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The magazine of Brigidine College St Ives

the bridge Issue 2 2019




New building works FAREWELL


the bridge Contents Featured Graduation Week Celebrating the Class of 2019


Farewell Jane Curran

In the Spotlight

Beyond the Classroom

Spotlight on Immersions

Sport Highlights



Cocurricular Achievements



Academic Enrichment


Reaching New Heights

Exploring Our Red Earth

Principal, Jane Curran, retires after 10 years of service to Brigidine College St Ives 4

Back to Brigidine

Our Community 2019 Snapshots


Alumni News and Events


Because of You


Weddings and Births


Changing Lives


Where Are They Now?



Shades of Glory





Event Highlights

Latest News Opening Doors through VET Education and training that focuses on providing 21st century skills

The Master Plan New building works to commence December 2019

Opportunity Grants Meet our Study Grant recipients


The Power of Student Voice Brigidine’s inaugural Climate Response Day



the Editor

When I was young, I had dreams of becoming a writer. From an early age I loved writing and learning new words, and English was always one of my favourite subjects. Fast forward 20 years and I still feel very much like that student with that same thirst for knowledge and love of learning. Thankfully, during my time working at Brigidine, I’ve had one of the best mentors in our Principal, Jane Curran.

Music Tour to Singapore


Leading with Strength and Gentleness


The Witches


Showcasing HSC Creativity


Dance Fever


Athletics Carnival


I’ve immensely enjoyed having a principal I’ve been able to learn from, who has guided me with her unparalleled grammar skills and keen eye for detail, and I have loved being her “student” over the years. A fantastic writer, inspirational speaker, captivating storyteller and great leader, I’m sure it’s not just me who has appreciated knowing Jane. Now, after a decade of outstanding leadership of Brigidine College St Ives, Jane has decided to retire in 2020. This issue of The Bridge is a celebration of Jane Curran and all she has achieved for the College. Her legacy will surely

live on and be remembered for years to come. Even though this is the end of a fantastic chapter, we very much look forward to the next pages in the Brigidine story when we welcome Laetitia Richmond as College Principal in 2020. Aleisha Ford Editor



Week “

All girls leave Brigidine with a sense of purpose, selflessness and a strong desire to help others, characterising a Brigidine student as one who always puts others before themselves.


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Jane Curran

The End of an Era Late in 2009, our new principal, Jane Curran, walked down the corridor to her office to be informally introduced to her leadership team. I wandered in with a mix of both trepidation and curiosity; after all, this was going to be a long working relationship and would be my first experience of a female principal. Within 10 minutes I was addressed as ‘mate’ as we shared our educational ideas and perspectives, then ‘darling’ as we shared personal reflections, then heard the hallmark peal of laughter that followed a shared moment of humour. We seemed to have a great deal in common and I knew straight away that this was going to be an exciting journey. Jane was the eldest of five and lived an idyllic Australian childhood. Her


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dad was the local doctor, her mum a teacher and many a story was shared about growing up in a close knit family on the coast at Newcastle. At the time of going to university, she was introduced to her best friend, Michael, whom she later married. Jane completed her degree at the University of Newcastle in 1975 and her Diploma of Education in 1976. Her first teaching appointment was to Moorefield Girls’ High School as a support casual before gaining a full time position on the English staff at Caringbah High School in October 1977. Both Jane and Michael gained teaching positions at Tumbarumba High in 1979. During her time there, she started the Tumbarumba Netball Association, was a member of the Tumbarumba and District Council Sports Advisory Committee, and was very active in the local softball, tennis and netball competitions. In the classroom Jane was a leading teacher

of English, introduced French to Years 11 and 12, developed cross curricular excursions to the theatre, directed all musicals, Drama nights and end of year speech days, as well as being Head of Sport for two years. Into this very busy schedule, her third child, Dominic, was born. During this time Jane lost her mum to cancer, only a few years after losing her dad. These were events that were to profoundly shape her deep love of family and empathy for others in their time of need.


In 1991, Jane and Michael gained teaching positions at St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill. Again, Jane threw herself into all facets of College life. In English, she introduced new courses in English, especially ones catering for the less able students. The boys developed a love of English and it was not uncommon for them to be heard rehearsing their soliloquies in the playground or gardens. She coached teams in basketball, tennis and cricket, and became the debating coach and an HSC examiner. Jane was invited to be on the curriculum team at the Board of Studies to develop new English syllabuses. At the same time, she entered a partnership with The Learning Curve to develop textbooks for new senior English courses and completed her Masters degree at Macquarie University. In 1999, Jane accepted the position of Head of English at Ravenswood School. Her talent for bringing a team

of people together, and for having high standards of herself and high expectations of her team were quickly acknowledged. As an exemplary role model and efficient organiser she was elevated to Deputy Principal, a role that not only rewarded her understanding and expertise in curriculum but also incorporated the management of boarding, technology, property and administration; in other words, a perfect training ground for principalship. And so it was on that afternoon in late 2009 that I recognised the qualities of Jane the person, Jane the teacher and Jane the leader without knowing the background that had formed them. In 2010, Jane the principal started her work at Brigidine College. She established an open-door policy and made everyone feel welcome in her office. It did not matter whether it was a teacher, parent or student. Her warmth and ability to relate to people were genuine and inclusive, but nevertheless

astute; Jane did not suffer fools lightly and was not afraid to address any concerns. Jane was an eloquent speaker who used the College assemblies and formal occasions to address significant issues such as gender equality, abstract ideas such as the notion of success, and perspectives such as the views espoused by politicians. In every case, her stories, which were often drawn from the antics of her grandchildren and the deep underlying messages contained within, engaged her audience and left their indelible mark for contemplation thereafter.

warmth and ability “to Her relate to people were genuine and inclusive, but nevertheless astute...


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Jane Curran

Year 11 Leadership Day, 2009

Jane with Michael and College staff, Trivia Night, 2012

Jane with College Captains, 2013


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“...a deeply caring compassion for others and an exceptional generosity have all been gifts to this community.”

Jane and Michael with son, Dominic, Brigidine College, 2010

One of Jane’s first tasks was to initiate a 10 year strategic plan that sought to clarify and strengthen a Brigidine identity that would guide our purpose. It was articulated in a mission statement that would be both motivating and empowering. Jane was open to all the ideas and encouraged each of us to make them a reality. Nothing was imposed; everything was shared and challenged within the context of the strategic intentions before changes were made. Jane was a decisive decision maker; she could see the power of the change before her, could very quickly determine if it was practically and financially possible, and recognised its impact on the school community. Since 2010, the following significant initiatives have become realities: the development and relocation of a discreet


Opening of the Anita Murray Centre, 2014

Jane with past principals, John Bowie and Sr Anita, Alumni Day, 2015

Sue Martin and Jane, Melbourne Cup Ladies Lunch, 2018

Jane with 2019 student leaders

department for learning support under a specialised Head of Department, increased time allowances to Year Coordinators and the development of positive education programs to enhance wellbeing in each Year group, a raised awareness of our religious tradition and focus on social justice in a contemporary world, an investment in music to develop the bands and ensemble program, a restructure of sport so that girls would compete in the IGSSA competitions and have pathways available to them to become elite national sportswomen, the development of an action research program, ALTitude, in which teachers gain insights about effective learning at home, neuroscience, student voice and student feedback, the implementation of a teacher appraisal system which integrated the demands of accreditation and effective professional development, the introduction of new courses to both broaden and deepen opportunities for learning, such as Dance, Philosophy, Hospitality, Information and Digital Technology, the introduction of new structures to extend

learning in accelerated Studies of Religion and Mathematics and support learning in English, Mathematics and Science, the introduction of cross curricular learning in Critical Thinking and STEM in Year 7 which have the capacity to articulate into specialised electives in Stage 5.

Following this, the Convent and the McCammon building were repurposed to create a more professional, collegial environment for staff. It would be true to say that Jane’s contribution to the interior design, the colour schemes and furniture is evident everywhere.

