Welcome from Alumni President
I’d like to pay tribute to outgoing President Keleisha Rigby-Smith, who gave 13 incredible years to the Alumni Association. Volunteering in these positions is rewarding, albeit a labour of love sometimes, and we appreciate everything you’ve done. To all the amazing women who’ve served on the Executive and committee over the years, I thank you for your dedication to the College.

Welcome to the newest cohort of alumni, the class of 2020. What a year it was for you! You survived all that a pandemic had to throw at you – now it’s time to shine. We encourage you to stay in touch with the College and would love to see you back here soon for either your own reunions or to help with tours for we old(er) girls.

Preparations are underway for 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 year reunions. And we haven’t forgotten those who would have celebrated milestone reunions last year. We’re hosting the Class of 1980 for their 40+1 reunion. Details for these reunions are below and on our Facebook page – look for the linked groups. If you are planning a reunion, or would like to, please get in touch via alumni@msm.edu.qld.au

Apart from reunions, your committee is keen to hear about ways to say connected with fellow MSM graduates. Please get in touch with any ideas, or better still, come along to a committee meeting. The next one is on Monday 19th July at 6pm. 

Please share this newsletter with anyone you think would enjoy hearing about their alma mater. And encourage your former classmates to update their details as we march towards the College’s Centenary celebrations in 2025.

Yours In Faith and Love

Anne O’Keeffe
Meet your new Alumni Executive
Anne O’Keeffe (Class of 1986)
Kate Talyor (Class of 1990)
Alice Spies (Class of 2011)
Meet Anne O'Keeffe - (Class of 1986)

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. 

Meet Kate Taylor - (Class of 1990)

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.  

Meet Alice Spies - (Class of 2011)

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.

It has been a very positive start to the 2021 year.  It was with great enthusiasm that the MSM community welcomed the 146 Year 7 students on Wednesday 27 January for their first day of their secondary education.  In a moving tradition, the Year 12 students formed a guard of honour as the Year 7 students entered the Sophia Centre for our “Welcome Assembly”. 

On Friday 5 February we hosted our inaugural Principal’s Honours Assembly to celebrate the academic achievements of our 2020 cohort – the newest members of the MSM Alumni. Thirty-three students were acknowledged as “Honour Students” - recognized for their excellence in achievement and commitment to their studies in their chosen pathway (either ATAR or Vocational Education).  Each Honour Student was presented with a Principal’s Honour Award and signed the MSM Honour Roll.
The students have competed in three Interhouse Carnivals this year.  Congratulations to Grantuly who won the Swimming Carnival and Rush who won the Cross Country and Athletics.  The CaSSSA percentage cup was also retained in the Cross Country.

Events have resumed at the College under our COVID-Safe plans and this has meant some “re-imaging” of some events. In February, P and F Year 7 Parents “Welcome to MSM” was conducted offsite at Walkabout Creek and was very well attended. 

On Friday 12 March we hosted our 11th annual Mother Daughter High Tea at the Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane Showgrounds at Bowen Hills.  It was extremely well supported with 761 attendees.  Thank you to our special guest keynote speaker Dr Catherine Shannon (Alumni 1986).  Her speech 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.

I look forward to working with the new Alumni Executive, Anne, Kate and Alice.  It is exciting to read in this newsletter the stories of our past students.  I encourage you to share your story – our MSM Women are doing amazing things!

In Faith and Love

Sharon Volp
College Fees Raffle Winner

Thank you to the MSM community for supporting our Term 2, 2021 College Fees Raffle with proceeds supporting the Sisters of Charity Scholarship Fund. Congratulations to our winner, MSM Alumni, Maria Greenhalgh (nee Alati) - Class of 1977 who accepted the prize of a $1500 gift card.

Here's what Maria had to say about winning our raffle...
"I can’t believe I won the raffle!! So exciting! The last time I won something was a jar of jellybeans after guessing how many beans were in the jar! haha. It was such a lovely surprise thank you very very much".
2020 Graduates' Results

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!  

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the news of the passing of Sr Margaret Mines on Saturday 12 June.  Sr Margaret is one of five children and grew up in Ashgrove. She attended Mt St Michael’s College along with her two sisters, Maureen and Sr Agnus, graduating from the College in 1951. Sr Margaret has three great nieces who are current students of Mt St Michael’s. She was one of the last Sisters to reside in the Convent (the building now known as our Innovation Centre) when the Sisters left the College in 2016. Her life is a true example of servant leadership – devoting herself to the service of the poor and the marginalised.  She inspired the MSM community when she shared some of her life story at the 2018 Mary Aikenhead Day Mass.  We thank God for the life of Sr Margaret and thank her for her contributions to MSM and to our world. Sr Margaret will be greatly missed. We hold Sr Margaret, her family and the Sisters of Charity in our thoughts and prayers.
MSM Alumni Spotlight - Where are they now?
Donna Wacker (nee Freeman)  - Class of 1986

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:  

  • Life can take you to interesting places if you believe in yourself. 
  • You are stronger than you know.  
  • Many women experience some form of “imposter syndrome” – so "fake it till you make it".  
  • The choices you make when you are young are not final – think about what you want to achieve and where you see yourself a few years down the road. 
MSM Alumni Successes
Our Alumni are one of our greatest sources of pride. We enjoy hearing stories of our past students whose achievements bring inspiration and motivation to our College community. We welcome you to share your career highlights, personal successes, schoolyard memories and friendships formed.
We are pleased to share with you this exciting news:
Meg Harris - Class of 2019

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.


