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huddle JUNE I 2012

St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School

from the principal

I am often asked to describe some of the significant characteristics of our school. It is easy to describe a school where students feel safe and comfortable; where more than 30 subjects are offered in our endeavour to provide a quality and challenging education for all students or to outline the many extra-curricular activities students can choose to do. I can talk about the quality teaching and learning experiences, our focus on teaching girls, on excellent pedagogical practice and professional and enthusiastic staff. At the heart of our school though are the relationships that exist between students, staff and throughout our school family. This, I hope, reflects the philosophy of our founders and owners, The Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent, whose own philosophy is, to prepare a place for God in our own hearts and minds and in the world in which we live. This year we have hosted a number of events including the blessing and Karen Spiller Principal

dedication of the Sr Elisabeth bronze and a morning tea for students for their 50 year reunion. On these occasions I enjoy receiving feedback such as: “It was a lovely day, sharing collective memories of our assembled group and our opportunity to meet with the lively Junior School alumni group and sit with these wonderful young people and learn first-hand of their day-to-day schedules and the challenges they face in the world, so different from that which we experienced way back in the 40s. Whenever I visit St Aidan’s those distant memories always come flooding back to me. The old familiar school buildings may have disappeared, they were but the firm foundation on which the wonderful school we see today has been established. However I can see the St Aidan’s spirit is still

St Aidan’s

truly alive and well in your hearts and that the warm, friendly, family atmosphere


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we knew in our school days has not been lost”. Our school magazine, over the years, echoes similar sentiments whether it is Mrs Hartland, our first Head, or students from the first class in 1929 who returned for our 75th celebrations in 2004. They advise that no matter what physical changes are made to the school, what remains at the heart of what we do and are as a school, is the relationship that we have with ourselves, one another and our God. As you enjoy the first edition of the Huddle for 2012, I am sure you will agree that the relationships that sit firmly at the heart of all we do are firmly embedded in our daily life. At the same time, our students enjoy the very best of a quality, academic curriculum.

Karen Spiller

Cover Photography by Lachlan Gardiner

sis ter s of the sacred advent

Mother Eunice celebrates 30 On Tuesday, 1 May, the St Aidan’s community gathered in the Christine Hartland Centre to celebrate Mother Eunice’s 30 years as leader of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent. Well known to generations of girls at both St Aidan’s and St Margaret’s, Mother Eunice began her journey with the sisters in 1965, when she arrived as a visitor to the Community for one month. She then became a postulant for six months, then novice for two years, before making her Simple Profession on 21 August 1967. This year, she celebrates 45 years professed, and 30 years as Mother. Mother Eunice has served in missions in the Torres Strait, worked as a kindergarten teacher at Margate and Yeronga, and also lived and worked at the Sisters’ school St Catharine’s in Warwick. Mother Eunice also spent seven years as a teacher at another Sisters’ school,


St Anne’s in Townsville. Up until this year, Mother Eunice has been a member of both the St Aidan’s and St Margaret’s School Councils, and the Sisters’ Trust. She remains on the Trust and still is an integral force at both schools.

“What we also see in Mother is a tenderness and kindness for others, a patience and an understanding that is uncommon and these qualities are matched by a sharpness of mind and a great wisdom borne of experience and deep thought. Mother Eunice provides a role model for all of us.”

At the special assembly, Principal Karen Spiller spoke in admiration of Mother Eunice’s strong commitment to others, and her life devoted to service and faith. “In her we see a role model for a number of key themes and for the philosophy of our school,” Mrs Spiller said. “Living her life as a Christian witness is what we see from Mother on a daily basis. She is a fine example of the sisters’ philosophy, ‘to prepare a place for God in our hearts and minds, in our school community and in the world in which we live’.”

Mother Eunice with School Captain Kate Pidgeon and Vice Captain Madeleine Colquhoun

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When robogals founder, Marita Cheng, was presented with the 2012 award for Young Australian of the Year, many people became aware of the critical shortage of females in engineering. In her acceptance speech, Ms Cheng pointed out that less than 10 percent of engineers in Australia were women, and only 10 percent of engineering students were female.


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senior school St Aidan’s students are starting to buck this trend, with a number of girls going on to study engineering and other nontraditional career pathways at university following high school. A group of Year 9 and 10 students were recently given first-hand experience into the working life of an engineer when they joined more than 100 female high school students from around Brisbane for The Power of Engineering event at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Organised by the State Government’s Office for Women, the purpose of the event was to expose girls to the numerous and varied career paths available in the engineering field, particularly in the resources and energy sectors. In workshops, students ran scientific tests on renewable energy, water filtration and material strength. They then had the opportunity to witness the work carried out by electrical, civil and mechanical engineers at various sites around the city. St Aidan’s students were mentored by young AECOM engineer, Felicity Brody, who said it was important for girls to have a thorough understanding of engineering and how it empowered women to change the world. “Women on project teams are a win for the culture and performance of that team. They can bring a new or different perspective to a problem, which in my experience can lead to new or more effective solutions to challenges,” Ms Brody said on the QUT website. St Aidan’s students are also continuing to achieve national and international recognition in science and engineering through the Australian Space Design Competition, this year scooping up first place for the third time. huddle I june 2012


ssport en iinoseason r s c hoo l science (continued)

The competition finals, held at the University of Queensland, required the team to prepare a tender response to a major infrastructure project located in space. This year’s project was created by a group of 30 students, 13 of whom were from St Aidan’s, in a period of just over 24 hours. Each team was required to design a settlement called Cassandras that would accomodate over 5,000 people and travel between Mars and Earth every three months. The culmination of the weekend was a 30-minute presentation delivered by the team, in front of a panel of expert judges. Year 12 student, Sarah Krause, was judged Best Female Presenter. Winning the competition means that six students from St Aidan’s now have the opportunity to represent Australia at the International Space Settlement Design Competition, held in the United States in July. With St Aidan’s students continuing to achieve national and international recognition in science and engineering, it seems the sky is no longer the limit to what our girls can achieve.

