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It has been an absolute pleasure welcoming our parents back on campus for even more events this year. Parents and carers have attended our House Swimming Carnival, Year 7 Parent Welcome and Information Evening, Year 9 Parent Information Evening and our Centenary Chapel Service. We also welcomed parents on campus for parent/teacher interviews earlier this term, which was a purposeful interaction that not only provided parents with an opportunity to learn more about their child’s learning, but to connect more deeply with the teachers and staff of our campus. We look forward to welcoming parents to Garnsey Campus for our Open Day tomorrow and House Athletics Carnival next week, as well as future events including our senior school production in the first week of Term 2. I hope our parents feel welcomed and take advantage of these opportunities.

Our Prefect team has been outstanding and have already had a significant and positive influence on our campus. They have been planning and leading our fortnightly assemblies, which involves significant collaboration between our Prefects, teachers and support staff. They have assisted with important campus events including (but not limited to) Centenary events, campus Open Days and House carnivals. Recently, our Prefect team hosted a lunch-time concert and bake sale that raised over $1000. These funds will be donated to Free 3D Hands, a Philip Island-based not-for-profit organisation which is addressing global inaccessibility of quality assistive technology by designing, manufacturing and freely sharing low-cost 3D printed designs. We commend the Prefect team for their efforts thus far and look forward to their future influence and impact this year.

We are also reaching the end of our rowing season, with our senior rowers currently competing in Sydney as part of the National Rowing Championships. Our rowing team and coaches continue to demonstrate passion, enthusiasm and grit and should be proud of the results they have achieved so far this season. It is worth highlighting the recent achievements of our Senior Girl’s Quad at the Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta (which is the largest single-sex regatta in the Sothern Hemisphere). Our girls won gold in the Female School Coxed Quad Scull Open Division 1 by an incredible six seconds (the first time Gippsland Grammar has won this fiercely competitive event in 14 years). Congratulations to Ella Gerrand, Scarlett Tavasci, April Harrison, Ruby Lindrea and Lucy Hodges, as well as our coaches who have supported them this year.

There have been so many other amazing events and activities taking place across our campus this term. Please continue reading to hear more about some of these events.

Gretel Harms: Lions Youth of the Year
Wishing VCE student Gretel Harms well at Sunday’s Wellington region Youth of the Year awards. The Year 12 student won the Sale Lions Club event earlier in the month and will travel to Trafalgar for the regional final. The Lions Youth of the Year program has a proud history encouraging and fostering leadership skills in secondary school aged students. It seems Gretel might be following in the footsteps of her brother Ben (Class of 2019, who also enjoyed success in the same awards. Gretel said the competition was a great opportunity to develop her public speaking skills and meet new, interesting people. “I've now also gained experience in an interview type experience and I am looking forward to the next round.”

Year 10 Geography
Today the year 10 Geography students have investigated the sustainability of the local fishing industry in Lakes Entrance. They toured the Fishing Co-Op and had a briefing from Dan Corrie at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to learn about the regulation and management of Australian fisheries. Students then surveyed the local community to find out how critical the fishing industry is to the economy and how well it is understood.

Congratulations Zahra
YEAR 12 student Zahra Hanratty received the John Leaver Award for 2023, with the ceremony day for the award being held earlier this year. John Leaver was the founder of many independent schools in Victoria and the initiator of the Ecumenical Schools Association, which is a group of like-minded schools that are open to people of all religions. The John Leaver Award is nominated by the school and is given to an individual that demonstrates a spirit of compassion, resilience, an ability to connect with others, including those of other generations and broad-mindedness. Head of Year 12 Justin Henderson said Zahra “represented herself and our school extremely well and participated in this leadership development day positively and humbly”.

DAV Debating
Our DAV teams were put to work a little earlier this year with Round 1 beginning in craped into February. Nine of our 10 teams travelled to Berwick (while one team enjoyed a bye), and five returned victorious, including both A-grade teams, one C-grade team and two of our D-grade teams. As our Year 8 D-graders are starting in Round 2, we had just four first-time debaters this round. Impressively, two of them (Joseph Murphy and Leila Roberts) were declared Best Speaker! Abby Crozier, Ivy Johnson, Mitch Dihood and Louis Lazarro were also awarded Best Speaker in their debates. We are now settling into a long break before May Madness, when we have the three rounds in just one month!

