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huddle St Aidan’s


from the principal This year has been remarkable in every respect. As a school and as individuals, St Aidan’s and St Aidan’s girls have been recognised in all forms of endeavour. Whether it be national or state awards, premierships or providing service to our community, St Aidan’s students and staff have had a busy and successful year. St Aidan’s was one of only two schools in Queensland to be recognised for our Science Education program though the Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science Education and our Junior School won a number of significant awards including Best in Show at the Exhibition for the fourth year in a row. St Aidan’s was listed as the top performing school in the state for NAPLAN results with the best results in Year 3, second in Year 5 and seventh in Year 9. Of course, academic achievements are only one aspect of excellence. We continue to focus on reaching out to support the broader community. Throughout the year $23,000 was raised for a variety of Anglican and other charities. Central to all we do is a commitment to service and this year saw the Service Learning

Karen Spiller Principal

program reviewed and I thank Father Paul, staff and Year 9 and 10 students for their commitment to this important work. Nellie Gar wrote of her volunteering at Milpera State High School, “I have chosen this placement because I am a refugee like the students and I know what they have been through as well as what they are going through now. Another reason why I chose this placement is because I want to share my story and show them there is a hope for the future if you just believe”. I recently read some reflections on Year 12 by one of this year’s students: School is coming to an end,

Carnivals, concerts, Quizit and more,

The final day is round the bend.

St Aidan’s prepared us for what’s in store.

This last year has gone so fast, It’s hard to remember all the past. Tests, exams and the stress of life, There were many days when we were in strife.

Uni, TAFE, travel and careers, Once we’ve left school, there’ll be no more fears. The big, wide world will be our next quest,

But plenty of good times were around; Tuckshop, movie nights and friends abound.

But since we’re St Aidan’s girl… we’re already ahead of the rest. Lydia Wardale

I think that says it all - we aspire to ensuring each and every St Aidan’s girl graduating has the confidence to make her mark positively on the broader community and as

Deb Koh -

Queensland College of Teachers Dr Alan Druery OAM Excellence in Teaching Award Year 3 teacher, Ms Deb Koh, was awarded the prestigious Queensland College of Teachers - Dr. Alan Druery OAM Excellence in Teaching Award for 2013 at a World Teachers’ Day ceremony held at Queensland Parliament House. Mrs Koh was nominated for the award by a past parent whose child she had taught several years ago. Next year will mark Mrs Koh’s tenth year at St Aidan’s.

evidenced by 84 years of successful girls, we know it is the case. As the year of the Survivors draws to a close, I commend our Year 12 students for their year of leadership and thank Sophie and Claudia and their leadership team for their inspiration and energy this year. Thank you also to all staff and volunteers within our school community including members of School Council, the Foundation and P and F Association, for their commitment to our school. I wish all members of the school family the very best for a happy and safe Christmas and New Year period.

Karen Spiller

MBA, MEdAdmin, BA, BEdSt, FACE, FAIM, FACEL, FAHRI, FAICD, FCEOI Fellow of Bond University huddle I december 2013 1

senior school - 2014 school leaders

2014 School Leaders SCHOOL CAPTAIN:

Elizabeth Jacques


Chelsea Ho


Lydia Bell Ané Botha Amy Changuion Chelsea Ho Elizabeth Jacques Rachael Knowlman Jayla Lawrence Jennifer Leonforte Laura McMillan Andie Parkinson Simran Shah BihHuey Soon Kate Smith Audrey van Herwaarden Georgia Warburton


Heather Burridge Emily Edwards Olivia Sawarde

SPORTS CAPTAINS: Morgan Gallagher Lucy Smith DEBATING CAPTAINS: Rebecca Kirupairajah Savannah Kuylaars MUSIC CAPTAINS:

ChaiJie Low Chloe Turner

HOUSE CO-CAPTAINS: Austen Sally Flanagan Abby Smith Britney Sullivan (Year 7) Barrett

Anna DeKruyf Madelyn Kilkenny (Year 7) Chloe Sawyer


Sophie Jacques Hannah King Celeste Withey (Year 7)


Ashlee Johnson Sophia Nissen Ashley White (Year 7)


Erin Hood (Year 7) Ashleigh McGill Bailey Wilde


Jacqueline Do Siobhan Markwell India Oswin (Year 7)


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School Captain Elizabeth Jacques

Vice Captain Chelsea Ho

Congratulations to Elizabeth Jacques and Chelsea Ho, the St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School Captain and Vice Captain for 2014. Elizabeth, who has been at the School for the last six years, said she was thrilled and honoured with her selection, and looked forward to the challenges that lay ahead. “You only look up to and follow those you respect, so I see the key to leadership as being someone who respects others in order to gain the admiration of their peers,” Elizabeth said in her application. “As a member of the senior cohort of 2014, I hope to further develop the unity in our school environment amongst all students and the wider community … [and] to create a sense of belonging by encouraging participation through support and spirit.” Elizabeth was last year awarded the St Aidan’s Exceptional Young Leader Award, and was named as the School’s Sportswoman of the Year in 2009 and 2012. Vice Captain Elect Chelsea Ho said her priority as a School Leader would be to serve the school community “by initiative

and when required”, and felt she brought a clear sense of experience, enthusiasm and kindness to her new role. “As part of the leadership team I will foremost strive to ensure that our [cohort’s] diverse strengths are harnessed,” she said. “This involves recognising that each leadership style brings its unique strengths and incorporating them into the decision-making, development and execution of a project.” Current Head of the St Aidan’s Space Design team’s Operations and Infrastructure Department, Chelsea is also an active musician and athlete. The School Captain and Vice Captain are selected based on student voting, staff reflections and a panel interview.

academic- year 7 transition

truly MAAD

Start of a New Era

2013 marked the first year of Year 7 as a Senior School year level at St Aidan’s as the Year 7 students moved into the high school program in Semester Two. The girls have been praised by teachers, parents and other students alike for the way they responded to the challenges and opportunities of the change with enthusiasm and commitment. “The Year 7 girls have taken on life in the Senior School and their new-found responsibilities with great gusto,” said Year 7 Coordinator Jennifer Crome. “The girls have grown and matured enormously over the last year and made a very smooth transition from the Junior School to the Senior School, assisted by the very strong K-12 philosophy which underpins all we do at St Aidan’s.”

As for how the students have felt about the transition – the last word comes from the girls themselves.

“All of the students and teachers are really nice and you feel more freedom. I have been at St Aidan’s since Prep and I have never really understood the School Motto, but now I am in the Senior School, Born to Fly Upwards sums up Year 7.” Emily Evans

“Being a Senior School student, I feel confident I can achieve many things. The best part is being trusted to use your own common sense and to be your own person. The highlight of the year for me was camp, because it taught us leadership and responsibility.” Phoebe Grant

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QLD NAPLAN results*

St Aidan’s TOPS THE STATE We were again delighted with student results in the 2013 NAPLAN testing program. Year 3 topped the state, Year 5 were the second highest and Year 9 seventh.

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Congratulations to our Junior School who topped the state in the 2013 NAPLAN testing. • Highest in the state for Year 3 • Second highest in the state for Year 5

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academic- design and innovation studies

innovation and creativity

encouraged with new subject “In a world where information is plentiful, it is the innovative and creative application of knowledge which, apart from being highly valued in business and industry, is required to meet the social and environmental challenges of the 21st Century.” Those are the words from St Aidan’s teacher Tim Kemp, who in collaboration with Head of Art, Gaye Brown, will pilot the new elective subject Design and Innovative Studies (DIS) in Year 7 and 8 classes in 2014. The subject seeks to meet the growing expectation from business and industry for students with prior knowledge in the areas of design studies, and will gradually move into Years 9 and 10 as an additional elective. “Students, both individually and in groups, will use their imagination and curiosity to generate ideas, engage in technological processes and create interesting and innovative solutions. DIS will encourage students to observe the world around them, reflect and identify a problem or need.” said Mr Kemp. Much of the theoretical basis of the subject will be based on the concepts of Design Thinking, as exemplified in the work of students at Stanford University’s Design School. The knowledge taken from this subject is multidisciplinary and can be applied to any subject across the curriculum. It will also meet the digital technologies requirement of the Australian Curriculum. “I believe girls have so much to offer in design and innovation, particularly in such a fundamentally human-centred approach such as Design Thinking.”


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academic- designed for futire learning

designed for the future 2014 will see St Aidan’s offer a number of new subjects across a number of faculties and year levels. These subjects reflect the changing needs of our students and the international marketplace. 2014 will see St Aidan’s offer a number of new subjects across a number of faculties and year levels. These subjects reflect the changing needs of our students and the international marketplace. The subjects offered reflect the requirements of the Australian Curriculum, student interest and a broad academic and vocational curriculum.

