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Co-Editors: Ryan Butterworth and Serena Netto Graphic Designer: Twee Phan Printer: Ink Printing Photography: William Hall Photography, Ryan Butterworth, staff and students Contributions: Thank you to the many people who contributed to CGS Outlook, including the numerous teachers, students, and staff who supplied articles and photos On the cover: Year 12s go back to Northside


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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY We acknowledge the age-old custodians of the land on which our school stands, the Ngunnawal People. We offer respect and gratitude to Elders past and present, and affirm our obligation to honour the heritage of countless generations in our on-going care for this special place in which it is our privilege to learn and work.

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Welcome to another edition of CGS Outlook, bigger and more crammed with the vibrant diversity of our School’s life than ever! As I said at Presentation Night at the end of 2023, there is no doubt that we are back to full steam after the constraints of the pandemic years. That makes even more challenging the task of conveying all that is experienced by over 2000 students and 500 staff in 19 Primary and Senior School Houses plus Northside, Southside and the ELC. Despite their richness, these pages are but a glimpse of the breadth and vitality of our community’s achievements in sixteen summer and thirteen winter sporting seasons; in dozens of clubs, societies and Horizons activities; in thirty musical ensembles, bands and choirs performing in over forty concerts throughout the year; in five major theatre productions or in exhibitions displaying the creativity of hundreds of students in venues across the campus; nor in twenty-seven outdoor expeditions from the coast to the mountains; nor in five overseas cultural, service and sporting tours; let in alone in dozens of community service initiatives. That’s not to mention all that goes on under six different curriculum frameworks run between Pre-School and Year 12, encompassing more than 120 courses, taught in tens of thousands of timetabled lessons, assessed in more examinations than we care to count, culminating in over 80% of our graduating students receiving direct tertiary offers, most before they’d even sat their final exams, plus dozens of entries and awards in national and international academic competitions, Olympiads, extension and enrichment courses, da Vinci Decathlons and more.

As much as our endeavour in these pages is to celebrate our School’s abundance, it must also be to focus on what it is all for. That is the chance for every student, in the infinite complexity of individuality that is our School’s diversity, to discover in the midst of our copious opportunity what it is that stirs them: a hunger for ever greater understanding in whatever fields of endeavour pique their curiosity; a joy in innovation and cultural creativity; a confident knowledge of themselves and of others; a compassionate commitment to the betterment of all; and a fundament impulse to give, not just to get, in the world. I hope that is what you see in these pages; not abundance for its own sake, but within it the discovery of personal aspiration and potential that is the defining purpose of all our opportunity.

Then, of course, there’s hundreds of hours of professional learning, curriculum planning and lesson observation; the construction of twelve superb new classrooms in record time this year; and countless community events including eighteen CGS Alumni reunions in eleven cities, the return of the CGS Fete, the CGS Foundation Giving Day, the Year 6 Exhibition, the PYP Walk and Primary Showcases, House dinners, book week parades, Christmas concerts and much more. It is indeed a big and busy School! For everything that was behind that in 2023, I thank my colleagues for their passion and their dedication; I thank our Board and Foundation Board for their unstinting backing; parents and families for their support and faith; Alumni and donors for their continuing commitment, and above all and always, our students, for their optimism and energy, their good company and extraordinary abilities, and for all that gives meaning to what we do and makes us so deeply proud. – Dr Justin Garrick, Head of School CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 1






I am incredibly honoured to serve as School Captain this year. I joined CGS in Year 5 as part of the first cohort of girls and was immediately struck by the warmth and kindness I received from the school community. Our willingness to cheer each other on, listen with empathy and embrace change are what makes our school such a unique and incomparable place. As we venture towards our 95th anniversary, my vision for CGS is for us to embrace our rich history while boldly charting a transformative course for the future. My team and I aspire to shed light on diverse perspectives and backgrounds, champion causes in need, catalyse positive change, and cultivate a united culture where every student feels they truly belong. With an open mind, an outstretched hand and a willing heart, I am committed to giving back to a school that has given me so much.

I feel honoured and privileged to be part of the 2024 school leadership group. Since starting at CGS in Year 7, I’ve been inspired by the leadership of the many captains who came before me - leaders who created an environment of inclusivity, achievement and community contribution. I have also been fortunate to have known several captains who were always willing to lend a hand to me and other students. As captain, I will look to emulate this positive culture and personal mentorship instigated by my predecessors. Throughout my time at CGS, the opportunities the school has given me and my two sisters have consistently pushed us out of our comfort zone and positively shaped us. I do not doubt that the role of captain will challenge me. Still, I look forward to helping make a difference in our school community, and I will strive to lead a student community with integrity, resilience, and compassion.





Canberra Grammar School has provided me with many unique experiences in different aspects of school life. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much. This year, the rest of the captains and I will strive to promote a school culture that actively engages in helping and serving those both inside and outside of the school community. We will continue to echo the contributions and legacy of the leaders before us while fostering positive change at CGS that drives student voice and wellbeing. I am very excited to serve Canberra Grammar School in 2024. I have complete confidence that our captaincy team will do whatever we can to ensure that our school is an environment that nurtures learning and cultivates growth and community.

Since joining Canberra Grammar School in Year 7, the opportunities and generosity provided by the school have had an immensely positive impact on me. I have never failed to find new ways to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone in this school environment. Because the school has presented me with so much, I will strive to return the favour in the coming year. I will dedicate my time to listening to the student voice to foster an environment where everyone feels listened to, respected, and supported. I also look forward to promoting the school spirit to celebrate our diverse range of activities, weaving together a culture of camaraderie. As I embark on this new leadership journey, I am confident that we, as a leadership team, will be able to uphold excellent standards while leading with compassion and confidence.

Canberra Grammar School has provided me with many opportunities to grow as a person, student and leader. I am incredibly grateful for opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. As a rural student from Boorowa, a small town in NSW, I have lived in the Girls’ boarding house since 2020. Canberra Grammar School and its boarding facilities have allowed me to meet people from all over the world and create long-lasting relationships with students and staff alike. School Captaincy for 2024 is another opportunity for which I am so thankful. It is a way for me to give back to the School and the wider community. I wholeheartedly believe that our leadership team will foster a school culture of respect and celebration of diversity to ensure every student feels valued and appreciated.



INTRODUCTION TO CAPTAIN’S FRAMEWORK As the 2024 Captaincy Team, our vision for CGS, through our framework of head, hand and heart, is to empower students to become curious, creative, confident, compassionate global citizens who are ready for the world.

HEAD As Canberra Grammar School is a centre for learning, we want students to have a thirst for knowledge and to be curious about the world around them. The future needs bright minds in diverse fields, so we would like to promote educational experiences that are both in and out of class. We want students to be confident in expressing themselves and have conviction in their ideas. We encourage students to explore, ask questions, think critically, and motivate students to take the initiative, grasp every opportunity, and confidently face the world.

HAND We believe in the power of giving back and the transformative impact of service on both individuals and communities. We encourage students to engage with the community and embrace their opportunities actively. In addition, we emphasise acceptance and awareness of different backgrounds by spotlighting the diversity within our community. We advocate for positive change within the school by involving all community members providing platforms for everyone to voice their ideas and collaborate, for example, through the Student Representative Council and Editorial Grammarian Gazette. This inclusive approach ensures that our initiatives are not only impactful but also reflective of the diverse perspectives and voices within our school.

HEART Our vision is to foster a culture of compassion, empathy, and tolerance within our school community. We strive to actively promote kindness, understanding, and acceptance by encouraging students to foster a culture of respect and embrace the diverse tapestry of our school community. With opportunities to serve the local and international community in the school, we would like to encourage a diverse range of students to participate. We aspire for every student to feel valued and belong, creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all.


PRIMARY SCHOOL HOUSE LEADERS 2024 We congratulate all students nominated for House Captain positions this year and sincerely thank their families for their unwavering support. Whether appointed to House Captaincy positions or showing initiative and bravery in putting themselves forward, these students are a credit to our school. We eagerly look forward to working alongside all emerging Year 6 students as leaders in the Primary School for 2024. Bariny






Cleo Howarth Zander Smith

Iris Bell Gavin Sui

Anna Halpin Henry McNeill

Eve Bontempelli Marko Toumo’ua

Zara Pye Alexander Peters

Evelyn Fox Freddie Cuthbert



PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENT LEADERSHIP & HOUSE SYSTEM In the Primary School House system, we aim to nurture students who are curious, creative, confident, and compassionate citizens of the world. This involves creating an additional layer of pastoral care, fostering a sense of belonging within our school community, and contributing to the overall growth of our young learners. The House system serves as a platform for students to develop self-awareness, a strong sense of community, and leadership skills, enabling them to actively engage in citizenship and service to others. Through vertical groupings, students can connect with the broader school community. This year marked significant milestones for the Primary School’s house system and student leadership. At our Annual Leadership Assembly, we officially welcomed and congratulated all student leaders, including House Captains, Year 6 Leaders, and Student Representative Council members, acknowledging their pivotal roles and presenting them with badges. An exciting development was the expansion of the house system into the Early Learning Centre and its reach to Northside and K – 2 Red Hill. Notably, we introduced House picture books linked to indigenous totems and stories, providing younger students with a meaningful connection to their Houses. A highlight of the year was the launch of our House Service-Learning initiative. Collaborating with local community groups and the ACT government, we received the honour of a plot of land on Red Hill for regeneration. Students chose various service activities, such as rubbish collection, weeding, erosion control, flora and fauna preservation, seedling planting, and incorporating QR codes. The enthusiasm and dedication displayed throughout the year were truly commendable. Competitive events, including swimming, gala days, athletics, debating, cross country, and e-sports, were integral to the house system in 2023. Looking ahead, we anticipate expanding these offerings in the coming years.

WINNING HOUSE: BURU Congratulations to Buru House for securing the House Shield for another year. Our heartfelt thanks go to the House Captains, Year 6 leaders, Heads of Student Houses, House staff, and, most importantly, the students in each house who brought leadership, enthusiasm, warmth, and fun to our community. We take immense pride in the collective efforts of 2023. – Lauren Dunn, Director of Students 6 | CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023

CELEBRATING OUR LEARNING MATHEMATICS IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL At CGS, we are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate closely with leading academic thinkers. This year, Emeritus Professor Sullivan from Monash University has been working with our teachers and students as part of our key curriculum focus in mathematics. Professor Sullivan has explored with us how to make mathematics more engaging for our students and, specifically, how using open-ended tasks can facilitate students to access the learning at their level of understanding. The students have also enjoyed learning with Professor Sullivan during his visits, often citing that they have enjoyed the challenges they are given and how using manipulatives (or concrete materials) assists in making their thinking visible.

From Pre-School to Year 6, all teachers and students have explored mathematics concepts across art, music, religion, sport, language, science and HaSS. They have made authentic connections to how maths exists in the real world. From mobiles, monster characters, interactive maps, wallpaper designs, virus sculptures, and so much more, it is clear that maths is all around us. – Lisa Kaptein, Associate Director of Academic Education (Mathematics) – Sarah Dunn, Associate Director of Academic Education (PYP)

Providing engaging opportunities for students to explore and apply their knowledge through various learning opportunities is the key to creating mathematically empowered students. Professor Sullivan encourages inquiry in everyday maths classes in conjunction with explicit teaching. We also look for ways to integrate mathematics into our other learning. This has been highlighted through the incredible work the students have produced for our PYP Walk this year, which has all had a mathematics focus.



YEAR 6 EXHIBITION 2023 “If you had a magic wand and could make just one change in the world, what would it be?” Our Year 6 PYP Exhibition this year was a huge success. Planning began in December 2022 when teachers discussed how we would scaffold the Exhibition for 2023. With a specific focus on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the theme of “You’re the Voice; Speak Up,” the Exhibition became a powerful platform for young learners to explore, analyse, and articulate their perspectives on issues that matter to them. Students engaged in an in-depth inquiry process, selecting a relevant and meaningful topic related to social, environmental, or personal concerns under one of the 17 SGDs. The central theme of “You’re the Voice; Speak Up “encouraged students to investigate and understand the importance of expressing their thoughts, ideas, and beliefs in the broader context of the world. Throughout the Exhibition, students developed and demonstrated their research, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. They investigated their chosen topic, identified various viewpoints, and analysed the implications of their findings. The focus on “Speaking Up” also highlighted the significance of effective communication in creating positive change and fostering a sense of agency among young learners, as well as in our drumming, dance, puppetry, speech, music and singing performance. The culmination of the PYP Exhibition involved students presenting their research, findings, and solutions to a broader audience, including peers, teachers, parents, and the community. This presentation showcased their academic skills and encouraged them to speak up confidently, advocating for their chosen cause and inspiring others to take action. By emphasising “Speaking Up” in the PYP Exhibition, the programme aimed to empower students to become articulate, informed, and responsible individuals who recognise the impact of their voices in shaping a better and more equitable world. The experience fosters a sense of agency, encouraging students to see themselves as active contributors to positive change within their immediate community and on a global scale. – Sarah Dunn, Associate Director of Academic Education (PYP)


YEAR 6 GRADUATION 2023 The Year 6 Graduation Ceremony at Canberra Grammar School marked a significant milestone in our students’ academic journey, symbolising the end of their primary school years and the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Parents and staff gathered to celebrate this momentous occasion with a sense of accomplishment and pride towards our graduating class. This reflected the personal growth and development each student experienced during their time at the School. A student from each class was invited to share their reflections on their primary school journey, providing a poignant insight into their diverse and enriching experiences. These reflections ranged from academic accomplishments to personal challenges overcome, highlighting the holistic approach to education fostered at Canberra Grammar School. The students spoke passionately about the supportive community surrounding them, acknowledging the role of teachers, parents and peers in shaping their character and instilling values that will guide them in the future. The thoughtful reflections resonated with parents and staff alike, serving as a testament to the School’s commitment to nurturing academic excellence and the overall well-being of its students. The ceremony became a moment of gratitude and appreciation as parents witnessed the tangible impact of the School’s educational philosophy on their children’s lives. The Year 6 Graduation Ceremony was a time for celebration, reflection, and anticipation of the exciting journey ahead. It served as a reminder of the transformative power of education and the invaluable role played by the Canberra Grammar School community in shaping the minds and hearts of the graduating class. As these students embark on their secondary school adventure, the ceremony underscored the foundation of respect, responsibility and resilience that will continue to guide them in their future endeavours. – Dan Wetherall, Associate Director of Students



NAVIGATING CHALLENGES WITH TECHNOLOGY, COMPASSION, & COMMUNITY AT CANBERRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL The Northside community of Canberra Grammar School, recently faced a challenge that required a thoughtful blend of technology, compassion, and community support. George , a lively and spirited student in Jane Callahan’s kindergarten class, is currently navigating an extended period away from school due to a serious illness. However, thanks to the innovative use of technology and the unwavering support of the Northside Parents and Friends (P&F) Auxiliary, George has managed to stay connected with his classmates and actively participate in school activities. When George’s family informed the school about his illness and the temporary relocation to Sydney, the P&F Auxiliary sprang into action. Collaborating closely with George’s teachers, they aimed to maintain a sense of connection between George and his friends while ensuring his continued engagement with learning. Mrs Callahan, undeterred by the geographical distance, embarked on a mission to find a solution. After thorough research, she discovered the ‘Telepresence Robot’ from MissingSchool, a not-for-profit organization. The robot, a two-feet-tall drivable tablet, was installed in George’s kindergarten classroom. Equipped with a camera, speakers, and a microphone for two-way communication, the robot allowed George not only to see and hear his classmates but also to participate and control his interactions from his hospital bed in Sydney.


The impact of this technology has been profound. George’s connection with his peers has remained intact, providing not just educational benefits but also crucial social and emotional support. The robot facilitated his participation in daily classroom activities, allowing him to join learning rotations, discussions, and even manoeuvre the robot around the classroom. One of the standout moments was George’s virtual presence on stage during the Pre-K to Year 2 Christmas Carols. With careful planning by Mrs Callahan, George not only wore the same costume as his classmates but also sang side-by-side with them, thanks to the telepresence robot. This innovative use of technology has not only boosted George’s morale but has also been a source of joy for his classmates, who are thrilled to interact with their friend despite the physical distance.

George’s teachers highlighted the positive impact of the robot on George’s engagement and emotional well-being. Students echoed this sentiment, with one classmate, Lenny, expressing;

“It’s so nice for George to talk to us when he’s in the hospital, that way he’s not lonely. We can see him and do the same learning even though he’s far away.” The Northside P&F Auxiliary extends their gratitude to Mrs Callahan and the entire CGS staff for their ongoing support of George’s learning and socialization needs during this challenging time. The community, through the Auxiliary, generously funded this cutting-edge technology, witnessing firsthand the remarkable rewards as George continues to progress with a smile on his face. In the face of adversity, our wonderful community has demonstrated the power of technology, empathy, and collective support, proving that even in challenging times, the spirit of learning and friendship can endure and thrive.

“The telepresence robot has been pivotal to George participating in class and sustaining strong connections with his friends while undergoing treatment in Sydney. This has been crucial to maintaining as much normality for George as possible. Our family is very grateful for the incredible support of Jane Callahan, the Northside P&F Auxiliary and the whole CGS community.”


–George’s parents, Daniel and Talitha



DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S INTERNATIONAL AWARD The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Canberra Grammar School is going from strength to strength, with a record number of students participating and completing the Award. In 2024, we have had 20 Bronze, 13 Silver, and 3 Gold completions and currently have 90 CGS students enrolled in the Programme. It was a privilege to attend the recent Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony at Government House on 6 November and witness our 3 Year 12 students receive their Gold Award from His Excellency, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was a fantastic occasion to celebrate their achievement, and on behalf of Canberra Grammar School, we congratulate them all and send our best wishes for their future endeavours. – Lauren Hargreaves, Senior School Geograhy Teacher and Assistant Head of Blaxland House

GOLD AWARD HOLDER REFLECTIONS... Participating in the Award has been fulfilling, and I’m incredibly grateful for the experience. It has been an eye-opening journey that pushed me beyond my limits and encouraged me to undertake challenges I may not have otherwise taken. The Voluntary Service Section left the deepest impression, instilling a lasting value of service that I will carry well beyond completing the Award. – Thomas Fahey, Year 12

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award has been a highlight of secondary school, providing an invaluable opportunity for personal growth. It has taught me the significance of community involvement, the value of commitment to teamwork, and the importance of perseverance. I’m so immensely grateful for the Award and everything it brings. – Jaija Rangiah, Year 12

Engaging in the Award programme has taught me the importance and power of commitment and perseverance. I have fond memories of expeditions that pushed my limits and allowed me to appreciate our stunning natural landscapes deeply. The most memorable part of my Award journey was my role as a volunteer at Vinnies Youth Camp, and I am committed to maintaining my involvement in this meaningful endeavour. – Lucy Galland, Year 12


REFINING VALUES THE GALAMBANY AWARD SEMINAR DAY 2023 In 2023, the process for conducting and determining the Galambany Award underwent refinement. Students from RaVE and Religious Studies courses were selected to participate in a special seminar on values for right living and speech writing skills. A gathering of 35 students took place at the CGS Rowing Centre on Friday, August 25, for this significant event. Dr Garrick initiated the day with an introduction, leading to an interview with the first special guest, Dr Naren Chellappah, whose family generously donated the remarkable Galambany sculpture, which is located at the front of the school. The annual Galambany Award aligns with the concepts underlying this sculpture. Mr Smart interviewed Dr Chellappah about his early life and career as a Dental Surgeon, with Dr Chellappah sharing a message about the importance of values in his life. The event was further enriched by Mr Rob de Castella, former Olympian and marathon runner, who addressed the group, shedding light on the values that have shaped his life, including his involvement in establishing the Indigenous Marathon Foundation. Mr Smart emphasised the importance of values, highlighting five fundamental values that underpin various organisations and individuals. He also shared insights into the values guiding his own life. Ms. Cutting then engaged students in discussing principles for developing an engaging, interesting, and powerful speech. Following a lunch break, students began writing the speeches they would deliver and record for submission to the first judging stage. The top 5 entries presented their speeches in person to younger CGS RaVE students. Aarush Mahajan of Year 10 was the winner. He delivered his speech in assembly and received the prestigious Galambany Award at Presentation Night. CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 13


CELEBRATING GEOGRAPHY EXCELLENCE – A REMARKABLE YEAR OF ACHIEVEMENTS CGS students have consistently demonstrated excellence in the Australian Geography competition, and this year marks a pinnacle in our achievements. For the 24th consecutive year, CGS secured the top spot across the ACT and Northern Territory, showcasing our unwavering commitment to geographic knowledge and proficiency. The outstanding accomplishments of our students are truly commendable. One hundred ten students achieved a High Distinction result, placing them in the top 1% of Australia. This extraordinary feat underscores the dedication and intellectual prowess of our students. A special mention goes to the best-performing students in Years 9, 11, and 12 across the territories: Oscar Wu, Phoenix Wulf, Nicholas Lawrance, Isla Moore, Lakshay Vallam, Jordan Bilston, Wilhelm Gerner, Thomas Lin, and Shaan Wing. These students have consistently demonstrated exceptional skills and dedication to geography. Nicholas Lawrance and Isla Moore notably represented the Combined Territories at the Big Week Out in Darwin. Isla Moore earned the prestigious opportunity to represent Australia at the 2024 iGeo in Dublin, Ireland. Thomas Lin, a standout student in Year 12, has consistently excelled in geography throughout his senior years. His remarkable achievements include securing First Place in the Territories in Years 8, 10, and 11, ultimately earning School Colours in Year 12. Thomas led the Australian Geography team to remarkable success at the 2023 IGeo Olympiad in Bandung, Indonesia. Thomas and his three teammates represented Australia on the international stage at the International Geography Olympiad in Bandung. Thomas’s exceptional performance earned him a Gold medal and a remarkable 4th Place out of 177 students. His accomplishments are a source of great pride for the entire CGS community. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Thomas Lin for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of geography. – Carol Pogson, Senior School Georgraphy Teacher and Head of Geography Department


Thomas Lin, Year 12, shares his reflections on the 19th International Geography Olympiad held in Bandung, Indonesia: “Representing Australia at the International Geography Olympiad in Bandung was an incredible experience. From August 8 to 14, I immersed myself in the rich culture of Indonesia, participated in physical excursions, and faced rigorous testing. The academic component was particularly challenging, comprising three tests: written response, fieldwork, and multimedia. The fieldwork test, lasting a full day, involved 8 hours of hiking, analysing, and formulating development plans for the town of Bukit Pakar. It was a test of mental and physical endurance, but the other components at the Bandung Institute of Technology were equally enriching. I secured 1st place in fieldwork and 3rd place in the written response, ultimately earning 4th place overall. Beyond the academic challenges, my teammates and I delved into Indonesian culture, attending traditional dances and musical performances. I even learned to play the Angklung, a traditional bamboo instrument. Exploring Indonesia’s physical and historical geography through excursions to Tangkuban Perahu volcano, NuArt Sculpture Park, Asia-Afrika Conference Centre, and the Grand Dutch Colonial Building was a truly enlightening experience. However, my most significant takeaway was the relationships formed with students from diverse cultures. Interacting with nearly 50 cultures, from the Dutch to the Armenians, in a week was an honour and a privilege. The Olympiad was undoubtedly one of the best weeks of my life, and I’m grateful for the friendships that will forever remind me of this extraordinary experience.”

FROM CRICKET FIELDS TO HISTORIC SITES – CGS UK TOUR Twenty-seven players and four staff members embarked on a trip of a lifetime during the Term 2 holidays on a cricket tour to the UK. A total of 36 hours of travel time had the squad primed and ready to go as we arrived at Heathrow Airport before heading for a stroll in Windsor. The squad was split into a Development Team and an Open team. Both teams would play nine games spanning 18 days. While cricket was the obvious focus, the tour was also an excellent opportunity for the touring group to experience the UK’s remarkable history. The cricketing experience was beautiful. We played prestigious schools like Berkhamsted, Bromsgrove, Haileybury, New Hall School, St Edmunds, and Saffron Walden County High. Many of these schools have a rich history of over 400 years of existence. One of the tour’s highlights was the Opens team winning the Felsted festival. This festival included First XI teams from Felsted, St Peters, Adelaide and Newington College, Sydney. CGS won all three games against the more fancied opposition in a dominating display. Overall, the open team won 7 out of the nine games on tour, while the development team had an equally successful time, winning 6 out of their nine games. Aside from the on-field cricket, several highlights included attending Day 4 of the Ashes Test at Lords. At the Oval, we attended a county T20 Blast game between Essex and Surrey. The tour party then spent a day at LIV golf, watching some of the best players in the world, like Cameron Smith and Phil Mickelson, put on a clinic. Other highlights were visiting Bletchley Park, which was once the Top-secret home of code breakers in World War 2, sightseeing in Sussex and visiting Medieval Arundel Castle after an inspired history lesson from Mr McNeill on how it

is the home of the Dukes of Norfolk having been occupied by their line for over 850 years. Before finishing off the Tour in London, we spent three days in Brighton. This seaside town is renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, and large and vibrant cultural, music and arts scene. Most nights here were spent enjoying the sunset and walks along the Pier. Some players even enjoyed a round of pitch and putt golf. The last stop on the tour was London. Here we did the traditional hop-on-and-off Red Double Deck bus tour, a ferry ride on the River Thames, a walk to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, a Tour of the Lords Cricket ground, shopping in Piccadilly Circus and finished off with watching Mrs Doubtfire the musical at the famous West End. The tour also allowed us to catch up with some Alumni: 2010 School captain and First XI Cricket captain Alex Tridgell in Oxford, 2010 Edwards Captain and member of First XI Ryan ‘Hammy’ Goodman, writer and star of the Grub’s XI and 2022 School Sacristan Esther Hampton. Undoubtedly, those who attended will remember this experience for a long time. We want to thank the staff for supporting the tour and providing the many opportunities there. – Matthew Bugden, Senior School PDHPE Teacher and Head of Garnsey House



DEFYING LIMITS: CGS GIRLS’ RUGBY HISTORIC WIN In a collective celebration of Canberra Grammar School’s sporting prowess, five rugby teams participated in their respective Grand Finals, with four emerging victorious. The 1st XII Girls, U/16 Boys, U/14 Girls, and U/11s teams displayed outstanding skills, marking an unforgettable achievement for the entire school. Focusing on the historic sporting triumphs, the spotlight shines brightly on the Girls’ Rugby Grand Finals. The 1st XII Girls team, in particular, achieved a groundbreaking victory, overcoming challenges to secure their maiden Division 1 final win. Their remarkable journey showcased perseverance, transitioning from Division 2/3 to Division 1 and ultimately claiming the coveted Division 1 trophy. A noteworthy accolade goes to the pioneering 1st XII Girls, securing the 1st Division Trophy named in honour of Louise Burrows, an esteemed Australian Wallaroo and Brumbies Rugby legend. Under Louise’s leadership for the past two years, this triumph stands as an extraordinary accomplishment, filling the school community with immense pride. The rugby triumph extends beyond the 1st XII Girls, with the U/16 Boys and U/14 Girls securing their titles for the first time, thereby adding to the legacy of success. Meanwhile, the U/11s mixed team clinched their title in a historic moment for the school, solidifying Canberra Grammar School’s dominance on the rugby field.


CGS RUGBY’S TRAILBLAZER: ELISE SIMPSON’S UNFORGETTABLE 2023 Adding to the historic milestones in CGS Rugby is Elise Simpson’s remarkable journey as the first-ever Female Rugby Union Australian representative for Canberra Grammar School. In 2023, Elise played a crucial role in the success of the winning Australian Rugby School girls’ team on the Gold Coast and the U/18 Australian Girls’ team in New Zealand. Her outstanding contributions earned her a place on the Pavilion wall alongside other esteemed male Australian representatives. Elise Simpson has had an extraordinary year on the field. Her achievements culminated with her selection to the Australian Schoolgirls Rugby Sevens Team. Beyond the regular CGS Rugby season, her earlier participation in the Australian Rugby Union Youth Super W development camp showcased her commitment to advancing her skills at a heightened level. Furthermore, Elise’s versatility was evident as she clinched the ACT 17-year girls Athletics Age Championship at the ACT Schools Athletics Carnival. She also represented in the Australian 18’s Emus Touch Football team, showcasing her prowess in multiple sports. In a fitting conclusion to her stellar year, Elise and the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team, were named Global Youth Sevens winners in December. They defeated the Rugby Vault Invitational from New Zealand 27-12 in the final, solidifying Elise’s standing as a remarkable athlete and an asset to Canberra Grammar School’s sporting legacy.



DYLAN PHELPS EXAMINING OUR PAST TO SHAPE OUR FUTURE Dylan, a dedicated Year 10 student, stands out as state champion of the Australian History Competition due in no small part to his extraordinary curiosity and interest in the world around him. Growing up internationally, Dylan fostered an innate need to explore the depths of human history, unravelling who we are, where we come from, and where we are headed. Driven by his passion for history and motivated by his desire to challenge himself, Dylan entered the Australian History Competition with confidence in his knowledge and skills. His pride in achieving the state champion title has become a defining moment in his academic journey.

