Old Scholars' Association

St Mark's Old Scholars' Association Logo

For students graduating from St Mark's, their relationship with the School does not end on the day they cross the stage at Valedictory. As Old Scholars, they remain an important part of our School community. Our past students are a rich resource, and are encouraged to share their skills, wisdom, time and ideas, ensuring everyone benefits from opportunities to connect with one another - students, teachers, parents, and friends of the School - both past and present.

The St Mark's Old Scholars' Association (OSA) was established in 1991, and its Constitution outlines its three primary objectives:

  • To provide a vehicle through which students who have left the School may maintain connections with contacts made during their time at St Mark’s;
  • To assist in the development of the School by provision of financial and practical assistance; and
  • To foster a spirit of community between past and present students, teachers and other members of the School family.

The Role of the Old Scholars' Association

As noted in the objectives above, the Old Scholars' Association does more than just provide a mechanism through which to connect its members - there is a clear focus on working with the School to ensure current students also benefit from its activities.

The role of alumni organisations has changed with the advent of social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter make it easier than ever for past students to remain connected with one another, meaning much of the work around keeping alumni in contact is no longer as essential as it was. This allows alumni groups to broaden their focus to giving back, both to their members and to the schools they attended.

The St Mark's Old Scholars' Association is no different. The members of the Association are a rich and valuable resource for the students. As the custodians of the culture and traditions that were started in 1986, St Mark's Old Scholars have a responsibility to share those cultures and traditions with the current student community, and help ensure the spirit of St Mark's, alongside the School's Values, remain firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of all its graduates, now and in the future.

The Old Scholars' Association Committee
  • Patron: Steven Davies, Principal
  • President: Andy Gray (2001)
  • Vice President: Franzl Shannon (1991)
  • Treasurer: Neil Gerrard (1999)
  • Secretary: Amy Aldous (2000)

Members:

  • Andrew Coffin (1990)
  • Shontelle Curtis Smith (2002)
  • Damien Hocart (1991)
  • Jo-Dee Mansell (1994)
  • Jamie Pryer (2002)
  • Chris Upstone (1997)

The Committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting, which is held in September each year. Committee meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month in February, March, April, May, June, August, October and November. Meetings may also take place in December, and subcommittees may meet at any time, as relevant to the activities they are managing. All members are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings to find out how they can get involved in volunteering or otherwise supporting Old Scholar activities.

Membership

Membership is open to any person who attended St Mark's as a student for not less that one year when studying Year 10, 11 and 12. Past students who don't fit this criteria are still encouraged to apply for membership, by application to the Old Scholars' Association. For more information, please email osa@stmarks.wa.edu.au.

In the early years of the Association, specifically between 1990 and 2007, membership was voluntary, and at the discretion of the student's parents. If you missed on becoming a member at the time of your leaving, it is not too late to do so - in fact, we'd welcome your decision to join. Simply submit an application form, along with proof of payment for the lifetime membership fee to osa@stmarks.wa.edu.au.

In 2008, membership became automatic on graduation from the School, and in every year subsequent to that, the membership levy is included in the annual School fees, making it a natural progression from being a student to becoming an Old Scholar.

If you are unsure of your membership status, or would like to confirm your membership number, please email community@stmarks.wa.edu.au.

Membership Benefits
  • Stay in touch, or reconnect with old friends.
  • Receive invitations to Old Scholar events and activities, such as the 'milestone' reunions.
  • Receive updates about events, reunions, and news from past and present students.
  • The Old Scholars' Association has a representative on School Council. This role provides the Association with the opportunity to provide feedback to the administrators and Principal.
  • Discounted hire of the School Chapel for weddings and special events.
  • Build valuable business contacts through the emerging Business Networking group.
  • Share your experience of life after St Mark's with current students.
  • The OSA Playgroup offers the opportunity for Old Scholar mums and dads (or partners of Old Scholars) to connect with one another.
  • Give back to the wide St Mark's community through linking with School initiatives supported by the Association.
Reunions

From 2021, the Old Scholars' Association is stepping up its support of its members, by hosting and subsidising an annual event for significant milestones from each graduating class - specifically the 10th, 20th and 30th reunions.

The Milestone Reunion is set to provide an easy way to bring past students together, to catch up with old friends, and have some fun. The Milestone Reunion will not preclude year groups from organising their own events as well. It is anticipated that many attendees will use the Milestone Reunion as a kick-off point for additional celebrations with their peers.

The Association can provide some tips and tricks for year groups wishing to run their own events outside of the Milestone Reunion, or arrange an event for other significant dates in their timelines.

The Association is also continuing the more recently established tradition of inviting the most recent graduates back for a One Year Reunion, and then encouraging them to stay on and participate in the annual Old Scholars vs Year 12 Sports Day.

For more information, please email osa@stmarks.wa.edu.au.

Child Enrolment

In 2020, around ten percent of all students attending St Mark's were children of past students, a clear indication that Old Scholars are keen to give their children the chance to enjoy the same quality education, experiences and opportunities that they enjoyed at during their time at the School.

