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On a day when our staff, students and families are all focussing on our well-deserved three-week mid-year break, as a School we are currently spending a lot of time looking far beyond the next three weeks.

As you will read in this term’s edition of Veritas, our Leadership team has recently been dreaming big and brainstorming to launch the next strategic planning process for our school. This is something you will hear more about next term, but it has been spine-tingling exciting to work with Gwen Pinnington Consulting to map out our hopes and visions with the intention to equip our School for a future that will welcome positive growth and encourage innovation.

Some of you may also know that next year is a particularly exciting time for our School as we celebrate our School’s Centenary.

The Second Bishop of Gippsland, the Right Reverend George Cranswick founded the Church of England Girls’ School in Sale in 1924 and in the 100 years since that first incarnation of our School evolved to include the St Anne’s Church of England Girls’ Grammar School (1934), Gippsland Grammar School (1960), St Anne’s and Gippsland Grammar School (1971) before we finally adopted the name Gippsland Grammar in 1997.

We are currently finalising a number of different Centenary celebrations for next year and we look forward to launching the full program with you during Term 3. A particularly exciting aspect of these celebrations that I’d like to share with you today is the release of two Centenary books.

Former teacher, former parent, current grandmother and author of the previous book about on our School’s history, Ann Andrew, is currently finalising our hero book, which features 100 stories from our School’s first 100 years. This collection of first-person accounts from Old Scholars and former teachers is packed with memories from the past century including what it was like being a boarder during the war years, and what it was like when our girls’ and boys’ school merged to become one. I have enjoyed reading about a lot of the high-jinks that went on over the decades also!

While Ann’s book will be the pinnacle of our celebrations, we wanted to ensure our current students, particularly our youngest current students, will have an exciting way to join us in celebrating our history. We have also selected a small number of Old Scholar stories from Ann’s book and asked children’s book author Ailsa Wild to reimagine them for a us. To further enhance the connection with our current students, our art teachers have spent the past week asking our students to consider submitting illustrations for this book and I encourage all parents to support this project for those students who choose to begin their stories over the holidays.

While both of these books will be standalone publications they will also sit nicely alongside each other on the bookshelf and we look forward to them coming to life for everyone from our youngest ELC students to our eldest Old Scholars.

2024 will be a highlight year when we celebrate the first 100 years of our School, while we also reveal the Strategic Plan that will launch us into our next 100 years.

I look forward to everyone in our School Community embracing these two significant occasions but, for now, have a happy and safe break from routine!

Michele Wakeham