Melbourne Girls' College

09 March 2017
Issue Three
Swimming Sports 2017
Principal's Report
Celebrating Women
Music News
Enviro News
International Student Program News
Swimming Carnival
Year 7 
Our Clubs
General Information
Melbourne Girls' College
9428 8955
Yarra Boulevard
Richmond, VIC, 3121

Important Dates


24th March: Athletics Sports Day (weather permitting)

28th March: Parent, Student, Teacher Conferences 12.30pm - 8.00pm

31st March: End of Term 1


18th April: Term 2 Begins

19th April: Year 10 Camp

27th April: Open Day


12th May: Dance Night

Principal's Report

International Women’s Day Celebrations

On the actual International Women’s Day, 8 March, we welcomed Governor Linda Dessau and Mr. Anthony Howard to a Year 12 assembly and morning tea. It is fitting that such an outstanding woman visited Melbourne Girls’ College to celebrate the key role women have played and are playing in modern Australia. The Governor’s message was about hard work, initiative and breaking down the barriers women still face today.


The Honourable Linda Dessau was sworn in as Victoria’s 29th and first female Governor in 2015. Governor Dessau’s career has centered on the law as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Judge of the Family Court of Australia. In 2017 the Governor was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for "eminent service to the people of Victoria through leadership roles in the judiciary, to the advancement of economic ties and business relationships, and as a supporter of charitable, sporting and arts organisations."


Congratulations to our School Council President and Alumni, Maya Narayan, who addressed over two hundred students and staff in Queens’ Hall, Parliament House on Monday 6 March. Maya symbolises all that we aspire to for our students. She is a prominent lawyer, committed to social justice and an excellent role model for current and past students of Melbourne Girls’ College.


Thank you to our fantastic Parents’ Association for hosting the MGC International Women’s Day event – an evening with Maude Davey, actor, writer and director on 7 March. Over 70 parents, students and staff enjoyed the laughter and stories imparted by Maude in reflecting on her life story. In response to having the longevity Maude has achieved in a difficult industry Maude made excellent points about trusting your intuition, being organised, knowing your craft and not complaining - just get on with it!


Young women in Leadership

Mella Pescos (Careers Coordinator) and Emma Frankenberg (Accounts Officer) were chosen to appear in the BASTOW educational leadership bulletin. The article is in reference to aspiring leaders who have a significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of schools. Kudos to their hard work and leadership development

School Review

On 13 February and 1 March a respected school reviewer, Mr. Mike Rowland; Challenge Partners, Dr. Toni Meath of MacRobertson Girls’ School, Mr. Ian Wallis of VASSP; our College Captains, Nell Crossett, Ashleigh Hammond and Courtney McKenzie along with key staff, oversaw the School Review Process.
We are very grateful to a number of parents who attended a key section of the Review on 1 March about “Where to next for Melbourne Girls’ College?” As professionals and community members themselves our parents have perspectives on the skills, knowledge and experiences their daughters need developed at MGC to take them on to success in the wider world beyond school. Mr. Rowland is preparing the Report at present which will inform our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.

Members of the 2017 School Council

Congratulations to our new School Council member, Elanthendral Ramasamy and returning Council colleagues Geoff Coates and Paul Webber. Congratulations also to new Staff Member, Shaunagh O’Connell and returning colleague, Laura Arney. We are very fortunate to have outstanding Community members including Pam St Leger who has served on Council for 12 years and continues to do so with wonderful advice.


Enormous thanks are extended to Dr. Alison Young who has served on Council for the past two years. Alison’s wise counsel was always caring and inclusive of every student. Equally enormous thanks to Sefija Demirova whose staff member tenure has come to an end. Sefija has guided Council kindly, wisely and well from 2015.


Thank you to all members of the Melbourne Girls’ College community who nominated for positions and voted. Your interest in and care for MGC are very much appreciated.


