October 18, 2019

The arrival of Term 4 always signifies commencement of the celebration of important milestones in education – from completing secondary education for our Year 12 students through to the orientation and transition programs for new and continuing students later in the term.

At 3.25pm today the school bell rang for only the second time this year (the first was at the commencement of the Year 7 Welcome Ceremony). Today it was to signify the final day of secondary schooling for our Year 12 students. Whilst some of our girls have already commenced their oral and performance exams, the rest are now preparing for the first of their final assessments. We are very proud of our 2019 Year 12 cohort as they have led with enthusiam and zest motivating teams of students in many areas, as well as working consistently in their academic programs thoughout the year. I would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the very best in their final examinations and for all the opportunities that lie ahead.

Last week, Jacqui Wagner who is a member of our School Council opened the VCE Art Show. Jacqui is an architect who has a great interest in Art, Design and Creative Thinking. As a member of the School Council, she also sits on the Property Sub-Committee. Jacqui acknowledged the quality of the work, variety of different media featured and the utilisation of sophisticated technology located in our MakerSpace such as the laser cutter and 3D printers. I am very grateful to our art team for bringing this exhibition together.

At our Years 10-12 Presentation Evening last night, we were able to showcase and celebrate many students and their work. Whilst we celebrated the significant academic achievements, we also highlighted the many citizenship, service, community and co-curricular contributions as well. This is very important as we are committed to the development of the whole person and we value the development of broader competencies, skills and ethical capacities – attributes that we know are integral to their future success.

Last night I was delighted to share that 25% of our 2019 Year 12 cohort have already received offers from the Australian National University (ANU) and LaTrobe University. Entrance requirements into ANU are not solely based on the ATAR but also on contribution to the community in service and other co-curricular interests. This is also common in international university applications and this part of the application has been already satisfied. Through the LaTrobe University ASPIRE program, students again have satisfied these requirements through avenues such as their community service, volunteering for groups, such as coaching sporting teams, participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and other co-curricular programs. At LaTrobe, students accepted into the ASPIRE program can gain entry into courses with a conditional offer ATAR. For example, for entry into Physiotherapy in 2019, the ATAR at LaTrobe was 97. The community engagement component makes up a large part of the selection criteria. For those accepted into the ASPIRE program the conditional offer ATAR was 92. All eleven of our Year 12 students who applied have been accepted into the ASPIRE program, so clearly the strength of their applications has been outstanding. Whilst the girls may still choose different courses, it is significant that they already have considerable options.Next week we look forward to our Leavers’ Service and Valedictory Dinner.

This year our students have been led by 3 incredible young women: Nikki Chen (School Captain), Stephanie Lysikatos (Vice Captain) and Ellie Zhou (Vice Captain). They have served our community with dedication and humility. Nikki, Steph and Ellie have worked in a truly collaborative way with all other captains and leaders, have been mindful of the needs and the desires of both the student body and the school, and have engaged others to create many inspiring and thought provoking activities, presentations and events. Nikki, Steph and Ellie have truly embraced our school values of integrity, commitment, respect, hope and courage in all of their work this year and we won’t forget the NES team’s zest for all they do! I thank them on behalf of our community for their service.

I am pleased to confirm that we will be finishing our Science Laboratory refurbishments over the Christmas break. The Chemistry and Biology Laboratories with associated preparation rooms will be completed ready for the beginning of the 2020 school year. This three year project will see the complete renovation of four Science Laboratories and the construction of a Robotics Laboratory and MakerSpace. I am very grateful to the many members of our community who have supported the important upgrade of these facilities.


With best wishes

Debbie Dunwoody