Presbyterian Ladies’ College MELBOURNE
Issue 112 July 2021
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From the Principal
Note from the Editor
Junior School 16
Early Learning Centre 20
Community News 22
ON THE COVER Eva, Year 1, with Cheryl Penberthy at the Commissioning
Ruyi Shen, PLC School Captain
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It was a joyful, historic day and I was moved by the public vows of support and encouragement I received.
From the Principal
Rev Philip Mercer, Moderator, with Cheryl Penberthy
Pippa, Year 6, making a presentation to Cheryl Penberthy
As I write to you, Term 2 is almost at an end and what an exciting term it has been! We have so much for which to be thankful as our students, staff and families are once more able to celebrate together at the much-loved annual events which bind our community together. How we all enjoyed the fun of the Mother’s Day breakfasts, the exquisite music at the Grand Concert and the stimulating activities of International Week. We solemnly observed ANZAC Day and were inspired by the commitment of the Reverend Christie Buckingham when she spoke at the annual Connect Prayer Breakfast. The College celebrated cultural diversity during International Week and in the following week, the rich history and diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples during Reconciliation Week. I personally was so touched by the warmth and support I received from the entire PLC family on the occasion of my Commissioning on 28 April as the twelfth Principal of PLC. It was a joyful, historic day and I was moved by the public vows of support and encouragement I received. You can see the delightful accounts and photos of this event and many other events throughout this edition of our magazine. However, Term 2 also provided new challenges due to the sudden extended lockdown in June as students, staff and families were again back to the world of distance learning and working from home. Alongside the disappointment of special events having to be cancelled or postponed, were the fatigue and personal struggles that many members of our community experienced. The staff had been able to build on their professional skills since last year and were well equipped to respond quickly to the online learning environment. Everyone across the College stepped up to deal creatively and flexibly with the demands of the lockdown. I am very proud of all the efforts of students, families and our dedicated staff. As I said in my acceptance speech at the Commissioning, I am a deeply reflective educator and a person who wants to keep moving forward. I seek to constantly focus on the future of our College, building on our strong Christian foundations and pioneering educational past. With the Executive and staff, I have been working with strong commitment to develop important initiatives from the Towards 2023 and Beyond Strategic Plan. The COVID-19 challenge, amongst the other demands of our interdependent, globalised world, emphasises the need for PLC to be prepared and ready for change, while keeping the high standards and values expected by our community. It must be a place of innovation, constant growth and improvement where the PLC difference is clear and recognised.
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Perfect 4th (String Quartet) – Claire Huang, Amelia Liu, Sophie Han, and Tiffany Pai Harmony Choir singing ‘Amazing Grace’
We have identified many strategic initiatives for 2021 and produced detailed operational plans across the different areas of our College to achieve our three strategic goals. Our first goal is for our girls to be lifelong learners with a global perspective who are capable scholars, thinkers, citizens, advocates and leaders. You can read about what is already being achieved through the PLC Framework for Learning and Wellbeing across the entire learning journey from the ELC to Year 12 in this edition. Our second goal is that PLC will be recognised as a leading Christian independent girls’ school with a focus on educating, developing and inspiring girls to thrive. We have already begun to develop a stakeholder plan that communicates our distinct educational identity to our community. Our third goal seeks to maximise conditions for success through continuous improvement with explicit focus on operational excellence and assurance and people, culture and strategy. The College will identify and improve business and operational planning, practices and processes. It will focus on people and capability so that PLC will be recognised as having a highly professional, efficient and engaged workforce. Staff across all areas are already participating in setting professional goals and career development planning. We at PLC are working very hard to create the very best holistic learning environment for your daughters and a stimulating, caring work environment for all staff. It is an exciting journey for all of us. Cheryl Penberthy Principal
Rev Mark Chew delivering the Commissioning Address
From the Chair of PLC Council Commissioning Address Welcome to all of you attending the commissioning of the twelfth Principal of Presbyterian Ladies’ College. I would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation. They are the Traditional Custodians, on behalf of the Almighty Creator, of these lands upon which our school stands today. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders, both past and present, of the Kulin Nation and extend this respect to other Aboriginal Australians present. Today promises to be a joyous and solemn occasion when we commission Mrs Cheryl Penberthy as Principal of PLC and ask that God will strengthen and enable her for her leadership of our College for His glory. Cheryl, let me extend to you the warmest congratulations on behalf of the entire school community, on your appointment as Principal of PLC. On behalf of the Council, we are very much looking forward to working with you as you lead this College along with all the staff and student leaders. Normally our thoughts would turn to helping a new Principal settle into this role. But that is certainly not the case with you, for you have already been serving in this role since December of 2019 and, for more than 8 years, you were the Head of the Junior School. The transformation of the Junior School during that time is a testament to your calm
and caring, and also purposeful and confident leadership. This was also evident through the course of last year, as we navigated the choppy waters of the pandemic. I’m sure that on an important occasion such as this, your heart is full of joy at the opportunity you’ve been given to make a difference. You are probably also feeling the gravity of what you’ve promised to do. It is after all a weighty responsibility, to take the reins of leadership over our beloved College, with a long and distinguished record of educational excellence for girls in Australia. It is a reputation that I know you very much desire to honour, and also, continue to enhance. And so, if I have expressed what you are feeling correctly, there is on your shoulders the paradox of a joyful burden that you have committed to carry. It’s like being given one of Monet’s sublime ‘Water Lilies’ and being told you need to improve on it. Or being commissioned by the Queen as the architect who will tastefully renovate Buckingham Palace. You can’t take up that commission and then do nothing with it, yet what you do needs to honour the past. Now, I know that none of us has the same clout as the Queen, but there is no escaping that you do carry the hopes of staff, parents, students, Old Collegians and the Presbyterian Church. And put together, we might sometimes come across as more demanding than any royal monarch!
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From the Editor Focus on the Future
I say all this not to overwhelm you with our expectations, but instead, to encourage you to know just what a noble work you are undertaking and to assure you of all our support to make a success of it. At its very essence, all of us simply wish the best for PLC, and there is no better thought than to know that what you are giving your energy and efforts to is a high calling and a noble purpose. I would like to encourage us to support Cheryl in her role as Principal, given that we know what an important job she has; to work with her, as we are doing already, to bring positive and enduring change to this College and bring out the best in one another, for the good of this College and to honour God. Cheryl, I would like to encourage you that even as you take up your commission, it is by God’s grace that you will have the strength and ability to fulfil it. What God commissions each of us to do, He will also provide the means for us to achieve. As Jesus Himself said, ‘If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’ And so, be assured that as you continue to look upon Him in trust and dependence, and as you look to God’s Word for His wisdom, then God has promised to sustain you in your work as the Principal of PLC. He will give you all that you need and more. Take comfort in this promise. Know the presence of God by His Spirit. And may the Law of God be for you the lamp of life. Rev Mark Chew Chair of Council
What God commissions each of us to do, He will also provide the means for us to achieve.
Commissioning a new Principal is a significant moment in any school’s history. It calls us to look back to those who went before us, their achievements and their abilities to overcome challenges, to evaluate and celebrate what we have now, and to look ahead with a focus on the future, underpinned by all that has gone before. In this edition of PLC in Print, we focus on the significance of Cheryl Penberthy’s commissioning and the direction she is leading us in as we operationalise our Strategic Plan. We also consider how we support each student to become a leader – this being one of our five graduate outcomes which we hope all our students will realise over their journey to be future-ready as they leave our College. This edition is also full of events we missed last year – a celebration of the traditions we hold dear and which will live on in the future of PLC. Educators are constantly being challenged to shift our focus as we prepare students for the jobs of the future which will rely on 21st century skills. There is currently much discussion of the limitations of the current system which focuses on examinations within specific disciplines and scores to measure student performance; however, this is a system that has served us reasonably well thus far. This is a time to look towards the future but also to recognise there is much to learn from the past and the present, principally the importance of taking steady steps with the words of Corrie ten Boom in our thoughts: ‘Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.’ Lisa Saffin Deputy Principal Curriculum, Learning and Administration
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Leader: ‘An articulate, capable and responsible person of integrity who works collaboratively, has a heart for service and uses her education to make the world a better place.’ Graduate Outcomes, PLC’s Strategic Plan: Towards 2023 and Beyond
The PLC Leadership Journey
‘I get tissue for my friends when they’re sad. I help them feel better.’ Ada – toddler
In our Strategic Plan we look towards the future, to the graduate outcomes to which we want every girl to aspire: Scholar, Thinker, Advocate, Citizen, Leader. In this issue of PLC in Print, we focus on leadership and listen to the voices of our students as they develop leadership competencies through the opportunities afforded them at PLC.
‘I help!’ Bonnie – infant group
EARLY LEARNING CENTTRE
Helping ‘Sometimes I help my friends make paper fans and butterflies. I show them what to do.’ Lauren - 3-year-old Kindergarten
Leadership in the Early Learning Centre Leading ourselves and then leading others takes time, patience and an environment that fosters and supports independence and shared responsibility. In the Early Learning Centre, leadership is developed through playful learning experiences, allowing children to recognise and develop a sense of themselves, their community and their place in the world. Everyday responsibilities embed leadership in routines and rituals which set patterns and traditions for life. Children share their skills with each other in their work, take responsibility for setting up their learning spaces, mealtimes and rest times and contribute to shared decision-making. Collaboration and belonging to a community of learners sets the foundation for strong leadership capabilities.
‘We have jobs and at lunchtime we ask who wants to serve food and we put drinks out on the tables and we tidy up where we play.’ Bella – 4-year-old Pre-Prep
‘I love to hear other people’s ideas. As a leader I need to be caring, I have to listen and I have to take responsibility. Layla – Year 4
‘Showing leadership is making sure everybody feels part of the team and being kind and loving. Leaders have to be humble, not boastful.’ Eva – Year 1
‘My leadership experience showed me that I am capable of talking to many people and not to be afraid of new experiences.’ Kiyara – Year 3
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Collaborating ‘A leader knows that everyone makes mistakes and isn’t afraid to make them. Lead with compassion and kindness and be open to feedback from your class.’ Clairesse – Year 7
‘Being able to work cooperatively with others is an important leadership trait because to improve a community, you have to be able to work together.’ Tahlia – Year 8
‘In my leadership role I help people. I am honest, even when it is hard sometimes.’ Sanayah – Year 6
‘The ups and downs of this semester have taught me that a good leader should be flexible and lead by example. Communication and compromise are key.’ Jennifer – Year 9
Leadership in Junior School and Senior School From Prep to Year 12, we cultivate leadership skills in every student through a strong focus on working together as a community, building self-confidence and self-awareness and recognising role models who inspire others with humility and grace. We know that to lead others, our girls will need to be courageous, resilient, collaborative and willing to take responsibility; it is these competencies that we focus on developing throughout their time in the Junior and Senior Schools. There are numerous opportunities to practise leadership skills. Responsibilities increase and significant output is expected as girls move up through the school. The girls need support from peers and staff to learn to apply the skills they are developing and to identify their strategic goals in leading others. Students lead in collaboration with their peers; shared leadership holds significant challenges and growth opportunities, and teamwork is critical to a successful outcome.
‘Being a camp leader meant supporting the Year 7s on their first Senior School camp and helping them with anything they were struggling with, from homesickness to the camp activities. I found new capabilities as well as strength within myself that I can incorporate into my life.’ Ebony – Year 10
‘The most important thing that we do as leaders is communicate. It is important that all voices are heard to ensure we deliver a product everyone is proud of and which encapsulates the whole school’s experience.’ Jody, Tiffany and Margot – Year 11
‘Pipes and Drums leadership means guiding each girl through their musical journey. It’s cheering when someone nails their paradiddles. It’s fostering an environment that’s fit for learning and fun. And it’s not only my responsibility to do this, but the whole band’s. All the girls are leaders.’ Madeleine – Year 11
‘We have realised that sometimes we don’t have a pattern to follow in a position of leadership. Often, we have to make our own pattern, adapting and changing in response to new challenges. Leadership is about striving to serve the needs of our school community.’ Ruyi and Ria – Year 12
‘Leadership is about having courage to take action. The main goal of leadership for me is to encourage girls that to succeed we have to first step out of our comfort zones and try something new without fear of failure.’ Christy – Year 12
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Year 10 Bright Stars Program
Senior School The Ickabog
Illustration Competition We are delighted to announce that Erica, Year 8, is one of the winners of The Ickabog illustration competition.
The Ickabog, by J.K. Rowling, was first serialised for free online at theickabog.com J.K. Rowling wanted to share this personal family favourite, which she wrote over ten years ago as a bedtime story for her younger children, to help entertain children, parents and carers confined at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keen for children to be involved as the story unfolded, J.K. Rowling invited them to illustrate her story week by week, as a new chapter was released, and be inspired by the tale of a mythical monster, a kingdom in peril and an adventure that will test two children’s bravery to the limit. The story, now published as a book, has been beautifully brought to life throughout with full-colour illustrations by the 34 young winners (7–12 years old) of the The Ickabog illustration competition, run by Hachette UK. Winning was a huge achievement; from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India, over 18,000 submissions were received. The quality, diversity and sheer imagination of the children’s artwork was incredible to see. J.K. Rowling is donating her net royalties from the book to her charitable trust, The Volant Charitable Trust, to help support vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and internationally. As a result, Erica has kindly nominated the PLC libraries to receive her prize, a collection of Hachette Australia books worth $900. We encourage students and staff to look at the beautiful publication of The Ickabog and see Erica’s stunning illustration. Copies are located in the Junior Library, Senior Library and the Principal’s Office. Genevieve Lynch Head of Library Services
Bright Stars is a special program that helps prepare Year 10 students for the transition into the more demanding Years 11 and 12. While it aims to help students develop the knowledge and skills needed to progress confidently into the senior years of their education, the Bright Stars program also encourages students to focus on the development of transferable life and work skills such as collaboration, communication and creativity. These skills are often referred to as 21st century skills. The Bright Stars week was held from 1 – 5 March in Term 1. It began with a day of guest speakers, activities and workshops to engage students in the holistic nature of their personal development and to promote understanding of the indivisible link between wellbeing and learning. Mr Ben Pettingill, who lost his eyesight at the age of 16, opened the day’s program with his inspirational story of overcoming adversity and building resilience. Students then engaged in three activities, self-defence, Zumba and mindfulness to promote physical strength, fitness and mental health. The day concluded with an interactive workshop on time management and beating procrastination, which highlighted the importance of effective and efficient study habits. At the Bright Stars Evening Forum on 2 March, parents and students were fascinated by Dr Jared Cooney Horvath’s presentation, ‘A Tour through the Teenage Brain’. Dr Horvath’s stimulating talk focused on the scientific basis of how and why teenagers think differently to adults and ways in which parents can support their daughter’s learning and wellbeing. Later in the week, the Bright Stars program focused on Careers and preparation for Work Experience, organised by Mrs Pauline Parker, PLC’s Career Development Practitioner. Activities included an online occupational health and safety assessment, safety posters and The Pitch, where students collaborated in teams to present to their peers. Students commented that this ‘gave us an insight into the real world of working’ and that they learnt valuable skills such as ‘talking points for interviews and how to sell yourself’.
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For 15 years, on the 25th of April, the Pipes and Drums band has marched 1.5km from Federation Square down St Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance, following the trail of the parade and its heavily crowded path. However, faced with COVID-19 restrictions, we have found other ways to commemorate the fallen soldiers and share the joy of music. This year, we were fortunate enough to perform at Aveo Fountain Court, a local retirement village. We joined their Anzac Service, where we heard commemorative speeches from veterans, singing from the Fountain Court Chorus and a solo lament performed by Tingting, our Pipe Major. Tributes were made in honour of two resident veterans of Aveo, who recently passed away. After the service, the residents welcomed us with warm smiles and friendly greetings to share morning tea with them. The village radiated with love, warmth and music as the residents showed their appreciation and young and old alike chatted away over tea and Anzac biscuits. The band is thankful for the opportunity to share in their special service.
Maddy Lead Drummer, Pipes and Drums
1. PLC Pipe Major, Tingting, performing the solo Lament during the wreath laying 2. Students enjoying morning tea with Aveo residents 3. PLC Pipes and Drums performing at local retirement village (Aveo Fountain Court) for the Anzac Day Service
In their evaluation of the Bright Stars week, students summarised the learning outcomes they had achieved and which activities they enjoyed the most. The feedback was very positive with students appreciating the diversity of the program, the inspiring guest speakers and the learning of new skills. A special thank you to Mr Rivis, Year 10 Coordinator, and Mrs Parker for their organisation and support of the Bright Stars week, and to all the PLC staff who assisted with supervision. The stars of the program were undoubtedly our Year 10 students
who engaged fully with the program and maximised the learning and wellbeing opportunities provided for them. They are now more informed and better equipped to successfully navigate the senior years of their PLC education, and beyond. Kim Watkins Director of Student Wellbeing
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Boarders without borders: looking back, looking ahead ‘So, how are those boarders doing?’ This is a question I’ve been asked many times over in the last 18 months. It is not an easy question to answer. My standard response is, ‘They’re just getting on with it’. It reminds me a little of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ slogan. ‘Getting on’ with what? Firstly, there has been a lot of adaptation. So many different routines at different times. Eating in the dining hall / assigned chairs in the dining hall. Lining up at a suitable social distance, hand-sanitiser before dinner and taking temperatures before bed. No visitors – but then visitors. No hot food deliveries or bubble tea, but lots of delicious treats provided by the kitchen staff. Secondly, amusement. There’s a mixture of the old: Pancake Tuesday relay (tossing pancakes from one frying pan to the next), birthday dinners, Valentine’s Day chocolate fountain. Chinese New Year dinner, baking brownies, film nights, and perpetual evacuations! And the new: surfing at Phillip Island, egg chairs, transformation of the computer room to a hangout space for Year 11s. New dining room tables and chairs; mirrors on the gym wall. Outings in the holidays to Half Moon Bay, the Dandenong Ranges, the drive-in, Peninsula Hot Springs and the NGV. And so much more. Some boarders even mastered the art of baking sourdough bread and making coffee art. We said farewell to Karina, who has been a wonderful catering manager throughout 2020. We have since welcomed Nelly, who is fitting in nicely. We also farewelled Matt, the chef, and he has been replaced by Paul, who has a flair for decoration and creativity. So where to from here? Is it more of the same? Or is there something exciting around the corner? In any case, we have a remarkable group of girls in the Boarding House this year. Our captains, Audrey and Ilona, have led the way with calm and steadiness. The boarding house staff have continued to go above and beyond in their care for the girls. As we’ve heard said many times by our Premier, ‘We’re all in this together’, and this is true for life here in the Boarding House. Stuart Manderson Head of Boarding
PLC Boarders’ Surf Day – Easter Break In the first week of the Easter break a group of PLC boarders headed down to beautiful Phillip Island for a surf and some beach adventure. Along with Nick Curtis, Damien Gogoll and Caroline Dehn, the boarders headed off bright and early. The girls were met at the YCW beach by Asher Belsar from Outthere Outdoor Activities. His good use of humour and experienced knowledge of the ocean soon set aside any nerves. He had us all doing warm-ups and limbering up in preparation for a fun couple of hours, then gave us a briefing and some tips. Once students were in the water there were smiles all round as we made the most of the enjoyable surf conditions. At the end of the session we all dried off and headed to Summerlands, the beach the penguins come to, to enjoy the view while we had lunch. We were even able to see a sleeping penguin and a wallaby. Maybe the penguin thought it was a lockdown! After that it was on to Cape Woolamai for a nature walk. We headed down towards Magic Lands beach and then up along the nature walk for beautiful views of the Pinnacles and Cape Woolamai. It was a very full but fun day, enjoying the beauty of creation. There were sleepy smiles all round on the way back on the bus. It was time to call it a day, but more adventure awaits. Nick Curtis Director of Christian Ministries
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Jerusalema Dance Challenge – Accepted!
International Week 2021 offered a broad and fascinating range of cultural activities, each one inviting the school to celebrate its international identity. ‘Everybody Belongs’ was a befitting theme for the week. After a pandemic year marked by restrictions and lockdowns, which prevented the school from assembling for any of its regular activities, International Week provided the school with the opportunity to enjoy a renewed sense of community and belonging. While the world is still gripped by the impacts of COVID-19, people from many nations have found joy and a spirit of togetherness in ‘Jerusalema’, a song written in isiZulu in 2019 by Master KG, a South African. He wrote the song just before the outbreak of the pandemic.
It expresses the human longing for a better place and a plea for God’s new world, the New Jerusalem, where there’ll be no tears or pain. The song’s words and infectious African beat have inspired numerous groups across the world to imitate its original dance. A few months before International Week this year, a team of staff from across the school met to organise a dance event that would embrace the week’s theme, bringing the Senior school community together to take on the ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’. A film crew, sound technicians, maintenance staff, supervising teachers and over 1000 dancing students all contributed to make this event very special. Two gifted Year 11 students, Tarini and Caitlyn, choreographed the entire dance, filmed it in three stages, then taught it to us all. A sense of excitement built as students rehearsed the dance in the corridors and classrooms each day at 1.15pm, when the song played over the loudspeaker. Two whole-school rehearsals at lunchtime, and a final performance on 17 May, delivered spectacular footage of the students, resulting in the video, ‘PLC Jerusalema Dance Challenge – Accepted!’.
