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I trust this edition of Marian’s finds you well and enjoying this beautiful time of the year. Much has happened at St Mary’s since our previous newsletter, with the launch of our strategic plan, “St Mary’s 2020… Enabling Higher Things”, planning underway for a significant building program, excellent academic results achieved in 2011 and another excellent college production, with five stunning performances of Godspell.
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The 2012 school year finds the college in an excellent position, with St Mary’s girls involved in just about everything in the way of both academic and co-curricular activities. Applications for enrolment are booming and community satisfaction with the college is at an all-time high. I believe that it is true to say that St Mary’s girls continue to make us proud with their achievements and with the contributions that they make in their local communities. The St Mary’s Strategic Plan focuses on the areas of our Good Samaritan/Benedictine values, enhancing the development of college staff as committed educators, engendering right and respectful relationships, providing innovative high quality teaching and learning and maintaining a technologically rich learning environment. The college has undertaken a review of the technology being used in the college and we are currently undertaking a trial of IPads and their effectiveness in education. We have been very successful in providing our girls
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with technology through our 1:1 laptop program and we are continuing to pursue opportunities to use technology to provide the best education possible for our girls.
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St Mary Star of the Sea College
The college board has begun planning for the future needs of the college. To this end they have embarked on a building project that will see the construction of a new gymnasium and exercise science facility, the redevelopment of the Sister Gabrielle Nichols Hall to provide a high quality performance space. We are also hoping to add an extra floor of classrooms on the Paul VI building that will provide contemporary learning spaces to meet the demands of 21st Century learners. It is anticipated that building work will commence in 2013 with the construction of the gymnasium. St Mary’s produced another sensational show, with the girls performing Godspell, one of the most successful and popular rock operas. The girls gave it a new treatment in a steam punk world telling the same immortal story of community and the influence of Jesus in the lives of believers and non-believers alike. The girls brought this production to life as they sang, danced, acted and amazed audiences through their contemporary version of this rock opera. It was another stunning St Mary’s success. The college motto is “I am born for higher things” and the St Mary’s girls of 2012 continue to live out this message in the same way that you our past students do. We are as proud of you as we are of them and we continue to point to you as our success stories. Through your work, your commitment to the values of the college and your success as good citizens, you set a shining example to our current St Mary’s girls. Please remember that you are born for higher things and we keep you in our thoughts and prayers as you achieve that for which you were born. My prayers and best wishes for a successful 2012.
May 31, 2012
East Timor Dear Friends and Supporters, The electricity hasn’t reached us yet. The latest rumour is that it will be another six months before we can use light switches and/or power plugs during the day. As we drive to and from Railaco to Dili there is more than a touch of envy as we pass the lucky villages en route who have got their light bulbs glowing. We should be used to waiting but… Another longed for event has taken place: the dreadful road from Railaco up the mountain to the five villages has been transformed. It is almost unbelievable that this has happened. All those wondrous ditches and holes, deep furrows and fall-away sides have disappeared! The ‘bucking bronco’ 4WD thrills that constituted any trip, up or down the mountain, are no more! Rain was a major problem for so many of the people who had to return to their local villages in order to vote in the Presidential election. Days before the election date people were queued up in the pouring rain waiting to board the bus that would take them to their home village from Dili. What a testimony it was to their determination to exercise their right to vote and to their commitment to democracy! On Pentecost Sunday we had 560 young people receive the sacrament of Confirmation. The Bishop was delighted with the numbers and the precision of the ceremony and stayed behind to have his photo taken with the young people from each village. He administers the sacrament himself and this part of the ceremony took two hours! Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the women had been working all the previous day, and actually worked all night to provide a feast for dignitaries and visitors. No stainless steel benches, ovens, microwaves, or electrical/battery driven implements are available to them. They squat on the ground, balance containers on their laps and work by a roaring fire using nothing but a knife to achieve their culinary miracles. I chose the wrong time to walk into the area behind this cooking space and came across the men who, had just slaughtered, and were dismembering the buffalo. They proudly showed me the head, a leg, the rear portion plus the tail before I was able to make my exit!
(This is an abridged version of Sr Rita Hayes newsletter. Sr Rita was Principal at St Mary’s from 1982-1998 and her mission is currently in Railaco, East Timor.)
The Annual Decades Reunion Morning Tea was held on Saturday 3 September 2011 in the Polding Learning Centre. Once again it was a wonderful opportunity for alumnae to gather, rekindle friendships, reminisce about the good old days, share in some morning tea and have a tour of their College. The morning tea concluded with a resounding rendition of the old school song. Many continued the celebrations into lunch when they left the College.
After the success of a reunion held in March 2011, it was with much fun we organised another get together this year, this time to celebrate a milestone in all our lives...our 50th Birthdays. Food, wine and a Karaoke machine that proved to be the big hit of the night, were enjoyed by all. It was really great just to catch up with so many of the girls. Some had not been able to attend the reunion. We all left school 1978/1980. Kathryn Parker
The Class of 1969 and 1971 had such a great time at the Decades Reunion last year (2011) that they planned another one this year. It was held on the 10 March 2012 at the Harbour Front Café . A special raffle was held and the proceeds were donated to a student at the College with special needs. This act of generosity in the spirit of the Good Samaritan is much appreciated.
This year, a number of groups will be having their reunions so check the time and venues and RSVP soon. We look forward to welcoming all of you back to St Mary’s and look forward to seeing you soon.
50th birthday celebrations at Wollongong Golf Club on 9th June 2012.
A Tribute to... SR JOAN CURTIS sgs
Philomena Mary Farrington
I am writing at the suggestion of my mum, Marie Constable. Recently, her sister and my aunt/ godmother, Sr Joan Curtis sgs died. Sr Joan was College Captain in 1952, in addition to being a Good Sam who has made a significant contribution in education and parish pastoral care. People used to say “when Joan Curtis looks at you with those blue eyes and asks you to do something you cannot refuse”.
20 Year REUNION In 1991 a bunch of St Mary’s girls graduated from year 12. These young ladies went their ways to develop careers, families and their own lives. Since this time many years have passed. In 2011 one student (Raquel (Caballero) Zapata) had a vision to plan a 20 year reunion to also include all the students who left in 1989 and 1990. This planning time was filled with catching up with great friends, reminiscing on those fantastic stories from school, laughing at our hair styles from the year book and testing our memories. It was also a time where we remembered two students who had passed away and were no longer with us - so also a time of reflection. The 21st October was the date for our reunion which was held at the Fraternity. We managed to contact nearly all of the students and an amazing 90 people attended the night.
The night arrived before we knew it and all the planning evolved into a wonderful night of catch ups, rekindling old friendships and sharing all those wonderful memories that will never leave us. The reunion was also used as our ‘big night in’ as part of Breast Cancer Awareness and donations collected on the night were contributed to the cause. I hope that we inspire all past students to take the time to reunite with their old friends and share those fantastic memories as part of growing up in a fantastic school community. Here's to rekindled friendships, great memories and good times ahead with each other. By Raquel (Caballero) Zapata and Ann-Marie (Viselli) Balliana
Mum and Aunty Joan as well as my Aunty Patricia Andrew were three of five Curtis sisters who moved to Wollongong with their widowed mother in 1945 and enrolled at the College. Of the next generation, my four Fitzgerald cousins, Robyn, Susan, Anne and Christine, as well as my own sister Frances and myself, are proud ex-students. Subsequently, Placek, Peason and Fitzgerald daughters have attended St Mary's. Family was very important to Joan. Her sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and their children were a major part of her life. We will miss you Joan. Therese Chard
Rest In Peace
