If ever there was a good advertisement for the benefits of getting involved in school beyond the classroom, then Anneliese Diedrichs (Aherne 2002) is a poster girl.
By being involved in all manner of extra-curricular activities, Anneliese says she learnt early on to accept challenges and opportunities as they were presented.
“What I learnt from my time at Girton is that by participating willingly and to the best of your ability, you can have a rewarding life filled with opportunity.
“No two teachers taught me this more than Mrs Robyn MacCulloch and the late Mrs Betty Jenkins.
“Both teachers encouraged me to take on activities outside the classroom like debating and I was fortunate enough to be a youth envoy for the Centenary of Federation Celebration as well as a nominee for the 2003 US Congress World Youth Leadership Program.
“I felt that Mrs MacCulloch and Mrs Jenkins believed in me and they always provided constructive and balanced feedback,” Anneliese said.
Anneliese is currently the Director of Communications for a leading asset management firm, based in Hong Kong, where she lives with her husband from Sydney, James Gray. She travels frequently around Europe and Asia and works with people from all over the globe.
In 2006 Anneliese completed a Bachelor of Law and Arts, which she partly credits to Girton Grammar for having supported her in participating in the Bond University High School Mooting Competition, which, with classmate Miranda Airey-Branson, she won, resulting later in being offered a part scholarship with Bond University.
“In a way, the Mooting competition set me on a path. Up to Year 12, I had no firm career plan, although I was quite keen on communications or the media.
“My parents encouraged me to study law as it provides a good basis for different career options which lead me to study Arts/Law,” she said.
After graduation Anneliese worked in Corporate Communications at Channel 7 in Sydney, followed by a communications role within a property development firm and now, an asset management firm in Sydney, later transferring to the Hong Kong office, where she has been for the past 4 years.
Anneliese said that although she had not imagined ending up where she is now, it has been her ability to remain open to challenges that has largely determined the path she has followed.
“Because Girton provided me with broad exposure to opportunities, I think it has helped me to step outside my comfort zone when opportunities have presented themselves.
“I look back on my time at Girton very fondly and I feel so blessed to have had the support and guidance of so many wonderful teachers,” she said.
Anneliese said that she loves to exercise regularly and recently completed a half marathon running around the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to raise money for a local children’s hospital. She also does regular Yoga and Pilates.
Anneliese and James celebrated their wedding last year with family and friends at Saint Mary Magdalene in Rose Bay followed by an evening of dinner and dancing at Catalina’s restaurant looking over Sydney harbour.
We wish Anneliese well as she consolidates her career in Hong Kong and jet-sets internationally, both professionally and personally, and we look forward to hearing about the next chapter in the life of this successful Girtonian.
Pictured: James and Anneliese with their ski instructor in Arosa, Switzerland
Pictured: Anneliese with husband, James