Senior School


Senior School

April 30, 2021

It has been a wonderful first two weeks of Term 2. This edition of CamNews will enable you to enjoy the highlights and achievements of our students, which I feel sure you have already been following on our Social Media channels.

Last week in our first assembly for Term 2 we held our annual ANZAC Assembly, and I was honoured to speak to all our Senior School students. The ANZAC Assembly is where we acknowledge with gratitude the sacrifices made by the men and women who served Australia and New Zealand in the wars of the past. Initially the day was to pay thanks to those who fought in World War 1 and then later for those who have served in all wars and operations.

The values of the ANZAC’s included courage, mateship, fairness, persistence, integrity, humour, initiative, endurance, determination, ingenuity, respect, and selflessness. These qualities were at the time, when Australia was a newly federated country, very important as they gave our ancestors hope and set the tone for a fledgling country.

And we see these values and qualities as equally important in Australia in 2021 when as a country we stand together to fight fires, floods, cyclones and most recently the pandemic.

A number of the Camberwell Girls staff and students have relatives currently serving in the Australian Defence Force. We took the opportunity at our ANZAC Assembly to express our pride in their chosen career, and give thanks to them for their peace keeping efforts and for the work they do around the world to keep us all safe, and ensure the freedoms we all enjoy in Australia are maintained.

The speeches presented at this Assembly by three students, Siena Yap, Salome Obeyesekere and Salwa Saiba are attached in the button below for you to read.

This past fortnight we have also enjoyed the Centenary Book Launch, the VCE Theatre Studies performance of Picnic at Hanging Rock, House Cross Country, Year 8 Wellbeing and Year 9 Artificial Intelligence conferences. Please enjoy reading the summaries of each of these events below and I thank the students and staff for their contributions to making these events so successful.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

VCE Theatre Studies – Picnic at Hanging Rock

Last week we had the great pleasure of welcoming an audience back to our school to support the Year 12 Theatre Studies students in their performance of, Picnic at Hanging Rock. This adaptation by Tom Wright, from Joan Lindsay’s haunting novel, was the chosen script for their Unit 3, Outcome 1 SAC. Students chose two areas of production to interpret the script through and engaged with the theatrical styles of Australian Gothic, Absurdism, Comedy of Manners and Classicism. Throughout the term, students met with Industry mentors to expand their skill sets and notion of what was possible. A suitably thrilling and chilling atmosphere was produced, and we congratulate the students on their massive undertaking.

Amelia Lemanis: Co-Director and Set Design

Sabrina Renzi: Co-Director and Actor

Simar Kaur: Lighting Design and Actor

Charlotte Kutey: Sound Design and Actor

Millie Winkett: Prop Design and Actor

Shannon Yeung: Costume Design and Actor

Click to expand the photos below to view the girls fantastic hard work.

Keira Lyons
Head of Drama

Year 7 Ancient Australia History Incursion

As part of their study of Ancient History, Year 7 students participated in an Ancient Australia Incursion with Murrundindi. This event saw students take on the role of archaeologists and museum curators, focusing on particular artefacts from the past and considering what these reveal about the people who created and used them. Below are the reflections of some students.

Maggie Wighton
History Teacher and Sustainability Coordinator

Late last month we had a very special incursion for History. We were able to meet Murrundindi and handle museum-grade artefacts. This was arranged for our unit on Ancient Australia, so we could have hands on experience. Some of these items were thousands of years old. In this incursion we got the chance to make conclusions based on each object answering these questions: 

> Who do you think used this object?

> What do you think it was used for?

> How old might this object be?

My favourite part of this incursion was when we made conclusions on the objects, based on their appearance. It was very interesting to gauge how close we were and see how old the object was. The most important piece of information I learnt was how each object told a story of the people who used it and their life-style.

