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CONTENTS Strategic Plan Students Under the Microscope Sancta Travels Celebrating 90 Years Edwina Pickles

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ON THE COVER 1926 - 2016. Celebrating 90 Years since Sancta’s founding. A year long celebration for the College’s 90th Anniversary. See page 18 for full story.


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


Contact Us


Sancta Sophia College 8 Missenden Road Camperdown NSW 2050

In the August issue, the feature on Alumni Award winners, contained the following errors which should be noted. We sincerely apologise for these inaccuracies.

Main Office Hours Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm

Cath Crossley was a student at Sancta from 1979-1984. In addition, she is a Principal at Pitcher Partners.

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 doing, 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

Joan Hume attended Sancta in 1965 not 1959.

ALUMNI EVENTS 24 February 70s Club High Tea 6 March 90th Anniversary Champagne in the Quad 30 April Sr Mary Shanahan Scholarship Fundraising Dinner 24 May   New York Reunion Drinks 24 June Hong Kong 90th Anniversary Reunion 29 June UK Alumni Drinks 30 July 90th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Alumni Awards  0 August ‘Swifty’ Book Launch and Mother 2 Swift Bequest Society Luncheon 10 September Wisdom Forum

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.

13 November Memorial Mass 30 November 1956 Fresher Reunion

From the

PRINCIPAL IN a media article, titled ‘Uni experience is all the better if you leave home’, the then Professor of Law at University of Queensland, James Allan, compared the experience of students in Australian universities with those overseas, wrote:

But perhaps the greatest benefit is the enrichment factor – meeting and living with students from other countries, other faculties, different year levels, and with a wide range of cultural, social, spiritual and sporting opportunities on offer.

‘From the point of view of students, the most striking difference I’ve noticed between Australian universities and those in other countries is the relative dearth of residences or colleges in the older, and best, universities. The overall learning experience – in the narrow academic sense and in a wider life-changing sense (including having fun) – is far superior by going to a residence or college’. There is little doubt that living on campus adds in many ways to the university experience, from the very practical benefits of the sheer convenience of it, to the higher level benefits of higher academic achievements and better retention rates for those who live on campus. But perhaps the greatest benefit is the enrichment factor – meeting and living with students from other countries, other faculties, different year levels, and with a wide range of cultural, social, spiritual and sporting opportunities on offer. There is currently much research being undertaken into ‘the student experience’ and what is emerging is that the ‘commuter student experience’ is often a lonely experience, lacking interaction with other students, frequently a fly in fly out experience – on campus somewhat briefly for lectures and tutorials, but not remaining on campus any longer than is necessary. A number of universities in Australia, particularly ANU in Canberra, are exploring what are being referred to as ‘virtual colleges’, that is, groups of non-residential students who gather under the banner of a college structure, are provided with a common room, have college colour and college crests, and participate in cultural, social and sporting activities. Griffin Hall at ANU is the most developed of these. So, significant changes are happening in terms of providing non-residential students a better student experience. But if recent indications are correct, the core of the university experience

itself for all students is likely to change dramatically in the near future. When Stanford University offered an open online course titled ‘An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence’ some years ago, over 160,000 students enrolled from around the world. Massive open online courses – MOOCs – are now available from most of the prestigious US universities. It would be foolish to dismiss MOOCs as something that will not catch on. It is interesting to anticipate the impact they will have on traditional universities. At recent meetings here at the University of Sydney with campus planning staff, we heard about development plans for the University – including ‘interactive spaces’ where some 50 or so students might gather, not necessarily from the same faculty or from the same year group, with some undertaking online course, some in small tutor groups, some one-on-one tutorials happening, and perhaps some group work or group discussions, or a visiting speaker meeting with a small group. If this all sounds familiar, it is because it describes what happens here at Sancta every evening! The secret is out – the College experience is the true rich learning experience, an experience that fosters growth in so many areas in addition to the narrow academic area, and an experience which universities are now aspiring to for all students, via ‘social and interactive spaces’, virtual colleges, interaction across year groups and faculties. We – members of the Sancta community – can be glad that other students will experience something similar to what we have here – but know that nothing will be quite as good as the wonderful Sancta experience, an experience that is the sum of what all students and staff, past and present, have contributed. We are fortunate indeed to be part of the tiny percentage of people who have the richness of the full residential experience in Australia, with the full range of wonderful opportunities it provides.

Dr Marie Leech




OF COUNCIL AS I approach the end of my second term as Chair of the College Council, and retire from the Council after 21 years of service, I am more aware than ever of how significant community and communication is everywhere in our lives, and no more so than at Sancta Sophia College.

What matters is that people are speaking with each other. They are listening to each other and have not lost the sensitivities of friendship upon which all good communities also rely. At Sancta Sophia, opportunities for community and communication abound.

Community for the College starts with the students, and moves out, almost in a series of ever expanding circles. It next encompasses the Principal and her staff, College chaplain, tutors, members of the College Council, the College Fellows and Foundation members, the alumni, parents and families of current students, former principals, staff, Councillors and parents and families of former students. It extends beyond those parameters to include the Vice Chancellor of the University and his Executive, the University Senate, Academic Deans of Faculties, all members of the University teaching staff and administration staff and all students of the University.

For Sancta Sophia it also encompasses the Catholic community. I have included a useful diagramatic representation of what I am attempting to express, which the Principal circulated at a Council Planning Day held earlier this year. The College can be the anchor for this community. It is a place of welcome. It is a place of hospitality. It is home. It is a place of memory and it is a place of experiment. It is a training ground where students can try new things in a safe environment. It is a unique experience. What a valuable asset the Sancta community is and how we treasure it. We do not need to go far to observe communities that have fractured either from family breakup or political unrest or even violence and war. The plight of thousands of Syrian refugees who are flooding across the borders of European countries at this time is a sober reminder of how important it is to have sound community and to preserve its stability even on the smallest scale. Cont ... ďƒœ

The Sancta Sophia College Community > Other colleges of USyd campus > Rosebowl and Rawson > Palladian > Sydney Heads Chapter > Staff networks > Other colleges nationally e.g. Catholic colleges, sister college Duchesne > Other colleges internationally e.g. Manhattanville NY etc

> Parents > Past parents

> University Colleges Australia (UCA) > Australasian Association of College and University Housing Officers (AACUHO) > Association of College and University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-I) > National Association of Australian University Colleges (NAAUC)



> Catholic schools > Secondary schools > Schools in general

> Staff > Past staff > Tutors > Contractors

> Hotel space > Casual accommodation > Conferences

> Alumni > Donors > Friends of Sancta


> Catholic Church > RSCJ Order > AMASC > ASCA > Archdiocese of Sydney > Other religions

> University of Sydney - mulitple departments > Colleges Consultative Committee (CCC of SEG) > Joint colleges University Working Group > Other partner universities > Sydney Uni Sports and Fitness (SUSF) > University of Sydney Union (USU) > Security

> Sancta Council > Sancta Council Committees > Past Council members > Foundation

College The consequences of any deterioration are too damaging and the ripple effect too far reaching. Building community is done in an electronic environment. I am sure every student at Sancta uses Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many other apps; definitely has a personal email address; and resorts to the Web whenever any question arises, whether it be needing some research for microbiology or political science or, simply needing a cheap meal or outfit. Here’s the thing: we are living through a social revolution which is driven electronically. Sancta is catering to the demands of our students who are at the frontier of that revolution. We are always investing in improved technology, wi-fi, desktops, servers and the list is endless; as is the investment required. My one concern with our communications revolution is that younger generations may lose their ability to converse face to face coherently. I often overhear young people communicating in public areas and would love a dollar for every time the word ‘like’ is dropped into their conversation. Where did this word come from? Even if I knew the answer, it is far too late to put the word back in its box. Does it matter? Probably not. What matters is that people are speaking with each other. They are listening to each other and have not lost the sensitivities of friendship upon which all good communities also rely. At Sancta Sophia, opportunities for community and communication abound. Our regular newsletters, the website, the extensive list of calendar events to which all members of the community are invited, guarantee that the House of Wisdom will always be a strong community. Josephine Heesh


AFTER 21 years of service and dedication on the Council, Josephine Heesh (Fr ’71) stepped down from the Council at the last meeting for the year. Josephine was Chair from 1999 until end 2009, and then again this year, 2015. She has served on many committees, including Finance and Building; Project Control Group for Graduate House and the Alumni committee. According to Josephine, the highlights of her time on Council are, “Participating in building of Graduate House and retaining strong working relationships with four Principals, and all Council members over the last 21 years. “It has also been pleasing to have been able to support the steady growth in number and variety of students notwithstanding the leadership changes.” Christine Lazzarotto (Fr ’74) also leaves the Council this year. She has been a member of the Council since 2009 and served on various committees, including: Strategic Planning Committee, 2009; Building Project Planning Committee 20112012; Policy, Mission and Philosophy Committee 2012-2015 and HR & WHS Committee 2014-2015. Christine strongly advocated for the College to meet the needs of students with disabilities . Sarah Fitzgerald (Fr ’89) retired from the Council in mid-2015, having joined in 2012. Sarah was a member of the Project Control Group for Graduate House and the Special Working Group for the design and planning of Graduate House. We sincerely thank Josephine, Christine and Sarah for their commitment to the College, students and staff. Thanks must also go to all the members of Council for their efforts for the College during 2015. From the top Josephine Heesh, Christine Lazzarotto and Sarah Fitzgerald



College FINANCES LIKE all Residential Colleges in Australia, Sancta does not receive Government funding. As the accompanying graph indicates, the main source of revenue is from student fees. A secondary, but important, source of revenue, is from conferences, casual accommodation and functions. Strategically, it is important for the College to grow this business as it does help to alleviate some pressure on fee increases. Our fundraising efforts for support through donations continue to grow the funds that we use primarily for the scholarship and bursary program

and other special services for students and/or as directed by the donor.

Sancta Sophia College - 2015 Income

Sancta Sophia College - 2015 Expenses

Student residential fees (88.50%) Conference centre (6.67%) Donations (3.52%) Investment income (1.08%) Other income (0.23%)

Students Recommend


IN the end of year survey of all current students, over 94% responded that they are likely or highly likely to recommend Sancta to their friends or family as a place to live whilst they study.



Sancta Sophia College (based in the original College building) and Graduate House are classified as separate Notfor-Profit (NFP) entities by the Australian Taxation Office. The Council and Management of the College are charged with rigorously monitoring all income and expenditure for both entities on a continuous basis throughout the year through the use of budgeting, cash flow forecasting and regular Finance Committee meetings.

These behind the scenes efforts together with regular updates from the Business Office, allow analysis of financial reporting to be undertaken on a monthly basis and any variations to budget are carefully scrutinised by Management, the Finance Committee and by the Council. We endeavour to ensure that Sancta is accessible to a diverse range of students whilst balancing the service and environmental standards required to meet the expectations of today’s students.

Catering (28.87%) Employment (23.11%) Maintenance (9.52%) Depreciation (8.07%) Housekeeping (7.30%) Scholarships/bursaries (4.93%) Other student costs (4.53%) Utilities (4.45%) Insurances (3.01%)

How likely are you to recommend Sancta to your friends/family as a good place to study and live if they are to attend the University of Sydney, Notre Dame or UTS? 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Highly Likely



Highly Unlikely

STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2018 THE Council, Principal and staff have worked on a Strategic Plan for the College for the period 2016-2018. The Strategic Plan will guide decision-making for this period, provide a road map for our direction and position the College for the long-term future. There are three key focus areas of the Strategic Plan, and each has a series of ambitions, success factors and performance measures that will drive the College over the next three years. 1. Student Community Focus – that Sancta Sophia College is the College of choice. Ambitions: a. Sancta is occupied to capacity with strong applications and retention b. Students are engaged and active participants in the Sancta Community c. Students are engaged and active participants in the academic aspects of the College d. Students are engaged and active participants in the spiritual aspects of the College e. Sancta has a diverse student community f. Sancta has one engaged community meeting the needs of both undergraduates and postgraduates g. Sancta develops citizens of the world (including a focus on social, political, justice, and the environment) h. Students embrace opportunities to develop leadership skills while resident at Sancta i. Sancta has strong and respectful community relationships between students, staff and Council

2. Community Focus – that the Sancta community is one that is engaged, open and creates a lifelong connection.

3. Management, facilities and resources – that the sustainability of the College is secure.


a. Secure sustainability of the College by maintaining full occupancy year on year

a. Alumni are engaged and active participants in the Sancta community and have a strong affinity with the College b. Increased contribution to Sancta resources from philanthropic sources to support a strong and active scholarship/bursary program c. The wider community recognises Sancta as a key participant and contributor to the College sector d. The Catholic community recognises Sancta as a key participant and contributor to the Catholic Community e. Sancta has a strong brand associated with clear vision and values f. There is strong staff affinity with the College


b. Ensure that excellent student catering services remain a positive point of difference between Sancta and other accommodation providers c. Ensure that the College continues to meet the IT requirements of students and staff d. Casual accommodation and conferencing successfully serve and support the business needs of the College e. Capital replacement and maintenance plans are in place and actioned f. Compliance with all regulators to ensure the safety and comfort of all students, visitors and staff g. Deliver budget objectives h. Development of a new master plan for the College, to enable the identification of potential future growth/activities i. Staff are supported by the College and are performing to the best of their ability




STUDENT 2015 has been such an incredible year to be at Sancta Sophia College. We have gone from strength to strength, and I can’t be more proud to have been both Senior Student and a Sancta girl. We have had many successes in both Palladian and Rosebowl. Our most notable success was our overall second place in Palladian. We finished very closely behind St Andrews’ College and were well ahead of all the other Colleges. It was certainly a very exciting year and one on which we can continue to build in the future. Congratulations to all of the Secretaries for such a successful year!

Sancta has been a phenomenal home to me over these past three years; there have been ups and downs, good times and bad times, easy periods and really tough periods. However, throughout that time, I never stopped learning and I never stopped growing, and it is thanks to Sancta

I would like to congratulate the new House Committee for 2016: Aili Langford, Senior Student; Lucy Burrows, Treasurer, and Alice Dormer as Secretary, as well as Claire Ingram, Julia Mathers, Alexis Weaver, Rowena Yeung, Georgia Lack, Sophie Matthews, Franny Earp, Kate Dean and Isabella Barrett. These young women are all very deserving and I am sure they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2016. Congratulations also to the new postgraduate Senior Common Room Committee. On that note, I would like to thank Kieran Muir, who I have worked with throughout this year to build the relationship between undergraduates and postgraduates, a challenging task at times. I am sure both of these committees will continue the work that has been done to bring our communities together as one. A big thank you and congratulations has to go to the 2015 House Committee. Each and every one of them has worked incredibly hard this year to make it a wonderful year. A lot of work goes unnoticed and is done in the late hours of the night/early hours of the morning, and there is often a lot more work associated with these roles than is recognised. These strong women are tremendous, highly capable, dedicated and simply amazing. Watch this space



- these women will go on to achieve incredible things. This leads me to my final point. Sancta has been a phenomenal home to me over these past three years; there have been ups and downs, good times and bad times, easy periods and really tough periods. However, throughout that time, I never stopped learning and I never stopped growing, and it is thanks to Sancta. This College has great assets and yes, it has faults, but everything about the College should be appreciated. The College provides an opportunity for you to become an even more powerful person (in whatever sense you choose) than you already are. Along with this great privilege comes great responsibility. You have been given this amazing opportunity and you should harness it and make the most of everything, but remember, one day you should give back. Consider giving another young woman the opportunity to be a Sancta girl. One of the most moving moments of this year was choosing who would receive the House Committee Scholarships we established this year; there were so many incredible women whose only barrier to university was money. This realisation had me in tears because everyone should have access to a university education no matter what their financial background. If our government cannot adequately ensure that, we must do what we can. As a strong, young adult, the world is in your hands; do good wherever and whenever you can. Be you, be powerful, be whatever you want, walk in wisdom, achieve everything, achieve anything, and remember to give back. Victoria McGregor Senior Student

The Senior

COMMON ROOM AS was so aptly put last year by the departing Senior Student, Abbie Jones - 2014 was the Year of the Goose. The success of the Year of the Goose has continued well and truly into 2015 and with it the College continues to reach new, unprecedented heights. Following the first Victory Dinner in 13 years in 2014, we followed up in 2015 with a repeated domination in Swimming and a number of Palladian victories, we were unfortunately edged out for first place in the final competition, coming a very close second.

I think we all too often forget how incredibly privileged we are and as the year ticks over to a new one, I hope that the incoming students realise this, seize upon it and make their time at Sancta worthy of the potential it holds for them.

I would love to say I was instrumental in any of these wins this year but I was not, not even in the slightest. But I have had a far more satisfying feeling this year and it was not a sentiment I held strongly last year. This year - we won - as an entire College – no longer as separate communities. As you look through this magazine and reflect on the year, you will see this again and again. At the end of 2014, after I became the President of the Senior Common Room, I wrote in the December issue of this same magazine that we had big plans for, and I quote my less literate 2014 self, “setting new traditions, more involvement and more mixing between UG/PG”. I feel confident, yet nostalgic, that as I enter my final month at College we have achieved much of what we set out to do. Looking back fills me with pride – we have held the inaugural Postgraduate O-Week, we have run weekly social and sporting activities, we have had two incredible Rooftop parties, zoo trips, boat cruises, movie outings, a huge increase in Rosebowl and Palladian support and many, many more things. The events and activities listed is an easy way to quantify what we have done as a Committee, but there is something more valuable to me – the excitement that is building in so many people for 2016 and that is what I truly value. Our greatest achievement this year is creating this community.

Our recent Senior Common Room elections for 2016 gave me a number of reasons to feel happy. First, we had 23 students run for positions, which is a testament to the commitment and changing postgraduate community. Secondly, throughout the speeches I saw the love so many students have for this College, and this is something that has not often been heard from the Postgraduate community. We are so quick to criticise but so slow to commend, and I hope that this love for the College can prosper into next year and beyond. Finally, I can pass my torch onto the ever friendly, far more distinguished, Joshua Preece and his new Committee of extremely capable people. As our Committee counted votes at the election, there was the feeling of melancholy as it sunk in that our tenure had come to an end. I do not think I could possibly thank the following amazing people enough - Katie Wales, Akash Arora, Jessica Aneja, Nicola Peat and Kate Taylor. And if you see them around, I encourage you to thank them personally, as they have done a lot of thankless work throughout the year. Lastly, on behalf of every Postgraduate student, I would like to thank Sancta Sophia College for allowing me the endless opportunities that it has provided. It has been the perfect home away from home. The rambling twohour dinner conversations, the hellos in the hallways, the incredible number of amazing friendships and the stories that will continue to be told. I think we all too often forget how incredibly privileged we are, and as the year ticks over to a new one, I hope that the incoming students realise this, seize upon it and make their time at Sancta worthy of the potential it holds for them. Thank you and good luck. Kieran Muir President, Senior Common Room Committee



Vale 2015 SANCTA formally farewelled students leaving the College at the Vale Mass and Dinner. With a mixture of sadness and joy, we said goodbye to those who have completed their courses and are taking on new challenges, those who are moving to be closer to their practical placements and those who feel it is time to spread their wings on their own. Alumna, Jane Smith (FR ’88) was the guest speaker. Jane completed her economics degree at USYD in 1990. Since leaving University, she has had an impressive and interesting career in Film and Television Production, working on films such as Mullet, Risk and Rabbit Proof Fence. For ten years, she has run her own Production company, Film Smiths. She is an entrepreneur, an inventor, and most recently a farmer, having left the bright lights of Sydney for the Byron Bay hinterland, where she now owns and runs a macadamia farm. Jane challenged the graduands by saying, “Don’t be afraid to make changes. If you aren’t enjoying yourself early on in your career, chances are you won’t later on either. Be brave enough to make the change. I have always believed that what university gives you is the ability to learn for yourself. Once you can do that you really can do whatever you want.” The Award winners from the evening were:



Above Sportswoman of the Year – Carlee Millikin Left Elsie Chan, Dr Marie Leech, Josephine Heesh and Emily Ryan

Nita Macrae Award - Elsie Chang and Emily Ryan This award is in memory of Mother Juanita Macrae RSCJ, Principal of Sancta Sophia College from 1943 to 1957. The award is presented to a student who has had at least three semesters in College, who has a consistent academic record and has made a significant contribution to the community life of a College founded on Christian values. Sheila Hurley Cultural Award – Elizabeth Collins The Trophy is awarded annually to a student for contribution to the cultural life of the College, covering such areas as music appreciation, art and drama. Jean Daly Oration Award - Justine Landis-Hanley The Jean Daly Award is to recognise excellence in public speaking. Sportswoman of the Year - Carlee Millikin Yvonne Swift Individual Achievement Award - Kieran Muir This award recognises outstanding individual achievement, achievement gained through using skills and talents to the maximum over a sustained period of time, which result in significant contribution to the College, to the University, or to the wider community.

Top Kieran Muir with Dr Marie Leech and Josephine Heesh Above Guest Speaker, Jane Smith


Masters in Research

Beatrice Cai Ping Goh Bachelor of Arts

Grace Allen

Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies)

Matthew Davis

Master of Pharmacy

Emily Puckeridge

Bachelor of Science/ Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics

Genevieve Firmer

Bachelor of Science

Cecilija Rubenis

Bachelor of Visual Arts (Painting)

Gloria Fong


Emily Ryan

Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies)

Angela Di Giorgio

Bachelor of Economics

Bryan Seah

Master of Design Science

Stephanie Johnstone Bachelor of Arts

Monica Thorne

Master of Physiotherapy

Jack Kelly

Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Erina Watanabe

Bachelor of Arts

Aditya Mandan

Master of Information Technology

Sandhya Menon

Master of Professional Engineering

Simone Windrim

Bachelor of Human Movement and Health Education (Secondary)

Jia Yi Anna Ne

MBBS and MPhil (Medicine)

Harriet Wolstenholme Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles

STUDENT LEADERS FOR 2016 CONGRATULATIONS to the new House Committee representatives for 2016, including: Senior student Aili Langford Secretary Alice Dormer Treasurer Lucy Burrows Social Secretary Claire Ingram Sports Secretary Julia Mathers Cultural Secretary Alexis Weaver Liturgical Secretary Rowena Yeung Social Justice and Sponsorship Secretary Georgia Lack Senior Intercol Representative Sophie Matthews Junior Intercol Representative Franny Earp Senior Representative Kate Dean Sophomore Representative Isabella Barrett

Congratulations to the Senior Common Room Committee for 2016: President Josh Preece Secretary Myriarm Song Treasurer Jackson McLeod Postgraduate Rep Ellen Weekes Sports Rep Bella Russo Cultural Rep Elizabeth Gatens Social Rep Nick Piper Top right The 2016 House Committee Executive: Lucy Burrows, Alice Dormer and Aili Langford Right the 2016 Senior Common Room: Myriarm Song, Elizabeth Gatens, Jackson McLeod, Josh Preece, Nick Piper, Bella Russo, Ellen Weekes





WE were honoured to have the Archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP attend the College for Mass and address the students at the annual Dinner, in August. This is an important event on the calendar each year at the College. The Archbishop of Vancouver, John Michael Miller, CSB was also our guest for the evening. Top Fr Peter Smith, Fr Paul Ghanem, Archbishop Anthony Fisher, Fr Emmanuel Seo, Archbishop John Michael Miller, Fr Thomas Azzi at the Mass Right Mrs Anna Dickinson, Principal of Loreto Kirribilli, Ms Anne Fry, Principal of St Vincent’s College and Dr Maree Herrett, Principal of Sancta Sabina College were amongst the Principals who attended the College for the Mass and Dinner, here with the Archbishop and Dr Marie Leech.

JUSTICE MICHAEL KIRBY SPEAKS AT FORMAL DINNER FORMER High Court judge, Justice Michael Kirby, was the special guest at a Formal Dinner in August. His speech was truly inspirational and will be remembered by all those who were present. Alumna, Federal Court judge, Justice Jackie Gleeson was here as a student the last time Justice Kirby spoke at Sancta, and she returned as a guest at High Table to welcome Justice Kirby back. The guest speaker program at Formal Dinners is an integral part of College life. Other guests this year have included: >> Felicity Furey – Co-founder of Power for Engineering and one of Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence >> Richard Broinowski – 34 years as an Australian Diplomat >> Lisa Havilah – Director of Carriage Works, Sydney >> Professor David Booth – Marine ecologist who studies Sydney Harbour >> Corey Payne – ex rugby league player and youth advocate



Above Justice Michael Kirby with Speaker Secretary, Miranda Cooper (right) and Sancta law students at the pre-dinner drinks

FATHERS’ DAY DINNER IT was a full house for the Fathers’ Day Dinner in September, with guest speaker Dick Laffan.

JUSTINE TAKES HER PLACE ON THE SRC FRESHER Justine Landis-Hanley has been successfully elected as Councillor on the 88th Sydney University Student Representative Council. Justine said, “I am genuinely so surprised and relieved. I credit my success to the support of college students across all of the colleges, though in particular the students of Sancta Sophia College. I am so excited to carry out my platform of representing the Sydney University Residential College students by working to implement policies to improve their safety, well-being and involvement on campus.”

Above Justine (centre) with some of her Sancta supporters



Far left Members of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Global Board and management team in Dubai and include left to right: Ellis Stanley (Global Board Chair), Matthew Ellis (Student Council Representative), H.E. Khaled Al Mansoori (International Council Representative Acting IAEM-Europa Council Representative), Clay Tyeryar (IAEM - Deputy Director) Left Akash in the Australian Center for Field Robotics (ACFR) lab.

Students UNDER IN this feature, we take a look at the work that some of Sancta’s postgraduate students are undertaking. Matthew Ellis Matthew Ellis is a PhD Candidate, at Sydney University in the Faculty of Science, School of Geosciences, Hazards Research Group. He is the President of Oceania Student Council - International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Originally from Victoria, Matthew has lived in the US and Japan. He has a Bachelor in Social Science (Emergency Management) from Charles Sturt University, and a Bachelor of Science – Geography (First Class honours) from UNSW. Now, he is completing a PhD in Geography, researching the role of emergency managers, their education, experience, and background in order to better understand these individuals and enable a comparison to be made across industry recommendations and to develop industry improvements. According to Matthew, “Emergency management or disaster management is a relatively new industry/discipline that struggles against preconceived notions that responding to an emergency is the same as emergency management. “It is hoped that through highlighting these differences and the current practices, I can make some significant




improvements that will result in better disaster risk reduction through utilising human capital theory to emphasise the need for increases in specialist knowledge driving the position and the industry.” Emergency response i.e. police, fire, ambulance, SES, makes up a very small part of emergency management and is NOT considered emergency management on its own. Emergency management is the strategic day-to-day managerial function of handling emergencies. It involves risk assessments, developing policies and procedures, liaising with relevant stakeholders and generally preparing communities for hazards and their potential consequences. Emergency management has evolved to include its own set of frameworks and approaches that include a comprehensive approach: prevent/mitigate, prepare, respond and recover; the all-hazards approach: integrated/all-agencies approach; and, the prepared community.

the University of Sydney. His project is in the field of space robotics. According to Akash, “Space exploration using robots has captured the imagination of many. Current generation space robots such as NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity have achieved significant success in improving our knowledge of the universe. “However, due to the extremely large distances from Earth, communication between humans and robots is slow, infrequent and expensive. Mars can be up to 400 million kilometers away! As a result these robots progress through their missions very slowly. “My project involves improving the intelligence of these robots, such that they can continue to carry out scientific investigations without the need to frequently consult with humans.

Akash Arora

“We have a prototype space rover named Continuum and a testing facility with Mars-like terrain at the Powerhouse Museum. Over here, we can implement and test out our algorithms.”

Akash was born in India and raised in Auckland, New Zealand where he completed most of his education. He moved to Sydney and Sancta in 2014.

Akash is hoping for a career as a robotics engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory or the European Space Agency.

Akash has completed a degree at the University of Auckland, NZ in Mechatronics Engineering and is now working towards a PhD with the Australian Center for Field Robotics at

“I also have a strong interest in medical, defense and social applications of robotics. I would like to work on something high tech which will have a significant impact on how we live life. “

MEKHALA’S OFF TO AN IMPRESSIVE START FRESHER, Mekhala Anjaria is from New Zealand and is undertaking a Bachelor of Medical Science/ Doctor of Medicine at University of Sydney. She recorded some outstanding results in her first semester, achieving four High Distinctions and one Distinction. According to Makhala “the environment at Sancta has been very conducive, enabling me to follow a stringent regime. Another key factor that supports my studies at Sancta has been the reliability of the infrastructure I study in. Having everything provided for me, such as internet, power, water, maintenance, food, allows me to focus all my attention entirely on my studies when I need to.”

How would you sum up your time at Sancta so far? Sancta has been great – saying that this is a home away from home is so cliché, but that is exactly how I have felt. There is time for socialisation, enjoyment, recreation and when the exams come close, everyone buckles down to face them. Sancta’s environment during normal University days promotes relaxation and fun. However, the same environment turns to academic focus and allows me to focus completely on my studies, with no time being wasted for peripheral activities. This is the first time I have left home – my father told me that I would miss home – but, no offence – I haven’t experienced that yet. Sancta is really is an amazing place.

JOSEPHINE’ S OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION JOSEPHINE (Josie) Gibson embodies the very best of what is means to be a Sancta student. Josie is studying a Bachelor of Music Studies (Composition)/Bachelor of Arts at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has been heavily involved in the cultural life at Sancta since arriving in 2013. After representing Sancta in Palladian, in both solo and ensemble vocal and instrumental in her first year, she became Music Secretary in 2014. She was a member of the Small Choir, and conducted the big choir in the Sydney Eisteddfod and Palladian Vocal Ensemble. In 2015, she took over the reins of the Small Choir, which then won the Palladian Vocal Ensemble with her arrangement of Kids by MGMT and Bronte by Gotye. She has been involved as a chorus

member with the Intercol Musical Society since its inception, and in 2015 was Assistant Musical Director and Repetiteur for Little Shop of Horrors. Josie was a regular performer at Formal Dinner, in both solo and accompanying roles, and has accompanied performers in every musical Palladian solo and ensemble event. She was also regularly seen providing the music for the weekly Mass, as well as the Commencement Dinner, Mothers’ and Fathers’ Dinners, Valedictory and Memorial Mass. We were thrilled to be able to acknowledge Josie’s contribution and achievements through the Archbishop of Sydney Scholarship in 2015.




CELEBRATING 90 YEARS SINCE SANCTA SOPHIA COLLEGE WAS FOUNDED SANCTA Sophia College was opened as a residential college for Catholic Women in 1926, but the first steps to establish a residential college for Catholic women at the University of Sydney were mooted as early as 1910. As social and educational changes facilitated higher education for women, it was expected that more women from rural as well as urban centres would enrol at the university. In November 1923 the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Michael Kelly and the Bishops of New South Wales, issued a pastoral letter that drew attention to the advantages of university education for the Catholic community and announced that a Catholic Women’s College would be built. The cost was to be borne by “all dioceses of the State in exact proportion of the number of Catholics contained in each”. Archbishop Kelly asked the Catholic women of New South Wales to assist in the fundraising. The College was to be administered by nuns from the order of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, which had been founded in France in 1800. The founding Mothers sought to establish a residential college that would be a place where women could stand beside men as equals. In 1925 this was a very courageous stand. The foundation stone of the Hall of Residence was laid on 26 March 1925, and the name ‘Sancta Sophia’ was chosen. The name is a combination of Latin and Greek words meaning ‘holy



wisdom’ and also commemorates the founder of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, Madeleine Sophie Barat, who was canonised in 1925. There was a difference of opinion as to the spelling of the name. Some would have liked the Italian “Santa Sophia”, and many early references to the College are just so. Others thought it should be either pure Greek, “Hagia Sophia” or pure Latin, “Sancta Sapientia”. In the end scholarly opinion agreed that the word “Sophia” was sufficiently Latinised to allow the Latin form to prevail, thus giving us Sancta Sophia. The Latin College motto, “in sapientia ambulate”, meaning ‘walk in wisdom’ conveys the hope of the founders that wisdom would guide the young women entrusted to their care. Archbishop Michael Kelly was appointed Visitor of the College and, in due course, the newly elected Council of eighteen members appointed Reverend Mother Margaret MacRory as the first Principal. The first students moved into the Hall in its current location on Missenden Road, after a time at City Road, at Leinster Hall, on 21 March, 1926. Dr O’Reilly, the Rector of St John’s College, said that the place was still uninhabitable, but they went anyway, happy to contend with the buiders everywhere, unpacked boxes, furniture in the corridors, floors to be sanded, and electric light still missing. Dust covered everywhere and three outer doors were non-existent.

On Sunday 21 March, three student nuns arrived, followed the next day by twenty young women, coming from all over the state. The Dining Room had to be painted, scrubbed and furnished just in time for their 6.30pm dinner. There were 23 women in the first cohort of students; three of them student nuns, and 20 lay students. Included were both undergraduate and graduate students, studying in the fields of Medicine, Law, Arts, Science and Education. One of the first students, Dr Dora Bye, then a second year medical student recalled that first day: “For all, the excitement was intense. It was the beginning of a new experience which lasted a lifetime. After the warm welcome by the loving Irish Head of our new home, Mother MacRory told us to go to our allotted shared rooms two floors above. Alas! The stairs were devoid of bannisters. The electric wiring had not yet been completed. The students, each carrying a lighted candle (we were wise virgins) began a hazardous ascent of the stairs. “A fearful Mother MacRory stood near the bottom of the stairs, holding her beads, urging everyone to “keep close to the wall. Take NO risks.” She called in a loud voice. “we must have NO accidents.”  Relieved when everyone reached the upper corridors, she gratefully uttered, “Thanks be to God.” “More shocks! We discovered there was NO hot water in the bathrooms. How we

The first students moved into the Hall in its current location on Missenden Road, after a time at City Road, at Leinster Hall, on 21 March, 1926.

suffered! Eventually we rejoiced in the warmth of many long and extended hots showers (but not that night”).” Three years later, in 1929, the Hall was raised by an Act of Parliament to the status of a College within the University of Sydney. It remained under the administration of the Religious of the Sacred Heart until December 1991, when the first lay Principal, Mrs Janice Raggio, was appointed. Over the years there have been many generous benefactors of the College, notably the Sheldon family. Lady Blanche Sheldon, a foundation member of the College Council, contributed the cost of the three-story wing facing Missenden Road and in 1957 Sir Mark and Lady Sheldon donated the Dining Hall, which bears their name.

Octagon building in 1963; the McDonald Wing in 1970; and the Vice-Principal’s and Principal’s flats in 1990 and 1993 respectively. Sancta Sophia Graduate House was officially opened by the Governor, Her Excellency Marie Bashir and blessed by Cardinal George Pell on 26 March 2014. Today, Sancta Sophia College houses up to 300 students, including undergraduate women and graduate men and women from a broad range of religious, social and ethnic backgrounds; studying a wide range of disciplines at the University of Sydney and other universities; and is administered by lay staff. The College continues to maintain strong links with the Religious of the Sacred Heart, and the College is a member of the Australian Sacré Coeur Association and of the worldwide alumnae association, AMASC. History taken from Wisdom Built Herself a House, by Sr Marie Kennedy.

Further additions have been made to the College over the years: the East Wing and kitchen were built in 1961; the

90 YEAR CELEBRATION EVENTS In 2016, we will mark the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the College with a number of events:  4 February 2 70s Club High Tea at the College from 2.00pm. 6 March 90th Anniversary Champagne in the Quad, at the College from 4pm 6pm. All members of the family are welcome. 30 April Sr Mary Shanahan Scholarship Fundraising Dinner, at the College from 6.30pm.  4 May 2 New York Reunion Drinks, The Plaza Hotel from 6.30pm.

 4 June 2 Hong Kong 90th Anniversary Reunion, cocktail function at the Hong Kong Club, from 6.30pm.  9 June 2 UK Alumni Drinks at the House of Lords, from 6.30pm.  0 July 3 90th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Alumni Awards.  0 August 2 ‘Swifty’ Book Launch and Mother Swift Bequest Society Luncheon, at the College from 12.30pm.

10 September Wisdom Forum with Kristina Keneally, 2pm at the College 6 November Memorial Mass at 11am followed by College Open Day noon - 4pm.  0 November 3 1956 Fresher Reunion, luncheon at the College from 12.30pm. Please see the enclosed program for further details. In addition, we are calling on all alumni and friends to share their pictorial memories of their days at the College via social media using #mysancta90.



Sancta TRAVELS ELIZABETH SHAW TAKES THE KOKODA YOUTH LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE FRESHER, Elizabeth Shaw recounts her recent trip to Kokoda. Trekking the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in September was the most magical, life changing experience, and I would do it all again in a heart beat. I was physically and mentally challenged to climb higher, to push harder and all the way gain a greater insight into myself, an appreciation of those walking beside me, those leading us and those beautiful people I met along the way, over 10 amazing days. Earlier this year I was awarded the Bill Hall Scholarship, offered to firstyear university students who are descendant from a World War II soldier. My great grandfather, Lieutenant Richard Evans, served with the 2/3 Australian Tank Attack Regiment in the Middle East, North Africa and later New Guinea. He survived the war and grew old at home in Wagga Wagga. He died five years ago aged 92, giving me plenty of time to get to know him. As a result of the scholarship, I had the opportunity to apply for the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge, by the RSL Services and Clubs Association. My brother was also a recipient of the Bill Hall Memorial Scholarship, and when we were both selected by RSL Clubs and Services Association we were both over the moon to be lucky enough to share such an amazing experience.



The emotional experience of trekking Kokoda is hard to explain. Deep inside I have a greater appreciation of what the men and women who served Australia all those years ago went through so today we can enjoy the freedom and lifestyle that we do. They gave their tomorrow so we could have our today, something many of us take for granted. The Kokoda Trail, our Australian Diggers and the courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice they showed is something most of us, sadly, know little about. I was guilty of this before being given the opportunity to trek Kokoda, and as such a vital part of our military history. I am so glad to have experienced and walked in the footsteps of our men to understand on a deeper level what really happened. I cannot explain how surreal it was to hear stories of men like Bruce Kingsbury – who was awarded a Victoria Cross for his brave actions on the Trail - only to be told you are standing right where they had died. Every briefing at every battle site was moving and really brought our own lives into perspective. As an 18 year old, it was hard to believe the average age of most of our troops was the same, something that really hit home on our last day on a visit to the Bomana Cemetery in Port Moresby, where rows upon rows of Australian

Left Liz celebrates at the top of a climb

soldiers now rest in peace, having made the ultimate sacrifice for Australia. While the trek was challenging at times, both mentally and physically, I had an awesome group of 30 other enthusiastic, encouraging, likeminded people to help me every step of the way – literally. One of the biggest highlights of the trip was meeting the villagers. I was astounded at how happy and content every man, woman and child who lived along the Trail was, despite living in such simple conditions. Spending time with these people soon made me aware of how simple life can be and how absorbing our ‘first world problems’ can be … it really puts your life journey into perspective. Since coming home, I’ve realised how easy we have it and have learnt to appreciate the little things. I want to make sure those who fought and died for our freedom are not forgotten. I feel like I can do anything now that I’ve overcome such a big challenge. After ascending a total of 7,895m and descending a total of 7,382m, there ‘ain’t no mountain high enough and ain’t no valley low enough’ that I can’t conquer.


ADVENTURE IN CHINA THIRD year student, Angela Di Georgio, travelled to Shanghai over the July break. The exchange was designed for students to gain exposure to China’s language, culture and history, as well as learning how business is done in China.

Above Dom with her friend Cristina Cantero from Spain

DOM ASKS THE HARD QUESTIONS IN GHENT SOPHOMORE, Dominica Ingui shares some insights about her travels to Belgium in late August. Earlier this year I was invited to an International Entrepreneurial Summer Camp, which was being hosted in the university town of Ghent, Belgium. This opportunity came to me through my studies of BCII – which stands for the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation, UTS’s flagship degree which seeks to combat Australia’s shifting commercial and economic climate. The aim of my short adventure to Belgium was to exchange ideas, share our passions and learn about how the spirit of entrepreneurship presents itself around the world. For those short two weeks, I lived in the student housing at Ghent University with 25 other delegates who travelled from across the world. On the weekends, I took the train across the country with my new friends, enjoying my small slice of European Summer with canal rides in Bruges, rummaging the Sunday

markets in Antwerp and connecting with my own Australian history in Ypres. We drank cherry beer, ate fritz with mayonnaise and it was on this trip that I rekindled my love of photography! Our project was to develop our own start-up. My team and I began with these questions: how can technology concurrently build up our social networks and isolate people in our community? What can we do to improve the relationship between technology and people? Together we developed a really fun and curious solution, consulting with university academics, local business owners, our entrepreneurial mentors, sending surveys out across the world to our home countries and drew upon all of our disciplines.

During the first two weeks of site visits in Shanghai and Beijing, the group visited Apple, Rio Tinto, the Australian Embassy and the U.S. Consulate, among many others. As Angela said, “This was followed by four weeks of study at Fudan University, where I took classes in Sino-American relations, international business and Mandarin, and fostered some great friendships with students from all over the world. “Living across the road from the main campus, close to many different restaurants and shops, was a great opportunity to experience more Chinese culture away from the more cosmopolitan CBD. “It’s so hard for me to pick just one highlight; I definitely learned something from every site visit, and was able to apply this in my studies at Fudan. For me though, being able to climb the Great Wall of China on a sunny day with clear blue skies (a rarity, I’m told!) with all of my USYD friends, then sharing a Peking Duck dinner with them later that evening was something I’ll never forget.”

The culture surrounding innovation, new approaches and collaboration in Belgium is so unlike anything we have in Australia – I hope to bring this insight to my daily interactions to make some sort of change here. Above Angela on the Great Wall




People’s CHOICE SANCTA postgraduate resident, Jana Vidiera Pinto, has taken out the People’s Choice Award at the Verge Awards for her artwork titled, Girl Disappearing. She was one of five finalists for the main prize in the fine arts-painting category. Jana will dedicate her prize to her charity in Africa. The Verge Awards aim to recognise and support creative University of Sydney students across a number of disciplines and styles. A total of $10,000 in prize money is awarded to winning applicants, judged by both industry professionals and by fellow students via an online voting system. UNDERGRADUATE, Alexis Weaver, was Runner Up in the Classical Composition

category for her electroacoustic piece Florilege, which was her major work in Composition in Semester 1.

Top Alexis and Jana at the Awards with Maryanne Pidcock and Dr Leech Above Jana’s Girl Disappearing

INTERCOL ORCHESTRA THE USyd Intercol Orchestra concert included six talented Sancta students, Alexis Weaver, Charlotte Webber, Zoe Halpin, Nicole Hwang, Amelia McNamara and Caitlin Gardner. The concert featured Beethoven and Mozart. Congratulations to all our exceptional musicians.



Above Katie Parkes with her second place piece

SANCTA students continued their fine form in the Palladian cultural competition in second semester, taking out the Vocal Ensemble section with the Small Choir. Senior, Josie Gibson, composed the winning piece for Small Choir and was instrumental in their success. In Palladian Art, Katie Parkes secured second place with Jana Pinto and Jeanne Hamman placing third for their collaborative artwork. Sancta’s students took out 3rd place in Group Drama with College is the New Black and Hannah Siemer and Sophie Matthews were Highly Commended in the same event. The strength of Sancta’s overall performance, which included 

Above The victorious Small Choir

Uni Blue

wins in Oration and Solo Drama in Semester 1, saw us run a very close second to winners St Andrew’s College.


The Victory Celebration for the Vocal Ensemble was a ‘Vinnies’ theme, which saw some outrageous dressing, and much fun was had by all.

Left Emily Ryan,far left, front row

EMILY Ryan was a well-deserved recipient of a University Blue for Athletics. Emily has had a difficult season with injury, but still managed to

lead the pack on many Intercol Athletic events, including taking out the 1500m race. Congratulations Emily.


Above Cultural Secretary, Caitlin Gardner and Small Choir leader, Josie Gibson, at the Victory Celebration.

OUR sporting teams and athletes have had another busy semester.

Left Carlee Millikin and our basketballers Above The Drama Ensemble performed College is the New Black

Above Sancta’s hockey team Below The soccer team

Above Victory celebrations




Christmas Dinner



Postgrad Harbour Cruise

Sancta Safari



REUNIONS UK Reception DR Marie Leech was the guest speaker at the UKUSAA (UK University of Sydney Alumni Association) Summer Reception held in July. She caught up with Sancta alumni at the Reception and they headed off for supper afterwards. Below Ina Hoxha, Dr Marie Leech, Sir Michael Hintze and Hilaire Graham

1965 Reunion SANCTA was thrilled to welcome back the Freshers of 1965 for a luncheon in October.

Brisbane Drinks MAJELLA Pollard (FR ’88) second from right, kindly hosted drinks for Sancta alumni at her office at Clayton Utz in Brisbane in November. Armidale ON a chilly evening in August, Dr Marie Leech caught up with some Armidale-based Sancta alumna. Left Eugenia Lee (PG 14) Dr Marie Leech, Maree King (FR ’62) and Anne Cunningham (FR ’60)



Drinks in the Capital SANCTA’S Canberra based alumni met with the Principal at the Commonwealth Club in late September for an evening of drinks and an update on the College as it is today. There was rousing applause when Dr Leech mentioned that Sr Mary Shanahan is back at the College to assist and mentor our current students. Below Dr Marie Leech (centre left) with Sancta’s Canberra based alumni


1995 Reunion THE Freshers of 1995 returned to the College in August and enjoyed a long evening of catching up.

1975 Reunion 25 Freshers from 1975 returned to celebrate 40 years since they first started in November.

Beijing Reunion Dr Marie Leech caught up with Anne Burraston (FR ‘89) and Holly Dong (PG ’08) in Beijing, seen here with Vice Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence.

1955 Reunion The Freshers of 1955 enjoyed lunch on the rooftop of Graduate House in December.

Ina and the BARONESS FOLLOWING the UK Summer Reception, Ina Hoxha (PG ’12) contacted Baroness Gardner of Parkes (FR ’45) and was invited for tea at the House of Lords. AS Ina wrote, “The Baroness is so lovely and generous and agreed to host me straightaway. “I went there on the last sitting day before the recess. One of the questions before the House was on

health and she got up and spoke so I got to see her in action! “WE then had tea and such a wonderful chat -she gave me some excellent career and life advice. She also introduced me to a number of people, including Baron Donoughue who had some fascinating stories from when he worked for Robert Maxwell. He also took the photo of us that you have here!”



My perceptions of what it would be like were blown away by the actual scale of the place and how organised it was inside; it was like a small city of tents with markets, schools and a social structure. I discovered that there were refugees who had been born inside the camp and grown up to marry and have children of their own.

Edwina with her award for Best Photojournalism

The idea that someone could be stuck inside a camp their whole life was horrible. The people were hungry and desperate and after talking to UN social workers I realised I wanted to focus my photo storytelling on the vulnerability of women and children inside the camp.

EDWINA RECOGNISED BY UN ALUMNA, Edwina Pickles (FR ‘95) took out the Best Photojournalism Award at the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards in October for her work titled “The world’s largest refugee camp”. Edwina, who is a SMH photographer takes us behind the scenes of the photoshoot. What is the story behind the photos? Dadaab is situated in Eastern Kenya, on the border of Somalia and home to a population of 355,000 refugees. The camp was established in 1991 and about 95 per cent of the population are Somalian. Even though it is a place of sanctuary for hundreds of thousands of people escaping conflict, life is harsh inside the camp. With 200,000 people under the age of 18, children are vulnerable to sexual assault and girls are forced into marriage.



How did you find yourself in Dadaab, Kenya? I was in Africa for 2-3 weeks covering humanitarian stories for my employer Fairfax Media, The Sydney Morning Herald. I was only inside Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya for less than a week, sleeping just outside the camp in accommodation for UN workers staying with Save the Children. It was the first refugee camp that I had been to and it was the largest one in the world. My perceptions of what it would be like were blown away by the actual scale of the place and how organised it was inside, it was like a small city of tents with markets, schools and a social structure. I discovered that there were refugees who had been born inside the camp and grown up to marry and have children of their own.

When a social worker told me and a journalist that there are many child brides, I knew that was one of the stories I wanted to tell. The security was extremely strict and it took a while to even get inside the camp. I knew this was a dangerous assignment but within the first hour of arriving, I was told of a kidnapping attempt on a female foreign aid worker by armed bandits just prior to our arrival, most likely Islamist militias such as Al-Shabaab. This did make me a little uneasy and I hadn’t yet seen anything. We were given strict guidelines as to what we could do to keep safe, we had a curfew and a police escort in a convoy everywhere we went. I remember been disappointed that I would not be able to shoot when the light was best in early morning and late afternoon and I was not allowed to freely walk around. I worried that this would affect my photography. What sort of impact did the visit have on you? Seeing this refugee camp did have an impact on me, I had never seen so many desperate people. I had to jump out of the way when hundreds of refugees forced the gate open to a feeding centre. So many people have no idea what is going on in these refugee camps and I wanted to tell their story. I felt honoured and proud to be in a position

where I could do this. Even though I photographed hardship, I like to photograph moments of hope too, the memory of children playing with their dolls, dancing or kicking the soccer ball stays with me, they were like children anywhere in the world and making the best out of a bad situation. Winner United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award 2015 - Best Photojournalism Award, Judges Comments, Edwina Pickles – Photojournalism Winner Finalist comments Edwina Pickles’ work, The world’s largest refugee camp, explores the lives of women and children inside the Dadaab refugee camp. As the synopsis explains, the camp has a population of 355,000, providing sanctuary from the violence of the region’s conflicts for the predominantly Somali population. But life in the camp remains harsh. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, with sexual assault and forced marriages representing a serious risk to the health and safety of girls. The photographs highlight the resilience of women and children, their ability to adapt and get on with living where safety is provided. They also underline the role of women in nurturing the next generation, underscoring the importance of educating women to reduce the impact of violence on the future of the next generation. Winner comments The photographs are engaging and touching, and employ a strong aesthetic, especially in terms of colour palette and composition. Overall, this is a powerful submission and, which, as the supporting material shows, has reached a broader audience, leading to increased public awareness and understanding. It uses the medium to effectively highlight a pressing humanitarian issue by providing a perspective that is both sympathetic and informative.




UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT Dr. Alexandra Murray When were you at Sancta and what are your favourite memories? I was a student at Sancta from 20042007 and a staff member in the first semester of 2008. My favourite memories are the daily life at Sancta – walking into the Dining Hall after a late class and seeing all my friends sitting around a table, formal dinners, parties, funny phone messages, and just the fun we had all the time. Who do you stay in touch with from your College days? There is a group of us who still stay in touch (who I mentioned sat together at least once a day at mealtimes) and meet whenever and wherever we get the chance. Unfortunately, we are scattered all over the world at the moment, so opportunities are becoming rare but that makes them all the more special. As it is with best friends, we start where we left off, often years ago. In a serendipitous moment I met a Sancta friend by accident at Hampton Court Palace in London, we couldn’t have timed our meeting better if we had planned it! I also have many Sancta girls as Facebook friends so even if we don’t keep in touch very regularly, I am always happy to hear updates as to when, where, and how they are. I love to hear about some of the amazing work my fellow students are now doing. How did Sancta shape your life? Looking back, when I arrived at Sancta I was 17 years old and, after moving from rural New South Wales, I was in a very impressionable time of my life. The fun, friendship, and compassion that Sancta staff and fellow students gave me made my time at the University of Sydney immensely special. Sancta life also provided many opportunities to develop leadership skills, being involved in different teams, work on interesting



projects, and meet some people who will be my friends and contacts for life. I still draw on these skills in my personal and professional life today. I also think Sancta showed me how naturally women can take on leadership positions, in all career paths and excel personally and professionally. I hope I never lose this attitude and the current and future Sancta students also develop the spirit of open possibility. What degree(s) have you completed? In addition to my Honours Degree in Psychology in the University of Sydney, I completed a DPhil in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. My college in Oxford reminded me a lot of Sancta, especially the well in the centre of the main courtyard. St Edmund Hall (affectionately known as “Teddy Hall” or just “Hall”) dates back to the thirteenth century. The idea of so many students being part of a college, studying in the same buildings, sitting exams, in similar circumstances for hundreds of years, was just so fascinating and almost overwhelming at times. I hope Sancta will also enjoy such a long and rich history. What is your occupation? I have just completed a three year postdoc conducting research in the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy in the University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf. This topic was quite different from my DPhil work in Cognitive Neuroscience, but I found the practical application of the research interesting and rewarding. Psychosomatic medicine examines the

interface between mental and physical health and how they influence each other. Unfortunately, this is an area of medicine which is unfortunately relatively rare in Australia, so it was very interesting to learn about the German approach. In my final year I also worked in University administration helping support, develop, and improve the international strategy of the hospital and its implementation. I found this very interesting and rewarding and I hope I can move more into this field in the future. What are your life highlights? Growing up on a Macadamia farm in northern New South Wales was very special and in many ways idyllic for a child. Of course my time at Sancta was particularly special and all the friends I made during this time are so dear to me. I was also thrilled to get to go to Oxford. In particular, meeting the love of my life at the opening drinks for the middle common room, the day before my DPhil officially started. Now, more than seven years later we are living in southern Germany and have the chance to travel around Europe. I do miss Australia though! Any words of wisdom you’d like to pass on to the Sancta students and alumni? I would encourage Sancta students and alumni to always stay open to the opportunities to learn and grow and expand your horizons. It is never too late. Regardless of what we are doing or our current struggles or setbacks, always trying to learn from it and “Walk in Wisdom”

Joan Hume honoured at University of Sydney


SANCTA alumna Joan Hume OAM (FR ’65) was one of just four alumni recognised at the recent prestigious University of Sydney Alumni Awards. Joan received the Alumni Award for Community Achievement for her advocacy work for people with disabilities and her tireless efforts to improve disability services across the country and internationally.

CONGRATULATIONS >> Sancta’s Conference and Event Coordinator, Louise Sunderland and husband Drew are the proud new parents of baby Cooper John. >> Lee Lewis (FR ’89), Artistic Director of the Griffin Theatre Company, was named in the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence in 2015 See more: brand/100women/transformingeffect-on-public-life-20150917gjox7g

Above Baby Cooper


The entire Sancta community congratulates Joan on this well-deserved recognition. More information about her award can be found at awards/2015/joan-hume.shtml

Rosmarie with the stone capital that she donated to the College

SANCTA is sad to announce the passing of a great friend of the College, Rosmarie Samuelson, in mid November. Rosmarie was a wonderful supporter of the College and generously donated a number of artworks for the beautification of our walls, limoge china and French lacework, and the capital that has pride of place in the Quad. Rosmarie was a founding member of the Mother Swift Bequest Society. Above Joan Hume is presented with her University of Sydney Alumni Award by Provost, Professor Stephen Garton

She will be remembered for her intelligence, poise and immense kindness. In particular, she will be remembered for her love of beauty – in art, music, philosophy and her belief in the goodness of humanity. The message the College received about her passing encapsulates her great spirit: “Rosmarie flew to Heaven in the early hours of 10th November 2015 to be reunited with her loved ones.”

Rosmarie died peacefully at home after a long battle with illness.



Supporting SANCTA THIS year has been another positive one in terms of growing community support for the College and we are so thankful to everyone who has participated in our many alumni events and given so generously to the College – through their time as volunteers and importantly, financially. The numbers of Sancta’s supporters have grown steadily this year and together with your help, we have been able to assist over 20% of our students in some way. However, again applications for support vastly outnumber our capacity to help all those in need. We have received 98 applications from current students for support in 2016, and then there’s the help

Above Shayne Brown, Mary Smoker and Dr Marie Leech at the Donor Thank You Drinks Left Georgina Gosbell, Sr Mary Shanahan and Therese Catanzariti

needed by new students starting next year. As a result, we are asking for your help to support 20 Excellence and Participation Scholarships to the value of $1500 for existing students for next year. Many of these students are self-supporting, yet still manage to gain outstanding academic results and throw themselves headlong into the full range of College activities – they embody what being at College is all about: seizing the opportunity to be involved, to explore and extend yourself. As a means of expressing our thanks to the many people who have contributed to Sancta this year, we held a drinks

We have also been working with the University of Sydney so that our donors can be recognised as part of the University recognition program as well. We should be able to announce how this will work in the near future. Thank you to all our very generous supporters. The power of your generosity is transforming the lives of many young people at Sancta, who are sure to go on to be part of the solution of many of the world’s and humanity’s problems. Your gift is not only for today, but generations to come.



SECURING funds for the Sr Mary Shanahan Scholarship will be a key initiative next year with a fundraising dinner to be held at the College on 30 April. Please put this in your diary.

THIS year’s lunch was another wonderful event. We were honoured to have Thalia Stevens (FR ‘ 70) and Patricia Powell (FR ’58) recall their memories of their day’s with ‘Swifty’.

If you are interested in joining the Committee for the Dinner and/or making a gift to the Scholarship, please contact Michele Dunn on 02 9577 2347.


reception at the Union, University and Schools Club in early November.


Joan de Carvalho represented Fernanda de Carvalho (FR ’44), who was posthumously inducted into the Mother Swift Bequest Society. Part of Fernanda’s bequest is being used for the publication of Fr Edmund Campion’s book on Mother Swift, which will be launched at the Bequest Society Lunch on 20 August next year.


Every gift to Sancta is greatly appreciated and makes a very real impact.

THANK you to the donors who have supported the College in 2015. Your philanthropy directly benefited almost 60 students and enabled us to add new programs and services. Ms Jane Banfield Ms Shayne Brown Ms San Mary Bryan Dr Monica Bullen Mrs Maree Callinan Dr Mary Elizabeth Campbell Mrs Karen Carter Ms Therese Catanzariti Mr Frank Chiu Mrs Paula Choi Mr and Mrs Steve and TJ Christie Mrs Elizabeth Clarke Mr Tim Condon Dr Clare Cunningham OAM Mr & Mrs Sheldon and Rebecca Dalton Sr Margaret D’Ath Ms Maria de Carvalho Ms Marian Diesner Mrs Winsome Duffy Dr Christopher Duggan and Dr Elizabeth Willsteed Ms Isabelle Duggan Professor Emma Duncan

Thank you to the following individuals and families*:

Ms Catherine Duncan Ms Michele Dunn Mrs Penelope Earp The Archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP Ms Catherine Fitzgerald Ms Jann Gardner Mr Mazyar Ghaffari Ms Catherine Gibson Prof Maree Gleeson OAM Mrs Deanna Goddard Ms Susan Gore Mrs Elizabeth Haddad Ms Philippa Hayes Mrs Margaret Hetherton Ms Gwen Higgins Ms Patricia Horsley Ms Carolyn Housego Mrs Genevieve Kairaits Dr Colleen Kane Miss Nan Kelly Dr Susan Kelly Mr Mark Krynda Ms Danuta Kucharska Mrs Jennifer Laffan

Mr Clive Lamond Ms Sarah Landers Ms Rachel Launders Dr Joyce Law Miss Audrey Lee Dr Marie Leech Mr Francis Lim Dr Ann Long Mrs Margaret Macnamara Dr Jane Mah Ms Naomi Malone Ms Kathryn Mason Ms Michelle Morris Dr Nobutaka Nakazono Ms Catriona O’Sullivan Ms Angela Parham The Pidcock Family Ms Jan Payten Ms Patricia Powell Mrs Janice Raggio Mrs Helen Robson Mr Gerard Ryan Ms Marianne Scarfe Dr Bernie Schedvin Ms Joanne Seve

Ms Patricia Shannon Mrs Mary Smoker Ms Alison Stephen Dr Ann Stephenson Ms Caroline Stewart Dr Grant Stone Ms Kerri Stone Dr Janette Sullivan Ms Pamela Suttor Dr Deborah Veitch Ms Louise Walsh Mrs Sarah Walters Mrs Katrina Wilkes Mrs Gem Wolstenholme Mr George Wolstenholme Mrs Jenny Yeung Ms Felicity Youl ~ Plus 4 donors who wish to remain anonymous * Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. if you believe there has been some error, please accept our sincere apologies. Please contact Michele Dunn on 02 9577 2347 at anytime.

EXCELLENCE AND PARTICIPATION SCHOLARSHIP Please help us recognise the efforts and determination of our highly involved and active students with a donation to an Excellence and Participation Scholarship

Payment options


Direct Deposit Sancta Sophia College Principal’s Account Westpac BSB 032 030, Account Number 75 0001

Email Phone Address

Please include the word EP15 donation and your name in the payment description for accounting purposes

Suburb State

Cheque Money Order Please make cheques/Money orders payable to Sancta Sophia College


Please accept my gift of:  $50

  $100

  $500

  $1,000

  $5,000

  $10,000

  Other

Credit Card     Visa     Mastercard     Amex

or scan and email to Michele Dunn,

Card Number: _   _   _    _ | _    _    _   _ | _   _   _   _ | _    _  _    _

or donate online

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Please return this form to Sancta Sophia College, 8 Missenden Rd, Camperdown NSW 2050




Back Row Joe Levy, Michael Deighton, Patrick Baker, Nick Piper, Xavier Frawley, Dominic Donaldson, William Adamson, Kieran Muir, Akash Arora, James Hall, Rohit Bhattacharya, Josie Gibson, Martin Kamata.

7th Row Jack Kelly, Alexander To, Yifan (Emily) Guo, Madeleine Sanson, Laura Bennett, Jessica Worne, Stephanie Johnstone, Ashley Hanes, Amelia Hagley, Sarah McMahon, Erica Baker, Lauren Yuile, Tessa Lo, Elizabeth Gatens, Hoi Ying (Patricia) Yip, Vicky Chu, Hamish Kelly, Brian Halverson, Jonathon Khoo, Kevin Dong, Joshua Preece.

6th Row Taylor Holland, Kate Beasley, Jeanne Hamman, Alice Dormer, Bridgette Clarke, Julia Vincent, Moira Gillespie, Amilee Srethbhakdi, Alexandra Crawford, Emily Sharpe, Serehnonn Atkinson, Yelana Bryant, Rhianna Boyldew, Zoe Halpin, Nicola Peat, Isabella Russo, Drew Trahms, Yudi Chen, Abigail Kwaw, Melanie Stevenson, Yining Zhang, Sasha Brakspear, Justine Landis-Hanley, Christie Goh, AnĂŠ Coetzee, Ellen Weekes.

5th Row Camilla Pascoe, Elizabeth Collins, Ellen McNeil, Kathryn Wales, Jessica Aneja, Sarah Martland, Madeline Ryan, Kate Fowler, Sophia Shannon, Madeleine Stenmark, Elizabeth Shaw, Kathleen Cusack, Ellen Vincent, Erin O’Brien, Phoebe McGrath, Emmet Gillespie, Olivia Epworth, Genevieve Scribner, Rowena Yeung, Claudia Chiu, Maya Packer, Grace Gibson, Sophie Arthur, Peta McGrath, Brittany Klaassens, Zihan Xu.

4th Row Simone Windrim, Katherine Schuessler, Amelia-Anne Merz, Philippa Warden, Charlotte Webber, Philippa Reynolds, Georgia Lack, Abbie Chugg, Julia Mathers, Lucinda Derrick, Miranda Cooper, Emma Pullinen, Dominica Ingui, Maraia Pickering, Catherine Zilberg, Ann Bevan, Brittaney Banks, Genevieve Firmer, Alexis Weaver, Claire Bonham, Phillipa Blake, Lucy Thompson, Jordan Brodie, Hannah Siemer, Mary Hutchinson, Alicia Choo.

3rd Row Premeet Sidhu, Zhiyun Ding, Ellena Holm, Claire Ingram, Alice Connors, Felicity Henderson-Wilson, Madeline de Dassel, April Alcock, Erina Watanabe, Nicole Hwang, Anne- Laure Paquot, Thahabah Alharthi, Mekhala Anjaria, Jeanine Webb Beaudry, Sophie Ootes, Xiaoyi Wang, Mengni Liu, Grace Pang, Cai Ping (Beatrice) Goh, Yage Song, Katelyn Reid, Lucy Maher, Jessica McKenzie, Olivia Evershed, Kanae Konishi, Amelia McNamara, Eloise Whipper, Trang Vo

2nd Row Keara Beatrix Chan, Meghan Williamson, Natalie Archer, Emily Puckeridge, Cecilija Rubenis, Hannah Marshall, Yinhong Ouyang, Jacqueline Krynda, Georgia Carroll, Taneika Dalton, Rachel Kotow, Myriarm Song, Jenny Chiang, Amanda Chan, Rachel Cossetto, Clara Fittler, Elizabeth Gamboa, Ruth Scott, Ruby MacDonald, Madalyn Busby, Jessica Blunt, Sophie Brown, Madeline Bowden, Aili Langford, Kate Dean, Yi Yun Low, Emily Frazer, Rosie Iervasi.

Front Row Rochelle McLennan, Casey Chien, Kristie Kuhn, Haruna Yaku, Georgia Gunn, Katherine Parkes, Gabrielle De Mattia, Sophie Matthews, Lucy Burrows, Elsie Chang, Alice Kettle, Emily Ryan, Maryanne Pidcock (Vice Principal), Marie Leech (Principal), Harry Lusk, Victoria McGregor, Penelope Noble, Harriet Wolstenholme, Carlee Millikin, Francesca Earp, Caitlin Gardner, Katrina Thomas, Hannah Barnett, Daanisha Mistry, Anjali Israni, Isabella Barrett, Amy Ong.

Sancta Sophia College Alumni and Friends Magazine  

December 2015

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