Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Winter Concert, a musical evening with performances from a wide range of the CGGS soloists and ensembles. For the past 23 years I have been sitting in the audiences of these soirees and I never cease to be amazed at the talents of our students. At these evenings their hard work and practice are so evident in their flawless performances, however even more obvious is their passion and love for music, for their instruments and for the joy of playing with their peers.
The evening included solo performances by Sarah Park, Violin, Lucy Van der Arend, Flute, Olivia Shen, Piano Charlotte Lindsay, French Horn and Aathana Sivapalan, piano and vocal. We were delighted by duets from Kiki Page, Violin and Olivia Shen, Piano and Cadence Chun, flute and Baoyi Zhu, piano. These performances were followed by quintets, choirs, percussion pieces, bands including the growing rock bands, string ensembles and the Year 12 Quartet Con Brio including Megan Kuo, Sarah Hui, Nicole Chang and Chloe Law, a group I have had the enormous pleasure of witnessing since the European Music Tour of 2017 when they were in Year 7.
My thanks and congratulations to each and every student and to our Music Team, who are always working alongside our students, to bring out the very best performances possible. We deeply value and appreciate the opportunities and experiences you provide to our students.
It’s been another busy fortnight at CGGS, in addition to the articles shared here I have been meeting with our new Year 7 students who will join us in 2023. I personally meet with each student, in small groups, so that I begin to know them individually before they join us as the next generation of Camberwell Girls students. We are also in the middle of leadership interviews for the school leaders of 2023. I recognise at this point in each year how quickly time passes, as I remember these students joining, themselves as Year 7 students, who now wish to represent their peers and the school in leadership roles. It has also been so special to hear them speak of their memories of past school leaders and in particular those who were their role models when they were in Year 7.
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School
Last week, we celebrated our ‘Week of Women’, an initiative aiming to recognise women in different positions around the world, and to ultimately empower our school community to be their own drivers of change and motivation. Each day of the week focused on a different aspect of women’s empowerment, with topics including holistic feminism, women in literature and fictional women, women in leadership, women in STEAM and women of colour. On each of these days, we held some workshops at lunchtime to hold some open discussions into these key areas of focus, as well as conducting some hands-on creative activities in the process!
We began the week with a precursor for what women empowerment is, what wholistic feminism is, and the importance of recognising and amplifying trans, non-binary, and genderfluid people, as well as women of colour and other minority groups that are at social or systemic disadvantages as we handled issues of gender equity. Held in the Maker Space, girls also had the opportunity to make their own badges using newspaper cut-outs and creative supplies to express what gender equality and empowerment means to them.
On Tuesday we explored Women in Literature, making bookmarks in the Hub at lunch as we learnt about the progression of women to become educated, literate, and liberated through literature where they were previously denied this right. We also discussed fictional women and how they can be role models and heroes, but also how there is a skewed lens to which fictional women are represented in different media forms.
On Wednesday, we recognised Women in Leadership, and running a morse code bracelet workshop in the Makerspace. We wanted to empower our community to be their own leaders, and our workshop will enabled students to create their own morse code bracelets to spell out a word that meant a lot to them, for example the word ‘strength’. The bracelet can be worn as a reminder to always stay motivated and strong!
On the last two days of our Week of Women, we celebrated women in STEAM and women of colour, with a screening of the beloved film Hidden Figures, which tells of the story of three female African-American mathematicians who play a pivotal role in astronaut John Glenn’s launch into orbit, all whilst having to overcome racial and gender discrimination in their workplace.
It was so amazing to see so many people participating in the range of activities planned, and hope everyone felt a little bit more inspired and empowered to be their own vehicles for change.
Teagan, Charli and Isabel
Each year, as part of the Wellbeing Program, CGGS hosts PROJECT ROCKIT to deliver their innovative and empathy-based workshops that discuss respectful relationships and respectful behaviour. PROJECT ROCKIT is Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice. Through online and face-to-face workshops, they empower school students to challenge anti-social behaviour, including bullying, by standing up for themselves and others.
While we do not see bullying very often in our school community, and this is something we are extremely proud of, the skill of being an upstander is vital to making change in our school community, and at a wider societal and global level.
Year 7 – RALLY Session
The RALLY session empowers students to create a culture that challenges bullying, online and in person. Students are equipped with socially credible strategies to take action and unite together, instead of standing by. Through the workshop, the Year 7s developed a shared understanding of the various forms of bullying build literacy about why bullying occurs and reflected on their own roles and responsibilities in standing up for others and challenging against bullies.
Year 8 – CONNECT Session
In this session, Year 8s focused on actions to support mental health online, including healthy relationships, mindful consumption, critical thinking and help seeking behaviours. They also cultivated empathy for those targeted online and explored skills to support their peers. To finish the sessions, students investigated what constitutes harmful online experiences, including image-based abuse, deceptive behaviour and (cyber)bullying.
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Wellbeing
As we ready ourselves for the exciting CamberWELL week ahead, the Year 8s took some time out of their busy schedules to spend a day caring for their mind, body and soul. We took time to reignite our passions and imagination through a variety of activities. A notable highlight was our sensory lab where we played, created and explored designs using kinetic sand and other interesting materials. Moreover, we recognised that our physical health is a core part of our mental wellness and we challenged ourselves by learning dance routines, giant earth ball games and circus skills. Across the day we found opportunities to come together as a group and appreciate the rich fabric of our Year Level by showing gratitude and kindness to the classmates and teachers who surround us. With two successful wellbeing days in 2022 as well as ongoing understanding of the importance of self-care, the Year 8s are truly embodying collective strength.
Year 8 Coordinator
On Wednesday the Year 8s participated in a series of activities to focus on our wellbeing. It was an engaging way to interact with our peers from different classes and make new connections. We took part in a variety of different activities in the morning such as: sensory play, mindfulness in action, read and relax, and jewellery making. My personal favourites being mindfulness in action and sensory play. Period Three and Four were run externally by Proactivity, which included a range of active sessions from circus skills to boxing. Our personal highlight of the day had to be watching our peers try to hula hoop. We finished the day off by watching a movie based on our theme of collaboration and snacking on some lolly bags. Although we were exhausted by the end of the day, we were definitely relaxed! It will certainly be one of our most memorable days this year and it really embodied our Year 8 motto, Better Together.
What a pleasure it was to welcome back a live audience to the Barbara Sutton Hall for our Winter Concert. All of the students and staff involved had prepared a variety of pieces, as soloists, duos, small groups and larger ensembles. A diverse breadth of talent was showcased; from our Year 5 Strings all the way through to the VCE Music Performance soloists. Our Co-Curricular Music programs provide so many opportunities for interpersonal connections, alongside the benefits that support creative curiosity, higher order thinking and wellbeing pathways. Congratulations to all involved!
We look forward to welcoming many of the CGGS community back to the BSH at next week’s Junior School Production of ‘Wilbur the Optical Whale’ on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th August.
Kate Savige and Rohan Mack
Directors of Music
Using Poetry to Develop Oral Language Skills
Reading and reciting poetry aloud is a great way for students learning a foreign language to practice pronunciation and fluency, as well as providing opportunity for students to engage with authentic texts and demonstrate expression.
This term all students learning German committed to learning and reciting a German poem. Students selected a poem that they really enjoyed from 4 prescribed poems. Nine courageous students from year 7 to 9 were selected to represent CGGS at the Inner Eastern Regional Final of the annual German Poetry Competition, which was held on 9 August at Trinity Grammar School. Each student demonstrated admirable commitment to German by learning poems in class, attending lunchtime practices and rehearsing at home. Year 7 was represented by Elise Orme, Kayla Bui and Tiya Somaia, year 8 by Usha Nadarajah, Christina Weickhardt and Phoebe Plummer, and year 9 by Atara Paul, Amelia Smith and Elysia Wang. Each student did her best, with both Atara Paul and Usha Nadarajah receiving Honourable Mention (4th place). It was a fantastic effort by all the students.
The year 8 class further explored their chosen German poem by engaging with a cross- curricular art activity, with each student expressing their poem visually in an artwork. The poems made wonderful class presentations, demonstrating that poetry doesn’t have to be complicated to be an engaging and effective learning tool.
Below are two artworks produced by Charlotte Peng and Usha Nadarajah on the poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ( 1749 – 1832) “Ein großer Teich war zugefroren”, illustrating toads lost in the depths of the frozen pond, waiting for the season to change so that they can sing like nightingales when the ice melts. However, when they finally surface, they croak as in ancient times. The moral of the poem? A frog will never turn into a nightingale!