STRINGS OF JOY AYO’S YOUNG SYMPHONISTS PROGRAMME I am delighted to recount a transformative musical expedition that has left an indelible imprint on my heart — the Young Symphonists Programme by the Australian Youth Orchestra.

This accomplishment has not only solidified his commitment to the study of history but has also inspired a renewed focus on utilising the plethora of resources and opportunities available at CGS to further his academic career. Dylan envisions not only bettering himself through his historical pursuits but also contributing to a brighter future shaped by a deepened understanding of the past. – Ryan Butterworth, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

The opportunity to perform on the Viola alongside 60 of Australia’s most talented musicians under 18 was nothing short of enchanting. Bathurst’s picturesque setting provided the perfect backdrop for a week brimming with camaraderie, personal growth, and an exploration of technically demanding repertoire. Collaborating with exceptional tutors and sharing this musical odyssey with like-minded peers made the experience unforgettable. Our days were immersed in the language of music, dedicating 6-8 hours to intensive rehearsals. Despite the rigorous schedule, the satisfaction derived from pushing our boundaries and the joy of creating music together made every moment worthwhile. The bonds formed with fellow musicians, all fuelled by a shared passion for music, created an atmosphere that resonated deep within our souls.Securing a position in the top ten violists in Australia under 23 for the National Music Camp 2024 was a humbling milestone that further enriched this experience. My musical journey continues with auditions for the 2024 Australian Youth Orchestra Programme and the Young Symphonists programme, this time showcasing my skills on both the Viola and the Harp. This marks my final year with the Young Symphonists. My excitement peaks with the news of being selected as a reserve for Viola and Harp in the esteemed Seasons programme—an orchestra featuring the best musicians aged 25 and under from all corners of Australia. The anticipation of continued growth and remarkable experiences in the AYO programmes fuels my enthusiasm for the musical journey ahead. – Alexander Monro, Year 12


VERSTAND In the captivating drama production VERSTAND, the universal thread that binds us all, trauma, took centre stage. Under the direction of Mr. Stephen Gersbach, this performance eloquently expressed our shared connection to pain, transcending words and resonating through the art of Physical Theatre, Theatre of Cruelty, and Butoh. The narrative unfolded as a poignant story within the mind of a character known as Everyone. Pain, portrayed by a powerful male figure, embodied the central trauma, while the Entity mirrored the characters Everyone and Pain. The journey delved deeper into the psyche, portraying moments of destruction and despair. Symbolic intruders, the Saviours, brought a glimmer of hope that turned awry, becoming part of the Entity. Influenced by Renaissance artist Luca Signorelli and the wisdom of Seneca the Younger, VERSTAND invited reflection. The performance did not offer solutions but sparked conversations about healing and our impact on others. As the characters entwined in a cyclical journey, VERSTAND left audiences with a profound moment for self-reflection. The calibre of the students’ performances added a remarkable dimension to the production. Their dedication and skill brought the characters to life, making VERSTAND an unforgettable exploration of the human experience.



PRIMARY & SENIOR SCHOOL CAMPS Semester Two was filled with camping opportunities for our students throughout both Primary and Senior Schools, providing a wide range of experiences for our students to engage with and learn from. Our Year 3 students headed Warrambui for their camp, as did Year 2 students for an overnight camp of their own! Our young students learnt about the importance of place, connected to local and Aboriginal knowledge, built bush shelters, played games, and focused on becoming independent as many of our Year 2 students successfully spent their first night away from home. Year 5 students were meanwhile treated to the company of pods of dolphins in the gorgeous Booderee National Park, where students demonstrated a positive attitude, resilience and perseverance to the demands and challenges of being in a new environment away from home. In our Senior School, nearly 200 students in Year 8 set off for Coolendel for camp. Students spent the week sleeping in tents or under tarps, cooking together on Trangia stoves, and challenging themselves in different activities, including mountain biking, canoeing, high wires and a two-night expedition to the scenic peak of Mount Grady. Groups also had cultural learning from local Aboriginal educators from Gadhungal Marring and took part in a corroboree. After camp, overall, students reported a 10% improvement in their confidence in doing scary or unfamiliar things, undertaking outdoor activities, and their knowledge of Aboriginal connections to the land. Some students also reported significant improvements in their ability to handle stress and work in a team. Year 10 camps provided a range of opportunities students could choose to participate in. 17 of these students had the unique opportunity to experience Afghan camel trekking, just outside Port Augusta in South Australia. They slogged up Dead Horse Camp and spent nights camping under the stars on the rooftop of Australia. Summiting Mt Kosciuszko for sunset and descending under head torch and the light of the stars was a particular highlight, though restless nights by consequence of fierce winds proved less relaxing. There was also an opportunity to learn some Aboriginal history from the region with local Elder Uncle Stefan. Overall, students had wonderful personal and group experiences and came to appreciate the slow-paced but hard-working cameleer life. The Year 10 trek and paddle group was a great opportunity to detach from devices and appreciate all that the Byadbo wilderness had to offer. In between rapids, the group was lucky enough to see two emus grazing on the side of the river, which was a highlight for many students, and watching students come together, teaching one another to skip stones across the river, brought warm feelings to the hearts of the accompanying staff; watching them relax, laugh, and entertain themselves whilst having genuine conversations was delightful to observe. Our Year 11 IB Diploma students embarked on their camp in Namagi National Park. With its diverse ecosystems and natural beauty, Namagi served as an ideal setting for students to explore the intersection of knowledge, science, and the environment. During the camp students integrated Theory of Knowledge and Group 4 Science projects through the environment and country.



BUILDING BRIDGES BEYOND BORDERS: CANBERRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL’S INTERNATIONAL ENDEAVOURS IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA In the first week of Term 4, 2023 (8 - 13 October), Canberra Grammar School’s Head of Senior School and Coordinator of Asian Engagement travelled to the Republic of Korea (RoK). The primary objective of the trip was to consolidate a sister school relationship and create further international opportunities for students and staff. This relationship holds particular significance given Australia’s involvement in the Korean War, our robust trade and investment ties, the strength of each country’s education systems, and the potential for mutual learning. Working closely with CGS’s former staff member, Caite Khan, and RoK Embassy staff, the CGS Coordinator of Asian Engagement identified Sejong Global High School (SJGHS) as a suitable partner for a sister school relationship. Sejong, established in 2007 as the new administrative capital of RoK, shares many similarities with Canberra, albeit with a focus on sustainability and environmental priorities. Over the past two and a half years, SJGHS and CGS collaborated on global education conferences and seminars, enhancing education in Global Studies and Politics, Geography, History, and Information Technology. While in the RoK, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, emphasising joint promotion and involvement in curriculum-related activities, global interaction, and exchange opportunities.

CGS staff engaged with the International Baccalaureate Dual Language Diploma Programme Coordinators and the Namseoul University Dean of the International Graduate School during the visit. Discussions centred around understanding the RoK secondary education system and exploring opportunities for CGS staff. A proposal for an IB teacher shadow programme was introduced to facilitate professional development through exposure to the RoK education system. The trip marked a significant pivot in the school’s overseas engagement strategy in Asia. CGS is eager to continue building relationships with RoK, particularly with SJGHS and the IB DL Universities, to further enhance educational opportunities for students and staff. – Justin Hassall, Senior School Languages Teacher and Asian Engagement Coordinator



CODE CADETS PLACE 9TH IN AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST CYBER SECURITY INDUSTRY COMPETITION During the Term 3 school holidays, Code Cadets students in Years 9 through 12 attended the BSides Canberra information and cyber security industry conference. This three-day conference held in the National Convention Centre is one of the East Coast’s premier industry events. Code Cadets students can attend talks and workshops covering all aspects of cyber security. From hearing about how Google’s Threat Analysis Group keeps the products we all use free from vulnerabilities to participating in hacking challenges, there was plenty to take away from this conference. The Code Cadets were among the approximately 1,000 industry professionals participating in the BSides Capture the Flag (CTF) competition. A CTF competition presents participants with a series of technical challenges with the goal of retrieving a key piece of information – the flag – by performing vulnerability research and exploitation on a target system. Of the 193 teams registered, Code Cadets finished ninth overall in the competition – an incredible achievement for high school students. Earlier in Term 3, students also had the opportunity to visit the Australian Cyber Security Centre to see demos from and interact with the teams who keep Australia’s government and critical infrastructure organisations secure. These excursions bookend Code Cadets Extension’s cyber security topic, where students have learned about vulnerability research in computer systems and web applications. Code Cadets runs IT co-curricular programmes for all senior school year groups regardless of students’ prior experience level. – Damian Cameleri, Code Cadets Programmes Lead



ART, DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY Students from Years 7 to 11 in Visual Arts, Design and Technology and Textiles and Design worked on displays throughout the School, which were exhibited this Semester. The Exhibition was opened by local artists Keith Bender and Kate Bender on Tuesday night, with Exhibition Awards presented to the following students for their outstanding work: Year 9 Design and Technology – Harry Robertson Year 8 Visual Arts – Aili Webb Year 9 Visual Arts – Joselyn Lim Year 11 IB Visual Arts – Rahul Prasanna Year 7 Design and Technology – Archer Glaskin A special mention also, to Ashleigh West and Kira Dickie, two exceedingly talented Year 12 students who poured their creative energies into crafting stunning garments as part of their Year 12 Major Textile Project. This ambitious project showcased not only their technical skills but also their artistic vision and commitment to the craft of textile design.



CGS MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS 2023 A summary by Music Staff members Elizabeth Pfingst, Isabella Brown, and Steve Allen

PRESCHOOL – YEAR 2 CHRISTMAS CONCERT What a delight it was to be entertained by wonderful performances from our Preschool – Year 2 students in this energetic celebration of the Christmas story. The stage dazzled with students dressed as stars, stable animals, shepherds and kings who sang and moved beautifully as they performed their special song.

YEARS 3 – 6 CAROLS SERVICE A much anticipated and enjoyable event on the Primary School annual calendar is the Years 3-6 Carols Service, held in the Snow Concert Hall. The service was an opportunity to gather as a community during the school year, to reflect upon the year past, and to participate in the Christmas message. We heard exemplary performances from our co-curricular choirs, CGS Singers and Chorale, and a carol performance from each year level. Congratulations to Erin Read for a wonderful solo for ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and a special mention of our chamber string performers and student readers.

PRIMARY SCHOOL MUSIC SOIRÉES Soirées are an opportunity for students learning an instrument or voice, both at CGS and externally, to share their learning with the CGS Community through an evening concert. This Semester, we held six concerts for Kindergarten to Year 6 students, with over 130 performances. Audiences were treated to recitals on piano, oboe, cello, trombone and many more instruments supported by our talented piano accompanists and music staff.

INSTRUMENTAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAMME (IOP) EXPO & CELEBRATION CONCERT The Snow Concert Hall and surrounding music centre classrooms were alive with music all afternoon and evening on Thursday, 16 November. Years 2 and 3 students were welcomed with their families to the Snow Concert Hall to learn about the Instrumental Opportunity Programme here at CGS. Students and Families were introduced to all the different instruments on offer to learn at CGS. Students even had time to try out different instruments to see if they had a preference for what they wanted to learn next year in the Instrumental Opportunity Programme (IOP). Once the sound died down from the students interested in learning an instrument next year, the sound of our Year 3 and 4 IOP musicians took over as we celebrated the year of learning for our current IOP students. The IOP Strings Ensemble opened the concert, followed by the Wind Brass and Percussion Ensemble. It’s amazing to think that none of these students had played their instruments before the start of the year. Each student was also given a completion certificate for participating in the IOP. It was a wonderful evening of discovering potential and celebrating learning. 24 | CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023

STRINGS ON STAGE On 29 August, the Strings on Stage concert celebrated all CGS String players, featuring students from Kindergarten to Year 12. The night started with our beginner string group, Piccolini. For the first time, we invited string students from the Instrumental Opportunities Programme in Years 3 and 4 to perform and watch all the CGS String Ensembles. It was wonderful to see our beginner ensembles engaging with our advanced groups. A particular highlight of the concert was the Senior String Orchestra’s performance of the music from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This crowd favourite had everyone humming along. The concert was a wonderful evening where parents and students celebrated the learning and appreciated the music-making in the CGS String Ensembles.

STUDIO SUNDAY The whole school was alive with music on Sunday, 5 November, with CGS instrumental students performing in the Snow Concert Hall, Music Centre Classrooms, The Chapel and the John Lingard Hall all day. It is essential to practice performing as a musician, and the Studio Sunday Concerts are a valuable opportunity to perform for family, friends, and peers. It’s also an exciting opportunity for students of all ages and abilities to see others performing on their instruments. It was an inspiring and fun day for everyone to celebrate all CGS instrumental students.

GUITAR ENSEMBLE CONCERT All seven CGS guitar ensembles showcased their 2023 achievements for parents and friends in a successful and enjoyable concert on 2 November. The electric guitar groups performed in the War Memorial Hall, demonstrating excellent rhythmic playing with challenging riffs and imaginative and brave improvisations. The acoustic groups sounded magnificent in the Snow Concert Hall, successfully presenting multipart traditional and modern repertoire such as In the Hall of the Mountain King and Pirates of the Caribbean. All three Primary and three Senior groups demonstrated significant improvement in their playing and should be proud of their achievements this year. Guitar Coordinator: Steve Allen, assisted by Dr Callum Henshaw, Ben Grace, Chris Johnstone and Anthony McIlwain.



NETBALL EVOLUTION: CGS SHINES IN GRAND FINALS In a transformative journey, CGS netball underwent significant changes in 2023, evolving into a model of sporting excellence. With revamped structures and dedicated coaches, the focus was on fostering participation, collegiality, and passion among girls in a safe and competitive environment. Trials and selections played a crucial role in team identification and player connections, with coaches providing inspiring training sessions. The supportive parent community solidified netball as a dominant sport, paving the way for CGS’ outstanding success in the South Canberra Netball Association’s Grand Final. Breaking a five-year streak held by Woden Blues Netball, CGS First VII Senior Netball team achieved a historic victory in the Open’s division, highlighting a remarkable shift in our female sports participation. The Year 7/8 Netball Team also secured a significant win in the grand final, contributing to CGS’ overall success and marking a notable achievement in this inaugural appearance in the Open’s division. This season’s success reflects not just a culmination but a beginning, and we hope the girls take pride in the legacy they’ve helped establish.

