It’s 35 years since I graduated from MSM and am grateful to have come away with core values that included social justice and service… which is how I think I’ve ended up as President, coming off the back of many years on the MSM P&F Committee.
I have two daughters. The eldest graduated in 2018 and the other will graduate in 2023. As fate would have it, my mother-in-law was also a student at MSM, so my girls are third generation.
I’ve worked for the ABC for 24 years in a variety of roles (radio presenter/producer/field reporter/emergency broadcast coordinator) and moved home to Brisbane 15 years ago – not far from where I grew up (like so many of us!)
I was in Year 11 for the Diamond (60 year) celebrations and I’m thrilled to be involved with the Alumni Association as we approach 100 years of Mt St Michael’s College.
Since graduation I have worked full-time in various roles both here and in the UK. Prior to moving to the UK at 30 I was a Data Analyst and Statistician at Queensland Treasury Department for 13 years. During my time in the UK I worked and travelled for 2 years before coming home and changing careers while I completed a degree in International Business at QUT. I now live in Red Hill and I have been here for 11 years. I got involved with the Alumni in 2019 as a Committee Member as my 30 year reunion was coming up in 2020. However, due to COVID, not too much Alumni activity occurred in 2020. This year I have taken on the role as Secretary of MSM Alumni Inc and I am looking forward to attending and participating in Alumni events in 2021.
Hi, I am Alice Spies, Mt St Michael’s graduate from 2011, and a former College Mission Co-Captain. Taking a broad approach when selecting my senior subjects allowed me to explore many different avenues my career could take. Upon graduating from the College, I went on to study a dual degree in Business Management and Arts, majoring in Marketing and Psychology from UQ. Although short, my diverse experiences has allowed me to be involved with many different aspects of workplaces across several industries. Now working in software as a Customer Success Consultant, I am excited to bring what I have learnt and experienced over the past 10 years post my schooling days to the Alumni Committee as the new Treasurer.
Our 2021 year commenced with the announcement of the ATAR results of our 2020 graduates. The following data I am about to share with you is based on the 118 ATAR eligible students who have given permission for us to view their ATAR result:
3% of students received an ATAR of 99 and above
6% of students received an ATAR of 98 and above
26 % of students received an ATAR of 95 and above
45 % of students received an ATAR of 90 and above.
Without making too many comparisons to OP data, this correlates to 45% of MSM students achieving an OP 1-6 and 99% of our students achieving an OP of 1-15. We are so proud of their achievements!
After graduating in 1986, I completed a General Nursing Certificate at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, where I stayed on as a Registered Nurse. I loved being a nurse – it was incredibly rewarding; I enjoyed the study and made some lifelong friendships. But after a couple of years I became restless, wondering what next. It was during a holiday to the United Kingdom in 1991, wandering around the colleges at Oxford University, that the idea of going to university started to take hold. At first, I dispelled the idea because, sadly, like a lot of women I underestimated my ability and wasn't confident that I would even get into university. I still remember the thrill when I opened my acceptance letter from UQ to start an Arts degree in 1992. The plan was to try to do well enough in my first year so that I could upgrade and study law. With a lot of hard work, the plan came to fruition. I certainly surprised myself (and, to be honest, a number of others) when I graduated UQ law with First Class Honours.
My original inspiration for studying law was probably the result of watching too many legal dramas on TV. Suffice to say, I did not go to law school dreaming of becoming a partner in a global law firm. I also never intended to spend more than 20 years in Hong Kong. In my first year as a lawyer, having just married my husband, John, we moved to Hong Kong to "work for a year or two". We fell in love with this amazing city and the opportunities it presented. I joined Clifford Chance, a 'magic circle' law firm, and made partner 7 years later. I won't lie, it is tough juggling a career and three beautiful children, but I am blessed with a supportive partner at home.
Thinking back on the last 35 years (apart from feelings of disbelief that it could possibly have been that long since I was at Mt St Michael's), I am glad that I mustered the courage to pursue my ambitions. Advice that I would give my younger self:
Congratulations to MSM Alumni, Meg Harris (Class of 2019) who has been selected in the Australian Dolphins Swim Team to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
Meg successfully swam her way onto the Olympic team competing in the 100m, 200m and 50m freestyle events.
Congratulations to Sarah Morrison (2007 Alumni) on her success in the Musical Theatre Production “Come From Away” currently showing at QPAC. Sarah graduated in 2007, having studied Music, Music Extension and sung in Choir and MSM Singers, and has had a thriving music and theatre career ever since.
Sarah started her career as a member of the Children’s Chorus with Opera Queensland, before gaining her Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre at the Ballarat Arts Academy. She went on to play Tracy in Dust for Queens Theatre/Brisbane’s Powerhouse and toured internationally with a number of children’s musicals for Nickelodeon and Pen2Stage before being cast in the breakthrough lead role of Lisa, in Ladies in Black.
We are proud to share with you this heart-warming feature on The Project. Dr Margaret Spencer (MSM Alumni, Class of 1978) is a lecturer and the Director of Field Education in the Social Work Program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. The MSM community is very proud of the wonderful work Margaret does to advocate for parents with intellectual disability and their children, and her recognition and contribution to families nationally and internationally.
Click here to view
Congratulations to MSM Alumni, Julie Calvert (Class of 1980) who has been recognised for her 32+ years of service with Qld Ambulance being awarded the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) in the Australia Day 2021 Honours List. An outstanding achievement - congratulations Julie!
Congratulations to Yu (Judy) Hung, (Class of 2012) on recently graduating with a PhD from the University of Queensland. Judy completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science Honours Degree in 2016 finishing first in her cohort and went on to research inflammatory pathways in white blood cells, specifically how inflammation is ‘switched off’ to prevent disease in the resident white blood cells of the brain for her PhD. Judy credits her passion for science to “the amazing science teachers at MSM who pushed me to excel in my analytical and problem-solving skills that equipped me to do well at University”.
Congratulations to MSM Alumni, Mikaela McKinnon (Class of 2014). Mikaela graduated from Queensland University of Technology in July 2020 with a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Accountancy (Distinction). Mikaela was recently admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Congratulations to Emma Lewis (class of 2013) who graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Business/Laws (Honours) and was recently admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Congratulations Mollie O’Connor (Class of 2013) was recently admitted as a lawyer to the Supreme Court of Queensland. Mollie completed a double degree: a Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hons) at the University of Queensland. Mollie is now completing a graduate program at the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.
Congratulations to former MSM student, Caroline Anne Gouws who attended MSM during 2008 and 2009 (Years 8 and 9) who has graduated with her PhD in Nutrition. In addition, she was awarded the Parker medal for the most outstanding PhD thesis examined at the University of Canberra 2020.
2020 Alumni, Natalya Alexiou, who is currently studying a dual degree Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Biomedical Science at QUT, still follows her passion for dance since leaving MSM.
Having danced with Ballet Theatre Queensland and attended Queensland Ballet’s Summer School, Natalya hung up her pointe shoes in 2019 after 13 years of classical ballet to follow her dreams of becoming an accomplished contemporary dancer. In her second year as a Youth Ensemble dancer at the Australasian Dance Collective (ADC), Natalya will perform in a compelling work titled ‘Echo’ from Youth Ensemble Director Riannon McLean. For performance details and tickets, visit - https://australasiandancecollective.com/echo-2021/
Reunion Dates – Saturday 24 July & Saturday 4 September
Mother Daughter Year 12 Garden Party – Friday 8 October
We warmly invite you to join us at our Alumni meetings held at 6pm in the Chapel, Mary Aikenhead Building, MSM. Please find a list of our 2021 meeting dates below:
Monday 19 July
Monday 23 August
Monday 13 September
Monday 11 October
Monday 29 November
If you graduated in a year ending in one (such as 1971, 1991, 2001, etc) you are celebrating a decade-milestone in 2021.
Or, was 2020 your reunion year - and you couldn’t gather?!? Why not come together in 2021, and join us for a Reunion Tour?
Saturday 24 July 2021 and Saturday 4 September 2021
Reunions are a fantastic way to reconnect with your Mt St Michael’s College classmates. When was the last time you made your way back to Mt St Michael’s College? Last year? Last decade? Not since graduation? Although your school years may be far behind, the friendships that began at MSM still remain, or are waiting to be rediscovered. Consider visiting the College as a part of your reunion celebrations. Reunion Tours are scheduled for Saturday 24 July and Saturday 4 September. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
The College’s Communications and Marketing department in conjunction with the MSM Alumni Association is more than happy to assist your group in the organization of your event.
Contact email@example.com to find out more.
Call out to the Class of 2011
It's time for your 10 Year Reunion
The Class of 2011 are planning to catch up with their classmates in the month of September. Details are still being confirmed, and to stay up with the details visit the group's Facebook Page. Outside of Facebook feel free to reach out to Alice Spies via firstname.lastname@example.org. Event invitations will be sent out in the next month via Facebook and email.
We are also planning to catch up at the college for our tour and the chance to reconnect with the college community. It would be great to see all of our cohort at the college on Saturday 4 September from about 3pm in the afternoon. Again, for any questions or queries, please reach out to Alice Spies via the alumni email address.
MSM Graduates of 2001, SAVE THE DATE!
You are invited to celebrate your 20 year reunion on Saturday 17 September. Thank you to Jackie Vohland (Forster) who is organising the Class of 2001 reunion. Stay tuned with further event details on your group's Facebook page.
MSM Graduates of 1991, SAVE THE DATE!
You are invited to celebrate your 30 year reunion on Saturday 11 September. Thank you to Mel Bosson who is organising your reunion. Visit your group's Facebook page to stay up to date with event details.
2021 Mother/Daughter High Tea Celebrating International Women's Day
On Friday 12 March we gathered as a community for our International Women’s Day High Tea and what a fabulous afternoon at the Royal Convention Centre it was! The event was a great success. Our community generously donated during the event, raising $6,600 towards the MSM Scholarship Fund.
Our special guest keynote speaker, Dr Catherine Shannon (Alumni 1986) was inspirational; speaking of her fond memories of her time at MSM, her clear passion for her vocation and the advice that she shared with our young women – have mentors, have champions and have heroes.
A wonderful afternoon was had by all!
Student work placements needed
Are you an Alumni or member of the MSM community who would be able to assist our students by offering the opportunity of work experience? Whether it be through ‘hand’s on’ experience or through observation, students benefit from the ‘real life’ experiences they achieve through their involvement in work experience. We are always seeking to expand our database of potential work experience providers so if you are able to assist our students, in any way, please contact our College Careers Counsellor, Anna Webb – email@example.com