Last week we celebrated and farewelled the Class of 2023 in several significant events including the Year 12 Celebration Day, Leavers’ Service and the Valedictory Dinner. Each of these events celebrates more than just the culmination of their academic journey, rather, they provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the memories created, the friendships forged, and the lessons learnt. They provide a time to acknowledge the unwavering support of families, friends and educators that have guided them throughout their time at school and to remember the moments that have helped shape who they are, who they are becoming and the endless possibilities of the future.
Celebration Day on Monday 16 October, saw the Year 12 students embrace a ‘Wild West’ theme and hold special events and activities across the day to commemorate and remember the many moments of joy they have experienced while at CGGS. From the heartwarming Year 12 Breakfast in Robinson Hall to the lively Year 12 Assembly, and the traditional ringing of the bell at 3.25pm, their collective spirit, humour and sense of ‘community’ was evident throughout, embodying the essence of their time at CGGS.
The Leavers’ Service, held on Tuesday 17 October, served as an occasion to commend the Year 12 students for their dedication and the legacy they have woven. It provided an opportunity for students to share their own highlights of their schooling journey and to express gratitude to those who have supported and guided them, including family, teachers and peers. Inspired by our school hymn, “so when the gates swing wide and through the larger world our way we choose,” the service drew to a close; Year 12 students walked down the path of the Torrington Street school gates for the final time, a moment filled with both excitement and nostalgia, marking the end of a significant chapter in their lives.
On Tuesday evening, parents, staff and students celebrated the Class of 2023 Valedictory Dinner at Zinc in Federation Square. Supported by the Parents and Friends Association, this significant event provides a final opportunity for our school community to gather and celebrate achievements and express gratitude. Good food, great conversation and excellent dancing skills were on show, and we thank all of those in attendance for a memorable evening.
Our Year 12s are now well into their final few weeks of school, and it has been inspiring to see the energy and passion that they have taken into their first exams. We wish them well over the remaining weeks and look forward to celebrating their successes and future pathways with them next year and beyond.
Head of Senior School
Head of Middle School
Alongside personal financial literacy, entrepreneurship education is the cornerstone of the Year 9 Commerce curriculum at Camberwell Girls Grammar School. Transferable skills and competencies such as critical thinking, innovation and problem solving are nurtured and valued, and students learn the importance of ethical decision-making, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability.
We are therefore especially pleased to share that a group of Year 9 CGGS students have won the Victorian final of the Plan Your Own Enterprise (PYOE) Competition, run by Business Educators Australasia in conjunction with the Victorian Commercial Teachers Association. Notably, this is the second consecutive year in which CGGS has won the state final and advanced as Victoria’s representative to the national competition.
The PYOE Competition encourages the entrepreneurial spirit of today’s youth; recognising creativity, critical and lateral thinking in the creation of an original business idea and formulation of a comprehensive and transformative business plan. The submission must analyse and address all facets of small-business operations, from start-up funding and costing, to marketing, staffing, and pricing.
Despite fierce and considerable competition and being amongst the youngest entrants state-wide, Amalia P, Phoebe P and Abbey M’s food truck business “Tart in a Cart” was declared the best in Victoria. We further celebrate fellow 9D students Christina W, Alyce L and Amber C whose business “Durabottle” was also selected as a Top-5 finalist.
The judging panel of industry experts applauded the depth and breadth of both CGGS submissions. All six students are powerhouses of entrepreneurial energy, and with immense pride we congratulate them all on this incredible achievement.
Head of Commerce
Congratulations to Carisse S in Ms Papas’ Science class (10A) on winning Stile Education’s August Art of Science Competition.
During August Carisse coloured in the Stile Education provided artwork and submitted it to Stile Education as part of the competition.
Stile considered Carisse’s drawing to be utterly delightful as evident in the photo below. Carisse’s award was recognised in a Year 10 Year Level Assembly on Wednesday 18 October where Carisse was also awarded her prizes which included:
Carisse’s entry also won Ms Papas’ a personalised Stile-ish stamp set, and the CGGS Science Department a Stile Education Poster Set and a $500 Cider House Tech Voucher to purchase Science equipment.
Congratulations to Carisse, and we encourage all Year 7 – 10 Science students to participate in the Art of Science Competitions run by Stile.
Head of Science
We are proud to share the success of Asha B in Year 7, whose two submissions were recognised in the Boroondara Literary Awards last week.
Asha submitted two pieces of work, a prose and a poem as part of the Young Writers Competition. Her poetry, “Pie in The Sky” was awarded First Prize in the Middle School Category (Year 7-9) and her prose, titled “Birthday Parties” was awarded Second Prize in the Middle School Category.
Well done, Asha. We are so proud of you and the way you are developing as a writer.
You can read Asha’s pieces in the Boroondara Literary Awards Anthology 2023 and you will find a copy in the Library.
Head of English
Last Thursday, The Brooksbank Library proudly hosted the Young Australian Best Book Awards Ceremony (YABBA) for 2023.
We welcomed over 40 authors and illustrators in person and online, together with over 700 students who either attended or streamed the ceremony.
Peter Helliar, author of the Frankie Fish books and TV personality was our Master of Ceremonies for the day, providing a fun and interactive event for all.
Liv D in Year 8 delivered the Acknowledgment of Country and Mrs Dunwoody welcomed all our visitors. The Senior School Singers and Musicians specially formed by Ms Georgiev and Mr Duniam, performed the uplifting and inspirational song “Thankyou for the Books”. The ceremony included burning questions to authors, ‘Squiggle o graphy’ with illustrators and a comedy skit.
The awards were the result of students across Australia voting for their favourite books in 4 different categories. Winners included Andy Griffiths, Ahn Do and Aaron Blabey.
The Library was full of excitement and energy as the students met and talked with the authors during the book signing after the ceremony.
Thank you to the CGGS staff who made this event possible.
Head of Library
Debating and public speaking are excellent opportunities for students to develop critical thinking skills as well as grow in their ability to consider complex issues in a nuanced manner. Throughout 2023, students have been afforded numerous opportunities to be involved in such activities, with many participating in DAV Debating, Model UN, the Plain English Speaking Award, and OGA Public Speaking.
This year, CGGS debaters and public speakers have been highly successful; congratulations to Samantha F and Sara R for their progression to the UN Youth Victoria Evatt Model UN Grand Final as well as the various teams that won four out of five DAV rounds.
Additionally, various students have been involved in the debating and public speaking community in positions of leadership. Within the House system, House Debating and Public Speaking Captains ran workshops to develop their participants’ skills, whilst on a wider school level Grace B, Helena M, Sam F, Sara R, and Ishana S led a Speaking Superpowers session for Year 8s as part of Upskill by Design. Moreover, through the Debaters Association of Victoria, Aashi S has been acting as a member of the Student Advisory Committee and helping to inform the organisation’s actions.
Whilst the CGGS debating and public speaking community has seen much formal success this year, equally, we are incredibly proud of those who simply decided to participate despite the sometimes intimidating nature of speaking in front of others.
2023 School Public Speaking and Debating Captain
Year 7 Debating
Salome and an Old Grammarian Bec Waldron ran two debating workshops for our Year 7s this year in the Upskill Program. It was wonderful to have them share their expertise and the sessions were a great foundation for the House Debating competition in Term 3.
Year 7s were also offered the opportunity to take part in the Junior Secondary Program (JSP) and ten of our students came together to form two teams, continuing to build their skills in workshops and by taking part in three rounds of debating at Camberwell Grammar.
Well done Asha, Alisha, Eshani, Misaki, Lillian, Christine, Sophia, Anni, Vinci and Misha.
Head of English
The Australian Geography Competition is a challenging competition that tests individuals on geographical skills and a broad range of knowledge on a range of topics and global events. At CGGS, all Year 7 and Year 8 students are entered in the competition to participate during class time, with students from all other year levels invited to compete during lunchtime sessions.
