One of the attributes that defines an outstanding Girtonian is ironically not a single quality at all, but being an exceptional all-rounder – the type of student who seizes all the opportunities Girton offers both inside and outside the classroom.
2023 graduate Zoe MacGregor (Riley) embodies this spirit wholeheartedly. From orchestras, choirs and productions to sports teams, academic groups and leadership roles, she has immersed herself in every aspect of Girton life.
For Zoe, being a good all-rounder is reflected in committing effort towards a number of different causes, not necessarily in extraordinary achievement. Her philosophy revolves around giving everything a try, with the aim of adding to the collective experience rather than achieving individual success.
While she has undoubtedly accomplished extraordinary feats, from captivating audiences with a cello solo to claiming victory in running races, she believes the true treasures she will take with her from Girton are the memories she has forged through her diverse experiences.
Recognising her personification of the School’s ethos, the Old Girtonians’ Association has awarded Zoe the 2023 Departing Girtonian Scholarship, a $2,500 prize presented to a departing student who espouses all the qualities of an upstanding Girtonian. Top of Form
Zoe is described as mature, focused, passionate, enthusiastic and considerate – with their peers marvelling at her unyielding sense of motivation, which she applies to every task she undertakes.
She has thrived academically during her time at Girton Grammar, earning accolades including Dux of her year level, the La Trobe Infinity Award for Academic Achievement, and selection for the esteemed Monash Scholars Program.
As a leader too she has excelled – her blazer bearing the markings of a House Captain and Senior Prefect, as well as Captain of Tournament of Minds and the Girton Runners Club and Vice-Captain of the String Orchestra.
But despite these personal successes, Zoe’s resolute focus on enriching the collective experience has drawn her towards pursuits of compassion.
This is evidenced in her contributions to the broader local community, having completed the Red Shield Appeal over many years, as well as volunteering to help with community Australia Day activities and Tournament of Minds.
Her proudest achievement lies in the pivotal role she played in updating the School’s SunSmart Policy, a project that is close to her heart as a result of her aunt’s 14-year battle with melanoma. Zoe will leave a lasting legacy in enhanced sun-protection measures that will benefit the entire School community.
When it comes to her life beyond Girton, Zoe has set her sights on helping others by studying medicine. In particular, she is interested in pursuing the path she has already started at School by creating policies in the area of cancer. She would also like to volunteer or work in different countries, potentially through Doctors Without Borders.
Her scholarship will support her in pursuing her dream of studying in Melbourne, where she has been offered a place at Monash University’s Mannix College.
The Old Girtonians’ Association congratulates Zoe on being awarded the 2023 Departing Girtonian Scholarship, acknowledging her exemplary contributions to Girton’s collective success.