Meet your Community: SCOGA President, Mrs Phoebe Norman (Olsen ’95)
St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association (SCOGA) is committed to fostering friendships and providing opportunities for engagement among our broad membership of over 6,800 past students. Working to support past students and the School, our activities for 2016 included:
- Launched our industry specific networking events, hosting six in 2015/2016, connecting more than 300 Old Girls and members of the School community to share knowledge and experience and celebrate talent
- Co-hosted, with the School, a Boarders’ Reunion that welcomed 160 boarders from seven decades, an event that has not been held for more than 10 years
- Co-hosted, with the School, reunions in London and New York, engaging and connecting more than 60 Old Girls living overseas
- Co-hosted, with the School, the five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 and Pre-1957 year group reunions
- Profiled a further 16 Old Girls as part of the Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum Project, which honours outstanding service to their profession and/or community
- Published the first edition of Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum, Honouring the Great Achievements of St Catherine’s Old Girls
- Worked with School Council’s Governance Committee to produce ‘St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association – A Guide to Policies and Procedures with the School’
- Amended the St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association Constitution
- Represented and championed our Old Girl community on four Committees: Community Engagement, Auxiliary Liaison, Past Parents’ & Families’ Network and the 120th Anniversary Planning Committee.
What does SCOGA hope to achieve during the coming year?
This year SCOGA will continue to deliver our career specific networking events to provide valuable networking and mentoring opportunities to Old Girls who are studying through to those already in the work force.
We will be further engaging all ages of our community by providing events for the very youngest of children of Old Girls right through to our Old Girls who attended the Warburton campus during the war!
What are the key events taking place for SCOGA in the coming 12 months?
Together with our five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 reunions and Pre-1958 Luncheon that SCOGA host each year, this year we were delighted to launch a new event for our most recent Leavers, the Class of 2016. At the start of this week a panel of four Old Girls, currently studying and working in industry, introduced students to post-School life, whether their pathway be university, college, vocational studies, employment or a gap year.
SCOGA will be delivering two more career specific networking events in September this year: ‘Women in Education: ELC, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary’ and ‘Women in Construction and Design: Architecture, Interior Design, Interior Decoration, Construction, Engineering Landscaping Design and Project Management’. For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also re-establishing the Children’s Party for children/grandchildren and great grandchildren of Old Girls and Boys. This event will take place at the Early Learning Centre playground with morning tea and children’s activities provided on Saturday 4 March from 10.00am – 12.00pm. Information can be found here.
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the School relocating to Warburton during the Second World War so we will be hosting an event to commemorate this anniversary and inviting the 107 Old Girls who attended Warburton during this time.
Why do you think volunteering is so important? How can people contribute?
I was incredibly fortunate to attend St Catherine’s as a student and benefited so much from all the general classroom learning and extra curricular activities provided. Being involved with the St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association Committee (SCOGA) not only allows you to be actively involved with the School but with a vast number of members of our Old Girl community.
Volunteering and contributing with SCOGA has grown my personal and professional network enormously and provided me the opportunity to use my skills from my corporate career to benefit and enhance the Association and its members. It is also terrific addition to have on your CV and I know will provide me opportunities to extend my career in the years to come.
SCOGA will be providing internships to Old Girls who wish to develop their marketing, event management, journalism and communications skills later in 2017. This project work could contribute to university/course subjects if applicable and provide opportunities to network within the community. For further information, please contact email@example.com
Have you been involved in other roles at St Catherine’s?
In 2016, I represented SCOGA on a number of School committees including the Community Engagement, Auxiliary Liaison and Past Parents’ and Friends’ Network. This enabled me to meet a terrific group of parents who also volunteer and devote so much of their time to the School and fly the flag for our growing alumnae as well as providing opportunities and experience to the School where we can.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I attended St Catherine’s from Prep to Year 12 and graduated in 1995. I had a terrific Year level and many of my very best friends today are those I started with in Junior School! I took a Gap Year in the UK after completing Year 12, working at a Prep School. After completing my four year Bachelor of Business – Transport & Logistics Management degree at RMIT I returned to London where I worked in corporate marketing, sponsorship and event management for 10 years in the investment banking, legal and technology industries. I was incredibly lucky to work on projects all over Europe, UK and the Middle East.
After returning to Melbourne in October 2010, I launched two online retail and wholesale businesses within the year and re-joined the St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association Committee (SCOGA). I was elected President of SCOGA in November 2014 and am married with a 16-month-old daughter and another baby due in May!
Tell us something our community does not know about you.
I was fortunate enough to trek to Everest Base Camp in 2013 – the hardest thing physically and mentally I have ever done! It was an incredible experience and one I would highly recommend to anyone.