Senior School


Senior School

This week marks the end of Term 1, a term that has provided many opportunities for co-curricular involvement across all year levels and it has been very pleasing to note the levels of involvement of all our girls. Most particularly I have been pleased to observe the participation of our Year 7 students, many of whom have enthusiastically involved themselves in activities ranging from House Dance and Drama, a wide range of sporting events, musical ensembles as well as involvement in the Open Evening & Fun Fair.

Parents please note that no holiday homework will be set for students in Years 7-10. It is vital that all girls have the opportunity to rest and enjoy time on their own hobbies, pursuits and other activities during the holiday period without the stress and pressures of set holiday work.

I wish you all a restful holiday break and hope that you enjoy time spent with family and friends. Travel safely and I look forward to connecting with you all again in Term 2.



Celebrating International Women’s Day and campaigning for gender parity has been a focus for our Senior School students. This significant date symbolises the progress women have made since the Industrial Revolution economically, politically and socially. From the suffragette movement to the challenge ahead in achieving gender parity, International Women’s Day is an important day for our students to reflect and honour women’s achievements and strive for more. Despite the fact that some predictions for closing the global gender gap can be disheartening, with the World Economic Forum recently forecasting that global gender parity will not be achieved until 2095, our students feel empowered to not only make a difference to the lives of women worldwide, but have been inspired to embrace every opportunity to ensure their voices are heard.


Breakfast at Parliament House

Our International Women’s Day campaign was launched by a breakfast in Queens Hall, Parliament House on 2 March for which 9 Year 10 girls applied to attend. The morning was hosted by The Hon Georgie Crozier MP and organised by the Alliance of Girls’ Schools. Spending the morning in Queens Hall was quite an event in itself!

According to one Year 10 student who attended, Ariane Webber, “It was a great opportunity because it was my first visit to Parliament House. It was amazing to see all the portraits of past Premiers and being surrounded by influential politicians. But it was also surprising to see only one woman in a room full of men”. [Referring to the late former Victorian premier Joan Kirner]

Along with 20 other girls’ schools across Melbourne, our students had the unique opportunity of listening to special guest, Imogen Randell, Managing Director of Quantum Market Research, speak about female leadership and the goal of gender parity in business. Fearn Corney of Year 10 reflected that Randell’s keynote speech “opened new ideas up and showed us how the business world works.” She taught us that “gender differences complement each other rather than overriding each other,” said Fearn.

One analogy particularly stayed with the girls. Growing up in a household of hungry growing brothers, Randell had to ensure that whenever dinner was served or a cake was baked, she got in quickly to take her share otherwise she would miss out. This was an important lesson for life, Randell stated, and impelled all the young students in the room to embrace every opportunity, be heard and always take their fair slice of ‘cake’! Ariane Webber reflected that “it inspired me to see that women can have an influential role in the world and can achieve the same if not better than men; but at the same time, it frustrated me that very often we have the same skills and qualifications as men, but end up missing out on leadership opportunities.” Randall finished her presentation by offering the girls 9 pieces of advice for life. Yasmin Tawfik, another Year 10 student, took away from the advice that the most important thing was “to believe in yourself, to defend your views and stand up for what you believe in.” “Having a voice, no matter who you are,” is one of the most important aspects of participating in society”, reflected Yasmin.


Australian Defence Force Breakfast

International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March was also celebrated by the Australian Defence Force. A number of our Year 10 and 11 students were invited to participate in a very informative and interesting session held at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne. Several ADF team members delivered information from their particular diverse areas of service and professional careers, being Navy, Air Force and Army. Each talk was valuable in informing the girls about future career possibilities. The main focus message for the day was about encouraging the girls in ‘Being Brave – Not Perfect’. A key word was ‘influence,’ which is important in the lives of young women as they questioned; What are the influences on their lives in the past, in their current lives, and what influence they can have on others in their future? As the girls enjoyed a magnificent High Tea served throughout the afternoon, they were given the opportunity to mingle with ADF team members, and their family members, who have obviously been a crucial influence in their lives and careers. Another key message was in order to achieve things you must: ‘Just do it’.


 Breakfast with Senator Michaelia Cash

On Friday 4th March, four of our Year 12 girls, together with Mrs Karen Anderson, were guests of The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP at the 2016 Autumn Breakfast Briefing at the Hawthorn Town Hall. The event included a Q&A Session with a panel of guests, which included Senator, the Hon Michaelia Cash MP the Minister for Employment, Minister for Women and Senator for Western Australia, Jillian Segal leading business woman and former Director, ASX Limited and The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia and Federal Member for Kooyong.

