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Issue 64 Spring 2020

Welcome from the Principal

Below is an excerpt from Principal Denise von Wald’s speech at the Valedictory Dinner

“What a year it’s been. One like none of us have experienced before – one which no one of us could have anticipated…All of our lives have – and will be – changed by the events of this year, which has been like no other in the College’s 70-year history.

I am so proud of the way we have collectively and individually managed it. At the height of the pandemic… the College Council made the brave call to offer all students the opportunity to choose where they should be based. We did it because we wanted what was best for you and didn’t want to hold you to rental contracts that didn’t meet your immediate needs. Equally, I appreciate heading home was a difficult decision for many of you to make and that it caused great upheaval.

Yet, you still came through all the challenges the world could throw at you.

We are delighted that so many of you returned to Ann’s as soon as possible and were able to join in the social functions which bind us.

First thing this morning, as I woke, I reflected on our collective good fortune to be sharing the St Ann’s experience – and, from a purely personal point of view, how lucky I am to be here with you.

Running this College comes with its challenges – and it would not be possible without the support of the Tutors and College Club, particularly this year.

The Tutors – along with Rohit and his team – helped us keep the college open for the 15 to 30 students who, for a variety reasons, either couldn’t or chose not to return home.

We all have a new found respect for the job they do for us.

If I was in the trenches – and at times this year it has felt like we were – I would want Tom, Alex, Jaiden, Liam, Nelson, Bella, Jessie, Lydia and Georgia with me. And I am grateful too to our Tutor’s Tutor Chloe Wanklyn for her wise counsel.

Additionally, as I mentioned on Awards night, I am inspired by Chelsea’s courage and positivity. In the moments when I’ve felt most challenged by the demands of the year, I’ve thought of her. Her fellow CC members have also brought great experience, enthusiasm and influence. They, more than most, have been forced to work twice as hard to deliver events because of the COVID restrictions.

This College benefits enormously from the work of the Tutors and College Club – they are effectively my lieutenants; please know that I have complete trust and faith in you.

Most important of all, though, are the lasting – and even lifelong – friendships you have formed at St Ann’s.

For the Ann’s students who are leaving, I know I speak on behalf of all of us when I say, we know you will go far and do well in the world and that we are proud to say we have known you.

We will follow your progress to dizzying heights with enthusiastic interest.

And, of course, you will always be welcome to come back and see us.

We in turn pledge to you that we will continue to collectively uphold the values you embody and ensure that St Ann’s College goes from strength to strength.”

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

Founders’ Day 2020

On 16 September we held our annual Founders’ Day 2020 event, recognising the generous contribution made by the founders of St Ann’s College as well as our current benefactors. This year involved increased planning and logistics given the social distancing requirements and other restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we were fortunate that the weather held out and that we were joined by so many friends of the College old and new.

The commemorations began in the afternoon with the traditional laying of a wreath at the grave of Sir Josiah Symon on his birthday. His progressive outlook for equal access to education for women as well as men contributed to the founding of the College in 1947. When his daughters died, they bequeathed money to the College, but on the condition that each year we remember their father with a toast of Scotch whisky and reciting of his favourite poem at his grave.

A Thanksgiving Service at Brougham Place Uniting Church was followed by a formal dinner at the College and a concert performance from the students. Although unable to stand for the traditional pre-dinner drinks reception due to restrictions, we were very fortunate to be able to dine together, even if more spaced out than usual!

Founders’ Day is a time for us to reflect and consider the broad contribution from those benefactors – both current and historical – who have helped to make the College what it is today. By sharing the story of the people behind the establishment of St Ann’s, and its history, we can all forge a stronger connection to this special community. 

2021 Tutors Appointed

The Tutors for 2021 have been announced!

This year, the Senior Tutor role will be shared by two students – Nelson Hayes and Bella-Louise Hunyadi. This is particularly noteworthy given that they attended the same school, Glossop High School in the Riverland.

The Senior Tutor plays a key part in College life, acting as a role model for others. Bella and Nelson take the reins from Thomas de la Perrelle, from Port Lincoln, who finishes his tenure in December 2020.

The new Tutors are:

L-R: Rachelle Maxwell, Patrick Cooper, Anthony Ward, Maddison Mudie, Jordan Schaefer, Maxwell Parr, Kate Williams, Nelson Hayes, Bella-Louise Hunyadi and Harrison Campbell.

