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Issue 69 Summer 2022

Principal’s Welcome

Welcome to St Ann’s at the start of a historic time for the College. In 2022, St Ann’s turns 75 years old and is stronger and more vibrant than ever.

The St Ann’s story is one of vision, generosity, hard work and a commitment to providing a safe and nurturing community for our students and staff, helping them achieve outstanding success in their fields of endeavour.

The College was founded by benefactors who created a home for young women who wanted to pursue a university education – a lofty goal at the time. We remained an exclusively female College until the 1970s, but over the decades, the balance has shifted and 40 per cent of our residents now are men. I’m delighted that we also have a broadening cultural mix, including more international students.

Once again, St Ann’s was the first choice for many hundreds of students. As a result, the College is full, with an extensive waiting list – a mark of the reputation we have established.

In all, we have 198 residents, more than half of whom are new to the St Ann’s family. I look forward to sharing their academic and sporting achievements, as well as the fun and friendship of the College with all of you over the coming year.

The success of St Ann’s is a team effort.

The Residential Tutors and College Club have played a crucial role, spending two weeks preparing for the arrival of the Class of ’22 – and they were joined by our returning students, who so efficiently helped meet and greet the new arrivals and their families on Day One.

The buzz of excitement and spirit of camaraderie which is the cornerstone of St Ann’s was clear as we headed into an action-packed Welcome Week.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

Collegians’ Report

For the Collegians, 2021 can be summed up in a single word – change!  After the challenges of COVID, we knew we needed to refocus and adapt if we wanted to continue serving current and former Collegians effectively.

Over the last twelve months, we have identified the needs and priorities of Collegians, and re-evaluated our “Statement of Purpose”.

We are entering 2022 with a new strategic plan, with five key areas of interest:

  1. Financial support to current students
  2. Networking and career prospects
  3. Professional Development
  4. Community Engagement
  5. Cultural Support

The Collegians Committee is excited to move into a new era, and even more actively serve the St Ann’s community. I would like to thank Renee van der Hoek for her contribution to this process.

Our plans for 2022 include creating a College board game full of St Ann’s memorabilia, revamping College reunions, hosting inspiring mentoring forums and celebrating our College’s 75th anniversary. We would love to have as many people involved as possible, so if you’d like to help, please email StAnnsCollegians@stannscollege.edu.au

The Collegians Awards to College students have now been funded in perpetuity and we are delighted to be able to commit to these Awards for future Collegians in the years to come.

I am pleased to introduce to you Alex Ward, Annie-Rose Marafioti, Bella-Louise Hunyadi, Chloe Wanklyn, Dylan Andrae, Ellie Fixter, Elly McSwan, Emily Graves, Eva Nikou, Ewan Gerken, Frank Niemann, Harrison Campbell, Jessica Aucote, Joe Martin, Joshua Mason, Julian Zheng, Lachlan Hunter, Madelyn Hastings, Maxwell Parr, Michael Brooks, Ned Hassall, Patrick Cooper, Paul Newland, Savannah Morris, Tarryn Putland, who will join me as the 2022 Collegians Association Committee, our largest on record.

I am excited to be the 2022 Collegians President and am joined on the Executive Committee by Paul Newland as Vice President, Joshua Mason as Treasurer and Emily Graves as Secretary. We encourage anyone who would like to come along to our meetings to do so. Our meetings are open to all Collegians, and we take new members year-round.

Wendy Matson
Collegians President

Covid Strikes St Ann’s

COVID-19 has finally hit St Ann’s students. The first students tested positive at the end of Welcome Week and the virus quickly spread through the College. At its peak, we had 78 residents infected.

As soon as the first cases were confirmed, St Ann’s put our COVID Action Plan into effect, closely liaising with SA Health.

COVID positive students either went home or isolated in their rooms for ten days. Regular checks on their welfare were carried out by College staff and Residential Tutors. SA Health also supervised students with health complications or underlying medical conditions.

The College’s Academic Tutor program has provided solid support for students who had to alter their study plans.

Our chef Rohit and his team have worked wonders to prepare individual meals and provide double meal sittings. Residents in isolation ordered meals online via a teams APP and staff and residential tutors delivered the food to their doors.

The outbreak of COVID has created significant challenges to the smooth operation of the College but collectively we have and continue to carefully manage and overcome these challenges.

I must commend the Residential Tutors for their outstanding support and leadership during this time. A later article talks about their preparation and training for this role. Their tireless and constructive efforts, good sense and positive spirit have been nothing short of outstanding. They have well and truly earned their roles and all aspects of their training have been put to the test over the past week. They have passed with flying colours! 

