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News from Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School | Summer 2015


contents From the Principal


Features 4 New! 10 Learning Highlights


Social Service & Citizenship


Creativity at Strathcona


Global Links


Sport Report


School Heritage


School Community


OSA News


Front cover: Year 9 girls canoeing on the Yarra River at Strathcona’s Tay Creggan campus Production and Editorial: Michelle Newell, Online Communications and Publications Manager

from the principal

strathconnections ‘I do believe in an everyday sort of magic – the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, ideas, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.’ (Charles de Lindt)


n this edition of the Strathcourier you will find the many ways in which the notion of connectedness underpins all that we do in the School. As human beings, connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued. Connectere, from the Latin – to bind or tie together – is ranked by Abraham Maslow just below survival in his well-known hierarchy of needs. Judeo-Christian scripture also speaks of it. Stories of relationships and the importance of connectedness span the Bible from King David in the Old Testament to St Paul in the New. Connection is not limited to that between human beings, as important as that is. There is also connectedness within oneself and with God; these are fundamental to the wisdom in Sacred Scripture. We are interconnected with each other and the world in which we live. George Bernard Shaw described it: ‘We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.’ Albert Einstein’s thoughts amplify this: ‘A human being is part of the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself through thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. This is a kind of optical delusion in his consciousness. Our task as human beings is to widen our circle of compassion beyond those immediately around us and embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty’. Strathcona is a significant centre for such connections – of all kinds. We cherish them and constantly seek to deepen and extend them. The challenge we face now, in an age when social media has altered how we ‘do’ communication, is how to keep alive real human connection – the nuance of empathy, sight, touch, experience and understanding, and that which requires intimacy and sharing real time and place. We are alive in seemingly epochal times. Harvard librarian and historian, Robert Darnton, says there have only been three other Information Ages of this scope and magnitude in human history, defining such periods as

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technological turning points that allowed no turning back. The first was the invention of writing in 4000 BC Mesopotamia; the second, the development of movable type in 10th century China and by Gutenburg in Europe; and then, in the Industrial Era, there emerged the third Information Age, steam-powered printing having made books cheap enough for middle and working class people. There is no doubt that we too live in comparably revolutionary times. Some believe we are transforming from one type of human society to another. What is it we are becoming? Whatever it is, it at least has the potential to bolster our connections and interdependence. Our age can be understood and read positively. Few individuals today could live ‘off the grid’, few cities stand alone and few nations could maintain their lifestyles without trade and the sharing of ideas and information. We are part of a symbiotic whole in a way never seen before in history. Here at Strathcona, we are committed to sharing ideas, experiences and information and we constantly strive to create vibrant and engaging learning experiences for all our girls and, indeed, for all those who are part of our strong community. We seek to understand each other and the world around us so that we can participate and contribute judiciously in this unfolding 21st century world. I invite you to share the many moments of connectedness and enjoy the stories and images which speak to the joyful enterprise which is that of Strathcona. ‘... we cannot live only for ourselves ... a thousand fibers connect us to one another and, among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. That is the feedback loop of our human connection, beginning and ending, giving and getting, each to all.’ (Herman Melville) Marise McConaghy Principal



moving faster, flying higher


t is one thing for a school to claim to be a ‘connected’ learning community. It is another to understand the principles that allow communities to move faster and fly higher together, in terms of our learning capacity, than any individual can do alone. We can learn a great deal from computer modelling of the behaviours of natural systems, and the simple rules of interaction that allow for very complex forms of group engagement. Computer simulations of bird objects or ‘boids’ draw on the behavioural principles that allow flocks

of birds or swarms of bees and fish to perform with more capacity, such as flying higher and moving faster, than the capacity of any one flock member. They also explain why learning communities are at their most effective when the behavioural rules for connecting and collaborating are applied across all ‘local neighbourhoods’ of ‘flockmates’, allowing the entire community to navigate optimally and avoid obstacles. A number of principles make high flying learning communities possible, sustainable and available to all:

Connectivity and diversity – an environment in which it is important

for participants, including students, teachers and parents, to be ‘plugged into’ and mindful of a ‘local neighbourhood’ and a larger world of potential team members with similar interests or passions. This year, educators and coeducators in the Early Learning Centre participated in a thought-provoking series of professional development sessions, called ‘Key Conversations’, with professionals from other local early childhood organisations. The ‘conversations’

covered Democracy, Gender, Peace, Sustainability and Quality in early childhood settings. We were able to think more deeply about our own practice, and share our expertise with other early learning professionals. Heather Henson, ELC Coordinator

Co-invention/co-creation and separation – an environment in which the nature, purpose and rules of self-management are understood and internalised. The Year 12 English team lives and breathes co-invention throughout the year and it comes into sharp focus just before exams. We challenge each other over how we are teaching key complex concepts, and try new ways of delivering content or consolidating student skills. We take an active


interest in each other’s students’ progress as we work as a team to improve the whole cohort’s learning outcomes. We take pride in testing our ideas against the rigorous thinking of our colleagues. Simone Boland, Head of English

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Leading and following – an environment in which all team members share collective responsibility for timely and appropriate leadership, looking over the horizon for relevant information to share with others.

In my Masters of Education specialising in Thinking, Knowledge and Creativity I’m exploring how creativity will affect tomorrow’s workforce and how we can best prepare our students for a future impacted by our increasing reliance on technology. Now, more than ever, students will need the skills of creativity, communication, collaboration and critical

thinking to be employable and lead fulfilling lives. I’m implementing new ideas in the classroom in collaboration with our other Year 5 teacher, and have shared an excerpt from my Masters work on Strathcona’s digital platforms, to highlight how Strathcona’s approach to learning and teaching can evolve. Edwina Stawell, Year 5 Teacher

‘Enhancing’ constraints and removal of inhibitors – an

environment that minimises ‘command and control’ while providing scaffolded opportunities for members to conduct themselves in ways that optimise team (and thereby their own) performance – one in which there are, in Paul Tosey’s (2006) terms, ‘good constraints to action’ (p.33). The Strathcona Professional Standards Scheme for staff removes traditional faculty boundaries and barriers between the School and wider Strathcona community; encouraging staff collaboration for the benefit of our own professional development and the learning of our students. Staff are grouped in threes and encouraged to combine their diverse expertise to provide engaging learning activities. This year’s Art and Literature Exhibition, displayed in the Wheelton Knowledge Exchange, was a stimulating example of creative collaboration between

Art (Ms Ginetta Ito-Cannon), Audio-Visual (Mr Nick van Ree) and English/Library (myself ). We paired art works from the Strathcona Art Collection, including a self-portrait by former student, Shirley Bourne, with pieces of poetry and reflections from students and staff (both past and present), and engaged students in a range of learning activities requiring hypothesising, synthesising, reflecting and creating. Mary Hall, Director of Information Services

Expectations of the best and welcoming of error – an environment in which high expectations are

matched by high level support – a ‘support and direction model’. It is anticipated that all members will make mistakes – the aim is to learn from the instructive complications of error rather than to avoid error or attempt to disguise it. (McWilliam & Dawson, 2008) As teachers, we need to be able to explore new possibilities in classroom teaching and be supported in our bravery in sharing, changing and challenging what we do, including the mistakes that will happen along the way. Our recent experience of creating a Professional

Learning Network on Twitter certainly made me embrace my fears. It was challenging sharing so openly what I do with my students, yet it ended up being a week in my career where I felt the most supported by peers. It challenged me to try new things or to develop connections with

These principles exemplify the sorts of learning environments in which collaborative efforts are fostered and rewarded without losing ‘necessary’ separateness and ‘good’ inhibitors. In doing so, they supplant ‘command-and-control’ models of pedagogical practice with ‘support and direction’ models. Everyone can learn and perform better as a result. Erica McWilliam, Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Professor, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology

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colleagues that I would not have been able to form before. Erin Horsley, Head of Art

References: Florida, R. (2002). The rise of the creative class. New York: Basic Books. McWilliam, E. (2008) The Creative Workforce: How to launch young people into high flying futures. Sydney: UNSW Press. McWilliam, E. and Dawson. S (2008) From Britannica to Wikipedia: Pedagogical practice after the Information Age, Journal of Futures Studies, 12 (3), 1 – 14. Pink, D. H. (2005). A whole new mind. New York: Penguin. Tosey, P. (2006). Interfering with the interference: an emergent perspective on creativity in higher education. In N. Jackson, M. Oliver, M. Shaw, J. Wisdom (Eds) Developing creativity in higher education: An imaginative curriculum. London: Routledge, 29 – 42.



to tweet or not to tweet ‘From little things, big things grow’ and this is certainly true of the inaugural Strathy tweet week.


trathcona staff have been engaged in a quiet, technological revolution in the latter half of 2015. In a shift from the usual methods of professional development, an intrepid group of staff have become learners themselves, willing to move out of their comfort zone and take on the mantle of a novice, engaging with Twitter as a means of networking with others within and beyond the school community.

While there are millions of people who use Twitter socially, the percentage of users who tweet for professional learning purposes is relatively small. In education, connecting through social media platforms such as Twitter is gaining momentum. So why tweet, and why now? Twitter provides a platform to engage with other educators, researchers and related professionals beyond the traditional boundaries of a school or locality. It is a level playing field, where professors and consultants interact with newly qualified teachers and classroom based teachers. It enables global connections, and


opportunities for collaboration, rigorous discussion (despite the 140 character limit) and curiosity. In Term 4 the inaugural Strathy Tweet Week, #strathypln, took place with great success. After attending initial staff training days in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, a core group of staff took to Twitter for one intense and focussed week to launch their Professional Learning Network (PLN). Staff interacted across year levels, subject areas and campuses, tagging their Tweets with #strathypln to make it easy to search, collate, favourite and reply to each other. As the week progressed, staff confidence grew, leading to meaningful discussions, sharing of new teaching ideas, and discoveries about other departments, such as the use of visuals in Mathematics and the mindfulness focus in the Junior School. The high levels of interaction on Twitter highlighted the delight and enthusiasm staff have for learning about each other’s practice and sharing their own.

While the intensity of a ‘Tweet Week’ realistically can’t be maintained, it provided participants with an opportunity to ‘have-a-go’, be brave and make new connections with staff – including John Taylor in the IT department and Colleen Sosnowski from the Science lab. In future, we envisage using Twitter for sharing of articles and links to research, formal and informal online chats and Twitter focus weeks. We aspire to maintain Strathy Tweet Week’s sense of camaraderie and ensure it continues to permeate the corridors, staffrooms, offices and classrooms of Strathcona well into 2016. Charlotte Forwood, Advanced Learning Coordinator, Tracy Herft, Strathy Tweet Week Coordinator and Head of Maths, Karyn Murray, Global Learning Coordinator and Michelle Newell, Online Communications and Publications Manager. Follow @strathconabggs on Twitter to see learning highlights retweeted from staff across the school.

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wild melbourne


ne of the most common responses I receive when I explain to people that I’ve helped to set up a non-profit organisation that aims to bring Melburnians closer to nature is: ‘That’s great, but what kind of nature do you mean?’ I understand this reaction. After all, in the big and bustling city, ‘nature’ often seems non-existent. In our busy everyday lives, it can be difficult to take the time to notice the natural world around us, whether it be the birds in our backyards or the green surroundings that we walk or drive through on our way to school and work.

