Always Connected

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By work and with honour is our School motto and it has been lived up to well and truly at this time. MAL CATER PRINCIPAL



INTERESTING TIMES... On 12 March this year the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic and, as we have all experienced, the operation of places such as our School changed significantly. As our Archivist has discovered, the School last experienced a shutdown when the polio epidemic was sweeping the world back in 1937. This highlights the unique nature of what we are experiencing. I could not be prouder of our staff and students who have responded to this adversity so positively and, as a result, I feel it is important to document the amazing work so many have done as we manage our way through this pandemic. Our School Values have, indeed, stood us in good stead: Resilience, Integrity, Discipline, Service, Endeavour, Caring and Respect. So many members of our Community have demonstrated these in great measure and whilst I acknowledge that this has been seriously challenging for everyone, the good humour of our people has also held us in good stead.

As it became evident that a first round of School shutdowns would occur, the School moved in a very strategic manner to prepare our staff and students for this inevitability. I well recall one Wednesday in early March when we sent all Years 9 to 12 students home during their allocated sport training session to all log in, simultaneously, at 2pm along with all members of Years 7 and 8 here at School. This test of our IT systems was highly successful, fortunately, and we knew that we had a platform on which we could successfully deliver offsite learning. In the meantime, staff worked tirelessly behind the scenes preparing resources to ensure that our rollout would be the success that it has been. As the inevitability of a shutdown came about, our staff and students were instructed to take all of their resources home each night in case the decision to shut down came upon us suddenly. With good humour they did all that was asked of them despite the massive inconvenience of matters such as this. Such has been evident right through this pandemic.

Whilst it would be easy in such circumstances to be disappointed about opportunities lost, the purpose of this publication is to celebrate the opportunities gained and to thank all those who have made this period in the School’s history such a success! Labore et Honore – by work and with honour – is our School motto and it has been lived up to well and truly at this time. I commend to the School Community, all of those unsung champions who have made this the success that it has been. We know, however, that this pandemic still has a way to run but we will continue to thrive and not just survive! Bravo to all involved – keep up the great work!


In a short time, we were able to undertake student and staff briefings and then the decision was reached to move to offsite learning, effective from 23 March. The rollout of this was highly successful and, to the credit of so many, we were able to continue delivering many of the programs we would normally deliver here onsite. Teachers and students from Foundation to Year 12 were, all of a sudden, interacting with one another in an online world exclusively.


‘you can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you respond to what happens’.



OH&S BEST PRACTICE During this time, our School is guided by appropriate and relevant Health and Safety authorities to form the best action for our Community: Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) Department of Health Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Australia Department of Education and Training Safe Work Australia

Our School has successfully: established a Critical Response team to manage the situation provided clear and regular communication to families and Alumni as the COVID-19 situation evolves

moved to a remote and flexible learning environment as advised by the Chief Health Officer, in order to increase physical distancing and slow the spread of coronavirus conducted temperature checks for staff and students at the resumption of School in Terms 2 and 3 reconfigured classroom and office spaces to allow for physical distancing where practical and appropriate provided appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the School – including hand sanitiser, wipes, gloves and masks partnered with our cleaning staff to establish a cleaning regime based on SAFE Work Australia and Department of Health Guidelines including dedicated COVID cleaners, extended and increased cleaning arrangements that involves progressive cleaning throughout the day to ensure that risks of transmission are reduced for hightouch services provided extra sanitisation of shared

provided wellbeing advice to the Community and counselling support for students in need minimised visitors and contractors onto the Campus to minimise risk worked with our VCAL team to offer our VCAL students the opportunity to be able to complete their practical assessments whist ensuring their health, safety and wellbeing were well-considered e stablished return-to-sport COVIDsafe guidelines for staff and students worked with the Bayside Swimming Club to reactivate training in the Peter Royston Aquatic Centre when this was possible. As the pandemic evolves, our School will continue to ensure that the Critical Response team acts on the best advice available for the wellbeing of everyone. Stay safe. YANA HALL RISK AND COMPLIANCE MANAGER

equipment – such as sports equipment and playgrounds



OUR AMAZING COMMUNITY Politician and philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr once said...

‘A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn’t think we possessed.’ This is certainly true of the Mentone Grammar village in 2020.



While this year has been challenging in so many ways, it has also brought us the unexpected opportunity to showcase the caring and cohesion that embodies our Community. Throughout this year our Mentors, Year Level Coordinators and House Coordinators have gone above and beyond to support their students and staff. As Head of the Wellbeing Program, I was particularly impressed by the way in which our wellbeing programs: The RULER Program, the Resilience Project and Open Parachute were adapted to the online environment. I was also awed by the vast range of innovative activities that were designed by our Mentors. From themed dress-up days; to crazy class challenges; to serious discussions, they worked tirelessly to ensure that all students felt noticed, appreciated, and connected.

