There are very many favourite days in the Senior School calendar each year and this week we have celebrated many of them. On Wednesday our House Diving competitors ran their event at Aqualink Box Hill and yesterday we held a version of our House Swimming competition at our own CGGS pool after a quick pivot when the Carey Sports Complex became unavailable at the start of this week. After two years without this event it was wonderful to be together again in a sea of colour and enthusiasm as students took part in the various events.
On behalf of all the students I would like to thank Ms Law and Mrs Robinson and their team of staff who helped to redesign this day to ensure all Year Levels were able to compete in the House Swimming events and also in designing different inter-House competitions for each Year Level throughout the day. The extra events included Netball, Volleyball, Just Dance, Relays and House Challenge.
Also, a huge thank you and well done to all our 2023 student leaders for making the day such a success. You all excelled in your leadership of this first House event for new leaders.
School House Captain – May Du
Lawrence Sport Captains – Isla Harvey and Ashleigh Western
Schofield Sport Captains – Meghan Chaffey and Emma Daffy
Singleton Sport Captains – Charlee Johnson and Imogen Morriss
Taylor Sport Captains – Sofia Pandeli and Emily Price
This year I was lucky to escape the now infamous push the teacher in the pool fundraiser, but I thank those who did take part as the funds collected on the day are for the Year 10 Zonta Birthing Kits. CGGS has been associated with packing the Birthing Kits through Zonta for approximately 20 years and it is a hands-on experience of our motto, Utilise in Ministerium, Useful in Service, that past students often reflect on when attending their reunions.
Today we also welcomed our new Year 7’s for 2023, the students who will be our Class of 2028! This is always such a memorable day for the new students, their parents and also the teachers who will be responsible for them during their years in the Senior School. Today the students met their peers, the student school and house leaders for 2023, their tutor teachers, their Year Level Coordinator, Ms Jess Friend and it was also a pleasure to have the new Head of Middle School, Ms Kate Giles with them for the day. Ms Giles will officially commence in 2023 with the Class of 2028, however, was able to be with us on this special occasion. A fabulous day was had by all.
At 11am today we also paused for a minute’s silence to commemorate Remembrance Day. And Tuesday in our Senior School assembly the Year 11 History class will conduct the assembly to ensure we continue to educate the next generation of students on the importance of this day when we give our thanks to those who have served and continue to serve for our freedom. Lest We Forget.
It was a most humbling and emotional experience for me this week in assembly as student representatives from each year level spoke about my time at CGGS. Having commenced at the school in 1999 before any of the students and possibly some staff in the hall were born, CGGS has become my extended or family away from home. I have been so fortunate over the many years to have been provided with incredible career opportunities and with each of these more extensive interaction with the students, their families and our entire staff. There are few professions quite like teaching where the connections you make with the people can have such an impact. That impact being a two-way street, hopefully you have made someone else’s life better for the connection, and yours is certainly always enriched by the experience. There is no greater privilege. I have certainly been blessed in my interactions with all at CGGS over the years. Thank you.
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School
Year 10 French students have been focusing on future plans this term, preparing a CV in French and fronting up to a job interview where they answered questions about their career ambitions, their best attributes and their past work experience. To round off the unit before departing for camp, they enjoyed designing their own tee-shirt slogans, using a sentence in the future tense, taking inspiration from French songs they have been listening to in class.
Recently, three talented musicians from CGGS have been awarded their Associate Music Australia (A. Mus A) diploma from the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB).
Olivia Shen (10) and Emily Lioe (8) both achieved their diploma on piano and Isabel Sootoh (9) achieved hers on violin.
The Diploma is awarded to candidates who have reached a very high level of proficiency in their instrument and takes years of dedication and practice. It is a significant milestone to be able to reach and is testament to Emily’s, Olivia’s and Isabel’s commitment and hard work.
Congratulations Emily and Olivia and Isabel!
