The year concludes with reflections on gratitude, and awards for outstanding student achievements

A year of superb student achievements – academic, sporting, cultural, and in community service – has been recognised with awards presented at the College’s recent Final Dinner.

The Final Service and Dinner on Saturday 30 October were the climax of a jam-packed Term 4. A Quiz Night run by the Charitable Foundation raised a record sum for charities. Old Collegian and entrepreneur David Rohrsheim gave a fascinating talk on how his experience at St Mark’s helped equip him with the skills to bring Uber to Australia, and former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne spoke compellingly on Australia’s strategic position. A “Mark’s Day Out” music festival on the tennis courts was a great opportunity for students to relax before exams, the Variety Evening (or College Revue) featured sparkling skits – and there was much more!

Having been equal first in the High Table Cup for some time, the College ended the year narrowly behind St Ann’s (in first place) and Aquinas, after securing third place in the Table Tennis and in the Athletics. In both of these sports (as throughout the year), the College competed with energy and commitment, and with some outstanding individual performances – including from Kira McMahon, who set a new record in the women’s 200m.

A highlight of October was the election (for the first time through electronic voting) and the appointment of an impressive team of student leaders for 2022. These came in the days after a fun “Leadership Dinner” in the Learning Commons at which the Head of College (Professor Don Markwell) enthusiastically thanked the student leaders of 2021 for their exceptional leadership and service to the College this year.

This theme of gratitude continued at the College’s Final Service at Christ Church North Adelaide – attended by the Premier, the Hon. Steven Marshall MP, and including performances by the College choir and music student Elinor Warwick on violin – prior to the Final Dinner.

Both the Chaplain (the Rev’d Grant Moore) and Professor Markwell spoke in the Service on the importance and benefits of gratitude.

“We have so much to be grateful for”, Professor Markwell said. (His address is here.)

Looking back on 2021, Professor Markwell said that he was “grateful for – and proud of – all that our students have achieved this year –

  • superb academic results in first semester
  • passionate and dedicated sporting performances throughout the year, from tennis in March to athletics in October, with grit and determination throughout
  • the creativity and flair of artistic achievement, both in music reflected, for example, in our Arts Evenings, and in visual arts reflected in Marksenfeast
  • the wit and warmth of our Variety Evening
  • the inspiring community service of our Charitable Foundation, including in fundraising and in working to help those less fortunate than us through Café Outside the Square and Anglicare
  • the many social activities organised by the Committee, underpinned by huge amounts of hard work on their part, including such wonderful memory-making events as the winter wonderland Narnia Ball and Mark’s Day Out
  • the work that has been done on the Gassie to help return it to its former glory
  • the many and various activities to promote wellbeing and belonging among our students organised by so many of our student leaders, and
  • all the acts of friendship and kindness and camaraderie which students in our community show each other, helping to support each other in hard times as well as good, and building the lifelong friendships which every student, I hope and believe, will take from here.

“I am grateful for the outstanding student leaders of 2021 who have worked so hard and so well to make this year a special one for each and every student of St Mark’s.

“I am grateful also for the outstanding staff who have also worked with such commitment to support our students, including in their academic studies and their personal wellbeing.”

Looking ahead to 2022, Professor Markwell said that he was “grateful and excited

  • for the excellent student leaders who have been elected and appointed for 2022
  • for the major expansion in student support we will see with Stuart Meldrum becoming Director of Wellbeing and Dr Rachel Buxton moving to a mentoring and advisory role, with new staff coming on board as well
  • for continuing rapid growth in our College enrolments
  • for the fact that growing vaccination rates should give us greater scope to have all the activities we want, including those we have had to forego last year and this
  • for the opportunity to welcome our new College caterers, and
  • for the fact that next year we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of co-education at St Mark’s.”

Professor Markwell said that he was “grateful also for the scholarships and bursaries which enable students to be at St Mark’s who otherwise could not, or would face much more daunting financial challenges”.

Speeches by student leaders at the Final Dinner reflected their great affection for the College “family” to which they owe so much, and the sadness of farewell of those who are leaving the College – leaving with happy memories and life-long friends.

A toast to the students leaving the College was proposed by the College Club President for 2022, Caitlin Glascott, to which student leaders Kaidy Morgan and Aidan Jones responded highly entertainingly on behalf of “the Leavers”.

The toast to the College was proposed in a most moving speech by Sophie Ludbrook, who was later presented with the Collegians’ Prize by the President of the Old Collegians’ Association, Mr Michael van Dissel. The Collegians’ Prize is awarded (following a rigorous selection process involving student leaders and staff) to a student who has made the most outstanding contribution to the College, their university, and the wider community over a period of years.

Sophie Ludbrook is a third-year medical student and Hawker Scholar who served with distinction as President of the College Club this year, and as President of the Charitable Foundation in 2020.

