INFORMATION EXCHANGE 2019 | issue 1
INFORMATION EXCHANGE 2019 | issue 1
Chairman of Council
From the Principal
Welcome Dr Toni Meath
10 Early Learning 12 Junior Years 16 Middle Years 18 Senior Years 24 Boarding House 28 The Arts 30 Sports 32 Parents Association 34 Heritage 36 Philanthropy 38 Old Grammarians COVER: L-R Victoria Yuasa, Violet Maddux and Leticia Viscaino Franco De Campos. RIGHT: L-R Nicky Wang, Cindy Wang and Sarah Unal. INFORMATION EXCHANGE Marketing Coordinator: Sam Emms Design: Kerri Valkova Photography: James Grant Editorial Team: Dr Toni Meath Robyn McCutchan Eliza Behrens Sam Emms Published by: Melbourne Girls Grammar 86 Anderson Street, South Yarra 3141 Victoria, Australia For the latest Melbourne Girls Grammar News, please visit: www.mggs.vic.edu.au/news ABN 81 116 806 163 CRICOS Provider Code 00322D
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From the Editor From Early Learning through to our Senior Years Program and onto some of the world’s best tertiary providers, our Grammarians reach the workforce with the confidence, self-direction and integrity to achieve anything to which they set their minds. Why? Because when they’re inside the red brick walls of MGGS, we provide every opportunity to look outward – to expand their horizons. It is this that enables us to prepare them for a world we can’t predict.
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From Council Katie Allen (Stephens, 1983) | Chairman of Council (2015-2019)
One of the reasons advanced for encouraging the continuance of independent schools in our community is that they have a specially favorable opportunity of … trying out new methods in education. Not all independent schools do this. The Melbourne Church of England Girls' Grammar School, however, for fifty years has been a pioneer in this field. In addition to providing a sound education backed by religious principles, the school has always been in the forefront of educational progress. So commences the Foreword to Nisi Dominus Frustra in my mother’s copy of the Jubilee History of MGGS published in 1953. This is a history of progressive education for which the School has always been proud and has continued to this day. What has underpinned this progressiveness is an essential attitude that the School doesn’t just move with the times – it creates the times. By educating the next generation of women, our school is one of the many institutions that is creating expanded horizons for girls and women. Whilst 100 years ago opportunities for women were limited to finishing school with a view to establishing a family, now the world is open to women to participate in every facet of society and in any way we wish to. The expanding horizon of women is only limited by our imaginations. But despite the huge progress made by women over the past century – with more women participating in the workforce, the gender pay gap closing (albeit slowly) and improved equality of household workload between men and women – there remains much to do to ensure women can continue to thrive and prosper
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without prejudice. Whilst careers like medicine, teaching, nursing and even business are reaching or have exceeded parity in gender number, several fields remain notably resistant to change including law and areas of science and engineering. Most vexing, however, is the lack of parity in leadership and public life, including politics. Theories flourish as to why women are under-represented in leadership at all levels but particularly in public life. It is not a peculiarly Antipodean syndrome – although several notable African nations are exceptions to the international rule. But as I write, the warm winds of change are being felt in the corridors of power as more women put themselves forward for leadership. Community expectations are now in lockstep with these endeavours. As a community we must continue to champion women in public life, develop the next generation of leaders for society and continue to expand the horizons of our students – now and into the future and beyond the red brick walls. Our school seeks to ensure that students are constantly stimulated to challenge themselves and grasp opportunities with both hands. This independent mindset fosters a confidence in setting and seeking challenges. Opportunities to both succeed and take challenges that might fail provide the basis for ongoing resilience, underpinned by support from dedicated staff and a harmonious peer group. As the outgoing Chairman of MGGS and as a past student, current parent, daughter and granddaughter of Old Grammarians, I am enormously grateful for the expanding horizons that MGGS has created for me and my family over the last 99 years.
mark Burgess | Chairman of Council (2019- )
This is an exciting time of change in our school with the appointment of Dr Toni Meath as our twelfth Principal of Melbourne Girls Grammar. Toni joins our community at a time when the world is changing rapidly, and is characterised by increasing complexity, rising challenges but also great opportunity. Our new Principal brings to Melbourne Girls Grammar a depth of skills, energy, engagement and experiences and, as a proven leader in education, she is already making her mark. I am sure many of you have had the opportunity to hear Toni speak or perhaps to meet her. We, as a Council, are looking forward to working with Toni and her team to continue Melbourne Girls Grammarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long standing tradition as an Australian leader in girls' education. One of the great benefits of being on Council (and now as Chairman), is the opportunity to meet with so many of our Grammarians, sharing their stories of lived experience of both their time at our wonderful school and their lives beyond. I am constantly impressed by our Grammarians breadth of life experiences. The way in which their journey has expanded horizons is truly remarkable, and no surprise given the foundations of their education at our school. Our alumnae have become leaders in our communities, worked and lived around the world, developed careers and given back to their families and society in so many ways. In meeting our Grammarians, it is a reminder that we are preparing our students not just for the experiences of life that we have experienced, but in preparation for a wide and varied journey.
In a changing world full of opportunities, the time of preparation as a Grammarian at our school, is ever more important. Melbourne Girls Grammar is in a unique position to offer our students the foundations for life beyond our school gates. Our broad range of co-curricular activities, educational opportunities and new forums for engagement with the wider community, all contribute to our girls being prepared and excited to meet the challenges and opportunities and to expand their educational and personal horizons. A Grammarian who embodies a life led with broad horizons, is our retiring Chairman, Dr Katie Allen. Katie, as many will be aware, has given significant time to our community as Chairman of Council over the past four years. Katie embodies so much of what makes our school unique in its development of students of purpose and action. Having led in her field as a world renowned medical researcher, leader and practitioner, Katie is now embarking on a political career, looking to give back through public service. We wish Katie the very best in her new endeavours and we thank her for her significant contribution to our school community. Finally, I would again like to welcome our new Principal, and I know Toni is also looking forward to meeting our community through this first semester. It is always exciting to begin a new chapter and Council looks forward to working with our Principal and teaching staff in the development of broader horizons for our students. A changing world presents great opportunity and Melbourne Girls Grammar is uniquely positioned to guide and develop our girls through this change.
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From the Principal DR TONI E. MEATH | Principal
I have completed my first 100 days as the twelfth Principal of Melbourne Girls Grammar School and feel honoured to be given the role of leading this fine community into its next stage of history. I acknowledge the Principals who have come before me and their images in our Portrait Gallery remind me of the responsibility I have to carry forward their legacy of ensuring that we continue to be an eminent independent girls’ school in Australia. I am humbled by my appointment to this position. In keeping with the theme of expanding horizons, I have commenced the year developing my understanding of the rich history and deep culture within the red brick walls of Merton Hall and Morris Hall. Our world is changing rapidly and the future requires schools to prepare students with a set of skills and knowledge for the unknown. It is already apparent that our Grammarians have been born in a time of global outlook and influences. They will be living in a world in which work, society, and community are subject to increasingly complex pressures and influences, and that their lives will be immersed in constant change at an ever increasing pace and complexity. This will be underpinned by high speed, interactive information and communication technology. They will need to deal with conflict management, disparities in the distribution of resources and opportunities, as well as tackling the problems of climate change and environmental sustainability. In December 2008, The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEECDYA, 2008) acknowledged the major changes in the world and the new demands placed on Australian education. The Goals were developed by Education Ministers from all Australian states, in collaboration with the Catholic and Independent school sectors, following public consultation on the draft declaration. Within its goals, the Declaration sought to support schools to promote personalised learning and develop students who are innovative and creative with diverse capabilities. It identified that students needed to think ‘deeply and logically’ and be ‘creative’ to be successful citizens. Ten years on, the Melbourne Declaration acts as a supportive framework for the delivery of the Melbourne Girls Grammar curriculum, as it emphasises the importance of higher-order thinking and its place in the classroom. It also acts as the impetus for our 6 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 2019 Issue 1
next Strategic Intent with a clear vision for 2020-2025 and for meeting the needs of the 2030 graduate. With this in mind, learning at Melbourne Girls Grammar requires linking substantive, real world issues to curriculum content and aims. As Principal, it is my responsibility to ensure that teachers make the classroom and cocurricular learning experience an authentic one that empowers our Grammarians as life-long learners. At Melbourne Girls Grammar I will purposefully support teachers to develop within their student’s deep knowledge and understanding and to foster higher-order thinking through the use of creativity, metacognition, reasoning, processing, investigation and reflection. I see Melbourne Girls Grammar as a contemporary and generous school with strong future and global thinking where student voice is central. In essence, I see Melbourne Girls Grammar as a ’thinking’ school that is a trusted space where students can be themselves, love learning and aspire to a scholarly approach in a world class learning environment with inspiring teachers. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the staff, students, alumnae and families who have warmly welcomed me into our community. The generosity of spirit which has been afforded to me nurtures my optimism for the continuation of a flourishing future and expanding horizons for our school in the provision of education excellence.
