Incorporating the Old Girlsâ€™ Bulletin SPRING 2019
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Trips & Exchanges
Find Something You Love
Jane Goodall Visit
Early Learning Centre
For the latest St Catherine’s news and regularupdates visit www.stcatherines.net.au Editorial Ms Ursula Mooney Assistant Editors Ms Deirdre McDermott, Ms Kerrie Mussert, Ms Narda Edmondson Design Ms Ruth Gavin
Old Girls’ Bulletin
Senior School Algorithms
JOIN THE CONVERSATION AT:
Cover Photo Grace Lloyd (Year 12) Contributors Thank you to all Early Learning Centre,Junior School and Senior School staff and SCOGA (St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association). The Bulletin Editor Chrissy Ryan (Graham ’79)
For editorial queries, feedback or change of address, pleaseemail firstname.lastname@example.org For extra photos and video, read St Catherine’s News eMag online at www.stcatherines.net.au/ about-us/publications
Role models illustrate a way of achieving successful goals and a sense of self-worth and, notably, girls with a growth mindset are likely to gravitate toward these types of positive role models. â€“ MRS MICHELLE CARROLL, PRINCIPAL
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
perfect example to students of what is possible for a ‘young girl with a dream’.
From the Chair of Council This year, St Catherine’s students have had the opportunity to meet and hear from some truly remarkable women representing a diverse range of interests and disciplines. It has been pleasing to read of the impact these extraordinary women have had on our students and their studies, and no doubt the influence they will have on their future career choices. As our VCE Global Politics and Legal Studies students prepare for the commencement of their final examinations in Term 4, I am certain that the words of encouragement offered by former Member of Parliament and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Ms Julie Bishop, during their boardroom style conference in Term 1 will be a source of much inspiration throughout their VCE examinations. St Catherine’s students were most fortunate to meet world renowned conservationist and primatologist, Dame Jane Goodall DBE, in Term 2. Dr Goodall shared with students her remarkable story of research into the behaviours of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park over 60 years ago. Her story is the
In Term 3, Ms Clare Kenyon from the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne delivered the keynote address for the Senior School Science Week Assembly. She courageously shared with our Senior students her desire to withdraw from her Year 11 Physics studies, but persisted with the difficult course material after receiving some reassurance from her teacher. Clare’s story demonstrates to our girls the importance of adopting resilience, persistence and determination, particularly in the face of doubt and challenge. These women also provide meaning and depth to the subjects that students are studying in the classroom. In Term 3, American legal scholar and international human rights law expert, Ms Johanna Gusman, enriched the understandings of our VCE Global Politics students on the topic ‘ethics and human rights’. Students have also had the opportunity to realise what St Catherine’s girls are capable of through the personal journeys shared by our Old Girls. St Catherine’s Old Girl and entrepreneur Ms Georgia Beattie (’04), founder of Lupé Wines, provided motivation and inspiration to our Senior students at the Humanities Week Assembly in Term 3. Georgia started her own business in 2011 and was listed as a top 50 entrepreneur to watch in 2015. Even our Junior girls were motivated and inspired when we welcomed St Catherine’s Old Girl and past Barbreck student, Her Excellency, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria to officially open the new Junior School – Barbreck in Term 1. I have no doubt the current St Catherine’s cohort have been uplifted by the journeys of these remarkable women and their inspiring messages. I hope this theme continues in years to come. Ms Jane Hodder Chair of Council
From the Principal This year brought a 50-year celebration of NASA’s spaceflight Apollo 11, enabling the first landing of humans on the moon in the Apollo Lunar Module, Eagle, on 20 July 1969. Instrumental in calculating the complex trajectories and capsule’s landing coordinates at NASA was engineer Katherine Johnson. The popularity of the movie Hidden Figures has brought attention to the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson, who served as the brains trust behind NASA’s early launches into orbit that ultimately reshaped the Space Race. Set in the 1960s, the movie also highlights the issues that women, and women of colour, face when they enter STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The film has also had what some are calling a ‘Hidden Figures Effect’ – that is, providing positive female role models and inspiring young girls to pursue their interests in Mathematics and Science. A recent study co-authored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist, Esther Duflo, highlights just how important the ‘Role Model Effect’ and female leaders are for the attitudes and ambitions of young women. In this study, the results were astounding. In areas with long-serving female leaders in local government, the gender gap
THE ROLE MODEL EFFECT As an educator predominantly in girls’ schools for almost 30 years, I have witnessed countless times the impact of the Role Model Effect.
in teen education goals disappeared, owing to the fact that girls had set higher goals for themselves. This research spoke to the powerful and inspirational effect of women and made a compelling case for enforcing female quotas on corporate boards and in politics. As an educator predominantly in girls’ schools for almost 30 years, I have witnessed countless times the impact of the Role Model Effect. Social science research also shows that positive role models are indeed a significant predictor of interest and success in STEM and beyond for women. At St Catherine’s, we are deliberate with our selection of female guest speakers, aiming to purposely enable for our girls an optimism, enthusiasm and eagerness to achieve by emulating others. This year, Her Excellency, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, officially opened the new Junior School – Barbreck; The Honourable Julie Bishop, former Member for Curtin in the House of Representatives and the first female Minister for Foreign Affairs, enthused our Global Politics and Legal Studies students; and in opening our six newly refurbished Science laboratories, Dame Jane Goodall DBE, spoke of her significant campaigning for raising action to the global environmental issues.
Peer groups are also especially important for females in all areas of academic and co-curricular interests and underscores the value of an all girls’ education. Humans learn through modelling others. As these experiences accumulate through adolescence, teens decide what socially acceptable behaviour is and what is not. Undoubtedly, positive role models boost young people’s motivation by modelling a guide to achieving success. Their influence arises from the role model’s ability to inspire others with a clear set of values, a commitment to community, an acceptance of others, and importantly, an ability to overcome obstacles. Role models illustrate a way of achieving successful goals and a sense of self-worth and, notably, girls with a growth mindset are likely to gravitate toward these types of positive role models. One of the great strengths of St Catherine’s is the positive impact our Year 12, and Year 6 girls in Barbreck, have across our younger cohorts. Examples include our Rowing Captains, Emily Sutherland (Year 12) and Harriette Dryden (Year 12), ensuring that the culture of cohesion and togetherness permeates through the Mercantile Clubhouse; the lead role in the Senior Play, The Crucible, Grace Lloyd (Year 12) (on the front cover of this edition) inspired
the younger girls to pursue their love of the Performing Arts; and in Human Rights Club, Year 12 student Flynn O’Brien together with Year 7 student Rhea Werner, wrote to Senator Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the issue of women activists detained in Saudi Arabia. Our Barbreck Captains, Audrey Doan (Year 6) and Chloé Favaloro (Year 6), provide leadership through exhibiting positive engagement in school life, and together, St Catherine’s School Captains, Kavina Kalaichelvam (Year 12) and Georgina Cottrill (Year 12), are exceptional role models ensuring that a culture of kindness and gratitude is entwined with striving for personal endeavour and ambition. St Catherine’s is fortunate to be able to provide our students with a nurturing and empowering School community and the opportunity to be inspired and motivated by outstanding female role models. Mrs Michelle Carroll Principal Reference: Pereira, E (2012). The Role Model Effect: Women Leaders Key To Inspiring The Next Generation, Forbes Woman. 19 January, www.forbes.com/sites/worldviews/2012/01/19/ the-role-model-effect-women-leaders-key-to-inspiring-thenext-generation.
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Update on the Changes to END OF SEMESTER REPORTS Earlier this year, I wrote about the changes to end of semester reports being introduced for 2019. I am pleased to report that this change occurred in a seamless and effective manner. We have received feedback from parents and staff about how useful the new approach to reporting is within the School.
All parents have been able to access an end of semester Academic Transcript. The transcript provides information about their daughter on the grades achieved in each subject, a written statement from the form teacher about her wellbeing and a list of co-curricular involvement during the semester. What does not appear on the transcript are comments from individual subject teachers about academic progress. Historically, these subject comments provided little in the way of meaningful academic advice and explanation about a student’s academic performance and progress. The introduction of written feedback being published online after each assessment task is completed provides a timely and comprehensive account of a student’s academic progress. Parents and students can now see immediately after a piece of work has been marked the grade achieved and comments which highlight the strength of the work, areas that need improving and advice for what action can be taken to create improvement. We are now seeing a developing culture where students, teachers and parents engage in an active conversation immediately, rather than waiting until the end of a semester to conduct a conversation. If a student achieves a relatively low result on an assessment task, for example, then it is now quite common for a parent to take the initiative and make contact with the teacher and have a conversation about what to do. Previously, this might only happen at the end of term, which is really too late. Similarly, a student may have achieved a significantly improved
result in a subject and this immediacy of information can also provide the basis for a productive three way conversation between the teacher, student and parent. Parents and students are now able to see via the online Portal what dates assessment tasks occur and also receive feedback on a regular basis. Parents can see, quite literally, the feedback including the grade, one second after it is published online. The depth of feedback and timeliness of it has been the focus for teachers on the Portal. All parents have access to their daughter’s ‘Grades Page’ and can see significant detail and feedback on tasks throughout the semester that contribute to the overall results. The academic expectations and behaviours of the girls are quite explicit. Students record homework and class activities in their student record books. Teachers across the Senior School are conscientious in ensuring that the students are using their record books to document any tasks they need to complete outside of class, along with the due date. In addition, many teachers also provide details of work requirements, such as homework tasks on the Portal via the social stream. The social stream on student class pages generates dialogue amongst the class. Parents do not have this level of access. Enabling timely access for parents and students can only enhance the learning for all of our students. Mr Robert Marshall Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning
CREATING ESMART, SAFE & RESPONSIBLE STUDENTS St Catherine’s promotes a culture of digital citizenship and online safety, which is becoming increasingly important as young people’s lives and learning are intrinsically linked to technology.
In 2018, a study conducted by the Australian Psychological Society found that teenagers spent an average of 3.3 hours a day on social media. Education surrounding balance is key, as is encouraging young people to apply personal and community values to their online interactions. These values need to serve as a constant barometer as they navigate new apps and social media platforms.
St Catherine’s has recently registered as an ‘eSmart School’, which entails incorporating the principles of the eSmart Schools program into our resources, policies and programs. An initiative of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, eSmart Schools is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and is endorsed by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. The program aims to teach students to be smart, safe and responsible online and will enhance the existing Junior and Senior School Digital Citizenship units in the weThrive: Wellbeing@St Catherine’s program. The program covers topics such as cyberbullying, digital responsibility and reputation. As part of the Junior School Digital Citizenship curriculum, all Year 5 students will undertake their Digital Licence, which uses real life scenarios to teach children how to make the right choices online.
