Senior School


Senior School

June 11, 2021

Each fortnight, there are many wonderful school events that we recognise, acknowledging the achievements of both individual students and those of entire year levels. Today I would like to recognise our entire Senior School community for yet again rapidly adapting to a changed environment. While we are all supportive of the changes necessary to keep our state safe and free of COVID, these lockdowns are not without a toll on the individuals. Our students have been asked to reverse, move sideways, reschedule, postpone and reinvent. Yet, through it all, they continue to give off their best. The adults among us have also found the demands of the fourth lockdown challenging, but we all take heart from the resilience of our young people.

This past fortnight, our Reconciliation Captains Jacqueline de Mamiel and Caitlin Sutton worked alongside Ms Georgia Biggs, Year 9 Coordinator, to ensure we were able to mark Reconciliation Week appropriately. Throughout the week they hosted the Reconciliation Assembly and sent the school community emails to provoke thought and inform us all. Please read their reflections in this edition of CamNews.

This year our school Careers Counsellor, Mrs Trish Dolan swiftly changed her mode of delivery and planned and conducted a full and informative Work Experience program online for our Year 10 students. Trish worked with Mr James Henderson, Year 10 Coordinator, to ensure the Year 10 students were able to experience a rich array of industries.

This Queen’s Birthday long weekend, while we have more freedom to move and meet with others, please ensure your support of favourite local cafes, restaurants and other businesses and opportunities for exercise are undertaken with care.

With my best wishes for a safe, warm and restful long weekend.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week at CGGS is a very important event for the CGGS community to recognise and celebrate. This year, Reconciliation Captains Caitlin and Jacqueline, alongside myself and Wurundjeri elder Murrundindi, had planned many exciting events using the theme More than a word, reconciliation takes Action as our springboard and guide. This theme is a particularly important one, off the back of 2020, where Black Lives Matter protests and Invasion Day rallies gained huge momentum; an important conversation was well and truly at the front of public discourse.

Globally, social media posts from members of the BIPOC communities and allyship from non-BIPOC communities helped many gain deeper understanding of issues affecting minority groups; including systems and structures that have been designed to oppress and marginalise. Here in Australia, we saw First Nations voices leading a conversation in many pockets of the media and social media, powerfully sharing lived experience; calling out and calling on change. Allies also stood by these voices, amplifying where they could in a show of solidarity, respect and care. In 2021, More than a word, reconciliation takes action asks people to take this awareness and knowledge to create more substantive action. For reconciliation to be effective, it must involve truth-telling, but it also must actively address issues of inequality, systemic racism and instances where the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ignored, denied or reduced.

While many of the events on the CGGS NRW calendar unfortunately had to be postponed due to the snap lockdown in Victoria; witnessing the flexibility and motivation of Jacqueline and Caitlin to keep some of the events was extremely inspiring. The future is in good hands when two allies such as themselves are doing such great work.

Here are their reflections of the week (and keep your eye out for some exciting events that will be taking place later in the school year).


Caitlin Sutton’s reflection:

This year for National Reconciliation Week, Jacq and I modified our plans around the snap lockdown into a remote style of communication. We sent out emails throughout the week to the whole school about National Sorry Day, the 1967 Referendum, Marngrook, Wurundjeri bush tucker, medicine and tools, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, Climate Justice, First Nations Justice and Mabo Day. We also modified the NRW Assembly to a series of pre-recorded videos including Murrindindi conducting a welcome to country and playing the didgeridoo, an interview with Amelia Lemanis about her essay Why Australia need to engage in justice reinvestment to reduce Indigenous incarceration rates and help close the gap and Dr Reid introducing his new book Time We Started Listening. At the end of the week, we ran an asynchronous Kahoot about all the information shared throughout the week, with the winner receiving a Clothing the Gaps voucher. Congratulations to Angela Lui on winning the Kahoot!


Jacqueline De Mamiel reflection:

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme was ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.’ We recognised this theme by focusing on actions our school community can take to celebrate Indigenous culture and history. One of our Year 10 Texts and Traditions classes was involved in a ‘Telling Stories Through Art’ Zoom panel with Murrundindi and Andrew Stanner. Andrew Stanner is the son of William Stanner who was an anthropologist who worked extensively with Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Andrew now owns his father’s large collection of Aboriginal art that was painted for him by an Aboriginal elder he worked with during his time in the Northern Territory. Andrew showed us these paintings and shared the meaning behind the symbols that represent the landscape. Murrundindi showed us artworks that have been passed down within his family. He shared his knowledge about the symbolism and patterns in these artworks and taught us about how stories are passed on in Wurundjeri culture. We are really grateful for Murrundindi and Andrew’s insight into this important part of Aboriginal history!

Georgia Biggs (Reconciliation Coordinator) and Caitlin Sutton & Jacqueline de Mamiel (Reconciliation Captains)

Virtual Work Experience

Work Experience is a vital part of the CGGS Career Education program in Year 10. It gives students an opportunity to work in a profession in which they are interested. It is designed to be exciting and informative, with experienced people offering insights into a number of different professions. After the lockdown earlier in the year, and uncertainty about future plans, CGGS decided to cancel the compulsory component of work experience. We decided to be flexible.

Students were offered the opportunity to still pursue a placement, dependent on finding a willing employer, and we were delighted when nearly one third of our Year 10 cohort showed remarkable initiative and organised some work experiences across a range of industries.

It was clear, however, that another arrangement would need to be explored to satisfy this important component of career education for our remaining students. CGGS therefore launched an innovative careers program – ‘CGGS Virtual Work Experience’; a digital program which is a touchpoint for our students to not only experience different industries, but to see these industries in action and to learn from their professionals.

And, of course, with best laid plans cast asunder with this recent lockdown, and a necessity to pivot once again – ALL our Year 10 students could now avail of this fantastic program. Our students completed four days of this novel program which included virtual tours, videos, podcasts, career timelines and more. Preview the program here.

Upon completion, students receive a certificate highlighting the industry task undergone, the skills they have developed and most importantly, they receive personal feedback on their work mapped to guidelines provided by industry. This will be an important accreditation to highlight on their resume and will form part of their e-portfolio development in Term 3.

89% of children go to their parents first for career advice, so it is crucial that parents have access to resources and guidance that will aid their children’s career decisions. Students were able to invite parents to see their career plans and the activities they completed along the way.

It is such a valuable program it has also been made available to our Year 11 students who were deprived of real-world work experiences in 2020.  Its success suggests that future work experiences may comprise both real world placements and virtual work experiences. 

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

In Conversation with Murrundindi

On Friday 28 May the Year 8 teaching team hosted an ‘In Conversation’ session with Murrundindi, where the Year 8s and wider audience listened to his very personal and inspiring story. Murrundindi is the Ngurungaeta (Head Man) of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.

The event complemented the students’ current learning in English in which they are studying the verse novel Sister Heart by Sally Morgan.

Murrundindi outlined the challenges and hardships of growing up as an Indigenous Australian and leaving school young in order to take care of his family. He also told students of the important bonds, connection to country and kinship that are significant to Wurundjeri culture.

Murrundindi spoke with calm, as he disclosed that he was the last generation to be registered under the Plant and Animal Act of Australia. He also spoke about being referred to by derogatory terms, growing up as a 16-year-old on the verge of young adulthood and how he did not feel wanted in the community.

Murrundindi spoke at length about the importance of positive relationships and how he was fortunate to meet Maureen, his second wife. She readily accepted him and his culture and also helped him become literate in his mid 30s. It is because of this relationship that he now passionately teaches students about his culture across Wurundjeri land – in particular our students at CGGS.

Murrundindi likened this second chance to the ongoing process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

His eyes lit up as he spoke about the deep respect he feels every time he visits CGGS. It was a privilege to listen to Murrundindi’s story. He has remained positive when faced with personal conflict and feels gratitude for second chances at developing and strengthening bonds with family.

Nirvana Watkins (Host of the Zoom session), Georgia Biggs (Editor), Chris Anton (Writer) and Year 8 English Teaching Team

Operations Management in Action

As part of their Unit 3 studies into Operations Management, students from the Business Management classes attended a practical learning experience in early May to the Yakult Factory in Dandenong. The individualised tour catered specifically to the study design and focussed on the vital components of the course including: technological developments, materials management, quality, and waste minimisation.

The experience was a unique opportunity to directly link the theoretical concepts presented in class with a practical and well-known international business. Students arrived at the state-of-the-art facility and were greeted by our tour educator. We were guided through the production process as we made our way around the viewing level, conveniently located above the factory floor. Students had the opportunity to learn about Yakult’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, as well as viewing the quality control processes from outside the purpose-built laboratory.

Once the tour had concluded, students had the opportunity to visit the education centre where they learnt about the history of the company and the evolution of their products including manufacturing techniques and commitment to sustainability in the future. The tour would not have been complete without a product tasting to conclude the experience. Thank you to Mrs Larkey for accompanying the classes and sharing her own business knowledge.

Alexandra Larkey
Head of Commerce

French Biographies

Year 10 French classes have been delving into the olden days in their studies this term, to learn more about the past tense in French. Adding a personal and authentic touch to their learning, students interviewed a member of their family to compile some key events in their lives in a carefully crafted biography

The results reveal the diversity of origins, experience and career paths of various generations, and the concluding sentences of love and gratitude will put a smile on the faces of parents and grand-parents who can read the French!

Miriam Hoffman and Tafadzwa Gwamba
French Teachers

Da Vinci Decathlon

The Da Vinci Decathlon is a team-based national competition which involves developing a range of skills through engagement in different challenges including Engineering, Art, Poetry, Codebreaking and Ideation. Students are required to work collaboratively in order to complete 10 complex challenges over the course of a day. This activity requires not only academic excellence, but more importantly, well-developed critical and creative thinking skills, the ability to work as a team, consider different points of view and persevere with difficult tasks. It is a competition which is academically challenging and one in which students are encouraged to enjoy the opportunity to work with like-minded peers and tackle different challenges.

Two Year 7 teams and one Year 8 team competed in the State Finals recently. The teams worked collaboratively to navigate the challenges as well as the technology as this year’s event was online. The teams were well organised, persevered when challenges arose and demonstrated strong critical thinking and creative skills. While none of the teams advanced to the National Finals, our Year 7 Team 2 came first in the Science challenge and third in the Engineering challenge. Congratulations to all of the students who participated. They were great ambassadors for Camberwell Girls.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

A Virtual Year 8 Statistics Investigation

This term, our Year 8 Mathematics students are using a virtual platform known as The Islands as a method of learning and applying Statistics and data. The Islands is a virtual human population created by Dr Michael Bulmer from the University of Queensland. Dr Bulmer’s desire was to construct an interface that would allow students to understand how information is objectively gathered and how statistical questions can be posed and answered to inform us about the world we live in.

Each member of the virtual human population (known as Islanders) is happy to perform tasks that would allow students understand more about them. Some of these virtual tasks involved asking the Islanders to exercise, eat, sleep or perform other tests. This investigation seemed the perfect way for students to gather and analyse data during our current lockdown, as they could ‘interview’ whole populations from home!

Each student in Year 8 designed a ‘before-and-after’ style question in which they were able to utilise the Islanders to ascertain an answer. The Year 8s created many insightful and analytical questions. Maya from 8B constructed an investigation to see if listening to heavy rock music affected an Islander’s concentration and Sienna from 8A wanted to explore if exercise influences an Islander’s ability to concentrate. Through tasks like these, it is our hope that the Year 8s are able to create connections between Mathematics and how it can be applied to solve real-life problems from areas like Sociology and Psychology.

Alistair Shaw and the Year 8 Maths Team