Strathcourier Vol 1 2019

Page 1




How blessed we are to share our community life PAGE 2

ALL ABOARD Introducing Tinker Train




Principal’s Report: Stronger Together


Tribute: Vale Mr Rob Evans


Auslan Choir: To Be Seen and Heard

Class of 2018: Results and Pathways


School Captains’ Report: Why a Girl’s School?


Music Report: Notes of Connection


Dux’s Speech: Olivia Muirhead


Continuing the Strathcona Story: 95 Years On


STEM: A Passion for Chemistry


OSA Hall of Fame: Dr Kate Rickersey


OSA Achievements: Rewriting a Career Path Paddling to Success

26 27

All Aboard: Introducing our Tinker Train Our ELC: A Community of Research and Relationships Malala Yousafzai: Respectively Rebellious



8 10

Our Fidelians: Fortiter Fideliter Feliciter, Bravely Faithfully Happily


Art Unstoppable 2018: Solace and the Art Space


Staff Profile: Mr Geoff Wriedt


Social Justice Report: It Just Gives






Strathcona Reunions: Pre 1960 and Class of 2017 London Reunion

28 29

Belonging and Connecting: The Strathcona Community


Sports Report: #changeourgame


Social Media: Stay Connected


Female Voices: A Forthright Force


Powerful Parent Seminars


Red Suitcase: Our Earliest Entrepreneurs


Wellbeing at the Core: Our Extended House System


OSA Updates: Past Students’ News


Global Connections


Celebrating 95 Years: Our Historic Events


ike many of you I watched the unfolding of the recent Hayne Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry with great interest. Being a financial services lawyer, I found myself fascinated, and at times appalled, by the proceedings. Apart from the many ethical, leadership, cultural and operational failures that were laid bare, the Commission underscored the importance and great responsibility of good governance and fairness in leadership. Governance of a School is not a light responsibility and those of us on Strathcona’s Board and Subcommittees take on our roles in full understanding of our duties and obligations to support the Principal in moving the School forward and in exercising wise stewardship. We do this by monitoring the progress of the School against the objectives set out in our Strategic Plan, asking robust questions and always seeking to do what is right ethically and in a spirit of Christian co-operation. The Board is proud that the School is flourishing in many important measures including the strength of its financial position, increased demand for enrolments, management of risk and compliance and its continued strong academic results. Equally important are the less easily measured: the wellbeing of the students, the professionalism and fulfillment of the staff, the standing of the School in the educational sector and the broader community, the preservation of the Strathcona culture, and the capacity to cope with change and innovation. Membership of the Board and its committees has been refreshed and new members have been appointed. The School is fortunate that such experienced and talented people willingly give of their expertise to support Strathcona. The ‘bench strength’ of our Board and Committee members is apparent from their impressive backgrounds. In 2019, whilst continuing its governance of the School in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment, the focus of the Board is very much on the future. If you are interested in contributing to the governance of Strathcona, please contact the Principal. BY MRS JOCELYN FURLAN Chair of the Board

COVER IMAGE Brian Green / Netflix / Malala Fund

2019 VOL 1


Strathcona is a community that is rich in all aspects of its life. Students have much opportunity for learning and growth in their academic, social and co-curricular experiences.


dditionally, we have many and varied community activities: in our Friends Groups, the Old Strathconians activities and networking, the Family Association and our Parent Representatives at all year levels. The pace and vibe of school life make it an exciting place;

there is no doubt that there is always something on and something to do and a wide range of choice for ways to get involved and feel part of it all. The main focus of the School, of course, is to assist each student to become the best person she can be, developing her skills and talents, and growing in those areas which may take more effort. There is a strong personalised learning approach because each girl is so well known and the staff are talented in responding to the varying needs of students in their care. Of course, not everything comes easily and we have spent a great deal of time encouraging the girls to be agile and adaptive as they face life’s challenges




and changing circumstances. We want them to be confident to take risks in their learning, to be unafraid of making mistakes, to speak up when required and develop a confident proactive approach to life and learning. Hence our current promotion of the notion #girlsunstoppable. Even when we are endowed with natural talents, it takes consistent work, effort, time and perseverance to develop them, particularly in the VCE years. In this edition of the Strathcourier, you will see how the commitment of our students, with the support of their teachers, coaches and families, has borne fruit in their many areas of endeavour. The pages are filled with images of our students

from ELC through to Year 12 engaging in a wide variety of activities and events, each one of them designed to develop varying aspects of each student—in a balanced way—so that they can grow to be the best they can be. Behind each beautiful photograph of a successful endeavour is a student who has committed herself to something and worked hard to be the best she can be. The curation of all that is contained in this edition of these achievements are, indeed, both inspiring and uplifting. They are very much a tribute to the teaching staff, coaches, parents, parent and alumnae groups and the many other people who walk beside our students on their journey. Our girls

are blessed to be supported by a loyal band of people forming a network of care and encouragement. I would like to think that each Strathcourier celebrates all these people too. I am constantly inspired by the stories of our students, the staff, our parents and our alumnae. I admire what they are doing, how they conduct themselves, their appreciation to those who assist them, their persistence when faced with challenge, the generosity of spirit, and the many and varied achievements both small and large. They are a salutary reminder of all that is good here at Strathcona and how blessed we are to share our community life.

2019 VOL 1


Congratulations CLASS OF 2018!

Their achievements are made possible through collaboration, dedication and sheer hard work. Strathcona’s Class of 2018 is truly unstoppable.


10% 46% 76% 25%

Median ATAR

of students attained an ATAR of 98+

of students attained an ATAR of 90+

of students attained an ATAR of 80+




of study scores were 40 or above

3 perfect study scores of 50


BACHELOR OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE (SCHOLARS PROGRAM), MONASH UNIVERSITY “The structure and functioning of the human body fascinate me. I hope to use biomedical science as a platform to go onto research or to study medicine. At Strathcona, I felt supported and yet challenged to aim high at every step of the way. My interest in STEM was nurtured from the beginning, enabling me to discover my passion for these areas.”


HONOURS DEGREE IN GEOSPATIAL SCIENCE (DEAN’S SCHOLAR PROGRAM), RMIT UNIVERSITY “I have always had a fascination with our planet and the location of things, so I believe a career in Geospatial Science or Urban Planning would be perfect for me.”


3% La Trobe University

17% Deakin University

36% Monash University

4% Swinburne University of Technology

16% RMIT University

18% University of Melbourne

1% Academy of Interactive Entertainment 5% Australian Catholic University


BACHELOR OF COMMERCE AND IT, MONASH UNIVERSITY “IT is an industry that is becoming very prevalent across a wide variety of areas, making it a valuable field to be skilled in.”



DIPLOMA IN GAME ART & ANIMATION, ACADEMY OF INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT “A positive work experience, Year 10 Design and Photography and VCE Art combined with my long held passion for gaming affirmed my desire to follow the game design career pathway.”



30% Business and commerce

1% Information technology

11% Design, fashion and arts

4% Law

19% Health science

18% Science and engineering

1% Secondary education (honours) 9% Arts and humanities 7% Biomedicine

DUX’S SPEECH Congratulations to Olivia Muirhead on being Strathcona’s 2018 Dux with a score of 99.55. This excerpt is from her Scholars Assembly speech.


feel truly blessed, humbled and grateful to be here to share my journey … Whilst you may not believe me, and I feel somewhat silly even saying this, I am not naturally smart. I’m certainly not the smartest person in this room, not smarter than my beautiful peers and likely not smarter than many of you! In all honesty I do not know my times tables, I use my fingers when counting in Maths. I am appalling at spelling... and I admit I had to use a dictionary to spell the word ‘appalling’! … Instead, what I am, is dedicated, self driven and extremely hard working with FAITH that these characteristics will help me achieve my goals. I am resilient and courageous, having the BRAVERY to overcome challenges in life. Last but not least, I have gratitude and love for my parents, teachers and friends which fills me with HAPPINESS. Just as our school motto says, I am Brave, Happy and Faithful. It is my understanding that being academically bright is simply not enough. I believe that the qualities of Bravery, Happiness and Faithfulness are vital to success and I couldn’t have received this score if it wasn’t for those qualities. Another motto that I have my dad to thank for is Adapt, Improvise and Overcome. For me, these three words epitomise Year 12. Let me start with ADAPT. By definition, this means to change ones behaviours or ideas to become adjusted to new conditions. Let’s face it, Year 12 is challenging. Success demands hard work, and dedication, it is stressful and sacrifices must be made. However, it’s also a year of fun, excitement and reward ... you just have to adapt. For me, this involved a positive mindset towards VCE … It is only one year of your life, a year which can greatly effect the many years to follow. This caused me to work hard

and change some behaviours. I made sacrifices in my life... prioritising study over the use of my phone, social media, social gatherings and other entertainment when required. ... I have learnt that balance is the key and so there must be time to relax, have fun and engage with friends and family. We are not machines, we need brain breaks and we need to find time to do what we love. This was something I had trouble doing, which in the end I believe made me very sick. Psychology girls, you may know or will learn about Selye GAS model. In brief, stress leads to elevated stress hormones, including cortisol. When cortisol levels remain high for long periods of time, the immune system becomes impaired. This can lead to various health consequences … Which brings me to my second point, IMPROVISE. Improvise comes from the Latin word improvisus, meaning “unforeseen, unexpected.” Life is very unpredictable and sometimes we have to make the most of an unexpected situation. Eight weeks before exams, I was diagnosed with appendicitis, Messenteric Adenitis and later Labarynthitis which is inflammation of the inner ear causing severe nausea and head spins. I could not look at a screen or read a book for three weeks. I had stomach surgery and was hospitalised for seven days. I missed the last two weeks of Term 3 including four SACs and Practice Exams. This was very unexpected and a major hurdle … My pre-planned study timetable was no longer applicable, which led to some major improvisation. I needed to rest, sleep and recover. However, I did what I could for brief periods of time, contemplating notes in my mind and using mental retrieval practises to consolidate my knowledge. I listened to audio versions of my notes because I couldn’t read, or pick up a pen ...

I believe the strongest indicator for success is a positive self esteem and attitude … As I wrote this speech I began to contemplate what success really means to me, and decided to demonstrate this with an acrostic poem! Showing; Unwaivering; Courage; Continuing; Even; Succeeding; Setbacks. That leads me to my final word... OVERCOME. When we have adapted to our situation, and improvised as best we can, overcoming our predicament naturally follows. I like to think of it as climbing a mountain … The journey uphill will be rewarding, with beautiful scenery and fulfilling progress. But it will have challenges. During these times, you improvise as best you can. We may share the load of our pack with friends, ask other mountain climbers for advice, use trees as umbrellas or grass as bedding. Eventually, given hard work and commitment, we reach the summit. We reach our dreams ... potential ... far beyond ... And that was my journey. I’d like to share two key tips: 1. Make the most of your wonderful teachers. You are all blessed to be here at Strathcona. It is an incredible community, with wise, compassionate and enthusiastic teachers. Never take them for granted, always show them respect and gratitude for their knowledge. Ask as many questions as you need until you understand. 2. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of sleep. I prioritised sleep over anything else ... including study! ... So to conclude the overall message I am trying to convey to you girls is believe in yourself. Work really hard and success will follow if that is what you desire. You do not need to be the smartest student in your cohort, and I am honestly testimony to that! As a Strathy girl, you have bravery, faith and happiness in your blood.


2019 VOL 1


ALL ABOARD A key responsibility for Junior School teachers is to build strong academic foundations for each student, maximising their potential for academic growth. These foundations are essential for success now and in the future, as they progress through their education and into the workforce. BY MR GEOFF LITTLE Head of Junior School


e are also responsible for developing 21st century skills; including creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Skills now recognised as essential if our students are to successfully navigate an unpredictable future. For our teachers, this presents a considerable challenge, where students must learn mastery of traditional, foundation subjectbased skills, whilst also developing the dispositions that the students of today require if they are to be ready for an increasingly complex and unpredictable life and work beyond school. In the Junior School, we achieve this with a careful balance


between direct instruction pedagogy and inquiry-based learning. In 2018, we introduced an exciting new initiative based on Design Thinking principles that aims to enhance our students’ capacity to be confident, successful, and engaged learners. As Tim Brown, CEO of the design and innovation firm IDEO, states in a interview; ‘In its simplest form, design thinking is a process applicable to all walks of life of creating new and innovative ideas and solving problems.’ At Strathcona, we believe Design Thinking is an effective and empowering way for our students to develop the skills to confidently solve



authentic problems. It empowers them to analyse a problem and brainstorm new ideas, before expressing their solutions to their intended audience, and assessing their validity. Based on Design Thinking principles, Strathcona’s Tinker Train is teaching our students to solve problems in new ways and develop their 21st century skills including collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. The Tinker Train concept has been designed with a focus on five interconnected carriages each representing a phase in the design thinking process. It is applicable to all students, differentiated according to age and the intended learning goals.



Strathcona's TINKER TRAIN



UNDERSTAND This first stage requires students to develop a deep understanding of the problem through discussion and analysis.



IDENTIFY Students identify a question related to the problem. They draw together information that could assist them to solve the problem.

IDEATE With a clear understanding of the problem and a focus question, students brainstorm and develop their ideas. They are encouraged to think outside the box and seek creative possibilities and solutions.

CREATE This hands-on experimental phase involves students creating prototypes and modelling their ideas.

SHARE Finally, students share their creations, discoveries and learning. Further alterations can be made based on feedback and reflection.

A Junior School Tinker and Maker Night provided family members with new insights into the Design Thinking processes that are taking place in our classrooms. Families worked together to devise a solution to a challenge that included brainstorming new ideas, making discoveries through exploration, trial and error and building a physical representation of their solution. It required those in attendance to be creative, collaborative, original and reflective. Razzouk and Shute in their article What Is Design Thinking and Why Is It Important? recognise the benefits of Design Thinking, stating; ‘that by improving students’ design thinking skills through having them apply processes and methods that designers use to ideate and help them experience how designers approach problems to try to solve them, students will be more ready to face problems, think outside of the box, and come up with innovative solutions.’ They further state, ‘Having good design thinking skills can assist in solving really complex problems as well as adjusting to unexpected changes. Although the design process involves in-depth cognitive processes, which may help our students build their critical thinking skills (e.g., reasoning and analysis) it also involves personality and dispositional traits such as persistence and creativity. If we are serious about preparing students to succeed in the world, we should not require that they memorise facts and repeat them on demand;

rather, we should provide them with opportunities to interact with content, think critically about it, and use it to create new information.’ We believe that our programs focus on developing strong academic foundations, along with new initiatives such as the Tinker Train represent a Junior School that seeks ongoing improvement of existing practices and a willingness to embrace new approaches to learning based on current research. The Tinker Train is one way we are preparing our students for success in school, work and life. Based on Design Thinking principles and the development of essential 21st Century skills, we are actively laying the foundations that will assist our students to thrive in a future where change is the norm and learning is ongoing.

1. 2. What Is Design Thinking and Why Is It Important? Rim Razzouk and Valerie Shute, Review of Educational Research; September 2012, Vol. 82, No. 3, pp. 330–348; September 2012, Vol 82, No 3, pp 330-338

2019 VOL 1


Schools need to be an environment that cultivates creativity and collaborations, invention, innovations and inquiry, as well as fundamental skills. Schools need to cultivate relationships and be essentially democratic. PHILOSOPHER ALDO MASULLO (2004)




Research and Relationships When entering our Early Learning Centre (ELC), visitors often comment on the ‘lovely feel’ that envelops the space. Children’s drawings, photographs and documentation adorn the walls, clay sculptures are thoughtfully placed on display.


hilst it certainly pleases the aesthetic senses, the meaning behind these spaces is far more fundamental to understanding the importance and value we place on children, their work, wellbeing, and their rights to a quality education. Our ELC is an open document of the learning that is occurring, a visual narrative of children’s ideas and theories that invites closer inspection and conversation. It is a welcoming space that reflects the attitude and values of the community of learners within. One main emphasis in the Reggio Emilia Educational Project, as Loris Malaguzzi wrote, is the image of the competent child, intent on developing relationships with others. This approach to learning is defined as a creative and collaborative process of knowledge building, of understanding through trial and error. Children construct knowledge by working and testing their own theories and thinking against the perspectives of others. They learn through these relationships and work with a range of different ‘languages’ (such as mathematical, scientific and visual languages), to communicate and express themselves. As such, our learning environment provides an open ended platform, allowing children choices to investigate and explore, enabling their ideas to be

shared and tested. We endeavour to offer children what is often referred to as, ‘intelligent materials’, open ended resources defined by the ability to motivate, entice, invent and create. Inviting children to seek understanding and connection about the natural world is our outdoor program which is open to many provocations and inquiries. The vegetable and herb gardens are frequently visited by children, nurturing respect for the environment and fostering an appreciation of the inter-relationship between the land and people. The Shared Lunch program further highlights the significance of the social connections made when preparing and sharing a cooked meal. Parents often volunteer to help and enjoy being a part of the communal preparations. Every meal uses produce from our vegetable patch, whether it is the main ingredient or supplements the dish. Specialist education sessions such as music, sport, library, art, and swimming, complement our program by supporting the acquisition of fundamental skills. These skills, in turn, equip children with the techniques required to express themselves and communicate their ideas in varied ways. The image of the child as competent and rich in potential guides and informs our teachers, our practice,

our interactions, our culture and our values. This image compels educators to be willing to work alongside children, to be open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. It requires teachers to feel comfortable with uncertainty, as questions sustain research and professional growth. Our current research, “How do we build our School (ELC) as a place of togetherness”, is linked to the key principles and values of the Reggio Emilia educational project. Research provides an opportunity for open dialogue, ‘a tool for debate’, between educators, families and other professionals within our community. Through open discussion and sharing of our documentation, we have been able to build understandings and review our current practice. As our research has evolved, so too, have our ideas and views. This, in turn, has a positive impact on the education and care of children attending our Centre. This research project will continue into 2019 and as part of the Thinker in Residence program, will be presented at the Independent Schools Victoria (ISV), Arts Learning Festival in May. Carla Rinaldi believed that, “theory and practice must always be together.” It is important to weave together our research, values and practice to deepen our understanding of how children learn and ensure that we continue to foster the rich potential of children.

BY MS JO DOWLING Director of Early Learning Centre

1. Aldo Masullo is (2004, February 25) The rights and potential of children and adult. Presentation at the Crossing Boundaries conference, Reggio Emilia Italy. This was cited in; In the Spirit of the Studio, Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia (2007), edited by L Gandini, L Hill, L Cadwell & C Schwall) 2. Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia, Exploring the role and potential of ateliers in early childhood education (2010), Vea Vecchi 3. Carla Rinaldi (2008) Documentation and Assessment: what is the relationship?: Making learning visible; children as individual and group learners (2001) Project Zero, Reggio Children

2019 VOL 1



Respectfully Rebellious W

hat an opportunity! Nine of our students and our Principal Mrs McConaghy were given the honour and privilege of meeting Malala Yousafzai. When Malala was aged 15, the Taliban boarded her school bus, shooting Malala and two other students for their defiance in attending school after being forbidden to do so. Rather than silencing Malala’s voice and passion for education, once recovered Malala’s voice grew louder as she continued to champion education for girls and women throughout the world. Malala is a passionate advocate of equal rights, an inspiring educational activist, the founder of The Malala Fund and the youngest person ever to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

One child, one teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world. MALALA YOUSAFZAI

Malala’s beliefs, actions and philosophy aligns closely with Strathcona’s values and teachings. Our commitment to girls’ education and the encouragement of resilience and bravery has continued for 95 years. Students from Years 5 to 11 were invited to enter a competition with Malala as their inspiration. The topic “What does courage mean to you” asked our students to self evaluate

and ponder how this relates to their own lives? Responses could be in any expression, digital, art or written prose. The prize, an opportunity to hear Malala speak and as it eventuated meeting Malala in person! All entries were heartfelt, considered, deeply personal and individual. Malala spoke to an audience of 8000 educators, students, mothers and fathers in Melbourne. Prior to the event Malala met our Principal Marise McConaghy and our proud (somewhat nervous) competition winners in an informal session. Thoughts, ideas and hope for female education in the future were exchanged. Strathcona students obviously impressed Malala as in her opening greeting to the waiting crowd she voiced how impressed she was with their views on courage and resilience and thanked them on stage for their passion to change the world. Our Principal and the Vice President of the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia, Mrs Marise McConaghy thoroughly enjoyed being able to introduce the girls to Malala. Reflecting on her experience Marise said “It was quite different to what I expected. She was genuinely

Courage, It doesn’t matter what you do. What you look like, Listen to the voice saying, just be you. AARYN CHIENG, YEAR 5 (2018)



The best way to be courageous is to believe in yourself. Don’t doubt yourself, even when others do. Fight for what you believe is right. JESSICA BUICK, YEAR 7 (2018)

engaged and interested in the lives of our girls and, while seemingly fearless (except of Australian spiders) and having an incredibly powerful ‘voice’, she was very understated and gentle in manner. Her advice to me as an educator of girls? “Encourage girls to use their voices and be respectfully rebellious when it is needed.” Yes #girlsunstoppable we shall be. With #strathyrespect, of course. Malala – a most remarkable, intelligent, witty, brave young woman at only 22 years of age.

THE INSPIRATION WAS CERTAINLY MUTUAL WITH OUR STUDENTS SAYING: “Meeting and chatting with Malala was incredibly amazing. It has been a dream of mine to meet her ever since I first heard about her and her achievements, and I am incredibly grateful to be given the chance to meet Malala. She is so inspiring.” Mia Whittle, Year 11 (2018) “Earning the opportunity to share a few words with Malala was one of the greatest gifts and an honour. Whilst conversing with her I was met with wit, knowledge, and a feeling of enlightenment as she shared her influential thoughts and guidance towards the future.” Mia Baker. Year 9 (2018) “It was an amazing event and I am so grateful to be given a ticket. I will never forget this amazing and educational night. Thank you again! I am so glad I get to go to this school.” Annabelle Buckland, Year 6 (2018)

“Meeting Malala was the most awe-inspiring experience! She is such an amicable and determined person!” Mahalakshme Thiagarajan, Year 8 (2018) “I was pleasantly surprised to see that someone so renowned was genuinely interested and engaged in conversation with each of us about our individual aspirations and goals for the future.” Alexia Keenan, Year 5 (2018). “Some of the lessons learnt form meeting and hearing Malala were: A famous person like Malala is really just an average person like me. She laughs, jokes and enjoys sports like cricket; Have an aspiration for the future, put it into action and speak up for what is right; Don’t let your age stop you from anything. Don’t let your voice define yourself.” Aaryn Chieng, Year 5 (2018)

Pictured above: Aaryn Chieng talking to Malala; Mrs Marise McConaghy introducing Malala to Mia Whittle (Year 11, 2018)

2019 VOL 1


Vale Mr Rob Evans (23.7.1947 – 12.1.2019)


t was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Mr Robert Evans who had been a long standing friend and generous supporter of Strathcona. His loss will be felt by the entire community. Strathcona is grateful to Rob for his work on the School Board and his commitment as Treasurer for 14 years. Rob’s two daughters attended Strathcona - Kate (1996) and Sophie (1998). Rob and Meredith Evans were also generous donors to Strathcona. Rob was a nephew of Joan and Margaret Mellor who gave much to Strathcona; Margaret in her teaching role and Joan in the Junior School ultimately to be named in her honour. Joan was Head of Junior School for 19 years. With her sister, she provided an anonymous donation to enable the purchase Tay Creggan, Strathcona’s Year 9 Campus in Hawthorn on the banks of the Yarra River, in 1969. Below is part of the tribute given by Mrs Ruth Bunyan AM (former Strathcona Principal 1990-2001) at Rob’s memorial service on January 21: Kate and Sophie were students at Strathcona when I joined the school community in 1990. When the then treasurer indicated he would retire in 1996, it was a challenge to find a replacement. This was a multifaceted role, usually from the parent community, involving monthly meetings, a multimillion diverse business to oversee, fees to set when education expenses were increasing more rapidly than the cost of living, and perhaps even more importantly, relationships to establish in a business involving a voluntary clientele. Parents already had their paid work and family responsibilities – in an independent school, this was not an easy position to accept. But it was an extremely happy day for Strathcona when Rob’s answer was in the affirmative.



Rob’s financial acumen, together with his interpersonal skills and wise judgement, contributed greatly to the school’s ongoing success, and position as a leading school in Australia. His ability to listen, to support the development of computing technology for the classroom, then in its infancy, to plan for a secure future, his calm appraisal of the unexpected, his communication skills – all these attributes, and more, were generously given to the school over 14 years. During Rob’s tenure as treasurer, properties were purchased, science buildings erected, beautiful Tay Creggan upgrades and the jetty on the Yarra constructed, classrooms, performing arts centre, a new Junior School, and so on, transformed the campus in the days prior to Government building grants to independent schools. His creative and conservative advice resulted in the school still being debt free when he retired. It is surprising how one seemingly inconsequential act can have considerable ramifications. Shortly after he joined the Board, I asked Rob and Meredith if they would take an elderly former student to a school function. They readily agreed, and so met Beth Smallwood. They continued to take her to Presentation Nights and during their conversations, Beth

perceived the total trustworthiness of Rob. She asked him to be an executor of her will which stipulated that her estate be set up as a charitable Foundation. Rob already had experience in philanthropy. He was on the William Angliss Charitable Fund Investment Committee for 18 years and also on the Financial Investment Committee of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research for more than 20 years. On Beth’s death, Rob now became involved in establishing a new Foundation. Substantial grants have been made to Strathcona and approved institutions with specialist centres for students with hearing impairment. We have been told that scholarships to the Melbourne University Education Faculty are resulting in increased awareness of the importance of specialist teaching for deaf children. Rob has visited every recipient organisation; his presence on these occasions provided great encouragement to those working in this field. His conviction was that while financial assistance was critical so too was personal interest and support. We shared a coffee meeting prior to the Foundation’s official quarterly meetings and I appreciated his level headedness and farsightedness as well as his great sense of fun. His love for and pride in his family were evident. He would talk of cricket mishaps, golf, travel, etc, but rarely about his charitable involvement. He was humble, reticent about his contributions, yet so many have gained from his unselfish support, his wisdom and generosity. Rob’s influence has been both extensive and significant. Though we all grieve our loss; it is huge; unknown numbers of people will continue to be the beneficiaries of Rob’s immense legacy long into the future. He was an exceptional man.

School Captains’ Report


hen asked ‘Why a girl’s school?’, the three of us realised that this question had never really crossed our minds. Having spent all of our high school education at Strathcona, we become accustomed to the privileges of life in this learning environment. Elaborating on this, we believe that one of the biggest benefits of attending an all-girls schools is the ability to be ourselves. Over the years we’ve gained confidence from the safe, accepting and respectful atmosphere that Strathcona provides. As a result of this we have been able to build lifelong friendships with our peers and develop a close bond with our teachers. The community at our school also

inspires each and every one us to challenge our learning, and break education stereotypes. We are, in particular, so lucky to go to a school that offers such great opportunities, especially with an incredible STEM focus, a wide variety of sports teams and co-curricular activities, and many platforms that enable us to channel our creative energy, including arts and music programs. Here we are fortunate to be provided with opportunities that only a girls school could provide, and we are also incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such strong women in leadership. The environment that Strathcona provides encourages and challenges each and every one of us at Strathcona to feel empowered to stand up for what we believe

in. Being at an all-girls school, if nothing else, has equipped us with the confidence, intelligence and communication skills that we believe are vital in everyday life. The three of us are so excited to take on our own leadership roles, and we each hope that our leadership in the school will contribute to this positive learning environment, and that we will empower the younger students to be leaders themselves. The amazing example provided by the 2018 School Captains makes our job of matching their efforts that much harder — but after five years at an all-girls school, all three of us know that the community and skills that Strathcona has provided prepares us for the challenges that we look forward to facing.

One of the biggest benefits of attending an all-girls school is the ability to be ourselves.


2019 VOL 1


Fortiter Fideliter Feliciter BRAVELY FAITHFULLY HAPPILY 2018 marked the graduation of many students who commenced their education journey within our primary school.




ome of our girls started their education at Strathcona as early as ELC or Prep, inaugural students to the brand new Junior School at the time, known as Mellor House. To commemorate these and future students who faithfully spend their whole educational journey, from ELC or Prep to Year 12 at Strathcona, we celebrate our “Fidelians”. “For me, Strathcona was more than just a school but a community of people that has helped shape me into the person I am today. I will never forget the friends that I made and will cherish these memories forever. I am so grateful for all the teachers I have had and the support they have given me throughout the years,” says Fidelian, Natalie Chan (2018). “I’m very grateful for my time at Strathcona. It provided me with countless opportunities including the ability to study on an overseas tour and pursue personal interests such as music and performance. I was challenged with multiple leadership roles that encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and gain valuable teamwork and leadership skills which I will be able to use and build-on in the future. “Throughout my journey at Strathcona I felt encouraged and supported first by the nurturing environment of the Junior School, followed by the stimulating nature of the Senior School and the dedicated teachers who strived to help me achieve my best. I’ve been very lucky and have left Strathy with lots of memories I will cherish,” says Fidelian Eloise Bryce (2018).