Welcome Dr Toni Meath On Thursday 7 February, in the proud Anglican Schools’ tradition, all students from Prep to Year 12, staff, Old Grammarians and friends of Melbourne Girls Grammar gathered in the heart of Melbourne, at St Paul’s Cathedral for the Commissioning of our twelfth Principal, Dr Toni Meath. Lynn Broadway | Deputy Principal: Staffing and Operations
In such a majestic setting, the liturgical welcome of Dr Toni Meath was led by The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, The Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne, the Reverend Canon Heather Pattaca, The Precentor, and MGGS’s Chaplain, Father Walter McEntee.
Alongside past and present students, there were many distinguished guests in attendance from esteemed educational institutions, former MGGS Principal Christine Briggs, as well as Toni’s trusted mentor, Sir Gustav Nossal.
It was wonderful to have the entire student body at this very special and significant Service to celebrate the appointment and more particularly to warmly welcome our new Principal to the Melbourne Girls Grammar community.
Beautiful anthems resounded, sung by Year 4 students from Morris Hall and the Merton Chamber Voices. Representative students from Years 1-12 participated in the lighting of the candles and the presented symbols.
In the short time Toni has been with us, all members of our community have noted the warmth, grace, wisdom and experience of leadership our new Principal has brought to our school. Toni has visited the ELC, attended assemblies at Merton Hall and Morris Hall, welcomed and met parents at the whole School Parent and Staff Cocktail Party, and provided a Q&A and met many OGs at the March OGs Celebration Day and Reunions.
The Presentation of the Symbols included students from the Barbara Tolson Early Learning Centre, to our Senior Years, boarding residents and staff. Collectively they highlighted to Dr Meath the inherent values recognised by our Melbourne Girls Grammar community: • A coloured ribbon from each House Captain (Collaboration and Agency) • A white rose bush (Care and Compassion) • A photograph of the first teacher at MGGS (Courage) • 2018 School Magazine showcasing achievements (Self-discipline and Agency) • A photograph of a mosaic created in the ELC and pack of mustard seeds (Capacity) • A map of the world featuring pins to represent the diversity of our boarding house (Identity and Inclusion). Each part of the MGGS community were involved in leading the congregation through Acknowledgement of Country, special readings and prayers: the Chairman of Council, Professor Katie Allen; the President of the Old Grammarians Society, Trudie Horsfall; the President of the Parents Association, Tammy Read; the President of the Merton Hall Foundation, Fred Grimwade, the School Captain, Alexandra Kelsall; Year 10 indigenous student, Gracie Ah Mat; and members of the School’s Executive Team Lynn Broadway, Chris McNamara, and Kellie Morgan. LEFT: Nicola Delaitre, Taylah Lukey-Gravelle and Alana Chiodo present Dr Toni Meath with symbolic gifts at her Commissioning.
Toni has attended early morning breakfasts and late night events; her energy and enthusiasm for all that she experiences at the School has been infectious. At all times, she has led with poise, warmth and confidence. Toni’s express belief in the values of the School and her eagerness to keep learning and understanding our traditions and what makes Melbourne Girls Grammar unique already signify the wonderful next chapter of the School’s history, and reinforce we are indeed in wonderful hands. Dr Toni E. Meath 2019 Mrs Catherine Misson 2008 - 2018 Mrs Christine Briggs 1995 - 2007 Miss Nina Crone 1975 - 1994 Miss Edith Mountain 1957 - 1974 Miss Dorothy J Ross 1939 - 1955 Miss Kathleen Gilman Jones 1916 - 1938 Miss Agnes Tunnicliffe 1914 - 1915 Miss Edith Morris 1898 - 1912 Miss Mary Morris 1898 - 1908 Miss Alice Taylor 1893 - 1895 Miss Emily Hensley 1893 - 1898 2019 Issue 1 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 7
Class of 2018 vce Pathways Within a supported, personalised learning environment at Melbourne Girls Grammar it is reinforced that anything is possible, that limits do not exist and that each and every student has every right to strive for what she wants and reach out for it with both hands. This mindset is developed early on in their education; it enables our girls to greet real-world problems with gusto and have their goals transformed into personal achievements. Exposure to new ways of thinking, testing ideas, and following interests early, help our girls define who they are (identity), their abilities (capacity), and what they do (agency). Where our girls gained offers in 2019 demonstrates that they are continuing to make choices that will enable them to realise their ambitions and positively impact the communities in which they will operate. Our programs are designed to focus on the needs of each student. Our VCE results continue to demonstrate the incredible commitment they have to their studies at MGGS. These wonderful results also demonstrate the capacity within our community to support each girl to achieve their personal best. The Gilman Jones Scholarship Trust The Trust was established in 1942 to honour the memory of Miss Kathleen Annie Gilman Jones, Headmistress (1916-1938). Each year the Scholarship is awarded to the successful applicant, or applicants, who show “the greatest scholastic promise”. Our 2018 recipients were Sarah Gigante, Alexandria Un, and Isobel Nicholls.
STUDY SCORES OF 45 OR HIGHER
“I believe that the School has provided me with guidance, room to grow and independence that has allowed me to develop in my own individual ways while embracing all my peers and teachers around me.”
Sarah Gigante “I’m very grateful for my wonderful teachers, classmates and my supportive family, who believed in me, especially when I chose to chase my cycling dreams in Europe on top of my studies.”
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ABOVE: L-R Isobel Nicholls, Alexandria Un and Sarah Gigante were all awarded the Gilman Jones Scholarship
Offers by Institution
Offers by Career Fields Information Technology 1%
Other 1.5% VU 1.5%
University of Melbourne 38%
ACU 1.5% Swinburne 3%
Society and Culture 25.5%
Education 1% Architecture and Building 3% Architecture and Environmental 3%
La Trobe 4% Management and Commerce 23%
Health 6% Deakin 4.5%
Engineering 6.5% RMIT 15%
Creative Arts 12%
Natural and Physical Sciences 19%
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Joining the Family The transition into the Barbara Tolson Early Learning Centre brings a host of new opportunities for both child and parent. The freedom to explore learning through play begins here, building skills that last a lifetime. Margaret Sellar | Head of Early Learning
As the second term concludes it is time for reflection about the journey our girls in the Barbara Tolson Early Learning Centre (ELC) have undertaken during their time with us. As I observe groups of girls at play and hear the sounds of laughter and conversation in the learning studios, I am struck by the realisation that the sense of security and support from belonging to a community is vital for the wellbeing of the children in our care.
The establishment of a sense of community is important for the development of a child’s feelings of belonging and security. We actively foster the building of the community by including home experiences in the program. This involves the addition of materials and play experiences that are familiar to the children, incorporating songs and music from the home culture and opportunities to include the girl's home language.
For many, commencing in our ELC is the first time they have left the security of home and family. They are embarking on new experiences of discovery and making friends, and increasing their independence. They are expanding their horizons. What they seek out each day through teacher led provocations and self-directed play, how and what they explore, and ways to collaborate and learn together.
As our girls become comfortable in their new environment, strong connections with both peers and educators are built through shared experiences and everyday interactions. Routines are established and gradually the girls proudly identify themselves as being part of the class group. Expressions such as “I’m a Davis girl” or “I’m a Thomas girl” are heard throughout the Centre.
Our girls enter the preschool setting typically from an environment dominated by home and immediate family life. At this time, both parents and child experience intense feelings about this important step. As one of our ELC parents commented:
Social interaction ʻoutside the family’ enables each girl to build a positive sense of self, take instruction and learn how to engage in play and resolve disputes. Throughout the year they develop an awareness of their own emotions and how to read others and respond appropriately.
