Gippsland Grammar news: Term 3, Week 5

Aug 19, 2022 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

History and Tradition:
The more we know of our history, and the more we reflect on it, we identify what it is to be a part of the Gippsland Grammar Community. The traditions we are involved in allow us to recognise the characteristics of being a current student, current family member, staff member or Old Scholar, and what makes us uniquely special. We aim to be proud of our heritage and who we are.

Many of our traditions we hold dear. We practice them together and share them with one another. Traditions can evolve with the times. Some examples include:

  • How we present ourselves, our uniforms and our demeanour
  • The way we assemble together to celebrate, to commemorate and to share information
  • Our faith and fellowship practices and chaplaincy
  • Our innumerable co-curricular involvements
  • Community engagement
  • Past and present student events. And many more.

Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege of celebrating with Gippsland Grammar students aged from three to more than 90 years old. Our annual St Anne’s Day celebration in July began with a beautiful fellowship with our Junior School students and it was so wonderful to have lunch with our older Old Scholars, the affectionately named ‘Green Grubs’. Commemoration Day with our Senior Students at Garnsey was acknowledged in Week 4 with an inspiring assembly and cupcakes for all staff and students. And last Saturday night I attended a reunion in Melbourne of past students who graduated in many and varying years. It was a wonderful event and the feeling in the room was one of happiness and pride in the School.

Our history is so important and we should recognise and understand that right now we are shaping our School’s history. What we are doing in this year of 2022, and the achievements we work towards, become part of our living history. Future members of the Gippsland Grammar Community will look back on our actions and activities. Our School’s heritage and appeal is what we can influence right here and now.

Our commitment to, and direct involvement in, our traditions and events allows us to understand and know them better and contribute of ourselves in strengthening and shaping them. To draw on one of our School’s mottos; the seeds we are planting this year will be reflected in the future as good things grow from them.

Kind regards,
Michele Wakeham
Acting Principal

Early Learning Centre news by Acting ELC Director Danielle Carpenter
Term 3 has been very busy at both of our ELCs as we have hosted a wide range of incursions. Each of our early childhood teachers have written a summary of each special event:

St Anne’s Reception teacher Tammy Lopardi: Ambulance Victoria’s Cameron Williams visited to explain the role of a paramedic. Cameron discussed why someone might need an ambulance and how and when to call 000. Cameron then showed the children what paramedics wear and the equipment that they may have with them. Everyone was excited to have a turn wearing vests, listening to their hearts with stethoscopes, looking at their heartbeat, and getting their temperatures checked and legs bandaged.

St Anne’s Transition teacher Danielle Carpenter: our school speech therapist Michelle Sands is implementing a phonological awareness program with all Transition children attending both our St Anne’s and Bairnsdale campuses. First, she assessed each child’s prior knowledge and over the next several weeks will teach a group of 10 students in a 45-minute session. The children loved their time with Mrs Sands; this week we made a letter S from playdough, discovered its sound, identified words that begin with the sound ‘s’, worked on compound words (squishing two words together to make one, such as ‘sunhat’) and listened to a story with lots of rhyming words. We are very lucky to be able to offer this kind of intensive program here at both ELCs. What a great start for our children heading into primary school next year!

St Anne’s Transition teacher Kristy How: the children really love having visitors to the ELC and they were lucky enough to have a second visitor on Friday with our Responsible Pet Ownership program. Ruth and Azura came to visit and teach the children all about how to be safe around dogs, especially dogs that aren’t our own. They learned the times not to bother a dog and how to ask the owner and safely approach a dog to say hello and have a pat. The highlight was everyone getting to practice with the help of Azura.

Bairnsdale Reception teacher Sommer-Lea Collins:
in the Reception group, we have begun our Need to Read program. The children have enjoyed discovering the books available before selecting one which interests them. On Tuesdays, the children return their books to exchange for another to share with their families. The children have begun to talk amongst one another about some of the books they have borrowed, often recommending a particular story. The Need to read program is helping to develop the children’s early literacy skills, and we are very proud to have such a fantastic collection of books to share with our students and their families. The feedback from our families has been very positive, especially the enclosed cards to help parents support building connections and skills during reading, and we thank our families for their ongoing commitment to the program.

Bairnsdale Transition teacher Sharon Smith: the children enjoyed a visit from the theatre company ‘The Flying Bookworm’, which consisted of two people, Jess and Ebony who performed three stories with the children including ‘The Market Stall’, ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’. Some of the children were chosen to help tell the stories and to be different characters. Archie, Isla, Finn and Alison were chosen to be the characters in the story of the Gingerbread Man. Their characters had to chase the Gingerbread man, but they couldn’t catch him. Huxley, Ella and Jack were the Three Billy Goat Gruff who wanted to cross over the bridge to eat the sweet grass on the other side of the mountain. It was very funny, and lots of fun to watch and share with our friends. At the end of the performance Jess and Ebony reminded the children that to perform a play all they need is a favourite story, some friends to help be characters and a few costumes and props.