The national study also found that 15 per cent of teenagers had been contacted by strangers daily on social media. Furthermore, 35 per cent reported that they posted something that they later regretted and 29 per cent said they had been bullied on social media. These figures indicate the need for ongoing vigilance and education. To raise parent awareness of how to manage their daughter’s device usage, we invited IT professional and mother of four Lynette Coulston to present at the Girls Talk Parent Seminar for Years 5 to 9 parents, in Semester 1. In her presentation ‘Keeping Kids Safe on iDevices’, Lynette provided practical instructions to assist parents to limit screen time and set privacy settings and appropriate limits on website access. Lynette advised parents to discuss the need for age appropriate restrictions with their daughters to encourage appropriate online access.
Lynette outlined how parents can create a ‘downtime’ schedule to restrict specific apps on iPads and iPhones and discussed ways that parents can protect their children from accessing ‘adult’ websites using the new Apple iOS operating system’s ‘Content and Privacy Restrictions’. Mr John Toulantas, St Catherine’s Director of Information Technology, also provided information on home filtering options for safe at-home management of devices, and following the seminar, John distributed to parents information about ‘Circle with Disney’, a product that allows parents to manage screen time and filter content for every device in the home. In Term 3, the Year 8 students attended a Brainstorm Productions performance called ‘The Flipside’ which encouraged them to think critically about their online values and behaviour. These annual performances provide an entertaining but effective way for students to develop strategies for respectful online communication. A range of resources about online safety is available on the Digital Technologies section of the Student Wellbeing Portal page. Ms Merran O’Connor Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing
St Catherineâ€™s News Spring 2019
In Term 2, the Year 8 cohort embarked on a wonderful experience to Central Australia. Some girls had their doubts about the trip at first, though once there, they started to realise how special this opportunity was going to be.
YEAR 8 CENTRAL AUSTRALIA CAMP The benefits of the trip included stepping out of our comfort zone and really getting to know the wider cohort, as we spent six days with each other. Something very beneficial to all of us, was having no social media or technology, and just being in the company of each other and the fresh outdoors. We were lucky enough to have already studied, in detail, the culture and landscapes of Central Australia. We thank our wonderful Geography teachers for broadening our knowledge about Central Australia before we left as it made the camp easier to understand and appreciate. There were so many enjoyable experiences and highlights of the trip, but there are three that stood out to most of us. The Kings Canyon Rim Walk being the first. The scorching heat did not help our energy levels, yet the view from the top made the hike all worth it. The second highlight that was well enjoyed by the entire cohort was the bike ride
around the base of Uluru. We were all surprised by the shape and textures of Uluru, however the size was what shocked us the most. From the moment we first saw Uluru to the minute we left is something that we will all appreciate very much. The last highlight that everyone enjoyed thoroughly was simply just the time spent with our friends. Whether it was being in tents at night and the teachers having to continuously ask us to stop laughing and please go to sleep or whether it was the bus rides and our amazing karaoke singing voices. This experience gave us such great knowledge on the past life of the original owners of Australia and their ways of living. We would like to thank all the teachers who made this camp possible and so enjoyable. Overall, this trip is one we will always cherish and be grateful for the opportunity. Lily Taylor, Milla Naylor and Lucia Tabbagh (Year 8 Students)
TRIPS & EXCHANGES
HEYINGTON TO HIGHLANDS DRAIBA VILLAGE
From the moment I stepped off the plane in Nadi, I could not wait to experience life in the Fijian Highlands. I headed off to Draiba, the most remote of the three locations. There were so many special moments. I will never forget the time that I spent with the Year 2 Draiba Primary School students. When the time came, I was surprised at how bereft I felt to be leaving. With no watches or social media, it had been easy to lose ourselves on Fijian time. None of my wonderful experiences would have been possible without our exceptional hosts. We were embraced in a cloak of human kindness particularly by the ‘nei neis’ (aunties) who treated us as if we were their own children. They made sure we felt happy and safe. Away from our own families, this meant the world to us.
Our time at Nasivikoso was life changing. We were opened up to a whole new way of living that many of us had never been exposed to before. Our second day in the Highlands was a day of great importance to us – it was the first day we would venture down into Nasivikoso and the school. None of us were able to comprehend the welcome we received from the school. And for the entire week, we received nothing but laughter, happiness and welcome from all of the Fijian children we had the pleasure and the privilege to spend time with. The lessons we learnt while in the Highlands, most of which were made apparent to us by the kids we were supposedly teaching, far surpass any hike we took, or any river swim. These lessons, and the selflessness taught to us while in the Highlands, will forever be with us, and we will never forget this experience of a lifetime.
When we arrived at Navaga, we were greeted by multiple kids. We could not have been more happy with our new family and surroundings. During the week, we would wake up and eat breakfast which was always cooked to perfection by the ‘nei neis’ of the village. We would say “vinaka na karna” (thank you for the food) and be off to the school for the next couple of hours to help in the classroom. After school, we played netball; learnt hand claps; and played duck, duck, goose. This was a contrast to what we might do when we get home from school in Melbourne – we play on our phones before commencing the long process of homework. It is safe to say that we all had the time of our lives and would do anything to go back to that special place we call our second home.
Olivia Nigido-Scott (Year 9)
Ciara Jenkins (Year 9)
Arabella Llewelyn (Year 9)
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE AND PURSUE IT WITH GUSTO, BUT TAKE ONE STEP AT A TIME St Catherine’s Old Girl and Foundation Board Member Fiona Menzies (’87) is a highly regarded Arts professional. She is the CEO of Creative Partnerships Australia, a Trustee at the Gordon Darling Foundation, and a former Chief of Staff to two federal Arts Ministers. Fiona’s youngest daughter, Alice Menzies-King (Year 11), is a caring and compassionate individual who is well known for providing support and encouragement to all of her peers. With a strong sense of justice, Alice has participated in several Community Service initiatives, including Fareshare where she prepared meals for less fortunate members of the community.
FIONA Was there a teacher or subject at St Catherine’s that influenced your decision to pursue a career in the Arts? In VCE, I studied Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and French. I loved all of my subjects and have particularly fond memories of my Chemistry and French teachers. I chose the Arts because I come from a family of artists, so it was familiar to me. Science and the Arts are inextricably linked – scientific advances are always developed through creative thinking, and innovation in the Arts often comes about through Science and Engineering. I believe that STEAM (Science, Technology, Entertainment, Arts and Mathematics), not STEM, is the future.
What have been some of the biggest obstacles in your career and what advice would you give to Alice about overcoming similar challenges? I have had my fair share of self-doubt and career challenges. I have found that the attitudes of others can be hard to shift and sometimes the only course of action is to move on and work with people who believe in you, want you to succeed and support your ambition. And support can come from unexpected places. When I had my first daughter, I was working as Chief of Staff to a federal government minister, which was quite a demanding role. The minister gave me unprecedented flexibility to return to work when I was ready, including arguing the case for it with the prime minister, because he
valued my contribution. To this day, he is a strong supporter of my career and has encouraged me to step up and take on new challenges. So in terms of advice – work hard and do a good job and you will attract champions. Do not waste your time trying to win over detractors. How do you believe your career has influenced Alice? I have always had jobs that I have loved, so that leads Alice to see work in a positive light, rather than as a burden. Working in the Arts, I have been able to involve Alice in my work, so it is not some place that takes me away from her. She regularly visits my office and comes to events with me, so she knows my colleagues and has the benefit of meeting a wide range of people. I hope it makes her excited about the world of work and the possibilities ahead.
What advice have you given Alice about her education and future career choices? Study subjects that interest you and that you enjoy. Once you find something you love, pursue it with gusto, but take one step at a time. If you have a goal while you are at school, that is great; but if you do not, it does not matter. After four years of studying Art History, I thought I would become an art curator, so I moved to London to complete a Master of Arts. Then an out of the blue opportunity led me to working in politics and I could never have predicted the direction that has led me in. Be open minded, opportunistic and take risks, and think about how you would like to spend your day. In all my roles, I have had a combination of working at a desk, but also getting out and meeting different people in different environments and experiencing new things. It is about knowing what suits you. What has Alice achieved that you are most proud of? Having her own opinion and not always going along with the crowd. Being able to think independently from the group is important for your self-esteem, but is also how you contribute to a better society. There have been instances where Alice has seen injustices and has spoken up, which takes courage. Why did you choose St Catherine’s for Alice? I like the attention that St Catherine’s provides to each individual girl and its ability to provide leeway where it is needed as girls and their families navigate the teenage years, in particular. That focus on the big picture and the long run helps everyone keep perspective about what really matters.
ALICE What advice has your mother given you about education and employment that has impacted you the most? Do what you love. My mother has never pressured me about what subjects I should choose. She always tells me to do what I enjoy, not what will get me the highest ATAR, and that really inspired me during my VCE subject selection. I am lucky that I have that kind of support from my mother, and that she trusts me enough to let me make my own decisions when it comes to my future. What has your mother achieved that you are most proud of? Being a female CEO. Since birth, I have followed my mother’s example to be a feminist and a strong woman. Her job is important and she is great at it, but she enjoys what she does. It is empowering to grow up in a household where my mother is such an inspiration with her work. What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from your mother? Stay true to myself and my values without worrying about what others think of me. Because of her, I am not particularly bothered with the opinions of others and I am much happier being myself rather than changing myself to fit in. My mother has taught me that the right kind of people will accept that. What do you hope to do when you finish school? I hope to follow in my mother’s footsteps and do a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne. After that, I am willing to let the tide take me down whatever career path seems fit.
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Technology in the Early Years Today’s children are growing up in a digital age which is quite different from previous generations. Children have access to a range of technology and media. From a young age, many children know how to navigate their way around a touch screen. When incorporating technology into the curriculum in the St Catherine’s Early Learning Centre, it is therefore important that the children begin to develop an understanding of the purpose
of technology so that it can be used to support their learning and development. The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia outlines in Learning Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators who ‘…use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking.’ As educators, we promote this learning when we provide authentic experiences involving technology. These experiences are carefully and intentionally selected by the educators. There is a distinct difference between using technology for education purposes and entertainment.
All experiences involving technology or media are designed to directly support educational learning and development. The use of technology and media in the early learning program is not an isolated experience. Children are encouraged to work in small and large groups. Small groups of children may use iPads to conduct research on a current area of interest and inquiry. Children work alongside one another on individual iPads whilst working on educational apps. The apps are educationally based and help to develop pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills or provide opportunities for creative expression and problem solving.
E A R LY L E A R N I N G C E N T R E
Technology and media are used to support children’s learning as a research tool and source of information. At times, the children use the internet under the supervision of the educators to source information which is connected to a current project, interest or inquiry. For example, a group of children may be researching silk worms. Through the internet, the children are able to view images of silk worms and the various stages of their life cycle, and gather information to help develop their understanding of this area of interest. The internet is used by the children as a research tool alongside reference books from our library. There are also opportunities for the children to access technology as a means for communicating. Exploration and play with the computer keyboard and a word processing program can be a great way for children to begin exploring letters and words.
