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Issue 1, 2020 Volume 35

Challenge and Discovery in Peru . . . . . . . . . . . . . Water Polo: From Strength to Strength. . . . . 145 Years of Learning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prime Minister's Prize for Alumna . . . . . . . . . . .

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Systematic curiosity in teaching, learning and research Guiding Principle, Brisbane Girls Grammar School Strategic Design 2020–2022 — In each edition of the Gazette, a student contributes a design element to represent the Guiding Principle that informs the publication.

The circles in this design represent togetherness, timelessness and totality as a whole school, a whole community. These overlap just as each person in the School community is linked to one another. Adding to this idea, the geometric lines and dots not only represent growth from one point to another, but also the connection between groups in our School, united despite their differences.

Curiosity is symbolised through the combination of these elements. I was influenced by constellations, stars, planets (lines and dots) and clouds— overlapping circles in the formation of clouds show us that the universe is our limit, and we are free to explore it. Our common beginning at BGGS gives us the foundation to launch each other to land wherever our curiosity takes us. —Grace Phua (11O)

Grammar Gazette Issue 1, 2020 Volume 35

Issue 1, 2020 | Volume 35

— Managing Editor: Dr Belinda Burns Director of Communications and Engagement Editor: Ms Keziah Sydes Senior Communications Officer For Gazette enquiries and comments: T +61 7 3332 1300 E communications@bggs.qld.edu.au

Challenge and Discovery in Peru . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Water Polo: From Strength to Strength . . . . . 22 145 Years of Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Prime Minister's Prize for Alumna . . . . . . . . . . . 28

To change your subscription to the Gazette from printed to electronic please email communications@bggs.qld.edu.au.

cover image Ruth Martin (8O) in the Visual Art classroom


Contents 02

From the Chair

An enduring core purpose Ms Julie McKay

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From the Principal

Opportunities for curiosity Ms Jacinda Euler

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Lessons from Literature

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In Their Words

Dr Rashna Taraporewalla

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A Curious Climate Connecting with the environment

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Antipodeans Abroad

Learning through crises

Challenge and discovery in Peru

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22

Celebrating Female Composers

BGGS Water Polo

From strength to strength

International Women’s Day

10

Question the Unquestioned

24

145 Years of Learning 1875 to 2020

Year 10 Economics

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

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Cheryl Praeger (1965) Recognition for a love of learning

30

Ali Rae (2005) Multimedia journalism and filmmaking

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House Spirit

Supporting the Science Learning Centre

34

The Bursary Fund A gift of hope for their future

35

Awards and Achievements

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Issue 1, 2020


From the Chair

Ms Julie McKay Chair of the Board of Trustees

An enduring core purpose

One of the most enduring lessons I took with me from my days as a BGGS student was to be open to opportunities to learn—at all times, in all circumstances. The classroom wasn’t the only domain for growth— neither was the sporting field, nor the band room. My teachers instilled in me the concept that every interaction with every person was a chance to gain new knowledge or insight into another way of thinking that could improve our own lives or the world in which we live. As our world battles a pandemic that threatens almost every aspect of our lives, the idea of constant, unashamed curiosity is, I believe, more important than ever before. It is also a moment to reflect. The School’s 145th anniversary— BGGS first opened its doors on 15 March 1875—provides a timely, yet poignant, reason to look at how we have overcome such crises in the past.

In 1919, Queensland faced the global ‘Spanish’ influenza pandemic— the last time the State closed its borders, and resulting in some teachers being unable to return from southern states for the start of the School year. In the breach, alumnae volunteered to teach students. Later, once the flu itself had reached Queensland, BGGS was closed for 11 weeks, during which time the students preparing for ‘Junior’ and ‘Senior’ examinations were supplied with distance learning activities by their teachers, via post. In periods of great uncertainty, it is natural to lament for that which we have lost, either temporarily or permanently, and to be concerned about what lies ahead. No doubt, many in the BGGS community are facing significant challenges, and we keep in our thoughts everyone affected during this most difficult of times.

While remaining agile and responsive to the constant changes that the pandemic dictates, we must not lose focus of that which endures and sustains us: our core purpose, as a School; our innate ability to adapt and innovate; and, our connection to each other. As always, the Board’s focus remains providing for the ongoing strength and sustainability of our School. Now, and over the coming months, this will indeed necessitate an agile and responsive approach as we navigate the inevitable challenges of this global disruption to the way we live and operate as a society. However, despite this turbulence, that which inspires us as a Board and makes BGGS great—its vibrant community of girls and their families, dedicated teachers and staff, and alumnae—will not change. I offer my sincere thanks to my fellow members of the Board of Trustees, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, the School’s tirelessly diligent and caring staff, our supportive parents and our unstoppable girls. When we are united in our support for one another, and when we decide, as a collective, to continue to be intentionally openminded and curious, we can overcome whatever challenges lay before us. — Reference The Magazine of the Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School. (1919). [Editorial].

left Chair of the Board of Trustees, Ms Julie McKay, Head Girls, Arwen Dias-Jayasinha (12G) and Abbey Grice (12E), and Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler

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Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


From the Principal

Ms Jacinda Euler Principal

Opportunities for curiosity

'I think I may say that, despite the difficulties we have had to contend with this year, the majority of the girls have lived up to our good old motto, and the undoubted spirit of happiness which pervades the School is, I think, due in large measure to willing industry and the appreciation of the privilege of service.' —Miss Annie Mackay, Head Mistress from The Head Mistress' Report For the Year 1919

So much has changed so suddenly in the lives of us all in recent times. As a School, we have been supported and sustained by our purpose—to provide a quality education to girls and young women, albeit in new ways, so that they will take their rightful place in the world as well-educated, outwardlooking and compassionate people. The challenges for us—our School, our staff, students and families—have been very real and we know much hardship lies ahead for many in our society. We trust that the stability and authenticity Brisbane Girls Grammar School represents will provide a sense of security, optimism and hope to our community. We are continuing to forge ahead with our ongoing projects—the Science Learning Centre, as many will have seen, continues to emerge above the School and is still on track for opening at the start of 2021; our new Illumine podcast is an example of our commitment to

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engage in discussion and debate on topics of substance; and we recently launched Bishbar Blue, a new digital publication distributed to 7 500 Grammar Women around the world that acknowledges the foundation their Girls Grammar education has provided them as they contribute to the world through their studies, their careers and in their homes, families and local communities. These times have required us all to bring a level of flexibility and agility, along with patience and some downright stoicism, to every action and to every decision that we make. Despite the challenges, there have been positives too: a remarkable resilience tested but also strengthened among our students; new skills for our teachers who are exhausted and yet also energised by their learnings; and alternative, less formal modes of communicating with our parents that may, ultimately bring us closer together, keep us more attuned. The creativity of the girls, shocked initially by what

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had been snatched away from them, came to the fore very quickly. And most importantly, a deeper understanding of what and who matters seems to have emerged and I hope will not be forgotten as life, gradually, moves on. BGGS remains committed— through the education we provide and the willingness of our staff and students to be active participants in the shaping of our society—to face the challenges we face with confidence and determination, always understanding the importance of our motto, Nil Sine Labore. The attitude to life it represents has certainly stood the test of time, provided focus to all that we do and leads to a meaningful, and hopefully happy, life. I hope you enjoy the interesting and inspiring stories contained in this newly redesigned edition of Gazette. above left Yasodha Dias (8L) and Abbey Woodward (8L) on the first day of School, Term 1 2020

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Issue 1, 2020


FROM THE CLASSROOM ENGLISH

Every year, each Year 8 English class holds a poetry slam competition. Students create and perform their own works, responding to poems studied in class. Here are some winning student works from 2019.

