Melbourne has turned on beautiful weather for the end of Summer, and we have been blessed with many school days marked by being active and engaged in learning with our students out and about in the sunshine. We have been encouraging all Grammarians to try something new this year and to step out of their comfort zones. The obvious enjoyment and engagement in the life of the School by our Grammarians are unmistakable as you walk around our campuses.
A significant 130th Anniversary event was our whole School Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 7 February. This was a historical occasion, with the central messages of the importance of our School’s strong foundation, its wider legacy and the School’s continuing future focus and continued restlessness for innovation. The community will now have received invitations to both our Lines of Flight Book Launch and International Women’s Day Lunch. These are two significant events celebrating the strength of women in the history of the School and in the education of our Grammarians today. If you would like to read more about the book or pre-order a copy click here. If you would like to book tickets to the Book Launch click here, or the IWD lunch click here.
The Year 12 Formal Committee organised a wonderful event on Thursday 9 February, at The Park. The Class of 2023 were very impressive with the way they carried themselves and enjoyed the evening. The Year 11 Formal on Thursday 16 February, at Leonda was also a fabulous evening. Thank you to our brilliant student formal committees for organising these events with precise detail, from the invitations to the table seating, logistics, run sheets and gifts. Deepest gratitude to Mr Luke Francis, Ms Michaela Kelly, Ms Linda Vloedmans, Ms Amanda Ford and the staff who chaperoned on these evenings, enabling these important rites of passage to occur.
The Athletics Carnival was a day supercharged with energy, and I think the winning House of Blackwood is still enjoying the feeling of success. The competition was close, and all Houses competed fiercely on a very blue-sky day at Lakeside Stadium. Attendance and school spirits were high as Grammarians from Years 5 to 12 competed in their age events. This sports arena is an ideal venue, and it was a happy day with many parents attending to support their daughters. Thank you to Ms Sally Bailey, Executive Director of Artemis, Mr Anthony Bruhn, Head of Sport, Mr Jeff Riseley, our new Head of Athletics, and our talented coaches who led the day. Thanks also to our House Captains: Anouk Bennett, Maddie Burns (Blackwood), Millicent Peterson, Sophia Wilson (Clarke), Sarah Casserly, Maisie O’Loan (Hensley), Zoe Fourlanos, Lily Hede (Mungo), Pippa Barnes, Beatrice Froomes-Houseman (Taylor) and Sports Captains, Zoe Callaghan and Arielle Sankey.
I was delighted to be invited to the Leadership Assembly at Morris Hall and listen to our Year 4 students pledge their loyalty and conviction to the School as leaders on Friday 17 February. It was a very special gathering with parents and families witnessing these young Grammarians receive their leadership badges. I am confident that they will wear them with pride.
We have a large group of Grammarians rowing this year; the program is growing from strength to strength with more students than ever before. The season is the first uninterrupted one in four years, and I have witnessed our Grammarians working hard to pursue their rowing passion with grit and determination. Our rowers are conquering the water, learning true physics as they begin to understand and gain knowledge of the interaction of force, mass, and energy. They are learning to work within teams, to trust and rely on each other and to test their limits. These Grammarians are physically fit and mentally prepared for the upcoming Victorian Head of Schoolgirls Regatta to be held on the Barwon River, Geelong, on 17 to 19 March. This regatta is contested between girls’ schools from across the state. The Head of the Schoolgirls is the largest single-sex regatta in the southern hemisphere, with races starting every 3 minutes over the 3 days. I am looking forward to this important calendar event, and I encourage families to take a trip to Geelong to cheer our Merton Hall Rowing Club Grammarians on.
We farewelled our visiting Godolphin scholars on Friday, and we look forward to welcoming our Bishop Strachan School scholars on Monday 6March. The generosity of spirit that goes into the hospitality and planning for the success of these events is huge, and we are very grateful for all of the meals prepared, exciting excursions delivered and sharing of our Melbourne and Australian culture. Opportunities such as this remind us that we are a School of international reach and reputation. Thank you to the hosting families, the Boarding House and to our Grammarians, who are the host sisters involved in the Exchange Programs.
The year has started well; the joy at the gate at the start and end of the day is evident. Thank you for supporting your daughter’s transition to Term 1. I look forward to seeing you at our Whole School Cocktail Party on Thursday 23 February.
Yours in learning,
Dr Toni E Meath