Law, Corporate and Taxation Law,
Australian Property Law.
Presented at Conferences / Seminars on Class Action Proceedings, Climate Change Litigation and Environmental Law.
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                                                          Ross Abbs
James Drinkwater
·        2001 National Art School, Sydney Australia
·        Solo exhibitions: St James and Museum Station, Sydney, Damien Minton Gallery Redfern, Iain Dawson Gallery Sydney, Cooks Hill Galleries Newcastle, Forty-five Downstairs Melbourne, Volume Gallery Newcastle, Maunsell Wicks Sydney, NAS Newcastle.
·        2012 King School Prize – Finalist Brett Whiteley Traveling Scholarship
·        2011 Dobell Drawing Prize, Finalist Brett Whiteley Traveling Scholarship HC – Finalist Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship – Winner Salon Des Refuses – Finalist
·        2002 John Olsen National Art School Life Drawing Prize
·        2001 Newcastle Mattara Festival Painting Prize
·        1998 Gould League Environmental Prize
·        1996, 1995  Reg Russom Life Drawing Prize
Sydney Morning Herald, Hunter Lifestyle Magazine, The Arts Diary, Newcastle TAFE and National Art School Speaker, The Australian Financial Review, Real Living Magazine, ABC National Radio, Newcastle Herald, Newcastle Weekender Magazine, Expressionist – MX Melbourne City Rail Newspaper, Star Newspaper Melbourne. 
Residencies: Gippsland, Kenya, Berlin
Warner Music Australia, Macquarie Group Collection, Catholic Education Office, NSW, St Francis Xavier College, Private collections in New York, Singapore, Germany, Australia
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                                                                      James Drinkwater in action
Mark Wells
Country rock songwriter and performer
·        2011 Nominated for CMC New Oz Artist of the Year
·        2010 single launch raised funds for JHH neo natal ICU
·        2008 Winner of the Songwriter’s Prize at the Telstra Road to Tamworth
·        Successful debut full-length release, ‘The Long Walk Home’ Lead single, ‘You’re Still on My Mind’, CMC Music Chart top 20 Song, “Big Skies”, reached the ARIA Australian Top 50
·        Festivals: Optus National Music Muster, the Deni Ute Muster, Tamworth Country Music Festival and CMC Rocks the Hunter.
·        Live performances: Nashville, Tennessee, centre stage at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and appeared with Alan Jackson, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers, The McClymonts, and Adam Harvey.
·        Named Best Male Vocalist at the 1233 ABC Music Awards
·        Big Band Concert raised over $20 000 for Cystic Fibrosis NSW and the HMRI
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                                                                   Mark Wells
John Cootes
Australian professional rugby league footballer and Roman Catholic priest
·        1966 studied theology at Rome's Propaganda College
·        1967 - 73 played senior football with Western Suburbs, Newcastle
·        1967, 1969, 1970 represented Newcastle
·        1967 - 1970 represented New South Wales Country
·        1969 named Caltex Country Player of the Year Award
·        1969 - 1970 represented both NSW and Australia. Toured New Zealand.
·         Known as an opportunist centre and accomplished goal kicker
·        1970 scored 3 tries when West beat Maitland in the Newcastle Grand Final. Played centre in 3 matches of the World Cup in England.
·        Cootes finished with 5 tries in the series - 2 each against New Zealand and France in preliminary matches and 1 against Great Britain in Australia's 12-7 final victory.
·        1970 named Australia Day Council's NSW Citizen of the Year
·        Eventually left the priesthood to marry and open a chain of furniture stores in NSW
·        Has a long and successful media career as sports commentator for Channel 10.
·        1979  appointed as John Singleton's replacement as host of Saturday Night Live
·        Named at centre in West Rosellas RLFC's team of the century
·        Active member of St Vincent de Paul
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                                                                  John Cootes
Richard Cootes
·        1977 began teaching career
·        Religious Education Coordinator St James Primary School Kotara
·        Liaison Officer for Catholic Mission
·        Published composer of liturgical music
·        CDs:
Ø For All That is Beautiful
Ø Deep Love
Ø Gathered in My Name
Ø Remember Me
·        Travels around the schools of the Maitland Newcastle Diocese giving passionate and prayerful presentations for Children's Mission
·        Inspires all to live out the Gospel call to "bring the Good News to the poor"
·        Empowers young people to make a real difference in the world
·        Devoted husband to wife Ruth and father to three wonderful children, Simon, Maddie and Tim.
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                                                             Richard Cootes