The CGGS community is one that is welcoming, caring, inclusive and connected. It embraces students, families, staff, alumnae and friends from diverse backgrounds. (Strategic Plan 2022-2025)
Bestowed by our Founders over one hundred years ago are enduring values which connect us as a community. Our values, which are never taken for granted, are as relevant today as they have been with each passing decade. They are unbreakable threads which symbolise the strength and resilience of our school, mirrored in the depth of our creative purpose and embracing generations of students, staff, parents, volunteers, alumnae and Council members. Our values, coupled with connectedness – that natural human desire to belong, strengthen our primary focus, the education of our students through our shared vision.
Our school community is richly complemented by our inclusive culture. We welcome and celebrate a community who bring diverse perspectives which contribute to our wisdom and cultural expression, improving student learning outcomes and adding to our positive school culture. Our belief is that without community connection, our mission would be diminished.
No doubt there have been challenges in our school’s history to test the strength of our connectedness. We think of the world confronting Miss Louisa Taylor during her Principalship from 1928-1959 when she led the school through The Great Depression and World War 2. Her genuine sense of concern for the well-being of people and the robustness of the School tapped into established supports to ensure the community’s connectedness remained unsullied during testing times.
Jump forward seventy years and our social connectedness has been challenged with the reality and impact of the world pandemic over the past two and a half years. As we learn to live with COVID-19, it is pertinent to be mindfully grateful for the depth of our connectedness prior to this unforeseen. However, as with many life challenges bright spots can be found. For us, the pandemic has unveiled an invaluable opportunity to reflect, provoking questions on how to embrace new ways of seeing and being.
As we move forward, knowing the well-springs of our past connectivity still define us, what do we want our refreshed post-pandemic community to
… look like ?
… sound like ?
… feel like ?
For those who attended the Centenary Gala celebration recently, responses should come easily! It was an evening which was welcoming, inviting, joyous, energetic and relaxed; a ballroom full of people eager to show and experience what the school means to them.
The Centenary Gala was a showcase, intended or not, for what Camberwell Girls Grammar School looks like, sounds like and feels like, but what we want the school to look, sound and feel like should not end with one night of festivities. As we rebuild opportunities for connection, the time is right to look at the current involvement of parents and volunteers, and to consider how we can continue to build our community to enable greater participation and tap into the gifts and talents of the whole community.
In 2021, Terry McAleenan, President of our Parents and Friends Association, launched the Dad’s Group as part of his involvement in The Fathering Project. There is no doubt students love having their fathers involved at school. With Terry’s coordination more and more of our fathers are building connections and enjoying the company of each other, and in the presence of their daughters. We also enjoyed a wonderful Father’s Day Breakfast yesterday, another opportunity for connection within and across year levels.
Whilst we are enormously grateful to the predominance of women who volunteer in our school, we are keen to seek more ways for all family members to be involved. What is already known to us is that the actions, ideas and involvement of a connected community all have the ability to affect the school and the individual lives of students and their academic performances in profound ways.
Our school is a strong, resilient and harmonious community which has been built on vision and commitment over one hundred years. We are not a static environment and require dynamic energy to keep abreast of why we exist.
For generations CGGS has witnessed the support of many who have been deeply motivated to belong and whose involvement has helped weave the threads which connect us all today. To everyone, we offer an invitation to encounter and explore the depth of our connected community through activity and involvement, adding to the richness of what our school looks like, sounds like, and importantly, feels like.
With best wishes,