March 5, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In recent weeks there has been considerable discussion in the media about sexual assaults of young people and the issue of consent.

Today I sent a letter via email to all parents, and whilst lengthy I ask that you take the time to read it.

If you have any aspect of this communication that you would like to discuss, please contact myself –, Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School, (Mrs Cathy Poyser) –, or Head of Junior School (Mr Paul Donohue) –, or if you would like further information or support, you can contact 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732,

With best wishes


Senior School


Senior School

March 5, 2021

The recent Australian Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament provided two of our keen Tennis playing Senior School students, Kiki Page, Year 9 and Annabel Da Mina, Year 10 with the wonderful opportunity to participate as 2021 BallKids. Hopefully you have already seen the social media posts highlighting these two students and their experience at the AO 2021. Please read their own accounts of their fortnight at the AO later in this edition of CamNews.

It has been a big fortnight in Sport for CGGS and we have also been delighted with the performances of our Swimming and Diving teams that have both qualified for the Division 2 Championships on Tuesday 23 March.

On Tuesday we held our first in person whole Senior School event for 2021 – House Athletics. Notably in 2020 this was the only Senior School event that took place in person, as the COVID-19 limitations soon took hold and our events continued online. House Athletics is always one of my favourite days and this year was exceptional with all our students and their teachers keen to reconnect with colour, energy and of course great track and field achievements. Please read the full report later in this CamNews edition.

On behalf of all the students I would like to thank Ms Lauren Law, Head of Sport and our Physical Education Department for their exceptional organisation of this wonderful community building event.

Yesterday the first of our Upskill … BY DESIGN days for 2021 and the VCE Learning Conversations proved to be a huge success with the students commenting enthusiastically on the programs offered in the morning, the wellbeing sessions and their much loved co-curricular activities all being made possible on the one day. On behalf of the students, I would like to thank all the teachers for their contributions to support and conduct each activity and Ms Kate Manners, Head of Strategic Pathways and Ms Kath Woolcock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing for their organisation of this new initiative.

Have a lovely long weekend.

Warm Regards,

Cathy Poyser

International Women’s Day 2021

With International Women’s Day being recognised on Sunday March 8, our School Mentor Leaders led an activity with all Year 7 – 10 students during House Mentoring today to challenge and call gender stereotypes and biases, and to celebrate women’s achievements globally. In their mentor groups, students spent time exploring and discussing how our collective strength and commitment to challenging these behaviours can help create a future of equality for women and one where we are able to live free from stereotypes, stigma and violence, moving towards a future that is more sustainable, peaceful and provides opportunities for all.

This year, through the call to action #ChooseToChallenge, women are being asked to show their solidarity by choosing to challenge and call out aspects of society, culture and language that is unhelpful for women and in doing so, working to forge a more gender equal world.

As part of this, each student was given the opportunity to commit to a call to action by writing a statement on a house coloured paper hand which has be displayed around the school as a reminder of our collective strength and commitment to each other.

Examples of statements written by students include:

> I choose to call people out on comments that perpetuate gender stereotypes

> I choose to support women of all cultures and backgrounds

> I choose to be mindful of my own language

> I choose to speak up for my rights and the rights of all people

Next week, we will continue our celebrations and recognition of International Women’s Day through our Year 10 Service Learning incursion with Days For Girls on Tuesday, our Senior School Assembly and the International Women’s Day Breakfast on Wednesday 10th March.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

Enlighten Education 

Year 10 students participated in an Enlighten Education incursion on Wednesday, an event that was postponed multiple times in 2020 for these students, due to COVID-19. Founded by Dannielle Miller, Enlighten Education is a leading provider of personal development workshops run specifically for teenage girls. The students participated in a series of workshops led by the effervescent and energetic Danni, which were carefully chosen by the wellbeing team to respond to trends, challenges and opportunities facing adolescents and this particular cohorts of students.

This year, with the recent media coverage around consent and women’s rights, we felt it was essential to look at personal safety and role of personal voice in consent, including setting boundaries, managing conflict and feeling empowered. We also selected workshops that help to promote positive body image, gratitude and provide strategies for managing stress. Each of the sessions the Year 10s took part in have been outlined below:

Forever Friends 

Research tells us that friends are more important to teenagers than their parents or teachers. How do we make friends? Who should we make friends with? How should friendships be maintained? How do we decide if a friendship is helping or harming us? This workshop addresses these issues and equips the girls with the necessary skills to make safe, important decisions about their friendships.

Stop I Don’t Like It 

Every girl is concerned about her personal safety. Setting personal boundaries, safe partying, handling inappropriate text messages, managing conflict and using the internet safely – these skills are all vital. This workshop focuses on what’s right and what’s not right and how to tell the difference.


Instilling gratitude in our children is about so much more than politeness. Gratitude is linked to greater happiness, a more positive outlook on life, stronger social bonds and support networks, and higher achievement. This one hour seminar shows how fostering gratitude in our children helps them develop the skills they need for fulfilling and successful futures – in their studies, personal lives and careers.

Chill Out 

Relaxation, visualisation techniques, massage and more.

Learning how to manage stress effectively is essential for our modern lives.

Relying on crutches like alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or other unhealthy behaviours is destructive and wasteful. In this workshop we encourage girls to seek balance in their lives and teach them some skills to achieve it. We also teach skills to help them cope with exam and assessment pressure to help enhance performance. These strategies are fun, affordable, and will fit into any girl’s hectic lifestyle.

Love the Skin You’re In 

This is a core unit that will provide a context for all the day’s activities.

Negative stereotyping, sexism, media images, the fixation on being thin, these are all issues today’s girls are facing. In this workshop we encourage girls to critically evaluate the messages that bombard them every day and develop strategies that help them respond intelligently and objectively.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

Upskill… BY DESIGN

On Thursday 4 March we were excited to launch our Upskill …BY DESIGN program to all year levels. Taking place on each of our Learning Conversation Days throughout the year, Upskill …BY DESIGN will provide an opportunity for students to engage in intentionally designed learning programs linked to our year level spotlights. The program is scaffolded in a way that recognises the growing independence, self-efficacy and self-regulation of students as they move from Year 7 to Year 12, and the need to apprentice younger students into these behaviours and routines.

Experiences were designed for each year level to intentionally scaffold new skills and strengthen the capabilities and characteristics that are integral to the CGGS community, under the strands of Connection, Growth, Grit and Sustainability.

Working onsite, Dr Forwood introduced Year 7 students to concepts related to the Science of Learning, including the hand-brain and the role of memory in learning. Students were then focused on the theme of connection, exploring the ways in which people and spaces are connected within and beyond CGGS. Using design principles, they explored these  connections creating a narrative that reflects the CGGS community using Adobe Spark and their iPads. Finally, the Year 7s took part in a science themed learning experience exploring, Oobleck, a substance which is paradoxically both a solid and liquid at the same time. For this activity, students enjoyed the outdoors environment, which provided opportunities for them to strengthen their interpersonal connections.

Also attending onsite, Year 8, students were introduced to the 2021 Science Talent Search by Head of Science, Ms Wood, an annual, science based competition open to all primary and secondary students in Victoria. The theme for this year is Food: Different by Design. The Year 8s were then immersed in Beyond Design+, a program led by Dr Forwood and in partnership with Girls Invent, that takes students through the next stages of the design journey, building on the work that students undertook in Year 7, in 2020.

Working from home, Year 9 students undertook a short course on Graphic Recording. In recognition that visuals are an excellent way to engage, understand, remember, connect and inspire others, the Listen-Think-Draw program is s a three module, online course for sketchnoters, budding graphic recorders, facilitators, teachers, consultants and anyone interested in leveraging the power of visual thinking and communication for themselves and others. Students who completed this online course successfully will have the opportunity to be credentialed in Graphic Recording, which is presented in partnership with Think in Colour.

Wellness warriors and nutritionists Bree and Alicia from WIRL (Wellness In Real Life), led three live online sessions with the Year 10s, each focusing on approaching nutrition in a holistic and enjoyable way. They explored ideas related to how the media portrays ‘nutrition’, challenging media portrayals of foods as good vs. bad and finally informing how great nutrition can be achieved through enhancing food colour, activity and mindfulness.  This program built on the learning that is currently being undertaken in Year 10 Health in these areas with WIRL providing a great networking connection for students to have in this area.

As students get older, their ability to self-regulate their learning and themselves grows and this is reflected in the design of the VCE Upskill … BY DESIGN program, where we enabled students’ greater autonomy over both their time and learning for the day. We were excited to share with our VCE cohort the upcoming opportunity for onsite and online short courses in RSA, Food Handline, Barista Skills and First Aid in partnership with RSA In Schools. Additionally, on Thursday, students also had the opportunity to attend the real time virtual VCE Top Talks showcase, a curation of some of the exceptional oral presentations from 2020 VCE Extended Investigations course.

Finally, the Upskill …BY DESIGN program recognises the intentional practising of wellbeing. Wellbeing is characterised by a sense of resilience, purpose, engagement and optimism about the future and can be fostered in different ways. The curated activities that were open to the entire CGGS community were designed to revive, refocus, recalibrate and reconnect across the three domains of wellbeing: Mind, Body and Soul. In addition to the program provided as part of the CGGS Wellbeing website, those students who are involved in House Dance, had the opportunity to attend a House Dance Community lunch and an extended workshop in preparation for the performance in a few weeks’ time. Students involved in GSV Sport were also given additional time for training, and together, we see these co-curricular activities as fundamental components of establishing connections, a sense of belonging and a life-long positive wellbeing practice.

We’re excited to continue to develop the Upskill …BY DESIGN program throughout the year and share with you the opportunities and experiences that are facilitated.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

CGGS Students at the Australian Open

Over the span of three weeks, I was lucky enough to be one of the 380 ballkids working at Melbourne Park Precinct during the Melbourne Summer Series and Australian Open. I have been playing tennis for my local club for quite a few years now and each year have looked forward to going to the Australian Open to watch some of the top players in the world.

The ballkids have always been an essential part of the tournament and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved. This year, because of the delay from Covid, AO was postponed a month and took place in February.  Usually there is a 9-10 month lead up with trials and training, whereas this year, it was all squeezed into one month, minimising the amount of training we could undertake.

During the event, I worked almost every single day and had around 3-6 matches per shift. All of the AO tournament staff were really welcoming and made sure everyone was doing their best at all times. Being on court with the players gave me a different view on how they prepare themselves and just how they play everything out during a match. I also learnt a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes and how much organisation and preparation is put into these events to make them run smoothly.

One of my highlights from the first week, was when I got to ballkid for the ATP World Cup in John Cain Arena, with some of the best players from Italy and France. There were some incredible matches and it was my first time inside that particular arena.

With the absence of majority of the crowds, I noticed so many more things that happened in the environment than you usually would. You could hear each and every footstep and every word of support from the player’s teammates and crew. You could also hear every time a player was talking to themselves under their breath, pushing themselves harder after every point.

Overall, it was an amazing experience that I would definitely wish to experience again.

Kiki Page
Year 9

This year I was very lucky to be a part of the Australian Open for a second year, having been selected in both 2020 and 2021). I feel truly blessed with the friendships I have made and the lifetime experiences throughout these last 2 years. I got involved with ballkids originally through my brother as he was assisting at the Sydney International and I thought it looked extremely fun. I am also very passionate about Tennis so that made me even more excited for this opportunity. I was lucky enough to work on matches in both Rod Laver as well as Margaret and John Cane Arenas with high profiled professional tennis players such as Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal. The atmosphere was absolutely unreal with adrenalin pumping and the crowd cheering!!

This year was definitely more challenging than last year due to Covid 19, we were always having to exercise particular care about our surroundings,  to keep both ourselves and the people around us safe. There are many benefits of being a ballkid besides being up close to all the action. You learn leadership, communication skills and confidence. This is a fantastic way to get introduced to the ‘working environment’ as they treat you as adults, with rules and deadlines. There is not only the Australian Open but many other tournaments around Australia, not only being a ballkid but also lines men and women, court services or even behind the scenese too. There is a bit of a selection process as you have to be between the ages of 12-15, so sadly this was the last year I can apply tp participate – unless the Australian Open call me back for another role!

You can get involved through this website all that is required is for you to register and for you to attend the trial to get in. I highly recommend this opportunity as I loved every second on an off court!

Annabel DaMina
Year 10

House Athletics

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the House Athletics Carnival last Tuesday 2nd March. It was a sea of colour at Bill Stewart Athletics track with all girls from years 7 to 12 excited to showcase their skills in a range of track and field events and novelty events. The atmosphere was electric as students cheered on their friends and we were so excited to be back together, celebrating a house event. Well done to Lawrence who finished the day as champions of House Athletics and who also won the House Spirit Stick for their support and cheering throughout the day.

House Athletics Results

1st – Lawrence

2nd – Schofield

3rd – Taylor

4th – Singleton

There were some outstanding performances both on the track and in the field and we look forward to hearing the announcement of the Year Level Champion Awards at assembly on Tuesday 16th March.

Thank you to all the staff and students who assisted throughout the day to ensure the program ran smoothly, particularly the House Sport Captains who have put in an enormous effort to make sure all races were filled and to the School Sport Captain, Cathy Gu and School House Captain, Chloe Langley for their assistance throughout the event.

Lauren Law 
Head of Sport

Preliminary GSV Swimming and Diving Carnivals

Congratulations to the girls who competed in the GSV Preliminary Swimming Carnival last Friday at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Under the guidance of our Head Coach Peter Kitney, there were some excellent results and many personal best performances.

We were very excited to have such a large swimming squad this year and the dedication from all our students whether it was through swimming, helping with timing or cheering on the team really contributed to the success throughout the day. Training will continue on Monday and Thursday mornings in preparation for the Championship Carnival on Tuesday 23 March. The results from the swimming carnival are below.

On the same day the Dive Team also competed against 7 other GSV schools at MSAC. After weeks of early morning training sessions the girls had the opportunity to showcased their diving skills, performing three dives each. Everyone performed extremely well against a very tough competition. We were very excited to finish  3rd overall, which has placed us in good stead for the Championship Carnival.

Thank you to our Head coach Jenny Donnet for preparing our girls so well for this competition. The results from the diving carnival are below.

Our swimming and diving teams should be very proud of their performance as they both qualified for the Division 2 Championship Carnival. We wish the girls the best of luck in their training and preparation for the Championship Carnival on Tuesday 23 March.

Lauren Law
Head of Sport

Junior School


Junior School

March 5, 2021

Semester One Student Leadership Assembly

The opportunity to recognise our Year 6R school leaders and our new Student Council was very rewarding at our Semester One Leaders Assembly. The school community listened to our Principal Debbie Dunwoody speak about leadership and how she feels leaders should empower people around them by helping and supporting others through being a positive role model and giving everyone the opportunity to have-a-go. Mrs Dunwoody reminded our students that being a leader is not always an easy job, but it can be very rewarding.

Congratulations to the following Year 6R students:

Art: Melody Hu & Jasmine Li

Assembly & Events: Preesha Navaneetharaja & Anthea Vais

Technology/Digital: Natasha Oakley, Audrey Rees & Cosette Tsjin

Lawrence House:  Selena Chen

Schofield House:  Lexi Bartnicki

Singleton House:  Angel Li

Taylor House:  Samantha Lovell

Library:  Charlotte Chong, Aaliyah D’Rozario & Ashley Wang

Music: Emily Foo & Alina Johnson

School Captains:  Natasha Cameron & Chloe Lau

Sustainability:  Yuxin Chen, Chloris Ding & Charlie Russo

Social Service:  Elsa Cao & Natalie Knowles

Additionally, a number of Year 1 to Year 6 students were elected by their peers to represent them at our Semester One Student Council meetings this year. Congratulations to the following students:

Year 1: Akira Rajakulendran

Year 2: Alessandra Ronzani

Year 3L: Matilda Collins

Year 3R: Cynthia Li

Year 4G: Joyce Zhang

Year 4Z: Hanna Lindsay

Year 5G: Minaaz Kaur

Year 5S: Nicole Zhang

We wish these students all the best for Semester One and look forward to their contributions in the many weeks to come.

Swim Carnivals

It has been a very busy time for our swimmers at Ormiston. Over the last two weeks, they have competed in two Swim Carnivals and once again, our results have been outstanding.

North Balwyn District Swim Carnival

On Monday 25th March, 16 CGGS students went to Boroondara Sports Complex to compete at the North Balwyn District Swimming Carnival. Throughout the day, many students performed personal best efforts in different events and as a result, we achieved third place overall against sixteen other schools. We came in third position without boys. We were easily the best performed school. This is the third year in a row that Ormiston has come in third place. Also, for the second year, Camberwell Girls won the trophy for the best performed Girls’ School. This trophy is currently located at Junior School Reception. Twelve swimmers qualified for the next stage at the Booroondara Division Swim Carnival.

Year 3 & 4
Joyce Zhang
Sienna Jack
Cecilia Yang
Ruth Whelan
Ailey Poon
Lauren Tang

Year 5
Olivia Yang
Jasmine Xie
Genevieve Khaw

Year 6
Scarlett Sim
Chanel Ghostine
Charlotte Lim

Jasmine Li
Emily Wong
Chloe Lau
Anthea Vais

Boroondara Divisional Swim Carnival

This week, the Boroondara Divisional Swimming Carnival was conducted at the Monash Aquatic and Recreation Pool Centre with some outstanding results for our 12 swimmers. At this competition, Camberwell Girls had their best-ever results. Congratulations to Cecilia Yang of Year 3, Olivia Yang of Year 5 and Jasmine Li in Year 6. These three students individually qualified for the next stage in their respective events. Also, Anthea Vais, Jasmine Xie, Genevieve Khaw and Olivia Yang qualified for their swimming relay. These 7 students will compete at the Eastern Metropolitan Primary Swimming Championships. Congratulations to these students who competed at the Boroondara Division level.

Year 3 & 4
Joyce Zhang
Cecilia Yang
Ruth Whelan
Ailey Poon

Year 5
Olivia Yang
Jasmine Xie
Genevieve Khaw

Year 6
Charlotte Lim
Jasmine Li
Emily Wong
Chloe Lau
Anthea Vais

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Fivedation Program

One of the very special things about CGGS is the nurturing environment that enables all of the girls to feel known by staff and students across the Junior School. ‘Fivedation’ plays a big part in helping our students form relationships with others at school.

The ‘Fivedation’ program, Year Five and Foundation buddies, is a highlight for both the Foundation students and the Year 5s alike. There is definitely an excited buzz in the air on days when they will be getting together. So far, the students have met their new buddy/ies and have been participating in some sessions designed to help them get to know each other. They will continue to meet regularly throughout the year, enabling lovely cross-year level friendships to develop. All of the buddies get such a lot out of this initiative and it is lovely to see the program beginning again with another new year.

Selena Reedman
Foundation Class Teacher

Year 1 – Unit of Inquiry

This term Year 1 students have been exploring the question “How do events, stories and objects from the past help us to understand our present?” The students developed their understanding of milestones and how they are significant events in a person’s life. Students then identified milestones that have occurred in their lives and made timelines, sequencing their events in order.

Murrundindi visited the class and shared his experiences, explaining that knowledge can be passed from generation to generation through the sharing of stories and dance. He explained about traditional cooking techniques and showed the students photos of homes and clothing from the past.

The students also compared objects from the past and present, and considered how they have changed over time. Some of the objects they viewed included: telephones, books, toys, snow skis, torch and candle stick, kettles and sports clothing. Students observed and discussed changes in the use of materials and design, safety features and how the object was powered. They realised that although many objects are still used in our world today, there have been a number of changes and improvements in terms of ease of use and safety.

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 2 – Literacy Learning

This term in Year 2 we have been reading the book ‘Flat Stanley’. The girls loved the adventures that Stanley experienced throughout the story. This led us down the fascinating track of letter writing. We investigated as a class and found the Australia Post Pen Pal Club.

Through this Pen Pal Club, we were paired with another primary school in Australia to send and receive letters. We were lucky enough to be partnered with Chapman Primary School in the ACT.

This week the students began to construct their pen pal letters. Our students were very excited to start writing and learning about their new friends. Pen pal letter writing is a fun, creative and rewarding way for our students to practice literacy and communication. The students will be learning a range of skills including how to structure a letter and address an envelope. By doing so, students will create very special and meaningful letters using interesting language and questions. We are excited to see the Year 2 students build connections with students from a different school, learn about what their life is like and make friendships through the art of letter writing.

“I’m very excited to write a letter to my pen pal” – Annabelle

“I’m looking forward to seeing what my pen pal did on the holidays. I also want to know what her favourite colour is and her favourite subject” – Yui

“I’m excited to meet a new friend and send him letters” – Faye

Mikaela Stanaway
Year 2 Class Teacher

Year 3 – STEAM (Living and Non-Living)

Year 3 students have begun to investigate the key features of living and non-living things through a series of hands-on sessions with Ms Penny Dumsday. We started our exploration in one of the Senior School laboratories by drawing, labelling and classifying a variety of living and non-living specimens. Students have also chosen to plant cuttings and seeds in soil or place them in cups of water. They have made predictions about the changes they think will occur over the coming weeks.

“I predict that when the beans grow, they will grow from the tip of the seed.” – Ivy 3R

“I predict that the seeds will grow into a small eucalyptus tree.” – Maddie 3L

“I predict that the plant will continue to grow more and more roots.” – Rava 3R

“I predict that after watering the seeds they will start to grow.” – Amellia 3L

“I predict that the bean seeds will grow into beans.” – Angela W 3R

“I predict the beans will grow beautiful leaves or a flower.” – Sabrina 3L

“I predict that the Devil’s Ivy will turn brown.” – Khusshnaaz 3R

Rebecca Leondidis & Liz Ruffles
Year 3 Class Teachers

Student Leadership Assembly Prayer

I wanted to finish off today’s Junior School CamNews with sharing Year 6C Class Teacher Katrina Cheong’s prayer that she wrote and read out to the school community at last week’s Semester One Student Leadership Assembly. This prayer clearly reflects our School Values here at Camberwell Girls Grammar School with a strong focus on participation. I hope everyone enjoys reading it.

Dear God,

We thank you today for the many opportunities that we have available at our school to develop our skillset. From Art Club to Sports clubs, Book Club and Chess Club, Music ensembles, Speech & Drama, Coding Club, Sustainability Squad and Student Council – there really is something for everyone. We are very grateful for these opportunities and for all the people who are essential to making these programs run so smoothly throughout the year.

As we commence in these positions of leadership and the responsibilities that accompany them, help us to uphold ourselves with integrity. This means to live out the values we say we stand for. Please give us courage to be strong role models not just in our words, but through our actions – especially when no one is watching and when it might be difficult to do in front of our peers. Encourage us to think creatively and support us when the situation calls for us to be flexible. Help us to know it’s OK to make mistakes along the way and encourage us to learn from these and try again. Please support us to do our personal best and to know that it is when we work together as a team, that we grow in strength and in what we are able to achieve.

In Jesus’ name we pray,


Katrina Cheong
Year 6C Class Teacher

Connected Community


Connected Community

March 5, 2021

Your Year Level Reps have been busy!

Your amazing Year Level Reps have been busy organising and hosting events and activities for families in the CGGS Community. In the five weeks since the beginning of the Term, families have finally been able to enjoy face to face events and socialise with other members of the CGGS Community.

Year Level Reps have hosted coffee mornings, parent meet and greet events and catch ups in the park. These events have brought great joy to many and have served as a wonderful welcome to families new to the school. There are plenty of year level events scheduled in the coming weeks. Look for details on all Year Level Rep activities in the Junior and Senior Weeklies.

Parents and Friends Association events finally return to CGGS

In an effort to continue to deliver their friendraising program, The Parents and Friends Association is excited to finally be able to host events for the CGGS Community. After a year of limited socialising and the cancellation of many events, the PFA looks forward to bringing you the following events in the coming weeks


All fathers and father figures are invited to attend this event which will be run by CGGS dads for CGGS dads, on Thursday 11 March. It will be a great opportunity to meet other dads during this casual evening, that includes a gourmet BBQ and beverages, in an informal and relaxed setting.

PFA Welcome Evening – a complimentary event

All Junior and Senior School parents and staff are invited to join together on Friday 19 March to celebrate the vibrant CGGS Community whilst enjoying delicious food and refreshments.

Junior School Welcome Picnic

This much loved Junior school event will be held in the ELC and Junior School grounds on Friday 26 March.

In the interest of providing adequate space for social gathering, the event will be held over two sessions; EL3 – Year 3 from 5.00pm – 6.30pm and Year 4 – Year 6 from 7.00pm – 8.30pm.Bring a picnic rug, dinner and refreshments and enjoy mingling with other families in a relaxed setting.

Enquiries about any of these events, please contact:
Susannah Jepson
Community Relationships Coordinator

Class of 2020 Celebration Assembly

Our Celebration Assembly where a number of students from the Class of 2020 joined us to celebrate the achievements, their successes and to share their reflections of their final year of schooling. Debbie Dunwoody was presented with a gift to the school, a Japanese Red Maple tree to be planted in the garden in front of the Art Department with the plaque above to be located with it.

Part of the gift was also a handwritten card which said:

Dear Mrs Dunwoody,

It’s incredible to reflect on how far we, as a cohort have come, thanks to the way the Camberwell community has shaped us into compassionate, driven and resilient young women of tomorrow.

With sincere gratitude, the Class of 2020 acknowledge the ongoing guidance to our learning and wellbeing in our final year through unprecedented times, and hope that the Japanese Red Maple tree, accompanied by the plaque, serves as a reminder to the community to appreciate and grow though what you go through in life.

Class of 2020

A Century of Stories – CGGS Centenary Book

In Camberwell Girls Grammar Schools 100-year history, so much has happened within the walls of our beloved school to make it the institution it is today. So we decided to go and discover some of those stories and share them with our community in commemorative book to celebrate our centenary year. We are so proud to bring you this collection of stories, of moments in time, the highlights of our history and interesting insights.

A Century of Stories, has been written and published by Hyphen (formally known as Bounce Books), a company which specialises in telling stories, creating anniversary books and helping organisations to celebrate milestones. They have recently published similar story books to CGGS’ for Qantas, Arnott’s, Coles and Akubra.

A Century of Stories is available now a pre-sale price of $50, including GST. You have the option of picking up the book from CGGS Main Reception or having it delivered at a standard shipping fee of $15. Please note the book will be delivered to the school in late April 2021.

If you would like to purchase a copy please click below.

Gallery Galaxias – Honour your journey through the school

It was a delight to welcome artist and friend of CGGS, Simon Normand back to the school. Simon spent 2019 and 2020 making mosaic fish, many with students which have now been laid in the water feature that lines the Senior School driveway.

Handmade from Venetian glass, the underwater migration of mosaic Galaxias fish symbolises health, creativity, strength, rebirth, transformation, serenity, intelligence, endurance and happiness. The water feature will now be known as Gallery Galaxias and once complete, will be home to 100 iridescent mosaic fish to acknowledge the 100-year life of our school.

There is still a number of fish available for purchase. Each fish is engraved with your name or family name, along with a year from the Centenary period (1920 – 2020). If you are interested in learning more, please contact Karen Bartram in the Foundation Office for further information –




February 19, 2021

World Day of Social Justice

The United Nations has recognised tomorrow as the World Day of Social Justice for 2021.

Our tradition and deep commitment to social justice is an integral part of who we are. It is framed by our School Motto, Utilis in Ministerium (Useful in Service) which is grounded in an Anglican Christian worldview.

In 2016, we undertook a review of our Social Justice Program to: review and define the purpose of our program, develop a framework and document the key initiatives. The review highlighted the importance of actions that are based in a learning relationship, not a charity focus. Hence the change of name to the CGGS Service Learning Program that has been developed using the CGGS Service Learning Framework.

In our framework we highlight that service begins with two premises. One is about the nature of the person and the other, the nature of power. Service must always increase the freedom, the autonomy, the dignity and the power of those being served. At its core it is about authentic relationships.

One of the organisations that we have had the great privilege to work with since 2016 is The Green Gecko Project in Cambodia. This project was established to assist families in Siem Reap to help their children attend school rather than commencing work at a young age.  The facility also has an extensive vegetable garden to produce food for members of the community and a program to upskill parents to assist them to earn an income.

For many years (until the pandemic arrived), multiple groups of students have travelled to Cambodia to visit Green Gecko and to work and learn with the students, as well as work in the vegetable garden and learn about the local community. We certainly look forward to the day that we can return.

Last Sunday in The Age, I was interviewed for an editorial about Open Days, however I focused on the strengths of our school and the importance of diversity, in our own community and in the way that we work with others. The article can be viewed here. I mentioned our work with the Green Gecko Project in the article and last night I was incredibly moved to read their response to the article on Facebook which I have included below.

At Camberwell Girls, through serving others, we learn about our local community, the global community and ourselves through commitment to our values in action. We are clearly guided by our Service Learning Framework in establishing and building long lasting connections with others and honouring the most Christian ideal of service. 

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Chair of School Council

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On behalf of the School Council, it is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr Nikita Weickhardt as the new Chair of School Council.

Dr Weickhardt’s appointment comes following the decision of the incumbent Chair, Ms Christine Cussen, to step down from the role to pursue other professional and personal interests. The School is greatly indebted to Ms Cussen for her leadership of School Council since being appointed to the role of Chair in April 2018. Ms Cussen was first appointed as a Councillor in August 2005 and will continue to serve as a member of the School Council to ensure a smooth transition to Dr Weickhardt.

The selection and appointment of Dr Weickhardt to this important role was facilitated through a formal and comprehensive selection process. I would particularly like to thank Dr Helen Rawson, Mr Sam Page, Mr Tony Cant and Ms Christine Swan for their contributions to this process.

Dr Weickhardt, an engineer and, a current parent of the School was first appointed to the School Council in July 2019 as an Archbishop-in-Council appointment. Dr Weickhardt will be an inspirational leader. She is personable, forward thinking and will be dedicated to the role of Chair. I invite you to join me in congratulating Dr Weickhardt on her new appointment.


With best wishes

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

February 19, 2021

The 5 day lockdown in Victoria again highlighted for us all that schools exist for the students. To quote a much-used word of 2020, we were all very proud of the way our Senior School students pivoted back to remote learning. These past two days students have returned to face-to-face learning and their co-curricular activities with the self-assurance and positivity our CGGS community is renowned for.

This past fortnight the Senior School has been thrilled to receive news of some outstanding student achievements. Please read more below and share our excitement for two students from the Class of 2020 who have been named in the prestigious Top Acts, whilst two teams of current Year 10 students have been acknowledged in the Pause Fest.

Since returning to the 2021 school year, I have been thrilled to again see our Senior School students fully involved in Music, Sport and House Dance along with the many lunchtime clubs. Book Club and Mustard are two of the student led groups and they have contributed articles in this edition of CamNews.

This past week we have conducted our Year 10 & VCE Information Evening providing parents with the opportunity to hear from Mrs Kim Hepworth, Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning and Miss Dot Georgiou our VCE Coordinator. This information was shared as a pre-recorded session and as a follow up to the general VCE details outlined in the VCE Parent Handbook, VCE teachers are in the process of preparing short videos introducing themselves and their subjects. These will be shared with VCE parents shortly.

On Tuesday night we also held our Years 8 & 9 Information Evening which provided the parents of these students with the opportunity to hear from Mrs Kim Hepworth, Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning, Ms Kath Woolcock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing and Mr Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs on each of their areas of expertise. Following these pre-recorded presentations, Ms Paige Tan the Year 8 Level Coordinator and Ms Georgia Biggs the Year 9 Level Coordinator, introduced themselves and their themes for the 2021 year in separate zoom meetings. Tutor teachers also held individual “Meet and Greet” sessions at pre booked times with individual families.

Thank you to all our parents who were able to join us at these Information Evenings. As noted in the Senior School Weekly yesterday, our Learning Conversations will also be held remotely this year and events such as the House Dance performance evening on Friday 12 March will be livestreamed and recorded to ensure all parents are able to be a part of the evening.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School


Top Class

VCAA Top Class puts the spotlight on the creativity and sophistication of VCE Performing Arts students from across Victoria.

As the state went into its second round of Remote Learning, during Term 3, Performing Arts students found themselves compromised as they prepared for their performance exams. In Theatre Studies, students are constantly taught how important their use of space is and they are trained, vocally, to project with great resonance right to the back of an auditorium. Needless to say, bedrooms did not afford this luxury and many students needed to moderate their sound production so as not to disturb other family members also working from home. Despite all of the obstacles, two of our Unit 4 Theatre Studies students managed to produce performances that received outstanding grades and, recently, they successfully auditioned for the VCAA Top Class concert series to be performed at the Arts Centre Melbourne.

