Glenaeon eNewsletter

From Head of School

Dear Former Glenaeon Students,

Happy New Year and welcome to the latest edition of GlenX News (Issue #3)!

Firstly, warmest congratulations to our most recent graduates and alumni, the Class of 2014, on completing their schooling. We look forward to following their journey as they embark on the next exciting phase of their lives. » Read More

In this summer issue, we talk to former Glenaeon students Madelaine Dickie (2004), Lisa Morrow (1982) and Ian Hemphill (1970) on their lives post-school. We hope you enjoy reading their profiles and are inspired by their stories, achievements and thoughts. 

We also invite you to join us for the Glenaeon 'Spice Soiree' on Thursday 7th May with special guest speaker and Alumnus Ian 'Herbie' Hemphill (1970), Australia's very own 'King of Spice' and foodie legend.  

Please stay in touch and we look forward to seeing you at one of our events or reunions soon. 

With Best Wishes,

Andrew Hill 

Collegiate Chair 

Where are They Now

Ian Hemphill (1970)

His herbs and spices are found in many of our pantries and his cookbooks grace many of our kitchen bookshelves. Nicknamed “Herbie” by classmates at Glenaeon, Ian Hemphill of Herbie’s Spices is today renowned as Australia’s king of spice. » Read More

 Herbie’s Spices, the Rozelle store he launched with wife Liz in 1997, is an icon of the Australian food scene and Ian himself has been described as the herb and spice equivalent of a master of wine.

Liz and Ian now work full-time at Herbie's Spices, dividing their time between the “Spicery”, where their spices are processed, blended and packed, and their retail store in Rozelle, where they love the opportunity to meet and talk to their regular customers.

They also take groups of tourists to India nearly every year on a Spice Discovery Tour that explores the sights, sounds, flavours and atmosphere of India. To date they have led 10 of these tours to India since opening Herbie's Spices.

In October 2007, Ian was inducted into the Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Magazine’s Food Hall of Fame.

 In July 2011, Herbie's Spices was presented with the trophy for the Most Outstanding Providore in the ABC Delicious Magazine 2011 Produce Awards.


Ian came to Glenaeon in 1965, in one of the first classes to travel through the newly established high school on the Middle Cove campus.

 He’d previously spent several years at the King’s School, Parramatta, learning how to “march, pray and play football”, but joined Glenaeon after his parent’s friends persuaded them he’d be happier there.

 Ian’s class teacher was one of Glenaeon’s founders, Sylvia Brose, whom the class nicknamed “Brose-aurum” because of her passion for Latin.  She made Ian study two years of Latin in one year when he started, in order to catch up!

 Other teachers he remembers fondly include Reinhard Dregenberg, his German teacher, who still remains in touch from Germany, and Reiner Feick, his woodwork teacher, who also lived in Dural at the time, and let Ian drive his car to school while on his L plates.

 What are your earliest memories at Glenaeon?

 There were girls at Glenaeon!! After an all-boys school, they were a bit of a distraction!

 What did Glenaeon give you?

 The belief that “if you want to do something, just do it.” And, even if something looks hard, “start it!”

And the ability to communicate effectively. “I enjoyed poetry, drama and communication in all forms; the teachers always encouraged me to communicate what I was thinking.”

Ian particularly enjoyed the school plays and went on to audition for NIDA when he finished school, where he was accepted in to the acting course at the age of 18. Here, he met future wife Liz, then studying production.

Realising acting involved a lot of standing around waiting for things to happen, Ian joined his parents herb and spice business in 1969.

 In 1974, Ian completed a Management Certificate course through TAFE NSW and in 1978 he completed the Diploma Company Director course through Company Director’s Association of Australia (now merged with Institute of Company Directors).

 In 1997, he and Liz opened Herbie’s Spices, a speciality herb and spice shop in Rozelle.  Ian says he never stops learning about spices, and the small business they first opened now employs 20 people. 

We are excited to announce that Ian is hosting our Spice Soiree on Thursday May 7th. See 'Dates for the Diary' section for more details. 

Lisa Morrow (1982)

Former Glenaeon studnet Lisa Morrow is an author, blogger and English teacher and is now based in Istanbul, Turkey. » Read More

What have you been doing since you left Glenaeon? 

