Lucis Magazine, Spring 2019

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The Magazine of the MLC School Family

An education rich in the Creative and Performing Arts

Spring Edition 2019


13 W O N D ER FU L Y E A R S

EDITORIAL Michele Dunn Julianne Sheedy Shelley Kirkwood

PHOTOGRAPHERS Nicole Anderson Joel Mesas Hanh Nguyen Julianne Sheedy MLC School Community

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Cover photo: 2019 Dance Showcase





Also inside this issue 10






32 34 DA N CE SH O W C A SE

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The Arts bring our community together LISA MOLONEY / PRINCIPAL

Welcome to another edition of Lucis, which focuses on our Creative and Performing Arts programs and staff. UNESCO considers education in the Arts to be a universal human right, and the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child states that all governments:

shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity. MLC School girls have a wide variety of opportunities to learn experientially, that is, by doing, enabling them to channel their individuality and creativity; and build their expertise by taking considered, supported risks. Through involvement in the Creative and Performing Arts, girls are challenged to be agile and forward thinking, solve problems in different ways and build skills in team work and collaboration. In addition, research indicates that as well as the sense of achievement that comes from the activity itself, engagement with the Creative and Performing Arts has wide ranging benefits for academic and social outcomes and benefits for health and general wellbeing.



In addition, in today’s rapidly changing work environment, with experts suggesting that many of the jobs that our girls will have are yet to be created, there is no doubt being creative and adaptable will be the key to successful employment in years to come. Importantly, the Arts bring our community together in different ways, and leaves us with a feeling of great joy on so many levels. In the last six months, our superb Arts program has included the Biennial Sydney Opera House Concert, dancers performing at NIDA, our Senior Centre glowing for Illuminate ; and Away, the School drama, which brought together actors from our School with those from Newington College and Trinity Grammar School. In this edition of Lucis you will learn more about these exceptional programs and the girls who have made them happen. And finally, it is often overlooked that our teaching staff have professional lives that extend far beyond what happens during the school day, and I hope that this edition of Lucis opens your eyes to the exceptional talent that our staff members possess, so many of whom are highly regarded artists in their own right.

‘MLC School girls have a wide variety of opportunities to learn experientially, that is, by doing …’



Preparing girls for leadership at MLC School involves both formal and informal positions, working in a range of student bodies from the early years in Junior School, and representing the School in the best possible light whenever girls are recognised by their uniform. Congratulations to the 2020 Senior School Leadership team. Elected by peers and staff, the following girls commenced their roles in Term 4.

School Captain Amelie Roediger Vice-Captains Ariana Haghighi (Year 6 to Year 9) Lilly Dummett (Year 10 to Year 12)

Art and Design Captain Paris Mitropoulos Dance, Drama and Entertainment Captain Meghana Gopalan Debating Captain Cherie Pepperell Music Captain Zoe Hannam Round Square Captain Lily Smith

2020 Senior School Leadership team with Principal, Lisa Moloney, and Head of Year 12, Angela Renwick




Sport Captain Tashjan Managreve Student Representative Council Captain Charlie Kairaitis Abbeythorpe House Captain Antonique Amperidis House Vice-Captain Jaimie Kappas Booralee House Captain Emily Eker House Vice-Captain Uma Barrett

Churunga House Captain Samantha Naayen House Vice-Captain Kate Cartwright

Prescott House Captain Philippa Machin House Vice-Captain Audrey Williams

Leawarra House Captain Beatrice Drake House Vice-Captain Samara Tucker

Sutton House Captain Samantha Cavanagh House Vice-Captain Isabel Leung

Lester House Captain Elizabeth Linardos House Vice-Captain Vivian Law

Wade House Captain Amelie Coman House Vice-Captain Tiarna Cominos

Mooramoora House Captain Jessica MacMaster House Vice-Captain Ella Tsaousidis

Whitley House Captain Daphne Doumanis House Vice-Captain Maria Costantino

2020 House Captains



Jessica Kuo with Kindergarten students



13 wonderful years


So, it all began 13 years ago when I started here in Kindergarten. I remember walking into the Kindy cottage with two little piggy tales and, of course, the classic MLC School straw hat. Being five-years-old, I wasn’t sure what to expect going to school. I was a little bit excited but also extremely nervous. However, I immediately felt a sense of warmth and friendliness, and I felt so at ease. And it is something that I felt walking into school every morning. What I love most about MLC School are the opportunities the School provides from sport, music, dance, art, debating and the list goes on. The Aquatic Centre basically became my second home, not only because I spent a lot of time there doing my favourite sport, diving, but because all the wonderful people I spent those early morning or late-night trainings with became a family to me. Showing up to early morning training and getting into the not so warm pool gets progressively harder each week, especially in winter. However, it was so much easier because I was surrounded by my supportive team – I would forget about the cold, the early morning wake-ups, and my constant belly flops. My teammates were not only girls my age, but those in the years below, and the years above as well when they were at the School. We developed our own motto – to ‘dive as daughters of the light’, our own little take on the main School motto. Over the course of the years, we have grown to be a big diving

family, accepting new members each year, and there have been so many unforgettable memories shared that I truly cherish. The opportunities I have been presented are simply amazing. In Year 2, I had the privilege of shaking the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce’s hand when she opened the Junior School 10 years ago, then in May this year, I was able to escort Sir Peter Cosgrove around the new Senior Centre, when he was here for the official opening. I can’t think of many young women who would have had a similar experience. It is not only the positive attitude that the School encourages, which resonates with me, but mainly it’s all the wonderful students and staff who make MLC School the amazing place it is. Yes, there have been many tears these last few weeks. Coming down to spend my last morning at School with the kindy girls brought home just how much I have grown, and what MLC School will always mean to me. They call the girls who have been at MLC School from Kindy to Year 12, ‘Survivors’. I guess that’s one way of looking at it, but those years have been the making of me as a person. It’s been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs, but a thrilling ride that will always be an incredibly important part of who I am.

‘My 13 years at MLC School have been quite the journey. I’ve been pushed outside of my comfort zone countless times, from playing in the captains-versus-teachers dodge ball game, to eating a cricket on our Year 10 service trip to Thailand. Although I have had my fair share of embarrassing moments in the past 13 years, I would not change a thing.’



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‘Creativity, interpretation, innovation and cultural understanding are all sought-after skills for new and emerging industries of the 21st century. Arts education provides students with the tools to develop these skills.’ – Garrett, 2009 An education rich in the Creative and Performing Arts emphasises not only creativity and imagination, but also the values of cultural understanding and social harmony; and has a positive impact on student wellbeing. It is for these reasons that the Creative and Performing Arts are an essential part of the learning and teaching program at MLC School. Further, studies have shown that students who are involved in the Creative and Performing Arts have higher motivation, engagement in class and self-esteem. There is evidence that students who participate in Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts achieve more positive academic and personal wellbeing outcomes than those not involved in the Arts. According to Professor Andrew Martin: ‘Studies show that school participation in the arts can have positive effects on diverse aspects of students’ lives.’ Some of the strongest effects have been found for students who spent high amounts of quality time in Creative and Performing Arts subjects at school. The Creative and Performing Arts foster learning dispositions that are characteristic of high academic performers, but that are



