From the Principal: 28 November 2017

From the Principal: 28 November 2017

Sabbatical provided me a significant and deeply appreciated opportunity to step away from my role, recharge and reinvigorate. I had two exceptional study opportunities, in London and Cambridge, and both focused on the theme of “high performing teams”. Team culture has been a sustained strategic focus at Melbourne Girls Grammar. I was highly engaged by the significant variety and calibre of speakers, facilitators and panellists. A highlight was a presentation on the UK response to the Ebola outbreak, illuminating the exceptional leadership, teamwork and creativity of human beings under enormous pressure. An entertaining and slightly disturbing keynote focused on similarities between psychopaths and high performing individuals – apparently, it is the ability to dial up and down the levers shared by both that tip you into one category or the other.

My study has reinforced the direction we are taking in regards to our focus on student agency, and the fundamental importance of self-regulation to high functionality (performance) through the developmental stages of human growth. The Senior Years Program now provides us optimal scope to empower our students to be independent, self-managing, resilient young women, attuned to their wellbeing needs and developing their “inner model for performance”.

I have returned to much focused activity.

Our VCE girls have done a stellar job, with our examination supervisors highly complimentary of their application and calmness. We have extended our condolences and support to St Kevin’s at this extremely sad time. The loss of a young life brings forth great grief.

I am pleased to announce that Year 10 students Sophie Black and Gaia Bahaar have been accepted into the University of Melbourne Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program. A tailored program of events and activities will support and enhance their secondary studies, inspire their career plans and provide opportunities to interact with the University community. This is such an honour for these students and recognises their immense talent and commitment.

Warm congratulations to Year 12 students, Mia Kroopin and Gilda Jones, who have been shortlisted for Top Arts and Top Designs respectively.

It was a pleasure to thank our Parent Volunteers at a morning tea last week. We could not possibly provide the breadth of opportunities for our girls nor maintain strong community connections without the tireless and generous work of our parents. Over 100 parents gave of their time in 2017 – an amazing representation of the culture of service within Melbourne Girls Grammar community. I encourage you to consider getting involved through the Parents Association in 2018, a tremendous way to meet other parents and to extend your family’s experience within MGGS.

On Friday night, we welcomed over one-hundred members of our donor community to MGGS, to thank them for their philanthropic support of our School – particularly, to acknowledge the support we have received from the MGGS community towards the now completed Artemis Centre. Earlier this year, we announced the hugely significant milestone of over $6 million dollars raised towards the Artemis Centre – testament to the ongoing generosity of spirit that exists within our donor community and which further reinforces our culture of philanthropy. It was an enormous pleasure to welcome new donors to the School and present them with a token of our appreciation. It was also wonderful to acknowledge in particular two Old Grammarians amongst our new donors – one, just 21 years of age who has recently graduated from the ANU and embarking on her career and the other, 93 years of age who is looking back and remembering her own remarkable career and an extraordinary lifetime of experiences. My sincere thanks and appreciation to all.

It was a big weekend for the rowing program with the Juniors and Intermediates heading out to Essendon to train with MLC on the Maribyrnong River. The two schools worked side by side to get the competitive juices flowing while allowing the Junior Squad parents an opportunity to see their daughters’ hard work being put into practise. Thanks to MLC for the opportunity to work together and the Essendon Rowing Club for hosting us.

Meanwhile, the Senior rowers took on the 8.6km Head of the Yarra, racing upstream, from the City to Hawthorn Rowing Club. Our three VIII’s rowed well with the 1st VIII placing third and the 2nd VIII placing second in their respective divisions; both the fastest Victorian schools in their divisions. The 3rd VIII was unfortunately the subject of steering issues with their equipment coming lose, forcing them to pull over and tighten the strings. A special mention must go to Year 9 student Estelle Harper who stepped up to cox in the Seniors for the second time this season, and fought hard to keep her girls in the race despite these issues. The whole squad has certainly started this season on the front foot and with plenty of time and hard work still to be done, it is an exciting time for the program.

As we cast ahead the end of Term 4 looms large. I do hope you can attend our culminating community events, Speech Night and Carols. Both are wonderful community occasions, steeped in tradition.

Finally, I wish families safe, happy and rejuvenating weeks over the summer break. God’s blessings at Christmas and New Year!