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News > Class Notes > Class Notes - OGA eNews Issue 2 2024

Class Notes - OGA eNews Issue 2 2024

In this section, we share news submitted by our Old Girls Community
15 May 2024
Class Notes

In this section of the newsletter, Old Girls have the opportunity to share updates with their peers, to celebrate the milestones including births, marriages, significant educational achievements, awards, and honours, as well as celebrate the lives of those who have passed.

If you have news to share please email OGA&

Se Yeon Kim

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect and congratulate my Year 12 Mentor, Dr Alex Markwell, one of the prize recipients, at the Past Student Awards evening. As someone who hadn’t known anyone in my field of interest before this connection, I continue to benefit immensely from her insight and advice and wanted to celebrate her incredible achievements.

Each recipient was truly inspiring. Their sincere recollections of their stories outlined their achievements but, more impressively, delved deeply into the growth they had experienced from their individual conflicts and contemplations. I was grateful to have attended, now as a graduate, and learn from these incredible women.

Amelia Stapley

Since graduating from St Margaret’s in 2019, I undertook a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science, majoring in neuroanatomy at The University of Queensland. This degree opened many doors for me. This includes the opportunity to relocate to Melbourne after being offered a highly competitive project to complete within an honour’s year at the University of Melbourne, in the Department of Critical Care Program. This program is designed to offer research projects directly relevant to acute human disease and the treatment of high-risk, deteriorating, and critically ill patients.

In 2023, I began my research project with the Anaesthetic Department at the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg. I spent the year between the cardiothoracic operating theatre and the pathology laboratory. My study was a prospective observational trial investigating the optimisation of a drug used during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. This project gave me the opportunity to work within an interdisciplinary team to actively problem solve within the operating theatre, as well as collaborate with scientists in the laboratory, to push the limits of existing medical instruments. I achieved my honours degree with first-class honours.

At the beginning of 2024, I was offered a position as a Research Officer within the Centre of Medicine Use and Safety, in the Facility of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University. A major component of this role is project managing a clinical trial investigating the use of psychotropic medications in people living with dementia within Residential Aged Care Facilities. The 12-month trial is being conducted in 19 Residential Aged Care Facilities operated by four Australian aged care provider organisations in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, and Queensland.  This project aims to create a novel guideline to improve the safe and effective use of psychotropic medications, through an embedded pharmacist as a knowledge broker.

The current timeline for research to be translated into clinical practice averages 15 years. With my research revolving around policy and systemic change within already established systems, I hope that my work will assist in fast-tracking this process when implementing evidence-based change.

Below is a link to the Monash research project: DOI: 10.1186/s13012-024-01353-z

Olivia Millard

Olivia Millard is currently living in Melbourne, working as a Water and Wastewater Process Engineer. Her exchange sister, Victoria Allan (St Anne's Diocesan College, South Africa), lives and practises medicine in Brisbane. 

Ten years ago, in April 2014, Tori landed at the Brisbane airport ready for an exciting adventure with her new Aussie family and life at Maggies. This April, we celebrated our ten-year friendiversary with a lunch in Brisbane. 

The first photo popped up as a memory in my social media feed and really highlighted to me how the exchange program can open up doors and lead to lifelong friendships. I am so grateful Tori has chosen to spend the years since high school in Australia. It is always wonderful to catch up with her when I am back in Brissy visiting my family (and our work / holiday schedules align). Here's to the many more years of friendship to come!

Matisse Fox and Charlotte Smith

To the Class of 2014,

Less than three months until our first big reunion! We cannot wait to have everyone back together again.

In the lead up to the event, we encourage you to reach out to your friends now living rurally or interstate and offer them a place to stay if you have a room to spare. We would also like to remind you about this year’s class gift. All proceeds raised by our cohort go towards Yalari as a token of appreciation for the chance we had to learn alongside our Yalari classmates. We understand that everyone's circumstances are different, but we hope you'll consider joining us in giving back. No matter the amount, your contribution will make a meaningful impact on the lives of Indigenous students, ensuring they have access to the same opportunities we had.

To the boarding girls - please look out for an email and Facebook notification inviting you to dinner on Friday the 19th of July.

Warm wishes,
Matisse and Charlotte

Sarah White (nee Macdonald)

We’re all looking forward to catching up with everyone at our 40 Year Reunion! 

Judith Mulholland

Judith has recently shared these photos in the lead up to reunion weekend to encourage other Old Girls to attend their reunion. She is looking forward to seeing the women from the class of 1964.

Vale Merryl Bassingthwaighte

Merryl (11.5.1942 – 11.3.2024) lived in country Queensland until attending St Margaret’s as a boarder from 1957 – 1959. She travelled overseas and then settled in Brisbane for a career in the accounting and legal fields.

Throughout her life, Merryl maintained many friendships with school friends, both boarders and day girls, and work colleagues. Merryl will be sadly missed by family and friends.

By Bette Clay

Margaret Elizabeth Smith (AKA Peg Merriman)

Margaret Elizabeth Smith, formerly of Tambo, QLD, and student of St Margaret’s, celebrated her 100th birthday on 8th November 2023.

Margaret Elizabeth Smith, formerly of Tambo, QLD, and student of St Margaret’s, celebrated her 100th birthday on 8th November 2023.

Margaret attended school during 1939 and 1940 and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, when WWII broke out, she was called back to the farm near Tambo to help out because her brother had been enlisted. She said she cried for days when she had to leave school.

Margaret married Bruce Merriman of the Merryville Merino Stud, Boorowa, NSW, and still resides in Boorowa. After she was married, she became known as Peggy Merriman. Peg and Bruce had 7 children (5 boys and 2 girls).

Peg still lives independently in her own house. She walks up the street most days with the aid of a walker to do the shopping and every second Thursday looks forward to the ‘fish man’ coming to town to get her oysters and prawns. Although Margaret left Queensland after she got married, she still supports the Broncos and Queensland Maroons.

Peg received letters of congratulations from the King, the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House, the Federal Member, the Governor, The Premier and the Local Member.

By Ron Merriman

Vale Berilyn Miller-Morrison

Berilyn taught at St Margaret’s from 1972 – 1976. She began at St Margaret’s as a boarding mistress, but it was realised that she was a qualified teacher and she was soon taking classes in English and French. She would go on to teach at Somerville and Brisbane Girls Grammar School after being a student herself at Ipswich Girls Grammar School. She spent some time in Germany teaching English as part of a missionary expedition. She then moved into tertiary education and completed her professional life as the Principal of Grace College at The University of Queensland. She was heavily involved with the Bach Music Society, members of whom provided the music at her funeral. She was deeply religious and was an active member of the parish of St Mary’s Bardon. She is remembered for her dry humour but sagacious comments. She was also an avid reader with very eclectic tastes in books.

Mary Surtees
School Archivist

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