also important life skills. Time spent deeply immersed in these programs is a key part of an MLC School education. Girls develop persistence, empathy, metacognition and tenacity as they explore the various disciplines. They grow their skills in questioning and problem finding, creating, imagining and innovating, as well as taking responsible risks in their learning, as they explore both the curricular and co-curricular programs. Collaborative learning strategies commonly found in Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Design and Drama encourage girls to empathise or ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’, which is important as they develop their understanding of diversity and the need to be inclusive. They negotiate the challenges of having to work as a team to achieve a common goal. As design thinking continues to become more widely used across a diverse range of fields in the real world, the role of those with a background in the creative disciplines becomes increasingly important. The creative response is critical to finding innovative solutions to problems at both a local and global level, and brings

with it an empathy that is essential to the process. At MLC School we aim to prepare our girls for this role through the pedagogical approaches adopted in our programs. The experiential approach that is applied across all disciplines in the Arts, fosters an environment in which the girls can make mistakes and take risks as they undertake their creative journey. They begin this process as students, questioning, exploring and challenging ideas. As they complete the journey they emerge as practicing artists and performers. This is a process of creativity, challenge, mastery, courage and conviction. They learn to accept and act upon constructive criticism and use it to deepen their understanding and improve the quality of their work. Making mistakes is an important part of the journey and it is the truly courageous learner who can do this in front of their peers. It is from these experiences that the students learn and develop more complex responses in their practice. The Creative and Performing Arts are uniquely placed to provide a space for this process to occur.


L In order for girls to undertake the learning journey that encourages them to question, explore and challenge ideas, teachers need to provide them with opportunities to deal with ambiguity. The Arts are a discipline where there is not always a right or wrong answer. Credit is given instead for the way in which students respond to the stimulus or provocation provided and their ability to frame a cohesive argument. Just as it is in life, students are required to consider multiple perspectives as they analyse, synthesise, respond and create. Teaching students to think in this way has been linked to improvements in problem solving ability and gains in language and creativity. It prepares them for the rigours of senior study as they encounter more conceptually complex subject matter as well as assisting them to form their own opinions about current events and issues.

The richness of the program at MLC School is not limited to the classroom experience. Our Immersion Program encourages girls to utilise the knowledge and skills developed in the Arts as they present their learning and deepening understanding from their journeys. The Broken Hill Celebration of Learning was an excellent example of how our students use the skills developed in the Arts to respond to their experiences. Using the provocation ‘What I thought and what I know – a journey to understanding’ girls produced artefacts that represented their experience using forms such as sculpture, collage, acrylic and installations. Their ability

to represent their learning, both literally and metaphorically, through these mediums is a direct reflection of the influence and strength of our Arts program.

‘Just as it is in life, students are required to consider multiple perspectives as they analyse, synthesise, respond and create.’ MLC School provides multiple opportunities for students to be able to immerse themselves deeply in the Creative and Performing Arts through the Art and Design Tour, Dance Showcase and dramatic productions to name a few. Having time to engage in sustained immersion through these is pivotal to the deep understanding of practice that enables our students to excel both academically and personally. References cgi?article=1020&context=aer news/2013/09/27/participation-in-the-arts-aidsstudents-in-the-classroom-and-lif.html



Capri in the igloo, Illuminate 2019

Art and Design

Fill the blank


Art replicates life in so many ways. We begin our journeys with a blank canvas before us. Pure intention and the promise of a masterpiece, our driving force.



How we choose to fill our canvas is our purpose that resides within us… our choice of creative living is the courage that separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one. MLC School has served as the most creative and challenging environment, launching each and every one of us into the realm of creative independent thinking and expression. It has provided the undercoat upon which the many layers of our lives can easily be bonded. I feel very fortunate to have been primed in such a wonderful environment that has offered me many opportunities to exhibit the skills I have learnt along the way.

Illuminate 2019

As Art and Design Captain, I began the year with yet another blank canvas but was surrounded by the most talented Art and Design committee members, sub-captains and staff that within weeks of commencing, the essence of our canvas was already shining through. We welcomed summer with a splash of vibrancy, decorating the School with vivid yellow to brighten the grounds and let the School community know the Art and Design committee was planning an active presence throughout 2019. The mission of the committee was to ‘to create a strong presence for Art and Design by incorporating all departments in order to illuminate MLC School’. Our ode to the seasons seemed the perfect way to remind our peers that time was moving and to stop and notice the colourful moments around us. We filled the grounds with autumn leaves in a warm and rustic theme for Autumn has Arrived day which paved the way to our Winter Wonderland during Art and Design’s Winterfestival Week. The magic of winter was captured through lluminate, our 2019 light spectacular which lauded the incredible works from not only the Art and Design areas but also Dance, Music, Gymnastics, Japanese Club and Round Square within our incredible new building.

Illuminate was the culmination of months of hard work by a huge dedicated team and I am incredibly proud of what we collectively achieved. An igloo made out of over 1000 milk containers was the crowning glory as it sat beneath a canopy of snow cascading from above. Illuminate had its own special message of creating light, inspired by what Oprah Winfrey’s famously said: ‘You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world’. We all have the chance to illuminate our own light during our years at MLC School. Be someone that makes a difference, give your light

Illuminate 2019

solidity, memory and impact here. For once our light passes through the gates for the last time, the warmth of the flame we created as ‘daughters of the light’ will continue to illuminate others for many years to come. Throughout the year we also illuminated the talents of many girls through a number of Art and Design masterclasses and competitions. The year finished with Spring has Sprung day in all of its colourful, glory… an awakening of the senses and almost a floral guard of honour as this year’s Year 12 cohort get ready to make their way through the school grounds for the last time, each carrying their own palette with a colour spectrum of ideas and their very own purpose. I am proud of everything our hardworking committee has created and appreciate every minute that was given to me by my peers and teachers who selflessly supported the colourful vision I had imposed upon them. I cannot thank you all enough. Together I think we have created a masterpiece. My final thoughts to you are: Remember that true art comes from the soul. It is something we feel, we express, we interpret. Live like this. Artist Henri Matisse said ‘Creativity takes courage’ and the great enemy of courage we know is fear. Have no fear.

‘We all have the chance to illuminate our own light during our years at MLC School. Be someone that makes a difference, give your light solidity, memory and impact here.’

Artist Paul Gaugin claimed ‘In Art one is either a plagiarist or a revolutionary’. So, to be a revolutionist you need to have vision, which is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. So, look hard. You are the artists of your own masterpieces. Follow your calling, connect with your soul and have no fear, only vision and imagination. Once you farewell MLC School, may your very own masterpieces continue to be revolutionary and leave a lasting impression on all who encounter them. LUCIS SPRING 2019


