Bairnsdale Campus newsletter: July 31, 2020

Jul 31, 2020 | Bairnsdale News

Amid the current challenging COVID-19 climate our staff are committed to providing engaging opportunities for our students. It is always of the forefront of our minds that our students’ learning is our priority and their wellbeing must be supported. As a result, we are introducing ‘Walk to School Wednesdays with Wilson’, which will provide an opportunity for our campus to come together and enjoy a brisk walk down the hill from the Wy Yung Bakery to School. Mrs Libby Crowe has initiated this activity as she is always promoting the importance and value of our therapy dog, Wilson. If you would like to join us for this activity, please meet at the Wy Yung Bakery at 8.30am on Wednesday mornings for the remainder of the term, weather permitting.

During the week Tournament of Minds (TOM) commenced and Mrs Penny Rankin is thrilled with the motivation and enthusiasm of the team. This year TOM is online and our students have responded confidently to the challenge. We look forward to watching them come together as a team to achieve their goal.

A further opportunity will begin next week with Ms Sharen Cameron, who has implemented a Digital Technology extension group. Students will participate in a project that will require problem solving, decision making, and creative minds. Again we look forward to watching their progress.

Today our Athletics Carnival brought much excitement to the Campus. The senior students were cheered on by the juniors and competed with great spirit and sportsmanship. While we were forced to conduct our carnival on site, we were blessed with great weather and our beautiful surrounds created a terrific atmosphere.

Congratulations to Mrs Elisha Froud who has also worked hard to reimagine our sporting events to bring much pleasure to our students and a big thank you to Garnsey GAP assistants who travelled to our campus to help, in the absence of the parent helpers who normally support us with these carnivals. Our ‘official photographer’ for the morning was our Principal Mrs Leisa Harper who cheered on our students while capturing the excitement of the morning.

The Foundation to Year 2 students will have their opportunity on Wednesday next week, along with all the relay races and the House chants, so all students are asked to wear their House polo top once again on the day.

The School Community would have received information regarding the wearing of masks from next Monday. Our primary school students do not have to wear masks, however, if they wish to, they are welcome to. It would be wise to talk to your children regarding their teachers wearing masks, the purpose behind it, that being for everyone’s safety.
May I thank Alex Magree’s mum Helen, who has donated some single-use masks and Reuben and Heidi McInnes’ mum Adele and grandmother Olive, who are sewing masks for the School Community to purchase, with the proceeds going to the Bairnsdale P&F.

This week our School Executive made the difficult decision to officially cancel this Twilight Fair, which as you know had already been postponed from the original date of March 21 to October 9, 2020.
In some ways this was a difficult decision but it was also the only responsible decision. After initially postponing the Fair in what were the very early days of the Australian outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has since become clear that large-scale community events such as our Fair will not be viable for a very long time. And in a time when there is so much uncertainty, we remain certain that the safety of our students, staff and School community must always come first in our decision making and, right now, we don’t feel like we can ensure everyone’s safety at an event that is now less than three months away. We are hopeful this event will be rescheduled at some time in the future, however this isn’t a decision we can make at this time and, in the interests of giving our Community certainty, we feel that cancellation is the most responsible option for us all.
For now, we’d like to once again thank all of our major event sponsors – Anytime Fitness, Accounting Solutions, Sale SignTorque, Venables Precast and Sale Dental Group – and all those in our School Community who had spent many hours preparing for the event. Of course, there are many to whom this applies but today we’d like to make specific mention of the ELC families who had planted fruit and vegetables for the Green Produce stall, the Bairnsdale community which had spent an entire day making cordial to serve at our refreshment stall, the St Anne’s families for donating goodies for the Lucky Cups and the Garnsey music students who had been preparing for their performances on the day.
Thank you once again for firstly your support and now for your understanding in what has been a rollercoaster of a time for us all.

You may see students from our Garnsey Campus on the local news tonight (on both Channel 9 and WIN News) as a result of their efforts to raise money and awareness for brain cancer in honour of Billy Adams (Class of 2017) who taught us all the true meaning of resilience and courage.
Billy began at Gippsland Grammar in 2007 as a student in Year 3 at our Bairnsdale Campus and continued through our School as a dedicated and determined student who loved representing Gippsland Grammar in swimming and he was also a much-loved member of the Blackwood House Community.
Billy was first diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2016, just as he was due to begin Year 12. Experts expected he may only have 12 months to live however Billy defied these odds and in 2017, while still undergoing chemotherapy treatment, he insisted on returning to School to complete Year 12 and graduate from Gippsland Grammar with his peers. After going into remission, Billy accepted a university place in Arts and by the second semester was offered a place to study Law.
During the 2018 mid-term university break Billy enjoyed a trip to Italy but returned from overseas with headaches which unfortunately meant his cancer was on the move again. Dr Charlie Teo removed a large section of cancer from Billy’s brain but could not remove it 100 per cent. In January last year Billy went to China for immunotherapy and photo-sono dynamic treatment. Brave Billy gave his best effort in every treatment option made available to him but, tragically, he could not beat this hideous disease and he died in June last year, aged 20.
Today in Billy’s memory students at our Garnsey Campus hosted a beanie day in Billy’s memory and raised awareness and much-needed funds for Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies for Brain Cancer charity.
If you would like to donate money to Beanies for Brain Cancer in Billy’s memory, it can be done so here:

Deputy Prinicpal and Head of Garnsey Ms Jan Henry talks to the media this morning
about why the staff and students are wearing beanies to remember Old Scholar Billy Adams.

Finally, Billy’s parents Tanya and Peter have shared this statement that I would like to share with you now:
“We are so very grateful to Gippsland Grammar and the entire school community for hosting this very special day in honour of Billy.
Our boys loved every minute they spent at the school and to know they will always be treasured and remembered, fills our hearts with joy.
Let’s hope simple days like these help others recognise the symptoms of this hideous disease and stops the suffering.”

VALE Billy, we will never forget you.

Gippsland Grammar’s GAP Rowing coach Eleanor Brinkhoff has written the following article about her experience at Gippsland Grammar’s Garnsey Campus, which is a lovely reflection on her time with us.
In the article Eleanor says: “It was fantastic to be immersed in the sport I love whilst learning and developing more than I ever could have imagined as a coach and a person. I have met so many incredible people from Australia and developed life-long friendships in the process. To live in a foreign country and discover new places has been an amazing experience, despite the deadly snakes, and something I would recommend to everyone.”
Read the full article here:

Enjoy your weekend together,

Virginia Evans
Head of Bairnsdale Campus

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