Grammar Gazette- Issue 2, 2006


Brisbane Girls Grammar School

grammar gazette Spring 2006

inside A Leading Role Model

Links for Life

Head of the River

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the Year in 1995. In recognition of her work in the fields of breast cancer and education she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1998. Cherrell Hirst’s association with numerous boards and government taskforces reflects the richness and diversity of her interests and her genuine concern for the wellbeing of the wider community. Most significant for our School has been her service on our Board of Trustees for sixteen years and her leadership as Chair for the past ten. In her time on the Board, Dr Hirst has been a chief architect and sponsor of policies initiating strong strategic and financial planning which has enabled the School to move forward in all spheres of endeavour — partly typified today by the on-going construction of the Creative Learning Centre — and to fulfil our Aspiration: to be respected internationally as a leader in the education of young women … She is a firm believer in the efficacy of good governance which can moderate the potentially isolated and insular nature of schools by bringing broad perspectives and wisdom to policy decisions, while providing advocacy for and a representation of educational issues to the broader community. As a highly credentialed and experienced professional woman, Cherrell Hirst understands the importance of networking and mentoring for women’s career development and has actively engaged in these strategies — especially in the field of Health. Her long association with our School within an amazingly busy working and personal schedule reveals her absolute commitment to the education of girls and From her broad experience of working with women in many aspects of life, Dr Hirst has become more and more convinced of the critical importance of the “empowering” educative process for girls in enabling the women they are to become to take an effective and rightful place in the life of our nation and the world. This passionate belief has enabled her to work with boundless enthusiasm and dedication for Brisbane Girls Grammar School since 1990 and will ensure that she remains an integral part of the School community for the rest of her life. The community of Brisbane Girls Grammar School understands but regrets her decision to stand down from our Board of Trustees; she will have a special place in our history. Miss Felicity Williams Deputy Principal and Old Girl (1960 – 1963) a profound understanding of the importance of females modelling leadership roles to young women.

From the School Leaders....................... 2 A Leading Role Model ........................... 3 From the Principal.................................. 4 — 5 Links for Life........................................... 5 Re/Signifying Girl Power....................... 6 From Group or Gang to Supportive Network. ......................... 7 Sport. ...................................................... 8 — 9 Music....................................................... 10 grammar gazette: Spring 2006 edition

Drama..................................................... 11 Year 11 Charity Evening......................... 11 Community Service................................ 12 — 13 Staff Profiles........................................... 14 Snapshots............................................... 15 Grammar Girls........................................ 16 — 17 Marrapatta.............................................. 18 Alumni.................................................... 19 — 20 Old Girls Association. ............................. 20

Cover Image: Greg Gardner Photography


The Second Round


“Congratulations to the Mothers Group on the recent Mothers Group dinner – it was a great success. The guest speaker was a delight to listen to and I am sure these dinners will become very popular occasions on the Group’s calendar. “ (Mrs Jane Creenaune – Year 12 Parent) “We congratulate you on the new initiatives seen in the academic report and appreciate the tremendous time and effort by each of her teachers in collating this information. It is a very valuable document to us and allows us to discuss her schooling in more detail with her.” (Mr and Mrs Piotrowski – Year 10 Parents) “I hope that your current students appreciate you and maybe in years to come they’ll also feel the need to contact you and just say thank you for everything. The quality of the education I received at BGGS was of the highest standard and a fantastic grounding for a young girl to have. My days at BGGS were very happy ones and the things I learnt there are still with me today.” (Mrs Jenni Whistance – Alumnae 1981) “…… in reference of the Year 12 cohort as a group, and that each and every girl should strive to reach her own potential…… this bears testimony to the nature of the balanced education that our girls are getting at this great School, teaching values through example, as well as promoting academic achievement.” (Mr and Mrs Venn – Year 10 Parents) “The Conference was a wonderful opportunity to hear inspiring speakers, to reflect upon the experience of others in similar girls’ schools and to consider how we collectively approach the future challenges of girls’ education. It also confirmed that Girls Grammar really is at the forefront of innovative teaching and learning.” (Ms Jacinda Euler – Teacher)

A Leading Role Model for Young Women Dr Cherrell Hirst AO In many ways, Cherrell Hirst’s career and contribution to public life exemplifies the School’s contemporary Aspiration of educating young women to contribute confidently to their world with wisdom, imagination and integrity, but it also reflects the fact that Brisbane Girls Grammar School has an impressive tradition for academic excellence and for producing women who have taken significant leadership roles in Queensland and the Nation.

