From the Principal

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  1. Children today are being raised in a self-absorbed culture and as a result may be ill-equipped to understand the emotions of others. Nonetheless, significant adults, mostly family members and teachers, can help children learn to feel greater empathy by teaching them about emotions, showing them how their actions affect others and outlining how they can contribute to their world.

    Measuring your child’s empathy quotient14 August

    Children today are being raised in a self-absorbed culture and as a result may be ill-equipped to understand the emotions of others. Nonetheless, significant adults, mostly family members and teachers, can help children learn to feel greater empathy by teaching them about emotions, showing them how their actions affect others and outlining how they can contribute to their world.

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  2. Last year I reflected on the role of the Humanities in Primary and Secondary education in my eNews article The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Studying Humanities to prepare for the future31 July

    Last year I reflected on the role of the Humanities in Primary and Secondary education in my eNews article The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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  3. Cycling around the Canberra region over the weekend made me realise how beautiful the winter colours are, particularly the sky.

    From the Principal - Beyond our imagination19 June

    Cycling around the Canberra region over the weekend made me realise how beautiful the winter colours are, particularly the sky.

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  4. Living and leading through a pandemic has taught me a few valuable lessons. To start with, I had to come to terms with the fact that it is not a definable concrete and sequential challenge. The pandemic is rolling over us, with ebbs and flows, fits and starts, new challenges and challenge fatigue.

    From the Principal - Life is full of complex situations4 June

    Living and leading through a pandemic has taught me a few valuable lessons. To start with, I had to come to terms with the fact that it is not a definable concrete and sequential challenge. The pandemic is rolling over us, with ebbs and flows, fits and starts, new challenges and challenge fatigue.

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  5. In our most recent eNews, we looked at stories of Canberra Girls Grammar School during the Second World War for guidance on how to behave in times of great challenge and upheaval. We can and must learn from history and, additionally, look forward to create a better world. In war times, CGGS got on with life day by day, finding a common cause and becoming a community based on resistance, defiance, and on mutual need. They just had to do the job to get through. They hoped for victory, worked and suffered for it.

    From the Principal - Our generation’s story22 May

    In our most recent eNews, we looked at stories of Canberra Girls Grammar School during the Second World War for guidance on how to behave in times of great challenge and upheaval. We can and must learn from history and, additionally, look forward to create a better world. In war times, CGGS got on with life day by day, finding a common cause and becoming a community based on resistance, defiance, and on mutual need. They just had to do the job to get through. They hoped for victory, worked and suffered for it.

    Read more
  6. Our history is instructive when predicting the future of Canberra Girls Grammar School – PART 2

Miss Una Mitchell was Headmistress of Canberra Girls Grammar School (CCEGGS) from 1937-1947.

    From the Principal - What would Miss Mitchell do?8 May

    Our history is instructive when predicting the future of Canberra Girls Grammar School – PART 2 Miss Una Mitchell was Headmistress of Canberra Girls Grammar School (CCEGGS) from 1937-1947.

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  7. Despite the uncertainty of the current times, Canberra Girls Grammar School has settled into a cycle of agility, adaptability and delivery that is quite remarkable. There are four steps in the cycle, and parents, students, staff and the community are all involved.

    ‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book9 April

    Despite the uncertainty of the current times, Canberra Girls Grammar School has settled into a cycle of agility, adaptability and delivery that is quite remarkable. There are four steps in the cycle, and parents, students, staff and the community are all involved.

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  8. As Principal, it is not my role to ascribe motives to any Federal or State/Territory decision. Schools are committed to supporting civic intent and acceptable societal norms and enriching them. I am hesitant in a crisis such as this to assign unworthy intentions to the decisions of the authorities. I acknowledge they have more facts and more responsibilities than I do. I see no reason to doubt that they are genuinely trying to save lives.

    From a world of ‘unknown unknowns’ to a world of ‘uncertain uncertainties’27 March

    As Principal, it is not my role to ascribe motives to any Federal or State/Territory decision. Schools are committed to supporting civic intent and acceptable societal norms and enriching them. I am hesitant in a crisis such as this to assign unworthy intentions to the decisions of the authorities. I acknowledge they have more facts and more responsibilities than I do. I see no reason to doubt that they are genuinely trying to save lives.

