1979 to 1983
Simon is from a long line of Kneebone’s who have attended Matamata College. A true academic and sportsman. Head boy 1983 and 1st Fifteen member in 1982/83. Academically, although not Dux, Simon was a very high achiever and obtained an A Bursary in 1983.
Some of the standout memories of his college days were: being encouraged and well prepared by the teaching staff to pass School Certificate, University Entrance and University Bursary exams; being Head Boy in 1983; Mr Harris’s school sports announcements; winning the Tricolour Trophy and defeating Tauranga Boys College in rugby in 1983; geography field trip to Tongariro 1983.
Post Secondary School Simon completed a Bachelor of Arts and Law Degrees 1990 from Victoria University in Wellington; practised as a Barrister and Solicitor of New Zealand High Court 1990; Solicitor (New South Wales) 2000; Registered Patent Attorney New Zealand 1996; Registered Patent Attorney Australia 2000.
Simon has worked as a lawyer in intellectual property since 1990 before taking a similar position in Australia since 2000.
In Simon’s words the influence Matamata College had on his life were: very solid educational grounding; learned good work habits; teachers encouraged academic endeavour; enjoyed college sport, particularly rugby which he continued to play at University and later in Wellington.
Simon forwarded some interesting background information regarding his grandfather and the Kneebone family. These are his words:
“My grandfather Harold Kneebone (a student in about 1918) suggested the colour maroon as the colour for the school's rugby team, and which remains to this day. Our family originally came from Waihi (my great grandfather was a miner there, during the strike in 1912) before settling on the farm at Hinuera.
“We have some old notes confirming that my grandfather said that a meeting was held by interested parties at the school to decide on a football team for the College. The headmaster Mr Carnahan, who took over from Mr Moore-Jones, asked what colours the team should wear. My grandfather Harold Kneebone suggested maroon; these were the club colours of Mataura Football Club at Waihi, and they had had quite a good year that year. This meeting was in February/March 1918.
Harold Kneebone was captain of the First XV and was head boy of the school, my father Graham Kneebone was also captain of the First XV and head boy of the College, in 1955. I was in the first XV (not captain though) and was head boy in 1983.”
Simon is married to Liesbet Spanjaard and has a daughter Sarah (b. 1999).