Br RJ Wallace cfc AM
Awarded Life Membership 2019
Following the Noviciate in 1966 Bob had three years at St Pius College, Chatswood where he first became involved in coaching rugby union. Bob had played rugby at Sydney University and played rugby league at school and coached rugby league at Christian Brothers Lewisham.
By 1970 Bob was coaching the First XV at St Patrick’s Goulburn.
From 1971 when he was appointed to St Edmund’s in Canberra and for the next 18 years, his love of coaching continued. As the First XV coach he adopted a strategy of gradual success and a growth of self belief, it took until 1975 before significant results were achieved. St Edmund’s went on to win 10 local premierships and 5 Waratah Shields.
Bob was soon involved in the formation of the ACT Schools Rugby Union and the early days of Australian Schools RU.
Bob became heavily involved in the ACT referees association, refereeing some 26 first grade games and holding a number of positions as Registrar, Chairman of the Appointments Board and Examinations Committee.
Bob coached the first ACT Schools Rugby team to be selected and in 1972 had three ACT players selected to play in the first ever Australian Schools rugby team to tour the UK. One of those was David Thorpe from St Edmund’s.
From 1971 Bob was the ACT delegate to the ASRFU as it was then known.
In 1976 ACT hosted the second Australian Schools Rugby Championships.
In 1976 Bob became the Hon Sec of ASRU. In 1977 he was selected to be the Manager of the ASRU team to tour UK, Japan and Ireland. The team was blessed with an extraordinary amount of talent with many of them going on to become Wallabies – the three Ella brothers, Mark, Gary and Glen, Michael O’Connor, Tony Melrose, Tony Darcy and Michael Hawker.
The undefeated team attracted an enormous amount of publicity. The 70’s had been a very lean time for Australian sports internationally from the Montreal Olympics to the Wallabies. The success of this team in providing and retaining such talent, contributed to the change in fortunes for the Wallabies in the early 1980’s.
From 1976 till 2019 Bob was the schools representative to the Australian Rugby Union.
Around this time Bob coached the ACT Under 21 team, in which David Campese was a member, contributing to their successful record over the three years he was in the team.
Bob became an U21 selector for three years.
From the early 1980’s Bob has been Secretary of the Australian Schools Foundation, which consists of a number of prominent businessmen, which has raised just on a $1 million for schools rugby.
In 1987 Bob was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for service to education.
In 1989 Bob went to Waverley College as Deputy Headmaster and was then appointed Headmaster in 1992. Bob left in 2004 after 16 years at the helm.
In 1992 Bob became President of Australian Schools Rugby Union.
In 2007, Bob lived at St Leos residential college at the University of Queensland, coaching their college rugby team for seven years.
In 2019 Br Bob resigned as President of ASRU.