Inspiring Old Girls

Life writes the best stories...

Inspiring Old Girls

Rarely a day goes by without someone making mention of one of our remarkable ‘Old Girls’. Over the past 125 years, many thousands of young women have graduated from Collegiate.

They are scientists, educators, media personalities, artists, community advocates, engineers, musicians, carers, authors, lawyers, volunteers, doctors and Olympians. We celebrate them for making a difference and for inspiring future generations to do the same.

Here we share a gallery of Collegiate’s inspiring women. Each has her own unique story.

 

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    Her Excellency, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania

    Collegiate 1953-1965

    Governor of Tasmania

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    Mrs Alison Watkins

    Collegiate 1974-1980

    Group Managing Director at Coca-Cola Amatil

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    Dr Jane Sargison

    Collegiate 1988-1993

    Managing Director of JSA Consulting Engineers

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    Right Reverend Doctor Sarah Macneil

    Collegiate 1966-1971

    Bishop of Grafton in the Anglican Church of Australia

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    Dr Vanessa Goodwin

    Collegiate 1972-1986

    Member of the Legislative Council, Tasmania; Tasmanian State Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for the Arts, and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

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    Professor Katharine Gelber

    Collegiate 1976-1982

    Professor of Politics and Public Policy, The University of Queensland. BA (Hons) USyd, PhD USyd

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    The Honourable Justice Katrina Banks-Smith SC

    Collegiate 1978-1983

    Supreme Court of Western Australia

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    Abigail Trewin

    Collegiate 1986 - 1993

    Acting Director Disaster Preparedness, National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Darwin NT

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    Rebecca Cody

    Collegiate 1983 - 1990

    Principal, MLC Claremont: Principal-elect, Geelong Grammar School

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    Liz Gillam

    Collegiate 1959-1968

    LLB (Hons), Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women, Co-President of the Collegiate Old Girls Association

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    Miriam Handsworth née Butler

    Collegiate 1980-1990

    Professional Musician

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    Katherine Butler

    Collegiate 1980-1991

    Clinical Specialist in Hand Therapy, London Hand Therapy, B.Ap(Sc)OT, AHT(BAHT), A.Mus.A(Flute)

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    Dr Fiona Kerslake

    Collegiate 1990 - 1997

    PhD UTAS

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    Dr Mel Irons

    Collegiate 1990-2001

    Psychologist & University Lecturer

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    Kate Gaul

    Collegiate 1973-1980

    Theatre Director

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    Rebecca Coote

    Collegiate 1989-1991

    Glass Sculptor, Installation and Design Artist

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    Professor Anne Cutler

    Collegiate 1956-1960

    Research Professor at the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney

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    Clare McShane

    Collegiate 1966

    Teacher and Entrepreneur

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    Julie Warn AM

    Collegiate 1958-1970

    Professor, Dean of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and member of the Executive at Edith Cowan University

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    Nancen Beryl (Nan) Chauncy

    Collegiate 1912-1920

    Children's Novelist, Awarded for service to the arts and environment

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    Betty Rigg

    Collegiate 1905-1921

    Champion Golfer, Commander in British Red Cross Ambulance Service

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    Eve Masterman, AM

    Collegiate 1914-1925

    BA, Member of the Order of Australia

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    Alison Whyte

    Collegiate 1977-1985

    Actress

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    Courtney Barnett

    Collegiate 2003 - 2005

    Musician

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    Fran Bladel

    Collegiate 1946-1948

    Teacher, volunteer, advocate and member of Tasmanian Parliament

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    Jane Burrell

    Collegiate 1962 - 1968

    Scientific Illustrator and Graphic Designer

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    Dr Kate Burbury

    Collegiate 1982-1988

    Consultant haematologist and chair of the senior medical staff at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Victoria

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    Dr (Sally) Ursula Salmon

    Collegiate 1987, 1989-1992

    Environmental Engineer

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    Dr Anthea Rhodes

    Collegiate 1990 - 1996

    Paediatrician at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, and Director of the Australian Child Health Poll

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    Dr Joanna Jones

    1990-1995

    PhD and lecturer at UTAS

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    Penny Griffits

    Collegiate 1987 - 1995

    Manager of Strategy at Ixom

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    Dr Erin Kelly

    Collegiate 1992-2001

    Clinical Psychologist & Director of Therapeutic Programs at St Helen's Private Hospital Hobart

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    Julie Heckscher

    Collegiate 1975-1980

    Corporate Counsel, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

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    Leah Cameron

    Collegiate 1995 - 2000

    Owner of Marrawah Law

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    Helen Cumpston née Dunbar

    Collegiate 1921-1926

    First woman to graduate in Law from the University of Tasmania

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    Beth Roberts

    Collegiate 1936-1942

    Children's Book Author

Her Excellency, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania

Collegiate 1953-1965

Governor of Tasmania

Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC was sworn in as the first female Governor of Tasmania on 10 December 2014. She was also the University of Tasmania’s first female Dean of the Faculty of Law (1992) and first female Law Faculty Professor (1996).

Professor Warner graduated from the University of Tasmania with an Honours degree in Law in 1970 and was admitted to the bar in 1971. After working as Associate to the Chief Justice of Tasmania and gaining her Master of Laws in 1978, she commenced her distinguished academic career.

An internationally recognised expert in the fields of criminal law, criminology and sentencing, Professor Warner taught and published extensively in these areas for over 30 years. She also has a strong interest in law reform and human rights and was a foundation Director of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute.

Professor Warner has served as a Commissioner of the Tasmanian Gaming Commission and Director of the Centre for Legal Studies, and as a member of the Tasmanian Sentencing Advisory Council, the Board of Legal Education, the Council of Law Reporting and the Parole Board.

In 2013 Professor Warner received the Women Lawyers Award for Leadership and in the same year she was honoured with the rarely-awarded University of Tasmania Distinguished Service Medal. She was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2007 and was awarded a Visiting Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford University, in 2009. She was also President and Chair of the Alcorso Foundation, supporting the Arts, Environment and Social Justice in Tasmania, and was a member of its Social Justice subcommittee.

Professor Warner has been nominated as a finalist in the Tasmanian Australian of the Year Awards for her contributions to the law, law reform and legal education.

Professor Warner has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and law reform reports. She first published Sentencing in Tasmania in 1991, which has since become an indispensable tool for judges and magistrates. She is a member of the editorial boards of Current Issues in Criminal Justice; Women Against Violence; and the Criminal Law Journal.  She contributed the annual Sentencing Review to the Criminal Law Journal from 1998 until her appointment as Governor of Tasmania in 2014. Related to her role with the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute, she has written a number of papers and reports for the Board.

Professor Warner was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2014 for significant service to the law, particularly in the areas of legal education and reform, and to the community.

As Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency is an advocate for the empowerment of women, gender equality in the workplace and addressing the issues of sexual and domestic violence. Professor Warner chairs the Advisory Committee of the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment.

 

Mrs Alison Watkins

Collegiate 1974-1980

Group Managing Director at Coca-Cola Amatil

Alison Watkins currently holds the position of Group Managing Director at Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the top 50 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Coca-Cola Amatil is the power behind the region’s favourite brands working across a diverse group of businesses, in six countries, with a leading range of ready-to-drink non-alcohol and alcohol beverages, coffee and ready-to-eat food snacks.

Previously, Alison held the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ASX listed agribusiness, GrainCorp Limited from 2010 to December 2013.

Alison has been an executive, a director and an advisor across a range of businesses, including food and beverages, agriculture, retail and financial services.

She began her career with Chartered Accountants, Touche Ross then spent a decade with international management consultants McKinsey & Company where she was appointed as partner in 1996. In 1999 she moved to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) as Group General Manager Strategy, reporting to the CEO.

