Ex-Students’ Association President’s Message

Dear Ex-Students,

I warmly extend to you and your families a very happy new year.  I hope it is a great year for you and that our country areas receive sustaining rain soon.  I also heartily welcome our 2018 school leavers who have joined our Association as life members and trust that you will enjoy a continued connection in the spirit of Loreto and Mary Ward, both in Sydney and worldwide.

I hope you can all join us for at least one of the ex-student events planned for this year (please see our calendar of events attached) and support our fundraising for drought relief and the ex-student bursary.  Loreto friendships are lifelong and we value connectedness to our ex-students and welcome you to all our events – please come along.

 I was honoured to represent  ex-students at the 2018 Year 12 Graduation Awards Ceremony where I presented the Pat Taylor Award for “strong commitment to Loreto” to     Lecquia Chang.

I also represented ex-students at the 2018 Years 7-11 Awards Ceremony where I presented the Sr Veronica Reid Prize, for a student who is “actively involved in various activities dedicated to environmental care and conservation” to Emma Davies, Year 10.

A number of ex-students also attended this ceremony and presented awards, donated by their own families. Dr Angela Burgett presented a family award to a Year 11 boarder who best supports the values of the school; Dr Jenny Leary presented a family award in memory of Cath Leary to a Year 10 student who has demonstrated passion to work for people and communities who need a voice; Mrs Bernadette Chang (nee Roach) presented a family award in memory of Jo Roach to a student whose involvement, kindness and creative flair have enriched the school community.

In November, we held our Annual General Meeting, which was attended by many ex-students.  At this meeting we took the opportunity to formally farewell Ms Barbara Watkins, who left Loreto Normanhurst after 18 years of dedicated service.  We also farewelled Mrs Alicia Maunsell, Director of Development, who retired from her position after 20 years at the school.  It was wonderful to be able to formally acknowledge and thank Barbara and Alicia and express our deep appreciation for their support and encouragement which they have provided to  ex-students over many years, and particularly in 2018 during the preparation and weekend of Loreto Federation held at Normanhurst.

Elections were also held at the AGM and your new Committee representing the Ex-Students Association for the next two years are:

Patsy Shannon (1969) President
Janneke Chudleigh (Pieterse, 1971) Vice President
Cathy Gray  (1972) Secretary
Vicki Hall (1972) Treasurer
Sr Libby Rogerson (1961) IBVM Representative
Camilla Cuming  (1982) Committee Member
Suzanne Nash (Fernando, 1979) Committee Member
Deb Stuart (1969) Committee Member
Kate Jackson (Shannon, 1972) Committee Member
Penny Smith (Roberts, 1971) Committee Member
Hayley Smith (1999) Committee Member
Lara Thom (Stevenson, 1994)  Committee Member
Hayley Mein (Stevenson, 2000) Committee Member
Denise Cheng  (1997) Committee Member
Carmel Byrnes (Brown, 1979) Committee Member
Frances Cordaro  (Malone, 1995) Committee Member
Virginia Small  (1979) Committee Member
Isabella Codsi (2013) Committee Member
Jane Parker (Anderson, 1984) Committee Member
Sam Wegner (Ward, 1989) Committee Member


We invite you to join our Committee in a volunteer position and work with us by contributing new ideas for events and raising our profile with all ex-students in order to reach them and encourage them to attend our functions.  We can certainly accommodate country ex-students who wish to join our Committee by dialling you in to our meetings (four only during the year).

As I reported at our AGM, we have a total of 8425 ex-students registered on the alumni database, which is managed by the School’s Development Office.   We have 3183 ex-students recorded as Life Members of the Ex-Students’Association.  We hope to boost the number of Life Members this year.    As a Life Member, you will receive information and invitations to all events and functions, including many school events, and maintain lifelong connectedness to other ex-students.  Your single payment of $150 for Life Membership goes towards the Ex-Students’ Bursary account.  If you would like to pay for life membership, the details are on the school’s website.

At the AGM, we presented a cheque for $10,000 towards a part bursary for a senior student, in compliance with this annual commitment to the school. We also donated $10,500 towards the refurbishment of the Reception Room (aka the Parlour) in 2018.

Our memorabilia is selling well and I urge anyone who would like to purchase any stock to click here

It has been decided by the school, that this e-News is the best way to communicate with ex-students (rather than solely through Loreto Life, which has been restructured) so we need you all to let us know your news   (as we are not in touch with all of you).  Please, therefore, advise us by email of births, deaths, marriages, achievements at work, and connections with your Loreto friends overseas etc.

The School Development Office will advise us of any known reunions being organised for this year and will them in the e-News with appropriate photos.  As many classes organise their own reunions through social media, it is important that you let the School’s Development Office know that this information can be uploaded to the Alumni page of the school website for you.  There is a ‘Reunion Checklist’ on the Alumni page to assist you in organising your own class reunion.  Please send photos of your reunion to upload both to the e-News and our website page.

We remain very conscious of our country ex-students who are enduring the hardship of this long drought and we are keen to help out.  In November, we raised funds which were donated to ‘Buy a Bale’ on behalf of the ex-students.   We are planning another function in June to raise further funds for our country friends.  Please don’t feel you are alone and if you feel there is a way we may be able to help in some way, please let me know.

We have locked in a date of Thursday 8 August 2019 for the Loreto Theatre Party to see Muriel’s Wedding  at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.  We collaborate with Loreto Kirribilli ex-students for this event as it is a commitment by both Associations to use this event to raise funds for Mary Ward International.  Booking forms will be emailed out late January – this is a great night we share with our Kirribilli friends – please come and join us.   We also continue to nourish our ‘sisterhood’ with the ex-students of Loreto Kirribilli and support their events each year. To book also  click HERE .

We are also hosting a High Tea in the School Reception Room on Sunday 8 September 2019.  This is a great occasion to book a table with your classmates and have some fun on the day.  The proceeds raised from this event go towards the Ex-Students’ Bursary account.

The Ex-Students made a donation of $500 towards the ‘Landing Pad Project’.  The approach for this Project was through Kim Prodinger who was thrilled that through generous donors from the Riverview boys’ parents and Loreto Ex Students she has raised the $10.000 to take to India to give to the Loreto Sister behind this very worthwhile cause, to provide a machine that produces hygiene productions for women and girls at Sisters’ Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre (KMWSC) in West Bengal. I am also delighted to tell you the Mary Ward fund page that Kim Nass set up for this project, is progressing very well and we are half way to buying another machine .

As many of you know, Ms Marina Ugonotti commenced as the new Principal of Loreto Normanhurst in January 2019, ably supported by Ms Sophie Kearns as Deputy Principal.  We welcome them both and wish them well in their tenure at Loreto Normanhurst and assure them of our continued long-standing support from the ex-students.

Thank you to all ex-students who  supported us last year and I look forward to seeing you at our events in 2019.



Ms Patsy Shannon

President, Loreto Normanhurst Ex-Students’ Association