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the Bridge The magazine of Brigidine College St Ives

May 2016

Principal’s Message


his edition of The Bridge focuses on teachers and the role they play in making a difference. Allowing for individual idiosyncrasies and varying methodologies, the research over the past ten to fifteen years informs us that the single greatest impact on quality outcomes is the presence of a quality teacher in the classroom.


The question then is, what constitutes quality teaching? It is not simple to define nor is it quantifiable. One could argue that the teacher of a student who comes first in the state in a subject must be an extraordinary practitioner but that does not allow for the possible influence of any teacher who taught the student in the years preceding, nor does it acknowledge the teacher who first ignited the spark of interest in that subject. One would hope that the ultimate HSC mark is the cumulative outcome of having had a series of quality teachers over a number of years. Quality teaching can be defined in terms of its impact on student outcomes. It could also be defined through the presence of professional attributes including skills, knowledge, qualifications and professional learning. For quality teachers to flourish, they need to be provided with a context that enables the development of their attributes through ongoing professional development, reflection and dialogue. A context which focuses on professional growth then becomes one in which students are not only able to achieve the desired outcomes but able to experience success. This professional growth is paramount to developing quality teaching practices. Every teacher is engaged in research which will inform future practice. Teachers also undergo regular appraisal by their managers and peers, have opportunities to reflect on their practice through student feedback and are observed in the classroom as the stimulus to effective discussion around quality practice with their managers. Quality teaching involves establishing quality learning environments and quality relationships which research informs us is particularly relevant in the effective education of girls. Quality teachers believe in their students’ abilities to learn, create a sense of safety and belonging, vary their methodologies, welcome interaction with parents and focus on facilitating engaged learning as the means to manage classroom behaviours. Enjoy this first ‘Bridge’ for 2016 safe in the knowledge that the professional capabilities of staff are a priority at Brigidine in creating the foundations for lifelong learning. Jane Curran Principal

4 2015 HSC Results 4 Brigidine High Achievers in 2015

5 Quality Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness 7 ALTitude Project 8 Teacher Accreditation and Teaching Standards 9 Professional Learning

10 Spotlight on Staff 10 Farewell and Thanks 11 Meet the Board 12 Welcome to New Staff

Issue 1, May 2016

21 Performing Arts 21 The Sound of Music returns to Brigidine

14 Our Community 14 Recognising our Founders 15 Annual Giving 2016 16 Master Plan progress brings improvement 20 Fiesta Mexicana

17 Immersions, Camps and Retreats 17 Gold Expedition to Fiji 18 The challenge of Camps 19 Retreats and Reflections

22 Clubs and Sport 22 Centre for Excellence 23 Sport Highlights 24 Swimming Carnival

26 Back to Brigidine 26 Alumni Day 2015 27 Weddings 29 Births and Vales 30 Where Are They Now?

2015 HSC Results Brigidine High Achievers in 2015


ome of the highlights from the results for the Class of 2015 are:

• Rebecca Bau-Gaspar achieved an ATAR of 99.5 • Five students are All-Rounders and we congratulate Rebecca Bau-Gaspar, Eliza Cameron, Fiona Li, Amanda Liem and Isabella Ryan. An All Rounder is a student who has scored over 90 in at least 10 units • Top Achievers in the State:

• 1st – Rebecca Bau-Gaspar in Spanish Beginners

• 5th – Elle Miller *(Year 11) – Studies of Religion II

• 9th – Emily Dalwood *(Year 11) – Studies of Religion II

• Selection for Texstyle (Textiles and Design): Olivia De Gruchy – HSC Major Textiles Project • Selection for ArtExpress (Visual Arts): Rachel Seeto – HSC Body of Work Fish and Ships • Selection for Shape (Design and Technology): Isabella Purnell – HSC Major Design Project

• Winner of the Best Use of Referencing/Bibliography Award

• Runner Up for the Women in Design and Technology Award

• Awarded a major prize at the 2015 NSW Year 12 Design & Technology Competition (hosted by the University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences)

• 16 of the Year 11 Studies of Religion ll students achieved Band 6 – *two of whom achieved a place in the State • Seven students who chose the accelerated pathway in Mathematics (completing 2 Unit Mathematics in Year 11) undertook Mathematics Extension 2 in Year 12, all gaining Band 6 results • 72 students appear on the Distinguished Achievers List • Selection for OnStage (Drama): Danielle Maher, Olivia De Gruchy, Rachel Seeto and Megan Taylor for their Group Performance, Boundless Plains to Shhhh...

• Nomination for OnStage (Drama): Hannah Palmer for her Individual Performance, Get the Money Flo-ing • Ranked in the top 100 of the State (non-selective school) • It is notable that there was depth to the academic success of the 131 eligible students:

“Congratulations to the Class of 2015. The results were excellent and we are very proud of all of our students. What these results reflect is the pathway we have chosen over the past few years to encourage girls to challenge themselves and engage in a more rigorous pattern of study that best aligns with their talents. A significant increase in the ATAR scores shows us that the girls are reaping the rewards of this challenge. I extend my sincere thanks to our dedicated staff for their hard work and expertise in supporting the girls through their years at Brigidine.” Jane Curran Principal

• 1 student achieved an ATAR > 99

• 18 students achieved an ATAR > 95

• 33 students achieved an ATAR > 90

• 55 students achieved an ATAR > 85

• 73 students achieved an ATAR > 80

• We proudly acknowledge the 18 students who achieved ATARs over 95: Rebecca Bau-Gaspar, Karoun Boghossian, Seraphina Buay, Isabel Bunting, Eliza Cameron, Juliette Dahdah, Olivia De Gruchy, Simone Dennis, Alice Edwards, Fiona Li, Amanda Liem, Danielle Maher, Molly Moloney, Sophia Polito, Isabella Ryan, Megan Taylor, Kirilee Wagner, Kelly Wilcox. Sue Martin Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning

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Quality Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness W

hat now seems many years ago, I remember being faced with the decision of choosing which unit I would select in my third year of Geography at university. I very much wanted to continue with historical geography and explore the spatial patterns of mediaeval land use but I chose an urban geography unit on cities. Why did I do that? I simply could not face eight weeks with Dr Jones. He was one of those lecturers who was ill-prepared, boring and spoke in a quiet monotone, all of which would not enable me to engage and achieve my best. I wonder now if anyone had ever mentioned this to him and if they had, had he just ignored it or was he incapable of making the changes that would make a difference? I’m grateful I had the choice but that is not the case for every student. In the exit survey completed by Year 12 in 2015 the most commonly reported factor that affected student engagement and enjoyment of a subject was the teacher. Those teachers that were prepared, knowledgeable, cared about their students’ progress and gave continual, constructive feedback received the most appreciative comments. In the survey completed by parents, most commentary was attached to teaching and their daughters’ learning. There are no revelations about this as teacher effectiveness has been researched consistently over the last 20 years. It was Professor John Hattie’s synthesis of 800 metaanalyses in 2003 relating to student achievement which drew some clear quantitative conclusions about the major sources of variance in student achievement. His analysis showed that student ability, unsurprisingly, was responsible for 50% variance but more significantly, 30% variance was due to teachers

with only 5 to 10% due to each of the following: home, school, the principal and peers. The effect size of teachers on student achievement was greater than had been thought. It raised questions about how to improve teacher effectiveness in the provision of quality teaching and learning experiences that met the developmental and psycho-social needs of students (Rowe 2004). Hattie pointed out that one of the biggest effects on student learning occurred when teachers became learners of their own teaching. Randy Wingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers, declared in 2012 that “…transforming our school system isn’t magic; it comes from supporting all educators ‘to teach like a pro’.” Fullan and Hargreaves (2012) succinctly described that ‘teaching like a pro’ involves a personal commitment to rigorous training, continuous learning, respect for evidence, responsiveness to parents, striving for excellence, and going far beyond the requirements of any written contract. My experience of teachers spanning many years is that most teachers today want ‘to teach like a pro’ and that is especially true of the teachers at Brigidine College. That is not necessarily the case in all schools across Australia today. There are teachers who received their training at some point during the last 40 to 50 years. During that time the focus of teacher education has drifted between content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge; sometimes one at the expense of the other. There are teachers whose training has amounted to an extended practicum in the year following a degree in a particular discipline; there are others who have degrees in pedagogical knowledge but lack subjectspecific content knowledge. There are teachers who willingly engage

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in learning through professional development; there are others who see it as a time consuming intrusion and avoid it, especially if it is out of school hours. There are teachers who give many additional hours to extracurricular activities; there are others who give nothing extra. There are teachers who are talented educators; there are others who find it difficult. There are teachers who embrace change; there are others who block it. In a changing educational context that is focused on improvement in academic and social outcomes it has inevitably led to research on building teacher capacity or investing in professional capital. When educators talk about capacity, they are generally referring to the perceived abilities, skills and expertise of teachers, their departments and the school itself. Building capacity is therefore any effort that is made to improve those abilities, skills and expertise. Quite what that is and how to do it can be difficult to achieve as there are so many variables that influence the outcome. The challenge is to find ways of encouraging more teachers to take ownership of the collective and transparent responsibility to ‘teach like a pro’ and providing them with the support and resources to enable it.

Quality Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness

consistent data on students with disability (2015), Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment Bill (2009) and constant amendments to the Education Act all present increasing levels of accountability for teachers’ practice.

In the past and for too long, policy makers have thrust new demands on teachers without providing the necessary support and resources to enable them to develop and embed the requirements of change into practice. In the last ten years technology has advanced and provided endless opportunities and resources that could be integrated into pedagogy and improve learning. The Australian Curriculum, implemented in 2014, heralded a change in thinking about the curriculum. More data on literacy, numeracy from NAPLAN and Australia’s comparative progress against other nations from Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) assumed that a deep analysis would change how and what was taught. Changes to legislation notably the Work, Health, Safety Act (2011), Disability Discrimination Act and the collection of nationally

From 1 January 2018, all teachers will be accredited with BOSTES (Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW), which means all teachers will be expected to meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at one of the four career stages and thereafter maintain their registration with accredited professional development. This takes time, so when there is talk about building capacity or professional capital, teachers could be forgiven for thinking there is little left in the tank for more. This is inevitably a recipe for feeling overwhelmed, anxious and resistant and must be avoided at all costs. By investing in professional capital, the potential for building capacity rises. It is not sufficient to focus on the individual teacher but on the whole group if it is to be successful. According to Hargreaves (2012), “the professional capital view assumes that good teaching ‘is about undertaking difficult, inspiring work; constantly trying to improve practices and working with all the collective might and ingenuity

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of professional colleagues to do so.” For those entrusted with implementing change the organisational culture must be analysed carefully and understood so that an environment of change can be created. It may require a new value set and vision that is lived on a daily basis if there is to be transparency, trust and collaboration. Fullan (2001) refers to this as ‘reculturing’ and is essential for effective change. If the strategic framework which articulates the learning intentions encourages teachers and Heads of Department to work together to consider possibilities for improvement and their ideas are listened to and valued, then the context has been set for the emergence of the energy of collective creativity and innovation. This is investing in the social dimension of professional capital and real change can occur. Investing in professional capital means recruitment is important. If the working and collegial environment is perceived to be attractive, then the school is blessed with many applicants and an opportunity exists to employ those teachers who both ‘fit’ the culture, and who are also highly talented, committed with real moral purpose and possess high emotional intelligence. Career stage is important: if they are young and without experience, they bring enthusiasm and commitment; if they are older with considerable experience, they bring wisdom and expertise which can be shared. In a group where trust and transparency prevails these teachers can renew and inspire others. The emergent conversations develop a shared language and a shared responsibility to improve learning. Ideas are shared, classrooms are opened to allow observations of strategies, techniques and behaviours, improved assessment tasks are designed together and programs are constantly being updated to reflect

Quality Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness

new ideas and current thinking. In these conversations, feedback is priceless and considered to be the most valuable professional learning for teachers. One accepts the importance of feedback to students for improved learning but can overlook the importance of feedback to teachers for improved teaching. Collaborative cultures build social capital and therefore professional capital. Ensuring teachers have the opportunity to gain experience in different groups and extending their networks builds capacity. These principles underpin the most successful school systems around the world. Teachers in Finland are highly educated, greatly respected as professionals and spend less time in front of the class than teachers in most other countries. They create curriculum together, school by school, district by district in order to meet the needs of the students. This has contributed to students in Finland consistently achieving high ranks in reading, mathematics and science in the OECD PISA testing. Similar evidence can be found in Canada, Singapore and Estonia, where high quality school-based

The ALTitude Project Over a period of 12 months, all teachers at Brigidine College have been involved in action research which is the integration of action (implementing a plan) with research (understanding what is effective), in other words, researching an area with the express purpose of bringing about change which improves practice and consequently outcomes.

curriculum is designed by teachers working together. This thinking suggests that professional learning groups are an ideal. This is true if teachers have been drawn to something which energises them and can gather in a group of likeminded people. If common expectations are set around goals, directions and a collegial culture with sufficient time given to make an outcome possible then professional learning can be very successful. If teachers are ‘pushed’, then collaboration can become contrived which causes the process to become flawed, risking negativity which can impact adversely on the culture. The difficulty is finding the balance between individual interest and whole school interest.

In 2016, the College’s Strategic Plan has been reviewed with some amendments. Building teacher capacity is one of the target goals in our constant quest for improvement. At a time when so much is expected of teachers there has never been a more important time to think wisely about how best to achieve it. Our teachers deserve that consideration and our gratitude for what they do. Sue Martin Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning A list of references can be supplied if requested.

‘To Teach like a Pro’ • is technically sophisticated and difficult

Providing opportunities for inexperienced teachers, jaded teachers, highly motivated, experienced teachers, aspirational teachers, introverted teachers and resistant teachers requires strategic thinking that benefits both the individual and the school as a whole.

• requires high levels of education and long training

With the accreditation process being implemented in 2018, and appraisals being a feature of school life, there has never been a better time to be innovative in this area.

• is a collective accomplishment and responsibility.

Over the past two years, in line with the Strategic Plan and the strategic intents: Faith: live our Catholic faith and Brigidine identity in response to the spiritual needs of the girls in a changing world Learning: reframe the learning paradigm to one of possibility, growth and success Wellbeing: ensure that we know, listen to and value each girl to promote personal growth and wellbeing,

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• is perfected through continuous improvement • involves wise judgment informed by evidence and experience

(Hargreaves 2013)

we have witnessed the growth of a more collaborative learning community where teachers are challenging their methodologies and sharing these with colleagues. The reception of these methodologies by the teaching staff has led to an openness to learning where teachers model the learning they wish for from their students and develop quality practices that enhance quality teaching and learning.

Quality Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness

High quality teaching is the greatest influence on student engagement and outcomes. Collaborative partnerships build stronger relationships among staff leading to more effective teaching and learning. Now it is time for the next phase in this growth model. Why action research? • Little training needed • Purpose: to improve practice • Generate new insights • Literature review plus what is happening in other schools • Flexible, quick timeframes • Practical significance • Connect with innovative practices across the globe • Contribute to research and practice.

Teacher Accreditation and Teaching Standards Research shows the direct correlation between quality teaching and improvement in student learning outcomes. This notion has been particularly supported by the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 with the introduction of professional teaching standards and accreditation processes. More recently the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards Act 2013 (BOSTES) was formed with the current Australian Professional Standards for Teachers being published. By January 2018 all teachers in NSW will be formally accredited by BOSTES. Underpinning the accreditation process is the concept of excellence. An effective teacher’s ability to provide quality experiences for students relies upon a core of knowledge and skills

Research is paramount to understanding best practice. For this reason, each teacher has become a member of a team which has researched best practice making recommendations to enhance the learning environment at Brigidine and/ or make recommendations for the implementation of new ways of doing or thinking. The areas for consideration include:

7. Service learning 8. Spiritual formation in the development of girls’ wellbeing 9. Learning beyond the classroom 10. Future learning spaces In July 2016, each group will present its findings to the rest of the teaching staff and make recommendations for implementation from 2017.

3. Neuroscience and adolescent learning

Some research may uncover that what we are doing is best practice but, in line with our commitment to enabling possibility and growth, there is always the opportunity that we may uncover ideas worth exploring.

4. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Jane Curran Principal

1. Alternative modes of delivery 2. Student leadership

5. Optimising professional learning 6. Assessment Years 7–9 and requires an appreciation of the impact that the teacher has on the learning opportunities. The Standards provide a guide to professional learning, practice and commitment. In turn this assists the continuum of development of teacher quality. Each teacher is expected to use the Standards to inform best practice to the level of experience they are at in their career. To be accredited as a Proficient, Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher in NSW a teacher needs to evidence they are meeting the Standards of that level by demonstrating professional knowledge, practice and engagement. They are required to maintain their accreditation and be involved in ongoing and varied professional learning. The Standards and accreditation process encourages teachers to be reflective of their practices and engage in professional dialogue.

