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20 May 2016
Today marks the launch of a very special project the Community Relations team has been working on to coincide with the official 90th Anniversary of Canberra Girls Grammar School.

We are excited to introduce you to the Canberra Girls Grammar School Heritage Walk.

HERITAGE WALK HONOURS 90 YEARS OF OUR SCHOOL

Today marks the launch of a very special project the Community Relations team has been working on to coincide with the official 90th Anniversary of Canberra Girls Grammar School. We are excited to introduce you to the Canberra Girls Grammar School Heritage Walk.

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Anne Coutts

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

90 years ago an intrepid group of Anglican nuns made the difficult journey from England to Australia to establish some schools for girls. This weekend we celebrate Founder’s Day and because it is our 90th birthday we have a full weekend of events. Please join us, starting with the Night Markets tonight (Friday). 

I was delighted to be able to visit the order of Anglican Nuns, Sisters of the Church, in their home in Ham, Richmond, North London before I made my own journey to Australia. They showed me some of their handwritten records of the establishment of St Gabriel’s School, Canberra. The Gabriel Foundation takes its name from that era, the original school, which was housed in the old Rectory at Reid before moving, a year later, to our Melbourne Avenue site.

I often think of those Sisters of the Church, their bravery and determination to offer education for women in an age when this was not readily available. Their entrepreneurial and foresighted approach lives on in Canberra Girls Grammar. They began the school with 10 students; 7 girls and 3 small boys. Today we have nearly 1600 students from the youngest in the ELC to our Senior students in Years 11 and 12.

We honour our founders and the long tradition of our school. I am looking forward to seeing many Grammarians this weekend as we celebrate.

Anne Coutts
Principal

Peter Milligan

FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL

Recently, Katherine Flint (Year 9 Robertson), spoke at the UN Youth 'Voice' competition. This is a nation-wide competition, getting participants to think about and give speeches on real world problems and then propose solutions. The national round was held in these last holidays in Canberra.

Katherine reached the final of what is a highly demanding and competitive event. The two topics Katherine spoke on at the national round were "What can we do to remove the glass ceiling for women in careers?" and "How can we encourage the international community to find alternatives to oil production and usage?"   As one of the top 5 speakers in the senior competition, with the final topic being "How do we adapt to secure our future?", Katherine’s solution was based on 'The redistribution of wealth in our society'.

I was impressed by Katherine’s genuine appreciation of the many talented people she met. She noted how they offered such insightful and thoughtful solutions to problems posed such as how we can put an end to domestic violence, provide support for mental health and promote the production of ethical goods among others. It was great to hear so many perspectives on topics and even more interesting listening to the proposed solutions.

In addition to the speeches, the participants also workshopped advocacy, policy and research, with speaker panels throughout the week. One of Katherine’s favourite panelists was Nipuni Wijemickrema (a former CGGS student), who spoke on advocacy. Phyllie Behm (also from CGGS) was the convenor – organiser of the competition and events.

Katherine’s ‘Glass Ceiling’ speech:

“In 2014, a position of “Director of Operations” was advertised.  It read: This position requires excellent negotiation and interpersonal skills. You must be able to work most, or really all of the time, standing up, constantly on your feet, constantly bending over, constantly exerting yourself.

You must be able to wear several hats. The Director of Operations is someone who might have a degree in medicine, finance and the culinary arts. You’ll be working 135 hours to unlimited hours a week. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes you might need to stay up through the night with the client. There are no breaks and no holidays in this job. And it pays absolutely nothing. If you had a life, you would need to give that life up.

This was a YouTube ad launched in 2014 by Card Store, an American card company. They created a fake job, “director of operations” and held real online interviews for it. As you can imagine, the interviewees were shocked. Not one of them wanted the job. At the end of the interviews, the interviewer revealed that billions of people already hold this job - Mums. Fittingly, they had titled the video “World’s Toughest Job”.

Although the ad was launched 2 years ago, the message still rings true. That is, that often women give up their lives, and particularly their work lives, to become mums. It’s one of the main barriers to breaking the glass ceiling for women in careers. According to the 2015 Glass Ceiling Index (issued by the Economist), Australia is the 18th best country to be a working woman. However, when you look at the same countries and rank them based only on paid maternity and paternity leave, Australia falls to rank 26 out of 30, and below the country average.

There are many reasons for why Australia ranks so lowly. One reason is that as a society, our culture places women into the gender societal role – to be a mother, and often we do so without providing the support that Australian women need. It’s a pattern that we see increasingly in our society – often women who have high positions in their careers either don’t have children, or have increasingly costly support systems of nannies and helpers at their homes.

For example, when Julia Gillard became prime minister, she faced constant backlash for not only being female, but also for not having children. We need women to work – after all, women make up 46% of all employees in Australia. But we also need working women to have babies and raise them at home, in order to sustain our population. Yet again, we need mums to be in two places at once.

