Academic adventures of our students

In addition to excellent academic results last semester and an academic programme in full swing for Semester 2, many of our students have taken part in exciting academic adventures in Australia and overseas over recent months, as well as within College.

Outstanding academic results

As the St Mark’s motto – spernit virtus humum, excellence reaches for the stars – suggests, academic excellence is one of the core values of our College, and in 2023 our students have certainly been reaching for the stars. In semester 1, more than a quarter of our students achieved at least one high distinction with 43 students (17% of all students) receiving only high distinction and/or distinction grades, including 12 students who received straight high distinctions. Overall, nearly half our results were high distinction or distinction grades.

In addition to achieving these outstanding results, our students have been busy with a wide range of academic activities and adventures over the winter months.

Rave reviews for our music theatre students

Final year music theatre students, Lilli De Nardi and Gracie Rowland performed in an Elder Conservatorium Music Theatre production of Sweeney Todd in June that won rave reviews. The Advertiser reviewer described the show as “a cut above the rest” and the performers as “brilliant… getting the perfect balance of light and shade” and “every one of them inhabit[ing] their character to the nth degree”.

Earth Sciences Convention

University of Adelaide geology student, Cooper Ferguson, together with two fellow earth sciences students, exhibited a poster at the 2023 Australian Earth Sciences Convention in Perth. Their poster presented an assessment of the meteorite specimens held in the Tate Museum at the University of Adelaide and some preliminary geochemical results.

Study Tours

College Club President, Ben McCure, and Arts and Culture/Student Outreach Officer, Bianca Feher, both travelled abroad during the mid-semester break as part of their studies. Ben headed to Vietnam, visiting Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) on a creative study tour while Bianca undertook a short-term exchange at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she completed a subject on ethical issues in journalism.

 College Club President, Ben McCure, learning how to make rice paper in Hoi An, Vietnam

Arts and Cultural and Student Outreach Officer, Bianca Feher, at UCLA

Youth Parliament

Zoe Hughes took part in the YMCA South Australian Youth Parliament program this year, which culminated in a week-long residential camp for Parliament Week in July. Zoe was elected Leader of the Opposition and was part of the Recreation, Arts, and Culture Committee, who produced a bill aimed at reducing barriers to youth participation in recreational activities.

Zoe Hughes (front right) with Her Excellency, the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia, and other members of the 2023 SA Youth Parliament.

Zoe Hughes (centre) with Her Excellency, the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia, and other members of the 2023 SA Youth Parliament.

Faculty Feast to mark the start of semester 2

The Academic Team welcomed students back after the break with a Harry Potter-themed Great Feast. Students had to dodge the Whomping Willow and duck beneath flying letters to enter the Great Hall where they were sorted into their respective Houses, named after key figures in the College’s history. In a brief address, Professor Markwell offered just a few words quoted from Albus Dumbledore before encouraging everyone to “tuck in” (in Dumbledore’s words) to the magnificent feast that magically appeared before them (thanks to our kitchen wizards).

Writer in Residence

We also welcomed our Writer in Residence, Janet Fennell, an award-winning novelist, short story writer, reviewer, essayist, and poet from the Blue Mountains, NSW, for a six-week residency. Janet has a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of Western Sydney and has been teaching creative writing for 25 years. Her novel, Only Myself, was published by HarperCollins and her short stories have appeared in various magazines and newspapers. Janet will provide both inspiration and writing support for all students during her stay, but particularly our English and creative writing students.

Speaking from Experience

On Tuesday 1 August, we held the first event in a new informal discussion series, called Speaking from Experience, where staff, postgraduate students, and Old Collegians are invited to tell us about something they have learned the hard way – through experience. Our first speaker was one of our current postgraduate students, Chi Ho Yip, who was very candid about his experiences as a practising lawyer in Hong Kong and generous with the universal wisdom and bespoke advice he offered to attendees from all faculties.