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The teaching staff of Brigidine College are embracing the accreditation processes through involvement in teacher appraisal, self-reflection and assessment, and professional development opportunities. Our goal is for teachers to continue to strive to be exemplary classroom practitioners and leaders within their profession. Critical thinking and a willingness to reflect and make appropriate changes is essential and the staff are discussing these aspects at departmental and whole school levels. Staff are seeking suitable and effective professional development. New and innovative ideas are being shared. The goal for 2016–2017 is to focus on knowing and interpreting the Standards and developing a deep understanding of how they should embed in our everyday methodology and decision making with regard to our teaching. The students are the beneficiaries. Liz May Director Staff

Quality Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness

Professional Learning Professional Learning is a phrase that is used in any walk of life you care to mention. Working at the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) this year I have already had my progress checked against the NSW Public Sector Capabilities Framework (CF) and written my Professional Development Plan (PDP) in line with the Building Management Program (BMP), against which my performance will be judged. But there is more to it than acronyms and jargon. For a person passionate about educating others, it follows that they are also passionate about educating themselves. Being ‘passionately curious’ is something that I aspire to be, so when opportunities present themselves I try to make the most of them. I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work this year as Senior Curriculum Officer for Mathematics at BOSTES, and to project manage a key phase in the development of the Senior Years syllabuses. I had not realised before how complex and detailed the syllabus development process is. The consultation, for example, is designed to involve teachers, parents, principals, universities, professional

associations, and many other stakeholders to ensure an effective change management process. The need for careful communication, having a vision of the end goal and being sure of the facts along the way are vital. Bringing the sort of project planning and change management involved back to a school level, I can already see how thinking that way could improve processes, even without writing a ‘Team Gantt’ project plan. In the first few months I have spent a considerable amount of time working on the rationale, aims, objectives and outcomes for the new syllabuses. Built into what I am doing is the expectation that I will research and investigate the necessary priorities for an effective Mathematics curriculum for NSW by considering past and present syllabuses, current educational trends and how international countries deliver Mathematics. I have also had to consider the incorporation of the General Capabilities from the K–10 Syllabuses without them being tokenistic. For example, I recently had a deeply enlightening conversation with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community representative about how best to ensure the curriculum will appeal to

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those students throughout the state. I hadn’t considered that something as simple as phrasing questions in the first person as a narrative, rather than asking a dry question or a question about someone else, would be important. I have also been managing a team of writers who are developing some of the content, and learning how best to redirect, edit or criticise constructively when needed. Sitting in a room with other passionate educators who are at the top of their field, discussing in depth the entire HSC curriculum and the best way to deliver it would be a hugely exciting experience for anyone, and I have been finding it fascinating. For me, the best thing about this year so far has been the opportunity to stop and reflect. Too often we get caught up in our daily cycle of a busy school life and become prone to reacting to things rather than responding reflectively, and to take a step back and see the big picture is an important skill. To be poignant, you’ll never know what your house looks like until you take a walk outside. Becky Lovelock Head of Mathematics on secondment to BOSTES as Senior Curriculum Officer for Mathematics

Spotlight on Staff

Farewell and Thanks Maree Lindsay

Mark Hill After 35 years working at Brigidine College St Ives, Mark retired at the end of Term 1, 2015. In his final four and a half years Mark held the position of Director Staff Services, demonstrating his leadership to and long standing relationship with the staff of the College. Being such a long serving member of staff conversations with Mark were full of the rich history of the College including the “old” days when some staff assisted the Brigidine Sisters with gardening and maintenance in their spare time, amusing stories of events that were held and the staff involvement, and stories of the Sisters and their relationship with the College community. During his time at the College Mark taught a variety of subjects, specialising in Geography and History. Students appreciated his knowledge and commitment to teaching. Throughout his employment he held a variety of leadership positions including the roles of Head of Department and Year Coordinator. Mark then became the Administration Coordinator and remained in this position for over 10 years before moving to the position of Director Staff Services. Mark will be fondly remembered by staff and students for his dedication to the College, his sense of humour and his leadership. We speak of Fortiter et Suaviter – Mark embodied this motto. We wish him well in his retirement. Liz May Director Staff Services

Maree and I first met in 1989 as two fresh-faced young teachers starting their journey together at Brigidine, working on a musical titled A Tribute to Broadway. In nine short weeks, Maree choreographed brilliant routines for some of the most famous Broadway tunes of all time – “The Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Show, “The Hand-Jive” from Grease and the show-stopping finale “One” from A Chorus Line. From those with two left feet, no confidence and no sense of rhythm, Maree had transformed them into swaying, jiving, tapping and box-stepping masters. But musicals are only one facet of Maree’s outstanding contributions to Brigidine. She is an exceptional maths teacher. Her patience and talent for drawing out even the least able students so that they believe they can achieve in maths is nothing short of miraculous. It is this compassion and support for students that led to Maree taking on the role of Year 12 Coordinator in 2001, and this is where Maree’s true gifts were realised. Every year for the past 15 years Maree has consoled, cheered and cared for a group of girls. Maree’s initiatives as Year 12 Coordinator have now become Brigidine traditions – the Year 12 Breakfast, the final Year 12 Chapel, and of course the legendary Founders Day. We wish Maree well at Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak, and thank her wholeheartedly for sharing her talents with us for over 20 years. Ros Boyd Head of Music

Andrea Fernandez From her very first day at Brigidine College, Andrea has been an outstanding English teacher. She is an innovative teacher whose lessons are always meticulously planned. Everyone who knows Andrea is impressed by her sharp intellect, her love of teaching and her passion for literature. Her students enjoy her sense of humour, encouragement and support, as well as her dedicated approach to improving their grades. Throughout her years at the College, Andrea has taught all Year groups, The Bridge


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Extension 1 and Extension 2, and her students always achieve beyond their expectations. For many years Andrea coordinated the annual Brigidine Public Speaking Competition and her contributions ensured its growth into a successful and iconic competition. Andrea has been an extraordinarily talented colleague and a valued and loyal friend to all of us. We thank Andrea for her contribution to the College and wish her all the best at Waverley College. Brett Harrison Head of English

Sue Appleton Sue began here in 1990 and concluded her time in 2015 after an amazing 26 years of work as our College Counsellor. I am mindful of the thousands of students that Sue has encountered with a story: a family situation, a friendship issue, a story of trouble from childhood, stories with drama and relating incidents from the weekend just gone, fears for the future and what may happen to them. All of their fears, worries, losses and grief were all met with Sue’s kindness, compassion and her listening ear. Sue was always approachable, friendly, available and constantly on the lookout for those not travelling so well. She has seen a lot of change and has been shuffled around the College in her time as Counsellor. From the current art area to McCammon and then to Synan. But this movement never changed the way that her counselling was delivered. She always listened, met the person where they were at and then helped them find a way out of their situation or a solution to their problems. Sue has been a great colleague and her outstanding work over many years with Ingeborg Dean and, more recently, with Amy Hockey are greatly appreciated by this community and she leaves the College a richer and more loving place because she has walked here. Brian Loughland Assistant Principal Pastoral

Spotlight on Staff

Meet the Board Sister Margaret Daniels In 2012 the Brigidine Sisters’ Leader invited me to join the College Board. I accepted with delight, seeing this as an opportunity to contribute to what I knew was a vibrant and flourishing College. My association with St Ives had been a long one, having completed my training as a Brigidine Sister in the building now known as “The Convent” and, some years later, as a teacher at the College. As well as contributing to decisions pertaining to the Mission, Governance and Finances of the College, a privileged role I have had as a Board Member has been to lead

Kitty Guerin, Chair I was somewhat surprised when I was first approached and asked if I was interested in taking on the role of Chair after Ms Anne Garvan made the decision to step down. My background is in education and specifically girls’ education having been the Principal of two Catholic independent girls’ schools, St Clare’s College Waverley and Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta. I have previously been a Director on the Santa Sabina College Board and a member of the Executive of the Australasian Alliance of Girls Schools. I have a strong passion for girls’ education and I am delighted to work with the other Directors, staff and the Brigidine community to ensure the best possible education for our students.

Derick Korte, Finance Committee Chair I joined the Finance Committee in 2009 and became Chairman of the Finance Committee and a Board member in 2010. The Finance Committee of the Board is responsible for the financial stewardship of the College. My motivation for joining the Finance Committee and Board was to be able to contribute to the Brigidine community using my professional skills as a Chief Financial Officer. During my time on the Board the major achievement of the Board and Finance Committee was the finalisation of the College Master Plan, the securing of the funding for and the building of the

It is a very exciting time in the history of the school with the decision of the Brigidine Sisters in NSW and Victoria, together with the Presentation Sisters in Victoria, to establish a Public Juridic Person which sees ownership of the College being transferred to a new entity, Kildare Ministries.

