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DEBATING by teacher in charge of debating Zoe Hilliar
This year’s Debating Association of Victoria (DAV) season has seen nine debating teams from our school attend five rounds and participate in almost 40 debates. Thursday night’s event was the most difficult of all and Gippsland Grammar had teams in every division. This event was Round 5, which is the ‘Power Paired’ round where teams compete with the team closest on the ladder. Not only did this mean Gippsland Grammar had two D-grade teams competing against one another, we had a team in each division that were undefeated, leaving each team a win away from finals. In D-grade, two of our four teams were victorious and in C-grade, we had two teams win, including the undefeated team of Teddy Ripper, Ava Taylor, Kenny Goncharow and Lily Boulton.

With just one hour to prepare, our B-grade debaters won their debate ‘That children should be banned from becoming social media influencers’. Debbie Husodo, Pippa Young, Gretel Harms, Emma Coleman, Sienna Hill and Ivy Johnson also ended the season undefeated, progressing to finals.

Finally, in a classroom packed with Gippsland Grammar supporters, our wonderful A-grade team debated in a high-stakes clash, that would see the end of high-school debating for one of the teams.

After an hour of preparation, the teams debated ‘That we should ban monarchies’. It was an exciting debate between six highly-skilled, creative and intelligent debaters. The wait for a result was tense, with no one in the room daring to predict. With a one-point victory, our amazing team of Jared Lamb, Samithri Kaluarachchi, Sophie Alexander, Leah Brutovic and Monte Richardson finally earnt a well-deserved and long coveted place in the finals.

But, it’s not over yet! This is the first time we have had a team make it to finals since 2020, and to have three teams in one year is beyond our expectations. Our success is due to the remarkable group of debaters across all of our teams, who are creative, supportive and not afraid to take risks- all of whom have the potential to reach finals.

SEISA CULTURAL FESTIVAL by Head of English Zoe Hilliar
In a busy week, Gippsland Grammar hosted the SEISA cultural festival on Tuesday August 1, competing across Debating, Public Speaking and Chess. Junior debaters had prepared the topic ‘That we should ban children from professional sport’. Senior debaters had one hour to prepare their debate for the topic ‘That we should only eat food produced in Australia’. Both senior teams won their debates and our School won the senior debating title.

In the Public Speaking competition, some of the most articulate and passionate students from the SEISA schools advanced arguments including ‘That we should ban the Nazi salute’, ‘That we must support the voice to Parliament’ and ‘That we shouldn’t give up on combustion engines just yet’ as well as both sides of the Artificial Intelligence debate. Junior students then had two minutes to prepare a two minute on the topic ‘The most important lesson’, while senior students had three minutes to prepare a three-minute speech on the topic ‘When it is ok to lie’. Adjudicator Poppy Gorman stated that the students were able to handle contentious topics with sensitivity and maturity and that she was impressed with the quality. Year 10 student Scarlett Tavasci placed second in the Senior competition.

In Chess, students played seven short games against a range of competitors. Gippsland Grammar students played particularly well, finishing third overall.

YEAR 12 BIOLOGY by Science teacher Kylie Lambert
Year 12 students attended a Biology Workshop run by University of Melbourne School of Biosciences on Friday July 21. During the workshop students used specialised biological equipment for detection of viruses (ELISA) and modelled evolutionary change in fruit flies. The students were given live fruit flies that they needed to put to sleep, before identifying and sorting them under a dissecting microscope. They looked at the change in wing shape over 15 generations of fruit flies and the mechanisms that cause this change. Did you know that male fruit flies beat their wings to help them gain a partner and that fruit flies with mutated wings are not as attractive to their mates as the wild type! Males with the mutation have little hope in gaining a partner and over time are therefore found less in the population over the 15 generations of fruit flies conducted in this study.

Students also tested the antibodies of patients with influenza. They investigated the effect that the influenza vaccination has on both adults and unborn children on their antibody levels. Students learnt how to use autopipettes to dispense small volumes of liquid. Two other schools, one metro and one regional, also attended the workshop during our session, with our students experiencing working in a University laboratory which caters for 100 people.

The workshop was well received by students, with feedback including “It was cool getting to use the equipment in the laboratory”, “I feel like a pro-scientist”, “It made me feel empowered, smart and a girl boss” and “It was a really good learning opportunity and a great introduction to Unit 4.”

Students also took a tour of the grounds of the University of Melbourne and sampled some of the free pancakes that the Student Union provided. Special thanks to Mr Nicholas for supporting us on the excursion. He has been proudly crowned ‘Lord of the Flies’.