Pictured left to right: Nastasya Dimitriou, Chloe Hulme, Natalie Chan, Sophie King, Annabel Kellaway, Eloise Bryce, Sarah Bryson, Charlotte van Stiphout Absent: Carly Wamsteker

2019 VOL 1



ne affirming aspect of my life as an Art Teacher has been meeting adults who tell me how the Art Room made them feel when they were at school. I just loved being in the art room, they would say. The smell of the paint, the glue, the feel of cold clay, the red light of the darkroom, the loud music we could play, the peace, the quiet. Sometimes they will give descriptions of the physical space; that it was light, cosy, warm, bright and often soothing. For me, I feel like the Art Room can be a place of solace for our students. My Art teachers and I work very hard to create this safe creative space. We



see our students need to create, to make, to find comfort and thinking time in a space of their own. This is important to their well-being, and a vital part of their creative visual arts education at Strathcona. All teachers know that there is a certain alchemy when creating a space for learning and creativity. Sometimes it is noisy, vibrant and messy, sometimes it is very quiet, still, unmoving. As experienced teachers we have learnt how to judge the needs of the space and our students. Art teachers in particular learn to protect this time for the art process to happen and unfold. At

the beginning of the process it can appear idle, but it is far from it. In this stage, our girls are hard at work thinking, planning, struggling, and reflecting and refining their ideas. Often the hardest part in this stage is stepping back, watching, waiting. I often want the girls to get started and have a need to see action, but I have to curtail my hastiness in these precious classes. To protect the thinking space, the feeling space. This space quickly does become our making space, then our girls have to actively problem solve, test, explore, resolve, start again, work through frustrations, make decisions

Solace and the Art Space as they develop their own visual language. Depending on the student, the art space, can be filled with music, laughter, action. Sometimes as they enter a period of flow, this magical time where the engagement in the art process is so complete that the art room can quite suddenly return to complete silence. I believe the 2018 Year 12 Art and Design Students would agree they have experienced the art room in these different phases. Indeed, I hope that they also discovered the unique kind of solace that can be found in the art room. I am very proud of the large

number of students in our Senior Years, it is an indication that the visual arts and design are important, alive and strong within the community at Strathcona. Our student art exhibition, Art Unstoppable in September 2018, was once again a wonderful display of our hard working creative students and their teachers. We have embodied Art Unstoppable. I have certainly enjoyed working with this group of excellent students and seeing their ideas grow, from tiny interests into a body of artwork that is challenging, personal and expressive. The stories told by our

students through their artwork reflect so much about what makes them beautifully human, and quite fascinating young women. In the creative space of the Art room the Year 12 Art students have worked through anxieties in a healthy and constructive way. Our students have explored ideas about grief, fear, perfection, stress, families, romance, and tragedy. They have been influenced by issues in society, from gun violence to poverty. Artworks always influence our students, but we have also seen girls making some excellent connections about how music lyrics, literature and poetry influence our artmaking too. As part of our curriculum in VCE Art we examine the role of Art in society. Each year our students develop a personal philosophy about this, in preparation for their exams. Many of our students are not surprised by the recent Arts Nation research conducted by the Australian Council for the Arts in 2015, that 85% of Australians believe that the arts make for a more rich and meaningful life. As Head of Art and Design, I hope that our creative students leave school they keep learning and become great supporters of the arts. For the way it challenges us to think about our world and how we feel in it. May they too, think fondly of the Art room, and even occasionally return to the artmaking process, and find solace in Art once again. BY MS ERIN-MAREE HORSLEY Head of Art and Design

2019 VOL 1


STAFF PROFILE: MR GEOFF WRIEDT Mr Geoff Wriedt is a dedicated and passionate Science and Mathematics teacher who has taught at Strathcona for 40 years. We ask him a few questions about his teaching journey. Can you tell us about your career journey? As a newly qualified teacher, I accepted an interim role as a Lab assistant in the Science Department. Six weeks later, both Strathcona and the State Education Department offered me full-time teaching positions, and the rest is history. It certainly wasn’t a plan to stay at the same school for decades but the variety of roles — and caring about outcomes for both the students and the school as a whole was a compelling magnet. Working in various teams on a wide range of projects along the way also brought diversity. What do you enjoy about Science? Friends ask how I can teach the same subject year after year, but the content and environment changes frequently, and who doesn’t love Science and Mathematics! The students still come up with varied insights, interpretations and ideas that surprise me. Science is everywhere - not just in the classroom, so it is fun to inspire students with examples that encourage active learning and discussion of science concepts. What inspires you? The curiosity of student minds and seeing the joy of realisation when they grasp a concept. What influenced you to become a teacher? I have a passion for archaeology, but at university also explored interest in marine biology, palaeontology and geology. I must admit that a couple of my own science teachers influenced me, so I went on to complete a Diploma of Education... and here I am! Do you have career highlights? I have been involved in a number of key fields at Strathcona over the years. Coordinating Year 7 and Year 9 at Tay Creggan were very rewarding times, with special appreciation for the efforts of the



fantastic supportive staff. Receiving a NEITA award in 2007 was also an honour. I helped introduce computer technology into the School curriculum and oversaw the running and maintenance of over 100 computers each with their own personal dot matrix printer attached (remember them?) At the time, the name, class and subject of every student report was individually typed (about 12000 reports per year!) so I setup a computer system to replace this. Next was timetabling (which surprised the current timetabler that it was possible) and also to organising all lane allocations in the school Athletic and Swimming sports program. For many years I was part of the production team for the School Magazine, which involved not just being the paparazzo, but also developing and printing all the photos by hand in the school dark room! Another highlight was being part of the annual School Drama Productions run by two amazingly talented colleagues — Merryn Anstee and David Oldham. I assisted with building the stage sets and stage-management of many outstanding productions such as Pippin, Wizard of ‘’Aus’’, Guys and Dolls, Man of La Mancha and Les Misérables at the Alexandra Theatre at Monash. Having a love of the outdoors, I encouraged the development of a Bushwalking Club (fondly remembered as “the Spam Club” for any older students reading). With thanks to Chris Chittick, Jenni McLeod and her husband Colin, we witnessed the expertise of the students develop over many years to the extent of eight-days walks through Cradle Mountain National Park. The club soon evolved into the Duke of Edinburgh Award and many students proudly received their Gold Award at Government House. What advice would you give to graduating Strathcona students? Do not be afraid of having a go at something you are unsure of! Step outside your comfort zone … often! Even failure is a great tool toward growth and learning.

Social Service Report


he visual impact of service to others has given Strathcona students a great amount of pride. Our 36 Service Leaders — ­ ranging from Years 6 to 12 — have had a tremendous impact under the direction of our four Year 12 Service leaders. Students rallied together to lead the School in a quest to support women and children in need. Students had three areas of focus for this mission as they met needs within the School, the community, as well as overseas. Within the School, students launched an in-house Denim For Deafness celebration day. Our hearing-impaired students were overwhelmed by the support as each student wore denim and engaged in exciting fundraising activities. They also responded to those within our School suffering from cancer by holding a gigantic and very successful vintage flea market to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research.

To support vulnerable women in our community, students rallied together and generously gave resources through the national Share the Dignity campaign. They also door-knocked and raised funds for Melbourne’s homeless as part of the Red Shield Appeal. Our Junior School girls have demonstrated outstanding generosity and leadership in their support of children attending Cottage By The Sea. Students and teachers created a book drive and a whole School food drive that made a significant impact supporting foster children attending the stunning short holiday program that Cottage By The Sea provides. With the support of the Strathcona community, our amazing students raised over $17,000 to provide five scholarships for girls in Tanzania. Because of our Strathcona generosity, these five girls are able to study for two years and graduate from the School of St Jude, enabling an entirely different direction for their future.

Additionally, a new service leadership structure was trialled allowing older service leaders to provide leadership role modelling to younger leaders. This tiered leadership model was effective in equipping girls to be leaders of leaders. Rather than carrying the bulk of work, they were looking at ways to share the vision and build teams. It has been lovely to see passionate girls embrace the heart of true generosity both individually and within small groups as they ran with ideas that were close to their hearts. Motivated not by being seen by a desire for justice in their heart that told them to stand up and make a difference. We have seen girls gather books to send to Fiji, campaign and fundraise for OAK Tree foundation, bike ride for Do It In A Dress as well as so many other impacting efforts. For Strathcona service efforts, the words of Mother Teresa come to mind — ‘Intense love does not measure. It just gives’.


2019 VOL 1


To be seen and heard Year 11 student, Mia Whittle, is a determined young woman with a strong sense of community. Mia created a group for our hearing-impaired students and was instrumental in establishing a choir where the beauty of their voices can be heard. BY MIA WHITTLE Year 11


was born with a hearing impairment and diagnosed after the age of two with a severe to profound hearing loss. I received a cochlear implant on my left ear at the age of seven and I wear a hearing aid on my right ear. I found growing up to be a struggle and felt isolated from friendship groups and always felt different. I moved to Strathcona from Coburg West Primary School in Year 6 where I was lucky to be paired with awesome buddies, who also had hearing impairments. They were a few years older than me but made me feel part of the Strathcona community and treated me the same as everyone else. I found it difficult to make new

friends because I thought people would not see me beyond my disability. Fast forward to 2018; I realised that more girls with a hearing impairment were commencing at Strathcona and that I did not want the girls to feel isolated or excluded, so I introduced Beth’s Butterflies. Beth’s Butterflies is a group, specifically created for girls with a hearing impairment with the intent that the girls do not feel isolated and are a part of a group who embraces their disability. I found great success with the group and realised very quickly that the girls are happy to feel part of a group like this at School. Jude Harper, Strathcona’s teacher of the deaf, then initiated the idea of

creating and introducing the Auslan Choir. The Auslan Choir consists of a passionate group of Strathcona girls who are interested in learning Auslan. We use the signs learnt to sing to the songs we are taught. We’ve been involved in many performances including Happy by Pharrell Williams at a school assembly, and also presenting at the Strathcona Annual Music Concert sign language to I can sing a rainbow. I am so proud of the Auslan Choir and extremely happy to have introduced and lead these groups. All I wanted was for Strathcona’s hearing-impaired girls to have a safe place and be a part of something special where they feel like they belong and are accepted by everyone.

Strathcona acknowledges the generous support of the Beth MacLaren Smallwood Trust in supporting our hearing-impaired students.




NOTES OF CONNECTION “To sing is not a relic of primary schools, community buildings or churches. Singing is actually relevant and good because it is healthy. When people sing, they breath deeper and slower. The deep, slow and calm breathing provides more oxygen to the brain and affects cardio activity positively. Additionally, participants will begin to breathe in a similar pace and their hearts will begin to beat concurrently. Singing connects people socially and creates an invisible link – making participants move from an ‘I’ perspective to an ‘us’ perspective.” A. Quito


hile these comments relate specifically to singing, they apply to all forms of music making. Many individuals coming together with a common purpose and goal increasing their sense of belonging and community. Events such as Presentation Nights, House Performing Arts and Choral competitions are obvious occasions when the whole school or house come together to sing or make music. Another great example last year was the Christmas Service. While as a Strathcona community “we lifted the roof” of the church during the singing of traditional carols and Song of Joy at the conclusion of the service accompanied by a large full orchestra, it was actually some of the preparation singing sessions prior to the event where a strong sense of community and participation

developed. Even those within the student body who were perhaps reluctant singers at best, were swept up in the larger cohort joining the singing around them, leaving with a smile and ready to face the rest of the day. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the dedicated musicians who enjoy the challenges of coming together regularly striving to create a performance of excellence with greater attention to detail and finer musicianship. Each individual contribution to the whole valued, whether it is a flamboyant and virtuosic role in the first desk or part carrying the main tune or a member of the equally important underpinning harmonic line or dare I say it even the brave cymbal or triangle player who may only play a few brief bars in any one piece, but adds so much in the way of excitement or drama. Each role having its challenges. Playing a cymbal part takes enormous focus and nerves of steel, often being required to count hundreds of bars rest and then play, crash! in what has to be exactly at the clearly defined moment. Have you ever been to a football match or any other sporting match where the crowd is dismal in number and less than enthusiastic? Imagine playing in a grand final without a crowd of cheering supporters. While one would still participate for the win, there would still be something sadly lacking in not having the

chance to share the experience and success with after the match. Performance for a musician is often like a grand final. They train weekly as a musical team in addition to their own personal training. The resulting performance is like match day. It is both a team challenge with a singular goal to be as one and bring the music to life working together in harmony, in sync with a highly developed understanding, respect for each individual role and often an individual challenge to overcome technical challenges or produce a personal best as well. Concerts and performances are not complete without an audience. In 2018 at Strathcona we did have a regular crowd of supporters and audience members to share our musical success and special moments. The Winter Warmers, and Annual Music Concerts were well attended and provided our musicians from across the School the opportunity to perform and share their music with an appreciative audience. Performance is an important part of their development not just as musicians but as people. In the busy school calendar concerts are few and far between but nonetheless a highlight of the year, making each occasion even more special. In 2019, do make the effort to support and share in musical successes. Don’t be the ones to miss out on an opportunity to enjoy a positive focus for conversation or experience together.

