RGS Capricornus Quarterly - Term 1 2024

Page 1

Quarterly LEADERS Primary Student Leaders Page 3 CULTURE Rewarding Exchanges Page 9 VALUES Respect and Care Page 10 VOL 40. No.1. APRIL 2024 www.rgs.qld.edu.au The Rockhampton Grammar School Grow in Character and Scholarship Capricornus

Around the Classrooms at RGS Highlights



RGS Fig Tree

An iconic tree of RGS merged Science and History studies for Year 1 students in Term 1, as students discovered a new world of plants and living things in science, as well as, the olden days in history. The tree was planted by Major General Sir Herbert Chermisde, Governor of Queensland, on 4 June 1903. Mr Stewart Norford was invited to talk to students about this significant symbol of RGS, the Moreton Bay Fig Tree, located in the Archer St roundabout. The Year 1s thanked Mr Norford for sharing some interesting information, both about the history of the tree and the scientific facts. The students then wrote about their newfound knowledge.

YEAR 5 WEATHER Response Skills

Year 5 students embarked on an informative excursion to the Yeppoon Disaster Management Facility, delving into the differences between incidents and disasters. Through engaging hypothetical scenarios, such as flooding from storm surging and the impact of cyclones, they honed their disaster response skills. In an immersive experience, students took on roles as planners, logistics, and operation managers, devising strategies to lessen potential damage from a cyclone threatening Yeppoon. Expert presenters provided invaluable insights, enriching the cohort’s understanding of disaster management.


Everyone Leads

RGS Primary students in Year 6 united together to learn about the different elements of leadership and how every student can contribute as a leader in many aspects of their life. Students came together as a cohesive team at the Aspire Higher programme. This Primary leadership programme looks at leading with or without a badge, understanding strengths and the strengths of others, and working through the A.S.P.I.R.E (Action, Serve, Persist, Influence, Respect, Encourage) framework. This term, Year 6 students also attended a Leadership Day at Ritamada and proudly received their Year 6 badges while students also received their Student Leader and House Captain badges.



Exploring Chemistry

Year 7 have progressed from learning about safety in the lab to undertaking tasks. The Chemistry unit comprised of learning about the particle model and how matter is arranged, labelled, mixed and separated based on its various properties. Students also discussed how these techniques are used in the world. After their assessment, students learnt how to safely use a Bunsen burner, being able to label it and contrast the safety flame and the heating flame. After multiple practical tasks the students did a small ‘assessment’ to get their Bunsen burner license. This was in conjunction with the commencement of their Physics unit and the introduction of the independent, dependent and controlled variables within an investigation.


Fashion Awareness

RGS Year 12 Fashion students were challenged with the assessment task of creating a sustainable textile project. For student Leala Bottero, the project aimed to raise awareness of the significant waste generated by both the textile and paper industries around the world. Leala discovered that 4.49 million tonnes of newspaper waste were put into land fill in the last year. “I think that creating art from recycled materials is the best way to get people to listen and show them the impact that waste has on our planet,’’ Leala said. “My inspiration came from the garbage truck dress in the movie Cruella, and I then looked on Pinterest to further my idea and found a dress made of newspaper.”

Thank you RGS sponsors for sharing with us our mission of developing whole people through a balance of academic, sporting, co-curricular and social activities.

If you would like to become a sponsor of RGS Sports or any co-curricular activity please contact Todd Wells, Director of Co-Curricular on 0488 778 300 or email twells@rgs.qld.edu.au

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The cornerstone of school life

Throughout Term 1, RGS has placed a deliberate emphasis on two of the School’s values: respect and care. In this edition of Capricornus Quarterly, you’ll encounter numerous instances showcasing the pervasive presence of respect and care in the daily fabric of life at RGS. From targeted initiatives promoting kindness and empathy to community service projects that encourage students to make a positive impact on the world around them, we have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of respect and care in action.

In an educational environment such as ours, the significance of respect and care cannot be overstated. These values serve as the cornerstone of everything we do, permeating through every aspect of school life. Whether it’s the interactions between students, the relationships between teachers, students and parents, or the connection between the School and the wider community, respect and care form the foundation upon which positive outcomes are built.

Respect is the fundamental principle that underpins a harmonious and inclusive environment. It is about valuing the dignity, opinions, and differences of others, regardless of background or beliefs. By fostering a culture of respect within our school, we cultivate an atmosphere where everyone feels valued and accepted, enabling each individual to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Equally important is the value of care. In a world that can often seem indifferent and impersonal, the act of caring for one another becomes a powerful force for good. When we demonstrate care towards our peers, staff, and community members, we create a sense of belonging and support that is essential for personal growth and well-being. Through acts of kindness, empathy, and compassion, we nurture a culture where individuals feel safe to express themselves, seek help when needed, and overcome challenges with resilience and determination.

In embracing these values, we do more than create a pleasant atmosphere; we lay the foundation for meaningful relationships, for academic excellence, and for the holistic development of each and every student. When students feel respected and cared for, they are more willing to take risks, to explore new ideas, and to step outside their comfort zones. They become not just learners but leaders, confident in their abilities and compassionate in their actions.

As we celebrate the culmination of another term, let us carry forward the lessons we have learned about respect and care. Let us continue to uphold these values not just in our classrooms but in our everyday lives, making our school and our world a better place for all.

The Rockhampton Grammar School takes seriously the challenge of preparing students for today’s world. We treat each student as a whole person through a balance of academic, sporting, co-curricular and social activities. Our School motto is Macte Virtute et Litteris or Grow in Character and Scholarship.

