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Issue 63

Views from the New Building atop KBED

Chair of Council’s Report

Ashley Hams

N ot surprisingly, St Ann’s has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The student body, staff and Council have been united in their approach, putting personal safety ahead of everything.

The College implemented hand sanitising stations, social distancing, changed meal operations and a variety of initiatives in response to the ever-increasing suggestions and requirements from government and associated authorities. The St Ann’s Council made the decision to request that all students who had the option to return home should do so. This was because we were not convinced that we could continue to provide appropriate levels of safety with the College running at full capacity. With the implementation of full online courses offered by universities for most courses, this was a logical and necessary step to take.

A relatively small number of students remained in the College for a variety of reasons as borders closed, but the reduced number of students made it easier to comply with government requirements and provide a safe residence for those who did not have a viable option to return home.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time in the history of the College that something like this has happened and its significance is not lost on the Council or Staff. This action – as well as the subsequent room credit offered — has meant a substantial financial impact for the College, but as I mentioned at the start, we were more concerned to ensure that all people associated with the College in any way were safe.

It is also not lost on the Council that the College and university experience, at least so far in 2020, has been very different from what anyone expected as of February this year, and we thank you for your understanding, support and continued enthusiasm in your studies. I would also like to thank Denise and her team, as well as College Club and the Tutors, for the efforts that have been put into assisting students and the continued social contact while they were out of College. St Ann’s is certainly a strong community and it humbles me to know that while a world pandemic did force us to change, it could never compete with the fellowship, unity and companionship that is formed at our College.

I know as I write this, people are working hard to return to College while abiding by many of the travel requirements, which is an added complexity for everyone to deal with. Australia, and in particular South Australia, has done a wonderful job of containing COVID-19, but we must remain vigilant. The world has changed for the time being and so I ask that you remain conscious of the requirements and requests that will be made on you, which are for your protection as well as all of those around you.

While doing all of this, I wish you all the best for the second half of 2020. I hope that your College experience for the rest of the year is more like you pictured at the start of the year.

Thank you and all the best

Ashley Hams
Chair of Council

New Chancellor of the University of Adelaide

Collegian 1966-1968

St Ann’s Collegian (1966-1968) the Honourable Catherine Branson AC QC, has been appointed the new Chancellor of the University of Adelaide.

We have keenly watched Catherine’s outstanding career as an esteemed lawyer and former Federal Court Judge and Crown Solicitor of South Australia.  Catherine’s advocacy for human rights, education, health and the arts is both inspirational and noteworthy.

As Chancellor of the University of Adelaide we know she will provide exceptional leadership and governance, employing her expertise to navigate the tough times brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.  Chancellor Branson’s leadership will be invaluable in ensuring the University is well placed to continue the high standards of education and research that makes the University of Adelaide a world class institution.

St Ann’s College values the long-standing relationship with the University of Adelaide.  We hope to foster and strengthen our relationship and partnership with Chancellor Branson and the University so we can continue to have a lasting and profound impact on our students and their communities into the future.

We wish Chancellor Branson all the best in her new role.

President’s Report

Frank Niemann

Like the rest of the World, the activities of the Collegian’s Association have been significantly altered this year. With COVID-19 restrictions, social distancing measures and border closures, St Ann’s College – unlike many other colleges – gave students the choice to determine where they wanted to be as their courses moved online. We also promised financial credits against fees paid and pledged to continue supporting students academically and socially.

In this uncharted territory, the Collegians were also supportive and responsive, using the time productively to reflect on our traditional role and range of projects, some of which were long established and relatively unchanged. This gave us time to plan even more relevant events and activities including tailored CV writing and review services, which we hope to introduce in Second Semester. We also held a Zoom workshop to generate new ideas and initiatives and have a renewed commitment to provide networking opportunities to current students as the job market tightens in these challenging times. And I am pleased to report we managed to deliver our traditional Mentoring Dinner, albeit in a Zoom format (outlined in the article below by Paul Newland).