In all honesty, I myself once assumed that to experience the true natural wonders of our beautiful state, one would need to escape to the Grampians or head to the Mornington or Bellarine Peninsula for a day at the beach. In reality though, many of these experiences in nature can be had in and around our city. Wild Melbourne – a group of young, passionate naturalists ranging from Bachelor of Arts and

Science graduates, Masters students and PhD candidates, to young professionals in Commerce and Business – aim to highlight these outdoor experiences to busy city dwellers. Our team is fascinated by the nature at our front doors. The Yarra River is an excellent example, flowing through various habitats and harbouring countless species of unique Victorian wildlife, from the grey-headed flying-fox and the southern boobook owl, to the brown tree frog and even the platypus (although you might have to search hard for this last one!). By working with schools, local community groups and larger institutions such as Zoos Victoria and universities, Wild Melbourne aims to enhance the Victorian public’s understanding of the nature around us. We encourage an appreciation of native Australian wildlife, science and environmental matters through apolitical articles, social media, films, events and community engagement. Our work merges science, arts, and culture – basically anything

that is nature-related, Melbourne-centric, and worthy of revealing to the public – in interesting and informative formats that will engage the public. We have recently begun production of a documentary film in which Strathcona students will feature, to explore our community’s place in nature. Studies now suggest that getting out and enjoying nature – even if that be your own garden or local park – is incredibly beneficial to our health. As well as lowering stress levels, experiencing the joy of nature can also lead to relaxing and reflective states of mind and of course the extra physical benefits that come with walking, jogging or swimming in a natural environment. The work that Wild Melbourne does is therefore a win-win situation for all: we are able to better appreciate and hopefully protect the natural world for the benefit of all, as well as reaping the personal benefit of feeling better in ourselves. Rachel Fetherston, Old Strathconian (2009)

Studies now suggest that getting out and enjoying nature ... is incredibly beneficial to our health.

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opening future doors Whether you’ve just landed your dream role, have launched a career change, or are looking for a fresh approach in a long-standing role, having a trusted mentor you can rely on is invaluable.


good mentoring relationship can last a lifetime, and today’s new breed of mentors enable faster career progression, and open more opportunities for women, than ever before.

Traditionally, mentoring for women has enabled professional growth through feedback, encouragement and opportunities to exercise new skills. Karina Skourletos, past Strathcona student (2008) and current Old Strathconians Association (OSA) Committee Member, has greatly benefitted from her mentor at Viva Energy in this way. Her mentor offers advice about skills, relationship development and career progression. ‘She is a sounding board and her insight is invaluable,’ says Skourletos. A new style of mentoring for women is also emerging, however, mirroring the ‘sponsorship’ style of mentoring men have offered each other for decades: the mentor introduces the young woman into their professional networks, showcases her work to superiors and actively promotes her outside the company. Sonia Rendigs, Strathcona Board Member and Director of Hatching Communications (above left), runs a structured mentoring program for interns from RMIT, where industry placement is mandatory for third year students. She allocates one space in her company at any given time for an intern, and it’s always full. Past Strathcona student Genevieve Day (2009) assisted Sonia to establish the program whilst working her way through it as an RMIT student, before staying on as a permanent employee. Running a mentoring program has attuned Sonia to the needs of young people joining the workforce. When she saw that Genevieve was most interested in negotiating contracts to hire talent, she opened up space in the business for Genevieve to pursue her passion. ‘Gen Y want to have a fun and stimulating career,’ Sonia says. ‘I’ve created flexibility and options for them.’ When Genevieve recently approached Sonia about starting her own microagency, Day Management, Sonia was happy to accommodate her needs. Genevieve now works four days a week at Hatching Communications


and balances both roles. ‘I was able to identify the characteristics and traits which made Sonia a successful businesswoman,’ says Genevieve. ‘I can now apply them to my own venture at Day Management.’ The benefits of a close, one-one-one mentoring relationship are clear, but mentoring today is increasingly taking the form of larger support networks. Old Strathconian Ashleigh McInnes (2003) (above right) is a successful businesswoman – Director of her own PR Company, Papermill Media, and state finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She started her business at 24 without the support of a mentor. ‘Looking back, there were so many situations where I would have loved a mentor’s advice,’ she says. Ashleigh is now an advocate of both networking and mentorship. ‘My advice would be to find a group that talks about ‘real’ issues, as you want to find a group that’s honest about the struggles and lows about business, as well as the highs.’ She supports the League of Extraordinary Women as the group’s PR partner, and regularly shares her knowledge and skills in workshops. Ashleigh also credits her continued business success, in part, to appointing a business advisor: ‘He has been instrumental in taking my business to the next step. I absolutely would not be where I am now without his expert advice.’ Old Strathconian Karina Skourletos now recognises she would have benefitted from the support of a mentor even before entering the workforce. In 2014, Karina and Old Strathconian Jess Wilson (2008) ran a successful OSA mentoring breakfast for past and current students. ‘We wanted to bring the knowledge and experiences of Old Strathconians into the current community,’ she says. In 2016, the OSA will extend this original mentoring event to a networking program, with Karina in the lead. At the start of her professional career, and a mentee in her workplace, the young Karina has in a sense become a mentor too. Michelle Newell, Online Communications and Publications Manager

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cross-age programs Strathcona fosters a strong sense of community across the year levels, with cross-age programs that connect senior students with Year 7 girls on the main campus, and our youngest students in the Junior School. The older students relish the opportunity to develop their leadership and mentoring skills; whilst the younger girls enjoy spending time with the older girls they aspire to be. Big Sister/Little Sister Program

Peer Support Program

In preparation for the Big Sister/Little Sister program, in which half our Year 11 students are involved, students explore the developmental milestones of girls from Prep to Year 2. They compose an activities booklet that matches the gross and fine motor skills of the children, and draw from this throughout the term as they interact with their little sister. This program proved to be the highlight of the week, and the Big Sisters delighted in their connections with their younger counterparts.

For most of the first semester of each school year, half our Year 11 cohort works with Year 7 students in our Strathy 7/11 Peer Support Program. The Year 11s, in House groups, meet regularly with the younger girls and devise a range of activities in order to help them settle into their new environment. The program ensures that Year 7 girls experience a smooth transition to secondary school, and that they quickly feel like an integral part of the Strathcona community.

Mary Thornhill, Year 11 Coordinator, and Simone Boland, Head of English and Program Coordinator

Gabriella Young, English Teacher and Program Coordinator

Year 11 students thoroughly enjoyed getting to know their ‘Little Sister’ in Mellor House. Every Wednesday for a whole term, we visited our little sister in Prep, Grade 1, or Grade 2 and engaged in a host of activities such as making pasta necklaces, reading books and making treasure boxes. I enjoyed being able to overcome the shyness of my little sister and find what she liked talking about. As I spend most of my time with teenagers, it was refreshing to be with a much younger person once a week and approach life much more innocently and simply. The Big Sisters have learnt to be patient, what a good role model constitutes, to nurture friendship, and to take time to notice the little things.

Year 11 students have experienced the nerve-wracking days of entering Year 7, and the anticipation of making new friends. Through the Strathy Year 7/11 Peer Support Program, they are able to share their insight and advice with the younger girls. This year, we ran activities such as trivia quests and making friendship bracelets, but our favourite activity was creating items for a time capsule with the girls. We vividly remember making our own time capsule when we joined Strathcona, and many of us now have forgotten what we actually put in it! Working with the Year 7s was a very rewarding experience, as we watched them settle into Strathcona a little more each week. We are grateful to the girls for creating a happy and entertaining environment for all of us: in Year 11 and 12 we can forget to occasionally take a break from our busy schedules. The peer support program benefitted us all.

Phillippa Turner, Year 11 Student

Lauren Geremia, Year 11 Student

The program ensures ... they quickly feel like an integral part of the Strathcona community.

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’ 9


contemporary learning centre opening


n Friday 19 June 2015, over 100 special guests joined Strathcona staff and students for the official opening of the Contemporary Learning Centre on the Main Campus. Guests gathered in Featherstone Hall for a dedication service before moving outside to witness the cutting of the ribbon, to the cheers of students lining the balconies of surrounding buildings.

families past and present. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the following for their attendance and ongoing support of Strathcona’s endeavours:

In the Service of Dedication, the building was opened by Old Strathconian Dr Vanessa Murrie (1990), in a speech exploring the intersection of learning, research and science. The Contemporary Learning Centre was then dedicated to former Principals Mrs Helen Hughes and Mrs Ruth Bunyan AM, in acknowledgment of their vision and commitment to the education of girls, their leadership in teaching and learning and their pursuit of excellence in all areas of endeavour in School life.

•P  aul Wheelton OAM, donor and namesake of the new Wheelton Knowledge Exchange

We thank all guests who joined us for this special occasion, including Board Members, past Principals and staff, Old Strathconians and


• Past Principals Mrs Helen Hughes (2001 – 2014) and her husband Keith, Mrs Ruth Bunyan AM (1990 – 2000) and Mr Ken Lyall (1973 – 1989) and his wife Edith

• Relatives of the late Anne Warren (past Board member and donor for the new Middle School level) including children Clare and Richard Warren and sister Myra Croke •C  urrent Board Chair Laurinda Gardner and former Board Chair Dr Tim Day •P  rofessor John Spicer, representative of the Spicer family, and wife and past student, Heather. Michelle Newell, Online Communications and Publications Manager

‘Science is not just in traditional laboratories full of mice, beakers and people wearing white coats. Science is in food, it’s in Heston Blumenthal’s latest recipe book, it’s in the latest medical treatments, it’s in skyscrapers like the Burj or Toyko Skytree, designed to withstand earthquakes despite its towering 634 metres. And perhaps most importantly today, science is in our environment. I feel it is investment in facilities like Strathcona’s new science floor that are set to inspire and produce future critical thinkers who will continue to tackle these important issues.’ Extract from dedication speech of Dr Vanessa Murrie, Old Strathconian (1990), BSc (Melb), M.S (Mayo Grad School), PhD (Cambridge)

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new year 10 centre


trathcona’s first dedicated Year 10 centre opened at the start of Term 3, in the space previously occupied by Strathcona’s library. It offers Year 10 students the ideal environment to learn together and bond as a community. Having a special area of their own – after spending Year 9 in the unique surrounds of Tay Creggan in Hawthorn – will ease the transition back to the Main School campus in Year 10. With its large central common area and outdoor terrace, the space has also proven to be the perfect venue for evening parent seminars and weekend student conferences.

‘My favourite part of the new Year 10 centre is the huge communal space in the centre where we can be one big happy Year 10 family!’

‘We have been so privileged to be given an incredible new workspace to learn in. I particularly love all the extra window space and natural light it allows into the area.’

‘This is an incredible space to share – it’s always great to see the classrooms and communal areas full of friends and peers every day.’

