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From the Principal


Early entry relieves the pressure of exams


The doll in the Junior School library


Winter school is in!


PLC Sydney Preschools Open Day


Junior School engages with the art world



Students nominated for excellence in the HSC Showcases and Exhibitions

PLC Sydney and PLC Armidale combine to support drought relief


Muck Up Day: A great Australian tradition


Hats off to Cate!


PLC Reads Australia


Striking a creative light in the Countess of Jersey Society



A year of SEED



President's Report 2019


ESU announcements

An incredible scientific adventure


Save the date


A hands-on experience for Year 3



Enriching science with our Scientists-in-Residence

Alumni events 2019: Honouring an iconic PLC Sydney teacher: Miss Audrey Keown OAM


Performances showcase the best of drama and music


Celebrating PLC Sydney across generations


Getting to know the Ex-Students' Union President Marina Clark (Lvoff, 1978)


Welcome to the ESU Class of 2019


Class of 2020: Common Room handover


Once upon a time they were all girls in Croydon… today women reunite for the Croydon Circle


In profile: Zilin Zhang, Sherry Zou, Maggie O’Reilly and Imogen Stewart


Same latitude, different longitude, different schools


Nine days in New York, two in LA and lots to do!


We are only one being— we are a pipe band!



How can the “old girls” network help today’s students?

Seniors buddy up with juniors for reading


A morning of college history


60 seconds with… Mr John Trimble


Where are they now?


60 seconds with… Ms Julie Shields



Education is in a period of significant change. The draft curriculum review document written by Professor Geoff Masters has been very well received by independent school principals.

The big ‘mover and shaker’ is Macquarie University. They made some significant offers to high level courses to our students before the HSC commenced.

The new documents recognise the following:

We are ready for these changes. The future will require ‘T’ graduates: students with great depth of understanding and breadth of connection. Our commitment to academic rigour in NESA and Cambridge courses is building ‘depth of understanding’. Our introduction of courses with transferable skills (eg. The Enterprise, Global Perspectives, PaTh) and our commitment to teaching students how to research is helping build connectivity.

1. The need to build transferable skills into the curriculum 2. The inadequacy of the ATAR system 3. The importance of literacy and numeracy for all 4. Greater flexibility with university entry requirements

To indicate the changes in university entry I note that about 5% of our students gained early entry in 2017. This year 30% achieved this.

We also have specialised staff helping students achieve tertiary entry in the PLC Sydney Futures Centre. They are:

We are excited about the future. Enjoy reading this magazine which includes highlights of the year.

Mrs Rowena Barnett – Assisting with local universities Mrs Sue Arnaudon – Assisting with local universities Mrs Deb Wheeler – Assisting with overseas universities

Dr Paul Burgis Principal



Mrs Nicole Paull

Dr Paul Burgis, Mrs Rowena Barnett, Ms Mel Johnston, Emma Bosco, Chelsey Johnson, Mrs Alison Lloyd, Ms Jo Knight, Mrs Casey Allen, Mrs Joanna Golotta-Maxwell, Ms Jo Herrmann, Ms Carolyn Lain, Cate Weir, Dr Suzana Sukovic, Ms Veronica Trainor, Sarah Pattinson, Angie Rofail, Emily Moloney, Julia Cummins, Mrs Mary Mitchell, Mrs Annie Martin, Dr Maria Luisa Gutierrez, Dr Stephanus van Heerden, Mr Philip Harper, Maggie O’Reilly, Sherry Zou, Zilin Zhang, Imogen Stewart, Jasmine Higgs, Maia

COVER Performed by Elisheva Biernoff-Giles, Sophie Montague, Lucie Roberts and Alexandra Raleigh, Maralinga has been selected to appear in the HSC showcase for Drama, OnSTAGE.

Camphora incorporates the Ex-Students’ News, the magazine of PLC Sydney’s Ex-Students’ Union.

Shannon, Emma Hooton, Ms Eleonora Cerqua, Miranda Raguz, Ms Renate Cross, Katia Nastasi, Georgie Mortensen, Claudia Mortensen, Mr Malcolm Heap, Mr John Trimble, Ms Julie Shields, Mrs Suellen White, Mrs Renee Jones, Ms Debby Cramer. Ex-Students' News: Marina Clark, Philippa Zingales, Ann McDonald, Lesley Meldrum, Helen Humphries, Mia Joseph, Elizabeth Gregory, Margot Kelly, Katherine Sherrie. Thank you to all the ex-students and their families who contributed.

PLC Sydney acknowledges the Wangal people, of the Dharug dialect, on whose land the College resides, and pays respect to Elders both past and present.

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


EARLY ENTRY RELIEVES PRESSURE OF EXAMS Many students go into the HSC examinations with the weighty belief that entry into a university or college course could depend on how they perform over the next few weeks. However 30% of PLC Sydney Year 12 students went into their exams having already taken their first definite steps into the next stage of their life-journeys—before even lifting a pen in their final examinations. Prior to the commencement of HSC exams, almost one third of our students had received offers into the university courses of their choice. This provides tremendous reassurance as they round the final corner of their HSC race. There has been much discussion in the media recently about the value of the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). It is a rank, not a mark, which has been used by tertiary institutions to select students into courses. It is calculated based on students’ HSC results and can exert pressure on students to reach a particular selection number to get them into a particular university course. However, tertiary institutions are now choosing to look wider when selecting students for places

and it is reassuring for students to know that they have offers in place based on more that just a ranking score. Several of our students have already been offered places at: • Australian Catholic University under their CAP (Community Achiever Program) which recognises a student’s participation in her community. • Macquarie University under their Leaders and Achievers Program which recognises a student’s leadership and co-curricular participation as well as Year 11 academic results. • Australian National University. • The University of Notre Dame under similar schemes based on Year 11 results and co-curriculars. Others have been offered places at Sydney University’s Conservatorium of Music, the International College

of Management in Sydney, Bond University, Whitehouse Institute of Design and Queens University in Charlotte, USA. Many universities will offer students a leg up into courses in which they have achieved good marks in Year 12: Sydney University and UNSW offer adjustment factors to students who do well in English and Mathematics or in courses that relate to their chosen pathway (although there are exclusions).

Many students receive offers from universities before the HSC results are released in December. Even after the results come out, students can change their preferences for courses and adjust their thinking and decision making. There is plenty of time for students to consider their direction and what the next step will be. In this rapidly changing scenario, our students are well prepared. PLC Sydney offers students a breadth of experience as well as a depth of achievement. We also offer our students opportunities to explore their range of future options through our Futures Centre. We start non-pressurised future conversations with students early. It is very rewarding to see our students taking the first steps beyond school and to know that they are moving forward with purpose. Mrs Rowena Barnett Director of PLC Sydney Futures Centre




We all know that feeling, the holidays are coming to an end, we start shopping for stationery and getting our school bags ready for the start of another school term. Ten weeks of sitting in the classroom listening to the teachers go on and on and on. Imagine instead, packing your suitcases, filling them with all the winter clothing you can find and heading to the Australian Alps where you will spend most of Term 3 skiing, snowboarding and completing your schoolwork in a beautiful high country setting.

PLC Sydney is the only girls’ school in Australia to offer such a program. The Winter School allows students in Years 7 to 10 the opportunity to take part in their chosen sport, train on a full time basis and complete their studies without the 10-hour return drive every weekend. As members of the PLC Sydney Talented Individual Program (TIP), athletes like Emma Bosco and Chelsey Johnson have been able to develop their skills on snow while maintaining their

academic standards. They follow in the footsteps of previous PLC Sydney elite snowsports athletes, Lucy Glanville 2014 Sochi Winter Olympian (Biathlon) and Sabrina Howell 2015 Junior World Championships, who were both members of the PLC Sydney Winter School. Other students have gone on to pursue careers in snowsports as snowboard Instructors (Lilli Glenn 2017) or elite judges in the extreme sport of mogul skiing (Genevieve Martin 2013). A typical day at Winter School might involve rising at 5.30 am, packing lunch and a bag for the day, catching the ski tube to Perisher and Blue Cow Resort where you will meet your coach for the day. Returning to the house at 4.00 pm, it’s straight into school work for the next several hours. All members of the house take it in turns to cook and prepare dinner for their teammates. Cleaning and clothes washing are also skills that individuals master in their time away. Throughout the July school holidays, there are additional opportunities for all students from PreKindergarten– Year 12 to take part in the Interschool

snowsports races. Any student who is competent on green and blue runs are welcome to take part in the events. Events are age-based and students can compete in alpine giant slalom, snowboarding, cross country skiing, moguls and slopestyle/terrain park events for senior students. PLC Sydney is also proudly represented at these events by a developing team of athletes

continued… continued…

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


with disabilities who passionately partake in a range of DWA and multiclass programs.

development camps for students in Years 7–11 and the Evandale snowsports family weekend exist for this purpose.

Many entry-level programs also exist for beginner and intermediate skiers who want to develop their racing experience. The PLC Sydney snowsports

As a three-time National award winner for snowsports school of the year, PLC Sydney takes pride in being a leader in delivering quality sporting programs

that create a holistic approach to athlete development. For more information about snowsports camps, winter school or interschool events and competitions, email Ms Mel Johnston K–6 PDHPE Coordinator



What are some of the challenges you face with juggling school work and competing/training? It’s difficult to come home after a big day of training and sit down and do school work. I am always pretty exhausted so it can be difficult to concentrate. It’s also hard to motivate myself to work when I am the only one on my team still at school. Where are you currently competing/ training? I train in Perisher, Melbourne, Whistler Canada, and Colorado USA. I do a few competitions domestically each year, but the majority are in Northern America over their winter. What is the next event you will be competing at? What sport/s are you involved in? Mogul skiing.


How old were you when you started?

How did you get involved?

What do you think has been your biggest sporting achievements so far?

I started competing at the interschools snow sports events, and liked moguls the best so I signed up for the Perisher Winter Sportsbet Club program and have been training ever since.

What is your greatest sporting ambition?

9 years old.

What do you like to do when you are not competing or doing school work? I love mountain biking and going to the lake or beach.


I will be competing at the US Selections in January in Steamboat Colorado, followed by the North American Cup Circuit in February, with stops in Deer Valley Utah, and Calgary Alberta.

I came first at the 2018 Australian Interschools Championships.

I would like to compete at the Olympics. Are you a member of a squad/team? I am on the Australian mogul skiing team which is supported by the NSW Institute of Sport.



Where are you currently competing/ training? I spent my winter season training and competing in Perisher, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller and at Falls Creek. I'm currently just doing my training around Sydney but when I head overseas for the European winter season, my training base will be in Italy, and I'll be competing in Italy, Austria, France and Switzerland. What is the next event you will be competing at? When I go overseas for the European winter season, I'll compete in a few Alpen Cups (small Italian/Austrian biathlon races) or IBU Junior Cups (International Biathlon Union races) in preparation for my main competition, which is the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

What sport/s are you involved in? Biathlon (cross country skiing and shooting). How old were you when you started? I started biathlon when I was 16, and cross country skiing when I was 14. How did you get involved? I became involved after competing in cross country skiing at interschools in 2016. I felt like I developed a good relationship with the PLC coach (who was an ex-PLC girl and an Olympian!) and really enjoyed it so I continued doing some training during summer and just gradually became more involved. After getting some good results and really starting to focus more on cross country skiing during the 2018 Australian winter season, I was invited to go on a European training camp with NSW Biathlon over the Christmas holidays. Here, I tried biathlon for the first time and incorporated shooting into my cross country skiing, where

I happened to pick it up quickly and really enjoyed it, so my involvement in biathlon really started from there. What do you like to do when you are not competing or doing school work? When I'm not competing or doing school work, you will usually find me watching catch up tv or the latest movies, reading a book, sleeping, or grabbing a coffee. What are some of the challenges you face with juggling school work and competing/training? It can be tough to maintain a balance between school work and competing/ training; especially when I’m away from school for the majority of the winter season. For me, the biggest challenge is having good time management. This is usually because I’m not making the most of those spare hours I have outside of my training, and waste this time doing other things rather than getting straight into school work and study.

What do you think has been your biggest sporting achievements so far? I think my biggest achievements would be: competing in an Alpen Cup in Italy during the 2018/2019 European winter season and achieving the best shooting results out of all Australian athletes who competed; placing 3rd in my first season of biathlon in Australia at the 2019 Australian Biathlon championships in the individual event, with equal best shooting in my race; and qualifying for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. What is your greatest sporting ambition? To qualify and race on the Biathlon World Cup Circuit by 2026, compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics, and to compete at the 2026 Winter Olympics. Are you a member of a squad/team? I'm currently on the NSW Biathlon State Team, and I have also been selected for the Australian Biathlon Development Team.

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


Mrs Melissa Watters speaking at the official Kidsart exhibition opening 2019

JUNIOR SCHOOL ENGAGES WITH THE ART WORLD This year brought with it a host of exciting hands-on Visual Arts experiences for our young Junior School students that culminated in the annual showcase of the KidsArt exhibition in the Adelaide Perry Gallery in November. In the lead-up to the exhibition, students from Years 2, 5 and 6 engaged in workshops with invited practising Sydney-based artists. These experiences allowed these creative young girls to expand their appreciation of local artists, whilst simultaneously inspiring their own artmaking through the fun exploration of a wide variety of materials and technical processes.

Year 2 students with Karleen Green


Our Year 5 artists were the first to participate in workshops facilitated by multidisciplinary artist Rachel Honnery. Rachel, also a Year 6 parent, explores the intersection and connection between the disciplines of art and science in her art practice. She creates artworks that communicate awareness about the challenges facing our natural environment to highlight the need for change in how we can better care for the earth. Rachel explained her specific environmental focus of marine plastics and the disintegration of marine environments to our students during the workshop. She explored this issue in depth during a recent artist residency in the Arctic Circle. The girls were thoroughly engaged as Rachel spoke about her practice and they developed a desire to learn about and communicate about environmental issues to bring about awareness through art. Ms Honnery introduced Year 5 students to work produced by the Mankaja artists of Fitzroy Crossing in Western

Year 4 students at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Australia. Students examined in particular, the nature of the installation created by Mankaja artists for The National 2019: New Australian Art, exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. From this study and discussion, students gained inspiration for their own art of creating an acrylic painting on recycled plastic, depicting organic and abstracted shapes and forms. These works demonstrated the influence of the Mankaja artists as well as Rachel’s, as she encouraged students to use recyclable materials as a medium for artmaking and communication. Ms Honnery continued to inspire our Junior School students as she facilitated workshops for Year 6 students the following week. The workshops took place in the basement darkroom area of The Croydon, Centre for Art, Design and Technology where the girls were able to engage with the process of creating Cyanotype photographic prints. As Rachel uses this very early form of photography within her own practice, she was an expert educator in this area. They found the process of using light sensitive fabric, UV light and the darkroom to create bold compositions a unique and exciting artmaking experience! Indigenous artist and weaver, Karleen Green took excited Year 2 girls on a journey of historical and cultural significance in early Term 4, as she worked with groups, to teach them traditional Aboriginal weaving techniques. Karleen is eager to pass on her knowledge of Indigenous artmaking practices to younger generations, particularly weaving so Year 2 students sat in a circle whilst she told them stories and information about her life and ancestral heritage.

This unique experience gave our young artists a thorough insight into traditional Aboriginal artmaking and further developed their knowledge and skills.

Year 6 in the darkroom producing cyanotype prints with Rachel Honnery

Karleen demonstrated to students how to create a ‘message stick’ through wrapping different coloured wool and twine around found sticks before securing emu feathers to the end of their piece. Students went on to develop both individual and collaborative works which were then exhibited in classrooms and our KidsArt exhibition. In conjunction with our Visual Arts program, students in Years 4 and 6 visited the Art Gallery of NSW earlier this year to view exhibitions that linked in with their practical experiences being facilitated in their classroom. Giving students the opportunity to see the work of well-known artists that they have been learning about in the gallery setting is invaluable to their own development as artists. Year 4 looked closely at the practice of Indigenous artist and shell-worker, Esme Timbery this year and thoroughly enjoyed viewing her portrait in the Archibald Prize, as created by Blak Douglas (an artist who delivered workshops at PLC in 2018). Students further explored the Gallery to discover Timbery’s sculptural shell-worked pieces including Sydney Harbour Bridge, 2002. As a part of an initiative by our Adelaide Perry Gallery Curator, Ms Courtney Wagner, KidsArt 2019 became a part of the Edge Creative Trails run by the Inner West Council for the Damun/Djarrawunang Precinct (Newtown/Enmore/ Petersham/Summer Hill/Ashfield) on Saturday 9 November. The Trail allows visitors to discover where art is made in the Inner West and explore hidden artists’ studios, independent galleries and artist run initiatives. Those who participated in the event had an opportunity to visit KidsArt and discover the Adelaide Perry Gallery. Young visitors were given a miniature keepsake of ‘Jackie’ the robot, one of the Pre-Kindergarten collaborative sculptures, shown in the exhibition. Mrs Alison Lloyd Junior Art Specialist

Ms Jo Knight Head of Visual Arts

Jackie the robot—our mascot for the Edge Creative Trails

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019



STUDENTS NOMINATED FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE HSC SHOWCASES AND EXHIBITIONS Each year the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) nominates students for possible inclusion in the annual HSC exhibitions and showcases for their performances and major works. We congratulate the following students from the Class of 2019 for their nominations.

ARTEXPRESS ARTEXPRESS is an annual exhibition of exemplary artworks created by students for the HSC in Visual Arts. The works represent a broad range of subject matter, approaches, styles and media including painting, photomedia, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, documented forms, textiles and fibre, ceramics, time-based forms and collections of works. Claire Shi Falls the Shadow - Painting Ally Que Into the Binary Sea - Collection of works Berry Fei Re-Play - Drawing Gabrielle Hawkey A Truth Concealed - Drawing Ally Que Into the Binary Sea - Collection of works (ARTEXPRESS)

Eva He Cultural Warriors - Drawing Lara Ho Ba noi - Photomedia Sarah Ong The Consequence of Light - Painting (selected) Samantha Rorie Five - Photomedia Jasmin Wiesner Her Secret Is Patience - Painting

ENCORE ENCORE is a program of outstanding performances and compositions by students from the HSC Music examinations. Vanessa Lin Music 2/Extension Performance Program (6 pieces) Sophie Montague Music 1 Performance Program (4 pieces) Lucy Roberts Music 1 Performance Program (4 pieces) Grace Zhu Music 2/Extension Performance Program (6 pieces) Vanessa Lin was nominated for ENCORE



Maralinga: Elisheva Biernoff-Giles, Sophie Montague, Lucie Roberts and Alexandra Raleigh were nominated and selected for OnSTAGE

Esther Rutherford's lighting range was nominated for SHAPE

Sylvia Zhang's costume to be worn at the Met Gala Ball was nominated for TEXSTYLE



OnSTAGE is a presentation and exhibition of group and individual performances and projects by HSC Drama students.

The Shape exhibition features a selection of exemplary Major Projects from HSC Design and Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles and Design students from (selected) 2019 Higher School Certificate examinations.

Individual performances Eli Biernoff-Giles The Bleeding Tree Lucie Roberts A Song for Judy Alex Raleigh Testimony Sophie Montague Educating Rita Ana Graham Things I know to be true Group performances Maralinga: Elisheva Biernoff-Giles, Sophie Montague, Lucie Roberts and Alexandra Raleigh (selected) Boys Don't Cry: Rejheki Bone, Ana Graham, Kate Shanahan, Marinella Tsaroumis, Zoe Castorina and Madison Yazbek. Aged Care: Michelle Smith, Lani Bailey, Nairie Tzakos and Briana Neowhouse OnSTAGE Exhibition Yashica Moodley Director’s Portfolio ‘Tartuffe’ (selected)

Hemans Chan (Brief: Design and create a music box with pop-up illustrations depicting landmarks of different cities.) Esther Rutherford (Brief: Design and construct a lighting range that revolves around the idea of being adjustable, transformable or changeable.) Clair Brown (Brief: To design and display a lighting installation that will celebrate Australian architecture from the past and present.) Sylvia Zhang (Brief: Costume to be worn at the Met Gala Ball with the theme: Mythological figures.)

TEXSTYLE Texstyle is an exhibition of Higher School Certificate Textiles and Design Major Projects. Sylvia Zhang (Brief: Costume to be worn at the Met Gala Ball with the theme: Mythological figures.) (selected) ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


Hats Off 2019. Photograph by Joy Lai (Courtesy of State Library of NSW)

HATS OFF TO CATE! Year 4 student Cate Weir has been presented with a Silver award in the NESA WriteOn competition, an annual writing competition for NSW students in Years 1 to 6. It is designed to encourage young students to develop their writing skills in an engaging way. Using a photograph for inspiration, students were asked to write a short piece in an imaginative, persuasive and/or informative style. Award recipients will have their work published in an anthology. Congratulations to Cate on her outstanding achievement. Cate’s award winning entry is shared below. Ms Carolyn Lain Junior School EALD Teacher

THE MUSEUM OF WONDERS Staring at the big brass door with millions of locks was the last thing Carter wanted to do. The Museum of Wonders was known for its quirky way of putting priceless artefacts on show - every item was displayed on an uncovered plinth. This would help him complete his task. The doors creaked open revealing items of wonder, like a plane suspended from the ceiling. In the far corner, Carter saw the glass doors PLC SYDNEY / CAMPHORA

printed with the words DO NOT ENTER. This would be the ideal place to hide until the museum closed. Bustling crowds of New Yorkers and a big tour group ran inside, pushing security guards and staff out of the way. Carter ran towards the room. He must or else he would suffer the consequences. If only he hadn’t sold that hat he wouldn’t be stuck in this situation. He sprinted to the far corner, quickly scanning the room, then slipped inside. Luckily it was a storeroom as dark as coal, so surely no one would come in. There were rows and rows of paintings, sketches and other artifacts, the perfect place to hide. Now he just had to wait. Fortunately, he had overheard his parents talking about the will that was inside his grandma’s hat. He needed to get that hat back before they noticed it had disappeared. Finally, closing time had come, it was eight o’clock and everyone had left. The museum’s lights had flicked off, and it was as dark as ink. Carter slowly opened the door and peeked around the edge, and there stood a burly security guard scanning the room torch in hand. Rays of torchlight splayed across the room revealing his squashed faded yellow hat and crinkled blue uniform. A scowl spread across his face until he saw the guard slowly walk towards The Flying High exhibition. Carter knew this was his chance. Bolting across the vast hallway towards The Historic Hat’s room, he hoped his plan would work. He pulled the bobby pins from his pocket ready to pick the locks on the door.

Cate Weir from Year 4 was presented with a silver award in the NESA WriteOn competition.

Five minutes later in front of him were the hats of some of history’s greatest heroes and heroines. There was Napoleon Bonaparte’s and Nancy Wake’s; it was a history buff’s dream. Forcing himself to focus on the task at hand he searched for the pink feathers. Then he saw it. His grandma’s hat on the back wall. Slowly but carefully he approached the corner to grab the hat and put this massive mistake behind him. Carter touched the feather and a piecing blare was set off. Freezing in place, he heard pounding footsteps getting closer and closer. Unfreezing, he ran into darkness knowing nothing except he must get out of the museum. The security guard was not happy, he lunged for Carter but missed. A grin spread across Carter’s face as he ran out of the door into the night. The darkness wrapped around him saving him from discovery. Cate Weir Year 4

PLC READS AUSTRALIA As exams and assessments are winding down and the anticipation of long summer holidays is building up, our students and their families have more time and mental space to embrace reading. Social reading—sharing books, reading together, discussing issues and explaining reasons for one’s likes and dislikes—is an effective way to promote reading and start conversations about meanings and values. Most importantly, it is a powerful way to build a reading community. At the beginning of this term, PLC Sydney’s Research and Library Services launched a reading initiative PLC Reads Australia inviting students, their families and College staff to read a book together and talk about it. We intend to travel far with our reading next year and what is a better place to start than home? PLC Sydney librarians selected an Australian book for each stage of schooling and invited the school community to read the suggested book. Our selection includes old and modern classics as well as new award recipients, covering a wide range of topics. We have shared with students a brochure with short plot outlines, suggestions for families how to get organised and some conversation starters. People who use Twitter can join our reading community online by sending a request to @plcsydney_reads. A copy of the brochure can be downloaded online from Senior Library pages at mrcseniorlibrary/MRC/WHATS-NEW Happy reading! Dr Suzana Sukovic Director of Research and Library Services


SENIOR SCHOOL BOOK SELECTION STAGE 4 (YEARS 7-8) My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin Written by a 19 year old girl as her evening entertainment and initially rejected by all publishers, this book was published in 1901 to become an Australian classic. My brilliant career is still a fresh coming-of-age story worth reading as good literature and a historical record. Miles Franklin’s biography may inspire insightful conversations about the position of women in Australia. Two prestigious literary awards honour Franklin’s legacy, the Stella Prize (after Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin’s first name) and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

STAGE 5 (YEARS 9-10) Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood This collaborative piece of writing tells a story about living in our digital world, cyber-bullying and friendship from the perspective of three girls. The book deals with contemporary issues in a way that will resonate with high school students and, possibly, inspire them to engage with collaborative writing. Last year the book was long-listed for Inky Awards and ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children, short-listed for Indie Book Awards Young Adult, and awarded the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers.

STAGE 6 (YEAR 12) The Secret River by Kate Granville This is a historical novel about a family of settlers who want to make their home on the Aboriginal land. It brings Australian history to life through stories about pain, struggle, power plays, disobedience and love. The novel was used as the basis for a play, ABC series and children’s book. While interesting in its own right, our Year 12 students may like to spend some time with this text at their leisure before they consider it as an HSC text next year.


ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


JUNIOR SCHOOL BOOK SELECTION PRE-K & KINDERGARTEN Silly Birds by Gregg Dreise A beautifully illustrated book by Gregg Dreise, an Indigenous author and teacher, tells a humorous story about community and the value of listening. From conversations about Aboriginal style of painting and Australian animals, to people’s behaviours, this book provides many opportunities for conversations with our youngest readers. The book won the Speech Pathology Australia Indigenous Book of the Year Award for 2015.

STAGE 1 (YEARS 1-2) The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley This book deals with the omnipresent consumerism and environmental issues in a light and engaging manner. With Christmas just around the corner with all the bells and whistles on display in shops, it is a good time to step back and ask questions about our need to own more stuff. The book was shortlisted for the Book of the Year 2019 by the CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia).

STAGE 2 (YEARS 3-4) Blueback by Tim Winton The sea and beach form a recognizable backdrop of many Winton’s stories. This is particularly true in the Blueback, a story about a boy who lives in a close connection with the sea. The story about the natural beauty of Australian coastline and urgency to preserve the environment will open conversations about contemporary issues while providing an immersive reading experience.

STAGE 3 (YEARS 5-6) Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee In a story told by Lenny about their singleparent family and, especially, about her brother who has gigantism, there is a lot to make us sad and hopeful. A central place in this story has a multivolume encyclopedia, which opens children’s eyes to the wonders of the world. Acknowledged by CBCA as Honour Book in the Book of the Year for Older Readers 2019, this book will be an Australian favourite in the years to come.


STRIKING A CREATIVE LIGHT IN THE COUNTESS OF JERSEY SOCIETY As well as being the Year of Reading at PLC, 2019 has also been the year in which PLC Sydney students have embraced the joy of writing, with the introduction of a new writers group, the Countess of Jersey Society. Writing purposefully and creatively and communicating meaningfully with one’s audience are vital and empowering tools that have been brought into sharp focus, particularly with the commencement of the new NESA HSC English courses Reading to Write and The Craft of Writing. Celebrated author Marilynn Robinson describes the nature of the writing as “wrestling with the angel: On the one hand you feel the constraints of what can be said, but on the other hand you feel the infinite potential.” This infinite potential is at the heart of the Countess of Jersey Society. The society was formed earlier this year and named after the Countess of Jersey who, when visiting PLC to open the new College buildings in 1891, delivered a speech displaying exceptional wit, warmth and the talent of connecting deeply with her audience. Nearly 130 years later, the Society seeks to harness the essence of the Countess’s skill and linguistic vivacity.

In this writers group, students have a remarkable opportunity to explore and grasp their own potential as writers, discovering the joy of creative expression and building confidence, literary skill and technical flexibility.

The Society is facilitated by University of Technology Sydney creative writing teacher and published author Annabel Stafford. Inspired by writers from Robinson, Kurt Vonnegut, J.M. Coetzee to David Sedaris, students from Years 7 to 12 are presented with a series of workshops aimed at developing their understanding of narrative, point of view, and character. Most importantly, students are encouraged to pursue their creative passions and develop their own unique style as writers through hands-on experience, giving voice to original ideas and interests and feeling the incandescence that comes from using language with confidence and precision.

Sarah Pattinson of Year 7, one of the youngest members of the Countess of Jersey Society, recently had her short story “Little Matchstick” shortlisted for the Overland Journal’s annual Fair Australia Prize.


My family have always thought of my gift as sickness and for a long time, I believed them. My skin is hot. Not like a cold hot, but like extremely burning hot to touch. Everyone that touches me gets burnt. My parents have taken me to countless doctors, but none have come up with a solution. My father says that I should learn to grow up, which makes no sense because you can’t just grow out of having hot skin. My mother took me to doctors and says she’s here for me, but really she just wants the sickness to go away. My sister teases me all the time. She calls me matchstick and complains that I’ve burnt her when really I’m miles away. My mum took me to a new doctor. He was thin and wore black glasses that sat on the edge of his nose. He did the normal tests, checking my breathing and heart rate, my temperature, my height,

weight, reflexes, and blood pressure. “Well everything but her temperature seems normal,” says the doctor. “ I could do some more tests, but really it would be a waste of time.” My mum shakes her head. “Surely there’s something Doctor. Could you test her mental health too?” “I guess.” The doctor sighs. “ Lola could you please step into that room over there. I’m going to do a quick scan.” I nod and walk into the room and sit down on the chair. The doctor presses a few buttons, the lights go off and I hear a beep. After around a minute there is another beep and the lights flash on. ‘’Well there’s nothing wrong with that either” the doctor says to my mother.

It was her unique, metaphorical take on the competition theme of ‘Strike’ that captured the attention of the judges. We congratulate Sarah on such a wonderful achievement. An extract of the short story is shared below. Ms Veronica Trainor Director of Language and Literature

“But if it’s not that then what is wrong? Why is her temperature so hot? You must be able to come up with something. Surely.” My mum is shouting now, throwing her arms up and pointing to me like I am a pest. “There really is nothing we can do,” the doctor says defensively. “ I’m sure she will eventually grow out of it.” “And what do you suggest we do till then? Let her burn everything in her path?” I stand up and kicked at the chair, knocking it to the ground. I hate how everyone talks about me. I understand that there is something wrong with me, but they act like it’s a life or death situation. Also, people don’t grow out of things like hot skin so why does everyone keep saying it as if it’s wrong? “Come on Lola we’re leaving. This place is just as useless as all the others.” My mother goes to grab my hand but thinks otherwise. I stand up and follow her out the door. Not even glancing at the doctor as I walk out. When we get home I go straight to my bedroom. “Hey, matchstick why do you keep doing this to our family? You’re causing mum and dad to fight. Why don’t you go and die in a pit?” My sister Rose shouts at me as I enter the room. I ignore her and climb into my bed. I pull the fireproof covers over my head and close my eyes, trying to block all noise out of existence.

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AN INCREDIBLE SCIENTIFIC ADVENTURE During the September school holidays, we travelled to Tasmania to attend the 15th Annual International Student Science Conference (ISSC) at The Hutchins School in Hobart. Over the course of the week, we had the privilege of listening and presenting among top Australian scientists and students from Hong Kong, China, Italy, Australia and Taiwan, who presented research relating to the theme of the conference, ‘Human Impacts on the Environment: Prevention and Mitigation’. We were taken out to fantastic activities over the week, one of the highlights being visiting the Aurora Australis, the uniquely Australian Antarctic research vessel. For a few hours, we got to stand in the shoes of an Antarctic marine biologist as we toured the impressive marine laboratories, cramped crew dorms and the captain’s bridge. We learnt about the ship’s research procedures, the history of the vessel, and some of the studies that were conducted aboard. Another highlight was visiting the Mount Pleasant Radio Observatory where we learnt about how events such as pulsars are detected in space. We also learnt about Grote Reber, who built a radio telescope in his mother’s backyard and conducted the world’s first sky survey in the radio frequencies! PLC SYDNEY / CAMPHORA

to optimise its practicality in a real-life situation, and through this, we were given a taste of the satisfaction of humanitarian engineering. At the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, we also had the opportunity to participate in some activities such as testing the turbidity of several water samples in order to analyse how well algae can photosynthesise in those environments. Again, in engaging in these activities, we were given a lens into the amazing work of experts in different fields. Between the science, we ventured to the popular tourist sites of Hobart. After the bus carried us up the narrow, winding road leading to the top of Mount Wellington, we were gobsmacked with the breath-taking views from its 450m peak. As we shivered violently from the cold we witnessed views of rolling hills, wallabies and Angie saw snow for the first time (it was only a tiny patch—but it still counts!).

This excursion was followed up by a fascinating presentation from University of Tasmania lecturer Stas Shabala, who described his research on black holes and sea-level rise.

We were lucky enough to visit the University of Tasmania and participate in fun and thoughtprovoking activities involving plant science, architecture and engineering. The most memorable was the engineering activity where we had to build a stand for an iPhone to ensure that the flashlight feature can be used hands-free whilst doing the dishes. We produced a necklace design that ensured water-proofing

We then visited the renowned Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) where we were confronted with some controversial works of art… definitely nothing like we’ve seen before! Regardless, it’s an experience we will never forget. Cuddling a koala was also ticked off the bucket list when we went to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where we also got to feed kangaroos, pat wombats and look at two adorable Tasmanian devils. Our final touristy adventure was to the famous Salamanca Markets which left us broke after our impulse purchases of honey, fudge and Mrs Hendiks’ jar of saffron worth $100,000 per kg. This trip was absolutely phenomenal and we are truly grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience generously offered to us. In particular, we would like to thank The Hutchins School, Dr Gutierrez, Mrs Hendriks, and of course Dr Burgis. This amazing opportunity would never have been made possible without them! Angie Rofail, Emily Moloney and Julia Cummins Year 10

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A HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE FOR YEAR 3 In Science and Technology, Year 3 students learnt about farming and gardening. The syllabus requires pupils to describe how agricultural processes are used to raise animals for food and clothing. In today’s world, many children do not have the exposure or hands-on opportunity to observe and interact with farm animals. We are very fortunate at PLC Sydney to have so many families with a huge diversity of farming and business backgrounds who are very happy to share their expertise with our girls. The Steventon family (Amelia, Year 5 and Jessica, Year 3) run an established sheep farm in NSW and were recently kind enough


to bring two of their lambs to PLC Sydney to visit Year 3. Jessica and her father presented an informative slide show where they demonstrated and explained many aspects of sheep farming including drenching, shearing, feeding and general care of the animals. This enabled the children to smell, touch and feel wool both on and off the sheep. The girls were also exposed to the impact the current drought is having on Australian farmers and their livestock. Year 3 students loved feeding the lambs with warm milk and watching their cute little tails wiggle in excitement. Thank you to Charmaine and Andrew Steventon for taking the time out of their busy lives to share this wonderful experience with our girls. Mrs Mary Mitchell Year 3 Teacher

Mrs Annie Martin Junior School Science Coordinator

ENRICHING SCIENCE WITH OUR SCIENTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE Photosynthesis was the central theme of a new co-curricular program launched by the Science faculty in Term 3. The Science Enrichment Program (SEP) was designed to extend the scientific skills, science knowledge and understanding of Years 7 and 8 students, through short tutorials, hands-on activities and experiments in a series of workshops. The program was delivered by the College’s two scientists-in-residence, Dr Gutierrez and Dr van Heerden. Students learnt about the Biology, Chemistry and Physics of this fundamental process that keeps Earth alive. There were two parts to the program. Part 1 involved informative sessions on theoretical concepts and practical activities that ran throughout Term 3. Part 2 in Term 4 involved the completion of an experiment where students devised their own research questions and designed an experiment on a particular aspect of photosynthesis. The SEP enrolled 17 enthusiastic and committed students that have a passion for Science. They engaged very well with the challenge of designing a unique experiment using simple techniques learnt during the program. Dr van Heerden, an expert in lasers, taught the girls how they can use a spectrophotometer to measure the different pigments responsible for photosynthesis. Dr Gutierrez led the girls into appreciating the biological diversity on the planet that can carry out photosynthesis,

from bacteria to algae, dinoflagellates to higher plants. Students learnt how to measure the gases involved in the process, oxygen and carbon dioxide, both directly using sensors and indirectly using photosynthesis techniques. The extraction and separation of pigments from various plants was a skill that the students were taught. All of this equipped the girls with a handful of lab techniques to apply to the design of their own experiments. The feedback has been very positive—the girls have had a great time and learnt so much! The final product of their hard work was showcased as a poster displayed during a special lunchtime session. The Science faculty judged the posters and the best three received awards.

This program has been a wonderful opportunity for students in Years 7 and 8 that love Science and would like to learn more and develop their scientific skills. We look forward to more of this enthusiastic participation next year. Dr Maria Luisa Gutierrez Science Teacher and Scientist-in-Residence

Dr Stephanus van Heerden Scientist-in-Residence

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PERFORMANCES SHOWCASE THE VERY BEST OF DRAMA AND MUSIC Semester 2 featured so many performances it's hard to cover them all, whether it was the Strings Concert, the Tattoo, the Choral Concert, the Junior School Concert, Curtain Call—even the HSC trial performances, and the actual HSC performances for that matter. To highlight one event is impossible considering they all have a special place in the PLC Sydney calendar, showcasing the many different areas within the Music Department. The one thing that can be said is that there is something for everyone, whether it's jazz, classical, vocal or Baroque and many other genres. Within the space of one week the AKT stage showcases the very best of the talented Year 12 students in Curtain Call. This concert features almost all students from the Music


and Drama HSC classes and is a true indication of what is offered with the Performing Arts Department. The Drama students present both their Individual and Group projects whilst students studying the Music 1, Music 2 and Extension Music subjects present one item from their programs. Congratulations must be made to all students. This year we saw a record number of students nominated for Encore and On Stage. One week later, after hearing from the most senior students at PLC

Sydney, the stage played host to our youngest students. It really is a thrill to watch and hear from the Year 1 String Program, the Year 4 Band Program and the many Junior School ensembles. The delight on the girls faces demonstrates the joy they all have in performing and playing their instruments. Mr Philip Harper Director of Performing Arts Coordinator of Bands


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What sport/s are you involved in? Touch football, netball, soccer, athletics, cross country and tennis. How old were you when you started? I started touch football when I was 11-years-old. How did you get involved? My older brother started playing park touch at first, and as any little sister does, I watched him play and decided I would do the same. What are some of the challenges you face with juggling school work and competing/training? I train for many different sports and teams within these sports, which ultimately requires a lot of my time. This means I have limited time to complete my schoolwork as I am always either travelling to and from sport or playing sport. But I think this has given me the ability to become more organised and schedule in time for this work. What do you like to do when you are not competing or doing school work? I really enjoy going to the beach with my friends and surfing. Where are you currently competing/training? I train in different teams for my sports, but in touch football I recently played in the NSWCIS team at the National Youth Championships. I also usually play all year round at my touch football club, Balmain Tigers. What do you think has been your biggest sporting achievements so far? When I played in the NSW U/15 All Schools side in Tasmania and received the ’players player’ award from my teammates. What is your greatest sporting ambition? I hope that one day I can play for my country.


What do you like to do when you are not competing or doing school work?


I like reading, playing with friends and practicing golf.


Bexley Golf Club, The Lakes Golf Club and Beverley Park Golf Club.

Where are you currently competing/ training?

What is the next event you will be competing at? What sport/s are you involved in? Golf. How old were you when you started? 7 years old. How did you get involved?


JNJG Encourage Shield Beverley Park. What do you think has been your biggest sporting achievements so far? Jack Newton International 2019 Girls 10 Years and Under Nett Runner Up.

A friend asked me.

What is your greatest sporting ambition?

What are some of the challenges you face with juggling school work and competing/training?

Being the captain in the state team.

Time with practicing versus study/social activities and pressure at competitions.

I am in the team of the Beverley Park Encourage Shield.

What are some of the challenges you face with juggling school work and competing/training?

What is your greatest sporting ambition?

I need to finish my school work and training more efficiently. What do you like to do when you are not competing or doing school work?

Are you a member of a squad/team?

To play the Olympic Table Tennis game on behalf of Australia. Are you a member of a squad/team? I am a member of the NSW State Team.

Reading books and listening to music. Where are you currently competing/ training? Kim's Table Tennis Training Center.

What sport/s are you involved in? Table tennis. How old were you when you started? 6 years old. How did you get involved? My father found a good coach for me.

What is the next event you will be competing at? The biggest event is the 2020 Australian National Junior Table Tennis Championship. What do you think has been your biggest sporting achievements so far? Playing in the Australian National Junior Table Tennis Championship on behalf of the NSW State Team.

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What sport/s are you involved in? Athletics and cross country.


How old were you when you started? 7 years old. How did you get involved? My whole family run, and thought that I should give it a try as it looked fun. I ended up loving it! I loved it mainly because it was really nice to run with my family. What are some of the challenges you face with juggling school work and competing/training? The balance between training and study/homework is very hard, and at times it feels like it's all too much as I don't have very much time outside of my sport. I have learnt to ask my friends and teachers for help and tips whenever I am under pressure and have learnt that time management is very important. What do you like to do when you are not competing or doing school work? Whenever I have free time I love to spend it with my family by going out or sitting in and watching a movie. I also love to hang out with friends and watch Netflix :) Where are you currently competing/training? I train with my mum, brother and training group that my dad coaches. We train around the area that I live, which is in the Shire. My competitions are mostly at Sydney Olympic Park, and Nationals is in a different state each year! What is the next event you will be competing at? Unfortunately, I have been injured on and off this whole year. My next competition would have been National Athletics in WA, where I would have raced in the 1500m and the 3000m. As a result of my new injury I have to skip that competition, but I am keen to get back at it when I have recovered and go for it next year! What do you think has been your biggest sporting achievements so far? My biggest sporting achievements would have to be when I won National Athletics last year in Cairns in the 800m, 1500m and the 3000m. I also have multiple world age records from when I was 8-years-old until 13-years-old in distances ranging from 800m to 3000m, which were my most exciting achievements! What is your greatest sporting ambition? I would love to represent Australia, but most of all I want to fulfill my potential :) Are you a member of a squad/team? Yes, NxtGen Track Team, which my dad coaches :)



SAME LATITUDE, DIFFERENT LONGITUDE, DIFFERENT SCHOOLS Our school, PLC Sydney, is located 33.86 degrees south of the Equator. In another continent, at a similar latitude of 33.92 degrees south, is Herschel Girls’ School, our sister school in Capetown, South Africa. We had the privilege of travelling on exchange to Capetown, where we were hosted by two of their students, Amelie de Villiers and Mia Guerrini. We were in South Africa from 11 July until 19 August 2019. When attending school on another continent, in a city very different from the one we usually live in, we found it interesting to examine the similarities and differences of the two schools. Could we consider that the similarities between the two schools are related to their almost identical latitude? Herschel offers a similar choice of subjects to PLC Sydney. Similar learning

platforms to those at PLC are used to teach. Students moved between subjects, to attend lessons in a room where the teacher was based, just like the arrangement is here. As Herschel is one of the most prestigious schools in its province, staff had high expectations of their students, standards of lessons were high and students put pressure on themselves to achieve. We think there is the same academically rigorous culture here at PLC Sydney. Interestingly, Herschel ran a similar United Day for each year group. Believe it or not, we also sang similar hymns, such as ‘Shine Jesus Shine’, a favourite amongst the students of PLC Sydney. Do the differences between the two schools stem from the large difference in their longitudinal positions? Sydney, Australia is 151.20 degrees east of the Greenwich meridian, while Capetown, South Africa is 18.42 degrees east of Greenwich. Senior school at Herschel starts in Year 8, not in Year 7 as it does here. The school day starts later and finishes early each Friday. Herschel has a formal and an informal uniform. We found it fascinating that Homeroom was made

up of students from Years 8-12 and was arranged in Houses. As a result, there was less hierarchy between grades because girls of different ages were mixing with each other on a daily basis. Every two weeks, one afternoon was allocated to exam time. Teachers at Herschel organised extracurricular clubs, such as hiking, knitting, LGBT support and many other interests. One of the very noticeable differences between Herschel and PLC Sydney was the security measures. There were many high walls and constant security when entering and during classes. We were welcomed warmly at Herschel Girls’ School. Our time away was interesting and rewarding. We have made friends with not only our host sisters, but the other exchange girls in the school, who were from the United States of America and the United Kingdom. We recommend exchange to Year 10 students. If you travel, you too could compare PLC Sydney to the exchange school you travel to. Jasmine Higgs and Maia Shannon Year 10

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NINE DAYS IN NEW YORK, TWO IN LA AND LOTS TO DO— WELCOME TO THE NEW YORK DRAMA TOUR The New York Drama Tour was an amazing experience, packed with stimulating drama workshops, Broadway shows, famous landmarks and interesting New Yorkers. With only nine days in New York, two in LA and lots to do, everything was jam-packed. Some of the highlights were the parks we visited: Battery Park, where we took a ride on the SeaGlass Carousel and squinted across the harbour at the Statue of Liberty; Union Square, where we bought beautiful fresh produce from the markets; Washington Square, where we watched buskers, students and one man walking his pet chicken; and of course, Central Park where we took a stroll around Strawberry Fields and the lake. We also spent a day in Brooklyn, and enjoyed hours lying in the sun at Prospect Park. In the 9/11 museum we lost ourselves in a maze of rooms full of photos, videos and objects (including a whole fire truck). I was confronted by the tragedy of the event, but I also felt an atmosphere of respect, unity and recognition through the profound stories and artworks on display. We completed so many workshops. At Broadway Classroom I watched my classmates workshop songs and monologues with an experienced Broadway performer and we got to meet Doron Mitchell from the cast of To Kill A Mockingbird, and ask him lots of questions. Also at Broadway Classroom an ex-Rockette taught us some moves in a dance workshop, which was great fun if, maybe, a touch mortifying.



At a workshop hosted by SITI theatre company we learnt a bit about the Japanese art of Suzuki and viewpoints— the class on viewpoints was relaxing and involved us moving around the space and engaging with each other to create intriguing positions and patterns, which gave us a chance to warm-down after the tense, muscle-straining positions of our Suzuki training. We also did an improv workshop at the Upright Citizens Brigade, a voice workshop (where we recited Shakespeare in American accents) and a class at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, where we performed exercises for relaxation and emotional memory. My personal favourite was a writing workshop at the Roundabout Theatre Company. We went to Central Station, the New York Library and the Guggenheim. We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, did a tour of Radio City Music Hall and visited the Top of the Rock to admire the amazing view. We watched Dear Evan Hansen, a Broadway musical that tackles adolescence and mental health—the music was amazing and the story

had us all in tears. I think we were all particularly amazed that the incredibly talented lead was a seventeen-year-old boy—our age. The Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem and the long-form improv night in Chelsea were great shows filled with comedy and audience participation. We watched Antigone, performed by Shizuoka Performing Arts Center, a show performed wholly in Japanese with English subtitles, executed over a large pond of shallow water. It was bizarrely exhilarating and I’ll probably never see anything like it again. We saw the Broadway musical, Come From Away, that recounted the true story of 7000 passengers whose planes were diverted to a small town in Newfoundland as a result of 9/11. My favourite show was To Kill A Mockingbird—the sets, actors and costumes were amazing and we got to meet Jeff Daniels, who played Atticus, at the stage door afterwards. One of the most rewarding experiences of the tour was teaching Year 2 students a Drama lesson at the Neighbourhood Charter School in Harlem.

It was great fun working with them and answering their unexpected questions about Australia. We also went to a church service in Harlem where we heard amazing Gospel singing and ate lunch with the community. In Los Angeles we spent an exhilarating day at Disneyland, screaming on lots of rides and eating lots of sugar, leaving us completely exhausted. On our last day we did a short bus tour, looked around Observatory Hill and ate lunch at The Grove before hopping on a plane back to Sydney.

The experience has left us with new, enriching knowledge about theatre, and led to the forging of wonderful connections with New York, and with each other. Emma Hooton Year 11

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WE ARE ONLY ONE BEING, WE ARE A PIPE BAND! “Pipe band, by the right, quick march!” On 29 June, after a 24 hour flight, students from Year 8 to 11 took part in the European Pipe Band Championship in Inverness, Scotland. After the competition, they had the opportunity to travel and perform around Scotland and England conducted by Mr Wishart and accompanied by Ms Mela and Ms Chiba. Miranda Raguz had to step in for the usual lead drummer, who was injured, and she did so excellently. Upon returning to Sydney, she shared her memories with Snare Drum Teacher, Ms Giorgia Di Girolamo, and myself. Ms Eleonora Cerqua Tenor Drum Teacher

On the day of the competition, each and every one of us was having mixed feelings, the excitement was palpable and the memory of it is still vivid... 10:15 am on a clear and sunny Saturday, bags are getting inflated, sticks are rolling fast and mallets are spinning in the air while the bass drum strokes resound deeply. However, this time is different from all the others... this time, there is the Scottish sky above us and the European Championship field under our feet. The music flows smoothly, time flies quickly and, eventually, the snare drum beats on the left step lead us outside the field. The performance has just finished when it starts to pour down on us. We all laugh and run around seeking for shelter until we hop on the bus towards our accommodation. Some of us did indeed get sick the next day but we soldiered on! It was a unique opportunity and we will cherish this moment forever. We played at our best and we ended up being the number one female pipes and drums band in Europe! After the championship, we did a number of street performances and who would have thought that Scottish people were obsessed with pipes and drums?! We were always surrounded by a huge audience who enjoyed our music and even recorded us playing! In addition to our performances, we also did some shopping and a lot of interesting and fun activities around the UK. We tried new types of food (but of course we also went to Starbucks) and we met a few different people. The most stressful part of the trip was the pipes and drums exam but even that one was pretty fun and we all tried our hardest! My favourite part of the trip was going on the ‘Harry Potter, Hogwarts Express’, I will never forget when I bought items from the trolley saying “we’ll take the lot”. I also enjoyed taking the boat on Loch Ness and, although we could not find the monster, we befriended a number of ducks (one of them named Steve). PLC SYDNEY / CAMPHORA

The trip was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for all of us, also thanks to Mr Wishart, Ms Mela and Ms Chiba who were able to accommodate us on this incredible journey— and we are so grateful for that.

It is needless to say that the group really bonded together and we made some awesome memories! Being part of a pipe band represents a wonderful chance to make friends. We all feel part of the team and our common goal is playing beautiful music. Moreover, playing in a pipe band you develop a sense of responsibility and community. Obviously we have our ups and downs but we always get through them as a team. The bond within a pipe band is unique. We all move and play simultaneously as if we belong to a single being which speaks through music and when the simultaneity is perfect and you close your eyes, you cannot say if we are 10 or 30 people... in fact, we are only one being, we are a pipe band! Miranda Raguz Year 8

SENIORS BUDDY UP WITH JUNIORS FOR READING 2019 brought a very exciting initiative to the Junior School, the MacqLit program, and with it an opportunity for Hamilton students to buddy with Senior students, in order to enhance their reading skills. An essential part of the MacqLit program’s success is regular, daily, reinforced reading with a reading tutor using the ‘Pause, Prompt and Praise’ method. In our busy lives it is not always possible for parents and family members to find time to read with their daughter every day. Senior school students doing their Service component of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards participated in reading sessions with Hamilton students for thirty minutes twice a week. Students gathered in the JS library during lunch and after school for reinforced reading sessions with their buddies.

"The opportunity to help with this reading program for Duke of Edinburgh students has been beneficial for both myself and the student I help. I feel very privileged to be in this position where I can assist a younger student. I feel that the MacqLit program helps gain reading skills and improved confidence for the Junior girls. I believe working one on one with a Hamilton girl encourages her to reach out of her comfort zone. She is more willing to take risks and give something a go when it is just the two of us working together. I am very thankful to have this opportunity to complete my Duke of Edinburgh Service hours whilst helping a younger PLC student."

The Senior students had the responsibility of viewing a training video and ensuring they used the Pause, Prompt and Praise method. They took a 100 word count to ensure their students were reading text at an appropriate level and checked their understanding by asking them to summarise what that had read. Explaining new vocabulary, asking relevant comprehension questions and sharing their reading habits, together made their sessions lively and enjoyable.

Claudia Mortensen, Year 9 Ms Renate Cross Literacy Learning Enrichment Teacher Assistant Head of Learning Enrichment Junior School

For some Senior students it is not just a service experience to assist a younger student with her reading. Katia Natsasi, Year 11, sees it as so much more: "For my Gold Duke of Ed, I read with a student in Year 6. While I love to hear the improvement of the girl’s fluency and see her approach to reading change, I feel as though it is more substantial than that. My favourite part of this process is to see the growth in her confidence and character from the first lesson at the beginning of the year. I am humbled to have the ability to share my knowledge with the student whilst simultaneously learning from her."

Two sisters, Georgie and Claudia Mortensen, both involved in the program share their experience on the MacqLit Reinforced reading: "My name is Georgie and I have been doing MacqLit since the start of the year. I have enjoyed it so much because I know it helps me. I think it is a great opportunity for all PLC girls because I am reading so much more and I feel more confident. As part of MacqLit I get to work with my reading tutor, Anais Lowe who is in Year 10 and she has helped me the whole time I’ve been doing the program. I feel very grateful to work with her every Tuesday and Thursday. Anais makes me feel very comfortable and she speaks to me in a positive way that makes me want to try harder. She helps me without giving me the answer and I love it when she’s proud of me for getting hard words correct when I’m reading. I have learnt how to sound out words and give things a go that would have scared me before." Georgie Mortensen, Year 4 ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019



60 SECONDS WITH.... MR JOHN TRIMBLE Science Teacher Where did you start teaching? 1990. In London. It was a very challenging school to be a starting teacher. Incredibly socio-economically underprivileged, 68 nationalities of pupils as I recall and on my first day, a Year 11 boy the size of a moderately sized house firmly told me to sit in the corner and not say a word. By the end of that year, he was my homeroom captain.

Have you always been a teacher or have you had other careers before teaching? I worked in a company that researched packaging materials, for one year. The main packaging material tested was for soft drinks in tetra packs and there were lots of bubbles in the packaging and we had to get rid of these. Soft drink and bubbles… I don’t miss it. What led you to a career in education? After deciding medicine involved meeting too many sick people with too many ailments and complaints, I opted to go into teaching. Little did I realise that in the classroom I would be exposed to bugs and germs every single day. Excellent for building up immunity I suppose. What has been your greatest challenge in the classroom? I believe it’s that most students find it difficult to hear my soft, quiet, dulcet tones. Yes, that’s it. What do you enjoy most about being involved in education?

It asks me to be a learner, and this happens every day. I love that. What do you find most rewarding about teaching? Meeting brilliant minds in the classroom and in the various departments I’ve worked in. Most teachers are astonishingly talented. Do you have a most memorable career point to date? I hope it's still to come, but I doubt it. Life is full of lots of small great moments. Who has been your greatest influence? An English literature teacher I had at school in Ireland. She really made me think, she rarely ever answered a question directly and her perspective on life was interesting and provocative. Do you have any interests/hobbies? Tech gadgets have a particular appeal. I love cycling, reading, walking and I am now moving into photography. You know you’re getting old when family genealogy becomes a thing in your life, but it is amazing to learn about people five generations ago.




Support Manager, Technology Services Have you always worked in IT or have you had other careers? No, I didn’t start off in IT. I didn’t really enjoy school and left at the end of Year 10. My parents were not happy about it but agreed that if I found a full-time job over the Christmas break I didn’t have to go back to school. Well, I made sure I found myself a job and started working for a printing company as a trainee typesetter. I did typesetting for about five years then became a PA. What led you to a career in IT? I ended up working as the PA to the managing director of a large software company. Over time, somehow I became the go-to person for help with computer and printer problems and understandably, I think this annoyed my boss so he created a Helpdesk/IT position and moved me into this role. What has been your greatest challenge in your role? Understanding technical terminology and details can be challenging when it is not something you have studied. The industry moves at such a fast pace it is hard to keep up with all the changes. It can also be draining dealing with problems all the time. What do you enjoy most about working in Technology Services?

Solving problems feels good. We have a great team and have a lot of laughs which is what keeps us sane. It is interesting being involved in creating change. The word on the street is that you and other Technology Services staff like to watch dashcam videos in your spare time. Is this true? Busted! If a few of us manage to sit down together to have lunch we watch dashcam footage on YouTube. We are hardcore dashcam watchers now. We have run out of new footage, so I think it is time for a new lunchtime hobby.


Do you have any interests/hobbies? I am an avid follower of Formula 1, love going on cruises, home renovating and my animals. I have two toy poodles, one fluffy white Birman cat, three turtles and a bunch of fish. What is your motto in life? It is what it is.

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019



It was in Term 4 last year that PLC Sydney’s old Green Team saw its rebirth as the new environmental group of the College—SEED. SEED stands for Sustainable Education and Environmental Development, and that is exactly what we are all about: educating ourselves and the community about sustainability and developing as individuals towards a more environmentally friendly existence. SEED’s values are well rooted into the College’s values of care, respect and responsibility for the environment and all of its members are passionate individuals that truly live these values in their own way. Last year the group started its activities by carrying out a waste audit of our playgrounds, café and classrooms. We were lucky to have a visit from Sydney environmentalist Jo Taranto (Creator of Good for the Hood: and ABC celebrity Costa Georgiadis to guide us and share their enthusiasm for this cause. The results of the audit were very clear: most of our waste is food scraps, then paper, then everything else. We were very proud to see that there was minimal amount of single-use plastic bags and bottles being thrown out. PLC SYDNEY / CAMPHORA

This, along with a professional waste audit carried out by contractors a little later, led the school executive this year to approve the purchasing of a food waste dehydrator, the Enrich 360. This machine converts all our food waste into an organic fertiliser that can be used in gardens. The SEED team will carry out an experiment to work out which is the optimal concentration of this fertiliser to use in our gardens. Having a food waste dehydrator, however, does not mean that we have the ‘moral permission’ to continue to be wasteful with our food, but rather it means that we should be more mindful of the waste we create. It also gives us a unique opportunity to recycle back to Earth what we cannot eat. We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of College Council towards this (and other) environmental initiatives. As the waste audit also pointed out that we are sending to landfill a substantial amount of paper, we decided to take action to stop this. We recovered some second-hand cloth materials from the Design and Technology faculty and used it to cover and decorate cardboard boxes to act as paper bins. By collecting the classroom’s waste paper and taking it to the blue paper recycling bins, we are further contributing to recycling the waste we produce at school. It has been a big task for the girls, but we are very proud of our boxes and continue to encourage students and teachers to use them. Why wouldn’t you?

This year SEED also turned its efforts towards becoming more energy efficient as a community. We carried out an energy audit during one lunchtime and unfortunately found that not all of us are turning the lights, screens and air conditioning off at the end of lessons, particularly going into lunchtime. We are working hard to remind all how important it is to do so and will continue with these efforts into next year.

SEED has four main committees: Waste, Energy, Water and Conservation and we have many exciting plans for the next year around each of these areas. Anyone is welcome to join the group at anytime, both teachers and students. It is as simple as going to the Co-curricular tiles in PLACES and clicking on the link to the SEED website ( com/ We look forward to continuing to minimise our environmental footprint at PLC Sydney and contributing to making the world a better place for generations to come. Dr Maria Luisa Gutierrez Science Teacher and Scientist-in-Residence



Have you ever wondered about the origin of the doll in the Junior School Library? She stands on top of one of the bookshelves and gazes out on everyone who visits there. In 2013, the 125th year of PLC Sydney, twins Brianna and Tegan Neowhouse were in Year 6. It was a tradition for Year 6 to present a present to the school at the Farewell Luncheon. Mrs Grace Neowhouse made the doll as an extra present specifically from the twins to the school. She is a ‘Journey To’ doll, purchased from a popular retailer of the time, Toys R Us. Grace Neowhouse sewed the blouse, the uniform, the socks and added the authentic badges. The shoes came with the purchase of the doll. Due to the fact that Brianna and Tegan gifted the doll to the school, the doll’s name is Bregan Tianna, a combination of the twins’ names. Brianna Joy and Tegan Esther Neowhouse graduated from Year 12 at PLC Sydney in 2019. Mrs Suellen White Director of International Studies Mathematics Teacher

Mrs Grace Neowhouse made the doll as a gift to the school from her daughters when they graduated from the Junior School in 2013.

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PLC Sydney Preschools opened their doors on Saturday 2 November to showcase our beautiful preschool that will start operation in January 2020.

With our first PLC Sydney Preschools established in Ashfield, we are welcoming boys and girls aged 3-5 years old. Delivering a curriculum guided by a play/inquiry-based learning program informed by the National Early Years Learning Framework and the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, our centre is guaranteed to give children a wonderful start to early education. New purpose built facilities have been designed to facilitate curiosity and learning, with beautiful gardens and outdoor play areas, open and undercover spaces, sandpits and age appropriate climbing and play equipment. Children can run, play, dance and explore their world and continually challenge themselves. The children have opportunities to extend their thinking processes through small group learning projects with access to innovative technological resources, including robotics. Learning about the natural world will be a particular focus, with access to the PLC Sydney Animal Exhibits Officer and her huge variety of invertebrates. We will also offer a rich music program in our preschools. PLC Sydney Preschools will offer 2/3 or 5 day programs for girls and boys and will be open extended hours from 8.00 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

With a highly experienced team, led by director, Kelly Nickless, our qualified staff will ensure the children have a wonderful start to early education. Mrs Renee Jones Communications Manager, PLC Sydney Preschools

Visit to find out more.


PLC SYDNEY AND PLC ARMIDALE COMBINE TO SUPPORT DROUGHT RELIEF PLC Armidale and PLC Sydney, both known for the quality of their music programs, recently combined to present a wonderful community benefit concert, PARCHED. The concert, held at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale, raised vital funds to support those affected by the drought. Attended by a huge crowd, including a number of high profile dignitaries, as well as many guests from both the PLC Sydney and Armidale communities, the benefit concert raised an enormous $38,000. This money has now been donated to the Country Womens’ Association (CWA) NSW.


the scene for the evening. Musical items from ensembles and individuals highlighted the exceptional talent of PLC Sydney and PLC Armidale’s accomplished young musicians. PARCHED was not a night of a few, for a few. PARCHED was a demonstration of the power of teamwork and collaboration. The collegiality and collaboration between the two schools was a testimony to what is possible when we work towards a common goal for a worthy cause. An opportunity to serve and bring joy to others was evident throughout the evening, aptly demonstrated in the generous supper provided by PLC Armidale’s P&F as well. Thank you to those who attended, to those who enabled the performance, to those who gave generously and to all those who made PARCHED the visible demonstration of community. Mrs Renee Jones Media and Communications Manager PLC Armidale

Setting the scene for the evening was a number of very moving video presentations, providing a visual reminder of the devastating drought. Using the voices and stories from those in the regional community, including politicians, business people, PLC Sydney and PLC Armidale Principals and the NSW CWA, we were all deeply moved at the far reaching effect of the drought. Families who have lived on the land for generations told stories of never seeing a drought like this one. The quality of the performances on the night were diverse, polished and entertaining, but it was also evident the commitment to a very worthy cause which motivated all involved to give of their best. The opening item featured a complex original composition by PLC Armidale’s Director of Music, Matthew Minter, which was inspired by the beauty of the New England Region, allowing the combined orchestra of PLC Armidale and PLC Sydney to set

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019



Muck Up Day: noun. Australian slang. 1) An end of year celebration for school students, especially those in their final year. 2) The last day of school before the annual examinations, marked by practical jokes and other student pranks.

1957. Acknowledgement: ex-student Robyn Anderson (Class of 1957)

Finishing secondary education at PLC Sydney is marked by a number of traditional events, including a graduation service, a luncheon hosted by the Principal—and Muck Up Day. This is a day of fun and camaraderie for Year 12 students, a chance to let off a bit of steam before the Higher School Certificate examinations begin, and a final opportunity to enjoy being “at the top of the pile”. Here are images of PLC Sydney end-ofyear revelry from seven decades. Ms Debby Cramer Archivist

1948: in front of Biology Hut. Acknowledgement: Ex-Student Gwen Bosler (Stuart, Class of 1949)



1961: “Leaving” refers to the Leaving Certificate, since replacement by the Higher School Certificate. Acknowledgement: Ex-student Jean Maxwell (1961)

1992: Boarders’ Muck Up Night. Acknowledgement: Ex-student Leisa Caines (Grantham, 1992)

1986: Assembly in College Hall; Kerrie Hislop impersonating the Principal Dr McKeith. Acknowledgement: Ex-student Prudence Wales (1986)

2009: Muck Up video filming. Acknowledgement: Ex-student Madelaine Stirton (2009)

1979: at Croydon railway station. Acknowledgement: Ex-student Elizabeth Tugwell (Harley, 1979)

All images are held by PLC Sydney Archives. If ex-student readers have Muck Up Day images they wish to donate to the Archives or loan for scanning, please contact Debby Cramer, Archivist, ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


EX-STUDENTS’ NEWS PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2019 ducts and despite my best intentions I proceeded to weep my way through the assembly. The School Hymn has a similar effect and how easily the words seem to flow from some deep recesses of our minds. "God Be With You", sung at the end of each term, also takes us back to the anticipation of the final bell and the mad scramble to get to the station, past the prefects on gate duty, pulling up socks and trying to sneak by in a crowd of friends if some essential item of the school uniform wasn't quite there. We all have memories from our days at PLC and those of the graduating class of 2019 will be different from some of ours. Yet the essence of what it means to be a PLC girl will always be a unifying factor. So what does it mean to be a PLC girl?

The recent ceremonies to farewell the graduating class of 2019 stirred up all sorts of emotions in me. Why is it that bagpipes always make me cry? Some might say that the reason is obvious but in my case, I have found the sound to be both wistful and rousing. It is said that music and smells are the most effective tools in conjuring up memories. Sure enough the moment the bagpipes started, so did my tear


The committee is working hard to try define what this could be. Hence our recent survey. Not another one, some of you might say! We are fortunate to have a wide range of ages on the committee (although we would love to have more of you join us) and it has become apparent that whilst there are many traditions in common, other aspects separate us. The hat badge hasn't been in use for over ten years. The school colours have also undergone some changes.

ESU COMMITTEE AND OFFICE BEARERS 2019 Patron: Gwendoline Bosler (Stuart, 1949) President: Marina Clark (Lvoff, 1978) Vice President: Catherine Marvell (Davidson, 1975) Secretary: Elizabeth Gregory (Cornish, 1961) Treasurer: Rae Gower (Hoore, 1949) NCW Representatives: Helen Humphreys (Neal, 1968) Mia Joseph (Illias, 2009) Committee Members: Megan Carrillo (Hor, 1998) Edwina Hobson (2015) Sara Keli (Thorp, 2001)

In the not too distant future we look forward to finding some commonality on which to build a stronger sense of identity for all ages of ex-students to relate to.

Lesley Meldrum (Morgan, 1955)

Marina Clark (Lvoff, 1978)

Director of Alumni Relations and Committee Member:

ESU President

Robyn McBride (Hailey, 1976) Ann McDonald (1965) Johanne Stapelfeldt (1978)

Philippa Zingales (Harris, 1998)




Sarah Williamson (2015) and Nikhil Chaudhary were engaged on 7 July at Palm Beach and are planning a wedding for April 2020.

