Senior School


Senior School

March 13, 2020

Looking back over the past fortnight we have had so much to celebrate and enjoy with our Senior School students.

We had to reschedule our Year 7 Welcome Church Service and Dinner to Tuesday 3 March and were rewarded with perfect weather for the event.  Personally the change in timing of this event made for greater mingling of students, parents and staff as they had already had an opportunity to begin to form friendships and connections.

The Year 12 Formal at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club lived up to all expectations with the students and partners enjoying a night of dancing, lovely food and a particularly well scripted and produced video. Thank you to the organising committee and the film crew who ensured everyone had a special night.

In Assembly on the Tuesday I was able to share with the students and staff a heart-warming message from a lady from the general public who had been sharing a tram with a number of our students. She stated our students had been polite, well mannered and did not hesitate to offer her their seats. She was so impressed and grateful that she contacted the school.

I might add this is not an isolated instance, as yesterday I received another message, this time from an elderly gentleman who needed help to get on and off the tram. He made contact to say that while he did not ask for the name of the student who assisted him, he wanted the school to know how grateful he was for this assistance. This morning I had the pleasure of again sharing this information with our students via email and restating how proud they make us all feel through their kind actions and truly living our school motto of Utilis in Ministerium.

Our Year 10 Days for Girls on Wednesday 5 March was again a huge success with the next cohort of students undertaking this special day and gaining the insights into how other young women less fortunate than ourselves can be provided with the opportunity to attend school through the making of sanitary kits at our school each year.

The International Women’s Day breakfast was a most memorable morning with past student Kim Henderson, Director Policy and Evaluation from “Our Watch” as our guest speaker. Everyone in Robinson Hall on this morning felt privileged to hear from Kim.

The long weekend was welcomed by all and I wish you all well for this coming weekend.


Year 7 Welcome Dinner

On Tuesday 3 March, Year 7 students and their families enjoyed an opportunity to come together as a community to officially welcome the new year and the students’ transition into secondary school.  The church service, led by School Chaplain Rev Helen Creed, focused on students learning about the conventions of an Anglican service, as well as hearing readings and stories from the Bible.

The church service was followed by a dinner in the Fig Tree café where students and families had the opportunity to get to know each other better and enjoy delicious food from Pinwheel & Co.

Although this event is ordinarily held in the first full week of the term, having it postponed was favourable as it showed the strong connections that many students have forged in the first weeks of Year 7.  We look forward to welcoming Year 7 families to many of the events that will occur throughout the year as part of the Centenary Celebrations.

Please note the Year Level Representatives for Year 7 are also keen to facilitate more opportunities for families and students to build their connections to each other throughout the year.

Nirvana Watkins
Year 7 Coordinator

AGSA International Women’s Day Breakfast

CGGS students and staff again attended the annual International Women’s Day breakfast at Parliament House, hosted by the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia. This highly anticipated annual event is designed to bring students from Years 10-12 and their teachers together to celebrate the importance of International Women’s Day.

Student Reflections:

The International Women’s Day breakfast was an eye-opening experience for us all. Sitting in a hall surrounded by portraits of male Premiers, we were treated to great food and even greater speakers. Issues such as women in politics, gender-biased language and the lack of recognition for women were highlighted and discussed by those in attendance.

Our biggest takeaway from this insightful opportunity was the importance of being a confident feminist. Especially being able to attend an all girls school with a nurturing culture, we are so fortunate to have access to numerous advancement opportunities to prepare us better for the future. We have learnt that as empowered women of tomorrow, we are deserving of equal rights and should be fearless when progressing towards our goals.

Emily Zhang  & Elizabeth Waite


The International Women’s Day Breakfast at Parliament House was an interesting and empowering experience. The guest speaker this year was Yvette Arnott, a literature teacher and assistant principle at the Mac Robertson girls’ high school. She spoke passionately about the power of feminism and language and the ever-increasing need for equality in today’s society; particularly in parliament where there is a lack of representation for a gender that makes up 50% of the world’s population. Her words were spoken with absolute conviction and I confidently day I wasn’t the only girl walking out the room feeling inspired and empowered!

Hannah Shillington


Year 12 Formal

Last Saturday week, the annual Year 12 Formal took place at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. The Year 12s and their partners had an amazing night full of socialising and dancing. It was a special night and one that all that were there, will remember in the years to come. Again, the wonderful positive vibe throughout the whole evening was indicative of the strong level of cohesiveness that exists within the year level. Special thanks to the Year 12 organisers of The Formal, Felicia Spiridonos, Lauren Palma and Laurya Dang-Nguyen who did a wonderful job in terms of organising the evening. A number of mothers also helped out on the Saturday morning decorating the function room and thanks is very much extended to them as well.

Andrew Burnell
Year 12 Coordinator

CGGS Diving

Congratulations to the CGGS Diving Team for a successful performance at the GSV Preliminary Carnival last Friday. Everyone performed extremely well against a very tough competition. The girls have put so much hard work into mastering their three dives, and everyone has been so dedicated to the early morning training sessions.

On the day, the Juniors came 6th, an incredible effort considering this is the first competition for many of the girls, the Intermediates came 5th and the Seniors came equal 4th. Everyone should be very proud of themselves, as they have progressed so much during the past few weeks of training in preparation for the Preliminary Carnival. We were very excited to place 5th overall against some tough competitors, which has placed us in good stead for the Division 2 Championship Carnival on Tuesday 17th of March. A huge thank you to our coach Jenny, Mrs Robinson and Ms Law for everything they have done to help the CGGS Diving Team.

Eloise Webster and Ella Robinson
CGGS Diving Captains

GSV Triathlon

On March 1 a field of 50 girls woke up bright and early to compete in the annual GSV Triathlon at Altona beach.  CGGS had a record number of girls taking part in this event and was represented across almost all year levels.  50 students competed in the team event and 3 girls participated in the individual event, completing all three legs – swim, bike and run.  We had 3 teams place in the top 5 and one team which included Ella Robertson-Brown, Frida Andreasen and Sasha Feldman finished second and was awarded a silver medal.  This is the second year this event has been held at Altona beach and it’s great to see so many girls across lots of different schools get involved.  It was a fantastic atmosphere and we were very lucky to have our family and friends cheer us on along the way.

Elena Ronaldson
Year 9

Making Days for Girls Kits

On Thursday 5 March the local Days for Girls Camberwell Chapter (seven ladies) helped all our Yr. 10 students make components for Days for Girls kits.

Days for Girls is an organisation that makes, educates and distributes feminine hygiene packs in developing countries.  These washable packs allow girls to stay in school when they have their period. A basic right!!! The organisation is dedicated to creating a freer, dignified, and educated world, through providing lasting access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education.

Last year Days for Girls International distributed 45 thousand kits to refugee camps in South Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Afghanistan through World Vision.  Twelve thousand were made in Australia!

Later this year the students going to Cambodia on the Service Learning Tour will take as many kits as they can fit in the luggage.

Liss Campbell
Head of Service Learning

Year 10 Mentoring Breakfast

On Wednesday March 11 the Year 10s attended their first mentoring breakfast.  Mentoring has been identified as both an important tool and an effective way to gain skills via knowledge transfer from an experienced student/OGA to a fellow student at key moments in their education or at the start of their career.  The theme for this week’s event was ‘Broadening Your Horizons’.

During the breakfast, Samreen Kaur and Harriet Gibson (Class of 2019) spoke to our Year 10 girls on why getting involved in school co-curricular and other activities was so important.

Samreen and Harriet were amazing contributors to, and ambassadors for, our school.  They shared their considerable experience and expertise with our Year 10s and spoke about their involvement as Tour Guides, Mentor leaders, House Captains in various areas, GSV Sport, volunteering and the service-learning trip to Cambodia.  They shared their belief that participation in these activities contributed to their own personal growth and certainly grew their skills portfolio in areas such as leadership, organisational, communication and interpersonal skills.  They particularly emphasised the important ability to participate in these activities and balance a demanding academic curriculum.

With more institutions requesting evidence of these types of activities as part of their selection criteria, it is a relevant area of focus for students.  ANU scholarship applications seek corroboration of a student’s commitment to making a difference to others.  Monash Community Leaders Scholarship looks for potential mentoring students.  Deakin Students helping Students has employers asking for students to demonstrate enterprise skills such as communication skills, leadership and teamwork. It is clear that Samreen and Harriet are fine examples of what our Year 10 students can aspire to achieve, if they take advantage of the wealth of opportunities presented here at CGGS.

The skills and experiences they develop at school will help them in the transition from school to part time employment, from school to university and from school to a career path.

Thanks to the support of the OGA, the students were able to enjoy a wonderful breakfast while listening to this valuable presentation.  Both students delivered the same message:  make the most of the opportunities available to you here at CGGS.

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

Senior School


Senior School

February 28, 2020

Last week during the Chaplains Assemblies Rev Helen Creed introduced the new 2020 School Anthem. With the musical choral expertise of Choir specialist Cathy Georgiev all students and staff started to learn the Anthem so that we are all confident in singing it at the many formal events this year.

The new Anthem was commissioned by the school and in conjunction with the CGGS Music Department, composer Dan Walker wrote the piece as part of our Centenary celebrations.

Helen’s introduction to the anthem and the history of the significance of the School Anthem, along with Cathy’s enthusiasm certainly ensured that our first attempt at learning this Anthem was most successful.

Last week we also conducted two Parent Information Nights. The Year 8 and 9 evening enabled parents to hear from our Principal, Debbie Dunwoody on the Centenary events for 2020 as well as tutoring. I spoke about how parents can be involved in the lives of their daughter and encouraged all parents to attend as many school events as possible, as these form many of the shared experiences their daughters will remember from their time at school. Kate Manners, Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning, spoke about the core curriculum and elective offerings as well as reminding parents of how they can be using SEQTA engage. Nirvana Watkins, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing (Curriculum and Programs) spoke about our Healthy Minds – Year 8 and Cognizance – Year 9, CGGS specific programs aimed at proactive and preventative wellbeing. Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs, spoke about the up-coming 2020 camps and all the House and School offerings as well as all the clubs and activities girls can opt into. Some of these being student led and organised. Parents then had the opportunity to meet with their daughter’s Year Level Coordinator and Tutor teacher. Thank you to Liesa Winkler, Year 8 and Kim Hepworth, Year 9 and their teams of tutor teachers for providing parents with an informal opportunity to introduce themselves.

The Year 10 – 12 Information night also provided the parents of students in these levels with information specific to the older levels. Mark Corrie, VCE Coordinator and Kate Manners outlined the vital aspects of VCE and the 2020 VCE Handbook was made available to all Year 11 and 12 families. Thank you to James Henderson, Year 10 Level Coordinator, Nareen Robinson, Year 11 Coordinator and Andrew Burnell, Year 12 Coordinator, plus all the Heads of the various Departments for providing the parents with this invaluable chance to speak about the VCE journey ahead for their daughters.

After much planning and anticipation, the Year 12 students are looking forward to their 2020 Year 12 Formal at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. It is sure to be a lovely evening and the staff too are keen to dance up a storm tomorrow night. Best wishes for the night and many thanks to the organising committee, including Andrew Burnell and School Captains, Felicia Spiridonos, Lauyra Dang-Nguyen and Loren Palma.

At our Class of 2019 Celebration Assembly we acknowledged all the students who completed their VCE studies at CGGS in 2019. We also congratulated the following students on their outstanding achievements and special Principal’s awards which are detailed in this edition of CamNews.

Please enjoy this edition of CamNews. Have a lovely weekend.


Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School


CGGS Anthem

Last week at Chaplain’s Assemblies we were excited to introduce a new school Anthem, specially commissioned for our centenary year, from Australian composer Dan Walker. As well as composing, Dan is an in-demand conductor and performer. A choral specialist, he has had works commissioned by Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, amongst others.

An Anthem is a song based on words from the Bible, and our new anthem uses words from a reading that has long been important to CGGS – Micah 6:6-8, which includes the words:

He has told you, Omortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

The CCGS Anthem has been composed with a beautiful single line melody, additional harmonised SSA vocal parts, along with piano accompaniment and full orchestral options. A flowing triple time signature and the key of E Flat Major has been chosen to support the text from Micah. The words are sung through twice, concluding a with a glorious three part Amen.

In 1928, British composer Martin Shaw wrote an anthem based on this passage. It made its way to Australia at some point, and during the 1940s it was introduced at CGGS. Over the next decades it was sung at Speech Nights and other key school events. The newly commissioned Anthem will sit alongside the Martin Shaw version and will be sung at special school assemblies, services and ceremonies.

We are grateful to have been given the opportunity by the school to create an Anthem which we can truly call our own, and are looking forward to singing it at the Founders’ Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 22 April this year. We are particularly pleased to share this musical gift with the school community in our centenary year and we thank Helen Creed and Duncan Reid for their contributions.

We hope that this will become a much-loved Anthem that will remind us of what is at the heart of our humanity: doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God.

Kate Savige, Rohan Mack, Rev Helen Creed and Cathy Georgiev


BYOD and Building a Culture of Trust

It is important to have the conversation with the young people we live and work with about when and why they could or should be using their devices and how best to use them to facilitate their learning.

With the decision to allow your children, and our students, to use their devices for their learning, there comes the necessity for the community (i.e. home and school) to create a ‘culture of trust’.  Its presence or absence can make a world of difference. When we see a child/student using a device many of our initial thoughts and concerns may be framed by our own perceptions and experiences of how we personally use technology. This may affect how, why and when your child uses technology at home or school.

Situations such as the one in the photo raise questions of trust, respect and responsibility. We need to ask ourselves: what are my initial perceptions?  Why are they using their devices?  Do I trust them (student, child) to take responsibility?  When students are using their devices for learning at home and at school, some of the things they could be using them for include:

> collaborating
> researching
> texting
> creating
> reading
> writing

So, how do we build a culture of trust between students, teachers and parents?  How do our perceptions affect the way technology is used in our homes and classes?  How do we ensure that technological applications can improve our lives, while protecting ourselves from abuses of trust?  Next time you see your child using a device for their learning, ask them about it.  Start the conversation and work towards establishing a community of trust.

Micah Wilkins
Head of Digital Learning & Innovation

House Athletics

On Tuesday morning hundreds of excited CGGS girls flooded Doncaster Athletics track to compete in the House Athletics Carnival. The girls displayed great enthusiasm and team spirit as they showcased their skills in track, field and novelty events. Well done to Schofield who finished the day as champions of House Athletics for the first time since 2002 and congratulations to Lawrence who won the House Spirit Stick for their support and cheering throughout the day.

Overall Results

1st– Schofield

2nd– Lawrence

3rd– Taylor

4th– Singleton

There were some outstanding performances both on the track and in the field and we look forward to hearing the announcement of the Year Level Champion Awards next week.

Thank you to all the staff and students who assisted throughout the day to ensure the program ran smoothly, particularly the House Sport Captains who have put in an enormous effort to make sure all races were filled and to the School Sport Captain, Michaela Robinson and School House Captain, Rochelle Scheid for their assistance throughout the event.

Lauren Law
Head of Sport

Inspirational Parent Education Seminar – James Shone

On Wednesday 26 February parents from CGGS together with parents from CGS joined in the Anne Feehan Building for a presentation by James Shone “Inflating Balloons of Self Belief”.

