St Andrew's Cathedral School

Follow Us

Stronger together


Today St Andrew’s Cathedral School celebrated International Women’s Day with an inspiring School Assembly. The students and staff strongly affirmed the School’s theme of Stronger Together, with the Assembly showcasing our long-standing tradition of taking action for a world where women and men live and work together in strong, equal, inclusive, respectful, and safe partnerships.

Head of School Dr Julie McGonigle said that while great strides had been towards this end over the decades, both the statistics and news show that it is not everyone’s reality statewide, country wide or worldwide. She also gently acknowledged that given what happened at St. Andrew’s last year that it is not the sum total of our reality either.

That is why International Women’s Day is a very important day in this community,” Dr McGonigle said.

“The United Nations International Women’s Day theme this year is Count Her In: Invest in Women/Accelerate Progress. It strongly warns that unless women and men work together as strong and equal partners in the economy, we won’t be able to successfully address any other global challenge or make progress towards a better world. It is the bedrock of all other progress.”

 Dr McGonigle spoke about the School’s coeducational journey.

“Many girls at the School have importantly spoken out on women’s rights for decades but St Andrew’s Cathedral School also recognised early on, that we also need our young men to be speaking out and acting on issues of women’s rights if we are to really solve the issues.” #Stronger Together

In 2013, student Joey Watson (OA 2014), was invited to speak at the 2013 International Women’s Day Breakfast, as the first-ever male to do so. Click here to watch his speech.

At the Assembly, Dr McGonigle interviewed special guest and alumni Danica Bellchambers (OA 2005). Danica is Executive Director in analytics for the CHEP network. She has just completed her third degree, in Artificial Intelligence, and is a volunteer at Statistics without Borders. She was a finalist in B&T’s Women Leading Tech for 2023.

Dr McGonigle interviewed her about her work and study in the AI space and what it means to work in a traditionally male-dominated field – and excel.

Danica shared career insights and advice for students for when they start their careers.

“I have three pieces of advice: never stop learning; find a mentor; back yourself,” she said. “It isn’t uncommon for a woman working in tech to get a lot of push back.

“It’s about having confidence in what you offer and you’re right to be in the room.”

The audience was also treated to a poignant performance from the St Andrew’s Cathedral School Girls Vocal Ensemble, performing Million to One, a song about facing your fears and letting the world know your name.