The outcome of all this? A rich, inclusive, broad-based education delivered by dedicated teachers that meets the needs of individual girls, enabling them to feel accomplished and to experience levels of personal success that prepare them for their future.

Beyond all these remarkable achievements, it is Jane’s personality that has left a lasting impression on me, as it no doubt has on others. A storyteller with no equal, a wicked sense of humour, a sharp intellect, the easy grasp of complex ideas, never one to shirk the development of policies and procedures, a deeply caring compassion for others and an exceptional generosity have all been gifts to this community.

From the beginning Jane was instrumental in creating and streamlining the processes involved in governance, the management of documents, teacher accreditation and due legal process. Her tenure saw the building of the Anita Murray Centre, a space that enabled an extraordinary level of success in the performing arts, a space for parent information evenings, and purpose-built classrooms for Music, Drama, Dance, Mathematics and Science.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with a leader like Jane Curran. We all wish her a long retirement with Michael and her family. Sue Martin Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning 2009 – 2018

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through VET

Schooling is changing and must continue to change to meet the needs of our ever-evolving society.

Success at The Battle of the Chefs 2019 Brigidine’s future Master chefs, Charlotte Harry and Margo Calero from Year 12 and Kayla Fingleson from Year 11, showcased their culinary skills, talent and teamwork at the 2019 Battle of the Chefs, taking first place in the College’s first year of competition.

Employers are looking for skilled and flexible workers who can navigate the world of work, interact with others, plan and organise, make decisions, identify and solve problems, create and innovate, and work confidently on a digital platform. Vocational Education and Training (VET) is education and training that focuses on providing these 21st century skills. At Brigidine students can complete VET studies as part of their HSC — an option that is becoming increasingly popular for those looking to combine their studies with something a little more practical. Hospitality and Information and Digital Technology (IDT) are both part of our current subject selections. These subjects provide authentic, applied learning that is practical and work based, following pathways that lead to nationally recognised Certificate qualifications.

They have dual accreditation, being nationally-recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). These courses provide introductory skills and training in their respective fields. They teach industry-specific knowledge and skills in communication, literacy, numeracy and teamwork. They are designed to expand opportunities and pathways for students and improve overall educational outcomes. The achievement of a VET qualification signifies that a student has demonstrated competency against the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace. The hands on, industry focused approach to learning and the opportunity to do work placements opens doors to both traditional and surprising career opportunities.


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Battle of the Chefs is an annual competition run by the Catholic Schools office to showcase the talents of Hospitality students across the Diocese of Broken Bay. Essentially it involves three students preparing, cooking and serving three courses in just three hours. The event is hosted by St Peters at Tuggerah and is judged by two local TAFE teachers.

Brigidine is now equipped with a fully fitted commercial kitchen. This offers a training environment that is fitted out with up to date industry tools and equipment, so students are exposed to the commercial environment. This year our students have run a regular coffee service for our College staff and have also offered various café style lunches where funds raised have contributed to their Year group charity. Year 9 students have embraced the challenges of IDT and begun to understand information technology activities in the workplace across a wide range of ICT areas, including digital literacy, software applications and web technologies. Next year, although only in Year 10, these students will begin their Preliminary studies in this subject, accelerating through the course to do their HSC in Year 11. Australia needs high quality technical, trade and service workers whose skills develop through effective occupational preparation and Brigidine girls will be equipped to take these future pathways with strength and gentleness! Pamela Malone Head of TAS

The Brigidine team trained for several weeks and prepared the set menu items with their own unique style. The menu was made up of a haloumi salad entrée, a main of spatchcock with kumara two ways and a side of Brussel sprouts, followed by an Oreo cheesecake dessert. The students were mentored by both of our Hospitality teachers, Mr John Gregory and Mrs Pamela Malone.



Plan The Journey so far In 2017, The College Board invited three architectural firms to submit proposals to prepare a new master plan. Our previous one was prepared in 2010. The outstanding and preferred proposal was from fjmt (Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp) and in late 2017 fjmt were appointed to prepare a master plan for the College. During 2018 and early 2019, fjmt, together with a range of stakeholders, developed the draft master plan through various meetings, workshops and undertaking surveys. Input was also taken from town planners, planning lawyers, cost planners (quantity surveyors), arborists and traffic engineers. The draft master plan was then endorsed by the Property Committee and the College Board at their meetings in February 2019. In February 2019, fjmt was appointed as the Architect for the design and construction of the first stage of the new College Masterplan for a new Library and Student Centre. The site chosen for these was the St Brigid’s classrooms, immediately east of the Chapel. The plan is to retain the Chapel and its lobby and build a new four-storey library and four classrooms on the former classrooms’ site.

encourages student interaction as well as study. The new Library will also house some classrooms and seminar rooms, and provide much needed new common room facilities for Years 11 and 12 students, who will enjoy some of the best views in St Ives from their balcony. It will include features such as: • a 700m² library, including 250 lineal metres of shelving • multiple individual and shared study and reading spaces • four classrooms plus an additional teaching space • four seminar rooms, two senior common rooms, two Year Coordinator offices • library and IT help desks • archives display area and kitchen spaces • staff office and lunch rooms • a feature stair connecting the floors and a lift for full disability access. Due to some relatively new planning legislation, this building will be able to be approved through a Complying Development pathway. Approval is expected in December 2019, allowing

Architect’s representational images

demolition to occur and groundworks to commence during 2020. It is a 12 month project and the College will take measures to ensure the Contractor respects the HSC timetable at all times. We look forward to reporting on progress in the next issue of The Bridge. Richard Luxford Business Manager

Following College Board approval, a Project Control Group has been established. Utilising the resources of the College and with appropriate external advisors, a series of preparatory steps have been undertaken in readiness for this large scale construction. These include: • undertaking financial modelling • obtaining approval from the Trustees of Kildare Ministries • engaging a project manager and other planning and construction specialists and advisors • detailed design drawings and concepts, visits to other libraries • obtaining a Complying Development Certificate • tendering for and engaging a builder • managing the relocation of staff and students from affected classrooms. The proposed new Library and Student Centre will be a light-filled structure, that

Funding The College intends to fund the construction of the new Library and Student Centre from a combination of its existing resources, bank finance and community donations. It is unlikely the College will be a recipient of Commonwealth or State School Building Grants for the foreseeable future. State and Federal Governments have advised school leaders that these funds are directed to the fast growing outer suburban and regional areas of Sydney and NSW, where demographic student projections and socio-economic needs prevail.

The College does have in place an existing Building Fund (Deductible Gift Recipient Fund) which many families have generously given to over the course of their daughter’s education. There is a voluntary suggested amount of $750 per family included on your annual Tuition Fee invoice. Donations can also be made direct via the College website at under Payments (Annual Giving or Capital Appeal). We are indebted to those families who have made such a contribution, thank you.

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Grants We are delighted that Brigidine College, through the support of several donors, has offered five Grants to Brigidine Year 12 students in 2019. The Grants are provided by Mrs Margaret Cook, the National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Trussell Family. These Grants have given each student $500 to assist in furthering her study or experience in these chosen fields. One grant was awarded for each of the following courses: Geography, Business Studies, Economics, Mathematics Extension and History Extension.

History Extension As the recipient of the History Extension Prize, I am incredibly thankful to the Trussell Family for providing me with this opportunity. Beyond Brigidine I look forward to pursuing historical study at university and building my communication, crucial thinking and cross-cultural awareness. This Grant will provide me with a financial flexibility to explore programs and opportunities not previously viable. One such opportunity that I am excited to apply for is the University of Sydney ‘Endeavour Award’ which allows selected candidates to conduct up to six months of historical research in the United States. As one of my top university options, the University of Sydney also offers multiple electives focusing on ‘dissent and protest in America’ and ‘A House Divided: the American Civil War’. Such studies would allow me to expand on my major work where I examined a prominent political and cultural division in the US to reveal the origins of the neo-Confederate perspective and draw the conclusion that Southern ‘heritage’ was transformed into a sanitised ‘history’.

Geography I feel extremely grateful to have been awarded the Geography Grant, and would especially like to thank Margaret Cook, who donated it. The funds will give me the opportunity to extend and deepen my study of geography in both the HSC and my further studies. I intend to subscribe to the National Geographic magazine which will hopefully give me a broader knowledge of geographical ideas, insights into the diversity of the planet’s ecosystems, and enrich my understanding of concerns facing our environment. I may also attend Geography HSC revision lectures to assist me with my preparation for the HSC examination. Additionally, I intend to use the grant to assist in my study of geography and sciencebased subjects at university, through contributing to my course fees or paying for textbooks. Lauren Hocking

Economics I am very grateful to have been the recipient of the NAB Economics Grant. I have thoroughly enjoyed studying Economics over the past two years, particularly its relevance to current national and international events. I am currently planning to study a Bachelor of Commerce and Psychology (Honours), in which I will further develop my economics skills. The grant will be useful in paying for textbooks and tuition fees. Providing grants such as this are invaluable in encouraging students to pursue the study of Economics at a tertiary level. I would like to thank NAB and the College for the opportunity to apply for this grant. Lauren Stanaway

I am also planning on putting the funds towards associated costs of university including textbooks, extra-curriculars, internships and external experiences, further allowing me to explore a profession with historical applications. Jemima Belger


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Business Studies For a long time, I have held a great interest in the business sector, and I intend to pursue this interest in my tertiary studies. The Business Studies Study Grant from NAB will be highly useful in supporting my further education in a Business undergraduate degree, which I hope to commence next year. This grant will particularly assist in the purchase of necessary resources, including textbooks. It will also provide me with financial support for a range of valuable opportunities, such as an overseas exchange, which will enhance my tertiary studies and ultimately broaden my career opportunities in the future. Christina Chan

Mathematics Extension Firstly, I would like to extend my thanks to the National Australia Bank for awarding me the Mathematics Extension Grant for 2019. This grant will be of benefit to me when I leave school, as I have been planning to start up a business where I can tutor mathematics for all ages. By combining my love of helping others with my mathematics skills, I will strive to assist students to become more confident and passionate about the subject. Through private and group tutoring in my own business and with the benefit of further mathematics study at University, I hope to make mathematics more accessible, and help provide support for students. Within the business, I also hope to develop innovative and original mathematics content for students. Ultimately, the money in this grant will be going back into helping students learn and develop a passion for mathematics.

Lauren Hocking with Marg Cook

Anita Furtado



Student Voice

Young people across the world have been inspired by teen climate activist, Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist whose weekly climate strike has become a global movement. Thunberg has called on young people to use their anger as activism and action: “We must hold the older generations accountable for the mess they have created ... and say to them you cannot continue risking our future like this.” Whilst she has received criticism from some sections of society, I for one applaud the fact that Thunberg has reminded the world of the importance of student voice and agency. In fact, current research conducted by Andrew Johnson (Office of the NSW Advocate for Young People) shows that engaging student voice may be the most powerful lever available to improve student learning in schools. He also discovered that when students are invited to guide and direct school events, educators see a vast improvement in both their learning and wellbeing. On that note, I have been very impressed by the way in which our Year 12 leaders have conducted our student forums this year. In particular, I would like to commend them for their sterling work in preparing for their final student forum, held on Friday 20 September, which took the form of a climate change rally for activism and action. During this event, it was evident that when we provide young people with an opportunity to shape school activities (and thereby exhibit agency) they are afforded authentic learning experiences, where they learn about the importance of virtues, such as persistence, mutual respect and openmindedness. In the words of American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer, John Dewey (1916), “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself”. For many of our students, creating and participating in events such as our own Climate Action Forum provided them with a peak learning experience which allows them to reframe their thinking. Our students are very committed to playing their part in decreasing global emissions and minimising their carbon footprint and have already started to make changes to their behaviour which will have a positive impact on the planet.

Brigidine students are very cognisant of the fact that last year, the UN’s leading scientists flagged that there were just 12 years to limit climate catastrophe. Earlier this month, another UN report warned that the widespread devastation of ecosystems will pose a threat to humanity. And just recently it emerged that the Antarctic ice is melting at a much speedier rate than previously thought and global atmospheric CO² emissions reached a record level of 415ppm. It was evident at the forum that our students have a strong sense of the urgency surrounding climate change and believe they have an intergenerational responsibility to intervene.

high expectations of parents and teachers with a string of achievements. Perhaps because of their warm relationships with adults, Millennials tend to trust the government and believe it should be more actively involved in taking care of its citizens.” I can attest to the fact that working with Generation Z has made me more globally minded and more globally spirited. In addition, Millennials have taught me the importance of collective action and, as a result, I have resolved to become far more conscious of how I can reduce my own carbon footprint. Elizabeth Webster Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning

Despite their efforts, like Greta Thunberg, members of so-called ‘Generation Z’ (who comprise 25% of the population) often receive negative attention and a barrage of criticism from older generations and the media. For example, they are often characterised as being self-centred, overconfident and excessively materialistic. However, Young’s research and books such as Helen Fox’s Their Highest Vocation: Social Justice and the Millennial Generation, sings the praises of the rising generation primarily because they are so committed to making the world more just and equitable. She also talks about the importance of ‘intergenerational collaboration’ on social justice issues as this holds enormous potential for the future of humanity: “Millennials are optimists: happy, confident, ever-positive. They look to authorities for guidance and are strongly connected to their parents, who have regarded them as ‘special’ since birth and obsessed over them at every age. They have been successful rule-followers since childhood; cooperative and compliant, they have responded to the

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Reaching New Heights Early in the year, three groups of girls in Years 11 and 12 along with six staff embarked on an eight-hour flight to Borneo, Malaysia, for the Antipodeans Immersion. Each group completed a project in a local village, visited significant sites and challenged themselves with a hike up the tallest mountain in South East Asia, Mount Kinabalu. The groups visited the cities of Kuching and Kota Kinabalu and other smaller towns and villages. Here are some accounts of their experiences. Kg Bunakon was a small village accessible from the road via a 15-minute walk through forest and across a traditional bridge over the river below. The community welcomed us with open arms right from the beginning, as this strange group of 14 loud, whining Australian girls took on the muddy and mosquito-filled jungle. We were assigned the task of completing a Church for the community. Our days were spent working hard,

The hardest part of our immersion was no doubt, the trek. We all completely underestimated how difficult ascending Mount Kinabalu would be. It turns out climbing 4095.2m is no easy feat when you’re carrying a hiking bag and the air is thin. Aching legs, the freezing cold and the 2am wake-up were all worth it once we reached the summit. The sense of accomplishment felt as we took in the breathtaking view from nearly 4km above Kota Kinabalu was surreal. Despite all the difficulties of the trek, every single Brigidine student successfully climbed the mountain.



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digging trenches and mixing cement in the humid heat. We kept the villagers and workmen very entertained with our renditions of classic songs, spending the mornings working, singing and sweating before getting some cool relief in the river. In the afternoons we would

Our project was to help build the local Catholic church on the top of a hill in Kg Bunakon. We carried bricks for the brick layers, moved clay and made cement. During our last night at the community, all the locals came to our hut to say their farewells. They showed us their local dances which involved moving your arms like an eagle. The community project, as well as the community itself, will be something I’ll never forget. Sasha Rous Year 11

wander down to the village, showing off our soccer skills and playing with the kids, followed by a feast of fresh Malay food cooked specially by some of the village women. Isabel Vitoria Year 11



Exploring our Red Earth Twenty-five Brigidine girls from Year 10 travelled to Cape York in far North Queensland to experience life with two Aboriginal communities. On the way to our first homeland, Bana, we stopped for a crocodile tour along the Daintree River, where we saw two crocodiles, an array of beautiful birds and even a tree-snake. Arriving at Bana as the sun was going down, we were welcomed by Marilyn with a lovely welcoming ceremony. We spent three full days with Marilyn and her family, participating in activities like cooking traditional food, bushwalking, interacting with the beautiful young children and taking a dip in the nearby river.

