Current Old Boys' Newsletter

On College Hill  

Year End 2023

Principal's Address
President's Address
Foundation Chair Address

Principal's Address

As many are aware, at the College we conduct an annual Year 12 retreat on Wednesday of the Seniors’ final week at school. Integral to this event our presentations from Old Boys who talk of their Lauries Journey and their experiences after school. This year Lachlan Heshusius (2006), Tyson Schneider (2005) and Ian Levers (1985) spoke brilliantly to our seniors of their experiences and how this College and our values has shaped their lives. Our students were also presented with a College Cap. The cap has the House Colours on it as well as the serial numbers of Private Grant Kirby (1992) and Constable Matthew Arnold (2013).

Grant was killed on active duty in Afghanistan in 2010 while serving with the 1st Mentoring Task Force. Matthew was killed performing his duties with the Queensland Police Service in Wieambilla. Our presenters spoke of service and support as being particular Lauries traits. This was a most moving event for all in attendance.

The spirit of service and support continues through our Old Boys’ Foundation led by Allan Layton (1972) and the financial support that is provided for boys to attend this College. This can make all the difference to the lives of others. Michael Drew (1991) steps down as Chair of the School Advisory Council following excellent service to the College. In 2024 he will be replaced by current Council Member Michael Batch (1994). I thank all Foundation and Council members for their work to assist us with our mission.

In the last few months, we were also sad to hear of the passing of passionate Old Boys, Ian Cameron (1981) and Peter 'Doubles' Daley (1974). Both gentlemen served their community and were a constant source of strength and support for those in need. May these gentlemen and all deceased Old Boys Rest in Peace.

In 2024 our enrolment will surpass 2,000 students with waiting lists in most year levels. Our environment is most competitive, and we need to ensure that we remain relevant, yet that we don’t lose the Lauries spirit and passion. We hope to launch our new Strategic Plan in 2024. In this plan we will investigate some great initiatives. I look forward to presenting this to the Community in the new year.

I wish to also thank the Old Boys’ Committee led by Peter Wendt (1988) for their ongoing efforts to support past students and their families. I also affirm the strong relationship that exists between the College Leadership Team and the Committee.

There have been some significant retirements this year from teachers. Following the retirements of Gordon Balharry and Jim McLauchlan in recent years, Noel Toohey retires after 41 years teaching and 9 years as a student. Peter Foster retires after 37 years work in the Art Faculty and Basil Ranieri retires after 23 years in the Primary School. John Roberts (1978) also retired in September of this year and Jeanette Partington will retire during the course of 2024 following her leave. We wish all of these staff well in retirement.

I offer our best wishes to all past students and their families over the Christmas break. I trust that as we continue to honour our past while leaving a legacy for future and current Lauries students. I leave with a quote from our Year 12 leaving ceremony.

“When you walk with integrity you forge a path for others”.

Chris Leadbetter

College Principal

President's Address

It has been a year of much success tinged with a great deal of sadness. We lost one current and one former Committee Members in Antony "Rat" Raiteri (1984) and Peter "Doubles" Daley (1974) OAM. Both epitomised what it meant to be Lauries Old Boys, fiercely passionate, dedicated and above all put others before themselves. 

It is hard to believe neither of them are with us anymore. But it is nice to know their legacies will be remembered. The Raiteri Medal will now be awarded to the best on field First XI cricketer from the Woody Cup Old Boys' Cricket match. This will be awarded for the first time in January. This year the AIC also implemented the Peter Daley Medal for best on ground for the First XV fixtures. A great gesture by the AIC. 

There was some significant engagement this year through the Reunion Weekend, SLConX, The Woody Cup, Old Boys' and Community Concert, Back to Runcorn, ANZAC Day and SLOBACare. Again this year we made a small donation to Mater@Home is recognition of their continued support on what we are working towards with SLOBACare.

The Reunion Weekend was again a huge success via all the various Reunions, the Memorial Mass and the Seniors Lunch. As always, the Seniors Lunch was a highlight, seeing over 100 Old Boys who left the College at least 50 years ago is something very special. 

The Woody Cup continues unabated and I am amazed how quickly the time has flown. Next year will be the eighth instalment. Watching the Old Boys Football team excitement in winning the penalty shootout epitomised the importance of the Cup and how it has grown in stature. Registrations are already open for next year with AFL being added to the program. This takes the number of possible sports to nine. The calendar has also been locked in. 2024 will also usher in a new Old Boys Sports kit for the Woody Cup matches. 

We are also very thankful to those Old Boys who committed time to SLConX and share their stories with current students. Seeing the large student turnouts we know this is a very important initiative that has also been extremely well received by the Old Boy community. Like the Woody Cup, registrations are now open and the calendar also locked in. We thank Paul Moscos (1999) for making these events happen and getting the boys engaged. 

Just a reminder nominations are also open for the College Hall of Fame. Old Boys have the opportunity to nominate by 31 December. 

Every 2 years we take on Ashgrove Old Boys in Touch and Football as part of our Back to Runcorn Day. Both matches were again contested in fine spirit and a lot of fun had. The aim of these events is to continue that strong bond and friendship between the two communities. Whilst the outcome is secondly, we did manage to retain the Shield on aggregate. Thanks again to the tireless efforts of the Committee and to Marist Ashgrove Old Boys for their continued support of the event. 

In the mid year Newsletter I mentioned Eddie Wallace was hanging up the whistle as Director of Sport at the College. I would like to restate what I said then;  Two events demonstrate how supportive Eddie has been of the Old Boys. Many will not know this, but Eddie was the primary driver in establishing the Woody Cup. We may have come up with the name, but it was Eddie who approached the Old Boys with the concept. A significant expansion and commitment over and above the one or two sports with existing matches between the College and the Old Boys. Now into its seventh year, the value of this Cup cannot be underestimated. Secondly, when we put forward a proposal to hold Back to Runcorn Days with Old Boy football and touch matches, it was Eddie who made it happen. The day against Ashgrove is the single biggest day on the calendar with all sporting teams playing at the same location. To be able to accommodate us is a testament to Eddies skilful management and support. Thank you Eddie and all the best. Eddie has moved to a role with AIC and we can already see the difference he is making. 

Financially, we continue to remain sound. We did have some significant outlays at the back end of the year, but we go into the AGM in January in a good position to hand over to the 2024 Committee. We also completed our revenue stream review looking at various options of increasing income. 

For those interested in being part of the Committee in 2024, nomination forms will be released in about a week and posted to our socials. 

Thank you to Chris and his College Leadership team. They are incredibly supportive of the work the Association does. A lot of what we do would not happen without this incredible support. To the current Committee, a big thank you and to the Executive, I have appreciated all the hard work on making 2023 another successful year. To Helen Turner, I have saved the best for last. Helen is our rock and most of what you see would not happen without her dedication and enthusiasm. This also applies to the wonderful College team Helen also has assisting her at all Old Boy functions. We could not do it without them. 

As the great Basketball Coach Phil Jackson once said, "Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart". 

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2024. 

Peter Wendt (1988)

Association President

Foundation Chair Address

As many readers would now know, the Old Boys’ Foundation believes deeply in providing a financial hand-up to Lauries families who find themselves in financial difficulty. Each year it provides a Gift to the College arising out of its operations; this Gift to be used to provide fee-relief bursaries to families in need so their sons can continue their Lauries Journeys.

