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Secondary School

Welcome to 2023!

The commencement of the new year always brings an air of anticipation, and welcoming students back to school is a true highlight. To support a smooth transition into the school year, we provide a staggered return across year levels. Therefore, Tuesday was extra special as it was the first day our student body, Year 7- 12, were onsite together. There were lots of welcome back hugs and squeals of delight as the students reconnected and caught up on holiday adventures. As the students settled into the day, we could feel a wonderful vibe of contentment and excitement settling over us all, and great anticipation about the year ahead.

It is a time-honored tradition at CGGS for the School Captains to set a unique theme for the year ahead and our Captains take great pride in designing a mantra that seeks to inspire the thoughts, actions and words of the student body. Our 2023 School Captains, Amy Dingle, Tara Rastogi and Scarlett Giang, or the ‘Chipmunks’’ as they will be known, have set the theme STAR- Sincerity, Tenacity, Awareness and Resilience.

In their address at Assembly this week, the Chipmunks outlined their term-by-term focus and explained the significance of each word and why it is pertinent to 2023. In this edition of CamNews the students share more about their plans, and we know that the entire CGGS community is looking forward to embracing and supporting their initiatives.

It has also been fantastic to see our Co-Curricular program is already in full swing, and we congratulate our other School and House leaders commencing their own portfolios so enthusiastically.

Finally, we are most looking forward to the official school welcome evening on Friday 10 February. This will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with parents, as well as welcoming new families who have joined us this year.

Best wishes,

Kath Woolcock                                               Kate Giles
Head of Senior School                               Head of Middle School

‘STAR’ - 2023 School Captains

Hello Camberwell Community

We are your School Captains for 2023, Amy, Scarlett and Tara (otherwise known as the Chipmunks – Alvin, Simon and Theodore). As we begin a new school year we are excited about the opportunities ahead and cannot wait to lead, empower and take action within the CGGS community.

Every year the School Captains select a four-letter word for the CGGS community. This word is an acronym that represents the CGGS focus for the year, with one word being dedicated to each term. After much discussion we chose four words that represented our passions and hopes for the year, carefully selecting words that we felt were important in providing a sense of purpose and an opportunity for the CGGS community to shine in 2023.

Our word is for 2023 is… STAR!

STAR stands for Sincerity, Tenacity, Awareness and Resilience.  

To be sincere means to be genuine and approach things with good faith and honesty. In Term 1 we want to encourage everyone to give new opportunities a sincere go! Whether that be in the classroom, in co-curricular or in friendship, we encourage you all to approach the new school year and those around you with an attitude of sincerity and desire to try new things.

A tenacious person is someone who is filled with determination and does not give up in the face of a challenge. Term 2 can become busy with performances and semester exams, but in light of this, we encourage you to stay tenacious inside and outside the classroom, to ask for help when you need it and to finish the semester strong.

Awareness is the seed for new learning, open-mindedness and ultimately taking action. In Term 3 we would like to encourage people to be more aware of issues affecting people in the community, extending from a local to global scale. Educating ourselves is key in becoming more aware, empathetic and accepting global citizens.

Resilience is the ability to be persistent and to recover from difficulties where they arise. Term 4 is a busy time with co-curricular, and final tests and exams taking place, but as we approach the end of long school year, we encourage you to stay resilient and embrace opportunities.

We’re looking forward to the year ahead where we all shine bright and reach for the stars.

Amy, Scarlett and Tara
2023 School Captains

Year 7 Transition Week

What a start it’s been for our brilliant cohort of incoming Year 7s and to say they have taken everything in their stride is an understatement. On Friday the 27 January, 80 bright faces, blazers, and bubbly attitudes wandered into Barbara Sutton Hall along with their parents and guardians, all equally excited and filled with trepidation. What was to follow was nothing short of spectacular.

