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Welcome to the third OGA newsletter for 2022. In this edition we have much to celebrate, reflect on and look forward to. Last month, I had the absolute pleasure to spend the weekend at our school to celebrate St Margaret’s Day, our 2022 reunions, and the Old Girls’ Chapel Service and Morning Tea. The weekend was, as always, filled with many stories and a lot of laughter and reminiscing. There is a wrap-up of this weekend in this newsletter, and I hope all who attended enjoyed their time together.
Congratulations to Wendy Johnston (’79) and Betty Tsang (’92) who won the OGA raffle from the weekend; we hope you enjoy the hampers. Also, thank to those who contributed to the retiring collection in the Chapel - $975 has been given the Reverend Jazz to assist with the upkeep of the Chapel.
In May, the Old Girls’ Association was again a matching donor for the annual Giving Day. Thank you to all Old Girls who contributed on this day, and we look forward to supporting this initiative again in 2023.
For the remainder of the year, the attention of the OGA Committee turns to organising the OGA Cocktail event, an Evening on the Green, in September (details on how to secure your ticket can be found in the events section of this newsletter) and reinstating the OGA Overseas Scholarships for 2023 with the world opening up again for travel.
Thank you to all the members of the OGA who share stories and information for our newsletter. We encourage you all to continue to share updates and information and, if you wish to do so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, thank you to Ros Curtis, Lara Pickering and other staff from St Margaret’s who assist the Old Girls’ Association and thank you also to the members of the OGA Committee who are always ready to assist and support.
Enjoy the updates and stories in this newsletter.
Per Volar Sunata
Nicole Devlin (’90)
St Margaret’s has had a long history of using its values to help communicate the school's story, its mission, standards, and desired outcomes. Interestingly, our six core values only came into existence in 2002.
In 2002, 107 years after its foundation and a steadfast commitment to the SSA philosophy, St Margaret’s chose to embark on a reflective exercise about the nature of the St Margaret’s experience.
Three very important questions were asked:
• What do we value at St Margaret’s?
• What makes St Margaret’s different from other schools?
• What makes a St Margaret’s girl immediately recognisable whether she left school two years ago or 20 years ago?
From this consultation, key values were identified and celebrated for the next twenty years.
A descriptor accompanied each value, and in 2016, there was a slight tweaking of each value’s description, so they read more like an outcome statement for each girl upon graduation. Essentially though, the commentary remained unchanged, and these values continued to be used in classrooms, on assemblies, and promoted in banners around the school. They have served the school well, and this was evident in 2021 when the school undertook a survey and/or consultation with staff, parents, and students to explore if these values still had currency 20 years on. Many other options (which were the result of consultation with staff) were provided to parents and students, and they had to choose those they thought were the most important and relevant for today. The results of this ‘temperature check’ showed a remarkable alignment of key stakeholders with the current school values and provided a ringing endorsement for them in the school context.
However, the value Faith, although still ‘scoring highly’, was overtaken by Inclusivity. In today’s world, being overt in our teaching of inclusivity is more important than ever, but for our Anglican school, simply replacing Faith with Inclusivity was not an option until the school’s Ethos Committee, which has representatives of the SSA as its members, endorsed the view that all our values sit on the bedrock of Faith and perhaps the Faith dimension needed to be reflected more in each value’s descriptor rather than being a stand-alone value.
You will start to see this change (below) reflected in our values whenever they are published.
ST MARGARET’S VALUES
The school’s six core values are born from our Christian faith through our Anglican tradition: spirit, inclusivity, integrity, courage, respect, and passion, and are embedded in every endeavour that the students undertake.
Spirit: A St Margaret’s girl will value and demonstrate an enthusiasm for the school, our faith tradition, and our environment. The St Margaret’s spirit is in all students and is there for life. It is a thread that connects St Margaret’s girls with each other.
Inclusivity: A St Margaret’s girl knows that every single person reflects the image of God and deserves to be treated with dignity. She demonstrates inclusivity by acting with compassion and charity, celebrating the gifts of every individual.
Integrity: A St Margaret’s girl is known for her ethical behaviour. She is honest and reliable and acts with integrity.