Due to the wonderful, continuing generosity of our donor community, the Foundation’s gift to the College this year was $100,000; the first time the Foundation has been able to gift a six figure sum to the College! As with every year, College Principal Chris Leadbetter will provide the Trustees with a general summary of how the funds are used by the College to help families in need. I will advise Old Boys in next year’s June Newsletter how this 2023 gift was used by the College to assist financially disadvantaged Lauries families. Since 2006, this brings the aggregate of the Foundation’s Gifts to the College to just over three quarters of a million dollars, or, more precisely, to $755,000!

As far as the 2023 Annual Appeal is concerned, it was again truly inspiring to see the ongoing generosity of the Foundation’s donors – existing and new. Furthermore, the two new major fundraising events – the Lauries Autumn Lunch in May and the Lauries Gala Dinner in September - were again held with the Foundation being a beneficiary (the College Building Fund being the other) and receiving 50% of the net proceeds raised. With the $100k gift to the College, the Annual Appeal and these two events being such a success, 2023 was another great year for the Foundation and for the families and their sons which it assists.

Finally, as I wrote in the June Newsletter, in May we lost Antony “Rat” Raiteri (1984), a widely known and respected Old Boy, and a great supporter of the College, Association and Foundation. All donations to the Foundation made in his name will be kept track of in the Foundation’s corpus in the “Antony Raiteri Bursary Fund”. As I have previously advised, in 2023 this Fund contributed $5,000 to the $100,000 Foundation gift to the College.

In conclusion, my fellow Old Boys, if you are already a Foundation donor, thank you, and please continue your support. If you’re not yet a donor please consider becoming one; it’s a great cause! By donating to the Foundation you will be helping yet more financially disadvantaged boys get to complete their Lauries Journey and have the great start in life that comes with it.

Have a great Christmas!


Professor Emeritus Allan Layton (1971)

Chairman, St Laurence’s Old Boys Foundation

Vale -"Peter Doubles" Daley (1974)
Remembering Matthew Arnold (2013) - 12 Months on
Welcome to the 2023 Cohort
Facere et Docere Award
Hall of Fame Nominations close 31 December
Old Boy Reunion Weekend
Woody Cup VII
Old Boy Recognition & Awards
Annual General Meeting (AGM) Notice
Congratulations to the 2024 Leaders
College Update
2024 Save the Date
Old Boys Caps now available
Mater Volunteer Opportunities
Our Story
Service History & Archives Request

Vale -"Peter Doubles" Daley (1974)

This year has seen the passing of a number of Old Boys' who devoted their life to community service. Peter "Doubles" Daley (1974) OAM was one such person. Doubles was laid to rest on 4 December with a wonderful, typically understated service at the College, just the way he wanted it. His contribution and impact he had on so many people cannot be underestimated such was the turnout. Doubles was also a long standing committee member with an immense passion for the College and his beloved Souths Rugby. 

Whilst Doubles didn't live for awards or recognition (unless they were Souths and Lauries rugby premierships), it is worth noting he received an OAM for his services to the Community and Rugby. He also received the Australian Sports Medal and the Nick Farr Jones Spirit of Rugby Award.

The AIC First XV best player award is now named in his honour. A great gesture by the AIC and his legacy.  

RIP Doubles.

Below is a piece penned by Michael Blucher from InQLD on 30 November which sums up the essence of Doubles and all those who met him. Thank you Michael.

They called him 'Doubles' - but that doesn't mean the man had tickets on himself

We lost a good one this week, not unexpectedly it must be said, given his lengthy battle with lung cancer, but a very sad occasion, all the same.

“Doubles Daley” – I must have known him for 10 years before I found out his name was Peter. “Doubles” suited him far better – he was given the nickname early, and grew into it, a little like “Rupert” McCall, another local Brisbane rugby identity. How many would know Rupert’s real name was Jason? No wonder he changed it.

Doubles earned his nickname on account of his relentless fundraising endeavours, initially as a schoolboy at St Laurence’s College, then more prolifically at Souths Rugby Club.

Every weekend in winter, he’d stand at the gates of Ballymore, or on the sideline at Chipsy Wood Oval and flog “doubles tickets” – if you had the ticket with the jersey number of the first two try scorers in the main match – Bingo! The prize pool was yours.

Buying a ticket from Doubles was the easy bit. Getting away from him was next to impossible. Crikey, he could talk. With most chatterboxes, there’s an occasional pause, a logical opening where you can make a dash for it. “Well mate, better get going, good to see you”.

Not Doubles. He never stopped talking, even to draw breath. An old rugby mate told me of the time he was playing golf by himself on a Sunday afternoon. Somewhat reluctantly, he fielded a call from Doubles moments after putting out on the third. He couldn’t get him off the phone until half way down the 9th fairway. Doubles was that sort of bloke – the most loveable, genuine, persistent pain in the arse that God ever put breath into.

A few years ago, he was invited to be the guest on a local sporting podcast, to talk about his long and colourful career as rugby’s most passionate and dedicated volunteer, a contribution which ultimately earned him an AOM. I understand the hosts at one point were contemplating cutting up the interview into a four part series. Yep, when Doubles got on a roll, there was no stopping him.

“I remember once telling Doubles that my house was burning down and Jack The Ripper was inside with the kids,” former Wallaby skipper and Magpie great Andrew Slack laughed. “It was still three hours before I managed to get him off the phone!”

A fun fact – Doubles, on account of his problematic vision, only ever played one game of rugby in his life, kitting up for his beloved Souths Magpies in a 5th grade match against University in his mid 20s. His only recorded on-field pass landed straight in the bread basket of a Uni opponent who strolled effortlessly to the try line.

There are a couple of versions as to what happened next – either Doubles voluntarily removed himself from the contest or his teammates sent him off – more likely the latter. In any case, that was it – the boots went in the cupboard, and Doubles went back to doing what Doubles did best – harassing people for money.

It’s impossible to overstate his value to the Souths club, or the admiration he generated on account of his dedication and spirit of generosity.

Over the course of 45-plus years, there was no task, large or small, that he didn’t perform in and around the “magpie nest” at Annerley. He washed, he cooked, he cleaned, he put out, he put away, he mended, he organised, he picked up, he dropped off, he billeted players – all with that ever-ready smile on his moon-shaped dial. Doubles just loved being involved – rugby was his game, and rugby people were his tribe.

There’s the famous story of Doubles in the early 2000s, getting on a bus to Moree at 3 o’clock in the morning, to visit a tall NSW country kid, who apparently had a bit of talent. Perhaps he’s like to come up to Brisbane and have a run for Souths?

Having overcome the shock of a total stranger rapping on his door at 6.30am, Van Humphries did eventually join the club, in fact finished up playing plenty of games for Queensland. All because of Doubles. If it was in Souths’ best interest, it was no trouble.

In the late 1980s’ Doubles was also instrumental in ushering prodigal centre pairing Tim Horan and Jason Little into the club. There’s the wonderful (true) tale of boisterous teenager Horan drinking XXXX on the club house roof, as the Colts’ Grand Final celebrations entered their 10th hour.

By 9pm, Doubles had had enough of the loutish behaviour. “WHOEVER’S ON THE ROOF GET DOWN IMMEDIATELY OR YOU’LL BE KICKED OUT OF THE CLUB AND BANNED FOR LIFE,” he yelled indignantly.

Seconds later, a grinning Horan poked his head over the guttering, and peered down at Doubles, his coke-bottle glasses fogged up with fury.

“Oh….um.. Tim… I didn’t realise it was you. Be careful up there. It’s quite steep you know. You right for beer? Can I pass up a coupla cans?”

Like all good club men, Doubles knew the game all too well – there were rules for some and very different rules for budding superstars.

Andrew Slack again: “Every recreational or sporting club has an individual whose sole purpose in life seems to be to ensure that courtesy of their hard work and passion, the heart of the club keeps beating. To that end, if there was ever a patron saint of rugby club stalwarts, it could only be ‘St Doubles’. And in truth, he’d love a canonisation!”

The Souths rugby fraternity breathed a collective sign of relief in the early 90s when Doubles finally married Karen, his long suffering girlfriend. Thank goodness – at last the man had a dual focus, something to distract him, they thought. Surely now his obsession with Souths Rugby Club would wane?

To the contrary. Doubles dragged Karen (and all in good time, their daughter Danielle) into the magpie nest, the black and white fold. They became almost as passionate as him.

Sadly in 2012, Karen died prematurely from cancer, the same disease that last Sunday night claimed the life of her beloved husband.

He fought a hell of a fight. When he was first diagnosed in 2018, his specialist gave Doubles two years to live. He lasted almost six.

Yes, anybody who knew Doubles knew that he could be hard to shed.

The most loveable, genuine, persistent pain in the arse that God ever put breath into. A magpie man through and through.

Rest in Peace, old mate. You did good.

Remembering Matthew Arnold (2013) - 12 Months on

Tuesday the 12th of December, 2023 will be a solemn day for the Lauries community, the reason is detailed in the story. You will have noticed the change in name of this page to 'Lauries Rugby - Brave and Bold' and that is in tribute to the subject of this story.(It's a long story, but that is unavoidable so grab a cuppa, a beer or a wine and a comfortable chair. As usual, apologies for any typo's etc)The Irish Philosopher, Edmund Burke purportedly said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Burke’s quote was intended to stir the social conscience of the lazy and self-interested, though it could never be attributed to this young Lauries man, he was in fact the antithesis of Burke’s dilemma. Yet the force of evil eventually had its way, for a brief, but catastrophic few hours on a hot summer night in the Western Downs of Queensland.

Background On Monday, the 13th of December 2022, after a period of 16 months, the Queensland land border with New South Wales had been conditionally opened just days earlier, though only to people who were fully vaccinated against the Covid19 virus and its variants. This was of no deterrence at all to the driver of a black 4WD, a scruffy looking, middle-aged bloke wearing combat-camouflage fatigues, a full bearded anti-vaxxer, conspiracy theorist whose Toyota LandCruiser 4WD carried a cache of loaded rifles, and military knives. He was determined to enter Queensland. As he approached the Boongangar Bridge over the MacIntyre River, near Goondiwindi he was unexpectedly stopped in his tracks by chain locked border gates. A local farmer from the Goondiwindi region, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he witnessed the male attempt to ram his LandCruiser through the border gates. When that failed, he retrieved an angle grinder from the back of his 4WD and proceeded to cut the padlock on the gates so that he could drive into Queensland. The farmer said the border breach had coincided with a major local flood that saw many roads cut from the bridge to the nearest Queensland town of Talwood and that was a problem for this determined interloper who was now bogged in the mud. "He said he was an 'anti-vaxxer' and had lost his job because he wouldn't get vaccinated and couldn't see his family in Queensland." "We towed his car into our yard because it was blocking the road and he asked us for a lift. I arranged for him to be dropped about 6kms up the road towards Talwood, but there would still be some flooding for him to get through. "Just prior to leaving the farm, the male returned to his vehicle to retrieve several rifles, a bow and arrow and some military-style "Rambo" knives before getting into the farm vehicle. “It was all very sketchy and I thought the best thing was that he got off our property and moved on'' mused the farmer. That he did, and the stranger ‘went to ground’ and wasn’t heard of again for 12 months. Thereafter, a series of events followed which resulted in a cruel and vicious crime, one which struck at the heart of Australia as a nation, and more particularly a Lauries family as well as the broader Lauries Community. Two city kids - two country cops On Monday 12/12/22 the sun rose over the Western Downs township of Tara and its population of 2300 prepared for a new day, centred around the town’s main produce of beef, wheat, wool and gas. Two of those preparing for the day were young and eager police officers, Constables Matt Arnold (SLC 2013) and Constable Rachel McCrow, both were residents of the Tara Police Barracks and together that morning they walked 50 metres or so to the station to start work that morning. As they walked out the door of the barracks they passed Matt’s treasured blue Ford Ranger ute, which he had already packed for his trip home to be with his family for Christmas, he was leaving bright and early on Tuesday morning. Such was his eagerness to see his family, his dog Tana, and a new young lady friend from Brisbane. The Tara air was already uncomfortably warm and heavy, and the sun cast its burning rays on their faces and yet it was only 8am. It was only going to get hotter during the day with an expected temperature of 34 degrees and an extreme UV rating. Matt and Rachel were city kids, but they both had the friendly, personable demeanour that allowed country cops to ingratiate into their town, the locals genuinely loved these two in blue. The shift began as usual for the Tara day crew and the first duty, as always, was in the locker room to ensure their standard issue accoutrements were in working order should they be needed. Next, they went into the Day Room and exchanged greetings with the Acting Officer in Charge, the office lady, and the cleaner. They received the morning briefing, signed out the car, radios, and body worn cameras, then hit the road. Once in the station van, the first port of call was the Tara Cafe on Day Street for a morning brew, a chat to the locals to find out what had been happening in town overnight, and then out to the Surat Development Road to find a tree and ‘show the flag’ to slow down the dozens of B-Double heavy vehicles approaching town. This was a morning ritual, coffee under a shady tree alongside the highway and checking the registration numbers of vehicles and identifying who was coming into town, it’s an easy way to find offenders who are on the run. It’s a long-held philosophy of rural policing to check out whoever is coming into town, and don’t upset the locals unless you have to. The local radio ABC Southern Queensland filled the void between the crackling of the Police radio from VKR Dalby, with the news and music. It was Boomers music, but it was music. As is the habit within the emergency services, the two Constables speculated on what the day would bring them, but mostly they were still giggling about the practical joke they had created the day before for their Office in Charge, Sergeant Matt Minz. Young Matty was the brains behind the conspiracy, but he knew that he wouldn’t get to see Minz’s reaction because by the time Minz came back from his rostered days off Matty would be well on his way to Brisbane. Rachel promised to record the moment on her phone and send it to him in Brisbane. Rachel didn’t need much cajoling, for she shared Matty’s spirit of larrikinism. It wasn’t long before they were directed to the Tara Childcare Centre, on Porter Street where a local hoon was speeding up and down Porter Street in front of the Centre, a clear hazard to the kids and families arriving at the Centre. When they arrived the hoon had hit the toe. But that was no reason for Matt and Rachel to keep driving, they were expecting a quiet Monday, and Rachel was the local Adopt-a-Cop so the two of them walked into the Centre and chatted to staff and the local kids. Matty took some time to kick a footy with a couple of the boys, that was just the way Matty and Rachel both lived their lives, making time for all people. Back on the road and it was late-morning, it was time to go back to the office and ensure that Matt’s paperwork was finalised, as required, before he went on leave. Meanwhile, over the border the Walgett (NSW) Police were investigating new information about a potential location for a missing person of 12 months standing. Within an hour or so Walgett police lodged a request for assistance with the Police Communications Centre in Brisbane. A NSW Department of Education School Principal had been missing for over a year and it had recently been established that his brother and his ex-wife were living together in Wieambilla, Queensland. The NSW Police sought a welfare check to be done by the QPS to check if the missing person was there and if he was okay. Importantly, the person who made the call to Walgett police will undoubtedly be revealed at a later point in time. After a few more routine jobs the day was just about done, it was by now 3.30pm and knock-off was at 4pm, so it was back to the office to begin the winding down of the shift, submit their log and secure their equipment. Thirty more minutes and Matt would be on Christmas leave. Well, it was not to be, as another famous Irishman by the name of Murphy would have it, just before knock-off time they got a call to meet the Chinchilla car on Wains Road, Wieambilla regarding a missing person inquiry, yes it was that Walgett Principal. This was not a great impediment to Matt’s plans, he was after all, leaving for Brisbane early on Tuesday morning and his ute was ready to go, so a couple of hours overtime in the bank account before Christmas was appreciated. On the 45 minute drive from Tara to Wieambilla they were informed by VKR Dalby that the missing person also had an active Queensland arrest warrant for entering Queensland illegally on the 13th of December, 2021.In the absence of intelligence to the contrary, arrest warrants are not seen as particularly dangerous duty, in this case, a school principal with an arrest warrant for jumping the border should present little danger. The Wieambilla Estate, or the ‘blocks’ as they are known by the locals is a place where the strugglers can find cheap land, it’s harsh land and it's scarred by grids of coal seam gas pipelines criss-crossing the private blocks like a chess board. But, being cheap and isolated land it attracts those who perhaps cannot afford to buy land in town, it also attracts those who are seeking anonymity. The population of “the blocks” is larger than that of Tara. Most of the property gates around the blocks carry some form of warning sign, from ‘dangerous guard dog’, to ‘firearms on premises’ and specific advice as to the consequences of unauthorised entry, or just the straightforward ‘Keep-Out’.Wieambilla is a place to take warnings seriously. As Matt and Rachel waited for the Chinchilla crew to arrive, the late afternoon chirp of cicadas signified the waning of the afternoon heat and the onset of dusk. At about 4.35pm the tell-tale rising dust in the distance signalled the approach of a vehicle. A quick radio call confirmed that it was Keeley Brough and Randall Kirk in the Chinchilla car. They pulled up directly alongside Matt’s car on the road outside 251 Wains Road, seasons-greetings were exchanged, followed by a quick chat about the job and the fact the gate was locked. The residence is set well back from the road, with thick scrub, trees and long dry grass obstructing the view to the house. The driveway was blocked by a series of felled trees, an unusual sight, but this is an unusual area and the absence of warning signs on the gate was noted. Once they were happy with the plan for handling their approach, Matt sounded the police car horn as is customary in rural locations, and led by Matty, all four officers then jumped the fence of 251 Wains Road, Wieambilla and almost immediately Australia’s collective heart was broken! There is no need to write anything more about that incident in this forum. It is much more important to talk about Matty Arnold and the impact he had on his family, his schoolmates and his community and to pay respect to all who were impacted by this crime.

