Old Concordians CONNECT August 2021

From the President

2021 has been a productive and engaging year for the Old Concordians’ Association thus far as we have almost returned to our full program of reunions and events.

These last few months we have welcomed the Class of 2020 as Old Concordians, celebrated the 100 (+1) year anniversary of the Old Concordians’ Association, hosted our 70+ Reunion at Harmony in the Chapel, and held interstate reunions in both Canberra and Sydney.

The Old Concordians’ Association has started the process of summarising the significant progress we have made towards achieving the goals outlined in our current 2018 to 2021 Strategic Plan. As such, we have been investing time into reviewing and updating the Plan. We look forward to continuing to reach and cater for more Old Concordians in exciting, new and relevant ways.

We are excited to have welcomed a new committee member - Emma Whyte (Class of 2018), who has established the already successful OCA Volleyball team. Please enjoy reading a bit more about Emma in the following Q&A.

Matthew Bruening (2016), Old Concordians' Association President

Q&A with Emma Whyte (2018)

Committee Member and Old Concordians' Volleyball Club Coordinator

What is great about being an Old Concordian? I think that my favourite aspect of being an Old Concordian so far has been the many lifelong friendships I have made. Not only have I had the opportunity to stay close to friends in my peer year, but I have also been able to create many new friendships with people of all ages who are Old Concordians and to reconnect in a variety of ways. I think this has been a blessing, as now we are all able to work together to provide opportunities and support for the future Concordia generations and highlight the importance of ‘community’.

Tell us about the Old Concordians’ Volleyball Club? This year is the first year Concordia has fielded an Old Concordians’ volleyball team. This team has been made up of girls and boys from five peer years who all played throughout their schooling at Concordia. We have entered the social competition run by the Norwood Bears at Campbelltown, which has four different grades, with weekly games on Monday nights. We are hoping after this first season to be able to expand the program and field multiple teams, both of mixed gender and any age or ability level. We just completed our first season, winning our grand final (2 sets - 1 set) and have been moved up to a higher division. Overall, it has been such a fun, rewarding and successful start to our new team, with many new friendships being formed.

What motivated you to join the Old Concordians’ Association Committee? Through getting our Old Concordians’ Volleyball team up and running, I was able to see how supported we were and the effort that went into allowing us and other teams to have this opportunity. Being part of the committee has allowed me to understand the amount of work that goes in behind the scenes to give past students many opportunities to build lifelong friendships. Hence, being involved in the committee has been very rewarding, enabling me to give back to everyone who helped the Old Concordians’ Volleyball team get up and running. It has also allowed me to assist in any future ideas and opportunities to keep the strength and emphasis on ‘connections’ within the Concordia community.

Spotlight on an Old Concordian

Tania Aliis Hyde (Lapidge, 2003)

Tania has forged a career as a successful professional artist, the basis of which can be traced back, in part, to her time studying art at Concordia College. Her mixed media canvas works and prints have now been stocked in various shops across South Australia and she also runs a popular online store.

To read about Tania's journey, visit the Spotlight on our Old Concordians page on the College website.

Interest Group Update: Old Concordians' Soccer Club

The Old Concordians' Soccer Club, now in its second year of competition, has had a great start to the long awaited CSL 2020 season. After a long delay, the Club has been able to enter three teams this year with over 50 registered players. All three teams have had strong starts, with the A and B teams sitting top of their divisions and the C team sitting in third. Those looking to join will unfortunately have to wait until next season due to the amount of players already registered.

If you would like any more info about the Club please email concordiaocfootball@gmail.com or Club President, Cameron Basnec, at cbasnec@gmail.com

Cricket Club

The Old Concordians' Cricket Club had a highly successful season, with the B Grade making the grand final, but narrowly missing out on the premiership. A Grade and C Grade both finished one place out of the finals.

Last season we were excited to welcome recent Old Concordians from the Class of 2020 – Oliver Long, Marco Rosa and Clark Miller – all of whom contributed well to their teams. At the end of season presentation night, Club President Tim Kupke was inducted as a Life Member of the Club after many years of service.

We are looking forward to the season ahead that starts in October and welcome all new Old Concordians and friends to come and play. Trainings are at the Concordia cricket nets and oval. Our three teams cater for a wide range of abilities. You can follow our results on the MyCricket App, at www.concordiacricket.com.au or find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ConcordiaCricket to view our highlights.