There may also be times when a class uses email to communicate with the wider community or to consult an ‘expert’ in a particular field to ask a question relating to an inquiry. The children begin to learn that email can be used for communicating and interacting with others. The children also have access to other forms of technology and media such as digital cameras, video and audio recording equipment to document their play and learning. It is important to understand that technology and media are not used to replace creative experiences, physical play and real-life exploration. Play is central to the children’s learning and development, therefore the children’s interactions with technology mirror their interactions with other play materials. The key to using technology with young children is balance. Technology is therefore used as a learning and research tool at times
when it is appropriate to extend or support the children’s learning and inquiries. Information and communication technologies are an integral part of the world in which young children are growing up. Working with technology can enable young learners to use and demonstrate understandings beyond traditional areas of competence and to learn about people and places beyond their immediate experience. “Carefully managed information and communication technologies open new doors for children to understand, interact and re-imagine their world.” – EVERY CHILD, VOL 16 NO 3, 2010
Ms Sarah Bethune Head of Early Learning Centre
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Greater Opportunities at St Catherine’s Junior School When I commenced in the role of Head of Junior School, I invited a random sample of parents from each year level to participate in a series of parent focus groups. One of the points raised by parents during those meetings was that Barbreck girls have greater opportunities to take on roles, get into teams and be selected for parts or ensembles. When asked to explain these comments, parents highlighted the fact that the small school and cohort sizes meant
that girls had better chances of getting these opportunities compared to schools with larger cohorts of girls or in co-educational schools where girls have to compete with boys. These statements are supported by research published by the Alliance of Girls’ Schools
Australasia stating ‘Girls in girls’ schools have access to all leadership positions, every position on school sporting teams, every role in school drama productions and musicals, and every instrument in a school’s bands and orchestras.’
The flow-on effects of having greater opportunities for participating in roles and positions for most students leads to a greater sense of belonging and connectedness to their school, becoming more resilient learners, and success in one area can lead to our girls becoming more confident and having greater success in others. Jon Willms in his 2003 OECD report states that, ‘most students participate in academic and non-academic activities at school, and develop a sense of belonging – their friends are there, they have good relations with teachers and other students, and they identify with and value schooling outcomes.’ Finn (1989) agreed and argued that ‘with such participation comes identification with school, a belonging that can help to promote a feeling of selfworth and assist students to become resilient learners.’ Barbreck offers a wide range of positions and roles for its students. For example, girls in Years 3 to 6 can participate in sports every week across the school year, while all girls can choose from a range of co-curricular activities such as Swimming, Diving, Gymnastics, learning a musical instrument, vocal training and chess, to name a few. In Year 6, there are a number of leadership
positions: School Captains, Sports Captains, Music Captains and team captains, as well as the newly introduced Academic, Arts, Sports and Environment Reporters. These roles all have position descriptions that outline expectations of the role and the responsibilities held by the recipients, foremost of which is to acknowledge the achievements of others and to encourage all girls to do their best in whichever arena they choose to participate. This year, all Years 5 and 6 students had a part in the Junior School musical Mary Poppins JR; this would not be the case at larger schools. Barbreck girls also have a greater chance of being selected to participate in teams or competitions such as the Maths Olympiad, the Australian Maths Team Challenge or the Science Talent Search. This advantage is evident when looking at the Music program – every girl is in a choir that performs regularly. While our girls see their inclusion and opportunities as normal, at large schools, they would need to compete against others to achieve the same. There is always something at Barbreck for the girls to engage in, try out, train to do better and enjoy. Sue Fullarton (2002) in her research report for the Australian Council of Educational
Research, found that students from independent schools had the highest levels of engagement than any other sector. This, coupled with the fact that St Catherine’s is a small school offering a wide range of roles and positions for leadership, events, plays and teams, means that our girls are more likely to develop greater engagement with and a stronger connection to the School, its values and the education provided, as well as greater self-confidence, higher interaction rates with their fellow students and greater resilience. So whatever your daughter’s interests are, please encourage her to participate in the opportunities St Catherine’s provides – the benefits are many.
Ms Karen McArdle Head of Junior School References: https://www.agsa.org.au/why-a-girls-school-the-research/ http://www.oecd.org/education/school programmeforinternationalstudenass essmentpisa/33689437.pdf inn, J. D. (1989). Withdrawing from school. F Review of Educational Research, 59(2), 117-142. https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article= 1030&context=lsay_research
St Catherineâ€™s News Spring 2019
Junior School students are engaged in a broad range of choral and instrumental activities as part of their Music Program at St Catherineâ€™s.
A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR...
Just JUNIOR SCHOOL
By the time they reach the upper primary year levels, students study a woodwind, percussion or brass instrument as part of the weekly class Band Program. They also sing advanced choral works for young voices as part of the Barbreck Choir, have the opportunity to be part of a range of instrumental ensemble groups and have private instrumental tuition sessions for a wide range of instruments. In addition, every two years, all students in Years 5 and 6 embark on a large collaborative project to produce the Junior School Musical. To ensure that the highest level of teaching and learning is available to our students in this area of the dramatic arts, a professional
artist is engaged for the duration of this project, to assist, support and work closely with the teaching staff.
it is to provide children with experiences that promote and encourage a creative mind and a creative response.
In May, the hidden talents of our Barbreck students were revealed through the 2019 Junior School musical production, Mary Poppins JR. Audiences were treated to energetic performances featuring catchy songs familiar to many, and the talent our Junior School students brought to the acting, singing and dancing made for a truly entertaining experience.
Congratulations to the whole cast of Mary Poppins JR. Your willingness to embrace all the challenges of producing a major musical work, your support of one another along the way and determination to do your very best resulted in outstanding performances which were enjoyed and treasured by the wider St Catherineâ€™s community.
Working on this musical has highlighted the rich learning opportunities that these collaborative projects offer to our students, and reminds us how important
Mrs Melissa Dods Junior School Music Coordinator
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
“Allons-y faire le fond vert!” LET’S MAKE A GREEN SCREEN VIDEO! The use of green screen technology in the classroom enables Barbreck students to expand upon and consolidate their oral and written language learning.
The introduction of ‘green screen’ technology to the St Catherine’s Junior School French curriculum in 2018 and 2019 has prompted some excellent learning outcomes, often in unexpected ways. The interactive green screen enables students to make videos of themselves practising the French language while standing before a screen that features a range of different locations and settings, thereby creating a fun and realistic learning experience for the students. The benefits of using creative technologies in Language learning is not a new concept. As early as 2011, The Impact of Web 2.0 Technologies in Asian LOTE Classrooms (Salt Group Pty Ltd 2011) independently evaluated the proficiency of Language teachers in using Web 2.0 technologies to teach their target language. The study found that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the correct application of internet 2.0 software such as blogs, wikis and web conferencing, as well as hardware including iPads, interactive whiteboards and recording equipment, positively impacted both teacher and student
outcomes. These findings are certainly reflected in the Barbreck French experience: 1. Increased student collaboration The Barbreck students work together to create original, mostly unscripted, pieces using grammar points and dialogue just learned. The pieces involve direct re-telling of the studied text, short comedic vignettes and written dialogues performed in front of the camera. On-task behaviour is generally high and requires minimal teacher involvement. A group ‘failure’, such as not meeting the brief in time, becomes an excellent opportunity for group discussion, analysis and teamwork. 2. Independent, student directed learning Student-focused learning is at the core of French class green screen activities, where devices such as iPads and associated programs such as ‘Green Screen’ and ‘Puppet Pals’, replace a more structured, teacher-directed approach. Green screen recordings and subsequent individual and peer reflection generally
become the final stage of a learning outcome. Students enjoy showing their movies and watching others, and the organic peer feedback and self-reflection becomes a powerful learning tool for the entire class. 3. An engaging way of demonstrating student learning Students, parents and teachers have enjoyed watching the green screen videos at assemblies, generating conversation within the School community, and critiquing of students across the different year levels. Students often appear to recognise almost instantly which movies and students were ‘good’ at communicating using the French language, often trying to emulate these skills in their subsequent videos. Examples of the Barbreck French green screen videos can be viewed on the Portal. Mr Andrew Gold Junior School French Teacher Reference: Salt Group Pty Ltd 2011, The Impact of Web 2.0 Technologies in Asian LOTE Classrooms, National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program ICT Professional Development Project – 2010.
EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY Our Barbreck girls are digital natives who do not know a world without handheld devices. They are among a generation who will recall an era of education where technology was as much a part of their learning as a grey lead was. To step foot in the classroom today, a new set of skills and understandings are required, a new vocabulary where ‘upload’, ‘app smash’ and ‘hyperlink’ are part of their vernacular. Technology facilitates purposeful learning, it provides a catalyst for facts, skills and understandings to be developed. This major shift in learning and teaching is at the core of learning in the Junior School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Laboratory. To demonstrate this, let us examine coding, an area of the curriculum that draws much media attention. There are coding camps, apps and online resources to learn how to code, however they do not always provide a rich context in which students can apply and
transfer their skills into other areas of learning. As the Year 3 cohort examined the intricacies of heat transfer, from conduction to radiation and all of the particle movements in between, they developed the fundamental scientific concepts. In small groups, students wrote algorithms to guide a robot around a grid filled with QR (Quick Response) codes and images. When scanned, the QR codes posed a problem, which required the students to perform a set of tasks to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. This activity provided high engagement while reinforcing key scientific understandings and taught the students coding skills. Technology extended the learning into real life application. The purposeful inclusion of technology in the curriculum starts in Barbreck and progresses as the students move through the School. Our Preps utilised technology to code a Bee-Bot to demonstrate their
understanding of the seasons. Year 5 collaboratively coded Sphero Robots to recreate the physical arrangement of molecules in a solid, liquid and gas, while Year 6 explored iterations to program a game about digital interfaces. Explicit teaching ensures that students develop essential conceptual understandings while the technology provides the avenue for expression. Since the beginning of time, humans have actively sought out and created technology to enhance learning experiences and opportunities. While recalling stories of school days with trips to the computer lab and access to the internet may make us feel old, the use of technology has always shaped our learning and our Barbreck girls are taking up the challenge. Miss Alyssa Flint Junior School STEM Teacher
St Catherineâ€™s News Spring 2019
Bringing a VCE English text, The Crucible, to the Stage
SENIOR SCHOOL The St Catherine’s English Faculty have always loved a great play; one that dramatically develops complex characters, exposes controversial themes and allows for engaging discussion on the playwright’s messages. When it appeared on the VCE English list, we were always going to booklist The Crucible, a play with timeless messages written by eminent dramatist, Arthur Miller. Many of the English teachers have taught this play over the years to countless students who have engaged with the characters and issues. However, the challenge is bringing the study of a play off the page and into the classroom. In other words, finding a way for students to comprehend the play dramatically, the function of it on the stage and the depiction of these mesmerising characters.
