The 2019 Speech Night will be held at the Melbourne Town Hall on Wednesday 27 November. Speech Night is an important annual celebration of the academic year. It acknowledges the service and academic successes and achievements of our Grammarians and is one of the cultural markers of a great school. As my first Speech Night as Principal, I am looking forward to this night immensely. It is a fitting time to introduce our 2020 Student Executive Council and respectfully acknowledge their appointment as leaders. At Speech Night we gather as a community and the splendour and ceremony sends a strong message to the wider community that we are an exemplar in the Australian educational landscape. The Melbourne Town Hall is part of our rich history and tradition, and it becomes a rite of passage as our Grammarians journey through the School. To this end, Speech Night is a compulsory event for all students from Years 5 through to 11 as it is important for the whole school to be together and witness the celebration of achievements of our Grammarians to conclude the year. I encourage all parents and families to attend and to make this a special moment of pride for our school.
Our Year 12 students are counting off their ‘lasts at MGGS’. This is a time of mixed emotions for our senior students as they prepare for their final VCE examinations and begin to farewell the School. The 2019 Year 12s have been a wonderful cohort; they are remarkable Grammarian representatives in every way and fine role models to our younger students. I thank them personally for their fine contribution to the School. I have observed them over the last term putting in the hard work required to achieve their personal best and I know that their teachers and families have wrapped much support around them. They are a united cohort and they have lived the values of the School. Over the mid term break they will be studying hard with the support of their teachers so that they are well prepared for the upcoming exams. Our students sit their VCE exams offsite (which is a new concept for me) and I am reassured that this provides a sense of calm and quiet, and the separation needed for them to focus on the task at hand.
One of my true passions is dance; and so, it was thrilling to attend the Community Evening of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s performance of ‘30 Years of Sixty-Five Thousand’ on 3 September. Twenty-three students and staff were invited by Bangarra Dance Theatre to attend the performances of ‘Unaipon’, ‘Stamping Ground’ and ‘To Make Fire’ – it was brilliant! Furthermore, we were delighted to host the company’s education and dance workshop at Merton Hall on 6 September.
On behalf of the MGGS community I enjoyed breakfast with the Vice Chancellor of RMIT University, Professor Martin Bean CBE and a small group of educators on Monday 9 September. The breakfast conversation was centered on how we prepare our young women for the future world of work. Professor Bean led the discussion with provocations on how we respond to the greatest disruption since the industrial revolution and the rapidly changing demands of the workplace as we know it. The purpose of this meeting was to bring together educational leaders to discuss what is being done today and what must be done tomorrow, to ensure we are best responding to the shifting workforce and setting young women up for career success. It was a rigorous discussion with genuine exchange. I look forward to continuing to build this relationship with RMIT University.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 2019 Parents Association’s Navy Blue Lunch at the Glasshouse on Friday 13 September; another first for me. This ‘sold out’ event was a vibrant and buzzing occasion and the community showed great generosity in the Navy Blue Lunch Annual Auction raising over $90,000. The proceeds will go towards supporting the continuation of our 125th Anniversary and Indigenous Scholarships Program as well as the SECs chosen charity Forget Me Not. Special mention must be made of the NBL Committee led by Chair, Sylvia Ma, Tammy Read, PA President, and Amanda Evans-Greenwood, PA Treasurer. The enthusiasm and energy of the full Committee highlights how together as a community, we really can create enormous impact.
It has been another busy term; please ensure over the term break that you rest and re-energise, ready for the completion of the 2019 academic year! Please remember to put Speech Night firmly in your diaries and I look forward to this special evening.