Old Scholars Association
An association of Adelaide High School Old Scholars has existed since 1911. The Old Scholars community are proudly responsible for maintaining that tradition.
Membership of the Association is open to the past students and staff of Adelaide High School, Adelaide Girls High School and Adelaide Boys High School.
The Association’s flagship event is the Annual Dinner, which is generally held in the in the middle of each year.
The Association also supports the School and school community by providing prizes, assistance with the Conversazione held each August, publication of the regular Old Scholars newsletter, and by organising lunches and other events.
Active membership is at the heart of the success of our Old Scholars Association and all Old Scholars are encouraged to continue their association with the School by joining the association and participating in its events.
For further information about the Adelaide High School Old Scholars Association, visit the website: https://www.ahsosa.org.au/
Each year, the Adelaide High School leadership teams awards the Vitae Medal on behalf of the School. The Vitae Medal:
- Acknowledges Old Scholars who have sustained the School's motto and values through their post-school achievements.
- Encourages greater association by Old Scholars in the life, values and vision of the School.
- Identifies Old Scholars who are exemplars for current students.
Below is a list of the most recent Vitae Medal recipients, along with information about their achievements.
Natalie Young is the Recipient of the 2022 Vitae Medal.
Natalie started her high school life at Adelaide High School in 2001, and became a valued member of the school community. She was involved in the school debating team, a member of Interact, a member of the Student Representative Council and the Vice Captain for West team. In 2005 Natalie was elected a year 12 Prefect.
Natalie has also had a stellar career.
She began her career as a solicitor in both civil litigation and corporate advisory (specialising in intellectual property law) before transitioning into education as a Legal Studies, Civics & Citizenship and English teacher. She has had the opportunity to teach students from reception to year 12 across all subject areas and in linguistically diverse settings, including teaching in the APY lands in far north SA. Natalie currently works at the Parliament of South Australia as the Community Education Officer.
Natalie claims that Adelaide High School has had a profound influence on her past and current career. She says the school ‘gave her connections through her peers from the 2005 graduating group and gave her inspiration as it was the school of the former Premier, Lyn Arnold.’ It also taught her how to ‘teach young people, new arrivals to Australia and anybody who would listen about being a change maker and using the tools in their life to make a difference and have their say’, to contribute to Australia’s democracy.
For Natalie her ‘education and time at Adelaide High School wasn’t just for school but for life.’
Vitae Award Recipient – Natalie Young B. Media, B. Ed (Secondary), LLB (Hons), GDLP and a genuinely nice person.
Con Piliouras is the Recipient of the 2021 Vitae Medal.
Con was a student at Adelaide High School from 1994 until 1998. Richard Bolt, his Pastoral Care Group teacher describes in a school reference:
“Con has made excellent efforts and achievement in his time at this school. He is both energetic and painstaking in his studies. Con’s extracurricular activities include the school jazz and concert bands, helping in the canteen, national maths and science competitions, theatre sports, chess, swimming and the soccer team. In all these activities, Con has applied himself with vigour and enthusiasm working well with others and making an excellent contribution to the school.”
Con joined the Adelaide High School staff as a music teacher in 2013. He is an integral member of the AHS Arts Learning Area Team and is passionate about music. Con establishes strong relationships with his students and will go out of his way to support individuals with their learning. This is where leadership comes in: Con builds in students a love of music and confidence to thrive, to challenge themselves and achieve beyond their expectations. Con has achieved too many outcomes to list and has contributed countless hours out of school supporting students and volunteering for the wider community.
Con loves music and he loves this school. This has become the vehicle for Con’s footprint. Con inspires, nurtures and quietly makes a difference to the lives of so many.
Amy Worswick is the Recipient of the 2020 Vitae Medal.
Amy was a student at Adelaide High School from 1985 – 1989 and enrolled as a Special Language student, studying French and Latin.
She was a member of the Interact Club in Years 11 & 12 and was the Interact Secretary in Year 12.
Amy worked in the Bookroom/Library during the school holidays throughout her time at Adelaide High and continued this while she studied at University.
Amy went on to study at the University of Adelaide, gaining
- Bachelor of Health Science
- Bachelor of Arts
- Graduate Diploma of Teaching
Amy continued studying Latin at University, because she said it helped her to better understand the origins of the English language. She also studied French and Ancient Greek.
Amy was appointed to Adelaide High School as an SSO in 1996 and worked in the Library and the Bookroom
While an SSO, Amy put in countless hours helping teachers with their lesson plans and presentations.
Amy was convinced by SSO staff at the school to go back to university to study for her teaching degree as she was doing the work of a teacher. She continued working as an SSO during this time.
