A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Celebrating our history – and the Crowther Oval shapes up

One of the joys of being a school that has a 136-year history is making this history relevant to the current students. This week in the Secondary School, we did just that by helping our most senior Old Boy David Madden and his family celebrate his 100th birthday.

David was born on 22 March 1918. His father was very keen for his three sons, David, Peter and John, to receive a sound education. At the age of 12, in 1930, David came to Melbourne from the family property in Nagambie to join BGS. During term time, he lived with his aunt and uncle in South Road.

Upon leaving BGS, David had a successful career with Ampol, where he worked his entire career, apart from during World War II, when he served in the AIF. It was a real pleasure to welcome David back to his old School, to share his and his family’s story with the Secondary School boys and to sing him a happy 100th birthday.

Some of you might be wondering about the works that are going on currently on the Crowther Oval. There are two aspects to this work. First, we are laying a significant amount of new turf to achieve a better coverage of grass ready for the winter sports season. Second, we are reshaping some areas of the oval to compensate for lost space as a result of the larger Annandale Pavilion. Once these works are completed, we hope to have a much-improved Crowther Oval the same as its previous size.

Have a great week.


From the Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton

BGS in and on the water

The penultimate week of Term 1 is a huge sporting week for our boys, particularly those that compete in or on the water. There was much excitement leading up to last night’s APS Swimming and Diving competition and a large number of enthusiastic supporters spent the evening at MSAC chanting their encouragement. All of the competitors were outstanding but special mention goes to Luca Jarvis, who won the U16A diving; Nik Rathmayr, who finished 2nd in the open diving; and the U16 200m butterfly team (Lachie Jackett-Simpson, Ewan Smith, Billy Pearson, Max Kortge), who finished 1st in their event. Lachie Jackett-Simpson had a great individual night, finishing 1st in the U16 100m freestyle and 2nd in the U16 50m freestyle. A number of other boys had top 3 placings. Congratulations to all boys.  

I’m sure that very few among us need reminding that this Saturday is the Head of the River at Nagambie. This is a massive event in any rower’s life and one of the biggest days of the year for the open crews in particular. The boys have trained exceptionally hard and the season has gone very well for them, with the 2nd and 3rd VIII crews ranked second and the 1st VIII starting in first. It is fair to say that there is some nervous excitement around.

Whatever the outcome, Saturday promises to deliver some fantastic racing. As Nick Phillips said this week when he addressed the boys, they are not the biggest or strongest crews, but they are certainly the best team. They will draw great strength from the supporters who will be cheering them on and singing the BGS adaptation of ‘Country Road’ to bring them home. We wish all competitors every success!



The future of ‘masculinity’

All boys in Year 10 experienced the second ‘Tomorrow Man’ workshop on Tuesday. A major theme of the workshop was the development and the future of the term ‘masculinity’ – where did this concept come from, how relevant is it today and how do you want it to be in the future?

At home, in preparation for the session, the boys had had a conversation with their grandfather or father. The aim of these conversations was to encourage the older men to talk with the younger men about aspects of their growing up, and their knowledge of ‘manhood’ – with particular reference to parts of masculinity they encouraged their boys to adopt and parts they encouraged them to let go. The boys had the chance to share some aspects of their family history during the workshop. They were also encouraged to consider their place, at this time of their lives, and project forward to imagine the type of man they want to become.

Many a story was shared and many a thought provoked. The boys are having ‘conversations with gravity’ and discussing real and significant issues. What was said needs to remain confidential to each group. However, as the boys continue to build trust and to share with one another, we encourage you as parents to have conversations at home about the Tomorrow Man workshops and how your son is reflecting and growing as a result.


Biggies and littlies test each other out

Last week, our Year 11 Psychology classes undertook a range of ‘hands-on’ activities to measure the changes in cognitive abilities and ways of thinking of the boys in ELC4 and Grade 1. This was based on studies the Year 11 classes have been undertaking of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. The tests were to gauge the boys’ understanding of the principles of egocentrism, conservation and classification. This cross-campus incursion happens annually and is always a highlight. As the photos demonstrate, it’s unclear which boys enjoyed the experience more – the biggies or the littlies!