When dancing, the school community lifted its hands in praise to God, expressing joy that in belonging to Him, we can look to Him for hope and salvation. The isiZulu words mean: ‘Jerusalem is my home, guard me, walk with me, do not leave me here – Jerusalem is my home, my place is not here, my kingdom is not here.’ Powerful words that impact us all. It’s easy to see why this song has lifted spirits globally during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it has inspired the ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’. We wish to thank the staff who were involved in the planning of this project: Anne-Marie Williams, Lisa Saffin, Henry Jones, David Treeby, Susie Rennie, Martine Thompson, Talisker Grant, Chris Hallam, Nathan Harris, Ben Daly, Antony Hankin, Ray Tabram, Ray Darbritz, Kim Watkins, David MacGregor, Yin Tse and Amber Guest, for their enthusiasm and commitment to this wonderful event. Sarah Buckman Head of Languages
Jerusalema Dance Video
Boarders enjoying themselves at Phillip Island
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International Week: ‘Everyone Belongs’ Two of our Year 12 students shared their stories of family, culture, background and belonging in assemblies during International Week. My mum, or as we say, my ammi, was born in the bustling city of Kolkata, yet much of my family remains in the smaller, vibrant city of Kanpur. This includes my greatgrandmother, or bhari nani, as we call her, her 11 children, and their children, and now even their children. But given that I don’t travel to India all the time, how does this culture influence my life today? My name is Sara and I’m in Year 12. The theme of International Week was ‘Everyone Belongs’. I have found a sense of belonging in this nation, despite the contrasting mix of being both an Indian and an Australian. l want to unpack some of the stereotypical questions I have been asked, multiple times. Up first we have, ‘Do you speak Indian?’ This one gets me every time. To make it clear, my ethnicity is Indian, and the language I speak is Urdu. On a side note, I FaceTime my grandma almost everyday, and though she can speak English very well, we often practise speaking Urdu together so that I can become more fluent. We also have the usual, ‘Do you speak English?’ I love this one because I can either switch into a very convincing Indian accent, or I can choose to speak in an ocker Australian accent. The latter always blows their mind. One of the funniest questions I get is from both non-Indians and Indians. It’s the automatic assumption, ‘So, which sciences and maths are you doing this year?’ As well as Methods, I take Latin, Australian History,
1. Bollywood dancing in the Quad
Legal Studies and I took Geography last year – no sciences – so you can imagine what a shock it is to their system. Finally, my all-time favourite: ‘So where were you born?’ And when I proceed to reply, ‘Australia’, there’s always that dreaded followup question, ‘but tell me where you’re really from?’ There is so much more to being Indian than what is perceived by Australian society. Although it has been many years since I last visited India, I remember everything so vividly. Each night, there would be more than 30 of us in one tiny room, and we would talk on our little blow-up mattresses until the early hours of the morning. The car-rides were just as packed. More than 15 of us would pack inside a car made to fit 5, and often I would be curled up on the floor of the backseat, with my head on my ammi’s lap. Nowadays, so much emphasis is placed on worldly possessions – how big your house is, how expensive your car is – but in India, we chose to cram ourselves into that one room, and we chose to all go in that car together, because it was those special moments that we knew would stay with us forever. Weddings are one of my favourite parts of being Indian. When my auntie got married, it was one of the best times of my life. First, we had the mehndi, which is the girls’ night, in Melbourne. Every Friday when school ended, I would rush in excitement to my nani’s place, and we would spend the entire weekend planning for her wedding. As part of this mehndi, we had an 8-minute choreographed dance medley, and a 6-minute dandiya dance, which uses sticks – the video shows that I thought my dancing was pretty top-notch.
2. Roro and Sara, Year 12
The second event was the Baarat in India; this is the event on the girl’s side. A unique part of this ceremony is the joota chupai, literally meaning ‘shoe hiding’. It’s purely for entertainment purposes, and it’s when the girl’s side hides the groom’s shoes and won’t give them back until he empties his bank account. But the baarat is also when the girl leaves with the boy for the first time, and everyone cries. I’ll also never forget how self-absorbed I was, to get my auntie, who was getting married that day, to straighten my hair, while I sat there eating chips. The last event was the walima which was held by the groom’s side on a beautiful lawn in India. And how could I forget the Bollywood movies? The cheesiest yet most heartwarming films you’ll ever see. Ammi and I have a ritual, every few months to sit down at midnight and watch the 90’s Bollywood movies that she grew up with, like Khabi Khushie Khabie Gham (meaning, ‘sometimes there is joy, sometimes there is sadness’). We always end up in tears. I’ve come to recognise that I’m a fusion, belonging to two opposite cultures that intertwine in the most unusual ways. Whether that’s eating biryani on Sorrento Back Beach then going for a swim on a too-full stomach, or wearing the most unappealing thongs with a beautiful Indian outfit (it’s safe to say my ammi was not very happy with me that day). Whichever decision I make, the beauty is in knowing that I have a wide array of choices. I am eternally grateful to be an Australian, who has retained my Indian culture. I do belong, in the most unique, Indian way. Sara, Year 12
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Travelling from the west-most part of Indonesia in Aceh, to its east-most part in Papua, can be described as travelling through time. I was born and raised in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta. I lived in a house of more than 15 people; many of my aunts and uncles lived with us. I would go to school with a driver, which is very common in Jakarta, and in the hours that I was at school, it was as if I was transported to a Western country, speaking English with Western teachers and surrounded by a multicultural community. Once school was finished, I would arrive back home to rowdy noises and an array of Indonesian food prepared by my maid – also very common in Jakarta – to have dinner, with my family who could not speak a word of English. It was a strange, dual life, but I loved every second of it. However, if I travelled 2000km to a small, secluded island, where my mum is from, I was transported back in time to before the Industrial Revolution. The island is so remote that it takes more than 18 hours to get there. When I visited the island, I had to transit three times, hop on a ferry for eight hours, and then, finally, use a traditional fishing boat to get to the island. When I attended a wedding there in 2016, my younger cousins were completely flabbergasted by the filters on Snapchat on my phone. They had never seen anything like it before. What was normal to me was abnormal to them. The wedding itself was something I had never experienced before; there were no
altars, pews nor air conditioning. The guests dressed casually because they couldn’t afford fancy clothing. This time, what was normal to them, was abnormal to me. To travel even further back in time to when Indonesia was ruled by monarchs, we could go to my dad’s hometown in Java. Why? Well, because my dad’s ancestors were once kings, which is why they named me ‘Roro,’ meaning ‘princess’ in the local dialect. On my dad’s side of the family, we hold very strong Javenese noble traditions. One of the prominent teachings is to respect your elders. For example, if you walk past someone older than you, you must bow your head and slouch down to make sure your eyes do not meet theirs because it would be considered very impolite. When I moved to Australia and gradually got exposed to Western norms, I was surprised at how different the key lessons being taught were. When I first came to Australia, I admired students here when they queried a teacher or debated their claims - this would never happen in my culture because it would be considered impolite. Even now, I have the tendency to slouch down in front of teachers when I walk past them. It is taught that a Javanese person should be polite and soft-spoken, whereas every motivational
speaker on my Tiktok is always preaching the importance of confidence. I’ve always been scared to raise my hand in class and when a teacher makes a joke or strikes up a casual conversation, I tend to stutter, cower my head or soften my voice. I don’t know how to reply except to be polite. Moving here has exposed me to new values, very different to what I grew up with, such as confidence. It was only after I actively sought to integrate myself into this new culture that I was able to enjoy my time here more. I realised that focusing on how different certain cultures are can make me more stressed and miss home even more. I used to always stick with the same people who shared the same culture as me because frankly, having different or opposing values can be terrifying. After one and a half years of being in Australia, a very diverse country, I realise that those differences are simply opportunities to learn. But, while it is up to me, the individual, to share my stories and actively seek to assimilate with the dominant culture, you all play a role in this as well. Australia, specifically, plays a significant role in international education. The ease of transition from one culture to another is enhanced when we help the individual feel welcomed, or ‘belonged’, and I think one of the best ways to do this is to actively listen. Actively listening does not mean listening to them only when they talk. It’s also listening to what’s not being said. Although today I shared my culture by articulating it clearly with my words, most of the time we don’t do that. We share culture through food, fashion, humour or music. So, while the first step of ‘sharing’ is up to me, it is up to you to ‘listen’, and by working together, we will hopefully create a mutually beneficial, inclusive environment, where everyone belongs. Roro, Year 12
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The Grand Concert 2020 was understandably very light on in terms of music performances, so it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that we approached the Grand Concert on Friday 21 May, 2021. This was to be our second big concert of the year, following on from the Autumn Concert at the end of Term 1. Everything fell into place on the night and it was thrilling for the girls to be able to perform to a packed auditorium in the Performing Arts Centre. Playing in front of an audience makes such a difference! The program began with a scintillating performance from the Voiceworks choir, accompanied by members of the Latin Band. This contrasted well with the Concert Band which followed with a performance of ‘Scorpion!’ and ‘Boom and Bust’. Saxophonist Cheryl gave a sparkling rendition of two movements from Milhaud’s ‘Scaramouche’, which was followed by the mellow tones of ‘Sleepsong’ from the Wind Symphony. Following Melba Chorale’s atmospheric performance, Mrs Penberthy presented students with their Music Colours. Hannah, the 2021 Music Captain, received the Lois Couzens Award from the President of the FMS, Ms Li-Leen Tan. Senior Strings performed a movement from the popular ‘Serenade for Strings’ by Dvořák, and the program was brought to a close with the Symphony Orchestra. Given the restrictions subsequently brought in for Melbourne, we are very grateful that the girls had the opportunity to perform in this year’s Grand Concert. Richard Squibb Director of Music
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Again, this year, the Victorian community is challenged with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including our students who are having to dust off and implement their remote learning skills. During lockdowns we are able to keep senior students up-todate through a variety of resources including weekly editions of Career News, Zoom meetings and emails. Throughout the year a number of careers-related activities are arranged and we have been able to deliver these in a different format where necessary. One example is the annual Careers Speakers event which was held in early June. Personal stories are very empowering in raising students’ awareness of a broad range of opportunities whilst developing an understanding of the importance of a balanced life. Years 11 and 12 students had the opportunity to engage with a number of Old Collegians who shared their study and career journeys since leaving school. 1. Sally Yu (2010) 2. Miranda Ge (2011) 3. Farzana Zaman (2010) 4. Joyce Zhuo (2016)
Recently we conducted this event with each presenter kindly filming their segment. These were combined into a single presentation for students to access through Wyse. As we have adopted new ways of providing these opportunities to students our guests communicated that they too had been creative and flexible in pursuing their careers. This included accepting roles they may not have expected to undertake in commencing their careers, being open to the challenge of accepting new opportunities, recognising the importance of communication and engaging in continuous learning. They also talked about the importance of achieving a work/life balance, developing hobbies and interests alongside one’s principal career and, importantly, acknowledging what one can be grateful for each day. Our sincere thanks to Farzana Zaman (2010) (Medical Oncology Fellow), Sally Yu (2010) (Business Strategist and sportsperson), Miranda Ge (2011) (Engineer and PhD candidate) and Joyce Zhuo (2016) (Business with a strong interest in Music) for sharing their experiences. These Old Collegians valued their school life and encouraged students to participate in the wide range of activities offered in the classroom and the broader life of the school to develop skills for work in the 21st century as well as a strong network of friends to provide support now and into the future. Pauline Parker Career Development Practitioner
