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Welcome to the third edition of the Old Girls' eNewsletter for 2019. It is hard to believe that we are already past the halfway mark of 2019. Thank you to the association members for your kind words about the new format of the OGA newsletter. I do hope again you find this edition a worthy conduit to connect you back to your school.
The last few months have been very active for the Old Girls' Committee. The Reunion Weekend and Old Girls' Chapel and Morning Tea were well attended and even though I missed the events this year all reports have been positive. Thank you to Sally Thomson (Vice President), Norma Tucker (Secretary) and Jacky Garnsworthy, Anna Davidson, Jennifer Leavey and Louise Gustafsson (Committee Members) for their hard work and support in organising the Chapel and Morning Tea. Thanks, must also go to Lara Pickering, Bronwyn Small, Julie Gibbons (from the Development and Community Office) and Kari Potts and Scott Johnson (from the Functions and Catering team). Your assistance again was much appreciated by the OGA Committee. To find out more about the Chapel and Morning Tea, please click on the link within this newsletter.
June also saw the awarding of the OGA Overseas Scholarships for 2019/2020. These scholarships are provided by the OGA and are available for past students who wish to study an undergraduate or postgraduate course overseas. This year I am pleased to announce that we have awarded Scholarships to Annabelle Crossley (’15) and Lucy Tuffley (’16). Annabelle is attending Science Po in Paris where she is completing a semester of study to supplement her Bachelor of International Studies (University of Queensland). Lucy is completing a semester of study at Amsterdam University College of Liberal Arts to supplement her study of a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Queensland. Congratulations to these worthy recipients; the OGA is proud to support them in their endeavours. I look forward to sharing with you a report from the girls about their study experience.
The OGA Committee continues to work together to plan future events. Currently we are working with the school to plan for the 125th birthday celebrations of the school in 2020. I hope to be able to confirm dates and events you are all invited to next year to celebrate this significant event. Remember also to note in your calendar the Sunday 27 October. This is the date of the annual OGA Brunch, and I look forward to welcoming you all to this event.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter and I encourage you to share your or your friends’ stories through the ‘Share’ link in this newsletter.
If you have any other suggestions, please also feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am looking forward again to connecting more with all of you and connecting you back to St Margaret’s.
I am writing my contribution to the Old Girls’ Association newsletter in August, which has been a very busy month in the school. For those who keep up with us on Facebook, you would be aware of just how busy the school has been.
It started with the Ponytail Project which many of you know, since its beginnings in 2015, has become a signature event at St Margaret’s.This activity is very much led by the students themselves. Not only did the students cut their hair and donate it to make wigs and fringes for those suffering hair loss due to cancer treatment, but they raised over $94 000, for the Cancer Council Queensland and the Amanda Minotti Trust, which supports the education of the children of past student and past staff member Amanda Minotti.
We also had the Turning of the Soil ceremony to show our donors the progress on the new Sports Precinct. The Hon. Grace Grace, Minister for Education, and local member Tim Nicholls were part of the celebration and the site under construction was open to a special viewing by the guests in attendance. The project is still on track for a June 2020 completion.
As many of you are aware on Friday 16 August, we were named the Boarding School of the Year (joint winners with Wesley College in Perth) for 2019 at the Australian Education Awards. This national award is a wonderful recognition of the efforts made in our boarding school to cater for the educational and social and emotional needs of 175 students from Years 6 through to 12. Many of our past boarders (from the past 10 years) would know Lesa Fowler, our Head of Boarding; under her leadership, a team of outstanding staff work with dedication every day to make the boarding house a harmonious, supportive and happy community.
Classics in the Cathedral is always a wonderful August event and this year was no exception. Mr Brad King, our Head of Performance, led a very committed and talented group of staff and students through an inspiring performance on Tuesday 13 August.
Also, in the arts area, we held our Long Lunch for the Friends of Mayo, a group of parents and community members committed to increasing the St Margaret’s art collection, not just to improve the aesthetics of the campus but for teaching purposes as well. Over 95 people came to the gallery in the Arts Centre and enjoyed an eleven-course lunch prepared by our own chef, Scott Johnson, with the theme ‘Australiana'. We were very pleased to be able to welcome past student The Honourable Ashley Dawson-Damer AM to address the group about her work as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The arts, philanthropy and the boarding house certainly loomed large this month. Of course, school life goes on around these special events, which makes for a very busy but satisfying time in the school calendar.
Per Volar Sunata,
There are three categories: Open (must have a demonstrable connection to the St Margaret’s community); St Margaret’s Secondary School Students and St Margaret’s Primary School Students. Prize money is $1000; $500 and $150 respectively and all winning art works are acquisitive. Up to 10 Highly Commended pieces will be recognised with a certificate and the winner of each category plus the Highly Commended pieces will feature in the St Margaret’s 2020 calendar. Selected pieces may appear on various memorabilia produced to celebrate 125 years. Prizewinners works are acquisitive and all Highly Commended artworks chosen for the calendar will be on loan for the duration of the 125 year anniversary celebrations throughout 2020.