Alison was soon after appointed to the role of Managing Director of Regional Banking at ANZ, before taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer at Berri Limited, the market leader in Australian juice. After Berri was acquired in 2006 Alison worked with private equity owners Ironbridge and Bennelong Group before joining GrainCorp. Alison has served as a non-executive director of ANZ, Woolworths Limited and Just Group Limited. She is a former Victorian President and National Board Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Alison is a Director of the Centre for Independent Studies and the Business Council of Australia, and has previously been a member of the Australian Government Takeovers Panel. Her other community roles have included being a Director of the World Swimming Championships in 2007 and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Alison holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Tasmania, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and the Australia Institute of Company Directors. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women.

Alison is married to Rod and they have 4 children, Grace (23), Elliott (21), Ilsa (18) and Meg (14). Alison and her family enjoy farming, swimming, golf and skiing.

There have been several leaders, male and female, who have inspired and supported Alison during her career, and Alison seeks to play a leadership role for other women across the business community as a speaker, panellist, mentor and through promoting change at CCA.

During her Occasional Address at Speech Night in December, Alison reflected that St Michael’s Collegiate School shaped her in ways she certainly didn’t think about at the time. Her five pieces of advice to the girls were: challenge yourself to be your best every day; be true to yourself; just give it a go; connect with great people; and strike a balance. An extract from Alison’s address detailing her excellent advice is available here.

Dr Jane Sargison

Collegiate 1988-1993

Managing Director of JSA Consulting Engineers

Jane Sargison graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1997 with a Bachelor of Engineering, First Class Honours and the University Medal. She worked for WBM Consulting Engineers during 1998 when she was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to complete her DPhil at the University of Oxford between 1998 and 2001.

Dr Sargison is the Managing Director of JSA Consulting Engineers, in Tasmania. Her business employs 10 people and is a niche consultancy specialising in Civil and Structural Engineering design for residential and commercial building projects.

She is currently a Director and Chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee for TasNetworks, the Tasmanian Distribution and Transmission Network Government Business Enterprise.

During her studies at Oxford developed cutting edge technologies used in Rolls Royce aero engines. Her business and research interests in renewable energy included a project aimed at generating energy from biomass resulting in low cost carbon sequestration. In 2011 Jane was named National Professional Engineer of the Year in recognition of her contribution to the profession, her innovative approach to engineering projects, communication and work in supporting young people to study engineering.

Her recent roles have included Director of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, (a government agency established to consolidate $3.2 billion in funding to support the research, development and deployment of renewable energy technology in Australia). Other recent roles have included Director on the boards of the Australian Institute of Energy, National Mechanical College of Engineers Australia, Southern Water Tasmania and TasWater, and a member of the AusIndustry Clean Technology Innovation Committee, Building Regulation Advisory Committee and the Tasmanian Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee

Other former roles have included Deputy Director of the Centre for Renewable Energy and Power Systems and Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tasmania. As a former Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania, Jane’s research interests included experimental and computational fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and heat transfer.

Jane was the Tasmanian State Finalist in the 2013 Australian of the Year awards.

Right Reverend Doctor Sarah Macneil

Collegiate 1966-1971

Bishop of Grafton in the Anglican Church of Australia

The Right Reverend Dr Sarah Macneil is the first woman to lead an Anglican Diocese in Australia. She was consecrated and installed as the eleventh Bishop of Grafton on 1 March 2014.

Dr Macneil studied Arts at the University of Tasmania, where she was awarded a First Class Honours Degree in French. She then moved to Canberra where she joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and took up a diplomatic post in Stockholm from 1978 to 1982. Following this Dr Macneil became a policy officer in the Department of Trade and completed postgraduate study in public administration at the French National School of Administration in Paris.

Dr Macneil began her theological studies at St Mark’s National Theological Centre and was ordained as a deacon in 1993 and as a priest in 1994. Over the next few years she worked in a variety of positions in the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, including as Rector of All Saints, Ainslie, as a school chaplain and as Diocesan Archdeacon. Dr Macneil also followed her interest in Anglican ecclesiology and was awarded a PhD for her thesis on the nexus between Anglican identity and governance.

When Dr Macneil was installed as Dean at St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide, she was the first woman to be appointed Dean of an Australian capital city. She then moved to the nation’s capital and it was in 2013, while serving as Senior Associate Priest in Canberra, that Dr Macneil was unanimously selected by the nomination board to become the first female Bishop of Grafton. Dr Macneil is the 11th Bishop of Grafton

Dr Vanessa Goodwin

Collegiate 1972-1986

Member of the Legislative Council, Tasmania; Tasmanian State Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for the Arts, and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

The Honourable Dr Vanessa Goodwin, MLC is Tasmania’s Attorney General and the first female Liberal Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council. Prior to being elected as the Liberal Member for Pembroke in August 2009, Dr Goodwin worked as a criminologist for the Department of Police and Emergency Management for over 11 years, with responsibility for conducting research, managing crime prevention projects and developing policy advice. Dr Goodwin’s research interests have included burglary and repeat victimisation, and intergenerational crime.

Dr Goodwin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Laws (1993) and a Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies (1994) from the University of Tasmania.

In 1995, Dr Goodwin was admitted and enrolled as a practitioner in the Supreme Court of Tasmania, and completed a Master of Philosophy in criminology at Cambridge University in 1997. She was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in law and criminology from the University of Tasmania in 2006.

Dr Goodwin’s career spans working in the family business, the offices of the Governor of Tasmania and the Chief Justice of Tasmania, an industry association, and the public sector.  She brings a broad range of life and employment experience to her current role as Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for Corrections, Minister for the Arts and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

Professor Katharine Gelber

Collegiate 1976-1982

Professor of Politics and Public Policy, The University of Queensland. BA (Hons) USyd, PhD USyd

Katharine Gelber completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania, followed by an Honours degree at the University of Sydney. Katharine completed her doctoral studies in government.

Kath Gelber is an ARC Future Fellow in the School of Political Science and International Studies. She commenced an appointment as Associate Professor in Public Policy at the University of Queensland in January 2011, after nine years at the University of New South Wales where she held the position of Associate Professor of Political Science.

She conducts research into freedom of speech and the regulation of hate speech, human rights and public discourse. She is the recipient of several ARC grants on these topics. In 2011 she was invited by the United Nations to be the Australian expert witness at a regional meeting examining states’ compliance with the free speech and racial hatred provisions of international law. In 2009 she presented the Mitchell Oration in Adelaide on the topic “Freedom of Speech and its Limits”.

She is a former president of the Australian Political Studies Association and serves on its Executive Committee. She has published widely in these areas, including the 2011 book, Speech Matters, which was shortlisted by the Australian Human Rights Commission in the 2011 Human Rights Award Literature (Non-Fiction) Category.

The Honourable Justice Katrina Banks-Smith SC

Collegiate 1978-1983

Supreme Court of Western Australia

Collegiate old girl Katrina Banks-Smith (née Smith) departed Collegiate in 1983 having served as Deputy Head Prefect and Kilburn House Captain. Katrina graduated with First Class Honours in Law from the University of Tasmania in 1988. After completing her articles in Tasmania, Katrina accepted a job in a prestigious Western Australian law firm which later became the international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

In 1992 Katrina took a leave of absence to pursue her academic interests having been awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to attend Cambridge University.  She graduated with the degree of Master of Laws, first class.

Katrina returned to Perth, became a partner at Freehills, and specialised in commercial litigation. She was involved in many complex commercial litigation cases during her career, particularly arising out of the mining and resources sector.

Katrina then joined the independent bar as a barrister and was appointed senior counsel in 2013.

Katrina was appointed to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in July 2016. During the official welcome, The Hon. Chief Justice Wayne Stewart Martin AC remarked:

In appointing Justice Banks-Smith to this Court the government has been good enough to overlook the fact that her Honour was born and received her undergraduate education in Tasmania.

Katrina also sits on the advisory board to Notre Dame University’s Law School and the ethics committee for Perth Children’s Hospital, and is a proud mother of two sons.

Abigail Trewin

Collegiate 1986 - 1993

Acting Director Disaster Preparedness, National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Darwin NT

Abi is the Acting Director of Disaster Preparedness and Response for the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTR) in Darwin and an Intensive Care Paramedic.

