Opening of the Stage 1 Refurbishment of the Barbara Fary Science Centre
Tuesday 8 August 2017


Twenty-three years ago, in her role as Camberwell Girls’ fourth School Principal, Dr Barbara Fary, dared to dream.

Her dream… the development of a state-of-the-art science facility, to house five laboratories and supporting resource rooms, which would cater for the study of physics, chemistry and biology. All were designed to motivate and inspire those who would learn, and those employed to teach, to embrace the revolutionary and evolutionary advances in science and technology, which Dr Fary clearly envisioned with the approaching new millennium.

Dr Fary was a true visionary, devoting her life’s work to education and leading her to become nationally recognised for her research into the areas of curriculum and assessment. Her innate insight, intellect and wisdom underpinned Dr Fary’s motivation and commitment to providing opportunities for all students of Camberwell Girls to pursue a greater understanding of the world around them. The discipline and breadth of the study of Science, which seeks to understand and explain the beauty, complexities and intricacies of our universe and our place within it, was deserving of a specially designed Centre.

The Science Centre set within our School and committed to teaching deep values, exemplifies Dr Fary’s understanding that education is not just about academic learning, but that it includes the exploration of ideas, some of which come with the responsibility to adhere to one’s ethical stance.

The study of science presents the opportunity to explore one’s curiosity and development of critical, questioning attitudes. It necessitates these facets to build on the body of acquired knowledge that has laid the foundations for present understandings and theories.

Over the years, the Science Centre has become a fertile seeding ground to challenge and excite young women in scientific endeavour. We can be proud of numerous alumni who, after walking through the Torrington Street gates at the end of Year 12, now work worldwide and play leading roles in the future direction of science and technology.  Ms Wendy Rainbird (1959) was previously the National Council of Women’s Australia Environment Advisor from 2009 to 2015, and in June 2015 Wendy was elected to the position of the International Council of Women’s Environment Advisor.  Ms Kara Brussen (2008) is a Sustainability Consultant at Arup, a global infrastructure and design firm.

With Camberwell’s commitment to Creating Your Tomorrow and the process of education and life wide, not just life long learning, the School moves steadily forward, not in pursuing popular culture for the sake of change, but striving to live its educational beliefs which add depth to programs for the students entrusted to the School’s care.  It is also about the importance of problem solving, thinking creatively, understanding the process of design, prototyping, the role of failure in learning and testing new ideas, and the importance of understanding our digital world through coding and robotics.

To help prepare our students for the known and unknown scientific future where scientific endeavour knows no bounds, and the development of skills in coding, robotics and design thinking are essential, the first stage of the Science Centre redevelopment has been completed.

After the opening of the Barbara Fary Science Centre in 1997, on August 8 this year in a special ceremony, the Chair of Council, Mr David Kollomorgen officially opened Stage 1 of the refurbishment of this centre – a Science Laboratory, Robotics Laboratory and MakerSpace.

We were delighted to have with us Dr Barbara Fary and her husband Norm, as well as members of their family,  Mr Peter Fary and Ms Emma Quilkey with their daughters Mia and Bella, and Mrs Helen Westerman and Dr David Westerman and their daughter Amelia On this day we honoured Dr Fary as an inspirational leader and former Principal of Camberwell Girls Grammar School.  We were also delighted that members of Council, Mrs Linda Black, Ms Cara Davey, Mr Sam Page and Dr Nigel Simpson and former Deputy Principal Mrs Trena Jolly were all able to attend.

In enabling our students to

Dare to be curious…
Dare to be creative…
Dare to be innovative…
Dare to experiment…
Dare to investigate…
Dare to think critically…
Dare to question…
Dare to form your own points of view and debate them…
Dare to problem-solve…
… and… Dare to dream of possibilities…we are helping them to live Dr Fary’s vision for the future of science in our School, with the common good at heart.

In Dr Fary’s words from our history book, In Deeds Not Years:

Students should all be given the opportunity: To pursue a greater understanding of the world around them.  They should be encouraged within our school to develop that curiosity, that thirst for understanding, which will not allow them to accept the trite response, the cheap alternative, the popular culture, the second best in whatever pursuit they find themselves.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Rev. Helen Creed blessed the new spaces and equipment.

The naming of this facility, the Barbara Fary Science Centre, honours her legacy and the Medal of the Order of Australia awarded to her in 2002 for services to secondary education, particularly in the areas of curriculum and assessment.

We are grateful for her continued interest and commitment in the School.


With best wishes

Debbie Dunwoody

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