en-us Inspired by Yarra

Paul Singer MVO

YOG 1995

Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia

“The School is a place that has a strong hold on my heart.”

“My first vivid memory of Yarra Valley Grammar is of looking out of Mr Ramsden’s classroom across the freshly-cut ovals, smelling the grass and thinking ‘wow, what an environment this is’,” recalls Paul.

That initial affection for the School hasn’t waned and Paul remembers his school years with great fondness and pride.

“I enjoyed the academic side of school and I balanced that with other opportunities, like AFL in winter, cricket in summer, the junior school orchestra, debating and the magazine committee,” says Paul.

Friendships and the dedication and support of the teachers still resonate.

“I was travelling to England and Wales with the first XI and suffered a personal injury before we were supposed to depart. I came off crutches just before our departure date and Dad and I suggested someone else should take my place. But Mr Banks, our coach, told Dad I should pack my bags because I was coming. That highlighted that the School was about everyone having a contribution to make and it wasn’t just about making the centuries,” says Paul.

After graduating, Paul joined the Royal Australian Navy and was commissioned as an officer. He spent 14 years in the Navy, including operational service in the Middle East.  

Paul then joined the public service, holding various roles at Government House before his appointment as the Governor-General’s most senior advisor and head of the Commonwealth agency.

He is also co-founder of the Make A Mark Australia (MAMA) charity that empowers children in impoverished communities through improved access to education. In its first ten years of operation, MAMA has helped to uplift over 50,000 children in seven countries.

“I think we all have a responsibility to help others navigate their pathway,” says Paul.


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