Meet our Alumni

Alumni Profiles

Ben Jones (2015)

Ben was announced as the NSW Rhodes Scholar Elect for 2021.  Ben hopes studying at Oxford will help him realise his vision to work for children, youth and families in Australia who face health inequities.

Ben has always wanted to work in health believing good health is an important factor in enabling people to live the lives they wish to.  He is most interested in tangible, translational research that explores programs and initiatives that are being implemented to improve child health across the world. Ben would like his research to be in areas such as public health, health services and system research, and health policy. He hopes to one day live in a world in which those who most need healthcare, receive it.


Will Sparling (2004)

Will is a part time author and works full time in state politics.  He recently came back to Barker to talk to Year 3 students about his book Camouflage Kids which shares the meaning of Anzac and the impact military service and war has on families.

Will completed a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney University and a Master or Social Science (Child and Youth Studies) at Western Sydney University.  In 2009 he spent 12 months volunteering in Zambia working on a health education program. He completed a Master of Human Rights at Sydney University, before spending three months volunteering in Kenya, working on a youth empowerment project in Nairobi’s biggest slum.

Will has worked for the NSW Government since 2011, currently implementing communications strategies and liaising with the media. 


Karen Penrose (Collett 1978)

Karen is currently the President of the Old Barker Rugby Club. She has had an extensive career in leadership roles, is a successful businesswoman and serves as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of a few publicly listed Australian companies. Karen is also a CPA and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Karen is passionate about customer outcomes, financial management and is well-versed in operating in a rapidly changing regulatory environment. She is often the Chair of Audit and Risk committees and Investment committees. Karen's experience has been in a range of industries including financial services, health and infrastructure, resources and property. She also supports Chief Executive Women, a bespoke leadership program developed to inspire and equip women to fulfil their leadership potential.


Honourable Terry Buddin SC (1965)

The Honourable Terry Buddin SC served as Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW from 2002 to 2012, where he was considered one of the leading criminal lawyers on the court at that time.  He started his professional career as an academic, followed by periods as a policy advisor, as a private practitioner both as a solicitor and a barrister, and the holder of various public statutory officer positions in the criminal justice system.

He has now returned to being a University teacher and holds the position of Professor of Law at the University of Wollongong. He is the Director of the LLM program in Criminal Practice, a program that helps students, mostly in the early stages of their careers, develop into accomplished court-room advocates.  


Steven Robinson AO (1977)

Steven is the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2009 for "his service to Australia's international interests through a significant and sustained contribution". This is an acknowledgement of his now 38-year career of public service in the foreign affairs portfolio.

As an Ambassador, Steven's principal role is to represent and promote Australia's relationship with the Philippines with a particular focus on articulating international policies and promoting Australian trade and business activity. 



Dr Alex Spencer (1996)

Alex is a Senior Immunologist at the University of Oxford who usually works developing vaccines against malaria but since April this year has been working as part of the team developing a COVID vaccine.  

Alex has always been interested in vaccine development as it has the power to transform and save lives.  Working in this area she knew an outbreak of an unknown disease could occur but hoped that would never happen. Alex has found the speed of the SARS-CoV2 spread across the world terrifying but she has been excited by the new data and information being shared daily which has assisted those working to develop a vaccine.  The challenge has been staying on top of all the information whilst also working long hours to develop the vaccine.