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“It was my great pleasure to take up the post of Principal of St Ann’s College in July 2019.
“St Ann’s students are taking us deeper into the 21st century — a time when the world is changing at an unprecedented pace and young people are getting ready to do jobs we haven’t yet dreamt of.
“It’s a privilege to be part of that, to be working alongside students who are thriving academically, striving personally and getting ready to show the world what they can do.
“The environment at St Ann’s has been created to support the key skill development of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. Our students benefit from living in a real community – and many say they wouldn’t be doing so well academically without the support and facilities making it easier to study and live.
“My main goal for the next five years is to increase the number of students at St Ann’s, to achieve even higher academic outcomes than the 95% pass rate we already enjoy and most importantly to ensure every student reaches his or her full potential.
“I hope you’ll be along for that journey!”

Denise von Wald BA, FAICD, CPM
September 2019

Denise von Wald took up the position of Principal of St Ann’s College in July 2019.

A native of Portland Oregon, a resident of South Australia for 20 years, and a senior marketing manager with global experience, she’s delighted to be working with the distinguished College Council and alongside the students of St Ann’s College.

Denise brings 30 years’ experience as a CEO, General Manager and Board Director, with highly developed skills in international education and tourism.

From 2013-2018, she was Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager for the UK and Northern Europe, based in London, and with her partners delivered record numbers of visitors to Australia.

From 2005-2013 Denise was the CEO of Education Adelaide/Study AdeIaide, the key marketing organisation promoting South Australia as a premier international education destination.

From 1998-2005 she was General Manager of Marketing with the South Australian Tourism Commission.

She also served for nine years as a program director, producer and journalist with the ABC.

In 2000, Denise was chosen for the inaugural South Australian Governor’s Leadership Foundation programme. In 2007 she was awarded an Australian Davos Connection, Future Summit Leadership Award. In 2010 she won an IEAA Excellence Award for Study Adelaide Student and Community Support Program in the Best Innovation and Practice category.


St Ann’s College Council along with the Executive and Finance Committee is the governing body of the college. It comprises a Chair, 13 Governors and 2 Ex Officios.

The Council meets five times a year with the Executive and Finance Committee meeting eleven times a year to set the strategic direction, identify and manage risk; manage the performance expectations of the College and monitor the achievement against these.

Click here for more details about our Council Members

Click here for more details about our Executive and Finance Committee

Chairman’s Statement

“St Ann’s College is a leading residential college and as Chair of Council my fundamental vision is that we continue to provide a safe, collegiate environment that allows students to achieve their full academic potential.  

“In the current environment of rapid change this is not meant to be a statement of status quo. Different students have different needs to achieve their best, so we strive to be continually aware of areas in which we can provide.
“We will continue to make strategic investments, with the help of our Foundation and generous benefactors. We will continue to improve technology, infrastructure and other services. We will also maximise the potential support available using outside networks from the universities and Old Collegians (a very significant network of people).  
“I am very proud of our history and the positive culture that is instilled in St Ann’s through the leadership of the Council, Principal, staff, Tutors and students.  The St Ann’s College experience extends past pure academics – we are helping to produce tomorrow’s leaders.
“By working together we can provide the best pathway for this to happen for a long time to come.”
Ashley Hams, Chair of Council, September 2019


  1. 1924 – A progressive college for a progressive state

    In 1924, lawyer and politician Sir Josiah Symon suggests South Australia should have a women’s college to ensure women who have been admitted to the University of Adelaide are given somewhere to live. (In 1881, the University becomes the first in Australia to admit women undergraduates; to put that in context, Cambridge University does not give full membership to women until 1948.)

  2. 1939 – The College is established

    Well-connected women graduates – including Helen Mayo, Violet Plummer and Pauline Price – generate the will and finance to make good on the idea. They secure the 1927 Spanish mission-style property on Brougham Place, owned by businessman and benefactor, Sidney Wilcox.

  3. 1947 – The first students take up residence!

    Delayed by the Second World War, the College opens with the first 16 women students in residence on 16 March 1947. Thirteen are in the house on Brougham Place and three in the Melbourne Street cottage. They come from seven different faculties and departments within the University of Adelaide: Arts, Science, Medicine, Law, Social Science, Music, and Physical Training.

  4. 1951 – The Collegians are founded

    The Collegians are founded at the suggestion of Judith Aitken (they are known as the ‘Old Collegians’ until 1955). The Collegians Association is incorporated on 25 July 1978 and is a non-profit organisation.

  5. 1954 – The College crest and motto are adopted

    The crest and motto are shown to students at the final dinner at year’s end in 1954, and both are “warmly received”.

