Follow us

Issue 65 March 2021

Welcoming in 2021 with a Full House

196 students move in to College this year

St Ann’s is marking one of its busiest years on record with nearly 200 students moving in to College for 2021. When we ask students how they’ve heard of us, the most popular response is ‘word of mouth’. This goes to show we’re doing the right thing by our students if they’re recommending St Ann’s to their friends and connections.

Our Residential Tutor team arrived a month in advance to prepare for the new and returning students. The team of ten had a lot to organise including the very tricky task of room allocation, assigning car parks, creating the tutor handout for all members of the College, undertaking training including first aid and mental health first aid and making sure everything is ready for the new arrivals.

President’s Report: a recap of 2020

Frank Niemann

2020 has been a year of resilience and it is encouraging to see that current students, Collegians, the College and the wider community are strong and supportive of each other. I especially thank Denise and the College for their support.

The Collegians welcomed a few new faces to the committee in 2020 and along with the returning members I thank each member for their dedication, creativity and flexibility. We had a great year in terms of success for our Collegians Award winners, of whom we are incredibly proud. We are also proud to have provided some financial assistance to the College to keep it updated and fresh for current students, including contributing towards the purchase of new lounges for the Common Room.

The Collegians held a number of successful Mentoring dinners in 2020 and we were fortunate enough to have several amazing speakers present either in-person or via Zoom.

This not only allowed us to host a broader range of presenters, but also allowed us to reach more students. I thank each presenter for their time in providing great learning opportunities for current students.

Chair of Council Ashley Hams kindly provided valuable advice about how to successfully apply for jobs at our successful careers’ night. He’s one of many Collegians who have generously donated their time to provide relevant career advice. I thank you all. We have listened to feedback and will continue to improve this program so it is valuable and responds to needs of current students.  

2020 has demonstrated shown us that we are strong beyond measure and we look forward to what 2021 will bring, confident we can have another successful year with some new faces and ideas.

Frank Niemann
Collegian’s President

2020 Exam Success

Despite the upheaval of 2020, St Ann’s students did tremendously well in their end of year exams. Some students unfortunately did not get to sit all of their exams, particularly those with a practical element, but nevertheless the results reflected the students’ commitment and hard work in a challenging year.

Two students achieved the impressive feat of HDs across the board. Thomas de la Perelle and Lucy Wilsdon both gained eight High Distinctions, in Engineering (Mechanical) and Health and Medical Sciences respectively.

In total, 232 High Distinctions were achieved and 296 Distinctions. 43% of the College earned more Distinctions and High Distinctions than any other grade, more than in 2019.

Student News

Senior Tutor Nelson Hayes was recently chosen as the recipient of a Nyrstar Playford Trust scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to students commencing their third year of undergraduate studies in the field of chemical, mechanical or electrical engineering. It involved an eight-week work placement at Nyrstar’s Port Pirie Smelter where Nelson worked within the Capital Projects team, assisting the Electrical Engineers with tasks including drafting scope of work documents, project charters and funding requests. Nelson comments, “The engineers were kind enough to give me a more in-depth look at the processes behind producing engineering drawings and conducting safety inspections as well as emphasising the importance of attention to detail. All in all, I felt I was extremely lucky to have such a wonderful opportunity and tried my hardest to make the most of it”.

St Ann’s students see success with conversions to study Medicine

Zara-Louise Whellum

Two St Ann’s students, Zara-Louise Whellum and Lucy Wilsdon are celebrating as they both have been accepted to study Medicine at the University of Adelaide, having put in a huge amount of work to switch from their initial degree. 

Zara-Louise, from Booleroo Centre in regional South Australia, was always interested in the field of health but decided Medicine was her calling too late to achieve the required ATAR. Instead, she opted for Health & Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide, choosing St Ann’s as her home based on positive feedback from her peers. She put her head down, studied hard and explored as much support as possible to make the switch.

Zara comments, “The support I received from St Ann’s was phenomenal. They provided me a safe place to live, a comfortable and motivating place to study, academic tutors, and supportive staff and friends. As a member of St Ann’s, I have access to limitless academic tutoring, and this included interview prep from a Collegian to ensure I was set”.

In late January 2021, she received news that she had been accepted on to the Bachelor of Medicine course, having achieved six HDs, 1 D and a C, aced the interview and passed the UCAT. She adds, “Everyone keeps reminding me that ‘now the hard work really begins’, and maybe that should scare me, but actually I’m incredibly excited and ready to begin this next adventure”.

Lucy Wilsdon, from Gulnare in rural South Australia didn’t initially have the confidence to apply for Medicine so opted for Health and Medical Sciences, but on joining St Ann’s was motivated to see if she had what it takes to switch to Medicine, hoping one day to specialise in a patient-facing role. She took up the opportunities for extra academic support and interview tutoring from St Ann’s and managed to secure eight High Distinctions in 2020 and an offer from the University of Adelaide.

Remembering Chelsea Masclet

In December 2020, the St Ann’s community were all deeply saddened by the passing of our College Club President, Chelsea Masclet, following a lengthy illness. Here, Chelsea’s friends and Denise von Wald share their memories of this remarkable student. We are currently planning a suitable way to honour her life within the College.

From Chelsea’s friends at St Ann’s:

Collegian Chelsea Masclet, who attended St Ann’s from 2018 to 2020, sadly passed away on December 20th, 2020 after losing her battle with cancer. Chelsea moved to St Ann’s College from Broken Hill in 2018 to study Exercise Physiology at Flinders University. She was a gifted athlete, an ambitious university student, dedicated member of the College and had the ability to brighten a room with her infectious smile.