Head of Performing Arts at St Catherine’s, Mr James Brown, maintains that to get the most out of any text, it needs to be presented in the format it was intended: novels are written to be read, poems to be recited and plays to be performed. When he first discussed the prospect of staging The Crucible as the Senior Play over 12 months ago, the Year 12 English teachers were excited. This play is on the Year 12 English text list and we all knew
the significant benefit for a Year 12 student to be part of this production or to view the play in conjunction with studying the play in class. Having taught the text in the Year 12 English classroom himself, Mr Brown knew it was going to be a huge challenge to bring this play to the stage, but he recognised that the rewards and learning would be well worth it for our students. For those students who were cast in the play this year, the benefits of their embodied pedagogy have been endless; knowing the dialogue and then being able to use these quotations in their essays, understanding the nuances of the character’s dramatic function on the stage and their relationship with others has been a significant learning curve. The cast and production team members have shaped their knowledge and analytical skills by learning in detail about the social and historical context of the play and the intention behind this famous allegory. For the VCE students in Years 11 and 12 who viewed the play, their experience of live theatre has increased their knowledge of Miller’s messages and provided a more nuanced understanding of the characters and the tragic circumstances that befall them. They now have a visual reference point for the dramatic scenes in the play, such as Abigail’s control over the other girls, the power struggle in the courtroom, and Proctor’s torturous confession. Student led
discussions in English lessons have also focused on the production roles filled by the VCE Theatre Studies class as designers responsible for the set, and the symbolic use of costumes and props, which has conveyed an in-depth understanding of the staging in the play. This knowledge will only elevate the depth of analysis and focus on dramatic features in their English essays.
We know the immense benefit of being part of, or viewing, this Senior Play, as it will translate into more engaging, in-depth and mature essays. This academic link between our English studies and the Performing Arts is one we want to continue to develop at St Catherine’s in the future. The only question left to answer is, what is the next Senior Play going to be? Mrs Ceri Lloyd Head of English & Mr James Brown Head of Performing Arts
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
REVIEWS from the Community
“I was so impressed – the girls (and the St Kevin’s boys) have done an incredible job. Especially the ending!” PIA GRAHAM (’18) ST CATHERINE’S OLD GIRL
The Crucible was a 2019 Senior School production featuring students from St Catherine’s School and St Kevin’s College. Arthur Miller’s play is regarded as a central work in the canon of American dramatic realism. Written in the early 1950s, The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts during the 1692 Salem witch trials, which was populated by Puritan settlers from the United Kingdom.
“Wow. The Crucible was absolutely amazing. Congratulations on putting such a complex theme together. To make that palatable and exciting for the audience to watch and listen to would have been no mean feat, especially for the age group of the majority coming to watch. Bravo! To help each actor ‘get’ their character was outstanding. There were no weak links, each held their own, and even to attempt mastering the accent was brilliant. Thank you to everyone involved for all your time, effort and patience.” LISA SAVERY & ANDREW WITTS CURRENT PARENTS
“Congratulations on an absolutely fabulous play – you certainly brought out the best in every actor. Amazing job.” SAMANTHA HOUSTON CURRENT PARENT
PERFORMING ARTS “That was the best play I have ever seen on stage – school or professional. It was truly outstanding and I was blown away.” KATE ASTON CURRENT PARENT
“What a performance by the whole cast! It was seriously epic. I had shivers in some of those scenes. It totally came to life for me on stage. What a great viewing for all our VCE students who are currently studying this play.” CERI LLOYD & FAMILY CURRENT PARENT & HEAD OF ENGLISH, ST CATHERINE’S SCHOOL
“Wow, it really was the best St Catherine’s production I have seen, and given it was such difficult content, an enormous credit to all involved. The depth of talent in that performance was really outstanding. I am just a tiny bit afraid to go to sleep tonight as Grace Lloyd was so scary that I might have nightmares!” LUCY FORTEY (KING ’90) ST CATHERINE’S OLD GIRL & CURRENT PARENT
“Wow, what a great performance last night! Seriously talented acting, great sets and costuming – the works!” MERRAN O’CONNOR DEPUTY PRINCIPAL – STUDENT WELLBEING, ST CATHERINE’S SCHOOL
“What can I say, what an amazing school production, the students were simply amazing. They were professional, polished, dedicated and enthusiastic, the performance was just brilliant. I know now to not cross Grace Lloyd (or even Clementine Aston) – wow, what talent!” MELISSA BRADDY HEAD OF YEAR 12, ST CATHERINE’S SCHOOL
“Congratulations on the great quality of The Crucible. The cast members were so mature and focused, and their energy levels were sky high for the whole running time.” SIMON PARRIS PRODUCTIONS MANAGER, ST KEVIN’S COLLEGE
“What a feat to accomplish. The Crucible performance was fantastic. The acting was on point, accents were great, and the set and costumes were incredible. We all really enjoyed the performance and everyone I spoke to afterwards said the same. The dedicated and skilled direction obviously paid huge dividends. It is a production to be very proud of.” ALISON DENNISON CURRENT PARENT & PRESIDENT OF THE ST CATHERINE’S CREATIVE ARTS AUXILIARY
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Isabelle Musson (Hockey); Penelope Drummond (Cricket); and Jemima Wilcox (Basketball)
Sporting Opportunities For Regional Boarders at St Catherine’s School Boarding offers regional and remote students the opportunity to pursue their sporting dreams. St Catherine’s School is very proud to support boarders who choose to move to the city to expand their sporting opportunities and gain access to the additional coaching and competition available in Melbourne.
complete my homework. The staff in the Boarding House are really supportive and always have a late dinner set aside for me when I return from training. There are lots of sporting opportunities available at St Catherine’s, and being a boarder means I can be part of many teams such as Athletics and Cross Country.
Three of our current boarders – Isabelle Musson (Year 10), Penelope Drummond (Year 11) and Jemima Wilcox (Year 8) – describe below how boarding at St Catherine’s has supported them in pursuing their sporting endeavours.
PENELOPE DRUMMOND, BOARDER FROM HORSHAM
ISABELLE MUSSON, BOARDER FROM MACARTHUR Relocating from the country to the Boarding House has been fantastic for my hockey because it has reduced the amount of time spent travelling to and from training and games. My hockey club is a short distance from the Boarding House and because of this, I am able to attend training and
I moved to Melbourne because there were more opportunities for girls’ cricket than at home. In Melbourne, I have greater access to coaches and facilities like the Melbourne Cricket Club program, where I am currently playing. The quality of cricket in Melbourne is also of a higher standard. Boarding at Illawarra has helped me grow as a person and has made me more confident when meeting new people including on the cricket field. Boarding has opened many doors for me, like the Cricket Without Boarders tours, which provided me with the opportunity to
play cricket in Hong Kong in 2018 and Vanuatu in 2019. Boarding has given me the confidence to participate in these activities and make some great friendships not only within my own team but also with girls from overseas. JEMIMA WILCOX, BOARDER FROM WOODEND Joining the St Catherine’s Boarding House has helped my basketball in so many ways. I have become more confident and independent which is apparent on the basketball court. I have also been able to participate in other school sports – hockey, water polo, athletics – thus improving my motor skills, footwork, fitness and agility. Boarding has allowed me more time to practise my skills and improve my fitness training due to the proximity of Illawarra to the stadiums. Mrs Sue Collister Director of Boarding Services
60 YEARS IN THE SNOW FROM THE ARCHIVES This year, St Catherine’s School proudly celebrates 60 years of participation and achievement in Snowsports.
Mrs Katrina Beilby (Shmith ’71), Ms Emma Shmith (’73), Mrs Barbara Pacini (Gillon ’70) and Mrs Carol Reid (Gadsden ’68).
The first student to represent St Catherine’s in Snowsports was Mrs Jayne Surry (Stuart ’59). St Catherine’s Magazine 1959 reported her success winning first place in the Australian Women’s Ski Club Schoolgirls’ Championship and in the Victorian Junior Girls’ Skiing Championship. Jayne’s family owned a holiday house in the foothills of Mirrimbah. She remembers that at the time, there was just one rope tow at Mount Buller and not many young people were involved in skiing.
St Catherine’s entered several teams in competitions throughout the 1980s.
“Hence those victories! I remember one particular race when the weather was foul, snowing heavily and unable to see the next slalom gates. My first place was a kind of ‘Steven Bradbury’ moment, I made it to the finish line,” explains Jayne. The next time St Catherine’s competed in Snowsports was as a team of six girls in 1968. The team consisted of Mrs Sally Keating (Pinkus ’71), Mrs Louise Serious (Pinkus ’71),
“This year, St Catherine’s entered three teams in the Victorian Interschools Championships held at Mount Buller… race day was foggy and a bit confused as there were so many entries. The course was giant Slalom and the snow was soft. All our racers finished the course successfully… Overall, St Catherine’s came third with MCEGGS first and Toorak College second.” – Ski Report published in the 1981 edition of the St Catherine’s School Magazine. The St Catherine’s School Snowsports Auxiliary (originally called Skiing Auxiliary) was established in 1990. St Catherine’s has a proud history of Snowsports success with our Junior and Senior teams both claiming the title of National Champions at the 2019 Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships.
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Together WE CAN...
On Friday 10 May, St Catherine’s had the privilege of welcoming worldrenowned primatologist Dame Jane Goodall DBE to the School during her visit to Australia.
Dr Goodall commenced her visit to St Catherine’s by touring the six newly refurbished Science laboratories in the Edna Holmes Centre for Science before spending some time with our VCE Biology students. Dr Goodall was then invited to present at a special assembly for students in Years 4 to 12, where she spoke about her remarkable story of research commencing over 60 years ago when she studied the behaviours of chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. St Catherine’s was pleased to
share Dr Goodall’s inspiring address with students and teachers from local schools Auburn High School, Scotch College, Melbourne Grammar School and Christ Church Grammar School.
Dr Goodall reminded students that “every single one of us make a difference every day, you get to choose what sort of difference you want to make” and conveyed her message of hope “Together we can, together we will.” Year 11 student Lucy Croft was encouraged by Dr Goodall’s presentation, “It is amazing to see how someone who has had to face so many challenges be so persevering and become such a strong voice in the Science community and the fight against climate change.” At the conclusion of her speech, Dr Goodall unveiled a plaque to officially mark the opening of the new Science laboratories.
J A N E G O O DA L L V I S I T
Dr Goodall then spent some time with our Junior School students in Years Prep to 3 and the children in the Early Learning Centre. The Barbreck Environment Committee eagerly shared their sustainability and conservation initiatives and participated in a question and answer session with Dr Goodall. Dr Goodall’s visit to Barbreck was commemorated with a bench seat, positioned with a view over the Village Green, and a possum box placed in the tree above. This was a gift made to St Catherine’s by Barbreck parents, Erica Gill and Dr Brendan O’Brien. “Dr Goodall’s visit to St Catherine’s has enabled her name to be forever etched on the plaque located in our Edna Holmes Centre for Science. I believe Dr Goodall’s name on this plaque will serve as a continual reminder for generations of St Catherine’s girls to come,” said Mrs Michelle Carroll, Principal.
