Gippsland Grammar news: March 18, 2022

Mar 18, 2022 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

As we conclude our seventh week of term, it has been wonderful to see so many activities and opportunities back on our calendar. Camps, excursions, musical rehearsals and sports trials are just some of the many exciting things happening across our three campuses. I would like to sincerely thank our teachers and support staff for all that they are doing to enable these activities.

The ability to reconnect with each of these activities has been uplifting.  In fact, ‘connection’ has been a word that I and many others have used over the past weeks. Our School and Campus Captains are united in their desire to ensure that we re-connect. A definition of connection can be ‘feeling in touch with someone who cares about us’. Another definition is ‘the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement, and when they gain strength from the relationship’.

For me, that applies to many simple things, such as the walk I took with my children through our garden one night after school this week as a way to catch up on how their day had been; the cup of tea I shared with Mr Harper after dinner; the SMS conversation with a friend to have a laugh and touch base and the phone call with my daughter who has moved back to Queensland for university. None of these took much effort but on each occasion they made a big difference in my life because I felt a true sense of connection.

Let’s make sure that we don’t underestimate the power of connection. I encourage all of our School Community to think about how we can all reconnect over the coming days and weeks.

The US author and motivational speaker Brene Brown has shared that she defines connection as the energy that exists between two people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.

Let’s aim to connect with all those in our Community.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper

Whole School news: Open Days
As announced in last week’s newsletter, we are currently planning our upcoming Open Days. Our St Anne’s and Garnsey campuses will host a combined Open Day on Saturday April 2 while the Bairnsdale Campus Open Day will be held on May 7 from 9-11am. Both events will give interested families the opportunity to discover the advantages of a complete ELC to VCE education and I encourage you to please share these dates with anyone in your network who you think may be interested in finding out more about our School. On April 2, our St Anne’s ELC and junior campus will be on show from 9-11am while Garnsey will open from 11am-1pm.
Register your interest via this link:

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess
Last week the Bairnsdale ELC kicked off the first of our ‘Stay and Play’ open evenings. These events aim to provide an opportunity for families to spend time with their children in their learning environment and get to meet other families and the teachers and educators caring for them. With the absence of families in our ELCs over the past two years due to restrictions, it has been delightful to see the children confidently showing their adults around ‘their’ special place.

While the social aspect of this evening is important, there is another equally important aspect to this event; a celebration of the importance of play for normal and healthy development. In the early years, providing open-ended and scaffolded play experiences that develop imagination, creativity, and socio and emotional capabilities is essential for a child’s lifelong well-being. Play supports physical, emotional, social, cognitive and language skills. When you actively play with your child, you develop their confidence and help them to feel happy, safe and loved.

For more information on the importance of play and how to develop this at home, I would recommend the Raising Children Website for Australian Parents. It contains some great videos and ideas on how to support your child’s growth and development. We will also be sending home some information for families to read.

St Anne’s Campus: Stay-and-Play evenings
– Reception (Monday/Wednesday) Stay-and-Play: Wednesday March 23, 6-7pm
– Reception (Tuesday/Thursday) Stay-and-Play: Tuesday March 22, 6-7pm
– Transition (White Swans): Thursday March 24, 6-7pm

St Anne’s Reception: teddy bears picnics
To celebrate the end of the Term, in Week 9 we will have a Teddy Bear’s picnic. For this occasion the children can bring their favourite soft toy to the ELC. They will prepare food for a picnic, complete teddy bear art, place their soft toys in the parachute and then enjoy a teddy bear’s picnic. 
Monday/Wednesday group: Wednesday March 30
Tuesday/Thursday group: Thursday March 31

St Anne’s Transition (Black Swans and White Swans): Easter hat parade and welcome morning tea (Transition and Foundation families)
Friday April 1, 11am.
The children will make their hats at the ELC, ready for a grand parade at 11am. A delicious morning tea will follow for families to welcome you officially to Gippsland Grammar.

I do hope that everyone can take advantage of the Stay and Play evenings.