Emma Brown

Raffaela Skourletos

Jess Hamilton

‘I love that the spacious classrooms and different areas give us more opportunities to laugh and learn together in one place.’ Georgia Wong

strathcona welcomes new CFO Julie Zammit

Chief Financial Officer Julie Zammit, Strathcona’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), joined the School in June during the holidays. She comes to us via a varied and interesting career working for public, private and not-for-profit organisations both here and abroad. Most recently, she was Chief Operating Officer in charge of Finance, ICT, Operations, HR and Marketing and Business Development at Freehills Patent Attorneys. On her professional experience: My background has involved working across various different service sectors in Public, Private and NFP entities, in Regional/Asia Pacific, National and Divisional roles. I have had the great opportunity to work with, and learn from, some really interesting people in various

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organisations around Australia. Perhaps my most interesting role was when I worked for Air New Zealand and led a HR/Workforce System transformation across their engineering division in Christchurch and Auckland over two and a half years – commuting each week from Melbourne! Each new role has had a service focus, and the opportunity to be part of setting new strategies/directions and then working to deliver against them, often with passionate CEOs, leadership teams and Boards. On her ambition for Strathcona: My ambition is to work with the Principal, Marise McConaghy, the Senior Leadership Team, and my teams to ‘bring out the best’ business innovations and commercial management policies, processes, efficiencies and systems – for the recognition by parents and peers of Strathcona as being a school that delivers truly exceptional educational experiences, as well as academic and business results for the benefit of our current and future generations of students. Read the full interview with Julie Zammit on our website:


learning highlights

margaret fendley writing competition


ach year, Strathcona challenges every student studying English to produce a piece of creative writing in response to an original Strathcona student artwork. This unique collaboration between the Art and English departments is the basis of the Margaret Fendley Writing competition, instigated in honour of much loved past pupil, school parent and teacher Margaret Fendley,

who dedicated over 30 years of service to the school. Our 2015 judge, Penguin Young Readers Publisher Jane Godwin, enjoyed reading this year’s shortlist. She found it quite difficult to select the place-getters amongst such talented young writers! After careful consideration, Godwin awarded the following girls first place, recognising their originality and mastery of writing techniques: • Middle Division – Tamsyn Lovass (Year 8), Forbidden Freedom: ‘… a story rich in ideas’ • Intermediate Division – Eloise Bryce (Year 9), Safe Haven: ‘the story cleverly explores the power of music to be all-encompassing’ • Senior Division – Eleanor Forwood (Year 11), Dept of Humanity: ‘thought-provoking and fascinating’ Simone Boland, Head of English

year 9 hoddle waddle 7 routes – 11 teams – 49 sites around the CBD


n July, Year 9 students took part in a scavenger hunt around the Melbourne CBD to consolidate an extensive unit exploring personal and local identity. The girls worked in teams to solve clues as they ‘waddled’ around Hoddle’s Grid using the Melbourne City Loop tram. They interacted with cultural landmarks and institutions to

discover fascinating stories about Melbourne’s foundation. It was very impressive to see the teams independently navigate the city using their teamwork and problem-solving skills. Each team recorded their progress throughout the day using photographs, audio and film. Once back at the Tay Creggan campus, they produced super-sized, interactive displays of their journeys and discoveries for a special exhibition for parents. Julie Plymin, Head of Tay Creggan

united nations debating finals


trathcona debaters Alex Linehan and Eleanor Forwood, Year 11, reinforced Strathcona’s talent for debating when they secured their place at the State Final of the United Nations Evatt Competition at Parliament House in September. This is the fifth year in a row that Strathcona has made the State Finals, where Victoria’s top 15 teams compete. Despite arguing well on topics including ‘Espionage’, ‘Civil War’ and ‘Haiti’, the standard of competition was exceptionally high and the girls did not get through to Nationals. Strathcona fosters a high standard of debating


with lively House Debate competitions each year, as well as special extension debating programs. Alex and Eleanor are looking forward to the challenge of making it to the State, and possibly National final, again next year! Melissa King, Head of Year 10 and Debating Coordinator

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learning highlights

strathy and scotch class swapping


ollaboration is a vital skill for learners of the 21st century. In the spirit of collaboration, the Psychology Departments of Strathcona and Scotch College have worked together this year to provide students with an additional program that sits alongside the VCE curriculum. Students have come together for lectures, a trivia night, and a practical revision session. This shared approach to learning gave Scotch boys and Strathcona girls the opportunity to work together to develop new ideas, change their perspectives and enhance their knowledge and understanding. Karen Whelan, VCE Psychology Teacher

‘Collaboration with another school enabled us to establish a realistic perspective of who we are really competing against and highlighted to us that our ‘cohort’ is not only our year level but the state. Teaming up

with another 80 minds, not to mention having the knowledge of another brilliant psychology teacher, added more depth to our understanding of the subject.’ Sarah Martin, Year 12 Psychology Student

year 4 clip‘n’climb


he year 4s from Strathcona took a big, brave leap in Term 3, on an excursion to rock climbing and adventure centre Clip‘N’Climb. From vertical slides, to glow in the dark rock climbing, the intrepid girls strapped on their harnesses and were airborne, all in aid of learning about forces firsthand. Anne Fendley, Year 4 Teacher

constitutional convention 2015


ver 140 local secondary students attending the inaugural Strathcona Constitutional Convention on Friday 28 August were exhorted to question, debate, analyse and display curiosity when grappling with the topic: ‘That Australia should reform its Constitution to reflect its status as a good global citizen’. Three speakers, The Hon Josh Frydenberg, Federal Member for Kooyong, Ms Sarah Boyd, Managing Director of The Gender Agency and Mr Isaac Smith, current parent and Executive Marketing Manager at spoke

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about their views on global citizenship and how Australia rated on the world stage. The afternoon session began with a ‘provocation’ by past student Emma Appleton (1992). Students then took to the floor, proposing amendments and arguing Australia’s status as a global citizen in a soapbox session. The Constitutional Convention is a program supported by the Department of Employment and Training to encourage secondary students to engage with issues relating to Australia’s political future. Mrs Karyn Murray, Global Learning Coordinator


social service & citizenship

one for the books


ellor House Library was inundated with new books during National Book Week in August, as Mellor House families donated their favourite reads to the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. Students and staff donated more than 250 picture story books and novels in the hope of ‘Lighting Up’ the lives of Indigenous Australian primary school students. These beautiful gifts were delivered to the Foundation by our Mellor House Semester 2 Library and Social Service Captains – Charlotte Buckmaster and Emily Palit. Penny Joyce, Mellor House Librarian

strathy’s got talent


he music softened as the house lights dimmed and the bright stage lights shone down on us. In July, teachers, parents and friends gathered to support the first Social Service Talent Competition – ‘Strathy’s Got Talent’. After a week of competitive auditions, our 16 finalist acts from Years 5 to 12 sang, danced, acted, flipped, played the piano and more; finding the courage to perform in

front of a large audience. Our amazing Year 12 volunteers judged, looked after finalists between acts and sold snacks and lucky door prize tickets. In total, we raised $1,075 for the charity ‘We Can’t Wait’, to help fund the building of a school toilet block in India. Congratulations to all the girls who participated on the night and in particular to overall winners – TC Band; overall runner up – Jaimie Olorenshaw; and

division winners – The Fluffy Killer Whales (Primary), Mia Whittle (Junior) and Emily-Rose Blake (Senior). We hope that this major charity event can run for many years, to further the education of underprivileged girls and showcase the talent of the girls at our school. Louisa Chiam, Year 12 Social Service Captain

We hope that this major charity event can run for many years, to further the education of underprivileged girls ...

Social Service Captains with ‘We Can’t Wait’ Director Mark Balla


Overall Winners: TC Band

Primary Division Winners: The Fluffy Killer Whales

strathcourier | summer 2015

social service & citizenship

duke of ed volunteering in the community Strathcona has a strong history of supporting the local community through our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program, with the award being undertaken as a compulsory component of Year 9.


n Year 9, students fulfil three to six months of volunteering in the school or local community to complete their Awards program. The girls are often surprised at how enriching their time helping others can be, but the benefits are well documented – for both volunteers and those they help. Studies have demonstrated that community service has outstanding benefits for young people, including an increased sense of responsibility, greater likelihood of treating others with respect, a greater desire to become more active in community decision-making, and improved academic performance. Strathcona’s Year 9 students enjoyed volunteering for a range of organisations this year, including aged care homes, veterinary clinics, local businesses, early childhood centres, sporting groups and environmental groups. A group of Year 9 Duke of Edinburgh’s students is also working towards creating a book of heroes in the community. Actress Joanne Trentini has

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been helping the girls develop their storytelling skills, in a project that Strathcona hopes will become a series of books, telling stories of our local community.

‘My most memorable moment was when all the children greeted me on my first day with their warm smiles and some even hugged me!’

Liesl Woods, Outdoor Education and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Coordinator

Katy Perree volunteered at Happy Feet Dancing School, with children with disabilities

‘I think it’s important to preserve natural environments because urban sprawl is threatening our local natural places.’ Nicci-Marie Dimatos volunteered at Middle Yarra Landcare Unit

‘My most memorable moment was when a lady bought some biscuits from the canteen, then gave them back to me and my mum to say thank-you.’ Jasmine Dunphy volunteered at her local sport canteen

‘I love being greeted and accepted there every week.’ Olivia Dods volunteered at an aged care home

‘The most challenging thing has been keeping the ferrets in the cage without them escaping!’ Madeline Crowe volunteered at a vet clinic

‘Zohra Sehgal is an early international actress who came from an aristocratic Muslim family in India. She inspires me because she was bold and confident and defied cultural norms.’ Jen Crocker is writing about her hero, Zohra Sehgal


creativity at strathcona

music at strathcona The Strathcona community enjoyed the musical talents of students of all ages in August, at the Annual Music Concert (Years 7 to 12) at Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre, followed by the Mellor House Showcase Concert (Years 1 to 6) at St Paul’s Church.


n audience of 300 were entertained by a range of musical groups and styles at the Annual Music Concert, including Chanteuses, Stage Band, Glee, Year 7 Choir, Symphonic Band and Cantabile. The Mellor House Showcase Concert was equally uplifting, featuring 77 of our keen musicians performing confidently and with great poise as soloists and in groups. There is no doubt that Strathcona is a ‘musical’ school. The majority of our students in Mellor House learn to play an instrument, including their voice. All students in Year 2 learn either violin or cello to deepen their understanding of musical concepts and learn the value of

practice and persistence. As many girls join Strathcona at Year 5, we offer a unique Intake Instrumental Program with specialist teachers. This year six girls tried clarinet, five trumpet, two trombone and three saxophone. Our fast track brass programme, designed by Mrs Penny Byrne, is especially successful in popularising this family of instruments with girls, and has even been adopted by other local Junior Schools. Research shows that learning music has academic advantages: improvements in memory, coordination, listening, perseverance, teamwork and discipline. Yet many of our girls learn to play an instrument simply because it makes

them feel joyful and relaxed. As they move through secondary school, and their musical learning becomes ever more rigorous, they continue to derive pleasure from the acts of playing and performing. At Strathcona we are blessed to have excellent teachers of music, a regular calendar of performance opportunities, a strong ‘musical’ peer group of role models and a parent group that values and supports their children’s musicality. Chris Phyland, Head of Mellor House and Penny Byrne, Coordinator of Music at Mellor House

