Melbourne Girls' College

28 July 2016
Issue Eleven
Important Dates
Principal's Report
eSmart Community Engagement Program
Confucious Classroom News
School News
Even the Smallest Fish have Spines: A review of Verbal Combat
2016 Global Village Children and Youths Bilingual Speech Competition
School News
Melbourne Girls' College
9428 8955
Yarra Boulevard
Richmond, VIC, 3121

Important Dates


1st August - Year 9 City Experience Exhibition Evening

3rd - 5th August - Musical Production - The Wizard of Oz (book your tickets here)

9th August - Middle School Course Information Night

10th August - Parent Guided Book Club, All About Eve (film), Unit 3/4

10th - 12th August - Musical Production - The Wizard of Oz (book your tickets here)

19th August - PUPIL FREE DAY

23rd August - eSmart Communitiy Engagement Program, 6pm

30th August - Year 12 Music Proformance Evening, 6.30pm


1st September - Year 7 Immunisations

2nd September - Fathers' Day Breakfast

6th September - Year 12 Drama Solos

13th September - Parent Teacher Interviews, 12.30pm - 8.00pm

16th September - Final day of term 3


3rd October - Term 4 Commences 

31st October - PUPIL FREE DAY

Principal's Report

Learning at MGC

We have experienced another busy fortnight of learning and activities at MGC. Thank you to Jason Chen who led a delegation of our girls to the Beijing Summer Camp from 13th to 24th July. The opportunity to experience Chinese hospitality, culture and meet over 800 fellow students of Chinese language from across the globe was invaluable.

Thank you to Ms. Ping Ping Elliott and Ms. Lucy Chen who oversaw our students’ participation and success in the Global Bilingual Speaking Competition last weekend. Congratulations to Claudia McLeod, Savarna Chandra, Viva Wilton, Jacqulin Green, Hannah Ross and Katherine Jessop. The dedication of our staff continues with thanks to Chris Lattin, Leigh Hanley and team for overseeing the Year 9 City Experience program, and to Anne Corry, Lindy Mumme and team for all of the preparations leading up to our musical, The Wizard of Oz.

I have enjoyed being a part of the team counselling Year 11 students into Year 12 subjects over the past week. It is a privilege to hear about the aspirations and interests of each girl as they decide on the best course for their future success. The information night on 26 July was attended by over 300 people, thank you to parents and staff for all of your support.


On 17th July Chelsea Hammond, Georgina Batten, Lola McCaughy and Olivia Walkenshaw headed off for Gnurad-Gundidj and the School for Student Leadership. The girls will immerse in a range of adventures and prepare for a Community Learning Project. It is a big commitment to be away from home until 17th September, for both themselves and their families. Thank you Ms. Tellefson, Ms. Lattin and Ms. Hanley for organising this opportunity.


A successful launch to the 2017 Space Camp in the US was held last night. Many interested girls and families were briefed by Wendy and Tony Keen on this new STEAM initiative.


The 2017 NY Art & Design Technology trip has 30 students confirmed to go to LA and New York next year, thank you to Roger Dunscombe, Harriet Turnball and Jo Jepsen for their work on this.

Minister James Merlino, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Minister for Emergency Services and the MGC STEAM Program

On Monday 18th July Minister Merlino, his advisor Mr. Chris Carpenter and Mr. Chris Thompson Area Executive Director, North Eastern Melbourne visited the Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics Centre at MGC. The Minister worked alongside the girls as they taught him about the various coding, technological and problem based learning stations. Thank you to our STEAM Leader, Wendy Keen, Ms. Emily Rochette, Mr. Tony Keen and our students for their excellent work.

MGC Rowing and Farewell Nick Wells

It is with sadness we farewell a great Head Rowing Coach, Mr Nick Wells from the banks of MGC. Nick’s leadership, kindness and skill have developed the excellent rowing club we see today. Nick intends to complete his teaching degree and undertake a part time working role which will facilitate the time required for this study.

Thank you to the parents who ensure MGC Rowing is successful behind the scenes as we prepare for another great season of rowing. Congratulations to our President Shelley Anderson, Treasurer Ian Ferguson  and new members for your election to the committee at the 13 July, 2016 Annual General Meeting. 

Leading Asia Capable Schools

On 25 and 26 July I took part in initial work on the Leading Asia Capable Schools program. This DET initiative is designed to ensure students are global citizens well prepared for involvement with our closest International neighbours.. MGC already has an outward looking focus on learning through the International Student Program, Confucius Institute, global links to Sustainability initiatives, entrepreneurial learning with Yong Zhao, exchange and study programs. This program will add to the perspective of our students as both global and local learners.