BY MS JENNY MEACHEM Head of Performing Arts A. Quito, Quartz at Work article ‘What choral singing can teach us about leadership’, December 2018

2019 VOL 1



95 years on



Every girl’s experience and learning at Strathcona is unique, memorable and cherished for years to come. Each new student to Strathcona opens a new chapter in the journey of the School’s history. Some chapters develop into magnificent stories as illustrated by this beautiful photograph of grandmothers, mothers, their daughters and granddaughters who continue the tradition of a Strathcona education within their families. In this our 95th year, as an alumnae of Strathcona, if you would like to continue the legacy of learning and belonging for your daughter or granddaughter, please contact our Head of Enrolments, Mrs Amanda Orgill (Brown ’89): +61 3 8779 7606 or

Strathcona, a true never ending story.

2019 VOL 1


A PASSION FOR CHEMISTRY Ever since primary school, Tamsyn Lovass (Year 12) has known that Science will be a big part of her future. Through Strathcona’s strong Science program and broader opportunities Tamsyn has discovered that her passion is chemistry.


n 2018 Tamsyn added a number of scientific achievements to her name. She was equal top performer in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools Year 11 Science competition (ICAS). ICAS selected only 19 medal winners from the 34,000 student participants across Years 2 to 12. Tamsyn also sat the Physics Olympiad paper and achieved a High Distinction, placing her in the top 10% of the 1700 students who entered this national competition. Additionally she completed three hour paper as part of the national Chemistry Olympiad. Out of 2000 entrants Tamsyn placed in the top 24 students in Australia and as a result of this, she attended the two week Australian Chemistry Olympiad Summer School at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. “I was shocked to discover I had been selected as one of the top 24



chemistry students in Australia. Chemistry has always been an aspect of science I have especially loved. Whilst spending two weeks at the ANU studying university level chemistry isn’t everyone’s idea of summer fun, as nerdy and cheesy as it sounds, I couldn’t think of anything better. I absolutely love challenging myself, and having the opportunity to be presented with questions that are so perplexing it’s difficult to know where to start,” says Tamsyn. The Australian Chemistry Olympiad Summer School covers first year university studies in biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science and physics and offers students the opportunity to work with others passionate about science. Tamsyn says her highlight of the program has been spending time with people who are like-minded. “It’s been such a supportive community, all of

us working together to try and make cramming a year and a bit worth of university standard work into two weeks somewhat enjoyable… It has proved an excellent opportunity to develop skills, learn how to complete complex (and often dangerous!) procedures and apply what has been learnt in the lectures in a tangible, practical way.” Tamsyn currently plans to study a science degree, followed by masters in engineering. Though she acknowledges that STEM is a constant changing field of study, “…the thing I find most exciting about STEM is that it is a rapidly growing area, with so much potential. A career in STEM can truly lead you anywhere, and I am so excited to see what opportunities present themselves in my future.” In 2019 Tamsyn will continue to trumpet the passion for Science as Strathcona’s STEM captain.


Dr Kate Rickersey

Dr Kate Rickersey (Dalrymple ’96) significant contributions to improving the lives and prospects of people in developing countries over three continents is a clear demonstration of excellence in her field and an exceptional contribution to the wider international community.


ate has been engaged in the full cycle of land administration projects since completing her PhD in 2005, which investigated land administration response to access to land and natural resource rights and tenure issues in developing countries. She has a broad experience from working in land administration and governance in countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific and Asia. After spending numerous years living and working in Loas, Kate was appointed Managing Director– Land Equity International (LEI). Kate has attended and presented at many national and international conferences, most recently in March 2018, she took 20 Laos government officials to the 19th Annual Land and Poverty Conference organised by the World Bank in Washington DC. Kate joined Land Equity International following completion of her PhD, and following a one year AusAID Australian Youth Ambassador program where she was a volunteer in Laos 2005/2006.

Kate Evans, Kate Rickersey and Meg Fricke (left to right) all graduated in 1996. Meg was the second proposer for Kate’s nomination for the Medal and Kate Evans one of the Corroborators.

Kate Rickersey & Judy McMaster. Judy is Chair of the Strathcona Medal Committee and also our past Chaplain (1981 to 2008)

KATE’S ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS 1997 – 2001 University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts (Geography)

1997 – 2001 University of Melbourne Bachelor of Geomatic Engineering (First Class Honours)

2002 – 2005 University of Melbourne Doctor of Philosophy (Land Administration)

2019 VOL 1


Rewriting a career path “I did not really enjoy being a marketing director. I much preferred to be doing the work and solving problems rather than sitting in meetings.” It was this realisation that set Amanda O’Brien (’88) on the blogging pathway.


manda was part of the Strathcona Class of 1988 and continued to study at Monash University where she spent six great years completing a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Marketing and an Honours year. She started her career in marketing with her first job at Village Roadshow, then moved to Mattel Toys followed by Kraft Foods. Moving to the United Kingdom in 2003 Amanda worked for companies such as Heinz, Direct Line Group and B&Q. Through dedication and aptitude she worked her way up to the Marketing Director level. It was at this point in life that Amanda’s



self-reflection started to pull her in a different direction. “I realised that I did not really enjoy being a marketing director. I much preferred to be doing the work and solving problems rather than sitting in meetings.” She had always been passionate about digital marketing and a keen traveller so she decided to bring those two interests together and launch a boutique luxury travel blog, The Boutique Adventurer. She launched the website in February 2016, however it took her about 18 months to really understand how to start generating traffic to the site! Her blog currently makes a small

amount of income though saves her “a fortune in travel costs” with most travel expenses covered by tourism boards and hotel groups. To offset her ‘passion writing’ she is consulting in digital marketing two to three days a week at one of the world’s top universities, University College London. “My whole world is about digital marketing but I love having a mix of my own business with the blog and being part of higher education and student recruitment.” It is this change of career that has allowed Amanda to find her happy balance. Subscribe to Amanda’s travel blog:


Marlena Ahrens (’09) is a passionate World Champion Kayaker and Physiotherapist. Her passion for kayaking started in Year 9 at Strathcona. The appeal of being part of a team competing in a five day race was the start of her paddling success.


arlena has since gone on to compete in the World Canoe Marathon Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark (2009) and World Canoe Marathon Championships in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Denmark, United States of America, Hungry and South Africa (2009–2017). In September Marlena will represent Australia in The Australian Canoe Marathon Team competing at the World Canoe Marathon Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in both Open Women’s singles (K1) and doubles (K2) events. Each race is a 26km course with six portages (a section of the course where you need to get out of your boat and run with it for about 200m). “Being part of such a supportive community makes kayaking a sport that you can take part in throughout life,” says Marlena.

It is part of the reason Marlena continues to rise early and train. “I keep paddling because I love it! It is such an amazing sport.” A typical training regime consists of waking at 4.45am with the aim of completing on average 80-110km a week in the boat plus two to three gym sessions and two running sessions. After leaving Strathcona and between training Marlena completed a Bachelor of Science; Major in Human Anatomy and Doctor of Physiotherapy from The University of Melbourne. She now works fulltime as a Physiotherapist on top of her heavy training schedule. Marlena specialises in working with people who have had spinal cord injuries who have become para- or quadriplegics. She enjoys working with clients to help them achieve their desired lifestyle. Whether this

be everyday activities or elite sport, Marlena strives to work with her clients to reach these goals. Being an elite athlete herself Marlena understands the demands required to train and compete. She also has a keen eye for technique, and incorporates this into both clinic and kayak-based treatments/ sessions. Marlena has also gained valuable experience working in a tertiary hospital with patients after orthopaedic surgeries, neurological conditions and spinal cord injuries. Marlena continues to train and is preparing for the 2019 World Canoe Marathon Championships and facing her biggest challenge which “is forgetting which bend of the Yarra has that hidden log underwater when I’m training in the mornings and it’s still pitch-black ... Good to say though that I haven’t had any surprise swims along the way yet.”

2019 VOL 1



The connections made at School can last a lifetime. The shared experiences, bonds and journey add to the rich tapestry of life. It is these such connections that make being an Old Strathcona Association member incomparable. The alumnae pre 1960 enjoyed catching up over lunch, while the Class of 2017 celebrated their first year post Strathcona sharing tales of adventure and growth.

PRE 1960

Above: Shirley Lowthian presents Junior & Senior Tennis Cups at the pre 1960 lunch.

