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News > Past Student News > 2024 St Margaret’s Past Student Awards

2024 St Margaret’s Past Student Awards

The Old Girls’ Association congratulate the winners of the 2024 St Margaret’s Past Student Awards

The Old Girls’ Association congratulate the winners of the 2024 St Margaret’s Past Student Awards - Dr Alex Markwell ('95) and Michelle May AM KC (’72) are recognised as Distinguished Past Students, Caitlin McConnel (’07) as the Young Past Student of Distinction, and Trudi Mitchell ('87) as the inaugural winner of the Spirit of Service Past Student Award.

Dr Alex Markwell (’95) is an emergency physician at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) and Metro North Virtual Emergency Departments. After graduating from St Margaret’s in 1995, she undertook a Bachelor of Science (1998) and then a Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (2002) at The University of Queensland. She completed her post-graduate specialist training and was admitted as a Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in 2011.

Alex was elected by her peers to the role of President of the Australian Medical Association Queensland (2012-13) and in 2014 was honoured with a Distinguished Young Alumnus Award by The University of Queensland.  She was also admitted to the AMA Roll of Fellows in 2014 in recognition of her contribution to the profession. She was Chair of the Queensland Clinical Senate (2019-2022) and heavily involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an experienced non-executive director.

Michelle May AM KC (’72) is a former Judge of the Family Court of Australia, having retired in 2017 as the Senior Judge in the Appeal Division. Michelle was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1978 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1993. 

Michelle has held positions as the President of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, Chair of the Judges’ Forum of the International Bar Association and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

In 2017, Michelle was appointed a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to the law, particularly to the Family Court of Australia, to judicial administration and to professional associations.

Michelle attended St Margaret’s from 1966 until 1972, where her mother had attended and her grandmother had also taught. She excelled at school academically. Michelle still regularly sees several women with whom she went to school.

Caitlin McConnel (’07) is a Senior Associate in the Agribusiness and Food and Environment and Sustainable Development teams at Clayton Utz, specialising in agriculture and food legislation, ESG investment opportunities and risks, natural capital markets, and agrivoltaics. She has a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne and in March 2020 was recognised as one of the top 50 early-career lawyers in Australia as an Australasian Lawyer Rising Star. 

In conjunction with her role at Clayton Utz, Caitlin is a sixth-generation farmer (beef cattle, pastured eggs & agrivoltaics), a volunteer non-executive director/committee member on various national agricultural bodies, and a 2024 Zanda McDonald Award finalist. She is recognised as a young leader and top agribusiness professional in Australia, advocating on issues pertaining to youth in agriculture, food security, and mental health and wellness.

Trudi Mitchell (‘87) is the CEO of Australia for UNHCR, an organisation that raises funds and advocates for the rights of refugees under the mandate of the United Nations Refugee Agency. A key part of Trudi’s role is to speak with refugees and understand the impact of war and violence on their lives. In recent years, Trudi has travelled to Jordan, Poland and Bangladesh to meet Syrian, Ukrainian and Rohingya refugees, respectively, and conducted field trips to Uganda and Kenya, countries that host large refugee populations.

Trudi is a founding board member of the Emergency Action Alliance – a group of 15 Australian non-government organisations working together on humanitarian emergencies globally. She is also Chair of New Zealand for UNHCR.

Prior to UNHCR, Trudi was Director of Marketing and Communications at Cancer Council NSW. She has been a Board Director of WEAVE Youth and Community Services and for the Fundraising Institute of Australia. Trudi was awarded the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s National Fundraiser of the Year in 2021.

Trudi has a BA from The University of Queensland and a postgraduate diploma from the University of New South Wales.

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