Meet your Community – SCOGA President Mrs Chrissy Ryan (Graham ’79)
What are the main objectives of SCOGA in 2018 and its key achievements over the past year?
Following a very successful 2017, we have reflected on why it was such a wonderful year for SCOGA. We made a substantial donation of $50,000 to the Her Future Begins Here Junior School campaign. Our reunions continued to underpin our connection with Old Girls along with the Networking Night, Children’s Party, Leavers’ Panel, and the introduction of the ‘Red Steps’ badge being presented to our Year 6 graduates, SCOGA finished the year off on a high.
Our objectives for 2018 are clear. To reposition SCOGA within the entire School community. To increase awareness and communication.
What does SCOGA hope to achieve during the coming year?
We will be fine tuning the Old Girls’ database – building a solid foundation on which to build upon is key. We will also introduce an e-Bulletin or Newsletter to the entire Old Girls’ community as well as increase the number of Women in Industry groups at our Networking evenings and introduce greater exposure of SCOGA to all the current St Catherine’s girls in both the Junior and Senior Schools.
What are the key events taking place for SCOGA in the coming 12 months?
We are hosting our Biennial Lunch on 8th March which coincides with International Women’s Day. The event will celebrate extraordinary Old Girls from all year groups and we are hopeful of a very successful day.
A number of new initiatives will also be introduced in 2018 along with hosting nine reunions, the Leavers’ Panel in February and our very successful Networking evening.
Why do you think volunteering is so important? How can people contribute?
I am incredibly fortunate to be working with a committee of women who all have something in common…we are all Old Girls. We believe in the direction of the School, but more importantly, we believe in what it means to be an Old Girl of St Catherine’s.
Obviously, we all have different memories of our time at St Catherine’s. However, one thing remains the same for us all – when we walk through the gates of Heyington Place we belong. We are flushed with memories. We could be wearing our uniform, pigtails in our hair, text books weighing down our bag, tuckshop money in our pocket. Tests today, choir at lunchtime, sport after School…have I got my PE uniform? English first up…Shakespeare was never my thing, double Art after recess…now we’re talking.
My time at St Catherine’s was long and filled with extraordinary memories. I volunteer in this role as my way of giving back to an institution which enabled me to dream big, create lifelong friendships, and a place which made me feel like I was a part of a sisterhood.
I encourage other Old Girls who also feel this way to join our committee. SCOGA’s sole objective is to continually unite St Catherine’s women.
Have you been involved in other roles at St Catherine’s?
I have been involved in many roles over my time as a parent of two girls who went through the School. For a number of years, I was President of The Blue Ribbon Club (Sports Auxiliary), and also served as President of the Heyington Club (Rowing Auxiliary). I am currently on the Past Parents’ and Friends’ Network in conjunction with my role as President of SCOGA.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
As a daughter of an Old Girl, my enrolment at St Catherine’s was a certainty. I started at Prep in 1967, and completed in 1980. I was a weekly boarder in my final two years at the School which I absolutely loved.
I am a proud Kilbride House member with limited sporting ability but always gave it my best shot. I was always cheering on the champions…we had many. I finished School and studied Interior Design and Interior Decoration, as it was all that I had ever wanted to do, and have been so fortunate to have had a career in these fields ever since. I continue to decorate homes for clients, and buy/decorate/flip property for myself.
My husband and I chose to send both our daughters to St Catherine’s. They have since finished their time here, completed university degrees, and are achieving remarkable things in the workplace.
I have reconnected with my love of golf and hope to head back to competition this year.