Outstanding Alumni Awards

Outstanding Alumni Awards

Outstanding Alumni Awards2024-05-07T09:09:47+10:00
Established in 2019, these awards have been created to recognise, acknowledge and celebrate the College’s alumni for one or more of the following areas: professional, business, academic, research, government, sport, social justice and contributions to the community at local, state, national and/or international levels.
2024 Award Winners

Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

Ms Grace King (2018)

The Outstanding Young Alumnus for 2024, Grace King, graduated from Loreto in 2018. She has her Associate in Music through Trinity College London and completed a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2019, graduating with Distinction and as Proxime Accessit, and achieving membership of the Golden Key Society. She then completed an honours year in 2022, graduating with First Class Honours. Her dissertation centred on the lack of female drummers in jazz and the importance of feminity in jazz, still, in the 21st century, a predominantly male field. One key outcome of her research was to provide a platform for women in jazz and to disrupt the dominant male jazz culture to be more inclusive, specifically in relation to gender. Grace was also awarded the Griffith University Faculty medal for Academic Achievement that same year.

As a musician, Grace performs across Australia touring, performing on cruises, recording, playing for other musician’s projects, and gigging locally around Brisbane. She has performed for numerous notable organisations such as the ABC, Pub Choir, the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols, the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final Half-Time show, Brisbane Festival, the Matilda Awards, and at venues such as the Powerhouse, Riverstage, and HOTA, to name a few. She has been the founder of various musical projects that showcase the talents of women in music, as well as curating her own shows, and writing and recording her own originals with an emphasis on working with a predominantly female team.

Grace frequently volunteers to support community events and initiatives. She has performed for an Afghani Refugees Women’s Rights event, the QCGU state honours ensemble and the Australian Honours Ensemble Program Big Band. She works at two schools and established her own private teaching studio, and also mentors younger musicians through workshops, local jazz festivals including our own Live and Wired as well as holiday drumming camps. She has shared her research as a panellist on Women in Music raising awareness and inspiring change, with her key aim to support a more inclusive music industry.

Through her work, Grace epitomises Mary Ward’s oft-quoted epitaph, “women in time to come will do much”.

2023 Award Winners

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Ms Catherine Bremner (1992)

In our year of Justice, the 2023 Loreto Outstanding Alumnus, Catherine Bremner, epitomises justice by championing innovations for a sustainable future. Graduating in 1992, she excelled, earning the coveted Sir Richard Williams RAAF Scholarship and a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Catherine, a distinguished Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate, holds a Master’s in Environmental Science and Management from Oxford University (2011) and a Master of Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2019). Noted as a ‘rockstar’ in climate finance, her achievements at ANZ include launching a $600-million green bond.

Her impactful roles at CSIRO, Low Carbon Australia, and The Carbon Trust preceded her international leadership in the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. In 2021, she was appointed Acting Director General for Net Zero Strategy.

Currently, as Chief Strategy Officer at Impax Asset Management, Catherine drives sustainable investments. Beyond her professional success, she chairs her son’s school advisory board, co-authored Oxford University’s ‘Mission Climate Ready,’ and co-chairs a group of financial experts on climate change initiatives.

A mother of two, Catherine’s commitment echoes Mary Ward’s vision of being ‘seekers of truth and doers of justice.'”

Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

Miss Brigid Kelly (2014)

It is most fitting that in a year where we mark the virtue of justice, the Outstanding Young Alumnus works as a lawyer and advocate in the fields of domestic violence and child protection. Graduating from Loreto in 2014, Brigid Kelly has a keen interest in advocacy and social justice and is passionate about access to justice. While at school, her interest in law commenced with subjects such as Legal Studies, Study
of Religion and Modern History. Her interest in Japanese was also sparked at Loreto and she continued her study of Japanese through her double degree. Her teachers described her as thoughtful, determined and focused, and applauded her enthusiastic and hard-working approach. Brigid was an active participant in College life including leadership roles, the music program, musical and sport. Upon graduating from Loreto, Brigid completed a dual degree in Law and Arts majoring in Political and International Studies, and Japanese. She also completed a graduate diploma through the College of Law, Australia. Her commitment to Justice is evident in the volunteering roles she has held including at the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service, the Bayside Community Legal service and as a first Contact Officer with Basic Rights, Queensland. She currently volunteers for the LGBTIQ Legal Service in her spare time where she provides legal advice. Brigid’s passion for advocating for the disadvantaged grew when she worked for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in Beeneligh. This continued to grow as she worked in regional courts in Mount Isa (Kalkadoon Country) and North Queensland where she has continued to challenge internal policy to ensure the human rights and cultural rights of vulnerable families are maintained. Through the provision of legal advice, she ensures the government’s legal obligations are met, as well as assisting to develop policy that facilitates the rights of future generations of children and meets child protection legislative requirements. Brigid’s advocacy in the area of child protection led to her current role as a Legal Officer for the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, protecting children, paving the way for their future, and contributing to policy and change. She provides insight to state-wide teams for decisions by Magistrates in the absence of orders. Her participation in a pilot program has seen a focus on permanency of referral where at[1]risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are placed with kin until they transition to adulthood. This means that children remain connected to their family, community and culture. She is commended by her seniors and peers in regard to the work she undertakes and is trusted to contribute to ongoing policy and reform within the organisation. Brigid is a wonderful example of Mary Ward’s values in ensuring children have safe, permanent placements where they can flourish.

