SCOGA networking event

St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association (SCOGA) invites Old Girls and School community members to the inaugural ‘Women in Education’ and ‘Women in Design and Construction’ networking events.

These two independent events will host the following speakers who will discuss a range of topics, provide an opportunity for Q&A and networking with attendees from all areas of:

  • Education industry: early learning, kindergarten, primary and secondary education
  • Design and construction industry: interior design and decoration, landscape design, architecture, project management, civil engineering, urban and town planning etc.

Tuesday 5 September 2017
St Catherine’s School
17 Heyington Place, Toorak, 3142

Students: $30pp
Professionals: $40ppo
To purchase tickets, click here

For further information about this event please contact Phoebe Norman (Olsen ’95) on


Claire de Crespigny (’95) – Educator Leader, Guardian Early Learning Group
After completing School in 1995, Claire commenced her Bachelor of Early Childhood at Melbourne University, which led her to work across many Early Childhood schools in Melbourne, London and Singapore over the last 20 years.

During her time as Director of the Early Learning Centre at Wesley College, Melbourne, Claire was introduced to the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and was inspired by the learning environments, which had a focus on children and teachers as researchers, and on building authentic and meaningful relationships. She was fortunate to attend a study tour in Reggio Emilia, Italy last year to observe the incredible depths of learning the Early Childhood professionals undertake with children aged 0-5 years.

After 10 years at Wesley, Claire went on to teach at the German International School in Singapore for three years, whilst also studying for her Masters in Educational Leadership, Policy and Change, through Monash University.

Claire is currently working as a Curriculum Mentor for an Early Learning company, Guardian Early Learning Group where she is working with educators in a training and mentoring role across 40 centres across Victoria. Since joining Guardian, Claire has worked as a Centre Manager and Educational Leader and part of a team to open ‘River Garden’, in Vogue Centre, South Yarra.

Philippa Elder (’99) – Secondary Teacher, Fintona Grammar School
Graduating in 1999, Philippa embarked upon a double degree at the University of Melbourne in Arts/Commerce. During this time, she was an active member of the United Nations Youth Association, where she developed and ran Model UN conferences and represented Australia at the THIMUN Conference in 2002.

Following her undergraduate studies, Philippa completed a Graduate Diploma in Communications at RMIT and began her working life in PR at Penguin Books. She continued her PR career at Bakers Delight Holdings, amongst other workplaces, before realising that PR wasn’t the right fit.

After serious thought and analysis, Philippa applied and was accepted into the University of Melbourne’s accelerated Masters of Teaching (Secondary) program. During this time, she focused on learning areas of Humanities and English, completing teaching placements at Kambrya Secondary College (featured in ABC-TV’s Revolution School in 2016) in Berwick and Princes Hill Secondary College in Carlton.

After completing the Diploma of Secondary Teaching, Philippa obtained a position teaching English and Humanities at Lauriston Girls’ School’s Howqua Campus, where she was fully involved in the academic, outdoor and pastoral care programs, including 6-day hikes, snow camping and a 17km run to the summit of Mt Buller. During this time, Philippa completed the final subjects required to obtain the Masters of Teaching, writing her research thesis on Educational Disadvantage. In 2017, Philippa returned to Melbourne to teach English at Fintona Girls’ School.

Prudence Herron (Lording ’96) – Primary Teacher
After finishing at St. Catherine’s in 1996, Prudence studied Commerce, majoring in accounting and finance. While studying, her part-time jobs, including coaching rowing at St Catherine’s, all revolved around working with children and eventually led to studying teaching and completing a Bachelor of Education (Primary and Secondary).

Prudence started teaching at Caulfield South Primary School in 2005 as a Prep classroom teacher. She enjoyed being part of a vibrant team and learning from some wonderful, experienced teachers. Prudence continued to teach Prep for many years, taking on the role of coordinator, working on improving the ‘transition to school’ process and undertaking training as the school moved towards being an International Baccalaureate school and delivering the Primary Years Programme.

After having two children, Prudence returned to teaching part-time. For three years she enjoyed the role as the Teaching and Learning support teacher, working closely with the Prep team, supporting students and teachers. Prudence is currently on family leave after having her third child and is enjoying being a parent of a Preppie for the first time.

Lisa Ritchie (’85) – Secondary Teacher, St Kevin’s College
Lisa graduated from St Catherine’s in 1985 and initially pursued a military career at the Monash University Regiment – Infantry, whilst studying a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese, Mandarin and Linguistics full time. She travelled extensively, including living in the Netherlands, where she gave birth to daughter Stephanie (Class of 2010).

Upon her return to Australia, she completed a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Finance and Investment and a Graduate Diploma of Education. Her education career began with a position at Loreto Mandeville Hall, where she taught many subjects alongside the role of School House Coordinator. During this time, Lisa also completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies, a Masters of Accounting at Monash University and received a Japan Foundation Study Scholarship.

Taking a hiatus from the classroom, Lisa worked as a tax accountant and the manager of a Thoroughbred Racehorse stud. She returned to education in 2009 with a position at Melbourne Girls’ Grammar as the Head of Global Connections, where she ran VCE Economics, Global Politics, Legal Studies, Accounting, Geography and Business Management. Since 2014, Lisa has taught multiple subjects at VCE level at St Kevin’s College, just down the road from St Catherine’s.

She is the second woman to undertake the position of Assistant Head of House and the first woman at St Kevin’s to coach the Senior AFL team, holding an AFL Level 1 Coaching accreditation. Lisa is on the VCE Examination Panel for Global Politics and is an assessor for VCE Legal Studies.


Alexandra Brownlow (’96) – Director, Brownlow Interior Design
Since completing a Diploma of Interior Design & Decoration at RMIT in 2001, Alexandra has worked alongside some of Australia’s most well regarded interior designers and architects. Having spent seven years with DEDECE, the esteemed Australian importer of European furniture, lighting and accessories, Alexandra joined her mother, Barb Brownlow, one of Melbourne’s most sophisticated Interior Decorators, to form Brownlow Interior Design in 2008.

Brownlow Interior Design offers a full design service, specialising in private, high-end residential Interior Design and Decoration, creating comfortable, classic & contemporary interiors with an exceptional point of difference. Brownlow Interior Design has worked extensively on projects across Australia. An exclusive offering of carefully curated interior accessories, antiques and curios are available to the retail market from Brownlow ID’s showroom located in Mathoura Road, Toorak.

Virginia Jackson (’79) – Director, Harlock Jackson Pty Ltd, Urban Planners
Early plans to study architecture were derailed when Virginia decided on a career in urban planning (with guidance from her Year 12 geography teacher). She studied the course at Melbourne University, then worked at Stonnington Council and other consulting firms before establishing her own consulting firm at just 28 years of age.

Virginia loves both the world of urban planning and the entrepreneurial side of small business. She is passionate about the importance of good built form outcomes and the role that urban planning plays in achieving this. She also loves the cut and thrust of the town planning process and being involved in the delicate negotiations that are often required.

Virginia is a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia in recognition of her depth of experience and contribution to the profession. She also served two 2 year terms on the former Small Business Advisory Council which advised the Victoria Minister for Small Business on issues relevant to small business.

Georgina Mahony (Brain ’92) – Infrastructure Leader VIC/SA, Aurecon
After finishing school, Georgina completed her Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) at Melbourne University and then started her career as Site Engineer with John Holland before joining Aurecon in 2003, a global engineering and design company.

As a Project and Design Manager, she has focused on managing large integrated design teams for multi-discipline infrastructure projects including rail, roads, tunnels and airports. Projects she has worked on include Melbourne Metro, Level Crossing Removals, Regional Rail Link, EastLink and even a new airport in Papua New Guinea Highlands.

Susannah Lempriere (’00) – Architect, Kennedy Nolan
Upon completion of Year 12, Susannah undertook a double degree of Architecture and Property and Construction at the University of Melbourne University. While she travelled extensively & worked at various firms during her studies, Susannah’s first job as a graduate was at H2o Architects, a large Melbourne firm that specialised in institutional buildings.

In 2010, Susannah joined the Kennedy Nolan team whose residential portfolio was a fun and refreshing change to institutional specifications. In her seven years at Kennedy Nolan, she has been the project architect for some extraordinary houses, the most significant being the ‘Deepene House’ which won the 2016 Australian Institute of Architecture Award for Residential Architecture (New) and then four months later won the AIA National Award in the same category – one of the most thrilling professional recognitions in her career to date!

Chrissy Ryan (Graham ’79) – Interior Designer and Interior Decorator
Chrissy completed her Diploma of Interior Decoration at Melbourne College of Decoration and then went on to complete her Bachelor of Interior Design at RMIT in 1985. She was employed by Myer to set up their Shop at Home Centre, an extraordinary opportunity encompassing every aspect of her interiors education.

After having her children, Chrissy joined Freedom. Following a few years working within the stores in sales and management, she was appointed as Regional Operations Manager whilst continuing to be the company’s commercial and residential decorator, and also Victorian sales and management trainer.

Chrissy has since retired from the formal workforce. She now spends her time searching for investment apartments and houses to redecorate/renovate then either ‘flipping’ or renting out on completion. She continues to work specifically as an interior decorator and stylist for private clients.

For further information please contact: