Introducing our Old Girls’ Association Committee – Mary Bairstow (Heavens, 1974)

What has been your journey since leaving Santa Maria College?

When I left Santa Maria I attended UWA and obtained a Bachelor of Arts and then a Bachelor of Social Work. I have worked as a social worker since 1980, mostly in health-related positions, other than a period as a guardian at the Office of the Public Advocate. I currently work in the Cancer Centre at Fiona Stanley Hospital and love my work with the patients.
I have two lovely daughters who are both Old Girls of the College.

How long have you been involved in the Old Girls’ Association Committee (OGA), what was your motivation to join?

I have been involved with the OGA Committee for three years and was prompted to join after my daughters left the school. I did not want to sever ties with the school, so I expressed interest in joining, and I am glad that I did.

What are your fondest memories of Santa Maria College?

My fondest memories relate to friendships and social experiences rather than the demanding academic work and hours and hours of homework. The shock of seeing nuns in normal swimming costumes when we were taken to Rottnest; jokes about the idiosyncrasies of teachers; going to a friend’s house near the school to swim in her pool at lunchtime and then getting back late to class with wet hair; practising Italian with Luisa the cleaner; badly cutting the inside of my mouth after a fall in the playground, and I still feel the scar; watching the first moon landing on a tiny black and white TV set in our Grade 7 classroom; playing the flute in the orchestra; the nervousness of waiting for flute examinations in the convent; lying on the sloped lawn at the front of the school in 1974 and wondering where my life would take me….. this is but a small selection of many memories and a happy time at the College.
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