Abi began her Paramedic training in Yulara and Alice Springs after leaving a career in Hotel Management. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree in Paramedicine, a Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Paramedicine and is currently undertaking a Post Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Leadership. Abi also completed qualifications from both the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, Leura NSW, and the International Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (IHTTI) in Neuchâtel Switzerland.

Abi has worked in Pakistan in 2010 as a Paramedic in the Australian civilian/military medical team following the devastating floods; in the Philippines in 2013 after super typhoon Haiyan; and in Fiji in 2015 as AUSMAT Mission leader for the AusMAT Fijian response after cyclone Winston. Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) are multi-disciplinary health teams incorporating doctors, nurses, paramedics, fire-fighters (logisticians) and allied health staff such as environmental health staff, radiographers and pharmacists. They are designed to be self-sufficient, experienced teams that can rapidly respond to a disaster zone to provide life-saving treatment to casualties, in support of the local health response.

Abi represents Australia as a Global Mentor/Verifier for the World Health Organisation to support Emergency Medical Teams to meet the global international standards – she is currently mentoring Fiji to reach these standards and is trained as an Emergency Medical Team Centre coordinator to support Ministries of Health affected by disaster.

Rebecca Cody

Collegiate 1983 - 1990

Principal, MLC Claremont: Principal-elect, Geelong Grammar School

Collegiate old girl, Rebecca Cody, is the Principal-elect of Geelong Grammar School, and will take up this prestigious position in Term 2, 2018. Rebecca believes that education “can transform the lives of those who are blessed to have it….as there are many children in our world who do not have access to the fundamentals that schools provide; regrettably, most of those who miss out are girls.” As a “highly engaged student, she developed a “zeal for learning and a fascination with remarkable endeavours” while a young student at St Michael’s Collegiate School.

A graduate of the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Education (First Class Honours), Rebecca’s teaching career began as an English and Drama teacher at St Michael’s Collegiate School and continued at PLC Perth, where she rose to Head of Senior School. She was appointed to her first Principal position at Woodford House, a leading boarding and day school in New Zealand, in 2004, at the age of 31.  Rebecca became Principal of MLC Claremont in 2009, where she has been a highly successful and dynamic leader, significantly building enrolments and confidence in the school. MLC currently has 1,200 students from ELC to Year 12, including over 100 boarders. Her initiatives include the introduction of co-education in the ELC, shared co-ed classes with Christ Church Grammar in Years 11 and 12, and an emphasis on professional learning and development for all staff, including the introduction of Positive Education.

She has continued her academic studies by commencing a PhD at The University of Western Australia and is also a graduate of the Cranlana Programme, which as an initiative of the Myer Foundation, is a forum for business, government and community leaders to reflect upon philosophical, ethical and social issues necessary in creating a just, prosperous and sustainable Australian society.

Rebecca’s philosophy on education and life is this:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go…”.Dr Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

Liz Gillam

Collegiate 1959-1968

LLB (Hons), Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women, Co-President of the Collegiate Old Girls Association

A Collegiate student for her Tasmanian school life, Liz rose to the position of Head Prefect.  She later graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania and is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Liz worked in the public sector, primarily in the area of policy development, for over 40 years in both State and Local Government.  Her roles included Deputy Director of the Office of Status of Women, Deputy Director of Local Government, Private Secretary to Government Ministers of various political persuasions and Policy Manager at the Local Government Association of Tasmania. This period covered significant policy development work relating to the status of women, including the Sex Discrimination Act, and major reforms in Local Government, including the reduction of the number of councils from 46 to 29 and comprehensive changes to the Local Government Act. Liz’s interest in Local Government continues as a member of the Local Government Board.

Liz was an inaugural member of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission, which advises the Minister on matters relating to elections and provides educational and information programs in relation to elections, and in 2016 completed a seven-year term as Chair.

Liz was appointed an inaugural member of the Integrity Commission, a reflection of her extensive experience in local government, procedural fairness and equity and continues to work to improve the conduct, propriety and ethics in public authorities.

As a Director of the Public Trustee, Liz works with the Board to provide quality, independent trustee services to the Tasmanian community and to ensure that the business and affairs of the Public Trustee are conducted in accordance with sound commercial practice and statutory obligations.

In 2015, Liz became a member of the Board of the Hobart Women’s Shelter, a not for profit organisation that provides accommodation and other services for homeless women and children and those escaping domestic violence.

In March 2017, Liz was inducted to the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women.

A quiet achiever, Liz Gillam has embodied the characteristics of trust and responsibility throughout her professional life, as an adviser and influencer on major government policy in Tasmania, and a strong contributor on social justice issues. She was undoubtedly influenced by her father’s background and teachings as Dean of Hobart and School Chaplain. St Michael’s Collegiate School holds Liz in the highest esteem and is delighted that she continues to play an important role in the life of school, previously for five years as Chair of the School Board and now as a Foundation Trustee and Co-President of the Collegiate Old Girls Association.

Miriam Handsworth née Butler

Collegiate 1980-1990

Professional Musician

Born in Adelaide in 1973. Miriam received the Zonta Outstanding Young Fashion Designer Award in 1988 and won a World Vision Study Tour Scholarship to Zimbabwe and Zambia in 1990. She also completed her HSC at St Michaels Collegiate School in 1990. In 1993 she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design at the University of Tasmania. In 1997 she obtained a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Granted a Queen’s Trust Scholarship for postgraduate studies in Europe, she studied in Freiburg, Germany and graduated from the Castelfranco Conservatorium of Music in Veneto, Italy in 2001. In 2003 she became Sub-Principal Bassoon with the Cyprus State Orchestra. During her time in Cyprus Miriam also worked for World Vision International as an Events Coordinator, and was the Art Coordinator for the Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art from 2007-2009.

Over the years Miriam has worked with numerous orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Munich Symphony, Mannheim State Theatre Orchestra, Würzburg State Theatre Orchestra, Wroclaw Opera, Poland and the Wuhan Philharmonic, China.

Several works have been written for Miriam including Richard Lambert’s Humoresque, Op.33 for solo bassoon (2008) and more recently his Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, Op 36 (2012).

In 2014 Miriam toured China with the indigenous Australian group The Black Arm Band and enjoys collaborating with artists from diverse backgrounds, including jazz and world music.

Miriam started out on the piano and clarinet, but discovered the bassoon in her mid teens. She has never looked back. ‘I will always remember Mr Ian Honey who provided the opportunity for me to play the bassoon. He encouraged and nurtured my love of music. I wish he were still around so I could tell him all my stories of life as a professional musician!’

Miriam has taught piano and bassoon for over 15 years and has tutored various groups from the Adelaide Youth Orchestra. She enjoys encouraging young musicians in all aspects of music making, from solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire. In 2016 she has taken on the State Representative role for the Australasian Double Reed Society Queensland to help promote and encourage young oboe and bassoon players.

Miriam photographs extensively as well as collaborating on film projects. She enjoys walking, tennis and Pilates. Miriam has recently married Peter Handsworth and currently lives in Brisbane with their beautiful baby daughter, Clara Grace.

Katherine Butler

Collegiate 1980-1991

Clinical Specialist in Hand Therapy, London Hand Therapy, B.Ap(Sc)OT, AHT(BAHT), A.Mus.A(Flute)

After leaving Collegiate Katherine Butler (1991) completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) at the University of South Australia and at the same time an A.Mus.A. (Flute Performance) at the University of Adelaide.

In 1998 she received the highly prestigious Queen’s Trust Award Australia and moved to London to study and work in the area of performing arts medicine. She was privileged to work with two leading surgeons in the field and travelled with them around Europe and the world lecturing and performing research projects.

In 2006, after working for many years in both private and public sector hand therapy departments, Katherine founded London Hand Therapy with the aim of providing first class private assessment and treatment of all hand and upper limb conditions. Her clinical experience has focused on plastic and orthopaedic surgery patients, burns, rheumatological conditions, hypermobility syndrome, performing arts medicine and task specific dystonia.

