Where are they now?

If you know of any alumni that are doing something great, please email alumni@standrewscollege.edu.au.

Anne Hanley (Fr 2005)
Anne Hanley is a Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research encompasses the social and political history of modern Britain and the social history of medicine. In addition to her research and scholarly publications, she acts as a historical consultant for the BBC and ITV and has written for The Guardian.

Attending the University of Sydney to study History and English Literature, Anne developed a keen interest in the clinical and cultural history of medicine. She believes that understanding how ideas of health and illness have changed over time according to shifting social norms, politics, religion and prejudices make us reflect more critically on present-day clinical and social responses to disease.

Anne applied to St Andrew’s on a recommendation from a friend. The College’s rich history and dynamic culture appealed to her and she reminisces Drew’s as a “wonderfully warm and welcoming place”. Heavily involved in DRAMSOC and Palladian, she was awarded many scholarships at St Andrew’s and says the College largely assisted with her move to Cambridge.

“Living in College afforded great opportunities to cultivate friendships with students from many different backgrounds and academic disciplines.”

In 2009, Anne received first-class honours and the University Medal in History for her thesis on the social and medical debates surrounding syphilis in late-nineteenth-century Britain from the University of Sydney. With support from the Cambridge Trust, she received a scholarship to begin her PhD at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. She was also awarded the competitive and prestigious Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

If Anne could give any advice to current and prospective students, she would say:
“Never let your talent and aspirations be overshadowed by other people’s narrow-mindedness, insecurities or bloated sense of entitlement. If you embrace the opportunities on offer, Drew’s will furnish you with the confidence, determination and perspective to achieve more than you thought possible.”

Will Edwards (Fr 2007)
Archie Rose Distilling Co. is the first independent distillery and bar to open in Sydney in over 160 years. The Distillery has won numerous international awards, including ‘Best International Bar’ and ‘Top Three Distilleries in the World’. The creative brains behind the Distillery is St Andrew’s alumni, Will Edwards (Fr 2007), who spoke to St Andrew’s Advancement Officer, Monique George, about why he decided to start Archie Rose, his experience at College and his advice for those wanting to start their own business:

“I’ve always had a passion for spirits. I used to homebrew, make some pretty terrible spirit based infusions and play around with oak maturation, but it remained a hobby and I went down a fairly standard corporate path for a few years.

In 2013, I reached a point where I knew I wasn’t doing what I wanted to be doing, and the distillery idea was constantly in the back of my mind. I took some annual leave and headed to NYC for a break and to check out some of the first distilleries since prohibition that had popped up in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas. After seeing their setups and hearing their stories, I just couldn’t figure out why no one had started up a distillery in Sydney in recent years. Like NYC, we have a unique history of distillation, amazing craft brewers, an incredible bar scene and people who are genuinely interested in where their food and drinks come from, and how they are created.

When I returned to Sydney, I knew there must have been people who had considered starting a distillery – but none had eventuated and survived. In my mind there had to be a reason, that I didn’t know, why you couldn’t start (or successfully operate) a distillery in Sydney. I thought if I did the research and found that reason, then I could put the idea to bed and get on with other things. I spent six months working on finding the reason, but never found anything I considered an absolute roadblock. So, it was then I committed to starting Archie Rose.”

Having grown up in Sydney, Will’s choice to attend St Andrew’s was driven by the opportunity to meet new people – some of whom he now considers his closest friends and one he has married. He describes the College experience as emphatic, saying, he met a variety of people from different parts of the country (and occasionally the world) with different backgrounds and life experiences.

“The most valuable thing I drew from College, was an improved sense of empathy for people’s views, perspectives and feelings.”

Will studied a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Management at the University of Sydney. His favourite subject he studied was the ‘NEXT Innovation Program’ (formerly ‘FASTTRACK Innovation Challenge’), and which provided practical experience in business innovation and greatly aided the development of Archie Rose. Aside from academics, Will was highly involved in multiple aspects of College life, including soccer, athletics, B Lane Swimming and, of course, the Highlander.

For other Androvians seeking to start their own business, Will’s advice is to; “Be honest with yourself regarding your strengths and weaknesses, and find people or systems to support your weaknesses – the worst thing you could do is think you’re great at something and you’re not, or lack the self-awareness to know your own shortcomings. Also, be prepared to work insanely hard, but always strive not to. If it’s easy then, more than likely, someone’s already done it, or it’s not worth doing – you need to be able to put in the work when required, but constantly strive for a sustainable working environment, for yourself and your team, long term.”

Will considers building the Archie Rose team his best accomplishment so far, describing them as incredible and quirky. “The Archie Rose team, from the distillers, to bar staff, to ambassadors and all those in between, have a genuine passion and love for the industry. This is what makes the brand what it is. We come to work loving what we do, so there is that authenticity and ingrained desire to do the job well – whether its creating our spirits, designing our bar menu or dealing with retailers. There is always a sense of pride in what we do.”

Currently, the Archie Rose team are focused on the release of their first whisky. The team were recently awarded, ‘World’s Best Unaged Whisky’ at the New York World Wine & Spirits Awards, and are looking forward to sharing the final, mature product. They are also excited to announce their limited edition spirits, to be released in the latter of 2018.

James Matheson (Fr 2014)
James Matheson is an Olympic freestyle skier who recently competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Finance and Marketing at the University of Sydney.

James developed an interest in skiing from a young age – he was fortunate to have had many family holidays at ski resorts since the age of four. He competed for The Scots College in Interschool competitions and then started competing at an international level. Skiing professionally has taken him around the globe to countries such as Finland, China, Korea, USA and many more. He loves the high competition involved in skiing and the places it’s taken him or the people he met along the way.

Soldiering through a back injury in the recent Winter Olympics, James still describes the experience as amazing – “I ended up with the second best result of my career skiing into the finals of the event”.

James chose to reside at St Andrew’s College because of its reputation having the ‘best of the best’ in an individual’s field. He wanted to be in an environment of young, successful and driven people, saying the College exposed him to people from all over Australia and the world. He describes the atmosphere of the College as “an extremely motivating environment to be in”. Having fellow students in the same position as him allowed him to build a support network he encourages all Androvians should take advantage of.

“One of the biggest positives from the College is the support network you develop from your direct peers and the wider College.”

James describes juggling sport, studies and College life as difficult. His advice to students is to set short and long term goals and be willing to sacrifice things that don’t align to these goals.

James’ short term goal is to compete in the world championships next year in Utah and his long term goal is to compete in the Beijing Games in 2022. In addition to skiing, he aims to complete his degree and move into Management Consulting.

Craig Hassall (Fr 1983)

When were you at St Andrew’s?
1983-1984
Where are you from originally?
Gilgandra, NSW
What did you study and at which University?

Bachelor of Economics at the University of Sydney. Executive MBA, Australian Graduate School of Management – sadly only the first year due to Sydney Olympic pressures on my time!
What are your best memories about College?

The camaraderie, the inter-college rivalry/collegiality and of course Dramsoc and the fun times we had together.
What did you do at College and/or university that you are most proud of?

Between the Andrew’s Dramsoc productions and the Law Revues, I was most proud of the productions we mounted and the truly collaborative teams that we built to deliver these shows. I was proud of the law revue scripts that I helped write, however these may be in danger of a rose-tinted hindsight view – I am not sure that they were actually THAT funny!
What have you been up to since you left College?

My appetite for a life in the theatre was whetted at Sydney University and truly satiated since in a variety of organisations, including The Australian Opera, the Bell Shakespeare Company, Sydney Olympics, London Olympics, English National Ballet and the Raymond Gubbay Organisation in London. I have chosen to be behind the scenes for my career having realized at uni that my skills onstage are a little misplaced!

What are you doing now? What projects are you involved in?
I have come back to Australia from London to run Opera Australia, our national opera company. I was tempted by the opportunity to contribute to Australian cultural life in a major way and am very proud of the range and quality of productions we mount in a year. I am particularly attached to our national regional touring program which takes opera to people across the country each year. When I visit the shows in remote and regional areas, the reaction from audiences is always so positive.
Would you say St Andrew’s helped build your life experiences and business career?

St Andrew’s was a great way to begin my exploration into the world. In my days at Andrew’s and even more so now, culture had a prominent place and our achievements in that field sat alongside sporting and academic achievements as significant and important contributors to College life. Of course the contacts that one makes at College are important, however I place more stock in the opportunities that opened up to me at College and the positivity that has followed me through my career since.
If you had advice to give your 18 year old self, what would it be?

I would suggest different apparel as a first step (!) and then seriously say to my 18 year old self that I should not be afraid of leaping into the abyss. College is the time to expand one’s horizons, understand life beyond one’s comfort zone and get involved. Lectures were the place where I learned the least at university – there was much more to learn about life from common rooms, bars and study groups. Getting involved is the key to greater preparedness for life.
Is there anything else you’d like to share/add?

As a kid from the bush, life at College opened up a whole new world to me. I believe that growing up in the country is a wonderful environment in which to do this however there are bigger horizons. College was a nurturing environment of young people from all walks of life and I would encourage all College men and women to make the most of this wonderful confluence of people.

Scott Jones (Fr 2004)

Alumnus Scott Jones majored in Chemistry and Physics at the University of Sydney and completed with an Honours in Chemistry in 2007. After briefly contributing to an Astrophysics paper concerning the star forming regions of the Milky Way Galaxy, he has spent 5 years as a researcher in Supramolecular and Electro-chemistry. Scott is currently in his second year of a Masters of Teaching, specialising in Chemistry and Physics for high school students. He recently returned to St Andrew’s College as a non-residential Teaching Fellow.

I chose Andrew’s because…
Initially, I chose St Andrew’s College for its strong academic and sporting mentality. For three wonderful years, I lived in close proximity to like-minded people and was able to discuss philosophy and science at all hours of the day. I played tennis and basketball before and after formal dinners and was never short of someone interesting to visit.

My fondest memory of College is…
Waking up every morning and knowing that everything I wanted – friends, sports, conversations, parties, relationships and training for my future – were all located at the same address.

I am passionate about…
Teaching. Sharing information about the world around us that so many people in history have worked hard to discover is an enjoyable experience. Teaching people how to confidently use this information themselves is even more exciting.

Success to me is…
Enabling yourself to experience what the world has to offer and proudly taking your chosen place in it.

My goal as a non-residential Teaching Fellow is to…
Empower the students of St Andrew’s College to develop the skills, both academic and personal, that they need to achieve their ambitions.

 

Jessica Cowell (F 2006)
Jessica Cowell (née Assef) (Fresher 2006) shares her experiences at St Andrew’s, life lessons and her plans to travel to Italy for the Church Missionary Society of Australia.
When were you at St Andrew’s and what did you study?

I was at St Andrew’s from 2006-2008, and was studying International Studies/Law at the University of Sydney. So it has been 10 years now since I was a fresher!

Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Moree, in northern NSW, and studied at New England Girls’ School (NEGS) in Armidale as a boarder for the six years of High School. My Dad, Paul Assef, also lived at St Andrew’s College in 1975.

What are your best memories at College?
I have fond memories of sporting victories (particularly tennis), but made lifelong friends studying the Bible with fellow College students.
What did you do at College and/or university that you are most proud of?
Uni was a very significant time for me – it really was the point at which I made decisions that I have followed on from about how I would live life as an adult. I am very glad that I took the opportunities I had to put my faith in Jesus as the top priority in my life. This was helped by sad experiences while at Uni, losing both my Dad and my cousin very suddenly to different illnesses, when they were in their 50s. It reminded me that life is very short, and we don’t always have control over it the we would like to think we do!

