As she learns and plays with her many friends in MLC’s Junior School, Year 2 student, Zoe Suttle is aware of a significant bond she shares with her mother, aunt, grandmother and cousins who also attend, or attended, MLC.
“It’s our family path,” says Zoe proudly. Zoe’s cousin Amy Seedsman, currently in Year 8, agrees.
“All the girls in our family go to MLC. We have all been in Fitchett and everyone is very passionate about it. I have a cousin in Fitchett with me and it’s nice to participate in House events with her.”
“Being educated at MLC is something of a family tradition,” explains Zoe and Amy’s grandmother, Jane Trembath (Godbehear 1963).
“My grandfather was a Methodist minister and my grandmother attended MLC in Sydney. My sisters and I all attended MLC and I subsequently chose to send my two daughters to the College. Four of my nieces are also past students and it’s wonderful to have granddaughters at the school today.”
As an MLC student in the 1960s Jane has strong memories of daily assemblies, singing hymns, friendships, dedicated staff and participating in inter-House sports competitions.
“There were always countless activities to get involved in,” she recalls.
Jane’s daughters, Andrea Suttle (Trembath 1991) (Zoe’s mother) and Belinda Seedsman (Trembath 1989) (Amy’s mother) were also involved in a wide range of co-curricular pursuits during their years at MLC. Both women attended the College from Year 7 and in addition to sending their daughters to MLC, both have had sons attend MLC Kindle.
“Core memories of my MLC years centre around friendship,” recalls Andrea. “There’s a friend for everybody at MLC. Making a group of lifelong friends at school is something I continue to treasure.”
“I also enjoyed learning within MLC’s amazing environment. I loved the Art Department in Centenary, and the PEC was completed when I was in Year 8 and I really thrived on spending time in the gym.”
Both women took up rowing in their senior years, making new friends and learning to balance a demanding training schedule with their studies. Being part of the MLC ski team was also a highlight, and indeed Belinda has carried her passion for snowsports through to adulthood, and has managed Mt Hotham’s ski lift company for more than 10 years now. Andrea meanwhile, completed a commerce degree and an MBA before working in HR. After a career shift she now works in the field of children’s literacy.
“MLC opens doors to new opportunities and allows you to develop a wide range of interests,” says Belinda. “That’s a benefit from attending a large school like MLC – the breadth of opportunity is enormous.”
“MLC prepares you for the big world beyond the school gates,” agrees Jane.
Indeed overseeing the development of MLC’s extensive programs and facilities is close to Jane’s heart – she spent 13 years on the MLC Board of Directors, including five as Chair.
“It was an era of innovation,” she remembers. “Principal at the time, David Loader, had so many new ideas for the school, including the establishment of MLC Marshmead and the introduction of laptops.”
Changes in technology certainly differentiate the learning experience across this family’s three generations.
“MLC’s history as a pioneer in using technology in education mean our students today are being well prepared for their futures. The school manages the use of IT in classrooms beautifully and as a parent, that’s very reassuring,” says Andrea.
Generations of the Trembath family have occasionally been taught by the same teachers and all enjoy the tradition of sharing an educational experience with common threads.
“Lots of things change over time, of course,” says Jane, “but some things are constant – we had to wear our stars on our dresses in the same way as the girls do today, for example.”
“The current school structure of JS, JSS, MS and SS was the same when we were students,” adds Belinda. “As a parents it helps to have had direct experience of how well the school works.”
As the third generation of Trembath girls undertake their MLC journeys, friendship and opportunity continue to be key themes.
“I love all the co-curricular activities,” says Amy. “In JSS there are so many opportunities to be a leader, and to get involved. I can’t wait for Marshmead next year, either!”
“I love making friends at MLC,” says Zoe. “It’s what I enjoy most about coming to school each day.”