Bairnsdale ELC Transition student Jack plays outside with the Knex.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
Families returned to school happily after a three-day weekend that boasted the perfect weather for family fun. Many of our families went camping or had friends and relatives visiting. We are reminded to be grateful for the beautiful environment we live in while at the same time be mindful of others all over the world whose environment has been damaged.

Having parents on the campus for parent teacher interviews has allowed for friendly conversations and enables those little connections whether it be a chat about the football or the best walking trails in East Gippsland. I thank all parents who attended the meetings and urge those who haven’t, to contact your child’s teacher to arrange a time to meet.

Last week we held our House Swimming carnival which was a great success thanks to the efficiency and tireless efforts of Mrs Elisha Froud. I would like to announce the winning house and our Age Champions:

Winning house: Blundell Bogong

Age Champions (pictured below):
9-year-old girls: Georgie Witham
9-year-old boys: Alexander Collins
10-year-old girls: Ayla Buckley
10-year-old boys: Rhys Rogriguez
11-Year-old girls: Piper Jankowiak
11-year-old boys: Archer Whelan
12-year-old girls: Tessa Newstead
12-year-old boys: Benjamin Reynolds

And congratulations to Piper Jankowiak who has progressed from Regional level to State level in the 11-year-old butterfly this week. We wish her well.

Today Melaleuca ran Fellowship sharing their learnings from their Physical Science unit on Heat. They learned vocabulary such as convection, conduction, and radiation. With understanding, they explained each experiment they conducted and their findings. Jaymee said, ‘experiments are a great way for us to learn, particularly when marshmallows are involved.

Our awards have returned, and it was a pleasure to listen to our campus captains Benjamin and Chelsea announce these on our first official class fellowship for 2022. Our students were proud of the awards they received, and I was pleased to hear that many of them were for kindness to others and trying their best. As a staff we will be acknowledging the positive behaviours of our students and encouraging self-reflection as to their actions and decision making.

Thank you for your support, as always.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
We started today with a wonderful, student-centred Fellowship from our Hollows students. The Fellowship focused on smiling, having fun and good news! Ella and Vanessa, two of our House Captains, spoke to the audience about our CLERR values and key behaviours we can all demonstrate as a School and Community. Airlie played the flute for our processional, and Emilio played the saxophone for our recessional. It was lovely to see our Foundation students, along with parents and Mrs Harper, at this morning’s Fellowship.

Year 5 Hollows students, Otto, Chloe, Sylvie and Sarah speaking at this morning’s Fellowship; and Airlie playing the flute processional.

Community Connections
We have numerous events and initiatives coming up that are great opportunities to connect as a School Community. As Mrs Burgess as mentioned in her ELC newsletter, at 11am on Friday April 1 we are planning a special Easter Hat parade for our ELC Transition and Foundation families. The students will be making creative Easter hats for the event and following the parade once students have returned to the ELC the parents and guardians can enjoy a delicious morning tea. If you are a parent with a student in either of these year levels, please keep an eye out for the invite coming home shortly.

Cultural Diversity Week
Next week is Victoria’s Cultural Diversity Week. The theme of this week this year is ‘Connecting Through Culture’, which aims to celebrate and acknowledge the importance of bringing Victorians together after many months apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To highlight the growing and wonderful culturally-diverse families we have within our Community I am asking for some help: I would like to speak to our families from different countries or cultures about your unique culture and customs, which I can then share with our Community in next week’s newsletter. I am passionate about celebrating our diverse Community so please get in touch with me via 5143 7155 or if you would like to be a part of this initiative.

St Anne’s Open Day
As many of you may have already seen or heard, we are having our St Anne’s and Garnsey Open Day on Saturday April 2. The St Anne’s campus will be open from 9-11am while our senior Garnsey campus will be open from 11am-1pm. This is a great opportunity for our existing St Anne’s families to see what our Garnsey Campus has to offer and also a great opportunities for family and friends in your networks who may be interested in joining our School Community. Visitors will have an opportunity to get a glimpse into our programs and opportunities and meet teachers and students.
Click here for more information:

Easter raffle
The St Anne’s Parents and Friends will be holding an Easter raffle. We welcome donations for the raffle; anything from Easter chocolate to a colouring book or a tub to put the prizes in would be very much appreciated! Please keep an eye out for the tickets to come home with your eldest child. The raffle will be drawn at our Easter Picnic; please see details below.

