A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

‘Please just say you’re proud of me.’

As you would know, a key theme for 2019 at BGS has been engagement, with a particular focus on engagement in the classrooms but also engagement more broadly – engagement in the outdoors, on the stage and on the sporting field. Through our Crowther Centre, we have also been engaging parents via our Parent Workshops and Positioning Papers, and this will broaden further very soon when our podcast series is launched through Understanding Boys.

The above quote is the title of a recently released report from the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY). In this report, ARACY gained perspectives of young people on parent engagement and doing well at school. The full report is accessible here and whilst the four messages from the young people consulted might not be overly surprising to some, they do reinforce the need for parents to be supportive, encouraging and practical with advice.

As the executive summary in the report states, ‘the consultation confirms that, for most students, support from their parents and families is a key factor in them doing well at school and is an important foundation for their future.’

Have a good week and stay engaged.


From the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Secondary School  – Dr Rachel Horton

Community Service has been an integral part of a boys’ time at Brighton Grammar for many years. Every one of our Year 9 students attend a Service Program, with many of the programs leading to ongoing projects such as the Brighton Grammar Keep Cup currently in development, an initiative from this year’s Melbourne Environmental Program. These programs also help to form and build relationships; we have now been visiting the Pormpuraaw community in Cape York for the last five years, a wonderful partnership which continues to grow. BGS boys, staff and families fundraise for many great causes, including the forthcoming Connors Run, raising money for the RCD Foundation in memory of Connor: a much loved and missed member of our community. Armstrong House have also just finished their Winter Appeal, raising money and awareness of homeless people in our community, particularly timely in a week where car windshields needed defrosting.

It is important to keep sight of the fact that community service is so much more than donating money for a great cause. It is about making connections within communities, raising awareness of issues and physically getting involved to help those in our community while getting to know them and their stories. These connections help develop empathy and understanding for others and can also give an enormous sense of personal wellbeing.

BGS is continuing to grow the participation of our boys in active service. A number of new initiatives have been launched this year including a gardening project with Bayley House, a local organisation providing support for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Exciting and worthwhile initiatives including the Smith Family student2student reading program are also scheduled for next year. Watch this space!


From Peter Shepard – Deputy Head of Secondary School (Years 910)

Teachers open the doors, but you must enter by yourself 
– Chinese Proverb

One of the wonderful aspects of a young man’s time at BGS is the array of opportunities that are presented. Doors aplenty are opened, but it is entirely up to the young man who steps through as to how he will embrace that opportunity.

The next phase of the 9/10 B2M program is a phenomenal opportunity for the boys in Year 10. Our Outdoor Education team have put together a series of offerings known as the ‘World Class Journeys’. Beginning next week, our boys have the chance to spend 8–10 days on journeys in destinations and participate in activities that are genuinely ‘world class’.
The list of options includes:

  • Self-managed trek of Wyperfeld National Park
  • Multi-pitch rock climbing experience in Arapiles/Grampians National Park  
  • Sea Kayaking journey through a series of islands in Fiji
  • Snowshoe, trek and cycle through New Zealand – some of the most pristine territory on earth
  • In our own epic ranges near Mt Bogong to snowshoe, cross country ski and snow camp
  • Trek the Jatbula Trail in the Northern Territory 
  • Experience Kathmandu and trek through the Annapurna region of Western Nepal

While they might, it is very possible the boys will never again have the opportunity to journey through these places. The magnitude of this opportunity should not be understated.

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who’ve helped, and will help, make these World Class Journeys possible and I implore the boys to step through this door and embrace this incredible opportunity.


Crowther House News 

In the race for the House Cup, Crowther sits in second place – less than one point behind Rofe. This term’s big points event is the House Athletics which is scheduled for Monday 2 September on the Crowther Oval with all boys involved and parents encouraged to attend. There will be many fun events to foster participation and we are brainstorming new ways of raising money to help our friends at Martyrs School, Papua New Guinea. The school is especially in need of our help this year as they have suffered a fire which destroyed their Year 11/12 boys’ dormitory building and the Chaplain’s home.

We will be selling pizzas on the day. However, if any parents have goods or services they would be willing to donate as a raffle prize could they please reach out to Mark Sainsbery, Head of Crowther House.

Crowther and Rofe will use their joint House Chapel on 14 August to build awareness of this philanthropic event. Focusing on the theme of ‘No Man is an Island’, senior boys of each House are now busily sourcing a selection of appropriately themed hymns, readings, prayers and personal reflections.

The House Captain and Vice Captains will be looking to recruit younger boys to assist either in the fundraising activities or even the House Chapel in the weeks ahead.


Guitar Ensemble Extravaganza

On Saturday afternoon, members of the Secondary School Guitar Ensembles took part in the 2019 Guitar Ensemble Extravaganza, presented by the Classical Guitar Society of Victoria. The boys gave a great performance to an appreciative audience of guitar enthusiasts and had the opportunity to hear other guitar ensembles from schools across the state. The concert also included a performance by The Altazena Trio, featuring one of the School’s guitar tutors, Ms Nadia Sartori.

Kurt Abell
Acting Director of Music


Choice of Subjects

As students progress through their Secondary School year levels, they receive more choices about what they study and what programs they are involved in. This increased responsibility is an important part of students becoming more aware of what their interests, strengths and passions are as they become adults. On Thursday 25 July, we had hundreds of families attend the Subject Information Evening to explore those academic options. 

Families are now encouraged to spend time discussing these and carefully consider the pathways available before submitting their subject preferences for 2020.  Subject selections close on Friday 23 August at 8.00am.


Book Week at UC Library

The Urwin Centre Library will be celebrating Book Week from 12–23 of August. The theme for this year, ‘Reading is My Secret Power’ emphasises how books and reading are the greatest and most powerful tools of all.

Please check the Hub for all the details, but we look forward to being joined by author Robert Newton (2012 Prime Ministers Award Winner), a book fair run by Lamont Books, the Battle of the Books and in collaboration with the Community Service Committee, we will be launching the READ-A-THON.

Donors can pledge a small amount for every book read by our boys. The house with the highest donation will receive recognition and the funds raised throughout the week will be shared by the Fiji Book Drive and the Indigenous Reading Program. Be a part of it!


Middle Years Production: Mary Poppins Jr, 7–9 August

With less than a week to go before opening, don’t miss out. 

Book your tickets and view the promo video by clicking the image. 


2019 is a Pink Dinner

Tickets selling fast