Ascham Old Girls’ Union

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We are a vibrant network of Old Girls.

The Ascham Old Girls’ Union (AOGU) was established in 1899 by Miss Marie Wallis.

In those early years, Miss Wallis met with a group of Old Girls once or twice a year at Ascham, and each year they sent donations to Thirlmere Hospital. When the group had grown larger, they endowed a cot at The Infants’ Home, Ashfield, and gave an annual donation to the Rachel Forster Hospital. Reportedly, during the Depression, a fund was set up to provide financial assistance for daughters of Old Girls’.

Some 120 years later, the Union exists to encourage the continuance of friendships and associations formed during Old Girls’ attendance at Ascham, as well as to maintain Ascham traditions. It plays an important role in providing financial support to daughters of Old Girls’ through scholarships. The AOGU is represented by the Ascham Old Girls’ Union Committee, a group of volunteer Old Girls’ who work to foster the AOGU’s goals, volunteer at AOGU events and raise money for scholarships.

The current AOGU Committee

Co-President: Caroline Isles (Allsopp 1988)

Co-President: Brigitte Markovic (1982)

Vice President: Julia Dangar (Jacklin 1986)

Committee: Lisa Bell (1979), Julia Booth (1988), Giselle Collins (Jollie 1986), Yianoula Henderson (Morris 1997), Victoria Hill (Higgs 1993), Jessica Luboski (2001), Holly Marsh (Jarvis 1990), Sarah Merrick (1986), Nicola Michel (Dowe 1985), Eliza Newton (2001), Ms Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps (2016), Sophie Blades (2019)

Further information about the Ascham Old Girls’ Union can be found in the AOGU Constitution.

An active community

Ascham educates strong and independent women who go on to be active in their professional lives, families and communities.

We are a vibrant network of over 7,000 Old Girls’.

Ascham Old
Girls’ Online
Community

On the new website Old Girls are able to:

  • see details of events & reunions, book for them online
  • find and reconnect with old friends
  • see and share event photos
  • view the Ascham Community Business Directory.

For any enquiries about the Old Girls’ website, please contact the Ascham Community Relations Manager.

Other information

Reunions and events

Every year reunions are held to celebrate the 5th, 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th and 50th anniversaries of attendance at Ascham. The School also hosts annual drinks for those girls in the previous year’s HSC cohort.

In addition, there are regular events at which Old Girls’ can catch up and see old friends, including the Business Breakfast, Golf and Tennis Day and country lunches.

Old Girls’ are also welcome to attend general School events, which are advertised via the Old Girls’ website and in eNews. If you wish to attend an event, please contact the Ascham Community Relations Manager or visit aogu.ascham.nsw.edu.au

Enrolling your daughter

In recognition of the very worthy contribution of our Old Girls’, first priority will be given to daughters of Ascham Old Girls’ enrolled before their first birthday at any formal entry point (Prep, Kindergarten, Year 5 or Year 7). We give equal first priority to boarders and younger siblings of girls already enrolled at Ascham at the time of the proposed commencement date. Second priority is given to daughters of Ascham Old Girls’ enrolled after their first birthday by date of application received.

Scholarships for daughters of Old Girls

If you would like your daughter or granddaughter to attend Ascham and need financial assistance to do so, there are scholarships available. All Ascham scholarships are means-tested.

Through fundraising activities there are a number of OG scholarships, including the Centenary and Jubilee Scholarships, each with slightly different criteria.

Ascham Old Girl scholarships are awarded through the School’s scholarship selection process.
If you would like to apply for a scholarship and you would like more information about the process, please contact the Enrolments Office.

Make a donation

The Ascham Old Girls’ Union (AOGU) encourages the continuance of friendships and fosters connections between Old Girls’.

The AOGU welcomes donations of any size. Funds raised go towards supporting the activities of the AOGU and scholarships for daughters of Old Girls’.

Please contact the Ascham Community Relations Manager to make a donation, or to find out more about other ways of helping.

Enquiries

We welcome information from Old Girls’ about graduations, careers, reunions, suggestions for events, engagements, marriages, births, deaths and items of interest for the magazine. Please submit all enquiries to the Ascham Community Relations Manager.

Ascham Leadership
Scholarship

The Ascham Leadership Scholarship is an opportunity for young Old Girls between the ages of 20 and 30 to undertake research or humanitarian aid work within Australia that is aligned with their professional degree and development.

The Scholarship is generously endowed by a past Ascham family. The Scholarship for 2021 includes a maximum of $6,000 to go towards a return economy-class air ticket and living expenses.

