Bennies Buzz 2015 Autumn - page 19

May 2015
Bennies Buzz
| 19
Class of 2009 Reunion – 5 Year Reunion
The Class of 2009 gathered at Fagan Park for an afternoon
picnic in December where they reminisced fondly on their
years at MSB. They all agreed that the five intervening
years had flown; with university graduations, travel,
weddings and even several children amongst the group!
Unfortunately, the busy Christmas period meant a number
of ladies couldn’t make it, but given the success of the
event, they would like to organise another catch-up in 2015.
Laurie-Anne Keller - Class of 2007
Throughout high school, my goal was to eventually become
a Zoologist. After leaving the hall and courtyards of ‘Bennies’
in 2007, I took on a BSc in Biodiversity and Conservation at
Macquarie University. After graduating, I was offered a job as
an Education Officer at Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Sydney Sea
Life Aquarium. I performed shows and tours with Australian
marsupials, birds, reptiles, fish and sharks for two years, after
which I returned to Macquarie University to further my skills
with another degree.
I achieved first class Honours studying Zoology, Evolution and
Animal Behaviour, but wasn’t sold on the idea of spending
another 3-4 years on the road to a PhD. Instead, I travelled
Asia and Australia (swimming with whale sharks in Ningaloo
Reef!), and eventually found a research project studying
the behavioural ecology of birds in Cairns. Together with a
biologist, we discovered some fascinating responses amongst
different species and published our work in a high-impact
scientific journal (Proceedings of the Royal Society B).
After a fair amount of excitement, I decided that I needed a bit
more adventure, beyond Australia. After multiple applications,
interviews and follow-ups, I finally landed an incredible
experience to work in New Zealand with a critically endangered
animal - the kiwi!
This is where I am currently based, as a Ranger at the West
Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef Glacier, working with rare
species of kiwi from remaining populations of less than 400
birds. I am involved in ‘BNZ Operation Nest Egg’, a program in
partnership with the Department of Conservation, which involves
removing kiwi eggs laid in the wild for artificial incubation,
short-term captive rearing and release of juvenile birds onto a
predator-free off-shore island. It has been extremely successful
in supporting kiwi populations (since 1995), by increasing the
survival rate of each bird from 5% to 70%.
Reunions
Class of 2004 – 10 Year Reunion
The Class of 2004 enjoyed their much anticipated 10 year
reunion in September 2014 at the Three Weeds Hotel,
Rozelle. The night was filled with flowing conversation,
many hugs and lots of laughter. The paths taken
have been varied and diverse. The Class of 2004 has
definitely lived up to their reputation of being interesting,
successful, dynamic and intelligent young women!
Class of 1994 Reunion – 20 Year Reunion
On Saturday 15 November the Class of 1994 gathered for
their 20 year reunion.  The venue was Hotel Pennant Hills
which was fitting for these ladies who may have frequented
Patricks back in the day.  
The night began with class photos in the old blazer, some
Bennies trivia and a slide show with lots of photos from
the 90’s. There were also some very special guests with a
couple of ex-students flying in from overseas and interstate
and Mr Alan Moran, their principal, joining the Class of ‘94
to celebrate with them.
It was a really special night and everyone was reminded
how lucky they were to have had Mr Moran as their
senior-year principal and to go through school with
such a lovely group of girls.
Laurie-Anne swimming
with whale sharks in the
Nongaloo Reef
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