Clockwise from top left: Ambulance Victoria’s Cameron Williams with Reception student Hannah; Mason has a tour of an ambulance; Azura the dog with Transition student Sienna as part of the Responsible Pet Ownership program and Reception student Lara is excited to choose her ‘Need to Read’ book.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
At the halfway mark of Term 3 it is timely to reflect on our challenge of ‘Stepping up to Excellence’. I don’t have to look very far around our campus to see the efforts and responses to ‘stepping up’ and the rewards as a result.

Our Year 6 students are putting their leadership skills into action; planning and organising activities that promote campus connectedness: Indigo and Chelsea have initiated Dance Club; Evan and Niko have set up Digi Tech Club and Sammy and Owen have organised a staff versus students cricket game. As I write this newsletter, I am anticipating an enjoyable, (yet slightly competitive) game of cricket.

An initiative Stephanie promoted was to develop a ‘Pet Wall’, where everyone was invited to share photos of their pets. This activity has allowed for lovely conversations, laughter, and friendly interaction.

For next week’s Book Week, Frankie, Iylah, Jemima, and Kate will set up the oak tree with baskets of rugs, cushions, and books to enjoy reading in our natural environment.

Further activities will continue throughout the year with the intention of our leaders learning what is needed to achieve success with these initiatives and importantly understand the benefits for our campus community.

Thirteen students from Years 5 and 6 will compete in the ‘Tournament of the Minds’ at Churchill this week. Tournament of Minds (TOM) is a program for all primary and secondary students providing the opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence and teamwork. Our students have been committed to the task of preparing and practising for this event under the guidance of Penny Rankin and Elisha Froud. We wish Indigo, Ella, Mia, Layla, Rustan, Lenny, James, Stephanie, Honour, Emily, Piper, Liora and Maddie well in clear thinking and active problem solving.

Continuing identifying ‘stepping up’ to excellence, I commend Cara Schaefer, who has our instrumental students focused on our upcoming Soiree that will be held in the James Beard Hall on Monday August 29 at 6pm. We look forward to celebrating our musical talents together and acknowledging our instrumental teachers for their commitment to our students.

Having attended an evening with retired footballer Eddie Betts organised by GEGAC (Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative), I was reminded of the enormous commitment he took on to overcome the challenges of succeeding not only as footballer but as a significant Aboriginal Ambassador. His words were heartfelt, along with other local Koorie identities and I’m sure that these words have encouraged many that were there to ‘step up’ in supporting our Indigenous community.

Wishing you well for the weekend ahead.

Year 6 students have initiated a Digi Tech Club and all students have brought in photos of their pets for the new ‘Pet Wall’.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
St Anne’s Day
Founded in 1924, our St Anne’s Campus has a rich history and culture. Originally an all-girls school, St Anne’s has taught students from all over Gippsland, with many students boarding at the campus prior the amalgamation with the boys’ school in 1970. Our campus has amazing character, buildings and beautiful grounds however it is the people who make it such a special place.

Each year we acknowledge and celebrate St Anne’s history on St Anne’s Day, which was held in July. Over the past two years, we have shifted to pre-recorded and online celebrations but this year we were thrilled to invite all past students who had attended St Anne’s between 1924 and 1970 back to our campus for this happy event. We started the day with a Fellowship for our past students that included musical items, prayers and presentations. In the past, we have had guest speakers sharing their insight into our history however, this year, we thought we would share with our guests what schooling was like during the pandemic. Our students shared videos and photos of Learn@Home and how we not only survived, but thrived. After Fellowship, our guests had lunch in our current library, which was their dining hall back when they attended our School. We also took the opportunity to take a great group photo at the front of the St Anne’s campus.

When we are among our past students, it’s easy to be transported back to their schooling days at St Anne’s; there is talk of past Head Mistress Miss Lorna Sparrow, stories of fun and mischief, and you can feel each person’s connection with our School and each another. I would like to thank all past students who could attend and our current students and staff who helped make the day so special. We have already started planning next year’s St Anne’s Day celebrations!

Old Scholars who attended St Anne’s prior to 1970 were invited back to celebrate St Anne’s Day in July.
The group included (from left to right) Lynne Glover (nee Fox), Nora Mills, Helene Booth (nee Cordes), Jan Bowman (nee Bermingham), St Anne’s Head of Campus Mr Jie van Berkel, Wendy Skewes (nee Andrew), Sally Friend (nee Bowman), Di Thomas (Chisholm), Hilary Rash (nee Richards), Barbie Roche (nee Kent), Ann Archbold (nee Mackinnon), Heather Baker (nee Cameron), Marion Atherstone (nee Cross), Barbra Fulton (nee Ferres), Marion Hector (nee Traill), Dierdre Crawley (nee Edwards), Joy Brand (nee Saxton), Gwen Dyer (nee Derham), Acting Principal Michele Wakeham, Ann Andrew (nee Gooch), Judy Taylor (nee Moore), Alison Jessup (nee Horstman), Nancy Bertacchini (nee Weatherley), Robyn Kuch (nee Shields).