Courage: A St Margaret’s girl has strength of character and confidence in doing what is right. She is a part of a long line of women of faith who have had the courage to embrace challenge and change.
Respect: A St Margaret’s girl has respect for herself and others. She understands that she is a member of a diverse community and she takes responsibility as a team member to care, support and cooperate with others.
Passion: A St Margaret’s girl expresses gratitude for the gift of life. She has a positive outlook on life that drives the commitment and persistence necessary in learning and achievement.
These values will continue to shape our school, our staff, our students, and our wider community. They will be continued to be ‘taught and caught’ through explicit teaching, the provision of good example, influential role-modelling, expectation, and publication. Their importance should not be underestimated as they shape the mindsets and ethical behaviours of our future citizens and leaders. This is work St Margaret’s has undertaken for the last 127 years and will continue to do so for the next 127 years!
It was a pleasure to welcome over 400 Old Girls and guests back to St Margaret’s for the annual Reunion Weekend on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July.
The Saturday events first welcomed the 60 year reunion cohort to a luncheon in M’s Café, followed by tours of the school by current boarder students. Five cocktail events were then hosted simultaneously for the 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 year reunion cohorts at venues surrounding circular drive.
The Old Girls’ Day Chapel Service was held on Sunday morning afternoon followed by a delightful morning tea, giving those in attendance another opportunity to catch up and reconnect. The VIP 60+ year reunion luncheon saw over 50 guests treated to a special luncheon on the final day of the reunion celebrations on Sunday 24 July.
Feedback about the Reunion Weekend reflects the happy memories shared by each cohort and that, while the school has grown, the spirit of St Margaret’s remains unchanged. Jane MacLean, class of ‘62, kindly shared her experience of the reunion:
"We held our 60th reunion on the 23rd July and 24 girls attended the luncheon in the M’s Café at St Margaret`s. We enjoyed a delicious meal and during the afternoon several girls spoke about the school. Many of us then went on a conducted tour of the school which we so enjoyed.
Our girls came from many places with one from America, one from Sydney and one from Melbourne, as well as many places in Queensland. Two of us had started at St Margaret’s in 1950 and spent our kindergarten year with Miss Carr.
Many girls expressed their strong feelings for our school and as we grow older, we realize what an enormous influence our school has had in shaping our life. We had great respect for many of our teachers and remember them fondly. St Margaret`s taught us to strive for high ideals, give to society and help others. Be happy and content with what we have. It is not what you achieve in life but what you overcome, that is most important. Inner peace is so important and live every day!
Some of us were able to attend the chapel service for Old Girls’day on the Sunday. It was a very special service enjoyed by all, especially our final hymn O Joyful Light. We then went to the M`s Café for morning tea and girls who had left before us attended a luncheon for students who had left over 60 Years ago.”
Jane Briggs, Class of ‘82, also generously shared her memories of both the reunion and her time at St Margaret’s:
“It was so amazing to attend our 40-year school reunion on Saturday. As Seniors of 1982, we weaved our own thread of the St Margaret’s tapestry during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, each in our own way contributing to the life of the school that we knew back then. I have such fond memories of our final Speech Night at Festival Hall, Wednesday afternoon Clubs where I did a variety of activities from copper enamelling to Yoga, heading to the Arts Theatre on Petrie Terrace to watch St Margaret’s contribution to the Jean Trundle Drama Festival (they always had such a polished performance), and watching the school musicals in Eton Hall where Sonya Ahearn’s pre-schoolers performed alongside senior girls in a wonderful night of entertainment. The curriculum has certainly changed over forty years as have the buildings.
We reaped the benefits from the first new developments at the school with the opening of the Olympic 50m pool in 1969, the opening of Toorak in 1970, which housed the library that we knew and the opening of Avoca in 1975, which was the new building we moved to for years 9 and 10 after our primary years and years 7 and 8 in the Dalhousie block.
Well, the buildings have certainly changed. What amazing developments have now taken place. The magnificent Aquatic Centre, M’s Café where the old biology lab was and the beautiful new Eunice Science and Resource Centre. But what has not changed is the way that St Margaret’s encouraged every one of us to pave our own bespoke way forward. This was so evident at the reunion, hearing of the diverse areas our cohort has worked in over the last 40 years. St Margaret’s did the reunions so well and those that attended all had one thing in common, we are all very proud St Margaret’s Old Girls.”