While COVID no doubt will create further difficulties, you can be assured that the College will continue to maintain the highest standards to manage the virus.

Please accept my thanks for your support and messages of encouragement, but most of all, I’m grateful that everyone acted so swiftly to ensure the safety of the individuals and the wider community. 

St Ann’s Students Smash Pass Rates

St Ann’s students have chalked up record pass numbers for their studies over the last two years.

The total average pass rates have soared above 95%, reaching a record 98% in 2020 during the peak of the COVID crisis. Over the previous five years, pass rates were still very strong averaging in the low 90s.

The total of High Distinctions and Distinctions achieved by students reached a peak last year with a total of 495. The previous best was in 2015, with 480.

The results reflect the College’s ongoing commitment to provide the highest level of academic support for all of our student residents. In the coming weeks, the College will celebrate with our academic high achievers. College Medals will be awarded to 58 students from 2021 students all of whom achieved more distinctions and high distinctions than any other grade. This special Formal Dinner celebration rewards success and seeks to inspire other students to excel to the best of their abilities.

Health Care Tops St Ann’s Chart

Healthcare is the most popular study path for St Ann’s College in 2022. Altogether 42% of our new and returning students are enrolled in a medical-related course. 

Nursing is the number one choice, followed by medicine – which has attracted record high numbers, along with allied health studies including nutrition, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, social work, and speech pathology. Another two students are studying to be dentists. 

For first year St Ann’s student Mitchell Koch, from Angaston, extended family members influenced his decision to study a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Adelaide. Mitchell says, “It is important to me to do something where I am helping people, and I have grown up with extended family working as nurses and thought it was the right pathway for me”

But the most sought-after degree is engineering – with more than 12% of the College’s residents signed up. The various science subjects account for another 12%, while computer science brings the sector to over 25% of all St Ann‘s students.  

Third year Mechanical Engineering student Dylan Duncan has always enjoyed science, maths and problem solving.  Dylan said, “Engineering was a natural fit for me, and I love that you can tailor the course to suit your specific areas of interest, which in my case has been aeronautical engineering.”

In a city with a thriving arts culture and developing film industry, it is heartening to see the growing trend of St Ann’s students studying courses across a range of classical, contemporary, and emerging creative arts and design courses. We have 14 students studying Creative Arts and Design courses with choices ranging from architecture, dance, and fashion, to visual effects and entertainment design, film and television, music and sound production, to name a few.

The 2022 cohort has chosen diverse fields of study, with some clear trends, as outlined above, closely aligning with projected knowledge, skills and job growth areas in Australia.

The diversity of interests of our students contributes significantly to a vibrant and dynamic College community.  

2022 Fields of Study

Bumper Year for Scholarships and Bursaries

A record number of scholarships and bursaries have been awarded to St Ann’s students at the start of the 2022 academic year.

More than $113,000 has been distributed to the successful residents.

In a hotly contested process, the number of applicants was also the highest in the College’s history.

It’s a tribute to the outstanding generosity of St Ann’s benefactors that so many students and their families will benefit from the grants, supporting them through the academic year.

The scholarships and bursaries also make a significant contribution to building and maintaining the College community.

Leaders Dig Deep and Shine Brightly

Students had to draw on all of their skills to successfully meet the demands of the application and interview to be chosen as a Residential Tutor for 2022. “I have to be honest, the thought of an interview with a panel including peers and a Council member was very intimidating but I realised during the process that it played to my strengths, including my debating experience and natural tendency to want to help people,” said successful applicant, Sam Morrison.

The selection process includes a rigorous interview with a six person panel and encourages applicants to demonstrate their commitment to the College’s values and serving the community, ability to connect quickly and meaningfully with others, capacity to respond responsibly in challenging situations, and willingness to work hard to build an inclusive, respectful, safe, caring, fun, and thriving learning and living community.

Residential Tutors are integral to building community culture, providing care and support for all students at St Ann’s, and the organisation of College life.

Once appointed, the fun and hard work begins immediately!

A weekend seaside camp focuses on, personal leadership, team and skill building. In the new academic year they move into residence three weeks earlier than other students, focused on planning, training and preparing for the year ahead.

Days are filled with understanding and implementing College policy, including scenario training, CPR and Mental Health First Aid workshops – to name just a few – student room and parking allocations (perhaps the most challenging of tasks), planning for students moving in, and last but not least, preparing for the all-important new student Welcome Week.

