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Senior School

CGGS House System

Recently a working committee of students and staff was developed to complete a review of our current House events with particular focus on the performing arts competitions of House Dance, Music and Drama.  The group, which has included students from Years 7 – 12 who were interested in creating and shaping the future of these events, have met several times to discuss what makes our CGGS House events unique. They discussed how we can maintain this strong House commitment and also explored what it is that truly bring our whole school community together.  Student Leadership at the House level has also been a significant point of difference for the CGGS students as all our House events are run by the students for the students.

In our meetings a number of options and models were discussed, with the feedback from students, parents and staff all being taken into consideration. This week we agreed upon the model that we all feel best suits CGGS.

Our model will see House Dance, Music and Drama remain as separate and individual evenings, however the scope of these events and the rehearsal times will be modified as per recommendations by the students and staff involved in the events. This is so to ensure that all facets of school life receive their appropriate focus and that we reduce clashes within the calendar. An important consideration in these discussions has centred around commitment to studies and being able to balance all the academic and various co-curricular activities the students choose to pursue.

I have been most impressed by the leadership and passion the students in this working committee have shown in steering and shaping our House events for 2019 and beyond.


Year 9 Camp

The 6 – 10 August saw our Year 9 cohort venture to North East Victoria. After an early departure and long drive the 6 groups of Year 9 students along with their teachers met the Outdoor Education Group (OEG) staff near Yarrawonga on the Murray River. While the weather was not kind, it did not dampen spirits with students preparing to embark in canoes for the next 2 and a half days to travel west along the river, camping on the banks each night. Our new partnership with OEG ensured that through student preparation sessions, students knew the equipment that was being provided to them, how to go about preparing it and what conditions they would be challenged with.

The second part of the week, while still cold, was a little more pleasant and the weather brightened, along with the girls’ spirits. They then changed to bush walking, however having to carry packs slowed things down. The girls enjoyed their evening activities of ensuring their peers were well fed and their campsite was clean before relaxing near the warmth of a fire on the banks of an iconic Australian River. This camp further ensured that cross curricular learning occurs, bringing education into the outdoors. They learnt about sustainability through sustainable toileting practices and food waste management, knowledge of our Australian history through the stories of the Yorta Yorta people, learnt about the night sky and its links to physics, maths and other sciences and the general wellbeing of themselves and their peers. The new partnership also means that student feedback is vital moving forward and with OEG’s own technology, students were able to give feedback whilst on camp which was welcomingly positive. Some comments students left included:

“The people I shared the experience with improved my enjoyment of the camp.”

“Our group had the best camp leader which really made the camp more enjoyable. The campsites were also super pretty and had great views. The food was great and OEG catered very well for my dietary requirements.”

“The weather was very cold and I struggled to keep warm at night.”

“You will learn a lot about yourself, your friends and the outdoors.”

“Learn how to minimise your packing but stay warm at the same time before you go on camp.”

“It was well organised and the food was fresh. The area and the campsites were very beautiful. The activities were able to go at a leisurely pace.” 

We would like to thank the teachers Helen Creed, Karen Anderson, Luke LoBello, Scarlett Zhang, Brent Woodlock, Anthony Pasinati, Lucy Schneider, Anita Coffa and Ruth Smith for challenging themselves alongside the students during the week. A highlight of the week for many, and one which continues to bring smiles to all in the retelling, is the day that the Year 9 Level Coordinator capsized the canoe with our visiting french exchange student in it!


Year 10 Camps

As part of the Year 10 Education Outdoors Scope and Sequence, Year 10 students elect their preference for camp to extend and challenge themselves in the outdoors. This year, three Year 10 camps took place at Wilsons Promontory, Echuca and Merricks. A bushwalk around the famous ‘Prom’ is a must for everyone. Maybe though just wait until the thunder and hail stops before you set out, and that is what our students did for the first 2 days of their camp. Through discussions as a group, observations and learning about weather patterns local to the Prom (and the local furry residents), the students learnt much more than just bushwalking skills from their teachers Andrew Burnell and Karoline Walter and the camp staff.

Duncan Reid, Asia Kosowski and our Exchange Teacher, Marco Fischer, took a second group to Echuca where a group adventure course and horse riding in the bush formed part of their camp. This group then moved to the area known as Barmah National Park and the Murray River where they paddled for 3 days while camping on the banks of the river.

The third group situated themselves at Merricks Lodge as a base for their Survive First Aid Course. This course is a recognised training qualification which the organisers deliver to strict certification through the TAFE system. Students, if successful, achieve competencies that are recognised around Australia. The days on this camp saw students combining theory sessions to learn about particular medical conditions, ailments and how to treat these followed by practical scenarios. This was all put to practice in both theory and practical assessment tasks conducted by the course providers.

An excellent week in which all students were challenged in some fashion, whether it be physically or mentally.

Year 9 History

This week, our Year 9 students undertook some hands-on learning with artefacts on loan from the Australian War Memorial. As part of their study of Australia’s involvement in World War I, our Year 9 girls went back in time to put themselves in the shoes of young Australians going to war in 1915. Students handled and discussed both authentic and replica uniforms, kits, medals and postcards to gain a deeper understanding of how Australians experienced war a century ago. We look forward to seeing how the girls will apply these new insights in the history classroom in the future!

