Ruyton Reporter Autumn 2019

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reporter the ruyton

autumn 2019

COURAGE AND ARDOUR ‘be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.’

FROM THE STUDY How would you define your leadership approach? A big question for any experienced leader, this is what our Year 12 girls, the leaders of our student community, contemplate together as they head into their final year. And to make the task that little bit harder; they define their approach in just two words. The Class of 2019 have determined they will lead with Courage and Ardour. Two very powerful words that they have lived so fully this term, setting the scene for Ruyton girls to be courageous in many ways; to be fearless in pursuit of what sets their souls on fire. Our vision as a school community is ‘Inspire girls to be bold. Educate girls to live lives of impact and purpose.’ The Class of 2019 has embraced this vision wholeheartedly and made it their own. We often talk about the importance of girls and young women being brave, bold and fearless in today’s world, shaking up the stereotype that boys are bold and girls are good. But when we talk about boldness it is important we embrace and inspire many versions of bold.


This time last year the world met Naomi Wadler, the youngest speaker at the March for Our Lives Rally at eleven years of age. In an eloquent and passionate speech she urged a nation mourning young lives cut short in school shootings not to forget black women, who are disproportionately represented among the victims of gun violence; women who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential. When it was Naomi’s time to speak at the rally attended by thousands of people, nerves took hold. She felt she needed a ‘magic lifesaving serum’ to get her through. But she was bold enough to listen to her heart; respectful yet strong as she raised her voice and our awareness to make a difference. Naomi’s lifesaving serum was her belief in herself and her purpose, a serum we all have if we look for it.

This year the world watched in admiration and awe as Jacinda Ardern led her nation from the depths of shock and extreme grief towards inclusivity and kindness. With bold determination, and demonstrating action, care and unity Jacinda Ardern spoke three words that said everything: ‘They are Us’. Her leadership sent a strong reminder globally to reach out to others and embrace difference, living and leading with integrity and kindness. As our girls determined they would lead our community with courage and ardour Jacinta Ardern provided the inspiration for our girls, her nation and the world. As a young girl Michelle Robinson’s parents raised her to be outspoken and unafraid. Life experiences and a strong dose of boldness took her from their small apartment to becoming the only black woman in a lecture theatre at Princeton, to becoming a high powered corporate lawyer, to balancing work and family with her husband’s political career, to becoming the First Lady of the United States. We now know her as Michelle Obama and perhaps she sums it up best in the title of her memoir… Becoming. Through a journey of resilience, joy, grief, grit, hope and personal strength she reminds us that our personal stories may not always be pretty or perfect and at times more real than we want them to be. But your story is what you have, what you will always have; it is who you are becoming. It is a journey that is only yours to own. So we ask ourselves and the young girls we are educating and raising: who are you and who are you becoming? How are you bold and living with courage and ardour? This is a question for a year, a decade, a lifetime rather than a moment. But it is the question we need to ask, ponder and pursue. the ruyton reporter

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2018 Our girls’ journeys are rich in personal stories of grit, determination, courage and success.

2018 DUX Bold girls and women aren’t simply born and there is no stereotype. They are forged through the variety of challenges life throws at them: challenges that give opportunity to grow mentally, emotionally and physically. As we survive the storms of life we come to know who we are and what we stand for. And we go on boldly and respectfully, overcoming fear, worry and doubt, with heads held high and an inner strength that cannot be denied. Our wish for each of our girls is to be bold … to become. Bold enough to challenge themselves, be adventurous, fulfil their potential, take risks and be the best version of themselves. Not to let others define them and not aim to be like others. Always to be bold enough to use their voice, listen to their heart, and take action respectfully to make a difference. To be bold in what they stand for and careful what they fall for. Above all, the boldest thing our girls can ever do is to wholeheartedly be themselves. For it is in living an ordinary life honestly and to the fullest, a life of impact and purpose, that they make it extraordinary. We think we don’t have the power to change the world but we forget that the power to change someone’s life for the better is always in our hands.




NINE SCORES OF 50 While we celebrate the 2018 ATAR results at Ruyton our measure of success does not rely on a single score. We empower our girls to lead lives of impact and purpose with courage, character and compassion, both now and in the future. This is how we define success.

To our girls we say: Believe in yourself. Be Bold. Embrace your courage and your ardour for you too are becoming. And don’t ever give up on the amazing women you are becoming. The world needs you. The Principal, Ms Linda Douglas

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FROM THE BOARD We always have, and always will, believe in girls When I look back on what the Board has achieved in the past 12 years, I am proud to be able to share with you the highlights that have enabled Ruyton to continue in the job it does best – preparing girls for a lifetime of learning, leadership and engagement in our global community. We have taught our girls to understand character and integrity in order to navigate an increasingly complex world. We have supported them to achieve their personal best and to be well-rounded individuals. We are committed to continuing the Co-ordinate Programme with Trinity Grammar School.


We are at full-enrolment, enabling financial security for us to support the Principal and School Executive in the appointment of the best teachers for our girls. This financial viability has also allowed us to undertake an ambitious plan of capital works. In times when boards have been under intense scrutiny, we conducted an independent review of the School’s governance and were able to report that the stewardship of Ruyton was on a sound footing. Our community continues to be inclusive of all girls, parents and families, and we celebrate the scores of girls who have received the benefits of a Ruyton education.

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I have been fortunate to have been supported by a cohesive group of Board members, each one volunteering their expertise in support of Ruyton. Our achievements are founded on the generous and wise counsel of our members, all of whom are selected for a particular skill set. As I step down from my position as President, I would like to thank all my colleagues, and, in particular, retiring members Mr Tim Hogg and Mr Bruce Meehan, both of whom have served for nine years. Under the new leadership of Ms Virginia McLaughlan, the Board will continue in its robust governance, and welcomes the enthusiasm and ideas of new members, Mr Chris Chapman, Mr Peter Nelson, Mr Jim Watterston and Mr Craig Wishart. We are grateful to Ms Kylie Taylor who continues in her position of Deputy President, and to all ongoing members of the Board. It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve on the Board at Ruyton as we continue with our vision to inspire girls to be bold and to educate them to live lives of impact and purpose. I can assure the community that Ruyton will continue to believe in girls well into the future. Mr Peter Kanat, outgoing President of the Board

Ms Virginia McLaughlan will take on the role of President of the Board from 29 April 2019. Virginia has been on the Board since October 2016, and is the mother of two Old Ruytonians, Sarah McLaughlan (’10) and Laura McLaughlan (’15). While her daughters were at Ruyton, Virginia had a keen interest in rowing and served as President of the Henty Rowing Club for two years. Virginia chose Ruyton for her daughters because ‘Ruyton is able to provide the individual care and attention that a smaller school environment can achieve, whilst also extending the scale, diversity and opportunity of a larger school ... to my mind, very much the best of both worlds.’ Virginia brings extensive experience as a human resources leader with IBM, where she currently manages executive succession and leadership development across the Asia Pacific region. As a community we thank Peter Kanat for his outstanding enthusiasm and leadership and wish Virginia well for her upcoming term of service. Ms Linda Douglas, Principal

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A MESSAGE FROM OUR CO-CAPTAINS 2019 What does it mean to be a Ruyton girl? We believe it means belonging to a unique community that is supportive beyond measure; a community in which excellence, courage and enthusiasm is inspired in every member. If there is one thing that the Class of 2019 is certain about, it is that we would not be the people we are today if not for the older girls who have come before us. They have been invaluable mentors of ours over the years, sharing their life experiences and setting examples with warmth and with passion. With this in mind, as we embark on our final year of Senior School, our cohort is committed to being worthy role models for each other and the rest of the School – a culture of positivity and growth integral to the Ruyton Spirit. What does it mean to be a Ruyton girl? We believe it means belonging to a unique community that is supportive beyond measure; a community in which excellence, courage and enthusiasm is inspired in every member.