Capricornus Quarterly

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DR PHILLIP MOULDS OAM HEADMASTER Inside On the cover: Resilience and perseverance, mixed with some fun with friends, won on the day when the RGS Cross Country ran into action at Rugby Park. COMMUNITY 2 A Voice Rising to new challenges LEADERSHIP 3 Student Leaders Helping fellow students COMMUNITY 5 In the News Term 1 activities ALUMNI 7 Beef 2024 New leadership opportunities SCHOLARSHIP 9 Study Tours Making memorable moments COMMUNITY 14 Values Respect and Care SPORTS 16 Inter-House Sport Cross Country and Swimming 18 RGS photo gallery THE FINAL WORD 20 Choicez Choosing your best life

Kathleen seeks new challenges

RGS Year 11 student Kathleen Nguyen has the life philosophy of taking every opportunity that comes her way. That is certainly the case in 2024, with Kathleen selected as Keppel Region representative for the YMCA Youth Parliament programme, and also being selected to join the myQCE Reference Group for the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA).

Kathleen is passionate about continuing to advance the School’s motto ‘Macte Virtute et Litteris’, becoming more prominent with every step she takes, channelling her desire to make a positive difference in our society.

“Through these positions, I endeavour to advocate towards the ideas, viewpoints, and concerns of my generation, and contribute to a more beneficial society for the future of other youth-leaders,’’ Kathleen said.

“Youth have enough power to change the future and make a real impact on societal issues in the world.

“I really emphasise and encourage the notion of getting out there and pursuing whatever it is in life you wish to achieve.”

Kathleen’s Youth Parliament role involves working closely with other electorate

representatives within her committee to present a Youth Bill in September, that will be presented at Parliament for trial in court.

The myQCA Reference Group position provides another platform for Kathleen to provide a voice for youth.

“It is my passion and obligation to provide a student voice in topics surrounding the QCE system and Senior schooling, particularly for students in rural areas, offer insight regarding the implementation of the QCE system, and its effects at RGS, and provide feedback regarding QCAA’s services and processes,’’ Kathleen said.

As Kathleen moves forward with opportunities she also maintains a strong connection to some memorable words from her former Head of Primary, Mr Geoff Hadwen.

“I endeavour to advocate towards the ideas, viewpoints, and concerns of my generation”

“A quote from Mr Hadwen that sticks with everything I do when I need motivation, is that “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

Kathleen said it was critical that her fellow peers, and students of The Rockhampton Grammar School, take initiative in everything they do and continue pursuing their passions to contribute to a better society in the future.


2023 School captains 2024 Primary Student Leaders

Primary Leaders making a difference

This year’s RGS Primary Student Leaders are each their own person, with a variety of interests, but most importantly, they are all excited and ready to help their fellow students and continue to help make their school a better place for everyone. Let’s meet the RGS Primary Student Leaders.

Brenton Gaka

“I started at RGS in Year 5 and I enjoy playing basketball and rugby. To me being a student leader means to do my best to try and make RGS better than it already is.”

Grace Killion-Fisher

“I started at RGS in the Early Learning Centre (ELC) Junior Toddler Room in 2015. My interests include music, singing choir, tennis, bands, soccer, cricket, and dancing. It is a great honour to be elected a Student Leader. It is an opportunity to give back to the school and to be a role model to my peers and younger students.”

Daisy Kitchen

“I started at RGS at the Early Learning Centre. I have many hobbies outside of school, including netball, basketball, dancing, singing, and I’m in the Primary Musical. I hope to make everyone feel included, try my best to help new or young students around the school, be a team player, and be there when someone wants to ask a question. I will discuss the idea with my team to try and help.”

Oliver Lau

“I started at RGS in Year 3 with Mr Libke and my interests outside of the classroom are swimming, basketball, and running. I also enjoy climbing trees. Being a Student Leader is a big

“I love encouraging everyone to do their best and making sure no one ever feels left out.”

opportunity to be myself and to try my best. Ever since I saw the people doing speeches in 2021 when I started at RGS, I’ve always wanted to do it. And it’s the same with the Student Leaders versus the House Captains and the teachers relays at carnivals.”

Addison Maurer

“I started at RGS halfway through Year 3. My interests outside of school are dancing and singing. It means a lot to me to be an RGS Primary Student Leader because I can help the younger children at this school and make it an even better place for all of us.”

Paddy McCosker

“I started at RGS in the Nursery at the Early Learning Centre. My interests outside of the classroom are soccer and footy. Basically, I love sport. It feels very good to be a Student Leader. I have to lead by example, which means doing the right thing even when no one is watching. I will help around the school by helping other students and trying to keep making this a better place.”

Elliott Ostwald

“I started at RGS in Year 4. I have many interests outside of school such as netball, basketball, touch football, drawing and playing footy in my backyard with my family. Being a School Leader means a lot to me because I love encouraging everyone to do their best and making sure no one ever feels left out.”

David Oteng

“I started at RGS this year and my interests are golf, soccer, organising, hanging out, bike riding, reading, gaming, history, science and English. As my friends names were called out for Student Leader I felt glad they made such an achievement. I counted all the way to eight. My heart sank. Then they say David Oteng. I was overjoyed. I’m the new kid but I made it. To be an RGS Student Leader is an honour, not just when I’m at school but when I look at my uniform or I’m asked what school I go to. Above all I feel glad to be giving back to the school that has had such a great impact on my life.”