Katherine lectures and publishes widely and holds appointments at University College London as an Honorary Lecturer and at Plymouth University as an Honorary Associate Professor.

Katherine has established two hand therapy units, worked as a research therapist and is currently undertaking doctoral research in the area of task specific dystonia affecting musicians. She gained her Accredited Hand Therapist award in 2003 and in 2013 she received the esteemed Natalie Barr Award from The British Association of Hand Therapists for her achievement in hand therapy. Her love of music and knowledge of the hand and upper limb has provided her with a unique and invaluable profession.

Since moving to Europe Katherine established a hand unit in Egypt, lived in Luxembourg, completed a diploma in religious studies and another in photography and volunteered in many social justice projects in and around London. She is married to a very loving and supportive husband, Barry Lee. They live in Twickenham, an historic and beautiful part of the world where Alfred Lord Tennyson, Alexander Pope, Walter de la Mere, J.M.W Turner, Thomas Twining and Pete Townsend used to live. Walks along the River Thames and trips to the opera, modern dance, plays and galleries are a regular feature of their lives. They also like to travel both to the continent and further afield. Katherine enjoys studio Pilates and Gyrotonic sessions each week and hopes to play her flute more and learn Italian once her doctoral studies are finished.

Katherine will be forever grateful for the years she spent at Collegiate and for the firm basis that her education gave her and the encouragement of her teachers to pursue a combination of both science and art.

Dr Fiona Kerslake

Collegiate 1990 - 1997

PhD UTAS

Dr Fiona Kerslake née Chopping is a Viticulture and Oenology researcher specialising in cool climate wine and cider at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) – a joint venture between the Tasmanian Government and the University of Tasmania. Fiona is also a Research Fellow at the School of Land and Food in the Science, Engineering and Technology Faculty.

Fiona is an expert in viticulture for still (table) Pinot Noir production and also viticultural practices for sparkling wine production. A lack of analytical methods for sparkling wine led to Fiona developing capacity in wine analytical chemistry, including introducing new detailed objective analyses for sparkling wine along with her colleagues. She has transferred this knowledge to help support and develop the burgeoning Tasmanian craft cider industry. Fiona has been an associate cider judge for the Cider Australia Awards and is also a judge at a number of Tasmanian cider competitions.

Growing up on a sheep farm in the Central Highlands of Tasmania, Fiona studied Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania and undertook her Honours in sheep drench efficacy. However, it was while living in the Central Otago region of New Zealand that she discovered a new passion – Pinot Noir. This interest intensified to the point where she commenced her PhD studies at the University of Tasmania in Pinot Noir viticulture. Embedded within industry, Fiona’s research made significant findings on the influence of seasonal weather conditions, which were having more effect on Pinot Noir grape and wine quality than vineyard management practices within each season.

Since completing her doctorate, Fiona has further developed an outstanding relationship with the local wine industry, which has led to industry-funded research projects and fellowships, including being awarded the Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Fellowship in 2013. Fiona has incorporated viticultural practices specifically for sparkling wine into her research focus and has recently been working with Brown Brothers to address the issue of yield variability in cool climates such as Tasmania, and this research has been continued with State Government support. Fiona and her colleagues have also recently been successful in attracting over $4.2 million in national wine research funding with projects investigating sparkling wine production, provenance of Pinot Noir and climate change and adaptability of the industry.

Fiona has extensive international experience having lived in New Zealand and worked in California for E&J Gallo, the world’s largest wine company. She has been invited to the UK, Portugal, France, Canada, USA and Italy to present her research outcomes to international audiences and also to learn from similar industries around the world to bring this knowledge back to share with local industry.

Dr Mel Irons

Collegiate 1990-2001

Psychologist & University Lecturer

Mel graduated from Collegiate in 2001. After completing the first year of an Arts/Law degree she was lured overseas and spent 15 months, working and traveling in France, including studying French at a French University.

Returning to the University of Tasmania in 2004 she transferred to a Bachelor of Psychology, graduating in 2007 with First Class Honours. During this same period Mel completed her Certificates III and IV in Fitness and started a highly successful group personal training and health coaching business, Booty.

In 2008 Mel commenced her PhD studying mental and physical health promotion in small workplaces. At the same time she worked as a tutor at the University and also wrote two new first-year Psychology units. Mel’s passion for health and fitness has also led her led her to radio and to work on a range of projects focusing on mindful eating, healthy weight management, intuitive eating and body image.

A twist came in 2013 and Mel changed her PhD topic as a result of her experience with the Dunalley bushfire event in Tasmania. She found herself extremely interested in the power of social media and spontaneous volunteers during disaster events. She has since consulting for various groups on the topic of social media and emergent volunteers and served on the Board for the World Conference in Disaster Management in Toronto, Canada.

Mel is currently completing her Lifeline Crisis Support Worker training and winding up her lecturing commitments at Charles Darwin University as she looks forward to welcoming a baby. Mel continues to work on an academic book, due to be released by Taylor Francis (CRC Press, United States) in mid-2017.

“Being a Collegiate girl… what a complex and amazing privilege. I was afforded such incredible opportunities across a range of domains (academia, sport, music, public speaking) that I would never have received otherwise. I felt a responsibility to maximize those opportunities and that I did! The School prepared me to fight, to have a go, to not give up after inevitable failures. Collegiate taught me to be resilient. The School environment is one that teaches young females that the glass ceiling is there to be smashed.”

Kate Gaul

Collegiate 1973-1980

Theatre Director

Kate Gaul is a freelance theatre director based in Sydney. Graduating first from Collegiate; University of Tasmania; and then from the NIDA Director’s Course. Kate went on to train with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company in New York.

Kate Gaul really has done it all. She is an award winning director, started her own theatre company and been a Festival Director. Kate’s directing credits include plays, opera, physical theatre, devised works and classics for all major theatre companies in Australia. She is Artistic Director of Siren Theatre Co where her passion is for text based drama challenges artists and audiences to have bold imaginative experiences. In 2016 Siren Theatre Co toured Enda Walsh’s “Misterman” to Hobart and produced Noelle Janaszweska’s “Good With Maps” for as season in Sydney. Both works will be seen in Edinburgh in 2017. Kate is also an accomplished designer/maker. www.sirentheatreco.com

“Collegiate was a great start in life – strong, inclusive community and inspiring teachers.”

Rebecca Coote

Collegiate 1989-1991

Glass Sculptor, Installation and Design Artist

Rebecca Coote completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, receiving first class honours in 2003, was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), and in 2007 completed her Master of Fine Art (Research) from the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania. Working as a professional artist since 2007 Rebecca’s practice crosses the boundaries between art, craft and design to produce sculptures, lights, architectural installations and large-scale public art commissions.

Career highlights include winner of the 2007 prestigious MONA Scholarship, winner of the 2007 Peoples Choice Award (glass section) Hobart City Art Prize and 2008 finalist in the Ranamok Glass Prize. Internationally her work has been showcased in the Australian Pavilion during the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China. In 2009 and 2010 her glass and steel sculptures were shown at ‘Art London’ in England. In 2011 her sculptures were then showcased in the prestigious ‘COLLECT: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects’ in The Saatchi Gallery London. Rebecca’s sculptures are held in private collections worldwide and public Tasmanian collections of MONA and TMAG.

Sharing her art with the Tasmanian community is a significant part of Rebecca’s work and she has been awarded numerous Tasmanian Art for Public Building Scheme Commissions and has received three Arts Tasmania Grants, most recently an Arts Tasmania 2017 Artist Investment Program Grant to produce a new body of glass sculpture for exhibition at Handmark Gallery in 2019.

You can see more of Rebecca’s work on her website www.rebeccacoote.com and she is represented in Hobart by Handmark Gallery.

Professor Anne Cutler

Collegiate 1956-1960

Research Professor at the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney

After studying languages and psychology in Melbourne, Berlin and Bonn, Anne Cutler embraced psycholinguistics when it emerged as an independent field, going on to complete her PhD in the discipline at the University of Texas. After postdoctoral fellowships at MIT and the University of Sussex, she worked as a research scientist at the MRC Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge.