Sarah Morrison - Class of 2007

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. 

This brand new musical from creative masterminds Simon Phillips and Carolyn Burns featured music by Tim Finn and enjoyed sell out seasons at both Queensland and Melbourne Theatre Companies and embarked on a return national tour in 2016-17. Following this Sarah performed the lead role of Sophie Sheridan in the recent 2017-18 production of MAMMA MIA!Sarah’s other theatre credits include, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown and David Williamson’s, Third World Blues. In addition to her stage work, Sarah has appeared in television shows such as The Doctor Blake Mysteries and Making Dust for ABC Artscape.Sarah is currently appearing in the Australian premier company of Come From Away in the role of Janice and Others at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. Hear more about Sarah’s experience being cast in “Come From Away” in an interview with Rebecca Levingston on ABC Brisbane.
🔈 Click here to listen
Please click on the video below to see Sarah perform with the Come From Away cast at the Australian Open.
Dr Margaret Spencer - Class of 1978

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

Julie Calvert - Class of 1980

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!

Dr Yu (Judy) Hung - Class of 2012

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”. 

Mikaela McKinnon - Class of 2014

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. 

Emma Lewis - Class of 2013

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. 

Mollie O'Conner - Class of 2013

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.  

Dr Caroline Anne Gouws - Attended MSM during 2008-2009

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. 

Hannah Brydon- Class of 2017
Congratulations to MSM Alumni, Hannah Brydon (Grad 2017) on her success in the music industry. Hannah’s band Wigz has been profiled on Triple J's Unearthed and recently released their infectious and energetic debut single “WWWWWHY’ on Spotify and Apple
Natalya Alexiou - Class of 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/
 Congratulations Natalya! 

Keep the news coming! Whether it’s special news from an Alumni, reunion updates or something you would like to see featured in our Alumni newsletter – we’d love to hear from you! Email: alumni@msm.qld.edu.au
Alumni Inc. 2021 events 

Reunion Dates – Saturday 24 July & Saturday 4 September 
Mother Daughter Year 12 Garden Party – Friday 8 October 

Alumni Inc meeting dates 

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 

Milestone Reunions in 2021

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? 
Reunion Tours 
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 alumni@msm.edu.au 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 alumni@msm.edu.au to find out more. 

We are calling out to MSM Alumni who graduated in 1981. It’s your 40th reunion year in 2021 and we are looking for organisers to plan the festivities for your year group. Contact alumni@msm.qld.edu.au as soon as possible if you can help.

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 alumni@msm.qld.edu.au. 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.

Calling Senior Class of 1971

It’s your 50th reunion year in 2021 and plans are underway for a celebration. Thank you to Carey Strong and fellow 1971 graduates for organising the festivities for your year group. Please connect with your fellow Alumni and stay up to date with event details on your group's Facebook page. 
Class of 1980 Reunion
Thank you to Marian Rossi (nee Drake) for organising this reunion event to be held on campus at the College.
Click here to book your tickets
Making Memories - The MSM Archives
College Archivist, Kieran has many years of educational and archiving experience and undertakes the essential role of maintaining and documenting the College’s rich history; an important role as we move towards planning for the College Centenary in 2025. 

Kieran is pictured here with his daughter Elizabeth, College Captain (2010).

Contributions of photos, uniforms and memorabilia are gratefully accepted. The College is particularly interested in uniforms from 1970 – 1990 or earlier and filling gaps in class photos and yearbooks. Contact Kieran at archives@msm.qld.edu.au
Around the College
MSM Experience Video – Stay connected!

We are so proud of our College. Enjoy this video bringing to life our vibrant campus. Hear from our College Principal, Ms Sharon Volp, our students and our Alumni and discover how we embrace our vision for the MSM graduate.
Seniors Theme for 2021 

Earlier this year the Year 12 students launched their 2021 theme Let’s Get IT Done in 2021. 
The College Captains explained ... IT stands for individual’s together.  "We want to see your individual passions, goals and dreams flourish this year with the support and togetherness of the united MSM community. We encourage you to consider what your IT is and take steps to achieve this goal." 

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 – awebb@msm.qld.edu.au   

Year 11 Student, Abbey benefits from the hands-on experience, supporting the team at The Avenues Dental Centre.
2021 Career Information Sessions
Throughout the year we have a number of opportunities for Alumni to speak at our Career Information Sessions. We are seeking volunteers to share your valuable experience and career pathway with our Senior Students at the 2021 Career Information Sessions. Please register your interest by emailing our College Career counsellor Anna Webb - awebb@msm.qld.edu.au. 
MSM Alumni, Tori Lynch (2010 Grad) presenting to Year 10 students at our Career Information Session. Tori is a registered nurse and worked in Australia and in England during the Covid-19 Pandemic in various roles and specialties. 
MSM Business Directory
Visit the MSM Business Directory and help support the businesses that so generously support our College Community.
Keep in Touch
Help us keep in touch with you about all things
Mt St Michael's College Alumni related.
Please visit the Mt St Michael's College Alumni Assocation page to update your details.
Click here
Are you in contact with a fellow MSM Alumni?
Let them know they can get in on all the fun and information by updating their details via the MSM Alumni Association page.
Year 7, 2025 Enrolments are NOW OPEN!
Click here for more information
Mt St Michael's College Alumni Association
Incorporation Number: IA34417

Our mailing address is:
Mt St Michael's College Alumni Association
Mt St Michael's College
67 Elimatta Drive
Ashgrove, QLD 4060
Make sure to follow us on: