Grammar Gazette- Issue 1, 2013





PAGE 16 / FUTURE–FOCUSED Mr Brendon Thomas

PAGE 02 / THE CONSTANCY OF CHANGE Ms Jacinda Euler, Principal

PAGE 18 / SONGS & STARS IN SYDNEY Georgia Horsley (12G)



PAGE 01 / NEW BEGINNINGS by Mrs Marise McConaghy, Deputy Principal PAGE 02 / THE CONSTANCY OF CHANGE by Ms Jacinda Euler, Principal PAGE 05 /

WE WANTED TO TAKE the opportunity to thank the School, and especially our daughter’s Head of House, for so warmly welcoming the 2013 Year 8s at afternoon tea. It gave the parents and the girls a wonderful chance to get to know each other — and will certainly make the first day a lot less daunting! INCOMING YEAR 8 2013 PARENTS I CONGRATULATE DR BELL on her extensive article about philanthropy in the Spring 2012 Grammar Gazette . These are very important messages to support fundraising. The generosity of School founders and others is matched by current students’ impressive community service – another generation of philanthropists in the making. MR D MCDIARMID, YEAR 9 PARENT ASHLEIGH’S MUM AND I are very pleased with the education and life experience that she acquired at Girls Grammar, and we are proud of her OP1 achievement. Ashleigh’s personal and scholastic development throughout her formative years is testament to the high standards and values that the School has set for its students. As a token of our appreciation towards the School, please accept this gift towards the Building Fund. Thank you. MR J LAU, YEAR 12 2012 PARENT DURING HER TIME AT the School, my daughter greatly benefitted from the guidance from her teachers in the co-curricular Music programme, and in classroom and music extension in Years 11 and 12. She obtained her first preference of a position in the Bachelor of Music at the Conservatorium to continue her studies in violin performance. We thank all the music teachers who gave her the confidence to try, and shepherded her through those interesting teenage years. Please accept this gift to the Music Support Group. 2012 YEAR 12 PARENT

EMBRACE THE NEW! LINK THE BLUE! by Elizabeth Redmond & Sophie Weir PAGE 06 / THE HOUSE PARTY: A RIOT OF NOISE AND COLOUR! by Mrs Anne Ingram, Dean of Students PAGE 08 / STARTING THE NEW YEAR WITH NEW SHOES by Mr Trent Driver PAGE 10 / OUR NEW SPORTS CAMPUS AT FIG TREE POCKET PAGE 12 / PROVOCATIONS & PEDAGOGY by Dr Kay Kimber, Director, Centre for Professional Practice PAGE 13 / STAFF PROFILES PAGE 14 / ARTIST IN RESIDENCE – by Ms Lorraine Thornquist PAGE 15 / PHILANTHROPY IN FOCUS by Ms Michelle James PAGE 16 / FUTURE–FOCUSED DIGITAL AGILITY by Mr Brendon Thomas PAGE 17 / ENGINEERING BY DESIGN by Ms Emma Jones PAGE 18 / SONGS AND STARS IN SYDNEY by Georgia Horsley (12G) PAGE 19 / ALUMNI + REUNIONS

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THIS TERM, WE WARMLY WELCOME Ms Jacinda Euler as new Principal. Her arrival is a homecoming as, while Ms Euler is new to the role of Principal, she taught at Girls Grammar from 2000 to 2007. She returns to us after holding senior positions at two leading independent schools in Sydney. Ms Euler’s junior-secondary school experience will be particularly valuable with the introduction of Year 7 to our School in 2015. With her comprehensive academic and strategic experience and commitment to student care complemented by an understanding of the unique culture and educational philosophy of Girls Grammar, we look forward to Ms Euler’s leadership as the School’s sixteenth Principal. In this Grammar Gazette , we showcase our recently purchased sports campus at Fig Tree Pocket, which we are all very excited about. The School is especially fortunate to now have three campuses providing such beautiful, yet differing, settings for the girls’ education. The Fig Tree Pocket campus will provide space for the physical activity and health aspects of our thriving sports programme. It will also give the girls a place to develop the social and emotional skills and abilities learned through sporting pursuits, such as friendship, teamwork, self-confidence and resilience. Our dreams for this treasure of a tract of land are beginning to form. While the development of the sports fields are our first priority, the property will also allow the School to consider other possibilities in the long term, not least of which may centre around environmental, scientific and non-competitive fitness pursuits. We invite you to our Fig Tree Pocket Campus Open Day on Saturday 20 April from 10am to 12.30pm. The Open Day is an

opportunity for the Girls Grammar community to see the new campus and meet new Principal Ms Euler. The next significant event in the life of the School this year is the commencement of construction of the Year 7 and Research Centre. This new building on Gregory Terrace will reflect the School’s traditions and heritage while embracing contemporary technologies and evolving pedagogies. Planning for the arrival of Year 7 in 2015 has been underway for many years, and this building will provide a safe and contemplative space for students as well as a twenty-first century learning environment dedicated to research and enquiry. A further focus for the School this year is to positively embrace the possibilities provided by social media. We invite our readers, particularly parents and alumnae, to stay connected by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. The School uses these channels to post articles written by our senior staff that reflect the educational landscape and our philosophies on teaching and learning. Established in the nineteenth century, Brisbane Girls Grammar School is advancing assuredly into the twenty- first on solid foundations. The School will continue to dream and plan so that our girls have every opportunity — through varied and carefully developed curricular and co-curricular programmes — to develop into young women who ‘contribute confidently to their world with wisdom, imagination and integrity.’




