Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Alumni Stories > Prodigal Johnsman Returns to Inner West

Prodigal Johnsman Returns to Inner West

John Butler Solo - a College alumnus celebrates his upcoming art exhibition.
Butler's "Heroic Landscape" was a finalist at this year's Gallipoli Art Prize.
Butler's "Heroic Landscape" was a finalist at this year's Gallipoli Art Prize.

For one week only Johnsman (1968-1972) John Butler will be exhibiting paintings and telling stories at The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe from 25 to 31 May. Opening night is 6pm Friday 26 May and all are welcome to view the paintings and especially to share stories from the good old days and journeys since.

John came from Canberra to study medicine and embraced all aspects of College life. He rowed in the College eight, was a member of the intercollege squash and billiards teams and was a backrower in the history making Rawson Cup rugby team, as well as serving on the House Committee and winning two St Patrick’s Day Golf Shoots despite not playing golf competitively (the bottles of Guinness were obviously a real magnet).

He left College to marry his Sancta sweetheart Gael Raftery with a wedding at the St John’s Chapel followed by a reception in the Sancta Octagon. Living in Ashfield he completed his degree and worked as an intern and RMO at RPAH, Marrickville and Lewisham Hospitals. He moved to the Central Coast in 1977 to establish a solo General Practice in Umina. Following a career in several Central Cost practices he escaped from medicine for a number of years, building a studio home on a riverfront Tasmanian wilderness and beginning a solo exhibiting career as a painter.

Returning to the Central Coast in 2009 he resumed his medical career, this time specialising in Youth Mental Health at Headspace Gosford where he worked until 2021 whilst continuing his painting career. Now permanently retired (again!)  he paints, travels and fishes. He is still drawn to wild places and many of his paintings reflect this. He and Gael also provide a regional escape in Terrigal for their granddaughter Olivia, who resides at Sancta studying Law.

John looks forward to reconnecting with fellow Johnsmen, and on behalf of the College, we congratulate him on his fine achievements.

To find out more about John's art, visit his website here.


Top to bottom: Concerto for Winter (Lucknow), Wild River, Lost in Translation, and the artist's invitation to his upcoming John Butler Solo exhibition.

Similar Stories

A poem penned by "A.S.W." featured in the Johnsmen's Magazine's 1950 issue. More...

Sir Michael Hintze AM addresses the College during a recent dinner in his honour.

One of the College's favourite sons, Sir Michael Hintze AM, has been appointed to the House of Lords. More...

Francis Bede Freehill

22 November 1854-12 March 1908 (SJC 1871, Fellow 1883-1908) More...

Have your say!



10 Missenden Rd, Camperdown 
NSW 2006, Australia

Follow us on Social

This website is powered by