As we now revisit online learning, I have complete faith that our Mentors will deliver a strong wellbeing program, focused on ensuring that our students continue rise to ‘levels of confidence, strength and resolve’, beyond anything that they have ever had before. The School has embraced the use of Microsoft Teams as a way to connect and learn. Counselling support is also available from our Wellbeing Specialists using Teams. More tailored support and information can be found on the MG website under My Mentone>Parents>Student Wellbeing or: TERRY MATTHEW AND THE MENTONE GRAMMAR WELLBEING TEAM

BEING Remaining safe and healthy is our best defence and we are pleased to see everyone has been following hygiene etiquette on Campus. We have implemented measures to help keep everyone safe… we are checking staff and students’ temperatures upon arrival, encouraging the regular use of hand sanitiser and all high contact surfaces are being continually cleaned throughout the day. Keep up the good work everyone and remember to do the right thing by your family and friends. Don’t forget your mask! SCHOOL NURSES

I’ve always been told that Year 12 will be memorable and, even though no one could have predicted this, the sentiment still holds true. In this ‘new normal’ not only have I been enjoying a couple of extra sleep-ins, but also the chance to learn something new. I’ve always wanted to learn an instrument and with some extra time on my hands, that’s come to fruition. As well as trying a new skill, finding creative ways to swim was both refreshing and made my return to training with Bayside in the pool even more special. Coping with COVID has been challenging at times, but within every challenge lies an opportunity to grow. HANNAH SCHMIDT HEAD PREFECT 2020




ASTONISHING YEAR The last time Mentone Grammar closed its doors was 26 July 1937, for three months, due to the Polio epidemic. At this time, Headmaster Charles Thorold wrote to parents to inform them of the School’s plans to continue teaching and learning through postal correspondence. In looking through photographs from this time in history we can see a form of social distancing on the original Mentone Grammar oval was also evident! As we did in 1937, Mentone Grammar students and staff are embracing the challenge presented by COVID-19 and engaging in a variety of onsite and offsite learning approaches.



The way our Community has rallied together during this time has been nothing short of extraordinary. I am inspired and incredibly proud of our teaching staff who have worked tirelessly, preparing resources, and engaging in extensive professional learning around technology and best practice online learning. I am also grateful to all our parents and carers who are supporting their children learning from home during this time whilst managing many other commitments. Throughout our offsite teaching and learning the ingenuity, flexibility, adaptability, and resilience, of both students and teachers have been impressively on display. Whilst many events have had to be cancelled due to the current circumstances, we have all shifted our focus and changed course. There are many amazing examples from across the school: Practical Art and PE classes are being delivered remotely, Food Technology classes are being facilitated with students cooking in their kitchens at home, and music, dance and performing arts productions have transitioned to online platforms.

Powerful learning continues to take place in English, Mathematics and Science virtual classrooms, and an increased focus on wellbeing and connectedness drives our practice as we ensure that all our young people continue to learn and grow, academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. I have no doubt there will be continued challenges as we navigate our way through these uncertain times. The one thing that is certain is that Mentone Grammar is an outstanding school. The dedication and professionalism of our expert staff ensure that they continue to strive to do the very best for the young people in our care. I hope you find the stories shared throughout this publication as inspiring as I do. ADRIAN CAMM DEPUTY PRINCIPAL – TEACHING & LEARNING


HELLO FROM THE GOOD ROOM... The transition to remote learning has been truly inspiring.

It’s hard to believe that within a few short days, decades of established teaching routines were flipped on their head as teachers moved from their classrooms to a remote online learning environment. From professional development sessions, one-on-one tutorials, online workshops and creating countless new resources, it was staggering to see the dedication from teachers across the whole School coming together as a community to adapt to a new style of teaching and learning. Utilising Microsoft Teams and other digital learning platforms, our priority was not just to introduce new online teaching tools that substituted our current teaching practice, but to innovate and build on how students learn most effectively in an increasingly digital world. Through remote learning, we have seen stronger collaboration between staff and students, an increase in learner independence and, of course, years’ worth of development in digital literacy skills – just to name a few. Online learning has posed a range of positive benefits and it will be important for us to reflect on this experience as the School pioneers its organic and progressive teaching and learning philosophy, Centum. The teachers have been extraordinarily resourceful during this time and, as always, demonstrated the School’s Values of Resilience and Endeavour to provide a meaningful learning experience. We would like to thank all the incredible teachers for supporting each other during this time and for their enthusiasm in providing students with rich and powerful learning opportunities. LIAM BASSETT AND THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN


Ah Covid, Thank you for the chance to spend 24 hours a day with the people I love the most; Thank you for the chance to listen to my husband teaching and my children learning; Thank you for the chance to hear my son’s violin lessons; Thank you for the chance to endlessly run the heating and the dishwasher; Thank you for the chance see my own face, in close up, on my screen for hours at a time. I am so grateful. TRACEY PATE HEAD OF ENGLISH

Mixing up the home office routine has been an important part in keeping our remote teaching and learning experience as enjoyable as possible. As we spend the time during lessons mainly at our own desks inside, we try to find time to do our homework on the verandah to catch much needed Vitamin D and fresh air to clear the head. On cold days we might sit near a window to catch some sun rays. Doing activities that bring the family together is also an important aspect during these times: playing boardgames ( CODENAMES is a brilliant family game!), baking German-style bread rolls and sourdough bread have been a new favourite in our house, along with the ‘usual suspects’ of reading, listening to music and watching TV. FRAU JESSIKA RABE TEACHER OF GERMAN LANGUAGE AND YANI (YEAR 11)

‘It’s 8.00! Trinny, Tom, Josh… Get up!’ Coffee… Breakfast… News feed…. Emails… Teams… Teams mentor post: Morning Mrs Madden [waving smiley face, dancing monkey, waddling penguin] ‘Unpack the dishwasher please and make sure you put away the milk!’ Team mentor post: Morning 6B [gif with a pug waving] ‘Woof! Woof!’ ‘Someone let Holly out please!’ [Doorbell] That’s a typical morning in the Madden household during offsite, online learning. Seemingly chaotic, but I’m actually really grateful for the noise, movement and humour that has filled our house and my screen. Isolation with three adolescents (Years 8, 10 and 12) and a class full of energetic and creative Year 6 girls has been anything but isolating. I’m also incredibly grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn from my three children and students each day about what worked and what didn’t and use their feedback to inform my practice. Do I miss the classroom? …a resounding yes! That said, our offsite online experiences have shone a bright light on what really matters and has kept us safe. PIP MADDEN BAYVIEW MENTOR



Teaching online whilst home schooling a Year 4 student and an ELC 4 student was often a case of ‘Choose your own Adventure’! As my children both have outstanding teachers, my involvement was mostly of the ‘finding textas’ or the ‘proofing spelling’ variety. It was lovely to hear the Teams sessions of the little ones while I taught the ‘big kids’. My youngest made sure she kept the VCE students on their toes, making regular cameo appearances into my classes by zooming past on her scooter, or assuming the role of the supervising teacher by sitting on my knee and watching the senior students in action. SALLY SMITH JONES HOUSE COORDINATOR PSYCHOLOGY TEACHER

Ella and my other children all ask each other what we are grateful for, just to remind ourselves of what we do have. We ensure we support and take care of each other, practising kindness. However‌ sometimes Ella and I are so busy we get a little confused! Running Ella to school and getting back in time for the first class of the day, we do tend to start walking in circles and perhaps dressing incorrectly! GENNIE McNAIR



Remote teaching while trying to also teach a four and six-year-old at home has definitely improved my multitasking ability!! Lots of long walks and climbing trees are definitely required to get us through these days! The best part has definitely been seeing my children grow closer together and observing the determination and resilience of the amazing Year 2 students as they navigate a new learning platform. BRIANA WALKER EBLANA TEACHER

I would be lying if I said teaching at home online and being a mum of three, including a primary aged student is easy. However, what it gives you is an empathy and understanding of the challenges that many families and students are facing in this environment. It teaches you to celebrate the small wins and to show kindness and compassion to your students, family and self. The household can certainly get crazy when there are music lessons, yoga, dogs barking and constant‌ What can I eat???? The nice thing is that my students show understanding, have a laugh and appreciate that I’m doing my best. LISA TURNER






Our ELC philosophy of: Belonging, Being and Becoming and our five Learning Outcomes, have prepared our children well for what can only be described as ‘the unexpected’!










Throughout these unpredictable times, a juggle of both remote and on-campus learning, our children continue to amaze us with their resilience and adaptability. We often say that we should never underestimate our children’s capabilities. If we set high expectations the children will show us that they can reach these goals, then exceed them. When we introduced our online learning program and activity packs, we were blown away with what the children achieved, along with the support from their wonderful families. We could not be prouder. As teachers, we all had to hone our online skills and wondered whether we could still engage children in the same way through technology but, yet again, it was the children who showed us that we could! When on campus, the children have adapted to saying goodbye to parents beyond the gate and are now experts at sanitising and washing their hands and having their temperature checked upon arrival. All I can say is that the children would now be able to scrub up for open heart surgery as they are terrific at keeping their hands clean. Some of our planned activities have had to be postponed such as our visit to our senior citizens centre in Mentone but, together, we have now become pen pals with our elderly community, and we look forward to meeting our pen pals when life returns to ‘normal’. Our ELC community of children, teachers and families have all been amazingly positive throughout these times and I am sure that if we continue to support each other we will all come out stronger in the end -we are so grateful for the fabulous job everyone is doing. LIBBY CHISLETT DIRECTOR OF ELC




EBLANA The Eblana Community continues to impress. Our School Values were definitely at play while the children adjusted to learning offsite, the return to face-to-face learning and then the return to offsite once again. Resilience continued to be the value that prepared and assisted students as they navigated these changes. The skills our students have developed during this time will stand them in good stead for a lifetime of learning along with adjusting to change.