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Creativity – skilling our girls for future work
Head of Junior School What will you be doing in 2033? That seems such a long way into the future, but in the Junior School, staff are already thinking that far ahead. That year, 2033, will be the year that our current 2021 Prep girls will be graduating. The Junior School Learning and Wellbeing Framework centres around developing exceptional learners who are strong communicators, effective collaborators, engaged citizens, skilful thinkers and who are of good character. As learning experiences are developed across the year levels, and in all curriculum areas, to align with the framework, the girls will not only develop their academic capacity, but will also foster skills and dispositions that will be built upon each year to enable them to exemplify the PLC Graduate Outcomes – Scholar, Thinker, Citizen, Advocate and Leader. At present in the Junior School, staff are unpacking the ‘skilful thinker’ section of the framework as part of their professional learning. They are embedding critical thinking activities into their programs to both build the girls’ capabilities and challenge their perspectives. Dr Michelle Cafini Head of Junior School
Creativity remains in the top 5 job skills needed for the future, according to The World Economic Forum. Also at the top of the list are complex problem solving and analytical thinking and innovation. Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer at Adobe, states: ‘Half of human work could be taken over by artificial intelligence and automation in 15 years, a timeframe which is being accelerated by the pandemic.’ However, he also acknowledges that ‘creativity is a uniquely human trait that no algorithm can replace’. This means that creativity will continue to be a skill required on a daily basis. PLC is preparing girls for the future workforce. Drawing on their human senses, problem solving and innovative thinking, girls are asked to creatively transform their ideas into physical reality. This requires a range of skills to be brought together. This semester, Year 6 students were challenged to use their problem solving skills to create a bird feeder that would keep the bird seeds dry from the elements, allow for the replenishment of feed, provide access to the feed by birds and be visually attractive. Using their analytical thinking skills, they observed various species of mushroom whose forms complement the storage of seeds and water; they also analysed features of existing bird-feeding products. They then made connections between the ideas, justified their ideas to their peers and consolidated their learning with their knowledge and skills in clay building to create their own ‘mushroom bird feeder’. Art at PLC nurtures students’ creativity to prepare them for future success. Joyce Khor Junior School Art Teacher
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Skilful Thinking ‘Education is not [only] the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.’ Albert Einstein
‘Teaching for the future’ has been a topic of discussion amongst educators for a number of decades. Among the varied list of essential dispositions that many propose to be crucial factors for success in the 21st century and beyond, skilful thinking tops the list. The Foundation for Young Australians (2017) produced a report detailing the skills and capabilities that will matter most in the workforce of 2030 and beyond. In particular, skilful thinkers of the future will spend ‘100% more time at work solving problems; 41% more time on critical thinking and judgement [and] 17% more time per week using verbal communication and interpersonal skills (like listening, empathy and persuasion).’ The report draws the conclusion that the skills that will matter most in the workplace of the future are, by a wide margin, problem solving, judgment and critical thinking. We believe that one of the most important hallmarks of exceptional learners is their ability to think skilfully, and a renewed emphasis is being placed on this in the Junior School. A skilful thinking curriculum provides time for students to reflect, make connections and play with ideas, ask well-considered questions, observe and analyse, formulate and justify opinions, consider different viewpoints and respectfully challenge the opinions of others. A curriculum that prioritises skilful thinking not only teaches students the skills involved in critical thinking, but it also teaches them to value these skills and use them willingly and habitually. Throughout the Junior School, skilful thinking is intentionally developed in a variety of ways. The journey to becoming a skilful thinker begins in Junior Primary, where the girls learn to verbalise their opinions and give reasons for their thinking. Emphasis is also placed on making connections between ideas from previous learning and personal experiences.
Year 3 students have been focusing on the concept of diversity. They have been using The Three Y’s thinking routine to consider why diversity matters to them, why it matters to those around them and why it matters to the world. Their responses were investigated at a deeper level as they considered the different viewpoints of others and logically justified their own thoughts. The Year 4 students are becoming skilful thinkers as they learn to design their own questions to drive their learning forward and lead them to new ways of thinking. They particularly enjoyed experimenting with questions that required inquiry at a deeper level. While investigating the topic of Early Explorers, examples of questions created by the girls included, ‘What does it mean to have a pioneering spirit?’, ‘Do you need a pioneering spirit to be an explorer?’ and ‘How can we demonstrate a pioneering spirit in our own lives?’ The students have been seeking answers through means of rich discussion and making connections between their prior knowledge, learning, and life beyond the classroom. In the Exploratorium, the Year 5 students have been learning to ask good questions to help them solve real-world problems as part of their Biomimicry unit. Biomimicry is when engineers work to solve design challenges by asking themselves questions about how that problem is solved in nature. They then use those ideas to create something new. Students worked collaboratively to apply this way of thinking. For example, some groups tried to find ways of cooling homes without burning as much fossil fuel for energy. They asked themselves the question, ‘How does nature cool itself down?’. Then they researched ways that animals or plants keep themselves cool, and designed a house using some of these ideas.
The girls in Year 6 have been working in groups to run their own political campaign, thus making connections to their learning about Australia’s system of government. As political party members, they needed to be open to new ideas and prioritise when developing party policies. Debating bills within the class parliament required justification of ideas and a willingness to consider matters carefully and to respectfully challenge the views of the opposition. The ability to think skilfully is, without doubt, essential not only for academic success, but also for success in life generally. As parents and educators, we must not only equip our young ones with the necessary skills that will enable them to do this well, but we must also develop within them the intrinsic desire to think skilfully. If they come to value skilful thinking, they will be committed and inclined to use those skills regularly – to be inquisitive, reflective, disciplined, openminded, honest and flexible thinkers. ‘Critical thinking is skeptical without being cynical. It is open-minded without being wishy-washy. It is analytical without being nitpicky. Critical thinking can be decisive without being stubborn, evaluative without being judgemental, and forceful without being opinionated.’ Peter Facione, 2020
Melissa Voce Deputy Head of Junior School Head of Curriculum & Pedagogy
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The Jungle Book – Year 5 Plays The story of The Jungle Book was one of my childhood favourites and I have fond memories of my mother reading the tale to my siblings and me as a bedtime story. I would often watch the classic Disney movie in the school holidays and I memorised all the lyrics to ‘The Bare Necessities’ song. The idea of being Mowgli and wondering what it would be like to grow up with talking animals that looked after him like a family sparked my imagination. I loved pretending to be Mowgli during free play at home with dress-ups and soft toys playing supporting roles. As an adult the thought of a huge bear and a black panther being my best friends is inconceivable. Therein lies the beauty of exploring the world through the eyes of a child. The freedom of fearlessness, your imagination constantly taking you to new and exciting places unfettered by plans for tomorrow or what’s for dinner, living in the here and now. The play the Year 5s performed in Term 1 was adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of short stories based on ancient Indian fables. It was re-written for the stage by the playwright Vera Morris. The Year 5 students learned the lines on the page but made the story their own. I am in awe of their little triumphs along the way and pleased for those who had the chance to showcase their acting abilities. The 2021 Year 5 class plays were able to be performed live to their families in the Betty Caldwell Hall. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to experience live theatre again. I am sure the girls involved will remember the time they performed The Jungle Book with fond memories in years to come. Alison Bennett Junior School Drama and Dance teacher
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1. Our 2021 PLC Junior School SSV State Swimming Team. From the left: Maya, Simone, Charlotte, Matilda and Vivienne.
School Sport Victoria State Swimming Championships Charlotte, Matilda, Vivienne, Simone and Maya were our last remaining members of the SSV Junior School Swim Team as they had all progressed through the District, Division and Regional Swimming competitions. The PLC State Swim Team battled it out at the SSV State Primary Swimming Competition held at Melbourne Sport and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) on Monday, 26 April. Charlotte had qualified for the 12/13-Year-Old Girls 50m Backstroke event and competed against the top athletes from all around Victoria. After swimming a personal best time of 39.24 at the Regional Competition, Charlotte was in great form. She swam an amazing race in the backstroke with a strong finish. Charlotte finished in sixth place overall – in the entire state of Victoria – which was an excellent achievement.
2. The SSV 9/10 Girls 200m LC Freestyle Relay State Champions. From the left: Maya, Simone, Matilda and Vivienne.
Shortly after Charlotte’s race we had the 9/10-Year-Old Girls 200m LC Freestyle Relay. The PLC team included: Matilda, Vivienne, Simone and Maya. They had qualified secondfastest for the State Final, with their personal best time still three seconds slower than the highest ranked team. The girls needed a fast swim to have any chance to finish in first place – and that’s exactly what they delivered. The race was close at the start, but each PLC swimmer executed the skills practised in training to perfection. PLC touched the wall in first place, nearly six seconds ahead of their nearest rival. Well done everyone on a great team effort. Mr Ashley Newell Head of PE and Sport Junior School
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Early Learning Centre College Connections
The ELC is fortunate to be a valued part of the wider PLC community. There are always many opportunities for our youngest children to participate in whole school events and the children benefit from the many inter-age connections that are formed with the primary and secondary school students each year. The ELC welcomes Senior School girls undertaking work experience, students who are participating in the Duke of Edinburgh program and groups of Year 6 girls who regularly visit the ELC children as part of their Action Leadership sessions. The Pre-Prep children also attend the Indigenous Jindi Worabak club each term which also enhances the strong connections with the older girls at the College. Recently a number of Year 9 Community Action girls devised and implemented a variety of age-appropriate experiences to share with the Pre-Prep children as part of their Outlook Community in Action program. The Senior School students divided into three groups, with each group connecting with a Pre-Prep class. The first class was presented with the Rainbow Fish story and the children were then encouraged
to design and make their own interpretations of rainbow fish using a variety of coloured collage materials. Concurrently, in another class, there was much discussion about the meaning of Indigenous symbols, and rocks were provided for children to create their reflections of Indigenous art painting. In the third classroom the Senior School students dramatised a Chinese Zodiac folk story and introduced the ELC children to modern South Korean dancing. The morning culminated with a wonderful musical experience presented by another group of Community Action girls in Junior School’s Betty Caldwell Hall. The Kindergarten and Pre-Prep children were mesmerised by the beautiful sounds of the musical instruments and enthusiastically sang along to their favourite movie songs. We know children learn understanding, empathy and respect from each other and the numerous relationships that are formed throughout the campus further enhance the children’s feeling of connectedness and community. Deborah Hendren Head of Early Learning
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Congratulations to the Early Learning Centre PLC’s Early Learning Centre has again been rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standard under the National Quality Framework in all seven quality areas. The National Quality Standards (NQS) sets a national benchmark for the quality of children’s education and care services across Australia. Implementation of the NQF is guided by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). Congratulations to all our staff in the ELC on this outstanding achievement!
