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Growing up as one of four boys in Macmasters Beach on the New South Wales Central Coast, Year 12 HSC student Matthew McGowen began his boarding journey at The Scots College in Year 7 in 2011 and has never looked back. A Boarding House Vice-Captain, Matthew has displayed excellence in leadership during his time at Scots and has taken on role of mentor to younger boys in his House. Matthew has also shown determination and persistence in his study of Music, having recently been selected for consideration for the HSC Music performance excellence showcase, ENCORE, specialising in Acoustic Guitar and Bagpipes.

Matthew’s achievements and determination to succeed have most likely stemmed from his mother, Mrs Lisa McGowen, who has had raised four wonderful boys, all of whom have attended Scots. Mrs McGowen commented that “having no family in Sydney, and being concerned about raising boys in the city, I decided to send all four of my boys to board at Scots, which has been worth every penny.”

“Boarding at Scots and living with others has afforded me the opportunity to grow and develop characteristics I do not believe I would have otherwise learnt,” says Matthew. “Also, the friendships I have formed here are invaluable and I believe will remain for a lifetime.”

“I believe that the values and work ethic I have learned at Scots have given me tools that will help me in my future”, remarked Matthew. When asked what message he would pass on to other students he said, “if you are not challenging yourself, you are not learning.”

Ms Andrea van del Bol, Dean of Creative Arts at The Scots College, says “Matthew has demonstrated outstanding commitment to his performance work over his time at Scots, and so it is wonderful for Matthew to receive this ENCORE nomination, especially considering his determination to study music performance after school.”

Dr Ian Lambert, Principal at The Scots College, commented on the strength of character Matthew has shown. “Our students are encouraged to embrace excellence as their benchmark for all facets of their lives, without compromising their natural compassion, mateship and sense of adventure. Matthew has embraced this challenge set before him with determination and has been rewarded for his efforts with his ENCORE nomination.”

ENCORE nominations are awarded to students who demonstrate an entire program of Music at an exemplary performance level. “It is particularly wonderful to note that Matthew has been recognised as equally virtuosic on both Guitar and Bagpipes,” says Ms van del Bol.

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.