I left Glenaeon at the end of Year 7 and went to a selective girls’ high school. It was a shock to the system but I did well and won a place at university. After completing a year at Sydney University, I worked in various jobs, including as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, barmaid and at a car counter before going overseas.

Once there I hitchhiked throughout the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. My three months stay in the small central Anatolian village of Göreme really changed my life.

I spent the following years moving between Australia and Turkey. In between moves, I went back to university and graduated with a BA Hons Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University.

In Turkey I worked as an English teacher at universities in Istanbul and in central Anatolia, while in Australia I worked in publishing, accounts, and as an English teacher and freelance proof reader, before deciding to call Istanbul home. I moved to Göztepe on the Asian side of the city with my husband in 2010.

How did Glenaeon influence your career choice?

As you can see, I haven't followed only one career path. My years at Glenaeon were very influential as we were encouraged to try a huge range of activities such as pottery, woodworking, painting, writing, eurythmy and so on. No distinctions were made as to the value of the subject. Intellectual development, academic excellence, physical prowess and manual dexterity were given equal importance, and it was assumed that all the students, whether male or female, would participate. As a result I’ve never limited myself to any one thing and only feel balanced when I have a little bit of everything going on in my life.

What are your professional achievements?

In addition to my university degree I have a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). Most recently I have returned to writing. It is my first love and was nurtured at Glenaeon through the main lessons. I have written two books to date, “Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City” and “Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries”. In the first I explore my fascination with the interplay of tradition and modernity in Turkey, and in particular how it plays out in a metropolis such as Istanbul. Although it is touted as a modern city, in many ways I feel like I’m back in the village. My second book is a more personal look at how my experiences as a foreigner in Turkey have changed me. I used the idea that travel forces us away from the known (Istanbul) towards the unknown (the east of Turkey). Along the way, if we’re lucky, we find ourselves, but we’re a different person at the end of the journey.

What is your favourite Glenaeon memory?

I went to the Middle Cove campus, so the natural environment plays a big part in my memories. I came to Glenaeon in Class 3, and in my first week, my classmates went into the bamboo patch, braving the pig’s head grove, only to find a dead red belly black snake. They left it on the teacher’s desk as a present.

Another time I fell into the creek trying to cross the stand of bamboo we called the mean machine. I returned to class and dripped and steamed dry for the rest of the day. My last memory is from 1977. It was muck-up week, and the whole school was down at the big oval, watching a softball match between the Year 12 students and the teachers. The theme of the year was music, and the final years were dressed as Kiss and other glam rock bands. Every time a teacher made it to base one of the students would dump flour all over them and another hosed them down. Looking back I am amazed at how tolerant our teachers were. They gave us a lot of freedom and enabled us in our learning and development, rather than stifling and limiting us with petty rules.

What are your plans for 2015?

Living in a country where planning isn’t part of most people’s vocabulary, this is a hard question to answer! I have another manuscript called “Where the Tulips Dance: Finding the Heart of Istanbul” which I would like to see published. I’m also planning to take a certificate course in Turkish with the aim of becoming a translator in the future. Other than that I hope to do more travelling and enjoy what life offers.

Madelaine Dickie (2004)

Madelaine Dickie is an award-winning writer, poet and journalist who currently lives in Broome, WA, where she works as the Media and Communications Officer at KRED Enterprises, an Aboriginal charitable trust dedicated to building independent Aboriginal economic development. » Read More

Madelaine graduated from Glenaeon with the class of 2004, and continued her studies at the University of Wollongong, where she obtained a Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of Creative Arts with Distinction. She also completed a Certificate IV in Disability Work.

Among her many awards are the Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Award, the Illawarra Mercury Journalism prize and the Nicholas Pounder Prize. She was shortlisted for the Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize, and has been published in the Griffith Review, Hecate and broadcast on Radio National.

Madelaine spent a year living among the Sundanese people of West Java, Indonesia, writing her first novel and conducting research at Universitas Padjadjaran and Universitas Islam Bandung.

In early December 2014, Madelaine was one of five women shortlisted for the T.A.G Hungerford Award. The winner will be announced in February 2015 and will receive a cash prize of $12,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press. Good luck Madelaine and congratulations on all your success!

What are your favourite Glenaeon memories?

Listening to classical music in a cave, studying maths with John Blackwood, swimming at lunch at Middle Cove, travelling to Mt Barker, and the smell of wisteria.

