For most school graduates, the end of Year 12 not only marks the end of the school journey, but a time for celebrating friendships, and heartfelt goodbyes. For five Glennie Old Girls, there is no need for farewells, as they are taking the next step in life together.
In the inner Brisbane suburb of Ascot, Glennie Old Girls Kate Bellars (GOG2020), Maddie Brassington (GOG2020), Katelyn Nicholls (GOG2020), Gabby Lawson (GOG2019) and Isobel MacRae (GOG2019) are continuing their journey together at Durack College.
For all Glennie girls, ‘All She Can Be’ can take on a very personal meaning, for those girls venturing into Year 7 it can mean putting their best foot forward, being true to themselves, or upholding the Anglican ethos of kindness, love and compassion.
For each of these young women, ‘All She Can Be’ has taken on a very different meaning, one of being aspirational, independent, future-focussed and driven to forge careers in their chosen fields. Whilst their area of tertiary study and their motivations are each as different and unique as their personalities, the one thing that they all have in common is their deep affinity and connection to their school.
Seeing the effect that COVID has had on the events industry motivated me to explore marketing, and I am really enjoying it’.ISOBEL MACRAE (GOG2019)
The girls are embracing their new challenges and enjoying the tight knit, family feel that Durack is providing. Maddie sees a lot of similarities between her Glennie and Durack experience. ‘The thing that I love, and that Glennie and Durack definitely have in common, is the people. Community is a huge part of my life, and everyone here is really close, everyone’s different and has their own interests and career paths, but we all can still come together as one. That was really important at Glennie, and remains important here’.
As excited as all of the girls are about their new adventure, there are things that they all miss about their old school. For girls like Katelyn who has undertaken a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at ACU, the day-to-day creative subjects are the thing that she is missing the most. ‘I really miss being involved in the musicals and the arts side of school! Just having the choir rehearsals each week, and being surrounded with your friends was a wonderful experience, it was really special for me.
This passion for the arts is echoed by Glennie classmate and now Durack sister, Kate. ‘Musicals were the best! Just being in the arts was amazing. I remember all of the teachers as well, they went out of their way to make each experience very worthwhile and enjoyable’.
Kate’s passion and flair in the arts at school have definitely left its mark, commencing a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Fashion Design at QUT in 2021. ‘I’ve always been a very creative person, and I love the idea of being able to utilise my creativity to start my own brand, working towards designing collections and hopefully ‘Fingers crossed’, being involved in fashion weeks across the globe.
‘I knew well before I finished Glennie that I wanted to study Law. My interest and passion for the law came about through legal studies at school. Now that I am able to study it at QUT, I find it really enjoyable’.MADDIE BRASSINGTON (GOG2019)
The role that their Glennie education has played in their new path is a common thread amongst the girls. Maddie Brassington who is studying a Bachelor of Law and Justice at QUT, knows exactly where her passion for law sprung to life, ‘I knew well before I finished Glennie that I wanted to study Law. My interest and passion for the law came about through legal studies at school. Now that I am able to study it at QUT, I find it really enjoyable, but also very confronting, especially the justice side as it can be very emotional’.
Commencing their tertiary studies at the height of Covid-19 hasn’t dampened their resolve, and for girls like Isobel who has undertaken a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing at Griffith University, the global pandemic has played a part in her decision process when choosing a field of study. ‘I started off being interested in studying event management as that is what I started off majoring in. Seeing the effect that COVID has had on the events industry motivated me to explore marketing, and I am really enjoying it’.
When they aren’t studying, the special bond that each of the girls have at Durack provides great solace and enjoyment, even if they weren’t in the same friendship circles or year groups at Glennie, their school connection provides great comfort. Isobel mentions, ‘Although some of the girls were a grade below me, I like that I already had that relationship with them. I knew them from school, so there was a kind of camaraderie that existed between us, which made it really easy to just evolve into being friends.
For Gabby, who like Katelyn is studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at ACU, the comfort of having structure in her life at Durack is something she can compare to her boarding experience at Glennie. ‘Although some may see it as repetitive, the structure of waking up at six, going to breakfast, venturing back to the boarding house, getting ready for school and having order throughout the day was something I really liked’.
‘I like that as an Old Girl, I see how Glennie has continued to change and evolve. It continues to be the school that students need now but it seems that the traditions continue’Katelyn Nicholls (GOG2020)
The virtues of compassion and kindness learnt at Glennie clearly define many of the girls’ course selections. For Gabby, who like Katelyn is studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at ACU, the ability to give back is key to her future career. ‘I want to be able to one day help someone and make a difference. Being in a position to help a child who has difficulties with speech or can’t hear the world, even if it is just providing comfort or assisting them to cope with their journey will give me satisfaction that I did something good’.
This theme of giving back and helping others is additionally a highlight of studying Speech Pathology for Katelyn, ‘I really enjoy learning about the different ways I can both connect with people and provide help in future’.
Having only recently graduated, Glennie and the memories they forged remain fresh in their minds, but in this short period of time the girls can clearly identify the lasting impression that Glennie has instilled within them.
‘It’s really lovely coming from a place where we have so many memories. Daily we reminisce and continue to bounce off each other. ‘Remember this? Remember that? It was a really special time. I like that as an Old Girl, I see how Glennie has continued to change and evolve. It continues to be the school that students need now but it seems that the traditions continue’ Katelyn says.
This lasting imprint is shared by Kate, ‘Glennie has equipped me with a lot of integrity. I feel like I’m motivated to do the right thing, even when no one’s watching. It was ingrained in us to carry ourselves and behave with integrity, not to be selfish and to think of others first’.
For all Glennie Old Girls the journey they undertake after school is a personal one, whether it be family, friendship, study or career, each goes about it with compassion, grace and humility. These five young women stand on the shoulders of giants, and remain a testament to the generations of Old Girls who have gone before them.