Easter picnic
Our Easter Picnic will be held on Thursday April 7 from 4.30pm on the grassed area near the Lorna Sparrow Hall. The purpose of the evening is to come together as a Community to celebrate the term and Easter. The key information is below:
What: St Anne’s Easter Picnic
Bring: picnic dinner, drinks, picnic blanket/seats and insect repellent
When: Thursday 7 April from 4.30-7pm
Where: St Anne’s Campus, grassed area near Lorna Sparrow Hall
How: Easter egg hunt and music. BYO food and drinks

Japan Fun Facts #3
Each week I enjoy the different fun facts that our Japanese language teacher, Mrs Jan Chalmer, shares with us. This week, it is about Japanese toilets. Japanese toilet design has come a long way since Chalmer Sensei first visited Japan in 1977! At that time, squat-toilets were most common. These days high-tech toilets can be found in many people’s homes and public toilets. What are some of the features of these toilets?

  • The toilet lid opens and closes automatically … hands-free
  • The toilet flushes automatically
  • The toilet bowl is disinfected automatically after use
  • In winter, the toilet seat will heat up as you approach and then turn off after you leave
  • Water jets can wash you while you sit and air jets can dry you too
  • Music can be played to hide any other sounds!
  • Coming soon – floating hologram-like control buttons

Finally, our Student Representative Council (SRC) met today to decide how we would like to support the many Australians impacted by the floodings in New South Wales and Queensland. Please check VOS over the coming days for more details about how we, as a Community, can support others in need.

Swimming success
Yesterday, 25 St Anne’s students represented Gippsland Grammar at the Regional Swimming Championships held at Aqua Energy Sale. Our PE and Swimming teacher, Simone Langshaw, commented that all the students have become part of a tight-knit, supportive team as they have progressed throughout the carnivals over the past month. We are very proud of all the swimmers’ hard work, training, and commitment. It’s a wonderful achievement to represent our School at Regional Level. A huge congratulations to the following students that will progress to SSV State Swimming Championships to be held at MSAC in April. A special mention to Henri Duggan, Tallulah Wynne and Indy Carmody for their willingness to show leadership, bravery and resilience. Stepping up at the last minute to help fill in our relay teams for students who could not attend. Thank you again to Simone Langshaw and Amanda Canfield for their support on the day.
Individual Winners: Adelaide Ripper, Max Williamson and Toby Turnbull
11-year-old girls relay team: Milla Said, Erin Smith, Adelaide Ripper and Sarah Black

Garnsey Campus news by Acting Head of Campus Justin Henderson
I started the long weekend by attending the Maffra Dramatic Society production of Mama Mia. While thoroughly enjoying the show, I was felt proud that many current and past students, parents and staff were involved in this community event. It was a great reminder of the importance of community, alongside the joy that music can bring.

On the theme of community, the Garnsey Campus Athletics is scheduled for Monday. This is a Campus event where students are encouraged to support one and another, contribute to their house and be active members of the whole-campus community. It is also on opportunity for our Senior students to demonstrate leadership. So it is important that all of our staff and students participate in the Athletics; there’s a role for everyone.

Year 12 seminar
Our Year 12 students spent time on Wednesday participating in a seminar aimed to provide them with strategies to support their journey through Year 12. Mrs Harper and Mrs Wakeham both spent some time speaking with the students about their positive impact on our School, their own wellbeing and practical ways they can maintain their own wellbeing throughout this year and beyond.  Ultra-endurance athlete Luke Atkins spoke to the students about overcoming obstacles, digging deep and harnessing their mental strength while founder of Mental Armour Jen Bullers facilitated a session of practical activities for the group to learn the importance of looking after their mental health. These sessions would usually have occurred as part of our Yr 12 Camp program and holding the sessions early in the year is really important for our students.