Back in Brisbane:

Sometime later that evening I received a call from the President of the Lauries Old Boys Association, Peter Wendt, who discussed the Wieambilla siege with me and informed me that one of the deceased officers was ours, a SLOB, he was Matthew Joseph Arnold, a 2013 Senior. The metaphorical knife through the hearts of so many of us was cruelly twisted once more. As an Association we needed to ensure that SLOBACare was ready to respond to any request for help from any person associated with Matty or the College. On Thursday the 15th of December I was told of a gathering of the 2013 Laurie’s Senior cohort at the Story Bridge Hotel the next afternoon, it had been organised by Danny O’Toole and other Laurie’s teachers for the purpose of bringing those boys back together to ‘get around’ each other. That evening I spoke to an old mate and fellow SLOB Ian Leavers, the current President of the Queensland Police Union of Employees and a recent SLOBA Committee member .I had seen Leavo all over every television station and newspaper, I had heard him on every radio news bulletin that week. I knew he was busy, really busy, and emotionally exhausted, but I chose to mention the function to him and without coercion he said “Mate, I’ll be there. I have some matters to deal with out here in Tara in the morning and then I’ll drive back.” Any person who saw the media coverage that week knows that Leavo put in some extremely long hours in Tara and needed a rest, but Leavo is made of stern stuff and he genuinely cares for his people.

The Story Bridge Hotel - Friday 16/12/22

I am not particularly skilled at guessing crowd numbers, but I would say there were well over 100 Old Boys at that private function in the Bridge Bar. The atmosphere was welcoming and there were a number of Old Boy police officers and retired police holding Court in the corner of the bar. Someone paid for the venue, drinks and finger food that day. I have a suspicion who it was and if I’m correct, it tells the story of why Lauries has once again become such a fine College with a culture that brings pride and a sense of belonging to the Old Boys. On this occasion though, the underlying conviviality of seeing old Laurie’s mates was tempered by the immense sadness caused by the incident which brought us together. However, it was a good afternoon with everyone present being respectful of those who were clearly numbed by the loss of Matt. Then, just before dusk, four very special people walk into the pub via the Baildon Street door. Matty’s family, mother Sue, dad Terry, his sister Hayley, and brother James, walked into the room unannounced and were immediately greeted by Danny. From that point onwards I witnessed some things that tugged on my heartstrings. Firstly, the noise generated within the room lowered to a more respectful, dignified level. Then there was the steady, but unrushed flow of Old Boys engaging with Sue, Terry, Hayley and James in a caring manner, each of them knowing instinctively not to overwhelm our guests, rather to give them some time and space to ease themselves into the occasion. Thirdly, when talking to some tough old ex-cops, such as retired Detective Inspector Neil Armstrong (SLC 1st XV 1968/69). Neil was a Criminal Investigator of immense experience and spent many years in the hard-nosed units like the Homicide and Armed Robbery Squads. When I observed Neil’s eyes start to well-up and his face take on a sad aspect as he looked over to Sue and Terry, I learned something about the depth of the compassion and loyalty that is inherent within the SLOBA brotherhood across the generations. It was clear to me that the Arnold family, Lauries and the QPS had lost a very important person, one who could unite all Old Boys, regardless of age, in a spirit of care and concern for each other. So, how did we come to this point in time? Why did Matt inspire such care and concern amongst his peers and others?

The Arnold Family story:

One day in 1996, Sue and Terry were sitting in the rooms of their Obstetrician for a routine scan of their developing twins when the Doctor excitedly interrupted the casual flow of the conversation. Sue described it as follows:

Doctor - “How many did I tell you you were having?” Sue - “Two.”Doctor - “Well, welcome number three.”Doctor - “I’d better take your blood pressure now”.

Terry then stuck his arm out, to be told sternly “Not you mate, your wife!”

The triplets were born some eight weeks premature and they were tiny, Matt arrived two minutes before Hayley and next came James. Hayley maintained that this pecking order was something that Matt never let go of, “Matt of course, was the oldest and he constantly played on that and he let everybody know it.” Whilst Hayley was educated at All Hallows, Matt and James started at Lauries in Year 5 in 2006, both of them relished the sporting and academic aspects of Lauries. But Matt came to learn quickly exactly how much work he needed to do to get through, and the rest of his time was devoted to sport. Terry recalled that Matt stood out at sport, though not initially an obvious talent he was one who worked hard to get what he wanted. He applied himself in Year 5 to cricket and rugby, starting in the C team for each code but by the end of primary school he had worked his way into the A’s in each. Matty was starting to show his ‘lead from the front’ personality in rugby matches, and his parents recently received a card from another spectator at a Laurie’s AIC match. The writer told of an opposition ‘beast of a player’ who was creating havoc for the Lauries defence. Matty made a decision to take responsibility for shutting down the opposition wrecking ball, and that’s what he did by launching himself like a Scud Missile at the ‘beast’ every time he touched the ball (the card is attached).As secondary school approached Matty made the decision to add volleyball to his extra-curricular activities, his debut in volleyball was typically solid, yet unspectacular and again, he was named in the 8 C’s. Early on Matty had a gut-feeling that he had a future in Volleyball and he subsequently gave rugby away after Year 10. Even though he had forced his way into the A team by Year 7 and he was clearly on a trajectory towards the coveted black jersey, he knew where his greatest strengths lay. Through sheer determination and sportsmanship, Matty was named as the Captain of the 1st VI, the team won the 2013 AIC Volleyball premiership. He played for Queensland Schools, won a Queensland Academy of Sport scholarship and made the Australian Volleyball Team.