Prayer and Reflection at Meetings. Whenever I come to the College I am moved by the beauty of its grounds, gardens and buildings as well as the spirit of welcome and hospitality. Indeed the legacy of Saint Brigid, Strength and Gentleness, is very much alive and flourishing at Brigidine College St Ives. Anita Murray Centre. This modern drama, music, art and science centre will benefit both current and future generations of students. The College’s caring, professional and dedicated teaching and support staff have given my daughters the privilege of a Catholic based education fashioned in the Brigidine Sisters tradition. It is with sadness that I will not be standing for re-election at the next AGM due to work commitments. I leave the Board in the knowledge that the College’s future is secure under the leadership of Chair of the Board, Kitty Guerin and Principal, Jane Curran. I wish the Board, management, staff and students of the College all the best for the future.

“During my time on the Board the major achievement of the Board and Finance Committee was the finalisation of the College Master Plan, the securing of the funding for and the building of the Anita Murray Centre. This modern drama, music, art and science centre will benefit both current and future generations...”

“I have a strong passion for girls’ education and I am delighted to work with the other Directors, staff and the Brigidine community to ensure the best possible education for our students.”

Derick Korte, Finance Committee Chair

Kitty Guerin, Chair The Bridge


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Spotlight on Staff

Welcome to New Staff Clarissa Tebbatt Psychologist

Leone Smyth Director Administration Leone Smyth has come to Brigidine as Director Administration and Year 11 Economics teacher. Prior to this appointment Leone spent 12 years at Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood, in a variety of teaching, administration and IT roles. Leone has had experience as Administration Coordinator, Timetabler, Student/Learning Management System Administrator and Learning Technologies Coordinator. Leone has a Master of Business (Industrial Relations) from Charles Sturt University, a Diploma of Business Administration, a Graduate Certificate in ICT Education, a Graduate Diploma in Education majoring in Business Studies and Economics with a minor in Computing.

Clarissa is an alumnus of Brigidine College St Ives and is therefore especially excited to have returned in her role as College Psychologist. She is passionate about wellbeing and encouraging girls to flourish in all aspects of their lives. Her position is one of trust as the counselling office is often a place girls come when times are tough, and professional support is needed to help them get back on track at home, school or with their peers.

Melissa Dooley Social Sciences Melissa is a passionate Social Sciences teacher with a love of teaching and learning in all capacities. Melissa completed her five year BA/BEd degree at the University of Sydney and then taught Geography at The Hills Grammar School.

Clarissa completed a Bachelor of Liberal Studies at The University of Sydney and postgraduate study at Macquarie University. On completing university, she accepted an internship in Tamworth, regional NSW. Here she gained experience in a range of settings, including with the Department of Human Services and most recently at McCarthy Catholic College.

Melissa has travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. She is a very active sports person who coaches and participates in softball, baseball, hockey, netball, swimming and skiing. Melissa’s other major interests are history, and design and technology. She was invited to showcase her D&T invention in the final series of the ABC’s The New Inventors. This invention led to her being runner-up Young Inventor of the Year which further led to her being invited to mentor Distance Education students in Queensland.

In 2016 Leone was also appointed by the Board of Studies as Chief Examiner Information & Digital Technology and is the Convenor of the Catholic Schools’ Trial examination Committee in Information Processes & Technology. She has also worked as an HSC Senior Marker and Judge.

Pip Lees Mathematics Pip Lees has joined the Mathematics Department this year. She has had experience teaching in a range of schools. In 2015 Pip taught at Monte Sant’ Angelo and was at an International School in London for four years prior to that.

Leone is passionate about helping both students and teachers develop practical skills and confidence in internet literacy and efficiently integrating technology into their daily lives – as these are useful no matter which career path they choose.

Pip’s first teaching role was at Marrickville High School. This variation of educational contexts has been valuable in the development of her expertise and career. In addition to her skill in teaching, which, incidentally extends to PDHPE, Pip is also a volleyballer who loves playing and coaching.

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Spotlight on Staff

Georgina Brewer English, Year 9 Mentor Georgina has also been appointed to the English Department this year as well as becoming a Year 9 Mentor. Before her appointment here Georgina taught English at Tempe High School. Georgina has taught ESL to adults in a central Sydney college and has worked as an English teacher in both Vietnam and London. During her own school days Georgina loved debating and public speaking so these skills flow into her classroom role.

Brigitta Williams Drama and English Brigitta Williams is an alumni of Brigidine College, having graduated in 2007. She returns as a Drama and English teacher; two subjects she loved learning as a student, and now loves teaching. Brigitta has practical teaching experience across several schools, including Mater Maria at Warriewood, Stella Maris at Manly, and Loreto Normanhurst. She also has several years’ experience as a Coordinator in an Independent Boarding School.

Katrina Pattalis Dance Over the course of her career Katrina has fused both her passions for dance/performance and education. She completed her degree in Bachelor of Arts (Dance)/Bachelor of Education at UNSW whilst also pursuing further training, completing a scholarship program at Urban Dance Centre under the direction of Juliette Verne in 2008. During this time, Katrina had many performance experiences including music clips, stage shows, club performances and commercials. She was an original member of LOcREaDO Sydney Dance Company, directed by Loredo Malcom, and was a top 50 dancer in television series, So You Think You Can Dance, Season 2. She was also a finalist at the Australian Salsa National Championships.

years. During this time, Northmead won Rock Eisteddfod and Talent Storm as well as many local eisteddfods. Katrina also worked for BOSTES in 2015 as an HSC marker for dance practical examinations. Katrina is very excited to take up the position of Dance teacher at Brigidine and looks forward to developing and growing the academic Dance program.

Recently, she has been investing her time into her passion for education, having worked at Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School for over six

Vicky Boyd Alan Gothard

English, Debating Convenor


Vicky Boyd has joined our English Department this year and has also been appointed as the new Debating Convenor. She completed her Honours Thesis at the University of Sydney researching the teaching of Shakespeare in NSW high schools. In addition Vicky has a particular passion for Medieval History.

Alan comes to us with extensive experience as a Mathematics teacher. He has taught overseas in London and Kuwait. Alan also has experience as a PE teacher and his interest in sport means he is keen to assist with some of our teams so we are bound to see him on the side lines and hopefully coaching!

Prior to her appointment at Brigidine Vicky completed practicum placements at Ravenswood School for Girls and St Augustine’s College. This is her first full time teaching position.

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Our Community

Recognising our Founders Annual Giving brings tribute to reality We were moved by two occasions with the Brigidine Sisters in recent months. The first came about as a result of gifts from our community to Annual Giving. These gifts helped us to acknowledge the Brigidine Sisters who founded our College. Firstly, on 14 March two Brigidine Sisters unveiled the “Recognition of the Brigidine Sisters” sculpture in St Brigid’s Chapel in a simple but heart-warming ceremony in the company of Sisters, donors, student leaders and some of our staff. So that we could share this important gesture with our students and staff a video of the history of the College and the motivation for the sculpture was produced and played at Assembly the following Wednesday. A small group of Sisters also joined us for this. It was so moving to see the delight

the Sisters gained from the video and the unceasing applause the girls and staff offered them as they departed from the Assembly. It was both heartening and reaffirming that our girls understood the significance of these women. One of the Sisters, who confessed to being 90, was heard to say, “I just can’t stop smiling. What a wonderful day we are having!”

We hope that we have expressed our gratitude and continue to remember those who led the way in girls’ education in this part of Sydney. Di Lawrence Director Development and Community Relations

On both occasions we were fascinated and amused to hear some of the stories from the days when these devoted women lived here on site – sometimes four to a room with only a partition giving them limited privacy and the light shining down on all four until the last was ready to sleep. And, of course, no ensuite. As these women are ageing and finding it difficult to travel across Sydney and indeed as they pass on, it is important to recognise their immense contribution to our College.

Watch the tribute video, Forever Fortiter, on the Brigidine College St Ives Youtube channel! Go to:

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Our Community

Annual Giving 2016 Discovering, inspiring and supporting Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel recently commented that “Studying STEM opens up countless job options”, with his report identifying that “more and more workers will be expected to have some degree of technological literacy.” (Australia’s STEM workforce Report) So what is STEM? It is Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – significant learning areas for our girls. Brigidine girls need to be inspired as potential future scientists, engineers and mathematicians. We are keen to extend STEM opportunities for our girls and motivate them through some exciting new projects. Can you help us give these new opportunities to our girls through an Annual Giving gift?

