Welcome to our first newsletter of 2022. The AGM in March saw the return of the Alumni Executive – myself as President, Secretary Kate Taylor (Class of 1990) and Treasurer Alice Spies (Class of 2011). We’re joined by committee members Carey Strong (Class of 1971) and Kobie Clay (Class of 1997). Thanks to these wonderful volunteers for keeping the Alumni going. We’d love to have some more.
We’re grateful that reunion events are being planned with confidence again. The Class of 1992 celebrated 30 years since their graduation. Scroll down to see some photos from their event earlier in the year. Looks like a fun night! Reunion organisation is underway for the Classes of 2012, 2002 and 1982. If one of these is your year, be sure to join the relevant Facebook group (most are linked to the Alumni Facebook page).
You'll see below a list of staff who've left MSM recently, among them is Jenny Kemp. Jenny has been an invaluable support to the Alumni and was our connection to the College for many years. On behalf of all Alumni, I'd like to say a huge thank you to her and we appreciate everything she's done to connect and serve our community.
Do you know about the MSM Alumni Volunteers Fund? Read on for more information about how to access this money.
Thanks to everyone who came by the Alumni and historical display at the College Open Day. It was fantastic to see how many past students are committed to, or are considering, sending their daughters to Mt St Michael’s in coming years.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the MSM community as we move towards the College’s Centenary celebrations in 2025. Please make sure we have your up-to-date details. Even if you receive this newsletter, we may only have your email address but no other information.
Yours In Faith and Love
Anne O’Keeffe (Class of 1986)
Sr Cate O'Brien and the Alumni display at the 2022 Open Evening.
It has been a very unusual start to the 2022 year with the delayed start that was announced by the Premier in January due to the ongoing COVID situation. Classes commenced on-line on Monday 31 January, and we were grateful to have all our students return to the campus on Monday 7 February. This resulted in a number of College events being postponed to various times of the year. Just as we started to adapt to some form of normality the Brisbane floods occurred. We were blessed in that the Student Wellbeing Centre was the only building to experience flooding and thanks to the quick actions of our Business Manager and Maintenance Team, wet carpets were quickly pulled up. MSM staff and students continue to demonstrate resilience and flexibility as we continue to respond to the evolving circumstances.
Despite these challenges there still has been many great things to celebrate this semester. It has been tremendously exciting to get our social events “back in action”. The Year 7 Parents/Caregivers were able to attend their “Welcome to MSM” on Thursday 24 March at Walkabout Creek. The 12th annual Foundation Mother-Daughter High Tea at the Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane Showgrounds at Bowen Hills was extremely well attended. The students have enjoyed the Year 12 Charity Ball and the Year 11 Semi-Formal. You will see from the stories in the newsletter that we have been able to welcome back live audiences to events such as MusicFest and the Dance Showcase.
It was also wonderful to host our first Open Evening since 2019 on Friday 27 May. A special thank you to the Alumni who set up a stand and it was great to hear that some Alumni “dropped by” as they brought their daughters in for a tour of the College.
During 2021, an external consultant was engaged to review the structure of our College Leadership Team, as the current structure had been in place for many years and with our enrolments now reaching our “cap” of 900, it was timely to undergo a review. I am pleased to introduce to the Alumni the members of the new College Leadership Team for 2022:
Deputy Principal – Ms Ros Collier
Dean of Faith and Mission – Ms Kate Simpson
Dean of Student Wellbeing – Ms Sian Mason
Dean of Teaching and Learning – Ms Sally Crothers.
I look forward to introducing these accomplished women to you at future events.
I am also delighted to announce that Sr Cate O’Brien (Sister of Charity) has joined the staff this year to support our community. Welcome back to MSM Sr Cate.
In Faith and Love
MSM Graduates of 1992 - 30 Year Reunion
Despite Covid and the impending weather event, the MSM graduates of 1992 managed to attend a gathering and had a wonderful ‘catch up’.
MSM Alumni Spotlight - Where are they now?
