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CONTENTS Academic Achievement Drama Success My First Semester Alumni Awards 1985 Reunion

05 10 12 20 26 5

ON THE COVER Justine Landis-Hanley and Joshua Preece, Sancta’s entrants in the Palladian Oration competition. See page 11 for full story.


Acknowledgements Editor Michele Dunn, Marketing and Development Manager The editor would like to thank Elizabeth Grady, Laura Kane, Maryanne Pidcock and Dr Marie Leech for their assistance with this publication. Photography Many thanks to Premeet Sidhu and Michael Anderson


Contact Us Sancta Sophia College 8 Missenden Road Camperdown NSW 2050 Main Office Hours Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm Fundraising and Alumni Enquiries Michele Dunn Phone 02 9577 2347 Email General Enquiries From within Australia Phone 02 9577 2100 Fax 02 9577 2388 International Phone +61 2 9577 2100 Fax +61 2 9577 2388 Email We are always keen to hear what our alumni and friends are up to, so please let us know any career achievements and highlights, births, marriages, engagements or other news. Enquiries and submissions Join our Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or follow us on Twitter


ALUMNI EVENTS 26 August Mother Swift Bequest Society Lunch 29 August 1995 Fresher Reunion 12 September Wisdom Forum 29 September Canberra Alumni & Friends Drinks 17 October 1965 Fresher Reunion 5 November Donor & Supporter Thank You Drinks 15 November Memorial Mass

Disclaimer: The editor has compiled SANCTA from various sources. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the information published is accurate, the editor cannot accept responsibility for inaccuracies in the content or authenticity of that information.

28 November 1975 Fresher Reunion 2 December 1955 Fresher Reunion

From the

PRINCIPAL EVERY year is special at Sancta, but 2016 will have an extra layer of importance. It will be our 90th anniversary, a time certainly for celebration but also a time for reflection. It would be timely for us to pause anyway, having almost doubled in size in 2014 through the building and opening of Graduate House. But a special anniversary brings an extra focus, a focus on where we have come from and also where are we heading. The founding Sisters of the Sacred Heart saw Sancta as a place for independent-minded women to learn and excel. Some of the great Sancta traditions were laid down very early – a social function was held within a week of the first students moving in. Other traditions such as Formal Dinners, Mass, lectures and tutorials, guest speakers and enthusiastic participation in Intercollege and University life followed quickly. The traditions continue to the present and are flourishing: Formal Dinners every Monday evening, Mass ever Sunday evening, a dynamic and wide-ranging Tutorial Program, a diverse range of guest speakers. As for wider participation – wins and placings in Intercollege Swimming, Oration, Singing and Drama; a number of lead roles in the Intercollege Musical; and leadership roles in University and Faculty Clubs and Societies paint a wonderful picture of a College going from strength to strength. As the founding sisters intended, independent-minded women undergraduates continue to learn and excel at Sancta. But they are now joined by more than one hundred Postgraduates, men and women, the majority from overseas, most older than our Undergraduates, engaged in Ph.D., Masters, and Graduate Programs. This has created a much more diverse community, a very rich living and learning community. The development of this expanded community is a work in progress but the underlying principles of Sacred Heart education and Sancta traditions underpin this work.

The founding Sisters of the Sacred Heart saw Sancta as a place for independentminded women to learn and excel. Some of the great Sancta traditions were laid down very early - a social function was held within a week of the first students moving in.

The same principles and traditions underpin another major project that Staff and Council have been engaged in over the past six months - the development of a Strategic Plan for Sancta covering the next three years. This will guide us through what will be a time of change for Sancta as we develop our expanded community but also a time of change in terms of student accommodation at the University of Sydney and at our other partner Universities. As major commercial providers begin to move into this space, it is more important than ever that we have a clearly articulated vision of the wonderful and unique Sancta experience today and the direction we are heading tomorrow. Make this special Anniversary Year the year you will connect more than ever with Sancta. Attend celebrations and join in the conversations that will shape Sancta into the future.

Dr Marie Leech




OF COUNCIL BACK in the Council Chair again, I notice that things are similar but different from 2009 when I last occupied that position. Though the differences seem more pronounced than the similarities.

What Council knows is that ‘larger’ is critical to sustainability and diversity is reflective of our broader community, so, blending our two groups together is good practice for what many of our students will meet at other times in their futures.

The most significant difference is that the student population has almost doubled (increasing to 280 from around 160), made possible with the opening of Graduate House at the beginning of 2014. Other differences include the arrival of Maryanne Pidcock as Vice Principal in 2014 and various new senior members of staff. The turnaround in the fortunes of Sancta teams in some of our sport and cultural competitions is also noteworthy. The most significant similarity is that the College Principal, Dr Marie Leech, has served throughout that whole period committing her high levels of energy to every enterprise and leading the College to achieve at all levels. Council members are also similar and different. This is my 21st year serving on the Council and I plan it as my last year. We include a cross section of at least one person who has served longer, many who have served for more than 5 years, and new members who are still familiarising themselves with the governance demands. With the emphasis in public life on accountability and transparency, it is timely that Council is conducting a review of its own governance. Although we are all volunteers, we occupy positions carrying a fiduciary duty to the College, its students, staff, families and the broader University community. We attend five Council meetings a year, we each serve on one or two Council committees, which in turn meet five times a year, and we attend the College on several other occasions for events. Now that Graduate House has opened, our focus is on supporting the Principal, her Executive and students, to blend the undergraduate community (females occupying the original College buildings) and the postgraduate community (males and females occupying the modern ensuited new building). There is much work to do to



familiarise both groups of students with each other: just as there is when any large group joins with another large group. I have experienced that in my work place with the merging of two law partnerships; I have experienced that in my Parish with the merger of three communities; and many of our families are working with merger every day where parents in a new union bring their respective children together. What Council knows is that ‘larger’ is critical to sustainability and diversity is reflective of our broader community, so, blending our two groups together is good practice for what many of our students will meet at other times in their futures. And how can our governance review assist? It will guarantee consistent decisions notwithstanding the personnel making them; it will require a constantly disciplined method of making decisions, notwithstanding the temptation to be pragmatic or to take a kneejerk reaction to a situation; it will require open communication on all matters of discussion; it will encourage debate before landing at a position which has been tested by difference of opinion but resilient and it will mean Graduate House will soon be forgotten as the newbie. You could say we are in a teething phase. So, like patient parents, we will watch over our new community as they watch their child breaking new teeth; a painful process sometimes, but one that nature has under control. Another matter which has received Council consideration in the last 18 months or so, is that the University has made many gestures towards the Colleges for more collaborative action concerning students in our common care. This is a positive step so notwithstanding our traditional independence, we have actively participated in meetings and discussions to ensure students receive the best of both worlds at University and College, and to that end we will be ever vigilant in our stewardship of the students and institution in our care, within the broader context of their general University experience. Josephine Heesh

STAFF NEWS WE welcome two new staff members to Sancta. Stephanie Kouloubas Secretary/Registrar Stephanie commenced at the College after Easter this year. She has a strong background in admissions, having worked at Cranbrook School for 10 years in a similar role. Stephanie demonstrates great attention to detail and is a welcoming, friendly face for all new and current students. She can be reached on 02 9577 2354 or Stephanie replaces Caitlin Wood who has moved back home to the Southern Highlands.

