The Vice-Chancellor of Western Sydney University and his siblings have established a scholarship at Newcomb Secondary College aimed at encouraging the next generation of students to chase their dreams.

Left photo: The Glover siblings, Gerry, Lynn and Barney.
Right photo: Barney Glover as a student at Newcomb High School.

Professor Barney Glover AO, the Vice-Chancellor of Western Sydney University, his sister Lynn Glover, the Director of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, and brother, Gerry Glover, formerly a long-serving organiser with the Electrical Trades Union, attended the school in the 1970s.

The school launched the Glover Family Award this term. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each year to a motivated and talented Year 11 student who is interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The scholarship aims to encourage students to complete Year 12 and support them to overcome any barriers they may face.

The scholarship was established after the Glover family reconnected with their old school through Ourschool, a not-for-profit alumni service, which began working with Newcomb Secondary College this year.

Prof Barney Glover said he and his siblings were keen to give something back to the school because it helped them enormously during their teenage years. His interest in mathematics was encouraged by some great teachers at Newcomb.

“I remember one teacher, Graeme Mitchell, who taught me maths in Year 9, Form 3 as we would call it, being one of the first teachers who took me aside and encouraged me to do more mathematics,” Prof Glover said.

“That was an important moment for a young 14, 15-year-old to hear that, to say ‘Yeah okay, I am interested and this can lead to a lifelong journey of doing something you love’.

“So I’m pleased now as the Vice-Chancellor of a very large Australian university, that I have the chance to help many students to achieve that sort of ambition.

“To all the (Newcomb) alumni out there, please get behind this program. It’s great to have as many of us as possible supporting a great school.”

Newcomb Secondary College Principal Phil Honeywell said “STEM and supporting students’ pathways is an important part of our work at Newcomb Secondary College. It is terrific that the Glover family have supported this scholarship and we thank them for their kind contribution.”

“Our new facilities, as well as supporting mathematics and music, will also feature new STEM spaces concentrating on systems technology, maker and production rooms and include a 120-seater presentation and collaboration auditorium. As well as developing systems knowledge, these facilities will also assist our GROW and P-TECH initiatives,” Mr Honeywell said.

Ourschool was established in 2017 by another Newcomb ex-student, Caroline Milburn, a former journalist.

Ms Milburn said: “It’s a privilege to help public high schools find and connect with their alumni. There are many people like the Glover family, who would love to give back to their old public high school, if there is an easy and structured way to do so.”