STEM Girl Power projects Project 1: Engineering Robotics – Lego EV3 and MINDSTORMS EV3 These projects will provide physical science experiments centred on energy,

heat, force, motion and light. Students will be involved in creative problem solving and team work to build, test and evaluate real world applications. Project goal: $3500 Project 2: Coding and Robotics – Arduino Beginner and Lilypad Protosnap Kits These re-usable Arduino kits will introduce basic coding in the design and manufacture of electronics and robotics projects. This area of study has not been previously offered to our girls, however staff have begun training in the use of both systems and are ready to introduce this exciting field of study. Students will develop their own interactive projects using sensors, lights, motors and basic circuit design. Project goal: $3800

Support during hardship During the past 12 months more families in our community than ever were affected by difficult circumstances. Bursary support from our donors has helped us to help them, allowing girls to stay amongst friends and supportive staff through these trying times. So that financial

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circumstances do not prevent young women from accessing or continuing their education at Brigidine College we need help for our Bursary Fund. Collectively our gifts can get these opportunities happening. To make your gift to one of these special projects go to our website au and click on Support then Annual Giving. You can click the Donate Now button to take you straight to Payments. Whatever your gift, it will be greatly appreciated and will make a difference to our girls. Di Lawrence Director Development and Community Relations Our Annual Giving Appeal is an annual request to support Brigidine College financially and reflects our philosophy of everyone contributing what they can for projects which cannot be covered by school fees.

Our Community

Master Plan progress brings improvement The College’s Master Plan, approved by the Board in 2010, provides for an exciting combination of new buildings, demolition and replacement of others and extensive refurbishment of some existing spaces. The construction of the Anita Murray Centre, first occupied in 2014, provided state of the art drama, music and science classrooms and other facilities, and soon after its completion the design of the next stage, refurbishment of the McCammon Wing, was commenced. The McCammon refurbishment will see teacher staff areas with rooms for meetings with students on two levels, a new common room with catering facilities on the ground floor that will also serve College events. A lift and other features will improve disability access and

construction of new verandas to the two main levels will provide access to larger classroom spaces and seminar rooms. Student movement between the Anita Murray Centre and the rest of the campus will be improved. Development consent for the refurbishment has been received from Kuring-gai Municipal Council and construction will commence during the July non-term break. Construction works are a necessary part of any school that aims to expand and improve its facilities. Importantly schools need to ensure that such works are carried out safely and with minimal interruption to education. To this end, strict safety standards will be incorporated into dealings with

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contractors and their safety performance closely monitored. In addition, we aim to undertake the most potentially disruptive works in non-term times during July and October, with internal works occurring during Term 4 and over the December/January holidays, ready for occupation early in 2017. We will be strictly respecting the HSC timetable in managing the contractor’s activities. During 2016, the College Board will be reviewing the Brigidine Master Plan and in doing this it will take account of changing educational needs and circumstances. We look forward to sharing the results of this review with our community. Greg Smith Business Manager

Immersions, Camps and Retreats

Gold Expedition to Fiji


n September a group of Duke of Edinburgh Award students from Year 11 travelled to Fiji with four members of staff to take part in their Gold practice hike. Two groups started in different locations on day one of the hike. Group A experienced very steep hills while group B had a flatter route. The hike led us to villages where we spent the night immersing ourselves in the culture, including attending traditional Kava ceremonies and helping the women prepare meals in the kitchen. On the third day of hiking both groups crossed paths and we ate our lunch together, delightfully telling stories and sharing experiences from the trip so far.

Year 7. We also had the chance to speak with women in the Nasivikoso village. Over the seven days that we were in the highlands of Fiji, we formed connections with the families we stayed with, the children we played with and the Fijians who walked beside us the whole way. The day before we departed Fiji we were treated to a trip to South Sea Island where we had time to snorkel, swim and relax as well as reflect as a group. Although it was raining, we didn’t let it dampen our spirits and we all enjoyed the day.The morning

The fourth day of hiking was the last, and both groups completed their practice hikes in good health. Following our hike we spent three days in Kenani with our Fijian family. Whilst there we visited the local school where we split into groups and helped in classes 3–4, 5–6 and The Bridge


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we were due to leave, we went to Nadi for some souvenir shopping along the main street and at the local craft markets. We arrived home safely with only a two hour flight delay. The Fiji Expedition not only allowed us to complete a vital component in our Gold award, but also provided us with new experiences, memories, cultural knowledge and friendships that we will forever cherish. Merryn McClean Duke of Edinburgh Captain

Immersions, Camps and Retreats

The challenge of Camps I

n a week of unusually hot weather in March all Brigidine students from Years 7–10 set out on their annual Camp experience.

Year 7 – Stanwell Tops Year 7 travelled to Stanwell Tops Conference Centre for three days of camp including swimming, camping out in tents for one night, rock climbing and other initiatives and games to build cohesion and connection amongst the students beginning their Brigidine journey.

Year 8 – Wombaroo Year 8 travelled to Wombaroo in the Southern Highlands for three days of camp that included a giant swing, low

ropes, a vertical challenge and a night camping out in the local forest preparing their own meals and experiencing a hike to the venue. This camp challenges the students to explore their strengths and build connections amongst their Mentor group.

Year 9 – Biloela Year 9 took on the challenge of four days at Biloela in the Belanglo State Forest and their camp included opportunities for mountain bike riding, abseiling, flying fox and canoeing. The Year 9 students prepared all of their own meals and worked as a team through a number of hikes and challenges designed to push them beyond their normal comfort zones over a longer period of time.

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Year 10 – Sydney Urban Year 10 experienced the Sydney Urban Camp with overnight stays at Cockatoo Island and Normanhurst over the three days. Working as a team the students faced many transport and social challenges as part of a rediscovery of their own city exploring museums, markets, other faith communities, and the experience of people living on the margins of society. All Camps form a sequence over four years allowing students to challenge themselves beyond their normal life experience and apply their outdoor learning to their own life when they return. Brian Loughland Assistant Principal Pastoral

Immersions, Camps and Retreats

Retreats and Reflections


long with the camps, the retreats presented an effective time out for the girls to consider their journey as students at the College. Amid the opportunity to build unity and self-awareness, the senior groups encountered sacrament with the celebration of Mass. Year 11 attended a Street Retreat with the girls based across four venues – Pymble, Randwick, Ingleside, and Kincumber on the Central Coast. The program highlighted guest speakers, visits to outreach centres and the experience of a placement with a social welfare agency. It is on this retreat the girls witness the face of Christ in action walking the streets in the preferential care for others. Key values of compassion, hope, hospitality, justice and courage are integral. The College is thankful for the continued connection with such centres as William Booth House,

Wayside Chapel, Catholic Health Care, Youth off the Streets, Manly Far West Childrens’ Home, Stewart House, Sacred Heart Hospice, Brigidine House, Ozanam Industries, Sunnyfield, Aspect, The Fact Tree, Sir Eric Woodward School, Coast Shelter, St Edmunds, St Lucy’s, Mission Beat, Oasis Centre, Street Level, Manly Women’s Refuge, House With No Steps, Sunshine Homes and many retirement and respite centres. The Year 12 Retreat builds on the Year 11 experience and extends the students' reflection on their emerging self in relation to their family, their peers and God. This year the seniors journeyed to Merroo Christian Centre, Kurrajong, with the theme ‘To Everything there is a Season’. The program is designed to prepare the girls for the stresses and challenges of the HSC year and beyond. With the support

“The Retreat allowed me to abandon my preconceived ideas surrounding homelessness, addiction and disability. The adversity and obstacles faced by many individuals are often unrecognisable by the eye. I credit Brigidine for running such a rewarding program that bases itself on ensuring its young women understand the wider community and allowing each and every girl to evince qualities of love and compassion.” Celine Nalbandian, Year 11 The Bridge


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of sacred place, prayer, meditation and anointing liturgies the group met a deeper understanding of their faith and their relationships. Girls also took part in yoga, zumba, bushwalk, water based activities and sporting games. An extremely powerful session was run by the people from InRhythm, a company which aims to help people connect through the power of rhythm and group drumming. With the use of percussion, mindfulness practices were explored, helping the girls discover innate resilience and stress release techniques. Evaluations of all retreats proved to be very positive and often a highlight for all girls in their education at Brigidine. Bill Gleeson Assistant Principal Religious Formation

Our Community

Fiesta Mexicana A

fabulous sunset Welcome Cocktail Party was held on Friday 26 March in the Anita Murray Courtyard. As almost 300 guests arrived they were transported to a Mexican market place where they could mix and mingle under the stars in true Fiesta Mexicana style. Serenaded by the sweet sounds of the mariachi band whilst sipping on margaritas, strawberry daiquiris and ice cold beer, guests met up with old friends and new. As the night wore on everyone dined on beautiful burritos and tasty tacos and danced the night away to the sounds of our house band for the night, Triple Imagen. It was with much pleasure that on behalf of the P&F I was able to present College Principal, Mrs Jane Curran, with a cheque for $30,000 as a result of fund raising efforts of parents and the P&F in 2015. These funds have been used to replace and upgrade the audio visual equipment in Bowie Hall. This year our efforts will be focused on raising money to help replace one of the College buses.

