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News & Media > Alumnae Awards > 2022 Alumnae Award Recipients > Val Packham (Hedge, 1955)

Val Packham (Hedge, 1955)

2022 Alumnae Award for Contribution to MLC School
Val Packham (Hedge, 1955)
Val Packham (Hedge, 1955)

Val Packham (Hedge, 1955) has worked tirelessly for MLC School for decades. She joined the MLC School Old Girls’ Union (OGU) immediately after leaving school and has been an active member for over 60 years.

Her connection to MLC School spans many generations and across many roles. Val’s twin brother’s daughter is an Old Girl, as is Val’s daughter Sue Cartwright (Packham, 1981)—the current President of the Old Girls’ Union—and her granddaughter, Kate Cartwright (2020). Val’s husband, Ken Packham, was a member of the MLC School Council from 1977 to 1996, serving as the Chair of Council from 1983 to 1988. His sister, cousin and aunt are also Old Girls.

Val has served on many OGU committees and other School groups and activities with energy and distinction. Some of Val’s contributions include:

  • Val has been an active participant of the OGU Year 12 ‘Chocolate Lunch’ since its inception
  • She managed the Kent House canteen for two years plus worked in Senior canteen for six years
  • Val was active with the P&F while her daughter Sue was at School (1974 – 1981) and initiated many fundraising events such as fetes
  • With her husband, Ken, Val sourced and organised the delivery of the baptismal font for the MLC School Chapel (the Chapel’s first baptismal font)
  • Recently Val was the driving force behind the magnificent refurbishment of the MLC School Chapel
  • Val is working with a current student who is a candidate for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award through sharing her history and her experiences of her time at MLC School

Val’s family say that she is always ‘in there, boots and all, supporting us and our families with love and grace’.

Val is an active, committed, and enthusiastic member of the MLC School community. Her tremendous contributions to the betterment of MLC School through the OGU and in many other ways cannot be underestimated.

A message from Val

I feel very humbled by this Award and thank you for considering me. I particularly wish to thank our Principal, Lisa Moloney, who is always approachable when new ideas and concepts are put forward.

My first exciting memory was when Mum and Dad told me that I was booked into MLC School. Thank you Mum and Dad.

My second exciting memory comes back to me when I gave birth to Sue. Ken came to the hospital and handed me an envelope and when opened, I found an application form to enrol Sue at MLC School. It was the loveliest thing that he could have given me and I thank you again darling for it has given me so much pleasure to be involved at the BEST SCHOOL there is.

We have seven members of both families having been at the School since 1926 but sadly only four were in the best house (CHURUNGA). When Sue started in Kent House I became very involved with Tuckshop Rosters and Mothers meetings. Following on the same in main school and then supported Ken when he was on College Council for 19 years and being Chairman for five.

Back on OGU which I love and recommend and the last most exciting challenge was for us to bring the Chapel up to date. How exciting has that been!

My dream was to see pews in the Chapel, replacing the old and uncomfortable Potts Hall chairs. When I put the idea forward, I had total support from everyone, not only from OGU but the School also. With the help of the Business Manager of Newington College as to where they purchased their pews from their Chapel, we then proceeded with the same firm in Melbourne, and what an amazing and helpful company to deal with.

Everyone in the OGU has worked so well together, so all I can say is that it is a pleasure to be part of it all.

In finishing, I only hope that generations of our family will come after us.

Thank you.

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