Hear from our Alumnae: The Adams Sisters

Thursday, 03/08/2023 Posted by: Emily Heath

They graduated from Stuartholme in 1988, 1989 and 1991.  They called it their “home away from home” (which was in Darwin – a four-hour flight away) and they continue their deep affection for the school, gratitude for their boarding experience and are proud Alumnae.

They’re the Adams sisters and they’re equal parts passionate about Stuartholme as they are successful in their respective careers.  For the first time since 1994 all three sisters are now living in Brisbane together and they relished in sharing their alumnae stories.

Angelique (class of 1988) has recently returned to school as the proud mum of Isobel who’s in grade 12.  Her family has moved from the UK where Isobel attended Woldingham.  Although the school and Stuartholme are more than 10,000 miles apart, Angelique says “the minute you walk into the grounds of a Sacred Heart school there is an instant connection”.

For Kirstin (class of 1989), mum of Oscar (12) and Gretchen (class of 1991), mum of Tom (13), these MOBs (mums of boys) are loving living vicariously through their niece, Isobel – attending Mother’s Day functions and other school events.

Gretchen joined Angelique and Kirstin at boarding school in 1987, the sisters shared just two years together before Angelique graduated in 1988.

“My dorm was on D floor and there were only 11 year eight boarders,” said Gretchen.

“I vividly remember the first night … we could hear subtle sniffles and one of us said “who’s crying”? “When we heard ‘it’s me’, everyone offered support, kindness and inclusiveness. We became a family of teenage girls growing up together and we shared everything.”

Kirstin explained “I’m genuinely proud when I meet a fellow Boarder from Stuartholme. We only had pay phones – no internet and no mobile phones. Ultimately, when school would finish, you would ‘go upstairs’ and you’d be ‘home’.”

The ‘point of difference’ the Adams sisters all agree is that Stuartholme remains small enough that the teachers and students know each other’s names, yet we remain a part of a global kinship.

“When I was an Interior Designer working in London recently, I visited a new client in Chelsea and we had this instant connection – we realised within minutes that we were Sacred Heart Alumnae – she was from Kincoppal, Rose Bay.”

“We genuinely share a sense of community,” said Kirstin. “At Mrs Andrew’s memorial earlier this year, former students flew from Perth to attend.  Just incredible.  It was like no time had passed.  We celebrated our lovely friendships.” 

“We have a boarder ‘whats app’ chat – 40 years of friendship,” said Angelique.

Gretchen said “Boarding school taught us many life lessons, independence, how to be part of a team, loyalty, budgeting, initiative, organisational skills and taking responsibility.”

“Because I had such a happy time during my five years at Stuartholme, I want to give back to the school,” said Angelique.

The Adams girls support various school initiatives like baking birthday cakes for the boarders, cooking and caring when families require extra support and the ‘pat a puppy’ event. The sisters recently took Gretchen’s dog ‘Bonnie’ to school so the Boarders who miss their own pets, could ‘fill their buckets’ (and Bonnie’s too).

All Adams sisters agreed that they never took their Stuartholme experience “for granted”.

“Our parents made a huge sacrifice.  They worked incredibly hard to send three girls to boarding school.”

The Adams sisters are actively encouraging the alumnae community to support the Alumnae (SSCA) Art Show which raises money to

allow a fortunate student, who otherwise couldn’t afford the experience, to be educated at Stuartholme. The show is held every 2 years. The next one scheduled for September 2024.

“This bursary can change someone’s life,” said Kirstin.

“The Stuartholme alumnae has a responsibility to support, encourage and continue this legacy.”


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