Bonita Milner (Robinson) - Class of 1990
After graduation, I went directly to Australian Catholic University to complete a Bachelor of Teaching. It was a lovely and very natural transition from primary school years at Sacred Heart Primary School Rosalie, to the amazing secondary years at Mt St Michaels to ACU. Mt St Michaels prepared me very well for success at university and in the community by helping with my development in all aspects, academic, social, spiritual and physical. After ACU graduation I completed the Griffith University Bachelor of Education degree while in the same year I started teaching with Education QLD. Working with an organisation like Education QLD has been a dynamic and ever changing journey as I experienced many different types of schools, students and parents. Every year in education is almost like a new job as you build on your experience but apply the learnings to new situations. In 2010 the EQ opportunities extended to me moving to the Australian International School in the UAE. I am still here living in Dubai and thoroughly loving the AIS school family as well as all the experiences of living in the UAE. AIS is a privately owned EQ partnership school with 1500 students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 12. With Australian Curriculum and teachers, as well as the offer of IB for the senior years, working at AIS has expanded my cultural and emotional intelligence in ways that, I believe, only living abroad can accommodate.
Across the years my three children have also benefited from the experiences of being Australians living in the UAE with many travel opportunities and friends from around the world. My eldest daughter has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Design and Innovation, Magna cum Laude from Sheihk Mohamad's recently established Design University which is a curriculum partnership university with the renowned US university MIT. My second daughter has just completed the first year of her Law degree with Cambridge University UK. My son is in Grade 8 here at AIS.
Looking back there were so many opportunities and highlights of a life of Faith and Love at Mt St Michaels. The impact of an outstanding academic education surrounded by wonderful friends is very important however the other aspects from social outreach, the arts and performance, leadership opportunities and moral and religious development really do make a difference to how we encounter the next parts of our life. My top highlights would probably be my experiences of the lead role as Princess Jasmine in the school musical in my final year (quite ironic that I now live in Arabia itself), Show Choir performances at several events including a wedding and Brisbane City Mall, volunteering with St Vincent De Paul and all the leadership opportunities as School Prefect. My advice to my younger self would be to continue to try everything and don't wait until you are ready, jump in and try, work as a team and learn from each other to build success. One of the innovative female leaders in the UAE, HE Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology last year completed the UAE's Mission To Mars and spoke to our girls for International Women's Day saying the same thing. When she was asked to lead the Mission to Mars she didn't know how to do this but instead of shying away from the challenge she understood that she doesn't need to have all the information to take on the challenge or be the one who is ready to build the rocket herself she just has to be brave and start assembling around her the best minds for the job and work together to build that successful journey. I very much appreciate the role of Mt St Michaels in my journey.
The Class of 1990 are looking to get together. For more information, please connect with your group on Facebook here.
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 and #Tokyo2020 Olympic swimming gold medallist Meg Harris who have been recognised in the 2022 Australia Day Honours List with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
We congratulate Meg on her ongoing success in the pool including winning GOLD for Australia in the 4x100m Women’s Freestyle Relay and a BRONZE medal in the 50m Freestyle at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest. MSM is proud of you Meg and we love following you on the swimming world stage!
Do you know of any other MSM Alumni who have been awarded an OAM?
Jasmine Armstrong - Class of 2021
Congratulations to 2021 MSM Graduate and Dux of the College, Jasmine Armstrong who has won the #QCE Achievement Award for Highest Achievement by an Aboriginal Student or Torres Strait Islander Student for 2021. She is also a Distinguished Academic Achiever — you can read more on her story here.
Isabella Negus - Class of 2015
Congratulations to MSM Alumni Isabella Negus who was promoted to Australian Army Officer Captain while deployed on USNS Mercy in support of Pacific Partnership 2022.
Isabella joined the Army in 2016 and completed her Bachelor in Business through the Australian Defence Force Academy and Officer training at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. In August 2021, Isabella deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan to support the evacuation of over 4000 refugees and Australian citizens. She has a strong interest in working within the Gender In Military Operations space and application of the UNSCR1325 Women, Peace and Security.
Isabella is currently deployed on the USNS Mercy in support of Pacific Partnership, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region, with Australian Defence Force personnel joining the United States-led mission to provide specialist support. Isabella works in the Gender, Peace and Security team and is currently in Phu Yen Providence, Vietnam, delivering training at Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Conferences.