2022 Award Winners

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Ms Linda Kochanski (1980)

The winner of the Outstanding Alumnus award for 2022 is Linda Kochanski (1980). This award recognises, acknowledges and celebrates a distinguished Loreto past pupil for excellence in fields including professional careers, business, research, government, social justice, sport, the arts and contributions to the community at either a local, state, national or international level.

After completing her schooling at Loreto College Coorparoo in 1980, Linda went onto complete a Law degree from the University of Queensland and then worked in a legal firm at Woodridge. It was there that she discovered the practice of mediation, a relatively new method of resolving disputes at that time. She trained as a mediator in 1993 and has specialised in relationship mediation specifically working with families in high conflict to resolve parenting arrangements. She completed further tertiary qualifications through the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and attained professional recognition as an Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with the Attorney General’s Department.

Linda has significant experience in the tertiary sector. She has worked with Bond University as the Co-director of their Dispute Resolution Centre and was Assistant Professor there from 2009-2015. She has also had tertiary experience in the Law faculty with QUT and their Graduate Business School. Her expertise as a tertiary lecturer has seen a Commendation in 2007 and an Early Career Teacher Award in 2008, both through Griffith University.

She has designed and delivered accredited courses with the Australian Mediation Association, and from 2010 worked as a private consultant in mediation and dispute resolution. She is now Co-director of Global Professional Training and Development Pty Ltd.

Linda has been invited to present at national and international conferences since 2003 on mediation and teaching mediation in Australia, New Zealand, England and Ireland. She has conducted masterclasses in Australia and overseas in a relatively new area called Relationship Mediation.

Linda is also a director on the Mediator Standards Board and leads their training and assessment subcommittee. This important work helps set standards for coming generations of mediators. She was the chair of the National Mediation Conference Board. In 2017, she was awarded the Alternative Dispute Resolution Project Award and, in 2018, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Academic Award and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the year.

Also a practice leader with the Mediations Program College of Law, Linda fills any remaining time as Director of Studies with the Australian Mediation Association. Linda’s testimonials pay credit to her generosity with her time and the care and support she shows those she mentors. She is well respected across the industry and is constructive, enthusiastic and contributes broadly to the Dispute Resolution professional community. A lifelong learner, she continues to reflect on the practice of mediation and to assist those who practice it to evolve and grow.

Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

Ms Louise Young (2005)

We congratulate the Outstanding Young Alumnus for 2022, Louise Young (2005), announced at the Mother Daughter Breakfast. Louise has identified three themes which have guided and inspired her early career: her love of sport, her passion for new cultures and her commitment to lifelong learning.

When at Loreto College Coorparoo, Louise was a dedicated German language student who is still close friends with girls she studied with and travelled to Bad Homburg with, as part of the inaugural Loreto German exchange trip. She was (and remains) a keen sportswoman, having participated in many of the sports offered by the College.  She now lives by the mantra that “one will never regret money or time spent on travel or education.”

Following her graduation from Loreto in 2005, Louise commenced a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Queensland majoring in psychology and philosophy.  After a year, she transferred her tertiary studies to QUT, where she began a degree in law. After being awarded a UMAP scholarship, our Young Alumnus seized an opportunity to combine travel with her law course work and undertook a semester abroad at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Not only did she graduate from her law degree with first-class honours, she also completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with honours.

Louise began her legal career in 2011 with the international law firm, Ashurst where she grew her expertise in construction and commercial litigation. One career highlight was her involvement in a matter successfully defended on appeal to the High Court of Australia; an opportunity that few lawyers experience in a lifetime of legal practice. While undertaking a Master of Construction Law at Melbourne University, she was promoted to Senior Associate at Ashurst.

In early 2016, Louise Young was presented a unique opportunity: to combine legal practice with her interest in sport. She joined the in-house legal team seconded to Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. This experience opened her eyes to the range of opportunities available through major sporting events across the globe.