Elizabeth Burns (FR ’88) Alumni and Donor Relations Coordinator Elizabeth has a wealth of experience in IT project management in the legal and financial sectors both here and overseas. As a Sancta alumna she will be well known to many past students. She is the principal contact for all alumni matters, and can be reached on 02 9577 2326 or Our former Alumni and Donor Relations Coordinator, Elizabeth Grady (FR ’93) has taken a role at Mercy Works in fundraising and we wish her every success. Above right Stephanie Kouloubas Below right Elizabeth Burns

NEW WEBSITE IN the next few weeks we’ll be launching a new, fresh website. It will still have all the information our residents (current and future), parents. alumni and visitors need but with a modern, clean design and updated images.



The Senior

COMMON ROOM THE start of this year was incredibly full of activities which presented the SCR Committee with some significant challenges. With the postgrad community doubling in 2015 at Sancta Sophia, the plans for the year began well before 2014 had even ended. Our Postgraduate Orientation Week was a game changer for the Sydney University College community as nothing of the sort had been ever done exclusively for the postgrad community. There was great attendance and the week culminated in the Cocktail Party where we had approximately 150 postgraduate students from all colleges on campus. It set the foundation for the year and challenged everyone to get out of their comfort zone and meet the people they would be spending the next year living with in such close proximity. It really was a great success as a majority of people developed friendships I believe they will hold on to for the rest of their lives. Since O-Week, we have been holding weekly events for the postgrads to take a break from their heavy schedules; this has included Pie-Tin nights to our recent end of Semester Party, the Mexican themed ‘Sancta De Mayo’. These events have all been a great success and have help to build our strong postgraduate community. This year has been the most successful for Rosebowl and Palladian Cup. We won swimming for the second year running (with Kate Taylor being our solo PG). In Palladian, we have had a far higher number of students participating and getting involved which is a huge improvement on last year and something that we had wanted to change coming into 2015. We have been adding small improvements around Graduate House with the purchase of more plants, herbs and vegetable crops for the Rooftop, a foosball table and many other games. We have been working closer with the Undergraduate House Committee and have seen some collaborative events that have meant more and more mixing between the two committees.



Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, we felt as a College that something needed to be done so a small group of students (Grace Allen, Mary Hutchinson, Mazyar Ghaffari, Miranda Cooper and myself) organised a Global Dinner where the country you were allocated to when you entered the Dining Hall determined the amount of food you were going to be served. We hoped this highlighted some of the inequalities that exist. It definitely enlightened people as they sat without food watching other developed countries (tables) like America have ample food and wine. We also managed to hold a raffle and raise around $700 for Mazyar’s charity which does incredible work in Nepal.

We have been working closer with the Undergraduate House Committee and have seen some collaborative events that have meant more and more mixing between the two committees.

Lastly, I would like to thank the members of the Senior Common Room Committee as they all give up their free time, after hours of study, to try and create the community we all know and love here. I am forever amazed at the incredible things people have done in our community and I encourage everyone to continue to be involved so that our second semester can be as successful as the first. Kieran Muir President, Senior Common Room Committee

Left The Chancellor, Belinda Hutchens with Council members and special guests for the Dinner.


ACHIEVMENT EACH year the College recognises academic excellence at the Chancellor’s Dinner. At the annual dinner held in March, 2014 Academic Prize winners and 2015 Scholars were formally honoured. Particular congratulations to the following students on their achievements: Academic Merit Prizes Jessica Divall Principal’s Award Yi Yun Low Principal’s Award Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Christian McSweeneyNovak Honours Class II Division I Donna Lu Maud Stiles Prize for a Woman Student in First Year English Faculty of Pharmacy Hannah Younger Honours Class II Division I

Faculty of Science Yi Yun Low Dean’s List of Excellence in Academic Performance Faculty of Veterinary Science Jessica Divall Dean’s List of Excellence in Academic Performance, Chapter of Veterinary Pharmacology of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists Prize in Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology Sancta Sophia College Scholars 2015 Archbishop’s Scholarship Isabella Barrett JT Clark Scholarship Clara Fittler Armed Services Scholarship Jacqueline Krynda Christie Scholarship Victoria McGregor Pam Suttor Scholarship Madeline de Dassel

Above Chancellor, Belinda Hutchens congratulates Simone Windrum.

Mary Smoker Scholarship Katelyn Reid Patricia Horsley Scholarship Kieran Muir & Nicola Peat Gwen Kennedy Scholarship Joshua Preece Foundation Scholarships Alexis Weaver House Committee Scholarship Yelana Bryant Olivia Epworth Lucy Maher Laura Triggs Entrance Scholarships Patrick Baker Yelana Bryant Justine Landis-Hanley Jessica McKenzie Heidi-May McReynolds Sophie Ootes Emily Puckeridge Myriarm Song Drew Trahms Kathryn Wales Charlotte Webber Lauren Yuile

Sport Scholarships Natalie Archer Carlee Milliken Loren Parsons Emily Ryan Laura Triggs Creative Arts Scholarships Brittaney Banks Elizabeth Collins Josephine Gibson Ellen McNeil Katherine Parkes Eloise Whipper House Committee Executive Scholarships Alice Kettle Victoria McGregor Emily Ryan Postgraduate Participation & Excellence Akash Arora Sha Liu William Parton Ben Schwarer Kate Taylor





THE College welcomed undergraduates and postgraduates in two separate Commencement Dinners at the start of semester. The dinners are very popular with families and friends as one of the first formal occasions at the College.



Above All the postgraduates at the Commencement Dinner Right Maggie Duff signs the College register Below Erica Baker and Emily Sharpe with their parents at the Dinner

MOTHERS DAY THE special women in our students’ lives – mothers, carers and guardians – were honoured at the Mothers’ Mass and High Tea in May. Funds were raised to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service.



Jacqui’s No 1


THIRD year resident, Jacqui Krynda was honoured at the recent Sydney Law School’s Annual Prize Ceremony. Jacqui took out two of the Law School’s highest prizes for 2014: >> The LexisNexis Prize No. 2 for Most Proficient in Combined Law II >> The Aaron Levine Prize for Criminal Law Sponsors of one of Jacqui’s awards, Hon David Levine and his son Aaron Levine were on hand to recognise Jacqui’s tremendous efforts at the awards ceremony.

Left Jacqui Krynda with the Dean of Law, Professor Joellen Riley


AS part of Sancta Sophia’s Academic Mentoring program, which aims to provide professional networking opportunities and develop interfaculty relationships for current students, the Doctor of Dental Medicine and Bachelor of Oral Health students hosted some of Sancta’s Dental Alumni and University of Sydney Dental Faculty members for an evening of cocktails. The cocktail night was a casual way for the students to connect with some truly inspirational leaders in dentistry and the dental field. Invited guests provided a wide range of insight into the variety of paths dentistry can take us, including research, public health, education, administration, corporate clinical, and remote dentistry. Their passion and commitment was evident in their discussions, and made the evening enjoyable for all.



We look forward to continuing these events and fostering a close relationship with the Sancta Dental community. The guests included: Santa Alumni Dr. Josephine Kenny, Director of Oral Health, Western Sydney Local Health District; Dr. Denise Salvestro, Remote Dental Service Delivery, Professional Officer for NSW Dental Council; Dr. Gem Wolstenholme (Thomas), Pacific Smiles Dental University of Sydney Dental Faculty Dr. Christina Adler, Scientist and Academic, research focused on the oral microbiome; Dr. Tihana Divnic-Resnik, Periodontics, DMD 1 and 2 Academic Year Assistant Coordinator, Unit of Study Coordinator Jeanine Webb-Beaudry Academic Mentor Dentistry

LAW DRINKS FEDERAL Court judge, Justice Jacqueline Gleeson (Fr ’84) very kindly agreed to be the special guest at the recent Law Alumni and Friends drinks held at the offices of Carroll & O’Dea. Current students of law took full advantage of the opportunity to network with Sancta’s alumni to widen their professional circles and open up opportunities for them.

