In reaching this milestone, Brendan joins an exclusive BGS club as there are only eight other members of staff who taught at BGS for 40 or more years: Sarge Brown, Ray Muntz, Harry Zachariah, Mary De Salis, Rick Pemberton, Ken Robertson, Andrew Kerr and Peter Toms.

Brendan has held numerous positions of responsibility in the Junior School including 15 years as Curriculum Coordinator and the coordinator of various year levels. As Curriculum Coordinator in the ‘90s Brendan led the revision of all curriculum areas in the Junior School, an exacting task over a five-year period.

I asked Brendan to reflect on the following:

Why teaching?

I have always had very fond memories of my school days which certainly influenced my choice of career. One teacher in particular, my Grade 5 and 6 Teacher Mr Williamson, was a terrific role model: he loved teaching, taking us for sport, just talking to us – his obvious satisfaction from his work inspired me to teach.

Changes over the past 40 years at BGS?

One of the most significant changes has been the impact of technology. The introduction of mindfulness, circle time, wellbeing and the development of instrumental and choral music, are now essential elements of a wider curriculum.

Sport today is built into the daily timetable. Facilities have undergone enormous changes with the rebuilding of the Junior School classrooms and the refurbishment of all other teaching and recreational spaces such as the oval, the pool, the GBR Hall, Borwick House, the Mabel Fairweather Building, the Early Learning Centre and our playgrounds.

Are boys different today?

Boys today are clearly more confident in articulating their thoughts and emotions. Their ability to access information has also grown and they engage in a far wider range of pursuits in their lives. However, boys still thrive on healthy competition, embrace hands-on design and construction activities and love to be active. Most importantly, they value enormously their mates and always care for each other.

Today life can be more challenging for boys as they experience the adverse impact of social media, disconnected families, both parents working, the prevalence of drugs, and the general dilution of honesty and trust in society.

This is why good teachers are so important for our boys. Our School provides consistency and certainty in our boys’ lives and adults with whom our boys can have confidence and trust in.

What have you found most satisfying in your work?

Having the day-to-day opportunity to work closely with boys and parents to achieve the best possible outcomes for the boys. Also having colleagues around you who love their profession; parents who love their boys; and boys who love their school, love being with their mates and love the opportunity to learn – all this makes our professional life richly rewarding. Catching up with ex-students, and having the privilege of teaching the sons of boys whom I have previously taught, brings incredible satisfaction.

When you retire, what’s on the ‘bucket list’?

I look forward to spending more time with my family and my four beautiful grandchildren. I intend to split our time living between South Gippsland and Melbourne. However, I do have four important goals: to walk The Camino with a family member; to attend the US Masters; to keep fit and improve my flawed golf game; and to be at the ‘G’ when the mighty Saints win that elusive second premiership.

Peter Toms
Bequest Manager

First Horizon program

The inaugural Year 10 First Horizon Program which marks the transition of BGS boys into emerging young men was held at the end of last year.


Exceptional staff

BGS promotes a culture of high performance amongst the boys and the staff.


What does a great teacher look like?

Top 10 characteristics that effective teachers all share.