The 2017 College Council Members are:

College Captains: Nell Crossett, Ashleigh Hammond, Courtney McKenzie (share a position)

Parent Members: Geoff Coates, Gary Funston, Rose Lucas, Elanthendral Ramasamy, Sonia Sharpe, Paul Webber

Community Members: Caroline Milburn, Maya Narayan, Pam St Leger

Staff Members: Laura Arney, Shaunagh O’Connell and Karen Money

Gabriella Dawson, another successful MGC delegate to the 22nd National Schools Constitutional Convention

In the last newsletter we reported on Lilian Gonzalez attending the convention. We now have details on a second Melbourne Girls’ College student, Gabriella Dawson being selected as one of the 120 Year 11 and 12 students participating in the National Schools Constitutional Convention, being held at The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra from 15 - 17 March 2017.

Gabriella is very interested in politics and the National Schools Constitutional Convention programme will provide both her and Lilian with an opportunity to become better informed about how Australia's Constitution provides a democratic framework and encourages them to take an active interest in the operation of government.  The topic of the 2017 Convention is ‘Indigenous Australians and the Constitution’. In becoming national delegates, Gabriella and Lilian were selected from around 4,000 students from government, independent and Catholic schools. Gabriella took part in feeder a convention in Melbourne.


Facilitated by Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO, Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University, the students will consider a range of arguments relating to Indigenous Constitutional recognition. This will include input from a panel of experts, group discussions on the issues and the opportunity to persuade other delegates of particular approaches. Students will participate in a mock referendum to determine the outcome of their deliberations.

Enrolment Provision at MGC 2018-2020

The media reports about the new inner city high schools coming on line in 2018 and 2019 have engendered some inquiries about our  enrolment processes, including what constitutes the “closest neighbourhood school”.


The area maps on our website were determined and produced by the Department of Education and Training (DET). As a State school we answer to the DET and the Minister for Education. As the maps indicate MGC is perched on the edge of the Yarra very close to Hawthorn, South Yarra etc (for whom we are the closest State school for some families). Our Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum ground was determined with DET in 2016 after consultation with our School Council. We take all local girls, concurrent siblings, then if any places are left over 50% of next closest student home addresses to MGC and 50% STEAM. Modelling for 2020 indicates all girls living in Richmond will gain a place at MGC.

Head of School Girls Rowing Regatta

We wish our Rowing girls the very best of luck for the Head of School Girls Regatta on the Barwon River Geelong from 17-19 March. We are proud of our rowers, no matter where they place, as hard work and determination are part of training alone. Race success is wonderful but not essential to satisfaction in a job well done.


Already so much is being done behind the scenes by Head Coach Stephanie Burgess, Rowing Committee President, Shelley Anderson; Treasurer Ian Ferguson; and the great support team. Thank you!

Launching our Performing Arts Center Fundraising Appeal

During our 22-year history, Melbourne Girls’ College has continued to offer outstanding opportunities for our students. In the spirit of our desire to offer students the opportunity to ‘Lead and Achieve’, we are excited to announce our appeal for assistance in the building of a modern and professional Performing Arts Center.


As our Dance, Music and Drama programs continue to grow and flourish, the Instrumental teaching studios and rehearsal spaces are no longer able to accommodate the multitude of activities students can participate in.


Our Theatrette is now too small for our growing enrolments, with the space unable to accommodate an entire year level of students for assemblies and guest speakers. In short, our current facilities no longer allow us to provide the best practice learning and teaching in the Performing Arts that our students deserve.


We have already saved $800,000 towards this goal, and although we are seeking government funding there is no guarantee we will be successful or be granted sufficient funds for this much-needed building project. In the past we’ve been able to build marvellous new facilities with the help of our incredible parent community, so we once again ask for your generous assistance.


If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to our fundraising appeal you can do so via or please contact me at any time if you would like more information.


Stay tuned for more news as we develop plans for this project.


Sustainability Collective - Moonlight Cinema

Congratulations to the Sustainability Collective under Andrew Vance’s leadership who provided an inclusive and fun event on 24th February, not only for MGC but for the Yarra City area. Finding Dory was much fun for young and old alike


Karen Money

Celebrating Women

Congratulations Amanda Lucas

Amanda Lucas was honoured at a Town Hall ceremony run by the City of Yarra: “Celebrating the Inspirational Women of Yarra”.


Amanda was one of 17 finalists in the list of amazing women, being nominated for her contribution to environmental education. The Panel of judges (including City of Yarra Mayor Cr Amanda Stone) selected two joint winners and Amanda as runner up- an impressive feat amongst an impressive list of women.


Ms Lucas was joined by Mr Vance and her year 10 Outdoor Education class, whom of course she made walk to the ceremony.


Congratulations Amanda.


Parents' Association Event for International Women's Day

A big thank you to Maude Davey for speaking to us at our annual International Women's Day event on Tuesday evening.  It was wonderful to hear about her career along with some tips for any of our girls thinking of entering the arts  industry. The evening was a huge success and everyone who attending thoroughly enjoyed themselves.


Thanks again Maude!


Music News

2017 House Production

Calling all scriptwriters, directors, choreographers, dancers, actors, musicians, back stage crew, sound, lighting, costume, set and hair/makeup designers!


What is the House Production?

The House Production is run by our student Arts’ Captains,  for students. Students create their own 20 minute performance from scratch, based on the given theme. It is a bi-annual production which alternates with our Musical Production. There will be three evening performances on Wednesday 9th, Thursday 10th & Friday 11th August at 7.30pm in our Auditorium.


The information evening about this year's House Production will be held on Tuesday the 21st of March, after school in the Auditorium, from 2:30-3:00pm.


Students will find out what is involved and are invited to fill in an expression of interest form. The theme for this year’s House Production will also be announced soon.



Instrumental Music Teacher Days Reminder

Thank you to all our returning instrumental students (and parents) and welcome to our new instrumental students. Just a reminder of which instrumental teacher is in on what days:

Andy Clarke: Guitar, Mondays and Wednesdays, Studio 7

Susan de Jong:  Voice, Mondays and Wednesdays, Studio 6

Ellyce Calder: Voice, Mondays and Tuesdays, Studio 4

Wen Chin: Piano & Cello-every day except Tuesdays, Studio 3

Les Gyori: Violin and Viola-Tuesdays, Studio 7

Nick Milosevic: Drums-Thursdays, Studio 5

Katrina Halliday: Piano, every day, Studio 1

Tony Hicks: Woodwinds and Brass, Wednesdays and Fridays, Studio 7

Instrumental Music Co-Curricular Rehearsal Times

CHOIR - Monday at Lunch: A2 everyone welcome

Contact: Ellyce Calder [email protected]

SHOW CHOIR - Tuesday afterschool: Show Choir 9-11 auditioned students

Contact: Ellyce Calder [email protected]

BAND - Wednesday before school: 7.45 am in A3

Contact: Tony Hicks. [email protected]

All welcome!

STRING ENSEMBLE - Thursday at Lunch:  A3 

Contact: Wen Chin. [email protected]


Enviro News

2017 Pedal Powered Cinema

Our best effort yet!

Thank you to everyone in the MGC community for supporting our annual carbon neutral film night. You pedaled and rowed in excess of 1560 watt hours in just one day. That was more than enough to run the film, concert and almost enough to power the coffee machine!


A huge thankyou to Mrs Bradshaw and all the year 8s who pedaled most of the energy for the evening. Our best year 8 pedaller, Tess Haslam of Melba House contributed 7 watt hours in five minutes and received a LUSH pamper pack and solar powered “Baracuda” torch donated by the EnviroShop for her efforts. The ‘most powerful house’ (who contributed the most pedal power) was actually Chisholm House, who received the inaugural pedal trophy at Year 8 assembly this week.


The evening was well attended despite the slight threat of inclement weather. We estimate our best attended evening yet, with more than 370 tickets sold and 100 volunteer parents, students, staff and friends working to make the night a great success. Thanks to the MGC office staff, the Gillard Centre team and Rowing team for all their assistance too. The event would not have been possible without the generous support of parents and friends in the Rowing Team, The Parents Association and last but by no means least, the MGC Sustainability Collective. If you are interested in getting more involved with any of these groups, I encourage you to make contact. It’s a great way to build our community here at MGC.


Winners of the Raffle received prizes donated by our generous supporters: IKEA Richmond, Lush, Climarte and the EnviroShop. We would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of Toscanos Fruit and vegetables and the City of Yarra. Winners of Raffle prizes this year include: Jeanti Exton, Bryn Pender, Alex Sutherland, Jasmine Leung, Bridgette Anderson and George Lidano. Congratulations and thankyou to all who purchased tickets.