STEM Faculty Evening

The semester 2 faculty events commenced last week with the 2023 STEM Faculty Evening. Academic Coordinator Josh Rummell drew together a brilliant panel of guests including astrophysicist Dr Gabriel Collin; research scientist Lynda Saunders; software engineer Dr Kyle Talbot; forensic toxicologist Ms Karen Thai; and forensic biologist Dr Phillippa Hearnden.

Amongst other things, our guests spoke about the value in any field of background skills such as programming and statistical analysis; the importance of strong interpersonal skills in the workplace; and how to identify and use transferable skills to explore different and perhaps unexpected career paths.

It was terrific to see such a great turn out of engaged students, not only from the STEM Faculty but from other faculties as well, all of whom benefited from advice about different learning styles and how to “hack” them to improve academic performance and enjoyed hearing about the similarities (or otherwise) between real life careers in forensic science and those depicted in shows such as CSI.

The Academy by Deloitte

Congratulations to Engineering students Hamish McKenny and George Fulwood (who is also studying Finance and Banking), who have both been accepted into The Academy by Deloitte offered in partnership with the University of Adelaide. The Academy provides students the opportunity to apply their academic learning and to gain practical experience in the workplace via a paid internship program.

Library Sundowner

Past and present staff and students as well as valued friends of the College gathered in the Library on Friday 4 August for a Sundowner to celebrate our long-serving Librarian, Pirjo Rayner, who retired at the end of June. Professor Markwell once again praised Pirjo’s student-centred and forward-looking approach to her role, which is embodied in the magnificent, purpose-built Ian and Pamela Wall Academic Centre, to which Pirjo contributed thoughtful design ideas.

Guests included the eighth Master of the College, Rose Alwyn, and former Dean, Raphaela Oest, former chaplain, Grant Moore, Angela Bannon, Mary and Guy Watson, Richard Scott Young, and rare books expert, Anthony Zammit, who were also treated to a first look at the nearly completed Richard Watson Rare Books Cabinet.



The year ends with focus on service – and winning the High Table Cup!

Winning the High Table Cup, a highly successful Marksenfest music festival, the election and appointment of an impressive team of student leaders for 2023, and awards for outstanding student service and achievements in 2022 have made for a very positive end to the year at St Mark’s.

Community service was a major theme of the closing weeks of the academic year. On 18 October, the historian Professor Melanie Oppenheimer gave the 2022 J C Bannon Oration on the topic “Volunteering for the Ages”, looking at how volunteering – an important form of community service – has evolved in Australia over recent decades. You can read a report on the Oration here. The volunteering of many of our own students has been reflected throughout the year in the active work and fundraising of the students’ Charitable Foundation.

The importance of community service was also a theme of the College’s Final Service, held at St Peter’s Cathedral on Saturday 29 October. The Head of College, Professor Don Markwell, reflected on the College founders’ vision of St Mark’s promoting commitment to community service, and on the importance of aiming to be “the best version of yourself” – a phrase used at the start of the year by College Club President Caitlin Glascott, and returned to in various ways throughout the year. Professor Markwell’s address is here.

October had begun with St Mark’s and Aquinas nail-bitingly tied for first place in the High Table Cup (HTC) inter-college sporting competition. First place for St Mark’s in the table tennis on 13 October (with Aquinas in fifth place) saw us resume the lead in HTC. The following Sunday, a beautiful spring day of athletics in which we tied with St Ann’s for second place, behind Aquinas, clinched St Mark’s HTC win for the year.

Results of all sports and a selection of photos from throughout the year are here.

Another beautiful spring day the weekend before the athletics saw the return of Marksenfest, last held in 2019, as a celebration of arts and culture. Over 1,000 young people enjoyed music, other entertainments, and good food and drink in a day which was superbly organised by the College Club Committee, lead by Caitlin Glascott.

After a rapid overnight clean-up, the following morning the College hosted a brief visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev’d Justin Welby, and Mrs Caroline Welby. Archbishop Welby planted a fig tree in the College’s garden. He and the Head of College also spoke in memory of Canon Julian Bickersteth (1885-1962), the driving force in founding the College nearly 100 years ago, just days before the 60th anniversary of Canon Bickersteth’s death in Canterbury, where he was a Canon of the Cathedral.

A key development in October was release of the report of Professor Catharine Lumby’s review of what we do and can do better to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct. Professor Lumby described the College’s approach as “gold standard”, and we are committed to implementing her recommendations in full. Details of the Lumby Report are here.

During October, student leaders for 2023 were elected and appointed. The Student Executive Team for 2023 comprises:

Assistant Deans: Cameron Akehurst and Ella Browne

College Club President: Ben McCure

College Club Vice-President: Tori Lowe

College Club Secretary: Cass Joubert

College Club Treasurer: Ben Ransom

Senior Residential Advisor: Miah Sherry

Senior Academic Tutor: Jord Howard

Indigenous Student Advisor: Jasmyn Lloyd

Charitable Foundation President: Libby Chisholm

Full details of the 2023 student leaders are here.

The College is very grateful for the outstanding service of the 2022 student leaders, and the willingness of so many students to serve the College community in 2023.

The Final Dinner held on the College tennis courts after the Final Service on 29 October saw many awards made which reflected the achievements and service of our students in various ways.

The Collegians’ Prize for 2022 was awarded to Eliza Lee. 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. It was presented by Riley Glynn, President of the Old Collegians’ Association, and himself a former joint winner of the Collegians’ Prize.

The Lilias Needham Medal for Service – given in recognition of “an outstanding example of selfless service” – was awarded to Lachy Matheson. 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.

In recognition of their outstanding leadership and service to the College community, awards were made to the most senior appointed student leaders for 2022:

Senior Academic Tutor: Anastasia Pannell

Senior Residential Advisor: Isabel Unwin

Assistant Deans:  Jackson Furst and Lachlan Matheson

The most outstanding academic achievement was recognised with Academic Colours and Commendations:

Academic Commendations for first year students:

Ruby Ford
Cate Lin Loo

Academic Commendations for second year students:

Jessica Cassidy
Patrick Douglas
Vijay Legoe
Darcy Lillicrapp
Ephraim Nann
Talia Robinson
Sinead Sidhu
Sophie Tan

Academic Colours for second year students:

Oliver Leslie
Corey Smith

Academic Commendations for third year and above:

Oliver Douglas
Jess Hulett
Lachlan Matheson
Molly Rogers
Grace Whyte

Academic Colours for third year and above:

Ella Nunn

The Sir Keith Angas Essay Prize, for an essay on the future of Artificial Intelligence in Australia, was awarded to Oscar Hemmings.

The College Club Committee made several awards:

Male Athlete of the Year: Riley Herbert

Female Athlete of the Year: Eliza Lee

College Club awards for First Year Students of the Year: William Gillett and Luke Robertson

College Club Colours were awarded to these students:

Tennis:  Eliza Lee and Oliver Douglas

Swimming: Ella Browne and Ben Grima

Netball: Sophie Ellis and Joey Watts

Debating: Belle Watts, Ben Ransom, and Will Gillett

Football: Tori Lowe and Jay Mullins

Hockey: Jess Hulett and Riley Herbert

Basketball: Sarah Nulty and Liam Phillips

Volleyball: Tori Lowe and Liam Phillips

Soccer: Eliza Lee and Luke Robertson

Table Tennis: Eliza Lee and Oliver Douglas

Athletics: Eliza Lee and Jean-Philippe Soulie

Arts Evening: Bianca Feher and Sadie Fuss

College Revue: Mia McEachern and Sarah Whyte

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

Anubhav Arora, Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)
Rosie Costigan-Dwyer, Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences
Paris Cutting, Bachelor of Laws
Oliver Douglas, Bachelor of Arts
Mani Draper, Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing)
Fraser Haines, Bachelor of Commerce (Corporate Finance)
Jessica Hulett, Bachelor of Health and Medical Science (Advanced)
Hector Mackenzie, Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences
Kathryn Morey, Bachelor of Psychological Sciences
Jarrod Morrow, Bachelor of Human Movement
Ella Nunn, Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences
Edwina Page, Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)
Anastasia Pannell, Bachelor of Paramedic Science
Thomas Redding, Bachelor of Computer Science
Molly Rogers, Bachelor of Nursing
Ciara Schubert, Bachelor of Marketing and Communications
Liam Stevens, Bachelor of Engineering (Software) (Honours)
Bellarose Watts, Bachelor of Health and Medical Science (Advanced)
Saxon Westbrook, Bachelor of Business (Management)
Sarah Whyte, Bachelor of Film and Television

Students who are leaving the College at the end of this year had been welcomed to the Old Collegians’ Association with drinks at the Lodge the week before – one of many events, including the College Revue, helping to mark the end of the semester before exams began in early November.

The Final Service and Dinner saw tributes paid by staff and students to the late Dr Ian Wall AM, the Honorary Fellow of the College who, with his wife Pammie, was the largest donor in the College’s history. Ian had passed away on 26 October.

The day of Ian Wall’s funeral, Friday 11 November, saw students and staff line Kermode St and Pennington Terrace as a mark of gratitude and respect as Ian’s coffin was driven slowly past the College he loved so much on its way to his funeral in St Peter’s Cathedral. Details of his life and tributes to him are here and here.

Earlier that day several dozen students and staff marked Remembrance Day – a day on which we remember those who served and died in wars, conflicts or peace-keeping operations – with a simple ceremony around the Pond. The Head of College, Professor Don Markwell, drew attention to a nearby plaque “in memory of the youth of Australia” killed in World War I. The plaque had, some decades ago, hung in what is now the Junior Common Room in Downer House; it had since been removed from there, was recently found again, and has now been hung on the outer wall of the Grenfell Price Dining Hall near the Pond.

Exams have now ended for almost all our students, who await their academic results in early December.

We look back with gratitude and pride on all that our students have achieved and contributed in 2022, and we look forward with optimism to 2023. The College Club Committee is currently working hard on training and planning for next year, and we are buoyed also by the strongest enrolments in many years.

Congratulations again to the St Mark’s students of 2022, and best wishes for the summer ahead!

Photos by Emerson Fielke, Amelie Beltakis and others.

Mr Stuart Meldrum appointed Dean of St Mark’s College

We are delighted to announce that Mr Stuart Meldrum, a psychologist and student support advisor at the University of Newcastle, has been appointed Dean of St Mark’s College with effect from late October 2020.

Stuart will succeed Professor Peter Tregear OAM, who has been appointed the inaugural Director of Little Hall, a new hall of residence at the University of Melbourne.

The position of Dean is a vital one, with responsibility for leading the day-to-day residential life of the College, engaging with students and student leaders, promoting student well-being, and upholding the values of the College.

Stuart and his wife Sarah (who also works in student services at the University of Newcastle) and their six-month-old son, Harry, will live in Walkley Cottage at St Mark’s.

A registered psychologist, Stuart graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2005, and obtained his Diploma of Psychological Practice in 2009.

After work with the ORS Group in Brisbane and the NSW Central Coast, he joined the University of Newcastle as a disability advisor in 2010, moving to disability services work at the University of Sydney in 2014, before returning to the University of Newcastle as a student support advisor at their Ourimbah campus.

Stuart has worked as a health and wellbeing coordinator for University of Newcastle student residences, and has had extensive experience as a student counsellor.

Trained and accredited by the Full Stop Foundation as a trainer for “Sex, Safety and Respect”, Stuart is part of a small team awarded the 2019 VC Excellence Award for Health, Safety and Wellbeing at the University of Newcastle. He has also undertaken the L H Martin Institute’s “Emerging Leaders and Managers Program” for higher and vocational education.

Stuart’s community involvement has included five years as President of the Central Coast Christian Football Association in NSW.