Following a 16 year teaching career in the United Kingdom and having worked towards being offered a position he had long sought as a Headmaster in 2012, James Shone was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The resulting treatment and surgery left him with very limited sight.

As he recovered and adjusted to his new much altered circumstances James sought to turn his setbacks into springboards and move forward with a new focus and ability to facilitate change in a different way.

Prior to his diagnosis and at the core of his teaching philosophy was always the message “I Can & I Am”. As he sought new direction he realised that the pastoral care message he had always stood by was all the more true in times of extreme challenge. Put simply, his belief and the heart of the charity is to inspire confidence in every individual to enable them to know who they are and what they are able to do, rather than focusing on what they can’t.

This is the message that his charity, an organisation which seeks to raise money enable James’s messages to be spread to as many school children, staff and parents as possible across the UK and beyond, now lives and operates by.

James now travels to hundreds of schools a year presenting to young people and adults and we were very fortunate to have him present as part of our Parent Seminar 2020 Series. If you are interested in more about James’ organisation please go to his website.


GSV Leaders Breakfast

On Thursday 13 February Laney Kriketos, Tilly Dunn, Lauren Bignold and Michaela Robinson went to Our Lady of Sion College for the annual GSV Sport Leaders Breakfast. Along with leaders from the other 24 GSV schools , our students were privileged to hear from Carol Fox who is President of Women Sport Australia and an Executive Coach, Conference Speaker and Masterclass Facilitator.

Carol’s message revolved around confident communication for leaders. Her three main pieces of advice were to keep it real, focus on body language and word play. Students learned that our reality and self-talk determines the way that we communicate, she also spoke about the importance of reframing our minds to see the positives rather than focusing on the negatives. A particular focus was the importance of body language and how a very powerful tool, such as our stance, can portray strength and confidence or weakness.

As leaders of CGGS  in 2020, the girls were really looking forward to having an opportunity to put these lessons into action in their various roles and sharing their thoughts and ideas with others.


Top Level Netballers here at CGGS!

In 2020 we look set to have over 200 students playing in teams representing CGGS in the Boroondara Netball Association (BNA). CGGS are one of approximately 14 clubs who field teams in the BNA fixtures.

A number of our students also have ongoing associations and commitments to their own local netball clubs and this season we would like to acknowledge and congratulate students who have been selected for Representative Netball Teams within their leagues. Players who play “Rep Netball” play for one of their Association’s member teams and have been selected as one of the top players in their age group across all teams in that Association.

Grace Killington, Year 7 – Boroondara Power

Sarah May, Year 7 – Richmond NA

Meghan Chaffey, Year 8 – Whitehorse Diamonds

Tyra Dawson, Year 8 – Waverley District Netball Association

Elena Ronaldson, Year 9 – Richmond Netball Association

Bianca Coles, Year 10 – Boroondara Power

2019 Celebration Assembly

Last Tuesday we held our annual Celebration Assembly, acknowledging both the Academic Results and the extensive contributions of the Class of 2019.

Mrs Dunwoody shared her address titled “A reflection on what is success”, encouraging all students to remember that success is about doing your best and contributing to something bigger than yourself and not a singular academic result. Mrs Dunwoody also noted that having a balance of work and other interests, a commitment to working hard and a growth mindset are all factors that enable us to enjoy success.

We are so proud that all our students have embraced the opportunities presented to grow and develop as individuals, and have worked incredibly hard to achieve their personal best whilst here at CGGS.

The presentation of awards were then made to the following students;

Dux of School – Louisa Taylor Memorial Award
Amy Miao

Dux Secondus – GD Lawrence Award
Tracy Chen, Yvonne Jin and Jessica Lu

RM Westcott Award
Maddi Li

Otto Yuncken Award
Nikki Chen and Sherry Gan

2019 students Maddy Georges, Zoe Giagoudakis and Ellie Zhou shared reflections of their 2019 year. All three spoke fondly of their time at CGGS, expressed gratitude for the caring community they were part of and for the commitment and expertise of their teachers. They had so many worthwhile tips and pieces of advice for our current Year 12 students and we thank them for their honesty, insight and willingness to come and share their journeys with us.

To conclude the assembly, Mrs Nareen Robinson, the Year 12 Coordinator, spoke fondly of the class of 2019 and the many and varied contributions they had made to CGGS throughout their schooling. To read the full transcript, click here

Book Club is Back!

On Tuesday 18 February, Book Club commenced for 2020. As your 2020 Literature Captains, it was the first time Ella Barmby and Renee Fong had facilitated the club meeting and they commenced the year with a record-breaking number of 30 girls participating.

The first meeting focused on students’ favourite books, genres and authors, as well as books that had been read over the holidays. During the meeting students also discussed activities they would like to have at future Book Club gatherings. Besides discussing favourite books, students plan to watch book related movies and hold special themed meetings concentrating on one author, topic or area of interest, such as Harry Potter.

The girls were all very enthusiastic which made for a very enjoyable and lively lunchtime. Ella and Renee are really looking forward to bonding with all the Book Club girls and a fantastic 2020 of books.

Service Learning BBQ – Days for Girls

On Wednesday, the Service Learning team held a BBQ to raise money for Days for Girls.

Days for Girls (DFG) is a global organisation who work to empower and support millions of girls by “turning periods into pathways,”. They do this by educating them about their health and menstrual cycle, as well as providing them with a DFG kit (also known as a Portable Object of Dignity). Each kit includes reusable cloth menstrual pads made up of colourful shields and liners, underwear, a washcloth and soap, zip-closure plastic bags and other small items.The organisation then seeks to extend the program by offering individual training so that they can produce their own DFG kits and support the hygiene needs of their communities.

All of the money raised from Wednesday’s BBQ will go towards purchasing these DFG kits, and next week Year 10 students will have the opportunity to help DFG volunteers assemble the kits. The completed kits will then be taken with the students who are participating in the two service trips to Cambodia later this year. These kits will help empower and maintain the dignity of many Cambodian girls and women who, as a result, will be able to feel comfortable to go where they want, when they want, without their period holding them back.

Emily Hoyle
Service Learning Captain


Centenary Festival: Choral Workshop

A number of our choral students and I, along with former CGGS Director of Music, Mrs Barbara Russell, had the good fortune of participating in a choral workshop with Mr. Philip Nicholls, Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. The workshop (which took place in our Junior School Chapel) was to assist us with the preparations for our Evensong Services at the Centenary Creative Arts Festival in March. Our School Chaplain, Helen Creed and Head of RE, Duncan Reid were also able to attend the workshop and participate in the learning that took place.

We sang in the round, adding a number of finishing touches to the liturgical music. It was a joy to work with such a fine and generous fellow musician and for the students and myself, a fresh set of ears and ideas. The workshop illuminated the fact that learning truly never ends. Our students worked with focus and their inimitable sense of enthusiasm. Philip Nicholls and the Dean of the Cathedral have invited us in to St. Paul’s to sing our Evensong Service in the near future; this will be a thrill for all involved. Our thanks again to Philip for all his generous giving of his time and talents.

Cathy Georgiev
Music Teacher

We had the privilege of working with Mr Nicholls, the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, in an insightful choral workshop. This immersive session gave all choir members the opportunity to broaden and enhance our vocal technique, whilst sharing a love of music. His humorous approach, and particular passion for choral music helped us refine our pieces. After having this time to focus on the different sections in a range of pieces, we look forward to sharing our Evensong with the community at ‘The Shape of Us’ Centenary Creative Arts Festival.

Jennifer Le
Year 12

From the beginning to the end of the workshop with Mr Nicholls, I was able to learn many diverse skills including new warm-ups and singing techniques. We worked through each piece we will sing for Evensong in the Centenary Creative Arts Festival and were able to improve our singing individually and as a choral ensemble. His fun way of teaching had everyone laughing and enjoying the workshop, as we developed our tone and sight-reading skills. I had a very enriching experience!

Annaliese Le

Senior School


Senior School

February 14, 2020

Welcoming the students back to the academic year was truly joyous, especially considering its our Centenary year! This time of year is always very special, with meeting the new students and catching up on the holiday adventures of existing students. On behalf of all the Senior School teaching and professional services staff we look forward to supporting all our families in 2020 and we do wish all our new families a fulfilling journey through their time in the Senior School.

The Year 7 cohort welcomed 64 new families to CGGS while Years 8 – 11 also welcomed a further 26 students. In Year 8 this year two of our new students have come to us from the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) and we are thrilled to have Ruby and Rumarlea as members of our CGGS community.

As part of their start to the new school year, the Year 7 students completed a 5 day Transition Program specifically designed to help them navigate their way around the school, meet all their teachers before commencing their studies, explore all the co-curricular offerings and of course to ensure they meet and feel a part of their cohort. These 5 days were highly successful, and I thank each of the students for being enthusiastically involved in each of the activities, their Tutor teachers for their nurture of the students and the subject teachers for their support of the activities. I also thank Mrs Watkins, Year 7 Level Coordinator and Mrs Robinson, for their organisation of this program. The move to Secondary School is challenging for all, physically, emotionally, socially and academically. While I feel sure many of the girls are exhausted by Friday evening, we are all very proud of their endeavours, their smiles are evidence that they are certainly feeling at home already.

The Year 11 students began their school year with a session from Fit2Drive. With most of the students in the Year Level at the age when they are starting to drive on their L Plates. We have over the past number of years found this program of particular benefit.

With thanks to the 2020 School Captain, Felicia Spiridonos and Vice Captains, Loren Palma and Laurya Dang-Nguyen, the Year 7 girls spent their Thursday lunch with their House buddies from Year 11 and 12. The School Captains wrote a letter of introduction to each new Year 7 student and matched them to an older student. This new initiative for 2020 is an example of the leadership shown by our older students and the lunch, the first of many activities the School Captains have planned for the year, definitely gave our youngest members of the Senior School a taste of our strong connections.

For the Year 12 students their year began with a Retreat at St Hilda’s College at The University of Melbourne. The Retreat is always a highlight for the students. I take this opportunity to thank Andrew Burnell the Year 12 Coordinator for his organisation of this year’s program, Rev. Helen Creed for conducting the Commencement Service and the Year 12 Form teachers, Jo Rittey, Paige Tan, Karin Lemanis and Ian Lyell, plus Head of Libraries Anne Devenish and Careers Counsellor, Trish Dolan and both School Counsellors, Beth Sarlos and Paula Kolivas for sharing their time at the Retreat.

Our 100th Birthday celebration on Tuesday was shared by two Senior School students Lucia Ronaldson, Year 7 and Joy Ma, Year 12 and Junior School Student, Zara Teh Year 4. A birthday they are sure to remember with Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria joining them!

For those parents who were able to join us on Tuesday at the Centenary Commencement Ceremony, the first of many special anniversary events this year, I feel sure you would agree that it truly was a most memorable and fitting celebration of our significant milestone. Thank you to all the Senior School students who were involved in the event and also to those who were part of the audience.

I urge all parents and extended family members to join us at as many of the Centenary events as possible. As a school community we are looking forward to sharing the up-coming event with you. Many girls across all the year levels are already busily rehearsing for the Centenary Creative Arts Festival, The Shape Of Us, which will be performed over three nights from the Thursday 19 March to Saturday 21 March.

Please note the following updates to staff roles of responsibility in the Senior School for 2020.

Nirvana Watkins
– Year 7 Coordinator
– Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing ( Curriculum and Programs) – Term 1

Liesa Winkler
– Year 8 Coordinator

Kim Hepworth
– Year 9 Coordinator

James Henderson
– Year 10 Coordinator

Nareen Robinson
– Year 11 Coordinator
– Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing (Activities and Initiatives) – Term 1

Andrew Burnell
– Year 12 Coordinator

Sam Bullen – Student Services

Please note all absences, whether due to illness or a partial absence for an appointment, are required to be notified to Sam via email or phone (9811 8546) before 9.00am each morning. At this time any unexplained absences will be notified to parents via SMS to your listed mobile numbers.

Please ensure that you check the email and mobile phones listed in Parent Lounge to ensure they are up to date. If you require any changes please notify Mr Stuart Hill /


Digital Learning in an Age of Uncertainty 

In 2013 David Price wrote in his book that ‘we know only two things for certain. The first is that we should learn to embrace uncertainty, because this age of uncertainty could become permanent. The second is that if all the old certainties are gone, then we have to be open to radical shifts in how we work, live and learn’ (OPEN: how we’ll work, live and learn in the future, p. 21). Fast forward seven years and this uncertainty is as true today as it was then.

As we are all aware, the start of the school year has for all schools and many workplaces, been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. Some of our students having a delayed start to the year and unable to attend school. Although this has had an impact on the school community and our usual start of the year procedures and transitions, it has presented us with opportunities to develop and trial new ways and modes of teaching and learning. Teachers and students have been working collaboratively to improve the educational and wellbeing outcomes for the students unable to attend classes through the use of digital learning tools.

Research has shown that the differences between face-to-face and online learning spaces are significant enough that unique approaches are required for effective teaching online. As such, teachers have been able to harness technology to create engaging and meaningful activities that may not have been possible in a regular face-to-face class. This has included videoconferencing, collaborative documents through Office 365, screencasts and a range of other web-based platforms. The chosen digital tool should engage and excite, facilitate communication and discussion and provide students with greater opportunities for practice and feedback.

The core business of digital learning at CGGS is about educating students to be fully participating citizens in a digitally networked world and the unique start to the year has demonstrated how important this task is and also how adaptable and flexible our students and staff are when faced with a challenge. The growth mindset of our community is certainly a trait to be admired.

Micah Wilkins
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation



Paul Dillon Workshops

Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 were involved in presentations with Paul Dillon from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia on February 13. Each year, Paul shares contemporary research and perspectives on this topic with our senior students. His message is crafted to resonate with our students and to address some of the issues that they may encounter in coming years. Focusing on being safe and helping friends stay safe is key to his message and students always reflect positively on his engaging style and good humour.

CGGS student accepted into the Australian Ballet School!

Sabrina Bignold, Year 7, began dancing when she was two years old and has been focussed on and dedicated to improving her skills for an entire decade and she is not yet 13!

Sabrina dreams of being a Principal Ballerina and during the summer break was offered a place in the After School Program at The Australian Ballet School (ABS).  She will now train at the ABS after school three days per week and on Saturdays. This is an incredible achievement with only 3 students in the class.

We congratulate Sabrina on her achievement and look forward to hearing more of her dancing achievements in the years to come.

Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC)

Helena Maunder, Year 8, has been a part of stage school Australia’s’ Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC) for eight years now. After auditioning for a part in their summer production of Cats, along with many of her YABC friends, she was cast as one of the kittens in the show, her first production with the Stage School. During an intense four weeks of rehearsal, Helena learned the songs and dances for the musical, while the orchestra, costume and set design team were hard at work, making the show look and sound amazing.

Helena performed in five out of the ten shows, and received excellent reviews, in particular, a 4-star review from the Herald Sun critic. One of the highlights for Helena was greeting the audience in full costume and in character before the show started, interacting with the children and families coming to see them.

Congratulations Helena, we look forward to hearing more of your achievements both at YABC and within our own CGGS productions.