All proceeds from the film night will go towards our next expansion of the MGC solar array. The 33kW system (pictured below) generates on average 10% of our daily energy use. We are hoping that through fundraising efforts like this and our ‘adopt a solar panel project’, we might be able to increase our renewable energy capacity to help us move closer to our carbon neutral goal. If you would like to donate a panel to our solar array, we will add your daughter’s/family names to one of the panels in our interactive solar display. For more information:


International Student Program News

ISP News

There have been many things afoot in the international program world since our last issue; Pedal Power, Swimming Carnival, Richmond Tutoring and the dreaded vaccination day!


Several international students took part in the activities and fundraising for the Pedal Powered Cinema on February 24th.  Ruby Nguyen from Vietnam baked her famous mini custard tarts to be sold at the Philanthropy Club’s Cake Stall, and Tanya Schnyder from Germany manned a stall AND sang for the crowd!

The Swimming Carnival on the 28th February was a noisy, hot and fun-filled occasion for the international girls to show some team spirit.  We even had a competitor; Katie DENG braved the water for Chisholm!  Here she is checking out the conditions:

We were so pleased to see so many of the international students getting into the swing of the day; cheering for their houses and getting their faces painted!

Richmond tutoring is under way on Tuesday 7th March, and we’re really happy to see how many of the international students are volunteering their time to participate in the program.  There are a very large group of year 12 students volunteering to help the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association provide tutoring help to primary school students at the Richmond Housing Estate. 


It’s fantastic to see so many of the international student’s faces at various club meetings; the Environment Team, SPECTRA, the Philanthropy Club, etc.  We are lucky to have such socially conscious and generous students are our school, where ever they may come from!

League of Home-stay Champions

If you are interested in hosting one of our fabulous international students, please contact Lluani Williams via the College number: 9428-8955, or by email: [email protected] , or you can pop by my office in room 302.  We are always looking for new Melbourne Girls’ College homestay families.

Swimming Carnival

Chisholm Victorious in Hawaii 

Last Tuesday the sun was out and the leis and grass skirts were in hot demand as the ‘Holiday to Hawaii’ themed House Swimming Carnival kicked off at Prahan Pool. Students from all houses competed in over 60 events to determine which House would win the coveted Swimming Carnival Cup.


With the temperature rising above 30 degrees, students were taking any chance they could to cool down, whether it was racing in one of the many events, dancing in the pool during a Water Zumba session, or participating in one of the famous novelty events.


Congratulations to the following students for being the best swimmer in their respective age groups: Ciera Walsh, Tess Haslam, Sandra Byrne, Dominique Quirk, Tiia Verosaari and Selena Appleton. Well done too to Tess for winning the final event, the Age Group Champion race. A special mention must go to all the Year 12’s who participated in the events during the day. An unprecedented number of Yr12’s made the effort to get involved and win some points for their House.


But in the end, the only thing that everyone was wanting to find out was who was the overall winner. After dominating in recent years, Lyons slipped down the final point tally, with Chisholm rising to the top and taking their place as House Swimming Champions. Congratulations to their House Captains, Lara Taylor, Linley Ooi, Yasmin Culnane and Alessia Acquaro for their leadership throughout the day.


On a personal note, I would like to thank all the Sports Captains for the help in the lead up to and on the day itself, as well as a thank you to all the staff who did their bit to make the day possible.


Mr Kovassy

(Head of Sport)


House Cup Results


Year 7 


On the 24th of February, the Year Sevens had the pleasure of attending an incursion on journalism, by a woman called Asphyxia, who had a hearing disability. Asphyxia showed us her journals and taught us about the beauty of writing down our memories and feelings in a book.


Asphyxia hand made all her books with plain white paper, mixed with interesting coloured drawing paper or papers from places she has been. She not only makes books, she illustrates them with drawings and paintings she has created to express her feelings.


Asphyxia has been writing and creating journals since she was twelve, when her friend gave her a small writing book, which was soon to become the first of many. Asphyxia has inspired us to create our own journals and gave us ideas which have influenced the way we think and look at our diaries; not just as a boring book that we write stuff in, but a blank canvas, the start of something new, an artwork in the making.


