Tomorrow we commence our mid-year school holiday break and, after such an incredibly busy and memorable term, I am sure there are many students, parents and staff members eagerly anticipating a couple of weeks of respite. Often the last week before the holidays can be quieter, but Week 10 has been just as busy and energetic, so I’d like to share some of the highlights of the past seven days.
Friday evening - Netball Grand Final
Last Friday evening, our Year 9 netball team, coached by teacher Emma Whitehand, defeated Mt Morgan 19-12 to win the interschool netball competition for 2021. The first quarter was very close and fast-paced. However, as the game progressed, and the competition became fiercer, what was obvious was that our girls kept calm, continued to work as a team, and supported each other through both the successful plays and the errors. Through each successive quarter, they remained unflustered, their lead grew, and, by the final whistle, they had increased their lead to achieve a very convincing win. I was incredibly proud of the team, not only for their unity, but for displaying sportsmanship and Girls Grammar values. I would like to thank all girls who represented Girls Grammar in netball this year and all our staff, parents and volunteers who have coached, managed and supported them.
Saturday - Race Day
Last Saturday was the annual Girls Grammar School Rockhampton Race Day. Since joining Girls Grammar, I have heard many stories of the Race Day, all of them describing the day as an unforgettable community event. My first experience on Saturday lived up to all the promises. It was clear that a great deal of planning, consideration and thoughtful preparation went into the event, the fashions were wonderful, the food was fabulous, and our student, staff and parent volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure all guests had a memorable day. I would like to thank Vicki Jackson, the members of the Race Day Committee and our Food and Textiles teacher Stacey Rogers for the months of planning and coordination, the gift of their time, and their unwavering support of the school. Thank you to all the Old Girls who volunteered to sell raffle tickets, work behind the scenes, promote the event or coordinate particular aspects of the day. Whilst I never doubted the Girls Grammar Race Day was a highlight of the Rockhampton racing calendar, I now know firsthand just how special and significant the day is. I was very proud to be a member of the Girls Grammar community and I thank everyone who was able to attend or support the day in some way.
Saturday – Mt Larcom Show
On Saturday, the Girls Grammar Show Team represented the school, themselves and their animals beautifully at the Mt Larcom Show. The team achieved numerous places in the Junior Judging, Junior Paraders, led steers, and commercial heifer classes. The 2021 show season has been very busy but successful and it has been great to see our dedicated and passionate team of girls develop their skills as they have progressed through the various competitions. We thank all the parents who have supported the girls at each show, and we are very grateful to all families who have donated steers to our program. Thank you to Salena McBride for all her work in coordinating this opportunity for our students.
Sunday - Old Girls Tours
Race Day also provides an opportunity for Old Girls who live outside of Rockhampton to come together and, whilst they are in town, visit the school. On Sunday, it was my pleasure to take a group of about 15 Old Girls on a tour of the school. It was wonderful to spend the time with them and hear them share their memories of how the buildings and facilities had changed from their time at school. I loved seeing their faces light up as they recollected a teacher, or a class, how a building looked during their time at school or a special memory of their time at Girls Grammar. It was also a privilege to be able to share with them the school’s significant capital works projects, including those recently completed, pending and planned. Many expressed how lovely the new classrooms looked, what a warm and comfortable environment the boarding houses provided and how the facilities had changed since they attended. As we navigated scaffolding and they noticed machinery and demountables, they also expressed support for upcoming works and stated how wonderful it was to see the school moving ahead with facilities and upgrades. I would like to acknowledge the support of so many within our community, particularly the P&F and Old Girls Associations who have both contributed volunteers, expertise and funds to help the school move capital works projects forward for the benefit of our current students.
