Rebecca Keeley awarded inaugural Ivan Shearer Scholarship

Ms Rebecca Keeley (St Mark’s 2012-14) has been awarded the inaugural Ivan Shearer Scholarship, which will help to enable her to study for a Masters of Business Administration at the University of Oxford.

The Ivan Shearer Scholarship is made possible by a generous bequest by the late Professor Ivan Shearer AM RFD (1938-2019), a distinguished international lawyer who was Dean of St Mark’s in 1968-71 and an Honorary Fellow of the College from 2005.

The Scholarship helps to support St Mark’s Collegians to study at the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge. It is awarded on the basis of excellence in intellect, character, leadership, and service, and also the need for financial support to study there.

Rebecca has also been awarded the Tim Fischer John Monash Scholarship – one of Australia’s most prestigious postgraduate scholarships – and a Saïd Foundation Scholarship from Oxford. Together with the Ivan Shearer Scholarship, these will cover the costs of her tuition fees and living costs for an academic year in Oxford.

Born and raised in Darwin, Rebecca is a graduate of Flinders University with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (2012-15), and also completed the Allied Health Rural Generalist Program at James Cook University (2017-18).

Working since 2016 as a speech pathologist, first in Darwin and now in country New South Wales, Rebecca is focused on promoting equitable access to healthcare for people in rural, regional, and remote communities, and to increasing the contribution of allied health professionals to the leadership of health systems.

She is currently working as a Senior Project Officer with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District to support those ageing in the community. Before this, she was Head of Department (Speech Pathology) at Griffith Base Hospital (2019-20).

Rebecca is the founder of Outback Allies, a peer support network for allied health professionals in regional and remote areas, and leads a senior citizens’ gentle exercise program in a small country town in NSW.

Rebecca’s commitment to creating opportunities for disadvantaged people to access healthcare in remote and rural communities is longstanding and has benefitted the lives of many. She sees her experiences working in allied health service provision with First Nations communities, and operating under the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide telehealth support to patients, as formative experiences that have deepened her interest in healthcare reform and systems change.

“Equitable access to healthcare in rural and remote Australia is a social impact problem”, she has said, “and through education and opportunities provided at Oxford, I hope to significantly impact the rural and remote public healthcare space in Australia on my return.”

In particular, Rebecca aims to use technology and app-based programs to improve the access that people in remote and rural areas have to allied health service delivery, and to support clinicians in providing these services.

Rebecca attributes the College’s announcement in 2020 of the creation of the Ivan Shearer Scholarship as prompting her interest in studying in Oxford. In turn, she hopes to help current and future St Mark’s students (including allied health students) to aim high in their study and career aspirations – including, as she aims to do, to bring skills from postgraduate study to help country communities.

We warmly congratulate Rebecca on being the inaugural Ivan Shearer Scholar, and wish her the very best for her time in Oxford and beyond.

A fuller profile of Rebecca will appear in coming months on the College website here as part of our series of “40 St Mark’s women” to mark the 40th anniversary of coeducation at the College.

Read more about the Ivan Shearer Scholarship, here.

Independent expert review by Professor Catharine Lumby

With much national debate on issues of gender and respectful relationships especially over the last 18 months, many institutions around Australia have been reviewing what they do in this area. This includes parliaments, courts, companies, universities, colleges, and other organisations.

More generally, the best organisations “check in” from time to time on their culture and their policies and practices.

In 2022, we at St Mark’s are marking the 40th anniversary of coeducation and have renewed our commitment to gender equality and to respectful relationships. We have been working hard and proactively to uphold these values and our culture of respect, inclusion, and safety. A recent update on our work towards this in recent years is here.

This year, we have considerably expanded our support for students with new staff appointments such as the creation of the position of Director of Wellbeing.

In the words of our new strategic plan, we are committed to “promoting student wellbeing and belonging in a safe, respectful, diverse, and inclusive community”. We want the College to be a leader in doing this.

The national debate and the National Student Safety Survey findings published in March have highlighted the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault in society, and the need to do all we can to prevent these and to respond appropriately when they do happen.

As a College that nurtures student leadership, we are keen to encourage our students to be part of the solution to these problems wherever they may be.

In this context, it is timely that we, like other institutions, take stock of how we are doing.

The College has therefore initiated an independent expert review of what we are doing and what we can do better to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

We have asked one of Australia’s leading experts in this field, Professor Catharine Lumby from the University of Sydney, to undertake this review and she has agreed.

Professor Catharine Lumby

Professor Lumby’s expertise in matters that include gender equality, cultural diversity, sexual violence prevention, young people and media, social media, and media content regulation has led her to being asked to speak to and consult with Australian organisations as diverse as the National Rugby League, Google, Channel Ten, David Jones, Endemol Shine, and the Australian Defence Force.

Catharine Lumby has an Arts (Hons)/ Law degree from Sydney University. After graduating she worked for two decades as a print and TV journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC, and The Bulletin magazine. In the 1990s, she was awarded a prestigious Harkness Fellowship and spent five years living in New York attached to New York University as a visiting scholar.

Professor Lumby has a PhD from Macquarie University, and has held senior academic positions at the University of NSW, Macquarie University, and the University of Sydney.

For over 15 years, she worked closely with the National Rugby League to assist in designing and evaluating education programs aimed at supporting players to behave in ethically responsible ways off the field, including in their treatment of women and understanding and responding to the health and wellbeing needs of young men from diverse cultural backgrounds.

She has written and co-edited ten books and numerous book chapters and journal articles in her fields of research.

Professor Lumby will be undertaking her review over the next few months, aiming to have a report for the College by September.

Student input to the review

Student input will be essential for this review, and all students have been invited to give input, through focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and a student survey.

Details of these have been circulated to students, and the College will be very grateful to all students who contribute to the review in these ways.

“Overjoyed” and “forever grateful” for opportunities scholarships create

One of the highlights of the recent dinner to mark the 40th anniversary of coeducation were speeches by two current women student leaders who took the opportunity to say “thank you” for the scholarships which have helped them to be at St Mark’s.

The College Club President, Ms Caitlin Glascott, spoke of flourishing in College, and said that she and Senior Residential Advisor Isabel Unwin “are fortunate enough to be recipients of generous scholarships, without which we wouldn’t be standing here”.

Isabel Unwin – the holder in 2021 and 2022 of the Women of St Mark’s Scholarship – thanked “everyone who has made this scholarship possible, for enabling young women to take up the opportunity to be at St Mark’s (and to stay for much longer than the one year I originally intended)”.

She especially thanked Clare Thompson SC, “who is responsible for the seed funding of the Women of St Mark’s Scholarship, 10 years ago at the 30th anniversary of coeducation. Ms Thompson is an outstanding lawyer, and advocate for others, particularly in enabling access to education opportunities”. (The photo above is of Isabel Unwin, Clare Thompson SC, and Caitlin Glascott at the 40th anniversary dinner.)

These inspiring speeches are just one of the ways in which scholarship holders have been expressing their gratitude for scholarships which enable them to benefit from being at St Mark’s this year. Over recent months, dozens of students have written letters of thanks to the donors of scholarships or to the College Board.

In many cases, because of the financial circumstances of their families, students have only been able to be at St Mark’s because of scholarships. Students’ letters reflect their deep gratitude for this life-changing help.

“Overjoyed” and “forever grateful” are just two of their heart-felt expressions of appreciation.

Almost all scholarships are made possible through generous donations from alumni and friends of the College who, having seen the positive impact the College can have for students, have given generously to provide this opportunity to current and future students.

One of the top priorities in the College’s new strategic plan is “working to support all students who need it through a major expansion of scholarships and other financial support for students”.

If you would like to help change the lives of current or future students at St Mark’s, please give now through clicking here.

These extracts come from just some of the many letters of thanks which students have been writing:

“Without this scholarship, I would have never been able to live in a place as unique as St Mark’s College. This opportunity is one I will be forever grateful for. There is a fantastic feeling I get from living here, and it is one I will always feel stepping through those front gates. The connection I have to St Mark’s College is one I know will last a lifetime, alongside the friendships that I am a part of.”

“I am honoured to be awarded this scholarship as I value what St Mark’s stands for. St Mark’s drives and motivates its students to be of help and of service to not only their community but those in need, truly a quality I respect and hope to demonstrate more of in future years.”

“Thank you again for affording me the opportunity to live at St Mark’s College and for your investment in students like myself. One day, I hope to be able to provide a student the same opportunity to live at St Mark’s College whilst attending university and completing their studies. I greatly appreciate your support and thank you for making this possible.”