The Final Dinner again saw the award of the Lilias Needham Medal for Service to a student who has given “an outstanding example of selfless service – of acting in a generous spirit for the good of others rather than for their own glory”.

The medal is named for Lilias Needham (1900-75) who, as well as enabling the creation of the prestigious Hawker Scholarships, was an extremely generous benefactor to St Mark’s College, including making possible the purchase of the house named in memory of her brother C. A. S. Hawker – but who insisted there be no public recognition of her generosity in her lifetime.

The 2021 Lilias Needham Medal for Service was awarded to Alice McKenzie, a third-year Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour) student who has served as Secretary of the College Club this year, and as the College Club’s Merchandise Officer last year.

The College also again recognised the most outstanding individual academic performances with commendations and colours at the Final Dinner. These are based on first-semester results for first-year students, and first-semester results combined with earlier results for second and later year students.

Commendations and colours were awarded to:

Academic Commendations for first-year students:

Holly Boswell
Jessica Cassidy
Oliver Leslie
Darcy Lillecrapp
Talia Robinson
Sinead Sidhu
Corey Smith
Jack Stimson

Academic Commendations for second-year students:

Regan Binder
Riley Cornell
Oliver Douglas
Caitlin Glascott
Jessica Hulett
Emily Jeffrey
Lachlan Matheson
Isabel Unwin
Grace Whyte

Academic Colours for second-year students:

Chloe Futcher
Max Gordon
Elinor Warwick
Kate Whyte

Academic Commendations for third-year students:

Kristen Coles
Katherine Dumas
Jackson Furst
Hamish Hill
Kira McMahon
Eliza O’Connell
Madeleine Taylor
Niamh Van Berkel

Academic Colours for third-year students:

Kaitlin Beltakis
Niamh Jones

Academic commendation for fourth year and above:

Samantha Hauptman

Academic Colours for fourth year and above:

Ashlee Nichol

Special mention was made of the outstanding academic achievement of Gemma Nunn, who had completed her degree mid-year.

This year also saw many fine individual sporting performances, which were recognised by the College Club with these Club colours, announced at the Final Dinner by the Sports Officers, Eliza Lee and Abraham Tuckwell:


Kristen Coles
Patrick Douglas


Ella Browne
Jonty Pretorius


James Andrews
Kara Phillips


Benjamin Ransom
Bellarose Watts


Blake Dodson
Taylor Glover
Gia Thomson


Jack Brady
Brodie Carrigan
Kira McMahon


Darcy Lillecrapp
Alicia McCully


Kara Phillips
Saxon Westbrook


Eliza Lee
Connor Marzohl

Table Tennis:

Oliver Douglas
Chloe Grosser


Max Gordon
Kira McMahon

The College Club also recognised other student achievements with these Club colours:

Arts Evening:

Max Gordon
Isabel Unwin

College Revue:

Bellarose Watts
Sarah Whyte

James Andrews was again recognised as Male Athlete of the Year, and Taylor Glover was recognised as the Female Athlete of the Year.

The College Club also recognised outstanding students in their first year in the College with awards, announced by the College Club President (Sophie Ludbrook), to Sinead Sidhu and Ben McCure.

Students who were graduating (or completing their degrees) at the end of the year were recognised with presentation to them by the Head of College of College banners. These students are:

James Andrews, Bachelor of Project Management
Kaitlin Beltakis, Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Advanced)
Jack Brady, Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)
Clayton Burke, Bachelor of Finance
Yemaya Coleman-Smith, Bachelor of Music (Popular Music)
Isabel Dawson, Bachelor of Music Theatre
Blake Dodson, Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity
Tayla Farlie, Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
Corey Finlay, Bachelor of Business (Sport and Recreation Management)
Abby Goodwin, Bachelor of Paramedic Science
Oliver Hoskyns, Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Corporate Finance)
Aidan Jones, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice
Annabelle Jones, Bachelor of Arts
Alice McKenzie, Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour)
Sophie Moore, Bachelor of Human Movement
Kaidy Morgan, Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences
Matt Mouvet, Bachelor of Arts
Eliza O’Connell, Bachelor of Music Theatre
Oliver Quixley, Postgraduate Certificate in Film and Television
Bonnie Seagrim, Bachelor of Architectural Studies
Shawn Wang, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Structural) (Hons)
Bianca White, Bachelor of Health Science

Adam Feder and Gemma Nunn, both Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences students, had completed their degrees mid-year.

The Head of College, Professor Don Markwell, again warmly thanked all student leaders who had served the College during 2021, and made presentations to the most senior appointed student leaders: the Senior Academic Tutor, Niamh Jones, and the Assistant Deans, Kate Beltakis and Ashlee Nichol.

As we look back with gratitude on all that our students achieved in 2021, we also look ahead to 2022 with great optimism. Congratulations to the St Mark’s students of 2021 on a year to be proud of, and best wishes for the year ahead!

Photos by Kaidy Morgan, Emerson Fielke and others