Be part of her future.
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& Twilight Thur 22 March Thur 1 March
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Tours Mon 23 July Thur 26 July
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Register online or email: registrar@avila college.vic.edu.au
Avila College 35 Charles Street, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 P: 03) 9831 9600
WELCOME Avila College Principal | Dr Michelle Cotter
From the Principal 01 ‘There are indeed
Get to know Dr Cotter 02
examples of what
Students Create the Future 03 a journey after
Mary Poppins 04 Avila can look like
for our students.’
A warm welcome to our Avila Alumnae magazine. As the ninth
20 Years of Reconciliation 08 Principal of the College I have delighted in learning much about
what makes Avila tick over the three terms I have been a member
Cuberider 10 of the Avila family.
One of the most significant things I have discovered about Avila
Food Safari 12 and her people is that our past students are deeply connected to
their school and our alumnae have achieved a breadth and depth
Recipe 13 of accomplishments. From outstanding professional achievements
in fields as diverse as curating and dentistry to personal aspirations
Indonesian Study Tour 14 and commitments to space travel and social justice.
In this edition of Avila Connect you will discover stories about
French Study Tour 15 the innovative STEM-4-All program, an internal music revolution
and Reconciliation. These and other articles reveal a vibrant
The Music Makers 16 school community for our students from Years 7 to 12, for our
staff and for our past students. For regular updates on what
OUR ALUMNAE 17 goes on and around daily Avila school life be sure to follow us
Roxane Lascaris 18 on Facebook and Instagram.
Paola Di Trocchio 22 A particular feature of the 2017 academic year has been the way
Jess Cook 24 in which our student school leaders have led us in the spirit of the
Miranda da Koroknai 26 College theme for the year, Journey With Us. Sinead, Tamara and
Anne Stephens 28 Maeve have certainly demonstrated to all the Avila spirit in their
Genevieve Townsend 30 guiding of our journey to understand what it can mean to be a
Rachelle Welti 31 "spirited" Avila person in the 21st century.
The Gen Squad
Dr Michelle Cotter | Principal
10 Year Reunion 34 Welcome Inspiring today for tomorrow 1
20 Year Reunion 35
25 Year Reunion 36
40 Year Reunion
SAVE THE DATE 37
2018 Alumnae Day 38
2018 Breakfast Series
Dr Cotter regularly hosts morning What we
teas with doughnuts and fruit in the DO NUT
Principal's office to get to know Dr Cotter
students better. Year 9 student
Beatrice van Rest has turned the
table to discover what we
'do-nut' know about Dr Cotter?
Q&A TOP 5
Which subject was your favourite in Five things you do every day: Drink
school? English, always coffee, go for a walk, read the newspaper,
ask ‘how are you?’ to everyone and
Which fictional character would you interact with Avila students
bring to life? The Little Prince
Five talents: talking, eating doughnuts,
What’s your favourite ice cream reading and walking simultaneously,
flavour? Strawberry smiling and thinking of the big picture
What did you want to be when you 5 Personal female heros:
were little? Happy 1. My Mum (Carmel Cotter): a woman
who has always taken opportunities and
Favourite books you will always go worked really hard at everything (truly
back to: The Little Prince, To Kill A Mock- committed to achieving her personal best)
ingbird, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2. Rosa Parks (Civil Rights Movement
Where The Wild Things Are & The Prince. USA), refused to sit at the back of the bus
3. Indigenous students from
What is one the most challenging yet Kununurra studying in Melbourne
rewarding parts of life? Being a good (thousands of miles from home and
friend to people trying to make a great future for
themselves through education)
What’s your all-time favourite song? 4. Julia Gillard (first female Prime
Don’t Dream Its Over by Crowded House Minister of Australia) - brave & resilient
5. Nano Nagle: saw a need and did
What’s something you collect? something about it
2 Inspiring today for tomorrow Get to know Dr Cotter
Students This year Avila College launched the
Create the Students Create the Future Committee as a
FUTURE new initiative designed to amplify student
voice within the school.
The committee regularly provide
updates through videos that are
available in the Avila newsletter
or on the Avila website.
Comprising members from all year planning, Avila’s inaugural Self It is about being comfortable,
levels the committee analysed Love week was launched. acknowledging that I am ok as I
results from the Resilient Youth Designed to create an inclusive, am and I am good enough”.
Survey. Together they identified affirming and non-judgemental
themes, workshopped ideas and atmosphere, the committee ran Students were encouraged to
developed action plans to promote activities throughout the week share what they loved most about
greater resilience within the that celebrated body positivity themselves in the pop up video
student body. Key areas of focus and promoted the key message booth and bathroom mirrors were
include helping students to feel of “love yourself”. decorated with positive messages.
good about themselves and their
future, improving connectedness, As committee member Priyanka Other initiatives from the committee
reducing stress and building body Sharma explained, “We want include the “Wellbeing walls” set
positivity. everyone to know that it is ok to up in year level corridors and a
be yourself and love yourself. It conversation club where students
As a result of the committee’s doesn’t mean you are a narcissist. discuss topical issues.
