From the Headmaster

in Headmaster

The long-standing Community Service program at Girton Grammar School is based on the belief that for those to whom much has been given, much is expected in return. Our students are often reminded that they are fortunate to attend this school and that service is the foundation of genuine and compassionate leadership.

Over the weekend, more than 300 students took part in the annual Red Shield Appeal, knocking on the doors of homes in Bendigo and Castlemaine and asking residents to consider people in our community who are vulnerable. On Thursday, around 30 staff members followed the lead of our students and prepared sandwiches for “Eat UP”, a charity that prepares and delivers lunches to school freezers for disadvantaged school children. The School is aiming to make 10,000 sandwiches this year.

With social media flippantly facilitating the false projection of perfect lives, more than ever, young people need to understand, and be exposed to, life’s realities. This means age appropriate emotional exposure to people and places that are less than picture perfect. More than that, by understanding the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves, we uncover our own capacity to be vulnerable. You may have read about vulnerability in mainstream and social media in recent weeks. The argument goes that in order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen. Really seen.

It’s a warts and all approach that flies in the face of the digitally enhanced world that young people inhabit and an approach that at Girton, we try to embrace in a number of ways. The RULER Approach encourages students to understand themselves better and this helps them to become comfortable with personal emotional exposure. We teach students that feelings pass and that others have likely been through it all before them. Meaningful conversation based on feeling, not just thought, allows students to own their vulnerabilities and to show strength in sharing them.

I am immensely proud of the Community Service program at this School and I thank the students and parents who so passionately support the many charitable events and initiatives in which the school is involved.

While some students last weekend were knocking on doors to fundraise, many were in the Black Box theatre for a full orchestra rehearsal for the forthcoming Senior School production of Peter Pan. What a sight and what sounds! While voices soared, so did bodies, with four members of the cast set to take to the air to fly to Neverland. Meanwhile, a group of VCE Theatre Studies students visited Lot 19 in Castlemaine to see how the construction of ‘Tick Tock’, the giant crocodile, is progressing. This show is shaping up to be our most ambitious yet and I urge you to support our actors, musicians, tech crew, make-up artists, costume designers, lighting specialists and publicity team in making the show a sell-out success at the Ulumbarra Theatre.

Finally, I would like to warmly welcome our new Board Chair, Ms Sally-Anne Ross, who will take over from Mr Rob Ketterer, who has served superbly as Board Chair for seven years and who will remain on the Board as a Director. A copy of the email that was sent to parents about this can be found here: https://www.girton.vic.edu.au/welcome-to-new-board-chair/

Matthew F. Maruff
Headmaster