Before our daughter started at the ELC she had never been in childcare of any kind and ... I was nervous and concerned that she would have trouble letting go of me and adjusting to such a major life change, however I was pleasantly surprised. The School has a wonderful home-like environment and I am able to leave her each day without tears because she feels nurtured, safe and has developed friendships quickly with lovely attachments to her teachers. Our educators attempt to allay these fears during the initial family meetings where a deep understanding is gained for each individual girl to assist their transition to school. The partnership between home and school begins; it will continue to grow and enhance each child’s wellbeing and learning outcomes throughout their time at Melbourne Girls Grammar. Parents are encouraged to spend time in the learning studios during this transition stage. Educators warmly greet families as they begin each new day. Photos of families and items from home are welcomed and displayed within the studios. The physical environments created in the learning studios are reminiscent of home and encourage shared endeavours and creative exploration. Natural materials and soft furnishings in neutral colours create a sense of calm. All these little things help our girls feel safe and supported at a time when there is a lot of change. As Robyn Fergusson, one of our three-year-old educators points out…
As another parent reflected, "After a year in the ELC, we observed a remarkable difference in our daughter’s behaviour, speech, confidence, thirst for learning, and overall development. We believe this is the direct result of the structure, consistency and the sense of belonging our daughter feels to such a wonderful community.” Every day connections with other groups are developed during play, communal singing and sharing information about one another. Celebrations such as Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day allow us to gather on the deck and connect with each other and our traditions. Together we share our love of reading by celebrating Book Week and learn to think about others whose needs can be lessened through our actions and giving. Many parents have provided feedback that the Early Learning Centre has given their daughter, "...kind but firm guidance that has helped her to believe that she is clever, capable and confident”. As their time in the ELC passes, connections with older students are made as they read and learn how to code with Year 5 and 6 girls. Playing with their buddies from Year 3 at Morris Hall fosters friendships that will support them as they transition into Prep. As our girls complete their time with us in the Barbara Tolson Early Learning Centre they belong to many different communities and within each one, the girls feel valued and supported to do anything to which they set their minds.
LEFT: L-R Jemima Donato, Jemima Ayers and Avril Van Eyk.
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Feeling Googly Some schools leave experiential learning and vocational inspiration to older students, at MGGS we seek out opportunities. That’s how six girls from Year 4 were able to visit Google’s Head Office in Melbourne. Kellie Morgan Director of Junior Years and Early Learning | Becky Glenton Assistant Director of Junior Years
In a fast-paced and ever-changing world, we know that successful people expect to be able to live and work anywhere in the world. They want to travel, change what they’re working on to keep up with their interests and abilities, work collaboratively with peers across the globe as the need arises, outsource things they don’t like doing and do all of this flexibly. At Melbourne Girls Grammar we have designed our programs from ELC to Year 12 based on what research tells us successful, high-achieving people will need to succeed. As educators, we have had to carefully consider what our girls will need to thrive in the future.
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learning dispositions universal programs girls making choices to pursue their passions
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Inv est iga tion Time •
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Creative Critical thinkers Committed Curious Collaborative
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As educators, we are committed to designing programs that encourage and foster agency for all learners. We do this by focussing on learning dispositions resulting from our research, planning and close work over several years with Guy Claxtoni author of Building Learning Power. We believe the learning embedded in our programs will equip our girls to thrive and be prepared for a world characterised by the rapid pace of change. As this change happens, the need for creative solutions is becoming increasingly important for how we educate and adapt in the workplace.
Our 5 C's - Creative, Critical thinkers, Committed, Curious, Collaborative - are not units or subjects; they are a part of all curriculum mapping and planning. They are a part of our every day, in the same way as literacy and numeracy. An education at MGGS is all about empowering girls with transferable skills that will hold up to a rapidly changing world. Educational thought leader Professor Yong Zhouii warns us that, “National standards and national curriculum, enforced by high stakes testing, can at best teach students what is prescribed … As a result, students talented in other areas never have the opportunity to discover those talents. Students with broader interests are discouraged, not rewarded. The system results in a population with similar skills in a narrow spectrum of talents. But especially in today’s society, innovation and creativity are needed in many areas, some as yet undiscovered.” We are constantly exploring ways to ensure our girls are well prepared to lead in this new world. As educators, we know this means we need to be forward thinking and flexible. We must constantly consider new ways of teaching and learning, and embrace learning alongside our students. Putting theory into practice is no better exemplified than with the recent extraordinary opportunity provided to six Junior Years girls to visit the new Google office, in Melbourne. Assistant Director of Junior Years, Becky Glenton coordinated the experience that enabled our girls to hear from five creative and successful female employees regarding their backgrounds and why they love working at Google. Usually an experience reserved for career counselling by other schools, at MGGS, we want our girls to have these opportunities as early as possible. Experiences like this demonstrate possibilities, empower them from an early age, and encourage their belief that they can do anything. It removes gender stereotypes, unconscious bias, and gives them the skills and attributes they need to become ethical women of action. A selection process amongst our Year 4 cohort enabled them to practise the dispositions we encourage. They were invited to present to us the answer to two important questions: • Why should we choose you? (Identity and Agency) • What would you invent if you worked at Google? (Capacity) The selection panel received 26 outstanding entries. The creative inventions demonstrated the entrant’s incredible ability to think ‘outside the box’ to solve the real-world problem they identified.
You should embrace change and take every opportunity you get. - Flo Baillieu ABOVE: L-R Henrietta Beal, Ariana Szoke Campbell, Paris Lau, Sophia DeLuca and Maeve Dander.
The girls really invested in their presentations; their submissions were highly creative and ranged from PowerPoints to posters, videos to professionally bound booklets. The six winning entries were: • Sophia DeLuca: The Google Toothbrush that features a tiny camera which can detect decay and cavities. • Flo Baillieu: Let’s Walk App that connects pet owners and shares the responsibility necessary when walking their dogs. • Henrietta Beal: Google Snap Band for blind people that vibrates when soundless electric cars go past. • Maeve Dander: Sun Screen Scanner which provides users with a phone app that enables you to scan your body to see if you need more sunscreen applied. • Ariana Szoeke Campbell: Google T-Shirt that can detect health issues and changes colour depending on your mood. • Paris Lau: Google Watch that registers your feelings and responds appropriately, including providing wearers with educational holograms.
When the girls asked the Google staff what advice they would give them for the future, they told them to be daring, brave and take up every opportunity. They spoke about being ‘Googly’ — to be kind, to do the right thing and make life better for others. Above all they said to have fun and not to take things too seriously, even when it’s hard. Just stick at it and remember to smile! We believe our holistic approach and supporting every aspect of each girl’s education, gives her the skills she needs now and for the future. Finding their passion, having a sense of purpose, and being able to control their own learning are all significant steps on the path to wellbeing. The ability to think critically and creatively, to be curious and collaborate with others and to be able to commit to a task or idea empowers our girls to lead happier, healthier lives. From the experience, our Morris Hall girls learnt much — most of all they discovered their capacity, were able to reflect on who they are (identity) and learnt what it means to take ownership for their actions (agency). As educators, we learnt just how well our girls are embracing the changing nature of their world, and the enthusiasm and commitment they share in optimising every opportunity.
i. Guy Claxton is Emeritus Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Winchester, a post he took up in September 2008 together with the role of Co-Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning (CrL). He is the author of more than twenty books including the best-selling Building Learning Power. His practical ideas about how to expand young people’s appetite and capacity for learning have influenced educational theory and practice across the world. ii. Yong Zhou is the Mitchell Institute Professorial Fellow and International Advisor. His focus is on the implications of globalisation and technology on education. Yong has published over 100 articles and 20 books including his latest, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon.
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1. AFLW Match at Victoria Park, Guard of Honour with Morris Hall Students. 2. These astronauts dressed up for the first Social Service Day of 2019 with the theme of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Adventureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. 3. Our curious students in the ELC like to explore their lovely surroundings. 4. The Spirit Leaders for each House celebrate at the Morris Hall House Cross Country. 5. On Friday 15 February, our Year 4s were presented their leadership badges, pictured here with Year 10 Global Social Leaders from Merton Hall. 6. ELC students learn about bugs. 7. Chinese New Year celebrations with a Lion Dance at Morris Hall.
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elc & junior years
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I hope to inspire young people to use technology in positive ways and encourage them to be their most authentic selves. - Idil van der Linden
ABOVE: L-R Xanthe O'Loan, Chloe Stevenson, Idil van der Linden and Isabelle Gelder.
Grace Koczkar I have learnt how to be safer online and be aware of things by noticing ways to be safer online. I’ve learnt to regularly check then double-check things like passwords, my privacy and self-regulating online. I also believe having a Digital and Youth Advisor is a really good position to have at a school. Especially now where social media and technology are so present.
Gwyneth Yelland I have downloaded apps to help my daily routine as well as making sure I practise the things we learn, for example making sure I remember to not put anything online I may regret and things that won’t effect my future.
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Anabelle Armstrong Self-regulation has taught me to make sure I am staying on task and checking in with myself.
The Digital Citizenship workshops have taught me self-regulation especially with my device in class and knowing when to put my devices in a place where I can’t see them, so I won’t get distracted. Also, to listen to the teacher and not go on my phone or other devices playing games, checking social media or going on other unnecessary apps.
