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“from a young age, five or six, i just played schools and made up imaginary classrooms in the backyard”

(chris hopkins)

old girls Dr Ursula McHenry (nee McKenna) Associate Professor Dorota M. Gertig Angela Savage Alison DeLuise » P27

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 \ The weekly review 25


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success stories \ siena college old girls

Dr ursula McHenry (nee McKenna)

Associate Professor Dorota M. Gertig

Attended \ Class of 1944

Attended \ Class of 1980

CV \ Doctor, psychiatrist

CV \ Medical director, researcher

Graduating with a science degree in 1952, McHenry was Siena’s first student to complete a tertiary education. After finishing a University of Melbourne degree in 1955, she spent two years as a residential doctor at St Vincent’s Hospital before travelling in Europe. On her return, she worked in St Vincent’s psychiatric unit for 15 years until joining general practice, where she stayed until retiring at 73. McHenry, whose father originally suggested she become a secretary, is full of praise for Siena, which allowed her to be a trailblazer. \

Gertig studied medicine at Monash University before a master’s in clinical epidemiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and a doctorate in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. She instructed at Harvard Medical School before returning to Australia in 2000. She is now medical director of the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry. She is widely published, belongs to national and state committees and has an adjunct appointment at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health. \

Angela savage

Alison DeLuise

Attended \ Class of 1984

Attended \ Class of 1994

CV \ Author, aid worker

CV \ Aid worker

A University of Melbourne arts graduate, Savage did a six-month south-east Asian scholarship in 1992 and stayed for six years, managing an Australian Red Cross HIV/AIDS prevention program. She returned in 1998 and heads Victoria’s Neighbourhood House peak body. Savage’s first novel was Behind the Night Bazaar. It won the 2004 Victorian Premier’s unpublished manuscript award as Thai Died. Savage’s 2010 second novel, The Half-Child, was shortlisted in the 2011 Ned Kelly Awards, and she won the 2011 Scarlet Stiletto for The Teardrop Tattoos. Her latest novel is The Dying Beach. \

DeLuise completed a bachelor of arts and commerce at the University of Melbourne and worked for Qantas before joining Australian Volunteers International in Swaziland. She worked on AusAID’s Papua New Guinea program, returning to Canberra in 2011 as assistant director of food security policy. Last year, DeLuise moved to Rome, where she works with food security research organisation Bioversity International. DeLuise has a master of international development from RMIT and is working on a second master’s in food security/rural development at Australian National University. \

Open Morning Friday 25 October 9.30am to 11.00am Come and see how a Siena education inspires a lifelong love of learning. Our vertical house structure connects girls across year levels, creating a warm and supportive learning place; a place where they feel they belong. For further information and to register for an Open Morning, please visit our website, email office@siena.vic.edu.au or call 9835 0200

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 \ The weekly review 27


class acts \ Cheryl CritChley meets jared hoffmann What did the award include? A money prize, and mention in school assembly. What does winning it mean to you? I was happy that the school encourages and values cultural and international exchanges, while recognising student efforts in areas that aren’t always necessarily the mainstream.

At school I am best at … language-related subjects and humanities. I need to work harder on … the accuracy of my responses in my second languages. I need to learn how to get to the point in responses quickly and effectively.

Was it the first time you’d won something? No, two years before, I won an academic scholarship to Eltham College.

“I am interested in diplomacy, teaching …”

Outside school my interests are … still languages! I go to three external language schools, taking all in all about 10 hours a week of extra language tuition.

My school helps students to do their best by … encouraging and enabling students to figure out what they genuinely enjoy and how best to pursue these interests.

To win it, I had to … write a profile and an application, and go through an interview process.

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I would make the world a better place by … placing a lot of value on language and culture. Sometimes it’s hard in a predominantly monolingual English culture to appreciate foreign cultures in the depth that they deserve. \ ccritchley@theweeklyreview.com.au

When I leave school I want to … work overseas for a while, hopefully in teaching, and travel around the globe. I want to go to university, but I want to jump out into the world first. I am interested in diplomacy, teaching, and maybe language interpretation.

When I won I felt … happy because it helped fund my overseas experience. I didn’t have to worry about money while I was on exchange.

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If I was principal I would improve my school by … maintaining a strong focus on the reality of pressures in the real world, and I would also like to focus on promoting worldliness and awareness of cultural and personal differences, so that the kids and young adults can deal well with conflicts and differences more easily.

My tip for being your best is … to pick things that you love so that regular and consistent efforts don’t feel like a chore. If you are spending lots of time on something that you really enjoy just as part of your daily routine, then you will be able to progress quickly without getting demotivated or burning out.

The award I won was … the Alain Philips Award, which provides $5000 towards a language study exchange. I went to Madrid in Spain.

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My hero is … I don’t really think I have one singular hero that I look up to. I don’t want to become somebody else, I want to become my own person. I look up to many of my teachers and many other adults in my life, but each for different reasons.

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The best thing my school has taught me … is that it is important to find and follow my own interests.

If I could win the Brownlow Medal or an AFL grand final I would choose … I suppose that I would strive for the Brownlow Medal. I love working in teams and with other people, but my main interests are more individual.

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Education \ peta petidis’ Formalzillas form guide … be afraid

truth 4 youth

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T

is the season. The season of shoe ordering, accessory matching, transportation hiring, date choosing, make-up and hair appointing, and of course the crème de la crème of all that is important, dress purchasing! To which season do I refer, you ask? Why, it is the season of school formals. These aren’t just your ordinary socials, these are events of careful planning, assessing and chivalrous organising. Formals are much-anticipated by young boys and girls since beginning their high-school years. They are the all-important evenings of teenhood transforming us into stunning and fashionable socialites. Formals are often associated with events such as weddings. Reception halls hire out to business conferences, cocktail party functions, weddings and … school formals. Limousines advertise for personal transportation to bachelor parties, hen’s nights, weddings and … school formals. And of course dresses are labelled with “wedding and formal wear”. Society does not lie when it partners such serious and spectacular events. For some the school formal may seem an excuse to dress up and eat, much like a wedding, however this is most certainly not the case for young women. Little do you know of the stressful antics of teenage girls, and on the odd occasion even boys, when it comes to formal preparation. The ideal image for the night is changed constantly. “What if I gain weight?” “No,

I don’t like the black any more.” “My shoes are ugly!” “He dumped me, I will be forever alone, everything is ruined.” And, not to mention the competition: “I heard she’s wearing pink – what is she trying to do? She knows that I’m wearing pink!” Besides being a guest – set to run around for months trying to find the perfect evening gown – there are those who must check every detail of preparation to make the Formal memorable. Of course, I’m talking about the girl-dominating members of the formal committee. These girls are not to be meddled with; they could easily be transformed into Formalzillas. It is quite a normal occurrence for one to become said monster. Let’s think about it for a moment; several teenage girls all taking part in formulating the event of the year that will cater for more than 200 people. From experience, being on the formal committee will enrage you. There will come a time when the entire group is pitted against one another and it will feel as though nothing is being done in preparation for the formal itself. So take caution this season, for you could well have a Formalzilla living in your home, or at least, a member of the formal committee. If this is the case, I advise you to comfort her, treasure her, keep reminding her of her fascinating intellect and beauty, but most importantly I suggest you give her a loan. \ Peta,16, a resident of Viewbank, is in year 10 at Viewbank College.

each month, The Weekly Review will publish work from truth 4 youth, a blog by and for young people, funded by banyule youth services. for more information, visit truth4youth. com.au/

september 11, 2013 \ The weekly review 15


Education \ The politics of teaching is a breeze for this young gun, writes Cheryl CritChley

a social thinker

20 The weekly review \ september 11, 2013

(DARRIAN TRAYNOR )

P

olitics would have been a natural career choice was studying for an arts degree majoring in politics and for Martin Costello. philosophy. But he was soon put off by union politics. Not only is he fascinated by social issues and When his uncle’s federal government introduced the rough and tumble of Federal Parliament, voluntary student unionism, Martin joined protests Costello’s uncle, Peter, was Australia’s against it. What happened during his time at Swinburne longest-serving treasurer, and his father, Tim, has spent led to a “complete 360”; he ended up agreeing with Peter. his adult life in the spotlight as a Baptist minister and “As a 20-year-old, that put me off in such a massive World Vision CEO. way,” he says. “I became a bit disillusioned.” Very much his own man politically, the younger With politics off the agenda, Costello was inspired Costello is carving a reputation as a social activist and by paternal grandfather Russell, now 94, to try teaching. dynamic English and history teacher at Haileybury’s His pop had taught politics and history at Carey Brighton campus. He has his own ideas, his own politics Baptist Grammar School for 35 years and loved every and his own engaging personality. minute of it. As a child, Costello was immersed in St Kilda’s Russell told his grandson that teaching was a pre-gentrification social problems as Tim and his wife, wonderful career path, which made a lot of sense as Tim Merridie, ran the local Baptist church from 1986-94. and Merridie had started their working lives as teachers Tim also became St Kilda mayor in 1993. before studying theology. They also helped guide their Their children Claire, 30, Elliot, 28, and Martin, son through this period of transition. 27, grew up with refugees and migrants from many Despite their demanding roles, his parents have backgrounds among their friends. From a young age, always been there for Martin and his siblings. “They they were aware of serious societal issues such as hard played a very active role in our childhood; they were drugs and crippling poverty. pretty strict parents in a lot of ways,” Costello says. St Kilda was just beginning to become But the children were not expected to fulfil a gentrified, so the problems were real. Tim ran particular role; their destiny was their own. “the kids outreach programs including the House of After moving to Deakin University, Costello Hope, a soup kitchen for drug addicts and did an arts/education degree, graduating in really push the homeless. 2010. He applied for three jobs in the private you as a “He didn’t keep it from us,” Costello says. system, winning two of them. He chose teacher” “St Kilda was in a period of transition. We Haileybury, where he started as an English and were exposed to it.” history teacher in 2011. Costello, who attended St Kilda Primary School It has proved to be an inspired move. before it was known for being progressive, enjoyed Haileybury, which celebrated 120 years in 2012, is school and his friendships. He developed a strong social one of Australia’s largest schools with more than 3500 conscience and a love of footy and cricket. students across three campuses – Brighton, Berwick and “It was a very multicultural block,” he says of his Keysborough. Its innovative parallel education model neighbourhood. “All of us kids were united by footy and sees older girls and boys attend separate classes but cricket. I wanted to be full-forward for Essendon. My mingle during breaks and in some VCE subjects. goal and my ambition was to be a football or basketball Costello is based at the Brighton campus. The original player or a cricketer.” opened in 1892 with five staff and 17 students in a From 1995 to 2004, Tim Costello was minister at 22-room mansion on the corner of New Street and Collins Street Baptist Church and executive director of South Road. The school moved down South Road in Urban Seed, a Christian non-profit outreach service for 1932 after buying the Castlefield Estate. the urban poor. Merridie was also heavily involved and, The original 19th-century main building, with its as a lay preacher, often delivered sermons in his absence. castle-inspired design, is still used. We chat in one of its The family continued to live in St Kilda, which is stately meeting rooms, near a framed photo of former now among Melbourne’s hottest suburbs but still has its prime minister Sir Robert Menzies. Politics is never far share of social issues. from a Costello. Costello attended Caulfield Grammar School, then Starting his teaching career at such a large school Sandringham Secondary College for years 11 and 12 so was daunting but exciting. “The first assembly for all he could finish school with his friends. He then decided teachers … had 600 staff,” he says. “(But) it’s a nice to pursue politics. Like his father, he was passionate environment here. They make you feel welcome.” about social justice and further to the left on the Costello teaches years 9-11 and enjoys parallel political spectrum than Peter Costello. education, which started when girls were introduced Keen to change the world, Costello joined the student in the senior school in 2006. They had been welcomed union at Swinburne University of Technology, where he into the junior school in 2000. “It takes away a massive


