From the Principal: 3 April 2023

From the Principal: 3 April 2023

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. – Plato 

The Music Program at MGGS is flourishing! Our Merton Hall Music High Tea was certainly a charming and joyful afternoon. Congratulations to all musicians who performed on Tuesday 28 March, and entertained grandparents, parents, siblings, staff and fellow Grammarians. Our 2023 Music Captains, Chelsea and Zara, are exceptional role models to our younger students, and they showcased their talent so well. I enjoyed every performance but must make particular recognition of our Merton Chamber Voices and our Horn, Violin and Piano Trio, including Laura, Elly and Cecilia. Gratitude to our Director of Music, Ms Elizabeth du Blêt, and all the fine teachers who lead ensembles and support our Grammarians. Bravo! 

We are so proud of our Grammarians who represented MGGS at the Australian Rowing Championships in Perth over the past week. Thank you to all of our families who travelled to WA to support this endeavour. Our First VIII and 10A crews were triumphant! Congratulations to The Merton crew who rowed to victory on Sunday and our 10A (Grant) crew, who stormed to a maiden Under 17 Coxed Quad Scull win on Saturday. Other crews’ results were also impressive with our Year 10 Eight finishing first in their maiden B-final, Eaton (Second VIII) coming fifth in their C final and Hooper (10B) placing fifth in their semi-final.   

Ultimately, the success of Head of Schoolgirls Regatta weekend represented the culmination of months and months of work, and we have celebrated that well. Many parents will have heard about the article in the Herald Sun regarding the interaction between some rowing schools this year. We are incredibly disappointed that this puts the sport under the spotlight for inappropriate behaviour; at MGGS, it is the strength, resilience and teamwork that characterises a successful rowing program. At MGGS, we pride ourselves on our hard work, commitment to and love of the sport, and how we best represent it – on and off the river. The supportive culture that exists between our coaches, rowers, families, and, notably, our competitors is something we value and respect. As the rowing season closes, we look forward again to the 2023-2024 season and have high expectations of sportswomanship and always doing our best on the river.  

With the exciting appointment of Ms Lauren Sayer, Executive Director, Research and Innovation, as Director, Curriculum, of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), there will be some important staffing changes that will become effective from Monday 8 May. Over the past twelve months Lauren has dedicated increasingly more time towards MGGI and to the engagement of staff at MGGS and other schools in professional learning. This important role will now be filled by Mr Luke Francis. Mr Francis is an exceptional educator with experience across many facets of educational development and leadership, most notably through the authorship of textbooks and VCE examinations and teaching guides. He has remained at the forefront of innovative teaching practices and thinking through associations for English and English Language Study guides. He has run professional development for staff at school, regional and state levels since 2007 and been instrumental in fostering a Performance and Development Culture, rolling out Performance and Development Plans, instigating instructional programs to support teacher development, and coordinating professional learning days and the accreditation of provisionally registered teachers. We are truly in safe and experienced hands.   

To complement the change, Ms Michaela Kelly will step up to the Executive Director Senior Years role, joining the Executive leadership team. This acting role will enable Michaela to retain continuity across the year groups as well as build her skills at the next level. With over 25 years’ experience educating and working with young people, many of you will have been the beneficiaries of her passion for and commitment to the empowerment of adolescents. She has, over many years, held significant roles in leadership in her discipline area of education including on the Committee of the GSV, as Head of Sport and also Deputy Director Senior Years. In 2021, Michaela commenced a Master of Education at the Melbourne of University with a specialisation in Wellbeing, due to be completed in June 2023.  

The positioning of these roles ensures that there are no hesitations in the operational side of the School. Our community can be assured that the succession of all responsibilities has been carefully thought through. 

This morning we were saddened to learn of the passing of Gumatji clan leader. Many members of our School will have a connection either through Garma or our Yolngu partnership with the community in north-east Arnhem Land. Our Grammarians have walked on country and shared in the culture and stories of his people. This significant elder was a powerful advocate for the interests of the Yolngu people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.  We pay our respects to the community during this time. 

In closing, it has been a rich and busy Term 1 of our 130th year. Thank you for the support you give MGGS and for trusting us with the education of your daughter. Have a safe and happy holiday, enjoy our marvellous Melbourne Autumn, and take time to care for yourself and each other! 

Yours in learning, 

Toni E. Meath