Od Boys' Day 2019
More than 250 Old Haleians returned to their school today to share memories and 'l'esprit de corps' (as articulated so well by Captain of School, Matt Foster). The solidarity of the Haleian community was on display for all to see at this annual event, much respected by the current students.
This year's Bishop Hale Medal was awarded to Professor John Rosenthal OAM (1956-62), a distinguished medical professional committed to best practice and advocacy in pain management.
On graduating from Hale, John studied medicine at the University of Western Australia. The initial phase of his medical career was general practice and anaesthetics. From the mid 1980s he began to pursue his interest in the fields of pain management and legal medicine. Over his career, John was a leading advocate for change in pain medicine, in particular, the over-use of opiates for pain management. This wasn’t an easy task as he challenged the establishment but, ultimately, his position and advocacy were validated. John was passionate about fair and just outcomes for the genuinely injured and this motivated him through his 30 years as a specialist medico-legal physician.
Outside of medicine, John has pursued several diverse interests. He served on the Perth Zoological Gardens Board and was the founding Chairman of the Great Zoo Appeal Committee. He has also been a significant participant in the Western Australian thoroughbred racing and breeding industry and served as an elected committee member of the Western Australian Turf Club. John has always been involved in postgraduate medical teaching and, in more recent years, he has been in undergraduate teaching and curriculum planning at the Curtin University Medical School.
Notwithstanding, one of John’s greatest legacies has been his continued commitment to and identification with Hale School. Evident with his son Jeremy Rosenthal (1987-91) and grandson’s Sam Whyte (2015-18) and Harry Whyte (Year 10) also attending Hale School.
His acceptance speech provided an insight into the life and history of Bishop Hale and his work at building a cohesive and connected society. John refers to what he calls the ‘Bishop Hale Paradigm’ – the correlation between better social outcomes following an educative process.
“The paradigm is a major social reform initiative and demonstrates that Bishop Hale was a man of foresight, prescience, morality and courage. A paradigm that has stood the test of time and remains valid, vital and relevant. Hale School, by virtue of its excellence, applies education to the betterment of the individual and to the benefits of society. It is a prestigious seat of collegiate learning. Hale School has produced men from boys who have served this community, state and nation, including the ultimate sacrifice in times of war and conflict. A school can only be as consistently good as the individuals it produces… perhaps the most important outcome is that in our democratic way of life, the Hale graduate knows there are obligations as well as privileges that need to be fulfilled.”
A sentiment no doubt echoed by many Hale School alumni.