Child Safety at CGGS

Each year as part of our commitment to child safety we update our community on the Child Safe Standards and how we implement them. This is in addition to our Junior School and Senior School pastoral care and wellbeing programs.

One of our School Counsellors, Paula Kolivas, has prepared an overview of our implementation of the Child Safe Standards at CGGS for your information.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody


Child Safe Standards

In 2016, the Victorian Government introduced Ministerial Order 870 – ChildSafe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools.

The Order requires schools to embed a culture of ‘no tolerance’ for child abuse and they must comply with the seven minimum CSS listed below:

> Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements

> A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety

> A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children

> Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel

> Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse

> Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

> Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

The Order also requires that the CSS are inclusive of all students with particular focus on students who are more vulnerable due to their abilities, indigenous, cultural or linguistic background.

CGGS provides biannual training to all our Senior, Junior and ELC staff to increase their awareness of the indicators of neglect and child physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Grooming and the expectations of staff conduct is also an important element addressed. This training is mandatory for all CGGS teaching staff, professional service staff and maintenance staff to ensure that they develop their knowledge and confidence to identify and appropriately respond to matters regarding suspicion or allegation of abuse. Staff failure to do so is a serious breach of their moral and legal requirements.

The School Counsellors also present every year, age appropriate training, to all students across our Junior and Senior campuses. One of the most powerful tools to reduce the risk of abuse is to educate students regarding what is abuse, how to identify inappropriate behaviour and most significantly where to seek help and support. Students are encouraged to identify the trusted adults in their private lives and at school, including the CGGS Child Safety Officers.

The responsibilities of the Child Safety Officers include consultation with the Principal staff, offering support to the child, parents/carers and person who reported. Clarifying the allegations and suspicions of abuse and when required, reporting the concerns to the relevant authorities – Child Protection Services, the Police and/or the Commission for Children and Young People. Our 2019 Child Safety Officers are:

> Debbie Dunwoody – Principal

> Cathy Poyser – Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

> Paul Donohue – Head of Junior School

> Kate Manners – Deputy Head of Senior School

> Shane Maycock – Deputy Head of Senior School

> Nareen Robinson – Deputy Head of Senior School

> Nirvana Watkins – Deputy Head of Senior School

> Craig Goodwin – Deputy Head of Junior School

> Emma Hinchliffe – Deputy Head of Junior School

> Rev Helen Creed – School Chaplain

> Paula Kolivas – School Counsellor

> Beth Sarlos – School Counsellor

Apart from the active staff and student training, CGGS has developed clear procedures for responding to allegations or suspected abuse and we regularly update our school policies and audit our physical environment to ensure that our organisational culture reflects our commitment to zero tolerance of abuse.

Relevant policies that parents may access via our school website include the:

> Child Safety Policy

> Mandatory Reporting Policy

> Grooming Policy

> Code of Conduct Policies – staff and students

> Working With Children Check Policy

> Reportable Conduct Scheme Policy

> Whistle Blower Policy

All our students have a right to feel safe on and off campus. We want our students and parents/carers to feel confident that CGGS is an organisation committed to the physical, emotional and sexual safety of all students.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s safety or the safety of any other child in our community, we strongly encourage you to contact the Principal, Heads of School, or the Counsellors to discuss the matter. We promise to deal with your concerns and act to protect the child in a sensitive, confidential and respectful manner


Paula Kolivas
CGGS Counsellor





Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage
National Reconciliation Week 2019

Whether you’re engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what you know, this journey requires all of us to walk together with courage. This National Reconciliation Week, we invite Australians from all backgrounds to contribute to our national movement towards a unified future.’

Reconciliation Australia


In this multicultural country that we call home, to truly understand who we are today, we need to understand our past. We need to understand our indigenous heritage and the devastating impacts that laws and practices have had on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their families.

The journey of reconciliation challenges us as a nation to question who we are and to question the Australia we want to be. It also challenges our belief in what is fair and helps us realise that unity makes us stronger. Reconciliation is about relationships, grounded in truth, enabled by courage and results in us walking together.

National Reconciliation was first celebrated in 1996 and falls between 27 May and 3 June.  These are two significant dates in the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians:

> The anniversary of the 1967 referendum and Mabo Day (27 May)

> The anniversary of the 1992 High Court judgment in the Mabo Case (3 June)

National Reconciliation Week aims to give people across Australia the opportunity to focus on reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. To be united in our vision to succeed through strong relationships and a shared sense of what is fair and just.

The path to reconciliation is a privilege to travel on with our students. As educators we are so fortunate to witness their respect for culture and history, alongside their hope for the future and it is why we are so proud to celebrate National Reconciliation Week each year. In 2019 the Reconciliation team has been led by our Reconciliation Coordinator, Ms Georgia Biggs, Reconciliation Captains, Yesenia Chang-Gonzalez and Mathilda Cleeland-Mellor, Faith & Service Captain, Isabella Lincke and Head of Service Learning, Liss Campbell. Many other staff and students have also assisted with aspects of the program. This weeks program including:

> A special National Reconciliation Week Assembly in Senior School with a Welcome to Country by Murrundindi and performance with the Billy Tea Bush Band (they also conducted workshops at Ormiston)

> A Years 3 and 4 Grandparents and Special Friends morning with Murrundindi where they learnt about indigenous history and culture

> The annual Service Learning Dinner and silent auction (to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Green Gecko Project)

> Displays such as the ‘Sea of Hands’ installation, fact checking quiz in the breezeway, a Reconciliation timeline constructed on the driveway and a display of photographs and artifacts in the library

> Digital posters and Ted Talks that explore the theme of ‘Grounded in Truth’

> Organising the Marngrook (or Possum Ball) match with Trinity Grammar

> Baking lemon myrtle shortbread, wattle seed damper, gingram cordial, native tea and a sausage sizzle to help raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. An AFL Indigenous Round Sherrin Football was also donated to raise money.

> Lunchtime activities such a boomerang throwing and soap making

It has been a very engaging week!

Earlier in May, twelve students and four staff travelled into New South Wales to the Willandra Lakes World Heritage region to participate in the Mungo Youth Conference. The oldest known Aboriginal remains, known as ‘Mungo Man’ and ‘Mungo Woman’, were discovered at Lake Mungo in this area by the geomorphologist and Patron of the conference, Professor Jim Bowler who was also a presenter.

Our students joined Elders, park rangers, scientists, archaeologists, principals, mentors and others on sacred land to directly engage with history and culture. They were not only participants but also presenters, delivering a workshop on the topic of bush foods, medicine and Aboriginal science. Inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s book ‘Dark Emu’, our students explored the idea that Aboriginal people were not just hunter-gathers, but also utilized agricultural practices to cultivate and store food. Murrundindi generously provided the group with artifacts including ancient tools to support this thinking.

Invited by the Elders of the region, Murrundindi also joined our group for part of the trip and assisted in the girls presentation. Other highlights of the conference included a traditional Lore Ceremony and discovering the night sky.

I am particularly grateful to Georgia Biggs, Shane Maycock, Anna Clarkson and Penny Dumsday for their preparation of the girls in the weeks preceding the conference as well as accompanying them on the journey into this incredible part of remote Australia. As Georgia highlighted “it was truly a pleasure to join our girls and witness such spirit and enthusiasm from each and every one of them. It is difficult to describe the spiritual and special nature of this environment but I believe they immediately understood the significance of it all.”

Experiences such as the Mungo Youth Conference provide such rich and memorable learning experiences for our students.

As I reflect upon National Reconciliation Week in 2019, I firmly believe that in understanding and valuing our rich and diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, we can seek truth, learn together and walk alongside each other with courage to undertand what it truly means to be Australian.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody





Through focussing on their selected character strength of ZEST, our three School Captains – Nikki, Stephanie and Ellie, together with the School and House Captains, are highlighting and promoting ZEST in various activities throughout the year. It is their vision that this strength will encompass the school community whilst also aligning with our values. I am very pleased to include their article below to give an insight into their commitment as Captains this year.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody


At the conclusion of Term 1, we put together our reflections, what we had achieved throughout Term 1 and our goals for the rest of the year. For this year, we wanted a theme that would not only encompass our own personalities, but also encapsulate our wonderful school community. Hence, the character strength ZEST came to mind. We chose zest because we want to spread energy and enthusiasm throughout our school community. Zest is all about the wholeheartedness of living, looking to the edges of our horizons and living passionately with happiness and fulfilment.If you’ve got a zest for something, you put your whole heart and soul into it. By injecting these qualities into our everyday lives and into the school community, we have surrounded ourselves with great energy and positivity and have found satisfaction in the things we do.

By utilising the pre-existing ‘wonderwall’ as an interactive medium to promote our theme of zest, we encouraged staff and students to share their zestful encounters and gratitude for members of our school community by writing weekly shout-outs. These shout-outs are displayed on our Wonderwall and some are read out during assembly. Although a seemingly small gesture, after these acknowledgements are shared, a sense of connection and appreciation spreads throughout Barbara Sutton Hall, leaving everyone with a vitalising buzz.


Term 1 – Zeal

The first letter of zest, ‘Z’, represents the quality of zeal, which was our focus for Term 1. We perceive zeal as having great liveliness or passion in pursuit of a cause or an objective.

Our first major initiative was the Valentine’s Day Stall, where we sold roses that staff and students could buy for each other and write an accompanying ‘love letter’. The roses were a big hit as our Year 12 cupids diligently delivered these special surprises, sent from their secret valentines. The aim of this stall was to spread positive energy and love throughout the school and by the end of the day, we were left with an overwhelming sense of warmth.

Continuing on, we hosted a Year 7 school uniform fashion parade! With the cooperation of one of our most zealous teachers and Year 7 Coordinator, Ms Caruso, we put on a marvellous runway show. Our models, the Year 12 Captains, fervently dressed in exemplar school and sports uniforms to demonstrate to our newest members of the CGGS community how to wear our uniform with pride.

In Term 1, we were also fortunate enough to assist in hosting the Inaugural International Women’s Day Breakfast. We were able to hear the perspectives of four incredible CGGS old grammarians Georgina Imberger, Cate Robertson,Christine Willshireand Amie Herdman, who started a charity ‘The Piano Project’. The Piano Project offers free music lessons to refugees and new immigrants. Their stories were inspiration to us all to live with zeal and courage and to pursue what we love.

As a way to add some spice into our weekly assemblies, we piloted our first episode of The NES Show. The show’s name was inspired by the catchy acronym of our names, cleverly thought of by Mrs Poyser. As one of our main goals for this year is to strengthen our school community, we thought it would be suitable to feature members of the CGGS community on our talk show. Our special guests were Miss Tan (Maths teacher), Mr Loff (Maths teacher) and Mr Clark (Geography teacher), A.K.A TLC! We thought TLC would be perfect to feature on our show as they are all new teachers to the school this year. Throughout the show, we discovered some fun facts about them, and discussed how they perceive our theme of this term, ‘zeal’, in the school community. TLC shared their admirable observations about our girls’ positivity and enthusiasm towards participating in recent events such as House Dance and House Athletics.

Furthermore, House Dance and House Athletics were perfect examples of zeal in our school community. The energy and passion that was displayed through eager participation fulfilled our vision of a zealous school community.

Term 2 – Empathy

‘E’ stands for empathy and is our chosen theme for Term 2. We believe empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

In Term 2, we plan to introduce a variety of quadrangle activities such as live music performances from various bands, minor sporting games and creative workshops. These activities are intended to connect all members of the school community and strengthen bonds and henceforth develop a sense of understanding towards one another.

Another main initiative is ‘Big Sister, Little Sister’, a buddy program between Year 7s and 10s. Not only will this enhance school spirit, but it will also create natural and meaningful inter-year level connections. Furthermore, we believe ‘Big Sister, Little Sister’ will be a way to help the Year 7 girls with their transition into senior school and the Year 10 girls in developing their leadership skills and ability to share empathetic conversations.

Continuing to encourage togetherness, we are also planning a whole school picnic, where staff and students can enjoy lunch together and have meaningful conversations. We hope that this picnic will create an open dialogue with all girls in the school and allow us to reflect on both the individuality of each girl and the school spirit that unites us all.

Another event that we had the opportunity to assist in, was the Mother’s Day Breakfast. A heart-warming video that showed girls describing their mum in one word was played at the beginning of the breakfast, put together with the assistance of Mrs Jepson and Mr Perkins. This was followed by guest speaker and CGGS old grammarian, Jill Bales, who spoke about Dream Stitches – a community-based sewing program which aims to teach migrant and refugee women sewing skills, while enabling them to develop friendships in their new country. It was wonderful to see all the girls enjoying a morning with their mothers, whilst being able to continue our support and wonderful working relationship with the Dream Stitches organisation.

Term 3 – Sincerity

‘S’ stands for sincerity and is our chosen theme for Term 3. We see sincerity as being genuine, honest and having integrity.