Roberta Kehren (nee Wragge), Class of ‘72, also reflected on her reunion experience and reconnecting with classmates:
“What a wonderful St Margaret’s 50-Year Reunion! While rising Covid-19 and influenza infections threatened the occasion, around 37 students from our cohort gathered on Circular Drive before moving to our celebration’s venue with its spectacular views of the city.
Shouts of delight rang out with each arrival and recognition of fellow classmates. Decades had passed since many of us had seen each other, yet those years vanished in an instant. The atmosphere was relaxed and joyful. People chatted animatedly with each other, whether they had been in the same class or not, our common link with St Margaret’s giving us an immediate connection.
Thanks to the huge group of friends who helped us to contact as many past students as possible, to Penny Bright, Sandra Lister, and Jan O’Sullivan for helping with the behind-the-scenes preparations, and to Georgia Mitchell from St Margaret’s for pulling it all together
Jan O’Sullivan, a past border, welcomed us with her witty and inspiring speech, reinforcing the atmosphere of camaraderie, giving us the opportunity to reflect on our school years and lives since, and setting the stage beautifully for the remainder of the afternoon. We missed classmates who could not be there but hope that this occasion has fostered re-connections that will continue beyond this one day. I wish there was space enough to print the whole of Jan’s speech (It included seven toasts and much humour!). Bravo to our Class of 1972!”
A special thank you goes to school archivist Mary Surtees for putting together the displays with images from each year. And our team of volunteers who played a huge role in securing up to date contact details for our past students. We would also like to thank everyone who generously donated to the St Margaret’s Foundation Scholarship Fund, collectively raising $1,692 towards needs-based bursaries. These bursaries provide the opportunity of a St Margaret’s education to some girls who otherwise would not have the chance.
Next year we will again host milestone reunion celebrations for the Classes of 2013, 2003, 1993, 1983, 1973, 1963. Once again, the VIP 60+ year luncheon will also be held on the final day of the Reunion Weekend. Dates for the reunions are yet to be announced but please keep an eye out for news about this soon.
Please contact the Development and Community office on (07) 3862 0768 or email@example.com to update your contact details to ensure you are included in Reunion Weekend communications.
Manager – Development and Community
Almost 100 students, six teachers, and two dogs from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School cut their ponytails on Tuesday 2 August to raise funds for cancer.
The students and their furry friends raised over $95,000, adding to an eight-year tally that has now exceeded half a million dollars in donations to the Cancer Council Queensland and the Minotti Trust (established to support the family of a St Margaret’s staff member who lost her life to cancer).
As for the ponytails, they have been made into countless wigs for patients suffering hair loss.
St Margaret’s school dog, Luna, and the Head of Primary School’s dog, Daisy, joined the cause for the first time this year, with both cavoodles being clippered and coiffed by local groomer CC’s Pampered Pups, while the students’ ponytails were cut by hairdressers Ink For Hair. Luna raised over $700 towards the overall fundraising total.
The Ponytail Project was first launched in 2015 by four St Margaret’s students after a member of the school community was diagnosed with cancer. The students were so moved to help, they launched the student-led fundraising initiative called the Ponytail Project, believing that cutting off their ponytails for charity was a small price to pay to support those impacted by cancer.
Sadly, in 2016, St Margaret’s students had even more reason to support the cause after the loss of one of their beloved teachers, who was also a past student, to cancer.
The groundswell of support in its first two years fuelled the drive for the Ponytail Project to become an annual campaign for the St Margaret’s community and, in 2019, the movement was encouraged in schools state-wide after being adopted by Cancer Council Queensland.
Principal Ros Curtis said that giving is a part of the culture at St Margaret’s.
“We encourage our students to develop the practice of lifelong giving through philanthropic activities like the Ponytail Project.
“These opportunities empower the girls to experience how their actions can make a positive difference in the lives of others and inspires them to continue on a journey of giving into their adult lives.
“The Ponytail Project requires the girls to do much more than fundraise and donate money though. It requires the girls to give something of themselves – to donate their own hair.
