St George Girls High School
An Academically Selective High School For Girls
A talented Sydney Organic Chemist Rita Harradence had been drawn to chemistry by an inspirational teacher at St George Girls High School, Miss Lillian Whiteoak.
Rita Cornforth (nee Harradence) took her BSc Hons degree in 1936 from the University of Sydney, topping the list along with Arthur Birch (later Professor of Chemistry at Sydney and Manchester, and Founding Dean, Research School of Chemistry, ANU). She graduated MSc. in 1937 and in 1939 she won an 1851 Exhibition Overseas Scholarship. The other scholarship, of the two awarded annually among the six Australian Universities existing at that time, was won by her future husband (later Sir John Cornforth) who was one year behind her at Sydney. They both chose to work for their D. Phil. Degrees at the University of Oxford.
Rita Harradence and John Cornforth were married in 1941 and, while raising three children, worked together at the National Institute for Medical Research, United Kingdom and subsequently at the Milstead Laboratory of Chemical Enzymology (Shell Research Ltd). They published 41 papers in collaboration. Their first joint research, at Oxford as Medical Research Council scholars, was on the chemistry of penicillin; later, they addressed the biosynthesis of steroids from mavalonic acid and fundamental studies of enzyme stereochemistry, leading to the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1975 to Sir John (jointly with Vladimir Prelog). In his Nobel Lecture, Sir John paid tribute to his wife's pivotal contributions to their joint work: "...with patience and great experimental skill [she] executed much of the chemical synthesis on which the success of the work was founded."
Dr Rylie Green, from the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering UNSW, is part of the research team working on the bionic eye project at UNSW. She is developing new-generation conductive polymers that can carry electrical signals for use in implanted devices such as bionic eyes and ears.
Dr Green graduated with her PhD in conducting polymers for vision prosthesis electrodes in 2009 and has continued to work as a research associate at the University of New South Wales with an aim to establish her own group with prominence in this field
Dr Green was also recently awarded the Engineers Australia, 2010 Women in Biomedical Engineering Scholarship with an accompanying grant to attend an international conference. Dr Green will be presenting her latest research at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Dr. Green is gaining national attention for her work on conductive plastics for the bionic implants of the future, after winning a place in the national Fresh Science program. Dr Green was one of 16 early-career scientists who presented work at Fresh Science, a communication boot camp for early career scientists held at the Melbourne Museum
Graduated St. George Girls High School 2004
“independently minded young woman” in a male dominated industry
Aerospace Design Engineer
BAE Systems Australia (Melbourne)
Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical)
Bachelor of Commerce University of Sydney 2009
A lifelong love of aircraft led Sindhu Shankar into an engineering career, she combined Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in aeronautical, and Bachelor of Commerce, accounting and finance degree at the University of Sydney, future plans include gaining chartered professional engineer status.
Sindhu Shankar is currently working at BAE Systems as a Structural Design Engineer for multiple Royal Australian Air Force and Navy planes and helicopters. Sindhu has a strong interest in and a wish to specialise in aircraft structures, having been involved in Seahawk structural repair design, structural analysis for the AP-3C ESM modification and the structural analysis for the MRH90 Wet Deck project and extensive knowledge of the airworthiness requirements, regulations and standards; in particular the Technical Airworthiness Maintenance Manual. In March 2011Sindhu was nominated as the BAE Systems Young Ambassador to present at the Avalon International Airshow in March 2011 resulting in a further nomination to represent BAE Systems in the Young Industry Ambassador program initiated by the Victorian Manufacturing and Engineering Skills Advisory Board (MESAB).
Graduated St. George Girls HighSchool 2004
Bachelor of Science (Advanced)
While doing her undergraduate degree, Bridget worked various jobs as a swimming teacher, soccer referee and a tutor for high school students, she also worked for short periods as a technical officer at the Australian Museum, where she helped look after the collections of fishes, amphibians and reptiles that scientists use for zoological research. During this time, Bridget was able to write a research article on fishes, which was later published in an international journal.
In 2007 while completing an Honours Degree in Zoology Bridget studied the reproductive physiology of Australian lizards and published a paper about immune genes in lizards, she also played super league and premier league soccer for the University of Sydney playing in six university games, and selected in the Australian University Games merit team in 2006.
2008-2011: PhD in Animal Physiology and Genetics – continued to study the reproductive physiology of Australian lizards, presented her work at several conferences both in Australia and overseas, and published a further five papers.
During her PhD, Bridget taught first year biology students at university, taught biology at TAFE, and taught high school students, who came to Sydney University’s Kickstart programs.
Bridget now works as a Science communicator at the Museum of Human Disease at UNSW, and at ANSTO. She talks to high school students, university students and the general public about human biology and about nuclear science.
Christina Stead was born and raised in Sydney Australia but spent the bulk of her life abroad, living in London (1928-29), Paris (1929-37), USA (1937-47), Europe (1947-53), and England (1953-1974) before returning to Australia to live. Generally regarded as a major 20th century novalist and short-story writer Stead was acclaimed for her satirical wit and penetrating psychological characterizations.
After attending St. George High School in 1914 she graduated from Sydney Teachers' College in 1921, Stead taught only until 1924 when she resigned to work as an office clerk. She left Australia for London in 1928 in order to fulfill a longing that would be similarly reflected by greater numbers of Australian literary figures some forty years later. She met her husband, William Blake, a successful Marxist banker, in London and moved with him to Paris in 1929. There she worked as a secretary in a French bank for five years. She followed her husband around the USA and Europe until he died in 1968. The next year Stead visited Australia for the first time since she departed some forty years earlier, and returned to live there permanently in 1974.
Considered by many to have been one of Australia's greatest novelists, she was often spoken of in Nobel Prize terms, especially in regards to her greatest novel The Man Who Loved Children which was based heavily on her childhood. Stead wrote 15 novels and several volumes of short stories. She taught ‘Workshop in the Novel’ at New York University in 1943/4 and also worked as a Hollywood screenwriter in the 1940s. Christina Stead died in Australia in 1983.