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Strathcourier June 2011

Changes Then & Now

Barbara Taylor and Merlyn Green, 1930s

Amy Lind and Gemma O’Farrell, 2011

bring out her best.


Contents From the Principal ‘Then and Now’ ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 3 New Staff Profiles ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 4 VCE Report Dux of 2010 & Award Recipients Top Acts & Top Arts Special Achievements

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Special Visitors to Strathcona Jo Stanley, Anne Summers & Tony Abbott���������������������������������������������� 7 Drama & Music Performing Arts Festival & Beauty and the Beast�������������������������������� 8 Tay Creggan Changes at Tay Creggan in 2011�������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Mellor House & ELC Mellor House Then and Now������������������������������������������������������������������������ 10 Production:

Editorial Committee:

Elisabeth Chalmers, Community Relations Office

Elisabeth Chalmers Helen Hughes Diana Little Jenni Farmilo


School Community Murray Marathon, Rowing & Sport GSV������������������������������������������� 11-13 Exchanges & Tours France Tour and Durham exchange

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OSA News Remembering Ellen Arnold (1858-1931)

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From the Principal

From the Principal – Then and Now


hile there can be immense changes within a school across the decades, some things never alter – Strathcona girls love sport! Apart from the sheer activity and fitness, there is fun and joy in belonging to a team. Some revel in fair and honest competition while others gain value from their mastery of skills. Others value the leadership opportunities sport can offer. Since the School began in 1924, sport has been important to Strathcona girls. In the early years, tennis was a major activity but today, the number of sports on offer has expanded to over thirty from tennis, netball and hockey, to taekwondo, fencing, surf lifesaving and AFL. Opportunities for competition have been supported by the School’s membership of Girls Sport Victoria, with weekly competitions, Saturday opportunities and interschool carnivals. After observing the range of talents in sport amongst the girls and their enjoyment of interschool competition, one key objective of the Strategic Plan 2006-2010 focused on sport, specifically “to increase the competitive edge”. While the love of participation has remained paramount, the need to provide coaching for the girls to develop their skills to excel has been recognised. The girls’ ongoing commitment

S t r a t h c o u r ier June 2011

to teams and dedicated training have led to outstanding performances An extensive refurbishment of the original pool and gymnasium was undertaken during 2010; the former Music Centre was turned into a training and fitness room. This has underpinned a new era in fitness programs, cross training and a scientific base to Physical Education programs. The result is the brilliant, functional new Aquatic and Fitness Centre which was officially opened on 17 March. Guest of honour, Joyce Brown OAM, has known the benefits of sport from an early age. A former Strathcona Physical Education teacher and parent, she is remembered as a strong encourager of a “can do” attitude in the girls. Ms Brown played netball for Victoria from 1958 to 1963 and captained the victorious Australian netball team in the first world championships in 1963. She went on to coach the Australian netball team to three world championship titles. From 1980 to 1983, she was National Coaching Director of the All Australian Netball Association. As a current grandparent of the School, her commitment to Strathcona remains strong. We were honoured also by the involvement of past Principal, Mr Ken Lyall OAM, who dedicated the Centre. Mr Lyall gained an early reputation in sport, being nicknamed “the rock” for his performance in the back pocket of the first “eighteen” at Carey. During his time as Principal, Mr Lyall encouraged involvement

in sport and co-curricular activities generally and oversaw the development of the original Physical Education Centre. First opened in 1979, the building was proof of the progressive approach of Strathcona. Indoor pools in schools were rare at the time! The School Board and I warmly thank our architects, PMDL Architecture and Design, builders, Spaces Australia, and pool specialist, Living Waters, for their excellent work. We express our appreciation to all who added to this development by contributing to the Building and Maintenance Fund and by being involved in the Fair. Its proceeds funded new equipment for the Training Room. We also acknowledge with grateful thanks the contribution of $2 million from the Federal Government through the Building the Education Revolution Grants program. Staff involvement in various ways in the planning and execution of such a project is always essential and we express sincere thanks for this support. Like the original building, the new Aquatic and Fitness Centre will support the ongoing commitment of our girls to sport for decades to come. As in times past, a love of sport stands out today in the life of Strathcona; we look forward to ongoing strong involvement in teams, pride in trophies hard fought for and the riotous laughter of top sporting moments. Helen Hughes


New Staff

New Staff in 2011 Rhonda Burns Rhonda joined the Strathcona community as our Chaplain. Rhonda has previously worked as a Salvation Army Minister and has had extensive experience with the Salvation Army in their Bible Training College, Youth work and Church and Public Relations. More recently she has been the Faculty Head of Religious Education and a teacher of English at Christian College, Geelong. A busy Mum, she is often seen cheering her sons in volley ball and her daughter in rowing.

Kerry Wilson Kerry joined the Food Technology department, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. As well as being a very experienced educator, Kerry has also worked for Diabetes Australia as their Health Promotion co-ordinator. Kerry is passionate about improving the health of Aboriginal Australians and she has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. She is currently undertaking post-graduate studies and hopes to continue on to do a PhD.

Wendy Hawkins Wendy has been a most welcomed addition to our science faculty. A qualified science educator in her native homeland, America, Wendy has taken charge of the laboratories and chemicals as the much appreciated, laboratory technician. Her hobbies include all outdoor education activities – especially hiking, rock climbing, and camping. Her pet sugar glider is a frequent visitor to school, and we just hope Wendy’s husband doesn’t accept another international posting to anywhere other than Melbourne.

