Senior School


Senior School

November 26, 2021

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

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

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

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Year 9 Service Learning Conference

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

Jennifer Gordon
Head of Service Learning

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

Sofia Pandeli, 9C

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

Emily Price, 9B

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

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

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

Grace Barnes, 9D

Music Achievements – Emily Wu

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

> LMusA (Piano)

> LMusA with Distinction (Cello)

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

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

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

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Zoo Youth Leadership

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

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

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

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Videos for Change

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

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

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

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

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Global Youth Forum

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

Dr. Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

CGGS 2021 Election

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 Empower Agents of Change Leadership Global Conference

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

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

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

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

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

 Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

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

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

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

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

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

Die Modeschau – the German Fashion Show

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

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

The collections were:

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

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

> Pyjama Kollektion [Pyjama Collection] by Vasp

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

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

> Cool und Bequem [Cool and Comfortable] by AMCA

> Frühlingskollektion [Spring Collection] by Four Seasons

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

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

First Lego League

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

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

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

> Design and build a robot

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

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

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

Dr. Charlotte Forwood
First Lego League Coach

Click below to expand the images.

Music Work Experience: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

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

MSO Work Experience Reflections

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

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

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

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

Chloe Law and Megan Kuo, Year 11

Year 8 Service Learning Afternoon – Making Christmas hampers for Djirra

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

Sarah Chan, Year 8

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

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

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

Jennifer Gordon
Head of Service Learning

Senior School


Senior School

November 12, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lest we forget.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

History Competitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ian Lyell
Head of History

2021 CGGS Election Campaign Launch

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

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

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

Alexandra Larkey
Head of Commerce

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

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

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

Phoebe Hwong

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

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

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

Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary

Zonta Birthing Kit Program

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

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

Nektaria Toscas, 10A

One Girl Fundraiser

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

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

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

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

Isabella Wood and Bella Fary, 9B

Netball is back!

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

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

Alexia McConnell
Netball Coordinator

Senior School


Senior School

October 29, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a fabulous long weekend.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

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

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

Emily Zhang

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

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

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

Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary

Chinese Reading Awards

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

Lin Zhang
Chinese Coordinator

Virtual Education Outdoors Activities Week

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

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

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

Virtual Camp Islands

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

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

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

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

Micah Wilkins
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation

A night under the stars with Murrundindi

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

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

Creating opportunities for reconnection

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

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

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

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

Yale University – Science of Well-Being

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

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

Kirsten Shipsides
Science Teacher

House Drama Short Film Festival 2021

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

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

And the awards go to….

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keira Lyons
Head of Drama & Performing Arts

Senior School


Senior School

October 15, 2021

Last night we celebrated the Years 10 – 12 students and their academic, citizenship and co-curricular achievements in our pre-recorded 2021 Presentation Evening. Congratulations to all our Academic Award recipients who were recognised for their excellence across all subjects at Years 10 and 11, or within individual Unit 3/4 subjects at Years 11 and 12. In 2021, our Citizenship Award recipients reflected the number of students, who during the course of the pandemic, have gone above and beyond to connect with their peers and students in other year levels. I also extend a huge thank you to all our 2021 School and House leaders who have led their portfolios magnificently throughout this year. Requiring a plan, A to Z to ensure their event could be conducted onsite or remotely and sometimes needing to switch between the two modes with a days’ notice. On behalf of the student leaders, I also thank and acknowledge the support of their mentor teachers in each role.

There were many highlights and being able to once again share the House Dances from Term 1, House Music from Term 2, and some photographs from our House Athletics and Cross Country events showcased the enthusiasm and extensive contribution our students have been able to make to the co-curricular program of the school even during the pandemic.

The format we have used these past two years to ensure our Senior School community have been able to celebrate the year with us is also something we are incredibly proud of. I am very grateful to all our staff, both teaching and professional services who meticulously plan for this event and wish to recognise Mr Kim Perkins for his efforts in bringing it all to life.

Thanking the current School and House leaders and introducing the new leaders has also become a feature of our Presentation Night, and at this time I again extend my appreciation to all of the 2021 leaders and congratulate all of our 2022 leaders on their appointments. The leadership process at CGGS is one we can certainly be very proud of. It is rigorous and extensive, and many staff and current student leaders are involved in this process which has been developed and coordinated by Ms Kath Woolcock and Mr Shane Maycock. Thank you both for the leadership programs and opportunities you have created for our students.

We were also able to have our Celebration of Sport assembly, which can be viewed further down in this edition of CamNews. Congratulations to all our students who received awards and participated in our Sport programs throughout the year. We congratulate all the Year Level Champion recipients, Changemaker Award winners Belinda Lemanis and Cathy Gu, and our Sportswoman of the Year winner Isabella Tremewen.

Last week, our Year 9 students also enjoyed their final Seasonal Learning conference for this year, an incredible ‘World of Work’ CGGS Careers program that all Years 9s took part in. We were fortunate to have some of our parents, alumni and old Grammarians take part in this program. Thank you to all of those involved and for helping to create a wonderful opportunity for our students.

This week the Year 7 and 8 students took part in PROJECT ROCKIT, a workshop discussing respectful relationships and behaviours and empowering our students to stand up to bullying. We hope the students enjoyed these sessions and took away some valuable moments from the day.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

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

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

Zoe Giagoudakis

Was there anyone important to you in your DOE experience?
The people who were important in my Duke of Ed journey were the other girls that were also doing Duke of Ed with me. It was great to have someone to communicate with about how we were progressing with the program and what the lies in the future for us.

How would you improve your experience if you did it again?
I could improve my Duke of Ed journey by just being more up to date with logging my hours. Duke of Ed is a good way to improve your time management skills through continuously filling in your activity hours.

What would you tell someone just starting or thinking about DOE?
My advice to someone initially starting Duke of Ed would be to just give it a go because it’s a really great opportunity to extend yourself and it’s also a great thing for your resume.

Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary

2021 Science Talent Search

This year, the Science Talent Search was Food: Different By Design. Students could choose to create a short story, board game, video or poster that explained some aspect of science, or to plan and conduct their own original experimental research. It was wonderful to witness the enthusiasm and energy that the students involved displayed over the course of the program, and the flexibility and perseverance that they showed when completing or modifying their projects due to remote learning.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Science Talent Search program this year. We are delighted to announce that three students were awarded Major Bursaries for their projects and 12 Minor Bursaries. There were a further 6 projects awarded Distinctions or Merits.

Students will be presented with their certificates at an assembly later this year, and those students who have been awarded a Bursary will be able to attend an online awards ceremony on Monday 8 November at school.

You can view all projects entered for judging attached below.

Penny Dumsday
Science Teacher

PYOE Competition 2021 – CGGS on the podium again!

The Plan Your Own Enterprise Competition (PYOE) is an annual opportunity run by Business Educators Australasia in conjunction with the Victorian Commercial Teachers Association, for students across Australia to create and submit a Business Plan based on a specified set of criteria. The competition is open to students of all ages but is dominated by students in Years 10 and 11, with approximately 1000 entries from students in these year levels received each year.

At CGGS, the PYOE competition forms part of the Year 9 Commerce curriculum with students having the option to submit the Business Plans they create as part of the ‘Power and Enterprise’ unit of study. Students can choose to work individually or as a group and each year we love reading about the ideas they come up with and encourage all students to throw their hat in the ring for the $1000 prize money up for grabs!

CGGS has an impressive track record of success with this competition having had group entries that have won the National Competition in three of the last 5 years. This year we are very proud to announce that Sophie Chang, Hannah Croft and Keona Siaw finished Runners Up in the group category for Victoria, with their business plan for ‘Keikko,’ a business selling customisable, environmentally conscious, home-delivered lunchbox cakes. Also, Izzie Wood finished third in the Individual category for Victoria with her business plan for ‘Custom Cards,’ a business selling customisable greeting cards via an online service.

These results are a fitting acknowledgement of the rigour our students apply to the execution of this task and are particularly impressive given the competition attracts entries from students undertaking Units 1 & 2 Business Management.

All our Year 9 students are to be congratulated for the work they put into their PYOE Business Plans this year. As well as providing a genuinely creative way for students to continue developing their communication, problem solving and time management skills, the diversity of ideas and clarity of expression presented in these plans made reading them a real pleasure.

We can’t wait to see what ideas 2022 will bring!

Ali Larkey, Zenab Zavery, Chris Anton and Karoline Walter
Year 9 Commerce Team

Year 9 World of Work

The final Year 9 Seasonal Learning Conference took place last Thursday and Friday, on the theme of World of Work. An introduction to the CGGS Careers program, this conference delivered a range of experiences for the students as they worked from home.

We were delighted to begin this conference during the holidays with an official invitation and conference swag being delivered to the students at home. Partnering with two female led and owned companies, Write to Me and Myrtle and Moss, our conference packages provided not only some keepsakes but sustenance for the two days as well.

Click below to read on about what took place on Day One and Day Two of our World of Work program.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives


Each year, as part of the Wellbeing Program, CGGS hosts PROJECT ROCKIT to deliver their innovative and empathy-based workshops that discuss respectful relationships and respectful behaviour. PROJECT ROCKIT is Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice. Through online and face-to-face workshops, they empower school students to challenge anti-social behaviour, including bullying, by standing up for themselves and others. While we do not see bullying very often in our school community, the skills of being an upstander and empowering young people to make change at a societal level is an important goal.

On Monday 12 October, the Year 7 students took part in two online workshops: ‘Looking out for each other online,’ and ‘Respect and Empathy’. These sessions aimed to create an online space where all young people have access to respect, acceptance, creative expression, and feel empowered to be themselves. Working through a series of videos, polls and questions, the presenters were able to engage the Year 7 students to lead positive change at school, online and beyond.

The Year 8 students heard from Lucy Thomas, the CEO and co-founder of PROJECT ROCKIT, as she delivered a keynote address that explored the benefits and challenges of social media, its role as a tool for connection and the power of kindness, integrity, and honesty in the way we communicate and respond to each other. Lucy provided six key strategies to promote digital wellbeing and digital safety including the importance of designing an online world that is meaningful for you, seeking and showing support, taking time off, being kind to yourself and standing together. These sessions form an important part of our wellbeing program and will be further explored as part of our Period 5 and Health curriculum throughout Term 4.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

Celebration of Sport Assembly

The 2021 Celebration of Sport assembly was a wonderful opportunity to recognise the fantastic sporting achievements recorded over the past twelve months, including GSV Finals Evening participants, Changemaker Awards, Year Level Champions and Sportswoman of the Year. If you would like to watch the Celebration for Sport presentation, please use the following link.

We were also fortunate to have Australian Softballer, Jenny Holliday, as our guest speaker. Jenny represented Australia in three softball World Championships before playing in the sport’s Olympic debut at Atlanta 1996. She helped Australia win the bronze medal, behind the United States and China. Jenny talks about how she overcame adversity to achieve her goal of being an Australian Softballer by training hard, being focused and having clear goals. She also touched on the importance of having the courage to try and surrounding yourself with great people to support you through your journey.

Another major award presented was the 2021 Australian Olympic Change-Maker award. This award recognises students who demonstrate sporting excellence whilst exemplifying the Olympic values. These recipients have demonstrated the Olympic spirit through leadership and driving positive change, whether it’s through leading teams, coaching Juniors, or supporting Seniors. This award is celebrated nationally and hosted by the Victorian Olympic Council. This year we were very excited to announce Belinda Lemanis and Cathy Gu as the two recipients of the 2021 CGGS Olympic Change Maker Award.

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:

The major award for the afternoon was the Sports Woman of the Year Award which recognised the student who had contributed the most to sport at CGGS across all year levels. This year the Sports Woman of the year has competed in Softball, Swimming, Diving, Cross Country, Water Polo, AFL, Athletics and Soccer and due to her attitude, commitment, leadership, improvement, and performance. The 2021 Sportswoman of the year was awarded to Isabella Tremewen.