Reid Rothery

“I started at RGS in Year 3 and my interests are soccer, lunchtime, friends, and video games. It’s an honour being a Student Leader, being able to help people, attend events, and being respectful.”


Opportunities add up for Lachlan

Lachlan Wilson is all about taking on opportunities presented to him during his school years at RGS, whether that be representing the School in public speaking or attending a national mathematics camp.

Lachlan was once “terrified” of public speaking, but this year qualified for the State Final of the Lions Youth of the Year public speaking competition.

In Year 8, a friend of Lachlan’s convinced him to join debating and he has never looked back.

“RGS has always provided great public speaking opportunities, whether that be through debating, oratory, or through leadership events, so when I heard about Lions Youth last year, I knew I had to give it a go.”

“Increasing my skills in impromptu speaking and doing interviews are definitely the biggest thing I’ve gained from doing Lions Youth of the Year, as it really taught me to think on the spot whilst still being articulate in how you communicate,’’ Lachlan said.

Earlier this year Lachlan was also one of 60 students from across Australia who attended a National Mathematics Summer School in Canberra. The programme is for the discovery and development of mathematically gifted and talented high school students from all over Australia. Camp classes included Number Theory, Projective Geometry, and Algorithms

“The motto of the summer school was “think deeply about simple things”, and that was definitely encapsulated in some of the problems we had to tackle,’’ Lachlan said.

“This experience was completely different to anything I had ever done in maths before, and it gave me an amazing insight into what mathematics looked like at a university level and beyond.

“This was also the first time I’ve been surrounded by so many people who were just as passionate about maths as I am, so not

only was it a great networking opportunity, but I was able to make some great friends

Lachlan said RGS had always provided countless opportunities to participate in math competitively through events like the Australian Mathematics Competition or the Maths Team Challenge.

The RGS Vice Captain is also one of 12 students from across Australia to be selected to return to the summer school next year as an “Experienced Group Student”.

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Workplace experience, the gift of giving, community values, dedication to an activity, a night of glamour or a culture experience are all part of the lives of RGS students.

Women Who Weld

The Women Who Weld course once again included RGS Year 10 students studying Introduction to Industry. Held at CQUniversity’s Canning Street campus, the programme provided the students with experience and developed heavy engineering welding skills in an all-female setting. The students also learned about career options and future opportunities within these fields.

Book Donation

RGS Prep students had a special guest in their classroom. Mr Mike FitzGerald, Coordinator of Rockhampton South Rotary Club Early Literacy Programme, kindly delivered and presented each RGS Prep student with a beautiful picture book. Mr FitzGerald hopes this small personal gift will help spark a lifelong love of reading. The Rotary Club is supporting an early literacy programme for Prep students across all schools in the Rockhampton area, with around 1200 students from 40 schools receiving beautiful books.

Music Workshops

The RGS Music Department held two weekends of workshops in Term 1 to help provide the ensembles with a ‘kick start’ as they prepare for upcoming performances. Each of the weekend workshops culminated in a casual concert for parents and families, with the RGS Music Council organising a BBQ and refreshments after the concerts. Students from both the Primary and Secondary schools participated in the workshops.

Year 12 Formal

RGS Year 12 students arrived in style for the annual Formal at RGS, held on Friday 15 March. A variety of Formal cars, including an RGS buggy, paraded around the Top Oval before the students were presented to family and friends. Arriving in stunning gowns and smart suits, the students then enjoyed dinner and dancing at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

Celebrating Women

Congratulations to Abenaya Suntharavadivel on winning the Young Women in Public Affairs Award at the Zonta International Organisation’s annual International Women’s Breakfast in Rockhampton. The Award recognised young women for their commitment to volunteer leadership achievements and dedication to empowering women worldwide. Fellow RGS Year 12 students Alice McDonald, Maylin Janse van Rensburg and Isabella Yore were also regional finalists. Year 11 student Alexis Rogers was nominated for the Living Treasure Award.

Japan Tour

RGS students experienced a new culture when they visited Japan last December. The 15 RGS students visited Tamagawa Academy where they were treated to Tea Ceremony in a traditional teahouse, participated in Japanese Drumming, Calligraphy and the Tamagawa Adventure Programme (TAP). The students visited various clubs like Kendo and Judo and were hosted for three nights by Toko Gakuen families. The group also explored Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone, Enoshima, Kamakura, Universal Studios Japan and Tokyo Disney Sea.


Generations of RGS students

RGS hosted its second annual Generations Breakfast on 7 February.

Current students with their alumni relative(s) came together to celebrate the School’s long history and connections from past to present.

The Memorial Assembly Hall was buzzing with attendees reminiscing about time spent at RGS.

RGS Alumni, and past School Captain, Steve Deaves (RGS 1987) addressed the audience of both current and future RGS Alumni.

Steve spoke about the physical differences of the School, from the 1980s to now – the buildings that have gone and the new buildings that have appeared on the RGS landscape.

Memories of the teaching staff, many with long careers at RGS, food in the kitchen and memories of students sweeping the pathways and driveways each morning at “fatigues”.

Steve said, what had not changed, was the School spirit.

“To me it is visible in the kinship between the Alumni regardless of when they studied here,’’ said Steve, who also reminded the breakfast attendees about the importance of how quickly spirit can evaporate so it was important to continue to strive to keep that spirit alive.

Steve said two elements that he felt mattered the most were the belief that if you try your hardest you can achieve anything, and the promotion of kindness between one another.

