Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).

Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
VOL . 18 | 2020

Inspirational Old Girl,
Sarah Thomson
(Class of 2005).
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
Join us on our new OGA Portal!
          Never has there been a better time to stay connected                                Visit to
          with your fellow Somerville House Old Girls. Whether                                become an OGA member. If you are an existing
          you are a member of the OGA or not check out what is                                OGA member you will need to activate your online
          going on via There is a                                  profile to access these benefits. We can help you
          wealth of information freely available including hundreds                           with this if you don’t feel very tech savvy – reach

Contents  of news article and updates on Old Girls. Within our OGA
          website we also host a member’s only portal providing
          exclusive access to:
                                                                                              out via connect@ somervillehouseoga. com. au
                                                                                              or check out the online help guide via
                                                                                              somervillehouseoga. com. au/ page/ help.
          • Social Networking - Search the Members’ Directory                               The more up-to-date your profile is, the more benefit
  2     IN
         • PRINCIPAL
            Professional Networking – Search the OGA                                     24 youCHASING
                                                                                                will gain from
                                                                                                           GOLDthe portal. Syncing your OGA profile
                                                                                            to your LinkedIn account is an easy way to update
  4     PITCHING THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM                                                    25      FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE COURT
          • Promote your OG Business
  6     ISABEL BAUER – A LEGENDARY OLD GIRL                                              26 Looking
                                                                                                    after each other has never been more
         • Event photo gallery                                                                important and our connections are crucial.
                                                                                         28      OLD GIRLS AND SOMERVILLE HOUSE
          • Mentoring partnerships                                                             PARENTS
                                                                                            If you         FILL
                                                                                                   are an Old GirlGOVERNANCE     RANKS
                                                                                                                   (attended Somerville House
10      2020 VISION
                                                                                            Junior or Senior School for more than 12 months)
          • Job opportunities                                                            30 andEVEN   WITH 2020 VISION, 2020 WAS THE YEAR
12      ALUMNAE STORIES DURING COVID                                                             would like to be more connected, join the OGA.
                                                                                               NO ONE SAW COMING
          • Specialty groups (including Reunion Groups)
                                                                                            Lifetime Memberships fees provide fantastic value
            Opportunities toWOMAN
                            contribute back through                                      31      TAKING SOMERVILLE@HOME
              presentations, career days and bursary donations
16      100 YEARS WITH MARGARET                                                          32      FOUNDATION NEWS

                                                                                         38      FROM THE ARCHIVES

                                                                                         39      IN TOUCH - OLD GIRLS' ASSOCIATION
                                                                                         44      REUNIONS
        THE FLAGPOLE                                                                     48      ALUMNAE NEWS

Thank you to those who contributed stories and photos to make this edition possible. If you are interested
in submitting content for the next edition, please email

17 Graham Street, South Brisbane Qld 4101 | PO Box 3357, South Brisbane Qld 4101
P 07 3248 9200 |
A school of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association. The PMSA is a mission of the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches.
CRICOS Provider Number: 00522G

This publication highlights the stories of the Somerville House community. The School has made every effort to ensure that the information
in this publication was correct at the time of printing.

                                                                                                      SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS VOL . 18 | 2020   1
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
Unexpected Life Lessons
    Education during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an altered experience for both the learner and educator.
    Many teachers would agree that the pandemic has been a positive catalyst for change. During the remote
    learning experience, for the first time ever, parents were able to join their daughter(s) in the virtual classroom
    for the synchronous style of teaching and learning. Teachers changed their pedagogical approach on the fly,
    quickly learning that the asynchronous style of communications, via emails, text message and video was the
    best way to disseminate basic instruction or launch a discussion and set relevant deadlines.

    Remote and online delivery highlighted              acutely aware that students missed         Positive outcomes since school
    that educating students with the                    one another, and so too, teachers          life returned to the new normal has
    ability to manage their own learning                missed their students. Our Level 5         meant that students and staff have
    throughout life is critical. Year 9                 Pedestrian Mall did not have the same      subsequently engaged in conversations
    student, Naomi Ura captures this                    ambience due to student absence.           with flexibility about a different
    concept in her Honour Before Honours                As social creatures, our students value    learning landscape.
    essay, when she writes “After learning              the intrinsic connections of our green
    to edit my work meticulously at home,                                                          We have also been grateful for the
                                                        sisterhood and school community.
    I am already in the habit of working                                                           support of the Somerville House
    hard.” (Ura, 2020, p.37)                            Communication increased dramatically       Foundation and Old Girls’ Association,
                                                        as yet another impact of the pandemic.     who joined forces with the School
    Survey feedback revealed that our                   This meant that parents and staff were     to contribute to a COVID-19-specific
    students enjoyed the option to watch                updated through news bulletins from        bursary fund, which has already
    teacher explanations at their own                   my desk, as the evolving nature of an      assisted 65 families.
    pace, even watching repeatedly to                   unchartered territory unfolded. Life
    enhance their understanding of the                                                             I trust you will enjoy the myriad of
                                                        Lessons for assembly items brought         happenings around the Somerville
    content. Meanwhile, synchronous
                                                        about a change to my own pedagogy.         House community in this volume
    communication via videoconferencing
                                                        Reimagined assembly engagement             of Connections.
    in Microsoft Teams was also embraced
                                                        through Life Lessons with Mrs Kiepe
    for its benefits of discussions and
                                                        meant that I filmed videos that taught
    spontaneous conversations.
                                                        students how to check the water and        Kim Kiepe
    Other significant positive outcomes                 oil levels on a car, take up a fallen      Principal
    emanated from the uncertainty                       uniform hem, make my KK signature
    wrought by the pandemic, including                  pikelets (with the secret grated apple
    the opportunity for a review of the                 ingredient), or share the trick for
    structure of the School day for 2021.               encasing a duvet within a duvet cover.
    While many students enjoyed a new                   I am yet to share the video of how to do
    found independence for managing                     a reverse park in the pouring rain on a
    their learning, conversely we became                busy city street.

    Ura, N. (2020). “What did Honour Before Honours in a remote learning
    environment mean to you?” Connections, Vol.18., Somerville House.

2   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                           VOL . 18 | 2020   3
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
the Flinders Ranges; it was such an        was also screened at a number of other      in any of the creative industries,”
                                                                                                                                    amazing experience which brought the       festivals in the United States including    she said.
                                                                                                                                    whole team closer together.”               Palm Springs, Hawaii, Orcas Island,

    Pitching the                                                                                                                    With some initial filming complete,
                                                                                                                                                                               Philadelphia as well as the International
                                                                                                                                                                               Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Describing the film industry as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           very ‘competitive’, Sarah said she

    Australian Dream
                                                                                                                                    Sarah said her team was able to put        Amsterdam, Netherlands.                     encourages anyone looking to embark
                                                                                                                                    together a trailer in order to pitch and                                               on a career in the film industry to be
                                                                                                                                    secure funding for the documentary.        “The film was also awarded an               open to entry at any level.
                                                                                                                                                                               Australian Academy of Cinema and
                                                                                                                                    “Pitching involves writing a treatment     Television Arts (AACTA) Award for Best      “Watch as much as you can and figure
                                                                                                                                    which explains the film you are            Documentary, an Australian Screen           out your taste and what inspires you,”
                                                                                                                                    intending to make. We also did some        Producers Award and a Walkley               Sarah said.
    From pitching to production, seeing your film light up screens at prestigious festivals around the world is the                 initial filming early in 2018, and from    Award for excellence in journalism,”
    dream of many aspiring producers. Making this dream a reality is award‑winning producer and Old Girl, Sarah                     that, we were able to cut a trailer to     Sarah said.                                 “Start reading the trades, for example,
    Thomson (Class of 2005) who spearheaded the feature documentary The Australian Dream.                                           show potential investors,” Sarah said.                                                 Variety or The Hollywood Reporter
                                                                                                                                                                               “It is just impossible not to be deeply     and get as much on set experience
                                                                                                                                    “We were really fortunate to receive       moved and inspired by Adam and              as possible – this can be short films,
    Described by the Australian                this was a story that deserved an          but said persuading him to get on         funding from Screen Australia and Film     Stan,” she said.                            script reading or even running on set,”
    Broadcasting Association (ABC) as          international platform,” Sarah said.       board with the documentary took           Victoria which goes a long way when                                                    she said.
                                                                                                                                                                               “It has been amazing to watch as
    ‘a voice for black Australians’, The                                                  some convincing.                          making independent films,” she said.
                                                “Adam Goodes is an extraordinarily                                                                                             audiences around the world have              Having joined Ventureland, a
    Australian Dream (2019) follows the
                                               talented and dignified man, a sporting     “I think it was still very raw for Adam   “We also had incredible partners           connected with the film.”                   multi‑platform film and television
    story of former Australian Football
    League (AFL) player, Adam Goodes,          hero of Australia, decorated and           when the team first spoke to him,”        in Australian based Madman                                                             company based in both Los Angeles
                                                                                                                                                                               Reflecting on her time at Somerville
    who made a stand against racism            revered both on and off the sporting       Sarah said.                               Entertainment/Good Thing Productions,                                                  and London, in January 2020,
                                                                                                                                                                               House, Sarah said it was the creativity
    during a 2013 game and was then            field,” she said.                                                                    the entire team there are first class.”                                                Sarah said she is excited about her
                                                                                           “But I think having director, Dan                                                   and opportunity that she found through
    subject to racist attacks and trolling,                                                                                                                                    her motivating teacher mentors she          next challenges.
                                                “Yet over a two‑year period, Australia    Gordon and Stan Grant on board            The Australian Dream premiered at the
    compelling him to retire from the game                                                                                                                                     enjoyed the most.
                                               turned its back on him, racially abused    with the film was really important to     Melbourne International Film Festival on                                               “We are currently in production on
    in 2015. Striking her as shocking, Sarah
                                               him and drove him out of his chosen        Adam, as well as our track record         Thursday 22 August 2019, where it won                                                  a number of feature documentaries
    said she was inspired to make the                                                                                                                                          “I really loved English with Mrs Nina
                                               profession for which he had been so        for premiering films internationally,”    the coveted Audience Award, before                                                     and an investigative series about a
    documentary as she found the core                                                                                                                                          Walker and Art with Mr John Honeywill,”
                                               celebrated. I found it heartbreaking and   she said.                                 screening at the prestigious Telluride                                                 series of deaths in the British Military,”
    story remarkable.                                                                                                                                                          Sarah said.
                                               deeply upsetting.”                                                                   Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival                                                   Sarah said.
    “I watched [political journalist and                                                  “During filming, we were lucky enough     and the British Film Institute (BFI)       “They were both so encouraging
    writer] Stan Grant’s incredible speech     In 2017 Sarah and her team at Passion      to spend time On Country with             London Film Festival. Continuing the       and motivating, they challenged me          The Australian Dream is available to
    on racism from London and I felt that      Pictures made contact with Mr Goodes       Adam and his family at Iga Warta in       documentary’s success, Sarah said it       creatively, which I think is so important   stream on ABC iView.

4   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                     VOL . 18 | 2020   5
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
Isabel Bauer –                                                                                                                           Introducing the
    A Legendary Old Girl                                                                                                                     Isabel Bauer
    and OGA Legend                                                                                                                           OGA Bursary
                                                                                                                                             The Somerville House Old Girls' Association is proud to
                                                                                                                                             announce the launch of the Isabel Bauer OGA Bursary.

    For over half a century, Isabel Bauer (nee Bloomer, Class of 1955) was part of the fabric of Somerville House                            Named in memory of legendary Old Girl, and our longest serving
    and an advocate of Old Girls, the Association and benefits of a Somerville House education.                                              President, the postgraduate bursary will provide $5,000 for a specific
                                                                                                                                             and approved purpose, to support an Old Girl in fulfilling her potential.

    As an only child and little girl, Isabel   Isabel loved every minute of Junior           for Nancy’s dinner, and a note would            This could include making career changes or advancements, re‑entering
    always wanted to go to Somerville          and Senior School and wanted her              come home “My Dear Little Student,              the workforce, further study, innovation or research.
    House and wear the navy uniform.           daughters Rebecca (Class of 1988) and         The fish was delish. Love Nancy.”
                                                                                                                                             The OGA will call for bursary applications in early 2021.
    Her mother said she could as soon          Miriam (Class of 1990) to have the same
    as she was able to catch the tram          close‑knit, Somerville family experience.     To Isabel’s delight in 2019 and 2020, the
                                                                                                                                                For donations please access
    by herself from Greenslopes, so in         As often happens, multiple generations        third generation, her granddaughters
                                                                                                                                                    donations/ isabel‑bauer‑bursary or for further enquiries, including
    Year 3B with Miss Nancy North, she         are taught by the same teacher, and           Alexandra (7E) and Emma (4B)
                                                                                                                                                         sponsorship please email connect@
    started her Somerville journey, and        in 1982, Rebecca (6A) was with Nancy          Musgrave became Franklin girls.
    a lifelong love of the School and the      North. Nancy called Isabel her dear           Last year Alexandra was taught by
    multi‑generational, Somerville House       little student. Even as a parent, fish that   Lynne Schlyder (6D), just as Miriam in
    community friendships.                     Isabel caught at Fingal Head was sent         1984 (6A).

