August 7, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I have been thinking a lot about members of our community this week as it has been such a significant one in the history of Victoria. The Stage 4 Restrictions are so important for dealing with this contagious virus and they are requiring us to approach so many aspects of our daily lives in a different way. It is a key time where we all have to focus on our wellbeing and ability to manage these different pressures.

With so much to process and do, I have found myself feeling quite tired by the end of each day and have been giving greater priority to ensuring that I try to include things in my day that enhance my resilience. Sometimes I need to focus on smaller steps when addressing a challenge so that it doesn’t become overwhelming, or ensuring time for doing the things that will bring joy into my day (especially since our students are working remotely).

My close network of family and friends provide support, encouragement and understanding at these times as does my faith and belief that we begin each day with new hope.

We all create our own toolkit to develop resilience, starting from when we are young.  One of our School Counsellors, Beth Sarlos, and Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, Kath Woolcock, have written an article titled ‘Developing Resilience’ to share ideas about how young people develop resilience and how our pastoral care program at CGGS supports this development. I encourage you to have a read of it. Click the button below to access it.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody




July 31, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This week I was honoured to be invited as a panellist at the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL Vic) ‘Future Possibilities Forum’, with educational thought leader, Adriano di Prato, Director of Digital Learning, Lauren Sayer and Principal, Nathan Chisholm.

We all spoke on different aspects of future possibilities around education as we progress out of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a Q&A session as a webinar. I was invited to speak about the most valuable resource that we have in schools – our staff.  My topic was to talk about future possibilities from a lens of school leadership that empowers and operates from a deep position of trust and permission, tapping into the talent from within. I would like to share with you some of my insights.

As an educator, I have always believed that we are educating young people for their future. Through a lens of the development of the whole person, teachers must have a deep understanding of subject disciplines and ways of teaching (pedagogies), key principles of pastoral care and wellbeing, and an understanding of the landscape ahead.  For example, as we educate our Foundation students today, we also think about the world in which they will be graduating from school in the 2030s.

As an educational leader, I believe that it is my responsibility to ensure that our staff (both teachers and professional services staff) have every opportunity for growth and development too, by allowing them to imagine, design, co-create and lead innovation in education. When I interview new staff, one of the questions that I ask them is “what do you need to be the best that you can be professionally?”  Their answers are usually around things that they value such as:

> Being part of a supportive team

> Feeling safe to contribute ideas and try new things

> Having someone to go to for help

> Working in an environment where they feel trusted

The importance of collegiality, support, kindness, permission, courage and trust also resonates very strongly with me. I would also add enjoyment – enjoying working with others and bringing joy into the workplace.

COVID-19 tipped everything upside down, and it did it really fast. It tested us to see if we really did ‘walk the talk’, highlighted our strengths and exposed our weaknesses. At CGGS our response showed our strength, agility and ability to innovate. Not everything has been perfect (it never is), but we have been intentional and responsive in the design and delivery of our programs and work. The key factors in our success have undoubtedly been our staff and the culture of our school.

At CGGS the staff are well practised at working in teams – where they demonstrate respect for their colleagues, understand the importance of relevance and rigour in education, and are given permission to have courage to innovate by their Principal. This is greatly enhanced by a culture that is based on valuing the individual, inclusion, integrity and continuous improvement. Our big ideas don’t come from one person or just the leadership team (including me), but from diverse groups of staff who practise co-designing solutions.

As Principal, I believe it is important to role model expectations and ways of working. I believe very strongly in

> the importance of knowing and respecting each individual

> valuing collaborative work

> seeking honest and reliable feedback and sharing it to improve practice

> being purposeful in all that we design and implement, not allowing a fear of making mistakes to deter us from improving educational outcomes

> laughing with colleagues, getting to know them and showing them that I care for them and their professional development

If I do this with my staff, then it is highly likely that they will care for and nurture their students in such a way too.

It is a very challenging time for us all now. The concerns about health, work and education are more deeply felt than a few months ago. I hope that you all feel the support of the CGGS community and know that we are here to help where we can.