Netball Club

The Old Concordians’ Netball Club is eagerly getting ready for another summer netball season, which will start in October on Wednesday nights at the SAUCNA courts on Anzac Highway.

Old Concordians of any age or year are welcome to join a team - please get in touch with the organiser, Chrissy Barnard.


As our newest interest group, the Old Concordians’ Volleyball team went straight to the top, winning the grand final (2 sets - 1 set) in its inaugural season! The team comprises a mixed gender group of Old Concordians from several peer years, all of whom played volleyball while at Concordia. Currently, they compete in a social competition run by the Norwood Bears at Campbelltown, with games on Monday nights each week throughout the season.

Future hopes for Old Concordians' Volleyball include expanding to multiple teams across a range of abilities and ages. To get involved, please get in touch with the organiser, Emma Whyte (see details below) if you are interested.

Would you like to join an Old Concordians’ Sporting Club? Please contact the organiser listed below.

Lives in Parallel

Robin Eckermann AM and Bill Handke OAM

Two Old Concordians who attended the Concordia Alumni event in Canberra in April have lives with remarkable synchronicity. Bill Handke OAM (Class of 1964) and Robin Eckermann AM (Class of 1965) both came from farms near the small town of Eudunda in South Australia. They went to Concordia College at the same time, and both moved to Canberra after graduating from University. In yet another parallel event – on the same day in 2018 – both were honoured to receive Order of Australia Awards from the then Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, for their significant contributions to the nation.

Bill Handke (Class of 1964) and Robin Eckermann (Class of 1965) at the Canberra Reunion, April 2021

Robin’s Order of Australia Award was in recognition of his contributions to the telecommunications and energy sectors. Following the initial 25 years of his career in information technology, he had the privilege of leading the establishment of one of the world’s first advanced broadband networks a decade before the NBN was conceived. Under Robin’s guidance as Chief Architect, the $250m TransACT network was deployed across a large part of Canberra between 2001 and 2003 – and it continues today as a competitive alternative to the NBN. TransACT marked a transition into the telecommunication industry, and Robin subsequently served on both the 2012 and 2015 Regional Telecommunications Reviews – reporting to the responsible Ministers and to Parliament on the opportunities and challenges faced by Australians living and working in regional, rural and remote areas. Robin’s work in the field has been acknowledged by his appointment as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and his induction into the Pearcey Hall of Fame.

In the energy sector, Robin helped establish and in 2012-13 chaired an advocacy group “Smart Grid Australia” that promoted awareness of the need to “reinvent” the electricity sector to cope with a rapidly changing environment due to climate change, the uptake of renewables, increasing consumption, electric vehicles, distributed storage and smart appliances.

Bill’s Order of Australia Award was for his contribution to the environment and to community health in the areas of kidney disease and organ and tissue donation. The award complements the Angel Award presented to him by the former Governor General, Dame Quentin Bryce, for his contribution to improving the lot of kidney disease patients; his ACT Chief Minister’s Award for Organ and Tissue Donation advocacy and public awareness raising; his three Australia Day Council Awards for High Achievement in Public Policy; and his 2014 Environmentalist of the Year Award.

In his early Australian Public Service career in the 1970s, Bill was the Treasury officer on the staff of Treasurers Dr Jim Cairns, Bill Hayden and Phil Lynch during the tumultuous times of the Whitlam Government and the subsequent Fraser Government. Subsequently he was involved in many high profile public policy issues, including the vexed matters of forest management and conservation, water resource use, dryland salinity control, natural gas competition reform, natural resource management, and the National Landcare Program. The policy approaches that he devised in these areas and that were adopted by the Commonwealth and State Governments have profoundly changed the way these things were handled around Australia. He is still deeply involved in environmental and conservation issues: particularly as the founder of a community-action movement – now replicated along the east coast of Australia and overseas - to control the introduced pest bird, the Indian Myna; in nature conservation matters and ecosystem restoration activities.

These two old Old Concordians were delighted to attend the Concordia Alumni event in Canberra and to speak to a couple even older and many much younger Old Concordians. They welcome Concordia Alumni events as a way to keep in touch with fellow Concordians and to hear of the progress and changes that have occurred at Concordia College.

