The Anchor

13 February 2020
Week Two | Term One 2020
From the Principal
From the Deputy Principal
Whole School News
Boarding News
Senior School News
Middle School News
Junior School News
Canteen News
For Your Diary
Careers @ GSG
Community News
Great Southern Grammar
(08) 9844 0300
244 Nanarup Road
ALBANY, Western Australia, 6330

From the Principal

Thank You

Thank you to all students, staff and families who attended the Leaders' Induction Ceremony on Monday and congratulations to our 2020 Student Leaders.


It was a wonderful opportunity to induct new student leaders from Junior, Middle and Senior Schools who were presented to the school community and took an oath of commitment.  Collectively, they have been elected by their peers and staff.  


Also part of the ceremony was the presentation of Academic Excellence awards for the Class of 2019 to:

  • Amelia Page, outstanding VET student
  • Jorja Williamson and Austin Wingard, joint Proxime Accessit, (95.05)
  • Riku Okada, Dux, (99.3)

Unfortunately, Riku was unable to attend as he has begun studying his Mathematical Science degree at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Please find below the speeches by our Head Girl, Zara Knight and Head Boy, Ben Jones, as presented at the Welcome Back Assembly in Week One. They set an excellent tone for the year ahead.


Zara Knight

"Students around Australia are coming back to school from very different holiday experiences. We’ve all heard about the bushfires. It’s hard to imagine losing a home or spending Christmas crouching on a beach with nowhere else to go.


Amongst the heartbreaking stories, there have been powerful acts of kindness. For example, the wombat — other animals have been sheltering in wombat burrows to escape the fires. Wombats dig very deep burrows and don’t usually like to share them with strangers. But in these extreme circumstances, wombats have tolerated these strangers, which, I must say, is a big character development for wombats. The wombats and the firefighters: both doing the same thing, showing compassion. We can learn from this.


We’ve got homes and this great school. We shouldn’t need extreme circumstances to be kind and show compassion. Over the holidays, we opened our boarding houses to accommodate firefighters. This term, we have new boarders and new students with us here for the first time. Think of some simple acts of kindness. Smile. Say hello. It’s very easy to do.


I know that there are many mixed emotions in the gym as we gather here; apprehension, excitement, fear of not being accepted by those around you... With my last year upon me, one thing I’m sure of is that time passes very quickly. Whether you’ve been here for years or you’re joining us for the first time, seize this new beginning. Be curious. Be authentic and, like the wombats, be kind."


Ben Jones

"A special welcome to new students and borders and a welcome back to those returning from last year. We hope your holiday break was filled with great moments spent outside the house and you’re ready to start the new year.


We imagine there are many of you feeling nervous today, or perhaps not. Maybe [you are] hesitant to be back in your school uniform, or perhaps you’re still torn up about the Australian Open tennis results. Whatever you may feel, we hope you are welcomed and excited for the year ahead.


Last year, the school’s vision statement was updated, bringing in an emphasis on belonging. The best way to do this is by getting to know one another. There are many things in our control, one being how we treat each other.


The 2020 year brings with it a new year, a new decade and a better time than ever to branch out beyond our group of friends and talk to those we are less familiar with, [whether they are] our peers or teachers. We can positively impact each other’s days in many ways, through a smile, a friendly greeting to an unfamiliar face or simply by remembering a name. These actions go a long way in creating an inclusive culture within our school community.  I hope everybody looks out for one another this year. Next time we talk, we’ll all know each other a little better." 

Coronavirus Update

We are monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely and adhering to Australian Government guidelines.

I will advise of any updates in due course.


Please contact the Deputy Principal, Mrs Emma Franklin, if you meet the below criteria. 


People who have been in contact with confirmed novel coronavirus cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure.


Returned travellers who have been in Hubei Province, China, must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province other than for seeking individual medical care.


Updated advice can be found here:

Mr Mark Sawle | Principal

From the Deputy Principal

Friday Event Update

P&F Sundowner: Friday

Parent Information Sessions for parents of students in Junior School, in Year Seven and in Year Ten are held on Friday 14 February (tomorrow) at 5.00pm. 


These sessions are followed by the tremendously popular P&F Welcome Sundowner in the Pratten Centre courtyard from 6.00 to 8.00pm. Please come along, meet other parents, welcome in the new school year and meet your representatives in the Parents’ and Friends’ association. We look forward to seeing you!