Subsequently, Anne became Director at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Professor of Comparative Psycholinguistics at Radboud University. She is now Professor in the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney, Australia, and programme leader of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language.

Anne’s research, summarised in the book Native Listening (2012), centres on human listeners’ recognition of spoken language, and in particular on how the brain’s processes of decoding speech are shaped by language-specific listening experience. Her work has received the Spinoza Prize of the Dutch Research Council and the International Speech Communication Association Medal, and she is an elected member of several scientific academies.

Anne has been elected to the prestigious position of Fellow of the Royal Society. The Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from or living and working in the UK and the Commonwealth.

It is largely forgotten these days, but the quality of language teaching in Australian schools in the 1950s was extraordinary. Almost without exception, European languages were taught by highly qualified individuals who had left Europe in a hurry, to save their lives; unable to resume in Australia the careers for which they had trained, they became teachers of their native language. At Collegiate, our German teacher Dr Karla Gallia had a PhD from the University of Vienna; our French teacher Mrs Van Der Linden had fled from occupied Belgium to neutral Switzerland…. on foot. These remarkable women brought, besides their own compelling stories, European culture and a European perspective into the classroom. Is it a wonder that I ended up making the study of language my career? Or spending nearly all of my working life in Europe?

Clare McShane

Collegiate 1966

Teacher and Entrepreneur

After graduating from St Michael’s Collegiate, Clare obtained her Diploma of Teaching and Tasmanian Teachers Certificate. Following a posting to Oatlands as a young teacher, Clare met and married local grazier Allan McShane and they settled at Casaveen, a property farming 11,000 sheep at Lemont.

As the founder of Casaveen Knitwear, Clare has been successful in the business world for 27 years. Casaveen Knitwear was established as an adjunct to the operation of the sheep property and quickly grew to include an operational centre, factory, showroom, café and meeting rooms. Casaveen Knitwear showcased Tasmanian produce and received numerous accolades including the 1994 Tsuneichi Fuji Fellowship Trust Award, the 1999 Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award, the 2000 Australian Family Business of the Year Award and the 2000 Family Business Australia First Generation Award.

Clare designed all Casaveen garments, including skirts, sweaters, cardigans, vests, jackets, scarves, hats, socks, wraps and blankets. Casaveen Knitwear garments were distributed across Australia and shipped around the globe.

Clare has served on many advisory boards and committees. She has been a member of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Tasmanian Quality Wool, an advisor to the Tasmanian Communities Online Advisory Group and an advisor to the Women and Information Taskforce. We are delighted that Clare is a current member of the St Michael’s Collegiate School Board.

Clare has received numerous personal accolades for her achievements including the 1994 Advance Australia Award, the 1996 Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year, the 1997 Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year, the 1998 Tasmanian Rural Achiever of the Year and the 2004 Bruce Forster Laincot Memorial Award for exemplary service to the merino wool and sheep industry.

 

Julie Warn AM

Collegiate 1958-1970

Professor, Dean of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and member of the Executive at Edith Cowan University

Julie Warn AM is an Australian academic and performing arts administrator who is the current Dean of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University.

Professor Warn studied at the University of Tasmania gaining a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Education before beginning her working career as a high school English and Social Sciences teacher. However her love of theatre led her to apply for a course in Stage Management and Production at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts). On graduating, Professor Warn worked for festivals, theatre companies, chamber music and orchestras, and toured throughout Australia and internationally.

She was senior stage manager at the Sydney Theatre Company (1979–84), assistant general manager at Musica Viva Australia (1984–91); then returned to Tasmania as managing director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (1991–2001), and was then CEO of The Queensland Orchestra (2001–04).

In 2004 Julie Warn was appointed director of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). In 2009, she was re-appointed and promoted to Professor. In 2016 she was made Dean and became a member of ECU’s executive team.

Her services to the performing arts have been recognised through her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2002 and being awarded a Centenary medal.

Nancen Beryl (Nan) Chauncy

Collegiate 1912-1920

Children's Novelist, Awarded for service to the arts and environment

Nan Chauncy, and her twin brother were born in London in 1900. She immigrated with her parents and siblings to Tasmania in 1912, where she attended St Michael’s Collegiate School and lived in the Boarding House during the week, returning to her family on the weekends. In 1914, the family bought land at Bagdad to start an orchard, living on a neighbouring property while clearing the land and building a slab hut. This experience of the bush made an enormous impression on Nan as she explored the caves, creek and wildlife of the area. Nan’s eldest brother, Kay, bought an adjoining block of land on which the family built a cottage, ‘Day Dawn’. This is the house at Chauncy Vale where Nan wrote her novels.

In the 1920s, Nan travelled to England to see family and study to be a Guide Leader. Guiding was a lifelong interest for Nan and in 1921 she was appointed as Captain of the First Claremont Company. In the 1950s, she became a Commissioner of Guides and editor of the official journal The Camp Fire.

From 1923 until 1930, Nan was employed as a women’s welfare officer at the Cadbury-Fry chocolate factory in Claremont. Retrenched at the beginning of the Depression, she again travelled to England where she lived for several years.

In 1938, Nan returned to Australia and married Anton Rosenfeldt. Kay gave the couple ‘Day Dawn’ as a wedding present. Their daughter, Heather, was born in November 1939. They changed their names to Chauncy, the surname of Nan’s paternal grandmother, in 1949 to avoid the stigma attached to German names at that time. Nan and Anton bought 1000 acres of bush next to Chauncy Vale and in July 1946 the property was declared a wildlife sanctuary. This was the first area of dry bushland to be conserved and the largest conservation area at that time in the Southern Midlands.

Nan was contracted to write 30 scripts a year for the Tasmanian ABC Youth Education Department. Her bestselling novel, They Found a Cave, was published in 1948. It sold over 50,000 copies and was made into a film in the 1960s.

Nan’s interest in wildlife, aboriginal culture and pioneer country living is reflected in her 14 children’s novels. Her books Tiger in the Bush (1956), Devil’s Hill (1959) and Tangara (1961) won acclaim in Australia and overseas, winning three Children’s Book Council, Book Of The Year awards, and several international awards. Her books were translated into 14 languages and Braille. Nan’s books broke new ground in children’s writing in Australia. She pioneered realistic novels and an interest in conservation. Anton bequeathed the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary to the Southern Midlands Council in 1988, with Heather Chauncy simultaneously gifting the house and home paddocks.

After she left School Nan acted as Captain of the Collegiate Girl Guides Company in 1924 and 1925.

Tangara at Collegiate’s Anglesea is named after one of Nan’s books.

Betty Rigg

Collegiate 1905-1921

Champion Golfer, Commander in British Red Cross Ambulance Service

Margaret Elizabeth Scott Rigg had a most distinguished sporting and war record. Born in Melbourne in 1905, the family moved to Hobart when Betty was young and she completed her education to Leaving Certificate standard at Collegiate. In 1928 Betty took up a role as a car saleswoman, an unusual occupation at the time, but one in which she became highly regarded. Described as tall, smiling and the sporty type, Betty was a beautiful dancer and strong swimmer.

It was golf at which she excelled, winning the State Championship in 1934, 1935, a five times runner up, and a member of multiple State Foursomes and State teams. Betty was a delegate to the Australian Golf Council and the Kingston Beach Club Champion in 1928, 1933, 1934 and 1935. In 1939 she travelled to England and en route played in the Colombo Associate Championship giving the local champion a fright when she had to go to the 36th hole to retain her title.

Upon arrival in England Betty joined Henleys, an exclusive motor sales firm. However in November of that year she volunteered for the Women’s Transport Arm of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry Service, known as F.A.N.Y.S. Betty spent her travel money on an arctic kit including a flying helmet, fur lined leather coat, boots and a supply of mens’ woollen underwear. She was part of a team that delivered 10 ambulances to Finland and worked tirelessly for the military hospitals conveying patients over tracks covered in ice and snow.

