Ursula Hope McConnel (1888 - 1957), anthropologist, was a student at NEGS from 1904-1905 during the very early years when Miss Florence Green, the founder of NEGS, was the headmistress. Ursula was one of 10 born on a grazing property in Queensland. She was one of the many Queensland students who were sent to boarding school at NEGS. During her time at NEGS
Edwina Corlette (Class of 1981) is the owner and director of the Edwina Corlette, a commercial art gallery in New Farm, Brisbane. On describing how six years at NEGS has informed her journey in life, Edwina says: ‘NEGS girls are pretty down to earth and resilient. A lot of us came from country backgrounds, hard working families who valued a broad education for girls.’ Edwina
NEGS Old Girl Jessica White (Class of 1995), is both an author and an academic. She is the author of A Curious Intimacy (2007), Entitlement (2012) and Hearing Maud (2019). Her short stories, essays and poems have appeared widely in Australian and international literary journals and she has won awards, funding and residencies. Jessica grew up on a family property outside of Boggabri
Our NEGS Old Girl is Georgie Rogers Class of 1993. After living an adventurous life travelling the world, Georgie was inspired to start Gathered Goods, a bespoke hamper service which sources beautiful goods from regional Australia. Georgie grew up on a family property in Guyra and started boarding at NEGS in 1988. Her family has a long history associated with the Armidale region
This year, NEGS Old Girl Rechelle Leahy (Class of 92), was listed on the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence 2019 for the Local and Regional category, and was nominated for a Pro Bono Australia IMPACT25 Award recognising her work creating a positive impact for women and girls in rural, regional and remote Australia. Rechelle is a co-founder of RegionalCollab and a
NEGS Old Girl Margaret (Meg) Early (class of 1969) is an artist and prize-winning author of 6 children’s books. After NEGS Margaret attended Sydney University majoring in Fine Arts, Archeology and Anthropology. She then went on to Shillito Design School for another 3 years and did a Post-Graduate year at St Martins School of Art in London. Margaret moved to France after spending
NEGS Old Girl Julia Lynch (nee Julia Hargreaves – Class 2004) and her horse ‘Vedor’ represented Australia at the 2012 London Olympic Games. At 26, Julia was the youngest Australian show jumping competitor ever to compete at the Olympics. Julia placed 35th in the individual event and equal 10th in the team event. She also became the 4th Olympian NEGS Old Girl. Born
NEGS Old Girl Olivia Gossip (class of 1999) is a Senior Assistant Parliamentary Counsel at the Australian Office of Parliamentary Counsel.
Bridget Hyem (nee Bridget MacIntyre – Class of 1949) competed in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. She was the first-ever female to represent Australia in an Olympic Equestrian event and was a trailblazer for all female riders who have come after her. It was 20 years before another woman competed in an Olympic event.
Following the Olympics, Hyem went on to make a name for herself as an owner and breeder. She bred two of Australia’s most successful event horses, Olympic gold medallists Kibah TicToc and Kibah Sandstone. The half-brothers were both ridden by Matt Ryan, with Tic Toc claiming double gold in Barcelona and Sandstone gold in the team’s event in Sydney. Hyem owned both of these horses until her death at age 81.
NEGS Old Girl Claire Braund (class of 1987) is a social entrepreneur who co-founded Women on Boards in Australia in 2006 and in the UK in 2012. She is a writer, networker and gender advocate; a respected speaker on a range of topics, including equity and diversity, and an informed and entertaining MC and presenter.
Claire co-founded several small organisations including Women on Boards and has served on many not-for-profit boards such as the Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women and The Women’s Club. Claire now serves as the Deputy Chair of the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music and is the Chair of the Building Committee.
As the Executive Director of Women on Boards Claire also sits on the boards of both Women on Boards Australia and the global group, WOB Pty Ltd. She regularly works with organisations and aspirant directors seeking board roles.
In 2011 Claire became a Churchill Fellow for her research into gender balance on boards in Norway, France and the UK. She is also a graduate of the Benevolent Society’s Sydney Social Leadership Program.
In 2016 Claire was the guest speaker at the 121st NEGS Speech Day. I encourage all of our community to read her entertaining and inspiring speech here: https://www.womenonboards.net/en-au/impact-media/news/on-the-shoulders-of-others?viewmode=0
NEGS Old Girl, Enid Esther Mather (nee L’Estrange – class of 1928), known as Esther, was a pioneer in female aviation within Australia.
In 1936, on her 26th birthday, Esther received her pilot’s licence after only two month’s instruction and in 1937 Esther became the first Queensland woman to receive her commercial pilot’s licence. From there, her aviation career took off.
Esther became the first woman to be captain of the Queensland Aerobatic Team and in February 1938 Esther represented the Queensland Royal Aero Club at an interstate competition held at Mascot aerodrome, Sydney, where she defeated her male rivals in aerobatics. She was regarded as ‘Australia’s champion lady aerobatic’’.
Esther’s achievements in aviation were recognised up until her death in 1998.
1968 – Esther was the first female awarded the Paul Tissandice Diploma by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (Paris) for services to Aviation.
1971 – Awarded the Nancy Bird trophy.
1975 – Made a Life Governor of the Peninsular Air Ambulance Service.
1995 – Made a Life Member of Australian Women Pilots’ Association.
NEGS Old Girl Judith Wright (class of 1932) is one of Australia’s finest poets, as well as a pioneering environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights.
Judith was the author of several collections of poetry, including The Moving Image, Woman to Man, The Gateway, The Two Fires, Birds, The Other Half, Magpies, Shadow, Hunting Snake and was the author of many children’s stories, books of criticism, short stories, biographical essays and her pioneering story, Generations Of Men (1959).
During her lifetime Judith received several awards, including the Grace Leven Prize (1950), the Australia-Britannica Award (1964), the Christopher Brennan Award (1976), the Robert Frost Memorial Award (1977), the Australian World Prize (1984), the Queen’s Medal for Poetry (1992), the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Poetry Award for Collected Poems (1994). She had honorary degrees from several universities and in 1973-74 she was a member of the Australia Council.