The Gilman Jones Scholarship is awarded each year to the highest achieving Year 12 girl(s). I am delighted that Annabel H., Alysia B., and Anisija G. are the 2016 recipients of this Scholarship. The girls were formally congratulated at today’s International Women’s Day Assembly. All three young women are role models far beyond their academic achievements – they live our School Values, they are community minded, and they are humble in their approach to success. We wish them well as they pursue their tertiary studies.
Our International Women’s Day Assembly took as its inspiration the UN theme: Be Bold For Change. I share with you the courageous voices of our representative students who wrote and delivered the following Reflection and Prayer:
I believe that MGGS provides girls a safe environment where we can challenge our ideas and ways of thinking. In this environment, we can be inspired and empowered to create change. We are in a privileged position, I am very aware of this. I started my school life at MGGS as a boarder and this school has made me see all the opportunities that I would otherwise have never known. However, this privilege that we have been gifted with means nothing if we are not active in pursuing change. MGGS has given us opportunities, has inspired us, has provoked us and has challenged us. It is now our responsibility to be bold and make that change happen.
I want to be clear and say that this does not mean that we must all become human rights activists, or even extreme feminists. What I am suggesting is that you should all think about what you want to change in this world and how you want to leave your mark in this world. Be bold, step forward, like Madeleine Albright once said, “it took quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”
It can be fashionable to be bold about human rights, feminism and other things but if that is not what you are passionate about, it will be hard to remain determined, driven and positive. It can feel tiring and hopeless to attempt everything with boldness. That is why it is important to choose what you believe needs this attention, decide what you really want to change and be active in advocating for it.
MGGS is advocating for girls’ involvement in STEM: personally I find this an area of interest and I am excited to be involved in subjects like Algorithmics because I think having more women in this field is an important initiative. However, this does not mean that you all must be involved in algorithmics, Maths and technology subjects. MGGS is not trying to make an entire cohort of students have identical interest, instead, MGGS is trying to give girls every opportunity to succeed in any area they want. I hope that you will be bold in finding your own passion, engage with school to the best of your abilities and be bold and demand change that you see as necessary.
Our School is passionate about certain values that it has acquired over its long history, from the strong women who have led before us. Our School asks you to respect these values but it also encourages you to form your own – remember that one of our School Values is courage, so be bold. Find your voice and never be silent.
Evie M., Year 11
God of Grace,
We thank you for giving us this day to come together as an MGGS community to recognise and celebrate International Women’s Day. We thank you for the bold women who have always been a part of our School’s history, and for the opportunities that we who attend this school have been blessed with. May we not take this for granted.
We come here before you today as women of the present, and we pray for a future for women that are yet to be. We pray that women of all nations and of all races believe that they deserve to be treated with respect, that they have courage to stand up for what they believe are their rights, and strive towards a more equitable world for all.
May they have the strength and support of the people around them, and may the men in their lives hear their voices and be moved to join them in action. In times of trouble, debate, and injustice, let all members of the community unite to overcome these obstacles together. While the road ahead will not be without its challenges, we pray for your guidance every step of the way.
We pray this though Jesus Christ our Lord,
Isabella B., Year 11