Mrs Emma Franklin | Deputy Principal

Dads in the Great Southern (DIGS) Info Night

Who: For dads/father figures and children at Great Southern Grammar who want to spend enjoyable time with other dads and children.

What: Dave Marshall (GSG dad) will be presenting a talk on how the Fathering Project has helped him with building relationships and interacting with his children.  

When: 7.00pm, 12 March 2020

Where:  Six Degrees Alley Bar

Other Info: This event is supported by GSG and The Fathering Project. It is an informal but informative information evening focussed on the Fathering Project and DIGS.

RSVP and questions:  11 March (the earlier the better, please) to Darryl on 0428 366 353 or via                                                                             


All existing GSG DIGS dads are encouraged to promote this event to their friends/                                     school networks, with new dads most welcome to join in any of our events.


The group welcomes father figures of all shapes and sizes, so if a particular dad is unavailable, an uncle, step-father, grandfather or family representative etc, is invited to participate. 

Whole School News

Debating News

Welcome to another year of debating at Great Southern Grammar. Congratulations to the 2019 winners and participants!


Debating Benefits

  • Improves rigorous, higher-order and critical thinking skills
  • Enhances speakers’ ability to structure and organise thoughts
  • Fosters respect for opinions different from our own 
  • Fosters teamwork
  • Builds self-confidence
  • Hones the craft of speaking clearly and persuasively
  • Focusses on a wide range of academic disciplines
  • Develops invaluable communication and interpersonal skills

2020 Debating Opportunities

  • Kojonup Speech and Drama Festival
  • The Western Australian Debating Competition (WADL)
  • Country Week
  • Australian Individual Debating and Public Speaking Competition (AIDPSC), a qualifier for the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Competition (WIDPSC)

WADL Dates

  • Development Day: Thursday 2 April
  • Rounds 1-5: 6 May, 20 May, 3 June, 17June, 22 July
  • Semi-Finals: 5 August
  • Grand Final: 12 August

The development day is offered to students who sign up for the WADL competition. This takes place  in Week Nine this term, hosted by North Albany Senior High School. Attendees are required to make their own travel arrangements to the venue and home at the end of the school day. A teacher will be there to accompany and supervise. Three divisions: Novice for Years Seven and Eight; Junior for Years Nine and Ten; and a Senior competition for Years Eleven and Twelve


How to Register and Questions

Email Ms Valda Wieland ( with your name, Year and Homeroom.

Ms Valda Wieland | Speech and Debating Convenor


Boarding News

From the Head of Boarding

GSG boarding students arrived en masse prior to the start of the school year. The new boarders have now officially survived their first weekend in their new home-away-from-home.

Middle School boarders were busy last weekend with a morning at Middleton Beach, as well as a trip to the Natural Bridge and Frenchman’s Bay with a swim and barbecue lunch. There was even a trip to the cinema and a movie night here in the Hall, in addition to playing in the boarding houses and across the school campus grounds.

The students are learning the routines of boarding, which are so valuable in providing the structure in which the young boys and girls will grow into the young men and women of tomorrow.

Mr Brendan Goggins | Head of Boarding

Senior School News

Paris Trip: 2021

A parent evening will be held on Monday 17 February in the GSG Library, commencing at 5.15pm regarding the Paris Trip, which takes place over the April school holidays in 2021, from 3 to 14 April. It is open to current students in Years Ten and Year Eleven. Highlights include a bike tour of the Palace of Versailles, a bike tour of Monet’s Garden, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Pompidou Museum and a day trip to Mont St Michel.


Please come along if your child is at all interested, or address your queries to Ms Rachel Mordy via

Ms Rachel Mordy | Head of the Arts

Middle School News

Middle School Leaders' Camp

On the Year Nine Leaders' Camp we were tasked with a variety of activities, including working together to save a species of fluffy toy, playing a strategic game of capture the flag, and finding a way to fill a pipe full of water (except it had about 50 holes and we could only use our bodies to block the water from spilling).

We stayed in Eclipse House for most of the time during the camp and, as a group, the leaders discussed what the meaning and requirements of being a leader are, including ideas to help make the school a better place.


We had to prepare, in Houses, either an entrée, a main or a dessert, which were our meals for the night. They all (surprisingly) tasted pretty good!


That night we went to Nanarup beach and played capture the flag, where both teams won a round and ended on a draw. Waking up for a 6.30am trip to the beach again was a big difference to the sleep-ins I was getting during the holidays, however, it was very refreshing. We had to teach each other a yoga pose we were given prior to the camp. We also brainstormed some attributes that we would like to live up to this year, as per below.



