This series is designed to provide current students of Theatre Studies an opportunity to observe exemplar performance material in action. We could not be more proud of Angelique Zhou and Chelsey Catena, Class of 2020, for all of their commitment, resilience and motivation, enabling them to carry their passion for performance through to such a strong outcome.

Top Class will be presented at the Arts Centre Melbourne on March 10 at 10:00am. While at this time bookings are not available, closer to the date more details about viewing the performances online, will be available.

Keira Lyons
Head of Drama


The Upskill BY DESIGN program is an intentionally designed learning program that will take place on each of our Learning Conversation Days throughout the year, for all year levels. This program will run parallel to Learning Conversations, which will be held online from this year. Regular classes for Years 7-12 students will not take place on these days, though co-curricular activities including GSV Sport will continue as required.

For students in Year 7 and 8, the Upskill BY DESIGN program will occur onsite, whilst those in Years 9-12 will undertake their programs from home, with the availability of supervision at school if required. The program is scaffolded in this way in recognition of the growing independence, self-efficacy and self-regulation of students as they get older and the need to apprentice younger students into these behaviours and routines.To upskill means to expand your capabilities and the six Upskill BY DESIGN days will present opportunities at each year level for students to do this. When we upskill, we use our existing knowledge and skills and apply these to new situations and contexts. Consequently, we are able to intentionally develop new skills and strengthen the capabilities and characteristics that are integral to the CGGS community, under the strands of Connection, Growth, Grit and Sustainability.

Our BY DESIGN learning architecture has been used to design the programs that will take place on each of the Learning Conversation days, with each year level spotlight providing inspiration and the sequential theme.

Activating Wellbeing, one of our design principles, is a dedicated part of the Upskill BY DESIGN program. Our Wellbeing program, with a focus on body, mind and soul will take place between 2.00pm – 3.30pm and is available for all our community to participate in, that is, students, parents and staff.

The Upskill BY DESIGN is a program developed in service to our students and we’re excited to share this journey with our whole School Community.

For more information about our Learning Architecture BY DESIGN, please click the link here.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives


Pause Fest

Pause Fest is an independent, industry-driven movement with a mission to bring diverse intelligence together to fuel the next generation forward. The Festival is Melbourne-based and has an innovation focus, it’s about people, mindset and culture – for a good purpose.

Almost a year ago to date, Debbie Dunwoody was part of a panel hosted by our CGGS Strategic Assistant Summer Howarth discussing the future of schooling to an audience of business leaders, start up founders and government project leaders.

Since 2018, Pause Fest has also recognised the best in creativity and innovation in Australian & NZ industry through Pause Awards. In 2020, new categories were added to the awards including the Fresh Blood award for students with brilliant ideas. This award recognises crazy new commercial ideas that aim to solve the world’s most challenging problems.

Our Year 9 students of 2020 (current Year 10) embarked on a design exploration to adopt a Melbourne Mindset as part of our flagship …BY DESIGN seasonal learning offerings. Teams ran through a design sprint and were supported with feedback from the City of Melbourne. Their resulting ideas were submitted to the Pause Awards for consideration by a panel of international judges.

Two of our CGGS teams were awarded Pause Awards, announced this week, alongside brilliant businesses such as Stage Kings, Portable & Afterpay. 65% of this year’s award winners were female, with education as the #1 winning industry. Congratulations to Kate Ryan, Nektaria Toscas, Annie Liu and Lucy Ying (Bio Kitchen and Garden) and Monique Thorp, Sue-Jee Jeong, Chloie Wong and Emily Bai (Green Roof).

Our connection with the most future-focused minds in Australia has accelerated with our involvement with Pause Fest & the Pause Awards with CGGS leading the way in holding the stage alongside some of the most creative minds in the country.

Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design & Development

Valentines/GALentines Day

As our first big initiative as 2021 School Captains, we wished to hold a stall to celebrate Valentines/GALentines Day. Regardless of the barriers put up by COVID, SEA organised a hand painting stall, alongside a game of “guess the amount of heart chocolates in the jar”.

The atmosphere in the quadrangle on the day was outstanding. Ranging from the ‘love’ themed songs, girls guessing for chocolates, and the wonderful House Visual Art Captains painting pink and rainbow hearts (in support of LGBT+), the girls could truly feel the love in the air.

It was incredible to see the amount of support that CGGS showed on the day. From the Year 12’s getting into the spirit and dressing up so beautifully, to everyone who got their hand painted, we are so thankful that we had the opportunity to spread love throughout the school community.

Fingers crossed we have many more LOVE-ly events like this to come!

SEA – Sophia, Eloise and Ashley
2021 School Captains

Mathematics at CGGS

The Mathematics Department at CGGS is committed to developing passionate, curious and confident learners. We value the different skills and experiences of all students. With this in mind, I would like to highlight to our community both an internal and an external opportunity to help our students grow in their understanding of Mathematics.

At CGGS we offer a Maths Study Club at various times each day of the week in the Library. Maths Study Club is a place that provides students with the opportunity to get assistance with Maths, whether that be with their home learning tasks, new concepts they don’t yet understand, or the rigors of VCE Mathematics.

All of the Maths teachers here at CGGS run sessions, but that doesn’t mean students need to only see their own subject teachers, or for that matter, teachers that teach their year level. All sessions are open invitation, and all students are welcome to attend whenever it suits their schedule!

Please see the poster below for session times.

The second opportunity that I would like to highlight is an external (virtual and free) extension program called Micro Mathematicians. This program is run by the University of Melbourne School of Mathematics and Statistics.

There are three programs (Years 5 & 6, Years 7 & 8 or Year 9 & 10) aimed at students who love maths and are working 1-2 years ahead in Mathematics. Students will get to explore mathematical problems at a deep level following the inquiry process.

Students must apply for the program and complete an entry assessment by Friday 5 March 2021.

For further information please see the fliers below or contact the University of Melbourne directly.

Anthony Pasinati
Head of Mathematics

Book Club

The return of the on campus Book Club has been long awaited by its members, and this Tuesday saw our first session. Camberwell Girls’ Book Club is a student run initiative led by the School’s Literature Captains, Amelia Lemanis and Olivia Jones, involving students from a range of year levels coming together to unpack both classic and contemporary books.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Book Club community has remained strong, and the discussions and debates are as lively as ever. It was especially lovely to have last year’s Literature Captains participate in the discussion. Our first session saw many engaging perspectives about education, clichés, and romance being shared. The new members brought a wealth of new ideas and books to chat about and it was exciting to see how many of our students had remained involved with literature and writing throughout lockdown. We also look forward to reintroducing the Classics Club this year, where the School’s classic fiction fans can share a love of literature, and students new to classics can be introduced to them. Controversial opinions will be shared, notably one of this year’s Literature Co-Captain’s, love of Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice. We look forward to the coming year and are excited see so many new faces in both Book Club and Classics Club.

Amelia Lemanis and Olivia Jones
Literature Captains


This week the Senior School Mustard Group met for the first time in 2021.  Mustard is the CGGS Christian Group, a group of students who meet once a week to encourage each other and explore their faith.  Mustard groups exist in many independent schools throughout Melbourne.  They are supported by the Mustard organisation (, a group that exists to “empower young people to be fully alive, forever”.

Bella Bruce (Year 11) is the Faith and Worship Captain this year.  She and Harmoni Parsons lead the group together.  When asked to describe Mustard, Bella explains with enthusiasm, “We meet each week and talk about a range of topics related to Christian faith and beliefs and how we can implement our faith into our daily lives , usually in the form of a short bible study. We also make sure to devote one meeting a month to playing games and discussing what has been going on in each other’s lives, in  and outside of school.”

Everyone is welcome to come to mustard.  It’s on every Wednesday lunchtime, in the Hub in the Library.  Bring your lunch.

If you’d like to contact Bella or Rev’d Creed to find out more, please do.

GSV Sports Leaders Breakfast

On 11 February, Emily Arvidsson and I were fortunate enough to attend the annual GSV Sport Leader’s breakfast, this year held at Shelford Girls’ Grammar. We had breakfast with girls from 24 different GSV schools across Victoria and attended the workshop run by Meg Durham, a Wellbeing Educator and Coach.

The workshop taught us about the kind of leaders we are and how we can acknowledge stress and overcome difficult situations with calmness. It allowed us to reflect on the way we are portrayed as a leader to those around us, the amount of resilience we all have and inspired us to be not just a good leader, but a great leader. Meg also gave opportunities for us to chat with other girls on our table and collaborate in questions she proposed. Overall it was a very insightful day and we recommend it to anyone who is given the opportunity to attend the breakfast.

Cathy Gu
2021 School Sports Captain

Junior School


Junior School

February 19, 2021

THANK YOU!  Foundation – Year 6 Remote Learning Program

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students, staff and Ormiston families for transitioning so well from face-to-face learning, to remote learning at home. Three days of remote learning was undertaken and class and specialist teachers continued with daily literacy, numeracy, wellbeing and physical education activities while having opportunities to complete tasks in all specialist subjects. The Ormiston staff had only a very short time (1 day) to put their 3-day program together and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Emma Hinchliffe, our Deputy Head of Junior School for all her work in preparing the teachers and utilising our online learning platform Seesaw.

Last year I commented that our remote learning program, onsite supervision and face-to-face learning highlighted the importance of school/home connections. The relationships we all build within our school community continue to be the foundation in all that we do at Ormiston, and consequently, this focus will continue throughout this year.


Early Learning 3 – Cultural Differences

In Early Learning 3 we believe it is not enough for the children to have an awareness of cultural differences and similarities – we want the children to be culturally competent. This means, we want them to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures.

Cultural competence encompasses:

> being aware of one’s own world view

> developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences

> gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views

> developing skills for communication and interaction across cultures

Belonging Being Becoming pg. 16

We want each child and family to feel valued and be recognised and respected for who they are and to actively share aspects of their culture. In Early Learning 3, we provide diverse resources to reflect children’s social worlds and provide opportunities for the children and families to share experiences and events that are important to them. These experiences also explore diversity and provide opportunities to develop an understanding about the connections between children and families and the similarities and differences between members of our class and the wider community.

Cultural competence is also about the everyday experiences and cultural practices of each family in our EL community. The Early Learning 3 children recently participated in an experience that explored aspects of cultural competence.

During Chinese New Year the children reflected on their family celebrations and shared these with their friends through dialogue and photographs. Families were encouraged to email photographs that depicted how they celebrated this important time, and these were viewed on the Prowise. These photographs and also picture story books were used as provocations for discussions that focused on different aspects of Chinese New Year, for example, red envelopes, food choices and gatherings with family and friends.

We will continue to encourage families to share aspects of their culture with our class as this provides an opportunity to share and discuss experiences that are significant in each child’s life and develops each child’s cultural competence.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4 Full-Time – A Community of Learners

EL4 children are a community of learners that have started the new term with enthusiasm and a growing capacity of curiosity, as they build on their prior experiences. The children work on their identity and belonging in an ongoing way as they start the day with the Acknowledgement of Country and delegate leadership roles to ensure they are empowering each other to take turns at being a good role model. As a community, we also acknowledge the diverse backgrounds we all come from by greeting each other in many different languages.

Chinese New Year celebrations and the visit from Murrundindi were highlights for the EL4 community. The children were able to talk about respect of the land and the significance of the acknowledgement of country. Murrundindi gave a meaningful explanation about the land around us and how the Wurundjeri people are the custodians of that land. Also, the children learned that paying respect to the Wurundjeri people is an important way to care for our country.

The EL4 children engaged in discussion with Murrundindi about what things would be nice to have in our yard.  He gave the children some lovely ideas about including some native animals and plants. We look forward to our upgraded yard with these ideas soon.

The exploration of the big school yard continues for the children as they find interesting things about trees, places to play, rest and eat. Getting an opportunity to interact with older students from Ormiston was a wonderful thrill for the children as they strengthen their connections with the wider community.

Ramila Sadikeen
Early Learning 4 Class Teacher

Early Learning 4 Part-Time

An important part of our program in Early Learning is developing a sense of belonging and community. Chinese New Year is a special celebration for many of our families in Early Learning and the CGGS community. Children develop a strong sense of identity when their heritage and culture is acknowledged and when they are able to share aspects of their culture with other children and educators.

In the lead up to Chinese New Year, both EL4 classes have been discussing Chinese New Year and what their families do to celebrate. On Friday, the two EL 4 groups celebrated by dressing in traditional clothing or by wearing something red. There was a lot of excitement in the centre as the children entered the classroom dressed in their special clothing. They were proud to show their friends their special clothing.

The children paraded through the playground playing percussion instruments and Miss Joanna taught them a traditional Chinese New Year song. Both groups gathered together for a shared morning tea. The opportunity to share aspects of culture with friends and teachers gave the children a sense of pride and developed a link between home and preschool. As the year progresses, we will continue to acknowledge special events and celebrations that are important to families in our EL community.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Part-Time Teacher

Wild-Flower Wall 

At the start of the year, Mrs Gibson likes to involve all the students in a mystery artwork. Each class was given one colour of acrylic paint and they were challenged to mix as many different tints of this colour as they could, by adding white paint. They used a palette knife or paint brush to mix and apply the paint on a paper plate and at the same time, paint two A4 or A3 sized papers, with different sections of tints.

The classes were given the following colour to start their mixing.

Foundation = red

Year 1 = yellow

Year 2 = blue

Year 3 = orange

Year 4 = green

Year 5 = purple

Year 6 = choice from all the 6 colours.

In the second week the students were challenged to use last week’s painted pieces of paper and paper plate, to create a collaged wild-flower. They cut the papers into different shaped petals and used the paper plate as the centre of the flower.  Students were also able to use coloured markers, small paper shapes and other small collage materials. Lastly, stems and leaves were added and then the flowers were pinned onto the large curved wall on the Art room.

Fiona Gibson
Art Teacher

Year 5/6 Code Club

Last week we were excited to run our first Year 5/6 Telstra Code Club for the year.

We had our highest ever number of code club participants, with 32 students signing up to learn how to code with Bob Norton-Baker from Telstra and myself. To begin the year, we are focussing on learning how to read and write python code through completing some Code Club Australia challenges, starting with Moon Hack. From our first session, students have already learned the importance of the syntax of Python and the difference that moving, adding or deleting spaces can make to how well their code works to produce a program. Bob and I look forward to supporting these students to develop their coding skills throughout this semester.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School


Cecilia Yang Year 3 – Sporting Achievement

During the recent school holidays, Cecelia Yang of Year 3R competed in the Metropolitan East Long Course Preparation Meet held at Melbourne Sports Aquatic Centre on 23 January 2021. Cecilia placed 1st in the 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre freestyle and came 3rd in backstroke. This is a wonderful effort by Cecilia and we wish her the very best of luck in future swimming competitions. Go Cecilia!

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Connected Community


Connected Community

February 19, 2021

A Century of Stories
CGGS Centenary Book

In Camberwell Girls Grammar Schools 100-year history, so much has happened within the walls of our beloved school to make it the institution it is today. So we decided to go and discover some of those stories and share them with our community in commemorative book to celebrate our centenary year. We are so proud to bring you this collection of stories, of moments in time, the highlights of our history and interesting insights.

A Century of Stories, has been written and published by Hyphen (formally known as Bounce Books), a company which specialises in telling stories, creating anniversary books and helping organisations to celebrate milestones. They have recently published similar story books to CGGS’ for Qantas, Arnott’s, Coles and Akubra.

A Century of Stories is available now for purchase. You have the option of picking up the book from CGGS Main Reception or having it delivered at a standard shipping fee of $15.

If you would like to purchase a copy please click here

Shout out to our Year Level Reps

There are over 40 parents who have volunteered to be a junior or senior school Year Level Rep this year. They all play an integral part in keeping our CGSG community connected by organising events for your year level and welcoming new parents to the school.

Before the school year had started, some Reps held gatherings in parks and restaurants to welcome their new families to CGGS. This certainly helped new parents and students meet families in their year and begin to feel a part of this wonderful community.

The year also started with some Reps hosting coffee mornings and the Year 3’s held a badminton session for parents. This proved to be very enjoyable as enthusiastic parents are happy for it to continue as a regular event on the Year 3 calendar.

There are plenty of year level events scheduled in the coming weeks. Look for details on all Year Level Rep activities in the Junior and Senior Weeklies.

CGGS Fathers connect via a Dads Social Group

The Parents and Friends Association, is excited to support the newly formed CGGS Dads Group. This group is run by CGGS fathers for CGGS fathers and father-figures.

Join fellow dads within the CGGS community to socialise, network and enjoy each other’s company at both dads only, and dad and child events.

Partnering with The Fathering Project, this group aims to promote mateship within the community and encourage dads to engage with their daughters more regularly.

All fathers and father-figures are invited to the first CGGS Dads Group event. Scheduled for Thursday 11 March from 7:00pm, all dads are invited to attend the Term 1 Dads Group BBQ in the Senior School Fig Tee Café and Quadrangle Courtyard.

This will be a great opportunity to meet CGGS dads during this casual evening, including a gourmet BBQ and beverages, in an informal and relaxed setting.

Make sure you put this date in your diary and look out for further details about this event in upcoming JS and SS Weeklies.

To find out more about The Fathering Project, you can visit their website via the button below.




February 5, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I warmly welcome you all to 2021 at Camberwell Girls Grammar School!

I hope that you enjoyed some joyous and relaxing time after the end of a very demanding year and feel ready for the start of a new school year. Please click onto the button below for my welcome message.

New Staff

This year we have welcomed a small number of new staff to Camberwell Girls for ongoing positions as well as leave replacement roles.  I would like to introduce you to:

> Mr Ron Bell (Global Politics, Commerce and English Teacher). Ron is a highly experienced classroom teacher who has an extensive career teaching in both Australian and international schools.  He joins us most recently from Monash College.

> Ms Jessica Friend (English, English Language, Learning Enrichment and Physical Education Teacher)Jessica is an experienced teacher who has also held pastoral care leadership roles in her former school. She comes to us from Ringwood Secondary College.

> Ms Lindsay Hill (Mathematics Teacher)Lindsay is an experienced Mathematics teacher who has previously taught in independent girls schools in Melbourne. However, her most recent position was at Lochside Academy in Scotland.

> Miss Cassie Semple (Physical Education and Learning Enrichment Teacher)Cassie worked as a Deakin Associate teacher at CGGS in 2020 and we are delighted that she has returned as a teacher in 2021.

> Miss Crystal Zhang (Chinese Teacher)Crystal is an experienced Chinese teacher who joins us most recently from Loreto Mandeville Hall. She has taught in a number of independent girls schools.

> Mrs Kim Bailey (Netball Program Coordinator)Kim has been working most recently at AFL Goldfields Netball and has a strong interest in developing coaches in clubs. Ms Talia Hobbs and Mr Tim Snow are our new Deakin Associate Teachers for 2021. Talia has previous experience working in girls schools and Tim in an internationally recognised Hockey coach.

> Ms Madison Kelly (Library Technician)Madison is an experienced Library Technician and has worked most recently at the RMIT and Port Philip Libraries.

> Ms Nina D’Souza (Library Assistant)Whilst Nina is new to this role, she is an old grammarian from the Class of 2018 and is currently completing her Arts Degree.

We are also delighted to welcome back from leave Ms Georgina Bonnington, Mr Liss Campbell, Mrs Melissa Donnely, Mrs Fiona Gibson, Mrs Belinda Kranjcic, Mrs Emily Pandya, and Mrs Jennifer Sui.

I am very excited about the calibre of our teaching team and the extensive programs and opportunities for our girls at CGGS.

New Metrics for Success (Partnership with the University of Melbourne)

I am delighted to let parents know that we have been offered a place in the University of Melbourne’s New Metrics for Success:  Transforming what we value in schools research-practice partnership.  Schools from across Australia and from across all sectors were invited to apply and our inclusion is affirmation of the extensive curriculum and wellbeing work that we have been undertaking in recent years.

The aim of the partnership is to generate new and validated assessment tools that will give a more complete picture of a young person, rather than just relying on a single score as reflected in the ATAR or NAPLAN results.  Throughout the two year project our team will be working with national and international researchers and like-minded leaders with an aim to also influence the development of new policy and generate real change in schools across all sectors.

This year again promises to be a very exciting year at Camberwell Girls, where we are committed to the importance of a high quality and relevant education for our students as we work with global researchers and leaders.  I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.


With very best wishes for the year ahead.

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

February 5, 2021

Welcome to the 2021 School Year

This year, I think more than any other in the past, the return to school has been so welcomed by all students and staff alike. Last Thursday we commenced with our Year 7, 11 and 12 students in special programs and some highlights of these are in articles later in this edition of CamNews. Then this Monday our remaining year levels 8, 9 and 10 commenced and the academic year started in earnest.

The sound of laughter and chatter in the corridors and at recess and lunchtime and the smiling faces observed in the classes has been heart-warming for all. And even though yesterday we were again required to wear face masks indoors, this has not dampened the spirits of all. We are a strong, resilient and kind community looking out for each other at all times.

This year, we have welcomed a number of students new to CGGS in Years 7 – 10 and also a few new staff. As always, we are delighted to embrace new students and their families and new staff to our community and we hope all feel a great sense of belonging to our school throughout their journey with us.

I take this opportunity to thank all our Year Level Coordinators: Ms Tuba Ozak – Year 7, Ms Paige Tan – Year 8, Ms Georgia Biggs – Year 9, Mr James Henderson – Year 10, Mr Andrew Burnell – Year 11 and Mrs Nareen Robinson and Mrs Karen Anderson in Nareen’s absence  – Year 12, plus the Deputy Heads of Senior School, Ms Kath Woolcock – Student Wellbeing, Mrs Kim Hepworth – Teaching and Learning and Mr Shane Maycock – Co-curricular Programs for all their efforts to ensure a smooth start to the year for all our students.

Senior School Assembly

Each Tuesday we hold a Senior School Assembly and this week we were most fortunate to have Murrundindi, the ngurungaeta, head man of the Wurundjeri at our assembly for a Welcome to Country. Our entire school community knows and works closely with Murrundindi throughout the year and we always appreciate his commitment to our special events.

This year our School Captains Sophia Giagoudakis, Eloise Webster and Ashley Olsen, who have already become affectionately known as SEA from initials of their first names, have adopted their own motto for 2021, used to both motivate and connect the student body at Senior School, which they introduced at the first Senior School Assembly for 2021. I am pleased to share with you an excerpt of their presentation as this is yet another example of the young people under our care, having so much to teach us.


This year as your School Captains – SEA we have chosen to use the word SAIL to represent our termly themes of Support, Authenticity, Inclusion and Love. These all tie in together as a means to connect and heal with one another after the difficult year of 2020. We all know the individual struggles we coped with throughout last year and for each one of us, that struggle looked different. Many had others to turn to when times got tough, and we all had the opportunity to provide an ear to listen or that physically-distanced shoulder to cry on. In such a giving community as this, we all were able to lend a hand and empathise with each other, but may have been reluctant to recognise our own struggles and how they contributed to the strong and better people we are now, for having braved those hard times.

This year we embrace these struggles and pride ourselves on the way we have adapted and changed for the better so that we may smile – through the masks that continue to come and go – at ourselves for the people we have become.

As we SAIL towards a brighter future throughout 2021, we focus on understanding the presence of the strong support network around us, catching us when we fall and praising us in our achievements and individuality. We give ourselves the chance to be authentic, in a safe and encouraging environment with people who support us. Through our unique identities, we form bonds and appreciate what each other has to give, inclusively accepting one another for who we are now and who we wish to further become. Only through these actions are we able to find love in ourselves, our friends, our family, our teachers, our staff – in each and every one of us in our community and together brave the hardships of a stormy SEA through 2021.

We wish our School Captains and all the School and House Leaders smooth seas as they lead the Senior School this year.

Year 7 Welcome Service
On Wednesday afternoon we were able to welcome and acknowledge our Year 7 students and their families, the newest members of the Senior School community when families joined us onsite at the school at 4:30pm.  Two of the Forms started with a Church Service in Barbara Sutton Hall with Rev Helen Creed, the others moved into the Senior School library to be introduced to the By Design Program with Dr Charlotte Forwood.  These students then led their parents on a tour of the school, introducing them to the campus they will come to know intimately over the next 6 years.  At 5:15pm the groups crossed over, before all participating in all activities.

At 6:00pm all families concluded their activities and we made the most of a glorious summer evening and shared a meal from Pinwheel and Co on the Senior School oval.  This provided an opportunity for Tutor Teachers and the leadership team to meet many of our families in what was a very enjoyable evening.

Year 7 Transition Week

2021 is well and truly off to an amazing start, with our Year 7 students officially joining the CGGS community. To help ensure a smooth shift into secondary school, the Year 7s eagerly participated in Transition Week, a program designed to encourage the development of relationships and familiarity with their new environment.

While our students took part in a wide range of activities and sessions, I wanted to share some of the highlights of the week, including an Amazing Race style tour of the campus, challenging Team Building and Get to Know You activities (in which it was not only the students that were totally consumed by this, but the teachers also!) and Stress Management, Support Seeking and What to Expect in Year 7 sessions ran by our wonderful School Counsellors, Paula and Beth, that provided valuable information aimed at normalising help seeking behaviour.

The Year 7 students also listened to a presentation by Kath Woolcock about Wellbeing and the importance of our Year 7 theme Connected Community.  Transition week also offered students an opportunity to meet many of their subject teachers while getting a taste of the subject by participating in many engaging and introductory lessons from Geography, English, Drama, Science, RE, Maths, Art, Digital Organisation and the Library. It was so great to see all of the new Year 7 students buzzing with enthusiasm and joy as they participated in many of their subject activities such as solving a Pitch Perfect crime by completing many Science experiments or using clay to create a pot.  Finally, Transition week came to an end on Wednesday and we were fortunate with a perfect summer afternoon. After a Welcome Church Service, staff, students and families joined on the oval to chat with the students and their families over a wonderful dinner and dessert.

We congratulate and welcome our Year 7’s to CGGS. They completed their transition week with such poise, confidence and interest. On behalf of the Tutor Team and Subject Teachers, we are so grateful to be a part of their secondary school experience and look forward to getting to know each them better wish them all the very best in 2021.

Ms Tuba Ozak
Year 7 Coordinator

Year 7 Transition Activity – Murder in the Science Lab

On Tuesday the 2 February, the new Year 7 students transformed themselves into crime scene investigators and were put to task to help the Science department solve a horrendous crime.

Armed with a team of lovely assistants from Years 9 and 10, Year 7 students set about pulling apart four pieces of evidence. From analysing soil samples to trace the movements of the suspects, placing different mysterious powders into Bunsen Burners to determine their chemical composition, running chromatograms to interpret different pen inks and peering down microscopes to compare different fibres found at the crime scene; the girls got their teeth sunk into some serious Science.

After they had collected the evidence from their various samples, the girls went about drawing their own conclusions about who may have murdered Beca from the famous Barden Bellas (from the Pitch Perfect movies series) singing group. The girls finished the session by sharing their findings with the class as to their number one suspect.

The session highlighted the girls’ problem-solving abilities and allowed them to get a taste for what their Science journey over the next six years may look like. Congratulations to all the participants who managed to put the evidence together to solve the crime!

Year 7 Service Learning – Making Ripples for Change

“No one is too small to make a difference.” These stirring words spoken by Greta Thunberg were the focus for our Year 7 Service Learning Transition Week activity. At Camberwell Girls, we aim to be “useful in service” and at Year 7 we take on the role of stewards for the environment, aiming to serve our planet well. In 2021, our focus is on taking action and sharing our achievements, so as to create ripples of wider change.

Our first action of the year saw us heading outside to propagation stations. Students made pots from newspaper, and planted seeds of plant species indigenous to the Boroondara area. With care, these seeds will germinate and then be transferred to ceramic planters students made in Art earlier in the Transition Week. Once they are mature, these plants will thrive in local gardens and promote local biodiversity, with protective grasses for local fauna, and flowering plants to support our native pollinators. Inspired by the oral traditions of Indigenous Australians, students created poems and songs to help them remember the correct care for their plants. To create their “ripple”, Year 7s were encouraged to discuss this activity with their families.

This activity embodies our school value of hope. Together, we can and will take meaningful action that has a wider impact. It is this action which will see us as a community rise to meet the formidable environmental challenges we currently face. Greta Thunberg, with her solo school strike for climate motivating millions to action since 2018, exemplifies this approach and is a powerful inspiration for our students.”

Year 12 Retreat

The Year 12 girls were unable to attend their retreat offsite this year due to current COVID restrictions. However great fun was had by all over the 2 days that were held at school.  This year the theme being explored by the Year 12 students is “Together We Can………” and this was the thread that wove its way through many of the activities run over the 2 days. The girls participated in sessions of yoga and meditation, a creative activity related to the theme, a session with Dr Forwood called “ Rewired” and some fun taskmaster challenges which involved working together in small groups to complete various tasks. Elevate Education, a group that specialises in study skills, ran sessions that gave the girls strategies and tips to stay motivated and how to approach and prepare for SACs and exams. Our own school counsellor gave the girls advice on stress management which complemented the information given by Elevate. The School Captains ran a fabulous activity that again explored the theme of teamwork. The first day ended with a beautiful Church service where the girls were able to light a candle and place it in “a river of light”. On a very rainy Friday morning 3 students who had just completed Year 12 in 2020, came to join in a Q and A session. The girls were given excellent advice on how to cope with this year and they were able to ask all the things they wanted to find out about completing Year 12. The retreat was a lovely way for the girls to start the final year of their time at CGGS.

Year 11

Last Thursday and Friday, the Year 11s returned to school and undertook a special program designed to introduce them to the VCE and also Driver Education.

On Thursday the focus was very much on the VCE. In the morning, Year 11s undertook two sessions with Elevate Education –  Study Sensei and Time Management, which were both very well received by the Year Group. This was followed by a VCE Information Session with presentations by Ms Dot Georgiou (VCE Coordinator), Ms Beth Sarlos (School Counsellor) and Mrs Kim Hepworth (Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning). These sessions were designed to give all students an introduction to the VCE and how they can best navigate through the next two years. After lunch on Thursday, we welcomed back twenty of last year’s Year 12 cohort who facilitated a number of Q&A Sessions around subjects and the VCE in general.

On Friday, the focus switched to Driver Education with Fit2Drive providing an extended session with our Year 11s outlining many aspects of learning to drive as well as practical advice for the students once they have obtained their license. As always, this was a very informative and interactive session for the Year Group and I hope that all the students will benefit from the practical application of the information they learned. After a fairly demanding day and a half of activities, the Year 11s were able to relax a little in the afternoon by undertaking a series of One Minute Challenges designed to enhance collaboration as well as having a few laughs along the journey.

All in all, it was a really productive and enjoyable two days for the Year 11s and a perfect re-introduction back to School in readiness for the commencement of classes last Monday. I look forward to working closely with our Year 11’s throughout 2021.

Andrew Burnell
Year 11 Coordinator

Co-Curricular Update

What a week it has already been! As we settle back into the routines of daily student and family life, CGGS students have been frantically auditioning, trialling and gaining knowledge of the possible co-curricular activities CGGS has to offer. As Week 1 draws to a close, House Dance Auditions for THEME, as well as signing up for the fun Group Dance. A reminder that sign up for these events close Monday 8 Feb.

GSV trials have begun this week for term 1 sports including Softball, Tennis and Indoor Cricket. Ms Law will continue to update students through team specific emails and live screen cast. Also on the horizon is House Athletics on March 2. Ms Law has sent out sign up details and House Period on February 12 will involve exploring these further.

Continuing on the theme of House activities, Thursday February 4 saw many year 11 and 12 students use period 5 to plan the first House Mentoring session which was held Friday. In small groups, these students will continue to develop activities to deliver to Year 7 – 10 students in year level house group.

Thursday also saw the Co-Curricular Expo being held at lunch time. Students were able to explore the different interest groups run at CGGS, asking student leaders and responsible staff about what each of the clubs involves. Next week, students will receive information detailing how to access a LIVE student calendar detailing when and where each of these activities will occur. If students do seek further information about co-curricular clubs, please contact whom will direct you to the student representatives.

Library News

Over the last week the library team have set up a Lunar New Year display to celebrate it on 12 February. It is a tradition predominantly observed in Asian countries including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Korea.

Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later on the first full moon. Dances and fireworks are prevalent throughout the holidays, culminating in the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the New Year celebrations. 2021 is the Year of the Ox, the second of the Zodiac animals. You can find out more about New Year festivals and the Zodiac via resources in the library and online!

As you can see, it’s certainly been a busy first week!

Wishing you all an enjoyable and restful weekend.


With best wishes,


Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School