CLASS 0F 2017



17,000km from Strathcona O

n a sunny Saturday afternoon in October, more than 20 past alumnae gathered for afternoon tea. It was like any other year level reunion which the Old Strathcona Association (OSA) and Strathcona host numerous times each year: conversation was free flowing, stories were shared, there was much laughter, and (as is often the case) most alumnae stayed well past the official finish time because they had so much to talk about (in fact, we were the last ones to leave the café, just as it closed for the day). However, there was one big difference – this afternoon tea was held at the British Library, almost 17,000km away from Strathcona and many of the alumnae had never met. Despite this, everyone shared a common bond from their time at Strathcona, whether they left school in 1964, 2012 or somewhere in between. Experiences of these alumnae were varied — some had lived in London for over 40 years, others had only just arrived and were looking for work, while others had been there a few years

and were deciding whether to move back to Melbourne, stay in London or move on to their next challenge in another part of the world. Career paths were broad as well — the alumnae group included diverse career paths from veterinarian to lawyer, costume designer to finance professional, travel blogger to teacher. The London Reunion provided the alumnae an opportunity to meet others living locally, forge new connections and share advice on ways to navigate through their transition to living overseas and challenges associated with living apart from family. While there were only four or five alumnae who were in the same year level, it did not take long for everyone to work out the two or three degrees of separation. There was even the discovery that one of them had attended Strathcona with the mother of other alumnae! We look forward to hosting more reunions interstate and overseas. If you are living interstate or overseas and would be interested in attending a reunion (or helping to organise one in your location), please get in touch via BY MS LAURA LOFTUS OSA President

2019 VOL 1



The Strathcona Community

The importance of community is well understood and recognised at Strathcona. The School recognises the contribution made by the many different community groups which play an active role in the life of the School.


ur community groups include the Strathcona Family Association (SFA), the Old Strathconians Association (OSA) and a number of Friends groups – Friends of Rowing, Friends of Performing Arts, Friends of Snowsports, Friends of Rhythmic Gym and Friends of Kayaking. The SFA plays a vital role in bringing together the School community, providing opportunities for parents and families to socialise and celebrate special occasions during the School year. In 2018 the



SFA hosted a number of events including: parent welcome drinks at the commencement of the School year and Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day breakfasts. Other major events included the parent evening at Tay Creggan and the Junior School disco. The SFA also focuses on raising funds for the School and the 2018 donation will provide an outdoor kitchen on the extended deck outside the Senior Centre. This donation will benefit many of Strathcona’s various community groups.

The SFA owes much of its success to the enthusiastic network of parent volunteers including the newly introduced Fathers’ Sub Committee which organised a fathers’ pub night, bowling afternoon and bike ride. This sub-committee will continue in 2019 and the SFA extends an invitation to all fathers to join. The 2018 Class Reps were very active arranging a variety of events each term for the parents in their year level. These included coffee mornings in local cafes, evening

dinners and family picnics. The class rep volunteers in 2018 organised over 60 events which were well supported and appreciated by families. The Strathcona Friends groups provide wonderful support in their specific areas. Friends of Rowing has grown over the years and parent support is a major contributor to our students’ successes. From fundraising to providing meals at rowing camps and setting up for regattas, their contribution is much appreciated. Friends of Performing Arts (encompassing music, art and drama) worked tirelessly by providing refreshments to families during School performances in 2018 and raising funds to purchase a Marimba instrument for the music school (right). Friends of Snowsports supported our students competing in the Victorian Interschools competition and raised funds through a cookie drive and BBQ at Junior School.

Friends of Rhythmic Gymnastics contributed to student successes at the Victorian State Championships and also hosting several competitions at Strathcona. Friends of Kayaking fundraised through the sale of Entertainment Books with the money supporting our students in their competitions. Students competed in the Paddle to the City event and the students trained and competed in the Ben Ward Marathon in Term 4. The Old Strathconians (OSA) hosted 15 reunions during 2018, all of which were well attended.

The reunions provide a wonderful opportunity for the School to maintain contact with its alumnae and learn of the incredible life stories of these women after they leave Strathcona. The OSA quarterly oNews, LinkedIn and Facebook provide wonderful networking opportunities for our alumnae. The OSA also hosted the sell-out MasterChef dinner in May at Tay Creggan and the Careers evening in July, with 35 past students speaking to our current students and parents about their career paths. Their sharing of their own career journeys provided very helpful and encouraging information to current students. We thank our wonderful volunteers for their tireless work and invite all parents and alumnae to get more involved in the Strathcona community. Such contributions make our School community stronger and more connected – a goal we all support.

BY MRS JO WILSON Director of School & Community Relations

2019 VOL 1


We want our girls to be confident to take risks in their learning, to be unafraid of making mistakes, to speak up when required and develop a confident proactive approach to life and learning.

Mrs Marise McConaghy PRINCIPAL




changeourgame T

he Head of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation (OWSR), Dr Bridie O’Donnell extended the invitation to girls from Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) schools to participate in the Victorian Government’s Change Our Game - Girls in Sport Summit. We were lucky enough to have Beatrice Kellock (Year 8) and Isabel White (Year 7) attend this summit on Saturday 13 October 2018. The aim of the summit was to bring

together 100 girls aged between 13-15 from across Victoria to discuss the girls thoughts are on what sports are doing well and what they can do differently to encourage female participation well beyond the teenage years and share ideas on the theme of ‘Sport for Life’. After attending the summit Beatrice commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed the day, my favourite part was collaborating with all the other girls

from all different sports and hearing their views and thoughts on the topic. I also enjoyed hearing the guest speakers and all their struggles and how they got through them. I found them very inspiring.” Isobel says, “I think the future of girls sport will see a higher percentage of girls playing sport past their teenage years and into adulthood, and sporting opportunities will be equal amongst women and men.”

SWIMMING Georgia Watkins (Year 11) Congratulations to Georgia who was selected as a member of the GSV Representative Swimming Team, and competed in the 15-16 year-old 4x50m Butterfly relay that competed in the 2018 Victorian Schools Association Competition. There were 10 school sports associations represented at the competition hosted by Swimming Victoria on Monday 7 May at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Every one of the GSV team members were outstanding and swam their hearts out. As a team, GSV placed first out of all of the girls’ teams.

SOCCER Anais Krashow-Josefski (Year 11) Congratulations to Anais who was selected as a member of the GSV Representative Team for the second year in a row. This year the team travelled to the Gold Coast to compete in the 2018 Interstate Challenge Tournament held at Somerset College, Mudgeeraba. It was an impressive performance from the Netball, Soccer and Tennis Teams, not just on the field or court but whilst representing their school and GSV. Anais’ Soccer team won the tournament and the three teams combined only finished in second place by one point.

2018 GIRLS SPORT VICTORIA (GSV) REPRESENTATIVES VOLLEYBALL Bronte Coxhill (Year 11) Congratulations to Bronte who was selected as a member of the inaugural GSV Representative Volleyball team who competed on Sunday 21 October in the Western Region Volleyball Maribyrnong Championships, U17 Girls Division 2 held at Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School. The full program for the day began at 8am with four round robin matches as well as team official duties for the girls (refereeing, score sheet, line calling) throughout the day. Given the team only came together for one training session prior to the tournament, they performed extremely well on court (did not drop a set) and even more importantly off court in their down times or when performing duties. They were cohesive, encouraging of one another and represented Strathcona and GSV with pride.


2019 VOL 1


Stay Connected

Strathcona students, staff and community are constantly participating in interesting opportunities and achieving outstanding goals. Connect with us through our social channels.

It’s been a great year for Strathcona’s rhythmic gymnastics team! Well done to all the students who participated, we can’t wait to celebrate your achievements in 2019! #girlsunstoppable

@strathconagirls We were fortunate enough to receive 6 nominations at the Lyrebird Awards for youth productions last night! Congratulations to all involved, in particular to Taylor and Mollie! #girlsunstoppable #lyrebirdawards

@strathconagirls This afternoon Principal Marise McConaghy welcomed the 2019 Prep students, inducting them into Strathcona with their own Strathy badge. #girlsunstoppable

43% studying

VCE Chemistry

Strathcona has 43% of Year 12 students studying VCE Chemistry in 2018 compared to a state average of 14.5% of co-educational students and 26.7% of singlesex schools students enrolled in this subject. #girlsunstoppable #nationalscienceweek

*Data pulled from Single-sex versus co-educational schooling and STEM pathways: Final report FOR: Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia, over a 15-year period

17 October 2018 Year 9 students on an Envision excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria were lucky enough to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.



A multiplying effect has occurred in our Mathematics department. Seven students achieved high distinctions in the ICAS Maths Competition, placing them in the 99% of results nationally. Additionally, Year 8 student Mahalakshme placed in the Top 2% nationally for the 2018 Maths Olympiad broadening her mathematical skillset. #girlsunstoppable


Female Voices: A FORTHRIGHT FORCE Strathcona has a strong Public Speaking Program in which all students from Years 7 to 12 participate. The standard across every year level is high. Among the many benefits from this program is the ability to grow in confidence, and to speak logically in public when voicing a point of view.


e are proud to report that we have two winners in the external Public Speaking Competition, “Hawthorn Voices of a Generation,” run by John Pesutto, MP Member for Hawthorn. The topic was: “How can we ensure that all people are given the opportunity to maximise their potential to help build a caring, respectful, and prosperous community?” At Strathcona all students engaged in a classroom presentation, and then the English Department selected finalists for each Division – Junior (Years 7 and 8), Intermediate (Years 9 and 10), and Senior (Years 11 and 12). For each Division only six finalists were selected, and

finals took place in pastoral care time across the two campuses, with the judges consisting of English teachers from all year levels. Natasha Hawkins, the Senior Division winner and Chloe Plant, the Junior Division winner were selected to represent Strathcona at the external competition held at Swinburne University of Technology against students from local schools. Both girls spoke superbly on topics relevant to a vision for the future. Natasha presented a very compelling argument on data mining and the way personal privacy can be compromised by today’s technology. She won the Senior Division! Chloe argued clearly for equal rights and opportunities for women and men. She used powerful argument touching on a global perspective of education as a key to self-determination. On the subject of inequality in 2018 she asked the rhetorical question “Why is this going on?” She won the Junior Division! In both speeches, the voice and opinion of the speaker could be forcefully heard. We congratulate the winners, the finalists and our student body for participating in such a worthwhile process under the expert guidance of their teachers. Through Natasha and Chloe our voices were certainly a forthright force. As we encourage our students to communicate with confidence and purpose we are reminded of a speech given by Hillary Clinton in 2016, when in a “hopeful vision” promoting opportunity for women she declared: “When there are no ceilings the sky’s the limit.”


