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This Month’s Newsletter – Issue 77 Summer 2024

187 Brougham Place, North Adelaide

Principal's Farewell

Hello Foundation Members, Governors, Fellows, Council Members, Students, Collegians, Parents and friends of St Ann’s,

First, I would like to say it has been a genuine pleasure and privilege to lead St Ann’s College. The College’s longstanding tradition, reverence for academic success and ever evolving culture makes it a truly special place that I will always hold dear in my heart.

When I first took hold of the reigns back in 2019, I felt a little trepidation at the prospect of returning to living on campus, however I was excited by the challenge and the big strategic goals we had set for our leadership team.

My initial KPIs were:

  • Arrest enrolment decline and increase retention rate
  • Improve the pass rate and quality of student experience
  • Maintain the prestige, tradition and culture of the 70-year-old College while transforming and increasing the professionalism of the administration, governance and operational processes
  • Improving the infrastructure, student room and shared facilities
  • Enhancing the management of risk, particularly those associated with residential colleges

With the help of the Council and the Foundation, we have achieved these goals and so much more. We boosted profit which in turn allowed us to add rooms, acquire properties, renovate the library, kitchen, gym and many student rooms. We increased the number of Indigenous students and students from multicultural backgrounds. We strengthened St Ann’s already strong culture. We even won the Douglas Irving High Table Cup twice, once in 2019 and again in 2021 (after a 25-year drought)! The collective efforts by the St Ann’s Council, Foundation, staff and student body should be commended.

There are two pillars that I have always tried to maintain, respect and cultivate throughout my time at St Ann’s: tradition and culture.

Even if you think of St Ann’s as a business (and I confess, I rarely do, I prefer to think of it as a mission), the business world does not forgo the importance of tradition. Many companies take pride in their histories and strive to maintain products and facilities that have been integral to their brand. Yet in staying steadfastly true to their heritage, businesses can put themselves at risk of becoming obsolete. Think of Kodak! If maintaining tradition starts to become a pretext for resisting change, and this is true of colleges too, businesses/colleges risk becoming inefficient, outdated, and noncompetitive in the modern world.

Organisations need to balance forward-thinking attitudes with the value they place on core traditions and histories. Innovation plays an important role in staying true to your heritage. If you can meet modern student demands through innovation, you will gain both the means and the capital to preserve the most valued aspects of heritage. You can see we have done this by creating transitional living with both K-Bed and Melbourne Home but the way in which we allocate these rooms by a points system is still traditional. You can’t buy a better room in our College; you must earn it.

Culture is the lifeblood of any organisation and I would say this applies in spades at St Ann’s. You can tell a lot about an organisation by the way they welcome and farewell you. A proper welcome can say “we’ve got you, you can trust us, you’re safe here.” We hope that this feeling was conveyed to all of our students past and present from move in day to the very last day as they depart. While culture can always improve, I would say that our culture is one of its strongest features that make our campus a desirable destination that now has students lining up to enter our doors.

This balance between maintaining our traditions and continuing to innovate our events, practices and culture will be key to the success of the College. And I know the College is in good hands to keep evolving over time.

While my role was to manage the day-to-day College operations, and also oversee marketing, enrolments, media, governance, finances, contractual management and philanthropy, there was another job that took top priority. I hold dear my greatest duty at St Ann’s, which was to take responsibility of both the personal and academic lives of 199 students. Thank you to all of the parents for entrusting me with our students and your children and giving me the honour of helping to transform them into school leavers and young professionals. They always make me proud.

Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, told his scouts in his farewell message to “Try to leave this world a little better than how you found it.” I have done my best to leave my touch on St Ann’s and I will be watching from afar to see how our students will change our world.

Thank you,
Denise von Wald

Wendy Fleming, Principal and CEO

One of the privileges accorded to the Principal of St Ann’s College is being able to be part of the personal transformation which young people experience in this college. Many of our young people come directly from high school in a smaller town where the College provides their first experience of living away from home. The opportunity to study at university becomes a true taste of independence.

Having held the position of Dean before being appointed as Principal, I have had time to reflect on college life. When students make the choice to come to St Ann’s College, they enhance and strengthen their experience of university as well as become a lifelong member of a strongly supportive community.

At St Ann’s we pride ourselves on being small enough to get to know each and every person at the College. We encourage each person to be truly, genuinely themselves and find their tribe with whom they share commonality. Our activities and processes are designed to cater for a wide range of needs and enable all members of the community to find someone, something and somewhere that they are truly comfortable, whilst still being challenged to perform at their very highest level academically and personally.

Having first-hand experience growing up in a regional part of Australia, I have a strong understanding of the challenges in accessing university education when you must leave home to do so. Rural, regional and remote Australians have limited choice but to leave home to further their post-secondary education.  At St Ann’s we support all students through this transition, welcoming everyone into this unique community.

I am fortunate to be following in the footsteps of Denise von Wald, who has focused on continual improvement in the physical attributes of the College as well as culture, which is our lifeblood. She has ensured that our students understand the need to be respectful and to strive to do their very best in all that they undertake. I hope to be able to take the baton and continue striving to make St Ann’s the very best place it can be to support students in their university journey.

Wendy Fleming
Principal and CEO

Founder's Day

On September 13th, 2023, St Ann’s College marked its very special annual tradition of its Founders Day.

St Ann’s College is now 76 years old, founded in 1947 after World War II. While there are many who we can attribute to making St Ann’s College the wonderful home and institution that it is today, there are a few in particular who we acknowledge on Founders Day.