  6. 1961 – New facilities are built

    A spacious dining hall and common room are added and named in recognition of Dr Helen Mayo for her service to the College. This is the first building constructed specifically for the College and the first built with government assistance.

  7. 1973 – St Ann’s welcomes its first male students

    The Council decides that the College should be co-residential to include all students from rural and regional Australia, interstate and overseas.

  8. 1985 – The College goes digital!

    In 1985 principal Dr Rosemary Brooks installs a computer suite for student use.

  9. 1987 – The College Foundation funds the future

    The St Ann’s College Foundation is launched to support St Ann’s College in providing students from regional and rural Australia and overseas with high-quality accommodation, services and facilities. Its role is to support student bursaries and fund maintenance and development at the College.

  10. 1988 – The College Club gets to work!

    The St Ann’s College Club is incorporated in 1988. Seen as a channel of communication between the Principal, tutors and student body on matters affecting the community, it also organises social events and arranges sports competitions with the other residential Colleges.

  11. 1996 – St Ann’s welcomes all university undergrads

    The College becomes affiliated with all three Universities of SA, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

  12. 2000 – The College forges closer links with Aboriginal students

    St Ann’s commissions Kgippandingi artist Micah Wenitong to paint a mural in the Barnes stairwell. It also hosts the makers of Rabbit-Proof Fence to film scenes in the College, and invites students from Mattanya College for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander students to participate in St Ann’s teams for inter-college sports competitions. Many St Ann’s students (present and alumni) are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

  13. 2002 – The Dame Roma Mitchell building is opened

    As part of a Master Plan to enhance the facilities and fabric of the College, the Dame Roma Mitchell building is opened on 20 March. The new building provides ensuites, air conditioning and high-speed internet access for all students.

  14. 2016 – The College goes solar

    An extensive solar-powered system is installed which helps considerably to meet the costs of air-conditioning in all rooms (installed two years earlier). It also lessens the College’s carbon footprint.

  15. 2017 – The Enterprise Deck is open for business…

    The college holds the official opening of the Kennedy Brooks Enterprise Deck, specifically designed to encourage a shared learning environment supported with technology. The real strength of this new building is the enhanced potential of face-to-face collaboration by students.

  16. 2020 – 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. 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 College Foundation was launched in 1987 to support St Ann’s College in providing students from regional and rural Australia and overseas with high-quality accommodation, services and facilities in an inspiring academic environment.

The College is solely funded by student fees and donations from benefactors. These finances are managed by The Foundation.

The Foundation supports a number of partial bursaries to enable students to stay at St Ann’s College while studying at University.

It is also able to allocate funds for maintenance and development at the College, like The Dame Roma Mitchell Building and, more recently, the Enterprise Deck.

Founders’ Day

Founders' Day

Founders' Day is one of the most important days in the St Ann’s College calendar. Click on the image to watch the video.

On September 13th, 2023, St Ann’s College marked its very special annual tradition of its Founders Day.
In September we celebrate the birthday of Sir Josiah Symon. He was 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. 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. They provide an opportunity for reflection on the generosity and splendid example of people who believed in the ideals and possibilities of college life.

We also acknowledged the gifts and contributions from Sidney Wilcox, Dr Helen Mayo, Violet Plummer, Pauline Price, Dame Roma Mitchell, Bob and Rosemary Hill-Ling, Bob and Cathy Kennedy, Gemma Bronkhurst, Dr Rosemary Brooks, Simon Stevens and all of the others who have played an invaluable role in creating this College for us.
The St Ann’s College Founders Day event combines solemn respect and admiration for our founding figureheads who paved the way for St Ann’s to become the pillar of tradition it is today; and a jovial celebration of our present-day student community and generous benefactors who continue to build St Ann’s College as time marches on.

The festivities included:

– A visit to the North Road Cemetery to lay a holly wreath on the grave of Sir Josiah Symon, preceded by a prayer, poem and whiskey toast.<
– Pre-dinner drinks and student art showcase for College Council and guests in the library
– A three-course dinner in the main dining room with speeches by Denise von Wald (Principal) and Ashley Hams (Chair of the St Ann’s College Council)
– A student musician concert in the Mayo Common Room


As the College receives no funding from any government, religious or educational body, it depends entirely on student fees and generous benefactors who believe in its work and the future benefit to society of well-educated young people.

There are several ways to financially support St Ann’s College and its students.


The simplest way is by giving a donation. Donations can be made by sending a cheque to our office at 187 Brougham Place North Adelaide, using a credit card over the phone on 08 8267 1478 or by transferring money by direct credit. Our National Australia Bank account details are:

Account name: St Ann’s College Foundation

BSB: 085005

Account: 824309107

All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible. A receipt and letter of thanks will be forwarded to you. Should you use the direct credit method please email St Ann’s on info@stannscollege.edu.au your personal details to ensure we can forward a receipt promptly.