Even with these challenges we have a number of teams who, in addition to their daily work, are looking at the new initiatives we should retain beyond this remote mode, that improve practice. This is by exploring how we can design new possibilities, that continue to honour rigourous learning and wellbeing, citizenship and service, and ensure relevance in changing times.

In again borrowing the words of Vivien Greene, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”, we seek to strive for better education. Our world continues to change and by accepting and understanding this change we learn to dance differently, and in doing so, we focus more clearly on preparing our students for their future.

As I mentioned in last week’s editorial, we will continue to offer you the opportunity to give feedback on either learning at school or remote learning during these restrictions. Please click onto the button below to enter your feedback.

To end, I am excited to let you know that CGGS has joined a new social media platform, we are now on Instagram. We are thrilled to be able to show you an inside look on life at CGGS through this interactive platform. Please feel free to follow us on Instagram, our username is @camberwellgirls


With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody




July 24, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As another school week concludes, we have seen many examples of how our students and staff have settled quickly into their new learning environments, whether it be at school or at home.

During both times of remote learning, we have valued the opportunity to build our connections. These have been through curricular, co-curricular and wellbeing programs, alongside the many student-led weeks and activities that have included online forums, house events and the further development of Junior School Chapels and the Senior School Chaplain’s assemblies.

It is quite common to hear people talking about how they are going to look after their wellbeing better in this period of ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions. We are very conscious of how we can continue to help our students take care of themselves in these times of uncertainty. To address this:

> A greater number of wellbeing activities are being presented in the Health and Physical Education program utilising a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous components in Senior School.

> Blocks of ‘Rest and Revive’ times have been included between classes to ensure there is more time for moving, stretching, hydrating and refuelling.

> Tutor and Form time has been redesigned to allow for students to meet with their Form/Tutor teacher in small group mentor meetings. This provides opportunities for students to share challenges and highlights of remote learning and seek support if needed.

> In Junior School, the weekly learning program has been designed to take in to account cognitive load, with tasks that require a lower cognitive load purposefully assigned to the afternoons and the end of the week. All F-2 literacy and numeracy Zoom meetings have been scheduled to take place in the mornings to help students and families to build routines.

> In Years 5 and 6 we have begun using Zoom breakout rooms to allow for more opportunities for student connection and small group discussions.

> Our class teachers are continuing to run daily Zoom class meetings and teach our BRAVE wellbeing curriculum. This term’s focus for all year levels is on exploring and developing coping strategies.

> We offer Ormiston Active, a co-curricular movement program, 3 times per week to offer students an extra opportunity in the day to move their bodies.

To help encourage times off devices during the day, a number of fun challenges, year level challenges and social events have been developed to engage students.

In connecting with families, our Online Learning Conversations last term were very successful and we have further enhanced this model to offer Year 7 and 8 interviews this week, whilst preparing for our Online Junior School Learning Conversations in a couple of weeks time.

Last term, we were very grateful when the Parents and Friends Association sponsored the ‘Creating Connection When Physically Disconnected’ online course by Enlighten Education and Dannielle Miller. A number of parents completed the course and it has now been extended until Sunday 9 August for your convenience. You can register by clicking on the button below.

Feeling connected and feeling well are important factors in a young person’s development. This is particularly prevalent now as we live under restrictions and need to practice hygiene and health protocols every day. I was delighted when the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia (AGSA) published ‘How we created connection while students were physically disconnected’, written by our Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, Ms Kath Woolcock.

By clicking on the button below you will be able to view Kath’s article as published on the AGSA site recently.

Finally, throughout this period of remote and onsite learning (ELC, Years 11 and 12), I will continue to periodically send you a questionnaire so we can continue to look at your feedback in a timely manner to improve our practice. The first of these questionnaires will be in next week’s CamNews.

Our children will learn more effectively if their wellbeing needs are met, so this must be a focus whilst we are all continually adapting to new scenarios in our daily lives.