Sunday – Musical Rehearsals
This year’s musical, Annie Jnr, is progressing well and, as performance dates ebb closer, the girls and staff are excited about performing for their parents, friends and the school community. Sunday the cast and crew held another big rehearsal, their last before the holidays. Show dates are Friday 23rd July - 7.00pm, Saturday 24th July - 2.00pm & 7.00pm and Sunday 25th July - 2.00pm. Tickets are on sale at https://www.trybooking.com/BSIOI
Monday - Lunch with the Governor General
On Monday, three Year 12 students and I attended a luncheon with His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Mrs Hurley. During the luncheon, the Governor-General spoke about the quality of Australians, the potential of our young people, Australia’s future leaders and the critical role of rural and regional Australia to our nation’s success and prosperity. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear an individual who holds one of the country’s highest positions speak, and the girls enjoyed the opportunity to listen to his insights, particularly his advocacy for women and his support for the regions.
Tuesday - Athletics Carnival
Tuesday the School held its annual Athletics Carnival at Central Queensland University. We were blessed with beautiful weather and we were so pleased that not only could we hold the event after having to modify it significantly in 2021, but we were able to invite parents, relatives and friends to watch and support the girls. Congratulations to all girls who participated and for those who modelled the way, through their active involvement, by supporting and encouraging their peers. Thank you to Scott Fuller for organizing the day, and to all staff who ran and supervised all events and students. It was a wonderful student community event, filled with House pride, good sportsmanship and lots of fun. We look forward to the announcement of the winning House at assembly next term.
Wednesday – House Choir
Across the school on Wednesday morning, students were busily rehearsing for next term’s House Choir competition. This is a highly anticipated event on the school calendar, and one the girls enjoy the process of coordinating, choreographing, mentoring and performing. Watching their rehearsals, it was great to see their creativity, an important life skill, but also wonderful to watch the older girls mentoring younger students, promoting problem solving, cooperation and teamwork and fostering House pride. From early signs, it is going to be a fun and fierce battle next term!
Tonight (Thursday) – P&F Meeting for Bulls n Barrels event
Tonight, the P&F is holding a special meeting to discuss this year’s Bulls ‘n’ Barrels event. Following on from so many wonderful functions this year, Bulls ‘n’ Barrels is another significant event that builds community whilst supporting fund raising endeavours that provide so many benefits to students. Due to Covid restrictions, we were unable to hold this event in 2020, and there are many people who are looking forward to its return in 2021. The P&F has a small group of dedicated, generous parents, staff and volunteers who do a wonderful job of planning and organising events, however, there is a great deal of organisation needed to provide a successful, safe and enjoyable event. To make the event viable, the P&F need support in a variety of ways. If any current or past families, Old Girls or friends of the school are able to provide any assistance, the P&F would appreciate hearing from you. Please contact the P&F Secretary Jacqui Goltz on PandF@rggs.qld.edu.au or by phoning the school on 49300900.
Tomorrow (Friday) - Year 10-12 Breakfast
Tomorrow we will host our first breakfast for students in Years 10 -12, together with their parents. This is a social event for our families to come together, catch up before the holidays and enjoy each other’s company. There are no formalities and no cost to families – if you are free between 7.30am and 8am, please join us on McKeague Deck for a light breakfast to celebrate the end of the term.
Tomorrow (Friday) - Primary RSPCA Day
Our primary students will celebrate a busy and successful term with the RSPCA Day tomorrow. We are looking forward to watching their parade and to seeing their joy as they engage in a range of activities that promote awareness of care for animals. Watch our Facebook page tomorrow for some photos of what we are sure will be a fun way for our primary girls to end the term.
As the last week has shown, Girls Grammar is an incredibly vibrant and dynamic community. Everyone works hard and contributes so much to our school and I am very grateful for the generosity of our community. It is important, therefore, that we take the time to switch off, rest and recuperate when we are able to have time away from school or work. I wish all our families a safe, relaxing and enjoyable school holiday period and look forward to seeing everyone return refreshed and ready for Term 3.
Good luck to our QISSN netball team as they travel to Brisbane this weekend to compete in the 2021 CQUniversity Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Competition.