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Danebank Old Girls Association PO Box 349 Hurstville BC NSW 1481

Danebank Old Girls


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W Acknowledgements Thank you to all the wonderful Old Girls who have enthusiastically supported this 80th Anniversary edition of Directions.Your suggestions, information and willingness to share your lives is greatly appreciated. It has been a pleasure to put this magazine together. Production Team: Jane Rees Danielle Clegg (Bridge, 1994) Kirsty Foster (2001) Catherine King (2010) Produced in conjunction with Danebank Old Girls Association, by Danebank Anglican School for Girls 80-98 Park Road, Hurstville NSW 2220 Tel: 02 9580 1415


elcome back to the second edition of the Directions magazine. After the success of the first edition, we’re proud to say we continue to be impressed by the quality of the magazine being produced and excited by the contributions of others. This magazine enables us to know about what is happening in our alumni world so we hope the articles are as interesting for you to read as they were to research. It is amazing to learn of the contributions our Danebank Old Girls are making in the wider world and to hear their reflections about their school years. As reported in other places, the Old Girls Association has worked to bed down a new membership structure that has given us renewed enthusiasm. Through it, the Executive Committee looks forward to growing the Association, developing our outreach to all Old Girls, and allowing all Old Girls to participate. I thank Mrs Davis and Ms Rees for the school’s support in this endeavour. There is more about the work of the Association later in this publication. So read on – it’s D for Danebank and D for Directions. I hope you enjoy it. Petty Heather, OGA President


n this 80th Anniversary year, I am reminded that a school is never completed. It must by definition continue to evolve and develop as it strives to meet the changing needs Mrs Davis, during dress-up time of its students and on Founders Day, donned an outfit reminiscent of Miss Edith Roseby Ball. their education. This is why our alumni are important to us. They remind us of all that is valuable in the past and they encourage us to keep striving for the girls. It is true that each generation of Danebankians has contributed to those who came after them just as each succeeding generation of today’s Danebankians will contribute towards future generations. As time continues to flow, it is hard to believe that a year has already passed since the first edition of this magazine was issued. The first Directions created a stir in our alumni community and the feedback to the new initiative was very positive. I am delighted that the magazine began a year of extending our outreach to old girls online and that many more old girls now connect with each other and the school, through the online Directory on the school’s website, Facebook and LinkedIn. We will continue to celebrate our 80th Anniversary with old girls at this year’s August Fest Reunion when we will share memories of school days, enjoy splendid performances and savour the special warmth that is distinctly Danebank. August Fest Reunion is a wonderful occasion and I look forward to greeting many Old Girls on that day.

Maryanne Davis, Principal

In this edition SERVICE TO OTHERS p. 3 Unmasking the cause of bird flu in Indonesia Gina Samaan (1996) p. 4 Rebecca’s Miracle Rebecca Sterjovski (2009)

p. 9

Farewell Mrs Lucas Laraine Lucas (21 years’ service)

p. 13


p. 15

OLD GIRLS ASSOCIATION NEWS by Petty Heather (Litsas, 1993) p. 19 You are invited to August Fest Reunion 2013

p. 23

LAW Breaking the Glass Ceiling Lexia Wilson (1979)

p. 25

Work at something you Love Christie Mead (2001)

p. 29

Old Girls’ Online Directory

p. 31

Old Girls Vs Students Water Polo Match 2012

p. 33

HIGHLIGHTS At Danebank 2012

p. 35

MEMORIES OF DANEBANK Ridiculously Proud of Danebank Judith Leece (1972)

p. 37

An Interview with Miss Marilyn Marsh

p. 39

DANEBANK BEGINS 80th Anniversary Film

p. 42

DOWN MEMORY LANE Some memories across the years REUNIONS 2008 Five Year Reunion 1993 Twenty Year Reunion 1983 Thirty Year Reunion 2013 Water Polo Match

p. 43

p. 12 p. 32 p. 41 p. 12

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Service to Others R

ight from the school’s beginnings, Danebank’s motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) has been a Christian ideal and a practical reality. Founding Headmistress, Miss Roseby Ball, took the step of enrolling children with disabilities which was an unprecedented decision for the times. Today, Danebank continues to enrol students with learning disabilities. Today’s students are also encouraged to serve the wider community by donating cash and goods to worthy causes and by participating in activities that highlight and support various causes. In particular, the death of a school mate last year from Mitochondrial disease enabled students to see first-hand the effects of the disease on a school mate. In response, the girls gave special encouragement to the student before she died, and they led fund-raising projects to assist the family. The girls will also hold an annual fund raiser to support those with Mitochondrial disease, in memory of the student, Alice Kocatekin. We are also proud to highlight the work of Danebank Old Girls who are carrying the torch of Service in their worlds outside of the school. Whatever the activity, it is clear that Service lies at the heart of the school and its students and has done so since its beginnings 80 years ago.


Unmasking the cause of bird flu in Indonesia An International career investigating outbreaks and sources of diseases, avian influenza, cholera and emerging diseases.


r Gina Samaan (1996) is this year’s recipient of the Edith Roseby Ball Award for Compassion for her work internationally in investigating outbreaks of avian influenza, cholera and emerging diseases. Gina Samaan is an Epidemiologist and an acknowledged world leader in her field. She has received many accolades for her work and she is in demand to speak at International Conferences. She will also return to Danebank later this year to deliver the Ruby Payne Scott Lecture in Science. Like many others, Gina’s current career was not what

she chose to study after school. She says that she “fell” into working in the field of Epidemiology. She studied Psychology at first, which led to her working with asylum seekers on Nauru. She said that she noticed “simple things at first, like rubbish that littered the streets”. This prompted an interest in public health and she felt the need to help stave off the potential dire effects of poor sanitation and hygiene. She then applied for, and received, a scholarship to undertake her Masters Degree. Gina’s most notable achievements in public health have been investigating outbreaks to determine the cause and source of disease, including avian and seasonal influenza, cholera and emerging diseases. A reporter for the Washington Post Foreign Service, Alan Sipress, wrote an article about her titled Three Days with a Bird Flu Sleuth in 2006. He wrote... “JAKARTA, Indonesia - The maroon minivan had just edged into morning traffic, but passenger Gina Samaan, a field investigator for the World Health Organization, admitted she was already a bit worried... A 29-year-old Jakarta woman, hospitalized with acute pneumonia, had died two days before, and the early diagnosis was bird flu. Her samples had tested positive for the avian influenza virus...The local news media were reporting that chickens in the woman’s neighbourhood had recently fallen sick and died, suggesting she had caught bird flu from poultry like other Indonesian


victims. But Samaan disclosed that bird samples tested by the city’s veterinary department had all come back negative. If the source was not chickens, could it have been another person? If so, it might mean the virus had mutated into a form more easily transmitted among humans -- signalling the earliest stages of a global influenza pandemic that could potentially kill millions... Samaan, her dark eyes earnest and intent behind rimless glasses and her brown hair tied back in a ponytail, wasn’t taking any chances. She had stashed several masks in the back of the WHO van. In her bulky brown pocketbook, she kept a small bottle of pink antiseptic hand sanitizer and a cheap thermometer. She had been taking her temperature twice a day since arriving in Jakarta eight months earlier from Australia’s Health Department. She had donned simple shoes with covered tops to protect her feet from sources of

Above left: Investigating possible contaminations in poultry markets in Indonesia

Above: Salesman at the market selling chickens, Indonesia

contamination, such as bird droppings, and with flat soles that were easy to clean… But for all her preparations, Samaan wasn’t expecting what she saw when she pulled up into the victim’s neighbourhood... It was as if the whole neighbourhood had turned out in a single grassy yard to wait for Samaan. Several men crowded around her, confirming that two chickens had died about a month earlier not far from the victim’s home and that the carcasses had been quickly burned. Samaan listened intently, lips pursed, jotting down the details in a spiral notebook.Two

dead birds, no samples. It was hard to conclude they were the cause. She found the victim’s mother and ushered her to the shade of a tree in a quiet corner of the yard... Samaan inquired about the other members of the family, where they lived and whether they were healthy. Everyone, she was told, was fine. Samaan asked whether the woman had noticed any dying birds. “We didn’t see any sick chickens. But most of the time we weren’t home.We’re a working family,”...Then she added, “My daughter’s a nurse at a hospital.” Samaan’s

w To show the Indonesians the importance of looking after public health. w To elevate the importance of controlling older diseases such as leprosy. w To increase Australia’s public health engagement with neighbouring countries such as Indonesia.

Career Milestones (so far)... w Working with asylum seekers for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2000-01. w Working in the Australian Department of Health and Ageing’s national incident room on the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003-04. w Enrolment and receiving a scholarship for the Masters of Applied Epidemiology at the ANU, 2003-05. w Working for the World Health Organization in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand to investigate avian influenza and other disease outbreaks, 2004-09. w Interviewed for Oprah Winfrey, 2006. w Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Endeavour Award in 2010. w Completing her PhD at ANU in 2011. w Publishing over 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals. w Working as the influenza team leader for the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Indonesia, 2012-now.


expression didn’t change. But she later recalled feeling her heart drop. If the victim was a nurse, she might have been infected by a patient - or, worse, passed the disease to others at the hospital... ...four hospital executives joined her across an oval table.The hospital’s personnel chief ...recalled that the victim had complained of fever and chills when she reported for work on New Year’s Day, so she was sent home. She had usually worked in the maternity ward as a midwife.That last detail was welcome news. It made it less likely that the woman had contracted the illness in the hospital, because the maternity ward’s patients tended to be healthy... Samaan asked whether there was any illness among women who had given birth in the maternity ward or their families. Nothing unusual, she was told. She asked about the other midwives. All were healthy. She requested to meet a few. The maternity ward was clean and quiet. Four newborns slumbered in small, glasssided cribs.The personnel director showed in two midwives.They reported that their health was good, further allaying Samaan’s fear that the hospital was the source of infection. Samaan inquired about their colleague’s final days. “She mentioned she had been coughing for a while.That’s all,” one said. “Did she ever talk about going to a poultry market?” Samaan continued, following up on what the family had told her a day earlier. The young midwife giggled softly, covering her mouth with her hand. “Sometimes she would go after work,” she recounted. “She would go buy chicken feet.That was one of her favourite foods.”

Markets made Samaan uneasy... traditional Asian poultry markets - where butchers, birds and buyers come into intimate contact, blood flowing and feathers flying could be dangerous places. After two days of detective work, Samaan believed she had now tracked the infection to a large, covered market in a teeming quarter of the capital. She suspected that the victim had come here to pick up some chicken after an overnight shift at the hospital. Samaan and two Health Ministry officials walked up to the second floor and waded into the dim aisles... Soon they could hear the thud! thud! of a meat cleaver.They sloshed along tile floors slick with water, mud and rivulets of blood. On the counters, butchered chickens lay in rows, claws extended upward... Samaan and the other officials approached a merchant who was busy grasping chickens with his bare hands and slitting their throats.They asked whether the market had been checked for bird flu... Samaan said she was sceptical about the

quality of the local testing. Neither the merchant’s responses nor the unsanitary conditions inspired confidence. But then, emerging into the sunlight, she spied something else: several peasant women seated on the blacktop hawking chickens off wooden crates... Samaan had found no evidence that her victim caught the virus from another person. But she had been reluctant to end the probe until she was confident of a better explanation. Now... she had uncovered the missing piece.” Gina Samaan is modest about the part she played in unmasking the source of this outbreak. “Epidemiologists are much less threatened than the front line medical people,” she said.Yet, it is clear that Dr Gina Samaan is a most worthy recipient of this Award for Compassion. While she said that she was “honoured” to receive the Award, it is perhaps more fitting to say that we are honoured to have her amongst our alumni.

Best Danebank Memories w Friends w Yarra-Mundi (the previous Senior Studies Centre) w Lessons in Science, English and Languages

Gina pictured, 2nd row on right

Rebecca’s Miracle “I did everything that everyone else was doing, so for me, personally, that was a high moment”

Above: Rebecca, second row on left with Year 12 friends

“There’s so much new technology coming out for kids with CF, and I know that the Sydney Children’s Hospital can’t afford it at the moment. Cystic Fibrosis isn’t very well funded at all. They rely on donations...”