Glory Claire Ellem (9B) New South Wales. That’s what it was named. The title they gave the country that was claimed. James Cook. We all know the name. The Captain who found this new land to tame. The First Fleet. The convicts who came. Some of you still bear their surnames. All those people, Those elected, those sent, Came together in order to present: Australia. In all its glory. Who would look beneath To see the whole story? Maybe all these things seem like victory, But look closer and you’ll see everyone’s history.

Respect. That’s what should have been shown. When the invaders sought out their home. But no. No respect was visible, To the settlers, Aboriginals were as good as animals. Horror. That’s what comes to mind When someone mentions those despicable times. Disgust. At the disrespect Of taking the land without consent. Anger. At the settlers reaction. When the Aborigines tried to take action. How many lives were lost, when they did not need to be? How did our ancestors not even see The despair that they cast upon these humans? All that they knew Left in ruins.

Before. Let’s go back To before the settlers came to attack. When the true owners of the land were free And the Europeans had not yet crossed the sea. Peace. Can’t you see it, feel it? The land still thrived, because they were there to heal it. To use and nurture it, to make their own choices When the Aboriginal people Still had their voices.

So I ask you to, the next time you hear Of the settlers and the pioneers, To look deeper and listen to the entire story Because in the end, not everyone emerged in glory.

My English class focused on Aboriginal experience in Australian poetry. We studied 'We Are Going' by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, which talks about when the Europeans settled in Australia. When I wrote my poem, I really wanted to do justice to such an important part of Australian history. —Claire Ellem (9B)

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Issue 1, 2020


FROM THE CLASSROOM ENGLISH I studied the poem 'Scots of The Riverina' by Henry Lawson. My poem, 'Mother', focuses on the war aspect of the poem and is written in the style of letters to a mum whose son is at war. —Caitlin Huf (9B)

Dear Mother Caitlin Huf (9B) Bright eyed and brave a boy sits hunched on a busy train. Dear Mother, I know it’s hard to say But for a while I will be gone away When will I be home? Well I’ll see you one day But the reason I signed up for what I am going to do Is to make father proud, make my promise true. Under the black and white of a starry night the boy sits hunched in a crowded cabin. Dear Mother, Being on a boat is like a sleepless night We toss and turn forever but the captain says Gallipoli is in sight As the sun glistens golden and day retires to night I think of you and hope you are doing alright

Dear Mother, Tomorrow I am to be sent to ‘no man’s land’ To venture into the madness, take one final stand Then I will be going to Egypt they say Where the conditions are better and hopefully the pay Every morning we are awake long before the sun peeks over the shattered hill But only some of us rise, others remain forever still Tired and uninspired the captain sits hunched in his stately office. Dear Madam, It is my painful duty to notify the death of Sergeant Carl Machen The report is to the effect that he was killed in action My sincere regards Silent and stills the boy cries his mother’s name but his voice is never to be heard again.

Afraid and alone the boy sits hunched in the chaos. Dear Mother, As I write my boots sink deeper into the mud For there is no escape from the screaming and blood Gunshot rattles, booms in my ears For what we see here are darker than the deepest of fears Times are desperate mother, more desperate than they have ever been For shivering in the filth beside me is a boy of just fifteen I am afraid mother, he isn’t doing well I am afraid this poor boy will fade in this living hell Full of fire the boy sits hunched on the trench walls.

Reverse Poem Kiara Chang (9B) We cannot accept them So don’t tell me that They should be included in political fights We should give them freedoms and rights. At the end of the day, Their identity is lost in every way, Nothing you say will make me believe We can still save their culture and give them exemption and We can still stop discrimination and provoke consideration But no matter what They will never have adequation. I think, Do they really have no hope? —Now read in reverse from the bottom line to the top—

My poem focuses on how the Australian identity is represented through the Indigenous people. This poem responds to another poem, 'Municipal Gum', written by Oodgeroo Noonuccal and outlines the inequality faced by Indigenous people. —Kiara Chang (9B)

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Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


Lessons from Literature

Ms Sarah Frew Associate Dean

Sustaining learning through crises

In my role as Associate Dean, I regularly reflect on how the School is building a ‘culture of thinking’. The last time I shared my reflections with BGGS families was in 2019, when I played with the motif of artisanal baking—the nourishment of it, the goodness of it, the simple joy of it. The global health crisis of novel coronavirus is rapidly unfolding with the news media reporting 24/7 about the exponential growth of a curve that communities across the globe are so desperate to flatten. That is the reality at present and nourishment, goodness, and simple joys are much needed. Many schools, by necessity, are considering what educational continuity might look like for home or remote learning, based on the fundamental premise that education is liberating and learning is inherently valuable. In Fahrenheit 451, the set text for our Year 10 Literature students in Term 1, Ray Bradbury explores the power of knowledge—of learning and ‘knowing’— against the backdrop of a hedonistic, technocratic society, consumed with triviality. For many in this fictional world, it doesn’t end well. But I share this reflection for the more uplifting messages Bradbury offers readers: that books and learning are a gift; that curiosity and the act of slow looking, of spending time in meaningful ways, are to be celebrated. In the novel, Bradbury alludes to Alexander Pope’s poem, 'An Essay on Criticism' (Pope, 1711, as cited in Abrams, 1993): A little learning is a dangerous thing: Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again. In these words, Pope—and Bradbury—invite us to see that taking time to ‘drink deep’ from the Pierian spring [of Macedonia]—the source of knowledge of art and science that quenched the thirst of the muses in Greek mythology—is a replenishing, satiating act that vitalises the mind in logic and rationality. The metaphor is grounded in learning; in taking the time to learn deeply.

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We know that such learning cannot occur only at school or in traditional school hours. This would be a highly industrialised and limiting view of learning. Rather, we must conceptualise the time spent by students on their curriculum endeavours at home not as home work but as home learning—now more than ever. This is a subtle shift but a powerful and important one. It is one that offers sustenance in the face of the new system of learning and assessment for senior secondary students in Queensland, and one that indeed we must now embrace in the face of the challenges COVID-19 has thrust upon the globe. This type of deep learning is something we have thought carefully about in recent months. It just happens to have taken on new implications with our students learning from afar. We have carefully sought to build a culture of thinking and have painstakingly attended to the architecture of our students’ learning progression—what skills and attributes they might need to acquire and when, and the dispositions and academic discipline that need to be nurtured as they progress through these developmental phases. These values hold fast. Indeed, there is an important set of complementary skills that lie at the core of this progression, including the ability to plan home learning with purpose, and the ability to think about learning as a continuum— rather than short cycles of learning and, dare I say it, forgetting. Per the didactic value of Fahrenheit 451, it is fair to say Bradbury would agree. We can’t afford to learn and forget. Instead, we must look at how we ‘space out’ our independent home learning; how we cycle back to learned concepts, and what we do to not only secure skills and conceptual understanding in long-term memory but also what we do to retrieve this consistently, and with accuracy. The girls have access to carefully curated ‘study skills’ on Minerva, the School’s online learning management system, which is a repository for evidence-based strategies to support deep learning and

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Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


Lessons from Literature

Student tips for effective home learning

— ‘Plan your day out, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just write down when you have your zoom lessons and for how long you decide to study for a particular subject— and include breaks.’ —Year 11 student — ‘Motivate each other. I found that when I remind my friends to do things or I get reminded, it is usually easier to stay on track.’ —Year 12 student

the activation of long-term memory. In addition, this resource contains planning tools developed to help them to ‘space out’ their home learning and to manage their time into short, high-value and high-impact home learning sessions. Fahrenheit 451 does offer some positives for those who are open and willing to learn, however challenging the learning may be. Near the end of the novel, the protagonist Guy Montag dreams of simpler things … not quite artisanal bread but of natural, wholesome foods, nonetheless: ‘A cool glass of fresh milk, and a few apples and pears laid at the foot of the steps. This was all he wanted now. Some sign that the immense world would accept him and give him the long time needed to think all the things that must be thought. A glass of milk, an apple, a pear.’ The reference to such natural items is refreshing, and is used by Bradbury to suggest that stepping out of the noise—away from the technocracy—and taking time to nourish ourselves by slowing down, connecting meaningfully with others, and embracing deep learning and simple, wholesome things, will sustain us. In a world where the language and practice of social distancing, social isolation and quarantine are ubiquitous and world leaders’ diction of war permeates the media, what could be truer, or more vital? We face many challenges in the weeks and months ahead. For now, I wish all of us health and wellbeing, and hope that you find time for deep learning, wherever that may happen.