... many of our girls learn to play an instrument simply because it makes them feel joyful and relaxed ...

music camp


his year, 110 secondary students attended Music Camp in preparation for the Annual Music Concert and the Spring Concerto Evening. This was a weekend filled with glorious musical sounds and much laughter. The close collaboration with staff and peers, and sharing of musical ideas, was an


invaluable experience in readying participants to perform. In particular, our musicians in large ensembles and small groups demonstrated a connectedness to one another that brought the music alive and ensured excellent and entertaining performances. Georgina Nagy, Director of Music

strathcourier | summer 2015

creativity at strathcona

drama at strathcona Strathcona students of all ages have shared their talent enthusiastically in a range of Drama productions this year. ELC Drama Incursion ‘Jungle’ Katie from the Drama Toolbox encouraged the children to adopt the movements and habits of the different animals: the monkeys swung from tree to tree, the macaws picked up food with their feet, the iguanas crept low along the ground and stopped to sense any danger. The children expressed themselves confidently through the storytelling. Sharon Seeto, ELC Educator Year 6 ‘Tappy Feet’ – an original production All of Year Six organised a production of Tappy Feet, which was based on the movie, Happy Feet. We wrote our scripts in small groups, thoroughly discussing each other’s ideas. The performances were thrilling and, although we spent a lot of time on the project, it was worth it once we had an audience to show our finished product to. Raquel Rodriguez, Year 6 student Year 8 ‘Ths Phne 2.0’ by Lindsay Price The play featured 25 Year 8 girls acting out various scenes about blogging, texting, ring tones, emailing and internet bullying. Lindsay Price’s scripts are always about topics pertinent to young people. I had several parents after the play come up and say how some of the lines were exactly what their daughters said to them about phones and the internet. Mr Jason Parker, Director and Teacher Year 10 ‘Private Lives’ by Noel Coward and ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ by Tom Stoppard The girls created larger than life characters and produced exquisite sets, costumes and lighting for the productions. The Stage Band provided live music to accompany the evening. Marisa Rowlands, Head of Drama Year 12 Theatre Studies, ‘August Osage County’, by Tracy Letts The girls brought the quite harrowing script to life superbly and created evocative stagecraft elements to support their acting. Marisa Rowlands, Head of Drama

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creativity at strathcona

art at strathcona Strathcona’s annual student Art Exhibition on 8 September celebrated the learning of each student studying Visual Art from the ELC to Year 12. Our new format – a three-day exhibition in Featherstone Hall with a special launch – was incredibly well received, with over 100 guests attending on opening night.


he exhibition included a formal display of works by students, as well as new site-responsive installations designed especially for the event. Drawing on the theme of Metamorphosis, staff and students from all year levels worked together to create an inviting and inspiring arrival experience for guests. Year 7s created a nature-derived soundscape which played in the foyer, delicate handmade dolls sat watching from a giant tree, while cyanotype prints and metal insects floated in the breeze outside.

Student works represented a broad spectrum of artistic modes, resources and skills. The vitality of drawing was present in detailed studies of owls, insects, prickly pears, and even Tay Creggan. Ideas from fairy tales, literature, dreams and

nightmares inspired dream diary books, monoprints, etchings and lino prints. The power of visual communication and skill of design were evident in architectural models, bold ceramics, delicate metalwork and beautiful cakes. Our Artist in Residence Zhen Chew opened the exhibition, highlighting the bravery of our girls in putting their ideas and images out into the world. Special mention must go to our Year 12 students. Watching their small ideas grow into complex and personal artworks over the year, and then being shared with the school community towards the end of their Strathcona journey was a courageous thing to witness. Erin Horsley, Head of Art

I especially enjoyed the freedom I had in my photo selection and painting. I felt like no decision was a wrong one when painting. (Anjelica Dimitriou, Year 6 Student)

mellor house artists exhibit at ngv


small group of talented Year 5 and 6 students were privileged to be exhibited in the Ian Potter Gallery at the NGV in June. The girls’ ‘Local Landscapes’ works were inspired by family photographs of places they had visited. The girls showed immense


dedication, working with passionate Art teacher Mrs Susan Clarke in their own time to hone their painting skills. The results are truly impressive! Michelle Newell, Online Communications and Publications Manager

strathcourier | summer 2015

global links

india tour

chile tour



‘The trip to India taught me so many things about the world that we as Australians are sheltered from. In India, we visited an underprivileged school connected to the Neerja Modi School in Jaipur. We were able to talk to some little girls and boys and seeing how happy they were to see us was probably one of the best moments of my life. Education is not compulsory in India, and most underprivileged students leave school at aged 10. My experience meeting the children at this school has made me want to do volunteer work and I now feel strongly compelled to do something about poverty.’

‘This year was the first year that the exchange to Chile with the St Margaret’s British School for Girls was on offer, and it was undoubtedly the best experience of my life. The time we spent doing community service was very memorable. St Margaret’s runs a community service program which involves visiting underprivileged kindergartens and old people’s homes. It felt great to make even a small difference in these people’s lives, such as brightening their day by singing classic Australian songs. Experiencing life amongst a family in a foreign country has opened my eyes to the diversity of culture and lifestyle that exists within the world. I have made lifelong friendships and memories.’

Mabry Simpson-Bull, Year 11 Student

Harriet Grimsey, Year 10 Student

uring the mid-Semester holidays, Strathcona embarked on its first tour to India. For two weeks, ten students from Years 10 and 11 travelled through Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – India’s Golden Triangle – with teachers Melissa King and Michelle Hodges. The journey offered a range of experiences aimed at developing students’ understanding of history, culture and education in India, as well as their global social service awareness.

strathcourier | summer 2015

even Strathcona students and two teachers, Mrs Terri Oprean and Mrs Robyn Dunoon, spent four weeks on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ in Chile in the mid-Semester holidays. Girls attended classes at St Margaret’s British School for Girls in Concón with their host sisters, visited Santiago, Valparaíso and Pomaire, and travelled to the Atacama Desert.


farewell to an era After a decades-long Tours & Exchanges Program, successfully overseen for the last 20 years by Mrs Diana Little, Strathcona has reframed the program as ‘Global Learning’, with new coordinator, Mrs Karyn Murray, at the helm. Mrs Little began teaching at Strathcona in 1979. She was Head of Tay Creggan before taking up the position of Program’s Coordinator at the Main School campus in 1992. Here, she talks to the Strathcourier about developing the Tours & Exchanges program and how Strathcona students have benefitted over the years. On her early days at Strathcona I began at Strathcona as a secondary teacher at Tay Creggan, teaching General Studies and Textiles in 1979. General Studies was a team teaching arrangement divided into small tutor groups, and there were a lot of excursions. The first exchange association we had was with Columba College, New Zealand. In those days, Mr Lyall, the Principal, was related to the Principal of Columba College, Miss Elizabeth Lyall Wilson. He introduced this very advanced exchange where he selected two girls: one from Year 11 and one from Year 9. He rang the families and said: ‘Hello, we’d like your child to represent the school’. Because I was at Tay Creggan in those days, I began linking with Columba College to make the arrangements for the one Year 9 girl, as far back as 1987. Back then it was all organised by letter writing; snail mail! The girls would write their profile and we’d put a photo on it, and we’d post it over with a letter to say: ‘Here are the flight details, they’ll be coming at this time’. This year I went to the Columba College Centenary at their invitation, because of my long association with them.


On building up a Tours & Exchanges Program

school out of Cape Town for quite a number of years.

When I came to the Main Campus from Tay Creggan in 1992, we started establishing more links with other schools. The Year 8 girls went to PLC Armidale, NSW and a staff exchange even took place at one time. The Principal at that time, Mrs Ruth Bunyan, decided to send some girls to Rockhampton. In 1993, we began teaching Korean as a language and the Principal visited Korea to make a sister school arrangement with the leading girls’ school there, Ewha Girls School. Then, a little later, the Deputy Principal Mrs Lyn Wheat and her husband, the Head of the Senior School at Scotch College, organised an exchange with the Durham Academy North Carolina. We also exchanged with a very nice

In 1997 an agency arranged for Soshin Girls School, a Japanese school, to visit another School in Melbourne. Their staff came out here to visit, made all the arrangements for the trip, and then received a message that the Melbourne school had withdrawn. The Principal called me and said: ‘This school has been let down, will you please arrange a program for one year – 1998?’ They turned up with a group of about 33 students and three or four teachers. They were delighted with their experience and have come every year since! Over 400 Soshin students have been hosted by Strathcona families since 1998. This year we introduced a Chilean exchange with St Margaret’s British School for Girls, and visited India for the first time.

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global links

On the benefits of exchanges and tours for Strathcona students

On the generosity of Strathcona families

Nowadays the Strathcona girls who go on tours and exchanges are fairly well travelled. In the early days there were girls who said ‘I’ve never been on a plane before’, and it was so exciting to go to New Zealand or up to Rockhampton. Now, most of them have been to America or elsewhere already. The girls develop skills, confidence, and independence on an exchange or tour. We always emphasise that you’ve got to be prepared to take in what is being done. See how other people do things. Don’t be judgemental. Thank them, and try to learn. The girls like experiencing another place and making new friends. I’m interested in this in my new role: looking into lasting friendships. Over the years, people have said to me: ‘Oh, I went to Japan over the holidays and visited the girl I hosted five years ago.’ So there would be many connections that we’re unaware of that we want to find out about.

The Strathcona families are very good. The girls who came from Chile went to the Lion King, to Daylesford spas, down the Great Ocean Road – everything a tourist could do here, they did in two weeks! Those families put themselves out to do this, because they felt our girls had a very good time over in Chile. They really were an exceptional group. On a new approach to tours and exchanges for Strathcona My advice to Mrs Murray, the new Global Learning Coordinator is: be prepared to be very hardworking and be very flexible. You’ve got to know the families well, and try to give as much information as possible. My biggest fear was that an exchange student would be at the airport and there wasn’t someone to receive her. It never happened! The tours and exchanges will change; but that’s inevitable. It’s a good stage now to swap over. We’ve established the group visits and know what works – it’s hard for me to scrap that and change it for the sake of change. But with someone else leading the program – they may have experiences of other things that I haven’t. They can bring that into the role. I hope it happens and a lot of the girls in the future will have the great experience that others have had.

Mrs Little continues to work part-time for Strathcona as a Project Officer, capturing archival material on the School’s past staff and the history of the School’s trips, tours and exchanges. If you have established lasting friendships with host daughters, sisters or families and would like to share your story, please get in touch with Mrs Little:

strathcourier | summer 2015


sport report

playing the part Our sports teams are great competitors – winning many games but always showing exemplary teamwork, dedication and sportsmanship. Behind the scenes, many of our teams are coached by those who know the game best – older Strathcona girls, or past Strathcona students. Netball Maggie Treppo (Year 11) coaches Olivia Starick (Year 8)

Soccer Elizabeth Hodgetts (Year 12) coaches Ella Pontifex (Year 7)


Maggie: My friend, Caitlin Shinnie, and I play together in a team for Strathcona. We knew we could complement each other as coaches. We work on different areas on the sport – I’m defence and she’s attack. I like being able to work alongside the younger year levels. I don’t have a formal leadership role in the school, so this is a great way to integrate with the younger year levels and develop my leadership skills. Apart from being our team’s strongest centre, Liv is one of the most team-spirited players and is always encouraging and complimenting the other girls on their good play. The girls are a great team to work with, all super encouraging and enthusiastic. I think we’ve all had a fantastic year working together on and off the courts.

