Gippsland Grammar news: Term 3, Week 1

Jul 22, 2022 | Bairnsdale News, Community News, Garnsey News, Principal's News, St Anne's News

I sincerely hope that the extended break has given families some quality time to rest, reconnect and rejuvenate. The word ‘rejuvenation’ in particular is one I’d like to focus on today as many of its synonyms (such as renewal, resurgence, revitalisation, revival, reawakening and recharging) also all begin with the ‘re’, which means ‘again’.

While life continues to move forward with its ongoing challenges of the pandemic along with the highs and lows of everyday life, we must remember to create moments that allow us to rejuvenate. In the first week back at School I have heard some wonderful stories from our students that show me this has indeed happened for many of you. I have heard tales of family holidays, day trips, outings with friends and even some time in front of the TV. Each of these activities offer the opportunity for a break from routine and for a reset, and allow us all to bring a fresh outlook to the new semester. I hope you have all also taken some time for this rejuvenation.

Semester 2 brings new opportunities for many of our students. At Garnsey, it is a time for some new electives and exciting thoughts about subject selections for next year. Our Year 12 students have a short 11 weeks of classes left of their schooling as they complete their Unit 4 assessments, prepare for their examinations and dream about their prospects beyond school. Our St Anne’s and Bairnsdale students have developed strong connections with their teachers and peers and our Foundation students are looking forward to their 100 days of School celebrations. Our ELC children are continuing to grow and develop and continue to relish the wonderful childhood opportunity to learn through play.

Throughout the break, I was able to spend some time with my family as well as a significant portion reflecting and preparing for my new role as your Acting Principal. I have spent some wonderful days this week at each of our campuses with staff and students and am truly excited about the ways in which I can serve our School and Community.

There has been ongoing commentary this past week about the mandating of masks in our community and specifically within our School Community. At Gippsland Grammar, the safety of our students and staff as well as continuity of teaching and learning remain our utmost priority. And it is with this in mind we have decided to reinstate compulsory mask wearing for all staff and for students in Years 4 to 12. Our Leadership team unanimously feels that this small step will help keep our staff and students at school and in classes for as long as possible. We urge our families to support us with this Covid-safe measure by sending your child to school with a mask. Each campus has a supply on hand in Reception to give to students who forget to bring their mask.

As was the case previously, if a student has a medical exception to wearing a mask, they will be exempt. Please contact your child’s classroom or mentor teacher so this exception can be noted.

For School families wanting further clarification, the VOS vertsion of this newsletter contains a link to a joint letter issued from Victoria’s three educational sectors asking for our collective effort in keeping our communities safe and healthy.

As communicated at the end of last term, the publication of the Term 2 edition of Veritas was delayed due to staffing issues related to Covid-19. But I am pleased to today share with you this year’s Issue Two of Veritas, which features a wonderful overview of our production of Chicago: High School Edition, as well as photos of our students embracing our new Art & Design Centre and highlights from across all three of our campuses. Click here to read.

From this term we will transition from a weekly whole-School newsletter to a newsletter being published in this format three times a term. This term that means a newsletter will be published on VOS and on our website in Week 1, Week 5 (Fri Aug 19) and Week 9 (Fri Sep 16/the final day of term). Next term, the newsletter will be published in Week 1 (Fri Oct 7), Week 6 (Fri Nov 11) and on the final school day of the year in Week 10 (Thu Dec 8).

Our Leadership team feels this change will allow us to continue to share relevant School news and student achievements with our families effectively without families feeling like they are being overwhelmed with a weekly email. We will continue to share timely news and achievements with our School families via VOS news items and with this in mind we encourage parents and carers to ensure that they are familiar with accessing VOS and have notifications set up that allow you to see when important and relevant news is published. If you would like assistance with doing this, please call our IT team on 5143 6364 during business hours.

Have a wonderful Term 3.
Kind regards,
Michele Wakeham
Acting Principal

Early Learning Centre news by Acting ELC Director Danielle Carpenter
The children at both ELCs have returned from their holidays rested and excited. The teachers have heard about the adventures they all had over the mid-year break. Some of the adventures shared in our ELC classrooms include:
‘I ate sausages. I love eating sausages.’ Lucy
‘I went on a plane to Queensland. I caught a sun fish all by myself. Arlo
‘We went to the Aquarium. I loved seeing the penguins.’ Tom
‘I stayed in a hotel in Melbourne and had breakfast in a café with my Dad.’ Daisy
‘My family flew to Queensland for my Uncle’s wedding.’  Will
‘We went to the Collingwood and North Melbourne footy match. My team won.’ Wilfred
‘I went for a swim in Fred’s pool. He lives next door to me.’ Flynn

It is so lovely to hear about the big and little experiences that each child had during the holidays. Sometimes it is the small, everyday things that children remember the most. I think sometimes as parents we feel the need to do the big and exciting events, whereas our children seem to get such pleasure out of going for a swim in a heated pool during Winter or eating our favourite food, sausages!