Thank you to our 2021 Sports Captain, Cathy Gu and all the House Sports Captains – Lauren Bernabe, Nicole Ang, Emmelyn Choo-Lambropoulos, Annabel Plummer, Emma Peak, Charli Lincke, Ella Robinson and Ruvina Suriyapperuma for everything they have contributed to the sports program this year. Also, thank you to the PFA – Friends of Sport, all the staff, coaches, parents and students who have made 2021 sport possible. We look forward to seeing you all for an even bigger year of sport in 2022!

Lauren Law
Head of Sport

River Nile School and Learning Centre

Since 2008, CGGS has supported the work of River Nile, which was set up initially by the Anglican Parish of Footscray to teach English to Sudanese refugee and asylum seeker women. Since then, it has diversified its work to include any recent refugee or asylum seeker women, has relocated to North Melbourne, and been registered as a school to teach VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) classes. Prior to last year, our CGGS Year 9 students have made visits to River Nile in small groups on a voluntary roster basis throughout the year offering childcare or help in distributing food brought in from Foodbank Victoria. On occasions we have run our own food drives for River Nile, however none of these activities have been possible during 2020-2021. We have kept in touch and during Term 2 the River Nile teachers suggested a new way that we could help support them remotely, by our Year 9 students offering to be pen pals to some of their VCAL students. This would help their students with their English writing and comprehension.

We were thrilled when last term there was a call out for volunteers from our Year 9 cohort, just before the end of Term 3, and a number of our Year 9s were put in touch with two (or in one case, three) River Nile students. It’s all very new, but we hope and look forward to some lively email exchanges.

Duncan Reid
Head of Religious Education

Videos for Change

Videos for Change is a way for young people to develop confidence, practice social advocacy, and build valuable 21st-century skills they need for a better future. This year, for the first time, CGGS was delighted to enter four teams of Year 10 students into the Videos for Change National Competition.

This competition required participants to create a one-minute video that shows empathy, builds awareness and inspires action. Although begun on campus, students have worked on their submissions almost exclusively whilst in lockdown. We are very proud of all four teams and delighted that two of these have been selected as national finalists. The videos ‘Disconnected’ by Scarlett Giang and Natalie Chung, and ‘#strideinyourstyle’ by Salwa Saiba, Nektaria Toscas, Siena Yap, Salome Obeyesekere, Jaya Akritidis and May Du have made it to the finals in the Senior High School category for students in Year 10–12.

Their videos were selected from hundreds of submissions from across the country which went through two rounds of initial judging and are now sitting with a group of external judges with expertise in social media, mainstream media and film, and documentary making. In making the finals, these videos are also eligible for the People’s Choice Award, where members of the public can view all of the finalists and cast votes towards their favourites. Voting will be held from Monday 18 – Monday 25 October, with winners being announced in November.

Please visit the link here to Videos for Change for more information on the competition and opportunity to support our students in the People’s Choice Award.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

National Youth Science Forum 2022

Congratulations to Bethany Orme and Harkee Judge who have been selected through an interview process to attend the National Youth Science Forum 2022 (NYSF). Access to this forum is highly prized by Year 12 science students nationally, so we are very proud that Bethany and Harkee have been given the opportunity to attend.

The NYSF is a 12-day program from 10-25 January 2022, which includes keynote speakers, lectures, hands-on workshops, debates, expos and enriching social activities. In-person STEM visit days and events are held over a week of the program at major city hubs across the country, enabling students to meet each other and network with like-minded peers. A continuous program of digital events will also run alongside the in-person events.

We wish Bethany and Harkee all the best for the forum and look forward to hearing all about their experiences on our return to school in 2022.

Di Wood
Acting Head of Science

Victorian Secondary Girls Chess Finals

With a consistent record of making State finals, CGGS once again fielded a strong team on Tuesday 12 October in the State finals of School Chess, having qualified earlier in the year. The online event saw Emily Lin, Bethany Orme, Kelly Ta (Year 11), Sophie Chang and Lucy Ciro (Year 9) compete via the platform.

Playing 7 matches each, with strict time pressure, they competed for over 4 hours. Camberwell Girls came in fourth – an excellent result demonstrating high levels of skill, concentration, and commitment.

With uncertain internet and some classes at school, Sophie and Emily competed from School, with Bethany, Kelly and Lucy logging in from their homes. The students missed some of the team feel of the event but were grateful that the finals went ahead, and they all enjoyed the experience.

Helen Pappas
Biology & Science Teacher

House Celebration

Today we had the opportunity to thank our 2021 captains, celebrate the house spirit shown by our community this year and induct our 2022 House leaders.

It was wonderful to see the colour and enthusiasm as over 400 students and teachers joined to celebrate the 2021 House program. A special mention to the 2021 House Captains Karen and Ella (Lawrence), Jess and Seanna (Singleton), Rachel and Claire (Schofield) and Chantelle and Aalisha (Taylor) and 2021 School House Captain Chloe Langley on their roles in supporting the school community this year.

Shame Maycock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-Curricular Programs

A final lesson on the power of language to the VCE German students

The trials and tribulations of learning a foreign language were celebrated with the endearing children’s storybook “The Word Factory” (Die Wörterfabrik) in the final lesson for the Year 12 German students, who completed the oral component of their studies last week.

Anyone who has learned a foreign language will be able to identify with the inability to find that precise word or expression to convey meaning. However, communication can take many forms and in this charming book, people live in a country where words are a luxury. In this ‘Land of the great Word Factory,’ people must buy and swallow words in order to speak them. Words in this country are a luxury, reserved for the rich. So how can the boy named Paul show his love to Marie, when he cannot afford to buy words to show his love?  Fortunately, he has been lucky to find just that one meaningful word that he pulled from the rubbish bin to save their romance!

The students were left to reflect about the magic of words and language, and about how you say something is often more important than what you say. All the best wishes accompany them on their future endeavours!

Ingrid Beck
German Teacher

Virtual Education Outdoors

As published in last weeks Senior School Weekly, week 3 will see students participating in a Virtual Education Outdoors Adventure. Students have been sent a brief outline of the program with further details being sent Monday morning. The website students will access is and is live for students and family to plan their week of adventure.

Shame Maycock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Co-Curricular Programs

Senior School


Senior School

September 3, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This past fortnight we have continued to see our students fully involved in activities remotely. I know I say it frequently, but we have so much to be proud of at CGGS and the lockdown has only served to strengthen within us all a sense of resolve.

Over the past fortnight the many staff who assist our student leaders in the coordination of the vast array of co-curricular programs on offer at CGGS, have had the great pleasure of interviewing each of the Year 10 and 11 students who have applied for a leadership role in 2022. The highlight for me in these interviews was the number of students who have used our school values during this pandemic as their guiding principles. Most frequently the students highlighted how important the values of hope and courage have been to them in the past 18 months. The students were able to share challenges, experiences and opportunities where they have actively thought of and used these values to assist them.

During the Senior School Assembly on 24 August, it was my pleasure to announce the Monash Scholars Program recipients for 2021. The Monash Scholars Program provides selected high achieving students from Years 10 – 12 with an exclusive opportunity to engage with Monash University. Each year students in Year 10 from over 130 schools are invited to apply to be a part of this prestigious program.

The program is offered by Monash University to give the successful students a unique head start into university life. It provides opportunities for students to explore their passions, develop a broad suite of study, personal and academic skills, gives students the knowledge and confidence to make the right course and career choices. The program also enables the recipients to build a network of student peers, academic, and future employment contacts.

The program begins in Year 10, and continues through Years 11 and 12, with participants being invited to a number of events and activities each year. Students who receive this award are expected to commit around 20 hours a year to the program through participation in a range of events and activities. Students receiving this award who successfully gain a place at Monash University for their tertiary studies after completing Year 12 continue to receive benefits including leadership and ambassador opportunities.

We congratulate our 2021 Monash Scholars Tara Rastogi, Nektaria Toscas and Natalie Chung and wish them well as they commence in this prestigious program.

We also send congratulations to Sophie Chang (Year 9 – Gold Medal Year 9-10 and Overall) and Lucy Ciro (Year 9 – Silver Medal in the Girls Division) on their success at the Northern Star Online Chess Zone competition for Secondary students on Monday 23 August.

Last Friday night over 50 students joined the Service Learning Captains, Eloise Holwill, Year 12 and Amelia Westerman, Year 11 for the annual Winter Sleep Out. This event has always seen many students and staff take a hands-on approach to how at CGGS we work with community groups such as The Salvation Army to support homelessness initiatives. Last year the event went remote and again this year the captains were able to ensure our school motto, “Utilis in Ministerium” was lived out.  Please see the article written by Eloise and Amelia later in this edition of Camnews.

This week we thank the Health and PE Department for sharing activities and challenges for all students and staff as we all recognised National Health and Physical Education Week. The activities depicted below included a mixture of individual and House based challenges that were shared by Head of Physical Education and Health, Nareen Robinson on Monday via an email encouraging all to take part with a promotional line of “From trick shots to steps and domino challenges, workouts and climbing virtual mountains there is something for everyone!”

This week students in Years 9 to 12 took part in Learning Conversations with their parents and teachers. Running alongside these we had our Upskill by Design sessions which provide students with an opportunity to learn in a different format, developing a range of skills that are complementary to but very separate from the learning undertaken in their everyday classes.  Kate Manners shares more detail about the activities undertaken in her article below.

To all the fathers in our Senior School community I wish you a very happy Father’s Day this coming Sunday.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Learning by Design

It’s been a wild ride with the launch of our Upskill …BY DESIGN program this year amidst ongoing restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re heartened to have the robust flexibility of the program’s design hold true with its’ ability to operate, face-to-face on site, online or in a hybrid capacity.

For CGGS it is an ongoing priority to equip students with the necessary skills to navigate but more importantly absorb and flourish in response to ongoing changes. Developing in students the agility and tenacity in the way they learn and experience the world, is an essential step to thriving in the future and a fundamental tenant to why we’ve introduced the Upskill …BY DESIGN Program in 2021. Upskill …BY DESIGN intends to provide innovative and authentic learning experiences geared at developing the behaviours, mindsets and skills of students to be adaptive in the way they work going forward.

Across the programs at Years 7-12, we’ve enabled students to develop depth in their skill portfolios, an essential complement to traditional metrics of success which are valued and expected now by both tertiary institutions and workplaces. Programs were also designed to marry with the learning spotlight of each year level, as described in our Teaching and Learning architecture. To this end, 30 different programs have taken place over the year. Additionally, understanding that teacher wellbeing, school wellbeing and student wellbeing is inextricably linked (Waters, 2017) and work in service to the academic success of learners, reinforced the intentional design of dedicated wellbeing time for our whole school community, as part of the program.

In our fifth and sixth Upskill …BY DESIGN Days, which ran parallel to Year 9 and 10, and VCE Learning Conversations, students engaged in a variety of activities, some of which are described below.

All of our year levels have had the opportunity to complete a Graphic Recording Credential in service of their communication skills and this time around, our Year 7 and Year 8 students participated. We’ve been excited to partner with Visual Storytellers, Think In Colour and their founder, Jessamy Gee, who is also an old grammarian. The course, Listen-Think-Draw is a three module, online course for sketchnoters, budding graphic recorders, facilitators, teachers, consultants and anyone interested in leveraging the power of visual thinking and communication for themselves and others. Each section of the course included various journal activities, downloads and consolidation exercises. Those students who have completed the course, will receive a digital credential attesting to this, later in the year.

