Home' Focus : Focus Magazine Autumn 2018 Contents GEOFF
IT WASN’T ENOUGH TO PUT THE
Head of Science on a bed of nails.
The demonstration needed livening
up with a second ‘bed’ to make a nail
sandwich, with the teacher as the
Add a breeze block, a massive
sledge hammer and a Science
Lab Manager with a sense of
showmanship, and you have
chemistry demonstrations at Scotch
Oakburn in the 1990s.
These spectacular demonstrations
were recalled at a farewell for Lab
Manager Geoff Stubbs, one of the
College’s longest-serving staff
members, at the Penquite Campus’s
Robert Dean Centre in March.
Mr Stubbs, 60, of Launceston, spent
40 years sharing his passion for
Science with staff and students.
The bed of nails, comprising two
sheets of 640 six-inch nails, was to
explain a Physics principle.
“If you tread on one nail, it will go
through your foot,” Mr Stubbs said.
“But if you have many nails, it will
spread the point of contact and the
pressure is diffused over a larger area.
This is why Indian mystics could lie on
a bed of nails and not get punctured.”
Mr Stubbs’ role also involved
ordering, storing, usage and disposal
of chemicals; budgets; inventory;
occupational health and safety; risk
assessment; demonstration advice;
training staff and students in Science
techniques and equipment usage
and running the labs. It also involved
the animal husbandry of anything
from lab rats, guinea pigs, ducks,
rabbits, blue-tongued lizards, calves,
fish, amphibians, and protozoa to
In addition to his wide-ranging lab
duties, Mr Stubbs was the College’s
audio visual coordinator for many
years and he ran the control booth
in the early days of the Horton
An internationally-certified dive
expert, Mr Stubbs taught scuba
courses to students and staff for
more than 20 years. His skills were
also called upon during floods at
Scotch Oakburn Park to release
irrigation valves or retrieve irrigation
pumps. He was also a first aid trainer.
With Science teacher Paul Welch,
he set off the fireworks for the annual
Fox House fireworks display.
Mr Welch, who was Head of Science
during the 1990s and 2000s, and
the original meat in the bed of
nails sandwich, said working with
Geoff Stubbs was a highlight of his
He praised Mr Stubbs for his depth
of knowledge, problem solving,
creative thinking and emphasis on
Current Head of Science Trevor
Marson described Mr Stubbs as a
‘large character around the College’.
“He made a difference to lots of
lives – he probably wouldn’t realise
the amount of lives he has changed
or the number of students he has
inspired,” Mr Marson said.
“The way all the labs are set out in
Helix are a testament to him.”
Mr Stubbs enjoyed getting students
excited about Science.
“Some kids get given a chemistry
set to play with,” Mr Stubbs added.
“I was lucky enough to get given
a set of laboratories, along with the
chemicals, to play with for 40 years.
I loved it. It was brilliant.”
Principal Andy Müller said
Mr Stubbs had an ‘amazing impact’
on the College.
“His contribution to our College has
been enormous and he has provided
a lasting legacy for many generations
of students past, present and future,”
Mr Müller said.
Mr Stubbs’ children – Fletcher
(’04), Amy (’05) and Claire (’08) – all
attended the College.
A BRILLIANT YEAR OF
achievements was celebrated at
Scotch Oakburn College’s Honours
and Induction Assembly.
Principal Andy Müller paid tribute
to those who contributed to a
He also paused to reflect on
the multitude of life-enhancing
experiences that had prepared Scotch
Oakburn students so well for their
He told invited guests, parents,
past students, staff and students
gathered in the Middle School’s
Health and Physical Education
Centre at the Penquite Campus in
Term 1 that the 2017 cohort members
were trailblazers across a range of
“I would like to congratulate all of
Year 12 2017 on a brilliant year,” Mr
“The cohort’s achievements were
spectacular in so many fields –
service, leadership, performing arts,
sport and school spirit.
“I am not surprised that with their
level of engagement in the life of
the College they have achieved such
an extraordinary set of academic
results. The year level’s median
ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission
Rank) was 90.9: that is, 50 per cent
of our Year 12s achieved results that
placed them in the top 9.1 per cent of
In addition, Scotch Oakburn had
15 of the top 100 academic students
in the state – more than any other
school, Mr Müller said.
Five students were awarded an
Outstanding Academic Achievement
Award for 2017: George Coe (Dux of
the College with an ATAR of 99.95
the highest possible ATAR); Alexis
Duddridge; Will Foster (2nd place
in 2017); Max Neville; and Thomas
Rehrmann. The five were recognised
for their achievements at an awards
ceremony in February, hosted by the
Governor of Tasmania.
Mr Müller said that Scotch Oakburn
students not only received a first class
education but also the personal and
life skills achieved through a holistic
approach to learning that would set
them up so well for their futures.
“Education is about more than
academics, it’s about developing
the whole person and importantly a
person’s character,” he said.
“Two of the fundamental elements
that make us human are empathy
and helping others.
“It is therefore not surprising that
one of the pillars of Round Square
that is synonymous with a Scotch
Oakburn education is service. Service
and the living-out of our values are
the most effective ways in which we
develop our character and sense of
Mr Müller said that it was through
acts of service that relationships
within the College and the wider
community were built and
Mr Müller also paid tribute to the
pivotal role played by the gifted
educators that are the hallmark of a
Scotch Oakburn education.
The Honours Assembly also saw
the induction of the 2018 student
Dux of the College: George Coe
“50% of our YEAR 12s were placed in the
top 9.1 per cent of students nationally”
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