Anthony Lynakis Anthony joined the staff as a replacement teacher to cover a maternity leave opening. A highly experienced Mathematics teacher, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge gained from over 30 years as an educator. Anthony sees being a maths teacher as much more than numbers and formulas, and he is passionate about developing good ethics. As well as Mathematics, Anthony loves fishing, boating and fixing things.


Liesl Woods Liesl joined the School in the newly appointed role of Co-ordinator of Outdoor Education. Liesl has brought a wealth of experience to the role and has effortlessly and efficiently overseen the camps, rowing and kayaking, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to name just a few of her accomplishments thus far. Later this year, Liesl will lead the World Challenge trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. Her interests include hiking, soccer, writing and live music.

Mary Thornhill We welcomed Mary to our thriving English department at the beginning of the year. Mary is a very experienced and talented English teacher and her VCE students are benefitting from her experience as a VCAA assessor. She has previously been the Head of the English department and it is not surprising that some of her interests are reading, theatre and debating.

Jonathan Campbell Jonathan joined us in the capacity of AV Technician for the first half of the year. He has quickly proven himself as a multi-skilled educator. A trained teacher, Jonathan has completed graduate studies in film and television, and his skills in these areas and willingness to contribute to the life of the School has been appreciated by staff and students alike. Jonathan has worked overseas as a Camp America Councillor, and he is a keen sportsman with an interest in photography. We are very pleased that Jonathan will continue with us after his contract is finished.

Bronwyn Arnott Bronwyn is teaching Christian education in Mellor House – a newly formed role that she is enjoying very much. The girls and staff are continually captivated by her talks, as she employs wonderful props to help the girls see the message behind the words. A qualified secondary teacher, Bronwyn also holds a Masters degree in Pastoral Studies and she has been a minister of a church. Bronwyn enjoys doing anything creative as well as spending time with family and friends.

Kristene Schnabl

Cathie Waldron

Kristene joined Strathcona to teach our 3 year-old early childhood class. A highly experienced early childhood educator with experience at several other independent schools, Kristene has a passion for working with our youngest students. An avid Hawthorn supporter, Kristene also enjoys gardening – an activity her young students are equally enthusiastic about.

Cathie has enjoyed a long association with Strathcona, both as a parent and casual relief teacher. This year, Cathie has worked at our Year 9 campus, Tay Creggan, teaching International Studies and Geography. She is also undertaking graduate studies at the Australian Catholic University. Cathie has a keen interest in all sports, especially AFL. Jenni Farmilo, Deputy Principal

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VCE Report

VCE Report The VCE results for the Class of 2010 were particularly pleasing and there were many excited girls and staff who shared these results. While the statistics give us part of the picture, the achievements of individual students were also particularly noteworthy in 2010.


n ATAR score of 99 and above was gained by 5.8% of the girls. A quarter of all students achieved an ATAR of 95 or above and 47.1% gained an ATAR of 90 and above. While the median study score was 35, the median ATAR was 88.5. With a score of 99.9, Vanessa Wong was Dux of the School. Vanessa attained perfect scores in Chemistry and Specialist Mathematics. Perfect scores of 50 were also gained in English by four students; Food Technology by two Year 11 accelerants, and in Drama, History Revolutions and Further Mathematics. While we commend these results, we also warmly acknowledge the achievements in all academic areas of our Class of 2010. Vicki Treidel, VCE Co-ordinator

Vanessa Wong, Dux of the School 2010

Monash Award

Barbara Green Award


Each year the Monash Prize is awarded to the highest achiever in Year 11 in the preceding year and presented at the commencement of Year 12. Ye Mei Sue Song was awarded this

prize at the Dux Assembly in February by Dr. Ross Booth, Senior Lecturer/Course Director, Bachelor of Commerce of Monash University.

Premier’s VCE Awards 2011

he Barbara Green Memorial Award is given to a deserving Year 11 student in acknowledgment for their commitment and talent in one or more senior Visual Art subjects. The Award, generously established by the Green Family, commemorates and acknowledges the legacy of the late Barbara Green, who was an art teacher at Strathcona for 20 years. As part of the Award, the recipient will receive a cheque to assist in the purchasing of art supplies. This year’s recipient was Katrina Knight. Katrina, who is one of the School Art captains, is currently studying both Art and Visual Communication and Design. Brit Biviano, Head of Visual Arts

(left to right) Chloe Harris (Year 12, 2011) Food Technology, Jessica Sellwood (Year 12, 2011) Food Technology, Rosemary Byth (Year 12, 2010) English and Drama (Premier’s Award 2010 in Theatre Studies) and Vanessa Wong (Year 12, 2010) Chemistry.

S t r a t h c o u r ier June 2011

Katrina Knight, recipient of the Barbara Green Award


Top Arts & Drama

Top Class Drama Performance, Melbourne Recital Centre


op Class is a series of concerts organised by the VCAA to showcase exceptional work from the Year 12 Performance Examinations for Music, Drama and Theatre Studies. Students who received a perfect score in the performance examination are invited to audition for Top Class. It is with enormous pride that we acknowledge that 50% of the 2010 Drama class was asked to audition for the 2011 Top Class performances. The students were: Rosie Byth (Mrs. Lovett), Ruby Duncan (Climate Change. The Musical), Brittany Testro

(Hedda Hopper), Georgia Pandel (The Family Car), Kristen Waters (Jeeves) and Emma Watkinson (Climate Change. The Musical). These students all worked with enormous dedication, imagination and intelligence to develop beautifully crafted and inspiring performances that astutely covered all the set criteria. They performed their self devised work with exceptional talent and flair. A maximum of two students are selected from any one school to perform in Top Class. In Strathcona’s class the students honoured with this privilege were Ruby Duncan and