On a lighter note, there are always fun times to be had. The annual Interhouse Athletics Carnival was held in August. As always this event was a colourful day with friendly House rivalry and proving to be as much a costume party as a sports carnival. Coming up in Term IV are many more fundraising events — girls will be able to watch our bravest seniors put their social lives on the line with hilariously funny acts. We will host the annual Boys Grammar versus Girls Grammar debate in support of the Royal Children’s Hospital and we have commenced a fundraising series called Grammatomy. In the first round of this event, “Whose Hair is There,” students attempt to match hair to staff members. This follows our successful Term II fundraiser — a mock Miss Universe competition in which competitors were required to showcase their chosen “talents” including dance moves and choosing the ideal formal partner. Tygar Taylor (12B) was crowned Miss Mock Grammar 2006. All proceeds from this event went to the Breast Cancer Foundation. Finally we would like to wish the School the best of luck and encourage everyone to give their very best to achieve their full potential in Semester 2. Just remember; There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936) Build it up! Sophie Matterson and Elizabeth Forrest Head Girls

Our aim for Semester 2 is to continue to lift and build-up the spirit of the girls to face the rigors ahead with courage and determination. For Year 12s, the challenge lies in focusing on the present rather than the future. With the arrival of the QTAC books Year 12s began to look at the outside world, and the bizarre thought that one day our lives will not revolve around Grammar anymore. We believe that you can take the girl out of Grammar but you can’t take Grammar out of a girl! It is essential that every girl, (not just Year 12s), in the School remains focused. That is why this Term we encourage every girl to put her heart and soul into School. We want Grammar to: Dance like no one is watching Love… [school]… as though you have never been hurt before Sing like no one is listening And live as though heaven is… [at Grammar] – borrowed from Mark Twain (1835–1910). Although every term has its ups and downs, Term III is notoriously challenging in terms of assessment. However we go through it knowing that these trials are character building and that we can only gain strength from them. Every Grammar girl has the qualities of a warrior woman and it has been proven again and again that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” – Joseph P. Kennedy (1888–1969).

Cherrell Hirst is an Old Girl of the School (1960–1963) and remembers her time at Girls Grammar as one which provided ready access to a university education and encouraged a belief that she could do whatever she chose — provided she worked hard enough. This message, so much part of the everyday ethos of our School in 2006, was not made so overt in the early 1960s but became, none-the-less, an innate conviction of most Grammar girls even then. By 1969, Cherrell Hirst had graduated from the University of Queensland with a degree in Medicine and, after her residency at Princess Alexandra Hospital, undertook postgraduate studies overseas. Returning to Brisbane in 1976, Dr Hirst worked in general practice part-time while having three children in less than three years.

Six years later she grasped the opportunity to become the Deputy Director of the newly opened Wesley Breast Clinic. As Director (1984–2001) she gained a national reputation in the field of breast cancer diagnosis and screening and the provision of associated support services for women. Following her personal and professional interests, and while working fulltime, Dr Hirst undertook a degree in education graduating in 1989. In 1990 she was appointed to the Council of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and, in 1994, was elected Chancellor, a position she held for ten years. Dr Hirst has been awarded three honorary doctorates from Southern Cross, Griffith and QUT Universities, a Centenary Medal (2003) and was named Queenslander of

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Links for Life Imagine over one hundred and sixty education leaders and experts from Australasia gathered in the School’s Library and you’ll have a sense of how the tenth annual Alliance of Girls’ Schools Conference began. Girls to Women:

interview stage then enhances their overall experience of the application process and can hopefully strengthen their resolve to apply for more demanding roles in the future. Brisbane Girls Grammar aspires to ensure our young women have the very best preparation to succeed in the future as good citizens, professionals, mothers, partners and as women. The School provides our students with female role models who have juggled careers, children, study and life’s challenges through its leadership at Board and executive staff level, through its Valedictory and Speech Day guest speakers and through its daily work. Unfortunately, despite all the improvements made over the past few decades towards establishing equal opportunity for men and women, the fact that so many women are the primary care givers for children and the aged will mean that the future for women will remain challenging and the need for women to encourage and support each other will remain paramount. Ms Bryce’s closing remarks in her Conference address echo these sentiments with optimism and passion: Educators and leaders, this is an immense responsibility you carry, as is the level of care and skill with which it must be discharged. I deeply admire your professional endeavour, your intellect, your insight, your commitment, and your resilience in an environment that, by virtue of the sheer humanness of its participants, presents unparalleled challenges for you every day. I know too the exquisite joy of being in the company of young women, witnessing their intelligence and ambition, their infectious wit and boundless generosity, their marvellous progression to adulthood … My friends, for all the complexity, negativity, and lack of sincerity that at times overshadow young women’s unfettered participation in the world, you must surely cherish the very special opportunity you have to inspire freedom from constraint. Ms Amanda Bell Reference: Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Opening address, 10th Annual Conference, The Alliance of Girls’ Schools Conference, Girls to Women: Links for Life, 10 June, 2006

Future Challenges for our Young Women

These observations were made by Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, AC, Governor of Queensland in her opening address at the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Conference held at Brisbane Girls Grammar School in June this year. It was a simultaneously inspiring and challenging speech which contextualised for those principals and teachers fortunate enough to be present the world our young women find themselves part of: one that is centred on instant gratification and material wealth, one that aims to remove the teen development years and launch girls into women before their time, and one where attractive technologies do not necessarily enhance their communication and understanding, but rather distort it, short cut the thought processes and remove the reflective contemplation and considered responses we so value in a civilised world. The Conference was titled Girls to Women: Links for Life and centred on the crucial topic of mentoring and its place in educating young women and assisting them throughout their future lives and careers. A school provides potential mentors for girls in its teaching staff, co curricular coaches, alumni, parents and Your daily interactions with our young women, within and beyond the classroom, require an extraordinary mix of awareness, reflection, and careful response … The quality of these conversations, the language you use, and the messages you convey are critical to the process in which young women consciously and subconsciously engage, in order to shape and reshape their view of the world and of themselves.

