A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

One Community, One School

As we further embrace the notion of an ‘As One’ Secondary School (Years 7–12), our attention has turned to how we identify the various sections of the Secondary School to boys, parents, staff and the community.

When I asked his opinion in the Quad recently, a Year 12 student suggested that we should have ‘ends’ of the Secondary School, as this denotes that we are ‘as one’ and whole as a Secondary School campus. Thus, from now on, the two ‘ends’ of the Secondary School will be known as the ‘Rosstrevor End’ and the ‘St Andrew’s End’.

The Rosstrevor End encompasses the Urwin Centre for Learning, the Wellbeing Centre, the Rosstrevor Hall and our Professional Support Team (Accounts, IT, Development, Marketing & Communications and HR). The St Andrew’s End includes the Quad, Tower, Hancock and Zachariah Wings, the Robert Sanderson Centenary Hall, the Library, the Rofe Creative Arts Centre, Annandale, St Andrew’s Church and Main Reception.

Both names were chosen to reflect our strong ties with the past and with St Andrew’s Church. The Rosstrevor End is named after a large Victorian house and estate (named Rosstrevor) that was purchased by the School in 1905. The house and estate were located where the Rosstrevor End is now situated. The St Andrew’s End reflects and celebrates our close affiliation with St Andrew’s Church, which has been at the centre of the Brighton and Bayside communities since 1842. It is also an affirmation of BGS as an Anglican school.

Have a great week.


From the Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton

As we move closer to the end of a very full first term of 2018, a number of the student committees have been busy getting their first initiatives for the year up and running. One of these is the Wellbeing Committee, organised by Naomi Tham and captained by Tom Elliott (Year 12). Tomorrow (Friday 16 March) is the National Day Against Bullying and Violence. The Wellbeing Committee put considerable time and thought into activities designed to create discussion around bullying and harassment that were run during tutor group time this morning.

The Secondary School also has a Community Service Committee, organised by Simone Lewis (Head of Community Services) and captained by Cameron Berry (Year 12) and Elijah Akinci (Year 8). Service of others is undeniably an honourable act and it is valuable for our young men to experience this as they grow older. It allows them not only to give back to the wider community through fundraising initiatives, but also helps them to develop a sense of empathy for those who may be less fortunate than themselves. This year, service at BGS will include initiatives from previous years, such as Ute Full of Food, Connor’s Run and the Sony Frankston Camp. There will also be some new initiatives based around students volunteering their time in some way. Finally, each House is deciding on their own House charity, to which they will target their fundraising endeavours.

Dixon House have decided to support the Royal Children’s Hospital. They will be announcing their plans at Assembly next week. Keep watching the eNews for updates on how this, and the many other exciting community service endeavours, progresses throughout the year.


BGS vs FGS Exhibition Debate

This week, BGS hosted an exhibition debate for the Year 7 Firbank and Brighton Grammar students. Senior debaters from each school debated the topic ‘That computer games have destroyed the playground’. The BGS team took the affirmative side and the Firbank girls argued against it. Our Year 7/8 debating coaches, Finn Roberts and Hamish McDowell, chaired the debate.

The teams debated admirably, setting a fine example for our junior debaters, with a little humour and drama thrown in for entertainment. The audience was extremely attentive and engaged with a topic that they could mostly relate to.

At the conclusion of the debate, each speaker elaborated on their roles in the debate and the persuasive techniques they employed. The highlight of the experience was the opportunity, through a question and answer forum, to learn more about what it is like to debate and why our senior debaters would recommend debating as an extra-curricular pursuit. Reasons such as improved confidence, making great friends and increasing literacy skills were explored.

With over 80 Year 7 and 8 students signed up for debating this year, it is clear that a passion for the sport is alive and well at BGS. I look forward to working with this group of boys throughout the year, and thank the senior debaters for the time they took to prepare the exhibition debate and share their experiences with our students.

Raelene Plozza
Junior Secondary Debating Coach



Are You Up for the Art Challenge?

It can be a little scary when you try something new – but I don’t let that stop me! As I opened the doors for our first Year 7 and 8 Art Club for the year, I wondered, will anyone attend? Did our beautiful posters catch the eye of all the budding artists? Can art compete with basketball, cricket and downball?

My fears were put to rest as eager faces entered the room, ready to take on any artistic challenges that came their way. So when I asked, ‘What would you like to learn?’, I was met first with confusion and then excitement. ‘You mean we can choose?’

Lists were written quickly before the group got down to working on their number 1 goal: drawing skills. Each student proudly shared their ideas and happily supported their peers when met with a technical challenge.

I encourage any boy that is interested and up for the challenge to join us on Thursdays, either weekly or occasionally. Students have the freedom to explore a range of media, including (but not limited to) drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, animation and computer-aided design.

If you would like any further information, feel free to email me (smills@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au) or, for Years 9–12 students, Steve Emmett (emmetts@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au)

Simone Lewis
Art Teacher


Philosophers Rule

Plato believed that philosophers should rule because only they understand what is good.

