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Class of 2006
What is your current position and what led you to this role?
I’m a lawyer at the Northern Land Council (NLC) in Darwin. The NLC represents the rights and interests of Aboriginal people from Tennant Creek to the northern tip of the NT. A day in the life of an average NLC lawyer could include anything from instructing Senior Counsel in land rights litigation to negotiating the terms of an agreement with a safari hunter to take wild buffalo or crocodile eggs from Aboriginal land. (Fun fact: Our crocodile eggs become Hermès handbags. Finest skins around!)
While the NLC’s practice is diverse, mine is relatively specialised. I deal with mining, petroleum and infrastructure projects on Aboriginal land. Where my clients instruct me to refuse consent or object to a particular development, it’s my job to use the legal mechanisms available to ensure their land, sacred sites and rights are protected. Where my clients want a project to proceed, I help to negotiate the best terms possible. Where there is disagreement between my clients about a project, I need to help mediate a resolution.
My work takes me all over the NT in troopies, teeny-tiny planes and precarious looking choppers to remote Aboriginal communities, outstations and pastoral properties. (Another fun fact: Alexandria Pastoral Station is larger than East Timor).
I came to the role seeking adventure. I had always wanted to work out bush (thanks for the inspo Dolly Parton) and practice environmental law. At 21, I wasn’t quite up for donning a pinstripe suit so did a rudimentary Google search for remote jobs. I landed the job at the NLC by phone on a Thursday and touched down in Darwin for the first time four days later. My Dad said I wouldn’t last six months. That was more than five years ago!
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (personally or professionally)?
I’ve worked on some great projects, however one of my best experiences was stepping outside the mining bubble and working on the landmark case of Rrumburriya Borroloola Group v Northern Territory. The traditional owners of Borroloola, a rural outstation near the border of Queensland, had been fighting for land rights for more than 20 years by the time the case was listed for hearing before the Federal Court and I came on the scene as an instructing solicitor. The matter revolved around whether my clients had the right to take and use the resources on their land ‘for any purpose’, including trade and commerce. It may seem logical that a person should be able to use the things that grow on their land for business, but the right had not been successfully established in native title law in the NT before this case.
Evidence collection was fairly grueling. My clients (many of whom were elderly) and I spent several weeks in 40+ degree heat in Borroloola over the Wet Season walking all through the claim area documenting bush tucker, bush medicines, ceremony grounds, hunting grounds and fishing spots to prove the obvious: that they had always used and continue to use the resources on their land. Thankfully Justice Mansfield agreed and ruled in their favour in 2016. Beautiful artwork by many of my clients depicting Borroloola region and their resources can be purchased through the community’s grass-roots art centre here: www.waralungku.com.
In what ways has your experience at MGC had an impact on your career and who you are today?
MGC encourages strong, smart women that value social justice and recognise the importance of other cultures, not unlike famed Yorta Yorta and Wurundjeri woman Hyllus Maris, the namesake of Maris House. I like to think some of that ethos has rubbed off on me (notwithstanding I was actually a Chisholm gal).
What was your most memorable moment as a MGC student?
There are too many to count. Flying in a Cessna for the first time as an Air Cadet was a fabulous experience that prepared me for the go-cart-with-wings that I now frequently enjoy in the NT. Survival camp was also excellent and cemented my love for camping. However, my most memorable moment would have to be getting absolutely admonished by my coordinator for deflating teachers’ tires when I was 14 in an act of petty rebellion. I’m not sure whose tires I deflated or why, but I’m still sorry.
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My teaching career has been spent in girls’ education and I feel extremely fortunate to have called MGC my place of work for the past 10 years. It is a wonderful environment for teaching and learning. Starting out as a part time staff member as assistant to the International Student Program Coordinator I then moved back into the classroom as a Chemistry, Psychology, Junior Science and Junior Chinese teacher. I have had experience of leadership as a Science Leader, as the Year 10 and 11 Level Leader and now as Assistant Principal. My current role includes Professional Learning and the oversight of Year 11 and 12.
I love the dynamic nature of schools. Working with a large staff and student population is never dull. Under Karen Money’s Principalship our Professional Learning focuses on what teachers can do to make a difference to student outcomes. Teachers work together to analyse evidence of their impact and to identify strategies for improvement. Another focus is that of student and staff wellbeing. This year we have introduced a whole school mindfulness program. We use the Smiling Mind App to present short mindfulness sessions once a day to each of our classes. The response from students, staff and parents has been tremendous. Spending time on such an initiative is a recognition of the pressures our young people face and the benefits of “time out”.
MGC deserves its reputation for excellence. The leadership teams, staff and students of past and current years have helped shape the school. I am honoured to be part of this rich and diverse community. It is a privilege to be working with the MGC Alumni.
Two years ago I assumed the privilege of becoming the first President of the new MGC Alumni Association. We were an organisation without members or an executive board. Unlike most schools which are steeped in history, our school was only 20 years old and starting something from scratch seemed like an enormous feat. The first step was to track down graduates to see if they were interested in forming an alumni association. About a dozen past students from a range of year levels attended our first meeting. We agreed upon the association’s goals and objectives and scheduled a date for a follow up meeting. At our second meeting we nominated and elected our board members. The board was comprised of a couple of university students and a handful of young professionals working in diverse fields all of whom were willing to donate their time, skills and efforts to create an alumni association.
I got in touch with other schools and their alumni associations to find out how they formed their alumni associations. I was determined to do it right, because if it wasn’t done properly now then it would be a disaster and the next generation would suffer. With my legal training, I was well placed to create the association’s by-laws to guide the association’s operation, and set out its objectives, organisational structure, membership, roles and responsibilities. I spent a lot of time researching and seeing what we wanted to do. We decided that we wanted to create a platform to strengthen connections with past students and encourage them to participate actively in the school community. To accomplish this we created a database to provide a two-way communication link between the school and its alumni. To date, we have 647 alumni registered on our database. We also wanted to organise networking, social events and class reunions for alumni, and publish a quarterly e-newsletter to promote the achievements of MGC students and staff both past and present. This newsletter is our 7th issue and it has been so encouraging to see the positive response from our alumni. We also wanted to provide opportunities for alumni to give back to the school by creating a mentoring program, providing opportunities for alumni to speak to current students, and offer work experience placements to our senior school students.
It is difficult for me to summarise in a single message the incredible experiences I have had over the past two years. However, a highlight would definitely have to be organising the school’s 21st celebration. We had an amazing alumni turnout for the event including all of the school’s current and former principals and assistant principals. A truly enjoyable celebration of our school and community. Most importantly though, I have cherished the opportunity to meet and work with such inspiring staff, students, alumni, and friends of the school.
As I prepare to leave office, I want to personally thank everyone on the executive board for your support over the past 2 years. Serving as your President has been an honour and a privilege. I ask that you welcome our next President along with all of the new board members. Please continue to support the alumni association. We must each resolve to “give back” to the school to which we owe so much. And please join the MGC Alumni Association Facebook page. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your President and I look forward to our future with great anticipation.
Class of 1999
All information and statistics are based on data provided by VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre). There may be slight variances to this data as the offer rounds proceed, however major changes are not anticipated.
In total, 214 students completed their VCE studies at MGC in 2016. Of the 214 students who completed VCE, 205 students applied for at least one course through the VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre) system. Of the other 9 students who did not apply:
Early International, Round 1 and Round 2 Offer figures identified these statistics:
Number of students who have received an offer: 195 (96.06%)
Total number of students with more than one offer: 37 (18.23%)
Number of students with no offer: 8
Number of CSP/Govt subsidised offers: 195
Number of FEE based offers (Independent Tertiary Provider): 5
Number of Fee Type Determined by Provider offers (TAFE): 12
Number of International offers: 28
The 2016/2017 selection cycle included the opportunity for students to change their preference order after they received an offer and before the next round of offers. For this reason, the data on preference position of offers is ever changing.
After Early International, Round 1 and Round 2 Offers, there were 10 students who applied through the VTAC system and had not received an offer. The number of students choosing not to apply through the VTAC system (and completed their VCE) was similar to 2015.
Institutes - Tertiary Offers after Early International, Round 1 & Round 2
(the numbers below include institutions who made more than one offer to VTAC applicants)
Where They Were Offered
Monash University was the institution to make the most offers to VTAC applicants in rounds one and two with 22.12%. In comparison to the 2015 cohort, this was an increase of 1.8%. We also saw a decrease of 6.1% in the number of offers from Melbourne University compared to 2015 in the first two rounds. As a result of this, there was a slight increase in the number of offers made from some other institutions when comparing it to 2015 but nothing too significant. The popularity of institutes remained rather consistent with previous years.
What they are studying (been offered)
It is important to note that when looking at this data, it gives a great overview of the types of areas students will move into but it doesn’t necessarily show the great flexibility of some courses. As institutes change their course offerings, it becomes difficult to compare data from year to year as the Field of Education category can also be affected by these changes. Keeping this in mind, the only significant change from 2015 was an increase of 12 offers for both the Creative Arts field as well as Management and Commerce.
2016 Year 12 ATAR Outcomes Table
The nomination period for Alumni Association Board positions, including president and vice president, is now open. The Alumni Association Board is a group of volunteers who are responsible for implementing and overseeing all alumni programs and activities that link alumni back to the College and with each other. Meeting four times a year, board members generously donate their time, skills and efforts during the meetings and to projects conducted and completed outside of meetings. A position on the Alumni Association Board provides the opportunity to learn valuable public relations and communications skills through events planning, communications, marketing, teamwork and networking. Being involved with the Alumni Association fosters a relationship with other graduates and connects you with a network of hundreds of other professionals.
To be eligible to serve on the Alumni Association Board, candidates:
About the Alumni Board
Board members are expected to:
If you are interested in joining the Board or willing to help organise alumni events, please contact Tip Kennedy, Assistant Principal at [email protected]
Ashley Clappers, Class of 2009
On Saturday, December 17th, 2016, Ashley Clappers married Nick Lacey. The wedding was held at Poets Lane in the Dandenongs.
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