— ‘Make sure you have a proper work space such as desk or table and have a water bottle nearby. Pretend it's a normal school day and you will work more. Try and get all your work done earlier so you have free time to walk your dog, go for a run, bake something or just get some fresh air.’ —Year 7 student — ‘Ensure that you are getting up occasionally and doing a bit of exercise, because it will increase your attentiveness and general happiness.’ —Year 8 student — ‘Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Discipline is good but also continue to enjoy learning even though it's a different environment to school. Also, everyone is in the same boat and there are lots of people to talk to about it.’ —Year 11 student

— References Bradbury, R. (1953). Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine Books. Pope, A. (1993). An Essay on Criticism. In Abrams, M. H (Ed.). The Norton Anthology of English Literature (6th ed., Vol. 1, p.2221). New York: Norton.

above Jessica Mangos (12G) completes online learning from the Research Learning Centre on the first day of Term 2

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Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


Celebrating Female Composers

Mrs Emma Dron Director of Instrumental Music

International Women’s Day On Friday 6 March, the Instrumental Music Department presented its third annual International Women’s Day concert, showcasing the repertoire of contemporary female composers from around the globe. In a time where female composers account for less than 7 per cent of music programmed and presented in music halls, each year this concert aims to help change that statistic just a little. Pieces performed were entirely composed since 2001, by living, contemporary female composers, 50 per cent of whom are Australian. The concert presented three new student compositions, along with world premiere performances of two specially commissioned works by Australian female composers, and featured performances by Symphonic Winds, Chorale, Chamber Singers, Chamber Strings, Mendelssohn Strings and the Big Band. Australian composers, Catherina Likhuta and Julia Potter, both wrote moving pieces for Girls Grammar performers. A composer, pianist and recording artist, Catherine composed a piece called Through Healers Eyes,

which was inspired by the life of acclaimed BGGS alumna, Grace Wilson (1879–1957;1899), and her work as an Army Nurse during World War I and World War II. The piece is an emotional and honest depiction of war. Julia Potter is an emerging Australian composer, whose commissioned piece, Eyes on the Stars, serves as a message of encouragement and resilience to young women, reminding them that no setback should be a hindrance in the pursuit of achievement and adventure. Student composer, Tiffany Yeo (10E), winner of the Combined Strings Composition Competition, debuted Tango Grandioso, an original string orchestral work, and winner of the Treble Choir Composition Competition, Abigail Lui (12O), shared her piece, Lift Up Your Voice and Sing, which encourages young women to stand up for their beliefs. Erika Thompson (12W) and Lily Lau-Coombs (12O), performed their winning entry of the singer/songwriter section of the BGGS Composition Competition, Better Without You.

‘Our song explores the realisation of women’s strength and independence. ‘We were inspired by female soul legends, particularly Aretha Franklin, as we aimed to make a statement about the idea that women shouldn’t have to rely on someone else to be satisfied. Particularly influential songs from which we drew inspiration were Franklin’s Think and Respect, as she asserts her own value in these timeless feminist anthems. ‘We wrote our verses in the key of D, incorporating seventh chords to emulate the jazz style of Norah Jones and Sade. The lyrics in the verses capture the initial feelings of affection, while our chorus focuses on the realisation that these feelings are not the same as love, or in turn, self-love. ‘Finally, the bridge issues a climactic but satisfying end to the piece, and is absolutely integral to the realisation of women’s strength and independence. It is characterised by its F#min7 chord which adds a notably darker feel and connotes ferocity and seriousness, contrasting the previously stable verses. This makes for an enthralling end to the piece, all the while leaving listeners to ponder the inspiring urgency behind these issues.’ —Erika Thompson (12W) and Lily Lau-Coombs (12O)

far left Lily Lau-Coombs (12O) left Combined Strings perform at the International Women’s Day concert

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Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


FROM THE CLASSROOM DESIGN

In this commercial design task, students created pod accommodation based on a client brief. Students practised rapid prototyping (physical and virtual making), spatial literacy (working with scale drawings, orthographic projection) and client engagement. They gained cross-disciplinary proficiency, communication skills and competence in applying scientific, engineering and mathematical principles to their design. This project, 'Air Pod', by Arwen Dias-Jayasinha (12G), features the design of a safe, comfortable and affordable space in which travellers are able to rest between flights.

Arwen Dias-Jayasinha (12G) Air Pod

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Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


Question the Unquestioned

Dr Sam Peng Head of Economics

Year 10 Economics During Term 1, Year 10 Economics students have been developing their curiosity about the economic principles that underpin the world around them. In this unit, students were encouraged to notice and wonder about the economic logic in almost everything in their lives, questioning and investigating the rationale behind big and small decisions. Through the lens of demand-supply analysis and cost-benefit analysis, students sought to discover the hidden logic underlying everyday occurrences, asking questions such as ‘Why is milk often sold in rectangular cartons, while soft drink is sold in cylindrical cans?’ ‘Why are similar products often more expensive for women than for men?’ ‘Why do speed limits differ from country to country?’ and ‘Why it is hard to get a taxi on rainy days?’ Students are encouraged to develop multiple hypotheses to their questions and prove or disprove them based their research. This process encourages

students to think outside the box and recognise that there are often more than one valid explanations to a question. This also develops students' analytical and critical thinking, as they are required to check their hypotheses against evidence. Students have learned to question why people make certain choices, how resources are used to achieve different goals and who benefits from particular outcomes. The ultimate goal of learning economics is to understand the world and make it a better place. By nurturing curiosity, we hope students will become more observant, active thinkers. This is the first step to identifying economic problems and devising solutions. The students’ investigations will be compiled and published in a book later this year. Covering a range of topics as wide as our students’ interests, the book will shed light on economic principles that significantly impact how we live. Please enjoy a preview of some of the students’ work, overleaf. ▶

right Dr Sam Peng in the Economics classroom

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Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


Question the Unquestioned

— Why are similar competing stores such as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi located within close proximity to one another? Charlotte Banney (10L) In some locations in Australia, multiple grocery stores can be found within walking distance to one another. Why is it that similar competing stores such as Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi are often located within close proximity? — Does it make economic sense to keep the British monarchy? Emma Armitage-Ho (10R) After a tumultuous year of royal upheavals, many are wondering whether the British monarchy still has relevance in the twentyfirst century. Despite the obvious political benefits regarding the importance of the monarchy to the United Kingdom, British taxpayers pay £292.4 million annually to fund the monarchy (BrandFinance, 2017, p.9). So, does it make economic sense to keep the British monarchy? — Why are there no seat belts on trains, but in cars? Amber Lu (10E) If seat belts are compulsory for cars because they reduce the risk of injury by 90 per cent (Royal Automobile Club, 2019), why are there no seat belts on trains, even for the high speed bullet trains that can travel up to 320 km/hr?