Following a posting to the British Red Cross Ambulance Unit as a Southern Commander in charge of Plymouth and Cossham, in 1942 Betty was commissioned and promoted to second in charge of the unit, becoming responsible for the inspection of ambulance stations and liaison with the British Army. In 1943 Betty was transferred to the Special Operations Executive – a part military organisation. She was promoted to Lieutenant and put in charge of F.A.N.Y personnel. Betty was also helping in the training of intelligence officers but was bound by the Official Secrets Act not to speak about it.

Further promotions followed when she was posted to Algeria in charge of a large draft of F.A.N.Y personnel and then as Captain in charge of female personnel in the Algerian Station. This station played an important role in the recapture of Corsica, the negotiation for the surrender of Italy and the pre-invasion sabotage in southern France.

In 1945 Betty was promoted to Commander and posted to Australia to establish a Signal Station. After marriage and then returning to England, she took a job as an office manager and was partly responsible for arranging trade to Germany. She died suddenly at age 71 and still with a golf handicap of 9.

Eve Masterman, AM

Collegiate 1914-1925

BA, Member of the Order of Australia

Evelyn (Eve) Loois Masterman was born in the United Kingdom in 1907, the youngest of six children. Eve was sister to the famous Tasmanian author Nan Chauncy, also a Collegiate Old Girl.

After migrating to Tasmania with the family in 1912, she was educated at Collegiate before completing her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania in the early 1930’s.

Eve went on to study librarianship in Melbourne and was appointed as the first Tasmanian Parliamentary Librarian in 1945, a position she held for over 20 years. In 1958, she was awarded the Sir John Morris Memorial Scholarship and travelled overseas to visit large legislative libraries in London and Washington.

In 1976, Eve was named a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to public service.

Eve worked tirelessly for social justice, peace and the environment her entire life. She joined the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Australian Section in the 1940s and was the Australian Branch Delegate to Geneva for international conferences in 1968 and 1973.

Eve was a long-term member of Alliance Française , amongst other organisations, and an inaugural member of Servas International. She was instrumental in the establishment of the International Peace Forest (Peace Park) at Berriedale.

Eve received a number of peace awards, including the Australian Peace Prize in 1986 for her work with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and a United Nations Award in 2001 for her lifetime of dedication to the cause of peace and loyalty to the United Nations and its Tasmanian Association.

In recognition of Eve’s significant contribution, the WILPF Tasmanian Branch established the Eve Masterman Peace Poetry Prize.

Eve died on 5 May 2014 at the age of 106.

Alison Whyte

Collegiate 1977-1985

Actress

Alison Whyte, born in 1968 in Hobart, Tasmania is an actress best known for her role on the Australian television series Frontline and Satisfaction.

A former student of classical ballet, Alison graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts before rising to prominence on Australian television for her role as the moralising producer Emma Ward on Frontline, the ABC’s parody of current affairs programs – a role for which she won a Logie Award. From 2007 to 2010 she played Lauren, the housewife-turned-prostitute on Satisfaction. She won the 2008 silver Logie Award for Most Outstanding Female Actress for this role.

Her other television roles have included the legal comedy-drama Marshall Law 2002 with Lisa McCune and William McInnes, and Good Guys Bad Guys. In addition to television roles, she has appeared in the two-actor film Saturday Night, with Aaron Pedersen. She has also worked in theatre, with stage roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing. In 2008, she appeared in a production of David Williamson’s play Don’s Party at the Sydney Opera House. She has also guest starred in an episode of City Homicide.

From 1995 to 2007 Alison and her husband Fred Whitlock ran the Terminus Hotel in Abbotsford, Melbourne. The couple then went on to own the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel, in the Yarra Valley; which they sold in 2015. Alison has visited Vietnam and Cambodia as a spokesperson for Oxfam and has three children, Rose, Emilia and Atticus.

In 2010, Alison won Best Female Actor in supporting role in a play at the 10th Annual Helpmann Awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, directed by Simon Phillips.

Courtney Barnett

Collegiate 2003 - 2005

Musician

Courtney Melba Barnett (2005), is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who has called Melbourne home since she was 20.  Called a “…supremely assured yet easygoing Australian singer-songwriter” by The New York Times, Courtney is known for her witty, rambling lyrics and unique singing style., She attracted attention with the release of her debut EP, I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris in 2012. International interest from the UK and North American music press came with the release of The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas in October 2013. Making her mark on the music industry at her well-received performances at the CMJ Music Marathon, Courtney was mentioned by both Rolling Stone and The New York Times as a standout performer.

Barnett grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and at 16 moved to Hobart with her parents where she attended St Michael’s Collegiate School. At that age, changing schools felt “like the end of the world”, she says, “but it wasn’t.”  Courtney decided to become a songwriter while at school. “It’s just what I liked doing, and it’s the only thing I was really good at,” she said. She studied art at the University of Tasmania, majoring in photography before she dropped out, honing the sense of detail that would turn up in her lyrics.

Courtney’s debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, was released on 23 March 2015 to widespread critical acclaim. Numerous publications listed it as one of the best albums of 2015, including Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Times, Pitchfork and the Chicago Tribune.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 she won four awards from eight nominations. She was nominated for Best New Artist at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards and for International Female Solo Artist at the 2016 Brit Awards.

In 2015, the representative body for Australian composers and songwriters, APRA, named her Australian songwriter of the year, she as the winner of the Australian Music Prize and the Triple J Award – both prizes for the best Australian album of the year.

Courtney has appeared several times on US television with appearances on The Ellen Show, Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, The Colbert Show and The 2016 season finale of Saturday Night Live.

Shortly afterwards appearing as the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon On 27 May 2016 Courtney garnered more media attention when her song Elevator Operator was selected by President Barack Obama as one his favourite summer songs.

Fran Bladel

Collegiate 1946-1948

Teacher, volunteer, advocate and member of Tasmanian Parliament

Throughout her life, Fran has been a volunteer, an advocate and an active member of many community organisations. Born and raised in Hobart during the last years of the Depression, Fran developed her commitment to social justice at an early age. As a teenager she found work in a studio in Hobart as an assistant to a Russian portrait photographer. The post-war migration of Europeans who had lost their homelands brought Fran in contact with a diverse range of people, and in 1954 she married a young German immigrant. She was widowed after seven years and raised her son by herself.

As a young widow, Fran was exposed to the hardships faced by women in low-paid jobs. She also had to rely on the generosity of family members or neighbours for child care. These early experiences influenced her later political career.

After gaining a studentship, Fran graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Tasmania in 1969 and became a teacher. A noteable highlight of her teaching career was the shared leadership of the Tagari Project School from 1973-77. She also taught at the Women’s Prison in a voluntary capacity. There were few resources available and the library was located in the Men’s Prison, so Fran herself provided a number of resources.

Between 1977 and 1986, Fran was the senior mistress for English studies at Bridgewater High School. She has become a lifelong advocate for that community.

In 1986, Fran was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament. She was the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Labor Party’s Inquiry into Women’s Affairs in Tasmania in 1987 and continued to champion equality for women throughout her parliamentary career. From 1989-92 and 2001-02, she was Minister for Consumer Affairs, Administrative Services, Minister for Construction, and Minister assisting the Premier on the Status of Women.

Jane Burrell

Collegiate 1962 - 1968

Scientific Illustrator and Graphic Designer

Born in Hobart in 1951, Jane completed her schooling with a Diploma of Graphic Design. She worked for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery from 1972-79 as a Designer/Illustrator. It was there she began to develop her distinctive drawings of Tasmanian wildlife. This led to her illustrating Tasmania’s Native Mammals booklet and poster series, written by Philip Andrews for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Jane continued her work as a scientific illustrator, illustrating A Guide to the Birds of Tasmania (1981), by Michael Sharland and contributing a number of drawings to Atlas of Australian Birds (1982), Royal Ornithologists Association.