“I am immensely proud of their willingness to do this in today’s age of technology and social media, where much emphasis can be placed on a young woman’s appearance,” Ms Curtis said.
Cancer Council Queensland General Manager, Fundraising, Marketing and Communication, Ms Meaghan Bush, congratulated the students on another amazing effort, “We are so grateful to St Margaret’s for their unparalleled support of the Ponytail Project since bringing it to life in 2015.”
“Every ponytail chopped makes an incredible impact, with funds raised going towards lifesaving cancer research and essential support services such as counselling, accommodation, and transport services for people living with cancer,” Ms Bush said.
In 1895, the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent established St Margaret’s to give girls the opportunity to be educated, the opportunity of a better future. On our third annual Giving Day, donations to St Margaret’s Foundation helped to continue this tradition for every girl to imagine her future and chase her dreams.
On Wednesday 25 May, donations were DOUBLED by our generous matching donors and will help a generation of young women make their ambitions come true. We are so grateful for and overwhelmed by the generosity of the St Margaret's community.
Together, we raised an extraordinary $325,907 during our 12-hour online campaign to continue to deliver an outstanding educational experience to a generation of young women.
Donations to the Scholarship Fund will, through needs-based bursaries, help us provide a St Margaret’s education to some girls who thought such an opportunity would never exist for them. While those who supported the Building Fund will help us to develop new student amenities, including a new cafeteria and seating area, and learning spaces.
It truly was a whole community effort and we thank you all for your wonderful support.
A special thank you to our Matching Donors, including the OGA and individual Old Girls from our community. These donors matched donations dollar for dollar right through to the completion of our Bonus Round at 9pm.
We would also like to acknowledge the amazing efforts of our students who danced off, held coin drives, sausage sizzles, bake sales and manned the phones to help us spread the word about Giving Day far and wide.
Thank you to all of you who donated on the day, we are so grateful for your support. Our ambitious goal was no match for the St Margaret’s spirit!
We could not have done it without you.
Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement
A kayaker, who nearly drowned in Breakfast Creek in June, was recently reunited with five of the rescuers who saved her life. Incredibly thankful, Sue Beith, said her rescuers should be really proud of what they did. Ms Beith suffered a medical emergency whilst kayaking when St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School rowing coaches, some of the past St Margaret’s students, rescued her from the water before paramedics arrived.
A mother of four children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren, Ms Beith is very grateful to everyone who helped. She said a lot of people were in the right place at the right time that day and without them she probably would not be alive.
Ms Beith said it was a last-minute decision to meet another kayaker on the water, where otherwise she would have been kayaking in a completely different direction, away from the coaches.
Her husband, Roy Beith, said it was good to know there were young people like this around. “It’s just amazing,” he said.
St Margaret’s head rowing coach Jared Bidwell said a big thing to come out of the incident was just how unprepared they were and the fact that they did something was incredible in itself.
The school rowing team is now focused on improving first aid training, water rescue drills and introducing radio communication.
Mr Bidwell said it was a reminder to never take the Brisbane River for granted.
Rowing coach Laura Manly said it was a difficult situation and it was really nice talking with Ms Beith after she had recovered.
As an SES volunteer, Ms Beth said she knew how much was involved in getting someone out of the water.
She said the biggest thing that she had ever taken out of her training with the SES was ‘you just do whatever you can’ and that was what my rescuers did that day.
By Izzy Clark, republished with permission from My Village News.
Congratulations to Principal Ms Ros Curtis who has been named among Australia’s Most Influential Educators of 2022 by The Educator. This outstanding recognition comes just a day after Ms Curtis was named as a finalist in the School Principal of the Year (non-government) category in the prestigious Australian Education Awards along with St Margaret’s being named a finalist in three award categories.
It is most deserved recognition for Ms Curtis whose leadership is making a meaningful impact to the students and staff at St Margaret’s as well as the wider education community.
The prestigious Australian Education Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of the country’s top performing schools. We’re thrilled to announce that St Margaret’s has this year been named a finalist (also known as excellence awardee) in the following categories: School Principal of the Year (non-government), Secondary School of the Year (non-government), Boarding School of the Year and Best Remote Learning Program. The winners will be announced on Friday 12 August.
