Lauriston Girls School
Thank you to our donors. Lauriston has always enjoyed the passionate support of alumnae, parents of current and past families, officeholders, staff, as well as students at the School. Find out more about why our donors have chosen to give to us.
The Ullmer Family Foundation’s recent gift in support of the new Sports and Wellbeing Centre is one of the largest the School has received and demonstrates its commitment to girls’ education.
The Ullmer family has a long history with Lauriston across multiple generations. Jenny and Michael Ullmer AO joined the Lauriston community in 1985 when their daughter, Jane, commenced in Prep. Michael served as Treasurer of the School Council for two years after having previously sat on the Lauriston Foundation Board from 1989-1991.
Jane Ullmer (1997), who now lives in New Zealand, attended Lauriston through to the completion of Year 9, leaving only due to the family’s relocation to Sydney, and recalls her formative experiences while at Howqua fondly.
Michael’s son, William, and daughter in law, Jenny Ullmer (née Chu, 1999) have three daughters currently at Lauriston, Victoria (Year 5), Elizabeth (Year 4), Charlotte (4yo kinder) and Catherine, who will commence 3yo kinder next year. The children are keen participants in a wide range of sporting activities on offer at Lauriston and are excited about the new programs that will become available once the building is complete.
This is the Ullmer Family Foundation’s first major gift focused on girls’ education. It has previously supported youth education, classical music and arts programs for communities that have lower levels of access and participation. On behalf of the family Jenny Ullmer (Chu, 1999) said, ‘This gift helps to address the inequality in funding and participation rates in girls’ sports as compared to boys’.
Mark and Lisa Anne have been part of the Lauriston community since daughter Beatrice started at Sutherland House in 2018.
The family have thrown their support behind the School and several of its supporting associations. Mark initially joined the Lauriston Parents’ Association and then the Lauriston Foundation Board as the LPA representative. Now an independent member of the Foundation Board, he is also a member of the Fathers of Lauriston committee.
Mark and Lisa Anne are also supporters of the It’s Her Turn campaign, which is helping fund the development of new sports and learning facilities at Lauriston.
“Gender equality issues are front and centre in contemporary Australia including pay gap, board diversity and media representation.
“We want to see every Lauriston student receive the best possible education, experiences and opportunities. Contributing to the school, even with your expertise and time, goes a long way to seeing our girls’ reach their full potential. The small actions of the broad Lauriston community will have a big impact on the lives of all Lauriston girls.”
The desire to give back has been passed on to Beatrice, who, keen to show her support for the recent 120th anniversary campaign, has become the Foundation’s youngest supporter.
“Beatrice genuinely wanted to be part of the 120th campaign. She spoke to her grandparents and friends and raised $120, which she then donated.”
Mark and Lisa Anne encourage families to get involved in their daughter’s education journey in a way that suits their circumstances.
“Whether it’s through volunteering, joining one of the various association committees, or showing your support by making a donation to the It’s Her Turn campaign, everyone can be part of their daughter’s Lauriston journey in some way.”
Talya Masel, parent of Sophie Cohen (current student), opera director, and Director of The Humanity Foundation, was one of the first families to understand the importance of this building campaign and the significant impact it will have on the perception of sports for girls at Lauriston. Many girls who study at Lauriston also have brothers studying in other independent Melbourne schools, and Talya can see the difference in the opportunities available to them both.
Talya believes this project will make the girls feel they are entitled to, and capable of, achieving greatness in the sports arena.
‘I give because, in broad terms, giving back is not only one’s duty, but the sense of fulfilment it gives you is second to none. I profoundly believe in the notion of changing the world, one step at a time. My reason for giving to this particular project is that for too long girls have taken backstage – it’s time to be front and centre. If we want to change the place of women, of our girls, then it is us that need to do it. What are you waiting for – if not now, when!?’
Spring Yang, has two children at Lauriston – Daisy in Year 4, and son Brooklyn, who is in the Early Learning program at Sutherland House.
Spring, who leads the Young Group (a diversified property development group) recently took some time to share the story behind her decision to make a gift in support of the building project.