Community News

Alison Pooley (2011)

Former Glenaeon student Alison Pooley (2011) spent a week volunteering at the Maitreya Pathshala Waldorf Inspired School in Pokhara, Nepal. Read her story on this life-changing experience below. » Read More

‘The amazing thing about the Steiner-Waldorf community is that it is large enough to be found in pockets all over the world, and small enough that it still feels like a big family, a home away from home. This was our experience at Maitreya Pathshala. 

After a crazy few weeks in India, arriving at this little school and farm at the base of the Himalayas was like a breath of fresh air. We were greeted by Sofiya who gave us a tour of the farm. They grow many kinds of vegetables and tomatoes, and also own cows which are milked twice a day. Sofiya also showed us the classrooms. At the moment they have only established a small kindergarten, but the familiar circular rug, the seasonal table with faceless dolls and the Steiner-Waldorf classroom aroma made me feel right at home. Unfortunately the children were on their winter break, so we were unable to join any of their classes. During the winter months though, the children of Mustang (northern Nepal) descend from their snowy homes in the mountains to escape the cold and board here in some buildings at the rear of the property. It was really nice always having these children around. During the evenings they would show us up with their superior hacky-sack skills and teach us other games. We spent the days building a rock garden out the front, and painting the school's logo, a lotus flower, onto the front of the building. All the neighbours, particularly the children, appeared fascinated by our work. We seemed always to be working to an audience. Sofiya’s delicious cooking kept us well satisfied. One of the evenings she taught us how to make ‘momos’. We all gathered around the table while she demonstrated how to fold the dough to create beautiful styled bundles. Our clumsy attempts to imitate her caused a lot of laughter on both sides. 

Unfortunately Ritman Gurung (co-founder) and the other teachers were in Kathmandu for teacher training for most of our stay, but we were able to share breakfast on our last morning. Sitting under the sun with views of the beautiful mountains,we ate homemade bread and feta cheese, delicious curry and cheese made from the milk of the new mother cow who had given birth only the night before. Overall we had a lot of fun. I would love to return someday to see the next stage of the school’s development.’

Eric Fairman

Former Glenaeon teacher, Eric Fairman, found retirement on the deck of his new home in Tasmania wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. During a trip to Nepal in 2009, Eric’s life changed forever after he witnessed dire poverty among local people, particularly children, many of them orphans. He became involved in a social endeavour to help these people and this year, travelled to Nepal for the 14th time to share his gifts with these friends who have become such a huge part of his life. » Read More

'Looking Back' 

January in Toronto. Canada is about as cold as cold can get, so it was with pleasure that I departed the bleak midwinter to arrive in Sydney’s very warm summer weather, to assume my position as class teacher of the new Glenaeon Class One in 1995, comprising 32 delightful and lively students.

This was the beginning of a wonderful eight years of class teaching, which were to be the culmination of a total of 31 years of full-time class teaching in Steiner-Waldorf schools in the UK, Canada and Australia, with an additional two years as an itinerant teacher in the US and New Zealand. I have been fortunate in my chosen career, which began in earnest in 1971 when I graduated the Steiner-Waldorf Teacher Training programme in Stuttgart, Germany. Prior to that time, I had worked with emotionally, physically and mentally challenged children and adults in various Steiner settings in the UK and Germany.

To be entrusted with the care and education of a class is a tremendous honour, together with being an awe-inspiring responsibility. Each class I cared for was special. But for some reason, my classes were always a very lively bunch of young people! There were seldom any dull moments in the class and I learnt so much from and with these groups of individuals.

As a Steiner-Waldorf class teacher, one has the joy of creating a bond with one’s class that can last way beyond those first eight years of schooling. I now take pleasure in sending greetings to those of my ex-students who this past year reached the big five-O (50!) landmark in their lives, whilst at the other end of the scale, my Glenaeon students are graduating from university with their degrees in a multitude of subjects. It is rewarding to see that so many of my past students have chosen careers in the social realm, such as social workers, medical doctors and human rights lawyers, whilst the arts are also well represented, along with engineers, craftsmen/women, chefs’ et al. Even a Computer Software Engineering PhD!

Reminiscing on my years at Glenaeon, some of the nicest memories of the community are the beautiful festivals. Two spring instantly to mind. The Mid-Winter festival, with the green spiral and the gentle illumination of the multitude of candles, the soft music and the reverence shown by each and everyone when lighting their own candle to brighten the darkness. In contrast, there is the Michaelmas harvest festival and the beautiful displays which greeted us every year, either on the large stage or laid out in the auditorium. These were such special moments, with memories that live on.

For my graduating class eight in 2002, I will forever remember their incredible performances of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. Wonderful acting enhanced by the professional lighting, sound effects, music and of course, the costumes. I was so proud of my class! These memories I carried into my retirement in 2002 to Cygnet, Tasmania. I thought that I’d relish my retirement, sitting in a rocker on the deck with a glass of red in my hand at the end of a leisurely day. Fine for a few weeks! But the classroom beckoned and within a short space of time I was relief teaching at the Hobart Steiner School. Then in my spare time…and there was plenty of it…involving myself in local initiatives and generally keeping myself busy. In 2007, I decided to head back to my birth country, the UK. My homeland was calling with an offer of a residential voluntary position in a Steiner home for adults challenged with Aspergers and Autism. I felt useful again and naturally accepted!

Late 2009, I decided to make a return visit to Oz via Cape Town, South Africa on the outward trip and via Kathmandu, Nepal on the return. At both stopovers I encountered poverty I had never experienced before. Unimaginable hardship and deprivation amongst the unfortunates in society, not least the children. Three weeks during January 2010 in Kathmandu changed my life. I met and was befriended by beggars, street children, lepers and others. Together they opened my eyes and heart, and I haven’t looked back since. I received the Nepal Friendship Peace Award in 2012 for my contribution in maintaining peace, harmony and friendship among the countries.
In February 2015, I make what will be my 14th self-funded trip to Kathmandu to be with my friends, to tend to their ills and their needs, just as they tend to mine. The gifts that I receive from my new Nepali friends greatly outweigh what mediocre material or financial gifts I can give to them.

It is always a joy to meet voluntary social workers from Steiner circles, even more so when they come from or have a direct connection to Glenaeon! Why not come to Kathmandu? There is much for you to see and marvel at, whilst at the same time, you can share some of what you have had the good fortune to acquire throughout your own lives. Nepal needs teachers to help reform the education system. Workshops are most welcome. Social work volunteers are needed to engage with children in homes or schools or with biodynamics. The opportunities are endless. The rewards? Experiences: Priceless. Memories: Everlasting! At almost the age of 76, I’m just beginning!!! Interested? Contact me: Social Endeavours Nepal (S.E.N) email

Dates for the Diary

The Spice Soiree

» Read More

Please join celebrated Glenaeon alumnus and foodie legend, Ian Hemphill (1970) in conversation on Thursday 7th May 2015. 

Ian will take you on a foodie journey as he demystifies spices and talks of the influence of Glenaeon on his career choice. His herbes and spices are found in many of our pantries and his cookbooks grace many of our kitchen bookshelves. Nicknamed 'Herbie' by his Glenaeon classmates, Ian Hemphill is today renowend as Australia's King of Spice.

The Glenaeon Foundation looks forward to welcoming you for an entertaining evening and an opportunity for you to connect with friends and staff.

Date: Thursday 7th May, 2015, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Location: Glenaeon Castlecrag Campus, Marion Mahony Griffin Hall, 121 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag

Format: Drinks, Canapes, Music and presentation by Ian Hemphill

RSVP: By 30th April with your name(s) to (please note seating is limited) 

Mid-Winter Festival

Our annual Mid-Winter Festival is happening Thursday 18th June, 2015 at our Middle Cove Campus. This event is always a highlight for our Glenaeon community so we hope you can join us to walk the spiral and celebrate this occasion. Stay tuned for more details!


Glenaeon 10, 20 and 30 Year Reunions

It's reunion season again and if you left school in 1985, 1995 or 2005 we'd like to hear from you. Below are the list of up-and-coming 2015 Glenaeon Reunions: » Read More

10 Year Reunion - Class of 2005 - Saturday 5th September

20 Year Reunion - Class of 1995 - Saturday 12th September

30 Year Reunion - Class of 1985 - Saturday 19th September

All reunions will start at 4.30pm. Partners and children are welcome to attend. 

