December 7, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is hard to believe that I am writing my final 2021 editorial for CamNews – time has passed very quickly this year! As we have spent recent weeks celebrating our community and acknowledging the achievements of our students, we again recognise that we have spent significant time in 2021 together, and apart.

The vision and values of our School continued to guide our community as we worked closely together for a second year in a global pandemic to ensure continuous and engaging education for our students. Many have shared their reflections on this year and have focussed predominantly not on loss, but what has been learnt or gained. These responses speak strongly of their character and how times of challenge can be powerful catalysts for deep learning and personal growth.

I would like to thank you, our parents, for your support and partnership. We don’t underestimate your work behind the scenes, particularly during remote learning, in helping to keep learning on track for your daughters. I am sure that this term has provided you with some relief as they have returned to school, and for us, this time has provided much joy!

Our leaders, teachers and professional services staff have again worked with great flexibility and commitment to ensure seamless transitions from face-to-face to remote learning and vice versa throughout the year. The significant demands on our staff in recent years highlights their dedication to their students and to the School and I thank them most sincerely for their work.

Thank you to our Parents and Friends Association, including Year Level Representatives who have ensured that groups of parents have remained connected. They have also generously supported the school again with key events and purchases of outdoor education equipment and a new kiln.

To our School Council chaired by Dr Nikita Weickhardt and members of our Council Sub-Committees, I thank you for your support and work in ensuring that we are able to continue to provide the best learning opportunities and environment for our students. Whilst we have worked through some challenging times recently, our vision is to the future and how we can continue to create and leverage new opportunities.

Finally, I would like to wish you and your loved ones the gifts of the Christmas season – peace, joy, love and hope. May the holidays provide a time of rest and recuperation and I look forward to welcoming you back, ready to share an exciting 2022 with the hope and promise that it brings.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

December 7, 2021

On Monday we had the pleasure of welcoming our newest students to Senior School, the current Year 6 students from both our own Junior School, Ormiston and the local primary schools. These students are our new Year 7’s in 2022, the Class of 2027. It was such a highlight to be able to have these 100 students on site in the Barbara Sutton Hall and the Year 7 area for some, Welcome to Senior School Orientation sessions. Thank you to all the School and House Captains who assisted Ms Ozak, Ms Woolcock and the Year 7 2022 Tutor teachers in making sure our Class of 2027 felt a warm welcome to Senior School at CGGS.

Today we held our final Senior School assembly for 2021 and it was special to have all the Years 7 – 9 students in Barbara Sutton Hall for this assembly as highlights of many student activities from the past few weeks of Term 4 were shared.

Our Years 7 – 9 Presentation Evening, which has been pre-recorded and shared with families for this evening is the perfect way to celebrate and acknowledge all the student achievements in these year levels this past year. Congratulations to all the recipients of Citizenship, Academic and Co-curricular awards for 2021.

Finally, I wish to extend my thanks to all our students, their families and all our teaching and professional services staff for their outstanding commitment to the Senior School this year. Everyone can be proud of their efforts during this second year of challenges.

Enjoy the holiday period with family and friends, stay safe and well and take good care.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Digital Platforms – 2022

In 2022 CGGS is excited to begin the process of transitioning to a new Learning Management System (MyCGGS – Firefly) which will be used as a central hub through which staff and students can quickly and easily access the information they need. It will be used by teachers and students for lesson delivery, resource sharing, collaborating, task and assessment submission, continuous feedback and content creation among other things. It will also incorporate other CGGS events, programs and activities, including House, Clubs, productions, Service Learning, sport and camps.

As we transition to this new digital system at the start of 2022, it is important to provide staff and students with an opportunity to test and build it with each other before we launch to parents and guardians. We anticipate launching to parents and guardians at the end of Term 1. During this transition time, we encourage parents to engage in conversations with their daughters about what they are learning and how their learning is progressing.

Parent Lounge (powered by TASS – a student and finance management system) will continue to be used to enable parents to: 

> Update Family Contact Details

> Update Student Medical Details

> Pay School Fees

> Book Student Learning Conversations (Parent Teacher Interviews)

> Approve/Pay for excursions and camps

> View and access Interim and Semester Reports

> View important school documents

> View your child’s timetable

> Contact with school staff

> View Attendance Record

Please refer to the ‘Digital Platforms: Information for Parents’ infographic to see how we will use our digital systems in 2022.

Parent Login

Camberwell Girls Grammar School is excited to launch a new way to access key CGGS services relevant to your daughter’s education.

On 14 January 2022 you will be emailed (to your personal email address registered with the school) information on how to login and activate your new CGGS account. Parent IDs as used previously will not be used any longer. 

Please note that SEQTA will no longer be in use for students and parents from 14 January 2022.

If you have any queries please contact Nathan Campbell, Head of ICT or Micah Wilkins, Head of Digital Learning & Innovation 

2021 Year 7 Service Learning Conference – Hope, Reconnection, Action

At Year 7, Service Learning focuses on Environmental Stewardship – the hopeful care and preservation of the environment. While our Year 7 students are born into a time of climate crisis, the Environmental Stewardship program is rooted on the premise that hope is necessary, and action is imperative. This approach is informed by research into climate action and eco anxiety, and inspired by 65,000 years of environmental custodianship by Indigenous Australians. As such, it was fitting that our 2021 Service Learning Conference was opened and closed by Murrundindi, Wurundjeri elder. We began our day in the Labyrinth, as Year 9 student Amina Keegan delivered the Acknowledgement of Country and introduced Murrundindi and his warm, calming Welcome to Country. With the lifting of many restrictions, it was wonderful to have Murrundindi on site, providing the traditional welcome to this special place on which we learn.

This year’s conference was designed with reconnection in mind. With a disrupted year spent largely in our homes, we wanted to provide students with the opportunity to reconnect with themselves, with each other, and of course, the environment. Our morning was filled with various ‘reconnection’ opportunities provided by our inventive staff. Self-care opportunities included meditation, sensory walks, and painting. Students spent time in nature virtually with the Virtual Reality sessions run by MindFlight 7, or enjoyed reality by planting out indigenous plants in the grounds, making funny anthropomorphised nature videos, and pressing flowers. After our prolonged periods of remote learning, it was wonderful to be together in our beautiful grounds, and to reconnect with this space. Research tells us that young people should, and want to, spend more time in nature. Not only does doing so have a range of cognitive and emotional advantages, but it is also vital for the cause of environmental sustainability. By spending more time in nature, we better appreciate its wonder and diversity, and are more inclined to act to protect it.

Once recharged, students then dove into a ‘Game Changer Challenge’ using the power of their voice to advocate for change, and their creativity to create useful, beautiful items from waste. ‘Advocate’ student groups focused on communicating a particular environment concern and how to take action, generating an ‘advocacy suite’ of posters and social media tiles. In the Maker Space, ‘Create’ groups worked on repurposing waste materials into purposeful, beautiful items. Students identified a range of issues on which we can act, from preserving our precious water sources, fast fashion, and food waste.

Our guest speaker Ella, from School Strike 4 Climate, encouraged us all to act locally and globally, and in the afternoon, we participated in an act of service with global reach. Solar Buddy is an organisation which aims to reduce energy poverty, providing solar lamps to those who do not have clean, safe lighting and rely on open fires or kerosene lamps. Our students worked in pairs to not only assemble their lights, but also write a personal letter to the recipient. Solar Buddy lamps improve health, educational, and environmental outcomes, demonstrating the power of simple, creative responses to environmental and human challenges. We have been impressed by Solar Buddy’s commitment to the environment, with a careful battery recycling program, and the ingenious reuse of shipping packaging into water storage.  Ella explained intersectional nature of climate justice – that action for the environment was also action for first nations peoples and women, who are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. Through making solar lamps, students can participate in practical action for the planet; helping those who are often suffering the most.

Students and staff gathered one last time to learn from Murrundindi. It was inspiring to hear about his personal connection and experiences both on Wurundjeri country, but also when being welcomed to other places such as Lake Mungo. He spoke of an energy and connection to land to which many of us can relate.