Anais, 7W

When we first entered Robinson Hall we were astounded by the incredible amount of artefacts that lined the tables. As we settled into our seats and found our way to our tables Ms Wighton introduced us to Murrundindi who shared with us a brief history about his ancestors and the way they lived on their country. Soon after, we got into pairs and went to pick out an artefact.  My partner Grace and I had our attention drawn by a snake carved out of wood, dark brown in colour and patterned with scorch marks.  At first we thought it was made made to commemorate someone’s pet snake, however, as we were racking our brains trying to find a more possible reason as to why the snake was made, Murrundindi came to our rescue and explained to us that the snake was used in ceremonies and as a way to represent Mindi, who is the second created and Bunjil’s brother. All the pieces of the puzzle seemed to connect as Grace and I realised the reason the snake was made. Later on we presented our item and explained why it was made. Whilst the entire incursion was both intriguing and informative, my favourite part was learning about everyone’s items and getting to know more about the way Aboriginal tribes lived in Ancient Australia.

Isuli, 7W

At the end of Term 1 , Murrundindi came to visit us and exposed us to a wide range of artefacts that were once used by Aboriginals. The task was to partner up with someone and choose an artefact to study. We also got to touch and weigh the object. My favourite part of the event was when I got to choose any type of artefact I wanted to study as there were a variety of artefacts to choose from. I chose the Stone Axe Head as I thought it looked interesting because it had a sharp edge which really interest me as I had never seen a rock shaped like that. I found out that Stone Axe Head was used to cut wood because back then they didn’t have chainsaws to cut wood. The most important thing I learned and I feel that other people should also know is that the main difference between what Aboriginals use and what we use is that they use nature to help them out and we mainly use mechanics. Overall, this was a great incursion as I got to explore many objects.

Sahana, 7W

Snorkelling in Port Phillip Bay!

How tranquil, to feel the gentle wind in your hair and sea spray on your face as your wetsuit dries from a day snorkelling with wonderous ocean life. This is exactly how I felt after the school STEAM captains, Aleen and myself, accompanied by Chelsea were invited on the Year 10 Marine excursion on Friday the 26th of March. We ventured on board a boat captained by Tori departing from the Sorrento pier. We were first fitted with wetsuits, snorkels and fins on the pier. Snorkelling instructions then occurred on the boat itself as we sailed over the sea, eager to see what we could see, see, see.

Our first stop was Chinaman’s Hat, and we were greeted by its residents – brown seals seemingly waving their flippers at us as they cooled off in the ocean. On the hut itself, some were snoozing in the sun or barking raucously, fighting for the best places like seagulls over chips. We geared up and slid into the icy water for a closer look, catching a huge manta ray and multiple playful seals on video. It was a good thing that we were warned not to stray too close to the hut, since the seals enjoyed rolling off the sides with a heavy splash!

Next, we were taken to an area closer to shore, where there were rusty chains anchoring small boats. We were fortunate to find one of my favourite marine creatures, the elusive weedy sea dragon! Diving down, we were also given the opportunity to peer underneath a rock shelf and spy on multitudes of tiny fish. Afterwards, we relaxed on the boat as the crew scoured Port Phillip Bay for grey dorsal fins. Alas, the tides had moved the food locations and dolphins were nowhere to be found.

We would like to formally express our appreciation to Tori and the boat crew, as well as to Dr Mason for inviting us on this amazing marine excursion. It was an experience that I shall treasure like pirates’ gold and I look forward to the next time I set sail for Science.

Bethany Orme
Year 11

Soul Siblings Initiative

On Monday 26 April 2021, SEA (Sophia, Eloise and Ashley) commenced an initiative titled “Soul Siblings”. Inspired by the previous “Big Sister Little Sister” program, the activity interconnects the Year 7s and the Year 9s by placing them in pairs and engaging the girls in fun and interactive activities. SEA know as students commence high school, it is important for them to feel more included and settled in their Senior School Community. As a result, Soul Siblings offers students the confidence to get more involved in their school life!

For the first activity, the “siblings” headed out into the Woodstock courtyard for collaborative games such as jenga, table tennis, gaga or just discussion. It was lovely observing the students getting involved and establishing their inter-level relationships. In the long term, SEA aspires that the Year 7s and 9s form meaningful connections that they will sustain until the end of their schooling.

Our next Soul Siblings activity is coming up in a few weeks and given the initial success we can’t wait to SEA what comes next!

Sophia Giagoudakis, Eloise Webster and Ashley Olsen

Music Camp

We are very grateful to have emerged from a year of lockdowns, remote learning and on-line music-making. Our shared experiences in 2020 have been a strong indicator of how music provides an outlet for our emotions, human connection and supports well-being. Our 2021 Music Camp at Mount Eliza was a triumphant success, as we were able to collaborate together as a CGGS music community and celebrate how blessed we are to have live music in our lives.

Many creative hearts and hands came together throughout the weekend to learn new repertoire and refine performance skills. The Year 7-12 student musicians worked alongside our dedicated Music staff (and additional CGGS teaching staff) having fun in rehearsals and other organised activities. The traditional quiz night hosted by School Music Captains Zara Price and Zara Mammone was a highlight of the camp, with enthusiastic cross-age participation and a close result at the end of the evening.

The student-led ANZAC Day Ceremony took place in the open-air chapel at Camp Manyung after breakfast on Sunday morning. It provided all of us with the opportunity to reflect on the service and sacrifices made by the members of the Australian Defence Forces and to consider how fortunate we are. The Music Camp concluded with final preparations for the Centenary Founders’ Service. All singers and instrumentalists came together to rehearse our School Anthem. They are looking forward to performing this beautiful music in St. Paul’s Cathedral next week.

The ability to connect with others, through the love of music, is a key strength in which our musicians shine. We look forward to sharing the high quality work produced at Music Camp with all of the CGGS community in our calendar of music events. Many thanks to the teaching staff who attended and supported us with their kindness, good humour and care. A special thank you also to the helpful group of students and parents who assisted us with unpacking the music equipment from the truck when we returned to school.

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Music Camp was an amazing experience for anyone who enjoys making music. It was a great way to interact with students in other year levels who share similar interests. The trivia night on Saturday is always a highlight and was so entertaining: wearing costumes based on a theme (this year’s was animated characters), answering music-based trivia and more. It was especially incredible hearing the school’s new anthem for the first time with both the choir and orchestra. Music Camp helped build a sense of community throughout the whole school by connecting students from different ensembles.

Stephanie – Year 10

I had the BEST time at music camp! I really enjoyed practising songs and having more time to focus on our beautiful School Anthem. I can’t wait to go again!

Olive – Year 8

Music camp was so fun and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go. Rehearsals were helpful and enjoyable and I made many friends in other year levels. Trivia and movie night were a blast and everyone got involved. The teachers organised fun rehearsals and I am so thankful for their help and encouragement. Overall, this was one of my many highlights of year 7 and I can’t wait to go in years to come.

Phoebe – Year 7

Music camp was an excellent opportunity to learn new pieces of music and finesse current repertoire. Singing the school anthem’s descant line with the orchestra for the upcoming Founders’ Service was particularly memorable, while quiz night and the people I met on the camp made it an incredibly enjoyable experience.

Salome – Year 10

I learned how to hold my own part while playing in the band, which is something I never really got to consolidate before the  Music Camp. One of the things I really enjoyed was the quiz night, as all the questions were really fun and I got to talk to students in other year levels. The camp was a fun way to get to know people and to really consolidate the pieces we’ve been practising. I would definitely recommend going! 

Nonie – Year 8

What I enjoyed at music camp was that I got to meet new people from different year levels, as well as strengthen friendships and overcome fears. I learnt to have more faith in myself and just give it a go. The teachers there were really encouraging and helped everyone learn a lot, but have fun at the same time.

Angelique – Year 7

On music camp I enjoyed being able to sing with my friends and classmates. I also enjoyed getting to know students in younger year levels better, as well as the games night. Something I learnt was how to sing with an orchestra in addition to the piano accompaniment, as that was a new experience for me.

Lily – Year 10

I really enjoyed music camp this year, especially going to rehearsals with my friends and learning the School Anthem. I can’t wait to go again next year!

Audrey – Year 8

This year was my first music camp, and it was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed walking down to the beach on the Saturday afternoon, and the animated character themed dress up night! I also loved learning how to play lots of new pieces during the band rehearsals. 

Disha – Year 8


“As more and more artificial intelligence is entering into the world, more and more emotional intelligence must enter into leadership.” – Amit Ray

We were rapt to be able to undertake our first of three bespoke seasonal learning experiences with our Year 9s on the first two days of Term 2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all around us but rarely do we stop and consider how pervasive and influential it is in our daily lives. Our Year 9 Summit: AI & Wicked Problems, prompted Year 9 students to do just this. From an initial immersion, exploration, gathering and evaluation of everything AI, students then embarked on a design thinking hack linked to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Day Two design thinking process saw students work through the five stages of design, empathy, definition, ideation, protoyping and testing, sprinting through the creative process in collaborative groups as they worked in service to solve a wicked problem using technology.

It was fantastic to welcome Psychologist and Researcher Ryan Kelly, of the University of Melbourne, to discuss ‘Biometric Mirror’ a research project that uses AI to detect and display people’s personality traits and physical attractiveness based solely on a photo of their face.

This system investigates a person’s understanding of AI and their response to the information about their unique traits that the mirror projects. The research project explores the ethical concerns linked to this technology around consent, data storage and algorithmic bias. As the provocation on our first day, Ryan’s presentation offered an insight into the complexity of using technology such as AI, and the potential real-world consequences of algorithmic bias and assumptions, even when people are driven by the best intentions. So, AI may help to solve some of the biggest challenges that we face, but what wicked problems does it raise?

From here, the Year 9s took a deep dive into the ways that AI is being used in positive ways to address all sorts of problems. From global citizen science which is being used by NASA to classify coral reefs to Woebot, an AI powered mental health chat bot, AI was explored in its multiple forms, helping to plant seeds of opportunity to help solve some of the world’s big problems. Employing their graphic recording skills, honed on an earlier Upskill BY DESIGN opportunity with Think In Colour, students collaborated as turning these complex ideas into clarifying visuals for later reference.

Enabling students to be immersed in the AI information space was a necessary beginning, as was providing the chance for low stakes play. Quick design hacks to create chariots for Sphero robots to deliver precious cargo, re-purposing laser printer offcuts into freestanding animals to hold micro:bits and designing avatars using Tinkercad, completed the first day’s activities.

Day 2 was all about design, taking the knowledge and understanding gained on the first day and turning this into action. CGGS is fortunate to have Summer Howarth, founder of Eventful Learning as a strategic partner and as the students embarked on their design sprints, Summer shared her experiences in working across not only education but industry and community partners too, in designing solutions to wicked problems. An emphasis was placed on the importance of clear communication in the design process, as students worked collaboratively to turn their theories into action to address some of the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

The students’ final idea pitches, made to their peers were brilliant to see, as was the way feedback which was generously given and humbly received. We congratulate all of our students on a fantastic two day summit and look forward to seeing them continue to design their way into the future, on behalf of others and themselves. Based on some of the reflections our students have shared, we’re pretty sure that the future of AI use looks safe and bright.

A big thankyou to our teacher co-designers of the AI & Wicked Problems Summit, Mr Wilkins, Mrs Wood, Dr Forwood, Mr Maycock and Ms Biggs. It was great to have you on board and your contributions are enormously appreciated.

Finally to Year 9 students, Sophie and Hayley, thanks for sharing your reflections:

These past two days have been a blur of excitement and new things. A.I was never really a topic that I had never considered deeply, but after some initial thought-provoking questions, we were asked and the deep discussions we had with each other, I’m now interested in an industry filled with opportunities. The way that A.I was showcased in the presentations by our guest speaker, Ryan Kelly, from the University of Melbourne made me realise just how influential A.I is in our lives. By the time we had finished our big first day of learning about this relatively new topic, our minds were brimming with information and we needed a way to put it all down. The second day was a perfect way to do this. We learned about the process of design and the ways it helps us in everyday problem-solving. With these new skills, we were able to formulate our own ideas on how to solve the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals, proving that AI can be humanity’s future as well as my own. – Sophie

On Tuesday the 20th of April and Wednesday the 21st of April, we, the year 9s, took part in a conference focussing on ‘Wicked Problems and AI.’ On Tuesday, we were introduced to the world of AI and how it’s used for the better and for the worse.  Guest speaker, psychologist and researcher Ryan Kelly from the University of Melbourne, spoke and gave an insight into their research project ‘biometric mirror’. He discussed the ethics of this project and how AI must be considered from an ethical perspective. On Wednesday, we were given goals to research and form initiatives and solutions to from the UN’s 17 Sustainability Goals. We had to think hard and go through all the stages of coming up with an idea, using design thinking. Overall, this conference gave us an insight into how AI can be used to improve problems in the world, and what challenges also come with that. We learnt to use our critical thinking skills and collaborate with others. – Hayley 

“Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination – perhaps more importantly – creativity is the power to act.” – Ai Weiwei

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Year 8 Wellbeing Day

On Wednesday 21 April our Year 8 Students took part in a purposefully designed Year 8 Wellbeing Day which centred on providing students with proactive and personalised healthy thinking skills and strategies to equip them to develop resilient and courageous mindsets. Across the day, students participated in a series of workshops which were carefully curated by the wellbeing team to respond to emergent trends in issues facing students of this age group and centred on the Year 8 Wellbeing theme of ‘Self-Discovery.

Challenge & Initiative Games

Year 8 Students spent the morning engaging in a range of quirky, creative and challenging competitive games including ‘Pipe Run’, ‘Square Jump’, ‘Weave It’ and ‘Tower Stack’, which were designed to connect, energise and provide opportunities for students to work with their peers on activities that required communication, collaboration, leadership and other essential transferable skills.

Body Image in the Digital World

The second session was delivered by experts from the Butterfly Foundation, an organisation that supports the promotion of healthy body image in young people. The presentation provided practical strategies to support body confidence, empowering our students to reach out for help and prompted discussion and critical thinking about the role social media plays in body image of young people. The session also enabled the students to create personal boundaries and challenge the cultural norms that are portrayed on social media and explored the collective power that young people have in changing the narrative.

Challenging our Thinking

Led by the Year Level Coordinator, Paige Tan, this workshop explored thinking patterns, including helpful and helpful thinking, and provided students with strategies to overcome their inner critic. Students were also introduced to the four zones of regulation, which has helped to kickstart their personal development and self-awareness journeys.

Ribbon of Strength

The final session of the day included a focus on the collective strength of the Year 8 cohort, exploring the power that each student has in making informed decisions about where they focus their attention and how they support themselves and their peers. In recognising the diversity that exists and committing to embracing this, each student made a ‘Friendship’ bracelet for one of their peers as symbol of their support and solidarity.

As part of the Year 8 Wellbeing curriculum for Term 2, students and their teachers will continue to explore these themes, looking closely at the problems with perfectionism, the power of failure and the skills that we develop in the process. In Term 3, we will hold our second Year 8 Wellbeing Day in which we will work closely with the organisation ‘Flourish Girl’.

Year 8 Testimonials

I think this whole day was amazing it really taught me a lot.”

I think it was a really fun day in general and I’m looking forward to the next one 🙂 and I think the messages were really important and relevant to high school students specifically, because in high school especially you start to criticise yourself a lot.“I thought the overall day was great! I think we are really lucky as a school to be able to have these days where we can reflect on ourselves and how we can improve!”

“It was awesome that we used the day to meaningfully look over and learn about Well-being. The activities were super fun and engaging.”

Kath Woolcock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing & Paige Tan, Year 8 Coordinator

GSV Inter Softball Finals – Term 1

On Wednesday 31 March, the Inter Softball A-Grade team (pictured below) competed in the GSV Inter Softball Finals at Waverley Softball Grounds in Jells Park. The team had trained hard and showed great skills throughout the season to, once again, go through the home-and-away season undefeated. As a result, they finished top of their zone, were presented with the Zone 1 Winners Pennant and qualified for the Finals competition. This was their third appearance in A-Grade finals in the past 4 years – a tremendous achievement!

CGGS were drawn to play against Sacre Coeur in the Semi-Final – the same opponents from the 2019 season when CGGS went on to win the A-Grade title. It was a keenly fought contest with both teams playing at a high level, but after 3 innings, Sacre Coeur came out on top and progressed through to the Grand Final. Whilst the result wasn’t what we had wanted, the team should be very proud of their efforts. They showed courage and determination in challenging conditions with several girls playing out of their normal positions due to illness on match day, and we are proud of the CGGS spirit that they displayed throughout the season.

We look forward to following their continued success next season as they strive to reach their third Grand Final in the GSV A-Grade Softball competition.

Inter A-Grade Team

Amy Ding

Sasha Feldmann

Isabella Georges

Jessica Lim

Lille Osborne

Ella Summers

Isabella Tremewen

Grace Barnes

Liana Robinson

Jessica Terlikar

Coaches: Liza Stevens & Nareen Robinson