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TO LEAD BRISBANE GIRLS GRAMMAR School during the next stage in its distinguished history will be both an honour and a privilege. This is an extraordinary school with a unique heritage of scholarship and innovation, talented and optimistic students, expert, passionate staff and the support of a community that values the finest traditions and aspirations in education. The ‘river quote’ of Heraclitus holds a particular resonance for me as I return to the School as its sixteenth Principal. A river is an extraordinary entity that remains ‘what it is’ by ‘changing what it contains’ (Graham, 2011), just as Girls Grammar is always alive with new ideas — absorbing the ‘fresh waters’ of new students, new staff and even new principals — and yet retains its identity as a bigger, grander whole. While there will be no departure from the foundations and traditions of Girls Grammar, waters will continue to change, ideas will flow and we will forge new paths. We will see the realisation of a new aspiration for exceptional scholarship, the introduction of our first Year 7 cohort in 2015 and the development of a wonderful new sporting facility. The girls’ 2013 School motto ‘Embrace the new! Link the Blue!’ captures the spirit of a river, encouraging us to gather the new and connect it with the greater Girls Grammar ‘Blue.’ At the heart of the School, and the core of all that we do, are the girls. While it may appear, at times, that we are becoming a highly alarmist and anxious society, there are new and very real challenges in the parenting and education of girls. Now more than ever, girls need to know who they are and what they stand for. Balance is important to ensure that we do not simply focus on what will make them ‘happy’ and neglect what will make them ‘good’. Grammar girls are inspiring examples of young women who challenge some of the media’s negative portrayals of contemporary ‘girlhood’. They understand the challenge and reward in learning, are open to new possibilities, and they are loyal to and truly love their School. As the mother of a young adult daughter, I understand the hopes, disappointments and successes of adolescence; I know the joy our daughters bring and the love we have for them. Last year, Girls Grammar committed to a new aspiration: ‘To be a leader in exceptional scholarship.’ In one sense our aspirations are timeless, but the waters in which we swim, play and learn are ever changing, and into this must come new direction and new leadership. In a world that sometimes appears to undervalue deep thinking and reflection, and grabs for an easy answer, the world of scholarship presents girls with alternative perspectives. They must learn to be discerning when the quantity of information they can access far outweighs their need, and critical thinking is required to sift the river and he’s not the same man. — HERACLITUS, GREEK PHILOSOPHER, CA. 500 BCE (QTD. IN GRAHAM, 2011)

valuable from the spurious. The essential aptitudes — on which professional success and personal fulfilment will increasingly depend — play to the innate strengths of women. Our girls will be at the forefront, if we encourage them, in the creation of new ways of thinking and they will become thought leaders. Exceptional scholarship requires a learning environment that enlivens curiosity. Sir Richard Livingstone wrote in 1941: ‘The test of successful education is not the amount of knowledge that pupils take away from school, but their appetite to know and their capacity to learn’ (cited in Claxton, 2007). To stimulate this appetite, and develop ‘self-managing learners’, the learning must also be personally significant to them, as Professor Erica McWilliam and Professor Peter Taylor wrote in Grammar Insights last year. The curriculum, practices and resources must be rigorous, varied and stimulating, blending the great traditions in education with the latest in educational innovation; as Bertolt Brecht (1984) wrote, ‘old and new wisdom mix admirably.’ To become an exceptional scholar is an earnest undertaking that requires discipline and perseverance, but it also a spiritual endeavour connecting us to our fellow travellers and eliciting a sense of freedom and discovery. Bertrand Russell (1946) wrote that the Renaissance ‘encouraged the habit of regarding intellectual activity as a delightful social adventure, not a cloistered meditation.’ An environment where girls are encouraged to think for themselves, challenge assumptions, and become comfortable with uncertainty allows them to be reflective and open to the ideas of others, while having the confidence to assert their own views. During adolescence, girls begin to dip their toes in the waters of the wider world, as we adults gradually and gently let go of their hands. The world is changing and, while we cannot always anticipate or accurately predict the future, an essential shared responsibility for families and schools is to develop in our girls the capacity to engage with and respond to their world in wise, appropriate and compassionate ways. All skills will become obsolete except one, the skill of being able to make the right response to situations that are outside the scope of what you were taught in school. We need to produce people who know how to act when they are faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared. (PAPERT, 1998) To acquire this skill, young women must have a well- developed intellect and a strong sense of self. Dinah Maria Mulock wrote in 1857: ‘But “what am I to do with my life” as once asked me one girl out of the numbers who begin to feel aware that, whether marrying or not, each possesses an individual life, to spend, to use, or to

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same


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lose’ (cited in Abrams, 1986). We each of us possess ‘an individual life, to spend, to use, or to lose’ and girls must learn to judiciously engage with the world, apply their knowledge wisely and ‘spend’ their life with integrity. While a school is much more than its buildings and grounds, the provision of inspiring and contemporary learning places, physical and virtual, is where we often see most clearly the tangible evidence of new ideas, priorities, and approaches to teaching and learning. I left Girls Grammar the day after the opening of the Cherrell Hirst Creative Learning Centre. I return to a new project — the Year 7 and Research Centre — that will allow us to reconsider the composition of learning spaces and the future needs for scholarship and research. Within learning spaces connectedness will have the greatest impact on student development and growth: from the great wisdom of the past to the new ideas and creativity of the future; between teachers and their students in the vein of the Socratic method; as tangible evidence before us blends with the ideas of the virtual world; and between our colleagues and peers in the here and now, or with people from around the world. Evidence-based research must continue to drive teaching practice at Girls Grammar. Effective teachers have high expectations for their students, belief that the ability of students to learn is changeable rather than fixed, and capacity to foster the effort that leads to achievement (Hattie, 2003). All students, regardless of their particular interests or individual abilities, must be able to experience academic success. Scholarship is not just a classroom activity; it is as much about attitude and a broader conception of education as it is about traditional methods of learning. A Girls Grammar education embraces life-wide learning; engages students in music, the arts, culture, sport and service; and recognises the particular strengths and needs of the individual, seeking to draw out the very best in every girl. The Outdoor Education programme at Marrapatta enriches our girls’ education beyond the purely academic realm. The newly acquired facility at Fig Tree Pocket will allow us to expand the possibilities in sport and beyond. And the creative and performing arts areas continue to thrill us with their accomplishments. A range of opportunities allow girls to discover what makes their hearts sing, to explore worlds outside their own, and to appreciate the need for an open-minded approach to life. Grammar girls understand the importance of utilising their talents in the service of others and contributing generously to their world. Heraclitus’ analogy of the river reminds us not that all things are changing so that we cannot encounter them twice, but perhaps something more subtle and profound — that is, that some things stay the same only by changing (Graham, 2011). Am I the ‘same [wo]man’? Essentially, yes; however, my experiences at schools in Sydney, further study, professional development in Canada and at Harvard, and reflection over time have broadened and deepened my knowledge and experience. I return to Girls Grammar with new ideas and fresh perspectives. I grew up on a farm in Queensland and

the longest period in my teaching life was spent at this School, so my return is both professional and personal. Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s proud heritage of scholarship, commitment to well-rounded education, and leadership in the education of young women will continue in the years ahead as we strengthen our identity as an international leader in education.


Abrams, M. H. (Ed.). (1986). The Norton anthology of English literature . Ontario: W.W. Norton Company.

Brecht, B. (1984). The Caucasian chalk circle . London: Methuen.

Claxton, G. (2007, June). Expanding young people’s capacity to learn. British Journal of Educational Studies, 55 (2), 1–20.

Graham, D. W. (2011). Heraclitus. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2011 edition). Retrieved from archives/sum2011/entries/heraclitus/ Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers make a difference: What is the research evidence? Retrieved from page/PLC/teachers_make_a_difference.pdf McWilliam, E. & Taylor, P. (2012). Personally significant learning. In Grammar Insights 2012. Brisbane: Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Papert, S. (1998). Child power: Keys to the new learning of the digital century . Speech delivered at the Imperial College, London. Retrieved from http://www.

Russell, B. (1946). History of western philosophy . London: Routledge.


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Girls Grammar will be the home we know as we keep the many important School traditions and events alive. However, the Council will do its best to be creative and innovative in 2013, making it a year for us to remember as we add our own initiatives in which everyone can become involved. The biggest change for us to embrace is the much- anticipated arrival of Ms Euler in Term II as our new Principal. No doubt Ms Euler will bring her own fresh perspective to the demanding role, and each member of the Senior cohort is her willing supporter as she enters our sphere of scholastic endeavour. Our other undertaking is to encourage every girl who wears the uniform to be a true part of the Girls Grammar spirit. Having everybody involved and happy to be a part of the School will make all the difference in maintaining momentum towards a successful 2013. Success, for us, would be to have each girl thinking that she goes to the greatest school and appreciating that it offers her the opportunity to achieve her goals. We know that each grade is unified, as is each House, but we would like to encourage closer ties between the various year levels, thus creating a truly unified environment which nurtures the sense of belonging. We have over eleven hundred potential ‘sisters’. It is an overwhelming concept to adopt, but acknowledging that we do belong to this School and each other is an empowering positive force. We hope this year that any girl wearing the Girls Grammar uniform or colours is never a stranger, and that we are linked and connected by our shared love for this School. It is with these two themes entwined that this year’s motto was created. Embrace the new! Link the Blue! Girls Grammar 2013 will be challenging. We encourage each girl to embrace the changes the year will bring, wearing the colour blue for this School with pride and with the knowledge that our sisters and friends are beside us, wearing the same colour.