Our present Panama hat – known simply as ‘the Panama’- is the latest in a long line of head gear which has adorned the heads of St. Margaret’s students.
As the photos below attest, we have had numerous hat and beret styles which have been part of our school uniform over the years.
The Link  mentions a hat for the very first time – ‘Sailor hats with badges are now the order of the day’.
Miss Lyon, in a letter home to the IVB Form from England in 1913, writes that she hopes ‘Old Girls are all working hard to make the new ones like wearing our sports dress and our proper hats’.
The hat that is worn today, came into existence in the late 1980’s, replacing an earlier version of the Panama. As to why it has always been referred to as ‘the Panama’, very little information exists. The genuine Panama hat which came into fashion in the early 1900’s was a brimmed straw hat that was, in fact, made in Ecuador. In the early 19th century, they were exported through the Isthmus of Panama for international distribution and subsequently became known by the name of the international distribution point rather then, after the country of origin.
Our Panama is a very distinctive head piece, the crowning glory to our traditional uniform. Which head gear did you wear during your time at St Margaret’s?
Ms Mary Surtees
We have a long and proud history at St Margaret’s. While we have photographic evidence and tangible reminders of that history, we have another, as yet, untapped resource – Old Girls’ memories and stories.
If you are interested in sharing your memories from your time at St Margaret’s through the Archive Centre’s Oral Histories Project, please contact Ms Mary Surtees via firstname.lastname@example.org or (07) 3862 0816. You can share your stories as a single person, or a family group – i.e., sisters or grandmothers, mothers and daughters, or groups of your own cohort.
Do you have items from your time at St Margaret’s that are too precious to be thrown out, but you are unsure if you want to keep them any longer? If so, please contact Mary Surtees from the Archive Centre via email@example.com or (07) 3862 0816. There may be a chance that the Archive Centre could make use of these items.
In November, St Martin’s War Memorial Hospital will celebrate its centenary.
This is a place very closely associated with the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent, and they have been asked to participate in the function being organised.
If there are any Old Girls who nursed or who were employed at St Martin’s or whose mothers/fathers worked there (in any capacity), we would love to hear from you. Please contact Mary Surtees via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (07) 3862 0816.
Two St Margaret’s Old Girls, Lily Alton (’15) and Lilee Lunee (’16), recently travelled to the United Kingdom as members of the first Queensland women’s rowing crew to ever race at the Henley Royal Regatta. Racing for the Barbarians Rowing Club, the girls contested the Wargrave Challenge. This competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world and a career goal for many athletes, even those who have achieved Olympic success.
Their crew achieved an outstanding result, losing only to the ultimate winners of the Wargrave Challenge and recording the second fastest time in their division.
2022 is proving to be a big year for Lily and Lilee, as, in addition to their achievements at Henley, the girls were also selected in the Queensland Interstate Women’s Eight and raced for Queensland at the Australian Rowing Championships in April. Both Lily and Lilee are currently working towards selection for the National Training Centre (the rowing equivalent to the Australian Institute of Sport), which would lead to further opportunities to compete at the international level. On top of rowing, Lily and Lilee also juggle study and work commitments, with Lily recently completing a degree in exercise and nutritional science and Lilee currently studying dietetics.
It is no surprise that Lily and Lilee were both stars of the St Margaret’s rowing program. They credit their time at the school for fostering their love for rowing and encouraging them to dream big. They are certainly two Old Girls to watch! We wish them all the best for their future endeavours and congratulate them on all of their achievements so far.
The team arrived in Henley-on-Thames a little over a week prior to racing commencing to have a chance to acclimatise and train on the course. Here they are proudly wearing our Queensland Academy of Sport kit for a training row.
Our crew, with coaches Ned Draydon, who coached the St Margaret’s 1st VIII when Lily and Lilee were in school, and Phil Bourguignon, who has recently been announced as the new Head Coach of The University of Queensland Boat Club.
By Georgina Papworth (’11)
St Margaret’s congratulates the Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington who was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours for significant service to the judiciary and to the law, and to legal education.
The Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington (nee Johnstone) is the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission.
Prior to her appointment to the Federal Court of Australia, Justice Derrington was the Dean of Law at The University of Queensland and a barrister specialised in maritime and shipping law, general commercial law and arbitration. Appointed in 2013, Justice Derrington was the first female Dean of the School.
A graduate of The University of Queensland, Justice Derrington commenced legal practice in 1990 when she was admitted to the Queensland Bar. She was an associate to The Honourable Desmond Derrington QC, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, and the inaugural associate to The Honourable Tony Fitzgerald AC QC, former President of the Queensland Court of Appeal. At the Bar, Professor Derrington practiced in the areas of shipping & maritime law, commercial law, insurance and insolvency law. She is a leader in international arbitration and maritime law, and her research interests lie in the areas of admiralty jurisdiction and practice, the carriage of goods by sea, and marine insurance.
Justice Derrington was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2009 and of the Nautical Institute in 2013. She is a Past President of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and continues to represent Australia and New Zealand in various international working groups of the Comité Maritime International (CMI), of which she was appointed a Titular Member in 2016. Between 2012 and 2017, she served on the board of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. She has been a member of the Admiralty Rules Committee since 2006, and continues to serve on the Councils of the Australian Maritime College and the Australian National Maritime Museum.
She attended St Margaret's in her senior years after previously attending St Anne's School in Townsville, Mentone Girls’ Grammar in Melbourne, and St Hilda’s, Southport. She particularly enjoyed German and Ancient History subjects and appreciated the direction given by those teachers and her long association with Sister Chaseley-Anne who had been headmistress at St Anne’s.
Meet Diann Eadeh (’68) and find out about her current projects and goals, her thoughts on NAIDOC Week and “Being Together: Embracing Joy”, how St Margaret’s helped equip her for a life of service, how St John’s Crisis Centre and St Peter’s, Southport are working together to support mothers and children, and what person of faith inspires her the most and why.
Where do you currently live and work?
I live in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. Since retiring 12 years ago, I have volunteered for a number of organisations. I am currently working as a volunteer at St John’s Crisis Centre, which is an outreach of St John’s Anglican Church, Surfers Paradise.
What is your current role, including any voluntary roles, and what does your role involve?
I’ve been the St John’s Crisis Centre Welfare Manager for several years and President of the Board for two years. Both roles are undertaken in a voluntary capacity. Some of my key activities include interviewing people who approach us in a crisis and helping to identify the best way to assist them; referring people to other services; giving presentations to schools and organisations about St John’s; supervising university and TAFE students doing placements; assisting with the free daily lunch service; sourcing items for welfare packages; organising Christmas hampers; and, fundraising.
I see my role as assisting our clients in achieving self-sustainability and increasing St John’s supporting activities, so they are commensurate with the ever-increasing needs of our community.
How long have you been involved in the Anglican Church and in what roles?
My high school years were spent at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot, which has a reputation for empowering students to achieve whatever they set their minds to. The school gave me a greater sense of caring and I see my roles at St John’s Crisis Centre as the culmination of God’s plan for me.
What is the mission and purpose of St John’s Crisis Centre?
Our mission is to assist any vulnerable and disadvantaged person in our community. Our Crisis Centre respects each and every client and is not judgemental.
You were awarded 2021 Volunteer of The Year for the Gold Coast – what did this recognition mean to you and the St John’s Crisis Centre team?
I see the achievement of Gold Coast Volunteer of the Year as recognition of the team effort provided by St John’s Crisis Centre in supporting those in need. It demonstrated to us that what we do is valued by the wider community.
What projects and activities are you currently working on?
One of the scourges of our society is the prevalence of domestic and family violence. Providing safe temporary accommodation for these survivors is an absolute priority of the crisis centre. This is becoming increasingly difficult with the lack of available and affordable housing. Consequently, there are an increasing number of women sleeping in their cars with their children.
In partnership with St Peter’s, Southport and the Diocese of Brisbane, two units purchased by St Peter’s are providing emergency accommodation for mothers fleeing domestic and family violence with their children through St John’s Crisis Centre.
What has been one of the highlights of your time in your role as Welfare Manager and President of St John’s Crisis Centre?
The two units are housing two families. Knowing that one of these families can sleep safely without threat of violence and knowing that the other family has beds to sleep in instead of their car, has brought relief to all of us at the centre.