We encourage all our students and families to continue reconnecting and acting for the environment this summer and into the new year. As many of us will be holidaying in Australia this summer, it is the perfect opportunity to explore and enjoy the unique beauty and wilderness of Australia. Action for the environment is also a strategy which can help us navigate feelings of eco anxiety, and you may wish to be inspired by some of the suggestions from our students in the Padlet linked below.

Maggie Wighton
Sustainability Coordinator

French Poetry Competition Prize Winners!

Félicitations (or congratulations!) to Tyra Dawson (Year 9) and Monique Thorpe (Year 10) for their incredible achievement in firstly getting through to the finals of the Berthe Mouchette Poetry Competition and then being selected as respective winners for their year groups of the Prix Hors Catégorie. To go through to the finals of the Berthe Mouchette poetry competition, students must get full marks for their recital of a French poem. This year, students submitted a video of their poetry recital and Tyra and Monique both received 20 out of 20. They then had to do a Zoom recital several weeks later on a Sunday to French judges and again, they received full marks.

The fact that they each learned their poems over Remote Learning and recited them online adds to the impressiveness of the award. Well done Tyra and Monique, we are lucky to have you continuing with us in the French Department. 

Jo Rittey
Head of LOTE

Year 7 History

In Term 2, Year 7 History students continued their study of the ancient world, focusing on the ancient Egyptian civilisation. As part of this study, students in 7W took to the science lab to try and emulate ancient Egyptian embalming process. In ancient Egypt, this was an important step in the funerary process, to prepare the body of the deceased for their journey into the afterlife. This process took 70 days, drying the body in natron, a naturally occurring salt.

With no Pharaohs available, students ‘embalmed’ apple slices in a mixture of salt and bicarbonate of soda, to emulate the natron traditionally used for this process. They then created hieroglyphic seals for their experiments, reminiscent of the many spiritual aspects of the ancient embalming and mummification process. Students made predictions about what would occur over the coming weeks, using their historical knowledge and scientific understandings.

In ancient times, the desiccation (drying) process would have taken 70 days, however, due to our unexpected lockdowns, our experiment was conducted over several months! With the seals finally broken and experiments revealed in Term 4, our hypotheses were tested under slightly different conditions. While the apples were preserved, students doubted that they would have successfully travelled to the afterlife in their condition! 7W students Summer and Maya reported on the reopening:

“So, when the day finally arrived to unpack the mummified apples, we were excited but at the same time we were nervous to find out what happened to them. When we first opened the apples, we thought that the smell was going to be strong but there was barely any smell, it actually just smelled like salt and baking powder (basically the natron itself). The apples were not as mouldy as expected; they were really brown, almost black. There was also some ‘apple moisture’ on the bottom and the apples were also quite squishy which we did not expect to happen. We loved doing the apple mummification project and found it a great learning experience.” – Summer Zhu & Maya Conn, 7W Students 

Ian Lyell
Head of History

UN Youth Voice Competition – State Finals

The UN Youth Voice Competition is more than your average public speaking competition. It consists of two parts – the Pitch and Question Time. In the Pitch, students propose solutions to a given world problem. During Question Time, students answer two questions from the judging panel to defend the feasibility of their solution. This year’s competition was run online. Congratulations to Maddie Wood (Year 7) and Aliyana Rajakulendran (Year 8) who competed in the State Finals, finishing in the top ten overall.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

First Lego League – National Championships

At the end of November, three teams of Year 6 – 9 students competed in the First Lego League Challenge Regional Finals.

There were a number of components in the First Lego League challenge. Students designed a robot and programmed it to complete missions on a customised game table. They also engaged in the design thinking process, creating an innovation project linked to a global theme. This year’s challenge theme was ‘Cargo Connect’ – finding solutions to problems relating to transportation. Throughout the competition, students demonstrated the six core values of First Lego League: Discovery, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork, Innovation and Fun.

At the Bangholme Regional Final which took place online, each team performed exceptionally well. The judges were particularly impressed with the students’ ability to articulate the learning process and their excellent teamwork skills. Robo6, our Year 8/9 team won the Breakthrough Award for the high quality of both their robot design and innovation project. Our Year 7 team, Kool Kidz, won the Innovation Project Award. These two teams have been selected to compete in the National Championships (South) on Sunday 12 December.

Congratulations and best wishes to both teams!

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

House Sport

It was exciting to see sport back CGGS as we were lucky to hold another House Netball and Soccer competition. The fields and courts were alive with colour and enthusiastic cheer as everyone’s house spirit was through the roof. Participation levels were high and everyone displayed great teamwork and ability throughout the day. The weather held up perfectly and the girls were able to earn house points that contributed to the overall winners. The results were close, particularly Netball which had a three-way tie to first place.

The results are as follows:


Equal 1st – Lawrence, Schofield, Taylor

4th – Singleton 


1st – Taylor

2nd – Schofield

3rd – Singleton 

4th – Lawrence

A huge thank you to all the students and staff who were involved and assisted throughout the day, ensuring a smooth program, particularly Ms Law. A special mention to the House Captains who organised teams and cheered on their houses, an amazing effort for their first House Carnival. Another thanks to School House Captain, Kelly Ta, and previous House Sport Captains for their assistance.

The amazing effort put into the day payed off as we went on to have another successful House Netball and Soccer Carnival. We look forward to our next event which will be House Athletics next year!

Ella Robinson
School Sport Captain

Junior School


Junior School

December 7, 2021

Year 6 Graduation Ceremony & Supper

As a School, the Year 6 Graduation Ceremony and Supper was earmarked as our first large parent community event for 2021 since the Twilight Picnic took place in Term 1 this year. Considerable planning and preparation took place and Friday night finally arrived with both Ormiston staff and Year 6 students and parents ready to re-engage face-to-face on campus.

The ceremony was a wonderful opportunity to highlight each of the Year 6 students throughout this important event. Congratulations to eight students who started their educational journey at Ormiston. They are Scarlett Sim, Allegra Reedman, Charlotte Chong, Natasha Cameron, Natasha Oakley, Anthea Vais, Jasmine Li and Vivienne Torre. These students have been at Camberwell Girls Grammar School for nearly all their lives, and we look forward to their contributions at Senior School in Year 7.

Additionally, I would also like to recognise the efforts of Elise Orme and Charlie Russo for their awards on Friday evening. Elise was awarded the Marjorie Shaw General Excellence award for her academic efforts this year and Charlie was awarded the Elizabeth Lockley Citizenship award for being an excellent role model for Year 6 students when helping and guiding others during remote and face-to-face learning.

The Year 6 community had a very enjoyable evening and a highlight of the supper was a surprise graduation dance from the Year 6 students. I would like to thank Susannah Jepson our CGGS Community Relationships Coordinator and her team for helping implement such a successful event.

Year 6 Graduation Luncheon

Another wonderful highlight for the Year 6 students in their final days at Ormiston is their special luncheon in the Junior School Hall that is organised by a small group of Year 6 parent volunteers and our Year 6 Class Teachers, Ms Cheong and Mrs Robottom. A special thank you for the CGGS Parents & Friends Association who kindly fund the catering on this day.

A special part of the luncheon was the motivational speech from one of our Ormiston alumni Bella Dunn. Bella spoke about her past experiences at Camberwell Girls Grammar School and also talked about what she was currently studying at University. Our Year 6 students asked Bella some very interesting questions and we wish her all the best for the future.

Once again, the luncheon was a great success and enjoyed by the Year 6 students being their special day especially towards the end of the luncheon where the students with their memento Graduation Bear have fun going around acquiring signatures from classmates and teachers.

Year 3 & 4 Camp

Last week, our Year 3 and 4 students travelled to Camp ADANAC in Yarra Junction to experience a range of educational outdoor activities. Both year groups had not been on a school camp before but each student had-a-go at the adventurous activities. Some of the activities included the flying fox, archery, trampolines, gaga ball, low ropes course, canoeing, raft building, bush walk and other outdoor pursuits. I would like to thank Shane Maycock from Senior School for all his hard work in organising such a wonderful experience for our students. At the end of the three days, the Year 3 students were already looking forward to next year’s camp.

