09

Multi-layered Connection

As parents we experience a school culture that is rich, complex and multi-layered. A diverse group, we are made up of OGs, donors of both immeasurable service and resources, Year Level Representatives, Auxiliary Members, Committee participants, as well as attendees and supporters at a multitude of events. Some of us live close to the School, some of us regionally, interstate or internationally.

This diversity of experience and background allows us the opportunity to contribute to the unique environment in which our young people prepare to launch themselves into the world beyond the red brick walls, taking on their future in whichever way they see fit. Melbourne Girls Grammar isn’t a transactional place of education, it is a community with its own special culture that extends beyond the classroom, and for parents lasts long after our children finish Year 12.

The sense of inclusion, our multi-generational families and their continued loyalty, our engaged and passionate parents and care-givers with their ceaseless hours of support for our School demonstrates a commitment to the culture that we are so fortunate to be a part of. 

My eldest daughter has just completed Year 12. At the end of 6 years at MGGS her description of the School culture is “kind”. Regardless of academic, sporting or arts excellence, imbedded philanthropy and close to 130 years of history, her one-word summary of her school was touching. This gave me cause to reflect on the welcome, acceptance and support I have received from so many, the wonderful friendships I have made with other parents and above all else, the enduring kindness of our community as a whole.

The sense of inclusion, our multi-generational families and their continued loyalty, our engaged and passionate parents and care-givers with their ceaseless hours of support for our School demonstrates a commitment to the culture that we are so fortunate to be a part of. 

My eldest daughter has just completed Year 12. At the end of 6 years at MGGS her description of the School culture is “kind”. Regardless of academic, sporting or arts excellence, imbedded philanthropy and close to 130 years of history, her one-word summary of her school was touching. This gave me cause to reflect on the welcome, acceptance and support I have received from so many, the wonderful friendships I have made with other parents and above all else, the enduring kindness of our community as a whole.

The sense of inclusion, our multi-generational families and their continued loyalty, our engaged and passionate parents and care-givers with their ceaseless hours of support for our School demonstrates a commitment to the culture that we are so fortunate to be a part of. 

My eldest daughter has just completed Year 12. At the end of 6 years at MGGS her description of the School culture is “kind”. Regardless of academic, sporting or arts excellence, imbedded philanthropy and close to 130 years of history, her one-word summary of her school was touching. This gave me cause to reflect on the welcome, acceptance and support I have received from so many, the wonderful friendships I have made with other parents and above all else, the enduring kindness of our community as a whole.

'Our differences are our strengths'

One of the themes that was celebrated when my daughter started at MGGS in Year 7 was ‘at MGGS - our differences are our strengths’.  This theme couldn't be a more appropriate description of ideals valued at MGGS.  

We are all different and some of us have more challenges than others at ‘fitting into the norm’, especially during the teenage years. From my experiences as a parent of a daughter at MGGS - I think these values are upheld and imbedded on all aspects of school life.

Girls that choose to be a little different are accepted and supported by their peers which is in part facilitated by the School environment. This then builds confidence within the cohort and allows all our daughters to shine.

The results we see are achievements that as parents we could never have thought could ever be possible! My daughter has significant handwriting difficulties which makes learning very challenging.  

From early on, with the amazing support from MGGS, she was trained to use a scribe for all assessments. This removed the burden of writing and allowed her to concentrate on just learning.

She has gone onto complete her VCE in maths and sciences and has just received an early offer to study a Bachelor of Nursing/Business at ACU.

As a parent over the years, I have seen many examples of how the School culture of accepting and celebrating our differences within the School community among the girls, the staff and us as parents – and how this results in an environment for our daughters to not only be themselves but to achieve amazing things by being themselves.

Jodie Bartle (Amberley, Year 12)

'Our differences are our strengths'

One of the themes that was celebrated when my daughter started at MGGS in Year 7 was ‘at MGGS - our differences are our strengths’.  This theme couldn't be a more appropriate description of ideals valued at MGGS.  

We are all different and some of us have more challenges than others at ‘fitting into the norm’, especially during the teenage years. From my experiences as a parent of a daughter at MGGS - I think these values are upheld and imbedded on all aspects of school life.

Girls that choose to be a little different are accepted and supported by their peers which is in part facilitated by the School environment. This then builds confidence within the cohort and allows all our daughters to shine.

The results we see are achievements that as parents we could never have thought could ever be possible! My daughter has significant handwriting difficulties which makes learning very challenging.  

From early on, with the amazing support from MGGS, she was trained to use a scribe for all assessments. This removed the burden of writing and allowed her to concentrate on just learning.

She has gone onto complete her VCE in maths and sciences and has just received an early offer to study a Bachelor of Nursing/Business at ACU.

As a parent over the years, I have seen many examples of how the School culture of accepting and celebrating our differences within the School community among the girls, the staff and us as parents – and how this results in an environment for our daughters to not only be themselves but to achieve amazing things by being themselves.

Jodie Bartle (Amberley, Year 12)

'Our differences are our strengths'

One of the themes that was celebrated when my daughter started at MGGS in Year 7 was ‘at MGGS - our differences are our strengths’.  This theme couldn't be a more appropriate description of ideals valued at MGGS.  

We are all different and some of us have more challenges than others at ‘fitting into the norm’, especially during the teenage years. From my experiences as a parent of a daughter at MGGS - I think these values are upheld and imbedded on all aspects of school life.

Girls that choose to be a little different are accepted and supported by their peers which is in part facilitated by the School environment. This then builds confidence within the cohort and allows all our daughters to shine.

The results we see are achievements that as parents we could never have thought could ever be possible! My daughter has significant handwriting difficulties which makes learning very challenging.  

From early on, with the amazing support from MGGS, she was trained to use a scribe for all assessments. This removed the burden of writing and allowed her to concentrate on just learning.

She has gone onto complete her VCE in maths and sciences and has just received an early offer to study a Bachelor of Nursing/Business at ACU.

As a parent over the years, I have seen many examples of how the School culture of accepting and celebrating our differences within the School community among the girls, the staff and us as parents – and how this results in an environment for our daughters to not only be themselves but to achieve amazing things by being themselves.

Jodie Bartle (Amberley, Year 12)

Shared Experiences

As a Year 12 boarder parent I’ve had a near firsthand account of how the girls in the boarding house have had to adapt and change as COVID-19 pandemic altered the course of this world and the School. 

The boarding house director Amanda Haggie, assistant Kerry Bacon and the residential staff have nurtured a safe and comfortable existence for the boarders this year as they’ve juggled the various lockdowns and rule changes that inevitably flowed.

But everything they’ve done has had, at its heart, the health and safety of all the girls first and foremost, something I’ll always remember.

Boarding has been a strong tradition at MGGS with a welcoming environment for the many international and indigenous students who have made this School their study place and home. This year two boarders and members of the indigenous community obtained leadership positions at the School, Lilli Ingram the School Captain and Gracie Ah Mat the Boarding House Captain. Congratulations to them for their outstanding leadership and work.

Shared Experiences

As a Year 12 boarder parent I’ve had a near firsthand account of how the girls in the boarding house have had to adapt and change as COVID-19 pandemic altered the course of this world and the School. 

The boarding house director Amanda Haggie, assistant Kerry Bacon and the residential staff have nurtured a safe and comfortable existence for the boarders this year as they’ve juggled the various lockdowns and rule changes that inevitably flowed.

But everything they’ve done has had, at its heart, the health and safety of all the girls first and foremost, something I’ll always remember.

Boarding has been a strong tradition at MGGS with a welcoming environment for the many international and indigenous students who have made this School their study place and home. This year two boarders and members of the indigenous community obtained leadership positions at the School, Lilli Ingram the School Captain and Gracie Ah Mat the Boarding House Captain. Congratulations to them for their outstanding leadership and work.

Shared Experiences

As a Year 12 boarder parent I’ve had a near firsthand account of how the girls in the boarding house have had to adapt and change as COVID-19 pandemic altered the course of this world and the School. 

The boarding house director Amanda Haggie, assistant Kerry Bacon and the residential staff have nurtured a safe and comfortable existence for the boarders this year as they’ve juggled the various lockdowns and rule changes that inevitably flowed.

But everything they’ve done has had, at its heart, the health and safety of all the girls first and foremost, something I’ll always remember.

Boarding has been a strong tradition at MGGS with a welcoming environment for the many international and indigenous students who have made this School their study place and home. This year two boarders and members of the indigenous community obtained leadership positions at the School, Lilli Ingram the School Captain and Gracie Ah Mat the Boarding House Captain. Congratulations to them for their outstanding leadership and work.

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Boarding House Director Amanda Haggie, assistant Kerry Bacon and the residential staff have nurtured a safe and comfortable existence for our Boarders.
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Boarding House Director Amanda Haggie, assistant Kerry Bacon and the residential staff have nurtured a safe and comfortable existence for our Boarders.
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It is just one example of how the School sees diversity as one of its key platforms, constantly developing, learning and building.

Despite the turmoil surrounding COVID many international students were still able to be a part of the boarding house coming in from China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, adding to the cultural diversity in the boarding house.

Diversity of culture is also reflected in the international flavour of the menu!

A higher focus this year was on fun and motivating activities inside the red brick walls due to restricted movement outside and little sport. This meant the girls have been brought closer together and bonded to support each other. The activities focus helped the girls establish a sense of belonging and togetherness, much needed in 2020 and 2021.

Parents provide great support for their daughters, however a social connection amongst parents has been missed these past two years and something we’ll hope to see bounce back in 2022.

Tony Giles (Merrin, Year 12 and Lydia, Year 9 in 2022)

It is just one example of how the School sees diversity as one of its key platforms, constantly developing, learning and building.

Despite the turmoil surrounding COVID many international students were still able to be a part of the boarding house coming in from China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, adding to the cultural diversity in the boarding house.

Diversity of culture is also reflected in the international flavour of the menu!

A higher focus this year was on fun and motivating activities inside the red brick walls due to restricted movement outside and little sport. This meant the girls have been brought closer together and bonded to support each other. The activities focus helped the girls establish a sense of belonging and togetherness, much needed in 2020 and 2021.

Parents provide great support for their daughters, however a social connection amongst parents has been missed these past two years and something we’ll hope to see bounce back in 2022.

Tony Giles (Merrin, Year 12 and Lydia, Year 9 in 2022)

Through the Generations

Melbourne Girls Grammar has consistently upheld the values of a liberal democratic school, committed to an exceptional education for girls.

In my grandmother’s time at MGGS, this was reflected in the charismatic leadership of Miss Ross who, upon her appointment as headmistress in 1939, shook up conventions by placing an emphasis on noncompetitive schoolwork and games, each student had an individual timetable. Even by today’s standards, this would be considered well ahead of its time.

My mother attended MGGS under the helm of Miss Mountain, who took over in Term 4 1957, where the values of self-discipline, courage and integrity were paramount. As mum remembers, ‘Nobody misbehaved, that’s for sure!’

I clearly remember my sisters’ and my school years with Miss Crone, who each assembly introduced us to wide-ranging topics from horticulture, music, the arts and religion. We could learn Latin, Italian and take fencing classes, which provided a wide range of experience beyond the mainstream academics. Everyone from those years will remember the annual Twilight Fair, the first Friday night out for many! 

Today my two daughters attend the Junior Years, and we have been lucky to benefit from the strong leadership of Dr Meath, who successfully steered the girls and their families through the unusual circumstances of the home classroom. 

Since returning to campus this term, there is a sense of celebration at being part of the MGGS community, and I delight more than ever in running into an ‘old girl’ dropping off her daughter at the gate, as we foster another generation of MGGS girls.

Sara Byrne (Charlotte, 3YO ELC and Alexandra, Year 1)

Through the Generations

Melbourne Girls Grammar has consistently upheld the values of a liberal democratic school, committed to an exceptional education for girls.

In my grandmother’s time at MGGS, this was reflected in the charismatic leadership of Miss Ross who, upon her appointment as headmistress in 1939, shook up conventions by placing an emphasis on noncompetitive schoolwork and games, each student had an individual timetable. Even by today’s standards, this would be considered well ahead of its time.

My mother attended MGGS under the helm of Miss Mountain, who took over in Term 4 1957, where the values of self-discipline, courage and integrity were paramount. As mum remembers, ‘Nobody misbehaved, that’s for sure!’

I clearly remember my sisters’ and my school years with Miss Crone, who each assembly introduced us to wide-ranging topics from horticulture, music, the arts and religion. We could learn Latin, Italian and take fencing classes, which provided a wide range of experience beyond the mainstream academics. Everyone from those years will remember the annual Twilight Fair, the first Friday night out for many! 

Today my two daughters attend the Junior Years, and we have been lucky to benefit from the strong leadership of Dr Meath, who successfully steered the girls and their families through the unusual circumstances of the home classroom. 

Since returning to campus this term, there is a sense of celebration at being part of the MGGS community, and I delight more than ever in running into an ‘old girl’ dropping off her daughter at the gate, as we foster another generation of MGGS girls.

Sara Byrne (Charlotte, 3YO ELC and Alexandra, Year 1)

Through the Generations

Melbourne Girls Grammar has consistently upheld the values of a liberal democratic school, committed to an exceptional education for girls.

In my grandmother’s time at MGGS, this was reflected in the charismatic leadership of Miss Ross who, upon her appointment as headmistress in 1939, shook up conventions by placing an emphasis on noncompetitive schoolwork and games, each student had an individual timetable. Even by today’s standards, this would be considered well ahead of its time.

My mother attended MGGS under the helm of Miss Mountain, who took over in Term 4 1957, where the values of self-discipline, courage and integrity were paramount. As mum remembers, ‘Nobody misbehaved, that’s for sure!’

I clearly remember my sisters’ and my school years with Miss Crone, who each assembly introduced us to wide-ranging topics from horticulture, music, the arts and religion. We could learn Latin, Italian and take fencing classes, which provided a wide range of experience beyond the mainstream academics. Everyone from those years will remember the annual Twilight Fair, the first Friday night out for many! 

Today my two daughters attend the Junior Years, and we have been lucky to benefit from the strong leadership of Dr Meath, who successfully steered the girls and their families through the unusual circumstances of the home classroom. 

Since returning to campus this term, there is a sense of celebration at being part of the MGGS community, and I delight more than ever in running into an ‘old girl’ dropping off her daughter at the gate, as we foster another generation of MGGS girls.

Sara Byrne (Charlotte, 3YO ELC and Alexandra, Year 1)

Investing in Community

Our daughter’s graduation this year allows us to reflect on our experiences at MGGS as a family. We have been fortunate that our daughter, Tash, has been at the School since ELC, and we have experienced every aspect of school life from kindergarten to Year 12. We know that Tash will remember her schooling through the friendships, inspiring teachers and the extra-curricular activities she has enjoyed. It’s the experience and people rather than the content.

As a parent, your involvement in the day-to-day school experience diminishes as your daughter is encouraged to gain independence academically and socially. Our vivid school memories consist of the many music recitals, chapel and assemblies, sports, and School events, watching our daughter and her friends with pride as they developed into young women of action.

However, the experience we have had as parents has been dramatically enhanced by getting involved in the community side of the School, first as class reps and then joining various auxiliary committees and fundraising activities over the years.  Our motivation came from reflecting on those who came before us, whose generosity of time and expertise built the beautiful school we know and created the culture we so much enjoyed.

The experience that you get when you ‘give’ your time and effort to school, meet and work alongside other inspiring and committed parents, to really get to know them and their families, has provided us with memories that we will never forget and some life-long friendships as a bonus.

We also hope that we have, in a small way, been able to leave the School a slightly better place than when we arrived.

Sylvia Ma & Trevor Townsend (Tash, Year 12)

Investing in Community

Our daughter’s graduation this year allows us to reflect on our experiences at MGGS as a family. We have been fortunate that our daughter, Tash, has been at the School since ELC, and we have experienced every aspect of school life from kindergarten to Year 12. We know that Tash will remember her schooling through the friendships, inspiring teachers and the extra-curricular activities she has enjoyed. It’s the experience and people rather than the content.

As a parent, your involvement in the day-to-day school experience diminishes as your daughter is encouraged to gain independence academically and socially. Our vivid school memories consist of the many music recitals, chapel and assemblies, sports, and School events, watching our daughter and her friends with pride as they developed into young women of action.

However, the experience we have had as parents has been dramatically enhanced by getting involved in the community side of the School, first as class reps and then joining various auxiliary committees and fundraising activities over the years.  Our motivation came from reflecting on those who came before us, whose generosity of time and expertise built the beautiful school we know and created the culture we so much enjoyed.

The experience that you get when you ‘give’ your time and effort to school, meet and work alongside other inspiring and committed parents, to really get to know them and their families, has provided us with memories that we will never forget and some life-long friendships as a bonus.

We also hope that we have, in a small way, been able to leave the School a slightly better place than when we arrived.

Sylvia Ma & Trevor Townsend (Tash, Year 12)

Investing in Community

Our daughter’s graduation this year allows us to reflect on our experiences at MGGS as a family. We have been fortunate that our daughter, Tash, has been at the School since ELC, and we have experienced every aspect of school life from kindergarten to Year 12. We know that Tash will remember her schooling through the friendships, inspiring teachers and the extra-curricular activities she has enjoyed. It’s the experience and people rather than the content.

As a parent, your involvement in the day-to-day school experience diminishes as your daughter is encouraged to gain independence academically and socially. Our vivid school memories consist of the many music recitals, chapel and assemblies, sports, and School events, watching our daughter and her friends with pride as they developed into young women of action.

However, the experience we have had as parents has been dramatically enhanced by getting involved in the community side of the School, first as class reps and then joining various auxiliary committees and fundraising activities over the years.  Our motivation came from reflecting on those who came before us, whose generosity of time and expertise built the beautiful school we know and created the culture we so much enjoyed.

The experience that you get when you ‘give’ your time and effort to school, meet and work alongside other inspiring and committed parents, to really get to know them and their families, has provided us with memories that we will never forget and some life-long friendships as a bonus.

We also hope that we have, in a small way, been able to leave the School a slightly better place than when we arrived.

Sylvia Ma & Trevor Townsend (Tash, Year 12)

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Engaging everyone

As fathers and father figures, our role in the ongoing development of our girls is vital to not only maximising their enjoyment throughout their school years but in shaping their growth as young women beyond school.

The formation of a positive paternal/daughter bond through the provision of continual guidance and support gives rise to well-rounded young women who interact with each other daily. I feel that this interaction whilst at school directly contributes to the rich and positive school culture that has been one of the founding hallmarks of MGGS.

From my perspective, one of the ways in which we can enhance the development of the paternal bond is to encourage greater interaction amongst ourselves. That is, getting to know one another socially with a view to sharing experiences and forming new friendships which can be difficult at times given our busy lives and hectic schedules.

This has certainly been my experience and I have been fortunate to develop some long-lasting friendships with fathers and father figures over the years from when my daughters were in junior school and now middle and senior school. We have all shared a lot over the journey and I look forward to continuing to do so for another five years!

Gil Polglase (Bianca, Year 10, Elly, Year 7)

Engaging everyone

As fathers and father figures, our role in the ongoing development of our girls is vital to not only maximising their enjoyment throughout their school years but in shaping their growth as young women beyond school.

The formation of a positive paternal/daughter bond through the provision of continual guidance and support gives rise to well-rounded young women who interact with each other daily. I feel that this interaction whilst at school directly contributes to the rich and positive school culture that has been one of the founding hallmarks of MGGS.

From my perspective, one of the ways in which we can enhance the development of the paternal bond is to encourage greater interaction amongst ourselves. That is, getting to know one another socially with a view to sharing experiences and forming new friendships which can be difficult at times given our busy lives and hectic schedules.

This has certainly been my experience and I have been fortunate to develop some long-lasting friendships with fathers and father figures over the years from when my daughters were in junior school and now middle and senior school. We have all shared a lot over the journey and I look forward to continuing to do so for another five years!

Gil Polglase (Bianca, Year 10, Elly, Year 7)

Engaging everyone

As fathers and father figures, our role in the ongoing development of our girls is vital to not only maximising their enjoyment throughout their school years but in shaping their growth as young women beyond school.

The formation of a positive paternal/daughter bond through the provision of continual guidance and support gives rise to well-rounded young women who interact with each other daily. I feel that this interaction whilst at school directly contributes to the rich and positive school culture that has been one of the founding hallmarks of MGGS.

From my perspective, one of the ways in which we can enhance the development of the paternal bond is to encourage greater interaction amongst ourselves. That is, getting to know one another socially with a view to sharing experiences and forming new friendships which can be difficult at times given our busy lives and hectic schedules.

This has certainly been my experience and I have been fortunate to develop some long-lasting friendships with fathers and father figures over the years from when my daughters were in junior school and now middle and senior school. We have all shared a lot over the journey and I look forward to continuing to do so for another five years!

Gil Polglase (Bianca, Year 10, Elly, Year 7)

Compiled by
Written By

Tammy Read

President, Parents Association

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