Gippsland Grammar news: March 25, 2022

Mar 25, 2022 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

In two weeks, it will be time for the students and the teaching staff to slow their pace for a few weeks. We often find ourselves marvelling at how swiftly the term has flown by. However, this points to a semester where the opportunities have been plentiful as well as excitedly taken up with great enthusiasm.

I would like to thank all our staff for their efforts in planning and preparing for the opportunities and activities that have been happening across all three campuses. It has been fabulous watching the students re-engage with all the activities that have been challenging or absent over the past two years.

Our School Captains provided us with their theme for the year – Courage, Connect and Culture. I think that they are leading the School through an exciting phase of re-connection. Our leaders at the primary campuses have been inducted and our secondary leader induction is coming up on the last day of term. I have been reflecting on what I would like to share with the students and will share with them my reflections on the ‘7 Heavenly Virtues of Leadership’

The authors created seven values or attributes that they felt effective leaders possess.

Humility, Courage, Integrity, Compassion, Humour, Passion, and Wisdom

Before I explain these virtues, the following was clear to me the first time I read this book. These virtues are not just for leaders, these are virtues every single person should aim to possess and exhibit.

  • Humility – lead with humility don’t let your ego get in the way of doing what is right – you should channel what is good for your peers and the School.
  • Courage – sometimes we need this to enact humility – courage is about doing what you believe irrespective of the consequences. Courageous leaders cannot always expect to be popular.
  • Integrity – doing what you say – walking your talk, being honest – of all the values, this one is probably valued the most but is often displayed the least. Stick to what you believe in.
  • Compassion – to lead with compassion is to treat others the way we would like to be treated ourselves. Compassionate leaders think through the consequences of their actions
  • Humour – this doesn’t mean you have to be good at telling jokes (thank goodness), but a good leader makes people around them feel good. They keep things calm and make stressful times seem a breeze.
  • Passion – good leaders have passion – they have energy, enthusiasm, and drive. They put their heart, their spirit, and their soul into producing extraordinary results. They motivate and inspire others and provide purpose and drive that allows people to overcome setbacks.
  • Wisdom – it isn’t about being smart or knowing more than others. Wisdom is about using what you have learned for positive consequences. It means integrating what you experience to how you can improve things.

For me, these attributes are embodied by the following quote from the late Nelson Mandela

“It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.” What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Gippsland Grammar provides many opportunities for our students excel across all areas of school life. Our vision continues to be embodied through the holistic development of our students through the academic, cultural, sporting, and spiritual areas. The exciting part of our journey is revealed in this quote again, from Nelson Mandela –

  “I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

Have a wonderful weekend,

Leisa Harper

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).

Why is it important?
Embedding health and safety awareness is critical to maintaining the health and wellbeing of the next generation of farmers living and working together in the agriculture industry. Engaging students in safe practices will ensure a positive safety culture in future generations.

How is Gear Up for Ag delivered?
The program is delivered onsite at schools by a qualified facilitator and adapted to suit school needs and timing choices, generally between 2 and 3 hours in duration.

RSVP: by Friday March 25 to Mrs Callaghan at

More information can be found at

Those who wish to participate will be sent a pre-program survey which will need to be completed by 30 March. We have been fortunate to secure this funding to provide this Safety program for students who live on farms. Safety equipment will also be provided as part of this opportunity.

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:

Whole School news: Ben Crowe
One of the world’s most elite mindset coaches Ben Crowe will visit our School and campus in May for a one-off public event.

He is the man behind Australian Open tennis champion Ash Barty’s recent success and has also worked with other world-famous sports stars such as Andre Agassi, Cathy Freeman and 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott.

Ben Crowe, from Mojo Crowe, helps people every day achieve their dreams and now you can hear his strategies for success when he presents his renowned ‘Perspective Talk’ at our Bairnsdale Campus on Thursday May 5 at 6.30pm.

The event is a huge coup for the region and has come to fruition because of Crowe’s generosity and desire to help our region that has suffered over the past few years with drought, bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

We did have some inside help to secure a place in Ben Crowe’s busy speaking schedule – our Bairnsdale Campus Foundation teacher Libby Crowe is Ben’s sister-in-law. She is also the teacher who introduced her golden retriever puppy Wilson to our Bairnsdale community and Wilson has  become our therapy dog. Ben agreed to visit more than two years ago to help raise money for Wilson’s upkeep and training. Then the region got hit by drought, bushfires and of course the pandemic so our plans have been delayed and delayed but with everything our region has gone through Ben suggested we turn his visit into a bigger event to not only help our School community but the wider Gippsland community as well.

