Academic successes and adventures of our students

Semester 2 has seen great academic success by our students, and many impressive and fascinating academic adventures – with more to come!

Final Academic Results for 2023

The final results for 2023 are a testament to the supportive learning environment, comprehensive program of academic support, and excellent facilities and resources provided for our students here at St Mark’s College.

The pass rate of 97.1% was well above the average pass rate for each of the SA universities and the national average pass rate in 2021 (85.6% – the most recent data available), and above the College’s average rate for the past 15 years.

Our students did more than just pass their subjects: 43% of all grades were high distinction (HD) or distinction (D) grades and at least 31 students achieved either HDs or Ds in all their subjects. 26 students achieved HDs in at least half of their subjects and 15 students achieved an impressive 6, 7, or exemplary 8 HDs, including three students who achieved HDs in all their subjects.

Honours Successes

We are very proud of our three Honours students, Oliver Douglas, Jord Howard, and Harry Yous, who all achieved First Class Honours overall in their respective degrees this year.

Oliver Douglas completed his fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree majoring in History at the University of Adelaide. Oliver is headed to Oxford in 2024 as a Rhodes Scholar, where he plans to read for an Masters in History before progressing onto a doctorate. He will be the 114th Rhodes Scholar from the University of Adelaide and the 30th from St Mark’s College.

Jord Howard was this year’s Senior Academic Tutor, leading by example in the role by dedicating himself to and excelling in his studies. Jord’s Mechanical Engineering Honours project was showcased at this year’s Ingenuity exhibition at the Adelaide Convention Centre. His team’s project won third prize in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Project category for their autonomous weed-removing robot project and their thesis was awarded First Class Honours.

Jord Howard (right) with his Honours team showcasing their autonomous weed-removing robot at Ingenuity 2023 at the Convention Centre

As well as a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced), Harry Yous completed his Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours. During Honours, Harry was selected on the basis of academic excellence to be a Student Editor for the Adelaide Law Review, one of the oldest and most prestigious law reviews in Australia. He will be admitted as a solicitor in early 2024 and intends to specialise in the areas of corporate disputes involving director duties, equity, trusts, restructuring and insolvency as well as working in private clients’ disputes involving family provision claims, wills, estates, probates, equity and trusts.

Cooper Ferguson – Arkaroola field trip

Cooper Ferguson, a third-year Earth Science student, spent the mid-semester break on a 9-day field trip in the Flinders Ranges as part of the Field Geoscience III capstone course.

As Cooper explains, in small groups, the students “mapp[ed] geological units, structures, deformations, and indicators of past temperature and pressure conditions to understand the history of the area, and its relevance to the evolution of the Earth from 1600-500 million years ago.

“The experience was, without a doubt, the best thing I have done during my undergraduate studies. Between the people, the scenery and of course the rocks, it was an extraordinary time, and I am so grateful that I am able to do this as part of my degree. Not only was it enjoyable, but it was perhaps the best way to learn about geology, and the report is one of my proudest pieces of work I have done.”

Cooper Ferguson in the Flinders Ranges in September 2023

Luke McKay – Gallipoli Scholars Trip to Canberra

At the end of September, Luke MacKay, a 2023 Gallipoli Scholar, travelled to the nation’s capital for a guided tour of the Australian War Memorial, a dinner with current and former Gallipoli Scholars and their sponsors, and to meet with the Governor General, His Excellency the Hon. David Hurley AC DSC.

The Gallipoli Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to the most deserving and meritorious Australian students who are commencing their first year of tertiary study and are the direct descendant of someone who has served in the Australian or New Zealand Defence Force in any conflict or peacekeeping role since the First World War.

Luke, who is studying a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) at the University of Adelaide, was also the inaugural recipient of the A. Simpson & Sons Scholarship at St Mark’s this year. The Simpson Scholarship was created from a generous endowment by Mr Antony Simpson (St Mark’s 1958-62), Honorary Fellow of the College, and is awarded annually on the basis of excellence in intellect, character, leadership, and service, to give recipients of the Scholarship the opportunity to attend the College.

In his first year of university, Luke has proven himself a very worthy recipient of both of these prestigious scholarships, which have allowed him to fully immerse himself and excel in his studies and College life.

Luke MacKay with the Governor General, His Excellency the Hon, David Hurley AC DSC, and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley at Government House in Canberra on 26 September 2023.

Jasmyn Lloyd – NALHN Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship

Jasmyn Lloyd, a third year University of Adelaide Medicine student and this year’s Indigenous Student Advisor at College, was one of six recipients of the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network’s (NALHN) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship in 2023.

These scholarships are aimed at increasing and enhancing the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in its workforce. As Jas explains, “They increase First Nation’s representation within the medical field and provide young First Nations people with role models they can aspire to follow.”

Jas has participated in two placements at NALHN and, as a direct result of her experience there, recently applied for and was appointed as a casual Aboriginal Project Officer in the Emergency Department Aboriginal Access team, Kumangka Padninthi, helping to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive culturally appropriate care.