Stuart was chosen as Dean after a rigorous and highly competitive selection process which attracted over 80 candidates from around Australia and overseas, many with impressive backgrounds in various aspects of higher education, schools, or related fields.

The selection process involved conversations with student leaders as well as with current staff, and interview by a panel comprising the Chair of the College Board (Ms Linda Matthews), the Head of College (Professor Don Markwell), the Director of Learning (Dr Rachel Buxton), the Deputy Principal of Flinders Living at Flinders University (Ms Andrea Rohde), and the Director-designate of Advancement (Ms Amanda Crawley).

Professor Markwell said that Stuart’s background as a psychologist, his decade of experience in university student support directly supporting the wellbeing of students, and his experience in student residences made him superbly well suited for the role of Dean.

“We very much look forward to welcoming Stuart, Sarah, and Harry to the College in October”, Professor Markwell said.

“Stuart brings with him many years of highly relevant experience working with university students. He also possesses strong values closely aligned to those of the College, and a warmth and approachability which will enable him to establish himself quickly within the College community.”

Stuart said: “Sarah and I are excited to join the St Mark’s community. We look forward eagerly to getting to know all the students of the College, and to supporting them over the years to come.”

Students say heartfelt “thank you” for life-changing scholarships

Over 80 students who have received scholarships to study at St Mark’s this year have written letters of thanks for the life-changing opportunities the scholarships have given them.

At the start of the academic year, scholarships were awarded to students on the basis (varying by scholarship) of academic merit, financial need, contribution to the College or wider community, or other criteria (such as field of study or where the student is from). Details of the College’s scholarships can be found here.

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

Many of the students receiving scholarships have said that they are determined to do the same, when they are able.

Students have written of how the scholarships they have received have enabled them to come to or remain in College and University when this otherwise might not have been possible, or at very least eased the financial stress on themselves and their families (in many cases worsened recently by the pandemic).

Students have also written enthusiastically of the great benefits to them from being part of the College community – including in easing the transition to university and to Adelaide, in academic, well-being, and social support from staff and fellow students in the College “home away from home”, and in friendships that are likely to last a life-time.

The Head of College, Professor Markwell, said that he joined with the students in saying a heartfelt “thank you” to donors for the scholarships provided. The details of financial need, as well as academic and other achievement, provided by students in the scholarship application process in January showed “immense financial need”, only part of which the College could currently meet.

Professor Markwell said that he hoped that, over time, the College could raise funds to enable substantially greater scholarship support to help students of potential from diverse backgrounds afford the great benefits of living and learning at St Mark’s. Scholarships (and the COVID-19 Student Support Fund)  will be the central focus of the College’s Annual Giving Campaign, and the College warmly invites donations for scholarships as well as other purposes.

“Your donation can help to change the lives of students”, he said.

These are just a few of the many expressions of gratitude the College and donors have received:

“Your generosity has allowed me to continue to get the best academic support, be accompanied by some of the most amazing people and have some of the greatest experiences.  I honestly can’t thank you enough.”

“I am so grateful for the range of academic opportunities and lifelong friendships that I have made while being a resident at St Mark’s.  I know these would not be possible if it wasn’t for the scholarship you have provided.”

“By giving this scholarship, you have not only lightened the financial burden, but given me extra motivation to contribute and give back to the exceptional community that is St Mark’s.  I hope one day I will be able to support future collegians as you have done.”

“If it was not for generosity like your own, students like me would not be able to travel from rural areas and attend university.”

“The academic and pastoral support that St Mark’s provides far surpasses any support I would otherwise receive. Without your generosity, my family would have found it much harder to provide me with an opportunity to receive a higher education, and it certainly would not have been possible to stay at St Mark’s College and be a part of this wonderful community. Receiving this grant has helped me to be the first person in my family to attend university.”

“To say I love it here is an understatement and I know that, when I leave here, I will remember it as an immensely special time in my life.  I cannot imagine how I would be attending University without the support that St Mark’s has offered me since I graduated Year 12. However, my time here at College would not be possible without this scholarship.  Due to my father’s work being affected by a drought and other personal circumstances at home, our financial status was not where we expected it to be.  This scholarship took a major financial burden off my fees for which myself and my father are grateful.  If I were not residing at St Mark’s, I do not know where I would be living, and I cannot honestly say if I would be studying my degree here in Adelaide.  I know that my educational pursuits would not have been as achievable without the generosity of the Margaret and Harry Scott Scholarship.”

“St Mark’s College has fast become like a family for me, particularly in the last few months.  I am sure you will be glad to hear that we have come together as a community, sticking together as one big family.  Moving to Adelaide from a small country town was intimidating and stressful, but everyone at St Mark’s has made the experience pleasurable and memorable.  St Mark’s has become a safe haven where I am comfortable enough to be my very best self, whilst being supported by my fellow collegians.  I am so very thankful to call this place my home away from home.”

“This scholarship has enabled me to stay at the College and continue my studies in a safe and secure environment amid this unforeseen pandemic.  Without this grant, that may not have been possible. As I stated in my initial application, I wanted to spend more time on my studies and therefore improve my overall GPA.  I am pleased to confirm that my results have improved dramatically.”

“I am extremely grateful to be given a scholarship which allows me to live at St Mark’s for a further year and continue my growth and development as a student and leader. I will forever be grateful for this scholarship and the opportunities St Mark’s College has given me.”

“From the friends I’ve made, to the academic support and mentorship I receive from staff, St Mark’s has allowed me to exponentiate in all aspects of my life. Thank you so very much for giving me the ability to continue my university journey at my second home, surrounded by friends I will have for a lifetime.”

“This has meant so much to me as a rural female student experiencing financial hardship and wanting to complete a degree at the University of Adelaide. This scholarship has made the difference to me attending college and ultimately studying in Adelaide, as my family is unable to financially support me in my studies.”

“St Mark’s has greatly eased my transition into life away from home, both in terms of study and social life. … the college atmosphere and kindness I have been shown by both students and staff has made it almost impossible not to feel at home here.  In these very different times the College has, in my opinion, strongly succeeded in adjusting to these new normalities, whilst maintaining the high level of support I was expecting from such an institution. I hope that in future years I will be able to continue being a collegian of St Mark’s and hopefully contribute to the College community as much as it has helped me to improve.”

“Without this scholarship, I would not be able to afford St Mark’s and I would be missing out on so many opportunities to develop and improve.  I cannot express how thankful I am for being awarded this scholarship.”

“Having moved 700 kilometres away from home, I was worried that I may not settle into college, but I felt on my feet instantly, as all the students and staff welcomed myself and all the other new students to their home. … my parents unfortunately could have never afforded to send me to university or St Mark’s College.  I am unable to truly express to you how grateful I am, that you have awarded me this scholarship.  What may seem like a kind gesture to you has quite literally changed the prospects of my life.  I will forever be grateful and only hope that one day I will be able to pass on the kindness you have given to me, to another future student at St Mark’s.”

“St Mark’s College has fast become like a family for me, particularly in a time of crisis.  I am sure you will be glad to hear that we have come together as a community, uniting from different corners of the country.  St Mark’s has become a safe oasis where I am comfortable enough to be my very best self, whilst being supported by my fellow collegians.  I am so very thankful to call this place my home.”

“There aren’t any words to express how grateful I am.  It’s changed my life.”

If you would like to help change students’ lives, please give now to support scholarships at St Mark’s. Click here for further details.

Update on COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has been taking many measures to help prevent the spread of the virus, and is grateful to everyone who has been doing everything possible to help with this.

The College’s top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and the wider community. Everyone is encouraged to do what is best for their health and safety.

The College continues to be fully operational, and students are welcome to stay in residence in the College, continuing their studies here. The College is ready to respond appropriately and urgently should there be a suspicion or diagnosis of a COVID-19 case in the College.

For resident students who have been significantly adversely affected financially because of the pandemic, we have invited applications for help from the Student Support Fund we have created. Applications to the Student Support Fund from students in residence should be received by 4pm on Thursday 26 March.

To help students continue their studies online, we are moving this week to a one gigabit connection, which will enable all students to watch lectures online at the same time without any lag. Academic tutorials and other support for resident students will also continue.

Should a student wish to suspend their residence at the College because of the pandemic, they are free to do so without financial cost to the student. That is: despite the terms of your contract, you will not pay fees during the period after today during which you are not in residence during the pandemic. What this means in practice regarding fee payments and, in some cases, refunds will vary depending on individual circumstances.

Any student suspending their residence at the College should advise the Head of College in writing in advance of leaving. Please email the Head of College copying the Registrar. Any student who has already left and has not yet advised the Head of College (copying the Registrar) should do so now.

Any students choosing to suspend their residence are asked to clear their room fully in case it is needed while they are away. If students have already left and left items in their room, it may be necessary for the College to pack these up at a later date. All care will be taken.

We look forward to welcoming all students back to the College at appropriate dates. Please be in contact with the Registrar regarding your return date.

We will prepare “Frequently Asked Questions” covering more details in the next day or two.

In coming days we also anticipate developing a non-residential package open to students who have elected to suspend their residence at College to enable access to the academic program and other support offered by the College.

Every member of the College – like every member of the wider community – is urged in the strongest terms to continue to apply the hygiene and “social distancing” requirements which are essential to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have any guests (e.g. a family member), they too must abide by these requirements in College (as well as in the wider community). This is the urgent responsibility of ALL of us.

The current pandemic, massive though it is, will not last forever. We will get through this together, and life, including College life, will return to normal.

As always – stay safe, and stay kind.

St Mark’s College Library Sundowner Event

St Mark’s College Library Sundowner was held on Friday 6 September in the Ian & Pamela Wall Academic Centre. A wonderful evening was enjoyed by over 25 students, staff, Old Collegians and friends of the Library as they came together to listen to Anthony Zammit deliver an enlightening talk on rare book restoration.

Guests enjoyed sampling delicious wines by John Duval Wines and canapés by Sodexo whilst admiring the various rare book displays prepared by the College Librarian, Pirjo Rayner. Our interim Head of College, Darren Pitt, conducted the proceedings and Tim Duval (alumnus 2001-03) provided the commentary.

St Mark’s College Library Sundowner

Guest speaker, Anthony Zammit, a highly respected book and paper conservator and expert on rare book restoration, delivered an intriguing presentation titled The book conservator’s point of view”. He spoke about paper conservation and his search for improved restoration techniques as well as his professional involvement as a conservation advisor and educator. He encouraged us to think about practical preventative strategies which we can take for preserving our papers, books and photographs. And finally, he reminded us that worth and value is not only measured in monetary terms, but also in terms of our emotional connection to specific materials, such as family ‘treasures’. His great passion for his profession shone through.

St Mark’s College Library Sundowner

The library displays included the 10 rare books which had been wonderfully restored by Mr Anthony Zammit, due to the generosity of various donors who participated in our inaugural Adopt-a-Rare-Book Program (2017). Also, on display were another seven books chosen for future restoration (one was adopted on the night), as well as a selection of new books and recently donated materials.

St Mark’s College Library Sundowner

Do you have a love of rare books and are interested in participating in our Adopt-a-Rare-Book Program? If so, click HERE.
Are you interested in learning more about book restoration? Click HERE to watch a video about Anthony Zammit’s wonderful work, produced by St Mark’s College talented student, Yardley Smeaton.

St Mark’s College Library Sundowner
St Mark’s College Library Sundowner
St Mark’s College Library Sundowner
St Mark’s College Library Sundowner
St Mark’s College Library Sundowner
St Mark’s College Library Sundowner

St Mark’s College farewells Master Rose Alwyn

A lively night of tributes and well wishes to farewell the Master of St Mark’s College, Ms Rose Alwyn, was recently held in the Learning Commons on 22 August 2019

Over 180 Old Collegians and friends of St Mark’s came together to share their stories and memories of Rose as a Collegian, friend, Dean and Master of St Mark’s, and to celebrate her contributions and achievements within the College community over her years of service.