The School's Admissions Policy

There are a number of factors that are considered when St Mark's reviews applications from all potential families, including Old Scholar families. No preference or weighting is given to any of these factors, with the exception of applicants who have an enrolled sibling already attending St Mark’s. The review process looks at the following elements (in no particular order):

  • whether a child has siblings already attending the School;
  • whether the child is of clergy;
  • if the child's parent is an active member of the Old Scholars’ Association;
  • if the child and his/her family attend church regularly;
  • whether the child lives in the local community;
  • the date of application;
  • individual family circumstances;
  • the outcome of the interview process; and
  • a child of parents who indicate a willingness to support the Anglican and community ethos of the School.

In all cases, the School Principal makes the final decision as to whether an offer of enrolment is made. The Principal retains the discretion to offer places to ensure an academic and coeducational balance is maintained across the whole School. For more information on the Admissions Policy, visit the Enrolments page of this website, or email admissions@stmarks.wa.edu.au.

Active Involvement in the Community

Old Scholars are invited to note their involvement with the Association as part of the application for enrolment. If an Old Scholar is, or has been, involved with the Association's Committee or volunteering at Old Scholar events, this constitutes service to the St Mark's community.

An Old Scholar may be a member of the Association and have links to the St Mark’s community through the Association; however, not all Old Scholars remain geographically close enough to be an active member of the OSA. If a past student has lived in another town, state or country, this is likely to have precluded their involvement with the OSA. As such, the Association would strongly encourages members, as other applicants who are not Old Scholars may, to describe their service to the community in which they work or live. Members are also welcome to describe how they intend to involve themselves with the Association and/or the School, in the future.

The Old Scholars' Association Scholarship

In 2019, the Old Scholars' introduced its own scholarship program, designed to support St Mark's students in Years 10, 11 and 12.

About the Scholarship

The Scholarship is awarded to a Year 9 student who excels and commits across a number of sporting, cultural, extra and co-curricular pursuits, community as well as academic commitment and specialist areas. The Association is looking for a well-rounded student that embodies the spirit of St Mark’s Anglican Community School.

The successful applicant will have a track record of full participation throughout their schooling and a commitment to the School’s Values. A panel consisting of representatives from the OSA and the School will review all applications, and create a shortlist of candidates for interview with the Principal, OSA President and Vice-President. The decision to award the Scholarship will be based on the student’s application and the outcome of a personal interview.

The Scholarship will provide a partial fee remission of 25% in the level of the tuition fee payable by the successful student each year and will continue until the student leaves St Mark’s, or for three years. The continuance of the Scholarship will be subject to annual review to ensure that the recipient is maintaining strong progress, demonstrating consistent and exemplary standards of attendance, effort, involvement, contribution, influence and adhering to the rules of the School.

Past Recipients

  • The inaugural recipient was Aaliyah Butler, in 2018. Aaliyah will graduate from St Mark's in 2021.
  • In 2019, the Scholarship was awarded to Molly Bean. Molly will graduate from St Mark's in 2022.
  • In 2020, the Scholarship was awarded to Estella Brown, who will graduate from St Mark's in 2023.

Information the 2021 Scholarship will be provided to Year 9 students in Term 3 of this year, and it will include application criteria and submission deadlines.

2021 Events and Activities

The Old Scholars' Association is planning for a number of events and activities in 2021, including:

  • Fundraising sausage sizzle at the School during the State elections (March 2021)
  • Running the iRoar Short Film competition for current students (March 2021)
  • Supporting the School's St Mark's Day celebrations (May 2021)
  • Supporting St Mark's Parents & Friends' Association events such as the Art Show (April 2021) and Fete (October 2021)
  • One Year Reunion for the Class of 2020 (August 2021)
  • Old Scholars vs Year 12 Sports Day (August 2021)
  • Milestone Reunion Event (November 2021)

For more information on these and other initiatives, please email osa@stmarks.wa.edu.au or visit their Facebook page. We also encourage all members to attend the monthly Committee meetings, which are held on the third Tuesday of every month in the Parish Centre, located next to the School's Chapel.

Did You Know...

  • There are now more registered Old Scholars than their are current students at St Mark’s. With the addition of the Class of 2020, there are more than 2,600 members.
  • There are three Old Scholars serving on the School Council.
  • The majority of members still live in Western Australia, but there are now also members in every State in Australia!
  • Many of our Old Scholars have spread their wings even further than that, living and working in Europe, Asia and North America.
  • In 2020, there were 98 Old Scholar families with a combined total of 167 children attending the School.
  • In 2020, there were 17 past students employed by the School, serving in both teaching and non-teaching roles.
  • Children of Old Scholars are placed in the same House group as their parents belonged to.
  • Among our past students are Olympic athletes, authors, comedians, actors, cartoonists, teachers, university lecturers, real estate agents, small business owners, auditors, police officers, conservationists and more!