Online Donations

St Ann's Foundation

Click the button below to make a donation with credit card now. The St Ann's College Foundation thanks you for your support.

A wonderful way to assist students while also promoting your organisation or commemorating someone dear to you is by setting up a scholarship or prize. These awards are used either to rebate part of a student’s fees or as a financial benefit to be used for their education or needs.

Many of our past scholarships are endowed to perpetuate the name of a loved one or to honour their achievements.

Awards can be perpetual or for a limited time, and can be directed towards students in particular fields of study or circumstances.

Examples can be found here.

For more information, please call our office on +61 8 8267 1478 to discuss your options.

While students are always our first priority, we are mindful of the changing world that they live in. We are continually working to upgrade the buildings and facilities of St Ann’s.

For these costly projects we need funding. Substantial donations towards specific projects are recognised through plaques and memorials.

You can nominate which program you want your funds to be diverted to, or allow us to use them for the most pressing need. We respect your wishes.

There comes a time to consider leaving a charitable gift in your will. Philanthropy can ensure a permanent memorial for generous deeds.

St Ann’s College has been very grateful for the Bequest and In Memoriam donations it has received in the interests of students from remote Australia. Many of these have been instrumental in the formation and development of the College – for example, our foundation building was donated by Mr Sidney Wilcox upon his death and the College is named in honour of his mother. Sir Josiah Symon and his family were equally generous in their support, both during their lives and upon their passing.

Donations don’t need to be large to have an impact. Smaller donations have been used to improve students’ environment in countless ways. All donations are gratefully received and very important to the College.

If you would like to find out more about how to leave a bequest or in memoriam donation to St Ann’s College, please contact us.


St Ann’s College Governors

From time to time we receive a donation, or series of donations, so generous that we want to thank them by appointing them as our Governors. They are invited to attend an annual meeting to hear of the progress of our students and projects. They are welcome at all our functions and events.

St Ann’s College Fellows

On 27 May 2009 the Council of St Ann’s College decided to appoint Fellows of the College in recognition of significant service to the College.

St Ann’s currently has 17 Fellows.

Pictured below (left to right) are Di Davidson AM, Jim Howard AM RFD, Gary Lines and Kae Martin


The Collegians were founded in June 1951 at the suggestion of Judith Aitken. The group was known as the Old Collegians until 1955, when it was re-named the St Ann’s Collegians Association. The Association was incorporated on 25 July 1978 and is a non-profit organisation.

The Association is run by the Collegians committee.

Past and present students become members of the Collegians.

There is a mandatory membership fee of $100 to ensure that students automatically become a Collegian member. This fee was introduced in 1993.

As a committee the Collegians have two main aims:

  • To establish and provide such scholarships, exhibitions, bursaries and prizes as may be thought fit.
  • To promote the interests and well-being of the Association and its members, and of the College and its members; and to promote unity and good fellowship among all Collegians, and between Collegians and members of the College.

The committee consists of past students elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. Since 2008 a current student has been appointed to the committee by the student body. The College Principal is also part of the committee in an ex-officio position.

The main events that the Collegians organise are:

  • Mentoring dinners are held twice a year for current students – a particular topic, such as medicine or engineering, is chosen as the theme for the night. Several guest speakers are invited to attend and talk to students about their profession, answer students’ questions and generally provide students with an insight into options, opportunities and experiences they could expect in that profession or field. The College acknowledges the world is changing rapidly and recently held a dinner with ‘the path less travelled’ as the theme with an emphasis on unusual careers or career paths.
  • Scholarship and prizes for current students – at the beginning of each year the Library and Education Committee allocates scholarship money to worthy students. The Collegians Awards are given to up to five first-year students annually as determined by the Library and Education Committee. The Collegians Prize is given annually to a continuing student later in the year to acknowledge a student who brings honour to the College through achievements in the wider community.
  • Newsletter for past students – these are published twice a year to showcase the personal and academic accomplishments of past and present students. Currently the newsletter is distributed to over 2,000 people.
  • Donations to College – every few years when funds permit, the Collegians make a donation to College. Past donations include resurfacing of the College tennis court and installation of air-conditioning in the College library.
  • Reunion Dinners – 20-year reunion dinners are held from time to time to give past students a chance to reminisce and reconnect with their peers from College. This is a new event started in 2009.

The committee consists of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and General Members who are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.

The Committee meets once a month to coordinate our dealings and ensure that all finances are in order as the Collegians have considerable investments in shares. The Collegians also have representatives on the Library and Education Committee, House Committee and on the St Ann’s College Council.