Philomena Mary Farrington's amazing life went from 24.08.1909 to 22.07.2012...only four weeks short of her 105th birthday. She was the eldest of seven children, and outlived all her younger brothers and sisters. She was, for seventeen years, a valued staff member of St Mary's College, beginning in 1961. She was also a vital part of the fund raising auxiliary of Villa Maria Nursing Home on Cliff Road. She served as President of the auxiliary, and worked tirelessly and generously for twenty five years. Mrs Farrington's daughter Marie Farrington (Landrigan) was a student of St Mary’s during the 1940's. Mrs Farrington's niece Faye Hillard (Mansell) was also a St Mary's girl in the early 1950's. At present Mrs Farrington's great grand-niece Olivia Primmer is in Year 7 2012.....and so the tradition continues. Philomena Farrington was always true to her beliefs, and true to her God. She will be missed by so many. She is survived by her son Bill, daughter Marie, four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and their families. Faye Mansell (niece)
Claiming the Date
Class of 2000 (Year 10) and 2002 (Year 12) 10 Year Reunion Cocktail Party Rocksalt Bar and Grill (the old Dunes) 1 Marine Drive, Wollongong Saturday 1 September 2012 6.30pm – 10.30pm Cost $45/person RSVP by 22 August at firstname.lastname@example.org
Class of 1990 (Year 10) and 1992 (Year 12) 20 Year Reunion Cocktail Party Chifley Hotel Wollongong Saturday 1st September 2012 7.00pm - 11.00pm. Ticket includes canapes all night and champagne on arrival. Cost $50/person Contact Marissa 0432 224 481 or Claudia 0401 690 477 or email email@example.com
Class of 1979/81 Reunion. We had such a great time at the Decades Reunion morning tea, we’re partying again!
Date Saturday 15th September 2012 Time 6.00 pm - 11.00 pm Illawarra Steelers Club, Cnr Burelli & Harbour Streets, WOLLONGONG NSW 2500 Cost $50 pp. RSVP 1st Sept 2012. No further bookings can be taken after this date. Contact information Sandra Sykes (Daly) 0438 286 182, Gail Tarrant (Rigby) 0458 220 064 or Cathy Owen (Ravell) 0403 394 495. Check Facebook www.facebook.com/StMarysClassOf79And81Reunion
Decades Reunion Morning Tea Invitation 10 years (2002), 20 years (1992), 30 years (1982), 40 years (1972), 50 years (1962) and beyond!
You are warmly invited to the Reunion Morning Tea on Saturday 1 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Polding Learning Centre, Market Street Wollongong. RSVP Marie Pulford by Friday 24 August Email firstname.lastname@example.org T 02 4228 6011
Sophia Oh-Tognetti I graduated from St Mary Star of the Sea College in 2009 and from then on I went to the University of Wollongong where I began my studies in Bachelor of International Studies and Bachelor of Law. For as long as I can remember I have had an avid interest and passion for Human Rights and as I studied Legal Studies for my HSC, it became clear to me that this was what I wanted to pursue in my professional career. This year has so far been a roller coaster ride for me as I was accepted into the University of Oxford for Law with my electives in Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law. Attending Oxford University has by far been the most amazing experience in my life so far. It is surreal to think that prominent world leaders, scholars, educators, artists and philosophers were educated here and may have sat in this very chair that I am sitting on now. However in all honesty even though it is overwhelming at times, I would not have it any other way.
Amanda Cresswell I went to St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong 1996-1999. Since leaving high school I have been working in corporate banking. I moved with an international bank from Sydney to Hong Kong, then to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I work in the dealing room, working for the traders handling their Risk & PNL/ projects for the bank. I am currently studying an MBA with University of London and will graduate in the year 2013. Life has been an exciting journey for me, having lived in Asia and now in the Middle East. I have had a lot of great opportunities and have had a lot of personal and professional growth in my lifetime since school. St Mary Star of the Sea will always be in my heart. All the best to the Marian’s Community.
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells After completing my secondary education at St Mary’s, I attended the Australian National University in Canberra graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and European Languages and a Bachelor of Laws in 1982.