A European trip

of Art and Design ELSA TONKINWISE / YEAR 10

The 2019 Art and Design Tour was two weeks that enriched our understanding of the historical, cultural, and geographical foundations of art. The tour began in Spain. Madrid was the first city which we explored. In a post-flight haze, every colour, scent, and touch was amplified tenfold. The Reina Sofia gallery captured the peculiarities of modern society, ranging from stylised recounts of the life of Alan Turing to rooms of dark wrought-iron plates. Positioned right beside the vast museum, the balcony of our hotel gave us a superb view. My roommates and I would return in the evenings and sketch as we sprawled on the beds, watching the golden sunlight pool in the city street below. We saw another side of Spain in Bilbao, a wind-swept city nestled between small mountain ranges. Its architecture melded past with present, split down the centre by an estuary. We explored the light-filled halls of the Guggenheim and peered down at the river from above, and later visited the local Museum of Fine Arts. The latter was my favourite museum of the entire trip – it was divided into cleverly alphabetised rooms, each with sculptures and paintings of a certain theme. It allowed the collections to transcend usual barriers of time period or style and constructed a subject matter-based lens through which to view art. I soaked up every moment here and worked through many pages of my sketchbook. It was the first place where I let the pencil in my hand run its course without over-analysing each stroke. Perhaps it was the background rustle of the plane trees outside that loosened my hand, or perhaps it was the loveliness of the art surrounding me. Milan was, quite frankly, a blur of paleyellow buildings, flocks of birds and intricate MLC SCHOOL


cathedral façades. We spent a day at the Italian Institute of Photography, in which we delved into the history of photography as a means of documentation and as an artistic abstraction of life. Before we knew it, we were cresting the turquoise waters of Venice, relishing the novel form of transport which we would soon become accustomed to. The city was, as expected, breathtaking. Everything seemed to be soaked in a pale ochre hue, contrasted perfectly by the milky waters. On one particular day, there were boat difficulties, and so we trooped for half an hour along the concrete paths beside the water to find our ferry. Despite the inconvenience, this walk was one to be remembered. The afternoon light shone onto the immaculate marble statues on buildings; the waves lapped at the wharves; the city felt both familiar and untouchable. My friends and I had another ethereal Venetian experience whilst out at a restaurant beside the water. We heard the melancholy bows of a violin, muffled behind the walls of a church tucked into the side streets. We slipped through the oaken door quietly and held our breath in the dim light. Candles flickered in the corners, illuminating sections of the paintings which covered every wall. Our footsteps echoed on the stone floor as we drifted apart. We emerged nodding in tacit awe. Other notable highlights of Venice included the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, with its wonderfully serene gardens and extensive Jean Arp exhibition, and the gondola ride through the deep teal of the bustling canals.

Our spirits did not dwindle in the last legs of our journey: Florence and Rome. Florence was a haven of stunning buildings and sculptures. The Uffizi Gallery was wonderful. It provided an ideal opportunity for refining our ability to render the human body – its labyrinthine halls held hundreds of busts and likenesses of gods and orators. Our final location was Rome. Having studied Latin for several years, I was ecstatic to see the astonishingly beautiful architecture before my eyes. Remnants of the past, though crumbling and broken, were there. Here is where Cicero delivered his oratories, here is where the consuls would have gathered. The history which I care for so deeply seeped through every stone and blade of grass. My footsteps fell where the Romans’ once had, on the steps of the Colosseum. I could peer at the inscriptions in the Vatican and make sense of the opulent maps and magnificent artworks. I could stand among the stone pines and smell the same sharpness of evergreen that others had thousands of years ago. It must be noted that this immersion was priceless not only for me, but also for those not so invested in Rome’s ancient linguistics. We all continued to laugh, cameras and charcoal in hand, as we whiled away the final days of the tour. The Art and Design Tour extended the winter break into endless summer days of warm friendship and sprawling galleries, an experience etched permanently into the sweetest of memories. To the teachers that made it possible and the companions that made it memorable – gratias vobis ago.

‘I soaked up every moment here and worked through many pages of my sketchbook.’ LUCIS SPRING 2019


Junior Contemporary Ensemble – Monopoly: Wrath

Contemporary Dance Company – Monopoly: Lust

Contemporary Dance Company – Chess: War Year 9 Elective Dance – Twister



Jazz Dance Company – Candyland: Ice Cream Diner

Dance Showcase One of the highlights of the year is the Dance Showcase, held in September at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Parade Theatre in Kensington. Every year a theme is conceived and the dance routines revolve around it. This year Endgame explored the concept of board games as a stimulus for both movement and intention. Board games have been played in most cultures and societies throughout history and often reflect aspects of sociology. Some games, such as Chess, depend on player skill, tactic and warfare, while others such as Candyland and Snakes and Ladders simply rely on the concept of chance. The overarching stimulus of board games has allowed us to find our own creative voice through both performance and composition to communicate more abstract ideas and metaphors. The highly polished show was an absolute hit with the audience. Girls had prepared for much of the year for the performance and they hit centre stage with confidence. There is always a lot of excitement backstage, especially amongst those who are performing for the first time on a professional stage. Behind the lights hid our extremely dedicated Year 11 Vocational Educational and Training (VET) Entertainment crew, working diligently with complex set manoeuvres, quick set changes and ensuring that all performers made it to the stage in costume right on cue. They are a truly remarkable group of students who remain

humble in their efforts but whose efforts in ensuring the night runs smoothly cannot be underestimated. It was an exhilarating night for the girls, starting with preparations backstage – applying make-up, doing hair, and dressing up in those glorious costumes – to walking out from the wings on to the stage for their performances. The program included girls from the co-curricular program, incorporating Senior Pom, Junior Hip Hop, Senior Contemporary Dance, Junior Jazz and Contemporary Ensembles, Senior Jazz and Contemporary Companies, as well as performance and composition works of girls from the Year 9 to Year 12 Elective Dance curriculum program. The Dance Showcase is a fantastic night of collaboration for all of the girls, and the joy they gain from dance is evident to everyone involved.

‘Girls had prepared for much of the year for the performance and they hit centre stage with confidence.’

Pocket Rockets Not to be outdone, MLC School’s Kindergarten to Year 2 dancers have their own opportunity to shine in the Twilight Dance Recital, under the bright lights of the Drama Theatre. This evening is a delight for performers and audience members, with every girl having fun performing their routines in front of family and friends.

Year 1 Jazz – Turn Back Time

Kindergarten Ballet – Let it Go



Wakakirri Win Wakakirri is the biggest performing arts event for schools with over 20,000 schools from across Australia participating every year in the ‘Story of the Year’, creating their own story to dance routines. Not only do MLC School dancers participate, Year 11 Vocational Educational and Training Entertainment crew work behind the scenes on all of the technical requirements. MLC School entered in both the Secondary and Primary School Challenges this year and the results were outstanding – MLC School’s Senior dancers were awarded second place out of 350 schools nationally. The Secondary School team performed The Price of Low Cost, a story which our girls used to unveil the smokescreen of factory working conditions that belies the cost of mass produced goods for western society. Reflecting on the evolution of the story, Cassandra Economides, 2019 Dance, Drama and Entertainment Captain said, ‘As MLC School is a Round Square school, it means we are a part of a global network of innovative schools that share a passion for experiential learning and character education. The Round Square approach encourages students to explore, challenge and change the future through the six IDEALS, which are: International understanding, Democracy, Environmental stewardship, Adventure, Leadership, and Service. ‘At the start of the year, our teachers challenged us to create a story for Wakakirri that reflected on these IDEALS, inspiring us to give a voice to the voiceless. Our stimulus was the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse which occurred in Bangladesh in 2013. There was a death toll of over 1000 people, and unfortunately, this was not an isolated event... it is the true price of low-cost goods.’ MLC School’s Senior dancers received the Best Raising Awareness Story Award (NSW) and were then triumphant in receiving the Division 1 Story of the Year, the first time MLC School has won a major award at Wakakirri. The Seniors also won the following State Awards: Excellent Lead Cast, Excellent Supporting Cast, Excellent Theme/Concept, Excellent Construction and Clarity, Excellent Overall Set Design.