If you have any concerns or questions at any time, please don’t hesitate to contact your daughter’s teacher or coordinator.


With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody




July 17, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I warmly welcome you all back to Term 3. Whilst it was not quite the return that I had expected, these times are showing us that we need to be very flexible. I have enjoyed seeing our very youngest and oldest students back at school, and other year levels on screens and Yammer pages as they recommence a period of remote learning.

Whilst we are in remote learning, we will publish CamNews every Friday.

Once again our teachers have ‘sprung into action’ to prepare the materials and activities for remote learning. There is certainly benefit in having already implemented a remote learning program, and this has enabled rigorous discussions in teams about modifications and the continued development of targeted experiences in both learning and wellbeing programs.

As we learn to accept continued flexibility in our thinking and planning, we also need to ensure that we try to retain a sense of joy, optimism and purpose in our lives. When presenting to staff earlier this week, I spoke about the Dunwoody family’s favourite ‘go-to’ movie,The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

I have to admit that we watched the movie a couple of times during the holidays. We love the storyline that is about a person transforming their life, the wonderful scenery, inspiring music and some very entertaining characters who speak about having courage and going into the unknown.

There is no doubt the impact of this virus is taking many of us into the unknown. At CGGS we have, and will continue to, ‘lean into’ this experience, support each other and create new learning opportunities. I continue to feel incredibly proud of our teachers who are not daunted, but excited by this challenge and role model how we can pivot and adapt to new and emerging situations.

Retaining a sense of fun and joy is also important. Many of you will remember the quote that I shared last term about not ‘waiting for the storm to pass, but being able to dance in the rain’. One of our teachers shared with me her Term 3 take on ‘dancing in the rain’ which is now about ‘partying in puddles’ – such joyful images!

At CGGS our work will continue this term – with courage, purpose and a sense of fun, as we model to our children and students how to respond to challenges in changing times.  This is important preparation for life.


With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody




June 26, 2020

Dear Parents,

Having reached the end of Term 2, I would like to thank you for your support and encouragement during the term – one that has been significant for us as a school community, as a country and as a global community.

In my editorial last week, you will have seen a video I included that was a more detailed reflection of our term, and of our growth and development moving forward.

Last week we also held our first Virtual Open Morning that was a mixture of real time interaction as well as pre-recorded components. We have received very good feedback and we will continue to develop this model in addition to the format of our previous Open Mornings.

During the Open Morning presentation, one of our CGGS Vice Captains, Laurya Dang-Nguyen, spoke about her experience at CGGS from Year 7. It was a very heartfelt presentation and I wanted share it with you as it reflects the importance of relationships in our community. Please click on the button below to watch Laurya’s presentation.

To enable us to continue to update parents on school news, activities and events during Term 3, CamNews will return to a fortnightly publication and the current Junior School and Senior School Weekly’s will continue each week.

As we enter the school holidays, an important time for relaxation and renewal as well as a time to prepare for the term ahead, Revd Creed has shared a prayer with us.


Holy God, 

Grant us the child-like trust that we live enfolded in your goodness;

that in every event, every encounter – no matter how disappointing or frustrating or exhausting it may be to us,

You are there: protecting, welcoming, cherishing, refreshing and leading us to you.


We give thanks for the communities in which we work and live and learn;

for the Camberwell Girls community, for each member, so precious in your sight;

May we continue to learn how best to care for each other,

and may we know the joy of our connectedness: past, present and future.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen


Wishing you a happy and safe break. We look forward to welcoming you back on Wednesday 15 July.


With best wishes

Debbie Dunwoody




June 19, 2020

Dear Parents,

As we are getting closer to the end of a very eventful term, I thought I would provide a video update for you. There was so much to say, as never before have we had to change our learning so quickly to provide remote learning for our students in such a short timeframe.

My video is a little longer than usual, so you may like to get a ‘beverage of choice’ to enjoy whilst watching.

With best wishes,


Debbie Dunwoody




June 12, 2020

Dear Parents,

Earlier this week many of you would have seen the photographs of our return to school for all year levels and the Welcome to Country ceremonies performed by Murrundindi. They were very special ceremonies and we felt honoured to be welcomed back onto the land.

I also spoke to the girls to acknowledge the time we spent apart and how proud I was of them and of the staff, for the incredible way in which they had embraced remote learning, remained connected and strengthened our community.

I shared with some of the older year levels my reflections about a time early in the term when there were so many unknowns to deal with each day. I remember feeling a mixture of emotions at this time including worry, anger, frustration and isolation. For someone who likes to be around people and feel ‘in control’, this situation was proving to be very challenging for me! One morning my Personal Assistant, Mrs Madge left a quote on my desk that I found particularly helpful.

The quote reminded me that it is always important to try and make the most of a difficult situation and not just get caught up in the situation itself. When you don’t know how long it will last, it is vital to keep thinking creatively and positively. So many members of our community have done that by creating new ways of having fun, completing challenges and spending time enjoying company #TogetherApart.

Our time learning and working remotely has given us the opportunity to recalibrate. Whilst we all enjoy an abundance of choices in our lives, they can also be a burden and consume the important time required to build relationships and care for ourselves.

This is now a time when we can rethink our priorities and not return to overscheduled lives.

One example could be for our girls to do less cocurricular activities and pursue those they do choose, in greater depth and with greater commitment. We have a wide range of choices at CGGS, and they are choices, not all compulsory activities!

Another example could be to schedule uninterrupted family time each week enabling us to continue to spend time together. It is important for wellbeing to ensure there is enough time for play at any age, particularly outdoor play. I’m sure you will also have your own ideas. If you need to be reminded, just remember:

Finally, I have included a short clip taken on our first day back to give you a feel for the atmosphere. This week has been one of the most joyous weeks I have experienced at school. It was not just the happy faces, but the sounds of people talking and laughing. Enjoy our connected community!

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody




March 13, 2020

It has been an extremely busy two weeks with many events and of course preparations for our Centenary Performing Arts Festival.

In addition to all of this has been our planning and management of the impact of Novel Coronavirus Pandemic and I would like to thank students, staff and parents for their support.

We have been regularly reminding students and staff of hygiene protocols and also this week, reminders about students and staff not attending school if they are unwell. We ask for your continued vigilance in this area.

We have significantly reduced educational activities outside of the school and postponed key Centenary events and international tours. This morning Girls Sport Victoria also cancelled the Swimming and Diving Carnivals in the next few weeks.

There has been significant development over the term in online learning programs, particularly in Senior School as we work to ensure continuity of delivery of programs for all students, but in particular our VCE students in the event of a school closure.  Parents will be receiving communications from Paul Donohue (Head of Junior School) and Cathy Poyser (Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School) today with more details about delivery of programs if the school closes.

Some of the strategies that were implemented earlier in the term when students had a delayed start to the year included:

> Videoconferencing was used through platforms such asWebex and Zoom.

> Using the screen record function on an iPad or laptop (such as QuickTime) short instructional videos were created for students to access at their convenience.

> Collaborative online tasks and activities allowed students to connect and interact with each other (both in real time and asynchronously)

> Padlet was used for brainstorming and mind-mapping

> Presentation applications (such as Google Slides or PowerPoint) were made editable and accessible online.

> Curriculum resources were made accessible to students through our Learning Management System

Since then we have also tested online discussion platforms, such as ‘Yammer’ that are used to foster and create interactions between teachers and learners. Teachers and students can share resources, post announcements as well as pose and answer questions.

I am very grateful to our teaching and learning team for their work in this area.

From our experiences earlier this term, online delivery was particularly successful for those students who continued to ask questions of their teachers during this time and who had set up productive working spaces in their home. The mindset that you are still ‘at school’ but in a different location was very important.

Whilst it has been a challenging term so far, there has been some fabulous learning and celebrations.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody




February 28, 2020

Learning Community

At our recent information evenings, key educational leaders at CGGS have shared the work that we are undertaking with external experts to shape the learning opportunities for our students. Understanding current thinking and developments in education beyond our school is vital as we challenge ideas and engage our staff in wide-ranging professional learning.

We are delighted to continue to partner with a number of national and international experts to ensure that our work is supported by the best research.

A few examples of our projects include:


> Early Learning Centre:  Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) Pilot 2020
Led by Angela Follacchio (Early Learning Leader), our Early Learning Centre (ELC) has been selected as one of fifty preschools to take part in the 2020 ELSA Research Project (University of Canberra). The ELSA project is a play-based digital learning program to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) practices and concepts.  The curriculum presented will have both hands-on and digital activities and the activities encourage children to ask questions, make predictions, experiment and reflect on what happened and why.

> Curriculum Connections Project (with Ann Beck)

Led by Emma Hinchliffe (Deputy Head of Junior School) and Charlotte Forwood (Director of Learning Design and Development) with consultant Ann Beck, teachers will continue to develop curriculum across all year levels, with a particular focus on literacy, numeracy and inquiry units.
In 2020 embedding of STEAM within inquiry units continues to be a focus.  Under the leadership of Charlotte Forwood, a number of Junior School staff will join Senior School staff in this year’s ISV and Harvard Making Thinking Routine Project in order to broaden the use of thinking routines across the curriculum.

> Idea into Action Project (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

As part of Camberwell Girls Grammar School’s involvement in the Idea Into Action Project with Project Zero at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and ISV, teachers have been using bespoke tools to engage with and sustain changes in curriculum design and implementation. Project Zero researchers, Dr Flossie Chua and Professor David Perkins have been using feedback from CGGS staff to further develop these tools with the aim of providing them to educators globally. Charlotte Forwood and Emma Hinchliffe will be presenting our work at the Education that Matters Conference presented by Harvard Graduate School of Education in Melbourne in May 2020.

> Reading Program

Emma Hinchliffe, Charlotte Forwood and Lisa White (JS Learning Enrichment Coordinator) have worked with Foundation – Year 2 teachers in redeveloping the reading program to reflect a strong research base and current pedagogy. Our recently launched program ensures that oral language underpins our teaching and learning. Learning to read involves the development of language comprehension skills as well as word recognition. These are the two core elements of The Simple View of Reading which informs our teaching and learning practices. There is a strong focus on systematic, explicit instruction in the areas of phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Parents interested in learning more about best practice in reading instruction may find the following website useful:


Senior School

> 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.

Supported by Nirvana Watkins (Deputy Head of Senior School – Wellbeing Curriculum and Programs), Dr Nehmy will deliver the program to the Year 8 students during two special conference says on 23 April and 25 May. Further information will be explored in the students’ health and wellbeing lessons and parents will also receive a module to outline the ideas and skills examined.

> Year 9 Cognizance Project with Jared Cooney Horvath
Led by Nirvana Watkins in 2019, we piloted the Cognizance Project through Independent Schools Victoria and University of Melbourne researcher Jared Cooney Horvath. In 2020 we will again take up this program.

“Cognizance” is a term referring to an awareness and appreciation of knowledge, in terms of human perception of our own understanding. We sometimes use the term to refer to our consciousness as learners and how our own knowledge is shaped. There are elements of both metacognition and neuroscience captured the term.  The project aims to teach students the fundamentals of metacognition, the ability to control thought processes, and to give them the tools to take charge of their own learning. Our goal is to teach students how the brain works so they can use this knowledge to impact both study and life.

Students engage in a series of lessons titled ‘Hacking the Brain’ that look at understanding the importance of stories, the basics of neuroplasticity, how the brain deals with errors and the role of memory.

> Point: Development of Senior School Programs using the CGGS ‘By design’ learning framework
Led by Kate Manners (Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning) and Charlotte Forwood (Director of Learning Design and Development) with consultant Summer Howarth, classroom opportunities have been developed to actively promote collaboration, connection to the real world and use of a range of digital tools for creation. In Years 8 and 9 our core and elective subjects enable students to create high quality work that reflects not just their knowledge of subjects but show their understanding of these within authentic real- world contexts.

Nurturing mindsets where the focus is on growth, not perfection is something that we work exceptionally hard at, so that our students value and enjoy a lifelong relationship with learning, not just the result that they might achieve.

At Year 9, students undertake an exciting ‘seasonal’ learning series including”

– A Dignity Conference as part of their Service Learning program

– Two days exploring the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through multiple lenses, and completing the AI For Good Challenge, a collaborative initiative of Microsoft open to students across Years 7-12.

– A city experience conducted under the theme of ‘You, Me & Us’. Art and design are the basis for the creation of collaborative installations that are then displayed at CGGS. Students also utilise a design thinking process, submit a proposal to Melbourne City Council on how to improve the liveability of Melbourne, informed by the different perspectives they explore.

– Our World of Work program. These two days have a specific focus on introducing students to the CGGS Careers Program. Students purposefully explore #myfuture and the mindset and actions that will enable their successful transition to the future of work. They have the opportunity to identify and foster a variety of transferrable skills and create resumes, establishing an e-portfolio and practice interview skills.

– Making Thinking Routine Project – (ISV and Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Under the leadership of Charlotte Forwood, a number of Senior School staff will join members of the Junior School to engage in this year’s ISV and Harvard Making Thinking Routine Project, in order to broaden the use of thinking routines across the curriculum.

Whilst I have outlined some of the projects 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!

Warm regards,

Debbie Dunwoody






February 14, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I warmly welcome you all to a new school year at Camberwell Girls Grammar School – our Centenary year. There is certainly an excitement in the air as we can now enjoy the many celebrations that we have been planning for almost two years!

Whilst we are excited about this year, I also want to acknowledge that it has been difficult both in Australia and overseas over the last few months. The impact of the bushfires has been, and continues to be extensive on our communities and our wildlife. I know that many families and individuals have supported relief efforts and we are planning to continue this support as a school. 

The reality is that many communities may take years to recover and with this in mind we are gathering the ideas of our students and staff to prioritise some projects that may require our support over an extended period of time. It is important that we don’t forget the work that still needs to be done when these stories are no longer being reported. We will certainly keep you informed of how these plans progress.

In recent weeks the Novel Coronavirus has also become a part of our everyday discussions.  The global impact has been significant as we have seen the implications of this virus unfolding. I want to thank so many CGGS families for their support as we have managed, and continue to manage, the staggered start to the year for a number of our students. I am also very grateful to our teachers for their care and support through their regular communication to their students.

Whilst the commencement of each school year is always special, this year, and on the 11 February, our formal start was extra special because we marked the date that our school commenced as St Mark’s Church School in 1920. We started in St Mark’s church hall with eight students and one teacher, Miss Dorothy Collier. It was a great privilege to welcome Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and her husband, Mr Anthony Howard AM QC as our special guests at our Centenary Commencement Ceremony.  Bishop Genieve Blackwell officiated and Murrundindi conducted a Welcome to Country. 

The Governor generously spoke to all groups in our community, starting of course with our students. She acknowledged the importance of our school in the community and the significance of reaching such a milestone in our history. The Governor highlighted our commitment to service through our school motto Utilis in Ministerium, encouraging girls to take this commitment into their lives beyond school. In educating our girls to respond to a changing world, the Governor acknowledged the complexity of the future of work and organisations. She also acknowledged the work of those who volunteered their services to the important role of governance and laying strong foundations for the benefit of future generations, just as our forebears did.

I would like to thank the numerous staff, both teachers and professional services staff who ensured our Centenary Commencement Ceremony, led by Revd Helen Creed and Mrs Kate Daffy was such a success. In addition, I am very grateful to all of the parents who were able to share this special event with us.

This year we have welcomed a number of new teachers with extensive experience and interests to CGGS:

Mr Micah Wilkins (Head of Digital Learning and Innovation)
Micah is a very experienced teacher, VCE Assessor and leader in the digital space. In this new leadership role he will work across Ormiston and Senior School. Micah joins us from MacRobertson Girls High School.

Ms Rachael Miller (Head of Art and Design)
Rachael is a very experienced teacher, VCE Assessor and department head in art and design. She joins us from Patterson River Secondary College.

Ms Melinda De Haan (Senior School Learning Enrichment Coordinator)
As an experienced English and Learning Enrichment teacher and coordinator, Melinda joins us from Oxley Christian College.

Ms Leanne O’Doherty (Science and Mathematics Teacher)
Leanne is a highly experienced Science, Biology and Chemistry teacher and former department head who worked with our girls in their VCE Enhancement Program in recent years. Leanne joins us from Balwyn High School.

Ms Nikki Fowkes (Art and Visual Communication and Design Teacher)
Nikki is a highly experienced Art and Visual Communication and Design teacher and former department head who joins us from Korowa Anglican Girls’ School.

Ms Sally Spencer (JS Library Teacher)
Sally joins us as an experienced teacher from Bulleen Heights Special School.

Mrs Michelle May (JS and SS Learning Enrichment Teacher)
Michelle is a highly experienced Learning Enrichment teacher and has been a casual replacement teacher at CGGS in recent years.

We were also delighted to welcome back from leave Revd Helen Creed, Mr Ian Lyell, Ms Eleanor Wood, Mrs Jane Bergamin, Ms Peipei Liu and Ms Jessica Huggett. I would like to welcome Miss Cassandra Semple, Miss Jacqueline Harrington and Mr Jordan Smith as our Deakin Associate Teachers for 2020.

In addition, we welcome a number of new staff to the reception locations in our school. Ms Cathy Horskins is the morning receptionist and Mrs Pauline Sistanis is the afternoon receptionist for the main Senior school reception. Ms Samantha Bullen covers the Student Services Coordinator role in Senior School.

Ms Angelina Rizzuto has commenced as Laboratory Technician and we welcome the following music tutors – Mr Jordan Keily (Percussion), Ms Heather Pisani (Flute), Mr Joel Sena (Clarinet and Saxophone) and Ms Emily Uhlrich (Voice).

I am also pleased to report that during the holidays we have completed the renovation of our Biology and Chemistry Laboratories and preparation rooms, refurbished the Administration Bathrooms, constructed new changerooms and offices in Senior School, completed extensive landscaping at Ormiston, painted the front gates and completed planned and preventative maintenance.

During the holidays we also installed 96 high efficiency solar panels at Junior School and the Early Learning Centre. In addition to this installation, preliminary works also commenced at Senior School for the installation of 272 high efficiency solar panels. We are expecting that the Senior School installation will be completed over the Term 1 holiday period. In working with our supplier, Gippsland Solar, we have been fortunate to procure 400w panels and it is predicted that the solar installation will reduce our C02 emissions by 4.05kilotonnes over a 25 year period. This is a very exciting project and has been very well received by our students.

In 2020 we give thanks to the Founders of our school who dreamt of a school, particularly for girls whose hearts, minds and spirits would be nurtured. A school based on enduring Christian values and a motto that articulates our commitment to service. Throughout the decades this vision has been realised by the members of Council, Life Governors, Principals, staff, students, parents and grammarians who have contributed to this community to build the school that we have today. 

What a great privilege it is to lead such a remarkable school.

With best wishes for the year ahead.

Debbie Dunwoody


Australian Government Collection Notice
We wish to inform all families that the Australian Government Department of Education and Training is conducting its annual collection of student residential addresses. The school is required to provide this information to the government to inform Commonwealth school education policy and funding.

Please be advised, that the school will provide student residential addresses to the Government, however names are not provided.

For full information related to this data collection, click the buttons below.