Rohan Mack and Kate Savige
Last Thursday, we (Disha, Megan and Angela) were volunteers at the River Nile School. The River Nile School is a place for female refugees and asylum seekers to go to in order to get an education, regardless of their backgrounds. These students all have a tough past, however the River Nile School has enabled them an opportunity to reach their dreams and aspirations, starting with an education. We spent our time there helping out at their food bank, assisting in organising food packs for the women to take home, which are a massive help in their everyday lives. We learnt so much from the experience, and we got to hear many of the admirable women share their stories. All in all, it was a great experience, and we are truly grateful to be able to offer a helping hand to those in need in such a direct manner, and we hope future year 9s will put their hand up for such an educational and truly inspiring experience. Thank you also to Ms Iskander for accompanying us and to the River Nile Foundation Principal, Lisa Wilson for showing us around the school.
Disha, Megan and Angela
Year 9 Students
Our very own Aathana Sivapalan and her story Unconditional Love has been shortlisted for the Insight Creative Writing Competition putting her in the top six Year 7 students who entered. We will find out the final results at an award ceremony in December.
A vivid and emotive story, Aathana’s narrative has many layers and she brings them together to form an intriguing tale.
Aathana entered the competition because she was inspired by the chosen topic, ‘Look for the magic in every moment’.
Here is what Aathana shared about her experience:
I spent a long time brainstorming different topics to write a story on and funnily enough, my mum walked into the dining hall, and I realised the perfect topic! Write about my mum! My strong relationship with my mum is one of a kind because of the love we share.
Here is a snippet from her narrative:
The only “life” visible to me was the colossal trees, its branches gently swaying. Other than that, every nook and cranny of the forest was shadowed and consisted of nothing, but soil. I scowled at my mother, as I thought longingly about the fun my friends would be having at the moment. My mother grinned back, as though my scowl meant nothing.
We continued to walk through the forest. The sky was starting to darken as we went deeper. This forest was endless. I could feel my legs shaking in exhaustion, carrying a heavy weight along every step. I suddenly came to a halt, panting uncontrollably. I couldn’t go on. I felt like a Barbie Doll, not bothered to move at all.
It was fabulous to follow the writers who put themselves out there to enter the competitions across Term 2 and 3. Well done to all who entered a piece in the competitions on offer.
Next year there will be some enticing opportunities to work with authors and creators through workshops across terms 1-3 at CGGS! These opportunities will culminate in our very own CGGS Writing Competition! You have voices that should be heard and shared so we hope you will take up these opportunities to write and create in 2023.
Head of English
After the interruptions of the previous two and a half years, the Year 9 and 10 cohorts once again were able to experience their Education Outdoors Year Level Camps. Whilst preparation for four different activity based camps had students excited to mix with other students across the two year levels, Victoria’s turbulent weather and predicted (and eventuating) heavy rains and continued flooding led to the decision to revise the camps to 4 days and 3 nights to enable students to have these experiences as Year Levels rather than miss out completely.
All Year 10 students ventured to Wilson Promontory camping at Tidal River Campsites which allowed some base camp luxuries. Students completed a number of day walks, cooking sessions, Ranger Information Sessions and water activities.
All Year 9 Students were welcomed to Camp Marysville to participate in canoeing, bike riding, climbing, abseiling and a day bush walk when not completing group initiatives or cooking/cleaning tasks. We are very thankful for Camp Marysville to be able to accommodate over 100 people at such short notice in cabins for sleeping at night as over 120mm of rain fell in four days! That didn’t stop students doing all other activities, donning their rain rackets! One of my highlights was the last night once many had retreated to their cabins in heavy rains to see a number of students ‘dancing in the rain’ and living in the moment.
Below you will find student reflections on the camps.
Deputy Head of Senior School Co-Curricular Programs
The year 10 camp was incredible! It started a little bit rocky due to the sudden change of location, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our last camp as a cohort. The weather posed no threat to my group, as we just embraced the rain and the wind! I have to say, the second hike my group went on was my favourite! We got to go to “Pilar’s Point” and “Squeaky Beach,” where we played some games and appreciated the incredible views. I also loved surfing! The water was cold, but that didn’t stop us from having fun. One of the many things for which I am grateful about this camp is the amazing camp leader and teacher I had in group 5. It made camp that much more enjoyable, and it was also great to get to know a lot more about people who I usually don’t spend much time with. Overall, I could not be more appreciative of camp this year and the effort that went into it. I am so happy to have spent time with my peers and learn more about Wilson’s prom and the culture that is engraved into its sands.