Hats off to our 2022 Residential Tutors for a stellar start to the year, made possible by a team effort, generously supported by the College Club and returning students!

Moving in Day

Photo Gallery

“Thanks for the warm welcome ‘Boons’! Moving in day was well organised and Holly was in her room before we knew it. We know she will be in good hands, thanks for making a hard day that little bit easier, From very grateful parents” 

Alison and Shaun

Students News

Dr Rosemary Brooks OAM Scholarship

Sophie Charlton from Mt Gambier has been awarded the inaugural Dr Rosemary Brooks OAM Scholarship, recognising a continuing student from rural or regional South Australia and Broken Hill who has exhibited academic excellence, leadership and communal support in the previous year. The $10,000 grant came in the same week as Sophie was accepted into the Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Adelaide. The offer progresses Sophie’s career aims after she spent last year studying a Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences course.

And to complete the trifecta, Sophie celebrated her birthday in the same week.

The scholarship winner, Sophie Charlton says spending her first year of university studies at St Ann’s has changed her life.

“Moving to Adelaide and into St Ann’s College is one of the best decisions of my life. Not only have I been able to grow and develop as a person, meet like-minded people, and explore life in the city, I have been able to fully realise my academic ability.

“Being part of this community has given me so many opportunities to branch out and become more confident with myself and those around me. I would not be the person I am today without the support given by the other students and the staff members at St Ann’s College throughout 2021.”

The Dr Rosemary Brooks OAM Scholarship recognises the ongoing contribution of the former Principal, who was at the St Ann’s helm for 35 years. It has been made possible through generous donations by Dr Brooks, her family and associates.

Architecture student wins the first Chelsea Masclet Scholarship

The first Chelsea Racheal Masclet Scholarship has been awarded to Architecture student Jessica Aucote from Clare. The $2500 prize honours the inspirational life of former St Ann’s College Club President Chelsea Masclet, who passed away in December 2020.

Chelsea, from Broken Hill, was a role model for St Ann’s students, recognised for her energy, enthusiasm and leadership – including Sports Secretary for the College Club in 2019 and many sporting teams. The refurbished College gym has also been named after her.

The scholarship, supported by Chelsea’s parents, family, friends, the College Club and former students, is awarded to an academic and sporting high achiever, who also enthusiastically contributes to the social life of the College. Scholarship winner Jessica is in the third year of a Bachelor of Architectural Studies at the University of South Australia and is the College Club Secretary this year.

Ellie Fixter (left) and Jessica Aucote (right) – Awards Night 2021

Prized industry scholarship for fifth year St Ann’s student

Fifth year St Ann’s College resident Lachlan Coathupe, from Whyalla, has been awarded a prestigious AusIMM/Playford Trust Minerals Industry Scholarship for 2022.

“I feel incredibly honoured to have been awarded this scholarship which will allow me to completely focus on my studies this year, without distraction. It follows an amazing three month metallurgy internship at BHP, Olympic Dam, where I worked on projects adding real value to the business, and I also gained an overview of the entire operation.”

Valued at $9000 the scholarship is awarded annually to students demonstrating high level academic achievement in the areas of Geoscience, Mining Engineering, Chemical Engineering (Minerals Processing) or Environmental Engineering.

Lachlan is studying his final year of a double degree combining a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Chemical) – Minerals Processing Major, and a Bachelor of Finance at the University of Adelaide, and was drawn to engineering following his Year 11 work experience at the Whyalla steelworks and a fascination for chemistry.

The first in his family to attend university, Lachlan believes that the supportive and caring environment of St Ann’s has contributed to his academic success.

“Relocating from Whyalla to Adelaide was a major move in my life and the supportive environment here at College has allowed me to excel in my studies.”

“The opportunities that St Ann’s has provided me with in terms of social, sporting and leadership roles within the College have been of immense value and allowed me to give back to the community that has supported me so much.”

“My past four years of residence have been the best of my life and I look forward to making more amazing memories this year.”

Down but not out

St Ann’s team spirit was very much alive and on show on the weekend with the tennis team miraculously clinching third place in SAAUCC tennis competition. A tough week of COVID and isolation for students resulted in just one member of the original and highly talented men’s squad still standing and able to play. Students rallied to fill the four remaining places, including Harry Langlands and Harry Phillips, who were both first time tennis players.

Harry Lemon and Andrew Savvas pulled off an exciting doubles win against Flinders, with a commanding performance in the tiebreaker (7-0).

A round robin event between the five Adelaide university residential colleges, each round of the competition comprised men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles, and a mixed doubles.