All Eblana students continue to show Endeavour during this time, none more so than our Eblana captains Chloe Britter and Lachlan Smith. Demonstrating leadership Chloe and Lachlan created a video for our Eblana students, encouraging them to make the most of their time at home, with a focus on health and happiness. While it hasn’t been the year of experiences these two had hoped for, Chloe and Lachlan have certainly continued to demonstrate their care for others and a positive outlook during this time. I am blessed with a wonderful Community. The students, families and staff all work beautifully together and as a team we will continue to achieve wonderful things together. JESS RICHARDS HEAD OF EBLANA

It feels like it has been so long since I’ve seen my friends in person and I can’t stop thinking about all the things that are happening outside of my house. Staying at home is not pleasant but at least I know everyone is safe. I also get to see my parents a lot more; even if everyone is working, we still get a lot more family time and I get to do a lot more things like drawing and reading. CHLOE BRITTER YEAR 4 EBLANA CAPTAIN 2020




2020 has been an unexpected year for all of us, especially due to the COVID-19. During lockdown, I played a lot of basketball and went for runs with my dad, walks with my mum, talked to friends on Zoom and Microsoft Teams and we rode down on our bikes to get lunch. I hope you have all been able to get outside and do stuff like I have. LACHLAN SMITH YEAR 4 EBLANA CAPTAIN 2020


PICTURE THIS... You are an energetic child aged between 10 and 12, you have recently unpacked a shiny new device for school. Yes, you are super excited because it is the first year that you can bring your very own device! Fast forward seven weeks or so and suddenly you are really having to put your limited knowledge and a crash course in Microsoft Teams to good use. You have no choice because this global pandemic means an unexpected and rapid move to offsite learning.

Sound familiar? This paints the picture of every Keith Jones Learning Centre student from Mentone Grammar. Although the above paragraph might appear a little grim and perhaps overwhelming, there is a shining light – and that would be our Year 5 and 6 students! Their caring attitude is nothing short of amazing, they arrive with smiles on their faces and respectfully support one another with both kind words and actions. They are disciplined and continue to embrace learning opportunities demonstrating a ‘can do’ attitude. They endeavour to bring their ‘best self’ to class and demonstrate true resilience alongside every new government announcement. They exhibit integrity whilst also becoming incredibly device savvy. In facing the challenges of delivering an educational and engaging curriculum online, Years 5 & 6 Mentors frequently reflect on their delivery of content, always striving to improve student experiences. Time is spent discussing and listening to student feedback, focusing on what has worked well and adjusting accordingly. We continue to use a diversified range of links and platforms to assist students to engage with the Mentone Grammar online classroom experience. We are extremely impressed with how our students continue to uphold the Mentone Grammar School values and, in particular, with how they are tackling ISO Version 2.0 online! We are blessed to be working with this very special cohort of students. JACQUI CARTWRIGHT YEARS 5 & 6 COORDINATOR



ARS 5&6




During remote learning in Term 2, our Bayview students responded in many different ways. For some, the experience was refreshing – later starts without a commute to school, time to stretch in between classes and help out with the housework (wishful thinking??), and the excitement of engaging with their teachers and peers in a virtual world meant the experience was overwhelmingly positive. For others, remote learning was more challenging as they had to develop new organisational skills and find new ways to connect with peers who might normally have sat next to them in a classroom.

In either case, what stood out was the support and care from our Community that underpinned these feelings. Students and teachers reached out to one another to check in and acknowledge the highs and lows of what was a new experience for all of us. Our RULER program tells us that it’s okay to feel different emotions and that we will sometimes feel excited, angry, sad or calm depending on what is happening around us. Recognising these different emotions and having strategies to move between them such as listening to music, learning a new skill or hobby or spending time with family gave our students a way to navigate the challenge of a new learning environment and meant that students continued to move forward and grow in their learning, even though the means of delivery was different.