— Why does a round pizza come in a square box? Grace Collins (10E) Pizza has always been delivered in square boxes. Have you ever taken a minute to wonder why? Why do round pizzas come in a square container? — Why do we still have newspapers when everything is online? Grace Hynes (10L) When was the last time you bought a newspaper? Or even read one? It is safe to say newspapers are on the decrease, and online news is on the increase. So, why do we still have print newspapers when everything is online? — Why does the world not use a single currency? Juliette Harding-Bradburn (10B) In 2020, the United Nations acknowledged that there are 180 different currencies world-wide. It has been considered whether or a not a single international currency would benefit society. In order for the world to make the rational decision if a single international currency should be used, the benefits have to outweigh the costs.

— Why don’t all countries drive on the right? Lauren Chudleigh (10R) Which side of the road to drive on has long been a vexing question. While driving on the right dominates modern global patterns, approximately 31 per cent of countries drive on the left side of the road: so, what’s stopping the world from adopting a global standard? — Why has Disney been producing more live-action remakes of animated films in recent years? Madeline Khoo (10E) For you Disney fans, 2019 must be your lucky year. Five out of 14 Disney live-action remakes of animated films were released that year, and 11 in the past decade (List of Disney live-action remakes of animated films, 2020). This sudden influx did not happen by chance. — Why are luxury brands more expensive in Asia than in Europe? Caizha Lee (10M) A Prada Galleria bag can be bought for about £1 600 in Sweden or £2 100 in China (McDowell, 2019). It’s the same product, but why does its price vary so greatly? ■

— References Brand Finance (2017). Brand Finance Monarchy 2017. [online] pp.5-13. Retrieved from: https://brandfinance.com/images/upload/bf_monarchy_report_2017.pdf [Accessed 28 February 2020]. List of disney live-action remakes of animated films - wikipedia. (2020). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Disney_live-action_remakes_of_animated_ films McDowell, M. (2019). Europe is still a bargain for luxury shoppers. Retrieved from https:// www.voguebusiness.com/companies/global-luxury-price-discrepancies-louis-vuittongucci-balenciaga Royal Automobile Club. (2019). Seat belts. Retrieved from https://rac.com.au/carmotoring/info/seat-belts.

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Issue 1, 2020


In Their Words

Dr Rashna Taraporewalla Head of Ancient History

Teaching and research

‘I’m still seeking answers to the question which drove me to study Ancient History—why do humans behave as they do?’

Head of Ancient History, Dr Rashna Taraporewalla, shares her passion for Ancient History and the importance of the Humanities in a broad-based, liberal education. — I’ve always been curious about what motivates people to act in a certain way. My fascination with ancient human behaviour can be credited to my secondary school Ancient History teacher, Ms Pamela Davenport. Having travelled extensively and worked on archaeological digs, Ms Davenport shared stories about her travels and excavations. It sounded so exciting and adventurous, and inspired my tertiary studies. After school, I studied a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Queensland (UQ) and then completed a Masters in Classical Archaeology at the University of London. I loved exploring ancient peoples’ motivations—why did the Spartans create a warrior culture? Why did Julius Caesar march against Rome? While these ancient cultures seemed so different from our own, deeply researching their past made me see that they were also very similar.

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I became increasingly interested in the Ancient Athenians. So many ideas and institutions we accept as cornerstones of Western Civilisation can be traced to this one city—democracy, drama, the concept of university and free speech. This led me to focus on Ancient Athens in my doctoral studies where I researched the placement of Athenian religious sanctuaries—and visited their ruins myself. While completing my doctorate, I lectured in the UQ Department of Classics and Ancient History and realised that what excited me the most was teaching; sharing my knowledge with others. There’s magic in being a storyteller within the classroom. I hope I’ve inspired my students to visit sites and museums as they journey through the world, just as Ms Davenport inspired me. I have never stopped being curious about human behaviour. Last year, I completed a Graduate Diploma of Psychology. My psychology studies have led me to appreciate more acutely why Ancient History is such an important discipline.

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It allows us to discover aspects of human behaviour that are always present, regardless of time and society. My students see these parallels when they read of how ineffectual Hadrian’s Wall was in Scotland, for example, and feel sceptical of politicians who seek to build walls today. It’s becoming increasingly clear that what society requires are people who are not only qualified, but educated. Solving the big societal problems of the current century—including climate change, poverty and international health crises—require understanding humans from multiple perspectives. Ancient History is particularly useful in this regard. I encourage girls to follow their desire to study Ancient History, despite not being directly relevant to a career in the Sciences, Finance or Law. Now, more than before, the understanding of what makes us ‘human’ attains a higher value within organisations and the broader world. — To read more stories from BGGS staff In Their Words, visit bggs.qld.edu.au/in-their-words

Gazette

Issue 1, 2020


A Curious Climate

Mr James McIntosh Director of Marrapatta

Connecting with the environment

Slow moments in nature—a still day on the dam when the water is clear and the sun is warm, stargazing during camp-out or watching the butterflies flutter along the creek—are often the moments that spark students’ curiosity at Marrapatta Memorial Outdoor Education Centre (Marrapatta). These liminal spaces—the quiet gaps in time where girls discover, find meaning and connect to their own experiences—are often the ‘lightbulb’ moments in outdoor education. We use these teachable moments to engage in conversations with girls about the importance of the wellbeing and sustainability of the environment. These experiences with nature allow girls to develop a sense of appreciation and awareness that is vital in developing empathy and action to continue such environmental consciousness.

Our girls have always shown an interest in learning about the different ecosystems at Marrapatta, but now more than ever, teenagers are curious about the environment and society’s impact on the planet. The movement started by youth activist, Greta Thunberg, advocating for climate change awareness and encouraging students to take it upon themselves to incite change, has seen a heightened interest in environmental sustainability from children and young adults around the world. Grammar girls are among those passionate about making change and creating a better collective future, and while the environment has long been a priority of the School, our girls are eager to learn and do more in the environmental landscape. ▶

above Year 8 students overlooking Borumba Dam

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

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A Curious Climate

Student Environment Leadership Network representative, Simran Mackrani (10H), said young environmental advocates such as Greta Thunberg, Autumn Peltier and Jamie Margolin are relatable women role models demonstrating that young adults can make a difference. ‘Greta, Autumn and Jamie have proven that age is no barrier to creating change. Our understanding of the natural world from the School’s Outdoor Education Program allows us to decipher what we see and hear in the news, and make informed decisions about our actions and the influence they have on the environment.’ Since the introduction of outdoor education at Girls Grammar in 1978, our teachers have been committed to instilling in students a practical understanding of the natural world. The Outdoor Education Program encourages girls to develop positive relationships with the environment, others and themselves through interactions with nature, and while the program has many benefits, sustainability has always been the ultimate goal. American philosopher, John Dewey, was a fervent believer that schools are places to develop the society we want to see, and at Marrapatta, we aim to do just that. It is our responsibility to provide young people with the practical skills and education necessary to engage judiciously with environmental issues. We challenge our girls to be curious and think critically about their impact on the environment and how we, as a community, can make a difference.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Implementing small actions while on camp, such as recycling appropriately, reducing single-use plastics and discussing why we take such measures, prompts girls to think about what else they can do. It also enables a deeper understanding of, and connection with, the environment and the impact our actions have on the planet. These messages extend to the broader BGGS community as girls apply their learnings from outdoor education to other areas of the School through initiatives such as Grammar Goes Green and the Grammar Environmental Conservation Organisation (GECO). Through the provision of outdoor education, and student-led initiatives such as GECO, girls are provided with opportunities to reflect on sustainable alternatives for everyday living and to establish the foundations for sustainability and stewardship into their future. Members of the BGGS community are invited to join the School in maintaining the natural environment of the Girls Grammar grounds by participating in Grammar Goes Green events, advertised on the BGGS website throughout the year. ■

above left Year 7 students at the School’s Marrapatta campus above right Year 9 students hiking through the Mary Valley

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Antipodeans Abroad

Mr Paul Martineau Travel Coordinator

Challenge and discovery in Peru

Curiosity and travel go hand in hand. Globetrotting has always been a pursuit of the adventurous, intrepid and curious, and the School’s Antipodeans Abroad Program, offered every two years to students in Years 10 and 11, is no exception. Prepared to be challenged physically, emotionally and socially, 92 Grammar girls travelled to Peru for the School’s Antipodeans Abroad trip in December 2019. This was the School’s 11th trip, and while the destinations change, the reasons girls choose to participate remain the same—they’re curious, eager to make a difference and to contribute to something greater than themselves.

