House debates

Monday, 8 February 2016

Statements by Members

West, Mr Roderick

1:31 pm

Photo of Nickolas VarvarisNickolas Varvaris (Barton, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It was with deep sorrow I heard of the passing of Roderick West, one of Australia's finest headmasters, who served for a memorable 21 years at Trinity Grammar School. He was not only a teacher but a personal mentor to thousands of students and colleagues throughout Australia. With a Master of Arts degree from Sydney University, one of his significant teaching positions was at Timbertop Geelong Grammar School in 1966 where he taught Prince Charles during his Australian studies. Prince Charles specifically remembered his Latin teacher so well that they kept in touch right up until his passing. But this was not abnormal for Headmaster West. Mr West always had a personal connection with his students and seemed to strike a chord naturally and form an unbreakable bond outside of the classroom.

He was appointed headmaster of Trinity Grammar School in 1975. As a former student at Trinity Grammar School, I distinctly remember a headmaster who never gave up on anyone. He allowed each student to become their own individual, always encouraging them to try their best. His words of guidance helped me pave my way through high school and beyond, a moral compass that will remain with me for life.

As well as being hand-picked by the Howard government to review Australia's tertiary education system, Mr West has left a deep imprint on us all. His devotion to his career and pupils made him one of the country's most cherished headmasters, and he will be dearly missed. Our condolences go out to his family, and may he rest in peace.