CUTTING down tall poppies was once considered a national sport, but Warrnambool College has embraced the term as a way of celebrating its alumni.
Nine former students were recognised for their achievements in a variety of fields at the school’s Tall Poppies Awards, with a keynote speech given by chemistry academic Tiffany Walsh.
Aeronautic expert David Bond, physician Catherine Brimblecombe, academic Shane Emanuelle, musician Angus Franklin, international cameraman Stephen Greaves, businessman Jamie Harry, basketball star Nicole Hunt, chef Michael Smith and academic Cassandra Walker were all inducted into the school’s hall of fame.
Warrnambool College careers practitioner Peter Bollard said the awards showed present-day students they could achieve great things through hard work and determination.
“It not only highlights Warrnambool College’s achievements but Warrnambool as a whole,” he said.
“This city has produced outstanding sportspeople, artists, business leaders, researchers and others working at an international level.”
Ten senior tall poppies were also recognised at the presentation evening dedicated to Sir John Eccles, a Warrnambool High student who went on to win the 1963 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
They included Uniting Church minister Mildred Lehmann, ergonomist David Caple, author Dorothy Leopold, educator William Grauer, pharmacist Ken Hartley, academic John Legge, former Warrnambool mayor John Lindsay, academic Mary Graham, teacher and author Alan Scarfe and former Warrnambool mayor Glenys Phillpot.
Warrnambool College principal Michael Fitzgerald said the Tall Poppies inductees came from a range of professions, but had all excelled through hard work and initiative.
“Now that we have a senior tall poppies section, the awards cover multiple generations, from people in their 20s to people in their 80s,” he said.