Warrnambool College continues its tradition of recognising past students who have excelled in their chosen field through the presenting of the Sir John Eccles Tall Poppies Awards.

This award is named in honour of the highly lauded Sir John Eccles AC, Nobel Laureate and Rhodes Scholar. Sir John was a pupil at Warrnambool High School during the years 1915-1918. His distinguished academic life and his contribution to the world community in the field of neuroscience are recognised in the striking of this award. It will be presented to past students of Warrnambool College.

January 27, 2003 marked the centenary of the birth of Sir John who graduated from the University of Melbourne Medical School in 1925 where he headed the final year class list after winning many exhibitions, honours and prizes. His research and publications over a period of seventy years continue to have significant influences on brain research.

Sir John Eccles was recognised internationally by numerous honorary degrees, Fellowships, Lectureships, prizes, awards and memberships of learned academies and professional bodies. A distinguished career which has been recognised by Warrnambool College in the naming of the Sir John Eccles Science Block and through these awards.

2014 Award Recipents

Madi Ratcliffe - Hockey

Madi Ratcliffe - Hockey

Sarah Wall - Netball

Sarah Wall - Netball

Trevor Gleeson - Basketball

Trevor Gleeson - Basketball

Nathan Sobey - Basketball

Nathan Sobey - Basketball

Tim Ludeman - Cricket

Tim Ludeman - Cricket

James Rahilly - AFL

James Rahilly - AFL

Hugh McCluggage - AFL

Hugh McCluggage - AFL

  • Madi Ratcliffe - Hockey
  • Sarah Wall - Netball
  • Trevor Gleeson - Basketball
  • Nathan Sobey - Basketball
  • Tim Ludeman - Cricket
  • James Rahilly - AFL
  • Hugh McCluggage - AFL
  • Madi Ratcliffe - Hockey

    • Graduated from Warrnambool College 2015
    • Gained selection for a two-week tour of Argentina from October 2015 in the Australian Jillaroos team
    • Relocated to Perth early 2016 to train at the Perth AIS with the Senior Hockeyroos team
    • Made her senior international debut for the Hockeyroos against Great Britain February 2016
    • Current member of the Australian Hockeyroos squad
  • Sarah Wall - Netball

    • Originally from the South West of Victoria
    • Was awarded the captain of her Underage Victorian Netball State Team – this led to attention from National League Selectors
    • Played netball at the elite level for 11 years with the Melbourne Phoenix, Queensland Firebirds, Melbourne Vixens and the NSW Swifts
    • Qualified teacher, studying Exercise Science
    • The creation of her exciting netball brand – NETFIT NETBALL is driven by her passion of education and the numerous possibilities to activate dreams, inspire healthy living and a sense of community through netball
    • Sarah also includes the theme of resilience within her NETFIT NETBALL program as she has endured some serious injuries throughout her netball career, but has used them as an opportunity to grow and make the most of her potential
  • Trevor Gleeson - Basketball

    • Originally from Warrnambool
    • Extensive basketball coaching experience
    • Warrnambool Mermaids/Seahawks
    • American College Basketball
    • NBL – Townsville Crocodiles
    • NBL – Melbourne Tigers
    • Current coach of the NBL Perth Wildcats
    • Back to Back NBL Championships in 2015/2016 and 2016/2017
    • NBL Championship 2013/2014
    • Appointed to the position of Assistant Coach of the Australian Men’s Boomers National Team who competed in the 2014 World Championships in Spain and the 2016 Rio Olympics
    • Trevor has coached over 500 professional basketball games spanning the United States of America, South Korea and his home country Australia. He is described as a passionate basketball coach who has an impeccable coaching record
  • Nathan Sobey - Basketball

    • Originally from Warrnambool
    • After representing Cochise College and University of Wyoming in the USA he returned to play for the Ballarat Miners in the SEABL in 2014
    • Joined the Cairns Taipans in the National Basketball League in 2015 before signing a three year contract with the Adelaide 36ers
    • Awarded the NBL Most Improved Player 2017
    • Selected in the 2017 All-NBL Second Team
  • Tim Ludeman - Cricket

    • Former Warrnambool College student
    • Began career playing with Nirranda Cricket Club before making Division 1 debut for Nestles Cricket Club
    • Moved to Melbourne to play with the Carlton Cricket Club in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition
    • Was offered a rookie contract with the South Australian cricket team after promising performances with Carlton Cricket Club
    • Has represented the Adelaide Redbacks for the past eight years
    • Has represented the Adelaide Strikers in the limited overs form of the game
    • When not on state duties plays for the Port Adelaide Cricket Club in the Adelaide Division One grade of competition
    • “Cricket has opened up many doors and provided many lifelong opportunities and friendships.”
  • James Rahilly - AFL

    • Former Warrnambool College student
    • Currently holds the position as Assistant Coach of the Geelong Football Club (since 2011)
    • Played 90 games for the Geelong Football Club – recruited from South Warrnambool/Geelong Falcons in 1997
    • Received an AFL Rising Star Award in 1998
    • Awarded Geelong Football Club’s ‘Best Clubman’ award in 2003
    • Member of the Geelong Football Club’s VFL Premiership Team in 2002 and was awarded the Norm Goss Memorial Medal for best on ground in the grand final
  • Hugh McCluggage - AFL

    • Former Warrnambool College student
    • Pick number 3 in the 2016 AFL National Draft – Brisbane Lions
    • Winner of the TAC Morrish Medal for Best and Fairest player in the 2017 season
    • Victoria Country Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the NAB Under 18 National Championships
    • Named in the 2016 All-Australian Under 18 Team
    • North Ballarat Rebels Best and Fairest winner - 2016
    • Senior Hampden League debut for South Warrnambool at the age of 16
  • Madi Ratcliffe - Hockey
  • Sarah Wall - Netball
  • Trevor Gleeson - Basketball
  • Nathan Sobey - Basketball
  • Tim Ludeman - Cricket
  • James Rahilly - AFL
  • Hugh McCluggage - AFL

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Previous Tall Poppies Recipients

Dr Michael Burnett Leigh Cronin
Dr Selby King Dr Julianne Lynch
Dr Alicia Oshlack Dr Maria Rmine (dec.)
Dr Tiffany Walsh Dr Anna Curracun
Megan Reeve Dr Catherine Satzke
Rebecca O’Brien Skilbeck Benjamin Skilbeck
Dr Kate Graham Dr Amy Gray
Clare Lindop Dr Kerrie Seville
Dr Greg Hill Warren Day
David Baker Dr Jennifer Emeny (nee Adams)
Dr Rebecca Lyons Lt Col Graeme Hutton
Matthew Goldstraw  

Senior Tall Poppies Recipients

Mildred Buchanan (Rev Lehmann) David Caple
Dorothy Foster (Mrs Leopold) William Grauer
Kenneth Hartley John Legge
John Lindsay Mary Mitchell (Dr Graham)
Allan Scarfe Glenys Walter (Mrs Philpot)
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