Georgia Pandel (currently undertaking Year 12). Ruby Duncan used Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth as the stimulus material for her performance. Georgia Pandel used John Brack’s painting The Car as her stimulus and explored the role of the family car from the 1950’s and into the future. We are enormously proud of both girls’ outstanding achievements and of all the girls selected for auditions. It has been a pleasure to work with such motivated, passionate and intelligent students. Marisa Rowlands, Head of Drama

Top Arts


op Arts is an annual Art exhibition held at the National Gallery of Victoria, celebrating the artistic achievements of selected VCE Art and Studio Arts students from across Victoria. This year, the exhibition was made up with the work of 53 artists selected from over 1800 applicants and included the work of two Strathcona

students, Tegan Ruta and last year’s Barbara Green Award recipient Kate Nelson. We are also pleased to note that paintings by Nicole Willis were short listed for the exhibition. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the girls on their achievements. Brit Biviano, Head of Visual Arts

Artwork by Tegan Ruta

Ceramic mugs by Kate Nelson


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Visitors to Strathcona

Special Visitors

Jo Sta nley

The Federal Opposition Leader, Mr Tony Abbott, and the Liberal member for Kooyong, Mr Joshua Frydenberg, visited Strathcona on Tuesday 8th March for International Women’s Day.

and provided us with the opportunity for an interview in the STV studio by Year 10 Media student Kristiane Burri. This interview can be seen on STV via Blackboard.

It was a great opportunity for the School to see Mr Abbott in action with representatives from all the major TV networks as well as radio and newspaper reporters.

When asked why he chose to visit Strathcona on International Women’s Day, Mr Abbott said ‘…given the record of this School over nearly 90 years in producing young women who have made the most of their lives and have made an

Mr Abbott

Mr Abbott was very generous with his time

Anne Summers

We were delighted to welcome Anne to Strathcona at the end of April. As a young woman she resided at Tay Creggan in 1963, when it was a hostel for young women run by ‘The Grail’ (a lay community of Catholic women from 1938 to 1969). The Lost Mother; A story of Art and Love by Anne Summers tells of the painting ‘Alice’, a portrait of her own mother, which was purchased by Lydia and William Mortill (owners of Tay Creggan during the 1920’s and 1930’s) and hung at Tay Creggan. Anne has been featured on the Australian Postage Stamps series this year – 2011 Australian Legends –

Jo Stanley

On Tuesday 15th March, Jo Stanley from Fox FM’s Matt & Jo show came back to her old school dressed in school uniform. Paired with a film & radio crew, she came to record what life at Strathcona is like today compared to when she was here as a student 20 years ago. ‘We thought it would be just a bit of fun to come back to our school and put ourselves back in that place that is sort of a vague memory… you’d be amazed, as soon as you walk in everything is really vivid, terrifyingly’ she laughs. Jo took the day to visit some of her former teachers as well as tour the School to see just

Anne Summers

Tony Abb ott

impact on the world, I thought it would be a good place to be.’ During his assembly presentation to senior students Mr Abbott inspired our students by saying, “I think it is very important that we remember on International Women’s Day that there is more to be done… that the more opportunity we give Australian Women to shine, the better our society will be.”

Advancing Equality. She was the co-founder of the first Women’s refuge in modern Australia, and wrote the highly influential Damned Whores and God’s Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia. Her autobiography Ducks on the Pond also includes details of Anne’s time at Tay Creggan. From 1983 to 1986 Anne headed the Hawke Government’s Office of the Status of Women, where she was responsible for implementing affirmative action legislation and other reforms. Anne has edited the landmark American feminist magazine Ms. and Good Weekend as well as writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review and numerous other publications.

Students from Years 9 to 12 were privileged to have Anne speak to them at assembly and she also addressed the first annual dinner of the Feliciter Connection (Strathcona Past Staff) held at Tay Creggan on 30 April 2011.

how much it had really changed. Jo began her walk of nostalgia at the music studio in which she was able to reconnect with her past music teachers Ms Georgina Nagy and Ms Elizabeth Newton. As her once music teacher shared some old photographs with Jo, she commented, ‘it was my favourite time Year 12’. As she joined the class, it almost appeared as if time has not passed. Jo continued the day mingling with different girls about their favourite music and Facebook, visiting class to class from Year 11 Biology with Mrs Anthea Andrews to Year 12 English with Mr Scott Pannam.

She was also interviewed in the STV studio. It is clear that Jo’s journey to see how Strathcona had changed in 20 years revealed a lot more similarities than were expected, ‘the body of the School – which is the girls – is the same… it’s just a very lovely, warm atmosphere, and that’s why I loved every day that I was here. It was always a great encouraging environment’… says Jo. ‘What is different, are the buildings, very fancy, and there are so many more of them, everything’s much more spacious’. Jo concluded her day meeting with her past principal Mr. Lyall.

Strathcona. Each episode is hosted by a senior staff member who not only reads stories about ‘The week that was’, but also promotes some of the work they are doing in their area of the School. These regular news updates have been a great way to find out what each section of the School is doing.

completed by our Media students. Having these updates available for parents, students and staff to download on demand (like YouTube) via Blackboard is a wonderful use of modern communication technologies.

