“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity
The theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day is ‘Embrace Equity’, which of course, is part of the MGGS DNA! During International Women’s Week, we celebrate women’s achievement, and in doing so, we raise awareness about discrimination and take action to drive gender parity. International Women’s Day and Week is inherently inclusive and belongs to everyone, everywhere. This is an important week at MGGS, and we have much to honour in this space. Since its inception, our School has made a strong contribution to equity and embraced every challenge in its 130-year history. We were represented at the annual Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia breakfast at Queens Hall, Parliament House, on Friday 3 March. The guest speakers, Georgie Crozier MP, Dr Angelia Grant, and Ms Jessica Wilson, reminded the students from over 15 Melbourne girls’ schools of the importance of courage and sisterhood. On Tuesday 7 March, we launch our long waited text, Lines of Flight and will listen to the author Adjunct Professor Erica McWilliam AM, foreword author Dr Amanda Bell AM and supporting historian Dr Mark Cryle present on the colour, richness and importance of the book as a contribution to the zeitgeist of a feminist Melbourne school. If you haven’t yet booked for this event please do so – it will be an amazing event that celebrates women past, present and future – as the leaders of innovation and change in Melbourne and through the work they do on an international stage.
On Wednesday, the official IWD, many in our community will come together to hear from highly awarded theatre director and OG Sarah Giles who will share with us her colourful life since graduating in 2001. She will shine the spotlight on her substantial achievements in reinterpreting stage and opera through a female lens and the importance of embracing equity within the performing arts and more broadly in our society.
Another treasure in our calendar is the Whole School Cocktail Party, which was held on Thursday 23 February. A joyous collective, it was on one of the last hot balmy nights of Summer, and I was pleased to meet many parents. Events such as these provide us with an opportunity to welcome new parents and help them start the year feeling affiliated with their School. As I said on the night, MGGS should be very proud of its 130-year history and the fine contribution the School has made to the educational landscape of Victoria, and that it is a happy and much loved school with amazing professionals in care of our Grammarians.
Congratulations to our past scholars, OG2022, who were recognised at the High Achievers Assembly on Friday 24 February. for their female leadership and high performance;. These are students who excelled in the VCE and gained an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) above 99 and/or a perfect Study Score of 50. To achieve at the highest level in any pursuit requires persistence, courage and dedication. For VCE, high achievement requires a single-minded conscientious approach to study. It is waking each morning with the determination and grit to engage in learning, revise, revise and then polish. At this Assembly, Old Grammarian, Mrs Margaret McNaughton (Atkins, 1956) presented the 2022 Gilman Jones Scholars Louise Wang and Alexandra Zhang (all with almost perfect ATAR scores of 99.80) with their scholarships. The Gilman Jones Scholarship is awarded each year to the highest achieving Year 12 Grammarians to assist their study at university. It was established in 1942 by donations from Old Grammarians who wanted to honour their recently retired headmistress, Miss Kathleen Gilman Jones who was the sixth Principal of MGGS (1916–1938). Miss Gilman Jones was in office for 22 years. She was a noted feminist believing that Grammarians should have the right to choose and direct their own path in life. At this assembly, we also recognised the students our Monash Scholar recipients, University of Melbourne Kwong Lee Dow recipients, our Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Field Awards.
Congratulations to our stunning MGGS actors in the MGS Quad Play, Macbeth: Esther as Lady Macbeth; Eloise as Lady Macduff; Amelia as Angus; Amaya as First Witch; the ensemble team, including Tabitha, Lucy, Freya and Allegra; and production crew, including Vanessa (Set), Isla, Sabienne (Props), and Corinne (Microphones and Make-Up). All gave truly outstanding performances, and their commitment to rehearsal and collaboration is to be commended. I was delighted to attend on Thursday 2 March, and it was an inspirational production that I thoroughly enjoyed..
In closing, as we enter Week 6, I would like to remind everyone (especially our senior students) of the importance of sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet. We have a motto we use at MGGS ‘every Grammarian active every day’. It is great to see so many students running the Tan, riding their bikes to school, and participating in all the sporting opportunities. Food is an important fuel for young developing bodies, and our T-Bar and Artemis menus are carefully curated to be nutritious and appealing. Please encourage your daughter to pack healthy recess and lunch foods so they have lots of energy throughout the day. Also, I am well known for the mantra ‘sleep is your friend’. In the busy schedule of school, it is essential for growing children, adolescents, and young adults to ensure that they get sufficient sleep. Sleep is as important as exercise and nutrition, and our young Grammarians should be aiming for a minimum of 9 hours per night! Inadequate sleep will negatively impact mood, wellbeing and academic performance, so please support your daughters to get to bed early, turn off devices and limit television and screen time so that they can start each day re-energised and refreshed.
Yours in learning,
Dr Toni E Meath