Lauren Camino I am actually living in London at the moment working with the London 2012 Olympics. I have been living abroad for the last 3 years. I also worked at the Vancouver 2010 winter Olympics after graduating from Sports Management at University of Canberra. Since the Vancouver Olympics I lived in Canada travelling and working as an events manager in Toronto. Recently I moved to London for my current job with London 2012.
Tania Wilson (nee Neale) Hi to all my classmates of '73. Look forward to catching up with you at the reunion next year. I am a double degree lawyer (B.Juris, LLB) and worked in the corporate area for many years. My husband and I also have a very successful Marketing business.
Eleonora Evans At the moment I am home nursing my knee after an operation to reattach the ligaments torn from the bone in the last week of term 2– an accident at home. I will be back at school at the start of term 3 but my tutoring has continued unabated as it fortunately is from home. The tutoring business, started in 2000, has been a great success. At one stage I had over 100 students per week and that was on my own. I decided that that really was too much to cope with and am not intending to go there again. After all I am not getting any younger. Having 60-65 students is reasonably comfortable physically and financially. This year I have returned to teach at Elonera Montessori School. They have introduced the International Baccalaureate and I was really looking for more stimulation as the tutoring was running smoothly after 12 years. Apart from working two jobs, all is quiet on the home front. Hope all is well at St Mary’s as I have heard.
Stefanie Gaspari Tea by the Sea was held in May 2012. This event was organised largely by SMC alumnae (myself, my sister Melissa and Natalie Viselli) in conjunction with JCI Illawarra and the Cancer Council Southern Region in support of the annual fundraiser Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. It was our 5th annual event, attended by just under 300 people and supported by over 60 local business sponsors. Most importunity, we exceeded our fundraising goal (originally $10k) to raise over $12,500. Also, a group of SMC students attended and enjoyed the morning! Have a look at the video documentary online of this event The link is: http://vimeo.com/43411155
For 20 years I was primarily a lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor, I also spent three years as a policy advisor with the Federal Opposition in the early 1990s and a period as Senior Private Secretary to the former Premier John Fahey. In 2005 I was given the opportunity to become a Senator by filling a casual vacancy. I established my electorate office in Wollongong. Since becoming a Senator for NSW, I have been appointed to a number of roles such as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship and served on numerous parliamentary committees. In 2009, I was appointed Shadow Minister for Ageing by the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MHR and later was given the additional role of Shadow Minister for Mental Health.
Denise Edlington Maizey I was a boarder at St Mary’s from 1941 to 1945/6. My name was Denise Egan. After 49 years of marriage to my first husband and with three children, after Tom's death, seven years later, I remarried at age 82 to my first sweetheart, Stan. We hadn't married at 18 years of age when Stan was a cadet at Duntroon because of a problem with religion. However it did not come in the way of our second marriage, which took place at St Canice's, Elizabeth Bay 17 months ago. I won't be known to too many. There may be some like Sr Mary Molly Gregory. I hope she is still around. Best wishes to any who do remember me.
Catherine Smith After graduating from St Mary’s in 1974, I completed my nursing and midwifery training at Wollongong Hospital. I later graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Master’s degree in Health Management. I have held a number of senior nursing and midwifery management positions in both the public and private sectors of health in Metropolitan Sydney and in 2009 was seconded to the NSW Department of Health as Principle Midwifery Adviser. Earlier this year I returned to Australia, following a 2 year contract working with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) as Technical Midwife Adviser. ICM is the peak international professional body for midwifery associations and membership is approximately 108 midwifery associations from 98 countries and works in partnership with WHO and the UN. The Australian College of Midwives is a member.