Students Create the Future Inspiring today for tomorrow 3
MARY In July after months
Poppins of hard work the
produced it's magical
all singing, all
dancing stage show
with its energy,
colour and dramatic
4 Inspiring today for tomorrow Mary Poppins
> July 18-21
Mary Poppins Inspiring today for tomorrow 5
STEM > Seeding
Avila College adopts a STEM-4-ALL approach to female leadership
teaming Year 8's with Grade 4 students in the laboratory for an
innovative, interactive and inquiry based mentoring program.
‘I loved being Designed to stimulate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
a mentor’ competencies, consolidate learning through mentoring and enhance
‘Working metacognitive, thinking and communication skills, Avila College partnered with
collaboratively primary schools to introduce STEM-4-ALL, an inquiry based seven week program.
‘I now have
Photos: Year 8 students leading experiments in and out of the laboratory
6 Inspiring today for tomorrow STEM Science
Developed by a core group of Avila College
teachers from the Science and Mathematics
departments and in line with the Avila College
motto, "Inspiring Today for Tomorrow", seven
session plans were devised to establish
meaningful mentoring relationships between
secondary and primary school students.
Avila students worked together in teams "At what temperature do different types STEM provides
with their primary school groups and of chocolate melt?" and "How does heat students with
discussed how to develop a good focus affect a chemical reaction?".
question and hypothesis so they could opportunities to
write their own question for investigation. The final sessions focused on analysis be empowered,
as students discussed their data, drew feel comfortable
Before session two, the Year 8 students conclusions, discussed limitations and
met with their assigned teacher to refine finalised their findings. The project to question,
the focus question and talk through each culminated in a presentation evening experiment
group's idea for their experiment. Session attended by parents and the school and lead. By
two focused on the introduction of the community. Some of the comments from structuring safe
concept of variables and how they could Year 8 students involved in the program environments,
be controlled and changed. It also included, “I loved being a mentor”, “work- girls especially
concentrated on the difference between ing collaboratively was fun!” and “I now are more willing
observations and inferences through have a different appreciation of science”. to question and
conducting basic experiments. During this experiment.
session, groups discussed and formalised Overall, approximately one hundred and
the Method and Data Collection for the eighty students across five schools
inquiry question formed from session one. participated in the STEM-4-ALL project.
Much of the success of STEM education
During sessions three and four, the programs focuses on key components
primary school students visited Avila such as: tailored and accessible, open
College to conduct the experiments they ended, connecting with the real world,
had carefully planned in the preceding authentic, engaging and relevant. The
weeks. Students accessed the science STEM-4-ALL program succeeded in
labs and equipment - a learning environ- meeting these components because it
ment that was new and engaging for the was student led.
primary school students - expert staff
and a range of outdoor areas to conduct Avila College is committed to providing
their experiments. The atmosphere in authentic STEM opportunities that promote
these sessions was energised as students sustained engagement and looks forward
explored investigative questions such as to running the program again in 2018 with
"What angle makes a rocket fly further?", a new cohort of students.
Klara Baka | Director of Studies Year 7-9
STEM Science Inspiring today for tomorrow 7
In 1997 a small group of Year 11
students, impassioned by the
words of Aunty Joy Murphy
Wandin and Pat Dodson and
supported by Mrs Anne
Vadiveloo, decided to begin a
small student led group that
would support Aboriginal people
in their work for recognition
and rights. Two decades later,
the Avila Reconciliation Group
continues to be a vibrant,
active and passionate student
led group that meet each Friday
lunchtime and carry on the
vision of the "originals".
8 Inspiring today for tomorrow 20 Years of Reconciliation
This year Avila
was delighted to
welcome some of
Kellie Ann Mc
with Mrs Vadi to
Mrs Christine Valladares
(featured top right) made a
symbolic Tim Tam cake to
celebrate the anniversary.
20 Years of Reconciliation Inspiring today for tomorrow 9
Cuberider is the
ultimate science project.
The chance to create and
program a test platform
for launch in Florida.
No wonder Avila girls
are lining up to be part
Beatrice van Rest | Year 9
10 Inspiring today for tomorrow Cuberider
On August 15 we got up early to watch the rocket that
launched our experiments from the International Space
Station into space. SpaceX Falcon 9, launched successfully
from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 2:31am.