We were delighted that the very weekend Anne was with us, she was featured in the Age Good Weekend, ‘Portraits of Power’ as one of fifty of the most influential women in the world. Copies of Anne’s Book - ‘The Lost Mother’ may be purchased from Strathcona Community Relations Office. Diana Little, Community Relations Officer

Sarah Burke, Year 12 Media Leader

Strathy News Updates Weekly vodcasts throughout Term 1 Each time you log into Blackboard they’re there. Walk into the main school reception they’re there. Walk into the café and you can see them. Sometimes in the CPAC they’re there and when you walk into the Mellor House main building they’re hard to avoid. What am I talking about? Strathy News Updates. Strathy News Updates go for between 4 and 7 minutes and feature short stories about highlights that occur throughout all areas of

The regular Strathy News Updates are also providing opportunities for our Media students to publish their work. Many of the updates feature camera work, interviews and editing

We hope you have enjoyed the regular updates. There were weekly episodes produced during Term 1 and Term 2 will see new updates fortnightly. Tim Kitchen, Head of Learning Technologies


Performing Arts Festival

Friday 18 February at the Besen Centre

This year’s inaugural Performing Arts Festival was held in the lavish Besen Centre. At the end of last year the House Dance, Drama and Music Captains were given the exciting theme of “Melodrama” and worked with enormous enthusiasm and creativity to write drama plays, choreograph dance routines and select songs for the festival. This year commenced with three weeks of frantic and exciting rehearsals, casting, rehearsing drama scripts, teaching dance routines and mass choral and small choral songs. The result was an exhilarating evening filled with vibrant, quirky performances overflowing with eccentric caricatures, extremely inventive and exiting dance routines and rousing – and at times exceptionally moving – songs. The House Dance, Drama and Music Captains did a commendable job at inspiring their Houses and orchestrating a colourful and joyous evening of theatre. Kristin Waters and Brittany Testro, the School Dance and Drama Captains, were the MCs for the festival and kept the evening flowing with their witty comments and improvisational skills. Three judges from the industry had the challenging task of adjudicating the evening. They were all impressed with the outstanding quality of the show and the exceptional skills evident in all the performances. Gilbert House were the overall winners, winning Dance, Drama and Music sections of the festival. Congratulations to all the House Dance, Drama and Music captains and to all the students involved in the evening. Marisa Rowlands, Head of Drama


Beauty and the Beast


ale as Old As Time, told in a beautiful way about a Belle and a Boy. The 2011 Strathcona musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, played to full houses, received magnificent reviews and rapturous applause. The hardworking cast rehearsed for seven weeks under the wonderful tutelage of Tori Wood as Vocal Director, Georgie Parker as Choreographer and Mr Parker as Director. Featherstone Hall was transformed with fairy lights, tents for side stage, incredible costumes, large painted books with scenes created by esteemed children’s book illustrator Andrew Plant and a lot of hard work by the maintenance department, parents and cast. Georgia Pandel was exquisite as Belle, Kristen Waters was wild in her portrayal of Belle’s inventor mum, Monique Warren was plumy in her portrayal of Babette the feather duster, Caitlin Wilson filled with warmth as Mrs Potts, Ashleigh-Rose Cubit was wonderful as the enchanted wardrobe and the rest of the cast helped to make Beauty and the Beast one of Strathcona’s best musical

productions. The production was also aided by the support of the small but incredibly talented male cast including Jack Fowles as Gaston, Tudor Thomas as the Beast, Tom Fitzgerald as Cogsworth the enchanted clock, James Gilmour as Lumiere the Candlestick, Charles Tiernan as Lefou, Josh Bridge as Monsieur d’Arque and Josh White and Ben Coghlan. We look forward to the 2012 Strathcona Musical and hope to see everyone back for the magic next year. Jason Parker, Drama

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Tay Creggan

Tay Creggan Tay Creggan

Changes at Tay Creggan 2011 The 2011 Year 9 students are sensational. This year, with increased study commitments, many have already met the goals set at the beginning of the year. The last few months have been an exciting time for Tay Creggan. Upstairs renovations have seen the original textiles area turned into a staffroom for the teaching staff, combining modern and old interior to create a bright and functional work environment.

The original dining room, used for many years as a staffroom, has now been renovated into a conference/staff common room, incorporating a modern kitchen area and dining and window seating area for staff and visitors. We even have an antique clock on the mantle above the fire… very much in keeping with the décor of the late Victorian era!

The original dining room at Tay Creggan, now a staff conference room.

Two general-purpose rooms have been created for music lessons and private study, as well as providing a more intimate environment for small meetings. We have also begun cleaning the attic to bring the area back to its original state. Geoff Wriedt, Year 9 Co-ordinator Renovations under way in the exposing ensuite wet area of the original master bedroom.

Horticulture at Tay Creggan This year, the Horticulture program at Tay Creggan received a major upgrade with the addition of six new raised beds. We also received a new greenhouse, new shade house and a shed to store equipment. The growing facilities have an automated watering system that links to the new water tank under the oval, allowing regular watering – even at times when the girls are not at school – to provide better outcomes for the program. Together this has made Horticulture a more enjoyable experience for the girls.

S t r a t h c o u r ier June 2011

The girls have made good use of the new facilities this year, growing a range of plants from seeds and seedlings. It is hoped that with the greater space and better facilities, the girls completing Horticulture will be able to contribute to upgrading and improving the grounds of Tay Creggan, which have suffered recently from drought and the imposed water restrictions.


Mellor House

Then and Now

Mellor House


lot can change in a short amount of time. Not too long ago, the overhead projector was at the cutting edge of classroom technology. Now, interactive whiteboards not only display high resolution images and stereo sound, but users can interact with the board to control and manipulate content. Advancements in classroom technologies have made classrooms more engaging and enable multi-sensory experiences to assist with learning. The rapidly growing bank of resources available on the Internet for use on interactive whiteboards supports learning across a range of curriculum areas. Teachers and students are readily able to access activities, tutorials, games and stimulus materials with a few clicks of a mouse (or finger).

The reference shelves of our library contain encyclopaedias. Nearby, there are computers with access to resources on the Internet. Both information sources have their advantages but the days of relying on all information being contained within a set of books have long gone. Children today are taught to rely on a number of trusted sources when researching. Children in a modern world need to develop skills that help them source, sort and classify information from many sources. Our recent Year 5 camp to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat highlighted the differences between modern times and the days of the Victorian gold rush. Children in schools of the past sat silently in rows, only spoke when spoken to and all information was channelled through the teacher who was the fountain of all knowledge. Children today work in classrooms designed to facilitate cooperative learning, are encouraged to communicate effectively with others and taught to become independent learners.


Today we prepare our children for a very different world than that of the Victorian Gold Rush. Our girls who attended the Ragged School for Orphans spent part of their days learning the skills they’d need for their times. They (as girls) learnt to sew, as well as other domestic skills suitable to equip them for a life at home raising children. What a contrast to the possibilities ahead of our girls at Mellor House. Our girls have so many opportunities ahead of them and we actively encourage them to believe that they can achieve anything in life if they are willing to work hard enough.

There are some things, however, that are important in every period of time. Values such as respect, courtesy, kindness, determination and generosity are as important today as they have been in the past. Our children learn at home and at school about how to contribute positively within their social circles. Christian Education classes, assemblies and chapel services help support the work taking place in the classroom to reinforce important values. Christopher Phyland, Head of Mellor House

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School Community

Murray Marathon T he friends of Kayaking was formed to allow Strathcona girls to experience kayaking in 1997 and with that simple idea the legend of Strathcona on the Murray was born! Since 1997, Strathcona has fielded at least two teams – with eight to nine girls each – in the longest kayaking marathon relay race in the world. The race has seen our girls cover the required 404 kilometre journey every year since then. This year will be the club’s 14th year at this event which means that collectively Strathcona girls have paddled a total of 5,252 kilometres – that’s if they took the shortest possible route and cut across corners! During this period the girls and the club raised thousands of dollars for the Red Cross, up until 2008 when the Red Cross celebrated their 40th and final year of running the event. In that year we were honored by being singled out by the Red Cross as the highest fundraising school, both throughout the four-decade history of the race and singularly in 2008.

These parents have also shown their prowess (and sometimes lack of ) when the crews come in for their relay changeovers.  I’m sure back in 1997, and every year up to 2010 there were parents who caught these Formula One-type racing craft with great calmness and agility, whilst others have taken a slightly different approach, with some even “catching” a craft in deep water with their chest (ouch!). Our best changeovers have taken approximately 5 seconds, with most being completed between 15 and 20 seconds, including the exit of the current crew in ejector seat style, the tipping of the boat to empty it of water and the entry of the two new girls for the next leg of the race. We have had all manner of weather over these years from dry heat to refreshing warm rainy

days and of recent times a heavily flooded Murray producing a picturesque view of the mighty river not seen for over a decade. At the end of each day the crews and paddlers of 1997 would have sat around a campsite in Tocumwal, Echuca and Swan Hill, discussed the day’s events and prepared for the next day’s racing as we have done over the more recent years and I’m sure, at the end of the journey, they would have taken as much pride in their daughters efforts at completing this legendary event, win, lose or draw as we have done of recent times. Well done ladies of 1997 through to 2010. Bob Testro – President, Friends of Kayaking

On the water the girls are renowned for their sense of humor and good nature, even when in fierce competition with our rivals. Private paddlers and schools in other divisions serenade our girls and play “I spy” or “guess the celebrity” as they cross paths on the river. As you can imagine the parents of these girls are filled with pride at the way our girls and club are received by fellow paddlers. Whilst the reputation of the girls is built on the water, the parents take some satisfaction in being able to move their girls to and from the different relay checkpoints and changeover locations, sometimes hidden in out of the way bushland or in areas well suited to 4x4’s but ably and sometimes gingerly negotiated by mums and dads in their suburban runabouts.

Brittany Testro and Phoebe Drysdale, Year 12

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School Community

Friends of Rowing W e have recently completed our 5th season of rowing at Strathcona. The popularity of rowing is evidenced by the increase in participation in the sport, with 35 Year 9 girls joining the squad earlier this year and over 100 girls across Year 9 to 12 involved in the rowing program during the season. The pinnacle of the season was the Head of School Girls Regatta on 19th and 20th March with 15 crews and one single sculler competing. The girls performed particularly well, with nine crews reaching the semi finals and the crew of Natalia Eades, Kate Vickery, Claire Smith, Johanna Eades and Carla Brugliera coming third in the A Final of the open Div 4 Quad Scull. Over the weekend the girls stayed at Torquay and 200 attended the HOSG dinner in Torquay on the Saturday night. The weekend was a great experience for all, both parents and girls, and one they will hopefully remember for many years to come.

the involvement and enthusiasm of the girls and their families. Apart from the HOSG, there was a number of other highlights during the season including the Annual Strathy Regatta on the last Sunday in August, where 100 girls and their parents competed under clear blue skies in a regatta on the Maribyrnong River in Footscray. Grenfell won the House Cup for the second year in a row. In October we had our season launch at Tay Creggan, where we were privileged to hear from dual World Champion Alice McNamara. The final function for 2010/2011 was the Presentation Night at the end of Term 1, where we acknowledged and celebrated some great achievements over the season.