Presbyterian Ladies College Early Learning
Quality Area 1
Educational program and practice
Quality Area 2
Quality Area 3
Quality Area 4
Quality Area 5
Quality Area 6
Quality Area 7
Children’s health and safety
Relationships with children
Governance and leadership
Department of Education and Training Date of issue: 13 April 2021
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PLC Parent Groups Hethersett Parents’ Group The Hethersett Parents’ Group is the oldest parent body at PLC, founded in the 1950s and named in honour of the original Burwood property. As a Senior School parent volunteer group, the Hethersett Parents’ Group provides parents with the opportunity to work together and support important events in the life of the school, including the Athletics Carnival, the Mother’s Day Breakfast, the Father’s Day Breakfast and the Christmas Luncheon. In Term 2, the group organised the Senior School Mother’s Day breakfast, held in Betty Caldwell Hall for the first time due to a record number of registrations, with tickets sold out in 3 days! All were treated to a scrumptious buffet breakfast and wise parenting tips from Cheryl Penberthy, our guest speaker. There were door prizes, a raffle and many other gifts for special mums on the day. Our main focus for the rest of this term will be planning for the upcoming Senior School Father’s Day breakfast. If you are interested in being part of the Hethersett Parents’ Group, we would love to hear from you. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org April Lim President – Hethersett Parents’ Group
PLC Prayer Group The PLC Prayer Group returned to in-person meetings at Hethersett earlier this year, although the May/June lockdown saw the prayer group connect via Zoom. The group meets every other Wednesday morning in the Junior School, and every Thursday at lunchtime. A broad range of people attend prayer group, including staff members (past and present), Old Collegians and parents. All are welcome! In May, the PLC Prayer Breakfast was held at Betty Caldwell Hall with over 100 attendees, including staff, students and families. It was an inspiring morning as Reverend Christie Buckingham shared the transformation of the Bali Nine ringleaders, through the power of God’s love and forgiveness. We enjoyed a wonderful morning of food, fellowship and prayer. We continue to pray for the school and the wider PLC community, particularly during this challenging season. May God’s peace, joy and hope replace anxiety, hopelessness and discouragement. If you are interested in joining the Prayer Group, please contact April Lim at email@example.com for further information. April Lim Co-Convenor – PLC Prayer Group
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Friends of Music Although the May/June lockdown was meant to be just a short circuit-breaker, it made us appreciate even more the fact that we were able to host almost 90 guests at the ever-popular Chamber Music High Tea earlier in March. It was certainly a wonderful opportunity for the school community to reconnect for the first time in 2021 after a socially isolated 2020. Surrounded by beautiful cascading blooms in the PAC foyer, guests were treated to vibrant chamber performances by the talented girls whilst enjoying a delectable high tea, not to mention the squeals of delight from the winners of the various raffle prizes that were drawn throughout the afternoon. Another highlight was the silent auction of two special paintings by late Old Collegian Anne Chisholm (Wells 1946), bequeathed by her family to committee member Lucy Tong (mother of Jessica, Year 10), who kindly donated them to the Friends of Music to add to our fundraising efforts. Coincidentally, one painting was purchased by another Old Collegian, Dimitra Digiaris (1979) and the other by PLC Head of Chinese, Michelle Liu, thus keeping them within the PLC family, so to speak! Overall, the event was a huge success and has enabled us to catch up on our fundraising to support our annual music bursaries. The FMS was also recently granted Deductible Gift Recipient status, so if you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the FMS, please scan the QR code on the right for details. We are now looking forward to holding Retro Night in October. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org Li-Leen Tan (1986) President – Friends of Music
Vale – Brian Bayston It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Mr Brian Bayston OAM, one of the longest-standing members of the College Council, whose contribution spanned 35 years. Brian had a tremendous faith and his commitment to all he undertook was both inspiring and exemplary. He brought his vast experience and intellect as a lawyer and consultant to the Council and was a driving member of the Property and Planning Committee and Executive and Finance Committee for many years. PLC remains extremely grateful for his enduring years of devoted service and the passionate support he gave to our College community. We send our deepest condolences to Helen, and their children and grandchildren.
Vale – Pam Darian Smith During her years at PLC in the 1970s and 80s Pam Darian Smith was a dedicated teacher and a much-admired colleague and friend. Pam’s students were inspired by her calm approach to teaching English. Outside the classroom, for years, she guided the Patchwork Committee in the production of the magazine. Her experience as a journalist on Fleet Street ensured its high editorial standards were always maintained. Pam enriched her classes with her wide interests in reading, the theatre, her beautiful garden and chamber music, to name but a few. Those of us who knew her were endlessly fascinated by her travel tales and descriptions of some of the most notable gardens in the world. She will always be remembered by her colleagues and those in the school community privileged to have known her.
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The Lampas Society 2020 was a challenging year for the Lampas Society, as for everyone on planet Earth. We did not even meet by Zoom. We kept in touch mainly by email. Two very generous Old Collegians offered to do shopping for any of our members who needed such help. As far as I know, this offer was not taken up, but it was a heart-warming reminder of the PLC spirit, and of the concern our students have for the welfare of their former teachers. So it was with some excitement that we anticipated our 2021 AGM and luncheon. At the AGM new and younger former staff agreed to join the committee. A new President has yet to be elected so I am continuing in that role for the time being. The speaker, Romy Faulkner, School Captain in 2006, proved a huge drawcard. As usual, the luncheon was a great opportunity for former staff, parents and students to catch up. With almost 50 acceptances, the venue was changed from Hethersett to the Senior School staffroom. For staff and students, Romy and her peers, the venue enhanced the experience. One former staff member said, ‘I loved being back in the old staffroom after a twenty-year gap. They are such beautiful bonds that were forged in those days, it is so heartwarming, and carries forth.’ Romy’s speech was as enlightening and inspiring as we had anticipated. One of her past teachers commented: ‘I enjoyed speaking to Romy after all these years and her speech was both enlightening and so relevant to our times. Both PLC and her family have much to be proud of!’ Romy herself said: ‘It was such a wonderful experience to be back at school with so many teachers I loved. I was really grateful for the opportunity to be there.’ Romy’s talk ranged far and wide. She has a deep concern for the welfare of all human beings, including, for example, the prison inmate with whom she corresponded when working for Julian Burnside AO QC while still an undergraduate law student. Romy’s innate curiosity eventually took her overseas and to work as advisor to the Director of the International Red Cross. Her talk was accompanied by some amazing footage of travel to such places as Timbuktu in Mali, and a mosque built in 1327. She also visited one in Agadez in Niger, but it’s quite recent, built in the 1500s! Again and again Romy’s message came across, wherever people live, whatever their situation, they have a right to all the privileges and provisions which we so easily take for granted. Romy is back in Australia now and working for the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, focusing on the impacts of large-scale companies on local communities, from a human rights perspective. Romy had seen the PLC billboard advertisement with the one word, ‘Curious’, in big, bold letters. She applauded this, ending her speech as follows: It’s wonderful that PLC continues to foster curiosity. I hope that PLC teaches women to question what is ‘normal’, to question the system around them. And I trust that PLC is teaching women to be social entrepreneurs, to build innovative solutions that contribute to a healthier and more sustainable world. Thank you, Romy. Considering the May/June lockdown, we are very grateful that our function was scheduled for 22 May, not 29 May. We have plans for our 11 September luncheon, our Heritage tour of PLC on 7 October and, finally, to join with our Old Collegians on a tour of the refurbished Melbourne Town Hall on 13 November, 2021. Please feel free to join us on any, or all, of these occasions. Christine Bradbeer President – The Lampas Society email@example.com
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Behind the staff room door If you should dare to go inside, Be prepared for an experience that should enhance Your curiosity and mind… ‘‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).’* This seems to me like an appropriate starting point for this Lampas Society event which was held not at Hethersett, as originally planned, but in the PLC staff room. As students we were never allowed behind those mysterious doors, but on a beautiful autumn day as an adult I was permitted to go in. Throughout my working life I have worked in a number of schools, both government and private, so the staff room was where one went for one’s breaks. These staff rooms were quite spacious and airy. Therefore, I was quite surprised to find that this room was, while light, quite small by comparison. Nevertheless, it did not deter 50 excited people from gathering there for a light lunch to listen to former School Captain, Romy Faulkner (2006), who stated that she has always been a curious person.
Romy talked about her school days and her amazing jobs. Romy graduated as a lawyer and until recently was an advisor to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. This job took her to a number of developing countries, including Mali, where she visited the city of Timbuktu. Romy also spoke of the need to focus on corporate engagement in humanitarian work, the importance of social entrepreneurship, addressing climate change, governance issues and human rights. Romy was praised by her former teachers as a person they always thought would have an amazing career and this young woman is certainly doing this through hard work, study and being in the right places at the right time. We were so fortunate to be able to listen to Romy and attend this event before a week later we were sent into lockdown once again. *with apologies to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Terri Mackenzie (1976) PLC OCA Committee Member
Happy Birthday, Joan! The whole PLC family congratulates a very special member of our community, Miss Joan Montgomery AM OBE, on her recent 96th birthday. Joan was the 7th Principal of PLC, from 1969 to 1985, and a nationally recognised and highly distinguished and venerated educator. She celebrated this special milestone surrounded by past students and staff at the launch of her biography, The Vetting of Wisdom, by Old Collegian, Professor Kim Rubenstein (Class of 1982).
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Archives / Heritage
Donations to the PLC Archive Heritage is an inheritance which the past has provided. What we value in the present and what we might choose to preserve for future generations is guided by the PLC Archive Policy with the purpose of providing a bank of knowledge, curriculum and historical resources for current and future generations. The PLC community plays an important role in supporting the Archive. To discover more about the College history and the primary sources in the PLC Archive, contact the PLC Archivist, Jane Dyer, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected donations include: Susan Errey (Horne 1956) donated her PLC East Melbourne memorabilia including: PLC badges, blazer pocket and tie; a photo album of PLC South Molle Island Trip in 1955; a PLC-crested The New Testament and a New Translation by James Moffat, 1949; The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, presented to her to commemorate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2 June, 1953; Reading and Thinking Book III and Book IV; Biology: an introduction to medical and other studies by P.D.F. Murray, 1952; PLC student needlework and her extensive collection of PLC publications (1946–2019) including annual reports, school reports, songs, school productions, Patchwork magazines from 1948–1957 and Mother’s Club/Hethersett Group minutes. Vivian Kelly (Lau 1999) donated PLC hats dating back to her time as a Prep student in 1987, including her summer straw hat with a metal crest badge and winter navy PLC beret, as mementos of her wonderful time in school. Vivian was the PLC Boarding House Captain in 1999. This year her daughter is a Prep student in the PLC Junior School. Carolyn Scott (Gration 1964) donated a copy of Lyrebird Rising: Louise HansonDyer of L’Oiseau-Lyre, 1884–11962 by Jim Davidson. Louise Hanson-Dyer (1884–1962), patron of the arts and music publisher, attended PLC East Melbourne from 1891 to 1898. She was President of the PLC Old Collegians’ Association in 1920–1921 and 1924–1926.