Best regards, Karen

eSmart Community Engagement Program

Parent Forum - 23rd August

As part of their commitment to support school communities in being safe, smart and responsible online, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation will be facilitating a parent seminar at Melbourne Girls’ College on Tuesday August 23 at 6pm in the Auditorium. Facilitated by the experts in their eSmart Schools team, parents will be presented with all the latest trends and research about cybersafety and online behaviours. Strategies and guidelines will be discussed that relate to safe, smart and responsible uses of technology in the home.


The eSmart Schools program is a cultural change initiative developed by the Foundation in consultation with academic and industry experts. eSmart aims to create positive, respectful and inclusive cultures that reduce bullying, cyber bullying and increase cybersafety. 


We would like to thank the MGC Parents’ Association for their generous grant which has funded this program.


Tip Kennedy & Patricia Sklavakis

Assistant Principal & Year 11 Leader


Tickets now on sale!

Click here to purchase your tickets. Cast list can be viewed here.



Confucious Classroom News

Chinese Culture Day

Chinese Culture Day at MGC was an extraordinary experience. There were three fun activities that really felt like part of China was brought right in front of me. I have brought home lots of interesting facts that I have never learnt before. It kept me entertained for the whole few hours and I am glad that I can be part of such exciting culture. The dragon dance got everyone up on their feet, and you could hear laughter echo through the room. The dragon banner making was enjoyable because it was nice to just sit down and create something with your imagination, something we haven’t done in a while.

And finally, the experience of Chinese medicine was interesting. It was good to learn about some of the Chinese history and get to hold, feel and smell the herbs that so much of China has been eating for thousands of years. I’m glad that I could take part in this joyful experience.
Allison Coe 8B

The 2016 Chinese Culture Day at MGC was a fun and interesting experience. At the beginning of the day, Emily McDonald, a past MGC student, came and talked to us about her time she spent as an exchange student in Taiwan. It was very interesting to hear her talk. Emily told us to always say yes to opportunities or we will later regret it. After the assembly, we made dragon banners which was very fun, and learnt about Chinese herbal medicines, that I had never of before. We also learnt a short lion dance and movements to the song ‘Little Apple’. My personal favourite activity was the lion dance. It was really fun and energising. All in all, I believe the Chinese Culture Day at MGC was a great success!
Claudia McLeod 8A

Congratualations to Emily McDonald

Emily McDonald is our 2015 graduate. Emily performed highly in her VCE Chinese Second Language Written and Oral Examinations and she was the first recipient of MGC’s Confucius Classroom International Study Grant.
This year, Emily was awarded a full scholarship by Hanban to study at Fudan University for a year, starting from August 27th 2016. Fudan University is one of China’s most prestigious universities and it is located in Shanghai, the most cosmopolitan city in China. Shanghai is where the east meets the west, an exciting place to start a journey in China. 

Emily was invited as a guest speaker to last week’s Chinese Culture Day assembly. Her talk had such a positive impact on the junior students and many already told me that they would like to continue studying Chinese at the senior levels. Emily, you are such an inspiration and we are so proud of you! Congratulations on your achievements!

Lucy Chen
Confucius Classroom Leader

School News

Cross Country

MGC had 20 students qualify for the state finals of the cross country last Thursday 14th July. Lily Jepson and Mary Higginbotham ran excellent races in the Girls 13 event, as did Sunny Spencer and Eliza Hughes in the Girls 14 event. Sunny came 5th overall in the state, a fantastic result. Our Girls 15 team of Bella Niven-Brown, Emily Cumming, Venezia Naylor, Liv mason and Molly Sharrock just missed on a place coming in 4th. Nina Carden also competed well as an individual in this event.

The girls 17-20 team consisting of Maddie Carmen, Niamh Shawyer, Selina Gauder, Annie Vasili and Jess Brommeyer also finished 4th in their event. It was Niamh's and Selina's last cross country run for the school after competing since year 7 and it will be sad not to have them around next year. Our Girls 16 three times state champion team were devastated to miss out this year by just TWO PLACES! Annie Coleman, Emily Mizis, Annie Umseher, Zara Guss and Lara Davie came in second in the team event, with Emily running a great race to finish 4th overall. I am sure that this will motivate them to win their crown back next year. Thanks to Ms T for her help and motivation again this year and all of the wonderful girls who compete in this event.


Mr Clarke

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

Earlier this year the Year 11 students were asked to develop a creative writing piece connected to the text ‘Foreign Soil’ by Maxine Beneba Clarke. The standard was exceedingly high, but one piece in particular stood out. Without the author’s knowledge, I sent this piece through to a magazine called Peril – a publication that focuses on the experiences of Asian Australians – and the editors jumped at the chance to publish the work.

Please join us in congratulating Thisuri Weerasinghe on her powerful story ‘Is Blood Thicker Than Water’, and please read and share this piece widely.


Andrew Beck

Plastic Free July

This July, MGC’s environment team will be embarking on the annual “plastic free July” challenge. The challenge started in July 2011 in Perth, and has since gone global, with challengers in 69 countries working to combat the growing disposable plastic problem. The challenge is to give up all single-use plastics for the rest of July, the punishment for any unavoidable plastics being a “dilemma bag”, a bag that must be carried wherever you go! At the end of the month, the team will be weighing out dilemma bags, the goal: to beat our resident environmentalist Mr. Vance! Whoever has the least plastic by the end of the month will score themselves a pizza lunch, but asides from the reward offered, the challenge aims to encourage students to reconsider how much plastic we use mindlessly. 

You don’t have to be an environment team member to give it a shot, you can sign up for a day, a week or a month on their website here:

Goodluck everyone!!

Congratulations Larissa Gavriloff!

Congratulations to Larissa Gavriloff who participated in a 3 week intensive dance program with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, in Connecticut.

Her jam-packed schedule included classes such as technique, pointe, Russian Language, musical theatre, character, and repertoire.

Even the Smallest Fish have Spines: A review of Verbal Combat

Samantha Kintanar with photographs by Nina Harrison

On the morning of Thursday, 26 May 2016, the attention of the girls in Year 7 was focused on something else besides schoolwork. Don’t worry, it wasn’t boys. Period 1 Subject: Bullying.


But instead of exploring this issue in the classroom, we had the chance to experience it live and in the auditorium. Taking centre stage was Rachel and Rodney performing to us the show Verbal Combat. This two actor show glided through topics such as peer manipulation, cyber bullying, social media, rumours, teasing, threatening and breaking the law.


The script writing and acting was flawless, which gave us as an audience the chance to delve into the interesting story. The show opened on the different friendship groups in the fictional school, such as the Goths, the Lab Rats, the Brainy Musical Group, the Surfies, the Skaters and the Jocks. This beginning may sound a bit clichéd, but the story clearly became far more enticing as time went by.

Without going into a complete watch-and-write process, the performance went like this: Gabriella, a popular girl, felt as if everything was normal until the day the new girl Emily joined the school. Emily got shunned from every friendship group, so she played her bass guitar alone and in the empty music room. And so without any friends, Emily became vulnerable to the malicious and scheming popular group.

Although never seen on stage, Katrina masterminded and manipulated Gabriella, who in turn threatened Rocky into bullying Emily. Both Rocky and Gabriella felt they had their own unjust reasons for hating Emily, but they really only hated her because deep down they felt insecure. Desperate to not get eaten by bigger fish than themselves, Gab and Rock joined the ‘school’ of fish looking for smaller fish to prey on.


But even the smallest fish have spines, so Emily fought back against Rocky’s threatening by rapping back that ‘music comes from the heart’. Sadly, Emily’s situation got worse and worse until after seeing Gab with her personal diary, she accidentally fell over a staircase railing and her injury required the ambulance.


This performance was a genuine example of how bullying can have serious consequences; the Year Sevens agree that Verbal Combat showed these consequences and was obviously a good use of time. The show was definitely another reason why it’s shameful to bully and disgraceful to be a bystander to those who need our help.

2016 Global Village Children and Youths Bilingual Speech Competition


On Saturday 23rd July and Sunday 24th July, 10 Chinese language students represented MGC and attended 2016 Global Village Children and Youths Bilingual Speech Competition in Melbourne. There were 180 contestants and our MGC students made wonderful achievements. 

This competition is co-organised by Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Chinese Language Teachers' Association of Victoria. Contestants joined not only from across Victoria, but also from China. The competition is to strengthen students’ inter-cultural awareness and encourage their use of both languages on a global stage. 

In the preliminary section of the competition on Saturday, Heidi Morris, Claudia McLeod, Viva Wilton, Savarna Chandra, Eirene Carajias, Jacqulin Green, Jessie Radda, Roisin Casinader, Hannah Ross and Katherine Jessop represented MGC. Their confidence, fluency and expressiveness amazed the judges. They achieved a fantastic result: six of them became finalists!

The final section of the competition was a paired performance. Each pair of one Chinese student and one Australian student presented a conversation on the stage using both their second languages. The conversations were on the topic of ‘My Hometown’. MCG students kept receiving applauses from the audience for their fabulous collaboration with their Chinese partners and their competent use of Chinese language. At the end of the day, MCG students won 4 second prizes and 2 third prizes. 

The winners were:
Savarna Chandra  (8L, 2nd prize)
Jacqulin Green      (8L, 2nd prize) 
Claudia McLeod     (8R, 2nd prize)
Viva Wilton            (8R, 3rd prize)
Kate Jessop            (9L, 2nd prize)
Hannah Ross          (9L, 3rd prize)

These outstanding results are true reflection of all the hard work our students have put into their everyday Chinese studies. Well done to all students who participated. The experience will be valuable.


Congratulations to those who won! 


Mrs. PingPing Elliott
Chinese Teacher

School News

New VCE Subject – Algorithmics 3&4

MGC will be offering students who have completed or enrolled in Maths Methods 1&2 the opportunity to choose Algorithmics 3&4 as a VCE subject in 2017. As a new subject it is probably best suited to Year 10 students looking to a 3&4 in Year 11.

Algorithmics is the study of rules, systems and processes that solve complex problems either quickly or exactly.  Examples of this are Google Page rank, how Facebook determines what items appear in your newsfeed, automated online loan applications, or even whether or not you are a citizen of a country in the absence of birthplace data. Given the rise of the Internet of Things, algorithms that can sort through your metadata will become increasingly important for government agencies and business.


To put it more simply, any form of recipe, how-to guide or set of instructions are algorithms for a specific set of circumstances. Consider a simple version of the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter:

If brave → then Gryffindor

If smart → then Ravenclaw

If hard-working → then Hufflepuff

If ambitious → then Slytherin

If more than one of the above → then look at closest relative’s house

If still in doubt → then user’s choice

IBM actually made a real life sorting hat, so maybe check out your search engine of choice if you want to see how much more detail they included in their algorithm.

This subject is not designed to turn students into coders, but into computational thinkers who can understand how to take a complex problem in real-life and apply the best problem-solving method (algorithm) to it. This is an invaluable skill to anyone no matter what field of work they are in.


For further information refer to the MGC Senior School Handbook 2017, the VCAA website ( or the University of Melbourne School of Engineering ( Or you can email Zack Pretlove at MGC for specific questions.

Elisa Pedron- WHO AM I?

My name is Elisa Pedron. My role at Melbourne Girls' College is social worker/student counsellor. I work alongside with Liz Gunn and I am based in the Wellbeing Centre.  My work hours are Monday to Friday from 9am-3.30pm. I commenced the role at the College on the 6/6/2016. I am the replacement for Helene Fox.

The most interesting and rewarding aspect of working in a school setting in a welfare role is getting to know the students, providing strategies, offering emotional support and when positive changes occur.

I was a family worker in the youth team at Family Life prior to this role, for 3 years 2013-2016. I worked three years at Hume Central secondary college 2011-2013 as the school Youth Worker. I have been working in the welfare/wellbeing field for almost 10 years. 

My main goal for working at Melbourne Girls' College is to make positive changes and make a difference to the lives of the students.  I enjoy working in a holistic and collaborative manner, and believe effective communication and listening assists with a student's wellbeing and academic performance. Positive and healthy relationships in the lives of young people is imperative and can have a significant impact and effect on their life and future.  

I would like to facilitate wellbeing related programs in the school. This term I endeavor to facilitate a Leadership program to selected year 7 students and possibly other programs next year.   

I completed secondary school at a girls College in Melbourne and can relate to some of the positive and negative experiences the students at Melbourne Girls' College encounter. After year 12, I studied at RMIT University and then at Victoria University. I have a wellbeing degree and secondary teaching qualification. 

I can support the students at the College in the following areas: 
•    School related issues/concerns 
•    Family related issues/concerns
•    Friendship related issues/concerns 
•    Personal related issues/concerns 
•    Feeling anxious/depressed/angry/stress/suicidal
•    Health related concerns/concerns  


I can be contacted via the College phone number: 9428-8955 or email address [email protected] In the meantime if students would like to organise an appointment they can send me an email or drop in at the Wellbeing Centre.










Melbourne Girls' College
Letter re supervision for Student Interhouse Production.pdf
The Wizard of Oz Final Reminder Letter.pdf
Is Blood Thicker Than Water - Thisuri.pdf