ebecca Sterjovski (2009) is living proof that miracles do happen. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetically acquired, life-shortening chronic illness, the most common that affects young Australians today. People with Cystic Fibrosis develop an abnormal amount of excessively thick and sticky mucus within their lungs, airways and the digestive system. “I’ve spent many weeks at a time, multiple times throughout my life at the Children’s Hospital in Randwick being treated for infections,” Rebecca said. Many of her early memories are of hospitals and illness, lung infections and difficulty with breathing. However, some of her greatest memories are from her time at Danebank, specifically, attending school camps. “In primary school I loved going to all the camps. Camps were my favourite thing,” she said. “High school survival camp was a great bonding time for all involved and I had a lot of personal achievements there. I did the

hike, despite having to take rest breaks once in a while. I camped outside. I did everything that everyone else was doing, so for me, personally, that was a high moment!” Rebecca spent much of her school life missing out on daily activities like sports classes, and she remembered spending many of her lunch times in Junior School at the office. Rebecca’s health deteriorated over the years and by the time she reached the middle of Year 12 she was experiencing severe fatigue, her weight had dropped to just 35 kilograms and she was eventually hospitalised and fed through a tube in her stomach. Her lung capacity decreased to just 19%. Rebecca was placed on the lung transplant list and she, and her family, hoped for a miracle. That miracle occurred in 2011, when Rebecca received a double lung transplant. It has given her a new lease on life, and her goal now is to

help those affected by Cystic Fibrosis through the Respiratory Unit at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick. Rebecca has founded the Breathe Deep Foundation, and is planning a charity ball to be held each year, this year at Conca D’Oro in Riverwood to help raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis. “There’s so much new technology coming out for kids with CF, and I know that they (Sydney Children’s Hospital) can’t afford it at the moment. Cystic Fibrosis isn’t very well funded at all. They rely on donations... like from the Breathe Deep Foundation. I’ve spoken to plenty of parents; and it’s different for them now, compared to how it was for me, because we didn’t have all the equipment available. They’ve let me know what they need, and I’m hoping we can provide them with that”. Rebecca’s goal is to make the charity ball an annual event. “At the moment I’ve already got $40,000 in sponsorship, even before the actual event, so once

Favourite Teachers: Mrs Rootham “She was always there whenever I needed a shoulder to lean on and offered endless support throughout my high school years. She was like another mum to me and a lot of the other girls in my grade.” Mrs Chiba “She always showed concern.” Mrs Lucas “I would be under her care during school camp - she would help me administer my medications and make sure I was eating and taking care of myself for the couple of days I was away from home. If it weren’t for her cooperation, I may have never been allowed to go on overnight school camps, which is where I have some of my fondest memories, so I am eternally grateful for her kindness.” Pictured above: Evelyn Chronis, Elise Bozilkovski and Rebecca

all the money is raised I’m sure we can have next year’s event in a bigger place and raise more money,” she said. Rebecca was recently awarded Danebank’s Valerie Crakanthorp Award for Philanthropy for her work developing the Breathe Deep Foundation. Valerie Crakanthorp was among a group of Hurstville parents who helped found Danebank in 1933. She donated funds so the school could start. Setting up the Breathe Deep Foundation hasn’t been easy for Rebecca. “It’s a lot of work, and it takes a long time too. Getting logos set up, and stationary, and going through the ATO which takes a long time,” she said, “I’m very lucky in that I have a lot of help. My Mum will help and my Aunties will help, and the people that have designed the logo have done it pro bono because their marketing director actually has cystic fibrosis.”

Rebecca has always aimed to help those in need. When asked as a child what she wanted to be when she grew up, Rebecca laughed and said she would change her mind every week! “But the route I always went back to was wanting to be a nurse, I think because I was around that environment all the time.” Sadly, as an adult with Cystic Fibrosis Rebecca isn’t able to follow this dream of becoming a nurse because she is immune suppressed and would be putting herself in danger by doing so. “Going through school, I wanted to do something where I could help people. That’s always what I wanted to do – to get into something where I could benefit someone else.” Rebecca is currently studying an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine. She hopes one day to complete a Bachelor of Dietetics to become a nutritionist. When she does, another miracle will have happened for her.

5 Year Reunion


Date: Saturday 26th October 2013 Venue: Danebank School, 80-98 Park Road, Hurstville All members of the 2008 year group are invited to a 5 year reunion. Plans are underway. Contact for further details

Charity Ball Wish List: $45,110 $7,574 $934 $3,300 $1,995 $1,412 $8,950 $2,395 $5,677


Multiple Breath Washout Lung function System (Exhalyzer D) ErgoSelect 150P Paediatric Ergometer Exercise Bike LNCS TF-1 Reusable Forehand Sensor; Headband AD Translectance Sensor Adhesive Pad Masimo Radical 7 Pulse Oximeter Patron Pager System Pulse Oximeter Wrist - Oximeter Cough Assist Machines (Manual) Duo Stander Squiggles Leckey Standing Frame

Come and see your Old Girl team show those whippersnappers at the school a thing or two about Water Polo! Just because they’re younger doesn’t mean they’re better. Maturity breeds strength and guts and… So come along and barrack for us! Friday 30th August Danebank Aquatic Centre 5pm – 6.30pm

Notable amongst the classroom changes over this time have been: w

A special focus on student literacy;

w Extension of Asian awareness notably through the introduction of the study of Japanese and trips to Asian countries; w

Extension of the use of Technology;


Introduction of more Enrichment Programs;


Development of learning support systems to assist more students, more effectively;


Development of the Junior Camping Program bringing rigour and challenge to the girls;

w Introduction of dedicated Sports and Music Programs bringing greater professionalism in teachers and more opportunities for students; w

China Trip

Farewell Mrs Lucas In June this year, Mrs Laraine Lucas retired after serving Danebank for 21 years as Head of Junior School.


rom a professional standpoint, there is a great deal to acknowledge in Mrs Lucas’ work over 21 years. Her passion for Primary Education has always been evident as she has endeavoured to make Danebank’s Junior School reflect the latest and most relevant educational practices. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 Right: Thanked by Mrs Robyn Williams, Bush Church Aid


Introduction of Preschool education through the Prep Class starting in 1994;

w Improvement in academic outcomes as measured by NAPLAN and external competition results.

The last 21 years have been dynamic and constantly changing. It must also be acknowledged that Mrs Lucas has contributed to Primary Education in a wider context. She has been a tireless member of state and national committees of Heads working for the betterment of primary education. She has also influenced the national educational agenda and she has been the recipient of prestigious awards for her work. However, from a personal standpoint, Mrs Lucas has been quite emotional about leaving Danebank and she has reflected on her 21 year journey with joy and gratitude. She has thought deeply about the last 21 years since announcing her intention to retire, and she has realised that her most rewarding

memories are personal. They involve her relationships with staff, students and parents. She acknowledges the wonderful and varied talents of the staff she has worked with, the fantastic support from parents and the delight she has experienced with the girls, all different, all worthwhile. The verse from Ephesians reflects her view that her work at Danebank has been a calling in which she has had to serve, to learn, and to walk with others in her journey. There have been challenges and the need to persevere at times, but, above all, she is grateful to have been given the privilege of helping families so their children may blossom.

An International Star To move an audience and to have them completely engrossed in the story is quite magical.


irby Hughes (2001) comes from a long line of Danebank alumni. Her Mum,Vicki, and her Aunt, Julie attended the school in the 1960s. Her sisters, Lauren and Jill, attended Danebank with her during the 1980s and 1990s. The Hughes family legacy is one firmly based in performing arts. All three sisters are exceptional ballet dancers who often performed for the school at a range of events, including music concerts and Speech Nights. Kirby reminisced about her Danebank years, saying that she had many opportunities to perform at school. The school musicals were always highlights for her.

Places where Kirby has lived and worked Caribbean Alaska Vietnam China South Korea Tahiti Hawaii Italy Greece Spain France Russia New Zealand USA England Scotland Ireland Canada Morocco Mexico Costa Rica Malaysia Singapore Thailand


Far Left: Lady Jacqueline in ‘Me and My Girl’ (Kilworth House Theatre), Above:Tracy Lord in ‘High Society’ (Upstairs at the Gatehouse)

“I absolutely loved the plays with Stages Unlimited (Drama Club)!” She appeared in many Stages Unlimited Productions including Elvis and the Seven Dwarves, The Hot Mikado, Romeo and Juliet, and Cosi. “I also really enjoyed the Park Road Singers when I was in primary school,“ she said. Kirby started performing at the tender age of three and has moved into professional musical theatre since leaving school. Her passion for theatre has seen her leave Australian shores and become a globe-trotting performer. “I’ve lived all over the world since leaving Sydney,” she said. “I was based in Los Angeles when I worked for Princess Cruises and Tokyo when I worked at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Now I live in London, England and have lived here for five and half years.” While living in the United Kingdom, Kirby has gained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Musical Theatre from the


Royal Academy of Music in London. This is a prestigious organization that boasts Elton John, Annie Lennox and Sir Arthur Sullivan among its alumni. She has also been cast in numerous productions throughout the United Kingdom. “I was a member of the original West End cast of Flashdance, and I have performed in productions of Me and My Girl, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sweet Charity, High Society, and Annie. I have also worked as a backing singer for Elton John, George Michael and Russell Watson, in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall...I’m about to start rehearsals for Tim Rice’s new musical From Here to Eternity. I’m in the ensemble as well as understudying the lead role.” Kirby is now a stage veteran who says “it’s the atmosphere of a live performance” that grabs her. “Hearing the audiences’ reactions, whether they’re laughing or crying, is special. To move an audience and to have them

completely engrossed in the story is quite magical.” Of course there is a downside to life as a performer. “The time between contracts can be tough,” she said. “It’s not always consistent work, so there can be times of unemployment.” Added to that is the challenge of home sickness. “Missing my family has been the biggest challenge of all for me and missing Australian food, especially good seafood!” When asked what her dream part

would be, Kirby is thoughtful. “There are too many!” she said, “but probably Fantine in Les Miserables.” That is the role most recently played by Anne Hathaway in the screen adaptation of Les Miserables in 2012. While Kirby is happy spending her time in London for now, she hopes to one day return to Australia and perform a lead role in a musical or play in her home town of Sydney. No doubt there would be enthusiastic Danebank crowds present in those audiences.

Advice for girls wanting to pursue performing as a career w

Be in it for the long haul, not simply the fame.


Always work hard and never give up.


Be nice to work with.


Most of all, be excited about the work.

Old Girls Association News W

ell, 2012 was by no means slower paced than 2011, and we were lucky to have the continued support of the school in moving forward with new initiatives while maintaining the current ones. Our role has been made easier by having had the support from the school namely from Mrs Davis and Ms Jane Rees and their Marketing and Social Media resources staff, Danielle Clegg (Bridge, 1994), Sam Barretto (2009) and now Kirsty Foster (2001). 2012 marked the next step in the Associations’ progression – a year of implementing Life Membership. This implementation has consisted of approval and execution of a formal

budget for the Association, the appointment of an auditor for the accounts, the drafting and formalisation of policies to guide the Association and also the collection and ‘usage’ of the first year of membership funding we received. This has been done at the same time as continuing to grow our membership base. Highlights The key highlights for the Association since the first issue of Directions was published included: v In May, another successful Autumn Fair/Open Day was held at the School, and as per normal, rain hail or shine we had a good number of Old Girls

Noelene and Natasha at the OGA table at Autumn Fair 2013


2013 Committee Members

Social Committee: Justine Sealey

President ............................ Petty Heather

Cathy Stokes

Assistant President ......... Lyndall Butler

Fiona Vaux

Secretary ........................... Maxine French

Sally Mizoshiri

Treasurer ............................ Christine Lane

Lauren Culbert

Membership Officer ...... Lynel Bailey-Gray Natasha Mitchell Noelene Weatherby-Fell

visit our table. The lure of being a Life Member and not having to pay to subscribe has increased the interest of former students wanting to join the Association which is fabulous. v On the 18th August we participated in hosting August Fest afternoon. This year’s speaker Cr Melanie Gibbons was Danebank’s first ex-student to become a member of the NSW parliament. She was the local Member for Menai and Member for Menai in the NSW Parliament. She was very well spoken and in true Danebank style spoke about service, “That I May Serve”, given she is an active supporter of the Sutherland Shire and has a special emphasis on

raising funds for a charity that assists people with disabilities particularly Children and Young People. v 2012 saw a 20 year Reunion for the class of 1992. With the functionality of Facebook, we were able to see some really nice photos of the girls posted on the Association page. v In September, in what was a very close match, the Old Girls Water Polo team was beaten by the current students’ team 8-7. It was a fun match to watch. Bring on the rematch this year I say! v At the Year 12 Valedictory dinner, I was very proud to be able to present 20 gifts from the Association, to seven

40 Year Anniversary With the Association celebrating its 40 year Anniversary, we worked hard to be able to introduce to the school an Annual Award starting in 2013, which recognises citizenship and contribution to the community. The Association was part of the compilation (and funding of) the Founders Day Old Girls Association Citizenship Award As the 2013 school year started, it was which was presented to the daughter of lovely to be able to participate in the an Old Girl who attends Danebank. Founders Day assembly where one of This year’s recipient Kristyn Brown is our own – Christine Lane (nee Harris a person who exhibits fine citizenship 1968) was honoured for her 35 years in her life. We wanted a recipient who of Service to the Association. This year’s displays service to others, personal Founders Day celebrations were just integrity upholds the Danebank Code that little bit more special marking the of Conduct, and found it in Kristyn. The th 80 Anniversary of Danebank. With the applicants were judged against a stringent celebration of 80 years of this fabulous set of criteria and even though 2013 was school under way, the Association is the first time the Award was presented, proud to share in the reflection of the candidates were of an extremely high Danebank’s history and contribute by calibre. This is a legacy the Association is also celebrating the Association’s 40 Year sure to be proud of introducing now and Anniversary this year. in the future years. young ladies who were at the school since Prep and 13 young ladies who had been at Danebank since Kindergarten. v An enthusiastic group met at the AGM on March 13th 2013 to discuss a range of changes and reflect on the past year.