Thanks to our captains Kate Vickery and Genevieve Nenna for their leadership and support of the squad over the season, for bringing all of the girls together as one and for their part in making rowing a fun experience for all; to the parent group who volunteered In a very short time we have created a strong for tasks and most importantly provided club and great Rowing Community through wonderful support at regattas. Thanks “The great feature of Strathcona Rowing is to Mr Battey for his the team spirit that has been created across all great support at Tay Creggan and at the levels and the high standards of sportsmanship HOSG Regatta; to

and dedication displayed by all of the squad”


Rick Stephens for transporting boats to and from regattas; to Mr Sallows for his continued assistance and support during the season and to Mrs Hughes for her commitment to Rowing at Strathcona. Finally, I must acknowledge the Friends of Rowing Group for their ongoing guidance and in particular for their organisation and hard work to make the HOSG weekend the great success that it was. The great feature of Strathcona Rowing is the team spirit that has been created across all levels and the high standards of sportsmanship and dedication displayed by all of the squad. All girls are to be congratulated on how they conducted themselves, supported one another and represented their school with such pride. During 2011 there will be opportunities for students to join the rowing program, with an entry point in Term 3 for students from Year 9 and up, and then for Year 8 students at the end of Term 4 for our December Rowing Camp. There is also an opportunity for parents to learn to row. If you are interested in getting involved in the “Strathcona Rowing Experience” please send an email to for more details. Michael Cornwell – President, Friends of Rowing

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School Community

Netball Tour to Hawaii

GSV Sport W ith time comes change and I think it’s fair to say time has brought many changes to Sport at Strathcona in recent times. Perhaps the most obvious of these changes is the refurbishment of the Gym, which was celebrated at the opening of the complex in Term 1 with a terrific celebration. I think it is important to acknowledge and thank the countless members of the Strathcona community who worked tirelessly over a long period of time to make the new facilities a reality. Without the vision and support of these many people the School would not boast such a magnificent facility. They have created not only a brilliant facility but a wonderful legacy brought about by much hard work. Again, thank you to the many people who made the new facility a reality and for what they have done for the students of Strathcona, both current and future.

are extremely grateful. The combination of new facilities and equipment means we are able to offer the girls many more quality Physical Education and Sport experiences than we perhaps thought possible when the Gym appeared but a shadow of its old self during the renovations!

The School now boasts fantastic sporting facilities from the ground floor pool to the wonderful indoor multi-purpose court and new training room, complete with new equipment purchased with money kindly donated by the Fair Committee, to who we

We also started to roll out our new GSV Sport uniforms in Term 2. Our Hockey girls proudly, and excitedly, played in newly designed hockey tops, which still proudly maintain the traditional Strathcona colours. Our Senior Netballers took possession of their new dresses,

S t r a t h c o u r ier June 2011

In addition to the physical changes we witnessed, we entered, for the first time, Indoor Cricket teams at Junior and Intermediate level in the GSV competition in Term 1 and, in Term 2, entered a Senior Water Polo team. The addition of both sports proved popular and a great foundation for the future growth and presence of Strathcona in the GSV competition and the expansion of the sporting opportunities we are able to offer the girls.

even trying them out in Hawaii on their netball tour before the beginning of the GSV season! The roll out of new uniforms will continue in Term 3, when the Soccer season starts and continue in Term 4 with Basketball singlets. As you can see, change has been more than kind to sport at Strathcona. The girls have access to so many more opportunities than past students had. I’m sure when former students visit the School, while very proud of their involvement with sport at Strathy and holding great memories of their time in the sporting arena, they would be more than just a tad jealous they didn’t get the chance to swim in the new pool, play in the new uniforms or try out the variety of new sports now on offer to the students! Stephen O’Donohue, Head of Sport


Exchanges & Tours


Tour of France

After months of preparation, 19 students of French set off to discover France in three weeks. The group of Years 10 and 11 students included their teachers Ms Boland and Mme Swayne. Surprisingly, the detail that caused greatest trepidation – the homestay with a French family for the first week – proved to be the highlight of the trip.

The host families, who all lived in little villages surrounding Montpellier in the south of France, welcomed our girls warmly and the girls all carry wonderful memories of their first experience of “living in French”.

Durham, USA

The trip was an unforgettable experience for us all, and one which we strongly encourage other French students to try.

Durham – The 2010/2011 exchange to the US was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I met so many amazing people and learnt so much about a different culture on the other side of the world. We experienced an unusually large amount of snowfall in the five weeks we were in North Carolina with it even snowing on Christmas Night. We became so much closer with all of the girls who went from Strathy, with my host sister and with many people at Durham Academy. Anyone who gets the opportunity to go should absolutely take it. We loved being immersed in the contrasting American lifestyle.

Veronica Swayne, Head of LOTE

Kate Benington, 11B & Cassie Cohen, 11C

The week following the homestay went quickly, with visits to Avignon, Nîmes, Les Baux de Provence and Aigues Mortes. Then it was on to Paris! Four days of intensive cultural discoveries, a visit to the battlefields of WWI, and a moving Dawn Service at Villers Bretonneux.

OSA News

Remembering Ellen Arnold (1858 - 1931) This year commemorates the 80th anniversary of the death of Miss Ellen Arnold, early Baptist missionary and teacher. Arnold House at the School was named in her honour shortly after the Baptist Union of Victoria purchased Strathcona in 1942. Ellen Arnold was born on 5th July 1858 at Aston, Warwickshire, England. The Arnold family migrated to South Australia in 1879 where the young Miss Arnold soon became greatly influenced by a local Baptist preacher, Rev. Silas Mead. Mead convinced Miss Arnold to go to India in 1882 to assist the locals in their spiritual, medical and teaching needs. Arnold was the first Baptist missionary from Australia to go to India. She came back to Australia quite ill in 1884, but soon recruited a group of four women to

return with her back to India the following year. The group included Miss Marie Gilbert, of whom Gilbert House is named at Strathcona; as well as Miss Ruth Wilkin, who was to be the mother of Emmie Neville (name of a Strathcona Presentation Night prize). The women worked in the towns of Faridpur, Comilla and then at Pabna, establishing schools, dispensing medical needs and spreading the Christian message. Arnold was also the driving force in the establishment of the East Bengal Baptist Union in 1913. Arnold enjoyed short breaks each year in England and Australia, but she really spent the rest of her life serving the communities in East Bengal. She briefly returned to Australia in 1930, but she was soon back to her beloved Bengal and

London Reunion


The Principal, Mrs Helen Hughes, will be in London in August and will be hosting a London reunion gathering on Sunday, 14 August at 2.30pm at the Rembrandt Hotel, 11 Thurloe Place.

