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How a Penrhos scholarship transformed Vivienne's life

20 June 2024


It has now been six years since scholarship recipient Vivienne Holt graduated proudly from Penrhos in 2018, yet she continues to be a beloved and familiar face to many Maths students on campus. 

Every Wednesday morning before school begins, Vivienne dedicates her time to sharing her enthusiasm for maths with students in the Year 9-10 Uni Maths Mentor program. In this program, university students come back to the College to support Maths Mentor: 

“I feel very honoured to come to Penrhos on a weekly basis to help mentor the girls and prepare them for Maths competitions and develop their skills. I very much enjoy teaching Maths and encouraging and inspiring others in the subject.”

Vivienne's talent for Maths became evident from a very young age.

“Maths has always been my passion. When I was a little, I enjoyed doing Maths with my father. It feels like my brain is naturally wired this way!” laughs Vivienne as she reminisces.

Alongside her love for numbers, music has held a special place in her life too. So, when Vivienne received both an academic and instrumental scholarship at Penrhos, it was a life-changing experience.

“I was very proud to be awarded with the scholarships. I was always very keen to go to Penrhos because of the many amazing opportunities the College offers in many fields such as academics, music and drama. The scholarship also served as a reminder to work hard and strive for the highest in both my academic and co-curricular pursuits,” says Vivienne.



From the start, Vivienne embraced every opportunity to immerse herself in all that Penrhos had to offer. She thrived in the co-curricular programs, particularly excelling in music and maths, where she reached her full potential. 

“I loved that Penrhos encouraged us to pursue our dreams. I was involved in so many things, Music, Drama, Maths. I said yes to everything and I was always at school. Early in the morning until late in the afternoon.”
Vivienne Holt Class of 2018

Flipping through the pages of Saga 2018 gives a glimpse of Vivienne’s bustling school life: from singing in the Chorale to playing in the string and wind orchestras and being part of the flute ensemble and jazz band. 

“In Year 7, I was on stage in Beauty and the Beast. In Year 8, I helped out in the orchestra for the musical Hairspray and in Year 12, I even managed to be on the production stage for The Little Mermaid as well as playing the flute in the orchestra,” recalls Vivienne.

Vivienne excelled in Music and Maths. Her exceptional mathematical abilities came to life when she joined the Maths Mentor Program, which had a profound impact on her life. The program not only challenged her but also helped her develop teamwork and communication skills and gain invaluable life and work experiences. 

“The Maths Mentor program was one of my favourite co-curricular activities when I was at Penrhos. As a result of the program, we were able to extend our knowledge outside of the normal classroom curriculum, as well as participate in competitions, connect with other schools, and learn about the endless possibilities of career opportunities involving STEM,” says Vivienne.

The Maths Mentor program also provided Vivienne with the incredible opportunity to be part of the first-ever Penrhos team to compete in the World Mathematics Team Championship in China.

Vivienne’s passion for learning and commitment were acknowledged by awarding her the role of Maths Mentor Captain.



“Becoming a Maths Mentor Captain was a great way to recognise my contribution to the Maths Mentor program over my 10 years at the College. In this position, we were able to become role models, mentors, and also assist the teachers with organising activities and Maths Mentor sessions after school.”

Vivienne was able to practise her leadership skills while also giving back by inspiring future year groups to work towards becoming a Maths Mentor Captain.

“I’m very grateful for the teachers at Penrhos who encouraged me to continue with my passion for Maths. Mr Chandler's work in the Maths Mentor program opened my eyes to my ability to pursue and the broadness of pursuing a degree in Mathematics, which I successfully completed with distinction in 2022 from the University of Western Australia.”



Vivienne is currently studying Auslan and will complete her studies by the end of this year. She aspires to make a positive impact by teaching Maths to deaf students, an area where there is a shortage of teachers.

“I encourage people to consider donating to scholarships as a way for young girls to gain access to high quality educational opportunities and the learning experience at Penrhos. My favourite thing about the College is that there are endless opportunities across all academic pursuits, as well as in music, sport, art, leadership, and community service.”

Your gift to the Foundation, regardless of size, creates life-changing opportunities for girls.

All contributions of more than $2 to the Penrhos College Foundation Scholarships Fund are fully tax-deductible. 

Help shape the future of Penrhos and our girls. Together, we can continue to provide exceptional educational opportunities and maintain a legacy of excellence and community support at Penrhos.

You can donate online at or reach out directly to Ra Stewart, Manager Foundation and Partnerships, at

Join us in shaping a bright and promising future for the next generation of leaders, innovators and change-makers. On behalf of these students, thank you.