I would like to extend the P&F’s thanks to the businesses who were kind enough to donate some amazing prizes for our raffle. Prizes included overnight accommodation and high tea in the CBD, breakfast at a stunning coastal location and dinner at a local restaurant. We are extremely lucky to have the continued support of many donors throughout the year. Finally, I would like to thank the enormous efforts of the committee and team of helpers who gave up their time to make the event such a success. Without you we most definitely would not have made it to Mexico on the night! This annual get together is starting to develop a real reputation for itself as one not to be missed. Where will we be transported to next year? I can’t wait to welcome you all there! Pip Inman P&F President

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College Musical

The Sound of Music “The hills are alive with the sound of music…”


n the pantheon of popular musicals, few shows occupy a position as revered as that of The Sound of Music. It is impossible to imagine a childhood that is complete without a viewing of the 1965 film version, which made a superstar out of Julie Andrews and elevated composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammestein II to even loftier heights than the success of the original Broadway stage version had done. The show and its songs have become inextricably linked with the very notion of ‘musical theatre’, with multiple re-stagings, celebrations and tributes emerging each year. In the past year alone, Lady Gaga sang a medley of songs from The Sound of Music at the Oscars, the film cast reunited to acknowledge 50 years since its cinematic release, and a professional production returned to the Sydney stage at the Capitol Theatre. It is fitting then that this year also marks the return of The Sound of

Music to the Brigidine College St Ives musical repertoire. In my tenure as director, I have actively steered away from choosing shows that already have a mythology of their own as part of our Brigidine musical ‘canon’, however, The Sound of Music is so beloved and so much a part of our collective education in a cultural sense that it felt timely to revisit it after almost two decades since its last incarnation here. Whilst the political context of the story, with its unsettling evocation of a dark period in European history at the beginning of the Second World War, remains essential to the audience’s understanding of The Sound of Music as a historical text, it also does what all good musicals do: it presents a set of universal themes that resonate far beyond the immediate confines of the

narrative. Based on the real life of one Maria von Trapp, a life so rich with the hallmarks of great storytelling, it is hard to believe it didn’t simply emerge from the mind of a writer well-versed in the tricks of their trade, The Sound of Music continues to delight. But all this begs the question – what is the role of a director when approaching a show so steeped in history, expectation, and cultural and artistic significance? The answer is simple: honour it. The directorial concept for this production was traditional, aiming to please audience members who grew up with the film whilst staying true to the original vision of the stage version. Thanks is extended to the production team for their incredible commitment and to the students for their wonderful performances. Chris Rutherford Director

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Clubs and Sport

Centre for Excellence 1

ASCA Australian Speech and Communication Association classes continued to be popular at the beginning of the year. This is our third year of private speech classes and Shemira Jeevaratnam teaches the students before and after school on Wednesdays. This year the number of students in Shemira’s classes has increased. Last year six students (five from Brigidine and one Corpus Christi student) sat for the ASCA examinations with great results.

CSDA Round 1 of the CSDA Public Speaking competition commenced on Friday 26 February. Six students from Years 7-11 took part in the competition at Catherine McAuley College, Westmead. Some of the best speakers from Catholic Colleges throughout the metropolitan area took part in the Finals that were held at St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown on Friday 11 March. Ella and Meg delivered their speeches flawlessly. Unfortunately they missed out on a placing however both girls were excellent ambassadors for the College.

Rostrum The Rostrum Voice of Youth competition is held annually and this year four

Brigidine students, Tara Thai (Year 7), Nina Loone (Year 9), Michelle Williams (Year 9) and Dominique Bennett (Year 12) took part in the competition at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield, on Tuesday 22 March. Our girls competed against other students in Years 7–12 from both private and public schools. We were delighted that Tara was placed runner-up in her heat and that Dominique won hers. Dominique will go on to compete in the second round competition next term. Congratulations to all girls! Two Year 9 students were selected to compete in the Zone final on Friday 4 March. These students, Meaghan Collins and Ella Ward, performed to a very high standard at Cerdon College, Merrylands and were selected to take part in the Final.

Alexandra Bradley (College Captain) took part in the St Ives program. Both girls spoke well and were wonderful representatives of the College. We were thrilled when Eloise won the first two rounds, making it to the District Final. At the District Final, Elouise delivered a 5 minute speech and answered two impromptu questions, one relating to a scenario of Donald Trump being elected as the next President of the United States. Eloise’s formidable opponents came from various Metropolitan public and private schools and the winner on the night was a student from The Scots College. Congratulations to Eloise for making it through to the third round! Jan Whiddon Centre for Excellence Coordinator

Lions Youth of the Year Each year Brigidine College is invited to take part in the Frenchs Forest and St Ives Lions Clubs’ Youth of the Year Program. This program is designed to encourage, foster and develop leadership in conjunction with other citizenship qualities in young people, at the age when they are about to enter the fields of employment or higher education. This year Eloise Ott (College Senior Vice Captain) entered the Frenchs Forest Lions Youth of the Year competition and


ASCA Examinations Name



Olivia McNamara

Senior Grade 5


Sylvia Kim

Senior Grade 4


Caitlin Thai

Senior Grade 4


Abigail Ries

Senior Grade 1


Jemima Guberina

Senior Grade 1

High Distinction

Tara Thai

Junior Grade 4

High Destinction

1. Meg Collins and Ella Ward at St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown 2. Alex Bradley at the St Ives Lions YOTY Presentation Dinner 3. Ella Ott and her Mum at the Lions YOTY District Final in March

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Clubs and Sport

Sport Highlights Saturday Sport Success In Term 4, 2015, the College had 161 girls registered for Touch in the IGSSA Saturday sport competition. Out of 14 schools playing in the competition, Abbotsleigh had 22 teams, Pymble and Frensham had 20, Ravenswood had 17 and Brigidine had 15 teams. In 2015 we were the most successful school in the IGSSA Touch competition with 11 out of 15 teams in the semis and 6 teams winning their grades. A fantastic achievement for everyone involved! In Term 1, the College competed in IGSSA Softball and Tennis. Two out of our seven Softball teams competed in the finals with our Senior First team winning their S2 grade, 9 – 4 against Frensham. In Tennis, 9 of our 13 teams played in the

Softball Grace Christensen, Year 10, who is a member of the College Senior First Softball team was selected in the IGSSA Open Softball team. This team competed at the NSWCIS Championships where Grace was then selected in the NSWCIS Open Softball team to compete at the NSW All Schools Softball Championships. Unfortunately, Grace injured her shoulder and was unable to compete at All Schools. Grace’s skill and expertise as a pitcher was also recognised at club level where she recently earned a place in the Sydney North Metropolitan Academy team.

Water Polo Hayley Ballesty, Year 10 (pictured below), who is a member of the College Open A Water Polo team was selected in the U19 NSWCCC team for the second year running and then in the

finals with 6 of these teams winning their respective grades, including our Senior seconds and Junior first teams.

Annual Tennis Championships The College Tennis Championships held in October started our tennis season and led up to Tildesley. The tennis captains, Lucy Pentelow and Kristi Wilkinson, were instrumental in recruiting new players and creating an exciting and supportive tournament. The tournament was run as an open division because of the strength of many of our junior players and the results were an opportunity to start the ranking process of our team for the Tildesley Shield. NSW All Schools Open Water Polo team in March. This team will compete at the School Sport Australia Championships in Canberra, 22 – 27 May. She is also a member of the Australian Women’s Youth Squad (Born 2000). The youth squad is a targeted under 18s group that compete at the Youth World Championships in the alternate years to the junior world championships.

Tennis Doubles Winners

Congratulations to the following players. Singles Runners Up: Rachael Emms, Year 9 Singles Winner: Lauren Djani, Year 10 Doubles Runners Up: Kristi Wilkinson, Year 11, and Sophie Wright, Year 10 Doubles Winners: Lauren Djani, Year 10, and Lucy Pentelow, Year 11 • Girls 14 100m Freestyle: 2nd place (58.59) • Girls 13–14 200m Medley 4x50m Relay: 1st place • Girls 13–18 400m Medley 4x100m Relay: 1st place


Swimming Mia Rolfe, Year 10, who is a member of the College Representative Swimming team, continues to lead the way with her impressive results at school and club swimming events. Most recently she won gold in the 15 years 100m Backstroke at the Australian Age Championships, securing her position as the Australian Age Champion in this event. At the 2016 NSW State Age Swimming Championships she competed in 8 individual events and 4 relays, placing in the top 3 in the following events. • Girls 14 100m Backstroke: 1st place (1:04.41) • Girls 14 200m Backstroke: 2nd place (2:23.22) • Girls 14 50m Freestyle: 3rd place (27.13)

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Abby Ballesty and Sarah Corfield

Sarah Corfield and Abby Ballesty, both of Year 12, represent the College in the Senior First IGSSA Netball team and have both been selected in the North Shore United Premier League U20 team to compete in the newly developed Premier League Netball competition.

Golf Tess Clarke, Year 12 was selected for the NSWCCC Golf Team in Term 4, 2015.

Clubs and Sport

Swimming Carnival T

he Swimming Carnival provided a fantastic display of spirit, colour and creativity at Warringah Aquatic Centre on Wednesday 24 February. Students of all four Houses produced an electric atmosphere with their energy, enthusiasm and effervescence. From the arrival of the first bus at 8am until the last one departed around 2pm, the Warringah Aquatic Centre reverberated to the sounds of chants, cheering and war cries.

Congratulations to the Year 12 House captains who set the tone with their inspired themes and exuberant leadership. Congratulations also to our many talented swimmers who produced such exciting racing, personal bests, and in the case of Year 10 student, Mia Rolfe, two College records. Dave Chant Swimming Convenor

House Point Score Place















New Records: 15 Years 50m Backstroke Mia Rolfe (32.81s) Open Invitation 50m Free Mia Rolfe (28.62s)

Catch all the fun by watching the 2016 Swimming Carnival Spirit YouTube video: Go to:

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2016 Age Champions Year

Ist Place

2nd Place

3rd Place


Ellen Hester

Rae Patuszak

Amber Curry

12 Years

Magali Ogg

Annika Geftakis

Georgia Bonadio

13 Years

Sylvia Song

Ruby Buttini

Jodie Louw

14 Years

Madison Louw

Anika Townley

Lauren Pilling

15 Years

Mia Rolfe

Lily Flynn

Annabelle Oh

16 Years

Hayley Ballesty

Isabelle Ronksley

Lucy Buttini

17+ Years

Sophia Tonoli

Olivia Findlay

Courtney Young

Open Invitation 50m Freestyle

Mia Rolfe

School Champion

Mia Rolfe

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Back to Brigidine Alumni Day 2015



fter a week of torrential rain we were so lucky to have the sun shining brightly on Brigidine for this year’s annual Alumni Day. The Classes of 1975, 1985, 1995, 2000 and 2005 arrived to the welcoming sounds of our talented Stage Band and were entertained throughout the afternoon by our Junior Vocal Ensemble. Our past staff members who are an important part of our Alumni family were also invited to join us, to reunite with their former colleagues, our present staff and the past students and we hope that their attendance and involvement on Alumni Day will provide an annual opportunity for them to reconnect with the College community. We were delighted to have with us two past staff members who are also past students, Lisa Wenyon-Berry (Class of 1985) and Dr Kerry-Ann O’Sullivan (Class of 1976). A highlight for the Alumni was being able to see so many of their former teachers on the day and, after 40 years, the Class of 1975 were reunited with two of their former teachers, Margaret Cook and Helen Leete. This year group had a great


catch up and I heard that they can all still “Party like it’s 1975.” It was also special to have with us four past College Captains from across the Reunion Years. Thank you to the Alumni who made a big effort to travel from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, South Australia, Western Australia, the Central coast and the South coast to be with us and special thanks to Jeanine Messeguer (nee Allen, Class of 1975) who came all the way from Whistler, Canada.


The Alumni had a wonderful afternoon and seemed to enjoy chatting with each other and wandering around the grounds and into various classrooms. Everyone was envious of the wonderful facilities our girls enjoy today. Wendy Baxter Alumni Coordinator

Alumni Day 2016 A reminder that Alumni Day 2016 will be held on Saturday 22 October 2016. See the back cover for details.

4 1. Class of 2005 opening their time capsules 2. Past College Captains, left to right: Angela Stock (Class of 1985), Sophie Hill (Class of 1995), Andree Baxter (Class of 2000), Annalisse Cornell (nee Williams, Class of 2005) 3. Class of 1995 4. John and Patty Bowie with Sally Ferris (Class of 2005) 5. Class of 1985 and staff

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Back to Brigidine

Weddings Ashley Allen (nee Doyle) Class of 2002


shley married Tim Allen from Scone on 27 November 2015 at St Patricks of Nulkaba in the Hunter Valley. Their reception for 120 guests was held at Circa 1876 in Pokolbin.

Ashley’s beautiful bridesmaids were all members of the Class of 2002 – Jennifer Gibson, Erin Coggins and Megan Stanton (nee Elliott). A large number of the guests were Brigidine friends and family including cousin Kate Donnelly (nee Hannelly) Class of 1996.

The Brigidine connection continued even further with Danielle Nash (nee Priestly) Class of 2002 as the wedding stylist and florist. Following a weekend of celebrations, Tim and Ashley flew to Fiji for their honeymoon.

Tori Ciabatti (nee Layton) Class of 2005 Tori married Justin on 24 October 2015 in a beautiful ceremony held by the water’s edge at Church Point. The reception was held just across the road in the garden of her parents’ house. There were Brigidine alumni in attendance, with Aleisha Conlay (Class of 2001) as maid of honour and Tori’s sister, Emily, a bridesmaid (Class of 2008). Alana Conlay (Class of 2004) and Jessica Sechi (Class of 2007) also joined the celebration. Tori and Justin spent their honeymoon in New York after a brief trip to the Gold Coast. They have now settled into married life and look forward to planning a family in the not too distant future!

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Back to Brigidine

Weddings Laura Lee (nee Ingram) Class of 2003


aura married Jason Lee on 12 September 2015 at St John's College Chapel at the University of Sydney. They met through mutual work friends and have enjoyed travelling for work and holidays in their five years together. Their reception was held at the Sergeants Mess in Chowder Bay where guests took in the incredible view of the Harbour and shared in an evening of fabulous food, music and dancing. The couple were extremely involved in the planning of every detail of their wedding making it a personalised day for all guests. Laura and Jason were joined by three Brigidine Alumni for their wedding –

Louise Tomlinson (nee Orton) Class of 2000

ceremony at Lavender Bay in October 2015, followed by an intimate reception under the bridge at Ripples Milsons Point in stunning Sydney weather.

Louise had to travel nearly 17,000kms to meet her soul mate while working in London and then drag him back to Australia. They married in a small

Louise’s close Brigidine classmates, Andree Baxter, Renee Robinson and Emma Kindred (nee Colton) were all part of the special day.

Erin Fraser (nee McIntyre) Class of 2000


n 14 November Erin, wearing a beautiful Roland Mouret gown, married Jonathan in a small church in North Adelaide where the couple are now living. Erin was attended by three bridesmaids including her sister Aislinn (Class of 2003). The boys wore ties bought by Erin and Jonathan in Paris. Guests travelled from Interstate, the UK and the Netherlands and enjoyed an outdoor marquee reception held on the grounds of their beach house south of Adelaide. A honeymoon on Hayman Island followed the celebrations. The Bridge


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Katy Hulme (Class of 2003) who travelled from the UK to be Laura's bridesmaid, Kim Ingram (Class of 1976) the proud Mother of the bride, and Laura's aunt, Vicki Ebbeck (Class of 1978). After a short honeymoon to Qualia on Hamilton Island, Laura and Jason are now planning a longer adventure around Europe during 2016. They have settled into their home in Willoughby and are thoroughly enjoying married life together.

Back to Brigidine

Births and Vales Esmé Elena Zemaitis


smé Elena Zemaitis daughter of Annika Anthony (Class of 2005) was born at the Randwick Women’s Hospital on 2 May 2015. “My birthday fell on Mother’s Day on 10 May, so Esmé was my first Mother’s Day present and my Birthday present! My partner was deployed when she was 3 months old so I am lucky to have a great support network of family and friends from Brigidine. I have done a lot of travelling and exploring of the world, however having Esmé is my biggest adventure yet, sometimes challenging but the most extremely rewarding gift one could ask for.”

If you have recently been married or had a baby we would love to share your joy in The Bridge. Please email the details and a photo to

Ollie Jack Collier Nash


llie Jack Collier Nash was born on 26 August 2015. He is the son of Phoebe Collier (Class of 2000) and Jake Nash.

Lydia Stella Clark Lydia Stella Clark was born on 19 January 2016. She is the daughter of Geraldine Peterson-Clark (Class of 1996) and Gavin Clark. Lydia is the sister to a very proud big brother, Sebastian.

Leon Peter Cornell


ealthy little Leon Peter Cornell son of Annalisse Cornell (nee Williams) Class of 2005, was born on 1 March, weighing in at 6 pound 11oz. His middle name is after both of his grandfathers. He has been spoiled by his Aunties – Gabrielle Williams (Class of 2003), Brigitta Williams (Class of 2007), Angelique Williams (Class of 2009) and Michaella Williams (Class of 2000) who has flown all the way from Germany to spend time with him. The girls and his grandparents can’t get enough cuddle time!

