From Bendigo to Boarding School

From Bendigo to Boarding School

Moving schools can be a daunting experience, but for friends Sienna, Charlotte and Olivia, having someone familiar made a move to Melbourne Girls Grammar from Bendigo easier. 

The trio first met in primary school at St Joseph’s Bendigo. They grew closer as they moved to Girton Grammar School and even more when they were preparing to move to MGGS.   

Olivia said moving to Melbourne together “wasn’t pre-planned at all”.   

“I remember when Sienna and I both went to a testing day in Year 8. I remember looking around at the other students, and I heard a familiar voice,” she said.   

“I looked down on the ground and she was sitting there. It was pure coincidence; I didn’t even know she was going to it.”  

Sienna, Charlotte and Olivia have settled into life at MGGS and the boarding house.

Sienna said it was a happy coincidence they all ended up at MGGS.  

“I asked mum (after the testing) if she knew the others had put their name down for a similar school in Melbourne, and she said ‘no, it was all coincidence’,” she said.  

The trio’s families had members who attended Melbourne schools, which influenced their decision to attend boarding schools in Victoria’s capital city.  

Olivia’s family has a history of boarding, with her older brother attending Melbourne Grammar.   

“I asked mum (after the testing) if she knew the others had put their name down for a similar school in Melbourne, and she said ‘no, it was all coincidence’.” 

Sienna and Charlotte’s parents grew up in Melbourne before moving to Bendigo.  

Charlotte, who also lived in Melbourne for a short time, said knowing Sienna and Olivia were going to MGGS played a role in her decision.  

Sienna said her parents, who attended Scotch College and MLC, had her name at several schools but loved MGGS and decided it was the perfect match for her.  

Now a term in, the friends have made the most of the School and living in the heart of Melbourne. They have walked the Tan, shopped at Chapel Street and Melbourne Central, and explored the city and its sights.  

Sienna, Charlotte and Olivia on their first day at MGGS.

Charlotte said she enjoyed immersing herself in Artemis Programs such as netball and Fit for You, meeting new people and adapting to her new environment.   

Sienna’s highlights have been the generosity of her teachers and the boarding staff, making friends and exploring Melbourne.   

Olivia has enjoyed the independence boarding gives her, her teachers and the co-curricular activities.  

The trio said having each other made the transition into the School and boarding house easier and less daunting, leading to an enjoyable first term at Merton Hall.  

“If I am having a really stressful day or missing home, I can always count on them as they understand,” Sienna said of her friends.   

“Like talking about people back at home, I can talk to them about that, and they know who I am talking about. It’s like having a safety barrier to help you out.”  

Olivia added: “You can always step away, but you also know that you’ve always got people like them to fall back on, so it makes it a bit less daunting.”  

With their first term at MGGS behind them, Olivia, Sienna, and Charlotte have turned their attention to achieving their goals, staying on top of their schoolwork, and settling further into MGGS life.