Lifelong Connections

Once again, our reunion program has proven to be a popular way for Old Concordians to come together and enjoy spending time with one another over a meal or drinks and canapes. Below is a selection of photos from the following reunions held this year:

  • Class of 2020, Welcome to the Old Concordians, 25 February
  • Class of 1959 Reunion Tour and Drinks, 25 March
  • Canberra Reunion, 29 April
  • Sydney Reunion, 30 April
  • Recent Leavers’ Reunion, 6 May (no photo)
  • 70+ Reunion, 7 May
  • Old Concordians' Centenary (+1) Dinner, 4 June
Clockwise from top left: Class of 2020, Class of 1959, Canberra Reunion, 70+ Reunion, Old Concordians' Centenary (+1) Dinner (x2), Sydney Reunion

Upcoming Reunions

We are excited to be bringing you some opportunities to meet before the end of the year. Please see the reunion dates below.

If any future changes to Government restrictions mean an event cannot go ahead, guests will be notified as soon as possible, and any payments refunded. For further information, or to book, please contact the Alumni Manager, Sue Spry, on 08 8291 9339 or email alumni@concordia.sa.edu.au

Partners are welcome to attend all Old Concordians' Association events.

Brown & Gold 60+ Lunch // Thursday 23 September, 12–3pm // The Suaviter (old Chapel), Concordia College // All Concordians who started at Concordia in 1961 or prior are invited to attend // $25 per person, includes three-course lunch // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BNLOR

Class of 1961 60 Year Reunion (part 1) // Thursday 23 September, 12–3pm // The Suaviter (old Chapel), Concordia College // $25 per person, includes three-course lunch // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BNLMT

Class of 1961 60 Year Reunion (part 2) // Friday 24 September, 4.30pm // College tour and drinks in the Heritage Centre (complimentary) followed at 6pm by dinner at Damien on Fisher, 123 Fisher Street Fullarton (pay at the venue) // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BNLMT

Class of 1996 25 Year Reunion Tour // Saturday 16 October, 5.45–6.45pm // Concordia College // A tour at the College will be followed by a reunion at The Edinburgh Hotel, High Street Mitcham at 7pm. // $25 per person, includes drink on arrival and three-course meal // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BOBLN

Class of 1991 30 Year Reunion // Friday 29 October, 6–7pm // Concordia College // A tour at the College will be followed by a reunion at The Edinburgh Hotel, High Street Mitcham at 7:15pm. // $25 per person, includes food and a drink on arrival // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BPZXC

Class of 1971 50 Year Reunion // Friday 12 November, 6–8pm // Concordia College // Tour the College and enjoy catching up with other members of the Class of '71. // $20 per person, includes drinks and canapes // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BTCTV

Class of 2001 20 Year Reunion (since graduating) // Friday 19 November, 6-8pm // The Art Courtyard, Concordia College // Catered family picnic-style dinner and drinks // $30 per adult, children free // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BNLQM

Class of 2011 10 Year Reunion (since graduating) // Friday 26 November, 6pm // The Edinburgh Hotel, 7 High Street, Mitcham // Garden cocktail party // $20 per person, includes canapes and a drink on arrival // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BNLQC

Class of 2016 5 Year Reunion (since graduating) // Friday 3 December, 6pm // The Edinburgh Hotel, 7 High Street, Mitcham // Garden cocktail party // $20 per person, includes canapes and a drink on arrival // Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BNLPX

For more information about any of the reunions, please contact Sue Spry, Alumni Manager by email or phone 08 8291 9339.

Building Projects, Donor Thanks

We extend our heartfelt thanks to our wonderful community of Old Concordians who support the College with gifts to our appeals and special projects, all of which enhance learning opportunities and facilities for our current and future students.

This year, your support of scholarships and our exciting building projects is most appreciated. If you would like to know more about these projects, please click for more information or to donate.

Keep in Touch

We love hearing from Old Concordians of all ages, both near and far, so please do get in touch to share stories, milestones and any news, or simply to update your contact details. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us!

To update your details, visit our website or email Sue Spry, Alumni Manager (alumni@concordia.sa.edu.au).

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