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What a week it has been. Since returning from holidays, the School has been abuzz with a diverse range of activities and opportunities for our students. I have been fortunate enough to spend time with students from across all three campuses as they participate in the life of our School and the broader community.  

As I mentioned last week, many of our students were involved in ANZAC Day ceremonies last Tuesday. We had students representing our School in Traralgon, Sale, Stratford, Maffra, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Metung and Rosedale. Many people contacted the School this week to congratulate our students on the way they represented the School and honoured those Australians who have served our country in the Defence Forces.

On Thursday I attended the SEISA athletics carnival at Casey Fields. This was a wonderful event, despite it being a wet and wintry day. Students from Bairnsdale, St Anne’s and Garnsey competed and Gippsland Grammar was the overall champion school on the day. Well done to Ms Jenny Dyke and her team for their success and for representing the School with such respect and humility. We wish them well as they compete in the ICCES athletic carnival on 18 May.

Our shooters also competed on Wednesday at the Lilydale Clay Target Competition. Once again, the team were ably guided through the rigours of competition by their inspirational leader, Mr Kuch. Our students finished a very credible second and Aaron Barling achieved second place in the boy’s senior division.

On Wednesday evening our debaters travelled to St Margaret’s in Berwick to compete at the DAV debating competition against schools from across Eastern Victoria. Gippsland Grammar presents a formidable team as the students arrive in large numbers to compete in all divisions and age groups. We achieved 11 wins on the night. Ms Monger prepares our students thoroughly for their debates and it gives me great pride to watch the confident manner in which they competently dissect complex topics to deliver well-structured and organised arguments.

Many students assisted with the Gippsland Grammar stand at the East Gippsland Field Days on Friday and Saturday. It was great to see students performing and interacting with members of the public who were interested in the School, or simply interested in our students. As in previous years, I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received from those who visited our stand. Thank you to Mrs Marji Craven and Mrs Jade Willox for preparing the exhibition, and to Ms Jan Henry and Mrs Virginia Evans for preparing the students.

The 2017 Year 11 Ball was held last Friday evening at Sale Memorial Hall. The students had been rehearsing for many weeks and presented beautifully on the night. Their dances were executed with ease and the parents who danced performed admirably. This night is an important rite of passage for our students and a significant milestone in their journey towards adulthood. The students looked amazing and had a wonderful night. Many thanks to Mr Nicholas, the Year 11 Mentors and Mrs Kelly Warren for preparing the hall.  

All of these events are important to the life of our School and the education of our students. They are the many and varied opportunities that we often speak about; opportunities for our students to excel and to connect more deeply with our School community. It is through these opportunities that our students will find their passions and their own levels of personal excellence. It is also through these opportunities that we, as parents and teachers, develop our ongoing sense of pride.

Well done to all of our students who participated in these events and best wishes for our musicians who head off to Music Camp this weekend in preparation for the Autumn Concert.