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News > Class Notes > Class Notes - OGA eNews 4, 2023

Class Notes - OGA eNews 4, 2023

In this section, we share news submitted by our Old Girls' Community. This edition includes updates from Overseas Study Scholarship recipients, a tribute to Jose Macdonald (’58), and more.


Emily Woods 

In July and August this year, I was fortunate to travel to Belgium and undertake a five week clinical placement at the Gent University Hospital as part of my final year of a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) through The University of Queensland. This placement provided many unique physiotherapy opportunities working in neurological rehabilitation and enabled me to build a global network of colleagues and friends. I was lucky to also have some amazing cultural experiences including visiting Flanders Fields and Anne Frank House. 

I would like to thank the OGA for assisting my travels through their Overseas Study Scholarship and am proud of my continued connection to St Margaret’s.


Emily Vittone-Taylor 

My time in Vancouver was amazing! The city is beautiful, surrounded by large mountains and encompassed by diverse people who are overwhelmingly friendly.

The World Congress of Music Therapy was a great opportunity for me to learn about the latest research offered worldwide in the music therapy and allied health industry.

I made many nice, new friendships with people from different countries and learnt a lot about different cultural practices in music therapy.

We shared stories, food, drinks, and music that I brought home and shared with my peers – to very keen ears! I'm so excited to graduate at the end of this year and start my life as a registered music therapist!



Nina Carter and Sarah Smallhorn Guppy 

The 30 year reunion was great! The lead-up was a fun process of reconnecting after 30 years, mostly via Facebook, and finding each other across the globe. We shared photos, anxieties about going (‘you can’t undo 16 years of cake eating’), joyful moments and regrets from school. People asked after long lost friends and apologised for angst-ridden teenage behaviour back in the day. 

On the night, there was lots of reminiscing and laughter, and news to catch up on. It was so nice to be around such a familiar group of women, hearing familiar voices and seeing faces that were the backdrop of a significant time in our lives.

We missed our friends who are no longer around, and those who couldn’t make it. It’s still hard to believe that we graduated 30 years ago though!


Tracey Whitten 

The Class of 1980 love nothing better than a reason to catch up.

Whether it be a lunch once a year with a few, an official reunion organised by the school, or in this case a private co-ordinated event to celebrate our combined 60th Birthday.

We had such a wonderful night reconnecting with school friends and raising a glass to those friendships we’ve held strong for over 40 years.



Margie Slaughter

Our 60 Year Reunion proved to be a wonderful success with many commenting on how special it was to share so many old memories again and also just to simply catchup and see each other again. Revisiting the school and seeing all the changes also adds to the day’s invaluable experiences.

The only complaint was it all went too quickly!  I just loved seeing so many after such a long time.


Vale Jose Macdonald (nee Norman Leman) (’58)

Jose (Jo) Macdonald (’58) passed away on Thursday 30 September 2021. After a warrior battle with bile duct cancer, she passed away after Whipple’s surgery at Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Jose was the beloved mother of Sarah Kate Macdonald (’95), Sister-in-law to Penny Leman (’63), grandmother to Stephanie (’09) and Elizabeth Cornish (’14), and a close friend of Sheryl Grant (’64) and her daughter Nicola Arvidson (‘92).

Jo's legacy of fitness never left her, starting with being GPS record holder in sprinting, hockey, netball and softball. She continued being incredibly fit her whole life looking 15 years younger than she was.

She had extraordinary talents that spanned across floral design and bouquets, art, writing, and all genres of art. Her talents for everything spanned across literally everything, while being exceptional in her delivery of excellence. If she'd have never done it before, she never hesitated to learn new things, then steamed past those who taught her – her attention to detail, perfectionist attitudes and precision for accuracy were flawless.

Her jobs saw her working alongside Ray Wilkie, top business portfolio men and women, Ernst and Young, Ernst and Winnie, NZI securities, and as a State Manager for Avon – winning gold awards for being top ranked for over 15 years.

She continued her drive[WJ1]  for the selfless: in two capital cities, 16 towns, 12 rural towns, 2 States of Australia and spent the same level of success when living in America, starting her own art business and home design.

Jo's dedication to truth, honour, integrity, values, morals and ethics still lives on in myself and those she spent her most valued years with. Jo became an official adopted grandmother to a Bundjalung child, a grandmother to four children, and the many animals acquired by her own five children.

Her wings to protect those less fortunate or in hard jam never stopped spreading for those who needed protection or support.

I'm still running into people who worked with her, Rural ire bridge, sSES Fundraising Committee, Environment Protection Committee, Land Rights Committee, Aboriginal  and Torres's Strait  Islander Committee, Women's Rights and the Freedom of People's Rights Committee.

Constant feedback I have received included, "Sarah, your mother was incredible, hardworking, sharp shooting and didn't put up with rot. She called rubbish when she saw it. She researched constantly and was always looking for better alternatives that were efficient".

 By Sarah Macdonald (’95)

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