                                                                                             Somerville House teachers, as strong
                                                                                             women with careers, had a lasting impact
                                                                                             and Isabel decided this was for her. The
                                                                                                                                             Australian cinematic competitions for          Old Girls’ Association                     During her transformative tenure
                                                                                             lengthy holiday breaks were a critical
                                                                                                                                             travel documentaries, and in the 1970s,                                                   as President (almost twenty years),
                                                                                             benefit and enabled her to combine two                                                         Encouraged by Miss Morgan to join the
                                                                                                                                             was the first woman to construct and                                                      the OGA’s profile was raised to be a
                                                                                             passions; education and travel. Her first                                                      OGA Committee in 1971 (Isabel said
                                                                                                                                             own industrial buildings at the newly                                                     critical strategic and financial partner to
                                                                                             year after graduating from Queensland                                                          you didn’t question Miss Morgan), little
                                                                                                                                             opened Slacks Creek Industrial Estate.                                                    the School, with respect to history and
                                                                                             Teachers' College was incredibly                                                               did she realise that taking Rebecca to
                                                                                                                                             Similarly, with travel and tour groups                                                    tradition but always future‑focussed.
                                                                                             challenging, at a new school in Mt Gravatt                                                     meetings in a bassinet would become
                                                                                                                                             of twenty‑five to thirty‑five people, her                                                 OGA fundraising became more
                                                                                             East – sixty‑four students at forty‑eight                                                      an almost lifelong commitment to the
                                                                                                                                             knowledge of European history and                                                         sophisticated and included bus tours
                                                                                             desks in a composite class! She also                                                           OGA and Somerville House. She served
                                                                                                                                             architecture, incredible fearlessness,                                                    of historically significant homesteads
                                                                                             taught at the two‑teacher Benowa                                                               continuously until her passing on July 3
                                                                                                                                             and never take no for an answer                                                           from Beaudesert to Kenilworth,
                                                                                             Primary (considered country service                                                            2020, as Committee Member, President
                                                                                                                                             attitude, opened up doors and created                                                     raffles (disguised as games of
                                                                                             3km west of Surfers Paradise), St Hilda’s                                                      and Life Member.
                                                                                                                                             truly unique experiences.                                                                 chance) launched at school assembly
                                                                                             (including boarding mistress duties),
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       incentivising tickets sold with higher
                                                                                             St Margaret’s and Greenslopes Primary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       dollar vouchers, fashion parades,
                                                                                             (her own school), where two of the boys
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       card days and other themed events
                                                                                             became parents and even grandparents
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to bring the School community
                                                                                             of Somerville girls. Somerville House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       together. Cake stands and crocheted
                                                                                             linkages across distance and time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       handkerchiefs were transitioned to a
                                                                                             are amazing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       commercially driven, reward for effort.
                                                                                             Isabel’s career transitions demonstrate                                                                                                   Isabel said I’m not baking cakes for
                                                                                             a very contemporary orientation,                                                                                                          a couple of hundred dollars ‑ her
                                                                                             where teaching morphed into property                                                                                                      initiatives delivered thousands.
                                                                                             development, and for over twenty years,
                                                                                             Bauer Tours of Europe and beyond.
                                                                                             Isabel’s interests of education, travel,                                                                                                  Left: (Back row) Liz Washington (1998),
                                                                                             history, music, photography, property                                                                                                     Sue Folliot (1980), Kira Sampson (1990),
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Belinda Cooney (1982), Bev Folliott
                                                                                             and European cars were consistent                                                                                                         (1958), Catharine Whittred (1984), Miriam
                                                                                             throughout her life, and she achieved                                                                                                     Musgrave (1990), Kara Rodwell (1991);
                                                                                             in all areas. She won Queensland and                                                                                                      (Front row) Isabel Bauer, Barbara Merefield
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (1953), Pam Davenport (1954) and Glenys
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Charlton (1951). Top: Isabel's 83rd birthday,
                                                                                             Left: Isabel holidaying in Greece early 1960s                                                                                             December 14 2019

6   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    VOL . 18 | 2020   7
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
Left: Opening of the Bauer Building, May 2017 –
                                                                                                                                                                                        (Left to Right) Rebecca (Class of 1988), Isabel,
                                                                                                                                                                                        Alexandra (7E), Miriam (Class of 1990), Emma (4B)
                                                                                                                                                                                        and Adam; Below and bottom: Isabel in the 1960s.

                                                                                            Left: Isabel with Valmai Pidgeon AM (Class of
                                                                                            1944) - Commemoration Day 2017;
                                                                                            Above: School girl 1951/52.

    The Old Girls always were, and still        The campaign consisted of mail              piano each year was a highlight. Equally        Restoration plaque, another project she
    are, the most generous fundraising          updates, two half‑page advertisements       important, the Bauer Family Award at            financially supported.
    partner for the School but under Isabel     in the Brisbane Courier‑Mail                Speech Night, for good citizenship and
    and the dedicated and hard‑working          (broadsheet at that time), a community      supporting the ethos of the School, and         Isabel’s love affair with Somerville
    committees, the passionate engagement       protest described by police as the          the Bauer Family window in the Chapel           House never dwindled. She adored
    of all eras of Somerville Old Girls and     best dressed, interviews on radio and       acknowledging Mary Somerville. The              the School, the teaching staff and
    advocacy for the Old Girls’ Association,    targeted letters. The most extraordinary    Bauer Building, opened in 2017, was a           fellow parents. She enjoyed supporting
    the dollars really flowed in.               aspect of this history is that the entire   fitting tribute to her passionate support,      four principals in their stewardship
                                                campaign was under one month in             and to a formidable woman. Every time           of the School with diplomacy and
    From 1982 onwards, she led Old              duration, before the PMSA changed           she drove up to the School she said,            conviction. As an only child, Somerville
    Girls to support the most significant       direction. Isabel said we shook hands       “what an honour.”                               House was her extended family and
    infrastructure developments and later,      with the PMSA and moved on, but                                                             the multi‑generations of Old Girls;
    channelled that support under the           Somerville’s continuance at Vulture         What makes Isabel’s energy and drive            her sisters.
    formation of the Foundation. The former     and Graham Streets is due to her            even more amazing is in the context of
    Old Girls’ Library to Chapel conversion,    legendary protection.                       her health. A kidney was removed at
    Murray Evans Sports and Aquatic                                                         sixteen years old (as they did then), and       Isabel Bauer Bursary
    Centre, new Junior School and Seymour       Serving under subsequent OGA                she was managed by nephrologists her
    Library are just some of the capital        Presidents as Life Member, Isabel           whole life. In true Isabel form, she never      Isabel truly believed in the advantages
    works. In ten days, she personally          delivered fifty years of service to the     wanted anyone to underestimate her and          and power of a Somerville House
    secured funding for all the new stained     Old Girls’ Association. She transitioned    only when she started dialysis at almost        education and experience, and she
    glass windows for the Chapel – almost       to one of the elder stateswomen of the      eighty‑three years old in September             marvelled at the talents of the girls and
    $140,000 in the early 1990s!                Committee, delighted by the energy          2019, did her condition become more             their incredible achievements across all
                                                and talent of each President and            widely known. She told the doctors              endeavours. She was a recipient of the
    In 1987, Isabel was alerted that the        Committee, with their fantastic and         dialysis would have to wait until she           forever friendships and the legacy of the
    PMSA was negotiating with a syndicate       contemporary ideas, volunteer effort        had attended the Foundation’s Annual            OGA, past, present and future.
    to sell the South Brisbane site. She        and ongoing love of the School. At          Fundraising Lunch, but eventually               Isabel was humbled and profoundly
    kept the secret of who told her for         the 2018 AGM, she couldn’t believe it       deferred to their expertise, and was            moved when OGA President
    thirty‑three years, and earlier this        when both Rebecca and Miriam joined         there in spirit as part of the thirty‑five      Ms Liz Washington and Somerville
    year she divulged it was Principal          the Committee.                              years of the Foundation video.                  House Foundation Chair Ms Dominique
    Sam Seymour. In the era of Australia                                                                                                    Layt, asked if she would accept a
    Post and landline telephones, Isabel        Donating time or money to Somerville,       Dialysis provided reinvigoration, and           bursary for an Old Girl to be named
    and the Committee wrote to the OGA          the OGA and the Foundation were             she entered VPAC on Commemoration               in her honour. A bursary to enable
    membership to save their school. The        pleasures for her. It was never ‘work’      Day 2019, feeling like her old self.            an Old Girl to further her career is
    OGA post box had to be emptied daily        volunteering for the School, as Isabel      She loved seeing so many friends at             completely aligned to everything that
    with the immediacy of response and          was surrounded by friends and               the OGA 120th Birthday Lunch the                was Isabel Bauer – independence,
    volume of cheques. Whilst the intent        dedicated people, who only wanted           following day, especially the two tables        self‑determination and opportunity
    was to mobilise Old Girls, the effect was   the best for Somerville. She loved          of her Class of 1955. In February 2020,         through choice.
    far more profound with parents, and         music and achieved Letters in Music         on day release from the hospital,
    members of the broader community            at sixteen years old, so presenting         she attended the unveiling of the
    expressing support.                         the Isabel Bauer Music Cup for open         Cumbooquepa Stained Glass Window                Rebecca Bauer

8   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                   VOL . 18 | 2020    9
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
2020 Vision                                                                                                                                                                                    Alisia Aloisi
                                                                                                                                                                                                        “The year 2020 took an unprecedented turn of events and the journey
                                                                                                                                                                                                         I planned for became slightly bumpier than expected. Our initial
     Three young leaders could never have predicted the relevance of this year’s school theme, given the evolving                                                                                          response was to negatively perceive the occurrences of COVID-19.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Our 2020 vision was blurred. However, the girls in green did not let
     situation their community has faced in 2020.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            their dreams and aspirations be blinded by this unclear image.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We continued to achieve our clear goals. We drew strength from our
     Somerville House Captain Kate Lockyer         would help their classmates embrace         And finally, appreciate, spoke volumes
                                                                                                                                                                                                          fire fighters combatting the bushfires at the beginning of the year, and
     and Vice-Captains, Alisia Aloisi and          the theme.                                  to Kate. She wanted to encourage
                                                                                                                                                                                                         our frontline health workers displaying acts of grace and generosity.
     Madeleine (Maddie) Webber believed                                                        students to realise how fortunate they
                                                   Maddie chose limitless, “the idea of                                                                                                                  Our Heroes Day aimed to demonstrate our appreciation for these
     that the 2020 Vision theme was not only                                                   are to be members of such a passionate
                                                   challenging students to be ambitious                                                                                                                role models with outfits ranging from essential workers, to significant
     a clever play on words, but also the                                                      and driven school community and to
                                                   and motivated in every aspect of                                                                                                                   Australian’s and even unknown members of the community that are
     perfect way to describe the message                                                       embrace the opportunities afforded to
                                                   their lives.”                                                                                                                                    personally inspiring to individual students. The qualities embodied by our
     they had chosen for the year; the                                                         each girl.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 school; courage, resilience, compassion, integrity and respect are also the
     symbolic concept of ‘seeing’ the
                                                   “Guiding our girls to establish defined     As their final year in green concluded,                                                       characteristics of these heroes and have shaped the fearless leaders of change
     present, and ‘visualising’ the future
                                                   goals that inspire them to push forward     the Captains voiced their reflections at                                                    we are today.
     To further express their interpretation       in 2020,” said Alisia, describing her       the 2020 Speech Night, reminding their
                                                   word clear.                                                                                                                             Our time during quarantine was a blessing in disguise. We discovered an appreciation
     of the 2020 Vision, the Captains                                                          peers that having 2020 Vision was more
                                                                                                                                                                                           for more than just the materialistic, but our experiences with each other and the
     decided to each select a keyword that                                                     important than ever.
                                                                                                                                                                                           limitless opportunities that have been provided to us as Somerville House girls.

                                                                                                                                                                                           We learned to appreciate the little moments in class which brought us joy, the
                                                                                                                                                                                           endless guidance and support from our teachers and mentors, the tough losses and
                                                                                                                                                                                           sensational wins we felt in co-curricular. But above all, we learned to appreciate each
                                                                                                                                                                                           other. We can now venture into the unknown, side by side, able to conquer the world
                                                                                                                                                                                           with the courage, friendship, resilience and integrity of a Somerville House girl.”
     Kate Lockyer
     “The Seniors of 2020 are simply lucky that Somerville House
     was the educational institution that transformed us from
     well-meaning Year 7s – buzzing around the break-out area,
     into mature Seniors – who I truly believe are ready to tackle                                                                        Maddie Webber
     any obstacle the future may bring. The very essence of
                                                                                                                                          “In 2020, the girls in green have continued to learn how to limitlessly
     our characters have been intertwined with the intrinsically
                                                                                                                                          serve their community. Not only within the School grounds but far
     loving nature of this community’s shared values. Schools
                                                                                                                                          beyond into the world around us. We have spread the blessing
     are nothing but a vessel for the exploration of one’s self,
                                                                                                                                          of music in support of mental health and Beyond Blue. We
     or in other words – personal growth. The year of 2020 in
                                                                                                                                          have mastered knitting to create blankets for the Leukaemia
     fact, highlighted the importance of such personal growth,
                                                                                                                                          Foundation. The Junior and Senior School have brought together
     through both circumstance and our focus upon clear vision.
                                                                                                                                          their plastics lids for the Lids4Kidz program which creates plastic
     As a student body, for the first time ever, we were faced with the                                                                   prosthetics for children. Three of our girls even shaved their hair
     goliath sized and unprecedented challenge of holding ourselves                                                                       off in courageous support of The World’s Greatest Shave and a
     scholastically accountable. Such a task could only be tackled through                                                                cure for cancer. From bottle top lids to their ponytails, the girls
     meticulous planning, organisation, and evidently clinging to one of the                                                              have given so much from their hearts and more. Even though it may
     aspects of 2020 vision - clarity. We supported one another like never before, reminding                                              not change the entire world, it can change the lives of those around
     peers of deadlines, meetings and the importance of a conscientious nature.                                                           us, and that is something worth celebrating.

     This year we lived through the launch of the School’s #findyourvoice campaign,                                                       This year has also posed many challenges, but as we have each faced
     a mantra with a clearly envisioned purpose, and yet another display of how the                                                       them, we haven’t done it alone. Although at times, we may have been far
     endeavour to shape character via the fostering of personal growth is ingrained within                                                apart from each other - from our friends, our families and our school – we carried
     this green community. Upon reflection of my time at Somerville House, I find myself                                                  each other in our hearts and knew that the people we missed the most were never
     filled with an incredible sense of gratitude. Whether it be music, sport or academics,                                               truly far from us. This peace, love and connection comes from the source of all love
     there is a team, club or group welcoming you aboard with open arms. Over the years,                                                  and relationship, the Lord our God. Our faith helps us in our hardships, to know we
     I have been given countless opportunities to join bands, trial for sporting teams and                                                are never far from help and comfort. When I think of those times, I think of the hymn,
     audition for theatre productions.                                                                                                    Abide With Me, written by Henry Lyte in 1847. I think the lyrics capture this message
                                                                                                                                          in the most beautiful way, “I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless. Ills have no
     The Seniors of 2020 have had the absolute privilege of realising our aspirations                                                     weight and tears no bitterness. I triumph still if Thou Abide with me.” Even 173 years
     amidst extensive opportunity, planning pathways to achieve such goals and                                                            later, the lyric’s meaning are still as relevant as ever, as it reminds us of faith in God,
     subsequently finding our voices.”                                                                                                    who cares for us always.”

10   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  VOL . 18 | 2020   11
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
Alumnae stories
                                                                                                                                                                                    organisation involved a lot of trial and      It is normal to be scared; just don’t
                                                                                                                                      Eunice Fu                                     error. As a pharmacist, there’s usually       let that consume your ability to be
                                                                                                                                      Class of 2011                                 minimal room for error, and our job           courageous. Cherish your relationships

     during COVID                                                                                                                     Clinical Pharmacist – Liverpool               requires constant, meticulous attention to    and reach out, loneliness can be
                                                                                                                                      Hospital, New South Wales Health              detail, so it was a humbling experience to    tormenting (from personal experience
                                                                                                                                                                                    realise that no one is perfect despite my     and seeing COVID patients isolated).
                                                                                                                                                                                    desire for perfection.
                                                                                                                                      How has your work been                                                                      Staying active keeps me upbeat and
                                                                                                                                      impacted this year during                     Frequent outdoor runs and long walks          motivated to do my best.”
                                                                                                                                      COVID‑19, and how have you                    helped me destress, stay in shape
                                                                                                                                                                                    without my usual gym routine and kept
                                                                                                                                      adapted to these challenges?                                                                What would your biggest piece
                                                                                                                                                                                    my immune system in line. I was terrified
                                                                                                                                      “Staying focussed and striving to be a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  of advice be for our graduating
                                                                                                                                                                                    (and still am) of becoming ill as I was
                                                                                                                                      more open‑minded and flexible person          working with COVID‑19 patients and staff.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  class entering the workforce in the
                                                                                                                                      helped me adapt to the challenges of          I feel that it is a personal responsibility   current climate?
                                                                                                                                      social isolation in a new state and at a      to stay as well as possible in order to       “Be proactive and resilient: take a leap
                                                                                                                                      new job. As well as this, my previous rural   protect the vulnerable and reduce the         of faith to grasp every opportunity given
                                                                                                                                      and regional experiences definitely gave      burden to the healthcare system.”             and use it as a stepping stone, your first
                                                                                                                                      me the resilience to adapt to changes and                                                   job might not be glamorous… but it’s the
                                                                                                                                      overcome setbacks in a more positive                                                        little steps that will lead you to achieve
                                                                                                                                      light despite the frustrations. No one        What has been your biggest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bigger goals. Don’t compare yourself to
                                                                                                                                      else has gone through this experience,        take‑away from this experience?
                                                                         Life can be hard. Make informed                              so I was initially working blindly with       “Don’t waste your time: live life with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  others; we all have our own journeys and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  story to tell. Nothing is easy or happens
                                                                          decisions, don’t make a stupid                              trying to figure out how to provide
                                                                                                                                      the most comprehensive pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                    purpose, appreciate and embrace what          overnight, so don’t give up!

                                                                         mistake that can impact you for                              service possible within my scope of
                                                                                                                                                                                    you have. I also learnt ways to keep
                                                                                                                                                                                    myself entertained during isolation,          Success is not achieved alone; there
                                                                                the rest of your life.                                practice and restrictions enforced
                                                                                                                                      with minimal guidance. Learning and
                                                                                                                                                                                    which is a skill!                             will always be people along the way,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  providing you with encouragement
                                                                                                                                      implementing these work processes in a        I have also learnt to live in the moment:     and opportunities to help nurture your
                                                                                                                                      multidisciplinary environment and large       life is short, unpredictable and fragile.     abilities and believe in yourself.”

                                                                                          What has been your biggest
                                                                                          take‑away from this experience?
                                                                                          “Regardless of your political allegiance,
                                                                                          the hardline stance that the Chief          Pam Brown
                                                                                          Health Officer required in Queensland
                                                                                          has kept the public safe from the worst
                                                                                                                                      Class of 1998
                                                                                          of the global pandemic. However, one        Teacher – Prep, Somerville House
                                                                                          slip up and it can revert to catastrophic
                                                                                          casualties and death. It is a necessity
                                                                                                                                      How has your work been
                                                                                          that QPS perform these duties to keep
                                                                                          Queenslanders safe.”
                                                                                                                                      impacted this year during
                                                                                                                                      COVID‑19, and how have you
                                                                                                                                      adapted to these challenges?
                                                                                          What would your biggest piece
                                                                                          of advice be for our graduating             “Operating Somerville@HOME for five
     Sasha Finney APM                          Officer. As a result of quarantine
                                               requirements, police have been                                                         weeks earlier this year was challenging
                                                                                          class entering the workforce in the
     Class of 1983                             re‑deployed from their core business       current climate?
                                                                                                                                      but for the most part positive. It was
                                               duties to perform border patrols, and                                                  difficult to transfer a Prep classroom
     Detective Senior Sergeant –
                                               to provide a security presence at          “Life can be hard. Make informed            which is normally a very practical and                                                      What would your biggest piece
     Drug & Serious Crime Group
                                                                                          decisions, don’t make a stupid mistake      hands‑on setting to a digital format,
     State Crime Command, Queensland           designated quarantine hotels in Brisbane                                                                                                                                           of advice be for our graduating
                                               and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. I        that can impact you for the rest of your    but it encouraged alternative ideas
     Police Service (QPS)                                                                                                                                                                                                         class entering the workforce in the
                                               have completed four deployments to         life. And most importantly, always be       and imagination to flourish. Who knew
                                                                                          the best you there is and be kind to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  current climate?
                                               the Gold Coast, and these are ten days                                                 I could perform a magic trick for the
     How has your work been                    straight at both the border and hotels.    others. Your work life is a long one. I     letter ‘M’, or manipulate the camera
                                                                                                                                                                                    What has been your biggest                    “You are the year group that have been
     impacted this year during                                                            have been in the QPS since I was 22         angle so the Preps could watch live as                                                      flexible, resilient and worked positively
                                                                                                                                                                                    take‑away from this experience?
     COVID‑19, and how have you                My substantive position is to provide a    years old. I am now 54, so that’s over      I bounced an egg and watch it explode                                                       with change. Take these skills into your
                                               statewide response to the discovery of     32 years in the one career. Choose          all over my floor in an egg experiment!       “Your friends and colleagues are some         future study or workforce and share
     adapted to these challenges?
                                               illegal drug labs, which we have seen      a career that you think will make you       The whole experience highlighted and          of your greatest supporters, and that         them with others through clear and
     “The QPS held the responsibility of       a slight increase in detections since      happy. I love my job. That is important.    reaffirmed with me the importance of my       the students’ enthusiasm, resilience          confident communication. Be proud of
     managing the COVID‑19 pandemic            COVID started, so I have been very         Look after your health and always look      daily interaction and special personal        and smiles are constant reminders of          yourselves for all you have achieved in
     under instruction from the Chief Health   busy managing two portfolios.”             after your Mum!”                            connections with students every day.”         ‘hope’ for the future.”                       this year of challenges!”

12   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                          VOL . 18 | 2020    13
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
distance could stop us from writing             “It’s been very interesting to meet     In her words, “I make the
                                                                                         and keeping in touch with one another,”         so many new people; and I’ve            best of every day”.
                                                                                         she said.                                       found them anxious to be friendly,
                                                                                                                                         and they’re all – believe it or not -   Still a mentor to some
                                                                                         “Many of these friends have made                                                        of her former students
                                                                                                                                         intrigued by my ‘accent’,” Ruth said.
                                                                                         the long trip to the US to visit me over                                                who graduated sixty
                                                                                         the decades.”                                   “I’m a marked woman as soon as          to seventy years ago,
                                                                                                                                         I open my mouth, and strangers          Ruth imparts her
                                                                                         Ruth credits the demanding academics
                                                                                                                                         usually say, “I’ll bet you’re fresh     wisdom to today’s
                                                                                         from the School’s then ‘honours
                                                                                                                                         from England!”,” she said.              girls in green.
                                                                                         program’ for her success and discipline
                                                                                         post graduation.                                “Sometimes, I even have trouble         “Somerville House
                                                                                                                                         in making myself understood,            has been a source of
                                                                                         “I felt very prepared to enter university
                                                                                                                                         especially when I spell my name.”       pride my whole life.
                                                                                         when I left BHGS (The Brisbane High
                                                                                                                                                                                 An all-girls school
                                                                                         School for Girls),” Ruth said.               Despite Ruth’s enthusiastic recount in     of 121 years is to
                                                                                                                                      the 1946 publication, she went on to       be commended,”
                                                                                         “I graduated from the University of
                                                                                                                                      have a successful teaching career in the   Ruth said.
                                                                                         Queensland with a Bachelor of Science,
                                                                                                                                      United States, teaching English, French
                                                                                         and then continued with my studies
                                                                                                                                      and Latin, as well as advising to the      “The School
                                                                                         at the Queensland Teacher’s Training
                                                                                                                                      yearbook staff, while also raising two     fascinated
                                                                                         College (now Queensland University
                                                                                                                                      children, Helen and Gordon.                students from far
                                                                                         of Technology (QUT) Kelvin Grove
                                                                                                                                                                                 and wide, even
                                                                                         campus),” she said.                          A remarkable woman with so much life       from Thursday Island
                                                                                                                                      experience, Ruth dedicated much of         and Dutch East Indies
                                                                                         “I was in the first group of students who
                                                                                                                                      her time to other passions and causes      (Indonesia) during the War, and still
                                                                                         successfully completed the Diploma of
                                                                                                                                      close to heart.                            attracts wonderful girls from around the
                                                                                         Education at the College”.
                                                                                                                                                                                 world today,” she said.
                                                                                                                                      She has been supportive of Doctors
                                                                                         Ruth began her teaching career in
                                                                                                                                      without Borders and St Labre Indian        “My advice to the young women is to
                                                                                         Queensland at the beginning of World

     A remarkable
                                                                                                                                      School in Ashland, Montana, to name a      always be prepared, have a backup
                                                                                         War II, and little did she know that it
                                                                                                                                      few. Ruth was also an active member of     plan in case things go awry and look at
                                                                                         would bring her back to the School that
                                                                                                                                      the American Association of University     each student as a friend.”
                                                                                         inspired her chosen path.
                                                                                                                                      Women and Church Women United,

     woman                                                                               “My first teaching job was at Gympie
                                                                                         State High School, and then I went to
                                                                                         Gladstone to teach French,” Ruth said.

                                                                                         “When the War progressed, I was
                                                                                                                                      an ecumenical association to unite
                                                                                                                                      churches in worthy causes.

                                                                                                                                      Today, Ruth loves to spend her
                                                                                                                                      time reading, following politics and
                                                                                                                                                                                 Currently, Ruth is happy and healthy
                                                                                                                                                                                 in her living unit at Josephine Suites in
                                                                                                                                                                                 Stanwood, USA, surrounded by her two
                                                                                                                                                                                 children, four grandchildren and twelve
                                                                                         summoned back to Somerville                  producing tapestry works.
     Studious, adventurous, hard-working and diligent; these are the four                House where I would teach at the
     adjectives that Ruth May Scougale (nee Evans) used to describe her 1932             Auchenflower campus in the morning,
                                                                                         and then catch the tram on my lunch
     to 1935 studentship at The Brisbane High School for Girls (Somerville
                                                                                         hour to teach at the Coorparoo location
     House). A connected Old Girl from her home in Stanwood, USA, Ruth                   for the afternoon,” she said.
     has an inspirational life story to share; a 101-year history as a past pupil,
     past teacher, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, we share                   “At the time, I remember admiring
                                                                                         Headmistress, Miss Frances Craig.
     Ruth’s journey with you.
                                                                                         She was managing three different
     Graduating at the tender age of sixteen,   Speaking to Ruth in July 2020, she       locations, the third being in Stanthorpe
     Ruth is still part of Somerville House;    recounts her favourite memories of her   for the boarders, while the US
     her name proudly etched as Dux of          time at the School.                      army commandeered the South
     School in 1935. She stretched her                                                   Brisbane buildings.”
     skills across many disciplines at the      “All of my teachers were memorable,
                                                but particularly Miss Norma Horton,      It was the War that instigated Ruth’s next
     time, she played the violin, studied
                                                who was both a mentor and a close        life journey, as she married American
     French outside of her classroom time,
                                                friend,” Ruth said.                      solder, Mr Myron Scougale, in 1944 and
     and boasts the accolade of winning a
                                                                                         relocated to Everett, Washington, USA.
     city‑wide essay contest sponsored by
                                                “Most noteworthy though, were the        The 1946 School Magazine, narrated her
     the Shell Company.
                                                best friends I made for life; not even   journey to what would be her new home.

14   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                           VOL . 18 | 2020   15
Inspirational Old Girl, Sarah Thomson (Class of 2005).
Margaret at school, 2nd from right                                            University Graduation - Margaret 5th from left

     100 years
                                                                                        Margaret's daughter, Suzanne Morton
                                                                                        (Class of 1969) shares with us highlights

     with Margaret
                                                                                        of a life for Margaret well lived and well
                                                                                        loved; inspirational. We are pleased to
                                                                                        share this story along with some very
                                                                                        special images from Margaret's time at
                                                                                        Somerville House.

                                                                                        Born on February 18 1920, Margaret
     Margaret Thurgood (nee Broadbent, Class of 1936) celebrated her 100th              Broadbent started at Somerville House
     birthday in March 2020, surrounded by more than 100 close family and               in Year 3 in 1927, daughter to Joseph and
                                                                                        Daisy Broadbent. Joe was a barrister and
     friends who travelled from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney to attend.
                                                                                        the Parliamentary draughtsman.

                                                                                        She helped in the library during her
                                                                                        Senior Years and graduated Dux of
                                                                                        School at sixteen years old, during the
                                                                                        Principalship of Miss Craig.

                                                                                        She learned to play the piano, her                      for the church. Ken had a dental practice that had moved to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Margaret at school, pictured on the right
                                                                                        mother being very talented. Margaret                    Queen Street, in the Brisbane CBD, and Margaret did all of the
                                                                                        had an aversion to sports and, on                       accounts for the business. In addition to graduating from the
                                                                                        occasion, avoided it by tying her                       Helena Kaye Dressmaking Academy, she knitted and sewed
                                                                                        sandshoe laces together at the ends,                    and cooked for her family and others, as well as playing golf
                                                                                        putting them around her neck, and                       and lawn bowls.
                                                                                        waiting out the lesson by sitting up
                                                                                        in one of the trees at the end of the                   Her widowed mother lived with her until she passed in her 90s.
                                                                                        running track. Not sharing that story
                                                                                                                                                Ken died in 1969 from cancer, and Margaret returned to
                                                                                        with her daughter until a few years ago,
                                                                                                                                                the workforce, this time utilising her Chemistry Degree, and
                                                                                        much to Suzanne's surprise.
                                                                                                                                                working at the agricultural chemistry lab in the Department of
                                                                                        She went to university and graduated                    Primary Industries. Three of the young men who had worked
                                                                                        with a Science Degree in Chemistry and                  at that lab were present at her 100th birthday celebration.
                                                                                        Biology, having completed Honours
                                                                                                                                                She married Jack Thurgood in 1973 and she acquired four
                                                                                        Maths in her first year. The university,
                                                                                                                                                step‑children. After he retired they spent many happy years
                                                                                        at that time, was located in the gardens
                                                                                                                                                working for the church and travelling overseas, making friends
                                                                                        of North Quay, and it was there she
                                                                                                                                                on the tours, of which many of whom are still in contact with
                                                                                        met her future husband, Dental student
                                                                                                                                                her today.
                                                                                        Ken Morton.
                                                                                                                                                After Jack passed away, she moved to a unit at a retirement
                                                                                        Following her graduation she worked at
                                                                                                                                                village in Durack, joined many groups and gained new
                                                                                        the Department of Stock (later Primary
                                                                                                                                                interests, and at 100 still retains her independence in her
                                                                                        Industries) at the Animal Health Station
                                                                                                                                                unit, cooking and entertaining her friends and family, and still
                                                                                        at Indooroopilly, Brisbane, as Assistant
                                                                                                                                                knitting squares into blankets for those less fortunate.
                                                                                        to the Parasitologist. When she started,
                                                                                        he had her unravel a tapeworm from a                    In her 80s she learned to do patchwork and china painting,
                                                                                        pig which stretched to the gate, and she                and has made some beautiful bedspreads, hats, cushions
                                                                                        returned the next day for work, unfazed.                and purses for family and friends. She is well known for her
                                                                                        She was later married, and as war had                   kindness to others, often stopping in to visit people, on her
                                                                                        broken out, and the Parasitologist had                  scooter, that are lonely or needing some help.
                                                                                        joined up, she was able to retain her
                                                                                        job. Her husband, Ken, was a Flight                     In her late 90s she was still making her many great
                                                                                        Lieutenant and Dentist in the Royal                     grandchildren her ‘special pink birthday cake’ as she had
                                                                                        Australian Air Force stationed in Papua                 done earlier for her grandchildren.
                                                                                        New Guinea.
                                                                                                                                                Margaret and Ken had one son, Roger and seven years later
                                                                                        She has kept in touch with all of her                   adopted Suzanne (Class of 1969) who have eight children
                                                                                        school classmates over the years, and                   between them, and numerous grandchildren ‑ most of whom                           Be
                                                                                        many of her uni friends, often meeting
                                                                                        them or speaking to them on the phone.
                                                                                                                                                were at the 100th Birthday party along with some of her
                                                                                                                                                step‑family and well over 100 others. People travelled from as
                                                                                                                                                far as Perth, Melbourne and Sydney to attend and all agreed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           For more inspira
                                                                                        After the war she remained at home,                     it was a wonderful day, with the star of the show being much                                  tional
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Old Girl stories
                                           Margaret at her 100th birthday celebration   but never still, and was a great worker                 loved and hugged.                                                                             visit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    somer villehous

                                                                                                                                                Suzanne Morton
16   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  VOL . 18 | 2020   17
“My final two years of school were          “I have found enormous inspiration             “I am sometimes surprised to read what
                                                                                                                  formative. The friendships I developed      from like‑minded colleagues and the            I have written and go, ‘hmmm that’s
                                                                                                                  at that time were so important and          resilience of the woman and children I         not bad – did I write that?’ It never feels
                                                                                                                  enriching. Teachers were very influential   have worked with. It has been important        that way when I am writing, but it is a
                                                                                                                  and encouraged our discussions and          to feel connected to a wider social            significant part of being in academia
                                                                                                                  wide‑ranging thinking,” she said.           movement, rather than feeling that you         – you do have to publish or leave ‑ not
                                                                                                                                                              are carrying a lone agenda,” she said.
                                                                                                                  “Particularly our history teacher,                                                         necessarily perish.”
                                                                                                                  Dr Pamela Davenport and our English         “When working in an area where there
                                                                                                                                                                                                             “I have to say that writing essays at
                                                                                                                  teacher Ms Sheila Jamieson were             are many depressing stories and you are
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Somerville House did provide me with
                                                                                                                  wonderful facilitators of our thinking      very aware of the pain of discrimination,
                                                                                                                                                                                                             early writing training and I think that I
                                                                                                                  and development. It did feel as though      poverty, trauma, and the appalling ways
                                                                                                                                                                                                             have always built upon that foundation,”
                                                                                                                  we were part of a community in which        in which some women and children are
                                                                                                                  though there was differentiation from       being treated, it is important to invest in    Cathy said.
                                                                                                                  our teachers; they also were very much      the good things of life.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Listing the books and articles she has
                                                                                                                  part of facilitating and encouraging us
                                                                                                                                                              Having recently celebrated her fortieth        published amongst some of the career
                                                                                                                  as young women to ‘think big’.”
                                                                                                                                                              wedding anniversary, Cathy says along          accomplishments she is most proud
                                                                                                                  Upon graduating from Somerville             with her daughter, parents, siblings           of, Cathy also said it was her research
                                                                                                                  House, Cathy went onto study a              and friends across the world, it is not        teams’ recent achievement she is
                                                                                                                  Bachelor of Social Work at the              possible to work intensively and in such       particularly thrilled with.
                                                                                                                  University of Queensland, furthering        a challenging area.
                                                                                                                  her tertiary education with a PhD                                                          “My research team recently picked up
                                                                                                                  completed at the University of New          “Nurturing these relationships is              an award for ‘excellence in a research
                                                                                                                  South Wales.                                actually the most important part of            team’, and I felt delighted to have our
                                                                                                                                                              life and are a constant reminder that
                                                                                                                                                                                                             team recognised,” Cathy said.
                                                                                                                  “I felt that social work might provide      loving and caring relationships provide
                                                                                                                  an excellent avenue for channelling         the foundation for a life which is worth       “I feel more pleased to have been
                                                                                                                  my enthusiasm for social change,”           living,” Cathy said.                           provided with an opportunity to
                                                                                                                  Cathy said.                                                                                contribute – it is a privilege that I
                                                                                                                                                              “I also have recreational activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                             appreciate rather than a matter of
                                                                                                                  “I also found that I enjoyed talking        which also make a huge difference
                                                                                                                  with my friends about personal issues       to my energy levels and joy in living:         pride,” she said.
                                                                                                                  and problems and felt that I may be         a stimulating film club which meets
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Although at times, a challenging
                                                                                                                  able, with training, to work well with      monthly, yoga two to three times a
                                                                                                                                                                                                             career pathway, Cathy’s best advice
                                                                                                                  individuals who were facing significant     week, bird‑watching with friends,
                                                                                                                                                                                                             to students looking to embark on a
                                                                                                                  challenges in their lives,” she said.       walking as much as I can, and taking
                                                                                                                                                              some great travel holidays,” she said.         career in social work is that it provides
                                                                                                                  “As a social work student, I chose to                                                      a wonderful foundation for so many
                                                                                                                  have a placement at Women’s House           Developing a deliberate publication            different career pathways.
                                                                                                                  just as the first refuge was being          strategy to link her research to the
                                                                                                                  established in Brisbane. Ever since         practice and policy framework in which         “It opens a world for those that are
                                                                                                                  I have always been involved in the          the research is situated, Cathy has            committed to issues of social justice
                                                                                                                  movement to end violence against            been involved in the publication of            but is not bounded by a particular
                                                                                                                  women and their children.”                  thirteen books and has contributed to          area of work. Working with children,
                                                                                                                                                              over twenty‑two articles in professional       older people, the women’s sector,

     Fighting for
                                                                         A true representation of the School      With an extensive resume of work            journals. She has also underwritten            development work, social policy,
                                                                         Motto Honours Before Honours,            within the areas of domestic and            numerous chapters in books,                    and careers in philanthropy and
                                                                         Cathy said it was her final two years    family violence, including recently

     social change
                                                                                                                                                              research reports, policy briefings and         non‑government organisations (NGOs)
                                                                         at Somerville House that were the        being named Chief Investigator on the       training materials as well as refereed
                                                                         most influential, as they encouraged a   Australian Government's Safer Families                                                     – I could go on,” Cathy said.
                                                                                                                                                              journal articles.
                                                                         larger canvas for her thinking and the   Program and the co‑chair Melbourne
                                                                                                                                                                                                             “Social work has provided me with
                                                                         possibilities beyond school.             Research Alliance to End Violence           “I am proud of the books and articles I
                                                                                                                                                                                                             a hugely stimulating working life – I
                                                                                                                  Against Women and Their Children            have published – they take a lot of work,
                                                                         “At Somerville House, I became very                                                                                                 don’t like to think how many different
                                                                                                                  (MAEVe), Cathy said it could be a           so it is good to have contributed in this
     A reverent passion for social justice and an ingrained commitment   engaged with social justice issues.                                                                                                 jobs I have had ‑ particularly early on,”
                                                                                                                  confronting area to work in.                way,” Cathy said.
     to the feminist agenda of equality between men and women is         The early seventies were a time of                                                                                                  she said.
                                                                         progressive social change – the          “The violence and abuse of women            “I am a person who enjoys having
     what inspired the career of Old Girl and Professor of Social Work                                                                                                                                       “However, it has provided me with
                                                                         women’s movement, the anti‑Vietnam       undermines gender equity and remains a      written rather than the writing task itself.
     at University of Melbourne, Cathy Humphreys (Class of 1971).        war movement, the questions of           scourge on our society with one woman       I have to play ‘the long game’ when I am       both opportunities to contribute and
                                                                         poverty and the history of Indigenous    a week being murdered and there being       writing to remember that the only way is       moments of profound connection to
                                                                         Australians were all on the agenda,”     no let‑up in the number of women            through and there is light at the end of       the lives of others that few other jobs
                                                                         Cathy said.                              subjected to abuse,” Cathy said.            the tunnel,” she said.                         can provide.”

18   SOMERVILLE HOUSE CONNEC TIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                         VOL . 18 | 2020   19
     the Picture
     John Honeywill’s article ‘A rich history of women in the arts’ in the
     previous edition of Connections has inspired a Somerville House Old
     Girl and former museum curator, Dr Judith McKay (Class of 1967), to
     continue the story of the School’s contribution to the arts.

     In acknowledging the Somerville House      Painters, Sketchers, Photographers and
     Old Girls who have made notable            Engravers to 1870 (Oxford University
     contributions to the visual arts in        Press, 1992); and Heritage: The National
     Australia, I wish to outline the careers   Women's Art Book: 500 Works by 500
     of four more women who should              Australian Women Artists from Colonial
     be better known to the Somerville          Times to 1955 (Craftsman House, 1995).
     House community.
                                                Joan adopted a refreshingly eclectic       Olive Ashworth, graphic artist, textile                  Olive Ashworth’s work is represented in     acclaim. Later she established a craft
     Art historian Professor Joan Kerr          approach to art history, giving more       designer and photographer, who                           the collections of the National Gallery     shop in her sister’s studio, which she
     AM (née Lyndon), who attended the          recognition to women and Indigenous        attended the School in 1924 to 1930,                     of Australia, the Queensland Museum,        maintained until her marriage in 1954.
     School in 1952 to 1955, transformed        artists, and to art forms other than       is featured not only in Joan Kerr’s                      QAGOMA, and, most recently, the
     understanding of the visual arts in        painting. Her book Heritage brought        Heritage but also in the Museum                          Cairns Museum. Her work has also            Agnes Barker was a successful
     Australia. After undertaking arts at the   to national attention many relatively      of Brisbane’s recent ‘New Woman’                         been shown in exhibitions at the            teacher. In 1951 to 1955 she gave
     University of Queensland and raising       unknown women artists, including           exhibition. Olive trained at Melbourne’s                 Queensland Museum and the State             Saturday morning craft classes at
     a family, Joan completed her studies       the Somerville House Old Girls I           Art Training Institute before returning to               Library (1991), and presently there are     Somerville House. In 1959, at the
     in England, graduating with a PhD          record here.                               Brisbane to work as an artist for Burns                  two videos relating to her work on the      request of Channel 7 for a series
     from the University of York in 1978.                                                  Philp & Co.                                              QAGOMA website.                             of demonstrations on crafts in the
     Later she took up various academic         Sadly, Joan Kerr’s contribution to the                                                                                                          home, she made over fifty television
     posts in Australia, notably at the         arts would have been greater had           Working freelance from 1945, Olive                       As pottery was regarded as a suitable       appearances. This was followed in
     University of Sydney and the Australian    her life not been cut short by cancer.     Ashworth designed promotional                            accomplishment for ladies, it is not        1960 by a similar series on Channel 9
     National University.                       She died in 2004, aged sixty-six, just     material and décor for Queensland’s                      surprising that L.J. Harvey’s classes       in Sydney.                                Top left: Olive Ashworth – Reef Rhythm 1971,
                                                as she was working on a project to         major tourist attractions. Her clients                   established in 1916 at Brisbane’s                                                     Printed cotton fabric, printed by Tennyson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Textiles, Sydney.
     Joan Kerr was an inspiring teacher         extend her Dictionary of Australian        included newly‑opened island resorts                     Central Technical College should have       Agnes Barker’s work was included
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Above: Olive Ashworth holding her Aquarelle
     and mentor to many (including me),         Artists into the 20th century and to       and the cruise lines that served them.                   attracted several Somerville House Old      in an exhibition of Harvey School
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fabric, depicting swirling marine grasses,
     as well as a brilliant scholar. Besides    make her databases more accessible.        She was the first local artist to exploit                Girls. One of these, Agnes Barker (later    pottery, ‘With Heart & Hand’, shown       in the exhibition ‘Australia’s 100 Best Textile
     her countless publications, she edited     She set the foundations for the online     the design potential of the Great Barrier                Richardson), who attended the School        at the Griffith University Art Museum     Designs for 1954' (photograph courtesy of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Richard Stringer).
     two definitive texts on Australian art:    resource Design & Art Australia Online     Reef. Her designs, along with Frank                      in 1920 to 1923, became a noted             in 2018. She is also represented in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Below: Agnes Barker Egyptian vase 1928.
     The Dictionary of Australian Artists:      www.                          Hurley’s photographs, defined the                        craftswoman, teacher, broadcaster and       the collections of QAGOMA and             Hand-built pie dish clay, painted with
                                                                                           ‘Sunshine State’ in an era of rapidly                    bark artist, as well as a potter.           Griffith University.                      an Egyptian scene. (Private collection)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (photograph courtesy of Glenn R. Cooke).
                                                                                           expanding tourism.
                                                                                                                                                    Agnes Barker was the youngest sister        The fourth of these talented Old
                                                                                           Olive was particularly interested in                     of the artist and Somerville House art      Girls, Val McMaster (later Potts), who
                                                                                           textile design. Her Aquarelle design                     teacher, Caroline Barker. She began         attended the School in 1924 to 1930,
                                                                                           was a prize-winner in the national                       exhibiting her pottery in Brisbane in the   has left her mark on a school building.
                                                                                           Leroy-Alcorso Textile Design Prize for                   late 1920s, later expanding her output      A potter, illustrator and stained-glass
                                                                                           1954. Later it received another prize as                 to include pewter work, cork work,          artist, she too attended L.J. Harvey’s
                                                                                           the bestseller of the ‘Signature Prints’                 toy making and bark painting. She is        classes at the Technical College.
                                                                                           series sponsored by the Leroy dress                      credited with introducing enamelled         In fact, Harvey regarded her as the
                                                                                           manufacturing company. In 1971 Olive                     pewter work and cork work to Brisbane.      best and most enthusiastic of all his
                                                                                           launched her own label, Indigenous                                                                   pottery students.
                                                                                           Design of Australia, to produce a range                  During the Second World War, while
                                                                                           of distinctively tropical fabrics, mostly                teaching remedial crafts at the             From the early 1930s Val McMaster
                                                                                           based on her photographs.                                Enoggera Army Hospital, Agnes began         exhibited her pottery in Brisbane,
                                                                                                                                                    crafting a vast collection of toys using    winning prizes at the annual Royal
                                                                                                                                                    various off-cuts and recycled materials.    National Association exhibitions. She
                                                                                           Above: Joan Kerr, 1993 (photograph by Joyce
                                                                                           Evans, courtesy of the National Library of Australia).   Her so-called Cavalcade of Toys was         developed a distinct style within the
                                                                                           Left: Val McMaster and her pottery                       exhibited in 1943 to 1944 to raise funds    Harvey School’s output, favouring
                                                                                           (photograph courtesy of Glenn R. Cooke).                 for patriotic causes, receiving wide        comical and grotesque pieces,

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