Gippsland Grammar news: Term 3, Week 9

Sep 16, 2022 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

Community: in this term’s edition of Veritas I have written a column about ‘community’ with a focus on the activities that have been surrounding myself and the School throughout this term. Having moved to Gippsland from Melbourne last year, I have found the sense of community here is so much more evident and embracing. Of course, this becomes even more obvious in regional areas in times of hardship and distress such drought, floods, bushfires and pandemics – all of which this region has experienced in recent years. However, it is in these times of hardship when we see people band together enthusiastically to help and support one another. We also see the joyful friendliness at rural shows, festivals, markets and the celebration of local achievements.

For me community is about teammanship. To do things together that individuals could never do alone. To band together, moving simultaneously in the same direction driven by a common goal. To demonstrate ingenuity in building a safe, secure, nurturing and purposeful environment for each other. Community is working together in harmony – tireless, purposeful and dedicated team players.

Communities which work together in both tough and calm times are inspirational. Communities can be found in families, at school, at church and sporting groups, in ensembles and orchestras and even in councils and governments. Each community may have leaders, followers, mentors and supporters. There may be those who inspire, those with initiative, those with creativity, those with drive and ambition or perhaps even calculated risk takers. I am pleased to say we have all of these in our Gippsland Grammar Community and it is what makes us so strong. When we band together with pride, spirit and common purpose in helping our students thrive, we will truly be great.

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Community for your support and friendship throughout Term 3. It is this Community that is the wind at the back of our School.

Veritas: The Term 3 edition of Veritas has been published and all School families should have received an email containing a link to this digital edition in their inboxes earlier today. If you missed it, you can read it via this link:

As you will read in this edition, Term 3 was jam-packed with plenty of both student and Old Scholar achievements and opportunities. The 100 Days of School celebration (page 3) is always fun, as is Book Week (page 4) and these are two occasions which saw myself and many of our teachers get our dress-ups on this term. Students enjoyed camps and sports carnivals (pages 5-6) and how could we forget the five-star St Anne’s production of Shrek the Musical JR (pages 8-9), which created a buzz across our entire School with many of our Bairnsdale students also travelling to Sale to enjoy the performance. Our Leadership team has been reinvigorated and there is a new face on our Board (page 4) and our ‘Getting Social’ section (pages 10-11) features many other highlights of the term which we shared with the wider community via our social media channels. I particularly liked the post about our Father’s Day celebrations and the commitment by our Head of St Anne’s to the cause! Of course, Veritas also provides us with an opportunity to stay in touch with our Old Scholar news and there is certainly plenty of that in this edition, including an update on Old Scholar Oskar Watkinson’s success as an apprentice at Sardine in Paynesville as well as the amazing achievement of Old Scholar Tom Condron receiving a Premier’s Award, making him the top Furnishing student in the state last year. Our Winter Reunion in Melbourne was a lovely opportunity for our Old Scholars to reconnect and as you will read (page 14), it was also the source of quite a remarkable new connection. For many of it, it may feel that this nine-week term has flown by in a flash but Veritas is a lovely reminder of the lovely moments that also made it memorable.

Warm regards,
Michele Wakeham
Acting Principal

Early Learning Centre news by Acting ELC Director Danielle Carpenter

“Some people don’t believe in heroes, but they haven’t met my dad.”

Our dads (and special friends) were celebrated earlier this month with lots of different gifts being prepared and events being planned to tell our dads how much we love them.

St Anne’s Reception teachers Tammy Lopardi and Elise Edgar: Father’s Day/Specials Persons Day is an opportunity for children to recognise the important people in their lives and the role they play. Preparing gifts and cards builds so much pride and excitement in the children as they feel very capable and able to contribute to their family.

Bairnsdale Reception teacher Sommer-Lea Collins: We invited dads/grandpas into our ELC for an afternoon play. The children were able to share the afternoon with their dad/grandpa and enjoyed showing them their favourite activities. After our students answered some questions about their dads earlier in the day, the dads were able to answer some questions to verify their child’s answer, for clarification (this helped us confirm that none of our dads were aged 100 or had red eyes!). The dads were also able to share some memories and reasons why they love their child which was placed in their learning journal as a keepsake.

St Anne’s Transition teachers Danielle Carpenter and Kristy How:
The Transition children at St Anne’s held a special Father’s Day breakfast complete with croissants and milo. After having breakfast the children shared their Learning Portfolios with their dads (and special friends) showing them what we have been up to so far this year. Finally a personalised, decorated mug and special card were opened to conclude our morning together.