What have been the key challenges of your roles so far and how have you worked through these?
We are constantly trying to source the funds to achieve the almost impossible with respect to the varied needs of our clients, whether it be providing accommodation or money for car registrations, school uniforms and fees, utility bills, or simply to put food on the table. To have been in a position to positively change one person’s world gives us the strength to continue God’s Mission.
What are your plans and goals for the next 12 months?
We will continue our search for corporate sponsors to help fund safe, transitional accommodation for various groups of vulnerable clients in crisis who have “fallen through the cracks”.
Can you tell us a little about your personal faith journey?
I am fortunate to have been a part of a loving family whose support has given me the strength to address the needs of financially and emotionally disadvantaged people, potential suicide victims, clients impacted by domestic violence, mental health sufferers and people who are homeless. Without faith, none of this could be achieved. My faith gives me the strength I need.
How does your faith inspire you and shape your outlook, life choices and character?
I believe God has given me such direction in life and the optimism and courage to achieve beneficial outcomes for others.
What is your favourite scripture and why?
The Sermon on the Mount because it encapsulates the best goals for humanity.
What person of faith inspires you the most and why?
Mother Teresa was a totally selfless human being who shared and practised the Word of God.
2022’s Diocesan theme is “Being Together: Embracing Joy”. What are some practical ways that we can celebrate the way differences help to make us whole and the importance of diversity in our unity?
By doing what we do at St John’s, the smiles on the faces of our clients reinforces the humanity of what Jesus preached. During COVID-19 lockdowns our daily free lunches were served via takeaway. Now that we have returned to daily sit-down lunches, we are reminded of how important face-to-face conversations over a meal is.
Why is Reconciliation with First Nations peoples important?
It is and always will be their Country. Their Country was occupied and their children taken from their families. Christians need to be a part of reconciling this history.
What is it important to celebrate NAIDOC Week?
I think it’s important that the cultures and achievements of First Nations peoples are recognised and celebrated in a dedicated week annually.
What are the primary strengths of the Church and what is the best way to make the most of these for the benefit of our communities?
The primary strength of the Church is that it gets out and practises what it preaches. This, in turn, benefits that part of the community that our Centre tries to support.
What is the kindest gesture you have ever received or witnessed?
We have a sponsor who kindly donates cash each Christmas for us to share with specific clients who are really doing it tough. This sharing is what the Christmas spirit is all about.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
When I was volunteering at the Queensland Cancer Fund, I heard the words, “Walk where they are”. Empathy is my guiding principle.
What do you do in your free time to recharge and relax?
I enjoy long walks on the beach and spending time with my family.
If you found yourself on a deserted island, what three things would you choose to have with you?
Two bottles of wine, a chardonnay and a red, and a corkscrew.
Where do you do your best thinking?
When I’m walking along the beach. The sound of the waves clears the debris, so I can focus.
What is your karaoke go-to song?
None…my family won’t let me sing. When my son was two years old, he said, “Mummy, please don’t sing.”
What book have you given away most as a gift and why?
A book I wrote called A Life in the Day of Diann Eadeh that supports people who find out they were adopted later in life. I was 55 when I found out I was adopted. I knew that if I didn’t write it all down, that I would forget the details.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Cheese. A hard Italian cheese.
Editor’s note: If you would like to find out more about St John’s Crisis Centre, visit their website or contact Dianne Kozik for a tour of the centre. If you would like to donate either a one-off amount or monthly, please visit the St John’s Crisis Centre website or contact Dianne Kozik on (07) 5531 6013 or via email@example.com (please leave a message – phone sometimes aren’t answered when the St John’s team are helping people face to face). If you are in immediate danger, call 000 for police or ambulance help. For a list of helplines and websites available to women, children and men, visit this page on the Queensland Government website.
Year 11 class of St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in 1967, with Diann Eadeh née Browning seated front row, far left.
“A 1968 newspaper photo of Year 12 St Margaret’s students with French texts in hand prepping for our final exams – I am pictured far right” (Diann Eadeh née Browning)
In this edition we acknowledge the passing of Old Girls, Jan McGuire née Murray (’65), Jill Douglas Perrin née Neilsen (’52), Sheila Elwyn Box née Kirkley (‘48) and Margaret Robina Sandford née Robertson (‘69).