Early Learning 3 & 4 & Year 2 Super Strings Performances (Movies)

The Early Learning parents from both EL3, EL4 Full-Time and EL4 Part-Time are encouraged to click on the links below and watch their child performing in their year groups Christmas Story. Both links are videos.

Furthermore, the Year 2 parents have the opportunity to watch their child perform three songs as part of their Super Strings Program, which is an important part of the Music Curriculum we teach at Junior School. I would like to thank Nichole Adams for all her hard work and determination to complete these events since we have returned to face-to-face learning.

Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable festive holiday!

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Connected Community


Connected Community

December 7, 2021

Centenary Time Capsule

As part of the school’s Centenary Celebrations, students and staff were invited to contribute to a time capsule which will be opened on the school’s 125th anniversary in 2045. After being presented to Ms Dunwoody at Senior School Assembly this week, it has been mounted in the breezeway outside the Fig Tree Café where it is hoped it will remain well protected from the elements!

In July 2020, Head of History Mr Ian Lyell, School Archivist Mrs Marian Jenkinson, and Community Programs and Events Coordinator Mrs Kate Daffy, delved into the 1995 time capsule which had been buried in the front garden as part of the 75th Anniversary celebrations. Sadly, during its internment, the seal on the small Perspex had been broken, meaning the contents were all water-damaged to varying degrees. Two audio cassettes, with interviews of Mr Abe Goldberg, a Holocaust survivor, and Mr Geoff Hannaford, a Vietnam War Veteran, were salvaged, with the contents digitised and transcribed. These have become part of the school archives. In 2021, two Year 11 History students, Maya Jones and Olivia Jones, re-interviewed Mr Goldberg and this interview will be included in the Centenary Time Capsule. 

To prepare the Centenary Time Capsule, students and staff from the Early Learning Centre, Junior School and Senior School were invited to submit artefacts which they felt captured the range of activities that take place at CGGS, what we value as a community, and what our hopes are for the future. Examples included copies of the books A Century of Stories and Holly Goes to Ormiston, recordings of Senior School Production, samples of Year 1 and Year 3 students’ work from our periods of remote learning, and many other photos, videos, documents and examples of student work. As most of the artefacts are electronic, they have been saved to a hard drive for inclusion. The artefacts chosen demonstrate the unique effect Covid-19 has had on our community, illustrating the way we have maintained the school’s traditions and sense of community even during periods of lockdown over the last two years, and how these activities reinforce our motto of Utilis in Ministerium (‘useful in service’).

We hope this time capsule will give those in 25 years’ time an insight into our school – the wonderful educational and co-curricular activities available, the caring and friendships, as well as a reminder of the difficulties we have all faced and overcome in the past two years.

Senior School Dad & Daughter Bowling & Pizza Night

After many attempts to hold this event, the CGGS Dads Group was delighted to finally hold the Senior School Dad & Daughter Bowling & Pizza Night last Friday evening.

Families from all senior levels came together for a fun night of bowling whilst dining on delicious pizza. Many new friendships were made as a friendly rivalry between dads and daughters caused much hilarity.

The CGGS Dads Group looks forward to hosting more events in 2022 where dads can network and meet other fathers from CGGS. There will also be fun activities in which dads can participate with their daughters.

For more information about the CGGS Dads Group contact Terry McAleenan (Year 10 Dad)

Christmas Wishes from the Parents and Friends Association

The PFA wishes all members of the CGS Community a joyous Christmas and a safe and relaxing holiday.

After another year interrupted by COVID restrictions, we were disappointed that our engagement with the CGGS community was limited and events could not be delivered.

We hope you all enjoyed your PFA Chocolate Gift and once again congratulate the winners of the PFA Lucky Hamper.

We look forward to welcoming you all back next year at the PFA Welcome Drinks on Friday 25 February 2022. This will be a fun night for parents to connect once again and celebrate our amazing CGGS Community.

Merry Christmas to you and your family…see you in 2022!!

School Chaplain


School Chaplain

November 26, 2021

The Light of Christmas 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5)

Some years ago, over an Australian Summer, I travelled to Lyon in France with a group CGGS students. They were studying French, and they were going to spend a European winter absorbing French culture and language, as well as food! We arrived just as the people of Lyon were celebrating a most lovely festival, the “Fete des Lumieres” (Festival of Lights). The origins of this Festival go back to the eighth of December 1852, when a golden statue of Mary was placed on the bell tower of La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, a church that stands high on a hill overlooking Lyon. On that first dark mid-Winter night the people of Lyon were encouraged to light candles in their windows. Today it’s not just candles in windows! The city centre is an explosion of light and colour: every street, every square, every façade lit up. I remember the delight of moving through the city streets with our students, as well as thousands of others, finding light & creativity around each and every corner.

Here in our Southern hemisphere summer, when there is no shortage of light from the blazing sun, the symbolism of light shining in the darkness is just as important! Some of us string up lights on our Christmas tree, or in our trees or windows; some of us gather for “Carols by Candlelight”, or in Churches lit up by candles at midnight. And then there are the family walks around the suburban streets of those who have “gone to town” on front-yard decorations!

At the heart of the Christmas story is the wonder of divine light: the light that shines from the heart of God. All babies bring with them a kind of light, don’t they? All babies bring promise and possibility, and I think many of us are reminded of this at Christmas, as we listen to the story of birth. But at Christmas it is the Christ-child who comes to us, the baby Jesus who asks for our attention. And the light of the Christ-child is the light from which every other kind of light we can know has its source. It is the light of God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s joy, the “true light”.

It doesn’t take much for the light of a candle to be blown out. Power outages can trip up our attempts to bring joy to our neighbours by our Christmas displays. And covid meant that, last year in Lyon, the Festival of Lights was cancelled. So too, cruel and selfish actions can snuff out the light, for a time, that is to be found at the centre of every human being.  But the Christian faith is that nothing, absolutely nothing, can overcome the light that the baby Jesus brings into the world. And that’s why Christmas is such a time of joy. We all have known places of darkness, whether in the world, our homes or in our hearts. And sometimes that darkness seems to be winning. Jesus is our promise that God’s light, “the true light, which enlightens everyone” (John 1: 9) cannot be put out by any kind of darkness. And so we can, if we wish, live with hope in our hearts, no matter what happens around us.

May the lights that fill our homes, our streets, and our neighbourhoods this Christmas-time become signs for us of God’s most true and beautiful light. As we find delight in our battery-powered lights, may we also be touched by the light of God’s eternal love for us, and be aware of the light that shines, by God’s grace, from deep within us. And, at the end of a year that required much of us, and perhaps took much from us, may these lights make us glad!

My prayers this Christmas-eve are especially with those who will be missing loved ones this Christmas.

Every blessing to all in our school community,

Helen Creed

Senior School


Senior School

November 26, 2021

Last week we celebrated and farewelled the Class of 2021 in our Leavers Service. It was wonderful to be able to be together and congratulate the Year 12 students on their hard work throughout this year and all their years in the Senior School. There are always so many highlights of this service including hearing the students make their own speech of gratitude to their parents and teachers with very genuine thanks, the Year 7 and staff guard of honour as the Year 12 students make their way down the main driveway and out of the Torrington Street gates, this tradition actually forms part of our school hymn, “so when the gates swing wide and through the larger world our way we choose” and also of course the 3:25pm final bell.

