02

From the Chair

One of the most important roles for a school council and its community, is the planning of its facilities and buildings.

For Melbourne Girls Grammar we are particularly privileged to be not only one of Australia’s leading educators of girls, but to also have a campus which is located in one of the most beautiful environments of any school in Australia. Our close proximity to the city, overlooking the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, surrounded by city parks and conveniences is indeed enviable and indicative of the wisdom of our former principals and governors of the School.

But with this privileged position, we must also plan carefully to ensure that we utilise our spaces with care and long-term planning. Our land size remains relatively small but through the foresight and long-term focus of previous school leadership, we have been able to maintain a unique environment for our girls, teachers, parents and staff. Ensuring we have the balance between growth and development, while maintaining the special characteristic of our School is a key focus of Council. We must also consider future technology and the changing world around us, so that our built environment maintains our leading position as an educator and ensuring our girls are educated to be ready for a changing world.

In 2019 Council decided to launch the next phase of this long-term planning, undertaking the development of a new Strategic Development Framework for our site which will take a long term look at our built environment. The previous detailed plans were undertaken in 2002, and Council under the guidance of the Property Committee, recognised the importance of refreshing that work in preparation for the next phase of our building program.

But with this privileged position, we must also plan carefully to ensure that we utilise our spaces with care and long-term planning. Our land size remains relatively small but through the foresight and long-term focus of previous school leadership, we have been able to maintain a unique environment for our girls, teachers, parents and staff. Ensuring we have the balance between growth and development, while maintaining the special characteristic of our School is a key focus of Council. We must also consider future technology and the changing world around us, so that our built environment maintains our leading position as an educator and ensuring our girls are educated to be ready for a changing world.

In 2019 Council decided to launch the next phase of this long-term planning, undertaking the development of a new Strategic Development Framework for our site which will take a long term look at our built environment. The previous detailed plans were undertaken in 2002, and Council under the guidance of the Property Committee, recognised the importance of refreshing that work in preparation for the next phase of our building program.

But with this privileged position, we must also plan carefully to ensure that we utilise our spaces with care and long-term planning. Our land size remains relatively small but through the foresight and long-term focus of previous school leadership, we have been able to maintain a unique environment for our girls, teachers, parents and staff. Ensuring we have the balance between growth and development, while maintaining the special characteristic of our School is a key focus of Council. We must also consider future technology and the changing world around us, so that our built environment maintains our leading position as an educator and ensuring our girls are educated to be ready for a changing world.

In 2019 Council decided to launch the next phase of this long-term planning, undertaking the development of a new Strategic Development Framework for our site which will take a long term look at our built environment. The previous detailed plans were undertaken in 2002, and Council under the guidance of the Property Committee, recognised the importance of refreshing that work in preparation for the next phase of our building program.

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"Ensuring we have the balance between growth and development, while maintaining the special characteristic of our School is a key focus of Council. We must also consider future technology and the changing world around us, so that our built environment maintains our leading position as an educator and ensuring our girls are educated to be ready for a changing world."

Mark Burgess, Chair of Council

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Fortunately, we are able to draw on leadership within our community to guide this planning, and ensure we bring in expertise to develop this future plan. Under the leadership of Neil Appleton as Chair of the Property Committee, and as one of Australia’s leading architects and designers of sustainable learning environments, we are fortunate to draw on his and the Committee’s expertise.

How do we build out our environment to ensure it is fit for next 40-50 or 100 years? What are our future needs; how do we ensure we balance the needs of our students while caring for our environment, and the welfare of our staff? As Chair of Council, it is imperative that the committees and the overarching governance of the School is aligned under our strategic direction. Neil has shared the focus of the Property Committee in response to four key questions.

Fortunately, we are able to draw on leadership within our community to guide this planning, and ensure we bring in expertise to develop this future plan. Under the leadership of Neil Appleton as Chair of the Property Committee, and as one of Australia’s leading architects and designers of sustainable learning environments, we are fortunate to draw on his and the Committee’s expertise.

How do we build out our environment to ensure it is fit for next 40-50 or 100 years? What are our future needs; how do we ensure we balance the needs of our students while caring for our environment, and the welfare of our staff? As Chair of Council, it is imperative that the committees and the overarching governance of the School is aligned under our strategic direction. Neil has shared the focus of the Property Committee in response to four key questions.


As Chair of the Council Property Committee - why is it important to plan our School environment in readiness for the future?

The Strategic Development Framework (SDF) will provide the School with a way to sustainably enhance the campuses over the next 25 years; it will support the key objectives of the Strategic Plan. The SDF will guide Melbourne Girls Grammar to grow its two campuses into beautiful future focused learning environments – both indoors and out – where environmental learning is at the heart of the student experience. We aim to reduce the School’s carbon footprint while creating opportunities to expand our educational offering. Importantly the SDF will aim to complement the School’s wonderful heritage buildings with contemporary technology enhanced facilities all within an inspiring outdoor learning landscape.

What are the outcomes you hope to achieve through a Framework of this scale?

We want the environment at Melbourne Girls Grammar to not only support our girls’ learning journey, but to actively motivate them through deep environmental learning. We want them to go out in the world and make a positive change to our environment. We want them to understand the importance and the impact we as members of society can make to the environment we inhabit, and share.


As Chair of the Council Property Committee - why is it important to plan our School environment in readiness for the future?

The Strategic Development Framework (SDF) will provide the School with a way to sustainably enhance the campuses over the next 25 years; it will support the key objectives of the Strategic Plan. The SDF will guide Melbourne Girls Grammar to grow its two campuses into beautiful future focused learning environments – both indoors and out – where environmental learning is at the heart of the student experience. We aim to reduce the School’s carbon footprint while creating opportunities to expand our educational offering. Importantly the SDF will aim to complement the School’s wonderful heritage buildings with contemporary technology enhanced facilities all within an inspiring outdoor learning landscape.

What are the outcomes you hope to achieve through a Framework of this scale?

We want the environment at Melbourne Girls Grammar to not only support our girls’ learning journey, but to actively motivate them through deep environmental learning. We want them to go out in the world and make a positive change to our environment. We want them to understand the importance and the impact we as members of society can make to the environment we inhabit, and share.


As Chair of the Council Property Committee - why is it important to plan our School environment in readiness for the future?

The Strategic Development Framework (SDF) will provide the School with a way to sustainably enhance the campuses over the next 25 years; it will support the key objectives of the Strategic Plan. The SDF will guide Melbourne Girls Grammar to grow its two campuses into beautiful future focused learning environments – both indoors and out – where environmental learning is at the heart of the student experience. We aim to reduce the School’s carbon footprint while creating opportunities to expand our educational offering. Importantly the SDF will aim to complement the School’s wonderful heritage buildings with contemporary technology enhanced facilities all within an inspiring outdoor learning landscape.

What are the outcomes you hope to achieve through a Framework of this scale?

We want the environment at Melbourne Girls Grammar to not only support our girls’ learning journey, but to actively motivate them through deep environmental learning. We want them to go out in the world and make a positive change to our environment. We want them to understand the importance and the impact we as members of society can make to the environment we inhabit, and share.

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"It is now time to look forward to the next 25 years, involve the community, where possible, and create the Strategic Development Framework. The SDF will be design led, clear in its intent and direction, but flexible enough to adapt, where required, in response to the rapidly changing world."

Neil Appleton, Chair, Property Committee

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When was the last Strategic Development Framework undertaken?

In 2002 the School endorsed a masterplan which has since become redundant. Having served its purpose it provided for the development of Wildfell and the more recent Artemis Centre; it mapped our needs as an educational provider and enabled us to deliver on our plan. It is now time to look forward to the next 25 years, involve the community, where possible, and create the Strategic Development Framework. The SDF will be design led, clear in its intent and direction, but flexible enough to adapt, where required, in response to the rapidly changing world. It will provide the flexibility to adapt to the things we cannot begin to imagine today but will characterise the future of our next generation of Grammarians.

What are the major areas of focus that you think are important to Melbourne Girls Grammar in this?

The major foci for the SDF will be fourfold:

  1. fostering the School’s unique culture
  2. enhancing the individual and collective learning experience
  3. engaging the community, and importantly
  4. creating a sustainable and resilient campus.

At a more prosaic level, the School will also look to fix some of the inherent problems of each campus, such as simplifying the complexity of a difficult site with changes over many levels, upgrading facilities that underperform due to them being no longer fit for purpose for modern learning and teaching practices, and increasing access to spaces for all members of our community.

The Strategic Development Framework will be the blueprint for a future Melbourne Girls Grammar where our Grammarians can continue to thrive educationally and engage in physical, cultural and social pursuits and interests.

When was the last Strategic Development Framework undertaken?

In 2002 the School endorsed a masterplan which has since become redundant. Having served its purpose it provided for the development of Wildfell and the more recent Artemis Centre; it mapped our needs as an educational provider and enabled us to deliver on our plan. It is now time to look forward to the next 25 years, involve the community, where possible, and create the Strategic Development Framework. The SDF will be design led, clear in its intent and direction, but flexible enough to adapt, where required, in response to the rapidly changing world. It will provide the flexibility to adapt to the things we cannot begin to imagine today but will characterise the future of our next generation of Grammarians.

What are the major areas of focus that you think are important to Melbourne Girls Grammar in this?

The major foci for the SDF will be fourfold:

  1. fostering the School’s unique culture
  2. enhancing the individual and collective learning experience
  3. engaging the community, and importantly
  4. creating a sustainable and resilient campus.

At a more prosaic level, the School will also look to fix some of the inherent problems of each campus, such as simplifying the complexity of a difficult site with changes over many levels, upgrading facilities that underperform due to them being no longer fit for purpose for modern learning and teaching practices, and increasing access to spaces for all members of our community.

The Strategic Development Framework will be the blueprint for a future Melbourne Girls Grammar where our Grammarians can continue to thrive educationally and engage in physical, cultural and social pursuits and interests.

When was the last Strategic Development Framework undertaken?

In 2002 the School endorsed a masterplan which has since become redundant. Having served its purpose it provided for the development of Wildfell and the more recent Artemis Centre; it mapped our needs as an educational provider and enabled us to deliver on our plan. It is now time to look forward to the next 25 years, involve the community, where possible, and create the Strategic Development Framework. The SDF will be design led, clear in its intent and direction, but flexible enough to adapt, where required, in response to the rapidly changing world. It will provide the flexibility to adapt to the things we cannot begin to imagine today but will characterise the future of our next generation of Grammarians.

What are the major areas of focus that you think are important to Melbourne Girls Grammar in this?

The major foci for the SDF will be fourfold:

  1. fostering the School’s unique culture
  2. enhancing the individual and collective learning experience
  3. engaging the community, and importantly
  4. creating a sustainable and resilient campus.

At a more prosaic level, the School will also look to fix some of the inherent problems of each campus, such as simplifying the complexity of a difficult site with changes over many levels, upgrading facilities that underperform due to them being no longer fit for purpose for modern learning and teaching practices, and increasing access to spaces for all members of our community.

The Strategic Development Framework will be the blueprint for a future Melbourne Girls Grammar where our Grammarians can continue to thrive educationally and engage in physical, cultural and social pursuits and interests.

Written By

Mark Burgess

Chair of Council

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Neil Appleton

Chair, Property Committee

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