A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Parenting in the digital age

I think most parents would agree that the digital age has added an extra layer of complexity to parenting these days. It is therefore with interest that I read last week of the latest research from the eSafety Commissioner regarding parents’ views on this topic. Some of the key findings include:

  • 94% of parents agree their child’s online safety is important.
  • When it comes to their kids’ online safety, parents are most concerned about: exposure to inappropriate content, unwanted contact from strangers and being bullied online.
  • Only 46% of parents feel confident dealing with online risks their kids might face.
  • Only one third of parents actively seek out information on how to manage online safety.
  • 95% of parents agreed they need additional online safety information.

I would encourage all BGS parents to spend 10 minutes reading the eSafety Commissioner online safety guide (why not sign up for their eSafety news) and the full report mentioned above can be found here. Of course, Dr Ray Swann and the Crowther Centre have our very own position paper on screen time (and hard copies are available at all school reception areas).

As Secondary School parents would know, we have been exploring how best to support a culture of positive online engagement with the boys and are in the process of launching a unique partnership approach to cyber safety across the Secondary School through Family Zone. This complements our commitments to online safety as an eSmart School, where we work with parents to raise a generation of smart, safe and responsible young men who are capable and compassionate both on and offline. A reminder to Secondary School parents of our upcoming information night.

Have a great week.


From the Deputy Head of Secondary School (Years 1112) – David Liddle

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work learning from failure. General Colin Powell

Last week has seen examinations for all Years 10 and 11 students and this week has seen the completion of the GAT for boys completing a Unit 3 or 4 subject in 2019.

Learning outcomes aside, an important part of these examinations is getting used to the requirements of the VCE in terms of how to conduct yourself in a formal examination setting. VCAA rules are used in all Brighton Grammar examinations so boys know the requirements as part of the normal routine in Year 12.

Clear plastic water bottles, no electronic equipment, watches on desks, see-through pencil cases, entering and leaving an examination room appropriately all become routine and help the boys to be well prepared for the end of year VCE examinations that lie ahead at some stage.

This year we have trialled a different way to have boys entering the examination room. Boys enter quietly in class order and have their name, photo and class on an individual desk. This has allowed for a smooth entrance and an easy check on who is not in the examination to allow phone calls home if their absence is unknown.

When marked examinations are returned next week, all boys should reflect on their preparation and learn from their mistakes. It was pleasing to note that over the entire examination period, boys were on time and well prepared which is testament to the routines which have been established.


News from School House

Term 2 has been a whirlwind of activity for School House. Throughout the term, boys have competed in House Chess, House Debating and been involved in a range of journeys, coaching with tutors, exams and sporting commitments.

The School House Year 9 group has been involved in the University of Melbourne’s Bio-Dash program, designed to utilise technology to enhance wellbeing. Throughout these sessions, the boys have also been lucky enough to receive peer coaching from older students. It has been wonderful to see the Year 9s meet up with their coaches regularly during these sessions.

It was great to see the boys embracing Service as a House with their fundraising efforts for the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation. The RCD Foundation raises funds for paediatric brain cancer and money raised is channelled into further research, care and development and to support patients in their rehabilitation. Connor was a student at BGS in School House  making this charity particularly special to the boys. They sold merchandise, ran a sign up station and facilitated a FIFA tournament all in the name of charity.

Semester One has provided much success for School House and, as the term reaches a close, it is exciting to think about what Semester Two holds.

Maxwell Forbes
Head of School House


Year 9 Service journeys

Service journey to Pormpuraaw

My option this year for a Service journey was to visit Pormpuraaw. This was an easy decision for me personally. When the option read ‘spending 5 days in a classroom with kids from the local Pormpuraaw State School and being out with the locals in the community’ this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.

What this trip means to me is that I would be able to connect with the people from Pormpuraaw and learn about a history and culture in a way that many people aren’t lucky enough to experience. It is really important to know about this because Australia is a special place and we should understand the first nation’s culture because we all live here. It also makes us think about the places we live, like Melbourne, and form stronger connections to them.

I have felt so special and connected to the people in Pormpuraaw. The kids and their teachers have all been so kind and welcoming which has meant it has come naturally for me to chat and play with them. Every kid in my class knows my name and I really put myself out there to get to know them and understand their lives. It is hard to explain what this powerful experience has meant to me and, although I have only been here a week, I feel like I have known them forever. I will always remember the kids’ excitement to see me each day and how much they have cared for me.

Ryan McKenzie
Year 9 Student


The Martyrs School, Papua New Guinea

Boys involved in the Papua New Guinea Journey have been hard at work on the tools building pews for the community church. Just a week before the boys took off, a fire damaged the Chaplin’s House and a boys dormitory. Whilst the boys have been unable to help with the clean-up, they have buoyed the community with their friendly faces and work ethic.

Whilst the boys have been invaluable in helping the community move on, there will no doubt be a strong connection between our schools in the future.



In Borneo, our boys have been at work on the Coral re-planting program. The group has replanted damaged and broken corals at the sea bed. Broken coral fragments would have no chance of survival if left alone and sadly, this is happening around the world at an alarming rate. Without corals, reefs will degrade and vanish within years. The boys are briefed on the techniques of coral planting, before being put to the test of applying their newly found knowledge and finally delivering bricks out to the reef. Nylon wire ties are used to secure the coral fragments to the concrete bases which are then placed on the sea bed. The corals will now have a fighting chance for survival.

All members of the Borneo journey participated in a beach clean-up program on Wednesday focusing on removing single use plastics from the foreshore and water.

All our boys have now returned and we look forward to sharing our experiences and new found passion and respect.

Christian Neeson
Director of Co-curriculum


BGS Sailing team

As recent winners of Victorian School Sailing Competition in March, the BGS Division 1 Sailing Team travelled to Sandy Bay in Hobart for the Australian Secondary Schools Teams Racing National Championships. From a pool of 300 schools nationwide, 24 teams tacked, reached and gybed over the long weekend in order to qualify for finals and, ultimately, first place honours.

Light winds and strong currents from the nearby Derwent River created testing conditions for all crews. With 9 wins from 18 starts, BGS finished 11th overall. New conditions and opponents were frequent tests of our boat handling skills. However, having obtained these invaluable experiences, we will endeavour to go one better in next year’s regatta.

Well done to Lachie Caldwell, Dan Griffith, Jackson Crawshaw, Harrison Chapman, Matty Goss and Oscar Cowling.

Thank you to all of our supporters this season.


Laws around the supply of alcohol to minors

On the back of my last article in eNews about ‘Safe Partying’, I have had a number of phone calls from parents seeking further information mostly regarding supply of alcohol to minors.

Generally when I receive the calls, my first question to the parents is usually ‘Do you really need to provide alcohol to the minors at the party?’ Most parents generally have a think about this and the answer is quite often ‘No’.

If, however, parents do decide to supply alcohol to minors, they should be aware of the laws regarding under-age drinking because a breach of these laws could come with some very hefty penalties for each individual caught drinking on the premises without the appropriate permissions.

Please take a look at this website for further information about alcohol and the law.

If you have any questions regarding these laws or Safe Partying, your local police station can give you the best advice and they are always more than happy to help out.

Jason Bain
School Marshal


Student Leadership

Key themes at the recent Year 11 Leading and Learning student workshops were about identifying and developing leadership qualities. Although there are no shortcuts to becoming an effective leader, surrounding yourself with like-minded people who influence you positively is a great step forward. Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn suggests: ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ In short, these people shape who you are. They affect which attitudes and behaviours you are regularly exposed to. They determine what conversations dominate your attention.

Darren Hardy writes in The Compound Effect, ‘According to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, [the people you habitually associate with] determine as much as 95 per cent of your success or failure in life.’ So, ensuring you have the right people in your inner circle is paramount.

Christian Machar
Head of Student Leadership (Years 712)


Artist in residence experience

A select group of Year 9 boys spent their Experience Week at Berendale, a school that is committed to providing quality learning experiences for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Our boys worked alongside students and artist, Ash Hoar, creating beautifully intricate skate decks, a mural and they even found time to write and illustrate a picture story book. The Berendale students are already competing for a spot on the program next year.

Simone Lewis
Director of Service (Years 7–12)


And from the boys’ perspective:

Our week at Berendale has been a truly memorable experience. Before I came to Berendale, I was unsure of how the students lived and learnt or even how they communicate. I thought I was coming here to teach the students. I quickly realised that I was wrong. After such an amazing week, I realise how similar we actually are.

Many of us share the same interests, helping me make new friends and strengthen the relationships I already share with the boys at Brighton Grammar. The Berendale students are patient and kind. They were always willing to share a laugh with us. They love art and have good ideas. The most rewarding thing about this week was learning the importance of teamwork because a lot of people helped me finish my artwork. This experience taught me how lucky I am to live the life that I have. The artworks that we have created are astounding.

I leave this camp feeling very privileged. The Berendale students are trying their best to achieve – we should too. Even though we seem different, we are the same.


Indigenous Melbourne students at Marngrook Footy Show

As part of the Year 9 Service trips, boys going to Pormpuraaw in Far North Queensland spent a week in Melbourne learning about the indigenous history of Melbourne and exploring contemporary indigenous culture in Melbourne.  The Year 9 boys were joined by our MITs students: Calvin Cook, Kaleb Brogan-Rioli and Cecil Puruntatameri on a number of activities. A highlight was a trip to the Marngrook Footy Show. Calvin and Cecil were selected to face former Saint Alan Murray in a handball competition. Cecil was successful and won a signed footy! After the show, Kaleb met up with fellow Tiwi Islander and former Geelong star Ronnie Burns.


Jigsaw puzzle at St. Andrew’s end Library

After the stress of exam week, the boys have found it relaxing to unwind with a jigsaw puzzle in the St. Andrew’s end Library.  Boys from Years 9 to 12, as well as the occasional teacher, have worked together to finish this puzzle. Look out for more puzzles in the coming weeks.

Elizabeth Paterson


A golden ticket raffle! Final Call! 

Friends of Music has been lucky enough to secure two VIP tickets to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical. 

This will be the final call, as the raffle will be drawn on 20 June.

Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 – get yours now!


BGS Pink Dinner – Save the date

When – Thursday 19 September 2019

Full details to follow soon.


Dates for the Diary

  • Friday 14 June Ute Full of Food
  • Wednesday 19 June Chapel - end of term Eucharist 
  • Friday 21 June Term 2 ends 
  • Wednesday 17 July Term 3 commences