Winifred Davenport

Australia’s first female engineer While women are today reaching new heights in the field of engineering, it was the achievements of one St Aidan’s Old Girl who first blazed the trail in the profession. Marjorie Winifred Davenport, OAM, became Australia’s first female engineer after earning a Bachelor in Engineering and a Corporate Membership of the Institutions of Engineers. Known always by her middle name of Winifred, Ms Davenport graduated St Aidan’s in 1941 with solid grades in the Senior Public Examinations across Mathematics I and II, English, Geography and Logic.

design of the Manly Boat Harbour and the government survey ship, Trigla. She also gained her Master Mariner’s Certificate through her work in the engine rooms of Moreton Bay cruise vessels SS Koopa and MV Mirimar.

She went on to lead a successful 47-year career in Queensland as a maritime engineer.

Ms Davenport also authored the book, History of the Harbours and Marine Department, which traces the movement of shipping in Brisbane’s harbour from 1845, and the names of passengers on board.

Following in the footsteps of her father, she was first employed as a cadet draughts-person at Evans Deakin, while studying mechanical and electrical engineering at the Queensland Technical College by night. At that time, Ms Davenport was one of only three women enrolled in the course. In 1950 she then joined the Harbours and Marine Department as an associate engineer, and shortly after was honoured with membership to the Institute of Engineers and later, the Royal Institute of Naval Architects. Ms Davenport would remain at the Harbours and Marine Department until she retired in 1989. Her other achievements throughout a lifetime of work included assisting in the


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When Ms Davenport sadly passed away in 2004, Pamela Davenport, also a former St Aidan’s pupil, fondly remembered her older cousin as an affectionate, determined young woman with a particular passion for mathematics and animals. “My earliest memories of Winifred go back to her years at St Aidan’s School in Corinda where she kept a close eye on my safety and wellbeing and always thought of me as her young cousin – even at my increasingly advanced age,” Ms Pamela Davenport said. Ms Davenport was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 1990, for her services and dedication to the field of engineering.

We congratulate the Honours Awardees Recipients for Year 12, 2011 Bachelor Medicine/Bachelor Surgery

Emily Sawyer

Bachelor of Vision Science QUT

University of Western Sydney

Anna Scott

Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Arts UQ

Claire Bazeley

Bachelor of Architectural Design UQ

Pilar Shand

Bachelor of Veterinary Science JCU

Elise Biddle

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Fashion) QUT Youna Shin

Imogen Andrews

Bachelor of Engineering UQ

has chosen to change next Semester to Psychology,

JiHee Song

Bachelor of Pharmacy UQ

Communication and Advertising at UQ

Odette Trigger

Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences UQ

Hayley Changuion

Bachelor of Speech Pathology UQ

Felicity Upham

Bachelor of Pharmacy UQ

Sarah Clouston

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws UQ

Hilary van Herwaarden

Bachelor of Engineering/

Amelia Dunn

Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of Laws QUT

deferred until 2013

Bachelor of Arts UQ

Hannah Voroteliak

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy UQ

Laurel English

Accepted into Bachelor of Behavioural

Sarah Walker

Accepted into Bachelor of Occupational

Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Laws QUT -

Therapy UQ - deferred and has chosen to change to

Bachelor of Arts next Semester

has chosen to change to a Bachelor of Science Bronte Ford

Bachelor of Engineering UQ

Phoebe Webb

Bachelor of Engineering/

Alice Freemantle

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws UQ

Bachelor of Arts UQ

Charlotte Greene

Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Creative

Katie Wheatley

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws UQ

Industries QUT

Kate Whelan

Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of

Emily Howard

Bachelor of Music QUT

Commerce UQ

Jane Hutchinson

Bachelor of Science UQ

Violet Zhu

Eeunyeong Lee

Bachelor of Medical Imaging Science QUT

Rose Leonforte

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws UQ

Lauren Macdonald

Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of

Business Management UQ

Imogen McCluskey

Bachelor of Arts UQ

Stephanie Miller

Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Arts UQ

Miranda Murray-Douglass

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws UQ

Bridie Nagle

Bachelor of Business Management/

Bachelor of Arts UQ

Bachelor of Pharmacy UQ

hss chosen to change to Commerce in 2013 Nina Nguyen

Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of

Information Technology QUT

Billie Parkinson

Bachelor of Business Management/

Bachelor of Laws UQ

Sarah Phelps

Bachelor of Design (Architectural Studies)


Eve Pinkerton

Bachelor of Biomedical Science UQ

Isabella Prowse

Bachelor of Physiotherapy UQ

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kindergarten St Aidan’s newest – and smallest – students have hit the ground running, in the opening year of the reintroduced St Aidan’s Kindergarten program.

A 2009 government report revealed that as few as 30 percent of Queensland children accessed a kindergarten program taught by qualified early childhood teachers, for as little as 11 to 16 hours a week. The report identified the importance of Kindergarten for increasing student performance, developing formative skills and promoting a smooth transition to early schooling. For St Aidan’s Kindergarten teacher Shaleen Prowse, the vision in her classroom is simple: to provide the highest quality kindergarten program available, within a safe, secure and supportive Christian environment. “The kindergarten program at St Aidan’s is based on a pursuit of excellence in early childhood education,” Mrs Prowse said.