FROM CGS TO THE OLYMPICS! Samuel Johnson (Year 12 2023) has been selected in Australia’s Winter Youth Olympics Games’ (WYOG) team to compete in Gangwon, South Korea. While qualifying first in both Biathlon and Cross-country skiing in Australia for WYOG, Samuel will only be competing in cross-country skiing to maximise the opportunity for more Australian athletes to gain experience at the Youth Winter Olympic Games. It is wonderful to see our students paving their way in the world, and we wish Samuel the very best!

OLIVIA’S SKATING WINS DOUBLE FIRST PLACE Olivia of Year 5 won 1st place in the 2023 Ice Skating National Federation Challenge AS Free Skate2. She also emerged successful by securing 1st place in the 2023 Manzano Aussie Skate Artistic Competition. Her artistic programme earned the special 2023 Manzano Aussie Skate Artistic Winner glass trophy, the judges’ favourite, and the only prize across all divisions. A huge achievement, and we are incredibly proud!



SONY CAMP Across four days in December 2023, a group of compassionate CGS students, and staff dedicated four days to participate in Sony Camp, a holiday programme designed to offer children with special needs an unforgettable experience. This initiative not only provides the children with an enriching time but also grants parents, guardians, and carers a well-deserved break during the holiday season. CGS Year 11 students volunteer their time to train and provide care for the children enrolled in the programme over a four-day period. The itinerary for this year’s Sony Camp was brimming with activities, including a yoga session, swimming, rhythmic African drumming, and lively Zumba sessions. The participants also enjoyed a sailing and boating excursion, an exciting visit to the Canberra Reptile Zoo, a delightful mini-fete held exclusively for camp-goers, a heartwarming Christmas carols performance, surprise visit from Santa at the Christmas lunch, and a host of other engaging experiences. A huge highlight was the RAAF Hot air balloon that went up for the first time since 2015 on Flinders Oval tethered to cars for a once in a lifetime experience for all. The programme not only created lasting memories for the children but also fostered a sense of joy and inclusivity within our community.



UNITY IN RUGBY: MY JOURNEY WITH YOUTH IN UNION IN THE KINGDOM OF TONGA I had the privilege of travelling to the Kingdom of Tonga from 30 July to 6 August, for the second time, with a group of volunteers and former professional rugby players supporting the nonprofit organisation ‘Youth in Union’. This organisation is committed to enhancing communities, especially young children’s lives, through the influence of sport, particularly rugby. We visited primary schools on remote islands, ran rugby training sessions, and donated various sporting goods like jerseys, boots, runners, and rugby balls. The individuals we met in Tonga, in addition to the sporting activities, were what made our trip memorable. During our time there, I had the good fortune to get to know some of the kindest and most interesting people. A further eye-opening experience was immersing ourselves in the rich Tongan culture and way of life. We developed a strong respect for the customs, principles, and sense of belonging embedded in Tongan society. Youth in Union is a genuinely amazing nonprofit organisation that helps those in need in amazing ways. Being a part of this organisation’s work has given me great satisfaction and thankfulness. It underlines the ability of sports to bring people together, cross boundaries, and improve the lives of those who need it most. I will always treasure the experiences and lessons I gained from travelling to Tonga, and I look forward to continuing my involvement with Youth in Union in any way. – Harry Bodman, Year 10

REACH FOR NEPAL SERVICE TRIP Nineteen Year 10 students and five staff members embarked on a two-week service trip to the Annapurna region of Nepal with the Reach for Nepal Foundation in the September holidays. The trip involved a 4-day hike, including summiting Poon Hill, as well as a 4-day service project in a remote school. The REACH for Nepal Foundation aims to enhance Nepalese people’s lives in remote parts of the Gandaki Province in Western Nepal. Through sustainable development projects, the foundation seeks to enable villages to become self-sufficient and empower children with access to quality education and healthcare. It was a life-changing experience for our students, who made lifelong memories and friendships. – Lauren Hargreaves, Senior School Geography Teacher and Assistant Head of Blaxland House


REACH FOR NEPAL SERVICE TRIP STUDENT REFLECTIONS: “The 2023 Reach for Nepal Canberra Grammar trip was an experience I will never forget. From walking through the busy and fast-moving streets of Kathmandu, hiking through torrential rain on the Annapurna trail in the Himalayas, supporting and bonding with the kids from Shree Kalika Basic School, digging trenches, building retaining walls, painting, concrete making, and developing a rather personal relationship with the leeches on the hike, we experienced it all. We learnt so much about ourselves and the world around us. This trip showed me how big the world is and how fortunate I am to have incredible opportunities like this one presented to me. Sitting on the picnic table over 3400 m above sea level, looking out on the horizon or waking up at 5:00 am to watch the sun rise and shine onto Mount Dhaulagiri, the 8th largest mountain in the world, put into perspective how big the world is, and how many opportunities and experiences are out there for me to explore. I learned so much about myself, the true meaning of happiness, and how important it is to be grateful for everything you have in life. When you step back and learn to appreciate everything around you, the opportunities you have, and the moments you’ve experienced, you will begin to find, like I did, that happiness is all around us”. – Maddie Billson, Year 10 “Nepal welcomed us with a sensory overload. The bustling streets, filled with the vibrant colours of traditional clothing, market stalls, and the scent of exotic spices and scented oils, immediately immersed us in the rich tapestry of Nepalese life. We were in for a new experience when faced with the concept of bartering and may have been ripped off a few times when trying to figure out the currency. Once we had settled in Kathmandu for a day, we began to prepare for our journey to Pokhara for our four-day trek in the Annapurna region. For four days, we navigated narrow paths, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls, the rain adding an element of both discomfort and surreal beauty. The mist and clouds would recede to reveal breathtaking views in fleeting moments. Each step, slippery yet determined, became a lesson in resilience. Far from dampening our spirits, the rain forged bonds among us as we laughed through soaked clothes and celebrated small victories. We tried our best to keep the leeches from getting into our pants and boots. Venturing beyond the tourist trails, our group found ourselves in a small, isolated village where a humble school awaited our helping hands. The mission included building a wall, installing a cutter, planting trees, and repainting. Amidst the clatter of construction, we discovered the real treasure—the spirited children. Their laughter echoed through the school as we played games and bridged language barriers with smiles. Getting to know them and their backgrounds, we suddenly realized we were not that different, and our hearts were equally warmed and broken when we left the school. Seeing the kids we had made connections and friendships with made us want to stay longer. But I can speak for everyone there and say we will never forget the children we met at that school.” – Jess Walker, Year 10






While on exchange in Devonshire, England, at Shebbear College, a small school in the English country, four CGS Year 10 students experienced a new family, new school, and new countryside and made lots of new friends. My host family were extremely welcoming and a lot of fun. From driving tractors, moving hay bales and looking after the animals, and with such a large family, plenty of activities were always happening. Even though our countries and schools are similar, making it very easy to settle in, many things were still different. Regular school activities included shooting and hockey, but there were many more activities like archery and horse riding. There were also other things different about the school, such as not having to wear a uniform in the higher years and providing a hot lunch every day in the dining hall. Our experience of England beyond school included visiting the Eden project, an innovative ecological park, visiting Birmingham and London, experiencing churches that appeared to be like castles, attending a National Youth Camp with thousands of young kids from around the UK and “minding the gap” on the London Tube on our way to seeing Les Miserables at West End, and lastly, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. While we ate fish and chips by the seaside, English tea, and scones, we also taught the English the Tim Tam slam and how to spread vegemite on toast correctly so they could attempt to enjoy it. Being away from family for two months naturally comes with some homesickness, although it is overcome by being around your host family, teachers and friends. However, you do develop your independence very quickly. I loved travelling, learning new things, having fun with new people and creating strong friendships; therefore, I have been inspired to go on many more journeys worldwide. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity due to the friends I made, the independence I gained, and the many amazing experiences I was given in England. It was amazing to experience another culture. I would highly recommend the CGS exchange programme to future Year 10s.

On 24 August, three girls and I flew for nearly 25 hours, travelling halfway around the world to reach Devon, England, where we would spend the next two months at a small school in the English countryside. Little did I know this would be an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Growing up, I have consistently moved and lived in several places. This is why the exchange programme excited me. It allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and truly test how much I’ve learned from all my travels. I was interested in the new adventure when applying for this exchange programme, yet I needed to understand the opportunity I was taking on. Nothing can prepare you for this type of adventure away from the safety and comfort of your home and family. But by stepping outside of my comfort zone, I was able to test and challenge myself in a way that no other experience can do. When starting at Shebbear College, I gained this new confidence in everything I did. This included trying a new sport, Hockey and making a fool out of myself or living in the boarding house and putting myself out there to make friends. Being able to embrace a foreign environment so seamlessly felt natural and enjoyable yet surprised me. Not only did I grow my confidence and risk-taking skills, but I also learned how to be more independent, whether in my studies and keeping up with school work from back home or learning to overcome challenges on my own, without the close support of my family. While on this exchange, one of the most memorable experiences for me was the unbreakable bond I made with my new friends and the girls I travelled with. Together, we experienced this fantastic opportunity and built core memories with each other. I was so incredibly grateful to have done it with each of them. It’s hard to explain what this exchange meant to me as it can only be understood once you experience it yourself. However, I would not have changed anything about the past two months I have spent on this journey of finding who I am and building amazing memories.

– Amelia Curtin, Year 10

– Sophie Roche, Year 10


A JOURNEY OF GROWTH: MY CANADIAN EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE The decision to participate in the exchange programme stemmed from a childhood fascination with exploring new places and meeting people from different cultures. When the opportunity arose to spend time at Shawnigan Lake School in Canada, I embraced it despite a mix of fear and excitement, unsure of what lay ahead but eager for the journey. Canada, not traditionally known for rugby, became the backdrop for some of my most cherished memories, particularly with the Colts A team at Shawnigan. Winning the Island Final is a moment of triumph, a celebration that etched itself into my heart. These seven weeks abroad became a period of substantial personal growth and self-discovery. The shift to a foreign boarding school necessitated the development of independence and maturity. It became a transformative period, shaping my academic identity and moulding me into a more confident and socially adept young man. Adapting to Shawnigan’s unique schedule posed an initial challenge but was quickly overcome through organisation and adaptation. The experience, though brief, left a lasting impact, influencing my future aspirations. Canada, now a place close to my heart, is a destination I envision exploring further, possibly through higher education or a gap year. Shawnigan Lake School’s diverse student body exposed me to various cultures and perspectives, fostering a greater understanding of the world. Living with roommates from South Korea, Germany, and Canada provided an immersive experience in international camaraderie, broadening my worldview. While the school day structure differences were notable, the academic content closely aligned with my studies at Canberra Grammar School. The classroom environment, teachers, and formats felt remarkably similar, providing a sense of familiarity amidst the new experiences. The connections forged during my exchange endure, with ongoing communication with roommates, who have shared insights into the current happenings at Shawnigan. These lasting friendships affirm the impact of the exchange, making it a chapter I fondly recall and hope to revisit someday. – Ethan Murphy, Year 10

A JOURNEY BEYOND BORDERS: MY ARGENTINE EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE The decision to partake in the exchange programme was fuelled by the allure of the life-changing experiences past students spoke of. Heading to St George’s College North in Argentina, I embarked with an open mind, ready for every unknown encounter. Memorable moments unfolded, notably my initial meeting with students at the host school, where an immediate sense of friendship enveloped me, seamlessly integrating me into their community. This transformative programme boosted my confidence and kindled an interest in learning Spanish, offering a new avenue for future studies. The unique challenge of a language barrier, particularly in rugby training sessions, led me to adapt by seeking a friend’s help in understanding and participating. While my core goals and aspirations remained unchanged, the tour inside the Australian embassy in Buenos Aires exposed me to alternate study paths, broadening my horizons and building independence for a future away from home. Cultural immersion brought immediate observations of Argentina’s economic dynamics and wealth gaps. The cherished tradition of ‘asado’ (Argentine barbecue) stood out for its communal gatherings and delightful cuisine. My host family played a pivotal role, introducing me to the school community and facilitating rugby opportunities. A trip to Iguazú Falls further enriched my cultural experience. Teaching Australian culture while embracing Argentine dynamics highlighted the energetic and friendly social atmosphere, offering new perspectives through events like ‘fiesta de quince.’ Language barriers in Argentina were navigable, thanks to a significant English-speaking population and the support of my host family. The exchange kickstarted my Spanish-learning journey. The Argentine education system showcased both similarities and differences. Longer school days and smaller year groups stood out, but commonalities like house systems and tutor groups fostered familiarity. Maintaining connections with my host family, friends from school, and the rugby club’s alums has been a gratifying post-exchange continuation. The journey across borders, with its blend of challenges and enriching experiences, has left an enduring imprint on my perspective of the world. – Marcus Tremopoulos, Year 10 CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 31


TOKYO IMPRESSIONS: MY UNFORGETTABLE WASEDA JITSUGYŌ EXCHANGE My Waseda Jitsugyō exchange in Tokyo, Japan, left an indelible mark on my life. Stepping into the school on the first day, I embraced the joy of forming friendships, immersing myself in Japanese culture, and navigating the perspective-broadening challenges of an exchange. Fascinated by Japan’s culture, work ethic, and food, I sought to gain diverse perspectives and enhance my independence. Facing the challenge of not having an exchange buddy, I entered a class alone. However, the overwhelming kindness of everyone in Japan quickly dissolved any concerns. The main hurdle became the language barrier, which I tackled through gestures and slow, repetitive conversations, leveraging Japanese schools’ thorough English education. Settling into Japan was facilitated by my two brilliant host families, who cared for me like their own child. Experiencing two distinct lifestyles immersed me further in Japan’s intricate nuances, from housing to meals and transportation. My gratitude to my host families for their warm welcome knows no bounds. Education in Japan, influenced by both Western and Asian elements, differs significantly from Canberra Grammar School. In Japan, I formed close bonds with my class of 42 students, spending the entire day in the same classroom, including lunchtime. The challenge of six periods a day and Saturday classes highlighted the contrast. Completing the exchange revealed mutual learning opportunities for Canberra Grammar School and Waseda Jitsugyō. Waseda students experience a greater depth of learning, while Canberra Grammar emphasizes practical problem-solving over the intense repetition found in Japan’s test-focused system. My exposure to Japanese students’ work ethics has been inspiring, influencing my approach to daily life at CGS.


