Our Stories - Past Pupils

Kilbreda Mentone Wellbeing

Eliza Rugg - Journalist / Court Reporter: Channel 9 News
Class of 2008

Eliza Rugg is a journalist with Nine News Melbourne. She is currently the court reporter for Victoria, and also covers breaking news across the state. Eliza has led Nine News' national coverage of the George Pell case. She worked extensively behind the scenes at the County Court for months, while the trial was held in secret, and hosted rolling live coverage when the suppression order was lifted, and when the Cardinal was sentenced, and then launched a successful appeal. She has also reported on other significant cases including Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas, Borce Ristevski, Richard Pusey, Malka Leifer, and the Lawyer X legal scandal.

Eliza was previously a reporter at Nine News Adelaide, filing live morning reports for the Today Show. She was a South Australian Young Journalist of the Year finalist, for her exclusive coverage of accused drug smuggler 'Cocaine Cassie'. Eliza has also worked as a producer on the foreign desk at Channel 9 in Sydney, helping coordinate rolling coverage on deadly terror attacks in France, Belgium and the US.

Eliza grew up in Melbourne, and completed her studies at The University of Melbourne and RMIT University, while working as a newsreader and producer for community radio and TV. She started her career at WIN Television in regional Victoria, and spent a number of years working in the Ballarat, Bendigo and Albury bureaus. Eliza is also a published print journalist, with her writing featured in the Herald Sun and The Age. In 2013, she was awarded the Dart Centre Journalism and Trauma prize, for her profile piece on a survivor of the Bali bombings.

Kilbreda Mentone Wellbeing

Doctor Madeline Buck | Registrar (Neurosurgery): St Vincents Hospital
Class of 2009

Maddy has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a Doctor having completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery with Honours at Monash University. Once qualified, Maddy entered into medical practice and after working as a Surgical Resident has commenced provisional training in neurosurgery working as a Registrar at St Vincent’s Hospital. Neurosurgery is her passion and Maddy is working towards obtaining entry into the College of Surgeons. In addition to her Bachelor degrees, Maddie has also completed a Graduate Diploma of Surgical Anatomy and is currently undertaking a Masters of Surgery.

Maddy has completed research in the area of patient outcomes after hip surgery and myocardial infarction and is currently researching patient experiences and outcomes following back surgery, in an attempt to improve the patient experience and ensure that quality patient centred care is being provided. She is also active in teaching medical students and nursing staff through hospital placements and universities. Maddy intends to continue to pursue neurosurgical training in order to become a consultant Neurosurgeon and pursue further research goals whilst still finding time to see family and friends and play cricket.

Kilbreda Mentone Wellbeing

Simone De La Rue | Owner: Body by Simone and Celebrity Fitness Trainer
Class of 1992

Simone began training in classical ballet at the age of three and was a celebrated dancer during her time at the College, appearing in many of the school productions. After leaving Kilbreda, Simone enjoyed a successful dance career spanning two decades, which included performances on Broadway, London’s West End and in Australia. After retiring from dance, Simone made a natural transition to the fitness industry.

As a ‘National Academy of Sports Medicine’ certified personal trainer, she began with a loyal base of celebrity clients, and was able to expand Body by Simone (BBS) into her studios in New York and Los Angeles, and her first international studio in London that opened early 2019. Simone is also a ‘PROnatal’ Pre/Post natal exercise specialist. Simone’s initial desire to create a revolutionary exercise technique was to assist her clients in the prevention of injuries. By creating a technique based on the foundation of dance, her clients could avoid habitual wear and tear and avoid the boredom that can come with traditional exercise. Simone’s new technique led to the growth of both the BBS brand and her reputation as one of Hollywood’s hottest fitness experts. Simone continues to teach sold out pop up classes in Australia, Ireland, and London, while overseeing the national operation of BBS.

Simone is also a principal trainer in the E! Channel’s ‘Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian’. She has six DVDs, her own shoe line with Newton Running and is the author of ‘Body By Simone - The 8-Week Total Body Makeover Plan’.

Kilbreda Mentone Wellbeing

Grace Sabbatucci | Performer and Tutor
Class of 2011

Grace Sabbatucci is one of our popular Voice Tutors and was College Captain in 2011. She was an enthusiastic and dedicated Performing Arts student studying VCE Drama, Theatre Studies and Music. She also performed in many of our College productions, playing the lead role of Peggy Sawyer in ‘42nd Street’. Since graduating from Kilbreda, Grace completed a Bachelor of Music Theatre at Ballarat Arts Academy.  During her education at the Arts Academy, Grace also wrote and performed her Cabaret, ‘Playing to Win’ and was selected to perform an additional season at the Ballarat Cabaret Festival.

After completing her studies, Grace spent two years as a vocal specialist at the Centre for Musical Arts in Dubai, teaching singing to people of all ages from around the world. Grace performed in Windmill Theatre Company’s, ‘We Will Rock You’, for which she received a Music Theatre Guild Commendation. She recently played the lead role of Sophie in the PLOS production of ‘Mamma Mia’ and later this year was set to perform in ‘Hello Dolly’ as Minnie Fay.

In 2019 Grace was invited to feature in the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Grace, along with two other artists performed their original sketch comedy 'You Throw Like A Girl: Game Changing Women In Aussie History'. In their sold-out show, they celebrated exceptional women in Australia's history through the power of interpretive dance, song, improvisation and audience participation.

Kilbreda Mentone Wellbeing

Amy Barbour | Buyer | Designer | Business Owner : ZINNIAN
Class of 2010

Amy Barbour graduated in 2010 and since leaving Kilbreda she has had an exciting career, one that she believes her schooling and the extra experiences she was offered while studying set her up for the life she has lived.

Upon graduating, Amy was accepted into Kangan Institute’s ‘Fashion and Textile Merchandising’ course, which at the time only accepted 20 people globally! After completing her studies, she worked in Melbourne as a women’s fashion and accessories buyer for a little over five years. Encompassing her love of travel, she followed her heart to far away cities; landing in Knightsbridge, London. She began working as a premium luxury children’s wear buyer; curating wardrobes for the children of many well-known names, including the British Royal Family, the Beckhams, Madonna, the Clooneys, Simon Cowell, Chrissy Tegan and John Legend and various top models.

Due to COVID-19, Amy returned to Melbourne where she altered the product offering of her fashion company, ZINNIAN (which she started in 2013) and now offers personalised, luxe facemasks and accessories. Living by the motto ‘Ordinary life does not interest me’ ZINNIAN captures exactly that. An essence of fun, playfulness and a touch of glam. ZINNIAN pieces are made with love.

During her studies at Kilbreda, she studied Textiles and attributes her teacher as being “an extremely wonderful influence always helping to push me to extend myself, to which I was able to make my own pattern for my final Year 12 garment and achieve a notable study score for Textiles which was published in the Herald Sun.” She also had a great Business Manager teacher and assistance by Mr Tony Grosso who helped her extend her studies by undertaking a VCE subject offered at a different college. She has fond memories of the College; “Kilbreda was amazing at accommodating my fashion oriented studies and helped set me on the path to be able to achieve the things I have today.”

You can purchase Amy’s luxurious masks at HERE