Eminent Alumnae

In 2021 MLC School celebrated 135 years of exceptional girls’ education. During this year we commenced this Eminent Alumnae project to bring the stories of our inspiring Old Girls out of the archives and into the world for the entire MLC School community to celebrate. These Old Girls showed audacity and tenacity as they fought for recognition in their professions. Beyond their professions they also passionately promoted equality for women in the workplace. The victories they earned for women who came after them prove them to be true ‘daughters of the light’.

This is an open ended project. If there are Old Girl successes that we are not aware of, or if there are edits to be made to current stories, we wholeheartedly seek your input. Please contact our Archivist, Barbara Hoffman, at bhoffman@mlcsyd.nsw.edu.au with anything you would like to add.

We have arranged these stories by Old Girl cohort year, starting with the most recent and going back all the way to the first few years of the School’s life. You are able to search by profession by using the ‘View by Profession’ list on the right.

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Dr Alice Whitley (1930) MBE

MLC School Old Girl (Dux in 1930) and Headmistress, Dr Alice Whitley BSc, PhD, MBE was awarded an MBE in 1966 for her co ...

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Olive Nelson (1929)

Olive Nelson (1929) became the first Samoan, as well as the first Pacific woman to attain a Bachelor of Laws from Auckla ...


Olive Cotton (1929)

Olive Cotton (1929) was one of Australia’s most respected photographers and a pioneer of modernist photography with a ca ...

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Dr Joyce Vickery (1926) MBE

Dr Joyce Vickery (1926) BSc, MSc, DSc, MBE, a pioneer Australian female scientist, was one of Australia’s leading botani ...

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Dr Ruth Heighway (1924)

Dr Ruth Heighway (1924) MBBS, MD was an eminent gynaecologist who was the first woman in Australian to receive an MD (Do ...

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Dr Ida Birchall (1924) MBE

Dr Ida Birchall (1924) (BSc, MBBS, FRCS, FRCOG) worked tirelessly for women with gynaecological problems and with mother ...