Bairnsdale Transition teacher Sharon Smith: There is a sense of pride and achievement when we create a present for those we love and this week the children have enjoyed making special cards and surprises for their dads on Father’s Day. As the children painted their tie rack, and wrote in their cards, they were able to recount stories about their dad and all the special things they do to help them each and every day. The week concluded with many of our dads joining the ELC and the whole school for the Father’s Day breakfast and Fellowship. What an exciting time for the dads to share with their children.

Dads and special friends were invited to both our ELCs to celebrate Father’s Day. Some of the visitors included (top) Alex and his dad Rio, Archie with his big brother Hudson, dad Matt and Grandad, (middle) Hannah with her dad, Lucy with her dad Michael, (bottom) River with his dad Clint and Ryan with his dad Lukasz.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
Our students and staff will welcome the holidays after a busy end to the term. From Book Week to Tournament of Minds, with House Athletics and House Mathematics in between; our students have had the opportunity to participate in a varied curriculum.

As always, our Father’s Day Fellowship was a wonderful celebration led by Banksia. It was evident how fortunate our students are to have fathers and special friends in their lives that are fully engaged in their education.

Our Year 3 students have led the way as the first campers for 2022 after two years where camps have been unable to occur. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came back happy, but weary. We are grateful to Melaleuca dad John Dick for his wonderful support with our students.

Year 5 and 6 travelled to Raymond Island for the day in preparation for their upcoming camps in Term 4. A bike ride around the island was a test for endurance and encouraged teamwork and resilience.

Our SRC team ensured our last day of term was both fun and fabulous. ‘Wheels for Wellbeing’ saw all students understand the importance of self-care and how being outside with our friends contributes to feeling happy and content.

Looking forward to next term, we welcome Stacey Ashley to our staff as our receptionist, and we farewell Angela Roughley and thank her for her kindness and care for our students over the last two years. We also farewell Courtney Robinson from our After-School Care program wishing her well in her future endeavours. The students will miss her calm and lovely manner and as a staff we are grateful for her commitment to our students.

We are currently looking at a different approach to After-School Care, seeking support from an external provider. We will keep you updated and informed as the change progresses.

For Term 4 we will continue to ‘Strive for Excellence’ being the best version of ourselves through goal setting and reflecting on our actions.

I wish our staff and students a well-earned break.

Year 3 students enjoy a boat ride as part of their camp to Camp Coolamatong on the Banksia Peninsula (top); and Years 4-5 students spent the day on Raymond Island, which they explored by bike (bottom).

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
As this term comes to a close, it provides us all with a chance to stop and reflect. Many people have commented on how quick the year is going and while that feels true it hasn’t stopped us having an amazing term filled with Community events and great learning opportunities for our students.

Citizen of the Term: At the end of each term, we acknowledge and celebrate our students who have lived and breathed our CLERR values. Compassion, Leadership, personal Excellence, Responsibility and Respect are our five Gippsland Grammar values that we all use to guide our words and actions. The hard part for our classroom teachers is that they can only choose one student per term! Congratulations to the following students who received their Citizen of the Term award this morning.

Foundation Bass:        Arabella Noble
Foundation Mawson: Leah Gannon
Year 1 Bradman:         Ollie Brayshaw
Year 1 McCubbin:        Gage McGrath
Year 2 Barton:                         Angus Turnbull
Year 2 Chisholm:         Leo Crawford
Year 3 Flynn:               Rafferty Mack
Year 3 Tasman:                       Lexie Elliman
Year 4 Freeman:          Jobe Leeson
Year 4 Kingsford-Smith: Nina Wassermann
Year 5 Cuthbert:          Stella Arnup
Year 5 Hollows:           Airlie Ferris
Year 6 Goolagong:       Jay Davies
Year 6 Mackellar:        Immi McAllister

Shrek the Musical JR: Our recent Shrek the Musical JR performance provided a wonderful opportunity for our Community to come together, laugh, and connect. As promised, it was a fantastic performance from our students full of drama, humour, dancing and singing. The encouragement and support families provided for our students was outstanding. I would like to thank everyone who supported our musical, including parents, staff and students. A special thank you to Amanda Canfield, Ellen Condron, Louise Hulls and Katie Germaine. This ‘awesome foursome’ were the backbone of the musical.

I have sent out a VOS notice seeking feedback from parents, students and staff regarding Shrek the Musical JR. This feedback will help review and refine our musicals in the coming years. Please refer to the VOS version of this newsletter to provide your feedback.

We have an amazing camps program from Year 3 to Year 6 based in Gippsland and strongly focuses on outdoor education. These camps transition and build from year to year and prepare our students for our Garnsey Outdoor Education program. I am able to take part in each of these camps and have so for many years, and I understand and see the positive impact these camp experiences have on our students. The key aims of each camp are to:

  • Further develop each individual student’s resilience
  • Introducing the students to our school’s Outdoor Education program
  • Assisting in the development of independence and interpersonal skills
  • Collaborate and build friendships between both Junior campuses

During the beginning of Term 4, our Years 4 to Year 6 students will be taking part in their camp. We understand that many students have not been on camp yet, or may not have spent many nights away from their parents so we will spend time in the lead-up and during camp supporting these students.

On September 8, our Year 3 students from St Anne’s and Bairnsdale campuses travelled to the Banksia Peninsula near Paynesville for their overnight camp. Camp Coolamatong provided our students with an opportunity to cook over an open fire, travel by boat to Sperm Whale Head, build huts and play initiative games that focused on key values and teamwork. The night-time spotlight game was a highlight for many students and staff. The feedback from students, parents and staff has been very positive.

I look forward to communicating how our Year 4 to Year 6 camps go in upcoming newsletters.

Father’s Day Celebrations: On Friday September 2, we celebrated Father’s Day in style. When we celebrate Father’s or Mother’s day, we understand and acknowledge those in our Community who might not have a dad or mum or might have two dads or two mums. We have blended families and same-sex parents within our School, and this enriches our Community. This year our ELC dads enjoyed breakfast in the ELC while our Foundation to Year 6 special visitors came to our Father’s Day Fellowship, classroom visit and morning tea. We had great numbers attending the morning; thank you to those who could make it.

St Anne’s Op Shop Swap: Our Student Representative Council (SRC) is a group of selected students from Year 3 to Year 6. The group make decisions and provide a range of opportunities for our students at St Anne’s. On Thursday August 18, our SRC organised and ran an Op Shop/Swap day to raise money for our sister school in Rwanda. Many students had returned to their villages at the outbreak of COVID-19 and had started working. The money raised will help the students get back to boarding school and their education. Students were encouraged to bring any items from home that they were happy to sell. Items included books, teddies, toys, potted plants, stationery, and clothes, and we even had some items students had personally made. Students were encouraged to bring in some pocket money and hopefully purchase a pre-loved item. Early in the planning stages, our SRC suggested if we raise enough money, they could tip a bucket of cold water on a teacher. I agreed this would be a great idea, with $500 being the benchmark. Little did I know that we would raise $550, and I would be the teacher! Therefore, after our Father’s Day Fellowship, members of our SRC got to tip multiple buckets of water on me!

2023 staffing: While we are still focused on 2022, strategically we have started planning for 2023 and beyond. I am excited to announce the following 2023 staffing: Bree Alexander and Anna Duffield will teach our Foundation students in 2023. Bree is currently one of our Foundation teachers, and many of our ELC students will already know her through her regular visits to the ELC. Anna will be joining our St Anne’s staff in 2023. Anna has an excellent reputation as an experienced teacher and is passionate about young people’s education. Bree, Anna and our ELC team will guide and support our ELC families as their children transition into Foundation in 2023. We will be sharing more information about our transition program in the coming weeks. Kate Burgess has also accepted an ongoing teaching role at St Anne’s. Kate has recently taught at Newmerella and is currently teaching at a government school in Sale and she comes to us with a passion for education. Sophie Keen and Toni Hutton have accepted ongoing positions at St Anne’s from the beginning of 2023. I know they will continue to positively impact our students and Community.

I look forward to announcing our 2023 classroom and specialist teachers in early Term 4.

Morning Tea with Mr VB: Each week I meet with a small group of students to enjoy some morning tea and a chat. These students have been selected by their classroom teacher. The purpose of this gathering is to acknowledge and celebrate the wonderful growth and learning these students have demonstrated. Sometimes it is a student who is low in confidence but has been striving to improve. Other times, it is a student who has worked hard to become more responsible. During our morning tea, I ask students for feedback on what their teacher does really well and what they could do even better. We also discuss how their friendship groups are going, and I ask for advice on how to improve our campus.

