Welcome from the Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians

There is always excitement in the air as staff and students return from the holidays and begin a new school year.  It is a particularly significant occasion as Foundation students commence their formal education at school and Year 7 students begin their journey as Senior School girls.

As our Year 6C students prepared and delivered their leadership speeches, our School Captains were sharing their ‘Term Themes’ of Creativity, Kindness, Confidence and Unity.  I know that all of our leaders, including the new Year 9 leaders will provide inspiration and many exciting experiences for our community throughout the year.

The School day is already buzzing with: our House Captains, along with the Dance and Drama Captains auditioning girls for the House Dance and Drama competition; the commencement of morning and music groups and sign ups for the GSV sport competition.  It is wonderful to see so many girls actively engaged in co-curricular activities so soon.

In Years 7 and 12 we commenced the year with a special Church Service conducted by Reverend Creed in the Barbara Sutton Hall, followed by dinner in our new Figtree Café, operated by Pinwheel & Co.  The new range of food and the friendly atmosphere of the café has been warmly welcomed by all members of the CGGS community.

Many parents attended the Information Nights this week, with only the Year 7 and 8 Night to be held on Wednesday 10 February.  We have been able to share information about some of the priorities and programs for the year and it has also been a wonderful opportunity for parents to meet key teachers including class teachers, Form teachers and subject teachers. I would like to thank Mrs Trena Jolly, Mr Mark Corrie and Mr Paul Donohue for their organisation of these important evenings.  In addition I am looking forward to the Junior School Picnic tonight – it is always a fun and relaxing way for families to connect at the beginning of a school year.

As parents and guardians, you should have received a letter prior to term commencing outlining key activities and information for Term 1.  In addition, Parent Handbooks have also been available at Information Nights or sent home with students if parents were unable to attend.  Please contact the Head of Junior School (Mr Paul Donohue) or the Head of Senior School (Mrs Cathy Poyser) if you have not received this information.

Teaching teams this year are continuing to work on a number of priorities including Curriculum Design where our focus is on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, activities where our girls are able to develop creative, problem solving, entrepreneurial and communication skills as well as coding and robotics programs across the school as curricular and co-curricular opportunities.  This year across Years 7-10 we are also introducing a new Financial Literacy program for all girls with an optional program offered next term to Years 11 and 12.

We have continued to develop our Positive Education and Next Generation Collaborative Learning Programs as well as an enhanced Education Outdoors camps program with activities that build upon previous experiences and provide greater challenge.  We also look forward to working further with Murrundindi, the ngurungeata or headman of the Wurundjeri people.

This year we are also offering some new VCE subjects; Global Politics, Food Technology and Religion and Society, and during the Term 3 holidays we will be conducting our first international social justice trip to Cambodia with APYF to work with the Green Gecko Project.  We will continue our very successful ‘In Conversation’ series in the Library and establish some new play equipment at Ormiston.

I am delighted to be hosting a visit from Mdm Heng Boey Hong, the Principal of one of our sister schools, Nanyang Girls High School (NGHS) in Singapore in early March.  I was very fortunate to visit NGHS last year where Mdm Heng and I agreed to resume our exchange program between the two schools.  This will provide an exciting opportunity for students this year.

We were delighted to welcome back Ms Belinda Kinnane, Mrs Melissa Field, Ms Laura Washington, Mrs Meaghan Wilson and Mrs Penny Dumsday after a period of parental leave.   Mrs Kim Waters and in a few weeks time, Mrs Alice Broadbridge also return from Long Service Leave.  Former employees,  Mr Ken Trufitt and and Mrs Annabelle Vivarini have also returned to teach at CGGS.

We have a number of new staff who also commenced this year.  Some are in new positions, ongoing positions and leave replacement positions.  I would like to introduce:

Senior School Teachers / Tutors

Mrs Sasha Sereda / Head of Learning Support
Ms Georgina Bonnington / Biology & Science Teacher
Mr Dickson Ho / Biology, Chemistry, Science and Maths Teacher
Mrs Jennie Goad / Food Technology, Science and Health Teacher
Mr Ian Naudi / Maths Method, Further Maths, General Maths Teacher
Mrs Nirvana Watkins / EnglishTeacher
Ms Liesa Winkler / English & German Teacher
Ms Lexi Joyce / Netball Program Coordinator

Ms Jemma Banfield / Deakin Associate Teacher
Mr Edward Niu / Deakin Associate Teacher
Ms Jacqui O’Neill / Deakin Associate Teacher

Junior School Teachers

Mrs Liz Ruffles / Year 5
Ms Miranda Kerr / Year 1
Ms Jessica Huggett / Music Teacher

As many of you would also be aware, after 20 years of dedicated and outstanding service to our School our Deputy Principal, Trena Jolly let me know late last year that she will be resigning from Camberwell Girls at the end of February 2016.

Trena has been an influential leader in our School, overseeing many initiatives and developments.  We are planning a special tribute to her at our Senior School Assembly on Tuesday 23 February commencing at 10.55am in Barbara Sutton Hall.  If you would like to attend, please contact my Personal Assistant, Melissa Madge on 9813 1166 or by email

Whilst the decision to leave Camberwell Girls was a difficult one, Trena is looking forward to spending time with family and contributing to the broader community through volunteer work.   We are certainly very grateful to Trena for her incredible contribution to the success of our School and in particular the Senior School’s academic program.  We wish her every happiness in her future endeavours.

I look forward to meeting you throughout the year.

With very best wishes for the year ahead,

Debbie Dunwoody