Fifty Years 9 and 10 students took part in the inaugural Indigenous immersions to Cape York with Red Earth. Both immersions ran for 10-days in July, with Year 9 students travelling to Maaramaka and Jajikal homelands and Year 10 visiting Bana and Dikarrba homelands. Whilst at these homelands, students had an opportunity to learn from the Traditional Owners of the land about their ways of life and traditions, as well as work on a small building project which the Elders had identified as beneficial to their community. Here are some reflections from the students. The Red Earth Immersion was an incredible experience, to say the least. From immersing ourselves in the Indigenous culture to exploring the beautiful Daintree Rainforest, it was truly something to remember. We were welcomed so warmly on our first day by our Red Earth Leaders, Ellie, Nat and Holly, and the Elders of the Wujal Wujal community. After spending a few nights in different communities we had learned so much about the Indigenous way of life, including fishing in crocodile invested rivers, cooking damper in coals on the beach, and swimming in gorgeous water holes surrounded by the some of the rarest and oldest flora in the world.

As part of our community project, we helped build a fence at the front of their property that bordered the road. We were also able to learn about Aboriginal Spirituality and Marilyn’s life whilst sitting around a camp fire. These chats were personally among my favourite experiences, as I was able to learn about Indigenous people through their own words and experiences rather than through a textbook or a teacher.

We visited a second community, Dikarrba. Upon arrival we experienced a celebratory Kup Murri – an Indigenous method of cooking meat and vegetables in a large hole in the ground, covered with banana leaves. We danced around the campfire, played touch with the many kids and learned more about the wonderful people in the community. The next day was spent at a picturesque beach. We were taught how to fish and how to ‘coconut’, before spending a day working on a community project where we created an amazing vegetable patch enclosure. Our final day was spent out at sea along the Great Barrier Reef. Once we arrived at the snorkelling sites we spent a few hours exploring the beauty that lay beneath the water. We saw whales, turtles hundreds of fish and gorgeous, colourful coral. The visit to the reef was truly beautiful, and a fantastic way to end our trip. Isabelle Shakespeare Year 10

have sustainably lived off the land. We were told the most inspiring stories whilst sitting around the camp fire, which included funny accounts of how they travelled to school and played games throughout their childhood. The sad stories we heard about the consequences of the stolen generations and British settlement truly brought us to a realisation of how strong and “I so resilient these people are. Molly Fileman Year 9

gratefully appreciate the experience and took home some of the most rewarding lessons of my life.” MOLLY FILEMAN, YEAR 9

The educational aspect of the trip made our experience so much more rewarding as we truly felt like part of their community. Touring through the Daintree Rainforest taught us how they

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Pink Day

Open Day

Mother’s Day Liturgy

Father’s Day Liturgy


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Year 8 Mother Daughter Afternoon


Market Day

Daffodil Day

Cut for a Cause

Founders Day

Assumption Mass, Corpus Christi

Year 7 Grandparents Day

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of You Sometimes life delivers a difficult change, particularly loss. Fortunately, Brigidine’s values of courage, confidence and compassion are lived out in community support. This year’s Annual Giving program focused on those in our community who need Bursary support to allow their daughter to continue her education at Brigidine even though their family may have suffered loss. As our Principal, Jane Curran, steps down from her role at the end of this year she asked us to contribute to the Scholarship and Bursary Fund to support girls through this fund. We thank the following donors and those who chose to give anonymously for their support of this year’s Annual Giving through the Scholarship and Fund. Further donations can be made through the Payment page or by selecting Support, then Annual Giving on the College website. Every girl counts, every gift counts.


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Kim Altorf Barratt Family Biggs Family Bowesman Family Sherryl Bremner Andrew and Pearl Buay Camilleri Family Coakes Family Jane Curran Lucille Flory Anne Garvan Gilchrist Family Philippa Goddard John and Jenny Gordon Kitty Guerin Graham Hughes Keyser Family Di Lawrence Li Family Richard Luxford Maher Family Sue Martin Anne Mayoh Denise McElhone McGain Family

Colleen McKeown Moya Morgan Kerry-Ann O’Sullivan Lindsay Piacentini Christine Pickering Julitta Ponniah Clive Powell Preziuso Family Rolfe Family Trussell Family Tom and Ingrid Veidners Vitoria Family Wilson Family Di Lawrence Director Development and Community Relations

Make your Annual Giving tax deductible gift today online through the College website. Go to and select Payments, then Annual Giving.




There are times when stories are recounted to us where the outcome is almost breathtaking. A change takes place, a tragedy occurs, an amazing experience is had or an unexpected windfall is received, and lives change. We often hear about people in these situations but not as much about those who simply miss out. Whether we hear their stories or not, we know that those who miss out on a worthwhile education are missing out… missing a lifetime of opportunities.

Alice’s story (Alice is not her real name) “My parents had very little education and they knew this had limited their lives so much. They wanted my sister and me to have the gift of a good education with strong values but it was beyond their reach, especially after tragedy struck. Amazingly, Brigidine was able to help us with our schooling through Bursary support that came from the Flynn Bequest. We are so grateful.” There are many stories like Alice’s but confidentiality limits our retelling them. With a Brigidine education Alice and her sister have successfully established themselves in the corporate world and now look forward to providing their own children with a life changing education. The gifts that Roma Flynn and Joan Murray left in their Wills to the College will help Brigidine students in the future receive enriching education and experiences which will equip them for life. Can you consider leaving a gift in your Will?

Myths and questions

What about legal advice?

My gift is not likely to be large. Is it still worthwhile?

You should seek legal advice from your solicitor on how to include Brigidine in your Will. You may simply add a codicil to include Brigidine College – a straightforward and inexpensive procedure.

Always! Some myths exist regarding gifts in Wills. One of these myths is that the gift needs to be large or come only from wealthy people. We all know that many small gifts make a difference, building one on the other. Collectively, we can make a difference by giving what we can through our Will to create the funds needed for bursaries and assist students now and in the future. Every gift will have a substantial impact in assisting students in financial need.

Should I tell the College that I am leaving them a gift? By telling us of your intention we will have the opportunity to say thank you. In all cases, confidentiality is respected.

Can I choose how my gift will be directed? You may choose to make an unrestricted or restricted gift perhaps for a scholarship, bursary or specific academic area. Leaving a gift in your Will is a way to demonstrate your appreciation for all that Brigidine represents and can offer young women now and in the future. Join others in making a gift. Your gift will always be worthwhile and greatly appreciated. Di Lawrence Development and Community Relations

My gift must be a monetary one. This is your choice. You may choose to leave a specific amount after taking care of your family, or leave assets in the form of property, shares or items of value.

Surely my family comes first. Yes! Undoubtedly. We recognise that family is first but after providing for your loved ones, you may wish to consider leaving a gift to help a student in the future. A percentage or share of an estate, whatever the size, will be a wonderful gift.

If you would like to discuss leaving a gift through your Will or indicate your intention to give please contact Di Lawrence, Director Development and Community Relations on (02) 9988 6278 or visit the College website for further details under Support.

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Glory P&F Trivia Night A fantastic night was had by all at the Shades of Glory Trivia Night in August, thanks to over 200 people filling Bowie Hall with their creativity and willingness to have fun. The combination of the raffle, auction and ticket sales led to a wonderful result with Katrina Tucker, P&F President, handing over a cheque for $40,000 to Principal, Jane Curran, at the end of the night. This wonderful support from parents will bring improvements to our gym, a key facility for the College that will benefit all students. The College is grateful to the P&F Committee: Katrina Tucker, Sarah Gillard, Patty Isabelle, Debbie Jenkins, Angela Oppen, Fanny Carsen, Lydia Thomson, Frances Whitfield, Maria Lowe, Dan Tunks, Tania Raubenheimer, Samantha

Romer-Mulhern, Janne McCully and Shona Cooley. We were greatly entertained by our wonderful parent Trivia team of Toby Dewar and Luke Branagan who donated their time, expertise and humour to the event. Sincere thanks from us all! The Best Dressed table was the ‘Westies Unrool’ team and the Trivia Winners were the ‘Year 8 is not enough’ team. Stephanie Chan excitedly won the Ring Game and now enjoys her spectacular ring! Thank you to parents who bought and sold raffle tickets and to all parents and local businesses who donated auction items. The event wouldn’t be a success without their support. Pip Inman Alumni and Community Relations Coordinator

Thanks to our Sponsors Platinum Sponsors content/home


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Silver Sponsors




Singapore Fifty-four eager Brigidine girls and six staff members left Sydney on 28 June this year, embarking on the College’s second overseas Music Tour, this time to Singapore. The trip lasted eight days and each day was filled with new and exciting experiences. From public performances, to workshops, sight-seeing, theme park visits and plenty of shopping, the tour was filled with many fun and memorable experiences. We saw many interesting and beautiful sights, including the famous Merlion, Night Safari, Marina Bay and more. The trip was packed full of unique experiences for us to enjoy. We visited Universal Studios where we explored cutting-edge rides, shows and attractions based on our favourite blockbuster films. Other highlights included visiting the Gardens by the Bay, which are indoor gardens filled with beautiful plants spanning over 100 hectares. We also tried the local cuisine, from satay to stingray!

The girls participated in a Master Class workshop at Singapore Raffles Music College and school exchanges with the Swiss Cottage Secondary School and the Singapore National Cadet School, as well as the Gan Eng Seng School. There were also public performances at Our Tampines Hub and Resorts World Sentosa, where we were always met with loud cheers and requests for encores. Between all these experiences we found time to relax, utilising the facilities at our hotel, including the rooftop pool, at any opportunity. The tour was an incredible experience to share with some of the most amazing students and teachers at Brigidine College. Everyone immersed themselves in the fascinating culture of Singapore, making it an unforgettable trip! It was a wonderful opportunity to bond with girls from other Year groups, and encourage and support them through this truly amazing adventure. Zoe Gougousidis and Jessica Wearne Year 12 and Year 11

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and Gentleness

The College gathered for the Commissioning of the 2020 school leaders on Wednesday 11 September. It provided us with an opportunity to think about what leadership is and I do not believe we are better positioned than here at Brigidine to understand that very concept. The media loosely refers to the heads of countries as leaders but leadership does not come with a position. It comes through attitude and behaviour and no better words describe it than strength and gentleness, the motto which has guided our Year 11 students for the past five years. One other ingredient completes the picture – our new leaders are women, so traditional hierarchical models of

leadership will not work for them. The best leader each of them can be is the one who has a sense of ‘other’ and through that understanding comes their sense of justice and their capacity for kindness.

2020 Student Leaders

Senior Captains Carmelita Buay Laura Collins Madison McGrath Claudia Vidulic

Chloe Christie Lucy Eyres Heidi Richardson Natarsha Vidulic

Year Ambassadors Kayla Fingleson Tessa Panetta Isabel Vitoria

Lauren Hickey Jemima Thomas

House Captains Fatima: Kildare: Lourdes: Prague:

2020 House Captains


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To all our students who were commissioned and to all of Year 12 2020, that is their challenge – the strength to make a difference and the integrity to stand tall. Jane Curran Principal

Cocurricular Captains Jemima Guberina Charlotte Cuda

College Captain Senior Vice Captain 

College Captain, Senior Vice Captain and Senior Captains

A leader is not always the for 2020 first person to charge into battle; sometimes they are simply the ordinary people who refuse to give in to what is wrong and their gentle resistance turns the world on its head. We shouldn’t focus on those who speak loudly; we should listen to those who speak honestly.

Nicole Chan, Priya Wheatley Chantelle Cunningham, Isabella Mestrov Ashlee Marks, Sasha Rous Holli Raaff, Lucinda Weber

AFL:  Art:  Astronomy:  Athletics:  Basketball:  Cross Country:  Dance:  Debating:  Drama:  Drama:  DEA:  Football:  Hockey:  Honours:  Music:  Musical:  Netball:  Robotics:  Social Justice:  Softball:  Sports Aerobics:  Swimming:  Taekwondo:  Tennis:  Tildesley Tennis:  Textiles:  Touch Football:  Volleyball:  Water Polo: 

Chantelle Cunningham Chantel Jurisic, Khloe Tria Sally Heffernan Claudia Vidulic Natasha Keosseian Elsa Schuller Chloe Jackett, Chloe Oldham Abigail Ries, Jemima Thomas Ella Temple Charlotte Waite Jessica Biggs, Caitlin Gill Isabella Wilson Jemma Walsh Alannah Darling Jessica Gordon, Jess Wearne Ella Temple Natalie Lukacevic Brittany Boot Libby Denyer, Tessa Panetta Ashley Smith Charlotte Ellis, Shae Griffiths Anika Townley Libby Denyer Isabella Encina Isabella Wilson Sally Heffernan Holli Raaff Zara Pittioni Sasha Rous



Witches How do you recognise a witch? Easy – they have no hair, no toes, wear gloves and have blue teeth. Oh, and their mission is to rid the world of children! The Year 11 Play is a long-standing tradition at the College. Started in 1976, it was a cocurricular activity designed to bring Year 11 together as a Year group before moving into Year 12. This year in June we were excited to present Roald Dahl’s famous story, The Witches. You don’t need to be a Drama student to be involved in the Year 11 Play – in fact, we had several cast members who had never appeared on stage before! In case you’ve forgotten, or been horrified by the frightening film version starring Anjelica Huston, The Witches is the fantastical dramatisation of Roald Dahl’s treasured story by British playwright, David Wood. The Witches is set in England and follows the adventures of a boy called… Boy. Boy is left unexpectedly orphaned at the start of the play and goes to live with his Grandma… called Grandma… in Norway, land of northern lights, snowy evenings, Ikea and ABBA. It’s not long before he thinks he sees a real witch. Grandma and Boy are forced to sail to England, where they run into even more witches, including the grandest highest witch of them all… called the Grand High Witch. The Grand High Witch has a plan to rid England and then the world of all children! The magical and whimsical world of Roald Dahl was recreated in the set design. The audience entered to an enchanted and surreal world, populated by glitter curtains and Willy Wonka-esque characters who narrated the story, initially on the periphery of the story but later fully immersed in the fairy tale. The green and purple colours of this fantasy world were a deliberate choice. We associate purple with royalty and green with life and hope, and the Boy-Mouse character provided redemption and salvation when all seemed lost with the royal bunch of witches. These colours are also a recognisable and historical symbol of the suffragette movement which seemed appropriate and empowering for our allfemale cast. I thank and acknowledge the marvellous support of my director’s assistant, Ella Clements (Class of 2018). Ella completed

her HSC Drama at Brigidine last year and continues to enrich her dramatic career by studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education majoring in Drama and English. She was a valuable support to our cast in creating memorable characterisations and we wish her well on her continuing theatrical journey. Special thanks go to the wonderful members of the Drama Department, Mr Chris Rutherford, Mrs Emma Johns, Mr Gareth Edey and Mrs Sam Greer, for their unflagging support and for never laughing when I suggested outrageous theatrical ideas. The Year 11 Play was truly a team effort – our hilarious mice dance was choregraphed by Jordyn Parry from Year 11 and we had Year 11s working backstage and front of house to support our actors. It was a pleasure working with the fabulous and flamboyant Year 11 cast and crew and I congratulate them on their dedication and discipline to the play. Miss DiAnne McDonald Director, The Witches

“This marked the 40th show that Miss DiAnne McDonald has directed for Brigidine College, having worked on 19 musicals and 21 Year 11 Plays. She is an extraordinary gift to Brigidine and it is with humility that we acknowledge

her contribution par excellence to performance and thank her most sincerely.” Jane Curran Principal

