2016

Our Stories

SARAH BASTIAN
OLD SCHOLAR

2011-2016

"EMBRACE EVERY MOMENT"

Sarah Bastian attended St Mary's from Year 7 to 12. She cherishes the time spent at the college and strives to still incorporate the 4 Rs she learnt here in everyday life Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Relationships. Whilst a student, Sarah had always had a busy life due to her love of sports. St Mary's accepted this and helped create a healthy balance between the two. Having the privilege of being selected for the Vietnam Pilgrimage was the highlight and 'proudest moment' of her years at the college. To Sarah this trip proved how determined, strong and powerful the young women at SMC are and how much of a difference they can make when they put their minds, hearts and hands into something.

St Mary's instilled in Sarah the ability to 'develop relationships, live the most out of everyday and embrace every moment'. She will never forget her time at the college.

Written by Melissa Finlay (student)

BELINDA ELBOROUGH
OLD SCHOLAR & SOCIAL JUSTICE LEADER

2012-2016

"WOMAN IN POWER"

"You should always speak your truth even if other people don't agree". Belinda, a young, successful Team Leader and Quality Assurance Manager, uses her SMC values and morals daily. Lessons like "Be a woman in power" have stayed with her and she is grateful that SMC taught her "how to think, not what to think". Social Justice Days are Belinda's best memories. The fun event helped her create positive changes.

She enjoyed Ms Parasiers Year 12 English as  students were all her friends, but she was very anxious before submitting her Year 12 final assignments. Her proudest achievement was when she started a Women's Empowerment Group, "I am that girl", with her friends. She recommends "Students should take in all of SMC because soon you will be singing the Dominic's Hymn and leaving the gates for the last time as a student. It will come quicker than you realise".

Written by Johana Ajith (student)

CAITLIN EMMA HEGARTY
OLD SCHOLAR

2012-2016

"COMMUNITY AND STRENGTH"

Caitlin Emma Hegarty created a community for life and found love for academic experiences during her five years at St Mary's College. These friendships and connections contributed to her future success. Being involved in netball at St Mary's taught Caitlin teamwork and resilience and helped develop her passion for sport. By participating in year 12 activities she became competent in public speaking.

In Year 12, Caitlin was extremely proud to participate in the trip to Oak Valley which fueled her passion for travelling. After completing Year 12, Caitlin went to Dublin, Ireland and it was there that she realised the connections St Mary's had to the people, community and places in Dublin. Caitlin, overall, had developed a strong foundation of friendships, sense of community, passions, skills and academic achievements from her life as a student at St Mary's College. This has helped to shape her future and who she is today.

Written by Amelia Morris (student)

ALEXANDRA GAVRILIDIS
OLD SCHOLAR

2003-2016

"PASSION FOR MUSIC"

Alexandra Gavrilidis attended St Mary's from Reception (2003) to Year 12 (2016). She developed a great passion for music. She was in the school choir and has strong memories of participating in the school musicals from Year 4, all the way to Year 11. She has continued her love for music and has also followed another passion of hers, which is teaching.

She has combined these by teaching singing and choir lessons. Her passion for teaching was created from being surrounded with great teachers. She is now studying teaching at University. When she had Mr. Batty as a teacher, he made the whole class listen to Susan Boyle every morning with their eyes closed. One morning her class decided to leave the class while Mr Batty had his eyes closed, this was one of her craziest moments and Alexandra's most proud moment was receiving the Ethos Award.

Written by Laura Acres (student)

GEORGIA PASCULLI
OLD SCHOLAR

2012-2016

"CONFIDENCE, PASSION, ENCOURAGEMENT"

Georgia explained that the confidence she gained at St Mary's allowed her to pursue new ventures in the outside environment. This included starting a new job, university and going overseas this year. Georgia said she gained a passion for Art, which she has continued outside of high school. Her time at SMC prepared her for life as she is now studying 2 of her favourite subjects; English and History in university and is hoping to teach them one day.

Her strongest memory of her time at St Mary's was the Cambodian Pilgrimage. She said that teaching the kids and being immersed in the culture was very eye opening. "It was truly a once in a life-time experience that I don't think I'll ever forget". She emphasised that the encouragement of the teachers she had inspired her passion to become a teacher and shaped her into the person she is today.

Written by Mia Pasculli (student)

SIENNA VAWSER
OLD SCHOLAR

2012-2016

"SAFE NEST"

Sienna Vawser studied from Year 8 to 12 at SMC. Sienna said that St Mary's feels like a "safe nest" and you make great friendships because it is a positive and encouraging environment. She loved how St Mary's appreciated the power of women. "I wouldn't be the same person nor have the same school values, if I didn't attend St Mary's".

The Social Justice community at SMC helped Sienna to develop an interest in volunteering at St Vinnies because she saw how much help they needed when she went on a Social Justice excursion. Her craziest moment was Vinnies on Parade when she dressed up with her friends as the Bachelor. Sienna never forgets the moment that her name was called for a Biology award at Year 11, her feelings were unexplainable. Her advice for current SMC students is "enjoy your time here and don't take your friends for granted".

Written by Fatima Ahmadi (student)

ISABELLE QUEK
OLD SCHOLAR

2012-2016

"CULTURE"

Without even knowing it at the time, Issy absorbed everything St Mary's had to offer. She was heavily involved with Social Justice, Music and her work on the environment, and is proud of what she achieved at school; especially introducing the concept of sustainable fashion to the Year 12 Religion course. Issy is currently studying Law and Environment at university, a product of these last two years of education; therefore, combining the environment, social justice and her passion for law.

The Cambodia Pilgrimage was a highlight of Issy's school life. She always valued social justice and leadership and took these passions out of school and created an organisation through university. In her last year at school, Issy stepped into her own self. Her time in Year 12, as well as the supportive culture, is what prepared Issy best for university; it is what she took away from school more than anything.

Written by Harriet Burgess (student)

TAYLA CONROY
OLD SCHOLAR & COLLEGE CAPTAIN

2006-2016

"TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY"

Being a student from Reception to Year 12 at St Mary's taught Tayla to be an independent and confident young woman. Receiving the position of College Captain in Year 12 was a major achievement that Tayla will never forget. The Social Justice program and Oak Valley Pilgrimage made her more passionate about helping others; she hopes to continue this in her chosen career of nursing.

As Tayla looked back, one of her funniest memories was in Year 11 at the "Vinnies on Parade" when her class dressed up as Mr Paton with cardboard cut-outs of his face. Tayla's advice for students today is to take every opportunity you get offered because not many schools provide what St Mary's does. Even if it means jumping out of your comfort zone so you can experience new things, be prepared to take on that challenge because you might not get a second chance.

Written by Riley Sauerwald (student)