Connecting to the communications suite of Upskill By Design offerings, Year 8 and 9 students participated in Poetry Slam sessions. In their sessions, students were led in activities that enabled them to create with words, become poetry guerrillas in their local community, and make connections to their wellbeing. The day’s program began with a poetry immersion and exploration of forms, followed by an intensive workshop with guest presenter, slam poet and spoken word performer Emilie Zoey Baker. Students enjoyed Emilie’s vibrant and approachable style and she introduced different styles of new and classic poetry including google poetry, blackout, insta poems and YouTube performances. Students (and teachers!) participated in a ‘poetry hack’ where they all completed a poem though a guided exercise. Following their workshop, students were encouraged to compose poetry connecting to their year level spotlights of identity and design. 

Click below to read some Year 8 student reflections on the day.

At Year 9, the Safe@Work certificate was undertaken online by students. A necessary requirement for participating in the work experience program at Year 10 in 2022, this certificate is designed to help students improve their knowledge of occupational health and safety, understand hazards and laws, learn practical solutions to health and safety problems and understand their responsibilities and the responsibilities of employers. Completion of a General Certificate and a Health and Community Services Certificate was undertaken with students choosing the third module for completion, aligning with the co-design learning spotlight for this year level.

Year 10 and Year 12, students participated in an interactive self-defence workshop with Michelle from Elite Training and Sports Medicine. The session aimed to provide students with the theory and understanding on how to best protect themselves in difficult situations, including those where a threat to physical safety might occur. Michelle spoke about the importance of knowing when to perform self-defence, and the four stages or types of responses our body can have when in a threatening situation: Fear, Freeze Flight and Fight. The Four F’s provide a framework for students to know how to appropriately respond to situations and make decisions about when self-defence may or may not be necessary. To conclude, Michelle engaged and taught the students in a range of practical movements and techniques that they can draw upon to protect themselves, whilst also discussing the important safety precautions and considerations.

Our Year 12 students also had the opportunity to connect with the group WIRL (Wellness in Real Life) a business which supports young women to optimise their mental wellbeing through food, by focusing on its power to provide nourishment, social engagement & enjoyment. Bree and Alicia, worked with the students to discuss the importance of a healthy diet and encourage the practice of intuitive eating – where ‘how we eat’ is just as important as ‘what we eat’. As the Year 12 students head towards end of year exams, Bree and Alicia shared how the students can enhance their eating patterns to best support their mental performance and wellbeing in this important time in their studies. Additionally, we also value connecting students to great female role models outside the school. WIRL are a female led start-up who are also working in the AI space, with Bree recently been awarded the Luminary Tech Visionary Victorian Young Achiever Award for this work. Facilitating this connection for Year 12 students may be the beginning of a much broader network for some of our students moving forward.

Similar role modelling was also a big part of the Year 10 Upskill …BY DESIGN program this time around, with students coming together to take part in interactive and immersive activities to learn more about global issues for women as a complement to their Service Learning program. Students heard from guest speaker Kathy Kaplan, from Impact, who shared her unique perspective and experiences working with women in crisis. The focus was on exploring the realities of challenges that women experience both here in Australia and globally to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of what we can do to make sustainable change.

At CGGS, our obligation is to prepare our students to learn and work in settings that are responsive to now as much as they are anticipatory of the future. In setting in motion Upskill …By Design in 2021, we’re building upon the work that is already happening through our teaching, learning and wellbeing programs. We’re looking forward to continuing this momentum in 2022 and creating great spaces and opportunities for our students to flourish.

Kate Manners
Head of Strategic Initiatives

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

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

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

Isabella Wood and Bella Fary, who are currently undertaking their Silver award, contacted a number of our alumni to ask if they would share their experiences of the DOE during their time at the School.  This week the girls spoke with Lucy Bartram, Class of 2019, about her involvement with the program during her time at CGGS.

Lucy, was there anyone important to you in your DOE experience?

There wasn’t one particular person, the group of girls in my year level who were also completing their DOE were important in my journey. As we were all completing our award at the same time, we were able to do our Gold Adventurous Journey together at Wilsons Prom. It made the experience really enjoyable and definitely worth it.

How would you improve your experience if you did it again?

The experience was really rewarding for me so there’s probably not much I would do differently. I gained so much from all the things I was involved in all the way from my Bronze to my Gold. If you are currently completing or planning to complete your Gold award, I would say plan your Residential Project early as it can be a tricky thing to find!

What would you tell someone just starting or thinking about DOE?

I would definitely say go for it, it added so much to my schooling life, I was able to do things I never would’ve done. It allowed me to form friendships with people I otherwise may not have, and it definitely pushed me to do things out of my comfort zone.  If anyone is thinking about doing it, I would suggest getting a friend, do your Bronze which is only 3 months and see how you like it. I would start as soon as you can, the earlier you start the better, why wait?

Interview by Isabella Wood and Bella Fary

Library News

Ivy and the books are all missing the students, a library is not a truly a library without the presence of the readers themselves.

During remote learning I would like to remind our students that we have an eBook and Audio book platform and App called “Sora” which as a Camberwell student both you and your daughter have free access to.

Students have been emailed instructions on how to either download the Sora App or access via the Library website link on SEQTA. It’s a wonderful resource that you can use to access the books that you may not currently be able to obtain hard copies of.  If you need any assistance, do not hesitate to reach out.

The Library and Ivy (and the books!) are all waiting for you to come back and enjoy. With a small number of teachers and students on campus, Ms Biggs, Ruby and Ivy have just finished a new puzzle called Bookish Cats – they are keeping the Library going until you return.

Take care everyone and Happy Reading!

Anne Devenish
Head of Library

School Maths Olympics

On Sunday 22 August, four CGGS Students from Year 10 and Year 11, participated in the Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society School Maths Olympics. The School Maths Olympics is a fast-paced competition that combines mathematical problem-solving ability and teamwork.

Our students worked through three rounds of problems in a one-hour time limit, with each round getting progressively harder. I was very impressed with the leadership skills each student demonstrated. Skills of delegation, collaboration, communication, and a whole host of problem-solving, and mathematical thinking skills were constantly on display.

I would like to congratulate the following students for their efforts:

Noyesha Agarwal, Salwa Saiba, Scarlett Wei and Shuhan Zeng (aka The CGGS Mathletes.)

Here is a reflection from our students:

We appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Schools Maths Olympics hosted by the University of Melbourne this year. It was such a great chance to step outside of our comfort zone, to apply the maths skills we’ve learnt to some challenging but interesting maths questions. We also had a wonderful time enjoying working with our fabulous “CGGS Mathletes” whilst relishing the beauty of maths. We all had great fun and can’t wait to join it next year!

They represented our school with fantastic enthusiasm and pride.

Anthony Pasinati
Head of Mathematics

Debaters Association of Victoria Competition

The Debaters Association of Victoria competition has concluded for 2021. This year, 45 students from Years 8 to 12 represented CGGS over four competition nights. Three competition nights were face-to-face debates, while the final round and finals playoffs took place over Zoom. Debaters argued for and against propositions such as ‘That we regret the rise of cancel culture,’ ‘That Australian political party leaders be elected directly by the public,’ and ‘That schools should not teach texts that are deemed to contain discriminatory content.’

Two of our debaters have shared their reflections on the competition:

Emma Zhi
School Debating Captain

Member of A Grade Team 1

“Thus ends the DAV debating competition for 2021 with much to celebrate! DAV debating has offered every participant an opportunity to both flex their analytical muscles and strengthen relationships with their team members. I certainly looked forward to bouncing ideas around with my friends during lunchtimes – the human interaction has been sorely missed during yet another year of lockdowns! Despite being in a situation where face-to-face interaction was a privilege, every participant rose to the challenge. One of our teams, comprising of Year 9 students, Ishana Suriyapperuma, Sara Rowland, Helena Maunder, Samantha Fan and Grace Barnes, made it to the state finals! An amazing achievement by any standards, and extraordinary given the conditions of this year! I highly recommend DAV to all students. You can build your confidence, critical thinking and speaking skills without it ever feeling like work!”

Sara Rowland, 9A

Member of D Grade Team 2

“I found participating in DAV debating a rewarding experience. It allowed me to grow my debating, communication, and collaboration skills. Over the course of the year, we competed in 5 rounds, with differing topics that allowed us to think outside of the box. The topic that I found the most interesting was our first topic, ‘That the government should subsidise tourism in regional Victoria’. This topic allowed me to research an area that I found engaging and provided me with a chance to find out more about the economy of tourism. Overall, DAV debating has been an amazing opportunity so, I would recommend anyone who can, participates and I look forward to competing with my team in the finals!”

I would like to congratulate all our debaters on their fantastic efforts, and thank our debating coaches (Ms. Jennifer Gordon, Ms. Chris Anton, Ms. Kate Manners and Mr. Ron Bell) for their support.

Ian Lyell
Debating Coordinator

House Cupcake Decorating Competition

It was great to see so many entries at the recent Cupcake decorating competition. We hope that many of our community have seen the wonderfully talented student creations via our socials, and I must admit I was glad I was not tasting all that icing! The cupcakes were judged by the House Captains and Heads of House, before the Top 3 from each House were judged by a select panel on Originality, Creativity and Use of House Colour.


1st Place: Janice Wong (Schofield)

2nd Place: Kayla Foo (Singleton)

3rd Place: Katrina and Laura Tong (Taylor)

Thanks to Mrs. Goad, Mrs. Poyser and Chloe Langley for judging!

Students who were also voted in the Top 3 from their house (WHICH WAS EXTREMELY CHALLENGING TO DECIDE – I don’t know how the House Captains and HoH’s managed):

Singleton: Annabel and Phoebe Plummer, Elsie McLean,

Lawrence: Ellen Kontossis, Jessica Leung, Sophia Zeitoune

Schofield: Isabel Betts, Amelie Toh

Taylor: Charli Lincke, Zara Cheung

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

Winter Sleepout

Last Friday 27 August, we held The Winter Sleepout, an annual event the school holds aligning with the work of The Salvation Army. This year the Sleepout was run remotely and the girls participating were asked to sleep outside or on the floor inside at home, in order to replicate what it might be like to be homeless and sleeping rough. As part of the evening we heard from four guest speakers, Grace Davidson, Norman Gale, Shane Austin and Major Warren Elliot, from both local and national branches of the Salvos. Our guests were so engaging and knowledgeable and it was amazing to hear their passion as they spoke about local initiatives and impact in the Boroondara area, the history of the Salvos in Australia and how the pandemic has impacted homelessness in Victoria. After our speakers finished, a Q&A session was held with students asking such good questions which our speakers were so happy to answer.

After we said goodbye to our speakers, we held some fun individual and group activities, including an online scavenger hunt and team Kahoot challenge which everyone loved. After a break for dinner, groups of girls called and zoomed each other to play games and bake some goodies, before having the option to return to watch Matilda all together.

It was such a fun night and we thank everyone who joined us, thank you for being so engaged and making the night so enjoyable! We are so grateful to everyone for showing their support for such a prominent issue, raising money for the Camberwell Salvos food bank and to the guest speakers for coming and sharing their insights and impact at Salvos, it was truly inspiring!

Amelia, Eloise and Jennifer Gordon
The Service Learning Team

STEAM Marine Padlet

Lockdown may mean we cannot travel at present, but we can plan where we want to go once restrictions are lifted. The Year 10 STEAM Marine class have helped by researching fantastic Victorian coastal locations for you to visit, namely our Victorian marine parks and sanctuaries.

Victoria is home to some amazing marine life and habitats. To help conserve and manage these, there are 13 marine national parks and 11 sanctuaries scattered across our beautiful coastline. These diverse marine areas are legally protected and cover approximately 5.3% of our marine waters.

To access the work of our STEAM marine students and find out more about the diverse marine areas you can visit once we are able to travel within Victoria again, visit the Padlet and social media post created by the students.


PASSWORD FOR PADLET: marine_national_parks

Sue Mason
Science Teacher

Term 2 Sports Awards

 After a year long break from our traditional Term 2 sports, we were very excited to be back playing AFL, Hockey, Netball, Water Polo and Cross Country. Students were dedicated to early morning or lunchtime training sessions and developed their skills and knowledge of the games throughout the term. Although not all sports were completed, we are very proud of our Senior Netball A team who were zone winners and awarded a pennant for their performance throughout Term 2.

Please find below a list of students who should be very proud of their season, as they have been awarded as Most Valuable Player, or the Coach’s Award. We look forward to students receiving their certificates when we return to school.

100KM Club Awards

During remote learning we have been running the remote 100km Club. Students have been encouraged to log their results whenever they went for a run. Even short distances add up over time and it has been very exciting to see all the kilometres accumulate over the past few months. We have been overwhelmed by the number of students logging runs throughout remote learning and for those students who haven’t achieved their badge yet, there will be plenty more opportunities while you’re at CGGS.

Congratulations to the following students who have earned their 100km club badge. We look forward to students receiving their badges when we return to school.

Lauren Law
Head of Sport

Flying High with Chinese

Madeleine Giagoudakis (10D) recently participated in the CLTAV & CLTAT 2021 Hanyuqiao Speaking and Performance Competition for Second Language students of Chinese in Year 10 and Year 11. To enter the competition, candidates were required to submit video clips which include a 2–3-minute speech centred around the topic ‘Flying High with Chinese,’ and a 3–4-minute Chinese cultural performance.

In her speech, Maddy talked about the importance of learning Chinese and her experiences of learning the language. Maddy chose to showcase her Chinese cultural skills by doing Chinese calligraphy. Congratulations to Maddy for her excellent performance in the competition, where she won fourth place.  She received the Encouragement Award and a $50 book voucher. Maddy found the experience rewarding and fun and encourages other students to participate if they are afforded an opportunity to do so.

Lin Zhang
Chinese Teacher

House Debating Heats

The annual House Debating competition continued last Friday 27 August, with Semi-Finals for the Junior and Intermediate teams, and the Final for our Senior debates between Taylor and Lawrence. Once again, students showed adeptness at adjusting to the online format, and creatively engaged with their audiences via Zoom.

The topics were ‘In a digital age, we should not expect our data to remain private’ for the Junior division, ‘Monuments to all historical figures should remain’ for the Intermediate division and ‘Should care-bots be used in aged care?’ for the Senior division. The quality of the debates was outstanding, and the level of competition and strategy was impressive to see!

The Junior and Intermediate divisions had their final today from 1.15-2.15pm. The topics are ‘Should Australia ban fast food restaurant advertising?’ for the Junior division and ‘Should social media websites be able to ban certain users?’ for the Intermediate division.

The results of the previous round can be found below.

Emma Zhi & Nirvana Watkins
School Debating and Literary Captain / Head of English

Threatened Species Bake Off

The Australian Government “Threatened Species Bake Off” (#TSBakeOff) is an annual baking competition that aims to spread awareness about endangered native Australian animals. In lockdown, many people (including me) have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, trying out recipes and perfecting sourdough, so a bake off sounded like a great lockdown project with an important message. This year, the theme was “ecosystem engineers”, focusing on species that contribute to the way eco systems function.

For my entry, I chose to make a Northern Bettong cake. Their national conservation status is endangered, and the estimated surviving population is only around 1200-2500, with their numbers affected largely by feral cats and other predators. The Bettong plays an important role in the ecosystem by digging and turning the soil, aiding in the decomposition of leaf litter and dispersal of seeds and fungal spores.

The competition is open for anyone to join, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for some lockdown baking ideas. Thank you to Dr. Mason for recommending it to me, and my family for being willing taste-testers!

Laura Tong – 9B

Music Connections from Home

Our Senior School musicians are continuing to work towards a range of video recordings of the pieces that were to be presented at our Melbourne Recital Centre Centenary Concert in August. Whilst it has not been possible for co-curricular music groups to rehearse together regularly during this remote learning period, music making continues to be a positive influence. Creative connections are still being made through Zoom sessions, private tuition lessons and focused practice at home. We are seeing and hearing some terrific results, as students take time away from screens to focus on their performance skills. It has been encouraging to see our musicians develop independent practice routines, achieve personal goals, overcome technical challenges, and refine the expressive content within their ensemble pieces.

Our School Music Captains, Zara Mammone and Zara Price have also been busy creating music quizzes and interactive challenges for students to engage with. The Music Family photo wall is taking shape, alongside documenting the creative work taking place at home. We are very much looking forward to returning to live rehearsals and performances when school resumes. For now, however, connecting through music while staying safe at home is enabling students to maintain important friendships and share their love of music.

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Senior School


Senior School

August 20, 2021

Last week in the Senior School assembly we were fortunate to hear remotely from 6 very talented public speakers as they presented their speeches on the topics of ‘Real worth is never measured in money or possessions’ for the Juniors, and ‘To experience adventure is to learn’ for the Intermediates in the finals of the Old Grammarians Association (OGA) Public Speaking Competition.

The OGA Public Speaking Competition is a recent addition to our intra-school events having been initiated by past student and Debating Captain 2018, Janice Soo. Janice wrote a proposal to the OGA committee seeking their support of the competition with the aim of encouraging students to find their voice, have their say and speak out on issues of interest and importance to them.

Ella Zhang (Year 8) Abigail Lee (Year 8) and Aliyana Rajakulendran (Year 8) competed in the Junior Division and Samantha Fan (Year 9), Sara Rowland (Year 9) and Salome Obeyesekere (Year 10) competed in the Intermediate Division.  School Debating and Literary Captain Emma Zhi (Year 12) hosted the event, while OGA committee members Samara Jones (2012) and Grace Tennant (2012) adjudicated the competition. Our Senior debaters participated earlier in the month and final results for all divisions will be shared and celebrated soon.

Week 6 of Term 3 ensured we all enjoyed another of our special weeks in Senior School – Science Week. Bethany Orme (Year 11) and Aleen Liu (Year 12) our STEAM Captains and keen scientists have worked very hard alongside Acting Head of Science, Mrs Di Wood and all the Science Department teachers including Ms Penny Dumsday who curated the Science Week Padlet to ensure our students have had a myriad of activities to explore the theme of Food: Different by Design.

Bethany and Aleen stated in their initial email on Monday morning introducing Science Week, and explained that the week of activities have be designed to take a close look at some of the food challenges facing the Earth. They spoke about how scientists are trying, through worldwide collaboration, to come up with sustainable food solutions, and that scientists are re-designing the food system to be healthy, sustainable, and more resilient to climate change, which helps to meet both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to limit a global temperature increase.

Each day this week Bethany, Aleen and the Science Department have shared videos, reading, YouTube clips, riddles, activities, interviews and more on the theme of food. I take this opportunity on behalf of us all, students, parents and staff of the CGGS Senior School community alike to thank them for making Science Week 2021 informative, thought provoking and hopefully life changing for us all.

On a completely different tact, the young people in our lives are so adept at the use of social media. Although there are definitely occasions when we as parents and adults may wish they were more engaged with us and their studies and not the use of a device, at times like these there are some positives to be gained from aspects of this form of connection. I am and will remain more of an observer rather than a poster on Instagram and other forms of social media and it is the school accounts that provide me with much joy each day.

Our school Marketing Department curate the @camberwellgirls Instagram and Facebook accounts and lately I’ve been enjoying the posts. The @wearecggs Instagram account (run by our 3 School Captains) has also been posting their Podcast episodes which I have also enjoyed. I encourage all our parents to connect with the CGGS social media accounts.

Over the past months we have seen examples of young women showing up every day in a situation that challenges many of us as the adults in their lives. Year 12 students starting the day with meditation and exercise, groups of students challenging their learning in small study groups, acts of kindness from one student to another in the form of contactless deliveries to classmates nearby.  We have seen good choices made by taking care with how the students look after themselves, their teachers and each other. We have been privileged to see the goodness, the resilience and the amazing spirit of the students in our care.

I never cease to be amazed by our students and their teachers and am so proud to be a member of the CGGS community.

At this time, our school values of Integrity, Respect, Commitment, Hope and Courage and our school motto, Utilius in Ministerium, Useful in Service, help provide such guidance and purpose to us all. One other quality that is vital to our community now and always and we speak of this often – kindness. I urge all our families to make kindness to others, each other and ourselves our mantra during this lockdown.

Thank you to all the parents and students who have shared their kindness over the weeks of remote learning, by writing emails of thanks and sending gifts to their teachers at this extraordinary time. It is heart-warming to know our staff superhuman efforts are valued.

Thank you to you our parents for your support.

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Student Wellbeing in Remote Learning

There is no denying that the COVID-19 lockdowns, and the subsequent unrest has seen mental health and wellbeing fluctuate for all Australians, including that of our young people. With that in mind, the wellbeing of our students continues to be a priority and we have been very purposeful in the plans we have made to ensure that all students feel safe, supported and connected. Wellbeing activities occur throughout the day in many different forms, supported by our teachers and student leaders, and we are grateful for the opportunity that these provide our students to engage and maintain a sense of belonging. Below are some of the activities that have been facilitated over the past few weeks while in remote learning:

> Regular wellbeing check ins, in small groups and one-to-one meetings

> CamberWELL Week

> Pause for Prayer

> CGGS Sports Kahootz

> House Debating competitions

> OGA Public Speaking Awards

> Soul Siblings with our Year 7 and 9 students

> Leadership panels with our Year 12 Leaders and Year 10 students

> Wellbeing activities through the CGGS wellbeing website

> Year Level Challenges including, the Period 5 Adventures, Gratitude Photo Initiatives, Finish the Pun, Guess the Logo, Guess the Theme Song

> Ready, Steady, Cook lead by our School Captains

> House Bake off challenge

> After school Pilates and mindfulness sessions

> Fun Hat Friday

> International Club and Pride Group activities

These sessions are an essential component and extension of our purposefully designed wellbeing approach, reimagined for the online environment. As we continue to navigate the challenges of lockdown, students will participate in many more staff and student driven initiatives that focus on easing worry, maintaining routines, motivation, mindfulness, self-care, relationship and community building.

Click above to view some of these great initiatives.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

National Science Week 

Thanks to the support of so many, CGGS has had a great Science Week. While we celebrated remotely this year, students used the Padlet provided by the STEAM Captains Aleen Liu and Bethany Orme and Science Staff extensively and participated in Zoom sessions to complete some of the activities. The Kahoots, Science Week riddle and practical activities were appreciated the most, but also many enjoyed Tuesday’s Science Assembly and an interview with two Old Grammarians, Caroline Rowland (2001) and Margaret Alousis (1994), who have successful engineering careers.

The STEAM Captains and Science staff posed some serious questions and challenges facing the world during this week but also provided some solutions and hope. As with the scientific collaborative associated with the development of the COVID vaccines, surely we can work together for a brighter future.  A future which will depend on the ingenuity and contribution of young people just like those who have, are and will attend CGGS.

Di Wood
Acting Head of Science 

Year 11 French Postcards

Recently in Year 11 French, as part of the VCE topic of French-speaking communities, students wrote postcards. They were asked to imagine that they had just spent their first week on exchange in a French-speaking region of the world and had to write a postcard telling me how they were. In VCE French, text type is important, and we practise them all: emails, letters, speeches, articles, short stories, and postcards, to name a few. I thought it might be fun for the students (especially in lockdown!) to create a digital postcard so that we had the visuals and format of the postcard, and we could all fly away in our imaginations. The students produced some excellent examples conveying events, thoughts and feelings and using a wide range of sophisticated language, which is no small feat in the smaller format of a postcard.

Izy’s postcard is from Switzerland, and she uses the subjunctive to tell me that it is the most beautiful place that she knows. She mentions that she is living in an area known for skiing and that although she isn’t great at skiing, her friends are helping her.

Annaliese’s postcard from Seychelles is written from a white sandy beach where she is surrounded by coconut palms and the clear sky is perfect for clearing her mind. She says the locals are welcoming and that the atmosphere is so relaxing that she has a permanent smile. She spends most of the day at the beach although is going to hike in the mountains that afternoon.

Lauren is in Belgium and enjoying the old architecture and all the chocolate shops, where she has bought chocolate every day. She is excited about the next day’s trip on a boat on the canal, although a bit worried about getting seasick.

Natasha is in Monaco, and she can hardly believe her eyes because she thinks Monaco is one of the most beautiful places in the world and she is enjoying the tourist attractions like the oceanographic museum and the Japanese gardens. It’s warm and sunny and her most memorable experience has been to see the palace and hearing Grace Kelly’s story.

Nancy is in Annecy, an alpine town in the southeast of France. She mentions the paved streets and pastel houses. But she loves the canals the most and was amazed at the medieval village and the turquoise water beneath her. She also got lost in the fragrance of fresh croissants and she tells me that she is practising her French with kind shopkeepers.

Joanne Rittey
Head of LOTE

CGGS German students excel at AGTV Poetry Competition

Students learning German have the opportunity to take part the annual poetry competition run through the regional networks of the Association of German Teachers (AGTV).  This competition begins in the classrooms of Years 7-9, where every student must learn and recite a German poem. Through reciting a poem, students become aware of cross-linguistic differences and whilst listening to and rehearsing poems, students adopt the sounds and rhythms of a new language and memorise these passages without stress. Students can select their preferred poem from four prescribed poems for each year level. After presenting in class, three students from each year level are invited to proceed to the Regional Finals, where they compete against neighbouring school such as Scotch College, PLC and Trinity.

Our students worked very hard at perfecting their pronunciation and presentation skills to deliver their poems with the challenges that the virtual stage presents. This year, three CGGS students excelled in the competition. Christina Weickhardt received 5th place in the Year 7 section with an honourable mention, Elysia Wang received 3rd place and 1st place went to Atara Paul, both in the Year 8 section. Atara has been invited to present her poem, “Erlebnis,” in the State Finals later this term.

Congratulations to all the students for their participation in the competition.

Ingrid Beck
German Teacher

Health/PE ‘Choose Your Journey’ Activities

Remote learning has again thrown the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Department a challenge, as shifting their programs online is no easy feat. Racquet sports, Games for understanding, AFL and Handball do not transfer well to a Zoom environment, nor does teaching the current Health curriculum of Respectful Relationships and Sexuality Education.

The HPE staff have been purposeful in maintaining an online program throughout each remote learning period that provides a plethora of activities under the Mind-Body-Soul domains of Wellbeing. Students are provided with workouts, new skills to learn, teamwork activities, puzzles and brain games, a walk around Australia challenge and guided meditations or mindful photography. There was something for everyone in the ‘Choose your Journey’ plan last week with days such as Mindful Monday, Work out Wednesday and Tough it out Thursday. This week sees the introduction of Teamwork Tuesday and Flexible Friday.

At the completion of each lesson, students upload a short video or picture as evidence of active participation in the activity and we especially love when they complete with a group of friends. Here is a small snapshot of what’s been going on in PE lessons over the last fortnight.

A shout out to all the students who have engaged in our program and to the PE staff for their creativity and support.

Nareen Robinson
Head of Health & Physical Education

Year 8 Gratitude Scavenger Hunt

Being in lockdown brings different challenges for everyone, and with the busyness of the school day, it can be easy to get caught up with things on the to-do list and forget to take stock of the positives in our lives. In the past week, Year 8 students were sent on a Gratitude Scavenger Hunt around their homes and were asked to share via Padlet things that they were grateful for, using the prompts that were provided.

It was fantastic to see all the things that both students and staff were grateful for, not to mention all the lovely pet pictures that would put a smile on anyone’s faces.

Paige Tan
Year 8 Coordinator

House Debating Heats

The annual House Debating competition is underway, with the first round taking place over Zoom. Our school debaters participated in the first round on Friday 13 August. Despite the difficulties of remote learning, all participants and captains rose to the challenge.

The heats saw strong participation from all houses, with 9 rounds held over lunchtime and Period 5. This signified some of the keenest interest in House Debating seen in many years, testament to the hard work and leadership of the House Debating and Public Speaking Captains.

The topics were ‘Should animal live-export be banned’ for the Junior Division, ‘Should Australia implement the four-day work week’ for the Intermediate Division and ‘News organisations should not portray themselves as reporters of objective truth’ for the Senior Division. Every debater showcased complex thinking and flexibility – something we all thoroughly enjoyed witnessing!

Please find results of the heats attach below, with each of the highlighted teams progressing to the next round.

Emma Zhi and Nirvana Watkins
School Debating and Literary Captain / Head of English

CGGS Netball Community

This week we have seen the introduction of Net Skill week. Each day, fundamental netball skills are sent to your email with an attached recording to show you the correct technique for the skill. You can do these all in your own time, even if it for 10 minutes. I have also included Coaching tips on each recording, so by the time you get back on court, you will have mastered these skills.

We have had some guest appearances in these recordings by way of furry friends, Holly and Coco, at the local park here in Camberwell. I am confident that their footwork is great but I’m not so sure about their ability to pass the ball back in a timely manner.

Next week, we will introduce Net Skills Week 2, which will see us focus on footwork and agility. All of which you can do at home in a small space and in your own time. Players please remember, just because we are not together on the netball court we are still connected in our ‘want’ to play netball. Be mindful to practice Net skills when time allows and if you would like to share with me some of what you have been doing, I would love to see.

In the athlete population there is much discussion around wellbeing and relating this back to performance. Self-care tip this week:

Sleep Hygiene: Reducing screen time before bed, keeping a normal sleep routine, going to sleep and waking up at the same time each morning and always ensuring that you are getting enough quality sleep each night.

In netball we have a hashtag #hereifyouneed. I am sure that some of you have used this on the court at times. Thank you for your continued efforts.

Alexia McConnell
Netball Coordinator

Australian Geography Competition

The Australian Geography Competition is a challenging competition that assesses individuals on geographical knowledge and skills with an application to a broad range of topics and global events. This year, the Geography Department registered Year 7 and Unit 1/2 students to compete in class and invited all students from other years to compete during optional lunchtime sessions.

The awards for this year’s annual Competition will be presented in the upcoming Senior School Assembly on August 24. Well done to everyone who participated. All students who entered will receive a Participation certificate. All students will have the opportunity to enter the competition when it runs again next year.

Congratulations to all students involved. We are proud to recognise the exceptional achievements of a number of students this year, please find those involved below.

Karoline Walter
Head of Geography

Senior School


Senior School

August 6, 2021

This evening a small student audience should have been able to watch the efforts of our keen drama students in Years 10 – 12 who have been rehearsing diligently in face masks for the past term for “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” our 2021, Senior School Production.

Sadly, the snap lockdown last night and the current Victorian Government School Operations guidelines mean that the Senior School production cannot be performed in front of an audience, nor may the cast perform without the wearing of masks.  Yesterday Ms Keira Lyons, Head of Drama and Performing Arts, and her team of Ms Sally Oliver and Mrs Claire Colthup, the Production Director and I met again with the cast of the Senior School Production to discuss the likelihood of the production being performed with face masks after the lockdown ends. It is still our hope that we find a way of  preserving, honouring and sharing this production with our community. I take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge all our ‘Caucasian Chalk Circle’ performers and their mentor teachers for their resilience.

This week we have celebrated CamberWELL Week, one of the special weeks in our Senior School calendar each year. This year the School Wellbeing Captain, Annaliese Cossenas and our Student Representative Council Chairs, Chelsea Ellingworth and Catherine Hu, have worked alongside Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing, Ms Kath Woolcock to ensure each day of the week has provided our community with an activity and motivational message.

Students and staff enjoyed participating in ‘Motivation Monday,’ ‘Thoughtful Tuesday,’ ‘Wellbeing Wednesday,’ ‘Thursday Treats’ and ‘Feel Good Friday.’ Last night an email was shared with the entire Senior School community, by our Captains suggesting we all “wear a piece of clothing that makes you feel especially good”! On Tuesday in our assembly, the Captains interviewed a panel of staff and students including Priyanshi Shah Year 11, Romy Mead Year 9, Mr Micah Wilkins, Ms Shipsides and Mr Pasinati on questions such as how they include wellbeing in their daily practice. Ms Shipsides made mention of the Science of Wellbeing course that she is guiding a number of our Year 12 students through this year and how this free on-line course has assisted the group. On behalf of the Senior School, I thank the team for providing us all with these up-lifting opportunities. Please read the article written by these Captains later in this edition of CamNews.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School

Great Success at German Poetry Competition

Sasha Feldmann (Year 10), recently competed in the Goethe Poetry Recital Competition, held by the University of Melbourne. The competition is open to native and non-native speakers from Year 10 to 12 and students must study, learn, and recite a poem by German writers such as Bertolt Brecht, Wilhelm Busch, Heinrich Heine and Sarah Kirsch.

Sasha decided to recite the poem “König David” (Kind David), written in 1797 by Heine. The challenging poem consists of 5 stanzas, 20 lines in total. Sasha won a very worthy second place in the competition, demonstrating a very high standard of German skills. She is congratulated by the CGGS community for her great effort.

While we do not have an English translation available to share, we are pleased to share the poem in its original form for those in our community who may themselves be able to speak German.

Congratulations Sasha.

Ingrid Beck
German Teacher

UN Model Conference for German

On 15 July, three VCE students, Charlotte Kutey, and ourselves, Olivia Jones and Amy Du, participated in the U.N. Model Conference for German. Alongside other VCE German students, we discussed the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 – ‘Life below water’ via Zoom.  In this report, we shared our experience of the day and how this opportunity has benefitted their language learning.

The event was not only an opportunity for us to collaborate and discuss global issues with other German students, but it was also an event run almost entirely in German. As such, we spent the day speaking, debating, and discussing contemporary global issues in German, and were fortunate enough to do so alongside other schools.

Prior to the day, we spent weeks researching Russia’s policies and attitudes concerning ocean protection, marine ecosystems, the blue economy, food security, indigenous fishing practices, and overfishing. Using our research, we drafted a position statement, amendments, and strategy, for the upcoming event. Familiarising ourselves with the vocabulary and jargon related to diplomacy, climate change, and UN procedures was challenging, but set good foundations for the upcoming model conference.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we participated in the conference over Zoom. Our task was to propose amendments to the Draft Resolution in accordance with Russian climate and ocean policies and persuade other countries to support our proposals. Actively listening, speaking, and responding in German for the duration of the U.N. Model Conference was a strenuous, but immersive experience. As Russia, we represented a powerful and controversial state, and were subject to many interrogations that necessitated improvisation on our part. It was nerve-racking to discuss a complex topic in a second language, especially with clarity and diplomacy at the forefront of our minds.

The experience was ultimately incredibly rewarding, and we would encourage other students to seek out similar U.N. style events – regardless of the language they’re in!

Olivia Jones and Amy Du
Year 11 and Year 12

CamberWELL Week Edition: Year 9 Lockdown Padlet

Year 9 students were inspired by the Year 7 initiative featured in the previous edition of CamNews and decided to collate a bank of ideas to motivate them during the recent Lockdown. Using Padlet as a shared space to communicate, students and staff from each Form group were encouraged to add recommendations and describe the ways they’ve passed the time.

See below for some examples of the wonderful staff and student entries:

Creating daily rituals
Ritual is so important for human society, for centuries we have incorporated rituals into many aspects of our communal life. Something that I have noticed over the past year is that we haven’t been able to come together maybe as often and celebrate important rituals. So why not create little ones for yourself? I love hand grinding my coffee and drinking it from this mug I made myself – because as someone once told me; eating and drinking from handmade plates is such a special experience. I always try to find some time to read out-loud to my plants. I know it’s silly, but I think they love it!

Scavenger Hunt
Sometimes having a goal can make getting outdoors a little easier. Our family designed a scavenger hunt for our bike ride… and included an ice cream for the end!!

30 Day Drawing Challenge & ‘This Foreign Place’ Drawing Challenge
If you love drawing and have art block, give yourself a challenge by using a prompt each day to create a masterpiece! if you search up “30-day drawing challenge” there are many to choose from! My personal favourite right now is the 30-day drawing challenge: Marvel edition! 🙂

Draw a room in your house as if you’re visiting it for the first time as a foreigner- title it “This Foreign Place” and include annotations!

Georgia Biggs
Year 9 Coordinator

Senior School Production – The Caucasian Chalk Circle

We thank all students who have been involved in the rehearsals and preparing for our upcoming performance. The perseverance, attitude, and diligence of students adapting to the ever changing landscape of what their performance may look like, should be commended. Please see a list below of all students involved.

We look forward to being able to share more of the hard work of these students in a future edition.

Claire Colthup
Production Director

CamberWELL Week

CGGS’s CamberWELL Week is a highlight for students and staff, as we come together to acknowledge, learn, embrace and engage in a range of activities and initiatives designed to enhance and promote individual and community wellbeing. There are many wonderful students and staff that contributed to our CamberWELL Week, we would like to thank our School Wellbeing Captain Annaliese Cossenas, and our Student Representative Council Chairs, Chelsea Ellingworth and Catherine Hu.

Please see a reflection below from these students.

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

CamberWELL Week – A reflection

This week, our Senior School was so excited to celebrate our annual CamberWELL Week, a collaborative event coordinated by the Student Wellbeing Team and SRC. The purpose of the week was to not only promote an overall awareness of the wide-ranging aspects of wellbeing, including social, physical, emotional and community facets, but also to inspire our community to explore and discover what wellbeing means to them personally. We have, now more than ever, come to recognise the vital importance of these skills and activities to maintain our wellbeing in these unique circumstances.

Each day had a specific focus: Motivation Monday, Thoughtful Tuesday, Wellbeing Wednesday, Together Thursday and Feel-Good Friday. As part of this too, the Senior School Library provided all students who borrowed a book across the week with an inspirational bookmark to promote the joy of reading.

The week started off with a bang! Year 11 and 12 students participated in a competitive (yet friendly) match of Volleyball against their teachers to get their hearts pumping and ready for the rest of the week. Additionally, students viewed a motivational TED Talk that discussed the mentality around what drives us, as well as some humorous but useful advice about how to overcome procrastination.

Then came Thoughtful Tuesday, when students were privileged to hear from a very special guest speaker from Headspace, Kano. He shared his story and wisdom, as well as some short but reflective activities related to gratitude and self-introspection.

During the special Wellbeing themed assembly, a panel of Teachers and Students shared their own perspectives and experiences of managing their wellbeing and how this has changed over time. Key ideas emerged around self-care, gratitude, perspective and the important role that nature plays in bringing a sense of purpose and balance. A very special thank you to Mr Wilkins, Mrs Shipsides, Mr Pasinati, Priyanshi Shah (Year 11) and Romy Mead (Year 9) for their valuable insights.

Wellbeing Wednesday provided students with a range of effective activities to unwind and de-stress, including a colour- by- numbers, podcast and a mindfulness program.

Thursday Together inspired our students to do some random acts of kindness by providing them with some things that they can do for their friends, teachers and other members of the CGGS community. Examples included paying it forward at Pinwheel, sharing a highlight of class with the teacher and letting someone know you are grateful for them. As part of this, the Year 9 Little Library was launched, an initiative designed to provide a dedicated wellbeing space in Lower Woodstock. The space is a pop-up library which includes books linked to wellbeing that cater specifically to the Year 9 students.

On Friday, the plans shifted slightly as we entered lockdown.  our staff and students were surprised with some inspiring and adorable motivational sticky notes. On Thursday afternoon, while staff and students were heading home, the CamberWELL week student team were busy leaving little notes of inspiration on all student lockers and staff pigeon holes. While this was originally part of the plans for ‘Feel Good Friday’, it will be a lovely welcome back when we our community returns to school later next week. Remote Feel Good Friday also encouraged staff and students to wear something to class that brings them joy, such as some fun earrings, a favourite hoody, a scarf or something bright and colourful! During Period 5 students were provided with some activities to do that focussed on their own wellbeing, and it was a very fitting way to end a successful and busy week.

Catherine Hu, Chelsea Ellingworth and Annaliese Cossenas
Year 12 Students

Senior School


Senior School

July 23, 2021

Term 3 started with Senior School students in the Middle School Production of “The Light Burns Blue,” and the House Music event at school rehearsing on both Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 July, the staff professional development days. Thankfully we made the decision at the end of last term to allow these students onsite to practice for both these events, and I am delighted to say we were able to honour the hard work of these students and the teachers who have supported them throughout, by holding the events under somewhat changed parameters.

The Middle School Production was re-introduced this year to enable students in Years 7 – 9 the opportunity to be involved in a drama performance given the Centenary spectacular did not go ahead as planned.

Keira Lyons, Head of Drama and Performing Arts, along with a team of dedicated staff and past students including Madison Brake who coordinated the Lighting Design, supported, guided and trained the two casts and crew throughout the many interruptions, both in person and online so that the parents of these students were able to enjoy live performances last week.

As a school community we are all most grateful to the students and staff involved in bringing this story to life. I had the pleasure of watching both Cast A and Cast B and never cease to be amazed at what our students are capable of achieving. Thank you all for this privilege.

With some post recording editing still to be completed on the recording of this event, we look forward to sharing both full performances with our community in the next edition of Camnews.

On Thursday 15 July, when this most recent lockdown looked imminent, we swiftly went to work with the House Music Captains and conducted two of the House Music event elements, Choice and Madrigal. Again, all the Senior School students have been rehearsing throughout Term 2 when singing has been permitted within the Victorian Government Operations Guidelines.

The students involved in Choice and Madrigal groups for each House were brought together at recess and the decision was made to record and livestream these performances in Periods 5 and 6, prior to but realising, another lockdown would be announced late that afternoon.

The creative abilities of our students were able to shine, due to the immediate action and proactive decision making that took place. There were many layers of ‘creative chaos’ throughout the morning, so to see the students perform at their best, whilst continuing to problem solve even within the presentations, was nothing short of amazing! We are very proud of the resilience and maturity the House Music Captains displayed. They truly showcased the power of music!

Thank you to all the House Music Captains – Teagan Diep and Teresa Guo (Lawrence), Sarah Hui and Janice Wong (Schofield), Kelly Liang and Megan Kuo (Taylor), and Chloe Law and Nicole Change (Singleton).

Whilst not yet the full program, as the Theme and judging components are still to be performed, delivered and recorded before resharing with our school community, I think we could all do something joyful at this time. Please enjoy watching the Choice and Madrigal elements of the 2021 House Music competition.

With special thanks to Mr Kim Perkins, Head of Media Technologies, for all his efforts in supporting all our events at CGGS.

I would like to share with you all the quote Directors of Music, Rohan Mack and Kate Savige included in their House Music program.

“What if a large number of scientific studies found there was one activity that could improve our cognitive function, help our memory systems work effectively, help us learn language, help us moderate our emotional states, help us solve complex problems and help our brains be healthier into later life? What if that activity was also enjoyable for everyone involved? There is one such activity: music education.” – Dr Anita Collins: Neuromusical Educator

I wish our CGGS community a restful weekend.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Head of Senior School

Introduction to the UCAT

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT ANZ) is an admissions test used by the UCAT ANZ Consortium of universities in Australia and New Zealand for their medical, dental and clinical science degree programmes.

The test helps universities to select applicants with the most appropriate abilities and professional behaviours required for new doctors and dentists to be successful in their clinical careers. It is used in collaboration with other admissions processes such as interviews and academic qualifications.

It is also an opportunity to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate aptitude for a demanding programme of study.

The UCAT ANZ is a computer-based test delivered in Pearson VUE test centres throughout Australia, New Zealand and at some overseas locations and can ONLY be completed when a student is in Year 12.

Michael Tsai from iCanMed organised a very informative, entertaining and practical information session ‘Introduction to the UCAT’ for interested students in Years 10 & 11 during the Upskill By Design program on Tuesday. Michael was keen to point out how important it was to become knowledgeable about the UCAT’s type of questions, timing and speed in answering questions – all necessary for a successful completion of this test. Students were left in no doubt that a good score on the UCAT depends on preparation, hard work and application.

Students can now research more thoroughly the variety of UCAT preparation courses that are available, if they wish to prepare for this test as part of the undergraduate medical course application in 2023 or 2024.

Best wishes to all our aspiring medical practitioners, including the current Year 12s interested in this field!

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

Global Leadership Summit for Girls

On Monday 12 July, Maya Jones and Emily Lin from Year 11, together with Salwa Saiba and Siena Yap from Year 10, attended virtual Global Leadership Summit for Girls. The Global Summit is an annual event that connects passionate youth from around the world for a series of key notes speakers, discussions and panels to tackle topics that are important to our global community. As part of the program, students also had the opportunity to attend the Leadership Summit Tour: Asia & Oceania region, which will specifically focused on climate justice and gender equality. Below is a reflection from Salwa Saiba, who attended multiple aspects of the program.

“I joined one of the webinars on Monday. The panel consisted of both young and experienced activists and social workers, who helped to create an amazing conversation. I loved hearing from all these empowering women, who have made significant contributions in their respective areas of focus. They gave great tips, insights and possible solutions to the problem of gender inequality and climate change. Before this I didn’t know the connection between climate change and gender-based biases, which has created a bigger gap between the traditional male and female roles and their impact on women in 21st century. This webinar helped gain a lot of knowledge and a starting point from where I can explore these two issues as one whole problem.

I would love to part of such leadership opportunities in the future, as they provide me with an opportunity to gain leadership skills and essential knowledge about gender inequality – a topic I am passionate about and wish to explore more. Thank you for recommending us such a great webinar.”

Kath Woolcock
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing

The Berthe Mouchette French Poetry Competition

Every year, CGGS participates in the Alliance Française Berthe Mouchette Poetry competition where students memorise a French poem and usually then present it to a judge who comes to the school from the Alliance Française. This year, our students were amongst 6,500 other participants who recorded their poems and sent the videos in to the 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. Well done to all those who took part.

True to French educational tradition where every assessment is marked out of 20 (true story!), 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 46 students from Years 5 to 10 have made it into the finals and will recite their poem again to French judges on Zoom in August.

Click the button to view the list of finalists.

All participants will a receive a certificate later in the term. Félicitations à tout le monde!

Dr Jo Rittey
Head of LOTE

Middle School Production – The Light Burns Blue

A little about “The Light Burns Blue”

Seventeen-year-old Elsie Wright has never done well at school and though her drawings are extraordinary, a career as an artist isn’t something a girl from a run-of-the-mill village like Cottingley could normally aspire to. It’s 1917, there’s a war on and the constant news of deaths from the front are affecting every family in her village – including her own – meaning Elsie’s artistic endeavours aren’t top of anyone’s list of priorities to encourage.

The characters and events depicted in this story are fictions rooted in reality. There was an Elsie Wright who photographed fairies. There was a Frances Griffiths who posed with them. The photographs did manage to capture the imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), who did champion the photographs as proof that fairies exist.

However, this play is not a biography or a documentary. Nothing ruins a good tale like too much reality.  It’s time to set the record straight and give Elsie the ending she deserves.

Director: Keira Lyons

Lighting Design: Madison Brake (Class of 2019)

Magic Tuition: Tim Mason (Melbourne Magic Academy)

We would like to acknowledge all cast members, click the button to view all the cast members.