Ms Amanda Bell, Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce and Mrs Karen Spiller, Principal St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School

Themed Girls to Women: Links for Life the conference aimed to provide a greater understanding of some of the many issues facing educators and the young women they teach. Through presentations and workshops, delegates explored topics such as feminism, financial literacy, mentoring, health, social networks and the future of education for girls. “The conference went far beyond what is happening in the classroom. It examined the shape, shifts and changes affecting the Y generation” said Amanda Bell, “hosting such a significant conference provided an important opportunity for Girls Grammar staff to be involved both as presenters and attendees”. Among the inspiring guest speakers were Cherrell Hirst, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Brisbane Girls Grammar School; Madonna King, Presenter of the ABC Radio’s flagship morning current affairs program and weekly columnist with The Courier Mail; Erica McWilliam, Professor of Education and Assistant Dean of Research in the Faculty of Education at QUT; Joanna Mendelssohn, Associate Professor at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW and Toni Thornton, Executive Director, Goldman Sachs, Queensland. In her provocative keynote address The End of Education , Joanna Mendelssohn raised questions about government policy on education and the tendency to encourage students to feel that they are customers in an emporium of teaching and learning, where everything teachers do and care for, is turned into a product. Mendelssohn argued that the commonplace linking of training with education in government departments and documents was detrimental to the pursuit of learning and a holistic education. She concluded by extolling the need for all schools to stand up for real quality in education including the qualities of understanding, compassion and wisdom, which can not be measured by the narrow confines of a ranking. A high note of the conference was the Dinner Address given by Madonna King. Drawing on her investigation of the extraordinary story of the Bali 9, Ms King focused on the important role self-esteem plays in the development of girls and young women.

board members. We know that for mentoring to be successful there needs to be a rapport between both parties and for girls this is a critical ingredient. Women like to engage with each other and the active, respectful, happy relationship between them is where the mentoring process really becomes productive and can form the foundation for a lifelong connection and friendship. To understand the particular way girls learn, is to also understand the way they respond to mentoring and the context in which they can best approach their future world. We know that for girls to learn optimally they need to feel valued, have a sense of belonging and have the confidence to experiment, push their potential, experience disappointment and failure — but in failing have the resilience to bounce back and try again, albeit in a different way. In other words, the social and emotional connections are just as important for them as the intellectual engagement and challenge — conditions necessary to create the atmosphere for a young woman to thrive. Similarly women work well together; they enjoy the company, conversation and

collaboration. Unfortunately, they often don’t back themselves — especially when it comes to leadership opportunities and career advancement. At Girls Grammar we seek to overcome the former in our students by appointing girls to leadership positions in pairs, thereby encouraging them to take responsibility, but with another, and to learn to co-operate with each other to achieve their combined goals and best outcomes. Overcoming the latter is more difficult and does require consistent, active consideration and often direct mentoring. Our alumni programmes, such as the on-going provision of tertiary study advice, networking events and mentor breakfasts, help to provide avenues for assisting our graduates during the formation of their career paths. For our staff we provide opportunities for them to access positions of added responsibility and middle management roles by merit, and we actively encourage young women to apply for them. We do this for those in whom we see potential and because there is great value in them preparing the expression of interest as it not only highlights in black and white their skills and attributes, but simultaneously reinforces their personal confidence. The

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achieving better results, and in higher numbers, than young men, which has contributed inevitably to a backlash demanding a refocus on the educational needs of boys. Female graduates now outnumber males in fields such as medicine, law and business. Many become CEOs and attain positions of seniority, although there are still disheartening statistics of the relative number of female CEOs in many professions, including teaching. Whilst some leading Brisbane girls schools do appoint male CEOs, there would be a revolution if any of the leading private boys schools were to appoint a female principal.

others struggled to initiate. Given that change is a constant in our postmodern society, it would seem simplistic even to assume that the faces of feminisms in the 21st century would mirror those of the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, if feminisms are to have continued relevance in the education and in the lives of young women today, they have to be allowed to be reconstituted in ways that best empower their individual subjectivities.