Reunions are a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, see what's new at Glenaeon and share stories with your class guardian. We are currently updating our records and need your help. Email Emily Fraser with your contact details. 

Thank you to Cleo Mees (2005), Joe Purves (1995), Fiona Gentle and Michael Pain (1985) who have volunteered to be class representatives for their respective year groups. 

Keep In Touch

Official Alumni Facebook Page

The Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School Alumni Facebook Page is now live! This page allows you to re-connect with your former classmates, keeps you up-to-date with what's happening at Glenaeon, shares Alumni stories and upcoming events & reunions. Please 'like' us at

Archive Photos

Photos From Glenaeon's Past

A big thank you to former Glenaeon teacher and parent Rosemary Gentle for generously giving her time to help with our archives. Here's a sneak peek of what we've found so far.

If you have any photographs from your time at Glenaeon, we would love to see them. Please forward with names and dates attached to

School News

HSC Success

Congratulations to three of our most recent Alumni - Sasha Lee, Tom Sandberg and Elena Monakhova from the Class of 2014. » Read More

Sasha was an All Rounder, a student who achieved Band 6 (or top 10% of the state) in each of her subjects. Her accomplishments in the STEM subjects of Physics, Chemistry, and Extension 1 and 2 Maths plus English and German gained her both entry and a scholarship to the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) degree in Science at the Australian National University. This prestigious course partners undergraduate students with academic staff so students are engaged in research while they complete their first degree. Sasha was entirely educated at Glenaeon and since Kindergarten has performed enthusiastically in all aspects of the school’s program from music and the performing arts, to sport and outdoor education.

We also congratulate Tom Sandberg whose HSC Visual Arts project 'Architypes' was selected for ArtExpress, and Elena Monakhova whose research thesis in the subject Society and Culture was awarded a High Distinction, one of only 8 awarded out of 4,410 students in the total cohort across the state.

Scholarships Launch

I have been touched by the many stories of our Alumni on the influence of Glenaeon education on their life. We are excited to launch our Scholarship program in 2015. » Read More

We have long wanted to make a Glenaeon education accessible to a wider community, benefiting the student by providing them with the opportunity to experience a unique Steiner education; and benefiting the school by encouraging diversity and attracting students of potential and character to be part of our community.

Many of our Alumni have generously assisted in contributing to the Glenaeon Foundation Scholarship Fund enabling us to provide means-tested scholarships to students who could otherwise not afford to attend.

The Sylvia Brose All Rounder Scholarship will be offered to a student who will significantly enhance the life of the school. The scholarship will commence in 2017 to either a new student or an existing student entering Year 10.
We currently have funding to launch just one Scholarship for one student for three years. Will you help us build a sustainable Scholarship program where we can continue to offer one student a scholarship each year?

We need to fundraise from or community $35,000 every year to keep our Scholarship program operating. Every dollar counts – to donate please go to

Warm Regards,

Nicole Crabb
Director of Development

School Tours

2015 School Tours Dates

If you have children and are considering sending them to Glenaeon, we invite you to come meet the staff and see our school in action. All School Tours incorporate a tour of the grounds and a slideshow presentation about Glenaeon and our curriculum. Students are welcome to attend. » Read More

Below are the next Tour dates for each campus: 

Middle Cove Campus (Years 3-12) 

School Tour - Thursday 26th March 9.15am - 12 noon 

School Tour - Tuesday 28th April 9.30am - 11.30am 

 Castlecrag Campus Tour (Years K-2) 

Open Day - Saturday 2nd May 10.00am - 12.30pm 

To view the complete list of 2015 Open Days & Tours Click Here 

If you wish to make an Enrolment Enquiry the form is available on our Glenaeon website Here

Or email our Enrolments Register Jennifer Keating at  


See Calendar

Middle Cove Campus:

Administration & Classes 3 to 12
5a Glenroy Avenue,
Middle Cove NSW 2068

Telephone 61 2 9417 3193
Fax 61 2 9417 5346

Castlecrag Campus:

Kindergarten-Class 2
121 Edinburgh Road,
Castlecrag NSW 2068

Telephone 61 2 9958 0774
Fax 61 2 9958 0754

Preschool Campus:

118 Sydney Street,
Willoughby NSW 2067

Telephone 61 2 9412 4457