Kristyn Brown being presented with the Citizenship Award


August Fest Reunion In conjunction with the school, we will look to using the August Fest Reunion as a platform for reminiscing on the 80 year history of Danebank and the 40 year history of the Association. Why not gather a group of your school friends together and join us for an afternoon filled with fun entertainment, good memories and refreshments? We look forward to seeing you. With the development of Life Membership last year, the success of the Directions Magazine, the creation of the new Danebank OGA Letterhead, our new Facebook page and the expansion of the Old Girls Directory, we are looking forward to continuing to work with the School to further develop offerings for Old Girls and move the Association forward.

Lynel Bailey, Fiona Vaux and Petty Heather at the

Contact Us Remembering we always welcome feedback from members and friends of the Association in order to continue to progress, and as such if you have any ideas or feedback, please feel free to contact us at or

Be safe and well, and we look forward to another full and productive year for the Association.

OGA table at the School Autumn Fair and Open Day

Danebank Old Girls Association, PO Box 349 Hurstville BC 1481. Alternatively, join us on our new Facebook page – Danebank Old Girls Association, and stay abreast of any events and/or reunions that are happening. We will aim to keep the information on this page as current as possible.

Petty Heather, OGA President

You are invited to the 80th Anniversary

Speakers Booking Form phries Katrina Hum 78) 19 y ra ur (M oarding B of s ie or Mem ee and was

or of Mor Katrina is May e 2012 ctions Magazin re Di in featured

Yes, I wish to attend the School Tour (Commencing at 1.30pm)

Yes, I wish to attend August Fest (Commencing at 2.30pm)

My Name (please give the names of all people you are booking for)

All alumni are welcome to attend this get-together of old girls with a great program of entertainment, afternoon tea and memories.

Saturday 17th August 2013, 2.30pm-5pm Danebank Performing Arts Centre

Alex Lee (2 004) Memories of 1990s & 2000s Alex perfor med re Sydney Com cently at the edy Festival


My Year group (we will set aside tables for groups) My phone number Dietary requirements Entry to the Performing Arts Centre is on The Avenue side of the school.There will be prefects at the gate to assist you.

The 1973 Quartet

This is a return performance by the quartet who wowed us all at the 75th Anniversary Garden Party when they performed ‘School Days’ complete with actions and wearing Danebank blazers!


vska Sekulo Natalie Singer (2012)

Nella Sanderson (Petranovich 1993) Memories of 1980s & 1990s

RETURN TO: Danebank School Communications Office 80-98 Park Road, Hurstville NSW 2220

A joint Danebank School, Old Girls Association event.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling The Corporate Glass Ceiling is a tough, unseen, seemingly unbreakable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.

“...Danebank was really advanced for its time, in terms of encouraging girls to extend themselves and be whatever they wanted to be. I got an exceptionally good education from some outstanding teachers...”



n 2013 one would be forgiven for thinking that breaking the glass ceiling is no longer the issue it once was, that women have moved into the upper echelons of the corporate world, after all, women in Australia have more employment opportunities and are better educated than ever before. But, the sad truth remains that the glass ceiling remains unbroken, even if it has been cracked slightly.

There has been an increase in the number of female Directors on corporate boards in the last ten years but the increase is small. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, of the 500 top companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2013, only 14 CEOs are women. Also, since 2004 only five women have been appointed to Chief Executive Level in ASX200 companies. The biggest barrier for women reaching senior executive corporate positions in today’s world appears to be the male dominated corporate culture. One woman who knows this well is Danebank Old Girl, Lexia Wilson (1979). Lexia has been confidently chipping away at the glass ceiling for the women of the future and has been doing so for more than 20 years. She also emphatically states that her education had a lot to do with her success. When Lexia first started work as a solicitor in 1985, she was astounded by the gender inequality in the workplace at that time. The combination of being female and working in real estate law was a “double whammy challenge” for Lexia. “It was very dominated by men and male clients alike, therefore a lot of the networking and ‘getting to know you’ was around male dominated activities” she said. “You’d go to a lot of social functions or networking business dinners where you can be the only female at the table and sometimes the men were uncomfortable with that. I

suppose when you become an honorary bloke you know you’ve made it.” Lexia became a Partner at Minter Ellison, one of Asia-Pacific’s leading law firms, in 1994 just nine years into her law career. She is very forthcoming about where her determination to succeed as a woman came from, and Danebank played a big part in that. “The thing that always struck me about Danebank is that those who educated me and those who I engaged with taught me that I could be anything I wanted to be. I think I even wrote in the Danebank magazine for Year 12 that I thought I could become the first female Prime Minister! Despite being quite a small school, we had some great female role models who certainly engendered in me that regardless of the fact that I didn’t come from a family of lawyers (there weren’t any in my family), I could still do whatever I turned my mind to, that being female wasn’t going to be a handicap,” Lexia recalled. “Some people might have had a perception back then that being such a small school, Danebank was about grooming girls to pour cups of tea “After gaining a degree, I would dearly love to follow in the steps of Margaret Thatcher and become Australia’s first lady Prime Minister.” - Lexia Wilson,Year 12

Mock Trial Team L-R: Robyn Pears Lexia Wilson Mrs Eccleston Michele Cottington Shireen Honson

properly, and master what would be called life sciences, that Danebank was the kind of school that groomed you to marry well and find a ‘woman’s job’. I think it may have been a perception from outside the school but inside the school it was quite the reverse. Danebank was really advanced for its time, in terms of encouraging girls to extend themselves and be whatever they wanted to be. I got an exceptionally good education from some outstanding teachers.” One of those teachers, Mrs McLean, convinced Lexia to explore Law as a career path. “I would not have been a lawyer if it hadn’t been for Mrs McLean putting the idea into my head. I applied for a Commerce Degree and she said to me ‘You’ve got these results, why don’t you include Law in there and decide later about what you want to do?’ So I did a Commerce Law Degree instead!” Lexia has two daughters, Tiahna and Sacha, who are the most important part of her life and while they may not attend Danebank because they live in the eastern suburbs (they go to Ascham School), Lexia is still an avid supporter of the school that nurtured her.


