From the Principal: 21 February 2022

From the Principal: 21 February 2022

A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special. ― Nelson Mandela

At Melbourne Girls Grammar, we encourage academic excellence in a supportive environment where young women can make the most of every opportunity. To support those who share our Grammarians’ passion for learning and drive to succeed, we award several academic, boarding, music, and indigenous scholarships annually. Our Annual Giving Program for Scholarship for 2022 has just opened. I encourage every member of our community to consider donating something. This amount can be small or large, it does not matter. We are a large community and if everyone gave just $5 that would be an amazing sum of money towards scholarship. Our School boasts graduates with journeys as diverse as the choices that have paved the way for them to choose their future, whatever that may be. Our scholarship program provides opportunities for girls who have potential and who can demonstrate how access to an education at the School can advance their academic study, passion for learning, and alignment to the values of the School. I am delighted that all money raised in our Annual Giving for 2022 goes directly towards scholarship. Thank you for considering donating to scholarship in 2022. You can access the site for Annual Giving here

A formal with no dancing? How is that even possible? Well, our Class of 2022 made it happen with great success. The Year 12 Formal Committee organised a wonderful event on Friday 11 February at The Park, with poetry reading, student performances, and a touch of trivia thrown in. In their unique style, happiness abounded. The Year 11 Formal on 17 February was a much more active event as Leonda has an outdoor space for dancing. And they danced the night away. The SEC have commented on their event in the Senior Years section. They have also referenced the need for our community to keep using their RATs so that they didn’t miss out. For further information about remaining compliant and supporting us keep our community safe, please read the article by Dale Ashley in our Important Notices section of Messenger. I particularly wanted to thank 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 and the staff who chaperoned on these evenings enabling these important rites of passage to occur.

Melbourne Girls Grammar has been a leading educator of young women for over 129 years. It is a school founded by women, led by women, and that encourages future women leaders, innovators, and creators. As a community, we encourage academic excellence, independence, and diversity of opinion, thought, and culture. Today we held the High Achievers’ Assembly where we honoured our graduates of 2021 who achieved ATARs of over 95. While we are proud of all our Grammarians who have achieved their best, this assembly shines the spotlight on some remarkable Grammarians. We also celebrate the 80 Year Anniversary of Gilman Jones Scholars. Dedicated to the memory of Principal Kathleen Gilman Jones, since 1942, 123 bright, capable, and courageous young women have been supported in their further education by a scholarship awarded by the Gilman Jones Trustees, a group of the OG Society of MGGS. Accounts of their lives have been beautifully combined into the book, Gilman Jones Scholarship: A Reflection of Lives of Service, which will be officially launched in the company of many of those recipients or their families tonight. These incredible women have demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and service to others. Singularly and collectively, they highlight the incredible people – students and educators – who have been a part of our MGGS community over the past eight decades.

At MGGS, we also encourage our Grammarians to ‘have a go and get involved’. We are able to witness this in the pool, on the stage, on the courts, and in the classroom. Collectively, we celebrate this and we applaud endeavour and fortitude in all domains. Last week, I was able to accompany our senior and intermediate rowers as they headed to the Yarra. We have 50 Juniors, 41 Intermediates and 45 Seniors in the rowing program this year – more than ever before. Even with a disrupted season, their enthusiasm has not been dampened and what I witnessed both in the very early morning by the senior crews and in the afternoon by our intermediate crews was nothing short of magic (you can see some of the magic in my photos in the gallery below). 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 17-19 March. This regatta is contested between girls at schools from across the state. The Head of Schoolgirls is the largest single-sex regatta in the southern hemisphere, with races starting every three minutes over the three 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 competitors on.

In closing, there has been much in the media of late about diversity and the importance of inclusion. Discrimination has no place in schools. Schools should be safe places where everyone feels valued and seen for who they are, and within this sanctuary, every child has the right to a sound education. We value and celebrate the differences within our Anglican School community because we believe that diversity and inclusivity enrich our lives. These include differences of culture, religion, political view, sexuality, and ability. We respect the right for all members of the MGGS community to personally hold different views, however, as a School, MGGS is welcoming of all students from all religions and sexual orientations, and we embrace students from all cultures and families with a multiplicity of structures.

When we model kindness and inclusion, our Grammarians soon learn that ours is a school where humanity and compassion are key.

Yours in learning

Dr Toni E. Meath


Dr Toni E. Meath, Principal