On Tuesday 24 April we held the annual ANZAC Dinner and welcomed a member of our alumni as our guest speaker. Dr Steven Cook CSC was Students’ Club President here in 1993 and has served in the Royal Australian Air Force.
The evening began with our Residents lining the walk way from the foyer all the way to the Foundation Stone. Representatives from each of the World War 1 Colleges came forward. They read the names of their fallen and then laid a wreath in remembrance. St John’s, King’s The Women’s College and St Leo’s (Emmanuel College was unable to join us). First year Resident Harry Hooper, a descendant of a Leonian ANZAC read the names on behalf of St Leo’s. He also read The Ode:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Third year Resident and the Treasurer of our Students’ Club, Tyler Kiernan played The Last Post on the trumpet.
Following the ANZAC formalities guests moved into the Dining Room where Grace was said by Father Mario Debattista. Head of College Stephen Foley welcomed guests and the dinner began. There were two speakers for the night. First up was Dr Sallyanne Atkinson AO who is the Chair of The Women’s College Council. Dr Atkinson spoke about the role of women in the world wars.
After the main course it was the turn of our special guest speaker, Dr Steven Cook CSC. He gave quite an informal speech, recounting some of his work in war zones as well as community work he has done. Dr Cook received his CSC medal for the work he did with the victims of the Bali bombings. He spoke with emotion about one particular female who was badly injured. Despite the injuries she was more worried about her friends and ensuring they were ok. Dr Cook observed that she is an example of a real world hero, not the people who are given medals. Following his talk he opened up the room for a Q&A session which meant Residents and Leonians were able to ask him specific questions.
Dr Steven Cook CSC
Steven is a Brisbane anaesthetist in private and public practice.
From 2000 – 05 he served in the Royal Australian Air Force and subsequently in the Reserves. He saw active service in East Timor and Iraq and received the Conspicuous Service Cross for his command of the Bali Bombings response in 2002.
He now involves himself in counter terrorism and disaster response for the Queensland government.
Steven grew up on a beef farm near Gympie and boarded at Nudgee College. He was at St Leo’s College from 1991-93 and was president in his last year.