This too has become more significant now that we only have two bells each year. One at the commencement of the Year 12 school year and one at the end. At this time, the Year 12 students gather in the Quadrangle, sing hymns and countdown to 3:25pm. I want to again congratulate every Year 12 student on their amazing efforts and resilience this year. We are so proud of each of them and wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

Recently some of our staff and students had the opportunity to spend the day with Murrundindi at Healesville Sanctuary and Coranderrk. This was a very special occasion for those who attended, as Murrundindi shared some history, indigenous culture and sites that are very significant to him, his family and his culture. It was great to spend time in nature and appreciate our Australian history and land. We are so thankful for Murrundindi continuing to be a part of our CGGS community and appreciate him teaching and sharing with us.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Year 9 Service Learning Conference

Seeking to be useful in service is an important part of our DNA at CGGS. Last week, the Year 9s took part in their Service Learning Conference where the focus was ‘community.’ Over the two days we sought to amplify our ability to serve others by hearing the experiences and journeys of Old Grammarians: Amanda Mandy (OAM), Helen Parker (OAM), Dianne Dick, Andrea Brown, Lis Sandbach and Georgie Herbert. Hearing from these members of our CGGS community led the students to think about their own skills and passions as a springboard for how they might contribute to communities they are part of. A focus was how we might connect with people around us, reacting to their needs, seeking to be proactive in using our skills to serve others. Please see below some of our student reflections from the conference.

Jennifer Gordon
Head of Service Learning

I really enjoyed lots about the Service Learning conference. A lot of students and I loved the self-care session, especially the Pilates class run by Alicia. I loved making the Christmas cards, it was great making something with our hands for others. Learning about different social issues was very informative, and fun and engaging. Overall, this was a great learning experience for us all! 

Sofia Pandeli, 9C

I really enjoyed the Year 9 Service Learning conference! I loved that we got the chance to give back to our community and help those in need. I particularly enjoyed writing festive cards to others in our society, it was awesome that we got to actually be a part of an act of service. The conference has inspired me to look for more volunteer opportunities in the future and our whole year level appreciated this amazing initiative!

Emily Price, 9B

During the Service Learning conference my classmates and I were exposed to many activities to strengthen our connections with the local community, stories from the experiences of Old Grammarians, and small acts of service to others in order to improve our understanding of the communities around us and the support that we can provide within them.

One of my favourite experiences was the making of the Christmas cards that my friends and I created to be sent to Prague House and Crossroads, two groups within the local community, to service those around us through a small gesture of kindness this Christmas. Many of my peers furthered this experience by creating festive biscuits to be gifted alongside the cards, and through this experience, I felt as though the community of my schoolmates had been brought together through the service of the Prague House and Crossroads communities. It has strengthened my understanding of the importance and appreciation for service within my local environment.

Overall, the two days of the service conference opened my eyes to the small steps, gestures, offering of time and skills that we can provide in order to service the communities around us while strengthening our own.

Grace Barnes, 9D

Music Achievements – Emily Wu

The Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) has awarded their high achievers for 2020. We are thrilled to announce that Emily Wu (11B) is one of only four students who successfully completed a Diploma examination on two instruments:

> LMusA (Piano)

> LMusA with Distinction (Cello)

The Licentiate in Music, Australia (LMusA) is a diploma awarded by examination to outstanding musicians. Candidates must perform repertoire from the prescribed lists of works and are tested on their general knowledge of the selected pieces. The “award with distinction” is very rarely given and reflects Emily’s many years of conscientious commitment to practice and exceptionally high level of performance.

Emily was presented with her certificates for the multiple diplomas at the AMEB studios this year, in recognition of her outstanding achievements. The CGGS Music Department, along with Emily’s family, are very proud of her accomplishments. Emily persevered during Melbourne’s series of lockdowns to memorise a significant collection of musical works in preparation for the two highly demanding performance examinations.

This year, Emily has continued to immerse herself in her music passions at CGGS, completing VCE Unit 3 and 4 Music Performance and involvement in many co-curricular Music groups. Emily is to be congratulated on her dedication to learning, ability to respond positively to the many challenges faced and for maintaining her motivation to achieve specific music goals. What an inspiration for all of our student musicians!

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Zoo Youth Leadership

One of the great things about being back together at CGGS has been the continuation of our partnership with Zoos Victoria and our Zoo Youth Leadership Program. The opportunity to partner with Zoos Victoria, who are considered to be global leaders in STEM based learning experiences, wildlife conservation and research, is both a unique and exciting one.

As participants, students have been actively contributing to wildlife conservation research and action, and Zoos Victoria have been benefitting from the insights of our CGGS students who are being shaped into the next generation of conservation leaders.

This week saw students undertake three amazing immersive experiences that have seen them visiting seals at Philip Island, going backstage at the Zoo with giraffes and zebras and visiting Port Phillip EcoCentre at St Kilda Beach. Working alongside experts in wildlife conservation, our student participants have been learning about animal enrichment and marine conservation, as they look to complete their final projects and leadership journeys.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Videos for Change

We were delighted to have two teams as finalists in the Senior High School National Videos for Change competition. Videos for Change is a way for young people to develop confidence, practice social advocacy, and build valuable 21st Century skills they need for a better future.

Following on from this, we are excited to announce that ‘Disconnected’ by Scarlett Giang and Natalie Chung has been named a joint winner of the competition and has also received the competition’s inaugural Mental Health Awareness Award. This second award was chosen by mental health for youth organisation Headspace and recognised the important amplification of this issue that has taken place over the past 18 months. Over 70% of submissions to this year’s Videos for Change competition, addressed this theme.

Scarlett and Natalie’s video was selected from hundreds of videos submitted from across the country, which went through two rounds of initial judging before a final round of external judges with expertise in social media, mainstream media and film, and documentary making.

To watch the winning announcements and hear from the students themselves, including Salwa, Nektaria, Salome, Jaya and May, our second group of finalists with their video #strideinyourstyle, click the link below.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Global Youth Forum

During Term 4, 10 Year 9 students participated in a Global Youth Forum run by the Asia Education Foundation at The University of Melbourne, High Resolves and The Department of Education and Training. This leadership program, run over 3 days, provided Year 9 students in Victoria with the opportunity to explore global citizenship in the context of their communities through engagement with students from Asia, including China, Japan and Indonesia. Students heard from experts, explored stories across the Asia-Pacific, examined global citizenship and debated with peers issues facing education and schooling in the current global context.

Dr. Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

CGGS 2021 Election

Yesterday was a big day for our Year 9 students, as the eight political parties forged in a semester of learning in Commerce battled it out for glory in our annual CGGS Election.

The Equal Opportunity Party, Vitality Party, SUS Party, Amogus Party, The Justice League Party, The Bake Boss Party, The Australian Wellness Party and The Brainy Bunch Party all did a sensational job. Not only did they present their Parties in effective visual form, but they lobbied hard on Election Day, ‘working the queues’ to inform voters about the policy choices they could make at the Ballot Box and making sure that formal voting protocols were followed.

Only one vote distinguished the SUS Party from the Bake Boss Party in the Primary Vote count and, while congratulations go to all parties for their valiant efforts for election, after the distribution of preferences, a clear winner emerged. This year our collective congratulations go to The Bake Boss Party who took line honours with an absolute majority of 143 out of a possible 260 votes.

The Election is always an energy-charged and truly hands-on way for students to experience the pressures, dramas, highs and lows, and the logistics of ‘running for office’ on a small scale. There is no doubt these young women will approach the Ballot Box as adults in a more informed way as a result of their participation in this task.

Our thanks go to the staff who assisted and supported this activity on the day. We have loved working with this year’s Year 9 students and look forward to doing in it all again in 2022!

Alexandra Larkey and the Year 9 Commerce Teaching team
Head of Commerce

2021 Empower Agents of Change Leadership Global Conference

The 2021 Empower Agents of Change Leadership Global Conference, November 15 – 17, was hosted by Nanyang Girls’ High School in Singapore, a partner school in the SAGE (Strategic Alliance of Global Educators) network of which CGGS is a proud member. The conference was designed to bring students from across the globe together to empower them to be positive leaders within their school and wider community. The theme for 2021, ‘Rising by Lifting Others,’ provided a platform for students from various international schools to nurture, encourage and strengthen their connections and leadership skills.

All Year 9 students were given the opportunity to nominate to attend the conference with 10 students selected based on their written application. With over 150 student participants internationally, the conference had several keynote presentations, including an inspirational discussion held by Professor Paulin Tay Straughan, a sociologist from the National University of Singapore who served as a Nomination Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2012.

For the majority of the conference, participants worked collaboratively with a team of 10 other students from different schools to explore ‘exemplary leadership,’ investigating what it looks like and how it can be defined using five key practices: Model the way, Inspire a shared vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.

The teams also explored important female role models as case studies, each of which were important leaders in the areas of the Arts, Social Work, the Environment, Business, Science and Politics. These case studies were used as a catalyst to challenge gender inequality and gender stereotypes that exist, prompt discussion, and encourage problem solving, with each group presenting a pitch or set of strategies to challenge discrimination and promote female empowerment and representation in leadership globally.

Please see below a reflection written by students who attended the conference.

 Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

From 15 to 17 November, 10 students participated in the Empowering Agents of Change: Women’s Leadership Conference. This conference was held by our sister school Nanyang Girls High School in Singapore. Schools from all over the world attended the conference and learnt about women in leadership. The conference focused on empowering women and learning about gender differences in leadership roles. Through collaborating with students from across the globe, and hearing from key speakers and prominent women leaders, our girls applied leadership skills and connected with new students.

Over the course of the three days the students were split into groups with other girls and boys from across the world including Singapore, China, The Philippines, and Australia. While in these groups the students completed many ice breaker activities where they got to learn more about each other. The students also participated in many discussions about how as a community we can encourage women to step into leadership positions and be able to thrive while being leaders. We learnt about the 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership, which are; model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart.

On the second day we collaborated with our group members to create a presentation reflecting on everything that we had learnt over the conference. The groups also discussed how we can support our current and coming women leaders and how we can enable them to feel empowered and influential. Overall, this experience was insightful and informative. We all learnt new leadership skills, heard from enlightening presenters, and made connections with other international students.

‘My highlight of the conference was meeting new people who share the same values as me. I have learnt more about women in leadership and how to be an effective leader. With my group, we discussed the five practices of exemplary leadership. Learning about these enabled me to better my collaboration with my peers and empower myself as a woman leader’. – Mia Paulse

Eva Papadopoulos, Grace Barnes, Helena Maunder, Isabella Wood, Mia Paulse and Tyra Dawson, Year 9

Die Modeschau – the German Fashion Show

This term, our two Year 7 German classes held a Fashion Show! We put together stylish and unique outfits to present to the class. On top of this, we created our own fashion label and collections. From pyjamas to casual clothing, each group put together something new. In groups of three to five, we walked down the red carpet modelling our outfits to the class.

Other members of our group introduced and described the models in German.

The collections were:

> Schwartz und Weiß [Black and White] by Modern [Modern]

> Warme Katze [Warm Cat] by Kleine Katze [Small Cat]

> Pyjama Kollektion [Pyjama Collection] by Vasp

> Typisch Frühling Kollektion [Typical Spring Collection] by Melbourne Wetter [Melbourne Weather]

> Die Neue Sommerkollektion [The new summer collection] by ANEC

> Cool und Bequem [Cool and Comfortable] by AMCA

> Frühlingskollektion [Spring Collection] by Four Seasons

This was an innovative and engaging activity that was worth all the time and effort we put into it.

Anais Portbury, Selina Guan and Audrey Kerr
Year 7 German Students

First Lego League

‘Coopetition’ – a word that most people are unfamiliar with, but a word 20 of our Year 6 – 9 students know as it plays an important part in the First Lego League Challenge. The First Lego League Challenge is a global competition which last year attracted more than 600,00 students from around the world! While the First Lego League is a competition, it is also an event that values cooperation over being the best and rewards ‘gracious professionalism’ – positive interactions between teams and team members.

This weekend, three teams are competing in the Regional Finals. The theme for this year is Cargo Connect – all about transportation. Each team has four tasks:

> Complete an innovation project which uses design thinking to develop a solution to a problem related to the theme

> Design and build a robot

> Program a robot to complete as many missions as possible on a robot game board

> Demonstrate the core values of First Lego League: Teamwork, Impact, Inclusion, Innovation, Discovery and Fun

Our teams have created solutions to problems such as reducing packaging waste and isolated communities accessing medication during floods. They have tapped into large reserves of perseverance as robots have misbehaved. They have taken on board feedback about their innovation project designs from external professionals and created multiple iterations of ideas. The students have enjoyed working together, learning new skills and most importantly, enjoying each other’s company!  

Dr. Charlotte Forwood
First Lego League Coach

Click below to expand the images.

Music Work Experience: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Chloe Law and Megan Kuo recently enjoyed an action-packed three day online work experience placement with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. They engaged with meaningful real-world performing arts projects during the placement and gained a deeper understanding of the many and varied career options within one of Australia’s largest arts organisations. Please see their reflections from the three day work experience below.

MSO Work Experience Reflections

The Organisation
The performing arts industry is very fast-paced, with many people working together to achieve a collective goal. There are nearly 200 permanent career options within the MSO company, many of which are logistical and administration roles. Many of those involved with the management side of things still have a background in music studies, and they can maintain this connection with their passion through their role in the MSO. There is a lot involved in the planning and execution of a live concert; venue logistics, budgeting, repertoire selection, artistic planning, marketing, booking of artists, transport of equipment and personnel, broadcasts, recordings, copyright permissions and much more.

The Musicians
The professional musicians who perform in the MSO undergo a vigorous and thorough audition process to become a permanent member of the orchestra. Multiple stages of the audition process are required, through ‘blind’ auditions, where the audition panel know which instrument they will hear but do not know who the candidate is. Successful candidates move through the audition process based on their abilities and sound. Permanent and casual performance positions are regularly on offer, alongside pathways for leading teaching artist opportunities within their community music programs.

The Music
As an audience member, it can be difficult to fathom how much work goes on behind the scenes. All we see is the final performance and the musicians delivering amazing music presentations on stage. We learnt that if you do not notice the supporting staff members on the night, they’re doing their job to the highest level! This aspect was hard to imagine without experiencing it first-hand. We now have a broad understanding of the many diverse roles that exist within this industry, alongside a deep appreciation for the cultural significance this iconic orchestra plays within the city of Melbourne and around the world.

The Experience
Overall this was a very valuable experience, and we learnt a lot about this very creative industry. We highly recommend this opportunity to anyone who has any interest in the performing arts world. You don’t have to be an exceptional musician or want to make music your career to learn a lot and be involved.

Chloe Law and Megan Kuo, Year 11

Year 8 Service Learning Afternoon – Making Christmas hampers for Djirra

As part of a Christmas Service Learning project, the Year 8s were asked to bring in a specific, long-lasting food item to contribute to a number of hampers we were making. The hampers have been sent to Djirra, an organisation that helps Indigenous Australian women who seek support. The whole year level had lots of fun designing and decorating boxes to put our food items in. Not only were we lending our service to the community, we had lots of fun with friends and learning to work together. It was a fun and enjoyable experience, and I’m sure I speak for the whole year level when I say we would love to do this again.

Sarah Chan, Year 8

During Period 5 & 6 on Wednesday 24 November, we made hampers for Djirra which is an organisation that supports women who are survivors of family abuse. We thoroughly enjoyed filling the hampers with non-perishable items like pasta, rice, cereal and more, to make these women’s Christmas more enjoyable. We also had lots of fun decorating the boxes with bright colours and origami, to deliver festive spirit as well as food to those women. Overall, it was a really engaging experience and we are glad to have a positive impact this Christmas!

Aliyana Rajakulendran, Lucy Ruddle, Nonie McLean, Lily Grant and Hannah Lin, Year 8

Djirra is a place where culture is shared and celebrated, and where practical support is available to all Aboriginal women and particularly to Aboriginal people who are currently experiencing family violence or have in the past. It was wonderful to be able to support Djirra as the Year 8 Service Learning focus is Indigenous Australian living culture.

Jennifer Gordon
Head of Service Learning

Junior School


Junior School

November 26, 2021

Foundation – Year 6 Orientation Morning

Last Friday 22 November, our current Early Learning 4 – Year 5 students had the opportunity to spend time in next year’s class in preparation for the start of the 2022 academic year. This session lasted for 1.5 hours and each student had the chance to meet their new classroom teacher and class mates.

Usually during this event, our current Junior School students would meet the new external students that were joining Ormiston next year. However, due to COVID-19, the new students joining us at Junior School in 2022 will be visiting us  on-campus on Monday 6 December at 4.00-4.30pm. Currently, there are 28 new students joining us at Ormiston next year.

Foundation – Year 5 Swimming Program

For the last two weeks of Term 4, we have organised the Foundation – Year 5 students to be part of our school swimming program. Starting this week, the Foundation – Year 4 students have participated in three intensive stroke correction and water safety sessions at the Senior School Pool. The Year 5 students will participate in a similar Water Safety session on Monday 6 December which will be important in preparing them for their Summer holiday of water activities. I would like to thank Lisa Williams our Swim School Coordinator who has organised these important sessions.

Year 2 Extended Day

Our Year 2 students had a wonderful time participating in a range of teambuilding and educational outdoor activities on Friday 15 November. The Extended Day included poison ball, hoola-hoop competition and hip-hop dancing via Zoom. The students enjoyed a lovely dinner from Pinwheel followed by a movie together in the Junior School Hall. Each of the students enjoyed the opportunity to stay behind after school and were picked-up by their parents at 7.30pm. This annual event is an excellent opportunity to prepare the students for next year’s Year 3 and 4 camp. I would like to thank our Year 2 Class Teacher Mikaela Stanaway, for organising the fun activities this year.

Science Talent Search Achievement – Christine Moi Year 5

Congratulations to Christine Moi of Year 5 who was nominated for Primary Investigations section in the December 2021 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards.

Christine’s project “What is the most efficient form of transport – to walk, cycle, scooter or e-scooter?” was awarded as a Semi Finalist.

The comment from the judges stated, ‘Your project was an outstanding contribution for which you should feel extremely proud.’

Christine will receive a certificate in the mail early next year.


Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Year 5 and 6 Camp – Grantville Lodge Westernport Bay

On 15 November Years 5 and 6 went to a beautiful camp called Grantville Lodge. There were lots of activities planned to keep us occupied during our two night visit from Monday to Wednesday. Ms Cheong, Mrs Robottom, Ms de Quadros, Ms Hinchliffe, Mr Donohue, Ms Soci, Mr Goodwin and Mrs White were all there to support us through times when we might have been upset about something or if we needed to talk to someone. 

Camp was a memorable experience for me. I conquered things I never imagined I would be able to do. I have a morbid fear of heights and managing the scary giant swing was a victory for me (even though I didn’t go to the top). The food was exquisite. I thank the people that cooked the wonderful food. I couldn’t help getting seconds because the food was so mouth – watering! Going to this camp inspired me to take risks and challenge myself in the future. 

Aathana Sivapalan, Year 6

The highlight of my camp was having free time in our cabins because honestly it was such great bonding for all of us and we all became so much closer after it by playing games and just being able to chat and connect with each other. Something else I enjoyed immensely was having Mrs White as our activity teacher because she was so much fun to work with. Overall, camp was a 10/10 experience.

Nirvani Subedi, Year 6

My camp highlight was doing all the rope activities ranging from high ropes to giant swing and flying fox. We learnt how to put on the harnesses and connecting our harnesses to the courses. We were challenged to try the rope activities so I did and I went on the trickiest high ropes course, and I went as high as the flying fox and giant swing could go. But really the whole camp was a highlight. 

Alexia Stuart-Adams, Year 6

STEM Games Challenge Semi-Finalists

Over the past two years I have had the pleasure to work with three teams of Year 5 and 6 students to support them to develop the skills necessary to enter the Australia wide STEM Video Games Challenge competition. Students were required to work together to plan and create a Video Game using Scratch, that explored the theme of Scale.

When designing their games, students also had to think carefully about all elements of game design including: graphics, coding, storyline, testing, the level of challenge in the game and of course its fun factor. To emphasise the design process, all teams had to complete and were also judged on their game design document detailing the process they went through to design their games. Designing a functioning game with no bugs is no easy feat and required teams to communicate and problem solve effectively and apply their character strengths of perseverance, bravery, creativity and hope.

Congratulations to Charlotte, Aathana, Preesha, Audrey and Zara for their exceptional work and being recognised as semi-finalists this year. Students were presented with their certificates in assembly this week.

We are so proud of the way these teams worked together over the past two years to create games of such quality through working together both face to face and online during remote learning.

We can’t wait to see them apply their skills to other coding and design challenges in the future.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Connected Community


Connected Community

November 26, 2021

PFA Community Raffle

Are you a Lucky Ticket winner??

The Parents and Friends Association is excited to have launched the PFA Community Raffle to celebrate our wonderful CGGS Community.

Your daughter was given a PFA boxed chocolate bar to bring home as a gift from the PFA. Inside could be a Winning Lucky Ticket.

There will be winners from every year level from Early Learning to Year 12 and Professional Services, Junior and Senior Staff groups.

Be sure to check inside your gift to see if you have won!!

Some lucky winners have already been identified and have won either:

1st place Lucky Ticket – you win a $250 RedBalloon voucher and a Limited Edition CGGS Centenary Merchandise Hamper

2nd place Lucky Ticket – you win a Limited Edition CGGS Centenary Merchandise Hamper

If you are a lucky winner, be sure to email a photo of yourself holding the winning ticket to Susannah Jepson –

The PFA looks forward to reconnecting with the CGGS community and celebrating the lucky winners of the Community Raffle.


Old Grammarians provide inspiration at Service Learning Conference 

Year 9 enjoyed a Service Learning conference which focused on the value of being Useful in Service and connecting with the local community.

The school invited old grammarians who volunteer and serve the local community to present via video to the Year 9s about their work and contribution to the communities they serve.

The students were very fortunate to hear from: 

Amanda Mandie OAM (1977), Executive Director and Founder of the Koala Kids Foundation (2021 CGGS Inspiring Woman)
Amanda and her 13-year-old son Nick founded Koala Kids in 2005 with a mission that Koala Kids volunteers provide small things that make a difference for children and young people, their families and healthcare team during cancer treatment. As well as working tirelessly to provide moments of happiness for children and young people from birth to 25 years Amanda also manages Koala Kids’ large army of volunteers committed to its vision to touch every child and young person with cancer in Victoria and Tasmania

In the 2021 Australia Day Awards, Amanda was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the community through charitable organisations. Amanda spoke with such passion about bringing moments of happiness and joy to these families undergoing treatment. 

Helen Parker OAM (1996), Founder and CEO of the Babes Project
Helen Parker established the Babes Project in 2019, after being confronted with her own experience of crisis pregnancy.  The Babes Project is changing the way Australians approach crisis pregnancy by supporting and encouraging women on their journey no matter the circumstances.  Helen shares her passion of ensuring every woman in Australia has access to help and support during pregnancy. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to pregnant women in need.

Diane Dick (1965)
Diane  spoke about her time volunteering in her local community where she first began volunteering on the Mornington Peninsula at a Neighbourhood House. Utilising her professional skills, she developed software to assist in the administrative running of the Neighbourhood House to allow the volunteers to focus on delivering eduational programs. Diane has moved to Perth and now offers her time in assisting a Dog Rescue organisation. She is a great example of someone using her skills to volunteer and serve. 

Andrea Brown (1984)
Andrea Brown started her volunteer career after leaving school by ushering at the theatre for the Royal South Street Calisthenics Society. Andrea has always had a passion for calisthenics since the age of six and she is currently the Chair of the Calisthenics Discipline and Deputy Chair of the Royal South Street Society. She is a great example of someone who serves in an area where she can use her passion and continue to serve the community she loves.

Elisabeth Sandbach (2012)
A strong advocate for volunteering whilst at school, Elisabeth continued on volunteering at university where she gave her time to VGen, a youth movement of World Vision Australia. VGen’s goal is to inspire, educate and empower young people about worldwide issues of social injustice and poverty. Elisabeth currently volunteers for The Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program, a completely volunteer-run, not-for-profit, secular organisation which provides free tutoring and educational support to the Sudanese Australian community. Elisabeth works as a commercial lawyer and is the pro bono Coordinator for the  firm which has a strong commitment to pro bono work such as homeless law and refugee legal.

It was wonderful to see the way she continued to employ the CGGS motto of being Useful in Service after leaving school and use her professional skills in service once she became a lawyer.

Georgie Herbert (1998), Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation
After the death of her mother in 2017, Georgie commenced her journey in philanthropy to raise funds for ovarian cancer research. Georgie has worked tirelessly to raise funds and has personally raised over $400,000. After working many years at the AFL as Head of Commercial Operations, she joined the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as Philanthropy and Corporate Partnerships Manager, continuing her philanthropic work. Georgie told the students her story of volunteering in sports clubs and the evolution of her service which has eventually become her full-time work.

Past Parents Group

CGGS recognises and appreciates the contribution parents make to the school and the friendships and connections that are formed whilst their daughters are at school. We are excited to announce that we will be launching a Past Parent Community group in 2022.

The purpose of the group is to continue the connections made throughout their daughter’s time at the school. We will be inviting current Year 12 parents who are leaving the school to be the inaugural members of this group. Please stay tuned for your invitation to assist in creating a wonderful past parent community group.

It will be a fantastic opportunity for you to maintain connections and network within the CGGS community.

Thank You to our Volunteers

We are very appreciative of the wonderful culture of volunteering within our CGGS community. In 2020 and 2021, we have not had many opportunities to meet in person; the Parents & Friends Association and Year Level representatives have endeavored to maintain contact and keeping our communities connected.

To thank our amazing volunteers, we enjoyed a virtual cheese and wine tasting where we tasted amazing cheeses from local producer That’s Amore Cheese and travelled to Italy to meet the wine makers from Salatin Winery in Veneto. The evening was bellisimo!




November 12, 2021

Our Community

Whilst our purpose is to provide the highest quality learning, wellbeing and co-curricular opportunities and experiences for our students, belonging to a community and being connected with others is often what we remember most fondly.

The strength of our community is enhanced by the contributions that many of our parents make in supporting key school initiatives, and also our old grammarians as they provide inspiration and support as role models to our current students.

I am deeply indebted to the work of the Parents and Friends Association under the leadership of Dr Rob Webster OAM who have over many years supported events and raised funds to help purchase learning equipment to enhance our educational offerings. During the last 2 years his team have continued to help keep families connected and supported during this challenging time.

At our ‘Thank You to Volunteers’ celebration evening tonight, I will be acknowledging a number of Year 12 parents who have provided continuous service to the school throughout their daughter’s education. Thank you to Rob and Jenni Webster, Jo Ellingworth, Fiona Robertson, Ray Barmby and Maria Ventura, Liz Sutton, Vivienne Wang, Nancy Goletsos and Heather Masterman. They have worked with many teams over the years, and we are grateful for the support of all parents.

This support has taken many forms – as a committee member of the PFA, by providing leadership in organising other events with parents such as the Summer Spectacular, Mothers and Father’s Day events, Trivia Nights, pre-show refreshments for the Performing Arts events and sausage sizzles, icy poles and baked treats at the House Cross Country and Swimming carnivals. They have coordinated year level representatives and have been parent representatives on parent forum groups and committees such as the Uniform Committee.

Our second-hand Uniform Shop has also been run by a team of dedicated parents under the leadership of Jo Ellingworth and Jenni Webster across weekends, during school days and after school for many years. We are grateful for their commitment to supporting so many CGGS families.

If you would like to be involved in the Parents and Friends Association, we would welcome your support and I invite you to contact Susannah Jepson from our Foundation Office.

During our Centenary year, we launched our Inspiring Women of CGGS program. In our inaugural year we recognised eighteen old grammarians in a ceremony held in July this year. In the spirit of our school’s vision, mission and values, all recipients had demonstrated through their professional contributions, service to society and personal qualities and accomplishments to be worthy of this acknowledgment.

A photograph and short biography of each woman has been displayed in Senior School. The purpose of this is to honour and celebrate our former students and for current students to be inspired, see what is possible, engage with contemporary issues and to emulate high ideals and aspirations.

We will honour a further 12 women in a ceremony to be held in early 2022 to celebrate our 2021 recipients. I am proud to announce that they are:

Mrs Joan Child AO (Olle, 1937) (Posthumous award)
Career in state politics and was the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1985.

Ms Ruth Dunn (Thorold, 1959)
Career as a Psychologist working across a range of areas and has worked with the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service to support PTSD veterans and their families.

Ms Georgie Herbert (1998)
Has a long career in sports management, but now works for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation as her passion lies in raising funds to find a cure for Ovarian Cancer. To date Georgie has raised $1m for this cause.

Mrs Pamela Hore (Beasley, 1959)
Worked in Local Government Aged Care Department, as a volunteer at Alzheimer’s Australia and continues advocacy work with Dementia Australia and the elderly.

Professor Michelle Leech (1981)
Has held a number of teaching and leadership positions within Monash Universities Medical program and is currently the Deputy Dean Medicine Program.

Mrs Amanda Mandie OAM (Sharpe, 1977)
Philanthropist and founder of Koala Kids Foundation an organisation dedicated to supporting children and young people during cancer treatment. She has also founded two other non-for-profit foundations.

Ms Margaret Porritt (Newhouse, 1958)
Founder of iconic FEATHERS boutique and her own range of apparel with a 50 year career in Australian retail and fashion.

Dr Jacqui Richmond (1991)
Dedicated her career to improving the health outcomes for people living with Hepatitis B and C.

Ms Nicola Rivers (1994)
Environmental lawyer who is Co-CEO of Environmental Justice Australia, a leading public interest environmental law organisation and has co-founded two social enterprises.

Dr Rebecca Spindler (1987)
Ecosystem and wildlife conservation expert focused on Australian and international conservation. She is now the Executive Manager of Science Conservation for Bush Australia.

Mrs Cecile Storey AM (Benjamin, 1961) (Posthumous award)
Past staff member from 1958 – 1961 who made a huge impact on students. Passionate about education, women’s rights and human rights, she worked tirelessly in Education and International Affairs.

Professor Delene Weber (Marsh, 1987)
Environmental Scientist focusing on making a positive impact in the way forests and our environment are protected, currently working at the University of South Australia where she has received multiple national teaching awards.

You will also be able to read more about them in our December issue of CamLife.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

November 12, 2021

In our Remembrance Day Assembly on Tuesday, I had the honour of speaking to the Senior School students about the significance of the minute’s silence we observe on the 11th of November, as we remember all the service people who have lost their lives in various wars.

At the time of the First World War (1914 – 1918) Australia was a newly federated country. Three of every five Australians who signed up to serve in the military were either killed or wounded and the social effects of these losses on our country and its people lasted for many decades afterwards.

The Australian soldiers had a fighting reputation out of proportion to their numbers. In the four years of the First World War more than 330,000 Australians served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them died.

On November 11, 1918, the guns at the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous fighting. The Allied armies which included the brave Australian soldiers, had successfully driven the German army back from France and Belgium, causing the German government to call for an armistice or suspension of fighting to enable peace negotiations.

And so, each year on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at 11am the time when fighting ceased in the First World War, we observe a minute’s silence to remember, honour and mourn those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In doing so, we ensure that we will never forget the more than 100,000 Australians who have lost their lives in various wars, then and since, for the sake of our country, our people and our freedoms.

On Remembrance Day we traditionally wear a poppy. Red poppies were among the first plants and signs of life on the battlefields of Belgium and France. In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their fallen comrades. It has become a symbol of remembering everyone who has given their life in war.

Last week, Mrs Daffy recorded an interview with Melbourne author Mike Rosel, who researched the life of a local Hawthorn boy who volunteered to fight in WW1. Mike, who has written several books about Australian military history was inspired by his father’s gentle refusal to explain exactly how he won a Military Cross at Tobruk in 1941. When Mike stumbled on the astonishing yet virtually unknown story of Captain Alexander (Alec) Little, a young Hawthorn man credited with shooting down 47 aircraft in World War I, he researched his brief life as a tribute to all Australians who volunteered to serve their country.

In ‘The Unknown Warrior’, Mike explores the life of a Captain Alec Little, who at the age of 19 paid his own way to the United Kingdom to join the Royal Flying Corps. Over his career, Captain Robert Alexander Little was credited with downing 47 aircraft over three years, before his death in combat in May 1918. He was just 22 years old and left behind his new wife Vera and an infant son. He is ranked eighth of all British Commonwealth flying aces in World War I. Mike felt that Captain Little and his colleagues who served in foreign units deserved more recognition.

Lest we forget.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

History Competitions

This year, young historians from CGGS have entered a range of competitions where they have investigated, interpreted and evaluated people, societies and events from the past. We would like to celebrate and share some of the outstanding work by our young historians in 2021.

The HTAV Historical Fiction Competition encourages students to show historical empathy, by exploring history from the perspective of a person with different beliefs and values, and to show off their creative writing skills. Madeleine Giagoudakis (10B) won the Year 9/10 prize in this year’s competition. Building on what she learned at CGGS back in Year 8 History, she wrote a journal of medieval doctor attempting to understand and treat the Black Death in 1349.

The National History Challenge is a research-based competition open to students across Australia. This year, students were challenged to explore a topic of their choice and link it to the theme of ‘Significance: History Matters’. Amy Aw (8B) won the Year 8 Young Historian Gold Award (Victorian state winner) in the National History Challenge. She used archival sources from the National Archives of Australia to help her creatively explore how Australians experienced the Great Depression. Katherine Mason (9B) won the Year 9 Young Historian Silver Award (Victorian runner up) in the National History Challenge. She wrote an outstanding essay that argued Australians should shift their focus on our past from well-studied conflicts like Gallipoli to forgotten conflicts like the Frontier Wars between indigenous Australians and European pastoralists encroaching on their land throughout the 19th century.

An astounding nine students received the Young Historian Bronze Award (Victorian finalist):

> Amber Rastogi (8A) explored the experiences of an English woman and a Chinese man during the Victorian gold rush

> Annabel Plummer (11C) evaluated women’s rights in the USSR under Joseph Stalin

> Bella Fary (8B) analysed the significance of the ‘Black Power’ salute at the 1968 Olympics

> Cate Mead (8A) wrote an essay exploring the significance of the White Rose student resistance movement in Nazi Germany

> Jasmine Rees (8B) prepared a webpage exploring the significance of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut

> Maya Jones (11A) documented how the media uses gendered tropes to attack female politicians in Australia, with a focus on Prime Minister Julia Gillard

> Nonie McLean (8D) investigated the significance of the 1969 Moon Landing

> Olive Clohesy (8A) prepared a video on the significance of pioneering female Australian activist and politician, Edith Cowan

> Ruby Tu (8C) explored how the ancient Olympics influenced the development of the modern Olympics

We congratulate these students on their awards and commend all young historians at Camberwell who have entered History competitions in 2021. Below are three student entries.

Ian Lyell
Head of History

2021 CGGS Election Campaign Launch

On Wednesday this week, the eight parties contesting the 2021 CGGS Election launched their campaigns in a bid to secure the votes of the CGGS ‘electorate’ on this year’s Election Day, Thursday 25 November.

Each Year 9 Commerce class is represented by two parties and each has developed their own ‘party platform’ and set of policies, a suite of advertising to support getting their message out to the electorate and a website to promote, inform and persuade voters. Links to the websites created by each party can be found below. They are well worth a look as the creativity and passion demonstrated by our students for the issues that they believe will make positive changes for us in the future are front and center in their work.

All students were involved in the campaign process in a way that suited their interests and skills, and each will be involved on Election Day as part of the official process of voting preferentially using a secret ballot. The two weeks leading up to the Election will be spent by the students lining up preference deals and informing voters about the differences between the parties so that on Election Day voters have a clear idea of who and what they’re voting for. The Year 9 Commerce teaching team will be on the lookout for branch stacking! Good luck to all Parties!

Alexandra Larkey
Head of Commerce

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised award with participants from over 130 countries. Over 8 million young people have participated worldwide. The award is open to anyone ages 14-24 in 3 different levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The program creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service and experience adventure. The aim is to build valuable skills that will equip young people for life and work by committing to achieve goals over an extended period of time and reflecting upon the tasks used to achieve these goals. In coming CamNews releases, we would like to share with the CGGS community the achievements of past participants and how they have reflected upon their completion of the GOLD AWARD.

For further information regarding the Duke of Edinburgh Award, please contact Mr. Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School at

Phoebe Hwong

Was there anyone important to you in your DOE journey?
The most important and influential people that I encountered during my DOE journey are the people that I met during my time in Cambodia. All the people at the Green Gecko project had such an optimistic outlook on life and carried an infectious smile every day. The time I got to spend with the Green Gecko project has and will continue to shape the way I interact with others and my community.

How would you improve your experience if you did it again?
My journey with DOE was definitely a highly memorable one. However, if I were to improve my experience, I would widen the range of places and activities which I participated in. Doing this would have allowed me to meet more people and explore new things and places.

What would you tell someone just starting or thinking about starting DOE?
Don’t be scared to push yourself and try something new. Starting DOE can be daunting and at times overwhelming as it seems like a massive task but if you take it slow and one step at a time it turns into an amazing journey. DOE is about pushing yourself, widening your experiences and refining your perspectives. The more you venture out of your comfort zone the more you will grow and learn.

Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary

Zonta Birthing Kit Program

On Monday 8 November, the Year 10’s were given the opportunity to support a life-saving initiative. We used Periods 5 and 6 to make Zonta Birthing Kits. The Zonta Birthing Kits program is one of the school’s longest-running service learning initiatives, having first started at CGGS around 20 years ago. Through the program, students and teachers made over 100 birthing kits in an afternoon. Each kit includes a soap bar, gloves, a plastic sheet, string, gauze, and a sterile scalpel. Despite being an absolute necessity for childbirth, many women in developing countries struggle to afford these kits which results in dangerous and life-threatening childbirths. Through Zonta, however, the kits that were made by CGGS are given to women for free, allowing more women to experience a safer birth. The afternoon was very eye opening and highlighted to all of us how incredibly challenging it is for women around the world to access the mere essentials of healthcare. It also gave us a greater appreciation for the incredible efforts that Zonta are putting towards women’s health.

To think that by putting some gloves on and folding some gauze and scalpels in some plastic and packing them (and then unpacking and repacking them all when we accidentally left out a scalpel in one of the kits) has saved 100 mothers and their newborns is truly astounding. All Year 10’s are definitely feeling grateful for having had such a privilege to be involved in the initiative.

Nektaria Toscas, 10A

One Girl Fundraiser

Did you know that 130 million girls around the world are out of school? And in Sierra Leone, a girl is more likely to be married before the age of 18, than she is to finish high school. For the past month we have been raising money for an organisation called One Girl. One Girl supports the education of girls around the world, specifically in Sierra Leone. As an organisation they also promote health and menstrual hygiene.

To raise money for this cause, we held a raffle with prizes from local cafes such as The Good Food Collective and Xocolatl. As of Tuesday 9 November 2021, we have raised over $2000. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated. Every little bit counts, and we really are making a difference to someone’s life.

Donating $25 can pay for a year’s worth of menstrual hygiene products. $50 can pay for 5 pairs of school shoes for a student in the One Girl program, and $100 can pay for a year of business training for a young woman. We have raised enough money to pay for 20 people to complete a year of training in business, or enough to purchase a year’s supply of sanitary products for 80 women. When you educate a girl, her income will increase by 10-25% for every year that she stays in school, and this will contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.

We are making a difference in the lives of so many, so thank you so much for your generous donations.

Isabella Wood and Bella Fary, 9B

Netball is back!

We are so pleased to be back and playing Netball! CGGS Netball players were back on the court for their first training session this term. It was wonderful to see all of the students having fun, showing off their Netball skills and working hard.

Thank you to all of the students and coaches for attending training, we look forward to seeing you all every Monday for more Netball skills and fun.

Alexia McConnell
Netball Coordinator