Even though most young women no longer appear to be engaged in any readily identifiable or collective forms of feminism, the paper argued that the legacy of feminism informs and pervades their lives, manifested in their assertiveness, their strong positive sense of gendered identity and their unflinching conviction of an equality of gender opportunity inherent in their choices and expectations. Young women who are the inheritors of second wave feminism may not seem to be activists as such, but they are in fact implementing in their daily lives the most vital tenets of feminisms and equality that their mothers and

A Case Study of Shifting Feminist Paradigms and Pedagogies

[A synopsis of the paper presented to the 2006 Alliance of Girls’ Schools Conference by Dr Robyn Colwill, Director of English]

From the 1970s onwards, feminist educators examined how traditional curriculum parameters operated to marginalise or to exclude the role and contribution of women. Both the content and methodology of most disciplines in the Humanities therefore saw a radical re/visioning of both pedagogies and curriculum that was profoundly shaped by feminist research, so that women’s issues and gender issues were increasingly integrated into teaching programmes. Brisbane Girls Grammar was at the forefront of feminist initiatives in education and in the development of curriculum that incorporated feminist principles and practice. Girls schools such as ours that not only articulate but also practise mantras such as “Girls can do Anything” on a daily basis, with capable and well-educated women as role models in their educational communities, tend to develop autonomous, assertive and ambitious young women, aided by the clear advantages of parental and personal expectations. In 1975, 1984 and 1987, Federal governments established three national enquiries into the schooling of girls. The Commonwealth Schools Commission of 1987 funded developments designed to enhance gender equity and equal opportunity for girls. The decade following the 1975 Girls Schools and Society Report was an exciting one as affirmative action measures manifested profession. The lofty goals of the Report have been met in large part, with our schools producing young women who are “competent, high in self-esteem, self reliant, independent and … capable of co-operation, empathy and social interaction.” The success of decades of Federal initiatives, at least in terms of academic outcomes in schools and universities, is evidenced in the statistical shift to girls in curricula, classrooms and the workplace, including the teaching

From group or gang to supportive network What women can do to encourage teenage girls to develop healthy relationship-building capacities that will continue with them into their adult lives.

[A synopsis of the paper presented to the 2006 Alliance of Girls’ Schools Conference by Ms Karen Belbin, School Counsellor]

The paper looked at how important it is for adolescents to feel a strong sense of connection with their world and how difficult this can sometimes be. A central and important task of adolescence is to form and manage social relationships and belonging to a group is part of this process. The paper asked, “How do adolescents form these very important social relationships with others when their own selves are not yet fully formed and established. How can another person ‘see’ the adolescent as they are when they are still very much in the process of developing a cohesive sense of themselves?” The paper explored whether this complexity might partly explain why some relationships become so difficult during adolescence. Adolescence is a time for reworking many of the issues of infancy and the first five years of life, especially the social issues. The paper began by returning to this time of infancy. It explored how the basic but important functions and processes which are part of how we develop both a sense of ourselves, and a sense of ourselves in relation to others, are acquired during this time and how the attainment and management of these processes continues to affect and influence us and our relationships, especially during adolescence. This understanding was then linked to how some adolescent groups function, especially destructive groups where group members seem to become stuck at earlier levels or ways of functioning. The paper explored the way group membership allows these adolescents, who fear falling to pieces or not having a cohesive sense of their identity, to manage their anxieties through colluding to keep certain areas of emotional conflict completely outside consciousness. It outlined how group members use projection and attack to maintain the group’s functioning, both of

Despite assertions that feminism “no longer matters” to girls, a study of pedagogical and pastoral practices across three decades in a secondary school for girls reveals that feminism functions as an active and empowering presence rather than absence in the education and in the lives of young women today.

which negatively impact on their social relationships. The paper concluded that understanding these processes can assist each of us to be available to our adolescents as thinking, non-judgmental, non-attacking adults so that a space for reflection can be opened up for them. This will, over time, allow a kind of honesty and reconciliation between the adolescent’s inner and outer world to occur so that the adolescent can successfully move on from an emotionally-stuck position to the position of functioning as an adult.

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Colour, excitement and beautiful weather created a carnival atmosphere at this year’s Interhouse Athletics Competition held in August. QEII Stadium provided excellent facilities for both competitors and spectators. Congratulations to Gibson House for winning the Athletics Challenge Cup (Aggregate) by an impressive 68 points ahead of Beanland House (second) and Woolcock House (third). Interhouse Athletics

Fencing The Brisbane Girls Grammar School Open team received a late invitation to compete in the National Schools Championships during

Inspiring Head of the River win

the July holidays. This team consisted of Jennifer Colditz (11E), Martha Murray (11G),

Grace Cowderoy (10E) and Caitlin Sivyer (11L).

In the Rowing Club Newsletter published prior to the Brisbane Schoolgirls’ Rowing Association’s Head of the River, Rowing Supporters Club President, Mrs Helen Darch wrote: “Our girls have already proved to everyone that they have no peers; that their passion, drive and determination can take them anywhere they choose to go. They have already given us, given their crews, given their coaches and their School their very best week after week. What more could we ask of them? ….. like you, I hope this will be a very special Head of the River. It will be a very special day no matter what the final tally is, we have been privileged to be part of an extraordinary journey well worth any end.” And what a special day Saturday 2 September was for Grammar Rowers. Girls Grammar achieved outstanding results from all crews scoring nine wins, three second places and seven third places out of the twenty-seven events. It was this amazing feat that allowed Girls Grammar to achieve the Brisbane Schoolgirls’ Head of the River Aggregate Trophy title for the first time in the seventeen year history of Brisbane schoolgirls’ rowing. Despite poor weather and access difficulties over 6000 spectators lined the shores of the Hinze Dam on the Gold Coast to support the rowers.

