31 May 2023

Carey’s untold story

Carey’s untold story
Carey’s untold story
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There’s an untold story that it’s timely to share in Carey’s centenary. A story of four Carey past students, all with unique backgrounds, but united with one common ingredient. All were scholarship recipients – not because of their academic or sporting prowess, but because the community wanted to give back and provide the same opportunities they or their own children benefitted from to other students experiencing hardship and disadvantage.

This story goes right back to the foundation of Carey in 1923 with the donation of the Spicer Scholarship, closely followed by the Doery Scholarship for students in financial difficulty during the Great Depression and Patron’s Association Scholarship established by Leonard Tranter with the proceeds from families’ Carey Sunday.

John West (1955)


John is a Carey treasure: widely respected for his service to his communities as a teacher/principal, speech pathologist, hospital chaplain and palliative care volunteer. His service to the OCGA, including many years leading the lawn bowls team, was recognised with Honorary Life Membership in 2018. John expresses this quite simply: ‘you enrich yourself in service to the community’.

Whilst John’s exemplary contribution is widely known, many are not aware that his Carey journey would not have even begun without the support of several families who collectively donated to provide a scholarship and the opportunity to change his life.

‘My scholarship meant I could finish my secondary education – at that time my school in Rupanyup and Murtoa in western Victoria only went to Year 10. More than that, it gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons beyond sport to art, music and creative writing.

‘Compassionate and supportive staff encouraged me to pursue my passion for cricket and football, which I experienced some success. Student leaders who preceded me as school captains and prefects were great role models: they were capable, gifted and led the school well.’

Warren Blair (1976)


Warren is a proud Wuli-Wuli/Lardil man, the second Carey’s Aboriginal scholarship recipients and son of Harold Blair AM, legendary opera singer and Aboriginal activist.

‘It was a great honour for my parents to be able to send their son to Carey, especially for my dad who was born in a mission in outback Queensland. It was one of his great wishes for me to attend the School.

‘My best memories are playing sport at Carey, especially cricket with Frank “Typhoon” Tyson, the boxing club with Jack Rennie, a well-known trainer at the time, and later the Old Carey Football Club. I was also grateful for “Sarge”, a groundskeeper who took me under his wing as the only Aboriginal student at Carey at the time.

‘Unfortunately, my dad passed away when I was in Year 12 and this messed up my final year, but Carey provided me with a lot of insights into society, and I ended up establishing a successful building company, as well as being a proud parent of three children who have all built rewarding careers.’

Felicity Shalless (2013)


Felicity’s Carey journey was somewhat turbulent, with her family experiencing tough times and an uncertain future at the School. The scholarship she received from the Gadsden family enabled her to complete her VCE studies, finish the school on a high note, and now pursue a career in marketing.

‘I remember the day I received my scholarship clearly – it was my dad’s birthday, and I was called into a meeting. I had no idea why I was there, but I walked out elated because my parents had already told me I would not be able to stay at Carey, and I had made some great friendships and just loved being at the school. To walk out of that room knowing I was able to complete my time at Carey meant the world to me.

‘What Carey does so exceptionally well is its co-curricular program – there are options and opportunities for everyone. I was lucky enough to be in the first sporting teams for several years which was very special, as was my time in musical theatre productions.

‘A big part of my life since leaving school has been give back to teenagers from challenging socio-economic backgrounds, having come out of the other side of some hardships myself.’

Kyizom Tenzin (2018)


Kyizom (Kym) Tenzin (2018) was born in an Indian refugee camp following the Chinese annexation of Tibet.

When my youngest sister was born, she had a lymphatic malformation, and the local hospitals couldn’t treat her. We were very fortunate to have met Moira Kelly who arranged medical treatment in Australia and settled us in primary and secondary schools.

‘Together with Ahmed Kelly, a refugee with a disability attending our school at the time, Moira helped to secure me a humanitarian scholarship to study at Carey.

‘The friendships I made at Carey helped me build my confidence inside and outside the classroom. I felt empowered to take advantage of opportunities I would not have had the exposure to or ability to participate in otherwise.

‘I left Carey with the assurance I needed to specialise in nursing to complement my experience working with Aunty Moira and help children with a disability.’

‘If you have the capacity to support students in the formative years that are so important and help them through whatever they have come against, absolutely do it,’ Felicity Shalless.

Every gift, small or large, will enable a student in hardship to begin at Carey and build an inclusive and diverse community at our school.

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For further information, visit www.carey.com.au/giving or contact Stuart Galbraith, Head of Advancement, at +61 3 9816 1522 or advancement@carey.com.au


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