Every September we mark the birthday of Sir Josiah Symon. He was a lawyer, politician, benefactor and father of ten children. A member of the Council of the University of Adelaide from 1918 to 1926, it was his suggestion that South Australia should have a women’s college to ensure that women who have been admitted to the University of Adelaide are given somewhere to live. He gave £10,000 for the establishment of a women’s college which was diverted by the University to build the Lady Symon union buildings at the University of Adelaide.

Sir Josiah’s daughters, Miss E.D.J. Symon and Miss L. Kilmeny Symon, were very generous to the College following its establishment. It is through their fondness for their father that we remember his birthday each year with these celebrations, with specific request to place a holly wreath on his grave, recite a poem and to partake in a wee tipple of his favourite scotch. These actions provide an opportunity for reflection on the generosity and splendid example of people who believed in the ideals and possibilities of college life. We give thanks for their foresight and the generous endowments from others like them.

We also acknowledged the gifts from those such as Sidney Wilcox who gave us his lovely home with the proviso that the college should be named in honour of his mother, Ann Wilcox.  We recognised the contributions from Dr Helen Mayo, Violet Plummer, Pauline Price, Dame Roma Mitchell, Bob and Rosemary Hill-Ling, Bob and Cathy Kennedy, Gemma Bronkhurst, Dr Rosemary Brooks OAM, Simon Stevens and others who have played an invaluable role in creating this College for us.

Farewelling Denise

On November 1st, Jason Turnbull, Chair of the St Ann’s Foundation, and Ashley Hams, Chair of the Council, held a farewell celebration for Denise von Wald at the Adelaide Club in conjunction with our annual Chairmen’s Luncheon. The purpose of the gathering was both to say goodbye to Denise, and to express gratitude for her indelible impact on St Ann’s College over her tenure.

Guests included The Hon Dr Diana Laidlaw AM, the Chair of The Playford Memorial Trust; Governors Gary Lines, Maggi Miles, and Cathy Kennedy; Mark Hill-Ling, son of Governors Bob and Rosemary Hill-Ling, and his wife Carol; and various Foundation members, Collegians and College Council members including past Executive and Finance member Frank O’Neill.

At the event, Denise personally made sure to thank each person in attendance for their contribution to St Ann’s College. She also made mention that many people have contributed to the ongoing success of the college, working to achieve full capacity for the 2024 school year and a waitlist of applicants.

Thank you for your dedication to the college Denise, you will be missed by many!

To read Ashley Hams’ speech for Denise, please click here.

To read Jason Turnbull’s speech for Denise, please click here.

FACCI Executive Women Series Event at St Ann's College

St Ann’s College hosted the FACCI Executive Women Series Brunch with LK event on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. Together with the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, St Ann’s sponsored the event by providing a venue and a light morning tea in the Helen Mayo Dining Hall. Guests were greeted with a welcome mimosa and enjoyed networking over coffee and tea, and were seated to enjoy fresh fruit, and both sweet and savoury nibbles while listening to an insightful discussion.

The themes were Navigating Challenges, Inspiring Leadership and Mentorship’s Role in Success. The panel included The Hon. Kate Ellis (CEO, Raising Literacy Australia) and Senator Marielle Smith (Labour Senator for South Australia), and was moderated by Mary-Louise Rahaley (COO, LK Law Pty Ltd). The women provided some astute perspectives about the culture of parliament, the ideal that politics should at its fundamental core be a rigorous challenge of ideas for improvement, the important role of mentorship along the road to elected office.

Some key takeaways included:

  • When they go low, we go high – staying above the attempts to negate one’s achievement or reputation
  • Resilience is a muscle and the more we flex it, the stronger it becomes  – remembering this in the tough moments helps you to persevere and become stronger
  • Human connection and real conversations are important and powerful – rather than sending a message in a heated moment, make the effort to connect to get to the heart of issue

The guests also heard short talks from Adrien Doucet (SA President of FACCI), Tania Leiman (Professor and Dean of Law, College of Business, Government and Law at Flinders University) and received a brief introduction on St Ann’s College’s history and culture from Principal Wendy Fleming.

The team was delighted to welcome St Ann’s Collegians and others who had connections to the College. It was a brilliant opportunity to open the doors of the College and showcase our dining hall as a perfect venue for continued education. Thank you to our fantastic catering crew, team and student volunteers who helped us to pull the event together!

Presenting at the APSAA Conference

Dean Wendy Fleming and Director of Learning Dr Tamara Agnew attended the 2023 Asia Pacific Student Accommodation Association Conference in Brisbane on September 19th-21st. APSAA is the premier industry body for all providers of post-secondary student accommodation. Wendy and Tamara presented to attendees about the conscious creation of community at St Ann’s College and data gathering that is undertaken to drive processes. Wendy outlined the research surrounding the benefits of community and Tamara presented a case study about St Ann’s College’s data driven approach to supporting students both academically and pastorally.

The presentation explored the research that guides why and how we should create a community for our young adults who relocate to continue their learning journey and the role that authentic, reflective feedback plays in continually refining our practices and supporting our students to flourish.

The case study presented our methods of data collection through applications, interviews, academic monitoring and surveys, and how our staff use this data to look for common themes, build rapport with students, improve our campus culture and surroundings, and be better attuned to any issues that may arise in the future. Students in turn appreciate having their feedback authenticated, and a greater sense of community is achieved.

The conference is a chance for St Ann’s College to be recognized as industry leaders in the Student Accommodation sector, as well as a learning opportunity for our staff. Other interesting topics covered at the conference included:

  • An urban designer’s presentation on using social spaces to combat isolation in communities.
  • An American perspective on creating strategic partnerships between residential college staff and higher education institutions.
  • A talk on “cultural competence” vs “cultural humility”, and how society can benefit from adding humility to our approach to our cultural understanding by owning mistakes and acknowledging gaps in our own understanding.


Get your hat in the ring for Scholarships!

Did you know that St Ann’s College offers scholarships that range in value from $500 to more than $10,000 per year? And this money gets put towards your St Ann’s fees?

The criteria for awarding the scholarships are based on several factors, and it varies from award to award. The application process requires a short personal statement (300-500 words) describing why the applicant would be a suitable beneficiary of a financial scholarship. The application forms can be completed via our website.

The scholarship funds come from our very generous benefactors who are looking to support students who are dedicated to their study and will make the most of their time at St Ann’s to successfully graduate and advance to their chosen career.

Scholarship applications are now open! The deadline for returning students is 14th January (21st January for new students). Don’t let your application fall through the cracks over the holidays, apply now!

Visit our new scholarship webpage here.


The Future is Bright: Mentoring Partnership with PAC

Every Wednesday evening, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students from Prince Alfred College travel to St Ann’s Residential College to participate in tutoring offered by university students, coordinated by one of our St Ann’s Indigenous students. The PAC students benefit from mentorship, help with their studies, and exposure to residential college life.

The boarders are very receptive to the idea of residential college as they gather it is a great place to meet new people, partake in student life, and receive academic support when it comes time to commence tertiary study.  The PAC students really appreciate the diversity on St Ann’s campus, as we have students that come from all different parts of Australia, representing many different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. While meeting with their St Ann’s counterparts, they learn about the different courses available at university and consider their study options for the future.

Mikayla Russell, a Residential Advisor at St Ann’s, enjoys teaching the Boarders as a way to continue her own personal learning journey. “I feel a sense of fulfillment in tutoring the PAC boys when I can help them learn or better understand their task. Most of the students I tutor are boarding at PAC, and I believe the program is a great way to get the students thinking about university and their options for the future,” reflects Mikayla. “The boys have really appreciated seeing how a university residential college operates and the similarities and differences St Ann’s has to their current boarding situation.”


PAC Students: Montrel Coleman Year 9 Boarder, Harry Miller Year 11 Boarder, Gareth Dudley Year12 Boarder, Carlin Miller Year 9 Boarder, and Melique Andrews Year 10 Boarder

St Ann’s Tutors: Blessing Mupamhadzi, Corey Finlayson, Wallace Tamangani, Mikayla Russell

Celebrating Awards Night

The students’ annual Awards Night was held on Thursday October 19th in the Dining Room. It was a delightful and enjoyable celebration of sporting, academic and social achievements from throughout the year. The night was bursting with applause, standing ovations and Boon spirit.

Organised by Eve Pansini-Clark and Rafferty McMurray, over 50 different categories of achievement were celebrated. Both male and female “Best Player” and “Best Participant” were recongised for each sport that St Ann’s participates in.  Service, performing arts, visual arts, coaching, spirit, courage and “sporting moment of the year” (see Athletics wrap up to learn more!) were also acknowledged.

The coveted Douglas-Irving Honour Cup is reserved for the student who holds up the College’s values and ethics, creates a welcome environment for fellow students and is heavily involved in various academic and social activities. This year Harry Mead was chosen for his consistent demonstration of honour, integrity and a commitment to college life.

The prestigious “Collegian of the Year” goes to the students who are all-rounders, who achieve good grades, and demonstrate a great attitude, leadership and a willingness to be involved with college life. The honours for 2023 went to Josh Graham and Jessica Nowland.

Rafferty McMurray, College Club Sports Secretary, says the Awards Night is “a key part of the farewell tradition, as it and is a celebration of the College’s sporting achievements.” Congratulations to all of the winners!

Female Best Participant – Emily Edwards
Male Best Participant – Abbas Qambari
Female Best Player – Paige McLean
Male Best Player – Josh Niaros
Female Best Participant – Amy Muldoon
Male Best Participant – Jarrod Stolz
Female Best Player – Kylie Hurrell
Male Best Player – Royce Butler
Female Best Participant –Sophie Riethmuller
Male Best Participant – Dom Carter
Female Best Player – Ebony Butler
Male Best Player – Caleb Schwartz
Female Best Participant – Sarah Kennedy
Male Best Participant – Leo Coates
Female Best Player – Charli Tiller
Male Best Player – Caleb Schwartz
Best Participant – Sam Morrison
Best player – Josie Webber
Female Best Participant – Ruby Chen
Male Best Participant – Will Gleisner
Female Best Player – Phoebe Hunter
Male Best Player – Tate Manning
Female Best Participant – Sophie Glamuzina
Male Best Participant – Bailey Martin
Female Best Player – Cate Dunemann
Male Best Player – Corey Finlayson
Table Tennis
Female Best Participant – Erin O’Connor
Male Best Participant – Aaron Nitschke
Female Best Player – Mia Dodd
Male Best Player – Medhi Ahsan
Female Best Participant – Ruby Schwarz
Male Best Participant – Kobe Gerlach
Female Best Player – Piper George
Male Best Player – Max Goodwin
Female Best Participant – Eve Pansini-Clark
Male Best Participant – Harry Mead
Female Best Player – Ellyssa Myles
Male Best Player – Max McKeough
Best Player – James Haslett
Best Participant – Sasha Jenke
Female Best Participant – Mikayla Russell
Male Best Participant – Anton Giancaspro
Female Best Player – Ella Doody
Male Best Player – Medhi Ahsan

Major Awards were awarded to the following students:

Silver Pom Pom – Ella Doody Happy Happy Joy Joy – Olivia Clerk 1st Year Service – Darcy Goldfinch
Augean Stables – Kalan Hayes Visual arts – Alleah Maywald & Harry Phillips Performing arts – Kobe Gerlach
Long service – Angel Simmons Best sub-committee – Open Show Best coach – Cate Dunemann
Kent Stockdale – Phoebe Hunter Chelsea Masclet – Tate Manning Female Sportsperson – Eve Pansini-Clark
Male Sportsperson –  Leo Coates Female Collegian – Jessica Nowland Male Collegian – Josh Graham
Best sporting moment – Will Gleisner

College Club Update

The successful elected members of our 2024 College Club were announced on October 19th! The new team will be comprised of the following students:


President                             Lockie Kelly

Vice President                     Harry Phillips

Treasurer                             Tom Carlin

Secretary                              Nina Hore

Sports Secretary                 Mia Dodd

Sports Secretary                 Caleb Schwartz

General Representative    Hannah Boehm-Wilson

General Representative    Ella Hastings

Social Secretary                  Kylie Hurrell

SAAUCC Representative    Jack Higgins

Merch Representative       Sophie Glamuzina

Tech Representative          James Haslett

Our First Year Representative will be appointed next year. Congratulations to all above, we know our students will be in great hands next year.

Battle of the Bands Success!

Victory is ours! On the 14th of September, St Ann’s College Band called “Boon Box” performed at the Battle of the Bands at The Gov and was crowned the top band amongst the pool of five colleges (St Ann’s College, St Marks College, Lincoln College, Aquinas College and Flinders University Hall). Congratulations to Jackson Richards (guitarist), Dana Hurrell (pianist), Chiara Castiglia (singer), Andrew Savvas (lead guitarist), Kylie Hurrell (singer), Kobe Gerlach (singer), Jasper Harding (bass guitarist) and Hudson Hearn (drummer).

The journey to success was a long road as Dana Hurrell and Jackson Richards were named Band Coaches late last year. Auditions were held early 2023 and the band was formed in March. The group has been practising these songs ever since, amping up their practice regimen in the 2.5 weeks leading up to the competition. Practices were held in front of College Club and RA teams to get used to playing in front of audiences, and a large group came to see the band perform the night before BOTB at the St Ann’s Founders Day celebration.

The set list was comprised of a diverse range of musical genres, and included songs by Olivia Rodrigo, Avril Lavigne, 5 Seconds of Summer, Macklemore and even Carrie Underwood. It has been reported that Kobe Gerlach’s special touch of rapping while performing “Glorious” by Macklemore encouraged crowd participation and helped pull the band over the line.

The group received the highest marks as judged by collegians from all colleges with a musical background and obtained scores of 17 or above out of 20 for each category (and a perfect score for stage presence)!

“The experience was absolutely incredible, a bit of a dream,” gushed band coach Dana Hurrell. “The band loved being on stage and the crowd was loving it too.”

Also of note was the fact that St Ann’s College managed to sell 151 tickets which was the most tickets sold by any college.  Proceeds go to the SAAUCC.

Table Tennis Wrap Up

Despite a third place finish, the table tennis team showed strong efforts in their competition on October 12th.

Player/coach Mehdi Ahsan said he was very happy with how well everyone played, making special mention of the doubles team who nearly went undefeated. “The entire table tennis team surprised the crowd with how well they played despite the limited training time after the uni holiday period. We only really had a week to squeeze in 3-4 training sessions but performed well regardless.” He thinks perhaps the group could start preparing for the tournament pre-holidays next year to give them a little extra edge.

The team benefitted from some extra coaching help from Ashley Hams (who is also the Chair of the College Council) and his daughter Gabby. By all accounts they were very helpful and delivered some handy tips on angles, racket grip etc. Apparently Coach Hams did not hold back as Mehdi recounts “Ashley was great as a coach and incredible as a player! He was destroying us in our around the world practice tournament.”

Ashley enjoyed the experience as coach and remarked that “everyone was enthusiastic and engaged. It was a pleasure to be involved as always. Gabby and I would have been happy to play if we had been allowed!”

Athletics Re-cap

St Ann’s placed third in the Athletics competition on Sunday October 15th behind St Mark’s and Aquinas. The team put forth athletes for running events in 100m to 1500m distances, long jump, high jump, triple jump and throwing events including discus, javelin and shotput.

Coach Phoebe Hunter said our team was very competitive and was impressed by the large turnout of athletes for 2023. There were some impressive wins in the women’s javelin, long jump and 400m events, and the team was consistent across the board. The Sporting Moment of the Year took place in the running component when Will Gleisner achieved Personal Bests in both his 800m and 1500m events!

Pheobe said coaching was “good fun. They were easy to coach, and we did a lot of trials since it was a big group! But it was great to get so many involved this year.” She reflected on the Douglas-Irving High Table Cup Result (St Ann’s placed third this year) and said, “we were SO close, so it was good that everyone stayed involved and engaged.”

Congratulations to our newly appointed
Senior Academic Tutor for 2024

The St Ann’s team is thrilled that Hayden Schultz will lead our Academic Tutor team next year!

Hayden, 20, is entering his third year as a resident at St Ann’s College and was a recipient of the St Ann’s Foundation/Playford Trust Regional Residential Scholarship. He is currently studying for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) and has a keen interest in Aviation and Aerospace. His passion for engineering comes from a desire to create solutions and instill continuous improvement.

The role of the Senior Academic Tutor is a prestigious position that was created to further foster peer-to-peer education and to create an opportunity for students to access our tutoring program via a fellow student. It also designates a point of contact who is available outside of the office staff’s working hours.

Schultz says “I was approached to take the role as Senior Academic Tutor at St Ann’s and I jumped on board with very little hesitation. This position will give me the opportunity to demonstrate attributes of approachability, reliability and to be heavily involved with campus life. I am very excited to continue to help others.”

Congratulations to our newly appointed Senior RAs for 2024

St Ann’s College has selected two exceptional women to lead the RA team in 2024. We are so pleased to announce that Dana Hurrell and Mikayla Russell will become co-Senior Residential Advisors, beginning in January 2024.

Dana Hurrell is studying for a Bachelor of Science (advanced) at the University of Adelaide and plans to become a maths and chemistry teacher at a secondary school. She has an impressive leadership background and brings her school captain and swimming captain experience from Port Lincoln to the halls of St Ann’s! She decided to become a Senior RA next year in hopes to expand on her leadership and interpersonal skills.

Mikayla Russell is currently studying for a Bachelor of Laws Double Degrees (Honours) and Bachelor of Psychology at UniSA. She comes from Darwin NT and has a passion for helping others. Mikayla is involved in our weekly Mentoring Partnership with the Prince Alfred College Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students (see above). She also took part in the Bilata Legal Pathways Program, which is designed to encourage greater participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the studies of law and within the legal profession.

The team at St Ann’s College is confident that they will be respected and cherished leaders for the 2024 school year!

RAs host a fun-filled day to encourage good mental health

National RU OK Day was on Thursday September 14th and World Suicide Prevention Day took place the weekend before. To mark the occasions, the RAs ran a series of events throughout the day on September 14th to promote mental health. They encouraged students to relax, enjoy and invite those more meaningful conversations.

The day ran as follows:

9:00am: Morning pilates

10:00am: Oreo truffle making

1:30pm: Origami (paper cranes)

3:00pm: Cheese and painting

7:00pm: Hot choccies and board games

9:00pm: Video game marathon

Thank you to the RAs for facilitating an inviting atmosphere and social camaraderie.

St Ann's Valedictory Dinner

On October 21st, the students held their annual Valedictory Dinner to say farewell to the leavers, celebrating the year with speeches, creative and imaginative costumes and some lighthearted games and fun. While many of you would be familiar with the VD traditions, for the unacquainted, the evening goes as follows:

  • Costume debut in the Rose Garden (this year the RA team, Wendy, Denise and Stephen dressed as a Cricket Team)
  • 3 course meal in the dining hall with colour coordinated placemats signifying “returner” and “leaver” which were autographed by peers
  • Several speeches given by a first year, a returner, a leaver and the Senior RAs + College Club President. This year a special additional speech was given by Chiara Castiglia and Angel Simmons to farewell and thank Denise.
  • A viewing of a video created by the video committee that displayed photos from the 2023 school year
  • A party in the common room that kicks on all night, with a sad music playlist at midnight to farewell the leavers
  • Sunrise viewing for all/any who make it that late!

While this event is a celebration, it is also a bittersweet farewell to those who find themselves at the end of their St Ann’s journey. Chiara Castiglia reflects on her curtain call, saying “at St Ann’s it is never a goodbye, it is a see ya later. We all know that this place will always be our home and we will always be welcome to return in some capacity.”

Our Inaugural Book Club Meet Up

On October 27th, Dr Tamara Agnew hosted our first St Ann’s Book Club meeting with a theme of Around the World. As it is logistically difficult to provide the same book for everyone, we invited students to choose their own book that meets this theme. The books chosen were Crazy Rich Asians (Fiction, Romance, Humour) by Kevin Kwan, Every Heart a Doorway (Series, Fantasy, Mystery) by Seanan McGuire, and Before the Coffee Gets Cold (Fantasy, Time Travel, Japanese Literature) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi.

The discussion around the books were an opportunity to showcase what each reader learned about their book, offer recommendations and to connect with other likeminded students who love reading. Lili Behrendt and Madi Kelly enjoyed some time away from their usual books (text books!) and an afternoon tea provided by the kitchen. We hope more students will join our next book club catch up next year!

Clare High School Careers Expo

Students Hayden Schultz and Matthew Vincent proudly attended the Clare High School Careers Expo on Wednesday September 27th, waving the flag for St Ann’s College.

The event is intended for high schoolers to reflect on their ambitions and interests and to make informed choices for their future beyond simply choosing a higher education institution. For the first time, this event was expanded to include four additional nearby high schools to attend.

Hayden remarked that it was a beneficial experience for the College, and that there was a lot of interest for students who would apply for 2025. “Generally students begin with the question of ‘what should we consider when we go to Adelaide to study?’ but this question is so broad! We were able to showcase all that St Ann’s has to offer, and tell students about all the College has given us in our time here including friendships, camaraderie, study help etc.” Hayden said.

“I chose St Ann’s because of its culture, but it also helped knowing that students from my high school came before me. My word-of-mouth referral is a small way to give back to the College to introduce it to those who come after me.”

Ronald McDonald House 2023 Gala Ball Fundraiser

Principal Wendy Fleming put the call out for volunteer participation at the Ronald McDonald House’s Gala Ball fundraiser and students Madhav Aiyappa and Ruby Schwartz both happily answered the request! Both Madhav and Ruby served as volunteer staff at the event on September 16th, and helped the organisation to raise an impressive $320,000.

