It was such a privilege to welcome OG (Class of 2015) Ms Grace Joel as guest speaker at our 125th Speech Night. Her reflections on the privilege and importance of being educated in an all girls’ school, and specifically the special environment within Melbourne Girls Grammar, was highly engaging, at times provocative, and remarkably insightful. She wove in her current experience attending Oxford University and challenged the girls to step up and contribute to making the future an equal place for women.
The evening was most enjoyable and reflected the tremendous community spirit our girls have demonstrated throughout 2018, especially their lived experience of sisterhood. I invite you to watch the special celebration video capturing the meaning that generations of OGs bring to this camaraderie of spirit. View the sisterhood video here. As always, the music was superb, from the Mungo House Chamber Group’s Sia Medley to the Senior Orchestra’s Rock Hopping. Many thanks to our Music Faculty, Community Office, Maintenance Team and many staff who pull this all together; and a heart-felt thank you to Grace for inspiring us all. Finally, I add my sincere thanks for the warm support and encouragement I received in this my final Speech Night as Principal. I shall treasure the lovely acknowledgement on the night.
“Take a moment to acknowledge and recognise the incredible environment you’re a part of, remember this feeling, and use it to drive you in any moment you feel defeated, inadequate or challenged, because it’s in these moments that it’s so important to keep in mind everything we are capable of and the infinite boundaries to our potential.” – Grace Joel, Speech Night 2018
Prior to Speech Night, at the Council Celebration for my tenure, which was a wonderful evening of reflections and an important opportunity for me to thank so many colleagues and community members, my portrait by Vincent Fantauzzo was unveiled. It is an important curation of history, a long standing tradition, that each Principal’s portrait be added to the School’s collection. It is not easy to look at one’s own image, however I wish to graciously thank Vincent for providing the School with a brilliant rendering of the spirit of my approach to my role.
Family Carol Services have been held for the Barbara Tolson Centre and Morris Hall, uplifting in the joy of our girls – providing us with a taste of Christmas, ahead of our traditional Carols in the Cathedral on Wednesday evening. This is a truly wonderful community event for all families and Old Grammarians. Our dedicated Music Department achieves a beautiful composition of student performances, inspiring the wonder of Christmas in the Christian tradition. I hope you can join us!
The accolades for our girls continue even until the last days of 2018.
I am pleased to announce that Year 10 student Claudine Knott has been accepted into the University of Melbourne Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program. The Program will offer Claudine the opportunity to mix with like-minded peers and future leaders. A tailored program of events and activities will support and enhance her secondary studies, inspire career plans and provide opportunities to interact with the University community. This is such an honour for Claudine and recognises her talent and commitment.
The school year may be coming to a close, but the passion for STEM is still making waves. Over the weekend Charlotte Williams, Anay Roberts, Isobel Satchell, and Emily Davey from Year 10 took out first place in SuperHack. The hackathon was organised by the Melbourne University Electrical Engineering Club and sponsored by the School of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Schneider Electric, Life is On, GitHub, and Mystic Pants. Drawing from their experience in our Year 10 Algorithmics and Emerging Technologies program our girls competed against teams of 3 to 5 girls from Year’s 10 and 11 from schools across Victoria. SuperHack has a strong software focus and teams were required to program a robot to perform various challenges, including a rescue mission. The weekend also provided the opportunity for students to network with industry and university mentors. Charlotte, Anay, Isobel, and Emily were delighted to receive an cheque of $1,000 for their brilliant accomplishment in achieving first place.
Through the incredible generosity of our community past and present, the Artemis Capital Campaign has reached the milestone of $6,601,345. In 2018, the girls have relished all the opportunities this remarkable facility provides, and we continue to see an exceptional peer culture developing within Artemis as the Senior girls develop their own schedules that combine wellbeing, academic studies, and physical activities. On Friday 23 November we acknowledged and thanked donors for making our aspiration to have world class facilities for our current and future students an achievable vision.
As 2018 draws to a close we give thanks for many blessings. In particular, I acknowledge the outstanding commitment, care and expertise of our staff: together they are working to build, sustain and deepen the positive connections that enrich our shared community experience.
I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a rejuvenating summer break, and may those who travel do so safely. I end with a medieval Christian blessing: all will be well, all will be well, and all will be well.
“In our 125th year, the momentum of our community is palpable, with a tremendous unity focused on expanding and advancing opportunities for current and future students. May I also acknowledge with sincere gratitude the generous support for me and for my family throughout my eleven years. I am honoured to have been a part of this chapter of Melbourne Girls Grammar’s history…” – Mrs Catherine Misson, Speech Night, 2018