The purpose of The Old Melburnians Council is to support OMs to connect and grow, and this was illustrated to me when I was living in San Francisco 15 years ago.
I attended a West Coast USA OM reunion in San Francisco, along with 12 other OMs, none of whom knew each other, ranging in age from 25 to 75. All we had in common was a chapter in our lives attending Melbourne Grammar School. However, this bond was more than sufficient to generate instant camaraderie and a wonderful event. The OM connection is genuinely meaningful. The Old Melburnian Council now has numerous initiatives in place to achieve its ‘connect and grow’ purpose.
Reunions remain an important element of the OM calendar, in locations across the state, around Australia and internationally, as well as year group reunions. In recent years, the OMs Council has introduced new initiatives to further encourage ‘connect and grow’ amongst the OM community of 18,000 people. OMlink (an online engagement platform) is an important tool to facilitate connections amongst our members and I encourage all OMs to register at omlink.org.
Mentoring is another mechanism we are using to achieve our ‘connect and grow’ aim, as it is increasingly relevant with modern careers likely to involve multiple career changes and lifelong learning. The OM Mentoring Programme enables younger OMs to seek advice from experienced OMs. The programme goes from strength to strength, with a successful cohort of 20 OM mentees in 2019. We will shortly be identifying mentors for the 2020 programme and welcome the participation of more OMs as mentors or mentees.
The Old Melburnians Dick Cotton Fellowship is another way in which The Old Melburnians supports younger OMs. The 2019 recipient is Indigenous man, Shaun Edwards (OM 2007), who, together with another OM, will travel to Arnhem Land and conduct workshops on health and wellbeing, while promoting a broader understanding of the culture of the region.
The Annual Dinner remains a highlight of the OM calendar and recently we were privileged to hear from Simon McKeon (OM 1973) as guest speaker.
Simon reflected on the values of the School and how these had influenced his career in business and the charity sector.
As we prepare for 2020, it is a time of transition at the OMs Council. I am honoured to have been elected President of the Old Melburnians Council and look forward to continuing the positive agenda we have to increase the relevance of our activities to OMs of all ages.
The outgoing President, Andrew Maughan, leaves an outstanding legacy of dedicated leadership. He broadened the reach of The Old Melburnians Council, with the introduction of new events including the OM Business Breakfast and other gatherings. However, Andrew’s signature achievement must be the 100 year anniversary dinner held in London in June 2019, commemorating a London dinner in 1919 for the ANZAC OMs who had participated in WWI.
Finally, on behalf of all OMs, I pay tribute to our retiring Headmaster, Mr Roy Kelley, and his wife, Ann. The Headmaster has been a constant supporter of the Old Melburnians and we have valued his wise counsel and participation in OM activities. The Headmaster has made a magnificent contribution to the development of Melbourne Grammar School over the past 11 years, and the strength of the School today is a source of pride to all OMs.
Andrew Tulloch President of The Old Melburnians