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Ex-students’ Association

The Northcote High Ex-students’ Association has around 500 members and warmly welcomes all ex-students and staff to join.

Membership entitles you to access information about Northcote High School, a copy of our annual Ripples magazine, and invitations to the reunion day and other school events.

Past Students Register

The Northcote High School Past Students Register lists the names and details of Northcote High School’s ex-students. The information is from a variety of sources and there may be variations in the details supplied. Information is not provided on all students.

Our past students have excelled in a wide range of fields, including science, the arts, politics, sport and research. See History to learn more about some of our past students’ achievements.

To join the association or to add new information to the register, contact Kate Challis on 9488 2300 or email Kate Challis.

Alumni news

August 2018

Congratulations to Ex-student James Liotta (Class of 2000, Deputy School Captain 2000). James directed the 1999 and 2000 successful school productions and returned the following year in a paid position to continue this work. He completed a Diploma of Drama and Community Theatre at NMIT.

James has spent the last 18 years working in performing arts on television, on stage and radio, becoming well known across Australia as an MC, actor and comedian. He appeared in Underbelly, Neighbours, Thank God You’re Here, Upper Middle Bogan, Satisfaction and Prank Patrol to name but a few. He regularly pops up acting in advertisements. His comedic work often has an ethnic twist based on his Italian background. He worked closely with Joe Avati on his national tour and has nationally toured his own sell out show recently. He is in much demand as an MC for festivals and weddings etc. He co-produced shows for Channel 9 in 2014 and won the Victorian Government Excellence in Multicultural Arts Award. In 2012 he was named Actor of the Year in Sydney’s Star City Magazine.

The Ex-student Association wishes James all the very best for continued success in his chosen field.

June 2018

The Annual ‘Back to’ Lunch was held on Tuesday 5 June with the Northern Polytechnic Restaurant well patronised by members and school staff. It was great to see many familiar faces and several new ones.

The first address was delivered by the new and fifteenth principal of the School, Sue Harrap. She told those present of her early life and career progress and indicated strong support for the association. Sue was followed by ex-student (Class of 1955) Associate Professor Alex Lopata, who enchanted those present with a data show around his memories of days at Northcote High School. He spoke of his fond memories of Headmaster Mr Moodie and his wife Doris, of teachers and subjects and old school mates. It was a trip down memory lane. Alex went on to tell us a little of his work as a medical researcher being involved in the first IVF baby in Melbourne working in the team with Professor Karl Wood.

Sincere thanks go to Sue Harrap for her support and encouragement and to Kate Challis and Assistant Principal, Jocelyn Hill for all their hard work to organise the lunch. Thanks too go to the Polytechnic Restaurant for looking after us so well. Hope to see you all next year and many thanks for your attendance.

PS: the mystery singer of the 1947 Speech Night program was solved. It was not the great Donald Smith of the opera stage, but a very competent Donald Smith of Year 11 that year.

May 2018

The ‘Back-to’Lunch for 2018 is set for 5 June at Preston TAFE Campus in the restaurant. Cost $25. Guest Speaker is ex-student, Associate Professor Alex Lopata (1955) a medical researcher. It was hoped to hold the lunch at the school, but building works make that impossible. Perhaps next year? Do come along and meet the new Principal, Sue Harrap. If you have not received an invite in the mail please contact Kate Challis. Bring an old class mate.

Mathematics Teacher of the 1960s, Rod Watson, has informed the School of the passing of Brian John Chatterton Taylor, whom Rod describes as ‘fine teacher of English’ at NHS in the 1960s. Vale Brian. We extend sincere condolences to Brian’s family.

Speech Night 1947. This interesting document has turned up for the archives and was George Stirling’s personal copy. Guests of Honour were Sir Edmund and Lady Mary Herring. What is most intriguing is a musical item, The Last Rose of Summer, sung by a DONAL SMITH who is not noted as a student. Could it be that Music Director Stuart Wilkie, with his extensive contacts in the musical world, invited this budding young tenor to the School? Donald went on to be one of Australia’s and the world’s greatest operatic tenors. Awards go to Warren Bartlett (Year 6), Bruce Campbell (Year 5), Norm Wearne (Year 3) etc. Can anyone remember this event and cast light on the singer?