In 2020, Chelsea was elected the President of College Club. She juggled this responsibility whilst undergoing a full-time study load at Flinders University and cancer treatments. In 2019 as the Sports Secretary, Chelsea led the College to win the Douglas-Irving Cup for the first time in 25 years (or was it 26 years, maybe say more than 25 years).. One memorable day contributing to this victory was when St Ann’s took on St Mark’s (I think they too are possessive in this instance) in our intercollegiate High Table Cub football. The match took place just a few months after Chelsea’s first surgery and many of the students exchanged worried glances as she jogged on to the field, concerned for her safety. However, those faces quickly turned to expressions of shock. Chelsea had taken down St Mark’s best player in a brutal tackle with seemingly little regard for her safety and expectations life had for her. Chelsea knew she was going to blow them out of the water, and did so with a smile on her face. We felt foolish to have underestimated her.

Ave Atque Vale Ian Douglas-Irving

Donor of the SAAUCC Sports Cup

In January, Ian Douglas-Irving passed away peacefully at the age of 93. Mr Douglas-Irving has a long history of involvement with the College, including as Acting Principal in 2002, and was a well-known figure in the South Australian Association of University College Clubs. 

  Here, former Principal Dr Rosemary Brooks shares her memories of him, and the story behind the infamous Douglas-Irving Cup.

Dr Rosemary Brooks, former Principal

On the passing of Ian Douglas-Irving on 21 January 2021 the Adelaide Colleges lost a dedicated leader, supporter and friend. Ian served as Dean of University Hall at Flinders University 1983-1992, as Principal of Lincoln College for a year and as Acting Principal of St Ann’s College for first term, 2002, when Simon and I were on long-service leave.

Many students will remember him, together with his wife Helen, presenting the Douglas-Irving Cup after athletics at the conclusion of each year’s sports competitions of the South Australian Association of University College Clubs (SAAUCC). He always had a few words to say about the spirit of good sportsmanship. As few know the story behind the Douglas-Irving Cup I will set it down here for posterity.

St Ann’s Library is transformed


The St Ann’s library has undergone significant refurbishment to maximise space and light and enhance the students’ studying experience.

The library, which is part of the Wilcox building, has an interesting history. Back in 1927 businessman Sidney Wilcox commissioned the building of 187 Brougham Place, with architects McMichael and Harris designing it in the Spanish Mission style. What is now the library was back then Mr Wilcox’s living room. When he died, he generously bequeathed his home to a group of forward-thinking people who became our founders. One of Mr Wilcox’s conditions was that the College be named in honour of his mother, Ann. 

The library is open to students 24 hours a day for study and the collection includes textbooks, reference books, periodicals and a selection of material for recreational reading. One of the benefits of being at St Ann’s is that students can request particular text books from Heidi, our librarian, to save them joining the queue to borrow from their University library. They also are able to borrow them for a semester or more, longer than the regular timeframe.

On refurbishing the library, many of the original fixtures were unearthed, and it was decided to remove the carpet to make the most of the original parquet flooring, as well as opening up the sash windows to maximise natural light.

St Ann’s in the News 

On 11 November, The Murray Pioneer ran a story regarding Nelson Hayes and Bella-Louise Hunyadi being chosen as Senior Tutors for 2021. Both come from the Riverland and attended the same school, Glossop High.

In January, The Bunyip from Gawler published an article about Tony Ward who is one of the ten Residential Tutors in St Ann’s this year. The journalist commended him for ‘continuing to reach new heights and goals, having been selected for an honourable position.’

On 6 February, The Guardian Australia ran a feature as part of its ‘Dreams interrupted’ series, which included an interview with St Ann’s student Zara-Louise Whellum. The series focused on the lives of young people in Australia and their outlook and this article looked at how students are considering the financial implications of further education. You can read the article here.  

Collegian News

Collegian Kate Rider (97), got in touch to let us know what she’s been up to since she left St Ann’s and returned to the US to complete a BS in Animal Science. Kate has had the opportunity to work in the Biotech space for most of her career, including with ICOS, ZymoGenetics and at the University of Washington-Seattle. Most recently, within her role at Gilead Sciences, she celebrated the approval of the antiviral treatment Veklury to greatly decrease the hospital stay time for many suffering from Covid-19. 

Ex-Collegians Samuel Kupke (13) and Dr Danielle Brydges (14) who are engaged to be married are expecting a baby in August. They both attended St Ann’s around ten years ago, and were key contributors to life at College. Danielle was a Residential Tutor before becoming President of College Club. Samuel also served on the Club and they were both Collegian of the Year while at St Ann’s. Congratulations to them both!

Wedding bells for Collegians

Two Collegians Mevandi Dissanayake (16) and Darcey Sykes (17) have recently announced their engagement!  The couple met at St Ann’s back in 2016 and both live in South Australia. 

Other News

Curator Grace Blake is researching the history of the Adelaide University Boat Club. If you rowed for the University  as part of a St Ann’s team and want to share your story please do contact her at blakegk@gmail.com 

We’d love to hear from you!

Remember, we’re always eager to hear what St Ann’s Collegians are up to, so please do get in touch with your news: marketing@stannscollege.edu.au

Invite a Friend to Subscribe!

    Share this article with your friends!