May 20, 2022

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In planning for our Centenary celebrations, the opportunity to name our library and recognize the contribution of a significant person associated with our school was very exciting. Our library is a place of learning and of community; a place where the intellect and heart meet.

It quickly became evident to us that we had the ideal person to consider. In 1912 the Reverend Hubert Brooksbank was charged by his Archbishop, the Most Reverend Henry Lowther Clarke, to establish a new Parish in Camberwell. A clear directive was issued to Reverend Brooksbank about the project: he was to build a school hall before a church building. Land was purchased on the corner of Burke and Canterbury Roads, building commenced and the foundation stone of the St Mark’s Parish Hall was laid in 1914. It was to this emergent congregation that Reverend Brooksbank was inducted as their first Vicar and he oversaw the establishment of St Mark’s Church School, which opened in 1920 and today is known as Camberwell Girls Grammar School.

Reverend Brooksbank was committed to education, especially of girls at this time. He was visionary, wise and treated others with respect and affection. He also founded a school courageous to evolve and change, and to seek the future with creativity and hope. Our library, in being named Brooksbank Library, will live into its own power to spark each student’s commitment to a lifelong ‘becoming’ of their best selves.

On Wednesday 11 May 2022, after two years of waiting, the Chair of Council, Dr Nikita Weickhardt declared the naming of the Brooksbank Library followed by a Blessing of the library by our Chaplain, Reverend Helen Creed. 

Eleven members of the Brooksbank family attended this special occasion with Kate King, Reverend Brooksbank’s great grand-daughter unveiling his portrait. Dr Mary Brooksbank AM, grand-daughter of Reverend Brooksbank responded on behalf of the family and guests included Council Member, students, staff, parents and members of St Mark’s Church. Senior Music students sung the School Anthem written for the Centenary and a bound copy was presented to Anne Devenish to be kept in the Archives.

I have included a copy of part of my speech below, focused on Reverend Brooksbank and his contribution to our school.

Significant events such as this remind us of the important legacy left by those before us. It was their commitment to building a school that throughout the decades would continue to provide such a high quality and progressive education that enables us to continue their legacy for current and future generations.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody