Barry Oosthuizen - 1963
Bio & Pictures from 40th Reunion
Would you believe, while Barry was at Hickman?
Purple and Gold co-editor finally meets deadlines (Barry Oosthuizen 2002-04-16)
After 38 years as a commercial writer, former Hickman High School Purple and Gold co-editor Barry Oosthuizen has finally learned to meet copy deadlines. After criticism from well meaning teachers (Mr Roberts), early bosses and Kewpie web site managers, Barry admits that financial imperatives were the driving force behind his improving conformity.
Since graduating reluctantly from Hickman in 1963, Barry says many things in his life have changed, thanks to those things that remained the same. "With communication as your core skill, your life options are limited only by imagination," explains Barry. "People who enjoy relating to others and who develop creative skills in communication and media technology can work in most any industry. I have and I have".
Since leaving the hallowed halls of Hickman, Barry has been BA and Grad Dip Tertiary Teaching alumni, theatre entrepreneur, newspaper and television reporter, government public relations officer, corporate affairs executive, director of major national corporate affairs consultancies, part time academic at three universities, chairman of a private arts college, director of an art trading company, and Victorian president and national councilor of two national professional institutions.
"I have worked for some absolutely fabulous people in the business and political worlds. I have also worked for some of the greatest rat bags crawling the face of the earth," he declared.
Barry has worked for organisations such as AAMI, Atofina, Champion (spark plugs), Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, Deeko, Dulux, Gas&Fuel Corp, Hibernia Bank (SFO), ICI Australia/Orica, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Leggo’s, Monsanto, Nicholas Kiwi, Pampas, Prudential, Qenos, Quaker, Rheem, Schiavello, SECV/Solaris Power/AGL, Telstra MobileNet, Unilever (Lipton, Rosella), Union Carbide (Eveready, Glad), Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Victorian Treasury, Yoplait, and Armidale, Deakin and RMIT Universities. You can see why he says "I have" - worked in most any industry.
While all this career stuff has been important to Barry - he loves doing what he does - there have been lots of other things happening. "I have done all the usual things that normal people experience. Only, of course, I had to do it all FULL ON. It will be no surprise to any Hickman '63 graduate that I married my university sweetheart - a striving actress. We created a stunning blonde daughter and then the actress left me for an academic or two - she is on husband number 3.
"Thankfully, my heavy heart was rescued by an amazing young lady named Johanne. That is the Dutch spelling of Joanne as you all know. It fit perfectly with my ridiculous Dutch name so the former "Miss Liberal Party" beauty queen and I became the first couple to wed in Melbourne Treasury Gardens. We returned to the very grassy spot last year to celebrate 30 years of nonsense together.
"Soon after our wedding we lived and worked in San Francisco. Since returning to Australia we have had two fine boys Kael Charles and Tait Daniel and part parented my daughter Tessa Catherine (Kate). To accommodate all this in the life style to which we all seemed to demand, we have bought and sold houses. We live in a hilly, wooded region on an acre lot about 45 minutes from the centre of Melbourne (a city of nearly 4 million people).
So, you can see, it has been a little hectic at times. The Oosthuizens enjoy travel, art, creating native Australian gardens and the company of great friends. They have also made a number of trips to the West Coast and mid west to visit Barry's parents Shirley and Art (Dad is no longer with us and Mother lives in Port Macquarie, New South Wales) and his brother Russell now living in Seattle.
Some Hickman '63 alumni will also recall another of Barry's passions - the motor car. "Yes, I have indulged with everything from Volkswagens to Ferraris and many in between including Jaguars and Mercedes," admits Barry.
"For 30 years there has been a special place in the garage for MGs - at one stage we had five in various states of repair. Currently we have two MGs which are log booked historic race cars. I have a competition race licence and get my adrenalin rush at half a dozen race meetings a year," he said.
When to return to a Hickman reunion?
"Charley keeps sending me reminder messages. I am grateful for the care and attention and want to make a reunion while still walking and talking without batteries," said Barry. "However, it is just a bit harder for me to organise than those that still live a short drive from school.
"The memories are fading but fond. I will always remember how a great bunch of kids "adopted" me after years of traveling and attending 12 schools in the USA and Europe before I got to Hickman. That was wonderfully generous of the Class of '63.
"Until we meet, take care all," wished Barry - with just a hint of a tear in his eye.
and "My Boomarang Won't Come Back"
Here's to you Barry!