Our 41st Founders’ Day was a wonderful celebration of the College’s past, present and future. 

Our celebrations commenced with the Official Naming and Dedication of The Craig Sayer Stand. Our guests were treated to heart felt words from the Chair of the College Board, Mr Tony Hickey OAM, Performing Arts Captain, Pheonix Kyaw and Sports Captain, Sophie Clements (Year 12 Starkey and Andrews) and of course, Mr Sayer. 

What a brilliant start to the day!  Our Founders’ Day ceremony included inspirational addresses by the Chair of Board, Mr Tony Hickey OAM, and our College Captains, Benjamin Major and Ava McCarthy. We presented the Spirit of Somerset and Founders’ Day Awards amidst magnificent performances from the Concert Band and the Vocal Group. It was a perfect Gold Coast Day to enjoy the traditional Founders’ Day activities, the All-Age Swimming Relay, the Steeplechase, the All-Age Track Relay, the Tug-o-War and the Courtyard Dash with its new course.  Our Spartans shone as they competed or cheered – such wonderful traditions established to celebrate Founders’ Day. We could only continue to be amazed at the passion that Somerset produces.

Mr Hickey OAM reminded us of our humble beginnings and the dedicated and brave people who founded our great school and gave us the opportunity to thank three of the founders, who were in attendance, for their contributions; Mr John Aitkenhead, Mr Tony Cordner and Mrs Mary Rudkin and former Chairs, Mr Lex Bell, Dr Peter Brown.

Mr Hickey made a very important announcement, that Mr Craig Bassingthwaighte, would retire after 16 years as Headmaster of Somerset College at the end of 2024. You can read the announcement here. Mr Hickey also announced that the Sports Facility will be named The Craig Bassingthwaighte Centre and that the annual award presented to the Dux of Somerset College will be named The Craig Bassingthwaighte Medal - Dux of Somerset College.

While the students attended their House Lunch our invited guests enjoyed lunch on the Design Centre Terrace with a perfect view of the Tug-o-War and Courtyard Dash on Towers Quad.

The verandahs of The Smith Building, The Brown Building and The Arnison Building – all named for other magnificent servants – were perfect for a wonderful display of all things Somerset and the optimal vantage point for our littlest students. It truly had the atmosphere of a colosseum! Congratulations to the winning teams: 

All Age Swimming Relay
  • Andrews
All Age Running Relay
  • Veivers
  • Junior Boys - Martin Hembling (Veivers)
  • Junior Girls - Savannah Walker (Veivers)
  • Senior Boys - Cru Scott (Laver) – in a new record of 2.55.81
  • Senior Girls - Holly Hembling (Veivers)
  • Overall - Veivers
  • Infants - Andrews
  • Junior School - Veivers
  • Senior School - Veivers
  • Overall - Veivers
Courtyard Dash
  • Boy - Brooklyn Sabine (Veivers)
  • Girl - Marie Warneke (Veivers)
  • Overall - Veivers

The Spirit of Somerset Awards and Founders’ Day Awards

Are awarded for exceptional effort and commitment, which embodies those qualities that the College is proud to embrace. The recipients this year are:

Spirit of Somerset Community Award
  • Mr Michael Arnold (Class of 1989)
Spirit of Somerset Staff Award and the inaugural John Bacon Medal
  • Mr Forrest Butcher (Class of 1994) (Director of Aquatics/Head Coach)
Spirit of Somerset Senior School Award
  • Iona Radcliffe and Evan Cosson (Year 12 Starkey and Franklin respectively)

Founders’ Day Award

  • Qingning (Hannah) Sun and Henry Georgeson (Year 6 Andrews and Veivers respectively)

Honours in Student Leadership

Presented to Year 12 students who have demonstrated service and leadership at a level recognised and respected by staff and students this year were presented to:  

  • Megan Cattell (Andrews)
  • Steffani (Steff) Chang (Veivers)
  • Heidi Hoffman (Andrews)
  • Isabella Ong (Andrews)
  • Gianni Restaino (Starkey)
  • Lillian Tan (Laver)
  • Yuan (Oliver) Yang (Andrews)

Another Founders’ Day tradition is the Recognition of Service Award which is presented to colleagues who have served the College and its students for 20 years.

From this Founders’ Day onwards we have decided to recognise and thank those staff who have served the College and its students for 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.

As with the 20 Year Service Staff and with our birthdays we tend to celebrate the milestones like 20, 30 and 40 and so on. We will present a gift to those members of staff who have served Somerset for 20, 30 and 40 years.

In 2023, the Recognition of Service Award for 20 Years service was presented to: Mrs Helen Little, and Mr Bryce Leader.

We recognised and thanked those colleagues who have served for 25 years of service this year: Mrs Tania Campbell, Mr Scott Cunningham, Dr Scott Ham and Mr Ross Keefer who has served for 35 years.

The Recognition of Service Award for 30 Years service was presented to Mrs Brenda Millican.

Our very first staff member to reach 40 Years of Service to the College was Mrs Sue Roberts.

Subscribe to our newsletter