“A call to action so to speak for the conservation of our environment, the awareness of animal welfare issues and forever in our minds, the impact of one woman’s research, the foremost expert on chimpanzees.” St Catherine’s would like to acknowledge Barbreck parent Dr Sarah Triolo for facilitating Dr Goodall’s visit to St Catherine’s. The School would also like to thank the following parents for generously sponsoring the visit with a gift to Dr Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Foundation at the Jane Goodall Institute Australia: Clare and Andrew Cannon; Lucy and Andrew Fortey; Sally Clarke and Tim Gullifer; Lisa and Jack Hennessy; Erica Gill and Dr Brendan O’Brien; Lindy Shelmerdine; and the PFA.
Ms Ursula Mooney Communications Officer
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
U N DE R S TA N DI NG A LG OR I T H M S
Studying Algorithms at St Catherine’s In an increasingly automated world, it is valuable for students to have an understanding and appreciation of algorithms: what they are, how to apply them and how to write them. An algorithm is defined as an ordered set of steps that will solve a problem in a finite amount of time. We all use algorithms on a daily basis. Making a cake for example, involves following a set of instructions which are essentially an algorithm. In a technical sense, Google’s success has been attributed to the ‘Page Rank’ algorithm,
which ranks the results when a user performs a search. Algorithms form the foundation of computer coding but are also interesting to study in their own right. St Catherine’s has offered Algorithms as an elective in the Senior School since 2018 and it has already proven to be a popular course of choice amongst the student cohort. The course introduces students to the concept of algorithms and promotes the development of algorithmic thinking skills including critical analysis, precision, logic and innovation. It teaches students to sort,
search and match algorithms and compare the efficiencies of different algorithms as well as the fundamental knowledge of computer science. The course content aims to challenge students’ problem solving abilities. With the Information Technology industry identified as a growth area for jobs in the future, St Catherine’s students with an interest in the technology field are strongly encouraged to consider studying Algorithms at the Senior level. Mr Wei Wang VCE Mathematics/Extension Coordinator
Algorithms Enhance Problem Solving Skills In our Algorithms class in Semester 1, we explored the world of coding and recognising patterns. We learnt about the theory behind algorithms, how they are simply a sequence of steps that will produce a solution to a problem. We then investigated many different types of algorithms that are used every day in our modern society, such as sorting algorithms (bubble sort, quick sort and merge sort) and searching algorithms (linear and binary search). Not only do algorithms have to work, they also have to be efficient in their job. We tested this on the two different types of search algorithms, linear and binary, to further clarify this idea. The linear search algorithm works by going through a whole list of values and comparing each one until the desired value is found, or the end of the list is reached. This is much less efficient than
the binary search algorithm, which sorts the list first, then splits the list in half again and again until the only value left is either the desired value, or no value. This is much faster than linear search, because values that are unlikely to be the desired value are quickly discarded, without spending valuable time searching through them. Hence, binary search is much more efficient for a list containing a significant number of values. I also find the Gale-Shapley algorithm particularly interesting. This algorithm finds stable matchings between two equally sized sets of elements. For example, in a group of eight people, four male and four female, wanting to get married, each person has his or her own preferences: Male 1 likes Female 1, but he is paired with Female 2, and Female 1 who also likes Male 1, is paired with Male 3. This matching is known as ‘unstable’
because Male 1 and Female 1 would be happier with their preferences than the people with whom they are matched. The algorithm solves this problem by receiving a list of preferences from each person and performing a review of the data until there is a ‘stable’ match for each element. In Term 2, we progressed from theory to actual coding. We learnt how to draw houses and spider webs and created our own programs. I made an interactive cave adventure while my friend Lara made a pizza based on the user’s inputs. Algorithms has assisted me to enhance my problem solving skills. All of us in the class has thoroughly enjoyed learning about algorithms, and we hope to take the skills we have gained into further areas of learning. Angela Yu Year 9 Algorithms Student
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Gala One Thread That Binds Us All
“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there.” Daniel J. Levitin, Author of This Is Your Brain On Music Congratulations to our students in Years 4 to 12 who came together on Tuesday 27 August, at the Melbourne Recital Centre, to celebrate their common passion for music in so many different forms. Our Senior Choir, Viva Voci, directed by Mrs Lyn Henshall, moved everyone with their performance of If, the story of Anne Frank, and contrasted this
Concert with their fiery rendition of the Spanish song, Juntos (Together). Mrs Henshall’s Epstein Singers (with students from Years 4, 5 and 6) raised the roof with their rendition of Eye of the Needle and the hauntingly beautiful Japanese folk song Sakura (cherry blossoms). Mrs Melissa Dods’s amazing Barbreck Choir (Years 5 and 6 students) entertained us all with Goliath and Clever Chameleon. Our Years 7 and 8 choir, Sherren Singers, led by Ms Liv Cher, also featured the Australian composer Paul Jarman with Sailing Home and reminded us of the importance of listening to children in the song Give Us Hope. The power and beauty of singing together was evident in the 120-member combined choir singing a rollicking version of Sail Away.
Mrs Andy Dowell’s choirs took us back to the 1960s with Stop! In the Name of Love and Can’t Help Falling In Love, while the Vocal Sensation’s performed their version of Shallow from the poignant film, A Star is Born.
Our wonderful instrumentalists also had a chance to shine. It was a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of Catherine Chen (Year 9) with her virtuosic performance of Liszt’s Rákóczi March. Mr Dean Hilson’s band rocked the house with Would I Lie to You and The Tide is High. The combined flutes, led by Ms Sandy Yao, mesmerised the audience with Karl Jenkins’s Palladio, and Miss Jess Farrell’s Years 7 and 8 Concert Band uplifted us with Destined to Fly. The Percussion Ensemble, directed by
Mr James Lewis, expertly performed the funk, Latin fusion extravaganza, Mocha. The Senior Strings, directed by Mrs Lisa Cook, demonstrated their consummate prowess with the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 before joining with all string players, including four string players from Year 3, to perform Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. The Senior Concert Band lifted the roof with Impact, and Mrs Lisa Cook’s Jorgensen Orchestra sent us into the night with the inspiring Dam Busters March and Lord of the Dance. What a magnificent way to celebrate the ‘one thread that binds us all.’ Mr Tim Collins Head of Music
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
Ms Merran O’Connor DEPUTY PRINCIPAL – STUDENT WELLBEING
Merran has taught at St Catherine’s for approximately 15 years. Merran is the Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing. watching the Year 8 students playing ball games outside my office, reading the Year 9 students’ reflections on their life changing moments from the Heyington to Highlands program, and the sincerity of the Year 10 gratitude notes from the Wellbeing Retreat.” For Merran, the greatest reward of being a teacher is “The magic of that light-bulb moment when a student fathoms an elusive concept that they have been grappling with.”
“Teaching is in my blood,” explains Merran. “My grandfather was a principal, my mother was a teacher and my sister was an English teacher. From my first class as a student teacher, I realised that I loved teaching and have done ever since.” Merran is responsible for overseeing the weThrive: Wellbeing@St Catherine’s Program and works specifically with the Heads of Year and staff to develop and promote wellbeing. “The wellbeing of our students is regarded as a priority at St Catherine’s. It is incredibly rewarding to be part of a program that encourages positive relationships, a commitment to life-long learning and the development of leadership skills, resilience, and social responsibility.” “I also teach Year 12 English, which is my favourite part of the day. The relationships I form with the students in the classroom are both unique and rewarding.” Merran has enjoyed many special moments during her time at St Catherine’s. “Every day is a highlight for me. I love
“There is also something special about farewelling the Year 12 cohort each year knowing that they will enter the next chapter of their lives with confidence and optimism.” “Keeping pace with technological change that has altered how young people communicate, access information and view the world is, in my view, a challenge that teachers face today. ‘Cyber security’ and ‘cyber safety’ are still relatively new, but increasingly important topics,” explains Merran. Merran believes St Catherine’s greatest strength is the pastoral care approach that the School provides to each student. “St Catherine’s is a school where the girls are known as individuals and nurtured as learners. There is a sense of community and a love of their school that St Catherine’s girls exhibit that is not typical of every school. The respectful culture of academic endeavour is an accepted part of their school experience.” “I feel so fortunate to work in a school steeped in history that is equally committed to progressive learning. When Miss Jeanie Hood founded St Catherine’s in 1896 for the ‘women of the future’ she set the standard for generations to come.”
MR NICK RACINA ASSISTANT HEAD OF SPORT & PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER Nick Racina has several roles at St Catherine’s. Nick is Assistant Head of Sport, Head of GSV Weekly Sport, Head of House for Beaulieu Blair, and Physical Education & Health Teacher. Nick completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science at the Australian Catholic University and a Graduate Diploma in Education at RMIT University. He commenced at St Catherine’s three years ago. Nick’s day often begins with a 7.00am training session for one of the two St Catherine’s GSV teams he coaches. “After that, I enjoy seeing the Year 12 Beaulieu Blair students for roll call. Being able to develop a connection with these students in their final year is very rewarding,” explains Nick. The remainder of Nick’s day entails a combination of sports administration and teaching. For Nick, the greatest reward of teaching is “The relationships that you develop with the students and seeing the positive impact that you can have on their wellbeing.” Nick is proud of the way the GSV Weekly Sports program has progressed and developed during his time at St Catherine’s. “We have managed to maintain excellent participation rates for a small school and have started to see some great results alongside our participation.” Nick believes St Catherine’s small class sizes helps to promote a strong sense of community amongst the students. “It is fantastic that students from across the year levels know each other, interact so positively and support each other.” “The numerous opportunities for students to get involved in Sport is another key strength and one that the students definitely take advantage of.”
S TA F F P R O F I L E S
MISS ANNIE TAYLOR PREP TEACHER
MS LIV CHER DEPUTY HEAD OF MUSIC
MONSIEUR ANDREW GOLD JUNIOR SCHOOL FRENCH TEACHER
Annie Taylor joined St Catherine’s in 2017 as the Barbreck Prep Teacher. Annie completed a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at Monash University where she finished in the top 10 per cent of her class.
Liv Cher joined St Catherine’s in 2018 as the Deputy Head of Music. Liv has a Bachelor of Music, a Bachelor of Teaching and a Master of Education (Educational Management) from the University of Melbourne. Liv has worked as an instrumental and classroom teacher at a range of schools, including Geelong Grammar, Caulfield Grammar, the International School of Tripoli in Libya and Xavier College.
Andrew Gold teaches French in the Junior School. Andrew has a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of South Australia. He completed several French language conversation courses in Paris and Montreal.