As a leadership mentor Ben Crowe works closely with business leaders, governments, teenagers and teams and athletes across the globe to show how a deep focus on authenticity, vulnerability and connection can create not only an amazing culture and competitive advantage but also a life that balances achievement with fulfilment.

Ben Crowe will present ‘The Perspective Talk’ at Gippsland Grammar’s Bairnsdale Campus, Bullumwaal Rd, Wy Yung, on Thursday May 5 from 6.30pm.

Tickets are $100 and include refreshments. A bar featuring local wine will also be available.
Secure your tickets today because on Friday tickets go on sale to the general public. Simply visit

If there is enough interest buses will run from Sale.

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess
This week our Stay and Play evenings continued at the St Anne’s Campus. They were well attended, and all our staff members commented on what a relaxed and enjoyable time it was.

St Anne’s Transition by teacher Kristy How
‘Reflecting on our Stay and Play night fills me with joy. So much of what we do at the ELC centres on family, and it was incredibly special to finally have families attend our beautiful centre with their child. Each family wrote a ‘wish’ for their child on a feather so that we move forward with a shared understanding of each family’s goals and dreams for their child. We explored the inside and outside spaces together and had a chance to speak to each other in a relaxed setting. I have to say, it felt more like a family reunion than an organised event. For that I am so grateful to our wonderful families and children.

Here are some children’s thoughts about our Stay and Play evening:

“I liked playing with the blocks with my Mum” Liam Kretschmer

Everything! “Ollie Davis

“Playing dominoes with Mum and Dad at night “Isla Gaskill

 “I liked playing in the boat. I was fishing with my dad.” Hunter Clancy

” I loved building with the Lego with my mum. We made a car.”  Tom Bertrand

“I loved doing some painting at the table. Dad did some painting too, very neatly.”  Sophie Cox

“My favourite thing to do with Dad was play in the sandpit”. Hannah Lafferty

 “My favourite thing was playing in the sandpit”. Katherine Cameron

 “I liked playing with them”. Mason Hutty.   

St Anne’s Campus Reception Teddy bears Picnics
To celebrate the end of the Term, we will be having a Teddy Bear picnic in Week Nine. 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 have a teddy bears picnic. 

Dates: Wednesday March 30 – Monday/Wednesday Group

Thursday March 31- Tuesday/Thursday Group **This will also be the date of the postponed Stay and Play evening 6.00 to 7.00 pm.

Bairnsdale Campus Reception and Transition End of Term Easter Picnics
Reception Group Afternoon Tea to be held from 2.30 pm – 3.00 pm on Tuesday 5th April at the Early Learning Centre.

Transition Group afternoon tea to be held from 1.30 pm – 2.00 pm on Friday 8th April at the Early
Learning Centre.

Easter Hat Parade and Welcome Morning Tea (Transition and Foundation families) – St Anne’s Campus
Transition Groups Black Swans and White Swans on Friday April 1. The children will be making their hats at the ELC, ready for a grand parade beginning at 11am. A delicious morning tea will follow this for families to welcome you officially to Gippsland Grammar School.

Have a great weekend.

Sophie with her dad and Abby with her mum and dad enjoyed meeting with ELC staff and exploring the ELC facilities

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans

We have continued building on the positive interactions and community spirit this week with our House Cross Country being a most successful day, both in weather and achievements. The atmosphere was as a carnival should be fun, challenging, celebratory and as one of our Mums said, ‘it is the event that has so much warmth’. ‘Warmth’ meaning supportive, kindness, encouragement, emotive and acknowledged of others. Our juniors as always demonstrated determination in taking off like rockets and for some, realising it is a very long way around the oval. I was proud of our senior students who participated to contribute to their house points, role modelling ‘having a go’ and importantly completing their run. Congratulations to our Age Champions and winning house.

Winning House – Blundell Bogong

9 Years                  Jessie Trewin and Hannah Evans
10 Years               Theodore Ding and Evie Dullard
11 Years               Liam Hill and Liora Rozite
12 Years               Tom Callaghan and Chelsea Rawlings

Lenny , Reuben and  Liam and Archer and Leo at the House Cross Country this week.