2019 VOL 1


POWERFUL Parenting Seminars

Emotional intelligence, perfectionism, pornography and positive parenting were the subject matters of discussion at the 2018 Parent Seminar Series. A large number of families attended and were interested and actively involved in enhancing their awareness of parent approaches to a variety of social and emotional issues. BY MS KERRI RHODES School Psychologist

It’s time we talked: pornography, young people and sexuality today Maree Crabbe aree Crabbe’s seminar focused on the concerning trend of pornography becoming mainstream over the past decade and the unavoidable exposure to pornography for young people growing up in an era of ever-new and accessible technology. Maree explained that pornography’s influence is shaping sexual expectations and norms, with serious implications for young people’s capacity to develop a sexuality that is respectful, safe, freely consenting and mutually pleasurable. Maree provided tips to parents on how to start the ‘porn’ talk, how to respond if your child has accessed porn and how parents can make a difference. Maree’s parent tips are available at


The Importance of Developing Emotional Intelligence Justine Lomas ustine Lomas outlined the benefits of developing young people’s emotional intelligence. Strategies were provided for enhancing


emotional vocabulary and awareness of the function of a range of emotions, both positive and negative. Parents’ role in assisting young people to manage their emotions by guiding them in assessing the way in which they think about events or experiences was discussed. Justine encouraged parents to consider that they are a powerful role model and the way in which parents display emotions provides an example for children’s emotional expression.

Practical Strategies to Prevent or Manage Perfectionism Dr Charlotte Keating r Keating described that striving for perfection is not necessarily a problem but the relentless pursuit for extremely high, unrealistic standards, despite the personal cost can constitute unhealthy perfectionism. It can look like doing too much or doing nothing and generally does not develop overnight but has many tell tale signs. Strategies to manage the associated anxiety and physical response, identifying the thinking or ‘inner critic’, problem solving and parent approaches to knowing when to push or support were discussed. Tips were provided on building self-


worth, resilience, and approaches for helping to motivate a young person to evaluate the expectations they set for themselves and the cost of these standards, while encouraging goal setting with more realistic outcomes.

Positive Parenting Faye Evans aye Evans seminar on Positive Parenting was warmly received by parents. Faye outlined that research has found parenting styles can influence a child’s emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and control your emotions, as well as being able to communicate to others about how you feel. Children with good emotional intelligence often have better emotional, social, and physical functioning, as well as fewer behavioural difficulties. Faye discussed practical strategies to assist parents to tune into their children and assist them to learn to understand and regulate their emotions, to use children’s emotional experiences as an opportunity for closeness and teaching, skills in assisting children in problem solving and strategies to guide children’s behaviour with appropriate limits.


UPCOMING 2019 PARENTING SEMINARS MONDAY 29 APRIL Supporting Positive Body Image at home, school and community Fiona Sutherland



MONDAY 20 MAY Emotional Intelligence and Friendships Maryanne Kapoulitsas

TUESDAY 20 AUGUST Mindfulness Dr Richard Chambers

MONDAY 14 OCTOBER “What’s wrong darling?” – Helping your daughter manage her emotions Amanda Dudley


In this our 95th year we uncovered the mystery of the Red Suitcase. Donated by Joan Gardner Allan (‘54) in 2017, the contents were carefully logged and archived early this year.


he suitcase has given us treasured insight into our embroidered blazers adding to Strathcona’s historical collection as we move towards our 100th year. The red case has also given us a remarkable insight into the lives of two strong, innovative, entrepreneurial women who carved a successful business based on their friendship, skills and love for Strathcona. A brief history of hand embroidered school blazer pockets: In the 1920’s and 30’s Dolly Richmond supported herself and her sister by learning to embroider pockets for many of the schools in Melbourne through the agency of the department store Ball & Welch. In the early 1940’s Dolly married a wealthy widower and gave her business to her niece, Queenie (Victoria) Withers. In 1943 Queenie’s daughter Robin Coutts (Withers ’56) was ready to start school and her parents chose

Strathcona. Queenie’s embroidery business paid the school fees. About this time Queenie met her neighbour in Hartwell, Nance Allan, who had two daughters, Joan Gardner (Allan ’54) and Pat Thomas (Allan ’57). The two families formed a very strong friendship. Queenie offered to teach Nance the way to sew the emblems on the pockets and so another business formed that enabled Joan and Pat to also attend Strathcona. Nance went on to teach herself the art of bullion embroidery for the Prefects pockets. The two women sewed every morning and had special attachments on their phones to leave hands-free so they could talk to each other as they worked. Mr Goulet from Ball & Welch would deliver and collect the weekly orders every Friday evening from the two homes. Each pocket was a careful work of art.

DETAILS OF THE DONATION ITEMS • Canvas backing for embroidered pockets • Box 2: Embroidery thread, gold and silver, for bullion embroidery • Tool – somewhat like a hammer, probably used for holding stencils in place plus a box of tacks • Box 4: sample of original pocket (Strathcona) and stencils for a variety of school pocket emblems, sundry tools, compass, pencils etc for stencilling • Ball & Welch Box: Stencils, threads • A brief history and two leaflets from the 90th Anniversary Fair 2014 • Box 7: VERY detailed and TINY stencils, hand cut, for tiny detailed pocket work • Box 8: Four drawered container, containing thread offcuts and brown paper, probably as part of the backing of the pockets (All contained in a red suitcase)

BY MRS DIANA LITTLE Alumnae Administrator

2019 VOL 1


Wellbeing AT THE CORE

Wellbeing is a key focus of holistic health in society today and thus has also become a key component of education pedagogy in schools, both independent and state, due to growing public concern over increased levels of adolescent mental health disorders. BY MRS JENNI FARMILO Deputy Principal

e d e c t n n c o LIT Y ly TUA l IRI a SP

e t h i c al WEL a LBE n IN d G




j EA


E LY • F













, r e






AL t



d a n




o p t i m i s t i c


t h i n k e r

r e s o u r c e f u


NG & L

t i v e e a c r d H IP n ERS a AD LE e






of different formats - designated Wellbeing/PE/Health classes, year level sessions, incursions and excursions. It will be documented and reviewed so that it evolves with the changing needs of the students and best practice and research. One of the many recommendations

based on research was that Strathcona extend the House system. We had already begun the process of initiating a stronger House focus, but we are now extending it further. All students in Years 10 to 12 will be grouped in a Vertical House System for their Pastoral/Wellbeing groups. Years 7, 8 and 9 girls will be in their year level groups with their year level Coordinator and will also be grouped in Houses. In the middle years, these House groups will also form their classes for their core subjects. This will allow for increased pastoral care, (vertical mentor groups and peer support), more opportunities for leadership, greater identification within Strathcona in something other than the classroom, more of an opportunity to participate with students from other years and a chance to develop a sense of belonging and ownership of a House, and associate with the teachers in a different environment. In Year 10, each student will be

u s i o ic

















chools clearly have a role in supporting students to understand the significant links between wellbeing, general good health and improved academic performance. Ensuring programs remain relevant, consistent with contemporary research and geared around progressive educational agendas empowers our students in an increasingly complex world. A thorough review was undertaken of the Strathcona Pastoral Care and Wellbeing program in 2017 conducted by Lucinda Thom and her research and recommendations have been considered by the Senior Leadership Team, the Pastoral Team, staff and students. A Strathcona Strategic Wellbeing model has been developed and adopted and has commenced in 2019. It is titled The ‘Feliciter’ Wellbeing program and is the blueprint for a sequenced K-12 Wellbeing program that will run throughout a variety




Change and challenge and opportunity: settling into Senior School life

Self-esteem, self-awareness, discovering individual learning style, learning to be healthy and happy

Year 8

Learning about caring for self and the others

Emotional intelligence, teamwork, social connections and responsibility, peer respect, caring for community

Year 9

Challenging the world

Ethical questioning, moral dilemmas, environmental issues, global community

Year 10 Strong women of the action

Knowing personal character strengths and weaknesses, relationships and intimacy, role of women in society, career directions

Year 11

Leadership styles, global issues, politics, religion

Learning to lead

Year 12 Change and challenge and opportunity: living remarkable lives

allocated a House mentor who will remain constant through Year 10, 11 and 12, students three years of senior schooling and VCE. Our Cross Age and Mentor/buddy programs will also be strengthened through the House program. To be developed further is a Wellness Landscape around Strathcona which will include a wellness dedicated technology free space, aromatherapy diffusers in key areas and opt in sessions in such things as yoga, meditation, study skills, aerobics and nutrition. At Strathcona each student is known, respected, encouraged and cared for by all staff. We feel very strongly that our school is a community that offers optimism, hope, growth, ethical thinking and behaviour through our Pastoral and Wellbeing program and this will only be strengthened throughout 2019 and beyond. Strathcona – students within a House, within a community, within the community, within our community.

Healthy balance, life beyond school



2019 VOL 1



Mrs Elizabeth (Lysbeth) Turnbull OAM (Thomas 1936) passed away on 22 August this year in her 99th year. Lysbeth was awarded the OAM for services to Guiding in 1992 and was nominated by Guides Victoria to be on the Women Shaping the Nation Honour Roll in 2001. She was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and was also inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2001. Kathleen Percy Waters (Wyatt 1939) passed away on 24 July 2018 aged 94. Kath was born at 35 Scott Street, Canterbury (currently housing the Uniform Shop and Archives). Kath’s funeral was held in Euroa and a memorial service in Brighton on 8 August 2018. Kath’s brother, Peter (dec) married Pat Cullen (dec) (1933) and she had a sister Pauline Craig (dec) (1938). Both attended Strathcona. Irene Grainge Wakeman (1956) aged 79, passed away peacefully after a short illness at Box Hill Hospital on 3 October 2018. Kathryn Emma Hand (2004) sadly passed away on 11 September 2018. A memorial services was held at Canterbury Baptist Church on 17 November 2018. The Hand family has appreciated everyone’s support at this difficult time.