The women’s singles and doubles team, despite missing two of their original squad, dominated in all rounds defeating Lincoln, St Marks, Aquinas and Flinders.

St Ann’s narrowly missed out on stealing second place, going down to Aquinas College in an exciting and closely fought mixed doubles set, decided in a tiebreaker (6-8).

With each team playing four sets in one day, it was an outstanding effort and result, after a trying week.

Ongoing Upgrades Improve Key Facilities

St Ann‘s has undertaken a major renovation program over summer. Much of the work focused on the heart of the College – the kitchen, where Stage One of an extended upgrade was finished just before Welcome Week.

Chef Rohit and his team are now operating with state-of-the-art commercial refrigerators and freezers, as well as improved storage and office space.

In the short term, the work will further enhance the quality of meals at St Ann’s and will be followed by Stage Two of the project at the end of the year.

In other areas of the College, shared bathrooms in Symons and Price have been upgraded and the student kitchenette in Price has been replaced with a sparkling new custom design. 

A light, bright colour palette that respects the heritage of the Plummer building has been used to redecorate 18 student rooms and the main hallway. The large rooms with lofty ceilings now appear even more spacious, and some have been treated to new blinds and desks. Fresh drapes will be installed in others in the coming weeks.

On the Sundeck, new furniture has been added, making the space more user-friendly.

The College’s commitment to a rolling program of annual upgrades and improvements is made possible by the generous support of the St Ann’s Foundation and in particular, recent donations from Mr. John Uhrig AC and Mrs. Shirley Uhrig.

Supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities

St Ann’s College was delighted to be able to recently support our near neighbour, Ronald McDonald House Charities with the donation of a handful of student desks.The desks purchased online were ultimately too low for many of our strapping youths who struggled to get their knees under them.

“Ronald McDonald House Charities SA is so grateful for the donation of desks from St Ann’s College as there are many children and teenagers who stay at the House and undertake study, so the desks will be most useful.”

Ryan Michaux, Operations Manager RMHC SA

St Ann’s in the News

On the 10 November 2021, The Nhill Free Press and Kaniva Times published a story about Shae-Lea Fischer being selected as the Senior Tutor for 2022. In her fourth year at St Ann’s, Shae -Lea is originally from Nhill and completed her schooling at Nhill College.

Collegians’ News

St Ann’s: “A profound Impact on my life”

Bella-Louise Hunyadi spent a gap year sorting almonds in her hometown of Berri in South Australia’s Riverland. Working in an almond processing business, she gradually started clarifying the plans for her long-term career path. Bella-Louise loved sport and outdoor activities and decided her future was in the school system.

Naturally, that involved tertiary education – and after enrolling in a Bachelor of Human Movement course at the University of South Australia, she became the first member of her family to study at university.

On the recommendation of a school friend, a St Ann’s resident who spoke highly of the lifestyle and friendships she’d established here, Bella-Louise joined the College in 2019.

The idea was that she’d stay for a year, before moving into a share house and completing her human movement qualifications. But the best paid plans of mice, men and women …

“I didn’t know what to expect and couldn’t have imagined that St Ann’s would have such a profound impact on my life,” Bella-Louise explains.

“Very quickly St Ann’s felt like home. I know that describing it as a ‘home away from home’ sounds clichéd, but life at St Ann’s was very comfortable, stable and reliable and we were surrounded by friends, long chats, good people, fun, a great choice of sports and activities to be involved with, and the support of Tutors and staff, when needed. We also had great communal spaces such as the Common Room and Enterprise Deck.”

One year at St Ann’s turned into two – and then three.

In her second year, Bella-Louise was appointed as a Residential Tutor and, in mid-year, undertook a major change of direction – switching from Human Movement to a degree in Psychological Science (Counselling and Interpersonal Skills) at the University of SA.

“Deep down I always knew I wanted to do something where I could help people and my role as a Tutor helped clarify this.”

Boons come from away

Former Collegian and Boon Joshua Valentich has made a flying return to St Ann’s for his pre-wedding celebrations with four old College mates, ahead of tying the knot with partner Lex Morello in Mildura at the end of February. The reunion at St Ann’s held special significance for Joshua, who shared two formative years with the quartet while they were living in the hallowed halls.

Best Man JJ Takhar, who was at the College in 2015 and 2016, organized the event and was joined by Brady Zwar, Braden Hill and Jed Woolford from the classes of 2014 and 2015, along with Joshua’s brother Noah.

We’d love to hear from you!

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

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