Once Amy completed her Diploma of Teaching she undertook a contract position at Salisbury High School for 3 years. Amy then accepted a contract position at Adelaide High School from January 2008 and was permanently appointed to Adelaide High School in 2010
During her time at Adelaide High Amy has supervised school sport teams – Volleyball, Netball, Cricket and participated in many MacRob exchanges.
Amy played District Cricket for a number of years and was involved with scoring and calculating statistics for Cricket at the school, including the Five Highs Cricket Carnivals.
During her time at Adelaide High Amy has supported countless Outdoor Education camps and excursions.
Amy established and still runs a Maths Club, helping students with Maths problems and supervising their Maths homework
In partnership with the school’s groundsman, Amy established a recycling programme for the school.
Amy has been a member of the Old Scholars Conversazione team for many years and has served on the Old Scholars Committee.
- On several occasions has been the Master of Ceremonies for Conversazione
- Researches information for the ’50 Years Ago’ presentation at Conversazione each year
- Prepares PowerPoint presentations for Conversazione.
As part of her ongoing support and in her own time, Amy made a banner for Volleyball teams and House flags for Adelaide Girls’ High School
Amy has a keen interest in History and has been known to take her students on walks through the historical areas of Adelaide, sometimes getting them to dress up in costumes from the era.
She is interested in Geology and has been known to spend weekends and sometimes her holidays in the geological areas of South Australia with another member of the staff looking for samples.
Amy is always one of the first to volunteer for anything that has to be done.
She is quite often found at school planning work or researching for presentations way after everyone else has left for the day.
Over many years, Amy has given countless voluntary hours to support the school and students.
Amy your leadership has resulted in impact, influence and inspiration. Your love of Adelaide High, your commitment to upholding the values and motto of this beautiful school, through your volunteer work and approach to life, makes you a worthy recipient of the 2020 Vitae Medal.
Congratulations to Peter Burford who is the 2019 Vitae Medal Recipient
Peter James Burford was enrolled at Adelaide Boys High School in February 1957. He completed Leaving Honours (year 12) on December 19th, 1961.
Peter played Cricket and Football for the school. From year 9 his VG Card (his report card) indicated that he wanted to be a teacher and in year 9 his report read ‘shows definite Maths ability’.
Peter left Adelaide High School to attend Teachers’ College in 1962. After graduation from Teachers’ College, Peter taught in many schools, including some time at Bordertown Area School. He was Deputy Principal at Adelaide High School between 1994 and 2002. He taught Physics and Maths at Adelaide High. (His year 9 teacher was right in saying ‘definite Maths ability’.) Peter did not want to pursue promotion above Deputy Principal as he loved teaching – his students always came first. He would not organize meetings when he was scheduled to teach.
After retiring from Adelaide High School, Peter worked as a consultant for the Education Department in Shanghai, China for one year.
Peter has sustained the School’s Motto and values throughout his student and adult life. He has been Secretary/Treasurer and is currently Secretary of the Old Scholars Association. Peter was also a member of the Centenary Celebrations Organising Committee and accompanied students on many Melbourne/Mac.Rob exchanges. Peter is Chair of the local Neighbourhood Watch Committee and has volunteered for Meals on Wheels for a long time. Since retirement, Peter has travelled extensively interstate and overseas. He loves traveling interstate to visit his grandchildren and continues to play tennis.
Peter, your leadership has resulted in impact, influence and inspiration.
Your love of Adelaide High, your commitment to upholding the values and motto of this beautiful school, through your volunteer work and approach to life, makes you a worthy recipient of the 2019 Vitae Medal.
Congratulations to Flora Rumbelow (Legge) who is the 2018 Vitae Medal Recipient.
Flora undertook her secondary education at Millicent High School (Years 8 – 11). At this time, not all secondary schools in South Australia offered Matriculation (Year 12), so students had to transfer to another school to complete their secondary education. Flora transferred to Adelaide Girls’ High School on February 6, 1962 to complete her final year of secondary schooling and was subsequently appointed as a Prefect.
Flora played Hockey and class Basketball for Adelaide Girls High School, and after Matriculating in 1962, commenced studies to be a secondary school teacher at Adelaide Teachers College in 1963.
During her teaching career Flora taught at Adelaide High, Glossop, Port Pirie, Urrbrae, Northfield, St Marks, Elliston and Ceduna. She was appointed to Adelaide High School as a Senior Student Counsellor in 1992 but then served as an Assistant Principal at Adelaide High School from 1994 – Term 1 2000. Flora was often seen with cleaning equipment or a paint brush to clean up the messy jobs no-one else wanted to touch or to remove graffiti from the toilets or school buildings. She always had the wellbeing of her students at heart and set up a Bushwalking Club at Adelaide High School, which ultimately led to Outdoor Education being taught as a subject. She also supported PE staff on Outdoor Education excursion and camps, even after her retirement.