For the past 2 years I lived in The Hague, Netherlands. As you can imagine, it was a great experience living in another cultu ure. Part of my work with ICM was to contribute to o the strengthening of midwifery in SubSaharan Africa in order to achieve Millennium Developmen nt Goals to reduce maternal and infant death rates during d childbirth by 2015. During this time I visited Sierra Leone in West Africa on a numberr of occasions. The WHO has identified Sierra Leone e as having the highest maternal and infant death rate. Sierra S Leone is still recovering from the Civil War of the 1990’s, which devastated the infrastructure e and the fabric of the society. While in Sierrra Leone I met with Government Ministers to highlight the need for a strong, welleducated midwifery workforce. I contributed to the
establishment of the Sierra Leone Midwives Association, conducted training workshops for midwifery leaders, visited maternity hospitals and midwifery training schools in the Capital, Freetown and in the districts.
The first picture was taken with a group of student midwives from the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in Freetown. The other was taken after a midwifery leadership workshop in Freetown.
Mother’ s Day Our Mother’s Day Dinner was held on Friday 11 May 2012 at Villa D’Oro in Wollongong. We had a full house and all guests were treated to excellent food, a beautiful venue, wonderful silent auction and raffle items and for the first time in quite a few years, a fashion parade. Choices Boutique in Kiama provided us with gorgeous clothing and members of staff, ex students, current students and friends did a great job as models for the evening. This is an opportunity for community members, past and present, to enjoy a night out as well as contribute to the Marian bursary and scholarship fund. Why not come along to the dinner next year? As it gets closer to Mother’s Day, check the College website for details or contact me to reserve a table. Marie Pulford - email@example.com
St Mary’s Girls Achieve Outstanding Results in
Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2011 who achieved outstanding results in their Higher School Certificate examination. This success followed the excellent results in the 2011 School Certificate and Naplan tests. HSC course average marks were above the state mean for twenty nine courses.
HSC Assembly 2012
Top ATAR 98.90 Ellen Marning The ATAR is a ranked score calculated by the University Admission Centre for the purposes of qualifying students for admission to university courses. Congratulations to Ellen on this excellent achievement. HSC All-Round Achievers: Georgia Fisher, Ellen Marning, Emily Ritchie A HSC All-Rounder Achiever is a student who achieves a mark of 90 or above in at least 10 units of her subjects. It is a remarkable achievement for three students to be named on the HSC All Rounder’s list.
Mr Frank Pitt, Jenny Maidment, Maddelen Isabella, Tara Hennessy.
HSC All-Round Achievers:
Many thanks to the following donors for their generosity Akele Kinnas and Company Chartered Accountants, Balgownie Beauty and Medi Spa, Banners R Us Australia, Better Floors Pty Ltd, Bunnings Warehouse, Chicko’s Chicken, Choices Boutique, Coastline Printing, Crown West Cellars, Diann Darling Jewellers, Ella Bache Wollongong, Fabiola Beauty, Face It Skin Therapy, Fastway Couriers, Flower Bud, Fuji Xerox Business Centre Wollongong, Global Coffee Solutions/Jura, Hangdog, Helen of Cake, Helen’s Hair Artistry, Hospital Hill Pharmacy, IPAC, Jackie McGovern, JB Hi-Fi, Julie Williams, Karen Taverner-Smith, Keiraville Pharmacy, La Mode Hair and Beauty, Linsol Tapware, Mud Cat Cafe, New Millennium Trophies & Gifts, Packaging Direct Australia Pty Ltd, Paperlock, Patricia Clark, Proust Optical, Ranier Pty Ltd, Sabrina Pratt – Mary Kay Consultant, SNAP Wollongong, The Good Guys Warrawong, The Novotel Wollongong, Total Bliss Day Spa, Tracy Scapin, Villa D’Oro, Wollongong Camera House, Zweefers Great Cakes.
Mr Frank Pitt, Josie McNamara, Madolyn McCammon.
Georgia Fisher Students on the Top Achievers List Kristen Mitchell & Rachele Ferrari The Top Achievers in Course List shows the students in the top places in each course. Congratulations to the Top Achievers in Course: Kristen Mitchell 9th in Business Services and Rachele Ferrari 2nd in French Beginners.