Left Justice Jacqueline Gleeson Far left Pam Suttor (FR ’57) with student Madeline de Dassel

ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR MED STUDENTS WHEN I chose to live at college at the start of 2014, the only thing I had considered was the proximity to university and hopefully meeting some new people in a new city. I can say that Sancta has far surpassed anything I would ever have considered. I currently live with nine Med students from Stage 2 and 30 from Stage 1 at the University of Sydney and a further 10 studying med at Notre Dame. This alone would be a valuable resource as Med students understand the demands of the degree and know when to back off and give each other space and support. But the opportunities extend so much further.

In my first year, I was forever asking students in the year above about what was on exams, the best way to do things, the most important things to study and so forth. As I am now that student being asked, I have realised that the advice we give each other is important. We can help direct people and give them advice that helps us far more than we realize. The sharing of resources, past notes and one-on-one tutoring is incredibly valuable. As a group of Stage 2 Med students, we have been organising many different things to help Stage 1 students. Prior to their first exam, we designed a practice exam for them

and then before their first anatomy exam we held a practice spot test so that the actual day would be less stressful. I also know there have been students holding weekly review sessions for other students. I can honestly say that if all college offered was the amazing people and proximity to university, that would be enough. The fact that we are given excellent support, opportunities to share and take advice, attend events on campus at a whim most nights and be involved in continual academic support from older students, is priceless. Kieran Muir



No Drama

FOR LIZ AND HANNAH FRESHER Liz Collins took out first place in the intercollege Drama competition with Soph Hannah Siemer securing third place. Both performed their own pieces and kept the audience enthralled and amused.

her local youth theatre company in Newcastle since the age of 10 years and also appeared in the Intercol Musical, The Little Shop of Horrors recently. As Liz says, “acting is my passion and I hope to make a career out of it someday.”

Liz Collins is in first year, studying Media Arts Production and International Studies at UTS. Her piece was titled Joanne and it was inspired by an actual tour guide she had in America when her school went on a music tour of the States. According to Liz, “while I did exaggerate her a bit, she was quite crazy but still loveable.” Liz performed this piece in her HSC Drama performance and wrote it in January 2014. She then spent the rest of the year perfecting it and performing it at various places including Sydney Eisteddfod.

Hannah Siemer is a Soph who is studying a BA at University of Sydney. Her piece was titled The Sandy Hill Yabby Classic.

Liz has a strong background in drama, having completed all eight levels of Trinity College London Solo Speech and Drama as well as My Actor’s performance certificate. She has been involved in

“I am from Esperance, WA, and every year, a small farming community, roughly 80 kilometres out of town, holds a yabby classic. The highlight of the event is yabby racing. Yabby racing is one of those bizarre, uniquely Australian recreations that isn’t often heard of, and I thought it would be an interesting and comedic subject for a monologue. The Sandy Hill Yabby Classic is a piece of Australiana, which celebrates the Aussie battler and the underdog.” “I wrote the monologue in just a few hours about six weeks prior to the competition, however, on the day of

Above Hannah Siemer, Liz Collins with Drama Sec, Sophie Matthews



the competition, I was still editing it! My first draft was 10 minutes long and I found it to be a real challenge to edit it down to fit the six minute time limit. I couldn’t have done this without the help of Drama Sec, Sophie Matthews, who provided me with support during the writing, rehearsal, and performance process. I’d also like to thank theatre professional, Augusta Supple, who spent an afternoon with Liz and I at Sancta, helping us to refine our work.” Hannah also has a long history in drama. She has been performing for almost 20 years and hopes to continue to do so for at least another 20. “Next on the agenda is Palladian Drama Ensemble. I look forward to seeing what talent comes out of the woodwork and hope we can secure another victory (and a second or third!) in the competition... No pressure!”


SANCTA had a great start to the year in the intercollege Palladian cultural competition, with Fresher Justine Landis-Hanley winning the Palladian Oration competition. Justine later showed her versatility, being cast as in the lead role of the intercol musical,

The Little Shop of Horrors. Sancta’s other entrant in Oration was Joshua Preece, a postgrad medical student.

Above Justine, Dr Marie Leech and Joshua at Oration


TO SING ABOUT SOPHOMORE Jessica Blunt sang her heart out for 3rd place in the Palladian Solo Vocal Competition.

Left Jessica wowed the judges with her strong voice



My first

SEMESTER Francesca (Frannie) Earp Where are you from? I am from Sydney and live in Maroubra. What are you studying? I am studying Animal and Veterinary Bioscience at Sydney University. Where did you go to school I went to St Catherine’s School in Waverley. How did you come to be interested in living at Sancta? Both of my parents lived at colleges in England whilst they attended university and so we decided that it was important I also got to experience all the exciting things college life had to offer. On Open Day, I toured each of the colleges and was particularly impressed by Sancta. I really liked the thought of having a shared room and I like the common area facilities that Sancta had to offer such as Octa. It was after this first tour that my parents and I started discussing the possibility of me applying to Sancta. What were your first impressions of Sancta? I loved Sancta straight away. It has a community-centred lifestyle which some of the other colleges seem to lack. Everyone is incredibly friendly and there is no real segregation between the year groups and any of the residents. I immediately felt comfortable in Sancta and couldn’t help noticing the closeness of everyone and the community spirit which is visible all around the College. What are you involved in here? I have tried to get involved in a variety of activities. I was reserve for Palladian Oration and was a member of the rowing and swimming teams. I am also the Fresher Representative for 2015.



Above Frannie (left) with Nicky Peat, part of Sancta’s rowing crew

What’s been the best part of being here so far? The best part about college has been getting to know people from all over the country and the world. I have so many new and interesting friends who are all different ages and from all walks of life. In particular, I have loved sharing a room; my roommate and I didn’t know each other before I came to college and now I can’t imagine life without her. She lives in Wagga and so without college it’s unlikely we would have met - this is exactly what I love about living here.

How would you sum up your first semester? I would say that it has been full of new experiences, fabulous new friends and important learning experiences. I have become more independent during my first semester here, but also learnt the importance of living in a community. I have loved my time at Sancta and can’t wait to see what next semester has in store.

Laura Triggs Where are you from? I’m from Bonnet Bay in the Sutherland Shire. What are you studying? Pharmacy at Sydney University. What school did you go to? Kirrawee High School. How did you come to be interested in living at Sancta? A lot of my friends from uni and rowing (shout out to Tay, Aili, Pip, Ash, Julia and Loren) attended Sancta last year. I saw how convenient and fun it was for them, so I thought why not? Eloise Whipper Where are you from? Newcastle. What are you studying? Bachelor of Music Performance (Piano) at Sydney Conservatorium. Where did you go to school? Hunter School of the Performing Arts.

What were your first impressions of Sancta? “Dayyyyum those are nice hedges.” In all seriousness, I thought the Quad was beautiful and it just seemed like such a welcoming college community.

How did you come to be interested in living at Sancta? My two cousins came here back in 1994 and they loved it! They talked me into coming here, told me how it was the best experience of their lives and that they wanted me to experience it too.

What are you involved in here? I have been involved in the intercollege Rosebowl competition. I competed in the rowing earlier this semester and am also one of the goalies for the soccer team which will play next semester. I occasionally attend mass and work in the kitchen. I really want to be involved in drama and athletics next semester. What’s been the best part of being here so far? O-week for sure!! It was so crazy and so much fun. It really brought all of us closer together in such a short period of time. Semi-Formal was also so much fun, and it was great to see so many people in the Quad. Attending Rosebowl and Palladian events is also great (the dance competition inspired me with moves to try on the dance floor at the Grose on Wednesdays). How would you sum up your first semester? Very full on but incredible :)

What were your first impressions of Sancta? It’s just the most beautiful place! Living in the heart of Sydney was always a dream of mine and what better way to do it than to live at college?! What are you involved in here? Rowing, Palladian Solo Instrumental, accompanying other artists, performing at Formal Dinners and I’m in the choir. What’s been the best part of being here so far? Definitely experiencing the College sport events! It’s so awesome how everyone comes together to support the girls who are competing. How would you sum up your first semester? I really can’t sum up how great it is here! I just look forward to many more semesters of Sancta life.

Above Laura Triggs with her mum, Jenny.



Catherine Zilberg Where are you from? I’m from Sandringham in Melbourne. What are you studying? I am a first year medical student at the University of Sydney.

Above Joe (left) with the VP of Google Alan Eustace, following Alan’s breaking of the world skydiving record last October.

Joe Levy Where are you from? Tucson, Arizona, USA. What are you studying? I am studying a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Sydney. What was your undergraduate degree? My undergraduate degree was in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona. How did you come to be interested in living at Sancta? I was referred here while looking for a postgraduate residence. What were your first impressions of Sancta? My first impressions of Sancta fell right in line with my first impressions of Australia: awesome! It was a really welcoming community for someone who had just moved across the planet and everyone is incredibly friendly. What are you involved in here? I’m coaching the Sancta tennis team and am also the Academic Advisor/Tutor for Engineering. What’s been the best part of being here so far? As far as things to do and location it’s been the best, everything you would need is just a short walk away, and some of the really cool places to go to are just a short bus-ride away. How would you sum up your first semester? Busy! The hardest challenge has been trying to balance a difficult degree with wanting to get involved and explore everything else there is to offer.



What was your undergraduate degree? I completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine with a major in biochemistry at the University of Melbourne in 2014. The course was fantastic and enabled me to develop a passion and respect for science which I hope to further in my current studies. How did you come to be interested in living at Sancta? Having never lived out of home before, as well as being a relatively sociable person I wanted to live with other people – (not to mention my inability to cook anything other than toast) – these were the main reasons I chose Sancta. What’s been the best part of being here so far? What I value most about my time here, are the people I have met. Understandably this seems like

quite a clichéd response, but it is pretty special to have three hour long conversations about the meaning of life or a fiery debate in the Dining Hall or to laugh until you are on the verge of tears/in severe abdominal pain. Hearing people’s stories has changed me and helped me understand myself and broaden my previously fairly narrow mind! What are you involved in here? In the past I have often been reluctant to get involved in extra-curricular activities, but I am trying to address this and am currently on the Sancta tennis team and helping out with the Sancta charity concert. How would you sum up your first semester? Overall, my time at Sancta (and Sydney in general) has been great. I cannot believe that over six months have passed since I first stepped into the College with an indescribable feeling of nervous excitement and anticipation for the unexpected! I am grateful that I largely still feel the same way. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome here!

I asked all the colleges about housing details, costs, and also if they had spots available. Sancta was amongst the first to respond and said they would love to have me come over as a resident. My Skype interview with the Vice Principal, Maryanne Pidcock, felt more like a casual conversation than a formal interview process.

Alexander Minh-Duong To Where are you from? I am a Canadian born in Kingston, Ontario. However I grew up and spent most of my life in Toronto. What are you studying? I am currently enrolled in the University of Sydney Medical Program. What was your undergraduate degree? At the Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan of the United States of America I pursued an Honours B. Sc. in Chemistry. How did you come to be interested in living at Sancta? My family and I discussed that at least for the first year as a medical student it would be convenient to live at one of the university colleges so that I do not have to worry about paying extra expenses for air conditioning, utilities, and groceries but most of all being close to the main campus area. Furthermore, back at Wayne State University I was heavily involved with residential life and I did not feel SUV or Unilodge could provide that sense of proximity or community bonding so this narrowed it down to the on campus colleges.

What were your first impressions of Sancta? When I first arrived at Sancta, it was very late at night and I had spent 24 hours on planes from Toronto to Sydney. I still took the time to admire the historical and classic architecture of both the main building and the postgraduate building. From the conveniently located ground floor common room to the Rooftop Terrace every aspect of Graduate House is up-to-date and highly functional. From the Rooftop Terrace, I can see the skyline of Sydney, my new hometown away from home. What are you involved in here? I am involved with the Postgraduate Social Sub-Committee, so I work with the Social Secretary, Jessica Aneja, and other postgraduate students to organise and run social events for postgraduate students. Next semester I hope I can represent Sancta with the Palladian Debating team. I even had the opportunity to be the Master of Ceremonies for the Palladian Solo Drama event, which Sancta gloriously placed first and third in. I also support Rosebowl sports events such as the Swimming Carnival I go to these events because I want to show that I care about being part of the College. Sancta has welcomed me with open arms and the community and quality of students here are excellent in so many ways. What’s been the best part of being here so far? I would have to say the best part of being a Sancta resident is the community of staff and students residing here. From the very first day

that I have arrived till now I have had the pleasure, honour, and privilege of getting to know many wonderful people here at Sancta. The principal Dr. Marie Leech and the Vice Principal Maryanne Pidcock have been so welcoming and amiable throughout the year, always checking on how each postgraduate student is doing and supporting our various endeavours. The undergraduate community here at Sancta never ceases to amaze me. The camaraderie and support they have between each other as well as their range and calibre of talents have been inspiring. The postgraduate community is very tight-knit and similar minded in terms of our diligence within our respective fields, compassion towards one another, but most all the willingness to support one another. A lot of the postgraduate students are also medical students, so we all go through the highs and lows, agonies and ecstasies, triumphs and trials as medical students as well as adults trying to find out own ways in life. The postgrads here are like brothers and sisters to me and I will do anything and everything for them. How would you sum up your first semester? My heavy study schedule has only been bearable because of the Sancta community. I cannot possibly picture myself residing somewhere else other than here. At Sancta, my medical school experiences are supplemented by the awesome support network of fellow residents consisting of the postgraduate and undergraduate students as well as the staff. Here the social events, the Formal Dinners, and other means of getting together have taught me so much about myself, about life, about being part of a community. Ultimately, I hope I can bring pride and success to myself, my family, my friends, and now Sancta Sophia College.



Swimmers go

TWO IN A ROW Sancta swimmers and divers have brought home another win taking out the Rosebowl Swimming for the second year in a row. Congratulations to captain, Alice Dormer, and the entire team, who trained hard for an exceptional win that saw Sancta streak away from the other colleges by over 40 points. Sancta won every single race except two events, where our swimmers placed third. The college also placed third in diving. According to Carlee Millikin, Sports Secretary, “There were lots of highlights from the night but probably winning the two relays each by 7 seconds (which is a considerable margin) was a big achievement and showed the depth of our team.“ Sancta’s Swimming and Diving Team Alice Dormer, Charlotte Webber, Jordan Brodie, Elizabeth Shaw, Francesca Earp, Emma Pullinen, Yage Song, Brittaney Banks, Gen Lamond, Ellen Vincent, Kate Taylor, Carlee Millikin, Lucy Burrows, Claudia Jones, Emily Ryan.



Top and above The victorious swimmers and divers

DEDICATED & DETERMINED LOREN Parsons, a Sancta Soph and elite rower talks about her experience in the Elite Athlete Program. The Elite Athlete Program (EAP) is a University of Sydney scholarship program designed to help athletes succeed in both sporting and academic goals. It provides not only financial support but also academic assistance so that athletes receive special consideration on assessments and attendance. When did you enter the EAP? I started in the EAP in December of 2013, as soon as I had left school and moved to Sydney, taking part in the USYD rowing boat camp, a three week camp on the Manning in Taree. This was a ‘thrown in the deep end’ experience, straight out of school I was training with some of the best young athletes in the country, which is what the EAP program cultivates. What are the benefits of the program? The program is invaluable in the way that it ensures there is strong communication with the university around an athlete’s sporting commitments. For instance, I was away at competitions for three of the first six weeks of semester, so staff in the program helped to communicate with the university to find ways for me to balance (or sometimes just complete) my uni work. The EAP also provides financial support including subsidies for gym and club memberships and there is an arrangement whereby Sancta matches the scholarship to a certain level, which helps with my college fees.

Tell us about your training schedule. The training schedule is significant. Recently, leading into Nationals and Australian selection trials, I was doing at least 30 hours training per week. This consisted of up to four on water hours a day, which would be a two to three hour long row of around 20km, then a one hour technical session. Then in the afternoons I would spend around three hours in the gym going through strength and condition programs, ergs (rowing machine) or general cross-training. For the last six months I have spent every morning in a single boat. At the Australian National Championships, I also competed in a Double and a Quad (with fellow Sancta girl Laura Triggs as well). Tell us about the travel involved in racing. Over the winter season I will be travelling to Brisbane to compete in the University Trans-Tasman regatta, an event which races the top university students from NZ and Australia. Then, hopefully we will be invited to race at the World University Rowing competition in China. After that we will fly to New Zealand for the Gallagar race. There’s also the Australian University Games in Adelaide and head of the Yarra in Melbourne. The Australian boat race (the Australian version of the Oxford-Cambridge) will be in Melbourne this year and televised so keep your eyes open for that one! What have been the highlights of your experience? This year, I achieved a 3rd place at the Australian National championships for my Single. As a result I was invited for the Australian team trials, and I was

named the reserve for the Australian U21 team to compete in New Zealand in July. I also came 4th overall in my Double and 2nd in the Quad (with Laura Triggs). What are your overall goals? I want to row for Australia at the Olympics. At this stage I am aiming for Tokyo 2020, but I haven’t ruled out Rio next year. I hope to win a world title in the next five years. How do you balance your rowing with your studies? It’s hard, I won’t lie about that. In the end it’s just deciding on priorities and sticking to them. At this stage rowing is my priority then uni, after that maybe there’s some time for socialising. It’s really a matter of making choices, deciding on your goals and doing what you need to achieve them. If you ask anyone at Sancta they can probably confirm they don’t see me very often. How does living at Sancta help you? It’s amazing. The support network is incredible and the friends are here next door when I have 15 minutes spare time. Some of the girls even came out to Nationals in Penrith to watch me race. Being close to training and the shed is so convenient. Plus having a hot meal ready to go when I get home from training and having people on call that can help when things get overwhelming, just makes life so much easier.

Above Left Loren competing in the Nationals U21 Single race Above Right Loren (3rd from left) with her Quad crew, including Sancta’s Laura Triggs (far right)



O-WEEK NEW undergraduates (Freshers) are treated to a week of induction to the College and university life through the O-week program, which is led by senior students. Of course, it also involves lots of fun and games. This year’s theme was Yodel Aye He O - inspired by all things Bavarian.




Above The Semi-Formal had an Evening at the Races theme.

Above The Global Dinner.

Above PG Games Night.

Above PG O-week Cocktail Party.



Honouring our


The Annual Alumni Awards were introduced in 2013 to honour and recognise the outstanding achievements by Sancta alumni across a wide range of professional, social and personal endeavours. This year’s nominations shone a light on the many outstanding alumni with which Sancta is privileged to be connected.

Joan Hume (FR ’59) for Social Impact

The Awards for 2015 were announced at the recent Alumni and Friends Dinner. Five outstanding alumni were recognised on the evening.

JOAN attended Sancta Sophia College for one year, 1959 and has spent her adult life advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. Joan graduated from The University of Sydney with a BA Dip ED in 1969 and later a MA in English Literature in 1984. Following her graduation, Joan taught in schools for three years, before a car accident in 1971 left her a quadriplegic. After a year’s hospitalisation, Joan returned to teaching, the first classroom teacher in NSW to use a wheelchair. Joan became active in disability organisations in the late 1970s and in the burgeoning disability rights movement. Joan says, “The struggle to return to work amid unchecked discrimination and prejudice, the difficulties in getting around a totally inaccessible community, not to mention lack of transport, educational apartheid in our public schools for children with disabilities and the sheer invisibility of people with disabilities in all aspects of life galvanised me into action”.



Joan connected with other people with disabilities who were impatient for change, not only in their local communities but at the state and federal levels. They all wanted legislative changes made and improvement in access to services. This new movement was revolutionary in so far as it was campaigning for the human rights of people with disabilities, rather than the traditional medical and charitable approach to people with disabilities. For over three decades she has played a prominent role in the birth and development of Australia’s disability rights movement especially as foundation editor of the magazine “Quad Wrangle” and later board chairperson for the Australian Quadriplegic Association (now Spinal Cord Injuries Australia), NSW state president of Disabled Peoples’ International (now People with Disabilities Australia) and a founding member of Women with Disabilities Australia. She has represented DPI Australia at the United Nations in New York. Joan worked as a senior policy advisor on disability for the NSW Department of Health and as a teacher/consultant to students with physical disability in TAFE NSW. Joan is dedicated to promoting the independence, dignity and full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. Joan has been awarded an OAM for services to people with disabilities, a high commendation for her writing in the Australian Human Rights Awards and an Australian Achievement Award for writing on media portrayal of disability. Joan is currently being honoured by the Museum of Democracy as one of nine leaders in Disability Rights in Australia.

Professor Emma Duncan (FR ’86) for Professional Achievement

EMMA attended Sancta from 1986-1989. Emma graduated from Sydney University in 1992 with Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours Class 1). Professor Duncan also holds a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Endrocology) 2004 and a Doctor of Philosophy, The Open University, in collaboration with The Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, for a thesis titled, “The Genetics of Osteoporosis”, 2002. Emma is currently Eminent Physician, Consultant Endrocologist and Senior Staff Specialist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute and University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Queensland. In addition to Emma’s clinical and teaching responsibilities at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, she is building the department’s research capacity and academic profile. She has secured research funding of over $2.2 million, has been published in 28 papers over the last two years, and has established four clinical trials. Emma has published multiple research papers in the area of osteoporosis (the most common bone disease worldwide) and skeletal dysplasias. She is particularly interested in translating the genetic revolution into clinical practice.

Most recently, Emma has been awarded Osteoporosis Australia Philip Sambrook Award for Outstanding Early Career Researcher, 2013, Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society Kaye Ibbertson Award, 2012, Endocrine Society of Australia Mid-Career Award, 2012 and Clinician Researcher of the Year, Australian Society for Medical Research (Queensland), 2012. Emma has developed cutting edge approaches to genetic research that have led her team to identify the causes of several bone diseases. Emma is considered a leader in bone health. Her research, teaching of doctors, promotion of bone health both nationally and internationally, and extensive involvement with organisations that raise awareness of the importance of bone health, including Osteoporosis Australia, makes her a leader in her professional field. Dr Ella Stack (FR ’47) for Community Service

Dr Stack attended Sancta from 1947-1950. Dr Stack studied medicine at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1956. After marrying she moved to Darwin with her young family in 1961 where she was one of only two private practitioners. In 1969 she was invited by a local politician to be part of his team for the Darwin City Council. Dr Stack was elected as an alderman and continued to practice medicine and raise her family with her husband whilst working for the people of Darwin. Disaster struck Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974 when the city was decimated by Cyclone Tracey.

Dr Stack describes wading through “six inches of blood stained water” which had flooded the hospital’s corridors. She found 500 people waiting for her needing treatment. Ella describes the hospital been at its wits end, “they were trying to get enough power to boil the water to sterilise the various things they needed in their surgery.” With so many displaced and injured people, Darwin High School was converted into an emergency evacuation centre. It is at this school that Ella took on the role of Chief of the Emergency Clinic. In the first eleven days, 11,000 evacuees passed through Ella’s clinic at the High School and they provided up to 15,000 meals a day. It was also at this time that Ella along with other community members established the Darwin Disaster Welfare Council. Out of this group in later years, the Northern Territory Women’s Advisory Council was born. Ella became very involved in the reconstruction of Darwin and was elected Mayor five months after the cyclone and a Member of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission. She was directly involved in the development of a new building code for the city to prevent such devastation occurring again. She became the first Lord Mayor of Darwin in 1979 when Queen Elizabeth II created the Lord Mayoralty of the City. Within the same year she was made Commander of the British Empire for services rendered to the people of Darwin immediately following Cyclone Tracey and during the reconstruction of the city. In 1980, Ella was appointed to the National Women’s Advisory Council; the key authority developed for advising the Prime Minister on matters of importance to women and joined the Department of Health of the Northern Territory as the first Assistant Secretary of the Division of Aboriginal Health. It was the first Division devoted entirely to the health of Aboriginal people. Later she became Secretary of the Department of Health of the Northern Territory. In 2011 for International Women’s Day, Ella was honoured by the Northern Territory Government for her instrumental role in the rebuilding of Darwin.



Cathleen (Cath) Crossley (FR ’79) for Contribution to Sancta Sophia College

Dr Tim Scott (PG ’90) for Professional Achievement

OUR NEWEST ALUMNI FAREWELL to the following students who have recently left Sancta as valentants or graduands. We welcome them to the alumni community and look forward to staying in touch: Demi Bezuidenhout Emily Hodge

CATH attended Sancta from 1979-82 and studied Science/Economics at the University of Sydney. She is a chartered accountant and is the Manager at Pitcher Partners Sydney. Whilst at College, she was the Senior representative and Assistant Treasurer. A few years after leaving College, Cath accepted a position on the College Council, which she has held for the past 23 years. Cath is head of the Finance Committee and offers outstanding dedication and attention to the role. She is unfailingly accurate and timely in her work and team commitment on the Council. Cath is also a Director of Sancta Sophia Building Limited and played a significant role in the planning, financing and development of Graduate House which opened in 2014.

TIM was a graduate student at Sancta from 1990-93, completing a PhD in Neurophysiology. He is the Director of the Quadriplegic Hand Research Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital and commenced as the Paediatric Rehabilitation Fellow for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network in 2015.


Garima Kaushik

Angela Chou

Trang Nguyen

Jessica Cid

Angela Parham

Kristin Davis

William Parton

Lucy Drew

Maria Reynolds

Jessica Gazal

Katie Ryan-Baker

Mazyar Ghaffari

Juan Schmidt

Julia Goodwin

Julia Stanford

Lucy Hearms

Emma Shaw

Erin Hoare

Susan Yan

Whilst here, Tim was interested in the manipulation of the nervous system using electronic devices (such as, for example, cochlear implants and pacemakers), and so his neuroscience research PhD involved the training of the nervous system with electrical pulses. Dr Scott established his own research team, based out of the Spinal Cord Injuries Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital, the Quadriplegic Hand Research Unit, which saw the development of the rehabilitation glove. This special glove uses artificial muscles to bring back movement to hands and fingers for people who have lost the use of their hands or fingers due to injury or disease. Tim’s story of his time at Sancta was featured in the Sancta magazine, December 2014 edition.


Winnie Chen

Top Jessica Cid, Trang Nguyen, Susan Yan Bottom Will Parton with Dr Marie Leech

Where are

THEY NOW? Fellowship posts are twelve months in duration and require that time away from normal work or training. Over that time fellows work on a major project (or in some cases a number of projects) covering service change, quality and safety improvement or leadership capacity building, under the guidance of a nominated sponsor - usually a Medical or Clinical Director or equivalent. During the year Fellows also participate in a bespoke leadership development programme (leading to a postgraduate certificate) that aims to develop the organisational and leadership skills necessary for their future roles as clinical leaders. The excellent reputation of the programme means fellows are often in high demand for a variety of clinical conferences, forums and knowledge-sharing events. Elizabeth Finn (FR ’93) I am one of the first nurses (13 in total), the second paediatric nurse and the first from my organisation Great Ormond Street Hospital (a specialist referral hospital for children where I have been working as a Nurse Teacher in the Cardiac Unit) to undertake the Fellowship in Clinical Leadership (also known as Darzi Fellowships) programme. The interview process was pretty arduous and involved having very senior buy-in from my organisation to be put forward, as there was a fair amount of competition. The Darzi Fellowship is one of the most successful clinical leadership development programmes in London, with over 200 Fellowships having been awarded to date. This innovative programme provides a cohort of clinicians, who are typically in the early stages of their career, with a unique opportunity to develop the capability necessary for their future roles as clinical leaders.

My major project is a piece of research into interprofessional education and its impact on children, young people and their families, looking at the children’s nursing curricula in particular. I am also organising an Interprofessional Education Symposia between six universities to share good practice and ideas which is novel in that they compete against one another for students and up till now have not been willing to share good practice. As far as why I wanted to do it, I really enjoy studying and being exposed to new ideas and aligning myself with like-minded people. It has changed my understanding of situations and organisations and I have a much better understanding of the complexity of the NHS, its political and historical foundations and why it is the way it is. We have had bespoke coaching to help us grapple with issues and from this I am much more confident in the way I approach situations in terms of language and manner. Overall the biggest impact it has had

on me is helping me craft a language which allows me to express what was bothering me and why. So what next? I am not sure, although I am hoping to remain in health care education as I will have an MSc in Medical and Healthcare Simulation (a type of healthcare education).

Professor Rosaleen Smyth (FR ’64) I am currently a volunteer with PALMS working as a tutor for the Australian Catholic University’s Diploma of Liberal Studies offered online for Burmese refugees and migrants on the Thai Burma Border, and am currently an Honorary Fellow of the ACU. I first went volunteering with the Catholic Missions in 1964 to St Mary’s Convent Vaimoso, in Western Samoa and here I am sixty years later, still on the volunteer trail! I have had three amazing years lecturing in linguistics at Ruaha University College in Tanzania (PALMS volunteer) and two years as professor of communication arts at the Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea. I am so glad I went to Sancta all those years ago; it was a great launching pad. Rosaleen is a Professor of Communication Arts at the Divine Word University in Madang PNG and an Honorary fellow of the Australian Catholic University.

CONDOLENCES DOROTHEA Atkinson died on 24 March 2015 very peacefully, aged 93. As Dorothea Wills, she was resident at Sancta from 1939-1942.



Above The Home – part of a 15 volumes of a collection of the quarterly magazine from 1920-1931 Left Dr Marie Leech and Dr Sue Kelly at the auction of the collection

Sale of

JOHN LANE MULLINS COLLECTION THE sale of the John Lane Mullins collection, which was housed in the Sancta and Fisher Libraries, occurred on Monday 1 June in Melbourne by Australian Book Auctions. This was the culmination of much hard work done by The Treasures Committee, which consists of Shayne Brown, Dr Sue Kelly, Sr Mary Shanahan and Jane Burns. Early in the process, The Treasures Committee spoke with John Lane Mullins’ grandson, Peter Tansey, to inform him of the College’s intention and he was keen to see the value of the books redirected into scholarships to benefit the students of the College, which was very much in line with his grandfather’s views. A talk on John Lane Mullins addressed to the Catholic Historical Society in 1959 by Fr. C.J. Duffy perhaps best explains the view John Lane Mullins took of his books: “A particular quality of the culture of John Lane Mullins needs mention. There was nothing of the selfish pride of ownership that is found in wealthy art lovers, or of a consciousness of artistic class distinction in his. Let me bring him and his thoughts on life and art down into the market place by quoting from an interview reproduced in the Telegraph 12.4.35. ‘I stress the importance of sharing with others. The pleasure aroused by the possession of a good book or a fine painting should be passed on. There is no real



satisfaction to be derived from keeping the book locked in a library, or the painting tucked away out of sight of your friends. The privilege of possession is not enriched by the practice of selfish isolation, but rather in the sharing of all treasures’.” The following is a brief biography of John Lane Mullins by Charles Stitz: John Lane Mullins, solicitor, politician, bibliophile and bookplate collector, was born in Sydney on 4 June 1857 to Irish-born parents James Mullins and his wife Eliza, née Lane. James was a leading Catholic layman, wealthy from shrewd city real estate investments, and he later provided his son with an independent income, which freed him from financial cares, and allowed him to follow gentlemanly pursuits, such as the collection of books and paintings, and a career as patron of the arts. John was initially educated at private schools, and later by the Benedictines at St. Mary’s College, Lyndhurst, and St. John’s College, at the University of Sydney, from which he graduated B.A. in 1876, and M.A. in 1879. He was then articled to Sydney solicitor Robert Burdett Smith, and after the customary Grand Tour of Europe in 1882-83, admitted as a solicitor on 23 February 1885. Six weeks later he married Jane Mary Francis Hughes, the daughter of another Sydney solicitor, in a society wedding celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

Mullins was closely involved in many of the activities of the Catholic Church in Australia, the founder of, and solicitor for, the Catholic Press, and a trusted adviser and confidant of Cardinal Patrick Moran and Archbishop Michael Kelly. He was made a Papal Chamberlain in 1903, and a Knight Commander of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1920.

70s CLUB HIGH TEA IN February, Sancta launched the 70s Club, a means to bring together our alumni who have passed that magic milestone birthday. Around 35 women gathered for High Tea. It was casual occasion that was enjoyed by everyone.

He was also a significant advocate for the founding of Sancta Sophia College and was an early member of the College Council.

He was nominated to the NSW Legislative Council in 1917, and served it continuously until 1933, a director of City Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. from 1923, and Tooheys Ltd. from 1927, and closely connected to a large number of charitable bodies throughout his lifetime. He was also a significant advocate for the founding of Sancta Sophia College and was an early member of the College Council. Mullins was a significant patron of the arts, and as a young man studied music, and financially assisted the sculptor Achille Simonetti. Later he supported Hugh McCrae, and arranged publication of his first book. As well as books, he collected bookplates, and with Neville Barnett, founded the Australian Ex Libris Society in 1923, and was its first president. He was also president of the Australian Limited Editions Society, secretary and treasurer of the Society of Artists, Sydney, a trustee of the National Art Gallery of NSW from 1916, and its president in 1938-39. He was active in local numismatic and philatelic societies, and a member of the (Royal) Australian Historical Society. Survived by his four daughters, he died at the age 82 on 24 February 1939 at Elizabeth Bay, and was buried in South Head Cemetery. His wife had predeceased him in 1926, and his only son, Brendan, was killed in action in 1917. His library was left by his daughters to Sancta Sophia College, with some books of the more valuable books lodged by the College in the Fisher Library for safe keeping. John Lane Mullins collected books on Australian history and exploration, Australian literature (including many presentation and inscribed copies, and a copy of Patrick White’s rare The Ploughman) and a variety of works relating to the history of the Catholic Church in Australia.

Top Gael–Mary Winnick with Sr Mary Shanahan and member of Council, Cath Willis Middle Alison Stephen and Senior Student, Tori McGregor Left Maureen Coffey and Joyce Law




BRAVING the rain and a wintery June evening, Freshers of 1985 spent a night back at College. Many great memories were shared and the conversation stretched long into the early hours. The group was joined by Sr Mary Shanahan, who was Principal at the time, Josephine Heesh, Vice Principal and Mary-Kay Walker, House Committee Sec 1985.

Above After 30 years, the 1985 Freshers had many stories to share.

You are invited to attend the


Mother Swift

Bequest Society Luncheon

Wednesday 26 August,

from 12.30pm at the College

RSVP 20 August on 02 9577 2326 or

Have you left a gift to Sancta in your will? Walk in Wisdom


We will be recognising those who have indicated that they have made a bequest to Sancta. Please contact us if you wish to be honoured at this event.



New SCHOLARSHIP WE are honoured to announce the establishment of a new scholarship due to the generosity of our alumna, Dr Janette Sullivan (FR ’64). The Janette Sullivan Scholarship will commence in 2016. It will offer 50% contribution to College fees for a new, domestic medical student who can demonstrate financial need and capacity to contribute to the College. As Janette has said, “I never would have gotten through my medical degree had it not been for the support I had from Sancta. I want to provide the same opportunity to others who might not be able to access the College otherwise.” Janette practiced first as a staff specialist in child psychiatry at

the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children and later at Westmead Children’s Hospital. She then moved to private practice in psychotherapy. Several years ago, she retired from her practice and made a career change to become a manager in a start-up company for an innovative medical device. We are immensely grateful to Janette for her significant gift to the students of Sancta and for her investment in their futures through this exceptional act of philanthropy. If you would like to make a gift to Sancta or arrange a confidential discussion, please contact Michele Dunn on 02 9577 2347.

