Meet our Alumni

Alumni Profiles

Dr Jenny May AM (Judge 79)

Dr Jenny May, AM, is Director, University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health Faculty of Health and medicine, and  a GP based in Tamworth NSW.  She has worked as a doctor in rural and remote Australia for more than 25 years, starting in Tamworth after graduating from medical school.  Along with her husband, also a doctor, they were fortunate to be able to explore opportunities to serve smaller often remote communities, including working in a native Indian community in British Columbia for a year, remote parts of Western Australia and Alice Springs.  

Dr May has been recognized for her contribution to teaching, research and leadership in rural medicine.  In 2014 Jenny was recognised for her contribution to rural health on a local, regional and national level at Rural Medicine Australia 2014, the conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine in Sydney.  In 2016, Jenny was awarded an Australia Medal for significant service to community health in rural and regional areas, as a general practitioner, member of professional medical groups, and as an educator. She balances a very busy life of ward and surgery work, with teaching and health advocacy, whilst seeking to fund models of health care delivery to recruit and retain doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.  Dr May states “I have the privilege of being inspired by the next generation who will also want equity of access – to health training and to services.”

Penny McNamee (00)

Penny McNamee is one of Australia's most versatile actresses with her current role being that of Dr Tori Morgan in the Australian TV Series Home and Away. 

Penny grew up singing and loved musicals.  During her time at Barker she performed the lead role of Josephine in HMS Pinafore. Since school Penny's talents and hard work were noticed and rewarded with the role of Nessarose in the Australian production of Wicked, for which she won the 2009 Green Room Award. 

Penny is married to Matt Tooker from the Class of 2000 and together they lived in New York between 2011-2014.  During their time in New York, Penny was cast in several US television shows, including Political Animals, Elementary and Blue Bloods.  

Upon returning to Australia in 2015, Penny played the title role in Mary Poppins at Sydney's Riverside Theatre. Penny sort out television roles, playing various guest roles in Australian TV Series, including All Saints, White Collar Blue and The Pacific.  Penny and Matt have a son together and recently had their second child, a daughter, Neve. 

Andrew Stevens (77) 

 Andrew Stevens is Chairman of Innovation and Science Australia and Independent Non-Executive Director, MYOB Group. He is the former Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre and former Managing Director of IBM Australia and New Zealand, a position he held from January 2011. Andrew studied Accounting, Finance and Systems at UNSW and has worked hard throughout his commercial career. He states it’s the opportunities presented by great organisations and the great people who work within them which have powered his career path. He also believes in providing “Equality of opportunity” for everyone. He is a member of the Male Champions of Change, an institute that works with influential leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender equality. His dream is that Australia, under the leadership of our children, they will reach the “escape velocity” to become truly equal in all aspects of society regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age or socio-economic background.

David Astle (79)

 David Astle is a crossword compiler commonly known for his SMH Friday cryptic crossword.   He is a Melbourne based broadcaster and writer of non-fiction, fiction and plays.  He has also co-hosted the SBS Television show Letters and Numbers, as the dictionary expert, for 450 episodes.  David was always interested in crosswords puzzles from a very early age. He praises Max Cowdroy, a Barker relief teacher he had in Year 7, for challenging him and his fellow student s to make a crossword. “By the time the bell rang, I gave him a symmetrical box, complete with clues, which max later roneoed for the School.  I’ll never forget that thrill of 100 minds cursing my own subterfuge.”

He has recently released two new books .  The first – Rewording the Brain investigates his recent neural studies into puzzle-solving and seeing how these puzzles boost neurons in the brain.   The second book is an eccentric dictionary for kids. 101 Weird Words (and 3 Fakes) is jammed with riddles and crazy illustrations, including such oddities as smoot (a human tape-measure) and isabelline (the colour of dirty undies), both real words!

Sam Priestly (11)

Sam Priestly (11) has had recent success on Channel 10s Shark Tank.  He studied Mechanical Engineering at University of Sydney with 1st Class Honours and now spends his time building businesses as an entrepreneur. Sam is his own boss which he states “is of a great benefit as you have absolute freedom to make decisions for your work and personal life that you don’t have to ask anyone else permission for – whether it is a new product to sell, price change or if you need a day off.  ”

Sam Figg (10)

Sam Figg is an Australian Rugby Sevens representative player. Sam joined the new Sevens team at Norths where he was selected to play for the Australian Sevens in the World Series in Tokyo in 2013.  He then returned to playing XVs and joined Randwick in 2014 where he continued to develop his skills as a back rower.  Late in the 2014 season Sam sustained a serious neck injury.  He recovered well and by the end of 2105 he made a comeback and played in the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) for the NSW Country Eagles.

Sam was then selected for the NRC Barbarians team that toured New Zealand in November 2015. Some of Sams best football was played during this time.  The 2016 Rio Olympic team was his next dream and saw him return to the Sevens program.  An opportunity came to play Rugby in Japan, giving Sam another great experience to his sporting life.

Sam is now playing in a new competition in the US, Major League Rugby, with Denver Colorado for the Glendale Raptors.