Senior School


Senior School

November 29, 2019

Last Wednesday the VCE and Year 10 and 11 Examination period concluded. I take this opportunity to thank all the students for their understanding and support of our senior girls in providing them with the best possible environment to undertake their assessments.

During last week, our Year 9 students took part in a highly successful Service Learning Week, with the students taking up placements for three of the days and undertaking special activities on the other two days. Some of the highlights for the students are mentioned later in this edition of CamNews. Thank you to Liss Campbell, Head of Service Learning and Nirvana Watkins, Year 9 Coordinator and Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing (Programs & Curriculum) for their organisation of the most valuable week. Also to all the staff who visited the students in their placements and of course to the students themselves who were such great ambassadors for themselves and their school. I had the pleasure of visiting three students at “Ability Works” in Kew and I was thrilled to see the rapport they had with the people they were working with and the enthusiasm with which they undertook their roles. This was an eye opening opportunity for our students.

Our Year 11 and 12 students for 2020, are halfway through their Headstart Program and I have heard so many students say that they are loving their chosen subjects and are finding the sessions most helpful. Thank you to Mark Corrie, VCE Coordinator and Director of School Operations for his work in setting up this program.  Today, as part of this Headstart Program, the School Leaders for various 2020 School and House positions conducted a number of team building activities.

Last Sunday both Mrs Dunwoody and I had the pleasure of seeing our two Senior School First Lego League teams competing at the National Finals at Swinburne University. Coach Dr Charlotte Forwood, along with one of their mentors, Chloe Langley of Year 10 worked with the girls throughout their planning sessions and we were pleased to witness their coding skills. Students involved this year were:


Katherine Mason

Genna Sim

Ishana Suriyapperuma

Isabella Wood

Charlee Johnson

Sienna Catalogna



Clarissa Wong

Mia Paulse

Emily Price

Salome Obeyesekeres

Minali Shyam

Georgia Langley


A special thanks to Chloe Langley and Himalini Kathirgamanathan, Year 10, whoran the fortnightly robotics sessions in Terms 1 & 2 to build the girls’ general robotic skills. Once the First Lego League challenges were released in Term 3, meetings took place weekly and they worked with Dr Forwood to support the students’ coding, robot design and innovation project. This included helping the girls to stay organised and providing plenty of encouragement!

Please read more about this day later in this edition.

This week our 2020 School Captains led their first assembly. Felicia, Loren and Laurya took on the Term 4 theme of Teamwork and their very entertaining video certainly helped get their message across. We look forward to seeing what new ideas this team will bring to our community in 2020 as they lead the Senior School.

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars

Each Year the University of Melbourne invites schools to seek applications from students in Year 10, for their Kwong Lee Dow (KLD) Young Scholars Program. The KLD is an academic enrichment program designed to support high achieving Victorian Year 11 and Year 12, and select secondary students living close to the New South Wales and South Australian borders.

Students who are successful in their application are invited to take part in a program of events and activities run by the University of Melbourne including VCE revision lectures, personal development workshops, and overnight adventures on campus.

Students are invited to apply online and the University of Melbourne selection panel considers:

> School endorsement
> Academic performance
> Leadership potential: including active citizenship and community involvement.

This week we have been advised that the two students admitted to the KLD Young Scholars Program for 2021 are:

Amelia Lemanis and Sophia Giagoudakis

Congratulations to Amelia and Sophia on their selection; we know they will make the most of the opportunities this will present to them.

Digital Wellbeing: ‘Tis the season to be scammed!

The 1stof December is traditionally when many Australians begin to think about bringing out their Christmas decorations and making homes look suitably festive. This date is now sandwiched between two events which are gaining more traction within Australia each year; these being Black Friday, today, quickly followed by ‘Cyber Monday’. Both events are designed to lure consumers into opening their wallets and purses. Whilst shoppers can attend their local shopping centres for greatly reduced prices, increasingly, Australians of all generations are taking advantage of the convenience of online shopping.

Unfortunately, the combination of the festive season and significant retail discounts provides the perfect environment for online scammers to take advantage of busy and perhaps unsuspecting consumers. The ACC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)  provides the service ScamWatch. ScamWatch presents helpful information on current scams as well as tips on how to avoid the disappointment of not receiving purchased goods online. The most common goods that scammers are attempting to ‘sell’ this season are shoes, smartphones and tickets to events.

