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Foundation Day and Upcoming Departure of Respected Executive Member: A Word from our Principal

Happy 131st birthday Rockhampton Girls Grammar School!

Welcome back to a new term, one filled with events, special occasions, activities and public holidays beginning with our Foundation Day celebrations commemorating 131 years of educating young women. Our Prep - Year 12 assembly on Wednesday 19 April led us down memory lane as we paid tribute to those who have helped Girls Grammar get to where it is today. From the group of visionaries who persevered, advocating for the importance of educating girls and advancing young women in society, who fundraised tirelessly to raise the 1000 pounds required to open our school, to those individuals in our initial years of operation who laid the foundations for what we have today.

Our founding Headmistress, Miss Helen Elizabeth Downs who sailed from England with her mother led our school and her vision and leadership have continued to inspire us for over 130 years. She believed that a good school should help students form habits that they would need to succeed in life, including hard work, attention to detail, self-discipline, observation, and thoughtfulness. When we honor these values today, we pay tribute to our first principal and those who followed her who formed the vision, values and beliefs that stand true today. As we celebrate Foundation Day, I cannot help but marvel at how far we have come. From a single impressive building, we now have a large campus with many facilities that cater to the needs of our students. Paterson House, which was once the centre of school life, now serves as a hive of activity and a reminder of our proud history. Our school has grown and evolved, and we are committed to making further improvements in the coming years. An example of these projects coming to fruition is the construction of our state of the art, multi-purpose covered court. After four years of planning for this new and impressive piece of infrastructure, there was great anticipation as we watched the stages of construction late last year to viewing the completion of this competition grade facility when we returned to school to start the year.

We are proud to be the only girls' school in Rockhampton, and the only Prep - Year 12 all girls independent day and boarding school in Central Queensland. For over 130 years we have taken pride in being a school that is small, nurturing, and caring, offering connections across the year levels where girls feel safe, respected and included from the age of four through to eighteen.

To commemorate Foundation Day we returned to past traditions of lining the outskirts of Paterson House, with students from all year levels standing side by side and lining the Agnes Street walkway. Coins were placed between students’ feet while we performed a schoolwide war cry and a number of impressive Mexican waves that made their way right around Paterson House. Funds raised from our gold coin spiral totalled $1,282.00 and will be donated to the ongoing restoration of Paterson House and the soon to commence Northern Wing refurbishment.

Thank you to the students, families and staff who donated so generously!

From celebrating the highlight of our first week back, it comes as an extremely difficult task to announce the lowlight with the resignation of one of our Executive members. Ms Nadine Kelly will sadly be finishing in the role of Deputy Principal - Students at the end of the term. Nadine joined the Girls Grammar community at the beginning of 2021 as our Learning Enhancement Coordinator. During Term 3 of 2021 she stepped into the acting Deputy Principal - Students role before being appointed to the permanent position in April 2022. Whilst Nadine’s tenure at Girls Grammar has been short, much like her stature, her impact has been mighty just as her passion is for our school community and the wellbeing of our girls. I understand this may come as a shock to some families and whilst we are disappointed to lose such a valued member of staff we understand and respect Nadine’s decision to leave to help support her family’s business. The Deputy Principal - Students position will be advertised shortly with a thorough recruitment process to follow. I wish to reassure families that a handover is intended to provide the newly appointed DP - Students and Nadine the time to meet with students and parents to ensure consistent support continues following Nadine’s departure. On behalf of the School community we wish Nadine and her family all the very best.

Kara Krehlik




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