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News > Alumni > NGS Connections – Johns Family

NGS Connections – Johns Family

Barbara Johns (Pickering) is continuing the Johns' long legacy with NGS with her grandson having started in 2022. Barbara attended the school in the 1950/60s, followed by all four of her daughters.
Barbara (back row, second from right) in her final year, third form in 1962.
Barbara (back row, second from right) in her final year, third form in 1962.

The Johns family are set to continue their long connection with NGS, when a third generation of the family joins the School next year.

Barbara Johns (nee Pickering) is looking forward to seeing her grandson Angus start Year 7 at NGS in 2022, following in the footsteps of not only herself, but her four daughters.

Barbara was the first in her family to attend NGS in the 1960s, when they lived in Stockton. “The older girls were given the responsibility of getting me home on the ferry, even though they can’t have been that much older,” she said.

Barbara finished school in 1962 and went on to study and then teach handicrafts and fashion at TAFE, before setting up her long- running patchwork and quilting business, Pot Pourri, in The Junction 30 years ago.

Barbara and her husband Michael decided to send their eldest daughter Trudy to NGS for high school, partly because they thought its ‘twin school’ concept – where boys were enrolled at the School but most lessons were still single- sex – would suit her. Her three sisters followed and for anyone who spent time at NGS in the 1990s, the Johns family are likely very familiar – Trudy graduated in 1992, Karen in 1993, Amy in 1995 and Megan in 1998.

Michael, a solicitor and prominent Newcastle businessman, served on the Schools’ inaugural board that was invested in 1992, and Barbara spent a lot of her time volunteering in the canteen and uniform shop.

During her time at NGS, Amy Lane (nee Johns) recalls big changes were underway; she remembers trudging across to James Fletcher Hospital where classes were held during the construction of the Parnell Building.

A self-confessed ‘nerd’, she graduated as Dux and pursued her childhood dream of becoming a vet. “Grammar certainly played a big part in helping me achieve that, and I’m very grateful for it,” she said.

Having lived in Cowra and Perth after finishing her studies, Amy and her husband Ben moved back to Newcastle seven years ago. The eldest of their three children, Angus, is enrolled to attend NGS next year, carrying on the family tradition.

“I’ve been to a couple of the Open Days and it’s really interesting to see all the changes,” Amy said. “The facilities are amazing, and the new my NGS Passport gives the students opportunities to try lots of different things. I hope he’ll really enjoy it.”

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