At the beginning of the year, we heard from guest speaker Hayley Talbot, who said something that really resonated with us: ‘Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.’ It is this courage and ardour we wish to nurture in every Ruyton girl. The level of engagement from girls in all aspects of school life, in the classroom and in co-curricular activities, is simply astounding. It is the notion of ‘participation being cool’ that we recognise and strive to uphold as the student leaders of 2019. We hope that we can continue to encourage girls to try new activities and broaden their horizons, just as previous girls have done for us. This is especially important in the current social and political climate, where it seems that disengagement with global issues has become increasingly easy. As leaders, we would like to empower girls to stand up for what they believe in, and to lead lives of impact and purpose. We believe that Ruyton is a place where dreams are born and we have faith in every girl to be someone she, herself, is proud of. We are so excited for the year ahead, and we hope that 2019 brings much joy and inspiration to all in the Ruyton community. Olivia Harper and Jacqueline Du, School Co-Captains

We feel incredibly fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment where each girl is valued, both by her teachers and by her peers. At Ruyton, no dream is too ambitious when our girls are encouraged to be bold, creative and resourceful leaders in this modern, ever-changing world. 6

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autumn 2019



LIVE YOUR LIFE Angela Chau, Dux of Ruyton 2018 with a perfect score of 99.95, was invited back to Ruyton to speak at the Leadership and Academic Assembly. Below are extracts from her speech to the Senior School. Life hack number 1: make things seem easier than they actually are. If today I was told to write an essay and hand it in next Tuesday, I probably wouldn’t start it today, because when I think ‘writing an essay’ I think one to two hours of hard work. So I’m going to write down ‘write one paragraph’, because to me, that translates to 10-15 minutes of casual work, which I would do, and if we do this for the next five days we’ll have a whole essay completed two days in advance with only 15 minutes work a day. Split tasks into little achievable parts. Life hack number 2: live your life. I think it’s really important to not give up other things. I went to the gym, played tennis, played piano, went out with my friends … It all helped me relax and be motivated to study.


I didn’t go to school just to get an ATAR. I went to school to make lifelong friends, I tried new things and now have new passions for debating and hockey. And one of the most important things I learnt at school was how to fail. There’s a right and a wrong way to fail. I’ve beaten myself up for not passing things, thinking that I wasn’t good enough, even though it happens to everyone. But that’s not you. You are going to get up from your despair, use your failure as a way to improve. Life hack number 3: get help. It seems simple, but I found this quite hard. The truth is, no one is born perfect, so we are all expected to ask for help. Use your teachers, ask questions, send them an email, arrange a private time to get help.

The one thing I want you to remember is to enjoy your life in school while it lasts; smile today when you walk into class; make use of every opportunity that’s thrown at you, because, before you know it, it’ll be over.

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THE 140th ANNIVERSARY GALA CONCERT – THE RESULT OF GREAT ENDEAVOURS It was such a privilege to hold the 140th Anniversary Music Gala Concert at the exquisite Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in the Melbourne Recital Centre last year. For the girls to have the opportunity to perform in such an aesthetically beautiful and acoustically perfect venue enabled all the ensembles to shine and be their best on such a significant occasion in the history of the School. The joy that Ruyton girls have when they perform on stage was clearly evident. Senior School performances from Ruyton Madrigals, Stage Band, Concert Band, Henty Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Vivaldi Senior Strings or Show Choir together with our Junior School ensembles, showcased the extraordinary quality of our music and allowed the talent of our girls to be on full display. Mr Paul Smith, Director of Performing Arts

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The 140th Anniversary Music Gala Concert was an exciting event for Junior School, with 143 girls performing at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The girls in Windchimes, Paganini Strings, Year 4 Bumblebee Choir, Mini Mads and Marimbafied worked hard during rehearsals and put on a polished performance on the night. What made this concert so unique was the collaboration between Junior and Senior School ensembles. The Year 4 Bumblebee Choir collaborated with Show Choir to perform Edgar’s Essay, and Windchimes and Concert Band combined to perform Extremis. The experience of playing alongside the Senior School girls will surely be remembered by our Junior girls for years to come. Congratulations to all of the staff and students involved in this wonderful event. Ms Elizabeth O’Leary, Junior School Music




Year 4 were honoured to perform at Ruyton’s 140th Gala Concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre in August. We sang Edgar’s Essay, a piece whose lyrics were written by a boy named Edgar who overcame illness and hospitalisation. He wrote the piece when he was only six years old. We performed on stage with the Senior School’s Show Choir. It was a privilege to be part of such a special celebration representing Ruyton. We were nervous but enjoyed every moment. It was an honour to be there and we had an awesome time! Thanks must go to Mrs Paddon-Brown, Mr Jones and Mrs Barker for their assistance with the choreography and music.

The Gala Concert was extraordinary because it was an amazing concert to be a part of! Being up on the stage doing what you love with your friends and teachers was very enjoyable! What was great was the supportive audience, who gave such applause at the end of each performance. The sound of this applause gave you a sense of accomplishment and pride for all the hard effort you put into the performance. All those rehearsals were really worthwhile when you saw the end result! It was also a very special concert because it was celebrating Ruyton’s 140th birthday! It was an amazing experience to perform at the Melbourne Recital Centre in the city. As I performed on stage all nervous thoughts faded away and I became happy and smiled. I could see all the families and teachers, watching us perform as a group. The success of the Gala Concert shows how much hard work everyone had put in, from the music teachers, to the students, to the parents and the Ruyton Executive! It was a team effort and everyone in the Ruyton Community was proud.

Taliah Wishart, Year 4 2018

Riya Mandrawa, Year 5 2018

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After many weeks of rehearsals, teachers and students gathered in the amazing Melbourne Recital Centre to perform for their friends and family. I felt privileged to be in such an amazing venue known for its incredible architecture and acoustics. The anticipation backstage was high, as we waited for our turn, trying to sneak a peek at what was happening on stage. It was really amazing for the Junior School and the Senior School to perform together. From orchestras to choirs, and from jazz to classical, the night had something for everyone and showcased Ruyton girls’ diverse talents. I would like to thank all the music staff and teachers who work so hard to make the night such an enjoyable evening for all involved. Jemima McLeish, Year 7 2018

The 140th Anniversary Gala Concert brought together girls from both Junior and Senior School to commemorate Ruyton’s proud history through a shared love of music, with performances ranging from Mozart to Radiohead. To reflect the unique Spirit of Ruyton, a special song was commissioned and was unveiled at the Gala Concert, performed by Henty Orchestra. ‘Spirit of Ruyton’ drew inspiration from many well known and loved songs from our daily lives at School, such as The School Song, ‘Recte et Fideliter’ and ‘The Irish Blessing’. This song instilled a feeling of pride not only in the performers, but also in the entire Ruyton community. I was honoured to wear the blue and gold.

With the exceptional participation of 350 girls making their way onto Melbourne’s renowned Recital Centre stage, friends, family and past students gathered to celebrate 140 years of music at Ruyton. The 2018 Gala Concert was a memorable night, showcasing the outstanding vocal and instrumental talent, engagement and musical diversity within our School’s community. The programme featured the newly commissioned works, ‘The Spirit of Ruyton’ by Stephen Bulla and ‘Set Me Free’ by Mark Puddy, in recognition of the rich and dynamic musical traditions of the School. The passionate involvement of the girls, supported by the music staff and production team, highlighted the truly collaborative, creative and enthusiastic qualities that have been at the core of Ruyton’s love of music for 140 years. Mia Jordan, Year 11 2018 and Music Captain 2019

Catherine Andronis, Year 9 2018

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global citizenship

PICNIC FOR PEACE For the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 Armistice that ended World War I, Ruyton reflected on this significant centenary through a special interdisciplinary learning project that developed Senior students’ understanding and appreciation of history through art. During Term 4 2018 an artwork was produced by students from Years 8 and 9 under the skilful guidance of Artist in Residence, Ms Juliet D Collins. This was unveiled at a Picnic for Peace – a historical re-enactment of how Ruyton students celebrated the announcement in 1918 that war had ended. Senior School students, staff, members of the Ruyton Community and representatives from the Kew RSL, Kew Historical Society and Boroondara Council gathered on the Henty House lawn to view the artwork. In doing so, they reflected on the significance of the Armistice and remembered all those who have served or lost their lives in conflict throughout the years for our nation.