Margaret Turner (Penington 1951) donated her own and her sister, Vivienne McCutcheon’s (Penington 1950), PLC East Melbourne memorabilia: Patchwork magazines, ‘Fifty years on: PLC 50-year reunion, Saturday 7th November, 1998’ and a photo album of PLC East Melbourne grounds, staff and students. Vivienne was Leven Sports Captain in 1951. The collection, including Royal Coronation and historical souvenirs, was kindly delivered to the Archivist by Claire MacMillan (Macgibbon 1955). Andrew Nunn donated copies of his articles on PLC Old Collegian Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (Rentoul 1903) including ‘The Work of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite’ in Fine Books and Collections, ‘Wild about Ida’ in the Ephemera Journal of Australia, March 2020, and a State Library of Victoria flier featuring the illustration by Ida Rentoul, ‘A fairy riding on the back of a bat’, advertising the SLV Buried Treasure Concert on Sunday 21 August, 2016. Hugh Latimer donated a prospectus for PLC East Melbourne 1906–1908 that had belonged to his aunt, Catherine June Figg (Latimer 1939). Judith Dunkley donated her aunt, Christina Elizabeth Sewell’s (Beth Coates 1935) PLC East Melbourne Autograph Book and family history. Beth had grown up on a grain and sheep farm in North Central Victoria. She graduated from Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1942 and joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in 1943. Posted in hospitals in Victoria, NSW and NT, she reached the rank of Lieutenant. Beth is believed to be the last WW2 Nurse who belonged to the Returned Nurses League of Victoria. Audrey Cameron (Smith 1943/44) forwarded memorabilia relating to the Cameron Family, her husband artist, Donald, and daughter Deidre (1978). Donald, the Head of Art at Scotch College, donated a painting to PLC, inscribed, ‘Thanking a school for an education which saved a life’, to acknowledge the life-saving skills learnt by Deidre in her final year at PLC and used to save her brother, Bruce Cameron’s, life.
Donald Cameron’s maternal grand aunt, Ethel Gray, was enrolled at PLC East Melbourne by her father Samuel Gray in 1890. Ethel went on to serve with the Australian Army in Britain and France during WW1. She was the first Matron of the Epworth Hospital. Her service and many acknowledgements, including the only Australian woman to have received the Médaille de la Reconnaissance Française (Medal of French Gratitude), are commemorated in a book by Mary Shepherd, Heart of Harefield: The Story of the Hospital, presented to the PLC Library by Deidre Cameron in 1978. Robyn Byrne (1973) Old Collegian and PLC OCA Committee Member, donated an Ethel Haydon postcard sourced from a UK antiquarian dealer. Old Collegian, Ethel Haydon (enrolled in 1885) was an international Australian actress and singer who made her stage debut in Melbourne in 1893 and her London debut in 1895. Robyn also donated autographed copies of Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher Mysteries, The Castlemaine Murders (2003), and The Lady with the Gun Asks the Questions (2007). Both books mention PLC. Jan Kirchner (1963) donated PLC East Melbourne crested book prizes awarded to Lois Pye (1933), The life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, awarded to Lois in 1929, The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, awarded in 1930 and Captain Scott by Stephen Gwynn, awarded in 1933. Heather McKee (1970) donated PLC Burwood memorabilia including swimming bathers, Junior School beret, 96th Annual Report and Prize list - 1970, a 4W Form Party Invitation from 1968 and a 6th Form Dance Ticket from 1970. Do you have any special PLC memorabilia that you would like to donate? If so, please contact the PLC Archivist, Jane Dyer, on 9808 5811.
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Boarding for Girls since 1875
Come and visit our PLC stand at Rural Field Days where we will be offering information about boarding, boarding scholarships and life at PLC. We look forward to catching up with Old Collegians and their families while we are there as well. Henty Machinery Field Days 21–23 September Elmore Field Days 5–7 October
Women Out There Fellowship A PLCOCA initiative for all Old Collegians Highlighting community engagement
This grant of up to $2000
provides seed funding for a project which adds value to a community.
Archives / Heritage In the Nick of Time On the eve of the May/June COVID-19 lockdown, Old Collegian Susan Errey (Horne 1956) donated a significant collection of PLC memorabilia to the PLC Archive. Susan’s donation included textbooks she used as a PLC student, samples of her student craft work and a pristine collection of handwritten – yes, handwritten – PLC school reports from 1946 to 1956, a donation as topical and relevant to current staff, students and their families as they were to staff, students and Mr and Mrs Horne nearly 80 years ago. Susan’s donation will be included with the collection she donated in 2018.
For further information contact the Secretary at email@example.com Applications close on the last Friday of February
Helen Hailes Memorial Scholarship Donors list The following Old Collegians and members of the Birthday League are thanked for the contributions to the Helen Hailes Scholarship Fund: Anne Smith, Judith Braithwaite,Helen Haysom, Helen Guilfoyle, Jane Fitzpatrick, Anne Neil, Kate Cherry, Helen Bailey, Rosalind McMillan, Lois McKay, Janet Davies, Robyn Perrin, Natalie Cronin, Bronwyn Tacey, Wendy Fishly, Beverley Hookey, June Noble, Joan Montgomery, Belinda Steel, Mornington Peninsula Group, PLCOCA Golf Day and anonymous donors.
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OCA President’s Report
Fundraising for OCA scholarships The PLC OCA is seeking donations from its members towards its scholarship funds. We currently fund PLC girls through the Helen Hailes Memorial Scholarship, The Old Collegians Scholarship and the Melba Music Scholarship. We can have six or seven girls per year receiving our scholarships. We usually fundraise during the year through functions but this year and last year, with COVID-19 impacting on our activities, many functions were cancelled or moved online. So we are making this request to Old Collegians to donate online so we can continue this important work. Donations can be made via online banking to BSB: 003-197, Account Number: 00900486, Account name: PLC OCA. Please indicate the name you want to have acknowledged in PLC In Print and which scholarship the donation is for. The Helen Hailes Memorial Scholarship was set up to honour Miss Hailes, a beloved Vice-Principal of the College, after her sudden death in 1958.
Thanks to Lauris Murnane Lauris Murnane (1955), past Vice-President of the OCA, was running the Birthday League over the last 13 years that fundraised for our scholarships. She put her heart and soul into working to help ‘get a girl to PLC’. Many Old Collegians would have received her handwritten birthday cards and thank you notes. We would like to thank her sincerely for her work and diligence over these years and wish her all the best.
Continuing the tradition Pam Booth (1958) who will be well-known to a number of our older Old Collegians is continuing the tradition of the Birthday League. Pam has been President of the PLC Old Collegians’ Mornington Peninsula branch and now lives in Melbourne. Pam knew Helen Hailes when she was at PLC, East Melbourne.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp (1986)
The OCA Community is growing on our PLC Melbourne OCA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ plcmelbourneoca This is a great space if you enjoy sharing memories and photos of House Concerts, musicals like Bye Bye Birdie in 1976, The Pirates of Penzance in 1999 or Beauty and the Beast in 2012 and the energy and excitement of rehearsals and performances of Gala Concerts, from Melba Chorale and massed choirs, to string ensembles and Jazz Cabaret. A PLC friend whom I met at church, years after we had both graduated, said to me, ‘Don’t you find every PLC friend you have never goes to Scotland without visiting the Scottish castle that their PLC House was named after?’. On such trips we now become quite envious of our Balmoral and Stirling friends and their lavish, restored castles, as we visit Athol, Glamis or Rosslyn. Many ‘Levenites’ are still reeling from the fact that their Leven castle is a historic ruin on an island where no one lives. Please jump onto Facebook and share your travel experiences – your moment at your Scottish castle. To build up the sense of intrigue I am sharing a snap from our 2019 trip, when I encouraged my husband to photograph me in an obscure corner of my castle, just to get you all thinking and exploring online. There are so many special PLC experiences and values that are timeless and transcend all decades. As President I am constantly intrigued by how much we all have in common, even if we were at PLC 20 or 30 years apart. Perhaps this is also because a PLC education equips us for life and gives us a foundation to understand many different experiences at various stages of our lives. We are looking forward to sharing with you, hearing about the teachers who encouraged you, the activities that stretched you and the key part of the PLC campus that is still vivid in your mind today. With ongoing lockdowns in Melbourne, the OCA made a strategic decision to put all our efforts into one big event in spring on Saturday, 13 November, 2021, when Lord Mayor Sally Capp (1986) will host us at the Melbourne Town Hall. With large reception areas, we anticipate that this central venue will allow us all to gather safely, according to government guidelines. This will be a wonderful time to hear Sally talk about her experiences, from PLC House Concerts to working with Melbourne’s homeless people. Online booking details to follow. Ailsa Wilson (Watson 1978) President – Old Collegians’ Association firstname.lastname@example.org PLC OCA Facebook Page A place for Old Collegians to share photos and thoughts. We look forward to sharing with you at the PLC Melbourne OCA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/plcmelbourneoca/
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Class of 2019 1 Year Reunion 6 August Class of 1965 55 Year Reunion 27 August 60+ Reunion 4 September
Kellett Tennis Cup March 14, 2021 was a lovely day but also it was a special day for PLC. Our Kellett Tennis Cup was played between the Old Collegians Team and the School Team and our new Principal was our special guest for the first time. We were able to hold the event in accordance with the COVID-19 restrictions at the time. It was, as always, a great day; the Old Collegians won the cup after a good day of tennis. I think everybody loves the Kellett Cup – both the Old Collegians and the School Team. Next year is the 90th anniversary of the Cup and we would love to have a full house. That means lots of players, and onlookers as well, to celebrate this terrific occasion. It has been a wonderful tradition and we want it to continue. It will hopefully be played as usual in March, and if you would like to play, please send your name by phone or email to Jan Dimmick on 9882 2568 or at jandimmick@ bigpond.com or Elissa Payne on 0417 369 928 or at email@example.com We would love you to be there. Jan Dimmick (Colclough 1945)
Class Reunions PLC Golf The PLC OCA Golf Day was held at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Monday, 17 May followed by lunch at the club. There were 30 players. Attendees at lunch included PLC Principal, Cheryl Penberthy, and PLC OCA president, Ailsa Wilson, PLC OCA Committee members and some other interested Old Collegians. The winner of the 18-hole event was Barbara Brodbeck (1970). The longest drive was won by Rosie Batten (Walker 1969) and nearest the pin by Deb Gill (Beaurepaire 1967) who also won the Grandmother’s Trophy. The 9-hole competition was won by Alison Davies (Potts 1972). Robin Collier (Wilson 1969)
60+ Reunion Class of 1991 30 Year Reunion Class of 1985 35 Year Reunion Class of 1986 35 Year Reunion Class of 1970 50 Year Reunion Class of 1980 40 Year Reunion Class of 1981 40 Year Reunion Class of 1965 55 Year Reunion Class of 1975 45 Year Reunion Class of 1976 45 Year Reunion
4 September 4 September 9 October 9 October 16 October 23 October 23 October 29 October 6 November 6 November
Reunion invitations will be sent by mail, six weeks prior to the reunion. Please contact the PLC Development Office to update your contact details firstname.lastname@example.org
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News of Old Collegian Groups
ACT Branch ACT Branch Above: Morag Donaldson (1987), Christine Bowen (Krstic 1969), Julie Schroeder (PLC Development Office), Emily Peck (2012), Pip Marks (1984) and Jean Farleigh (Jones 1957). Front row: Helen Willett (Rank 1957), Gail Tregear (1957), Doris Li (2012) and Margaret Delbridge (1981).