At the beginning of Term 2, Avila and designing our experiments. One The next stage involved designing
students from Years 9 to 11 as well of the first things we did was learn our own experiments. The three
as teachers Mr Baroudi, Mrs about the different types of sensors experiments we have submitted are:
Thom-Tydell, Mrs Clapperton and we would be able to use in our 1. Testing the living conditions of
Ms Kingston came together for the experiments. These sensors were organic life inside the International
first time with a shared interest in attached to a device named ‘Sagan’. Space Station
coding, science and space. With We then learnt how to code the 2. Testing the variations in Earth’s
this came the unique opportunity Sagan using the Python program- magnetic field strength around
to test and launch our own ming language. differing locations in space
experiments in an American Space 3. Testing the acceleration and
Program. Named ‘Cuberider’, our In June, the Cuberider team went rotational velocity of the
science experiment was launched to Lake Bolac for a stratosphere International Space Station
in August with test results arriving balloon launch. The Sagan was Our research and reporting is due
back to us for analysis in October. attached and it took readings from to continue well into 2018 with
different parts of the Earth’s papers to be submitted in Australia
Prior to the launch we prepared by atmosphere. and Florida.
posing questions, setting up tests,
‘It has opened
up a new
science for me’
Cuberider Inspiring today for tomorrow 11
Food Tech Teacher Sue Rowell with Year 9 Food Safari Class
FOOD TECH Who doesn't love food?
How lucky are we to live in such a
multicultural country where migration
has contributed to our food culture.
Food Food Technology students have In Year 10, students learn about
SAFARI the opportunity to learn and menu planning and parents are
experiment in both the domestic the lucky recipients of a formal
Food and cooking is like and commercial kitchen environ- three course meal that has been
a language, translating ments at Avila. carefully planned and prepared.
itself across the world and
gathering people together. Within these fully equipped Senior students take a step back
learning environments we take in time to explore the nutritional
Food Technology teacher students on a culinary journey value of the Hunter Gatherer
Sue Rowell shares the tasty with Food Safari, where they seasonal fare, paleo diet and
travel the globe preparing, indigenous foods.
journey Avila students designing, producing and
embark on in the kitchen. evaluating food. Starting in Throughout all these classes,
Australia, then to Asia, Europe students develop food safety,
and the America's, we learn about communication, planning and
a range of international cuisines time management skills to
in a feast of food and culture. complement their cooking
12 Inspiring today for tomorrow Food Safari
Make your own Avila...
2 cups self raising flour
1 ⁄ 2 tspn salt
1 ⁄ 4 cup fresh herbs chopped
e.g. parsley & chives
2/3 cup milk
1 cup tasty cheese or any
combination of cheeses
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add butter
and rub into flour until mixture resembles
breadcrumbs. Mix in chopped herbs, make
a well in the centre and add milk. Mix with
a flat-bladed knife until mixture forms a
soft dough then turn onto a lightly floured
Knead until smooth and roll out to a 30cm
x 23cm (approx) rectangle. Sprinkle cheese
over, leaving a 1cm strip along 1 long side
and roll up like a Swiss roll. Cut into 12
rounds, taking care not to squash roll.
Lay scrolls flat onto prepared baking tray,
about 3cm apart. Alternatively place in
greased and paper lined round cake tin
close together to create a pull apart.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
Cheese & Herb Scrolls Inspiring today for tomorrow 13
Indonesia Indonesian Study Discovery List
Tour March 2017
> Explore Tirta Gangga
Water Palace > Batik
workshop > Kecak theatre
performance > Visit
Borobudur Temple > Watch
the sunset on Parangristis
beach > Sultans Palace
> Eat, travel, converse
14 Inspiring today for tomorrow Indonesian Tour
New French Study Tour Discovery List
> 5 day French classes at
Calendonia CREIPAC > Breakfast 'Pain
de chocolat' > Ride famous
'Tchou Tchou Train'
> Cruise Amédée Island &
observe marine life > Climb
247 steps of 'Phara Amedee'
> Converse in French > Visit
Tjibaou Cultural Centre
French Tour Inspiring today for tomorrow 15
MUSIC Discovering a New Rhythm
The MUSIC makers
Moving away from the traditional “bow or blow”
approach, the Music Department has revitalised
and reinvented the Year 7 curriculum so students
are empowered to express themselves through sound.
‘We are Students now have the opportunity to choose any instrument they wanted to learn in
creating an class. Offering such a broad range of options in a classroom is groundbreaking as many
instruments do not naturally work well together. “It can be messy” admits Avila Music
orchestral Coordinator Roxane Lascaris, “so we had to rewrite the music they could play together”.
rather than Drawing on Latin American classics like the samba, bossanova, mumbo and even the cha
segregated cha, the Music Department moved the focus from pitch to rhythm. Rather than teaching
brass or wood- “hot cross buns’ in class, students have been learning simple sambas. This new approach
wind sections.’ also allows for prior experience to be acknowledged and celebrated with more complex
rhythms and solo parts.
Year 7 classes
have emerged as The response has been overwhelmingly positive from both students and their audience.
From the ukulele to the bassoon, there are over 20 instruments on offer and the choices
the rhythm have been fascinating. “We were really surprised at the interest in the viola and the French
section rather horn” says Roxane, “as both of these have a rich, deep, haunting sound, but I guess this
than melody and reveals a little about our individual personalities and preferences”.
it sounds great!
16 Inspiring today for tomorrow The Music Makers
Graduating in 1989, Roxane went on to Melbourne University where she completed
a Bachelor of Education majoring in music and French. After working at Glen
Waverley Secondary and the Knox School, Roxane returned to Avila College in
1996 and is currently the Music Coordinator.
Avila Music Coordinator | Class of 1989
‘Music stays What do you remember about your time at Avila?
with you for
life. It makes I lived in the music school! I learnt the double
bass, cello and piano and was part of the
memories, orchestra from 1987. Mrs Mary Saunders was
helps your passionate about the orchestra and it has been
imagination at the heart of the music school and the school's
and allows you rich tradition ever since. I really love Avila, it has
to touch your a strong connection to me and I still remember the
emotions.’ teachers who gave me hope and encouragement
to pursue my dreams.
What does music mean to you?
For me, music draws you near to God.
It softens your spirit, and can be so powerful.
It can make life beautiful even when it is not.
I had a student thank me for letting her choose
to play the cello because "sometimes when
home is not so great, it allows me to escape".
Roxane Lascaris | Alumnae Inspiring today for tomorrow 17
PAOLA DI TROCCHIO
NGV Curator | Fashion & Textiles
Paola Di Trocchio (right) with her mother Isa Di Trocchio. Photo courtesy Mimco
18 Inspiring today for tomorrow Paola Di Trocchio | Alumnae
> 2001 Prize Winner
Left: 200 Years of Australian Fashion (marketing campaign © Virginia Dowzer) Deans Arts
Above: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier 'From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk', Scholarship
installation view Monash
Can you tell us a little bit about a How do you maintain your creativity 2003 NGV Internship
“typical” day in the life of Paola, and from where do you draw your > 2014 Minor Thesis
Curator looks like? inspiration? costume design
in Baz Luhr-
The best thing about this job is that I draw inspiration from the fashion 2006 mann’s Strictly
there is no typical day. Activities might objects themselves. Our archive includes > 2009 Ballroom,
include meeting designers to view around 8,000 pieces from the 5th century Romeo & Juliet
their archives or current collections, to the present day, all of which are like 2010 & Moulin Rouge
meeting with colleagues in conversation mini time capsules which capture a
to discuss the padding on an 18th period in time, designer’s point of view, 2011 NGV
century dress as it is being prepared as well as a particular reflection on Assistant
for display, working with the exhibition beauty, identity or technique. In addition 2014 Curator
designers planning the design and to that, keeping up with contemporary > CURRENT International
concepts for an exhibition, writing an fashion means keeping up with > CURRENT Fashion and
essay for a publication or a label for constantly evolving creativity. For Textiles
display, speaking with the media, example, John Galliano’s tulle portraits
meeting with donors or sponsors for label Maison Martin Margiela Master of Arts
about a forthcoming exhibition, executed by Benjamin Shine are RMIT Fashion
speaking with the general public or breathtaking. Writers like Tim Blanks, Part time
on a panel as part of a public program Anne Hollander and Amy de la Haye
for an exhibition. We also purchase also inspire me, as do curators like Fashion
works for the collection and research Harold Koda, Richard Martin, Andrew Institute of
works for display. Bolton, Judith Clark and Kaat Debo. New York
Paola Di Trocchios | Alumnae Inspiring today for tomorrow 19
Avila provided a
culture that always
seem to say...
‘You can do and
be anything that
you want.’ That
had an enormous
influence on me.
Top | Photographed
for interview with
200 Years of Australian Fashion (marketing campaign © Virginia Dowzer)
What have been your career highlights? Who are your favourite designers to exhibit and
Favourite exhibitions? to wear?
Career highlights have included exhibitions The Any designer that has a unique point of view,
Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the excellent technical execution, intelligence and
Sidewalk to the Catwalk, 200 Years of Australian doesn’t forget the experience of the wearer. As
Fashion, Italian Jewels: Bulgari Style, Dior and Vivienne Westwood said, ‘You have a much better
Yamamoto and Edward Steichen and Art Deco life if you wear impressive clothes.’
Fashion as well as seeing the collection grow and
develop by bringing in works by designers like Where to from here? What would you like to work
Paco Rabanne, United Nude, Christian Dior, Prada on in the future?
and Alexander McQueen. It has been great to see
our audiences grow and develop as more and Further fashion exhibitions, research, publishing
more people discover the resonance of fashion. and engagement with the community. Alongside
my role here, I’m also completing my PhD.
20 Inspiring today for tomorrow Paola Di Trocchio | Alumnae
What advice would you give to Were there any teachers or What at Avila inspired you for
students interested in fashion students who had a significant tomorrow?
and the arts? influence on you?
Avila provided a strong supportive
Identify what you are interested My Literature teacher Mrs culture that always seem to say
in and pursue it straight away. Dallwood encouraged my love ‘You can do and be anything
Don’t wait, try, start, if you fall, of reading and writing and her that you want.’ That had an
get up again. If it doesn’t fit or belief in me was empowering. enormous influence on me.
feel right or work out or take My history teacher Mrs Stewart
off, change direction, and don’t encouraged my love of learning. Do you still keep in touch with
forget to pause, smile and smell I wanted to be her. French was your Avila network?
the roses. such a great thing to learn at
high school and my French I met my best friend at Avila in
Most memorable moments teacher Mrs Laverture’s passion Year 7 while we were completing
from Avila? was contagious. I use that community service together.
French every time I go to Paris She’s a really important part of
There were many. I loved going and think of her every time. My my life. We still meet for break-
to school. I loved my friends. art teacher Mrs Leahy encouraged fast every week.
And I loved my teachers. I had a my love of art. I remember being
really great time. Actually, thrilled when Mrs Salvatore, the Current hobbies, interests and
maybe the best moment was school principal took the time passions.
when I was called up by The Age to call every single Year 12
and they asked if they could student individually into her Travel. And rather than my list
publish one of my essays. I still office to wish us luck. To me she shortening, it seems to be
remember, they called on the said, ‘Make sure you go some- getting longer. I used to mainly
home phone during dinner time where big. You won’t thrive in a go to the fashion capitals Paris,
and asked to speak to me and small pool.’ London, New York, Milan, or
then if they could publish it. It sites of specialised fashion
was surreal. I had always museums like Antwerp and
wanted to be a published writer. Florence, but now I like my
nature getaways too, like Uluru
and the Blue Mountains.
Paola Di Trocchio | Alumnae Inspiring today for tomorrow 21
Jess Cook (Class of 2004) currently lives in Sydney, close to Bondi Beach and works for
the Sydney Swans Football Club as the General Manager of Marketing and Integration.
GM Marketing & Integration | Sydney Swans Football Club
photo below: 2016 Grand Final Parade
every girl was
different and had
the right amount
of flex and
tolerance to help
After graduating from Avila College in 2004, Jess Cook studied PR/Communications
at RMIT and interned at the Essendon Football Club. Following a variety of media,
PR and marketing roles in cricket (including the Big Bash League) in Australia and
India, Jess relocated north to work with the Sydney Swans Football Club. Currently
the General Manager of Marketing and Integration, Jess has been a finalist at B&T’s
Women in Media awards in the Rising Media Star category and also shortlisted
for 30 under 30’s Marketing and PR achievers. Passionate about her career, Jess
acknowledges that “sport has this unifying impact as it’s so ingrained in Australian
culture - we have a platform with reach, bridging social, gender and racial divides,
and importantly fuelling daily water cooler/dinner debates around the country!”
22 Inspiring today for tomorrow Jess Cook | Alumnae
Can you tell us a little bit about your role 2004 Graduated
at the Sydney Swans? Avila College
Every single day is different; I oversee What advice would you give to students 2005
marketing, advertising, brand planning interested in working in marketing/ > 2008 RMIT
and protection, media and apparel sport? Bachelor of
partnerships and commercial integration. PR and Com-
This could involve anything from Sport is a high interest industry and 2008 munications
creating a TV ad, to the design of a can be difficult to break into. Build > 2011
your experience early via internships/ Cricket
Jess and her volunteer positions and be prepared 2011 Victoria
fiancé, Teo to work hard. Digital is now default – Public Relations
at the 2016 make sure you have skills in this area and Media
Brownlow regardless of what you study as it’s not
Medal going anywhere and will continue to Indian Premier
develop quickly. League
club guernsey, membership campaign Media &
or working with Club sponsors to What are your most memorable 2011 Broadcast
better connect with our fans. moments from Avila? > 2013 Manager
Were there any teachers or students who
had a significant influence on you? High school was fun, I loved learning, 2013 Melbourne
Ms. Angela Boston – a hard, firm but spending every day with great people > 2014 Stars
fair lady. I guess you might say I was a and developing friends for life! Horse Media & PR
challenging student at times and she riding camp in Year 9 was a highlight Manager
kept me in line! along with playing in the netball team Twenty3
over the years. Sport &
What at Avila inspired you for tomorrow? PR Manager
It was an environment conducive with 2015 Monash
helping you achieve whatever worked University
for you (academic, sport, arts, music Teaching
etc.) – the school appreciated every girl Associate - PR
was different and had the right amount Melbourne
of flex and tolerance to help you Stars
accomplish your personal best. Comms and
Do you still keep in touch with your Avila 2014 Manager
network? > CURRENT
Yes absolutely, I am still very close to Commerical
my group of girlfriends! We’re heavy in Contracts
the wedding and babies phase at the
moment! Sydney Swans
B&T - Women
Jess Cook | Alumnae Inspiring today for tomorrow 23
Santa Teresa Community Placement | Psychology Student
photo: The best way to keep cool is take a dip in the pool with the local kids
‘There is no Avila Class of 2014 Alumnae Miranda what got them to school and ensured
other environment Koroknai has recently returned to they had a good meal for the day”.
that I have come Melbourne after spending a year living
and working at the school in Santa Starting at 5.45am each morning,
across which Teresa. Located 80km from Alice Miranda and the team would cook up
offer as many Springs and with a population of 700, breakfasts of eggs, beans, cereal and
opportunities in Miranda first visited this remote toast and keep going through to lunch.
life like Avila.’ indigenous community as a member of “We would cut up hundreds of oranges
the Year 10 Immersion tour group. She or melons from the orchard, make
couldn’t wait to get back. muesli bars and create healthy alter-
natives to the chips and pizza many of
“The school is a central hub for the the kids wanted!” Miranda would then
community” explains Miranda, “offering spend the afternoon in the classroom
a range of programs like first aid as as a teacher’s assistant.
well as primary and secondary classes.
We provided breakfast, morning tea Miranda loved spending time with the
and lunch for the kids, which was often children and seeing the whole community
get involved in school activities like the
24 Inspiring today for tomorrow Miranda da Koroknai | Alumnae
sports carnival, swimming day and even book week. “They are living 2014 Graduated
in absolute poverty” she reflects “but still have a smile on their face.” Avila College
Miranda became close to her co-workers and was often invited to their homes > 2017 Santa Teresa
and out bush to eat kangaroo tails. Perhaps the biggest challenge during her School
time in the community was learning how to adjust to a different pace of life. 2017 Community
“No one had watches or kept track of time” she explains, “and I had to adapt > PRESENT & Teaching
to doing things without a schedule or back up plan.” Internship
Santa Teresa School Deakin
grounds on Alice Road Bachelor of
Celebrating a local Avila
Baptism (centre): Santa Reconciliation
Teresa community Group
members making bush Member
medicine (right): Avila
Now back in Melbourne Miranda is studying psychology so that she can develop 'We are all just
new skills that would be useful in communities like Santa Teresa. Passionate people. Accepting
about equality and acceptance, the former Avila Fire Carrier firmly believes each other aside
that education will help bridge the gap between communities. from the challenges
or issues we may
Miranda still helps out with reconciliation activities at Avila and encourages face will help
all students to participate in Rec Group. “It is such a vibrant group and offers bridge the gap.'
the chance to meet and network with other people with similar views and values.”
”The opportunities provided at Avila really made this adventure possible.”
Miranda da Koroknai | Alumnae Inspiring today for tomorrow 25
STAFF ALUMNAE ANNE STEPHENS
Director of Pastoral Care (Year 7-9) | Avila College
School Photo 1971 | Bottom: Form Two 1972
My Avila Mrs Anne Stephens
STC President (nee Sowersby)
Cup awarded to has a long and rich
me in 1976. Avila College.
Graduating in the
Class of 1976, Anne
has taught at Avila
College since 2008.
‘I returned to My first association with Avila College trees and fallen logs, on which we sat
Avila College began when I was six years old. I was a and had our lunch.
because it had student at St. Leonards, Glen Waverley
such a reputation when Avila began in the portables on Avila’s present day uniform is now a
for social justice our oval. I remember watching the ‘big’ wonderful blue, designed to suit all
Avila girls heading into class in their colourings and body types. Not so the
within the new uniforms and wanting to be just 1970s’ version. The original uniform
community.’ like them. was a combination of: grey blazer,
maroon jumper, brown socks and
In 1971, Avila still had a very rural shoes and a pale blue shirt. Much as I
ambience to it. Set amongst a thinned- love the school, I have to say that the
out forest of tall gums, the ‘pioneers’ uniform was ugly.
had committed to maintaining the
native gardens around the school. What have you found has remained
There were really only a few main the same - or is consistent?
buildings; what are now the senior
school, the Year Ten corridor, the Old The Principals of the school at this
Junior Building and the Staff Room. time were two wonderful, intelligent
The fake grass was real grass. The women who really helped to form my
teachers’ car park was a setting of values and, I believe, the values of the
school, which remain today. They were
26 Inspiring today for tomorrow Anne Stephens | Alumnae
two Presentation sisters who inculcated What brought you back to Avila? 1976 Graduated
in us Nano Nagle’s creed of ‘Deeds, not 1977 Avila College
Words’; Sister Raymonde Taylor and Teachers that were employed here > 1979
Sister Josepha Dunlop. They emphasised spoke highly of the then principal, Liz Monash
our duty to pursue social justice and to Gleeson. Sue Bourke, the Curriculum 1980 University
fight for the rights of the downtrodden leader at the time was not afraid to Bachelor of
in our communities. This is what I try new ideas and to work collegially 2001 Arts
believe is still alive in the Avila spirit with her peers. It was a place where I
today. This is what I hope stays alive in wanted to be. 2010 Monash
its spirit, going into the future. University
Now, I am the Director of Pastoral Care Diploma of
Can you tell us a little bit about your for Years 7 to 9. It is a new role and one Education
pathway after school and your career. that is slowly evolving. One thing is for
Although I was accepted into sure, though; I feel a connection to the Masters
Melbourne University Law, I decided students at this school that I haven’t Monash
to take up Monash University’s offer in felt at any other. I want their happiness Religion &
the Arts faculty. I just wasn’t sure that and their success. I want them to feel Society
I wanted to become a lawyer, despite my pride in being an Avila girl.
the prestige of such a path. I think I Masters
made the right decision. Below: Child of the Seventies 1981 Educational
Bottom: Excerpts from my time > 1982 Leadership
I continued on to complete my Diploma at Avila with friends & teachers
of Education. My entire teaching career 1983 Killester
has been in Catholic girls’ schools. I > 1984 College
put this down to having three brothers
and three sons. I love them all very 1994 Star of
dearly but I decided to spend my > 2001 the Sea
working life in the company of women.
