Skip to Main Content
Back to news

NCAM Interview with Mr Scott Thomson

23 February 2024

Introducing our 26th Nudgee College Principal, Mr Scott Thomson.  Scott commenced as Deputy Principal here at Nudgee College last year and has stepped into his new role as Principal with passion and energy. The NCAM sat down with Scott to ask him a few questions and find out more about him and his connection to Nudgee.

Q: Can you tell us about yourself?

A: Well, I am a devoted Catholic and a father of four.  I am married to my beautiful wife Janita, and our family unit is a very important part of who I am and who I have become. I am a very different person to who I was before I met my beautiful wife. And it’s wonderful to experience this evolution through life and growth through life with such a beautiful person. First and foremost I am a devoted Catholic and that anchors our family unit. We try every day to be faith filled and better Christians in this world, in the Catholic faith, and we aim for ultimate salvation. 

Q: Can you tell us about your career?

A: Of course the third hat that I wear is a professional in an education setting. I moved into the role of Principal at Nudgee College. My passion for education came from my mentors and the people I was exposed to at school. The wonderful role models that I had as a senior at the Christian Brothers school I attended and the teachers who were so passionate, committed and devoted to the formation of the young man in front of them. It has taken a 27 year journey to get back to a school that replicated my experience in my schooling life. I didn’t know I was going to become a teacher, but like a lot of Nudgee Old Boys do, I went back and helped at my old school coaching kids in running, rugby, cricket and swimming. I helped facilitate retreats also and it was towards the end of my first year of university I had this calling toward education. People said I had a good way of communicating with younger people and I went down that path. I attended four years at QUT with P.E and Biology my two teaching areas, and I did my prac here at Nudgee College in 1996 for 10 weeks. Some of the same staff are still here, I played touch football with people like Dave Kelly and Mick Senior, Peter Kropp and Matt Waters and then I journeyed off. 

I was sent on a different path and out west for four years which came from one of my prac teaching placements in Chinchilla. I had friends that were out on the Western Downs so I thought this would be a great experience. On the same day I was offered a job in Dalby and Port Macquarie. I love surfing. Ironically, I thought if I take the job out in Dalby, I won’t let surfing detract from my other physical pursuits. Port Macquarie is the centre of the sport I love in Australia, Triathlon. So who knows what it would have been like there but life is all about sliding doors moments and often it puts you where you need to be when you need to be there. 

I went out to Dalby and the first day I went there, was the first day I laid eyes on my now wife. I did not know it was her last day working at the school and it wasn’t until two years later we crossed paths again. I did four wonderful years at St Mary’s in Dalby and two years overseas with Janita. In between that time, Janita and I had found each other again, became engaged and married and we had a year in London after we were married. We then came back to the mid-north coast, and had 9 beautiful years in a town called Bellingen, where our four kids were born. Then 5 years as Assistant Principal in Casino and 6 Years as Principal at Banora Point and a year at Nudgee College as Deputy Principal before my current role as Principal of Nudgee College. 

Q: What is your link to Nudgee College?

A: My brother went to school here. He had a great journey at Nudgee from 1999-2003. I actually had an interview myself in this very Treacy building in 1986 as a very nervous Yr 7 boy with Br Vince Connors. I was a late application and there was a waiting list so I was unsuccessful in my application to attend Nudgee College. But it was another sliding doors moment and I had a great Christian Brother education at St Columba’s on Sandgate Road. It was a smaller school and led me on a path to experience success. I knew Nudgee, I used to come up and watch footy games, I was here at the Centenary game against Terrace as a very interested spectator. I had lots of friends that went to Nudgee. Another brother of mine, who is now Principal at another EREA School, Ignatius Park College, worked in the dorms at Nudgee College in around 199-2002. I also helped coach after my prac teaching, in cross country and Track and Field in 1995 and 1996. So it felt like a hand in glove moment coming back here, even though there is still a lot to learn and I am peeling back lots of layers of the wonderful and rich history and many different people that make up the great Nudgee community. Hopefully I can contribute to the wonderful tapestry that makes up the community here. 

Q: What do you hope to bring to the Nudgee College Alma Mater committee?

A: I hope I bring to everything a sense of authenticity and passion. The possibility of working at Nudgee appealed to me because of the level of engagement here. Engagement from the boys, the staff and the wider community. Hopefully being involved with the NCAM I can bring some current context with the school but also my passion. I am also an active listener, so listening to people who want to be involved in the NCAM and I would like to see how they can support the school but how it can be mutually beneficial for them. 

Q: Why do you think the NCAM is an important part of the Nudgee College community?

A: Being such an Historical institution I know once people left Nudgee there was a desire to be involved and continue to experience those wonderful intangible elements Nudgee brings. That started in 1922, when the Principal of the time encouraged past students to form the Nudgee College Old Boys’ Association. So there are many groups who find it important to have this connection with their peers or colleagues such as Past Mothers. The Alma Mater members are no longer involved in the day to day operation of Nudgee College, but they still feel passionately about what Nudgee can be for different people. It makes people come together and feel community and that is the core of the Catholic Faith. The term Communion comes from community with the Latin root meaning "fellowship, mutual participation, or sharing." I think that is a wonderful opportunity to come together but we never had a formalised group for the wider Nudgee College community (past staff, parents, grandparents and students).

Q. What would you like to see in the future for the Nudgee College Alma Mater?

I think it goes back to being mutual benefactors. If the NCAM can bring more people together that is great and if that group can share their wisdom with current students for example, if it benefits our recent younger Old Boys, that’s great. Past mothers who may be experiencing difficulties, whatever it may be, ensuring there is a level of benefit to all who are involved. Ultimately creating a culture of welcome. 

The Alma Mater is a place to ensure the journey and connectedness can continue after you, your son or your grandson leave the Nudgee College gates.
Sign up to NCAM