Scamwatch recommends that you can shop safely and securely by:

> Being mindful of advertisements on social media as these are often used by scammers to direct you to fake online stores or websites.

> Avoiding luxury goods that are being offered for very low prices.

> Researching websites by checking reviews as well as the website’s information about their returns policies etc. Remember to look out for spelling errors and poor grammar.

> Check for a URL that starts with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol when making online payments. Consider using a payment provider such as PayPal and avoid international funds transfers or electronic currency, such as Bitcoin.

Scamwatch also recommends you share this information with friends and family. It is worth subscribing to email alerts about scams as these change on a regular basis. Register for these emails at the Scamwatch website:

Finally, whilst the festive season is about much more than gifts, the eSafetyCommissioner recognises the need for consumers to make informed decisions if they are considering buying technology for children and teenagers. You may find it helpful to spend a few minutes viewing key information on how to protect your family’s privacy and security if you are thinking of purchasing items such as wearable tech, smart toys or virtual reality technologies.

Felicity Carroll and Cathy Poyser


First Lego League National South Championship

On Sunday, CGGS two Senior First LEGO League teams, Team Fireflies and Team Robotica competed in the National South Championship, held at Swinburne University in Hawthorn. With 500 students competing, there was a constant buzz as teams presented their innovation projects, tweaked robots and competed in robot games. The girls engaged with other teams from Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania socially and in competition. While neither team won any awards, they embodied the Core Values of the competition (Discovery, Inclusion, Innovation, Impact, Fun and Teamwork) and were great ambassadors for the school.

Some are already planning their strategy for 2020, so watch this space…

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development
First LEGO League Coach

Girls in Science Event

On 12 November, together with Ozak, four Year 9 students were invited to attend the 2019 Girls in Science Forum held at Melbourne University. The day began with a panel of five L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australian and New Zealand Fellows.

Dr Ashleigh Hood, The University of Melbourne, The hunt is on to find ancient life forms.

Dr Alisa Glukhova, Monash University, Understanding cancer at its core.

Dr Samantha Solon-Biet, The University of Sydney, You are what your mum eats – is obesity programmed in the womb?

Dr Valerie Sung, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Understanding the best management for children with hearing loss.

Dr Yvonne Anderson, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Demedicalising health care across New Zealand.

It was fascinating to hear these scientists speak about their diverse research interests. I did not realise that ancient life might be found within rock high up in the mountains or that perhaps the key to preventing health issues in children might lie in alterations to the diet of pregnant mothers. The Fellows answered questions from the audience with enthusiasm and discussed how they would use their award money to further their projects. I am happy that Dr Glukhova is now able return to her work earlier with the help of the money, because returning from pregnancy can be complex for women in the workforce. 

After the panel, we had lunch and a guided tour of the Melbourne University campus – in particular the Science buildings before participating in two science activities. The first was a Physics show, where members of the audience participated in experiments that explained concepts like air-resistance, magnetic fields and gravity. A highlight of this show was a demonstration of quantum levitation. We learned that a superconductor, when cooled with liquid nitrogen, creates a magnetic field and stands on end, levitating above the object below. If you filled balloons with air, how many do you think you could fit into a thermos? Four? Five? Well, we managed to get 14 in with the help of liquid nitrogen. When the balloons were removed and thrown into the audience, we watched them re-expand to their original size.

The next activity focussed on digital technologies. We observed the automated moulding of ceramics and the university’s 30 state of the art 3D-printers in action. We then tried out virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. We learnt about the practical applications of these technologies, and how students from many different science streams are using them for innovative projects.

I highly recommend this annual event, especially to girls in year 9. It opened my eyes to many diverse career paths that I had not considered before and has definitely influenced the subjects I now think I will do in VCE. Overall, I found this experience to be enlightening and empowering. The Fellows inspired me, as a woman, to keep reaching forward in Science no matter the stereotypes. As they said, it is our job to break these superstitions down and achieve to the best of our abilities in whatever field we pursue.

Bethany Orme
Year 9


Excelling in Music

Our talented musicians continue to amaze us with outstanding achievements in their musical studies and their contributions to music at school and in the wider community.