One way we can make this ideal a reality is to increase maternity leave through telecommuting.This would mean mothers could work from home after their maternity leave either on a part time or fulltime basis - enabling highly-qualified women to take time off for their families without losing touch with the work place or the opportunity for promotion or greater responsibility.

We also need to increase the amount of paid paternity leave for fathers, as a way of balancing the parenting load. Currently men can take up to two weeks paid paternity leave, as opposed to 18 weeks for women, and on top of this, men are less likely to take the full amount of paternity leave due to social pressures and expectations.

It is social stigmas like these that are one of the major challenges in breaking the glass ceiling. Changing societal stigmas and beliefs around gender roles and responsibilities is just one aspect of how we can break the glass ceiling. We also need to look to the leaders and follow suit.  The 2015 Economist Glass Ceiling Index ranked 4 of the five Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland - as the top 4 places to be a working woman, where women have the best chance of equal treatment at work.   As well as having longer paid leave, they introduced mandatory quotas of 40% for women in senior management jobs. We can also use techniques like:

  • Introducing programs designed to encourage women’s leadership and remove prejudice and discrimination from the workplace.
  • We can implement successful female mentors to support and guide up and coming women
  • All employing committees should be made up of an equal gender base. So, two female and two male employers, for example.
  • And finally, we can close the gender pay gap both through the law and by publishing everyone’s pay scale. It’s been shown that when salaries and positions are published, the pay gap shrinks.

It’s taking action through steps like these, and encouraging equality that will drive Australia to be one of the best places in the world to be a working woman. Although we are one of the most up-to-date nations, we still have a long way to go in breaking the glass ceiling.

At the end of the day, girls just wanna have fun–damental rights.”

Congratulations on a wonderful effort!

Peter Milligan
Head of Senior School

Angela Whitaker

FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL

When I speak to parents about what they want most for their child happiness is usually at the top of the list. They want their child to have friends so they’ll be happy, to do well academically so they’ll be successful and therefore happy, to learn to be resilient so if they stumble in life they’ll be able pick themselves up and be happy. But can we teach happiness? The recent explosion of research into the teaching of well-being and happiness through the cultivation of attitudes and application of practises would indicate we can.

For those of you unfamiliar with Pos Ed it is summed up in the following definition by Geelong Grammar School:

Positive Education brings together the science of Positive Psychology with best practice teaching to encourage and support individuals, schools and communities to flourish. We refer to flourishing as a combination of ‘feeling good and doing good’. Positive Education focuses on specific skills that assist students to strengthen their relationships, build positive emotions, enhance personal resilience, promote mindfulness and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Geelong Grammar is just one school in Australia that has taken up Pos Ed in a big way. They presented to a gathering of local and international schools in Hong Kong late last year explaining their journey and how they have developed their program over time. Geelong Grammar have worked extensively with Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, and referenced his PERMA model (positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and achievement) when creating their own model of Pos Ed illustrated below.

My previous school in Hong Kong is relatively new to Pos Ed and when I left was in the second year of implementation. As a PYP school we found it married nicely with the Learner Profile Attributes and Attitudes as well as the Personal, Social and Physical Education area of the curriculum. It also overarched many of the wellness programs and initiatives we had started.

In June we have a small group of teachers attending a well-being and Positive Education conference in Sydney. We recognise that while pastoral care is a strength of our school we can always learn more about how to care for the whole child and help our girls and boys develop the attitudes and dispositions necessary for a full and happy life. I look forward to the teachers’ findings and recommendations for CGGS Junior School based on the information they receive.

Angela Whitaker
Head of Junior School

On Friday 13 May, 19 students of the combined Year 9-10 Asian Studies class travelled to Sydney to visit the Tang exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery, to explore the history of Chinatown and to study a Daoist Temple which dates from 1868 and still serves a thriving community today.

YEAR 9 AND 10 ASIAN STUDIES CLASS VISITS SYDNEY20 May

On Friday 13 May, 19 students of the combined Year 9-10 Asian Studies class travelled to Sydney to visit the Tang exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery, to explore the history of Chinatown and to study a Daoist Temple which dates from 1868 and still serves a thriving community today.

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After six weeks of planning and training five adventurous Year 10 students, Lisa Corbett, Sachi Sharma-Burton, Jacinta Moss-Pinch, Jade Schmutter and Argyri Pantelidis, completed their three day training expedition in the Jagungal Wilderness north of Mt Kosziosko. They had beautiful autumn weather with amazing views from the top of Mt Jagungal (2,061 metres above sea level). The (freezing) crossing of the Tumut River and warming up around a campfire were highlights.

SILVER D OF E PARTICIPANTS CLIMB MT JAGUNGAL20 May

After six weeks of planning and training five adventurous Year 10 students, Lisa Corbett, Sachi Sharma-Burton, Jacinta Moss-Pinch, Jade Schmutter and Argyri Pantelidis, completed their three day training expedition in the Jagungal Wilderness north of Mt Kosziosko. They had beautiful autumn weather with amazing views from the top of Mt Jagungal (2,061 metres above sea level). The (freezing) crossing of the Tumut River and warming up around a campfire were highlights.

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Imogen Laing (Year 11) received her Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award from Mr Andrew Barr MLA at an award ceremony at Old Parliament House on Wednesday 11 May.

SILVER DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD FOR IMOGEN20 May

Imogen Laing (Year 11) received her Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award from Mr Andrew Barr MLA at an award ceremony at Old Parliament House on Wednesday 11 May.

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Year 6 students have been inquiring into the ideas and actions of significant Australians that have shifted the thinking of others and shaped our national or global society.

YEAR 6 – A NIGHT AT THE WAXWORKS20 May

Year 6 students have been inquiring into the ideas and actions of significant Australians that have shifted the thinking of others and shaped our national or global society.

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On Wednesday, 18 May over 65 students who made up the CGGS cross country team took part in the ASC Cross Country at Weston Park.

CGGS WINS ASC CROSS COUNTRY FOR 3RD YEAR RUNNING20 May

On Wednesday, 18 May over 65 students who made up the CGGS cross country team took part in the ASC Cross Country at Weston Park.

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Last weekend was the inaugural CGGS String Camp for all string players in String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Lim Hur, Rowan Harvey-Martin, Natalie Guile and Sonia Geddes had the pleasure of working with the students for the weekend at the Greenhills Centre. The girls had a hardworking day and a half of tutorials, rehearsals and activities.

STRING CAMP 201620 May

Last weekend was the inaugural CGGS String Camp for all string players in String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Lim Hur, Rowan Harvey-Martin, Natalie Guile and Sonia Geddes had the pleasure of working with the students for the weekend at the Greenhills Centre. The girls had a hardworking day and a half of tutorials, rehearsals and activities.

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JUNIOR SCHOOL REPRESENT AT CROSS COUNTRY CARNIVAL20 May

On Tuesday, 3 May, 51 of our Junior School students competed in the South Weston Cross Country Carnival at the Stromlo Forest Park Running Track.

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On Tuesday, 17 May, CGGS took 16 girls to the Southside Futsal Cup. We had a Year 7/8 team and a Year 9/10 team.

The 9/10 team won three out of their four games, which was a very impressive effort while the 7/8 team made it to the final and won their game 7-2. As a result, this team has been invited to play at the ACT-wide Futsal Cup finals day next month.

SOUTHSIDE FUTSAL CUP 2016 RECAP20 May

On Tuesday, 17 May, CGGS took 16 girls to the Southside Futsal Cup. We had a Year 7/8 team and a Year 9/10 team. The 9/10 team won three out of their four games, which was a very impressive effort while the 7/8 team made it to the final and won their game 7-2. As a result, this team has been invited to play at the ACT-wide Futsal Cup finals day next month.

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During Semester 1, our Senior Physical Education students have participated in a variety of sporting activities and movement composition classes. Each week the girls participate in one lesson of physical activity and we endeavour to offer diversity in every class to enhance their physical and emotional health.

ZUMBA IN SENIOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION20 May

During Semester 1, our Senior Physical Education students have participated in a variety of sporting activities and movement composition classes. Each week the girls participate in one lesson of physical activity and we endeavour to offer diversity in every class to enhance their physical and emotional health.

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On the weekend of 13-15 May, six CGGS students competed in the Australia Cup Softball tournament in Blacktown, NSW.

Eve Anderson 7W, Alix McRae 6M and Jess Latham 5S all played in the Canberra Eclipse Blue team in some hard fought, enjoyable matches.

GIRLS GRAMMAR SOFTBALLERS20 May

On the weekend of 13-15 May, six CGGS students competed in the Australia Cup Softball tournament in Blacktown, NSW. Eve Anderson 7W, Alix McRae 6M and Jess Latham 5S all played in the Canberra Eclipse Blue team in some hard fought, enjoyable matches.

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This Sunday we will have a special Family and Friends’ Service at the old time of 9:30am to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Founders Day. Les Petite Chanteuses from the Junior School will be singing.

CHAPEL NEWS20 May

This Sunday we will have a special Family and Friends’ Service at the old time of 9:30am to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Founders Day. Les Petite Chanteuses from the Junior School will be singing.

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Following her strong performances at the Australian Under 18 Basketball Championships, this weekend Rosie Schweizer makes her debut for the Canberra Capitals Academy basketball team in away games against the Bendigo Braves and the Dandenong Rangers.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS20 May

Following her strong performances at the Australian Under 18 Basketball Championships, this weekend Rosie Schweizer makes her debut for the Canberra Capitals Academy basketball team in away games against the Bendigo Braves and the Dandenong Rangers.

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