Karin Lemanis
Year 9 History Teacher

BCNA: Field of Women at the MCG

The annual BCNA Field of Women match at the MCG is an important date in the Music Department calendar.  Two Senior School String Quartets were invited to support this significant fundraising event and were warmly received by those in the attendance. They provided music at the Sunday Soirée Afternoon Tea in the Harrison Room, where host Channel 7 Meteorologist and Presenter Jane Bunn made them very welcome, along with over 200 important guests.

Breast Cancer Network Australia provides much needed information, services, support and care to both women and men who are affected by breast cancer. The students were fortunate to hear inspirational presentations from former Governor General Quentin Bryce (a BCNA patron), Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy and Model/Entrepreneur Jesinta Franklin. The function room was moved by the personal stories they shared and inspired by their ongoing advocacy for emerging research and much needed funding. CGGS has established a strong partnership with BCNA and we look forward to this relationship continuing into the future. This year BCNA celebrated its 20th anniversary and it was a privilege for our student musicians to be involved.

Many thanks to the following students, who willingly shared their Sunday to help raise awareness for a worthy cause – Olivia Banitsiotis, Nicole Chang, Jennifer Fan, Sarah Hui, Megan Kuo, Chloe Law, Janice Wong, Melissa Xue.

Kate Savige
Director of Music (Curriculum)

Debaters’ Association of Victoria Competition

Congratulations to all of the girls who competed in this year’s Debaters’ Association of Victoria (DAV) competition. CGGS had a very successful season across all 4 divisions, winning 24 of the 37 debates they participated in. A special commendation goes to C Grade Team 2 for winning all of their debates!

However, DAV is more than just a competition – it is about the experiences, the opportunities and the fun that the girls are given. Through the DAV competition, our debaters have worked collaboratively to produce well-researched and carefully thought out arguments for each debate. Their skills have been put to the test in a war of words with other teams who are equally passionate about debating, and they have sought to convince their audience that their arguments are the best. This not only gives the girls an opportunity to take their debating to a higher level, but allows them to increase their confidence and linguistic skills. Alongside this, during DAV all the girls are able to come together to support each other and have fun whilst they challenge themselves!

Well done to all of those who participated in the competition, and I would encourage any students in Years 8-11 who are passionate about public speaking to get involved in the next DAV competition in 2019.

Alanna Chew
School Debating Captain

Year 10 Guest Speakers

It was great to welcome back last year’s School Captain, Mia Sieber and one of the School’s Vice Captains, Meg Kollmorgen, last Thursday. Both girls spoke to our Year 10 girls about transitioning from Year 10 into Year 11 and starting VCE. They also spoke about what is like to go from Year 12 and high school, into university life and university style learning.

Andrew Burnell
Year 10 Coordinator


All Schools Netball Competition

Three teams of talented netballers departed school on Tuesday 31 July for the Victorian All Schools Netball Tournament at the State Netball and Hockey Centre. All girls showed a commendable commitment to training in the lead up, particularly the 7am starts. It was wonderful to see the teams improve as they worked hard on their centre passes, communication and team defence. Many close games on the day resulted in some wins and fierce competition as each section was challenged to play their best.

The junior team had a tough draw with nine back-to-back games as well as a few injuries and illnesses to manage. However, they rose to the occasion, recording four wins and a draw amongst their results, thanks to the team’s impressive drive from defence into attack.

The intermediates entered the day with fighting spirit, aiming to hit the winner’s list amongst tough competition. The girls played hard and improved as a unit as they ended with some tight losses and one eventful win.

Dwindling in numbers as a result of numerous injuries and illness, the seniors battled hard against talented opposition. Some players were required to play outside of their usual positions, and despite the team’s continual improvement, the senior team were unable to come away from the day with a win.

As coaches, we have enjoyed working with this wonderful group of girls over the past few weeks and have been impressed with each team’s commitment. Many thanks to all players, including our emergencies, for your dedication to the team and to Shane Maycock for helping on the day and to Lauren Law for her support of the squad.

Ruth Smith, Lucy Schneider and Anita Coffa.

Saturday Netball

Year 7

> Silver were defeated by Glenferrie All-Stars 9-2, Silver are sitting in 4th place and are looking promising for finals.

>  Sapphires played a terrific game last Saturday, the CGGS team were unstoppable defeating MA Sea Hawks 12-7.

Year 8

> Gold had a tough game against Koonung Furies going down 2-14.

> Diamonds had their first win of the season, defeating MLC Steel 9-7, Diamonds were consistent and demonstrated all their hard work they have been doing at training.

> Aquamarines are sitting in 3rd place, last Saturday CGGS were too strong for Genazzano Taylor.

> Amber had their chances against Strathy Sharks but went down by 8 goals.

Year 9

> Turquoise had a close game against MA Sunbursts, although Turquoise had a great last quarter, defeating them 16-14.

> Gems have been undefeated all season and have secured 1st place on the ladder.

Year 10

> Tanzanites game was cancelled last Saturday due to the hail, Tanzanites are currently sitting in 6th place on the ladder.

> Emeralds went down to MA Tigers, they are currently sitting in 4th place, next Saturday is a must win game to secure their finals position.

Year 11/12

> Crystals played the top Genazzano team, Crystals played well but were defeated by 10 goals which was a big improvement from last time they played Genazzano.

>Year 11/12 Moonstones played a great game, defeating Genazzano Pettitt 19-14.

> Y12 Rubies braved the heavy rain, but Koonung Old Stars defeated CGGS.

Congratulations goes to all CGGS netball teams and good luck for the final round of the Winter Season.

Below is the Year 8 Diamonds after fantastic win.

With best wishes,

Cathy Poyser
Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School