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Welcome to the third edition of the Old Girls' eNews for 2020. It was a very quiet July with no Chapel and Morning Tea or Reunion Weekend. We were hopeful we could run the reunions later in the year; however, as with many best paid plans in 2020, it has been decided to postpone the reunions until next year due to travel restrictions for many of our members. I am thankful to the school for trying to run these events and we will continue to support the school's Development and Community Office as they look for dates for two reunion weekends in 2021.
However, we are still planning to run the OGA function on Saturday 24 October. We are hoping to send out invites later this month once we have ensured our event complies with COVID-safe plans. We are looking at how we can run this event with a live audience as well as having an element of live streaming so we, as an association, can connect at least once this year! For this event to be a success, can I remind you all to please continue to send in your nominations for this year's Past Student Awards. The nomination process is quick and simple the link for nominating can be found later in this newsletter.
Finally, I would like to share with you all a history of the Presidents of St Margaret’s Old Girls' Association. This was prepared by Libby Black (Stanley 1968) and the information confirmed by School Archivist Bronwyn Perry, August 2019 and current as of 2020. Thank you to Libby and Bronwyn for their work on this.
History of the Presidents of St Margaret’s Old Girls' Association
1910 - St Margaret’s Old Girls' Association was formed with the School Principal, Miss Lyon, as the President(The Link, April 1910)
The School Principal continued being the President of the OGA until 1922. Old Girls (past students) were elected to the role of Vice President - as first noted in The Link of 1917 (The Link, May 1917, pg 9)
1922 - The Mother Superior (Sister in Charge SSA - Society of the Sacred Advent) was made the President of the OGA (The Link, June 1922, pg 24) and this continued until 1968.
1968 - The School Principal became the President of the OGA and the Mother Superior became the Patron of the OGA - a new role as noted at the AGM that Mother Lois suggested that the Sister-in-Charge rather than the Mother Superior be President of the OGA (The Link, Dec 1968, pg 89)
1978 - This was the first year that an Old Girl (Lee Smith nee Crust 1966) became President of the OGA. (The Link, Dec 1978, pg 36). The Patron was Mother Joan and Vice Patron was the School Principal, Mrs Kugelman. Old Girls have since continued in the President and Vice Presidents roles.This pattern of OGA office bearers continues until the present day.
Old Girls as Presidents of the OGA.
There are ten Old Girls who have been in this role from 1978-2020.
Due to the constraints of the COVID Safe plan we are required to follow for events, a scaled back official opening of the sports precinct will take place on Wednesday 26 August. Despite having to limit the number of people attending, the event promises to be a most significant one in our 125th anniversary year. The Sports Precinct, incorporating the Philip Harris Gym, will be officially opened by His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC Governor of Queensland and dedicated by His Grace the Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall.
We asked some of our HPE and sports staff what they were most looking forward to about the new sports precinct.
Morgan Rowe, our Co-ordinator of Primary Sports and Activities said: “I am excited about the opening of the new sports precinct, and the opportunities it will provide for the students from Pre-prep to Year 12. Watching the students challenge themselves on the rock-climbing wall will be a highlight. With both Primary and Secondary sport staff sharing office space, the ability to effortlessly collaborate will be a great step forward.”
Head of Rowing Jared Bidwell said: “The new sports precinct will put everything at our fingertips to optimise performance. This facility will allow us to take our tried and tested knowledge base and incorporate modern sports science research in our training programs. We will be more efficient with our use of time due to the well-planned layout which will allow St Margaret’s Rowing to continue to grow and improve.”
Gayle Coutts, Head of Netball, said what first came to mind when she thought about the new sports precinct was the vision of a strong skilled netball player wearing the Maggies netball dress flying across the court and leaping high in to the air and landing on the most modern sprung timber flooring.
“My vision then turns to our newest and smallest players being able to walk out of their classrooms and straight onto the courts to be greeted by coaches ready to train and cultivate in them a love sport. Personally, I cannot wait to design my first coaching session for my team, collect my well organised equipment and train in this wonderful new bright and airy environment. I am asking for excellence from out NETS (Netball excellence training squad) and they will be surrounded by an excellent venue in which to prepare. With the growth in netball, the extra court and training facilities could not have come at a better time,” Gayle said.
Primary HPE teacher Suzy Edwards said the facilities “are phenomenal”.
“They will provide such wonderful opportunities for the students first and foremost, as well as for the staff and the wider community. What a wonderful environment it will be for all our students to develop a life-long love of leading an active and healthy lifestyle. The new staffroom will create the opportunity for all HPE teachers and sports staff, across both the primary and secondary schools, to work even more closely together on both curriculum and sporting goals.
“I’m not sure who will be more excited come opening day…me or the girls,” Suzy said.
The last word goes to Old Girl and Head of Sport, Helen Lobegeiger ‘96, who says the news sports centre “is a space that is dedicated to being physically active. It will enable us to offer programs that have not been possible before such as a full-time aquatics program, inclusive of Learn-to-Swim and a Swimming Club. The Strength and Conditioning room and the rock-climbing wall will provide a platform for girls to develop confidence and competencies that will positively affect their health and wellbeing. I believe this is a space where great things can be achieved where we as staff can now nurture a range of programs that will cater for every girl from sport, fitness, training to health and wellness due to the resources now available to us.”
Encompassing nearly one-third of our campus, the new Sport Centre is indeed an important and inspirational addition to resources at St Margaret’s.
Per Volar Sunata,
I am honoured to have taken over the role of Director of Philanthropy and Stakeholder Engagement, whilst Lara Pickering is on maternity leave. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know the St Margaret’s community, and see first-hand the passion and dedication to advancement and investment in the quality of education offered to students.
It is an exciting opportunity for me to bring my previous experience to such a wonderful school, steeped in history, underpinned by the vision of preparing young women for further education and for the challenges of life beyond that.
Prior to joining St Margaret’s, I held management positions at the National Breast Cancer Foundation, most recently in Philanthropy, where I was responsible for a portfolio of high net worth donors across Australia. Previous to this I worked in corporate partnerships, developing relationships with a wide range of corporate clients looking to align themselves with medical research.
I spent the first decade of my career in talent acquisition and executive search, and in addition worked as Strategic Partnerships Manager for Queensland Law Society, managing a complex calendar of events annually, securing all incoming and outgoing sponsorships.
I look forward to meeting as many of St Margaret’s Alumni as I can, and continue to work closely with Bronwyn Small, Development and Community Engagement Assistant.
Thank you for your ongoing support of St Margaret’s and continued engagement with the Old Girls Association.
During her time at St Margaret’s, Kate Mann (’14) embraced school life being a member of the Student Representative Council in Years 10 – 12 and participated in a variety of extracurricular sport activities including QGSSSA netball and softball. Kate enjoyed school musicals Oliver and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, in addition to being involved in speech and drama, Encorah, Elavarsi. As an ambassador to La Boite Theatre Company in Year 12, Kate was also appointed St Margaret’s Drama Captain.
During Year 11 and 12, she enjoyed the opportunity to take a variety of subjects which she says widened her general knowledge and prepared her for the real world: English, Mathematics B, Geography, Chemistry, Drama and Economics.
When deciding on her elective subjects for her senior years, Kate included Economics somewhat as an afterthought, not knowing too much about what it would entail. She credits the teachers at St Margaret’s, in particular Ms Morris, Ms Gerlach, Mr Peinke, Mr Carson and Mrs Bowen for giving her confidence in her abilities and inspiring her to consider a career in economics. In Year 12 Kate was awarded the Morgan’s Financial Ltd Prize for Economics, the Queensland Theatre Company Prize for Drama, Honours and the Bingemann Cup for Outstanding Contribution to Drama.
Kate went on to study a Bachelor of Advanced Finance & Economics (Honours) at the University of Queensland. This degree was introduced at UQ in 2016 for students keen to carve out a legacy in the fields of finance and economics. Graduating in 2019, Kate achieved First Class Honours and was awarded a University Medal, which is awarded to the top 5% of First Class Honours graduates who have shown sustained academic excellence throughout the degree course.
In February this year Kate moved to Sydney and commenced a role as a Corporate Advisory Analyst at Lazard, one of the world’s preeminent corporate advisory and asset management firms. She enjoys being part of such a fast-paced industry which requires you to be switched on and keep up with market conditions and also feels fortunate to have the support of some wonderful female mentors at this stage of her career in what has historically been a male-dominated profession. Kate is grateful to St Margaret’s for empowering her to turn her “sixth subject” into an exciting career path.
