The Old Girtonians’ Association was deeply saddened by recent news of the passing of 2018 graduate Amelia ‘Millie’ Beaton.
Millie started at Girton in 2012 in Year 7 in Millward House. She was in a vertical House Tutor group, affectionately known as the ‘Cronies’ from Year 7 to Year 12. Despite interrupted study owing to an ongoing illness, Millie completed her final year of VCE studies over two years and graduated in 2018, switching to Jones House in her Year 13. The school received many reflections of the contribution that Millie made to Girton and the lives of her Girton peers, teachers, friends and Old Girtonians. These stories have been passed onto Millie’s Mum, Emma, and her brother Hugh. Below are two special reflections from her friends; Emily Shoebridge (Jones 2018), Laura Valentine (Frew, 2017) and Archie Bate (Millward, 2016).
Emily and Laura:
We have been blessed to know Millie’s beautiful, loving soul. She never failed to light up every room she walked into, capturing her audience with her witty humour and bright and courageous personality. Millie always strived to put others above herself, her strong-willed character never faltering even at her sickest. We could always turn to Millie to gain a real appreciation of art and culture, wise beyond her years.
One of my first and fondest memories of Millie was when we used to walk to school together most mornings, right back in year 8 or 9. She would finish training, make her way to my house and I would always wait to see what item of her uniform she had forgotten to pack. The countless pairs of socks, tops, and jumpers we shared over the years, even when my clothes were much too big for her, she would borrow my sisters.
Millie was intelligent and wise beyond her years, we used to say she was born in the wrong era because of her love for classical music, ancient history, and amazing appreciation for art. We could sit and listen and not understand a thing, but it brought her so much joy. Her passion for arts and culture surpassed just classes at school, Millie had more recently been part of some wonderful theatre productions, which served as a brilliant outlet for her.
Millie had a knack for storytelling, she had such a charismatic nature that every word that came from her mouth you were inclined to believe. The funny thing was with Millie is, half the time she would be telling a story, claiming something as fact, she’d even convinced herself of it, and even though you knew the story was so farfetched and completely made up you couldn’t help but go along and believe it. And if you were to call her out on it, you would get to witness her beautiful bright smile as she tried to convince you otherwise.
So here’s to you, our darling beloved friend, we will never forget all our memories and your amazing heart of gold. We will miss you immensely. We know that you’ll always be there, laughing alongside our failures and cherishing our achievements.
Millie was a truly phenomenal person. It can be a cliché to say that someone lights up the room when they walk into it, but in Millie’s case, she truly did. The vertical house tutor system Millward had in my early senior school years meant I was fortunate to form friendships and interact with students from all different year levels, including Millie. Every morning, regardless of whether she was arriving just on time with hair still dripping from her early morning swimming training, Millie was always ready, fuelled with positivity, which largely contributed to the great culture of ‘The Cronies’ house tutor group.
Millie brought this same positivity to the School’s hockey program. The U15 mixed team had a couple of very successful premiership seasons whilst Millie was in the team. Millie had a very competitive personality but in the most relaxed way possible. Whilst we were all playing hockey, I am certain that she was more focused on the homemade chocolate cake, or hot chips that would be waiting on the sidelines.
Millie was super passionate about her swimming. It was exciting to see how her abilities took her to Melbourne, to seek better coaching and facilities. It was hard to have a conversation with her without her mentioning swimming; it was the one thing that really made her happy. In every aspect of her life, she always aimed to be the best she could be and this was clearly visible when she was in the pool.
From the age of 16 to 22, with the diagnosis of Ewing’s Sarcoma, Millie put up the biggest fight of her life. Always maintaining her dignity, protecting all those she loved, and never letting that twinkle in her eye dim.
It is devastating to hear the passing of such a close friend at such a young age, only a short time after she turned 22.
Rest In Peace my dear friend, Millie
Millie has taught us that life can send us challenges, that our pathways are not guaranteed and that sharing the sometimes-rocky road can help. These qualities and lessons from Millie have left an indelible imprint on her many friends, students, and staff at Girton, and we are blessed for having had her in our lives.
Per Aspera Ad Astra.