“When my daughters play sport against Danebank,” she said, “I find it interesting because I don’t know who to barrack for!” Lexia is now a Partner at Piper Alderman, one of Australia’s leading law firms with a 160 year history in Commercial Law. “There are still very few female partners,” she said, “particularly in the larger firms but what I like about my current role is that I Chair our Diversity Council which aims to increase the representation of women at the partnership table. I’ve been involved with a lot of women in real estate groups, women in property, trying to assist and support females to move through to more senior roles within the real estate sector,” she said. One of the other barriers to cracking that ceiling, is that many women choose not to seek promotion to senior executive levels. Many cite responsibilities in the home and a lack of family friendly and flexible working environments as barriers to possible advancement. Lexia believes that, as a woman, it is difficult to find the balance between work and home life. Clearly, though, her example shows that, while

it is a delicate balance, it is possible to have both a family and a corporate career. Lexia’s “I can do it” approach, her perseverance, her promotion of women in the workforce and her success, all give hope to women in the future.

Now that she is older and wellestablished in her career, she has already had an impact on attitudes about women in the corporate world, and she trusts that future women will find more acceptance and opportunities for advancement.

Fondest Danebank Memories Teachers “During my time the teaching staff and Headmistresses were just unbelievable. Mrs Horn in Year 6, the then Junior School Headmistress. She was an incredible lady. In senior school, Mrs Stocks, Mrs McLean, Mrs Rickards were outstanding teachers and so dedicated. The leadership of Mrs Cowell and then Mrs Tisdell was extraordinary, as strong women who were soft when they needed to be and strong when they needed to be as well.” Deb Balls “This was lovely. You learnt your social skills and what it was like being a girl. My mother started them with Mrs Gloria Tooth.That was so much fun. It’s a shame they don’t hold them anymore. Just to be able to dress up, learn how to dance properly, and have this absolutely magical night. It was fantastic!”

Sports “We didn’t have an oval. I was telling my daughters that when I used to practise hockey I’d have to go down to Hurstville Oval.We weren’t known for our sporting prowess back then because we didn’t have the facilities.There was just the little dinky swimming pool that we were all enormously proud of!” Opportunities Another of Lexia’s memories of her school years was her time in Year 6. She was Junior School Captain and she was cast in a TV series entitled The Castaways. “It was very challenging, but the school was very supportive. I not only did The Castaways but the stage play and something else, and Danebank was tremendously supportive in helping me with the disruption to school.They ensured I got the support I needed to keep up with my school work so that was fantastic! It was something that I enjoyed doing enormously and I continued, even during senior school, doing commercials and some acting roles, so it was a fantastic opportunity that the school supported.”

Work at something

you love

At the age of 29 Christie Mead (2001) is not only the sole female partner

at her law firm (Grace Lawyers), but also the only partner there under 30.


Christie Mead, top left and her Mock Trial Team in Year 11


ccording to Christie, the role of a partner in a Law firm can be tough. “To say there are no unique challenges would be a vain stretch of the truth”, said Christie. “If all you do is follow those in front of you, the view never changes... Being the managing partner of a practise means that you have to be on top of every matter, whether it’s the area of law you’re passionate about or not.” When asked to describe the appeal of working as a Lawyer, Christie talked about the range of problems clients present and the pleasure she takes in finding solutions for them. “It’s one of those damnable professions where clients (usually) only come to you when there’s a problem.Very rarely do I get an email asking me to meet with them to have a discussion about how great things are going. It just comes with the territory. I think what I find so rewarding about my job is taking someone’s problem and finding a solution. No two cases, no matter how similar the facts, are ever the same.”

When asked why she chose to study Law initially, Christie unashamedly said that “numbers were never my thing; to this day I still need a calculator to add 3 + 4, so Economics was never on the horizon! My Arts/Law Degree gave me access to Political Science, History and English. Probably the only reason I made it through a Law degree, if I’m honest!” Christie also explains that she wouldn’t be the lawyer she is today without the support of a mentor. “I was lucky enough to land a job while I was still at uni. I found myself working for a brilliant, articulate, incredibly talented man who had such an enthusiasm for the law that I found it infectious. He was an incredible mentor and an amazing teacher and I would not be the lawyer or the person I am today without his guidance. We worked together for a number of years at both his own firm and a large construction firm in Sydney, until I headed off to see what else the world had to offer,” Christie said. Like many young Australians, Christie took a sabbatical to discover the world. She headed overseas for 12 months, for what turned into a trip of a lifetime. “I took off on Boxing Day a few years ago and passed through some amazing places - London, Spain, Germany, New

York, Nashville, Las Vegas, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. I remember sitting in my office prior to leaving and thinking ‘why am I even going? It can’t really be that good.’ And there came a moment of complete clarity in a tiny montadito bar in Spain where I realised ‘yes, yes it can’. The entire trip was completely life changing.” Christie holds a special affection for Bali. “While I saw some amazing places,” she recalled, “funnily enough, Bali was, and still is, the highlight for me. There is such a stark dichotomy between their reality and mine. Every time I’m there, I am overwhelmed, confronted, charmed and grounded all at the same time.” Christie said she’s learned that “if you just relax and always be yourself, amazing things will happen…I’m lucky enough to have fallen into a profession that I am passionate about, but I’m also good at it and that’s because I love it. That, to me, is the secret. I love what I do and, if I’m honest, I was excited to join the firm I’m at now and it has presented me with some amazing opportunities. If you’ve got to work, and let’s face it, we all do, find something you love... I just hope I’m lucky enough to keep doing what I’m doing well into the future.”

Memory of Danebank “If I had known what a huge influence some of my high school teachers would play in my growth as a human being, I would have taken the time all those years ago to stop and thank them for it. If only I had listened to all those people who told me ‘these years will be some of the best years of your life’... Because they were right.”

Join the Danebank Old Girls Online Directory


ast year we introduced you to the Danebank Old Girls Online Directory, and since then it has seen steady growth in the number of new members, and number of monthly logins. However, to date we only have 534 Gold members out of the 3658 girls registered. We would love to see this gap closed and so we are asking for your help!

Directory. It’s simple and easy, and will make a huge difference! By now you will have received several emails from me regarding Danebank’s debut into the social media arena. Danebank is now represented on Facebook under Danebank Anglican School for Girls and Danebank Old Girls Association, so make sure you stop by and Like both of these pages. Danebank has also entered the Twitter Firstly, if you haven’t already updated domain with tweets about current and your email address with the Old Girls upcoming news and events. LinkedIn Online Directory please visit has welcomed Danebank with the introduction of three groups; Danebank danebank/ocd.aspx and do so today. Old Girls, Danebank Parents and Secondly, if you have an address book Danebank Staff. LinkedIn can be a great filled with email addresses of Danebank networking tool and if you’re a member Old Girls, why not share those with us? be sure to join the discussions on one Follow the links to the Missing Members of Danebank’s group pages. Our aim section of the directory and see how is to promote interaction amongst many girls from your peer group you Danebank Old Girls, current students can provide information for. We’ll send and Danebank staff by providing as many them an introductory email welcoming communication channels as possible to them to the Danebank Old Girls Online keep the Danebank community growing.

If you have any questions or problems regarding the Danebank Old Girls Online Directory or Danebank in social media, please email


rs ea 80 Y

rs ea 80 Y

Danebank Old Girls Online Directory

The Danebank Old Girls Online Directory enables you to: R Access your classmates from around the world R Search for and contact members registered within our alumni program R View, post or seek assistance on the Members Forum R View the calendar and RSVP to exclusive events R Inform others of your activities via our biography facility R Encourage others to join, and provide information on Missing Members R Catch up on Old Girls news and recent events R Keep track of peer group birthdays R List your business details using the Business Card feature

Join at

20 Year Reunion


When: Saturday 7th September 2013, 6.30pm Venue: Cafe Neptunes, Brighton-Le-Sands. RSVP by 15th August, essential. All students and teachers of the 1993 year group are invited to a 20 year reunion. Contact Petty Heather for further details 0412 001 063 or

Old Girls battle it out with current students

Both teams together after the match

at the Annual Water Polo match.


Our enthusiastic supporters


t was September but cool. The Danebank Aquatic Centre looked inviting with its warm air and sparkling waters. But the temperature hotted up as the battle for supremacy in the Water Polo pool progressed.You could call it friendly rivalry when the Old Girls compete against current students for Water Polo supremacy and, yes, it was friendly, but it was definitely rivalry. The combatants were lined up and ready for battle and nobody gave in until the end. On the one side, the current students. On the other, our valiant Old Girls. There were a couple of people who weren’t sure which side they should be on, notably an Old Girl who teaches at the school and who wanted to support the girls. Whatever!

It was truly neck and neck. One minute the Old Girls took the lead. The next minute current students overtook them. The crowd called encouragement, especially the OGA President. “Come on Old Girls,” she called enthusiastically.

By the fourth quarter it was still neck and neck. And then it happened. The current students took the lead and kept it until the end. EEK! The Old Girls were gracious in defeat, as you would expect. It was, after all, only a marginal defeat.

So come along and encourage your team this year on Friday 30th August, 5pm in the Danebank Aquatic Centre.

Service causes supported included: Clothes for the Homeless, Clean Up Australia, Katoke, Relay for Life, Daffodil Day, Bear Cottage, Samaritan’s Purse. Old Girls Visits Natalie Corbett-Jones (Stewart, 1992) TAFE teacher in Event Management brought students to talk to girls in Years 8-10 about Careers in Event Management.

Highlights at Danebank 2012 A year when the girls shone in so many areas including on the world stage Academic Secondary students enthusiastically embraced iPad technology to access their textbooks. 95% of Year 12, 2011 were accepted into Degree courses. Eliza Kuang,Year 10, scored full marks in the Australian Mathematics Challenge. Duke of Edinburgh Thirteen girls were presented with Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards. Sports Our intrepid Dragon Boaters took Hong Kong by storm. The Junior team won gold in the 200 and 500 metre races. Sub Juniors won silver in the 200 and 500 metre races. A combined team won gold in the 2 kilometre race. World Champions!


Maddie Dwyer,Year 10, won gold in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke races at the National Schools Swimming Championships. Overseas trips Languages students visited New Caledonia. Music students made new friends in China, pictured above.

At August Fest Melanie Gibbons (1996), state Member of Parliament, spoke. Adrienne Khouri (2011) sang. Hillary Jorey-Hughes (2004) played the saxophone. Eleni Yiasemides (1997) was special guest speaker at the High Achievers Assembly early this year. Eleni is a specialist Dermatologist and Surgeon. She spoke to the assembly about her journey to become a Doctor and she presented the Highest Achiever Awards.

Above: Junior girls preparing Samaritan’s Purse Christmas boxes.

Below: Visit by Natalie Corbett-Jones

Old Girls newly appointed to Danebank Staff Litsa Karagiannis (Bekris, 1990) Mathematics Kirsty Foster (2001) Marketing/Communications Assistant. Staff retirements Mrs Cheryl Whyte, Mathematics Mrs Christine Pasley, Science

Creative Arts Jamie Parmaxidis,Year 11, had her artwork included in the Open Division of the St George Art Show. The school production, Thoroughly Modern Millie, wowed audiences with their flair and professionalism.

Anastasia Doulakis and Lauren Kheir in Thoroughly Modern Millie

Ridiculously proud of Danebank Mrs Judith Leece has a unique view of Danebank. She has taught in the Junior School for more than 25 years and she is also an Old Girl (Stephenson, 1972), and former Dux of the School. As you would expect, her memories are many and her affection for Danebank is strong.


rs Leece has watched Danebank evolve to its current status. “The campus is bigger, the opportunities for kids more extensive and the school’s reputation is strong,” she said. In the Junior School, “more teachers have been employed, especially in specialist areas such as ESL, Gifted and Talented and Learning support which makes the potential for differentiation for students good.”


“Modern teaching has changed,” she said. “The impact of technology is huge, not only because students have greater access to information but also because they are used to receiving that information almost immediately ...Teachers are more time–pressured than ever, needing to regularly update and review their work.” One thing that hasn’t changed is the reason why Mrs Leece chose primary teaching. Put simply, she enjoys the kids. She has taught all years between Kindergarten and Year 6 but when pressured, she admitted that her favourite was teaching Year 6. The changes in the girls during this year are many and they “blossom into little versions of the women they will be.” Danebank is very much home for Mrs Leece. There is “great camaraderie and friendships in the staff. Teachers stay a long time at Danebank and many bring their kids here as students… It makes sense because most primary teachers are women who make their friendships in their workplaces,” she said. Plus, “the school’s fundamental ethos attracts teachers who are empathetic, studentcentred and respectful of authority. On the recent Open Day and Fair Mrs Leece said she stood in the middle of the campus and looked around. She thought about all the changes she had seen over the years and she found herself “ridiculously proud of Danebank.”

Judith back right, with Mrs Stocks and friends

As a Student Favourite teacher Mrs Olds who played chess with her once a week at lunch time. Strongest Memories In 1969, she and her classmates were taken to the boarding school to watch the moon landing on a tiny black and white television set. They sat on comfortable chairs and felt they were experiencing a momentous event. During her time at the school, little boys were enrolled and she remembers “they wore cute little shorts and were naughty.” Funniest moment A Home Science teacher who wore a wig. The wig was ‘frazzled by the heat’ when the teacher opened the oven door. The girls “got into trouble for laughing.”

An Interview with Marilyn Marsh Miss Marilyn Marsh may not be a Danebank Old Girl but she could easily be called a pillar of the school. Having started teaching in the Science Department at Danebank in September of 1981 Marilyn has seen the school grow and change. “When I started we didn’t have a hall. There used to be a small hall we used for certain things. It’s now a Science Lab”.


he Science department, used to be much smaller as well, with only three laboratories and fewer staff. “Technology has made a big impact on the way we teach. In those days, just going back to running off sheets of paper, we had two instruments, one called a Fordigraph and one called a Gestetner and we had to do all duplicating like that. It was really good when we changed over to photocopying! We also used to have class sets of text books, and now the students have their text books on the iPads”. Technological change has impacted the most.


“Communicating with students is easier, if they check their emails, because you can now email a whole class to remind them of different things,” said Marilyn, “You can also put things up on Moodle (Danebank intranet) so if someone has missed something they can get it from there. I also like being able to use Click View, so that you can quickly show a video of what you’re teaching in class. YouTube is absolutely fantastic for this!” Marilyn recalled that when she first started at Danebank and she wanted to show a video to a class, it involved a massive effort. “You couldn’t just record a show at home and bring it in to school, because the systems were totally different. The school ran a different system to VHS which is what we had at home. It’s so much easier being able to demonstrate to the girls now. We have interactive white boards instead of the old blackboards. The only disadvantage is that it was easier drawing science diagrams on a blackboard rather than a slippery whiteboard because of the friction!” When asked what her favourite Danebank memories have been, Marilyn spoke about the introduction of SLIME, a Science Club she started in 2001.

Above Left: Assembly Hall in the 1970s, now a Science Laboratory Right: SLIME Science Club work on a volcano experiment

“The name came about because Science Club sounded boring, and one of the things we were going to make in the club was slime. We wanted to use the SLIME acronym and a girl in Year 5 came up with ‘Science Learning in Modern Education’, but we just call it SLIME!” SLIME is a Middle School Science Club renowned for ‘making science fun’ (held during lunch periods). “It’s been good having the contact with the Year 5 and 6 students as well as the high school girls. Also, having some of the older girls act as leaders within the group has been good. I think it has been really valuable for some of them,” said Marilyn. “I’ve enjoyed being able to do a variety of different experiments with the girls too.” Marilyn’s wish list for Danebank would include new science laboratories. Yet, she stressed that Science innovations have been ongoing, especially for the Life Skills classes. “When I first came to Danebank the Life Skills classes didn’t have Science lessons, whereas now

they do. The senior Life Skills class in particular has the most recent innovation with their Science classes all being taught by actual Science teachers.” Marilyn has seen Danebank grow and change over the years. She has watched the campus expand, a range of new buildings established, changes to Principals, staff, and of course, the students. Despite the changes, it is the students that keep her teaching because “the students are always different from year to year.” Above: Students in science lab, 1960s

30 Year Reunion


Date and Venue: TBC All members of the 1983 year group are invited to a 30 year reunion. Plans are underway. Contact Janette Garthe ( for further details


DANEBANK Begins As part of the 80th Anniversary celebrations, the Communications Department, together with the Archives, have put together a special film that highlights the school’s beginnings. The film shows special pictures of Hurstville and Sydney in the 1930s as well as photos of the school and recollections from former staff and students. The film was premiered at the Founders Day Service in March 2013.

If you would like to take a peak, go to

Down Memory Lane All the years with a 3 in them



iss Edith Roseby Ball opened the new school called Danebank. She began teaching five pupils in a backyard studio at 104 The Avenue Hurstville. The students were:

Rosemary Crakanthorp Barbara Shallard Patricia Webb Helen Byrne Maxwell Elliott The sixth student, Diana Sulman, arrived two weeks later, commencing a tradition of development and expansion that continues today.


t the end of 1949, Miss Roseby Ball resigned. Dr Olga Wilson became headmistress for two years. Mrs Joyce C Cowell was appointed as the new Headmistress in 1951. Mrs Cowell and the School Board set out new plans for expansion which included the extension of secondary school enrolments and bold plans for new buildings.They wanted to provide students with more suitable facilities than those the old house offered. Danebank won its first inter-school sports carnival.

1953 Above: Inside 85 Park Road, the school had a family feel

T Above: Studio at 104 The Avenue, Hurstville




he Building program had begun and the school chalked up some impressive academic results. Gaye Wilson gained a Leaving Certificate Honours pass and Suzanne Huegill, School Captain, was one of the first students to win a University Scholarship. She later returned to Danebank, as Mrs Walker, to become a teacher.

Suzanne Huegill Gaye Wilson


he school had progressed to having its own premises at 85 Park Road Hurstville. It was also the middle of World War 2 and Miss Roseby Ball had opened the school’s first boarding section to accommodate children whose fathers were at war and whose mothers had to work.

Mrs Joyce C Cowell

Teachers in 1963 Left: Mrs Horton, Miss Fern (Art), unnamed French teacher, Mrs Foy (Maths)

Down Memory Lane




massive building program was now underway.The Old Girls Union (now the Old Girls Association) was established and Lexia Wilson, Junior School Captain, was cast as one of the stars in the TV Program The Castaways. Lois Bootle, School Dux, was the first recipient of the CFV Clarke Memorial Scholarship to the University of Sydney. Mrs Cowell, a great traveller, took a group on the school’s first European trip.

he school’s main secondary building was completed. Miss Roseby Ball was honoured guest at the school’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. Mrs Cowell’s book The First 50 Years’ was also published.




nother international picnic was held to celebrate the anniversary as well as a special concert held on the stage at Westfield in Hurstville. Wingara was opened, replacing Yarra Mundi as the Senior Studies Centre. A special accelerated Science class was begun and Danebank celebrated its best academic results to date, coming 22nd in the state in Mathematics and 38th in the state overall.

he school celebrated the anniversary with an International Picnic held at Carrs Park. Boarding was discontinued and Yarra Mundi (on Queens Road) was transformed into the Senior Study Centre. Legal Studies and Drama were introduced as HSC subjects.


Above: Miss Roseby Ball (seated) was the honoured guest at the school’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Above: Lois Bootle Right: Lexia Wilson


Above right: Girls dressed-up for the 70th Anniversary International Picnic Above: Park Road singers

Next year it’s all the years with 4 in them!

Directions 2013  
Directions 2013