Bella-Louise Hunyadi  and Nelson Hayes
Senior Tutors 2021

2020 Prize Winners

2020 prize winners have been announced!

In October we announced our prize winners for 2020, a few months later than normal due to many of our students being at home back in May as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. These prizes are awarded to students who have distinguished themselves and who contribute greatly to the life of the community, each funded by the generosity of our donors.

The recipients this year are:

THE NELLIE WILCOX PRIZE (for a senior student who contributes outstandingly to College activities, the best all-rounder): Bridgette McKinnon (Medicine / Surgery, University of Adelaide)

The Lady White Bursary (for a student who is independent and has done well): Tegan Rehfisch (Science – Veterinary Bioscience, University of Adelaide)

THE COLLEGIANS PRIZE (for a student who brings honour to the College through achievements in the wider community): Mitch Hunter (Paramedic Science, Flinders University)

AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN PRIZE (for a University woman who has done well): Shae-Lea Fischer (Commerce, University of Adelaide)

THE ELIZABETH MORRIS PRIZE (awarded on the basis of their first year to a student who has done well and participated in College life): Jasper Whitehead (Physiotherapy, University of South Australia)

THE JILL ROSENBLATT PRIZE (for a medical or paramedical student): Monica Margarit (Medicine / Surgery, University of Adelaide)

THE J.R. THOMSON AWARD: Liam Hounsell (Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Adelaide)

THE FOUNDATION PRIZE (for senior students who have contributed significantly and consistently to College life while maintaining a high standard of achievement in his or her own work): Alex Leuenberger (Engineering – Civil, University of Adelaide) and Jaylin Grimmer (Pharmaceutical Science, University of Adelaide)

THE SAMPSON PRIZE was given by Mrs C. Sampson in memory of her son.  She was the first Vice-President of the College Club, a President of the Collegians, a student of law and a member of the University of Adelaide debating team: Tony Ward (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Adelaide)

THE MORELLA CALDER LAW PRIZE commemorates a woman lawyer who pioneered in the field of Australian maritime law before her untimely death at the age of 46.  Morella was a student in the College between 1966 and 1972 and was a tutor in 1971 and Senior Tutor in 1972.  She wrote poetry and fiction as well as practising law: Isabella Kelly (Laws, University of South Australia)

THE DARYL FEATHER PRIZE commemorates the service to the College of its fourth Principal, whose academic interests included history, politics, law and social issues especially as these applied to women. This prize for a senior student reflects her dedication: Olivia Andrew (Education – Primary, University of South Australia)

Student News

Our 2020 Senior Tutor Tom de la Perelle was recently chosen as the recipient of the Dr John Mannam Prize for Dux of 2nd Year Mechanical Engineering. This annual award, sponsored by the SA Mechanical College Branch, is presented to an outstanding Engineer Practice Report submitted throughout the calendar year from South Australian graduate engineers seeking Chartered Status via professional interviews.

The John Mannam Prize honours the enormous contribution of Dr John Mannam to engineering practice, and in particular his dedication to the education, training and mentoring of mechanical engineers.

Collegian News

Former St Ann’s Collegian, Megan Inverarity has recently become a Director and co-owner of accountancy firm Murray Nakivell in Naracoorte. Megan, a former tutor graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2009 with a Bachelor of Commerce, Corporate Finance with Accounting Qualifications and has progressed up the ladder at Murray Nakivell, was chosen as a finalist in the 2017 SMSF Specialist Accountant of the Year awards.

Simon Strachan, who was at the College between 1987 and 1989 has had an illustrious career in sports broadcasting and is now General Manager of Melbourne-based operations and management consultancy GAIN LINE Analytics. He was recently featured on the Sport Tech Daily podcast, a platform for those across analytics, sport science to showcase their work. You can listen here.

Visual artist Dr Sera Waters was recently announced as the recipient of the 2020 Guildhouse Fellowship intended to support the practice of a mid-career South Australian visual artist, craftsperson or designer. This 12-month fellowship is supported by the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation and delivered in partnership with the Art Gallery of SA. Dr Waters was a student at St Ann’s in 1997, and has a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) from the University of South Australia, a Masters of Visual Arts from the University of Adelaide, and a PhD from the University of South Australia. You can see her work here

Dr Vyla Ellis, who was at St Ann’s from 2006 to 2010, has just been named one of the 2020 InDaily ’40 under 40’ entrepreneurs in South Australia. This prestigious awards program honours SA’s top business owners, highlighting the innovation, commitment and diversity of the state’s young leaders.

Dr Ellis is the chief executive and principal dentist of Country Living Dentistry, which has clinics in Bordertown and Keith. In an interview with the Border Chronicle, she commented, “Women often shy away from recognition, but it’s important that young girls can see women succeeding in all different fields so that they can realise the opportunities that are available to them. You can’t be what you can’t see. This year there were female winners succeeding in amazing industries like space and biomedical science.” Congratulations Vyla!

In Memoriam

Members of the College were deeply saddened by the news back in September about Laura Hall, who tragically lost her life in a car accident near her home on the Eyre Peninsula. Laura was a student at St Ann’s last year and will be remembered as an enthusiastic Collegian who was a good and loyal friend to many, an excellent baker and as someone who regularly supported St Ann’s sports teams and social activities. 

Mark Tostevin, the husband of Di Tostevin AM, who was Chair of the St Ann’s Council from 1974 to 1994 sadly passed away in October. Mark died peacefully at the age of 91 and is survived by his loving wife Di, children Andrew and Jen, grandchildren Zara and Georgie and daughter in law Sonya.

College News

The 2020 Ball

This year’s ball took place in August, the theme was ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (Think ‘there’s no place like home!’). We were thrilled that the students had the opportunity to let their hair down, particularly after the stress of 2020 so far, albeit with a few restrictions such as spaced out dining and no guests admitted. The students enjoyed a three-course meal before being served drinks by the Collegians. Rather than the typical after party in the city, this year was a more subdued seated affair, with card games replacing the usual dancing till dawn!   

Valedictory Dinner

Before the students headed off for SwotVac they had a final chance to celebrate at the annual Valedictory Dinner. All the students made a huge effort with their costumes, including The Wiggles, Rollercoasters and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, plus Denise and the Tutor team as pieces of the Monopoly board. Drinks in the garden were followed by a dinner with speeches, and the traditional gifting of key rings to those leaving the College in 2020.

Tom de la Perelle, who is leaving St Ann’s after three years, and arguably experienced the most challenging year to be Senior Tutor, shared a touching few words, talking of the spontaneous moments “where everyone seems to come together and be social and happy in each other’s company (which) is really what the Ann’s family is about for me.”

His advice for other students: “The things I regret at College are not from the opportunities that I did take, but rather the ones that I didn’t. Put your hands up for things and put yourself out there, because if a quiet first year (like me) who spent most of his time in a book can come this far, then I can only imagine what all of you can do.”

Awards Night

Our awards night was held on 22 October where a number of our students were recognised for their excellence in sports and other pursuits.

The awards winners were:

Female Participant – Bridgette McKinnon
Male Participant – Tom Green
Female Player – Ella Peacock
Male Player – Ky Edwards    
Female Participant – McKealy Tiller
Male Participant – Cooper Dignan
Male Player – Harry Campbell
Female Player – Elise Roocke
Female Participant – Shae-Lea Fischer
Male Participant – Jasper Whitehead
Female Player – Lara Etchells
Male Player – Todd Corbett  
Female Participant – Tarryn Putland
Female Player – Amelia Etchells
Male Participant – Russell Horne
Male Player – Jack Rowe
Best Participant – Sam Morrison
Best player – Alex Ward
Female Participant – Tarryn Putland
Male Participant – Josh Mason
Female Player – Amy Osborn
Male Player – Jasper Whitehead


Silver Pom Pom – Sam Morrison
Happy Happy Joy Joy – Lucy Lockwood
First Year Service – Jasper Whitehead
Augean Stables – Alex Leuenberger
Visual Arts – Conor Anderson
Performing Arts – Alex Ward
Best Sporting Moment – girls 4 x 50 freestyle relay: McKealy Tiller, Savannah Morris, Elise Roocke, Kiara Pressler
Sub-Committee – Ball Committee
Alex Ward (Head convenor), Matt Sykes, Amy Osborn, Conor Anderson, Luke Hocking, Bella Hunyadi, Lachie Coathupe, Nelson Hayes
Best Coach – Shae-Lea Fischer
Long Service – Alex Leuenberger
Kent Stockdale – Jaylin Grimmer
Female Sportsperson – Shae-Lea Fischer
Male Sportsperson – Lachie Hunter
Collegian of the Year
Male – Jaiden Fritts
Female – Alex Ward

Meditation and Mindfulness

In October we held a session ‘Becoming a Mindful and Calm Boon’ hosted by Stephen Johns and student Liam Hounsell. The session was an introduction to meditation and mindfulness techniques, presented in a fun and engaging way to support students to focus better, have improved sleep, develop resilience and increase their wellbeing and happiness. The session ran following Mental Health Awareness Week, with a waitlist of students wanting to attend. We hope to run more regular sessions in the future. 

Insights and inspiration from our Formal Dinner speakers

We have welcomed a number of inspirational and charismatic speakers to the College over the last few months, sharing their stories and advice for students on a host of different topics.

In August, we were joined by Brian ‘Bucky’ Cunningham, legendary AFL player, who shared his story from training to be a teacher through his illustrious playing career, including winning three SANFL premierships as captain of Port Adelaide. He was appointed CEO of the Magpies in 1992 and played an integral role in the club’s successful bid to join the AFL before retiring in 2004 to go on to successfully lead two large State Government departments. Brian’s advice to students was to have a crack, saying “you never know what you are capable of until you’ve been tested” and that to remember that time goes by very quickly, adding “enjoy it and savour the moments!”

We also hosted Ann Oliver, Adelaide hospitality royalty, who shared her extraordinary journey having launched one of the city’s iconic restaurants, Mistress Augustine’s, founded several magazines, opened two international hotels and travelled the world, working in Michelin-starred kitchens from the US to China.  She shared the story of her exciting and varied career in food and beyond, as well as the lessons learned as an entrepreneur.

In October, we welcomed esteemed writer and journalist Lainie Anderson, who has written for publications including The Times of London, Melbourne’s Herald Sun and has a weekly column in Adelaide’s Sunday Mail. Last year she published a book, ‘Long Flight Home’ a fictional retelling of the famous 1919 Air Race, where South Australia’s Smith brothers won the race to fly from England to Australia in their Vickers Vimy aircraft, which is now housed at Adelaide Airport.

Mentoring dinners this Spring

In October we held two of our regular ‘Mentoring dinner’ events, this time face to face in the College. The first evening we welcomed two guests who shared their atypical routes into their careers, encouraging students to be open minded about the opportunities available to them. Jessica Gardner is a statistician at the UN, focusing on gender statistics. Studying for a Bachelor degree in IT as a mature aged student, she applied for the UN graduate program and was thrilled to gain a place, being posted initially to Geneva. Joining her was Charlotte Viergever, a student of St Ann’s College from 2013-14 who is now a Solicitor at Johnson Lawyers in North Adelaide, having interned at the UN. She specialised in criminal law at university but switched to commercial law when the opportunity arose.

On the second evening, we were joined by three Collegians with a focus on animals and agriculture. Firstly, Sophie Harris, Nurse Manager at the AAERC, the largest Veterinary Emergency and Speciality Centre in South Australia, who spoke about the variety of opportunities working with animals, from retail to animal welfare to nutrition and insurance.  Haylee Clifford, Junior Consultant in communications and marketing with AgCommunications graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Animal Science) with first class honours from the University of Adelaide. She talked about her various roles in the animal nutrition industry and how her research – around making a by-product from wine production as a feed for sheep – opened up many doors for her. Lucy Wood followed her passion for the environment with a degree in wildlife and conservation and shared her story of working hard to turn her temporary job into a permanent one. 

St Ann’s in the News

The Naracoorte News ran a story on 30 September, ‘Rural boarders overcome borders’, looking at how residential colleges and boarding schools overcame the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic.  The journalist interviewed Denise who shared an update on how the College reacted, and that 94 % of our students have since returned, commenting ‘She (Denise) said college students perform even better when they are living and studying with other students.’

On 2 November, The Port Lincoln Times published an article considering how St Ann’s College approached the pandemic, and ensured all students felt supported. Thanks to Lily Gassner, from Port Lincoln for sharing her story with the journalist. You can read the full article here.

We’d love to hear from you!

We’d love to hear from any St Ann’s Collegians about what they are up to. Drop us an email to let us know where you’re living and working, with any other news and images to marketing@stannscollege.edu.au

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