“I have always wanted to be a teacher,” explains Annie. “I enjoy helping students to reach their full potential and thrive on creating an environment where students feel comfortable taking risks with their learning.” When the bell rings at 8.30am, Annie’s classroom is “very busy with lots of fun and laughter, hard work and learning. The girls engage with tasks that involve working independently and in small groups, attend specialist classes in and outside of the classroom, and celebrate one another’s ‘ah-ha moments’.” “For me, the biggest reward of teaching is watching students gain self-confidence and discover a love of learning. I feel my goal as a teacher is to help students develop lifelong skills that will enable them to gain independence. For example, knowing how to problem solve and apply skills is just as important as memorising facts and information.” Annie has enjoyed getting to know the School community during her time at St Catherine’s. “I love watching the girls engage with their guests on Special Visitors’ Day, especially the musical pieces. Their friends and family watch with such pride and joy on their faces. It is very special to be a part of that.” Annie believes one of St Catherine’s key features is its ability to recognise and celebrate each student’s strengths and differences. “I feel that all of the girls have a chance to really shine at St Catherine’s, and the students really support one another.”
Liv’s teaching schedule varies depending on the day of the week. “My day typically begins at 7.30am with Sherren Singers rehearsal or Theory Club, followed by Taiko Drumming with my Year 8 students. I conduct Year 6 Band, teach theory to the Year 7 cohort and work with the Year 10 students on a composition project, and usually end the day with after school musical rehearsals.” “Affecting lasting change on a student’s life is what I enjoy most about teaching. Long after the students walk out of the gates at the end of Year 12, they remember the musical, or funny moments on camp, or a conversation with a teacher in a time of turmoil. There are lessons learned that stay with students forever, and as a teacher, you are a big part of that.” “I believe the strength of St Catherine’s is the Kindergarten to Year 12 learning context that it provides. No matter what year levels you teach in a school, or what subjects, you have to know where students are coming from and going to. At St Catherine’s, teachers have the opportunity to scaffold the best possible learning experience for students across the span of their education from the Early and Primary years through to the conclusion of their schooling in Year 12.”
“I love sharing my passion and knowledge of the French language with my students,” explains Andrew. Andrew’s French classes are designed to encourage lots of student interaction. “Every class begins with a song featuring actions and dancing, followed by several activities and games involving movement, objects and group collaboration. These activities all help to reinforce the oral learning and interaction that occurs during the class.” “Students can extend their learning using the ‘green screen’ or iPad programs where they can create videos and tell their own French stories,” he says. “Having an authentic conversation in French with a student about a topic that is meaningful to them is what I love most about teaching. At this moment, the student has something to share and wants to use French as the medium by which to express it. This is a fantastic feeling and makes me smile every time.” Assisting with the design of the Language Lab in the new Junior School School – Barbreck is one of Andrew’s most memorable moments during the 10 years that he has taught at St Catherine’s. “Opening a space exclusively for Barbreck students to speak French was an important moment for St Catherine’s, and I was proud to have played a small part in that. Walking my students into the new Language Lab for the first time was a very special moment for me.”
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
PAST PARENTS’ UPDATE We have enjoyed a number of Past Parents’ Year Level Reunions this year from February through June. We would like to thank our wonderful hosts to date: Suzie and Simon Gough (2018), Fiona Brockhoff and David Swann (2016), Shayne and Graeme Menzies (2015), Kate Veall and Lloyd Bickerton (2013), Clare and Andrew Cannon (2012), Jenny and Stuart Eason (2011), and Gina and Michael McCann (2010). If you are a past parent in the year levels of 2017, 2014, 2009, 2003, 2002, 2001 or 2000, please keep a look out for an email with an invitation to your Year Level Reunion Drinks.
These annual events are a great opportunity to enjoy a casual evening together with past parents from your daughter’s year group. The format is very casual and easy with BYO bottle and plate for the evening. We have found this is a great way to maintain the friendships developed over the years at St Catherine’s and an easy way to get together to share the latest family news. There is no charge involved in attending the evening. If you would like to be involved in hosting your year level and would like more information, please contact Lisa Steven or Anna Field through Meredith Taylor at St Catherine’s School email@example.com or +61 3 9828 3081.
We look forward to welcoming you all to our 2019 All Years Past Parents’ Cocktails evening to be held at beautiful Cranlana on Thursday 17 October. We are most grateful to Lindy Shelmerdine (’80) and Lady Southey AC (’45) for once again offering to host this event in the surrounds of the stunning Cranlana gardens. Please save the date now and an invitation will be emailed to you in September. Mrs Lisa Steven & Mrs Anna Field Past Parents’ Committee
Top: Class of 2010 – Eda Proimos, Meredith Gorman, Simone Skillington, Kerrie Schoeffel, Gina McCann, Janet Cameron, Dee Wilson, Kate Stephenson, Pauline Eldredge and Megan Austin; Right: Class of 2010 – Kerrie Schoeffel, Dee Wilson and Pauline Eldredge; Bottom Left: 2015 Past Parents; Bottom Right: Mark Eldredge, Ross Schoeffel, David Stephenson, Anthony Austin and John Field
RUTH LANGLEY LUNCHEON
The 2019 Ruth Langley Luncheon was a celebration of our wonderful community. Our guest speaker was St Catherine’s Old Girl, Jill Reichstein OAM (’67), who provided a fascinating presentation on her journey from her own school days at St Catherine’s, where she was inspired by her Social Studies teacher, to becoming a leader in the field of social philanthropy. ‘Change not charity’ is Jill’s message and we all take inspiration at what has been achieved by the Reichstein Foundation through collaboration with their major partners, including The Alliance for Gambling Reform, Australian Farmers for Climate Action and The Flemington
and Kensington Community Legal Centre. Nearly 300 guests attended the luncheon at Leonda By The Yarra, and together we raised approximately $17,000 which will support the PFA’s commitment to the Barbreck Village Green and also to the installation of a new multimedia hub in the Mary Davis Centre. Sincere thanks to freelance journalist and Barbreck mother, Mimi Kwa, who was Master of Ceremonies for the event. I would also like to acknowledge the generous support of all those who donated items to our auctions and raffles. Very popular silent auction items included work experience opportunities at Deutscher and Hackett, Ashurst and Bufé Design, and there was much excited
bidding for the marvellous Liberty Belle hampers generously donated by Andrea Moss. Lucky bidders also took home flights to China and a luxury accommodation package in Bali. Twenty years ago, St Catherine’s PFA hosted the first Ruth Langley Luncheon and the success of this annual event is testament to the thriving nature of our School under our current Principal, Mrs Michelle Carroll. I would also like to acknowledge the PFA Committee members who volunteered their time to coordinate and organise the luncheon and for providing an occasion where our community could come together in an atmosphere of celebration and conviviality, be entertained by a thought provoking speaker, and be spoilt with gifts and good food and wine. It is not too early to bookmark the date of Friday 12 June 2020 for the next Ruth Langley Luncheon. Ms Sarah Low PFA President, St Catherine’s School
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Jacqueline Williams was recently appointed to the role of Director of Advancement at St Catherine’s School. Jacqueline has many years of experience in fundraising across both the Education and Arts sectors. Most recently, Jacqueline has worked at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Recital Centre and Heide Museum of Modern Art. When did you first know that fundraising and philanthropy was your chosen career path? Fundraising used to be a career you simply fell into by some happy circumstance, which was exactly what happened to me. Fourteen years of being a literature teacher found me in a period of serious navel-gazing, wondering how I could continue to impact lives beyond the classroom; to engage people of all ages, as well as the young. The then principal of my school had the answer: to help him build a performing arts centre for the school community. All I needed to do was to raise $2 million towards the capital works of $10 million. This was in 1999, and $2 million was a lot of money by any measure. Working closely with the principal and a fundraising mentor, we exceeded the target by $200,000. I was hooked, and my career in fundraising and philanthropy had begun! What are the biggest challenges that you face in fundraising and philanthropy? When training CEOs, boards and professionals in fundraising, I am constantly quizzed on the perceived difficulty of raising money. Believe me, it is not like that at all. Whether in support of $40 million worth of capital works for Ivanhoe Grammar School, or performing arts centres at Hale School and Ballarat Clarendon College, the café redevelopment at Heide Museum of Modern Art, major giving and bequest programs at Melbourne Recital Centre,
or enhancing philanthropy and corporate sponsorship for the Wheeler Centre, the common thread is building a culture of deep engagement. Giving money, whether for a first major gift or for naming rights, is simply an expression of the relationship a donor or sponsor has with the organisation. And I am the lucky person who gets to offer people the chance to relate in this very special way. Is there something in particular you hope the St Catherine’s community will experience through your work? I am delighted to be a part of the journey of developing partnerships with the wider St Catherine’s community, which is built on a generous culture of giving. I am looking forward to working closely with the Foundation Board, led by President Mrs Gina Israel and Chairman Mr Wayne Kent, to build a sustainable funding future for our community. As Director of Advancement, I wish to disavow the attitude that boys’ education is more worthy of philanthropic investment than girls’. Sadly, the fundraising trends weigh heavily in favour of this terrible truth. I want to swing the fulcrum in the opposite direction. To bring an unprecedented amount of money to girls’ education; to run an exceptionally successful fundraising campaign for and about girls. In this dream, the campaign would be called ‘She Said, She Said’ and would realise my life’s work as a teacher, a creative and relationship builder impacting lives within and beyond classroom walls for many years to come.
F O U N DAT I O N
New Foundation Members, Joanna Sun and Joe Zhu with Senior Member, Erica Gill
St Catherine’s School Foundation Visits Winter Masterpieces Exhibition What better way to spend a winter’s night than at the National Gallery of Victoria sharing the Winter Masterpieces Exhibition with members of the St Catherine’s School Foundation. With eight terracotta warriors and two magnificent horses, along with many historical artefacts, the exhibition was matched with the explosive art of Cai Guo-Qiang, which was spellbinding. The history of each warrior was well explained with a detailed account of their individual roles. The Chinese have created a replica of chariots which were recently discovered during the continued excavation, as the original chariots had been crushed when they were buried. The close proximity to the exhibits brought everything to life. The exhibition of Cai Guo-Qiang’s beautiful porcelain birds is mesmerising and the impression they leave is exquisite. Our guests learned of the artist philosophy and description and how gunpowder was used to create the feature sculpture. It was such a privilege to be able to share
such a superbly curated exhibition with some of St Catherine’s most significant supporters. The exhibition was followed by a special cocktail function in the Gallery’s Garden Restaurant, during which new members were welcomed by Foundation President, Mrs Gina Israel. The generosity of our donors enables the School to undertake key projects that impact the teaching and learning environment of St Catherine’s. So a special thank you to all Foundation Members and our Board. Your ongoing support represents a belief in and commitment to the future of St Catherine’s girls. For further information about the St Catherine’s School Foundation please contact Ms Jacqueline Williams, Director of Advancement on +61 3 9828 3032. Mrs Sophie Gardiner Advancement Associate
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
A Word from the President Where has the time gone? Two years has passed since I took on the role as President of SCOGA. Reflecting on what has been achieved over this time, and I am truly humbled by what we, as a committee, have been able to get over the line.
