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| No 55 Summer 2019/20



FIRBANK TODAY | From The Board From The Principal Curriculum 110 Gala Ball 10 New Women of Achievement Sport Performing Arts Outdoor Education Diversity Junior School: Sandringham Junior School: Brighton Parent Associations Annual Giving, List of Donors Sustainability FIRBANK ALUMNI | FOGA Reunions FIRBANK NEWS | Congratulations Current Students Congratulations, Condolences, Welcome Pen-y-bryn Society FOGA S.A. Lunch

2 3 4 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 27 28 28


WHEN: Friday, 28 February 2020 4.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. WHERE: Sandringham Campus

3 CAMPUS PARENT WELCOME EVENT WHEN: Tuesday, 11 February 2020 WHERE: Brighton Senior Campus


Over the September school holidays, Students in Year 3 to Year 12 were invited to create artwork for a Firbank Bamboo Coffee Cup. The two winning designs have been chosen and now these reusable coffee cups are ready to purchase with all proceeds going to the development of Firbank’s new Arts Precinct.

Cups are $10 each

(includes silicon band and lid)


Support Firbank’s new Arts Precinct and the environment, purchase your reusable cup at trybooking.com/BGLZV

FIRBANK TODAY | From The Board Over the course of 2019, we have had occasion to celebrate Firbank’s 110 year anniversary. This has also allowed us to reflect on the foundations and values of the School and how they continue to guide our students today.

Firbank has always had a strong vision for our students to achieve both academically and personally. We encourage them to be involved, find their passion and have the courage to give new opportunities a go. Firbank’s broad academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular offerings enables this to occur. Across 2019 we have continued to refine these offerings to enable our students to achieve success and be Life Ready. In addition to enhancements in our programs, 2019 has seen the continued implementation of the School Building Masterplan with the official opening of the Firbank Music Precinct in February. If you have been fortunate enough to attend or perform in the new space, I am sure you will concur that the music program at Firbank has continued to excel and shine in our great new facilities. During the course of 2020, we will also see a transformation in our Senior School Art facilities with the refurbishment of Midhurst and the Louis Williams Building to enhance the facilities and delivery of the art curriculum. Development of our two Junior Campuses has seen the extension of ELC with the introduction of our Long Day program and inclusion of STEM through the Early Learning STEM Australia Pilot Program. In our primary years, the PYP program has also showcased our two Junior Campus teams, with many of our teachers participating and presenting at the PYP TeachMeet hosted at Sandringham Campus. With so many great PYP teachers in our school, it is no wonder that the Year 6 PYP exhibitions were so multidimensional and fabulous. As we continue to enhance our buildings, facilities and curriculum, which have changed significantly since 1909, the core values of our school remain the same – Integrity, Compassion, Curiosity, Courage and Respect. It is with these values that our past and current students create change in the world and achieve great things. Congratulations to our VCE students as they head beyond the crested gates of Firbank to the next exciting stage in their lives. May the Firbank values continue to guide you. The Board and I would like thank the Firbank community for being active and generous members of our School. We look forward to a great year in 2020. Mrs Jennine Ross Chair of the School Board


Congratulations to Denice Pitt who has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the Firbank Board.

We thank Denice for her ongoing commitment to the School and look forward to working together with her towards the future sustainability and success of Firbank Grammar. 2

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Denice Pitt has been an integral Firbank Board Member since October 2016. She is currently Chief Executive Officer of Online Education Services (OES), a role she has held since the company was launched in 2011. Prior to her role in the education sector at OES, Denice’s experience was predominantly in the telecommunications and outsourcing industries. She has spent time as President of Aegis Australia and nearly 10 years at UCMS Group Ltd where she undertook several roles including Managing Director of Outsourcing, Group Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer.

From The Principal | FIRBANK TODAY

As our 110-year celebrations come to a close, I am pleased to reflect on the year that was. Not only have we accomplished so much together as a School and a community but we have shown remarkable Firbank spirit. From the opening of the Music Precinct, the Gala Ball, the Whole School Picnic and Photo and the launch of our Pay-It-Forward Scholarship, there is so much to be proud of. As part of this year’s 110-year celebrations, Firbank inducted 10 additional Firbank Alumni into 100 Women of Achievement. Women of Achievement is not just a book, it highlights the eclectic lives and paths that 110 of our past students have undertaken since their graduation. Be it volunteering, excelling in their chosen field of work, sporting achievements, personal accomplishments and more, the women chosen were exceptional. Their education at Firbank had helped them achieve and to aspire to be women of integrity, curiosity, courage, compassion and respect. I urge you to read about these 10 women on page 8 and to take a look at the entire book which is available in the publications section of the Firbank website or by scanning the QR Code on the right.

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As the committee and I chose these women, it was difficult not to note the everyday impact that our School has on the course that our students take. There are so many yard sticks that measure accomplishment. In this our year of Integrity, we have taught students that it is the actions we undertake - when no one is looking - that help shape the person that we are.

As I lead Firbank into the years ahead, I am enthusiastic about the possibilities. In 2020 we focus on the Firbank value of Courage: courage to be ourselves, courage to overcome challenges and courage to make change in the world. Next year we will embark on new development projects including our Arts Centre and the launch of our new school uniform, as together we continue to look to the future growth and sustainability of Firbank Grammar. Finally, I would like to thank all of the Firbank community for your commitment to integrity and excellence. I wish you all a happy and safe festive season and look forward to another wonderful year ahead in 2020. Ms Jenny Williams Principal


FIRBANK TODAY | Curriculum NAPLAN Year 3 National Comparison Firbank’s Year 3 students achieved beyond the National Minimum Standard for their year level in every subject area. It is exciting to note that many Firbank students have achieved results indicating performance up to six years beyond the National Minimum Standard . 100% of Year 3 students achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard for their year level in every subject area.

Year 7 National Comparison At Year 7 results have increased over the last two years for Reading, Writing, Spelling and Numeracy, with the Year 7 cohort achieving the best results on record for Numeracy. The majority of students achieved results indicating performance well above National Minimum Standard. Year 9 National Comparison Year 9 has seen an increase in results over the last two years for Writing and Spelling. In Numeracy, Grammar and Punctuation Firbank has seen a significant improvement over the last three years. The Year 9 cohort achieved the School’s best results on record for Grammar and Punctuation.


Year 5 Min. Standard


Year 7 Min. Standard Year 9 Min. Standard 47% 0%

Year 5 National Comparison In Year 5, all students achieved at or above the Year 5 National Minimum Standard in all subject areas, with an impressive 88% of students achieving at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9. The combined Sandringham and Brighton Junior Year 5 cohort have achieved the best results on record.


Year 3 Min. Standard





Year 7 Min. Standard



88% 40%




Year 9 Min. Standard




83% 60%






Year 9+ Min. Standard 0%


Year 7 Min. Standard

Year 9+ Min. Standard 0%


Year 5 Min. Standard

Year 9 Min. Standard 0%






Firbank Grammar Brighton Junior Campus students were selected as the only Australian Primary School to attend the Global Finals of the Destination Imagination Competition in May. Destination Imagination is the world’s largest celebration of creativity with more than 8,000 competitors and 17,000 students coming together from 14 countries. The event, which took place in Kansas City, United States, uses team-based collaborations to create solutions to problems. In line with Firbank’s commitment to sustainability students took part in the Service Learning challenge wherein they were tasked with identifying a need in the community and finding a solution. Students used recycled t-shirts to create carry bags in order to replace the use of plastic. The Destination Imagination competition is 100% student driven. It teaches budgeting skills with a US$150 budget for solutions to encourage students to be frugal and to recycle where possible. The Destination Imagination Competition is a fantastic way to challenge our students to strive for greatness and gives them the opportunity to speak to like-minded students from across the world.


Firbank is delighted to welcome Sara Mahdavian as its Head of Digital Technologies. Sara joins Firbank from Caulfield Grammar School where she was the Information Technology Learning Area Leader. Sara is passionate about the tech industry and instilling confidence in females to be successful in STEM areas. Sara is experienced in teaching subject content, designing, drafting and implementing course material and assessments. In her past roles she has successfully implemented IT diversity initiatives, robotics programs and Tech Clubs as well as bringing new electives and design programs into the curriculum. Sara will lead Firbank’s Digital Technologies Department and assist the team to develop a curriculum that will increase participation in technology subjects across all year levels. Programs will enable students to acquire 21st century skills that and allow them to pursue a range of tertiary and employment options beyond the gates of Firbank Grammar. Sara, who grew up in Brighton, loves Hawthorn Football Club and enjoys keeping fit and healthy.


Following a Senior School curriculum review in 2019, Firbank aims to better align to the Victorian Curriculum for Years 7 – 10 and bring new subjects to our Curriculum program in 2020. The Victorian Curriculum is a common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards. 2020 new subjects align with our Strategic Intent of providing a balanced and progressive learning experience that prepares our students for life whilst continuing to develop courage and curiosity in their thinking. At Year 7 and 8, we have introduced into the Humanities Program Civics and Citizenship. At Year 9, we have a new elective, ‘Poverty and Homelessness’. At Year 10 we have a new History elective, ‘From Stalin to Kim Jung Un’. This is in addition to our existing Global politics VCE Unit 2. These additions to our Humanities Program enable our students to develop a knowledge of political and legal institutions, liberal democracy and global awareness as well as developing the skills and capabilities of perspectives, empathy, collaboration, negotiation, selfawareness and intercultural understanding.

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Firbank has also introduced Digital Technologies across Year 7 – 10. At Year 7, DigitTech and Year 8 Design and Technology are compulsory. At Year 9 Essential Technologies and at Year 10 Applied Digital Technologies are new electives. These programs will allow students to develop their knowledge in digital systems, technological literacy, computational and design thinking, as well as developing skills in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication. Also under the umbrella of Design and Technologies, Firbank has ensured that Food Technology is compulsory for all Year 7 and Year 8 students. This subject also supports design thinking and creativity as well as health and wellbeing.


Our current Senior School timetable and school day has operated the way it has for many years so we are excited to re-think the structure, in order to enhance learning and the School’s current program offerings. With the aims of improving learning, increasing subject offerings and enhancing our academic programs, we set out to find the next generation of our school day. To this end, in Semester 1 Firbank formed a partnership with the University of Melbourne – School of Education to develop Teaching and Learning and to rethink our time allocations and subject offerings. We are delighted that, as a result, our Senior School will have a new timetable in 2020. The new timetable will accommodate best practice recommendations for learning and increase the frequency of contact with teachers in each subject. By maximising our School day, students will have more time for core subjects and new subjects will be offered. Firbank prides itself on providing an exceptional education to our students and this is yet another way in which we are optimising the Firbank learning journey. 5

FIRBANK TODAY | 110 Gala Ball

The Firbank 110 Gala Ball in May 2019 was a fantastic evening that showcased the spirit and strength of our Firbank Community. Hosted by Rebecca Maddern, the glittering event brought together 500 people from across our three Firbank Campuses. Guests embodied a crossrepresentation of our community including parents, alumni, friends of Firbank, staff and our Board. Firbank thanks all those who attended as well as the many silent auction bidders who made the night so successful. All money raised from the event was distributed across our three campuses and contributed to the refurbishment of our Senior School CafĂŠ and landscaping of the Playground and a new Piazza at the Brighton Junior Campus. Currently the School is working with SHPA to allocate the funds in 2020. This night would not have been possible without the hard work of our dedicated Ball committee. Firbank thanks Penny Zissis, Emma Wernham, Emma Alsop, Tania Powell-Gillett, Toni Armstrong, Debra JohnsonRichardson, Amy Jasper, Milena Ickeringill and Geoff Gedge. We also acknowledge our event sponsors, auction item donors and all the families and businesses that donated to our lucky hamper draws. What a memorable way to mark our 110-year celebrations.

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FIRBANK TODAY | 10 New Women of Achievement


Congratulations to the following 10 women who were inducted into the Firbank Women of Achievement. These women exemplify the qualities that Firbank students should aspire to and showcase what it means to be an Alumna of our prestigious School.


IDA LEA (OSBORNE) • • • • • • • •

Ida had a successful career on ABC radio’s Argonauts program and later, on the Women’s Session program A founding member of the Children’s Book Council Women’s advocate covering issues constraining the lives of women in the 1950’s Established the Save the Children Fund Awarded an Imperial Relations Scholarship Awarded a Member of the British Empire, presented by the Queen for her contribution to the Arts Author ‘Good Rowing!’ documenting the development of the National Children’s Radio Program Passed away 2014


• • • • • •

Moved to rural NSW in 1969 Became a home tutor for 21 Years NSW Vice-President of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) Developed curriculum for Distance Education Students and involved in the implementation of the Country Areas Program in north-west NSW Served three terms on the Walgett Shire Council Elected to the Board of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Ministerial Appointment to the Western NSW Local Health District Board and Director of the Royal Far West Board Advocate for greater equity in education and health services in rural and remote Australia Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016

Psychiatric Social Worker and Child Psychotherapist Clinical Psychologist at Royal Children’s Hospital Completed a Master of Psychology Head of Child Psychology at Monash Medical Centre Completed a PhD entitled ‘Stress Resilience in Children’ Published multiple international journal articles Summited six of the world’s Seven Summits including Mount Everest Upgraded a bush sanctuary for a Trust For Nature covenant protecting it for future generations



• • • •

Advocate for the prevention of severe injury cases in hospital emergency departments Professor at Monash University Contributed to the development of injury mortality and morbidity data systems in Australia and internationally Director of the Victorian Injury Surveillance System and National Coronial Information System Head of the Injury Prevention Research Unit at the Monash Department of Forensic Medicine Author of more than 250 scientific publications Officer of the Order of Australia Appointed to the Governing Board of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority


MAROOCHY BARAMBAH • • • • • • • •

Spearheaded the award-winning Australian Opera Film ‘Black River’ First Aborigine to perform on the Australian Operatic Stage First Australian to perform at the United National in New York Volunteer on the Victorian 150th Anniversary Committee Keynote speaker at the inaugural Australian Reconciliation Convention Songwoman and Law-woman of the Turrbal Traditional Owners of Brisbane Honorary Ambassador of the Maroochy Shire Council and Australia Day Council Past Board Member of The Bennelong Society

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Scan the QR code with your smart device to see the full biographies of all 110 Women of Achievement 8

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OAM • • • • • • • •

Senior Advertiser at agencies Clemenger Harvie and George Patterson Passion for gender balance, gender equity and women’s rights Founded Women in Rotary – a world-wide initiative Organiser of the Women in Rotary’s annual International Women’s Day Breakfast Fundraiser and Advocate for the elimination of trachoma Board Member Violence Free Families and Nourish our Communities Project Manager Bridge of Hope’s Bridging the Gap Program Recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to the community

• • • • • •





Worked in Marketing for global and national brands including Heinz, Clark Shoes, Berri and Myer Passionate about building capacity in our communities through positive disruption Recipient of an Order of Australia Medal Councillor and Mayor of Bayside City Council for eight years Established the Grass Ceiling Campaign to highlight the need for investment in female sporting infrastructure Advocate for the need for more females in leadership positions Board Member for the Victorian Amateur Football Association and Vice President of an Aged Care Facility

Competed in the Junior Women’s Trap shooting at the 2006 World Championships whilst studying at Firbank Represented Australia in Clay Shooting at 8 World Championships, 15 World Cups, 4 World Cup Finals and 2 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 Recipient of an Order of Australia Medal in recognition of her sporting career Completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) (Honours) at Monash University Currently pursuing a career in engineering

• • • • • •

Began her career in optometry as a dispensing optician Trained under several world-renowned Ocularists including John Pacey-Lowrie in the UK and Greece Worked as a pro-bono Ocularist in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria making prosthetic eyes for those in need Established Eyes for All which aims to make prosthetic eyes more accessible in developing countries Travels to developing countries to train local staff to make artificial eyes Facilitated the set up of the first public hospital-based prosthetics eye clinic in Lagos, Nigeria



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• • • • • •

Degree in Arts Law and a Masters in Conflict Resolution Undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing Science fiction and fantasy writer for children and teens First Novel published in 2013 Featured on the New York Times, USA Today, Sunday Times and Australian Bestseller lists Winner of the Australian Book Industry Award and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award Published in more than 35 countries, her books are in development for film and TV



This has been another very successful sporting year for Firbank students. Participation rates have been very high and there have been many triumphs throughout each term. Term 1 saw more than 70 students compete in the GSV Triathlon, whilst our swimmers were a solid 4th in the Division 1 GSV Swimming Carnival. Our Divers excelled yet again, winning our 17th consecutive GSV Championship, with nearly half our team qualifying for Finals night. In GSV weekly sports, Term 1 saw Firbank competing in Tennis, Softball and Indoor Cricket, with the Senior Tennis team and the Junior ‘B’ Softball teams finishing on top of their zones and qualifying for GSV Finals. On the river, our rowers were again awesome. This year saw the largest rowing squad on record at Firbank with 98 girls participating (8 Junior Quads, 8 Intermediate Quads and 2 Senior Eights). There were many highlights including winning three State Titles and seven minor medals at the State Championship regattas, whilst many crews made A finals at the HOSG. Our Sailing team also competed very well, in very difficult conditions at the Victorian All Schools. Term 2 saw lots of students playing GSV Netball, Hockey and AFL, with Cross Country as the carnival sport. Our Junior Netballers displayed great skill, with the A, B and C teams all making it through to GSV Finals, whilst the AFL 9’s team (Years 7 and 8) also made finals, going down in the Grand Final to very strong opposition. Our Junior B Hockey team finished on top of their zone and went on to be runners up for the GSV Premiership. Firbank students ran with great spirit in the Cross Country Carnival, but finished middle of the road, with many of our best runners unavailable due to injury or illness. In the last week of term, the Senior Basketballers competed in the GSV Round Robin tournament and performed with great distinction.

Term 3 was a very busy term with Soccer, Badminton and Volleyball as weekly sports, Athletics as the GSV carnival sport and girls competing in Victorian All Schools Gymnastics. Being a force in GSV soccer was again evident, with our Junior A and Intermediate A soccer teams both winning their GSV Premierships. Our Badminton and Volleyball teams competed well and Firbank had an outstanding season at the GSV Track and Field Carnival, securing our place in the top three schools in Division 1. Additionally, we had a record number of students qualify in the GSV Athletics Finals Night, coming away with nineteen medals. Abi Bolmat and Orla McCarthy both broke GSV records, Abi for the Year 7 Javelin and Orla for the Year 8 Discus. Our Gymnasts displayed great skill at their All Schools carnival, winning many medals. A special congratulations to Miella Brown who, for the second consecutive year, has won the Australian All-Round Champion for Future Internationals. Our Snow Sports students also achieved success at the Victorian Interschools Championships, in particular a Gold medal to Ruby Parkes in the Division 1 Snowboard Slopestyle and a further five students who qualified for Nationals. Sport at Firbank has never been stronger. We have achieved much team success, but we also have many girls who have achieved State selection, or even National selection. We congratulate them all and encourage all our students to continue their involvement in such wonderful activities.

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Performing Arts | FIRBANK TODAY

2019 has seen hundreds of students work and play together on stage and off, in the classrooms, studios and halls – collaborating, creating and performing. Senior School productions of ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Mary Poppins Jr’ were outstanding this year as was the Brighton Junior Campus rendition of ‘Singin in the Rain Jnr’. We were so proud of all the students who took part and are delighted to announce that in 2020 our Senior School will be combining with Brighton Grammar School for a Year 7 - 12 performance of Roald Dahl’s, ‘Matilda the Musical’. Dance continues to be an important aspect of life at Firbank and we are pleased that this year we introduced a Firbank Dance Troupe to the School. Students in Years 8-10 had the opportunity to attend several competitions and we are pleased that they placed in the top three at each one. Combined with Dance Night and the productions, the girls have had many of opportunities to showcase their talents.

In addition to our co-curricular opportunities, it is in the classrooms where there is time for the Drama, Dance and Theatre students to explore and push themselves. In an environment that is inherent to arts learning, drama classes are the perfect way for students to engage as they negotiate the varied and exciting program. In Year 9 and 10, Drama is offered as an elective and students build confidence through creating and performing. Students work as Theatre Interpreters and Makers - as actors, directors and designers, interpreting scripts and finding the most effective way to convey their ideas to audiences. After experiencing this level of work in the middle years, it is no surprise that student numbers are building in VCE Dance and Theatre Studies. When writing this, the Year 12 dancers and actors have just completed their performance exams which test their skills and creativity. We are so extraordinarily proud of the work that these young artists have created in their respective areas. Drama, Theatre and Dance students bring so much of themselves to their classes and are respectful in their interactions with each other. We look forward to continuing Firbank’s traditions of Drama and Dance and to welcoming new students to our exciting and varied curriculum.

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FIRBANK TODAY | Outdoor Education

Firbank’s 6-5-4 Strategic Plan is at the heart of our Programs and Curriculum. Following a review, we are delighted to better align our Outdoor Education Program with the School Values, Domains and Pillars. Firbank’s Strategic Plan allows us to clearly demonstrate the rationale behind the School’s empowering Outdoor Education Programs which contribute to all aspects of a student’s personal and physical learning journey. The inaugural Year 8 Alpine Program marks the beginning of our new Strategic Plan for the Senior School Outdoor Education Program. With the aim of continuing to develop independence, increase challenge and expose our students to a unique environment, the Australian Alps are the ideal location to engage the students and put the theory into action.

Firbank believes in a world where our students are listening to and forming opinions on complex issues surrounding climate change and cultural heritage. They are now, more than ever, curious and concerned about these topics and from this, they will start to form their own core beliefs and practices.


We congratulate our students (and parents) for preparing diligently for this experience. Students trusted in themselves and others. They embraced the opportunity and displayed an admirable sense of adventure and exploration. We are confident this experience has empowered our girls to be brave, take a greater level of responsibility and realise their true potential. We are excited to have more opportunities to extend these concepts as they continue to grow. In an ever-changing world, Firbank gives students an experience and opportunity to reflect on their environmental footprint and some vital tools and knowledge that will assist them in shaping their future and the world they want to live in. This experience has laid some important foundations for what will be an amazing year of adventure and growth in Year 9 and beyond. ’Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Scan the QR code with your smart device to see more of Year 8 Alpine Camp

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Through cross country skiing and living in the Alpine environment for an extended period, students were enabled to connect, observe and play. In addition, students had a presentation from a Polar videographer and environmental scientist who has spent time capturing the wilds of Antarctica. Connections were made about the direct impact this has had on the Australian landscape and positive solutions were suggested. Students also viewed several short films of adventurous women exploring the world, all in an attempt to inspire them to be courageous and continue to discover the natural world through our many expedition-style programs.

Our ambitious plan by the end of the week-long program was for each student to spend one of the nights camping and sleeping in the snow. We were successful in this attempt, with all students managing extremely well in this exposed and remote environment. We were blessed with quality snow coverage, clear but cold nights and sunsets that made all the hard work worth it. Challenges were tackled head on, friendships were forged and life-long memories were made.

FIRBANK TODAY | Diversity INDIGENOUS PROGRAM Firbank’s Indigenous Program builds on the School’s relationship with the Milikapiti community in Northern Australia. In 2019 the School was delighted to welcome two students from the Tiwi Islands via the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) and continues to enhance its Program through teaching Indigenous history, art and cultural respect. Firbank’s Program has also been strengthened this year by its first Indigenous Mentors, Sarai Rowe and Domica Wescombe. The School’s special relationship with the community at Milikapiti has been forged over the several years with Brighton Junior Campus Year 6 students and staff visiting Melville Island annually. Indigenous Program Coordinator, Virginia Norton and Director of Wellbeing, Kate Major joined the students this year. Firbank was welcomed by the community and were taken out for a memorable day hunting in the mangroves at Mudlow and tasting Tiwi delicacies. The teachers and students also spent a day ‘in country’ joining the Milikapiti school and their families to share food and form new connections. Reconciliation Week this year was marked by several important events at Firbank. Elder and Song Woman Maroochy Barambah spoke at an assembly about her time at Firbank during the 1960s and her career as an ambassador and musician. The School was pleased to host its first Reconciliation Luncheon during the week that included staff, students and visitors from MITS. Catherine Freeman was a special guest at the event.

A key highlight of Reconciliation Week was an art installation by Firbank’s artist in residence, Robyne Latham who created an art performance piece named ‘Remembering The Empty Coolamons’. This powerful tribute to the Stolen Generations included the Firbank community who were invited to shape clay coolamons that were placed in a sacred serpent shaped space. All who participated will remember this emotional experience and beautiful artwork. The artwork was complemented by a special assembly where History teacher Tim Keyes spoke of the historical context of the piece.

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Firbank’s Indigenous Program would not have been possible without the assistance of a generous benefactor/past Alumna who supported our endeavour to welcome the two Tiwi students. In their first year, the students have shown great courage and resilience and have taught their friends and teachers much about Tiwi culture. We are grateful to their hosts, the Jansz family, who have opened their home and welcomed the girls into their family. With the generosity of members of the school community we hope to be able to welcome more students from MITS in years to come. If you are interested in supporting this Program in the future, either as a benefactor or host family, please contact the Coordinator of the Indigenous Program Virginia Norton at vnorton@ firbank.vic.edu.au.


FIRBANK TODAY | Junior School: Sandringham ACTION HEROES We are very proud of our Year 6 ‘EarlyAct’ students. With the support of Rotary International of Sandringham, the three Teams of students have taken genuine action this year. They have helped those in need in local and international communities, as well as providing great support for events at School.


The International Service Team have been collecting international currencies within the School community and have donated these to UNICEF. They have also been collecting bottle caps for Envision Hands which is a project in partnership with Rotary to collect plastic recyclable waste destined for landfill and turn it into filament for 3D printers to make hands, arms and mobility aids for children. Later in the year, the Team organised a Casual Clothes Day to raise funds for World Polio Day. Rotary International have been on a mission since 1980 to end polio in the world, a debilitating infectious disease which has been responsible for the paralysis and disability of millions of children. The final event of 2019 was a Colour Run with funds raised going to the Malala Foundation.

COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM The Community Service Team collected more than 27kg of rubbish on Clean Up Australia Day. Every piece they found was sent to recycling. The Team organised cleaning up of the School, the Bayside Council grounds and the Sandringham beach. In Term 2, the Team held a ‘Pink Day’ for a local girl called Emily who suffers from Dravet Syndrome and High Risk B Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. The Team purchased items for Emily to help with her recovery in hospital. They also organised a Keep Warm Day whereby Firbank turned off all heaters in the school to gain a sense of what it was like to live without heating. Families generously donated coats and blankets which were given to St Kilda Mums charity. Finally, the Team, along with Mr Nelsen, Head of Campus, volunteered for the day at Pinchapoo, a charity which provides personal hygiene products to the homeless. Students packed around 1,000 personal hygiene packs.

We are so proud of the students who are living the Firbank value of Compassion.

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SCHOOL SERVICE TEAM The School Service Team were busy setting up and helping at House Athletics Day, House Footy Day, House Netball Day and promoting the Woolworths Earn & Learn sticker program. All monies raised were used to purchase items which have been sent to Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School with Rotary International of Sandringham kindly paying for the postage. The Team assisted in the organisation and running of the House Choral Concert and set up a nature play area for students to use large bamboo sticks to make teepees. The students also raised funds to part-fund a ball trolley by having a Crazy Hair Day and organised and ran a Jump Rope for Heart, raising nearly $8,000. Their final event for the year was S-Factor which included a dance-off between the students and teachers.

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FIRBANK TODAY | Junior School: Brighton

Inspired by our History

National History Week inspired our Brighton Junior Campus to think about history in a variety of ways, and consider how the people who have been part of our School over the past 110 years have contributed to the fabric of our School. We welcomed a panel of special guests to our Assembly, including Miss Patricia Turner, whose family has had a significant connection with Firbank since its inception in 1909. A heartfelt thanks also to Dr Jenny Peters, Mrs Wendy Grant, Mrs Angela Purcell and Ms Melissa McLean for sharing their memories of school life. The girls were also thrilled to meet Miss Melanie Pollock (AKA Mrs Mel Smith) who dressed up in her old Firbank uniform to host the Q&A session. The overarching theme was that of enduring friendships, no matter what age or era.

New Sculpture Installation

To honour enduring ‘Firbank Friendships’, from the past, present and into the future, a Friendship Bench and sculpture was installed in the playground of Turner House this semester for all to enjoy. This installation captures the sense of ‘friendship’ that underpins the strength of the Firbank community. This Friendship Bench will be a place to rest, reflect and enjoy and a place to pause alone or with friends. Firbank thanks the Fox family for donating this beautiful interactive artwork.

Expert Artists Inspire Our Students

Turner House students enjoyed a variety of Art experiences and were fortunate to work alongside two amazing experts. Professional Sculptor, Lis Johnson, inspired our Year 4 students to create their own mini clay figures that featured in the Term 4 Art Exhibition. We also welcomed Aboriginal consultant, Tarina Fanning, who worked with the students as they used indigenous symbols to communicate stories and their understanding of the natural environment.

Principal for a Day

Jenny Williams and Kim Wheeler have enjoyed hosting students from Years 4 and 5 as ‘Principals for a Day’. As well as providing the girls with an understanding of the role of the Principal. This initiative was a fundraising opportunity for the School from the PATH Mother’s Day silent auction. The girls really enjoyed learning more about Ms Williams’ role when visiting her office and were exceptional in helping to organise and run the Junior School Assembly.

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Student Conferences

The students worked so hard to prepare for their Student Conferences at the end of Term 3. It was lovely to see parents enjoying the opportunity to share in their child’s learning. “I thought this was an effective way to share my learning with my parents.” Sophie C “My parents commented that it was great how much I have learned this year and that I could explain it all to them.” Cammie S

House Robotics - Year 4

There was such an amazing atmosphere in the SMAART Centre as the four Houses came head-to-head in the annual Year 4 House Robotics Competition. Tensions were high as students prepared their robots for the various courses. Well done to Ryan House for taking out the overall trophy and the Spirit Award.

Year 5 Science Symposium

Our young scientists took to the Year 5 Symposium with great attention to detail and their research was exceptional. Each student thought carefully about their presentation, with accompanying models, visuals and risk assessments, adding to the overall impact. There was a buzz in the air as the students explained their findings to all members of the community.

Cancer Council ‘Relay for Life’

Several students from our Brighton Junior Campus took part in a ‘Relay for Life’ in late October. Relay For Life raises vital funds for the Cancer Council’s research, prevention, information and support services. It’s also a chance for our community to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers and to honour those lost to cancer. Our Firbank students raised almost $3,000 for the cause.

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At the Brighton Junior Campus 2019 AGM, Firbank acknowledged the contribution of outgoing PATH President, Mrs Milena Ickeringill. Milena’s legacy will live on at Firbank through the many initiatives she has led and supported at the Junior Campus. We thank Milena, for her contribution to our School. 17

FIRBANK TODAY | Parents Association PATH


PATH has had another successful year during which it has organised a number of well received functions, including: the Chinese New Year Welcome Picnic, Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Morning Tea, Mother’s Day Stall and Mother’s Day Lunch and Father’s Day Breakfast. In addition, PATH organised a popular Father’s Day pillowcase fundraiser as well as the sale of greeting cards which helped to fund an Indigenous artist in residence. Members of PATH are excited that funds raised at PATH functions will be contributing to the Turner House Piazza project. This is my final year as PATH President after six years in the role and eight years as a member of the Committee. I would like to thank all the members of PATH with whom I have served on the Committee over those years for their support. In particular, I’d like to thank Penny Zissis, my co-President for four years. I would also like to thank Kim Wheeler, the Turner House staff and the wonderful Turner House community to whom I am so grateful for their generosity and friendship.

SHPA has had another successful, exciting, and productive year. The school community got together for many fun events including yearly favourites such as: the Welcome Picnic, Kids Night, Father’s Day Golf, SHPA Christmas Luncheon, and the biennial Campout. New events such as a movie theatre hire to see the Lion King Movie, Mother’s Day Tennis and Luncheon and an Election Day BBQ and Bake Sale were also great successes. Through funds raised SHPA are very excited to have installed a new pizza oven in the Sustainability Garden, assisted with the upgrade of the STEAM Centre, purchased a new popcorn machine, and installed a giant chess board in the playground. SHPA has also partnered with the Community Leadership Team of Year 6 students to assist their installation of items for the Campus. Planning is underway for the Firbank Sandringham Campus Twilight Fair in February next year. We look forward to seeing you there! Cliff Trend and Emma Pollio, SHPA Co-Presidents 2019

Milena Ickeringill, PATH President 2019

FRIENDS OF MUSIC Bel Canto taco buffets, Presentation Night Orchestra pizza dinners, Twilight Jazz grazing platters and drinks, Meet the Music Teacher Nights, afternoon tea for recording sessions, printing Big Band hoodies for Generations in Jazz in Mt Gambier, and popcorn and Mary Poppins-themed lolly bags for the Junior musical. It has been another busy and productive year for Friends of Music (FOM).

The experiences and opportunities provided to the students that pass through the Firbank Music department, give them gifts far beyond musical expertise, and FOM thanks all of the Music staff for the time and energy they devote to guiding and inspiring their pupils. We look forward to continuing to support them in 2020. Amy Jasper, President Friends of Music 2019 18

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In addition to the above, in Term 3 we hosted our two biggest events of the year. The Bel Canto High Tea was held, for the first time, in the Recital Hall of the new Music Precinct, and was a delightful venue for a lovely afternoon. Later in the term was the second Supper, Sax and Swing night (fondly known as SSS 2.0), and we were delighted that it was once again sold out.


FODDA Friends of Dance & Dramatic Arts (FODDA) have had a successful year supporting our fabulous students in their performances throughout 2019. Fundraising activities have included a cocktail party on opening night of Mary Poppins and the sale of refreshments and snacks at all performances. We have provided more than 1150 meals to hungry participants during long days and dress rehearsals for participants in ‘Anything Goes’, ‘Mary Poppins Jr’, ‘Dance Like No One’s Watching’ and ‘All the Worlds a Stage’. In addition we have supported our Dance Troupe at a number of competitions and constructed sets and foyer decorations. FODDA are always delighted to welcome new members and very much appreciate the work of our volunteer committee.

FIRBANK ASSOCIATION In this year of Firbank’s 110th anniversary, the Firbank Association is proud of all great work that has been undertaken by the many Auxiliaries at Firbank. From Friends of Music, Friends of Rowing, Friends of Dance and Dramatic Arts to the great work undertaken by PATH, SHPA and FOGA, we are grateful to all the parent volunteers who have given so much to support our school. In addition, we would like to thank all the volunteers who devoted so much time and energy to the wonderful Firbank 110 Gala Ball.

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The Firbank Association would like to thank its outgoing secretary Miriam Dexter who has supported the Association and, prior to that, PATH for the last 6 years. Miriam has supported and provided wise counsel to many a Firbank Association President and we wish her all the very best for the future. Milena Ickeringill and Ilonke Roode Firbank Association Presidents 2019

Joanna Stuart, FODDA 2019

FRIENDS OF ROWING This season we have record numbers of girls in the Senior and Inter programs and a full complement of new Junior rowers which is fantastic. The girls have had early success with the 1st and 3rd Eights winning gold at the Head of the Goulburn; and 9 of the 13 Junior & Inter Crews making A finals at the Sacred Heart Regatta in Geelong to deliver 6 Gold medals. Upcoming events for the Club include: • The Firbank Regatta - Saturday, 15 February 2020 • A Touch of Henley Fundraiser – Saturday, 22 February 2020 • Head of Schoolgirls Regatta – Friday 13 March – Sunday 15 March 2020 Peri Macdonald, President Friends of Rowing 2019 19

FIRBANK TODAY | Annual Giving Firbank Grammar is most grateful for the generous donors who have contributed to our School this year. With this wonderful support we are able to continue to provide exceptional programs and facilities for all our students. It is important to remember that the Firbank we have today is the result of the philanthropy of those who have gone before us and left their legacy from which our current students benefit. Your dedication to Firbank is greatly appreciated.


Mr and Mrs M Forbes Mrs E Fryer Mr and Mrs Z Fu Mr Y Hu and Ms Y Fu Mrs M Gallagher and Mr S Gallagher Mr W Gan and Ms Q Xu Mr L Gao and Mrs N Jin Mr G Gedge and Mrs S Adam-Gedge Mr F Gehrig and Ms T Hall Mr and Mrs M George Mr and Mrs G Gibbins Dr and Mrs G Gilligan Mr and Mrs A Ginis Ms K Gough and Mr R Gough Mr I Goddard Ms S Gould Mrs W Grant Mr A and Mrs K Grooby Mr C Guo and Mrs Y Qi Mr Z Gu and Ms L Hao Dr D Hacking and Assoc. Prof J McVernon Mr and Mrs B Handley Mr N Harkins and Mrs D Latta Mr and Mrs N Harridge Mr and Mrs M Harrison Mr C Hawke and Ms H Blumenthal Mr and Mrs D Heine Mr J Davie and Ms T Hemingway Mr A and Mrs G Hill Mr and Mrs G Hipwell Mrs N Hollings Mr and Mrs A Holmes Prof M Hook and Dr F Watson Mr and Mrs L Horton Ms M Howard Mr C Howison and Ms K Saes Mr and Mrs A Huse Mr P and Mrs M Ickeringill Mrs P Ilhan Mr A Jang and Ms J Zhang Mr and Mrs B Jennings Mr F Jian and Ms B Zhao Mr P Jiang and Ms L Guan Mr J Jiao and Ms Q Wang Ms M Johnston Mr and Mrs K Johnstone Mr and Mrs B Jordan Mr and Mrs D Joy Mr N Katinakis and Ms M Peart Dr M Kenney Mr A and Mrs C Kirkham Mr M Kobelt and Ms B Jeun Mrs P Koczocik Mr and Mrs R Krastich Ms L Kuek and Mr S Waters Mr and Mrs A Kulesza Prof R Kurth and Mrs O Creanga-Kurth Mr and Mrs B Landy Mr P Lazar and Dr H Tatsis Mr and Mrs C Leonard Mr D and Mrs N Lever Mr P Lewinsky Mr S Li and Mrs Y Yin Mr Z Li and Mrs X Liu Mr C Li and Mrs W Xu Mr J Li and Ms J Liu

Mr Y Li and Ms Q Wu Mr W Liang and Mrs H Wang Mr C Link Mr B Liu and Ms X Dai Mr Y Liu and Ms X Han Mr W Liu and Ms Z Xu Mr and Mrs T Lopreiato Ms C Louw and Mr J Louw Ms L Lu Mr N Lu and Mrs W Yu Mr K Luo and Ms X Guan Mr Z Luo and Mrs H Lin Mr and Mrs S Lynch Mr X Ma and Mrs Y Hou Mr and Mrs R MacDonald Ms O McIntyre and Mr N Madanayake Mrs G Markwell Mrs P Martin Mr C Martinson and Ms E Guerin Ms J McIlveney and Ms E Smith Mr and Mrs J McKell Mr M McMaster and Mrs K Jansen-McMaster Mr R and Mrs M McNamara Mr S McVilly Mr B Meekin and Ms D Meltzer Mr H Mi and Mrs J Dai Mrs P Mews and Mr C Mews Mr J and Mrs K Moir Mr and Mrs J Moller Dr P Mottram and Dr C Leembruggen Mrs K Major Mr J Mu and Ms Z Li Mrs S Muir Mr B Neagle Ms K Nolan and Mr B Nolan Mr and Mrs K Nomoto Dr J Galinas and Ms D Noulikas Mr and Mrs D Page Mr Y Pan and Ms N Wu Mr R and Mrs J Patrick Mrs E Pearse and Mr K Pearse Dr J Peters Dr P Phair OAM Mrs J Phillips Mrs M Piper Mrs P Powell OAM Mr and Mrs A Raper Mr J and Mrs B Read Prof C Rees-Sidhu and Mr R Sidhu Dr C and Mrs B Roberts Mr S and Mrs C Robertson Assoc. Prof C Rodda and Prof E Storey Mr P and Mrs J Ross Mr J and Mrs C Ross Mr T and Mrs M Russell Mr and Mrs A Russell Mr J and Mrs S Sadler Mr and Ms T Sakata Sandringham House Parents’ Association Dr A Sarros and Prof J Sarros Mr R and Mrs E Scacco Mrs V Scott Senior School Parents’ Association Mr and Mrs C Shepard Mr S and Dr B Shepherd

Dr J Smith and Mr F Carter Mr O Smith and Ms E Stevens Mr K Sorataworn and Miss C Ekkittibutr Mr L Speck and Mrs C Hannay Mr and Mrs R Stark Mrs G Steenbhom Mr and Mrs E Stepcic Miss J Stewart Mr M and Mrs S Stewart Mrs B Stewart and Mr A Stewart Ms L Stockdale Mrs W Sturrock Mrs S Taft and Dr L Taft Mr Z Tang and Mrs J Chen Mr J Tang and Ms X Mei Mr and Mrs C Telford Mr and Ms Y Teraki Dr P and Mrs F Thomas Ms N Torkar Mr and Dr A Touzell Dr E Tudball Mrs L Turner Turner House Parent’s Association Mrs P Veale and Mr W Veale Mr and Mrs P Vidotto Mr and Mrs D Waller Mr M Walter Mr S Walters and Ms L Kuek Mr H Wang and Mrs Y Yang Mr Y Wang and Ms F Chuang Mr C Wang and Ms B Lou Mr Y Wang and Ms T Chen Ms H Wang and Mr Y Wang Mr A and Mrs M Watts Assoc. Prof D Webster Ms A Webster and Mr D Oldfield Mr M and Mrs K Whitehead Ms J Williams Dr D Williamson Mr W Wu and Ms L Hong Mr G Wu and Mrs B Chen Mr Z Wu and Mrs H Han Mr Z Wu and Ms Y Liu Mr and Mrs Y Xu Mr J Xue and Ms F Yu Mr J Yang and Ms Y Shen Mr Y Yang and Ms R Huang Ms S Yang and Mr H Chen Mrs D Yi and Mr X Jing Mr J Yu and Mrs J Zhou Mrs H Zhang Ms C Zhang Mr and Mrs L Zhang Mr W Zhang and Mrs S Tan Mr S Zhang and Ms T Su Mr A Zheng and Ms X Tang Mr H Zheng and Ms Y Zhang Mrs L Zheng and Mr K Wang Mr J Lai and Mrs C Zhou Mr L Zhou and Ms Y Xu Mr W Zhou and Mrs Y Ma Mr C Zhou and Ms C Yang Mr H Zhou and Ms J Yang Mr G Zhu and Ms L Qiang Mr J Zhu and Mrs J Chen Mr B Zhu and Ms L Jin Mr J Zhu and Mrs Y Zhang Mr X Zhu and Mrs L Xiao Dr E Zilberg and Mrs M Vassiliouk

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Aide International Pty Ltd Mr and Mrs D Airoldi Mr and Mrs H Andersson Mr J and Mrs S Anson Mr and Mrs M Arabatzis Dr H Arabatzis Mr A and Mrs M Akritidis Mrs A Auden Mrs K Baldwin and Mr S Baldwin Miss S Balfe and Mr C Hassall Mr D Bao and Mrs S Yu Mrs H Barras and Mr C Barras Mr and Dr S Barwood Mr and Mrs M Bastos Ms K Bauld Mr and Mrs A Beasley Mr D and Mrs D Behera Mr J Black and Ms M Ryan Mrs P Bolles Ms P Bowden Mr and Mrs R Bowen Mr and Mrs J Bredebusch Mr and Ms A Brougham Mr B Brown and Ms A Jamieson Mr J Buckley Ms D Burrage Mrs E Burton Ms H Campbell Ms R Campbell Mr and Mrs A Catalano Mr and Mrs T Chapman Mr P Chen and Mrs X Hu Mr L Chen and Ms M Wang Mr J Chen and Ms J Fu Mr B Chen and Ms S Zhang Mr H Chen and Mrs Y Han Mr C Chen and Ms Y Yuan Mr D Cheung and Dr G Wong Dr and Mrs A Chong Mr and Mrs A Ciconte Mr and Mrs R Clayfield Mr M Coleman and Ms K Rispin Mr and Mrs R Cotton Mr A and Mrs S Cox Dr D and Mrs R Crompton Mr C Cui and Ms G LI Mrs J Dalgarno and Mr C Dalgarno Mrs N Dandie and Mr J Dandie Mr A David and Ms C Collins Mr A and Mrs M Dexter Mr S and Mrs J Ding Mr A and Mrs C Dipietrantonio Mr S Dolan and Dr A Imber Mr and Mrs B Dominguez Mr and Mrs S Donald Prof C Drummond and Ms K Brereton Mr and Ms A Edmondson Mrs A Edwards Mr N Elston and Ms F Yeo Dr and Mrs D Evans Dr and Dr C Evans Mr S Feehan Mr X Fan and Ms L Zhao Mr X Feng and Mrs L Song Mr Y Feng and Ms Y Tang Firbank Old Grammarians Association Mrs M Flockart Mr P and Mrs K Flockart

Sustainability | FIRBANK TODAY

Above L-R: Mia Eng, Paul Briggs, Principal Jenny Williams, Katja Hess and Lili Mayer

Firbank Grammar teaches students to live our values each and every day. The School’s pillar of sustainability looks to the ongoing strength of our School as well as to the value of environmental and sustainable practices. In conjunction with Risen Energy, Firbank was pleased to install Solar Panels on our Senior School Music Precinct in June 2019. The panels are stage one of a larger future rollout of solar energy throughout our School. The Solar Panels will make our Music Precinct building the first power neutral building at Firbank. All energy used in the area is generated and stored by the Solar Panels. Solar energy supports Firbank’s efforts to be more environmentally conscious. This solar initiative was put forward by our student Environmental Action Group (EAG) in 2018 who presented to the Firbank Building and Planning Committee about the benefits of solar power. This is another demonstration of the dedication of our students and the way in which Firbank is teaching them to think beyond themselves. As this fast-paced technology emerges, Firbank intends to one day take the School off the grid and be fully self-sufficient. From concept to reality, this endeavour was made possible through the entrepreneurship of our students and the extraordinary generosity of Risen Energy, which is owned by a Firbank Grammar parent. It is our hope that future buildings, such as our new Arts Precinct, will be fitted out in a similar manner and that as buildings throughout the School are refitted, they will be made battery ready. CRICOS Provider No. 00140K

Firbank is pleased to be embracing solar energy, as we move towards producing and storing our own power. Together we can make a difference to our environment for students today and in the future. Above: Solar panels installed on the Music Precinct roof 21


Sent by Marjorie Drohan (Atkinson) Class of 1952, pictured here with the 1952 Prefects, back row, third from the left.

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FIRBANK ALUMNI This year, I again had the privilege to speak to the Year 12 students at their Valedictory Dinner. I always thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to meet with our newest members and to personally welcome them into the Association. I feel privileged that as the President of FOGA I get to be part of one of their key milestones in life, finishing school. For many of us, up to that point, it is the most exciting time in our life, and one that we think we will never forget. As the years go by, however, other exciting life milestones occur and are added to the memory bank, and our final day of school seems to become a bit faded.

What I have experienced however, in attending school reunions, the Annual FOGA Luncheon and other FOGA events, as our members walk through the school gates the memories come back, and I’m often told ‘it feels like only yesterday that I was here at school’.

Alternatively, if you are keen to organise an event for FOGA members, be that large or small, I encourage you to get in contact with the FOGA committee.

It astounds me, particularly with some of our ‘longer serving members’, that their memories are still so vivid of their time at school, and that no matter what they are doing in life or where they have travelled, they still remember their school days and the women who they spent them with.

Anna Borthwick President of FOGA

FOGA | Annual Lunch

If it has been some time since you have seen your ‘school friends’ and you are wanting to reconnect, I encourage you to attend a FOGA event. FOGA organise a number of events through the year and we always welcome our Firbank community to attend.

IMPORTANT DATES FOGA 2020 Tuesday, 24 March FOGA Annual General Meeting Friday, 1 May FOGA Annual Lunch

ANNOUNCEMENTS We are always pleased to welcome new additions to the Firbank family. Please let us know your happy news by contacting Amanda Webster on 9591 5148 or email awebster@firbank.vic.edu.au so we can send your new baby a welcome gift.

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At Firbank we are always delighted to enrol children of alumni to Firbank. Due to increasing demand, we recommend you register your application for enrolment as early as possible. As valued members of our community, the application fee for children of FOGA members is waived. Applications can be completed online by visiting www.firbank.edu.au Firbank alumni and their pre-schoolers are also invited to join in Playgroup at either the Sandringham or Brighton Campuses during term time (Free of charge for FOGA members). 23

FIRBANK ALUMNI | Reunions 60 Years | Class of 1959

40 Years | Class of 1979

30 Years | Class of 1989

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20 Years | Class of 1999

10 Years | Class of 2009

2020 REUNIONS 60 Years | Class of 1960 Friday, 2 October 50 Years | Class of 1970 Friday, 3 April

5 Years | Class of 2014

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STAY IN TOUCH If your details have changed update them at firbank.vic.edu.au or contact events@firbank.vic.edu.au or telephone 9591 5148

40 Years | Class of 1980 Friday, 13 March 30 Years | Class of 1990 Friday, 21 August 20 Years | Class of 2000 Friday, 31 July 10 Years | Class of 2010 Friday, 27 March 5 Years | Class of 2015 Friday, 4 September


FIRBANK NEWS | Congratulations Current Students Congratulations to Senior School student Ella Ross, Year 9 who received a High Distinction in the Australian National Chemistry Quiz. Ella was the only student in Year 9 to earn this prestigious accolade through her independent Chemistry studies. Firbank is proud that five other students also received High Distinctions in the Quiz. Congratulations to Senior School student Nicole Bennett, Year 11 who won the 16 & U Girls Singles event at the 2019 Frankston Cup Tennis Tournament in November.

Ella Ross

Congratulations to Senior School student Lara Stevens, Year 9 who was selected for Team Vic U15 at the National Touch Championships. Veronika Cena-Bandosz, Serena Lopreiato, Cindy Deng, Lara Rumbens, Alicia Fuller, Lucie Braddon, Nithali Jain and Hanna Graham from Years 7 and 8 attended the ‘Annual Science Talent Search Exhibition and Presentation Day’ at La Trobe University where the students received a Bursary for their outstanding Science work.

Lulu Olesen-Phillips

Congratulations to Senior School student Lulu Olesen-Phillips, Year 7 who was selected for the Victorian State U13 Indoor Hockey Team for 2020 with the Championships to be held in January. Sporting stars! Congratulations to Senior School students Orla McCarthy and Grace Henham, Year 8 who achieved success at the recent All Schools State Athletics Championships. Orla won Gold in Discus and Grace a Bronze in the 90m Hurdles. Congratulations to Sandringham Coed Campus student Mary Lazar, Year 5 who was awarded a Bursary at the 2019 Science Talent Search Awards. Congratulations to Senior School student Charli Bakker, Year 11 who was awarded a scholarship to Germany at the 52nd annual SAGSE Banquet at Leonda in Hawthorn in October. Charli will spend 10 weeks in Germany over the coming summer.

Orla McCarthy

Singing her way to the top! Congratulations to Senior School student Elizabeth Gordan-Saker, Year 9 who featured in the Grand Final of the 2019 Fast Track singing competition and who has been cast in the production of ‘Lights, Camera, Music!” for the Windmill Theatre Company.

Congratulations to Firbank Sandringham Coed Campus student, Jack Barker and his 2 horses Jedda and Harley who qualified to represent Team Victoria at the 2019 National Interschool Equestrian Championships. Riding to success. Congratulations to Senior School student, Grace Gordon, Year 11 who won two gold medals at the Interschool’s Equestrian Competition in September. Congratulations to Firbank Sandringham Coed Campus student, Harrison Moller who won Silver for Alpine GS (Giant Slalom) and Bronze for Ski X at the National Interschools Snowsports Championships. Congratulations to Firbank Senior School student Sophie McGetrick, Year 11, who has been awarded a Principal role in the 2019 Victorian Youth Opera’s production of The Selfish Giant. Well done to Sophie on this outstanding opportunity. Congratulations to Firbank Senior School student Celeste Huang, Year 9 who was one of four winners from across the country in the 2019 Young Archies Competition. Celeste’s portrait of her grandmother will be hung in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Congratulations to Firbank Senior School Students Jacqui Nolan, Year 7 and Amy Kenny, Year 11 who won gold in the Schools diving event in July, Jacqui in the under 13s springboard and Amy in the 17-19 platform. Congratulations to Senior School student Ashni Solanki who was been selected to play in the Victorian Golf Team at the National Championships. Ashni is a member of the Victoria Golf Club and currently plays off scratch (0 handicap). We look forward to following her progress in future competitions. Reaching new heights. Congratulations to Firbank students Phoebe Kakaras and Alyssa Calcatjicos who won a silver medal in the Australian Trampolining Championships. The girls competed in the Youth International Division placing 2nd in the synchronised trampolining event. Jack Barker

Harrison Moller

Grace Gordon

Elizabeth Gordon-Saker

Lara Stevens

Jacqui Nolan & Amy Kenny

Phoebe Kakaras & Alyssa Calcatjicos

Congratulations, Congratulations,Condolences, Condolences,Welcome Welcome | FIRBANK NEWS WELCOME


Jenna Patan (Class of 2002) and her husband Sean welcomed Olivia Mackenzie Bell on 15 February 2019, 15 weeks early.

Congratulations to Charlotte Bourne (2008) who married Jack Stevens on 2 February 2019. Penny Marom (Gunst) Class of 2000 and her husband Nathan Marom welcomed George Leo Robert Marom, born on March 24, 2019 at Epworth Freemasons Hospital, East Melbourne. (3.62kg & 50cm).

Congratualtions to Sarah Grant (Class of 1997) who married Dan Nicols on 26 October 2019 . Emily Grant Class of 2002 and her partner Terry Constantinou welcomed Zac Alan Constantinou, on July 4, 2019.

Congratulations to Firbank Aluma Amanda Bateman (Class of 2014) who recently raced at the World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim. Her result in the double scull has qualified that boat for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. What a fantastic result! We wish Amanda good luck with her training for the Olympic selections next year. Congratulations to Firbank Grammar Alumna and Past School Captain Rachael Joyce (Class of 2015) who won this season of The Talent on 3MBS for her Soprano singing.

We love sharing our community’s news, achievements and notable events.

Please forward your news and an accompanying photo to communications@firbank.vic.edu.au We look forward to hearing from you.

FIRBANK NEWS | CONDOLENCES Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family and friends of the following Old Grammarians: Elizabeth Thompson (O’Connor) On 24 March 2017. Peer Year 1961 Sue Gregory (Martin) On 2 December 2018. Peer Year 1959 Shelley Jones On 11 February 2019. Peer Year 1973 Camilla Harvie (Knowles) On 21 March 2019. Peer Year 1989 Ettie Pullman (Davis) On 12 April 2019. Peer Year 1942

PEN-Y-BRYN SOCIETY In 2005 Firbank established the Pen-y-bryn Society to honour those who have indicated their intention to remember Firbank in their Will. Including a gift in your Will (known as a bequest) ensures an investment in the future of our students and their education – it is a meaningful way to recognise your connection to the School. The Pen-y-bryn Society provides a means for Firbank to thank those who have provided a gift in their Will. Members maintain a close connection with Firbank through Pen-y-bryn Society special events. Each bequest, no matter what size, contributes to the School’s future. To learn more about including Firbank in your Will or to arrange a confidential, no obligation discussion please contact Amanda Webster on 95915148 or email awebster@firbank.vic.edu.au

FOGA | S.A. Lunch

Betty Elworthy (Downie) On 18 June 2019. Peer Year 1942 Heather Johns (Mitchell) On 23 June 2019. Peer Year 1956 Margot Wenborn On 22 July 2019. Peer Year 1956 Pam Moylan (Lancet) On 9 August 2019. Peer Year 1940 Lucinda Spata (McClymont) On 18 August 2019. Peer Year 1975 Gwen Markwell (Hart) On 27 August 2019. Peer Year 1937 Julienne McCall (Jellis) On 8 September. Peer Year 1957 Diana Barnott (Skene) On 23 September 2019. Peer Year 1952


When the Adelaide ‘expats’ get together a lot of pictures and stories are shared. On Saturday, 21 September 2019 nine Firbank Alumna met for lunch. This has been an annual event for some time. Unfortunately, six people were unable to attend this year’s event. The group were saddened that Lesley Lamb, who left Firbank in the late 1930s, died earlier this year at the age of 97. As Margaret Piper said, “We will miss her gentle smiling presence and her connection with the School in earlier times.” Margaret Piper (Packer), Jan Johnston (Anderson) and Verna Symons (Lloyd) left Firbank in the 1950s. Margaret Piper attended Firbank from 1944 to 1955, Janet Johnson attended Firbank from 1944 to 1954, Verna Symons left Firbank in 1951. Roselie Copley, Marti Lim (Kahler), Sue Marks and Kaye Andrewartha (Brown) left Firbank in the 1960s. Margaret Johnson (Warren) and Karen Morgan (Mole) left Firbank in the 1970s. It is interesting to hear about what Firbank was like in different eras and how all our lives have changed since leaving Brighton. If any other past students have moved to Adelaide, or are even visiting, we would love them to join us at the Annual Lunch in 2020, the date will be publicised in the June edition of the Green Gold and White.

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Nena Brice (Winch) On 13 October 2019. Peer Year 1952

From L-R: Margaret Johnson, Verna Symons, Margaret Piper, Kaye Andrewartha, Marti Lim, Sue Marks, Roselie Copley, Jan Johnston & Karen Morgan







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Firbank Grammar School Magazine | Green, Gold & White No.55 Summer 19/20  

Our Summer edition of the School Magazine

Firbank Grammar School Magazine | Green, Gold & White No.55 Summer 19/20  

Our Summer edition of the School Magazine

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