The judge’s comment on the evening was: ‘A beautiful, confronting and powerful performance creating awareness to the empath degree. A commending performance from the two protagonists not only in dance but dramatically. Quite disturbing at times which is what confronts and tightens the performance. The soundtrack is haunting and driven, the set movements and transitions were seamless and executed extremely well by the onstage crew. Overall the power behind the message is dynamic and direct. Congratulations on a highly exciting and powerful performance from all involved, great choreography direction and performance.’

Junior School Wakakirri – Faded

‘MLC School’s Senior dancers received the Best Raising Awareness Story Award (NSW).’ Junior School Wakakirri – Faded

MLC School’s Junior girls story dance was titled, Faded, which explored the human impact on the Great Barrier Reef. The judges were impressed with both the level of professionalism, direction and skill of the girls both during the rehearsals and on the evening. They received the following State Awards: Spirit of Wakakirri, Best Teamwork, Excellent Performance Teamwork, WellRehearsed Performance, Excellent Group Acting, Excellent Theme/Concept, Best Direction – Combination of Dancing and Acting, and Best Social Media Story. For the first time, our Junior girls made it through to the Wakakirri finals and performed brilliantly at the Quay Centre, Sydney Olympic Park. The judges said ‘A wonderfully delivered performance with lovely stylised images creating an entertaining but poignant message which is delivered with commitment. A creative and strong performance from a very well-rehearsed ensemble, with clever moments such as the plastic bag ballet and toning down the colour of the set and costumes as the reef is dying and showing its impact. A very well performed and staged performance with a show stopping finale.’

Senior School Wakakirri – The Price of Low Cost

Year 9 to Year 12 Senior Hip Hop Crew at the AASCF Winterfest

Senior School Wakakirri – The Price of Low Cost



the A O M at




Something to cheer about MLC School Junior and Senior dancers compete in two of the Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation (AASCF) Competitions each year. Eighty-one of our dancers competed at the Winterfest at the Quay Centre, Sydney Olympic Park in June. The girls did extremely well in the competition. The Junior School girls placed first in Pom (Primary School Pom Division) and first in Hip Hop (Primary School Hip Hop Division)

Our Senior School girls placed first in Pom (High School Pom Division), first in Hip Hop (Year 9 to Year 12, High School Hip Hop Division) and second place in Hip Hop (Year 7 to Year 8, High School Hip Hop Division). Overall, our Senior Hip Hop (Year 9 to Year 12) team came first in Scholastic Dance Royalty and our Senior Pom (Year 7 to Year 12) team took second place in Scholastic Dance Royalty.






‘Despite embarrassing myself, yet again, being a part of the production was one of the biggest highlights of my year. Thanks to the Dance, Drama and Entertainment (DDE) department for this opportunity and for all of the support that you have provided me with. I would especially like to thank Ms Jinga, Head of DDE, for your encouragement, help and words of wisdom over the last year, one of my favourites being, “Always think you’re the best person in the room, unless I’m in it.” Within all the DDE programs at MLC School, there is this incredible sense of community, which I will miss most of all.’ CASSANDRA ECONOMIDES / 2019 DANCE, DRAMA, ENTERTAINMENT (DDE) CAPTAIN

BLOWN AWAY ‘Children need the arts as much as they need fresh air; otherwise they perish on the inside’, said Philip Pullman, British writer and children’s novelist. Pullman goes on to say, ‘Children need to go to the theatre as much as they need to run about in the fresh air. They need to read and listen to good stories as much as they need to be loved and cared for’. This year the Dance, Drama and Entertainment (DDE) department chose Michael Gow’s play, Away, as the annual drama production. It captures Australian family life during the summer festive season of 1967–1968. Over forty girls from Year 10 to Year 12, in collaboration with boys from Newington College and Trinity Grammar School, came together to blow their audiences away as they ‘travelled’ to the glitz and glamour of Gold Coast hotel luxury or to the simpler pleasures of a quintessential Australian beach campsite. The Year 11 Vocational Education and Training (VET) Entertainment students played a major part in the success of the production. The crew created an amazing set from vintage suitcases as an extended metaphor for the emotional ‘baggage’ the characters carried with them in the play. Their roles included lighting, audio, staging, as well as organising costumes and props. Over four nights, our performers and crew proved that they were well and truly on equal standing with any professional theatre company.



‘As well as performing in at least one scene, each girl directed a scene in preparation for the 2020 Director’s Notebook’

Year 11 IB Theatre course – Ruby Moon Year 11 IB Theatre course – Ruby Moon

TWO PLAYS FROM OUR ASPIRING YEAR 11 DRAMA STUDENTS Our Year 11 students performed and directed two different plays in one night as part of their IB and HSC Drama courses.

Ruby Moon by Matt Cameron was performed and directed by the Year 11 IB Theatre course. In the picture-perfect Flaming Tree Grove, a little girl called Ruby sets off to visit her Grandma at the end of the cul-de-sac. She never arrives. When a strange package appears on her parent’s doorstep, Ray and Sylvie Moon are prompted to interview the various quirky characters in their street. Will the truth behind the disappearance of Ruby be discovered, or is something darker lurking behind the picket fences of Flaming Tree Grove? Matt Cameron’s play is an excellent example of Contemporary Australian Theatre. It is written in the style of a fractured fairy-tale alluding to Little Red Riding Hood. It also uses aspects of detective fiction where clues are given to the audience to help work out ‘who done it’. As well as performing in at least one scene, each girl directed a scene in preparation for the 2020 Director’s Notebook, a compulsory task for all IB Theatre students. The IB girls also collaborated with three HSC Drama girls as well as the production crew.

Silent Disco was performed by our HSC Drama girls. In staging this play, girls were introduced to a work that some of them may wish to explore in 2020 as Individual Project option for Set, Costume, Lighting or Poster and Promotion Design. Lachlan Philpott’s play illuminates a world of disenfranchised Sydney teenagers. It explores the challenges of contemporary teenage life in a world that is often overwhelming with the noise and clamour of difficult life experiences. The play explores the impact of family breakdown, social hardship and emotional isolation. In a world where we are evermore connected, sometimes finding trust and dependable love are the hardest things.



HSC Drama – Silent Disco

HSC Drama – Silent Disco



Groove at Camelot




BATTLE OF THE BANDS The inaugural Battle of the Bands competition was held in June with the School entertained by six bands comprised of girls from Year 7 through to Year 12. There was an incredible vibe in the gym as the girls cheered and danced to the music. Special mention to The Lunatics (Gabrielle Giannakos, Jasmine Cho, Clara Janssen, Jessica Pizzinga, Tessa Iversen, from Year 12) who won the inaugural title of Best Band with their performance of Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N’ Roses.

What a year it’s been in Music at MLC School.

‘We’ve had MLC School Idol, Music Camp, Music Tour, Annual Music Gala Concert, countless incredible assembly performances, Camelot Lounge, Battle of the Bands, the Port Macquarie Big Band Blast, Australian Music Day, studio concerts, and of course…the Sydney Opera House Concert. I would say that I have no idea how we achieved this all in a year, but that would be untrue. This was all possible because MLC School’s amazing support, dedication, encouragement and commitment to music. To the musicians, thank you for the countless rehearsals each week in addition to all of your personal musical endeavours. Thank you to Mr Allington, without whom, this incredible year of music would not have been possible. Thank you also to all the music teachers for your dedication to growing each of us as musicians. Finally, thank you to Ms Moloney, your humble and unassuming involvement in the orchestra is truly a testament to your genuine love and support of music, and your inspiring leadership of the School.’ CLARA JANSSEN / 2019 MUSIC CAPTAIN

Battle of the Bands

AUSTRALIAN STRING QUARTET MASTERCLASS Our musicians are offered many wonderful opportunities to work with leading Australian musicians. The Australian String Quartet (ASQ), currently on tour around Australia, visited MLC School to conduct a masterclass with our chamber orchestra. The quartet of string virtuosos, Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew, Stephen King and Sharon Grigoryan, engaged beautifully with the chamber orchestra, discussing ensemble techniques and tone production.

