MLC School Alumni in the Arts

Arts – Literature

Fiona McFarlane ('95) was named in The Sydney Morning Herald in 2014 as one of four Best Young Australian Novelists, with her debut novel The Night Places winning a NSW Premier’s Literary Award and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

Emma Jones ('95) is an award-winning Australian poet. Her first book, The Striped World, has won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Best Collection and is shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. She is currently poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust. Jones is only the second Australian to be published by renowned publishing house, Faber & Faber.

Hsu-Ming Teo ('87) is a Malaysian-born cultural historian, novelist and lecturer in the Department of Modern History, Macquarie University. Her first novel Love and Vertigo won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1999 which was also short-listed for the inaugural Tasmania Pacific Region Literary Prize and the Dobbie Award for women's fiction. Her second novel, Behind the Moon was published in 2005 and short-listed for one of the 2006 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. She was also a member of the NSW Premier's Literature and History committee in 2004.

Arts – Music

Emily Sun (’09) is a rising violin soloist. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the 2016 Royal Overseas League Music Competition UK, the first violinist to win the award since 1981. She has won many Australian violin competitions, including the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Strings Award. She has won all available prizes at the Royal College of Music including the Violin Competition 2012 and Concerto Competition 2015, and is a prizewinner in many international competitions. In February 2017, Emily performed for HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. 

In 2016, Sarah Sung ('15) joined Lisa Sung ('14) and Rachel Siu ('15) at The Juilliard School. According to the admissions staff at The Juilliard School, no other school in the world has had three alumni at Juilliard at the one time.

Arts – Visual

Olive Cotton ('29) was a pioneering Australian modernist female photographer of the 1930s and 40s working in Sydney.

As Senior School Prefect in 1929, Olive was the recipient of the Old Girls' Union Prize and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Sydney.

Cotton became a household name when in 1985-1986 her retrospective exhibition 'Olive Cotton Photographs 1924-1984' opened at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney and toured through numerous Australian Galleries.

A book of her life and work came out in 1995.

Do you know of any other MLC School Old Girls who should be featured on Outstanding Alumni?

We want to include everyone, and if there is an Old Girl whose achievements should be celebrated, please contact the Archivist, Barbara Hoffman on 8741 3214 or

Coming issues of LUCIS will focus on the achievements of Old Girls in the law, politics, business, media, sports and the arts.