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From the Principal: 6 March 2018

From the Principal: 6 March 2018


We enjoyed a wonderful 125th Cathedral Service on Friday 23 February. The most honourable Dean of Melbourne, the Reverend Dr Andreas, Loewe, presided and provided a wise sermon illuminating our Christian heritage. This is a foundation for a year in which we will continue to acknowledge and give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy.

Today, we came together to unite with the global community on International Women’s Day. Breakfast at Parliament House was followed by our Assembly at Merton Hall. We have chosen #sisterhood to spearhead our voice for continuing developments that advance gender equity. Jessie Smith and Zoe Weir spoke to the girls about their philanthropic business collaboration, SEW (Supporting + Empowering Women), and urged them to think big, take action, and live a values-based life. Year 12 have chosen “Make it Happen” as the School’s 2018 mantra, a fantastic call to action that reflects this message.

MGGS has commissioned video stories of OGs that exemplify this approach to life. Please follow this link to view our Future Proof videos.

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA) is March 16. An interesting reading in the lead up that I have just closed the cover on is a fascinating analysis by Jean M. Twenge, Professor of Psychology, San Diego University, in her text Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood (And what that means for the rest of us), 2018. Her focus is the generational context of iGEN, those who were born 1995 and later. Graduating from school in 2012 – 2030, they are the “post millennial” generation who do not know a world without the internet.

Twenge’s key point is that teens are physically safer than ever, but more mentally vulnerable. She attributes this to a “slow life strategy”: childhood has lengthened with teens being treated more like children, less independent and more protected by parents. She suggests that “adolescence is now an extension of childhood rather than the beginning of adulthood”. iGEN had a childhood with car seats, being picked up, not walking alone, highly safe (sanitized) playgrounds: for iGEN safety goes beyond the physical to encompass the emotions, and they are risk averse compared to adults under 40. Twenge refers to a Hannah Rosin article in The Atlantic, in which she mused “we may have protected our kids into wimpdon”.

Essentially, Twenge encourages parents to put their worries aside and push their children towards independence. One encouraging aspect of Twenge’s research is that teens who spend more time on social media also spend more time with their friends in person – highly social teens are more social in both venues, and less social teens are less. What we should be concerned about is passive screen time: teens who are absorbed for hours in Netflix or solo online games. My key takeout from this important study is that whilst iGEN are mobile, online, and delaying adult milestones as their childhood stretches longer than previous generations, they are also more educated, more global in their outlook, and more inclined to take up a cause. If we ensure iGEN also develop robust emotions, effective agency, and an independent spirit, they can no doubt rise to the challenges of their generation.

Our students continue to achieve remarkable outcomes in their fields of endeavour.

Jackie Wong has been selected to perform in the Classical Solo Section of this year’s Top Class on Tuesday 6 March at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Jackie is an outstanding performer and this is a wonderful recognition of her talent.

Sarah Gigante has been selected in the Australian Junior Track Cycling Team for the Junior World Championships to be held in Switzerland in August. An exceptional athlete, we wish her every success in her preparations.

We have four students heading to The Junior National Track and Field Championship in Sydney on Wednesday 14 March after achieving these fantastic results in The Victorian Junior Track and Field Championships held on the 24th and 25th of February.

  • Sacha Bennett, qualifying time in the 2000m steeple
  • Kate Morgan, Gold medal U20 long jump & Bronze medal U20 100 hurdles
  • Charlotte Drake, Bronze medal in U16 3000m
  • Erin Garbler, Gold medals in 100m and 200 m T/F36 classification

The GSV triathlon was held early on Sunday morning at Elwood, and we entered our largest team, with girls competing in all the distances offered. In the senior team event, the MGGS girls- Latasha Townsend, Sarah Gigante and Annika McCrum recorded a solid win. In the individual Junior category and Intermediate wave, our girls finished in the top 10 in their categories. Both Sacha Bennett and Charlotte Hoskins elected to race the longer event; both competed strongly to round off a great first Triathlon event under new MGGS Head Triathlon Coach, Emma Carney. Congratulations to all the girls who competed.

I’m pleased to announce that our Artemis website is live. You can access it via our website. Please follow the link for more information about our Artemis staff team and programs. Click here to view. There will be some terrific Term 1 Artemis Holiday Clinics with some special sporting guests which I encourage you to explore. Click here for more information.

Catherine Misson

Principal of Melbourne Girls Grammar