After hearing from our Principal, Debbie Dunwoody, our Year 7s started the morning meeting their new peers, classmates and teachers. They even spent some time on a scavenger hunt, navigating around the school trying to find their House Captains and School Captains to win the Year 7s first group challenge. Congratulations to Grace Edge, Grace Chan and Eliza Chua for taking out the coveted title.

In the days to come, they were introduced to their classes and some of their subject teachers. They experienced History and became budding historians on the prowl for the cause of death for King Tutankhamen. They became mini filmmakers and created short stories in English using their expertise of camera angels and film making techniques. They solved Math equations better than Pascal himself, and with Ms Anna Clarkson, the Year 7s were introduced to the idea of ‘Service Learning’ and how we can change our environments for a healthier more sustainable future for tomorrow. These taster classes truly gave our students an opportunity to experience what’s expected during those wonderful first few months of Year 7.

Our Year 7 students have certainly taken to the first few days with an openness and willingness to learn, grabbing opportunities and experiences as they arise and even making a friend or two along the way. We can’t wait to see what the next 12 months have in store for them! 

Jessica Friend
Year 7 Coordinator

Year 7 Service Learning Program – Environmental Stewardship

Year 7 students participated in two introductory activities as part of the Environmental Stewardship Service Learning Program during Transition week. This Service Learning program involves caring for, protecting and sustaining the environment for future generations. The aim of this program is for students to develop an attitude of service to the environment and therefore build a satisfaction of contributing to a just and sustainable world.

Students explored the school grounds in their tutor groups, taking photos of nature features. The second activity was focused on building habitat to increase biodiversity at school and at home. Two tutor groups made ceramic water bowls for insects, and two other tutor groups created seed bombs made with harvested calendula, sunflower, dill, fennel, lettuce, and parsley seeds.

Anna Clarkson
Sustainability Coordinator

Welcoming Back Year 8

It was wonderful to welcome back the Year 8 cohort this week and hear all about their adventures, holidays, and stories from the summer break. Following five new students to Year 8 and their buddies commencing on Monday, the rest of the year level returned on Tuesday loooking visibly refreshed and excited for the year ahead.

As part of the Year 8 wellbeing theme ‘Self-discovery’, each Year 8 student brought in an item or shared a photo from their summer. The purpose was to tell the story behind this item, how it made you feel at the time, the experiences involved, and of course how it represented you as an individual. The wonderful Year 8 Form teacher team of Ms Brooksbank, Ms Biggs, Ms Zhang, and Ms Lu were amazed by the narratives and inspiration discussed by our Year 8s. This week the students were also able to get to know people in their new forms, set up their diaries with very important highlighting decisions, and experience their elective subjects for the first time.

The Year 8 wellbeing team would like to wish Year 8 the best of luck for the year ahead, which will be a year of amazing new opportunities, experiences, and lots of fun memories along the way.

Matthew Rock
Year 8 Coordinator

Year 8 Holiday Highlights

First day of Year 9!

It was a pleasure to welcome back the Year 9 cohort on Tuesday morning. The Year 9s quickly settled into their new Lower Woodstock space and set a great tone for the energetic and exciting year ahead. Moving from our 2022 mantra of ‘Better Together’, we are now centering Year 9 on ‘Grow Together’.

As we begin the great year ahead, the Year 9s are challenged to participate in new co-curricular programs, establish new friendships and set challenging goals. This week, we are creating a chalk mural of our ‘First week of Year 9’ where the Year 9s can bond with new friends, have some quiet time to visualise their emotions and add their vibrant colourful creations to our new space. We are looking forward to sharing our new space with parents at the upcoming Information Evening.

Maria Litchfield
Year 9 Coordinator

Year 10 Transition

It has been a fantastic first week with the Year 10 cohort, who are full of energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead! On Monday, we welcomed five new students to the year level, who were supported by their buddies and shared a laugh in a friendly game of ‘UNO’, before the full year level returned on Tuesday.

This week, the students have been focused on connecting with each other and organising themselves for the 2023 school year. Many different colours and ideas flowed as students decorated their diaries and laughs were had as they socialised in their new space. They also had the opportunity to connect with and meet their new Form teachers: Ms Zhang, Mrs McKie, Ms Lyons, Miss Tatterson and Mr Maycock.

I wish Year 10 all the best for the year ahead, in what will be an amazing year full of many exciting opportunities and memorable moments.

Tom Clark
Year 10 Coordinator

Celebrating Year 10 Achievements

Dina Mohd Ghazali (10C)
First Place Prize in the 2023 Leadership and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme (LEAP) Video Competition

 It was with great delight that during the holidays we received news that Dina Mohd Ghazali (10C) was one of the First Place Prize recipients in the 2023 Leadership and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme (LEAP) Video Competition. To enter the competition, Dina was asked to create a 30 second video on a social enterprise project she would like to develop which tackled a sociocultural or environmental issue of her choice. Dina has chosen to develop a project which looks to assist refugees.

As a part of her prize, Dina has won an all-expenses paid trip to attend LEAP 2023, to be held in Jersey, UK in July. At the conference, she will have the opportunity to work with an international team of students to develop a social enterprise project and business plan. The program concludes with the presentation of ideas in a Shark Tank style business pitch, where Dina will have the opportunity to act as a presenter. Well done, Dina! We can’t wait to see what you develop at LEAP 2023!

For more information about LEAP –


Dina Mohd Ghazali (10C) and Aashi Singh (10D)
Premier’s Spirit of Democracy Tour

Dina Mohd Ghazail (10C) and Aashi Singh (10D) have been selected to attend the Premier’s Spirit of Democracy in April, 2023. Along with 22 students from schools across the state, Dina and Aashi will embark on a week long tour across Victoria and Australian Capital Territory, where they will have the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of citizenship and civics, with a focus on the development of democracy in Australia.

To enter the competition, Dina and Aashi wrote compelling pieces about how young people can inspire and drive change, drawing upon the works of Geek philosophers and reformers. Sensational work Aashi and Dina!

For more information about the Premier’s Spirit of Democracy Tour – 

Tom Clark
Year 10 Coordinator

Year 11 Transition Program

The students have been well engaged in a variety of activities since the school year began last week. We started with our Year 11 Transition program on 27 January, where their Form Teachers and I enjoyed spending time with the students, hearing about their recent break and talking to them about the year ahead. The students gained a deeper understanding of the expectations and requirements of their VCE studies before selecting from a range of wellbeing activities including gardening, journaling, mindfulness meditation, nature sketching, jewellery making and African drumming. Students were also gifted a journal each as a prompt to continue these practices throughout the year.

“I liked these activities as the day wasn’t just about the work and study, but it brought social cohesion to the year level” – Sienna Varghese (Year 11)

I enjoyed the Jewellery making because we could relax and express ourselves”  – Emma Daffy (Year 11)

In 2023 the theme for Year 11 is ‘Forward Thinking’ and we began by exploring each student’s personal values. Identifying and understanding our values allows us to take actions that reflect these values, helping us to live a rich, full and meaningful life. Collectively the year level then came together and identified the values of love, kindness and humour as our collective values that we will further explore and set as a framework to underpin how we take action as a year level in 2023.

“It was interesting to see everyone’s perspective on each of our values of love, kindness and humour. In particular I will think more about showing kindness to ourselves” – Genna Sim (Year 11)

“Friday’s administration/well-being day was successful in embracing the excitement of a new year, setting personal goals, and learning about the workings of VCE in a digestible way. The day was a healthy balance of reconnecting with friends while learning not only what the upcoming year would look like, but how we should best fit into Year 11 and how to best embrace our values to inform healthy decisions and commitments along the way.” – Grace Barns (Year 11)

Lindsay Hill
Year 11 Coordinator

Year 12 Poem

Having a Year 12 mascot has become a tradition and this year we are embracing the wild and wonderful Dr Seuss.

In the spirit of welcoming the Year 12 students to our theme, we used the following poem based on the Dr Seuss story ‘Oh the Places You will Go’.


Things 1 to 93, Congratulations, you have made it today

We’re off to great places

We are off and away


You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself any direction you choose

You’re part of a team, and you know what you know

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go


Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball

Will make you the winning-est winner of all


And sometimes, there’s a very good chance

You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants

There are some, down the road between hither and yon

That can scare you so much you can hardly go on


BUT on you will go

On and on you will hike

And I know you’ll hike far

And face up to your challenges

Whatever they are


In the year ahead, there are formals and SACs

And many House Dance, Music and Drama Acts

If Chemistry, Math Methods or Art is your slam

Or maybe you are yet to fully discover your jam

Don’t worry at all, you are in very good hands!


There will be orals delivered and thoughts to share

And friends to cherish, always be kind and care

Work together, help a friend, reach out to another

And always remember we are here for each other


So be sure when you step

Step with care and great tact

And remember that life’s

A great balancing act


So, be your name Lily, Jasmine, Wendy or Grace,

Maddie, Ella, Lucy or May

Be you thing 1, 5, 28 or 33

Or little Cat Z, K, W or A

You’re off to great places

Today is your day

Your mountain is waiting

SO …..get on your way!


And will you succeed

YES! You will indeed

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)


Nareen Robinson
Year 12 Coordinator

CGGS students at the Australian Open

CGGS students are known for embracing opportunities both within and outside the school community, and over the last few weeks 6 students from Year 8 – 11 have done just that through their involvement in the Australian Open as Ballkids.

Ballkids play an integral role in ensuring that the Australian Open runs smoothly, and with over 2500 kids applying and only 400 being selected, it is a highly competitive program. The selection process is rigorous and after months of trails and training Nathinee Evens (Year 8), Chloe Wong (Year 8), Angelique Quah (Year 9), Lucy Ruddle (Year 10), Romy Mead (Year 11) and Kiki Page (Year 11) we invited to join the team for 2023.

During the tournament, our CGGS students each worked over 90 matches during the three weeks of the competition. They spent hours on court at various times of the day and night, and were privileged to work on games with some of the world’s best players such as Sabelenka, Rybakina, Djokovic, Mendeleev, Popriyn and the always entertaining Legends Doubles.

Special congratulations go to Kiki Page, who was selected to join the AO Ballkid Leadership Program, and the AO First Nations Ballkid Training Program. As part of these very prestigious leadership roles, Kiki was responsible for mentoring, guiding and encouraging the younger members of the Ballkid team and supporting AO staff by delivering warm-ups and modelling the skills and attitudes required. Additionally, Kiki participated in a range of media experiences, and was heavily involved in developing and featuring in media content across a range of platforms including The Age and New Idea. To conclude an amazing tournament, Kiki was also chosen as a member of the Men’s Final First Ballkid Squad for the second year in a row – an incredible achievement!

We are very proud of Nathinee, Chloe, Anqelique, Lucy, Romy and Kiki for their initiative and commitment as part of the Australian Open this year, and we look forward to seeing more students on the court in the future.

Kath Woolcock
Head of Senior School

Celebrating Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year officially began on Sunday 22 January 2023, marking the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit. In this festive season, we have a range of fun activities at CGGS throughout the week to celebrate Chinese New Year.

On Tuesday, we ran some cultural activities including riddle guessing and a Kahoot quiz about some interesting facts and traditions of Chinese New Year. Students also received red envelopes and participated in writing Chinese calligraphy—fu, a symbol of good fortune and blessing for the year ahead. On Thursday and Friday, the students watched a comedy-drama film ‘The Farewell’, which portrays the experiences of a Chinese-American family. With their enthusiasm, the students enjoyed taking part in all the activities that we held, while gaining more insight into the significance and culture of Chinese New Year.

Emily Bai and Cindy Gan
International Captains 2023


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