“St Aidan’s aims to develop each child’s sense of emerging independence, resilience and sense of selfidentity through the carefully crafted combination of independent play opportunities, teachable moments and specialist lessons.” The curriculum emphasises hands-on learning experiences designed to encourage social, emotional, physical, communicative and intellectual abilities. Daily activities include specialist music and language lessons, as well as art, dance and dramatic play.


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junior school Mrs Prowse said she was enjoying the change from her previous role as an Australian Curriculum and Principal Project Officer for the Queensland Studies Authority, where she was developing resources for the Kindergarten Learning Guidelines. “Standing behind a lectern and speaking for a few hours is very different to taking a train trip, creating a hairdressing salon and then pretending to go to the beach (and that was just on a Tuesday). I love it, I feel like I am home,� she said.

Masters. G. (2009). .

A Shared Challenge: Improving Literacy, Numeracy and Science Learning in Queensland Primary Schools.

r the Enrolments fo r ten 2013 kinderga program are NOW OPEN

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This year puts the spotlight on books, as celebrations for the

National Year of reading steps up across St Aidan’s.

The year aims to promote a strong focus on reading, with students from Kindergarten to Year 12 learning about the importance of literacy and storytelling. Author, Richard Newsome, joined students and staff at a school assembly in February to launch the festivities, which included reading competitions, author talks and a book fair. A successful book drive also took place in Term 2, providing much needed donations to remote school children in Papua New Guinea. Parents and students of all ages were also treated to an evening with award-winning author Jackie French, who shared her stories about the challenges and joys of being a writer. In the Junior School, younger students are building their literacy skills through a new weekly “Story Time” in the library, where staff members read aloud their favourite stories during lunchtime. Later in the year, students will also get the chance to participate in the annual Junior School Book Parade, with this year’s theme Champion’s Read. Head of Senior Library Services, Kristen Lewis, said the events had created much excitement towards books within the school community, the true aim of the year. “A strong reading culture exists at St Aidan’s, and through recreational reading programs in both the Junior and Senior School students are exposed to a wide variety of books,” Mrs Lewis said. “While challenging us to read more, it is also a way to remind ourselves that reading is one of the great pleasures of life.”


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The inspiring vision of one past student has helped St Aidan’s to share the gift of education. After graduating as a chiropractor from Melbourne University, Cate Andrews (2002), embarked on a life-changing trip to Zimbabwe, the country where her parents first met. Not ready to begin her professional life in Australia, Ms Andrews spent time meeting with contacts in Angola and Tanzania, volunteering her services as she travelled. Ms Andrews has this year returned to Zimbabwe to meet with the Matetsi community, the health minister, and the education minister to set up an education program with her charity, Volunteer Mission Africa. Inspired by Ms Andrew’s vision, St Aidan’s students have been given a wonderful opportunity to share the gift of education with others. At present, children in the Matetsi Village have a school building but no staff. This year, St Aidan’s aims to raise $5,000 to provide funding for a teacher’s salary and school resources. The School’s student groups have worked creatively to reach our target. The International Students’ Group was the first to contribute, with funds raised from a successful kebab stall. Global Shield and Interact then combined

their energies to promote a Free Dress Day, followed by a charity film evening at the Graceville Regal Twin cinemas. This event also proved to be a great night for renewing friendships, with recently graduated St Aidan’s Old Girls coming along to support the efforts of the groups’ newly appointed executive boards. Year 8 students also committed to raising funds for the Matetsi students, baking cupcakes for their first year level charity venture. Later in the year, senior students will take advantage of running an artefact stall for the final push in achieving their target. Ms Andrews will return to St Aidan’s later this year to provide a first-hand account of her most recent experiences in Zimbabwe. In addition to financial assistance, Ms Andrews is hoping to establish a pen-pal program between the two schools. As the relationship between the schools continues to develop, this shows our students how serving others can make a significant difference in the world. Wendy Lauman Dean of Students

Reverend Paul Bland, Senior Chaplain

Meet our Chaplains

It has been a period of transition for chaplaincy at St Aidan’s. This year in the experienced hands of Reverend Paul Bland and Reverend Clarry White, the spiritual life of St Aidan’s continues to flourish.

It’s been a long journey from a teacher in schools in rural and regional Queensland to the chaplain’s office here at St Aidan’s. I’ve already made two attempts at retiring; I never expected to finish my professional life in a girls’ school. Almost all my work has been in co-educational settings. Then I came out of retirement to fill a gap at Churchie. The transition to St Aidan’s was easier after that.

What does your role as Chaplain involve? My work at St Aidan’s involves some teaching, leading worship and lots of pastoral care to staff, students and families. We have to face the reality that many families have no parish connection or any community. It’s a great opportunity to minister to others.

What do you enjoy about St Aidan’s? It’s really an honour to be part of the St Aidan’s family. The surprise experience has been the fellowship of the Sisters themselves. The Sisters built the school and established its unique ethos. Spending time with them is always a joy.

Reverend Clarry White, Assistant Chaplain I have been a priest for 50 years, of which 30 years have been in schools including Churchie, Canberra Grammar and Hillbrook, in various roles as chaplain, teacher and counsellor. Here at St Aidan’s, I assist in the pastoral care of students and other staff, and support the Senior Chaplain in his everyday ministry. I am also a RVE teacher with a special focus in Terms 2 and 3 in the Junior School.

In what ways do you work alongside the Sisters? The strong influence of the Sisters is clearly evident in the culture of the School, and I aim to supplement that by being in communication with the Sisters regularly, particularly through student and staff Quiet Days.