I may write a book about this in my 2002 Our Lady
retirement so treat me well, or you may > 2007 of Sion
appear in one of its chapters!
What do you enjoy doing outside of > CURRENT College
work? Family? Hobbies?
As I’ve matured, I have found time to Director of
follow some of my interests. I’m a Pastoral Care
member of the National Gallery of
Victoria, a regular at the Melbourne
Symphony Orchestra concerts, a member
of the newly formed teachers’ book club
and a regular walker with some of my
colleagues. Those who know me
will also say that I love to shop!
Anne Stephens | Alumnae Inspiring today for tomorrow 27
New Colombo Plan Scholar | Fiji
photo: Genevieve Townsend
‘Keep your Why did you select Fiji? with many fantastic organisations that
options open, have provided me with opportunities
reflect on your My interest in the Pacific Islands was to gain knowledge and have real
learnings, get out sparked by a trip to the National responsibilities in research, public
of your comfort Gallery of Victoria. I was excited to hear speaking, event organising, training
zone & surround from artists that explored ideas around (and many other things). I can now
yourself with climate change and community. Whilst ‘join the dots’, seeing how these
people that help the Pacific regions neighbour our opportunities have led me to pursuing
you to do your country, many Australians have not study and internships in the arts in Fiji.
best and who connected with the diverse cultures
respect you and across the water. I pitched my vision In my first year of University I joined
for strengthening the arts, and I was the Amnesty International club and
your value.’ fortunate to be selected for the New was fortunate enough to be the ‘Events
Colombo Plan Scholarship (NCPS). Manager’. Issues surrounding human
rights aren’t always a fun topic and
What are the pathways that have led so our team had to try new tactics to
you here after leaving school? engage students on campus. I quickly
learned that creativity and innovation
Since leaving school, I have engaged
28 Inspiring today for tomorrow Genevieve Townsend | Alumnae
is very important to being a leader. own biases and world view. As a NCPS, 2013 Graduated
After this I casually volunteered with I wish to represent Australia in networking Avila College
the Australian Youth Climate Coalition with different people and organisations 2014
(AYCC), then took on a more committed across the region. > 2020 Monash
role at Oaktree – a youth-led organisation What areas would you like to work in Bachelor of
in the movement to end poverty. after you graduate? 2014 Arts (Sociology)
& Bachelor of
Genevieve recieving I can see myself working in Arts Policy, 2014 Visual Arts
the New Columbo Plan Arts Research, Arts Organisations or > 2015
perhaps Community Organisations Amnesty
Scholarship from with a creative program. 2014 International
Julia Bishop & Govenor What advice would you give to other > 2017 Events
Gen. Sir Peter Cosgrove girls who are interested in pursuing Manager
similar opportunities? 2016 >
I then decided to dedicate my volun- I started Uni with no solid idea about PRESENT AYCC
teering energy towards something that my career goals. You don’t need to Team
aligned with my career aspirations: my know your end destination when you CURRENT Member
friends and I started up an art gallery begin Tafe or University. Rather, I
in Dandenong. Connection Arts Space strongly recommend reflecting on Oaktree
Inc. exists to use art for a better world. what you enjoy doing and what your Executive
We worked hard to recruit new people strengths are. Don’t be afraid to try Assistant,
and strengthen our team so I could extra curricular activities, even if you’re People &
leave CAS in July 2017, to begin my the only person in your friendship Culture
scholarship program in Fiji. I recommend group to do so! If you aren’t sure –
volunteering to other young people, then perhaps take a gap year and Connection
who are fortunate to have the spare volunteer with some organisations to Arts Space
time to do so! I've learnt so much from help you find out. Getting out of your Co-Founder &
friends, mentors, and by 'learning on comfort zone never feels easier, so Director
the job'. stay curious and remember to look
What are your goals for the 6 months after yourself too. New
whilst you are away? Colombo Plan
Through studies at the University of Scholarship
the South Pacific, I seek to better 6mth study
understand contemporary issues that & 6mth
are impacting Fiji and the Pacific more internship |
broadly. I wish to be a researcher that Fiji Placement
is reflective and self-aware about my
Genevieve Townsend | Alumnae Inspiring today for tomorrow 29
Doctor of Dental Surgery
photo right: Graduation day with
Mum (Trish) and Dad (Clive).
Top to bottom: Volunteering in Cambodia,
Visiting local kindergartens for Dental Health Week,
Working at The Royal Children’s Hospital Good
‘My teachers had What attracted you to dental surgery You have volunteered for a number
an incredible as an area of study and career of different organisations whilst
influence on studying, what has this meant to you?
my learning Dentistry is science-based, creative,
hands-on and has a strong patient focus. I was introduced to some volunteer
experience and It’s a profession that encompasses opportunities through work and
my desire to everything I was looking for in a career. university; however, I organised the
However, it wasn’t until I spent a day majority of events myself. Don’t be
pursue particular observing my local dentist (I am now afraid to get in contact with charities
areas of study.’ working at the practice!) that I fell in that support ideas you’re passionate
love with dentistry. about. For me, volunteering was a no
brainer. It is a great way to give back to
What advice would you give to girls the community and can be very rewarding.
interested in STEM subjects and areas
of work? What are your most memorable
moments from Avila?
Go for it! Don’t be afraid of these
subjects. They are challenging, but at Public speaking and debating
the same time extremely rewarding competitions; travelling to Geelong
and exciting. These areas of work are in every year for softball; the entire
need of strong, intelligent women. school singing “everyday” at the top
Surround yourself with enthusiastic of their lungs at Mass.
and focused individuals, be inspired by
others and don’t be afraid to ask Do you still keep in touch with your
questions. Avila network?
Where to from here? What are your I still keep in touch with my group of
next steps? friends from Avila. Although we all lead
busy lives and sometimes don’t see
After studying for seven years at each other as much as we’d like to,
university, I’m enjoying full time work. when we do come together, it’s like
In the future, I would like to work in nothing has changed. These girls are
rural and regional Australia. lifelong friends!
30 Inspiring today for tomorrow Rachelle Welti | Alumnae
The Gen Squad ARCHIVES
Three talented women tell how Avila was, and still is, a landmark in their
shared history. One school, three generations, endless possibilities.
by Gemma Di Bari
When you build on a solid foundation the results Tarquinn O'Toole, Dzintra Boyd & Gill Goldworthy
are rewarding. Tarquinn O’Toole of Year 9 could
certainly attest to this. In 1965, her stepfather’s,
grandfather, George Dore, built the original Junior
school. Tarquinn’s grandmother Gill and mother
Dzintra are also a part of Avila’s history.
All three women have In 1994, Tarquinn’s mother, Dzintra Boyd began her
walked through the gates secondary education at the college. For Dzintra,
of the school creating their her best memories were mostly around her
own unique story. involvement in the Creative Arts Festival and the
Avila/Mazenod musical. She was a student who
In 1987 Tarquinn’s grandmother, Gill Goldworthy gravitated towards Music and Drama and found
began teaching at the college. She was employed enjoyment and fulfilment in creative pursuits.
as a Geography and English teacher initially but When she was at school she was told by her
went on to teach General Studies, deportment teachers that she had an aptitude for writing. It is
and after several years took on the role of Year 7 therefore not surprising that Dzintra has gone on
Co-ordinator. Gill said that from the beginning, to become an accomplished writer, winning the
teaching at the school was, “a full rounded Stringybark prize for Young Adult Short Fiction.
experience that was more than a job for pay but She currently teaches the Professional Writing and
rather a place that gave me great friends.” Gill Editing Programs at RMIT University.
taught at Avila for 27 years.
As a mother, Dzintra felt that giving her daughter
Tarquinn the opportunity to attend Avila was going
to provide rewarding and diverse opportunities.
Tarquinn began in 2015. She speaks highly of her
first year at Avila because, as she said, it was a time
when she was directed towards new possibilities.
Like her mother, Tarquinn has a passion for drama
and as a result Tarquinn joined the Junior Drama
Club and got involved in the Drama Festival. When
asked what she considers is the highlight about
being at Avila, Tarquinn said that her friendships
as well as her learning have made her who she
The Gen Squad Inspiring today for tomorrow 31
> Class of 2007
> Ten Years of VCAL
32 Inspiring today for tomorrow Reunions
Reunions Inspiring today for tomorrow 33
> Class of 1997
> Class of 1992
Reunions Inspiring today for tomorrow 35
> Class of 1977
36 Inspiring today for tomorrow Reunions
SAVE THE DATE
Follow us on Facebook @AvilaCollegeMelbourne
This is your chance to re-connect with your class buddies at the ultimate Avila Reunion. Wth classes
reaching back 50 years, stories to tell and memories to rekindle, make sure you register for this event.
Follow us on Facebook for more details.
Avila Parents + Friends Association 200 Years of Australian Fashion (marketing campaign © Virginia Dowzer)
Avila College | The Gathering Space
March 8International Women's Day
Up close with
PAOLA DI TROCCHIO
NGV Curator | Fashion & Textiles
The Avila PFA is proud to present the first in a series of breakfast events. Join us for this inspiring look
into the world of international fashion with NGV Curator & Avila Alumnae, Paola Di Trocchio
Time: 7.00-8.30am | Cost: $10 | Bookings Essential: www.trybooking/342352