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May 2016

Steve DeLaurier Steve DeLaurier, father of Katie and Meaghan (Class of 2005 and 2010), passed away suddenly on 4 December 2015. Steve was a strong supporter of the P&F as well as the Basketball Club for many years. Originally from Los Angeles, Steve and the family moved to Australia in 1993. Steve is survived by his wife, Dee, and their children Katie, Meaghan and Joseph.

Back to Brigidine

Births and Vales Jennifer Murray (nee Dermond) Pioneer Golden Girl Class of 1965 ennie was a student at Brigidine College St Ives from 1961 – 1965, following our eldest sister Margaret (now deceased), 1956 – 1960, and a year ahead of myself, Trish, 1962 – 1967.

Jennie completed her Leaving Certificate in 1965 and joined the Commonwealth Bank in 1966, moving with the bank to the UK in 1972 where she remained until her sudden death in London. After a few years working as a teller she was made part of the team setting up the Australian Financial and Migrant Information Service (AFMIS), eventually becoming the youngest ever AFMIS Manager in those days.

A lover of sport she excelled at tennis and won many school tennis trophies in both singles and doubles. She also played outside of school at one of the local tennis clubs. There she defeated future Wimbledon Champion, Yvonne Goolagong (now Cawley), in a Club Championship match, a telling example of her exceptional sporting skills. In 1964 Jennie was awarded the school English Literature prize – a talent she would also use effectively throughout her working days.

The amazing impact that Jennie had on her workmates can best be seen in the words of one of her bosses, Paul Higgs: “Jennie, a person I both loved and respected…had a great mind (working) through many complicated matters both logically and intuitively…it was her intuitive judgement…I valued most. She had an aura that generated a fun contagion… loved by us, the state government guys, and the Australian government elite alike.” She was very gregarious with a terrific sense of humour and a great mixer with


people, she was always the life of the party, enjoyed hosting her friends and she loved to cook. Everyone liked her and enjoyed her company. Jennie’s passing has saddened everyone who knew and loved her, but she has left so many precious memories. I have now lost both my sisters, too special to be forgotten, painfully missed. Trish Razzi (nee Dermond) Class of 1967

Where are they now? Alex Robotham Class of 2011 In 2009 I left Brigidine to attend the Australian Institute of Music where I completed my HSC whilst surrounded by fellow musicians. I spent the following year writing, producing and recording songs which helped me get noticed by SonyATV Publishing, signing with them in 2013.

I have written and produced ARIA number #1 and platinum selling singles and albums and have been nominated for APRA and ARIA Awards. I have been fortunate enough to work with both local and international artists, songwriters and producers such as Troye Sivan, Broods, Tove Lo, Jessie Ware, Jack Antonoff, Max Martin, Nick Jonas, Tina Arena, Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Taylor Henderson and Tuka. My most recent collaboration with Troye Sivan on his EP, WILD, and album, Blue Neighbourhood, gave me the opportunity to write as well as produce and saw both the EP and album go to #1 on iTunes in over 60 countries and chart at #5 on the Billboard album charts. I co-wrote and/ or produced eight tracks

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May 2016

on the album, including the hit single ‘Youth’, which has been performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the Today Show in the US. I also had the opportunity to feature my voice on the track ‘Blue’. I am currently living in Los Angeles and working with an amazing array of talented and creative people. I have discovered that there are very few, if any, female producers in the world and I am therefore in high demand, which is a wonderful position to be in. I always wanted to work in this industry and am extremely fortunate to be doing what I love. I was recently announced as Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year at the APRA Music Awards 2016. I am looking forward to an exciting career ahead of me. Alex uses the professional name Alex Hope and she has just been named the 2016 Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year at the APRA Music Awards.

Back to Brigidine

Where are they now? Jacqueline Butterworth Class of 2005


fter graduating from Brigidine I was honoured to receive some early recognition for my artwork with prizes in Art Express and the Mosman Youth Art Prize. Following this I jumped straight into university and eventually gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UNSW. Just prior to graduating I went overseas for a year, primarily to take some time to decide what to do. In between travelling, I dabbled in a few different things for work experience – I volunteered for a major arts festival in London, worked for a set construction company and undertook my first art residency. During that time I spoke to a lot of people about what they were doing and their experiences in art related careers. Over the next few years I got stuck into painting part-time. I exhibited in a number of group exhibitions and was a finalist in a few prize shows. Inevitably there were many more failed attempts than successful, but I’ve learnt a lot more from the failures and they’ve helped me grow a (much needed) thicker skin. In May last year I took some time out from painting to head back to the UK and also explore Italy for the first time.

Jo Espey Class of 2002 It has taken 18 years for my life to perform a most amazing full circle. Here I am in 2016 about to go into Pre Show for the opening night of the London Palladium production of The Sound of Music, as the Head of Venue Lighting at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre), for this wonderful show’s Brisbane season. It is eighteen years since my very first taste of Theatre Lighting as a Follow Spot Operator on our own humble but incredibly well respected Brigidine production of the very same show. Little did I know then, that by placing my name, “Joey”, in lead pencil under the Lighting column when I was in Year 8 would literally change the course of my life. Since graduating from my Bachelor of Arts Degree (Design for Theatre and Television) in 2007 I have worked across many venues

in theatre, television and corporate lighting within Sydney and its surrounds, including the Sydney Opera House, Riverside Theatres in Parramatta and Laycock Street Theatre in Gosford, as well as the ABC and MTV. I also worked as the Head of Lighting for the Concourse Theatres in Chatswood when the complex first opened in 2011, and one of my favourite achievements there was to be the Lighting Designer for the English National Ballet when they came to perform in Sydney. Prior to moving to QPAC I was the Venue Supervisor at the Arts Centre Gold Coast. Those early days at Brigidine have helped make me the happy, confident and successful woman I am today.

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May 2016

Given my love for classical painting I’m surprised it took me so long to get there! In essence the trip was a part self-guided art tour and part relaxing holiday. My favourite place to visit in Italy was Cinque Terre, although Florence is a place I would happily live for a time. Florence was where I took part in a summer painting workshop inspired by the methods of Caravaggio. My time there was invaluable – it had been a while since I’d enjoyed painting so much – and the techniques I learnt are now making their way into my practice. I was just a little adrift when I returned home, having given up my rented studio space before I left, so I had nowhere practical to paint. With this in mind I put in an application for a 6-month residency at Waverley Artist Studios. I was thrilled to be awarded a spot and began in February. So far it has been brilliant. As the studio itself is subsidised it has allowed me to spend much more time painting. I’m currently working on two separate bodies of work, one of which I’m looking forward to exhibiting in my first solo show at Bondi Pavilion Gallery in October.

Term Dates 2016 Term Dates for Students

2017 Term Dates for Students

2016 Reunion Dates

Term 1

Term 1

Thursday 28 January: Year 7 and New Student Orientation Day

Monday 30 January: Year 7 and New Student Orientation Day

Friday 29 January: TERM 1 COMMENCES

Tuesday 31 January: TERM 1 COMMENCES

Class of 2011 5 Year Reunion Contact: Wendy Baxter

Friday 25 – Monday 28 March: Easter

Friday 7 April: TERM 1 ENDS

Friday 8 April: TERM 1 ENDS Term 2 Term 2

Tuesday 25 April: ANZAC Day

Monday 25 April: ANZAC Day

Wednesday 26 April: TERM 2 COMMENCES

Wednesday 27 April: TERM 2 COMMENCES

Monday 12 June: Queen’s Birthday Holiday

Monday 13 June: Queen’s Birthday Holiday

Friday 23 June: TERM 2 ENDS

Friday 24 June: TERM 2 ENDS

Class of 2006 10 Year Reunion Contact: Wendy Baxter

Class of 1996 20 Year Reunion Contact: Geraldine Peterson-Clark (Peterson)

Term 3 Term 3

Tuesday 18 July: TERM 3 COMMENCES

Tuesday 19 July: TERM 3 COMMENCES

Friday 22 September: TERM 3 ENDS

Friday 23 September: TERM 3 ENDS

Class of 1986 30 Year Reunion Contact: Monique Darcy

Term 4 Term 4

Monday 9 October: TERM 4 COMMENCES

Tuesday 11 October: TERM 4 COMMENCES

Friday 1 December: TERM 4 ENDS

Friday 2 December: TERM 4 ENDS

Class of 1976 40 Year Reunion Contact: Kim Ingram (Ebbeck)

2016 Alumni Day: Saturday 22 October

The Bridge May 2016 Editor: Aleisha Conlay Development and Community Relations Department Brigidine College St Ives Artwork:

Brigidine College St Ives A Catholic Independent Secondary School for Girls 325 Mona Vale Road St Ives NSW 2075 Australia

The Bridge, Issue 1, 2016  
The Bridge, Issue 1, 2016  

The biannual magazine of Brigidine College St Ives