Distinguished Past Students' Awards Dinner

The Distinguished Past Students’ Awards Dinner is an annual event that recognises the actions and achievements of past students who have gone above and beyond, and in doing so, encourage aspirations and ideals of the highest community standards and values. It is the School community’s pre-eminent means of recognising outstanding achievement and contribution by Past Students. 

The Rockhampton Grammar School Distinguished Past Students’ Awards offer a variety of award categories to celebrate the diverse achievements of the School’s past students. Award categories are:

  • Distinguished Past Student Award
  • Past Students’ Association Outstanding Achiever Award
  • Central Queensland Community Contribution Award
  • Past Staff Life Memberships of the Past Students’ Association.
How to Nominate

Any one is welcome to nominate an RGS past student for the awards listed above. We invite you to download the Awards Criteria and Nomination Form and submit it via email.

Nominations for the 2023 Awards are now closed.

2023 Distinguished Past Students' Awards Dinner

The 2023 Distinguished Past Students' Awards Dinner will be held in the School's Memorial Assembly Hall on Saturday, 12 August, 2023. Tickets can be purchased here. For further information email paststudents@rgs.qld.edu.au

Past Winners

The Rockhampton Grammar School Distinguished Past Students’ Awards have recognised many successful, inspirational and honourable recipients since its inception. We invite you to peruse the 2022 Award winners below. 

2022 Distinguised Past Student Award

Born in Moura in 1990 to parents George and Lauren Belonogoff, Sasha was the second of five children in the Belonogoff family to attend RGS. Starting at RGS in Year 8 (2003), Sasha was a talented sportsman during his school years, excelling in swimming and rowing. As part of the strong RGS rowing programme, Sasha won four national rowing titles at School – the Under 17 Coxed Quad Scull (2005), the Under 17 Single Scull and Schoolboy Coxed Quad Scull (2006), and the Schoolboy Coxed Quad Scull (2007). Sasha continued with rowing after School, while also pursuing exercise science and medical studies. Sasha made his Australian Rowing team debut in 2008 at the Junior World Rowing Championships in Austria, winning bronze in the double scull. He then raced three Under 23 Rowing World Championships (2009, 2010 and 2012) collecting a further two bronze medals in the quad sculls. His Senior Australian Rowing team was in 2013 when he gained selection to race the double scull at the World Championships in Korea, placing 8th. In 2014, Sasha maintained his seat in the double scull and at the World Championships in Amsterdam, winning bronze. He was then selected in 2015 to race the Olympic Qualification Regatta in France, placing 5th and securing Australia a berth in the double scull at the 2016 Olympics. In 2016, Sasha was selected to race the Men’s Quad Scull for the World Rowing Cup Circuit where his crew won two gold medals, winning the World Cup Leader Trophy and confirming their selection for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. At the Olympic Games in Brazil, Sasha and his crew won the silver medal in the quad scull. Sasha has now retired from elite rowing and has continued pursuing his medical career. 

2022 Outstanding Achiever Award
KEN O'DOWD (1968)

Ken O’Dowd retired from Federal politics at the 2022 Federal Election, after serving four terms as the Liberal National Party Member for Flynn, in the Central Queensland region. Ken was first elected to Federal Parliament in 2010 before gaining re-election in 2013, 2016 and 2019. Born in Gladstone in 1950, Ken grew up on his parents’ farm at Bracewell, near Mount Larcom, and was educated at Bracewell State School and Mount Larcom High School before completing his Senior years at RGS. While at RGS, Ken was a School Prefect in 1967 and Head Senior Prefect in 1968. Ken was Wheatcroft captain and represented the School in Cricket, Football and Cadets. He was also a Lions Youth of the Year finalist in Rockhampton. Ken fondly remembers his boarding days and the strict routine and principles the School upheld - “The Grammar experience assisted students to gain confidence as they stepped away from a protected family-school environment into a new world of challenges, self-preservation and survival skills including working on Bougainville Island and Canberra for extended periods.” After School, Ken worked at Queensland Aluminium Limited (QAL) in Gladstone and from 1970 – 1978, working on construction of the Bougainville Copper Mine in Papua New Guinea. Following this, Ken returned to Central Queensland where he was involved in many local businesses including owning a fuel distributorship in Emerald, renovating O’Dowd’s Irish Pub in Rockhampton and then operating a building supplies company. 

2022 Outstanding Achiever Award

Sergeant Megan Magarry (nee Wilson) has served with the Queensland Police for 21 years and currently serves at the Fortitude Valley Police Station. Meg is presently the only female Sergeant, Shift Supervisor. In 2016, the then Senior Constable Magarry was awarded a National Bravery Medal for service with the Queensland Police Service. On the afternoon of 25 July 2013, Senior Constable Magarry assisted a colleague to rescue a woman from the Story Bridge in Brisbane. After consideration and discussion with another police officer who arrived at the scene, Senior Constable Magarry and her colleague began to climb the bridge to assist the woman. By this stage the woman had reached the top of one of the support structures of the bridge, 75 metres above the road. The officers continued their climb and, on reaching the top, discovered that the woman had traversed to the second support structure, about 500 metres away. Despite serious safety issues, including the threat of wind shear, and without ropes or harnesses, Senior Constable Magarry and the other officer made their way to where the woman was positioned on the bridge. Once there, they began negotiations with the woman, who made several threats to jump. When she climbed over the last safety rail, Senior Constable Magarry and the other police officer lunged, managing to hold the woman’s arms. They brought the woman back to safety and escorted her to the roadway where she was treated by ambulance officers. 

2022 Central Queensland Community Contribution Award

Brad Beasley has had a long and successful association with The Rockhampton Grammar School, having first started as a student in 1970 and now as the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees, a position he was appointed to in 2010, having served as a Board member since 2001. Brad has always given his time generously to many organisations in Central Queensland. Leadership aspirations started at a young age. Brad was a School Prefect in 1974 and was elected School Vice-Captain in 1975. At School, Brad was also a member of the First XI cricket team, Cadets and the School’s Toastmaster Club. After graduating from RGS, Brad studied a Bachelor of Law at the Queensland Institute of Technology (now QUT) before commencing at South Geldard Lawyers in 1978 where he completed his Articles of Clerkship with RGS past student, and then Board member, Mr Robert South, while continuing his university studies. After graduating from Law in 1984, Brad was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the following year became a partner in South Geldard Lawyers. Brad was also The Rock Building Society non-executive Director and Chairman of its Credit Committee and was President of the RGS Past Students’ Association from 1994 – 2001. Brad served also as President of the Central Queensland Law Association in 1998.

2022 Past Staff Life Membership Award

Geoff Hadwen served The Rockhampton Grammar School with distinction from 2003, particularly involved in developing a Primary School built on innovative and evidence-based educational practices and in enhancing the School’s culture. As Head of Primary, Geoff was highly respected by students, parents and colleagues. The School benefited from Geoff’s educational and School community leadership, and passion for students, learning and the co-curricular programme.  Geoff always welcomed the opportunity to enjoy as much time as possible in the classroom, rather than behind an office desk. He was also renowned for remembering all the students’ names.  Dedicating his career to Primary education after first being posted to Miles State School, Geoff was promoted to Principal of Eulo State School, in western Queensland, at the age of 22. Throughout his time as a leader in schools, he in particular, valued the variety of staff he worked with over the years, always emphasising the importance of acknowledging that all staff are not the same and all bring different strengths to a school. Geoff was always supported along his journey by his wife Pam, also a long serving RGS staff member in the Secondary School, and his daughters Katie (RGS 2006) and Jaimie (RGS 2009). Geoff retired from The Rockhampton Grammar School at the end of Term 1, 2021.