Following on from the email sent to all parents last Tuesday we continue to mourn the loss of Richmond High School Principal, Colin Simpson. Again, we extend our deepest sympathy to Colin’s wife Cathy, children Lewis and Ava (MGC graduate in the class of 2018), and his many friends. Colin was a man universally respected for his educational vision, authentic leadership of school communities and personal support of colleagues across Victoria. Colin generously gave his time to colleagues across our system and his passing is a difficult time for both his school communities and our education system more broadly. He was also instrumental in establishing our City Edge Network of Schools – a professional learning and collegiate group for Melbourne’s inner-city schools.
Colin, an alumnus of the former Richmond High School, taught in government and independent schools across Victoria, as well as the tertiary and arts sectors. In his long career as a teacher and school leader, which started at Lilydale High School, he exemplified dedication to students and high-quality school education, culminating in his appointment as foundation principal of the new Richmond High School in 2017.
As principal of the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School from 2004 to 2016, Colin oversaw the construction of its award-winning building in Southbank, and left a substantial legacy in high-quality arts education. Colin was truly passionate about arts education and his passing will be felt deeply across the broader arts community and by his many former students.
In 2009, Colin was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award at the Victorian Education Excellence Awards. In 2012 he was nominated by Victoria through The Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership as Australian Secondary Principal of the Year.
Vale Mr Colin Simpson, colleague and friend.
Wishing our Year 12 students every success!
On Monday 21 October, we celebrated the final day of formal schooling for our wonderful class of 2019. Thank you to parents, families, Pat Sklavakis, Sefija Demirova, Alison Lam and their team of teachers who have nurtured our students.
The Valedictory celebrated award winners in each subject as well as community service, special and leadership awards. We see all of our students as exceptional, whether award recipients or not. The English Exam took place on Wednesday 30 October with many staff on hand to wish the students every success.
2020 College Captains
The 2019 College Captains, Georgia Wolfe, Genevieve Cox and Meg Funston have handed the reins of leadership over to Ophelia Murray, Veronique Villis and Lucy Vogel. Georgia, Meg and Gen have been excellent role models and leaders for all students. Their inclusion of ideas and approachability has seen many barriers broken down, including in the discussion of issues important to each person’s wellbeing. We wish Ophelia, Veronique and Lucy every success in their new roles.
Art and Design Exhibition and Parent Association (PA) Art Acquisition Award ceremony, 29 October
“Art is an effort to create, beside the real world, a more humane world.” ~ Andre Maurois, French Author. The excellent showcase was a celebration of art, design, the girls’ creativity and talent. Thank you to Harriet Turnbull, Fiona Storrie, Jo Jepsen, Ingrida Ansons, Emma McCowan, Roger Dunscombe and Andrew Wood who have been inspiring the girls and leading their Year 12 learning throughout the year.
Congratulations to Annabella Camera who is the 2019 recipient of the Suzanne Barrah Design Award. Suzanne Barrah was the first Council President of MGC. This award is given to a senior student for considerable commitment and passion in their pursuit of a pathway within a creative design field.
Annabella used many technical and creative processes to construct this unique costume.
She showed incredible passion and determination to realise her end-user’s desire for an extravagant and transformative mermaid costume to wear as he performs as Drag queen ‘Topaz Chardonnay’.
Annabella is applying to do Fashion Design at RMIT next year.
Thank you to our Parents’ association (PA), represented by Sallie Carman and Gailean Hammond on Tuesday evening who so generously donated the following prizes. Sallie and Gailean have been long standing, hardworking members of the PA who will be sadly missed as their youngest daughters complete Year 12 this year.
Jessalyn Leong Art Acquisition Award: Chelsea Hammond
The visual arts department selected Chelsea Hammond’s 3D digital artwork, printed on a 40LPI lenticular lens for the 2019 Jessalyn Leong Acquisition Award. Chelsea’s artwork titled ‘The Watcher’ was chosen as we felt that is was sophisticated both thematically and in terms of the use of media and processes.
Chelsea in her artist statement for this work wrote,‘The Watcher explores the complex layering of negativity and positivity in today's world, and mocks the generalised classifications of "good" and "bad”. By presenting us with a complex layering of typically positive visual cues as well as notions we would categorise as negative or obscure, The Watcher personifies the difficulty human face when presented with situations that we cannot emotionally categorise. The result of this, as well as the artwork’s huge three-dimensional nature, creates something confusing, a little unsettling and otherwise inescapable, forcing us to come to terms with the fear of ambivalence and the unknown that all of us hold.
The Watcher follows us where ever we go, leaving us with a whimsical and obscure, yet perfectly realistic mix of emotions - not "good", nor "bad", but everything else.’
Parents’ Association Year 12 Visual Arts Award
The visual arts department selected Mia Bell as the recipient of the inaugural Parents Association Year 12 Visual Arts Award. Mia takes two VCE Visual Art subjects Studio Arts and Visual Communication Design. In both subjects she has proven herself to be diligent and hardworking producing final artworks and designs that conceptually and visually are of a high standard.
Mia in her artist statement for her Studio Arts final artwork titled ‘Moments in Confessing’ stated ‘To confess a sin seems overwhelming and confronting to various individuals, including myself. In studio arts this year I explored the concept of “confessing”, my work “Moments in confessing”, explores my own personal relationship confessing, aiming to not only depict the visual representation of the moments before confessing but also studying the reasons behind the emotional build up and where it and why it occurs’.
Student Free Days approved by School Council:
- Friday, 24th April 2020 – Curriculum Review
- Friday, 12th June 2020 - Assessment, Reporting and Planning
- Monday, 10th August 2020 – Curriculum Review and writing
- Monday, 2nd November 2020 – 2021 Planning
Private opportunity for adventure travel in 2020
Sarah Tregellas joined the MGC community this semester in year 10. She came from Mallacoota, the most remote coastal town between Cooktown and the Ayre Peninsula. In 2016 she started AirDucation.org a website that shows students how to self-plan trips to other countries at a fraction of the cost of commercial operators. She wanted three things from the trip. To fundraise and donate to a local worthy sustainable initiative, to have a cultural experience, and to have a challenge.
In 2018, Sarah and three friends travelled to Nepal where they hiked to 5200 metres on the Manaslu Circuit, carrying their own packs.
"On the day of the pass, we woke at 3am. Using head torches we hiked up the side of the glacier in knee-deep snow. It was minus 20 degrees. The air was so thin every step required enormous mental and physical effort" Sarah recalls. "I learned on that trip that when you think you can't go any further, you have only reached about 10% of what you are capable of."
All the girl's made it safely over. After finishing the hike they donated equipment to the Ladies Mountain League, walked through jungle near the border with India (coming within 6 metres of a 2-tonne Rhino), and explored the ancient city of Bhaktapur a world heritage site. The whole trip cost them less than $3000 each.
The girls filmed their journey and have presented to many schools since their return showing how they did it. Sarah is planning to return to Nepal next year. If any students (or teachers) would like to and find out more and look at joining her, then Sarah will be showing her films on Wednesday the 27th of November at lunchtime in a venue to be announced.
Please note this is a private offering and not a Melbourne Girls’ College trip.
Thank you for your support and encouragement as we educate our young people together.