Keira Lyons
Head of Performing Arts

House Music Performances

Last Thursday (prior to the lockdown), the House Music Captains were quick to acknowledge a potential move into remote learning. They, along with all performers, lighting and technical teams were receptive to bringing their performances forward and willing to gather their required resources to enable each House to present their Madrigal and Choice items to the school that afternoon. The House Music Captains, whilst juggling many creative balls in the air, supported and encouraged each other to prepare for the performances. They are to be congratulated on their abilities to accept the unexpected and devise creative solutions to maintain their high quality work. All of the students involved had fun and valued the opportunity to come together and perform.

The House Music rehearsal process and performances have enabled our students to make strong interpersonal connections across all year levels. This continues to be a strength of our Performing Arts departments, whether it be online or live in the Barbara Sutton Hall. Many thanks to the large group of students and staff who assisted with the preparations for the performances and the recording of the presentations. A special thank you to Kim Perkins, Mark Major and Stefi Allinson for facilitating the live stream to students and the recording of all performances.

Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music

Saturday Netball

We are very sad that we won’t be on court again this weekend at the Boroondara Netball Association for our fun filled day of netball but we are very hopeful for a return to Saturday netball very soon.

In the meantime, we had our very first Live Zoom Netball Training Session for all teams on Monday night. We had over 30 athletes on Zoom across all teams from Year 4 to 12 and all athletes worked so hard.

We completed a tough circuit, with some tricky ball skills in there but most of all, we were very active, connected, and we had some fun. It was also great to see our fellow team members.

We will continue to run our Live Zoom Netball Trainings while we are on remote learning. These training sessions will replace our court training until further notice.

Thank you, to all the players for their participation and to the parents and guardians for your continued support in your daughter’s netball journey.

Alexia McConnell
Netball Coordinator

Upskill …By Design

On 20 July, Year 7 students had their first Upskill…BY DESIGN Day for Semester Two. Students first took part in the CS in School program where they had the opportunity to refine their coding skills, with the guidance of industry professionals. Students were then asked to take some time off- screen and choose from a number of activities. Some of the options included: at home science experiments, painting, re organising their bedroom and cooking lunch for their family.

As can be seen on the Padlet, students from each form undertook many different activities and it was wonderful to see how they chose to spend their time! Students were then encouraged to take part in Wellbeing time, accessing the CGGS 360@ Wellbeing website. To finish the day, students took part in the CGGS Netflix party, watching the Bee Movie together. Another productive Upskill…BY DESIGN Day, with the focus on students staying connected and engaged.

Tuba Ozak
Year 7 Coordinator

Swinburne Youth Space Innovation Challenge

Space travel has been in the news over the past few weeks, most recently with the coverage of Jeff Bezos’ pilotless flight. Space exploration has moved beyond the domain of governments and the industry continues to see a growth in commercial companies joining the space race.

Swinburne University is well known for its work in this field and particularly its innovative STEM programs for school students. Five Year 10 and 11 students from Camberwell Girls Grammar School, Bethany Orme, Georgia Papadopoulos, Noyesha Agarwal, Ananyaa Virjania and Paula Jimenez Perez, have been fortunate to take part in the 2021 Swinburne Youth Space Innovation Challenge (SYSIC). Supported by The Australian Space Agency and lead by a number of Swinburne University staff, including the Dean of Science, Professor Virginia Kilborn, astronomer, Dr Rebecca Allen and PhD candidate, Sara Webb, this 10 week program involved participation in a micro-unit inspired by Swinburne’s Space Technology co-major, in order to develop the necessary skills for creating a space experiment and culminated in a video pitch to a panel of Swinburne University staff and mentors involved in space-related research. The pitch involved presenting an idea for an experiment to send to the International Space Station. Students engaged in weekly online mentor sessions. These sessions provided support relating to the micro-unit content and pitch presentations and also offered insights into some of the opportunities a STEM education affords.

The initial expectation was for one team’s idea to be chosen and for that team to continue working with Swinburne University to develop a viable experiment. The SYSIC leaders were so impressed with the quality of the work from all teams involved in the program, they changed the structure to enable each team to play a part in the lead team’s project. Our students pitched an idea about using Pavogen tiles to transform kinetic energy into electricity. Although the team’s experiment idea was not chosen to be sent to the International Space Station, the judges were impressed with the originality of the idea and commended our students for the thinking and work reflected in the pitch. It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to be able to work alongside experts and other students with similar interests, and to continue to be involved in this collaboration.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

CGGS Netflix Party

As we are all distance from each other during another period of remote learning, as School Captains, we thought it would be fitting to run an activity to help students and staff relax and connect during this period of time apart. Taking place on our Upskill BY DESIGN day, SEA invited all students and staff to join in a whole school Netflix Party.

We chose to watch the ‘Bee Movie’, a classic movie we knew would BEE something warm-hearted for everyone to watch together, despite being apart. We were so grateful to see so many Year 7 – 12 students and staff join.

SEA (Sophia, Eloise and Ashley)

Senior School


Senior School

June 25, 2021

Term 2 2021 has been a term like no other. On again, off again live performances with audiences for House Music and the Middle School Production. Face-to-face learning, remote learning and thankfully back to face-to-face learning. Co-curricular activities led by students in person and then on zoom and also thankfully back to in person. Whilst flexibility, agility and pivoting may have been overused words in 2020, they truly did have significance in Term 2. I take this opportunity to thank all our students, their parents and guardians as well as our teaching and professional services staff for the combined efforts and dedication that ensured Term 2 was highly successful for all.

Please enjoy all the articles in this edition of CamNews where the Senior School highlights and happenings of the past fortnight are summarised in detail. Please keep up to date with our Social Media accounts that provide live updates of what is occurring day-to-day. Hopefully our entire Senior School community is able to connect with and enjoy both means of communication.

Have a lovely break.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School

House Readers Cup

Over the course of Term 2, students from Years 7 to 12 participated in the House Readers Cup, a competition where students were able to earn points for their house through reading books. To do so, students had to borrow a book from our school library, read it over the term and then review it on our new library website. This was our second year running the competition, and it was a huge success as we had almost 700 books read in one term!  We had some amazing 5-star reviews, and some equally amazing 2-star reviews. It was great to read through them all and hear our students voices and opinions on what they were reading. We are very lucky to already have such a thriving reading culture here at CGGS, and the House Readers Cup was a direct reflection of this. Many students came into the library looking for specific books after reading others’ reviews, and were keen to recommend some of their own favourites to their peers as well. Congratulations to Taylor, who was the overall winner of the House Readers Cup and was awarded with the esteemed House Readers Duck.

There were a few students who went above and beyond for their house. For their prize, our Top 3 Readers this year will receive a new book of their choice.

1st   Amanda Lee (63 books)

2nd Isabelle Bertus (19 books)

3rd Sabrina Bignold (16 books)

Thank you to everyone for participating in the House Readers Cup, and we hope to see all of you in the library soon!

Nina D’Souza
Library Assistant

House Awards 2021

When asked, many an old grammarian will highlight that one of their favourite memories of life at Camberwell will involve an aspect of a House Activity or Event. Camberwell students have shown their dedication to the House program over the last 18 months, standing up in the face of COVID, and ensuring that traditions continue, connectedness remains and the culture of what the House program means to students continue to be passed on.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge 2021 Heads of House: Mr Daniel Loff (Lawrence), Ms Asia Kosowski (Schofield), Mr Tom Clark (Singleton) and Ms Christa Cook (Taylor) along with School House Captain Chloe Langley and House Captains: Ella Barmby and Karen Ng (Lawrence), Rachel Wong and Claire Robertson (Schofield), Jess Brake and Seanna Henricus (Singleton) and Chantelle Chuang and Aalisha Wong (Taylor) along with ALL student leaders for their huge efforts working with all students, being adaptable and ensuring the core values of the House program continue in all activities.

The House program continues to evolve and ensure that student interests, connectedness and culture are at the fore of all activities (see House Readers Cup below). With COVID disrupting our diarised events, we continue to plan House Music performances with the view that early Term 3 and an easing of restrictions, we will be able to perform some of these events LIVE!

The following Senior Students are to be congratulated on their continued contribution to House Activities and receiving the following Awards:

House Badge – 30 House Points

Year 11

Sheanne Goh

Jessica Huang

Felicia Ieong

Harkee Judge

Anastasia Konstantinou

Jessica Lee

Opal Liu

Eloise Rhodes

Peghah Shahverdi

Stamatia Stathopoulos

Micah Tan

Christine Xian

Yilia Zhang

Yuki Zhou


Year 12

Yuqing Chi

Millie Winkett


House Colours – 60 House Points

Year 11

Gabby Abbott

Nicole Ang

Emmelyn Choo-Lambropoulos

Isabel D’Souza

Ella Ding

Sarah Hui

Maya Jones

Megan Kuo

Annaliese Le

Natasha Rupar

Priyanshi Shah

Amelia Westerman

Katrina Xu


Year 12

Jessica Brake

Saraha Carr

Maggie Hu

Ellen Kontossis

Alannah Moriss

Anika Pandy

Megan Quach

Christine Wang

Manisha Wickramasinghe


House Double Colours – 90 House Points

Year 11

Teagan Diep


Year 12

Chantelle Chuang

Chloe Langley

Rachel Lau

Zara Price

Rachel Wong


Congratulations to all the students on their achievements!

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

House Public Speaking

Whilst the pandemic complicated school events, one which we were fortunate enough to continue with, was the House Public Speaking competition. Participants from every grade showed their resilience and passion for public speaking, presenting their speeches via our favourite internet conferencing tool: Zoom.

The Junior division (years 7 to 8) offered exciting and thoughtful responses to the topic ‘tradition brings us together to celebrate our culture and history’. The Intermediate division (years 9 to 10) delivered thought-provoking and inspirational interpretations on the topic ‘nothing worthwhile is ever easy’. The Senior division (year 11 to 12) concluded the competition with complex and sophisticated responses to the prompt ‘war is peace’- a quote from Orwell’s classic 1984. Each and every participant prepared brilliant speeches with flair, displaying their resilience in spite of remote learning.

Speeches for each division were presented on different lunchtimes and adjudicated by lovely members of the CGGS staff including Reverend Creed, Mr Maycock, Ms Oliver, Ms Gordon and Ms Watkins. With much appreciated guidance from Ms Watkins, who oversaw the competition, I had the privilege of hosting and introducing speakers between each round, aided by Zoom’s highly expressive communication tools – emojis. House Public Speaking 2021 was certainly one to remember!

Emma Zhi – 12D

Emily Zhang awarded AMusA Diploma & places in Ringwood Eisteddfod!

Emily Zhang (7B) has recently been awarded her A.Mus.A Diploma in violin, from the Australian Music Examination Board. This Diploma is in recognition of students achieving an outstanding level of playing and requires many years of study and long hours of practice – it is an exceptional achievement!

Also, in the recent Ringwood Eisteddfod, Emily won equal 2nd in the 12 years and under on Friday 11 June, and equal 3rd in the 14 years and under on Saturday 12 June.

The Ringwood Eisteddfod is an annual event, now in its 67th year, and is an extensive competition for instrumentalists and vocalists run over several weeks. The level of performance is always very high, with many aspiring young musicians entering this popular event. This year, it was fortunate that the competition was a live event.

Congratulations, Emily, on your wonderful triumphs!

Year 10 2021 VCE Subject Selection

As a Year 10 student, choosing a VCE study program can seem a bit overwhelming. At CGGS there is an extensive schedule of events designed to build the students’ career knowledge and develop their career decision making skills so students make a seamless transition to the VCE.

Such events have included career education classes, virtual work experience, ‘MyCareerMatch’ interest assessment, mentoring events, the VCE Information Day and individual career interviews with Mrs Dolan, Careers Counsellor. These experiences culminated in the all-important VCE Information evening when students and parents had the opportunity to talk to teachers about subject selection. They were also provided with a VCE information pack with material from tertiary institutions, VTAC and the CGGS 2022 VCE Curriculum Guide.  There was a great buzz in Robinson Hall as students chatted, discussed and reviewed possible subject combinations and where they might lead to in 2024.