A Little Personal Help in the Digital Domain There seems to be a new app, new device and new digital trend every other week. How do we know whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safe to navigate and how best to protect ourselves online? In the Middle Years Program, a digital education is a priority. Sally Hill | Director of Middle Years
A digital citizen is someone who can communicate and collaborate safely and responsibly whilst navigating their lives online. In an increasingly globally connected world free of time zones, cultural borders, or language barriers, everyone is being tested on how to best navigate the digital landscape and the many devices that give us access. At MGGS we see the opportunity to share knowledge, discover global friends, and build networks based on interests as important. But the complexity of this new digitised world is ever expanding. Our horizons are limited only by our ability to synthesise messages, data and intelligence, and to make meaningful and considered choices about sites to visit, who to talk to, and what to discuss on a global stage. Within this context, at MGGS we recognise that early adolescence is a time where young people take risks, experiment and want autonomy over their online presence. Hence, we take a proactive approach to digital citizenship, empowering our girls and our community to be effective digital citizens by providing them with the skills and capability to make responsible choices around online content. As this is high on our agenda, we have developed the Digital Citizenship Program in the Middle Years which focuses on the
education and training of effective digital citizenship. The structure of our digital citizenship model was based from the DQ Institute which outlines eight digital skills we must teach our young people (refer to infographic from the World Economic Forum below). Added to this we have appointed a Digital and Youth Advisor, Idil van der Linden, who supports the girls in their digital and online use. Her role is to give support and advice; to empower our girls to make the right choices when navigating their digital personas and online activity. With Idilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support our students are equipped to increase their digital awareness and engage in self-regulation. Throughout the year, our Middle Years students are guided through a range of workshops and online courses designed to give them the right tools to be productive digital citizens. We also help parents navigate a world which might not be familiar to them. Together home and school reinforce behaviours and values important to being a thoughtful and ethical digital citizen. The lessons our girls learn within the School community are able to be translated into real-world examples almost instantly giving them the ability to make their own decisions with the right support and information to take control, be safe and act responsibility.
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Meaningful Endeavours There has always been a strong academic focus at Melbourne Girls Grammar; one of the reasons the School is so unique is the way that we develop the ‘whole girl’. Our Community, Action and Service team exemplify this goal. Katherine Barton | Assistant Director of Senior Years
When we talk of empowerment at MGGS, we refer to the ability for our girls to gain experiences, and take on activities that provide a broader focus to help them understand who they are, and what matters. This encapsulates expanding their view of the world, what is possible, and how they can contribute to something bigger than themselves, or their immediate community. In the Senior Years, it could be considered that everything is about measuring success in the form of an ATAR – a set of numbers and a resultant ranking based on academic achievements. But at MGGS we believe that there is more to it than that. We believe that our girls need to have a sense of who they are (identity), be aware of their ability (capacity) and have the commitment and determination to take action (agency). Collectively these attributes enable them to be confident, make choices, and determine where they want to invest their energy, what they want to pursue post school, and how they can make a contribution to the lives of others. No group better represents this aspiration than Community, Action and Service (CAS). I recently sat down with Gaia Charan Bahaar (CAS Captain) and Sara Price (CAS Vice-Captain) to discuss their plans for 2019, and their vision on how to work with communities beyond MGGS. What is your Student Executive Council (SEC) chosen charity for 2019? Each year, MGGS students get behind a charity providing a focus for fundraising and giving back to a community. This year we have chosen to support Forget Me Not, a Melbourne-based charity working hard for children’s rights by preventing modern day slavery in the form of child trafficking. They operate in countries such as Nepal and Uganda and provide the opportunity for families to become self-reliant. Forget Me Not works in the areas of prevention, rescue, reunification, advocacy and research. Why did you make this selection? When we were researching potential charities, we wanted to find a cause to which everyone in the School could feel connected. We reached out to our year group to ask if there were any issues or charities that they were particularly passionate about. Lily Turner’s suggestion, Forget Me Not, caught our attention, as we thought that everyone at MGGS would be able to empathise with a foundation centred on children. Furthermore, we believe it is important to take a look at the situations people our age in the wider world have to gain understanding of our own backgrounds and employ our position to assist people who are less fortunate.
Another thing that drew us to Forget Me Not was that it is a locally based charity but is less well-known. In this way, our work in 2019 could make a really significant impact by increasing awareness of what the charity does. What are you planning on doing this year? Shrove Tuesday kick started our philanthropic focus for the year. The SEC held a casual clothes day and also sold pancakes at lunch. Needless to say, this resulted in immense enthusiasm from everyone in the School! We managed to raise over $1000 which is an amazing start to our fundraising objectives. Our other events lined up for 2019 include a pyjama day and movie night, and fundraising at the upcoming Domain Cup events. We are also planning on inviting representatives from Forget Me Not to speak at a Merton Hall assembly, which will allow the School to gain a better understanding of the significance of their work. Our contribution is not only fundraising; raising awareness is equally important. What are you planning on doing differently as CAS Captains this year? Although we admit that eating pancakes and watching films is great fun for our student community, we really want to attempt to centre our year as CAS captains on the charity and on the actual progress that we as a school are making in giving back and supporting others. We plan to do this by continually finding ways to share the experiences of people who work closely with Forget Me Not, and explain why everyone should make a conscious effort to get involved. We are hoping to elicit a genuine interest in fundraising and volunteering opportunities within the MGGS student body. One of the ways that we’re doing this is by sending monthly emails that outline all the different events in which people can take part. Hopefully with these opportunities readily accessible, more people in our community can take the initiative, and look for ways to give back to our local and/or global communities. What excites you about the role of CAS Captains? We have both always had a strong sense of commitment to understanding the world around us, and using that knowledge to fight for change; we long to start conversations about the causes that are important to us. In 2019, we are really looking forward to sharing that enthusiasm for learning with the rest of the student body, and hopefully building even more passion within the cultural fabric of our school. We want to highlight social issues to our peers, and contribute positively and powerfully to the social, political, and global climate by addressing real issues. RIGHT: L-R Sara Price (CAS Vice-Captain) and Gaia Charan Bahaar (CAS Captain).
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middle & senior years 1
1. After working closely with our Youth and Digital Advisor, Idil van der Linden, our students made pledges for Safer Internet Day, Tuesday 5 February. 2. 2019 Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta, at Barwon River Geelong. 3. Year 7 Grandparents Day at Merton Hall was a lovely occasion to share our beautiful school with close relatives. 4. Swimming Camp at the Gold Coast in January 2019. 5. The House Captains proudly show their colours at the School Swimming Sports. 6. The Year 12 Father Daughter Breakfast at The Royce Hotel. 7. The Middle Years Chapel of Celebration gave us all the chance to come together to celebrate the year that was.
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The original Fearless Girl by Kristen Visbal was installed in 2017 in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City to send a message about workplace gender diversity, and to challenge employers to promote more women into leadership roles. Just before International Women’s Day in March 2019, Melbourne’s own Fearless Girl statue was revealed. MGGS’s Ruby Ryan (Year 6) took her place alongside the infamous bronze image, supporting the overarching message of empowering tomorrow’s women. 2019 Issue 1 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 23
Making the Most of Every Opportunity For our boarding students, making the most of every opportunity is part of the charm of being a boarder. Just a stone’s throw from the city centre, the sports precinct and some of the best arts events in the country, what more could you ask? Amanda Haggie | Director of Boarding
Most of us probably can’t fathom what it would be like to leave the familiarity of home, or even study overseas while we’re still teenagers. At Melbourne Girls Grammar, we provide numerous opportunities for students to experience different cultures, with trips to Europe, Asia, Arnhem Land and beyond, but girls are returned to normality after a week or two. For our boarders, some only return home every 9-10 weeks and are separated from not only friends and family but also their culture. Our boarders are truly resilient and confident young women who have learned how to make the most of their experience at Melbourne Girls Grammar. Two of our current boarders, Victoria Yiu and Pui Lam Fong sat down to discuss how their lives have changed since coming to board at MGGS.
In our boarding house, girls learn to be accountable for managing their own life. This prepares them for life after school, in a safe environment where they can make mistakes and gain real skills to assist them in the future. “In Australia, we’re strongly encouraged to do independent learning and can ask the teachers questions directly when we don’t understand. However, in Malaysia we usually just sit and listen to the teacher,” Pui Lam added. “Here I feel like I can play a more active role in my own education.” Part of being in the Boarding House at MGGS, is being able to take part in all the fantastic opportunities offered and to build lifelong friendships.
Victoria is from Hong Kong and came to MGGS from another Melbourne school. Since choosing to attend at the beginning of 2018, Victoria hasn’t looked back.
