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As we bid farewell to Winter and welcome the warmer days of Spring, I have some exciting updates and achievements to share as we celebrate a fantastic Term 3.

This morning, we celebrated the teaching career of Jan Chalmer with a wonderful Fellowship and the unveiling of a small Japanese garden in her honour. Jan Chalmer has dedicated an incredible 40 years of her life to teaching at Gippsland Grammar. Having started in 1983, Jan has an unwavering commitment to her craft and has left an indelible mark on the St Anne's Campus community. She has consistently raised the bar in language education and her innovative approach has enriched her students' language skills and fostered a deep appreciation for Japanese culture. Her dedication to evolving teaching methods, embracing technology, and inspiring her students is truly commendable. Jan is a shining example of excellence in language education. As she embarks on a well-deserved retirement, we extend our heartfelt gratitude and best wishes to a remarkable educator who has left an enduring legacy at Gippsland Grammar.

Allocating our Foundation teachers each year is essential, as it allows us to begin our transition program with our 2024 Foundation students. I am delighted to announce our Foundation teachers for the 2024 academic year will be Bree Norman and Anna Marshall who will continue to play a pivotal role in nurturing and educating our youngest learners. They are our current Foundation teachers and bring expertise and compassion to the role.

I would like to acknowledge and commend our students who have received the Citizen of the Term awards at our assembly this week. These awards recognise students who have been demonstrating our CLERR values throughout the term. As I shared at our assembly, selecting just one student from each class is incredibly challenging. Congratulations to the following students:
Foundation Bass: Tom Bertrand
Foundation Mawson: Isla Gaskill
Year 1 (Bradman: Spencer Mitchener
Year 1 (McCubbin): Dheeran Sivalingam
Year 2 (Barton): Aadhav Shesan
Year 2 (Chisholm): Lily Strachan
Year 3 (Flynn): Leo Armstrong
Year 3 (Tasman): Jake Smith
Year 4 (Freeman): Kade Knight
Year 4 (Kingsford-Smith): Lillie Warren
Year 5 (Cuthbert): Charlotte Greenwell
Year 5 (Hollows): Harley Sellars
Year 6 (Goolagong): Milly Dray
Year 6 (Mackellar): Otto Humphris

Our talented young musicians performed a spectacular Winter Music Concert earlier this term. The Lorna Sparrow Hall was filled with melodious tunes and enthusiastic applause. Providing an opportunity for our students to perform in front of a large and supportive audience is important. It develops confidence, resilience and joy in our students. I want to extend my congratulations to all the performers, music teachers, Katie Germaine, and everyone who helped make this event a resounding success.

Our student-athletes have been giving their best on the sporting field, and we are proud to announce some exceptional results in the District Athletics competition. Congratulations to all participants, and a special mention to those who secured top positions. The following students were a part of our District Athletics team (Years 3 to 6): Tab Coggan, Harriet Lafferty, Campbell Sellars, Tayah McGrath, Thomas Williamson, Fletcher Fyfe, Rhys Wakeham, Estelle Yanez, Leticia Kelly, Alana Jansen Van Rensburg, Freya Czosnek, George McNaughton, Sonny Millier, Charlie Strachan, Charlotte Greenwell, Sophie Arnup, Lucy McDonnell, Indi Drew, Elle Aurisch, Cleo Angelopoulos, Jack McLay, Fletcher Wynne, Nina Davine, Henry Seeber, Sarah Black, Max Williamson, Milly Dray, Erin Smith, Sylvie Coleman, Airlie Ferris, Milla Said, Ethan Braden, Adelaide Ripper, Mia Nethercote and Patrick Baggaley.

Gippspell is a spelling bee format for students in Years 5 to 8 across Gippsland. The purpose of the event is to promote good spelling. Anna Sellings, Evie Barbetti (1st Place), Otto Humphris (2nd Place) and Ocki Cameron represented Gippsland Grammar. Congratulations to all students involved.

Tom Williamson represented Gippsland Grammar at the recent School Sports Australia national competition. Tom made waves with an outstanding performance in South Australia, achieving a personal best 50m freestyle time of 38.26 in the first leg of the 4x50m 10-year-old boys freestyle relay. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement, Tom!

I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work being undertaken by our Student Representative Council (SRC). Our SRC is a platform where our students have an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, engage with service learning and ‘live’ our CLERR values. This term, our SRC has been involved with the opening of the GaGa Pits, Beanies for Billy, Bully Zero Superhero fundraiser, A Better Life for Foster Kids, the Downball competition and the ‘scooping of icecream’ in the tuckshop (sustainability initiative).

SRC member Charlotte said: “Visiting the Better Life for Foster Kids headquarters was an amazing opportunity and helped me understand to a greater scale about the help that foster kids need. It's nice to know that there are people out there helping them. It's taught me that there are many ways we can help in our community.”

Thank you to our teachers Rebekah Tayler and Sarah Wheeler for supporting our SRC.

Finally, as we approach the September holidays, I hope you all have a fantastic break filled with relaxation and rejuvenation. I look forward to welcoming everyone back refreshed and ready for Term 4.

Jie Van Berkel

Head of St Anne's Campus