Thus, we are looking forward to organising a Respectful Relationships Forum which will include neighbouring schools. In this forum, we hope to create a safe space for open discussions and work together to assist all our schools in further nurturing the relationships that we all share with others. This links to our theme of sincerity, as we believe it is vital for students to be true to themselves, which will allow them to form genuine connections with others. This is a quality we think is essential to our school community as we feel that it is the special connections that staff and students share that makes CGGS unique.

Continuing the annual tradition of Camber-wellbeing week, we look forward to holding many forums, activities and workshops relating to positive mental health. Term 3 can often be a stressful time, hence we believe it is crucial to maintain a positive headspace and remain optimistic.


Term 4 – Teamwork

Finally, ‘T’ stands for teamwork and is the theme for Term 4. We believe that teamwork is all about working collaboratively and effectively with others in order to achieve a common goal.

Working together has been vital in allowing us to achieve all that we have thus far. The core of achievement comes from a productive and effective team, who all respect each other and share a common vision. We have all been able to combine our strengths and act as each other’s support system.

We are so grateful to be able to share this experience with each other. In Term 4, as we hand our position over to the 2020 School Captains, collaboration and cooperation will be the greatest power and we trust that they will use it graciously and resourcefully.

We would also like to thank the rest of our team – the other captains and staff. To the captains, thank you for all the work you have done so far and your endless support and energy has invigorated our community and driven our achievements. To the staff, notably Mrs Dunwoody, Mrs Poyser, Mrs Robinson, Mr Maycock and Mrs Watkins, your help has been invaluable to us so far and our roles would be impossible without you. You have all been perfect examples of true leadership and have inspired us to recognise the worth and value of each member in a team.

Each person has a unique zest for life, we hope that you embrace it, cherish it and hold onto it. During our time as leaders, we hope to inspire everyone to find their own zest for life and to live with zeal, empathy, sincerity and teamwork.


With best wishes,


Nikki Chen, Ellie Zhou & Stephanie Lysikatos





Welcome to Term 2

I warmly welcome all students and families to Term 2, including seven new students to the school.

We have also welcomed a number of new staff who are very excited to be at CGGS:

> Ms Felicity Carroll – JS & SS Digital Literacy Coordinator

> Dr Sue Mason – Years 7 and 8 Science Teacher and Tutor

> Ms Emily Hui – Year 7 Mathematics Teacher

> Ms Kim Yeomans – JS Library Teacher

> Ms Ellie Zarfarty – Year 2 Teacher (Ms Meagan Wilson is taking the class until 17 May 2019)

In addition, we were delighted to learn over the holidays that old grammarian, Dr Evelyn Chan is the recipient of the Emerging Women in Leadership Award 2019.  Evelyn is a paediatrician and CEO of Smileyscope, a virtual reality experience that is transforming kids’ medical procedures by helping to distract young patients and overcome their fear of needles and other procedures. This innovative approach has been shared on a number of free to air news reports in recent weeks. Evelyn is also a Rhodes scholar.

Making Caring Common – Why caring for others is important.

Almost two months ago the world witnessed unconditional care in action.

Upon receiving the horrific news of the Christchurch massacre, the immediacy of New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s response has come to symbolise the power of restorative empathy and care. Jacinda Ardern’s call to her nation, for all people to be the best that they can be and to offer the depth of their own humanity to those who grieve, shone like a beacon during their darkest of days. Jacinda Ardern, in offering her own humanity, modelled her gift to care with empathic understanding. While at the same time she unapologetically called out those who cannot show tolerance to be unwelcome in a land that seeks peace, fairness and justice. New Zealand reminded the world that in caring, healing goes far deeper than words and is a sign of immense strength.

In 2014, psychologist Richard Weissbourd from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University led a study involving 10,000 secondary students aiming to ascertain how highly young people ranked concern for others over happiness and achievement. The results of the research project, Making Caring Common, were enlightening. Eighty percent of students identified self-interest over fairness; valuing achievement and happiness over caring for others, thinking their beliefs would mirror what their parents valued most for them. Conversely, 96% of parents said that above all they wanted their children to be caring.

These results pointed to a disconnect in the messages which parents were overtly or subliminally imparting to their children, whilst still valuing the importance of happiness, working hard and achievement. On one hand most parents gave strong credence to their commitment to raising caring children as a top priority whereas, in reality, the message being conveyed to, and internalised by their children, was that their happiness and achievements were of most importance.

Underpinning Harvard’s research project was the principle that to be caring is the core of what it means to be human. Weissbourd argues that for the common good of any given society, the community needs people who will look beyond self interest and co-operate for the betterment of all. As a consequence, this position has implications for parents, schools and others who raise, educate and work with children.

Whilst young people have an innate capacity to care, it needs to be nurtured and practiced. Adults have the responsibility of modelling and teaching caring and kindness, to raise respectful, fair, courageous and responsible children who care about service and justice to help them to become their ‘best self’ and contributing members of their communities.

Research shows that when schools teach social and emotional skills, including caring and kindness, students develop stronger relationships with each other. They learn to develop empathy and begin considering another’s perspective. They develop a deepening sense of obligation to one another and they learn to manage their own emotions and actions. Of significance is that these enacted behaviours increase student academic performance. Behaviours such as disrespectfulness, cheating and dishonesty also decrease when students prioritise fairness and caring over achievement and happiness. Overall, when a culture of care exists in schools the whole school functions better.

By prioritising care as a value, a range of positive life outcomes can follow, including career achievements and intimate relationships. Such is this belief, a significant number of universities in the United States are re-defining what it means to achieve. They are selecting students not just on the basis of their academic results, but on how they have made meaningful contributions to others, through community service and engagement with the public good during their secondary years.

In guiding young people to balance striving for happiness and achievement with being caring and ethical, Weissbourd suggests the following:

> Give young people ongoing opportunities to practise caring and helpfulness. With repetition, caring becomes second nature. Set daily tasks with the expectation that they will be completed without always being thanked; these could be as simple as setting the table for dinner or having a specific classroom job. Tasks can be made more challenging outside the home and school as young people’s capacities increase, broadening their spheres of concern.

> Encourage young people to express gratitude to those who are unassuming, but who make worthwhile contributions to their lives. This could be saying thank you to the staff in a restaurant or the bus driver on an excursion.

> Expect children to honour their commitments to develop their sense of duty.

> Assure children that to be caring and kind does not mean that they cannot stand up for themselves and be assertive. Kindness and advocacy are not mutually exclusive.

> Counsel young people to develop the skills and courage to know how to intervene when others need significant help, for example, befriending someone who is being teased, regardless of the social cost.

> Teach empathy by expecting children to listen attentively to the perspectives of others and to be cognisant and respectful of difference – those within in their immediate circle of family and friends and those in wider forums. Encourage them to be mindful of the feelings of others so they can respond appropriately in a variety of situations.