ENTERING THIS, OUR SENIOR YEAR, girls feel as the ancient Roman god Janus: looking to the past and the future. A part of us is nostalgic for the comfort of being guided along a path by the support of parents and teachers, the other is feeling a sense of eagerness and trepidation of what this year and those that follow will bring as we become more independent. One common feeling for each of us, as we reposition ourselves in a grade higher, is that we are not alone. We are part of a special group and, like Aesop’s bundle of sticks, we are strong because we are many. We will face our new challenges together. The Year 12 Student Council has been busy making preparations for the year ahead. We feel we are a cohesive cohort, and from this strength will emerge our own personal goals, as well as this year’s goals for the whole School. All Council members have eagerly contributed many new and exciting ideas which have been condensed into two complementary themes. Firstly, whilst 2013 may not be a new decade, century or millennium, at Brisbane Girls Grammar, it is the start of a new era. Every year each girl is presented with new opportunities and responsibilities. Most have to face a change of class and, with that, new classmates. Often we have to confront and deal with new situations and challenges, such as joining a new sporting team or service group, or standing up in a room full of strangers and debating, singing, playing or performing our hearts out. Having to adjust to a new teacher, adapting to the ever-growing Moodle, or just accepting that last year’s well-positioned locker is no longer yours are all steps taken in the constantly changing School arena. Girls Grammar is constantly moving forward, and 2013 will be no different. — RANDY PAUSCH, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR (2008)

When we’re connected to others, we become better people.


Pausch, R. (2008). The last lecture. New York: Hyperion.


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THE START OF EACH NEW SCHOOL YEAR BRINGS WITH IT A CHARACTERISTIC FEEL. ALL IS NEW AGAIN. STUDENTS ARE BEDECKED IN NEW UNIFORMS, FOLLOWING NEW TIMETABLES, WITH NEW TEACHERS AND DIFFERENT CLASSROOMS. And each year we welcome a new cohort of students, mostly in Year 8 but also a smaller number across other Year levels in the School. A carefully structured transition programme assists these girls to settle in, and the annual House Party helps them feel valued and welcomed in their new environment. In February, Girls Grammar comes alive in a riot of noise and colour that is the House Party. Led by their Head of House, the girls – resplendent in a wild array of colourful outfits – enjoy


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an afternoon of singing, skits, dancing, cake and pizza. The House Party provides the perfect forum for welcoming new students, for building the bonds of friendship within and across the Year levels, and for forging a strong House spirit. They also offer girls an opportunity for fun and enjoyment – a healthy balance to the hard work and dedication they commit to their academic pursuits. The House Party also provides our burgeoning student leaders with their first major challenge. The newly elected House Captains, Sports Captains and House Prefects are responsible for the planning and organisation, which is always carried out with much energy and enthusiasm. The House Party has, over the years, become a rich tradition that gives girls the opportunity to show pride in their House and celebrate their belonging with exuberance.


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Starting the new year with new shoes MR TRENT DRIVER, DEAN OF ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT



I AM NOT ONE usually to blow my own trumpet, to be honest. Blowing my own tuba, well that is an entirely different story. I must, however, qualify things a little. Firstly, it is not just that I don’t usually blow my own trumpet; it is more that I have never really blown a trumpet. Ever. Not at all. Or blown into a clarinet for that matter, or even tinkled any ivories. I will confess that I got close to mastering three chords on an old guitar in my undergraduate university days, but that, and a couple of bad renditions of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, were as near as I have ever been to musicianship. Secondly, it wasn’t really my tuba at all. I just borrowed it. But, I can confirm that I blew it; however, I am not prepared to attest to the quality of the sound the said blowing produced. The tuba and I were brought together by Mr Paul Kucharski, the School’s Co-ordinator of Band Programme and Brass, as part of the Staff Takeaway Conference Day for the Brisbane Girls Grammar teaching staff in January. For thirty minutes I was with nine other staff experiencing what girls would go through when they pick up an instrument for the first time and join an ensemble. English teachers, History teachers, Mathematics teachers, Librarians and musically challenged me were all introduced to our instruments and led through the

learning curve of being able to make them produce a sound. Twenty-five minutes later we had laid down a recording of Hot Cross Buns*. For half an hour we wore our students’ shoes; we put ourselves in their place to rethink the way we understand the sorts of experiences that they have at this School. We all felt the anxiety of doing the wrong thing, of not being able to keep up, of not being as good as those sitting around us. We struggled with doing something new for the first time; we all wondered whether or not we were in the wrong place and, in fact, should have been somewhere we would feel more comfortable. We wondered the things that our students might wonder on any given day of the week. And, we enjoyed it. My experience with big brass was just one small part of the Staff Takeaway Conference Day on Thursday 24 January 2013 in one corner of the School. The programme comprised over fifty individual workshop sessions across the day, all run by teachers from across the School. In each session teachers shared their area of expertise, modelled innovative practices that engage girls in classrooms, or asked us to reflect on what it is like to be a student in a place such as Girls Grammar. It was a chance to take the time to learn from each other and share ideas with each other.


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The staff examined issues associated with the social and emotional contexts our students work within. Sessions covered research on the influence of media on young women’s perception of themselves and the relationships they have with mobile technologies. Others examined the nature of introversion, the role of emotion in problem- solving in the classroom and the role alcohol plays in the social lives of our teenagers. Other sessions focussed on aspects of our teaching practice. The team from Marrapatta, our Outdoor Education Campus, looked at strategies to build group activities, while other workshops modelled new approaches to integrating technology. There were opportunities to examine literacy techniques, alternative approaches to assessment, or methods of differentiating for gifted students. Some workshops showcased very specific studies from specific curriculum areas, while others questioned the philosophies that underpin the way we do things as a school. Irrespective of our role in the School or speciality of discipline, each session offered us something to take away to provide us with new perspectives on our work with the girls. Being a learner and a teacher at the same time is not new by any stretch. Throughout any year, all teachers across the state undergo continuous professional learning. On one level, it is an annual requirement for us to maintain our registration as teachers in Queensland. On another level, it is our responsibility as professionals to seek out different approaches to maintain currency in our work with students, to broaden our understanding of the issues they face and to explore new ways to strengthen the learning programmes at Girls Grammar. Quite often we learn from experts, who come to the School on Staff Days at the beginning of academic terms to drill down into specific areas that inform our approach to educating young women. In recent times, this has included speakers who have looked at areas as diverse as best practices in gifted education, cyber-safety and online security, and the influence of popular culture on the values-systems of girls. Last year the staff worked with Associate Professor John Armstrong, who asked us to question what underpins our approach to learning as part of his role as Philosopher in Residence in 2012. All of these experiences broaden our perspectives as teachers and drive new programmes. But, how often do we take the time to learn from the people around us, to mine their experience and expertise? For instance, educational researchers consistently draw our attention to the powerful role peer feedback and evaluation plays in learning. Professor John Hattie

(2010) along with Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam (2001) demonstrate that when students have the chance to seek structured feedback from others (and themselves give feedback to their peers) the effect on their performance is more significant than receiving a grade and advice on their work from a teacher. Sometimes the real experts are all around us, rather than standing in front of us. For us as teachers (as it is for students) taking advantage of them is more than asking for help when the need arises, it requires us to put aside the time to learn. Behavioural scientist Daniel Pink (2005) argues that empathy is one of the key aptitudes that build the productive relationships we rely upon to succeed, noting that while at times we need detachment from others more often we need to have ‘attunement’. In a similar way, standing in someone else’s shoes or sitting in someone else’s seat (or even blowing someone else’s tuba) provides us with an insight as to how we can best understand someone else and work with them. It is insight that that can never be learned from simply downloading from a speaker or an expert. On this year’s Staff Conference Day teachers put themselves into the shoes of teenage readers and talked about the themes that emerge from the current crop of young-adult fiction read by our girls. They looked at the questions that face our Senior girls as they make choices about their tertiary studies, and they explored the social media platforms and online game environments that their students are exploring. As this year unfolds, our girls can expect to be sitting in more English classes and seeing a Mathematics teacher sitting the back row, or being in a Science lesson and having a History teacher in the seat beside them. Professional learning, in any context, is as much about talking with and learning from others as it is being talked to or at by others. It is as true for teachers in their work as it is for students in theirs. However I hope, for the girls’ sake, they are not sitting in a Concert Band rehearsal and find they are sitting next to me and my tuba. No-one deserves to spend time in those shoes. *Not available for download from iTunes at any point in the future, I hope.

I am not one usually to blow my own trumpet, to be honest.

Blowing my own tuba, well that is an entirely different story.

REFERENCES Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (2001). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment . Retrieved August 6, 2011, from http://weaeducation.

Hattie, J. (2010). Visible learning . Oxford: Routledge.

Pink, D. (2005). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future . New York: Riverhead.