Sue recalls Matt’s volleyball development. “The story is retold every year at Lauries after the teams have been graded and Matt’s journey has become legendary. Every year the selectors tell all the kids who didn’t make the top teams not to be disappointed or give up. They are reminded that in 2013 the St Laurence’s Sportsman of the Year, Matt Arnold, played for the Australian Schoolboys after starting in the lowest grade in the College.” The next step on the ladder for Matt was a College scholarship in the USA. Terry took up the story, “There was a U.S. College agent who said Matt could get a placement, though there was an $8000 surety and if he passed all of his exams whilst playing volleyball he would get the eight grand back. But if he failed it was forfeited.“ Now, I had reservations about a six foot five, blonde, blue eyed young man with an Aussie accent and charm by the bucket load doing well academically. After a couple of weeks contemplation, Matt, in a moment of brutal honesty said ‘Dad, I wouldn’t be able to apply myself, I’d be having too much fun.’” Sue added, “He was realistic about his own shortcomings, he was very much about minimum input for maximum output.” However, Sue went on to add, “He always said if you are going to commit to something you really commit to it and do the best you possibly can for that job. He’d get frustrated if people didn’t do the job they were supposed to do.”

One night Matt informed his parents that he was going to join the Queensland Police Service, this process took many months and Matt initially failed the Wunderlic Psychometric Test. This meant he could not apply again for 12 months, which he did and exactly 12 months after his failure he re-sat the WPT and passed. Several months passed and Matt eventually received a letter from the QPS advising him to report for duty at the Oxley Police Academy on Monday the 18th of November, 2019. Hayley recalled “He was so proud that day, he sent all of us copies of that letter.”Matt’s intake was Squad 5/2019 and he chose to live in at the Academy because he loved the collegial atmosphere and openly admitted that he thrived on the discipline of that environment to keep focussed upon his studies.

On Friday the 27th of March, 2020, after a lot of hard work Matt and his peers were sworn-in to the QPS. It was a matter of great frustration to all that this period was dominated by Covid19 which meant that the new Constables’ families couldn’t attend the ceremony. On Monday the 30th of March, Matty reported for duty at his first station which was Dalby in the Southern Region. This was going to be an ‘eye-opener’ for a young city lad. Though as always, Matt was not concerned about himself as he believed the city postings should go to the officers with established families, being young and single he felt he was best suited for a bush posting. Terry was happy with Matty’s posting. “He got out there and he loved it, he was surrounded by such a great team.” Sue added, “Literally, Dalby became his second home, they would go away together on days off, he loved everybody he worked with. He was involved in touch footy, the gym, and socialising. But he stayed low-key, I don’t think anyone he worked with in Dalby knew that he played volleyball, let alone for Australia. He was quiet and unassuming until he got to know you.” Matt made the most of his time at Dalby, but was quickly identified as a self-starter who would work well in the smaller community of Tara. So, he packed up his ute again and travelled the 90 km journey to Tara. Matt being Matt, he settled quickly into rural life in Tara, where his two great sources of enjoyment were his Ford Ranger ute with all the accessories a young bloke could want, but his biggest source of enjoyment was his bedroom in the barracks. He had set it up with a giant television and a fridge so he could play online games with his old Lauries mates back in Brisbane, and it was never too far to walk for a drink.

Matt quickly established himself a reputation amongst the locals in Dalby and Tara. This story came from a young woman from Tara who had been arrested by Matt and Rachel for drug matters. The young woman said of them, “Rachel was lovely. Matt was such a quiet guy but he was 100% the go-to guy if you needed help with domestic violence. I was in a DV situation and Matt came and helped me. He sat down with me for over an hour and calmly talked with me about my situation.” Such was the man! Outside of work, Matt’s life was busy, be it work or play. He was an enthusiastic Laurie’s Old Boy and would volunteer for Year level camps, volleyball mentoring and other activities. Sometimes he would complete a night shift and then immediately drive to Toowoomba to help at a school camp. He volunteered for the Laurie’s 2022 Year 12 retreat and whilst there was asked to talk to the boys about his career. Matty thoroughly engaged the boys with his recollection of an incident during which he used his leatherman knife to cut a rope that a person was using to self-harm, he then commenced CPR and successfully revived the person in question. The incident clearly had a lasting impact on Matt and after he told the story it was clear to all present that he had found his calling, to help people in need. But there was much more to Matt, and his brother James summed it up by saying, “He made friends so easily and was so quickly loved by everyone who met him. Matt believed in fairness, always wanted to protect and help people, he believed in doing the right thing hoping it would make a difference.” “He was the kind of person who took the lead and protected all those behind him. He was the kind of leader you would follow with complete loyalty and trust, because you knew whatever happened he would be there for you and had your back”. This is why Terry believed from the start that Matt was involved in the incident at Wieambilla, “There were only four police at Tara so I knew Matt would be at the front of this. Hayley confirmed it for me with what she revealed to us that evening.” Hayley and Matt had for some time been sharing their fitness training activities through their watches, so when Matt wasn’t responding to phone calls and texts, Hayley contacted his wrist watch “His watch said he’d only walked 7000 steps that day and it showed he was not moving, which was strange considering what was going on out there. I could see the messages we were sending him were getting to him, so he had reception.”

That evening, the anxious, frightened family gathered in their home, all were numb with worry. Several hours of wondering and worrying was brutally interrupted by the dreaded, solid four knocks on the front door. As a family they reluctantly, and fearfully walked to the front door and without a word being exchanged, Queensland Police Inspector Mick Coulsen’s face told the story and in a moment they will never forget, they all realised that their tightly-knit family would never be the same. They had lost the big personality in the household, the young lion. Ian Leavers was the first person to talk to the family after they received confirmation that Matty was deceased. In a late night call, Leavo spent time listening, consoling, and telling the distraught Arnold family of the honour, love, and respect that Matty was afforded by his peers and the locals of Tara. Leavo then laid out all that would happen in the hours, days and weeks ahead, that he and the union would be alongside them each step of the way during the months and years to follow. In the following days the Arnold family, Terry, Sue, Hayley and James, turned their attention to Matt’s funeral, which they expected to be held at ERPAC. Terry explained, “It wasn’t really dawning on us, we were in our own bubble thinking about our little Matty. This was so much bigger than us and we were having trouble wrapping our heads around that.” A conversation with a Police Chaplain opened their eyes as to the enormity of what was happening, they were told that more than 5,000 people would attend Matt and Rachel's funeral. Hayley realised, “A Police ceremony made sense with both Matty and Rachel together. They were good mates and afterwards we could have private ceremonies. We all want Matt and Rachel’s names to be remembered. We were so proud the rest of the world got to hear stories about them.” The presence of the Prime Minister, the Governor General’s official attached, the Commonwealth Attorney General, the Governor of Queensland, the Premier, the Police Minister and Opposition leaders, both State and Federal, was the catalyst which brought the family to understand the national and international impact of the ambush of Matt and Rachel.

Of particular importance to both families was that for that one day, all political differences were forgotten by its practitioners, when they saw politicians genuinely upset, the Arnold family understood that the deaths of Matty, Rachel, and Alan Dare had hurt the entire nation. Hayley felt that a part of that hurt came from the photo’s of the two close friends, “You look at them and you think, these are nice people. ”Sue added, “You could tell they came from good families, who clearly loved them, families who supported them, families who considered that family was important and that’s how they were raised and you treated people with kindness. Matt always had a big smile on his face and was kind, he really was charm personified and he used it. No matter where you were, if Matt was there you felt safe.”

On that wretched day of the ambush, the 12th of December 2022, Matt had his final shift before leaving Tara, he had already packed his Ford Ranger for the trip home for Christmas to be with his family and his dog Tana. Then he was to be transferred to the Logan Child Protection Investigation Unit, where his personal strengths and empathy for others would shine. For the Arnold Family, Terry summed it up best, “We have lost a loving son, brother, and friend. A guy who would do anything for his family, except keep his room tidy. We have lost a young man with so much potential. A man fortunate enough to find his true calling in life. A broad-smiling, cheeky, yet charming young man with an undeniable future. Matt’s facilitators at the Academy echoed what his school teachers told us. He’s the kid that sits up the back, and loves a chat, but never got into trouble because he was so charming. He loved to make his peers and teachers laugh. Yet Matt knew there was a time and place for everything and he took his work very seriously. ”Matt and Rachel were great mates and great work partners, they knew when to be serious and when to have fun. A lovely example of their collective sense of cheeky fun was a prank that Matt thought up, according to his colleague Craig Loveland it was probably Tara’s best ever. Sadly, neither Matt nor Rachel would witness the laughter, and tears that it created around the station. On December 11th, the day before Matt and Rachel died, Matt went to the local newsagent and purchased several rolls of Christmas wrapping paper. Matt knew the officer in charge, Sergeant Matt Minz was on a few days off, so they had time on their side and Matt, Rachel and Craig set about gift wrapping every item in his office. Craig said, “We spent hours in there, wrapping up even his pens, hanging a giant Santa suit on his wall and leaving a sign that naughty elves had been at work. ”Sadly, big Matt Minz didn’t get to see it until after Matt and Rachel had been taken away from us, the Sarge later said, “They wrapped literally everything, the desk, the computer, the keyboard, mouse pad, mouse. You name it, it was wrapped. I kept the wrapping on for probably a month afterwards. I just couldn’t take it off. They were good pranksters, amazing people to know.” “They didn’t want to write the most tickets or arrest the most people, they joined to help people and make Queensland a better place. I am grateful for having Matt and Rachel in my life and it’s never going to be the same without them.” A final word from Terry, “To Matt’s brothers and sisters in blue who brought him home, and to the SERT Team, we remain in awe of your bravery.” As is appropriate, the last words of this story rightly belong to Matt. It is a long-held tradition at Laurie’s on the Year 12 retreat for the boys to receive a letter from their parents. Matt’s letter, in part, read: “You have been blessed with height and people will have to look up to you during your lifetime, the important thing is to be the kind of man that makes them want to.” Matt’s reply to his beloved parents was haunting: “Thank you for everything. I may be gone someday, soon perhaps, but just know that I will never leave you. I will cherish every moment we have had together, in my heart forever.”

On the 12th of December 2022 the QPS “Called forth the brave and bold”, and Matt responded to his final call to duty, he led the way and jumped over that fence! Hasten the Dawn! Matthew Joseph Arnold now rests peacefully at the Mount Gravatt Lawn Cemetery, Lawn 23, plot 568. If you are out that way, why not consider taking five minutes out to spend some time with Matty.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Police Union of Employees for providing some of the information for this account. To the families of Rachel Clare McCrow and Alan Dare we offer our sincere condolences. To Constables Randall Kirk and Keely Brough, go well.

Welcome to the 2023 Cohort

Year 12 2023

Congratulations and welcome to our newest Old Boys - the Class of 2023! Remember, you are now part of another tribe of Lauries men. We look forward to following your journey of success over the coming years.

Facere et Docere Award

Alex Benedict

Each year the Old Boys' sponsors the Facere et Docere Award. The Facere et Docere award winner for 2023 is Alex Benedict. Affectionately known as Eggsy, Alex is a great example of a Lauries Gentleman. Alex volunteered his time whenever possible, was befriended by all and was the ‘Go to’ Kid for the year level.

Alex also helped establish the student Men’s Shed where young men could come together on a Friday to discuss their thoughts and ideas. A great all-rounder who always did the right thing for the right reason, Alex was also heavily involved in Football during his time at Lauries.

Hall of Fame Nominations close 31 December

Hall of Fame Nominations now open

Every 2 years the Old Boys are asked to submit their nominations for the College Hall of Fame. Last time round we had two very worthy recipients in Garry Brown (1972) and Mark Connors (1988).

If you wish to nominate an Old Boy you think is worthy of being in the College Hall of Fame, please use the link below.

You can view the current Hall of Fame list here:

All nominations will be tabled at the Annual General Meeting on 20 January. The 2024 Committee will then recommend a shortlist for the College Review Panel. The College reserves the right not to accept the nominations.

Nominations close 31 December. 

Nominate here:

Old Boy Reunion Weekend

As is tradition, the last weekend in August saw the return of many Old Boys’ to the Hill for the annual Old Boys’ Weekend. On Saturday 26 August, over 100 gentlemen from the Class of 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013 ventured back to the College to partake in a campus tour led by Year 11 and 12 students. These tours are a fantastic way to reacquaint Old Boys with the campus as it stands today, especially considering many have not returned to the College for as many as 50 Years!

After the tour and a beverage, these gentlemen went on to their respective reunions which were held a both on and off-site locations. It was a strong turn out for each group, with the most notable being the Class of 1993 30 Year Reunion which saw over 57 Old Boys and past staff converge on the RedBrick Hotel to catch up on old times.

The following day commenced with a beautiful Memorial service presided by Old Boy Priests, Fr John Gillen SM (1968) and Fr Paul Rooney (1961). Those in attendance were moved by the lovely words, the singing of the school song and the ability to reflect on the lives of their loved ones who have passed on.

Following morning tea, many guests continued to the Senior Old Boys’ Luncheon. Open to all Old Boys’ who would have graduated in Year 12, 1972 and earlier, the lunch is a special event in our calendar as it is dedicated to bringing together our most senior gentlemen to connect and converse.

The Weekend was rounded out with our Class of 1953 and 1963 70 and 60 Year Reunions respectively. This took place as part of a special Old Boys’ Assembly whereby gentlemen from these cohorts were invited to experience a College Assembly in its fullest as well as hear our student body sing the College song in full voice. Once concluded, all guests stayed to enjoy morning tea and a catch up.

Thank you to all guests, volunteers, students and staff who make this weekend possible.


SLConX goes from strength to strength

We are pleased to announce that SLConX will be able for its 3rd edition in 2024. Thank you to all our Old Boy presenters in 2023 across our 3 Sessions.