Denise Harris passed away in August 2018. Denise was a staff member from 1976 to 2007, being Head of Science for six years, also teaching in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Life Skills, and Industry and Enterprise. Denise also coordinated the Forty Hour Famine and other fundraising activities while at Strathcona. Her daughter Anne attending Strathcona, completing Year 12 in 2002. A service in loving memory of Denise was held at Tay Creggan. Vanda Jackson passed away in November 2018 aged 95 years. Vanda was a teacher at Strathcona from 1965 to 1985. Head of Chemistry Department, teacher of Chemistry, Biology, Pure Maths and Science. Although working mainly in the Science department, Vanda had a wide range of interests and talents which enriched her teaching and gave her students so much. She loved literature (and could quote almost any poet), languages, history, politics and enjoyed cooking and gardening. These talents meant she endeared herself to many members of staff at Strathcona as she did to the new friends she made after moving to Hobart in 1996. There she further developed her love of embroidery and quilting which she shared at the legendary lunches she hosted every Friday. A talented and well-loved teacher, Vanda was Grenfell House mistress and participated in choirs and art shows. Judy McMaster conducted her funeral service in Tasmania. Sympathy to her sons Stephen, Andrew and Philip and their families. BY FAYE TORRENS Staff 1975-95




Kira Martyn (James ’98) and Cameron welcomed a son, William James Martyn, on 4 November 2018. A brother for Ella Grace who is proving to be an excellent big sister so far! Lauren Cavenagh (Ferne 2007) welcomed a son, Rupert Indiana Cavenagh, on 11 November 2017. Belinda Nock (Callaghan 1995) and Dave welcomed their third daughter, Olive Penelope, on 28 June 2018. Her big sisters Isabelle (10) and Charlotte (8) are truly besotted! Claire Reuss (2001) and her husband welcomed their second baby, Charles Arthur Austin, on 2 November 2018. Olivia Young (Maynard 2006) and Alex Young welcomed their daughter, Matilda Kate (pictured above right), on 31 May 2018. Bronwyn Casley (Walters 1997) and Richard welcomed Monique Mae on 7 January 2017. A sister for Harley and Erica.


Jordanna Blakey (2005) engaged to Joshua Barton in May 2018. Wedding to follow on 6 October 2019. Sarah Wilson (2010) (pictured above right) engaged to Rob Phayer in December 2018 in Kensington Gardens, London. They will be married on 6 September this year at Stones of the Yarra Valley.

Matilda Kate Young

Sarah Wilson


Emma Ponsford (2006) married Tim Lane 20 October 2018. Amy Banfield (2006) and Vicki Barnes (2006) were in the bridal party with a group of Strathcona girls also in attendance. Pru Joss (2006) (pictured above) married Ben on 16 November 2018 at The Baths in Sorrento. Alex Finemore and Emma Ponsford were two of Pru’s bridesmaids as well as Maddie Latimer and Jess Gumley as guests (all 2006). Carly Nowell (2003) married James Officer on 20 October 2018 at The Farm Yarra Valley. Carly’s bridesmaids were all Strathcona girls from the Class of 2003: Laura Tatchell, Claire Axton (nee Dawson) and Tanya Harrison. Other Strathcona guests included Clare Cooney, Gabrielle Ingle, Angela Breeze and Jackie Boniface (Marshall) (all 2003).

Pru Joss

Cathryn Hamilton

Blue and white checks: the family tartan Three generations of the Kelly family are all Strathcona alumni.


avid Kelly is a past student, past parent and past Board member. He attended Strathcona in Years 1 and 2 in 1942 and 1943, before continuing into Year 3 at Canterbury Primary, after which he attended Scotch College (1954). He was also President of the Parents Association, a member of School Council for eight years (1980-88) and Vice President 1985-86. Rae Kelly is a past parent – mother of Sally, Fiona (dec) and Jane; grandmother to Ruby and Ella. Sally Pontifex (‘85) is past staff and was Findlay Captain. Her sister, Jane Kelly, was School Captain in 1982. Fiona Owens (Kelly ’85) was Deputy School Captain in 1985. Ruby (Year 12, 2018) graduated last year and was Findlay Sports Captain. The youngest member of the family currently at Strathcona is Ella (Year 10, 2018).

Cathryn Hamilton (2008) (pictured above) married Tom Peddlesden on 17 November at Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library. Cathryn and Tom started dating in Year 11. Emily Hamilton (2005 – Cathryn’s sister) was Maid of Honour. Sarah Miller and Amy Wellington (both 2008) were guests. Tegan Ruta (2010) who has started her own floristry business (Honesty Flora) did the flowers.

2019 VOL 1


GLOBAL Connections

Understanding and having cultural literacy is a key 21st century skill. Strathcona has a long history of exchanges and study trips and in 2018 our students embarked on Italian, Chinese and Japanese Language Tours, visited the School of St Jude in Tanzania and participated in interstate and New Zealand exchanges. Additionally, Korean and Japanese Soshin students have immersed themselves in our Strathcona culture.

GERMANY Year 12 student Megan O’Donnell was on of 21 students from Australia and New Zealand to proceed through numerous interviews to receive a Scholarship for German-Australian student exchange (SAGSE). She spent three months living with a host family and attending a German School expanding on her German. Inspired by her German grandparents she has studied German via Distance Education since Year 9. The exchange has inspired Megan to apply to attend university in Germany.



18 KO R E A 2 0

Yewon Lee joined Year 10 in 2018 from our sister school, Ewha in Seoul, Korea. She was the 53rd Ewha student to study at Strathcona. The relationship with Ewha began in 1992 when the Korean language was taught at Strathcona.


R O MA 2 0 18

“This year was a big present for me. Everything that I experienced in Australia was new and meaningful. I was passive at first but thanks to friends at Strathcona and my homestay family, I became more confident and social. I made unforgettable memories and unrepeatable experience of my sixteenth year. Aside from studying English, I realised some meanings of values which are important in my life such as self-esteem and consideration. I think Australia and Strathcona will be the most precious memory in my life forever.”

“Two teachers and nine girls packed their bags for three week Italian Language Tour. One highlight from the tour was the homestay in Orvieto. At my host family, we spent nights playing countless rounds of ‘Uno’ and sitting around the dinner table conversing in Italian. Homestay was the most culturally insightful aspect of the whole Tour because we were all able to experience different ways of life, and all of us gained new lasting friendships with host sisters. Spending three weeks in Italy was extremely beneficial to develop our Italian skills and it gave us an insight into the culture and lifestyle.”

YEWON LEE Year 10 2018

ANNA GLENN Year 10 2018


“I found the most rewarding and memorable aspect of our trip to Tanzania was the incredible people we met and the relationships we formed. The students and teachers of St Jude were so welcoming and my favourite part of each day was greeting the students as they pulled up in the yellow school buses. We played giant’s treasure and sang hokey pokey until the bell rang. I saw, as we played these games, the pure enthusiasm and passion for life that these children have. I admired my new rafiki (friends). Their smiles were infectious and it was almost entirely impossible to spend time with them without being furaha (happy). Driving along the streets in Tanzanian towns and walking through Maasai villages allowed me to become immersed in the vibrant culture of this area and showed me how full of colour, kindness and love so many of the lives of the locals are. On my return to life in Australia I aimed to take with me this approach to life, I cannot wait to return to Tanzania later in my life.”


GRACE OBLAK Year 11 2018

j a pa


C H I NA S E P 2 01 8

“This trip to Japan was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity, to explore a magnificent country, with vibrant cities and a mesmerising culture with my friends. Highlights from the trip were definitely going to Disneyland and being splashed on Splash Mountain, eating lots of new foods and visiting all the temples and learning the history behind them. My personal favourite was the love temple. Seeing my host sister again definitely was a highlight but having to leave her again made me cry a little. We took heaps of photos and experiencing Japan with my friends made it so much fun… On this trip I made heaps of memories and learnt more about Japan. This trip was amazing on another level.”

“In September 2018 a group of students from Years 10 and 11, including myself, embarked on a China Cultural Tour, where we visited various locations around China. A highlight of the trip was bargaining with the local shopkeepers. It was a joy to be able to expand our language skills in such a useful, unscripted way and even perhaps purchase a bag or a silk robe at the end of it. It also left room for some funny moments, such as having the honour of receiving the “pengyou” (friend) discount rather than the student one.”

LANA DYMOND Year 9 2018

MAYA WESTON Year 11 2018

2019 VOL 1



Our Historic Events 1924

12 February Strathcona Girls Grammar School was founded by Miss Henrietta Hughes (right) and Mrs Florence Mabel Livingstone (below right) The original house at 34 Scott Street was named after Lord Strathcona of Canada




Basketball match at Strathcona


Strathcona Sports Day at Glenferrie Oval

1941-1942 Miss Bessie Sweetland, Headmistress

1943- 1953 Miss Dora Bulie Featherstone, Headmistress


The Baptist Union purchased the School


Prefect Val Hutchinson wrote the School Hymn and composed the original music


10 November Opening of the Spicer Block


Mellor House was purchased to be used as the Junior School. Named after Head of Junior School, Joan Mellor

1954- 1956 Miss Helen Menzies Smith, Headmistress


Rev John Morley, Headmaster


Tay Creggan was purchased and Australia’s first separate Year 9 girls campus established

1973- 1989

Mr Kenneth Lyall OAM, Principal


Mr Lyall with Strathcona’s first two pupils, Mrs Una Cromie (Osborne) and Mrs Jean Lovegrove (Austin)


A Royal Visit. Princess Margaret visited Tay Creggan on her Royal Tour

1990- 2000 1994 Mrs Ruth Bunyan AM, Principal

5 March The new Humanities and Administration block was opened containing the Lyall Chapel


Middle School Centre and Science Labs opened


11 October Tay Creggan extension and reflection pool opened


18 July Professor Suzanne Cory, Director of the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, opened the new Science Wing and Language and Middle School Centre


Mrs Helen Hughes, Principal


Mont Calm Nursing Home was purchased and converted into the Junior School


New Senior Centre and Library opened


Former teacher Mr Gary Bradley was commissioned to compose the new music for the School hymn Divine Instructor



Scenes from Hollywood’s Charlotte’s Web was filmed in the front rooms of Tay Creggan


19 June Opening of the Contemporary Learning Centre by Dr Vanessa Murrie (’90) BSc (Melb), M.S. (Mayo Grad. School), PhD (Cambridge)


20 May Opening of the New Mellor House






29 August Ms Nehama Patkin OAM opens The Shirley Bourne Gallery in the Creative and Performing Arts Centre


17 March Opening of the Aquatic and Fitness Centre


30 October His Excellency the Hon. Alex Chernov, AC QC, Governor of Victoria, opened the refurbished Featherstone Hall


Mrs Marise McConaghy, Principal




Year 9 Envision Program launched


Students met Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai


Wall of Inspirational Strathcona Women launched

Senior Campus: Senior/Middle School 34 Scott St, Canterbury VIC 3126

P +61 3 8779 7500 E ABN 75 073 413 626


Strathcona is a child safe school

Year 9 Campus: Tay Creggan 30 Yarra St, Hawthorn VIC 3122 Junior Campus: Prep to Year 6 173 Prospect Hill Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126 Early Learning Centre 34 Scott St, Canterbury VIC 3126 2019 VOL 1