Download the flyer for more information. (PDF 830.6KB)
Entry Forms are available on the event page of the St Margaret's website under "Something St Margaret's" Art Competition.
In only her second year on the professional tour, Lucy Kennedy (’06) is going from strength to strength in her career as a road cyclist. Recognised as a talented climber and time trialist, Lucy is currently training and competing in Europe, where she is based for eight months of the year on a professional contract with team Mitchelton-Scott.
Recently named in the Australian team for the World Championships in Yorkshire later this year, and on the back of a spectacular recent win at the Classica San Sebastian in Spain, Lucy has her sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and is regarded as a rising star of the sport.
In Lucy’s own words, her “path into professional cycling has been anything but straightforward”. A talented tennis player and distance runner at school, Lucy continued to pursue running while studying at university, both in Australia and in the US collegiate system on an athletic scholarship. After returning to Australia to complete her studies in engineering and commerce at UQ, Lucy turned to cycling when a bout of injuries required her to take a break from running.
“In 2013 I first got on a bike with the aim of maintaining some fitness until I could run again, but I never did! I entered my first club level race in 2014. In 2015 and 2016 I raced in the National Road Series with quite a lot of success and in 2017 was selected for the Australian Women's Development Team to race in Europe for three months. After winning a week-long stage race in France, I was offered a professional contract for 2018 with Mitchelton-Scott, where I remain this year.”
Prior to her move overseas to pursue cycling professionally, Lucy worked as a traffic modeller for Transurban, a role that, despite its differences to elite level sport, Lucy says she loved. On the transition from engineer to professional cyclist, Lucy says it was “certainly a change”: “No longer did I have to fit in training around work and [I] could completely commit myself to cycling.” However, alongside the benefits, the transition also brought a number of challenges: “As all the top level racing is overseas, I live in Europe for eight months of the year away from my partner, family and friends. It can be difficult being away for so long, but my team is very close so my teammates become like family.”
Currently training in altitude in Livigno, Italy, the rest of 2019 will see Lucy racing in Norway, France, the UK, Italy and China, before returning to Australia to spend the summer at home in Brisbane. While currently focusing on preparation for the World Championships in the UK in late September, Lucy’s ultimate goal is to make the Australian team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Asked whether there is an achievement she is most proud of in her cycling career so far, Lucy says two races stand out:
“My first World Championships riding for Australia in Austria last year was an incredible experience. After a year plagued with bad crashes and broken bones, I had my best race of the year helping my teammate Amanda Spratt to a silver medal. The other was my recent win at Classica San Sebastian in Spain. This was the first ever women's edition of a very prestigious race and I overcame some very bad luck to eventually win the race - the biggest win in my career so far.”
It is perhaps unsurprising that Lucy’s fondest memories from her time at St Margaret’s revolve around her sporting pursuits:
“I fondly remember spending Saturday mornings at the tennis courts playing QGSSSA tennis - we had almost the same team from Year 8 through 12 and won several premierships together. Similarly I formed great friendships through cross country and athletics and the annual camps and QGSSSA competitions were highlights of my school year.”
The OGA wishes Lucy all the best in her training and upcoming races and will be cheering her on from afar.
Born in 1929, Margot sadly passed away on 8 July 2019. Her student days commenced at St Margaret’s in 1943 and she was thereafter a proud member of the 1946 cohort. Margot married William (Bill) Laurie and they had two sons, Bruce and Ross.
Margot retired from the teaching staff of St Margaret’s in 1995. Following is a copy of her farewell address given by Past Patron of St Margaret’s, Beverley Fox.
“St Margaret’s School has many fine traditions and one of the most significant lies in the loyalty and quality of those who have served on the teaching staff. Mrs Margot Laurie epitomises these qualities.
Margot commenced her near lifelong association with St Margaret’s as a student in 1943. After a brief sojourn in the business world, she returned as a student teacher under the auspices of the teacher training facility of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent. Following graduation, Margot took up teaching positions at St Michael’s at Clayfield and The Glennie School in Toowoomba before marriage and motherhood removed her from the teaching scene for a spell.
Margot’s next career move occurred when her husband Bill was transferred to Papua New Guinea in 1963 where, once she was known to be a teacher, she was invited to and found a warm welcome at a local school. On her return to Brisbane in 1967, a part-time position at St Margaret’s turned into a 28-year stay.
Margot’s skills in teaching have enabled her to teach across a wide range of subject areas – from her beloved Shorthand to Accounting, Business Principles, Typewriting, Word Processing, Secretarial Studies, Computer Studies, History, English and Divinity. Margot taught all subjects across all year levels.
Her notable achievements were in the administration of the Commerce Department, in the fostering of vocationally-oriented courses, and in the organisation of Debating and Public Speaking. Margot actively involved herself in all aspects of St Margaret’s, particularly in the administration of the long-term Staff Association, in the background organisation of the school musicals and as a ‘true blue’ Spenser House Mistress. These are but a few areas of school life for which Margot is known and remembered by past students and staff alike.