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ANYONE WHO PLAYS SPORT knows the value of a ‘home-court’ advantage. Walking in to your own locker rooms and competing on your own sports grounds can sometimes put your team up 1–0 before the match has even started. The School’s new sports campus at Fig Tree Pocket will provide our athletes with an opportunity to own their pitches, fields, diamonds and wickets. The stories generated from connecting with our home ground — along with proudly wearing the Grammar Blue and chanting the war cry after a victory — will further add to the girls’ sense of belonging to the School’s exceptional sporting culture. Parents, alumnae and the wider Girls Grammar community will be embraced in this story through their support of the facility. Brisbane Girls Grammar School is a founding member of the QGSSSA (Queensland Girls Secondary School

Sporting Association) and competes in fifteen sports, including athletics, cross country, hockey, football (soccer), touch, cricket and softball. The number of students involved means that over five hundred girls are directly benefitting from this campus now. With the introduction of Year 7 at the School in 2015, we are fully prepared to train and develop our newest and youngest sportswomen with a facility that will allow the much needed nurturing and guidance that only time on the ‘turf’ will allow. This is a very proud moment in the history of our School, already so rich in its sporting culture and heritage. As we begin to prepare the sports campus for all that it can be, I am so thrilled and so excited to be able to embrace the possibilities of sports teaching and coaching at all levels of ability.


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Sat 20 April 10am–12.30pm OPEN DAY AT SPORTS CAMPUS

Sprenger Street Fig Tree Pocket



IF OPPORTUNITY IS DEFINED as a situation or condition favourable for the attainment of a goal, then the School’s purchase of playing fields at Fig Tree Pocket is an incredible opportunity. The campus provides an opportunity to further enhance the Health Studies Faculty’s already highly developed programme of theoretical and physical performance units. Along with aquatic activities and court sports, the School offers a range of sporting activities that are better suited to the wide-open space of a grass oval: cricket, cross country, football (soccer), hockey, softball, track and field athletics, and touch. As these activities have been part of the School’s Health Studies programme for a long time, it is remarkable to consider the student outcomes that have been achieved to date. Health Studies staff will continue to use our excellent Gregory Terrace facilities to teach

the intricacies, skills and vagaries of these field-based activities; now — with a thoughtful approach to planning and support from the entire School community — the faculty will be able to complement an already impressive programme through girls practicing and competing at the thirteen-hectare Fig Tree Pocket site. The new Brisbane Girls Grammar School sports campus will allow us to enhance our programme as it encourages us to imagine an even brighter future. With planning underway, faculty staff are excited at the prospect of sports-specific facilities that will open the way for an ever- expanding range of physical performance activities. The Fig Tree Pocket campus will enhance the Health Studies and Co-curricular programmes and, in-turn, the health and wellbeing of Grammar girls. Opportunity is knocking.


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THE SCHOOL’S CENTRE FOR Professional Practice (CPP) was established in 2005 to enhance student learning outcomes through ongoing teacher education. With the current public focus on teacher quality, providing staff with effective, teacher-focused and collaborative professional learning opportunities

principles from the SoLT, our Provocateur challenged staff to reconsider their concepts of scholarship and how they might engender such approaches in their own students. Staff thoroughly enjoyed her presentation and gained new understandings of several models and processes by which their own professional learning journey might be reconsidered, complete with strategies for enacting scholarly teaching and even becoming SoLT practitioners. Distinguished Provocations speakers in previous years have included Professor Paul Mazerolle, Pro Vice Chancellor (Arts, Education, Law), Griffith University, who is recognised nationally and internationally for his work in criminology and with juvenile offenders. A presentation on middle schooling by Professor Nan Bahr, Assistant Dean (Teaching and Learning) at Queensland University of Technology, was also very well received. Other topics have included cyber-bullying, philosophy in learning, new paradigms of schooling, global education and social entrepreneurship. In terms of the CPP’s support for aspiring teachers, our reception of pre-service teachers has become international. The Instrumental Music Faculty has been pleased to welcome Miss Rachel Walter from Akron University, Ohio, for her term’s practicum experience. Akron University is renowned for its Music programme, particularly with bands. Miss Walter is the first Music student from Akron to undertake an international practicum, and we hope that her initiative might spark a regular, reciprocal arrangement. While Miss Walter is our first pre- service teacher from the United States of America, three students from Germany have completed their field experience with us in the past. Since the CPP was established eight years ago, over seventy staff have completed professional learning courses through Learning Innovation Groups in partnership with Queensland University of Technology, approximately sixty pre-service teachers have begun their professional learning journey through CPP, and thirty visiting experts have inspired us through their Provocations. All our teachers, from pre-service to experienced, appreciate the collegiality of their professional learning experiences, as well as finding stimulating ways by which to reflect on their individual practices.

ensures that Girls Grammar is at the forefront of best pedagogical practice. Provocations, professional learning, and pre-service teachers are three key elements shaping the CPP’s annual operations. The Provocations series of seminars offer



opportunities for our staff to hear from and engage with visiting experts across a range of stimulating topics. The series was launched in February with our first Provocations speaker for the year, alumna Professor Keithia Wilson from Griffith University. Professor Wilson came with an impressive academic research record and practical experience in a significant movement across universities — the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoLT) — that specifically targets ways of enhancing student learning. A psychologist of considerable counselling and organisational experience, as well as a committed educator, Professor Wilson has been instrumental in improving the first year tertiary experience for Griffith students, becoming the Griffith Academic Leader Student Success and Retention. A worthy recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year in 2007 and an Australian Learning and Teaching Council National Fellowship during 2010–2012, Professor Wilson Chairs the Griffith University Educational Excellence Committee and the Griffith Academy of Learning and Teaching Scholars, a group comprising outstanding researchers and educators who have been nationally and internationally recognised. With our School Intent clearly articulating our commitment to be ‘leaders in exceptional scholarship’, Professor Wilson’s talk was particularly illuminating. Drawing on research evidence and


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1 MRS SYBIL EDWARDS / HEAD OF LILLEY HOUSE When I was a student at Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Drama was my passion. I thoroughly enjoyed treading the boards in all the plays and musicals staged in the early 1980s. It was probably no surprise to my peers that I ended up teaching Drama at my ‘old School’. I am now of an age when I actually teach some of my contemporaries’ daughters. Drama teachers always remember particular years by the productions that they direct, and I have many fond memories from my time here with productions ranging from big musicals staged jointly with various boys’ schools, such as Westside Story and Jesus Christ Superstar , to galas celebrating Girls Grammar’s rich history. As a keen playwright, it has also been wonderful

to have been given the opportunity to direct my own work. My most challenging commission was when former Principal Dr Judith Hancock asked me to write a play based on her Master’s thesis, a play that I entitled Sir Charles Lilley’s Legacy . Rearing young children took me away from full-time teaching for about five years, and my recent focus has switched to student care. I have been Head of Lilley House (my old House) for the past six years, and I greatly enjoy the interaction with Lilley girls and their families. I firmly believe that a student can only learn effectively when she feels safe and connected to her environment. It is a great privilege to be able to help girls find their feet and develop into confident young women who can take advantage of the opportunities offered to them at Girls Grammar. 2 MS NATALIE SMITH / DEAN OF STUDIES AND PLANNING When I was young I fantasised about running away from home. Not because home was such a terrible place, but I knew that there were children who lived in different houses and spoke different words to me and I wanted to meet them. I have always been fascinated with words and places. I was introduced to the Japanese language for the first time as a 12‑year‑old student and was captivated by the beauty of the structure and the form. At the age of 15, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan and study. I knew that this was the start of a beautiful relationship; that this strange, mysterious country and its people would play an important part in my life. After completing a Science and Japanese degree I thought that my future lay in the field of research, probably in Japan. However, being given the opportunity to teach a group of adults keen to learn about Japan, its language and culture, made me realise that teaching people about the things I loved really connected with me. So my journey as a teacher began. The relationship between the teacher, the student and the subject form a sacred triangle. I am always looking at how I can connect at a deep level with the students I teach while maintaining the integrity of what I teach. In this search, the world has been my classroom. I have accompanied groups of students to Japan, France and Germany and, most recently, to Borneo as part of the 2011 Antipodeans Abroad Program. In my role as Dean of Studies and Planning, I look forward to assisting staff and students through creating an environment where these deep connections between learning and the learner can flourish.

3 MRS JENNY DAVIS / LIBRARIAN – SPECIAL COLLECTIONS My work with the School’s Special Collections encompasses collections of books in the Beanland Library, the items in the Archives (the official records of permanent value) and Museum (moveable objects from the Archives on public display), and other collections throughout the campus. It is my job to ensure that records — which have value as authentic evidence of the School’s administrative, corporate, cultural and intellectual activity — are preserved and kept safe for posterity.

My career as a librarian has always been in the area of education, in schools and in universities, and it was while working as Liaison Librarian at The University of Queensland that I became aware of the need for students’ information and research skills to be developed a lot sooner than at the tertiary level. The opportunity to work as the Girls Grammar Reference Librarian allowed me to pursue this. Managing the Special Collections, involves a diverse range of tasks from the satisfaction of preserving and restoring an Australian artwork to its original beauty to the delight of unearthing a portrait of a previously unidentified Principal of the School, Miss Jane Walker, Head Mistress from 1914 to 1915. Organising, researching, promoting and teaching the complex history of this 138yearold School is like drawing together so many different threads of the continuously evolving tapestry that makes up Girls Grammar — and links the past, present and future with the lives of its students, staff and Old Girls.


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ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Krishna Nahow: The hidden history




Through my art, I’m giving a voice to who we are; our history is quite hidden. — Krishna Nahow, Brisbane Girls Grammar School Artist in Residence, 2013 In 2001 the Queensland Government introduced an action plan to recognise and support Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI). Most of these people are the Australian- born descendants of the South Sea Islanders who were brought into Queensland between 1863 and 1904 as indentured labourers (DATSIMA, 2013). During this period, thousands of people were tricked, kidnapped and stolen from their island homes in Melanesia, primarily Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, and taken to Australia to work on cotton and sugarcane plantations, where they were treated as the slave labour in a practice that was known as ‘blackbirding’ (DATSIMA, 2013). Artist Krishna Nahow belongs to that cultural heritage. Her work speaks to this legacy and the questions of identity that continue to haunt the descendants of this complex, difficult and hidden part of Australia’s history. In February, Ms Nahow spent four weeks as Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s Artist in Residence. The residency was generously sponsored by Ms Lesley Bryant, alumna and former member of the Board of Trustees. With The Retreat in the Cherrell Hirst Creative Learning Centre as her base, Ms Nahow worked on her own projects and shared her creative process with the girls by speaking with individual students and classes. Her residency provided Visual Arts students with a dynamic opportunity to reflect on social history and their own artwork through watching and participating in the evolving body of work of a professional artist. Ms Nahow said, ‘I feel honoured and proud to have been able to share

my art practice with the girls, and to be given this platform to raise awareness of ASSI history. There is a historical connection between Girls Grammar through [former Chair of Trustees] Sir Samuel Griffith and the Australian South Sea Islander story. I hope that students will have the opportunity to explore this further across the curriculum.’ During her residency Ms Nahow developed two series of artworks to be exhibited in 2013 as part of the ASSI 150 Project. Her techniques involve using free apps, such as Sketchbook and Sketch Agent, and traditional mark-making using inks and paints on paper or canvas prints. The portrait photographs in her work are historical and present day images. The historical images come from the State Library’s John Oxley Library collection. The works will be exhibited later in the year in the ASSI 150 programme at the State Library of Queensland, The Centre at Beaudesert and the Floating Land art and culture festival on the Sunshine Coast. Ms Nahow said of the residency experience: ‘My time here went by so quickly. I really enjoyed being immersed in the creative energy generated by the students, and witnessing the generous and caring spirit of Girls Grammar. I’m happy with what I achieved, and what I will leave with the School.’ REFERENCES Queensland Government, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs (DATSIMA). 2013. Australian South Sea Islander recognition . Retrieved from multicultural/community/australian-south-sea-islanders/australian-south-sea- islander-recognition


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Previously, the School’s Artist in Residence programme has been sponsored by Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser (Class of 1949) and Miss Margaret Mittelheuser (Class of 1947), remarkable women who, through their support of the School and many other organisations, exemplify philanthropic leadership. To continue their legacy, Ms Bryant decided to re-establish the residency. ‘Both Margaret and Cathryn have been mentors to me in many ways. Cathryn and I studied at The University of Queensland at the same time, and Margaret has always challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone, including serving on the Board of Trustees. Her foresight and vision when she served on the Board was inspirational.’

meant to marry a high chief from Fiji. But she ran away and married a sailor from Cornwall instead. The family immigrated to Australia in 1898. At that time, the racism In North Queensland was entrenched, so they hid their origins. I never knew much about my ancestral culture, and I have been fortunate to reconnect with that in Fiji and Samoa through people I’ve met over the past few years.’ Ms Bryant became aware of Krishna Nahow’s art practice in 2010, and started thinking about what she could do for the ASSI 150 anniversary in 2013 in a way that could assist the artist and support the School. ‘My purpose in sponsoring Krishna as Artist in Residence was to enable her, as an emerging Australian South Sea Islander artist, to express her own ancestral story and her personal reconnection with her cultural heritage through her art. I also hoped she would benefit from engaging with students and staff at Girls Grammar, and for all to connect with the significant history of South Sea Islanders in Queensland. Sir Samuel Griffith, who was Chair of the Board of Trustees and Premier of Queensland during the ‘blackbirding’ era, unsuccessfully tried to stop the labour trade. As Krishna says, the history is quite hidden. I want the students to know about Queensland history and for Queenslanders to know about the history of their state. And art can express issues in a way that is accessible, a way in to understanding the feelings, which are still relevant today.’ The School is very grateful to Ms Bryant for her generous sponsorship of the 2013 Artist in Residence programme. The sense of connecting and belonging for all participants — within the School and in the wider community — engendered by such initiatives is invaluable.

A further impetus for Ms Bryant came from her work on the steering committee of the ASSI 150 Project South East Queensland chapter. ASSI 150 commemorates 150 years since the first South Sea Islanders were brought to Queensland to work as indentured labourers in 1863 (ASSI 150 Project Newsletter, 2011). Through events and activities, the project aims to tell the story to the wider community, and to acknowledge the contribution that Australian South Sea Islanders have made to Australia. ‘My mother has hidden her Samoan heritage for almost her whole life. My grandfather was born in Fiji and his mother, my great grandmother, was Samoan. I found out that she was a taupo , a village maiden with high status,


ASSI 150 Project newsletter . (June, 2011). Retrieved from http://www.ipswich.


(L-R) Lesley Bryant and Krishna Nahow


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