Edwina Clark (2003) is engaged to Ethan Ruhe and they look forward to celebrating their marriage in January 2020.



Jessica ‘Jessey’ Blake (2012) and Ross Hayhurst were engaged at Circular Quay (in an escape room no less!), and they are planning a wedding for November 2020.

Gabriella Poletto (2008) and fiance Marcel Donnelly celebrated their engagement with family, including her sisters Sophia (2000) and Brigitte (2009). They look forward to their wedding on 4.10.20 at Bendooley Estate in Berrima.



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BIRTHS 11.07.19


Alicia Franklin (2000) and Francis Egan welcomed Mia Kitty a few weeks early on 11 July.

Leah-Brooke Mano (Pavlis,1999) welcomed Marcus Vaugn Mano on 11 October 2019 in Hong Kong, joining his older brothers Alexander and James.

WEDDINGS 17.08.19 Dr Zeina Najjar (1998) married Alfredo Gelche on 17 August 2019 at the Centennial Parklands. They travelled to Jordan, Lebanon and Iceland for their honeymoon.

DEATHS 02.06.16 Freya Wolf (Perec, 1963) 18.07.17 Barbara Elvie Underwood (Petch, 1953) 20.06.19 Alyson Wormald (Payne, 1957) August 2019 Maureen Margaret Gough (Belshaw, 1953) September 2019 Linda Bell (1992) 9.10.19 Catherine Shand (1975)




Abbey Simshauser (2018) received a four-year student/athlete scholarship to Wagner College in New York to study and also play waterpolo.

Hannah Green (2015) showcased her HaanHaan collection at New York Fashion Week. Hannah was invited to show as an emerging designer as part of Oxford Fashion Studio and her whimsical, consciouslysourced designs have been recognised as the new future of fashion.

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Professor Helen Lochhead (1975) has been recognised as one of the Australian Financial Review's Women of Influence for 2019. Professor Lochhead is an Australian architect, urban and landscape designer, and she is UNSW's Dean of Built Environment. Prior to her appointment as Dean she held a number of influential positions in the NSW Government and the City of Sydney including Executive Director roles at Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and was most recently deputy NSW Government Architect.



JERSEY DAY 2020 Saturday 14 March 2020


Patricia Becket (Lamrock, 1959)

CARD DAY 2020 Monday 23 March 2020


Petrina Hawkins (Campbell, 1970)

ARCHIBALD PRIVATE TOUR / EVENING Wednesday 3 June 2020, 7.00pm


Suzanne Clubb (1957) (02) 6238 1531 /



Jeni Bone (Payne, 1987) (07) 5526 0092 /



Leonie Gillett (Cresswell, 1961) (03) 9848 5058 /


NEW ENGLAND/NORTHERN DISTRICT Helen Loveday (Kinross, 1951) (02) 6721 0583

*dates are subject to change


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN 2020? In 2020 the ESU and Futures Centre are planning Futures Breakfasts on the following topics. If you are an ex-student or member of the College Community and who would like to be a guest speaker for one of these events, please contact the Alumni Office. • Finance / Commerce

• Architecture

• Health Sciences

• HR / Management

• Education

• Graphic Design

• Vet and working with animals

• Arts and Entertainment • Psychology

Jane O’Hare (Provan, 1970) 0448 003 895 /


Kay Ralph (Teasdell, 1970) 0438 932 690 /


Catherine Cruickshank (Bassingthwaite, 1986) (02) 6927 6353 The Alumni Office is available to all ex-students. If you would like to volunteer to coordinate a reunion, be a year group ambassador, update your contact details or get in touch with a lost classmate, please contact Director of Alumni Relations Philippa Zingales on (02) 9704 5635 or

STAY IN TOUCH – UPDATE YOUR DETAILS TODAY Did you know that our alumni are a powerful network of 10,000 women around the world?

Stay connected in the following ways: Update your details: @plcsydneyalumni





In 1959, principal Freda Whitlam AM hired a young teacher, Miss Audrey Keown to be the College's Speech and Drama teacher.

Miss Keown went on to teach at the College for 43 years, retiring in 2002, producing 30 annual school plays and teaching hundreds of PLC girls, the importance of elocution, diction and so much more. 2019 marks 60 years since Miss Keown was appointed to her role at PLC Sydney and to honour this tremendous milestone, the College and Ex-Students' Union (ESU) welcomed 100 alumni, past staff and guests back to the College for afternoon tea on Saturday 9 November to celebrate the impact of a dedicated and iconic teacher in our College's history. The event opened with Lucie Roberts (2019) performing her HSC music pieces to great applause and emotion. Following a generous welcome from Dr Burgis, ESU President Marina Clark spoke about Miss Keown's early life and how she came to PLC, sharing many personal anecdotes and laughs from Miss Keown's students and friends. Music teacher and friend of Miss Keown's, Ms Lydia Grozdanovic, performed a specially personalised song - “The Lady is a Champ� (arr. Jeanne Hope) which was a fitting way to end before a standing ovation for Miss Keown spread across College Hall. The chance to catch up with old friends, reconnect with past teachers and to spend a moment with Miss Keown meant alumni travelled from all over the country to return to the school to celebrate together.


To read ESU President Marina Clark's speech in full, please visit

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


Rosaria Cusumano (1982) with Louisa Cusuamno (School Captain 2020).

CELEBRATING PLC SYDNEY ACROSS GENERATIONS The ESU’s annual Generations Breakfast is a chance for the College to come together to recognise the deep family connections within our community. Grandmothers, mothers, aunts, cousins, godmothers and of course, sisters, enjoyed breakfast in Marden and had the opportunity to meet with families from the College who share similar long-standing connections to the College over time and history. 2019 ESU Scholarships recipients Louisa Cusumano (2020) and Miriam Ly (2020) both spoke about the pride they feel in their families’ deep connection to the College and the joy it is to share school experiences that their mothers and aunts did. The ESU Scholarship is a two-year partial scholarship for a girl entering Year 11 at PLC Sydney with an ex-student connection to the College. For more information and dates for 2020 applications, visit

Philippa Zingales (Harris, 1998), Kirsten Hannan (Campbell, 1987) and her daughter Grace Hannan.


Karen Kwan (1992) with her daughters Keira and Skye McAlister, and neice Ellie Kwan.

Edwina Hobson (2015), Marina Clark (Lvoff, 1978), Whitney Luxford (Hughes, 1985) with her daughter Piper Lee


It would appear that I am addicted to PLC! I can’t seem to keep away. My PLC Sydney journey began when I went for my interview at the age of six. I remember being in the front sitting room with my parents and Miss Whitlam but I had eyes for only one in that room: Crinkle the Labrador. The dog and the swimming pool had me at once. My love for swimming and dogs remain passions to this day. As does PLC Sydney. I absolutely loved every aspect of PLC life as a student. The early memories are of Branxton, learning to polka to do the maypole, dressing in white dresses for Speech Day at Strathfield Town Hall, being Mary in the nativity play (best bit was holding the doll, representing baby Jesus), getting little pads and pencils for our birthdays from Miss Townsend. There were happy days of playing elastics and quoits, games of rounders and being allowed to put Milo into our compulsory bottles of milk at recess. Onto Senior School, I was sporting a page boy haircut and feeling very grown up. German and French were introduced to us and Latin Roots with Miss Tan. Science in the labs, eventually graduating to dissecting a rat and having a disaster with ball bearings spilling all over the floor, making walking quite hazardous and Mrs McGrath very cross. There was also the famous moving of library books from Marden to the new library on top of the old gym. Every girl formed a chain from one library to the other, passing the books along from one to another until everything was in its new place. The Senior Years were wonderful as we donned our kilts and took on leadership of the College. Of course there was the Year 11 play with Miss Keown which was a great highlight. Our play was Pride and Prejudice and being a tall girl, I got to

be Mr Darcy (my father thought it was because I was haughty). In 1990 I returned as a member of staff to PLC. I had been back a few times along the way- speaking in 1988 at the installation of Captains and earlier at a Careers Night. I also had two wonderful Year 10 students at my French Kindergarten for work experience. Somehow real life had taken over with all of its ups and downs and PLC had become a distant memory albeit a very happy one. The offer of a position as French teacher from Kindergarten to Year 8 came at a time when I was experiencing a particularly difficult time in my life. My marriage had broken down, I had an infant son and I had moved back to my parents’ place. Entering PLC was like turning back time. I was home. There were members of staff who had taught me, I was known and welcomed with open arms. What does a typical week look like for the ESU President? What are some of your favourite aspects of the role? Quite possibly this is the wrong time of year to be asking me as I don’t want to put anyone off taking on the Presidency of the ESU although I do love (most) of what I do. The last two weeks have seen me preparing to speak at the Welcome to New Parents dinner (an irony considering the girls haven’t even started but such a wonderful opportunity to let people know that the PLC journey never ends), being involved in the Audrey Keown Celebratory High Tea, organising a surprise for Year 11 students as they gain access to the Common Room, and obviously writing this article. And always thank you cards, lots of them! I am of course truly blessed as not only do I have the dedicated members of the committee to help me but I am the first ESU President to have a Director of Alumni Relations employed by the College to do all of the really hard work in setting up events and being the “go

to” person for all ex-student enquiries. I absolutely love working with Philippa. She keeps me on the straight and narrow and has already taught me so much about communication as well as challenging me on some of my outmoded ideas. Philippa is such an asset to our organisation. I would like to think that we make a good team. The same has to be said of the committee- having people of all ages on board makes it really special. I value the mentoring I receive from the more experienced members and the fresh ideas from the younger members mean that the ESU is really firing on all cylinders. What are some of your favourite things about PLC? What do I love the most? Just being involved with PLC and having the opportunity to give back a little of all that I have received in my many days at PLC. What advice would give to our students and other ex-students about their journey beyond PLC?

It doesn’t matter how long the time is that you might lose touch with your friends and PLC. PLC is always there, as are those school friends. I now enjoy seeing my school friends regularly. They aren’t necessarily the ones that I was especially close to at school. I love being able to reminisce but also to share new experiences with the “girls” that I had my formative years with. There is nothing like old friends. Do keep your contact details up to date with the school if you don’t do anything else. You just never know when the urge to reconnect, reunite and rekindle might strike you. (And Francine Yee if you should happen to read this - get in touch!) ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


You are an ex-student and school captain, a past teacher and now, entering your third year as the ESU President - can you provide an overview of your connection to PLC Sydney?



WELCOME TO THE ESU CLASS OF 2019 On Friday 23 August the Class of 2019 was officially welcomed to the ESU and the alumni community. Established in 1905, the ESU is one of Australia's oldest ex-student school unions. The College and the ESU value the experience, skills and knowledge of our alumni community and we offer a number of opportunities for our alumni to continue to be part of the College community and activities in their lives beyond school. All Year 12 students are invited to join the ESU in their final year of school with an optional membership fee. This year's lunch marked what we hope will be a new tradition, as ESU President Mrs Marina Clark (School Captain 1978) congratulated all the students on their time at PLC Sydney and welcomed those who have joined the ESU with their membership badge.

CLASS OF 2020 COMMON ROOM HANDOVER Gaining access to the Year 12 Common Room is always an important step on the PLC Journey—a rite of passage. On Wednesday 20 November the ESU was able to play a part in this significant event for the Class of 2020 on the day they were first given access to what is generally called the Year 12 Common Room. Today, the common room is officially known as the Deirdre Coleman Year 12 Studies Centre. The students arrived in the amphitheatre at the beginning of recess and were met by Dr Burgis, Mrs Halkidis and Marina Clark, thanks to Head of Year 12 Mrs Nichols, who had shepherded them there. They knew something was up, of course! School Captain 2020, Louisa Cusumano cut the ribbon at the doorway into the room whilst a loud cheer went up and photos were taken by the new Year 12's. The red and white donuts, formed in the shape of 2020, were consumed number by number, throughout the day. Life-long memories are made during a students' final year at school and the Common Room plays a big role in this time of friendship, laughter, hard-work and fun. Here's to the Class of 2020!




Each year the College invites our oldest alumni for lunch to celebrate their long connection to our College's history and traditions. Upon their 75th Birthday, alumni are invited to be part of The Croydon Circle (formerly known as the Octogenarians/Nonagenarians) . In College Hall on 22 October, ex-students aged between 75 and 91 years old, reunited to enjoy music from the Stage Band and performances from our talented Speech students. Our 2020 Leadership Team led the event as MC's, hosting tables and connecting with alumni over shared experiences as PLC girls in Croydon. This year we welcomed 70 alumni back to school and the response from our guests has been overwhelmingly positive.


Helen Waddington (Keir, 1956) said: "Thank you to all involved making the year of 1956 so welcome. Always brings back wonderful memories. We were so fortunate to attend this lovely college."

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


HOW CAN THE “OLD GIRLS” NETWORK HELP TODAY’S STUDENTS? The ESU Committee is continually looking for new ways to engage with current and former students, and offer meaningful opportunities for all students to connect and reconnect. This year, for the first time, the ESU played a pivotal role in the annual PLC Sydney Careers Forum. The Forum was held on Thursday 22 August and provided an opportunity for students and parents from Years 10, 11 and 12 to meet with representatives from tertiary institutions to discuss their futures beyond PLC Sydney. In addition, 14 alumni who have completed their studies at PLC Sydney since 2009 were invited to the Forum and held 'Career Conversations' with current students. The alumni work in diverse fields including, Medicine, Construction, Marketing and Finance. Current students were able to ask alumni about their experiences, the university subjects they chose, and about the job prospects in the various career pursuits. Later in the evening, a small group of alumni shared their career journeys in a panel discussion during which they reflected on the career and life lessons they have learned since leaving PLC Sydney. These alumni discussed the challenges and adversities they have overcome, as well as the opportunities they have grasped. They encouraged current students who were in the audience to keep an open mind when considering their futures and to never be afraid to reassess their chosen study and career paths if they do not find fulfilment in their choices. Many current students and their parents provided overwhelmingly positive feedback about the various roles the ESU and alumni played in the Forum. It was a privilege to be involved in this important event in the College calendar, and the ESU looks forward to continuing to bring an "old girls'" perspective to the Careers Forum for many years to come. Thank you to Mrs Rowena Barnett and Mrs Sue Arnaudon for inviting us to play a key role and for supporting this new ESU initiative. Mia Joseph (Ilias, 2009) ESU Committee Member



A MORNING OF COLLEGE HISTORY The inaugural Heritage Walk was held Thursday 27th June, a lovely winter's morning at the end of Term 2. Led by Archivist Debby Cramer, alumni and guests enjoyed a walking tour of the College’s iconic buildings, beautiful gardens, and archival display, followed by morning tea in Marden.


Naturally, alumni are always keen to hear about the "urban myths" that have been passed down through the College's history and it was very enjoyable to discuss some of the wellknown ones, and learn many little known facts about the history of the school, teachers and Principals. Dates for the 2020 Heritage Walk will be published early next year.

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019




Since leaving school I have… Had a lot of fun, made a lot of mistakes and 10 years later I’ve finally ‘fallen on my feet’ (for now). It took me a while to figure out what would bring me satisfaction after school. Initially I ‘used’ my ATAR and began an Arts/Languages degree at the University of Sydney. I only did a semester. To be honest I struggled more with the transition from PLC life than I thought I would. When I finished Year 12, I stopped doing the things I loved at school. No more music, sport or drama. I thought uni would be more stimulating than it was. Probably because we are so spoilt at PLC that first year arts is a bit dull by comparison. After dropping out of uni I began reintroducing the things I did at school - I took short-courses in drama, joined singing groups, tried to fill a hole. I was plagued by a sense you need to be ‘the best’ at something or there was no point. I learnt to do things for the pure enjoyment of the task rather than pursuing perfection. This is still a work in progress… After another 18 months of working odd jobs and trying new things I decided journalism was a good fit for me. Even though there are many pathways to your


chosen career, a good ATAR does make life easier, so I comfortably got into a great journalism degree at UTS.

What advice would you give to our students today about their journey beyond PLC Sydney?

In first year, I secured an internship that turned into a full-time job. In final year I quit work, lived off my savings and spent my spare time volunteering at the community radio station 2SER. It saved me from what was becoming debilitating anxiety. This seems common among my PLC friends. Community radio taught me that being reliable and on time was more important than being perfect.

There is often a cultural cringe with being ‘privileged’. Going to PLC is a privilege and one for which you should never be ashamed. People would make huge sacrifices to have what PLC gives you – and your parents no doubt made huge sacrifices. Honour them by embracing the gifts you’ve been given. The gifts of critical thinking, discipline, the ability to craft an argument and to learn. The gifts of a love of music and art, enjoying a range of sports and the capacity to lead a team.

I got an internship with ABC Radio in Sydney and then convinced someone that I, a city girl raised in an apartment in Sydney, should be a rural reporter in regional Tasmania. On Boxing Day 2015, I boarded a plane to the Apple Isle not knowing my hay from my silage, heifer from steer. I’ve since fallen in love with agriculture and the bush. It’s a privilege to now work for ABC Landline, Australia's Preeminent rural affairs TV program. What role has your time at PLC Sydney played in your life and/or how has your education at PLC Sydney shaped the person you are today? It’s taken a while to understand how important the lessons of PLC Sydney are.

Diligence, hard work, being on time and reliable, having diverse interests, presenting yourself well, thinking about the broader community and being independent. These are rare qualities that PLC girls have in spades. It’s an amazing foundation for success across all parts of your life. I’m grateful PLC encouraged us to share time with the Transition Class. Knowing how to work with people who think and act differently from you, and have different needs, is an important lesson and there are very few opportunities to learn it.

Take the good, make it your own and run with it. What are some of your favourite memories about PLC Sydney? The best memories are moments that felt like I was part of a group that was greater than the sum of its parts. Rowing, and the intensity of rowing camp over summer holidays. The musicals, and the buzz of opening night followed by the exhilaration of closing night. And speaking of being privileged, two overseas tours with the Wind Ensemble – to Japan in Year 9 (2006) and Europe in Year 12 (2009). Among my favourite teachers were Mr Harper, who conducted the band. He was so generous with his passion and on some level we all knew we didn’t deserve someone of his calibre spending so much time teaching us. He has inspired some incredible musicians. Mr Friend brought people together better than anyone I’ve seen and created some incredible theatrical productions. I’d give anything to sit in Mr McHugh’s freezing classroom and listen to him scold us as ‘factory produced sausages’ again. Like muscles that ache after a good workout, our brains would throb with pain after each of his classes. Current occupation: ABC Landline, Tasmanian Reporter Current city of residence: Hobart, Tasmania


Since leaving school I went… straight to university and spent five enriching and fun years completing two degrees—a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts along with plenty of extracurricular activities. While studying, I was able to gain lots of valuable internships and work experience in roles across events, public relations, social media and marketing research, which prepared me to then take on a role at Microsoft in Developer and Platform Evangelism. While I was studying at Sydney Uni in 2011, I was fortunate to meet my partner Natalie, who at that point was an exchange student from the University of Denver, Colorado visiting Australia for one year. After two and a half years of a long-distance relationship while we completed our studies, I moved to her hometown of Dallas, Texas where we lived from 2014-2016! I was fortunate to find a job at Social Strategy1, a social media consultancy and technology company, where I held a variety of roles before becoming their Senior Director of Consulting Services. At the start of 2017, Natalie and I moved to Perth in Western Australia, so that she could begin a doctoral program at Murdoch University to become a veterinarian. I was fortunate to find a role at Trilogy Advertising & Marketing, a full-service advertising and marketing agency, where I am now the Director of Digital and Integration.

What role has your time at PLC Sydney played in your life and/or how has your education at PLC Sydney shaped the person you are today? My eight years at PLC Sydney had a huge impact on my life. What first jumps to mind is the amazingly patient, intelligent and kind teachers who taught me so much, especially Faraday Pang (Chinese teacher). The faculty instilled in me a love of learning and inquisitiveness about the world. Studying at PLC Sydney gave me a huge array of opportunities to grow not just academically but outside the classroom. I have fond memories of debating, public speaking, Model UN, Future Problem Solving, Tournament of Minds etc., all of which no doubt helped make me comfortable with public speaking and formulating an argument. Through PLC I was able to go on student exchange to Hong Kong, an experience I’ll never forget. And of course, all the amazing people I met there! Some of my best friends to this day are people I met at PLC, and love to stay in touch with. What advice would you give to our students today about their journey beyond PLC Sydney? Be open to opportunities and change— one of the biggest things I have found since I left PLC is that opportunities pop up which can lead you down pathways you might not have anticipated. When you graduate, you may have a certain vision of your studies, career and life… this will likely change! Enjoy the adventure of seeing where you end up. Embrace diversity and difference—when you go out into the world, you’re going to encounter a lot of different people who didn’t have the kind of upbringing

you did, or didn’t go to a school like yours, or grow up in a culture like your own. Keep an open heart and frame of mind to others and their experiences.


Be your own advocate—be sure you get out there, ensure your voice is heard and your successes are celebrated publicly. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your achievements, providing you don’t excessively self-promote. Research shows women are far less likely to make their own achievements known which impacts their career progression and wage growth, so it’s important for young women entering the workforce to be aware of this. If you don’t speak up for yourself, who will? Some of my favourite memories from school are... • Getting up to mischief on early morning and afternoon visits to the Boarding House as an honorary boarder with my friends Katherine Fischer and Vrinda Tiwari. • Pet Show Committee meetings through which I became close to Lucy Fokkema. • Creating a horrendous pie for our “multi-cultural cooking assignment” in Food Tech with Miss Rennie. Not to mention the terror if we forgot our tea-towel. Thanks to my Mum who dropped it off multiple times, so I didn’t incur her wrath! • Six years of maths with Mrs Pollard. • House Choir nights—can never hear “Man in the Mirror” without thinking of House Choir… • Funny situations in the sick bay with the lovely nurse holding my head upside down in a bucket of ice-cold water. The only solution at the time for my heart condition, but very confusing for anyone else who happened to walk in while it was going on! Current occupation: Director of Digital and Integration Current city of residence: Perth, Western Australia

ISSUE 10 / SUMMER 2019


Outside of work, I’ve pursued a range of hobbies. While I was never particularly sporty at PLC, I’ve started serious running over the last couple of years and completed my first half marathon a few months ago. Natalie and I are passionate about rescue animals and have spent the past five years as foster carers for rescue dogs and animals, preparing them to be adopted. Recently, I have become obsessed with baking, and my co-workers are certainly not complaining about the endless supply of sausage rolls, sponge cakes and other sweet treats!

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Profile for PLC Sydney

Camphora, Issue 10, Summer 2019  

PLC Sydney's biannual magazine.

Camphora, Issue 10, Summer 2019  

PLC Sydney's biannual magazine.

Profile for plcsydney