House Debating by Teachers in charge of Debating Rachel Patton and Zoe Hilliar
Garnsey House Debating was held in Term 1 and involved over 60 students. Some of the topics for 2024 included: ‘That social media is ruining society’, ‘That university education should be free’ and ‘That vegetarianism should be compulsory for all’.
House Debating Captains Krista Walpole, Connor Rogalsky, Scarlett Tavasci and Averil Watkinson are to be commended on organising and coaching their teams, some of whom were new to debating. Debating Captains Imogen Chilton and Gretel Harms and fellow A-grade debater Zara Clydesdale also put their years of DAV experience to use by adjudicating our junior debates.

This year’s victors will be announced by our Debating captains at Assembly next week. Congratulations to everyone who stepped up to represent their house in Garnsey House Debating 2024!

ICCES Swimming, Table Tennis and Badminton by Director of Sport Andrew Nicholas
On March 5, 80 students went to MSAC to compete in swimming, table tennis and badminton. We did not pick up any individual Age Champions or records; however, it was a great team effort coming second overall and winning the STAR Shield (which is based on the school’s overall score divided by the number of students the school has). I believe this is one of our best results for ICCES swimming we have had for more 10 years. Well done to everyone that competed, you all did a fabulous job. Badminton and Table Tennis was also a really fun day, with everyone competing and representing the school exceptionally well. We came fourth overall in Badminton, first in the Junior Girls section and second overall for table tennis.

Year 9 Tali Karng Outdoor Education Program by Co-head of Outdoor Education Cass Booth
During Week 6, the first half of the Year 9 students headed off for Tali Karng. We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather for the three days. The groups walked 30km along the Wellington River, up the Valley of Destruction and Gillos spur to visit the spectacular and remote Lake Tali Karng. At the Wellington Plains, students participated in a solo night where they set up their tarps, cooked their own dinner and were independent for the night. We are looking forward to taking the second half of the year level through this challenging yet rewarding experience. This hike has become a pinnacle part of our Outdoor Education program, with students dating back to 1991 completing the walk.

Science by Head of Science Kylie Lambert
As the new Head of Science at Gippsland Grammar, I am excited to inform you of some past events and upcoming opportunities for our students in the Science program. Our Year 7s started their Science journey this year by investigating science equipment, how to use the Bunsen burner and how to work collaboratively to solve problems. All Year 7s have received their Bunsen burner licenses which is a rite of passage for any student started Secondary college – well done Year 7s!

Our senior Biology students have been playing around with DNA this term and have made bacteria glow! They added the genes from green fluorescent jellyfish into bacterial DNA and cultivated the bacteria so that when they grew on agar plates they glowed. This supported their study of the ethics and science behind biotechnologies.

Young Women in Aerospace & Defence program: Congratulations to two of our Year 7 students Maya Useni-Vowell and Juliet Walker who have been selected to attend this five-day RMIT University program. They will design, build, and race drones; attend lectures and tour RMIT University’s world leading facilities. They will also visit aerospace companies including Boeing Australia. Well done on your application and we look forward to letting you know how they go in a future edition of this newsletter.

Gippsland Technical School is coming to Sale next week, to work with our Year 7 students on an Industry Taster Day. They will learn about industries in the STEM sector and use VR technology to explore the workplaces. They will then collaborate together to program robots to complete real world tasks. We can’t wait to have them on site.

The Big Science Competition is one of the biggest international science competitions, challenging students from Years 7 to 10. It is a 50-minute, multiple choice competition testing science knowledge, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. We ask that all of our junior student participate in the event to be held in May, with the program being voluntary for our seniors. The competition will be run in Science class time, so students are encouraged to ask their Science teacher for more information. Sitting the Big Science Competition could lead to selection in the science extension programs of the Junior Science Olympiad Training Squad and Curious Minds – girls in STEM.

Rohan Jayatilake

Head of Garnsey Campus