#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – Angela Ballard (née Hutchinson)

As a social and diligent student, Angela enjoyed her time at Mater Christi, but struggled with English and writing. After leaving school in Year 11, and working in banking for a year, she was accepted into the Women’s Royal Australian Navy. It was here that Angela’s career and personal potential really took off, and she became a trailblazer in her field.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – Simone Cook (2013)

Seeing a perceived failure in a positive light can be easier said than done sometimes. Yet, Class of 2013 student Simone Cook’s journey to becoming an Embryologist is proof that everything happens for a reason, even when we can’t see it at the time.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – Louise Mugridge (2016)

Louise's pursuit of a career in Medicine stems from a deep desire to give back to her community and make a difference in other people's lives. Like so many other past students, Louise says these were values instilled in her during her time at the Mater Christi.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – 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.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – 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.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – 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.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – 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.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – 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.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – 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.

#ALWAYSAMATERGIRL – 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.