‘ Our musicians at their masterclass with John Hoffman



Jade Park, Year 7

GROOVING AT CAMELOT LOUNGE Groove at Camelot Lounge has a become a sell-out annual event in the Music calendar. Fifty-two jazz students from Year 4 to Year 12, Music teachers, and Principal, Lisa Moloney, played together at one of Sydney’s premier music venues, the Camelot Lounge. Family, friends and staff were grooving and cheering as the girls played a range of styles from the Swing Era, Latin Jazz, Jazz fusion and contemporary hits.

TRUMPETING HER WAY TO CARNEGIE HALL Jade Park (Year 7) and her trumpet have done a great deal of travelling recently. At the beginning of this year, Jade was selected as a finalist in the prestigious International Trumpet Guild Youth Competition and represented MLC School at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in July at the Hyatt Regency, Miami, USA. As the youngest competitor, Jade took out third place in the whole competition and also won two prestigious scholarship prizes. In March, Jade won first prize in the Wind Category at the Golden Classical Music Awards and heads to Carnegie Hall in November to perform in the Winners’ Concert.

Groove at Camelot Lounge

Jade also performed two pieces in the International Great Composers Competition where she won the ‘Music of America’ event with a performance of The Song of Pines, and also won the ‘Best Haydn Performance’ with her performance of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto. At the Sydney Eisteddfod in July, Jade won all three Junior Brass Events – the Under 12 brass event with her performance of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto, the Under 15 brass event with the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto, and the Under 19 Brass Event with her performance of the Neruda Trumpet Concerto. In between competitions, school life, and being a two-time Australian National Champion in Taekwondo, Jade has also managed to squeeze in her AMusA examinations on Trumpet.



Principal, Lisa Moloney, joining our musicians on stage

YOUNG MUSICIANS FROM ACROSS SYDNEY ATTEND AUSTRALIAN MUSIC DAY Australian Music Day has been an annual event at MLC School for 21 years and has carved a reputation for being an outstanding program that attracts music students from across Sydney. The two-day program features masterclasses in composition, song-writing and improvisation. Led by MLC School Music teachers – Tristan Coelho, Holly Harrison and Richard Coward, young musicians are also taught by some of Australia’s leading musicians, including Kenya Wilkins, Michael Mills, Ephemera, and Acacia String Quartet. It is an inspiring two days of creative learning for Music students from MLC School, and this year students came from Alexandria Park Community School, Asquith Girls High School, Broughton Anglican College, Carlingford High School, Chatswood High School, Shore School, St Joseph’s College, Sydney Boys High School, Sydney Distance Education High School, Sydney Girls High School and Trinity Grammar School. Junior School String Soiree

A SOIREE OF A TIME IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL Our Junior School musicians entertained parents, staff and special guests over two nights in The Daphne Line Hall. The Junior School String Soiree featured Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 string musicians performing in small groups and large ensembles. Swan Lake was performed by the harps, there were elegant performances by the guitar ensembles and a range of repertoire performed by the strings and Junior Orchestra. Guests heard music from the classical repertoire, film music and a special arrangement of The Final Countdown, complete with bass guitar and drum kit. Girls in the Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 band program and Year 3 to Year 6 co-curricular groups performed at the Junior School Band Soiree, with special guests from the Senior School Stage Band and Saxophone Ensemble.

MLC Junior School Orchestra and The Alliance Primary School, Kowloon Tong (APSKT) rehearse together at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PERFORMING AT THE SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC At the end of July, MLC Junior School Orchestra hosted a visit from The Alliance Primary School, Kowloon Tong (APSKT). Like MLC School, APSKT also has a strong Music program, so it was a perfect collaboration as the two orchestra’s rehearsed together and then performed together at a Gala Concert at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This was an excellent opportunity for the girls to collaborate with another high-calibre school and perform at a prestigious event, in front of a live audience.

Big Band Blast

BIG BAND BLAST The Big Band Blast is a hugely popular annual event in Port Macquarie. Jazz musicians of all ages from around Australia are invited to attend this long weekend, and the MLC School Stage Band had the opportunity to participate in the festival. The girls attended workshops for sight-reading, improvisation, and classes focusing on the different instruments that form a jazz ensemble. They also attended a masterclass by trumpeter, John Hoffman, who helped them with repertoire and performance techniques. The weekend inspired the MLC School musicians and helped them improve technically as a stage band. LUCIS SPRING 2019


Practising what they teach Staff in the arts MLC School is privileged to have a number of staff who ‘moonlight’ as professional artists in the Creative and Performing Arts and have carved worthy reputations for their expressive forms and expertise. MLC School girls have the benefit of their immense experience and passion for their art.


teach teach teach teachteach teach

each teach MLC SCHOOL


CIGDEM AYDEMIR Cigdem Aydemir is best known here in her roles as a Visual Arts teacher but to so many others on the art world, she is a Sydneybased artist working in the mediums of installation, performance and video art. Her socially and politically engaged art practice investigates possibilities for intersubjective and transcultural communication with an interest in post-colonial and feminist issues. Through critiquing, decolonising and queering mechanisms, Cigdem questions established

relations of power, while producing work that is driven equally by research, play, criticism and humour. Cigdem was the 2013 recipient of the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, in the Emerging Artist category, and the Edna Ryan Award for Creative Feminism in 2012. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and has received support and opportunities from Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Freedman Foundation (Travelling Arts Scholarship),

Performance Space (Sydney), Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart), Dark Mofo (Hobart) and Vryfees (South Africa). Most recently her video work, The Ride, was exhibited in a group exhibition at Australia’s pavilion of the XXII Milan Triennale, which received the event’s premiere award, The Golden Bee. Cigdem’s work is currently being exhibited by the Finkelstein Gallery in Victoria.

The Ride, 2017

CAITLIN BOYD As well as being a Technological and Applied Science (TAS) teacher at MLC School, Caitlin is a contemporary jeweller and keen believer in the originality of the handmade. Caitlin works in traditional handcrafted techniques of heating, manipulating and soldering metals. As part of her artistic practise, Caitlin places a strong focus on the connection between her as the artist, and her audience involvement. Primarily creating custom-based pieces, each piece that Caitlin works on begins with a conversation, in order to obtain the style, interests and needs of the client. Taking this information into consideration, she then designs and sketches a unique jewellery piece which upon client satisfaction, personally hand makes in her Sydney-based studio. Much of this mentality has stemmed from her research into the benefit of movement to our cognitive activity, and the role that jewellery has in this interaction. As part of her university degree, Caitlin created a range of kinetic jewellery pieces that aided

adults with ADHD. Ultimately, instead of clicking a pen to provide a ‘fidget’, the jewellery pieces became a sophisticated and real-life alternative to this for adults. This direct involvement of her audience in the construction of her work has since continued as she delves into more significant custom work such as engagement and wedding rings and statement pieces.



‘Tristan’s experience in music for film and multimedia is diverse...’ Dartington International Summer School, Etchings Festival, Oz Asia Festival, Tilde Festival and the NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop, among others.

TRISTAN COELHO When Tristan isn’t working as Head of Composition at MLC School or as a sessional academic at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he is an award-winning composer who specialises in concert music and film projects. He is interested in a wide range of music from experimental classical and electronic to jazz and non-western traditions and he strives for a unique balance of elements in his scores, sometimes familiar and at other times less so. Recent projects include read/write error, commissioned by Ensemble Offspring and finalist in the APRA Art Music Awards; Smell of the Earth, commissioned for the Canberra International Music Festival and performed by Tambuco Percussion; and Rhythm City, for piano, live video sampler and electronics toured by Zubin Kanga in 2019. He has had works performed around Australia and internationally, and has appeared at the Young Composers Meeting hosted by Orkest de Ereprijs, the



Tristan’s experience in music for film and multimedia is diverse, including a recently completed score for Australian feature film The Marshes. His orchestration and arrangement credits include work for Japanese video game composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, Australian composer Matthew Hindson, oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. Tristan graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2006 with the University Medal and then went on to study at the Royal College of Music from 2007– 2008 on a full scholarship. He has studied composition formally with Michael Smetanin, Damien Ricketson, Mary Finsterer, Trevor Pearce and David Sawer, among others, and piano with Stephanie McCallum. He is currently working on a new music education project in collaboration with flautist Lamorna Nightingale entitled Other Voices. The project is funded by the APRA Art Music Fund and the NSW Government, and is designed to enhance students’ composition, songwriting and music technology skills.

HOLLY HARRISON MLC School is very fortunate to have Dr Holly Harrison as MLC School’s Composer-inResidence. Holly is a multi-international award‑winning composer whose music is performed across Australia, Asia, Europe and the USA by artists including Ensemble Offspring, Alarm Will Sound, Orkest de Ereprijs, Nu Deco Ensemble, Rubiks Collective, Het Gelders Orkest, Riley Lee and Enigma Quartet, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO). Holly completed a Doctor of Creative Arts under the supervision of Bruce Crossman and John Encarnacao at Western Sydney University, where she is also a sessional academic. Her music is driven by the nonsense literature of Lewis Carroll, embracing stylistic juxtapositions, the visceral energy of rock, and whimsical humour.

Holly’s composition Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup was featured on Eighth Blackbird’s Australian tour. The four-time Grammy award-winning group performed Harrison’s work at the Perth International Arts Festival and Adelaide Festival as part of Musica Viva’s International Concert Season. Eighth Blackbird was subsequently awarded Performance of the Year at the 2018 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards for Holly’s work. Holly was announced as a winner of Nu Deco Ensemble’s 2019 Nu Works initiative, further adding to her impressive list of prizes which includes the inaugural 2017 Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize, first place at the 2014 Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn (The Netherlands) and winner of the 2013 Pyeongchon Arts Hall International Chamber Music Composition Competition (South Korea). Recent highlights include writing Balderdash, the required string quartet work for the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and the release of her debut album Scout with experimental rock duo Tabua-Harrison. She is currently writing a new work for Monash Academy Orchestra and a viola concerto for Stefanie Farrands and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

‘Her music is driven by the nonsense literature of Lewis Caroll, embracing stylistic juxtapositions...’

YING HO Ying is currently Head of Keyboard at MLC School and is also on staff at the Sydney Conservatorium Rising Stars Program. She has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician across Australia, England, Europe, Israel, China, and America. A recipient of the prestigious Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music International Scholarship, she studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Tatiana Sarkissova, and subsequently at the Universität der Künste in Berlin with Jacques Rouvier and the Sydney Conservatorium with Dr Paul Rickard-ford. Ying won multiple prizes and scholarships during her studies including the Else Cross (Brahms) Prize and the Maud Hornby Memorial Prize from the Royal Academy in London, the Kathleen and Allison Short Memorial Scholarship, the John and Dorothy Vimpani Scholarship, and the Sonya Hanke Memorial Prize from the Sydney Conservatorium.

As a concerto soloist, Ying won first prize at the Kawai Australasian Youth Concerto Competition and the Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Competition. She has worked with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, the Western Australian Youth Orchestra, and the Kuringai Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, she performed in festivals including the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar in England, the Duo Sonata Program with Pierre Amoyal and Bruno Canino at the Lausanne Academie de Musique in Switzerland, the Estivo Chamber Music Festival in Verona, Italy, and at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in Fort Worth, Texas. She performs regularly with the Sydney Symphony Fellows, and has appeared in masterclasses for Vladimir Ashkenazy, Maxim Vengerov, Pinchas Zukerman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Edgar Meyer and James Ehnes. In 2008, Ying spent a year in Jerusalem where she was on the faculty of the Edward Said Conservatory of Music. She gave concerts in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Haifa and Nazareth, and conducted the Conservatory’s orchestra in Bach’s Keyboard Concerto. Ying regularly performs at major venues across Australia including the Sydney Opera House, the City Recital Hall, the Melbourne Recital Centre, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and has appeared for Musica Viva Countrywide and at the Musica Viva Festival. Recent engagements included collaboration with the British/Norwegian violinist Charlie Siem for his inaugural tour of Australia, a tour for Tasmanian Virtuosi earlier this year, concert and masterclass for the Orange Regional Conservatorium and the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium.



Reading is my

A week was simply not long enough for Book Week, such was the range of activities on offer to celebrate reading.


In the Junior School the highlight of Book Week is the breakfast and parade which is intricately planned and much anticipated by the girls, staff and our parent community. This year was no exception. Our girls and staff came dressed in amazing costumes with this year’s theme ‘reading is my secret power’.

secret power MLC SCHOOL


House reading followed the parade with older girls reading to younger ones. This provided time to reflect on the aim of Book Week: a lifelong love of reading, and was a special opportunity to share books and bond with House mates.

But Book Week is more than just this. It is about providing the School community a timely reminder of the importance of literacy and the impact that it can have on students’ educational performance together with their health and wellbeing.

As we have now closed the book on Book Week it is the perfect time to reflect on its importance. Yes, the girls love the parade, yes, the girls love the visiting authors, and yes, the girls love the games and the activities that turn the Senior Library in particular, to a noisy and competitive place.

There is much evidence that links regular readers with stronger academic performance, but reading is more than just decoding of words or the written language. Each book gives us an opportunity to learn new things and explore new ideas; each new book helps us make sense of our world and each new book takes us on a

journey to far flung lands or into a world that we might otherwise never see for ourselves. A recent study1 explored the power of books and reading as a restorative technique for tackling our mental health and wellbeing. It was universally agreed that reading provides an escapism far more intense than any other form of art. It also identified that reading for just six minutes has the potential to reduce stress by 68%, certainly a powerful motivation to read. Ultimately, reading is simply fun, whether it be reading on our own, listening to an audio book or sharing a story with a young person.






In each and every school week at MLC Junior School opportunities abound for our girls to strive in wide range of pursuits. This is one of the many things that impresses me about our School. As our Junior School girls explore and discover what their passions and interests may be, our steadfast commitment to holistic education provides the girls with rich and diverse learning experiences. These can range from Kitchen Garden Club, filming and video editing, speech and drama to professional diving. There is something here for all interests and age groups. At MLC School we learn about what it means to do our personal best. This goal is not limited to our formal learning and participation in sport, it extends to all we do, including our co-curricular programs. This year we achieved astounding accolades and personal bests, including coming third in our division of RoboCup, the robotics program hosted by the University of New South Wales. This is a new initiative, with our girls participating in RoboCup for the first time last year. A story I like to share with the girls is around our achievements on the netball field. Two years ago, we entered a new competition, the standard was high and we placed last in our first season. We gave it our best, we learnt from our mistakes, and at MLC School we learn what it is to be resilient young women. We practised and trained in 2018 and this year our senior Netball team came first. It’s not

coming first that is our achievement, it is the determination to reflect, learn, to ‘fall forward’ and work as a team to continually improve. Across the field of Creative Arts, our girls demonstrate their personal best in so many fields. Our Music program is always a standout and this year’s performance at the Sydney Opera House did not disappoint. Five girls received medals for outstanding achievement at the Australian Speech and Communication Association awards and many of our girls were acknowledged for their efforts and achievements at the Inner West Speech and Drama Eisteddfod. This year has also been a very special one for our Junior School Wakakirri dancers. For the first time, the MLC Junior School team was selected to participate in the highly competitive Wakakirri Dance Story finals. We did not return with the trophy, but that is not the reward, it is striving for our personal best in all the things we do – encouraging others, learning from our mistakes and loving what we do is the true MLC School spirit.




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A visit from

Broken Hill High School As part of their Immersive Learning Experiences, Year 9 make an annual trip to Broken Hill to experience the outback, develop a sense of independence, forge new friendships and discover new skills such as negotiating, decision making and research.



The girls choose a topic area and research project on Broken Hill and then develop their research and communication skills during their visit. Girls are challenged to step out of their comfort zone, take responsibility for themselves and their actions, and try something different. When they return from their trip, they finalise their projects in readiness for a presentation on what they have learnt. While in Broken Hill, the girls visit and spend time with the students at Broken Hill High School. MLC School girls were thrilled with the friendliness and generosity of the Broken Hill residents. They made new friends at Broken Hill High School and participated in an ‘amazing race’ around the school, visited the Ag-plot, made damper, learnt to drive a tractor, held lambs and baby sheep, and learnt a great deal about Broken Hill.

Our girls reciprocated by hosting Broken Hill High School students in mid-August. Many of the students had never been to Sydney. The students spent time in the Junior School answering questions about life in the outback, had a swim at the Aquatic Centre pool, participated in a Drama lesson and some sat in on other subjects they did not have in Broken Hill. Time was also spent visiting Sydney Harbour and taking a ferry ride across to Manly to enjoy the sun, surf and sand at Manly Beach. The Broken Hill High School students also attended the Year 9 presentations of the Broken Hill projects during their stay. As a result, all students (MLC School and Broken Hill High School) developed an understanding of and appreciation for people, culture and real-life experiences in the places they visited.



No arguments here Debating Grand Final winners

The Independent Schools’ Debating Association (ISDA) Competition is the premier student debating competition for independent schools in Sydney and brings schools, students, teachers, supporters, coaches and adjudicators together for seven hotly contested rounds of debating on Friday evenings. Senior ISDA Debatin

g winners

Junior ISDA Debatin

g winners

Thirty-two schools competed with eight different teams in year divisions. Seven MLC School teams progressed to the finals, with six teams through to the quarters and three to the semi-finals. The Junior Team took on St Ignatius (Riverview) with the affirmative view for ‘we should only have participation awards in primary school’, whilst the Senior Team debated against Abbotsleigh with the negative for ‘whether there should be a political party formed for aboriginal citizens’. The debates included speeches of eight minutes in length and rebuttals. The adjudicators awarded both MLC School teams a unanimous decision. Congratulations to MLC School Senior B Debating Team: Cherie Pepperell, Eliza Crossley, Hazel Sung, Annie Chen, and Ariana Haghighi, and the MLC School Junior A Debating Team: Zara Dhawan, Aiesha Sivaranjan, Annaliese Yan, Sarinna Cai, and Madura Gaikaiwari.



A week of work,

a world of possibilities A whole new world opens up for our Year 10 girls as they venture into a week of work experience. Work experience is an annual event for all of our Year 10 girls. It provides the girls with a valuable opportunity to develop employability skills, explore possible career options, experience life beyond school, understand employer expectations, and increase their self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence.

In 2019 there were a total of 130 placements in a broad range of industries from media (Sydney Morning Herald, Foxsports, Nine Media), law (Barristers Chambers, Federal Court of Australia, Burwood Police Immersion program), design (The Whitehouse Institute, Carla Zampatti, Camilla), construction and property (Roberts Pizzarotti, various Architects firms, CBRE), health (RPA, Medical centres, dentists, pathologists, optometrists, physiotherapists), arts (Sydney Conservatorium of Music, museums, theatres), education (primary schools, preschools, childcare centres), hospitality (cafes, restaurants), animals (Taronga Zoo, vets) and business and finance (PWC, Ernst & Young, various banks).

Many of the employers were very impressed with our girls’ politeness, punctuality, respectful manner, and their willingness to take on tasks and complete a great deal more than was expected of them. Several girls were offered part-time work or a future internship. The girls mentioned that their week of working in an industry they were interested in, gave them insight into the pathway of study and experience required. Many girls also reflected on a growth in their confidence and a self-awareness and understood the need to communicate more effectively to understand the requirements of the job and the skills required.



Lucy Cormack (2009) and Mikaela Nguyen (Year 10)


My week with a crime writer MIKAELA NGUYEN / YEAR 10 STUDENT








Mikaela Nguyen (Year 10), is an aspiring journalist who was desperately keen to spend her work experience week walking in the shoes of a journalist. Loretta Toole, Head of Careers and Academic Advising, remembered a student who came to her 10 years earlier with the same enthusiasm to be a journalist. That student was Lucy Cormack, who is now a crime reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald. Fortunately for Mikaela, Lucy was open to spending the week with her at The Sydney Morning Herald. So, over to Mikaela to tell us about her week with Lucy: ‘I am so grateful that I had the chance to do my work experience at such a fantastic and revered place. I have always had a passion for literature and thus, writing was always something I saw a future in. Work experience exposed me to the possibility of journalism as a career path, invigorating an interest and passion for media. My supervisor was Old Girl Lucy Cormack (2009), a talented and skilled crime writer for The Sydney Morning Herald. It was lovely to spend time with an old student of the school and it was inspiring to see firsthand the opportunities that an MLC School education can provide. Meeting Lucy was like visiting a family member, we instantly had a connection from our common experiences at MLC School, such as being in the same House or being involved in the same co-curricular activities. Lucy was an excellent supervisor who let me work closely with her, allowing me to write articles, look through police footage, conduct interviews and even research criminals. All these tasks were incredibly interesting and gave me insight into the occupation of journalism.

She gave me valuable advice and lessons, not just about the field of journalism and media, but also about growing up and entering adult life. From day one, work experience at The Sydney Morning Herald replicated the hectic and fast-paced lifestyles of journalists. The week was filled with rushed visits to the Downing Centre and local courts, working towards deadlines and meeting many new people. Despite the spontaneity of the week, I thoroughly enjoyed every single day and the lessons that I learnt from trivial ones like how best to Facebook stalk an alleged criminal, to more meaningful ones like the importance of confidence and being selfassured. In addition to working with Lucy, I was also allowed to work on a longer article with two other journalists for the Sunday paper. This was a task that required much more independence, where I needed to select case studies, conduct an interview, formulate this interview and research into an article and even arrange photos. The project was a great opportunity to see the process of taking an article from an idea to something in print. It was through this task that I gained valuable perspective into the inner workings of media companies.

I am so thankful to Lucy and Mrs Toole and the opportunities they granted me for the week. I have been inspired by the hard work that journalists carry out and enlightened to just how difficult and demanding their occupation is. I now appreciate the value of being able to complete work experience within the school term, something that is unique to MLC School. Through this experience, I have been exposed to the challenges and opportunities of the workforce and have been inspired for the future!’

‘I have been inspired by the hard work that journalists carry out and enlightened to just how difficult and demanding their occupation is.’



What a




Having a go at the Junior School Athletics Carnival

It was a glorious sunny day for the Junior School Athletics Carnival, where girls ran, jumped, threw and cheered to gain points for their Houses. Congratulations to Mooramoora on being the 2019 Athletics House Champions.

Costumes, colour and enthusiasm aplenty

The House Athletics Carnival is designed to encourage participation and the 2019 Carnival did not disappoint. Congratulations to Churunga House for taking out the 2019 House Championship.



Emerging strength in Australian CrossCountry Skiing

The MLC School Snowsports team is gaining a strong reputation in Australian Snowsports. Mia Grasso-Nguyen (Year 8), Zara Cathcart (Year 8), Maya Lecuna (Year 8), Georgia Duggan (Year 7), Zoe Churchill (Year 9) and Ava Lee (Year 10) all competed in the Australian Interschools Championships, whilst Claudine Talbot (Year 10) placed fourth in the Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships in Cross-Country Skiing and has been invited to the Australian Cross-Country Emerging Talent Camp.



Nail-biting Netball finals

Closely contested Grand Finals for six of our Netball teams meant spectators were kept enthralled until the final whistle, even in the unfavourable weather. The girls played some excellent Netball to achieve great results, displaying the skills they have developed throughout the season. Congratulations to all teams on their outstanding season: MLC 1 Premiers MLC 2 Joint Premiers MLC 3 Premiers MLC 16 Premiers MLC 5 Runners-Up MLC 9 Runners-Up

Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships

In late July, Isabella Wang (Year 8) and Maria Gourlas (Year 9) represented Australia as part of the Rhythmic Gymnastics International Junior Group. Alongside their MLC School Club teammates, the gymnasts competed at the first ever Rhythmic Gymnastics Junior World Championships, in Moscow. The group performed two routines, one with five hoops and the other with five ribbons under the pressure of the world stage to take out 31st place in the world.

MLC School staff focus on their own learning for a day

Lifelong learning for MLC School teachers With the girls on their first day of holidays at the end of Term 3, MLC School teaching staff took the day to immerse themselves in their own ‘Festival of Learning’. The full day program included a range of workshops and masterclasses as well as a keynote from Dr Andrew Martin, Professor of Education Psychology at UNSW. Dr Martin spoke on motivation, engagement, instruction, learning and personal potential.

According to Principal, Lisa Moloney, ‘It’s vital that our staff are up to date with the very latest in pedagogical research as it impacts and informs our classroom practice. The Festival of Learning brought together experts in a wide range of educational fields.

The various workshops included a visit from the Microsoft ‘bus’, the first time the bus has visited a school in Australia. Staff signed up for a variety of workshops, including some on the bus, known properly as the Microsoft Tech Lab (MTL). These were specifically designed to engage and educate them on how to effectively integrate technology into the classroom, to inspire and augment learning. MLC School has always been at the forefront of initiatives that change the educational landscape, so be the first school to be experience the Microsoft bus very much follows in that tradition,’ said Ms Moloney. ‘As much fun as the day was, it was not learning simply for learning’s sake. Our goal is for our staff to be accomplished in all areas to ensure our girls are future ready, a future where expertise in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas will be fundamental.’





valedictory A Farewell to Year 12 Farewelling Year 12 is a significant event for the School. The final weeks are always tinged with great sadness as we say goodbye to another year of exceptional young women, but at the same time, there is genuine anticipation and excitement to see where their journeys will take them and what opportunities lie ahead.




Connecting Coffee with the Old Girls Principal Each term, Principal Lisa Moloney extends an offer to parents to share a coffee with her, to hear about changes and initiatives and discuss any of their issues or concerns. Generally, other senior members of staff also attend, including the Deputy Principal, Head of Senior School, Head of Junior School or the Head of Learning and Teaching. It is an informal setting around a table in Café 1886, where everyone can feel free to relax, be open and direct. All parents are welcome to attend.

Networking is important, and the group of Old Girls who came together at the MLC School and Old Girls Union Networking Breakfast at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia on Wednesday 28 August 2019 can attest to its value. Women network to learn from each other, share ideas, solve common problems and generally to work towards a better future. The three Old Girls who were on the panel have worked towards continued change in the workplace in diverse fields. Each of them emphasised how important it is to work together towards organisational change. They also pointed out that the drivers of change in the workplace are no longer only gender based. Three exceptional Old Girls offered their time to be on the panel Lija Wilson (Sutherland 1993), Pallavi Sinha (1993) and Megan Lavender (1988). Lija was named as a 2019 Flexible Work Day Ambassador in recognition of the work she has done to support women and men in senior positions to create flexible career options through Puffling.



Pallavi is a lawyer, academic and notary public and was selected in the prestigious Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence list. She also won a Corporate Vision Business Innovator Award in 2018 for her initiatives such as establishing Lawyers with Solutions – a multi-disciplinary firm, and active community work especially in the area of domestic or family violence. Megan is a transformational leader of organisations and an experienced public company director and government board member. She is also peer recognised as one of the Asia Pacific’s best third sector CEOs – having held senior executive roles in the corporate, government and third sectors. Presently Megan serves on a number of federal and state government boards. Old Girls from a wider range of sectors came together on the day questioning the panel on possible solutions to problems and offering support amongst the group on a way forward.

A scholarship

Mark your 2020 calendar

opens up


Below is a teaser for MLC School Term 1 and Term 2 2020 events. For a full list please visit My MLC School Portal. Weekly updates are provided in Audacia, MLC School’s online newsletter.

Principal’s Welcome Cocktail Party

Friday 7 February 2020

Excellence in Academic Achievement Assembly

Wednesday 12 February 2020 10am

MLC School Tour Day

Tuesday 25 February 2020


Coffee with the Principal and Head of Senior School

Wednesday 4 March 2020


Coffee with the Principal and Head of Junior School

Thursday 12 March 2020


Generational High Tea

Saturday 21 March 2020


Back to College and Awards Dinner

Friday 15 May 2020


MLC School Tour Day

Thursday 28 May 2020


Reunions 10-year, 20-year, 30-year

Saturday 13 June 2020


Teddy Bears Picnic (for under 5s)

Wednesday 24 June 2020




MLC School’s mission is to educate and inspire young women to be fearless thinkers with moral courage and compassion to be agents of change in their own lives and the lives of others.


For more information visit or contact

A UNITING CHURCH DAY SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, PRE-KINDERGARTEN TO YEAR 12 Rowley Street, Burwood NSW 2134 Australia PO Box 643 Burwood 1805 Ph +61 2 9747 1266 Fax +61 2 9745 3254 ABN 75 549 644 535 CRICOS No. 02328D The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW) (trading as MLC School)