Olivia: Maggie never gives negative feedback. She’s always making sure that everyone’s improving. She says ‘next time, work on this’, or she calls out ‘good try’ during the game. I listen to her … sometimes. It’s good when you see Maggie and Caitlin around at school; you get to say ‘hi’. I like how Maggie’s a lot older than me and she’s more experienced. She’s someone to look up to around the school. I coach a Year 5 team outside the school as well, and my friend and I have just started it so we were confused. I asked Maggie and Caitlin for advice. I’ll definitely keep on playing netball, and I hope to coach a Strathcona team in the future when I’m Maggie’s age.

Elizabeth: I originally started playing soccer when I was younger because I saw the movie She’s the Man – I thought soccer looked fun! There are also some good female role models who play soccer like Melissa Barbieri, the goal keeper for Australia. When I was younger I enjoyed playing in the junior teams, and I wanted to make sure that other girls could play soccer at an earlier age so they could keep playing at senior GSV level, or even take it up outside of school. The soccer team was doing quite well at the start of the season, but it was a matter of getting them used to working as a team. I’m hoping to come back to Strathcona next year and keep on coaching.

Ella: As well as soccer I play netball, do running club, basketball and softball. I just love playing sport. Lizzie was a really good soccer coach because she’s like a role model. It’s good seeing the sport from her perspective, because she’s a student instead of a teacher – that’s what I like about student coaches. She helped me when we were doing goal shooting to kick higher and more powerfully. She came to our games on Thursday afternoons against other schools and gave us tips; supported us. I can speak on behalf of everyone in the team that having a student coaching makes it fun.

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sport report

Hoop Time Basketball Mabry Simpson-Bull (Year 11) coaches Rianna Thiele (Year 6)

Throwing Past Student Chelsea Dyer (2011) coaches Eleanor Forwood (Year 11)

Rhythmic Gymnastics Ellie Robinson (Year 11) coaches Isabella Tremewen (Year 4)

Volleyball Past student Chelsea Newton (2014) coaches Jacinta Finlayson (Year 8)

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Mabry: This year I coached the junior netball and volleyball teams. I am passionate about sport and hope to pass on my love of sport to the younger girls. To improve their skills I try to motivate them and get to know them. If your team likes you, they will perform better. I go to all the girls’ GSV games. I love it when they do something that I taught them at a training session: it’s rewarding for them and me. I’ve gained some friends in the lower year levels, so I’ve learnt how to interact with girls who aren’t my age but also who aren’t young children. They’re all young women and I certainly enjoy my conversations with them.

Rianna: I’ve played basketball since Year 3. I like shooting and dribbling because there’s always more to improve on. We got to do drills with our student coaches, like dribbling, where you try and get past the defender, and shooting where you try to be the first to shoot around the key. It was good that the older students got to coach us because they knew a lot about basketball. We usually only see the older girls when we’re across the road at the Senior School at lunchtime, so having them as our coaches helps us get to know them. I’d like to play GSV basketball for Strathcona next year when I’m in Year 7.

Chelsea: I am now into my third year of Naturopathy study and absolutely love it! I have always been a very sporty person, so I loved getting involved in as many sports as I could while at Strathy. Javelin was my main event at athletics, however for school I would also do discus, shot-put, and any other running events they needed to fill spots in. I think everyone comes to javelin with a lot of room for improvement since it’s such a technical event, but Eleanor picked it up very quickly and always impressed me with her persistence and team spirit. I couldn’t recommend any more highly that girls get involved in athletics; no matter what experience you may have, there is a place at the track for everyone!

Eleanor: With Chelsea, I’ve been training for the three throws in athletics – javelin, discus and shotput. When I was in Year 7, Chelsea was in Year 12 and I saw her at Aths, being absolutely amazing at all the sports. I’ve been training with her since Year 8. Javelin is basically learning how to throw a spear, so it was very different to be learning that action! It’s now my main throw. Chelsea is really easy to relate to and explains things really well. She’ll get you to throw, look at it, and then give you one thing to work on. She tries to get to as many meets as possible. She’ll remind me about what I’ve been doing in training and give me some last minute tips. She’s not pushing me to be first all the time. As long as I show how I’ve been improving over the year, she’s happy.

Ellie: I coach Isabella in all the rhythmic gym apparatus, including ball, hoop, clubs, ribbon, rope and freehand. I’ve been a coach for over two years and I coach 12 – 15 girls at our Saturday class. I was in the sport myself until recently and I became interested in working with the younger girls to learn more about the sport. Because I’ve coached these girls for a couple of years, I’ve seen them improve and go up through the levels and it makes me feel proud.

Isabella: I like doing all the tricks and learning new things. Freehand is my favourite because you don’t have to throw something up and feel stressed that you need to catch it. When Ellie coaches me, she doesn’t mind when I do something wrong, she just tells me in a kind way. It’s nice knowing a senior girl, especially when I get to see her around the school. I’m going to keep doing rhythmic gym because as you go on, you just keep getting better.

Chelsea: I am currently studying exercise and sports science at Deakin University. I played volleyball throughout my years at Strathcona and really enjoyed the close team bond that we made. Jacinta is a strong and determined player: she always listens to what I have to say and tries her hardest to work on her skills and improve. I love seeing all the girls having fun and enjoying themselves, as this is what I remember best about my time at Strathcona. Although I have finished school I don’t think I am quite ready to let go of the Strathy spirit and culture. Coming back to coach allows me to still be a part of this, as well as pass on my love for the sport.

Jacinta: I started volleyball this year. I love that it is a team sport and we have to communicate and support each other if we want to have a good game. Chelsea is a great coach because every now and then she will pull us to the side to teach us how to improve on our techniques individually. I like having a past Strathcona student as my coach because she can relate to us. At games, Chelsea gives us a lot of feedback on how we can improve but at the same time gives a lot of support and praise for what we are doing right individually and as a team.


sport report

gsv sport highlights terms 2 & 3  he Cross Country Team – performed T exceptionally at the Preliminary Carnival and qualified to compete at the GSV Championship Carnival in Division 1. Outstanding individual performances were:

• Kate Boulter (Year 10) – Gold in Shot Put and new GSV record, Gold in Discus, Gold in Year 10 4 x 100m relay, Bronze in 400m, Bronze in Javelin, 7th in 200m (three Gold and two Bronze)

Junior Netball Team (E Grade) – was undefeated throughout the entire season. Their Grand Final against Star of the Sea went into extra time and they won by five goals. Coached by students Ariana Devereux and Kate Skinner.

• Tamsyn Lovass (Year 8) – 3rd Place

• Tess Plowman (Year 10) – Gold in 4 x 100m relay, Silver in 800m and 1,500m

Intermediate Gold Netball Team – was undefeated throughout the home and away season, qualifying for the semi-finals. They were awarded premiers of their zone but unfortunately lost their final matches.

• Tess Plowman (Year 10) – 2nd Place • Georgia Chester (Year 12) – 8th Place Tess was selected to be a member of the GSV representative team and competed in the APS/AGSV competition in August.

• Clare Duyker (Year 10) – Gold in 4 x 100m relay and finalist in 100m • Mabry Simpson-Bull (Year 11) – Bronze in 200m and 4 x 100m relay

The Athletics Team had an equally successful season also qualifying to compete in the prestigious GSV Division 1 Championship Carnival. Twenty-six girls qualified for the GSV Finals Evening. This means they placed in the Top 10 for their event out of all the girls competing from the 24 GSV schools. Outstanding individual performance were:

• Madeline Grimsey (Year 11) – Bronze in 4 x 100m relay and finalist in 100m, 200m and 400m

• Tamsyn Lovass (Year 8) – Finalist in three events – 400m, 800m and 1,500m

• Sophie Brugliera (Year 12) – Finalist in three events – Triple jump, 100m and 200m

• Kate Tanner (Year 9) – Finalist in three events – Triple jump, 100m and 400m


• Chelsea Mitchell (Year 11) – Silver in 800m and Bronze in 4 x 100m relay • Danielle Killick (Year 11) – Bronze in 4 x 100m relay

Intermediate and Senior Badminton Teams – both finished second in their zone, narrowly missing the finals. We had more Volleyball teams representing Strathcona in Term 3 than ever before, with five Junior, four Intermediate and two Senior Teams. Junior Volleyball Team (C Grade) – finished second in their zone, qualifying for the finals. They finished runner-up in their division. Coached by students Mabry Simpson-Bull and Hannah Brown. Senior Basketball Team – was undefeated throughout the season and won their Grand Final convincingly against Our Lady of Mercy College to be awarded Premiers.

strathcourier | summer 2015

school heritage

history of the rose assembly This year, the Rose Assembly was carried out formally for the 31st time by Principal Marise McConaghy.


he idea was first suggested by Mrs Marj Poulton, Prep teacher from 1974 to 1985, who asked Prep girls to bring roses from their home gardens and present them informally to Year 12 graduating students. Mellor House staff members remember assisting in the removal of thorns from the home grown roses. In 1973 Mrs Poulton joined the Mellor House staff (joining her Melbourne Teachers’ College friends Judy Hard and Marion Mitchell who were already teaching at Mellor House when the very generous and popular Miss Joan Mellor was the Head). Marj Poulton taught Year 2 during her first year (1973) and then was the Prep teacher from 1974 to 1985. She was the Prep teacher for the first formal rose assembly on Wednesday 23 October 1985. Her first group of Preps in 1974 reached Year 12 and took part in the second Rose Assembly in 1986, the year after Marj left Strathcona. A tribute to Marj, including thanks to her for initiating this Rose Assembly, was included in the winter edition of the Strathcourier

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mid year 2014, following her death after a car accident that same year. The idea of formalising the presentation of roses at the 1985 end of year assembly was discussed in the Management Committee meeting held regularly when Mr Ken Lyall was Principal. Those present at the meeting on this occasion in 1985 were Mrs Marie Baker (Deputy Principal), Mrs Dorothy Pell (Head of Mellor House), Mrs Judy McMaster (Chief of Staff and Year 12 Coordinator), Mrs Diana Little (Head of Tay Creggan), Mrs Alison Hamilton (Middle School Coordinator) and Mrs Helen McGeorge (School Counsellor). It was Helen who made the suggestion about presenting the roses at a formal assembly in 1985 and Judy who began calling the Year 12 End of Year assembly ‘The Rose Assembly’. Today, the Rose Assembly is an integral part of a Strathcona girl’s transition from the school into her new life ahead.

Following the publication of this article on our website and Facebook, we have been delighted to hear from past students of the 1983 and 1984 year, who recall receiving roses in an informal setting from prep children under the leadership of Mrs Marj Poulton.

