“I saw three ships come sailing in. On Christmas day, on Christmas day, I saw three ships come sailing in. On Christmas day in the morning.” – R. Rodney
It is that time of year when we begin to wind down and take time to enjoy the festive season! The rehearsal of Christmas Carols in massed singing by our Grammarians rings out across the School in early, junior, middle and senior years. Christmas trees and garlands are up. Our Boarders are beginning to pack up their rooms and lockers are being emptied.
Speech Night was a spectacular MGGS celebration on Wednesday 30 November. On a mild Melbourne evening, we gathered as a community at the Town Hall to acknowledge the academic and service successes of the 2022 year. As the 2022 celebration of MGGS, the central themes of the evening were community, relationships, and resilience. I hope that you enjoyed this special occasion as I know it will be one that I will treasure. Congratulations to the prize recipients! I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Lynn Broadway, Elizabeth du Blet and Kate Speakman, who planned, organised, and implemented the evening with meticulous attention to detail. Additionally, a big thank you to the student ushers, the music staff, the backstage helpers, and the Community Office for ensuring the night was one of quality displayed in a seamless and effortless manner. Also, deepest gratitude to Robyn McCutchan for the production of the 2022 Speech Night booklet that captured the academic year. Music was front and centre, as it should be as a great hallmark of the School. Congratulations to our students who respectfully ensured that the 2022 Speech Night was exemplary. The splendour and ceremony of a Speech night is symbolic for our academic School, and it sends a strong message to the wider community that we are an exemplar in the international educational landscape. I have received many lovely emails from our community, including one from parent and School Council member, Dimitri Kiriacoulacos, who remarked, “Last night was my first in-person attendance to Speech Night – it was an inspiring and powerful night, amazing setting! Congratulations to your team, the girls and you on a terrific celebration. I was so proud to be there, as a parent and Council member.”
The School is busy at present with Semester 2 report writing, ‘Step-Up’ programs and our staff preparing for our incoming 2023 students by refining the curriculum and ensuring their goals are in line with the new MGGS 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.
We eagerly anticipate our VCE results which are published on Monday 12 December, however, we know that they are only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as far as the experiences our students are afforded in their time with us. As a learning environment, we offer extensive co-curricular programs and a culture rich with traditions whilst being firmly placed in contemporary and global perspectives. Our alumnae leave us with many personal skills and attributes, including leadership, confidence, and a ‘can do attitude’. This happens because of the collective contribution of all the whole community, and I value the input you have made this year. Thank you for supporting our staff and students. Our students are fortunate to belong to a school with a dedicated community. Each family plays an important role in supporting the good running of the School by assisting their daughters in their quest to be the best that they can be.
The holy period of Christmas is nearly here, and there has already been much celebration at Caroline, Clowes and Anderson Street. Our Barbara Tolsen Centre Early Years Christmas Celebrations held in the Chapel of St Luke reflected the true magic of Christmas. I had tears of delight as I witnessed our confident and capable girls retelling the story of the birth of baby Jesus through song. Today, a little precious gaggle of Grammarians from the Early Centre visited my office and earnestly sang me Christmas Carols. Oh, what joy! This had to be a special moment of the year for me.
This Wednesday 7 December, is our Merton Hall Carol Service at St Paul’s Cathedral. This is a much-anticipated event that brings to together many members of our community – our students, staff, parents, and Old Grammarians – is a wonderful way to celebrate the spirituality of Christmas and the Anglican tradition of our School. We look forward to seeing you at St Paul’s Cathedral. Doors will open at 7.40 pm for a prompt 8 pm start. MGGS and Cathedral staff will be on hand to assist the Congregation to find seats.
In closing, a few congratulations! Congratulations to our 2024 Kwong Lee Dow Scholars, Laura Duong and Kaelyn Wang. Both are outstanding Grammarians who are worthy recipients of this prestigious award. Congratulations to teachers Eleonor Palacio, Zoe Skeggs, and Olivia Wilson, who have graduated from the esteemed Victorian Academy Teacher Excellence Program. As inaugural graduates, they have set a high benchmark for the intake for 2023! And finally, congratulations to Sarah Gill, Marg Sellars, Nicole Stynes and the ELC staff for receiving the highest result for the recent National Quality Standards (NQS). The grade of ‘Exceeding’ was received in all areas of assessment. Bravo!
I would like to wish you and yours a very happy festive season and hope that you have an enjoyable holiday and family time. I am looking forward to finishing the year well and welcoming our current and new students and their families in the 2023 academic year.
Yours in learning
Dr Toni E. Meath