There is a favourite black and white photograph on the mantle in our back room, of me and my sister Elizabeth, aged 4 and 5 years, sitting sprawled in the shore ripples on Broadbeach, Queensland, talking about something I cannot possibly recall. We seem very happy, and carefree. My father is behind the camera and snapped this treasured moment. Whilst I sit here, forty five years later looking fondly at this image, not seeing my father in the frame, I see him everywhere in the intent. It is his pride, his love, his joy in capturing his young daughters in this moment that forever infuses the spirit of this image.
We lost dad almost four years ago. But on Fathers’ Day my mother visits his grave and updates him on all his eight children and 18 grandchildren (the final grandchild, Lucia, born just months ago), and we – scattered globally – turn our thoughts to what our father would be doing if still with us. Our father was a very strong person, adamant that life was there to be stared down and on our shoulders to work hard and be brave with our dreams. When I look clearly at photographs of my father I am taken aback that he seems so small compared to the largeness of his imprint in my mind. And then there are the echoes of wisdoms he had for us, none more prescient then his encouragement to his five daughters to be equally independent and capable as his three sons.
On Fathers’ Day, to all our dads, thank you for encouraging your daughters and giving them a gift of an education at MGGS. You are a source of love and stability that well into their futures will be treasured by your girls.
Last Friday, our Senior students led their Diversity Assembly, an annual occasion in which the girls choose challenging themes to address with their peers. I was so proud and humbled by their honest and courageous voices. Reflections on race, gender and mental health, and performances that showcased incredible passion and discipline, brought to life the strong peer culture that distinguishes MGGS.
Congratulations to the girls for winning the annual Domain Cup – a three activity competition with Melbourne Grammar, organized between the Year 12 leadership teams of each school. Though the boys brought their best game and an impressive drum, our netballers triumphed and took out the overall Cup. It is wonderful to see the camaraderie between our two schools, and we look forward to many more years of Domain fever!
House Music rehearsals are underway and, as always, it promises to be a wonderful celebration on the last day of term. Our Year 11 and 12 leaders are doing a magnificent job, well supported by the House Captains and Music Captains. The feast of music and performance has been a stellar aspect of our 125th year, and I thank the Music and Drama Faculties for their unwavering support of our students.
Finally, I am delighted to announce that MGGS has been awarded a winner in The Educator’s Innovative Schools list for 2018 for the third consecutive year. This national award recognises MGGS as a leader in education with an unwavering focus on empowering students to meet the challenges of the constantly evolving world they live in. I would like to acknowledge the support and hard work of our dedicated staff, who continue to go above and beyond in the pursuit of excellence.