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e-News April 2020

From the Head of College
It was an inspiring start to 2020 at St Mark’s. An Old Collegian was Australian of the Year. New and returning students brought the excitement of the new academic year. New staff leadership included Professor Peter Tregear (a former Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge) as Dean and Dr Rachel Buxton (St Mark’s 1993-97, and more recently Senior Tutor of Merton College, Oxford) as Director of Learning. Sport was off to a great start, with wins for St Mark’s in inter-collegiate tennis and then swimming. The academic programme and social activities were getting into full swing. All seemed rosy.

And then, of course, the sudden arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the College and our students – as it has to all of us – to which College and students alike have been responding strongly.

While observing social distancing and hygiene requirements, and with universities moving to online study, the College has remained in operation and has continued to provide academic and pastoral support to all students. The College also made it possible for students to choose to stay in residence or return home without financial penalty to themselves. Slightly over half our students have remained in residence, and the atmosphere in College is positive and stable.

Many new initiatives – mainly online – have helped to keep students engaged and connected with their studies as well as with each other during this period of national lockdown.

Alarmingly, however, many of our students and their families suddenly lost jobs and income – for example, casual jobs in hospitality or retail on which students depended to pay their College fees and other expenses – and have faced acute hardship. Many were in danger of having to give up their studies or their place in College. To help them through this, the College has created a COVID-19 Pandemic Student Support Fund.

The life-changing impact of this support for our students is reflected in their deeply moving messages of gratitude contained in the lead story of this e-newsletter. As one wrote, for example, the Support Fund “has been the difference between living in Adelaide and continuing my studies or deferring and moving back to [regional South Australia].”

If you are able to help our students in need through donating to this Student Support Fund, both our students and the College will be deeply grateful.

As one has written, expressing the sentiment of all: “thank you from the bottom of my heart”.

The great community service-minded spirit of so many of our current Collegians, including many in need themselves, has been reflected in their desire to help others. Our students have been assisting residents of nearby areas, and other vulnerable Old Collegians and friends of the College. As mentioned below, if you live in Adelaide and would like help from our students at this difficult time, please email us at

As we mark Anzac Day and Founders’ Day this weekend – not in the usual ways! – we in the St Mark’s community have much for which to be grateful, and much of which to be proud.

Best wishes from the College – and stay safe!

Professor Don Markwell
Head of College
College fund helps students in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic

With many students losing the jobs on which they depended, and many families hit hard, St Mark’s College has established a Student Support Fund to support resident students whose financial circumstances have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can you help?

Read more
Can we help you?

Current students in residence in the College have volunteered to help elderly, vulnerable or needy Old Collegians and friends of the College, and our neighbours in North Adelaide, with tasks that may otherwise be difficult for them during the pandemic – for example, with shopping, or household or garden jobs, or family responsibilities.

Already several students have spent many hours helping out in these ways.

If you live in Adelaide and would like help from College students at this difficult time, please let us know by emailing or phoning 08 8334 5600.

We're all in this together!

Marking Anzac Day and Founders' Day
A cross of poppies made in College and research on the lives of St Mark’s Collegians killed in World War II are among the ways that College students will mark Anzac Day and Founders’ Day this weekend.

Read more
Three new Distinguished Collegians

The late novelist Georgia Blain, the current Australian of the Year Dr James Muecke AM, and distinguished orthopaedic surgeon Professor George Murrell have been recognised by the College Board as Distinguished Collegians.

Read more

Welcoming our new students

St Mark’s was delighted to formally welcome this year’s new members into our College community at our Admission Ceremony, held on Thursday 20 February.

Over 200 students, family and friends filled the Grenfell Price Dining Hall to witness each new student sign the College Roll.

Read more

Commencement Service and Commissioning of Head of College

The College community marked the beginning of the 2020 academic year with a Commencement Service held at St Peter’s Cathedral on Friday 28 February 2020.

This year’s Commencement Service was a particularly significant one, featuring the commissioning of Professor Don Markwell as Head of St Mark’s College by the Archbishop of Adelaide (now Primate of Australia), the Most Rev’d Geoffrey Smith.

The new Head of College spoke on the College’s tradition of community service – a theme of great relevance today!

Read more

Professor Peter Tregear appointed Dean

The College has appointed a former Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and former Dean of Trinity College in the University of Melbourne, Professor Peter Tregear, to serve as Dean, following Dr Ari Metuamate’s return to New Zealand for family reasons.

Professor Tregear, a distinguished musician and musicologist, has also been appointed an Adjunct Professor of the University of Adelaide.

He joins Dr Rachel Buxton (St Mark’s 1993-97), recently returned to St Mark’s from Oxford as Director of Learning, in the senior staff leadership of the College.

Read more

Ms Cecilia White and Mr Darren Pitt join College Board

Human resources adviser and lawyer Ms Cecilia White and educational leader and former Acting Head of College Mr Darren Pitt have joined the College Board.

They succeed Dr Angela Evans AM and Mr Alister Lee, who have retired from the Board after 14 and nine years of distinguished service, respectively.

Read more

In memoriam

We deeply mourn the loss of:

Dr Ian Gordon Hislop (20 January 1934 – 7 May 2019)

Dr Bing Michael Oei (20 October 1950 – 10 August 2019)

David Charles Rennison (23 May 1949 – 20 June 2019)

John Bascomb Waters QC (26 August 1944 – 4 April 2019)

Gregory Richard Wiese (2 December 1954 – 10 November 2019)

Alumni achievements
Many congratulations to Dr James Muecke AM (St Mark’s 1982-87), Australian of the Year for 2020. Read more

Please send us news of Old Collegians and friends of the College by emailing

And when the pandemic is over...
Join us for events for Old Collegians and friends of the College – or hold your event or meeting at St Mark’s, one of Adelaide’s best venues for a memorable event. Read more
Copyright © 2020 St Mark's College, All rights reserved.

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