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  9. How some people view the past is often a customised and revised version of the fact. We tend to view history through the lens of the present. The present, of course, reflects changed values, new attitudes and different contexts. A new chronology of generations owns the present day. Who precedes us and succeeds us in our professional life and in our social spaces matters. The upshot is that conditions can improve, but they may also decline. For the generations of women on the planet today, conditions in general have improved, and in some areas at a breathtaking speed in the last five to 10 years.

    From the Principal - Where I am, anything is possible13 March

    How some people view the past is often a customised and revised version of the fact. We tend to view history through the lens of the present. The present, of course, reflects changed values, new attitudes and different contexts. A new chronology of generations owns the present day. Who precedes us and succeeds us in our professional life and in our social spaces matters. The upshot is that conditions can improve, but they may also decline. For the generations of women on the planet today, conditions in general have improved, and in some areas at a breathtaking speed in the last five to 10 years.

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  10. If you would like to see teachers at their best, seek them out and have a conversation with them when they are up to elbows in a co-curricular activity, often outdoors and often out-of-hours. Co-curriculum, by definition, sits alongside the curriculum.

    From the Principal - Sharpen, Strengthen, Deepen28 February

    If you would like to see teachers at their best, seek them out and have a conversation with them when they are up to elbows in a co-curricular activity, often outdoors and often out-of-hours. Co-curriculum, by definition, sits alongside the curriculum.

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  11. The first Assemblies of the Junior and Senior School year are dedicated to Commencement and Leadership. We officially recognise our new Student Leaders and Council. We also welcome our co-curriculum leaders, and the Year 6 and 12 cohorts as leaders.

    From the Principal - The mystery of modern leadership14 February

    The first Assemblies of the Junior and Senior School year are dedicated to Commencement and Leadership. We officially recognise our new Student Leaders and Council. We also welcome our co-curriculum leaders, and the Year 6 and 12 cohorts as leaders.

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  12. This week we welcomed back our students and the school came alive again. For the teachers reading this, you will understand, but for those in other professions, I must tell you there is nothing comparable to the unbridled energy, joy, smiles and squealing on the first day of the academic year.

    From the Principal – Welcome to a new school year7 February

    This week we welcomed back our students and the school came alive again. For the teachers reading this, you will understand, but for those in other professions, I must tell you there is nothing comparable to the unbridled energy, joy, smiles and squealing on the first day of the academic year.

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  13. This has been a year of exploration and discovery, of reviews and relationship building. It has been a year of energetic and faithful delivery of systems, traditions and programs. It has been an extraordinary year at Canberra Girls Grammar School.

However, the students create the life within the school. Their outstanding academic and co-curricular performances, their acts of service, their laughter and their hard work.

    From the Principal - Have a happy and holy holiday6 December

    This has been a year of exploration and discovery, of reviews and relationship building. It has been a year of energetic and faithful delivery of systems, traditions and programs. It has been an extraordinary year at Canberra Girls Grammar School. However, the students create the life within the school. Their outstanding academic and co-curricular performances, their acts of service, their laughter and their hard work.

    Read more
  14. A drama student, a music student and a fine arts student walk into the canteen... The drama student says “Drama is the best subject because it teaches you …”

    From the Principal - Connecting the dots in unexpected ways21 November

    A drama student, a music student and a fine arts student walk into the canteen... The drama student says “Drama is the best subject because it teaches you …”

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  15. I have taught at four highly academic girls’ schools in Australia, and I now lead a school with a consistently brilliant academic tradition here in the ACT.

    Shining a light on a blind spot: women’s leadership8 November

    I have taught at four highly academic girls’ schools in Australia, and I now lead a school with a consistently brilliant academic tradition here in the ACT.

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  16. The purpose of an education is so we can fit into life. Sometimes it is a life of your choosing, oftentimes it is not entirely your choice but fate, chance and God’s plan, all intervene. Year 12, my hope for you is that you look back on your school days and remember encouragement, compassion and humour; that you will be a performer, not an onlooker. That you found enjoyment in the struggles as well as in the high moments and that you will have learned to give your best.

    Beyond Year 12 - Entering a world that may not be of your choosing25 October

    The purpose of an education is so we can fit into life. Sometimes it is a life of your choosing, oftentimes it is not entirely your choice but fate, chance and God’s plan, all intervene. Year 12, my hope for you is that you look back on your school days and remember encouragement, compassion and humour; that you will be a performer, not an onlooker. That you found enjoyment in the struggles as well as in the high moments and that you will have learned to give your best.

