Vale Mrs Suzanne Gail Collister  

It is with immense sadness St Catherine’s School notifies our School community of the passing of former Head of Boarding, Mrs Sue Collister. 

Sue was an integral part of the fabric that is St Catherine’s. Her warm and generous personality were exemplary of the Values of our School and made her a much-loved colleague, friend, mentor and for many in the Boarding House, mother-figure. 

Sue commenced working at St Catherine’s School in 1984, where she joined her mother, Mrs Julie Johns, Head of English at St Catherine’s from 1980 to 1990. The mother and daughter duo worked alongside each other from 1984 until Mrs Johns’ departure in 1999. 

Throughout her 40 years working at St Catherine’s School, Sue was not only the much-loved Head of Boarding for 16 years but also a passionate History and Geography teacher. Sue also held positions as Director of Student Services, English Exchange Coordinator, Senior School Coordinator, and Year 12 Coordinator. 

Appointed as Director of Boarding Services in 2007, Sue was focused on creating a nurturing and supportive environment where girls could thrive and engage in genuine relationships with one another. Sue believed that building these relationships was the key to creating a positive and empowering boarding experience. Her goal was to offer guidance, care, and encouragement to each girl and to create a home where every student felt valued and supported. 

Sue’s passion for enriching the student experience through camps, trips, and exchange programs was exemplified by her initiation of our School’s highly successful Central Australia trip for students, with Sue leading and attending many of these camps over the years. 

Along with the Central Australia Trip, Sue was an enthusiastic supporter of Year level camps for girls in Years 7 to 10 and provided positive and practical support for the girls and other staff members during many of these camps, which was instrumental in making these experiences away from home positive for the girls. 

Sue was involved in the development and coordination of St Catherine’s Middle Years Exchange Program to the USA and the Queenswood Exchange in England, travelling with students overseas, as well as hosting exchange students and their accompanying international staff in her home when required. 

In 2017, Sue also took up the position of Yalari Student Coordinator at St Catherine’s School. Based on the principle that education affords the best avenue to provide opportunities in a young person’s life, under Sue’s care and guidance the School’s Yalari students embraced this wonderful educational opportunity provided in conjunction with Yalari.  

During her time at St Catherine’s, Sue inspired her students and boarding girls to learn, challenge themselves, and believe in their abilities through her practical and nurturing approach. Under Sue’s leadership St Catherine’s Boarding House was a home away from home for hundreds of boarding girls.  

As well as nurturing her boarding girls, Sue’s two daughters Emma and Rachel also attended St Catherine’s School, further adding to the wonderful contribution the Johns and Collister Families provided to our School. 

In 2023, Sue stepped down as Head of Boarding due to ill health. Sue approached her illness with the same practicality and no-nonsense approach as she did all things in life. Sadly, Sue lost her battle on Sunday 4 February 2024.  

As a School community we pass on our condolences to Sue’s immediate family, her husband Marc, and her children Matthew, Andrew, Emma, and Rachel. 

Vale Mrs Suzanne Gail Collister

We invite you to join us for Mrs. Sue Collister’s service, which will be held on Friday, February 9th, at 10:30 am. The service will take place at St John’s Anglican Church, located at 510 Toorak Rd.

For those unable to attend in person, Sue’s family extend an invitation to join online for your own moment of reflection and remembrance. Please visit the following link:

Let us come together, whether in person or virtually, to honour and celebrate the beautiful life of Sue Collister. Your presence, thoughts, and prayers are deeply appreciated during this time.


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