What role does RVE play in today’s curriculum? The approach taken by the School towards religious education is religion as a social phenomenon, adopting a rational, intellectual perspective. It is linked with a faith-formation program that personalises religion in its individual and collective forms. huddle I june 2012 11

global links

The innovative leadership of Head of Languages, Karen Gorrie, has foreign language studies flourishing at St Aidan’s. The unique Every Day Languages Program, as developed by Ms Gorrie and other Language Faculty staff, provides students from Kindergarten to Year 2 with 20 minutes of classroom language lessons each day. This year, Kindergarten and Prep students are learning Japanese, while Year 1 and 2 girls are taught Chinese. “The Every Day Languages Program has been a huge success,” Ms Gorrie said.

“Students in the classroom are expanding their knowledge of the language at a much faster rate than observed in previous years, when we only had two 45-minute lessons a week.” “Staff have also been able to build a rapid rapport with the students, and the students express their joy at learning the language.” Last year, the Program was recognised by the Federal Government with a $20,000 grant, under the national Becoming Asia Literate: Grants to Schools initiative for the promotion of Asian languages and culture within classrooms and school communities.

Languages every day program The St Aidan’s Everyday Languages program was last year recognised with a Federal Government grant under the national Becoming Asia Literature: Grants to Schools initiative. The 12-month grant program allowed the St Aidan’s Languages Faculty to invest in extensive professional development for its staff, and to expand the stock of educational resources available to students.

“The 12-month grant program has allowed the St Aidan’s Languages Faculty to invest in extensive professional development for its staff, including off-campus training in the latest research into early childhood languages teaching,” Ms Gorrie said. The funding has also gone towards expanding the stock of educational resources available to students, as well as “shadow days” which allow language teachers to shadow the classroom teacher. Principal, Karen Spiller, is also enthusiastic about the options made possible by the grant.

“The benefits of languages education are broad and far-reaching; language learning enriches learners intellectually, educationally and culturally, and it forms an important part of our curriculum,” she said. The Everyday Languages Program will next year expand to include Year 3 students.


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sport in season global links

For Year 11 student , Yadanar Tut, a recent family trip to Myanmar has her focused on social justice, and she wants the whole school to know why.

EXCHANGE OF IDEAS AND CULTURE In December last year, Yadanar and her family were invited to the home of one of the most recognisable and inspirational facilitators of social justice: international peace icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi’s fearless efforts to bring democracy to a military-ruled Myanmar have seen her detained for much of the past 20 years. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, a year after her National League for Democracy claimed an overwhelming election victory that was later nullified by the Junta. Suu Kyi’s message was one that Yadanar, of Burmese descent herself, said she felt strongly about relaying to fellow students at St Aidan’s, and believed it was her duty to make others aware of the current turmoil in the country. At a school assembly earlier in the year,

Yadanar said she was in awe of how her “role model” had remained committed to her goals through all her suffering. “Too easily we take for granted our stable and fair society and far too often we don’t appreciate our privileges,” she said.

The aim of the student exchange program is to enhance the education, independence and life skills of the girls. It also enables them to gain an understanding, appreciation and respect for other cultures and develop life-changing friendships.

“Meeting Suu Kyi and my trip to Myanmar has shown me that we need to live simply for people to simply live. Through meeting Aung San Suu Kyi, I have a new sense of justice and service on the global level.”

Another team of socially conscious girls will participate in an Antipodeans Abroad expedition to Nepal at the end of this year, following four previous trips to Vietnam, China, Peru and Laos. The experience includes trekking, sightseeing and involvement in a community development program.

Elsewhere, St Aidan’s students and staff are using the strong ties of the school’s exchange program, taking the opportunity to travel to other schools in Australia and abroad, to experience a different social perspective.

In our increasingly globalised world, the community ties of the St Aidan’s family are offering students more cross-cultural exposure than ever before.

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nts become

every day music Research in the early years schooling indicates that the development of music-specific skills and knowledge is not contingent on innate ability or environment. Rather, it is more profoundly influenced by intensive and regular music education. The successful St Aidan’s Every Day Music Program recognises the fundamental benefits of daily music study as part of a well-rounded education, and has this year grown to include students from kindergarten to Year 3, as well as girls in Year 8. Based on the pedagogical and philosophical contributions of Hungarian educator Zoltan Kodály (1882–1967), students are engaged in a sequential aurally based approach that develops musical knowing and skills through singing and playing. A love of music is the basis of students’ participation. They do not require any prior musical knowledge or background, or to be skilled at a musical instrument. The impact of such an approach to education is not only evident through an extension of students’ musical knowing, understanding and skills, but also in their regular schooling. Known benefits include: • increased skills in general musicianship • fostered development of gross motor and fine motor capacities • increased self confidence, expression and sense of responsibility • growth in literacy and numeracy skills through musical stimulation and activity According to Dr Cuskelly, “well-designed music education not only produces balanced and happy children, but also serves to assist in the on-going development of both hemispheres of the brain.”

“Further, the combination of sound and music has been shown in recent research to assist in neurogenesis (the production of new brain cells) and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to renew and expand itself).” “Music lessons incorporate all modalities of learning and this holistic approach contributes to whole brain thinking and development,” Dr Cuskelly said. Last year in July, St Aidan’s was proud to showcase the innovative Every Day Music Program at the International Kodály Symposium held in Brisbane, with demonstration classes from Year 1 and Year 8 students. 14

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eve r y day m us i c huddle I june 2012


ar ts

Once upon a time‌.

IntoThe Woods Into the Woods our biennial musical with Brisbane Boys College, was a huge success. The audience was absolutely astounded by the quality and professionalism of the production. This sophisticated and challenging score and overall production was presented in such an engaging and entertaining manner that delivered total enjoyment to all.


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IntoThe Woods

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The Stage Dance Team competed at the BPac Eisteddfod and the Ipswich Eisteddfod’s in June with multiple wins, placings and high distinctions.

St Aidan’s student shines in the USA Year 12 student Tayla Van Engelen can just about see her name in lights. After entering a competition called The Event, Tayla was awarded the rare opportunity to experience firsthand the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood entertainment industry. After a successful audition on the Gold Coast, Tayla was invited to travel to the United States during the summer holidays to perform at Walt Disney World, Florida, in front of more than 90 different talent agents and casting directors. Tayla also met with inspiring actors from the Disney and Nickelodeon television networks, followed by four days of acting, dancing and modeling. A St Aidan’s Choir Captain, Tayla cited her experience as “amazing”, and had inspired her to continue to pursue her dreams of stardom. Tayla said she would not have succeeded were it not for her teachers’ encouragement.

“The support from the staff in the music and drama programs at St Aidan’s is incredible. I applied everything that I had learned from my teachers into my performances for The Event, and I believe that it helped me so much in becoming the performer I am today,” Tayla said. Tayla hopes the opportunity will lead to a career in music and acting once she completes school at the end of the year, with seven invitations to join both American and Australian talent agencies already under her belt. “I definitely had the experience of a lifetime and it will certainly be one I will never forget. I hope to be on Broadway or in movies in the very near future!” 18

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Claudia Leggett youth olympian Claudia Leggett has come a long way from the beginner slopes on which she learnt to ski, as a seven-year old on holidays. From 13–22 January, Year 11 student Claudia took on the world’s best at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics, held this year in Innsbruck, Austria.

well as a great stepping stone to help me on the way to hopefully achieving my goal of representing Australia at the Senior Olympics,” Claudia said.

Competing in the Freestyle Ski Cross, a jump-filled downhill race which Claudia explained as “like motocross on skis”, the young athlete placed a commendable fifth in the qualifying round.

“The biggest thing I learnt at the Youth Olympics was how to handle competition nerves in a way that works for me. By doing so I was able to turn my nerves into positive energy which could be used to my advantage.”

Although heavy snowfall of almost one metre ultimately forced the cancellation of Claudia’s final competition, she said the rare experience exposed her to some of the greatest world’s athletes and cultures. “I was very excited, I met lots of new people with common interests and lifestyles. It was also such a great life experience as

Claudia now has her eyes firmly set on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea. She trains as part of the Thredbo Ski Racing Club and is coached by dual Olympian in alpine skiing, Jono Brauer. The 2011 St Aidan’s Sportswoman of the Year, Claudia keeps herself fit outside

ski season with heavy involvement in swimming, cross country, touch football, athletics and softball. Now well accustomed to colder temperatures, she also trains year round with the Indooroopilly Swimming Club. It’s an extraordinarily busy schedule by any standards, but Claudia said it was one she had learnt to enjoy. “Having a good balance of interests helps me to keep going if something doesn’t go to plan with a certain area of my life. I prioritise my commitments and use my time productively by eliminating distractions that waste time like TV or Facebook. In doing this, I get things done quickly, leaving me time to enjoy with my friends.” huddle I june 2012


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St Aidan’s QGSSSA Cross Countr y team again competed s trongly at this year’s competition with the 1 5 year s age group ac hieving second. Jade Dowling took out the 16 year s age group for the third year in a row, and overall the Sc hool ac hieved third in the Percent age Cup.

s po r t p rof ile

sport in season

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community ambiwerra



In April we held a brief service to recognise and give thanks for the school’s Ambiwerra Fields being restored after the flood. Thank you in particular to Ambiwerra Groundsman, Graham Fea, for his remarkable dedication and commitment to the restoration of the fields over the past 12 months. Over the 12 months, the courts at Ambiwerra were resurfaced and extensive work was carried out on all the grass fields including the athletics track and hockey/football fields. There has also been significant investment in the replacement of sporting equipment lost in the January floods. It was great to host St Aidan’s first series of home games that same weekend and to see the facilities back in full use. 22

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from the chair

This year there have been some important changes to the membership of the School Council. We have been joined by the Reverend Jan Crombie and the Reverend Gillian Moses, both accepting positions as nominees of Mother Eunice and the Sisters. This is a milestone in the life of the School as the Sisters are stepping back from the frontline work of school governance. Jan’s and Gillian’s knowledge and understanding of the Sisters’ ethos will be invaluable to the Council and the School. Following a significant period of expansion in the school’s facilities, the Council is now focussing on strategic matters in order to ensure that the quality of our educational program is maintained and enhanced over the longer term. This needs to be done, however, in the face of imminent transitions to the Australian

Professor Neil Dempster Chair

Curriculum and Year 7 students into the secondary school environment. These transitions must be managed well as must the alignment of the necessary resources and facilities to support effective learning. To this end the Council is examining classroom needs particularly those required for Science. It goes without saying that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its constant demands are an ever present call on school budgets and transitions such as those I have mentioned, will be factored in to ICT plans for the future. On another strategic matter, it is pleasing to report that St Aidan’s and which both schools have had to provide independently for their communities in the past can be more effectively shared between them in the future. A good start has been made on this in marketing, in the provision of ICT services and school financial management. Both School Councils are working with goodwill to refine these efforts and to identify other services where combined action will offer benefits to both over time. Overall, I can report that the school is travelling well this year, meeting its financial obligations after an intense period of building. Against this backdrop, the educational opportunities for the girls of St Aidan’s have been enhanced. This is the goal to which the work of the School Council is dedicated. Professor Neil Dempster

St Aidan’s

St Margaret’s Councils have moved smoothly into discussions on how services

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community p and f


St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School Fete

Y S U N DA st 5 Augu

Ambiwerra Sports Fields, Erinvale St, Corinda


More than 300 Grandparents and Special Friends descended on St Aidan’s on a chilly day in June shared the morning with their granddaughters in the Junior School. The students had the opportunity to perform for their special guests before showing off their classrooms and the wonderful new Charma Place library. The day was capped off with a sumptuous morning tea.