Consequently, since mid-2018, our Outstanding Young Alumnus 2022 has called London home, where she practices as Senior Legal Counsel for Formula 1. After 10 years of legal practice, the Young Alumnus now shares her expertise by mentoring junior lawyers in her office and has also given back to the community by volunteering at pro bono legal clinics while working in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. She has contributed to the profession through authorship of various articles published with journals such as the Building and Construction Law Journal and for the Queensland Law Society. The Young Alumnus has won awards both as an individual and as part of a team including the Young In-House Lawyer of the Year at the 2017 Australasian Law Awards.

2021 Award Winners

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Dr Patricia Yates (1978)

Dr Patricia Yates completed both her primary and secondary schooling at Loreto Coorparoo, graduating in 1978. Following school, she undertook study to become a registered nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital. This was followed by midwifery qualifications through the Mater Mothers in the 1980s.

After several years working as a clinical nurse, she began her career as a nurse educator at the Holy Spirit Hospital. Later, this career transitioned to what is now QUT, then called the Queensland Institute of Technology. Patricia is a lifelong learner, having also completed her Bachelor of Arts, a Masters’ Degree in Social Science and a PhD through the University of Queensland.

In her PhD, she explored the use of alternative therapies for cancer patients. Now a distinguished Professor, Patricia is a Member of the Order of Australians. She leads the Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as Executive Dean. Her experience as a Registered Nurse and leader in health education and research in the health sector led to this  appointment, and was preceded by her appointment as Professor and Head of the School of Nursing at QUT.

Patricia is also a Co-Director for QUT’s Centre for Healthcare Transformation. She leads a large competitively-funded research program focused on developing workforce capacity in cancer, palliative and aged care, advancing the management of cancer-related symptoms and treatment side effects, and strengthening the nexus between research, policy and practice in cancer, palliative and aged care.

Patricia holds visiting appointments as Lead Researcher for the Cancer Nursing Professorial Precinct at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Director for Queensland Health’s statewide Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education, and Visiting Fellow at Princess Alexandra Hospital. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, University of Pennsylvania.

Patricia’s contribution to our society occurs at many levels: she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Australian College of Nursing. She was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame of Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing and was  awarded the prestigious USA Oncology Nursing Society Distinguished Researcher Award in 2018. Patricia also received a Citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

Patricia further serves the community through her leadership as President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care and is a former President of Palliative Care Australia.

Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

Ms Helen Svoboda (2011)

Ms Helen Svoboda graduated from the College in 2011. She studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in the Jazz course and graduated with first class honours in the Bachelor of Music. Helen received the Conservatorium Medal for outstanding achievement. She has since travelled to the Netherlands to complete a Masters of Music.

Now an award winning bass player, singer and composer, she is known for her exploration of innovative practices as a musician. Helen has won many awards including a Queensland Jazz award in 2019, the Maastricht Jazz Award in 2020 and the Freedman Fellowship in 2020, one of the most prestigious awards in Australian Jazz. She is well established as both a live and recorded artist and at the end of 2020, was appointed to the role of Pathways Associate Artist with the Australian Art Orchestra.

Helen has performed with many well known artists including Katie Noonan and Emma Pask and has performed at many festivals including the Woodford Folk Festival, the Queensland Music Festival and Hasselt Jazz Festival as well as performing all over the world.

2020 Award Winners

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Ms Lorelle Hillman (1996)

Ms Lorelle Hillman graduated from Loreto in 1996. She has twenty years’ experience both nationally and internationally in in the financial services and insurance industry. She is a firm believer in Mary Ward’s adage, women in time to come will do much, as the first female Head of Sales and Relationship Management for QBE in Queensland and also the female Queensland State Manager at AIG Australia. As President of the Australia Women and Allies Employee Resource Group, she successfully drove a diversity agenda leading to the launch of similar programs at other companies. An outstanding role model for men and women alike, she also launched the Women in Leaders Development program.

Lorelle mentors less experienced female professionals in the insurance industry and supports the Young Professionals Committee designed to spotlight emerging talent. She has spoken at both national and international events, including in Nashville, where she spoke to the importance of providing female talent with the necessary tools to succeed in the insurance industry. Lorelle has also delivered presentations at the Chief Executive’s Leaders program, The Leadership Summit for Women in Insurance, the Queensland Young Insurance Professional Trailblazers event and has been profiled in various industry journals. In 2010, she was awarded the AIG Australasia Leadership Development Program.

The eldest of three sisters, all of whom attended Loreto Coorparoo, Lorelle is inspired by her father, a former President of the Loreto College Coorparoo P&F Association. She is inspired by his strong work ethic, commitment to family and the broader community. Lorelle is also inspired by her mother’s memory of a highly disciplined child. She understands the importance of keeping pace with technological developments particularly in relation to data-analytics and task management. Above all, she is committed to a future working world which is inclusive; where there is gender balance in leadership.