The awards for this year’s Competition were recognised in a Senior School Assembly and certificates are to be presented at upcoming Year Level Assemblies. 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.
We are proud to recognise the exceptional achievements of a number of students this year. Congratulations to the following students:
Top in the State – Sophie C (Year 11)
Sophie has been a Geography enthusiast since the beginning and this year she placed as one of the top two students in the State, earning herself a place at the Geography’s Big Week Out (GBWO). Here, participants undertake a week of local Geography fieldwork and activities designed to provide Geography enthusiasts the opportunity to extend their skills alongside other state and territory champions. They also experience the unique reward of being able to see the sights and attractions in the region. This year, GBWO was held in the Northern Territory in September, and at the culmination of the week, students competed against each other at the national level for a place on the Australian team for the International Olympiad.
Top 1% Ashley W (Year 8)
Ashley impressively placed in the Top 1% for her age group.
Credit (Years 9 – 12)
Congratulations to all these students.
Head of Geography
There has been a steady group of student inquiries recently for information regarding the Duke of Edinburgh Award. CGGS currently has over 100 students participating in the award which requires students to participate in and log their hours of ‘Physical Activity’, development of a new or continuing ‘Skill’, continued commitment to a ‘Service’ in the local community, and two ‘Adventurous Journeys’. It has been a delight to discuss activities with students and I am always encouraged by the ideas students raise for their ‘Service’ activities, from sewing blanket pouches for wildlife, to tutoring Junior School Students, volunteering as coaches or managers at local sports clubs, or running websites for their local church.
At assembly on 24 October, we acknowledged Alyce L (Bronze), Su-Ann L (Silver) and Bella F on their awards. Bella has now completed all three levels of the award in what has been a three year journey, culminating in her Gold Award presentation. Bella has shown a strong commitment to many of her activities that she has pursued over the three years. Bella continues her progression through Cello lessons, consistent long distance running activities, contributions to the St Vincent de Paul Society and Point Lonsdale Lifesaving Club.
An excerpt from Bella’s Assembly speech:
“Completing my Duke of Ed award motivated me to achieve my personal goals in many aspects of my life, such as sport, as well as stepping outside my comfort zone to complete the Adventurous Journey.
Throughout Duke of Ed, I was involved in a range of service activities, including being a One-Girl Ambassador and raising $1500, being a Young Award Leader for Duke of Ed, and working at Vinnies in my local area. Being involved in these activities enabled me to learn new skills and spread awareness of important causes.
As part of the Adventurous Journey aspect of Duke of Ed, I participated in a hike along the Great Ocean Road which was organised by a small group of students including me. From this, I gained a lot of independence and resilience and learnt lots of new skills, such as organising a campsite, packing a backpack effectively and buying the appropriate food whilst hiking”.
Further information about Duke of Edinburgh Awards at CGGSS can be found at https://mycggs.fireflycloud.net.au/clubs-committees-and-groups/the-duke-of-edinburghs-award
Outdoor Education Coordinator
The Year 7 French classes have had a lovely time learning all about French food culture. Having learned some French food vocabulary and how to talk about their likes and dislikes, they then prepared and presented a restaurant role play where some students were diners and others waiters. They had to prepare French menus and order a three-course dinner with drinks. If any families are considering visiting a French-speaking country in the near future, these students have you covered. They did an excellent job and some groups even added a plot twist into their drama.
To give this unit an even more authentic flavour, all four classes visited the Food Studies kitchen and were treated to a delicious hour of French food tasting. A big thank you to Mrs Jennie Goad and Ms Natalie Jefferson along with their excellent Year 11 Unit 3 & 4 Food Studies students who prepared an array of food and talked us through the history and origins of croissants, quiche, madeleines, gougères, crêpes and croque monsieur. Bon Appetit!
Dr Jo Rittey
Head of Languages