What have you been up to since you left College?
When I finished at College, I married Simon, who I had met through the Evangelical Union at Sydney Uni – we were on a trip in India for two months with a small team and thought we’d better keep spending time together after that! When I finished at university, I worked for a couple of years at Clayton Utz as a lawyer before heading back to Carillon Avenue to study for two years at Moore Theological College. Since then, our gorgeous girls Lydia (2) and Emma (0) have come along.

What are you doing now? What projects are you involved in?
Right now, Simon and I are in the pre-departure stages of being sent to Italy by the Church Missionary Society of Australia, to work with the Italian movement of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. In Australia, university Christian groups such as the Evangelical Union (EU) have a staff to student ratio of about 1:6,000 while in Italy it is more like 1:115,000. They are very keen to have more workers. We look forward to taking up their invitation to work with them, and hope to be reading the Bible with students and talking about Jesus with young people, as they consider him for the first time as an adult.

Would you say St Andrew’s helped build your life experiences and business career?
I loved living at St Andrew’s College. I think the challenge of having peers and friends watching how you live your life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, helped me to try and live with integrity. You have no choice but to be honest about what you believe, your failings and your strengths when people see how you live. This is a great blessing in my life, to have had the chance to think this through right from the start of adulthood!

If you had advice to give your 18 year old self, what would it be?
Love your friends. Life can be harder than you realise yet, and a supportive friend, or even better, whole community, can make a big difference.
Is there anything else you’d like to share/add?
In the last few years, I was involved in the pastoral care team at St Andrew’s College. I feel really proud of the diverse group of students living there, and the way they are supported by their peers as they focus on many different aspects of life, whether it be music, sport, various academic pursuits, or faith. Long may it continue!

Felicity O’Neil (Fr 2008)
When were you at St Andrew’s?
I was at College from 2008 to 2010
What did you study and at which university?
I studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) at the University of Sydney, with majors in finance, economics and human geography. I received first class honours for my thesis in human geography – ‘Mobilising Migration in Goulburn: Movement, relationships and community in a mobile world’.
What are your best memories about College?
Without a doubt, some of my best memories from College was taking to the court/pool/river with Andrew’s colours on. The camaraderie of college sport is a uniquely invigorating feeling, which is pretty hard to replicate. Other great memories are the copious VD’s, Formals and Informals but when I look back, some of my warmest memories were the times spent hanging round College– in the ‘hunge’ in Reid, out the front of Main building and even those late night study sessions in the library cramming before exams.
What did you do at College and/or university that you are most proud of?
I think what I am most proud of is the way I threw myself into both College and university life. I am certainly not a hero at any one pursuit but I did manage to get involved in a broad suite of extracurricular activities from the nerdy and not always witty Commerce Review 08, to an epic geography field trip down the Mekong, to St Andrew’s netball super sub and bench-warmer extraordinaire!

What have you been up to since you left College?
After leaving College, I spent a couple of years hanging around university finishing off my degree and doing an internship at Russell Investments. After five years of study I still had no idea ‘what I wanted to do with my life’. I really fell into the public service by accident after hearing Matt Gilliland (Fr’ 08) talking about his public sector grad interviews while studying in Azzuri’s on campus. It certainly surprised my family and friends when I informed them I was moving to Canberra to work at the Commonwealth Treasury. I spent three really enjoyable years working at the Treasury. The work was very diverse and I had the opportunity to work in banking, agriculture, and regional and tax policy. I spent the last year working as a Policy Adviser to the Secretary to the Treasury, John Fraser. Life in the public service also leaves time for extracurricular pursuits which allowed me to spend some spare time with Kai Scott (Fr’ 07) steering the United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals ACT branch.

What are you doing now? What projects are you involved in?
I am currently on a two-year Secondment to the UK Treasury – Her Majesty’s Treasury – in London, working as a Policy Adviser. At the moment I am working in the team providing economic analysis for the Government in respect of the EU Referendum. It is pretty exciting and engaging to see your work splashed out in the headlines each morning. Strangely, I am not the only Drewswoman reverse-colonising the Treasury. Anna Cartwright (Fr’ 05) has already been here for a year as an Adviser in Financial Services. And she is currently in the process of setting up an ANZAC’s in Government group, which will kick off in June.