Maria Fernanda

DE CARVALHO SADLY, Fernanda passed away on 28 January this year. She was 91 years old. Here we remember a loving and much loved Sancta alumna, through an excerpt from the eulogy given by Anne Gray (nee de Carvalho), her only niece in Australia. “It’s my privilege to speak to you today about this very special aunt of ours born on 7 June 1923 in Hong Kong, twin sister to Candida and older sister to Sonny and David. She was christened Maria Fernanda after her Father, Fernao de Carvalho. Maria was a family name so she was known as Fernanda. She always loved being a twin. The big question of the day for the twins was not how to solve world peace but “What are we going to wear today”. They just HAD to agree since they always dressed the same as little girls. Candida married an American and moved away. She had six children, whereas Fernanda never married, staying at home to care for her mother Anna Maria. She was a most loving, dutiful daughter. Although Fernanda never had her own children her life was dominated by her love of them. Fernanda arrived in Australia in September 1940 aged 16, the family fled Hong Kong because of the war. She was able to speak some Cantonese, poor Portuguese and perfect English. The latter no doubt because she was educated by the nuns at Maryknoll Convent, then later at the Sacred Heart School in Shanghai. The family settled on the North Shore and Fernanda soon enrolled at Chartres Business College to prepare for a secretarial career. This was realised with a first job at Johnson & Johnson. Secretary by day she may have been, but her real love was discovered in the evening at Sydney University - namely her love of learning where she took English, History and French doing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Working in the day and

(FR ’43)

studying at night was hard so she was much relieved when her father’s return to Australia at the war’s end meant she could afford to become a day student.

spoke fondly to me of these students who kept in touch with her in her retirement. Fernanda was dearly loved because she loved others dearly.

Now, she could fully enjoy the intellectual and social life of Sancta Sophia College, run by the Sacred Heart nuns, where she lived from 1943-1947. Their influence on her education continued in Australia and was to be lifelong. She was secretary of the student executive in 1947 and was affectionately called “Ferdie” (Australians love a nick name!). There she was known for her lively dinner time conversations and her terrible knitting talent. Her secretarial reports did, however, show an eye for detail and grammatical correctness not often upheld today.

She lived very simply, relying on the treasures of books and knowledge rather than accruing endless “things.” This was in line with her very spiritual, ascetic approach to life, perhaps necessitated by a teacher’s wage, but mainly because of her humility.

With her arts degree completed in 1947, she returned to the workforce as a secretary until early 1951 but was eternally grateful when her father decided to pay for her to go to England on a working holiday. There she found work as a teacher and flatted with other Australian friends in South Kensington. While in the UK, she was chosen as the sole Australian representative, among representatives of 22 countries, to do a course at the Catholic University in Paris, which was conducted all in French. Tellingly, she chose to study Gregorian Chant (not every graduate’s first choice I’m sure!). On her return to Sydney in 1952 she went to work in Canberra as a secretary to a professor of classical Greek and then as private secretary to Right Honourable Sir Earle Page. After his death 14 months later, Fernanda joined the NSW Dept. of Technical Education as a teacher. The culmination of this career came in 1963 when she became Senior Head Teacher at Bankstown Technical College and remained there for 20 years, teaching many students from nonEnglish speaking backgrounds. Her love of teaching was obvious, as she often

She lived very simply, relying on the treasures of books and knowledge rather than accruing endless “things.” This was in line with her very spiritual, ascetic approach to life, perhaps necessitated by a teacher’s wage, but mainly because of her humility. Her simplicity was rewarded tenfold because it meant that financially she could afford to stay at the lovely Albert Court for the last five years of her life and what a haven of love and care that proved to be. Finally, I want to mention that Fernanda’s generosity to others did not stop in retirement. She spent 20 years teaching catechism in Double Bay and Woollahra Primary Schools. She just loved children and more to the point, she loved God. Her faith is what defined her and as an alumna of the Society of the Sacred Heart she contributed much to the Society’s spiritual development. Sancta Sophia means “Holy Wisdom”. I can’t think of two more beautiful words to sum up Fernanda de Carvalho.” Fernanda’s generosity also extended to Sancta Sophia College, which she remembered in her will with a bequest. We are eternally grateful to Fernanda for her dedication to the College during her lifetime and her lasting gift. Fernanda will be recognised at the Mother Swift Bequest Society Luncheon on 26 August 2015.



ALUMNI SURVEY IN late March we surveyed our alumni to assess your satisfaction with our level and type of communication, to get a better sense of the types of events that were of interest and to find out a little more about our donors and your views of how you are being informed and valued. Thank you to the 255 people, or around 10% of our alumni, who responded to the survey. The findings will assist us to develop new strategies to engage our alumni and donors, build on areas where the responses were strongest and to grow our much needed supporter base. Some of the key findings were:

What sort of event would you be interested in attending? Family orientated Specific professional networking events Arts /Cultural Related Young alumni focussed Senior alumni focussed Alumni sports related event Cocktail party Bridge/ cards day Alumni dinner Regional events Other

>> 92% of respondent are satisfied or very satisfied with Sancta’s efforts to keep them informed >> 59% of respondents are not involved at all in Sancta events >> Of those who do attend events, 78% do so for the camaraderie and chance to see friends >> Of those who do not attend events, 52% said it was because of distance, and 42% said it was because of the timing or conflict in their schedules >> 48% of respondents preferred an alumni dinner, 44% preferred a cocktail party, 32% preferred an arts/cultural event and 27% preferred a professionally based event >> 81% of respondents wanted events to be held at the College


>> For those who had donated, 82% said that it was because ‘Sancta had an important impact on my life’ >> 86% of donors were satisfied or very satisfied with the information they receive about the impact of their donation >> 87% of donors agreed that they know that Sancta will use their gift for the purpose it was intended >> 94% of donors were satisfied or highly satisfied with the recognition they receive as a donor






How do you receive your alumni news? Email



Word of mouth

Social Media

All of the above

Don’t receive any

>> 70% of respondents said Saturday was the best day for an event, with an evening being preferred >> 67% of respondents have never donated to Sancta






What are the positive factors that have influenced your giving to Sancta? Sancta had an important impact on my life My gift helps others receive a good education I feel an obligation to give back Sancta needs my help I like the leadership at the College





HOLDING A FUNCTION OR EVENT? Sancta has a range of rooms from small intimate spaces for private dinners to large seminar rooms or party areas. Our onsite caterers can help with your menu or you can self-cater.

CASUAL ACCOMMODATION AT GRADUATE HOUSE Looking for a place to stay during your next visit to Sydney? > King-single ensuite rooms in Graduate House are available for casual stays. > These affordable rooms can be booked for 2 nights or even longer.

BOOK ONLINE sydney/sancta-sophia-college/

Find out more by contacting us on 02 9577 2100 or


You and your friends are welcome to visit the College on our 2015 Open Day 29 August 10am – 3pm or anytime by arrangement



JOIN SANCTA IN 2016 TO CELEBRATE 90 YEARS SINCE OUR FOUNDING We have a range of events to celebrate our 90th Anniversary, here are some to pencil into your calendar: 6 March 2016 90th Anniversary Champagne in the Quad 26 June 2016 Hong Kong Reunion ~ luncheon event 29 June 2016 UK Reunion, House of Lords, London ~ cocktail event 30 July 2016 Alumni Awards and Dinner ~ announcement of 90 Significant Alumni Are you interested in helping with these events or to organise a reunion to cover a 5 year period? Contact us at

Sancta Sophia College Alumni and Friends Magazine, August 2015