Creative Arts and Design Studies (Year 11) Creative Arts and Design Studies provides opportunities for students to actively engage with one or more of the arts, and to understand the careers available in the industry. By taking on some practitioners’ roles, students are exposed to authentic arts industry practices in which they learn to view the world from different perspectives and experiment with different ways of sharing ideas and feelings. This subject focuses largely on textiles and is based on the syllabus units of “craft” and Fashion Costume/Design and the Arts.

Engineering Technology

Diploma of Project Management

(Year 10)

(Year 11 and 12)

Engineering Technology provides an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the underlying principles of engineering. It is focused on the theoretical concepts and practical applications related to technology, industry and society, engineering materials, and engineering mechanics. Engineering Technology has been designed for students who have an interest in the practical application of science, mathematics and technology and may wish to pursue careers in areas of engineering, applied science, drafting, technology, aviation, electronics, mechanisms, and manufacturing and construction. In this subject, students use Science, Mathematics and Graphics to understand the engineering design process. Students will undertake a variety of engineering design challenges which include activities such as testing of materials, formulation of problems, analysis of engineering solutions, modelling solutions and prototyping.

St Aidan’s students will be one of the first groups of students in Queensland, to undertake the new Diploma of Project Management. Thirteen students are currently enrolled in the Diploma with eight 2013 Seniors completing the Diploma this year. The Diploma is designed to enable students to master the basic skills of project management such as work breakdown structures, time estimation and Gantt charting during Year 11 with work application of these skills in Year 12.

Certificate III in Business (Years 11 and 12) Certificate III in Business is a school-based vocational subject where students are provided with learning experiences that develop skills in leadership, innovation, customer service and personal management through the delivery of a range of projects and services. Micro business opportunities are explored and learning experiences are achieved by working alongside a business teacher to deliver projects and services within the school community. As part of the practical nature of this course, students are required to participate in a number of different types of business and project-related activities. huddle I december 2013 7

academic- learning beyond the classroom

“At Camp Kindilan everyone made friendships with girls we had never even met before, and the experience made me become closer with even my best friends. I believe the experience of the camp and the relationships we formed have brought our Year 8 cohort closer together.” Annaleise White


“Throughout the group it was all about positive thoughts. If you kept putting yourself down and saying that you can’t do it, than it would make it a lot harder to complete... From my time at camp I learnt that people are always there for you and that you don’t always have to spend time with your normal group of friends, because there are lots of other nice people in Year 9.” Melia McCarthy

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Learning beyond the classroom An integral part of the school curriculum, year level camps extend learning at St Aidan’s beyond the classroom, fostering and developing students’ independence, ability to problem-solve and work effectively in a team, and personal self-confidence. Students are exposed to an array of experiential activities, designed to encourage girls to explore and discover aspects of their own personal development, and build upon knowledge learnt back in the classroom. In Year 8, students are brought together on camp early in Term One, getting to know one another as they sleep outdoors, cook on outdoor stoves and participate in an extensive program of activities including canoeing, high and low rope courses, abseiling, orienteering, and trust exercises. “This year’s theme was Huddle Up, with a strong focus on developing new friendships,” said Year 8 Coordinator Meg Bishop. “All activities and experiences were aimed at

creating a bond of acceptance and unity for all Year 8 students and their teachers, and to encourage the girls to step outside their normal comfort zone.” Year 9 students are then put to the test with a week-long expedition that sees girls tackling a range of physical challenges and activities including hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, navigation, abseiling, and overnight camping. From this experience, students typically take away a stronger sense of self-confidence, and develop skills in decision-making, collaborative problem-solving and teambuilding. Year 9 student Claire Hood said she had embraced the challenging nature of the camp, and came away learning a lot more about herself and her peers. “I really enjoyed the camp as I got to spend quality time with my friends, and really got to know girls I hadn’t previously been close with.”

academic- learning beyond the classroom

Learning beyond the classroom “Some of my favourite activities on camp were hiking and camping out, and learning about sustainability.” In their final three years of high school, Year 10 and 11 conference programs and the Year 12 final week program are structured to provide students with knowledge and understanding to support positive views of their personal future. “The overall consensus from Year 10 cohorts is that the Futures Conference assisted students in preparing themselves for the challenges of Year 11 and 12 and beyond,” said St Aidan’s Guidance Counsellor Jennie Robinson. “Year 10 is a natural decision point and the conference brings together and contextualises a range of activities students undertake in lower year levels, including information about subject selection, senior schooling and certification, and future planning.” One Year 10 student said “I do believe that the Futures Conference helped me to think about Years 11 and 12, and the future. It really made me think about my choices and opportunities. These decisions will take a while so it is good to start thinking about it now.”

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connections - global exchange

global+connections From the windswept coastline of Western Australia, to the manic streets of New York City, St Aidan’s students experience the realities of living all over the world thanks to the School’s Global Exchange Program.

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connections - global exchange


Seymour College Adelaide



Perth College Perth

Camberwell Girls Grammar Melbourne

Both individual exchanges and group tours are offered to St Aidan’s students across varying year levels, both domestically and internationally.


St Michael’s Collegiate Hobart



10 10

St Edmunds Viktoriaschule Darmstadt New York GERMANY


St Mary’s DSG Pretoria SOUTH AFRICA



St Mary’s School Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA

Gifu Girls’ High School Gifu City JAPAN

Individual exchanges

An individual exchange with another school is arranged for a student who travels unaccompanied by an adult and lives with another student’s family or in the exchange school’s boarding house. Students in Year 9 may apply for domestic exchanges within Australia, while Year 10 students participate in all international exchanges.

• • • • • •


Yuhigaoko Coll ge Mariotti Gakuen Noum a High School New Caledonia Osaka JAPAN

Camberwell Girls Grammar School, Melbourne Perth College, Perth Seymour College, Adelaide St Michael’s Collegiate, Hobart St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls, Pretoria, South Africa St Mary’s School, Johannesburg St Edmund Preparatory High School, New York City huddle I december 2013 11

Student testimonials “I went on the German trip after many years of learning German at St Aidan’s. It was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend. Life in Germany is surprisingly different to Australia and it really helped me to gain a greater understanding of the culture. When in Germany we took part in an exchange program and this gave me lots of independence that I don’t think I could have gained in any other way. The exchange really helped to improve my language skills and my host family was awesome. The teachers were all really supportive and gave us lots of independence during day trips. The trip opened up my world view and I got to learn a lot more about Germany’s history. It was a fantastic experience and I made many new friends from both Australia and Germany.” Victoria Watson


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Student testimonials “I have always been really interested in travelling the world so when the opportunity to go to New York came up I thought it would be an amazing opportunity. This exchange definitely met my expectations, as I got to genuinely experience the cultural differences between Australia and the United States. Seeing national monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, which are always so well publicised in the media, was quite surreal for me and definitely a highlight. I found that the more I participated in classes and interacted with my host family, the more I learnt about them and their country. Although being away from my family and friends was a little difficult at times, immersing myself in the experience was very rewarding.” Ryley Wilson

Group tours

China – Jianging Experimental School, Shanghai

Group tours offer students the unique opportunity to gain direct, experiential knowledge of people of varying cultures, backgrounds, beliefs and lifestyles.

Japan – Gifu Girls’ High School, Gifu City and Yuhigaoka Gakuen High School, Osaka

New Caledonia – Collège Jean Mariotti, Nouméa

Germany – Viktoriaschule, Darmstadt

Each of the Language subjects offer group study exchanges to countries that speak their target language. Sister School Agreements allow such exchanges to occur, allowing a trusted and economical way for our students to gain firsthand experience in practicing the language they are studying in genuine situations. These group exchanges include a combination of sightseeing and visits to the Sister School, and while visiting the School, students stay with a host family in order to engage further with the language and culture.

Other group tours

• • • •

Antipodean 2014 various locations Year 11/12 Ski Trip, New Zealand France 2014 Nepal 2014

All exchanges and group tours are advertised well in advance by the Exchanges Coordinator or respective staff member.

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junior school - minecraft

minecraft - it’s more than a game

A St Aidan’s Junior School teacher has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to education in Queensland, with a 2013 Queensland College of Teachers’ Excellence in Teaching Award. Year 3 teacher Deb Koh, currently in her ninth year at St Aidan’s, was awarded with the honour following a nomination from a parent whose child she had taught several years ago. Mrs Koh is currently leading the way in the use of an educational modification of the highly popular digital ‘open world’ game, Minecraft, in her classroom, found to successfully teach much more than just gaming. MinecraftEdu allows players to create and build, defend themselves, learn survival techniques and explore vast landscapes, and with no established rules or formal instructions, Mrs Koh said its emphasis was on creativity, problem solving, building and discovery. “I had several students who were Minecraft gamers outside the classroom and it was through their journal writing that my interest in this game came about,” Mrs Koh said. “I initially wanted to use MinecraftEdu primarily as a means to engage and motivate students,


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and in particular, those whom the traditional book-based (reading and writing) focus failed to fully inspire.” The game has been used as a launching point for literacy activities, with various writing and speaking set around learning, playing and reflecting upon the game. The students’ enthusiasm toward exploring and creating within a gaming environment opened up possibilities to extend its use to other curriculum areas, and led Year 3 students to a design and technology project that required them to create a model of the Junior School. The project encouraged students to employ mathematical concepts and to refine skills of planning, design, building and evaluation within the MinecraftEdu 3D world. “From a teaching perspective, it is amazing to see how many realworld issues get played out in the microcosm of the game, and the learning for students that comes from these moments is enormous,” said Mrs Koh. Several teachers in the St Aidan’s Junior School are currently involved in a joint research project called Serious Play: Using digital games in school to promote literacy and learning in the twenty-first century.

junior school - minecraft

m i n e ctor explore aft confidence

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academics - student achievements

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS Across the areas of Maths and Science our Senior School students have continued to shine taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered to extend their learning.

Victoria Poon Victoria Poon (Year 11) has been offered a highly coveted place at the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra, held each year to help students entering Year 12 make informed decisions about their future options for study and work in science, engineering and technology. The prestigious forum, first established in 1984 by the National Science Summer School in conjunction with Rotary International, seeks to expose senior students to a range of study, research and career options and facilitate a network of like-minded young people across the country. Victoria was also recently selected to attend the Women of Substance Mentor Breakfast, as one of only 14 Science Ambassadors representing The University of Queensland chosen. The breakfast provided students with the opportunity to network with prominent professionals in their respective science fields.


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STAQ Awards

Chelsa Ho

Two St Aidan’s students have been recognised in the 60th Science Teachers’ Association of Queensland (STAQ) Science Contest.

Chelsa Ho, St Aidan’s Vice Captain in 2014, has been invited to participate in the Australia National University and Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers’ National Mathematics Summer School (NMSS).

Julika Goetz (Year 10) received third prize in the Scientific Investigations Category Division 6, with her entry now to be forwarded onto the 2014 BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards for judging. Louisa MacDonald Dux of 2013 was a recipient of an Australian Acoustical Society Bursary, with $600 for the best project in the field of acoustics split between up to five deserving entries. The awards were presented at a ceremony at The University of Queensland in October.

Held in Canberra each year at the Australian National University, NNSS is a two-week residential school for senior students who display a high level of skill in Mathematics. Almost 3,000 students from around Australia have attended the prestigious summer programme since it was established in 1969. “Achieving a place at NMSS is a real honour, and I know Chelsea will gain a great intellectual insight into the field of Mathematics from this experience,” said St Aidan’s Head of Mathematics, Patricia Hosking.

academic - peter doherty award

Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science

The award is named after Nobel Prize-winning scientist Professor Peter Doherty, who attended school and university in Brisbane.

St Aidan’s has been honoured with a Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science and Science Education, recognising the school’s innovative contributions to the field of science teaching. The award is named after Nobel Prizewinning scientist Professor Peter Doherty, who attended school and university in Brisbane. “This award is a significant achievement as it recognises the outstanding contribution of the Senior and Junior School Science department in promoting Science and Science education,” said Head of Science Sylvia Hicks. The honour acknowledges the many Science-based initiatives organised by St Aidan’s, such as the inaugural Aspiring Women in Science conference which brought together 115 students from 28 schools from all over Queensland to engage in inspirational stories and thinking together with twenty female scientists across a variety of scientific fields. Other innovation contributions within the School recognised by the achievement included the Junior School Science

Showcase, Science electives offered to students in Years 8 to 10, and professional development opportunities for staff. This year, St Aidan’s was also one of 28 Australian schools chosen to pilot the Bill Gates-supported Big History Project, which saw students use historical methodology to investigate how scientific understanding has emerged through the millennia. Between 2006 and 2013, there has been a significant increase of approximately 20 percent of students studying Science at a senior level at St Aidan’s, an outcome that goes against the trend experienced by most Australian schools. Award winners were announced by Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek earlier in the year during National Science Week, with an official presentation ceremony held in Brisbane in November.

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academics - student achievements

It’s SCIENTIFIC Two St Aidan’s Junior School students have been recognised at the Young ICT Explorers Competition at the University of Queensland, with prizes for their innovative ICT (Information and Communications Technology) projects. Brynlea Gibson (Year 7) was awarded 1st place in the Year 6 and 7 category for her project titled ICT in ME, which involved the creation of an interactive game, including the controls used to play it with and a website which documented the process. The premise of the game involved preventing characters from reaching fast food outlets, encouraging them to instead eat healthy food. The controls consisted of a glove with sensors on it, which allowed players to grab items in the game and also a Play-Doh fruit stall that responded to touch. Brynlea was presented with an iPod Touch, and the opportunity to spend a day at work with staff from SAP, a global Information Technology Services company. 18

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Fellow student Jessica Miller (Year 7) was also recognised, with a Merit Award for her How to Make an Animation project in the same category. Jessica created a website and video demonstrating how other students can create stop-motion animations using LEGO, software, a webcam and microphone stand. “Two wins for our School is a fantastic achievement, as there were at least 30 students in the Year 6 and 7 category, with some schools entering multiple teams,” said St Aidan’s ICT Training and Classroom Technologies Specialist Nathan Beveridge.

academics - student achievements

To infinity and beyond for Sophie A St Aidan’s student has discovered the thrills and challenges of life as an aerospace industry engineer, as part of the 20th annual International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC). After more than thirty hours of travel, Sophie Lim (Year 10) hit the ground running with a whirlwind tour encompassing Orlando, New York City and Washington DC, before travelling to NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas for the three-day ISSDC. Sophie’s team included three girls from Melbourne and Bundaberg, along with 44 other students from Argentina, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Teams were each required to design a space settlement named “Alaskol” to be constructed on the surface of the Moon. The settlement had to be able to support up to 5000 permanent staff and up to 1000 paying tourists; needed adequate versatility to sustain a variety of mining, commercial and tourism endeavours; and had to generate a substantial annual profit.

On the final day of competition, teams presented their design proposals to a live audience, including ten minutes of intense questioning time from a judging panel comprised of NASA engineers and other aerospace industry professionals. Sophie’s team ultimately placed a highly commendable second. “This trip was truly the best two weeks of my life, and I strongly recommend all girls with a strong passion in Science and Mathematics to get involved in the Australian Space Design Competition,” Sophie said. “I will cherish every moment I had in America.”

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academic - literature

Literary luminaries

The Senior School Library is a hub of innovation and creativity within St Aidan’s, providing its students with a wide variety of displays, author talks, excursions and activities throughout the year. Book Week was celebrated with the annual Literature Festival Day, with authors Rosanne Hawke, Rebecca Sparrow, Melaina Faranda and Katherine Howell all presenting sessions for students. Thirty girls from Years 8-10 who took part in this year’s Interschool Readers Cup competitions were invited to attend the Brisbane Writers Festival School Day, to hear from a varied line-up of authors. Students Carolyn Cormack, Marie Olivier and Isini Muthumuni also acted as student chairs to introduce these sessions. In late Term Three, approximately one hundred students, teachers, parents and


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friends gathered in the Senior Library to hear from author Graeme Simsion, regarding his award-winning novel, The Rosie Project. Published around the world in 40 countries and due to be adapted to film, Mr Simsion spoke of his lifelong desire to become a writer, a dream that did not eventuate until his 50s. “It is wonderful to be able to offer events and excursions like this to our school community,” said Head of Senior School Library Services, Kristen Lewis. “In our Library Mission Statement, one of the aims is to ‘embrace the reading culture of the School and provide many and varied literature opportunities’, and this is exactly what these things do.”

academic - profiles

Truly MADD

Dr Natasha Mayne Q&A For how long have you been a teacher? I have been a secondary teacher for nearly nine years. Prior to this, I taught at The University of Queensland for three years while I was completing my PhD in Literary Studies. Where have you taught previous to St Aidan’s? I have been at Brisbane Girls Grammar School (BGGS) for the past eight years, but I have also taught at Mt Gravatt State High School and Calamvale Community College. I have recently finished lecturing in the Senior Phase: English Curriculum pre-service teacher course at Griffith University. What do you feel you bring to the role of HOF – English? I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue developing the excellent standard of English education already being delivered at St Aidan’s. I hope that my deep love of literature and extensive experience as an English Extension teacher will enable me to make further contributions to the English programme at St Aidan’s. I have held the role of Head of English Curriculum Development at BGGS for the past three years and this, combined with my syllabus development work (Senior English and English Extension) for the Queensland Studies Authority, as well as my role as a State Panelist, mean that I bring many years of curriculum and assessment development experience to the role. I am also part way through completing a Master of Education by research (Leadership specialisation). Outside the classroom, what are your other interests? I am a keen long-distance runner and Cross Country coach. I am also an experienced bush walker and have completed many multi-day walks in Tasmania, Queensland, Africa and Cambodia. It may sound a little odd to some, but I find these activities to be quite calming!

This year saw the launch of the inaugural MAAD (Music Art and Dance) Festival, a school talent showcase that provided the eager audience with an exciting evening of entertainment, food and raffles. The event was the brainchild of Cultural Prefect, Victoria King, who developed the idea with assistance from her Prefect predecessor as well as other 2013 Prefects. “The MAAD Festival showcased the incredible talent that St Aidan’s girls have to offer,” said Victoria. “The entire process came together with the help of 15 people, and throughout this entire year we worked tirelessly to create the success that was MAAD night.” Over 300 people attended the Festival, with over $5,000 raised for Second Chance, a non-profit organisation that assists homeless women in building a more positive future. “This was an incredible experience that had a very beneficial outcome for not only Second Chance, but also the students of the School,” Victoria said. Ms Lauman, Dean of Students said “MADD night, and the lead up lunchtime auditions, provided a great opportunity to highlight the depth of talent at St Aidan’s. “Together with musicians, dancers, and singers, the evening also highlighted some of our wonderful class work from Art and Drama. “As always, the appearance of our very own teacher’s band was a further highlight of the night. “This was a true community event – students, parents and staff supporting the initiative of a wonderful Prefect group to bring people together and support a very worthwhile cause,” she said. huddle I december 2013 21

junior school - science

Engineering Educational opportunities Dressed in hard hats and high-visibility vests, students involved in the Year 4 Engineering Days have received an authentic taste of what it means to work in the field of engineering. The Engineering Days are the first in a three-year longitudinal study, Developing Engineering Education in Primary Schools, which will see students continue to be tracked in Years 5 and 6. Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology are currently collecting the data, and will explore the potential implementation of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) program in Senior Primary. Year 4 teacher Steve Baker said the program linked perfectly with units taught in everyday classroom activities, providing an ideal opportunity to further flesh out engineering concepts such as gravity, pulls, pushes and friction. The Engineering Days also expose students to the Engineering Design Model, which Mr Baker said linked not only with Science, but was also applicable when working on English, History and Mathematics skills. “The Engineering Design Model encourages students to identify a problem; brainstorm a solution; design a


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solution; build a solution; test a solution; redesign the solution; rebuild the solution; and retest the new design,” Mr Baker said. “This model can be applied to a range of situations, but essentially it reinforces the notion of ‘try and try again’, to persevere with challenges and explore new and creative solutions to problems.” The Days also promote the development of important skills such as listening, communicating, compromising and encouraging others. “This type of hands-on learning is critical for the Junior School girls, as it is in these early years that their confidence in the Science, Mathematics and Technology fields is established,” Mr Baker said. “If we can help each student see that they are capable of developing, designing, building, testing and creating solutions, then we may go a long way towards encouraging students to pursue these subjects in the senior years.”

The Prep/Year 1 students enjoyed an exciting morning with our local fire brigade as part of the History unit on ‘Local Services’. They had fun being junior fire fighters and loved taking turns in spraying water from the fire hose.

Science - space design

junior school - history

Prep and Year 1

play with fire

huddle I december 2013 23

kindergarten - nativity play


Nativity play

For how long have you been a teacher? My first year of teaching was in 1997, where I taught in a very small school in Central Queensland. The first class I taught was a combined Preschool, Year 1 and Year 2. When did you commence at St Aidan’s? I started at St Aidan’s in July, 2013. What are you most excited about as you prepare to step into your new role?

Louise Vickers Q&A 24

huddle I december 2013

I am most excited about getting to know the children and their families.

How are you hoping to develop the Kindergarten program at St Aidan’s in the future? I hope to build on the very successful Kindergarten program that already exists at St Aidan’s, but add my own uniqueness. Outside the classroom, what are your other interests? I love to read, go to the beach, play with my children and experiment with cooking.

k i n d eSr eg na irot re nS c- hroe oa ld - aBc irgo sHsi st thoer yu nP irvoej er sc et

read across the universe

Literature celebrations –

junior school

Books and reading are celebrated every day at St Aidan’s, but in Semester Two the Junior School took a love of all things literature to a whole new level. In August, the ‘Read Across the Universe’ Book Week saw a number of competitions stream into the Junior Library, including space creatures reading books, and students in reading universes of their own creation. The theme was a perfect fit with Science Week and the Junior School’s Science and Technology Showcase, where the Junior Library staff dedicated an area for girls to use iPads to scan electronic QR codes to read and view space-themed stories. Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 enjoyed sessions with author Pat Flynn and author/illustrator Narelle Oliver, while students from Kindergarten to Year 2 were treated to a morning with Ms Oliver, who read aloud from her books and delighted them with engaging and creative art activities. Later that month, Ms Oliver’s picture book Don’t Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen! went on to take out the prestigious Children’s Book Award at The Queensland Literary Awards, judged by a panel of industry professionals including St Aidan’s own Junior School Teacher Librarian Megan Daley. huddle I december 2013 25

junior school - science

discover bright sparks Held in August, the Bright Sparks Science and Technology Showcase is an afternoon for St Aidan’s students from Kindergarten to Year 7, with the support of their teachers, to demonstrate the diverse range of knowledge and skills they are developing in the Science and Technology fields. This year saw a wide variety of interactive and informative displays presented, with students taking an active lead and engaging with the visitors. Those in attendance included friends, families and invited guests from the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Engineering Faculty. Students and guests alike were also entertained by guest speaker Jillian Kenny, an expert in Biomimicry,


huddle I december 2013

co-founder of Power of Engineering Inc. and a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology. Bright Sparks co-ordinator and Year 4 teacher Steve Baker said he had been very pleased with the opportunities the afternoon had presented for enabling students to share their knowledge of science and technology. “With a healthy attendance and successful afternoon, it is expected that the Science and Technology Showcase will continue to be an annual event in the Junior School calendar for many years to come,” Mr Baker said.

junior school - environment

Green space upgrade

Working over-thyme in garden pays off The hard work carried out by the Junior School’s Earth Angels encouraging sustainable practices at St Aidan’s has been acknowledged with a coveted award at the Keep Queensland Beautiful Awards. St Aidan’s won the School Award for Resource Management, presented at a ceremony by Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO Rick Burnett and the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Graham Quirk.

The grounds in front of the Junior School have received an exciting facelift, with upgrades to landscaping, drainage and play areas. In the past, problems with drainage contributed to the continual wear and tear of grass in this high traffic area, requiring an overhaul of the drainage system as well as new pathways and stairs from the drive-through to the buildings. The removal of the hedge in the courtyard has opened up the space, with a shady garden and seating bordering the area, channeling general foot traffic away from the grass to avoid significant deterioration in the future. The new coloured concrete, in addition to the existing paved courtyard, provides generous space for physical activities such as skipping, handball and other ball games. “This re-designed area promotes opportunities for children in the Junior School to play and socialise together, regardless of age or physical ability,” said Head of Junior School Louise McGuire. “It is particularly ideal in a school where girls from different year levels naturally get to know and interact with students of all ages during structured or un-structured activities.” The new area also doubles as an outdoor teaching space, with new seating areas ideal for whole class, group and individual work, as well as Junior School assemblies and meetings.

Year 7 Earth Angels Leaders Paris Whelan, Emily Murray and Lucy Johnston were present to accept the surprise award, accompanied by Junior School Teacher Librarian and Earth Angel’s Coordinator Megan Daley. “We went into the city thinking we were just going to watch another school receive the award, but when St Aidan’s was announced we were very shocked and excited,” Earth Angels Leader Emily Murray said, who this year was responsible for watering the School’s vegetable garden and collecting food scraps for the resident worm farms. “I think the work Earth Angels does is extremely important to the environment and the planet, because we hope to inspire students to be clean and respectful towards the earth.” The award recognised the work Earth Angels carries out regarding litter management in the Junior School, as well as their continued success with worm farming and composting, and up-cycling of products in the Junior School kitchen garden and surrounds. “Involving children and young people through school activities is an essential part of building a more environmentally healthy, vibrant and inclusive community,” Mrs Daley said.

Golden Boot

For the second year in a row, St Aidan’s Junior School has been awarded the Active School Travel Golden Boot. The impressive trophy acknowledges St Aidan’s as having the greatest percentage of students using public transport to get to school. Approximately 22 per cent of girls currently travel to St Aidan’s each day using Brisbane’s bus and train network. huddle I december 2013 27

arts -music

Professor Mark Kendall Biomedical Engineer, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons I), Doctor of Philosophy (Mechanical Engineering) 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Interdisciplinary Research

Learning from a master One of St Aidan’s most talented pianists has had the rare opportunity to play in a master class from renowned international performer Yiyun Gu.

Chai Jie Low (Year 11) and 2014 Music Captain first started learning to play at the age of five, and said she felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one session with Ms Gu.

“Being able to do a master class with Yiyun was a wonderful experience,” Chai Jie said. “She is a remarkable performer and I felt very fortunate to be able to gain useful advice and work on different techniques with her.” Ms Gu was visiting Brisbane to compete in the prestigious Lev Vlassenko International Piano Competition, and in addition to the master class performed a short recital to Years 11 and 12 students studying Music. Chai Jie said she had her parents to thank for first fostering her interest in piano. “My parents had noticed my peculiar interest in poking around at the different piano keys for hours as a child and decided to enroll me for lessons, which led me to develop a keen interest in piano playing.” Chai Jie is a regular face around the halls of the St Aidan’s Music Department, as a member of Choral, Stage Band and as a

28 huddle I december 2013

violinist in String Consort and Symphony Strings. Currently using her musical talents to entertain aged care residents, Chai Jie said she hoped to pursue further studies and a career in piano performance after graduating from high school, with plans to eventually assist others through music therapy. “Being involved in the music program at St Aidan’s has provided me with many different and wonderful opportunities to extend my musical skills and I am so grateful for all the encouragement and support I’ve received from the staff and Music Department,” Chai Jie said.

a r t s - music

STATE HONOURS for students Three St Aidan’s students have joined with more than 750 of the finest young musicians from across the state for Queensland Conservatorium’s annual State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP).

Sonia Dong Year 12

Sonia Dong (Year 12), Louisa Macdonald (Year 12) and HaJeong Shin (Year 11) were selected to attend the program, from a field of over 1,400 students nominated by their school Music Departments. Led by international and national conductors, the program culminated in four grand finale SHEP 2013 concerts showcasing the talents of the musicians, held in October in the Conservatorium Theatre, South Bank.

Louisa Macdonald Year 12

In a reciprocal program between Seattle and Brisbane, ten American university students were also selected to attend SHEP with the Australian participants. “St Aidan’s has had a long association with SHEP and has regularly provided students for the extension programs on offer,” said Music Teacher David Galbraith. HaJeong Shin Year 11

“The conductors and tutors are top class and the concerts are exciting and inspiring. The intensive course is excellent in developing advanced musical skills and the opportunity to work with other players of a similar standard is very rewarding.”

huddle I december 2013 29

tArts h e -alanguages rts - a midwinter’s dream

a midwinter’s dream

Heather Burridge, Madelyn Kilkenny and India Oswin won the State Finals of the Queensland Youth Shakespeare Festival, for their performance of a scene from Richard III. 30 huddle I december 2013

the arts - a midwinter’s dream


on stage

After more than three months of rehearsals, a group of St Aidan’s girls have taken to the stage with a fresh take on Shakespearian classics, in a joint performance with students from Brisbane Boys’ College (BBC). The Senior School Drama production also involved a number of character workshops prior to opening night, offering the actors a unique professional opportunity to bring to life the language of Shakespeare and extract the potential meanings behind each scene. It was performed by ten Year 11 St Aidan’s girls, along with students from the BBC Drama Department. “Seen through the dreams of an eccentric professor, Shakespearian characters came alive to bring human emotions and experiences of love, betrayal, gang warfare and murder to the audience,” said performer Heather Burridge, Year 11. “For the cast, a new appreciation of Shakespeare has grown amidst the wonderful friendships and experiences of this amazing production.”

St Aidan’s Drama teacher Gerry Kay said the feedback from the students involved was very positive. “It was the most difficult drama performance they have had to do, being Shakespearean language and beat, but they had the most wonderful experience,” he said. “There was a full house on opening night, and the audience seemed to love watching our girls and the BBC boys truly challenged and coming up trumps.”

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the arts - write about art

Proving she knows the right way to write about art, Year 12 student Alexandra Thompson was one of only 24 students from around the state selected to participate in the 2013 Write About Art program.

MATHS & ARTS a winning combination

Run by the Flying Arts Alliance in association with Eyeline Publishing, Write About Art is a competition and writing development program for Queensland students in Years 11 and 12.

“In my first response, I looked at an artist called Nikki Graziano, whose work Found Functions draws on nature photography combined with mathematical modeling,” Alexandra said.

“My art teacher Mrs Brown asked me about submitting some writing I had done into a competition called Write About Art, and after doing some research decided that it would be an amazing opportunity to top off my Year 12 Art experience,” Alexandra said of her initial selection.

“I was really intrigued by her work because I personally enjoy Maths and so was interested to see the two subjects interwoven in such a way.”

She submitted a reworked version of an Art assignment she had produced earlier in the year, which required her to write from two perspectives: the first as an artist inspired by some kind of scientific environment, and the second as a scientist critiquing a science-based artwork.


huddle I december 2013

Proving she knows the right way to write about art, Year 12 student Alexandra Thompson was one of only 24 students from around the state selected to participate in the 2013 Write About Art program.

Her second response was from the perspective of Russian chemist Edward Rakhmanov reacting to an installation called Biopole by Julia Borovaya, which draws on scientific theories about Non-Newtonian fluids. Alexandra will have her work published in a full colour anthology by Eyeline Magazine, a leading visual journal.

Students were also assigned a mentor from a selection of established industry professionals, who worked with them to hone their writing skills. The mentoring took place at a oneday workshop at the State Library of Queensland, where students toured an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art and participated in discussions about various writing techniques. “After the workshop, I have realised that my interests in writing could offer me the opportunity to continue to pursue Art after Year 12,” Alexandra said. “I also have a passion for Maths and Science, and I would like to take my creative interests into a field like engineering in the hope that my artistic thinking will help me pioneer new ideas in the industry.”

community - grandparents and special friends day

would have known “ IfthatI grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first.

Generational gap bridged by a love of learning St Aidan’s has once again opened its doors to both the youngest and oldest members of the Junior School community, thanks to the annual Morning for Grandparents and Special Friends. “Each year, this particular event in our school calendar attracts approximately 350 visitors – that’s more than any other event,” said Head of Junior School Louise McGuire. “This in itself is a testament to just how important grandparents and significant adults are to young children, and how equally important these young people are to them.” Now in its 12th year in the current format, the morning commences with an assembly in the Christine Hartland Centre with students from Kindergarten to Year 7. Here visitors have the opportunity to view displayed artwork and enjoy musical items performed by the students, as well as poems and reflections about grandparents and special friends. Guests are then invited to return to

the classrooms and share experiences of students’ learning by engaging in a variety of activities and tours.

and of self, and we are so proud that our granddaughters are a part of such a nurturing school environment.”

The event concludes with morning tea in the grounds of the Junior School, where students sit with their special visitors and join together for delicious treats, a cup of tea and a chat.

Ms McGuire said she believed its success each year reflected just how much enjoyment students and their guests alike gained from the event.

Lyn deKleyn, grandmother to Isabelle (Prep) and Olivia (Kindergarten), attended this year’s event and said it had been “wonderful” to see her granddaughters happy and part of such a friendly community. “The girls were so joyous and displayed such a strong sense of pride when sharing their work with us,” Mrs deKleyn said. “It was clear to us that St Aidan’s fosters a strong sense of community

“The girls are so proud to show off the work they are doing and the facilities they enjoy each day, and likewise the grandparents love spending quality time with their grandchildren in the environment that they spend the majority of their time,” Ms McGuire said. “Each year, we have grandparents who have timed holidays to Brisbane from overseas or interstate so they can spend the morning with their grandchildren, and they keep coming back!” huddle I december 2013 33

the arts - flying arts

Scholarship for Young Rider Isabella Wilkinson McIntyre

Rosanna Relton (Year 10) competed in the Queensland StateInterschool Equestrian Championships at Maryborough representing St Aidan’s and won the State Championship at Prix St Georges level, the highest level in interschool competition. Rosanna then continued to the Australian Young Riders Championships at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre where she won the Australian FEI Junior Championship and the Australian FEI Junior Freestyle Championship riding her horse, FourWinds Bombadier. Rosanna rode Fairbanks Ringo in the Australian FEI Pony and the Australian Elementary Pony Championship, resulting in two Reserve Australian Championships and the highest elementary score achieved across the competition.


huddle I december 2013

Isabella Wilkinson-McIntyre is told that her love of riding began as a two-year-old, when she first rode a camel at a local school fete. Perhaps it was the lack of camels in Brisbane that brought her around to horses, for twelve years later the Year 10 student is taking the equestrian world by storm and shows no sign of slowing down. Proving her enthusiasm and dedication to the sport, Isabella has recently been named the recipient of the inaugural Remi Stud Young Rider Scholarship. As part of the award, Isabella received a beautiful black colt named Remi Levingstone, as well as new equipment, three years’ worth of horse feed, training, horse registration, legal work and veterinary support. According to Remi Stud, the scholarship is provided to a young rider “who has the talent and dedication in either dressage or eventing, but not the financial means to purchase a quality competition horse”.

Isabella currently competes at both state and national levels in eventing, showjumping and dressage, last year walking away with Interstate Showjumping Champion, Showman Champion, Senior School Overall Equestrian Champion and runner-up Queensland Young Dressage Rider of the Year. “I tend to just take every day as it comes,” Isabella said. “I do wish, however, to continue progressing up the levels of eventing and dressage, and one day hand my knowledge down to younger kids, just like so many of my instructors have done for me.” Isabella was also recently named the Australian National Senior Novice Champion and Australian National Freestyle Champion.

Ssppoor rt t - - f he on c ki ne gy

Undefeated Champions

Against a fierce field of competition, the St Aidan’s Senior A Hockey team has taken out the QGSSSA Premiership for the first time in the School’s history. Hockey Captain Morgan Gallagher, who has been playing the sport since the age of seven, said she had “enjoyed immensely” being part of the team, and was proud that the students involved had put in their best effort. “All the girls have had a positive attitude to Hockey and put in 100 per cent into every training and game, which is reflected through the success of the team,” said Morgan. “The overall atmosphere of school Hockey is extremely enlightening and inspiring.” Earlier this year, Morgan was one of only 16 girls selected for the Australian Under 16 Schoolgirls’ Hockey team, which will tour South Africa for three weeks in 2014. “Morgan has played a key role as St Aidan’s Hockey Captain this year, mentoring the younger girls of the Senior A team who have relished the opportunity of playing with her,” said Head of Sport Nigel Bailey. “The Senior A Hockey team is to be congratulated on an outstanding season, which is a result of their dedication to the sport and to each other.”

huddle I december 2013 35

sport - athletics

QGSSSA Athletics


“top three” placings

Elizabeth Jacques - broke the 16 years 1500m QGSSSA record by 4 seconds.

36 huddle I december 2013

sport - athletics

The sports program at St Aidan’s has seen the benefits of an experienced coaching team across our core sports of Athletics, Cross Country and Swimming. This issue we profile two of the coaches who have been working with our students this year to achieve outstanding results – Matt Boyd - Athletics Jumps Coach; and Michael Piper – Swimming Head Coach.

Matt Boyd Q&A St Aidan’s Athletics Jumps Coach For how long have you been coaching at St Aidan’s?

How would you like to see Athletics develop at St Aidan’s in the future?

This is my first year coaching with St Aidan’s. I am good friends with Jayden Russ [Head Athletics Coach] and he asked if I would be interested in helping out with the Athletics team.

From my limited time coaching, it appears St Aidan’s offers a wide variety of sports to students, which is great. However, often this is difficult to get consistent participation given a lot of the girls are spread across a range of sports. I think Athletics is a great basis, providing the fundamental principles of all sports and I would encourage everyone to participate no matter their preferred sport. Nonetheless, there are a number of talented athletes at St Aidan’s and I believe improvement across the board will come from consistent training as a team. I believe success breeds success and over time we can improve in depth of performances.

What is your background in Athletics? Athletics tends to run in my family, so I have a very long background with the sport. My Mum (100m/200m/400m) and Dad (Pole Vault) represented Australia at the Olympics between 1972 and 1980, and are both Commonwealth Champions. My eldest sister, Alana, is also an Olympic representative (2008, 2012) and Commonwealth Champion in the Pole Vault. Naturally I progressed into the sport during primary school, competing in an array of events before specialising in pole vaulting in 2004. I have represented Australia at World Youth and World Junior Championships and hope to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Coaching wise, I help out with a pole vault group at the Sunshine Coast and at my old high school from time to time. I was also Jumps Coach with St Peter’s Lutheran College in 2009.

Outside of Athletics, what other interests do you have? Outside of Athletics training and coaching, I work as a Town Planner with Urbis, a private property consultancy. I also have a keen interest in all sports in general (basically, anything competitive!) and a great desire to travel.

What do you believe you bring to the role of Jumps Coach? I feel I have technical knowledge as a coach and experience as an athlete, which I can hopefully pass onto the girls to improve in their own jumping events. huddle I december 2013 37

sport - swimming

Michael Piper Head Coach, Dunlop Park Swimming Club What involvement do you have with the St Aidan’s swimming team? Craig Tobin will continue to be the Head Coach of the St Aidan’s Swimming program but I fully anticipate that I will be involved in the delivery of training to the girls at both the School and at Dunlop Park Swimming Pool. Being based primarily at the Dunlop Park pool I would certainly encourage any of the more serious students to come down and train with me on a regular basis. What do you believe you bring to the role of swimming coach? I have been a swimming coach now for 25 years and hold the highest level of accreditation available in Australia (Platinum Licence). During this period I have worked with athletes at all levels right up to International competitions and have vast experience working closely with private school programs including Churchie, St Margaret’s and John Paul College in Brisbane. I believe that I bring knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and vision to my role as a coach. What will be the main focus for the 2013-2014 swimming season? The main focus for the season 2013 / 2014 will be to encourage all swimmers

38 huddle I december 2013

to dream big and aim for a swimming performance at a higher level than they have ever achieved. The program will be available for them to do this and they will be given the support and encouragement to improve and enjoy their swimming. Of course I want to see St Aidan’s perform better in school competitions and this can be achieved by every individual improving and contributing their best. How would you like to see swimming develop at St Aidan’s in the future? Ultimately I would like to see the St Aidan’s swimming program and the Dunlop Park Swimming Pool develop an even stronger partnership and create a higher profile with swimming in the region. Gradually I believe that we can build our own successful school program and have St Aidan’s students competing at the National and International level. Outside of swimming, what other interests do you have? My primary interests away from coaching are my three children who keep me very busy. I have an 18 year-old son, five year-old daughter and one year-old.son. Obviously sport is a very important part of their lives and particularly with the younger ones this will become even more crucial in their upbringing.

sport - rowing

Strong season for STARS With a shed of only 60 girls, St Aidan’s Rowing has once again proved that small can still be mighty.

The culmination of six months’ worth of early winter mornings, blistered hands and weary muscles was the Head of the River in August, an annual clash of force between Brisbane girls’ school rowers.

our VIII crews placed on the podium in their respective A Division finals, from a shed of only 60 girls, is something that fills me with immense pride,” said Head of Senior School Sport Nigel Bailey.

Led by Rowing Captains Nicole AshtonBrooks and Emily Hodgson, the St Aidan’s crews displayed a great level of fitness, expertise and determination, with highlights including a 3rd place for the First VIII, the Second VIII placing 2nd and Senior rower Rebecca Fletcher earning 3rd place in the Year 12 scull.

“The Head of the River, along with QGSSSA Swimming, attracts perhaps the biggest crowd of the sporting year, and the pressure and weight of expectation that sits on these girls and continues to build until the First VIII race is unique.”

St Aidan’s also ranked 4th in the Percentage Cup. “I rarely like to play the ‘small school’ card in sport because I think it often provides us with an all-too-easy excuse for nonperformance, however the fact that both

“Ultimately their efforts of a six-month season will be judged – rightly or wrongly – on a little over six minutes of rowing at the Head of the River, and I have nothing but admiration for the way they responded to those challenges on the biggest stage of all, and when it counted.”

huddle I december 2013 39

sport - tennis

QGSSSA Premierships Open and Year 9 Tennis Teams

Game, set and match For the third season in a row, the St Aidan’s Open Tennis team has retained their title as undefeated Premiers in the QGSSSA competition. “It’s been a pleasure to play alongside such a friendly and enthusiastic group of girls,” said Tennis Captain and Open team member Lyann Hoang. “The Open Tennis team is a very dedicated and hard-working group and everyone is a strong player, which is one of the advantages we had over other schools.” In a spectacular finish to her high school tennis career, Lyann said she was proud to have played alongside teammates Simran Shah, Darcia McRae and Edwina Newman, and credited their commitment to training as the main reason the team had been so successful across multiple seasons.


huddle I december 2013

“Most of the girls trained almost every day at Ambiwerra as part of the tennis excellence program with Lifetime Tennis, and our experienced coaches have continuously assisted our team to improve our skills and knowledge of the game,” said Lyann. The Year 9 Tennis team also took out the top place in their Premiership division for 2013, suggesting big things will continue to come for Tennis at St Aidan’s.

sport - gymnastics and badminton

Gymnasts flying high

In only Year 8, St Aidan’s gymnast Jordyn Clarke (Year 8) has brought home gold from the New Zealand 2013 National Gymsports Championships. Jordyn beat a strong field of competitors to take out first place in Level 7, Rhythmic Gymnastics. Jordyn plans to replicate her success next year. “I hope to one day get to the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics,” Jordan said. “I know that my expectations are high, but they have to be if I want to go where I want to go,” she said. Dedication to the sport has also paid off for St Aidan’s sisters Melissa and Samantha Watkin, who have both achieved exceptional results at the 2013 Australian Gymnastics Championships. The event marked their first time competing in an Australian Championships, with both students walking away with a top ten ranking in their respective divisions and a gold medal as members of the triumphant Queensland team. Individually, Melissa finished in seventh place overall in the Level 8 Division, and on the floor exercise performed the fourth best routine in Australia. Contesting the Level 7 division, Samantha finished in ninth place overall and finished on seventh place on the uneven bars.