Mrs Goderie, Rosie Goderie, Lily Goderie.
Kaila Tonge, Hannah Landy, Olivia Todhunter, Michaela De Santis.
It’s our 140th anniversary next year!
We are planning to celebrate 140 years in 2013 and hope that you will consider being part of a committee to think creatively and to organise a variety of events to celebrate this milestone.
Please contact Marie Pulford by 7 September if you would like to be a part of this creative team. E firstname.lastname@example.org T 02 4228 6011
St Mary’s News update
GODSPELL was one of the big musical hits of the seventies. It played continually in New York for over 2500 performances. The movie version brought out the innocence and clown-like quality pervading much of the era's culture.
Biggest Morning Tea
Youth Achivements Award Winners
Our production took us into a steam-punk world where scavengers search for scrap metal, where hobos search for clues to lost meaning, and where the dominant regime keeps the people under its thumb. Into this fictional, drab, post-industrial word came Jesus who brought the colour of community and the challenge of spirituality, of life as it was meant to be. Community is the creative core of this College, with amazing imaginative input from students and staff, and real professional skills in many aspects of set building, song arrangements, vision system design, set design, powerful image montages, and poster design. Students from our new course, VET Entertainment, put their training to the test and this was a busy and productive time for them.
Melbourne Cup Day Fun
Yr 12 2011 Last Day
Planting for Lent
Car Wash for Lent
The performance talents of our students – and some of our venturesome staff – made this show a great pleasure to direct. It is a musical full of the fascinating storytelling of parables brought to life in comedy and song (such as the hit Day By Day), and also the dark and moving journey of Jesus towards betrayal, death and, finally, resurrection. Stephen Goldrick Drama Teacher and Director of Godspell Chemistry Titration Competition Regional Winners
CSIRO visit to Year 10 Science classes
Dragon Boat Challenge
Father’s Day Breakfast
Gisu Mobarhani Gisu Mobarhani was the key note speaker at St Mary’s HSC Assembly in February this year. This is some of what she had to say: I graduated from St Mary's 10 years ago and am a fashion designer. The fashion industry is a very demanding and challenging environment. I always knew I had a passion for fashion so I decided to take a chance and follow my dreams of becoming a fashion designer. At 22 years of age, I was accepted to exhibit my collection at the Rosemount Fashion Week in Sydney where many more opportunities opened up and these grew to 33 stores Australia wide with multiple international interests and media exposure.
Transit of Venus - Mr Morris
St Mary’s performs WotOpera
St Mary’s dancers at Disneyland
Farewell to Staff Sadly, at the end of 2011, we farewelled four long serving members of staff; Jenny Bell (Mathematics Coordinator), Keith Hopkins (HSIE Coordinator), Lynn Peard (Librarian) and Phil Plunkett (Science Teacher). Jenny has taken a position at St Joseph’s Catholic High School as Curriculum Coordinator, Keith is HSIE Coordinator at Loreto, Kirribilli, Lynn has retired and moved to Bathurst and Phil has taken a position at Holy Spirit Bellambi as Science Coordinator.
We have recently learned that Gerry Sozio, Assistant Principal, Dean of Studies, will leave St Mary’s this term for the Catholic Education Office in Wollongong to take up a position in curriculum development. We wish these wonderful members of staff who are also our friends, all the very best in their future endeavours and remind them that once a St Mary’s girl/boy, always a St Mary’s girl/boy!!
I approached one of Australia's most respected PR Companies, which only liaises with the world’s top end designers such as Hugo Boss, Deisel & Rachel Gilbert. They saw my potential and provided me with exposure that money cannot buy. My fashions are now sold nationally and internationally. St Mary’s encouraged me to follow my dreams, no matter how difficult the challenges would be and how big mistakes were made, it is not about how many times you fall down… it is about how well you pick yourself up… Margaret Hore & Jenny Bell
Neil Quinn & Phil Plunkett
Published on Mar 17, 2013