As a proud mother to three beautiful children, Lorelle remains committed to her own professional development. She understands the importance of networking and working hard. She is very vocal, also in helping women to understand that they should proactively manage their own careers, supported by her commitment to her ongoing certification. She values authenticity in the workplace and encourages other women to ensure they stay true to their personal ethics and values, so pertinent in the year where we are acknowledging the value of Verity.

Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

Ms Jenny Geale (2004)

Ms Jenny Geale graduated from Loreto in 2004 as dux and completed a Bachelor of Economics followed by her Masters in Development Practice (Community Development). She has built a successful career as an e-commerce entrepreneur as co-founder and General Manager of MTB Direct, an award-winning online retailer for mountain bike parts. MTB Direct has been recognised by the Australian Finance Review Fast100, Deloitte Tech Fast 50, Telstra Women’s Business Awards as a State Award Winner and National Finalist and Westpac Businesses of tomorrow. She has been recognised as one of the Top 50 people in e-commerce for the past two years and is invited to speak regularly at conferences both here and in the US.

As a leader, her goal is to ensure all divisions of her teams are connected, focused and performing in a fast-paced environment. She works as a guest speaker and on research projects into volunteer engagement in youth-led organisations, she has facilitated the Innovate Symposium and presented at the International Volunteers Workshop. She understands the importance of innovations, critical thinking and entrepreneurship in today’s business environment but also in the justice space.

Her success in business is matched by her justice work – she is vice president of the Board of Retail ROI, a charitable organisation focused on creating avenues for retailers in Australia to support grassroots children’s charities across the world. Jenny also founded the Brisbane chapter of Room to Read, an international NGO which promotes literacy and gender equality in education. She also established the We Care Nauru initiative to enable Australians to donate food, clothing and other supplies to refugees and asylum seekers living on Nauru at that time. We are delighted to have awarded Jenny with the 2020 Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year.

2019 Award Winners

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Dr Margaret Little (1981)

Dr Margaret Little , winner of the 2019 Loreto College Coorparoo Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, graduated from the College in 1981 after attending for her entire schooling, commencing in 1969, at Loreto Coorparoo. Margaret studied Medicine at the University of Queensland but soon moved to the UK where she worked as a paediatric oncologist undertaking clinical work and clinical research in paediatric oncology. Margaret was appointed as a senior research fellow with the Leukaemia Research Fund at the University of Newcastle and awarded a PhD in cellular pharmacology in 2002.

Since then, Margaret has worked at the Queensland Children’s Hospital as a senior staff specialist in paediatric haematology, oncology and stem cell transplantation. She also has significant expertise in bone marrow transplantation. Margaret has published research in esteemed journals such as the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. She has made a significant contribution in the philanthropic world through her position as a Director on the Board of the Make a Wish Foundation. This charity partners with sick children, their families and medical teams to grant wishes as unique as the children who imagine them. Since 1985, the Foundation has delivered more than 10,000 life-changing wishes to sick children.

In addition, Margaret has also held a membership of the Board of Directors on the Jack and Madeleine Little Research Fund, which funds melanoma research and research into Australian Indigenous women’s health issues. Margaret continues to support the Queensland Children’s Hospital through her participation in events such as the Channel 9 Telethon. We are honoured to have awarded Dr Margaret Little as the inaugural winner of the 2019 Loreto College Coorparoo Alumnus of the Year.

Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

Ms Hayman Lui (2011)

Ms Hayman Lui, winner of the 2019 Loreto College Coorparoo Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year, graduated in 2011 and was the College Vice-Captain in her Senior Year. Hayman is currently undertaking both a PHD and a medical degree and is due to graduate at the end of 2019. Hayman’s PhD research is around hand ligament injury sustained during sport. As a consequence of work in the US and through the regenerative laboratory at Griffith University, she has made a significant contribution to creation of replacements for injured ligaments. In 2018, Hayman was awarded significant grants by the Australian BioMedTech Horizons Program to support moving her research to clinical translation. This resulted in an official patent application for the 3D printed construct she designed for ligament regeneration.

Hayman has presented her research at multiple national and international conferences and at some of the most highly regarded institutes in the world; such as the Mayo Clinic, the Australian Orthopaedic Conference and at international conferences in San Francisco, Berlin and Bangkok.  She has given back to the community through volunteer work in Healthy Start – a health education program for newly arrived refugees, she has taught high school students as part of the Go Healthy Go Griffith program, presented talks to high schools students interested in STEM opportunities and worked as a lecturer at Griffith University’s School of Medicine. Internationally, Hayman has worked in Cape Town, South Africa, where she has gained further experience in orthopaedic trauma and hand surgery. Today, Hayman is in New York completing an internship. We wait with bated breath to hear more about the exciting career and achievements of Ms Hayman Lui, the inaugural winner of the 2019 Loreto College Coorparoo Young Alumnus of the Year.

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