Student artist, Ella Raudys (Year 9, 2018), spoke on the day about her learning from the project: ‘My focus for this project was creating a panel about the Ruyton Fete, which was an event organised by the Ruyton community at the time to help raise funds for volunteer soldiers. By participating in this project I understood that people overseas on the front line were being supported by people on the home front, who raised funds to buy goods to ship across to them. Participating in the Artist in Residence project helped me to personalise what I had learnt in class. I realised that the Ruyton Fête was about raising money for goods for the soldiers in the trenches overseas, one of whom was my great great uncle, Private Mervyn Hazen. It made me wonder whether there was a connection between Ruyton and my great great uncle.’ The themes reflected on the panels included a glimpse into the daily lives of the soldiers and the medical staff who supported them, as well as panels focused on the home front. From Archival records we learnt about the War Comforts Fund, which the School had a strong link with through Beatrice Henty who was awarded an Order of the British Commonwealth for her work to provide much-needed supplies, such as socks and hampers, for the troops.

Participating in the Artist in Residence project helped me to personalise what I had learnt in class. 12

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We all benefitted from the expertise of Artist in Residence, Juliet, and the generosity of the Boroondara City Council Community Grants, which enabled the project to be such a great success. The skill and commitment of our talented Year 8 and 9 student artists and the Art Department was outstanding to be able to produce 100 commemorative felt-poppies to complete the work. At the unveiling, a wreath of remembrance was also laid at the base of the artwork by our 2019 School Co-Captains Jacqueline Du and Olivia Harper. Once professionally mounted, the artwork will be on display in the School for future generations to enjoy. Year 8 2018 student artists: Louise Cheah, Breanna Luo, Amelia Osmond, Ava O’Sullivan, Erica Truong, Aiyana Wijeyaratne and Dorothy Ye. Year 9 2018 student artists: Coco Cen, Cynthia Hu, Jennie Lai, Sophia Marsh, Ella Raudys and Renita Yang. Mr Tom Crowle, Learning Leader, Humanities and Ms Jolenta Kirkwood, Learning Leader, Visual Arts

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global citizenship

EMPOWERING GIRLS TO ACCEPT OUR DIFFERENCES I clearly remember the first day of Year 7 as if it were only yesterday, when I had my long white socks pulled up all the way to my knees and a blazer so large that my fingers barely peeped through the sleeves. The nervous flutter I felt when I walked through the gates for the first time soon dissipated during my stay at Ruyton. If there is one thing I have learnt during my time here, it is that when you foster a community built on acceptance and celebration of individual differences, you allow for each member to let their light shine.

Having been given the honour of serving Ruyton as the Culture and Diversity Captain for 2019, I hope to spread the message to our girls and the wider community that, rather than searching for an opportunity to be heard, they should create the chance themselves to celebrate their identity and the culture of the community in which they live. Our committee has many plans this year to close the gap between international students and local students. Ultimately, our goal is to create more awareness among the students about how diverse the world is and to celebrate these differences, in order to prepare them to be confident global citizens who go on to shape the future. Mira Menyen, Inaugural Culture and Diversity Captain



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A BIT OF KINDNESS CAN GO A LONG WAY. Late last year the Year 8s visited the Asylum Seeker Resource in Footscray to drop off a range of goods they had collected for their charity initiative. In Year 8 (2018) we have been collecting a range of goods for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre as our charity initiative and in December we went as a group of Form Captains to drop off what we had collected in person and to see for ourselves where our donations were going. The excursion to the ASRC was eye-opening and it made us realise how much we take for granted. We discovered it is a place where refugees can find their basic necessities, such as food, and where they can also get personal help from lawyers or get health care, all from people who volunteer their time freely. The ASRC also helps people acquire visas and get on the right track to be able to start a new life where they can work and contribute to Australian society.

After visiting the ASRC, we realised that we have everything that they don’t have: a good education, easy access to resources and the ability to participate in Co-Curricular activities, such as sport and music if we wish. We got a deeper understanding of the fact that, even though these people live on so little, they are happy and grateful to be able to go to a place that supplies food, water and health resources because of the generosity of so many. The excursion to the ASRC helped us to broaden our view and showed us how every one of us could impact those who are in need. While we may not be able to volunteer yet as we are not 18, they showed us how we can help provide people who have little to no income with everyday necessities, such as food. By genuinely caring about these people and wanting to help them, the ASRC is able to provide services and help those who need it most. During our visit there, we were able to see first-hand how a bit of kindness from each person can go a long way. Year 8 (2018) Form Captains

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POWERFUL LEARNING There are huge possibilities for science and the imagination, for learning and expression. ENCOUNTERING PERSPECTIVE WITH A DRONE


Late last year our Kindergarten children were fascinated with mapping places in and around the School.

In 2018 the Girls’ Pre Prep discovered how to express their ideas and learning through the language of animation.

The maps, drawn on paper, supported their travels from various locations and ensured they ‘wouldn’t get lost’. Educators Mrs Kerry Vines and Mrs Tanya Dluzniak were interested in offering the children extended possibilities to develop their understandings and provided children the time and space to explore the concept of a ‘bird’s eye view’. We made use of the School drone to offer the children a new way of developing perspective and understanding. The class spent time on our School oval observing the drone as it flew up high above our buildings and facilities, capturing moments on still and video for the children to view back in the classroom.

Class teacher, Ms Catherine Farrar collaborated with our Digital Learning Mentor, Mr Julian Mutton, to provide the right environment and tools for girls to explore applications involved in creating an animation. The girls were afforded the time and space to encounter the application Stop Motion and over several weeks tested out how it worked, made mistakes, solved problems and collaborated to create a range of mini animations. The girls celebrated their learning through the development of a Celebration of Learning animation that shared favourite moments of learning from the year. This extensive animation piece was shared at our 2018 Early Learning Celebration of Learning in the Royce Theatre and the audience was delighted at the amazing capabilities of our four and five-year-old children.

See our children learning, visit the Ruyton Website, Early Learning Page.

Ms Farrar’s reflection ‘Introducing animation was a challenge for me as well as for the children. It was something we had not encountered before, so we were learning together. I was working alongside the children to create the animation and when we came across problems, we worked together to solve them. Using the digital application Stop Motion enhanced learning, as it encouraged the children to explore and extend their understandings of film creation, storytelling and ways of expressing their ideas and interests.’


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EXPLORING DIGITAL LANDSCAPES IN THE EARLY YEARS Ruyton Early Learning has embarked on a mission to explore tools and technologies to enhance learning and teaching. Using devices such as iPads for photography and video, learning moments are recorded, viewed and shared. Intentional use of lighting illuminates materials and highlights features of objects that we may not have otherwise noticed. Electronic microscopes and cameras invite children to observe their environment and to take a closer look at the world around us. The use of data projectors on classroom walls, ceilings and floors bring a story to life or challenge us to see things at a different size or from a new perspective. There are huge possibilities for science and the imagination, for learning and expression. Children and staff have used a variety of different tools, including the microscope attachment for the iPad. Our students quickly learnt how to zoom in on objects and encounter a magnified view of the material or object. When drawing or painting from still life, the ability to look up close at an object, to see its shades of colour, its attributes and features, enables the children to understand the complexity of an object and how it works. We have also experimented with creating digital landscapes. Using a combination of tools, such as laptops, iPads, data projectors, web cams, photos and video, we have created scenes to enhance imaginative play, and even live-streamed events. The children are amazed that we can record what is happening in our outdoor garden and play it in unexpected places, such as the walls of our classroom.

C autumn 2019

As we develop our understanding of different digital tools, we can offer children a wider range of possibilities to explore the intelligences of digital and school. We know our children come to us with extensive capabilities and competencies as users of digital technology, so it is important we recognise this and offer invitations for continual exploration of the digital world, but in a way that is enabling deep learning and higher order thinking. We are excited at the possibilities of working with the intelligences of digital and school and look forward to what is next for Ruyton Early Learning. Miss Sarah Denholm, Director of Early Learning Image A: Exploring materials with the overhead projector Image B: Using light for learning Image C: Using a microscope attachment on iPads Image D: Transforming the bathroom into a learning space with technology Image E: Installing a camera outside to record the secret life of snails




E 17

powerful learning


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OUR COUNTRY’S FUTURE As part of Ruyton’s 2018 International Day of the Girl activities, our Year 6 students were fortunate to be able to participate in the Mastercard Girls4Tech™ programme. Girls4Tech™ is a worldwide signature education programme showcasing innovative payments technology and engages Mastercard employees as role models and mentors, with the goal to inspire a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Since the programme’s launch in 2014, it has reached nearly 11,000 girls across the globe and Ruyton was the only school in Melbourne to be offered the programme in 2018. Throughout the day the Year 6 girls worked in small groups with volunteers from Mastercard to participate in three interactive workshops: Cryptology, Algorithmic Thinking, and Digital Convergence. Senator Jane Hume also attended one of the workshops and spoke to all Year 6 students about celebrating what girls can do, creating a skilled workforce and the range of STEM careers available. As Senator Hume said, ‘You are going to be our country’s future!’


Girls4Tech On Thursday 10 October, we, the Year 6 girls, were lucky enough to experience an intriguing workshop run by Mastercard. There were three different booths called Cryptology, Algorithms and All Things Digital that we got to take part in. Each of the booths taught us multiple lessons, mostly to do with payment procedures and how a financial business works. When we asked girls in our year level about what they enjoyed, they said it was learning new things, such as how fast it takes for transactions to register, working as a team in the different groups to solve problems, and most importantly, the stickers we gained by doing these tasks! The ideas and facts mentioned in this workshop are definitely worth remembering for later in life, as they taught us that being an adult is HARD WORK! I think we will stay in Year 6 forever… They also taught us how to encrypt different codes, such as binary, which is frequently used digitally. Again, this gave us a better understanding of how much detail goes into buying one simple product and a better insight into what we would have to do when we’re older, if we want to pursue a job in science or engineering. We are grateful for this amazing experience and thank Girl4Tech for inspiring the tech geek in all of us! Lucy Gillon and Georgia King, Year 6 (2018)


powerful learning

The detective work of establishing a diagnosis can be appreciated by any learner, regardless of their medical or scientific background.

THINK LIKE A DOCTOR Think Like a Doctor was proposed as a new elective for 2019 to give students an opportunity to ‘try out’ some of the skills a doctor uses in their job. In particular, students work on the skill of confirming a diagnosis using the clues in a patient’s story. While doctors today have unprecedented access to advanced tools, knowledge and skills, they nonetheless make mistakes in diagnosis. Sometimes this has devastating consequences. The detective work of establishing a diagnosis can be appreciated by any learner, regardless of their medical or scientific background. In the course, students attempt to solve challenging medical cases in small groups. They have the opportunity to develop problem solving and research skills, in addition to detailed knowledge about disease. They hear from practising doctors and go on an excursion to a medical research centre. Girls also take part in workshops on various skills required of doctors, such as using a stethoscope, suturing the edges of a (fake) wound together, identifying diseased tissue under the microscope, and taking the history of a patient in a consultation. The teacher guides and encourages the students to take risks, deepen their knowledge through independent research and pursue new lines of thought. Mr Subu Chockalingam, Science Teacher Senior School

This semester I am one of the students who is participating in the Think Like a Doctor elective. In this class, we do lots of different things to give us a glimpse into the life of particular doctors. So far, we have been given a case about a patient who was suffering from a bad tummy rumble and in small groups we had to use the medical notes to try and solve the disease. In March, we went on an excursion to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and we also had a doctor visit Ruyton to talk to us about life as a doctor and the process of a medical case she had solved. The elective has been a great experience and a good insight to life as a doctor. Amber Barry, Year 10


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Think Like a Doctor is a wonderful subject in which you explore the life of doctors. Think Like a Doctor gives us the opportunity to undertake the important job of solving many hard medical cases, given the history of the patient’s symptoms. In order to find the diagnosis, you have to research all the symptoms and causes and work out if it matches up. Throughout the course, we conducted thorough investigations of challenging real-life medical case studies, simplified a published medical case study into a picture storybook and created our own medical case studies on an illness we were interested in. We were lucky to have a classroom visit from an intern graduate, who discussed her challenges as a doctor. We also visited the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. I chose this subject because it has been my dream job to be a doctor. I have always loved the idea of having the ability to try to cure a patient’s illness. I want to learn about all the medications there are, and what they do to the human body. I also want to have the opportunity to find cures for many diseases, such as cancer. I hope to learn techniques on how to research and find the diagnosis quickly and learn about what type of tests are used for which diseases.

Congratulations to Simone Lin, Year 10 (2018), who received the prestigious Swannie Award for the Hawthorn Region of the Debaters Association Victoria (DAV) last year. The Swannie Awards are named after Alan Swanwick, a long-time member of the DAV and a pioneer of debating in Victoria. Swannies are awarded to the speaker in each region and grade who has the highest average speaker score after completing at least three debates during the year. The Hawthorn Region hosts a high calibre of debate teams, this award reflects Simone’s outstanding skills in articulating persuasive arguments and rebuttal.

Yosra Elnakeeb, Year 9

autumn 2019




What inspired your caring commitment to educating and raising girls?

We asked Kate to name three traits that define her.

Attending an all girls’ school where my mother was an Old Collegian, I was always encouraged to give everything a go. I grew up surrounded by incredibly strong women and role models who instilled in me a sense of hope and promise about the world and my future. In many ways, I was naïve to some of the challenges women face in the world, some more visible than others, but my girls’ school education allowed me to go after everything with gusto and grit.

Empathetic, intuitive and optimistic. What has been your journey to Ruyton? My first school was located in an isolated community with significant social and economic challenges. During the last decade, I have embarked on a very active journey developing a specialisation in girls’ education. In more recent years I have had a whole school role which saw me lead the professional learning, research and development for teachers. I feel very privileged to serve the Ruyton community and to work with parents who value education so highly. I am excited to partner with parents in their daughters’ learning, spending time with the girls, in the studios, with parents and broader community. Greeting students at the gate each morning has been one of my favourite ways of getting to know people. What is the approach to primary years learning at Rutyon? Many people who visit Ruyton comment on the warm and connected atmosphere and whilst this endures decade after decade, our approach to learning is constantly evolving. We maintain a strong focus on laying the foundations in literacy and numeracy but increasingly we are creating opportunities for creativity, collaboration, intellectual risk taking and design thinking to come into the fold. Our dynamic approach fosters the individual growth of each of our girls.


Greeting students at the gate each morning has been one of my favourite things.

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THE DI BEROLD DISTINGUISHED TEACHER AWARD In 2018 the Di Berold Distinguished Teacher Award went to Mrs Danyang McAuliffe. Danyang joined Ruyton in 1995 as a relatively inexperienced teacher in a new country. Danyang has gone on to become a highly respected Ruyton Learning Leader and Teacher. She is also held in high esteem across the state educational community for her major contribution to the VCE Chinese curriculum development and the examination process. She has been a key voice in developing Chinese opportunities in the VCE for non-native speakers. Danyang has established a rich cultural exchange and tour programme at Ruyton with strong links to schools in China. She has also led the development of Chinese Language Learning practice in our Junior School years. She embraces the very essence of global citizenship. Danyang brings this approach to her teaching, with enormous benefits for our community.


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Her love of learning is obvious to all. When she takes the microphone at Assembly everyone is prepared for an energetic and passionate engagement. After a ‘Mrs McAuliffe Assembly’ you simply can’t stop smiling. The same energy and passion is evident in all of her teaching. She was clearly born to teach and loves every moment in the classroom. Danyang is always quick to engage in new learning opportunities personally, collegially and for her students. She challenges herself and others to improve understanding and pedagogy. She often acts as a mentor and support for teachers in her faculty and is truly a well-loved member of our community who actively lives the values of Ruyton. Danyang has a profound and positive impact on the learning and lives of staff, students and parents alike. As a community we congratulate Danyang and thank her for her wonderful contribution to learning, teaching, community and citizenship at Ruyton. As Danyang often remarks, ‘Every day at Ruyton is a good day.’ Mr Peter Kanat, President of the Board Ms Linda Douglas, Principal



STAFF SERVICE AWARDS We are most fortunate to have a number of long serving staff at Ruyton. We continued the tradition established in 2017 of celebrating the contributions of long serving staff members to the Ruyton community. People are at the very heart of a school such as ours. Compassion, commitment and contribution are essential characteristics of our staff and without this we simply wouldn’t be the school we are today.

Staff and the Ruyton Board thanked the following individuals for their contribution to our community: 25 years: 20 years: 15 years:

Ms Ellen Funnell Mrs Ange Allen Mrs Cathryn Furey Ms Fran Johnson Ms Kate McPherson Mrs Cait Mullins.

15, 20, 25 and 30-year lapel pins were also given to staff who were recognised for their service last year.

RUYTON BIDS FAREWELL TO A PASSIONATE AND DEDICATED TEACHER Mrs Susan Fryer joined the Ruyton Science Department in 2006 as a teacher of Science, Chemistry and Biology. A dedicated educator, Sue’s commitment to student learning, her passion as an advocate for girls to study and work in STEM-related fields, and her meticulous attention to detail in curriculum design have had a significant impact on the learning of many students during her time at Ruyton. Sue introduced a number of new opportunities for our girls, including the inaugural Space Camp Tour to the USA in 2015, and the subsequent Science and Innovation Tour in 2017. ‘I’m passionate about students being able to explore space and to learn how we might be able to live there as the earth’s resources become more compromised and depleted. This is what is being investigated at Space Camp. The amount of STEM explored on this tour is amazing and is a great way for students to gain international experience.’ 24

Sue led the Science team from 2013 in her role as Learning Leader, and she made significant contributions to the planning for and transition into the new Science Laboratories in the Margaret McRae Centre. For a period of time, Sue also acted as the VCE Manager. Sue has always been able to demonstrate the practical application of STEM to real life. ‘STEM is so important to solve problems in life and to shape how you think. STEM is the ability to take an interest in and to understand everything around you. To go beyond the superficial. There are so many careers that all have an element of STEM in them.’ Sue was a loyal colleague who fostered a strong culture of collegiality in the Science team to review and develop contemporary science learning programmes, ensuring they met the needs of all learners. Sue was an outstanding science educator and leader at Ruyton, and we wish her every success in her future endeavours.

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INTRODUCING OUR NEW DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING ‘Joining the team at Ruyton, I found the School has a strong connection with its past and continuum of empowering girls. It’s an exciting place to be. A walk through the School sees a mix of heritage and new architecture, students engaged in learning in state-of-the-art facilities. Ruyton is a gem, nestled in beautiful gardens in the heart of Kew. There’s energy, enthusiasm and connection of its current and former students. I am thrilled to be sharing stories of Ruyton, the endeavour of its students and staff as a leading school for girls.’

Ms Elaine Doyle commenced at Ruyton as the Director of Communications and Marketing in January 2019. Elaine is responsible for building and enhancing positive community engagement, sharing the Ruyton story and building the Ruyton brand. A communication specialist, Elaine brings the experience of building business brands through strategic communication, connecting organisations to their audiences. An important part of Elaine’s consulting work was with Victorian secondary and primary schools, where she empowered thousands of students with communication skills to be the next generation of leaders.

STAFF BABIES We congratulate the following staff members who have welcomed new babies recently: Image A: Ms Fiona Cooper-White: Benjamin Jay – born on 18 February Image B: Ms Maria Di Vitto: Dante Salvatore – born on 12 February



Image C: Mrs Jacinta Huntsman (Greer): Amelia Lee born on 17 January Image D: Mr Ryan Moodie: Connor Ryan born 25 September 2018


Image E: Ms Catherine Stagg: Harper Quinn born on 22 October 2018 B autumn 2019


FOUNDATION THE MORETON BAY FIG SOCIETY We are excited to share news of the Ruyton Foundation launch of the Moreton Bay Fig Society on 1 November 2018, where alumnae and friends came together for a special morning tea and to hear Dr Genevieve Timmons talk about the spirit of philanthropy. The Moreton Bay Fig Society was established to honour all of our benefactors who have chosen to support the School through a gift in their Will. By choosing to leave a bequest in your Will, you are helping to ensure Ruyton Girls’ School continues to provide exceptional learning opportunities for girls, and you become part of something that will continue to thrive and help others for years to come. Members of the Moreton Bay Fig Society are invited to special events and activities at the School, enjoying the company of others who hold dear the education of girls and the continued success of Ruyton.


The first members of the Society are: Sue A’Beckett (’62), Micky Ashton (’65), Ros Franet (past parent), Fiona Griffiths (’87), Janet Hirst (’65), Robyn Kanat (’80), Jane Teasdale (’57) If you are considering leaving a gift to Ruyton in your Will, or want further information, please contact our Bequest Manager, Mrs Jenni Musgrove, for a confidential conversation or email

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When did you become passionate about social service? When I was at university I completed a study trip to India, where we studied economic development. I was fascinated by the ingenuity I saw all around me and was very humbled when I realised I was not there to learn how to ‘save the third world’ but, in fact, I needed to learn all that I could from the third world about what to do in the face of truly intractable social problems. What was your experience at Ruyton?

When I look at the successful people in my life, they are not just capable but also compassionate. MAKING A DIFFERENCE Scholarships are important to some members of our community, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to access a quality education. In this, and in future editions of the Ruyton Reporter, we talk to a past scholar to discover what made a difference in her life. LUCIE ADDISON (SWINNERTON ’04) What are you doing now? I live and work in New York City, at a philanthropic foundation called the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust. We support non-profits all over the United States helping our communities to be welcoming, empathetic, and inclusive places. When I first moved to NYC I worked with the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services. It’s an organisation to divert people away from jail and into community programmes addressing the conditions that led them to the court room in the first place. I’m also a Mum to seven-month old Chloe.

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I commenced at Ruyton in Year 5 in 1997 and Ms Douglas was my Year 6 teacher! I dabbled in lots of things and mastered none! I participated in athletics and played netball, softball and cricket. I was in the Trinity-Ruyton musicals and gave both clarinet and violin a go. I loved House everything (go Anderson!). And I went on exchange to Dana Hall in Boston, USA, which set me on a course to wind up in the US today. What have you taken away from your days at Ruyton? I have taken away dear friends, who I call on from across the globe. I have recognised the immense privilege of attending a school like Ruyton, and the good fortune of being able to genuinely enjoy school and all it has to offer. What advice would you give to girls starting at Ruyton and how they might go on to live their lives? When I look at the successful people in my life, they are not just capable but also compassionate. They uplift others and they are never mean to anyone. They care about people as much as they care about knowledge. Avoid getting too fixated on a career path; chances are the jobs you’ll have on leaving school don’t even exist yet. Spend your energy working out what you actually enjoy doing. Give everything you’re interested in a go! Ruyton offers so much – and it’s much easier to try out a new sport/art/instrument at Ruyton than once you finish school. I wish I could go back and join the debating team! 27


The long term goal is to grow the Founder’s Scholarship fund to earn sufficient income in perpetuity to support six girls on Founder’s Scholarships in the Senior School at any one time. THE VALUE OF A FOUNDER’S SCHOLARSHIP I am very aware that my parent’s hard work, sacrifice and the circumstances of their education enabled me to attend Ruyton in my senior school years in the 1980s. The doors that opened for me from this Ruyton education and the lifelong friendships that support me today I will always cherish. It is this sense of gratitude that emotionally connects me and drives me to donate my time, talent and treasure to raise funds to support extending a Ruyton education to girls from socially and economically diverse backgrounds. The entire Ruyton community are enriched by diversity, inclusiveness and social equity. These scholarships are not academic scholarships, but are awarded to girls who embody the spirit of Ruyton and whose family would not otherwise be able to afford to send her to the School. The Ruyton community welcomed its first Founder’s Scholar to the Senior School in Term 1 this year. I am happy to report she is settling in well and taking advantage of all that Ruyton has to offer. It was fabulous to see so many Old Ruytonians sharing my sense of gratitude and joining our community of current parents, grandparents, students and past parents to support the recent annual appeal to raise money for these financial needs-based Founder’s Scholarships. $257,667 was raised on the campaign day from over 310 donors, which is testament to our community’s great generosity and collective philanthropic spirit.

On behalf of the Ruyton Board and the Foundation Committee thank you so much to each and every one of you. I would like to extend special thanks to the Old Ruytonians’ Association (ORA), the Parents of Ruyton (POR) and all our other ‘bubble donors’ whose generosity of pledging matched funds of $176,000 enabled us to quadruple donations on the day. Thank you to sponsors Hi Petal and Chartwell and our army of volunteers who were in the call room. In addition, our Community Service girls did a magnificent job helping us to raise the profile of the campaign. The long term goal is to grow the Founder’s Scholarship fund to earn sufficient income in perpetuity to support six girls on Founder’s Scholarships in the Senior School at any one time. Please join me in affirming your belief in the value of girls’ education by pledging a bequest in your will to the Founder’s Scholarship. I would like to thank my Foundation Committee members for all their hard work and sage advice during 2018; Ms Kylie Taylor and Mr Peter Nelson on the annual appeal; Revd Malcolm Woolrich, Mr Frank Huang and Mr Richard Ng on major gifts; Mr Jonathan Buckley and Revd Kathryn Watt on capital campaigns; Mrs Robyn Kanat on bequests and Ms Susie King and Ms Gillian Hund on strategic advice. Your time, talent and treasure are the very epitome of philanthropy at Ruyton. Thank you to Mrs Kim Downes, Director of Philanthropy, who lives and breathes philanthropy, guiding and inspiring us all greatly. I look forward to introducing you to some new faces to the Foundation Committee in the next Ruyton Reporter. Ms Fiona Griffith (‘87), Chair, Ruyton Foundation Committee


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ARCHIVES Boarders’ midnight feasts; voices of early Ruyton THE DIGITISATION PROJECT WILL ENABLE RUYTONIANS OF THE PAST TO SPEAK TO US AGAIN. The voices of Ruyton’s past are literally being heard again in a project to digitise and index a collection of interviews recorded on cassette tapes in the mid-1970s. The interviews were largely conducted by Marjorie Theobald, author of the centenary history Ruyton Remembers, 1878–1978. Mrs Theobald spoke to dozens of interviewees as part of her research, finding students and staff who had memories of the School as far back as the early 1900s. Those informants shared stories of the sort of things that don’t make it in to the School’s official record, from the personalities of the teachers to the Boarders’ midnight feasts.

These oral history tapes later became part of Ruyton’s informal archive, but at the time the School lacked professional staff to oversee their care, and the decision was made to lodge them at the State Library of Victoria in 1985. Since then, the passing years have brought a new threat. Age had made the tape film extremely brittle and impossible to play. The precious content, which had never been transcribed, seemed in danger of being lost. Happily, in 2018, Ruyton was able to have specialist audio technicians produce digital copies of the fragile cassettes. From these digital files a time-coded index of each tape is being produced – significantly improving access to their content and enabling the Ruytonians of the past to speak to us again. Ms Cathy Dodson, School Archivist

An interview with Nellie Patterson, who features in this 1914 photograph, revealed that the first-ever Ruyton blazers were made by these student tennis players who wished to distinguish themselves from other schools in the Kia-Ora Cup competition.


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THE RUYTONIAN TURNS 110 YEARS OLD There is no better record of the aspirations and achievements of the Ruyton community than our School yearbook, The Ruytonian. It began in July 1909 as a modest 12-page booklet published as one of the first projects put together by the fledgling Old Ruytonians Association (ORA). Their intention was to foster continuing interest in the School among former students. The ORA established the pattern of producing The Ruytonian twice a year, before realising that it would work better as a school magazine produced by students. They handed over the editorial reins in time for the April 1913 edition. The Ruytonian continued to appear in school bags and letter boxes at mid-year and December until 1942, when it transitioned to a yearly publication. The first student editors in 1913 were Esther Gibson and Lucy Tickell. Like their counterparts to this day, they were supported by an Editorial committee and a staff member. Their task was, and remains, to encapsulate the School year of the Ruyton girl.

While the content of the magazine has continuously evolved in 110 years, the biggest shift in style occurred in 1969. In that year The Ruytonian grew to an A4 format, and moved away from a simple name banner on the cover, to an image selected just for that year. The Principal’s Report was introduced as a complement to the student-written Editorial. In the first Report, Principal Miss Margaret McRae, rather cautiously introduced the readership to some of the changes: ‘The Magazine Committee have planned a number of new and different features of the 1969 magazine. Inevitably these must be considered in the light of an experiment, but they hope that you, the readers, will like and enjoy the new and modern format.’ It seems that the readership did, for the changes set the foundations for The Ruytonian we have today. A complete run of all the editions of The Ruytonian are a cornerstone of the Ruyton Heritage Collection. In 2019 we will be using the latest in digital technology to improve our access to Ruyton’s history through the first phase of The Ruytonian digitisation project. The project will produce high-quality, searchable images that will significantly improve the thoroughness and efficiency of any research enquiry. What better way to celebrate 110 years of The Ruytonian? Ms Cathy Dodson, School Archivist

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We hope you have had a pleasant start to the year and are looking forward to exciting times ahead!


END OF 2018 RECAP Combined Old Girls Association (COGA) In November we attended the 2018 COGA meeting hosted by Melbourne Girls’ Grammar. Representatives from a number of local girls’ school sat down to discuss the various ways each group tries to engage with their alumnae. It was refreshing to hear the ideas and events held by other associations. We feel inspired to strengthen our community and we hope to build upon our friendship with the other associations. Year 10 Networking Programme Thank you to all the ORA members who assisted with the Year 10 Networking Programme in December. Networking is a vital tool for career development and overall confidence. We hope everyone involved found the programme enlightening and we look forward to your continued support of this initiative. 2018 Leavers We congratulate all of you on your outstanding results and are thrilled to officially welcome each of you to the ORA community. We’d like to make special mention of the winner of the ORA Prize, Ms Vinhara Goonesekera and the winner of the Ruth Richmond Prize for Citizenship, Ms Amy Hall. What fabulous achievements! We wish all the 2018 leavers a terrific year ahead.


We are delighted to announce that the ORA will be a launching an online networking platform with Graduway. The aim of the platform is to better engage and communicate with our community, as well as to provide a space for ORA members to re-connect with friends and develop professional networks. Through this, we hope to strengthen and expand the utility of our Old Girls’ community. We’d like to thank Mrs Jenni Musgrove (’73) and Mrs Samantha Gusset (’89) for spearheading the development of the ORA’s Graduway platform. We’re busily working to get the platform ready to launch and we look forward to sharing updates with you soon. The ORA is seeking assistance from a member of our community to facilitate the running of the programme. Please keep an eye out for more information on this opportunity through Facebook and Instagram. The Founder’s Scholarship Appeal 2019 The ORA is once again proud to support the Founder’s Scholarship Appeal in 2019. These scholarships will enable girls who otherwise would not have the chance to experience the wonderful learning opportunities Ruyton provides. Through opening the doors to our community, we hope to break the cycle of disadvantage with the gift of education. We thank Ms Fiona Griffiths (’89), Chair of the Ruyton Foundation, and her team for their efforts on this campaign.

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Reunions 2019 We were fortunate to catch-up with the 2014 Leavers for their five-year reunion in February at the Bridge Hotel. The room was abuzz with the same energy and excitement the year level brought during their time at School. It was a thrill, as always, to hear about their achievements and adventures. Future Events We have a number of exciting event ideas for this year and next. If you’d like to contribute or have an interest in event planning, please contact us for opportunities to join the ORA committee or our events sub-committee. You can contact us through Facebook or via email at: OUTSTANDING ORA CONTRIBUTORS On behalf of the ORA, we thank Ms Sarah Blyth (’07) for her tremendous contributions to the community over the past few years. Sarah will be taking a break from the committee to focus her energy on other pursuits. We wish Sarah well and thank her for her outstanding leadership and commitment. Ms Mia Antonopoulos and Ms Liv Fowler (’11), Co-Presidents of the Old Ruytonians’ Association

In 2019 our ORA golf girls celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Women’s Inter-School Golf Challenge Cup (also known as the Table Talk Challenge Cup and the Sun Challenge Cup). Ruyton has won the cup three times in its 90-year history, in 1988, 1991 and 1992. Originally, each year a different women’s or children’s charity benefitted from the proceeds on the day, but for the past 20 years the chosen charity has been Cottage by the Sea in Queenscliff, where our Year 8 girls enjoy their camp. To date we have raised over $64,000 for this children’s charity. The Committee for the annual event consists of a ‘past student’ representative from each of the 30 schools participating. Ruyton’s representative is Mrs Sue Thomas (Oakley ’66). In November 1928 a committee of 12 girls’ school representatives was formed to organise an old girls’ golf day, to foster collegiality in Associate Golf and to promote a charity day specifically for women and girls. The original schools were Ruyton, Geelong CEGGS, Melbourne CEGGS (Merton Hall), Clyde, Fintona, Firbank, Loreto Abbey, Methodist Ladies College, Tintern, Ormiston, Presbyterian Ladies College, and the event has continued annually, except from 1940–1946 when it was suspended because of WW2. All Old Ruytonians with a golf link handicap are encouraged and welcome to play. It is an enjoyable day and a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, while enjoying a round of golf on Melbourne’s picturesque courses. Our four winners are invited to play in the WIGCC the following year.

If you wish to be included in our ORA Golf days please email Sue at and you will be placed on our mailing list. autumn 2019



VALE It is with sadness that the Ruyton community notes the passing of the following Old Ruytonians:

Old Ruytonians whose daughters were in the class of 2018 are: Image A: Pollyanna Dowell and Melinda Dowell (Field ’77)

Our thoughts and best wishes are with the family and friends of Samantha Baglin (Hassett ’91) who passed away in December 2018.

Image B: Matilda Ancarola and Julia Goodsall (’84)

Janet Isobel Cowles OAM (Hodgson ’52) passed away peacefully in May 2018. She leaves five children, eleven grandchildren and one great grandson.

Image C: Bridie O’Callaghan and Kerry O’ Callaghan (Godson ’87) Absent: Alicia Jones and Susan Jones (Hagger ’80)

Lydia Barbara Eady (’36) passed peacefully at Broughtonlea months shy of her 100th birthday. She was the loved sister of Wilton and Edward (Tommy) and sister-in-law of Sylvia, Sheila (all dec.) and Audrey. She was also the dearly loved aunt of two nephews and nieces; great aunt of eleven nieces and nephews; and great great aunt to four nieces and nephews.

Victoria Magoutis and Kathy Magoutis (Alysandratos ’88)



Heather Gibbins (’65) passed away in August 2018. Heather was the sister of Wendy Pike (Gibbins ’58), Diana Weetman (Gibbins ’64), David (dec.) and John. Heather had just turned 70, and is survived by her daughter, Celeste and four grandchildren. Wendy lives in the UK and Diana’s daughter, Sarah Hewitt (Weetman ’94) lives in Perth, Western Australia. Diana also informed us of the passing of one of Heather’s Ruyton friends, Alice Keeble (’65), also known as Willys. She leaves behind a husband and daughter, and three brothers. Willys was a heritage architect who worked tirelessly with a deep passion to protect our built heritage.

C 34

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Peggy (Margaret) Novitski (Sime ’61) died peacefully in Seattle, Washington, having been diagnosed with mucosal melanoma. Peggy was born in Yarra Junction and spent her early childhood in Malaysia. After her School years, with a degree in horticulture from Burnley, Peggy worked as a lab technician at CSIRO in Canberra on the beta-galactosidase gene in the bacterium E. coli, the first gene to be wellunderstood in any organism. There she met her future husband, Charles Novitski, and once they were married Peggy followed Charles back to New York City for his last year at Columbia University. She continued to work as a lab technician and gained a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Cal State LA. The majority of their married life was spent in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and Peggy was active as an aide in the Mt Pleasant Public Schools and as a volunteer for the Isabella County Democratic Party, serving on its executive board. Peggy will be greatly missed for her warm heart and loving nature, her optimism and cheer, and her curiosity and intelligence. Peggy delighted in the beauty of the natural world and loved taking photographs of birds, butterflies, and flowers. Having grown up as a witness to the destructive effects of colonialism in Malaysia, Peggy was also an astute critic of the structural forces in society that reinforce inequality. Peggy is survived by her husband of 50 years, Charles; daughters Nancy, Linda and Elise, and grandchildren; sister Heather Sime and brother David Sime. Barbara Pearce (Bower ’62) sadly passed away on Saturday 19 January 2019, leaving one daughter and one son. Sue Sturdee (’64) passed away in London in August 2018.

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1948 House Captains: L–R: Natalie Miles, Jane Barnett, Barbara Henty-Wilson, Sally Nunn.

Barbara Thompson (Henty-Wilson ’49) passed away in February 2019. She was the wife of Mostyn (dec.), mother of Sandra, Helen and Richard, and grandmother of Olivia, Stella, Tommy, Ella and Archie. In her final year at Ruyton Barbara was both Prefect and also on The Ruytonian editorial committee. She was Daniell House Captain in 1948. Barbara was also the great granddaughter of James Henty, the eldest of the early colonist Henty Brothers. James Henty’s eldest son, Henry, built Tarring, which we now know as Henty House. Barbara’s grandmother, Mary Jane Henty, married John Lepper Wilson in 1882, creating the Henty-Wilson line, which included Barbara, her older sister, Betty, who also attended Ruyton from 1932–1945, and her brother Keppel Henty-Wilson.

ERRATUM In the spring edition of the Ruyton Reporter 2018, on the back page of the special 140 years’ celebration supplement, there has been confusion over the details in the article entitled, Reunion of the Golden Girls. Please see the correct details below. Beverley Bencina (Cook ’57) was actually School Captain in 1958. In this period girls were invited to stay on an extra year to hold the office of School Captain and do extra matriculation subjects. Beverley’s peer year is ’57, but she left at the end of her year as Captain in 1958. She was also Dux in 1957 and 1958. Margaret Clarke (Menzies ’57) was the School Captain in 1957. Andrea Wilson (Tongue ’57) was Captain of Bromby in 1957 and Beverley was actually Captain of Lascelles in 1957. We apologise for any confusion caused.




FROM RUYTON, KEW TO MIEGUNYAH, IN THE RIVERINA The contrast between Ruyton and Miegunyah could not be more stark! But there is no doubt that the value of character and the ability to display resilience have stood Jane Porter (Armstrong ’70) in good stead all her life. Jane spent her entire education at Ruyton, commencing in ‘Little Ruyton’ and moving through to ‘Big Ruyton’. Next year will mark 50 years since Jane left School. ‘My memories of Ruyton were our boarders. What a great group of girls they were! Little did I know then that we would make the same decision and board our four children, because of distance, sporting participation and giving them the chance of experiencing the big city and ongoing independence.’ It was Jane’s marriage in 1977 to David that took her to Miegunyah, a remote property near Booroorban in the central part of the Riverina NSW, between Hay and Deniliquin. ‘Education is a big issue in the bush, as we live 60kms by road to Hay, the nearest town. Our four children had this run each day to school ‑ we met the bus 25kms away, which took them into town. The trip to and from the bus stop alone was 100kms every day.’ Although challenging, Jane has loved living on the property and experiencing all that the climate can throw at them.


‘Our property is diverse, having produced crops over the years, including rice, but today we focus on sheep and cattle. The weather ‘dictates all’ on the farm. The experience of dust storms, torrential rain, no rain and being bogged, all contribute to everyday life. With only dirt roads leading to and from the property, the prospect of going out for supplies in wet weather is not for the faint-hearted!’ The current lack of rain has emboldened the kangaroos and emus on the Hay Plains, as they come onto the property in search of food. Wild life was always a feature for the children growing up. One of Jane’s daughters found a baby eagle and, being a determined child, she insisted on feeding and nurturing it to adulthood. Jane trained at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in Nursing after leaving Ruyton and returned to this occupation at Hay Hospital when her youngest child started school, working there for the next 25 years, including the last 10 years working in Community Health. ‘My life now is constant. I travel between Hay, Albury, Boorowa and Holbrook, where our other children and grandchildren live. We have also built a house in Hay for retirement that I love but I have a husband not quite ready to move in!’ The photo is of the Porter homestead, Miegunyah, taken by a drone in September 2018. It shows the main house, the woolshed and sheep yards, their son’s house and the road in. The lake in which the children swam when they were young is very dry today, as is the surrounding bush. The current season is difficult, having had only 170mls of rain in the last 14 months, well short of the average of 350mls per year. the ruyton reporter

A BOLD START Julia Rigg (’17) joined the Australian Defence Force Army Service on leaving Ruyton and began basic Officer training in January 2018. In July 2018 Julia was commissioned as a Reserve Lieutenant at RMC Duntroon – a great achievement for her after six months of rigorous training. She was pleased to be commissioned into the Royal Australian Engineers Corps, and was posted to the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane. This year Julia is posted to the Queensland University Regiment in Brisbane as an instructor and Platoon Commander for the Soldier Training Team.

Julia with Colonel David McQuire, previous Commanding Officer of 2 CER

ALUMNAE BABIES Angela Karapatasos (Gray ’94) and husband Tom, along with brothers Blake, Jack and Marcus, would like to announce the safe arrival of baby Leo, born on Fathers’ Day 2018. Sadly, with four boys, we are limited to just swimming lessons at Ruyton, rather than producing any future Ruytonians!

Katharine Doyle (Hansen ’03), husband Hugh (Trinity ’03) and big sister Charlotte welcomed William Hugh Simon into their family on 21 September 2018. Enrolment forms to follow soon!

autumn 2019


REUNIONS KEEP IN TOUCH Ruyton alumnae are highly valued members of our community. Ruyton girls are not forgotten when they leave our School gates, and we love to hear stories about where their life has taken them. If you would like to share your story with the Ruyton community, or have Ruyton artefacts you would like to donate, we would love to hear from you. If you have a catch-up with School friends, why not send us a photo or two; there’s no need to wait for an official reunion. Old Ruytonians can now update their contact details online at and click on the Contact tab. For further information regarding reunions and upcoming alumnae events, please contact the Alumnae and Bequests Manager at or on 03 9290 9335.

REUNION OF THE 2017 ALUMNAE, FRIDAY 12 OCTOBER 2018 Attendees: Georgia Alexis, Isabella Anderson, Ella Anquetil, Eliza Bate, Natasha Berti, Mimi Bland, Natasha Borash, Mia Brown, Annabel Buckley, Caitlin Caselli, Tori Condon, Nikita De Bortoli, Elise Deayton, Amelia Ewart, Sarah Goucher, Alannah Harris, Emma Hayes, Sophie He, Issy Hogg, Belle Houlihan, Sarah Hughes, Saja Kassaby, Elise Kiernan, Gen Leslie, Sophie McLeish, Annabelle McPhail, Jean Mitchell, Emily Montagu, Aisling Moten, Samantha Murphy, Claire O’Brien, Rachelle Papantuono, Ava Passaro, Roshica Ponnampalam, Nicole Rodway, Hannah Rosenberg, Meredith Rule, Elise Sando, Holly Simondson, Stella Skoullos, Felicity Smith, Isabella Tibb, Millicent Trigar, Aimee Tucker, Amita Tulpule, Natasha Turner, Olivia Watson, Katrina Weigold, Isobel Whelan, Hannah Wilson, Elisa Woolrich, Angie Yan, Regina Yang

Did you know that Ruyton and the Old Ruytonians’ Association are active on social media? Maybe you’ve seen our Flashback Friday posts. Visit our pages and keep up to date with events and activities in our community. Like Ruyton on Instagram @RuytonGirlsSchool Follow Ruyton on Facebook at Follow the Old Ruytonians’ Association on Facebook at Send articles for inclusion in the Ruyton Reporter to

INFORMAL 1993 CATCH UP Rebekah Vaiopoulos (’93) sent us details of the informal catch up she and other Old Ruytonians attended late last year to mark their 25th reunion. Rebekah noted that on their last day of Year 12 they dressed as Wonder Woman and were pleased to see that the Class of 2008 had the same theme. In the photo: Back L–R: Marlo Franet, Salli MacFarlane, Olivia Brown, Caitlin Derham, Katie Stevenson, Fiona Taggart, Geordie Dixon, Brittany Court, Elektra Soublis, Claire Campbell, Amber Cassin, Lucy Hall Front L–R: Rebekah Vaiopoulos, Geneviève Hughes, Emma Stewart, Elise Grant, Alison Chalk


the ruyton reporter



L–R: Jacqui Pitt (’03), Mackenzie Casey (’12), Linda Douglas (Principal), Beth Cooper (’16), Katherine Nolan (’11), Lucie Addison (Swinnerton ’04)

Attendees: Alice Adams, Nicky Andrews, Georgia Brown, Alexandra Buckley, Grace Burke, Penny Cai, Olivia Carey, Emily Clifton-Bligh, Joanna Cookson, Eliza Davey, Emma Fox, Grace Fox, Catherine Frith, Sarah Kanat, Julia Kiefer, Tesse Kimber, Caroline Lane, Kate Liesching, Chenyi Mao, Natasha Mizzi, Emily Moore, Jess Mourney, Alexandra Nolan, Julia O’Brien, Eliza Pearce, Shalini Ponnampalam, Zoe Rachcoff, Lauren Sibree, Leanne Wang, Sarah Watling, Isabella Wilson, Deanne Xu

REUNION OF THE 1968 ALUMNAE, THURSDAY 18 OCTOBER 2018 L–R: Rosemary Viete (Anderson), Diane Royce-Hampton (Royce), April Browning (Turner), Jennifer Elliott (Phillips), Eve Almond, Jill McMillan (Howarth), Joan Lamb (Wood).

REUNION DATES 2019 Golden Girls, 51 years + Thursday 23 May 2019 Class of 2009, 10 years Friday 31 May 2019 Class of 1999, 20 years Friday 2 August 2019 Class of 1989, 30 years Friday 16 August 2019 Class of 1969, 50 years Friday 6 September 2019 Class of 2018, 1 year Friday 11 October 2019 Please note dates are subject to change Confirm with or 03 9819 2422

autumn 2019

LONDON REUNION, SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER 2018 L–R: Helen Irwin-Childs (Powers ’63), Marian Kendall (Allison ’65), Rosemary Palamarczuk (’97), Imogen Brown (’11), Linda Douglas (Principal), Rebecca Cohen (’06), Sally Geraghty (Bell ’90), Fiona Horman (’75), Kate Peterson (’90)

Mrs Elizabeth Beattie, Staff Editor Ms Elaine Doyle, Director of Communications and Marketing If you have any articles or updates you would like to be considered for publication please email or post to 12 Selbourne Road, Kew Vic 3101. Please mark all correspondence for the attention of the Ruyton Reporter Editor – Mrs Elizabeth Beattie. 39

ruyton girls’ school

12 Selbourne Road Kew 3101 Victoria Australia Tel 61 3 9819 2422 CRICOS 00336J

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