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03 December, 2021 Academic

Vale Mr Allan Pizzey

(19 October 1939 – 28 November 2021)

Mr Alan Pizzey AM, LFAIB, FAIM, FAICD was a member of the Board of Directors at St Michael’s Grammar School for 16 years from 1995 to 2010, spending a decade of his tenure as Chairman.  A former Chairman of the Board of Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School, Mr Pizzey joined the St Michael’s Board, at the invitation of then Headmaster, Mr ARC Hewison.

Mr Pizzey oversaw the appointment of Mr Simon Gipson to the role of Head of the School in 2000.  At that time, the Board took the opportunity to review all the School’s procedures and practices. As Chairman, Mr Pizzey oversaw the restructure of Board governance at the School, changing the Constitution to make the Head a member of the Board, and developing a new committee structure.

During his time as Chairman, Mr Pizzey guided the School through a decade of growth and innovation, especially in the physical redevelopment of the campus. The Community of the Sisters of the Church Learning Centre and the Allan Pizzey Building are two landmark structures on the School site which he played a major role in developing from conception to completion. The Chapel of St Michael and All Angels, the refurbishment of the Frances Newson Oval, and the beautification of the centre of the campus with the construction of the Coleman Walk, are further examples of his impact on the campus.  The Allan Pizzey Building – the Junior School Centre is a wonderful expression of both Allan, and his wife, Ann’s commitment to education and, in particular, to that of younger children.

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    Mr Allan Pizzey with his wife Mrs Ann Pizzey
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    Mr Pizzey addressing students at the Junior School Swimming Carnival

However, Mr Pizzey’s tenure as Chairman was not simply about buildings. He also had oversight of the School’s considerable ongoing investment in enhancing quality and excellence in the St Michael’s staff. During his chairmanship, St Michael’s financial position was also strengthened.

When Mr Pizzey was retiring from his role as Chairman in 2010 he reflected on some of the strengths of the School, and one of these was, ‘the overlay of the School’s founders, the Community of the Sisters of the Church. Over all my years at St Michael’s I’ve striven to increase the presence of the Sisters in the life of the School. I see our unique connection with the Sisters as a great strength; they impact upon our values and they are great role models for our students – strong women, who are dedicated to their role and to their philosophy.’

Educated at Ivanhoe Grammar School, where he was School Captain in 1957, Mr Pizzey joined the national building company E.A. Watts after leaving school.  He remained with the company through several changes of ownership, and became a Director of Fletcher Watts Group in 1980.  In 1983 he formed his own company, Pizzey Noble Pty Ltd, a project management company specialising in the construction and building industry.  As well as being a Director of Pizzey Noble Pty Ltd, Mr Pizzey was a Director of Yarra Valley Water, a position to which he was appointed in 1994.

A Fellow and Past President of the Australian Institute of Building, Mr Pizzey was also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Directors.

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    The rise of the Allan Pizzey Building in the Junior School
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Following his involvement as a Board Member at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School for 17 years and Chairman for 5 years, Mr Pizzey was appointed to the Board of the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria in 1987.  During the period of his Chairmanship Mr Pizzey represented Victorian independent schools as a Board member on the National Council of Independent Schools’ Associations.

St Michael’s owes much to Mr Pizzey and his unswerving commitment to, and passion for, the School during his time on the Board. His experience and expertise in school governance, knowledge of the construction industry, and almost inexhaustible energy were all gifts he generously shared in the service of the School.