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James Kent (RGS 2008)

My story

James is taking on the role of Stud Cattle Championship Committee Chair at Beef 2024. He joins fellow RGS Alumni at Beef – Angus Creedon (RGS 2006) and David Hill (RGS 1985) Chairs of the Commercial Cattle Championship Committee and National Beef Carcase Competition Committee respectively.

James was born into the beef industry. His parents (Susan and Darren Kent) own and operate OOLINE Brahmans, in Central Queensland’s Goovigen district. James was a boarder at RGS from 2004 to 2008.

“I’m extremely passionate and engaged with the idea of supplying the global population protein. Although we are an extremely small part of that, it’s this idea that I find extremely rewarding,’’ James said.

“Hopefully, some of the skills and leadership I have picked up from the Stud Cattle Committee can help my future personal, and community goals.”

During this time James was captain of the RGS Show Cattle Team. Mr Dan Avenell was the team’s Teacher-in-Charge during that time.

“Mr Avenell really increased my passion for the livestock industry, making me want to carve a career in it,’’ James said.

“Following school I worked on various properties until I started with Elders in 2012, as a Territory Sales Manager and auctioneer.

“The skills I picked up through public speaking at shows through school really helped set me up for this role. I then worked in other livestock coordinator roles throughout Central Queensland.”

In 2015, James was awarded the Edgar Hudgins Memorial Scholarship, which included a three-month trip in the USA as well as being part of the Advancing Beef Leaders programme.

Completing the scholarship in 2022, James and his wife Cassandra (pictured above with their son Artie) then purchased “Westcourt”, 918 acres in the Callide Valley.

Juggling his property and family commitments, along with preparing for Beef 2024, is keeping James extremely busy.

“During Beef the Stud Cattle Committee will be the main point of call to ensure all logistics involved in the competition run smoothly, being a contact for all exhibitors, and ensuring cattle arrivals are as smooth as possible from weighing, scanning, sawdust deliveries and removal,’’ James said.

“Central Queensland is a hub for beef. It has three major processor plants as well as an extremely dense population of beef cattle, which is testament to the quality of country that we are fortunate to possess in the region.”

Post Beef, James is looking forward to growing his family’s business, alongside his wife Cassandra and children Artie, 2, and Francesca, 10-months-old.

“Hopefully, some of the skills and leadership I have picked up from the Stud Cattle Committee can help my future personal, and community goals,’’ James said.

the RGS Show Cattle
RGS Beef 2024 Trade Site Walter Pierce Pavilion Visit



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Enriching study tour for Japanese students

A group of students from Japan arrived at The Rockhampton Grammar School unsure of what to expect, they departed at the end of Term 1 with new experiences and cherished memories. New friendships, a new study environment, new sports, and new experiences are all just small pieces of being brave to embark on a study experience to a different country.

Students from Sugamo Gakuen and Teikyo Junior and Senior High School spent Term 1 at RGS and spoke fondly of their visit when they addressed a Secondary School assembly before their departure:

Haruki Miyaike: “We are the six students who have been studying here for the last nine weeks. We are all from Tokyo. My name is Haruki. I love people here very much, but there is only one week (or, seven days) left. I hope I have a wonderful time with you all for the rest of my time here.”

Kaede Enomoto: “I am Kaede. I made many memories, and I could experience different culture. Thank for everyone. I really enjoyed my term.”

Koma Yamanaka: “I am Koma. I have experienced a lot of things here that are not found in Japan, so we had fun experiencing the culture in RGS.”

Tomoki Uzuyama: “I am Tomoki. I had a great experience practicing rugby for my first time on such a wonderful ground that is not common in Japan. Thank you very much to my friends and teachers.”

If Kudo: “I am If. I made many good friends here and all of them are very nice to me and they always say ‘Hi, If’ to me when I see them. I’m proud of having such good friends in RGS. The memories in RGS are the treasures of my life.”

Kotaro Watanabe: “I am Kotaro. The thing I liked the most in Australia is its relaxed atmosphere and the generally easy-going people. I’d like to say thanks to the staff members, day-students, and boarders who welcomed us and helped us adapt to our new home.”

RGS International Programme Co-ordinator Ms Margot Palmer said the students from Sugamo Gakuen attended Year 10 Form and tutorials but attended Year 11 classes of English, Maths and various Sciences. They boarded in the Year 10 dormitory. Kaede boarded and studied in Year 10, and enrolled in DMTA.

“The students were admired by staff and students as they fully embraced any and every opportunity they were given, and actively encouraged others to join them,’’ Ms Palmer said.

“I’m proud of having such good friends in RGS. The memories in RGS are the treasures of my life.”

Ms Palmer said It must be very daunting to come to a different country and attend school in a non-native language and yet all the students this term made it look easy.

“They were very committed to make the most of the time they had and eagerly attended the co-curricular fair to understand what they could participate in,’’ Ms Palmer said.

RGS welcomes further Study Tour students later this year, including 20 Year 5 students from Tamagawa Academy.

Lifetime memories were created during the Japanese students Study Tour to RGS.
“They (values) bind us together as a community, forging strong bonds of trust, cooperation, and understanding among students, educators, and families alike.”

Respect and Care can be displayed in many facets including (above) painting a fence; (opposite page clockwise from top left) cleaning up rubbish, sewing pillowcases; rewards for care, manners and persistence; sharing a love of cooking; or helping others.

Respect and Care: valuing others

At The Rockhampton Grammar School, the core values stand as pillars, anchoring our educational ethos and shaping the very fabric of our community. These values, deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness, serve as the guiding posts illuminating our path towards excellence in education. In Term 1, Primary and Secondary students thrived in the areas of Respect and Care


• Respect and Care

• Courage and Resilience

• Integrity and Honour

• Endeavour and Responsibility

The Rockhampton Grammar School’s core values are at the forefront of School activities. Term 1 focused on “Respect and Care” while Term 2 will highlight “Courage and Resilience”.

RGS Deputy to the Headmaster Mrs Donna Grant said in every classroom, outdoor space, and interaction, these values resonate, fostering an environment where integrity, respect, and compassion flourish.

“As we strive to instill knowledge, nurture curiosity, and inspire growth, our values provide the sturdy foundation upon which our educational mission stands. They bind us together as a community, forging strong bonds of trust, cooperation, and understanding among students, educators, and families alike,’’ Mrs Grant said.

Respect and Care are evident when we value the worth of people and property and treat people with consideration, compassion, acceptance, and empathy, or as we would like to be treated ourselves.

“This has been the message shared amongst our School community for Term 1 and our students have embraced it. Whether it is a “shout out” at assembly for a staff member or student, a considered nomination from a peer or the awarding of the “GOAT” award, there has been a strong focus on recognising and celebrating the contributions of those who demonstrate these values for Term 1,’’ Mrs Grant said.


Gratitude when thinking of others

The values of Respect and Care resonated with RGS students across Term 1.

Students and staff acknowledged kind and thoughtful acts of RGS students including: walking a lost student to class, encouraging others, assisting in setting up carnivals, being mindful of the importance of recycling rubbish, creating a positive environment for others, helping injured classmates, or for helping fellow students during study sessions.

Year 11 student Alexis Rogers recycled and created 20 pillowcases out of extra bedsheets and donated her unique pillowcases to the Salvation Army Rockhampton.

“Everyone should be able to have their own unique items therefore, I wanted to make each one individual through the use of ribbons and additional materials. I am very passionate about making a change for the better. I am extremely thankful to have the opportunity to give people hope and something special they can cherish,’’ Alexis said.

RGS students also had a break from watching, and playing rugby, at the Rugby Championships at Rugby Park during March. The yellow rubbish bags were out around the playing fields as students including Ava Roche, Max Cottam and Eddie Roche did their part for Clean Up Australia Day.

Year 9 students assisted Year 2 students to deliver delicious baked goods to RGS staff who they valued for their help around the school, including the staff that help around the school with their computers, the librarians, the nurses in the health centre and the grounds people.

RGS teacher Ms Marika Rumford said it was a lovely experience for all the students and the cakes were a bright moment in some staff members’ busy days.

While the Secondary School celebrated the GOAT awards, in the Primary School the Capri Values awards are presented to students throughout the term for respecting the School’s values.

The awards are noted by classroom teachers, or any other staff member witnessing inspiring attributes.

RGS Deputy Head of Primary (Operations and Students) Mrs Janet Spark said staff on playground duty might notice a good deed or respectful behavior and present the student with a certificate.

Mrs Spark said all Capri award winners also place a ticket in the Capri award box for their chance to win a free icy cup.

“We named the awards after Capri, the ‘school goat’ that visits the early childhood classes to keep an eye on behaviours, and for the children to care for Capri,’’ Mrs Spark said.

Students received the Capri awards for many examples of showing care and respect across Term 1.

Nathan Langman, in Year 6, received his Capri award for helping someone who was lost and persevering in his cross country training, while Year 1 student Charlie Bradshaw received his award for using beautiful manners.

Capri also makes special visits to Primary classrooms just to keep an eye on the values being practised in the School.

All simple gestures that make a big difference to someone else’s life.


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RGS Leadership Team

What are your job responsibilities? I am fortunate to be responsible for a dynamic Primary School environment. The Primary team works tirelessly to provide a nurturing but rigorous learning environment, ensuring we offer our students the very best academic and wellbeing initiatives. I help oversee the academic and wellbeing offerings to ensure the work we do is evidence-based and builds a culture of learning within the School. Ensuring the holistic development of each child is the cornerstone of the work we do. This involves overseeing the curriculum implementation, supporting teachers in their professional development, fostering a nurturing and inclusive learning environment, and collaborating with parents to support their child’s educational journey.

What draws you to a career in education? My profound love of children and interest in child development. With a career in education of over 30 years, I still enjoy the opportunity to interact with children, understand their unique personalities, and witness their growth and development. I am passionate about creating positive educational experiences that empower them to reach their full potential. It’s rewarding to see students evolve and develop their skills, knowledge, and character over the years. Our aim is to provide a continuum of support and guidance that empowers students to navigate their educational journey with confidence and resilience.

What intrigues you about the future of education? The future is exciting and challenging, marked by technological advancements and evolving teaching methodologies. I am intrigued by the integration of technology in education, as it offers endless possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning experiences. However, with constant technological advancements comes many challenges for staff and parents to navigate. A challenge is to embrace change and innovation while upholding the core principles of education to ensure that every child receives a quality education that prepares them for the future.

How do you spend your weekends? The balance between home life and work life is real and like everyone I attempt to recharge on the weekends. With grown children living away, my husband and I are often on the move to be with family or preparing for weekend visits. Getting on the water and exploring the beautiful coastline in our boat is a treasured pastime as are lazy Sundays with our energetic Border Collie puppies at the beach. I am an avid reader, with many books on the go and am always seeking a cool spot with a great read.

What are your job responsibilities? I ensure our boarding students have the best boarding experience possible. I oversee all aspects of boarding and provide leadership and vision to ensure the School delivers an exemplary living and learning environment for all boarding students, and a homely environment where our boarders can grow into responsible and confident young adults. The Leadership Team provides a critical link between academic and boarding life and ensures the voice of our boarding students is considered. I am blessed to lead a team of qualified and dedicated boarding staff who work collaboratively with our parents, our day staff and the broader School community.

What draws you to a career in education? I “fell” into my career. Upon completing my Masters in Modern History, and unsure of my next steps, I started as Assistant Housemaster and Teacher at a small boarding school. Within moments in my role I knew I had found my “calling”. I loved my 11 years in boarding school, it was my “home” and when I started my professional career it felt like I had returned “home”. I am not the best teacher, not the best coach and not the best boarding staff member, however I have an ability to connect with young people, and support them to be their very best and achieve all they wish to.

What intrigues you about the future of education? The “educational landscape” will continue to respond to society’s ever-changing expectations and demands. The recent pandemic highlighted the adaptability of those within the education sector. As we have now almost returned to what was the “status quo” it will be intriguing to see what our learnings from this experience are, how it has impacted society’s expectations and the capacity of young people to be educated in a more traditional model.

How do you spend your weekends? With my family! I am fortunate to have a family that understands my passion for supporting our boarders and the sacrifices that come with this, which includes a significant portion of time away from home.

Weekends, holidays, are for important quality time with my family. I was also taught as a young boarding practitioner the importance in finding ways to “fill your own cup”. If we do not look after ourselves then it is impossible to look after the young people in our care. When I am not spending time with my family, I will spend time indulging in my love of sport, running and building LEGO.

“You can be inspired by people, but it comes from within yourself.”

Inspired by a love of dance

A smile rests on Leanne Benjamin’s face as she stands in the background watching RGS Primary School students share her enjoyment of dance. Leanne Benjamin, Queensland Ballet’s new Artistic Director, returned home to Rockhampton last month and visited RGS when the School hosted In-School Workshops and Community Dance Classes.

“I love that this school has dance in the walls,’’ Ms Benjamin said as she admired the RGS Theatre and DMTA (Dance and Musical Theatre) Academy) dance studios.

“I became a dancer because I loved to dance. I wasn’t inspired by another ballerina, that is the greatest thing. You have to love what you do first. You can be inspired by people, but it comes from within yourself. I’m totally driven.”

Ms Benjamin discovered her love of dance in Rockhampton before becoming a principal dancer of The Royal Ballet in London for 21 years and then retiring in 2013. She then began to coach for her former company and at major companies around the world including American Ballet Theatre and The Australian Ballet. She has also established the Leanne Benjamin Awards to support pre-professional Australian and New Zealand dancers wishing to study in the UK, and in 2023 launched the UK Young Classical Dancer Award.

Ms Benjamin loves her new role with the Queensland Ballet and the opportunity to make many decisions in many different areas of the company.

“I’m caretaking the company at the moment, with the 2024 season repertoire in place, but I’m already looking forward in terms of repertoire, branding, reaching out more into the community, and how I’m going to satisfy the audiences and dancers in the 2025 season,’’ Ms Benjamin said. It’s a long love of dance that continues to drive Ms Benjamin.

“It’s just what’s inside of me,’’ Ms Benjamin said.

“It’s a lot of luck and a bit of talent. I know the Rockhampton community helped me in my early days and gave me a solid foundation, along with my parents, with their help, commitment, and enthusiasm and always reminding me there’s always fun with whatever you do.

“That stood me in good stead and that little thought helped me through the longevity of my career.”

Ms Benjamin faced her challenges along the way.

“My first big challenge was homesickness when you’re trying to reach for the sky, and you’re doing it alone in a foreign country,’’ she said.

“When I arrived in London there was no social media. I made reverse charge calls to my mum and dad. On the upside, I love that I have kept stacks and stacks of letters from my first time in London.”

Ms Benjamin said it was never “plain sailing” in this art form.

“You go through different directors, and ask yourself how you will stay at the top of your game under a new director,’’ Ms Benjamin said.

“I’m anxious for the Queensland Ballet dancers about how they might feel to have a new director, all the time assessing if that person will like you and if you are still going to dance the roles. It’s an unsettling time.”

Ms Benjamin is hopeful that everything she has done leading up to this point as Queensland Ballet’s new Artistic Director will enable her to be “okay” in this position.

The Queensland Ballet’s visit also conducted exclusive classes for RGS DMTA (Dance and Musical Theatre Academy) ballet students.

RGS Head of DMTA Marnie Hungerford said the personalised attention and expertise in these classes were immensely beneficial in nurturing the students’ skills and passion for ballet.

Leanne Benjamin enjoys some contemporary dance routines.

Titans explore new territory in CQ

Reaching the pinnacle of rugby league takes a lot more than just being a good player. Gold Coast Titans staff Jamie McCormack (Elite Player Development Manager) and Lane Bird (Future Titans Northern Pathways and Junior Recruitment Coordinator) visited RGS in Term 1 to meet with the School’s coaches and players.

“We look for NRL players, and it’s harder to find them than you might think,’’ Bird said.

“We find players, train them, educate them on the systems to try and get them to the NRL, but at the end of the day it’s all about having resilience, putting in the hard work, and a lot of it’s luck. That’s the truth of it.

“There’s plenty of talented players, but they need a really good support network, and really good resources around them, both on and off the field.

“It’s the 1% around them that will add up to the right mixture. It’s that 1% effort at school, 1% effort at home, eating the right food, looking

after injuries. It’s a bit back on the players to be accountable for themselves.

“You can’t walk into a shop and buy a football player. You have to build them from the ground up. They have to be good people first. They have to be coachable, want to listen and have a good support network at home, school, or a mentor.

“Ultimately there’s only one person that can make you an NRL, or NRLW, player, and that’s the coach that picks you on a Tuesday.”

McCormack has welcomed the opportunity for the Titans to enter new territory after mainly working with young talent in south-east

Queensland and the New South Wales northern rivers areas.

“We’re here to support the school with coach education, and making links to the region,’’ McCormack said.

“At least 14 of the 17 clubs visit south-east Queensland regularly. This region still has a lot of untapped talent.

“If there’s a young player, boy or girl, that want a pathway to the NRL or NRLW then hopefully we can help facilitate that in some way.”

Jamie said they look for talent, first and foremost, but also look for good people, hardworking people, and coachable people.

“It’s a package deal. Some players don’t have the ability of others but have a far better work ethic and sometimes that shines through,’’ McCormack said.

“Some players don’t have the ability of others but have a far better work ethic and sometimes that shines through.”

The player recruitment game can be a challenge, with McCormack saying, “It’s an opinion at that given time.”

“You’re looking into a crystal ball at 14, 15, 16 years. There’s a lot of years ahead before they could possibly become NRL or NRLW players,’’ McCormack said.

McCormack said it also wasn’t the end of the world if a player is 16 or 17 years old and something hasn’t happened for them yet.

“It happens for different people at different times, for different reasons,’’ McCormack said.

“All players have to be thinking outside of rugby league. Rugby league is a dream and something you can pursue. It doesn’t happen for everyone. Everyone needs a career and needs to ensure they get the best out of schooling.”

RGS coaches welcomed an insight into the Titans development and coaching structure during a presentation at Rugby Park.

McCormack provided an overview of the Titans values – We’re Selfless, We’re Trustworthy, We’re Accountable, We’re Relentless.

“It’s easy for adults to witness life and write up some values and then implement them on players. You need the players to be a part of the strategy,’’ McCormack said.

“At the Titans, our values are on the wall, and the players are expected to know them inside and out, and abide by them.”

Gold Coast Titans’ Jamie McCormack

Cricketers take the spoils

RGS won the Rockhampton Cricket Third Grade premiership for the 2023/2024 season after a grand final win over Brothers.

Year 9 student Archie Clifford produced a six-wicket haul in the decider to be named Player of the Final. The RGS First XI team was also minor premiers. RGS also won back-to-back premierships in the Rockhampton Open Women’s competition. RGS was minor premiers in Division 1, but went down in the grand final against Norths Callide.

RGS cricketers were also among the Rockhampton Cricket award winners this season. Abbey Harvey was RCI Female Player of the Year, Colt of the Year (U23 player) and U19 Player of the Year; Lila Atkinson won Junior Representative Player of the Year; Adelaide McArthur was the Best Junior playing Senior Cricket; Rory Connor won Third Grade Player of the Year; Cayden Kent had the best bowling average and aggregate in Third Grade; and Evan Sullivan won the She’ll Be Apples Women’s Cricket Award.


The RGS Senior Girls AFL team, a mix of experienced players and newcomers to the game, qualified for the Rockhampton district grand final of the AFL Queensland Senior Girls AFL Gala Day. Thanks to RGS coach Mrs Mill for sharing her AFL expertise with the girls and encouraging the team to have fun playing a new sport.

Secondary Swimming Age Champions

12 Years Girls Evie Francis

12 Years Boys Max Wilson

13 Years Girls Sienna Caton

13 Years Boys Archie Becker

14 Years Girls Grace Francis

14 Years Boys William Goudie

15 Years Girls Lauren Moody

15 Years Boys Ty Lynch

16 Years Girls Hattie Dingle

16 Years Boys Josh Platten

Open Years Girls Alice McDonald

Open Years Boys Alex Rodgers

Champion House Jardine


The RGS Junior Girls basketball team finished runners-up after a narrow loss in their B Division grand final against Emmaus College. RGS player of the final was Year 9 student Lily Thomasson.


RGS Primary School students proudly represented the School in teeball, football and AFL in their first sports rotations in Term 1. The season continues in Term 2 before students choose between hockey, netball, rugby league, or tennis foar their next Friday Sport rotation.


Cross Country Age Champions

6 Years Girls Ava Littlewood

6 Years Boys Maxon Clarke

7 Years Girls Isabelle Houghton

7 Years Boys Abel Rapkins

8 Years Girls Andie Tippett

8 Years Boys Gus Tobin

9 Years Girls Holly Bradshaw

9 Years Boys Beckett McMillan

10 Years Girls Allie Tippett

10 Years Boys Henry Houghton

11 Years Girls Mia Mills

11 Years Boys Chase Tippett

12 Years Girls Grace Evans

12 Years Boys Max Wilson

13 Years Girls Hollie Foot

13 Years Boys Archie Becker

14 Years Girls Grace Francis

14 Years Boys Lawson Paine

15 Years Girls Sophie Wright

15 Years Boys Tanner Munro

16 Years Girls Lainey Foot

16 Years Boys Caden Mahon

Open Years Girls Faerlie Bailey

Open Years Boys Alex Kraatz Champion House Jardine


RGS featured in both the Junior A and Senior A futsal grand finals in Term 1. Both teams were undefeated during the season, but unfortunately both went down in the final games of the season.


RGS Boys First XV and Open Girls won their Rockhampton District rugby union grand finals. The Firsts defeated St Brendan’s, 10-7, while the Girls scored a 19-5 win over RGGS. Max Clark and Evan Sullivan were players of the final. RGS was runner-up in the U15.5 and U13.5 girls divisions. Players of the finals were Zafeera Gibson and Sinead Crawford.


RGS hosted the annual Regional Rugby Championships at Rugby Park in Term 1. RGS First XV and 15 boys teams missed this year’s finals with Downlands College (Toowoomba) and St Brendan’s College winning the Open and 15 boys divisions respectively. RGS also entered Open and 15 years girls teams.


RGS won both the Senior Girls and Senior Boys Secondary School water polo grand finals at the RGS Pool in Term 1. The girls team scored a 6-5 win over St Ursula’s while the boys defeated Rebels, 6-3.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Year 12 student Tom Baker leads the RGS war cry at rugby union; Sisters Penelope (Year 6), Teddie (Prep), and Winslow (Year 3) Moore; Sharni Norder celebrates the end of a fun netball coaching session; Ella Bugg (Year 10) helps serve at the Meet the Teachers function; Marnie Hungerford, Ellie Belonogoff and Daisy Kitchen (Year 6) at Primary Musical auditions; Vaeda Merson and Louis Pelletier test their Year 7 Science knowledge; RGS First XI cricket debutants Henry Lau (Year 10), Jacob Petersen (Year 12), Archie Clifford (Year 9), Josh Peckett (Year 11), and Oliver Bennett (Year 10); Year 12’s Millie O’Brien auditions for the Secondary School Musical; Year 2’s Nathaniel Jayraj enjoys some outdoor classroom time.


the Year 6 Leadership

Maggie Clifford, Maddy Lynch and


Victorsen celebrate Valentine’s Day; Preparing for their final year of Secondary School are Year 12’s Oliver Hicks, Will Prentice and Clayton Lonergan; promoting Cadets at the RGS Co-Curricular Expo are Year 12’s Sam Walker, Jessica Bate, Joel Armstrong and Clayton Besch; Year 6 students Boshu Chen and Aaron Ni enjoy an insight into Year 7 Science with RGS teacher Mrs Abbey Croton; Jasmin Liu (Year

6) at the Queensland Ballet’s In-School Workshop; RGS First XV rugby captain Riley Sullivan with the Open Boys premiership trophy; Imogen Davies and Noah Cody at the Year 12 Formal; Abby Miller (Year 12) dominates in the ruck for the RGS Senior Girls AFL team; Year 5’s Mackenna Kuhl and Lara Pearce at the Sharni Norder netball clinic; Archie Mallinson (Year 7) prepares for his cricket match at Kalka Shades.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Richie Simpson (Year 5) represents RGS at the inter-school chess competition; Tumanako Hatley (Year 11) makes save for Wheatley in the inter-house water polo; Neave Malone engages in workshop; 12 students Mia

The final word

The Your Choicez programme talked with RGS Year 8 and Year 10 students this term about how they can make good choices to have a happy life and find themselves in respectful relationships. Leading the conversations were Your Choicez Director David Kobler and workshop facilitator Bec Neale.

Your Choicez has a message for all participants in their workshops – “Every young person should know what makes a happy, healthy respectful relationship. Every young person should have the opportunity to consider their choices around relationships, dating, sexting, pornography and sex. Our hope is that we can provide an opportunity for every young person to do this.”

Year 8 students looked at Connections That Count while Year 10 students worked through Respectful Relationships.

Both sessions were held with separate workshops for the boys and girls.

David understands there’s a lot that teenagers have to deal with in life, but generally young people just want great lives and want to be happy.

“They want to have great relationships. It’s those moments of self-reflection and questioning that help make good decisions in society,’’ David said.

David said the Year 10s engaged in “big conversations” about relationships, intimacy and what’s safe and unsafe in relationships while for the Year 8s, friendship was a focus and looking at connections, online relationships and some risks they can encounter in this digital age.

“We want kids to build safe, healthy, positive friendships that will better set them up for good relationships in the future,’’ David said.

“One of the words we use is ‘empower’ and look at how knowledge is power.”

Bec said values was a big thing.

“We give the students research and science, but at the end of the day it comes down to what person you want to be,’’ Bec said.

“What values do you want? Do you want to be a

person of great character?”

David said they also encouraged the students to talk more with their parents about the challenges they might be facing.

“Parents know there are problems and know life is tricky,’’ David said.

“However, they grew up in an era where talking about some things was taboo and think ‘well I turned out okay.’

“We want kids to build safe, healthy, positive friendships that will better set them up for good relationships in the future.”

“It’s so different being a kid with a mobile phone device in your pocket. Mistakes now can have such bigger consequences.

“Kids are walking around with mild anxiety thinking about how they could be humiliated online. One mistake can have a big impact.

“Everyone has made mistakes as teenagers, but the long term effects can be difficult.”

More information on the Your Choicez programme is available at: https://yourchoicez.com.au/

SELLING YOUR HOME? CALL RILEY NEATON 0499 272 745 riley.neaton@raywhite.com

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