Gippsland Grammar news: Nov 12, 2021

Nov 12, 2021 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

I found myself searching for this definition earlier this week as a way to describe what I had felt as I had seen bursts of joy occurring across the campuses and I could hear joy filtering through our conversations. Somehow, this week felt like a joyful beginning; the restrictions have eased and just like a beam of sunshine, the joy has flooded across our School.

I saw fabulous Year 8 Science experiments in the Garnsey quadrangle , our Bairnsdale Musical stars putting their show on screen, a variety of Year 9 Camps heading out across the state and our Foundation 2022 Information Night for our St Anne’s parents whose children are either continuing or starting their educational journeys with our Community.

The more I reflect, when we define joy it is more than a moment. Joy is a long-lasting connection. Writer John Piper reviewed how joy is written about in Christian writing: “Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.”

So, as this week comes to an end, I am grateful for all the opportunities our students have been able to experience this week. I am grateful for the connections we have and for the joy they bring. We have much to be grateful for.  

As we read in John Chapter 15, Verse 11:
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Warm regards,
Leisa Harper

Last week to order your ‘Gippsland Dozen’
As you may have seen on our social media accounts and in your inbox yesterday, there is just one week left to order your box of Grammar’s ‘Gippsland Dozen’. This innovative fundraiser sees our School partner with local wineries Lightfoot and Sons, Tambo Wine, Blue Gables and Glenmaggie Wines and we are extremely proud that each winery has a longstanding connection with our School. This means the people growing and bottling the wine you can buy in this fundraiser are also current School families, Old Scholars, former teachers and former Board members. Last year we sold more than 150 half dozen and dozen boxes of wine and we are sure this year’s fundraiser will be equally successful and make an equally important contribution to our new Visual Arts & Technology Centre. Orders can be placed until Thursday (November 18) via this link:

Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess  
This week, there was a real buzz in the air at our ELCs as we officially began to prepare for the Christmas season. As the children only attend for a few days a week, we only have a short time now to prepare gifts for families, practice Christmas songs and enjoy lots of glittery craft projects. The teachers are busily preparing many beautiful surprises and mementos of your child’s special time with us.

Traffic school excursion
This week the St Anne’s Transition children visited Morwell’s Latrobe Traffic School. We were extremely excited to attend this excursion which is the culmination of our ongoing traffic safety program. The children enjoyed their long trip on the school bus and helped to identify traffic signs along the way. Using the school bus is an excellent way for those children who will be bus travellers in Foundation next year to get used to this experience. Once at traffic school, they began by practising the ‘stop/look/listen/hold hands and think’ message as they crossed the mini roads at different types of crossings and lights. The highlight of the visit was the chance to get on the bikes and become road users. Though the thought of 20 pre-schoolers on bikes going in all directions sounds rather frightening, they quickly adjusted to having to ride on the left side of the road and observe roundabouts, traffic lights, and other ‘vehicles’ on the road. This has been a valuable educational experience for your children. I would urge all families to keep practising these safety messages and also to check that their child’s helmet fits correctly by ensuring it isn’t cracked, has a correct peak at the front to protect their face and is worn over the brow. I highlight this as our traffic school educator did check the students’ helmets before they rode and many weren’t compliant.
For more information and some fun resources to share with your child visit:

Transitioning to Foundation
Finally, the ‘Transition to School Program’ at both campuses has begun. There was great excitement at St Anne’s on Friday morning as the children assembled in their new Mawson or Bass class groups.  They went into their new classrooms and met their 2022 Foundation teachers with their current ELC educators present to reassure and support them. The children at the Bairnsdale Campus will have their first visit to Foundation on Tuesday November 23 from 9-11.30am. They are excited about being in the ‘big school’ and having Wilson, the assistance dog, in their room next year.

2022 ELC orientation
The ELC’s will be closed on Friday November 19 as it is a student-free day. This day will be our Orientation Day for children attending our ELCs in 2022. If you have a child attending the ELC next year you should by now have received an email invitation with your timeslot. If you need more information about this event, please email Melissa Tatterson at

Following the orientation day a Parent Information Session for both campuses will be held via Zoom on Monday November 22 from 7pm. A link was included in the aforementioned email but look out for a reminder shortly. Even if you have had children at the ELC previously, I would strongly urge you to take the time to attend both of these sessions. The best way to give your child a positive start to their education is to build connections with their educators and be fully prepared for the coming year.

The St Anne’s Transition students travelled to Morwell this week for an excursion to the Latrobe Traffic School where they practised the ‘stop/look/listen/hold hands and think’ message before they got on bikes and put into practice what they had learnt.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
I experienced a wonderful moment this week where I smiled with genuine joy at our students singing ‘County Fair’ as the filming of Charlotte’s Web began. Seeing them singing together, dressed up in their costumes and really playing the part was most rewarding. It is with sincere appreciation and recognition of our music teacher Mr Brett Glover our drama teacher Ms Lucy Leeming for their dedication to our production and for reinvigorating the children to perform as they are. We have certainly learned to be flexible with a quick change of plans due to the heavy rains forecast for today. I thank our parents and staff for supporting this change without question.

This week the Bairnsdale students began filming their performance of Charlotte’s Web. Directors Brett Glover and Lucy Leeming used a green screen background to film the first scenes and Mr Glover said while this wasn’t how the students had planned to perform this classic children’s story, it’s been a valuable learning experience for the students from Foundation to Year 6. “Charlotte’s Web has been all about the journey,” Mr Glover said. “And the pivot has meant the students have learnt new performance skills and production techniques along the way.” The final cut of the abridged version will be shared with the Bairnsdale Campus community later this term.

This week we have been able to confirm our events and their format for the remainder of the year. While most events will be students and staff only, we look forward to welcoming our Year 6 parents to our Valedictory Fellowship at 9am on Wednesday December 8 in our hall. An invitation will follow shortly.

I would also like to share with you our class structure and teacher allocation for 2022. There are a few changes within the teaching allocation and we as a staff have decided to return to having two Year 3/4 classes. These decisions are based on student needs, both academically and socially. We will have a Transition Day on December 3 where our students will be informed of their class and teacher and spend the morning with their new peers. Our staff feel excited about 2022 as I hope you do too.




Mrs Libby Crowe

Correa Year 1/2

Ms Anna Whelan

Banksia Year 1/2

Mrs Renee Coates

Melaleuca Year 3/4

Mrs Penny Rankin

Kurrajong Year 3/4

Mrs Fiona Carr/Ms Lucy Leeming

Grevillea Year 5

Mrs Joy Hay-Smith

Blackwood Year 6

Mr Todd Cook

Our Remembrance Day service was presented by our Year 5’s beneath our school flags. We thank them for their preparation for an occasion that demands and deserves a respectful presence. Each student spoke confidently and shared their understanding of this significant day. Our students appreciated the stone mementos depicting an image of the many people that fought to protect our country. Thank you, Mrs Carr and students.

Next Friday the Bairnsdale Campus staff will combine with the St Anne’s staff for a professional learning day. Please note that this is a student- free day.

2022 East Gippsland Shire Council Australia Day awards
The annual East Gippsland Shire Council Australia Day Awards are currently open and I wanted to let you know as one of the nomination categories is for the Young Citizen of the Year. I think there could be many suitable candidates for this category from our Bairnsdale School Community, so I encourage you to submit your nominations via before nominations close on Monday November 29.

Wishing you well for the weekend ahead.