House Athletics Carnival
We held our Athletics Carnival on Monday August 1 and it was wonderful to be back at our Garnsey campus and provide an opportunity for our students to compete in an array of events. For many students in Years 3 to 6 it was their first time competing in such events as triple jump, high jump, 800m and relay races. Our Foundation to Year 2 students joined us later in the morning, participating in modified events. From all the feedback I have received from students, staff and parents, it was such a positive day. Thank you to Amy Laverty, with the support of Simone Langshaw, and all staff who helped make the day run smoothly. We have noticed that parents assisting during such events has dropped and we would love it if we could have more parent support during such carnivals in the future. Please contact our front office if you would like to express your interest in volunteering to help.

Age Champions:
8/9 years: Freya Czosnek and George McNaughton
10 years: Jessica Brewer and Henri Duggan
11 years: Erin Smith and Max Williamson
12 years: Melina Beanland and Cruz Duck

House Results:
1st Tisdall Hotham
2nd Wellington Binks
3rd Blundell Bogong
4th Cranswick Dargo

House Public Speaking Competition
I regularly hear from those in our community how much the opportunities our students have to practice and refine their public speaking skills really benefits them later in life. For some time, we have incorporated our House Public Speaking competition into our House events and our younger students read out poems while our older students construct individual pieces to read. The key criteria focus on clear articulation, eye contact and entertaining the audience. Our judge for this year was one of our parents Kevin Broughton, who also happens to be an expert on public speaking as he has spent many years as an active member and leader of Toastmasters, a global public speaking organisation. Our judge provided positive and insightful feedback to all students who competed.

The year level winners were:
Foundation: Elizabeth Keen
Year 1: Annie Van Berkel
Year 2: Diesel Hams
Year 3: Alana Jansen Van Rensburg
Year 4: Jessica Brewer
Year 5: Airlie Ferris
Year 6: Immi McAllister

House Results
1st Cranswick Dargo
2nd Wellington Binks
3rd Tisdall Hotham
4th Blundell Bogong

Shrek The Musical JR
We are very excited about our up-and-coming School musical ‘Shrek.’ It promises an amazing performance full of drama, humour, dancing and singing. The encouragement and support families provided for our students have been outstanding.
Some key information regarding our performances at The Wedge next week includes:
Performances: Thursday August 25 at 7pm and Friday August 26 at 11am (matinee – free performance) and 7pm
Cost: $20 adult, $15 child (under 18), $15 concession and $50 family (two adults/two children).
Buy tickets:

Parents & Friends (P&F)
Our P&F committee has been busy looking for opportunities to connect with our community in various ways. At our most recent meeting, we discussed having a Trivia Night early in Term 4 as well as some student social events, such as a disco afternoon. Our P&F will also be supporting our Father’s Day celebrations by organising a Father’s Day Stall with gifts that students can purchase in the lead-up to Father’s Day. Please check VOS for more details about the events listed above. Our next P&F meeting will be on Friday September 2 at 2.30pm at St Anne’s. Please contact Kelly Braden on 5143 7155 if you would like to attend.

Year 6 students at the House Athletics Carnival and Foundation and Year 4 students at the House Speaking Competition

Garnsey Campus news by Acting Head of Campus Rohan Jayatilake
Diversity and inclusion
In our most recent Garnsey assembly, we promoted the importance of diversity and inclusion. We were lucky enough to have a student discussion panel, accompanied byMarc Bain, which allowed students to publicly shared their thoughts and views on diversity, and how we can all embed small changes to make Gippsland Grammar a community which welcomes and celebrates our unique differences.

We are so fortunate to be part of a School that is compassionate and creates a safe space for our young people to thrive. I would highly encourage our parents and carers to engage in family conversations around this topic. Some useful questions you could ask your child/children are:
•          What does diversity mean to you?
•          What can we do as individuals to create a more inclusive environment?
•          Have you ever noticed someone being excluded? How did that make you feel? How might that person have been feeling? What could you have done to help?
•          Who could you talk to if you ever felt excluded?
•          How would you respond to a situation where someone else was not being kind or inclusive?

It can be challenging to speak about these things however we feel it is highly important for our School Community to talk about these topics openly both at school and at home. Such experiences help our young people challenge their own preconceptions and develop values that will stay with them for life, values that we feel are important in the Gippsland Grammar Community.

