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As our most senior students embark on their final VCE exams over the coming weeks, I find myself reflecting on ambitions, motivations, and dreams.

I am fortunate to have been able to visit our Foundation classes at both St Anne’s and Bairnsdale over the course of this year and learn about the goals and dreams of our students who are nearer to the beginning of their school journey. This year we have talked about friendships, people we care about and what I want to be when I grow up. Likewise, I feel privileged each year to spend time with our senior students as I work through with them the plans for the next part in their journey beyond school. Our topics are not dissimilar to those discussions I have with the Foundation classes. We talk about friendships, people we care about and, what they want to be when they grow up.

The themes are very different and I put this down to not only individual growth and maturity, but to the opportunities that are afforded to Gippsland Grammar students across their journey at our school. Whether you are a student from ELC through until Year 12, or a student who arrived or departed along the way, the opportunities you have influence the people you become.

The ambitions, motivations and dreams that we, as parents, have for our children can often be about providing them with the opportunity to be the best person they can in an ever-changing world. Choosing Gippsland Grammar is a choice that is made by families in the steps towards achieving this.

Earlier this term, the Gippsland Grammar Old Scholars hosted the annual Decades Reunion. This year saw past students from 2013, 2003, 1993, 1983, 1973 and 1963 return to the Garnsey Campus for an afternoon inclusive of reminiscing about what was and learning what now is. About 80 guests attended with highlights including our recent additions including the extension to the Lauire Payne Sports Centre, the new Arts & Design Centre and - in possibly the biggest change over the decades - permission to walk on the ‘sacred grass’ in the quadrangle. This annual event is a wonderful opportunity for past students to maintain connection with our school and I personally take joy in hearing the stories from years gone by and learning about the changes and development of Gippsland Grammar over its time.

The timing of each of these events this year, has enabled me to consider the connection and relationship that people have with Gippsland Grammar and the contribution that a school can make to a person. From our younger students, through to our elder Old Scholars, that connection exists. Community is at the heart of a school and it is the people that build the community.

As we head towards the final month of this academic year, I encourage all of the students at our school to seek out the opportunities that are available to you and continue to be the very best version of yourself.

Justin Henderson

Acting Principal