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From the Principal: 19 March 2018

From the Principal: 19 March 2018


The Head of the School Girls (HOSG) on the weekend was by all accounts a highly contested Saturday round of qualifying events with high MGGS spirit by the banks of the Barwon. I was kept up to date whilst at a conference in Bangkok by parents and staff on text and email. I was therefore so upset for the girls when reports came in Sunday of shocking weather that, in the end, resulted in cancelled finals.

Year 12 girls have provided exceptional leadership within the Rowing Program this year, and I know they stepped up in the face of great disappointment to pull all crews together, acknowledging the frustration of this type of end to a season and encouraging positive reflections on what the season has taught them and what it forecasts for the year ahead. Character is forged under pressure and through challenges, and this HOSG certainly provided that opportunity.

I congratulate the 2018 MGGS Rowing Squad for a wonderful season, their application, self discipline and teamwork have been praise worthy. I particularly thank and acknowledge the leadership of Captain and Vice, Cleo Faulks and Alex Nairn.

Angus Seller, Head of Rowing, and his wonderful team of coaches have supported and encouraged the girls to lift their performances throughout the season. They can be very proud of the development and progress of the girls. They are not done yet, the Year 10 A’s and First VIII will attend the Australian Rowing National Championships in Penrith, Sydney this week. Best wishes in this final leg of competition.

I was delighted to be invited to present on Melbourne Girls’ Grammar’s approach to innovation in designing contemporary schooling experiences at the Global Education Leadership Summit 2018 (@gelsasia) in Bangkok over the weekend. Schools from 23 countries showcased the diverse activities underway, predominantly in independent schools, to make education “fit for purpose” in the face of the transforming features of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Overall, there was an emphasis on the impact of poor mental health on learners, the gap between mandated curriculums and the needs of the 4th Revolution economy, and the projected timeline that there may be 5 – 10 years for schools who have yet to begin their reform efforts to do so before they appear unable to provide a relevant education. Whilst many school leaders expressed frustration over a lack of support from governing boards and parents, it was refreshing for delegates to hear that our community is committed to understanding and trusting the educators who have designed and are implementing ongoing improvements to MGGS Programs that will ensure our students have an education in values, in non-cognitive skills (EQ), and maintain robust academic learning. Our focus on increasing autonomy for learners generated much discussion, and I anticipate that we will see further stream of schools visiting us through our CEE Educator Workshops. Such dynamic sharing between global schools is deeply appreciated by me, as it can only enrich our own knowledge of the global context our girls will live in, as well as providing provocations for us to ensure we rigorously reflect on and scrutinise our own professional practice.

There has been intense spotlight on our three girls – Millie Perkins (Year 12), Evangeline Mullins (Year 12) and Serena Malatesta (Year 10) – who gave a keynote address at the APAC BlockChain Conference on Tuesday 13 March. It was a world first to have young women present in the opening session, and they did not disappoint the audience. The girls were articulate, pointed in their remarks, and engaging with their authentic achievements and aspirations as youth working in the blockchain sphere. They represent the future for women who aim to be influential in the digital economy. I congratulate Mary-Lou O’Brien (Chief Digital Officer) and Mr Ivan Carlisle (Director of STEM) for supporting the girls in this opportunity.

It has been an ambition for two years to find a way to host a drone program at MGGS. Assisting our girls to access the burgeoning Drone Industry, an industry that Price Waterhouse Coopers estimates will grow to US$127 billion by 2020, is a #futureproof step, particularly as women are flowing into this new industry and shaping the diverse commercial applications. The Senior Years Remote Pilot’s Licence (RePL – Drone Licence) is a joint offering by MGGS and the Institute for Drone Technologies, for students in Years 10-12. Completion of the course enables the girls to achieve a CASA certified Remote Pilot’s Licence. The RePL certifies holders to fly a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) / Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for commercial work purposes. Once qualified, The Institute for Drone Technologies will support our girls to gain experience as a UAV operator in a commercial work setting.

This is an exciting venture: I encourage parents to discuss this opportunity with your daughters and encourage her to have an open mind to the positives of giving this a go. Girls interested in participating can attend an information session hosted at MGGS on 22 March. Interested girls and parents/guardians can sign up to attend the session. Click here to express your interest and receive further information on this course and parent information evening

Thank you to our girls, our staff, our families and all who have made Term 1 2018 such a powerful community experience. So much has happened and we have not even ticked off Music High Tea or House Drama yet. We have had a feast of student performances and loved the way our girls have championed our #sisterhood focus for 2018, in our 125th year.

I wish you all a safe, happy and rejuvenating term break. I finish with a much loved medieval blessing, “All will be well, all will be well, and all will be well”.

Catherine Misson

Principal of Melbourne Girls Grammar