Over the next few week students will consult with teachers, parents and current VCE students to select their subjects for their VCE program, giving themselves the best opportunity to be happy with their choices. Subject selection applications are due in by Friday 23rd July 2021.

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

Senior School


Senior School

June 11, 2021

Each fortnight, there are many wonderful school events that we recognise, acknowledging the achievements of both individual students and those of entire year levels. Today I would like to recognise our entire Senior School community for yet again rapidly adapting to a changed environment. While we are all supportive of the changes necessary to keep our state safe and free of COVID, these lockdowns are not without a toll on the individuals. Our students have been asked to reverse, move sideways, reschedule, postpone and reinvent. Yet, through it all, they continue to give off their best. The adults among us have also found the demands of the fourth lockdown challenging, but we all take heart from the resilience of our young people.

This past fortnight, our Reconciliation Captains Jacqueline de Mamiel and Caitlin Sutton worked alongside Ms Georgia Biggs, Year 9 Coordinator, to ensure we were able to mark Reconciliation Week appropriately. Throughout the week they hosted the Reconciliation Assembly and sent the school community emails to provoke thought and inform us all. Please read their reflections in this edition of CamNews.

This year our school Careers Counsellor, Mrs Trish Dolan swiftly changed her mode of delivery and planned and conducted a full and informative Work Experience program online for our Year 10 students. Trish worked with Mr James Henderson, Year 10 Coordinator, to ensure the Year 10 students were able to experience a rich array of industries.

This Queen’s Birthday long weekend, while we have more freedom to move and meet with others, please ensure your support of favourite local cafes, restaurants and other businesses and opportunities for exercise are undertaken with care.

With my best wishes for a safe, warm and restful long weekend.

Warm regards,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week at CGGS is a very important event for the CGGS community to recognise and celebrate. This year, Reconciliation Captains Caitlin and Jacqueline, alongside myself and Wurundjeri elder Murrundindi, had planned many exciting events using the theme More than a word, reconciliation takes Action as our springboard and guide. This theme is a particularly important one, off the back of 2020, where Black Lives Matter protests and Invasion Day rallies gained huge momentum; an important conversation was well and truly at the front of public discourse.

Globally, social media posts from members of the BIPOC communities and allyship from non-BIPOC communities helped many gain deeper understanding of issues affecting minority groups; including systems and structures that have been designed to oppress and marginalise. Here in Australia, we saw First Nations voices leading a conversation in many pockets of the media and social media, powerfully sharing lived experience; calling out and calling on change. Allies also stood by these voices, amplifying where they could in a show of solidarity, respect and care. In 2021, More than a word, reconciliation takes action asks people to take this awareness and knowledge to create more substantive action. For reconciliation to be effective, it must involve truth-telling, but it also must actively address issues of inequality, systemic racism and instances where the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ignored, denied or reduced.

While many of the events on the CGGS NRW calendar unfortunately had to be postponed due to the snap lockdown in Victoria; witnessing the flexibility and motivation of Jacqueline and Caitlin to keep some of the events was extremely inspiring. The future is in good hands when two allies such as themselves are doing such great work.

Here are their reflections of the week (and keep your eye out for some exciting events that will be taking place later in the school year).


Caitlin Sutton’s reflection:

This year for National Reconciliation Week, Jacq and I modified our plans around the snap lockdown into a remote style of communication. We sent out emails throughout the week to the whole school about National Sorry Day, the 1967 Referendum, Marngrook, Wurundjeri bush tucker, medicine and tools, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, Climate Justice, First Nations Justice and Mabo Day. We also modified the NRW Assembly to a series of pre-recorded videos including Murrindindi conducting a welcome to country and playing the didgeridoo, an interview with Amelia Lemanis about her essay Why Australia need to engage in justice reinvestment to reduce Indigenous incarceration rates and help close the gap and Dr Reid introducing his new book Time We Started Listening. At the end of the week, we ran an asynchronous Kahoot about all the information shared throughout the week, with the winner receiving a Clothing the Gaps voucher. Congratulations to Angela Lui on winning the Kahoot!


Jacqueline De Mamiel reflection:

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme was ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.’ We recognised this theme by focusing on actions our school community can take to celebrate Indigenous culture and history. One of our Year 10 Texts and Traditions classes was involved in a ‘Telling Stories Through Art’ Zoom panel with Murrundindi and Andrew Stanner. Andrew Stanner is the son of William Stanner who was an anthropologist who worked extensively with Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Andrew now owns his father’s large collection of Aboriginal art that was painted for him by an Aboriginal elder he worked with during his time in the Northern Territory. Andrew showed us these paintings and shared the meaning behind the symbols that represent the landscape. Murrundindi showed us artworks that have been passed down within his family. He shared his knowledge about the symbolism and patterns in these artworks and taught us about how stories are passed on in Wurundjeri culture. We are really grateful for Murrundindi and Andrew’s insight into this important part of Aboriginal history!

Georgia Biggs (Reconciliation Coordinator) and Caitlin Sutton & Jacqueline de Mamiel (Reconciliation Captains)

Virtual Work Experience

Work Experience is a vital part of the CGGS Career Education program in Year 10. It gives students an opportunity to work in a profession in which they are interested. It is designed to be exciting and informative, with experienced people offering insights into a number of different professions. After the lockdown earlier in the year, and uncertainty about future plans, CGGS decided to cancel the compulsory component of work experience. We decided to be flexible.

Students were offered the opportunity to still pursue a placement, dependent on finding a willing employer, and we were delighted when nearly one third of our Year 10 cohort showed remarkable initiative and organised some work experiences across a range of industries.

It was clear, however, that another arrangement would need to be explored to satisfy this important component of career education for our remaining students. CGGS therefore launched an innovative careers program – ‘CGGS Virtual Work Experience’; a digital program which is a touchpoint for our students to not only experience different industries, but to see these industries in action and to learn from their professionals.

And, of course, with best laid plans cast asunder with this recent lockdown, and a necessity to pivot once again – ALL our Year 10 students could now avail of this fantastic program. Our students completed four days of this novel program which included virtual tours, videos, podcasts, career timelines and more. Preview the program here.

Upon completion, students receive a certificate highlighting the industry task undergone, the skills they have developed and most importantly, they receive personal feedback on their work mapped to guidelines provided by industry. This will be an important accreditation to highlight on their resume and will form part of their e-portfolio development in Term 3.

89% of children go to their parents first for career advice, so it is crucial that parents have access to resources and guidance that will aid their children’s career decisions. Students were able to invite parents to see their career plans and the activities they completed along the way.

It is such a valuable program it has also been made available to our Year 11 students who were deprived of real-world work experiences in 2020.  Its success suggests that future work experiences may comprise both real world placements and virtual work experiences. 

Trish Dolan
Careers Counsellor

In Conversation with Murrundindi

On Friday 28 May the Year 8 teaching team hosted an ‘In Conversation’ session with Murrundindi, where the Year 8s and wider audience listened to his very personal and inspiring story. Murrundindi is the Ngurungaeta (Head Man) of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.

The event complemented the students’ current learning in English in which they are studying the verse novel Sister Heart by Sally Morgan.

Murrundindi outlined the challenges and hardships of growing up as an Indigenous Australian and leaving school young in order to take care of his family. He also told students of the important bonds, connection to country and kinship that are significant to Wurundjeri culture.

Murrundindi spoke with calm, as he disclosed that he was the last generation to be registered under the Plant and Animal Act of Australia. He also spoke about being referred to by derogatory terms, growing up as a 16-year-old on the verge of young adulthood and how he did not feel wanted in the community.

Murrundindi spoke at length about the importance of positive relationships and how he was fortunate to meet Maureen, his second wife. She readily accepted him and his culture and also helped him become literate in his mid 30s. It is because of this relationship that he now passionately teaches students about his culture across Wurundjeri land – in particular our students at CGGS.

Murrundindi likened this second chance to the ongoing process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

His eyes lit up as he spoke about the deep respect he feels every time he visits CGGS. It was a privilege to listen to Murrundindi’s story. He has remained positive when faced with personal conflict and feels gratitude for second chances at developing and strengthening bonds with family.

Nirvana Watkins (Host of the Zoom session), Georgia Biggs (Editor), Chris Anton (Writer) and Year 8 English Teaching Team

Operations Management in Action

As part of their Unit 3 studies into Operations Management, students from the Business Management classes attended a practical learning experience in early May to the Yakult Factory in Dandenong. The individualised tour catered specifically to the study design and focussed on the vital components of the course including: technological developments, materials management, quality, and waste minimisation.

The experience was a unique opportunity to directly link the theoretical concepts presented in class with a practical and well-known international business. Students arrived at the state-of-the-art facility and were greeted by our tour educator. We were guided through the production process as we made our way around the viewing level, conveniently located above the factory floor. Students had the opportunity to learn about Yakult’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, as well as viewing the quality control processes from outside the purpose-built laboratory.

Once the tour had concluded, students had the opportunity to visit the education centre where they learnt about the history of the company and the evolution of their products including manufacturing techniques and commitment to sustainability in the future. The tour would not have been complete without a product tasting to conclude the experience. Thank you to Mrs Larkey for accompanying the classes and sharing her own business knowledge.

Alexandra Larkey
Head of Commerce

French Biographies

Year 10 French classes have been delving into the olden days in their studies this term, to learn more about the past tense in French. Adding a personal and authentic touch to their learning, students interviewed a member of their family to compile some key events in their lives in a carefully crafted biography

The results reveal the diversity of origins, experience and career paths of various generations, and the concluding sentences of love and gratitude will put a smile on the faces of parents and grand-parents who can read the French!

Miriam Hoffman and Tafadzwa Gwamba
French Teachers

Da Vinci Decathlon

The Da Vinci Decathlon is a team-based national competition which involves developing a range of skills through engagement in different challenges including Engineering, Art, Poetry, Codebreaking and Ideation. Students are required to work collaboratively in order to complete 10 complex challenges over the course of a day. This activity requires not only academic excellence, but more importantly, well-developed critical and creative thinking skills, the ability to work as a team, consider different points of view and persevere with difficult tasks. It is a competition which is academically challenging and one in which students are encouraged to enjoy the opportunity to work with like-minded peers and tackle different challenges.

Two Year 7 teams and one Year 8 team competed in the State Finals recently. The teams worked collaboratively to navigate the challenges as well as the technology as this year’s event was online. The teams were well organised, persevered when challenges arose and demonstrated strong critical thinking and creative skills. While none of the teams advanced to the National Finals, our Year 7 Team 2 came first in the Science challenge and third in the Engineering challenge. Congratulations to all of the students who participated. They were great ambassadors for Camberwell Girls.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

A Virtual Year 8 Statistics Investigation

This term, our Year 8 Mathematics students are using a virtual platform known as The Islands as a method of learning and applying Statistics and data. The Islands is a virtual human population created by Dr Michael Bulmer from the University of Queensland. Dr Bulmer’s desire was to construct an interface that would allow students to understand how information is objectively gathered and how statistical questions can be posed and answered to inform us about the world we live in.

Each member of the virtual human population (known as Islanders) is happy to perform tasks that would allow students understand more about them. Some of these virtual tasks involved asking the Islanders to exercise, eat, sleep or perform other tests. This investigation seemed the perfect way for students to gather and analyse data during our current lockdown, as they could ‘interview’ whole populations from home!

Each student in Year 8 designed a ‘before-and-after’ style question in which they were able to utilise the Islanders to ascertain an answer. The Year 8s created many insightful and analytical questions. Maya from 8B constructed an investigation to see if listening to heavy rock music affected an Islander’s concentration and Sienna from 8A wanted to explore if exercise influences an Islander’s ability to concentrate. Through tasks like these, it is our hope that the Year 8s are able to create connections between Mathematics and how it can be applied to solve real-life problems from areas like Sociology and Psychology.

Alistair Shaw and the Year 8 Maths Team