QGSSSA Premiership Year 10 Badminton Team


St Aidan’s has seen a surge in the popularity of badminton and strong numbers of players lead to a St Aidan’s first – a premiership in badminton. The Year 10 team took out the pennant at this year’s tournament with a number of other teams also performing strongly.

huddle I december 2013 41

sport - culture

cultural champion recognised

Jayde Ramsey Hours of training have paid off for ice skater Jayde Ramsey (Year 7), who now holds the title of 2013 Open Division State Champion after competing at the Queensland State Championships with her team, Ice Precise. Jayde’s team will now go on to compete against three other synchronised iceskating Open Division teams from South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales at the Australian National Figure Skating Championships later this year

Gabrielle Lacaze Representing St Aidan’s in the Subaru Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships, top skier Gabrielle Lacaze (Year 9) has triumphed over poor snow conditions to place in the top ten in the Under-16 Mogul event. Despite limited snow on the slopes, Gabrielle’s stellar results represented a personal best for both her race and jump. Held this year at Mt Buller, Victoria, the championships attract a fierce field of competitors from across the country. 42 huddle I december 2013

With students and staff alike singing his praises, James Cuskelly, St Aidan’s Head of Creative Arts and Design Studies, said it was a “great honour” to be recognised in the broader community as one of Art Queensland’s Culture Champions for 2013.

“I am involved in a wide range of professional activities and the nomination recognises my efforts not only in teaching in Queensland, but also in teacher training, choral performance and development, and community engagement.”

The Culture Champion Wall of Fame recognises Queensland’s arts and culture “heroes”, from artists and designers, to teachers and philanthropists.

An upcoming documentary by filmmaker Julie Romanuik, When We Sing, follows Dr Cuskelly and his journey with the Kodály method of music education.

Dr Cuskelly, Vice President of the International Kodály Society, Director of the Summer School Music Program, and Director of the Cuskelly College of Music, was nominated anonymously for his extensive contribution to the state’s art and culture sector.

“I am very excited about the documentary – not because I will be in it! – but because of what we can show about music and music education in a film like this,” Dr Cuskelly said.

His selection sits alongside esteemed colleagues including Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin, musician and Artistic Director of Queensland Music Festival James Morrison, renowned fashion designer Gail Sorronda, and musician and St Aidan’s Old Girl Kate Miller-Heidke.

“The documentary is a wonderful opportunity to capture what happens in our Music classrooms, to see the ways in which students are involved in learning and engaged in music thinking, and to demonstrate the way in which we here in Australia have adopted the Kodály philosophy and adapted it to our classrooms and schools.”

“An award such as this is not only a recognition of my work at this particular point in time, but is also an acknowledgement of many years in the Arts,” said Dr Cuskelly.

“In my mind, there are things that we do here in Australia that are unique to us and to our situation and I think that the rest of the world is interested to observe what is happening.”

staff- achievements

Staff Achievements Sue Burvill-Shaw An atlas co-authored by St Aidan’s Head of History, Sue Burvill-Shaw has taken out the award for Best Educational Product at the International Cartographic Association conference held earlier this year. Mrs Burvill-Shaw was a coordinating author of Jacaranda World History Atlas / myWorldHistory Atlas, writing several sections and in charge of a final rework to ensure a single “voice” flowed throughout the book. The atlas is aimed at students in Years 7 to 10, with a two-page spread featuring a map, chronology, primary sources and educational activities, as well as a brief outline of every topic in the Australian Curriculum: History.

Kerstin Liebchen-Meades St Aidan’s Head of German, Kerstin Liebchen-Meades has been presented with an inaugural Modern Language Teachers Association of Queensland Award for Exemplary Practice in the teaching of languages in primary school. The award recognises Ms Liebchen-Meades’ significant contribution in the professional development of German and other language teachers in Queensland independent schools and beyond.

Ms Karen Spiller Ms Spiller has been awarded a Fellowship at the Bond University. She was also a co-presenter at The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Women in Leadership Masterclass in Sydney. She also presented at the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Boston on “The Role of Networking in Girls’ School and the Role of Alumnae play in preparing Girls for the World of Work”. In the second half of the year, Mrs Spiller presented on the Daily Music and Daily Language Instruction for Early Childhood Students and co-presented on Pedagogical Rounds, “The School Improvement Journey” at the 20th International Conference on Learning, Rhodes. Achievements from our staff also include: •

Mrs Anne Page was invited to attend a workshop on Climate Change led by the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland;

Ms Karen Gorrie was selected as one of seven Queensland Representatives for Leading Language Teachers in the Mentoring and Reflecting: Languages Educators and Professional Standards (MoRe LEAPS) Project through NALSSP in Adelaide. Ms Gorrie also presented and was asked to be part of a plenary panel session at the Modern Language Teachers Association of Queensland (MLTAQ) Conference.

huddle I december 2013 43

parents and friends - report

In 2013 the P&F continued to provide services both for the school community and the parents and friends who give so freely of their time to Support Groups for sporting and cultural co-curricular activities. Volunteering and communication were the themes for the year and continue on into 2014. Thanks to volunteer parents and friends, the P&F was able to run four successful school dances, and two smaller fund raising activities, whilst controlling expenses. So, in addition to funds raised by Support Groups, the P&F was able to donate $45,000 to the school, without dipping into reserves and despite reduced revenues and profits at the Tuck Shop and Uniform Shop. Communications with Class Reps and with P&F staff improved as regular meetings were instituted. In looking forward to the Trivia Night on 15 February 2014 and the Major Raffle continuing throughout Term One, gives me optimism about the P&F’s increasing engagement with the school and the wider community.

to all our volunteers


huddle I december 2013

My thanks go to Claire Rush, who joined as operations manager in October, and to the unfailing support of Judy and Anne in the Tuckshop and Uniform Shop; thanks also to Donna for taking up the reins in Text & Calculator Loan (we will miss you!) and to Sonia and Judith for stepping up so magnificently in liaison and fund raising. The Executive of Amanda McKenzie, Vice-President, Helen Brodie, Treasurer, and Gillian Mullis Secretary have been enthusiastic, innovative, creative and determined, but we await your verdict at the AGM! Mark Bell P&F President

school council - new council chair

St Aidan’s School Council is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chair and Deputy Chair of Council. Ms Gillian Brown, currently a Partner and Head of the Queensland Finance team at MinterEllison Lawyers, has been appointed Chair of School Council commencing in 2014. Ms Brown brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in energy and resources, infrastructure and construction project financing, and is considered a preeminent corporate and project lawyer in her field. Gillian previously held the Deputy Chair role on Council.

Now in her twelfth year as a priest in this Diocese, Rev Crombie acknowledges the influence of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent in her subsequent call to Holy Orders.

St Aidan’s Deputy Chair of School Council is The Rev Jan Crombie, a past School Captain (1973) and current Executive Director of the Parishes and Other Mission Agencies Commission (PMC).

Our thanks also to Jan Mohr who is also leave School Council after nine years of dedicated service and support to the School.

Both Gillian and Jan have been members of the St Aidan’s School Council for a number of years.

Ms Gillian Brown Chair of Council

Our thanks to retiring Chair, Prof Neil Dempster for his time and service to St Aidan’s.

huddle I december 2013 45

community - foundation

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer…” Ms Harriet Tubman

At St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School we are blessed to play a critical role in the lives of girls, doing our best to ensure that nothing holds them back from pursuing their dreams. We achieve this by encouraging talents, nurturing self-belief, providing principled teaching and thoughtful care, and by offering access to state-of-the-art facilities that provide our students with every opportunity to develop their full potential. It is this kind of environment that sets the scene for possibility. A sense of possibility expressed so eloquently by an old girl, who recently pledged $300,000 in seed funding for our Campaign for the Sciences: “As a St Aidan’s student in the 1960s the opening of the science laboratory heralded a new and exciting era for girls at the school. My Science teacher inspired many in the field of science and physiology. I, however, was already set on a path of business studies so, for me, the newly found world of science was an ‘impossible dream’… for present and future generations of St Aidan’s girls, it can be a ‘reality’.” At the time of writing, our community has raised almost $100,000 of the additional $300,000 needed to match the pledge of seed funding. This is a wonderful start to our campaign and sincere thanks go out to all who have already contributed! Elements with an accompanying inscription of your choice are still available on our Periodic Table Honour Board, which will be proudly displayed at the entrance of the Science Centre. If you are considering making a gift to the Campaign for the Sciences, please contact Gordana Pilgrim, Director of Development and Community, on 3373 5929.

