In its more than 50 year history, this school has educated many young people who have subsequently made a significant contribution to our community and our nation. These individuals have achieved at an outstanding level in their chosen field of endeavour.
Professor Richard Lennan was Dux of St Pius X in 1972. He gained degrees in Arts and Sacred Theology, a Masters of Philosophy and Doctorate in Theology. He was ordained in this diocese in 1983 and served as university chaplain. He became a senior lecturer at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, Associate Professor in Cambridge (USA) and currently is a Professor of Theology in Boston. Professor Lennan has authored and edited many published works. He is a truly brilliant thinker.
Mr Mark Sargent is certainly famous face in the Newcastle region. Mr Sargent graduated from St Pius X in 1980. He began his Rugby League career with Central Charlestown, won a premiership with Canterbury Bankstown, and served as Club Captain for the Newcastle Knights. He played a total of 146 first grade matches. He represented Country, NSW and Australia, culminating in the World Cup Victory in 1992. Mark Sargent has been awarded a Rothman’s Medal, Australian Sports Medal for Services to Rugby League, inducted into the Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame, and made Newcastle Knights Team of the Era Member. He is testimony that sport and study do coexist, with two Masters Degrees and a successful career in business.
Mr Graham Jennings graduated from St Pius X in 1977. He began his soccer career with his local club, Adamstown Rosebuds. He went on to play for Sydney Olympic and Croatia, Leichhardt, Toronto Awaba and the Newcastle Breakers. He represented Northern NSW, NSW and spent seven years as an Australian Socceroo. Mr Jennings had been inducted into the Hunter Sports Hall of Fame and the Australian Football Hall of Fame. He is another example of both sport and intellect, having received a University Medal for Honours in Education.
Mr Richard Campbell graduated from St Pius X in 2002. He went on to gain a scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport and play in the Australian Schoolboys Team, Youth Team and National All Stars Team. After being decorated as the National League’s Highest Goal Scorer of 2007, he competed in the FINA World League Super Finals and Olympic Games in Beijing. He has competed in 63 international games to date and won gold in the 2009 World University Games. Richard currently lives, competes and studies in Spain.
The Class of 2002 was a good year at St Pius X, also featuring Mr Jarrod Mullen. In 2004 and 2005, Jarrod competed for the Australian Junior Kangaroos and Australian Schoolboys Teams and made his debut with the Newcastle Knights. His representative career includes selection in the Prime Minister XIII team against Papua New Guinea, State of Origin and Country NSW. Jarrod is another famous Newcastle identity.
Mr Andrew Walker was Vice Captain of St Pius X in 1988. He began to act in television commercials, drama and cooperative theatre. However, his real talent was in television production. He has worked in various roles: as art department coordinator, associate producer, production manager and casting director on many programs. Some of these include: Echopoint, Something In the Air, Stingers, Life, Silver Sun, Big Reef, Answered by Fire and Satisfaction. Andrew Walker has been nominated for numerous national and international awards including Logies, Emmies and AIF. His most recent series won the 2009 ASTRA Award for Most Outstanding Drama.
Suzy Batkovic graduated from St Pius X in 1995, having earned an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship. She has played basketball for the Sydney Panthers, Townsville Fires, Australian Opals, Seattle Storm, and competed in the French and Euroleague Championships. In 2002 and 2009, Suzy Batkovic was named ‘International Player of the Year’. She has won silver medals in two Olympic Games, both in Athens and Beijing. Suzy continues to compete at the highest level of international competition and has been named in the ‘Euroleague World All Star Team’.
Geon van der Wyst graduated from St Pius in 1986 and studied with the Australian Ballet School. He entered the Australian Ballet Company in 1991 and was promoted to soloist and senior artist. In 2001, he joined the National Ballet of Canada in the role of Principal Dancer. He has lead roles in numerous performances including Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew.
Geon van der Wyst
Rachel Hennessy attended St Pius X in 1988 and studied another two years at the National Playwright’s Centre. She has authored award winning drama, novels, short stories and films. These have received a Patrick White’s Playwright Award, Varuna Playwork’s Fellowship and Australian Vogel Award. Rachel Hennessy has a Masters Degree and PhD in Creative Writing. She is a Peer Advisor to the Literature Board of the Australia and gained a Developing Writers' Grant from the Australia Council.
Chad Edser: began his surfing career at fifteen years of age by winning local schoolboys’ titles in 1987. After success in Newcastle, state and national cadet titles in 1988, Chad Edser was chosen in the Australian team to tour the American West Coast and then later, New Zealand. The following year, he won many competitions including his division in the Merewether Pointscore, the Tracks Cup, Surfest, NSW individuals, and the Australian All Stars Team. In 1992, Chad Edser won the Junior World Surfing Championship in France.
Tim Richards: graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1999. He is an acclaimed actor in theatre, television and film. He has starred in productions with Freewheels, Hunter Valley Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Company B, and is well known for his role in Disney’s The Lion King. You may recognise Tim Richards from his role in the television programs: All Saints, the Farm, Backberner and Blue Water High. His latest play, A Streetcar Named Desire, co-starring Cate Blanchett is a ‘sell out’ and about to tour the United States.
Helen Kapalos: graduated from St Pius X in 1986. She began her career in journalism as a reporter for ABC Radio. When she won a scholarship for the National Year of Tolerance, Helen Kapalos moved to SBS television, Sydney. She is recognized locally for her role as a reporter and newsreader for NBN News. Her coverage of the closure of BHP, won a NSW Prodi Award for Best Feature Documentary. Helen Kapalos has worked as a reporter and newsreader for Network Nine on Nightline, a Current Affair and the Athens Olympics. She currently is contracted to Network Ten, Melbourne.
Gary Haberl is an Olympic Table Tennis Champion. In 1977, at just 14 years of age, he began winning national, age, singles and doubles titles. He holds a total of 30 national titles and has represented Australia on 105 occasions. These include the World Championships, World Cup, Commonwealth Championships, and Seoul Olympics.