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Secondary School

As we approach the conclusion of the school year, it is incredible to think that we have less than two weeks remaining after a wonderful, productive, and joyful 2023!

Over the past few weeks, students have embraced the challenge of navigating examinations, mastering end-of-semester assessments, and seizing new leadership opportunities. Additionally, we have been thrilled to witness high levels of participation in events such as GSV Sports Finals, House Theatre Sports and auditions for the 2024 House Dance, House Music, and the Musical.

In this week’s edition of CamNews, Dr. Charlotte Forwood, Director of Learning Design and Development, shares the speech she presented at the recent Leaders’ Service. She reflects on the Leadership Stories that can be discovered within the pages of picture story books.

As we share the final edition of CamNews for this year, we extend warm wishes to all members of our school community for a delightful holiday season. May the festive season provide an opportunity for reflection, rest, and the enjoyment of time spent together with family and friends.

Kath Woolcock                        
Head of Senior School

Tom Clark
Head of Middle School

Leadership Stories

Much research has been generated and many books have been written about leadership. Thought leaders in this space include Brené Brown, Daniel Goleman and Paul Browning. When asked to share some thoughts with our students about leadership, being an avid reader and fond of a good narrative, I decided to look to the world of storytelling and took the students on a short journey through picture story books to highlight some of the important aspects of leadership.

We all know that excellent communication skills are essential for leaders. In the book, Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker, as the title suggests, Lacey loves to talk, however she is not such a good listener. Her nonstop talking begins to have an impact on others, so when her friends start pretending that they can’t hear her, she finally starts to understand the importance of listening. Similarly, in the story Listen Buddy, Buddy discovers the importance of listening as he navigates his talkative tendencies, in particular, the need to be mindful of different perspectives and the impact of his words on others. Active listening is a crucial skill. Being a good leader is about balancing sharing your thoughts and listening to others. Active listening means you are truly in the moment and not distracted by others’ actions, or your own thoughts. Active listening helps you to walk in the shoes of others, be informed and care. It is top of Paul Browning’s list of 10 essential principles of effective leadership.

Leaders have an important role to play as mentors and encouragers. The main character in The Dot, a young girl named Vashti, is disheartened by her self-perceived lack of artistic talent. Her teacher encourages her to put a single dot on a piece of paper and then sign it. In her next Art class, Vashti is surprised to find her dot framed and on the wall. This leads her to take risks and, one dot at a time, unleash her creativity and ultimately encourage others. Sometimes the small things we do and say, such as words of encouragement or being a role model for others, can have a huge influence on how others feel and what they can achieve.

The Giving Tree was written more than 50 years ago, however its message about the challenge of balancing giving and taking is still relevant today. The story begins with a young boy and his interactions with an apple tree, which provides the boy with whatever he wants, from apples to eat, to branches to build a house. By the end of the story, the boy has become an old man, and the tree, having given everything to the boy, in a final act of generosity provides its stump as a place for the man to rest and reflect. Leadership is about caring for and supporting others. Sometimes as a leader you will give your all and get little back in return from others. Sometimes your efforts will only be acknowledged later in your life. Being a leader is an act of selflessness.

Good teamwork skills are essential if you want to be a leader. The classic book, Swimmy, tells the story of a little fish who loses all his friends when a giant tuna gobbles them up. Worried that this will happen again when he makes some new friends, Swimmy suggests they all swim together and form the shape of a large fish to frighten away predators. The collaboration not only provides Swimmy and his fishy friends with freedom and peace of mind, it also highlights the importance of teamwork and unity. This is sometimes referred to as collective efficacy, which happens when individuals combine their unique talents to achieve shared goals. You might be a person who has great ideas and is a creative problem solver, but the best ideas and solutions come from working with others. As leaders, you will be your best when you are prepared to be generous and flexible with your ideas, and willing to learn from and listen to others.

Finally, in the much-loved Australian picture story book, Edward the Emu, Edward spends most of the story trying to be like other animals and it is only at the end, when he embraces being an emu that he realises the importance of being himself. As leaders, it is important to be your unique, authentic self, to know and value who you are and what is important to you.

While the language of each of these stories is simple, they each provide important messages for everyone, whether you have a formal leadership role or not. I conclude this article by highlighting an essential word – the word ‘we’. This two-letter word is extremely powerful, just saying it unites people, acknowledges the contributions of a team and invites others to participate. It is a word that promises abundance which brings joy, according to joy researcher, Ingrid Fetell Lee.

We are very proud of the leaders who were acknowledged in our Leaders’ Assembly. We know that they already exhibit many of the qualities that are important to be an effective leader and will also continue to learn and grow into their roles. Maybe in your spare moments you might like to revisit your bookshelves at home or pop into your local library and dive into a picture story book or two. You might just find an addition to your leadership story there.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

Leaders' Service

During a formal assembly on Tuesday 14 November, our school leaders—those elected to formal leadership positions—and our soon-to-be Year 12 students were formally inducted as leaders of CGGS.

While most leadership positions were announced at an assembly earlier in the term, we have had several students join the Student Leadership Team since then and were able to congratulate them during this occasion.

The Leaders’ Service officially marks the commencement of a personal and collective journey of growth, impact, and service. As students responded to the Leadership Oath presented by Mrs Dunwoody and Reverend Helen Creed, they acknowledged and committed to the responsibilities entrusted to them and were encouraged to embrace the opportunities presented with curious minds, seeking to learn from those around them.

Opening the service, 2024 School Captain Emily encouraged each leader to seek support from one another, communicate openly, and collaborate tirelessly. She reflected on the joy she felt in being able to share their journey and shared her excitement for the year ahead.

As a school, we eagerly anticipate witnessing the passion and drive of the Student Leadership Team. We cannot wait to see the legacy they create in 2024.

The 2023 Marcian

We are thrilled that this year’s school magazine, the Marcian, has arrived.

Marcian Editor, Lucy Y (Year 12), along with Deputy Editors, Gina Y (Year 9) and Cate M (Year 10), have attractively curated a magazine that reflects on a rich array of activities that have taken place throughout the year.

The Marcian team decided on the theme of ‘Flowers’ for this year’s magazine, and in their words, “The committee is grateful to present an editorial focused on growth and development … we endow our motif with dual meaning: one dedicated to everyone reading the Marcian and one devoted to the community we have concertedly created”.  A beautiful sentiment.

A highlight throughout the production process this year was the enthusiasm and joy the Marcian editorial team demonstrated to ensure the publication fully represented CGGS, from ELC through to Year 12, House, Sport, Music, Performing Arts, Co-Curricular activities and much more.  There was also opportunity for our budding young writers to submit content, providing an authentic reflection of a particular school event through their eyes.

My warmest congratulations to Lucy, Gina and Cate, Committee Members and everyone involved in the Marcian production – you should be very proud of this achievement.

The Marcian magazine will be distributed to students next week. 

I hope you take time to enjoy reading the magazine during the upcoming holiday period. 

Davina McClure
Deputy Principal

FIRST Lego League

Camberwell Girls celebrated its fifth year of involvement in the FIRST Lego League with three teams competing in the regional finals in November at Swinburne KIOSC, and one team advancing to the National Championships South to be held in Tasmania in December.

So, what do we love about the FIRST Lego League? It is a competition that is underpinned by six core values – Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork and Fun. While our students complete an innovation project using the Design Thinking process, design, build and program a robot to complete a series of complex manoeuvres as part of a robot game challenge, these core values must be evident. As winners of the Core Values trophy at the regional finals, we clearly did just that, and as winners of the Motivate Award, we also showed we value persistence and high quality work.

FIRST Lego League is all about challenge, connection, creativity and perseverance (which incidentally was the name of one of our teams). The terms ‘coopertition’ and ‘gracious professionalism’ are synonymous with FIRST Lego League which attracts more than half a million participants each year from around the globe.

Congratulations to all our students – they were excellent ambassadors for CGGS. We wish Team Perseverance (Eden, Jessica, Zara, Sienna, Christine and Lillian) all the best in the upcoming National Championships.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development
FIRST Lego League Coach

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program – Congratulations Aliyana R

Early last week, we were delighted to learn that Aliyana R (Year 10) has been selected into the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program, Class of 2025.  With over 2000 applications received, this is a significant achievement, and we congratulate Aliyana on her future involvement in this prestigious program.

The Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program is an academic enrichment program designed to support high-achieving secondary school students in achieving their personal best. Each year, students in Year 10 are invited to apply and the application process is rigorous.

The program is offered by Melbourne University and provides successful students with a unique head start into university life. It provides an exclusive opportunity to engage with Melbourne University over two years, and successful applicants become part of a supportive university community and peer network through a tailored program.

The program begins in Year 10, and continues through Years 11 and 12, with participants being invited to several events and activities each year. Students who receive this award are given the opportunity to attend personal development workshops, overnight adventures on campus and Unit 3 and 4 VCE revision lectures. Award recipients can also access the largest library collection in the southern hemisphere and future study assistance and advice. Students receiving this award, who successfully gain a place at Melbourne University for their tertiary studies, continue to receive benefits including possible study overseas scholarships and other support systems.

The Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program is a highly respected program for high achieving secondary school students. Students must be in the top 5% academically of their year level, demonstrating strong leadership capabilities and a commitment to active citizenship and community service.

We look forward to further celebrating Aliyana’s achievement at our school assembly next week.

