Bellingen High School

Truth Triumphs

Telephone02 6655 1315

School history

For over 50 years our school has been providing higher education to the Bellingen community read some of our historical facts:


Our Principals and Deputy Principals over the years

Listing of past principals:

  • 1960 to 1963 – JS Spratt
  • 1964 to 1967 – MM Jackson
  • 1968 to 1980 – Bill Withers
  • 1981 to 1983 – Don Rowland
  • 1984 to 1985 – Mal Chapman
  • 1986 to 1995 – Barry Hopkins
  • 1996 to 1998 – Bruce McMullen
  • 1999 to 2013 – Robert Stockton
  • 2014 to 2018 - Paul Holding
  • 2018 to present - Kim Dixon

and Deputy Principals:

  • 1960 to 1963
  • 1964 to 1967
  • 1968 to 1980 – Warren Furniss
  • 1981 to 1983
  • 1984 to 1985
  • 1986 to 1990 – Des Coombes
  • 1990 to 1997 – Ken Lloyd
  • 1998 to 1998 – Peter Cameron
  • 1999 to 2000 – Hilton Humphries
  • 2000 to 2002 – Paul Holding
  • 2003 to 2004 – Adrian Bell
  • 2005 to 2010 – David Harris
  • 2011 to 2017  - Dot Panaretos
  • 2018 to present -  Tim Laverty

Our alumni

Mathew Bourke 

Mathew attended from 1992 to 1994.

He went on to complete a Diploma in Human Resource Management.

He lists his achievements as Australian Defence Force.

He commented that: "I believe that the great focus on sporting activities and the well-balanced curriculum was what assisted me with my career in the Army."


Peter Clifford

He attended from 1971 to 1977

He completed his Higher School Certificate (HSC)

He lists his achievements as: Cricket - Right Hand Batsman representing NSW and Qld in the Sheffield Shield teams.

He commented that: "Attending Bellingen High enabled me to meet my childhood sweetheart. I could learn the basics of cricket with my father as mentor in a loving family. "


Colin Doyle

Colin  attended from 1984-1989

He went on to gain a Bachelor of Science (with Honours) in Chemistry from the University of NSW and a PhD from Stanford University in the USA.

His achievements are in the fields of Chemistry and Environmental science.

He commented that: "Bellingen High left me well prepared to continue my academic studies, but more importantly it encouraged me to learn, and to experience the world."


Ben Fuller 

Ben attended from 1989 to 1994

He went on to gain a Bachelor of Information Science and qulifications as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

His achievements are in the field of Computing

He comments that:  "My 6 years at Bellingen High were some of the most enjoyable of my life. 

Sport was my main area of interest at school and we were very lucky to have some great facilities and coaches available to us." 


Angie Harradine

Angie attended from 1990 to 1995.

She went on to get a Bachelor of Commerce (Tourism Management) from University of Western Sydney.

Her achievements are in Tourism.

She states that: "I found that the teachers at BHS were very supportive of my academic and sporting pursuits."


Michelle Harvey

Michelle attended from 1977 to 1982.

She went on to get a Bachelor of Financial Administration from the University of New England

She lists her achivements as Brand Strategy and Advertising.

She commented that: "A rigorous and competitive academic environment—or my year certainly was!—staffed by committed and passionate teachers who had a genuine respect for the ability and maturity of the students they taught."


Grant Hooper

Grant attended from 1982 to 1987.

He went on to get several degrees:

  • Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Law 1st Class Honors
  • Master of Laws from Sydney University

He lists his area of achievement as Law.

He commented that: "Bellingen High was a great part of my life. It provided a well balanced education. Not only did it provide the facilities to achieve academically, but it provided an environment in which sport and friendships were encouraged"


Scott Jenkinson

Scott attended from 1986 to 1991.

He went on to gain a Bachelor of Science Aqa and a S.Sci Aqa Resources and Fisheries Managemennt 1st Class Honors.

He lists his achievement as being an Environmental officer in WA striving to protect environmental values.

He comments: "My memories of BHS are of a school offering a vast array of subjects that were both theoretical and practical in nature. My best memories are of the agriculture and science subjects. Mr Vernon and Mr Fuller have been the greatest influence in developing a keen interest in the aquatic environment, ecology and biological sciences."


Heidi Krebs

Lists her achievement as being Company Director of:

  • Cablex Pty. Ltd. 
  • Nature's Baby Pty Ltd. 

She comments: "I have formed close lifetime friendships with three women who also attended BHS. These friendships are priceless."


Jane Lloyd

Jane attended from 1977 to 1982.

She went on to get a Bachelors in Town Planning  with Honors from the University of NSW and then a Masters in Business Administration in MBA 2000.

She lists her achievements as:

  • Property Development 
  • Asset and Development Manager with Deutsche Bank

She comments that: "There were only 295 students in years 7-12 when I first started high school in 1977. By virtue of the school's size we did not have a great range of subjects, however this did mean we had relatively small class sizes which gave us great access to our teachers. We all knew the basics and we learnt to think for ourselves"


James McLachlan 

James attended from 1972 to 1977.

He went on to gain several degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science from the University of NSW
  • Bachelor of Law from the University of NSW, also being awarded the University Medal for First in Graduating Year and the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholar 
  • Master of Law with honors (Cantab), winning the Sir William McNair Prize for Law

He lists his achievements as:

  • 1984-85 Associate to Chief Justice of Australia
  • 1992-94 General Counsel - Nine Network 
  • 1994-date General Counsel for Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd
  • 1998-date CEO, PBL Enterprises 

He comments that: "Attending a comparatively small school like Bellingen High School enabled the development of deep friendships with classmates, an ease of relationship with teachers, and exposure to some brilliant, caring teachers including in particular Wayne Parks and Barry Hopkins."


Adam Molloy

Adam attended from 1988 to 1993

He completed his HSC.

He lists his achievement as his time in the Defence Force.

He comments that: "I really enjoyed my time at Bellingen High where I met a lot of interesting people and gained a few great friends." 


Brad Murphy

Brad attended from 1990 to 1991.

He went on to get three degrees:

  • Bachelor of Education in Science with honours, winning the Jones Medal and Science Department Prize for highest results in final year of degree.
  • Master of Astronomy with Distinction
  • Master of ICT in Education with Distinction

He lists his achievements as being a Teacher of Science, Physics and Philosophy, 'Leader of Learning' (Science, Mathematics, PDHPE), and Leader of Technology and Innovation.

He comments: "I have very fond memories of this school in terms of my interaction with fellow students as well as teachers. I found it to be a positive learning environment. In particular Mr Lynch was an inspiration to me both as my Geography teacher & my youth group leader."

James Nealand

James attended from 1991 to 1996.

He went on to get two degrees:

  • Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical with 1st Class honors from the University of Western Sydney 
  • Studying PhD at RMIT 

His area of achievement is Electrical engineering, Voice Recognition

He comments: "Bellingen is a great place to learn not only in terms of its open space and environment, but also its friendly, helpful and encouraging staff. "

Ken Osland

Ken attended from 1964 to 1969.

He went on to get a Management degree.

His achievements include:

  • Deputy Shire Clerk at Cooma 
  • Working for Rio Tinto at Weipa, Brisbane, Borneo and South Africa. 

He comments : "Great years with fond memories of sporting activities and friendships with people whom you never forget."


Peter Norman Rampling

Peter attended from 1971 to 1975.

He went on to get several degrees:

  • Bachelor of Financial Administration from the University of New England (UNE)
  • Master of Econmics from UNE
  • PhD Candidate  at the University of Canberra

He lists his achievement as Lecturer in Accounting at the University of Canberra.

He comments:  "I don't think I could have received a better education at any other school than Bellingen High, Public or Private."

Kelly Rees

Kelly attended from 1981 to 1986.

And went on to gain:

  • a double degree of Bachelor of Comerce and Bachelor of Law from University of  NSW
  • Master of Law with Honors from Cambridge Univeristy

Kelly's achievments  are listed as being:

  • a Barrister
  • World Universities Debating Champion 

Kelly comments that : "Studying in the Bellingen community meant that I knew my teachers and fellow students really well, which made it an easier environment to work in."


Malcolm Sky

Malcolm attended from 1977 to 1982.

He went on to get an:

  • Advanced Diploma in Rural Business Management
  • Bachelor of Education

He lists his achievements as being:

  • President Bellinger River Agricultural Society Ltd in its Centenary Year 1988 at age of 25 years.
  • State Executive of NSW Young National Party—1985 to 1988
  • Former Executive member of NSW Jersey Herd Society
  • Former Advisory Committee Member to NSW Minister for Agriculture
  • Inaugural Secretary of Lismore Dairy Spectacular
  • Scholarship winner of ADFF (Australian Dairy Farmers) tour of New Zealand—1989
  • Former National Australia Bank Portfolio Manager—1992 to 1994
  • Former Dairy Farmer of 250 cow herd—1994 to 2005
  • Primary school teacher—2010 to present.

He comments that: "Bellingen High school enabled me to obtain a quality education and thanks to teachers like Mr Lewis and Miss Evans, encouraged me to be an active participant in community organisations and an advocate for social justice, and a life-long learner."


Robert Sommerville

Robert attended from 1962 to 1967.

He went on to get two degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Architecure
  • Bacherlor of Architechture with Honors

He lists his achievements as being a:

  • Director of Sawdy and Black Architects
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects 

Robert is remembered by his teachers as a friendly, keen student who was good at sport.


David Sonter

David attended from 1982 to 1987.

He went on to get:

  • B Commerce (Economics) (UNSW) 
  • LL B (UNSW)
  • Diploma of Legal Practice (UTS) 

 He lists his achievements as:

  • Solicitor of Supreme Court of NSW (1993)
  • Solicitor of High Court of Aust (1994)
  • Solicitor of Supreme Court of England & Wales (1996)
  • Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London

He comments that: Completing all of the allotted schoolwork and still finding time to play touch football on the oval at lunchtime and cricket after school was, in retrospect, good practice for my working life advising companies on mega-mergers and multi-million dollar takeovers.

I remember Mr Hopkins giving me some advice which I still use for myself and junior solicitors today – "good enough" will get you through sometimes but, with a little extra conscientious effort and thought, your work can be the best.


Rachel Stewart-Rattray

Rachel attended from 1986 to 1991.

She went on to get:

  • B.Sc (Business Information Technology) University of NSW
  • Co-op Scholarship (Industry-linked Education) 

She lists her achievements E-Business IT project manager 2001 – Establishment of new IT Consulting division at technology training company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

She comments: "Bellingen High gave me great opportunities to develop valuable skills through extra-curricular activities such as Inter-school debating, competitions and school musicals."


Rebecca Stewart-Rattray

Rebecca attended from 1985 to 1990.

She went on to get a Bachelor of Arts Communications  and Media, University of Canberra.

She lists her achievements as:

Advertising & presentation with:

  • Channel 9 Network 
  • Publicity at Prime Television 
  • SBS Television

She comments: "BHS gave me a sense of identity and community that only comes with a small town school. I remember it as a school with friendly, artistic and diverse students. Some of my closest friends are still those who I attended Bellingen High with! "


Greg Tarrant

Greg attended from 1978 to 1981.

He went on to get a:

  • B. Sc Honours – UNE
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry – University of Wollongong 

He lists his achievements as:

  • Science , Organic Chemistry
  • In 2000, he started a post-doctoral position at the Research School Of Chemistry, ANU, looking at the design and synthesis of new antibiotics. 

He comments: "I have very fond memories of Bellingen High School, especially the Quirindi sporting visits. All the teachers I had over my four years there were great. Peter Dowling even helped me out on occasions while I was studying the HSC 2 unit Chemistry via the External Studies of TAFE."


Therese White

Therese attended from 1976 to 1982

She went on to gain:

  • BA 
  • MBA University of Sydney
  • President, Sydney University Management Assn.

She lists her achievements as:

  • Commerce, Social Services
  • Presented Leadership award by PM John Howard, 2001.
  • Founded Software Companies Whitewolfe and Maxiem.

She comments that: "I had the good fortune to attend a highly academic School with extensive extra-curricular activities. It attracted a diverse range of outstanding teachers and these teachers gave me much more than just academic exposure. My years at Bellingen High School gave me the capacity to embrace life's many challenges with confidence."


To be included

If you would like your details included on this web page please email the school. Include your maiden name, years of attendance, education, achievements and comments on Bellingen High.