Bairnsdale’s Remembrance Day service was presented by the Year 5 students underneath the school flags.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
Like many, it has been heart-warming seeing our Community back on our School grounds and seeing parents taking the opportunity to drop their child off at their classroom door. We had our first ‘Walk to School’ morning on Wednesday that saw 70 students, parents and siblings meet at the Sale Bowls Club and then walk to School. The participating students then enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pancakes with berries at School prepared by our talented tuck-shop manager Prue Cliff. We have two more ‘Walk to School’ mornings scheduled over the next two Wednesdays. Then last night we had our 2022 Foundation parents meeting in Kukun Kalak as part of our Foundation transition program. Keeping within our COVID-19 safe guidelines has meant that not only are we keeping each other safe but we are re-connecting as a Community.

Year 2 Fellowship
Our two Year 2 classes Chisholm and Barton created this week’s Fellowship. The theme our students shared was about demonstrating resilience and bouncing back when things go wrong. When we are faced with a problem, we are to ask ourselves two questions; ‘How serious is the problem?’ and ‘Who can help me?’ The answers to these questions can help us work through many of our problems. School families can watch this Fellowship via VOS

Archibald Prize excursions
This week our St Anne’s students walked the Gippsland Art Gallery during their Art classes to visit the prestigious Archibald Prize art exhibition. We are very fortunate to have this experience just across the road! Students participated in a guided tour of the exhibition and were able to view the Young Archibald portraits, which featured a number of portraits by some Gippsland Grammar students. The lucky winner of the family pass to visit the Archibald Prize went to Matilda Warren in Year 3. The Archibald Prize is on display until November 21.


More than 70 students, parents and siblings took part in the first of three ‘Walk to School’ mornings; and during their scheduled Art lessons this week each St Anne’s class visited the Archibald Prize at the Gippsland Art Gallery.

2022 Foundation Transition
Last night, many of our 2022 Foundation parents came to our informal but informative Foundation Information Night. From my perspective, there was a great social ‘feel’ to the night, with parents enjoying one another’s company. Utilising technology, we also had some families Zoom from home. The focus of the evening was for our new parents to meet our Foundation teachers, learn more about what Gippsland Grammar offers and find out their child’s teacher and class for 2022. Our Principal Leisa Harper and our Campus Captains Mia and Louis spoke about the breadth of opportunity Gippsland Grammar provides. Thank you to our 2022 Foundation teachers Miss Bree Alexander and Ms Louise Sullivan and all those involved in organising this evening. We have already begun our Foundation transition program with our teachers regularly visiting students in our ELC and meeting the students joining us from other kindergartens. We have mapped out an extensive transition program for our Foundation students, which continues today with students with all our 2022 Foundation students joining our teachers in their classrooms until recess.

Our Staff for 2022
I am also excited about announcing our 2022 teaching teams and our Specialist teachers. Next year we have some teachers moving year levels; Prue McNaughton will be teaching at our Garnsey Campus for 12 months and we have Sophie Keen joining our Year 1 team. We also have Scott Wegener and Toni Hutton joining us in Term 1 as Alison Fraser and Elizabeth Dawson take well-deserved long-service leave from the beginning of the year.

Foundation Mawson: Ms Louise Sullivan
Foundation Bass: Miss Bree Alexander
Year 1 Bradman: Mrs Sophie Keen
Year 1 McCubbin: Mrs Kristen Rich
Year 2 Chisholm: Mrs Rebekah Tayler
Year 2 Barton: Miss Sarah Wheeler
Year 3 Flynn: Ms Alison Fraser
Year 3 Tasman: Mrs Nicky Roberts
Year 4 Freeman: Mrs Liz Foat and Mrs Katie Howard
Year 4 Kingsford Smith: Mrs Ellen Condron
Year 5 Hollows: Ms Lisa Goode
Year 5 Cuthbert: Mrs Elizabeth Dawson
Year 6 Goolagong: Mrs Linda Vale
Year 6 Mackellar: Mrs Julie Jago
Library: Mrs Elizabeth Noble
Art: Mrs Louise Hulls
Physical Education: Mrs Simone Langshaw and Mrs Kate O’Toole
Japanese: Mrs Jan Chalmer
Digital Technology: Mr Evan Lamb
Music: Mrs Katie Germaine and Mr Brett Glover

Remembrance Day Service
On Thursday at 11 am we honoured Remembrance Day with a special pre-recorded service. Our DSTA connection Amanda Canfield collaborated with our Defence students to present another meaningful and memorable service. Having these students being a part of such a service is important to us as our Defence families are such an essential part of our School Community. Thank you to Amanda and the students involved in putting this service together. School families can watch this service via VOS.