Jessica Terlikar, Year 10
In Week 5 of Term 4, the Year 10 cohort participated in a year-level camp to Wilson’s Promontory. We enjoyed outdoor activities which included an environmental session with a ranger, and practiced teamwork throughout the entire camp, such as dividing duty tasks amongst our groups. Everyone, including the teachers, seemed very excited and happy to be on camp, creating a joyous atmosphere that made even mundane tasks like preparing dinner a wonderful experience filled with laughter. A personal highlight for me was the surfing session. Everyone cheered each other, so even though this was a first-time experience for many students, everyone felt supported and encouraged. We were able to create happy memories on our last camp as a cohort that we will all treasure for years to come.
Erica Wang, Year 10
After two camp-free covid years, and natural disasters sabotaging 2022 camp plans, I’d say that Year 10 Camp was an overall success. Whilst we weren’t all supposed to be in Wilson’s Prom, the experiences had and memories created there will stay with me for some time. Despite the wet, windy conditions, our cohort remained resilient and had a great time hiking, cooking, surfing, playing cricket, walking along the beach, alongside many other activities. My favourite activity was definitely the surfing, it wasn’t too cold and was a great opportunity to do something new and different with a range of people. I also loved the homemade food, and the nights spent on the beach watching the sunset (even though it was raining). There was some friendly competition too, with my camp group participating in the prestigious Shiny-Shiny Olympics, which was great fun (and yes, we won). All in all, the last-minute change of plans did not impact our spirit, and good memories were made by everyone.
Emily Price, Year 10
It truly was quite the experience…but all in all an incredible one. We all had our moments and we all were there to support each other. In fact the amount of support we have between us was surreal. We all came into the camp feeling a little nervous as we just didn’t know what was to come or what to expect. Little did we know that we were going to make some of the most remarkable and truly unforgettable memories. Being in the tough weather conditions we were in and having to face some very terrifying leeches, we found the cabins to be a nice addition to the camp. Nonetheless, we have all learnt new skills (eg. starting a fire) and broke down barriers, creating everlasting strong bonds. Personally, the highlight of our camp was making it up the rock-climbing tower further than I had expected. Thanks to my amazing team, I was encouraged to step outside my comfort zone and reach new heights. I also really enjoyed cooking our meals outdoors. It was very refreshing and offered us new skills such as how to cut vegetables, boil pasta, peg down our tarp, as well as countless others. We are all truly grateful for the memories and experience gained from camp. Thank you for providing us with such an outstanding camp experience.
Pin Yi Wong
After two years of missing camp, we were all thrilled to have a chance to go away together. However, we were faced with many challenges, such as the weather which wouldn’t stop raining. Despite this, we gained valuable skills such as to be flexible and to cooperate with each other, and being with friends made it a whole lot better. A highlight we both had was the canoeing as we had so much fun being with friends out on the water. Even though it rained, it did not dampen our spirits, and we had an amazing time. We’re so grateful to the people who made this possible, as we gained a valuable experience we will never forget.
Olive Clohesy and Isabel Bertus
On Friday 7 and Saturday 8 October, the Year 11 Geography class participated in an overnight Geography fieldwork, travelling to Phillip Island to explore the impact on tourism on the island.
Since 1950, there has been a significant increase in global tourism, both internationally and domestically which has impacted people, place and the environment. Over the course of the semester, as a part of VCE Unit 2 Geography – Tourism: Issues and Challenges, students have investigated the reasons for this increase in tourism, analysing the trends and characteristics of tourism on a range of scales.
To explore this topic, one of our case-studies has been ecotourism at Phillip Island Nature Parks (PINP), home of the world-famous Penguin Parade and Koala Reserve. During the fieldwork, students had the opportunity to talk with a number of different stakeholders at Phillip Island including the General Manager of the tourism board and a local resident. Students also conducted research in the field by identifying different management strategies aimed at reducing the impact of tourism at PINP using geospatial technologies; as well as investigating the role of tourism in the township of Cowes.
Upon returning to school, students created their own fieldwork booklets using their findings to answer the question: ‘what are the impacts, challenges, and opportunities of ecotourism at Phillip Island?’ With all students identifying some key benefits of PINP on both people and the environment, as well as areas for improvement. A fantastic fieldwork and opportunity to see Geography in the field!