    Read more
  17. People are returning to live music concerts in droves. More tickets were sold in Australia in the last year than in any previous years. At the heart of these real-world experiences lies the importance of human connection. Music is for the benefit of all, not just the enlightened.

    From the Principal - Rebuilding the village through music26 September

    People are returning to live music concerts in droves. More tickets were sold in Australia in the last year than in any previous years. At the heart of these real-world experiences lies the importance of human connection. Music is for the benefit of all, not just the enlightened.

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  18. Last week we turned our attention to, and celebrated, Languages Week. Language and the study of languages is a rich experience, as we also study the culture associated with a language. The ancient and modern languages of the world do not just reflect the culture of its speakers, languages have a sometimes curious effect on how we think about and perceive the world. By creating associations with words, speakers of different languages ultimately have a different experiences or perceptions of the same reality.

    From the Principal - The languages we speak affect the way we think and act12 September

    Last week we turned our attention to, and celebrated, Languages Week. Language and the study of languages is a rich experience, as we also study the culture associated with a language. The ancient and modern languages of the world do not just reflect the culture of its speakers, languages have a sometimes curious effect on how we think about and perceive the world. By creating associations with words, speakers of different languages ultimately have a different experiences or perceptions of the same reality.

    Read more
  19. Science Week is not for everybody, but for some students it is the first glimmer or insight into what may ultimately become their lifelong passion.

    From the Principal - Prickly pears28 August

    Science Week is not for everybody, but for some students it is the first glimmer or insight into what may ultimately become their lifelong passion.

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  20. Powerpoint has been torturing us since the late 1980s that is, over thirty years of ‘death by Powerpoint’. It is a brilliant tool, exceptional design, therefore the ‘end-user’ is the problem. The end-user in this case, is of course the presenter.

    From the Principal - On being referred to as a Luddite15 August

    Powerpoint has been torturing us since the late 1980s that is, over thirty years of ‘death by Powerpoint’. It is a brilliant tool, exceptional design, therefore the ‘end-user’ is the problem. The end-user in this case, is of course the presenter.

    Read more
  21. The start of a semester typically brings with it a sense of possibility, giving us the courage to hope. After three weeks of rest and revitalisation, we came back to school ready to start the next stage in our life-long learning journey. The beginning of this semester however, delivered a test of resilience none of us expected.

    First a Teacher1 August

    The start of a semester typically brings with it a sense of possibility, giving us the courage to hope. After three weeks of rest and revitalisation, we came back to school ready to start the next stage in our life-long learning journey. The beginning of this semester however, delivered a test of resilience none of us expected.

    Read more
  22. The more things change, the more they stay the same

With a foundation in the Junior School, each subject in the Senior School bridges the gap between Year 6 and tertiary entrance. The Senior School, from the beginning of next term, will return to the prior model of offering nine discipline-based faculties.

    From the Principal – Return to Humanities27 June

    The more things change, the more they stay the same With a foundation in the Junior School, each subject in the Senior School bridges the gap between Year 6 and tertiary entrance. The Senior School, from the beginning of next term, will return to the prior model of offering nine discipline-based faculties.

    Read more
  23. As we near the end of Semester 1 assessments, and for our Year 12, trial AST exams, I observe students rising to the occasion as they move through this challenging period. As educators and parents, it is our role to teach, guide and support them to build up trust in their own abilities and understand that while things will not always be smooth sailing, some of the most gratifying achievements come after a period of adversity. A confronting statistic states that 24 out of 40 British prime ministers (up until 1970) lost a parent in childhood or adolescence. I do not wish that upon any child, however, it is a compelling example of how adversity can result in one achieving greatly.

    From the Principal – Resilience21 June

    As we near the end of Semester 1 assessments, and for our Year 12, trial AST exams, I observe students rising to the occasion as they move through this challenging period. As educators and parents, it is our role to teach, guide and support them to build up trust in their own abilities and understand that while things will not always be smooth sailing, some of the most gratifying achievements come after a period of adversity. A confronting statistic states that 24 out of 40 British prime ministers (up until 1970) lost a parent in childhood or adolescence. I do not wish that upon any child, however, it is a compelling example of how adversity can result in one achieving greatly.

    Read more
  24. As we move into shorter days and cooler mornings it is often difficult to convince ourselves that physical activity is really necessary. I was disappointed to read the articles and the angles taken in the last few weeks about young women and adolescent girls leaving team sports.

    From the Principal – staying active7 June

    As we move into shorter days and cooler mornings it is often difficult to convince ourselves that physical activity is really necessary. I was disappointed to read the articles and the angles taken in the last few weeks about young women and adolescent girls leaving team sports.

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  25. We never forget those people, places and organisations that shape us and this school is one such place. It shapes and is shaped by those who attend as students, but equally shapes and is shaped by those who accept the call to engage. I accept humbly, and with great depth of feeling, the invitation to join the CGGS community as the 15th Principal.

    From the Principal – Commissioning – following the greats23 May

    We never forget those people, places and organisations that shape us and this school is one such place. It shapes and is shaped by those who attend as students, but equally shapes and is shaped by those who accept the call to engage. I accept humbly, and with great depth of feeling, the invitation to join the CGGS community as the 15th Principal.

    Read more
  26. Parenting is all about the long game, and being a mother is the greatest test of endurance.

In all my years of experience in schools, I have never met two students that are identical. Each person, regardless of gender or age, is unique and special. This, I would argue, is most likely the same for each daughter or son. Parenting, therefore, is complex.

    Parenting – the long game and test of endurance8 May

    Parenting is all about the long game, and being a mother is the greatest test of endurance. In all my years of experience in schools, I have never met two students that are identical. Each person, regardless of gender or age, is unique and special. This, I would argue, is most likely the same for each daughter or son. Parenting, therefore, is complex.

    Read more
  27. As Term 1 ends, I have encouraged the students to continue to reflect on their short-term triumphs, to be grateful and show gratitude for the term and all the opportunities it presented.

    From the Principal – Contemplation12 April

    As Term 1 ends, I have encouraged the students to continue to reflect on their short-term triumphs, to be grateful and show gratitude for the term and all the opportunities it presented.

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  28. Our Anglican values are the prism through which we see civility at every turn. Treating others with compassion, acting justly, supporting the needs of our community, and courageously standing by our beliefs.

    From the Principal - Civility29 March

    Our Anglican values are the prism through which we see civility at every turn. Treating others with compassion, acting justly, supporting the needs of our community, and courageously standing by our beliefs.

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  29. Last week I had the privilege of sharing International Women’s Day (IWD) with some incredible young women from our School who I know will go on to achieve great things.

    From the Principal - International Women's Day15 March

    Last week I had the privilege of sharing International Women’s Day (IWD) with some incredible young women from our School who I know will go on to achieve great things.

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  30. Happy International Women’s Day!

    To our students, on International Women’s Day8 March

    Happy International Women’s Day!

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  31. For the students in our care, the introduction of bans, restrictions, constraints and rules are a double-edged sword. It gives them boundaries, certainty, ritual and traditions, teaches them how to live in a community and at times, offers up a great source of irritation that children and adolescents rage against passionately.

    From the Principal - flipping the phone conversation1 March

    For the students in our care, the introduction of bans, restrictions, constraints and rules are a double-edged sword. It gives them boundaries, certainty, ritual and traditions, teaches them how to live in a community and at times, offers up a great source of irritation that children and adolescents rage against passionately.

    Read more
  32. This week, as I walked around the Senior School during lunchtimes, or earlier in the day in the Junior School, and watched so many students sitting, playing and interacting, I reflected on the purpose of social time in the school day. Unstructured activity, outside, with multiple year groups, playing music, sharing stories and experiences, and in some instances their lunch. This is a great school with an extraordinary story and a proud past.

    From the Principal - reflection15 February

    This week, as I walked around the Senior School during lunchtimes, or earlier in the day in the Junior School, and watched so many students sitting, playing and interacting, I reflected on the purpose of social time in the school day. Unstructured activity, outside, with multiple year groups, playing music, sharing stories and experiences, and in some instances their lunch. This is a great school with an extraordinary story and a proud past.

    Read more
  33. Beginning 2019 as the 15th Principal of this historic school, this year is a significant one for me.

    Welcome from the Principal24 January

    Beginning 2019 as the 15th Principal of this historic school, this year is a significant one for me.

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