The most important part of my exchange was my friends and the connections that I made. In Waseda Jitsugyō, I laughed, smiled, and went through Google Translate with my friends. My friends in Waseda depicted what exchange is about forming valuable connections with others who are patient and willing to show you around, immerse you in school life, and take you on the best journeys in Tokyo. It is incredible how much my friends in Waseda have taught me about the lifestyle in Japan. Their kindness, by making me feel as if I had been part of the school for the longest time, encouraged me to try new activities and challenge myself at every opportunity that I could. I still keep in contact with my class and even had the honour of joining their class group chat and Zooming. Towards the end of my exchange, my class organised a group trip to Tokyo Dome amusement park. I grew increasingly close with my classmates, having an incredible time visiting an amusement park with such a big group. It made me so happy to have formed a relationship with my class that was not restricted by language; instead, it was a tight and familiar group. One of the most valuable lessons I learned about myself from this exchange is how much I value connecting with others and learning about people’s personalities. Even though the language barrier was there, it did not hold me back from connecting with my friends. These deep connections allowed me to have fun on the weekends, go to amusement parks and dinners, enjoy each day at school despite longer lessons, have laughs at lunchtimes, spend money at vending machines, and have the best exchange possible. It has inspired me to keep forming connections and how important this is for a more positive world. If I were asked to do this exchange again, I would, without a doubt, say yes. – Sidney Zhang, Year 10

BEYOND BORDERS: A TRANSFORMED CANADIAN EXCHANGE Embarking on the Shawnigan Lake School exchange programme was driven by my love for travel and a desire to immerse myself in the challenge of a foreign school experience. Inspired by my brothers’ exchange tales, my expectations were high, yet the reality exceeded all preconceptions. Unpacking my suitcase marked a pivotal moment. My new roommate and her friends embraced me, setting the stage for an experience where camaraderie became a constant. Competing in the Canadian rowing nationals in Toronto and securing second place in the Quad remain defining memories.

The head of house played a maternal role, fostering warmth and acceptance. Bonds with fellow boarders became lifelong friendships, a testament to the inclusive exchange experience.

The exchange programme was a crucible for personal growth, fostering adaptability, independence, resilience, and an openminded approach beyond my temporary Canadian home.

This adventure altered my worldview, emphasising global lifestyle contrasts and cultural practices. It heightened my appreciation for privileges and provided a perspective beyond familiar surroundings.

Navigating a new school and social environment posed challenges, including mid-exchange homesickness. Yet, with support from housemates, the housemaster, and my parents, I pivoted, turning challenges into opportunities for personal development.

When comparing educational systems, Shawnigan Lake School’s prestige didn’t overshadow the strengths at CGS. Inconsistencies in class attendance highlighted the dedication of my Canberra teachers, reinforcing my appreciation for the quality education I receive.

This transformative journey left an indelible mark on my future aspirations. Witnessing my Canadian peers’ dedication to securing spots in Ivy League universities ignited a determination for academic excellence. The experience also sparked a vision of living in Canada, blending academics with its rich cultural landscape.

Maintaining connections forged during my exchange remains a priority. I am fortunate to have relationships with friends from Canada and fellow Australians who embarked on their exchange journeys. Plans are already in motion to reunite with some in Australia, solidifying the lasting impact of this international exchange.

Initially surprised by Canadian boarding and rowing, I soon embraced differences, cultivating a profound appreciation for diverse cultures. Exposure to varied perspectives broadened my horizons and deepened my gratitude for life in Canberra. My boarding house became a second home despite lacking a traditional host family.

My Canadian exchange was a tapestry of growth, immersion, and enduring connections. It reshaped ambitions, broadened understanding, and instilled gratitude for opportunities and relationships transcending borders.

EXPLORING HORIZONS: MY SCOTTISH EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE Participating in the exchange programme wasn’t just a decision; it was a leap into a unique opportunity. Strathallan, with its rich Scottish traditions, promised a cultural immersion on the other side of the world. The warm welcome at Strathallan eased the adaptation to a new school and social environment. Navigating the vast campus and adjusting to the distinct rhythm of school life posed challenges that required a period of adjustment. This exchange profoundly impacted my future goals, sparking a passion for global exploration. The exposure to a different culture inspired a desire to travel, meet diverse people, and create lasting memories. Culturally, the exchange programme was eye-opening. It revealed that my experiences in Australia and Scotland merely scratched the surface of the richness the world has to offer. The exchange shaped my worldview, highlighting the exciting prospect of exploring and enjoying other countries.

– Estella Robertson, Year 10

Observing the education system in Scotland was a unique aspect of the exchange. Witnessing students my age undertaking GCSEs over a four-week exam block was a stark contrast to my experience in Canberra, providing valuable insights into the educational variations across countries. The friendships forged during the exchange are enduring. Thanks to social media, staying connected with fellow exchange students feels like friendships for life, with the hope of crossing paths again. In conclusion, my Scottish exchange experience was a transformative journey across borders, influencing my views on culture, education, and personal growth. The memories created during this adventure will resonate, and the lessons learned will continue to shape my perspectives. – Hugh Taylor, Year 10



GIRLS’ BOARDING OUR SECOND HOME Our names are Jarrah, Torah, Olivia, and Matilda, and we hail from Wreck Bay, Southern Highlands, Deniliquin, and Jindabyne. We have spent 1-2 years in boarding, fostering a bond in this diverse community.

The CGS girls’ boarding community has not only enriched our social lives but also ensured our academic success. With dedicated prep sessions four nights a week, our academic grades have significantly improved since our days as day students.

We’ve shared numerous experiences as a group, but a few stand out. Our cherished memories often revolve around the entire boarding community, such as our unforgettable trip to Jamberoo Action Park at the beginning of the year. This lockin weekend activity became a crucial bonding experience, uniting us as we raced down water slides and slept on the bus ride back. Another highlight was our participation in house music, where our rendition of Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong with Me’ showcased our pride in being part of the CGS boarding community.

Engaging in CGS Rugby has been another collective endeavour, with two of us celebrating grand final victories. The convenience of on-campus training, followed by a quick dinner and prep, has made our participation seamless.

Being boarders is a unique experience; we’ve become an unspoken family, evident in our shared moments at Friday night BBQs and during the harmonies of house music. Our friendship blossomed from these shared experiences— whether it’s supporting each other academically, helping with assignments, or even styling each other’s hair in the morning.

CGS boarding has become our second home, a place of constant support and shared emotional experiences. It’s where we’ve found solace after a tough day and celebrated our growth from the first challenging night in boarding to the present day.


In this boarding community, we’ve empowered each other to become stronger, independent women, encouraging new experiences and expanding our friendships. Despite our diverse backgrounds, living together has allowed us to overcome challenges, forming bonds that extend beyond the everyday.

In essence, CGS boarding has become our safe haven, a second home we appreciate more each day.

BOYS’ BOARDING A STORY OF CAMARADERIE Angus Sinclair travelled from his home, a rural farm in NSW, to board at CGS from the beginning of Year 7. A journey that began three years ago, Angus recounts the experience as nothing short of transformative.

“There is a sense of brotherhood among boarders and older boys are expected to look after younger blokes and this creates a real family in the boarding community.” – Angus

Initial scepticism cast a shadow on promises of a second home, with Years 7 and 8 permeating feelings of uncertainty; homesickness was an occasional struggle Angus was forced to confront, but not alone. The older boys who had dealt with similar feelings in their younger years caught him and were eager to offer support and words of comfort, shaping his experience and setting the stage for his future in boarding. The feeling of being wanted is vital for a thriving home life, and a thriving community; without the support of the other boys, Angus feels he would not have matured into the person he’s become, with the connections he’s formed.

CGS Boarding strives to provide an environment that nurtures not just academic excellence but also personal growth and independence, emphasising the importance and value of developing healthy routines, behaviours and attitudes towards academics and co-curricular activities from a young age.

“Whether you’re in Year 7, Year 10, or Year 12, you all talk to each other and form bonds and friendships. The boarding house pushes you to connect with all members of the community with different interests, different backgrounds and different ages - that is what forces you to create such good memories.” – Angus Angus’ experience is not unique; many boarders, especially those in Years 7 and 8, initially struggle with boarding. Homesickness is a very real and natural reality for many boarders, but it has also become the basis for many lifelong friendships. It is easy to say CGS Boarding is like a second family, but Angus, Tom, Jack and Darcy are a testament to its reality. Representing Boys’ Boarding for 2024 as a Boarding Captain, Tom Scott describes Boys’ Boarding life as a tight-knit brotherhood; underscoring the strong sense of community and nurturing of lifelong friendships as the foundation from which his boarding experience is formed.

“Everyone is mates with each other, and we all have each other’s back.” – Tom Unforgettable memories and unbreakable bonds of friendship permeate each boy’s story, no matter their age, and all four boys will be quick to tell you that their age gaps bear no weight against the connection they share.

“Boarding has helped me grow as a person. Being around older kids has given me the experience for what life will be like for me.” – Darcy

“I think boarding school has made me more independent and helped me form a good routine. These are important skills for me to have because they will be helpful when I leave School.” – Jack Boys Boarding provides a conducive environment for academic growth, offering valuable resources and support from dedicated tutors with diverse skill sets, who Angus notes are “always willing to help.” Beyond the academic realm, co-curricular activities play a pivotal role in shaping well-rounded individuals, with the bonds formed in the Boarding House carrying over into cooperative teamwork environments.

“Being a boarder has helped me to settle into these teams as it means that you already know people across all year groups as soon as you start.” – Darcy “Even if you are not playing, you still feel as though you should go support the school as it is your second home.” – Angus CGS Boys Boarding has cultivated an environment that nurtures each one of our students in their personal lives, academic careers and co-curricular pursuits. A place where routines and shared experiences contribute to personal growth and develop lifelong memories and friendships.

“CGS Boys Boarding has set me up for the future through the values and qualities that have upskilled me ready for the world and have helped me mature from a boy into a man.” – Tom – Ryan Butterworth, Marketing and Communications Coordinator CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 35


BURGESS HOUSE EMPOWERING YOUNG READERS Across Semester 2, Burgess Year 7 tutor group students have been meeting weekly at the locker room area on Tuesdays to walk to the CGS Primary school for our reading service programme. Our Service initiative is focused on helping Year 1 students build their literacy skills by listening to them read, being read to by a senior Year 7 buddy, and modelling reading fluency by reading in small groups. The reading service also helps Year 7 students improve their self-confidence by being looked up to, being responsible, fostering leadership skills, and being compassionate towards their little buddies. Dr Garrick’s most recent Chapel speech referred to finding the words for what needs to be said, which is perhaps how we give meaning to the world. On a similar note, our students have taken pride in their meaningful efforts to help students learn how to decipher words, which was palpable through their reflections on the programme. – Nazia Shirin, Burgess Tutor and Senior School Science Teacher

During Terms 3 and 4, 1 Johnson was lucky enough to receive help from Year 7 students as part of a guided reading programme. For Year 1, having the opportunity to practice our reading with older students has allowed excellent growth. The Year 7 students provide questioning and comprehension prompts to the Year 1 children and can provide targeted and specific help while sounding out words. The Year 7s can also provide feedback on reading with fluency and expression and have been able to model excellent reading to our students. For Year 1, this programme has been of immense help as an opportunity to have all students simultaneously engage in guided reading at one time, and we look forward to this ongoing Service opportunity in the years to come. – Sophie Johnson, Primary School Teacher and Head of Guginyal House

I find that our visits to Year 1 are exciting. It is enjoyable to help our future students understand what working with vulnerable people involves. It helps me learn and develop patience and other skills to help other people. Our visits help them learn, and it is great to see how happy and excited they are to see us when we arrive. It gives me an understanding of them and how their learning is developing. I am excited to learn more about them as the year progresses. – Kai Lam, Year 7


Helping the Year 1 students has been a great experience to have. Some of the ways that I have helped the students, and they have helped me, is that the Year 1’s enabled me to better myself in articulating my words, further explaining activities and working on my leadership qualities. I helped the Year 1 students to have confidence in themselves, not be afraid to ask questions and that it is OK if they don’t know how to pronounce a word straight away. Our tutor group inspired the Year 1 students; it was a unique opportunity. – Olivia Scheer, Year 7

1953 inaugural year House photo

Blaxland House class of 2023

BLAXLAND HOUSE A LEGACY OF PRIDE & COMMUNITY In 1953, Blaxland House was established as one of the first sporting houses at Canberra Grammar School, serving as a boarding house. It was named in honour of Mr Frederick Blaxland, a dedicated board member of Manaro Grammar School in Cooma and a benefactor instrumental in its relocation to Canberra. Since its inception, Blaxland House has played an integral role in the school’s history. In response to the school’s expansion in 1965, a new boarding house was built to accommodate the growing number of boarders. The name Blaxland House remained synonymous with boarders until 2012. However, by 2013, a decline in boarders prompted the amalgamation of Blaxland and Jones Houses, forming Manaro House. This restructuring enabled Manaro House to compete more evenly with other Day Houses and marked a shift from the original focus on inter-house sports and housing boarders. Due to compliance and supervision issues, Blaxland and Jones Houses were closed during the school day, and boarders were allocated to the Day Houses areas. In 2019, responding to the expansion of the Senior School, Blaxland House and Jones House were re-established as Day Houses. The Blaxland House area found its new home in the Quadrangle, occupying the former Boardroom and Masterman room in the original eastern wing of the 1929 building.

Today, Blaxland House thrives with 110 students and 10 staff members. Last year, Blaxland achieved 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions in the 2022 CGS Gift. The House holds the top rank for academic effort and secured 1st place in the 4–20 Voices and Instrumental sections of the 2023 House Music Competition. After five years of dedicated leadership, Mr Alex Sumpter steps down as the Head of Blaxland House, passing the torch to Mr David Messina. The Class of 2024 will mark the first graduating class that has been a part of Blaxland from Year 7 to Year 12. We extend our best wishes to them and Mr Messina as they continue to lead a community of staff and students who relish being part of something greater than themselves.

From its inauguration, Blaxland House exuded a palpable sense of pride. The House has consistently prioritised and valued a strong sense of community, fostering a student body that supports one another, transcends differences, celebrates effort, and revels in individual and collective successes. Blaxland House proudly recognises members who contribute selflessly to the community, exemplified by the David Stegemann Memorial Trophy. In 2023, Suzy Shockley received the award for her dedication to transforming the locker room into an enjoyable and welcoming space every morning. The morning mark-off at Blaxland has become an institution featuring music and interactions between students of all ages. Another accolade, The Da Vinci Award, celebrates holistic education. In 2023, Ronnie Bennett received this honour for his achievements as an academic, athlete, selftaught musician, and world champion Scrabble player. Recognising dedication and versatility has played a pivotal role in fostering a culture of effort and contribution, encouraging students to better themselves and positively impact the experiences of others. CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 37


FAREWELL YEAR 12 2023 The culmination of schooling is a significant moment in the life of a child. Our Year 12 students, as members of the Class of 2023, felt the warmth and gratitude of our whole community at the end of Term 3 during the March Out. However, the entirety of their journey brings together their actual contribution to the School. Across the school year, there are many ‘final’ moments for Year 12, bringing a range of emotions. Some of those moments are welcome farewells, and some less so. Many are informal moments they may not realise are the last opportunity to make the most of that event. House Music in Term 2 was incredible for our entire Senior School. The Year 12s packed out the Snow Concert Hall with their presence, enthusiasm, commitment, and creativity. Although many Year 12 students may not have realised it then, their leadership played a crucial role in showing our younger students how powerful our community can be when we come together. This is essential in building a positive culture of engagement within the School. In Term 3, we saw many more formal moments for our Year 12 students. Their first opportunity to engage with CGS Alumni during lunch and the ongoing importance of the School in their life was very powerful. We hope all students take advantage of the connection and networking this branch of the School will provide. While I only worked with this group for a short period of time, I felt welcomed by them in all that they did. Their commitment to important issues was seen through the Captain’s initiatives, and the high level of engagement from the Year 12s and other year levels shows that these issues and the focus resonated. They were passionate about raising the profile of mental health and wellbeing.


They were committed to service learning in all its forms and gave back to their communities in many ways. The Shave for a Cure in Term 2 was a highlight, raising over $50,000 for cancer research, treatment and support. It showed the power of their focus and determination, and these are traits that they will harness in their post-school life. Taking boys and girls back to our Red Hill ELC and Northside was an absolute highlight. These students only knew CGS, playing, learning, talking, and running around with our youngest students in their smaller environment. It brought joy and demonstrated how important these big students are in the lives of those much smaller ones. Our entire School looked up to the Class of 2023. The key signposts in the life of a Year 12 student were a privilege to be part of in 2023. The dress days brought joy to the School. The final Boarders Dinner, Chapel, and March Out assembly were wonderful moments as we watched the School say farewell and our parents capture the leavers at the front of the School. The enormity of examinations and dedication they required to complete these. Valedictory and hearing the range of everyone’s contribution to their House and School. Each and every one made an impression through to the 2023 Formal at Old Parliament House. There are many other traditions and signposts of their year, but these final ones were joyful moments shared by many.

I want to thank the School Captains, Milind Merson and Sarvani Gaddipati, and the Vice-Captains of the School, Roman Johnson, Jack Morrisey, Victoria Spark and Yutaka Yamada. They led a school community with grace and gratitude. Their willingness to seek ways to improve the School for all was noted and appreciated as they engaged meaningfully with our SRC and the School leadership. They have set a strong foundation for future Captaincy teams and should all be proud of their work.

Congratulations to the Class of 2023. They have truly embraced the School, and I hope they have many fond memories to carry them into the future and they will always be welcome at their School. – Oliver Thompson, Deputy Head (Head of Senior School)

CGS YEAR 12 ACHIEVERS IN IBDP & HSC The Year 12 Class of 2023 has attained commendable success in their final assessments, evident through outstanding results in both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and the Higher School Certificate (HSC). In the IBDP, where over a third of the cohort participated, CGS emerged as one of the larger cohorts in Australia, showcasing a broad range of abilities. The students collectively achieved a median point score of 34, equivalent to a median ATAR of 90.15. Additionally, eight students achieved IBDP point scores of 40 or more. The School’s diverse subject offerings in the IBDP, including notable performances in Language B, Business Management, History, Sports Exercise Health Science, and Mathematics, contributed to the overall success. In the HSC, in addition to state placements, students in Chinese and Software Design and Development performed exceptionally well with eleven students in Software Design and Development attaining marks of 90% or above. Across both pathways, 97% of students attained an ATAR, exceeding both the ACT and national averages. Remarkably, around 80% of Year 12 students received early or direct university offers, reflecting the school’s commitment to providing diverse pathways to tertiary education. Acknowledging the broader achievements beyond academics, the students showcased leadership in co-curricular activities, sports, art, design, and charitable initiatives.

SPOTLIGHT ON HIGH ACHIEVERS: IBDP Thomas Lin – Dux of the IBDP Cohort Achieved the highest possible point score 45 (equating to ATAR 99.95) Ajay Kumar Achieved point score 44 Nancy Xu Achieved point score 43

HSC Aaditya Rai – Dux of the HSC cohort Achieved ATAR 98.05 and secured 97% in Chinese. Oscar Hu Secured 5th place in the State in Chinese Continuers Thomas Fahey Secured 5th place in the State in Software Design and Development Henry Gotzinger and Sophie Hewlett Achieved 98% in Software Design and Development Ethan McBain Achieved 97% in Software Design and Development





CGS Presentation Night 2023 at the National Convention Centre was a captivating celebration of achievements and talents that enchanted the entire CGS community. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement as students, parents, and staff gathered for an unforgettable evening. This collaborative grand event started with inspiration, recognition, and artistic brilliance. The programme featured diverse performances, such as the mesmerizing acts of the Senior School Dance and Year 6 Exhibition Puppeteers, presenting ‘Run away to the Circus!’ and ‘A Day in the Life of a CGS Dancer.’ The Massed Bands orchestrated a majestic processional with ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark,’ setting a tone of grandeur. The Head of School’s address spotlighted the school’s achievements and aspirations, followed by the Senior School dance team’s captivating performance of ‘We are our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams.’ Awards and prizes honoured outstanding contributions from Primary and Senior School students. The Advanced Senior Guitar Ensemble showcased the musical prowess of CGS students with their rendition of ‘Classical Gas.’ School Captains William Newnham and Evelyn van Wijk delivered impactful speeches on their initiatives, followed by a video from the Vice Captains.

Year 6 Exhibition stole the spotlight with a powerful rendition of ‘You’re the Voice,’ captivating hearts with their talent and unity. The Chair of the Board addressed the audience, culminating in the presentation of the coveted Ian Powell Award. The Massed Orchestra & Choir filled the hall with heavenly notes of ‘Sanctus,’ adding a touch of grace to the evening. Reverend James Coates bestowed a blessing, and the audience joined the festive spirit with the carol ‘Joy to the World.’ As the night concluded, the Massed Orchestra played ‘Joy to the World,’ leaving everyone with a profound sense of unity and celebration. CGS Presentation Night 2023 stands as a remarkable testament to the excellence and talent within our school community.



DREAM CRICKET GALA DAY Dream Cricket is a special needs programme enabling the community to create opportunities to grow and develop self-esteem and inspire confidence in children. Canberra Grammar School proudly supported Dream Cricket and Rotary South Woden, hosting a fun cricketing day on our Main Oval for Malkara and Cranleigh students with disabilities. The Governor-General of Australia was in attendance to mark the occasion and participate, and CGS students under supervision from our staff helped to run skills sessions on the day. It was an exemplary display of compassion from our students and exceedingly rewarding for all involved.


BOOK WEEK This year’s Book Week was a huge event for our whole School! Costume parades were held at our Primary Northside and Red Hill campuses, where students proudly displayed costumes relating to their favourite literary characters. Senior students engaged in weeklong Tutor Group Challenges, a costume competition in the Quad and lunchtime trivia in the Senior Library.


Year 12 students who started their school life at CGS in the ELC were invited to return to where it all began and spend time with current ELC students. The Year 12 leadership of the School is something our youngest students should not miss out on, so the Year 12s worked with them in class, read with them, assisted in the classroom, and spent some joyous moments returning to the start.

PRIMARY & SENIOR SCHOOL ATHLETICS CARNIVAL House spirit was electrifying for our Primary and Senior School Athletics Carnivals. In Primary, students worked together, beat records and overcame odds in a fun-filled day that saw to the awarding of the Primary House Shield to Buru House! Senior School witnessed superb individual and team accomplishments. Over a dozen students broke records, reflecting the quality of competition on a warm, sunny day. The day was a successful event for many Houses, but only one could come out on top, and this year Garnsey secured the top spot.

REMEMBRANCE DAY We held a special ceremony in the Quad for Remembrance Day. Our School Captains paid respect to Canberra Grammar School Alumni who died in service to our country, and whose names are recognised in our War Memorial Hall. Guest speaker Air Marshal Rob Chipman, Chief of Air Force, joined us to speak about Remembrance Day’s historical and current-day significance, stressing the importance of resolving conflict and striving for a world with no war

SCIENCE WEEK National Science Week in Australia celebrates science and technology with a focus on innovation. This year, Science Week at CGS spanned four weeks under the banner of STEM Month, offering Innovation Stations for Pre-School to Year 6 students. These stations aimed to foster critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills through hands-on experiences with various technologies like Spheros, Dash Robots, Ozobots, Sphero Indi, OSMO’s, Lego Spike Prime, and Tinkercad. Additionally, our Senior School Code Cadets showcased Micro:bits and Raspberry Pi initiatives. The students enjoyed the activities so much that they lined up during breaks for extra play time!



IAN POWELL MEMORIAL AWARD The Ian Powell Memorial Award, in memory of the School’s former Deputy Head, is an annual recognition for exceptional contributions. Two awards were presented this year due to a record number of nominations.

SARAH PAYNE With a remarkable 22 years at CGS, including 15 as the Head of Languages, Sarah is the embodiment of teaching at CGS. Her passion for the classroom has ignited a love for languages and a fascination with culture and travel among countless students. Under her guidance, CGS has achieved one of the highest continuation and success rates for language study in Australia. Sarah’s impact extends beyond academics; she has organised numerous overseas tours and cultural events, deeply connecting with families in Eddison and Blaxland Houses. Her creativity shines through in staff entries to the House Music Festival, and she has provided unwavering support to colleagues in need. Despite facing personal tragedy, Sarah’s resilience has earned the admiration of all. Stepping down as the Head of Languages, Sarah aims to dedicate herself more fully to her students and create new educational opportunities for them overseas.

MATT BUGDEN Since joining CGS in 1997, Matt Bugden has played a pivotal role at our School, serving as the dedicated Head of Garnsey House since 2008. In this capacity, he demonstrates exceptional commitment, fostering a profound sense of pride and belonging among students and staff. Matt leads by example, and his genuine care for student wellbeing permeates the House’s culture, offering unwavering support to students and their families during times of need. Beyond his administrative responsibilities, Matt has contributed significantly as the longstanding coach of the 1st XI Cricket team. His tireless dedication is evident in the countless hours spent on the sport, often behind the scenes, sacrificing weekends and holidays for the team’s benefit. Matt truly embodies a commitment to holistic education, making a lasting impact on our school community.

STEPHEN BYRON AWARD LIAM HANNAN A new award, inaugurated in recognition of Stephen Byron’s extraordinary service as the former Chair of the School Board and his exceptional commitment to others, is dedicated to staff whose outstanding dedication, excellence, or extraordinary commitment to care and wellbeing surpasses the norm, serving as an inspiration to all. This year, the recipient of the Extraordinary Care and Service Award is Liam Hannan. Despite being relatively new in his career, Liam’s exceptional dedication earned admiration from his early days as a Childcare Educator with CGS Care and, more recently, as a Learning Assistant in the Primary School. His consistent commitment to academic and personal development has left a lasting impact on our entire community. Liam’s work with the very young and students with profound needs showcases his humour, gentleness, and unwavering commitment to unlocking each child’s potential, creating a nurturing environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Liam gives selflessly, participating in school camps and activities at all hours and providing mentorship and support to his peers. His outstanding service is characterised by passion, dedication, and a positive influence on the lives he serves. 44 | CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023

TRIPPAS WHITE GROUP (TWG) TWG Hospitality Services at CGS win excellence award for the Best Site/Industrial Caterer

AIS TEACHING & LEARNING CELEBRATION In Term 4, CGS hosted an AISACT Celebrating Teaching and Learning event, providing a platform to explore and engage in discussions about the diverse array of teaching and learning initiatives in AISACT Member Schools throughout 2023. The event featured several workshops hosted by CGS, creating a space for AISACT Member Schools to unite as a collective, acknowledging achievements, addressing challenges, and sharing valuable lessons learned.

LEADERSHIP & EXCELLENCE Dr Justin Garrick received the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) Award for ‘Leadership and Excellence in ACT Independent Education’. His nomination acknowledged his role as a leader at CGS and in his capacity as the AIS ACT Chair. In these roles, he actively supports the 18-member schools. He demonstrates leadership qualities characterised by compassion, humility, integrity, and dedicated service to all staff, peers, and members within the Independent School sector.

ANNIE DICKESON REFEREE COACH OF THE YEAR This year, at the annual presentations of the Australian Capital Territory Rugby Referees Association, Annie Dickeson was awarded: • The David Fry Award for Referee Coach of the Year, this award is presented to the coach who has been voted to be the best by all the members of the association. • The Sarah Corrigan Trophy, this is for the referee appointed to referee the Women’s 10s Grand Final. • Medals for refereeing the U16 girls grand final and being an assistant referee for the Premier Women’s grand final. Annie was also selected to Referee Coach at the Australian Rugby Shield in Brisbane during the school holidays (Opens Men’s and Women’s), and proudly wore the Green and Gold as it was a national appointment.

EMMA POTTER AWARDED THE STAFF SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP AWARD The 2023 Climate Choices Schools Awards was given by the ACT Government’s Sustainable Schools programme.


























THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL AT CGS Education thrives on aspiration—an upward gaze, an intrinsic yearning for knowledge and growth. At our School, we instill this spirit in our students and embody it ourselves. With a community of nearly 2200 students and over 500 dedicated professionals, we witness the joy of learning, reinforcing our commitment to nurturing curious, creative, confident, and compassionate citizens of the world. This commitment extends to all community members, evident in the pages of this journal—a culmination of reflection, research, courage, and passion, representing our shared aspiration.

Scan the QR code to read the latest edition. 46 | CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023

STAFF FAREWELLS SUE DONOHUE Sue Donoghoe, Head of Outdoor Education at Canberra Grammar School since 2005, has provided an extraordinary range of outdoor experiences to thousands of students, staff, and parents. Her impact extends beyond the classroom, influencing lives through knowledge sharing, skill-building, and fostering enjoyment in various activities. Sue’s dedication to challenging and building students’ confidence in nature-inspired settings is unparalleled. Her work reflects not only expertise in making camps safe and successful but also a profound care for individuals’ needs, drawing out confidence, and creating lifechanging experiences. Sue’s remarkable efforts have taken many forms, from Primary School overnighters to Year 10 expeditions, service ventures in Nepal, and kayaking tours of the Whitsundays. Her skills, curiosity, and willingness to explore various terrains and activities are breathtaking, as is her tenacity, especially in the face of challenges like the COVID pandemic. Beyond her outdoor pursuits, Sue is a passionate advocate for Rowing, earning life membership in ACT Rowing. She received the Ian Powell Award in 2017, the School’s highest honor to staff, and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2004 for her services to Rowing and physical/outdoor education. As Sue approaches retirement, her legacy at Canberra Grammar School is undeniable, and her impact will be felt for years to come.