December 2017

The Ex-student Association is deeply saddened by the passing on Friday 1 December 2017 of Professor Ken Inglis (Class of 1944).

Ken was Dux of School in 1944 and went on to lead a distinguished academic career, being awarded an Officership in the Order of Australia and holding the Professorship in Australian History at the Australian National University. He held the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Letters (University of Melbourne) and Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford University. He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea from 1972 to 1975 and was Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. His research and publications were extensive and highly regarded.

In 1996 he greatly interested members of Federal Parliament when he presented his superb and witty analysis of Parliamentary speeches since Federation in the Senate Occasional Lecture Series.

His family established the Ken Inglis Scholarship at Northcote High School in recent years and following the enrolment of his grandchildren at the School. Ken always lived up to our mottoMeliora SequamurVale Ken. Deepest sympathy is extended to the family and close friends.

November 2017

The Ex-students’ Association bids farewell to Principal, Kate Morris, who has resigned her position for 2018. Kate has strongly supported all the activities of the association, taken a keen interest in ex-students and encouraged their involvement with the school. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the School to provide appropriate buildings for the huge rise in enrolments and to continue the improvement of academic standards and links with China. She will be missed by her many friends amongst our alumni. We take this opportunity to thank her for her friendship and to wish her well for her future endeavours.


  • The 40 Year Reunion of the Class of 1977 on 27 October was a notable success with more than 60 Old Boys attending at Croxton Park Hotel to reminisce and enjoy a meal. It was great to see former staff member Jill Sainsbury there, as bubbly as ever. Thanks are extended to Con Dinopoulos, Ange Tosso and Tass Tousimis for organising the event.
  • The annual reunion of the Class of 1948 on 1 November saw two full tables of the group enjoy lunch at the Old England Hotel, Heidelberg. Well done boys and thanks again to Bruce Campbell and John Hines for their organisation.

Condolences are extended by the Association to Doug McLaren, Class of 1956, on the recent passing of his wife Shirley. Sincere sympathies go to Doug and the family.

September 2017

The reunion of the Class of 1977 planned for 20 October 2017 has been moved to Friday 27 October 2017. Former students and staff interested in attending are asked to contact Tass Tousimis by email

The Ex-students’ Association congratulates present Year 11 student, Donovan Toohey, who was selected to play in the Crusaders’ Cricket England Tour this year. One game was played at Windsor Castle against the staff. Donovan was batting when the Queen and Prince Phillip arrived. The lads changed into their formal uniforms for a presentation. Here we see Donovan being presented to Her Majesty. Donovan made 49 runs not out while the Royal couple looked on.

How many other ex-students have met the Queen? We know of Frank Lees (Class of 1941) who received his MBE at the Palace from HM and Joe Franzie (Class of 1978) was presented on the occasion of the Queen visiting Australia when he was a senior student. Several ex-students served with distinction in the armed forces in the UK during WWII and may well have received decorations from King George VI.

Overseas Students at Northcote High School

Present parent, Professor Julie Wills, Dean of Architecture at Melbourne University, came across Dato John Lau in Sarawak. The title “Dato” is an honorific one bestowed by the State and is rather like “Sir” in the British system. John attended NHS in 1967 for Matriculation before studying architecture at Melbourne Uni. He is now a prominent architect in Kuching. He said four lads from Sarawak were at Northcote that year and they were probably there as part of the Columbo Plan operating in the 1950s, 60s to help educate worthy students of SE Asia. He continues to be friends with one, Peter Wong. John struggled with English back then having to translate his text books to understand. He was very pleased to hear the School now teaches Mandarin. The Ex-students’ Association sends greeting to John and Peter and expresses thanks to Professor Wills for informing us.

July 2017

Ronald Goodey (Class of 1951) has written to the School and supplied interesting additions for the archives. In particular, he has donated his copies of Ripples Minor for 1950-51, not previously held by the School. The 1950 edition leads us to learn of Old Boy, Ian Manly Reed, who won a Gold Medal in discuss at the Empire Games in Auckland of 1950 and represented Australia at the Helsinki Olympics. Ian is still throwing discuss for the World Masters competition and is first in the world in his age group. Ronald is now a Companion of the Order of New Zealand and a distinguished otolaryngologist in Auckland, New Zealand. 1950 was quite a watershed year for NHS with the departure from the staff of distinguished masters like Messrs. George Stirling (English), A. Rogers (French), L. McAvoy (Chemistry), J. Flynn, etc. Jack Thomas was Head Prefect. Another news item recounts the effects of a tram strike and the problems of getting to school. Staff cars arrive packed with “sore, stiff and sorry” pupils packed in beyond the legal limits. Many thanks are extended to Ronald for writing and for the donation. Congratulations go to Ronald and Ian on their achievements.

More Letters – James Oliver (Class of 1951) has also written, as has Mervyn Ward of around the same time. James loved being in the School Cadet Corps and learning to dance with the girls from Preston GHS. He was not so fond of Mr Potter the Maths teacher and his strap. Mervyn attended with his brothers Roy (a Prefect and later Principal of Epping PS), Graeme and Robert. The Ward boys made a great contribution to the School in these years. Great to hear from both “boys” and best wishes form the Ex-students’ Association.

June 2017

The Annual “back to” lunch was another conspicuous success with a goodly crowd enjoying the food and company at Preston TAFE restaurant. Keith Froebel (1936-39) was there, hale and hearty and with many other ex-students enjoyed the key note address from His Honour Graham Fricke (1947-51), LLB, LLM, QC Retired County Judge, law lecturer and author of law books and books of general interest. His Honour entertained with details of his varied career and some of the cases which came before him. The Ex-student Association again thanks Principal Kate Morris for her support and most interesting address about the progress of the School, plans for a NHS Foundation, building plans and educational matters generally. Deputy Principal Jocelyn Hill and Administrative Officer Kate Challis are thanked most sincerely for all their hard work to organize the event. It is planned to hold the event later in the year in future.

Jac Nasser AO is moving to the retirement stage following his prestigious career with Ford Motor Corporation, BHP and Commonwealth Bank. The Association warmly congratulates Jac on his outstanding contribution to business and various charities and wishes him a long, happy and healthy retirement. Jac was honoured in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday honors with the award of the AC. (Companion of the Order of Australia). Congratulations Jac, you have certainly lived up to the School’s motto, Meliora Sequamur.

The Association notes with sadness the passing of two ex-students and extends condolences to the families and friends. James Mangopoulos LLB (Hons) (1960-65) was a distinguished business law practioner and outstanding soccer player. He was a Prefect in 1965 and Captain of Soccer from 1964. James passed away very recently. Wayne Duncan attended NHS in the 1950s (one year behind Normie Rowe). At School Wayne was involved in music and Cadets. He was a renowned bass guitarist in major groups including Daddy CoolRamrods and the Lincolns. He enjoyed an outstanding musical career and passed away on December 4th 2016.

News from Graeme Fellows .The School regularly hears from ex-students and staff and learns much from these communications. Graeme attended from 1957 to 1961. He has written of his memories at NHS during these years. He particularly remembers Metal Work teacher Mr. Shipley and his favourite saying to his students, “Don’t bash it, tap it” referring to shaping of the metal. Graeme began work with Leader newspapers and later became a hotelier in country Victoria. Great to hear from you Graeme.

February 2017

The Association is saddened by the recent passing of Ron Tucker Class of 1959. Ron matriculated in 1959 and had a long career as an administrative manager, finishing his working life with The Asthma Foundation of Victoria. At School he was a keen cricket player and member of the First XI. He played cricket and coached with Northcote and Ivanhoe Cricket Teams. He will be sadly missed by his class mates at the regular reunion lunches. Deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Sue and the family.

A Reunion of the Class of 1977 is being planned for October 20th 2017 by School Captain of that year Con Dinopoulos, Tass Tousimis and Ange Tosso. At this stage the plan is to hold a dinner at the Croxton Park Hotel. Interested former students and staff are invited to contact Tass by email

Alumni News 2016

Alumni News 2015

Alumni News 2014

Alumni News 2013

Alumni News 2012

Alumni News 2011