Kath Woolcock
Head of Senior School 

GALESS Tiltshift Challenge

The GALESS (Global Alliance of Leading Edge Schools for Sustainability) Tiltshift Challenge is a rigorous and demanding program which aims to engage students in problem solving big issues in sustainability, while connecting them with students from other countries.

The Boroondara Gifted Network (co-coordinated by CGGS) organised for the program to be offered for the first time in the southern hemisphere. This event saw a team of Year 10/11 students (Nysa, Aliyana, Sophie and Angela) delve into the realm of renewable energy transition, writing a detailed 5000-word paper destined for publication in a global yearbook and present innovative solutions to critical energy issues. The highlight was a Melbourne-based three-day student conference, a unique convergence of minds and ideas, where students exchanged insights with Austrian and Singaporean peers as well as other Melbourne students. CGGS hosted Day 2 of the conference, showcasing a panel discussion, a hands-on plastic extrusion workshop in the MakerSpace, and a design sprint aimed at reshaping energy transition mindsets. This gathering of young minds, brimming with ingenuity and cross-cultural collaboration, signalled a promising future led by these potential global leaders.

We are particularly grateful to the many experts and passionate renewable energy champions who contributed to the students’ research or the conference day, including Professor Asha Rao, Tsen Wong, Matthew Forwood, Nicholas Kerwin, Amelia Dudley, Penny Dumsday, Micah Wilkins, Dr Vicky Ellis and Summer Howarth.

Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development

Alison Harcourt Award – Congratulations Scarlett G and Jacqueline D

Congratulations to Scarlett G and Jacqueline D, from the Class of 2023, for receiving the prestigious 2023 Alison Harcourt Award in recognition of their outstanding dedication to service, both within CGGS and the broader community.

Introduced this year by Dr. Monique Ryan MP, the Alison Harcourt Award honors students from Kooyong primary and secondary schools who have demonstrated exceptional community service and citizenship. Named after Alison Harcourt, a distinguished Kew local born in 1929, the award acknowledges students in Year 6 and Year 12 who have exceeded expectations in contributing to their community, whether within their school, a specific group, or society at large. The criteria for nomination includes dedication and service to the community, support for peers facing adversity, overcoming personal challenges to contribute, innovative thinking addressing community needs, leadership in social justice initiatives, and demonstrating compassion and goodwill.

Scarlett and Jacqueline, both deserving recipients, attended the awards ceremony alongside their families and the Year 12 Coordinator, Mrs Robinson, on Thursday 23 November at the Hawthorn Town Hall.

Congratulations to both students on this remarkable and well-deserved achievement.

Kath Woolcock
Head of Senior School

International Geography Olympiad Team

We recently congratulated Sophie C on her amazing achievement in the Australian Geography Competition where she placed as a Top Year 11 student in Victoria. The prize was a week of Geography activities and fieldwork with other state/territory winners at Geography’s Big Week Out, held in Darwin over the September holidays. At the culmination of the week, the students sat an exam to compete for a place on the Australian team for the International Geography Olympiad.

It is an absolute thrill and with immeasurable pride that we congratulate Sophie for earning her place on the Australian team. Sophie and her three teammates will head to Dublin in August 2024 for an amazing once-in-a-life-time opportunity to experience the world of Geography in another country.

Congratulations Sophie!

Karoline Walter
Head of Geography

Service Learning at CGGS

The beginning of the festive season sees the spirit of service spread across the school. During this special time, our students and staff come together in many acts of service. Junior School is preparing donations for the Anglicare toy drive, a seasonal favourite that spreads joy amongst those giving and receiving. Middle School students are contributing vital goods to a range of partner organisations including the Anglicare Homelessness Drive, Djirra, Boroondara Community Outreach Centre and Big Group Hug. Senior School students are collecting games and activities for young children undergoing cancer treatment in support of the important work of Koala Kids. Both Koala Kids and Big Group Hug operate under the guidance of Old Grammarians – Mandy Mandie and Laura Racky respectively – and we are grateful for their inspiration and proud to contribute to their work.

Year 9 Community Service Conference

Year 9 students have focused all year on learning about the varied needs of our local community and undertaking Local Service. They were particularly busy this week, engaging in service actions out in the community on both Thursday and Friday as part of their Community Service Conference. Students designed elements of their conference, choosing from various off-site service opportunities and taking their time and talent directly to those in need. Over the two days, students engaged in acts of service with Big Group Hug, St Hilary’s Church Kew, the Boroondara Community Outreach Centre, and the Salvation Army Camberwell. Their acts of service were incredibly varied and included packing donations, baking, and performing music – just to name a few. This diversity reveals the variety of needs within our community and reminds us of the opportunities there are for all to give. 