2020 European Hockey Trip

On 31 December 2019 two of our sibling students, Georgia (Year 8) and Chloe Langley (Year 11) departed Melbourne on the Wanderers 2019/20 Hockey Tour. The Wanderers is an organisation that co-ordinates sporting teams made up of individuals from different clubs all over Australia, coming together to play against teams internationally.

The girls travelled initially to Singapore where they met up with teammates from all across Australia. Georgia and Chloe played in England, Holland, Belgium and France. Each country had a different playing style and every club was a challenge, with the girls playing 9 games during the tour. Although this was a hockey tour, there was also time for sightseeing and they enjoyed sites such as Buckingham Palace in England, the Louvre and Eiffel Tower in Paris, the clog and cheese factory in Holland and the war memorials in France. As part of the tour the girls were billeted to different people’s homes and usually stayed one or two nights depending on where they were travelling to or playing on the next day. The Dutch hockey clubs were the hardest to play against because hockey is their main sport and they were extremely competitive. The tour was a mix of two girl’s teams and a boys’ team and there were a total of 41 players across the teams, with 9 parents and 5 staff/coaches as support. The girls made some lifelong friends and memories they will never forget.

Chloe (Year 11) and Georgia Langley (Year 8)

Australian Student Leadership Conference

Our School Captains were involved once again in the Australian Schools Leadership Conference in the summer holidays. Curated by yLead and designed for student executive leaders, the conference took place from January 27thto 29that the University of Melbourne.

ASLC 2020 allowed our student leaders to connect with leaders from other schools and proved us that across our nation we have passionate and skilled leaders coming through, who have a desire to make great change and are incredibly compassionate. Felicia, Laurya and Loren tested themselves to ‘step up and step out’, rose to challenges and didn’t run from them, recognised the value of vulnerability and most importantly planned for a big year of ACTION.

As part of their highlights from the experience, Loren and Laurya reflected that:

“The Ungame discussion session highlighted the importance of actively listening to one another and after listening to everyone’s life stories and experiences, all three of us feel so grateful for all the opportunites we’ve had, our health and the supportive people around us. We thoroughly enjoyed yLead, leaving with a sense of purpose, action and new friendships.”

When asked what she is looking forward to implementing back at school alongside the Vice Captains, Felicia said: 

“One of the guest speakers emphasised the notion that action leads to identity. This really stuck with us therefore, we brainstormed what action and identity may look like for our school in its 100thyear. Furthermore, the importance of authenticity as leaders is something we have taken away from conference, as we strive be our best selves and encourage others to do the same, actively listening along the way as it’s very powerful!”

Year 7 Transition Program

Cultivating connections between students, both those continuing from Ormiston, and those joining CGGS from local primary schools, is a key purpose of the Year 7 Transition Program. The program is intentionally designed to maximise opportunities for students to get to know each other and their new teachers, and to allow for debrief and reflection time in their Tutor Groups.

Commencing on a sweltering 39 degree day, on January 30th, the Year 7 students participated in a Badge Ceremony followed by time to move into their lockers and settle into their new form rooms. The first day also saw students participate in an Amazing Race to familiarise themselves with the campus. Students were introduced to a key component of wellbeing in the Senior School, Mental Fitness Training, and encouraged to adopt a growth mindset as they encountered the challenges that the next weeks will offer.

In the badge ceremony, Mrs Nirvana Watkins, the Year Level Coordinator, shared a reflection on the rich and diverse members of the new Year 7 group, and introduced their year level theme of Ubuntu or “I am, because we are”

Year 7s were introduced to a range of their subjects through activity rotations during two days of the Transition Program, experiencing Drama, Art, History, Science, ICT, Mathematics, Music and Library.

In Service Learning workshops, students delved into key initiatives at CGGS in relation to sustainability, and contributed their own service in creating ceramic dishes for wildlife to drink from, and propagating indigenous plants to encourage birds and fauna into their gardens.

Beth Sarlos and Paula Kolivas, the school counsellors, conducted workshops on key social and emotional skills that underpin positive interactions in Year 7.

Students were also introduced to the House system, co-curricular opportunities and GSV Sport. To say that this is an enthusiastic and involved group of young people is an understatement!

Of course, there was plenty of opportunity for fun and bonding as well, and the Year 7s benefited enormously from their first week in Senior School. Thank you to all of the students and teachers who assisted with the program, including the Year 11 and 12 buddies who spent the first lunchtime with the new Year 7s.

Year 7 Service Learning Environmental Action

At Camberwell Girls Grammar School, we strive to embody our school motto ‘Useful in Service’, with students from Years 7 to 10, engaging in our Service Learning program. As part of their transition to Senior School, our new Year 7 students were introduced to their year of service for the environment and engaged in activities to promote our local biodiversity. For their home gardens, students made ceramic water dishes to support wildlife, and planted seeds for local indigenous species – the Bulbine lily and Common tussock grass. Our students also furthered their knowledge about reducing waste, with guest speaker Kirsty Bishop-Fox, President of Zero-Waste Victoria. Year 7s will apply this knowledge in Term 1, and participate in a ‘nude food’ challenge, which involves avoiding packaging waste in their lunches.

A strong reading culture at CGGS!

The recent announcement of the 2020 Australian Children’s Laureate, Ursula Dubosarsky is a timely reminder of the importance of creating an environment at school and in the School Library where reading is an essential part of life. As Ursula says “Reading is a lifetime project, it’s not something you learn, and that’s it. To be a good reader you have to read all the time. It’s like learning to swim but only doing one lap. You won’t be able to save yourself.”

Ursula feels there is a trend towards the renaming of school libraries as information and resource centres, and their decentralisation as floating hubs of digital resources which may undermine messages around the importance of fiction reading. Her over riding message is that a library symbolises a space where you would come in and know that reading is important, and that’s exactly what our CGGS Library prioritises!

Our new Library Portal available in SEQTA provides wonderful resources and information for our students, staff and parents.

Ursula notes that reading often drops off after primary school and needs to be developed as a lifelong habit. With our excellent borrowing statistics, our growing number of students attending the Library book clubs, and our popular Literature Tour of the UK, the CGGS library is definitely contributing to reading as a lifelong habit.

Please feel free to visit our CGGS Senior Library from 7.30am to 6.00pm (Friday’s until 5.00pm)and receive a  warm welcome, great book chat and a pat with Ivy, our Library Dog.

Anne Devenish
Head of Libraries

Once again, I want to welcome all families back to another exciting year at CGGS, and welcome all new families joining us in our Centenary year. Have a restful weekend.


Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Senior School


Senior School

December 10, 2019

As a fitting end to the 2019 school year we are looking forward to our Year 7 – 9 Presentation Night this evening. We will be celebrating the academic and co-curricular achievements of many of our students and highlighting many magnificent musical items to enjoy, including the Concert Band, the Middle School Choir, the Irish Band and the beautiful Quartet Con Brio. We look forward to welcoming back past student Sophie Pollard (Peskett, 2008) as our guest speaker. Sophie is currently a Senior Consultant at Ernest and Young specialising in Customer Advisory. This year I am also looking forward to seeing the Verbatim Theatre Performance, created by Mrs Sally Oliver and students from the Year 8 and 9 Theatre by Design elective students in collaboration with the participants from the Mungo Youth Project. This piece focusses on the collected learning and understandings of Service Learning at CGGS. We hope you enjoy the evening as the students and staff showcase the 2019 from a Year 7 – 9 perspective.  

Last Monday a number of CGGS teams competed in the annual Girls Invent Finals Evening. We are thrilled to announce and congratulate Emily Growse and Mia Chang of Year 7 for winning the competition with their entry ‘Pawfect Training’. On behalf of all the Year 7 students we thank Head of Science, Anthony Pasinati for his encouragement of all the students in this program. 

The Carols at Camberwell and the Christmas Stalls was a great way to enjoy last Friday, and while the weather was not kind to us, the move from the outside venue to Barbara Sutton Hall was a very real example of teamwork and resilience in the face of adversity. These are life skills we all need to take into our daily lives and the way in which all students and staff calmly went about ensuring the show was able to continue is a testament to our strong community. As per previous years we were thrilled to share our Carols evening with Surrey Hills and Auburn Primary Schools and they have delighted us for so many years. Thank you to all for such a lovely Christmas celebration. For me Carols at CGGS always signifies the start of all the Christmas festivities. 

We currently have 10 students from Year 10 and 11 and 2 staff in Cambodia on our second Service Learning Immersion Tour for 2019. All reports and Facebook posts from the group indicate that they are having an amazing experience interacting with the Green Gecko students and gaining an understanding of the Cambodian culture. We thank all the participants, Mrs Nirvana Watkins and Ms Asia Kosowski for leading the group and Mr Shane Maycock for all his efforts in co-ordinating all our CGGS trips. 


Saturday Netball 

The Spring Fling Netball Finale saw many CGGS teams playing off for 1st position on the ladder. Highlights from the day included the Year 7 Pearl win against Ruyton Rabbits in a very intense game. The Pearls were initially down but came from behind to take the win. The Year 8 teams had hard matches but all girls gave it their all. Year 9 Amber were too strong for Koonung Rubies, our girls had strong defensive, speedy midcourt and accurate goal shooters. Year 10 Turquoise played a fantastic team game, our goaling end worked hard and were too good. Our Year 11 Tanzanites faced off against MA Flames, the game was tough and our CGGS girls played a very constant game.  

Congratulations goes to all CGGS netballers on another fantastic year of netball.  

Lexie Joyce
CGGS Netball Coordinator

Thank you to all our students, parents and staff for a wonderful 2019. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to all the events planned for our 2020 Centenary year.

Best wishes for a safe and relaxing holiday.



Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Senior School


Senior School

November 29, 2019

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

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

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

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


Katherine Mason

Genna Sim

Ishana Suriyapperuma

Isabella Wood

Charlee Johnson

Sienna Catalogna



Clarissa Wong

Mia Paulse

Emily Price

Salome Obeyesekeres

Minali Shyam

Georgia Langley


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

Please read more about this day later in this edition.

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

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars

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

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

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

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

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

Amelia Lemanis and Sophia Giagoudakis

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

Digital Wellbeing: ‘Tis the season to be scammed!

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

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

Scamwatch recommends that you can shop safely and securely by:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Felicity Carroll and Cathy Poyser


First Lego League National South Championship

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

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

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

Girls in Science Event

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bethany Orme
Year 9


Excelling in Music

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

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

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

Rohan Mack & Kate Savige
Directors of Music

Year 7 Service Learning Conference

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

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

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

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

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

Maggie Wighton
Sustainability Coordinator

Year 9 Service Learning Week

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

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

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

Charli Lincke
Year 9

Business Chicks 9 to Thrive Summit

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

Sophia Giagoudakis
Year 10

Year 10 C-Cubed Day

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

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

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

Ashley Olsen and Catherine Hu
Year 10


Shrine of Remembrance

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

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

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

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

Mrs Lemanis & Ms Wighton
History Teachers

Saturday Netball

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

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

Lexie Joyce
Netball Coordinator


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


Cathy Poyser

Senior School


Senior School

November 15, 2019

While the VCE examinations continue for a few weeks yet with the last examination for our girls being on Monday of next week, this past week our Year 10 and 11 students have also commenced their own CGGS set examinations.

After a week on Camp the Year 9 and 10 students and the staff who accompanied them, were grateful for the long weekend. Since returning to school they have all excitedly shared their experiences and reviews of the camps are included later in this edition of CamNews.  Many thanks to all the staff who accompanied the students on their camps, to the Outdoor Education Group (OEG) leaders who run the programs and to Mr Shane Maycock, Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-curricular Programs for his tireless efforts to ensure all the students undertook new and challenging experiences as part of their Education Outdoors journey at CGGS.

On Monday 11 November we were fortunate to have historian Mr David Howell join us in a special Remembrance Day Assembly. Mrs Karin Lemanis also presented our successful National History Challenge Award winners with their certificates. While Alisha Wong was presented with her 3rd place award for the Youth Bilingual Speech Conference.

Today we welcomed 20 new students who will commence in Years 8 – 11 in 2020. Their Orientation morning included a welcome from our Principal, Debbie Dunwoody as well as information sessions conducted by Kate Manners, Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning, Nirvana Watkins, Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing (Programs and Curriculum) Felicity Carroll, Digital Literacy Co-ordinator and myself. The Year Level Coordinators for 2020 and a number of host students also joined the girls for an informal morning tea in the library. Our new students also enjoyed meeting Ivy our library therapy dog.

Last Friday we also had the pleasure of welcoming a total of 99 new and current families to the Year 7 2020 Orientation Day. Murrundindi started the formalities with a lovely Welcome to Country which was greatly appreciated by all and it set the tone for a fabulous day. A number of staff and many of the newly announced School and House leaders spoke to the girls and their families throughout the morning, explaining many of the processes and offerings at CGGS and also some very helpful tips from one of our School Counsellors, Paula Kolivas for parents on what to expect during the transition to Senior School. The girls spent most of their day with their Year Level Coordinator, Mrs Nirvana Watkins and Tutor teachers for 2020, 7B Mat Duniam and Tuba Ozak who filled in for Helen Creed who is currently on Long Service Leave, 7P Lauren Law and Tom Clark, 7T Maria Yevlahova (introduced to the group as Maria Litchfield) and Lisa Stevens, 7W Jen Gordon and Ingrid Beck. The girls loved receiving their locks and learning how to open them in readiness for next year. They also enjoyed sessions of Drama with Jenine Caruso, Science with Anthony Pasinati, Makers Space activities with Belinda Kinnane and Team Games with Shane Maycock and Nareen Robinson. It was pleasing to see all the girls with huge smiles and much to say when they met their parents at the end of the day.

A number of staff and parents had the privilege of attending a Chamber Concert on Wednesday afternoon. The magnificent musical ability of the Trio, Quartets and Quintet was evident in one of the most breathtaking performances.  We are in the privileged position here at CGGS of having access to amazing performers and the opportunity enjoy performances which many would gladly pay to experience.  I remind all members of the school community that you are always welcome to attend the musical performances, even if your daughter is not performing, and indeed I strongly encourage you to do so.

Digital Wellbeing 

We are continuing to involve members of our CGGS community as we examine the data collected from our Digital Wellbeing surveys. This week Mrs Cathy Poyser, Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School; Ms Nirvana Watkins, Deputy Head of Senior School – Wellbeing Curriculum and Program; Ms Emma Hinchliffe, Deputy Head of Junior School – Teaching and Learning; and Ms Felicity Carroll, Digital Literacy Co-ordinator JS and SS, met with parents who expressed an interest in participating in our Parent Digital Wellbeing Focus Groups within their survey responses. We thank these parents for joining discussions about our community’s technology usage and the implications for our School and families. We are in the process of devising initiatives for 2020 and these will be communicated in future CamNews articles. 

The previous Digital Wellbeing CamNews article focussed on screen time and presented evidence-based strategies for fostering positive online experiences as part of a balanced lifestyle. One strategy that families may wish to consider is establishing agreed family guidelines, or what is often called, a Family Media Agreement. There are many examples available online, with the most effective agreements being those in which children and teenagers establish agreed behaviours with their parents. Common Sense Media includes one such example you may find helpful here. Another is by ThinkUKnow, which also provides a template for families to use when creating their personalised agreement. It is widely agreed that establishing these agreed behaviours is most effective when done with children at an early age, but there is still value in exploring their potential benefit with older children and teenagers.