Term 4 Key Events
First Day of Term 4: Monday October 3
GRIN Term 4 begins: Monday October 3
Year 12 Farewell Fellowship: Friday October 7
Year 6 Karoondah Park Camp: October 11-14
St Anne’s P&F Trivia Night: Friday October 14
Grandparents & Special Friends Fellowship: Friday October 28

(From top left) Foundation Citizen of the Term Arabella Noble; Year 3 students travel to Sperm Whale Head by boat during Camp, the SRC’s Op Shop/Swap; and Year 2 students enjoy Morning Tea with Mr VB.

Garnsey Campus news by Acting Head of Campus Rohan Jayatilake
All members of the Garnsey Community – including students, staff and families –  are to be commended for a fantastic term. The past nine weeks have brought some changes and challenges but I hope we are all able to take a moment and reflect on the amazing achievements we have made as individuals and as a Community during this time. We have been able to host more events and experiences for our students, which has provided valuable opportunities for our families to reconnect with the School. We are currently exploring further ways to welcome our Community members onto campus, where we can interact and celebrate the achievements of our students.

We are very excited to announce the launch of a new Garnsey student leadership model for 2023. Feedback from our current student leaders suggested a lack of clarity and direction within their roles, which was limiting their ability to create positive change within our Community. Therefore, they were tasked with the challenge of identifying areas within our school that students are passionate about, and that they feel are of most importance for our Community. Following feedback from our students and staff, six key areas were identified: Diversity and Inclusion, Community and Culture, Wellbeing and Care, Curriculum and Learning; Creativity and Expression; and Sport and Experience. As of next year, our prefect team will be working in pairs to promote and progress their focus area, as well as ensuring the embedding of our CLERR values within that area. An outline of the new student leadership structure can be seen below.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Kevin Cameron

A thorough application process has also been put in place, requiring our interested Year 11 students to engage in a staged process. This process includes a letter of application, followed by a panel interview with members of staff and existing Prefects. For our students interested in being Captain or Vice-Captain, they will also be required to present in an assembly to our students and staff so that feedback can be sought and considered when selecting our future student leadership team. Some of the key roles of our student leaders are:

  • Act as representatives for the student body, elevating student voice and feedback;
  • Work collaboratively with students and staff to develop and improve school systems, policies, and resources;
  • Be positive role models within the community, demonstrating high standards and inspiring others toward personal excellence;
  • Display empathy toward others and search for ways to promote the wellbeing of our community members;
  • Acknowledge that the importance of their role and their influence on other students extends beyond our school campus and into their everyday lives.

We are very excited to further the influence and impact of our student leaders. We wish all the best to our Year 11 students who will be applying for this opportunity.

There have been so many exciting events in the later half of this term, and these have provided a platform for our students to pursue a range of passions and interests. The Year 11 Ball and Year 12 Formal were highlights in Week 8, and it was such a lovely evening for our students following another challenging year. We also saw our Chess team compete in the Pakenham Chess Tournament, finishing third overall. This was an excellent achievement for our Chess team, and they should all be proud of this achievement. We recently hosted our ‘Furnishing’ Morning Tea in recognition of the end point of our students’ product design. The quality and standard of student work was outstanding and it was a special way to celebrate the work of our students with their families. Some other key events included the SEISA Spring Carnival and Cross-Country, SEISA Dance/Theatre Sports, Footy Colours Day, Cathedral Pantry Appeal, Beanies for Billy Day, House Drama, Book Week and the Year 7 Camp. 

At Gippsland Grammar, we are focussed on more than just academic achievement. We are invested in the holistic development of each child, so that they may develop skills and values that will allow them to become successful lifelong learners, who approach the world with kindness and compassion. Parents and families play a significant role within this journey. Drawing on a quote from Jane D Hull, Governor of Arizona (1997 to 2003): “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”

Our families really do have the biggest impact on their children’s lives. At Gippsland Grammar, we want to continue acting on our responsibility to support and collaborate with families, so that our students become the best they can be (as both learners and human beings). As such, we will be sharing communication with families regarding trending challenges that they are experiencing (for example, our recent communication regarding ‘vaping’). We wish to inform and educate parents and provide them with the skills and resources needed to support their child at home. By working together, we hope to encourage reflection within students which will lead to the development of positive values, allowing each child to approach the world with kindness. We want to take this opportunity to thank all our families for their continued support of our school’s mission and ethos.

We hope that all our Garnsey families have a safe and enjoyable holiday, spending time with their loved ones. We look forward to seeing you all again in Term 4!

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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