Term 3 is looking like an exciting time at both ELCs with incursions taking place. We will be having visits from the local Sustainability Officer to talk about compost worm farms and recycling, visits from an ambulance, Responsible Pet Ownership Program visits, performances from The Flying Bookworms and much, much more.

All the staff at the ELCs are looking forward to another wonderful term of learning through play and shared experiences.

The St Anne’s Black Swans Transition class shares their holiday news with the class teddy, Morris and the St Anne’s White Swans class celebrates Ted Curtis’s 5th birthday on Thursday.

Bairnsdale Campus news by Head of Campus Virginia Evans
It has been a chilly yet very positive start to Term 3; our students are happy to be back with friends and in a learning environment that is supportive and strong.

Our focus this term is ‘Stepping up to Excellence’ in both our actions and achievements. Term 3 is a term where we consolidate and extend our learning within a settled and comfortable classroom setting. I look forward to sharing our achievements on VOS or in this newsletter throughout the term.

To allow for stepping up to excellence, it is crucial that our students attend school with a positive mindset, arriving on time, being organised and presenting ready to learn. Some gentle reminders to assist us:

  • Uniform neat and tidy
  • Hair tied back
  • Homework completed
  • Well rested
  • Water bottles
  • Arriving on time
  • Mask packed and ready to wear.

As a staff we appreciate your support in these areas and at the same understand that life is busy.

If the current trend around COVID-19 continues, Term 3 could be similar to Term 2 which saw us have multiple staff and students unwell at home for extended periods. What does this mean for our School?

Indoors: We are introducing a requirement for students in Years 4 and above and all of our staff to wear masks indoors. We are strongly encouraging younger students to wear masks.

Bus travel: Students will wear masks on buses to and from school; on excursions or camps, as will staff.
RAT testing: The government is providing these for the remainder of 2022, so we request all staff and students to test on Monday morning and again on Wednesday morning. Students are also asked to test prior to an excursion or camp. Our process for notifying the school of positive Covid-19 results has not changed. Please use the Covid-19 email address to report a positive result. Parents who need to inform the School their child has a mask exemption are asked to do this via the same email address. 

We welcome Mr Evan Lamb to our campus from St Anne’s. Mr Lamb will teach the senior students in Digital Technology. It is terrific that we share our expertise across the junior campuses.

Important dates
Term 3 Fellowships
Family members are warmly invited to join the audience for Fellowship this term and for morning tea following. Mark your calendars with the following Fellowship dates:
Friday July 29: Fellowship led by the Green Team
Friday August 12: Fellowship led by Melaleuca
Friday August 26: Fellowship led by Kurrajong
Friday September 2: Father’s Day Fellowship led by Banksia
Friday September 9: Fellowship led by Correa
Friday September 16: Fellowship led by the SRC

House Athletics Carnival
The Bairnsdale campus House Athletics Carnival will be Friday August 5. Parents are welcome to join us at Howitt Park to join in the fun of this event.

Tournament of Minds
Mrs Rankin and Mrs Froud are facilitating two teams for this year’s Tournament of Minds, which will take place on Saturday August 20. We will bring you more information about their progress as the date approaches.

Book Week
‘Dreaming with eyes open…’ is the theme of this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week. Our annual book character dress-up day will this year be on Wednesday August 24.

Parent/Teacher interviews
Further information will be sent closer to the date, but for now, please note Tuesday August 30 and Thursday September 1.

Father’s Day Breakfast
Bacon and Egg Rolls will be served to our lucky dads and students on Friday September 2, before a special Father’s Day Fellowship.

House Mathematics Competition
The inaugural House Mathematics Competition will be held on Monday September 5.

Year 3 Camp
Our Year 3’s will embark for Camp Coolamatong on the Banksia Peninsula for their first camp experience on Thursday and Friday September 8-9.

Please continue checking the VOS Bairnsdale Campus Calendar for any updates and changes.
Wishing you well for the weekend, and indeed, the term ahead.

St Anne’s Campus news by Head of Campus Jie Van Berkel
This morning’s Tasman Fellowship provided a perfect opportunity for our campus to come together. We officially welcomed our new students Chloe Rickerby (Year 4 Freeman), Jack McLay (Year 4 Kingsford-Smith) and Olivia Gentle (Year 5 Cuthbert). Each student received their St Anne’s and House badges. These badges are a symbol of belonging and connection to our School. I spoke to all students about starting the term in a positive way. This includes demonstrating our CLERR values daily, wearing our uniform with respect and pride, and striving for personal excellence.

During Term 2, Tasman students learnt about our First Nations Peoples connection to Country and Place. They have also been exploring our connection to the places they live, learn and play. Students have been exploring the importance of this connection or sense of belonging and thinking about how we can care for and look after special places. During their Fellowship, Tasman students were able to share their learning with our campus community. Our new Acting Principal Michele Wakeham shared her insight and experiences on this important topic.

Term 3 Information
I am hopeful that many of our families have been able to read my ‘Welcome to Term 3’ information on VOS. Within this news post, I cover our updated COVID-19 guidelines. We need to limit the impact of the virus, so we do not need to return to Learn@Home due to teachers and students being absent. I encourage families to read this so they are up-to-date and prepared for Term 3. Key information includes that we need all Year 4 to Year 6 students need to wear a mask when indoors, unless they have a medical exemption.

Shrek the Musical
Students and staff have been busy preparing for our upcoming Shrek the Musical. This has included rehearsals on student-free days, during and after School. Having watched much of the performance during rehearsals, I am excited about our School Community watching this entertaining performance. I will continue to update everyone on our musical, including the purchasing of tickets. Tickets are not yet on sale. We will communicate when tickets become available in the coming weeks. However, I can confirm the following:

Where: The Wedge (Sale)
Opening night // Thursday August 25 at 7pm
Friday August 26: 11am 7pm (closing performance)

Gippsland Region Winter Sports
We are a school that often ‘punches above its weight’ in the District and Regional Winter Sports competition. We did this at the District Winter competition, where many of our teams competed in Netball, Football, Soccer and T-ball. Our soccer team made it through to the Gippsland Regional Winter Sports competition on Wednesday of this week. Though the team did not make it through to the next level, They competed with resilience and determination. I am very excited to announce The Football Victoria’s Encouragement Award went to Trystan Wakeham.

Japan Fun Fact: Sampuru
Restaurants in Japan often display mouth-watering food in their windows – sushi, noodles, pizza, tempura, soup, ice cream and more. But they are not meant for eating, no matter how good they look, because they are made of plastic! These food replicas are surprisingly realistic, and restaurants display them so potential customers can easily see what is on the menu before stepping inside. These models are called SAMPURU (sample), and restaurants have used them as advertising for almost 100 years.

Traffic safety
Finally, it has been brought to my attention we have a small number of parents/carers parking in driveways on McMillan Street. This can impact the safety of pedestrians and other motorists. Can I please ask that all parents and carers use the available car parks? If they are full, please find alternate, safe car parks.

Important dates
Friday July 29: St Anne’s Day Fellowship (10.30am)
Monday August 1: St Anne’s Athletics Carnival and St Anne’s Junior Entry Scholarship
Friday August 12: St Anne’s House Public Speaking competition
Thursday August 25 and Friday August 26: Shrek the Musical

Please keep an eye on VOS and our VOS calendar for our Term 3 key events. This will become important as we transition to three newsletters per term.

This week’s Shrek rehearsals; and Audrey, Indy and Mila at today’s Tasman Fellowship.

Garnsey Campus news by Acting Head of Campus Rohan Jayatilake
What a fantastic start to the term it has been. The passion, enthusiasm and energy has been infectious around our campus and I am sure that this is just the start of a highly rewarding term for all.

Recently joining the Gippsland Grammar Community has been both an exciting yet daunting experience. I have been completely overwhelmed by the support and care our students, staff and community members show toward one another. My family and I would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all the Gippsland Grammar Community for such a warm and caring welcome.

Student leaders

Student voice is such an important element of a school and I have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with our students this week. It was interesting to listen to their feedback and learn more about our School’s context and the direction that they believe is best for our school. Two important words were shared with me by our School Captains, ‘care’ and ‘passion’. I think this speaks volumes about our community and the nurturing environment we are all privileged to be a part of. They also mentioned that our School is a place that empowers young people to express their individuality, be themselves and pursue their passions. I am very much looking forward to learning more from our students and working collectively toward shared goals.