National Young Leaders Day
I accompanied Mr Todd Cook and our Year 6’s to Melbourne on Wednesday to attend the ‘National Young Leaders Day’ at the convention centre. We had a terrific day together listening to the four presenters, Lachie Smart (explorer-flew solo around the world), Cate Campbell (Olympic swimmer), Guy Edmunds (actor and director) and Damien Fleming (international cricketer, author, coach, and commentator). Their stories were inspirational and reinforced that it is important to dream big, to have goals, that planning, and preparation is essential to success and that we all have what it takes to be successful – in our own uniqueness.

On reflection Owen Roach said, “I learnt that no matter how old you are you can still do what you want to do, and if you want something, you have to work hard for it.”

Frankie Prior reflected, “I learnt that if you make a mistake that you should keep going and it might just help you face your fears and if you want to achieve your goal you will have to make sacrifices.”

Green Team
Today our Green team presented Fellowship sharing all their plans and helping us further understand our role in protecting our environment and ourselves. Part of looking after ourselves, is to be healthy in action. Next Friday morning we will have our Walk and Ride to school day in line with being active. Walkers will meet at the Wy Yung bakery and our bike riders will meet at the Wy Yung oval. More details will be posted on VOS.

Online Safety
Next week we are fortunate to have Leading Senior Constable Brooke Johnson deliver three sessions on ‘online safety’ targeted at Year3/4, 5/6 and our parent body. I ask that you prioritise the parent session in your calendar, and I hope to see many of you here supporting this very important program. The safety of your children is paramount, and we need to learn together and be in partnership to understand how to protect young people today in the online world. This session will be: 


Wednesday 30th March

in the Thinking Dome at

Gippsland Grammar Bairnsdale Campus.

Wishing you well for the weekend ahead,

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
Continuing with our theme to build strong connections within our school community, we held our special Foundation and Year 6 badge presentation Fellowship this morning. We had intentionally postponed this Fellowship until we could welcome our parents onsite. Mrs Danielle Carpenter, our ELC educator, spoke to the audience about the buddy’s program, the smooth transition between ELC and Junior school, and the strong culture at Gippsland Grammar. Our parents also met our Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning, Michele Wakeham, who helped present and officially welcome our Foundation students.

Foundation students Leo and Lizzy proudly wearing their school badges & Leo with his Buddy Lucas

We acknowledged our 2022 Student Representative Council at Fellowship. Our SRC for 2022 are:

Year 3:  Max Santorelli and Tom Williamson

Year 4:  Kaiden Lambert and Jessica Brewer

Year 5: Airlie Ferris and Erin Smith

Year 6: Tallulah Wynne and Jon Del Mastro

Our Foundation students’ artwork is currently being presented at the Gippsland Art Gallery. The painted portraits are hung in the Junior artwork section of the gallery.

Year 1
On Wednesday, Our Year 1 students also participated in an excursion to Timeless Memories Museum in Sale to enhance their history unit. It is fantastic that we have this resource in Sale and that our students are able to develop their understanding of our local history.

Cultural Diversity
This week is Victoria’s Culturally Diverse Week. In my newsletter last week, I asked for families within our St Anne’s community who are from diverse cultural backgrounds, to contact me so we can share their stories. The purpose of this is to share and celebrate the amazing diversity we have at Gippsland Grammar. For many years I travelled and worked overseas. I have seen first-hand the importance of diversity within a community. Over the past few years, the cultural diversity in our school has grown, enriching our community.

I have been overwhelmed with the willingness of our families to share their history, stories of culture and traditions. I could have spent hours talking to each family, finding out more about the unique cultural aspects of their lives. I have included each conversation below, and I hope that I have captured the essence of the conversation. 

Nina, Lia, Andre and the Wasserman family are from South Africa.
Specifically, they are from Freestate, which is inland of South Africa. The country is very diverse. There are so many different cultures that have been incorporated. There are eleven official languages, and the whole country is bilingual. In each province, students learn the local dialect as a subject at school. From the time students start school until they reach Year 7, they can wear bare feet at school! It is a big tradition to braai, which is similar, but not the same, to the Australian BBQ. South Africans cook steak, make bread and stews on a braai. South Africans are big on celebrations, but they have changed over time. After 1994 they had a heritage day each year. Schools and families come dressed in traditional clothing, eat their traditional food and celebrate their diverse culture. Many South Africans also celebrate Christmas and Easter. As a family, the Wasserman’s are trying to keep their South African culture and incorporate their new culture from Australia.  