Developing a positive culture: the importance of uniform
Many students have asked the question, ‘Why is our uniform important?’. The truth is that a uniform on its own does not necessarily help our students to achieve personal excellence. However, uniform is so much more than achievement. We are lucky to be part of Gippsland Grammar, which is a community where students and families are provided with outstanding opportunities and where teachers genuinely care about the needs and wellbeing of each child. Uniform is a way to show that we are proud to be a part of the Gippsland Grammar Community and that we are appreciative of the opportunities that have been given to us. It is a way to show that we are all connected, and that we all have a responsibility to helping every individual become the best version of themselves.

Considering this, we are working with our student leaders to raise the standards of uniform across Garnsey Campus. We are collaborating with students and staff to review the current uniform guidelines. In addition, we are employing a fortnightly uniform focus. This helps our students and teachers have a clear understanding of the expectations that exist, so we can support them in meeting this successfully. Throughout Weeks 4 and 5, we focussed on tucked in shirts. For Weeks 6 and 7 we will be focussing on hair. Specifically, hair that covers the face should be pinned back and hair that touches the collar (or longer) should be tied back. We will make these resources available at our Student Support Office should students require these. We are seeking the support of our parents and carers in promoting the importance of Community, and to guide their child/children toward positive application of our uniform guidelines.

Garnsey events
This has been an exciting term, full of activities that have allowed our students to pursue their passions and interests and experience success. Some of the events that have taken place so far include (but are not limited to): Year 9 Alpine Camp in Mt Hotham, ICCES Cross Country, SEISA Cultural Festival, Garnsey House Eisteddfod, subject information evenings, Japanese Speech contents, the AMC Maths Competition, Commemoration Day, AMEB Examinations and the Gippsland New Energy Conference. We also have a very excited group of Year 9 students who attended their disco last night and we ware excited to see the dance move on show.

As we move further into Term 3, there will continue to be a range of events for our students. An outline of some of our upcoming events includes:
•          Year 11 Leadership Forum (Week 6): a fantastic opportunity for our aspiring student leaders to develop leadership values and skills.
•          Book Week (Week 6): This will include our book character dress-up day on Wednesday August 24.
•          Year 7 Buchan Camp (Week 60: a much-needed chance for our Year 7 cohort to come together, make new friends and strengthen bonds that already exist. We feel this will greatly address some of the transitional gaps that have emerged due to the pandemic.
•          Beanies for Billy (Week 7): an important day within the Gippsland Grammar Community to celebrate the life of a former student and raise funds for an important cause.
•          Year 11 Ball and Year 12 Formal (Week 8): both of these are formative events in the life of a young person and something the students are very excited about.
•          House Drama Festival (Week 9): where our students will showcase their creativity and individuality.

Students, teachers, and families are to be congratulated for their efforts so far this term. I hope that we can continue to maximise the opportunities we have to work with one another over the coming weeks and Term.

Year 9 students have enjoyed the Alpine Camp at Mt Hotham; and students attended last week’s the Gippsland New Energy Conference.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Kevin Cameron
The Music Centres at each of our campuses have been busy places throughout this term.  In addition to our regular teaching and learning through classes, instrumental lessons and ensemble rehearsals, performances of many kinds have been presented or are reaching the final stages of rehearsal before being presented on our stages.

The Senior House Music Eisteddfod was conducted in Week 3 across multiple venues at lunchtimes and a most enjoyable twilight concert. A range of excellent performances were presented by students at all levels of development as we celebrated, courage, risk-taking, and sharing of talents with peers. All performances were adjudicated by Music Centre staff, and it is hoped that this feedback will be valuable in shaping further confidence and refinement. The House Shield for the Eisteddfod was presented to Cranswick-Dargo for the second year running. We look forward to presenting a Highlights Recital early in Term 4 so the wider community may enjoy some of these performances.  Well done and thank you to all performers.

The Schoir has enjoyed a busy period of activity, acting as the chapel choir at St Paul’s Cathedral for the installation of the new Cathedral Dean, the Very Reverend Keren Terpstra.  Dean Keren is herself an accomplished performer and composer, so the Schoir’s contribution to this installation, which was also the Gippsland Anglican Synod’s opening service, was much appreciated by our new Dean and the assembled congregation from all parts of Gippsland and beyond.  This month also featured the Yarram Eisteddfod, and the Schoir participated in the choral sections at the wonderful Regent Theatre, securing a second prize in the Secondary Choir and an equal 1st prize in the Open Choir section.  Thank you to members of the Schoir for sharing their singing at these important external events.

The Spring Concert is approaching on Friday September 2 and will feature our major performing ensembles and other groups in an evening for fine music from many genres.  Our musicians – students and staff – look forward to your support for this special evening.  This is a free concert, but online tickets via Trybookings are required to be booked via this link:

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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