Key dates
Wednesday November 17: St Anne’s Campus school photos (students in full summer uniform)
Wednesday November 17: second Walk To School morning (from 8.15am at the Sale Bowls Club)
Friday November 19: student-free day (staff professional learning day)
Wednesday November 24: third Walk To School morning (from 8.15am at the Sale Bowls Club)
Friday November 26: St Anne’s Orientation Day
Thursday December 9: Year 6 Valedictory and final day of Term 4 (3.15pm finish)

Mr Van Berkel welcomed next year’s Foundation families at this week’s Foundation Transition evening in the Kukun Kalak building; and last Friday St Anne’s under-12 netball team won the grand final against Heyfield with a score of 21-18. It was an exciting occasion as there was a 70-day break between the team’s previous game and his final due to the recent lockdowns.

Garnsey Campus news by Head of Campus Kate Ray
This was a wonderful week at Garnsey because we started to see many of the things that we have been missing all year. Our Year 9 students headed out on their elective Outdoor Education camps, which meant we saw students heading to different regions across Victoria and participating in a wide range of activities including rafting along the Mitchell River, rock climbing at Mount Arapiles, surfing at Sandy Point, mountain biking at Bright, fly fishing at Porepunkah, achieving their Bronze certificate at Woodside beach and conservation awareness at the Snowy River. I can’t wait to hear all their stories and memories from this fabulous week together. Our Year 10 and 11 students have been sitting their exams this week so on-campus there has also been a hive of activity and study going on between exams.

I looked out my office window on Tuesday and I was delighted to see all our Year 8 students setting up tables in the quadrangle and assembling their solar ovens as part of their Year 8 science work. The students were to create their own solar oven and attempt to cook something. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on their side and the sun only appeared for a short time but the enthusiasm and smiles on the faces of the students weren’t impacted and while there wasn’t anything in those ovens that I would necessarily have liked to sample (!), I loved seeing our school grounds with students collaborating and learning together.

Yesterday we were also fortunate to have an outdoor Remembrance Day service with all our Year 7 and 8 students gathering together in Ashton Court. Our Defence Transition Mentor Amanda Canfield arranged the service and four of our Defence family students led the service. Thanks to Lily Canfield for being our bugler and to Violet Fisher, Scarlett Tavasci and Jack Beanland for their involvement too.

The Year 8 students tested their solar ovens in the Garnsey quad on Wednesday; and on Thursday the Years 7 and 8 students gathered in Ashton Court for a Remembrance Day service. Pictured are Defence family students Lily Canfield for being our bugler and to Violet Fisher, Scarlett Tavasci and Jack Beanland.

Rowing success
We are extremely proud of our rowers who recently competed in the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships where the team won five national titles, took a clean sweep in the men’s U19 2000m event and was awarded a total of 15 medals. The Australian Indoor Rowing Championships is a national event where rowers compete virtually against rowers from across Australia on indoor rowing machines. It has always been a virtual occasion, however this format has taken on greater convenience and benefit following the circumstances of the past two years.

Director of Rowing Nick Bartlett told me he was thrilled at the performance of our rowing students.
“The results we achieved were extremely impressive and are a great testament to the training and effort that our rowers have put in since our season began again in August. The students have had a tough few months when lockdowns meant they had to train on their own at home, but they stuck through it and this was the result”.

The rowing success was on the back of Year 11 students Lindsay Hamilton and Billy Osborne being crowned Australian Champions at the Australian Rowing Championships in Tasmania in March, and this week’s Year 7 rowing information evening which had a record number of interested students that Mr Bartlett said will see our Rowing numbers increase from 40 to more than 70 next year. On Wednesday our St Anne’s Year 6 students also visited Garnsey to take part in our ‘Into Rowing’ program, which aims to teach the junior students the foundations of rowing and give them a little taste of a new sport that they have the opportunity to do when they transition into the senior campus next year. Subsequent ‘Into Rowing’ sessions will be held at the rowing sheds.

Our Rowing students competing in the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships where the team won five national titles a total of 15 medals; and St Anne’s Year 6 students visited Garnsey this week for their first ‘Into Rowing’ session, which aims to teach the junior students the foundations of rowing and give them a little taste of a new sport that they have the opportunity to do when they transition into the senior campus next year.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Kevin Cameron
As the weather changes again, so too does our focus points in the Performing Arts. Our Year 7 and 8 Class Band programs are completing final tasks before rollover, the examination period is about to reach a conclusion and plans for a restart of our ensembles are underway as we look forward to 2022.

Year 7 and 8 Class Bands
Students currently involved in our Years 7 and 8 Class Band program (7B, 7D and 8B) will be returning instruments next week. Please remember to bring your instrument to class.

Garnsey House Music Eisteddfod
The House Music Eisteddfod provided an opportunity for students at Garnsey to continue the preparation of repertoire on their instruments or voice during the recent lockdown. We received a huge number of entries and video submissions across all areas of our Music Tuition Program including many excellent performances. The interest and excitement continued to the St Anne’s and Bairnsdale campuses as we also extended this opportunity for preparation and performance to our junior students. Again, we received a very large number of entries across a diverse range of instruments and musical genres.

I am pleased to announce that the winning house of the Garnsey House Music Eisteddfod is: CRANSWICK DARGO! Congratulations to all students in Cranswick Dargo and to all participants in this year’s House Music Eisteddfod. We have prepared a Virtual Highlights Reel of a selection of the performances created by our students for our community to enjoy, available here:

Restarting Garnsey Ensembles
We are pleased to announce the return of our Garnsey ensembles for 2021! It has been a long time coming, but I know that there are so many of our musicians looking forward to making music again.

For information:

  • Concert Bands (Percy Code, Dulcie Holland, New Concert Band) and Chamber Orchestra on Mondays 3.300-5pm.
  • Combined Choirs (Schoir and 789 Chorus) during Tuesday lunch
  • Jazz Bands (Senior and Intermediate) on Wednesdays from 3.30-5.30pm
  • Flute Ensemble during Friday lunch
  • Percussion and Brass Ensemble will return in 2022

The above schedule will begin in Week 8 (Monday November 22) and be in force for two weeks. In Week 10 there will be rehearsals only for the concert bands/chamber orchestra (Monday) and choirs (Tuesday). There will be no rehearsals for the jazz bands or flute choir in the final week of term.

Music Tuition Program in 2022Planning is underway for the Music Tuition Program in 2022 across our three campus sites.  Near to 300 students have individual or group music lessons each week with our very accomplished and enthusiastic team of instrumental music teachers. We are now accepting enrolments for 2022 via our online form:

Charlotte’s Web at Bairnsdale
Warm congratulations to the cast, crew, production team, and supporters of our production of Charlotte’s Web. An abridged version of this much delayed and long-awaited production was filmed this week and more details around viewings will be available soon. Bravo to all!

Performing Arts Productions in 2022
Speaking of productions, many in our Community will know that Gippsland Grammar has a long history of excellent productions and musicals in particular. Following our very successful production of Matilda The Musical this year, all members of our music theatre family should therefore stretch the legs, gargle the voice, and start getting ready to hear announcements around our plans for 2022 productions and auditions.

Some cheeky farmyard animals from the Bairnsdale Campus’s production of Charlotte’s Web.

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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