From the President

In this newsletter, a strong theme of service is emerging.  In the tradition of Catherine McAuley, service has played a significant role in the lives of many women throughout the world over centuries. For our members, I believe service provides an opportunity to support and encourage through a process of giving and receiving.

So what is service and why is important?

Service is defined in the dictionary as:  ‘an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service.’  It can be an act or deed – an action or some other way to make a difference.

I came across this quote and it resonated with me as to why service is important:

‘When you decide to notice, when you decide to act, when you decide to make a difference (even in a small way), you have taken the first step in changing the world.’

This is what I believe service can do, in some way it changes the world, either for an individual, a group or society as a whole.

Everyone provides service every day on a number of different levels.  As you read this newsletter, please consider if you have some time to assist any of the different service opportunities the OGA is supporting.

Danielle Cattalini, President (Class of 1986)

One School, A Thousand Memories

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We are calling for past students who want to share their memories of schooling at Santa Maria College. We are creating a series of short films called ‘One School, A Thousand Memories.’

You can come on your own or as a small group.

Contact smcoga@santamaria.wa.edu.au to book a spot.

We have already had a few Old Girls share their memories.

Natalie Rees (class of 2003) – https://youtu.be/glHOxivfFyU

Sonya Erceg (class of 1998) – https://youtu.be/UZrfEIbuLxI

Hannah Elsbury (class of 2014) – https://youtu.be/193T4KCyna4

The Mentoring Project

The mentoring program is a blast! I have an amazing mentor who encourages me to pursue my personal interests. She helps me discover my interests and guides me to choose the right subjects to do. I love having another role model whom I can look up to. I can talk about anything with my mentor and to me, she’s not just a mentor, but she is also a friend.

The mentoring process helps us bond over subjects and school interests. Our conversations and meetings usually start with comparing our school days with each other. I really enjoy the mentoring program and I think it was a great idea to start this. Having a mentor is just the beginning of making outside connections I would need once I finish school. It is great to start early and become familiarised with outside school subjects and the many jobs society offers. I enjoy working with my mentor to grow as an individual and I can’t wait to see where the mentoring program will take me!

Gwyneth Chua (Year 9 student)

Old Girls Service – Feeding the Homeless

We set out from the busy kitchens of Santa Maria at about 5.00 pm on a cold Tuesday evening and headed into the city, not really knowing what kind of experience we would have as volunteers to the homeless.

We had made a lovely hot meal of bolognaise and potatoes with salad, bread and fruit!  The homeless people were already gathering with enthusiasm to collect their meal. With help from Jane, we set up on the verge of Wellington Street in Perth. No sooner had we set up and been given designated jobs, the people arrived with smiles on their faces and nothing but kind words to thank us for our efforts.

It was a great feeling to contribute a small personal way those with much less than myself, especially when it can seem that the world is not on your side.

I really look forward to doing this again, it was a really lovely experience.

Elouise Constantine (Class of 1986)

Soup Patrol

Soup Patrol is a mobile food service for people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, socially disadvantaged, or on very low incomes. It is a ‘no questions asked’, volunteer-delivered service operating in Perth and Fremantle, seven nights a week, 365 nights a year. It is managed by Red Cross and makes a huge difference to the homeless community, often providing them with the only nutritious meal they will have in a day.

Santa Maria College runs the Fremantle Soup Patrol every second Friday evening during term time, with two students attending each patrol. We meet at 5.15 pm at the Red Cross depot in East Perth where we pick up the van and stock it with the items needed for the soup patrol. We then drive the van to Hollywood Hospital where we pick up the soup. From here we drive to Fremantle and to the three designated stops where we distribute the soup to the homeless. We then head back to the Red Cross depot to wash up and clean the van before locking up. Finishing time is usually about 8.15 pm.

Some of the requirements for being involved in Soup Patrol are:

  1. Be able to drive a manual mini van (no special license is required), or if there are two adults, one must be able to drive the bus.
  2. Hold a valid police check. Red Cross will do this for you for free. A form is available for you to complete.
  3. Complete one training run with one of the Santa Maria teachers to learn how Soup Patrol works

The dates available for Terms 3 and 4 this year are as follows:

4 August, 18 August, 1 September, 15 September, 29 September, 13 October, 27 October, 10 November and 8 December.

Soup Patrol is a heart warming experience. The homeless are so grateful for the soup and appreciate the work of the volunteers. We thank you for considering this very worthwhile and valuable community service opportunity.

If you are interested please contact Andrea Fitzpatrick who is the Soup Patrol Coordinator at Santa Maria College. She can be contacted at fitzpatrick.andrea@santamaria.wa.edu.au

Class of 1987 Reunion

The speed at which time passes is frightening. This especially hit home on Saturday 24 June, as I joined 50 of my fellow graduates from the class of 1987 for our 30 year reunion. With the beautiful Swan River and the city as a backdrop, we gathered on the familiar steps of Santa Maria and reacquainted ourselves with classmates from 30 years ago. Some we recognised immediately, but for others the name tags came in very handy!

Following a warm welcome from Jennifer Oaten (Buckenara, class of 1985), we were taken on a tour of the campus. Everyone was really impressed with the facilities and thrilled to learn that Jennifer, a fellow old girl, will be the new Principal of Santa Maria next year. The Class of 1987 then gathered in the staffroom for a celebratory drink and a long overdue catch up. It was amazing to talk with old classmates and be reminded of shared experiences all those years ago. Despite the passing of 30 years, the bonds between us will never be broken.

Thank you to Santa Maria and the Old Girls’ Association for organising, and hosting, a wonderful reunion for the 1987 graduates. Particular thanks must go to old girls Jennifer Oaten (Buckenara, class of 1985), Natacha Hammond (Fic, class of 1985) and Mary Bairstow (Heavens, class of 1974), and Jacqui Daniels (Lange, class of 1986) for giving up their time so that the Class of 1987 could be reunited. It was a terrific evening with lots of laughs, and it made me feel like I don’t want to wait another 10 years to catch up again.

 Jacinta Young (Gorringe, class of 1987)