While on site, Year 9s learned from recently arrived refugees, and those living with disability about their lived experience and how to strengthen our community. Students ran a lunchtime stall selling sustainable, handmade items from SisterWorks – a great opportunity to purchase especially meaningful, ethical gifts this festive season. Facilitators from Scope ran inclusive, accessible games with students. Year 9s will continue in the spirit of Utilis in Ministerium andapply their skills to a variety of activities benefiting the local community. Affirmation cards and decorations will make their way to the Salvation Army. Beanies and scarves will be crocheted for the Olivia Newton John Cancer Wellness Centre. Community libraries were made for both campuses. The accessibility of these actions enables everyone to contribute meaningfully and with care.

Year 7 Sustainability Conference

At Year 7, service focuses on Environmental Stewardship, and the jewel in the crown of this course is Friday’s Sustainability Conference. Students were active in service on this day, engaging in learning and service action to improve our environment on a local and global scale. Students created flags using recycled textiles and natural plant dyes, constructed solar lamps for those experiencing energy poverty overseas, and experienced their own ‘paddock to plate’ experience – enjoying meals prepared from their own harvest. Please speak to a Year 7 in your life about their involvement, and what can be applied at home for the benefit of all. 

Maggie Wighton
Head of Service Learning

Year 8 Camp

This week, Year 8 students travelled to Grantville to participate in their annual Year Level Camp. A fantastic week full of adventure and outdoor education, students engaged in a wide range of activities including team building initiatives, high and low rope courses, and the ever-popular giant swing and surfing sessions. Students also had the opportunity to spend a night out in tents under the stars, where they set up their tents and learnt to cook on a Trangia (outdoor/portable stove). 

As the Year 8 students will be in transit at the time of publication, I asked two Year 8 students for a mid-week update:

A mid-week update, written on Wednesday as we play games between activities. We set out on Monday morning to Grantville with heavy bags and open minds. After a one and a half hour bus drive, we finally arrived at Grantville Lodge.  Over the next 2 days, we participated in a wide variety of activities including, low ropes, high ropes, canoeing, bush cooking, cycling, the giant swing, sports and relaxing sessions. On Tuesday, half the year level camped out in tents overnight as one of the major activities of the week. On Wednesday night, the other half of the year level will have their turn. Many students enjoyed the canoeing activity, where we paired up and rowed around a peaceful lake. Another enjoyable activity was the giant swing, an 18m high structure where we were lifted up by our classmates and swung down. It was scary, but also very exciting and an excellent new experience for everyone.

During our time at camp so far, we have learnt how to step outside of our comfort zone and into our adventure zone, which has enabled us to try new things with our friends. One surprising thing about camp was how many new friends and connections we have formed along the way. We are so excited to be on camp and can’t wait to start our surfing session on Thursday at YCW Beach at Phillip Island.

A great week for all students and staff. A special thank you to Mr Shane Maycock, Education Outdoors Coordinator, Mr Andrew Burnell, Year Level Coordinator and all attending CGGS staff for their efforts.

Kelly D, Sam N and Tom Clark

GSV Basketball Finals

Congratulations to the Intermediate B Basketball team who this week contested the GSV Finals.

The team headed into MSAC as one of the top 8 schools across the competition to pit their skills against Genazzano in the opening round. After a loss in the quarter final, the CGGS team went on to have a convincing win against Fintona in the next round and were thrilled with their top 6 finish. 

Coaches Jarred Wills and Georgia Roem were impressed with their improvement throughout the season and the spirit in which they always played.

Team members – Angel Q, Audrey S, Amber R, Emily W, Erika T, Sofia S, Sienna P, Amalia P

Nareen Robinson
Head of Sport

House Swimming Champions

In Tuesday’s whole school assembly, we will announce the House Swimming Year Level Champions.

To be eligible for this award, students must have competed in the 100m or 50m A grade races with a minimum of 3 individual events and either a freestyle or medley relay for their House.

Congratulations to the following students on achieving a top 3 finish in their year level.

Year 7

1st Eden C

2nd Amelia L

3rd Kealey L

Year 8

1st Sophie L

2nd Olivia L

3rd Harper D

Year 9

1st Claire F

2nd Anneka S

3rd Christina W

Year 10

1st Angela L

2nd Jasmine R

3rd Elysia W

Year 11

1st Sofia S

2nd Trudy L

3rd Sofia P

Nareen Robinson
Head of Sport


Today, Mrs. Dunwoody interviews Helena, Laura, and Charlotte, the masterminds behind the Secondary School Production artwork.

Secondary School

This week, we are reflecting on National Reconciliation Week, a time when stories, culture, and knowledge are shared.

Junior School

The Junior School Winter Warmth Appeal for 2024 has officially begun!

Connected Community

The PFA Trivia Night was a fantastic success, with parents and staff enjoying a colourful night.

Create Your Tomorrow