Jas is “[s]o grateful to be a part of this amazing program [and] cannot recommend it enough for mob studying any aspect of Health at Uni!”

Jasmyn Lloyd during her NALHN placement

Speaking from Experience

Speaking from Experience is a new informal discussion series at St Mark’s, where we invite our staff, postgraduate students, and Old Collegians to come and tell us about something they have learned the hard way – through experience! The last Speaking from Experience event for 2023 featured our Head of College, Professor Don Markwell AM, in conversation with two of our student leaders, Clare Jenkin and William Gillett. The event drew a large audience, who were enthralled, entertained, and inspired by the wide-ranging and very personal discussion in which Don reflected on the people, events and experiences that have shaped his life and career thus far.

Professor Don Markwell AM in conversation with Clare Jenkin and Will Gillett

High Jinks and Ice Rinks

In the lead-up to their final exams for the year, St Mark’s students were invited to join a series of three juggling workshops with international juggling sensation, Philippe Quoilin. Requiring one’s full physical and mental attention on the task at hand, juggling is an excellent way to take a quick physical and mental break from the books. These workshops were generously funded by a grant from the Adelaide City Council and enthusiastically embraced by students and staff alike.

For STEM Academic Coordinator, Josh Rummell, “the juggling workshops were a great way to interact with a new skill that I’ve always wanted to learn”.

Philippe managed, as promised, to have everyone juggling three or more balls within the first 30 mins, working closely with those who needed extra encouragement and extending those, like Drew Willie (pictured below), who mastered it very quickly.

As Agriculture/Viticulture/Vet and Animal Science Academic Coordinator, Maddie Dodds reported, Phillipe “brought a passion to his juggling lesson like no other. His warmth encouraged everyone to give juggling a go and made a safe environment to make mistakes. His insight and tips boosted our confidence (and our skills)!”

We are grateful to the Adelaide City Council for their generous support of this well received and beneficial activity for our students – and staff.

Drew Willie juggling (or almost!)

In a similar vein, first-year students India Ciura and Dino Macri organised an ice-skating session for students at the Ice Arena in Thebarton to give fellow Collegians an opportunity to cool the pre-exam nerves and try a new skill in a supported environment.

Academic Achievement Celebrated

At our Final Dinner on 28 October, we celebrated some of the brilliant academic achievements in semester 1 by St Mark’s scholars.

Academic Colours were awarded to Ruby Ford and Mackenzie Walter (second year), Oscar Hemmings (third year) and Oliver Douglas (fourth year) for their consistent academic achievement at the very highest level during their time at College.

Academic Commendations were awarded to ten first-year students (Robyn Coles, Cameron Dixon, Luke McKay, Dino Macri, William McConnel, Zac Meakin, Zoe Raynes, Nathan Rokebrand, Madalyn Toet and Eloise Wills), three second-year students (Harriet Ellis, Sophie Gale, and Georgie Orchard), five third-year students (Oliver Leslie, Darcy Lillecrapp, Corey Smith, Jack Stimson, and Harry Yous), and one fourth-year student (Ella Browne) who have consistently achieved outstanding results during their time at College.

Ruby Ford receiving Academic Colours from Professor Markwell at the 2023 Final Dinner

Mackenzie Walter receiving Academic Colours from Professor Markwell at the 2023 Final Dinner’

Oliver Douglas receiving Academic Colours from Professor Markwell at the 2023 Final Dinner

Oscar Hemmings receiving the Sir Keith Angas Essay Prize for 2023 at Final Dinner

Sir Keith Angas Essay Prize

For the second year in a row, University of Adelaide Science student Oscar Hemmings (pictured above) won the coveted Sir Keith Angas Essay Prize.

The Angas Essay Prize, which was established in 1962, thanks to a generous gift by Sir Keith Angas, a former Chair of the College Council and Honorary Fellow of the College, is awarded for an essay written by a member of the College on a topic of general or contemporary interest.

This year, students were invited to write on an aspect of contemporary democracy. Oscar’s excellent essay, entitled “A democracy sausage, but only the bread”, examined how governments can fight illiberal democracy in the global theatre.

Imogen Dickinson, Liam Dixon, Reuban Duguid – Forthcoming Exchange Programs

Three of our students will be going on exchange in 2024, swapping the Australian summer for snowy adventures on the other side of the world in semester 1.

Imogen Dickinson will be studying in Canada, while Liam Dixon and Reuban Duguid are both off to Scandinavia. Liam, who will be undertaking a course in Nordic Backcountry Skiing through the University of South-Eastern Norway in Bø, has never seen snow before, let alone strapped on skis!

We wish them all the very best and look forward to hearing all about their international adventures when they return in time for semester 2.

SMC Book Swap and Drop

Thanks to a very generous donation by avid reader Kathy Radoslovich, we now have a Book Drop and Swap shelf in the JCR. Students and staff are free to take any books to keep, read and return, or hand on to others.

SMC Book Drop and Swap in the JCR.