Here's what Isabella has to say about Pacific Partnership:
“What makes me most proud or happy to be here is we as a coalition team are learning how to respond to conflict and disaster relief. We are also having a knowledge sharing eco-system with countries we are going to. It’s all about partnership, trusting each other, learning from each other and ultimately preparing for when the next disaster happens in order to be ready to go and help.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
MSM Alumni Inc. Volunteer Fund
MSM Alumni Inc. provide donations to those Alumni who wish to continue the work of Mary Aikenhead by volunteering at home, or abroad, to assist those in need. To find out more about the Alumni Volunteers Fund, please contact email@example.com.
St Vincent De Paul Group for Young People of Brisbane
Are you looking for a wonderful way to serve the wider community and continue the mission that was established during your time at the College?
St Vincent De Paul has launched a new initiative – a virtual St Vincent de Paul group for 18 – 35 year olds. A lot of the Vinnies groups in Parishes are on the older side, and tend to meet during the working day, making it difficult for younger people to join. This group is specifically for younger people in Brisbane.
As many of you would be aware, we have a Missions of St Vincent group at the College, which many of our past pupils would have been involved in. Recently it was brought to our attention that our younger alumni were keen to get involved but weren’t sure how. This could be a wonderful way for you to serve the wider community and continue the mission that was established during your time at the College.
It is with great sadness that we inform our Alumni of the recent passing of a member of our Alumni community.
Louisa Brittenden - Class of 1983
Some special words shared by Louisa's mother, Helen Mary:
After graduating from MSM in 1983, Louisa followed her school dream of working as a registered nurse in a career that spanned over 30 years. Towards the end of her career Louise worked in aged care. Fiercely supportive of her sister Gabrielle and aunt to her children. Louisa was a loyal friend at school maintaining these friendships until she passed away on the 16th December 2021 aged 55. She was quick witted, loved being with friends and family as they meant the world to her. She will be dearly missed by her family here in Australia and in NZ.
Milestone Reunions in 2022
If you graduated in a year ending in two (such as 1952, 1692, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, etc) you are celebrating a decade-milestone in 2022.
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.
Our 2022 Reunion Tour is scheduled for Saturday 3 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 organisation of your event at the College or offsite.
Class of 1982 A Reunion Tour has been organised for Saturday 3 September. Click here for more information and bookings. Click here to join the 1982 Facebook group.
Class of 1992 Click here to join the 1992 Facebook group.
Class of 2002 Click here to join the 2002 Facebook group.
Class of 2012 Planning is underway for an event on 15 October. Click here for bookings and complete the KIT form to be contacted with further event information.
Planning for 2023 reunion groups has commenced. If you graduated in 1993 you are invited to connect with your fellow classmates on your dedicated FB page here.
Alumni Inc 2022 Meeting Dates
Please keep an eye on the MSM Alumni page on the Mt St Michael's College website for any updates on 2022 Meeting dates. Click here to view the dates
College Staff Farewells
It is with sadness that we acknowledge the following members of staff who have resigned from their roles at MSM in the last six months.
Dr Madonna Ahern, Deputy Principal - Students, commenced at MSM in 2008 and retired from this role at the conclusion of the 2021 academic year. The Deputy Principal – Students role can often be a challenging position in a school and Dr Ahern conducted her duties with the highest level of professionalism. Dr Ahern’s legacy is the Positive Education program which she first introduced to the College in 2011 and ensured that it remains responsive to our student’s wellbeing needs.
Ms Juliette Bentley, Teacher, has been a teacher at MSM for 21 years. As a teacher of Religious Education and English, Ms Bentley has cared for her students with warmth and enthusiasm. Her legacy is the Writers Club which she established and has brought together hundreds of our students on Friday afternoons to share their love of writing. We offer Ms Bentley our best wishes as she begins a new exciting chapter of her life in July 2022.
Mr Stephen Campion, Deputy Principal – Mission, accepted a position as Assistant to the Principal – Religious Education at Clairvaux MacKillop College to commence in January 2022. During his 17 years at MSM he has served the community as as Head of Religious Education and Deputy Principal – Mission. He has also been a member of the MSM Alumni Committee attending monthly meetings and assisting with tours of the College at reunions. Mr Campion’s legacy is our flourishing CAN groups, our service learning and our Indigenous Immersions. Mr Campion’s commitment to the strengthening of our prayer life at MSM will be felt for many years to come.
