From the President

Since our last newsletter, it has been announced that the current Santa Maria College Principal, Ian Elder, has resigned from his position of Principal and will leave the College at the end of this year. It is Ian’s eighth year as Principal and over this time he has been an asset to the College and demonstrated strong leadership, the power of action, a kind, caring heart and the ability to live in the true spirit of Mercy.

Ian provides valuable guidance to students, teachers and the College community and supported the Santa Maria Old Girls’ Association and inspired me in my role as President of the OGA.

On behalf of the OGA, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Ian and wish him and his wife Lesley all the best for their future endeavours.  You will be missed.

Danielle Cattalini (1986), President


Josephine McKimmie

McKimieAfter accumulating a considerable amount of concert experience in Perth, Josephine McKimmie set out to England on S.S Orontes. She was accompanied by her friend, Rosemary Ferguson from her days at Santa Maria College. With clear weather for their voyage and the sun shining, she was optimistic about the opportunities waiting for her across the sea.

Josephine, a talented singer and pianist was awarded a five year scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music at The University of London. During the time at the College she achieved the Diploma of Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM) and Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM), both for her talent as a pianist.

As a student, she met and married Michael Rippon, a singer with a fabulous bass baritone voice. Following their five years at the College, they both took part in many concerts – Josephine then went on to spend three years with the Glyndebourne Opera Company in Sussex, singing in the chorus, and understudying roles. At a professional organization such as Glyndebourne, they always performed Operas in the original language. She had the opportunity to sing two operas in Russian, ‘Eugene Onegin Opera’ and ‘The Queen of Shapes.’

Josephine continues to share her passion for music. She teaches singing, piano and theory to many children and adults. Two of her best students were her sons – Jonathan and Nicholas have both gone onto be very successful musicians. They were both awarded scholarships to prestigious music schools.

Written by Elizabeth Franchina (2013)

One School, A Thousand Memories


We are creating a series of short films called ‘One School, A Thousand Memories.’

The first memory in our series, featuring Elizabeth Franchina (2013), can be found here!

We’re looking for more people to be a part of our series!

Our interns are at the College on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and will be available for filming any time between 9.30 am – 2.30 pm. Or, we can make arrangements to meet at your home.

Please email to join us for some fun and let us know what time you are available for a quick burst of stardom!!! We are also keen to film small groups if you are feeling a tad shy.

Mentoring Program

This week we have confirmed our Old Girl members and students who are engaged in the OGA Mentor Program.  We are hosting the Mentor Launch on Thursday 27 April 2017 where thScreen Shot 2017-04-06 at 8.49.15 ame mentors and mentees will have the opportunity to meet and discuss their aims for their year.

We look forward to introducing our mentoring participants throughout the year.



Class of 2007 Reunion

The year is 2007, Rhianna and Beyoncè were at the top of the pops, the first iPhone was released and everyone owned a pair of Etnies. For the class of 2007, it was our also our graduating year. The significance of this was not lost on us and I remember very clearly the sense of pride we held as a senior cohort. It was a very busy time for Santa Maria more generally. The two new Houses Corbett and Byrne were established, hats were being introduced into the summer uniform and the renovations we have all come to enjoy, would begin in the new year.


For us girls however, those final few months passed like any other. We were all preoccupied with our exams, the friendships we thought would last forever, the boys we were sort of, not really dating and all our big plans for the summer holidays. In many ways the memories I hold now of that time are still crystal clear in my mind and returning to the College last week to mark the passing of ten years was very surreal.  Perception of time is a difficult to grasp at 16 and I know I had a chuckle over my teenage self’s, sense of the future as represented in the time capsules we got back. There was an excellent range of old photographs and memories, some cringe worthy and others sincerely sweet. However, reading all the letters left to me from my fellow class mates, filled me with a sense of belonging and friendship that I had not experienced for a while. The evening, was a wonderful reminder of how lucky we were as a cohort and of all the great times we had shared together. The reunion also highlighted how the College has grown in ten years and I know the girls were blown away with the facilities now on offer here.

img_0184.jpgIn the words of former principal Anne Pitos, there was a great turn out for our year of ‘pioneering women’ which included a huge representation from the boarding community. We also had a number of girls who popped in after weddings, hens nights and engagement parties. For those of us who couldn’t make it; you were sorely missed and dearly remembered. More generally, I am happy to report that besides a few name changes, some beautiful young children and only a little bit of hair dye, we are all still very much our lovely selves and doing well on our chosen paths.

On behalf of my class, I would like to pass on my sincerest thanks to Helen Chaffer who took us on a tour of the new grounds and stayed to talk with us, Jacqui Daniels who organised the event and the volunteers of the OGA for a wonderful evening.

“Don’t wait for the light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself” Sara Henderson

Written by Evanna Brando (2007)