Commemoration Day 2021 - Old Girl Awards announced

Commemoration Day 2021 was celebrated with the introduction of the annual Old Girl and Young Old Girl Awards. 

President Liz Washington spoke of the importance of Commemoration Day and highlighted the history of Somerville House, which didn't begin in the current, beautiful buildings but was born in a basement, fuelled and funded by sheer bravery, perseverance and passion. That energy passes through every student, through the generations, and is a part of the individual legacies of Somerville House students. She encouraged others to think of Commemoration Day as a reminder, to harness this in our lives every day of the year. 

Key note, Old Girl speaker Rebecca Oelkers (Class of 1987), CEO of BHC (formerly Brisbane Housing Company) provided an entertaining and motivating speech to the students and Old Girls. Rebecca didn’t travel a linear career path, and had lots of inspiring stories about being open to opportunities and developing personal agility. Rebecca received the 2018 UDIA Women in Leadership Award for her work in the field of Community and Affordable Housing. At Brisbane Housing Company, Rebecca leads the largest Community Housing Provider in Queensland, assisting over 3,000 low income households since its inception in 2002.

The Old Girl Award for 2021 was awarded to the Honourable Anthe Philippides (Class of 1976) with Abigail Green (Class of 2017) recipient of the Young Old Girl Award. Please see the news digest this week with a feature on Anthe Philippides HERE and our previous feature on Abigail Green HERE. Both ladies had the opportunity to address the assembly to pass on key lessons learnt on their journey so far. We offer CONGRATULATIONS to both Old Girls, who are exceptional!

On behalf of the OGA, Liz Washington presented the School with a plaque to celebrate 120 years of the Old Girls' Association. The plaque will be located in the Heritage Heart precinct.

It was so lovely to see such a great turnout to the event including a number of three generation families, who took the opportunity to catch-up and celebrate the School's Birthday. We were delighted to see Pamela Davenport, who was able to attend due to the assistance of Ruth Gabriel (Class of 1970). After the Commemoration Day service, many Old Girls stayed to enjoy lunch in the Honour Room, Foundation Building.  While the lunch is traditionally served in Cumbooquepa, the COVID safe requirements meant a larger venue was required.  Somerville House students kindly assisted guests and provided attentive service at the lunch.  

Somerville House 3rd Generation families

L Jess McFarland (Class of 2022), Tracey McFarland (Hunter) (Class of 1990), and Susan Dean (Vickery) (Class of 1966)

R Alice Coutel (Class of 2020), Sarah Fryer (Class of 1990) and Rosemary Fryer (Russell) (Class of 1966)

Susan Dean (Vickery) (Class of 1966), Pamela Davenport (Class of 1954), Ruth Gabriel (Class of 1970), Barbara Merefield (Lockley) (Class of 1953), and Jacqueline McKay (Watson)

Please see HERE for full photo gallery from Commemoration Day 2021

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