Inspired by the stories of her older sisters, who travelled to Cambodia, Borneo and Vietnam with the School as part of Antipodeans Abroad, Phoebe Lingard (12H) always wanted to participate in the Program and the destination played a huge factor in her decision to take part in last year’s trip. ‘My sisters speak fondly about their trips, and as a history and geography student the rich and vibrant culture of Peru was appealing to me. I had never travelled to South America and Machu Picchu was on my bucket list! ‘Our trip to Peru centred on curiosity—the curiosity to learn about another culture, new things and

ourselves. Each ruin, monastery or museum we visited provided a different perspective on Inca people and their history.’ One of the most profound experiences for girls was in Arequipa, where they explored the Museo Santuarios Andinos—the museum of the frozen mummy, Juanita. Also known as the Ice Maiden, Juanita is a frozen 12-year-old Inca girl who died in a ritual sacrifice in the Andes Mountains more than 500 years ago. ▶

left Team One in the traditional dress of the Paru Paru community

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

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Antipodeans Abroad

above Team Three building a greenhouse for the Quillahuata community right Team Two completing a mud brick house (two rooms and two bathrooms) for a local family in Tikonata Island, on Lake Titicaca

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Antipodeans Abroad

It was customary for Incas to choose a child at birth to be raised as an offering to the gods. For parents, this was the ultimate honour. Dressed in her finest clothes and jewellery, Juanita was led up the 20 700-foot Mount Ampato to be sacrificed. Had it not been for a volcano eruption, Juanita’s mummy might still be buried today, but a nearby volcano caused Mount Ampato’s snowcap to melt and as a result, the entire burial site collapsed and cascaded down the mountainside. The site was discovered by archaeologists in 1995. Not much older than Juanita at the time of her death, our girls were fascinated by the luck involved in discovering her mummy, but also the rituals of the Inca Empire. Curious about Juanita’s fate, girls discussed how she may have felt during this journey and her final moments—would she have been scared? Did she face fatigue or illness throughout the trek? Was she proud to have been chosen? Fiona Brown (12G) said visiting Juanita’s tomb sparked her desire to learn more about Inca traditions.

‘I was curious to know how Juanita felt during her journey, and about the Incas’ behaviour. Their culture seemed so different to ours, but from listening to and learning about their stories, I realised there were many similarities. This also rang true for the people we met while working on our community projects.' Immersed in Peruvian culture, the experience of girls and staff surpassed that of a tourist as they completed the community project component of their trip, which involved constructing mud huts and greenhouses. Emma Rothwell (11G) said the project afforded an opportunity to connect with local communities on a deeper level. ‘My trip highlight, like so many others, was the community project. We were welcomed into the Quillahuata community with a small ceremony where children placed colourful streamers around our necks. It is something I will never forget. ‘The project not only allowed our group to make a tangible difference in Quillahuata but also highlighted the importance of understanding people by using multiple perspectives.’

Isabel Lumley (11M) was also overwhelmed by the generosity of the Tikonata local people who instantly welcomed her group into their homes and community. ‘On our first afternoon on the island we were playing with two young girls, Natalie and Yasmine. Yasmine taught us some Spanish and in turn we helped her with her English. It was a true demonstration of the common humanity everyone shares regardless of where you are from—there was a genuine interest to connect with, and learn from one another. ‘We spent the remainder of the afternoon dancing, laughing and playing volleyball—a memory I will always cherish.’ These experiences, the ones of human connection, are the memories that resonate with the staff and students who participate in the Program. It’s these moments that make Antipodeans Abroad worthwhile and it’s one of the many reasons BGGS continues to offer such fulfilling opportunities for cultural and emotional growth. ■

above Team One on their trek in the Lares Valley

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5 1 Year 7 students arrive on the first day at Girls Grammar in Term 1 2 The P&F Association at the Welcome to New Families event. President of the P&F Association, Mrs Susan Playford; President of the Old Girls Association, Mrs Julie Caton (Cleghorn, 1982); President of the Fathers Group, Mr Rick Maher; Co-Presidents of the Music Support Group, Ms Robyn Hamilton and Mr Suren Dias-Jayasinha; President of the Mothers Group, Mrs Julie Norris; President of the Rowing Support Group, Mrs Susan Stephens 3 Daphne Meadmore (Watherston, 1964) and Joan Ruddell (Watherston, 1961) with Francesca Meadmore (7M) at the 60 Years + Reunion and Foundation Day Afternoon Tea 4 Sophie Fisher (8E) with Julie Fisher (Peel, 1966) at the 60 Years + Reunion and Foundation Day Afternoon Tea 5 Lucinda Isbel (8H) performs at the Autumn Strings Concert 6 Isabella Patten (7W) writes a message of hope and recognition for the inspirational women in her life as part of International Women’s Day 7 Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, and Head Girls, Arwen Dias-Jayasinha (12G) and Abbey Grice (12E) cut the School’s Birthday cake to celebrate Foundation Day 8 BGGS alumna and Director-General of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Beth Woods (1972), delivers the 2020 Foundation Day address

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Campus life

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9 Year 12 students celebrate Blue Day, in support of the School’s QGSSSA Swim Team 10 Charlotte Wagland (10O) finishes a race at the Interhouse Swimming Carnival in Term 1 11 The Under 14 Freestyle relay team celebrates after their race at the QGSSSA Swimming Championships 12 The BGGS Open Cricket team competes at Pink Stumps Day 13 The Mothers Group provides a delicious and plentiful afternoon tea for Pink Stumps Day, in support of the McGrath Foundation 14 Year 8 students Darcy Basford (8H), Tara Mann (8G) and Phoebe Oliver (8G) after completing the International Women’s Day fun run event 15 Junior Football players joining the Brisbane Roar Women’s team at their match on 23 February, as part of the School’s unique partnership with the club 16 Alumna and Construction Manager, Ms Cherise Czislowski (De Vere, 2002), leads students through the Science Learning Centre site

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FROM THE CLASSROOM VISUAL ART

Mia Williams (Year 12 2019) Waiting Room Installation

Working as artists in their own right, Year 12 students explore their own interpretation of the broad concept 'Fabric of Life’, refining their ideas in a process of sustained and persistent development. The still and spare aesthetic of this installation, with its grouping of empty chairs positioned under strange and peculiar suspended forms, invites reflection on time spent waiting for hoped for futures.

Amy Morris-Arkell (12W) Journey Lino print

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

This print series has been developed in response to ideas generated after Senior Visual Art students participated in talks and workshops with practising artists Sharon Jewell and Simon Eisler. In this experimental series of graphic images, Amy Morris-Arkell (12W) reflects on states of being and non-being and the molecular nature of life.

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FROM THE CLASSROOM VISUAL ART

Lucy Noble (11M) Sun of Elton (appropriated from Son of Man by RenĂŠ Magritte) Digital photo

Applying the technique of appropriation, Lucy uses a live model and a painted backdrop to recreate the imagery of Magritte’s painting Son of Man, adding a humorous and contemporary twist on the original. The artist uses this play of similarity and difference between the new and the original image as a means to reflect on cultural shifts between past and present.