Madhav, who is one of our Academic Tutors at the College, said that he decided to help because he was delighted to help volunteer for a good cause. His assignment was to sell Melba Chocolate Hearts for $50 as a raffle ticket. Inside one heart was the grand prize – tickets to a P!nk Concert. He reflects on the experience saying “I am glad I was able to help. It makes me feel better to help people who really need the service. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation for families who really need it when their child is sick.”

Photo by Ben MacMahon

Newly Elected Vice President of AURHA

Second-year dentistry student Valerie Yung has been recently elected Vice President of the Adelaide University Rural Health Alliance! This organization exists to celebrate rural health and expose students who study medicine, nursing, dentistry, oral health, psychology or health sciences to career paths in rural medical communities. Valerie’s new role will be to help organise trips to bring university students to rural communities by sourcing funding and recruiting students. Last year she took a trip to the Eyre Peninsula to showcase dentistry as a career path to high schoolers. Valerie says, “I feel lucky to be elected Vice President as a dental student as this role is usually only undertaken by medical students.”

Valerie holds two part time jobs in both the student recruitment team at the University of Adelaide and at a dental clinic in town. Valerie was also chosen to be the Publications Executive for the Dental Students Society. Part of this role allows her to help host the Al Dente Podcast which is a fortnightly programme that invites guests to speak on topics that are beyond what students learn in school. “The listeners surprise you, the show is listened to in countries all over the world! I start this in 2024 and look forward to expanding to the podcast listener experience with videos.”

Recently Valerie won the University of Adelaide Images of Learning and Teaching People’s Choice Award! Her entry was titled “Why I leave for uni at 8am and come back after 9pm” and she detailed that as a second-year dental student, she has anatomy classes from 9am-12pm, simulation clinic from 1pm-4pm, and then heads to the Adelaide Dental Hospital to see patients from 5pm-9pm. She appreciates all of the support she received for this endeavor from her fellow St Ann’s students and our social media community.

Sir Josiah Symon – the biography

Sir Josiah Symon, one of the earliest credited founders of St Ann’s College (see the Founders Day article above), lived a full and rich life that resulted in significant contributions to South Australia. A short list includes:

  • Considerable influence on the Federation referendum and setting up the High Court of Australia
  • Leader of the South Australian bar for more than 30 years
  • President of the Minda Home for intellectually disabled children
  • Sparking the idea for St Ann’s Residential College for female university students, and gifting the valuable property in Pennington Terrace in 1925
  • Development and funding of the Lady Symon Women’s Union Building at the University of Adelaide in 1927
  • Gifting the land and funding the building for the Northcote Home for Mothers and Babies at Grange in 1928

We are proud to share that this very influential man now has a biography available via the Wakefield Press! Sir Josiah Symon KCMG KC: A biography by Ian Hancock is now available for purchase. Ian Hancock is a Canberra-based historian who is considered the pre-eminent historian of the Liberal Party of Australia, and has published biographies of John Gorton, Ainsley Gotto, Nick Greiner and others.

Fun fact:  Sir Symon hosted a dinner for Mark Twain at the South Australian Hotel when he visited Adelaide in 1895!

To purchase a copy of this book, click here.

St Ann’s Dining Chairs – Seated upon a Rich History

Throughout spring St Ann’s College has been upgrading our dining room furniture. Local family furniture company Mabarrack Furniture are restoring our historic 200 chairs and supplying 26 new tables made from beautiful Australian Sustainable Hardwood (ASH) Victorian Oak.

Our chairs originally came from The Old School which was a craftsman furniture store created by Trevor Rowe in Norman Street in a disused Catholic School. His skills were developed while working for “Norman Turner and Nottage” who were at the time the makers of fine English furniture in Adelaide. Trevor eventually outgrew his little workshop and moved to a larger premises in Myponga. It was there that he created the chairs for St Ann’s dining room.

The chairs are now being refurbished by hand by Laurence Mabarrack of Mabarrack Furniture, a handful at a time. Laurence and his team are pulling each chair apart, sanding them back and polishing them, revealing a more natural timber so that the natural wood grain can be better admired and the chairs will prove a closer colour match for the new tables.

Laurence admires the workmanship that Trevor put into the chairs, saying the original construction method is “almost a lost art form for this state and the College is to be congratulated for investing in bringing them back to their former glory. They are indeed heritage pieces, even more so with the ‘donated by’ plaques, making them irreplaceable.”

Along with the refurbishment of the chairs St Ann’s is also commissioning 26 new tables from Mabarrack with timber from ASH, a privately owned timber mill and Australia’s largest hardwood timber manufacturer. We chose sustainable Victorian Oak timber grown from certified regrowth forests, which has minimal waste since 100% of each log received is used.

St Ann’s is delighted to be able to restore the chairs to preserve the historical look and feel of our dining room, and to maintain the original links to the past via the plaques which will remain on each chair back.

Image caption: Our new tables, refurbished chairs, and the maker’s mark engraved under each St Ann’s dining chair

The Playford Trust Celebrates 40 Years

St Ann’s College is delighted to celebrate 40 years of the Playford Memorial Trust’s outstanding service to our state.

The Playford Trust invests in the future of South Australia by supporting bright students and young researchers to contribute to strategic areas that advance the interests of the state.

St Ann’s has partnered with the Playford Trust for more than 10 years to provide life-changing scholarships for promising regional and rural students.

To read the speech given by the Governor of South Australia, Her Excellency the Hon Frances Adamson AC at the 40th Anniversary Reception held on September 26th, 2023, click here.