ANNA FRANCIS Anna, a cherished member of the CGS community for 24 years as both a teacher and parent, has profoundly impacted us. Expressing gratitude for her contributions is challenging. Anna started her time here by releasing executive staff for leadership duties, demonstrating commitment and passion as she shifted roles from Kindergarten to Year 3 and Northside. Juggling new motherhood and teaching, she maintained several roles within the Primary School. Anna’s 2012 teacher exchange to Halifax, Nova Scotia, enriched her perspective and connections with families and colleagues. She was nominated twice for a National Excellence in Teaching Award (2011 & 2015) and later discovered her passion for Early Childhood in the ELC. Anna’s gentle, caring approach, intuitive connection with staff, children, and parents, and her creative teaching methods have left an indelible mark. As we bid farewell, we celebrate Anna’s influence as a teacher and colleague, acknowledging the joy she brought to the community and wishing her every happiness.

JANE JIAN Jane Jian concludes her remarkable 22-year tenure at Canberra Grammar School. Arriving in October 2001 as a part-time Chinese and ESL teacher, she gradually evolved into a pivotal role as a Teacher Librarian in the Resource Centre. Holding a Graduate Diploma in Information Studies, B Ed, and BA, her diverse educational background enriched her teaching. Jane taught Chinese to Year 12, Year 11, and Year 8 students, also serving as a tutor in Burgmann House for Year 8 boys. In 2009, she initiated study tours to China for students and staff, fostering valuable relationships with partner schools. However, the pandemic disrupted these programmes and closed borders. Jane’s impact extended to her role as the International student relations tutor, where she provided essential support to Chinese boarders through her ESL role, earning admiration from students for her warmth and smile. Jane played a crucial role in the School’s international marketing efforts in China, particularly Hong Kong, helping families navigate language barriers and cultural assimilations. We express deep gratitude for Jane’s dedicated service to her students and wish her a fulfilling retirement. CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 47

REMEMBERING PAST STAFF On reflection of former staff who had contributed significantly during their time at CGS, and following their passing, I felt it important to recognise and acknowledge their service to the School, sharing with the community a stage of their life whilst knowing the influence and impact they had upon the lives of many students. - Sandy Goddard, Director of Community Development

ALAN JAMES ‘GEORGE’ SIMPKIN George Simpkin dedicated eighteen years to Canberra Grammar School, leaving an indelible mark on our history. An avid reader with a particular passion for Science Fiction, George’s commitment to the outdoors, love for climbing, and unwavering devotion to running seamlessly intertwined with his role at CGS. His multifaceted talents found a perfect outlet in overseeing Third Form Camp for ten years, where George transcended the traditional instructor role by embodying active participation. Departing CGS in 1987, George continued a vibrant life managing his property, tending to his pigs, engaging in cross-country running, and savouring extra moments immersed in reading. A man accustomed to pushing boundaries, he set an exemplary standard of physical courage that many aspired to emulate. George stood resolute in his convictions, exhibiting moral courage in the face of opposition. His legacy is one of integrity — a commitment to truth, a reverence for language that conveys that truth, and a steadfast practice of living by his principles, both physically and morally. George’s contributions to our School will always hold a special place in our hearts. “I believe in the pulling out of toenails method, but they don’t allow it in these enlightened days.” – Alan James ‘George’ Simpkin 48 | CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023

BARRIE SPENCER Born on 18 November 1930, Barrie Spencer arrived in Canberra in 1966 after teaching in Yorkshire and central London. His handwritten resume, pictured above, for Canberra Grammar School, submitted in August 1965, reflects a storied life in education. Upon arrival, Barrie became Head of the Craft Department, contributing to the planning and opening of the Craft Centre in 1971. With expertise in Woodwork, honed through training at Leeds College, he crafted innovative courses and introduced Engineering Science. Barrie seamlessly transitioned into coaching Rugby, drawing on his rugby days in the Yorkshire Schoolboys’ team. After a term, he took up the role of Housemaster of Eddison House, a position he held gracefully until 1990. Barrie maintained connections with the Alumni community, serving as the Staff Association president for four years and holding a two-year tenure as the staff representative on the School Board. His involvement in various committees showcased the breadth of his influence. Barrie’s contributions and affable nature left a lasting impact on Canberra Grammar School. His legacy, felt to this day, is an integral part of our school’s history. CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 49

CGS ALUMNI NEWS IN CONVERSATION WITH OUR ALUMNI Alice Feakes (CGS 2019) is definitely a young Alumna to watch. Since her graduation from CGS in 2019, Alice has gone on to forge a career for herself in the Australian Defence Force. Studying as a Trainee Officer, her goal is to become an Army Signals Officer, a role that provides communications, information systems, cyberspace operations and electronic warfare support on Australian Defence operations. We find out more about what led Alice down this particular career path.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER AS A TRAINEE OFFICER IN THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE? I don’t have any family in the military, so I didn’t know much about the military at first. However, when I looked into it more, I realised that it had more to offer. At the time, I was mid-way through my first year at ANU and was feeling a bit lost and without motivation or purpose. I realised that the Army would provide me with a large community that has similar values and goals, and it could be a fulfilling and exciting career!


HOW DID YOUR EDUCATION AT CGS PREPARE YOU FOR THE ROLE OF BEING A TRAINEE OFFICER? I did the IB programme while at CGS, and this is something I am very thankful for. I came into university more prepared than I thought I would be. The rigour of the IB programme taught me to be effective, which I have used not only in my university degree but also in general military studies. I now know how to prioritise my time and make the most of short time constraints.



Being a part of something bigger than myself has been the most rewarding part of my time in the ADF so far. It has provided me with a great sense of purpose and fulfilment in contributing to Australia’s defence. I have found myself being pushed outside of my comfort zone regularly, which has been very beneficial for my growth and confidence. I never thought I would be as comfortable as I am living in the bush for a couple of weeks at a time!

Being a boarder helped me to become more independent of my family, so when the time came to move into ADFA, I was nowhere near as homesick as other trainees. CGS also gave me a great worldly education, particularly through my IB curriculum. This is an essential skill of an officer in the military. Additionally, the interpersonal and leadership skills that I developed while at CGS are easily the most valuable takeaway from my education. I am constantly told at ADFA that being an officer is a personnel-focused job, as you are a leader first.

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED? Adjusting to military life was challenging at first. ADFA’s basic training makes you do a rapid change from a civilian straight out of school to a member of your respective service. We were without our phones for five weeks, so I struggled with internal motivation and lack of connection to friends and family sometimes. Since then, I’ve been able to find that internal motivation but there are always low moments when its hard or you’re made to do something undesirable. I don’t think this will ever stop. A good laugh with a friend or looking forward to the future has always been able to pull me out of those times.

CAN YOU SHARE ANY MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES OR ACHIEVEMENTS FROM YOUR TIME AS A TRAINEE OFFICER THAT YOU’RE PARTICULARLY PROUD OF? The Army has allowed me to do things I never would have pictured myself doing. For example, last year, I spent a week learning how to use all the Army’s high-explosive weapons; in my first year, I underwent food and sleep deprivation training, in January, we were gassed with tear gas in order to learn how to survive in the event of a chemical weapon attack. Although there experiences were challenging, I had so much fun. Outside of my military training, I have been able to continue playing rugby at the Academy and was selected to play alongside women from all parts of the Army in the Army Women’s rugby team. Within my university studies, I continue my Indonesian language studies that I started at CGS. I will be graduating with an Arts degree majoring in Indonesian Studies and International and Political Studies and I am very happy with how far my language skills have come.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY OR WEEK IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE AS A TRAINEE OFFICER? The main focus of life as a trainee officer is completing university studies. However, military training is still conducted daily. Each morning starts with two hours of military training which varies from briefs on current affairs, updates on defence policy/strategy, physical training, or revision on military skills. After this, all trainees attend their lectures like at any university. Throughout the day, we are expected to complete admin for leadership roles you hold. For myself, I spend a lot of time organising events and conducting admin for the Academy Rugby Club as I am the club president.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO STUDENTS WHO ARE CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE? I would say 100% go for it! I have no regrets. I would encourage all CGS students who are considering a career in the military to take advantage of all the cocurricular opportunities that CGS offers. The military is more and more looking for diverse candidates who have had experiences outside of their school studies. Boost your resume! Get involved in things you normally wouldn’t because it will all be beneficial at one point. I would also encourage students to take advantage of the CGS community as there is a great wealth of knowledge within the parents and alumni when it comes to careers in the military.


50 YEARS OUT A GENERATIONAL PERSPECTIVE We sat down to lunch with a special member of Vintage Club - Ian Hunt (CGS 1973). Ian wasn’t only attending Vintage Club Reunion for the first time, being his inaugural year, but he was also attending with his family: his daughter, Adele, who is the mother of current students Sami (Year 9), Alice (Year 7) and Hamish (Year 3). As part of the Vintage Club celebration, the children were invited to enjoy lunch with their Grandad. Ian followed in the footsteps of his father, John Hunt (CGS 1944), who was also an Alumnus of the School. We talked to Ian about how it feels to be back visiting CGS as part of Vintage Club and delved a little into the long-standing tradition of generations of his family attending CGS.

It is your inaugural year as part of the CGS Vintage Club; Congratulations! What has been your Vintage Club experience so far?



It’s been fantastic! I think all members who have had the chance to attend should encourage more peers to come and be part of this experience because it really is quite special. It’s wonderful how once you meet your old mates again, it’s like you are transported back in time, and you think about the sports you played together and the experiences you have shared.

Tell us about some fond memories you have from your time here at CGS.

When you think about the challenges you faced back in your time, what comes to mind?


Playing football at CGS is a significant memory, as well as making good mates as a result.


How has education changed from when you went to school?


Technology, of course, and the role it plays in education today. How information is dispensed and shared, and how students interact with it using their devices to work and even collaborate with their peers and mates. It’s incredible.


We did have to work a lot harder. I think teachers back in the day weren’t as accessible. Now, I believe students have information at their fingertips; teachers operate in person and online and can assist and share more information with students, so times have changed for the better in that regard.

What inspired your family to uphold the longstanding tradition of four generations attending CGS?

I remember the great teachers and developing lasting friendships during my time here.




The opportunity to have all our children together in one School was definitely a driving factor, along with the wonderful environment the school provides, from the facilities to the teaching staff and the strong sense of community. We were so happy to hear about the School going co-ed, which is when we enrolled Sami, followed by Alice and now Hamish as well. Dad’s positive experience here was, of course, also a very important factor, and it’s nice to know that the tradition still holds strong.


What has been your experience so far at the School in terms of the educational & co-curricular opportunities?


I love the sports, and the teachers here are really nice.


I love trying new things in Year 7 as we get to experience all our new subjects to see what we like. I have also enjoyed the Year 7 camps so much this year, so I will also participate in the Year 7 House Camps, which I’m excited about.


I really appreciate the academic opportunities we have access to over and above what we do in the classroom. I have been able to participate in the Galambany award workshops and made it to the top five! I’m also taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh awards. I have participated in camps, and I am always keen to take on any volunteering opportunities I can. There is so much to keep you engaged.

What has your Grandad told you about his time here at CGS? Any interesting stories? CGS


He often tells us all about how much he enjoyed his school years here, his time with his mates and many sports stories.


Yes, he always has stories about playing cricket.


He’s told me stories about boys climbing up roofs! It’s funny to hear about it now because I find it really hard to imagine.


The kids love hearing stories about all the shenanigans their Grandad got up to.

Do you think if you had the opportunity, you, too, would continue the tradition with your family?




If I had kids in the future, I think I’d like them to go here too. I think it is amazing the rich history that CGS holds, looking at old pictures and the historic buildings and knowing that the history goes back almost 100 years is cool.



Yet another rewarding and wonderful Alumni Reunion. On our visit to Seoul, we caught up with our CGS Alumni community in Korea, and albeit one of our smaller gatherings, it was one brimming with opportunity. Our Alumni community were so welcoming and appreciated the chance to re-engage and find out about the latest developments at CGS. We are also pleased to note that we will be visiting Korea again next year!




We welcomed our Alumni from across the years 1973 to 2020 in Brisbane in August. It was wonderful to share the evening with our Head of School, Justin Garrick, who attended the event for an opportunity to personally meet our Alumni and share news on the School’s progress & development plans for the years ahead.


Reflecting on the resounding success of this year’s CGS Alumni events, we are excited to share the highlights of our local and international reunions. Reflecting on the resounding success of our many CGS Alumni events, we are excited to share highlights of the local and international reunions we held during the seconds semester of the year. From heartwarming gatherings here in Canberra to networking across borders, these events saw our Alumni community rediscovering old friendships, forging new connections and growing their professional associations. As we look back on these successful reunions, we eagerly anticipate the continued growth of our global CGS Alumni family. Here’s to the memories made, the stories shared, and the bonds strengthened.



The Adelaide Alumni Reunion was held at The Gallery Rooftop following our attendance at The Australian International Education Conference. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet our Alumni, along with former staff members. We spoke of the progress the School has made and shared plenty of stories from the good old days. A big thank you to all who attended, we look forward to more of such initiatives in Adelaide in the near future.



We welcomed our Class of 2022 graduates to their first official Alumni reunion. The one-year-outs spent the evening at Badger & Co, ANU, reuniting after a year, sharing cherished memories, and catching up on their adventures of the past 12 months since leaving CGS. The reunion was a resounding success, brimming with camaraderie, nostalgia, and the unmistakable spirit that makes our CGS community so special. 54 | CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023

VINTAGE CLUB REUNION 2023 The Vintage Club reunion pays tribute to our CGS Alumni who graduated over 50 years ago. This year, we celebrated the Class of 1973, who received their pins and were welcomed into the CGS Vintage Club for the first time. The day commenced with a chapel service and morning tea in the Snow Concert Hall atrium. Here, our members enjoyed refreshments and a chance to glance through a display of memories from the years gone by, including early editions of the Canberran and CGS Outlooks, as well as a selection of photos from their year groups. The day continued with a Senior School Assembly in the Snow Concert Hall, featuring an upbeat performance by the Fischer Concert Band. In his address to the students (Year 7-11) and guests present, Mr. Sandy Goddard emphasised the significant impact that Vintage Club members had on the school throughout the decades. On stage, 50 Alumni, ranging from peer years 1952 to 1973, symbolised the evolving times and provided a compelling perspective for our present students, who would become eligible to join the Vintage Club themselves in 50 years, specifically in 2074. The reunion finally progressed to a sit-down lunch at the dining hall, where Vintage Club members were able to share a meal with a few CGS students and captains. As a special treat, grandchildren of attending Vintage Club members were also invited to join the gathering.


