This article originally featured in The Border Mail on Friday 16 April 2021.
Moving away from the family home can be daunting, but when you live with 80 of your best friends it can be a chance to make memories to cherish for a lifetime.
With the Botanic Gardens on our doorstep and the sparkling Yarra River a stone’s throw away, the Melbourne Girls Grammar Boarding House offers much more than just a beautiful environment.
Staff at the House are passionate about their work and the culture is made famously warm under Director of Boarding, Amanda Haggie, who provides a positive and nurturing environment.
Amanda (previously Head of Boarding School for the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School) was pleasantly surprised when joining Melbourne Girls Grammar at the authenticity and kindness of the students:
“I’ve never met a more polite group of girls in my life, with everyone in such a rush to grow up it’s great to meet students that are so respectful. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious”
Students don’t have to pretend to be who they are not – everyone is real and that’s an important part of the culture as people feel comfortable.” Amanda Haggie.
The House remained open for students during the uncertainty of the 2020 pandemic in an effort to provide support and security, a place of normality and stability in times of changing chaos where Grammarians could rely on the comfort and care that comes from friendship and familiarity.
“My daughter is thriving in the Boarding House. I have watched her confidence grow as she is supported to be herself and challenged to do her best. Throughout 2020, the Boarding House continued to reach out and enabled my daughter to settle back into boarding as soon as it was possible.” Juliet, Boarding Parent.
With students coming from all walks of life and from all around the world, Amanda creates a warm and welcoming environment that replicates home life to help students transition in a positive way, making the friendships made in the House feel more like family.
“Everyone cares about each other and puts effort in to looking after one other. We are all interested in each other’s stories, the staff really know us as a whole person and they care.” Fiona, Year 12 Student.
As we return to our post-pandemic new normal, we look to what we’ve learned and as the girls continued to stay connected through the distance by sharing pictures, stories and video calls – they could not be happier to be back on campus and in the halls of the Boarding House together. Togetherness is key to what makes the Melbourne Girls Grammar Boarding House different, it’s not merely a place to stay while young minds grow, it’s somewhere to be nourished and encouraged.
It is more than a place to stay and study, it’s a home away from home.