The First VIII placed third in the 2000-metre feature race. They had a hard-fought battle with St Margaret’s who finally drew away to finish in second place to Somerville House with Girls Grammar finishing only 0.5 seconds behind. These results could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of coach, Mr Oleg Shishkin, who put together an outstanding programme developed to give as many Grammar girls as possible the opportunity to enjoy this sport. Saramatta , the School’s new light weight single scull had its first race at the Head of the River after being officially launched by Ms Bell on 28 August. Only the second boat owned by Girls Grammar — the other being Ubla Ubla — the light weight scull is easier for the girls to race than the heavier boys’ sculls they had been using.

They fenced against six other teams from various schools in Australia and New Zealand.

Artistic Gymnastics

The 2006 competition saw premiership wins for Year 8 (1), Year 8 (2) and E Grade, 2nd place in C, D and Year 8 (3) and 3rd in B and A Grade. Charlotte Greenfield (8R) was awarded a perfect 10 in the Year 8 competition. In July, Suzannah Chapman (8B) and Jessica Scionti (8W) represented Queensland at the Border Challenge National Championships. They were gold medallists in the team event and Suzannah received silver on floor.

All the fencers were highly skilled and were fierce opponents resulting in our team being rewarded with fourth place in Australia.

Launching Saramatta

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The Combined Brisbane Girls Grammar School and Brisbane Grammar School Year 11 Charity Event was held at the Victoria Park Function Complex. After many hours of discussion and preparation in the weeks before and with our fingers sore from tying countless balloons, the committee saw their plans for the evening unfold. The night was fantastic. The Vegas theme included a cameo appearance from Elvis, The Year 11 Charity Event a Vegas wedding chapel and dance floor canopy of balloons. The food, the music, the dresses.... even the boys looked good! The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly with the dance floor electric for the duration of the evening. The Year 11 students from both Schools nominated Queensland Surf Lifesaving as their chosen charity. Fundraising began on the last day of Term II when the Year 11

girls mixed with the BGS boys for a BBQ and Bands lunchtime event to showcase the musical talents from each School. A portion of the ticket price from the charity evening was also donated to make a total of $2000 raised for Queensland Surf Lifesaving. Suzanna Plant (11E)

in tune Our Classroom Music teachers are passionate about delving into combined activities with other Creative Arts disciplines.

In the classroom Classroom Music students from Year 8 through to Year 12 enjoy many activities designed to encourage connections — between curriculum and co-curriculum, between the School and broader musical community, between our students and the tertiary sector, and between Music and the other Arts at Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Earlier in the year, a group of students from the University of Queensland led Music workshops for Year 10 Music classes at the School. The tertiary students had worked with Mr Andrew Pennay, Head of Classroom Music, to devise suitable learning experiences for the girls and implemented the activities with Ms Sarah McGarry’s and Ms Marie Hennessy’s Year 10 Music class students. Mr Pennay, Ms McGarry and Ms Hennessy teach in the School of Music at the University of Queensland. Every year, our girls are exposed to music in the community through a broad range of excursions that supplement class work. Girls travel to view The Queensland Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Opera Queensland performances of works that are being explored through class activities. Our students appreciate this real world exposure to the Arts and make meaningful connections between these performances and the work undertaken in the classroom.

The Senior Music Camp is always the first activity of the year, where the task of replacing the graduated Year 12 girls begins and the foundations are set for an exciting and eventful year. Every performing ensemble presents their work at public events, on-campus concerts or combined activities with other schools. The Instrumental and Vocal Competitions provide opportunities for advanced performers to display their individual talents. Masterclasses, workshops, guest conductors, excursions to live performances and invitations to play at corporate events and functions complete the portfolio of musical activities that are scheduled throughout the year. By the beginning of August a significant amount of creative energy and endeavour is directed towards the Gala Concert. ‘It’s a Classic’ is the title for our tenth Gala Concert and the music is a selection of well-known works including the 1812 Overture, Pomp and Circumstance March No.1, excerpts from Mozart’s Requiem, Bolero, William Tell Overture and many more. The Gala Concert has earned a reputation for outstanding achievement and we are looking forward with great anticipation to Saturday 28 October where the year of rehearsals, tutorials, and personal practice is once again on display. Tickets will be on sale from 9 October 2006. Mr Mark Sullivan Director of Instrumental Music

Two weeks with the Queen Two Weeks with the Queen , a play based on the popular Morris Gleitzman novel of the same name, stormed onto the Gehrmann Theatre stage in August this year. Performed by an energetic and talented cast of Year 10 Drama students. The actors created a fast paced and emotional investigation into the lives of two contrasting families. The play explored the difficulties of coping with change in the family unit and the experiences of young people when faced with personal challenges.

As a new initiative this year, all Year 8 Music and Drama students collaborate to perform group–devised pieces for parents each Semester. In addition, the Term II production of Yuku Toshi drew on the immense talents of our Art, Drama and Music students in both Junior and Senior classes. The quality of these performances is outstanding and a credit to our girls who throw themselves into cross-Arts tasks with vigour, excitement and a wonderful sense of play. The spirit of connection is alive and well within Classroom Music. Mr Andrew Pennay Head of Classroom Music Co-curricular Music Co-curricular Music at Brisbane Girls Grammar School is a vibrant, active and diverse programme that enables all girls to access music at their particular level of proficiency and to progress at their own rate. The twenty-two performing ensembles are structured to create a developmental process in which skills and musicianship can be imparted at an ever increasing level of proficiency. Students gradually move through the groups to ultimately reach the senior ensembles and the goal of performing in the Gala Concert at Brisbane City Hall.

The rehearsal process began with an investigation into a variety of directorial methods to apply to the play. Several ideas were explored to unlock the potential of the script and to create an innovative and engaging production. The major roles were played by a number of the cast members. This technique allowed for increased student involvement in the production but also created an ensemble approach to the text whereby the focus was on the overall message and meaning of the play rather than on individual characterisation. The addition of a live soundtrack, performed by Hannah Cameron (10B), also assisted in making this an emotive and unique performance. The songs selected ranged from Missy Higgins to Cold Chisel but effectively resonated the Australian origins of the script and enhanced the emotional journey taken by both audience and characters alike. Two Weeks with the Queen provided students with a valuable opportunity to extend their characterisation skills and to work within a creative ensemble. The audience were responsive to the varying moods of the production and were enthralled by the confident and creative performances of the young actors. Mrs Emma Pattemore Co–ordinator

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Kathryn Talbot (10M) Kathryn was prompted to help at the Queensland Cancer Fund after her Grandmother’s illness: A personal experience brought me to completing my Year 10 Service at the Queensland Cancer Fund or QCF. Admittedly, I did not know what I was expected to do, because anyone who has met me knows I have a distinct lack of tact and people skills! Luckily, I was placed in administration, which basically meant I packed and unpacked envelopes. Lots of envelopes. At first I wondered if I was even making a difference. What could a few envelopes do to help people with cancer? Well then I actually decided to read what people were sending back. They weren’t just letters with donations, (although those are always much appreciated). There were messages from people who had either had cancer, or had a relative who had it, and they were thanking QCF for all they had done. The looks on the faces of the people who worked with me really made my day. The way I figure it, if these people are happier — they volunteer more. If they volunteer more, there is more chance that cancer won’t be around for the next generation. So, even if all I did was pack and unpack envelopes, I know I made a difference. And let me tell you, it feels really, really good. If you want to volunteer at QCF, I strongly recommend it. Sabina Myers (10M) When the time came for me to choose my Service, I spent a lot of time deliberating. Originally I had planned to go to my old primary school, to ‘give back to a place I got a lot from’ or something equally poetic. But after ringing the wrong number twice, being put on hold three times, then being told to ring back at the same time the next week, ringing back at the specified time and getting a computer message stating that ‘sorry, the office is closed now’ I ended up ditching that particular pursuit. I’m now glad that my initial idea went so badly, because otherwise I never would have ended up as a volunteer at the Abbey Museum Medieval Tournament and Re-enactment Festival, an experience that I feel I not only gave a lot to, but gained a lot from personally as well.

material ready for the children to “sew” and many, many holes were punched in cardboard trees ready to decorate the room. We read them a story when they got up about a little bear who didn’t want to go to school so he tried lots of jobs he couldn’t do. Thinking of my efforts cutting out the cats I know how he felt. How could looking after small children be so exhausting? It was a real surprise. Lilian and I finished our 15 hours in three days but returned for an extra day. It seemed so little to give a Centre that gives so much. I had to go back for another reason, too. When I was a naughty four year old pretending to sleep on Tuesday afternoons I used to watch for the tall girls in the navy blue pleated skirts, white blouses and blue ties coming into help from the School up the road. They were so much fun. “They’re Grammar Girls,” Mum told me. We both liked them, and they made such a good impression it was part of the reason I’m now part of “the School up the road”. Ten years on, where are those girls now at the age of 25? Working in the CBD, overseas, bringing up littlies who’ll soon join in the morning songs at Holy Family about “Little eyes, be careful what you see, little ears, be careful what you hear...?” That’s a scary and exciting thought.

Giving Back The 2006 Year 10 cohort have brought a fresh approach to Community Service this year, imbued with energy and innovation. Some have sought out novel and interesting ways of making a difference and helping others while nearly all of them have found the experience to be worthwhile and satisfying. At a recent Year 10 Assembly some of the girls shared their experiences and edited versions of their talks are included in this article.

Mrs Stubbington with Jacinta and Sabina.

accurate down to the fine details so it was great to be able to help interested people to understand what things were, who was who, and what the whole thing was really all about. Day two was in a very similar vein to day one: just me being helpful and informative and looking kind and approachable — the only difference being that instead of surveys this time I was selling the magazines/programs for the tournament. I’d have to say that the biggest thing I got out of it, simple though it sounds, was extending my people skills, which is something I believe is invaluable to everyone really. We aren’t always going to be working with, or finding ourselves around people, who are our perfect personality matches, because the world is a pretty diverse place, so it was a great opportunity in the sense that I interacted with all sorts of people, with whom I otherwise may never have even spoken under normal circumstances.

The festival is a two day annual event featuring re-enactments of many aspects of medieval culture, markets, food, activities and a popular mock tournament complete with archery, jousting and big men in armor beating each other up with pointed sticks. On day one my job was to convince as many people as possible to fill out surveys. So there I was, dressed up as a medieval peasant woman, curtsying to patrons and offering an innocent ‘would you spare five minutes for a survey, my Lord/Lady?’ My other job was to be a well of medieval information, which had been drilled into my head at the volunteer training day. It actually felt really nice to be able to answer people’s queries because a lot of people show up merely out of curiosity, or because they have a semi-twisted princesses and dragons view of the Middle Ages. There is a massive amount of detail and planning which goes into setting up the whole fair and most of it is historically

Jacinta Livingstone (10R) The poinciana still spreads over the sandpit like a giant umbrella while the cubby house and red climbing frame still swarm with toddlers. Ten years ago I graduated from the Holy Family Child Care Centre, Gregory Terrace as part of the preschool group of 1996 and this year I returned in the mid-year holidays to complete my 15 hours of Year 10 Community Service. Doing this at a Centre where I had spent so many happy hours long ago was a privilege. It was also a bigger challenge than I had expected and I was glad that my friend, Lilian Zhou (10R), joined me in the adventure. In many ways it was a lesson in patience. The youngest children in Classroom C were three, or about to turn three, and contrary to the idea that toddlers are noisy, I found that this group took a long time to thaw out with a newcomer. At first, no matter what I said, they just looked at me. Then they kept on looking, giving a good imitation of a monastic order on vows of silence. As for the odd accident, well…. that was all part of it too. From my point of view, the middle group of children, in Classroom B where I started out, were a lot more talkative and the bigger ones, in Classroom A, who will start school next year, were more fun again. They were eager to play games, hear stories and tell me about their favourite movies. Lunchtime was a healthy revelation. Out came the sandwiches, fruit, yoghurt and

water. It was as though crisps, chocolate milk and lollies did not exist. Helping out meant taking lids off boxes and drink bottles and spooning yoghurt into the smallest children and joining in the Grace before and after meals. Naptime, when very few of them actually seemed to sleep – some things don’t change in 10 years – meant Lilian and I got down to picking up puzzles, one of which we couldn’t put back together, and preparing handicrafts for the next few days. Cats materialised from white, fluffy material; squares were cut from pieces of

Year 10s involved in The Smith Family Community Service Programme.

Lilian Zhou at Holy Family Child Care Centre.

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Mrs Fiona Robinson Enrolments Registrar

Mr Andrew Pennay Head of Classroom Music

Mrs Lillian Arici Head of Chemistry

Top of the State

I am drawn to the life and diversity of the school environment and the Registrar’s role is one that I enjoy and find rewarding. I am a very family orientated person and I feel privileged to be able to assist the families who are considering Girls Grammar for their daughters. Choosing a school that will best suit your child is often a difficult decision for parents, there are so many things to consider and schools can vary enormously. I have moved internationally and interstate with school-aged children and can empathise with parents navigating the myriad of options available. Initially a Mathematics and Office Practice secondary teacher in Victoria, I pursued my interest in office technology by working as a Business Analyst and later Management Consultant. It was during this time that I completed a Graduate Diploma in

My first experience of Brisbane Girls Grammar School was as a pre-service teacher in Science and Mathematics in 2000. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in both faculties and was pleased to start my teaching career the following year in a school that values academic excellence so highly. In my six years here, I have primarily taught Chemistry and Junior Science. I believe it is important to recognise that students in science are motivated and challenged in a wide variety of ways and I enjoy working with them to help them to achieve to the best of their ability. Providing the time for student interaction on a one-to-one basis is important to encourage the enthusiasm and confidence required to tackle difficult concepts. For the past two years, I have also worked in the role as Head of the Chemistry

I am passionate about assisting students to achieve their musical best. In particular, complementing the strong co-curricular performance programme at the School through a rigorous Classroom Music experience enables students to focus on the development of musicianship skills, musical analysis and composing skills. I also lecture in music education at the University of Queensland, focusing on secondary school music teaching methodology and the roles of improvising and composing in the classroom. Outside of the School, I enjoy sharing teaching philosophies with Australian teachers through a range of professional bodies and by participating in music education workshops. I have also visited Geelong Grammar School and Townsville Grammar School as a clinician, working

Forty-eight Grammar girls sat the prestigious Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers’ Problem Solving Competition. Seven Grammar girls achieved wonderful results, with Jenny Pan (8B) achieving the highest score in the State in the Junior Division and winning the University of Queensland Civil Engineering Prize. Shiney Seo (8M) also acquitted herself extremely well, being placed 12th in the State. At the Intermediate level (Years 9 and 10), Kathryn Zealand (10R) achieved third place in Queensland. Three Year 9 students, Vicky Kim (9B), Lucy Wark (9M) And Kim Newman (9W) each received a Certificate of Commendation for their success. The Senior Division was extremely difficult with Antonia Morris (11W) being the recipient of a Certificate of Commendation . All the participants deserve congratulations for putting in the time, effort and persistence in challenging themselves at this level.

Writer in residence — Dr Eva Sallis The School had the privilege of hosting our 2006 Doris Waraker Townsend Memorial Writer in Residence, Dr Eva Sallis for a three-day programme.

Dr Sallis completed a Master of Arts on the poetry of TS Eliot, has a PhD in Literature and is a Visiting Research fellow at the University of Adelaide. She is a writer of literary fiction and criticism and has won numerous literary awards for her novels, including The Australian Vogel Literary Award for Hiam , which is studied in Electives in Senior School. Her latest work of fiction, The Marsh Birds , won the Asher Literary Award and was short-listed for numerous national and international awards for literature. During her Residency, Dr Sallis conducted a series of intensive and very well

received daily workshops on writing and editing for twenty senior students. Parents also had the opportunity to meet Dr Sallis at a cocktail party held in her honour. Dr Sallis worked with Year 11s in two sessions on short story writing designed to assist them in creation of their own short stories. She also presented an eloquent and thought-provoking address to the School Assembly on the intersection of human rights, social justice and the arts, to all of which she has a passionate commitment.

Chinese Delegation visit

Organisation Development, which specialises in managing change. I think this experience has given me the people skills and attention to detail that is required as Registrar. With the arrival of three young children and the desire for flexible working hours, I worked as a computer software trainer in the TAFE and private sectors before rejoining the School sector at St Leonard’s College, Melbourne to assist with the administration of the International Baccalaureate program. It was during this period, that I pinpointed enrolments as an area I would really like to become involved in. After I relocated to Brisbane with my family the opportunity to work at Brisbane responsibility, which I take very seriously. I know how important it is for parents to be given accurate and meaningful information about the School and their daughter’s enrolment. Girls Grammar School arose. It’s a challenging role with considerable

department. Given that we consistently have well over two hundred students studying Chemistry in the Senior School, this can be a challenging but very rewarding experience. I am fortunate to work with a team of teachers who strive to provide the best possible quality chemistry education for our students. We work together to develop strategies, resources and hands-on activities to help students grasp challenging chemical concepts. A key aim of our programme is to provide students with a realistic experience of chemistry, by enabling them to undertake independent research projects and giving them access to technology and analytical equipment as used by research chemists. I sincerely hope that many of our students go on to develop the enthusiasm and appreciation that my fellow chemistry teachers and I have for our subject area. Given that Chemistry is a keystone for many tertiary science courses, a positive experience at secondary school will hopefully lay a solid foundation for students and set them on the pathway of continuing chemistry education.

with young composers and performers to develop their musicianship skills. For seven years, I have worked with The Australian Voices, a new music ensemble that commissions, performs and produces recordings of the choral works of young Australian composers. As Assistant Conductor, I recently travelled to China where the ensemble was awarded two gold medals and one silver medal in the World Choir Games. In July, we performed as part of the Annual Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Malaysia and Australia’s renowned ChoralFest in Tasmania. The Classroom Music programme at Brisbane Girls Grammar School encourages an excitement and joy in learning that importantly however is the fact that our hard-working team of specialist Classroom Music teachers cater for a diverse range of student abilities, promoting achievability, accessibility and an informed, intelligent love of music for all. inspires students to pursue music education at a tertiary level. More

Hangzhou and West Lake, for a long time a favourite haunt of poets and philosophers, are celebrated for their scenery and their role in the cultural history of China. When Led by Mr Gengyun Chen, a consultant with the West Lake District government based in Hangzhou, a group of chinese educationalists visited the School. students from Brisbane Girls Grammar School visit our Affiliate School in Shanghai, a visit to Hangzhou is always included in the itinerary. Mr Chen and the group were most interested in the curriculum and co-curriculum choices that our School offers students as well as the fine facilities and pastoral care programme that create our dynamic learning environment and community. The visit concluded with a pleasant afternoon tea hosted by Deputy Principals Miss Felicity Williams and Mrs Marise McConaghy, which provided an interesting forum for discussion on our education system.

Ms Lorraine Thornquist, Director of International Studies, with Chinese delegates.

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