Old Scholars

Our old scholars are influential role models and mentors and are a cherished and integral part of the Wilderness community.

An education at Wilderness is more than simply academic learning. It brings together the School’s history, traditions and values, as well as the joy of friendship and the fond memories each girl makes.

Wilderness is our old scholars’ second home. As the Misses Brown always said to the girls leaving school, ‘If ever you wish to come to The Wilderness tomorrow or in 10 years’ time, that wish is your invitation, and you can feel sure of your welcome’.

Each Wilderness girl is grafted into the family tree upon graduation, automatically receiving membership to the Wilderness Old Scholars’ Association, a network of over 4,500 vibrant members who span the globe. Encompassing decades from 18 years of age and including several centenarians, our old scholars represent a multiplicity of experiences and backgrounds across personal and professional pursuits.

An enduring bond with the School and other past students enriches and nourishes the Wilderness spirit and we highly value the contribution our graduates bring to our community and to the generations that follow them.

Our long standing and thriving old scholar community is partly attributed to the many events and opportunities offered throughout the annual calendar. These occasions allow past students the opportunity to stay connected and continue to contribute to and enrich the life of the School.

Old Scholars’ Association

The Wilderness Old Scholars’ Association (WOSA) is led by a group of dedicated and inspirational women.

From recent School leavers to long standing members, together they bring a wealth of knowledge, experiences and relationships to the Committee. Their pride in the School and in being a ‘Wilderness Old Scholar’ is the enduring and prevailing spirit in all they do.

Promoting a lifelong alma mater relationship with Wilderness, the Committee works with the School’s Old Scholar Liaison Officer to ensure our old scholars’ network continues to thrive, is celebrated and remains connected. Together they provide a number of annual events and fundraisers that encourage past students to celebrate their shared experiences and to renew their friendships.

In addition to financially contributing to the Wilderness School Foundation, the Association provides an annual scholarship for a daughter or granddaughter of an old scholar.

2021 Association Members:

PresidentJacki Smith (1978)
Vice PresidentDanielle White (Caruso) (1995)
TreasurerJaimee Lee Charlton (2002)
SecretaryMillie Shinkfield (2018)
Subscriptions OfficerJane Lee (1970)
Old Scholars' Liaison OfficerEmma Bishop (Gurling) (1999) - (Honorary)

Committee Members:

Holly Gardner (1986)
Rhiannon Giles (1996)
Lorraine Gormly (Irving) (1957)
Melissa Larkin (Rainsford) (1995)
Pooja Newman (Goel) (1995)
Evie Whittaker (Kotses) (2001)


Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Association is held in March each year. All members of the Association are welcome to attend.

If you would like to learn more about the Committee and opportunities to get involved, please email Emma Bishop, Old Scholars’ Liaison Officer.

Ways to be involved

Wilderness old scholars are a thriving, trusted group of some 4,500 women who help each other remain connected to our community throughout their life. In turn, we ensure there is always a place for each of them in the Wilderness family.

We warmly welcome and invite our past students to reconnect with the School and their peers through the following opportunities.

Old Scholars’ Jazz Choir

Our Old Scholars’ Jazz Choir features past students, both young and old, who enthusiastically rekindle a love of singing from their School days. Supported by our Music Department, they rehearse regularly and enjoy performing at both School and broader community events.

Sporting Groups

Our rich history in athletic participation provides a firm foundation for past students to continue to thrive in the sporting arena well after graduation. A strong network of old collegian sporting groups across Adelaide’s independent schools provides various sporting opportunities for our past students. These include:

SPOC Hockey

For years, Wilderness girls have reunited on the hockey field through the connections offered at St Peter’s Old Collegians’ (SPOC) Hockey Club. This popular and well-supported Club provides an opportunity for Wilderness old scholars to reconnect with the sport and stay involved in the Wilderness community. With four senior women’s teams across varying divisions, there is a suitable opportunity for everyone interested in joining.

For more information, or to sign up, please email, visit their website or follow the SPOC Hockey Club on Facebook.

SPOC Tennis

St Peter's Old Collegians' (SPOC) Tennis Club has extended a wonderful invitation to Wilderness old scholars to join its Club. Providing an opportunity to keep fit, catch up with friends and participate in regular social functions, the Club prides itself on a welcoming and inclusive environment.

For more information and registration details, please email Callum McNair at SPOC Tennis Club.

Lacrosse

For old scholars with a background in lacrosse, the Wilderness Lacrosse Club offers an amazing opportunity to play in a Premier League side. This competitive and driven team boasts highly experienced players, some having participated at state and national levels.

The Club welcomes players with varying abilities to try out for the side or become involved in other team options that may evolve.

For further information, please contact the Wilderness Sports Department on 8344 6688.

Old Scholars’ Scholarship

Giving to the Old Scholars’ Scholarship directly builds the capacity of our girls to lead and have agency, preparing them for their personal and professional lives. To contribute to the annual scholarship for daughters or granddaughters of old scholars from Years 10 to 12, click here.

We are constantly working to expand our old scholar offerings and welcome suggestions for new initiatives. We encourage old scholars to contact Emma Bishop, Old Scholars’ Liaison Officer, to learn more.

Celebrations and Events

Since the early days, our objective has always remained the same – to create a strong sense of community and an ongoing connectedness with Wilderness School.

Wilderness old scholars are invited to connect and reconnect through a number of following events.
We also welcome old scholars to participate in our current School community by attending upcoming School events.

Stay in Touch

We love to hear from our past graduates and appreciate any opportunity to stay connected.

The ages and stages of life can bring many changes. When a girl walks out of the School gates at graduation, in one sense, her journey has just begun. We want to share her journey and all the changes it brings – her career, her family, and her life achievements.

Our quarterly school publication the Wilderness Times features various old scholar stories and updates in each edition, including professional and personal highlights, intergenerational family news, and significant announcements.

We encourage old scholars to connect with and share their news with Emma Bishop, Old Scholars’ Liaison Officer.

Changes to Personal Details
To stay up to date with invitations and the latest news and publications, old scholars are encouraged to let Wilderness know of any changes to their personal details here.

Old scholars on Social Media
Learn more about the activities of our Wilderness old scholars by liking their Facebook page.

To easily expand professional networks and directly connect with past students, we encourage old scholars to list Wilderness School in the prior education list on LinkedIn.

Follow the links to view our Old Scholars Privacy Collection Notice and Privacy Policy.

Wilderness Merchandise

The Old Scholars’ Association offers a number of beautiful jewellery pieces as representative keepsakes of a student’s time at Wilderness.

To make a purchase, simply complete an Order Form.

For any questions relating to jewellery, please contact the Advancement Office on 8343 1047.