Amy Atchison
Head of Year 11 Psychology


Courageous spirits

On the morning of 20 March, a number of Year 8 BGS boys performed Chinese Martial Arts at the opening ceremony of the Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Oceania.
This conference is an important opportunity to discuss and collaborate on key areas such as research, exchange and cooperation surrounding the promotion of Chinese language and culture.
Our Headmaster, Ross Featherston, and Director of Advancement, John Philips, were invited to and attended the conference. They were both very impressed by boys’ achievement on stage, knowing that the boys have received only five weeks’ training. To be able to achieve such a high standard of performance in such a short period of time reflects the boys’ commitment, work ethic and courageous spirits.

The team’s performance was considered a highlight of the event by the organisers and officials. As their teacher, I am very proud. Go BGS boys!

Linda Chen
Head of Year 7 and 8 LOTE


Putting a freeze on bullying

Last Friday, the Student Wellbeing Committee, comprising of the year 8 house captains, organised an event in recognition of the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. It was great to see the committee members lead the year 7 and 8 boys to make a stand together and put a “freeze on bullying”. Every boy was handed an icy-pole from their house captain and encouraged to write powerful words of action on the walls of the Urwin Centre.

Danielle Wolff
School Psychologist



Warming up in Round 1 Debating

Warming up in Round 1 Debating

The first round of debates in the Brighton region DAV competition was held on Wednesday 14 March. Our teams had a total of five convincing wins and a few narrow misses. Congratulations to all of the boys who debated and thank you to those who came along to support them. Special mention goes to D Grade Team 1 (Harry Harte, Marcus Bierens and Harley Chessells – all Year 9), who won their debate by 5 points, and C Grade Team 1 (Andrew Wang, Charlie Durkin and Joel Tyler – all Year 10), who won their debate by 4 points. In addition, we extend a warm congratulations to the boys who were awarded best speaker: Noa Simon (Year 12), Charlie Durkin (Year 10) and Harry Harte (Year 9). Jorge Houridis (Year 8) achieved the same score as the best speaker in his debate and Maximillian Kortge, Eric Stone and Chris Field (Year 9) all had joint highest scores.

It was an enjoyable night and very entertaining to watch our teams discuss, explain and defend their arguments. It was especially pleasing to watch our Year 8 team debate in the D Grade competition. This is the first time a BGS Year 8 team has debated at this level. The boys did a wonderful job and were narrowly beaten by their opposing team because they needed to rebut the other side’s arguments a little more.

We look forward to more success from our teams in Round 2 and hope to see lots of familiar faces here to support our boys on Wednesday 28 March.

Paula Fletcher


Beginning the ‘Service’ journey

As part of 9/10 B2M, the boys are shifting their focus towards ‘Service’ for their next trip and actions. All boys have now received their trip allocations for late Term 2. While these trips will take them to a variety of local and international destinations to ‘serve’, Connor’s Run, occurring in September, presents an opportunity for them to contribute to something right here that is part of who we are at BGS.

Liz Dawes, founder of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation, and mum of Connor, spoke to the Year 9 cohort during the week.

For more information on Connor’s Run, including Connor’s remarkable story, click here.

We’ve started our work on Connor’s Run early because at least some of us will need to invest time in proper preparation. The Year 9 boys (and many staff) will train, run and fundraise over the coming months in preparation for the run in September. There is both a 9.6km run and a 18.8km run. All Year 9 boys will complete one of the two courses. (Those genuinely unable to run/walk the course will be able to support the Run in other ways, such as assisting behind the scenes with the BGS water station, additional fundraising, or motivation and support.)

Just why this matters to BGS was explained by Liz. If our boys can help make life easier for any young person suffering brain cancer or, ultimately, help find a cure, they will indeed have performed a noble ‘service’.


