From the Principal: 5 September 2017

From the Principal: 5 September 2017

The Commissioning of the Artemis Centre on Friday was a wonderful and historic event. Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, spoke about the importance of girls being educated so as to be confident and aspire for gender parity in the workplace and in life generally. She commended MGGS for our vision in developing leading programs for girls. Distinguished OG, Ms Kitty Chiller, took up this theme by reflecting on the central role of resilience in her life and for young people to navigate their own challenges. Archbishop of Melbourne, The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, walked the four corners of the Artemis Centre and duly blessed this most incredible new facility, that extends our experience of community and provides us expansive possibilities for wellbeing provisions. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the opening evening of the School production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a cast of over 50 students involved from Years 9–12, and backstage involvement from Years 11 and 12 students, this was a very inclusive and exciting opportunity. Ms Victoria Page, Head of Drama, explained to me that the Directors purposefully empowered the girls to experiment with their own theatrical choices when developing their characters and blocking scenes. Bravo to the girls and all the staff for a fantastic theatrical event.

Our girls, from youngest to senior, continue to flourish within a variety of enterprising opportunities.

Last week, Ms Kellie Morgan, Director of Junior Years, and Ms Becky Glenton, Assistant Director, presented at the ‘STEM in Education’ Conference. A highlight for delegates was the presentation by three of our Year 3 experts (Orla, Scarlett, and Inez) from the Morris Hall Code Club. The girls demonstrated the amazing projects they are doing with Sphero robots and Light Trail Photography. The creator of the app Positive Penguin, our very own Sara Price (Year 10), also joined the girls and spoke to participants about her app and what it means to be an entrepreneur. Teachers from all over Australia watched the demonstration and asked the girls many questions. They all commented on the level of confidence and deep knowledge displayed by our girls.

We have welcomed back to school Year 10 students Sophie Black, Alice Dimitroulis, Olivia Perkins, Lexi Kelsall and Georgina Martyn. The girls were part of the Global Social Leaders Conference in Wellington, UK. They have returned full of energy and ready to share their learnings with the community, aiming to create a working group for social change. We are looking forward to supporting their ideas and hearing more about their project.

The Victorian Interschools Snowsports Championships were recently held at Mt Buller. There were many wonderful team and individual results, with MGGS placing 2nd in the Junior event and 2nd in the Senior event. Although narrowly missing out on 1st place in the Seniors, MGGS was ranked as the best Alpine girls team. These are tremendous achievements and we have a number of girls taking part in Nationals this week. We wish them the best of luck. On Wednesday 30 August, our Athletics Team competed in the GSV Division 1 Track and Field Carnival, with MGGS placing 4th overall – a fantastic achievement. Warm congratulations to our Snowsports and Athletics girls and a big thank you to our PPH staff for their wonderful support of the girls and their families.

The Year 9 Parent Seminar was held last week, with over 40 parents registering. Led by our Wellbeing Coaches, the focus of the evening was to explore the adolescent experience, from both the child and the parents’ perspectives. Below are the key learnings discussed during the Workshop:

  • To emphasise that adolescence is a time of great change for young people – not only are there significant physical changes, young people are also experiencing cognitive, social/emotional and relational changes.
  • To normalise that every young person will experience the developmental issues of adolescence while stressing the importance that the expression and rate at which development occurs is unique to the individual.
  • To generate awareness of the types of behaviour parents may experience.
  • To provide an opportunity for parents to reflect on their own experiences of adolescent challenges and share strategies implemented to combat these challenges.
  • To offer insight into the themes their girls see as crucial to their own wellbeing, levels of satisfaction/contentment and flourishing happiness.
  • To offer insight into what their girls see as their challenges.
  • To emphasise that any strategy tried is not ‘one size fits all’ but unique to everyone and their family.
  • To deliver one key take home message… Focus on the three R’s… Relationships (Friends), Relationships (Family), Relationships (School). Active listening, encouraging independent thought and expression, providing a space to make and learn from mistakes and showing genuine interest are vital ingredients to all relationships

Finally, I am delighted to announce that Melbourne Girls Grammar has once again been named a winner of The Educator’s annual Innovative Schools Award, for empowering our students to meet the challenges of the constantly evolving world they live in. This recognition is particularly worth celebrating as Melbourne Girls Grammar is the only Independent Girls School in Victoria to feature in this year’s list. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our staff for their outstanding contribution to this significant achievement.