Following this, Flora was Principal at Elliston Area School from Terms 2 – 4, 2000 where she also taught Woodwork. She then served as Principal of Ceduna Area School between 2001 – 2004 where she took a bus out each morning to pick up students, providing breakfast for them to eat on the bus on their way to school.
Flora contributes to the wider community in a range of ways:
- Justice of the Peace
- Tutor with SPELD
- Drives the community bus for her local Council, picking up residents to take them to appointments, shopping or on outings.
- Plays golf and held the position of Chair, Women’s Committee, Mt Osmond Golf Club and was on the Board at the Golf Club.
- Member of the Organising Committee for Adelaide High School’s Centenary celebrations in 2008.
- Old Scholars Committee from 2008 to present
- Organising Committee for Conversazione and compere of the function for several years.
- Looked after the Archives at Adelaide High School from 2008 to 2015
Flora’s contribution to Adelaide High School and education in South Australia has been significant. Flora truly reflects the essence of the Vitae Medal and her leadership has resulted in impact, influence and inspiration.
The Vitae Medal is awarded by the school to a prominent old scholar who continues to live the school motto and values through his or her contribution to society in his or her field of endeavour.
This year, the school’s Leadership team has great pleasure in awarding the Vitae Medal to Peter Sanderson.
Peter Sanderson’s association with Adelaide High School has spanned over sixty years. He first enrolled as a Year 11 student in 1955, after transferring from a country school to complete his secondary education. After completing his tertiary studies, Peter returned to the school as a teacher in 1961 and held the position of Special Senior Master, Chemistry when he transferred to another school in 1970. In 1987, he returned to Adelaide High School as Principal and held that position until his retirement in 1996.
Since his retirement, Peter has been a committee member with the Old Scholars Association and has worked tirelessly supporting events run by the Old Scholars Association which in the end benefit students in the school. He has also supported community organisations such as Rotary and Meals on Wheels. In fact it was Peter who began the Interact Club here at the school.
Peter’s interest in the school hasn’t waned and he regularly attends assemblies and special functions and each year personally funds the P J Sanderson Prize for Chemistry, presented at the Senior Speech Day Assembly.
It is clear that Peter has contributed a great deal to the school and to our community and models the school’s motto and values. He is a worthy recipient of the Vitae medal. Please join me in congratulating Peter for his sense of good will and citizenship.
This year, the school’s Leadership team has great pleasure in awarding the Vitae Medal to Stephen Mitchell.
While a student at Adelaide High School, Stephen was the captain of Debating for which he won a School Blue; he played football for the school, represented the school in swimming and athletics and was a member of the Melbourne Exchange’s theatre sports, debating and football teams. As well as being Head Prefect, he was also in the SRC, was a member of the year book committee, and won various prizes in the Westpac Maths competitions, Australian School Science competitions and ACER Languages competitions.
Stephen was Head Prefect in 1998 and went on to study Law at the University of Adelaide, graduating with a first class honours Degree in Law and a Bachelor of Commerce.
Stephen was admitted as admitted to the Bar as Barrister after five years as a solicitor at Fox Tucker.
In 2013, Stephen received the Young Lawyer of the Year Award for South Australia and also the Young Lawyer of the Year for Australia for his significant contribution to the profession and outstanding individual contribution to Renew Adelaide. In 2013 he was described by the media as ‘one of South Australia’s rising young stars’.
Since becoming a lawyer, Stephen has volunteered his time at the University of Adelaide’s guest seminar for students in their final year of Law, has given of his time to AHS Old Scholars Committee and more recently to the AHS PLP Evening where he shared information about his role as a barrister with students in Year 10. He also undertakes pro bono work, offering free counsel for those in need.
It is clear that in a relatively short period of time, Stephen has contributed a great deal to the school and to our community and models the school’s motto and values of respect, resilience and compassion. He is a worthy recipient of the Vitae Medal.
The first recipient of the 2015 Vitae Medal is Peter Alahdas.
Peter was a student at ABHS from 1963 to 1967 and went on to study architecture. While at school, he a committed scholar and a role model to his peers.
In his role as Architect at JPE, Peter has given AHS a great gift of recent times. He has been the senior architect at JPE, who has designed the new wing for AHS and the refurbishment of Art, Languages and the new Maths Centre. Peter's professionalism, commitment to the school, his attention to detail and his dedication to this school's building project has been second to none. We owe Peter a great deal as he gave much more than most architects, due to his connection to his school. As a past scholar, he has contributed to developing and realising a bright future for AHS. Peter's work with our school has been professional, creative and always in our best interests. I think he is the true embodiment of non scholae sed vitae: not only for school but for life, as he has given 3 years of his life to help us improve our facilities. I'm sure you would all agree that our new wing and the refurbished building 4 are fantastic facilities for us to learn and work in.