Session 1: 14 March on Emergency and Defence Services: Thank you to Craig Rickards (1997); Brett Taylor (1990); Jackson Cooley (2015) and Mitch Tinsley (2018)

Session 2: 30 May on Trades: Thank you to Craig Larsen (1991); Alex Easterby (2014); George Koulouris (2008) and Gerard Robinson (1993)

Session 3: 10 August on Allied Health - Thank you to Kelsey Doyle (2016); Michael Thrum (2010); Joseph Crowther (2011) and Paul Moscos (1999)

The success of SLConX would not be possible without the significant contribution of Old Boys and the College Careers Counsellor Paul Moscos (1999).

2024 SLConX Schedule
Design, Architecture and Built Environment
12 March
Business, Finance, Accounting and Law
28 May
IT, Cyber Security, Software Development and Web Design
23 July

Woody Cup VII

in 2023 the Old Boys managed to win back the Woody Cup. To the victors go the spoils. Old Boy and Dean of Primary, Cameron Wigan (1995) accepted the Trophy from College Principal Mr Leadbetter. Thanks to all Old Boys who helped us win it this year. Bring on Woody Cup VIII. With a special thanks to the Football Team who got us over the line with a thrilling penalty shoot out. Bring on Woody Cup VIII.

We are also pleased to announce AFL has been added to the program for 2024. If you would like to participate in any of the teams, please head to our Facebook Page and look for the registration link. It will again be published in the new year.

Woody Cup VIII Schedule
Saturday 20 January
Thursday 1 February
Friday 16 February
Thursday 21 March
Cross Country
Wednesday 3 April
Wednesday 24 April
Thursday 6 June
Tuesday 18 June
Wednesday 17 July
Wednesday 31 July
Woody Cup VII 2023 Results
Won 6/202 defeated 5/201
Lost in a very close relay
Won 2-1
Cross Country
Lost 36-45 (lowest total wins)
Won 2 sets to 1
Won 2-1 on penalties

New Old Boys Kit

We are also pleased to announce we have a new playing kit for our Woody Cup Teams from 2024. We will have both singlets and t-shirts available for all matches - we now need to find someone to launder them after each match. 

Old Boy Recognition & Awards

Here are some notable achievements by Old Boys throughout the year

Congratulations to Andrew Kendall (1984) on being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Andrew's OAM is awarded for service to the Community through a range of organisations. The award recognises Andrew's leadership and contribution to a range of organisations over many years including the Australian Bravery Association, Australian Bravery Foundation, National and State Futsal teams and the Independent Schools Soccer Association in Brisbane. It also acknowledges his leadership as Principal of St Joseph’s School, Stanthorpe and his time as a leader and educator at Lauries. Congrats Andrew!!!

Congratulations to Terry Carroll (1957) who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for Services to the Grenfell Community (NSW). 

In January, Paul Catchlove (1996) delivered his first TED Talk "How the habit of self reflection could improve your career.

Old Boy Actors Russell Dykstra (1984) and John McNeill (1973) appeared in Irrelevant streaming on Peacock.

Congratulations to Rowan Crothers (2015) on being named the Paralympic Program Swimmer of the Year for a second year in a row.

It capped off a great year for Rowan who also won Gold at the Para World Swimming Championships in both the 100m and 50m Freestyle S10. 

Luke Willian (2014) again competed in the Triathlon World Championships Grand Final in Spain in September.

Congratulations to Jake Kurbatoff (2022) on being named Queensland Under 20's Player of the year. Jake pictured here with Dad (Mark - 1991) and Mum, Carla. The Award was announced in August at the Premier Rugby Grand Final Breakfast.

Congratulations to Aria Award Winner Conrad Sewell (2000) being in the final of Australia's Masked Singer for 2023.

Ryan Jackson (2021) was part of the Qld Under 19 Rugby League State of Origin team. Congrats Ryan.

Mikael Ibrahim (2022) was named in the Qld Under 18 Emerging Origin Rugby League team. Congrats Mikael.

John Bryant (2021) played for the Junior Wallabies team at the World Rugby U20 Championships in South Africa. John had a fantastic Championships which saw him being added to the Reds Squad for 2024.

Congratulations to Oscar Miers (2019) on being selected to represent Athletics Australia at the 2023 Pacific Games held in the Solomon Islands.

At the beginning of the year Old Boys Cooper Cronk (2000), Damon Kelly (2000) and Luke McLean (2001) were inducted into the AIC Hall of Fame for Rugby League, Olympic Weightlifting and Rugby respectively. 

Annual General Meeting (AGM) Notice

St Laurence’s College Old Boys’ Association Annual General Meeting

Notice is given of the Annual General Meeting of the St Laurence’s College Old Boys’ Association Inc, to be held:

Saturday, 20th January 2023

1:00pm- 2:00pm

Br Ryan Function Centre, Runcorn Playing Fields,  Nathan Rd, Runcorn

AGM Agenda:

  1. President’s Report
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  1. General Business
  1. Election of 2024 Management Committee

Nominations are sought for all positions on the Management Committee. Please click here to submit a nomination by Saturday 6th January, being 14 days before the date of the AGM. In accordance with the SLOBA Constitution, a list of nominees will be published 7 days prior to the AGM, on the website Should a position receive no nominations, then nominations may be taken from the floor at the AGM.

A Committee meeting will follow the AGM, for those elected.

If you cannot attend the AGM, but wish to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf, you may do so by clicking here. This must be completed prior to the commencement of the meeting.

Kind regards,

Michael Campbell

SLOBA Secretary, 2023

Congratulations to the 2024 Leaders

2023 and 2024 Student Leaders

Congratulations to Gianluca Josey for being selected as School Captain in 2024. Gianluca will be supported by Harrison Frost and Tayt Qualischefski as Vice Captains next year. These gentlemen take over from the Class of 2023 College Leaders, Mackenzie Douglas (College Captain), Knightley Patterson and Samuel Underwood (Vice Captains).

The 2024 leaders will be supported by the following gentlemen who have been elected into Prefect positions:

House Captains

Callan - Chayse Ford

Duhig - James Watson

Hogan - Patrick Churchward

Kilian - Nathan Wicks

Nagle - Alastair Greensill

Rice - Patrick Woolley

Sion - Tobey Parker

Treacy - Tim Flannery

Waterford - Lewis Blaikie

Xavier - Jack Parker


Academic - Steven Arvanitagis,  Harvey Low, Patrick Hayles

Engagement & Wellbeing - Mitchell Buckle, Noah Fitzpatrick, Huw Griffiths

Faith in Action - Finley Arnold, Oliver Cook, Lachlan Wigan

Solidarity & Culture - Jacob Elder, Thomas Stenhouse, Cooper Mataia

Spirit and School Pride - Preston O’Brien, Jack Cosgrove, Zack McNeven

We wish the Captains, Prefects elect and the entire Class of 2024 well next year.

College Update

Farewell and Thank You

This year we also said goodbye to a number of long standing teachers of the College. Old Boy Noel Toohey (1979) has spent 41 years as a staff member at the College. Peter Foster retires after 37 years in the Art Faculty. John Roberts (1978) also an Old Boy retired earlier in the year. John was passionate about Cricket and oversaw the College program for many years. 

Basil Ranieri retires after 23 years teaching in the Primary School. As Principal Chris Leadbetter noted, all have made a significant contribution to the lives of hundreds of students and many staff colleagues. As mentioned below, the College also farewelled Sports Master Eddie Wallace after another distinguished career who has now taken on a role within AIC.

Off to the Conservatorium of Music

Congratulations to outgoing Seniors, Miles Le Goullon, Kieran Van Acker and Mitchell Wilson who have all been accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium of Music next year. All three gentlemen have been active members of the Music Program throughout their time at Lauries and it is always wonderful to see students continue their Musical Journey, in any capacity, beyond graduation.

The Urban Farm Wins WasteSMART Awards

The College's Urban Farm took home not one, but TWO prestigious awards at the WasteSMART Brisbane 2023 Awards. The Urban Farm clinched the WasteSMART Brisbane 2023 Schools Award AND the coveted People’s Choice Award. With over 290 nominations spanning across nine categories, this year's competition was fierce, but The Urban Farm's commitment to teaching and learning about sustainable practices stood out to the judges. The Urban Farm - together, we're cultivating a greener and more sustainable future for all.

Secondary School Awards

The Secondary School Awards Celebration is where the College recognises the amazing sporting, cultural and academic achievements of the boys! We congratulate staff members Lachlan Heshusius  (and Old Boy) and Desley Armitage on receiving Principal's Awards and make specific note of our major award winners.

Facere et Docere Award (sponsored by the Old Boys): Alexander Benedict

AMPOL All-Rounder Award: Ned 

Drew Memorial Award: Tonga Pouhila

St Laurence’s College Bursary: Kai Klisanin

Edmund Rice Companion Award: Sam Cairncross

Edmund Rice Award for Service to the Religious Life of the College: Mitchell WilsonGeoffrey 

Turnbull Memorial Award for Sportsman of the Year: Jack Coomber

Br Brady Memorial Award for Sporting Scholar: Mitchell Trenow

ADF Future Innovator Award: Zach Lamarca

The ADF Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award: Mackenzie Douglas

VET Student of the Year Award: Kalan Ciesiolka

VET Trainee or Apprentice of the Year: Blake Parmenter

Community Service Award

College Captain Mackenzie Douglas received an award for Community Service from the Order of Australia Association. Congratulations Macca!! Pictured with Principal Chris Leadbetter

Queensland Catholic Colleges Music Festival

Queensland Catholic Colleges Music Festival hosted by Villanova College saw 106 schools involved in the festival with Lauries being represented by seventeen ensembles across a variety of genres. The College community was incredibly proud to advise the results this year included 11 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze award. A fine achievement indeed.

Sporting Update

The College had another very successful sporting program in 2023. We also said goodbye to Eddie Wallace as College Sports Master. We are indebted to the tireless work Eddie did both with the Woody Cup (which he initiated and Back to Runcorn. Being able to accommodate two Old Boy events on what is the biggest sporting day on the calendar is a testament to Eddies skill as a Sports Master and commitment to supporting the Old Boys. 

Eddie (Middle) with L-R Cameron Wigan (1995) Head of Primary and Principal Chris Leadbetter

In terms of First teams, the Rugby, Chess and AFL all secured AIC Premierships with Football and Tennis Runners Up. The Cross Country team finished 3rd overall which was their best result in well over a decade.

42 Ball Bash - Kirby/Milo Memorial Cup

The First XI took on Marist College Ashgrove in a 42 Ball Bash in honour of Private Grant Kirby (1992) and LCpl Stephan Milosevic (Marist Old Boy) who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.

The match was played at Marist College Ashgrove (Field 1) with a Remembrance Service by 6RAR.  May this become a great tradition. For the record Ashgrove won 3/78 v 1/56. While our boys didn't take home the inaugural Kirby/Milo Memorial Cup, they played a fantastic match! Congratulations to Xavier Santos, who was awarded the Private Grant Kirby medal for his performance on the pitch.

Manchester City Football School

The first year of the Manchester City Football School at St Laurence's College has seen some exceptional growth for all students involved in the program!

Manchester City Football School Head Coach, Jamie Davies, as well as Miguel Nydam and Jack Cabassi have put in some amazing work which included the First XI finishing runners up to an impressive Iona outfit, First in the AIC Aggregate and winning 6 AIC Premierships and a further 5 premierships in non-AIC divisions. The College also took part in the 12 years Queensland Schools Futsal Cup.  The SLC Black team won the competition and the SLC Gold team finished in third place - this is an incredible achievement.

AIC Sport Firsts Result Aggregate Comments
SPLC - Aggregate
Villa - Aggregate; Ashgrove Premiers
4th (eq)
Iona - Aggregate
Joint Premiers with Ashgrove
Cross Country
Iona - Aggregate; 2 individual first places - Year 5 and Year 12
SPLC- Aggregate
Iona Aggregate
Runners Up
6 premierships
Runners Up
SPLC - Aggregate and Premiers
5 premierships; Iona- Aggregate; Villa - Premiers
Rugby League
Iona - Aggregate; Villa Premiers
Track & Field
Ashgrove - Aggregate; 3rd in Primary

2024 Save the Date

2024 Old Boy Events

Old Boys Caps now available

Old Boys Caps now in stock

We are pleased to announce we now have Old Boys caps in stock for purchase at a cost of $25 each. They come in two styles as voted by Old Boys through our Facebook voting exercise. 

Caps will be available for purchase at all Old Boy events including the Woody Cup. 

Mater Volunteer Opportunities

St Laurence's College Old Boys' Association is proud to partner with Mater at Home in the delivery of our SLOBACare initiative. Mater Volunteers is currently in urgent need of help to assist with over 30 different roles throughout the hospitals, including as a Patient Transport Driver. Such roles provide door to door transport for vulnerable patients. Should you wish to join other Old Boy volunteers including Richard Dickson (1977, pictured), The role requirements include: 

  • A current open Driver’s licence
  • Aged between 26-73 years for insurance and risk management purposes
  • Clean traffic history check - no offences in last 5 years
  • Able to commit to the same weekly shift for a minimum of 6 months 

Please click here to apply or call 3163 5115 (Monday-Wednesday) for more information. 

Our Story

At the College, we believe it is important to acknowledge the history of our great school and the achievements of past students. Recently an 'Our Story' section was introduced into the Library. This space is dedicated to the great stories of our school, providing a place for students to immerse themselves in the stories of others.

Should you have an auto-biography, biography or non-fiction book you have written and would like to contribute to the collection, please contact Helen Turner on 07 3010 1178 or

Service History & Archives Request


The Old Boys’ Association endeavours to ensure our past and present serviceman records are up to date. If you have completed (or are currently in) active service for our country, please email your service details to College at All details will be updated on the online listing available to view HERE as soon as possible.


The College is on the hunt for any pieces of memorabilia pertaining to our great school. If any Old Boys would like to gift or lend an item for display during the year (for example school jackets, photos or memorabilia) please contact the College on (07) 3010 1105 or


Name Alumni Year Connections
John Patrick Toohey
Grandfather to Liam (current student) and uncle to Alan (1978), Brian (1976), Noel (1979) and Paul (1981) plus great uncle to Brendan (2006)
Murray Spranklin
Brother of Francis (1962) and Patrick (1964), uncle of Luke (1993) and great-uncle of Adam (current student)
Neil Cush
Laurence Mooney
John Schacht
Peter North
Brother of Anthony (1961) and Michael (1967)
John Cerbaucich (Kerr)
Rod Casey
Brother of Chris (1970)
Hon. Paul Finn
Peter O'Connor
Trevor Griffin
John Foster
Ross Walters
Peter Shepherd
Brother of Jim (1965)
John Shaw
Father of Peter (1999), Brian (2002) and Mitchell (2004) plus grandfather to Mason (current student)
Desmond McGrath
Neil Radford
Brother of Robert (1969) and Paul (1971)
Peter (Doubles) Daley
Ian Cameron
Brother of Michael (1979)
Mark Ramage
Brother of Paul (1985)

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