Rose has had a long association with the College, culminating in her appointment as the eighth Master of St Mark’s College in 2008, and as the first woman head of the College.  Prior to that she was the Dean of the College for five years.  Rose was a student at St Mark’s from 1984-1986 whilst studying a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Adelaide and was Secretary of the College Club in her final year.  

During her time as the Master, Rose has worked with and inspired hundreds of young people.  She has been fully committed to developing future leaders, both among the St Mark’s students in her care and the alumni that extend across Australia and abroad.

To ensure that financial support was not a barrier to attending College, Rose worked hard to increase the value and number of scholarships that are awarded annually through the generous philanthropic support of our College community.  She has also worked to significantly expand the academic support offered by the College to ensure that every student was given the best opportunity to achieve their personal best.

The College grounds and facilities have also continued to flourish under her leadership with the opening of the Learning Commons, East Wing and multi-level car park, and the College Green, along with key refurbishments and upgrades to most of the buildings around the College.

On behalf of the College Board, the Chair of St Mark’s College, Ms Linda Matthews spoke of how Rose “has been a passionate advocate for students and the reputation of the College”.   During her leadership Rose has demonstrated great “…tenacity, relentless and dedicated focus, and strength of purpose and will” as she continued to effect change to ensure we were responsive to the needs of each generation of students.

Linda presented Rose with a gift on behalf of the College community, an original painting by our Indigenous Scholar in Residence, Dr Jessa Rogers, who as an artist developed the painting using the key colours of St Mark’s.

Dr Ian Walker, representing University Colleges Australia, spoke of Rose’s role in supporting and promoting residential Colleges at a national level through her in involvement with University Colleges Australia, including her time as President from 2016-2018. He spoke of her “energy and leadership” and her “encouragement and support of all our Colleges and Halls … to be the best possible places of scholarship and safety, of community and care, of respect and renewal, of collegiality and (where needed) change. No-one has been nor is more committed to this task.”

Rose has formed constructive working relationships with the UCA Executive Committee, the Human Rights Commission, Universities Australia (UA), and the Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner to change attitudes, perceptions and behaviours in and about residential colleges to ensure a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for all.

In providing a history of the College and its evolution over the years under the various Masters, Associate Professor Rob Cheesman AM (alumnus 1960-1964) spoke of the important role that Rose has played in furthering the College Master Plan and providing significant leadership to the College community. 

On behalf of the students who were at St Mark’s during Rose’s leadership, Ms Sarah Dowd (alumna 2012-2014) shared how Rose diligently challenged and broadened students’ thinking and supported and inspired them to greater success.   “Master was a driver for change and challenged us to begin to motivate change for the better. In doing this, she also inspired leaders that are morally responsible and deep thinkers”. 

Over the years Rose “spent countless hours getting to know the students, their families and friends who have stepped through the gates of St Mark’s” and Sarah stated that “many of us have Rose Alwyn to thank for where we find ourselves in our careers and lives.”  She was the person who believed in “every one of the students, even when we had stopped believing in ourselves” and it is this “genuine care and interest in each and every one of the students that sets her aside from the rest. Under your leadership,” Sarah said, “you allowed us to grow, to have fun, to make mistakes, to learn.”

On behalf of the Old Collegians’ Association, Alex Hadden (alumnus 2003-2007) thanked Rose for her support of and contribution to the College and the Old Collegian’s community over the years and presented her with a gift.

Guests were entertained during the evening with jazz music performed by current student Ryan Casey (2017-current) and brother Andrew Casey (alum 2015-2017).

We thank Rose for her tireless leadership of the College and wish her well in all her future endeavours.

Thank you to all who attended the event. 

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