> Model ethical and moral behaviour, accepting that no-one is perfect or has all the answers. When adults are committed to fairness and justice and engaged in acts of caring, young people are positioned to adopt these values, especially when trust and respect are part of adult-child relationships.

> Help young people deal with negative feelings, such as anger, envy or shame, reassuring them that all feelings are part of a person’s make-up and teaching them how to manage detrimental feelings productively.

One of our most recognisable attributes as a school is the very warm sense of community at CGGS. This is a part of our fabric, it is intertwined throughout our history and remains a priority in our work today. We develop this further through living our motto ‘Utilis in Ministerium’ or ‘Useful in Service’ as we provide curricular and co-curricular opportunities to students and staff to practise caring about and serving others. This is a part of our Anglican heritage.

As a school we strive to work with parents to enhance each student’s potential to be compassionate, empathetic, courageous, responsible and ethical in all their relationships. We believe the spirit of these values helps define what it means to be successful in all other areas of learning and community life, with consequent happiness.

In conclusion, may I leave you with this thought…

During your next parent-teacher conversation consider asking, ‘Is my daughter mindful of all others in her class?’, in addition to asking how well she is achieving.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody

From the Chaplain



From the Chaplain

This year Easter Sunday falls on the last Sunday of the Term 1 holidays. That means that our Junior and Senior School Easter services, held at St Mark’s this week, are a little early!  The Easter story is at the very heart of Christian faith, and actually every single Sunday of the year is a ‘mini-Easter’ celebration.  Every Sunday the Church gathers to renew our hope in the divine light, a light that has the power to shine in the darkness, and that cannot be overcome by anything else in the world.

Jacinda Ardern has recently spoken about New Zealand’s ‘darkest day’, and our hearts have gone out to the people of Christchurch, many of whom are struggling to feel secure again after very recent earthquakes, and now a most heartless act.  In the face of such darkness, the Church does not bring easy or trite answers.

It has become common-place amongst young people to say that “everything happens for a reason”, but who would want to say that to the people in Christchurch?  What the Christian faith does dare to say, however, is that no amount of darkness can put out the light of God.  These cruel events confront us with the reality of evil, and the terrible devastation that lies in its wake.  But, as we have seen over the last weeks, evil does not have the last word.  Light continues to shine in the acts of compassion and kindness offered by so many.  The light of the many candles that have been lit reflects the light of humanity, a light that finds it source in the merciful heart of God.

As we celebrate Easter this year, let us pray for those who find themselves in darkness; let us look for signs of the divine light that will not be overcome; and let us give ourselves anew to that rule of light, and be glad.

Here is an ancient prayer that you may like to use in the weeks leading up to Easter.

My dearest Lord,

be thou a bright flame before me

be thou my guiding star above me

be thou the smooth path beneath me

be thou a kindly shepherd behind me

today and evermore.

ST COLUMBA (521-597)


May I wish all our school families light and hope during this Easter season.

God bless!

Helen Creed
School Chaplain





 PACED Home Learning

The question of homework is often a contentious one no matter what the age or year level of the student. Often it is about the amount, either too little or too much.

Highly regarded research by John Hattie who is currently Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, illustrated through his longitudinal, global meta-analysis research that traditional homework both in primary and secondary schools is not very impactful on student learning.  However he argues that we need to ‘get homework right, not get rid of it’.

During 2017 we undertook our own review of homework at CGGS, driven by the questions:

> What is the purpose of homework?

> Is it having a positive impact on learning?

> What does the current research tell us?

> What do we value as important for a student when she goes home after her day at CGGS?

We found that for some students and families, homework is not a positive or productive experience. Yet for others, it helps to set important routines and study habits that can contribute to successful progress in student learning.

In trying to ‘get it right’ we began to focus on the idea of home learning rather than homework. This phrase that is more focused on a person’s ability to learn new information or skills with the possibility of applying it to new or emerging contexts or create new value. This inspired the development of our home learning framework, called the PACED Home Learning Framework.

It is often difficult to challange longstanding perceptions around understandings and routines that many of us experienced as children ourselves. The notion of ‘homework’ is no different. However, we have a responsibility to our children to ensure that we are providing them with the best learning opportunities informed through the best contemporary educational research.

PACED home learning is reimagining homework rather than reducing or eliminating it. It is about structuring homework for a purpose so it has meaning for the student. At CGGS we are committed to our students developing the competencies that will prepare them for their future. So we are making our home learning ‘fit for purpose’ and in John Hattie’s words ‘making it right’.

As we have re-launched the PACED Home Learning Framework again this year, with a teaching and learning team responsible for the development of the program including:

> Dr Charlotte Forwood, Director of Learning Design and Development

> Ms Nirvana Watkins, Deputy Head of Senior School – Wellbeing Curriculum and Programs

> Ms Kate Manners, Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning

> Ms Emma Hinchliffe, Deputy Head of Junior School – Teaching and Learning

I share with you below their introduction to the CGGS PACED Home Learning Program in 2019.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody


PACED Home Learning

In 2019, the PACED Home Learning framework at Camberwell Girls Grammar School continues to be a core component of our teaching and learning program across Ormiston and Senior School. PACED is an acronym, which stands for:

Preparation for learning involves interacting with content and concepts that are the focus for upcoming classroom learning. In preparation for learning, students develop the ability to independently access, engage with, and possibly respond to content and concepts that will be encountered in the classroom.  For example:

> Year 6: Complete your role’s task sheet for Literature Circles prior to our weekly meeting. This week your role will be one of the following: Discussion Director, Questioner, Vocabulary Enricher, Contenessa Comprehension, Connector or Literary Luminary.

Application of learning involves intentional practice and application of concepts that have been encountered in the curriculum. Research suggests that intentional, frequent application of some skills is beneficial. Application tasks should not be beyond the student’s current ability or achievement level.  For example:

> Year 9 English: Complete a body paragraph of your own using the TEEEEL structure. Use one of the topic sentences from the PowerPoint in today’s lesson.

Consolidation occurs in the process of learning through targeted review, revision and reimagining of the concepts and content encountered in classroom learning. Consolidation should also be used as a prompt for persistent questions or concepts that require further attention in the classroom. For example:

> Year 10 Science: Complete a summary card about our Physics unit. Your summary should include the following concepts: Forces, Newton’s Laws of Motion, gravity, friction, air resistance, displacement, speed, velocity and acceleration.