The Fellowship was one of our biggest undertakings, and once again this year we have been astounded by the number of applicants. We look forward to announcing the successful recipient at Speech Night this year. The 2018 winners, Alexandra Chung and Jessica Martin have completed the opportunities provided to them through the funding of the Fellowship. We look forward to their returning as Ambassadors of SCOGA to offer their stories to Old Girls and current students. At SCOGA, we have always felt the need to help each other. With 7500 Old Girls passing through the Heyington Place gates, we put out the call for who would like to assist other past St Catherine’s girls with their journeys. Yes. Yes. Yes. Armed with this offering, we decided to rework our networking event into the series of Mentor Sessions. The opportunity to have a more exclusive time with leaders of various industries has been a huge success. We thank our Old Girls for taking up this extraordinary offering. And to our Mentors… you are magnificent. Our Strategic Plan continues to be a focus for us. We, as a committee, set some stretched goals and are pleased with our results. We will continue to address, and if need be amend these targets. Our Preps, as our newest Old Girls, once again received their gorgeous Bag Tags.
Their blue teddy tag is a reminder to them that they were so incredibly fortunate to start their education at our wonderful school.
our wonderful Meredith Taylor (’79); we cannot thank you enough for all you do to make our tasks easier on a daily basis.
Archives at St. Catherine’s are a vital link to our past. I wish to announce that Roz Mackay (Kirk ’75) has taken on role of assisting Melissa Campbell in this area. We look forward to our past, playing a role in our future.
Finally, I wish to announce that I will continue on as SCOGA President in 2020. When I took on the role I was ‘green’ to the goings on of SCOGA, but grasped the opportunity with both hands. I can genuinely say that I have loved it. Yes, at times there have been moments when there have been many balls in the air… but juggling is a skill which I have never been afraid of. We have taken on new challenges and commitments to our Old Girls by ensuring that their needs and wants are nurtured and delivered to the best of our abilities. I felt from the beginning that a strong spotlight needed to be shone on SCOGA. I wanted us to be relevant; and I truly believe that we are heading down a spot lit road.
SCOGA wouldn’t be impossible without the tireless work of the wonderful Committee: Vice-President – Sarah O’Brien (’02), Vice President – Deb Berry (Manos ’77), Honorary Treasurer – Olivia Molesworth (Hocking-Brown ’13), Phoebe Norman – Honorary Secretary (Olsen ’95), Kate Barber (’96), Nicolle McCurdy (Austin ’88) Virginia Edwards AM (Smith ’56), Kristina Moussalli (’09), Becky Simmons (’07) Emily Smith (’10), Melissa Sweetland (’86) Catherine Stoney (’97) Zoe Tsalanidis (’12). Huge thanks must go to our School Council nominees, Melinda Truesdale (’81) and Kate Barber (’96) for their continued contribution they make for the benefit of the entire St Catherine’s community. To our Principal, Michelle Carroll and her dedicated team, to our wonderful School Council lead by Jane Hodder, to the Marketing Office – Kerrie Mussert, Ruth Gavin, Deirdre McDermott, and to
New initiatives continue to be formed and we look forward to bringing them to fruition in the new year. If you would like to discuss the opportunity of joining the SCOGA Committee, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org Exciting times. Chrissy Ryan (Graham ’79) SCOGA President email@example.com
St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association
Old Girls from ’87 with Mrs Sue Collister
Ruth Langley Lunch This years Ruth Langley Lunch was another incredibly successful event hosted by the PFA. Each year the guests are entertained by extraordinary speakers. This year was no exception. SCOGA was thrilled to hear that Jill Reichstein OAM (’67) had the honour this year of presenting her story to a packed room at Leonda. Jill a recipient of a Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum award and an OAM, and when hearing
her story and the incredible work done by the Reichstein Foundation, I am sure that everyone in attendance understood why she is heralded as a ‘game-changer’. It was so lovely seeing so many Old Girls in the room. Spread across the decades, many tables were filled with familiar faces. The room was filled to the brim with women from the entire School community, and it
SCOGA Donation Drought and bushfires have made an enormous impact on many communities within Australia. This year, the SCOGA Committee wanted to focus its annual giving towards a community which had been affected by these awful natural disasters, and who had a connection with St Catherine’s School. We asked Sue Collister and Michelle Carroll for their input, and it was suggested, and agreed to, that we make our 2019 donation to the
Moulamein Primary School. With a history of St Catherine’s girls having attended this school in their primary years, we felt it was relevant to our fundamental criteria for a donation. We look forward to seeing the new sporting and educational equipment which this donation will provide to the students. Chrissy Ryan (Graham ’79) SCOGA President
was so lovely seeing so many Old Girls in the room spanning many decades. So many highlights from this special day… being given the opportunity to publicly thank Jill, catching up with so many Old Girls and teachers, and winning a silent auction prize. Chrissy Ryan (Graham ’79) SCOGA President
St Catherineâ€™s News Spring 2019
Thanks to the generous support of the SCOGA Fellowship I had the pleasure of attending the Food Governance Conference held at Sydney University in July.
ALEXANDRA CHUNG (SKINNER â€™01)
The conference offered a diverse and inspiring program with delegates from across Australia and around the world. I presented some of my own research findings on the alarming levels of sweet drink consumption among preschoolage children in Australia. We discussed the multitude of influences on dietary behaviour, many of which lie beyond individual control. Human rights lawyers lead discussions on the right to adequate food, a right that is not currently afforded to all Australians. The impact of global warming was highlighted as a major risk to the sustainability of our food system. Collectively we explored solutions, including how we can use regulation and policy to improve equitable access to nutritious food, and reduce rates of diet-related disease among Australians. We spoke about the responsibility of governments to create environments which foster healthy and sustainable diets. We also talked about the role of individuals. As consumers we each have a responsibility to consider the impact our food production and consumption
habits are having on the planet. Most people are unaware that globally, one third of all food produced is either lost or wasted. Something that we can all do, starting today, is reduce food waste. We can do this by buying only what we need, choosing less packaged food, and composting and recycling wherever possible. Small changes made by many can make a big difference.
Throughout the conference I became increasingly aware of the importance of coming together to share ideas, and the power of collective action. I have been reminded that there is always more to learn, and that we must persevere, even when challenges seem intractable. I am feeling enthused and inspired as a result of participating in the Food Governance Conference. I am extremely thankful to the SCOGA Fellowship Committee for this incredible opportunity. I encourage all Old Girls to consider applying for a SCOGA Fellowship so they too can share in an enriching and rewarding experience.
St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association
The notion of chance and opportunity are intricately linked. A quick Google search will tell you the definition of opportunity is; a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.
JESSICA MARTIN (’13) Chance is defined as a possibility of something happening. For me the SCOGA Fellowship allowed both the opportunity to expand my own clinical skills and the chance to positively impact the lives of those less fortunate. An opportunity and chance for myself, and equally an opportunity and chance for the Sri Lankan locals. I embarked on my journey to Sri Lanka just hours after hearing the news of the Easter Sunday bombings. There was uncertainty from all members of our volunteer group about what was to meet us when we touched down in Colombo. We arrived in a heightened sate of security that made even getting to our hotel difficult, as it was at the epicentre of the attacks. We then travelled to the North Western province and small village of Ulpotha. The gratitude from the Sri Lankan people at our eagerness to help, even in the face of adversity was touching. ‘Locals’ travelled from as far as four hours away just for the chance to have an eye test. The trip was originally planned to focus on paediatrics, however following the tragic events in the days prior all schools were shut down until further notice. As was the case we opened the clinic to the general public. There were days when over 300 people were awaiting at the doors before 6.30am. They treated us like royalty which only heightened our desire to do good for them. We worked barefoot in the local ayurveda doctor’s house. The lack of equipment, while it helped strengthen our own skills
and management of eye disease, was extremely frustrating, as it limited the aide we could offer. We consulted with 1333 patients, and unfortunately turned away hundreds more. We prescribed and dispensed 1274 pairs of spectacles. We slept in comfortable mud huts and showered outdoors in the local village, we ate what was grown and drank from the man made damn. The hospitality at Ulpotha was something not to be forgotten.
The most rewarding part of the entire experience was perhaps the attitude of the locals themselves. Sight is empowering. Children can be educated, adults can work. Without good vision opportunities are hindered, and the locals had a very firm understanding of the value of this. I will always be humbled by this experience and thankful for the opportunity the SCOGA Fellowship has provided me. I hope to have the chance to take the skills and lessons I have learnt on further volunteer trips.
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
A Life O F
In 2016, Dr Edwina Thompson (‘96), leading expert in threat finance and Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum Project honouree, founded social impact enterprise Huozhi Ltd.
Recalling her school days, Edwina remembers her ‘come dressed as your Mum’ party, and wanting to be as glamourous, popular, domesticated and entrepreneurial as her Mum. At 40, Edwina feels it is ironic that she has only really achieved the one thing she knew least about – being entrepreneurial. Edwina shares with us the latest chapter in her remarkable career and the driving forces behind it.
H E R
I have tended to pursue what I have felt is closest to my heart, which has definitely meant forging a less regular path than most. But I didn’t realise I would have by now successfully pitched to people in Europe to inject one million euros into one of the world’s most active warzones to embark on Huozhi’s present venture, ‘Amanacard’.
With a specific objective to create a channel for financial support to flow directly and in a dignified way to people in an acute crisis situation, the Huozhi team issues Amanacards in three colours; a Gold card is granted to the ‘mama’ for her pivotal role in the family unit; Royal Blue cards go to small businesses that supply goods to people against all odds; and Sky Blue cards go to skilled local people
O W N
helping in the crisis, such as health workers, teachers and engineers. Collectively, we call these people the ‘unsung heroes’ – ordinary people doing extraordinary things to survive. We’ve been going for just over three years now, and have hardly taken a moment to celebrate the wins because the mission has been so intense. This article has forced me to ask where my motivation has come from, and what role school may have played in it all. I guess it’s an obvious story of nature and nurture. A word I would associate strongly with my childhood in Australia is “joy”. Another is “good”. But it took being jettisoned out of it and into the UK to recognise just how good it was.