Mrs Jenny Kemp, Community Engagement Officer, was first employed by the College in 2005 as Foundation Officer. Her role evolved over the years to become the Community Engagement Officer where Mrs Kemp has supported the Alumni and P & F in the organisation of events such as the Foundation Mother-Daughter High Tea, Year 12 Mother-Daughter Garden Party, Alumni Coffee and Conversations Breakfast, Year 7 Father-Daughter Breakfast and Trivia Evenings. She has assisted with conducting tours of the College at Alumni Reunions. We offer Mrs Kemp our best wishes as she commences a new role in an educational institution in June 2022.
Ms Kath Page, Sports Assistant, graduated as a student from MSM in 2007 and has worked in the sports department for the last eight years. She has been integral to the success of our sporting program due to her hard work and dedication to the students of MSM. Ms Page (KP) is a self-proclaimed “MSM’s greatest supporter”. We wish her all the best as she embarks on a career change in July 2022.
Mrs Jan Woods, College Receptionist, is our longest serving staff member having been employed at the College for almost 31 years. In this role she has cared for our students when they have been sick or injured, found their lost property and delivered messages. Her face is well known to so many of our families; she knows our students and their families and their stories and in some cases generations of families. Mrs Woods concludes her time at MSM at the end of June 2022 as she enters a new phase of her life, retirement, where she intends to spend time with her husband and her family, being in her house and garden and plan trips.
We sincerely thank these staff for their commitment and dedication to the Mt St Michael’s College Community and the charism and educational vision of Mary Aikenhead and the Sisters of Charity.
Around the College
2021 ATAR Results
MSM has been absolutely delighted with the ATAR results of the 2021 graduates. The following data shared with you is based on the 104 ATAR eligible students who have given permission for the College to view their ATAR result:
2% of students received an ATAR of 99 and above
8% of students received an ATAR of 98 and above
20% of students received an ATAR of 95 and above
40% of students received an ATAR of 90 and above. This places them in the top 23.87% of the state
The College is also extremely proud of the achievements of those students who were involved in Vocational Education pathways or other alternative pathways last year. Some of these students were also undertaking ATAR studies.
18 students were awarded a Certificate II
26 students were awarded a Certificate III
2 students were awarded a Certificate IV
9 students were awarded a Diploma
1 student was completing a school-based traineeship.
Congratulations to the 2021 College Dux, Jasmine Armstrong. Jasmine was presented with two Queensland Certificate of Education Achievement Awards at the recent awards presentation.
Highest Achievement by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Student
Distinguished Academic Achiever Award.
Jasmine has provided the following reflection and advice to our current students:
“My long-term goal is to specialise in cardiothoracic surgery, anaesthesiology or neurosurgery. I would like to give back to the community through working with organisations that provide services to those who would not otherwise be able to afford them.
“I have provisional entry into the Doctor of Medicine program at The University of Queensland. First, I’ll study for a degree in Health Sciences. My favourite subject was Mathematical Methods. I loved the problem-solving aspect; how I could rearrange and work a complex language down to a single solution.
Do your personal best; do not compare yourself to others because everyone has different strengths and there are many pathways to achieve your goals. Also choose subjects that interest you — you are more likely to achieve when you are engaged”.
Congratulations Jasmine! MSM is very proud of your achievements.
The College also had two students who were awarded the Top Subject Achievement Award in the State in the areas of Study of Religion and Dance.
Congratulations to Isabella Deegan who is the recipient of the Samuel Griffiths Scholarship for Griffith University. Isabella is studying animation and this scholarship valued at $24 000 will provide wonderful financial support to her.
We had 98% of our students receive an offer from QTAC. The most popular areas of study were:
Society and Culture
Natural and Physical Sciences
Management and Commerce.
The College is so proud of the achievements of the Class of 2021 and look forward to hearing more about their post-MSM journey in future years.
2022 MSM Foundation International Women’s Day High Tea
It was a fabulous gathering of the women of MSM at the 12th annual IWD Foundation Mother-Daughter High Tea which was held on Friday 11 March and was well attended. Thank you to Sr Cate for opening the proceedings by leading us in prayer. This year we welcomed two of our Alumni as speakers. Jasmine Armstrong (Class of 2021 and Dux of the College) addressed the theme #BreaktheBias with a passionate speech. Jasmine is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at UQ.
Our keynote speaker was Clare Brown (Class of 2004). Clare has an impressive biography. She is an international human rights lawyer who has spent the last decade working on human rights and justice, with a focus on gender and women’s rights, in Africa and the Middle East. Claire is currently based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her work has included supporting activists and victims of crimes to demand justice, helping to write new laws, conducting research and writing reports about key human rights issues and challenges, and conducting trainings with governmental, civil society and legal partners on gender and the rule of law in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh.
Jasmine facilitated a Q&A session with Clare at the conclusion of her address and it was wonderful to see this community engagement.
Thanks you to the MSM Guitar Quartet who provided some entertainment during the function. We also acknowledged the wonderful efforts of the P and F Mothers’ Lunch Committee who presented a cheque for $23 000 for the Sisters of Charity Scholarship Fund at this event.
Principal’s Honours Assembly
In February the College hosted the annual Principal’s Honours Assembly to celebrate the academic achievements of the 2021 cohort. Selected graduates were acknowledged as “Honour Students” - recognised 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.
2022 Term 2 College Fees Raffle
And the winner is...
Pari (Current MSM Parent)
Thank you to all MSM Alumni who supported our raffle. Your ticket purchase has made a difference! Proceeds from the raffle are directed towards the Sisters of Charity Scholarships, assisting to provide educational opportunities for prospective students who would not normally have access due to financial hardship or disadvantaged backgrounds.
2022 Senior Theme
Earlier this year the current Year 12 students launched their 2022 theme "Take a Chance". MSM exists because Mary Aikenhead took a chance that was inspired by her deep faith and strong belief in Divine Providence.
Prayers for Ukraine
MSM Year 7 students participated in a contemplative act of compassion by creating prayer cards to be given to the Brisbane Ukrainian Community Centre. Students learned about the 12th Century icon of Our Lady of Zarvanytsia and then listened to Ukrainian music as they coloured an icon and wrote a note to a Ukrainian community member expressing the College’s solidarity with those involved.
MUSICFEST1 - Glam Rock
The Sophia Centre was abuzz with excited audience members, eager to re-experience the delightful entertainment that is MusicFest. Many had taken up the theme’s challenge to express their inner glam rocker, adorned with sequins, they toe-tapped along to the many admittedly slightly cheesy repertoire items, including such favourites as “Space Oddity” in a fabulous a capella arrangement performed by MSM Singers. A true highlight was seeing the joy on the faces of the new generation of MSM musicians including the Year 7-8 Choir in their rendition of “Best Day of my Life”. Congratulations to all performers on a wonderful evening and well done to the large team of excellent and committed music professionals that comprise the co-curricular music staff. A great night was had by all.
MSM Rugby players were the half time entertainment at the Wallaroos vs Fiji International Rugby Union game recently. It was a special experience for the College to be invited by QRU to play rugby on the hallowed grass of Suncorp Stadium and support our country's finest women's rugby players.
Year 7-12 Curriculum and Co-curricular Dance students performed at the annual Mt St Michael’s Dance Showcase. Dance works included performance tasks where students have been challenged to learn and demonstrate a particular style of dance and the technical, expressive, and analytical skills involved in preparing and presenting this to an audience.
MSM Social Justice Council proudly joined with thousands of Brisbane residents for Multicultural Australia’s Luminous Lantern Parade at Southbank Parklands to welcome refugees and migrants who now call Queensland home. MSM has supported Multicultural Australia through the Lantern Parade and the Work and Welcome program for more than 10 years.
Students and staff of MSM concluded their term with a powerful Indigenous Reconciliation liturgy, focusing on the enduring wisdom of our First Nations people and their connection to country. MSM First Nations students were joined by more than 150 readers, dance, drama and music students to create a moving prayer Liturgy.
The Mt St Michael’s College Archive preserves records that are of enduring value to the College community. 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 email@example.com.
Fide Et Amore Archive Check out previous editions of Fide Et Amore - Click here
MSM Business Directory Visit the MSM Business Directory and help support the businesses that so generously support our College Community.
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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.
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.
Mt St Michael's College Alumni Inc
Incorporation Number: IA34417
Our mailing address is:
Mt St Michael's College Alumni Inc
Mt St Michael's College
67 Elimatta Drive
Ashgrove, QLD 4060