At this term’s Philosophy Colloquium on Tuesday, a group of Year 8 boys were joined by Firbank girls to discuss the topic of justice, with a focus on sentencing. In groups, the students considered eight criminals who had been found guilty of a variety of crimes. Their task was to determine an appropriate punishment for each.

When the groups reported back on their reasoning and their decisions, none had arrived at exactly the same conclusion – and the ensuing discussion was intense and animated!

The students were left to ponder the following question: Do we live in a JUST society?


Blue Tongue Racing excels

Our boys performed extremely well at the F1 in Schools National Finals in Launceston in March. Blue Tongue Racing finished 5th overall in the development class – our best result to date. The result is particularly impressive because the team completed all tasks in their own time – yet they were competing against schools at which F1 in Schools is a curriculum subject. Chris Field, Charlie Catt, Max Kortge, Andrew Penca and Hamish Roberts (all Year 9) finished 2nd at the State Finals in October 2017 to qualify for the Nationals, where their results were higher, in terms of overall points, than at the States.

The boys have spent over 12 months fine-tuning their car design in Autodesk CAD software, and testing and modifying the virtual car before CNC (computer numerical control) machining and further track testing. In this time, they collaborated with industry, including Tesla and Renault, along with Fox Footy and the All Blacks.

The depth of this competition requires equal amounts of time to be spent on a range of areas, including branding, marketing, trade display, merchandise, uniform, sponsorship, website and Facebook profile, as well as verbal presentations. At the National Finals, Blue Tongue Racing performed strongly in all aspects of the competition, especially the verbal presentation, in which they were only 1 point off first place.

Charlie was instrumental in designing the 3D CAD car and testing it in the virtual wind tunnel prior to machining the final design. Hamish was meticulous in the preparation and painting of the two race cars A and B along with the third display car. Chris was the team manager and graphic designer along with Max, who also looked after the web design and technical aspects of the trade display. Andrew oversaw the sponsorship and also played an important role in the branding. Collaboration and innovation are a key to success and the boys made great inroads in both departments.

Globally, 17,000 schools compete in the event. Australia is the most successful country and Victoria the most successful state. The boys are now focused on securing a place at next year’s National Finals via their performance in the Professional Class at the State Finals later this year, with a view to building a legacy for BGS in this event. The boys are ambitious in looking towards this goal and we will be there with them every step of the way.

Jamie Watson
Head of Creative Design and Technology


Learning Leadership

It has been a busy week for the Urwin Centre student leaders, with several events offering new perspectives, new ideas and new skill development.

Last Thursday, all Urwin Centre student leaders ran the Year 7/8 Assembly. Activities included: the introduction of roles and duties by portfolio leaders; student-led and created initiatives, such as a skit to demonstrate the House Merit System; and the announcement of ‘Tonner of the Fortnight’. The boys are looking forward to participating in the next Years 7–12 Assembly.

On Tuesday, nominated leaders attended a student leadership conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. With the theme of ‘Transforming’, session topics discussed integrity, school pride and effective teams. Lessons learnt from the day included:

“As leaders we don’t change what we want to change but we need to change what our community as a whole wants to change.” –Jorge Houridis

“One lesson that I have taken from this conference is to back up my words with actions.” –Samson Adams

Finally, several leaders this morning heard from the Hon. Christian Porter, MP, Attorney General of Australia, at the Brighton Town Hall. Organised by Tim Wilson, MP, Federal Liberal member for Goldstein, students heard about key issues facing the community and engaged in a question and answer session.

Christian Machar
Head of Student Leadership (Years 7–12)

Christian Machar, J Sum (Year 8), Jorge Houridis (Year 8), Tim Wilson, Christian Porter, Samson Adams (Year 8) and Jack Kissane (Year 8)


House Streetball

After a hard-fought round robin, it came down to Armstrong vs Dixon in the final. Armstrong started well but Dixon made some crucial shots thanks to Hayden Mitchell and were too strong in the end, winning the Year 11 and 12 edition of Streetball for 2018.

Ben White
Head of House – Dixon


A Careers Springboard

On Tuesday, all Year 10 students completed the Morrisby Report Profile. The Morrisby Report is a comprehensive career assessment tool designed to assist life-long learning and career planning. At a secondary school level, career planning typically involves the selection of the VCE program, and the Morrisby Report provides some useful information that can help students make decisions about subjects. The Report provides a profile of an individual’s ability structure and patterns, learning style, problem solving, personality and career interests. It ends with 12 career suggestions plus a range of associated careers.

It is important to note that the Morrisby Profile should not be seen as a hard and fast set of predictions, but as a springboard for discussion and the basis for independent investigation. It can be useful as a starting point for exploration and thinking, or as a reference point at various stages in a discussion about future education/training and employment. At BGS, the Morrisby Profile is used as a tool in subject selection, and marks the beginning of students’ exploration and investigation as they plan their VCE program and beyond.

Sophie Keele
Careers Counsellor


The Luxury of Food

 ‘What are we having for dinner tonight?’ It’s probably a question that runs through most of our minds daily. Now imagine wondering, ‘Is there dinner tonight?’

For approximately 3 million Australians, this is a regular question. When faced with the need to make a small income stretch, food can become a luxury. When I spoke to a group of boys earlier this term, I asked them to imagine what it must feel like not to be able to feed your own children. It’s difficult for most people to even imagine because, even if a nutritious home-cooked meal isn’t readily available, there is always something around – a can of beans, a frozen pizza – to fill our bellies. Approximately 731,000 Australian children are missing out on meals and other basic needs as a result of poverty.

Brighton Grammar would like to challenge every family to dig deep this year and provide St Mark’s Anglican Church Fitzroy with enough to support every man, woman and child that walks through their doors. By taking the time to go to the shops with your sons to select some non-perishable items, you are teaching them the gift of giving, instilling the understanding that we are part of a community, and reminding them that poverty is a very real problem in Australia.

Our next Ute Full of Food drive will leave on Friday 23 March. Please leave donations at Reception (St Andrews end) or the Urwin Centre (Rosstrevor end).


Urban Metamorphosis

Melbourne’s population of 4.8 million is projected to double by as early as 2050. The rural district of Armstrong Creek has been transmogrified into a burgeoning urban region since being gazetted in 2012 as part of the Armstrong Creek Growth Area. Year 12 Geography students investigated this urban metamorphosis in the field this week with the guidance of the Chief Urban Design Consultant. The students found his insights about the environmental impact of the land-use change, brought about by the building of a new suburb on a flood plain, both provocative and compelling. The transformation of an ephemeral creek into flourishing wetlands through a process of hydrological engineering shows remarkable ingenuity. Students will find this experience invaluable in preparation for their examination.

Kathryn Counihan
Head of Geography (9–12)


Teaching & Learning

Click here to view this week’s Crowther Thinking.


Lent Appeal

On 26 February, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea.  This is some 60 km from Martyrs Memorial School, with whom we have had a relationship since 1963.  We can assume that the School is not damaged; however, many of the students will be affected. Landslides, which continue with aftershocks, have caused significant damage. At this time, remote villages remain isolated and aid is struggling to reach them. The loss of life as a result of the earthquake is reported at 100. The Australian media coverage has been low but the needs are real.

Because of our ongoing association with Martyrs Memorial School we have a real link that surely urges us to want to assist our near neighbours in PNG.

The Anglican Board of Missions is a national agency of the Anglican Church, set up by the Church to enable local communities to support other communities. Their work is not about proselytisation or spreading the Gospel; it is about living the Gospel.

ABM is seeking to raise $50,000 to enable the community affected by the earthquake to assist itself to recover. Funds raised through this appeal will go directly to those most in need; the application of the funds will be decided by people on the ground.

ABM is also engaged in the development of Indigenous community leadership in North Australia; a portion of the money raised will be set aside to assist this project.

In Chapel this week, students and staff donated $411.00. The appeal is still open – donations can be left at Reception.

Blessings to all.

Fr Tony Poole
Senior Chaplain


Career News

Items in the Career News include:

  • Job Skills Workshop – All Year 11 student, 22 March
  • Inside Monash Seminar Series 2018
  • News from Swinburne University
    • New Majors in the Bachelor of Design
    • Design Factory Melbourne
    • New Majors in the Bachelor of Business
  • ‘My Melbourne Future’ Series
  • Bachelor of Nutrition Science at Deakin University
  • Careers in Marine Science
  • ‘Keeper for a Day’ Holiday Program at Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • Paralegal Degrees in Victoria 
  • Law Degrees in Victoria

If you would like any further information on any of these items, click here or see Dr Sophie Keele in the Careers Centre. 


BGS Cooking Corner

Quick and nutritious breakfast and lunchbox ideas for busy parents and growing boys from BGS Psychologist and nutrition expert, Danielle Wolff.

Bounty Balls


– 1 cup dried pitted dates

– 1 cup rolled oats

– 1 cup + 1/3 cup desiccated coconut

– 2 tbs cocoa powder

– 2 tbs maple syrup

– 1 tsp vanilla paste


  1. Place dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave dates soaking for 30 minutes and drain.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine soaked dates, oats, 1 cup coconut, cocoa, maple syrup and vanilla until almost smooth.
  3. Pour the remaining 1/3 cup coconut onto a plate.
  4. Roll large tablespoons of the mixture into balls. Roll balls in the coconut and place on a tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Place the tray in the fridge and allow the balls to set for an hour before eating. The balls can be stored in the fridge or freezer.


Join us for the Head of the River 2018

The 2018 APS Head of the River, held at Lake Nagambie on Saturday 24 March, concludes the rowing season. The event attracts around 15,000 spectators and is one of the biggest days on the APS sporting calendar. Brighton Grammar looks forward to performing well on the day and will have a marquee at which the School community will gather to support our crews. Catering will be provided for $30 pp and includes an all-day grazing menu (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea), and non-alcoholic drinks, including our own coffee station.

All rowers will be complimentary of the Meliora Club, with their own chef and a rowers-only section in the marquee catering for their needs.

To book, follow the link: https://www.trybooking.com/359417