Online schooling has given everyone more time to work on their independence and personal growth. For me, I took this time to further explore what methods of studying and learning work best for me and utilise all resources provided by our teachers, as much as possible. This experience is something no one would have expected. As a school and as a community, we should work together and make the most of online learning while it’s still running. We can get through this. JORDAN PYSZCZEK BAYVIEW CAPTAIN 2020



As we now move into a new phase of remote learning, the Bayview team is continuing to develop this emotional intelligence in our students and encourage them to find ways to build their positivity and support each other, ensuring that academic and emotional learning continues uninterrupted in an online world. JAMES WALTON HEAD OF BAYVIEW


Online learning was a big change for all of us, going from a busy school full of kids to the quiet sanctuary of our homes. It took a while for me to adapt to this new lifestyle but once I did, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was great to have all this extra time on my hands as it allowed me to do things, I was otherwise unable to do. This free time really helped relieve stress and it helped me develop new skills. The timetable changes made it really easy to adapt, the same with the extended lunch and recess times. During this time, I was able to get my mind off school and relax. This was a big change for all of us, but I think it impacted us all for the better. The School has put in place many things to make this transition a lot easier and for that, we say thank you. ROHAAN THILAK-MATHEW BAYVIEW CAPTAIN 2020




As we now revisit remote learning 2.0, it is clear that technology, adaptability and mindfulness have become the integral tools required to thrive during this wave of the pandemic. Once again, we have seen a successful return to offsite, online learning and our resilient staff have further developed effective, engaging programs for all Greenways students at home. The secret has been an emphasis on flexible environments that accommodate the varied learning needs of students. I am so proud of our Greenways students who jumped straight back into their home routines and have remained enthusiastic and optimistic. It has been wonderful to see staff and students interacting on Teams and the feedback has been very positive once again. Thank you to our students for the way in which they have connected with staff, their classmates and the curriculum in a constructive manner and thank you to their families for helping to create the right balance of work and downtime at home. There is no doubt that this is a difficult time for students who are missing elements of the unique Greenways experience, but the upside of this has been the newfound resilience, skills and gratitude that I have seen in abundance from this amazing year level. All great attributes for the years to come…

GRE 2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year. Since tentatively embarking on this journey, we have been met with obstacle after obstacle, each no less foreign and intimidating than the last. Though online learning has been a definite adjustment, with support from my peers, friends, family, teachers and the Mentone Grammar Community, I have since paved a path of growth and selfdiscovery that I will forever be grateful for. The ride has been daunting but has demonstrated the strength and resilience we are all capable of. AVA GIBBONS

Personally, I don’t mind doing school from home. I find it to be quite relaxing with the sleep-ins and longer lunches. I enjoy being able to sit at my desk and being able do the work at my own pace. My Personal Project is starting to take shape, slowly, but I’m enjoying the progress and seeing my ‘Whirly Twirly’ grow. However, I do miss my mates, talking to them through Teams just isn’t quite the same… ETHAN GREEN


Adjusting back to the new normal of online school has definitely had its challenges. Not being able to see friends or have face-to-face learning are definitely my top two. However, I have been doing my best to stay connected with my teachers and peers whether it be through Teams, email or other social media. This has especially helped with my Personal Project, by allowing me to receive feedback and different perspectives from a diverse group of people. ELIZA SCHMIDT



EENWAYS During online school, I’m sure I speak for every teacher and student by saying the Microsoft Team’s notification sound got pretty old very quickly. However, this whole lockdown situation has taught every one of us to be patient and to hang in there but, for an impatient person like myself, this was hard to do. Our mentors have never been so influential and caring for us and it just shows that we’re all in this together. On the other hand, COVID-19 has allowed us to spend more time and effort on our Personal Projects, it has allowed us to escape from the craziness during these times. For my Personal Project, I built a guitar during the first lockdown and intend to build another one soon. WILL MUTTON

Currently we are a few weeks into online classes. Of course, I am frustrated and sad that we are back to online school because of COVID, but this time is much better than the last. Just this morning, my English teacher did a check-in with us to see how we are going mentally and physically. We really took some time at the start of the lesson, talking to one another online, and I found that it made me feel so much better as I know I am not alone in what I am feeling, and I know that there are teachers and peers who I can talk to. Additionally, I have private music lessons (Singing and Cello) and even though it can be difficult to have them online, the way the School has organised these lessons have made them fun and accessible. KEIRA PATRON

Working at home has its challenges but for the most part I really enjoy it. I do miss my friends, but its super easy to call them through Teams which has made the world of difference. In terms of my Personal Project, I have had a lot more time to work on it. My project involves writing a cookbook for diabetics and it’s been so great to have something to work on over this challenging period of time. TILLY MEAGHER

Although this has been a difficult time for all of us, my classmates and I have all adapted well with online learning. Personally, the online learning system helps me stay engaged and focused on lessons, even during these circumstances. For us Year 9s, our Personal Project is continuing on. Luckily, the materials and resources for my project are easily accessible, allowing me to work on it at home. I am so grateful to be able to research and look into two things I am very passionate and interested about for my Personal Project, swimming and sustainability. EMILY ZALLMANN



If the saying, ‘crisis doesn’t create character; it reveals it’, is true then our staff and students have certainly revealed themselves to be people who are highly resilient and genuinely caring. Indeed, when I think of the manner in which we have responded to the COVID pandemic, it is our School Values of Caring, Resilience and Endeavour that immediately spring to mind. Not in the sense that they are words on a poster that fit as descriptors, but rather that these values have been clearly on display each and every day in the actions and character of the staff and students of Frogmore. Quite simply, I have been inspired by our senior students. There is no doubt this is not the year our Year 12s were expecting and, perhaps, they might feel they are missing out. Yet, they attend each day, smiles on faces, fronting up to challenge after challenge and staunchly supporting each other through it all. Yes, it is a unique year. Fortunately, they are a unique bunch and their sense of unity and purpose is incredibly strong as they care for each other and continue to work hard. They provide an excellent example to our Year 11 and Year 10 students have also continued to move forward and progress their learning well. It would be remiss not to mention the efforts of the staff in adjusting and adapting so quickly to the challenges and demands of online learning. For many, if not all, there has been a significant learning curve, mostly undertaken within days, as they moved to provide meaningful learning programs online. It is indeed a very different medium and experience, and the work of our staff in supporting each other through our own online learning community has proved invaluable in supporting our staff who, in turn, are better able to support our students. None of this has been without its challenges. The sense of isolation and uncertainty can be overwhelming at times. Mindful of this, our Mentors continue to reach out and engage our students remotely (Deighton’s toilet roll challenge was a personal favourite for me), our teachers continue to touch base beyond timetabled lessons and our counsellors have initiated online sessions for students who need additional support. It is often said that ‘you can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you respond to what happens’. With that in mind, I am incredibly proud of the manner in which our staff and students have responded. Labore et Honore indeed. CAMERON LANCASTER HEAD OF FROGMORE




This time has been completely crazy for us all, but I am very grateful to say that my experience of lockdown, particularly over the Term 1 break, turned out to be a very productive one! With, almost, my whole family working from home, I was in need of a proper space to do my schoolwork and take all of my online classes each day. And so, given the extra time on my hands, I was able to clean out and renovate a storage room at the back of my house and turn it into a little study space for me! This has turned out to be a great move for my studies this year. I feel so productive and focused now that I have an at-home space dedicated specifically to taking online classes and study. I now feel much more prepared for off-site learning this time around and am enjoying being able to do my homework in my cute study at the end of each day! ELLA MAIRS COCURRICULAR CAPTAIN - ACADEMIC 2020

COVID has created a new normal. All of our expectations for this year have been snatched away. For me, just like everybody else, a lot of what I enjoy has been cancelled. With a win on the horizon for Firsts Hockey, it was especially crushing. However, if the last three seasons have taught me anything it is persistence, and this has only fuelled the fire to support the team to a win next season. At the same time, the lockdown has given me a taste of independence that I have never known before. I work best in the presence of others, whether that be in the library or the study centre; places that limit distractions and help maintain focus. Working at home was tough at the start but it has helped me develop greater efficacy. It also made me grateful for the resources we have at Mentone. Teachers adjusting swiftly to the new medium and their determination for us not to fall behind, meant I have felt as supported at home as in the classroom. Adapting quickly to change has given us all an advantage that we should aim to make the most of to achieve our goals this year. JOSHUA MADDEN COCURRICULAR CAPTAIN - ACADEMIC 2020


ENDEAVOUR & DISCIPLINE In a year where House events, extracurricular activities and social gatherings are banned it can be easy to drop your head. But for me it has been a wakeup call to appreciate all that we have been able to do this year.

The start of the year House Swimming and Athletics events brought me closer to many peers across all the year levels as our House pride continued to grow. Being a part of a team playing with old and new friends for Summer Saturday Sport created fond memories.

Even training and rehearsals, regardless of whether or not you had the chance to put the work on display, were still fun times exercising and hanging out with friends.

An unforgettable 2020 Prefects’ Ball was filled with laughing, dancing and smiles all around.

As COVID has shown us, any number of these events we may never have even had the chance to do. We’ve been shown that our world can change very quickly, disrupting our ‘normal’. So, take every opportunity that comes your way. Because at the end of the day you’ll want to look back on what you did and be proud.

The Cadets courses and training days exposed me to new environments and responsibilities, providing hands-on opportunities to develop skills in a fresh leadership role.

I’ve found it very motivating to look back on and be grateful for all the great times I’ve enjoyed this year.


The COVID-19 pandemic has not been kind to the people of Performing Arts, but us Performing Arts kids are a persistent bunch. In the face of this year’s adversity, we have taken it in our stride and used this time to get into the recording booth or jump in front of a camera to record all performances that otherwise would have been cancelled. The recording of performances this year has been a massive boost in morale for us PA kids as it gives us hope that we can still pursue all of our endeavours. COVID-19 has also been a hurdle to overcome for everyone in Cadets. All positions have been affected, but none more so than the Year 12 cohort, for whom this is their last year of Cadets. It



hasn’t been easy, but we have found ways to circumvent the issues that COVID-19 has presented for the Mentone Grammar Army Cadet Unit (MGACU). A part of our efforts to work around the lockdown, was conducting our first ever online training day for Mentone Grammar, where the entire unit went onto Microsoft Teams to teach and learn to and from one another. As the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), I want to reassure the community at Mentone Grammar that despite the challenges we face this year, we are all trying our best to give all year levels of the Unit the best possible opportunities that we can provide, despite the pandemic. HARRISON DART COCURRICULAR CAPTAIN – PERFORMING ARTS 2020 MGACU CADET RSM


During such a challenging time, the resilience shown by our students has been astounding. Engagement with our Sport program has been one such area, where, even with the promise of, at best, a modified season, the importance of Sport in the lives of our students was on display throughout Term 2, when training for most sports continued on. In line with AIS guidelines, individual and small group sessions were completed in ways like never before, but as is always the case, flexibility and adaptability from coaches and students became even more important as teams prepared for whatever was to come. It was great to see so many of the School’s facilities used as skills were improved, fitness was increased and game plans were refined.

In particular, and reflective of their overall attitude during an incredible 2020, our Year 12 students need special mention for their ongoing commitment. So many of them commit countless hours to our Sport program and even in the lead up to whatever their final season was to be, this willingness to give their all never wavered. To our swimmers and winter sports teams who did everything in their power to be ready, for whenever the day may arrive,

we offer our thanks and congratulations for not letting unpredictability get the better of them. We thoroughly look forward to returning to our ovals, courts, pools and pitches as soon as possible and getting back to representing Mentone as soon as possible. PETER O’GORMAN HEAD OF SPORT – WINTER



A WAY As a Year 12 student I feel I have been able to still fulfil my Year 12 priorities through ensuring I maintain a positive mindset, good organisation, and a strong work ethic. Most importantly I have learnt great lessons surrounding adaptability that will help me deal with future challenges. Personally, I have found that it’s important to have a balance between schoolwork and personal enjoyments such as running, singing, dancing etc. Whilst at times I have felt moments of struggle in this unique year, I just remind myself that eventually there will be a sense of calm. Whilst my singing lessons and other performing arts activities have been altered, I have found that still being able to maintain some elements of creativity has been helpful. I do miss performing in front of audiences; however, I know that will come later in time. I really appreciate the School being so supportive in getting the Year 12s through. CHARLOTTE HOLLAND COCURRICULAR CAPTAIN - PERFORMING ARTS



When the inevitability of a lockdown loomed, serious questions arose about the viability of a meaningful Performing Arts education mediated through an online experience. Despite some doubts, regular classroom teaching was moved swiftly, and with great determination into the online realm. Fortunately, we were able to expand and develop pre-existing online learning platforms and create new, and sometimes better, ways to achieve our learning objectives.

During Term 2, regular classes progressed online in an inspiring manner, as did our ensembles. In many ways the experience brought a new focus, and students made a significant and noticeable improvement. Performing Arts is essentially a problem-solving practice. Imagined outcomes are not always achievable, but a work-around mindset can sometimes create unexpected and very satisfying outcomes. For performance arts, challenge is a reality, but the struggle to find a solution is where the creative process thrives. Well, challenge accepted! With no prospect of live performance in front of a live audience, video recording seemed the obvious work-around for our concerts. The first round of video recording has been released, the Singers Concert, with 26 solo performances filmed in the Thorold Theatre in the last weeks of Term 2.

Students from Year 5 to Year 12 were represented in the concert program, and these wonderful young artists and their moving performances were greatly appreciated by all. This year’s Bayview Play, Jungle Book, was rehearsed both online and onsite during Term 2. A more elaborate video recording was undertaken onstage of the Thorold Theatre during the midyear break, and the release of this wonderful production is forthcoming. Preparation for the senior production of Jekyll and Hyde has been moving at apace during Term 2 and the midyear break. Similarly, Jekyll and Hyde was rehearsed both online and onsite during Term 2. I commend the entire cast for continuing to demonstrate a skilful and enthusiastic approach to challenges posed by onsite and offsite rehearsals. During this time, the Performing Arts has shown that it can provide joy, and perhaps inspiration, through its positive approach to any challenge and we all continue to work with great humour and determination to rehearse, practice, listen, create, discuss, write, film, dream, tutor and learn. GAVIN CORNISH HEAD OF PERFORMING ARTS DIRECTOR OF MUSIC



VCE ARTISTS AT WORK Our Year 12 Visual Communication Design students are well into the development phase of their own chosen design problems. The students have been making the most of the School’s resources and facilities by exploring their design solutions using watercolour, markers, inks, digital drawing pads to name a few. Class time has been a buzz of design activities including the essential evaluating and shared feedback from class members.



E ART Our Year 12 Studio Arts class is busy starting to create their final artworks. They have taken on the challenge of adapting their themes and ideas accordingly and have begun planning their masterpieces. Some students have made mock-ups of final artworks, drawn their initial ideas and taken photographs, to then start the editing process. They continue to document how they are resolving their artworks and the best ways in which they can communicate their ideas through the presentation of these artworks. It is fantastic to see their visions coming to life. Year 12 Art students have already submitted their first artworks and are well underway with developing and refining their second artworks. Productivity and achievement are still high as the majority of students have managed to set up home studios to allow for the movement between on and off campus learning. KIM WOOTTON, MICHELE GILL AND KIRSTY PETSCHEL


VISUAL ART STAYING CREATIVE IN BAYVIEW Visual Arts students have produced amazing artworks as they have adapted to our new working environment.



Mrs Gill and her Year 6C and D students investigated the artist Toshihiko Mitsuya and explored the theme of ‘Insects from Outer Space’, while learning at home in isolation. As part of their exploration, students drew insects exploring their anatomy as well as building skills in using tone to create the illusion of form in their drawings. Using this knowledge, students were required to create their own insect creature using foil and other materials found around their house. Students made armatures using plastic bottles and gumnuts through to cotton buds to form the structure of their creature and then covered the majority of the form with foil. The students showed great initiative

and diverse thinking in their collection of a wide variety of materials and were enthusiastic in exploring their creativity through this theme. Ms Petschel provided her Years 7 and 8 students with the challenge of creating a sculpture made from food. They needed to ensure that their sculpture could stand up independently and include the art elements and art principles of texture, form and balance. Students investigated the artist Arcimboldo, analysing his work through discussion and a Socrative Quiz. Students created a vast range of sculptures and some were even lucky enough to eat their artwork afterwards! KIM WOOTTON, MICHELE GILL AND KIRSTY PETSCHEL


EMBRACING NEW OPPORTUNITIES COVID-19 has undoubtedly presented us with some unprecedented challenges and whilst there is no substitute for face-to-face conversation and participation in a group setting, we have adapted and become more innovative and creative than ever before. We now hold our regular committee meetings and other meetings via platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. We have had members who did not have a debit card, start using one for the first time in their 80s and likewise, past students who have reached out to us to reconnect with past friends. We have walked more, talked more and made the effort to keep in touch with our Association and each other. We have learnt patience and the value of the simple things in life, such as enjoying the sunshine, connecting with others and we’ve even picked up some new creative hobbies and interests as we all embrace a ‘new normal’.

OUR SPORTS CLUBS RISK & COMPLIANCE Our sports clubs play a huge part in our Community. Our Mentonian Clubs have worked with us to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all their members. Whilst adhering to the guidelines provided by their respective sporting bodies, they have amicably worked with us on all aspects of Risk & Compliance, particularly in regard to training and use of our Keysborough fields and facilities.

We thank our TMA Club Presidents and representatives for the exemplary manner and resilience in which they have managed this entire process. With the support of our School leadership, we are now exploring new ways to bring ‘wellbeing sessions’, to offer extra support and assistance to Club members.

A VIRTUAL OFFICE Whilst not at School, our ‘virtual’ office has been busy updating data, correspondence – sharing both happy and sad news regarding the passing of some of our much-loved past staff and Alumni. The lockdown has meant that we can ‘attend’ funerals via video link to farewell our friends; something we couldn’t do prior to the pandemic. There have also been many, many phone calls, often just to share care and concern and we have loved hearing from our Community.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY We have continued to stay connected via our online Monitor newsletters, our biannual magazine, the Mentor, via email, through our website and by social media. We have enjoyed sharing happy archival memories and milestones to ‘keep in touch’ as much as possible.

Our committee is also working on new concepts involving video links, so that we can continue to innovate and communicate whilst lockdown and/or social distancing continues.

PROUD MENTONIANS The Mentonians Association was formed in 1927; just a mere five years after the School was established. Then, as now, the Association was seen as a means of keeping former students involved and, in so doing, strengthening the School Community. We are extremely proud of our entire School Community and congratulate our leadership, teaching staff and students for being both flexible and adaptable, by positively embracing online learning in such a short period of time. Strong, active and passionate communities make schools great. We are proud Mentonians! Stay in Touch. E: T: 9584 4211 SUZANNE ASHLEY ALUMNI MANAGER


63 Venice Street Mentone Victoria Australia 3194 T: +61 3 9584 4211 E: MENTONE GRAMMAR SCHOOL EST. 1923 CRICOS 00323C