This October 14th and 15th the Old Strathconians’ Association is proud to be putting on the OSA Cabaret – two fabulous nights of past Strathcona students performing some of the greatest musical theatre numbers for women from shows like Hairspray, Wicked, and Chicago. With a cast, band, and crew made up entirely of old Strathconians, it promises to be a knock-out showcase of the talents and skills that have come out of the school in recent years. It will truly be an exciting, fun-filled show that is not to be missed!

A delicious afternoon tea will be provided, compliments of the Old Strathconians’ Association. Please come along to enjoy the company of fellow past students. Please reply to Elisabeth Chalmers, Community Relations Officer, on

settled at a town called Ataikola. This is where she died on 9 July 1931, aged 73. Each year, the Bangladesh Baptist Union acknowledges her work on ‘Arnold Day’. This year, the Captain of Arnold House is Natalia Eades. Glen Turnbull, School Archivist.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour Saturday 27th August Wine tasting at 3 Vineyards 2 Course Lunch @ Immerse $89.00 per person To book or for further details, please contact Elisabeth Chalmers on 8779 7516 or email

OSA News

What are they doing now? Samantha Marks (Kirwan-Hamilton ’81) Samantha was appointed Senior Counsel for the State of Victoria (silk) on 26 November 2010. She has been at the Victorian Bar for 22 years now. Samantha is married to Simon Marks S.C. and they have three children: Benj (15), Madeleine (13) and Katie (8). Samantha spoke at the Foundation Day Assembly in 2006 and to various groups of Strathcona students about life as a Barrister/life journey.   The ‘Brown Twins’ (Laura Brown 99’ and Victoria Brown 99’) Since graduating as a Physiotherapist, Victoria Brown has gone on to complete her Masters of Sports Physiotherapy. She has also recently been appointed the ‘Athletics Australia Paralympic Preparation Program Sports Science and Sports Medicine (AA PPP SSSM) Coordinator’ for the 2012 Paralympic team. The endless runs with Mr Ash and the Strathcona running team inspired Laura Brown to continue with her sporting endeavours. She has now completed 2 Australian Ironman Triathlons (2008 & 2009) and Ironman France 2010 (swim 3.8km; ride 180km & run 42.2km) missing out on the World Championships in Hawaii by one placing. Sarah Gellatly (’94) achieved high distinction when completing her Maternal Child Health Diploma after previously completing degrees in General Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery. After leaving Strathcona, she completed her Nursing Degree at RMIT Bundoora and lived in the United Kingdom for six years, where she was in charge of a busy forty-five bed Accident and Emergency Department of St. George’s teaching hospital in Tooting, S.W. London. Four hundred patients per day passed through

the department. Sarah plans to work in local government in the role of Maternal and Child Health Nurse. Julia Gellatly (’96) has completed a BA/ BSc [Hons] Monash, B.D.Science [Hons] Melbourne. While completing her Dentistry at Melbourne University she was the recipient of a number of prestigious academic prizes and awards. Julia is enjoying practicing her dentistry in surgeries in Dromana and Mooroolbark. Dr Leigh Burrows (’76) completed her case study PhD research on a young person previously considered ‘uneducable’ and ‘unreachable’ late last year. The findings of her research indicate that those who are supported in their teaching and leadership through being able to access a clear, calm mind may find that young people, parents and colleagues with challenging behaviours become more settled and less ‘difficult’. This suggests that parents and professionals can reduce other people’s problem behaviour by changing their own behaviour when interacting with them. Leigh has found, through a study of the literature, and her own case study research, that a more mindful approach to teaching and leading may reduce stress, enhance satisfaction, decrease student aggression, and increase students’ and teachers’ prosocial skills and behaviours. Leigh is now conducting research into her professional development work in relational mindfulness with teachers and leaders in South Australia, and is incorporating mindfulness into her Flinders University teacher education topic ‘Relationships for Learning.’

Strathcona Medal 2011 The Strathcona Medal will be awarded at Presentation Night 2011. It will be presented to an Old Strathconian and will be given in recognition of exceptional service to the wiser community either within the state, nation or internationally. For further information on the process of nomination, please write to:

The Chair of the Strathcona Medal Committee Strathcona BGGS 34 Scott Street, Canterbury Vic 3126 Or email or visit

Feliciter Connection Noelene Berryman SOUP LUNCH Saturday 5 November 2011 at Canterbury Campus at 12.30pm Cost $15.00 per person A tour of the new Main School and Mellor House facilities prior to the lunch is available for those interested. Meet at Featherstone Hall at 11.30m to join the optional tour. Register to attend with Diana Little, Strathcona Community Relations on 8779 7517 or

S t r a t h c o u r ier June 2011

We were saddened to hear of the death of Noelene during May 2011. Noelene taught at Strathcona from 1972 to 1991. She was a kind and loving form teacher who arranged many outings for her students including often entertaining girls at her home. Noelene was a teacher of mathematics and geography and member of the general studies team at Tay Creggan for some years. Noelene retired from Strathcona due to ill health but she always maintained an interest in her students and the school, attending many Presentation Nights, Productions and staff farewells over recent years.