VCE Information Evening
On Wednesday night, we hosted a Subject Information Evening for our Year 10 students. Not only was this a great learning opportunity, but it was also a chance for students, teachers and parents to connect together after a long time. Parent/carer engagement plays such a significant role in a child’s life, with research-based evidence identifying the positive impact this has for student wellbeing and academic achievement. We will be looking to create more opportunities for our students, staff and families to interact and connect with one another. I hope to meet more of our School Community over the coming weeks and term.

VCE Premier’s Award
It was so exciting this week to hear that Tom Condron from the Class of 2021 received a Premier’s Award for his outstanding VCE results in Furnishing. Tom’s Furnishing teacher Mr Kuch tells me that Tom was a mature and dedicated student and that the prestigious award was well deserved. Well done Tom.

Japanese Excursion to NGV 
On Wednesday our Year 9, 10 and 11 Japanese students made the journey to the National Gallery of Victoria for a guided tour of the Japanese Exhibition. NGV Staff with Japanese-speaking ability designed a program specifically for Japanese language students, with many opportunities for students to use their speaking skills while appreciating and learning about Japanese art, history and culture. 

Ms Sugisaki and Ms Patton then took everyone to Superhiro Japanese restaurant for a delicious lunch, complete with robot waiter, and to some Japanese specialty stores. Whilst our Japanese Study Tours are on hold for a little longer, the opportunity to visit a little piece of Japan in Melbourne was the next best thing! 

Gippsland Grammar Old Scholar Tom Condron at this week’s VCE Premier’s Awards with (from left to right) Gippsland Grammar Furnishing teacher Nick Kuch and parents Ellen and Gary Condron; and Japanese students visited Melbourne this week for a guided tour of the Japanese exhibition and lunch at a Japanese restaurant.

Performing Arts news by Director of Performing Arts Kevin Cameron
The Music Centre at Gippsland Grammar has, this week, been quietly mourning the loss of our beautiful teacher, colleague and friend, Victoria Shaw. 

Vikki was a vital presence in the Music Centre; the sort of person who you ‘sensed’ had arrived in the building even before she was seen. She brought an energy, colour, a vitality, that sparked your interest, that grabbed your attention. When Vikki turned up – something interesting, exciting, or wonderful would likely happen. Vikki nurtured a very loyal and committed group of students who loved playing the flute and she had the ability to inspire the young, set their foundations for success, and helped them retain their passion and interest. Her students loved her and loved working with her. Lucky kids, to have someone with Vikki’s artistry and experience to help them at the outset of their journeys.

Vikki and I shared similar experiences of being Australian, studying overseas, of returning home, and then taking time to find our niche. She had deep roots in Gippsland and often shared stories about the interesting places in East Gippsland that were new and unknown to me, of her beautiful property that she loved, and of the joy she experienced as a ‘community’ musician. And we shared a common love and appreciation of music theatre – so we were fast friends! We would often compare notes – as colleague music directors – about our recent productions. I’ve heard a lot about the inner workings of Grease, the Covid-19 uncertainties of Mamma Mia and the ongoing struggles to bring Strictly Ballroom to the stage. Her commitment and energy to these productions was astonishing, and all the more remarkable considering the health challenges she faced.

All of us know that Vikki fought a quiet and determined battle against serious illness and disease with amazing fortitude and courage. She flatly refused to allow her illness to impede her joy of music making and teaching, and she continued to encourage and lead, often in the face of great challenge. She loved being with people, working with people, teaching students, and playing with her colleagues. I will always remember, with affection and appreciation, the sublime artistry that she brought to the pit of Matilda The Musical, her playing was a pleasure to conduct and to listen to.  One of those rare occasions when one player lifted the entire production by the sheer power of example …

Vikki was a very important person at Gippsland Grammar, one of our finest teachers, and highly respected by students and staff alike. We measure what we value, and we value what we measure but how do we measure the contribution of a great teacher? In this case, there are those intangible things we cannot measure that apply to Vikki; her marvellous effectiveness with children, her infectious enthusiasm that inspired many, and the kindness that she brought to her work and those with whom she worked.

Vikki was one of the ‘cool kids’ and we are so blessed that she was on our team.  All of us at Gippsland Grammar who knew and loved Vikki extend our deepest condolences to Patrick, Etienne, Arjen and Annika. Know that we quietly stand with you as we share your loss, for your loss is also our loss, and we surround you with our love.

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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