What It’s Like – To Be a Boy (ABC ME TV)

‘What It’s Like’ is a show for young people in our community whose voices, stories and perspectives aren’t often seen or heard. It’s a chance for them to share their experiences in their own words – both good and challenging. The team are producing an episode on ‘What It’s Like to Be a Boy’. If you’re aged between 8 and 16 and would like more information please contact the ABC ME team on meontv@your.abc.net.au. But be quick – filming is in April. 


It’s almost here – our new strength and conditioning centre

And we’re sharing it with you, the BGS community!

Exercise body AND mind in BGS’s cutting-edge facility due for completion mid-2018 

  • Exciting mix of small-group classes
  • Personalised training and wellbeing programs
  • Biometric and mindfulness technology
  • Expert, friendly staff
  • Affordable community rates
  • Easy bookings via our app

Click here to find out more and register your interest.


Student achievement

Tom Marriott (Year 8) competed with Sandringham Little Athletics Club in the Little Athletics Victorian State Championships in March. His training and dedication paid off when he won a bronze medal in each of the 100-metre and 200-metre sprint finals. 


Teaching & Learning

Click here to view this week’s Crowther Thinking.


Dixon House’s Good Friday Appeal

Dixon House has taken on the challenge of raising funds and increasing awareness for the Royal Children’s Hospital and their Good Friday Appeal. We have chosen Royal Children’s Hospital as we believe it is important to highlight the exceptional and important work done by them and assist their endeavours to our best ability.

In support of the Good Friday Appeal, we are running an Easter raffle with tickets being available at lunch and recess and at Reception and the prizes being drawn on the last day of term. We will also have Dixon House members collecting change at recess, lunch and after school, as well as a collection during Chapel in the final week. 

A MyCause fundraising page has been established and we encourage families to dig deep, be generous and donate to such a worthy cause. Click here to visit the page.

Cameron Berry (Year 12)
Dixon House Captain
Community Services Captain


Join the BGS Snowsports Team 2018 

Any boy who can ski or snowboard safely down a blue run is invited to join the BGS Snowsports team. The team will be competing at the 2018 Interschools Championships in the week of 20–26 August at Mt Buller. To register your interest or obtain more information, please call Jane Abbott on 0408 590 963.


Want to play college sports? 

On 14 March, the Consul General at the US Consulate opened an information session for a large crowd at the Centre for Creative Arts, Firbank Grammar School. The information session detailed the process for applying to US colleges, sports scholarships in the US, and student eligibility for US college sports at a National Collegiate Athletic Associate (NCAA) college.

If you would like further information about the US College application process, please connect with EducationUSA Australia by liking their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EducationUSAAustralia/


Career News

Items in the Career News include:

  • Deakin Step on Campus
  • A Career in Forensic Medicine Information Session
  • A Day in the Life of a Fashion Illustrator at Box Hill Institute
  • Becoming a Chartered Accountant
  • News from Monash University
    • News from the Science Faculty
    • Studying Health at the Peninsula Campus
  • Health Science Degrees in Victoria
  • Nutritionists and Dietitians 

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.

Veggie Burgers


– 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled until soft
– ¾ cup frozen peas
– ¾ cup frozen corn
– 1 x 400g can lentils
– handful of herbs of your choice
– 1 tsp sweet paprika
– salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C fan-forced and line an oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel, cube and boil the sweet potatoes until soft.
  3. Steam or boil the frozen peas and corn until cooked.
  4. Thoroughly drain and wash the lentils, and place them in a large bowl with the boiled sweet potato. Mash together with a fork.
  5. Add the peas, corn, herbs, spices and salt and pepper to the mashed potato and lentil mixture, and stir until well combined.
  6. With your hands, form 9–10 patties and place on the prepared baking tray.
  7. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 15–20 minutes before flipping the patties over and cooking for another 10–15 minutes.
  8. Veggie Burgers can be eaten hot or stored in the fridge and eaten cold, or added to wraps or sandwiches.