Vale: Jan McGuire née Murray (’65)
On 4 July 2022, Jan McGuire (nee Murray) passed away peacefully after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer.
Jan attended St Margaret’s from 1962 – 1963. She talked of her years at the school with great fondness and the friendships she made during those years were everlasting. She loved being part of the school family. Her sporting abilities in athletics and swimming led her to be part of the inter school and Tennyson House teams.
Jan left St Margaret’s in 1963 to enter the banking industry where she became the first female teller in Australia.
Jan was the loving wife to Dennis, mother to Nicholas, Simon, Sophie and Bettina; and devoted grandmother to eleven grandchildren. Three of her grandchildren are currently enrolled at St Margaret’s; Lucy Cameron in Year 9, Annabel Cameron in Year 7 and Amelia Martyr in Year 5.
Her beautiful sunny nature and generous spirit will be sadly missed.
By Sophie Cameron (’93) and Nanette Morgan (’65)
Vale: Jill Douglas Perren née Neilsen (’52)
Richer Than Gold by Strickland Gillian
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a mother who read to me.
I found this poem and knew I had to use it because the greatest gift mum gave to me (and many other children) was the ability to read. In fact, I can’t recall not being able to read. Some of my earliest memories are sitting with mum and Jim as she taught him reading from flashcards. She and dad made sure Jim and I got the best education, and I am very grateful.
Mum was an educator, it was who she was, and what she did. She loved to learn, and she loved to share her passion. Her greatest passion was teaching small children to read, write, and play recorder. She gave everything to her teaching role, and it occupied every bit of her life. I have memories of mum marking papers in the car (while waiting for us to finish a music or dance class), after dinner, and often well into the evenings.
Mum’s treasures were a myriad of classroom photos of the children she had taught, and numerous thank you letters from their parents, thanking her for her work. They filled a three-drawer filing cabinet, a testament to her life’s work.
Thank you, Mum, for giving so many of us the best opportunity to live good and prosperous lives.
By Megan Leavy (’78)
Vale: Sheila Elwyn Box née Kirkley (‘48)
Sheila attended St Margaret’s for only one year, in 1946, and was in Milton House.
She was a regular worshipper at St Clement’s On the Hill Church at Stafford Heights and was very proud of her friendships among her Church friends, including Dawn Jones (’44) née Rees.
When the VIP 60+ Year Reunion Luncheons began in 2008, she became a regular guest. Every year, on her arrival, her face beamed with a joyous smile. Sheila will always be remembered as a lover of hats, which she wore to every St Margaret’s gathering.
In her honour, a number of women who paid their respects at her funeral also wore hats and a hat was placed on her casket.
The Past Student Awards have been established to both recognise the many achievements of St Margaret's Past Students, both professionally and personally. They are also used to celebrate the diverse achievements of Past Students and provide an opportunity to share stories of success. Nominations are now open.
There are two award categories:
Thursday 18 August | 7.00am - 8.45am
Join us for the third Professional Women's Network Breakfast for 2022. Hear from Heidi Cooper, CEO of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ), as guest speaker. This is a steadfast and inspirational opportunity for professionals at all stages of their career to expand their network. Attendance at PWN events may qualify for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.
Saturday 24 September | 6.00pm - 9.00pm
Join us for the OGA Cocktail Event, an “Evening on the Green’! Enjoy a cocktail on arrival, drinks package, gourmet food truck delights, live music, and a chance to catch up underneath the stars. This event provides a great opportunity for past students to reconnect beyond their reunion years.
All Old Girls are welcome to attend the OGA Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 25 October 2022. If you are based in Brisbane or this meeting coincides with a visit, we hope you will join us to learn more about how you can connect or volunteer with the Old Girls' Association.
Contact Our Admissions Team
An independent day and boarding school for girls from Pre-Prep to Year 12; Boarding from Year 5; Boys Pre-Prep
A School of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent St Margaret's School Council Ltd ABN: 69069684019 CRICOS Code: 00511K
The St Margaret’s community acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we gather each day. We pay our respects to the Elders past and present, for they hold the memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.