On behalf of the entire school community I would like to thank Peter sincerely for his work and present him with the AHS Vitae medal.
A worthy recipient of the Vitae medal for 2015 is Mrs Trish Mibus who worked in the front office.
Mrs Mibus has supported the school in her daily work, has given freely of her time after hours every year at least 12 times to attend GC meetings and take the minutes; has supported the Old Scholars Association by processing newsletters, taking phone calls, assisting with the organisation and setting up of old scholar dinners and the Conversazione afternoon teas over the years, assisting with the breakfast club here every Tuesday morning for the students, essentially going above and the beyond in every way. She is one of the few people who is here long after the school is closed. Trish Mibus was nominated by the school and the old scholars to receive this award and it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge Trish for outstanding dedication and contribution to our school in so many ways.
Kay Koch has been awarded the 2014 Vitae Medal.
The AHS Old Scholars' Association was formed in 1911 and functioned for approximately fifty years before it lapsed in the 1960s. Late in 1970, a small group of the school staff decided to revive the association. Public meetings were held, and an interim committee of ten people was formed. Kay Koch was part of this committee (as was Nick Scopolitis). This group met in 1980, and again in 1981 to formulate the Constitution and structure of the Association. A Special General Meeting was held in April, and was attended by over a hundred and fifty people in the School Hall. A Management Committee was nominated, and a Draft Constitution was presented. A month later the AGM was held, the Constitution was adopted, the Committee, which included Kay Koch, was elected.
During that year, the Old Scholars' Association held the Old Boys Annual Dinner, the ladies held the Conversazione, a mixed dinner was held and a Family Day was held in the Barossa Valley, as well as holding a wine and cheese stall at the school's Open Day.
The women's Conversazione was catered for by the Ladies' Auxiliary of the school for some time, but when this ceased to exist, Kay Koch took over the catering for this event, and has done so ever since.
Kay has remained a committee member of the Old Scholars' Association and a member of the organising group for Conversazione ever since, one of the two original members, and has been an enthusiastic member and defender of the Constitution and of the functions of the Committee, which was established as a means of maintaining friendships made at school, and to give old scholars the opportunity to be involved in the life of the school. After being a Vice President of the Association for some years, she is currently the President.
The recipient of the 2013 Vitae Medal is Dr James Katsaros.
Dr Katsaros was a student at ABHS from 1963 to 1967 and went on to study medicine. While at school, not only was he an exceptional scholar, a Prefect in 1966 and Head Prefect in 1967, he played football and cricket and represented the school in the Melbourne exchanges.
In 1983 he was awarded the Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is currently an examiner in the field, senior visiting consultant for the Royal Adelaide Hospital, clinical senior lecturer in the department of surgery at the University of Adelaide, and conducts his own practice. Dr Katsaros’ learning and work has seen him practice in Adelaide, the UK, and the USA and give of his time and expertise to a range of hospitals, boards and learning institutions, leading the field in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
While obviously leading a busy professional life, Dr Katsaros also found time to give to the community. He held the position of Patron of the AHS Old Scholars Association for many years, supporting the school and the old scholars in numerous ways.
Dr Katsaros has upheld the school’s motto, learning for life, and continues to contribute to the greater good, assisting in changing people’s lives through plastic and reconstructive surgery around the world, and in his work here in Adelaide. It is clear he believes in the concept of service and is a most worthy recipient of the Vitae Medal.
Image: Dr James Katsaros (left) with President of the Old Scholars Association, Paul Volkov.
The inaugural recipient of the Vitae Medal is Colin Brideson OAM who was Principal of Adelaide High School from 1978 to 1987.
It is fitting that the inaugural recipient of the Vitae Medal was also a former member of staff, in fact was Principal of Adelaide High School and a person who served the broader community in many committees and organisations.
Colin was an old scholar and as Principal oversaw the amalgamation of Adelaide Girls High School and Adelaide Boys High School. He led the school as it became the state’s only special interest language school in 1974 and facilitated the building of the drama suite, the resource centre, the languages centre, the arts area and the gymnasium.
Colin Brideson was also awarded an Order of Australia Medal in recognition of his service to the community. The Adelaide High School old scholars and broader community were saddened at the beginning of this year when Colin passed away. Colin was nominated for this award before he passed. I am deeply sorry he is not here to receive it personally, and that he is not seated in the balcony as he usually was at our formal assemblies. I am heartened by the fact that his family is here to receive it for him. Colin strongly believed in the concept of service before self, and today’s assembly epitomises Colin’s values.
I know that future recipients of this award will be humbled by the fact that Colin was the inaugural recipient.