Ruth Langley Luncheon Celebrates 20 Years
The vibrant nature of life at St Catherine’s is reflected in the variety of events occurring throughout the year. The annual Ruth Langley Luncheon is one such celebratory event, enabling women to connect with the School, share poignant memories with friends, and celebrate the strength of our engaged, dynamic and inclusive community. Undoubtedly, the Ruth Langley Luncheon provides us with an important opportunity to draw on the connection of our community.
The Luncheon was initiated in 1999 by the Parents’ and Friends’ Association, and celebrates the leading role played by Miss Ruth Langley, both in the history of St Catherine’s School and women’s education in Victoria.
Accepting the role of Headmistress at the age of 25, Ruth Langley had a clear vision for St Catherine’s School. As Principal of the School from 1902 until just prior to her death in 1933, Ruth established an enduring philosophy of ‘education for life’. Ruth believed passionately in the importance of an education that embraces the whole individual and extends every student intellectually, culturally, socially and physically. A portrait of Ruth Langley was recently commissioned by the School and is now hung in the Dining Room of Sherren House.
This year, St Catherine’s has provided our community to listen firsthand to some of Australia’s most pre-eminent women. It was my privilege today to continue this fine tradition by warmly welcoming Jill Reichstein OAM (’67) as guest speaker of the 2019 Ruth Langley Luncheon. For over 30 years, Jill has made a significant contribution towards the growth of social change philanthropy in Australia.
Jill is currently the Chair of the Reichstein Foundation, a position she has held since 1987. Her involvement with social change philanthropy grew from her early involvement with the first women’s refuge in Victoria and with the community childcare movement. Among the numerous positions she has held, Jill is a past president of Philanthropy Australia, serving on its board for 10 years, and was on the board of the Koorie Heritage Trust for 21 years. In 2000, Jill was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to philanthropy.
Jill is also currently Chair of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network and serves on the boards of the Trust for Young Australians, Igniting Change and the Australian Women Donors Network.
On behalf of St Catherine’s, I would like to thank our PFA President, Mrs Sarah Low, and members of the PFA Committee for coordinating this wonderful event. Each year, the Ruth Langley Luncheon is a highlight on our School calendar which is testament to the creativity, organisation and commitment of the PFA.
The funds raised today will once again contribute to the Village Green in the Junior School and also towards the purchase of a new multi-media hub to be installed in the Mary Davis Centre, so this fabulous space can be better utilised for House and Year Level Assemblies, School community events and enjoyable lunchtime activities for the girls.
With the winter chill well upon us in Melbourne, the mood of our St Catherine’s Snowsports families quickly elevates in readiness for the opening of the ski season. Last weekend, the Snowsports Auxiliary once again held a very successful Snowsports Swap, enabling families in the wider community to equip growing children with snowports equipment and clothing. The ‘Swap’ raised $16,500 in funds which will be used to provide lessons and purchase equipment used throughout the school season. In preparation for the Swap this year, over 1700 snow sports items were tagged by a busy team of St Catherine’s parents and in just over 2 hours 1,700 items were tagged / sold: 156 Jackets, 104 Ski Boots, 105 Skis 88 ski pants, 58 helmets, 51 sets of poles, 33 goggles, 3 bags donated to keep homeless warm and 5 bags for the Salvation Army.
The annual Snowsports Swap, in its 11th successive year, is a tremendous demonstration of recycling and sustainability by the School. Thank you to the Snowsports Auxiliary Committee members and the leadership of Tamsin Greig, Jodie Cody, Caroline McAllister, Antoinette Walshe, Monique Rosshandler, Erica Marriott, Georgina Murdoch and Holly Shergold for their extensive preparation and organisation of the Swap.