We are thrilled to share that Year 9 student, Charlotte Lindsay, has achieved a High Distinction for her Grade 7 French horn exam this month, an exceptional achievement! We are also thrilled to share that Phoebe Noffs achieved Honours for Grade 7 Flute, and two students have also successfully achieved a Certificate of Performance this year – Kelly Chua, Year 11 (Cello) and Clara Kim, Year 8 (Cello). Congratulations to all these students for their many years of hard work and dedication to their goals.

CGGS has a long tradition of Service to the community and to those in need. Our school motto, Utilis In Ministerium – ‘Useful in Service’, prompts us all to live our lives with kindness and to give generously. At this time of the year, we would like to celebrate the students who share their time and musical talents with the wider community, alongside their service to the school. One example of many is Victoria Xiao (Year 11), who visits the Hedley Sutton Aged-Care community in Camberwell every fortnight with her cello to perform for the residents. Victoria has kept up this commitment since July 2017 and the residents thoroughly enjoy listening to her music and look forward to her visits. The willingness and generosity of our students is to be admired and we are proud to acknowledge their commitment, compassion and humility.

Rohan Mack & Kate Savige
Directors of Music

Year 7 Service Learning Conference

How can one Year 7 student make a difference to our planet? This is a question that we set out to answer on Tuesday 26 November, as our Year 7 cohort gathered in Robinson Hall for the inaugural Year 7 Service Learning Conference. The Conference was an all-day event, marking the end of a year of activities focused on Environmental Stewardship. With the theme ‘From Destruction to Construction’ the aim of the day was to provide students with practical strategies for making sustainable change, and a sense of hope for the future of our planet. Students were encouraged to think big and start taking action, with inspiration from an expert panel and masterclasses led by staff and students.

Students benefitted from the expertise of guests James Holcombe from the ASPIRE organisation at Swinburne University, which focusses on creating a circular economy for businesses. James shared his knowledge about reducing and disposing of electronic waste – a real issue in our world of devices with built-in obsolescence. Ruby Bourke, zero-waste legend, brought in a glass jar which contains all her landfill for the year. She set students a challenge to collect their waste over the next week in one small glass. Bev Liang, permaculturalist and garden guru, brought home the message that we can all do something, and use our collective voices to make a bigger change. Students who worked with Bev got their hands dirty making worm hotels, which are now in place in the Early Learning Centre vegetable garden, complete with happy worms.

Students also learned from our resident CGGS expert staff. Dr Reid logged into his home solar array to discuss how to change our domestic energy use. Ms Goad took her expertise in the Food Studies area to discuss leading a plastic-free life. Ms Dumsday prepared a session where students got their hands dirty propagating indigenous plants, while students working with Ms Clarkson made compost lasagne!

It was particularly inspiring to see our group of student environmentalists leading activities on the day. These students have applied themselves throughout the year with sustainability initiatives at CGGS, and were the driving force behind creating relevant campaigns to promote sustainability in our community. From introducing and interviewing guests, to running a marketing masterclass, and getting everyone involved with a sustainability quiz, these students re to be congratulated for their efforts in making the conference truly spectacular. Well done to Amelia Dudley, Samantha Fan, Allison Fok, Eva Leahy Baulch, Sara Rowland, Laura Tong, Joanne Tu, and Ella Xu.

Special thanks go to Summer Howarth for her expertise and energy in facilitating the day.

Maggie Wighton
Sustainability Coordinator

Year 9 Service Learning Week

From November 18 – 22, the Year 9’s took part in Service Learning Week where we learnt about service in our community. On Monday we journeyed into the city and were given a few small tasks we had to complete, one of which was spending money at one of three services that helped people in need. The group I was with went to Kin Folk, an organisation that donates all its profit to the highest voted organisation by its customers, at the end of the year. All its staff are volunteers, and it is really such a great initiative taking place in our community to assist those who need it.

From Tuesday to Thursday, in groups we all went to different facilities to do community service. I went to an aged care facility, as did many other girls, and it was so eye opening to witness the strength and motivation of the workers at the facilities, and the kindness they display towards everyone.  At my placement, I learnt the importance of hearing everyone out and treating everyone equally. All people deserve the right to maintain dignity, and serving is one way you can assist others in doing just that. Everyone had a blast, and all the girls said how much they enjoyed the experience and the friendships they made, and that they all learnt so many things.

On Friday, we came back to school and reflected on our time away. It was so good to hear all the funny stories people had and the things they took away from the week. It was so much fun to get involved in the community, and something I will certainly do more of.

Charli Lincke
Year 9

Business Chicks 9 to Thrive Summit

On 25 November 2019, a group of 9 students, along with Miss Ozak, Miss Biggs and Miss Zhang attended the Business Chicks 9 to Thrive Summit; a one-day business conference. We were the firstschool to have students attend this summit! The summit is usually attended by women which are already in the workforce, and it brought together some amazing guest presenters. The renowned Lisa Wilkinson delivered a presentation on her biggest lessons throughout her career in the media, and even Ita Buttrose abouther leadership. Ita explored the idea that “sometimes if you haven’t experienced failure, it means you haven’t taken a risk”, which is an important message that resonated with me on the day. There were other speakers such as Megan Gale, who discussed her own personal experience with stress, which in turn inspired her to create her lifestyle brand “yourmindfulife”. It was also agreat opportunity for us to network with women from a variety ofindustries, and toattend workshops to gain another perspective on the business world. I would definitely recommend this opportunity to other students. Throughout the day you could sense the passion and drive thesewomen had, which was highly inspirational.

Sophia Giagoudakis
Year 10

Year 10 C-Cubed Day

The Year 10 C-Cubed (Creativity, Challenge and Connection) Day this year was an exciting opportunity for the girls to celebrate and relax after the stressful exam period. The day kicked off with a fun trivia session in the morning, with the girls forming small groups in which they tested their general knowledge and problem solving skills. Questions ranging from puzzling situations to mathematical equations and even entertainment trivia all had the girls thinking on a different level and collaborating with their group members.

The next portion of the day consisted of a variety of unique activities not normally allowed for in our busy school lives. Opportunities to take part in Chinese calligraphy, Baking, Yoga, Self-defence and movie sessions found us enjoying new experiences all the while learning new skills. These classes were just a few options on offer during this portion of the day and girls selected these sessions in accordance to their interests.

All those involved were also treated to a barbecue lunch and the day concluded with an inter house round-robin style session of dodgeball. All houses members competed against each other in an intense few matches to determine the best house. The day was something that we all enjoyed and had fun with and proved to be overall success!

Ashley Olsen and Catherine Hu
Year 10


Shrine of Remembrance

This week, our Year 9C and 9D girls, who are currently studying Australian History, visited the Shrine of Remembrance to develop their understanding of the Shrine as a place to honour our service men and women and learn about our nation’s wartime history.

Originally built as a monument to commemorate the 20,000 Victorians killed in World War I whose bodies never returned home. It has now become a solemn place for Australians of all backgrounds to remember the sacrifices made by all of those lost in war. Students undertook a guided tour of the Shrine, where they learned the history of monuments ranging from the eternal flame to the Sanctuary.

Then the girls visited the museum, where guides showed them artefacts including an original Gallipoli landing boat, the World War I Books of Remembrance and the Victoria Cross of Captain Robert Grieve of Brighton. Students then visited the education centre, where they tried on the uniforms and kits of a World War I infantry soldier.

The afternoon concluded with a brief remembrance ceremony in the Sanctuary as a mark of respect to those who have served our nation.

Mrs Lemanis & Ms Wighton
History Teachers

Saturday Netball

Last Saturday the girls took the court knowing it was one week from finals. Year 7 Quartz are going into finals confidently finishing top of the ladder. Year 8 Sapphires maintaining their 2nd place on the ladder with a tight game ending in a draw. A highlight of the weekend was Year 8 Silver adapting confidently to the fast pace of mixed netball. Year 9 Amber and Year 10 Gems both had promising victories on Saturday giving them momentum going into this Saturday. Year 11 Emeralds secured their position, 2nd on the ladder, with an exceptional win to finish off final round last Saturday afternoon.

Best of luck goes out to all teams in the Spring Fling Finals this coming Saturday.

Lexie Joyce
Netball Coordinator


I look forward to seeing the CGGS community at Carols at Camberwell this evening. Have a lovely weekend.


Cathy Poyser