“[Our crop] has been severely impacted by hail and frost in recent years, leaving most of [it] unsuitable for harvest. Thus, my family have encountered significant financial struggle which this scholarship will help alleviate. Without financial support like this, it would have been remarkably difficult to attend college and stay afloat as a family.”

“I am overjoyed that another year at the College has been made possible due to the generous scholarship. Without the help of a scholarship, it would not be possible for me to attend St Mark’s College. My parents live [interstate], and I am the first person in my family who has had the privilege of attending a college. I know that my parents are extremely happy to have me at the College because they have seen me become happier and more confident…”

“Receiving support from St Mark‘s means a great deal, allowing me to pursue my dream career as a doctor with confidence. Since arriving here, St Mark’s has already [become] a home away from home. From staff to students and everyone in-between, I could not imagine a life without St Marks, especially after arriving in a state I have never visited before.”

“I am extremely appreciative of this scholarship as it not only lightens the financial burden on my family and me, but allows me to spend more time making the most of the opportunities St Mark’s and university has to offer whilst dedicating more time towards my studies rather than worrying about finances. I hope that one day in the future I will have the opportunity to pass on the same support and kindness you have shown me to other students living at St Mark’s, helping them to thrive just as I have.”

“Unfortunately, life on the land can be quite challenging with the weather extremes and after losing a lot of our crop in 2019, we once again faced this devastation in 2021, meaning one of our main sources of income was affected. This scholarship has enabled me to lift some pressure and provide a sense of comfort for my parents when we are faced with these sudden circumstances. It has allowed me to remain at College once again in 2022, which I am extremely grateful for.”

“I have made a lot of sacrifices to ensure I would be able to afford my time at college and this scholarship will allow me to engage in all different experiences that I may not have had the chance to [otherwise].”

“Being granted a scholarship by St Mark’s … is now a defining event of my early adulthood and has already made a sizeable impact to my sense of adult independence and responsibility.”

“I am very excited to be spending another year at St Mark’s College, as last year was so full of amazing opportunities provided by the College, as well as the remarkable people that also call St Mark’s College home. Moving away from my hometown, across states, all whilst starting University for the first time, is awfully daunting. However, starting my new life at St Mark’s College made all the difficulties disappear as I was welcomed with open arms, into a very caring environment. My new home will always hold a special place in my heart.”

“St Mark’s College has taught me many things over the last two years and helped me grow into a resilient and hard-working young woman. I am extremely lucky that I have the financial support from such a generous group of people that will make my third year at St Mark’s one I will never forget.”

“Growing up, I often found it difficult to find a place where I truly fit in at school, often feeling quite outcasted and alone. Attending St Mark’s last year provided me with a fresh start that truly changed my life for the better. The people at this college are some of the most kind, wonderful and caring people I have met, who constantly make me feel like I truly belong. I’ve met so many people who I’m sure will be lifelong friends, and some I even consider family. The college community will always hold a very special place in my heart, so I am so thankful to be able to continue my journey there again this year.”

“To me, our college is a place where students get the unique opportunity to tackle all the challenges of being young adults within the safety of a supportive community. I am thankful to have the opportunity this year to give back to a community who has helped me safely grow into the young woman I am today. Without such financial assistance, I would not have been able to afford my attendance here for three years. Again, thank you to you and the Board for providing the opportunity for scholarships at our college – please know the work you do has a significant positive impact for our student body.”

“Considering my family is from a rural farming background in the Southeast of South Australia, income can be quite variable due to many uncontrollable seasonal factors such as weather. Through the generosity of the scholarship to contribute towards my college fees, my family will feel less of a financial burden in times of need.”

“Coming from a small country town and moving far from home, my family has never been able to travel to Adelaide much and to be able to live here is something I’m more than grateful for. The generosity of your scholarship has helped my family immensely, as returning for a second year of college was not something I had imagined could happen. Both myself and my mother contribute to my college fees, but unfortunately due to being a single mother, with two other children to provide for, her contribution is minimal. To receive this scholarship has lifted a weight off both myself and my mother’s shoulders, and we are both so grateful.”

“Without your help my family would have struggled to send me to Mark’s for another year.”

Being at St Mark’s College is a truly once in a lifetime opportunity and over the previous year as an undergraduate student I was in perpetual awe of the various possibilities given to us as Collegians to thrive in the different aspects of college and wider community life, be it sporting, musical or spiritual. These years are some which I truly cherish, and I know they will remain fond memories in the years to come. Receiving this scholarship means that I will be able to continue with my studies at the University of Adelaide and brings reassurance that I will be able to continue to fund my place at St Mark’s. Again, I would like to thank you and the College for your generosity.”