Enrichment of learning has at its core, the purpose of students advancing their own understanding and ability, regardless of their starting point. Enrichment tasks allow students to take their learning ‘one step further’, by representing their understanding in new forms, making new connections, and developing new skills. For example:

> Year 4: In our recent STEAM lesson, we learnt about computational thinking and branching. For home learning design, present a flow chart to help teach a family member how to complete an everyday task such as making a cup of coffee or walking a dog.

In divergent home learning tasks, students have the freedom to take their learning outside the classroom in highly individualised directions. Divergent
home learning takes the classroom content as its starting point, but may include passion pursuits, interest-oriented online courses, community-based research, and enterprise or invention concepts. For example:

> Year 8/9 Future Design Thinking Elective: In class we have been learning about the idea of using STEMpathy for design. This week, you need to use an empathy simulation relating to your design challenge with family and friends, and survey them on their reactions, which will inform your final decision.

All home learning tasks that students undertake fit into one of these categories.  In alignment with current research, extensive review, focus groups and community surveys, PACED reimagines what homework can be. It clearly articulates that home learning is purposeful and helps students to see connections in their learning therefore developing deep understanding.

As a school community, we value intellectual inquiry and students having every opportunity to develop high quality work in response to their learning. We also recognise that learning goes beyond the classroom.

At Camberwell Girls Grammar School, we strongly believe that every day, each student should enjoy time to:

> Connect with family

> Develop her personal health and wellbeing

> Interact within the community

> Engage with home learning, where appropriate.

PACED Home Learning is designed by subject and class teachers to build confidence and rigour, and supports students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

Students across the Junior and Senior Schools have expressed their appreciation of our purposeful approach to home learning.

“It’s so much clearer now WHY we have to do certain tasks, and it gives me a good reminder to revise more consistently rather than doing it all near the end of the unit” (Year 8 student)

“At first I thought it was weird that it was called home learning now and not homework like before, but I can see that there’s a bit more focus on how the things we do at home connect to what we’re learning in class” (Year 10 student)

“It’s very clear and we can see how this will help her with her school work.” (Year 8 Parent)

Families are encouraged to be in contact with their daughter’s classroom teacher, form/tutor teacher or Year Level Coordinator if they would like further information about their daughter’s home learning.

Dr Charlotte Forwood, Ms Nirvana Watkins, Ms Kate Manners and Ms Emma Hinchliffe






Did your daughter wear funky colourful socks to school today?

Have you been aware of women around town wearing purple today, or maybe even white or green?

Have you wondered about the significance of International Women’s Day?

This morning we commenced International Women’s Day with an inaugural celebratory breakfast, attended by council members, staff, students, parents and old grammarians. Our special guests were four inspirational old grammarians who embraced the school’s mission to make the world a better place, by working to give hope and extend the hand of friendship to young immigrants through the power of music.

So why the colourful socks… and why is International Women’s Day associated with the colour purple ?

International Women’s Day had its inception over a century ago, when the first National Woman’s Day was observed, not instituted as a glamorous celebration by women who seemingly ‘had it all’, but in support of 15,000 women who had protested against their horrendous working conditions during the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York. The movement to advance women’s rights soon caught on and widened to demand the rights to vote, to hold public office, to receive training at work and to end discrimination against women, in general.

So in 1911 the first International Women’s Day was observed throughout Europe and by 1913, March 8 was been set aside as the day for observances. Three colours were chosen, with purple being predominant to represent dignity and self-respect. Green was chosen to represent hope and new life, while white represented purity in public and private life.

The United Nations declared 1975 to be International Women’s Year and celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time. Ever since, a theme has been assigned each year to act as a platform to unify women worldwide and advance equality for all. To enable women to realise their potential, to secure better futures for the sisterhood, while at the same time celebrating the achievements of women, whether they be social, cultural, economic or political.

This year’s International Women’s Day’s theme is #BalanceForBetter. As a school in our response to this provocation, we are already unconditionally committed to a gender equal world and understand our responsibility to support or develop social innovations that can provide the best opportunities for women and girls.

We are also mindful of the ten values that guide International Women’s Day and which meld perfectly with the school’s motto, ‘Utilis In Ministerium’. Through our service learning programs, chapel services and assemblies we revisit them frequently:

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

While being cognisant of the overarching #BalanceForBetter theme and weaving the ideal into our 2019 programs, we have adopted one of the International Women’s Day values in particular: Hope.

This morning, those attending the inaugural International Women’s Day breakfast were privileged to listen to four of our 1993 graduates speak of their innovative initiative, Piano Project. Georgina Imberger, who laid the foundations for the enterprise, inspired her friends Amie Herdman, Christine Willshire and Cate Robertson (Vaultier) to join her. Their mission being to help young immigrants to settle into Australia at a time when their families are adjusting to cultural changes and finding homes and work. Their charity sponsors piano lessons free of charge, with funds raised through classical music recitals. Through the hand of friendship, with music as the channel, the children learn to trust, to believe and to hope that all will be well.

On International Women’s Day our MakerSpace hums to the sound of sewing machines and girls enjoying each other’s company, while they stitch and assemble sanitary packs for worldwide distribution to girls for whom monthly periods come at great cost, especially to their education. Volunteering for Camberwell’s Days For Girls group is hugely popular, particularly with the Year 10s. It is considered a privilege to take part, as everyone can empathise with girls who are forbidden to attend school on the days when they are menstruating. The impact of girls having their education interrupted one week in every month resonates with our students. Without question they embrace the responsibility and desire to make the lives of girls who are less fortunate easier and more equitable. Their commitment brings hope to others so girls can achieve their potential at school. Our aim is that all girls can ultimately contribute to the successes of their own community, as do our young women, rather than leaving school to get married and have children at an early age, thereby perpetuating an injustice.

The celebration of  women who worked for NASA and fought for justice and equality in the 1960s was the theme of Junior School’s assembly this week. The Year 5 girls recounted the women’s courage and belief in themselves during a time of heightened racial and gender inequalities. Through sheer tenacity, resilience and the utter determination to be respected for their academic acumen and professional abilities, they achieved the seemingly impossible by being included on male-dominated teams to help solve complex problems.  In so doing, they became international symbols of hope, and today their courage teaches young women that they too can speak out for a balanced world, to achieve the best outcomes when women and men work together.

At the conclusion of today’s breakfast celebration, the School Wellbeing Captain, Isobel Arnot, invited everyone to stand and raise their arms in a gesture for #balanceforbetter, signalling the need for more gender balance in the world. As a school, through our mission, values and service learning programs, we aim to think globally and act locally. We strive to play our part to bring about a balanced world. The challenge for us is to make everyday an international women’s day, by living in hope and celebrating our own milestones and achievements as a school and those of significant women along the way.

Summer Spectacular

Blessed with amazing weather, excited student stallholders, continuous entertainment, plenty of food including dumplings, spring rolls and cakes made with a lot of love and care, amazing stalls, exciting rides and an enthusiastic community, we all enjoyed a magnificent Summer Spectacular two weeks ago.

Following the weekend, flowers were sent to the Ormiston reception on Monday morning with a note:

Dear CGGS Staff

Thank you for a lovely day on Saturday.  We recognise that putting on the Summer Spectacular requires a huge commitment of your time.

Warm regards

A grateful family.

Many emails, notes and compliments have been received and I know that many prospective families ‘felt’ the sense of community as they explored our campus on the day. Thank you to all members of our community who assisted with the events or participated on the day.

I would particularly like to thank the organising team for such a fantastic effort.  Led by Kate Daffy from our Foundation Office, the fair was so well set out enabling people to engage with each other readily. Kate was ably assisted by the Foundation Team, Maintenance Team, Marketing Team, Finance Team, AV Team and staff.

Also making a significant contribution were our Parents and Friends Association and Old Grammarians. In particular, our parent teams were phenomenal. Some groups met on weekends to plan their stall, food was carefully prepared and many parents spent several hours at school assisting with the set up and pack down.  Thank you to Linda Black, John Downes and Cara Davey for their support and leadership of these groups.

Whilst we are still finalising the amount of money raised, it will be in the vicinity of approximately $16,000. The money this year will be allocated to the Music Department to purchase equipment and master class experiences that will be accessed by both Junior and Senior School students. The purchases will facilitate deeper learning, engagement with real world contexts and provide creative inspiration within our curricular and co-curricular programs.  The purchases will include:

  • 3 Yamaha YFL222ID Flutes – Year 7 Instrumental Program
  • Year Level Masterclass incursions ­– Years 5 – 7
  • Vocal PA System for the Rock Band and other small ensembles
  • Electric Keyboard for Mountfield House
  • Small sized string instruments for the Year 2 Super Strings Program
  • Pro Tools Full Version recording software – Record, edit and mix audio recordings of CGGS ensembles
  • Mac Book Pro Laptop for mobile recording purposes and use of Pro Tools software

Whilst these purchases are highly valued in the program, I also want to highlight that Summer Spectacular was a wonderful community event. Many students, parents, staff and friends of the School have all indicated how proud they felt on the day to be a member of this fantastic community. In the end, that is what really matters.


With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody





Learning Community

‘Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose moment has come.’ – Victor Hugo

Most of our best ideas come, or are nurtured and take shape when we are exploring them with others and as a learning community, our staff learning is a priority.

At CGGS, our commitment is to provide a relevant education for our girls that will enable them to flourish in a vastly changing world. As a school, we are also heavily invested in the development of compassionate young citizens, who have the opportunity to contribute to creating a more just and sustainable world throughout their education at school and beyond. It is therefore essential that our staff professional learning also provides the support to our staff in their development of the curricular and co-curricular programs to realise these aims.

This year we are undertaking a number of staff professional learning projects and programs at Ormiston and in Senior School and I would like to share some of these with you. We are delighted to be partnering with a number of national and international experts to ensure that our work is supported by the best research.

Some of our projects include the following:

Ormiston Curriculum Connections Project
(with Ann Beck)

Building on the solid foundations of teaching and learning at Ormiston we are undertaking a curriculum project which will further strengthen and offer new insights into our learning environment. This curriculum project is facilitated by Ms Emma Hinchliffe, Deputy Head – Teaching and Learning at Ormiston, Dr Charlotte Forward, Director of Learning Design and Development, and Mrs Ann Beck, an education consultant.

In Term 4 2018 the Junior School teachers began to focus on further developing rich inquiry units which explore big questions in Science, Humanities, Digital Technologies, Health and Physical Education. To ensure that we are offering best practice in teaching and learning we are using academic and classroom-based research evidence from education experts Guy Claxton and Kath Murdoch. This curriculum project will continue to be a priority for the 2019 school year as teachers review and refine their curriculum documentation by using an evidence-based framework to plan for the stages of learning. This includes authentic assessment tasks; key skills and understandings; catering for learning dispositions; and the use of visible thinking routines. Junior School meetings provide opportunities for teachers to share and discuss their work. Through quality inquiry, students will develop deeper knowledge within and across disciplines of how the world works and will develop a set of skills which will enable lifelong learning. The inquiry approach incorporates explicit instruction of information literacy skills, vocabulary, research and organisational skills.

Ormiston Idea into Action Project
(with Dr Flossie Chua, Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Under the leadership of Dr Charlotte Forwood, Director of Learning Design and Development, Junior School teachers are working with Dr Flossie Chua from Project Zero at Harvard Graduate School of Education and Independent Schools Victoria on the Idea into Action project. Project Zero leads global research into the field of education. Click here for more information about Project Zero.

Junior School teachers are currently developing rich units of inquiry using a pedagogically sound, evidence-based framework which has been tailored to the CGGS context. These units incorporate explicit instruction, use of thinking routines and development of key enterprise skills. Dr Flossie Chua has been working with teachers to consider the interdisciplinary possibilities for their units. The Idea into Action project runs alongside the development and implementation of inquiry units by providing teachers with tools to use to assist with this action. As well as trialling the tools that have been developed by Project Zero, teachers will also be providing feedback about the usefulness of the tools and make suggestions for future tools to be shared more widely.

Year 8 Healthy Minds Program
(with Dr Tom Nehmy)

The Healthy Minds Program was developed by an award-winning clinical psychologist Dr Tom Nehmy from Adelaide in South Australia. After working as a clinical psychologist in government, corporate and private practice, he became concerned about the number of clients (both children and adult) who exhibited signs of unhelpful thinking and behavior that could have been prevented.

Dr Nehmy’s observations developed into his PhD research project at Flinders University that has subsequently given rise to the Healthy Minds Program. Published in the prestigious international peer-reviewed journal Behaviour Research and Therapy, Healthy Minds teaches the skills of effective emotion regulation, helpful decision making and balanced thinking.  Healthy Minds was awarded the Flinders University Vice-Chancellor’s Prize and is developing an international reputation in health and education as a highly effective program.

This year CGGS has partnered with Dr Nehmy to conduct this program in Year 8 during Term 2, training staff and students, providing an information evening for parents accompanied by weekly parent modules.

At the conclusion of this program Camberwell Girls Grammar School will be the first fully accredited Healthy Minds School in Victoria.

We are very grateful to the Parents and Friends Association for providing the funds to undertake this program and accreditation in 2019.

Development of Senior School Programs and Partnerships
(with Summer Howarth)

A former teacher, Summer Howarth has been instrumental in assisting teachers to lead innovation and change in a range of educational environments including schools, universities and government. She has been recognized on The Educator Hotlists, holds a number of positions on boards, has been an advisor to the UN on Sustainable Development Goals and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship for her services to Education.

Summer held the role of Director of Learning Design and Events at Education Changemakers and is now the founder of The Eventful Learning Company. She will be working with teachers throughout 2019 on a number of projects in her role as a strategic assistant. This will include developing opportunities for our Senior School students to connect with organisations beyond the classroom and exploring the potential for collaborations, internships and more. Summer has a broad skillset and considerable connections across business, government and education sectors. We look forward to tapping into her expertise and networks to develop unique experiences for our students.

Mungo Youth Project
(Senior School students and staff)

I am also delighted to announce that CGGS has been invited to participate in the Mungo Youth Project. The project is a student led research program that explores Aboriginal culture and culminates in a four day conference in May hosted by the traditional elder communities within the Mungo/Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area.

The conference aims to create an authentic student-centred approach to learning by bringing together young people with mentors, pastoralists, National Park rangers and scientists to directly engage with history and culture. The students will be immersed in activities to understand contemporary challenges such as reconciliation and climate change, whilst developing an understanding of the Aboriginal connection to the land. Each school invited is limited to eight students and accompanying staff.

Whilst I have outlined a number of our key projects and initiatives for this year, there are many other department priorities that are also continually reviewed and developed. I will share further developments throughout the year.

We are so fortunate to have such a highly motivated and engaged staff at CGGS!

I look forward to seeing you all at Summer Spectacular tomorrow as we celebrate our amazing community.


Warm regards,

Debbie Dunwoody





Dear Parents and Guardians,

I warmly welcome you all to a new school year at Camberwell Girls Grammar School. I hope that you enjoyed some joyous and relaxing time with family and friends during the break.

The return of our students is such an energising time as you feel the excitement in the air with the promise of new beginnings and opportunities. For those students who are commencing their formal education in Early Learning 3, Foundation and at the start of secondary school in Year 7 it is important to acknowledge the significance of these milestones.

At the conclusion of 2018 we celebrated many student talents, reflections and achievements at Presentation and Graduation evenings. This was followed by receiving the news of another year of outstanding VCE results and subsequent university offers for the Class of 2018. As we enjoy the start of a new year and new beginnings, there is a great sense of satisfaction in the personal stories of the achievements of the Year 12 cohort at the end of the year.

I would like to thank our VCE teachers for their commitment to and support of the girls during their final years of schooling. It is important to also recognise teachers from earlier years as they too engaged, inspired and supported the girls throughout their journey to young adulthood. As we all know, the ATAR tells only one part of the story; the gifts of contribution to the CGGS community and service to the wider community are also highly valued. Success is not just about what our students have achieved, but it is also about the type of person they have become – and yes, again, I feel immensely proud of these girls.

In celebrating the Class of 2018

> 19% of students achieved an ATAR >98 (placing them in the top 2% of the State)

> 36% of students achieved an ATAR >95 (placing them in the top 5% of the State)

> 56% of students achieved an ATAR >90 (placing them in the top 10% of the State)

> The Median ATAR was 91.4

> At the time of writing, two students have been awarded entry into prestigious Vice Chancellors Scholarship Programs with three other students awarded entry into Scholars Programs with Scholarships for Biomedicine.

At CGGS, we continue to focus on the ‘learning that matters’ for all of our students. Our commitment is to prepare our students for their future as compassionate leaders. Leaders who will have a passion for learning and creating a more just and sustainable world, and we are mindful of the competencies that they will need to master. The OECD Education 2030 paper released in March 2018 reminds us that in addition to building the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed, young people will need three new competencies, namely:

> Creating new value

> Reconciling tensions and dilemmas

> Taking responsibility for our actions

These competencies require us to look beyond just attaining knowledge and developing skills. It requires us to apply what we know to new and emerging situations and require other personal qualities to succeed such as curiosity, courage and kindness.

This year we have welcomed a number of new teachers with extensive experience and interests to CGGS for ongoing positions as well as a number of parental and long service leave replacement roles. These staff are:

Miss Fiorella Soci (Year 2 Teacher)
Fiorella is a highly experienced and innovative classroom teacher who joins us from Caulfield Grammar School.

Ms Mikaela Stanaway (Foundation Teacher)
Mikaela has covered a number of short term leave positions at Ormiston and we are delighted to welcome her as a classroom teacher this year.

Ms Jasvindar Gill (Year 4 Teacher)
Jasvinder has also covered a number of short term positions at Ormiston and will be joining us in Year 4 this year. Prior to completing her teacher training, Jasvinder worked in Marketing for the Department of Education.

Mrs Anne-Maree Wilcox-Morna (EL4 Teacher)
Anne-Maree is a highly experienced leader and teacher of early learning students.  She comes to us from a management role at the Canterbury and District Pre-School.

Miss Liana Kitsou (Junior School Physical Education)
In addition to teaching Physical Education, Liana has also developed an external program for early learning aged children focussing on movement. Her most recent teaching role was at Strathcona.

Ms Marianne Rigby-Black (Junior School Choral Music Teacher)
Marianne joins us as a highly experienced Voice and Choral teacher who has worked with students in both primary and secondary settings.

Mrs Kathryn Kollmorgen (Junior School Education Support Assistant)
Kathryn is a highly experienced Education Support Assistant who also works at Camberwell Grammar School.

Mr James Henderson (Commerce and Physical Education)
James is a highly experienced teacher who has also held a number of educational leadership roles at a number of schools. He is also an examiner for Business Management. James will take on the position of Year 10 Coordinator at CGGS.

Mrs Kirsten Dunsby  (English)
Kirsten is a highly experienced English teacher and leader of English teams and most recently taught at Brighton Grammar School.

Ms Georgia Biggs (English and Psychology)
In addition to Georgia’s experience as a VCE teacher, she has also been involved in many social justice initiatives in areas of indigenous, sustainability and respectful relationships programs.

Mr Tom Clark (Geography)
Whilst Tom has taught briefly in a few Melbourne schools, he has most recently been teaching senior Geography in London.

Mrs Kim Hepworth (Biology and Chemistry)
Kim is a highly experienced teacher who has also held a number of educational leadership roles at Knox Grammar. She is also an examiner for Biology. Kim will take on the position of Year 8 Coordinator at CGGS.

Miss Paige Tan (Mathematics)
Paige is an experienced Mathematics teacher – Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics. She is looking forward to teaching in a girls school.

Mr Alistair Shaw (Physics and Mathematics)
Alistair is a highly experienced Mathematics and Physics teacher who also has a passion for coding. He is taught in both regional and metropolitan schools.

Mr Daniel Loff (Mathematics)
Daniel is a passionate Mathematics teacher who has also worked as an Education Support Assistant at Bialik College.

Mrs Sabrina Zhu (Junior and Senior School Chinese)
Sabrina joins us from Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School, to teach Chinese having previously taught at CGGS in 2011.

Mrs Ingrid Beck (German Teacher)
Ingrid is a highly experienced VCE and IB German Teacher who joins us from St Leonards College.

Miss Melissa Drentin (French)
Melissa is an experienced French Teacher who has also studied Law and International Relations. During January she studied a short course at The Sorbonne in Paris.

Ms Jacquie Little (Part time Nurse)
Jacquie joins us for Semester 1 as she covers a long service leave replacement. She is a very experienced health professional and has previously worked at Strathcona.

We were also delighted to welcome back from leave Mrs Ritsa Athanasiadis and Mrs Meagan Wilson and I would like to welcome Miss Sophie Brugliera, Miss Monica Clarke and Ms Harriet Cooper as our Deakin Associate Teachers for 2019.

I am very excited about the calibre of our teaching team and the extensive programs and opportunities on offer for our girls here at CGGS this year.

I am also pleased to report that we have completed the renovation of our Woodstock Science Laboratory, refurbished the Senior School Female Staff Toilets and completed painting and maintenance across the school. The final stage of our Science re-development project will be the renovation of the Chemistry and Biology Laboratories, planned to commence later this year.

At CGGS we are committed to the importance of a quality education. Academic success is not just about building the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that we need. It is also about how we create new value, reconcile tensions and dilemmas and take responsibility for our actions. So to build a meaningful future through our own practices of curiosity, courage and kindness.

With very best wishes for the year ahead.

Debbie Dunwoody

The Year Of The Pig

2019 is the Year of the Pig 猪年, which began on Tuesday 5 February and continues for two weeks until celebrations draw to a close on 19 February. The pig is the twelfth of the Chinese Zodiac animals. In Chinese mythology, the Pig represents good fortune, bravery, compassion and generosity. It is often said that people born in the Year of the Pig are fun-loving, happy, trusting and brave.

More than one billion people across the globe celebrate Chinese New Year every year. At CGGS, the Chinese Department and International Captains have organised a range of activities to share the festive spirit, everyone is welcome to join. You can watch the spectacular lion dance performance, sample some delicious Chinese food from the Fig Tree Café, try your hand at the art of calligraphy, Chinese painting, lantern making, paper folding or Chinese knotting.

In this most auspicious Year of the Pig, we wish everyone a productive and successful year ahead.

Happy Chinese New Year
春     节     快     乐





During recent weeks we have had some wonderful events to celebrate the conclusion of the 2018 school year and Christmas season. These have included our final assemblies, Blessing of the Gifts Service at Ormiston (prior to the gift collection from Anglicare), gift collections for Dream Stitches, CGGS Carols Concert and the Carols Service at St Marks, Year 6 Graduation Ceremony and Lunch as well as the Years 7-9 Presentation Evening.

We have celebrated successes and personal journeys during some of these events. We have also acknowledged the importance of some of the failures that have resulted as our students challenging  themselves to try or learn something new. I am ambitious about the quality of the education that we offer our students and I hope they continue to value curiosity and courage in their learning. The world values the thinkers who are also creative problem solvers.

Professor Tina Seelig is a faculty director of the Stanford University Technology Ventures Program, and is also an author on entrepreneurship and creativity. Her advice is ‘the bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity’ and she encourages students to ‘fail fast and quickly’ and that in the process of problem solving we need to learn how to fail, do it, change and move on quickly. Professor Seelig recognises that in the future, people will be hired not only because of their successes, but also because of their failures as these people often have greater capacity to change bad ideas into brilliant ones. As teachers and parents we need to give our young people the opportunities to practice this too, without fear of judgement. We will keep focussing on this in 2019.

Mrs Heather Scarff (Foundation Teacher) has decided to resign and pursue her interests outside of school (and we are delighted that she has indicated that she would like to return to do some relief teaching in the future). Heather was appointed in 1987 by Miss Barbara Sutton and has worked for four Principals at CGGS. She has been a highly respected and dedicated staff member who has always encouraged her students to have a go. We thank Heather for her tireless work with our junior students.

We also farewell Mrs Meg Anderson, Mrs Sally Staddon and Mrs Cathie Meyenn who are retiring or pursuing different career opportunities. Each have been dedicated teachers and at different times have been Heads of Department and we thank them for their service.

Ms Kate Giles is also leaving us to take up the role as Head of Junior School at Ruyton Girls School. This is a wonderful promotion and opportunity for Kate and we wish her all the very best as she leads her own Junior School community.

Mr Luke LoBello is leaving us to take a role at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School and Mrs Karen Coom is returning to New Zealand.  From our ELC, Ms Danxue Lu has decided to take up a role closer to her home and Ms Zoe Swindells will be taking up a new role at St Catherine’s Girls School. We thank them for their work at CGGS.

We have a number of teachers taking parental leave in 2019 – Ms Kath Woolcock, Ms Eleanor Wood, Ms Peipei Liu, Mrs Melissa Donelly, Ms Jess Huggett – and we wish them well. In addition, Mrs Jane Bergamin is taking Long Service Leave for the 2019 school year and we hope that she enjoys time studying and pursuing interests.

I would like to thank the staff who are concluding their contracts – Mrs Pat Ritter, Ms Anita Coffa, Ms Lucy Schneider, Ms Ruth Smith, Mrs Claire Macbeth and Ms Abbie Hewitt.

On behalf of the staff at Camberwell Girls Grammar School we wish you and your family the gifts of the Christmas Season – peace, hope, joy and love.

Have a very happy and safe holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2019.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody


From Chair of Council

To the CGGS Community,

It is my great pleasure to advise that our Principal, Debbie Dunwoody, has been awarded an Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) VIC Fellowship for 2018.

This highly prestigious award acknowledges the exceptional contribution Debbie has made to education not only here at Camberwell Girls Grammar School but the wider education sector.  She is recognised as being a leader at the forefront of developments in education at both a national and international level and has had many immeasurable positive impacts on educators and learners.

I know that as a community you will join me in congratulating Debbie on this wonderful accolade and her outstanding leadership of Camberwell Girls Grammar School and the education sector more broadly.

Christine Cussen
Chair of Council