Margot’s retirement will not break her ties with St Margaret’s but it is now, when she is retiring from full time teaching, that we wish to record this tribute to her.
Margot has developed a special bond with St Margaret’s and this includes her close relationship with the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent, with a great number of the many students and parents with whom she has had contact and, of course, with her teaching colleagues. She is known for her talents and dedication as a teacher, her diplomacy, her absolute loyalty, her honesty, the depth of her friendship, her warmth, her caring concern for all and for her wisdom and grace.
Margot is an exceptional St Margaret’s girl.”
Another achievement, we must mention and for which Margot will be remembered is her co-authoring, along with Sheila Geise (nee Griffiths) of the St Margaret’s coffee table book published in 1997 - “Per Volar Sunata 1895-1996”. The book highlights a nostalgic journey through 101 years at St Margaret’s, capturing the atmosphere and irrepressible spirit embodied in the school motto – Per Volar Sunata.
The annual St Margaret’s Reunion weekend, is always a wonderful time, with past students gathering to celebrate their milestone reunions. With over 400 women returning to the school over the weekend, it is clear, that many life-long friendships are formed during the years spent here at St Margaret’s.
Friday evening welcomed the 10, 20 and 30 year reunion cohorts, with cocktail style events in the Library, Arts Centre Foyer (ACF) and Ms Café with Saturday luncheons hosted in M’s café, the ACF and the Boarder’s Dining Hall. This year’s VIP 60+ luncheon saw over 85 guests treated to a special luncheon on the final day of the Reunion celebrations. All reunion groups were treated to slide shows, put together by school archivist Bronwyn Perry, with many laughs to be heard over the fashion choices of the time and school day fun.
Just a few comments received from attendees over the weekend include:
‘It was a great occasion! Thank you all!’
‘The annual reunion weekend is over for another year, leaving us with many happy memories after catching up with faces from the past and recalled happenings from our school days. I enjoyed it all so much…. I wish my parents were still around so I could tell them how grateful I am for all the years they gave me attending such a beautiful school.’
‘Another very enjoyable get-together with our old school friends’.
‘It was a fabulous night with a great vibe and we all really enjoyed ourselves. Everyone loved the tours by the grade 10 boarders and what a treat to see Ms Dyason after all these years!'
We are very fortunate here at St Margaret’s to have so many willing students happy to participate in the Reunion weekend activities, including Year 10 students from the boarding house who conducted school tours throughout both Friday evening and Saturday morning. How wonderful it was to hear past students share their fond memories with the pupils of St Margaret’s today.
Next year we will again host milestone Reunion celebrations over the weekend of July 24-25th for the following alumni groups: 2010, 2000, 1990, 1980, 1970, 1960. Once again, the VIP 60+ Luncheon will also be held on the final day of the Reunion celebration - Monday 27th July.
Please contact the Development and Community office to update your contact details to ensure you are included on Reunion weekend communications.
The Old Girl’s Chapel Service held on Sunday 28 July, was certainly one of the highlights of the Reunion weekend. The service was very well attended by Old Girls of all ages, with the homily delivered by Sister Gillian, and St. Margaret’s newly appointed Chaplain, Reverend Susan Crothers-Robertson.
‘Generous Hospitality’ was this theme for this year’s service, which held particular relevance as all the attendees gathered after the service to enjoy a scrumptious and relaxed morning tea in the Arts Centre Foyer.
Throughout the reunion weekend, raffle tickets were sold with the aim of raising money to help fund the St Margaret’s Old Girls Association Overseas Scholarships. These scholarships assist Old Girl recipients with their finances whilst studying in other countries. Thank you to all that purchased tickets.
The raffle prize was donated by a member of the OGA Committee in conjunction with Panda Pearls. It was a beautiful Keshi pearl set in a sterling silver choker with matching earrings and a luxurious cashmere scarf. The recipient of the prize was an attendee at the chapel service who was thrilled when her ticket was drawn by Principal, Ros Curtis. Coincidentally, she is a keen collector of jewellery from Panda Pearls, so was very happy that she could add to her collection!
Thank you to all Old Girls who attended the Chapel Service and Morning Tea, and we look forward to another gathering in 2020.
The St Margaret's Women's Luncheon will be held on Friday 13 March 2020. In celebration of St Margaret's 125th Anniversary, the luncheon is a wonderful opportunity for all past, present and future women of St Margaret's to come together and celebrate!
Tickets will be on sale via Flexischools in early 2020. Tables of 10 will also be available, and we encourage you to start planning your class table now! Please contact the Community and Development office to register your interest, or join the Facebook event here to receive updates and share the event with friends and family.
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 and Prep
A School of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent St Margaret's School Council Ltd ABN: 69069684019 CRICOS Code: 00511K