Wenona Alumnae: Women of Spirit
Inspiration was everywhere at our annual Women of Spirit breakfast, with guest speaker, Mrs Catherine West Fouter (1986py) encouraging the audience to always aim high.
Mrs West is on the board of Nine Entertainment and Southern Phone, a member of the Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation Committee, on the SheStarts Advisors Panel and the Wenona Board of Governors. She has enjoyed a stellar career, both in Australia and overseas, including senior roles at Sky, the commercial committee of BAFTA and the Princes Trust Women’s Leadership Group.
Mrs West gave a highly entertaining speech, which had the audience crying with laughter, as she described her journey from Wenona in the 1980s – she showed the audience photos to prove that no decade trumps the ‘80s for crazy hair – to the present day. She is now a parent, with three daughters currently at the School, and a recently appointed Board member.
Mrs West’s speech was beautifully summed up by Ms Jaz Schmatloch (2017py), who was thrilled to attend the event as an Alumna.
“The Women of Spirit breakfast was my first Wenona event since I graduated from School last year, and it made me realise how privileged I am to be a part of the Wenona Alumnae. I attended the event with my younger sister Heidi (Year 11), my mum Cath (Leverrier, 1983) and my grandma, Louise (Roseby, 1956) all Wenonians!
Apart from catching up with school friends that I have not seen for a few months, the highlight definitely had to be the speeches.
Dr Scott’s speech, as always, was inspirational. I miss her words of wisdom and I think I need to subscribe to the daily podcasts Dr Scott listens to, so I can become a little more knowledgeable!
The guest speaker, Catherine West, delivered an amazing and very entertaining speech. After seeing photos of Catherine and her friends at School with her unbelievably teased hair, I wasn’t so sure she could be taken seriously. However, after hearing her story, I realised that she is definitely someone to be reckoned with.
Catherine has achieved overwhelming success in both her personal and professional life, but it was her ability to combine both worlds successfully - and with complete support from her bosses - that really impressed me. Catherine said that she’s always had the confidence to do both. With some extra help at home, she is proof that women can be in charge of a $4 billion deal at work and be a mum on sidelines watching their daughter play netball.
Catherine’s speech made me -and everyone in the room - believe that women are capable of anything and everything. This was my first Women of Spirit breakfast, but it won’t be my last!”
The event held at Luna Park last Friday, raised funds for Alumnae-sponsored Barbara Jackson and Wenona Alumnae scholarships, which give students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to attend the School.
It was wonderful to have Fairy Sparkle there, lighting up the room with her customary glitter and sprinkling fairy dust on everyone, including Dr Scott!
With more than 220 women in attendance this year, a huge thank you must go to Wenona Alumae President, Mrs Jennifer Mildren (Stiel, 1987), Women of Spirt Event Coordinator, Mrs Elly Paterson (Vass, 1980), Miss Fiona Hudson (2009py) for doing the graphic design, Mrs Allison Treffry (1986py) and Mrs Sarah Deveson for doing the flowers, and to eveyone else who helped to make the event so successful.