“What I’ve learnt while being here, is to be more proactive in social interactions and to engage in more school activities. I have also learnt how to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone. Being an MGGS boarder has made me grow up a lot; I have become more confident to face problems by myself,” said Pui Lam. “Since living in the Boarding House, I definitely exercise more! I do Pilates and run the Tan, and after school it only takes minutes to get home.”
“I chose MGGS because when I had a school visit, everyone was very welcoming and created a very friendly environment,” Victoria began. “It made me feel like I’d be happy to attend every day.”
“My brother lives here, and I could stay with him, but by living in the Boarding House I can go to the Artemis Centre and swim in the morning. It’s easy to get to the pool and back to the Boarding
For Pui Lam, this year is her first at MGGS after studying at an international school in Malaysia. Pui Lam is turning 17 this year and chose our school because of a family recommendation.
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House to start my homework; I have the freedom to make the most of my time,” Victoria explained. The experiences available at MGGS, and the friendships made in the Boarding House seem to have overshadowed any homesickness the girls might feel. “The best advice I received about boarding in Australia, was to think of every day as a sleep-over at a friend’s house so that I wouldn’t get home sick,” said Victoria. Pui Lam echoed, “I thought I was going to be homesick, but I learnt how to be independent and to schedule my own time. Getting organised helped me settle in to the Boarding House. Being a boarder made me grow up a lot.” Some may baulk at the amount of independence and autonomy we afford the girls in the Boarding House, however, this is an extension of what is taught in the School. Identity, capacity and agency are woven into lessons from the ELC to the Senior Years Program to ensure that when the girls step beyond the red brick walls, they can do anything to which they set their minds. “The support and spirit of MGGS makes it such a friendly environment. The encouragement from teachers and staff, and their utmost concern for our health and wellbeing makes me feel safe,” acknowledged Pui Lam.
“One thing I’ll always take away from my experience in the Boarding House, are the bonds I’ve made. Since we all live together, the friendships we’ve made will never be forgotten,” Victoria reiterated. Pui Lam and Victoria look forward to the school holidays where they get to spend precious time at home with their families. The girls assured me that they take home their favourite Aussie treats (Freddos and Tim Tams for Pui Lam, and Twisties for Victoria) to share and make the most of the time being spoiled by their family. The return to school takes some adjustment, as both girls feel like the term goes by so fast. The school holidays at home gives them a much needed break from the pace of MGGS. When they return to their home away from home in the Boarding House, frequent calls home keep Victoria and Pui Lam in touch with the people they love, and supportive staff ensure each girl feels safe and nurtured. Our boarders come from geographically diverse backgrounds to forge strong relationships with the School and friends. Boarding fosters agency, identity and capacity to prepare girls for an uncertain future, giving them every opportunity to expand their personal horizons.
ABOVE: Year 11 Boarding House students. Back L-R: Rosie Yates, Isobel Satchell, Lily Ward, Anna Roxburgh, Indy Waring, Eleanor Mullins, Nora Wang, Stephanie Yang, Adeline Teoh, Liv Shand. Middle L-R: Sophie Hodge, Isabelle Everett, Pui Lam Fong, Sophie Wang. Front L-R: Joe Mai, Victoria Yiu, Mei Ann Trindade, Elvira Zhang.
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boarding house 2
1. Just a stone’s throw from the CBD, our boarders make the most of the School’s location. 2. The 2019 Boarders Family BBQ allows everyone to come together for the first time in the new year. 3. This year’s first in-house weekend included a trip to Port Melbourne and provided an opportunity for the group to bond.
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It’s Amazing What the Arts Can Do Making the most of the co-curricular artistic opportunities allows our students to develop an artistic sensibility. Creativity, determination, persistence and innovation are all embedded in music, drama, the visual arts and design. “Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. But without proper preparation, I cannot see it, retain it, and use it.” - Twyla Tharp While at Melbourne Girls Grammar, each girl is given every opportunity to embrace all aspects of a holistic education. This extends to the co-curricular choices we offer. Every girl is empowered to try new things and expand her horizons. The benefits of being involved in the Arts will stay with our girls for a lifetime. Not only do they learn valuable skills and commitment, they also expand friendship groups, while being creative leads to higher levels of motivation and engagement. We’re so lucky to have such talented, passionate members of staff who devote so much care and attention to enriching the MGGS experience for our girls. From ELC to Senior Years, across music, drama, the visual arts and design every student is encouraged to develop interests within and outside their academic program.
In the ELC, Music and Movement provide a wonderful opportunity to express individual and diverse cultural backgrounds. Through play-based games, music and dance is explored, and the girls learn to interact and communicate. Head of Music, Elizabeth Du Blêt said, “In Music, students develop a range of skills which equip them to be disciplined individuals, empathic colleagues, creative thinkers and confident presenters. In the classroom, in their ensembles and in the music of school life, Morris Hall and Merton Hall girls are encouraged to be thoughtful and respectful custodians of past traditions whilst contributing to a dynamic present and paving the way for a vibrant future.” By providing co-curricular opportunities, our students can experience meaningful engagement with creativity.
“When students participate in School productions and House Drama festivals, it is not just the audience’s applause they receive. It takes confidence, determination and risk to audition in front of peers and teachers, however, by creating safe spaces for our students, we often see them achieve things they never thought possible,” mused Ryan Bowler, Head of Drama.
“In Art, students are allowed the educational space to play, explore, solve problems, innovate, and create. Art is historically an integral part of our cultural development, concurrent with development in languages, technologies and socio-political communities,” Josephine Fagan, Head of Senior Years Art commented. “An education in art and design provides a challenging and enjoyable platform for students to learn higher order skills in creative thinking, critical thinking, and independent learning practices.”
“Co-curricular drama is not just about performing on stage. Instead, it is about developing confidence and skills in team work, collaboration and negotiation, respect and self-discipline that makes the program so important and sets students up to take on any challenge that comes their way later in life,” continued Mr Bowler.
Being creative, artistic, moving, playing and practising – these are all elements of developing innovative, critical thinkers. By providing every opportunity to express themselves creatively, we can empower our girls to be the innovators, thinkers, problem solvers and makers who can change the world.
1. L-R Elena Phan, Alexandria Un and Natalie Chung. 2. Delta Nu Ensemble, Legally Blonde: The Musical (2018). 3. Middle Years Art Club with Anna Chenoweth, Alexandra Devlin, Isabel Thomas and Nelly Peat.
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Future Proof: Physical Fitness + Wellbeing Framework at MGGS At Melbourne Girls Grammar, we believe a physically active culture is the cornerstone to positive wellbeing. Sally Bailey | Director of Artemis Programs
In August 2018, Sport Australia tweeted: “We need to start moving as though our lives depend on it - because if we don’t move it, we’ll lose it.” This simple message kick started the Move It AUS campaign which urges every Australian to reach 30 minutes of heartrate-raising physical activity every day. This isn’t the first national campaign designed to get us moving (remember the Life. Be In It! campaign back in the mid-70s?), however, whilst mass media physical activity campaigns such as this create high awareness and have been shown to trigger a positive (short term) responsei, they rarely result in meaningful sustained behaviour change. A report prepared by Bauman and Bellewii found that the most effective campaigns targeting enduring widespread behavioural change (in physical activity and healthy eating) must take a multi-faceted, multiphased approach – one that embraces and inspires broad community engagement and positive partnerships, as well as the infrastructure, resources, practical support and expertise to make it happen. The current Move It AUS campaign sits within a broader Sport Australia strategic plan – National Sport Plan 2030iii – with a vision “to be the world’s most active and healthy sporting nation, known for its integrity and sporting success.” With an intentional action plan underpinned by four strategic priorities being rolled out across the Australian sporting ecosystem, there is much optimism that this current campaign won’t be short-lived because, as the tweet suggests, “…our lives depend on it.” As a school community, we have a privileged and vital role to play in ensuring that every student enjoys the life-changing experiences and benefits that come from play, movement, exercise and sport. It is our vision for every girl to be active every day,
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and for every one of our graduates to leave the School engaged in sport or physical activity on a regular basis. This vision sits at the very heart of our Fit-for-Life framework. It is shaping the way in which we are going about developing, delivering, aligning and integrating our programs so as to serve the aspirations, motivations, needs and interests of each and every girl, now and into the future. Realising our vision means taking a holistic, multi-faceted approach built around several central principles:
1. The personalised approach starts with caring Our starting point is endeavouring to understand the very essence of what matters to each and every child, teenager and young adult in our care. This may be performance-based like breaking a school record or personal best, making the 1st VIII or winning Head of Schoolgirls. It may be more personal like returning to sport after a set-back, trying a new sport, taking on a physical challenge, or even starting a fitness journey when we lack the confidence to know where to start, or what to do. Personalising the fitness, sport and physical activity experience at MGGS is designed at a macro level by providing choice, opportunities and pathways, and at a micro level is facilitated through the positive relationships we build in working closely with the girls to guide their engagement, development and learning.
2. Connection Whilst a tailored approach seems to be the most effective in terms of uptake and sustained engagement, the second piece is connecting to the collective, and this is where the social component is critical. Sport and play are some of the most powerful vehicles in which to create a sense
of belonging, foster social connections and build healthy and vibrant communities. Emerging researchiv, tells us that relationships and friendships are key to a happy life. Integrating different ways which link our programming and coaching to a cause, a purpose, or a goal beyond the self is when we see some real shifts in the growth and development of our students. For some, this has shown to be the tangible piece that inspires them.
3. Role modelling Research from the UK, Canada and Australia has universally found that active parents are more likely to have active children. Our objective is to raise a generation of girls and young women who will be positive role models for their own families and children. To achieve this, we need to know the types of skills, capacities and knowledge they need now and into the future. Research commissioned by VicHealth in 2015v found that two in five women over 25 years, and more than half of mums over 25, felt embarrassed exercising in public, and 71% of women were intimidated by gyms and fitness centres. This is a significant barrier and one which we are passionate about removing. Whether our students have their sights set on a future in high performance sport, or equitable opportunity to participate, or to simply have an enduring positive relationship with exercise, the confidence, tools, skills and knowledge they learn now will enable them to take charge.
4. Experiences A person’s attitude to sport and physical activity is often shaped by their experiences as a child or adolescent. The number one reason children play sport? To have fun. What makes sport fun for kids? Coaches who care, the opportunity to try, being
(appropriately) challenged, learning new skills, getting playing time, being part of a supportive and positive team, and being active. These are our benchmarks.
5. Learning Famous US basketball coach, John Wooden said: “You haven’t taught until your athletes have learnt.” Our passport to a physically active and well life requires “the skills, knowledge and behaviours that give us the confidence and motivation to move” (Sport Australiavi, 2018). By learning the fundamentals of movement and developing a positive attitude to physical activity and sport, people of all ages can gain the skills, experience and attitudes which will allow them to take part in physical activity and sport now and into the future. How we coach, and our program design and delivery is anchored to fulfilling applied and meaningful learning outcomes. Our big goals at MGGS: (1) Every girl active, every day; and (2) 100% of our graduates to leave school engaged in sport or physical activity on a regular basis. This can only be achieved on a foundation of experiences that are transformational and an environment that truly cares. It’s not just that our lives depend on it. The quality of our lives – physically, mentally, emotionally, socially – depends on it. REFERENCES i. Brown DR1, Soares J, Epping JM, Lankford TJ, Wallace JS, Hopkins D, Buchanan LR, Orleans CT; Community Preventative Services Task Force. “Stand-alone mass media campaigns to increase physical activity: A Community Guide updated review.” Am J Prev Med. 2012 Nov;43(5):551-61. ii. Bauman, A., and Bellow, B. ““A review of evaluation and market research into mass media and social marketing campaigns focussed on healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weight.” Prepared for the Heart Foundation of Australia, 2011. iii. Sport Australia “Sport 2030” 2018. iv. "Promoting Secular Ethics" in J. F. Helliwell, R. Layard and J. Sachs (eds) .World Happiness Report 2016 Update. New York, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, 2016. v. "Physical activity across life stages" VicHealth 2015. vi. Sport Australia "Sport 2030" 2018. RIGHT: Nikita Lowry
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Foundations for the Future Tammy Read | President of the Parents Association
What does the theme of ‘Expanding Horizons’ mean from the point of view of the Parents Association (PA)? How does a body that exists primarily to support co-curricular activities and promote social interaction between the School and its parents translate that directive into purposeful action? The answer is not as esoteric as it may seem. It is demonstrated in each activity that the PA undertakes.
it creates diversity amongst our population and gives us as parents the opportunity to bring our daughters into a community that is outwardly, rather than inwardly, focussed. We would all acknowledge that the world exists outside of our ‘red brick walls’, however, it is what happens during our children’s years within these walls that will lay the foundation for their impact on the future.
As a first-term President of the Parents Association, I have found the energy, commitment and time given to the School by all involved to be overwhelmingly generous. Whether being involved as members of auxiliaries, as class reps or as part of the myriad volunteers that make our community special, we should be proud that we have a strong, inclusive and active parent community at MGGS.
As a dynamic PA, our role in expanding the horizons of our girls is mirrored in the events that we run and the support we provide to the School as a whole. Whether you are working within an auxiliary, in the kitchen on rowing camp, standing in a blizzard on the mountain cheering on our snowsports team, organising a cocktail party, coffee morning, walk around the Tan or the Navy Blue Lunch, providing help at a music soiree or the Art Exhibition or simply welcoming a new family, we are all modeling for our children the importance of looking outwards. By doing this we are expanding our horizons and
We are fortunate to have families from over 40 different postcodes (both nationally and internationally) attend our school;
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ensuring we are inclusive and not myopic in our view of what it is that makes us, ‘Us’. I have been fortunate to be able to attend an incredible array of events so far this year, ranging from ELC and Morris Hall welcome breakfasts, the Commissioning of our new Principal, the always fabulously-attended Whole School Cocktail Party, information evenings, the wonderful Morris Hall Chinese New Year celebration (complete with a Lion Dance!) and meeting with the MGGS International Parent Group. Each of these events is different in its presentation, but the overriding purpose has been the celebration of our differences, the inclusion of all and the opportunity to look beyond our community and bring the outside world in. This is the greatest gift that we can give our daughters and I would like to thank each of you for your contribution to our incredible community.
1. The Rowing Presentation Dinner at the Lincoln of Toorak was a great opportunity for parents to gather once the Head of the Schoolgirls (HOSG) Regatta was complete. 2. Year 7 Grandparents day gave our wider community the chance to look at what happens inside the ‘red brick walls’. 3. Morris Hall Welcome Breakfast encouraged all families to welcome the new year. 4. At the Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta in Geelong, our parents went above and beyond. 5. The Whole School Cocktail Party is a great opportunity for parents of all year levels to come together and make connections. 6. Every year at Morris Hall, the Animal Friends and Helpers Service is a wonderful event enjoyed by all.
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Expanding Horizons, 1930s Style Pip O’Connor | Multimedia Historian
In 1931, the idea of a study trip to the Great Barrier Reef by a group of Melbourne schoolgirls was unknown and the Senior Geography class made news wherever they went. The trip was organised by teacher, Miss Cousins, through the Queensland Tourist Bureau and the Victorian Railways, and they hoped it would serve as a model for other schools. The MCEGGS i girls travelled in full school uniform by train to Sydney. After a two-day stopover in Sydney, they departed on the Brisbane Express, and then took the Cairns mail train to Mackay. Alison Edwards, 16, described the trip from Sydney: “The journey to Mackay took three days. Talking, singing and dozing whiled away the long hours in the train.” At each stop, the girls were photographed and questioned by the press. Alison continued: “At Mackay, we made our last purchases, wrote our last letters and then went by powerful trucks over roads and ravines which would have made a Melbourne motorist’s hair stand on end. We changed to launches at Seaforth and it was dark when, looking like pirates, we made our way onto Lindeman Island in dinghies.” Lindeman Island was a revelation to the girls. They didn’t have to wear school uniform, relished the warm water for swimming, were fascinated by the coloured fish, turtles and coral, and particularly
enjoyed sleeping in grass huts. They tasted paw paw and custard apples and loved being able to collect rock oysters in abundance. George and Dick, young indigenous men working on Lindeman Island, helped them to get coconuts, showed them how to harpoon fish, and took them out to neighbouring islands. One girl wrote, “What has been said about the beauties of the reef hardly begins to tell you the truth about it all. We used water telescopes (which look like giant megaphones) and you could see the coral in a numberless variety of colours and shades.” Miss Cousins did her best to make the geography lessons come alive, to observe sand and rock formations and help the girls to understand their very different environment. One of the girls wrote afterwards, “The whole tour cost less than £20 and it is certainly the easiest way to learn zoology and geography – and it’s all fun”. The party left Lindeman Island regretfully at 5am on Saturday 12 September and arrived back in Melbourne four days later. Some years ago, Nan Smith (Beckley, 1932) very kindly donated her photo album and papers from this trip. More recently, Sally Anderson (1960) brought in photos of the same trip from her mother’s album (Betty Moline, 1931). i. MCEGGS, Melbourne Church of England Girls Grammar School changed to MGGS in 1987.
1. Charlie, Frances Bult, Jane Harper, Colin, Loma Dossetor, Betty Duval. 2. Lindeman Island. 3. 1931 Great Barrier Reef Excursion Train Ticket.
4. Drinking coconut milk.
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A Love of Music Inspires the Next Generation We live in a rapidly changing world, yet as Kathleen Curwen-Walker’s legacy shows, some things, such as a love of education and music, remain a constant.
Kathleen Curwen-Walker (1917) attended Melbourne Girls Grammar during the World War I years, along with her sisters, Doris Sala (Curwen-Walker, 1915) and Edna Curwen-Walker (1913). Unconventional for their time, the three girls became independent women with great compassion for those in need, who thought nothing of driving thousands of kilometres through the outback to help their brother muster sheep on his remote property. Kathleen and Edna worked as district nurses, and in their later years, Doris and Kathleen made generous bequests to help those in need.
Charlotte (clarinet and saxophone) agrees. “It made me realise that there’s a pathway in music after school.”
In accordance with her wishes and following the death of the last surviving Curwen-Walker sister (Edna aged 105 years), Kathleen, a keen music-lover, ensured through her Will the establishment of The Doris, Edna and Kathleen Curwen-Walker Memorial Fund. Held in Trust, each year the fund provides much needed support to social welfare charities, in addition to educational support for students at Melbourne Girls Grammar.
“Humility,” said Rachel. “They were all such incredible musicians … but they came and played for a school musical.”
In particular, the Fund supports co-curricular activities for our girls, and it was through this fund that the School last year was able to offer a unique opportunity to its music students. The School’s 2018 performance of Legally Blonde: The Musical was a joint production between the Music and Drama Departments. Thanks to Kathleen’s bequest, the School was able to employ twelve professional musicians to build the production’s musical depth. These musicians were also able to give advice regarding life as a professional musician. Five students were selected to join the musicians in the production’s orchestra pit. They attended rehearsals and were mentored as they prepared for the final performance run. Last year Hannah Alper-Duke (Year 11), Charlotte Hoskins (Year 11) and Rachel Chen (Year 12) were three of the participants. They spent hours rehearsing with and learning from the professional musicians; it was an experience they describe as ‘hectic’, but incredible fun. Each girl received one-on-one mentoring from a musician. They learnt the ins and outs of preparing the music for a professional show, as well as the process of working with actors and singers on stage, from the first band rehearsals for musicians only, to the Sitzprobe (where singers and musicians combined for the first time), through to the technical and dress rehearsals. Throughout the process, students observed the high level of organisational and communication skills needed to achieve a high standard of performance, in addition to outstanding musical skills. Although pit musicians are rarely seen by an audience, they have a unique skill set which makes an enormous contribution to the success of a musical. A new perspective was provided to our girls, expanding their concept of where music can take you. “They had a different outlook on life,” said Rachel, who played baritone saxophone for the musical. “And it was good to see how it turned out for them, doing music as a career.”
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For Hannah, who joined the musicians on bass guitar, it was eyeopening to see how much hard work was involved. “It was fun to see them perform music as a job, and it seemed like a fun job – but a lot of work!” What were their take-home messages from working with the musicians?
“Dedication,” said Hannah. “My mentor put in so much work above and beyond what we did in rehearsals.” “… never be afraid of asking questions,” added Charlotte. “They were all so willing to answer anything.” Roy Theaker, who conducted the music for the show, says that performing with musicians had a clear effect on the students’ skills and enjoyment of music – often without their realising it. “I could clearly see the students ʻbuzzing’; delighted to be surrounded by the pure, raw sound that they were contributing to, to say nothing of the dramatic rise in their own musicality.” The experience gave Charlotte, Hannah and Rachel a new appreciation for music expanding their appreciation of what it takes to be in musical theatre. As for their reflection on the experience overall? They would one-hundred percent do it again – and recommend other students do it as well. Today, more than 100 years since the Curwen-Walker sisters’ days at school, their profound generosity and compassion for others continues to encourage and offer new and unique opportunities for girls at Melbourne Girls Grammar. The value of live music can never be over-estimated, and the Curwen-Walker Bequest made it possible for our girls to have access to an outstanding music education experience and extension opportunity. All students involved in last year’s production of Legally Blonde: The Musical, whether they were on the stage or in the pit, have benefitted tremendously from the expertise of the musicians involved, and we are grateful to have received this significant financial support.
Make a Bequest Melbourne Girls Grammar thrives on a strong tradition of philanthropic support. By making a bequest in your Will you can make a lasting difference to the School and future generations of students. For more information about making a bequest to MGGS, please contact Kathryn Austin, Director of Development on 9862 9271 or Giselle Versteegen, Development Manager on 9862 9231.
1. 1917 Baseball Team, Kathleen Curwen-Walker (seated far left). 2. L-R Hannah Alper-Duke, Charlotte Hoskins and Rachel Chen. 3. Doris Sala (Curwen-Walker, 1915).
2019 Issue 1 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 37
From the President Trudie Horsfall (1976) | PRESIDENT OF THE OLD GRAMMARIANS SOCIETY
The Old Grammarians Society has been in existence since 1904. Its members are a remarkable group of women who have carved out careers that are as diverse as they are inspiring. Melbourne Girls Grammar graduates have always been at the forefront of change; they have been the recipients of an education designed by strong and capable educational leaders and women who have been progressive in their thinking. It was, therefore, an honour to represent our OG community at the Commissioning Service for our twelfth Principal, Dr Toni Meath at St Paul’s Cathedral in February. Many other OGs were also present at this historical event to welcome Dr Toni Meath into the role and the broader MGGS community. As a community, we can recall the education we received under the care of our Principal at the time. They were women who were outwardly focused, offering experiences that broadened our horizons and expanded our belief in ourselves. The vision of these Principals created many remarkable firsts such as: • The introduction of self-directed learning in the Middle School by Miss Gilman Jones in 1925. • Miss Dorothy Ross who established the Garden Nursery School, the first of its kind in Australia in 1940. • In 1992, Miss Nina Crone affirmed Melbourne Girls Grammar as a school for girls in the face of an approach for coeducation. • Miss Edith Mountain who spearheaded a focus on science and established the Sixth Form Centre in 1973. • The inaugural President of the Association of Girls Sport Victoria, Mrs Christine Briggs, and • A flagship program that was established by Mrs Catherine Misson, the Centre for Education and Enterprise (CEE). This year has seen the introduction of another series of firsts. In March, we held our inaugural Old Grammarians Celebration Day. It was an action-packed day with a celebratory luncheon, school tours, and opportunities for various activities such as life drawing, music and yoga. Elizabeth du Blêt and Elizabeth Barwell, from the School’s Music Department led the talented instrumentalists and vocalists in a contemporary music soiree, later followed by a piano recital by Hannah Shin (2017). It was quite an intimate atmosphere in the Music Atrium, where Old Grammarians were also given the opportunity to meet Principal, Dr Toni Meath, through a Question and Answer session. We also took the opportunity to reimagine our reunion schedule which placed the 10 and 20 year reunions on the Friday evening and the 30, 40, 50 and 60 year reunions across various venues and times during Celebration Day. Over 320 OGs came back to the School from local, interstate and overseas locations, all relishing the opportunity to reconnect with friends and make new ones. Reverend Clemence Taplin (Woods, 1968) led our annual Chapel Service 38 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 2019 Issue 1
and Sally Addison (Cohn, 1969) led the Old Grammarians Choir, reminding us all just how much music is intertwined into school life at Melbourne Girls Grammar. This year’s Celebration Day Chapel Service and luncheon has replaced those events traditionally held in September. In another first, we presented The Emily Hensley Award to one of our OG community. This award was designed to honour notable young alumna who continue to embody the School values; it focuses on how they have expanded their horizons to discover new careers, ways to give back to the community and strive to do the best that they can in whatever area of expertise or endeavour they have chosen. From a strong field, Camilla Bachet (2001) was the 2018 recipient. After completing a double degree in Engineering and Science at Monash University, Camilla has since built her expertise in the planning and functional design of water systems. Camilla continues to show compassion through her selfless humanitarian work with RedR, Australia’s leading humanitarian response agency aiming to achieve clean drinking water, hygiene promotion and sanitation. Her relief aid missions have taken her to Nepal and Bangladesh in response to natural disaster and political unrest. Camilla’s mother, sisters, aunt and cousins – all OGs – were present at the Celebration Day luncheon to share in her success. One of our extraordinary OGs and contributors to the School, Barbara Tolson (Selleck, 1942), was celebrated with a Service of Celebration in the Chapel of St Luke earlier this year. Old Grammarians, and past and present staff came together with the Tolson family to recognise the vision Barbara held for the School and capacity she displayed in managing its facilities. She was a much-loved member of our community and we will miss her presence. Another dedicated contributor to our School is Robyn Fergusson (1972) who has been recognised by the award of an OGs Honorary Life Membership. These are given to people who have provided outstanding service to the School or the OG Society. Robyn joined the OG Committee in 2013 as Secretary demonstrating her reliability, common sense and wealth of knowledge from 23 years of service to the School through the Barbara Tolson ELC. The Committee is indebted to the work of Reahn Aitchison, who was the Alumnae and Engagement Manager in the Community Office until the end of 2018. We very much appreciated her enthusiasm and commitment to the Old Grammarians Society. We would like to acknowledge Robyn McCutchan, Director Marketing and Communications, Alexis Beaumont, Alumnae and Engagement Manager, and Kelly Matthews, Events Co-ordinator, who have worked tirelessly in preparing OG events for our community. Grateful thanks for their unwavering support of our Celebration Day should also go to Principal, Dr Toni Meath, Deputy Principal, Lynn Broadway, the School Maintenance team and Multimedia Technician, Mark Thompson.
Class of 1959, 60 Year Reunion, 23 March 2019.
Class of 1969, 50 Year Reunion, 23 March 2019. 2019 Issue 1 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 39
Class of 1979, 40 Year Reunion, on the balcony of the Artemis Centre on 23 March 2019.
Class of 1989, 30 Year Reunion, 23 March 2019. 40 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 2019 Issue 1
Class of 1999, 20 Year Reunion, 22 March 2019.
Class of 2009, 10 Year Reunion, 22 March 2019. 2019 Issue 1 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 41
Vale Margaret Cone (Gair, 1942) 4 July 2018 Shirley Bartlett (Reynolds, 1943) 17 July 2018 Shirley Bowles (Williams, 1949) 1 September 2018 Leline Burns (Staley, 1940) 9 November 2018 Rosalind Butler (Martin, 1952) August 2018 Mildred Graham (Hailes, 1949) 17 September 2018 Valnere Hayes (Hawthorn, 1941) 27 September 2018 Vivienne Meehan (Grant, 1962) 18 October 2018 Margaret Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Callaghan (Mactier, 1954) 15 April 2018 Felicity Teague (1962) 13 December 2018 Patricia King (King, 1946) 29 March 2019 1
Roslyn Cohn (1967) 18 July 2018
Roslyn and her elder sisters, Elizabeth Lloyd (Cohn, 1960) and Glenys Deam (Cohn, 1962) attended MGGS. After a short career in banking, Roslyn was able to achieve her dream and become a music teacher. This led to a lifelong career teaching many young and elderly people the piano and organ. Throughout her life Roslyn was able to lead the music for many church services in locations across the State. Later in life, she relocated to country Victoria with her sister Elizabeth and enjoyed the country lifestyle.
Betty Cornford (Duval, 1932) 11 February 2019 Betty finished her schooling the year after her sister, Joan Crossley (Duval, 1931). She trained as a nurse at the Epworth Hospital and enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service at the outbreak of World War II. Betty served throughout the war, first in Egypt and later in New Guinea. After the war, she married Doug Cornford, whom she had nursed during the war, and they raised three daughters. Betty returned to study later in life, gaining a BA from Deakin University in 1983. She kept in touch with her school and was a speaker at Anzac Day assemblies on several occasions. Betty was our second oldest Old Grammarian at the time of her death.
Kathryn Henn (Pampel, 1983) 21 March 2019 2
Kathryn and her sister, Elizabeth Willock (1982) came to MGGS in 1981 when their father was posted to Melbourne from the USA. Kathryn gained her HSC in 1983 and returned to America to the University of Notre Dame. She embarked upon a successful career at IBM that spanned 25 years. From an early age, Kate had revelled in the challenge of mathematics and computer science. Kate's most endearing character trait was her love of family and exuberant celebrations with her husband, Mike, and four children (information from Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication March 24, 2019). 3
Kerry Scrivenor (1948) 19 January 2017
Kerry and her two older sisters, Pat Scrivenor-Long (Scrivenor, 1943) and Judy Woollacott (Scrivenor, 1947), were all students at the School in the 1940s. Kerry was 42 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 2019 Issue 1
among the girls evacuated to Marysville during the war years, enjoying the adventure and the experience of being independent of her sisters. Following school, Kerry studied nursing, specialising later in mental health. Following her marriage, she lived for a time on a property in Queensland, where she took an active part in farming, while also raising four children and rescuing wildlife and young lambs. Later Kerry took up a position as a nurse educator at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, where she enjoyed being on the wards with her students. Kerry then moved to live with her daughter, Amanda, on North Stradbroke Island, where she enjoyed the wildlife, swimming, and bushwalking, always with her faithful old kelpie nearby. Her children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren were her joy and delight.
Maureen White (1954) 17 November 2018 4
The eldest of three sisters at Merton Hall, Maureen started in 1945. Maureen valued DJ Ross's progressive educational thinking, which influenced her own career. She played the clarinet and piano and sang in the school choirs. Visits to the Royal Botanic Gardens nurtured her love of gardening. Maureen graduated from Kindergarten Teachers' College in 1956, and later moved on to tertiary teaching and senior advisory roles in Early Childhood education. Maureen was a lively mentor to many, including younger members of her extended family. In addition to her full-time work, Maureen served in an honorary capacity with the National Music Camp Association, and later the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO). She was Orchestral Manager for the inaugural season of AYO in 1957, and in 1970 on their initial international tour to Japan. In a tribute to Maureen, the Board of the AYO formally recognised the value of her lifetime contribution by granting her the "singular honour of a Life Membershipâ&#x20AC;?. 5
Rita Zhang (1999) 4 October 2018
Rita was a gentle, intelligent student who was admired by everyone at school. She achieved excellent Year 12 results in 1999 and went on to study Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne. Tragically, while on holidays in Perth, she was killed in a car accident, leaving behind a husband and two small children. 5
Staff Vale Joyce Richards 13 February 2019 Joyce taught piano at the School for many years and is remembered fondly by many of her students, who credit her with their love of music. Her three daughters Margaret Finch (1969), Rosalie Richards (1975), and Naomi Richards (1981), and granddaughter Maggie Finch (1997) are all Old Grammarians.
Vale Barbara Mary Tolson (Selleck, 1942) Christine Briggs | Principal of Melbourne Girls Grammar 1995-2007
On the very warm morning of Thursday 17 January, the community of Melbourne Girls Grammar gathered in the Chapel of St Luke to mourn the death of Old Grammarian, Mrs Barbara Tolson, and to celebrate her remarkable contributions to her former school. The Service of Celebration was also an expression of love and sympathy for her husband of 70 years, Geoffrey, and their two sons Andrew and Mark, and their respective families. Barbara was born 27 September 1926, and at the age of eleven commenced as a student at MGGS. Capable and well organised, she loved the School and committed the next 70 years of her life to it, she served on the Old Grammarians Society committee and the School Council, especially through its Property and House Committee. Her contributions were based on a deep understanding of the School culture, a sound knowledge of educational matters including curriculum, facilities and contemporary approaches to the education of girls, along with a strong commitment to the parents, students and staff of the School. Barbara’s commitment to the School was recognised in the School Council’s decision to name its new centre for Early Childhood education, the Barbara Tolson Early Learning Centre. Her interest in the Centre extended for the rest of her life, and included regular visits to speak with staff and to have chats with the children, bringing fluffy yellow chickens at Easter, and Christmas cheer at year’s end. It was through her membership of School Council that I first met Barbara. She was one of the panel members formed to select the 10th Principal of MGGS, and I was an applicant. Her ongoing support was mine to treasure from the moment of my appointment until her death on Wednesday 26 December, 2018.
At the end of the Service honouring the life and work of Barbara Tolson, we assembled as a community below the Chapel in the Long Room. Like the Chapel and most areas of the School, the Long Room spoke to us through its décor and fittings of Barbara’s knowledge of educational needs and her impeccable taste and sensibility. It was disconcerting to look up from a conversation and note that Barbara was not there, passing cake, sipping tea and engaged fully with those around her. No, Barbara was no longer physically with us, but each one of us had, and will continue to hold, her spirit in our hearts. Vale Barbara.
Penelope Spry (2006) and Henry Vo married at Abbotsford Convent on 14 April 2018. 2019 Issue 1 | Melbourne Girls Grammar IE | 43
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