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BGGS Water Polo

Ms Jo Duffy Director of Sport

From strength to strength

More than 255 girls play Water Polo for Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Over the past 40 years, Grammar girls have left their mark in local, national and international competitions. — A team effort: 1973 to 2020 — BGGS first fielded a team in the Brisbane Amateur Junior Water Polo Association in the 1973–74 season. Some of the girls' fathers approached Principal, Mrs Nancy Shaw, to instigate a committee to manage the sport, and consequently the BGGS Water Polo Club became an official entity for the 1975/76 season. Enthusiasm for the sport grew quickly, and within four seasons, the Club had expanded to 12 teams (HarveyShort, 2011, p.77).

Today, the School fields teams in the Brisbane Water Polo Incorporated (BWPI) competition, competing against other Brisbane school and club teams. Girls Grammar proudly benefits from the expertise of a range of experienced coaches, including Head Coach, Simon Daley, who has represented South Africa internationally, and coaches, Chloe Hogan and Zac Hudson, who currently coach Water Polo Queensland teams. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2019–20 BWPI competition concluded early; however, Girls Grammar Water Polo had a strong season with four teams finishing in top three positions. Many players' efforts were recognised with 13 girls selected to state representative teams. Additionally, Isobel Lumley (11M) and Mary Comiskey (10B) were named in the U16 Australian Water Polo Squad.

left The U14 team at the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships in January

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BGGS Water Polo

Alumnae success — Even before Water Polo became an official School sport, BGGS alumnae were making their mark in representative teams. Deborah Handley-Cummins BEM (Handley, 1972): Australian team representative and Captain during 1976– 1988. Deborah led a dominant Australian team through six World Cups and to victory at the inaugural World Championships for women’s Water Polo in 1986 in Spain. Deborah’s exceptional Water Polo career was recognised with her induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2017. Amanda Leeson-Smith (Leeson, 1980): Australian team representative and Captain during 1981–1991; 1984 FINA World Cup Gold medallist and 1986 FINA World Cup Gold medallist. Amanda was inducted into the Water Polo Queensland Hall of Fame in 2008. Nikita Cuffe (1996): Australian team representative from 1998–2008, competing in both the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where the team placed fourth, and in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the team claimed the Bronze medal. She was a member of the team that won the 2006 FINA World Cup and a Silver medal at the 2007 FINA World Championships. Suzie Fraser (2000): Australian team representative in 2003 and, 2005–2008; 2008 Olympic Games Bronze medallist; 2007 World Championships Silver medallist; 2006 FINA World Cup Gold medallist. Sophie Smith (2003): Australian team representative from 2005–2012. Sophie was a member of the team that won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics; she also competed in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 FINA World Championships. Gabrielle (Gabi) Palm (2015): Current Australian squad member (Goalkeeper); 2019 FINA World Championships Bronze medallist. Abby Andrews (2017): Signed to University of Michigan Wolverines for the 2019 season; current Australian squad member.

New Recruit: Lucy Comiskey (7B) — My big sister, Mary Comiskey (10B), plays Water Polo, so that made me want to play too. I came from Ascot State School. There were a lot of people who came from my school, but none of them are in my House, Beanland. Playing Water Polo was a good way to get to know people. I really like it, for its social side, as well as playing generally. I like talking to my friends, playing, and just having a lot of fun. I actually started playing Water Polo in Year 4, for River City, and as soon as I got the chance to play for Girls Grammar, I jumped at it. The hardest part of Water Polo is getting up early in the morning. Training starts at 6.15 am! The most fun part of Water Polo is that you learn lots of new tricks, like turning your defender and scoring a goal. I plan to keep playing—my goal is to make the BGGS Open team one day.

above left Mary Comiskey (10B)

References Harvey-Short, P. (2011). To become fine sportswomen: the history of health, physical education and sport at Brisbane Girls Grammar 1875–2010. Brisbane: Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

above right Lucy Comiskey (7B) defends against her opponent

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145 Years of Learning 1875 to 2020

The First Day of School — 145 years ago, on 15 March 1875, Brisbane Girls Grammar School opened its doors to about fifty girls from Brisbane and its surrounding regions. This small group of girls, aged between 12 and 20 years old, arrived at their school building—a two-storey house on George Street—at precisely 9 am. Perhaps they were excited; this was their chance to beat their brothers in their studies. Perhaps they were nervous; they may have felt the sense of responsibility that comes with being the ‘first’. After an introduction by the School’s Lady Principal, Mrs Janet O’Connor, the girls were divided into forms based on age and ability. The First Assistant Mistress, Mrs Elizabeth Elcock, reflected that ‘it was somewhat difficult to classify the girls, because those who had attended private schools were more advanced in History and French, while those from the Normal School were better at Arithmetic and English Grammar’ (School Magazine, 1919, p.12).

Perhaps the whole morning would have been devoted to this classification and benchmarking. There was much to investigate; the School offered a wide range of traditionally academic subjects to students—the hallmark of schools founded in the Grammar tradition. From that first day, students were taught English, Latin, French, German, Political and Physical Geography, History, Arithmetic, Mental Arithmetic, Mathematics, the Elements of Natural and Physical Science, the Elements of Political and Social Economy, Drawing and Vocal Music. Instrumental Music was offered as an extra subject (The Brisbane Courier, 5 Jan 1875). At noon, school was dismissed for a half-hour lunch break. The students may have gone home for lunch, if it was not too far to walk; Brisbane was at this time ‘little more than a village’ (Burdorff, in McWilliam, 2013, p.19) and had no trams or cars, or even electric lighting. At 12.30 pm, classes resumed, led by Mrs O'Connor and Mrs Elcock, and the school day concluded at 2.30 pm. During that first week, students also met their Music Mistress, Madame Mallalieu, and Singing Master, Mr R. T.Jefferies. ▶

'I believe that female education in this colony, indeed in every country in the world, has been seriously neglected. We know that in so far as any real knowledge is concerned the great mass of women have been left in complete darkness...'

above top Mrs Janet O’Connor, first Lady Principal of Brisbane Grammar School

— Sir Charles Lilley (1868)

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

above Sir Charles Lilley, Foundation Trustee, 1858

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145 YEARS OF LEARNING

A Legacy of Academic Success — From its first days, the standard of learning at Girls Grammar was high. The School offered students the opportunity to sit New South Wales Junior and Senior Public Exams. The first two Girls Grammar students to sit the Senior Exam in 1878, Bertha Burdorff and Alice Haggard, achieved the highest marks of all candidates. Bertha was awarded the Fairfax Prize from the University of Sydney, while Alice Haggard was Proxime Accessit of the NSW Examinations (Gazette, 2010, p. 5). However, despite winning these prizes, universities in Sydney and Melbourne did not accept female students until 1881. Bertha, who held academic and professional ambitions, was forced to pursue other avenues to continue her learning. In 1880 she became an Assistant Mistress at BGGS, before travelling to Europe in 1883 to study at the Hamburg Conservatorium of Music.

In her final years, Bertha reflected on the foresight and optimism that the founders of Brisbane Girls Grammar School had when establishing a school for girls: ‘It says much for the Government and Grammar School trustees of that time that, when the young colony of Queensland was but sixteen years old, and higher education for women still a subject of controversy, the inestimable boon of a liberal and non-sectarian education was offered to our girls … It is for the pupils of today, many of whom will no doubt live to celebrate the centenary of the School, to maintain its honour and worthy traditions. They have freedom to choose any calling they are fitted for, such freedom as was unknown fifty years ago, when the professions, except teaching, were still closed to women.’ —Bertha Marie Burdorff (1875 to 1878), writing in 1925 ■

— References Bennett, P. (2002). Science and the Arts. Brisbane: Brisbane Grammar School Archives. Brisbane Girls Grammar School. (1886). Brisbane Girls Grammar School Annual Report 1886. Brisbane, Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Classified Advertising (1875, January 5). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864–1933), p. 1. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1393232

above top Students outside the Main Building, circa 1890 above Advertisement for the girls’ branch of Brisbane Grammar School in The Brisbane Courier, 5 January 1875

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Harvey-Short, P. (2011). To become fine sportswomen: The history of health, physical education and sport at Brisbane Girls Grammar School 1875–2010. Brisbane: Brisbane Girls Grammar School. McWilliam, E. (2013). Educating Girls. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. MISS BURDORFF (1925, November 27). The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876–1934), p. 13. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article182604330 The Curriculum of the Girls’ Grammar School 1882–1912. (n.d.) Brisbane: Brisbane Girls Grammar School Archives.

