The Somerville House OGA Annual General Meeting was held this past Thursday 19th November, 2020. We are pleased to announce the following positions on the OGA Committee for 2021 and the President's Report for 2020;
President Liz Washington (Class of 1998)
Vice President Rebecca Bauer (Class of 1988)
Vice President Kara Rodwell (Ferguson, Class of 1991)
Treasurer Pretoria Bilinski (Class of 1987)
Vice Treasurer Sue Folliott (Class of 1980)
Secretary Gaye Pitman (Class of 1971) and Long standing Teacher at Somerville House
Vice Secretary Trudy Naylor (Class of 1991)
Congratulations to the following OGA members who hold General Committee positions;
Miriam Musgrave (Bauer, Class of 1990; Reunion Co-ordinator)
Kelly McIntyre (Class of 1997)
Beverly Folliott (Class of 1959)
Barbara Duhig (Class of 1955)
Louissa Jesson McIntyre (Class of 1991)
Michelle Wells (Class of 1993)
The committee would like to pay tribute to the important contributions of outgoing Committee Member and Acting/Vice President 2016 and 2017/2018 President Alison Kolb for her leadership of the OGA during turbulent times at Somerville House and her professionalism at all times. We thank Alison for her calm perseverence and stewardship of the OGA ensuring Old Girls were represented as key stakeholders in all proposed changes and management over this period of time. Under Alison's leadership she also ensured the modernisation of the OGA Business plan and Consititution as well as pioneered the Success in Stilettos Networking Events. We also thank outgoing committee member Dominque Layt who has been instrumental and invaluable in the development of the most recent OGA Business Plan. Dominique is currently the Board Chair of the Somerville House Foundation. We look forward to continued relationships with both Alison and Dominque.
Alison Kolb (Class of 2004; Acting/Vice President 2016 and OGA President 2017, 2018)
Dominque Layt (Class of 1987; Committee Member 2017 - 2020)
SOMERVILLE HOUSE OLD GIRLS’ ASSOCIATION REPORT
PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2020
The OGA continues to go from strength to strength, led by a Committee that is rich in diversity of talent, experience, corporate governance, strategy and enthusiasm – but most importantly, a Committee that is truly devoted to supporting its members.
The Association has a proud history of assisting Old Girls and the wider Somerville House community in times of need, and this certainly shined through in 2020.
Our COVID Crisis Response saw our Committee and community rally, from accommodation and business services through to financial assistance, Junior school pen pals and wellbeing calls.
Headed by Tracey Martin, the Rural and Regional Network organised virtual coffee dates, connecting past students across our country.
Throughout this crisis, the OGA has made it clear that if you are an Old Girl of Somerville House, you never walk alone.
This year the OGA website brought us closer together than ever before, through events, e-newsletters, reunions, celebratory stories, career opportunities and the Old Girl Business Directory. Thanks again to Kara Rodwell, who has single handedly managed the significant work that goes into maintaining this OGA asset.
2020 Highlights included:
· The inaugural School Leavers Panel and Lunch, where we welcomed our newest Old Girls; the graduating class of 2020
· Speech night prize audit, and the launch of the OGA Sporting Spirit Award
· Launch of the Isabel Bauer OGA Bursary
· Career Development Scholarship – Donated by the Somerville House Foundation and the Old Girls' Association.
· Teachers and Staff of Honour list launched on the OGA website
· Launch of the OGA Mentoring Program, with thanks to Jillian Kingsford-Smith
· Annual Commemoration Day celebrations hosted online for the first time since the celebration was held in 1900, featuring a keynote address by Old Girl and acclaimed author, Jackie Frank AM
With Rebecca Bauer stepping into a new role on the PMSA Nominations Committee, she has been required to step down from her role as the OGA appointed Director on the Foundation. We thank Rebecca for her immense work with the Foundation over the past two years and also acknowledge the contribution she is making at PMSA head office and School Council levels, in assisting with the implementation of best practice recruitment principles and ensuring stellar candidates are appointed to their councils and boards.
This year the OGA, Foundation and P&F asked the School Council to review the purpose and effectiveness of the Advisory Committee, which has traditionally involved quarterly meetings between the three stakeholder groups and the School Council. The Somerville House Futures was born from this review; a strategy that replaces the One Somerville concept with a strategic framework that connects the Old Girls into the School’s planning and service delivery agenda. This means that in addition to the OGA President and School Principal’s quarterly meetings, Advisory Committee meetings will be replaced by focused meetings with the OGA, relevant School Council members and School Executive members on approximately six occasions throughout the year. We look forward to these commencing in 2021.
The OGA also actively supported the Council in the recruitment of new members this year, and looks forward to welcoming a new Chair for the Somerville House School Council in 2021, bringing new leadership that, alongside Principal Kim Kiepe, will take the school into its next era.
This year we farewell Dominique Layt and OGA Past President Alison Kolb from the Committee, with heartfelt thanks for their contributions to our Association in recent years – we will still their friendly faces at OGA events!
Many thanks to the OGA Committee for its work this year through difficult circumstances, especially the Executive Committee (Gaye, Pretoria, Kara, Rebecca, Trudy and Sue) and a special mention to acknowledge Rebecca and Kara’s tireless work. Thank you also to Trudy for generously hosting us for the 2020 AGM.
2021 will be my last year as OGA President. In the year ahead I look forward to creating a new Business Plan for the OGA, welcoming new members into the Committee – from across the many generations of Somerville women - and working with the School and Foundation on their masterplan projects.
And finally, Isabel is in all of our hearts tonight. She has been a constant presence at this table since 1971, and although she might not physically be here with us, her spirit will always be felt in the OGA – through Rebecca and Miriam – and also through the vibrant Old Girl passion she evoked in all of us. Thank you, Isabel.
You don't need to be on the Committee to be involved in the OGA. Want to know more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep a look out for communication regarding OGA Meeting dates for 2021. We welcome all Old Girls to attend General Meetings.