From the President

Recently I attended the launch of an exciting first for our Association, with the commencement of our Mentoring Project. The project sees Year 9 IGNITE students being mentored by a number of our OGA members.  Mentoring creates relationship building opportunities for all participants to learn and develop and we are very excited to introduce this new OGA project. In 2017, the mentoring will run as a ‘pilot’ project, be assessed and if successful, will run again in 2018.

The OGA Mother Daughter High Tea is one of the highlights of our OGA calendar.  Our Old Girl members who currently have daughters/grand-daughters at the College are invited to a special Mother’s Day high tea, held at the College.  With over 60 attendees, the room was full of laughter, talk and love.  I thank Genevieve Sumich (1985) for her insightful talk on parenting and also the students who wrote letters to their mums and recorded a very emotional video. Also, special thanks to Jacqui Daniels, OGA Coordinator and Fatima Horta from catering who both work so tirelessly to make the event so special.

Danielle Cattalini (Class of 1986), OGA President


The Mentoring Project

Think back to when you were at school. For me, the future seemed super exciting, but also very daunting. Wouldn’t it have been great to have someone to talk to, apart from your parents and teachers? Someone who’d already been through it all? For a lucky group of Year 9 students that’s now a reality, with Santa Maria launching its inaugural Mentor Project last month. In a nutshell, matching a current student with an Old Girl who shares common interests and/or career goals.

Around a dozen mentors made their way to the College on the evening of 27 April, to meet their mentee for the first time. It was hard to tell who was more excited… the mentors, students or parents!

With technology on our side, mentors were sourced from around the globe, literally, with one Old Girl skyping in from Berlin!

The evening was split into sections, so the program could be explained in detail to the mentors, students and parents separately, before the mentors and students met for the first time. Then all the mums (and one dad) came in to join the fun.

Overall, the night was a huge success, and it was so nice to see the beginning of some very special relationships forming. The mentors will each be catching up with their student again on campus over the next couple of weeks. Each pair has set some goals together, and will work through them at their own pace.

It’s a very exciting initiative put together by SMC staff, and supported by the OGA. Well done to everyone involved.

The video on the Mentoring Project can be found by clicking on this link:

Gemma Varone (Class of 2009)


A few weeks ago I met my mentor, Gemma. From the moment that we first met, we instantly clicked. She works at Nova, which I think is very cool, and she is kind and smart. We talked about our interests and found out that we are extremely compatible. We talked about her work, and she even mentioned that I may be able to go with her one day. Gemma was extremely easy to talk to and even though it was the first time that we had met, I felt like I had known her for years. I could not have asked for a better mentor and I cannot wait for us to bond and grow closer. I can already tell that we are a perfect match.

Ella Jones (Year 9)


One School, A Thousand Memories


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.’

Filming will take place on Saturday 17 June from 12.00 – 3.00 pm in the Staff Community Room at Santa Maria College.

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

Contact to book a spot.

Jane Armstrong – Homelessness We Care

Jane Armstrong (Class of 1993) manages the organisation Homelessness We Care (HWC), with her partner Sim. The organisation provides food, toiletries and clothing for the homeless in the Perth CBD. HWC also coordinates professionals to volunteer their time and services including haircuts, podiatry, physiotherapy and doctor check-ups to the homeless on Tuesday nights.

Jane receives a tremendous amount of support from friends and businesses donating food and personal items. Many friends volunteer their time to serve dinner and are very happy to chat, laugh and hug the homeless.

Since starting in October 2015, Homelessness We Care has over 70 volunteers with Santa Maria College now joining the ranks of awesome people involved.

Jane Armstrong is also a Nursing Lecturer and Clinical Supervisor at the Challenger Institute of Technology and Director of the Armstrong Agency which works with individuals wanting to reignite their passion for life, by overcoming conditioned behaviours, thoughts and patterns. We are so blessed to have Jane as an Old Girl.

The Year 10 students and staff at Santa Maria College have begun volunteering their time to help and support HWC once a month. The students get to experience working with the community and a better understanding on the issue of homelessness.

The next two dates of the Homeless Food Run will be:

Tuesday 6 June

Tuesday 27 June

If you wish to assist in sourcing, preparing or serving food on any of these dates, please contact

We are also collecting the following items to distribute:

Sleeping bags


Gloves, scarves, beanies

Mens and womens new underwear and socks

Grocery plastic bags

Plastic containers for leftovers

Please let  know if you can donate any of these items, so collection points can be arranged.

If you wish to help Jane and volunteer your time to Homelessness We Care, visit her Facebook page at for more information.


Jacob Steber

Makumba Community School

Makumba Community School is a remote school about an hour outside of Livingstone, Zambia. The walls are bare and the floors are dusty concrete. Set within a village of about 500 people, Makumba Community School services students who walk up to three hours to be there every day.

Makumba Community School employs seven teachers, most who have only completed up to Year 6 or 7 themselves. The funds raised by OGA events were used to send two teachers to College in nearby Livingstone. This means they could complete their further education and give the students at Makumba Community School a better education. In a school where resources are lacking, better teachers equals a better education. The remaining money was used to fund a sports tournament as well as purchase necessary stationary for the students attending the school.

The Makumba Community School board has expressed their gratitude to the Santa Maria College Old Girls’ Association and hope to continue a positive relationship with them.

Shannon O’Connor (Class of 2011)

Mother Daughter High Tea

The OGA Mother Daughter High Tea is an annual event that my daughter Sarah (Year 9) asks me eagerly whether we are booked into. We both look forward to it. This year, Sarah passed her enthusiasm onto her sisters Kate (Year 7) and Megan (Year 5) who were ‘new recruits’ to this event.

This is always an exceptionally well organised event. Thank you to the polite and hospitable Year 10 girls who served, Jacqui Daniels and Danielle Cattalini, and everyone who worked ‘behind the scenes’ and who kept the surprises coming throughout the event.

Why was the Old Girl’s High Tea so delightful this year?

We love catching up with other Old Girls because of the real sense of belonging to something together and sharing in each other’s lives for a moment, through our SMC experiences. For my girls, I see the delight in the chance to talk to different friends from school.

The guest speaker Genevieve Sumich (Class of 1985) was so refreshing and honest and a real highlight of the event. Genevieve and Russell Sumich have seven children. I remember the wonderfully intellectual and rebellious side of Genevieve at school. Listening to Genevieve’s heartfelt words about how her faith was the foundation of her motherhood, parenting and raising children to be adults of character was truly inspirational. We will remember from Genevieve that being a mother is more important than any other vocation and that ‘love is a doing word.’

This year the High Tea was full of other surprises too. There was the movie of our daughters responding to the question, “What do you love about your mother?” It was so emotional and beautiful to hear their individual messages to us. Each daughter presented a letter of gratitude and love to their mum and it felt like time stopped while we quietly read them. We also had a chance to share with our daughters on selected topics in the ‘pick-a-slip’ activity where smiles and laughter abounded. A raffle to raise money for charity in memory of Linda Bulloch (former Head of Boarding) and Laura Gray (Class of 2013) enabled us to experience the warmth of giving. Finally the photo booth gave us treasured memories of the event … now displayed on our fridge!

And so, when I asked my girls about something they remembered and enjoyed about the OGA Mother Daughter High Tea, here’s what they said:

“I especially loved to listen to Genevieve. She reminded me about the importance of family and how we can choose to be the good characters we want to be.” (Sarah, Year 9)

“I liked the pick-a-slip activity because it was fun, we laughed, and we also laughed with others on our table when we shared our memories.” (Kate, Year 7)

“The food at the High Tea was awesome. Everything is teeny tiny! I especially loved the teeny tiny cup cakes.” (Megan, Year 5).

OGA of SMC, we thank you!

Angela Scott (Alvaro, Class of 1985), Sarah, Kate and Megan Scott