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

Class of 1993
Amy Muir
Architect

Amy was awarded both the Anne Butler Award and Association of Women in Architecture Award for her final design thesis.

Following graduation, Amy worked for Carr Design for seven years, during which time she was elevated to Director of Architecture. She co-founded Muir Mendes in 2011, (now Muir Architecture) and runs the practice as the sole director. In 2011, the Law Street House was awarded a National Commendation for Small Project Architecture and the Australian Institute of Architects Award for Residential Architecture – Victoria. This house has been widely reproduced in books and journals and featured on Extreme Homes USA. 

In 2012, Amy was invited to be one of five jury members on the National Architecture Awards Jury and the following year awarded a position on the Dulux Study Tour in recognition of her contribution to the industry. Amy was awarded the National Emerging Architect Prize in 2015 and 2016 in recognition of her significant contributions to the profession through design excellence, education, industry leadership and commitment to supporting the education of young architects.

Currently Amy divides her time between Muir Architecture, her role as an associate lecturer at RMIT, completing her PhD, and co-chairing the Victorian Small Practice Forum.

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 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 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 1989
Lisa Leong
Lawyer

Lisa Leong is a former corporate lawyer and ABC Radio Breakfast Presenter, turned award-winning leader in Client-Centred Legal Innovation. 

Lisa attended Ormond College at Melbourne University where she studied Science/Law and joined law firm Freehills upon graduation in 1996. 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.
 
Work in New York and London as a technology lawyer followed and during her time in London, Lisa began volunteering at various hospital radio stations. Through determination and perseverance, Lisa found work on commercial radio and suspended her legal work for a time to devote herself to her passion for radio. She eventually decided to pursue a career in radio and took up a place in the radio broadcasting course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.  
 
This led to a fulfilling radio career on commercial radio stations on the Gold Coast and Adelaide and then on the ABC doing the breakfast show for the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. After the birth of her daughter, Lisa returned to Melbourne to her old law firm Freehills.
 
In 2015, whilst working at Herbert Smith Freehills, Lisa Leong and her partner-in-crime, Tristan Forrester, created the “Re-Imagine Legal” framework which led to a radical partnering with Telstra Legal to co-develop a series of design thinking workshops and innovation sprints. This collaboration resulted in a saving of more than 40,000 lawyer hours spent on unproductive work, and has won multiple innovation awards.
 
Lisa became the CEO of Ohten APAC in February 2017 where, drawing on her unique career experiences combined with Design Thinking and Mindfulness practices, she brings a fresh approach to proactive client conversations and collaborations which have measurable impact.
 
Lisa has served on the ABC Advisory Council, and is currently a 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.
 
 

 

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 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.

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 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.