Principal’s Inspiring Old Collegian Awards

The Principal’s Inspiring Old Collegian Awards pay tribute to two extraordinary individuals, Dr June Jones and Dr Patricia Kailis, known for their lifelong commitment to community service and innovation.

Dr June Jones Award

PLC Old Collegian, Winks Shephard (1988), has been honoured with the prestigious 2023 Principal’s Inspiring Old Collegian Awards for the Dr June Jones Award. This accolade recognises individuals like Winks whose unwavering commitment to volunteerism and professional accomplishments has made a significant positive impact, not only locally but on a national and international scale.

Winks’ journey of giving back began at 16 when she and her mother volunteered tirelessly at Rocky Bay, offering companionship and care to disabled children. Nearly every weeknight for two years, Winks and her mother would visit the children at Rocky Bay, helping them with their dinner, then playing with them before bedtime.

Witnessing firsthand the lack of age-appropriate care deeply moved Winks, igniting a lifelong passion for supporting those in need. “It just broke my heart to see these children who just wanted to be seen”, said Winks.

With a successful career in events management under her belt, Winks transitioned seamlessly into philanthropy, co-founding Autism West in 2006. This charity, aimed at supporting families and providing co-curricular resources for children on the spectrum, quickly became a beacon of hope for many struggling parents.

Winks’ tireless efforts extended beyond Autism West as she dedicated her time to various charitable endeavours, including organising large-scale fundraising events and serving on the OCA Committee.

Her recent appointment as President of the OCA reflects her unwavering commitment to fostering a strong sense of community within PLC. Through initiatives like the ‘Parent Collegian’ keyring gifts, Winks is bridging the gap between generations, ensuring that the PLC community remains interconnected for life.

For Winks, service is not just a duty but a privilege—a way to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. “There are people in this world that are givers, be a giver.” Said Winks. “Seek happiness in life, and know that giving to each other is the best source of happiness.”

Her inspiring journey serves as a reminder that each of us has the power to create positive change in our communities, one selfless act at a time. As we celebrate Winks Shephard’s remarkable achievements, we are reminded of the profound impact one individual can have on the world around them.


Dr Patricia Kailis Award

The Dr Patricia Kailis Award highlights the innovative contributions of younger alumni, particularly women who are trailblazers in their fields of expertise.

Sophie Coote (2007), has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Dr Patricia Kailis Award for her remarkable achievements as the C0-founder of the fashion label SIR. This esteemed recognition celebrates Sophie’s innovative contributions to the fashion industry and her pioneering spirit as a successful entrepreneur.

After graduating from PLC, Sophie embarked on a journey to pursue her passion for fashion. With determination and a keen eye for design, she co-founded SIR, a renowned Australian fashion brand known for its elegant and timeless pieces.

Under Sophie’s leadership, SIR has grown into a global phenomenon, garnering acclaim for its chic designs and commitment to sustainability. Sophie’s dedication to ethical and sustainable practices has set a new standard in the fashion industry, inspiring others to prioritise environmental consciousness in their businesses.

Sophie recently collaborated with PLC to design a new line of pants and shorts, reflecting her dedication to giving back to her school community.

Winning the 2023 Dr Patricia Kailis Award is a testament to Sophie Coote’s entrepreneurial spirit and her unwavering commitment to excellence. This prestigious accolade not only recognises Sophie’s outstanding achievements but also highlights her as a role model for young entrepreneurs, especially women, aspiring to make their mark in the world of fashion and beyond.

We congratulate Sophie on this well-deserved honour and look forward to witnessing her continued success and impact in the fashion industry and beyond.


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