St Margaret’s 125th Anniversary Prayer
Gracious and Holy God,
we thank you for the vision and faith of the Sisters of the Society of Sacred Advent
in establishing St Margaret’s in 1895.
We are ever grateful for their philosophy which has guided St Margaret’s commitment to faith,
academic endeavour, service and extra-curriculum involvement for the last 125 years.
We give you thanks for the work, joy, passion and sense of purpose of all staff, students and parents
who have contributed and supported the spirit of the school - Per Volar Sunata.
As we celebrate the pioneering spirit of those who have gone before us,
we seek your guidance for the next 125 years.
May we remain courageous and strong in spirit
as we continue to uphold the Sisters’ philosophy and legacy.
We ask this in Jesus name, the Holy Spirit and all the encompassing God. Amen.
Anniversaries give us pause to reflect upon the past and contemplate what lies ahead. St Margaret’s was the first school established by the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent, following Sister Caroline Amy’s travels from England on a mission to assist the women and children of the colony. It soon became evident one of the best ways to do this was to provide an education, and so Eton High School, that would be come St Margaret’s, was established. The SSA has always maintained that while academic education was important it must always stand alongside the education of the whole child.
Throughout its 125 years, St Margaret’s has been steadfast in its
commitment to a holistic education. What’s more, and pleasingly, is that the
thousands of well-rounded young women who have passed through its gates have
gone out into the world and are making important contributions in their local and
global communities – contributions that very often minister to the needs of
those less fortunate, thus, in many ways, taking up the mantle of the Sisters’
work. Much of this is learned at St Margaret’s where students are encouraged to
think beyond their own worlds, recognise their privilege and give back to their
communities, and we have seen wonderful projects like the Ponytail Project, Toc
H activities and fundraising for drought-affected families making a real
difference to people’s lives.
This is a compassionate St Margaret’s girl, one with the
confidence to stand up for herself and others and make a contribution to her
community. We look forward to the opportunity to hopefully see many members of
the wider St Margaret's community return to the school in 2020 as we celebrate
the work of all those through the ages who have built such a wonderful school and
look forward to a future and many more St Margaret’s girls going out into the
world and making an impact for good.
2020 will be a most exciting year in St Margaret’s history; not only are we celebrating 125 years of educating girls, but one of the most significant building projects the school has undertaken in recent history – our new sports precinct – will open and we will delight in the educational opportunities it will bring. Fittingly, our enrolments are at an historical high as we celebrate this momentous anniversary.
What has it taken to reach this point in our history?
We have stood on the shoulders of giants who have gone before us and have enacted and upheld the educational philosophy of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent.
We have arrived here on the strength of the St Margaret’s community – the army of students, parents and staff who have written and will continue to write the story of St Margaret’s.
We all add to the fabric and history of the school – let’s work to make our 125th year befitting of those who have gone before us and nurture and grow the legacy for those who will come in the future.
I commend to you the book “Inspired to Fly” which is a reflection on 125 years of educating girls. It is less a history book with endless statistics, although you will learn some interesting historical facts, and more about the people who have lived the St Margaret’s experience and their recollections of their time here, recounted in a most engaging way by renowned journalist and author Madonna King.
I look forward to seeing our current community at the celebrations we have planned for this year and to welcoming back past students, staff and parents.
Per Volar Sunata
the Chair of School Council
How appropriate that in 2020, when we celebrate 125 years as a school, that St Margaret's is in a position of great strength and doing such good work. In this past decade we have seen the school flourish in terms of facilities – from the opening of the Science Centre in 2012, the dedicated Year 7 precinct and new Year 7 boarding wing, the burgeoning of green space in the Barley Sugar Garden and Toorak Gardens, the community hub that is Ms Café, and finally in 2020 the magnificent new sports precinct set to open in July.
Not only have our facilities flourished but so has our community. More Old Girls are connected to the school than ever before; our P&F produce fabulous events where our present, past and future community members gather; and the outreach of the school and foundation to produce the Professional Women’s Network series is not only raising vital bursarial funds, but is bringing the wider business community into our circle.
Enrolments at St Margaret’s have never been higher – all the product of the wonderful work being done by our senior leaders, teachers and support staff, under the guidance and governance of School Council at a strategic level.
Every member of the St Margaret’s community – staff, students, parents, Old Girls and supporters – have added to the fabric and the rich history of St Margaret’s; there is much to celebrate as we reflect on its past, relish in the vibrant school culture of today and plan for a future that takes us from strength to strength.
As an Old Girl, current parent and Council Chair, I look forward to celebrating our 125th year with you all.
the OGA President
Our 125th year will be cause for great celebration, not least the opportunity to reflect upon the thousands of Old Girls who have passed through the gates of St Margaret’s, and gone out into the world. There are Old Girls across the globe achieving in every field and 2020 will provide the opportunity to highlight some of those achievements through our 125 notables project.
We also hope that as many Old Girls as possible will use this anniversary year to reconnect with the school by attending some of the celebrations planned, whether it be the book launch of our 125th year anniversary book “Inspired to Fly” in November this year, the Women’s Lunch in March or the OGA events such as the milestone reunions, OGA Chapel Service and Morning Tea, or an awards evening that will combine our brunch, and announcement of the past student awards and overseas scholarship winners. I look forward to welcoming our alumni back to St Margaret’s in a year when we reflect upon the incredible legacy of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent and our past students who have each contributed to the fabric of the school across 125 years.