With South Australia’s border restrictions easing (although still currently in flux), indications show that almost all of St Ann’s students will return to their home-away-from-home for the Second Semester.

The Collegians are excited to begin talking to students about our new projects being proposed; by working closely together, we aim to deliver services of tangible benefit. I would also like to thank last year’s President Renee Van Der Hoek for all her work, and her experience and work ethic. We will continue to enjoy her support as she remains an ordinary member of the Collegians Association. I will strive to be as exemplary in this role as Renee has been.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Principal and CEO, Denise von Wald and the College staff for their hard work and the sacrifices they have made during this difficult time. The Collegians work closely with, and are greatly benefitted by, the relationship we have with the Principal and her team. This relationship is crucial to the Collegians’ ability to provide the best opportunities and experiences to students. I also wish to thank the Collegians for their hard work and commitment to St Ann’s students. I am confident the projects we have planned will ensure all students have a memorable and rewarding Second Semester.

On a final note, if you would like to join our committed team or simply come along to a meeting to find out more about what we do, I urge you to contact me or send an email to


Frank Niemann

Mentoring Dinner 2020: would you like Zoom with that?

Paul Newland

During May 2020, restrictions regarding face-to-face meetings meant our Collegians Mentoring Dinner was looking to be a rather lonely affair. But thanks to St Ann’s ‘can-do attitude’ – not to mention the wonders of modern technology – a virtual dining table was set for May 27.

Very appropriately, the theme of the evening was ‘resilience and flexibility’ and our guest speakers were medical practitioners.

Our first speaker, Tim Grove Jones, attended St Ann’s from 2010 to 2012 and is currently a Medical Registrar in Darwin. He has previous medical experience in Kangaroo Island and The Solomon Islands. Our second speaker, Chelise Kappe, was at St Ann’s from 2016 to 2017. She is a nurse at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital currently, having completed her nursing graduate program at Lyell McEwin and Modbury Hospital.

Traditionally, our Mentoring Dinners are hosted within the College and the sit-down meal is attended by some 20 students. Since COVID-19 had struck in-person contact off the menu, our speakers kindly agreed to a Zoom event to reach out to students locked down on campus and in many instances, returned to their homes.

There was however an upside to this. By embracing technology, we made the event open to a larger group of students, who could (virtually) come and go throughout the presentations. At one stage of the evening we had 30 students in attendance.

As both of our guests were in medicine, this was a great time to get insights on the COVID crisis, as well as other areas of health care, including midwifery and paediatrics, which students showed a particular interest in.

Both mentors gave more general advice on career pathways, and both emphasised the need to take opportunities when they present.

Given this was the first time we’d used technology to conduct this session, the event was a great success – for the students and for the Collegians committee. As our lives return to a new “COVID normal” we look forward to not only hosting in-person sessions, but also exploring how we can leverage these sessions using technology to reach a bigger audience.

Of course, a massive thank you to both Tim and Chelise for taking time out of their busy schedules for the college – and for pioneering what we hope could prove useful in future Mentoring Dinners!

Building Project Update

We are nearing completion on the Kennedy Brooks Enterprise Deck with furniture orders underway and the walkway connecting the buildings now complete.

These 10 new student rooms will be among the best in South Australia with views over the City and of North Adelaide. All feature kitchenettes, ensuites and a large communal eat-in kitchen on one of the two floors. For those familiar with the College, the rooms will be allocated based on the current points system with senior students and those who have made the greatest contribution to the College rewarded with the first room selections.

While the rooms are expected to be ready for students in mid-August, we are looking forward to opening them more formally early next year. Once finished, this expansion will mean that we can proudly position ourselves as having some of the best residential College rooms in the State.

Whilst the major focus has been on the new buildings, there have been significant upgrades undertaken throughout the College during the COVID period. Our tutor room has been painted and patched, the furniture repolished and reconfigured and with the removal of the bi-fold doors, the space has been transformed.

Our library has undergone a significant archiving process which has opened up the shelves and spaces making it easier for students to locate resources.

Foundation Chairman’s Report

Jason Turnbull

The St Ann’s Foundation has been overwhelmed by the kindness of the St Ann’s community in these difficult times. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the cancellation of our eagerly awaited May Friends of the College lunch, we received donations of nearly $25,000.

These funds will be used to start the upgrade of five of the shared shower and toilet blocks located throughout the College. While 70% of our students have their own ensuites, the 30% who don’t are greatly looking forward to more modern bathrooms with locker or storage space.

We are delighted to have recently received an endowment to create a perpetual scholarship from Old Collegians, Dr Elizabeth and Dr Peter Moore. Awarded to a first year Medical Student from regional or rural Australia, this scholarship will pay 25% of the fees to a student who is studying Medicine. It will follow the student for each year they are staying at the College and studying for their medical degree.

Peter came to St Ann’s in 1976, just three years after the college went co-ed, and was a residential tutor from 1977-1979 while completing his PhD in Geology. Elizabeth (Norris) started in 1977 as a 1st year medical student and a relationship between the two students quickly developed. Elizabeth served as a residential tutor in 1980, and the two were married in the Brougham Place Uniting Church next to St Ann’s on the 6th December 1980, making them the first couple in the history of the college to marry.

Today, they live in Canberra where Elizabeth is a psychiatrist and holds the position of Coordinator General for Mental Health and Wellbeing for the ACT. She also serves on the board of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry, and in 2019 received the Margaret Tobin Award for the most significant contribution to administrative psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand for the last five years. Peter is a former Executive Vice President of Woodside and Business School Professor, and currently is a Director of Beach Energy Ltd and Carnarvon Petroleum and an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University in WA.

The Moore Scholarship is a wonderful addition to the 25 scholarships in existence, some of which are also perpetual and have been in place for more than 35 years. Scholarships transform lives, providing a head start and solid foundation for our students to thrive and succeed in their studies. Sincere thanks to the Moores and our generous donors for their commitment to our students and leaders of tomorrow. The Foundation and College are humbled by your kindness.

At its meeting in April, the Foundation resolved to contribute $500,000 to the College to be used towards the completion of the Kennedy Brooks Residences on top of the Kennedy Brooks Enterprise Deck. This recent contribution is in addition to the $250,000 donations from the late Bob Kennedy and past Principal, Dr Rosemary Brooks.

Love blooms at St Ann’s!

Whilst St Ann’s is all about preparing students for their professional future, it should come as no surprise that romance regularly blossoms on the beautiful North Adelaide campus. Indeed, since the college went co-ed in 1973, it’s understood that some two dozen of those romances resulted in marriage.

To follow are wedding day photos from St Ann’s current Chair Ashley Hams and his wife Nicole, (see below) and our latest scholarship benefactors, the Doctors Moore. We would love to receive any photos of past students whose time here has resulted in life partnerships. Please send us your wedding pictures so that we can share with our community and add to our archive memorabilia!

“Nicole and I were studying engineering, but at different universities and a year apart in our courses – so it was undoubtedly St Ann’s that brought us together. She and I met in the College in 1991. We stayed for the entire duration of our courses and were Tutors together for two years. In 1996 we were married, and had our wedding photos in the College Rose Garden. As you can see, the cherry tree was in full blossom!”

Ashley Hams, Chair of St Ann’s Council

“Elizabeth and I were married in the church next door to St Ann’s on 6th December 1980. We were the first residents of St Ann’s to be married – seven years after the College had gone co-ed in 1973. At the time this photo was taken, I’d just finished my PhD and Elizabeth was still at Adelaide University studying Medicine.”

Dr Peter Moore

Academic Update – our Tutors

St Ann’s is fortunate in attracting students from all over Australia who have achieved outstanding ATARS. It not only prepares them for the hard work that follows through university, it also means we have some of the best and brightest working as Tutors on campus.

St Ann’s Tutoring program gives students the best opportunity to excel in their tertiary studies.

Ten Residential Tutors reside in the College ensuring that students thrive in a College environment. Students apply for these positions as they would a job in the real world.

Eighty-five Academic Tutors offer free tuition to St Ann’s students across a complete range of subjects. These Tutors can be called upon by anyone at any time. Academic Tutors are drawn from the student body and paid by the college.

Below is a photo of our Residential Tutors – all looking forward to welcoming the students back in Semester Two and enjoying the face-to-face contact that comes with their roles.

L to R:

Georgia Ferguson (3rd year Bachelor of Media from Mt Gambier), Denise von Wald, Principal and CEO, St Ann’s College, Nelson Hayes (2nd year, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) from Berri), Alex Ward (5th year Bachelor of Law from Gawler), Liam McKee (2nd year, Bachelor of Business Management and Accounting from Broken Hill), Bella-Louise Hunyadi (2nd year, Bachelor of Human Movement) from Berri, Jaiden Fritts – (3rd year, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business) from Alice Springs, NT, Thomas De La Perrelle (3rd year studying Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)), Port Lincoln, Jessie La Forgia (2nd year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons)) from Port Pirie, Lydia Tangey (2nd year, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)), from Alice Springs, NT, Matt Sykes (3rd year Bachelor of Psychological Science) from Mt Gambier, Chloe Wanklyn – Old Collegian (2004-2007) Tutor’s Tutor.

Playford Trust Nyrstar

Congratulations to Tom de la Perrelle, this year’s recipient of the Playford Trust Nyrstar Scholarship.  Tom is a Senior Tutor at St Ann’s College in 2020.

With the generous support of Nyrstar, the Playford Trust offers up to four two-year scholarships to students commencing their third-year of undergraduate studies in 2020 in the areas of chemical, mechanical or electrical engineering at one of South Australia’s three universities. The scholarships are valued at $10,000 per year, for two years.

Nyrstar is a global multi-metals business, with a market leading position in zinc and lead, and growing positions in other base and precious metals. Nyrstar Port Pirie is the largest single stream primary lead smelter in the world and produces refined commodity grade lead and lead alloys, zinc oxide fume, copper cathode, silver and gold doré, sulphuric acid and other byproduct metals.

The scholarship involves a paid eight to twelve-week work placement at Nyrstar’s Port Pirie Smelter over the summer vacation. Work placement provides the scholarship holder with the opportunity to develop skills and enhance their industry participation. During his work experience as a mechanical engineer Tom worked on several projects, such as increasing the lifespan of the industrial machinery on site. Tom reports that, “this was a valuable experience that has changed the way I have looked at Engineering, and was an excellent push to reinvigorate my interest and motivation to study.”  

Vale, Philip Dyer

Collegian 1978-1981

Philip Dyer was born in Cornwall, educated at Port Augusta Secondary School and Graduated with BaAgSc (Entomology and Horticulture) in 1982. He was President of the Agricultural Science Student body.

Phil was a keen sailor and owner of “Dyer Design”, a garden design and landscape business in Wickham, Rhode Island USA. He “set sail” as his son wrote, on 14th May 2020, leaving behind his wife Sharon and sons James and Tristan.

Quote, unquote

“Before COVID, I hadn’t realised the study of Engineering was a team sport.

Turns out I play my best game when I’m studying with others!”

From one of our Engineering students

“I didn’t know how much I liked being at College until I was back home.

Now I can’t wait to return!”

From one of our first year students who left early to be with her parents

“No-one looks good in a hairnet with blue gloves!”

From one of the Tutors helping with meals

“I’m looking forward to making an actual circuit board.”

From another Engineering student

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  • Andrew McPharlin

    July 22, 2020

    The new rooms look fantastic.

    • Denise

      August 7, 2020

      Thanks Andrew they are already proving to be very popular with students

  • Craig Hamilton

    July 25, 2020

    Glad the mentoring dinner went ahead under a different means.
    Good to see Grover’s familiar face sharing his stories and advice.

    Hope all is well back at College,
    <3 Hagrid

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