Supporting St Catherine’s Girls
A School Foundation event this week at AFL House discussed the rising opportunities for girls in Australian Rules Football and also career opportunities in digital media
The St Catherine’s School Foundation members were invited to a ‘back of house tour’ of AFL House this week, incorporating an evening stroll onto the flood lit grounds of Etihad Stadium. Australian Football League Chief Executive, Mr Gillon McLachlan, also provided an interesting address about the future direction of the AFL.
McLachlan is the key driver behind the creation of AFL Media, demonstrating an intuitive grasp of how the media industry is rapidly changing before our very eyes, in particular the growth of digital media. Located at AFL House in the Docklands, AFL Media boasts a growing web platform and strong digital strategy reflecting the need to provide an interactive and timely fan advantage. Commencing in only 2010, the AFL Digital Media is now the number one sports platform in the country with the AFL App the most sourced sporting app in the southern hemisphere with 1.2 millon users in 2015 (a 20th of the Australian population). AFL Media employs 115 people in their digital team, less than 10 are women.
McLachlan was quick to point out the growing needs of IT skills, and effectively provided a firsthand example of why encouraging girls within STEM fields, and, in particular, the IT industry, is essential. As the father of daughters, Mr McLachlan, is delighted with the direction of ensuring girls also have the opportunity to play Aussie Rules Football at a national level. This year, the 2016 Youth Girls National Championships held in Melbourne in the first week of May, provided teenage girls with an opportunity to play on the biggest stage in football. In 2010, there were 10,000 girls involved in playing AFL, this figure has grown by 22% year-on-year with 18,000 playing in 2015.
This year, St Catherine’s entered a Senior team in the GSV weekly AFL competition, drawing a loyal crowd of parents each week to support the girls’ footy pursuits. Whilst still an emerging sport at St Catherine’s, the possibility of playing at a National level just became that much more obtainable. Thank you to the Music staff, ably led by Mrs Jenny Mathers and Mr Tim Collins, and the group of students who also entertained the crowd at the Foundation event this week, Amber Chapman, Phoebe Edwards, Ingrid Crossing, Alexandra Cullen, Georgina Cheale, Frances Curtis and Sona Kocharyan. Their jazz repertoire was highly professional and a great collaboration between staff and students. At the Foundation event this week, Foundation Board President, Mrs Anne Court and Foundation Board Chair, Mr Wayne Kent, graciously acknowledged the outstanding contribution of recently retired Board members, Mrs Ann Hyam and Ms Louise Lampard.
The St Catherine’s School Foundation assists the School to achieve its strategic vision to have the best resources, teachers, staff and educational experiences. On top of the income received from tuition and government funds, the School Foundation provides the financial basis for future development. If your daughter (or son in our ELC) enjoys swimming in the St Catherine’s pool, learning in the ELC, reading in the Nicholas Library or relaxing in the Year 12 Common Room, she is one of the many current students who are the beneficiaries of past philanthropy and support. This generosity is from current parents, Old Girls, past parents, staff and friends of the School, who have kindly given to provide buildings and facilities to the generations of St Catherine’s students.
In short, we are the custodians of the past, active in the present and planners for the future. The Foundation welcomes the support of all new members. If you are interested in learning more click here.