A Night at the Opera with Friends
Gary N. Lines KSJ, MCA, Fellow and Governor

Recently I was given the honour to host a ‘’Night at the Opera” with some very special friends of the College Shirley Uhrig and her two daughters Ros and Cath, together with Mark and Carol Hill-Ling.

Principal Denise von Wald had come by some complimentary tickets to experience the internationally recognised troupe The Underground Opera Company for their performance in the St Peter’s Cathedral, North Adelaide.

The Underground Opera Company is based out of Queensland and has performed all over the world and especially across Australia to universal acclaim. They specialise in performing at unusual locations. This night they wowed the audience at St Peter’s Cathedral and the acoustics couldn’t have been better. They belted out many operatic favourites and filled the cathedral with joy.

Our guests joined Denise von Wald, Jason Turnbull, Maggi and I, for a light supper at the College in preparation for the evening’s entertainment. We all then departed for the Cathedral, secured our front row seats courtesy of Denise, grabbed a glass of bubbles, and sat through a magnificent performance by the Company’s sopranos, tenors, baritones, and bass singers. The emphasis was on fun and familiarity as the songs were all favourites of many Operas, and curiously of many television commercials.

It was an opportunity for the College to thank our very important friends and to provide them with a wonderful night of entertainment. It all melded into a grand night out and everyone had a terrific time. I thank Denise and Wendy for their work in helping to put the evening together.

I want to particularly acknowledge Shirley Uhrig as the wife of John who is the College’s revered patron. Both John and Shirley have been such important friends to the College over the years. It was also a great opportunity for Ros and Cath to get to know the College and for us to get to know them. Also, Mark and Carol Hill-Ling, who are the son and daughter-in-law of the late Bob and Rosemary Hill-Ling, both giants in the history of the College. Mark and Carol are carrying on the family tradition of supporting the College through the important Hill-Ling Bursary and for their attendance at many College events.

It is a fact of life that St Ann’s College could not prosper as it does, without the continuing selfless support of people such as Shirley and John Uhrig and Mark and Carol Hill-Ling. I personally thank them on behalf of the College and assure them that their support is always appreciated.

Gary N. Lines KSJ, MCA
Fellow and Governor
Deputy Chair of The Governors of The St Ann’s College Foundation

A National Award for Chartwell's!

Congratulations to our beloved catering team Chartwell’s who won the SILVER award for Industrial/Institutional Caterer at the National Restaurant and Catering Awards in Sydney on the 20th of November!

Their first place win in the SA Restaurant and Catering Awards on October 16th 2023 qualified them for a bid for the national awards and we are so proud that they earned second place in the nation in their category.

Rohit, Tamsin and their exceptional team provide delicious and nutritious meals every day for our students and staff. They offer a wide range of cultural options using local fresh ingredients, always making sure to cater for various dietary requirements. While the food is fabulous, we also enjoy their cheerful and friendly disposition and willingness to collaborate for special events.

Staff Changes

In September the St Ann’s staff welcomed Lauren Waters as the new Marketing and Advancement Officer.

Originally from the United States, she comes to us with experience in copywriting for trade publications in Beijing, China, as well as 13 years of marketing experience in the Australian food and health industries. Lauren currently works part time two days per week, with hours increasing early next year.


Commander Stephen Dunning RAN (Retired)
nominated for 2024 Senior Australian of the Year for SA

On October 26th 2023 the finalists for the 2024 Australian of the Year Awards were announced and we are very pleased to share that Collegian Commander Stephen Dunning RAN (Ret’d) was nominated for 2024 Senior Australian of the Year for South Australia!

Commander Dunning attended St Ann’s College from 1973-1974. As a survivor of a serious car accident, he became a qualified mental health practitioner and has used his experience and skills to make a profound impact on veterans – especially those most vulnerable who have experienced PTSD or disability. His career with the Australian Department of Defence spanned over 35 years. He is an Australian Defence Force Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer, and over the course of his career he has trained over 600 ADF personnel, defense civilians and others in suicide prevention strategies.

Stephen worked as a Board Member and was instrumental in growing the Community Bridging Services – a leading service provider for those living with a disability in SA. Stephen volunteered as the Navy Aide de Camp to four state governors, and since his medical retirement in 2019 from the Dept of Veterans’ Affairs he has served as a volunteer advocacy and peer support person to help service members access mental health support services.

Stephen’s life of modelling compassion and advocacy has provided life-saving support to countless veterans and service men and women. St Ann’s would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Stephen on his nomination.

A tribute to Professor Norman Feather
(b 27/07/1930 d. 28/10/2023)

The St Ann’s community was saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Norman Feather.


Connection to St Ann’s

He was the husband of Mrs Daryl (Raynes) Feather, one of St Ann’s College’s long-serving principals who initiated significant change and development for the College.

Mrs Feather was Principal of St Ann’s College from 1967 until mid-1979 (the longest serving Principal at this time). Under her leadership, the College became co-educational in 1973. During her tenure several significant building projects were completed which allowed for an increase in student numbers. She also leveraged Commonwealth funding for students and increased student diversity, which added enormously to the community.

Mrs Feather became the first married principal when she wed Professor Norman Feather of Flinders University and they took up residence in the new Principal’s flat (which was later expanded over the entirety of the Wilcox building to accommodate their son and his mothercraft nurse). Professor Feather was a lifelong supporter of St Ann’s College. He attended a Founder’s Day event in the recent past.

A life dedicated to educating others

Professor Feather completed his Bachelor of Arts with Honours in the early 1950’s and became a lecturer at The University of New England in 1952. After progressing to senior lecturer and Associate Professor, he took leave in 1958 to complete his PhD with the University of Michigan as a Fulbright Scholar. He then returned to UNE in 1960 to teach for another seven years before moving to Flinders University to become the Foundation Professor in Psychology.

Over the course of his career, he authored or edited six books and published 230 articles. He received Honorary Doctors of Letters from UNE and Flinders University, as well as an AM in 2016 for his significant service to higher education. He also received an Honorary Fellowship from the Australian Psychological Society and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Justice Research.

When asked by the Academy of The Social Sciences in Australia what was his proudest achievement, Professor Feather answered, “Apart from some of my contributions to social psychology, I am proud of my role in helping to establish psychology at Flinders University in a School that has now national and international significance.”


Remembering Dana Saint McLennan,
St Ann’s College Resident 1994-1997

Dana McLennan (nee Saint), born 15/5/76, died in 2023.

Dana was born in 1976. Her tertiary studies began at St Mark’s College Port Pirie before she joined St Ann’s College in 1994. She studied a Bachelor of Science at the University of Adelaide.

Whilst at St Ann’s, Dana served as a Warden during the Summer of 1994-95. She was appointed a Residential Tutor in 1995, and then served as Senior Tutor in 1996 and 1997. Dana also was the recipient of the Lady White Bursary and received the College Club Female Athletics Participant Award in 1995. After graduating, Dana completed further study at the University of Melbourne.

Her life was spent in service of bettering her community and looking out for the vulnerable. Dana travelled extensively and lived in the United Kingdom, working for St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust. She later returned to South Australia and served as the Disability Housing Manager for Unity Housing to aid vulnerable individuals and families who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. Later in life Dana moved to Melbourne and took on a role as the Integration Project Lead at Prahan Mission working in Mental Health Services. After this she worked at St John of God Hospital in Heathcote as a Team Leader in the Health Information Services Department.

Dana was a great friend and mentor to many, particularly friends she made at St Ann’s College. She leaves behind her husband Andy, her cat River and her dog Milli. She will be missed terribly by those who knew her.

Vale Dana. We value her many contributions to both St Ann’s College and the wider society, and we wish her loved ones comfort and peace during this difficult time.

Jane Brooks, St Ann’s College resident 1968

We recently had a delightful visit from a St Ann’s College collegian named Jane Brooks (nee Cowan). Jane studied at Wilderness and then went on to study physiotherapy at the University of Adelaide. She lived at St Ann’s in 1968, during her final year of study. Jane credits St Ann’s College with getting her through her course, thanks to the practical tutoring provided by a St Ann’s College collegian who was a recent physio graduate.

Jane was later inspired by space exploration in the 1980’s and studied physics by correspondence at Murdoch University in Perth. She said this degree, completed at home with young children underfoot, took 8 years as all study materials and assignments were sent back and forth via post!

Thank you for visiting us Jane, and for your very kind donation to St Ann’s College.

Photo: St Ann’s College 1968 Cohort, Jane Cowan (back row, 4th from right).


Congratulations to Paul Newland, St Ann’s Resident 2016-2017,
and his new wife Claire!

Paul Newland, President of the St Ann’s College Collegians and resident during 2016-2017 wed his partner Claire on September 30th. 2023. Their wedding ceremony was held at the St Peter’s Girls School, and the reception took place at the National Wine Centre.

Paul has been heavily involved in the St Ann’s community and the College holds a special place in his heart. The couple chose to use the scenic backdrop of the St Ann’s grounds as a sentimental location for some truly gorgeous photos.

Congratulations Paul and Claire! We wish you a long and happy life together.

If you would like to arrange to have your wedding photos taken at St Ann’s, please get in touch: info@stannscollege.edu.au.


Katie Gibbons (St Ann’s Resident 2016 -2018) and Andrew Edwards (St Ann’s Resident 2015 – 2018) became engaged on the 1st of April 2023! We wish them all the best as they plan a happy life together.


Tyson McLean and Gracie Francis (both St Ann’s Residents 2015-2016) became engaged in the UK October 2023! We are delighted to hear engagement stories of couples who attend St Ann’s together. Congratulations to you both.


Meg Pittaway (St Ann’s Resident 2014-2016) and Ben Glover (St Ann’s Resident 2015) were married on the 31st of July 2023 in Tuscany Italy! We are delighted to hear of this St Ann’s love story.


Congratulations to St Ann’s recent graduates!

Well done to all of our students and collegians who graduated at the end of this year!

Lorie Paynter – Bachelor of Contemporary Art, UniSA (Residential Advisor, Academic Tutor at St Ann’s)

Bella-Louise Hunyadi – Bachelor of Psychological Science (Counselling and Interpersonal Skills), UniSA (Senior RA, Academic Tutor at St Ann’s)

St Ann’s extends our very best wishes to you all in your future endeavours.

If you are graduating in the near future or you recently graduated and we missed the opportunity to include you in this newsletter, please get in touch! We would love to feature you in the future.


Upcoming Events

The St Ann’s Collegians Association will hold its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 14 February 2024. We invite any and all motivated Ann’s Old Collegians to attend. It will be held from 6pm at St Ann’s College in the Enterprise Deck.

The election of Committee and Office Bearers will be held including President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Committee Members, Public Officer, Auditor and representatives to the College Council, Education Committee and Foundation committee. A Constitution Reform will take place as well. To view the meeting’s agenda, please click here.

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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