The PLC Old Collegians in Canberra group was treated to glorious sunshine and autumnal colour when it met at the Australian National University on 17 April, 2021. Feeling it was safe enough to gather again after the chaos that was 2020, we met for morning coffee at one of the new cafés in the revitalised Kambri Precinct (the old Union Court open space). We enjoyed catching up on a year’s worth of news and were pleased that Julie Schroeder from the Development Office could join us to update us on current life at PLC. A very big welcome to Emily Peck (2012) following her recent move to the nation’s capital. We hope to meet again in a couple of months. If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please email Morag Donaldson (1987) at email@example.com It was so nice, we did it twice! Life is so busy that not everyone was able to attend our autumn gathering in Canberra on 17 April, 2021. However, as Canberra remains the destination of choice for many young professionals joining the Australian Public Service, Morag Donaldson (1987) organised an impromptu coffee morning at East Row Speciality Coffee on 1 May, 2021 to welcome new members to our circle: Brooke Yates (1999), Sarla Hallock (2012) and Ingrid Diep (2008).
Old Collegians in Sydney braved torrential rain in March to meet up for lunch as we do twice a year. Despite the dramatic weather conditions, the women in our group shared their news and were happy to hear updates about PLC from Julie Schroeder who joined us from Melbourne. Our Sydney group meets up informally at coffee mornings during the year in various locations. For more information please email Julie Phillips (Rank 1961) at firstname.lastname@example.org
North East Group After having to cancel the June lunch due to COVID-19 restrictions, I have organised the next North East lunch for Wednesday, 6 October commencing at 12pm at King River Café, Oxley. Further details will be sent out in September. Old Collegians living in the area who have not previously joined us are welcome to attend. Please email or phone Judy Cuddon (Clezy 1957) if you would like more information on 0427 682 409 or at email@example.com
New Zealand Group For the Old Collegians living in New Zealand! The New Zealand branch is hoping to provide local Old Collegians the opportunity to connect and come together in the Auckland area. If you would be interest in joining, please contact Jane Foster (1985) at firstname.lastname@example.org
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News of Old Collegians 2
Weddings Cara Winspear (2002) married Sam Gibson on 12 December 2020, in an outdoor ceremony in Redding, California. Cara’s Australian family and friends were unable to attend in person but were able to watch the wedding streamed online and join a Zoom meeting to participate in the reception. Cara’s sisters, Monica Johns (Winspear 2005) and Whitney King (Winspear 2009) gave a speech over Zoom. They made it work - a beautiful and special day! (Picture 1) Lauren Story (2009) and Victor Liaw wed in a vibrant ceremony on 20 March, 2021 at Chateau Wyuna. Old Collegians celebrating with the couple were Lauren’s mother Traci Story (Brokenshire 1976) and bridesmaids Valerie Co (2009) and Marina Caulfield (Ghobrial 2009). (Picture 2) Sarah Mouer (2013) married James Serpell on 10 April, 2021 at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, having met during the first week of University. Old Collegians attending included bridesmaids, Nupoor Tomar (2013), sister and maid of honour Rachel Mouer (2009), Sarah Pemberton (2013) and Natalie Dowling (2013). (Picture 3)
Births Caroline (James 2003) and Lachlan Johnson welcomed a son, Alexander Henry Johnson on 18 November, 2020. Evellyn Koumantatakis (2006) and Michael welcomed a girl, Emilia Antonia De Marco in November 2020. Sister to proud big brother, Christopher. Wangnan (Cecilia) Mao (2007) and Steven Sing welcomed their first baby girl, Sienna Sing on 27 October, 2020. Julia (Kennedy 2010) and Lucas Wilson welcomed their first child, Ella Claire Wilson on 6 January 2021.
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Obituaries The following obituaries have been supplied by the family and friends of the deceased.
Yoland Sargood (Walker 1947) passed away on 1 April 2021, aged 90. Yoland, the much beloved only child of Winnie and Cec Walker, was born in Ardmona, Victoria. The family lived on their orchard which flourished under the resourcefulness and love of her father. Her mother’s garden remained in constant bloom. These earthy traits were passed on to Yoland throughout her very happy childhood. Yoland attended Ardmona State School, and then went on to PLC as a boarder in 1944. Here, she thrived and made many very close and lifelong friendships with both her classmates and teachers. Several of her friends joined her on happy school holidays, often at Ardmona picking fruit. After school, Yoland went to Melbourne University, paying her way by working in the Myer staff training department. In her final year of school, whilst at home in Ardmona, Yoland met Graham Sargood who was convalescing in Mooroopna at the home of his childhood nanny, Yoland’s aunt. Romance flourished. They were married on 1st September, 1951 at Holy Trinity Church, Ardmona and set up home in Geelong where Graham was teaching at The Geelong College. Yoland settled into a very happy life in Geelong and once again made many strong and lasting friendships. During this time, their four children were born. In 1961, after Graham had been appointed a lecturer in physics at The University of Melbourne, the family moved to a house in East Hawthorn which became the warm and happy family home for the next 54 years. Their three daughters all attended PLC – Susie (1969), Jan (1971), Mandy (1973). As well as caring for the family, Yoland threw herself enthusiastically into her wondrous skill of doing good. She joined the Girl Guides as an assistant ranger leader and later the group which worked hard to keep the grounds of Britannia Park in good order. Yoland was a very active member of St John’s Anglican Church in Camberwell. She joined their Anglicare Auxiliary where she was treasurer for 16 years and a constant volunteer at Mission House. Yoland was a great help and support for elderly relatives and neighbours and delivered Meals on Wheels for over 40 years. All her life she was
The PLC Community is saddened to learn of the passing of the following Old Collegians constantly thinking of others rather than herself. She continued with her multitude of good deeds even to the point where those she was caring for were often younger and more able than herself. In 1966, the family went to Pasadena, California for a sabbatical year. Here, Yoland eagerly embraced a new lifestyle, enjoying meeting people and family camping in the National Parks, all the while writing a continuous stream of postcards and airletters to her family back in Australia. A second trip to Pasadena took place in 1978. During that year, the first of their 9 grandchildren was born. Yoland gained a lot of pleasure from her grandchildren and their parents were very grateful for the loving, endless energy and practical assistance she gave as the children were growing up. Yoland’s horticultural activities extended beyond her own amazing garden to those of friends, neighbours, and the memorial garden at church. She relished creating a garden out of a wilderness. She was often seen with secateurs in her pocket and was a whiz with a shovel, hand saw or an axe. Their home had an open fireplace and she would delight in both splitting and stacking a winter’s wood supply. She always said it warmed her twice. Her relaxation and joy was listening to the radio ‒ classical music, hymns – and in its day, ‘Blue Hills’ by Gwen Meredith. She was an avid reader and would not only delve into a good murder mystery, but also absorb the highlights in the daily newspaper, The Weekly Times, and New Scientist. She relished a good discussion on world affairs, politics, scientific advancements, as well as a giggle as she passed on her latest joke. In 2014, they moved to Hedley Sutton Community where again Yoland developed strong friendships and took a great interest in the people and garden. Not long before Graham died, Jan took them back to Geelong to celebrate their 65th anniversary, so they were blessed with a long and happy time together. Yoland maintained her connection to PLC and the friends she had made in her school days throughout her life. She often attended Old Collegian functions and was a member of the Old Collegians’ choir. She was most interested that there were 4 women from her class at PLC who spent their last days at Hedley Sutton at the same time as herself. She has left behind the legacy of a large happy family including 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren – and the everlasting warmth of her lovely smile. Provided by Yoland’s daughter, Susan Sanders.
Joy Davenport (Murrell 1942) died on 2 February, 2021, at the wonderful age of 96. Helen MacMillan (Macgibbon 1950) died on 3 February, 2021 at Weary Dunlop Retirement Village, Wheelers Hill. After attending Canterbury State School for six years, and then Mangarra Road Girls’ School for two years, she was awarded a scholarship to attend PLC in 1946. During her school years Helen excelled at her studies and sport. In 1950, her final year at PLC, she was a Prefect and Leven House Captain and a member of the school baseball and basketball (netball) teams. After leaving PLC Helen studied pharmacy and enjoyed working as a hospital pharmacist at the Alfred Hospital and the old Children’s Hospital. Helen devoted her life to her family - her husband, John (dec. 1 April, 2021), four children and ten grandchildren. Extended family connections were also important to Helen as she and her sister, Claire, married brothers. She loved spending time with her many friends. She enjoyed doing volunteer work at her children’s schools and church and undertook leadership roles on various committees. She was an active committee member of the PLC Combined Women’s Auxiliary and the Waverley PLC Women’s Group in the early 1980s. Close family connections with PLC covered three generations: Helen’s mother, Bess Macgibbon (Warland 1917) and her aunt, Lillian Steele (Warland 1915), her sister, Claire (Macmillan 1955), Helen’s two daughters, Susanne Macmillan (1980) and Wendy Corfield (Macmillan 1986) and her niece, Cathie Macmillan (1983) all attended PLC. Provided by Helen’s sister, Claire Macmillan (Macgibbon 1955).
Dr Dorothy Flora Moody (1950) died on 19 April, 2021. Presbyterian Ladies’ College is saddened to hear of the death of former Council member and Old Collegian, Dr Dorothy Moody. Dr Moody served on the PLC Council with great devotion and distinction from 1981 to 2002. She was a student at PLC (1950) and she remained vitally interested in the life of the College. Her sister Mary Upton (Moody 1930) also attended PLC, as did Mary and Dorothy’s brother, John’s grandchildren, Hannah Moody (2008), Rachel Moody (2014) and Sarah Moody (2019). We are extremely thankful for her years of outstanding service to the College and extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends.
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News of Old Collegians Wilma Barbara Kemp (Hooper 1952) died on 8 February, 2021. Wilma was born December 27, 1934 in Melbourne. She was raised in Brunswick, the daughter of a successful auctioneer and her mother who emigrated from England, and she graduated from PLC in 1952. Wilma had two older sisters, Eunice and Iris, who predeceased her. Wilma was an accomplished soprano and had many opportunities as a young woman to further her operatic career, including the offer of a traveling contract to the UK and South Africa. She chose instead to marry the love of her life in 1957, co-manage the family electrical business and raise their two children. Wilma was an active performer during the 1970s and 1980s in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, provided charitable concerts in aged care facilities and warmed the hearts of many with the gift of her beautiful voice. Wilma was a beloved friend to many, an excellent cook who enjoyed entertaining, who loved fashion and music and worked prolifically for a variety of charitable organisations, including Peter MacCallum and Probus. Wilma also loved to travel, and she and Max maintained many friendships with people they had met on their many excursions through the US, Europe, and Canada. She is described by many as being a good, kind and generous friend. Above all, Wilma had a zest for enjoying life, and is deeply missed by her devoted husband Max, her son, Steve, his wife Robyn, her daughter Jennifer, and her grandchildren, Adam, Emily, Mikel, Fiona and Andres. Gwen Hemley (1957) died on 23 February, 2021. Helen Kilgour (Taylor 1977) died peacefully in December, 2020 after a short illness. Helen had been a boarder at PLC in the mid-1970s and, following a Science Degree (Hons) at Monash University, went on to teach higher level secondary school Maths and Science. She had loved her time at PLC and the ‘strive for success’, ‘can-do’ attitude of the school and enjoyed the camaraderie of the Boarding House. She left behind her loving husband, Ian, and two sons, Simon and Jeremy. Helen will be sadly missed. Provided by Helen’s sister, Judy Taylor (1981).
Dr Woun-Eng Catarina Ang (1990) A Gynaecologist, Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgeon and Fertility Specialist, Dr Catarina Ang completed her MBBS at Monash University in 1996. She commenced Obstetrics and Gynaecology training in 2000 at Monash Health after completing residencies in Australia and England. Dr Ang took the post of Clinical Research Fellow at the John Radcliffe Hospital and the University of Oxford. She then completed an advanced laparoscopic fellowship at the prestigious CHU, Clermont-Ferrand, France. Having returned to Australia in 2006, she is now Head of Gynaecology Unit 1 at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. Here, she continues to perform complex surgeries and clinical research that focuses on how to improve patient experiences and outcomes. She is involved in the education of trainees and medical students at the University of Melbourne, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), and is training director of the Australian Gynaecological Endoscopy Society (AGES) Endoscopic Training programme at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. Her clinical interests are in the areas of endometriosis, fibroids, adenomyosis, fertility, and pelvic pain. Dr Pam (Chi-Hui) Yin (1996) Dr Yin recently established ‘Flourish Care’, a medical practice focusing on caring for new parents and their babies, guiding them through the new parenthood journey. She is a member of the ‘Women Wellness Team’, a team of English and Chinese-speaking health professionals providing a holistic approach to perinatal and women’s health, focusing on early parental support, settling strategies, physical therapy, remedial massage, acupuncture, lactation support, psychosocial support, complementary Chinese medicine, nutritional support and confinement meals.
Julie with sisters Mary Murphy and Old Collegian and current PLC staff member Cathy Altmann (Clayton 1982) and brother Andrew Clayton.
Julie Clayton (1987) has been appointed as a Judge of the County Court of Victoria after a long career in the law, starting as a solicitor at Slater and Gordon and most recently as a Judicial Registrar in the Supreme Court. She was welcomed by the profession at a formal ceremony at the Court on Thursday, 13 May, 2021. Her oldest friend, Old Collegian Nicola Walsham, was at the ceremony as were members of the profession, friends and family including Julie’s partner, Craig Dowling SC and their four daughters.
Dr Nicola Walsham (1987) was appointed as Emergency Physician and Deputy Director Emergency Services, Royal Melbourne Hospital in September, 2020. She was at the coalface during the whole of the COVID-19 outbreak and was responsible for the rollout of the Personal Protective Equipment protocols at the hospital, a daunting task at the best of times, let alone in a global pandemic. Whilst the rest of Melbourne worked from home she drove through the deserted streets into the hospital each day, knowing the very high risks involved. She describes the spirit of the Emergency Department as ‘teamwork and hope amidst carnage’.
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Natalie Liu (2016) Isabel Foo (2016), Jacqueline Tse (2019), Wendy Wang (2019), Kylie Choong (2019), Elisabeth Poon (2019), Natalie Liu (2016) at the MMO’s first concert back live in May this year.
Shehara Skilbeck (Devadason 2008) In 2017, Shehara was awarded a full law scholarship at Monash University (Monash Juris Doctor Law Dean’s Scholarship). She recently graduated from the Juris Doctor in May 2021. In 2015 Shehara married Luke Skilbeck and they now have two sons, Ezra Skilbeck (4) and Asher Skilbeck (1).
Congratulations to Dinasha Wimalasiri (2016) who was awarded an inaugural Women in STEM Student Leader Award from Monash University. These awards, led by the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering, recognise young women students for their leadership and contribution to Science, Technology, Engineering and/ or Mathematics. Dinasha is President of the Monash Young MedTech Innovators and said that ‘receiving this award has made me feel strong, supported and confident. Sometimes I experience self-doubt but this recognition highlights that I can do it – I am a leader.’ Dinasha is completing a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (Honours) and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science.
Keep the Music Going At PLC, you are constantly surrounded by music. In fact, it’s naturally embedded within your daily routine: hymns at morning assembly, noisy music classes after recess, the tinkling of an old piano floating down the corridor at lunchtime, the lush sounds of the symphony orchestra pouring out of the Music School windows in the afternoon – there is never a silent moment. I only realised how lucky I was to have this once I left school. At university, it is unexpectedly easy to lose touch with your music. In a demanding degree like Medicine, I’ve had to actively seek it out, squeezing it in between study, work and placements. No longer is there a music school next door filled with instruments waiting to be played, nor endless ensembles and choirs to join. Yet despite these barriers, I always seem to gravitate back to it. Something compels me to keep the music going. Thankfully in the medical school cohort, there is a wealth of extraordinary musical talent, which has given rise to ensembles like the Monash Medical Orchestra (MMO). Founded in 2011, the MMO is a non-profit ensemble composed of medical students studying at Monash University, and is Victoria’s first single-faculty medical symphony orchestra. The orchestra seeks to provide a creative outlet for medical students to de-stress amidst busy work and study schedules, whilst creating opportunities for students to keep in touch with music after secondary school. The orchestra also has a strong humanitarian focus, having fundraised for various health charities such as the Hush Foundation, the Black Dog Institute and Very Special Kids through concerts and gigs. It is no surprise that given these values held by the orchestra, a remarkable number of PLC Old Collegians have joined its cause over the years! Having bumped into over 15 ex-PLC girls in the four years I’ve played with this group, one could say that part of the PLC music culture lives on in the MMO. There’s a special type of nostalgia that comes from playing music surrounded by familiar faces, and I believe it’s a testament to PLC’s deep music traditions. It’s funny how sometimes we only appreciate things when they are gone. Last year’s COVID-19 lockdown certainly taught us to appreciate live music. As Co-Chair of the orchestra during this time, I was devastated to have to cancel all in-person rehearsals and concerts. However, determined to keep our music going, our committee found ways around the lockdown restrictions in the form of an online orchestra. Though an ambitious project, we were overjoyed to receive video submissions from over 70 of our members playing their individual instrumental parts, recorded from various bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms around Australia! The final product was two stunning virtual concerts premiered online: ‘Nimrod’, Variation No. 9 from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, followed by Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake suite. Both gained over 1,000 views within the first 24 hours of release and were treasured performances that lifted people’s spirits amongst the pandemic doom and gloom. This year, despite feeling rusty and out of practice, the musicians of the MMO, myself especially, have been thrilled to reunite in person. I am immensely grateful for the rich musical education I received at PLC which cultivated my love of music. If anything, COVID-19 has reminded us how important it is to connect musically with one another, and to keep those musical parts of us beating along. And so, we keep the music going. You can watch the MMO’s online orchestra productions and find out more about the MMO and its positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of medical students via these links: Elgar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW-pMPyTZAw Tchaikovsky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBvnZe1i0b0 About the MMO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvRQxHQX9qg Natalie Liu (2016)
PLC i n P ri nt | Ju ly 2021
Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours Congratulations to the following Old Collegians who were recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List;
Abigail Forsyth (1988) on being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday list. Abigail was recognised for her service to sustainable design. She is the co-founder and Managing Director of KeepCup, the reusable coffee cup that has helped transform the way many of us drink coffee and made a big difference to the amount of waste going into landfill from single-use disposable coffee cups.
Liz Gosper (Jones 1976)
Liz Gosper (Jones, 1976) on being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday honours. Liz was recognised for her service to people with disability through sport. She is the Director/Head Coach of Inclusive Sports Training and is dedicated to training kids and adults with intellectual disabilities in sport.
Abigail Forsyth (1988)
Old Collegians in the City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band We all started learning pipes and drums at PLC (at various different times), and we have all reconnected and continued our playing at the City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band. From left to right: Phoebe Luong (2018), Vivienca Luong (2015), Gabriella Pereira (2012), Jennifer Mak (2010), Savitri Thurairatnam (2017), Katherine Gekas (2006), Stephanie Scott (2008).
A tribute to Lauris Murnane Old Collegian Lauris Murnane (1955) has been one of PLC’s most committed and loyal Old Collegians over the decades. From 2009, up to and including 2021, Lauris was convenor of the selection process for two prestigious Old Collegians’ scholarships: The Helen Hailes Memorial Scholarship and the Dame Nellie Melba Memorial Music Scholarship. Her role involved liaising with the College to contact and coordinate the Old Collegian panel members, arranging interview dates, collating student submissions and reviewing the application process as well as serving as a member of the interview panel each year. Her efficient and delightful manner made it a pleasure for the PLC staff who assisted her. Her attention to detail also ensured the scholarship interviews always ran efficiently. Lauris loved the contact with the College community that was intrinsic to this role, in particular that with the students. Being part of the yearly selection panel for these very generous scholarships was a role she absolutely relished; she loved seeing firsthand the benefits of a PLC education for all students, but especially for the successful applicants.
Another important role that Lauris filled for more than a decade was that of coordinator of the Old Collegians’ ‘Birthday League’. This club raises funds for the Helen Hailes Memorial Scholarship and many past students have had the pleasure of receiving a PLC OCA birthday card each year thanks to Lauris’ great organisational ability. In so many practical ways, Lauris has been a committed and caring Old Collegian. She actively connects with so many people through all the thoughtful cards she sends, the little ‘thank you’ gifts she gives and especially through her numerous pastoral visits. She often visits Old Collegians either at home, in hospitals or nursing homes, enabling them to remain connected with the school. Lauris is a kind and generous person with a servant heart and PLC sincerely thanks her for her amazing contribution as a member of the Old Collegians’ Committee over many years and for the difference she has made to the lives of so many students.
Presbyterian Ladies’ College MELBOURNE ABN 16 005 650 386 CRICOS No. 00334M 141 Burwood Highway Burwood, VIC 3125 Australia Tel: (61 3) 9808 5811 www.plc.vic.edu.au Submissions for the next edition of PLC in Print are due by Friday 10 September 2021 Please send submissions to email@example.com INCORPORATING THE OLD COLLEGIANS’ ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER