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22 - 26 June 2015
The Senior Council met Prime Minister Tony Abbott at his Magna Carta lecture in Parliament House recently.

Senior Council meets Prime Minister Tony Abbott

The Senior Council met Prime Minister Tony Abbott at his Magna Carta lecture in Parliament House recently.

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From the Principal

Are you easily discouraged? When you set your mind to a task, how little does it take to stop you accomplishing it? How much can you take before you give up?

Seeing the first snowfalls on the mountains has made me think of this true story about someone who set himself a task—to climb Mount Everest. These were the hurdles he faced.

He was kept in camp at South Col, high on the mountain, for so long that his food and oxygen supplies had run out. Would you give up?

Then, when he had finally been given permission to climb the final section, his team leader abandons the climb and descends to base camp. Would you give up?

He decided to continue with the summit attempt but his fingers freeze up because it takes 45 minutes without gloves to fasten his boots. Would you give up?

As he fought his way up, the weather deteriorated and, 50-metres from the top, the small party were forced to turn back, utterly exhausted. Would you give up your dream of standing on top of the world?

When he arrived back at base camp, his frost bitten fingers were so badly damaged that five of them have to be amputated. Would you give up your dream?

The year was 2000. The man was just a boy, 15-year-old Temba Tsheri, attempting to become the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. Remarkably in May 2001, Temba Tsheri stood on the summit of Everest, the youngest person to do so, beating the 1773 record of 17-year-old Shambu Tamang. He held the vision of what he wanted to achieve and even these extreme events did not discourage him.

Let’s encourage our youngsters who say, “Let me try again. I can do it."

I wish you all a happy and relaxing winter break.

Anne Coutts
Principal 

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From the Head of Senior School

The Senior Council Grammar Night Live Concert last Friday night was an extraordinary showcase of talent across Years 7 to 10.

The evening was so well organised and entertaining and included dance, singing, film and two highly engaging Year 12 Senior Council MCs in Tilly Hammond and Isobel Sneddon. The charity focus for the event and for the Senior Council in 2015 is the Asha Niketan L’Arche Community in Kolkata—specifically the newly opened school and accommodation for girls with a range of disabilities.

Semester 1 has been amazingly busy! Events that seemed some time away have come and gone and while we now focus on Semester 2, we also have 2016 firmly in our planning. The end of the semester is also a time to thank students, staff and parents for their support of our community in the wide range of endeavours undertaken.

What I love about schools is that every day, no matter what you have planned, will always present a surprise. The fact that life is full of surprises is one of the great things about our lives and relationships—reality is not always what it appears on the outside as demonstrated in the following example:

There is the story of the old Brazilian woman who crossed the Frontier border every day on a motor scooter with a sack of sand behind her. The Customs Officer eventually became suspicious and inquired: “Madam, what have you got in that sack?” “Only sand, sir,” she replied. The officer emptied the sack and, indeed, it contained nothing but sand. And so it went on for a month. One day, becoming very frustrated, the officer said to the old woman, “I won’t arrest you or say anything to the Police, but just tell me: are you smuggling or not?” “Yes,” she answered truthfully. “Well, what are you smuggling?” he pressed her. With a smile the old woman replied, “Motor scooters.”

Please note that Tara Dunstall is now Acting Head of Curriculum. Feel free to contact her on tara.dunstall@cggs.act.edu.au, should you have any curriculum queries. We wish Heidi Vellnagel all the best in her future endeavours.

I hope you have quality family time over the break and a personal thank you for the wonderful welcome and support you have given me throughout the semester.

Peter Milligan 
Head of Senior School 

From the Head of Junior School

This week was the culmination of the work of a large team of students, staff and parents who have worked collaboratively to prepare the 2015 Year 6 Musical production, Aladdin Trouble.

With some inspired casting, it was indeed a triumph for everyone involved and I was pleased to be part of the audience for the final performance last night. The manner in which the girls performed captured the imaginations of the audience, whose participation was also a real hit. Notably the singing was stunning and the delivery of the lines outstanding (lucky I’m a fan of darts). The amazing array of costumes backed by the exceptional set added to what was a truly memorable evening.

Throughout Semester 1, a team of five teachers; Jenny Groom, Sara David, Meaghan Scougall and Michelle Williams worked with the cast each week. This commitment increased more recently with added practices on weekends as the performance dates loomed. In addition, a team of seventeen dedicated parents organised, designed, sourced and made the stunning costumes, designed and painted backdrops and made props and were on hand to do makeup and help with the myriad of extra tasks that ensure a smooth performance.

From the busy backstage and technical crews, who overcame challenges to make sure props, lighting and sound were in place; to the flurry of parents assisting with make-up and an array of elaborate costumes; to the musicians and the cast of actors who produced their best for two shows, it was a memorable experience. The evidence of committed rehearsal, dedication and determination was reflected in the shared joy of the performers and their audience.

The learning opportunity for our students involved in the production cannot be measured. During the process they have all gained confidence, whilst needing to persevere, tolerate, empathise and cooperate. This commitment has involved learning lines and songs, dance moves and stagecraft. Learning to work as part of such a large team towards a common goal is a life skill that is difficult to quantify, but shared success is the most satisfying.

Excellent performance, achieving one’s personal best, only comes as the result of persistence. It is the practice, repetition and working to perfect each step in the processes involved in each task which generates excellent performance.

As this is the very last Weekly Update for the term, I wish to acknowledge the hard work of the staff and students throughout the semester and wish everyone well-deserved vacation that is both safe and restful, before a return to school on Monday 20 July.

Heather Ablett
Head of Junior School

From the Director of Curriculum

As many of you know I am moving to Japan in July. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Canberra Girls Grammar School community. It has been for me both a privilege and an honour. Working as the Director of Curriculum for the past eight years, I have got to know many wonderful students and their parents. It is quite sad for me to leave but as I always tell the Year 12s as they start to stress about future choices, you need to take a few deep breaths and then follow your dreams. It just might take a while to get there.

It has taken me 15 years but I can now finally go to live with my husband in Saitama.

I wish the current Year 12 cohort the best for the upcoming AST in September. I know they are working hard on their preparation and that's exactly what they need to do. 

Heidi Vellnagel
Director of Curriculum

From the Director of Co-Curriculum

Subject Selections for 2016—Years 8 to 12.

In the second week of Term 3, students currently in Years 7 to 10 will be making their selections for 2016 subjects. Students entering Years 8, 9 and 10 will select Electives only. Students entering Year 11 will decide on their course of study (ACT Board of Studies or International Baccalaureate) and their subjects. Students entering Year 12 will select either continuing the same subjects, or making changes as allowed in their course of study.

The Year 10 students have attended the Information Evening as well as a meeting with Mrs Coutts and Dr Dietrich (Careers Advisor) to assist them with their selections.

The Guide to Courses is now available on Canvas. Students and parents should read through all of the information to inform their decision making.

On Monday 27 July, students will receive an email containing a link to the subject selection online system. Once logged in, the eligible subjects for each individual student will be displayed. Selections can be made up until 4pm on Friday 31 July. The system allows several submissions if required—only the final version is incorporated into the timetabling program. The final step is to print the form for parents to sign and return to the School as confirmation that the subjects are correct.

As indicated in the Guide to Courses, students and parents have several avenues to assist them with the selection process if they are encountering any difficulties or have questions that need answering.

David Blue
Director of Co-Curriculum 

From the President of the P&F Association

It's my great pleasure to announce that the combined CGGS & CGS Parents & Friends Associations' Magical Winter Ball is a sell out!

This fabulous news is testament to the overwhelmingly positive response from our community of parents and friends to this combined social event. How magical!

A huge thank you to the whole community for supporting our Magical Winter Ball with ticket bookings and prize donations. And a special note of thanks to the Ball Sub-Committee for their fantastic work in bringing us the magic.

If you would like to donate prizes please contact: combined-winter-ball@cgs.act.edu.au or if you missed out on tickets and wish to be placed on the waiting list please contact Cheryl Hendy 0410 645 482 (CGGS) or Susan Platis 0419 436 569 (CGS).

Mareeta Grundy Reid
President of the CGGS P&F Association

FAREWELL HEATHER

CGGS farewells Chief Operating Officer Heather Walsh today. Heather has been employed at the School for more than 12 years and has made a significant contribution to the staff, students and families of CGGS. The school has benefited from Heather’s wise financial management and skill in facilities planning. We wish her all the best in her new role advising the Diocese on education and business.

NEWS

Will you be in London on Monday 13 July?

Calling all our CGGS community members in the UK!

Will you be in London on Monday 13 July?

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Cate, Roísín and Charlotte were selected to perform in this prestigious event.

Three CGGS students perform at the ACTcent Concert26 June

Cate, Roísín and Charlotte were selected to perform in this prestigious event.

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Over 20 to 23 June, eight Year 7 students competed in the national finals of the da Vinci Decathlon.

CGGS competes in the da Vinci Decathlon national finals25 June

Over 20 to 23 June, eight Year 7 students competed in the national finals of the da Vinci Decathlon.

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The Hunger Banquet, held in the Senior School Hall on Monday 22 June was run by Year 9 geography students who invited their parents to dinner and to view their projects on Food Insecurity.

Year 9 geography's Hunger Banquet25 June

The Hunger Banquet, held in the Senior School Hall on Monday 22 June was run by Year 9 geography students who invited their parents to dinner and to view their projects on Food Insecurity.

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Year 7 science students had the opportunity to interact via video link with scientists currently aboard the Nautilus Live expedition.

Year 7 science students link to Nautilus Live25 June

Year 7 science students had the opportunity to interact via video link with scientists currently aboard the Nautilus Live expedition.

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Seventeen talented students have recently returned from five fantastic days of music making in Melbourne at the 19th Australian Combined Schools Music Festival.

17 students attend the Australian Combined Schools Music Festival25 June

Seventeen talented students have recently returned from five fantastic days of music making in Melbourne at the 19th Australian Combined Schools Music Festival.

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On Wednesday 24 June, the Year 9 Dance classes travelled to Sydney to support their studies in their upcoming Semester 2 unit Theatrical Dance.

Year 9 Dance Trip to Sydney25 June

On Wednesday 24 June, the Year 9 Dance classes travelled to Sydney to support their studies in their upcoming Semester 2 unit Theatrical Dance.

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This week, the CGGS Creative Writing Club held a market day to raise money for Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital (PatCH).

Creative writers raise money for Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital (PatCH)25 June

This week, the CGGS Creative Writing Club held a market day to raise money for Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital (PatCH).

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The first Mums and Bubs morning tea was held on Tuesday 23 June for current staff on maternity leave.

Staff Mums & Bubs morning tea25 June

The first Mums and Bubs morning tea was held on Tuesday 23 June for current staff on maternity leave.

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Congratulations to the following students.

Student Achievements this week of 26 June24 June

Congratulations to the following students.

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The Safe School Committee warmly invites you to its 2015 Father and Daughter/Son Breakfast.

2015 Annual Father Daughter/Son Breakfast9 June

The Safe School Committee warmly invites you to its 2015 Father and Daughter/Son Breakfast.

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Grammarians' news this week.

Grammarians' News24 June

Grammarians' news this week.

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OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

COMMUNITY NOTICES

29 JUNE - 2 JULY,  ACTING ANTICS ACTING & THEATRE CAMP, CGGS SENIOR SCHOOL

Audition, rehearse & perform a fully costumed play in 4 days! Every student gets a role with dialogue! Fabulous costumes! Link here for more information.

4 JULY, MEET AUTHORS GRAEME BASE AND GARY CREW, NATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE

Link here for more information.

11-12 JULY, YOUTH MENTAL FIRST AID COURSE (FREE FOR PARENTS OF TEENS)

9am-5pm, Youth Coalition of the ACT, Clianthus Street, O'Connor. Cost is $250. If any are parents of teens, they can do it for free by signing up for the 'Training Parents of Teens' study being undertaken by the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. Link here for more information. More information on the course can be found at https://mhfa.com.au/courses/public/types/youth. To enrol people can email Robin Duff robinduff099@gmail.com

28 AUGUST, RIBBONS & CRANES BRAIN CANCER AWARENESS DINNER

7pm, Corinna Room, Canberra Southern Cross Club Woden. All funds raised in support of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and Brain Tumour Alliance Australia. Book your tickets through http://www.trybooking.com/141443. Link here for more information.

SUBMISSIONS

To submit community notices or student achievements and photos for consideration in the Weekly Update, please email Monica Masters on newsletter@cggs.act.edu.au by COB Wednesday.

To submit news on CGGS Grammarians for consideration in the Weekly Update, please email Laura Hannan on grammarians@cggs.act.edu.au by COB Wednesday