Commonsense media. (2019). Family Media Agreement.
Retrieved from

ThinkUKnow. (2019) Parents Portal. Retrieved from

Cathy Poyser & Felicity Carroll


This week, three teams: Robotica, Fireflies and 2025 Girls, a total of 21 girls from Year 6 – 8 competed in a regional final of the First LEGO League competition. This is a global event founded by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and involves more than 200, 000 students worldwide. Teams of up to 10 students complete four challenges in order to compete:

> Innovation Project

> Core Values Poster

> EV3 Robot Design and Build

> Robot Game

All teams demonstrated the six core values of the competition throughout their preparation and during the competition day: discovery, teamwork, inclusion, innovation, impact and fun. There were times when robots didn’t follow their instructions and last minute changes needed to be made to presentations, however, the girls showed great resilience, resourcefulness and teamwork. At the end of the day, Team Robotica won the Research Award for their excellent use of the Design Thinking process to develop an innovative solution for the Old Box Hill Brickworks. Team Fireflies were awarded the overall Championship Cup and were particularly impressive in the robot game challenge. Our Year 6 team of novices: 2025 Girls, didn’t receive any awards but did manage to outperform one of our Senior teams in the robot game.

On Sunday, 24 November, Teams Robotica and Fireflies will be competing in the National Finals at Swinburne University, Hawthorn. This is a wonderful achievement for the girls. A special mentioned should be made of our two Year 10 assistant coaches, Chloe Langley and Himalini Kathirgamanathan who have supported the girls during the year. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

Australian Geography Competition 

The awards and certificates for this year’s annual Australian Geography Competition were distributed in Term 4. The competition is open to all Camberwell Girls students from Year 7-10 and those studying VCE Geography. It is a challenging competition that assesses geographical knowledge and skills with an application to a broad range of topics and global events. Well done to everyone who participated.

We are proud to recognise the exceptional achievements of a number of students this year. Congratulations to the following students for receiving High Distinctions:


Year 7

Sophie Chang
Katherine Mason
Katrina Tong
Erica Wang
Minali Shyam
Isabella Wood
Sin (Xixi) Yang

Year 8

Belinda Caruso
Eun Bee McAleenan
Serena Segal
Natalie Chung
Mary Chuang
Sasha Feldmann
Scarlett Giang
Eleanor Summers
Ella Watson

Year 9

Sienna Dulabic
Katrina Xu
Isabelle Viney
Chloe Chan
Alex Polatsidis
Amelia Westerman
Teagan Diep
Abbey Howard
Megan Kuo
Nicole Ang
Bethany Orme
Alice Wilson

Year 10

Zara Mammone
Charlotte Kutey
Chantelle Chuang
Rhi-Ann Lam
Belinda Lemanis
Jacqueline Zhang

Goethe Institut Enterprise Program

This year our Year 10 German students participated in the Goethe Institut’s Enterprise Program which promotes the collaboration between schools and German companies / or Australian companies with a relationship to German speaking countries within the region. The project combines aspects of professional orientation with creativity and inventor spirit.  

We are very pleased to share the wonderful success that Annaliese Cossenas, Charlotte Kutey and Amy Du achieved. The girls were awarded second place for submitting one of the most innovative business ideas pitched by students from 96 schools across Australia. Their project ‘Heimat durch die Leica Linse’ (“Home” through the Leica Lens), has Leica camera owners sharing the first photograph taken on their camera and then a selection of these photographs chosen for an exhibition in the Leica gallery; “for the people, by the people.” Their project was commended for its design and creativity.

The Goethe-Institut Australian invited the students to the Award Ceremony in Sydney on 8 November, where the most interesting and innovative ideas were presented. 

Student representatives from various schools presented their ideas and took part in a Q&A session with teachers and representatives of the partner companies, the German Embassy and the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Special thanks to Ms Liesa Winkler for working with the girls on this initiative.

Dante Alighieri

During Term Three Ella Barmby of Year 10 was awarded first place in the prestigious Dante Alighieri Poem competition. In preparation for the competition Ella was required to compose her own original poem entirely in Italian. She presented her piece at Melbourne University in front of an audience of 500. Ella has been studying VCE Italian via the Victorian School of Languages throughout the year, in addition to Italian School each Saturday. Ella is to be congratulated on her achievement. This award highlights the immense focus and dedication that Ella has displayed in undertaking her Italian studies this year.

Camp Reflections – Year 9

Arriving in Yarrawonga for the first time was a surreal experience for everyone. We immediately had to adapt to our new environment and say our final goodbyes to air conditioning, toilets and Wi-Fi. It quickly hit us that the next few days would be challenging. What shocked me the most were how many flies could be in one area! Which meant that cooking and eating dinner meant mastering the great Australian art of not accidentally eating a bug!

As someone who regularly over packs, halving what I carried in my pack was definitely difficult. Only bringing two shirts and a couple pairs of shorts was hard as we knew how hot the weather would be, how much sweating would be involved and that there was no option to shower. On top of our personal hygiene and comfort, every morning we would all have to re-pack our bags and carry it for kilometres every day when we hiked.

The activities we had to complete were hiking and canoeing. Personally, I found hiking the toughest and hardest part of the camp. Walking 10km every day in thirty-degree heat was challenging. However, it was the most fulfilling part of the trip. Everyone was so proud when we arrived at the next camp site. No one thought it was possible we would survive and yet we did. Carrying heavy packs when we were hiking in the heat was the cherry on top of the cake as it made every step so much harder!

Having such an amazing group made all the difference to my camp experience. Everyone got along so well and it helped to distract us from the discomfort of the heat, no toilets and no showers.

The canoeing leg was extremely enjoyable, and almost relaxing once we got the hang of it. At the beginning, we were instructed how to pack the canoes and what is the most effective way to paddle. After listening intently in the scorching heat, we were eager to get into the canoes and river to cool down. Once partnering up, we got into the canoes and set off!

On the first day, we canoed around 10km. The first day of canoeing flew by extremely quickly, and before we knew it we were already at our campsite. After setting up camp, we had a lot of free time to spare so a one of our favourite things to do was to play cards. It was so much fun bonding with everyone whilst just relaxing under the shade. On the second day of canoeing, we canoed around 18km, which sounded like a lot, however when we got into a steady rhythm, it was much quicker than it sounded. The third and final day of canoeing was shorter, we only had to canoe 8km. Canoeing overall was a delightful experience, and although we all got sunburnt spending so much time under the scorching sun, it was well worth it.

Before we knew it, the final day of camp came. After washing up the canoes, we unpacked all of our belongings from our packs into our normal bags, loaded them on the bus and set off for home. Year 9 camp was a liberating experience for all of us. It was a truly amazing experience that we will never forget, the life skills and the new friendships that we made will be with us forever. We learnt a lot, made new friendships and made memories to last a lifetime.

Teagan Diep
Year 9

 Camp Reflections – Year 10

To be fair, there is only one word to describe my year 10 camp: amazing! For camp this year, we were able to decide between three options – hiking at Wilsons Promontory, kayaking in the Gippsland lakes or completing the NE cycle trip. I chose the North East cycle trip, where we began in Bright and finished in Wangaratta. We were accompanied by stunning views along our trip, consisting of wineries and the mountainside. In groups, girls pushed their bodies to their limits and achieved more than 113km of cycling over a 3-day period, occasionally in extreme heat. What got us through the challenge put forth to us was the mate ship between the girls. We were always talking and cycling, being encouraging, and laughing with each other. This strong bond that was created is something that will truly be hard to forget. The trip also taught everyone some valuable life skills – whilst there were the hard skills such as how to ride a bike, or set up a tent, the skills of great worth were the soft skills. This was how to work co-operatively in a team, to never leave anyone behind and how to respect one another. The year 10 NE cycle camp was definitely my favourite camp, and will be treasured in my memories for the many years to come.

Sophia Giagoudakis
Year 10

Chamber Concert

On Wednesday 13 November, selected students from Years 5, 7, 9 & 11 performed at the afternoon’s Chamber Concert for a very appreciative audience of parents, friends and teachers. This was a wonderful opportunity for our student-driven chamber ensembles to perform for an audience and display their talents and hard work from their many hours of rehearsals. The incredibly high-standard performances included a varied selection of repertoire, from Disney classics to Classical Haydn and Romantic Borodin. The School’s harpsichord was also featured in the performance, allowing the Year 7 Combined Quartet to perform in the true Baroque style of Vivaldi.

As well as having the courage to perform for families, friends, teachers and peers, all these students have demonstrated tremendous teamwork and creative collaboration throughout the year. Each has shown the initiative to form their groups and persevered to achieve tremendous growth through the transferable skills of critical thinking and problem solving. Each of these students has set ambitious goals and persisted with sustained passion to produce such high-quality performances. We congratulate all performers for participating in this fantastic event! A very big thank you also to the ensemble directors, Ms Margaret Butcher and Ms Helena Olofsson, for all their hard work in preparation for this event. We look forward to more concerts of this nature at CGGS in the future.

Year 7 Combined Quartet

Kiki Page, Melanie Chin, Emily Price, Clarissa Wong & Isabella Wood, Sofia Sanfilippo, Romy Mead, Bella Fary, Olivia Shen

Year 7 Quartet
Kiki Page, Melanie Chin, Emily Price, Clarissa Wong

Year 5 Quartet
Rida Cao, Maddie Wood, Alyce Law, Emily Lioe

Trio Zoska
Katherine Mason, Sofia Sanfilippo, Zoe Brisk

Quartet Con Brio
Megan Kuo, Nicole Chang, Sarah Hui, Chloe Law

Year 11/9 Quartet
Jennifer Fan, Olivia Banitsiotis, Melissa Xue, Janice Wong

Year 9 Quintet
Teresa Guo, Isabelle Brisk, Teagan Diep, Angie D’Leong, Emily Wu

External Music Examinations 

Term 4 has been a very busy time for many students undertaking external Music exams and Speech & Drama exams. 43 students from Years 2-11 have practiced for many hours and completed their external exams throughout this year and these students have achieved some outstanding results! We congratulate all those who have completed an exam through AMEB, Trinity College London or ABRSM, for their success and their continued dedication to their music, both at school and outside of school.

House Swimming

Last week we announced the winning houses of the House Swimming and Diving Carnivals and now we would like to celebrate the outstanding individual results that were achieved at these carnivals.

There were some exceptional performances in the pool and the following girls should be very proud as they were awarded the Year Level Champion Awards for swimming.

Year 7 1st – Emily Price

2nd – Sophie Chang

3rd – Sofia Sanfilippo

Year 8 1st – Ella Roberson-Brown

2nd – Scarlett Giang

3rd – Xara Anderson

Year 9 1st – Abbey Howard

2nd – Olivia Jones

3rd – Olivia Banitsiotis

Year 10 1st – Belinda Lemanis

2nd – Ella Barmby

3rd – Karen Ng

Year 11 1st – Anabel Car

2nd – Michaela Robinson

3rd – Phoebe Hwong

House Diving

The diving competition was split into two sections, Juniors which consisted of students in years 7 and 8 and Seniors which was students in years 9 – 11. Congratulations to the following girls who received the top 3 individual scores for House Diving.

Junior Individual Champions 1st – Jessica Lim

2nd – Isabella Tremewen

3rd – Ruby Killington

Senior Individual Champions 1st – Ella Robinson

2nd – Tilly Dunn

3rd – Emily Arvidsson


Saturday Netball 

The Spring Fling Saturday Netball Competition is getting close to finals and CGGS teams have done well this season with several teams playing off for first place on the ladder.

Many teams had wins last Saturday, including Year 7 Quartz who are sitting in first place on the ladder.  This team have had a very successful season and should be proud of their efforts throughout the year. Year 7 Pearl had a tough match against Strathy Sapphires, with the teams even at half time with only a couple of goals in it.

Year 8 Sapphires and Silver were very keen in their match against each other, with Sapphire defeating Silver in the end. Year 8 Jade were down against Koonung Comets but Jade played a fantastic second half and defeated Koonung Comets 13-12.

Year 9 Aquamarines were too strong MLC Aviators, defeating them 22-14. Year 10 Gems had a close game against Ruyton Roadrunners, but Ruyton were more consistent throughout the whole game.

Year 11 Tanzanites drew to MA Flame 12-12, the CGGS team played well and if there was a couple of more minutes of play, Tanzanites would have gotten the win. Year 11 Emeralds were defeated by Fintona Flames 15-12, Emeralds played well and gave it their all but Fintona were too strong on the day.

Congratulations goes to all CGGS netball teams, and best of luck in the next coming rounds.


With best wishes,

Cathy Poyser

Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Senior School


Senior School

November 1, 2019

Last week we enjoyed all the formal celebrations with the Class of 2019 and their parents. On the Monday 21 October the students enjoyed a breakfast with their Form teachers and Year Level Coordinator, Mrs Nareen Robinson. At this time they were presented with their time capsule letters written to themselves in Year 7 and a letter of encouragement and pride written by their parents in the past few weeks. This was followed by the Leavers Service, where each student makes a short speech about her time at CGGS and is presented with a Bible, her Testimonial and her Old Grammarians Association Badge. This is a particularly moving service and the gratitude shown by the students towards both their parents and teachers alike, reflects the strong values shared by our school community. That night we had the pleasure of joining together again at the MCG for the Valedictory Dinner. On behalf of all the families I take this opportunity to thank the Parents and Friends Association who most generously fund the cost of the student tickets to this most memorable night.

On 23 October many of us were entertained by four of The Outer Sanctum Podcast members at a “Shaping the Future” event, coordinated by our Foundation Office. Although a fellow Hawthorn supporter, I was pleased to hear that they are diversifying and about to include a further four podcasters representing other AFL and AFLW teams.

Our 2020 School and House leaders were inducted at a special service on Thursday and many were quick to begin in their roles as House Swimming and Diving took place the following day. Thank you to Head of Sport, Lauren Law, for her organisation of this day. This was a fabulous day, with the traditional Year 11 jump into the pool ending with the singing of “The Blessing Song” and “Shine Jesus Shine”. This year our enterprising Year 10 students asked a number of staff if they would volunteer to be pushed into the pool in order to raise money for our annual Zonta Birthing Kits. I am pleased to announce the students raised over $1000 in total, with nearly $600 of this being collected at the pool. Those staff who made the big splash were only too pleased to help raise the money for the kits. Each kit costs $3 and CGGS have been involved in this Service Learning cause for approximately 25 years.

This week has been somewhat quieter in Senior School with the Year 9 and 10 students on various camps. The beautiful weather has certainly ensured the activities have been enjoyed by all and we thank all the teachers who have accompanied the students on these camps. As a teacher, attending camp is always a highlight, as you discover new strengths and are able to witness the students achieving and overcoming challenges.

On Wednesday the Year 12 students completed the first of their written VCE examinations, English and EAL. Having completed this 3 hour examination, many of our students have since sat more of their examinations and on behalf of the school community, I wish the Class of 2019 well with this final stage of their VCE.


Digital Wellbeing

As we start the month of November, we can look forward to the warmer weather and beautiful blue skies that are a part of this time of the year. It may be that your family’s routines change with evening meals enjoyed outside or perhaps you choose to make the most of the increased daylight hours by heading to the local park. Of course, there are many ways to enjoy the offerings of this time of the year, which is why it might be timely to consider how your family members are managing their screen time. states that screen time and screen use are a “normal part of life for most children and teenagers” (2019) and yet screen time is the number one concern for Australian parents (eSafetyCommissioner, 2019). Our recent CGGS Digital Wellbeing survey results correlate with these broader findings, with screen time being rated as the top concern for our students and families.

Much has been published about screen time recommendations, which is indicative of international recognition of the importance of this issue for children, teenagers and adults. The eSafetyCommissioner website at a wealth of strategies for having positive online experiences as part of a balanced lifestyle. In particular, a downloadable resource with 7 screen time tips is available. Whilst it provides the following recommendations for parents of children, these also apply for parents of teenagers:

> Be involved

> Work with your child / teenager to set boundaries for screen use

> Be clear about the consequences for not switching off

> Set device free zones and times at home

> Ask your child / teenager to explain their screen use

> Use tech tools to help manage access (e.g. Screen Timefor iPhone/iPad)

> Lead by example

Visit the eSafetyCommisionerwebsite for further details on each of the above strategies. The guidelines provided by complement these strategies as they focus on balancing screen time with other activities and the use of quality digital media.

The next Digital Wellbeing article will explore the potential benefits from establishing a Family Media Agreement.


eSafetyCommissioner. (2019). Main webpage. Retrieved from

eSafetyCommissioner. (2019). Time online. Retrieved from

eSafetyCommissioner. (2019). eSafetyParents. Retrieved from (2019). Screen time: checklist for healthy use. Retrieved from

Cathy Poyser and Felicity Carroll


Year 11 Women in Finance

CGGS was delighted to host two engaging young women to speak about ‘Women in Finance’. Katie Brand, an Ernst & Young intern, who won the Oceania EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year Competition. Katie is really passionate about opportunities to inform students about the diverse career paths available within corporate finance (even if they are not studying any business subjects!). She shared her experience of working in the industry and talked about the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition.

Emily Chai, EY Consultant in Valuation, Modelling & Economics, spoke about her transition from secondary school to tertiary to the workplace, and the exciting opportunities she has had on this journey. She reminded students to take advantage of every opportunity in first year university – joining clubs and societies, finding out about ‘Study Abroad’ prospects and researching options for cadetships and vacation intern work as early as possible.

They incorporated a high level case study demonstrating the strategy/consulting side of Corporate Finance and the students asked interesting and relevant questions.

It was very clear that both young women love what they do!

Trish Dolan
Career Counsellor 


House Swimming

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the House Swimming Carnival on Friday 25 October. Inside the stadium at Carey Sports Complex, the competition was extremely close as students cheered on their friends and participated in a range of aquatic events. Well done to Taylor who finished the day as champions of House Swimming and Schofield who won House Diving. There were some outstanding performances in the pool and the Year Level Champion Awards will be announced in assembly next week.

House Swimming Results
1st – Taylor
2nd – Singleton
3rd – Schofield
4th – Lawrence

This year we had a record number of girls involved in the House Diving Carnival. The girls have been dedicated to their morning training sessions where they have been working hard to perfect their dives and entries. Thank you to Nareen Robinson who has helped to organise this event. The results for House Diving are as follows:

House Diving Results
1st – Schofield
2nd – Taylor
3rd – Singleton
4th – Lawrence

School Sport Captain, Michaela Robinson and School House Captain, Rochelle Scheid showed great leadership and we thank them for their assistance throughout the day. Also, thank you to all the staff and students who assisted throughout the day to ensure the program ran smoothly, particularly the House Sport Captains who have put in an enormous effort to make sure all races were filled and to the Friends of Sport for organising a fantastic BBQ lunch.

Alliance Française Berthe Mouchette Poetry

Every year, CGGS participates in the Alliance Française Berthe Mouchette Poetry competition where students memorise a French poem and then present it to a judge who comes to the school from the Alliance Française. This year, we joined 115 other schools, and were amongst the 15,895 participants competing in this 125th year of Berthe Mouchette.

The French Department are very proud of all our students. It is no mean feat to learn a poem in another language and then deliver it to a French-speaking stranger, so well done to all those who took part.

True to French educational tradition where every assessment is marked out of 20, the students are awarded a mark out of 20 based on fluency, pronunciation, expression and intonation. To be a finalist, students must achieve a lofty 20 mark and this year, a remarkable 33 students from Years 5 to 10 made it into the finals and had to recite their poem again, competing against 1541 finalists from other schools in Victoria.

Year 7
Madeline McDonald
Kiki Page
Isabella Wood

Year 8
Lily Dore
Sasha Feldman
Madeleine Giagoudakis
Annie Liu
Ananaya Mittal
Salome Obeyesekere
Ella Summers
Monique Thorp
Ella Watson
Siena Yap 

Year 9
Teagan Diep
Charlotte Lindsay
Bethany Orme
Eloise Rhodes
Ella Smith
Lucy Van Der Arend

Year 10
Sophia Giagoudakis
Eloise Webster

These girls will all receive their certificate in an assembly later in the term.

A special congratulations to Monique Desai in Year 6 for placing second overall in the competition. She will receive her award at the Alliance Francaise Prizegiving in November. Special mention must also go to Sammi Chua, also in Year 6, for winning an award for her illustration of the poem.

The Year 12 part of the competition is an 8 minute conversation with an assessor: 4 minutes general conversation and 4 minutes on the detailed study we do in Term 3, Immigration in France. Zoe Giagoudakis completed the Giagoudakis finalist trifecta (both Maddy and Sophia were also finalists) by getting through to the Year 12 finals.

Félicitations à tout le monde!

Developing Evidentiary Reasoning through Art

On Thursday, a group of Year 8 students participated in an evidentiary reasoning activity with Scotch College, at the NGV – International. The session was run by Dr Charlotte Forwood for the Boroondara Gifted Network. It introduced the students to Visual Thinking Strategies,which is implemented by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where Dr Forwood trained in 2018 through an Independent Schools Victoria Festival of Arts Learning Scholarship. The students engaged with different artworks to develop evidentiary reasoning skills – using observations to provide evidence for ideas and opinions. The discussions were imaginative, diverse and delved deeply into a range of artworks. It was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to engage with Art from a different perspective and to develop their creative and critical thinking skills with other students from within the network.

Charlotte Forwood


Ballarat Long Course Swim Meet

On 19 and 20 October, 14 students and their families travelled to Ballarat to compete with CGGS Aquatic at the very highly acclaimed Ballarat Longcourse Swim Meet.

The girls performed extremely well, achieving 80% personal best times with our very own Emily Price (Year 7) being awarded the 13 yrs girls champion.

Furthermore, special congratulations goes to Christina Weikhardt (Year 5)  who qualified to compete at the 2019 Victorian Sprint Championships in the girls 11yrs / under 50 freestyle.

As you can see, swimming at CGGS continues to grow both in popularity and success at both our Junior and Senior School levels.

I wish the whole CGGS community a restful long weekend and I will see you all on Wednesday 6 November.


Cathy Poyser 
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Senior School


Senior School

October 18, 2019

After a three week holiday it was wonderful to welcome the students and staff back to Term 4. Hopefully all families enjoyed the extended break and were able to re-charge their batteries ready for the next 10 weeks.

This term we have welcomed 4 new families to the Senior School and it is pleasing to say the girls have settled in very well. I extend my thanks to their student buddies who always carry out this responsibility with great pride.

Our two overseas trips, to Cambodia and the USA were both immensely successful and I feel sure many of you had the pleasure of keeping up-to-date with the experiences and travels either via the school Facebook or Twitter pages. Many thanks to all the students who represented the school and themselves magnificently on these tours and, of course, to the staff who organised and conducted the trips.

This past few mornings some families may have noticed me welcoming students at the Torrington Street entrance. For me this is a lovely way to start the day and I hope to continue this as much as possible. I take this opportunity to respectfully ask that all our Senior School students are dropped off in the adjoining streets, rather than in the staff car parks. We need to ensure the safety of all our students and the main entrance and driveway is a walkway for our community.

In Senior School Assembly last week we acknowledged the outstanding achievements of Victoria Xiao, Isabelle Brisk and Chloe Law, who have succeeded in accomplishing their A Mus A Diplomas this semester. Victoria has achieved her diploma for cello, Isabelle has achieved her diploma for violin, and Chloe has achieved her diploma for piano. Chloe has also become only the second student at CGGS to achieve her A Mus A on two different instruments – congratulations Chloe! Emily Wu was the first student to achieve this incredible feat at CGGS only a few months ago.

We now have six students who have achieved their A Mus A diplomas this year. The girls will all receive their diploma certificates at a special ceremony later in the year. We would like to acknowledge their hours and hours of commitment and dedication to their music and celebrate the depth and talent of our CGGS musicians.

On Wednesday 9 October we had the great pleasure of welcoming Kate Eddy, Melbourne Vixens Netballer to speak to our students and their parents and to present our awards to the 2019 Saturday Netballers. Please see the full report of the evening and the recipients of the awards later in this article. I do take this opportunity to thank our volunteer coaches, past student coaches, our umpires and our CGGS Saturday Netball Coordinator Lexie Joyce for all the encouragement of our students throughout the year.

On Thursday 10 and Friday 11 our Year 9 students were involved in a Pop-Up Learning experience titled “World of Work”. Again, a more detailed summary of the days features later in this article. Again, we thank the many guest speakers, Trish Dolan our Careers Counsellor, Nirvana Watkins, Year 9 Coordinator and Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing (Curriculum and Programs), Kate Manners, Deputy Head of Senior School – Teaching and Learning and Dr Charlotte Forwood, Director of Learning Design and Development for their organisation of these exceptional days.

On Friday night the annual VCE Art Exhibition was formally opened and all present enjoyed the magnificent Studio Art and Visual Communication Design pieces created by our Year 11 and 12 students. Thank you to all in the Art Department and Maintenance Department as they brought Robinson Hall to life as a gallery. Also, many thanks to the Parents and Friends Association for providing the supper on the night.

This week in our Senior School assembly we had a guest presenter, Dr Vanessa Palmer, Adult and Paediatric Dermatologist, who spoke to us all on the topic of “The benefits of sun protection and why we should all be wearing hats”. Since hearing Dr Palmers compelling reasons for us all to take more care of our skin, I have invited expressions of interest from students wishing to be part of a working committee to discuss the importance of this message for CGGS. A number of students have replied positively to join this committee.

Nancy Huang Year 9, played a magnificent piano solo or Elegy Op.3 No .1 by Sergei Rachmaninov. We also acknowledged the Chinese Debating Team on their success in the Wei Cup. This is the largest Chinese High School debating competition in Victoria. This year, more than 200 debaters from 27 schools participated in the competition. This is the third year in which CCGS has joined the debate with 6 students coming from years 9, 10 and 11. The debate runs for over two months and we have successfully progressed through 5 rounds to reach the semi-final. With tremendous preparation, training and research, our Chinese debaters achieved third place this year and they are honoured to have been invited to compete in the Chinese Debating World Championship, held in Malaysia this coming December.

The Chinese debating captain, Christine Guan received a prestigious personal award as the best speaker for 2019 Xin Wei Cup. Congratulations to our talented debaters Christine Guan, Helena Liu, Suzy Zhu, Selina Wang, Lydia Wang and Angela Zhang for their enthusiasm and dedication. We wish them all the best for the World Championship in Malaysia in December.

We then had the pleasure of presenting House Badges to students who have contributed 30 points toward their House and School Badges to students who have shown 3 years commitment to one specific co-curricular area of Sport, Music, Drama or Service. The awards of House Colours and Blazer Pocket and Full Colours for School activities being awarded later in the week at our Year 10 – 12 Presentation Night.

This past week we have shared with our Year 12 cohort many lasts – their final Senior School Assembly led by the School Captains, Nikki Chen, Ellie Zhou and Stephanie Lysikatos (NES), Presentation Night where numerous students in Year 10 – 12 were acknowledged for their Academic, Citizenship and Co-curricular achievements throughout this year. And today the Year 12 students ran their own assembly with the theme of Jungle. The celebrations of the Class of 2019 were clever, humorous and extremely well planned. All-in-all it has been a wonderful week and we thank the Year 12 cohort for their fun-loving energy.

The initiatives implemented by NES throughout this year were quite unique and connected the school in a way that has been delightful to see. I have particularly enjoyed the quadrangle music performances and the intimacy of the connections between our most senior and junior students. I wish our three Captains, the extended leadership group of students, and indeed the entire Year 12 cohort the very best for their up-coming examinations. In time, I’m excited to hear of what is next in their adventures beyond CGGS.

In order to plan for 2020, the Uniform Committee, which includes staff and students have been considering over the past year all items of uniform and a decision has been made to phase out the 3/4 length sleeve sports top and the sports hoodie. From the end of 2020 these items are not to be worn by our students as part of their uniform. In their place there will be new House tops, and a 1/4 zip pullover to take the place of the hoodie.


Digital Wellbeing

We have completed surveying the CGGS community about digital wellbeing. Thank you to our students, teachers and families for your participation, which has helped us gather current data about our community’s technology usage and perceptions, including any concerns.

Now we begin the process of examining this data. It will be used to help inform our next steps as we work together to promote digital wellbeing. Our teachers have begun this process, by looking at some data trends and considering their implications. We have also had initial student focus group sessions and will be running more of these as we look at refining our shared expectations of device usage for learning. We are grateful that many parents have expressed an interest in participating in digital wellbeing forums and focus groups. Details of these opportunities will be published in upcoming editions of CamNews as well as results from our student, teacher and family surveys. We look forward to continuing our community’s focus on digital wellbeing throughout this term and in 2020.

Cathy Poyser and Felicity Carroll


Cambodia Service Learning Immersion Tour

During the term break, eighteen intrepid CGGS students in Years 10 and 11, accompanied by Ms Watkins, Ms Gordon and Miss Cheong travelled to Cambodia for the annual Service Learning Immersion Tour. The Tour supports our ongoing partnership with Green Gecko Project, an NGO based in Siem Reap which works with former street kids and their families, providing educational and employment opportunities. Students participating in the Tour participated in cultural exchange with the Green Gecko students, visited the temples in the Angkor complex and learnt to count and write their names in Khmer, as well as a few moves in the Khmer martial art of Bokator. CGGS students also had the opportunity to share prepared lessons in Art and STEM with the Geckos.

Our partnership with Green Gecko is supported by year-round fundraising efforts and this year students participating in the Tour raised nearly $12,000 to support Green Gecko. The significance of this opportunity for our students is reflected in the number of students who applied to be part of the program this year, and consequently we have two groups travelling to Cambodia this year: one in September and one in December.

As part of their itinerary, students had a chance to explore Khmer culture through a boat cruise at Lake Tonle Sap, a visit to the Phare Cambodian Circus, which trains performers in acrobatics and circus, and two days in a village homestay in the Kulen Mountain National Park, 2 hours north east of Siem Reap. While at the homestay, students had the opportunity to debrief with their tour leaders, reflect on the insights and connections that they made, and plan for opportunities to share their service experiences with the wider school community.

Included below are some of the students’ daily reflections from during the Tour:


Visiting the temples was an amazing experience and we loved being able to share this with our new Gecko friends. Getting to know their stories and having fun through jokes, allowed us to form new friendships, and we hope that these will grow throughout our trip and at home. The temples were absolutely breathtaking and definitely worth the walk through the heat!

Belinda Lemanis and Eloise Holwill

Today we had such a busy day. We visited the Banteay Srey temple (women’s temple) and this temple contrasted the others as it is made of pink sandstone rather than grey sandstone. Next we visited the Cambodian Landmine Museum, for a lot of us, this experience was confronting yet eye-opening and reminded us of our mission for this trip and why we are all here. A volunteer who has been involved with Aki Ra and the museum since he was injured by a landmine spoke to us about his story and the need for help in ensuring safety across the country from uncleared landmines left from the conflict. A shocking statistic that was shared with us is that 1 in 300 Cambodians are affected by land mines. Despite the first half of the day being challenging, the second was filled with fun and bonding as a group. We visited the Made in Cambodia market which was later followed by a visit to the Jaya House River Park Hotel, which is a 98% plastic free hotel. We spent the night at Phare Circus having dinner with the Geckos which was not only fun but gave us a chance to further make connections with them. This is only the 4th day of our trip and already have learnt so much and we can’t wait for what’s to come.

Claire Tremewen and Hannah Shillington

The most impactful moment for me today was when we went to the farm. As well as having so much fun playing with the Gecko kids, seeing them smiling, laughing, singing and screaming together while playing with the mud, made me realise that while materialistic items can bring you joy it’s the connections you make with other people and the time you spend with them that really mean the most to you. 

Emily Hoyle

USA Study Tour

Over the term 3 holidays, a group of 32 students and 4 teachers embarked on a thrilling adventure to the US for the 2019 USA Study Tour. The trip was an amazing opportunity, with many surprises, exciting experiences and unforgettable memories.

There were various highlights throughout the tour, so many that it was so hard to narrow down! For many of us, our favourite moments were at Space Camp, held at Kennedy Space Centre. Day three at the camp was our favourite day, as the activities we completed were hands-on astronaut exercises that resembled real astronaut training. These activities included building air rockets, working in microgravity conditions, working as a commander or pilot in missions, experiencing a simulation of landing and driving a rover on Mars, as well as exploring Mars through virtual reality and engaging in missions. The training that we completed not only gave us an insight into what it takes to become an astronaut, but also enabled us to gain new skills.

Another fantastic highlight we experienced was swimming with the manatees. Snorkelling alongside them was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we were even able to touch these amazing creatures in their habitats. We also undertook some unexpected learning at the manatee centre as we learnt about how Florida has adapted the manatees’ habitats, as they are currently endangered by climate change. Likewise, a highlight and definitely a do not miss was Universal Studios. We not only managed to snag a photo with Spiderman, but we also went to Harry Potter Land and Jurassic Park. The rides at Universal were amazing, with the Incredible Hulk being our personal favourite. Overall, the trip was an incredible experience that not only strengthened our interest in space and science, but also created a unique bond between all the girls on the tour. Special thanks to Mr Maycock, Mrs Lemanis, Mr Pas and Mrs Hepworth for organising this extraordinary but enormous trip, and everyone else who was involved.

Charity Tu and Natalie Hudono

Independent Schools Victoria – 2019 Student Art Exhibition

It is with great pleasure that we share the success story of Art and Design students from Camberwell Girls Grammar School. As the result of a highly selective process, twenty-six of our students have had the opportunity to share their creative achievements in the 2019 Independent Schools Victoria’s Student Art Exhibition, which opened this week in the Docklands. Several of our current students and families, along with past Year 12 students attended the opening night and had the opportunity to celebrate the display of specially selected artworks from twelve different independent schools, in a professional gallery setting.

The exhibition is a collection from 2018 artistic achievements, including five Year 8 abstracted still life acrylics on canvas by Bethany Orme, Olivia Banitsiotis, Shermaine Balamban, Opal Liu, and Amelia Westerman.

Four Year 9 appropriated portraits by Anna Xiang, Minh Nguyen, Carol Wei, and Manisha Wickramasinghei.

Twelve Year 9 Mandela cut out collages by Minh Nguyen, Yuqing Chi, Himalini Kathirgamanathan, Eva Huang, Tiffany Tse, Emma Zhi, Lydia Liting Xu, Chantelle Chuang, Aalisha Wong, Catherine Hu, Annalise Cossenas, and Lucy Zhang.

Two Year 11 students, portrait oil painting by Shivani Gupta and an embroidered portrait photograph by Bonnie Thorn. These appear along with three of our 2018 Year 12 students, Annie Yao’s a short film “What are you rushing around for?”; Serena Chan’s acrylic on canvas “tOuCH”; and Joy Zhou’s art set of an acrylic painting on canvas with a ceramic sculpture “Flowing Through Clouds”.

The Exhibition is open to the public so we highly recommend going to see our students beautiful work.

Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm & Saturday 1pm – 3pm,  until late November
Venue: SE-G08, Ground Floor, Wharf Street, 440 Docklands Drive, Docklands

Sustainability at CGGS

The role of Sustainability Coordinator is new at CGGS this year, however, sustainability has long been a focus of the whole school. Teachers over the past decades have overseen connections to sustainability through the curriculum (especially in Geography and Science), through our co-curricular group FROGGIES which engages in fundraising and environmental campaigns, and through one-off projects. The original solar panels for the school were the result of fundraising by the student body and key staff, which saw $10,000 raised for the project.

Other aspects of the school well and truly live by the 5 Rs of refuse, reduce, reuse, rot and recycle. We are increasingly seeking out new opportunities to reduce our energy use and the smart lighting systems throughout the school reflect that. We are currently working to reduce our paper usage, which sees students using a variety of other tools in their learning, such as writeable documents. Our maintenance and landscaping teams see that resources are not wasted. Wooden furniture throughout staff rooms and offices is created from old desks or pews. Where possible chairs are reupholstered instead of being replaced. Green waste from throughout the grounds is composted on site and reused on the gardens. Plantings are designed with species indigenous to the area, to further reduce water use.

2019 sees the introduction of the role of Sustainability Coordinator, and the inaugural year of the Year 7 Service Learning Program. With a focus this year on waste, Year 7 students are engaged in reducing their waste through the creation of beeswax wraps, and the use of these in a nude food campaign. As part of this, students are learning about the problems associated with ocean plastic, and also donating fundraising proceeds to local environment groups.

As sustainability formally flourishes at CGGS, we are seeking out partnerships for this ongoing work. If you or someone close to you could enrich this experience for our students and the school, please contact Maggie Wighton.

Read more about this years Year 7 Service Learning program below, with a reflection from two students.

In Year 7, we have been focusing on environmental issues as a service learning project. This includes having a visit from zero waste advocate Erin Rhodes, creating beeswax wraps to put in our nude food lunches and the nude food campaign and fundraising. In the first term of year 7, Erin Rhodes spoke to us about her lifestyle and how this was helping the environment. We were all amazed at the small amount of waste she produced in a year and she shared some useful tips and ways that helped her achieve this. She had all the plastic she used in this little jar at home to make sure she kept track of how much rubbish she used. Following this, we made beeswax wraps, which are a reusable substitute for disposable plastics in our lunchboxes. They are useful for storing food to last a long period of time. Students volunteered to be involved in fundraising at House Dance and House Music events, running a low-waste retro lolly stall. Each form in year 7 also competed in a nude food challenge. Every Tuesday we would try to bring nude food lunches to school and the winning form had the chance to select an organisation our donations would go to, along with a casual clothes day. Our donations went to the Port Phillip Eco Centre and Beach Patrol organisations. These experiences helped us to be more mindful of our small actions and changing them so we can help the environment throughout our busy lives.

The Year 7s also learnt about the 5 R’s: Refuse – Refusing single use plastic, straws and other items that will immediately go to landfill and will stay there permanently, Reduce – reducing the amount of products you buy and to use natural, homemade items to reduce the amount of general waste we create, Reuse – replacing disposable products to sustainable alternatives to reuse them and if things break, try to fix & repair them instead, Recycle – after refusing, reducing and reusing, there isn’t much left to do. You can just clean & seperate your recycling properly and recycle them in the correct bin, Rot – turning your scraps & food leftovers into compost or setting up your own composting bin. The 5 R’s has helped us year 7’s to learn more about what we should do with our rubbish and to be more mindful of where it goes and what it can do to our environment.

Many people say there is a need to protect the environment, but do not really make any effort to do anything about it. At Year 7, we are trying to make change in our own lives, at home and at school. On November 26th, all Year 7 students will be involved in a Waste Conference held at the school, working together to envisage a future with reduced waste.

Romy Mead and Katrina Tong

White Ribbon Day Event

On Wednesday 16 October, six Year 10 students had the opportunity to attend the Boroondara White Ribbon Day where the focus was to ‘Stand Up, Speak Out and Act’. There was a large audience in attendance which included students from a number of local schools as well as members of the local community. The keynote speaker was former world number 4 tennis player, Jelena Dokic, who provided a very honest account of the physical and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her father.

She spoke candidly about her innate desire to improve and win, but also how this often resulted in greater abuse from her father. Dokic told the audience about how she suffered in silence and about her lowest moments. While she looks back now with pride in the amazing results she achieved as a tennis player, those results are all tainted due to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. The way that Dokic has turned her life around is inspiring, with a big focus for her now in mentoring and coaching. She is a powerful voice for many and provides hope for victims of abuse. One of the key messages of her address was to speak up. There are so many more resources available today and she reminded the audience that victims need not suffer in silence like she did – there is help out there.

The Year 10 students were inspired by Dokic’s courage to speak so openly about her experience with abuse. They were grateful for the opportunity to hear her story as well as her advice for us as a community in tackling men’s violence against women.

Saturday Netball Presentation Evening

The Saturday Netball Presentation Evening was held last Wednesday 9 October. Guest speaker Kate Eddy from the Melbourne Vixens spoke about her netball career through the Netball Victoria pathway, inspiring many of the students. Most Valuable Player, Coach’s Award, Umpiring Recognition and Coaching Recognition awards was presented by Kate Eddy to many students. Congratulations goes to the following students on their awards from the Saturday Netball Winter Season.

MVP Awards

Year 5 Jets – Maria Lin

Year 5 Opals – Abbey Marcou

Year 6 Topaz – Lily Thomas and Sophie Towns

Year 7 Quartz – Helena Mauder

Year 7 Pearl – Sofia Sanfilippo

Year 8 Silver – Jessica Lee

Year 8 Jade – Monique Thorp

Year 9 Gold – Sarah Sun

Year 9 Diamonds – Natasha Mak

Year 9 Aquamarines – Annabel Plummer

Year 9 Amber – Bianca Coles

Year 10 Turquoise – Renee Fong

Year 10 Gems – Chelsea Ellingworth

Year 11 Tanzanites – Tara Hoopmann

Year 11 Emeralds – Loren Palma

Year 12 Moonstones – Isabella Lincke

Year 12 Crystals – Isobel Arnot

Coach’s Awards

Year 5 Jets – Christina Weickhardt

Year 5 Opals – Rithanyaa Prakash

Year 6 Topaz – Jessie Chen

Year 7 Quartz – Imogen Morriss

Year 7 Pearl – Mia Paulse

Year 8 Silver – Charlotte Drew

Year 8 Jade – Emma Jamieson

Year 9 Gold – Charlotte Brown

Year 9 Diamonds – Charli Lincke

Year 9 Aquamarines – Olivia Banitsiotis

Year 9 Amber – Sacha Chene

Year 10 Turquoise – Catherine Hu

Year 10 Gems – Sarah Stephen

Year 11 Tanzanites – Annalise Yap

Year 12 Moonstones – Rehana Padmanathan

Year 12 Crystals – Lucy Bartram

Coach’s Recognition Award

Ashley Tang-Chong

Umpire Recognition Award

Isobel Arnot


Jewish Holocaust Centre Excursion

On Monday 7 October, the Year 10 History students visited the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Elsternwick as part of their study of Nazi Germany and World War II.

Our History students had the unique chance to speak with Holocaust survivor John Chaskiel about his experiences. Born in Weilun, Poland in 1929, John was 10 years old when the Nazis invaded. While they placed restrictions on the rights of Jewish people, life seemed to proceed as normal until 1941, when John’s father was murdered by a Nazi officer. At the age of 12, John was taken to a labour camp in Poznan and forced to build roads. He escaped and was hidden by a Catholic Priest for nearly a year. He tried to find his family in Wielun, but found they had been deported. He then travelled Lodz Ghetto, hoping to find his family, and found his older sister. In 1944, John was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and undertook forced labour. As the Soviet Red Army liberated Poland from the Nazis, John and thousands of other slave labourers undertook a death march to Buchenwald Concentration camp in Germany. He was then liberated by the US army in 1945. By this time, John was 15 years old and orphan. He joined a group of ‘Buchenwald Boys’ who decided to emigrate to Australia after the war. John appealed to our girls to always empathise with and understand others, and never give in hatred of those who are different.

After talking to John, the girls broke into small groups to undertake guided discussions of the Holocaust Centre’s museum exhibits. The museum contains a range of artefacts and artworks donated by the some of the 27,000 Holocaust survivors who settled in Australia after World War II, as well as their families. Many students chose to leave a personal reflection in the centre’s visitor book, and our girls lit a candle to symbolically keep alive the memory of the 6 million Jewish people who perished in the Holocaust.

Year 9 World of Work Conference

The final Year 9 Conference ‘World of Work’ took place over two days this week, rounding out a great sequence of dynamic Seasonal Learning opportunities for our students. With a specific focus on introducing students to the CGGS Careers Program, led by Trish Dolan, this custom designed experience, developed and created by Nirvana Watkins, James Henderson, Kate Manners and Charlotte Forwood, enabled students to purposefully explore #myfuture and the mindset and actions that will enable their successful transition to the future of work.

These two days provided students with the opportunity to identify and foster a variety of competency and dispositional skills to build a foundation upon which they can develop their repertoire over the ensuing years. This foundation included creating resumes, establishing an e-portfolio and practising interview skills.

Engaging in a variety of activities, beginning with a mentoring breakfast supported by the OGA where students heard from Melinda Woodlock, Talent Sourcing and Attraction Lead at Ernst & Young, the two days also play an integral role in preparing students for work experience placements, part time jobs and paid employment in their career path. This skill identification and development will be a vital part of their career journey as careers are transformed in a rapidly changing world, and students gain experience across organisations and industries.

Chess Victorian State Finals Tournament

On Friday 13 September, five CGGS students; Emily Lin, Bethany Orme, Kelly Ta, Sophie Chang and Katrina Tong participated in the Open Chess Zonal Qualification Tournament at St. Catherine’s School, Toorak where they competed against boys and girls from many different schools over seven rounds. Our girls were highly successful in their matches and finished as champions of the Girls competition. In addition, Emily Lin was placed 3rd overall in the individual category. These fabulous results meant that the team qualified to represent the school at the Victorian State Chess Championships (Girls Division) on Tuesday 15 October. Held each year, this prestigious event matches the top players in the state against each other. The winner of this competition progresses to the National Championships in Canberra, where they represent Victoria.

With some expert coaching from old grammarian Alanna Chew Lee (part of last year’s Camberwell Girls Chess Team) and lots of practice ensured that the team were as prepared as possible. Seven individual games were played by each student to determine both individual and overall team rankings.

In a packed hall with many parents and teachers from competing schools looked on the rounds progressed with positions changing frequently with wins, draws and losses tallied in real time.

The competition was of the highest level and fully tested each player’s skill, concentration perseverance and determination along with careful time management. There was little to separate the teams by the completion of the tournament with only two points separating 2nd to 6th place, with the Camberwell Girls Grammar team finishing 5th overall. Congratulations to Emily, Bethany, Kelly, Sophie and Katrina on a most successful result and we look forward to more success in the future.  I would also like to acknowledge some individual placings with Sophie Chang 4th overall and Emily Lin 6th overall.

We would like to thank Mrs Helen Pappas and Ms Liza Stevens for their ongoing support and encouragement of the Chess team throughout the year. A reminder for all girls who may be interested in Chess Club, meetings are held every Tuesday in Q201.

Chinese Museum

On Monday 14 October, all of the students in Year 9 studying Chinese participated in an excursion to the Chinese Museum located in China town. The excursion aimed to give us all an insight into Chinese-Australian history and culture, and it was definitely very informative and interesting. We all embarked on a museum tour, where we learnt about migration, identity, fashion, tradition and ancient history, food and medicine, and many other topics.

On our tour, one of the highlights was seeing one of the dragons used in Chinese New Year celebrations, and the one that was displayed was named the ‘Millennium Dragon’. This dragon is the second largest in Australia! After completing the tour, we had the opportunity to participate in a Kung Fu workshop, where we mainly learnt about how martial arts can be used in different situations, particularly in situations where we, particularly as girls and women, may be in situations where our safety is compromised. We learnt basic self-defence techniques to help us in these circumstances, and though it being extremely beneficial and educational, we all had a lot of fun along the way! The Chinese excursion was definitely an eye-opening experience for all of us, we learnt a lot and it was an overall extremely enjoyable day!

Teagan Diep

I wish you all a restful weekend.


Warm Regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Senior School


Senior School

September 6, 2019

Being the final CamNews for Term 3, I take this opportunity to wish all our Senior School families a safe and relaxing holiday. There have been many highlights this Term and many of them culminating in performances this past fortnight. Later in this edition of CamNews the recent GSV Track and Field Championships, the Interschool Snow Sports, Festival of Music and the Debater’s Association of Victoria Competition will be elaborated on, however I take this opportunity to thank all of the students and staff who have enthusiastically embraced each of these offerings. I would also like to acknowledge the students who were Baptised and Confirmed at the recent service with regional Bishop, the Right Reverend Genieve Blackwell and School Chaplain, Reverend Helen Creed who together conducted this service.

At our School Tours yesterday, School Vice Captain, Ellie Zhou reflected on her journey through Senior School as a student who commenced in Year 7 in 2014. Ellie spoke about having an abundance of friends and a feeling of warmth that she experienced from the her first days. Having taken up opportunities in music, sport and drama, Ellie has thoroughly enjoyed working with her peers, but for me her most poignant comment was that she loves the sense of community at CGGS. That the students and staff have great passion, they love learning and truly respect each other.

In Senior School Assembly this week the School Captains for 2020 were announced after a long selection process. This process includes speeches to the entire Senior School, the preparation of their own biography displayed in Senior School, a voting process and interviews. I am pleased to announce our School Captain for 2020 is Felicia Spiridonos and Vice Captains, Laurya Dang-Nguyen and Loren Palma. Congratulations to these girls! Their duties will start soon as the 2019 School Captains prepare for their VCE exams.

What can you do in ten minutes?

Over the past few weeks through our Digital Wellbeing articles, we have brought you, the parents CGGS, on a journey with ourselves and the students. This journey is to help understand how digital technology is being and can be used in our school community to facilitate optimum learning for all. Recently, we promoted our Digital Wellbeing survey and we are grateful to those families who have been able to complete this already. We ask, if you are yet to take this survey, that you spend ten minutes to share information about your own and your daughters’ technology use.

Your participation is encouraged, as it will help us to develop a deeper understanding of our current community trends, concerns and needs. We are also surveying teachers and students after which point, we will conduct focus groups to help guide future CGGS Digital Wellbeing initiatives. It is our intention to work together as a community to support and encourage the discerning and positive use of technology.

The survey should only take approximately ten minutes to complete and is accessible for all CGGS parents via this link.It will remain open until Friday 13 September.

We look forward to sharing the survey findings and our Digital Wellbeing strategies with our community in a number of forums, including CamNews in the coming weeks and months.

Cathy Poyser and Felicity Carroll


House Drama

We wish all the students and their Drama Captains, Hannah Shillington (Lawrence), Chelsey Catena and Alecia Scott (Schofield), Ruby Dawe and Angelique Zhou (Singleton) and Emily Hoyle and Crystal So (Taylor) all the best for the performances tonight. On behalf of all the students involved, I take this opportunity to thank Jenine Caruso and Sally Oliver from the Drama Department for guiding and supporting all the students in their preparations for tonight. Also to Kim Perkins and Keira Lyons for their work enabling the Technical Captains, Victoria Xiao and Annalise Yap (Lawrence), Phoebe Hwong and Ally Quan (Schofield), Amy Li and Saara Sarayana (Singleton) and Joie Lu (Taylor) to learn the vital skills required to ensure the performances are correctly lit and that the voices of all are audible. All in all it has been wonderful to witness the students as they have honed their developing transferable skills of communication, teamwork and creativity.


House Public Speaking Competition

The House Public Speaking Awards were presented to Ananaya Mittal (Singleton) in the Junior Section, Annaliese Cossenas (Singleton) in the Intermediate Section and Rochelle Scheid (Taylor) in the Senior Section. Congratulations to each of these students on their outstanding Public speaking performances.  The poise and polish shown by all participants in delivering their speeches, throughout the competition, is to be commended. To have such confident young speakers in our midst is fantastic to see.


Festival of Music

The Festival of Music Concert, hosted by School Music Captains Maryanne Li and Elizabeth Gong on Friday 23 August, was an entertaining evening of music performances. The many and varied talents of our senior school students were showcased through an extensive range of co-curricular ensembles and choirs. The power of music was celebrated throughout the evening, as students shared their passion for performance with an appreciative audience. It was evident from the high standard of performances that the many hours of rehearsals, together with their ensemble directors, enabled all students to take to the stage with confidence and enthusiasm. We congratulate all performers who participated in this significant school event.

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Celebration of Sport Dinner

The 2019 Celebration of Sport dinner was a wonderful opportunity to bring together many Senior School families and recognise the fantastic sporting achievements recorded over the past twelve months. We were privileged to have Olympic diver Anabelle Smith as our guest speaker. It was inspiring to hear about her journey to becoming an elite diver and the girls were very excited to take photos with Anabelle and her Olympic medal.

There were many awards presented on the night, however we would like to acknowledge some of the major award winners. The year level champion award was presented to the student in each year level who contributed the most to sport at CGGS. This award took into consideration the number of sports each student has participated in, as well as their attitude, commitment to training, performance, leadership and level of improvement throughout the year. The award winners are as follows:

Year 7
1st– Liana Robinson
2nd– Imogen Morriss
3rd– Sofia Pandeli

Year 8
1st– Jessica Lim
2nd– Isabella Tremewen
3rd– Clara Kim, Frida Andreasen and Tara Rastogi

Year 9
1st– Ella Robinson
2nd– Annabel Plummer
3rd– Emma Peak

Year 10
1st– Emily Arvidsson
2nd– Eloise Webster
3rd– Ashley Olsen and Chelsea Ellingworth

Year 11
1st– Michaela Robinson
2nd– Tilly Dunn
3rd– Laney Kriketos and Lauren Palma

Year 12
1st– Lucy Bartram
2nd– Samreen Kaur
3rd– Bianca Phan

The most prestigious award for the night was the Sportwoman of the Year Award which recognised the student who had contributed the most to sport at CGGS across all year levels. The winner of the Sportswoman of the Year Award was Jessica Lim.

The Australian Olympic Change-Maker program has replaced the Pierre de Coubertin Award in 2019. This exciting new opportunity celebrates and brings together young leaders in sport who are ‘making a difference’ in their school or local community. The Australian Olympic Change-Maker program recognises and rewards students who are demonstrating the Olympic spirit through leadership and driving positive change in their communities.

As part of their nomination, every student is invited to participate in a State Forum – an opportunity to connect with Olympians as well as likeminded Olympic Change-Makers. The Olympic Forums will provide students the unique opportunity to share ideas and be immersed in a unique Olympic experience as well as learning first hand from Olympians.

There were over 1000 applicants for this forum and we are very proud that two of our Year 12 students are recipients of the Olympic Changemaker Award, Lucy Bartram and Samreen Kaur were in the 200 students selected to attend this forum last Wednesday at Victoria University. Congratulations Lucy and Samreen.

Thanks to our 2019 Sport Captain, Lucy Bartram for her support in planning and hosting the evening and to the House Sports Captains for their assistance with presenting awards.

Lauren Law
Head of Sport


Transition 2 Tertiary Breakfast

On Friday morning in Robinson Hall the Year 12 girls enjoyed a breakfast organised by Mrs Trish Dolan CGGS Careers Counsellor and Mrs Nareen Robinson, the Year 12 Coordinator. Under the banner of ‘T2T’ (Transition to Tertiary), Mrs Dolan provided the girls with a summary of what factors enable a successful transition from secondary to tertiary education. Two past students, Nina D’Souza and Maggie Robinson (Class of 2018) spoke of their own post CGGS experiences and offered insights into how to make the transition a really successful one.

Nina is enjoying studying the Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne. She spoke about the opportunity to study vastly different subjects such as Anthropology and Gender Studies and how important it was to maintain friendship groups. She spoke of the need to stay focused on studies as the teaching and learning at a tertiary institution is so different from secondary school.

Maggie always wanted to have a gap year after working so hard in Year 12 and she gave an entertaining and humorous account of her time. After exploring a number of gap year organisations, Maggie headed off to Poland to teach English for five months. Along the way she met other young people from different countries, and from many different backgrounds and stated this was one of the highlights of her experience. She continued travelling and met up with another CGGS student who was overseas at that time (also enjoying a gap year!). She believes the gap year was an extremely positive experience and she is well ready to begin her studies at Deakin University studying the double degree of Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Relations. I am sure her own ‘international experience’ will be a huge benefit to her future studies!

Both girls’ great advice, and their ‘tips and tricks’ on how to make this transition a really happy and successful move, will enable our Year 12 graduates in 2019 to feel well prepared for this next chapter. We thank Mrs Dolan and Mrs Robinson for organising this ‘T2T’ Breakfast.


Baptism, Confirmation and Reception Service

Our school Chapel was full to overflowing on Tuesday 27 August. Family and friends gathered to support and encourage nine members of our school community who had chosen to be baptised, confirmed and received into the Anglican Church. Our regional Bishop, the Right Reverend Genieve Blackwell presided and preached, as well as confirming and received the candidates. The School Chaplain, the Reverend Helen Creed baptised six children and young people, and our service was blessed by the singing of a number of Senior School girls, who formed a choir for the occasion, directed by Mrs Cathy Georgiev.

Our warmest congratulations to: Eva Leahy-Baulch (baptised), Meg Chaffey (baptised and confirmed), Bethany Orme (confirmed), Lauren Bernabe (confirmed), Annaliese Le (baptised), Jennifer Le (baptised), Peyton Rhee (baptised) & Ethan Rhee (baptised). Our school principal, Mrs Debbie Dunwoody, after many years as an “Honorary Anglican”, was officially received into the Anglican Communion. It was an evening of warmth, love, community & joy.

DAV Debating

Once again, CGGS participated in DAV debating this year, with six teams competing across four divisions. For the first time, Year 8 students were invited to participate, competing alongside Year 9s. It has been fantastic to see so many students eager to take on the challenge of preparing and presenting an argument in front of an audience in a competitive environment.

This year our teams won 16 debates, with A Grade team 1 (Charlotte, Chloe, Sabrina, Madeline, Kiana, Maryanne, Katia) and C Grade team 1 (Emma, Maggie, Catherine, Esther, Amy) winning four of their five debates.

I would like to congratulate everyone who debated this year and I commend you on your efforts. I strongly encourage you all to continue debating next year and, in the future, to further develop your persuasive and public speaking skills.

Finally, thank you to all of the debating support teachers- Mr Lyell, Ms Gordon, Ms Drentin and Ms Ewens – for your help in organising this competition. Your expertise and guidance has been invaluable.

I look forward to seeing you all debate again next year!

Charlotte Abbott
School Debating and Literary Captain


Skyline Foundation Charity Concert at Scotch College

A group of our senior school musicians on Saturday 24 August,  volunteered to become members of a combined school orchestra, led by Scotch College students. The orchestra of combined schools presented a concert to raise funds for the Skyline Foundation, a charity which provides intensive support for academically gifted students who are at risk of not completing Year 11 or 12 due to adverse circumstances.

Our students rehearsed for a term and a half alongside students from Scotch College, MLC, PLC and Lauriston, preparing their selected repertoire for the concert. The student-directed orchestra presented a varied program of orchestral works and well-known vocal pieces, and the quality of performances was exceptionally high. Our musicians were well represented across a range of orchestral families, two of whom were in leadership roles – Kathy Han (Concert Master) and Chloe Law (Cello Principal). It is particularly pleasing to acknowledge and appreciate that service was at the forefront of all of the students involved, raising funds for the Skyline Foundation – Utilis In Ministerium was in abundance at the concert. We congratulate the following students for volunteering their time and talents for this worthy charity:

Violin 1/Concert Master
Kathy Han

Violin 1
Shirly Chen
Zara Mammone

Violin 2
Isabelle Brisk
Nicole Chang
Angie D’Leong
Megan Kuo

Chloe Law

Victoria Xiao

Lucia Chen

Angelique Zhou

The Chinese High School Debate

Xin Wei Cup has been the largest Chinese high school debating competition in Victoria for over four years. This year, more than 200 debaters from 27 schools participated in the competition. This is the third year in which CGGS has joined the debate with six students coming from Years 9, 10 and 11. The debate runs for over two months and we have successfully progressed through five rounds to reach the semi-final. With tremendous preparation, training and research, along with the huge amount of help from Edward Wu – our team coach from the RMIT Chinese debating team, we have achieved third place this year. We were also honoured to have been invited to compete in the Chinese Debating World Championship, held in Malaysia this coming December.

I have also received a prestigious personal award as the best speaker for 2019 Xin Wei Cup. As the Chinese debating captain of CGGS, I would like to thank our talented debaters Helena Liu, Suzy Zhu, Selina Wang, Lydia Wang and Angela Zhang for their enthusiasm and dedication. We are looking forward to welcoming more students to participate in this wonderful activity next year. Thank you.

Christine Guan
CGGS Chinese Debating Captain

Ladder Walk-a-thon

On the 3rd of September we had our annual LADDER Walk-a-thon in conjunction with Camberwell Grammar School after school at Shenley Reserve. It was a lovely day to walk laps around the park with warm weather which made the event much more enjoyable! This year we also had a bake sale, as well as prizes for the student who did the most laps around the park. Afterwards we heard from Brittany Bonnici, who is a player for the Collingwood AFWL, and also a project manager for LADDER.

