ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Mascha Florisson (1989)

When Mascha's family immigrated to Australia from the Netherlands in 1981, they moved to the Dandenong Ranges. It was here that Mascha's love of the natural world began - setting the scene for her studies and lifelong career.

Mascha attended Mater Christi from 1984 – 1989 and says she settled in well, especially given that her older sister Esther was already here.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Loretta Gamley (Peterson) – 1966

As the first appointed College Captain, Loretta Gamley (Peterson)
commenced at Mater Christi in 1964. Transferring across from St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully, Loretta like many others had been eagerly awaiting the finalisation of construction of the first Mater Christi school buildings on the hill.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Monique Bast (2019)

Monique Bast (2019) has lived by the advice she shares with current Mater Christi students - ‘If you have a passion, or something that gives you inspiration to get up each day, then follow it as hard as you can!’

Her journey from a ‘quiet and awkward’ teenager to a successful business owner demonstrates how being ‘all-in’ when it comes to your passions can lead to wonderful things!

In the early years of secondary school Monique felt reluctant to share her interest in wildlife for fear of being judged.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Pippa Criss-Chisholm (2016)


Pippa Criss-Chisholm’s story echos beautifully, the iconic Ernest Hemmingway quote: ‘It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end’.

Pippa is true to herself and recognises her own strengths and limitations.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Emily White (2002)

Emily White is a ‘do-er’! She didn’t shy away from subjects she found difficult at school, because she recognised their benefits. She travelled from Melbourne to Ballarat each week, for a four-hour shift as a radio journalist, just to show her enthusiasm.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Melanie Finch (1999)

During secondary school, Melanie was 100% sure she would never pursue a career in science or maths. Yet today she has a PhD in Geoscience and is a lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville.

Her ‘meandering’ pathway from performing arts student to Geoscientist may seem a major divergence, and yet links back to a childhood interest in the way the earth was formed.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Kate Sherburn (Minns) (2002)

Kate works in her 'dream job', using her years of legal experience to make a real difference to others and the planet.

After loving Legal Studies and Psychology in VCE, I went on to study Psychology/Law at Monash. I had planned to go into organisational psychology, but after taking a year off uni to work as a paralegal at Cadbury/Schweppes, I knew that in-house law was going to be my way forward.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Tayla Little (2013)

For Tayla, Year 12 presented both opportunities for personal growth and significant challenges. Her message to current Year 12s is 'you will be ok'.

Wow, just like that, 7 years after graduating at Mater Christi, I count myself lucky to be following the same passion for business as I did back in Year 12, with Ms Callahan.

ALWAYS A MATER GIRL – Courtney Sombekke (2014)

A series of internships throughout her tertiary studies gave Courtney a clearer view of the advertising world and helped her land her first job. 

After completing VCE at Mater Christi, I went on to study a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Advertising at RMIT.  

During my time at RMIT I did a number of internships.