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

President: Mrs Giselle Collins (Jollie 1986)

Vice Presidents: Miss Olivia Crowley (2008) and Mrs Amanda Pfeffer (Stern 2008)

Committee: Ms Lisa Bell (1978), Ms Julia Booth (1988), Ms Svetlana Collantes (2002), Ms Amber Glajz (2002), Mrs Caroline Isles (Allsopp 1988)Ms Louise Lau (2010), Ms Renee Lodens (Kiosoglous 1993), Ms Olivia Mallett (2010), The Hon. Justice Brigitte Markovic (1982), Mrs Sarah Merrick (1986), Mrs Nicola Michel (Dowe 1985), Ms Ferial Reid (1985), Mrs Jenny Ridhalgh (Harvey 1981), Mrs Jasmine Stone (Clubb 1997), Miss Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps (2016), Ms Fredericka van der Lubbe (1986)

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
  • become involved in career advice or mentoring
  • post information about their business.

For any enquiries about the Old Girls’ website, please contact the Ascham Old Girls’ Liaison Officer.

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 Old Girls Liaison Officer 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 Registrar.

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 Old Girls Liaison Officer 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 Old Girls Liaison Officer.

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 outside Australia and aligned with their professional degree and development.

The Scholarship is generously endowed by a past Ascham family. The Scholarship includes a maximum of $10,000 to go towards a return economy-class round the world air ticket and living expenses.

2018 winner

Dana Beiglari, Class of 2005, is the winner of the Leadership Scholarship for 2018.

As a lawyer, Dana’s passion for social justice law has led her to work for Legal Aid NSW. Her first role at Legal Aid was running the Mortgage Hardship Service and she is now a Senior Solicitor in the Consumer Law practice group. 

In this role, Dana has a team of 12 solicitors who assist some of the most vulnerable people in NSW to access their consumer protection rights in credit and insurance matters. 

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. Dana has seen first-hand that the impact of this exclusion has created significant adverse effects on education, health and employment outcomes, housing security and interaction with the justice system. For instance, when an unexpected event occurs, like a car accident, or a devastating flood, the impact is greater on uninsured, low-income people.

Dana will use the Leadership Scholarship 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. 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.

Past recipients

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