ICCES CROSS COUNTRY by Director of Sport Andrew Nicholas
24 Garnsey students attended the ICCES Cross Country in Bundoora on Tuesday July 25. It was a great day with good weather in the end. Gippsland Grammar came third overall and everyone ran really well. Special mention to Maizy Duck, Kody Said and Owen Centra who all ran in older age groups due to insufficient numbers in those age groups, helping out the team greatly. Cruz Duck achieved first in Junior Boys, Louis Lazzaro achieved second in Junior Boys, Cassie Farley achieved first in Junior Girls and Debbie Husodo achieved second in Senior Girls. We had a fabulous day with our students doing their best and each of them representing the School on and off the course with pride.

Model UN Evatt by Head of Humanities and Commerce Marc Bain
On Wednesday July 26, three facilitators from UN Youth Australia held a preliminary regional round of the Model UN Security Council Evatt Competition, here at Garnsey Campus. Within the grandeur of the Chapel of St Anne venue, our school put forward 10 teams of pairs to represent various Member States in the current UNSC, ranging from France, Japan, Russia, all the way through to smaller states such as Gabon and Mozambique.

Our students competed admirably, debating and discussing proposed Resolutions on: Military Actions, Social Media and Climate Change; making the event an especially topical experience for all. The organisers were suitably impressed with their efforts, as they observed the students’ ability to publicly speak, negotiate, research, use teamwork and ultimately display diplomacy, in order to successfully attempt the pursuit of their state’s national interests.

At the end of a long but worthwhile day the students were pleased to have been given a fantastic insight into the working of the world’s most eminent Intergovernmental Organisations. We hope to grow this event in the future with more local schools taking part.

Hikarigaoka Students by Japanese teacher Rachel Patton
Garnsey Campus has welcomed 18 students from our sister school in Okazaki for this term, who have joined in various activities and classes with their host buddies as well as attending Japanese classes.

This real-world opportunity for our students to use their language skills and broaden their understanding of Japan is invaluable. The girls have particularly enjoyed their visits to St Anne's to join junior classes and loved trying out the new slide! The Hikarigaoka students also hosted a 'Japanese Day' at Garnsey today when they cooked okonomiyaki and taught calligraphy, tea ceremony and origami to our Garnsey students.

Our sister school coordinator Masami Sugisaki would like to thank our host families for taking the Hikarigaoka girls under their wing during for their two-week visit. They are having a wonderful time discovering Gippsland, developing their language skills and building international friendships.

What a joy for Languages to have this program back!

Lunchtime Concert by instrumental tutor Danny Stain
On July 26 the Garnsey Campus enjoyed its first outdoor concert of the year. Enhanced by some tremendous sunny weather the event was enjoyed by all, featuring some fantastic performances by the Garnsey Rock and Contemporary bands, jellybean counting competition and chalk art stations. The day's focus promoted a theme of music and self-expression while also raising money for the Australian Children's Music Foundation.

The Ensemble's aim to provide students with a musical outlet in the Contemporary stylings and is open and available for Instrumental students undertaking Tuition at the School’s Music Centre. We look forward to the next one with some more warm weather on the way!

FRENCH EXCHANGE STUDENTS by International Student co-ordinator Daniel De Keersmaeker
Since last year, the Languages Department has relaunched the International Exchange Programs for Gippsland Grammar and in early July, our School Community welcomed Gladys Piacrd, Honorine Lemoine, Josephine Demaire, Louna Haize, Lucie Lefrancois, Maïlys Loufouma-Moussounda, and Nathan Le Carpentier from our French Sisterschool Lycée Jeanne d’Arc in Caen.

The seven students are being hosted by their respective former correspondents Kiera Walpole, Tali Oates, Edward Courtier, Alanna Magee, Zara Tacey, Georgia Steel, and Jess and Caroline Martin.

The group was excited to meet their Aussie host families and discovered a new way of life with its cultural differences. For instance, as students wear casual clothes at French schools, it was at first awkward for them to try on a Gippsland Grammar uniform.

For the five weeks, a program was put into place which involved visits to our St Anne’s and Bairnsdale Campuses, a French Cultural Day at Garnsey, a 3-day visit to Sydney, and some even made it to a formal dance at the 2023 Year 11 Ball.

On campus the students discovered a very different school system with much shorter days and the chance to choose between several different sports. The French Students have also been involved with the Year 7 to 12 French classes where they practised different conversation technics and exchanged cultural topics.

Gippsland Grammar host families have again greatly supported this year’s exchanges and happily accommodated an extra member in their home. It is thanks to our volunteering families that the French Students discovered many places around Gippsland and beyond.

The group will return to Caen, France on August 19 and from past observations, their friendships will last for many years to come, with more international visits planned for the future.

The Languages Department also welcomed the first French Assistant since 2018. Leopold Teissonniere will be here for a year and looks forward to meeting and staying with different host families. If you can consider welcoming Leopold for a month or so, please contact Garnsey Reception, Mr De Keersmaeker or Mrs Sonia Duggan. They will be happy to provide further details about this enriching program.

Merci beaucoup.

Catch up on last week’s newsletter here:

Rohan Jayatilake

Head of Garnsey Campus