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HSC Creativity

Design and Technology, Extension English, Extension History, Industrial Technology (Timber and Furnishings), Society and Culture, Science Extension, Visual Arts, Textiles and Design ... What do all these subjects have in common? The answer is – a major work. Each of these subjects were showcased during our annual event, thExhibition, held in August. Bowie Hall was transformed into a studio of excellence, a gallery filled with creative and outstanding HSC major works. Students from Design and Technology, Textiles and Design and Visual Arts showcased their major projects and bodies of work, each piece a reflection of the hard work and dedication they have been given over the last 12 months. The diversity of work reflects the freedom the students have to explore their individual passions and interests under the guidance of their dedicated teachers. The night was officially opened by Principal, Mrs Jane Curran, and the Hospitality students created an art piece of their own with a decorative feast presented as a grazing table. Congratulations to all the students who have completed a major work and a big thank you to the hardworking and dedicated teachers who have supported them in their journey. Pamela Malone and Lu Buckley Head of TAS and Head of Visual Arts


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Fever Our annual Dance Spectacular was held at The Concourse, Chatswood on Saturday 14 September. Both the matinee and evening performances were incredible, with all students on stage exuding an electric energy. The show highlighted a range of styles from jazz to hip hop, tap, ballet and even salsa, to name a few. The girls performed with such passion and each routine brought something different to the stage. The College received an abundance of positive feedback and we can’t wait to do it all again next year. Well done to all the girls involved! Shannon Riley Dance Convenor

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Carnival With some heavy rain leading up to the day, the annual Athletics Carnival was under threat of being cancelled! However, we were very fortunate with the weather and the carnival went ahead on Thursday 6 June at Narrabeen as planned. Well done to everyone on their support and participation in the carnival. Claire Hatherell Head of Sport

New Records Isabel Harris: 13 Years Javelin (33.78m, old record 24.8m) Lisa Weingartner: Para Athlete 200m (33.8s, old record 34.6s)

Open Invitation 100m Champion Aleisha Jeremy (13.1s)

School Champion Keeley Holmes

Fatima Captains, Bianca Burmeister and Corina Behrens, accepting the House Trophy PLACE










Age Champions YEAR




12 Years

Sophie Walters

Annika Ehnbom

Alara Sheather

13 Years

Leila McDougall

Annaliese Chan

Amelia Thornthwaite

14 Years

Keeley Holmes

Giuliana Panozzo

Coco Guberina

15 Years

Esme Sergi

Kathryn Trewhella

Lauren Smith

16 Years

Emma Lowry

Aleisha Jeremy

Roxy Beuzeville

17+ Years

Natarsha Vidulic

Claudia Vidulic

Kahli Gilchrist

Para Athlete

Lisa Weingartner

Jessie Walsh

Arabella DiBiase


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Highlights Xx Sub Heading - Intro Copy NSW Relay Xx Athletics Sub Heads Championship

Xxx Body Copy Brigidine had three relay teams Xx Author Name compete at the Athletics NSW Xx Author Title Relay Championships with some great results!text Xx Highlighted Mixed Relay – Silver Medal Zoe Shirdon (400m), Amelia Thornthwaite (800m), Leila McDougall (200m), Coco Guberina (200m) pictured

Water Polo

NSWCCC Athletics Results

Congratulations to our Year 7 Brigidine Maroon and Navy teams who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively after the round games and played each other in the semifinal of the NSSWPA Competition. Brig Maroon won the semi-final and went on to play Stella Maris College Red in the grand final, where it was goal for goal in the first half before the Brigidine girls pulled ahead and were victorious 7-3! Well done to all our Year 7 Water Polo players!

Twenty Brigidine girls were selected to represent BBSSSA at the NSWCCC Athletics Carnival in September. Well done to all our girls who performed so well:

U17 4x100m – Bronze Medal Aleisha Jeremy, Ella Johnson, Sienna Wilson, Emma Lowry

Lisa Weingartner (12 – 15 Years Para Athlete): Gold 100m, Gold Long Jump, Silver 200m, 6th Shot Put Kelly Theodorides (12 Years): 4th 200m Isabel Harris (13 Years): Bronze Javelin Annaliese Chan (13 Years): 8th Discus, 8th Shot

U15 4x100m – Bronze Medal Mika Tregale, Coco Guberina, Annaliese Chan, Leila McDougall

Leila McDougall (13 Years): 7th 200m, 7th 100m Amelia Thornthwaite (13 Years): 5th 1500m, 6th 800m

Netball Congratulations to our Brig 5 and Brig 21 teams who won their divisions of IGSSA Netball! We also had Brig 10, Brig 11, Brig 18 and Brig 22 in Grand Finals who all played very well to only go down by very small margins. Well done to all teams on a great season!

Sports Aerobics Brigidine was represented by 10 Sports Aerobics teams across seven divisions at the Schoolaerobics National Championships on the Gold Coast, Queensland, in August. The competition ran from Friday through to Sunday night and our teams produced strong performances with great success. In a first for the College we won the Gold medal and are now national champions in the Open A division. We also achieved a Bronze medal in the Stage 3 section. Many of our other teams also came close to receiving medals, with only small margins separating the top teams. Congratulations to the 63 girls who represented Brigidine with excellent performances and great sportsmanship.

Secondary Fitness 7th Secondary Open A  1st Secondary Open B 7th Secondary Pairs 7th Secondary Stage 3 3rd and 8th Secondary Stage 2 5th and 11th Secondary Stage 1 4th and 6th

Zoe Shirdon (13 Years): 4th 400m Meg Wannell (13 Years): 7th 800m Mika Tregale (13 Years): 10th Long Jump, 14th 100m Coco Guberina (14 Years): 9th 100m, 11th 200m Keeley Holmes (14 Years): Silver 12 – 14 Years 1500m Walk, 5th 800m, 6th 1500m Sienna Wilson (14 Years): 5th 400m Esme Sergi (15 Years): 8th 100m, 12th 800m Aleisha Jeremy (16 Years): Bronze 100m Hurdles, 9th 100m, 12th 200m Emma Lowry (16 Years): 5th 400m, 8th 200m Arabella DiBiase (16+ Years Para Athlete): 4th 200m, 4th 100m, 4th Long Jump Claudia Vidulic (17+ Years): 4th 400m, 6th 200m Natarsha Vidulic (17+ Years): 7th 200m, 11th 100m Kahli Gilchrist (17+ Years): 9th 100m Madelin Owen (17+ Years): 13th 100m

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Achievements Dance Our Jazz Company group competed in the Sydney Eisteddfod Dance of Champions in September. This is a competition of selected place-getters across all sections of the Eisteddfod that are invited to perform, so includes

schools, dance studios and full-time dance schools. Choreographed by Brigidine College Dance teacher, Katrina Rennie, the group came 3rd, winning a cash prize of $1000. What a great way to end a big and successful Eisteddfod season!

Music Duke of Edinburgh Year 12 girls attended a ceremony at Sydney Town Hall in September to formally receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh award from Prince Edward in the biggest Gold award ceremony outside of England. Not only did the girls meet His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, but 17 prominent Australians were there to personally present the Awards on behalf of His Royal Highness including Indira Naidoo, Dawn Fraser, Layne Beachley and Eddie Woo, who sent


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the Year 12 students a special good luck message for the upcoming HSC. Our Duke of Edinburgh Captains, Antonia Wong and Charlotte Thomas, had the opportunity to attend the Youth and Leaders Reception at Government House, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Award in Australia. They were lucky enough to chat to Prince Edward, and Brigidine College St Ives received a special mention as the award centre with the highest completion rate of the award in Australia, something Prince Edward was interested in hearing about from us.

Brigidine College Music Club competed in the Ryde Eisteddfod in July and received four 1st Places for the Dixie Jazz Group (pictured), Senior Concert Band, Senior Vocal Ensemble and the Choir. Congratulations!

STEM Natalie Bowesman was one of five girls who attended the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia expedition to NASA’s Space Center in Houston, USA. Her team competed and won against other teams from Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. Challenges included building and coding robots capable of collecting rock samples from a mock up Mars field, simulating a Mars habitat and developing temperature resistant materials for use in space. Natalie is to be commended for her achievements at Houston’s Space University.



Enrichment The Brigidine Honours Program is an enrichment opportunity offered to students in Years 7 to 12. It is designed to engage girls in a range of structured activities which encourage lateral thinking, creativity and depth of analysis, equipping students with essential 21st century skills. All Honours girls are encouraged to develop as independent learners and enhance their engagement with ideas, working collaboratively as they investigate issues and dilemmas to find solutions. Here are some works from our 2019 Senior Honours students.

Belonging in Australia Growing up in Australia and looking Indian creates a challenge within a person that is not easy to convey. It is hard to find your identity when people make assumptions about

Amazon Rainforest Fires It recently came to light that the lungs of our planet were on fire. The Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest that produces 20% of the earth’s oxygen, was burning and had been for weeks, at the fastest rate since recordkeeping began. Most alarmingly, there has been an 84% surge from last year in the number of fires that have started, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, mostly caused by record hot temperatures, drought and deforestation. In light of the fires, international criticism centred on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The fires were deemed a manifestation of his backhand support of deforestation

you based on the first three seconds of seeing you. In addition to being asked questions such as “Where are you really from?”, there is a sense of loss within yourself because you are trying to differentiate between two separate parts of the whole. Living with this constant battle gave me strength, but also meant that I placed a wall around myself for self-protection. As a young girl, I started to realise that there wasn’t a place where I felt I really fit in. In Australia, I felt as if my personality meshed with society and I comprehended all the social cues, however I stood out by the way I looked. In India, I looked like I belonged, but I hardly grasped the language or society there. I found it difficult to believe that anyone saw me as more than my external appearance or demeanour.

Fundamentally, I have come to realise that belonging is about acceptance. It is about speaking the truth of our humanity, especially within a multicultural society. We should see people for who they are within, not how they look outwardly. We should talk about the assumptions we have in a caring manner to expose the distortions and appreciate the truths about individuals. This is how we, as an Australian society, can move forward and create a more inclusive environment no matter where we’ve all come from. When I am seen as me, I feel like I belong. Neena Karunakar Year 12

“..belonging is about acceptance. It is about speaking the truth of our humanity, especially within a multicultural society.”

As I grew older, I reached a greater understanding. I felt comfortable when I was sitting in a Brigidine classroom because it was recognised that my comments mattered, or when I was laughing with my friends or being embraced by my extended family in India.

and clear lack of concern for the conservation of the Amazon evident in his stripping of funding for Brazilian protection agencies. Notably, it was through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and not traditional media channels, that international attention was sparked, particularly amongst the younger generation. What was deemed unworthy of global news for two weeks became an ‘international crisis’ in the words of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, in under two days after social media sites were flooded. In the case of the burning of the renowned Catholic cathedral, the Notre-Dame de Paris, in April earlier this year, the opposite ensued with excessive media coverage worldwide. What is evident is a great discrepancy between the agenda of governments and traditional media organisations and the desires of people in society, particularly those of the upcoming generations.

It is clear that climate change is a polarising issue, dividing those turning a blind eye out of ignorance or self-interest, from those determined to face such a domineering global issue. What we are left with is often an ageing, powerful elite refusing to respond to the hope and desires of the younger generations. President Bolsonaro yielded to international pressure, employing military force. Thus, we should all be inspired by the power of younger generations, using social media, to be heard internationally. Shantel Nanayakkara Year 12

..we should all be inspired by the power of younger generations, using social media, to be heard internationally.

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News and Events

Class of 2018 Afternoon Tea The Class of 2018 joined us for a trip down memory lane in June. The room was filled with laughter as the girls spotted themselves in the pages of the Yearbook, remembering their days at Brigidine and the history they shared. Over afternoon tea they chatted with one another about what they have been up to since leaving Brigidine and their plans for the future. No matter where life may take them, we wish the Class of 2018 every success in the years ahead, guided by strength and gentleness.

in Media Arts and Productions and International Studies at University of Technology (UTS). Eloise Carrol (Class of 2018) on piano. Eloise is currently at UTS studying a Bachelor of Advanced Science and a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. She is also supporting Brigidine’s debating teams as a coach.

Staying Connected Throughout Term 3, a group of girls who have graduated from the College in the last three years came together to rehearse as part of the latest Brigidine ensemble, the Alumni Stage Band. The girls will be playing under the Brigidine banner later in the year at the Machines & Macchiatos concert on Sunday 24 November, 10.30am and 1.45pm, St Ives Show Ground. We are thrilled to see so many alumni coming back to the College.


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Band members include: Monique Lewis (Class of 2016) on drums. Jess Kittos (Class of 2017) on alto sax. Jess is currently studying at University of Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Science and Advanced Studies majoring in Biochemistry, Immunology and Pathology. Emma Gillman (Class of 2018) also on drums. Emma is studying a Bachelor of Journalism at Macleay College and is an editorial intern at MamaMia Women’s Network. Cassie Patterson (Class of 2018) on percussion. She is currently studying Communications, majoring

Ciara Flynn (Class of 2018) on tenor sax. Ciara is currently fulfilling her dream of studying Medicine at UNSW. Annabelle Ambrogio (Class of 2018) on sax. Annabelle is now studying a Bachelor of Planning at Macquarie University. As well as being a part of the Alumni Stage Band she plays saxophone with the Macquarie Uni Jazz Band. The band members felt being part of the band was a great way for them to stay connected to the College and they are all excited to watch their ensemble grow.



Weddings Xx Sub Heading - Intro Copy Xx Weddings Sub Heads Cooper XxxMelissa Body Copy

(May, Class of 2005)

Xx Author Name Xx Author Title Matthew Cooper and I were married on 30 March 2019 at Peterson House, Xx Highlighted text Petersons Wines, Hunter Valley. It was a spectacular day, surrounded by family and friends. We chose the Hunter region for our celebration as it holds special memories for us. The beautiful surroundings allowed us a level of formality whilst remaining a relaxed environment. Looking out over the vineyards and lake was lovely. The evening included the most spectacular lightning storm which was like we were being provided with a fabulous light show.

Our bridal party, consisting of three bridesmaids and groomsmen, included my sister, Jackie Last (May, Class of 2003, pictured above, second from right). Matt’s son Ty, aged 11, also joined the boys in the preparations for the day. Matt is a draftsman/designer/ cabinet maker and I am an Intensive Care paramedic. We live in Asquith and

Rachel Joiner (Carter, Class of 2001)

Natural Health Clinic and about to set up a second clinic on the Central Coast.

Daniel and I met at craft brewery, Modus Operandi, in Mona Vale in 2017. With the number of mutual friends we had, it was a wonder we hadn’t met before. We married in St Clement’s Church, Mosman, making us the third generation in Daniel’s family to have married there. We had our reception down the road at Athol Hall, in the national park overlooking the harbour. Daniel is an osteopath working at Ryde

I work as a lawyer in Mona Vale, having set up my own practice, Carter O’Neill Legal, in 2017.

are busy between work and creating a home. We had a delayed honeymoon in June, travelling to Alaska, Canada, New York and Jamaica, which was a fantastic holiday.

We honeymooned in America for a month travelling from LA to Vegas. Our trip included Highway 66, ice hockey in Denver, skiing in Vale and seeing the national parks through Utah. We drove 5000km over four weeks and we still love each other – what a start to married life!


Nicholas Joshua Ciabatti

Gracie Mae Pennings

Tori Ciabatti (Layton, Class of 2005), and husband, Justin, had their first baby on 22 November 2018. He was born at the San Hospital at 2.03pm and weighed 4.7kg. Nicholas is the happiest little boy who brings a smile to the face of everyone he meets.

Lindsay Pennings (Gilroy, College Vice Captain Class of 2000), gave birth to her second daughter, Gracie Mae, at 1.10pm on 26 February 2019 at North Shore Private Hospital, weighing 4.54kgs. She is a little miracle and an absolute blessing to Lindsay, John and big sister, Eliza.

Archie John Baxter Freeman Geoff and Andree Baxter (College Captain Class of 2000) recently had a beautiful baby boy at the Mater Hospital, North Sydney, at 6.30am on 20 April 2019. Archie weighed 3.57kg, was 53cm long and was born with a full head of hair! He is a happy, cheeky little man whose parents feel so blessed to have him in their lives.

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They Now? or celebration. It was in Year 10 that I realised I could make something of the skill I had worked hard on. My very first cake order was for one of my friend’s 16th birthdays. I made this under my business name ‘Hyde Street Cakes’.

Sophie Hyde (Class of 2017) Sophie recently came back to the College and spoke to our Year 10 Food Technology students. Whilst here, she told us about her passion that has now developed into a small business. I have been interested in baking from an early age, but it was only when I started at Brigidine that I began to experiment more with different recipes. I always brought in cupcakes and cakes for my peers in my class and mentor group whenever there was a birthday

Keiko Seki (Class of 1978) Keiko Seki was born and lives in Japan. In 1978 she spent six months at the College studying English. She says, “although it was only a short period I was in school, I have lots of fond memories of Brigidine College St Ives”. Having met an Australian girl who was on exchange in Japan, Keiko made the decision to come to Australia to study English. Thanks to the help of St Ives Rotary Club a host family was organised and she arrived in 1977, her first trip abroad, ready to learn the Australian way of life. Initially she studied a language course at the Language Institute, University of NSW. The course was for overseas students who were aiming to go to university and most of the students were from Asia including Japan. Keiko enjoyed the course but at break times, the students got


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Hyde Street Cakes continues to operate today. I now run my business on social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram (under Hyde Street Cakes on Facebook and @hyde_ street_cakes on Instagram). It is a very odd feeling that I can now say that I regularly make wedding and celebration cakes, cupcakes and cookies for clients around Sydney. I always make time for baking as it is something that I still thoroughly enjoy. In terms of what I’ve been doing after leaving Brigidine, I am currently in my second year at university studying a

together and talked in their own language. Keiko said, “I wanted to put myself in a completely English environment. So, after I passed my end of the term exam, I consulted with my host parents about changing schools. A member of the Rotary Club had a daughter attending Brigidine and a request was made for me to join her and this is how I became a student at Brigidine”. Keiko remembers that at that time, the school was much smaller, and everyone knew everyone. She was in Year 12, but students from a variety of years would often say hello to her when they saw her around the College. It was a very friendly atmosphere. While she was at the College, she took as many subjects as she could to help her learn English, including English (Years 10 – 12), World History, Biology and Art. She enjoyed them all!

Bachelor of Speech Pathology and a Diploma of Spanish. I am also working at a local café and a Country Club on the Northern Beaches. Alongside my degree I have been volunteering with various associations and have travelled to Europe and North Africa.

Sister Anita was the principal at that time and took Keiko under her wing to make sure she was okay. Keiko has made several visits back to the College including the Jubilee in 2009 and again in 2019. She said, “I was very pleased to see the school is expanding with fantastic facilities. I know the school has a good reputation, one the students and alumni are proud of”. Since returning to Japan, Keiko has had various positions in the corporate world. One of these positions saw her visit University of NSW and Macquarie University as an interpreter/coordinator for the University Professor and the students’ research work. It was a great experience for her. For the past five years she has been working as a telephone interpreter/translator. She says of her job, “sometimes it is difficult, but I am thankful that I have a job in which I can use English. I have been always interested in other countries, their people and cultures. English is such a universal language. If you can speak and understand English you can communicate with most of the people in the world. I believe my experience in Australia and my time at Brigidine College St Ives formed my life. I would like to thank Australia, and more importantly, the staff and students of Brigidine College St Ives who accepted me and made my life rich and fruitful”.


Vale Madeline Gladen (Class of 2023) Our Year 8 student, Madeline Gladen, sadly passed away on 2 July 2019. A loving daughter to Alison (Sanders, Class of 1989) and Geoff, and sister to Mitchell and Nicholas, she will be remembered for her enthusiastic, courageous and spirited love of life. Madeline joined the Brigidine College community in Year 7 in January 2018. As an eager and enthusiastic Year 7 student, she embraced our College motto, fortiter et suaviter, in her actions, friendships and outlook on life. Madeline’s friends and teachers fondly remember her for her kind, affable nature and her contagious laugh. Madeline approached everyone with a warm, friendly smile and an eagerness to learn a little more about each person she crossed paths with, she would never

hesitate to spark up a conversation with people of all ages. Madeline’s positive enthusiasm and eagerness was evident in her involvement in school lessons, her Kildare mentor group and her commitment to the cocurricular life of the College, particularly through her involvement in water polo and the Junior Concert Band. In June 2018, Madeline was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Despite her many difficult health challenges, Madeline showed strength and perseverance as she courageously fought her battle. She passed away peacefully in July 2019, aged 14 years. Although Madeline’s journey at the College was brief, she will always live on in our special memories and in our hearts as a young Brigidine woman who inspired us to be courageous, strong and gentle. May she rest in peace.


Cocurricular Dance Cocurricular Dance has been successfully operating at Brigidine for many years. The first recorded meeting was held in July 2001 and the first Dance Spectacular was held at UTS, 8 September that year. The Dance Club, as it has been previously known, was managed by both parents and College staff up until 2009. In 2010, College alumni, staff member and parent, Shane Grieve (Class of 1988) became the Dance Convener and held the role until 2015 when her daughter, also College alumni, Lauren Grieve (Class of 2013) was appointed to the position.

• girls were committed to attending all rehearsals • eisteddfod groups were well drilled and ready for every eisteddfod • there was always some fun and celebration for all the hard work. Shane was respected by the dance community and made everyone in her presence feel that dance was the centre of the universe.

Shane was passionate about dance at Brigidine and injected her own sense of humour and cheekiness like no one else could have. She had incredibly high expectations of everything related to the program ensuring that:

The All Rounder award, presented at this year’s Dance Presentation, is in honour of Shane and the lasting impact she has had on dance at the College. It is awarded to the dancer who has participated in a variety of dance classes, has committed to dance for a number of years and has been an outstanding role model demonstrating a love of dance and a positive approach to her involvement at every opportunity.

• costumes were amazing • we had experienced dance teachers

It is with great pleasure that we have awarded Poppy Koulouris, Year 12, as the inaugural winner of this award.

Poppy Koulouris with Shane’s daughter, Lauren Grieve (Class of 2013)

The Bridge


bridg Term 2 2019 Term Dates


Term 4

Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday:

Monday 8 June


Friday 26 June


Wednesday 4 December

Tuesday 28 April

Term 3 2020 Term Dates


Term 1


Year 7 and New Student Orientation Day: Wednesday 29 January

Term 4



Thursday 30 January

TERM 1 ENDS: Easter:

Thursday 9 April


Monday 20 July Friday 25 September

Tuesday 13 October Friday 4 December

Friday 10 April – Monday 13 April


Saturday 25 April

2020 Reunion Dates Class of 1980

Class of 1990

Class of 2000

Class of 2010

Class of 2015

40 Year Reunion

30 Year Reunion

20 Year Reunion

10 Year Reunion

5 Year Reunion

Saturday 24 October

Saturday 24 October

Saturday 24 October

Saturday 24 October

Saturday 24 October

For all Reunion enquiries contact: Alumni and Community Relations Coordinator, Pip Inman, at

Profile for Brigidine College St Ives

The Bridge Issue 2 2019  

Principal, Jane Curran, retires after 10 years of dedication and outstanding leadership of Brigidine College St Ives.

The Bridge Issue 2 2019  

Principal, Jane Curran, retires after 10 years of dedication and outstanding leadership of Brigidine College St Ives.