SMC Drama Graduates Studying With The Country’s Best

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Ana Ika, Simone Shandley Jones and Ashleigh Hebiton

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) has produced some of the biggest names in Australian show business. Think Hugh Jackman, Tim Minchin, and Lucy Durack. It is acknowledged as the home of musical theatre in this country.

Currently following in this proud tradition are three Santa Maria College graduates:

  • Former Head Girl, Ana Ika (2015) was accepted into the Bachelor of Arts (Acting) course commencing this year.
  • Simone Shandley Jones (2018) was accepted into the Diploma of Acting course commencing this year.
  • Ashleigh Hebiton (2015) is in her second year of a Bachelor of Arts (Performance Making) this year.

Application and acceptance into all of these courses are based on audition and the process is highly competitive. People from across Australia audition for limited places. The two bachelor courses are recognised as the best in the country.

We asked Ashleigh Hebiton about the transition from Santa Maria to WAPPA.

“As much as I wish Santa had a 400 seat theatre with red velvet seats and a proscenium arch, the intimacy of not only the physical space but the community of the department allowed me to feel safe and grow in ways that would be unimaginable anywhere else. Through the guidance of amazing teachers such as Miss Hux and Miss Rooke, I was allowed to explore and challenge myself in a fun way without being pushed too hard. I honestly believe that this was somewhat a training for me to be accepted into WAAPA. It is tough with long days and endless workloads, but my time at WAAPA so far has been aided greatly by the skills that I learned in high school drama and school productions.”

Santa Maria College’s Head of Drama aand Dance, Amanda Huxtable, said, “We are so incredibly proud of Ana, Simone, and Ashleigh. Their achievements are a credit to their talent and wonderful work ethics. We wish them long and successful careers.”


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Linda Stade
Santa Maria College
Santa Maria College is located in Attadale in Western Australia, 16 km from the Perth CBD. We offer a Catholic education for girls in Years 5 – 12 and have 1300 students, including 152 boarders. Our goal is to assist students to become self-directed and independent learners. Santa Maria College consistently performs well and ranks in the top 10 schools in Perth in terms of median ATAR.
If you are interested in more information about the school please click HERE for an Enrolment Pack and HERE to book a College Tour.

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This article is brought to you by Santa Maria College a WA Catholic Girls Schools – Years 5 – 12

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