Senior School


Senior School

May 14, 2021

Our Founders Day Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday 5 May enabled us to celebrate the school’s proud history and I take this opportunity to thank Rev. Helen Creed and all the other staff and students who were involved in making this such a special service. Two of the highlights of the service were hearing past student Rev. Amanda Lyon (2003) present a very tangible sermon on the theme of “With Grateful Hearts and Unafraid” and also the student reflections on the topic, “What does CGGS mean to me”. Year 12 student Charlotte Kutey read the reflection written by Mrs Roma Drummond OAM (Brunt, 1943), Emily Foo, Year 6, and her mother Selina Chan spoke, as well as School Council member The Venerable Greg Allinson and Year 12 student, Claire Robertson. I have attached part of Claire’s reflection in the button below.

Please see Rev Creed’s report of the service in the Connected Community Section of CamNews.

On Saturday 8 May, Mrs Dunwoody, Mr Burnell, Mr Mack, Mr Duniam and I had the pleasure of being invited guests to attend the Melbourne String Ensemble 2021 Concerto Concert at the Scots’ Church in the city. Year 11 student Emily Wu was the Cello soloist and it was such an honour to hear her play in her final performance as a member of the Melbourne String Ensemble.

Emily – who has toured Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria with the Melbourne String Ensemble, as well as being a member of the CGGS European Music Tour in 2017 – achieved her AMEB Licentiate Diploma (LMusA) in both Piano and Cello in 2020. On Saturday night, Emily performed Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85.

Please read below for the article from Mr Mack and Ms Savige.

This week, Senior School students in Years 7 and 9 undertook NAPLAN testing over three days. Students completed assessments measuring their competency in numeracy and literacy skills and we were pleased with the way the students conducted themselves and completed the testing. The results of this testing will be shared with the school and families in August. While this testing is only a measurement of a student’s capacity at one moment in time, it is an additional useful measure to use in further tailoring learning needs for each student.

Have a lovely weekend.

Warm Regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Science Talent Search

Last year, like all Year 8s, I participated in the Science Talent Search (STS). The topic was ‘oceans of the future’ and there were multiple different ways to participate and create your piece of work. I choose to complete the creative writing category. I loved this task as it allowed me to mix my curiosity for science with my love for writing. My story features a dystopian world of the future, in which humans are forced to live in giant man-made ecosystems, underwater. I would definitely encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity offered by CGGS.

Hannah Balkin
Year 9 Student

The Science Talent Search (STS) is an annual, science-based competition open to all primary and secondary students in Victoria. In 2020, the theme was ‘Deep Blue: Innovations for the future of oceans’. As part of the Science curriculum at CGGS, all Year 8 students complete their own project. Students could select from a range of competition sections including Games, Video Productions, Creative Writing and Posters. The top projects from each CGGS Year 8 class were selected to be entered into the competition. Hannah Balkin’s piece was entered into the competition and she received a major bursary for her creative writing piece ‘Oceans of the future’. Her work has recently been published in LabTalk (the professional journal for Victorian secondary Science Teachers) so her story will be shared far and wide around Victorian Science teachers. This is an amazing achievement and reflects Hannah’s hard work and creativity. I look forward to seeing some of our students’ entries for this year’s STS theme – ‘Food: Different by Design’.

Leanne O’Doherty
Hannah’s Science Teacher in 2020

Science of Well-being: Yale University

This week, a group of Year 12 students have commenced the Yale University course titled The Science of Well-being. The course was designed by Yale University to assist their students in learning about how to increase their happiness by investing in the things that scientifically have been shown to be effective.

The course covers many topics of what we believe will make us happy – money, higher grades, material possessions, body image, a good job, etc. As a cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology, Dr Santos shows research about misconceptions in these areas, and then delves into the strategies and easy life choices we can make that are shown to boost happiness levels.

During Terms 2 and 3, our participating Year 12s will complete the qualification, and ultimately increase their own happiness. If you are interested in exploring this yourself, and would like to view the course material, please go to

Kirsten Shipsides
Science Teacher

Deadly Learning

Five Year 8 and 9 Indigenous students at CGGS collaborated to prepare a workshop they coined ‘Deadly Learning’. The sessions focussed on sharing with the Year 8 cohort the significance of symbols and storytelling for Aboriginal people. Year 8 students then had a chance to consider symbols that represent them and their life/interests/values and beliefs before planning and creating an artistic illustration as a final piece.

In the preparation stages, prior to delivering the workshops, the teachers created a vision board of symbols used in culture that have been passed down to them by family members and elders. These symbols were then explained thoughtfully during their presentation and relevant links were made between symbols, totems and dreaming stories. Commencing their presentation with an acknowledgement of country prior to introducing themselves, their totem and the tribal group they belong to was a fantastic way to open what was an engaging session.

The ‘Deadly Learning’ teachers showed incredible leadership throughout the day- the connection they have with their culture was nothing short of inspiring to witness. What a huge honour and privilege it is to have learnt from such a passionate group of young people. What was particularly impressive was their ability to interact and engage with the Year 8 students- they responded well to questions that students had, as well as followed up with clarifying questions to encourage Year 8s to carefully consider their artistic choices. They really were excellent teachers.

Georgia Biggs
Reconciliation Coordinator

Geography Excursion – Marysville

On Friday 7 May, the Year 11 Geography class travelled to Marysville, Victoria, to conduct an investigation into the impact of 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires and the responses since.

To gain a sense of the impact of the fires on the community, we first met with Mr. Barry Thomas, founder of the Black Saturday Museum. Barry first led us on a guided tour through the streets of Marysville, highlighting important local landmarks and re-builds along the way. Then, we explored the museum which is filled with photographs and artifacts collected by and items donated by the local community. Much of the footage is first-hand accounts of the fire and it was a truly moving experience for all involved.

We also took a short walk to Gallipoli Park, which was the main emergency evacuation site on Black Saturday and is located in the heart of the town. Here, we were able to see the structure of the town and its position in the natural environment. While at the park, we completed a vegetation transect and mapped the different features of the surrounding bushland. We were also very fortunate to hear from Ron Jones, of the Marysville CFA brigade, who spoke about the town’s ongoing recovery and the importance of fire preparedness.

Finally, we took a short walk to the top of the nearby Stevenson Falls. Here, students were delighted by the beautiful view over Marysville and the surrounding region. It was quite eye-opening to compare the recovering landscape today to the stark contrast of charred black images taken soon after the fires.

It was an insightful and truly splendid day of fieldwork. The Year 11 Geography students will now be busy writing fieldwork reports to present their findings and all they have learned.

Tom Clark & Karoline Walter
Geography Teachers

Chess Tournament Success

The Chess Club has been active at Camberwell Girls Grammar for the past 4 years. We meet weekly and have players from all year levels. Anyone interested in chess is welcome to attend. We have games and coaching with old grammarian Alanna Chew Lee, part of the team which placed second at the Victorian Girls Championships in 2018.

In 2020, a team placed 3rd in the state Finals in an online competition. This Championship Cup and individual medals were recently presented by Chess Victoria.

On 29 April, 7 students attended a Chess Victoria Open qualifying tournament at Camberwell Grammar School. Open tournaments field boys and girls from a variety of schools and this tournament included teams from the current open and girls National Championship schools.

The CGGS team achieved outstanding results placing 1st for Girls Schools and qualifying for the State Championship Finals – Open and Girls to be held later this year.

L – R Bethany Orme, Jessie Chen, Sophie Chang, Kelly Ta, Emily Lin, Angela Ding, Lucy Ciro. More photos attached.

Jessie Chen – Year 8

Angela Ding – Year 8

Lucy Ciro – Year 8 – 2020 3rd Place Victorian Girls Championship team and qualifier State Championships 2021.

Bethany Orme – Year 11 – 2020 3rd Place Victorian Girls Championship team and qualifier State Championships 2021.

Kelly Ta – Year 11 – 2020 3rd Place Victorian Girls Championship team and qualifier State Championships 2021.

Sophie Chang – Year 9 – 2020 3rd Place Victorian Girls Championship team and qualifier State Championships 2021, 3rd place overall at qualifying tournament 2021.

Emily Lin – Year 11 2020 3rd Place Victorian Girls Championship team and qualifier State Championships 2021, Top girl at qualifying tournament 2021.

The team is going into a self-designed training program and some more tournament practice next term, in preparation for the State Finals. This involves practising openings, mid-game and checks.

Thank you to Ms Stevens for photos and support (cheerleading) and Mr Maycock for transport and assistance with logistics.

Helen Pappas
Chess Coach

Watch Week

During Week 3, the CGGS community committed to #watchtheirimpact during Watch Week. SEA, our 2021 School Captains, decided to raise funds for Impact for Women – an organisation that supports women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

The week started with a SEA of red flowing through the school, with the students wearing red to show their support of this organisation and act as “Impact Champs”. In the words of Kathy Kaplan OAM, the colour red is invigorating and intimidating, symbolising many things. It denotes power, excitement, passion and determination. It can motivate us, but also frighten us. Red captures attention. On this red-dress day, we raised $787 which will go directly to Impact for Women.

On Thursday, we headed down to the kitchen to cook up a storm of brownies and muffins, in preparation for our bake sale on Friday. A special thank you to Mrs Goad, Rev Creed, Ms Walter and Dr Forwood for assisting us in this endeavour. On Friday, they ‘sold like a treat’ and the additional $497.90 raised at this bake sale will also head Impact for Women. Students also contributed to making a paper chain, in solidarity for women who have experienced this abuse, as well a positive chalk drawing in the quadrangle.

We acknowledge that, while we can do things like bake sales or writing with chalk in the quadrangle, the ongoing issues related domestic abuse and violence are much bigger than that and will continue to require work for society to change. We hope that this week helped to make students more aware of their impact, and that Watch Week was only just a slight contribution that can be made to help those who may feel alone, or in need. We would like to thank the Service Learning Captains, Eloise and Amelia and CGGS community for all of the help for Watch Week.

Sophia Giagoudakis, Eloise Webster and Ashley Olsen (SEA)
School Captains

1800 Respect Number, 1800 737 732.

GSV Representative Swimming

Year 9 student Emily Price was selected in the GSV Representative Swim Team that competed on Monday 10 May against the best of the best at the Victorian All Schools Competition. Emily represented GSV in three events and did remarkedly well. In the 14-15 years 4 X 50m Medley Relay, Emily placed 1st.  In the 14-15 years 4 X 50 Breaststroke Relay, Emily’s team placed 3rd and Emily broke the 36 second barrier for the first time in her leg of the race. Finally, in the 14-15 years 4 X 50m Individual Breaststroke, Emily place 5th. CGGS and CGGS Aquatics are so proud of Emily, who is having a sensational year thus far. She has achieved further success in the pool as follows:

> Qualified and competed for the first time at the 2021 Australian Age Championships

> Placed 3rd in the 2021 Victorian Sprint Championships – 15 years, 50m Breaststroke

> Placed 2nd in the 2021 GSV Finals night – 15 years Breaststroke

Peter Kitney
CGGS Aquatic

Emily Wu performs solo with the Melbourne String Ensemble

Emily Wu (11B) was the star performer in a concert that was given by the Melbourne String Ensemble on Saturday 8 of May, in the Werner Brodbeck Hall at the Scots’ Church on Collins Street.

Emily played the 1st movement of the Edward Elgar cello concerto superbly as a featured soloist, as well as other works by Barber, Saint-Saens, Klengel and Arensky as a member of the Melbourne String Ensemble.

The Melbourne String Ensemble is a group of string orchestras comprising of students aged 8-18 and has been one of the leading student string orchestras in Australia for over 25 years. It is well known for its high standard of playing, beauty of expression and musically-informed performances. Emily has been a member of MSE for seven years, and this was her farewell concert. Another connection that CGGS has with MSE is that Margaret Butcher (violin tutor at CGGS) is the Musical Director of the Junior Melbourne String Ensemble, who also played on the night.

It was a fantastic event which was generously supported by CGGS staff and students, where Emily was a leading light in the musical community of Melbourne.

Rohan Mack and Kate Savige
Directors of Music

End Mandatory Detention

On Wednesday May 5, a small group of Year 10 – 12 students travelled to the city to attend the End Mandatory Detention Centres Student Walkout. The walkout was held by RISE, an organisation run and governed by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees. We saw the walkout as an important opportunity to stand in solidarity with marginalised refugee communities and raise awareness surrounding human rights issues on Australia’s shores.Many students from the group had to leave early to attend the Founders’ Day Service at St Paul’s Cathedral. However, we appreciated the opportunity to attend it was inspiring to see the bravery of these refugees. They put themselves at risk by publicly speaking out against the government in order to fight for the rights of all detainees.

To learn more on the issue and to find out how to support this movement, I recommend visiting their website:

Isabel Varughese
Year 12

Upskill …BY DESIGN – Year 8

The Year 8s most recent Upskill …By Design day was an action packed one. Linked to their Service Learning focus, the students moved around several immersive and interactive sessions to learn more about our Australian Indigenous culture. The students explored sport and play, language, art and storytelling. We were honoured to have special guests share with us. Murrundindi taught the students about Boomerang throwing and CGGS Year 8 and 9 indigenous students and MITS alumni ran a session called ‘Deadly Learning’ sharing the totems of their communities as well as symbols used in art and storytelling. Ms Stevens shared her passion for sport and taught the students about the game, Marngrook and Dr Rittey shared her passion for language, focusing on the significance of language and the students made signs to put around the school in Woiwurrung language. A great highlight of the day was seeing Sammi throw and catch a boomerang!

Head of Service Learning
Jennifer Gordon

I really enjoyed the storytelling session that was run by the Year 9s last week! It was great to learn about different symbols that the indigenous Australians used to draw when creating Dreamtime stories. I learnt the unique symbols for man, woman, lizard tracks, rain, turtle and other interesting drawings. The Year 9s helping us were amazing teachers and I had fun making up my own story using these symbols!

Sabrina Bignold – Year 8

Last Tuesday, we had a Beyond Design day in which we learnt about Indigenous Australian culture. One of the sessions we undertook was the Marngrook session which is a sport many Indigenous Australian people play. The game involves a ball made of a skinned possum and you couldn’t communicate with your voice so we had to clap to catch people’s attention. I really enjoyed playing the sport and what I found interesting was how many AFL rules have been adapted from the sport Marngrook.

Amanda Lee – Year 8

I really enjoyed this session! It was very interesting to learn about Indigenous Australian’s culture through language. One of my favourite words I learnt was ‘Wominjeka’ which means welcome.

Rachel Tan – Year 8

On Tuesday 4 May, I had the pleasure of participating in a boomerang session with Murrindindi as our teacher. I was so lucky to have the privilege to learn about the different types of boomerangs that are used for different purposes, and even got to look at boomerangs that Murrindindi’s ancestors had made. When it came time to try them, Murrindindi taught us how to properly hold and throw the boomerang, and with much enthusiasm encouraged us to all give it a go. When it came to the boomerang finals, a few of us tried our luck with catching the boomerang. I remember Murrindindi cheering all of us on, and when I was able to catch it, I remember how excited he was. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about Murrindindi’s culture and traditions and I had so much fun doing so!

Sammi Chua – Year 8