When did your family become part of the Lauriston community?
Both Daisy and Brooklyn joined Lauriston in 2018. The school was recommended by friends and one of my close friends is also a Lauriston graduate. I chose the school both because of its educational programs and the values it instils in students. Daisy has made great academic progress since she started and has also been able to take part in a range of co-curricular programs including dance, drama and swimming. Brooklyn loves Sutherland House – he has grown up a lot and learned so much.
You recently made a gift in support of Lauriston’s new Sports, Health and Wellbeing Centre. How important do you think it is for girls to be involved in these types of programs?
I believe it’s very important. Health and wellbeing play a crucial role for our girls, both in terms of physical development and their learning. Being physically active helps improve mood, reduces stress, helps clear the mind and improves learning.
Being involved in sports helps girls learn teamwork and the importance of cooperation. It also helps them build confidence in their own abilities.
Why did you decide to make your gift?
My family have always encouraged me to give back, and to make a positive contribution to society. I’ve been looking for the right opportunity to give so when I learned about Lauriston’s building project, I saw it as a way to support our girls, to help provide facilities they need to learn and grow, and to give back to the community.
Children are the future and it is important we support them whenever and however we can.
Jane Freemantle (Mason, 1966) joined Lauriston at Kindergarten, and later returned as a parent. At that time, Jane became involved with the Foundation and helped to run a successful fundraising campaign to fund the development of the existing swimming pool.
Thirty years later, Jane joined the Board again in 2018 as the Foundation geared up to run a campaign to refurbish the now outdated swimming pool.
‘Over the many years since leaving Lauriston I have learned even more to be grateful for these years which have stood me in such good stead in the good times and in the bad.’
Jane, an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health at University of Melbourne, believes education is one of the most powerful weapons that can change the world. It determines life outcomes such as employment, income and social status, and is a strong predictor of attitudes and wellbeing. She hopes her contribution to the Foundation, as a donor and as a Board member, will create a more equitable world
Message from a current student at Lauriston, after purchase of library resources through a gift made by the Old Lauristonians’ Association, NSW:
‘Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your generous donation! It means a lot that you are still thinking of ways to help Lauriston so many years after you left our School. I’m sure each of the group of Old Girls have stories behind what the library meant to them during their time at Lauriston, and I would love to hear those stories.’
Hue and Vincent Chan’s daughter Carina graduated from Lauriston in 2015. Carina is now undertaking a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine at Monash University.
The Chan Family have been a part of the Lauriston community since their daughter started three-year-old Kindergarten. Their son, Jonathan, also attended Lauriston’s Early Learning program. Lauriston feels like a second home to them, and they fondly remember the enduring friendships that were made during those years.
‘We decided to make a gift to the Lauriston community because we could see the benefits Lauriston had brought to Carina in both a well-balanced education and a nurturing social environment, and we feel that such an opportunity should be further enhanced via our contribution for the extensive development the School is currently undertaking.’
gave to the Lauriston Foundation Library and It’s Her Turn Campaign, acknowledging her time at Lauriston and also ensuring that future girls would benefit from her gift.
Chloe has many fond memories of both the Junior and Senior School Libraries, where she formed friendships with staff members who took an interest in her academic pursuits. In Year 4 she won a prize for designing a book cover for Our Australian Girl and her first story ‘Meet Malala’ was published in Oz Kids in Print.
Figure skating is her greatest passion. However, the joy and pride of representing Andrews House at sporting events and Lauriston at Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) carnivals are second to none.
‘I hope my gift to the It’s Her Turn campaign contributes to the development of the new Sports, Health and Wellbeing Precinct, which will be an amazing place for staff and students.’
Scholarships and bursaries give deserving young women who would not otherwise have had the opportunity a chance to experience everything Lauriston has to offer. Read about some of our wonderful past scholarship recipients – where they are now, and how Lauriston has changed their lives.
Every gift makes a huge difference to our girls. We thank each and every donor for their generosity. You can read more about the impact of giving to Lauriston.