Would you say St Andrew’s helped build your life experiences and business career?
What St Andrew’s gave me is the soft skills required to succeed– strong interpersonal skills, a willingness to give anything a red-hot go, and the importance of teamwork. I am sure though, that as my career matures, the networks Drew’s gives us will help too! When I look around at the pursuits of my 08’ Fresher cohort I am constantly astounded and humbled by their impressive achievements. Emma Colenbrander is living in India expanding the social business Pollinate Energy, Adam Diprose is establishing the South African outfit of Elevate Education, Michelle Carr and Andrew Tulloch are living in San Francisco where Michelle is tearing apart the patriarchal construction industry and Tulloch is bossing it at Facebook. And that is just scratching the surface of our collective achievements.

If you had advice to give your 18 year old self, what would it be?
Looking back, I think it would be to have the confidence to know that I could do anything I put my mind to. I do think there is a lot of unconscious bias that young women leaving school struggle with and you can’t wait for people to affirm your talents. For me, one of the great things about St Andrew’s college was to look around and think, ‘if they can do it, why can’t I?’, the earlier young women get that message the better.

Anna Bernasconi (Fr 2010)
After completing my Bachelors at the University of Sydney, I decided to continue my education at the University of Technology Sydney and study a Master of Arts in International Studies. Currently, I am completing my final semester at the University of Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. As part of my Masters, I am required to study abroad and complete a research thesis on a topic of my choice, relative to my host country.

At this stage, my research concerns urban renewal and the transformation of public space in Bogotá, and its effect on citizenship culture. I’m really enjoying researching and writing about this topic because it’s so pertinent to Bogotá’s current political and social climate, additional to how the city itself is developing and the progress that has already been made. It’s interesting to look at the policies that have been put in place and why public space is such a focal aspect. Perhaps you are familiar with politicians Enrique Penalosa and Antanas Mockus, two influential politicians in the transformation of public space and the creation of citizenship culture.

In addition to my research piece, I attend classes at the university – all in Spanish!

The standard of education here is very high and is considered very important. The university has some of the best facilities, with security everywhere, and is situated in close proximity to the very beautiful Monserrate. There is no college system in place here, or really at any of the universities, so finding accommodation and people to live with was all self-arranged. The exchange program this year was huge, with about 76 students from all types of countries; America, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Chile, the list goes on.

Despite everyone’s ability to speak English and show off their skills, the Spanish is going well. I understand and can write very well, however my speech is still developing, but has improved drastically. It’s good when I am with my local friends because they force me to speak it!

The people here are wonderful and the culture is amazing. The diversity is something else!

I have travelled to a few places in Colombia, and they are all very distinct. You experience something different in each city.

At this stage I am seriously considering staying indefinitely. I believe that Bogotá has so much to offer in terms of work opportunities and the fact that it is so central to other countries.  Colombia, and for that matter South America, is a rapidly developing country and continent, which solidifies why I think the English speaking world really needs to establish good relations with them. Given the current context, there is no better time than now!

Nick Harrington (Fr 2010)

Nick Harrington shares his best memories from College (including his lifetime ban from the Marly Bar) and some insights into The Majeri Project, where he works to build exceptional sustainable schools that serve the most disadvantaged children in Uganda.

When were you at St Andrew’s and what did you study at which university?
I was a resident at St Andrew’s from 2010-11 during which time I studied Law and International studies at UTS.

What are your best memories at College?
My best memories of College include hanging out with good friends after the major sporting/social events. The time spent in ‘Switzerland’ in Reid was particularly memorable as were the VDs in the JCR.