Obituary Elizabeth Merle Rees

13 June 1934 – May 13 2011 We were all saddened to hear of Merle’s passing on May 13 after a long illness. Merle was a student at Strathcona from 1946 to 1951. We remember her as a vibrant and energetic young person, full of fun with a talent for close friendships. Merle was a good student, active in all sports programs and was head prefect of the school in 1951. Merle left Strathcona to study for her general nursing certificate at Geelong Hospital. After graduating in 1954, she obtained her Midwifery and Infant Welfare Certificates. At one time Merle was responsible for the supervision and delivery of all Infant Welfare Services in the Eastern region of Victoria. Always aiming to increase her skills to help others, Merle began studies at Roland House Presbyterian church to be a deaconess. At that time the Baptist College was not training women for ministry. After graduation, she worked in a number of churches and also supervised the residential students at Whitley College. Merle then began studying for her Social Work Degree at Melbourne University. On graduation, Merle worked in the haematology unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital with the families where children had limited life expectancy. She held a senior position at Careforce Uniting Church Support Service for disadvantaged families. She pioneered the social work service for HIV/Aids patients at Fairfield Hospital and held senior positions at both Royal Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospitals. Her professional and personal life always focussed on service to other people. After retirement, Merle became a welltravelled “Grey Nomad” making many trips in her van. She was active in the community of Inverloch and a member of the Uniting church there. For some years Merle was a member of the Old Strathconian’s Committee, always working enthusiastically keeping our friendships close and ongoing. She was an excellent networker. Merle’s Christian life and faith was exemplified in her service to others. She truly lived the Strathcona motto of “Bravely, Faithfully and Happily”. She will be sadly missed. Margaret Simpson (Spicer ’51)

OSA AGM OSA 2011 Annual General Meeting Tuesday 2nd August at 7.30-8.30pm Senior Centre Gallery, Canterbury Campus All Welcome!



Nadia Anderson (Davis ’95) and John, a daughter, Sophia Rose on 19.09.10. Melanie Barlow (Hayden ’93) and Matthew, a son, Noah James on 26.09.10. Catherine Bezemer (Lamont ‘95) and Mark, a son, Jesse Oliver Bezemer was born 05.05.11. A brother for Grace Ava. Lisa Bradley (Cumming ’94) and Daniel Cumming, a son Benjamin Lex Bradley Cumming on 25.09.10. A brother for Alana. Louise Farrell (’91) and Robert Hadwen, a daughter, Ruby Diane on 08.04.11. A sister for Matilda and Teddy. Hayley Franklin (Porter ’03) and Anthony, a daughter, Lila Rose on 26.02.10. Caitlin Ludwig (Essex ’94) and Andreas, a daughter, Pearl Anna on 05.04.10. Kate McPhee (Stronach ’90) and Andrew, a daughter, Ella Lucy on 08.12.10. A sister for Sophie and William. Natalie McLean (Smith ‘95) and Marcus, a son, Lucas Kane on 01.09.10. A brother for Joshua, Gemma and Harrison. Bronya Monro-Stevens (’91) and Thom Stevens, a daughter, May Margaret in July 2010. A sister for Lucas and Tabitha. Susie Morgan (Moran ’97) and Stewart, a daughter, Leah Ellie on 28.11.10 in England. Adrienne Pumpurs (Fletcher ’97) and Andris, a son, Lachlan on 31.8.10. A brother for Matilda. Christine Shaw (Turner ’94) and Justin, a daughter, Tara Grace on 24.11.10. A sister for Molly. Fiona Sutherland (’93) and Chris O’Mahony, a daughter, RÓisin Angeline Blackshields on 21.06.10.

Engagements Elizabeth Blaze (2004) was engaged to Scott McGrath on 25.12.10. Victoria Brown (99’) was engaged to Gerard Moore on 25.11.10. Wedding to be held at St Dominic’s on 07.10.11. Sarah Pitman (‘97) was engaged to Adam Hopcraft. Wedding to be held in July 2012 in Italy.


Fiona Charnley (’94) to Michael Battaini on 11.01.11 at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. Julia Gellatly (’96) to Doug Lee at a Mornington Peninsula winery on 04.09.10. Sarah Gellatly (’94) to Mark Reidy in May 2011 at Tay Creggan. Carli Growcott (’93) to Andrew Smith on 26.11.10 at Inglewood Estate. Melanie Hayden (’93) to Matthew Barlow on 25.01.09. Kelly Talbot (‘94) to Brett Spurr on 14.05.11. Ceremony to be held at Tay Creggan with a reception to follow at the River Room at Crown Casino. Johanna Read (‘01) to Ananda Iyer at The Dome in Melbourne on 16.01.10.

Lysbeth Turnbull (Thomas), Nance Morsby and Rona Ray (Richmond) celebrating their 90th birthdays at the Pre 1942 luncheon in November 2010.

OSA General Excellence Scholarship 2012 A half scholarship (40% of tuition fees) will be offered to a daughter, granddaughter or family member of a past student of Strathcona for tuition in years 11 and 12. The scholarship is open to a current or new student to commence in 2012. The recipient will be chosen on the basis of academic achievement and wide co-curricular involvement. Applications close 5.00pm on Friday 5 August. For further information contact Elisabeth Chalmers, Community Relations Officer. Telephone 8779 7500.

bring out her best.

Strathcourier (June 2011)  

A Biannual publication with all the latest news from Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School, including student achievements, drama, sport a...