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.