School Chaplain


School Chaplain

November 26, 2021

The Light of Christmas 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5)

Some years ago, over an Australian Summer, I travelled to Lyon in France with a group CGGS students. They were studying French, and they were going to spend a European winter absorbing French culture and language, as well as food! We arrived just as the people of Lyon were celebrating a most lovely festival, the “Fete des Lumieres” (Festival of Lights). The origins of this Festival go back to the eighth of December 1852, when a golden statue of Mary was placed on the bell tower of La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, a church that stands high on a hill overlooking Lyon. On that first dark mid-Winter night the people of Lyon were encouraged to light candles in their windows. Today it’s not just candles in windows! The city centre is an explosion of light and colour: every street, every square, every façade lit up. I remember the delight of moving through the city streets with our students, as well as thousands of others, finding light & creativity around each and every corner.

Here in our Southern hemisphere summer, when there is no shortage of light from the blazing sun, the symbolism of light shining in the darkness is just as important! Some of us string up lights on our Christmas tree, or in our trees or windows; some of us gather for “Carols by Candlelight”, or in Churches lit up by candles at midnight. And then there are the family walks around the suburban streets of those who have “gone to town” on front-yard decorations!

At the heart of the Christmas story is the wonder of divine light: the light that shines from the heart of God. All babies bring with them a kind of light, don’t they? All babies bring promise and possibility, and I think many of us are reminded of this at Christmas, as we listen to the story of birth. But at Christmas it is the Christ-child who comes to us, the baby Jesus who asks for our attention. And the light of the Christ-child is the light from which every other kind of light we can know has its source. It is the light of God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s joy, the “true light”.

It doesn’t take much for the light of a candle to be blown out. Power outages can trip up our attempts to bring joy to our neighbours by our Christmas displays. And covid meant that, last year in Lyon, the Festival of Lights was cancelled. So too, cruel and selfish actions can snuff out the light, for a time, that is to be found at the centre of every human being.  But the Christian faith is that nothing, absolutely nothing, can overcome the light that the baby Jesus brings into the world. And that’s why Christmas is such a time of joy. We all have known places of darkness, whether in the world, our homes or in our hearts. And sometimes that darkness seems to be winning. Jesus is our promise that God’s light, “the true light, which enlightens everyone” (John 1: 9) cannot be put out by any kind of darkness. And so we can, if we wish, live with hope in our hearts, no matter what happens around us.

May the lights that fill our homes, our streets, and our neighbourhoods this Christmas-time become signs for us of God’s most true and beautiful light. As we find delight in our battery-powered lights, may we also be touched by the light of God’s eternal love for us, and be aware of the light that shines, by God’s grace, from deep within us. And, at the end of a year that required much of us, and perhaps took much from us, may these lights make us glad!

My prayers this Christmas-eve are especially with those who will be missing loved ones this Christmas.

Every blessing to all in our school community,

Helen Creed

Senior School


Senior School

November 26, 2021

Last week we celebrated and farewelled the Class of 2021 in our Leavers Service. It was wonderful to be able to be together and congratulate the Year 12 students on their hard work throughout this year and all their years in the Senior School. There are always so many highlights of this service including hearing the students make their own speech of gratitude to their parents and teachers with very genuine thanks, the Year 7 and staff guard of honour as the Year 12 students make their way down the main driveway and out of the Torrington Street gates, this tradition actually forms part of our school hymn, “so when the gates swing wide and through the larger world our way we choose” and also of course the 3:25pm final bell.

This too has become more significant now that we only have two bells each year. One at the commencement of the Year 12 school year and one at the end. At this time, the Year 12 students gather in the Quadrangle, sing hymns and countdown to 3:25pm. I want to again congratulate every Year 12 student on their amazing efforts and resilience this year. We are so proud of each of them and wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

Recently some of our staff and students had the opportunity to spend the day with Murrundindi at Healesville Sanctuary and Coranderrk. This was a very special occasion for those who attended, as Murrundindi shared some history, indigenous culture and sites that are very significant to him, his family and his culture. It was great to spend time in nature and appreciate our Australian history and land. We are so thankful for Murrundindi continuing to be a part of our CGGS community and appreciate him teaching and sharing with us.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Year 9 Service Learning Conference

Seeking to be useful in service is an important part of our DNA at CGGS. Last week, the Year 9s took part in their Service Learning Conference where the focus was ‘community.’ Over the two days we sought to amplify our ability to serve others by hearing the experiences and journeys of Old Grammarians: Amanda Mandy (OAM), Helen Parker (OAM), Dianne Dick, Andrea Brown, Lis Sandbach and Georgie Herbert. Hearing from these members of our CGGS community led the students to think about their own skills and passions as a springboard for how they might contribute to communities they are part of. A focus was how we might connect with people around us, reacting to their needs, seeking to be proactive in using our skills to serve others. Please see below some of our student reflections from the conference.

Jennifer Gordon
Head of Service Learning

I really enjoyed lots about the Service Learning conference. A lot of students and I loved the self-care session, especially the Pilates class run by Alicia. I loved making the Christmas cards, it was great making something with our hands for others. Learning about different social issues was very informative, and fun and engaging. Overall, this was a great learning experience for us all! 

Sofia Pandeli, 9C

I really enjoyed the Year 9 Service Learning conference! I loved that we got the chance to give back to our community and help those in need. I particularly enjoyed writing festive cards to others in our society, it was awesome that we got to actually be a part of an act of service. The conference has inspired me to look for more volunteer opportunities in the future and our whole year level appreciated this amazing initiative!

Emily Price, 9B

During the Service Learning conference my classmates and I were exposed to many activities to strengthen our connections with the local community, stories from the experiences of Old Grammarians, and small acts of service to others in order to improve our understanding of the communities around us and the support that we can provide within them.

One of my favourite experiences was the making of the Christmas cards that my friends and I created to be sent to Prague House and Crossroads, two groups within the local community, to service those around us through a small gesture of kindness this Christmas. Many of my peers furthered this experience by creating festive biscuits to be gifted alongside the cards, and through this experience, I felt as though the community of my schoolmates had been brought together through the service of the Prague House and Crossroads communities. It has strengthened my understanding of the importance and appreciation for service within my local environment.

Overall, the two days of the service conference opened my eyes to the small steps, gestures, offering of time and skills that we can provide in order to service the communities around us while strengthening our own.

Grace Barnes, 9D

Music Achievements – Emily Wu

The Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) has awarded their high achievers for 2020. We are thrilled to announce that Emily Wu (11B) is one of only four students who successfully completed a Diploma examination on two instruments:

> LMusA (Piano)

> LMusA with Distinction (Cello)

The Licentiate in Music, Australia (LMusA) is a diploma awarded by examination to outstanding musicians. Candidates must perform repertoire from the prescribed lists of works and are tested on their general knowledge of the selected pieces. The “award with distinction” is very rarely given and reflects Emily’s many years of conscientious commitment to practice and exceptionally high level of performance.

Emily was presented with her certificates for the multiple diplomas at the AMEB studios this year, in recognition of her outstanding achievements. The CGGS Music Department, along with Emily’s family, are very proud of her accomplishments. Emily persevered during Melbourne’s series of lockdowns to memorise a significant collection of musical works in preparation for the two highly demanding performance examinations.

This year, Emily has continued to immerse herself in her music passions at CGGS, completing VCE Unit 3 and 4 Music Performance and involvement in many co-curricular Music groups. Emily is to be congratulated on her dedication to learning, ability to respond positively to the many challenges faced and for maintaining her motivation to achieve specific music goals. What an inspiration for all of our student musicians!

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Zoo Youth Leadership

One of the great things about being back together at CGGS has been the continuation of our partnership with Zoos Victoria and our Zoo Youth Leadership Program. The opportunity to partner with Zoos Victoria, who are considered to be global leaders in STEM based learning experiences, wildlife conservation and research, is both a unique and exciting one.

As participants, students have been actively contributing to wildlife conservation research and action, and Zoos Victoria have been benefitting from the insights of our CGGS students who are being shaped into the next generation of conservation leaders.

This week saw students undertake three amazing immersive experiences that have seen them visiting seals at Philip Island, going backstage at the Zoo with giraffes and zebras and visiting Port Phillip EcoCentre at St Kilda Beach. Working alongside experts in wildlife conservation, our student participants have been learning about animal enrichment and marine conservation, as they look to complete their final projects and leadership journeys.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Videos for Change

We were delighted to have two teams as finalists in the Senior High School National Videos for Change competition. Videos for Change is a way for young people to develop confidence, practice social advocacy, and build valuable 21st Century skills they need for a better future.