CGS BOARD & FOUNDATION BOARD REUNION & FAREWELL TO STEPHEN BYRON AS CHAIR On 2 November it was a privilege to welcome back members of the CGS Board and the CGS Foundation Board from 2011 to 2023 to reconnect and reflect on the contributions of outgoing Chair, Mr Stephen Byron who joined the School Board in 2013 and became Chair in 2014. As a former student of the School and a CGS parent, Stephen’s commitment to the CGS community has been, and continues to be, long and profound. Stephen has overseen a period of tremendous transformation in the School. Amongst many significant undertakings, the Board under Stephen’s leadership affirmed the recreation of the CGS Foundation, it strengthened the School’s international outlook prior to the pandemic, it oversaw the execution of the School’s previous strategic plan, and it guided the introduction of CGS 100 Strategic plan, that leads into the School’s centenary in 2029. During Stephen’s time, the Board facilitated the massive undertakings of the Campus Development Plan, the latest element of which is the recently completed Primary School building.


With an impeccable respect for the difference between governance and management, Stephen also led the Board with care and wisdom, ensuring Board confidence and unanimity for major and historic decisions, including in relation to the curriculum and, of course, the School’s transition to full co-education, which itself catalysed a period of significant growth for the School. In addition, despite leading his own very large enterprise through the enormous impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, his dedication to the School and its community was steadfast throughout this period of significant upheaval. Stephen has always shown a deep regard for the School’s leadership team, the staff, as well as for the broader community. He has always championed staff and strongly endorsed every opportunity to invest in their opportunities and conditions. Many will have perceived the strength of his emotion, whenever he thanked School staff for their care of students at every Presentation Night and Year 12 Valedictory event. Stephen was ultimately one of the School’s longest serving Chairs, and he leaves an extraordinary legacy.

WELCOMING MS SIMONETTA ASTOLFI INCOMING CHAIR OF THE SCHOOL BOARD It is a pleasure to announce that Ms Simonetta Astolfi, formerly Deputy Chair of the Board, has been formally appointed by our Diocesan Bishop-in-Council as the new Chair of Canberra Grammar School. The founding partner of the Canberra office of Maddocks Lawyers, Simonetta is currently the firm’s Commonwealth Government Sector Leader and a member of the Maddocks Board. Her primary area of legal practice is as a probity, procurement, corporate and governance advisor. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Amongst other accolades, Simonetta was recognised by Australasian Lawyers as an Elite Woman 2022; she was awarded Government Partner of the Year in the 2019 Australian Law Awards; and she was voted as Best Lawyers 2022 Lawyer of the Year for Government in the ACT. She is also a longstanding and passionate supporter of Karinya House and the Indigenous Marathon Foundation. Long overdue as the first woman to lead the Board in the history of the School, it is fitting that Simonetta applied for her daughter to join her son at the CGS within minutes of receiving the School’s announcement that it would become fully co-educational. Both of her children are now proud CGS Alumni. Having joined the Board in 2019, it is Simonetta’s aim to lead the Board through a post-pandemic transitionary period as the School and the Board regain momentum under the CGS 100 strategic plan. CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 57


Our Year 12 Alumni Lunch is an annual event that unites graduates and Alumni to explore the opportunities and challenges facing our Year 12 students as they graduate to the next phase of their learning journey. It is one we hope most of our Alumni recall attending prior to their graduation and one that potentially sparked some thought-provoking conversations relating to life after school. Moderated by Sandy Goddard, our panel this year featured four thriving CGS Alumni in varying stages of their professional careers. A huge thank you to our speakers for sharing their unique perspectives, personal journeys and practical advice for the transition from Year 12 to the early stages of a career. If you want to reach out to any of our panellists for more information or mentorship opportunities, please connect with them via



Property & Administration Manager

Real Estate Agent & Auctioneer

(CGS 2010)



Exercise Physiologist, working predominantly with sports injuries

Youth Advocate, NAPCAN Youth Speak Out Council Member

DID YOU KNOW ? This year, we proudly interviewed four incredibly inspiring individuals, who happen to be our very own CGS Alumni, as part of our ongoing Aluminate series on CGS Engage. Aluminate is your exclusive pass to the experiences, triumphs, and challenges that have shaped the remarkable careers of our Alumni. In each webisode, we sit down with these experts across varied industries, exploring their unique paths to success, the highs, the lows, and the invaluable lessons learned along the way. Tune in and elevate your journey with the collective wisdom of our extraordinary Alumni network. If you would like to be a part of our next season or know Alumni who you would like to hear from, please reach out to






Scan the QR code to watch the whole series, or visit





















CALL OUT Calling all Alumni who may be interested in helping coordinate peer groups for our 2024 events. If you would like to volunteer to communicate with Alumni and encourage attendance for events in your area, please get in touch, email:


STAY CONNECTED WITH ALUMNI If you’re not connected already, you could be missing out on eNews, reunion information and networking opportunities! If you or someone you know has lost contact with the School, reconnect by email or social media.


















CGS FOUNDATION NEWS As we pause to reflect on the past year, our hearts brim with gratitude and admiration for the vibrant tapestry of the CGS community. Throughout 2023, the unwavering support from the CGS community has been the driving force behind the success of the CGS Foundation, The Centenary Project – Towards 2029, and, most importantly, the enrichment of our students’ lives through initiatives like the Indigenous Scholarship Programme, Merit and Talent Scholarships, and hardship bursaries. A milestone moment for the CGS Foundation was the Inaugural CGS Giving Day in June—an inspiring coming together of the CGS Community alongside the CGS Foundation. This collaborative effort aimed to create a profound impact on the lives of our students. The second Celebration of Giving was also a highlight. An annual event where we express our deepest gratitude to the dedicated members of our donor community. It is an honour to recognise those who consistently step forward to shape the future of our students. Furthermore, the event serves as a unique opportunity for our donors to witness the direct impact of their contributions through the powerful stories shared by some of our students.

As we eagerly look towards 2024, we extend an open invitation to the entire community to delve deeper into the core of the CGS Foundation, The Centenary Project – Towards 2029, and the causes they champion. Knowledge, as they say, is power, and within each of you lies the transformative potential to make a lasting difference in the lives of future students. For a comprehensive exploration of our collective impact in 2023, we are thrilled to present the CGS Impact Report – Designing the Future. Enclosed within its pages are narratives of hope, resilience, and the fulfilment that comes from being a part of something greater than oneself. Above all, it is a heartfelt expression of gratitude to each supporter of the CGS Foundation. We wholeheartedly encourage you to immerse yourself in its pages—it is a testament to the incredible journey we have shared and the brighter paths that lie ahead.

IMPACT REPORT 2023 We proudly share with you our inaugural Impact Report, a testament to the transformative power of your support. This report captures the stories of change, impact, and hope that have unfolded within the Canberra Grammar School community, thanks to the steadfast dedication of our Foundation members. 60 | CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023

Scan the QR code to view the full Impact Report

NAME A SEAT LEAVE A LEGACY Immerse yourself in the magic of world-class performances and personalise a seat in the heart of Snow Concert Hall, Canberra Grammar School. Whether you’re a dedicated music lover, a passionate supporter of the arts, or seeking a unique gift for a special someone, the Name-a-Seat programme is your chance to make your mark in the world of music. With each named seat, you not only gift a tangible symbol of your appreciation for the arts but also contribute to the Canberra Grammar School’s Scholarship Programme and the continued vibrancy of the School’s facilities. To find out how you can secure personalised plaques and create a cherished memory in this iconic venue, please contact or scan the QR code for details.

THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS Membership to the CGS Foundation provides an opportunity for our supporters to formalise their relationship with the School and engage with our students, staff and Alumni. They join a distinguished and like-minded network of supporters who share our vision and aspiration that our students will become curious, creative, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.

To view a list of our current Foundation members and 2023 donors, please scan the QR code. CGS OUTLOOK – SEMESTER 2 2023 | 61

HITTING THE HIGH NOTES: JLCO & WYNTON MARSALIS SHARE THEIR MUSICAL GENIUS Canberra Grammar School had the incredible privilege to host jazz legends the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at the Snow Concert Hall for a 6-day residency as they launched their Australian tour. JLCO & Wynton Marsalis performed for two sell-out shows as part of the Snow Concert Hall - International Series and then to sell-out crowds in Melbourne’s Hamer Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Amongst the most recorded and celebrated practitioners of their genre, they have performed with the world’s greatest orchestras, and in the finest venues anywhere. Wynton Marsalis alone has performed in over 850 cities. He has recorded 110 albums, and is the composer of over 600 songs, 11 ballets, 4 symphonies and more. A passionate spokesman for music education and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music and nine Grammy Awards, he is the only person ever to have won two Grammy’s in a single year for jazz and for classical. He is indisputably amongst the all-time greats of jazz, and one of the greatest musicians of any kind in our time. Similar can be said of each member of the JLCO. Each of them internationally acclaimed superstars with a plethora of accolades to their name. Sharing the venue with these superstars certainly came with its perks. The band graciously accepted a request to surprise our Senior School students and faculty with a sneak peek into their rehearsal as part of the Senior School assembly in the hall. Students were able to observe legends at work and were privileged to be part of a truly epic and memorable assembly. An additional open rehearsal was hosted at the hall inviting students of music and visiting schools from within the region. With music education being a key focus, JLCO also offered to share their knowledge through Jazz workshops and tutorials. The CGS Jazz band along with music students from guest schools were invited to participate in a Jazz band tutorial session. Performing bands were given expert advice and feedback on their performances. A phenomenal opportunity with jaw dropping results!


“This incredible opportunity which we were presented was something which I had never expected to receive; truly a once in a lifetime opportunity being able to not only listen to world class musicians like JLCO perform, but to also rehearse as well as being able to learn from and interact with them throughout the week. The wisdom shared was invaluable and honestly transformative with our ensemble in such a short period of time. The week was inspirational for not only myself, and members of the school but also the wider community and is something that I will be grateful for, and remember for the rest of my life.” – Edie Hawke (Year 11) “Watching the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra was exceptional. They were talented, inspiring and generous. I was thrilled to learn from two members of the orchestra in their workshop with CGS Big Band, uplifting the whole band and our ability to play great music together.” – James Biddington (Year 11)

The Snow Concert Hall’s International Series kicked off its pilot season, delivering a whirlwind of world-class classical performances that left audiences enamoured. From virtuosic soloists to powerful orchestral ensembles, the inaugural season showcased the School’s commitment to excellence in the realm of classical music. The International Series lived up to its name by hosting a lineup of renowned musicians from around the globe. Soloists, hailed as masters of their craft, graced the stage, captivating audiences with their technical brilliance and emotive performances. The series truly became a melting pot of talent, with each artist bringing a unique flavour to the classical music landscape. We kicked off the year with a phenomenal season premier performance featuring the series’ Artistic Director, Ana de la Vega on flute, accompanied by the exemplary Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, giving patrons a taste of the calibre of artists to come. The season went on to host piano maestro Piers Lane, who was not only a crowd favourite but also earned a well-deserved standing ovation.

The series ramped up with jazz powerhouse, JLCO and Wynton Marsalis, selling out not one but two nights in a row with performances that had patrons buzzing for weeks after the show. We then had the pleasure of hosting a magical collaboration between Daniel Rohn on the violin and Simon Tedeschi on the piano. The chemistry on stage was electric and our audience thoroughly enjoyed the journey they were taken on through the musical 20’s. The season drew to a close in November with a very special ensemble, The Young Soloists. These young award-winning young virtuosos between the ages of 14 and 23 were truly international, with soloists representing over 20 nations. Inspirational, confident and truly trailblazers in their craft, our patrons, young and old, were in awe of the sheer amount of skill and talent on one stage. A true testament that hard work and dedication can propel you to great heights.


CLASSICAL MASTERCLASSES, WORKSHOPS & MORE Each one of our visiting artists extended their expertise by offering either masterclasses, rehearsal observations, tutorials or workshops. CGS students got the chance to experience first-hand guidance from world-class performers in one-on-one and group sessions. The School also opened its doors to the broader community, inviting students of music from across the region to participate and learn from these artists as part of the International Series Educational outreach programme. Apart from JLCO with Wynton Marsalis, another significant session to note was our season finale ensemble – The Young Soloists. These young artists, between the ages of 14 – 23, showed our aspiring musicians what hard work and passion for your craft can do, as they continue to sell out the most prestigious venues across the world. Their immersive educational session with our CGS string musicians as well as visiting students of music, left quite an impression. During the workshop students were guided and coached as they practiced to perform a set piece- Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. They learned to collaborate and listen to their fellow musicians, and showcased their newly learned skills to friends and family in a truly awe inspiring performance.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR 2023 SNOW CONCERT HALL Construction Control was the big winner at the 2023 Master Builders and Asset Construction Hire Excellence Awards in September last year, with Canberra Grammar School’s Snow Concert Hall project winning five awards. Of the major awards won, the most notable were for ‘Project of the Year 2023’ and ‘Project Displaying Technical Difficulty or Innovation’. Special congratulations to alumnus Nick Barnier (CGS 2008) for taking home the MBA award for Project Manager of the Year as part of the team at Construction Control, recognising his outstanding contribution to the Snow Concert Hall Project. Nick has been instrumental in steering the project with expertise, dedication, and leadership. Nick’s commitment to excellence was evident throughout the entire construction process, from the initial planning stages to the final touches. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Nick on this well-deserved recognition.

2024 SEASON LAUNCH As the Snow Concert Hall – International Series evolves and grows, we extend a warm invitation to our community to share in these captivating musical experiences. Join us on our journey in 2024 as we unveil a fresh season filled with vibrant, inspiring, and unique performances. We are also proud to unveil the 2024 Season Pass. Now you can subscribe to the entire season and enjoy the best seats in the house the whole year through!

To find out more, visit or scan the QR code.


T +61 (2) 6260 9700 E 40 Monaro Crescent, Red Hill ACT 2603 CGS.ACT.EDU.AU CRICOS Provider No 00580G

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