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Alumni News – A letter from Emeritus Professor Robert Clark AO

Dear Pam,

As we approach 2024 (in just over a year’s time), I was reflecting that when this occurs it will be 60 years since I joined Lyndale High School in early 1964 as an 11-year-old (from Lyndale State School) – just two years after the school got underway in 1962, following completion of building works in late 1961.

I have a clear memory of this formative period, and of the school and its wonderful staff at that time headed by Godfrey Monroe – who cemented its strong values of inclusivity and excellence from the outset.

I left the school at the end of 1968, having completed the Victorian Leaving Certificate, and with two other young Victorians joined the Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell at Jervis Bay, as a cadet midshipman having passed the naval officer selection rounds. It was an interesting time, at the height of the Vietnam war, and later in 1969 with the Apollo moon landing – not to mention the Beatles.

Since then my career has taken me to Oxford, and in relatively recent times to Afghanistan, among other countries, and in various roles. My background is summarised in a short ASPI bio: at

I have an advisory role that takes me to Melbourne from time to time (I live in Sydney), and if it’s not an inconvenience I’d like to drop by before 2024 ticks over, to visit my alma mater.

I am forever grateful for the start in life my Lyndale High School education gave me, and to the then staff who encouraged and helped me pass the RANC entrance requirements. I don’t know what would have happened to me without this.

A few years ahead of me at Lyndale, at the time when the history of popular music was being rewritten, was John Farnham. It was a heady time for a young school. Our school motto in that period was ‘Mind Over Hand’ and remarkably I still have the badge, that has survived many house moves.

I wish you, and the wonderfully diverse current cohort of Lyndale Secondary College the very best for the future.

With kind regards,


Emeritus Professor Robert Clark AO

Robert Clark was formerly an officer in the Royal Australian Navy, a Lecturer and Fellow of The Queen’s College at the University of Oxford, and Scientia Professor and Chair Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of New South Wales.