46 huddle I december 2013

2 0 1 3 -2




Your gift will fund the possibility that St Aidan’s girls can not only dream of the stars, but may one day actually reach them.

community - foundation

It’s been a fabulous (and somewhat busy!) second half of the year for social and fundraising events at St Aidan’s. It all kicked off with the Fathers’ Breakfast in August. More than 200 dads and their children enjoyed not only each other’s company, but also a fabulous buffet breakfast – courtesy of Caxton Street Catering – and a heart-warming presentation by old girl, Amanda Wood. Friday 18 October saw the school host its Inaugural St Aidan’s Sports Lunch at the stylish Mirra Private Dining and Events Venue, Fortitude Valley. Over 90 guests, comprising current parents, past parents and corporate partners, had the opportunity to mingle in beautiful surrounds while being thoroughly entertained by the passionate and die-hard sports fan, commentator, and journalist, Rebecca Wilson. The day was a sound fundraising success – netting over $10,000 for the Foundation, and cementing its place in the annual Foundation Fundraising Calendar. The year ended on a high note (pardon the pun!) with the Junior School Disco. This annual event has become a much-awaited night out for the young girls – a chance to dress up and enjoy a night of dancing with their biggest fans, their dads. The Rock n’ Roll themed event inspired everything from the food – 50s diner style ribs and burgers – to the guests, all of whom put their ‘glad rags on’ and had some fun (with the jam-packed dance floor proof of the latter!) Thanks go out to all of our fabulous parent volunteers for their creativity, dedication and commitment to hard work to ensure that these events are as successful as they are. We couldn’t do it without you! Don Chandler Foundation Chairman huddle I december 2013 47

ld r o w he t d n arou years in


2012 French tri p

2005 Chinese Trip g

1978 Greece and Rome trip

2009 Antiquities




Tit k Forest

huddle I december 2013 an trip - Blac Germ


1996 Tara Cosgrove on exchange travels around England and Europe

2006 Chinese Sister school signing with Jian Qing Experimental School


tipodeans Abroad

2005 Vietnam An

hange to St Mary’s DSG

2008 South African Exc


1997 Philippines Isabela National High School Principal Mr Martinez

group in Tian’anmen Square

1999 Student from the Philippines first Sister School Exchange group

1993 Gifu Girls

2003 Japanese tour group at

Miajima Island Japan

me ceremony

dancing welco

97 Japanese Exchange students from Gifu Girls HIgh School

2013 St Edmund Preparatory High School in Brooklyn, New York.

1976 Carolyn Moses graduating in California ,USA as an AFS student

huddle I december 2013 49

alumni - creating a living bridge

Did you know? Births

C ong ratu lation s Leah Stangle (1997) completed her Masters of Finance. Carly Furler (2002) completed her Masters of Nursing. Rosie Peters (Forbes 2003) gained her PHD focusing on Childhood Anxiety. Alexandra Doney (2007) graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Commerce and First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Laws. Courtney Phelps (2007) graduated from the University of Queensland with a Master of Communications, with a specialisation in Communication for Social Change. Courtney received a High Distinction her final thesis, which explored the use of social media in youth social work practice. Kate Carnell (Knowlman 1974) received a Honorary Doctorate from the University of Canberra.

Elissa Stewart (2012) made the Dean’s list for her academic results at the Queensland University of Technology in her first year of a Bachelor of Business/ Law. Elissa undertook two university subjects in Accounting while completing Year 12. Nicolai Morris (2006) and Elise Hoyer (2010) competed in the National Masters Games in Swimming. Nicolai will now go on to represent Australia in Canada in 2014. Libby Armstrong (2006) has been appointed the senior writer for the new Network 10 morning news program, Wake Up. Meg Rylance (2007) has been appointed Assistant Editor on MasterChef and is working for Infinity TV.

The award recognises Ms Summer’s significant contribution to the field of optometry, and in particular her inspirational outreach work with traditionally underserviced communities across the Northern Territory. She also took out the Business Owner Award and Business Innovation Award, at a ceremony held in Darwin earlier in the year. Ms Summers is currently chairman of the Australian Optometric Panel, director of Guide Dogs South Australia/Northern Territory, and director of Eyecare Plus,a representative body for 180 independent optometry practices.

In November Ms Summers won the Australian Business Owners Award. Judges described Ms Summers as an innovator and expert in her field who both used and delivered commercially leading-edge technology and services. huddle I december 2013

Teale Jooste (Cornish 2003 ) and Brendon welcomed baby Hudson born on 5 October.

Marriages Jodie Barnes (1999) married Rhian Patching at Sea World on the Gold Coast in front of family and close friends. Bec Wasley (2007) married Rowan Chapman on the 13 July 2013 at Kenmore Baptist Church.

Sarah Betts (2006) married Lachlan Fordyce on 4 October 2013.

Deaths Congratulations to past student Helen Summers (1978), winner of the 2013 Telstra Australian Business Owner Award and 2013 Telstra Northern Territory Business Woman of the Year.


Wilhelmina Morrison (Rowlings 1997) and Rob welcomed a baby girl Odette 6lbs13oz on 10 September, sister to Freddie.

Dorothea Faulkner (1960) passed on 14 August 2013.

Bronwyn Money (1974) passed on 31 August 2013, mother to Holly Tocker (2009). Louise Fletcher (1979) passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family, on 11 September 2013 aged 51 years. Mary Mathieson (Newton 1942) passed away in September 2013.

Past Students on Facebook Are you a member of our Past Students Facebook page career groups? It is a great way to stay in touch and network with those St Aidan’s Alumnus who may be working in your field. Find us here : st.paststudents

alumni - creating a living bridge

Alumni Networking Events This year saw three successful alumni networking events held.. The events have seen many of our past students making worthwhile connections within their industries including a number of students who have secured work experience opportunities with other Old Girls in their industry.

Planning is well underway to expand our career networking and mentoring next year with five breakfasts to be held with a range of industry focuses. For those working or studying in the Education sector, drinks will be held on the eve of the Aspiring Women Leaders Conference being held at St Aidan’s in March.

2014 DATE CLAIMER 14 March


Education Evening

18 March 7am Architecture/Engineering and Town Planning Breakfast 1 April


Law Breakfast

21 August


Health Breakfast

27 August


Business Breakfast

2 September


Creative Industries Breakfast

To attend or receive further information on any of these events please contact the Alumni Office on P: +61 7 3373 5961 or at E:

A number of Old Girls returned to the School community performing in the Concert Band at this year’s Annual Awards in November at QPAC. They included: Jessica Bridges – Trombone, Pip Sheehan – French Horn, Natalie Strong – Oboe, Fiona Wright – Clarinet, Kaitlyn Woods – Clarinet, Elena Katahanas – French Horn, Amanda Holley – Tuba, Claire Bazeley – Clarinet, Elizabeth Bazeley – Bassoon, Elizabeth Delaney – Percussion, Kate Freeman – Alto Sax, Elise Hoyer – Flute, Alex McDermott – Flute, Christie Skillington – Clarinet, Tegwen Marsden – Trumpet, Leisda Marsden – Flute, Grace Burgess-Limerick – Alto Sax, Ashleigh Walters – Percussion, Jessie Oliver – Flute, Inga Franks – strings, Victoria Munro – strings, Sarah Wilson – strings, Katie Wheatley – strings, Hannah Voroteliak – strings, Joanna Sandford – strings and Emily Howard – strings.

creative industries

2 September

huddle I december 2013 51

alumni - creating a living bridge

Reunions It has been a busy six months with reunions being held in Melbourne and Canberra as well as reunions for our 1973 and 1974 year groups. We had a large group of Old Girls join us for our Melbourne reunion. They spanned many years, some recent graduates and some not so recent. It was lovely to see the girls from 1961 get together, including one alumnus who had not seen any girls from her year since leaving school.

Girls from 1973 joined together at School to celebrate their 40 year reunion. The ladies enjoyed a lively lunch followed by a tour of the School to see the physical changes. The class of 1983 celebrated together in September with girls coming from Cairns, Tasmania and even Vietnam.

30 year reunion

Reunions and Old Girl Events 2014 2 April

10 am

50 Year Reunion

4 May

12 noon

40 Year Reunion

29 May

11 am

Ascension Day Picnic and 60 Year Reunion

31 May

2 pm

Sydney Reunion

14 June

6 pm

20 Year Reunion

17 September

2 pm

Melbourne Reunion

10 October

7 pm

Young Old Girls Evening

25 October

2 pm

Canberra Reunion

For further information, please contact the Alumni Office on 3373 5961 or


huddle I december 2013

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 - Dec 2013  
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