In 1983 Jane began her collaboration with author Michael Dugan. Together they produced a series of popular children’s books featuring Australian native animals, beginning with A House for Wombats (1983).  Later came Wombats Don’t Have Christmas (1985) also by Michael Dugan; Whose Pouch? (1988); and Little Penguin (1989).

Despite producing films such as Home of the Needwonee, documenting an archaeological expedition to south-west Tasmania which investigated the lifestyle of the Tasmanian Aborigines, and a number of successful photographic exhibitions both in Hobart and overseas, Jane is best known for her work as an illustrator.

Currently Jane runs Buttongrass Studio with her husband Lloyd Sokvitne which specialises in illustrated cloth, wood and paper products.

“I am always grateful for the education that I received at Collegiate and the confidence I gained there as a girl that has always stayed with me as a woman.”

Dr Kate Burbury

Collegiate 1982-1988

Consultant haematologist and chair of the senior medical staff at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Victoria

Dr Kate Burbury is consultant haematologist and chair of the senior medical staff at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Victoria.  She is the lead clinician for myeloproliferative disorders, chronic myeloid leukaemia, haemostasis, thrombosis and peri-operative optimisation for all major cancer surgery patients at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. 

Kate completed her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the University of Tasmania.  She was then awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where she completed her Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree and worked at the John Radcliffe Hospital.  On return to Australia, Kate began work at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.  Kate is a member of numerous professional societies and scientific committees and is a council member for The Haematology Society for Australia and New Zealand.

Kate is actively involved in the development of expert guidelines and governance structures for both the institution and external working parties, including European Leukaemia Network.  She has an active research program and an extensive portfolio in clinical trials in blood cancers. She has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, regularly presents at national and international scientific meetings, and is a member of editorial boards and reviewer for numerous journals.

Kate has been recognised through a variety of awards including the 2015 Victorian Public Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Cancer Care and the 2014 Peter Mac Awards Team Excellence.
Kate feels extremely privileged and honoured to have been able to pursue this profession and be part of an exciting opportunity with the VCCC, to further cancer care delivery and innovative research in this field. Kate attributes much of her life opportunities to the foundations that were laid from her school days at St Michaels Collegiate School.  Her friends, teachers, opportunities and myriad of experiences, have stayed with her and provided her with the courage and skills required to participate and hopefully contribute in a meaningful way.

Dr (Sally) Ursula Salmon

Collegiate 1987, 1989-1992

Environmental Engineer

Ursula is an environmental engineer working to provide quantitative, scientific bases for environmental management decisions, particularly regarding issues of water quality and water resource sustainability.

After graduating from Collegiate in 1992 as dux, Ursula studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney. She went on to postgraduate studies in Sweden, on the environmental impact of mining. In 2004 Ursula returned to Australia to take up a postdoctoral project on the acidic lakes that often form after open cut mining. Since then she has carried out both fundamental research and contract work for government agencies and private industry, on topics such as assessing the risk of drought-driven acidification of the Lower Lakes of the River Murray in the late 2000s, and incorporating environmental isotopes into regional-scale groundwater models to provide improved tools for sustainable water resource management. Through collaboration and PhD/Masters student supervision, she also has worked on developing new sensors to monitor the environmental mobility of elements such as gold and arsenic, improving models of how sediment-water interaction affects nutrients cycling in aquatic ecosystems, using caves and speleothems as archives for past climate, and the impact of using treated waste water to replenish groundwater, among other topics.

In 2016 Ursula was awarded a Fulbright Professional Scholarship to spend 4 months at Stanford. Her Fulbright project will build on her earlier work on incorporating environmental isotopes (e.g., C-14, a.k.a. radiocarbon) into groundwater models to simulate groundwater “age”, in the interests of providing more reliable tools for management of groundwater resources. An example of where this will be of use is around Ursula’s current home town of Perth, WA, where groundwater is used for drinking water, agriculture, and industry, but also supports groundwater-dependent ecosystems in a region known to be a global biodiversity hot-spot. With future climate projections indicating less rain for the region and hence even greater pressures on the finite resource, water managers in Perth, and in similar systems worldwide, will need reliable tools upon which to base water allocation decisions on. Ursula will work with Professor Steven Gorelick and colleagues at Stanford to incorporate additional environmental tracers into the modelling framework. The project will also involve investigating past climate variability, as the isotope concentrations that we see in groundwater today are a result of how rainfall and climate have changed over the last 40,000 years.

Dr Anthea Rhodes

Collegiate 1990 - 1996

Paediatrician at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, and Director of the Australian Child Health Poll

St Michael’s Collegiate School Old Girl and former Head Prefect, Dr Anthea Rhodes (née Goodman), is a practising general paediatrician at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, and Director of the Australian Child Health Poll. Dr Rhodes has a clinical interest in the health needs of the vulnerable child, and has speciality training in immigrant health and paediatric forensic medicine. She also has extensive interest and experience in Medical Education and currently works in the University of Melbourne’s Department of Paediatrics as a lecturer and co-ordinator for the Child and Adolescent Health component of the University’s Doctor of Medicine program.

Dr Rhodes graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery from the University of Tasmania before going on to complete a Master of Health Professional Education with Monash University. Dr Rhodes undertook her Paediatric speciality training at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, where she has worked since 2004. Dr Rhodes has been involved in a number of research projects across the fields of health service delivery, immigrant health practice and health professional education. As Director of the Australian Child Health Poll, Dr Rhodes seeks to put the voice of Australian families and communities at the heart of conversation about child and adolescent health, and ultimately inform national discourse, health priorities and policy formulation. 

Dr Rhodes’ valuable information on children’s health issues can be found on her Twitter feed: @DrAntheaRhodes 

Anthea lives in Melbourne with husband Alex and children Luca, Isobel and Oliver.

Dr Joanna Jones

1990-1995

PhD and lecturer at UTAS

Dr Joanna Jones née Heazlewood was nominated in 2017 for a Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award for her work in developing an online platform to share information on careers in agriculture, education pathway choices and teaching tools.

Joanna is a lecturer at the University of Tasmania in the areas of horticulture, viticulture, farm business management and extension, as well as supervises honours, masters and PhD candidates. Joanna also coordinates student outreach for the Agriculture discipline at the University of Tasmania.

Dr Jones completed her PhD in grapevine fruitfulness and yield management. She then furthered this theme with a post-doc funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (now Wine Australia) focussing on fruitfulness in more detail. Joanna’s research interests include the manipulation of perennial horticulture physiology for maximised grape, wine, cider and cherry quality. With subsequent post-doctoral projects in sparkling wine production and sweet cherry fruitlet abscission (funded by AusIndustry and Tasmanian vineyards, and HAL respectively), her expertise in carbohydrate partitioning and reproductive biology developed.

Joanna also has considerable media experience, having worked in broadcast media for ABC Rural and print media with the Stock and Land newspaper.

Joanna is co-owner / manager of Fidelity Peonies, a cut-flower business. She also assists husband David run a dairy farm in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley and is mum to Zara and Frankie.

Penny Griffits

Collegiate 1987 - 1995

Manager of Strategy at Ixom

Penny is currently Manager of Strategy at Ixom (formerly Orica Chemicals).  Ixom manufactures and trades chemicals for the water, mining, oil & gas, agriculture and food & beverage sectors in Australia and New Zealand, with a growing presence in Latin America, Asia, US and the UK.  Ixom was divested by Orica in late 2015 and acquired by US private equity company Blackstone, so it is a ‘new’ company establishing its identity and preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).  Penny’s role involves working closely with the Executive Management and Board to develop the company’s strategic direction, and the business plans to execute the strategy.

Prior to Ixom, Penny worked for the leading innovation company 3M for 13 years.  Best known as the inventor of Post-It® Notes, 3M is responsible for over 60,000 products used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and more.  3M innovates continuously, with one third of its sales derived from products invented in the last five years.   The company employs thousands of scientists and engineers around the world, operates in 70 countries and has sales in more than 200 countries.
Penny held a broad range of roles during her time at 3M, starting as a Manufacturing Development Engineer in Pharmaceuticals, and ending as the Business Manager for two Divisions: Renewable Energy Division (solar/wind energy products and energy efficiency films) and Display Materials and Systems Division (touch screens and light enhancing films used in computers and mobile phones).  Penny’s other roles at 3M included corporate strategy, business development, project and contract management, business process optimisation, new product commercialisation, Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma, and technical sales.

Prior to 3M, Penny worked for Memcor (now Evoqua) developing some of the first membrane filtration systems for water and wastewater treatment in California, Colorado and across Australia.

Penny holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and first class honours in Chemical Engineering from the University of NSW (where she held an industry Co-op Scholarship).  She is passionate about fostering innovation and creativity in business, women in management and supporting the impressive technology start-up community in Australia. 

Dr Erin Kelly

Collegiate 1992-2001

Clinical Psychologist & Director of Therapeutic Programs at St Helen's Private Hospital Hobart

A leaver of 2001 and former Academic Prefect, Erin went on to complete an Arts degree at UTAS, majoring in Psychology and Law. She graduated in 2005 with first class honours in Psychology and the University Medal, awarded for academic excellence. Continuing on at UTAS to complete her postgraduate qualifications, Erin lived in the UK for a time, working on her thesis and presenting her research at the European Association for Psychology and Law international conference. Erin was actively involved in academic life at UTAS, lecturing to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and developing and delivering a new Psychology and Law unit. Erin graduated with a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2010.

Erin lives in Hobart with her husband James, dividing her time between her private practice and St Helen’s Private Hospital, where she is the Director of Therapeutic Programs. This position continues to offer exciting and challenging opportunities – Erin is the national coordinator of a program designed to use psychological tools and assessments to empower disadvantaged Aboriginal girls on the Cape York Peninsula, making regular trips to Cairns to oversee teams of psychologists on the ground. Through her position at St Helen’s Private Hospital, Erin is also involved in research into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) with world-renowned experts. Such neurostimulation techniques have been demonstrated to provide significant symptom relief for sufferers of depression, and Erin is thrilled to be involved with such cutting-edge research into techniques that likely represent the future of psychiatry.

Julie Heckscher

Collegiate 1975-1980

Corporate Counsel, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Julie Heckscher is currently Corporate Counsel for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, advising the Department on its operations in Australia and around the world.

Graduating from the University of Tasmania with a BA, LLB (Hons) degree, Julie first worked with Hobart law firm Dobson, Mitchell & Allport as a senior associate before leaving to join Foreign Affairs.

With Foreign Affairs, Julie has lived and worked in Australian embassies in Russia, Canada and most recently Singapore. Julie is currently based in Canberra.

Julie has completed Masters Degrees in International Relations (MA) and in Public Administration (EMPA), both from Monash University. She has held a number of board and committee positions, including Australian Governor on the Governing Board of the Asia-Europe Foundation in Singapore. She is currently a member of the ACT Law Society’s Government Law Committee.

Julie is married with a daughter, Alexandra (called Sasha, ever since her childhood in Moscow).

“Collegiate was a refuge at a challenging time in my life, and a springboard to a world of choices. Friendships made at Collegiate have remained amongst the most important and sustaining of my life and will ever be so, wherever my travels take me.”

Leah Cameron

Collegiate 1995 - 2000

Owner of Marrawah Law

Leah (class of ’00) is a Palawa woman from Lutrawita (Tasmania). She is the current recipient of the Attorney General’s Indigenous Legal Practitioner of the Year Award and the owner of Marrawah Law, Queensland’s only certified Indigenous legal practice.  Leah’s business employs over 75% Indigenous staff and actively promotes procurement of goods and services from other Indigenous businesses.

Leah is a regular contributor to the National Talk Black radio program presenting on topical legal issues. Leah is also a director of Access Community Housing a not-for-profit social housing provider and a volunteer for the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic in Cairns.

The passion Leah has for her work is unwavering and has assisted her in achieving six native title consent determinations to date. Leah’s efforts were recognised in 2016 when chosen as a finalist in the Cairns Business Women’s Club Awards and AIM Leadership Awards.  Other accolades include Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Award in the category of Trade and Career Achievement (2008) and the Centenary Medal of Australia. Her greatest honour was being asked to negotiate and repatriate her ancestors’ remains from the British Museum in London on behalf of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

Helen Cumpston née Dunbar

Collegiate 1921-1926

First woman to graduate in Law from the University of Tasmania

Mrs Helen Cumpston was born on the 21 January 1910 in Hobart.  Helen attended Collegiate from 1921 until 1926 and finished her law degree at the University of Tasmania in 1930. 

In an ANU oral history archive interview in 1991, Helen said, “I was in fact Tasmania’s first woman graduate in law, but every year the professor would tell me that he’d had a woman once before but she hadn’t made it and he was sure I wouldn’t.”

When asked why she had chosen law, Helen replied, “Because I knew at the age of twelve that that was what I wanted to do and I’m still a frustrated family solicitor at the age of eighty.”
Helen’s parents were teachers in the community of Cockle Creek.  They had little money to enable further education for their children; however, a financially independent, unmarried aunt believed in education for women and provided the funds for Helen and her sister Amie to attend Collegiate as boarders.  Amie became a teacher.

After graduating, Helen was unable to find work in Hobart partly due to the depression and partly because she was female.  Helen moved to Canberra and joined the Commonwealth public service as a librarian with the Department of Commerce. Helen also undertook to lecture in modern history for students in Canberra who were working for a degree from the University of Melbourne during this time.  Helen married John Cumpston, a diplomat with Foreign Affairs, and they had four children. Helen’s husband was posted to Chile, New Zealand and New Caledonia between 1946 and 1957, before returning to Canberra.

In Canberra, Helen commenced work as a graduate assistant in the registrar’s division for the Australian National University (ANU) and worked in university administration at ANU for 17 years, rising to Assistant Registrar before retiring in 1975. After retirement, Helen became the assistant secretary to the Australian Vice Chancellor’s Committee.

Helen never stopped learning, undertaking numerous courses in her retirement and lived into her 90s.

More of Helen’s fascinating story can be read here:
http://www.anu.edu.au/emeritus/ohp/interviews/helen_cumpston.html

Beth Roberts

Collegiate 1936-1942

Children's Book Author

1924 – 2001
Beth was born in 1924 on the sheep and cattle property ‘Dungrove’ near Bothwell in Tasmania. She grew up enjoying time with the Dungrove shepherds, feeling their affinity with the land listening to their stories of the last Aboriginals who lived in the district. Beth studied firstly under a governess and then went on to board at Collegiate.

Beth served as a nursing orderly during World War II and then went on to graduate as an Occupational Therapist. She turned to writing at age 50 after raising her own two children. Many of her works were inspired by the land and featured Tasmanian wildlife and Aboriginal people.

Success came quickly in her new career as a children’s author. Beth authored eleven titles of contemporary children’s literature. Amongst them was the famous Manganinnie which was published in 1979 and later made into an inspirational film. It is the story of the developing friendship between an Aboriginal woman and a young white girl as they search for Manganinnie’s tribe in the Tasmanian bush in the 1830’s. The story has been retold in multiple languages, with the French translation winning the French Book of the Year in 1986.

Beth spoke out to promote causes close to her heart. Her written works championed the Tasmanian bush, Aboriginal people and had strong conservation themes throughout. After smoking for 48 years, Beth developed emphysema and went on to speak out publicly about the dangers of smoking for young people.  She also raised public awareness around AIDS following the death of her own son Bill from an AIDS related illness.

Children’s books by Beth Roberts:
The Little Lake who cried (1976)
Manganinnie (1979)
The Upside-Down Bird (1987)
The Wombat who couldn’t see in the Dark (1987)
The Tasmanian Devil who Couldn’t Eat Meat (1988)
Flowers for Mother Mouse (1989)
Magpie Boy (1989)
Midget and the Special Riders (1992)
The Runaway Wombat (1995)
The Three Stragglers (1996)
The Magic Waterfall (1990)
The Broomstick Wedding (2000)

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