Meet a few of our featured PLC Alumni, representing a range of fields of endeavour and achievement.

1986
Sally Capp
Lord Mayor of Melbourne

Sally Capp is the first woman to become the Lord Mayor of Melbourne in almost three decades and the first woman to be directly elected to the role.

Sally has had an illustrious career in business and the wider community in roles including as the former executive director of the development lobbying group the Property Council of Victoria.

Sally graduated with honours in economics and law from the University of Melbourne and was previously the Chief of Operations of the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and the former Victorian Agent-General in London from 2009 to 2012 - the first woman to hold the office.

She is also the former CEO of the Committee for Melbourne and was a director of Collingwood Football Club to 2009, the first woman to serve on the board of that club.

Class of 1994
Kelly O'Dwyer MP
Federal Minister for Revenue and Financial Services

Kelly is the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services in the Turnbull Government. She is a member of Cabinet and also serves on Cabinet’s Expenditure Review Committee.

Kelly was elected to represent the people of Higgins in 2009, following the retirement of former Federal Treasurer the Hon Peter Costello AC. She has previously served as the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer and as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer.

Kelly grew up in Emerald, in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. She was educated at Presbyterian Ladies College and went on to attend Melbourne University, graduating with Honours in Law and an Arts degree majoring in history. Upon leaving university, Kelly embarked on a legal career at Freehills, where she practised in corporate law.

In 2004, Kelly commenced as an economic policy adviser to the Federal Treasurer. After the 2007 Federal Election, Kelly undertook a role as an executive at National Australia Bank, where she was involved in building a new business area. Kelly is a former board member of Bowls Australia and has also been a member of the Victorian Advisory Council of Camp Quality.

Kelly is the founder and Chairman of the Parliamentary Friends of Women in Science, Maths and Engineering. In addition, Kelly serves as an Ovarian Cancer Ambassador, Patron of the Stonnington City Brass and Patron of the East Malvern Junior Girls Football Team.

Kelly is married to Jon and they live locally in Higgins with their children Olivia and Edward.

Catherine Phillips
Class of 2009
Catherine Phillips
AFL Women's Melbourne Football Club Player

Catherine Phillips is one of the inaugural players in the AFL Women's football in 2017, playing for Melbourne Football Club. 

Catherine, who prior to playing for Melbourne FC, had virtually zero AFL experience, was a gold medallist winner in the 201 World Championships for Ultimate Frisbee.  Having first played Ultimate Frisbee in Year 11 at PLC, she honed her craft and has been a six-time representative for Australia and was the team Captain at the US Open title in 2015, where Australia was the first non-North American team to win the title.  She continues to play where she can, in amongst her many commitments.

Catherine completed her degree in mechanical engineering at Melbourne University and is working full-time in her profession, whilst training and playing in the evening for Melbourne FC.

 

Class of 1983
Professor Liza Lim
Composer

Professor Liza Lim is regarded as one of Australia's leading and most influential international composers of ultra-modern music for chamber groups, opera and orchestral works. Her lyrical, colourful and dynamic works have been commissioned by groups such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC and Sydney Symphony Orchestras and she has made operas and large-scale, collaborative installations for all of the major city festivals in Australia.  Her distinctive music draws on cross-cultural influences including Aboriginal and Chinese sources.
 
Liza was a boarder at PLC and through the encouragement of her music teacher Rosalind Macmillan, was composing from an early age. Student ensembles performed her early compositions and she started to win competitions, resulting in an Australia Council grant in her final year of school. This began a lifetime of collaboration with performers, in particular the Elision Ensemble, with whom she has worked closely for 30 years.
 
She is currently Professor of Composition at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music as well as Visiting Professor at Shanghai Conservatory. From 2008-2017, she was Professor of Composition and Director of the Centre for Research in New Music at the University of Huddersfield, UK where she still holds a visiting position. 
 
 

 

Class of 1975
Dr Catherine Crock AM
Physician

Dr Catherine Crock AM is the inspiring Executive Director and founder of the Hush Foundation. Since 1994, as a highly sought after and award-winning physician at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Catherine has worked closely with patients and families to reduce procedural pain for children and minimise stress and anxiety for sick children and their families.

She established the HUSH Foundation in 2000 and with leading musicians and composers, has produced the HUSH Collection and CELLO Lullaby, special compilations of soothing music that is played in hospitals in Australia and overseas, to relax and calm children, families and staff. Leading writers have also contributed to a delightful children’s book which helps young patients to adjust to hospital life and procedures through entertaining and imaginative stories and poems. 

Catherine has also collaborated with a professional playwright to develop plays which raise awareness of patient-centred care, communication and safety issues. In 2013, she was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her pioneering work in these areas where she has greatly contributed to better health outcomes by expanding the important role of the arts in the medical field.

Dr Crock has won innumerable awards including a Churchill Fellowship and in 2015, she received an AM for her significant service to medicine.

Class of 1989
Lisa Leong
CEO & ABC Radio Host

Lisa Leong is the ABC Radio Host of This Working Life on ABC RN (Radio National) and the CEO of OIO APAC, helping organisations develop deeper relationships with their strategic clients. 

Her work and unique approach has been the subject of a Harvard Case Study and her TEDx talk “Can robots make us more human?” which you can view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQlcmUJa6Gg

After PLC, Lisa attended Ormond College at Melbourne University where she studied Science/Law and joined law firm Freehills upon graduation. She worked as an Intellectual Property and Technology lawyer and became the lead lawyer for the e-commerce division of the ANZ bank in 1999.

She then worked in New York and London as a technology lawyer whilst volunteering at various hospital radio stations in London. Through determination and a lot of perseverance, Lisa landed a role on commercial radio and made the decision to devote herself to her passion for radio. She eventually decided to pursue a full-time career in radio and subsequently undertook a radio broadcasting course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.  Ultimately these beginnings led to a full and stimulating radio career on commercial radio stations on the Gold Coast and Adelaide before a move to the ABC breakfast show for the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. 

It was following the birth of her daughter that Lisa eventually returned to Melbourne with her film maker husband, Darcy Yuille. In time Lisa looked to new opportunities and was appointed CEO of OIO APAC in 2017. It was here that, drawing on her unique career experiences combined with Design Thinking and Mindfulness practices, she was able to bring a fresh approach to proactive client conversations and collaborations. She continues in this role today.
 
Lisa has served on the ABC Advisory Council, and is a former Board Director for international children’s charity Radio Lollipop, which provides radio and play services to sick children in hospital. which operates at Monash Children's Hospital in Clayton.
 

 

Class of 1992
Briony Pemberton
Art Conservator

A country boarder from Bairnsdale, Briony has nineteen years’ experience in conservation, exhibitions and loans management and preventive conservation. 

In London, Briony worked for two years at the Tate Gallery specialising in the conservation of British watercolours and drawings and co-curated Drawing Materials and Techniques: Works on Paper from the Oppé Collection 1750-1850. Returning to Australia, Briony worked at the State Libraries of Victoria and NSW before transferring to the National Gallery of Victoria. 

Since 2007, Briony has worked at the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne. In this role she has undertaken treatment programs for works on paper, prepared and deliver lectures and practical sessions for the Master of Arts (Cultural Materials Conservation) course at the University of Melbourne. In 2015, Briony restored the PLC pastel portrait of Dame Nellie Melba by Florence Rodway. Last year, she was a recipient of Copland Foundation Grant, in partnership with the National Trust Victoria, to conserve wallpapers from Gulf Station. The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation accepts fee-for-service clients and the scope of work is always interesting, often rare and of great historic importance. 

Currently, Briony is working on a significant Dutch map from 1663, one of the first to show the outline of Australia. Other highlights include treating the ‘Phar Lap Tonic Book’ owned by Museum Victoria. This booklet contained all the recipes that the trainer prepared for Phar Lap, and what many believe may have unintentionally contributed to the horse’s death as many of the recipes included arsenic.

Class of 2005
Dr Sally-Anne Richter
Veterinarian

Sally-Anne Richter has just been named top of her class nationwide in her most recent examinations, winning the Paul Gotis-Graham Award for achieving the top score on her Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists examination. 

Dr Richter who works at the Launceston Veterinary Hospital, combines her love of veterinary work with her passion for playing the bagpipes. 

In fact, the reason Sally-Anne chose to move to Launceston to work was because she could continue to play the bagpipes through the St Andrew’s Caledonian Pipe Band.

Sally-Anne started playing the bagpipes in the PLC Pipes and Drums when she was in Year 11 and has maintained her love of playing in and composing for Pipes and Drums bands ever since. 

Class of 1975
Fiona Balfour
Business Woman

Fiona holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Information Management from University of NSW and an MBA from the University of RMIT. 

Fiona's career has been in the information technology industry working in enterprise technology across Australian Aviation, Information and Telecommunication Services, Financial Services, Distribution and Logistics, Education sector, Marketing and Commercial systems and not-for-profits for over 35 years. 

She is currently an independent non-executive director for Metcash, Salmat, TAL (Dai-ichi Life) Australia, Airservices Australia and is a Council Member and Treasurer of Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga.

Balfour has received numerous honours for her work, including the Award for Excellence in Management from the Australian Telecommunications Users Group in 2003, the National Pearcey Medal in 2006. 

She was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2009 and a Fellow of Monash University in 2010.

Click here to read Fiona's speech to the PLC OCA Christmas Lunch 2016.

 

Class of 1989
Abigail Forsyth
Founder and Managing Director - Keep Cup

Abigail Forsyth is a leader in the global campaign to promote
sustainability.

As the co-founder and managing director of KeepCup, known
worldwide for its bright, bold and instantly recognisable reusable
cups, Abigail is passionate about improving the take-up of
sustainable alternatives to disposable and single use items.

Following a successful career as a solicitor at a boutique Melbourne
law firm, Abigail and her brother Jamie set up their own chain
of cafes across the city. Alarmed by the amount of disposable
packaging being wasted, Abigail started her search for a more
sustainable and environmentally conscious way to serve food, and
the concept of KeepCup soon became a reality.

KeepCup is the world’s first barista-standard reusable coffee
cup, available in the same sizes as disposable cups and capable of
fitting under the group head of coffee machines used in cafes and
coffee shops the world over.

Now nearly a decade old, KeepCup remains a global solution to
a global problem. More than 5 million people around the world
are KeepCup converts, helping to divert more than 3.5 billion
disposable cups from landfill.

Abigail has opened offices and warehouses in London (UK) and
Los Angeles (USA) to service growing consumer demand in over 65
countries around the world, but the business has stayed loyal to its
roots. KeepCup’s HQ is located in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.

Class of 1993
Amy Muir
Architect

Amy Muir is the director of the Melbourne based architecture practice MUIR. 

Amy graduated from RMIT University with first-class honours in 2002 and was awarded the Anne Butler Memorial Prize and the Architects Registration Board of Victoria’s Association of Women in Architecture Prize for her final thesis project. Prior to studying architecture Amy completed a Bachelor of Arts (Interior Design) from RMIT University which has ensured that the practice places equal value on the holistic crafting of interior and external form as one.  

The practice’s first project Law Street House was awarded state and national awards by the Australian Institute of Architects and the practices work has been widely published both locally and internationally.  

Amy is committed to supporting the education of young architects and has guest lectured at various universities and is a current Lecturer at RMIT University.  

Amy is the current Victorian President of the Australian Institute of Architects and for the past 3 years has chaired the Institutes Awards Committee establishing strong links between her teaching and research at RMIT University, professional practice and public advocacy.  

In 2016 Amy was recognised for her work and professional engagement in being awarded the Victorian and National Australian Institute of Architects Emerging Architect Prize. And recently in collaboration with landscape architects OPENWORK, MUIR+OPENWORK were selected to deliver the NGV 2018 Architecture Commission in the Grollo Equiset Garden. 

Class of 1997
Helen Johnson
Artist

Helen has been working as an artist since graduating from a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT in 2002, later returning to study to complete a PhD in Fine Art at Monash University in 2014, which received the Mollie Holman Medal for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Recently Helen has held solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; at Chapter in Cardiff alongside Megan Cope; as part of the 2016 Glasgow International; and at Château Shatto in Los Angeles.

She has also exhibited work as part of The National at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and has participated in group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the TarraWarra Museum of Art as well as numerous overseas galleries. Her work is held in many public and private collections including those of the Tate with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the University of Chicago, the Monash University Museum of Art, Queensland Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and the City of Yarra. She is represented by Sutton Gallery in Melbourne, Château Shatto in Los Angeles and Pilar Corrias in London, and is a Lecturer in Fine Art at Monash University.