It was significant day in Gippsland Grammar’s history on Friday March 31 as the eighth principal in the School’s 99-year history was formally welcomed.
A Commissioning Service for Michele Wakeham was held in the School’s Laurie Payne Sports Centre attended by students from each of its three campuses, as well as staff and representatives of the Gippsland Grammar Board, Gippsland Grammar Foundation and the Old Scholars Association.
Mrs Wakeham, was officially commissioned by Bishop of Gippsland The Right Rev Richard Treloar.
“I gladly acknowledge the presentation of our new Principal and I am ready and willing to commission her,” Bishop Treloar said. “You have been duly chosen to be Principal of Gippsland Grammar.
“Will you be faithful and diligent in the performance of your role, upholding all things that are true, honourable, just, pure and worthwhile and are ready to serve the School to the best of your ability?” Bishop Treloar asked Mrs Wakeham during the service.
“I am ready to serve the School to the best of my ability with God's help,” she replied.
Mrs Wakeham was appointed Gippsland Grammar Principal in November 2022 after acting in the role since June that year. Prior to that Mrs Wakeham was the School’s Deputy Principal. Previously Mrs Wakeham received an acknowledgement from Associated Public Schools of Victoria for more than 10 years of longstanding teaching excellence at Geelong Grammar, Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College. She also worked at Trinity Grammar School in Kew.
Mrs Wakeham has a passion for innovative teaching and learning as well as an inspiring enthusiasm for cultivating a strong community across the school’s three campuses. As Principal, Mrs Wakeham oversees Gippsland Grammar’s two Early Learning Centres and two junior campuses in Sale and Bairnsdale and its senior campus and Boarding House in Sale.
“Gippsland families are so lucky to have access to this level of educational excellence while enjoying the numerous benefits of living in regional Victoria,” Mrs Wakeham said. “I am completely dedicated to leading the school as Principal and my family is equally thrilled to further anchor ourselves in this brilliant region.”
Mrs Wakeham’s family includes husband Laurie, who is Gippsland Grammar’s Head Groundsperson and sons Trystan, Rhys and Bryn, who are all students at St Anne’s Campus.
“I feel honoured to be part of the Gippsland Grammar Community,” Mrs Wakeham said. “And what attracted me to this School and what I have loved about being here, is that the school’s culture and values fit with my own. I feel like everything is aligned and it’s the perfect fit.”
When asked about some of her favourite memories from her time at Gippsland Grammar so far, Mrs Wakeham said there had been plenty to choose from.
“Most recently, I have really loved cheering on our girls at the Head of the Schoolgirls Rowing Regatta at Geelong as well as meeting many prospective families at our Open Days,” she said. “The Grandparents’ Days at our junior campuses were just so lovely to be a part of and I’ve also really enjoyed dancing at our St Anne’s ELC on Friday afternoons as part of their ‘funky, fun Friday’ pick-up routine.
“Hearing the stories from some of our Old Scholars at the Green Grubs luncheons has also become something I always look forward to, particularly in the lead up to our Centenary celebrations next year.”
“I haven’t done this alone and there are a lot of people here today who I’ve been able to lean on for guidance and support; in particular mentors from my previous schools as well as Gippsland Grammar’s own Leadership team.”