Kwasi and the Brobbey family are originally from Ghana in West Africa.
There are a lot of tribes in Ghana, and the Brobbey family belong to the Akan tribe. Most Ghanaians are Christian, and celebrating Christmas and Easter is very important. Most people living in large cities head back to their home towns and villages to celebrate with their extended families and friends. Ghana has some national celebrations. They annually celebrate the installation of the traditional chief of their tribe. It is like a holiday with lots of merrymaking and sharing of meals. Traditionally Ghanaians will cook a special meal called fufu. It is most popular in West Africa. Fufu is yams and other similar vegetables that are boiled and beaten into a paste, and this is turned into a soup. Cow or goat meat is added. During special celebrations, Ghanaians will share this meal with those less fortunate in their community. Kwasi’s favourite food is called banku. It is similar to fufu, but made from cassava dough and eaten with cooked okra. 

William, Sebastian and the Buchanan family have a rich Polish culture.
The family are originally from Zamosc, which is a city in the southern region of Poland. In general, Polish people have a reputation for being hospitable. The majority of Polish families celebrate Christmas and Easter. Traditionally, Polish people open their presents on Christmas Eve, when the first light of the first star can be seen. It takes about two weeks to put a Christmas tree up each year. Christmas decorations include intricate glass blown bobbles. Families have traditional bobbles to decorate their tree that are passed on from generation to generation. Children also collect colourful paper to make a paper chain to decorate the tree, and hang long lollies on the tree. Polish people also celebrate a name day. Each year, it is a special day, and Polish people’s name day is similar to a birthday party. It is celebrated with cake, flowers, and friends coming over.

Another tradition, when your child turns one, you sit the child in a circle of special items. The items could be money, a hairbrush, a small gardening tool, etc. Whatever the child picks up is a predictor of what the child may grow into. For example, if they pick up the gardening tool, they may grow up to be a farmer. 

Claudia, Emilio, Estelle, Vida and the Yanez family have strong cultural links to Chile.
Their family is originally from Santiago, which is the capital city of Chile, and in the province of Conchalli. Chileans speak Spanish and are passionate about football, known as soccer in Australia. There is a strong culture of singing and dancing. There is a traditional dance called La Cueca. 95% of the population are Catholic. Therefore, Christmas and Easter are significant annual celebrations. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas eve and is something that the Yanez family has continued in Australia. A traditional food is an empanada. They are little meat parcels, similar to meat pies, but only better! Chileans also love sweets, such as palmas, which are thick sweet biscuits in the shape of rabbit ears. Elders within the family and community are respectfully referred to as Tio or Tia, which means aunty or uncle. 

Tallulah, Fletcher, Elsa and the Wynne family have strong cultural ties to Japan.
Tomomi Wynne is originally from Japan, and specifically Hiroshima. Japan has an ancient history and is a mixture of old culture and the super modern technology. Robots and bullet trains are the norm. Japanese food is the best, with a varied array of delicious options. There is sushi, karaace (fried chicken), ramen (noodles with soup), to name a few. These hot foods can be easily bought in supermarkets in Japan. There is a range of annual celebrations. Children’s day is on 5 May, and this is when Japanese people fly koi (carp) shaped banners. Girls day is on 3 March, and special dolls are put on display. At this time of year, the cherry blossoms start blooming, and the Japanese people enjoy picnics under the blossoms with lots of yummy food. 

As someone who has travelled and learnt from different cultures, I feel like I have ‘travelled’ after my conversations with the families above. Everybody and each family have a story. Please take the time to talk to people within our broader community to learn and understand.

I would also like to invite other families to share their stories for next week’s newsletter. You can contact me via or 5143 7155.

Kwasi Brobbey, Nina and Lia Wasserman, Tallulah and Fletcher Wynne and Andre Wasserman.

Japanese Fun Fact # 4 – KitKat Chocolate Bars
Mrs Jan Chalmer’s Japanese Fun Fact for this week is about one of my favourite chocolate treats, KitKats. There have been more than 300 limited-edition seasonal and regional flavours of Kit Kat chocolate bars produced in Japan over the last 20 years, many only available in Japan. Would you like to try any of these different KitKat flavours? Lemon Cheesecake, Banana, Wasabi, Vegetable juice, Sweet Potato, Corn, Cherry Blossom or Cough Drop?

Garnsey Campus news by Acting Head of Campus Justin Henderson
It was excellent to see our Campus come together on Monday for the House Athletics Carnival. After not being able to have these events of late, our whole Campus contributed to an enjoyable day in the oval with Cranswick-Dargo taking out winning house and the House Spirit award.

Excursions, events, and activities continue to feature across the Campus, and it makes me very proud to see students representing our school in so many ways.

In the coming weeks, our Music department has several performances including our Open Day event and the East Gippsland Field Days. Under the guidance of Director of Music, Dr Kevin Cameron, we wish our staff and students al the best for these events and thank them for the time they put in both in and out of school. 

Year 7 Geography Field Trip by Prue McNaughton
On Friday, the 18th of March, the Year 7 Geography students visited Glenmaggie Weir and Sale Morass. It was a perfect day of sunshine and blue skies. Students were lucky enough to be met by employees of Southern Rural Water who answered the numerous questions the students had, along with giving the students a tour of the weir wall. Students independently drew field sketches and conducted Human Impact Index surveys to help them write a report comparing the two sites regarding their human impact.

Year 8 Geography Field trip by Prue McNaughton
On Wednesday, the 23rd of March, the Year 8 Geography students visited three locations along the 90-mile beach as part of their study on coastal landscapes. Students drew field sketches of dune profiles, tested long shore drift, and conducted Human Impact Index surveys. This was the first Geography Field trip for the students, and they enjoyed the day out in the sunshine.

Margaret McIntosh by Nadine Lineham
Gippsland Grammar’s VCE Studio Arts students were inspired by Melbourne artist, Margaret McIntosh who visited the school recently to give an artist talk about her oil paintings and studio process. Students learnt about her career as an emerging artist, the challenges of exhibiting nationally in commercial galleries, as well the details of her Education in the Fine Arts at The Victorian College of the Arts, RMIT and Latrobe University.

Margaret McIntosh who is represented by James Makin Gallery, Collingwood also spoke of her current Exhibition titled, Home Sick. The show was so successful that many paintings were sold before they made it to the walls to be hung and currently are all sold. Students enjoyed hearing about her painting technique, including use of materials and the subject matter she uses to express concepts in her work. In addition, the class discovered that she grew up in Gippsland, Traralgon and was educated in Art and Design by teachers, Mr Frank Mesaric and Ms Nadine Lineham. The class were delighted by her friendly good humour and nature.

Department Head of IT and Visual Arts Nadine Lineham with Margaret McIntosh and VCE studnets Jasmine, Dana and Peggy

With the Rowing Nationals coming up next week, the Rowing season is coming to an end. There have been many successes across the season from all our crews.  The Annual Rowing Dinner is scheduled for the last week of this term. The dinner is a marquee event to celebrate all Rowers, individual and crew achievements and acknowledge the support of our Rowing families.  We wish the team of Rowers along with their support crew and coaches, all the best for the week ahead.

Rowers heading to nationals tomorrow. Putting finishing touches to the boats are year 12 students Billy Osborne, Lindsay Hamilton and Cameron Rule.

Japanese by Sensei Patton
Gippsland Grammar families are warmly invited to an evening at the Newry Hall this weekend. The Newry Hall community are screening a Japanese film this Saturday night, March 26. ‘Come Back Anytime”.

The trailer for the film:

Locals are cooking a Japanese dinner and activities such as origami, kendama, yukata wearing, and calligraphy will be available for anyone in the community who would like to come along. Gippsland Grammar staff will join other local Japanese teachers to assist. Activities are from 5.30 and the film is from 7.30. You may like to come along for all or part of the evening and the lovely space that is the Newry Hall. 

National Junior Athletics Championships
Year 7 student Cassie Farley, heads off this weekend to compete at the National Junior Athletics Championships where she will compete in the 800m and 1500m events. Cassie is leader of the School Sport Victoria Team Vic that works to provide the SSC sporting body with an athlete perspective of how to give everyone an opportunity to try and to enjoy sports. Cassie set two new records in the House Athletics Carnival on Monday.  We wish Cassie the best for her competition in Sydney.

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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