“Without this scholarship I would not have been able to afford to come to St Mark’s.”

You can help to change the lives of talented students by giving here. Thank you for making a difference!

“What a special night!” – marking the 40th anniversary of coeducation

Seven of the first women students to come to St Mark’s when it became coeducational in 1982, the Master of the time (Professor Peter Edwards AM),  and the Eighth Master (Ms Rose Alywn) were among 140 guests at a brilliant dinner to celebrate the 40th anniversary of coeducation at the College recently.

Collegians from every decade since the 1940s, including many current Collegians, joined in a very happy night marked by a strong sense of camaraderie. Several had come from interstate and overseas.

“What a special night it is!” said Professor Don Markwell, Head of College, welcoming guests to the College’s beautifully decorated Dining Hall on Saturday 30 April.

Reflecting on the historical significance of the occasion, Professor Markwell said: “it was on the 29th of April 1981 – exactly 41 years ago yesterday – that the College Council voted to admit women students for the first time, and the first women students entered the College in 1982.”

Three members of the Council of 1981 who made the historic decision for coeducation were present at the dinner: Professor Peter Edwards AM, Master of the College from 1978 to 1982; the Hon Rod Matheson AM QC, who from 1982 was Chair of the College Council; and the Rev’d Bill Goodes.

As well as Professor Jennifer McKay, who was the first woman to be appointed Assistant Dean, from 1981 to 1983, Professor Markwell warmly welcomed the seven women “pioneers” of 1982 who were present: Dr Angela Evans, Vanessa Greenslade, Katrina Hope, Dr Louise Mestrov, Dr Michelle Nottage, Clare Thompson SC, and Alison Watts.

“What a constellation of stars are the women of 1982!”, he said.

In proposing the toast to the College, Professor Edwards, who as Master prepared the way for coeducation and guided it towards success, also said that the women of 1982 “set a brilliant standard for the women who followed”.

Like other speakers, he also remembered the men of the College in 1982, many of whom – like so many St Mark’s women – direct their efforts “towards the benefit of others”. He cited as two examples Joni Madraiwiwi, a law student from a Fijian chiefly family, who as vice-president and acting president of Fiji helped to defend human rights and the rule of law, and Marko Pavlyshyn, now a retired professor of Ukrainian studies, who is today helping Australians understand how they can support Ukrainians in the face of “Putin’s barbaric war”.

In thanking Professor Edwards, the Chair of the College Board, Ms Linda Matthews, said: “Your far sightedness in arguing for the entry of women to the College demonstrates your forward thinking, not just in permitting young women access to College life, but in the work that you did in welcoming young women students.”

Ms Matthews spoke of the College’s strategic priorities today to promote academic excellence and career preparation, and wellbeing and belonging in a respectful and inclusive community, and to work to support all students who need it through a major expansion of scholarships and other financial support for students.

As guest speaker, Dr Angela Evans AM, one of the women who entered the College in 1982, evoked happy and amusing memories of the early days of coeducation with great good humour and warmth.

“Memory is a really funny thing,” Dr Evans said. “40 years is a long time, and yet I can remember as clear as a bell the first morning tea out by the pond after the Commencement Service – a beautiful Sunday morning on a Summer’s day.”

From her campaign on the Building and Grounds Committee in 1982 to introduce full-length mirrors to the College, to her brushes with Royalty when the Prince and Princess of Wales visited Adelaide, and noisy conversations over early morning breakfasts in the Dining Hall, Dr Evans left all awash with laughter.

Dr Evans also highlighted the spirit of service animating so many past and present Collegians. She has herself gone on to a distinguished career as a clinician, teacher, and researcher in the field of podiatry, and has given immense and selfless service to the field, nationally and internationally. In her speech, she reflected on her work in Bangladesh with the NGO “Walk for Life Clubfoot”, which has treated some 30,000 little children, enabling them to walk, go to school, and have a normal life.

In a joint vote of thanks, two current Collegians – College Club President, Caitlin Glascott, and Senior Residential Adviser, Isabel Unwin – warmly thanked Dr Evans for her inspiring speech, and also thanked all who had helped to bring about coeducation and helped to ensure its success.

Both Caitlin and Isabel are medical students in their third year at College, and both are very worthy recipients of scholarships made possible through the generosity of Old Collegians and friends of the College.

In both 2021 and 2022, Isabel has been awarded the Women of St Mark’s Scholarship – a scholarship generously created coming out of the 30th anniversary celebrations a decade ago – and she acknowledged the efforts of past Collegians who have made her journey at St Mark’s possible. In particular, she warmly thanked Ms Clare Thomson SC, who had seed-funded the Women of St Mark’s Scholarship.

“Celebrating 40 years of co-education here today”, Isabel said, “it is an absolute privilege to have a connection to the decades of women who have gone before me at the College… St Mark’s women of the last four decades inspire my decisions and actions. Their achievements and their service make me proud to be known as a St Mark’s woman alongside them. I hope that I can leave a positive mark on the College and support the women around me to leave this mark as well.”

At the Founders’ Day service the following morning, two of the women of 1982, Clare Thompson SC and Alison Watts, read the prayers.

In the words of the Chaplain, the Rev’d Grant Moore, the service was a “four in one” commemoration: “giving thanks for our founders and benefactors; esteeming our patron saint, St Mark; commemorating the 40th anniversary of coeducation; and honouring Anzac Day, or more specifically, the twenty young College members who lost their lives during World War II.”

The service was followed by morning tea, during which the Chair of the Board, Ms Linda Matthews, proposed the traditional toast to the Founders.

That afternoon, many current and Old Collegians took part in the Old Collegians’ football, concluding a memorable and happy weekend of celebrations.

The College will continue to mark the 40th anniversary of coeducation throughout the year with online profiles of 40 of our many remarkable St Mark’s women, and with drinks hosted by the Old Collegians Association later in the year.

The profiles of St Mark’s women can be found here

If you would like to join in supporting the Women of St Mark’s Scholarship, you can do so here.

Photos by Emerson Fielke. See more photos here.

Photos from Founders’ Day 2022

Photos by Emerson Fielke

Professor Jonathon Allen appointed Dean of St Mark’s College

An experienced university educator with a strong commitment to supporting students, Professor Jonathon Allen, has been appointed Dean of St Mark’s College in succession to Dr Andrés Villamizar, who has stood down due to ill health.

The Dean plays a central role in the College’s support for students, which has been expanded significantly this year with the appointment of Mr Stuart Meldrum to the new position of Director of Wellbeing, Dr Katrina Stats as Director of Learning, and Dr Rachel Buxton to the new role of Adviser and Special Projects.

From 2016 to 2021, Professor Allen was the Head of The Academy at Western Sydney University (WSU), an award-winning inter-disciplinary program for high-achieving students which grew under his leadership to supporting nearly 5,000 students. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at WSU.

Professor Allen was previously the Provost, or head, of WSU’s Penrith campus, and has been an academic in the field of industrial design in universities in the UK (Loughborough), New Zealand (Massey), and at Monash University in Melbourne, as well as at WSU. He is a widely-published researcher, with a particular interest in design’s role in addressing social and environmental concerns.

Jonathon Allen’s First Class Honours degree in Design and Technology, and his PhD (on using design to empower people with severe communications disabilities), were both undertaken at Loughborough University in England.

Amongst a great deal else, he has served on the WSU Vice-Chancellor’s Gender Equality Committee and Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group, is an accredited Mental Health First Aider, and has trained as an accidental counsellor.

Jonathon has said: “I started my university experience living in halls of residence at Loughborough University, UK, and as a student was elected to the Hall’s Committee, where we collaboratively organised Hall events such as formal balls, social events, charity fundraisers, and welcomes for new students.

“That supportive and nurturing experience has remained with me, and in my university career my teaching, leadership and governance roles have also included pastoral care, student experience, extra-curricular academic support, tutorials and events, as well as University community development.

“My proudest achievements are those of my students, not in a vicarious fashion, but a genuine interest and pride in making a difference to their lives and those that they go on to impact.”

Jonathon Allen’s student-centred approach as a university teacher and academic leader has been reflected in his strong commitment to student wellbeing, experience, and development. Amongst much else, he expanded opportunities for WSU students to have residential experience overseas, including in South Africa and various countries in Asia, including through the New Colombo Plan.

He is looking forward with enthusiasm to embracing all aspects of College life, and to working with students at St Mark’s, including our excellent student leaders, to help offer all students the best all-round educational experience possible.

The Dean of St Mark’s College is integral to the effective functioning and thriving of the College residential community. The Dean is responsible for fostering a vibrant and engaged student body with a strong culture of inclusion and respect, nurturing student leadership skills, and overseeing student discipline. The Dean is also responsible for overseeing the College Calendar of student-related events and activities, for the smooth running of day-to-day student life and its associated operations, and for security and emergency procedures outside business hours.

The Head of College, Professor Don Markwell, said that Jonathon Allen’s commitment to working with students and to creating the best possible opportunities for them, combined with his warm and friendly approach, were very impressive.

“Everyone who has met him looks forward with enthusiasm to Jonathon joining and helping to lead the St Mark’s community”, he said.

Professor Jonathon Allen will move into residence in the College and commence as Dean on 23 April.


“Becoming the best version of yourself”: the 2022 academic year gets underway

It seems like yesterday that our newest cohort of Collegians walked through the College’s front gates, met their RAs and collected their key cards, and lugged all their belongings to their new rooms. Later that day they were formally welcomed into the College and signed their names in the College Roll at the Admission Ceremony on the tennis courts, and, after farewelling family members, began to settle into their new lives here at St Mark’s and at university. And now here we are, almost at the end of Term 1, with much to celebrate from the year so far, and much to look forward to.

It has been a term with many ups and the occasional down. With some creative approaches to events, and blessed with a stretch of warm weather that enabled us to hold most activities outdoors, we avoided all but a handful of Covid cases during the crucial first few weeks. The result was a terrific Welcome Week jammed full of the usual training and socialising, late nights and early-mornings – huge thanks to our indefatigable College Club Committee for their cheery hard work and organisation in helping to ensure such a successful start to the year.

Some of the many highlights included a dazzling Arts Evening and fun Quiz Night, and a beautiful Commencement Service in the Cathedral, followed by Commencement Dinner on the tennis courts.

In her welcoming speech to new students, College Club President Caitlin Glascott set the tone for the year ahead, saying that at St Mark’s you “get the opportunity to meet amazing people and become the best version of yourself” and encouraged students to make the most of the opportunities ahead of them. This was echoed by Professor Don Markwell in his Commencement Address, who said:

“That’s a wonderful phrase – ‘become the best version of yourself’. It seems to me that all of us should aspire to become, and should work to become, ‘the best version’ of ourselves.”

Hot on the heels of Welcome Week were the first two SAAUCC sports of the year, Tennis and Swimming, and – in keeping with recent years – these two events saw us off to a storming start in our pursuit of High Table Cup glory as we secured first place in both competitions. Many congratulations to our Tennis and Swimming teams, and in particular to Ben Grima who set two inter-college records in individual swimming events. More recently in Netball, the third sport on the calendar, our women’s team come second, and our men’s team third – we are very proud of the passion and commitment both teams showed in all matches.

After three sports, we have a strong lead in the High Table Cup – with eight sports still to go.

Covid came knocking about three weeks ago, and we have just emerged from a spell in which many of our students were required to self-isolate, either as a positive case or as a close contact. We could not be prouder of how our community has coped with this disruption, with our student leaders stepping up to deliver meals and isolation packs, the Buttery team undertaking gratefully-received snack runs, and all students in our community, whether in iso or not, rallying around to provide support to each other – through streamed yoga classes, online Guess Who competitions, or just checking in with and looking out for one other. It has been a collective effort, and testimony to the profound sense of camaraderie and mutual support that underpins our community.

Other notable points of the term have included seeing four of our Old Collegians being elected or re-elected to the South Australian State Parliament in the recent elections – see the news story here for more on this – and the celebration of International Women’s Day organized by our Equity Officers, Deni and Ben.

We have launched our profiles of 40 St Mark’s women to mark the 40th anniversary of coeducation, and, as we look to celebrate this landmark, we hope to see you at our 40th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday 30 April and at Founders’ Day on Sunday 1 May. Details are here.

Photos by Emerson Fielke, Madison Young, Bianca Feher, Jackson Furst and others.

Profiling 40 St Mark’s women

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the admission of women students to St Mark’s, we are publishing online profiles of 40 of the many remarkable St Mark’s women who have contributed to the College, their professions, or the wider community. Many thanks to everyone who has nominated St Mark’s women to be profiled.

Profiles are being posted on the College website and social media, normally one each week.

The first six profiles have already appeared, and are of:

  • Mrs Diana Medlin AM, educational pioneer and the first woman appointed to the College Council – read here
  • Professor Jennifer McKay, the first woman Assistant Dean of the College, now Professor of Business Law at UniSA and Water Professional of the Year 2020 – read here
  • Dr Angela Evans AM (St Mark’s 1982-84), international leader in podiatry and long-time contributor to College governance – read here
  • Dr Rowena Mobbs (St Mark’s 1999-2004), a medical expert in cognitive neurology with an impressive record of sporting achievement – read here
  • Ms Clare Thompson SC (St Mark’s 1982-83), one of Australia’s leading women lawyers, and champion of access to education, including at St Mark’s – read here
  • Ms Sophie Ludbrook (St Mark’s 2019-21), College Club President and Collegians’ Prize-winner in 2021, Hawker Scholar and 4th-year medical student – read here

Read more

“Punching above our weight” in South Australian politics

Four Old Collegians were elected or re-elected to the South Australian Parliament in the State elections held on 19 March – including one appointed to be the third most senior minister in the new Government. Congratulations to –

  • the Hon. Kyam Maher MLC (St Mark’s 1991-92, 1995-97) on being re-elected to the Legislative Council at the head of the Labor ticket, and being appointed as Attorney General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector, and Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council. Kyam’s talk with students at St Mark’s last year was greatly appreciated.
  • the Hon. David Basham MP (St Mark’s 1987-89) on being re-elected as the Member for Finniss (Liberal). David served as Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development in the previous Government.
  • the Hon. Dan Cregan MP (St Mark’s 2003-06), Speaker of the House of Assembly, on being re-elected as the Member for Kavel (Independent).
  • Ashton Hurn MP (St Mark’s 2009-10) on being elected as the Member for Schubert (Liberal).

We also congratulate other Old Collegians who stood for Parliament – such as Beth Leese (St Mark’s 2017-19), the Greens candidate in Stuart.

All who stood for Parliament have continued the College’s tradition of community service and good citizenship which dates back to our founders, and we congratulate and thank them all.

Left to right: the Hon. Kyam Maher MLC, the Hon. David Basham MP, the Hon. Dan Cregan MP, Ashton Hurn MP

Dr James Muecke AM appointed as Lieutenant Governor of South Australia

Many congratulations to Dr James Muecke AM (St Mark’s 1982-87), who was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of South Australia on 27 January 2022.

Australian of the Year in 2020, James Muecke is a pioneer in blindness prevention who has spent over 30 years pursuing humanitarian work. In 2008 he founded the not-for-profit organisation Sight For All, which fights against blindness in Aboriginal and other Australian communities and in many countries around the world, impacting over one million people’s lives every year.

We were delighted to have him speak to students at the College in 2021.

You can read more about Dr Muecke’s appointment as Lieutenant Governor here.

You can find out more about the role of Lieutenant Governor of South Australia on the Government House website here.

Above: Dr James Muecke AM speaking to St Mark’s students in 2021

Honours in the Order of Australia

St Mark’s College congratulates the following members of our community for awards in the Order of Australia.

Nicholas Lee OAM (St Mark’s 1988-90) was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia “for service to the community through the not-for-profit sector”.  Nicholas Lee founded the Jodi Lee Foundation in honour of his late wife, who passed away in 2010. The Foundation is dedicated to educating Australians about the risks of bowel cancer and ways to reduce these risks. For information on the Jodi Lee Foundation, click here.

Mr Lee is also a Co-Director of Healthy Minds, a program that aims to provide people with skills to maintain optimal health and wellbeing. It is a program that many of our students have benefitted from over the years.

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Mary Louise Simpson OAM (Benefactor of the St Mark’s College Foundation) was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia “for service to conservation and the environment, and to the arts”. Among her many contributions to the community, Mary Lou Simpson is a long-term supporter of students at St Mark’s, including through the Archie McArthur Scholarship, which she established for first year engineering students in  2017.

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Professor John Williams AM (2021 J C Bannon Orator) was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia “for significant service to tertiary education, to the law, and to professional organisations”. Professor Williams is the Acting Provost and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide, the founding Director of the SA Law Reform Institute, and was the 2021 J C Bannon Orator, where he spoke at St Mark’s on the topic “South Australia and the Constitution: A mere provincial contribution?”

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