One of the positives to come out of COVID 19 for a group of St Margaret’s Old Girls from ’66 has been the opportunity to reconnect via Zoom for weekly conversations.
From a village outside Bristol to Sydney and Brisbane the internet has provided Helen, Norma, Carolyn, Alyson M, Susan, and Allyson B, a chance to laugh, share stories and socialise from the comfort of their homes. Showcasing another example of the many long- term friendships to come from attending St Margaret’s.
Clockwise from top left: Helen Brunner (nee Scholes), Norma Tucker (nee Wight), Carolyn Knight (nee Lamb) Alyson Marsden (nee Blaikie), Susan Scheiwe (nee Austin), and Allyson Birch (nee Mabb).
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:
Nominations close Friday 4 September and winners will be presented at the OGA Awards Cocktail Evening on Saturday 24 October 2020.
God of Holy Dreaming, we thankfully remember the life of St Margaret of Antioch, a woman of courage and great boldness. May we, with all your saints, and the many St Margaret’s girls who have gone before us, find an eternal home with you. May we live our lives following the example of the faithful:
Emma Hay 2000, Jennifer Morgan (nee Crouch) 1958, Susan Layt (nee Drummond) 1961, Cheryl Walker 1972, Deborah Law (nee Arthur) 1956, Suzanne Rice (nee Cook) 1956, Judy Spork (nee Heuschele) 1956, Madonna Haughtey (nee Hedberg) 1974, Dorothy Somerset (nee Harrison) 1946, Margaret Bartlett (nee Toon) 1952, Patricia Hamilton (nee Durham) 1963, Alison Lewis (nee Garven) 1973, Robyn Jobst (nee Dixon) 1961, Patricia Donovan (nee Leather) 1970, Dawne Barnett (nee Brown) 1942, Dorothy Dyson (nee Cullimore) 1954, Judy Greaves (nee Jessup) 1957, Christina Hosier 1982, Hazel May Daniel (nee Smith) not known, Pamela Richards (nee Hay) 1950, Jennifer Morgan (nee Crouch) 1958, Elizabeth Walhain (Amey) 1966, Beth Willis ('86).
St Margaret’s past student, Cheryl Lynnette Walker, passed away on May 9, 2020 in Fairfield, California where she had recently relocated. A native Australian who travelled extensively throughout the world, Cheryl made the United States her permanent home in 2010. Cheryl attended medical school in her birth country, but ultimately left that endeavor, choosing instead to pursue a Business degree. She worked in the Financial Districts of Sydney, Los Angeles and San Francisco, managing law offices and accounting firms. Cheryl always felt a calling to assist others, especially un-empowered women. She made a break from the traditional corporate world and pivoted to a life as both an entrepreneur and designer of fine jewellery working successfully as a business consultant, jewellery and crystals merchant and life coach. Cheryl had been a psychic since birth and perceived and saw individual's energy field. She worked in such fields as finding missing children and turning those facing death back to engaging life. Cheryl is survived by her family in Australia, a far-flung group of devoted friends and colleagues across the globe, and her cadre of "scallywags" that saw to her care in the months preceding her death. May she rest in peace.
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Jun. 7, 2020.
The wings of school friendship span decades and oceans and our reunion weekends are much anticipated by so many of our Old Girls. As you are aware, we had rescheduled our reunion weekend once in 2020, in the hope that when September came around borders would be open and Old Girls the nation over could have attended. There was a glimmer of hope albeit briefly this might be possible, but with noises now being made by political leaders that our borders may remain closed until Christmas time and with many of you expressing, if this was the case, you would prefer to wait until more of your cohort can attend, we have decided to postpone the reunion weekend to next year (when we will aim for two reunion weekends).
We won’t set a date at this stage and will need to see what the next few months bring. Thank you to everyone who has written to us; you have given us clarity about your preferred course of action. Keep in touch; keep your contact details up to date and we hope to see many more of you in 2021.
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An independent day and boarding school for girls from Pre-Prep to Year 12; Boarding from Year 5; Boys Pre-Prep and Prep
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