St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association
I went from having my somewhat eccentric personality being treated with the most creative and positive attitude at St Catherine’s to an austere regimen. At the age of 10, in my new English school, I was at a disadvantage in that I had never heard of Latin or German, I wrote in fluid cursive, not stiff italics, and I knew the wonder of science but not the disciplines of Chemistry, Biology and Physics. I asked for no special treatment. Instead, I taught myself how to learn these things, and fast. I was determined not to fail because I wanted to show them what an Aussie is made of… and I did, winning a record number of the school’s top prizes! At the age of 14, I felt that the scourge of conflict and violence in the world was the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. No one in my family can tell me where I grew this fascination and passion for wiping it out! For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to understand and break down problems affecting other people. As a young adult, I felt the only way do this was to experience them first-hand, write about them for technical audiences, but only towards making something happen as a result. I turned down some amazing
opportunities because I didn’t feel like anything would happen out of the effort. This included a personal invitation from the UN’s Secretary General to join a key expert committee advising the UN Security Council on counter-terrorism. Instead I chose to work in a role for a charity that had grassroots reach. I do wonder with the benefit of hindsight if that really was the best decision! But the experience rings true to what I’m now striving to do today, and I’m not sure I could be doing it much differently. I will never forget the faces of the people I knew I could do nothing for; an old man dying from famine in Somalia who approached me with such dignity on behalf of his village with a hand-written letter asking for food; a woman my age in north Sudan who told me of her weekly walk to collect firewood where she is habitually raped by militia; and all those ordinary people who are suffering daily torture, humiliating or degrading treatment and even death at the hands of the governments entrusted with their protection. Ultimately these things require fundamental change of the human heart. Reflecting on school days, I realise I had Latin from the earliest time in my life –
and Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum is a helpful guide to us all. If we can shut out the noise and focus on what’s good, I’m sure we’ll no longer be fearful of the unknown. This is what I guess I do when I land into a remote and dangerous situation, heading into unfamiliar terrain, but to fulfil a task and be alongside people in the process. I am a perfectionist, as I think many of us girls were when we were dreaming of being our Mums! And that can be tough. But there’s something to be said for never giving up when there’s a job to be done, if indeed you’re the right person for it, whatever it is.
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
SCOGA are incredibly fortunate to host nine reunions each year. Hundreds of Old Girls make their way through the Heyington Gates into the glorious Drawing Room of Sherren House to gather together, reconnect, and reminisce about their heady days of being a St Catherine’s school girl. Here is the brilliant presentation given by our 1989 Year Group Representative – Sophie Paterson (Nicholas ’89).
Welcome to all. Well done to all for making such a great effort to rally around and get the old gang back together. It’s amazing that we not only finished school 30 years ago, but most of also started school 42-43 years ago. I don’t think we look that old, do we? 30 years ago we were singing at our final assemblies “lord dismiss us with thy blessing”, “fight the good fight with all they might” and “though I speak of the tongues of men and of angels”. It seems such a long time ago but I certainly don’t feel that old. We are all joined by a very strong bond and given the most wonderful opportunity to start our lives being educated here at St Cath’s. Many of us started way back in Kindy and when I look back at the memories we wrote down for our 20 year reunion – the warm milk, sleeping at lunchtime, the red steps, playing down ball, hopscotch, the monkey bars, kiss chasey, swapping scratch and sniff stickers, hello kitty, lunch orders, trips to Sovereign Hill, the Charlotte’s web week in the library in those sunken steps with Mrs Parton, music with Mrs McKenzie, recorder lessons, skipping to “In Mississippi if you miss a loop you’re out”, Singing in assembly Down by the Sea and Trotting trotting through Jerusalem, getting your reader, swimming in the freezing cold pool and having to powder your swim cap, the International day and singing I’m an Aussie, yes I am, the Easter bonnet parade, the St Pauls
St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association
tapestry, plays like the Wizard of OZ and Joseph, playing everyone’s all-time favourite Shipwreck in the gym, Miss Johnstone’s scary black hair bun, and of course who could forget Anne Smith.
shop was better in our day – none of this vegan, no sugar, healthy stuff. Lots of hot cheese rolls, hot dogs, banana cake, summer rolls, liquorice straps and razz’s. Nothing wrong with that diet!
Then we hit senior school. We all remember the teachers who helped us with our learning. Some of these teachers have unfortunately passed, but we will remember them forever for their ability to teach us and devote time to our learning. It must have been hard sometimes to love us – the boarders breaking out of jail and heading to the Tok H, fake IDs, the constant notes in class, the day dreaming about the weekend, the constantly graffitied diaries and hymn books, the chatter, the wagging, the constant messed up fringes, the non-blazer wearing rebels, the socks pushed down, the rings getting taken by Ms Pizzey, the detentions and in general, hormonal teenagers trying to find their place in the school hierarchy.
But more than the education, we loved the experience of school. The Camps – Ovens Valley, Halls Gap, Canberra, Port Campbell and Duke of Ed, Music – choir, orchestra, house singing competitions, Sport – swim sports, hockey, netball, athletics, powerhouse rowing, ski trips, Davis, Holmes Kilbride, Langley Templeton and the best house of all, Beaulieu Blair, the school environment – St Cath’s lane and spooky empty house on the corner, the Bunsen burners in the chemistry lab, the computer desk with dot matrix printer, boarders remember the green phone, the quadrangle, the burn yourself gas wall heaters, Gutteryong, Heyington Station, tramming after school to Romeos to have a cappuccino or avocado toast, walking home from school, the old craft cottage or Home Economics cooking centre, the events – school fetes, debating competitions, casual clothes day aka pastels in Year 7 and tartans Y9, the dust cloud of Ash Wednesday, the school dance (what did we wear!? Why did our parents not tell us that bubble dresses and taffeta were not very flattering?), sun baking with oil on our legs beside the oval, French poetry competitions, the proud girls who got their blue jumpers and
What we like to forget about is the cramming, the staying up until 12pm to finish an assignment, being tired as you’d stayed up to watch Prisoner or gone to Inflation, exams, assignments and homework. And our homework was bad as we had no iPhones, Google or Siri or anyone else to help us with our research. We had to go to the library and carry heavy books in our bags. Today’s youth don’t know how easy life is. We actually had to write essays not copy and paste from the web. But I do vote that the tuck-
blazer ribbons/badges, the excursions, and of course the best day of all, the Year 12 break up! Most of all, what nearly everyone writes about school is the friendships. Friendships that were formed around hobbies, sports, learning and this school. Friendships that have now got 3040 years of history and more. Friendships that have seen the good and the bad. No wonder we never run out of things to talk about. And since then, we have created our own paths in life. We’ve all been to the same school, with the same education, yet everyone of us has chosen different post school studies and different careers. Some have had families, some stayed single, some are travelling, some haven’t travelled at all, , some very social, others not, some Facebook all the time, some have distanced themselves, Some have had really good luck, other not so much. Everyone’s life stages have varied, and its great as there’s no right or wrong way to live your life. It’s about finding balance, happiness and most importantly friends in life that can keep you on your right path. Hopefully we’ll all be here at our 60 year reunion and still enjoying each other’s company. Big thanks to SCOGA for organising all of this and keeping up this great connection with the school. Thank you and enjoy. Sophie Paterson (Nicholas ’89) 30 Year Reunion Speech
St Catherine’s News Spring 2019
REUNIONS TOP LEFT: 1979 Year Group – 40 Year Reunion Year Rep: Louise Gleeson (Lampard) TOP RIGHT: 1989 Year Group – 30 Year Reunion Year Rep Sophie Paterson (Nicholas) BOTTOM LEFT: 2009 Year Group – 10 Year Reunion Year Rep Susannah Guthrie BOTTOM RIGHT: 2004 Year Group – 15 Year Reunion Year Rep: Cynthia Sear
2020 Events & Reunions Monday 10 February 2020 SCOGA 2019 School Leavers’ Panel Friday 21 February 2020 10 Year – 2010 Tour 5.45pm Drinks in Drawing Room 6.15pm Lucy Cameron firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Wilson email@example.com
Friday 20 March 2020 15 Year – 2005 Tour 5.45pm Drinks in Drawing Room 6.15pm Sophie Molyneux firstname.lastname@example.org Laura Riordan email@example.com Saturday 2 May 2020 30 Year – 1990 Tour 10am Morning Tea/Coffee in Drawing Room 10.30am Lucy Fortey (King) firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 8 May 2020 40 Year – 1980 Tour 5.45pm Drinks in Drawing Room 6.15pm Annabel Bowden (Lewis) email@example.com Friday 7 August 2020 20 Year – 2000 Tour 5.45pm, Drinks in Drawing Room 6.15pm Megan McDonald (Benson) firstname.lastname@example.org Angela Johnson email@example.com Wednesday 9 September 2020 50 Year – 1970 Tour 5.45pm Drinks in Drawing Room at 6.15pm Barb O’Brien (Whiting) firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 9 October 2020 5 Year – 2015 Tour 5.45pm Drinks in Drawing Room 6.15pm Nicola Sitch email@example.com Jacquelin Cantarella firstname.lastname@example.org Friday 23 October 2020 Pre 1961 Luncheon Noon – 2.00 pm Friday 13 November 2020 25 Year – 1995 Tour 5.45pm Drinks in Drawing Room 6.15pm Phoebe Norman (Olsen) email@example.com
S t C a t h e r i n e ’s O l d G i r l s ’ A s s o c i a t i o n
Next Annual General Meeting Saturday 23rd November 2019, 10.00am The 98th AGM of the St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association (SCOGA) will be held in the Ballroom, Sherren House. The meeting will be followed by morning tea. All Old Girls are welcome to attend. Any member who would like to bring business before the AGM is required to give notice in writing to the Secretary no later than Saturday 26th October 2019.
Vale Margaret (Morrie) Montrose (Bott ’43) Sandra Henderson (Evans ’53) Heather Mutton (Hewitson ’40) Margaret Howes (Duckett ’48) Miss Juliet Richmond (Staff Member 1952-1989 and Honorary Old Girl)
RSVP by Friday 15th November to Phoebe Norman (Olsen ’95) firstname.lastname@example.org
SCOGA Committee President Chrissy Ryan (Graham ’79)
School Council Nominee Kate Barber (’96)
Vice Presidents Deb Berry (Manos ’77) Sarah O’Brien (’02)
Ex Officio Michelle Carroll (Principal) Stephanie Ferrali (2018 School Captain) Annabelle Motteram (2018 School Captain)
Honorary Treasurer Olivia Molesworth (Hocking-Brown ’13) Honorary Secretary Phoebe Norman (Olsen ’95) General Committee Virginia Edwards AM (Smith ’56) Nicolle McCurdy (Austin ’88) Kristina Moussalli (’09) Rebecca Simmons (’07) Emily Smith (’10) Catherine Stoney (’97) Melissa Sweetland (’86) Zoe Tsalanidis (’12)
If you are interested in joining this remarkable group of volunteers and becoming part of the SCOGA Committee, please feel free to contact Chrissy Ryan at email@example.com
TOP: Harriet Diana McMillan, a daughter for Kate (Baker ’91) and Hamish McMillan. A sister to Edwina. BOTTOM: Harry Francis Hicks, a son for Philippa (Baker ’96) and Ben Hicks. A brother to Samara.
www.stcatherines.net.au 17 Heyington Place, Toorak
Victoria, Australia 3142
T +61 3 9822 1285 E firstname.lastname@example.org CRICOS 00574F ABN 90 004 251 816
www.linkedin.com/company/st-catherines-school Join the St Catherineâ€™s Old Girlsâ€™ Association (SCOGA) closed group page on LinkedIn. This page is set up for Old Girls to communicate, network and hear about upcoming alumnae events. Once you are a member you can then share with other Old Girls in your LinkedIn network.