Melbourne Experience
Yr 9 students have this week continued their Melbourne Experience. It was great to hear such positive feedback at the end of last week from students and staff alike. As I watched the students board the bus in Tuesday morning, their excitement at returning to Melbourne was evident. This is a big fortnight for the students and equally our staff that are with them. Our collective thanks is extended to the Year 9 team who have spent the past two weeks in Melbourne with the students.

Year 8 English (by English teacher Ms Baldwin)
In Yr 8 we have started a Student Editors project. With the support of teachers, Abby Gilmore and Libby Mekken are coordinating the sessions with 11 students participating. We are building on our existing relationship with American author Shelley Pearsall, which kicked off last year with an ‘exclusive-for-GG’ You Tube tutorial on the creative writing process and a tour of her writing studio. The current project is based on gaining permission to access her raw material – the first draft of her new book – and meeting regularly to read and edit the material. We have taken up responsibility for providing feedback … there is every chance our suggestions will be included in the final manuscript!

Shooting (by Shooting captain Pip Treasure)
This week our shooting team competed in the East Gippsland Clay Target competition. All students performed well; a highlight being two of our senior shooters Sunni Fleming and Pip Treasure in a shoot off for 1st and 2nd place. On this occasion, Sunni was the victor. Congratulations to all students on the competition and thankyou to Mr Nick Kuch and his team for preparing the shooters and supervising the competition.

Japanese (by Sensei Patton)
The Newry Hall will host a Japanese dinner and movie night next weekend. The film ‘Come back any time’ is a heart-warming story of a community based around a small Tokyo ramen restaurant. Gippsland Grammar’s Japanese teachers will be helping with food and cultural activities and we would love to see some of our School Community there! Please come along and enjoy! See Sensei Patton for details.

The Resilience Project
This week’s presentation from The Resilience Project focuses on ‘gratitude’. Gratitude is paying attention to the things that we have right now, and not worrying about what we don’t have. We practise this by noticing the positives that exist around us. Research shows that practicing gratitude rewires our brains to overcome the negativity bias (which can lead to anxiety and depression) and see the world for what we are thankful for. It is also shown to broaden thinking and to increase physical health through improved sleep and attitude to exercise.
View Part 2 of the series here:

Practicing gratitude can be as simple as challenging yourself to answer questions such as:

–           List three things the went really well for you today
–           Identify something you are looking forward to tomorrow
–           Who are you must grateful for and why?

Gear up for Agriculture
Gippsland Grammar is pleased to share that we are able to deliver a Gear Up for Ag program for our senior students on Wednesday April 6 from 8.45am to 1pm. This program is being facilitated by the Farmers National Centre for Farmer Health and recognises young people are central to an innovative and sustainable future for agriculture. The program’s key objective is to engage students in a practical, fun and interactive way providing evidence-based education that promotes health, wellbeing and safety. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of safe practices and empowered to positively influence behaviour of their families and future employers.

Priority will be given to students in the upper year levels; however, if students are interested from younger year levels we encourage you to register your interest as a minimum of 12 students is required to have the program run (it is capped at 25 students).
RSVP: by Friday March 25 to Mrs Callaghan at

Catch up on last week’s newsletter here:


Gippsland Grammar background:
Gippsland Grammar is one of Australia’s leading co-educational Anglican schools, with a tradition of excellence in education extending almost 100 years. Located in the heart of Gippsland, the School has more than 1100 students across three campuses including St Anne’s junior campus and the Garnsey senior campus, both at Sale, and the Bairnsdale junior campus in East Gippsland. Enrolments at both junior campuses begin with a 3s and 4s kindergarten program at their respective Early Learning Centres (ELC) and Garnsey caters for students from Years 7-12. Gippsland Grammar is also the only boarding school east of Melbourne’s suburban fringe and is a home-away-from-home for students from far East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Victoria’s High Country and the Latrobe Valley as well as for a cohort of international students.

Join our Community:
If you’d like to join our Gippsland Grammar Community please phone us on 56143 6388 or email to request a Prospecus, book a campus tour or simply inquire about a future enrolment. Or click here to read our Gippsland Grammar Information Book.

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