The OLA Fellowship

The OLA Fellowship

The Old Lauristonians’ Association (OLA) has established a Fellowship program to support professional development, to help deliver a unique project, research or further study undertaken by an Old Lauristonian in her related field.

In line with the OLA vision and mission the Fellowship program will provide a financial contribution of $5,000 to the successful applicant. We are extremely proud to be offering this opportunity to our Old Lauristonian community and look forward to showcasing the successful Fellow to the wider Lauriston community at the Valedictory Assembly.   

The recipient of this Fellowship will be required to submit an article to The Lauristonian on completion of their 12-month term, highlighting the benefits of being awarded the Fellowship including any information about any Lauriston connections involved and how the OLA assisted the Fellow (preferably with a photo), prior to 31 August the following year. 

Applications for the 2023 OLA fellowship are now open and we invite all Old Lauristonians to submit their application. 

For more information, please email 

Fellowship Podcast hosted by Sabina Read (Bradfield, 1988)

Sabina Read (Bradfield, 1988) was thrilled to host a special edition podcast with Sophie Tissot and Steph Parsons, two OLA Fellowship recipients – Sophie was awarded her Fellowship in 2021 and Steph in 2022. Being in conversation with these two passionate, curious, and accomplished humans felt like a combination of reconnecting with old friends, dialling up career inspiration, and being reminded of the old-school connections that bond us all. The conversation highlights the impact on our identities and careers when others see you and believe in you. A simple fellowship like this has the potential to help build careers, invites alumnae to stretch and grow, and creates a ripple of impact well beyond any one talented and motivated recipient.

Thank you Sabina, for highlighting the importance of the OLA Fellowship, the value of ‘old school’ connections and the significance of staying connected.

Fellowship Recipients

OLA Fellowship Winner 2022 - Steph Parsons (OL 2011)

After leaving Lauriston in 2011, Steph completed a Bachelor of Film & Television at the VCA and a Juris Doctor at Monash University. Through her work as a lawyer and in the film industry, she has been given the opportunity to join the board of Channel 31, Melbourne's long-running community television broadcaster. Channel 31 is a registered charity. 

Though Steph has experience with corporate governance through her work as a commercial lawyer, she does not have any practical experience working as a company director. Steph will be using the funds provided by the OLA Fellowship to further her understanding and education in the field of corporate governance, in particular with a focus on the governance of not-for-profits. 

Steph keenly feels the responsibility she has as board director to manage Channel 31 in accordance with its principles, as well as the responsibility Channel 31 has to the broader community of creators and viewers. Assistance from the OLA Fellowship will be invaluable in helping Steph to fully understand her role and how to maximise her effectiveness in the charities space.

OLA Fellowship Winner 2021 - Dr Sophie Tissot (Riddell, 2006)

In 2021, the OLA received a number of applications and were delighted to short-list applications from 3 three candidates: Sophie Tissot (Riddell, 2006), Krisha Changrani (2014) and Kathryn Elliott (1990).  All three applicants are outstanding examples to the current student body and Old Lauristonians across the world, of what can be achieved through hard work, determination, perseverance, a strong sense of community spirit and connection.  

A selection panel, consisting of members of the OLA Committee and a representative from the School Executive, reviewed all applications in line with Fellowship selection criteria and then interviewed selected candidates before unanimously awarding the inaugural OLA Fellowship to Dr Sophie Tissot (2006). 

Sophie Tissot (nee Riddell) is a Urology Surgical Trainee and Robotics Fellow at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne.  Sophie completed her medical degree at the University of Adelaide after which she returned to Melbourne to work at St Vincent's Hospital. In her pre-surgical training years, she completed a Master of Surgery (University of Sydney), became the inaugural Chief Surgical Resident of St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne (2017-2018) and gained a position on the Urology Society of Australia and New Zealand surgical training program which she commenced in 2019.  

Sophie is currently involved in a project which is a validation study of hydrogel anatomical models to train doctors in robotic surgery.  There has been a recent uptake of robotic surgery in favour of open or laparoscopic methods which has resulted in an all-time high demand for robotic surgical training. Surgical trainees like Sophie only work within the public system which limits the accessibility to robotic training, but with the OLA Fellowship funding, Sophie will now have access to robotic surgical training through the Australian Medical Robotics Academy (AMRA). The financial support from the OLA fellowship, will allow Sophie to be the first novice surgeon in Australia to complete hydrogel prostatectomy model training through AMRA, under the supervision of Professor Tony Costello AM, CEO of AMRA.  

AMRA's objective is to change the current approach to teaching robotic surgery, to reduce the overall surgical complication rates that currently sit at 17% at 30 days postoperatively.  Sophie and her colleagues believe that virtual simulation and then operating, repetitively, on life-like hydrogel models is a safer, more efficient, and more ethical way to teach robotics.  

As a woman in a male-dominated field, there is often intrinsic doubts about one's skills and preparedness to undertake roles in the medical industry.  Sophie continues to build her skills and experience by seeking non-traditional educational techniques, which she strongly believes are the way of the future.  

OLA Fellowship Application

Application Requirements
  • All applications are to be submitted via email to the OLA Committee by the advertised closing date. 
  • Each application must include 2 two referees: o. One personal and one professional. 
  • All applicants must include a resume (no more than 2 two pages). 
  • All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 30 September 2023. 
  • Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by a panel that includes members of the OLA Committee and a representative of the School Executive.  
Application Form
  • Application form can be found here
Application Conditions
  • All applications must be received to the OLA Committee by the advertised closing date. 
  • All applicants must have completed their year 12 at Lauriston Girls' School. 
  • The Fellowship funds cannot be used towards an existing? University or study debt. 
  • The successful applicant will be announced and presented with their Fellowship at the Valedictory Assembly, or at an occasion agreed by the OLA and School. 
  • The successful Fellow will be expected to attend an agreed number of OLA and LGS events by the conclusion of their 12-month Fellowship. 
  • The successful Fellow will actively participate in OLA and LGS communications initiatives including in publications and online. 
  • The Fellowship recipient will be selected by the OLA Fellowship Committee in consultation with the Principal of Lauriston Girls' School.