She spoke about where the money we raised would go, and about the independent not-for-profit organisation helps young people aged 16 – 25 break the cycle of homelessness. LADDER gives young people the tools to take control of their lives, transition to independence and achieve their potential. LADDER supports young people exiting out- of-home care, and developing self-confidence and helping young people to identify and achieve their life goals. The event was very rewarding to know that what we were doing went towards a great and worthy cause, and all the students who participated enjoyed it very much.

Josie La
Service Learning Captain

German Excursion

On Friday 30 August, as part of the German Enterprise Project, the Year 10 German class went on an excursion into the city. The German Enterprise Project is an initiative set up by the Goethe Institute for German students to learn about businesses with close ties to Germany in our region, and to develop enterprise skills. Students work in groups and select a partner company with the goal to design and pitch a product or service for them.

Our first stop was Melbourne Design Studios in Collingwood, where we learnt about sustainable housing and the company’s architecture projects. Then we took the train to Flinders Street where we stopped for a Lindt hot drink before heading to our second partner company, Leica. We were given a very informative presentation about the company and their history, and were shown some of their products from the early 20th century until today. During both visits, we interviewed a representative of the company regarding their connection to Germany, their company processes, their products, their customers, and their vision. We then had a German lunch at the Hofbrauhaus, where all students had to order their meals in German.

2019 Victorian Age Short Course Championships

We’ve had a lot of Swimming success over the past fortnight. Overall, CGGS Aquatic had 14 swimmers compete over a full 3 days of competition; achieving 23 PB’s from 32 individual events (75% PB result which is sensational).

The Club was also involved in some Medley and Freestyle relays where further PB‘s were achieved.

Standout CGG student results were as follows;

Emily Price (Year 7) competed in 8 races and in 3 of those races she has qualified for the Vic Open Championships on 14 – 15 September.

Scarlett Giang (Year 8) competed in 2 races and she has qualified in one race for the Vic Open Championships on 14 – 15 September.

Sophie Chang (Year 7) also completed and achieved a 1.69sec PB and a State Qualifying time.

Ella Robertson Brown (Year 8) had 4 top 10 finishes on the day, ranking her in the top 10 for her age in Victoria. Other achievements for Ella included:

> 5PBs

> 4x50m freestyle relay- bronze medalists

> 4x50m medley relay- silver medalists

> 4x50m mixed freestyle relay- bronze medalists

Victorian Interschool Snowsports Championships 

From 19 to 23 August, students from CGGS went up to Mt Buller to compete in the Victorian Interschool’s Snowsports Championships. CGGS was one of 230 schools participating with our team of nine girls, we competed across Division 1, 2 and 3 as well as Giant Slalom and Alpine SkierX. This year saw our biggest CGGS presence on Mt Buller and with 13 Ormiston students also competing in the Junior School events earlier in the week, the future of the CGGS SnowSports team is looking bright.

It was an extremely fun week filled with skiing. Well done to all the competitors and thank you to Ms Stevens and Miss Winkler who were there to offer their support and a great deal of encouragement to all the girls, watching us cross the finish line with much cheering and encouragement.

Division 3 Competitors (Years 7 & 8)
Charlotte Luke, Sara Rowland, Emma Daffy, Jessica Lim, Xara Anderson & Isabella Tremewen

Saturday Netball Finals 

The CGGS Saturday Netball Club had eleven teams compete in the semi-finals last Saturday, the level of the competition was high but our CGGS teams were up for the challenge. Highlights included, Year 8 Silver go into overtime against Koonung Firebirds, and CGGS Silver played a great defensive game and were able to convert many turnovers into goals. Unfortunately, Koonung defeated CGGS Silver by only one goal.

Year 9 Diamonds gave it their all for all four quarters of the game, although Ruyton Ravens barely missed a goal.

Year 9 Amber were up against the top team Strathcona Sharks, CGGS Amber fought hard, trying defensive set ups and set plays. Going into the fourth quarter, CGGS were down by one goal, but Strathcona came out very strong and were unstoppable in the fourth, taking the win.

The Year 12 Crystals versed Genazzano Lenton in a very competitive game, Genazzano got off to a strong start but CGGS came back in the second quarter to level the scores. CGGS Crystals tried many combinations but could not get over the line, going down to Genazzano by three goals.

The Year 12 Moonstones had a tough game against Genazzano Pitman, CGGS Moonstones played a great second half but it was not enough. Both Year 12 teams played their final game for CGGS last Saturday, the spirits were high and all girls should be congratulated on their dedication to the CGGS Saturday Netball Program.

Lexie Joyce
CGGS Netball Coordinator 

A Video Conference with Ancient Rome!

As part of their upcoming study of Ancient Rome, in Week 7 our Year 7 students were engaged in a video conference with Dr Alan Cadwallader, a New Testament scholar from Charles Sturt University. Dr Cadwallader was able to share with us his experiences on the archaeological excavation of Collosae, in modern Turkey. This site is relevant to his study of the New Testament, and he was able to bring life to this ancient place through his discussion of inscriptions and coins discovered there. Amongst these coins were some minted with the text ‘Claudia Eugenetoriane’, a rare instance of a woman with apparently independent wealth and power from the ancient world.

A question and answer session gave students the opportunity to gain insights from someone working on an archaeological site. They were interested in the difficulties and rewards of such work, as well as wanting to know more about the ancient past. In answer to a question “Would you have like to live in ancient Collosae?” Dr Cadwallader answered that it would all depend on one’s status in the social hierarchy. Life as a slave would not be enviable, but as a member of the wealthy class, he thought it would have been quite comfortable.

Izzy Wood in 7W concluded, “The video conference was an interesting experience that taught us all a lot. There was a great amount of information that Dr Cadwallader gave us. He has very extensive knowledge on Collosae and you can tell he is very passionate about his work. I’m sure we all learnt a lot and found the experience memorable.”

Senior School


Senior School

August 23, 2019

Melbourne Indigenous Transition School Visit Year 7

Last Thursday the Year 7 students hosted 11 students from the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS). Our student hosts welcomed the girls during lunchtime, showed them around the Senior School, introduced the girls to their Tutor group and during period 6 the girls joined our students in an Art, Science or Drama class.

MITS is residential transition school in Melbourne, Australia, for Indigenous students from remote and regional communities. MITS was developed to support indigenous students to further their education as successfully as possible. Each year, 11 indigenous girls of Year 7 age come to Melbourne and live in the MITS boarding house in Richmond. They attend school there for a year before moving into scholarship positions at Melbourne Partner schools where they continue their education.

CGGS was pleased to be able to host the 11 girls from MITS and I thank the students and staff who acted as ambassadors on the day.


Quartet Success!

We are delighted to share the news that Megan Kuo, Nicole Chang, Sarah Hui and Chloe Law (otherwise known as ‘Quartet Con Brio’) competed in the Monash Youth Music Festival in the Junior Instrumental Ensemble Section and won first place!

They had been working hard with their ensemble director Margaret Butcher to prepare for this competition and she was pleased that they performed with “nice detail and inspiring togetherness”.

Below is a reflection of their experience:

On 17 August, our quartet gathered at Huntingtower School to perform in the Monash Youth Music Festival. We were nervous, but excited to present what we had been working on for many months. Our preparation for the event included early morning and holiday rehearsals, as well as a workshop with eminent violinist Anne Harvey-Nagl.

On stage, we felt a bit shaky however, we settled into the performance as it went on. It was somewhat surreal when it was announced that we had won. We were thrilled, and felt so grateful we had been able to take part in such a fantastic opportunity. This experience had allowed us to bond and refine our unity while playing, something the adjudicator commented on as a contributing factor to our win.

The support and encouragement from our families and teachers at school was paramount to our success. We would especially like to thank our quartet teacher, Ms Butcher, whose patience and dedication has been remarkable. Our quartet has improved so much under her guidance, and it would not have been possible for us to achieve this much without her help.

Chloe Law, Megan Kuo, Nicole Chang and Sarah Hui

Invergowrie Foundation

On Thursday 8 August I had the pleasure of representing Mrs Dunwoody at the annual Invergowrie Foundation Principal’s lunch. The Invergowrie Foundation was established in 1992, and it’s primary focus is the advancement of the education of girls and women within Victoria.

This year at the lunch the Vice Chancellor of Swinburne University, Professor Linda Kristjanson AO spoke. Professor Kristjanson AO also spoke at one of our own Parent Education Seminars on Educating Future Ready Learners in Today’s Changing World in 2018 and also addressed our students in an assembly in August 2013 was the guest speaker.

As a passionate STEM advocate and in the lead up to National Science Week, she spoke about the ways in which the Invergowrie Foundation and their partnerships with Universities throughout Victoria are working together to promote Science studies amongst our girls.

Professor Kristjanson’s commitment to STEM is evident in the Swinburne University vision which is to be a world-class university creating social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation.

Professor Kristjanson stated that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are areas that are critical to all careers in this century yet the numbers of student graduating from these disciplines have declined dramatically.

The findings from a recent report, “Girls’ Future – Our Future” which was funded by the Invergowrie Foundation and completed by researchers at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University, stated that “If girls and women are not encouraged to engage with STEM they will be at greater risk of becoming excluded from a substantial part of the workforce of the future”.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal & Head of Senior School


National Science Week

Acting Head of Science, Mr Anthony Pasinati, commenced our Senior School Assembly and National Science Week with a bang, 3 hydrogen bombs to be precise. This certainly grabbed the attention of us all, as did his astronaut clothing bought especially for the week.


School Captains, Nikki Chen, Ellie Zhou and Stephanie Lysikatos, hosted a special Science focused NES Show, interviewing Science teachers, Ms Kirsten Shipsides, Mrs Kim Hepworth and Mr Anthony Pasinati, along with Ms Nirvana Watkins and a panel of students studying Sciences, Isabella Linke, Katie Lutze and Ashley Chan. During the week the Science Department led a number of activities throughout including a Mythbusters discussion “Was the Moon Landing Faked”; Mars Rover Quest in the Anne Feehan building and a DIY Telescopes activity in Makerspace.

Sustainable Housing

On Thursday August 15, the Year 8 students visited the Docklands as part of a science excursion investigating sustainable buildings. Although it was cold and windy along the port, we all thoroughly enjoyed our time walking around the Docklands.

When we first arrived at our base for the day, we spoke with Senior Lecturer in Water Resources Engineering, Dr Scott Rayburg, from Swinburne University about how Thermal Cameras, (cameras which show with colour whether the surface temperature is warm or cool) can help us in identifying where the heat in a building is going when the heating /cooling is on. We then had an opportunity to use these thermal cameras to identify how much heat is in the objects around us.

For the next phase of the excursion, we split off into two groups where we visited the ANZ (commercial) and EXO (residential) buildings. We identified how some features on these buildings (for example, recycled water filters on the ANZ building and a white panel with cheese shaped holes over the EXO building) have been beneficial to the buildings’ energy efficiency and sustainability goals to protect our natural environment. We also visited the Docklands Library and learn how solar panels, cross-laminated and recycled timber, doubled glazed windows and passive ventilation in the building help to make the library as close to Carbon-neutral and free of wasted energy as possible.

The excursion was an experience that made us all think more seriously about how the buildings that we work, live and study in can make a huge impact on the environment.

Nektaria Toscas
Year 8


Year 8 Geography Excursion

On August 7th, Year 8 students travelled by bus to Elwood to study urbanisation and urbanisation threats. We also looked at how the suburb prepares for floods, the future threats of sea level rise, and the challenges associated with increasing population density. When we arrived at Elwood we studied the liveability of the area and assessed the flooding risks along the Elwood Canal. Elwood used to be a swamp and they drained the swamp by building the canal that lead from Elsternwick Park to Port Phillip Bay. We walked along the canal to the beach and looked at some of the drains that assisted with redirecting water, so the houses located nearby wouldn’t be affected. We also looked at things Elwood had put in place to prevent flooding, things like drains, elevated houses and cambered roads. Our highlight of the day was when we went down to Elwood beach, the weather was cold and cloudy, but that didn’t stop us from having fun! We walked up to Point Ormond where we were lucky enough to see these amazing views of the Melbourne CBD. Overall this an amazing opportunity, and we all learnt lots about how places have had to adapted overtime and how important urban planning is.

Alexandra Strong and Ruby Killington
Year 8



Saturday Netball

The Saturday Netball Winter Season is coming to an end and CGGS are looking like eleven Saturday Netball teams will make the semi-finals. The last round of the Winter Season is very important for some teams, as it will determine what position they will finish in the top four.

Highlights from last Saturday include, Year 7 Pearl won the second half of the game against the top team, and unfortunately, it was not enough to win the game.

Year 7 Silver out played MLC Pearls and defeated them 10-7.

Year 9 Gold had an 8 goal win over Fintona Femmes, and Year 9 Diamonds had a convincing win over Strathy Sunset.

Year 9 Aquamarines had a very close game against Koonung Phoenix, but CGGS were steady and more consistent, defeating them 14-12.

Year 12 Moonstones were too strong for Strathy Shooting Stars, and are looking tough for finals.

Congratulations goes to all CGGS Netball teams on their efforts throughout the Winter Season and best of luck to teams competing in the semi-finals.

Lexie Joyce
Netball Coordinator


Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix In Concert!

On Thursday 15 August the Year 8/9 Music Performance Elective attended the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performance of ‘Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix In Concert’ at Hamer Hall. This MSO experience was a viewing of the movie whilst listening to a live performance of the music soundtrack. The venue, decorated throughout with Hogwarts House banners, was buzzing with many audience members dressed up in the costume of their favourite character or the scarf of a particular House.

The students had previously studied components of the musical score and were thrilled to be immersed in a live performance of the music alongside the screening of the movie. The immediately recognisable iconic music themes were creatively infused into the orchestral treatment of new thematic ideas.

Jenelle – “The experience and environment was so knew to me, so just being there was amazing. The engagement between the audience and the performance was really interesting, along with the ability to watch each instrument contribute to the overall score.”

Stephanie – “I found the concert wonderful as you could see the orchestra live, which made the music much clearer and easier to listen to. It was also interesting to see how the soundtrack fitted with the movie.”

Bethany – “I found the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix live performance to be awe-inspiring. I felt like I was listening to the recorded soundtrack of the film most of the time, because the orchestra was so in time and sounded wonderful.”

Phoebe – “Watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in concert was such an enjoyable experience. The atmosphere was amazing and I loved being able to interact with the movie and the live orchestra.” 


German Poetry Competition

On Saturday August 17, I had the honour of participating in the AGTV German Poetry Competition State Finals at the Austrian Club following my result at the regional competition.

It was a lovely afternoon which included a taste into some German food and culture, as well as having an opportunity to quiz your knowledge on the German culture.

All 21+ Poetry performances for Year 8 Daf(school level) were of an impeccably high level and took some time to perfect. Unfortunately, I did not receive a prize, but I was extremely happy with my achievements and had a wonderful afternoon. I would highly recommend that anyone studying German at CGGS participates in the German Poetry Competition.

Nektaria Toscas
Year 8

Have a lovely weekend.

Kind Regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal & Head of Senior School