distraction in the class,” Costello says of single-gender classes. “They’re able to really concentrate on their work. I had even found that with a year 10 class.” Teaching sociology allows this enthusiastic young professional with politics in his blood to explore his passion for social justice. “I love being in the classroom,” he says. “My favourite part of teaching is engaging in ideas. I teach year 11 sociology and we have amazing discussions and debates. It’s a high academic standard and so the kids really … push you as a teacher.” Haileybury also encourages Costello to indulge his inner activist. As a former Urban Seed volunteer, he feels strongly about helping those less privileged. He reinforces this message with his students, who have embraced his causes. Tim Costello has been CEO of World Vision for almost 10 years, so Martin encourages students to join its 40-Hour Famine. Since 2008 Martin has also supported Y Generation Against Poverty (YGAP), a non-profit voluntary organisation run by his brother, Elliot, with Elena Critchley and Alby Tomassi. The group founded YGAP after finding the cost of volunteering overseas prohibitive. Run entirely by volunteers, YGAP oversees projects including a city café, Kinfolk, which donates profits to charities working for youth education and against child trafficking. In 2012, YGAP’s first 5cent campaign collected 1 million five-cent coins for projects in Cambodia, Rwanda and Australia. This year that tripled to 3 million coins worth $150,000. Costello and fellow teachers Aoife Millea and James Sheffield mobilised the Haileybury community to raise $2080 in 2012 and $3060 in 2013. He also recruited 26 other schools in his spare time. “The kids loved it,” he says. “It’s been a tremendous success.” YGAP has provided much satisfaction but also a girlfriend. Costello met his partner, Kate Arnold, 24, at one of its parties three years ago. They also discovered their families knew each other while Costello was growing up in St Kilda. Arnold, who grew up in Port Fairy, is studying occupational therapy and is also interested in social welfare issues, a thread that runs through the whole Costello family, regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum. Still young enough to consider politics in the future, for now Costello is enjoying the best of both worlds. He loves teaching, helps others by organising school welfare projects and enjoys talking politics. He has strong views on his AFL club, Essendon, being caught up in a doping scandal, and does not like the direction Federal Parliament has taken in recent years. “I’m really, really interested in Australian politics and I love it,” he says. “I’m fairly disillusioned at the moment, like the rest.” Costello’s father and uncle continue to have different political outlooks but maintain a good relationship. Peter left Federal Parliament in 2007 and is now chairman of ECG Financial Pty Ltd, a boutique corporate advisory firm. “They’re close enough,” Costello says. “They’re both very strong-minded and strong-willed. I just think they avoid controversial topics.” The main thing that binds this high-achieving extended family is a love of Essendon. All political differences are forgotten when they are at the footy watching their beloved Bombers. “Essendon Football Club has been a uniting force in our family,” Costello says. \ ccritchley@theweeklyreview.com.au » haileybury.com.au » ygap.com.au september 11, 2013 \ The weekly review 21


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