Following on from this, we are excited to announce that ‘Disconnected’ by Scarlett Giang and Natalie Chung has been named a joint winner of the competition and has also received the competition’s inaugural Mental Health Awareness Award. This second award was chosen by mental health for youth organisation Headspace and recognised the important amplification of this issue that has taken place over the past 18 months. Over 70% of submissions to this year’s Videos for Change competition, addressed this theme.

Scarlett and Natalie’s video was selected from hundreds of videos submitted from across the country, which went through two rounds of initial judging before a final round of external judges with expertise in social media, mainstream media and film, and documentary making.

To watch the winning announcements and hear from the students themselves, including Salwa, Nektaria, Salome, Jaya and May, our second group of finalists with their video #strideinyourstyle, click the link below.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Global Youth Forum

During Term 4, 10 Year 9 students participated in a Global Youth Forum run by the Asia Education Foundation at The University of Melbourne, High Resolves and The Department of Education and Training. This leadership program, run over 3 days, provided Year 9 students in Victoria with the opportunity to explore global citizenship in the context of their communities through engagement with students from Asia, including China, Japan and Indonesia. Students heard from experts, explored stories across the Asia-Pacific, examined global citizenship and debated with peers issues facing education and schooling in the current global context.

Dr. Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

CGGS 2021 Election

Yesterday was a big day for our Year 9 students, as the eight political parties forged in a semester of learning in Commerce battled it out for glory in our annual CGGS Election.

The Equal Opportunity Party, Vitality Party, SUS Party, Amogus Party, The Justice League Party, The Bake Boss Party, The Australian Wellness Party and The Brainy Bunch Party all did a sensational job. Not only did they present their Parties in effective visual form, but they lobbied hard on Election Day, ‘working the queues’ to inform voters about the policy choices they could make at the Ballot Box and making sure that formal voting protocols were followed.

Only one vote distinguished the SUS Party from the Bake Boss Party in the Primary Vote count and, while congratulations go to all parties for their valiant efforts for election, after the distribution of preferences, a clear winner emerged. This year our collective congratulations go to The Bake Boss Party who took line honours with an absolute majority of 143 out of a possible 260 votes.

The Election is always an energy-charged and truly hands-on way for students to experience the pressures, dramas, highs and lows, and the logistics of ‘running for office’ on a small scale. There is no doubt these young women will approach the Ballot Box as adults in a more informed way as a result of their participation in this task.

Our thanks go to the staff who assisted and supported this activity on the day. We have loved working with this year’s Year 9 students and look forward to doing in it all again in 2022!

Alexandra Larkey and the Year 9 Commerce Teaching team
Head of Commerce

2021 Empower Agents of Change Leadership Global Conference

The 2021 Empower Agents of Change Leadership Global Conference, November 15 – 17, was hosted by Nanyang Girls’ High School in Singapore, a partner school in the SAGE (Strategic Alliance of Global Educators) network of which CGGS is a proud member. The conference was designed to bring students from across the globe together to empower them to be positive leaders within their school and wider community. The theme for 2021, ‘Rising by Lifting Others,’ provided a platform for students from various international schools to nurture, encourage and strengthen their connections and leadership skills.

All Year 9 students were given the opportunity to nominate to attend the conference with 10 students selected based on their written application. With over 150 student participants internationally, the conference had several keynote presentations, including an inspirational discussion held by Professor Paulin Tay Straughan, a sociologist from the National University of Singapore who served as a Nomination Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2012.

For the majority of the conference, participants worked collaboratively with a team of 10 other students from different schools to explore ‘exemplary leadership,’ investigating what it looks like and how it can be defined using five key practices: Model the way, Inspire a shared vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.

The teams also explored important female role models as case studies, each of which were important leaders in the areas of the Arts, Social Work, the Environment, Business, Science and Politics. These case studies were used as a catalyst to challenge gender inequality and gender stereotypes that exist, prompt discussion, and encourage problem solving, with each group presenting a pitch or set of strategies to challenge discrimination and promote female empowerment and representation in leadership globally.

Please see below a reflection written by students who attended the conference.

 Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

From 15 to 17 November, 10 students participated in the Empowering Agents of Change: Women’s Leadership Conference. This conference was held by our sister school Nanyang Girls High School in Singapore. Schools from all over the world attended the conference and learnt about women in leadership. The conference focused on empowering women and learning about gender differences in leadership roles. Through collaborating with students from across the globe, and hearing from key speakers and prominent women leaders, our girls applied leadership skills and connected with new students.

Over the course of the three days the students were split into groups with other girls and boys from across the world including Singapore, China, The Philippines, and Australia. While in these groups the students completed many ice breaker activities where they got to learn more about each other. The students also participated in many discussions about how as a community we can encourage women to step into leadership positions and be able to thrive while being leaders. We learnt about the 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership, which are; model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart.

On the second day we collaborated with our group members to create a presentation reflecting on everything that we had learnt over the conference. The groups also discussed how we can support our current and coming women leaders and how we can enable them to feel empowered and influential. Overall, this experience was insightful and informative. We all learnt new leadership skills, heard from enlightening presenters, and made connections with other international students.

‘My highlight of the conference was meeting new people who share the same values as me. I have learnt more about women in leadership and how to be an effective leader. With my group, we discussed the five practices of exemplary leadership. Learning about these enabled me to better my collaboration with my peers and empower myself as a woman leader’. – Mia Paulse

Eva Papadopoulos, Grace Barnes, Helena Maunder, Isabella Wood, Mia Paulse and Tyra Dawson, Year 9

Die Modeschau – the German Fashion Show

This term, our two Year 7 German classes held a Fashion Show! We put together stylish and unique outfits to present to the class. On top of this, we created our own fashion label and collections. From pyjamas to casual clothing, each group put together something new. In groups of three to five, we walked down the red carpet modelling our outfits to the class.

Other members of our group introduced and described the models in German.

The collections were:

> Schwartz und Weiß [Black and White] by Modern [Modern]

> Warme Katze [Warm Cat] by Kleine Katze [Small Cat]

> Pyjama Kollektion [Pyjama Collection] by Vasp

> Typisch Frühling Kollektion [Typical Spring Collection] by Melbourne Wetter [Melbourne Weather]

> Die Neue Sommerkollektion [The new summer collection] by ANEC

> Cool und Bequem [Cool and Comfortable] by AMCA

> Frühlingskollektion [Spring Collection] by Four Seasons

This was an innovative and engaging activity that was worth all the time and effort we put into it.

Anais Portbury, Selina Guan and Audrey Kerr
Year 7 German Students

First Lego League

‘Coopetition’ – a word that most people are unfamiliar with, but a word 20 of our Year 6 – 9 students know as it plays an important part in the First Lego League Challenge. The First Lego League Challenge is a global competition which last year attracted more than 600,00 students from around the world! While the First Lego League is a competition, it is also an event that values cooperation over being the best and rewards ‘gracious professionalism’ – positive interactions between teams and team members.

This weekend, three teams are competing in the Regional Finals. The theme for this year is Cargo Connect – all about transportation. Each team has four tasks:

> Complete an innovation project which uses design thinking to develop a solution to a problem related to the theme

> Design and build a robot

> Program a robot to complete as many missions as possible on a robot game board

> Demonstrate the core values of First Lego League: Teamwork, Impact, Inclusion, Innovation, Discovery and Fun

Our teams have created solutions to problems such as reducing packaging waste and isolated communities accessing medication during floods. They have tapped into large reserves of perseverance as robots have misbehaved. They have taken on board feedback about their innovation project designs from external professionals and created multiple iterations of ideas. The students have enjoyed working together, learning new skills and most importantly, enjoying each other’s company!  

Dr. Charlotte Forwood
First Lego League Coach

Click below to expand the images.

Music Work Experience: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Chloe Law and Megan Kuo recently enjoyed an action-packed three day online work experience placement with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. They engaged with meaningful real-world performing arts projects during the placement and gained a deeper understanding of the many and varied career options within one of Australia’s largest arts organisations. Please see their reflections from the three day work experience below.

MSO Work Experience Reflections

The Organisation
The performing arts industry is very fast-paced, with many people working together to achieve a collective goal. There are nearly 200 permanent career options within the MSO company, many of which are logistical and administration roles. Many of those involved with the management side of things still have a background in music studies, and they can maintain this connection with their passion through their role in the MSO. There is a lot involved in the planning and execution of a live concert; venue logistics, budgeting, repertoire selection, artistic planning, marketing, booking of artists, transport of equipment and personnel, broadcasts, recordings, copyright permissions and much more.

The Musicians
The professional musicians who perform in the MSO undergo a vigorous and thorough audition process to become a permanent member of the orchestra. Multiple stages of the audition process are required, through ‘blind’ auditions, where the audition panel know which instrument they will hear but do not know who the candidate is. Successful candidates move through the audition process based on their abilities and sound. Permanent and casual performance positions are regularly on offer, alongside pathways for leading teaching artist opportunities within their community music programs.

The Music
As an audience member, it can be difficult to fathom how much work goes on behind the scenes. All we see is the final performance and the musicians delivering amazing music presentations on stage. We learnt that if you do not notice the supporting staff members on the night, they’re doing their job to the highest level! This aspect was hard to imagine without experiencing it first-hand. We now have a broad understanding of the many diverse roles that exist within this industry, alongside a deep appreciation for the cultural significance this iconic orchestra plays within the city of Melbourne and around the world.

The Experience
Overall this was a very valuable experience, and we learnt a lot about this very creative industry. We highly recommend this opportunity to anyone who has any interest in the performing arts world. You don’t have to be an exceptional musician or want to make music your career to learn a lot and be involved.

Chloe Law and Megan Kuo, Year 11

Year 8 Service Learning Afternoon – Making Christmas hampers for Djirra

As part of a Christmas Service Learning project, the Year 8s were asked to bring in a specific, long-lasting food item to contribute to a number of hampers we were making. The hampers have been sent to Djirra, an organisation that helps Indigenous Australian women who seek support. The whole year level had lots of fun designing and decorating boxes to put our food items in. Not only were we lending our service to the community, we had lots of fun with friends and learning to work together. It was a fun and enjoyable experience, and I’m sure I speak for the whole year level when I say we would love to do this again.

Sarah Chan, Year 8

During Period 5 & 6 on Wednesday 24 November, we made hampers for Djirra which is an organisation that supports women who are survivors of family abuse. We thoroughly enjoyed filling the hampers with non-perishable items like pasta, rice, cereal and more, to make these women’s Christmas more enjoyable. We also had lots of fun decorating the boxes with bright colours and origami, to deliver festive spirit as well as food to those women. Overall, it was a really engaging experience and we are glad to have a positive impact this Christmas!

Aliyana Rajakulendran, Lucy Ruddle, Nonie McLean, Lily Grant and Hannah Lin, Year 8

Djirra is a place where culture is shared and celebrated, and where practical support is available to all Aboriginal women and particularly to Aboriginal people who are currently experiencing family violence or have in the past. It was wonderful to be able to support Djirra as the Year 8 Service Learning focus is Indigenous Australian living culture.

Jennifer Gordon
Head of Service Learning

Junior School


Junior School

November 26, 2021

Foundation – Year 6 Orientation Morning

Last Friday 22 November, our current Early Learning 4 – Year 5 students had the opportunity to spend time in next year’s class in preparation for the start of the 2022 academic year. This session lasted for 1.5 hours and each student had the chance to meet their new classroom teacher and class mates.

Usually during this event, our current Junior School students would meet the new external students that were joining Ormiston next year. However, due to COVID-19, the new students joining us at Junior School in 2022 will be visiting us  on-campus on Monday 6 December at 4.00-4.30pm. Currently, there are 28 new students joining us at Ormiston next year.

Foundation – Year 5 Swimming Program

For the last two weeks of Term 4, we have organised the Foundation – Year 5 students to be part of our school swimming program. Starting this week, the Foundation – Year 4 students have participated in three intensive stroke correction and water safety sessions at the Senior School Pool. The Year 5 students will participate in a similar Water Safety session on Monday 6 December which will be important in preparing them for their Summer holiday of water activities. I would like to thank Lisa Williams our Swim School Coordinator who has organised these important sessions.

Year 2 Extended Day

Our Year 2 students had a wonderful time participating in a range of teambuilding and educational outdoor activities on Friday 15 November. The Extended Day included poison ball, hoola-hoop competition and hip-hop dancing via Zoom. The students enjoyed a lovely dinner from Pinwheel followed by a movie together in the Junior School Hall. Each of the students enjoyed the opportunity to stay behind after school and were picked-up by their parents at 7.30pm. This annual event is an excellent opportunity to prepare the students for next year’s Year 3 and 4 camp. I would like to thank our Year 2 Class Teacher Mikaela Stanaway, for organising the fun activities this year.

Science Talent Search Achievement – Christine Moi Year 5

Congratulations to Christine Moi of Year 5 who was nominated for Primary Investigations section in the December 2021 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards.

Christine’s project “What is the most efficient form of transport – to walk, cycle, scooter or e-scooter?” was awarded as a Semi Finalist.

The comment from the judges stated, ‘Your project was an outstanding contribution for which you should feel extremely proud.’

Christine will receive a certificate in the mail early next year.


Wishing all our Ormiston families an enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Year 5 and 6 Camp – Grantville Lodge Westernport Bay

On 15 November Years 5 and 6 went to a beautiful camp called Grantville Lodge. There were lots of activities planned to keep us occupied during our two night visit from Monday to Wednesday. Ms Cheong, Mrs Robottom, Ms de Quadros, Ms Hinchliffe, Mr Donohue, Ms Soci, Mr Goodwin and Mrs White were all there to support us through times when we might have been upset about something or if we needed to talk to someone. 

Camp was a memorable experience for me. I conquered things I never imagined I would be able to do. I have a morbid fear of heights and managing the scary giant swing was a victory for me (even though I didn’t go to the top). The food was exquisite. I thank the people that cooked the wonderful food. I couldn’t help getting seconds because the food was so mouth – watering! Going to this camp inspired me to take risks and challenge myself in the future. 

Aathana Sivapalan, Year 6

The highlight of my camp was having free time in our cabins because honestly it was such great bonding for all of us and we all became so much closer after it by playing games and just being able to chat and connect with each other. Something else I enjoyed immensely was having Mrs White as our activity teacher because she was so much fun to work with. Overall, camp was a 10/10 experience.

Nirvani Subedi, Year 6

My camp highlight was doing all the rope activities ranging from high ropes to giant swing and flying fox. We learnt how to put on the harnesses and connecting our harnesses to the courses. We were challenged to try the rope activities so I did and I went on the trickiest high ropes course, and I went as high as the flying fox and giant swing could go. But really the whole camp was a highlight. 

Alexia Stuart-Adams, Year 6

STEM Games Challenge Semi-Finalists

Over the past two years I have had the pleasure to work with three teams of Year 5 and 6 students to support them to develop the skills necessary to enter the Australia wide STEM Video Games Challenge competition. Students were required to work together to plan and create a Video Game using Scratch, that explored the theme of Scale.

When designing their games, students also had to think carefully about all elements of game design including: graphics, coding, storyline, testing, the level of challenge in the game and of course its fun factor. To emphasise the design process, all teams had to complete and were also judged on their game design document detailing the process they went through to design their games. Designing a functioning game with no bugs is no easy feat and required teams to communicate and problem solve effectively and apply their character strengths of perseverance, bravery, creativity and hope.

Congratulations to Charlotte, Aathana, Preesha, Audrey and Zara for their exceptional work and being recognised as semi-finalists this year. Students were presented with their certificates in assembly this week.

We are so proud of the way these teams worked together over the past two years to create games of such quality through working together both face to face and online during remote learning.

We can’t wait to see them apply their skills to other coding and design challenges in the future.

Emma Hinchliffe
Deputy Head of Junior School

Connected Community


Connected Community

November 26, 2021

PFA Community Raffle

Are you a Lucky Ticket winner??

The Parents and Friends Association is excited to have launched the PFA Community Raffle to celebrate our wonderful CGGS Community.

Your daughter was given a PFA boxed chocolate bar to bring home as a gift from the PFA. Inside could be a Winning Lucky Ticket.

There will be winners from every year level from Early Learning to Year 12 and Professional Services, Junior and Senior Staff groups.

Be sure to check inside your gift to see if you have won!!

Some lucky winners have already been identified and have won either:

1st place Lucky Ticket – you win a $250 RedBalloon voucher and a Limited Edition CGGS Centenary Merchandise Hamper

2nd place Lucky Ticket – you win a Limited Edition CGGS Centenary Merchandise Hamper

If you are a lucky winner, be sure to email a photo of yourself holding the winning ticket to Susannah Jepson –

The PFA looks forward to reconnecting with the CGGS community and celebrating the lucky winners of the Community Raffle.


Old Grammarians provide inspiration at Service Learning Conference 

Year 9 enjoyed a Service Learning conference which focused on the value of being Useful in Service and connecting with the local community.

The school invited old grammarians who volunteer and serve the local community to present via video to the Year 9s about their work and contribution to the communities they serve.

The students were very fortunate to hear from: 

Amanda Mandie OAM (1977), Executive Director and Founder of the Koala Kids Foundation (2021 CGGS Inspiring Woman)
Amanda and her 13-year-old son Nick founded Koala Kids in 2005 with a mission that Koala Kids volunteers provide small things that make a difference for children and young people, their families and healthcare team during cancer treatment. As well as working tirelessly to provide moments of happiness for children and young people from birth to 25 years Amanda also manages Koala Kids’ large army of volunteers committed to its vision to touch every child and young person with cancer in Victoria and Tasmania

In the 2021 Australia Day Awards, Amanda was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the community through charitable organisations. Amanda spoke with such passion about bringing moments of happiness and joy to these families undergoing treatment. 

Helen Parker OAM (1996), Founder and CEO of the Babes Project
Helen Parker established the Babes Project in 2019, after being confronted with her own experience of crisis pregnancy.  The Babes Project is changing the way Australians approach crisis pregnancy by supporting and encouraging women on their journey no matter the circumstances.  Helen shares her passion of ensuring every woman in Australia has access to help and support during pregnancy. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to pregnant women in need.

Diane Dick (1965)
Diane  spoke about her time volunteering in her local community where she first began volunteering on the Mornington Peninsula at a Neighbourhood House. Utilising her professional skills, she developed software to assist in the administrative running of the Neighbourhood House to allow the volunteers to focus on delivering eduational programs. Diane has moved to Perth and now offers her time in assisting a Dog Rescue organisation. She is a great example of someone using her skills to volunteer and serve. 

Andrea Brown (1984)
Andrea Brown started her volunteer career after leaving school by ushering at the theatre for the Royal South Street Calisthenics Society. Andrea has always had a passion for calisthenics since the age of six and she is currently the Chair of the Calisthenics Discipline and Deputy Chair of the Royal South Street Society. She is a great example of someone who serves in an area where she can use her passion and continue to serve the community she loves.

Elisabeth Sandbach (2012)
A strong advocate for volunteering whilst at school, Elisabeth continued on volunteering at university where she gave her time to VGen, a youth movement of World Vision Australia. VGen’s goal is to inspire, educate and empower young people about worldwide issues of social injustice and poverty. Elisabeth currently volunteers for The Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program, a completely volunteer-run, not-for-profit, secular organisation which provides free tutoring and educational support to the Sudanese Australian community. Elisabeth works as a commercial lawyer and is the pro bono Coordinator for the  firm which has a strong commitment to pro bono work such as homeless law and refugee legal.

It was wonderful to see the way she continued to employ the CGGS motto of being Useful in Service after leaving school and use her professional skills in service once she became a lawyer.

Georgie Herbert (1998), Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation
After the death of her mother in 2017, Georgie commenced her journey in philanthropy to raise funds for ovarian cancer research. Georgie has worked tirelessly to raise funds and has personally raised over $400,000. After working many years at the AFL as Head of Commercial Operations, she joined the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as Philanthropy and Corporate Partnerships Manager, continuing her philanthropic work. Georgie told the students her story of volunteering in sports clubs and the evolution of her service which has eventually become her full-time work.

Past Parents Group

CGGS recognises and appreciates the contribution parents make to the school and the friendships and connections that are formed whilst their daughters are at school. We are excited to announce that we will be launching a Past Parent Community group in 2022.

The purpose of the group is to continue the connections made throughout their daughter’s time at the school. We will be inviting current Year 12 parents who are leaving the school to be the inaugural members of this group. Please stay tuned for your invitation to assist in creating a wonderful past parent community group.

It will be a fantastic opportunity for you to maintain connections and network within the CGGS community.

Thank You to our Volunteers

We are very appreciative of the wonderful culture of volunteering within our CGGS community. In 2020 and 2021, we have not had many opportunities to meet in person; the Parents & Friends Association and Year Level representatives have endeavored to maintain contact and keeping our communities connected.

To thank our amazing volunteers, we enjoyed a virtual cheese and wine tasting where we tasted amazing cheeses from local producer That’s Amore Cheese and travelled to Italy to meet the wine makers from Salatin Winery in Veneto. The evening was bellisimo!




November 12, 2021

Our Community

Whilst our purpose is to provide the highest quality learning, wellbeing and co-curricular opportunities and experiences for our students, belonging to a community and being connected with others is often what we remember most fondly.

The strength of our community is enhanced by the contributions that many of our parents make in supporting key school initiatives, and also our old grammarians as they provide inspiration and support as role models to our current students.

I am deeply indebted to the work of the Parents and Friends Association under the leadership of Dr Rob Webster OAM who have over many years supported events and raised funds to help purchase learning equipment to enhance our educational offerings. During the last 2 years his team have continued to help keep families connected and supported during this challenging time.

At our ‘Thank You to Volunteers’ celebration evening tonight, I will be acknowledging a number of Year 12 parents who have provided continuous service to the school throughout their daughter’s education. Thank you to Rob and Jenni Webster, Jo Ellingworth, Fiona Robertson, Ray Barmby and Maria Ventura, Liz Sutton, Vivienne Wang, Nancy Goletsos and Heather Masterman. They have worked with many teams over the years, and we are grateful for the support of all parents.

This support has taken many forms – as a committee member of the PFA, by providing leadership in organising other events with parents such as the Summer Spectacular, Mothers and Father’s Day events, Trivia Nights, pre-show refreshments for the Performing Arts events and sausage sizzles, icy poles and baked treats at the House Cross Country and Swimming carnivals. They have coordinated year level representatives and have been parent representatives on parent forum groups and committees such as the Uniform Committee.

Our second-hand Uniform Shop has also been run by a team of dedicated parents under the leadership of Jo Ellingworth and Jenni Webster across weekends, during school days and after school for many years. We are grateful for their commitment to supporting so many CGGS families.

If you would like to be involved in the Parents and Friends Association, we would welcome your support and I invite you to contact Susannah Jepson from our Foundation Office.

During our Centenary year, we launched our Inspiring Women of CGGS program. In our inaugural year we recognised eighteen old grammarians in a ceremony held in July this year. In the spirit of our school’s vision, mission and values, all recipients had demonstrated through their professional contributions, service to society and personal qualities and accomplishments to be worthy of this acknowledgment.

A photograph and short biography of each woman has been displayed in Senior School. The purpose of this is to honour and celebrate our former students and for current students to be inspired, see what is possible, engage with contemporary issues and to emulate high ideals and aspirations.

We will honour a further 12 women in a ceremony to be held in early 2022 to celebrate our 2021 recipients. I am proud to announce that they are:

Mrs Joan Child AO (Olle, 1937) (Posthumous award)
Career in state politics and was the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1985.

Ms Ruth Dunn (Thorold, 1959)
Career as a Psychologist working across a range of areas and has worked with the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service to support PTSD veterans and their families.

Ms Georgie Herbert (1998)
Has a long career in sports management, but now works for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation as her passion lies in raising funds to find a cure for Ovarian Cancer. To date Georgie has raised $1m for this cause.

Mrs Pamela Hore (Beasley, 1959)
Worked in Local Government Aged Care Department, as a volunteer at Alzheimer’s Australia and continues advocacy work with Dementia Australia and the elderly.

Professor Michelle Leech (1981)
Has held a number of teaching and leadership positions within Monash Universities Medical program and is currently the Deputy Dean Medicine Program.

Mrs Amanda Mandie OAM (Sharpe, 1977)
Philanthropist and founder of Koala Kids Foundation an organisation dedicated to supporting children and young people during cancer treatment. She has also founded two other non-for-profit foundations.

Ms Margaret Porritt (Newhouse, 1958)
Founder of iconic FEATHERS boutique and her own range of apparel with a 50 year career in Australian retail and fashion.

Dr Jacqui Richmond (1991)
Dedicated her career to improving the health outcomes for people living with Hepatitis B and C.

Ms Nicola Rivers (1994)
Environmental lawyer who is Co-CEO of Environmental Justice Australia, a leading public interest environmental law organisation and has co-founded two social enterprises.

Dr Rebecca Spindler (1987)
Ecosystem and wildlife conservation expert focused on Australian and international conservation. She is now the Executive Manager of Science Conservation for Bush Australia.

Mrs Cecile Storey AM (Benjamin, 1961) (Posthumous award)
Past staff member from 1958 – 1961 who made a huge impact on students. Passionate about education, women’s rights and human rights, she worked tirelessly in Education and International Affairs.

Professor Delene Weber (Marsh, 1987)
Environmental Scientist focusing on making a positive impact in the way forests and our environment are protected, currently working at the University of South Australia where she has received multiple national teaching awards.

You will also be able to read more about them in our December issue of CamLife.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

Senior School


Senior School

November 12, 2021

In our Remembrance Day Assembly on Tuesday, I had the honour of speaking to the Senior School students about the significance of the minute’s silence we observe on the 11th of November, as we remember all the service people who have lost their lives in various wars.

At the time of the First World War (1914 – 1918) Australia was a newly federated country. Three of every five Australians who signed up to serve in the military were either killed or wounded and the social effects of these losses on our country and its people lasted for many decades afterwards.

The Australian soldiers had a fighting reputation out of proportion to their numbers. In the four years of the First World War more than 330,000 Australians served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them died.

On November 11, 1918, the guns at the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous fighting. The Allied armies which included the brave Australian soldiers, had successfully driven the German army back from France and Belgium, causing the German government to call for an armistice or suspension of fighting to enable peace negotiations.

And so, each year on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at 11am the time when fighting ceased in the First World War, we observe a minute’s silence to remember, honour and mourn those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In doing so, we ensure that we will never forget the more than 100,000 Australians who have lost their lives in various wars, then and since, for the sake of our country, our people and our freedoms.

On Remembrance Day we traditionally wear a poppy. Red poppies were among the first plants and signs of life on the battlefields of Belgium and France. In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their fallen comrades. It has become a symbol of remembering everyone who has given their life in war.

Last week, Mrs Daffy recorded an interview with Melbourne author Mike Rosel, who researched the life of a local Hawthorn boy who volunteered to fight in WW1. Mike, who has written several books about Australian military history was inspired by his father’s gentle refusal to explain exactly how he won a Military Cross at Tobruk in 1941. When Mike stumbled on the astonishing yet virtually unknown story of Captain Alexander (Alec) Little, a young Hawthorn man credited with shooting down 47 aircraft in World War I, he researched his brief life as a tribute to all Australians who volunteered to serve their country.

In ‘The Unknown Warrior’, Mike explores the life of a Captain Alec Little, who at the age of 19 paid his own way to the United Kingdom to join the Royal Flying Corps. Over his career, Captain Robert Alexander Little was credited with downing 47 aircraft over three years, before his death in combat in May 1918. He was just 22 years old and left behind his new wife Vera and an infant son. He is ranked eighth of all British Commonwealth flying aces in World War I. Mike felt that Captain Little and his colleagues who served in foreign units deserved more recognition.

Lest we forget.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

History Competitions

This year, young historians from CGGS have entered a range of competitions where they have investigated, interpreted and evaluated people, societies and events from the past. We would like to celebrate and share some of the outstanding work by our young historians in 2021.

The HTAV Historical Fiction Competition encourages students to show historical empathy, by exploring history from the perspective of a person with different beliefs and values, and to show off their creative writing skills. Madeleine Giagoudakis (10B) won the Year 9/10 prize in this year’s competition. Building on what she learned at CGGS back in Year 8 History, she wrote a journal of medieval doctor attempting to understand and treat the Black Death in 1349.

The National History Challenge is a research-based competition open to students across Australia. This year, students were challenged to explore a topic of their choice and link it to the theme of ‘Significance: History Matters’. Amy Aw (8B) won the Year 8 Young Historian Gold Award (Victorian state winner) in the National History Challenge. She used archival sources from the National Archives of Australia to help her creatively explore how Australians experienced the Great Depression. Katherine Mason (9B) won the Year 9 Young Historian Silver Award (Victorian runner up) in the National History Challenge. She wrote an outstanding essay that argued Australians should shift their focus on our past from well-studied conflicts like Gallipoli to forgotten conflicts like the Frontier Wars between indigenous Australians and European pastoralists encroaching on their land throughout the 19th century.

An astounding nine students received the Young Historian Bronze Award (Victorian finalist):

> Amber Rastogi (8A) explored the experiences of an English woman and a Chinese man during the Victorian gold rush

> Annabel Plummer (11C) evaluated women’s rights in the USSR under Joseph Stalin

> Bella Fary (8B) analysed the significance of the ‘Black Power’ salute at the 1968 Olympics

> Cate Mead (8A) wrote an essay exploring the significance of the White Rose student resistance movement in Nazi Germany

> Jasmine Rees (8B) prepared a webpage exploring the significance of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut

> Maya Jones (11A) documented how the media uses gendered tropes to attack female politicians in Australia, with a focus on Prime Minister Julia Gillard

> Nonie McLean (8D) investigated the significance of the 1969 Moon Landing

> Olive Clohesy (8A) prepared a video on the significance of pioneering female Australian activist and politician, Edith Cowan

> Ruby Tu (8C) explored how the ancient Olympics influenced the development of the modern Olympics

We congratulate these students on their awards and commend all young historians at Camberwell who have entered History competitions in 2021. Below are three student entries.

Ian Lyell
Head of History

2021 CGGS Election Campaign Launch

On Wednesday this week, the eight parties contesting the 2021 CGGS Election launched their campaigns in a bid to secure the votes of the CGGS ‘electorate’ on this year’s Election Day, Thursday 25 November.

Each Year 9 Commerce class is represented by two parties and each has developed their own ‘party platform’ and set of policies, a suite of advertising to support getting their message out to the electorate and a website to promote, inform and persuade voters. Links to the websites created by each party can be found below. They are well worth a look as the creativity and passion demonstrated by our students for the issues that they believe will make positive changes for us in the future are front and center in their work.

All students were involved in the campaign process in a way that suited their interests and skills, and each will be involved on Election Day as part of the official process of voting preferentially using a secret ballot. The two weeks leading up to the Election will be spent by the students lining up preference deals and informing voters about the differences between the parties so that on Election Day voters have a clear idea of who and what they’re voting for. The Year 9 Commerce teaching team will be on the lookout for branch stacking! Good luck to all Parties!

Alexandra Larkey
Head of Commerce

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised award with participants from over 130 countries. Over 8 million young people have participated worldwide. The award is open to anyone ages 14-24 in 3 different levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The program creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service and experience adventure. The aim is to build valuable skills that will equip young people for life and work by committing to achieve goals over an extended period of time and reflecting upon the tasks used to achieve these goals. In coming CamNews releases, we would like to share with the CGGS community the achievements of past participants and how they have reflected upon their completion of the GOLD AWARD.

For further information regarding the Duke of Edinburgh Award, please contact Mr. Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School at

Phoebe Hwong

Was there anyone important to you in your DOE journey?
The most important and influential people that I encountered during my DOE journey are the people that I met during my time in Cambodia. All the people at the Green Gecko project had such an optimistic outlook on life and carried an infectious smile every day. The time I got to spend with the Green Gecko project has and will continue to shape the way I interact with others and my community.

How would you improve your experience if you did it again?
My journey with DOE was definitely a highly memorable one. However, if I were to improve my experience, I would widen the range of places and activities which I participated in. Doing this would have allowed me to meet more people and explore new things and places.

What would you tell someone just starting or thinking about starting DOE?
Don’t be scared to push yourself and try something new. Starting DOE can be daunting and at times overwhelming as it seems like a massive task but if you take it slow and one step at a time it turns into an amazing journey. DOE is about pushing yourself, widening your experiences and refining your perspectives. The more you venture out of your comfort zone the more you will grow and learn.

Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary

Zonta Birthing Kit Program

On Monday 8 November, the Year 10’s were given the opportunity to support a life-saving initiative. We used Periods 5 and 6 to make Zonta Birthing Kits. The Zonta Birthing Kits program is one of the school’s longest-running service learning initiatives, having first started at CGGS around 20 years ago. Through the program, students and teachers made over 100 birthing kits in an afternoon. Each kit includes a soap bar, gloves, a plastic sheet, string, gauze, and a sterile scalpel. Despite being an absolute necessity for childbirth, many women in developing countries struggle to afford these kits which results in dangerous and life-threatening childbirths. Through Zonta, however, the kits that were made by CGGS are given to women for free, allowing more women to experience a safer birth. The afternoon was very eye opening and highlighted to all of us how incredibly challenging it is for women around the world to access the mere essentials of healthcare. It also gave us a greater appreciation for the incredible efforts that Zonta are putting towards women’s health.

To think that by putting some gloves on and folding some gauze and scalpels in some plastic and packing them (and then unpacking and repacking them all when we accidentally left out a scalpel in one of the kits) has saved 100 mothers and their newborns is truly astounding. All Year 10’s are definitely feeling grateful for having had such a privilege to be involved in the initiative.

Nektaria Toscas, 10A

One Girl Fundraiser

Did you know that 130 million girls around the world are out of school? And in Sierra Leone, a girl is more likely to be married before the age of 18, than she is to finish high school. For the past month we have been raising money for an organisation called One Girl. One Girl supports the education of girls around the world, specifically in Sierra Leone. As an organisation they also promote health and menstrual hygiene.

To raise money for this cause, we held a raffle with prizes from local cafes such as The Good Food Collective and Xocolatl. As of Tuesday 9 November 2021, we have raised over $2000. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated. Every little bit counts, and we really are making a difference to someone’s life.

Donating $25 can pay for a year’s worth of menstrual hygiene products. $50 can pay for 5 pairs of school shoes for a student in the One Girl program, and $100 can pay for a year of business training for a young woman. We have raised enough money to pay for 20 people to complete a year of training in business, or enough to purchase a year’s supply of sanitary products for 80 women. When you educate a girl, her income will increase by 10-25% for every year that she stays in school, and this will contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.

We are making a difference in the lives of so many, so thank you so much for your generous donations.

Isabella Wood and Bella Fary, 9B

Netball is back!

We are so pleased to be back and playing Netball! CGGS Netball players were back on the court for their first training session this term. It was wonderful to see all of the students having fun, showing off their Netball skills and working hard.

Thank you to all of the students and coaches for attending training, we look forward to seeing you all every Monday for more Netball skills and fun.

Alexia McConnell
Netball Coordinator

Junior School


Junior School

November 12, 2021

Face-to-Face Learning at Ormiston

Following the Mid-Term Break last week, we have had all our year levels back at Junior School full-time from Early Learning 3 to Year 6. It has been a pleasure to watch our students learning and connecting together in their classrooms and outside in the playground. From next week, we will begin to introduce our full program of co-curricular activities that will include all music ensembles and different sports.

Unfortunately, we are not able to use non-CGGS sport coaches at this time but we will endeavour to set up all sports by the end of the year.

Ormiston Spirit Awards

Our Junior School assembly this week involved handing out our annual Ormiston Spirit Awards. These prestigious awards are not about students being the best, but are presented to students for the following reasons:

  1. Display our CGGS School Values of Integrity, Commitment, Respect, Hope and Courage.
  2. Always doing their personal best in all aspects of their learning.
  3. Display a growth mindset when faced with challenges in their learning.

Congratulations to the following students:

Classroom Awards

Foundation – Qianqian Wu

Year 1 –  Doris Chen

Year 2 – Neesha Navaneetharaja

Year 3L – Matilda Collins

Year 3R – Chloe Zhang

Year 4Z – Selinna Wang

Year 4G – Alysa Zhang

Year 5G – Asha Bhattacharjee

Year 5S – Christine Moi

Year 6C – Poppy Tymmons

Year 6R – Natasha Cameron

Specialist Subject Awards

F-3 Art – Aadhya Talpe Guruge

Y4-Y6 Art – Emma Liu

F-3 PE – Sofia Rampa

Y4-Y6 PE – Aathana Sivapalan

F-3 Music – Laila Beiruti

Y4-Y6 Music – Jasmine Xie

F-3 Library – Audrey Cheung

Y4-Y6 Library – Nellie Ruddle

French – Samantha Lovell

Chinese Heritage – Annicle Li

Chinese Mainstream – Amelia Adel

Music Achievements

Annabelle The, Year 3
Congratulations to Annabelle Teh of Year 3, on successfully completing her AMEB Music Theory Grade 2 exam. This is a wonderful achievement by Annabelle.

Iris Lu,  Year 4
Congratulations to Iris Lu who won the Grand Prize – Victorian Children’s Division after competing in the 2021 Pearl River Kayserburg International Youth Piano Competition earlier in the year. This is an annual worldwide competition located in Singapore.

Wishing all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Inquiry in Early Learning 3

Inquiry learning is about building learning capacity and nurturing learners as thinkers, self-managers, collaborators, communicators and researchers. It’s about giving students the skills, the dispositions and the opportunities to investigate – to find out information, make meaning and take action based on what is discovered. – Kath Murdoch 2015

Embedding a culture of curiosity
Last term, we read the story The Wonder of Winsome by Kath Murdoch. It told the story of Winsome – a child full of curiosity, who asked questions on a daily basis. After we read the story, the children shared their thinking about what it means to be curious.

Tiffany: Curious means thinking.

Jackson: An idea – with thinking.

Heidi: Curious means everything about your questions.

Eli: thinking

Within the program, intentional teaching and provocations are used to develop the children’s curiosity and their sense of wonder and awe. The children are encouraged to develop and document their wonderings through I wonder statements and add these to our ‘Wonder Wall’ in the classroom.

During this term we researched Jackson’s wondering related to powerlines and electricity.

Jackson: I wonder why the electricity moves through the powerlines.

As a curious learner, Jackson noticed the powerlines and poles in the street. Photographs were taken of the powerlines that were outside our school. As researchers, Jackson and Aran intentionally looked at these photographs and noticed that powerlines have ‘wire’ cables and these are connected to each pole, and the cables go from one pole to the next pole and to each house in Oak street.

Ms Angela: I wonder what you notice in these photographs.

Jackson: These are very big poles.

Aran: Lots of lines on the pole.

Jackson: That’s for the electricity. The electricity is coming from the powerlines.

Aran: The electricity goes in the lights. It’s coming from the pole.

Jackson: I’ve got a wondering too. I wonder how it comes to the pole. I think it comes from the ground. It’s in the ground and then it comes up the pole. I know where it comes from.

Aran: It’s up in the sky and then the electricity goes into the poles.

Jackson: When there’s a storm, the electricity goes apart, and the lights will turn off. That’s what happened at our house. Then it came back in 3 months.

Ms Angela: I wonder why we need electricity?

Jackson: Otherwise, we’ll get bumped if it’s dark and we can’t see if the lights aren’t on.

As collaborators and researchers, Jackson and Aran used photographs and diagrams to investigate the source of electricity and how it’s produced in Victoria. The recent storms in Melbourne also provided an opportunity for further investigation and research. Through photographs from the local news, Jackson and Aran discovered how strong winds can break branches of trees and how these can fall and damage powerlines. This provided a provocation for further discussion about how damage to powerlines can stop electricity flowing into homes and when this happens, families cannot use many appliances.

As confident and involved learners and inquirers, Jackson, Aran, Travis and Zane used a battery, wire and light bulb to create their own electrical circuit. This provided an opportunity for them to make discoveries about what is required to turn on a light – energy (electricity) inside a battery and a wire path for the electricity to travel along. They also discovered that if it’s not a complete circuit, then the electricity stops moving through the wires and the bulb will not light up. They made connections between an incomplete circuit and damage to powerlines during a storm.

Jackson: I was clipping it to the battery. The battery was making the energy. The globe didn’t work because it wasn’t clipped on. I clipped it in and the globe lighted.

As a researcher and keen observer, Aran made an interesting observation and discovery. He observed, that when he touched the metal part of the battery holder with the peg from the wire, the bulb lit up. Aran put the metal peg on and then took it off and Zane, Jackson and Travis also noticed that the light bulb went on and off. It worked like a switch.

Zane: We had to let the electricity come through and go around and around and then the light bulb worked and it glowed.

Different materials such as a plastic lid and metal spoon were used to research and make discoveries about how energy moves through things made from metal, such as a spoon, but not through things made from plastic, such as a yoghurt lid.

As communicators, Jackson, Zane, Aran and Travis documented their observations of the electrical circuit through drawing and dialogue.

In our curriculum, we embed a culture of curiosity. Throughout this learning, the children developed their inquiry skills as they wondered, researched, investigated, made discoveries, and expressed their curiosity and thinking through dialogue, photographs and drawings.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4

The Early Learning 4 children have embraced being back in Early Learning with friends and teachers. A focus for our return to face-to-face learning has been re-establishing relationships and ensuring children feel safe and secure in their environment. Human connection is essential to wellbeing thus being onsite has helped recharge many of the children who may have lacked social interactions at home. There have been many opportunities for the Early Learning 4 children to engage in play, both indoors and outdoors. The benefits of play for children (and adults) include relieving stress, improving brain function, stimulating creativity, improving relationships and developing social skills.

We have continued to follow on the children’s interest in insects and min-beasts in our outdoor environment. The children eagerly find creatures in the Early Learning garden to show each other and the teachers. They are encouraged to observe closely and be respectful of living things by returning them to the garden afterwards. Both Early Learning 4 classes connected via a virtual excursion called  ‘What is a bug?’ with Museum Victoria. The children learnt how to identify the differences between insects and arachnids, they learnt the role bugs play in helping humans and the environment and they also learnt about what an entomologist is.

As we reach the end of the term, we have started preparing some of the children for their transition to school. We have been discussing what they might be wondering about school and what they have been doing during their transition sessions. We have focused on the exciting and positive experiences that the children will have, as well as addressing any concerns that they may have about starting Foundation. The Early Learning 4 children have shown tremendous resilience throughout this year, which will help them with the new and exciting changes next year.

Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Teacher

Year 4 return to Face-to-Face Learning

The Year 4 students have made an excellent transition back to face-to-face learning. It has been wonderful to see the students reconnecting with each other. We have seamlessly transferred our Inquiry learning back on site. This week the students have been learning all about how the Earth is constantly moving and changing. Mrs Dumsday extended their learning by sharing rock samples and her own knowledge of Geology related to the rock cycle. They also learnt about the different fault lines running throughout the world and demonstrated their understanding by creating and explaining the different types of tectonic faults and boundaries using plasticine. We are all looking forward to the last few weeks together of 2021.

Ellie Zarfaty & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers

Connected Community


Connected Community

November 12, 2021

Remembrance Day

Thursday 11th November was Remembrance Day, a day when we pause and remember the 100,000 Australian servicemen and women who have lost their lives.

Mrs Kate Daffy, Community Programs & Events Coordinator was pleased to be able to introduce at our school assembly, Mr Mike Rosel, a Melbourne author, who spoke to our students about one of these servicemen. Mike Rosel has written several books about Australian military history.

Mike contacted the Daffy family many years ago to inform them he had stumbled on the astonishing, yet virtually-unknown, story of Captain Alexander (Alec) Little, Mrs Daffy’s great uncle.

In Mike’s book ‘The Unknown Warrior’, he explores the life of Captain Alec Little, who at the age of 19 paid his own way to the United Kingdom to join the Royal Flying Corps. Over his career, Captain Little was credited with downing 47 aircraft over three year period. He lost his life in combat in May 1918 aged 22 years old. This story was not well known within the Daffy family and it was very humbling for them to discover that a relative had served and protected the Australian way of life. For more information about this presentation please refer to the Senior School update.

Lest we forget.

Thank You to our Volunteers

We are very appreciative of the wonderful culture of volunteering within our CGGS community. In 2020 and 2021, we have not had many opportunities to meet in person; the Parents & Friends Association and Year Level representatives have endeavored to maintain contact and keeping our communities connected.

We look forward to thanking our amazing and generous volunteer community this evening with a virtual wine and cheese evening.




October 29, 2021

Valuing Student Voice

We believe that student voice is an essential part of a CGGS education, and the culture of an organisation that values ideas and a diversity of perspectives enables this to happen. In valuing the views and perspectives of our students, staff and parents, we all work together towards the best outcomes for all.

Feedback is gained from students in a variety of ways and one of these is our Years 5 – 12 survey. This year we have re-designed our survey using the expertise of an external consultant to ensure that it is robust and built on contemporary research to prompt the most insightful and helpful responses from students.

Our Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, Kath Woolcock, has overseen this important process and I have invited her to share this with you. We also look forward to sharing the insights and outcomes with you in due course.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

CGGS Years 5 – 12 Student Survey

At CGGS student voice and student agency are essential components of our school culture, and we regularly collect feedback and engage in discussions with students on important and meaningful issues. We do this with a very real understanding of the powerful benefits that listening to, and acting on student voice can have, including increasing engagement in learning, encouraging collaboration between students and teachers, and creating a positive environment and culture.

Across the year students have many opportunities to share feedback, both formally and informally, including through the Student Representative Council (in both Junior School and Senior School), representation on committees such as the Uniform Committee, program specific questionnaires, focus groups, and through the CGGS Annual Student survey.

Over the past 10 years CGGS has conducted a student survey (they have differed slightly across the years) as one of the most important methods of gathering student feedback and understanding student experience at CGGS.  All students from Years 5 – 12 are given the opportunity to complete this survey and through a series of open and closed questions, anonymously share their opinions and perspectives on CGGS culture as well as the academic, wellbeing and co-curricular programs on offer. The open questions provide the opportunity to expand on aspects of their school experience that they feel most engaged in and those of concern.

In 2021, we engaged Dr Bengianni Pizzirani from the Centre for Evaluation and Research Evidence, Department of Health and Human Services (Victorian Government), to undertake a review and redesign of the CGGS Annual Student Survey. The purpose was to ensure that the questions and data collection methods reflected current research on student wellbeing and learning and that the survey outcomes and actions drive improvement.

Dr Pizzirani has a background in developmental social psychology and behavioural statistics, and he has conducted research and taught in a variety of healthcare and educational contexts across multiple government departments, leading universities, and NGOs internationally.  As a research consultant, he regularly supports organisations in the use of data analytics and pragmatic research designs to drive informed model and program considerations, implementation and improvement.  We are very fortunate to have secured this partnership with him.

Over a four-month period, Dr Pizzirani reviewed our survey by working through a rigorous process of analysis, research and evaluation. He has spent time looking at past CGGS data and reviewed international student wellbeing and learning studies to reframe our survey framework so that it better reflects validated measures and associated outcomes. In collaboration with the wellbeing team, Dr Pizzirani has now designed a more comprehensive data collection set which allows us to contextually measure against national and international standards or norms, providing insights and recommendations that are specific to CGGS students. Furthermore, while all responses are completely anonymous, the new framework of questions has created more robust criteria and demographic insights within student groupings that CGGS can use for comparisons.  This more sophisticated information and analysis will allow us to better identify changes over time, code and map trends and target specific areas for further focus.

The redesigned survey, maps and includes eight key areas of school life that are linked to wellbeing, school culture and learning, and in 2021, will also include an exploration of the impact of COVID-19. A summary of the aspects covered in the survey can be seen in the image below.

The data from this survey, combined with other methods of feedback, will be used to evaluate current programs, analyse areas of success and to identify areas of the student experience and student learning that are to be celebrated as well as those that require further focus.

As we have done in the past, results of this survey will be shared with our school community through the annual report and at year level presentations, and several student focus groups will be established to provide an important space for students to explore the trends and results, and to create meaningful actions and opportunities for our whole community going forward.

We look forward to sharing more with you later this term and in early 2022, and in the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

Senior School


Senior School

October 29, 2021

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming back the Year 8 and 9 students for their two days onsite and we are all very keen to see all our Senior School students back fulltime as of Wednesday 3 November. With the staggered return of our Year 7s, 10s and 11s from Friday 22 October and then the 8s and 9s on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 October, Pinwheel & Co provided students with a rainbow of cupcakes for recess, welcoming them back to campus. Year Level Coordinators, Form Tutors and indeed most of the teachers on campus were part of the welcome at the gates, in the central courtyard and on the oval. All the students and staff at school each day have until today spent their recess and lunchtimes outside enjoying the social time. It has been an absolute pleasure to hear the animated chatter of both the students and staff. Schools really do need students!

For those who have not yet had the opportunity to watch the House Drama Short Film Festival, I included the link below and encourage you to take the time to view these spectacular achievements created, directed and produced entirely in the remote setting. Many congratulations to all student leaders, both Drama and Technical Captains and staff involved in ensuring this event came to life.

Lawrence House
Drama Captains – Nancy Huang and Maya Jones
Technical Captains – Anastasia Konstantinou and Jessica Leung

Schofield House
Drama Captains – Isabel D’Souza and Katrina Xu
Technical Captains – Jane Pekin and Kelly Ta

Singleton House
Drama Captains – Daleney Ing and Priyanshi Shah
Technical Captains – Chloe Chan & Chloe Lindsay

Taylor House
Drama Captains – Mia Fary and Tina Ma
Technical Captains – Natasha May and Lucy Van der Arend

Also, this week our VCE students have commenced their end of year VCAA examinations and it has been a privilege to speak to them both on their way into, and after the examinations.

On Wednesday evening, Murrundindi conducted an ‘Evening under the Stars’ including a Welcome to Country, followed by Dreamtime Stories, and a Question and Answer session. A few staff also lit fires in pits in their backyards and students joined Murrundindi for this wonderful evening.

The Year 10 and 11 recipients of awards and prizes from the Years 10 – 12 Presentation Evening and the new student School and House leaders for 2022 received their awards via a CGGS equivalent of ‘Click and Collect’ on Thursday.

We are so proud of the achievements of all our students, particularly when viewed through the lens of the past two years. With the progressive easing of restrictions across the state, I look forward to enjoying the remainder of this term with our students on campus, re-connecting with their friendship groups, returning to sport and music, and the buzz of activity returning to Senior School.

Have a fabulous long weekend.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised award with participants from over 130 countries. Over 8 million young people have participated worldwide. The award is open to anyone ages 14-24 in 3 different levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The program creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service and experience adventure. The aim is to build valuable skills that will equip young people for life and work by committing to achieve goals over an extended period of time and reflecting upon the tasks used to achieve these goals. In coming CamNews releases, we would like to share with the CGGS community the achievements of past participants and how they have reflected upon their completion of the GOLD AWARD.

For further information regarding the Duke of Edinburgh Award, please contact Mr. Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School at

Emily Zhang

Was there anyone important to you in your DOE journey?
My mum supported me so much throughout my DOE journey and she really encouraged me to continue completing all three levels of the award. I’m so glad I had her by my side, motivating me to take on any leadership or volunteer opportunities that came my way.

How would you improve your experience if you did it again?
If I had more flexibility and time to improve my experience, I would have loved to complete my service learning hours by volunteering at a broader range of organisations and charities.

What would you tell someone just starting or thinking about starting DOE?
I would definitely recommend anyone to start the DOE award and aim to complete it up to the gold level. It has been such a rewarding experience for me, with countless learning opportunities through community activities, sports, and projects.

Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary

Chinese Reading Awards

Rithanyaa Prakash (Year 7) participated in the CLTAV 2021 Reading Awards for non-background students of Chinese in Years 7, 8 and 9 among 80 enthusiastic participants. In this competition, finalists were required to read a short, unseen passage written both in Pinyin and in characters. The related topic for Year 7 students was “My Family.” Rithanyaa showcased her accurate pronunciation and excellent fluency in reading the passage. She has been awarded a certificate for her outstanding performance in Chinese Reading. Rithanyaa found the experience meaningful and rewarding. Congratulations Rithanyaa!

Lin Zhang
Chinese Coordinator

Virtual Education Outdoors Activities Week

In light of government restrictions, once again the scheduled Year Level Education Outdoors Camps could not run in 2021. With the ever-changing landscape the decision was made to move a week of Virtual Live and Asynchronous activities to the week of 18 to 24 October, enabling students to connect with some of the learning outcomes normally delivered on camps to the Virtual realm. Activities ranged from meal planning to cooking cultural foods, physical challenges to mindfulness, knot tying to shelter building, Virtual Escape rooms for problem solving to building your own Virtual Island Camp using ‘’ online. Students engaged in these many different activities accessing ideas through the Virtual Education Outdoors Activities Website and then submitting evidence once tasks were completed. Over 900 submissions were received, with many more participating in daily live sessions. One highlight was the ability to reconnect with students on Friday 24 October, with Year 7 & 10 students on site and able to participate in Team Building, problem solving and critical thinking challenges.

We hope everyone enjoyed the variety of activities and engaged with them with their families. As we look to the future with restrictions easing, details for our 2022 domestic based camps, such as the Mungo World Heritage Park tours and Marine Research Tours that have been consolidated over the past few months, will be published prior to the end of the year.

Shane Maycock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs

Virtual Camp Islands

If you were stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean, how would you create an ‘ultimate camping experience’ so you not only survive but thrive? This was the question that students tried to answer as part of the CGGS ‘Virtual Camp’ week.

Using an interactive platform called ‘,’ individuals or groups of students, were given access to an empty island upon which they needed to design and create their virtual camp.

At first, the students explored the expanse of the space (by using an avatar of themselves), imagining what it could look like with a little creativity and ingenuity. Then, using objects found strewn about, students turned their dreams into reality (well, virtual reality!)

From tents to firepits, vegetable gardens to activities, students displayed a range of important transferrable skills (problem solving, organisation, creativity, and leadership among others). Importantly, students also had a lot of fun!

Micah Wilkins
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation

A night under the stars with Murrundindi

On Wednesday 27 October, a number of students and staff joined Murrundindi around the Virtual Campfire for a night of questions and stories. Our 2022 Reconciliation Captains, Jacqueline de Mamiel and Pelagia Papadopolous, joined Ms Georgia Biggs in relaying CGGS Student questions after a traditional Welcome to Country and some digeridoo playing. Students found out why Murrundindi is known as the Ngurungaeta (Head Man) of the Wurundjeri people, the significance of stories, and about the special connection he and CGGS is developing with the communities of the Willandra Lakes Region and Lake Mungo, where Australia’s oldest dated human remains have been found. We were so pleased that Murrundindi could help us reconnect through the creation story of the platypus and look forward to once again seeing each other in person soon.

Shane Maycock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs

Creating opportunities for reconnection

As we welcomed our community back to on site learning over the last two weeks, we have been very purposeful in designing and providing opportunities for our students to readjust, recalibrate and reconnect. Within form and tutor time, students have focused very intentionally on strengthening relationships, teambuilding and collaboration through structured games and challenges, as well as allowing time for conversation and genuine connection between peers. Additionally, working with the school counsellors, each year level explored the range of emotions experienced in returning to school and discussed strategies to manage the fatigue and cognitive load that can come with such a significant change in routine.

In addition to the Period 5 program, there have been a range of activities available for students to participate in each lunchtime that have encouraged physical activity and play including staff v. student volleyball matches, badminton, ultimate frisbee and Finska. These opportunities will continue to be provided for students throughout Term 4 and will be complimented by House Round Robins and Year Level Challenge afternoons towards the end of the year.

After much success last year, we are excited to offer House Netball and Soccer tournaments to our Year 7-9 students. These friendly competitions will run during class time on Monday 15 November and students will be able to choose which sport they would like to compete in. This will be a great opportunity for everyone to show teamwork and spirit while staying physically active. As for all House events, the Spirit Stick will be awarded to the team that displays the most support, enthusiasm and teamwork throughout the day and we will also award an overall champion to the House who wins the most games across all three year levels!

Kath Woolcock, Lauren Law and Shane Maycock
Wellbeing Team and Sport Department

Yale University – Science of Well-Being

Over Terms 2 and 3, a group of Year 12 students have met fortnightly and undertaken a Yale University course titled The Science of Well-Being. Many topics of what we believe will make us happy were investigated, and cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology, Dr. Santos showed research about our misconceptions in these areas. The course then delved into strategies and easy life choices we can make, all supported by scientific research, which have shown to be effective in increasing overall happiness and wellbeing. Lastly, the students learnt techniques about how to implement these strategies into their day to day lives.

If you are interested in exploring this yourself, and would like to view the course material, please go to

Kirsten Shipsides
Science Teacher

House Drama Short Film Festival 2021

In a remarkable demonstration of leadership, this year’s House Drama Captains switched vision and approach with only days before their event began, turning remarkably detailed theatrical scripts into short films. Not only did this require the script to be adjusted for the performance medium, but that they run all of their rehearsals via Zoom alongside problem solving things such as costumes, props, cohesive sets, lighting, green screens, musical montages and eclectic technology! Every, single participant is to be commended on their contributions to the festival – after such a draining and uncertain term, to find the energy and drive to complete such a detailed task was truly awe inspiring.

A massive thank you goes out to Sally Oliver for working so closely with the Captains on the development of their concepts and scripts and also to industry professional, Emily Tomlins for such intricate feedback and adjudication.

And the awards go to….

Best Script (new category): Lawrence House (Maya Jones and Nancy Huang)

Most Cohesive Ensemble: Singleton (Daleney Ing and Priyanshi Shah)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Teresa Guo (Lawrence)

Best Performance in a Leading Role: Tyra Dawson (Schofield)

Best Technical Assistance: Schofield (Jane Pekin and Kelly Ta)

Best Production and winners of House Drama 2021: Schofield (Isabel D’Souza and Katrina Xu)

Keira Lyons
Head of Drama & Performing Arts