What did you do at College and/or university that you are most proud of?
During my time at St Andrew’s I was most proud of my involvement in establishing the St Andrew’s College Childrens’ Camp with James Cahill. The Camp continues today and has a fantastic impact on the community and is a great opportunity for current students to get involved in a perpetual project.
At the same time, I was building up The Manjeri School Project, a small international development organisation that I continue to lead today. We work in Uganda building exceptional sustainable schools that serve the most disadvantaged children. What has been really humbling is the number of Drew’s men and women who have joined our team and gone to Uganda to volunteer. Our accountant, auditor, website designer, agriculture team and enterprise investment team have all come from St Andrew’s. I think this demonstrates a willingness of Alumni to contribute skills and expertise to meaningful endeavors outside of their day-to-day careers.

What have you been up to since you left College?
Since leaving St Andrew’s and finishing uni, I continue to work on The Manjeri School Project on a volunteer basis after hours. We have recently undergone major infrastructure projects including the construction of 9 classrooms and teacher accommodation and invested in a number of local social enterprises.
During the day, I work at Social Ventures Australia (SVA) in their impact investment team. I manage and deploy a pool of capital in Australia, seeking both a financial and a social return for our investors. We seek to improve the lives of disadvantaged Australians and believe that social enterprise and social purpose businesses play an important role in bring about this change. I’m really fortunate to work with a team of passionate, socially conscious and intelligent people.

What are you doing now? What projects are you involved in?
At the moment at SVA, I am working on a number of impact investments and social impact bond transactions. Social impact bonds are new performance based contracting structures that promote better outcomes for those receiving social services. I feel like this is meaningful work.

Would you say St Andrew’s helped build your life experiences and business career?
I think St Andrew’s contributed to the development of who I am today and provided the platform to build a great group of diverse friends that I would never have otherwise met. I’m lucky to be able to work with some of them today too.
There’s little doubt that living and learning amongst a group of talented and well-rounded people is good for your growth. I was fortunate to enjoy that at St Andrew’s and also benefited from the freedom to do my own things on the side as well.

If you had advice to give your 18 year old self, what would it be?
Go easy at the Marley, they’ll catch you jumping the fence and give you a life ban…

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Drewsmen who have contributed their time and expertise to The Manjeri School Project over the years. Including; Luke Tregurtha, Angus Alcock, Campbell Leckie, Brad Wheaton, Tom Joffick, Jack O’Connor, James Larkin, Georgina Bird, Catherine Wild Taylor, and recently Andrew Gavel.

Visit http://manjerischoolproject.org/ for more information on the great work The Manjeri Project do.

Peter Wilkin (Postgrad, Fr 2012)
Peter Wilkin was an avid reader from an early age. Following high school, he followed his heart and enrolled in an Arts Degree at the University of Sydney, majoring in English Language and Literature. He went on to complete an honours year in 2007 and then a PhD. After eight and half years of studying, he took a year off to travel the world. He currently teaches, conducts research and has recently returned to College as a non-residential Teaching Fellow. In his spare time he’s a keen amateur musician, Zouk-Lambada dancer and has recently taken up surfing.

I chose Andrew’s because…
A friend of mine who was at Andrew’s at the time put the idea into my head. Then I did some research and was impressed by the great atmosphere of the College. It wasn’t a difficult decision! Although I wasn’t at Drew’s for very long (I only entered College in the final year of my PhD) being part of the postgrad community is one of the happiest memories of my university experience.

My fondest memory of College is…
Hosting a Eurovision party in my room; getting up late on Sunday morning and shambling into the dining hall for a bacon and egg breakfast; singing in the choir at ANZAC day service during one of the Rev’s formidable maritime-inspired services (that’s three but it’s hard to just have one!)

My proudest achievement is…
Winning the prize for the best thesis in my honours year. It was a complete surprise but a great moment.

In the future, I would like to…
Teach and write about English literature at university, write a good horror-themed short story, learn how to surf well and travel to Greece and Brazil (in no particular order).

Being back at College as a non-residential Teaching Fellow is…
A wonderful privilege! It is great to have the opportunity to be a part of College life again, helping students in their studies and being part of a vibrant Andrew’s postgrad community.