To his surprise and delight, Matthew Flinders Anglican College Principal Mr Stuart Meade has been honoured as a Life Member of the Australian Schools Rugby Union (ASRU) by its President Mr Kevin Culliver OAM.
Mr Meade was unaware he was to be recognised for his three decades of volunteer contribution to young people’s development through the ASRU when he attended the Flinders Secondary School morning assembly on Wednesday, 28 April.
It was not until Mr Culliver took to the podium and began his speech to the College audience of more than 800 students and staff that Mr Meade realised he was in fact in the spotlight.
Mr Culliver addressed the College audience: “You see Mr Meade here at school but may not necessarily be aware of his magnificent and long history as a volunteer with the Australian Schools Rugby Union.
“My visit today is to invest Mr Meade as a Life Member of the Australian Schools Rugby Union.”
He noted Mr Meade’s contribution to the ASRU, which spans 34 years from 1987 when he coached the 1st XV of Cranbrook School Sydney to 2021 when he retired as Vice President.
“This has been an incredible journey of more than three decades of selfless dedication to the development of our youth through rugby union; a volunteer career of which we are indebted to him,” Mr Culliver said.
“Mr Meade has proven beyond question he is worthy of such an honour.”
Life Membership is the highest honour an organisation can bestow upon its members.
Mr Meade accepted the Life Member commemorative certificate and said, “I take great pride in and enormous satisfaction from my contribution to the ASRU over the years.
“I hope I have assisted the development of school rugby in some way. It has been a privilege to have been a part of it all,” he said.
Mr Meade joins an esteemed group of 23 Life Members recognised for their long-term and dedicated contribution to the ASRU, including Br Bob Wallace AM, Mr Jim Lucey OAM and Mr Leslie (John) Howard OAM.
The volunteer organisation has grown over more than 50 years and is run by members of the teaching profession and supporters who conduct events, representative teams and international tours in the belief that rugby union has a unique ethos and benefits that contribute to the broader education of young people.
A large majority of Wallabies and Super Rugby players are products of Australian Schools Union programs.
Volunteer Contribution to the ASRU
Mr Meade’s contribution to the ASRU while working in schools throughout his career began in 1987 as coach of the 1st XV of Cranbrook School Sydney and selector for that school’s sport association.
He coached when he was Principal of Hale School Western Australia from 2003 – 2016.
At the state level of NSW Schools administration Mr Meade was on the NSW Committee, then Secretary. He was manager of the NSW 2nds 1991 and subsequently coach of the 1st XV for three years, winning the Australian Championships in 1995.
He was also the State president of Western Australian Schools Rugby when in the west.
At the national level, Mr Meade was the NSW delegate to the ASRU for 13 years and the WA delegate for 14 years.
Mr Meade was Assistant Coach of the Australian team in 1997 and 1998, then Head Coach and Selector in 1999 and 2000, including the international tours.
In 2016 Mr Meade became Vice President of the ASRU and retired from that position in 2022.
Principal and Educator
As a Principal and educator, Mr Stuart Meade has enjoyed a distinguished career. He joined Prep to Year 12 independent school Matthew Flinders Anglican College in 2017 as an established leader.
Stuart was previously Headmaster at one of Australia’s leading schools, Hale School, in Perth, which he led with distinction for 14 years.
Prior to his time in Perth, he served as Deputy Headmaster at Cranbrook School in Sydney and Newcastle Grammar School.
Mr Meade believes that a school striving for excellence must understand that its role is not simply achieving high academic standards, but developing and nurturing the young hearts and minds entrusted to it.
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