A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Hello from the outdoors

It is a real pleasure to write to you from Camp Coolamatong on the Gippsland Lakes, where I am spending the night with our Year 6 Endeavour and Investigator boys. The boys are camping out, cooking their own meals, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, working with their Year 11 leaders/mentors and learning about some local Indigenous customs from Aunty Cass. It’s fantastic to witness the way our Outdoor Education staff integrate the Effective Learner model into the boys’ experience here. This way, we believe, the lessons gained in the outdoors will align more strongly with the lessons gained in the classroom.

Let me take this opportunity to provide a quick update on two things.

First, I will be very pleased to reveal our refreshed academic uniform to you later this term. The Steering Committee and our designer, Jonathan Ward, have finalised the designs and we have completed consultations (including with current students). If you have queries, please refer to the FAQs page on our website. (These FAQs will be updated once the refreshed academic uniform has been revealed, ready for the start of 2019.)

Second, many thanks to the 480 Secondary School parents and the 240 Secondary School boys who completed the Sports Review Survey last week. The survey was specifically designed after our external consultant individually met with a representative sample of parents, boys and staff from across all BGS sports. The results from these 720 responses have been sent to our consultant for his consideration and will be reflected in his final report. I look forward to sharing the key outcomes and actions that we will take as a result of this Sports Review later in the year.

Finally, as I hope you know, we have launched our Annual Appeal and are just five days away from our bid to Bring a Dream to Life. Click here to follow the countdown.

Have a great week – and don’t forget to get your tickets (here) for next week’s Firbank Grammar–BGS Senior Production of Chicago!


From the Deputy Head of Secondary School (Years 11–12), David Liddle

Putting Youth in the Picture – Adair Donaldson

Last Thursday, Adair Donaldson spoke to students in Years 10, 11 and 12. Adair is a lawyer and the creator of the acclaimed preventative law resource ‘Putting Youth in the Picture’, which educates young people on the legal consequences of alcohol abuse, sexual assaults, illicit drugs, violence, social media and the illegal use of technology. He also ran a staff and parent forum that afternoon.

Adair challenged each cohort to decide whether given everyday social scenarios were morally or legally wrong (or both). There was a great deal of discussion and clarification around what would happen as a consequence in terms of police involvement and charges laid for each of the scenarios presented. The boys certainly had their perceptions challenged!

Adair also spoke not only about the cost to the victim but also about the cost to families – in terms of time, money and family trauma – of students finding themselves in these situations.

At each session, Adair finished with clarification around the use of mobile phones and social media, and how you can be charged for various offences if these are used incorrectly.

Adair’s honest and open approach was well received by students, staff and parents at each of the forums. If you haven’t already, please take the time to discuss with your son some of the issues raised by Adair.


BGS gets Brainy for Brain Week

Last Friday, BGS went grey in the name of Brain Week. ‘Go Grey in May Day’ was held on the final day of a week packed full of brainy activities. Staff and students tried to get their heads around daily brain teasers, competed in a Pi competition at Chapel and attended a Brainy Breakfast in the Atrium. A big thanks to BGS and Firbank prefects, who traded places for a delicious bake sale. School House leaders and Community Service representatives worked hard to ensure that everyone purchased RCD Foundation merchandise. Watch this space for a final tally of the funds raised. Aeternum fortis t-shirts are still available and don’t forget to sign up for Connor’s Run, as spots are filling fast and it WILL sell out!

Ute Full of Food

Tomorrow (Friday 18 May), our second Ute Full of Food drive will depart for St Mark’s. The St Mark’s Community Centre facilitates approximately 80 displaced people each day. Some will attend for a warm meal, others are provided with basic groceries to get them through the week, but most will turn up regularly to be seen, heard and valued. With the cold weather setting in, our donations are relied upon. Please take the time to check your pantries for non-perishable items or take your children grocery shopping to purchase some healthy, hearty canned goods.

Simone Lewis
Head of Community Services


Orchestral, Guitar and Choral Concert

Last Thursday night, our young musicians treated members of the BGS community to another night of stellar performances at the Orchestral, Guitar and Choral Concert. Despite the chilly evening, there was a great turnout of family and friends, and the students all performed to a high standard.

The concert opened with the Intermediate String Orchestra, whose performance included the soundtrack to the popular video game StarCraft. The Guitar Ensembles and the Cello Choir featured a variety of musical styles, ranging from Cuban pop to 16th-century sacred music. The boys were in truly fine voice, with Meliora Voices telling an exciting tale of adventure on the high seas in Eye of the Needle, and the Senior Choir presenting a stirring rendition of Do You Hear the People Sing? from Les Miserables.

Our senior string musicians closed the evening with brilliant performances by the Corelli String Orchestra and Senior Symphony Orchestra. Their performance of works by Bach, Dvorak and Bizet was a musical journey across Europe, featuring Slavonic and French folk melodies in two of the works.