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FROM THE CLASSROOM VISUAL ART

Sarah Mangos (12G 2019) Unwoven World Digital photo series

Developed as an extension of an earlier work, this photo series takes a new perspective and representational approach to the artist’s concern with the impact and urgency of climate change. The manipulated images evoke the idea of ice and flux, with red colouration at the centre as a symbol of warning in this state of environmental change.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

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FROM THE CLASSROOM VISUAL ART

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

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Cheryl Praeger

Recognition for a love of learning

Cheryl Praeger (1965) was awarded the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for her ground-breaking contributions to mathematical theory. The analytical mind of Cheryl Praeger, a Brisbane Girls Grammar School alumna in the class of 1965, was destined for a lifetime of exploring and challenging mathematical constructs. ‘I remember the relief I felt when I started Year 2 at school and discovered that we were allowed to have negative numbers,’ Cheryl recalls. ‘It had simply not made sense to me that we could not, for example, take five from three.’ Born in Toowoomba, and spending her early years in various country towns in south east Queensland, Cheryl’s family moved to Brisbane in her second year of secondary school. She remembers Girls Grammar as a place where she could throw herself into the academic pursuits she enjoyed so much.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

‘I had a wonderful Physics teacher at Girls Grammar, Mrs Rylands,’ Cheryl said. ‘In my preparation for the final external physics exam at the end of Year 12, I simply learned everything in the textbook!’ Cheryl’s Maths teacher, Miss McLean, encouraged her to help the other students when she finished her own work ahead of the class—a move which, Cheryl says, introduced her to valuable teaching skills that would shape her future career. ‘What gave me the confidence to pursue maths at university was winning a senior maths competition held by the Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers. ‘I secretly told myself that if I did well in that competition, then I would really try to do the high-level mathematics at university,’ Cheryl said.

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However, her plan was nearly derailed by a counsellor in the Queensland Government’s vocational guidance service, who told her that ‘girls didn't do maths,’ and that she should consider a different career. Luckily, Cheryl sought other advice. She went on to study an Honours program in mathematics at The University of Queensland, as well as winning a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at Oxford University. In 1983, at age 35, Cheryl became the second female Professor of Mathematics at an Australian university, going on to combine and advance research into the pure mathematical concepts of computational group theory and the integration of technology into the teaching of mathematics. ▶

above left Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger AM (1965) in the classroom

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Cheryl Praeger

'I love solving problems and being able to explain solutions to others. I found that thinking algorithmically, that is, thinking in a clear logical sequence of steps, comes naturally to me both in solving problems and also in the way I teach.’

‘I realised that I had a responsibility to make sure that the teaching curriculum reflected modern developments in mathematics. Part of this involved introducing use of computers in teaching areas of mathematics where traditionally they had not been involved,’ Cheryl said. ‘I wanted to maintain my enthusiasm as well as increase my expertise. The algorithms my team and I developed run incredibly fast, as they rely on deep theory as well as making a rigorous use of randomisation.’ The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science—one of Australia’s most significant and widely celebrated awards for academic endeavour—recognises more than four decades of Cheryl’s dedicated mathematical research, resulting in contributions that have not only altered the way we think about symmetry, but also influenced the development of the algorithms ubiquitous in our daily lives.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Cheryl’s research seeks to understand the mathematics of symmetry, which is measured by 'symmetry groups’ of mathematical or real-world objects. Her team’s investigation of group theory has underpinned the development of public-key cryptography—the methods of secure information transfer that are used daily in online bank transactions— as well as myriad other algorithms and systems essential to the operations of technologies we use each day. While she is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia, this year Cheryl will participate in several mathematical research projects. She has been invited as a Kirk Distinguished Fellow with the Group Actions semester program to collaborate on projects at the Isaac Newton Mathematics Research Institute in Cambridge in the UK.

As a Prime Minister’s Prize winner, Cheryl is looking forward to supporting young people in the field of science in the coming years. ‘I feel enormously happy and honoured that for the first time a pure mathematician has received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science,’ Cheryl said. ‘The fact that the Prize runs across the Sciences, and that it is a national honour, feels very special to me. I hope that it will make Science more visible to others, and will attract more young people to a career in STEM, especially more young women.’ ■

above left Cheryl Praeger (back row, centre) with the Lilley House Senior Debating Team, Year 12, 1965 above right Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger AM (1965)

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Ali Rae

Multimedia journalism and filmmaking Last year, Ali Rae (2005) won a Walkely Award for her work on ‘All Hail The Algorithm’, a fivepart series that explores the impact of algorithms, biometrics and big data on our everyday lives. While humbled by the recognition the series has received, Ali said she is most proud of her work challenging the status quo of journalism production. — What is your current job title and role? I am a Digital Senior Producer for Al Jazeera English. Between the London and Doha bureaus, I've worked for the Al Jazeera Media Network for more than six years, covering stories in Latin America, Southern Africa and the Middle East. I am also the host of ‘All Hail The Algorithm’, a series aimed at understanding the increasingly important role of algorithms in our modern infrastructure. From social services to social media, I travelled around the world for six months talking to people about the various ways invisible codes are impacting our everyday lives. ▶

'Curiosity, empathy, community—these are some of the most valuable skills that were shaped during my time at school.'

above Ali Rae left Ali Rae interviewing Samantha Bradshaw from the Oxford Internet Institute, on the use of algorithms for digital manipulation

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

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Ali Rae

What do you love most about working for Al Jazeera? Al Jazeera is driven by a mission to elevate human stories that are otherwise ignored, report with integrity and hold those in power accountable. In fulfilling this mission, I really appreciate that our network is tremendously diverse— not just in terms of nationalities —but backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. What are your strongest memories from your time at the School? The sheer variety of co-curricular activities always astounded me. While other schools tended to label students as either ‘academic’ or ‘sporty’, BGGS had this amazing ability to support and encourage everything, from the creative arts and outdoor education, to languages and community activism.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

What was the most significant impact that your time at BGGS had on your life after school? It's only after leaving school that I realised how much a person's education isn't about memorising facts and formulas to achieve good grades or pass an exam. A quality education goes further. It provides experiences that enable us to gain the knowledge and skills needed to better ourselves and the world in which we live. Curiosity, empathy, community—these are some of the most valuable skills that were shaped during my time at school.

What would you say is your greatest achievement since leaving school? Awards are wonderful and humbling, but can sometimes be a superficial indicator of success. I'm most proud to have been at the forefront of digital change and carving out a space to produce a series that challenges the status quo of journalism production. When I started at Al Jazeera, ‘digital producing’ wasn't a specific job title. Now, there are whole departments dedicated to digital output. As journalism continues to evolve, my hope is to have made inroads that enable the next wave of young journalists to pursue stories in different formats so that we can all better understand the world around us. ■ above Filming with the DJI Osmo camera in Amman, Jordan for an episode on the use of biometric technology in Za’atari refugee camp

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House Spirit

Supporting the Science Learning Centre

The School’s Science Learning Centre (SLC) is a significant learning facility made possible through the contributions of all in the BGGS community. The Wall of Thanks, which takes the form of the Periodic Table, will be located within the new building in honour of donors who chose an element to represent their support of this transformational project. During Term 1, students in each of the School’s nine Houses voted to choose an element to signify their House. These elements provide an opportunity for students, families and alumnae to support the Science Learning Centre by contributing to their House’s fundraising efforts. To find out more, visit bggs.qld.edu.au/house-giving

'Science and everyday life cannot, and should not, be separated.’ —Rosalind Franklin, Chemist

above Architect’s impression of the Science Learning Centre

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BEANLAND: Erbium Erbium is found principally in the minerals monazite and bastnaesite, and is extracted by ion exchange and solvent extraction. Erbium can give a pink colour to sunglasses, glass and gemstones. Broadband signals, carried by fibre optic cables, are amplified by including erbium in the glass fibre.

ENGLAND: Cobalt Cobalt is a lustrous, silvery-blue metal. Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope widely used in cancer treatment. Cobalt can be magnetised, and is alloyed with aluminium and nickel to make particularly powerful magnets. Cobalt salts have been used for centuries to produce brilliant blue colours in paint, porcelain, glass, pottery and enamels. The tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, who ruled from 1361–1352 BC, contained a small glass object coloured deep blue with cobalt.

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GRIFFITH: Strontium Strontium is a soft, silvery metal that burns in air and is best known for the brilliant red colours its salts give to fireworks and flares. It is also found in the shells of some deep-sea creatures and is essential to some stony corals. Strontium-90, a radioactive isotope, is a by-product of nuclear reactors and present in nuclear fallout. However, it is also one of the best high-energy beta-emitters, and can generate electricity for space vehicles, remote weather stations and navigation buoys.

MACKAY: Aluminium A silvery-white very versatile metal, aluminium is soft and malleable. Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, and is used in a variety of products including cans, foils, kitchen utensils, window frames and aeroplane parts. It has low density, is non-toxic, has a high thermal conductivity, has excellent corrosion resistance, and can be easily cast, machined and formed. It is also non-magnetic and non-sparking, and a good electrical conductor.

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GIBSON: Argon Argon is a colourless, odourless and versatile gas that is totally inert to other substances. Argon makes up 0.94 per cent of the Earth’s atmosphere and is the third most abundant atmospheric gas. Argon is used in fluorescent ‘neon’ tubes and low-energy light bulbs, where it produces a purple/violet colour when excited by electricity. Double-glazed windows use argon to fill the space between the panes, and car tyres sometimes contain argon to protect the rubber and reduce road noise.

HIRSCHFELD: Copper Copper is a widely used pinkish-orange metal that is an essential element for humans; an adult needs about 1.2 milligrams of copper per day to help enzymes transfer energy in cells. Historically, copper was the first metal to be worked by people; its combination with tin, to form the alloy bronze, gave the name to the Bronze Age. Today, copper is used in electrical equipment, such as wiring and motors, industrial machinery and agriculture, because it conducts both heat and electricity very well.

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O’CONNOR: Rhenium Rhenium is one of the few elements discovered by a woman, Ida Noddack. Its number is 75, which echoes 1875—the School’s foundation year, when Mrs Janet O’Connor became the School’s first Lady Principal. Rhenium is a silvery metal with a very high melting point, and is among the rarest metals on Earth. It is used as an electrical contact material as it resists wear and withstands arc corrosion.

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Cu

LILLEY: Barium Barium is a soft, silvery metal that rapidly tarnishes in air and reacts with water. Barium occurs only in combination with other elements. It is not extensively used, but is used in drilling fluids for oil and gas wells, as well as in paint, bricks, tiles, rubber and glassmaking. Barium is a heavy element and scatters X-rays, so as it passes through the body, the stomach and intestines can be distinguished. Barium nitrate gives fireworks a green colour, reminiscent of Lilley House.

WOOLCOCK: Tungsten Woolcock House chose Tungsten because of its chemical symbol, W, which is drawn from its other name, Wolfram. It has the highest melting point of any metal and is alloyed with other metals to strengthen them. Tungsten carbide is immensely hard and is very important to the metal-working, mining and petroleum industries. It is made by mixing tungsten powder and carbon powder and heating to 2200°C.

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The Bursary Fund

Ms Georgina Anthonisz Director of Development

A gift of hope for their future

As 2020 unfolds in ways we could not imagine, it is a challenging and complex time for us all: our School community of students, staff, parents, alumnae and friends, and the wider community of Australia and beyond. It follows a summer that has also presented many Australians with unprecedented challenges. Like many other schools and institutions, each year Brisbane Girls Grammar School invites everyone in our community to consider supporting the Annual Giving program. But this year is like no other. We know many families are facing their own unique set of challenges and some have already been profoundly impacted. We know also, that others are seeking ways they can help.

This year, we simply ask—should you be in a position to do so—that you please consider a taxdeductible gift to the Girls Grammar Bursary Fund. Bursaries create opportunities for girls from a wide range of backgrounds to explore their own potential, empowering these young women to become the citizens our communities need to thrive. Your support will help future students, who could not otherwise attend, to benefit from the lifechanging experience of an excellent education. Their need may well be greater than ever. No matter what the size, all gifts to the Bursary Fund are an investment in the potential of generations of young women—and that is something which can give us all hope for the future. — Thank you.

To donate to the Brisbane Girls Grammar School Bursary Fund, please visit bggs.qld.edu.au/making-a-gift

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Awards and Achievements Congratulations to the following alumnae and students who have been recognised by independent organisations for their accomplishments across many and varied fields.

— Jane Allen (Sports Captain, 1972), was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's New Year Honours. Jane is CEO of British Gymnastics, receiving the MBE in recognition of her service to the sport. — Kirby Short (2003) captained the Brisbane Heat WBBL team to a second consecutive championship in December at Allan Border Field. — Chloe Yap (2013) was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake studies and clinical trials at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research will involve ‘big data’ analysis on genetic studies of the human brain in relation to autism. — Sophie Shan (11E) performed as a solo recitalist (piano) in Carnegie Hall, New York City, at the Winners Recital of the Crescendo International Competition in January. — Emily Ryan (9E) won the Tennis girls singles’ championship on Sunday 15 March, claiming the title of State Champion for Queensland Secondary Schools (13–19 years). Emily was selected as the number one player for the Australian Championships.

— Joan Cribb (Herbert, 1946) was awarded a Medal (OAM) for service to higher education as a botanist, and to the community. As a Botanist and Mycologist, Joan has travelled around Queensland for more than 45 years discovering and recording gasteromycetes (fungi) and was awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion in 1994. — Dr Del Hinckley (1962) was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her significant service to Medicine as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Dr Hinckley has been recognised previously as a pioneer in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and for her dedication to education and training. — Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger AM (1965) was awarded the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, for her fundamental mathematical research in group theory and combinatorics. Her work explains the complex mathematics required for applications such as secure digital communication and website encryption. — Dr Mary Martin AM (1970) was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queensland University of Technology for her service to the community and the university. Dr Martin has dedicated over 40 years of her life to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

above Sophie Shan (11E) performs at Carnegie Hall, New York City

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Gregory Terrace, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia T +61 7 3332 1300 F

+61 7 3832 6097

E communications@bggs.qld.edu.au /BrisbaneGirlsGrammar @BGGS /school/brisbanegirlsgrammarschool bggs.qld.edu.au

Profile for Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Brisbane Girls Grammar School Gazette, Issue 1 2020  

The Grammar Gazette is the School’s bi-annual colour magazine covering significant events and featuring stories about the life of Brisbane G...

Brisbane Girls Grammar School Gazette, Issue 1 2020  

The Grammar Gazette is the School’s bi-annual colour magazine covering significant events and featuring stories about the life of Brisbane G...