The girls spent time talking to Mr Frydenberg and discussed current issues surrounding oil prices. During the Q&A session the girls were given the opportunity to ask questions of members of the panel, in particular The Hon Michaelia Cash, about how she plans to use her roles as Minister for both Employment and Women in the future.

The girls were the only students at the event which had a very large audience and they were congratulated by many on the questions that they asked, and the great discussion that their questions promoted.

It should also be mentioned that following the event we received a phone call from Josh Frydenberg’s office commending us on the students that attended the event, how poised the young women were, what insightful questions they posed and also, that Mr Frydenberg’s office would like to involve CGGS girls at events in the future.


Pledge for Parity

The whole of Year 10 celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March by learning about the significance of the day, creating rosettes and badges in the symbolic suffragette colours of purple, white and green, and making personal pledges to achieve gender parity.



On Tuesday 22nd March the Camberwell Girls Swim Squad travelled to MSAC to compete in the GSV Division 3 Championship Carnival. All the girls had dedicated many hours to training over the past month and this was evident due to the outstanding successes and results from the day.

Competing against 7 other GSV schools, Camberwell Girls demonstrated their spirit and determination finishing third overall in a very competitive group of schools. There were many outstanding results with the Junior Swimmers finishing 7th, the Intermediate swimmers finishing 2nd, and the Senior swimmers finishing 3rd. All the swimmers should be extremely proud of their performance on the day, as everyone tried their best and were rewarded with great results.

Thank you to our Head Coach Peter Kitney for coming to all of the early morning trainings and helping everyone to reach the best of their abilities. Once again congratulations to all the girls who competed on the day!



It was term 4 last year when the journey to GSV Diving Championships started. A dedicated group of girls completed after school training sessions, and as the new year began, so did the early mornings. If you thought getting up for school or work was hard, try getting up to go to diving practice at 6:45AM! Nevertheless with the help of our fabulous coach, Morgan, and our team of teachers, one-by-one we managed to master our three dives. Our first Personal Best Meet was quite nerve racking, many girls being judged for the first time, but after the second meet, and by the time the Preliminary carnival came around our butterflies had settled and we were ready to go! At Preliminaries we were up against some extremely tough competitors, but that didn’t affect us as we qualified in division 2 for the Championship carnival. Last Tuesday was the Championship Carnival our opportunity to show everyone the Camberwell spirit. Our Juniors came 2nd, Intermediates 7th and Seniors 6th, placing us 6th overall. Considering that diving is still in its infancy at our school, 6th place was definitely something to be proud of. A huge thank you should go out to our coach Morgan, Mrs Robinson, Mrs Meyenn, Miss Law and Miss Woolcock, as well as all of the girls who participated towards making this year such a successful one for diving.



Over the course of the long weekend, 24 students from Years 10 – 12 travelled to Adelaide to see ten shows in the Adelaide International and Fringe Festivals. This equated to five shows a day and some excellent cardio work, sometimes sprinting from one venue to another. The Adelaide Drama Camp is an immersive experience. It enables students to engage with artistic voices from around the world, rigorously consider why they might choose to speak about certain themes and be exposed to a multitude of styles applied to help the process of communication. It helps them to think laterally and to understand the fundamental role that performance places in shaping culture.

This year artists grappled with issues of fragmented communication, expectations of relationships, war, cancer, Indigenous displacement, self-worth, societies that want for nothing, Art as a form of self-expression and the essential rules for any good tribute show. Some artists were also extremely generous in sharing their knowledge and inviting us to explore their sets and props.

Thanks to Danielle Jackman and Jane Scott for accompanying the girls on their trip and to the students for their openness in receiving the work. We thank Keira Lyons in particular for her organisation of this camp and her enthusiasm for the Performing Arts.

Some more very pleasing feedback after they returned to Melbourne. We had a communication from the Central Adelaide YHA advising that “The girls conducted themselves with the utmost respect for the hostel staff and guests during their stay and displayed a maturity well beyond their years. They represented the school with pride and the entire Camberwell School community should be commended.”



This past weekend 21 dedicated students helped kick off the 11th Relay For Life (Boroondara) at John Gardiner Reserve, Hawthorn. Relay For Life is a fun, overnight experience that raises vital funds for the Cancer Council’s research, prevention, information and support services.

The team of CGGS students challenged themselves to stay on the track throughout the 18 hours of the event as they took it in turns to run, jog and walk. The night consisted of running with the baton, chatting with friends and setting up tents for short power naps throughout the event. The girls achieved a staggering 300+ laps overall which is a fantastic effort.

To our team, thank you for all the wonderful work of raising awareness and funds for this very worthy cause. A big thank you also to the 21 CGGS staff and parents who volunteered to help supervise this event, in particular we thank Mr Brett Stout for his organisation of this event.



Empowering women and girls to be more active…

Research shows that 9/10 young Australians are not meeting the recommended 1 hour of physical activity per day. Furthermore, young women often face a number of barriers to physical activity and as such, they tend to exercise less frequently and at a lower intensity than young men. This can have negative consequences for the health and wellbeing of young women.

The Australian Government has recongised this trend, and has recently launched a new campaign ‘Girls make your move’, which aims to promote the benefits of regular physical activity for girls. It highlights the correlation between regular physical activity and reduced stress, increased self-esteem and mental alertness, as well as improved school performance and a greater sense of personal responsibility.

Here at CGGS, our Health/Physical Education and Sport Department has committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of our students through a number of curriculum and extra-curricular activities. We offer a range of programs that support the acquisition of movement skills, physical fitness and ultimately nurture positive attitudes towards life long patterns of healthy behaviour. We offer a range of competitive and fitness based activities for students of all ages, as well as structured Physical Education lessons.

This year, CGGS will again be taking part in the ‘Premier’s Active April’ challenge. This program is a free initiative run by the Victorian Government as part of their commitment to promote healthy and active lifestyles, and ultimately to motivate Victorians to enjoy the benefits of increased physical activity.

We encourage all families to sign up to the challenge and to set a goal to work together and achieve a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day during the month of April.

What is the challenge?

The challenge encourages all Victorians to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day during April.

The 30 minutes of activity can be made up of any sort of physical activity, including incidental activity. You can accumulate your 30 minutes (or more) throughout the day by combining a few shorter sessions of activity of around 10 to 15 minutes each.

How it works:

Interested participants are asked to log on to the Active April website and follow the step-by-step instructions to register.

CGGS Senior School students should register to enter the CGGS-Senior-School team, using the team ID: cggsseniorschool.

As a participant, you can log your daily activity with the Active April App and chart your progress throughout the month. You can also create and join teams, track the progress of team members and discover events that are taking place in your local area.

In 2016, every Premier’s Active April participant will receive (subject to terms and conditions):

  • 10 free YMCA passes or passes to a local government facility
  • 15% off at Sportsmart in store and online
  • One hour free tennis court hire at Melbourne Park or Albert Reserve
  • One free Get into Cardio Tennis session
  • A 2 for 1 ticket offer to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
  • A chance to win some great prizes including the major prize of tickets to the 2017 Australian Open Tennis FInals, a $1,500 bike voucher or a GoPro camera

These can be redeemed using your ‘Active April’ membership card, which can be printed after registering for the challenge.

As a School, we are encouraging parents and daughters to register and complete the challenge together. In senior school, our School Sport and House Sport Captains will be organising a variety of 30 minute lunchtime activities each day to help students achieve their goal.

If you have any questions, or would like further information, please visit the Active April website or email Ms Kath Woolcock.



What if people in the developing world could diagnose illnesses using mobile technologies, and 3D print their own pharmaceuticals?

Why should we be optimistic about robots taking our jobs?

How might we engage people in social change causes through digital storytelling?

These questions and more provoked and inspired thinking for a group of Year 9 and 10 students attending FutureLink at the Link Festival at Federation Square on Monday March 7th, accompanied by Mr Jenkinson and Mrs Watkins.

The FutureLink component of the festival was presented by Engineers without Borders and sponsored by Google, and provided secondary students with the opportunity to engage in a tailored program focusing on STEM, design and social change. The students also had the opportunity to join breakout sessions with members of the public, including “Impact Entrepreneurship”, “Designing the Materials of the Future” and “Hacking Mental Health”.

The girls were challenged to think about problems that exist in the world today, and how the convergence of 21st century technologies and collaboration might help solve these. They came away inspired and even equipped with new career directions, with one student declaring she can now see her future as a biomedical animator.

As Term One comes to end, I take this opportunity once again to wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing Easter.


With best wishes,

Cathy Poyser
Vice Principal / Head of Senior School

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