All of the performances were a fantastic demonstration of the hard work and dedication of the Secondary School musicians at BGS. I would also like to acknowledge and thank our marvellous instrumental Music staff and our Music parents – we could not produce evenings like this without your continued support.

Now is the perfect opportunity to join one of the numerous School ensembles or choirs, as they will be starting on new music for Semester 2. Please contact the Music Office to find out more.

Kurt Abell
Acting Head of Instrumental Music (Years 3–12)


House Games League – Round 4

Things are hotting up in the House Games League. It was a cold wet day on Tuesday, so there were plenty of spectators to enjoy the fun in the Senior Library. All Houses and the teachers fielded teams of three and we were set to go.

The games involved testing skills in throwing plastic cups (partners had to catch these a drink bottle), stacking and unstacking cups, and building forehead biscuit towers! It was a very close competition, with all teams cheered on from the sides.

Dixon won the day but it wasn’t enough to topple Armstrong from the top of the ladder. Let’s see who can knock them off their perch!

1st Armstrong          30
2nd Rofe                       26
Joint 3rd Crowther             18
Joint 3rd Dixon                    18
Joint 3rd Hancock               18
Joint 3rd School                   18

Next week, House Games League will feature science-themed games for Science Week.

Penny Roberts
Head of Library


XC Road Relays

Two teams represented BGS at the Athletics Victoria Road Relays at Princess Park on Saturday. The junior team of Year 7 boys (Oliver Dipietrantonio, Cooper Dowe, Charlie Paterson and Kai Vivian) ran extremely well and set some great individual times. As a result, they placed in the top 10 for the state. The senior team of Tom Bartels (Year 11), Charlie Lamont (Year 10), Tommy Sullivan-Dunne (Year 10) and Lincoln Zhang (Year 10) also ran well, finishing in the middle of pack. It was great to see the boys out there giving their all against the best. Thank you to the boys who participated and the parents who came to support on the day.

Mark Dowley
Director of Staff Development


Crazy Socks Day

Next Tuesday (22 May), all students are encouraged to wear a pair of crazy socks and contribute a gold coin to create awareness for this year’s Annual Giving Appeal, which is raising funds to support the first means-tested Indigenous Scholarship funded by the Brighton Grammar School community.  Please wear your craziest socks – anything other than your day-to-day pair. Be as creative as you want! 


Career News

Items in the Career News include: 

  • Dates to diarise in Term 2
  • Pathways to Registration as a Psychologist
  • Deakin Genie
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology at UQ
  • Career Information Afternoon hosted by the Blue Mountains International Management Hotel School
  • Study Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu
  • Reminder: UMAT2018
  • Career Weeks 2018 at the International College of Hotel Management
  • Studying Business at Monash means Choice and Flexibility
  • Careers in Psychology and Where to Study in Victoria
  • Snapshot of La Trobe University in 2018

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.

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins


– 1 cup dried dates, chopped

– 1/2 cup water, boiling

– 1 large apple, diced

– ¾ cup milk

– 2 1/2 cups rolled oats

– 2 large eggs

– 2 tsp vanilla

– 2 tsp baking powder

– ½ tsp baking soda

– ½ tsp salt

– 2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin papers.
  2. Place diced dates into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes.
  3. In a blender or food processor, place dates, diced apple and milk. Puree ingredients until smooth.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and puree until oats are well ground.
  5. Fill each muffin paper 2/3 full with batter. 
  6. Bake muffins 30–35 minutes.


Secondary School Dates for the Diary

18 May
– Intermediate Public Speaking Competition
– Ute Full of Food
– Year 10 Crowther Wellbeing Hub with Dianna Vella-Brodrick
– Year 11 & 12 House Chess Competition

21 May
– INEX Year 7 African Drumming Iincursion
– Science Week Chemistry demonstrations
– Year 11 & 12 House Debating competition

22 May
– Year 7 and Year 8 Ben Mhasa presentation
– Year 11 & 12 House Debating competition
– BGS Parent Group Meeting (7pm in Wellbeing Centre, Allee St)

23 May
– Science Week Assembly
– Science Week Google Chat
– Year 11 & 12 House Debating competition

24 May
– BGS/FGS Senior Years (10–12) Production
– Past Mothers’ Celebration
– Science Week Animals
– Science Week Chemistry demonstrations
– VCE Physical Education incursion
– Year 11 & 12 House Debating competition
– Year 12 Long Day Program
– Year 7 & 8 Choir performance

25 May
– BGS/FGS Senior Years (10–12) Production
– Science Week Titration Competition
– Year 10 Crowther Wellbeing Hub with Dianna Vella-Brodrick
– Year 11 & 12 House Debating competition

26 May
– BGS/FGS Senior Years (10–12) production