2012 marks an exciting era in the Parents and Friends calendar. We continue to support the school through our core businesses; the Tuckshop, the Uniform Shop and Text hire, as well running our incredibly popular school dances. Our office continues to assist our support groups. For the first time this year we’ll also be launching the new look Ambifair. What exactly does the P & F support? Some of the items the P & F has contributed to the school includes: $87,000 for air-conditioning, $16,854 for marquees, $55,000 for interactive white boards, $11,800 for a piano, $7,375 for a Yamaha Vibraphone, $8,940 for the cold room, $27,936 to rowing for boats and oars, $17,292 for outdoor furniture, $20,000 for the revamping of the old toilet block at Ambiwerra, just to name a few. In other words, we support the current needs of our daughters. Our support groups are comprised of volunteer parents with a passion for their daughters’ activities (or they’re slightly mad) and their contribution of time and energy cannot be applauded enough. All of our businesses and dances cannot operate as successfully as they do without volunteers. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you most warmly.

Ambifair 2012 We’ve responded to your requests for an event that includes our girls - welcome to Ambifair. It is a school fete, with rides and entertainment for all ages; market stalls offering high quality, unique and home grown products; refreshments for young and old; as well as favourites; strawberries and cream and the Fashion Platter. If you own a business please consider advertising in our program, or you may be interested in applying for a stall site. Contact p&, call 3278 5124, check our website for further information, and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Cathy Carnie P & F President

FREE ENTRY I CARPARKING $5 I PROGRAM $2 Proudly sponsored by:


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sport in season


St Aidan’s sizzles with celebrity masterchef Ben O’Donoghue The 2012 year is already almost half way over, and the Foundation is well on its way to achieving its 2012 goals. On Friday 23 March the St Aidan’s social season took a fresh turn with celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue and TV personality Sofie Formica making appearances. Arguably the social event of the year, St Aidan’s welcomed the seasoned chef, author and dedicated St Aidan’s dad as host of a spectacular lunch at his award-winning South Bank Surf Club and Restaurant. Sofie Formica played the role of Master of Ceremony.

MAIN IMAGE: St Aidan’s Foundation Ben O’Donoghue Lunch Pauline Huston, Kathrin Stopford ABOVE: St Aidan’s Foundation Compere Sofie Formica and Ben O’Donoghue

Ben is best known for his television show Surfing the Menu in which he starred with fellow celebrity chef, Curtis Stone. He has also made guest appearances on popular TV shows Masterchef Australia and The Best in Australia. The St Aidan’s Foundation invited friends and families of the school community to enjoy the best food Brisbane has to offer with spectacular waterfront views. The event proceeds of $11,000 will fund the school’s educational resources.

ABOVE : St Aidan’s Foundation Mother Daughter Speaker Annabel Tully with her Mother and daughter huddle I june 2012


community - pat prentice

St John’s Cathedral

Artwork from the late Patricia Prentice, St Aidan’s Old Girl and renowned Australian watercolourist, is on display at the school thanks to a friendship forged more than 70 years ago. A St Aidan’s student from 1931–1941, Patricia was one of a group of female artists who found their voice through art in the years immediately following World War II.

It was from the enduring friendship forged between Patricia, fellow pupil Joyce Barrett and Joyce’s sister Helen that the school now displays some of Patricia’s finest watercolours, hanging proudly outside Principal Karen Spiller’s office.

In 1948, Patricia travelled to London to study art. There, she met and married barrister Brian Target, and so commenced 30 years away from Australia. In this time, Patricia and Brian would relocate to many places including East Africa and England.

The Barrett girls, along with their brother Tim, were some of the first students enrolled at St Aidan’s, and it was Helen who donated the paintings to the school from Joyce’s estate.

Throughout her life, Patricia established studios wherever she went, filling them with the ethereal haze of a woman smitten with the emotional and physical landscape of which she occupied.

Patricia also became a longtime friend of Betty Churcher, the first female director of the National Gallery, who in her tribute at Patricia’s funeral in 2006 described her “mentor” as “an indefatigable blithe spirit”.

It was not until 1986 that they would return to Australia for good.

“Pat was so full of life and vitality ... She not only taught me how to paint, she taught me what it was to have a passion for art: and what she taught me has stood beside me for all of my professional life,” she said.

Despite her extended absence, the bonds Patricia had created at St Aidan’s went on to last a lifetime. 26 huddle I june 2012

St Aidan’s Head of Art, Gaye Brown, said the School was honoured to house some of Patricia’s paintings. “She has left us a record of places that no longer exist, and these are captured with both deftness of touch and a sensitivity to the compositional elements of her preferred media, watercolour,” Mrs Brown said. “When often we look for ways in which the past can be both relevant and inspiring, one only needs to look quietly and listen to the stories revealed by Patricia Prentice’s works.” Patricia’s work continues to hang in the Queensland Art Gallery, as well as both public and private collections across the world.

community - father cichero

Sr June Ruth, Father Cichero and Mother Eunice

2000 Father Trevor Cichero Harvest Communion

Over 400 people joined together to honour the life of Reverend Trevor Cichero, at a funeral held at St Aidan’s on Tuesday, 10 January 2012. ‘Father Chic’, as he was affectionately known, was Chaplain at St Aidan’s for eight years, from 1993 to 2000. He passed away peacefully on 5 January this year. “But they don’t play rugby!” was said to be his reflective cry when first directed to St Aidan’s by Bishop Adrian Charles, following six years’ service at The Southport School. “They will if you ask,” replied Bishop Charles. Together with his wife Gwen, he formed many firm and long-lasting friendships within the school community. He also played a formative role in the development of Religious and Values Education at St Aidan’s and beyond. Father Cichero also helped introduce a new curriculum for

religious education within Anglican schools, in the Diocese of Brisbane. A touching eulogy delivered by Father Cichero’s eldest son Robert celebrated the accomplished life of a much loved and respected man. “With all of his core interests at close hand ... young inquisitive minds, a good sized swimming pool in his back yard without the maintenance, and proximity to his grandchildren, satisfying times were plentiful,” Robert Cichero said. “St Aidan’s also provided the opportunity for an exchange year in Dover College, UK during 1994. The opportunity to travel from their home base in Dover,

immerse themselves in UK life and sample the European world, remains for me a great pinnacle in a mountain of his achievements.” Father Cichero’s open, questioning style of religious teaching had considerable impact on the life of the school, as did his enthusiasm for sport. He helped to train the swimming team, drove the rowing bus, coached debating, attended camps and was known to deeply regret that touch football was only introduced to St Aidan’s after he had left. He is greatly missed by all who knew him.

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Alumni - creating a living bridge It has been a busy and interesting start to the year, beginning with the commissioning of a sculpture recognising Sister Elisabeth, St Aidan’s first Sister-in-Charge. Sister Elisabeth proudly watches over us from the wall outside the Chapel. We also celebrated the 30 years of leadership of Mother Eunice. It was lovely to welcome some of our early “Old Girls” back to school for these special events. A request from the School’s history department resulted in a most successful St Aidan’s During the War afternoon and panel discussion combining past and present students and archives. We invited five Old Girls who attended St Aidan’s during World War II. These ladies shared their memories of how the war affected school and family life with our current Year 9 and 10 students. Using resources gathered from the Archives, the girls viewed Recorder magazines from 1939 -1946, photos and service records, personal accounts and advertisements. At first apprehensive, the Old Girls thoroughly enjoyed participating with the current students in the discussions and reminiscing.

Archives In April this year we interviewed Mr Brian McGrath from the Heritage Panel of Engineers Australia (Qld) Committee to learn more details of the remarkable achievements of Winifred Davenport, Australia’s first female engineer granted Corporate Membership of the Institute of Engineers, Australia. She was made a Member of Order of Australia for Civil Engineering in 1990. We were fortunate to be granted access to, and copies of, an oral history recorded during the 1990s and copies of photos 28

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Sculptor Dr Rhyl Hinwood with Mother Eunice at the unveiling of the Sister Elisabeth Sculpture

28 June 1971 saw the passing of one of the truly great figures in the annals of St Aidan’s - Sister Elisabeth Scholastically, Sister Elisabeth was brilliant, having the rare distinction in her time of holding a Master of Arts degree from Girton College, Cambridge. Her students admired her great intellect; her lessons were an inspiration and an experience, the memory of which still remains with those whom she taught. She passed on her own deep love of English Literature and of the Classics – an appreciation which has been of infinite and inestimable value throughout our lives. Sister Elisabeth had a quiet reserve but she was also very human with a keen sense of humour. She possessed a delightful and warming smile and as one Old Girl has written, “When she smiled at you, you felt so elated”. Like all great people she was unassuming: she was always dignified.

and certificates. Meeting others from the past St Aidan’s community who also knew or worked with Winifred including Mr Jim Simmers, husband of Nerida (Biggs 1949) and father of Ruth MacKinnon (Simmers 1979) and Caroline Treacy (Simmers 1983) was an extra bonus. Have you a story to tell? Consider calling the Alumni Office to share your memories with us as we build up a collection of oral history records from St Aidan’s Old Girls.

We recently received boxes of treasures from the Sisters at Community House, containing snippets of history from St Aidan’s early years. Worthy of note is an exercise book which Sister Elisabeth used to record the beginning activities of St Aidan’s. Last year, Janette Stasinowsky (Whear 1974) donated her sports hat. We would like to hear from you if you wore a hat like this and when. Give us a call or drop us a note.

Alumni - creating a living bridge

Reunions Form 12, 1972 40-Year Reunion

Old Girls’ Day 2012 Old Girls’ Day will be celebrated on Sunday 26 August. Please gather your classmates and join us for a high tea luncheon. A friendly relaxed event, with lots of chat and great food Your invitation is included with this issue of the Huddle.

Donations We have received interesting donations including school badges, uniforms we previously did not have, books (hymn, singing, biographical) and many other treasured items from a number of girls including:Megan Phelps (Jefferies 1974) June Robertson (Ulcoq 1942)

If the adage “time flies when you are having fun” is correct, then I must have been having a ball for the last four decades! In the one instance, every day for the last 40 years has been frantically busy, yet on the other hand, where has the last 40 years gone? Together with my class mates from 1972, we pondered upon these conundrums as we gathered together to renew old friendships and share many fond memories; although I may be biased, I don’t think we look any different, the last 40 years have been kind to us all! As we were warmly welcomed to our old ‘stomping grounds’ by Mrs Karen Spiller, Mrs Sue Russell and Mrs Wendy Biggs, we shared stories of classroom adventures and sporting performances; remembered our teachers who had so much influence on our developing minds; and laughed like school girls as we recalled some of our many escapades. Following a delectable lunch, we enjoyed a tour of the school, and marvelled at the new buildings, classroom facilities and technologies, but ever appreciative that our ‘old toilet block’ was still intact! To stand in the very same classrooms that we frequented, still in use today, is confirmation that ‘once a St Aidan’s girl, always a St Aidan’s girl’, bonds that last a lifetime. While not all of our 1972 graduating class were present, those of us who attended our reunion had a wonderful time. With attendees from Sydney, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, and Brisbane. The challenge is now out to those who did not attend to mark 2022 in their diaries for our 50-year Reunion. It’s bound to be another special milestone in our on-going friendship with the School and each other. On behalf of my peers, I would like to sincerely thank Karen, Sue and Wendy for their kind invitation, their efficient organisation, their warmth of welcome and their generosity of time. All true traits of a St Aidan’s girl. Sue McCracken (Scott) School Captain 1972

Margaret Hayes (Hughes 1963) Karel Truesdale (Wecker 1976) Helen Brodie (Kahlert 1979) Ashleigh Walters (2007) Helen Barrett (1938) Lesley Pearce (Hughes 1943) Denise Stephenson (past parent) Special thanks to Hazel Lahey (Buchanan 1963) who responded to our request for sporting equipment giving us a 1950s tennis racquet in a frame, among other items.