If you have any questions regarding the 2021 applications, please contact the Community Relations Manager, Mrs Skye Barry on 02 8356 7065 or at community@ascham.nsw.edu.au

2020 recipient

Sarah Weekes, Class of 2010 is the recipient of the Leadership Scholarship for 2020

Sarah is a swine vet and will use the scholarship to improve her veterinarian skills, traveling to Minnesota and Iowa in the USA where she will undertake research on the use of antimicrobes in the swine industry.

Antimicrobial stewardship is the practise of using antimicrobials to help minimise the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Greater industry knowledge of antimicrobes in Australia will enable a smooth transition away from antibiotic usage, while at the same time keeping Australia’s pigs healthy, and consumers happy.

Visiting the World Pork Expo and Iowa Swine Day, as well as visiting piggeries and vet practices in the US, will connect Sarah with a professional network of swine experts. She will also research the best techniques for gathering antimicrobial usage data, understand the methods behind tracking antimicrobial resistance and learn new ways of combatting antimicrobial over-usage. Given Australia has a small pool of swine veterinarians, this will give her the opportunity to increase her professional knowledge, as well as strengthen her contribution to the swine industry in Australia.

Past recipients

2019: Geena Dunne (2011)

Use: to continue with her charitable initiative, the Cova Project–providing high school girls in South Africa and Malawi with menstrual cups—small silicone cups that girls can use during their period. These cups are quite literally a miracle for girls who can miss up to 50 days of school a year because they either can’t afford sanitary products or the toilet facilities are either non-existent or inadequate. Menstrual cups will enable the girls to remain competitive in school and the workforce, allowing them to live their lives unimpeded by menstruation.

Watch Geena talk about her Cova Project initiative

2018: Dana Beiglari (2005)

Use: to learn from global initiatives championed by leaders in the USA and UK who encourage financial inclusion in disadvantaged communities with a view to supporting best practice in Australia. Dana’s experience at Legal Aid has shown her the need to create a society in which everyone can access the mainstream financial system, such as basic insurance and credit products to meet their needs, regardless of their income and social status. Her position as a consumer advocate means she is well placed to understand financial inclusion strategies abroad, share these lessons at home and apply them in her daily work.

2017: Harriet Body (2005)

Use: to fund ongoing research into collaborative creative projects between artists with and without intellectual disability. Harriet travelled to the US, UK and parts of Asia to visit specialised studios that support professional artists with disability to expand her networks and research into the field of disability art. This trip informed her curatorial concept for an exhibition in Sydney of both national and international artists and artist collaborations with and without intellectual disability that further explored the importance of collaboration for the advancement of the disability art field.

2016: Alanna Rennie (2010)

Use: to undertake her Master of Chinese Law at Tsinghua University and complete her thesis on enforcement of plant breeder rights in China. Alanna used the Scholarship as an opportunity to generate interest in Australia’s agricultural future and the opportunities in China. Before embarking on her Master’s, Alanna travelled to Europe to meet with a number of breeding companies and breeding associations across the vegetable, ornamental and fruit sectors, who operate and have strong interest in the Chinese plant variety market.

2015: Verity Smith (2007)

Use: to undertake an internship at Reprieve, an international organisation that works against the death penalty. Verity worked at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Centre (LCAC) where she assisted a team of lawyers by providing legal representation and humanitarian assistance to people on death row. She was given responsibility for serious matters integral to cases which involved regular phone contact with clients and assistance on prison visits to meet with clients.

2014: Grace Mortlock (2005)

Use: to travel to Venice to be part of the Architecture Biennale in 2014. Grace met and collaborated with international architects, and had the opportunity to write reviews and a series of short vignettes for Architecture AU. The trip to Venice is an opportunity that would not have been possible without this Scholarship.

2013: Sarah Cohn (2009)

Use: to fund a medical placement in Tarime, Tanzania. Sarah undertook a six-week placement at the Tarime Government Hospital, with the aim of experiencing the healthcare system of a small, impoverished East African town, and learning about the medical, social and environmental needs within the community.

2012: Georgia Driels (2007)

Use: to fund an international internship, travelling to one of UNHCR’s refugee camps with an interdisciplinary team including staff from the Centre for Refugee Research as well as delegates from Amnesty International, UNHCR and the Refugee Council of Australia. While conducting reciprocal research within a refugee camp, Georgia participated in and helped to provide a number of educational courses including Human Rights training, project development, community engagement and support.

2011: Sephora Sultana (2005)

Use: to fund an internship in the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia. Sephora’s goal was to continue her research on the importance of prosecuting rape and sexual assault crimes which occur during periods of conflict, with particular emphasis on the role of victims in the prosecutions.

2010: Lara Franzen (2002)

Use: to spend time in the occupied Palestinian territories with ActionAid, working to fight global poverty and injustice. In particular, Lara led the development of a proposal to the European Commission to design a three year project which re-uses waste water for agriculture and therefore increases food security in the Palestine territories.

Ascham School