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News & Events > Reunions & Events > Alumna of the Year 2021

Alumna of the Year 2021

The CGA hosted the annual Alumna of the Year Awards on the evening of 16th September in the beautiful surroundings of the Chelsea Physic Gardens.
Alumna of the Year 2021
Alumna of the Year 2021

The CGA hosted the annual Alumna of the Year Awards on the evening of 16th September in the beautiful surroundings of the Chelsea Physic Gardens.  A small number of guests gathered for drinks and canapes and enjoyed a chance to explore the gardens as well as catching up with friends.  Amongst those attending, were two of this year’s nominees Lucy Kent (2003) and Phoebe Dickinson (2003); unfortunately, Fernande van Tets (2002), Domenica de Ferranti (2005) and Louisa Carberry (2003) were unable to attend.  We were also joined by 2020 winner Christie Peacock (1975) and a number of 2020 nominees Arabella Dorman (1991), Susan Aglionby (1963) and Vicky Wilson (1968).

The Alumna of the Year Award recognises a Calne Girl who embodies many of St Mary’s values: encouraging a positive attitude to health, social, moral and spiritual issues; inclusivity, respect, empathy and care for others; excellence and aspiration; resilience, balance, collaborative and innovative.  Dr Felicia Kirk and the Head Girl, Khalilah and her Deputies, Saskia and Chloe as well as Grace, Senior Prefect and Head of Futures considered all the nominees.  They looked to see who inspired them most, which candidate best represented a Calne girl and, in particular, who has made a real contribution to broader social issues.

The winner, Fernande van Tets, was unanimously chosen.  Fernande, who recently gave a virtual CGA lecture, is an experienced war journalist who regularly works for BBC, CBS, The Independent, Foreign Policy and the Economist.  She is based in the Netherlands having previously lived in Beirut.  Having seen the Syrian refugee crisis develop first-hand whilst living in Lebanon between 2011-2015, Fernande continues to cover the refugee crisis in Europe.  She has reported extensively from the Middle East as well along the entire Balkan route and Calais. Her reporting focuses on the war in Syria and the refugee crisis that erupted in its wake.  Many congratulations to Fernande and to all the nominees.

We now look forward to 2023 at the 150th Anniversary of St Mary’s Calne, and the Alumna of the Year Award will form an important part of the celebrations.  To watch interviews with all the 2021 and 2020 nominees please click here.

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