Overall everyone immensely enjoyed the incursion and learnt a lot. We would like to thank all the teachers that organised this experience and of course Asphyxia for coming to Melbourne Girls College and sharing her journals with us.


By Jade Johnson

Year 7


Our Clubs

MGC Homework Club

Come one, come all!

Students are invited to join the MGC Homework Club.

When: 3:30-4:30 Mondays and Thursday, beginning Monday the 13th of February.

Where: Room 112

Homework Club will be a quiet place to complete homework at MGC. An English/Humanities teacher will always be present, and we are working towards having other volunteer tutors to provide assistance with homework.


Homework Club is also a fantastic place to do group work, use computers and print, or even get homework done before heading home.


Hope to see you there!

The Philanthropy Club

The Philanthropy Club has had a busy couple of weeks, with some really successful events! 


At the Pedal Powered Cinema they set up a Cake Stall, which enjoyed a steady stream of customers with some serious rushes for cakes during the whole evening.  The Philanthropy Club members have shown that their baking talent is unparalleled; here is some of the delicacies that were on offer:


The volunteers gave excellent sales service with a smile, and quite often a Terrible Dad Joke, free of charge.

Richmond Tutoring has started up again, and on Tuesday March 7 the Philanthropy sent off a very large team of tutors to help the kids at the Richmond Housing Estate with their school work.


On Wednesday March 8  the Philanthropy Club sent off a Committee to the Melbourne Town Hall to participate in the Youth in Philanthropy Forum.  The program has been running at the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation since 2002.  MGC was actually one of the founding YIP schools, so the relationship with our school is longstanding.  In essence, how the program operates is that each school (there are now 22 schools involved) fields a Youth in Philanthropy Committee, and historically, the Foundation has allocated each YIP Committee with three grant applications from three different charities, and asked the students to make recommendations on how a particular allocation of funds is distributed (it was $10,000 last year). 

This year we will be researching and selecting our own charities, and we have chosen the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Impact Area Focus on Homeless and Affordable Housing, to provide support for women at risk of homelessness who are living in our community.


Did you know that 1 in 200 people are homeless in Melbourne currently?  There are 12 000 people under the age of 25 sleeping rough. Imagine what that means to our school community of 1 400 students.  By focusing on this area, we could potentially be helping one of the members of our own school community find a place to call home.  We hope you will support us in our activities with this program. The work you do is going to change lives.


For those of you who just don’t have time to make it to the Philanthropy Club, you can still contribute; how about doing a RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS?  Sometimes just the smallest event during the day can make the difference to someone’s existence, and YOU can be the person that delivers that goodness.

Have you experienced a Random Act of Kindness around school lately?  Write to us and let us know by email at CRO0026, BAR0031 or [email protected] We’ll send a thank you shout out to the person who helped you!


General Information

Melbourne Girls' College Ambulance Policy

Dear Parents/Guardians,
Please be aware of the following information as per the Department of Education & Training’s website.


Emergency medical situations

If a student is ill or injured, in an emergency a school may:

  • Call an ambulance or
  • Call for any necessary medical attention on behalf of the student’s parents. 

The legal authority to do this arises from the principle of “agency of necessity”.  This means that the law recognises that the authority to act on another’s behalf is implied in case of emergency.

An ambulance should always be called in a medical emergency.


Parent Communication – Ambulance Cover/Costs

We strongly encourage parents to have up-to-date ambulance cover and also inform parents that they are responsible for any medical expenses such as ambulance costs incurred if their child is injured or requires an ambulance at school, or whilst participating in a school activity.

Department of Education and Training Victoria (DE&T) Policy

Please note as per DE&T policy, the cost of any medical attention or ambulance for a student will be borne by the parent/guardian.

Parents are liable for all medical expenses incurred as a result of student injury, including transport costs such as ambulance or air ambulance costs. 


Andrew Arney

(Assistant Principal )

Thank you MFB Station 10 Richmond

We appreciate the support of our local brigade who rescued our resident magpie baby. Please see photos of their kind rescue mission.



Glen Holland
(Facilities Manager)


Melbourne Girls' College
Fundraiser flyer for Performing Arts.pdf
Fundraiser flyer for Performing Arts.pdf