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A Word from our Principal

I think it would be fair to say that Term 1 of 2020 has been unlike any start to an academic year that I have ever known. So many wonderful things have happened, but the danger is that we let our memories of these be somewhat overshadowed by recent circumstances.

Reflecting on the term in its entirety highlights for me what a great school we have, and I am reminded of why I am grateful to be part of Girls Grammar. These are a few of my favourite things from Term 1:

  • Our girls – every day I see enthusiasm, warmth and excitement. I love my chats with them and I enjoy hearing about how their day is going and what they’re learning. I also love seeing their confidence, their engagement in their learning, their willingness to have a go. There is such a great feel to our school and everyone who comes into the campus comments on how wonderful our girls are.

  • The Girls Grammar sisterhood – over the term, I’ve seen countless examples of sisters supporting sisters. At the start of the year, our new students were warmly welcomed by their big sisters, our older boarders helped alleviate the nerves of the new boarders and our girls found opportunities to meet, welcome and include new girls. Over time, I have observed students tutoring other girls, prefects organizing a range of whole-school activities, girls in the middle years playing with our primary girls and House captains encouraging and inspiring their groups to bond, compete and have fun. Our girls are authentic – they engage so enthusiastically and show care for each other because they love their school, not because anyone compels them to.

  • Our Seniors - Our Head Girls, Molly Harwood and Jemma Green, are fantastic role models – they are humble, kind and inclusive. In every interaction, they lead by example, modelling the school’s values. I have been equally impressed by our Prefects and Year 12s. I have been so proud of their resilience this term as they have had to face the reality that their final year of schooling will not be quite as they had anticipated. I am heartened by the maturity with which they have faced the impact of recent events.

  • Representing Girls Grammar – every time I step out with our girls I am so proud to be connected to them and to this school. I have also been fortunate to attend various events with our girls and every time I have been approached by members of the public who have told me how great our girls are! There is something special about a Girls Grammar girl!

  • Seeing our girls face challenges – Watching our girls this term as they have tried new things, or they’ve signed up for a sport for the first time, or they have set and achieved aspirational academic goals, has proven to me that an all girls’ environment empowers girls to be brave, to take risks and to grow and thrive in their confidence.

  • Our parents and caregivers – there is much generosity in our community, all aimed at making Girls Grammar the best it can be. I am genuinely appreciative of the time, support and goodwill that has been given this year and I have very much enjoyed meeting our parents and sharing in our community activities. I look forward to later in the year when we can once again come together as a community.

As we approach the holidays, I think it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the many gifts and blessings we have as members of the Girls Grammar community. These were evident when we were celebrating together at the start of the term, but even more apparent in how we’ve faced the challenges of the last couple of weeks and prepared for the events that may unfold. I cannot emphasise enough how great our staff have been – they have been flexible and adaptable as they have calmly worked together to plan and prepare for a number of possible outcomes next term. They have never let their own needs or concerns override their commitment to the provision of high-quality care and learning for our girls. We have amazing staff at Girls Grammar and concern for the girls is central to all they do.

Over the holidays, many of the Girls Grammar staff will be working. Some will be on campus and others will be working from home. We are contactable by phone and email and we are happy to help or support in any way we can. Please do not hesitate to contact our Admin or Finance teams if they can be of assistance. I am also available for families and I encourage you to email me on if you would like to speak to me.

As I reflect on the term as a whole, I feel so lucky to have joined the Girls Grammar community this year. I know we will continue to work together to meet the current challenges and I know we will emerge a stronger community as a result. I am looking forward to continuing to get to know everyone and to working in partnership for the benefit of our girls.

I hope everyone stays safe and well these holidays. Thank you to all those who will be working to provide much needed care and services to our community. Many of you will not get a break over Easter and I hope that people treat you kindly and show you that you are valued. For those who do get a quieter pace of life over the next couple of weeks, I hope you do get to enjoy that book you’ve been saying you’ll read for ages, stream that series that everyone’s been raving about or finally get around to that photobook you’ve been promising to create. Whatever you do on your break, I hope you enjoy your time with your families and get a chance to exercise some self-care, a rare but important gift to ourselves.

I look forward to seeing everyone and to our community coming together again as soon as we are able.

Deanne Johnston



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