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Alumni - creating a living bridge Marriages Jana Coetzee (2004) married Mitchell Chapman in March 2012 at Noosa.

Births Melanie (Coetzee 2002) and Nick Berry welcomed William in June 2011.

Join us for Drinks on the Roof – a celebration for our Young Old Girls on Friday 26 October 2012. Watch the sunset, sip champagne and catch up. Watch out for the event on the Past Students page on Facebook.

Join us for Drinks on the Roof St Aidan’s Open Softball team play off against the Old Girls. Sunday, 22 January found the St Aidan’s Open Softball team play off against the Old Girls. The Old Girls’ team consisted of Kate Veitch (2009), Kate Jacques (2009), Megan Daly (2009), Emily Woodhouse (2010), Olivia King (2011), Kate Whelan (2011) and Lizzie Delaney (2011). The day gave valuable practice to the Open team before their first QGSSSA competition starting on 4 February. It was a highly competitive morning and the Open team fought valiantly in the first game, but unfortunately were defeated 12-4. All was not lost when the Open team made a comeback with a win of 10-8 in the second game. The games were filled with great catches, amazing hits and excellent plays coming from both teams. As a first of its kind, the morning was found very enjoyable by all and hopefully it will not be the last.


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Kristie (East 1993) and Jamie Higgison welcomed Jack on 17 November 2011. Wilhelmina (Rowlings 1997) and Rob Morrison welcomed Fredrick Robert on 9 March 2012. Tina (Wurth 2001) and Chris Wheldon welcomed Sophie Jane on 5 April 2012.

Deaths On 30 April Margaret Thomas (Wilson 1942) passed away. Affectionaly known as Steggie – after a school project on dinosaurs. Steggie had not been well since a fall at the end of 2011. Steggie was a Day One girl and pupil no 14. Dorothy Marian Loveday (Osborne 1944) passed away in December 2011

Alumni - creating a living bridge

Where are they now? Melanie Coetzee (2002) completed her Masters of Law (International Business and Commercial Law) at the University of West London in June 2011. Jana Coetzee (2004) qualified as a Chartered Accountant in November 2011 and is currently employed as a Senior Accountant by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Japan. Anne McNee (1991) had an eventful 2011. She was awarded a PhD. by Kings College, University of London in July for her research on physiotherapy intervention to the gait of brain-damaged children. That followed the birth of twins, Clara and Fraser in March, a sister and brother respectively for Hamish, aged 4 and Adelaide, aged 3. Anne lives in Teddington, SW London, with husband Chris Greany and her four children and at present, is a full-time mother.

Jessica Firth (2006) has been selected to be in the Australian Mixed Open Netball team. The team will play matches around the world commencing in New York in October/ November 2012. Jessica also completed her Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) 2010 and is now the financial controller for a major Brisbane-based firm. Hannah Lucas (2006) was the winner of the prestigious Cole Lawson Scholarship. The award was presented at the end of 2011. Hannah is a high-achieving student completing a dual degree in the Bachelor of Communication and Bachelor of Arts program and is a current Dean’s Scholar. Gillian Hallam (past parent) was guest professor with a university in Germany, giving her the opportunity to meet up with many friends in Europe including her various exchange program ‘daughters’ who came to St Aidan’s.

From Gillian: “We caught up with Hannah Wagner several times, in Darmstadt, Berlin where she now lives and Stuttgart where we were based. We went to the Vorarlberg to stay in the family chalet in Stuben near Lech - just as they had five metres of snow in five days. Livvie (2007) was in Europe as well. Barbara Herbolzheimer family has just visited Australia and caught up with school friends. The exchange program with the language courses has immense - and indeed long lasting - value, leading to true international friendships. Locally, our two girls are doing well. Jenn (2005) has just commenced work as a Year 1 teacher and is thriving! She married in May 2011. Livvie is busy with work and study.”

We are holding our first LAW NETWORKING BREAKFAST at the Brisbane Club, 7 am, 4 September 2012. This will be a great opportunity for current law students and young professionals to mix with our experienced law practitioners who have attended St Aidan’s. Please register your interest by emailing

Reunions and Old Girl Events 2012 19 August 2pm Canberra Reunion Contact Alumni Office 3373 5961 or 26 August 10am Old Girls’ Day Contact Alumni Office 3373 5961 7 September 6pm Sydney Reunion Contact Alumni Office 3373 5961 8 September 12 noon Melbourne Reunion Contact Alumni Office 3373 5961 15 September 2pm 30 Year Reunion Contact Alumni Office 3373 5961 6 October 3-6pm 10 Year Reunion Contact Jemma White (Venables) 16 October 10am 60 Year Reunion Contact Alumni Office 3373 5961 huddle I june 2012


St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School

confidence and success 11 Ruthven Street Corinda Qld 4075 T: 61 7 3373 5999 F: 61 7 3379 9432 E: A School of the Society of the Sacred Advent

huddle JUNE I 2012

St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School

Huddle - Jun 2012  

The magazine of St Aidan's Anglican Girls School

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