On Sunday 14 August, Megan Kuo, Hannah Lin, Ellie Yuan, Chloe Wong, Janice Wong, Elysia Wang and I performed in the 2022 Combined Schools Orchestra concert at Scotch College. The orchestra consisted of students from Scotch College, PLC, MLC, CGS, MGS, MGGS and CGGS. Over the past term, we have been rehearsing each weekend at Scotch College, preparing a wide range of repertoire including Selections from the Phantom of the Opera, The Lord of the Rings Medley, Selections from Les Miserables, as well as the Shostakovich Festive Overture and Doppler Double Flute Concerto. All of our hard work culminated in Sunday’s concert, which was a charity concert raising money for Amaze, a well-regarded and credible organisation helping autistic Australians across the nation.
The concert was particularly special to perform in because the last time the Combined Schools Orchestra concert went ahead was in 2019; unfortunately, the 2020 and 2021 concerts were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Overall, Combined Schools Orchestra was a wonderful experience and I thoroughly enjoyed playing such fun repertoire and making new friends through meeting like-minded musicians from local schools, whilst raising money for a great case. It is definitely an opportunity I would recommend to CGGS musicians in the years to come!
School Music Captain – Co-Curricular & House
What are the characteristics of women who lead and inspire? A group of Year 7 – 10 students participated in Community Radio LIVE FM’s Be Like Her Program in Term 3, learning radio hosting skills prior to interviewing inspiring women for a national radio program promoting women as role models.
Students developed a broad range of knowledge and skills, ranging from question generation, ethical interactions and active listening, to learning the hand signals for communication during broadcasting and how to avoid the uncomfortable pause in conversations.
A big thank you to the in person interviewees: Rachel Farrell, CEO and Founder of Bloom Capital, Georgie Herbert, Corporate Partnerships and Philanthropy Manager at the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, and Dr Sue Mason, cetacean scientist and CGGS staff member.
Dr Charlotte Forwood
Director of Learning Design and Development
GSV Athletics at Lakeside Stadium has finally returned after a long absence due to Covid 19. The last time we competed in an interschool carnival was in 2019, making this Preliminary Carnival even more special, with half of the age groups represented having never competed before.
With so many first time competitors, the anticipation and excitement was high, even with a very cold and early 6:45am start.
We have had a small team of dedicated athletes, training twice weekly at CGGS and attending some training meets at Box Hill Athletics track in preparation for the competition. With many more students helping fill events on the day, we took a full strength team to the track and competed fiercely throughout the program.
Our senior team of Year 11 and 12 students had a phenomenal set of results and finished 4th overall in a very strong field with many top 3 performances across all disciplines. The intermediate group of Year 9 and 10 students also performed well with excellent performances in the middle distance, javelin and discus and finished the day in 5th position.
Our junior team enjoyed what was the first major competition for many and should be proud of their efforts throughout the day. With a 7th place finish against tough competition, there is much to celebrate as well improvements that can be made. This is an exciting journey for our runners, jumpers and throwers as they understand the demands and rewards of training and competing.
Despite worsening weather conditions and running in the challenging lane 8, our girls did an exceptional job in the relays, working together to produce some outstanding results. We thank our team of coaches, under the fantastic guidance of Head coach Jo Bowden, for putting in so much care and effort over many weeks to prepare us so well.
We now look forward to competing on Thursday August 25th in the Division 2 Championship Carnival and sharing and celebrating our successes with you.
School Sports Captain
At the start of August, CGGS Aquatic participated in the Victorian State Age and Open Short Course Championships. We had a number of CGGS senior students qualify and race at the event! Congratulations to Claire Fleming, Scarlett Giang, Jasmine Li, Sophie Liu, Emily Price, Jasmine Rees, Anneka Sinnappu, and Elysia Wang for their efforts on the weekend. We had some awesome races, full of smiles and PBs, as well as some finals action and nail biting relays! The club came 26th in the state as a result of the amazing efforts of our swimmers over the three days. It was a great experience for all our swimmers, they all had great fun at our successful meet!
CGGS Aquatic Club Captain