‘This was one of the most special ceremonies for me as a Year 12 student in 2011. For me it represented my finishing and a prep starting her journey.’ Cathryn Slusher (2011)

‘I was part of the first Rose Assembly in 1985 and it is inspirational to be part of this fabulous tradition that my daughter will experience in four years. I am proud my daughter will experience this strong sense of belonging. I still have my rose, pressed in my school bible!’ Nikki Harkin (1985)

Diana Little, Strathcona Project Officer


school community

high tea at tay creggan Friends of Music were thrilled with the response to our first High Tea at Tay Creggan in July. It proved so popular that tickets to our two sittings sold out within two weeks of going on sale. High tea was a new format after 20 years of hosting a dinner. Past staff and students, as well as people from outside the Strathcona community, came along to enjoy music, afternoon tea and a tour of the historic campus. Guests were treated to performances by musicians from many senior school chamber ensembles and the Chanteuses. After the performance, students led tours of the heritage-listed building. We plan to hold the High Tea again in 2016 and based on the response this year, we highly recommend booking early to avoid disappointment! Jenny Robinson, President, Friends of Music

elc golf day An inaugural Strathcona ELC Golf Day was held on the last day of Term 3, Friday 11 September, and was a great success! A fun day was had at Green Acres Golf Club, East Kew by a group of eight players. They gathered on a beautiful day, enjoying a game of golf and a delicious lunch. It is anticipated this will become an annual event for our families. We raised $650 towards converting a shed into a new cubby house in the Pre-Prep. Thank you to all families who generously donated to this event, and a special thank you to Dad Massimo Cellante for instigating and organising the occasion. Heather Henson, ELC Coordinator

elc grandfriends’ day In Term 3, the Early Learning Centre welcomed many grandparents and visitors to our ‘Grandfriends’ Day’, where children invited a special guest to spend time with them. Our guests enjoyed joining in activities and observing the children interact with each other. Maa and Kong, grandparents to Tara: ‘Strathcona offers the environment to stimulate Tara through socialisation with her peers and interaction with her teachers. Her needs have been identified to ensure she is included in the learning. We enjoyed meeting other Grandparents.’


Oma, grandmother to Eamon: ‘Strathcona has helped Eamon mature and become more considerate of other young people.’ Grandma Anne, grandmother to Clara: ‘There are always new things to admire that the children have mastered (her fourth visit!). We love to see how varied the activities are and how our two granddaughters blossom in the environment. Clara has become much more outgoing and confident.’ Heather Henson, ELC Coordinator

strathcourier | summer 2015

school community

snow sports The Strathcona Snowsports team had a very busy and enjoyable season this year, with a new training weekend at Mt Buller introduced by the Committee in 2015. The girls learned helpful tips for racing and had plenty of fun with their family and friends at the team dinner. We were excited to compete once again in the Victorian Interschools Snowsports Championships at Mt Buller in August, in alpine and skier-cross events. The Strathcona Snowsports team of 10 girls from Years 2 to 11 all tried their very best in improving on their individual race times and enjoyed participating in the opening and closing ceremonies carrying the Strathcona banner. Friends of Snowsports is proud to help organise the team and events each year in collaboration with the Strathy staff. Nadine Goldsmith, Friends of Snowsports Coordinator

brownlow medal breakfast celebrates 25 years This year, the Brownlow Medal Breakfast celebrated its 25th Anniversary at the Etihad Stadium Medallion Brasserie. We were pleased to welcome 360 guests including past parent, and original co-founder of the event, David Parkin (pictured below, centre). Co-founders Paul Wheelton and Jeffrey Browne were unfortunately unable to attend, although Jeffrey was ably represented by his daughter Sarah, who left Strathcona in 2001. Strathcona’s Brownlow Medal Breakfast is widely recognised as the start to the Grand Final week celebrations and enjoys the support of the AFL, who provided us with the AFL Premiership Cup for display once again. Our Master of Ceremonies, Gerard Whateley, extracted interesting and lively discussion from the panel, consisting of Wayne Campbell (AFL National Umpiring Director), Guy McKenna (ABC Radio

Commentator), Peggy O’Neal (Richmond President) and Kelli Underwood (Sports Journalist). Mark Dayman from Marshall White drew some excellent auction results from the audience and the lucky ticket draw raised $5,700, which in keeping with the true Strathcona spirit of giving back to the wider community, will be donated to Life Education Victoria. The tradition of Mike Brady rounding off the morning with ‘Up there Cazaly’ and ‘One Day in September’ was, as always, a crowd pleaser! The Age and Herald Sun Sports journalists were in attendance and articles featured in both newspapers. We are extremely grateful to the generous sponsors of this event and our hard-working Committee, who made our special 25th birthday Brownlow an entertaining and memorable event. Elisabeth Chalmers, Community Relations Officer

... 25th Anniversary at the Etihad Stadium Medallion Brasserie ... raised $5,700, in keeping with the true Strathcona spirit of giving back to the wider community ...

strathcourier | summer 2015

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school community

staff retirements 2015 Nick Van Ree 31 years Employed by Mr Ken Lyall, Nick Van Ree joined the Strathcona staff in May 1985, in the capacity of Audio Visual Librarian. When Nick started, classes regularly used 16mm films, Strathcona had only a handful of colour television sets, only very wealthy people could afford a mobile phone, the internet wasn’t heard of and the IT Department

Vicki Treidel 29 years Having returned to Melbourne after my first year of teaching in Gippsland, I was employed by Mr Lyall in 1987 to teach Politics, English and History. Over the following years my teaching specialisation has narrowed to History which I have taught at all secondary levels. I was twice elected as Chief of Staff, serving two terms under Helen Hughes, and then assumed the role of Year 11 Coordinator before becoming

Merrill Burnell 27 years Employed by Mr Ken Lyall, Ms Merrill Burnell joined the Strathcona staff in August 1988, in the capacity of Secretary to the Careers & Counselling Department. During the 27 years that she has worked in this role she has seen it evolve and grow as it has responded to the changing needs of the student community. As Assistant to the School Psychologist, Merrill has been an indispensable member of a committed

Mary Hall 27 years Ms Mary Hall has worked at Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School for twenty-six years. She joined Strathcona, then led by Mr Ken Lyall, in 1989 as the librarian at Tay Creggan and a teacher of senior English. Since then she has held the position of Head of Tay Creggan (1993 – 1996) and has taught VCE Literature (a special passion). Under the principalships of Mrs Ruth Bunyan and Mrs Helen Hughes,

Prue Clarke 27 years I was appointed by Mr Lyall, who was a wonderful encourager of a young teacher. Although I have come and gone for various other pursuits, I have always been drawn back due to Strathcona’s ethos and people. I accompanied students and staff to France on four trips. I have treasured being able to teach at wonderful Tay Creggan, as well as at Canterbury.

didn’t yet exist. The school’s photography was developed and printed in the school’s darkroom, including all the pictures for the school magazine. How times have changed! Nick has fond memories of the school trip to Central Australia in 1995 and enjoyed many Outdoor Ed camps over the years including hiking, skiing and horse riding. He served as Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2001, a role he regards as a career highlight. Nick is looking forward to setting up his painting studio and travelling to France and the UK. VCE/VET Coordinator. I never intended to stay this long but in the teaching profession you don’t need to move to experience change; it comes to you! There have been many changes over the years but the one constant and the reason why I have loved Strathy so much is the girls. They have made teaching a joy and, as I move through a series of ‘lasts’ it will be my final class that will really bring home the fact that I am retiring. I look back with a feeling of connection and pride while holding great anticipation for the next phase of life. and compassionate team. Her versatility and hard work have been evident in the significant contribution she has made to the Careers and VCE Departments and the support she has provided the Advanced Learning Centre. Always generous and warm in her dealings with staff and students, Merrill counts it the greatest of privileges to have worked in a School where its ideals and values have been lived out in its daily life. In her own example of care and consideration for others, Merrill has done the same. We thank her and wish her every happiness in what lies ahead. Mary has seen the School strengthen and grow, not least in its dedication to both academic excellence and compassionate care of its community. In her role as Director of Information Services (1996 – 2015), Mary has had oversight of the Main School, Tay Creggan and Mellor House libraries, and has been instrumental in furthering information literacy programs in the School and transitioning its libraries into the digital age. Author of the second volume of the School’s history – Into the 21st century – Mary believes that the secular and sacred intent of our motto is at the heart of Strathcona’s integrity, identity and purpose. I loved teaching French in Mellor House and learned so much there. I feel very privileged to have been Chief of Staff and also to have co-authored a French course with Judy Comley for Pearson. It has been great to witness when the girls have had their ‘light bulb’ moments in class and to see their many achievements. I feel very lucky to have made so many friends in such a vibrant community and to have worked with such a passionate, talented and caring staff.

Isabelle Marsh 10 years I have been teaching at Strathcona for ten years, first arriving in January 2006. I was employed by Helen Hughes and Judy Battle and can still recall those interviews vividly. I feel blessed to have had the privilege to work at

Strathcona with such a professional team of teachers, enthusiastic students and supportive parents. I love teaching and have had a great career. There have been many highlights, challenging moments as well as a lot of fun along this journey.

Pat Menke 7 years Mrs Pat Menke joined the staff in January 2009 from Balwyn High School where she had been Director of Learning. Initially appointed to teach mostly Geography and History in the Senior School, Mrs Menke became


Head of Department in 2010. She has thoroughly enjoyed her time at Strathcona and feels privileged to have had an opportunity to be a Year 7 Form Tutor. Meeting so many enthusiastic, positive and caring students has made her experience at Strathcona very memorable.

strathcourier | summer 2015

osa news

four strathconian sisters The Kakridas family was directly connected to Strathcona for many years, with four sisters – Paraskevi (2005), Panagiota (2006), Anastasia (2007), and Sofia (2009) educated here. passion with us. I did art all the way to the end of Year 12 and I studied it at Melbourne Uni as well. Sofia – I don’t know that I made my own niche. I think we all had very big personalities, and maybe one of the reasons I got that was because I wanted to make myself stand out from my sisters.


he Strathcourier caught up with them recently on Maling Road to talk about their relationship to each other, and the lasting impact Strathcona has had on their personal and professional lives.

Where are you all working at the moment? Paraskevi – I’ve been teaching art all year. I’m a primary school teacher, and I work for a teacher agency doing short term contracts. I mostly cover art teachers in schools around Melbourne who are on leave. Ultimately, I would love to have my own art room one day! Anastasia – I got a new job last week. I haven’t started yet, but I’m working in Human Resources at Intercontinental Hotels Group. When I finished Strathcona I did hotel management at a hotel school. I started off in Reception, went to Reservations and now HR. Sofia – I just finished my Master of Business. I’ve been working part-time at the Intercontinental and I’ve just got a graduate job in Adelaide with them, starting next year. I will be training for management in the Future Leaders program.

And Panagiota is a doctor? All – She’s the smart one (laughter) Sofia – Sorry Panagiota couldn’t be here. She’s doing a million shifts in a row because she swapped all her shifts so we could go overseas for two weeks, to the US.

As a big family, how did you girls find your own niche at Strathcona? Paraskevi – I had the best primary school experience of my life at Mellor House. I loved Sue Clarke, my Art teacher. She really showed us that she valued it so much and shared her

strathcourier | summer 2015

Anastasia – You asked about finding your own niche but I don’t think we tried to do that. We all did debating. We all liked the same activities and we sort of followed in each other’s footsteps in that way. Paraskevi – Anything we wanted to do, the school was excited about as well. I really felt like that. I remember my name was so hard to say when I was in Prep and so our teacher made a jigsaw puzzle out of my name and made everyone learn how to say it. I wasn’t made to feel strange that my name was unheard of, it was just special.

Were you all in the same House at Strathcona?

that has always stayed with me. Also in terms of art, which I did all the way through, I went to uni and my teacher said ‘What school did you go to?’ and I said Strathcona, and she knew it – she knew that we had a great art department. I’m really proud that I’m still able to do that. Anastasia – One main thing that I’ve taken away from Strathcona is the interest and passion for languages and people from other countries. We had girls from Japan and Korea and then we went on the trip to Italy and I learned French until Year 9. I really felt interested in all the different languages and cultures, which I think I’ve taken away from Strathcona.

Did your Mum go to Strathcona? All – No … our aunties did. Our Mum’s cousins.

If you have daughters one day, will you send them to Strathcona? All – Yes. Paraskevi – The more I see of every school, the more I love Strathcona. So, yes. Anastasia – As long as they’re in Arnold!

Sofia – When we were first at Strathcona we were put in Arnold, and then we moved away to Gippsland, and when we moved back after four and a half years or something, they said oh, when you buy your uniforms buy the green ones because you are going to be in Findlay, and we were like… All – NO NO NO! (laughter) Sofia – We were like, I’m so sorry, we’re Arnold, and they said oh okay, never mind, we’ll arrange that.

What did you get from Strathcona that prepared you to go out into the world? Sofia – We were always in this environment where women could excel, and it was just intrinsic to me that women were just as capable as men. Strathcona is a good place for girls in their formative years. You’re never shown that girls can’t do anything, you’re always just given opportunities, and you’re always around powerful women, so that’s something that has shaped me. Paraskevi – At Strathcona we loved our teachers so much, we valued education so much, and

Panagiota After completing Year 12 at Strathcona, I studied a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at Monash University in Clayton. I took a gap year in the middle to travel and graduated in 2012. I commenced working as a doctor with Alfred Health, where I’ve stayed ever since. I think the most important thing Strathcona gave me was the opportunity to meet some incredible people, and form friendships – of course it’s not possible to keep in touch with everyone but my closest friends are the ones I met in school and the memories we have made will stay with me forever.


osa news

first jobs Strathcona prides itself on preparing girls to achieve their best, encouraging them to explore a range of interests and activities during their time at School in preparation for a myriad of future pathways. The Strathcourier recently caught up with three Old Strathconians embarking on their first full-time jobs, and discovered young women following varied careers aligned to their passions.

Chloe Harris (2011) Myer Grad Program

Deborah Holmes (2010) Graduate Meteorologist

Alana Donoghue (2010) Graduate Property Valuer


I work as part of Myer’s Men’s Formals Buying team and absolutely love it. I’m in the process of buying and developing the range for next winter, as well as working with Marketing on the Suiting Book Catalogue for the upcoming Spring Racing Carnival. After finishing school I studied Commerce at the University of Melbourne, and soon developed an interest in Management and Marketing. Throughout school and university, I worked as a casual at Myer, and loved being able to apply what I learned at university to my job. I graduated

last year, and applied for the Myer Graduate Program. Graduate programs are a great way to transition from university to the workforce, as you are able to rotate through different areas, teams and positions and gain exposure to a variety of leaders. Graduate Programs are challenging to get into, but my six years as a casual gave me invaluable practical experience. My tips for Menswear Spring Racing this season are: go for navy suits with brown shoes and accessories, and don’t be afraid to show off bold pockets squares and bright socks.

I am currently a graduate meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology, studying a Graduate Diploma in Meteorology At the end of the year, I will become a meteorologist and weather forecaster. Weather forecasting is traditionally a male dominated career although this has been changing in recent years and there are now a lot of women moving through the graduate program into forecasting. At Strathcona, I was interested in the physical sciences such as mathematics and physics and so I tailored my science degree at the University of Melbourne around these fields. Whilst at university, I also made sure that I kept up with the extra-

curricular activities I had participated in at school and that led to my involvement with the Melbourne University Choral Society where I was treasurer and a member of the committee for a number of years. This experience helped me to hone my communication and organisation skills which in turn assisted my successful job application. The great thing about this job is the opportunity to move around the country and abroad, as well as to step into many different roles in the future. As part of my job, I am moving to Tasmania as a forecaster and I hope to one day go on placement in Antarctica.

I am a graduate property valuer at Opteon and will be fully qualified at the start of next year. At school I always had in mind I wanted a corporate job in business or real estate, however, I was quite oblivious to the options and many ‘behind the scenes’ positions available. Now, a typical day for me is inspecting properties for the first half of the day and for the remainder of the day I write up the valuation reports from the office or home. I was actually very lucky to receive my position. I was recommended to Opteon by my peers at university whilst I was travelling in Europe. The company interviewed me upon my return and I started not long after. My prior experience working at Marshall White helped; although very different jobs, the

experience within the property industry gave me an advantage. I’m still studying to further my knowledge not only within the property industry but in business and finance as well. I’ve always loved economics and finance but it helps that they both tie in really well with the property market. The maths and business side of study at Strathcona definitely assisted my learning throughout uni and continuously helps me with daily work. Property valuations is really flexible so it will allow me to pursue separate projects. Ideally I would like to work part time in property valuations and have my own property development/renovation projects on the side for the remainder of the week.

strathcourier | summer 2015

osa news

a lucky gate After two years at a school which was a most unhappy place for me, something very fortunate happened, thanks to the wisdom of my parents. That year, in 1952, I was sent to Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School in Canterbury.


was one of two art students in year 11, chosen against the wishes of the Headmistress who thought we should be doing something with more substance. The felt beauty of this school started for me in two ways. At the gate I saw a beautiful, single storey building with long French windows which opened onto black and white tiled terraces. Then, there was an amazing and very old Magnolia Tree with huge fragrant white blooms and dark shiny leaves; from Heaven I thought. The strong green leaves contrasted with the white walls of the Assembly room. Each morning there were Bible reading, prayers, announcements and … music! I have remained acutely attuned to all things aesthetic: light, colour, form and calmness. I think I began to breathe again in this School. There were kind people at Strathcona, starting with the firm, respectful Headmistress who tried very hard to get me and my parents to agree that I would start up maths again. I was not going there again, having lived with a sense of paralysing stupidity and ineptitude in my previous school. It was a relief that I did not have to do sport either. I was allowed to read in the Library: a place of quietness and calm where I could read whatever I liked. Reading today remains a fundamental dimension of my life, grounding and centring me away from the sense of a rabid consumer society. I was given a sense of freedom to learn, not just perform or comply with what I thought someone else wanted to hear. I felt alive again with a gentle young art teacher, Miss Crooke, who was an ex polio sufferer. She was warm and smiled and wanted to relate to

strathcourier | summer 2015

me and my art friend, Heather. The year 12 art teacher, Mr Kemp, had a rusty beard and seemed rather nervous with the two of us girls. He allowed us to make a project reviewing visiting Arts Exhibitions each week, which we presented for Final Examination in December along with selected water colours. We both passed well and I think my love for art came from this time. Miss Drake was another memorable teacher: short in stature, wearing the mandatory black gown in a swirling style, with blue marble-like eyes and a short Eton cropped hair style. She knew about the outside world and introduced us to plays, props and makeup. She stood up for me when I wanted Boswell’s London Journal for a book prize, and the Headmistress did not approve. It spoke of London life in low quarters and they argued about whether a 17 year old should be reading this material. I bowed to the Head Mistress and chose a book on human anatomy. That, too, was disapproved of: ‘You won’t need that for nursing!’ I think I chose a book on the Psyche, to study later. Only then did I find the psychosoma link, and how much our bodies speak for us.

Not all gates lock one in: some gates open out. Strathcona took me out of a blind and dead alley in which I had been stuck. In retrospect I can see that my parents intuitively understood my need and could let me go: I never lived at home again, leaving School and passing on to other paths in life. At the end of my final year at Strathcona, when I had completed year 12, the gate opened and I passed into the wider world, leaving behind the sense of gentleness, containment and care given by the teaching staff and supplemented by the warmth of friends. From Strathcona, I saw the world differently and could look into it. Helen Martin (Millott) (1953) This is an extract from a longer memoir Dr Helen Martin is currently writing, inspired by the different ‘gates’ marking important moments in her life.

When post-school nurse training took me far away into other zones of experience, I realised I had been lucky with Strathcona school friends and missed them. They were kind and actually liked me, made room for me in their world and welcomed me into their homes. Our paths diverged later but the experience of kindness and friendship remains.


osa news

osa news births Laura Harrison (Brown ’99) and Matthew, a son, Samuel Robert, on 14.6.15. Amy James (Gardner ’02) and Ian, a son, Luke Everson, on 3.8.15 at Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford UK, weighing 4.7 kg. Amy is the daughter of Strathcona’s Board Chair, Laurinda Gardner. Margaret Moate (Little ’95) and Peter, a daughter, Harriet Gwendoline on 9.2.15. Victoria Moore (Brown ’99) and Gerard, a daughter, Olivia Grace on 23.8.14. Pauline Opie (Collins ’94) and John, a daughter, Genevieve Joyce on 24.3.15.

d bridesmaids

Amanda Blakey an

Kate Shorland (’02) and Steve Rickman, a daughter, Rose Margaret, on 14.8.15 in Newcastle NSW.

marriages Amanda Blakey (’04) to Adam Silverii on 7.2.15. Amanda has dated Adam since Year 12! Her sister, Cecily (’07) was Maid of Honour. Amanda and Adam’s reception followed at Rippon Lea Estate’s ballroom after the ceremony in the gardens. Marianne Fkiaras (’02) to Nicholas Reisis on 26.1.15 at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Templestowe. Emily Sykes (’02) was a bridesmaid. In addition, many other Old Strathconians from the 2002 class were in attendance.

Kiri James with hus

band Cameron Marty


Kiri James (’98) to Cameron Martyn of Waimumu, Southland NZ on 24.4.15 at the Melba Spiegeltent in Collingwood. Casey Bray (James, ’02) and Rebecca Majernik (Gee, ’98) were bridesmaids. Laura Morris (’07) to Sven Wardrop on 31.1.15 at Canterbury Presbyterian Church. Laura’s mother made her dress out of vintage 60s lace purchased at Franke, Stuart in Glenferrie and Laura wore a headpiece both her mother and grandmother wore to their weddings. Many Old Strathconians attended the ceremony, including Chloe Au, Anastasia Kakridas, Claire Chisholm, Carina Hayden-Skok, Jessica Houghton, Amelia Theodorakis, Jennifer McNab, Natalia Chadwick, Naomi Cheney and Emily Bell.


strathcourier | summer 2015

osa news

vale Sandra Coleman

Alison Hamilton

(Towers ’70)

Sandra passed away on 1.4.15. Those of us who went through our Secondary education at Strathcona with Sandra will remember her as a person of integrity, sincerity and warmth. As well as a high level of academic achievement, Sandra also demonstrated leadership skills which lead to her being elected as Head Prefect in 1970. Sandra was a keen Hockey player, and was in the School team. In Year 10, Sandra and two other students represented Strathcona on the TV quiz show, ‘It’s Academic’. A strong passion of Sandra’s was Highland Dancing, and she would spend many weekends travelling around the State participating in competitions. Naturally, she had cabinets of trophies! I remember her patient nature as she tried, unsuccessfully, to explain the finer points of Trigonometry to me ... something about sines and cosines... The Sciences came easily to Sandra, and her working years were spent in different schools, including Strathy, in the Science Laboratories. Our friendship lasted up until her untimely passing on April 1st this year. Sandra leaves behind a loving family: husband Barry, three sons – Stuart, Alastair and Glenn – and eight grandchildren, to whom she was devoted. Rest in peace, Sandra,

‘Fare Thee Well For I Must Leave Thee’ was the heading in the Strathconian in 1991 that recorded the retirement of Mrs Alison Hamilton. Mrs Hamilton, appointed to the Staff by Rev John Morley, actually began her Strathcona career in 1973 under Mr Ken Lyall, and taught Science, English, Mathematics, General Studies and Christian Education mainly to girls in the middle secondary years. She served as ‘Mistress in Charge’ at Tay Creggan for two years and as Head of Middle School for thirteen years, during which time she gave strong leadership, support and appreciation to her colleagues and was always fair and compassionate with the girls in her care. Two special areas that were dear to her heart were her involvement in the musical program in the school, particularly with the Middle School Choir, and her involvement at camps, often as the catering manager or cook. The successful revival of the Strathcourier in 1990 was in no small measure due to her involvement with its production. Perhaps one of her most lasting legacies is due to her bold request to Mr Lyall that we began to celebrate Easter and Christmas Services at St Dominic’s Catholic Church. Mrs Hamilton always showed true Christian spirit in the way she served Strathcona and the School was richer for her presence. Judy McMaster

Leanne Brooks (’75) Leanne passed away on 19.11.14 aged 53. Leanne is survived by her parents, Joan and Bob and sisters Jeanette (’81) and Jacqueline (’88).

Diana Marshall

upcoming events

Feliciter Connection (Past Staff) Events: Feliciter Connection Annual Dinner Saturday 16 April 2016, Tay Creggan, 7pm. Feliciter Connection Lunch Saturday 5 November 2016, Alowyn Gardens, Yarra Valley.


strathcona alumni art exhibition Opening night 10 February 2016 6.30pm – 8.30pm The Strathcona Art Department, in conjunction with the Old Strathconians Association, proudly invite Old Strathconians and past staff to attend the opening of the first exhibition of artworks by past Strathcona students. Refreshments provided. Family and friends welcome. Pictured artwork by Old Strathconian Laura Osborne

strathcourier | summer 2015


osa news

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strathcourier | summer 2015

special thanks to our donors Building & Maintenance Fund Donations Mr Abbruzzese Mr & Mrs Ahearne Mr Ahn & Ms Yang Mr & Mrs Ameti Mr & Mrs Anderson Mr W & Mrs J Andrew Mr Angarano & Ms White Angarano Ms Angwin Mr Ashton & Ms Sutton Dr & Mrs Astegno Dr Autelitano & Dr Sheppard Mr N A & Mrs A Baker Mr & Dr Bars Mr & Mrs Baruah Mr & Mrs Batty Mr Bellchambers & Ms Anderson Bell Charitable Fund Mr Bing Mr & Mrs Birks Mr & Mrs Bowyer Mr & Mrs Bradley Mr & Mrs Brickler Mr & Mrs Brindley Mr & Mrs Broadfoot Mr Brough & Ms Clark Mr & Mrs Brugliera Mr & Mrs Buckmaster Mr & Mrs Buntine Mr Burt & Ms Dalley Dr & Dr Buttery Mr Byrnes & Ms Wray Mrs Carrington Mrs Cart Prof & Dr Caruso Mr & Mrs Chandler Mr & Mrs Charles Mr Chen & Ms Wen Mr & Mrs Cheng Mr Chiam & Ms Tan Mr & Mrs Christofides Mr & Mrs Ciardulli Mr & Mrs Coloretti Mr & Mrs Cooper Mr & Mrs Cronin Mr & Mrs Crowe Mr & Mrs Curry Mr & Mrs Cuttler Mr Czermak & Ms Deeble Mr Dai & Ms Xie Mr & Mrs Daniels Mr & Mrs Davie Mr Dedoncker & Ms Bennett Mr J & Mrs P Demase Mrs Dempsey Mr & Mrs Devlin Mr Dimattina & Ms Bridges Mr & Mrs Dimitriou Mr & Mrs Dobson Mr & Mrs Dods Dr H Dong & Ms Y Zhu Mr Donovan & Ms Alford Mr & Mrs Doran Mr Dossetor Mr & Mrs Doyle Mr & Mrs Duck Mr Dullard & Ms Meagher

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Mr Kinsella & Mrs Royer Mr & Mrs Lacy Mr Lai & Pastor Seto Mr Lam & Ms W Ip Mr Lategan & Mrs Higgins-Lategan Mr & Mrs Lawson Mr Harcourt & Mrs Li Mr & Mrs Legge Mr Leitch & Ms Iva Mr & Ms Lekkas Mr & Ms Le Page Mr J Lewis Mr & Mrs Li Mr Linehan Mr Lodge & Ms Calderwood Mr & Mrs Logan Mr Looi & Ms Gooi Mr Lorenzen & Ms Sinton Mr Lou & Mrs Gao Dr & Mrs Lovass Mr Lu & Mrs Zhang Dr Ly & Ms Nguyen Mr Lynch & Ms Hunt Mr & Mrs Macafee Mr & Mrs Marks Mr S & Mrs F Marsland Mr G & Mrs M Martin Mr M & Mrs K Martin Mr Mather & Ms Barker Mr & Mrs McGregor Mr & Mrs McHarg Mr & Mrs McKay Mr & Mrs McKee Dr McKenzie & Mrs Hawthorne-McKenzie Mr & Mrs McKnight Mr McLean & Ms Morrissey Mr & Mrs McLeod Ms McRae Mr & Mrs Mellor Mr Milne Mr & Mrs Mirabile Mr Mollica Mr & Mrs Morarty Mr & Mrs Morris Mr & Mrs Moss Mr Mottley & Ms Oakley Mr & Mrs Muirhead Dr Murphy & Ms Coyne Mr & Mrs Murphy Mr & Mrs Murray Mr Newman & Ms Rosemeyer Mr Newman & Ms Brown Mr Ni & Ms Wang Mr & Mrs Norsworthy Mr & Mrs Nutting Mr & Mrs O’Brien Mr & Mrs O’Donnell Mrs O’Keefe Mr & Mrs Oldham Mr & Mrs Orgill Dr Palit & Ms S Lie Mr & Mrs Pappalardo Mr & Mrs Perkins Mr & Mrs Perree Mr & Mrs Perry Mr & Mrs Petroro Mr & Mrs Phillips

Dr Pillay & Ms Crosby Mr & Mrs Pittendrigh Dr & Mrs Prasanna Mr & Mrs Price Mr & Mrs Prior Mr Pucar & Ms Drummond Ms Pugh Mr & Mrs Rae Mr & Mrs Rautenbach Mr & Mrs Rendigs Mr Risardi & Ms Tjandrawansa Mr & Mrs Roberts Mr & Mrs Robertson Mr & Mrs Robinson Mr & Mrs Rodriguez Mr & Mrs Rogers Mr Romanelli & Ms Perry Dr & Dr Rome Mr Roskam & Ms McKay Mr & Mrs Rowe Mr & Mrs Rowland Mrs Rubin Mr & Ms Rudd Mr Rynne Mr & Mrs Saligari Mr & Mrs Senior Rev Setiawan & Ms Surjowidagdo Mr & Mrs Shanmugham Mr Sheldon & Ms Hodgson Mr & Mrs Sheppard Mr & Mrs Sheridan Mr & Mrs Simpson Mr & Mrs Sinclair Mr & Mrs Sinicco Dr Siu & Ms Shang Dr Slack & Ms Harrison Mr & Mrs Smith Mr RG and Mrs KJ Smith Mrs Smith Mr Song & Ms Yu Dr & Mrs Sposato Mr F Steverlynck Mr & Mrs St Leger Mr & Mrs Strauss Dr & Mrs Sturrock Mr & Ms Suttie Mr & Mrs Tanton Mr Tao & Ms Lin Mr Tao & Mrs Guo Mr Te Ngaio & Ms Ware Ms Teese The Executor The Secretary Mr & Mrs Thompson Mr & Mrs Tobin Mr & Mrs Toner Mr & Mrs Tremewen Mr & Mrs Treppo Mr & Mrs Triantopoulos Mr & Mrs Turner Mr & Mrs Vamvakaris Mr J van Dijk & Ms S Hamilton Mr Wing & Ms Anderson Mr & Mrs Walker Mr Walker & Ms Downing Mr Wang & Ms Zhu Mr Wang & Mrs Zhang Mr Watkins & Ms Michaux

Mr Wells & Ms Paton Mr & Mrs West Mr & Mrs Weston Mr & Mrs White Dr Whitehead Mr & Mrs Wild Mr Williams & Ms Kuziv Mr & Mrs Williams Mr Wong & Mrs Pranoto-Wong Mrs Woods Mr & Mrs Worsam Mr J & Mrs C Wright Mr A & Mrs F Wright Mr Yang & Mrs Ni Mr N Yap & Mrs L Tan Mr Yuan & Ms Liang Mr Zeng & Mrs Zhao Mr Zhi & Ms Ma Mr Zhu & Ms Pan Brownlow Breakfast Sponsors Gold – Budget Car & Truck Rental Silver – Bendigo Bank Bronze – Adams Print Bronze – Capital Finance Bronze – Dobsons Bronze – Grant Day James Bronze – Marshall White Bronze – NAB Education & Community Business Bronze – PMDL Bronze – WOW! Travel Contemporary Learning Centre Donations Mr Ando, Principal, Soshin Girls School, Yokohama, Japan Mrs P Chessell Mr Edward & Mrs Elizabeth Cohen Mrs Betty Dixon Mr David & Mrs Ming Donaldson Mr Robert & Mrs Meredith Evans Dr Christopher J Fluke Fiona, Stacy & Amy Freedman Mr Bruce & Mrs Margaret Grant Ms Mary Hall Henderson / Ellis Family Mr Masahiko Hirano, Head of Junior Secondary School, Soshin Girls School, Yokohama, Japan Hunt Family Mrs Setsuko Iijima, Past Principal, Soshin Girls School, Yokohama, Japan Ms A Lee Mr Greg Leyden Mr Peter & Mrs Sarah Merrylees Mr D Smith & Ms T Skilbeck Prof J and Mrs Heather Spicer, nee Watson Old Strathconians Association Opalgate Foundation The Family Association The Wheelton Family Trust Mr Keith Warren & the late Mrs Anne Warren

Strathcona also thanks donors who wish to remain anonymous.

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bring out her best.

Strathcourier Summer 2015  

The Strathcourier magazine is Strathcona's biannual magazine...