The camp was a great experience and was lots of fun. A special thanks to Mr Scott and Mr Tompkin for making it so enjoyable.

Albert Gouldthorp | Middle School Leader, Baudin

Junior School News

From the Head of Junior School

I extend a warm welcome to all Junior School families and an especially warm one to our new families. The hum of busyness, fun and friendship is lovely to hear reverberating around Junior School, and it certainly makes the days joyful. My hope is that our students and families experience this joy every time they enter our premises. 


Junior School aims to be a place where everyone feels they belong, rather than just fit into. Belonging is integral to human existence. Our students belong to their family, cultural group, neighbourhood, local and national communities, and they belong to the school.


Our vision in Junior School is to build a sense of belonging by developing strong and robust relationships with students and their families. We aim to inspire students to enthusiastically engage with their learning. We aim to provide rich, meaningful and engaging learning experiences delivered through an inquiry model of education. We do this because we want children to feel that they belong in the school, local, national and global communities, and to be mindful, empathetic and active citizens. Belonging is central to shaping who students are and who they become.


Junior School chapels and assemblies will now be held during Period One (8.55 to 9.35am) on Fridays. We want parents to feel a sense of belonging to Junior School and the school community. To facilitate this, after each class assembly, parents will be invited back to their child’s classroom to partake in a shared morning tea and relationship building. It is my hope that this will strengthen the sense of belonging both parents and children feel to the school community. It is also a fantastic way to celebrate the many successes of the students.


It is always lovely to see parents using the campus grounds after school to socialise and share parenting tips and stories. Please be mindful that the children are under your duty of care and should be closely supervised to avoid accidents and injuries.


You may have noticed the ECC foyer has been reorganised to provide extra learning spaces for younger students. We would appreciate your assistance in keeping the area clean and tidy by supervising younger siblings and your child before and after school each day. Together, we can ensure the GSG ECC is a wonderful, vibrant and engaging learning area.


A gentle reminder that several of our students have severe allergic reactions to food and other substances. For student safety purposes, it is requested that no foods containing nuts are sent to school. Please save the Nutella, nut bars, and fruit and nut chocolate for after-school treats. In this way, we can all help keep our children safe.


This year, several dedicated staff have moved year levels and are very much enjoying the excitement and challenge of setting up classrooms and learning programmes. In addition:

  • Mrs Donna Diletti will oversee Learning Support in Junior School
  • Mrs Leah Field takes up the position of Assistant Head of Junior School


2020 Classroom Teachers

  • Djinda: Miss Claire Hard, with Mrs Kat Bradford assisting
  • Kindergarten: Miss Claire Hard, with Mrs Kym Clifford assisting
  • Pre-Primary: Mrs Rosalie Brown, with Mrs Kat Bradford assisting
  • Year One: Mrs Sarah Lilley, with Mrs Carlene Webster assisting
  • Year Two: Mrs Hayley Ranger, with Mrs Carlene Webster assisting
  • Year Three: Mr Geoff Hardey, with Mrs Carlene Webster assisting
  • Year Four: Mrs Marina Gordon
  • Year Five G: Mrs Fiona Gouldthorp (Monday to Thursday, Semester One); Mrs Penni Berryman (Friday, Semester One)
  • Year Five E: Mr Craig Emberson
  • Year Six O: Mr Paul Osborne
  • Year Six F: Mrs Leah Field and Mrs Penni Berryman

Inquiry Learning at Great Southern Grammar

As child psychologist Jean Piaget stated, the goal of education "is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover" to enable them to be capable of doing new things.


In GSG's Junior School, our focus is on fostering a curriculum of meaningful and engaging lessons based on the principles of inquiry learning. This model ensures our students will become mindful, empathetic and active citizens of the local, national and global community.


Inquiry learning can be defined as seeking truth, information or knowledge/understanding and is used in all facets and phases of life. In this model of teaching, students actively investigate key questions, issues and ideas about 'the way the world works.' It requires students to construct understandings through rich and strategic learning experiences alongside other students and the teacher. This does not replace the valuable learning of essential skills, but actively sits alongside it whilst embracing the myriad of learning experiences available on our campus.


“The meaning of ‘knowing’ has shifted from being able to remember and repeat information to being able to find and use it." — National Research Council


At GSG, we acknowledge how quickly the world is changing and aim to ensure our learners will be competent once they leave our classroom.

Ms Suzanne Youens | Head of Junior School

Djinda Commencement

On Friday 8 February, Great Southern Grammar welcomed our very first group of little Djindas to the Pre-Kindergarten programme. The children had a wonderful first day, looking very grown-up wearing their Djinda uniforms.


The day involved lots of painting, music, activities and outside play. Some children found it so busy that they were excited to welcome rest time, come the afternoon. We had a fabulous day and cannot wait for the adventures that lay ahead for our Djinda students.


Miss Claire Hard | ECC Coordinator


Netball Trials

Please note that GSG netball trials will be held on the following dates and times in the GSG Multi-Purpose Sport Complex:

  • Thursday 13 February, 6.00pm to 7.30pm: A1/A2
  • Friday 14 February, 3.30pm to 5.00pm: D Grade
  • Saturday 22 February, 9.00am to 1.00pm: B Grade in 2019 and Year Seven in 2020 (some students may be required to stay longer to participate in the next grading session)
  • Saturday 22 February, 2.00pm to 5.00pm, A Grade in 2019 and Year 10 in 2020

Emails will be sent to all students who nominated to play netball for GSG to confirm the day and time they are excepted to attend trials.


Note: There will not be any trials on Saturday 15 February as previously advised.

GSG Soccer Support Group AGM

The GSG Soccer Support Group will hold their AGM on Thursday 13 February 2020 at 5.00pm in the boardroom of the Pratten Centre at GSG. New committee positions will be voted in. All parents/guardians are encouraged to attend the meeting and support the growth of soccer at GSG. 

Please RSVP and/or send any queries to

Mr Nathan Symonds | Director of Sport


Canteen News

Week Three Specials

  • Muffin: Sticky date topped with caramel sauce
  • Special: Vegetable quiche served with a garden salad (V) of mixed lettuce, cherry tomato, cucumber, carrot sticks, and red and yellow capsicum
  • Smoothie: Peach and raspberry, blended with apple juice and vanilla yoghurt

For Your Diary

Save the Date!

Monday 17 February

  • Years Eight, Eleven and Twelve Agriculture students drone demonstration, 11.00am to 11.30am, Hall; 11.30 to 12.30pm, GSG Farm
  • 2021 Paris Trip information evening, Library, 5.15pm to 6.15pm

Monday 17 February to Friday 21 February

  • Years Ten to Twelve Country Week trials

Tuesday 18 February

  • Baudin’s Birthday Bash
  • Middle and Senior School P&F Meeting, Six Degrees, 6.00pm

Friday 21 February

  • Junior School Assembly, Leaders, Hall, 8.55am to 9.35am

Friday 21 February to Saturday 22 February

  • Jazz Band Camp, GSG, 3.30pm Friday to 3.00pm Saturday

Saturday 22 February

  • Netball Trials: B Grade, Multi-Purpose Sport Complex, 9.00am to 1.00pm
  • Netball Trials: A Grade, Multi-Purpose Sport Complex, 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Sunday 23 February

  • P&F Representatives Induction and Welcome, Hybla, 3.00pm

Coming Soon

  • University Roadshow, GSG, Wednesday 26 February
  • Boarders' closed weekend, Saturday 29 February to Monday 2 March

Careers @ GSG

Community News

Hockey Regional Roadshow

For information about the Hockey WA's Regional Roadshow, please see below.




























Adult Aerial Classes

For information about Adult Aerial Classes  at Southern Edge Arts, please see below.


YMCA Youth Parliament

Euan Gleeson-Brown, a volunteer with the 2020 Western Australian YMCA Youth Parliament programme, seeks your assistance in raising awareness of this programme, which has been running in Western Australia for 25 years.


YMCA Youth Parliament is a national project that gives young people the chance to stand up in Parliament and have their voices heard. The program aims to educate, empower and encourage young people to take an active role in their community by contributing the views of their electorate at a state level.


Explore the website for further information:


Applications for this programme are open to any WA resident between the ages of 15 and 25, Applications are currently open and remain open until 22 March. The programme begins in April, culminating in a week-long camp held here in Perth in the July school holidays. Apply here

Euan Gleeson-Brown  | MP Liaison Coordinator | 0402 288 179

Children and Youth Excercise Groups

For information about Sustainable Motion children and youth groups, please see below.


City of Albany Events

For information about City of Albany events, please see below.


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