Welcome to Term 4, 2016. This term we welcomed four new students and their families to Senior School and we look forward to sharing the journey of their daughter’s time at Camberwell Girls. As the next stage in the transition process from Primary to Secondary School our new students for Year 7 2017 have their special Orientation Day on 11 November and at this time of transitions all our year levels start to explore the offerings of the upcoming year. The Term 4 events are significant in terms of individual achievements, in the case of Awards made at Presentation Evenings, and collectively in the case of our departing Year 12’s at the Leaver’s Service and the Valedictory Dinner.
This morning at the Senior School Open Morning, our 2016 School Captain Karen Zhang spoke to the audience about her experiences as a Camberwell Girls Grammar School student. Her speech brought tears to my eyes and I have attached it here for all our school community to read and equally appreciate her heartfelt and sincere account of her time at our School. I take this opportunity to thank Karen, Cindy and Tiarnie for their amazing leadership of the Senior School throughout this year and in particular the guidance they have given all our other School and House leaders throughout this year. You have been exceptional leaders and we are all sincerely grateful for your contribution to the School throughout your time. You leave us as great ambassadors and we are so proud of all that you are and all that you have achieved. Our very best wishes to you and to all the outstanding Year 12s of 2016.
In our End of Term letter, you will have been advised of some significant dates in Term 4, and these are highlighted again for all families.
Presentation Night – Years 10-12
Thursday 13 October is the Presentation Night for our senior girls. At this evening Academic, Citizenship and Co-Curricular Awards are presented. An invitation was extended to all parents of students in Years 10-12 via the End of Term letter and with limited seating available we encourage you to book early through trybooking to ensure you are able to be present for this special evening. Please note a seat has already been allocated for your daughter on the night.
Presentation Night – Years 7-9
For Years 7-9 students their Presentation Night takes place on Tuesday 6 December. This evening similarly acknowledges the achievements of students both academically and via co-curricular and citizenship awards. A separate booking link will be circulated to families in these year levels a little later in the term.
This is a significant event for our departing Year 12s. Seating in the upper level of Barbara Sutton Hall has been reserved for the family of this year level and we ask that you be seated by 10:40am.
During the Service each Year 12 student will be presented with a Bible, her personal Testimonial highlighting her contributions and accomplishments during her years at Camberwell Girls, an Old Grammarians’ Graduation Badge and each student is asked to sign the Leavers’ Book.
Families of Year 12 student are asked to remain with us after the service for light refreshments in Robinson Hall. To facilitate catering arrangement and ensure adequate seating, please indicate your attendance through trybooking by Tuesday 15 October.
Green Gecko – Cambodia Trip
During the recent Term 3 holidays, 19 students from Years 10 and 11 and 4 staff members embarked on a journey to Cambodia and Vietnam to participate in the inaugural Social Justice Tour with Green Gecko. The fortunate Year 10 students were Olivia Benetton, Nina D’Souza, Cindy Huynh, Brielle Schumann, Kate Sturzaker, Ashika Mapa, Veda Surapaneni, Maggie Robinson, Ariane Webber, Yanny Wang, Emma Sanders, Tarinya De Silva, Minami Sakaida and Fearn Corney and the Year 11 students were Grace Hamman, Kaavvya Divakaran and Kieran Medici.
Please find below a brief account of the tour by Kate Strukaker and Maggie Robinson. More details will be shared at the upcoming Presentation Night.
Our first destination was Siem Reap in Cambodia, where the we spent eight days and the majority of the trip. Upon arrival, we met our two amazing tour guides, Van and Dong. They went everywhere with us, providing us with historical and cultural facts, hilarious jokes and fond memories. The first place they took us was Green Gecko.
The Green Gecko Project is an amazing organisation founded by Tanya Palmer and it currently supports over 100 children and their families. Tanya, with the help of volunteers and other not-for-profit organisations, has given children the opportunity to go to school, live somewhere safe and learn how to be independent for when they leave the program. We were lucky enough to meet and work with these children, as we were able to experience a cultural exchange, which involved us teaching each other our languages, learning traditional Cambodian ‘Labokkatao’ (a form of martial arts), and forming lasting friendships.
Green Gecko has created another program which is called a ‘Silk Screen Printing Lab’. This lab has provided people with employment opportunities, as well as fairer work opportunities than many other people in Cambodia are offered. As a group, we were able to learn about the process of screen printing, as well as designing and producing our own t-shirts!
While in Cambodia, we had the opportunity to visit many cultural and historical monuments, including Angkor Wat and other temples in Siem Reap. We also visited the Killings Fields Memorial, which gave us real insight into another countries’ historical hardships and an understanding of the events that happened during the Khmer Rouge regime.
Next was Vietnam, where we spent four days based in Saigon. On the second night, we were fortunate enough to spend the night at a homestay run by a Vietnamese family, where we experienced Vietnamese culture in a unique fashion, through activities such as learning to cook Vietnamese omelettes.
On the last morning, we woke up at 5am and went to a temple to help cook and serve food to disadvantaged women. There we were able to speak to a nun about her organisation and talk to other volunteers who were there. It was a confronting, yet rewarding experience, and one that will stay with us for a long time.
This trip allowed us to gain independence and really learn first-hand not only about social justice, but also Cambodia and Vietnam’s background and culture in a way we never could have here in Australia. We are very grateful for the things we have learnt, as well as to Mr Maycock, Mr Stout, Mrs Campbell and Mrs Waters for supporting us and organising such a wonderful trip.
We highly encourage you to check out our expo which will be held on Thursday 13 October, especially for any girls interested in participating next year.
VCE Theatre Studies Monologues
Last night, Mrs Dunwoody and myself along with the parents and friends of the VCE Theatre Studies girls had the opportunity to act as a critical audience for the girls to perform their final rehearsal of their monologues. It was a great privilege to be able to see Cindy Hu, Charlotte Lockwood, Emily Bennett and Sarah Lammardo perform, with their extensive efforts on producing their monologues very evident. At the Years 10 – 12 Presentation Night on Thursday 13 October, the School community will have the opportunity to see Charlotte Lockwood perform her monologue one more time. We wish the girls the best of luck for their practical exam on Thursday 13 October.
VCE Art Exhibition
For the past week the students and staff who share the Lower Woodstock area as their learning environment have been surrounded by the amazing works of the VCE Art students as the Annual VCE Art Exhibition has been prepared in readiness for the formal opening tonight at 6pm. I strongly encourage all parents to either attend the opening or ensure they visit tomorrow, Saturday 8 October between 9am and 12pm. Every year I get great pleasure from this exhibition, the artworks are always incredibly impressive and the fact that our students produced them only makes it more so. The quality of work is so professional you could easily expect to see it at CamArt at the end of November. I have already approached one student asking if I can purchase her pieces.
As in many creative fields the process of making the art is a solitary one, so it would be wonderful if as many of you as possible could make it to the exhibition this weekend, so the girls work can be appreciated by our School community.
For more information, click here.
Breast Cancer Network Australia Pink Lady Luncheon
On Tuesday 4 October, Kathy Han, Claudia Yuan, Victoria Xia, Lydia Baird and Jeannie Kim played as a string quintet at the annual Breast Cancer Network Australia Pink Lady Luncheon, held in the Palladium room at Crown. Frances Lu also played some beautiful piano pieces. Jeannie said that when we first went on stage she was amazed because the event was so big! It was a wonderful experience for us to be able to provide music for hundreds of people throughout the fundraiser luncheon, this year being the second for Frances and Claudia and hope that in the future more opportunities like these are to come! Many of the guests attending the event have been touched by breast cancer, either as survivors themselves or supporters. It was also great to listen to CEO of the year – Christine Holgate of Blackmores, an extremely influential woman. It was an experience we are truly thankful to have been involved in and able to make a contribution.
During the September school Holidays, three Camberwell Girls students, Alannah Chew Lee, Meg Billson and Serena Chan had the amazing opportunity to live with host buddies and their families in Shanghai from our sister school, Shanghai No 3 Girls High School. The following are some of their reflections of their time in on exchange in China.
My host family were the kindest, most caring people I have ever stayed with and met. My family showed me some wonderful destinations such as Nanjing Road, The Shanghai History Museum, Tianzifang, the Bund, People’s square and some lovely restaurants. They also took me to a theatre production in the city and Chong Ming Island where I got to meet all my buddies extended family.
My experience of China has really broadened my horizons on what China is really all about. I have made many discoveries about the lifestyle in China with a stark difference to Australia being the education system. Schooling here is definitely more disciplined and fast paced.
The Shanghai Zoo was massive. The zoo had many enclosures with two huge sections of the zoo dedicated to primates. Of course my favourite enclosure of the zoo had to be the panda one as they were just so cute. Other than going to the Shanghai Zoo I also went to various other places such as QiBao, Xintiandi, the Jade Buddha Temple, Nanjing Road and the Bunt.
Seeing all the beautiful architecture at QiBao was amazing and it looked like something from a movie. The Jade Buddha Temple also amazed me as the temple itself has such a detailed history. However, my favourite sightseeing place was the Bunt. I loved being able to see it light up at night especially after waiting for an hour. I got to take photos which looked like they were from the Internet.
Other than visiting these attractions I also got to try a lot of Chinese food both in my host family’s house and outside. Like everyone else I enjoyed the shaolong bao except for the moments that the scalding hot soup burns your mouth. I also got to try pigeon at dinner which tasted just like a small chicken. As well as this my host father took me to a local fresh food market which was every different. Many stalls sold live seafood with the owners chopping them when you bought it.
It was really interesting to see Shanghai and all it’s culture and learn about people’s daily lives. I find it fascinating and very different to how we live in Australia. I would like to thank my host family. They treated me like I was part of their own family. They were extremely giving and generous and I’m forever grateful for what they’ve done. I’ve made so many special memories that I will cherish and never forget.
We would also like to thank Shanghai No 3 Girls High School for being extremely welcoming and very friendly. I have made some new friends that I will keep in touch for forever. I feel very lucky and blessed to have been to Shanghai and experience lots of new things. This trip has made me become a lot more grateful to what I have in Australia and how I shouldn’t take things for granted.
We strongly encourage all girls studying Chinese in younger levels to consider this amazing exchange.
With best wishes,
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School