December 10, 2019

During recent weeks we have had some wonderful events to celebrate the conclusion of the 2019 school year and Christmas season. These have included our final assemblies, Blessing of the Gifts Service at Ormiston (prior to the gift collection from Anglicare), Carols at Camberwell, the Carols Service at St Marks and the Year 6 Graduation Ceremony and Lunch.  To finish off our celebrations we also have the Years 7-9 Presentation Evening tonight.

We have had so much to celebrate in 2019 across all of our year levels and as a community.  We have also experienced our ups and downs and it is our preparedness to work through these that enables us to learn, grow and embrace the new challenges that lie ahead.

It is at this time of year that we also farewell some staff who are leaving.

Mrs Maxine Ewens is leaving CGGS to pursue a career outside of the classroom as Child Link Policy & Practice Officer with the Department of Education & Training. Maxine joined CGGS in April 2012, as the Head of Learning Support and she also held the position of Year Level Coordinator from July 2012 to the end of 2017. Maxine was instrumental in the development of our Mentor program and worked alongside the School Mentor Captains. We wish her all the very best in her new role.

After six years at Ormiston Miss Michelle Kalus has resigned to travel to the UK to live next year. Since 2017 Michelle has coordinated many Service Learning projects such as the Winter Warmth Appeal, World Vision sponsorship of a child, and the Christmas Gift Giving Appeal. However, one new project that Michelle introduced was for the Year 2 students to visit Hedley Sutton, a local aged care centre. We wish Michelle safe travels.

We also farewell Mrs Jenine Caruso who came out of retirement for a term in 2016 and stayed for over 3 years. During her time at CGGS Jenine took on the position of Year Level Coordinator from the commencement of 2018. Jenine has made a significant contribution to the lives of our Year 7 students having made this area of transition her specialty. Her common sense approach, and her excellent communication with all the students and their parents has ensured she has been the perfect in the role. Since introducing drama club and theatre sports activities at Year 7, the number of students undertaking drama at both the House and School level as a co-curricular offering, has grown significantly. We wish Jenine every happiness as she settles into her own next chapter.

We also farewell Mr Brent Woodlock who commenced at CGGS in January 2018, initially as Acting Head of Mathematics and then as Head of Mathematics from the start of this year and has been a much-valued teacher of Mathematics in Years 7-10 and Maths Methods at VCE. We wish Brent all the best as he who continues his career back with educating boys at Scotch College.

During her short time at CGGS, Ms Kirsten Dunsby has enjoyed getting to know her students as Head of Taylor House and in the classroom. She has made a significant contribution to the English Department, however she has the opportunity to return to Brighton Grammar which is much closer to home in a leadership role.  We wish Kirsten all the best for the future.

Having commenced at CGGS this year Ms Emma Harrison has built a strong rapport with the students in her Tutor group, her Year 7 English class and her Language and Learning class as well as with the students she supported individually. Emma’s nurturing and kind nature made these connections easy to form and she was particularly concerned not to be able to see the full year out supporting each of these groups. We wish her all the best for the future.

I would also like to acknowledge Mrs Miranda Jackson who is now on Parental Leave and wish her well.

In addition, I thank the following staff who are concluding their contracts – Ms Stephanie Leslie – Music & Flute Teacher, Year 8 TG Teacher, Mrs Sabrina Zhu – Chinese Teacher, Year 8 TG Teacher, Ms Emily Hui – Y7 Maths teacher, Mrs Alma Tooke – Art Teacher, Ms Ginetta Chiodo – Art Teacher, Ms Annalise Gehling – RE Teacher. Our Deakin Associate teachers – Ms Sophie Brugliera, Ms Harriet Cooper and Ms Monica Clarke, Ms Kim Yeomans – JS Library Teacher, Ms Marianne Rigby-Black – JS Music Teacher and Ms Jeanette Acland – JS RE Teacher.

The theme of our Year 6 graduation this year was ‘The future belongs to those who are inspired by beauty in their dreams’. The Christmas season is a time we reflect on the things that are important to us, and maybe beauty is one of those things. Let me share with you an excerpt from my speech.

“Beauty inspires us to count our blessings, for blessings we have in abundance in this lucky country and school of ours. It’s important  to remember we only have one life to live and that we should cherish it and make of it the very best. As humans we may be different, but we have the same dream and aspiration… to find meaning and purpose in our lives. My hope is that in being deeply grateful and appreciative of what our school community has, and stands for, that we will all capture the desire to make a difference… to work as one… staff, parents and students… in helping to create the future, not being satisfied just by walking step by step towards it”.

On behalf of the Staff at Camberwell Girls Grammar School we wish you and your family the gifts of the Christmas Season – peace, hope, joy and love.

Have a very happy and safe holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2020.

With best wishes,
Debbie Dunwoody