A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

We will bring a dream to life!

Yet again, the BGS community has banded together around a most worthy cause. This Tuesday, we raised $373,186 via 388 donors in order to ‘bring a dream to life’. We now have our very first Indigenous means-tested scholarship, meaning that we will be able to give an Indigenous boy the gift of a BGS education.

This remarkable achievement adds to my deep satisfaction that, through the generosity of our community, we now have more than ten means-tested scholarship opportunities available. The impact on the lives of boys who would otherwise not be able to come to BGS will be generational. It is my aim to continue to increase the number of means-tested scholarships well into the future. After all, as Nelson Henderson said, ‘The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.’

My sincere thanks to all in the community who gave on Tuesday: from Myles in Prep, who brought in the contents of his money box, through to the BGS School Council, and everyone in between. Particular thanks to our six generous ‘matchers’, whose support meant that all donations were amplified. In addition, I thank our Development Office team, whose tireless work is appreciated.

Have a great week and best wishes to all involved in this week’s FGS–BGS Senior Production of Chicago.


From the Head of Secondary School, Dr Rachel Horton

Last weekend, I refereed the BGS Under 14 Rugby team against Haileybury. Despite an often higher skill level, our young men were outscored by the opposition’s stronger runners. After the match, as I changed my boots at the sideline, a steady stream of Year 8 BGS boys came over to thank me for the game. This is not a stand-alone occurrence, but something I have experienced from the boys several times over the past few weeks, regardless of whether they have won or lost. I can assure you that although it does happen elsewhere, it is never a given that either team will thank the match officials after a game. The way we handle a loss says something about our own strength of character. Grace in defeat is not easy to master and I have an immense respect for the way these young men acted at the weekend, despite their own disappointment.

This week is Science Week at BGS and there has been a plethora of fantastically fun events around the School. As hard as it is for me to admit it, science is not a passion for everyone – but to quote a great scientist, Rosalind Franklin, “Science cannot and should not be separated from everyday life”. There is an element of science in everything around us. Arguably, it does not matter whether or not we all know exactly what things are or how the universe works, but scientific method is inextricably linked with critical thinking, a crucial life skill. Critical thinking involves constantly asking questions, examining information and evidence, and coming to our own conclusions. These actions form the basis of the scientific method, which then provides evidence on which to base conclusions.

As the year moves on, the boys are becoming progressively more focused on the core school business of academic studies. The Long Day Programme for Year 12 students is now well established, with upwards of 25 boys (and growing) making the most of this opportunity by staying well into the evening to study or benefit from tutoring provided by staff and past Scholars. The Year 7 and 8 Study Club, run by Christine McIntosh on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings and Tuesday afternoons, is also very well attended. This term has also seen the introduction of a Year 9, 10 and 11 Study Club, run by Bik Swann with the support of Secondary School teaching staff on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons after school. These are all optional sessions but if your boy needs some additional support with study outside of school hours, do encourage him to come along.


Get Ready to Believe!  

On a chilly day last weekend, the cast of ‘Shrek Jr.’ excitedly gathered for the first of many Sunday rehearsals. The cast came with great enthusiasm and worked very hard to learn Miss Mewett’s choreography for “I’m a Believer”. There were plenty of laughs and everyone got very sweaty. The end result was a very tight and energetic routine that should have audience members dancing in the aisles and leaving with smiles on their faces (we certainly did!)

Stay tuned for ticket sales information. With three shows only (in August), tickets are sure to sell out fast!

And don’t forget the combined BGS/FGS Senior Years production, Chicago the Musical, which is about to start! There are plenty of seats available at the door this evening – 7.30 p.m. start. Friday night is sold out but there are a few seats remaining for Saturday night.

Michael Kent
Head of Drama Curriculum and School Productions (7–12)


Year 7 African Drumming Incursion

As part of their Music studies, all Year 7 students participated in an African Drumming incursion at school on Monday 21 May. West African musicians Mohamed and Marty brought African music and culture to life as the boys learnt about, and played, the ‘original mobile phone’ of Africa, the djembe. The incursion was a fantastic opportunity for the boys to experience first-hand the joy of playing and performing music with others, as well as learning about the important role that music plays in other cultures. They participated in traditional ‘call and response’ activities, performed ostinatos (repeated short, melodic phrases) and incorporated body percussion, singing and dancing into their drumming performances. The boys enjoyed the experience immensely and it will no doubt enhance their own music making as they continue to create and compose using African drums back in the classroom.



Maintaining Our Greatest Assets!

As the new BGS sports complex edges towards completion, the community is no doubt setting its sights on future Tonners’ sporting achievements. However, let us not forget to glance back with appreciation at the sports and conditioning facility that has served the School for many years. It has been home to rowers, rugby players, swimmers, basketball teams and football teams, amongst others. However, one team of sports legends should not go unnoticed.

For six years, twice a week, every week, a small group of dedicated teachers has resolutely pursued their fitness goals in a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the energy and stamina of the boys. The initiative began early in the School’s commitment to staff Wellbeing. It is open to all – but over the years, a modest group of committed, motivated and, on occasion, weary teachers have maintained regular attendance.

We have lost count of the kilometres cycled and rowed, the number of push-ups, pull-ups and crunches achieved, and the punches delivered. However, the sense of collegiality and support has never wavered – and our individual strength and conditioning has, at the very least, been maintained.

While we are privileged to be able to provide outstanding facilities to the boys and the community, the School’s greatest asset is its teachers. We are currently being coached by Tom Laumets (OB 2014), who is now teaching his teachers. This group has certainly made the most of the opportunity to invest in our Wellbeing – and we will continue to do so, in smarter surrounds, when the doors open to the new sports complex.

So, a Tonners’ shout out must go to Cindy van Dijk, Alison Main, David Eggleston, David Turner, Sam Kuring, Christian Machar, Jacqui Stenniken and Claire Clarke – a team of sports legends who are always pursuing better things in their health and fitness.

Thanks from Women for Africa

The mini-fete held at the end of each year in the Junior School to raise money for the Baraka school in Kenya, and further supported by the Kulesza family, has raised over $100,000 over the past 14 years for Women for Africa, an organisation helping poor families in Kibera, Kenya.

Boys in Years 7–8 have been long-time sponsors of Kenyan boys Timothy and John, enabling them to receive an education.

On Monday and Tuesday, Junior and Years 7–8 boys heard from two speakers: Ben Mbasa, who works for Women with Africa in the Kibera slum and oversees 120 secondary-aged boys and girls; and Marguerite Ryan AM, the founder of Women for Africa. Ben and Mbasa thanked the boys for their valuable contribution. We pass their thanks on to you, as members of our community. The students overseen by Ben are among the poorest in the world and are able to attend school only because they are sponsored by people in Australia.

The boys and staff were visibly moved by the session, with many personally returning the thanks to Ben and Marguerite for coming to speak to them.  


Student Achievement

Two music students excel!

Congratulations to Isaac Lee (Year 8), who achieved 1st place in the 35 Years & Under Concerto – Major Works Solo category at the recent Annual Bendigo Eisteddfod Instrumental Competition. This is an amazing achievement, with Isaac competing against much older competitors. Part of the prize includes an opportunity to work with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra. 


Congratulations to Zac Shieh (Year 7), who achieved 1st place in the 12 Years and Under Stella Nemet Award for Strings from the Musical Society of Victoria. Zac was invited to perform at the winner’s concert at Stonnington Community Uniting Church. 



House Chess

Over the past two weeks, keen Chess players have made their move and competed in the House Chess Competition. Divided into Intermediate and Senior divisions, the Houses played each other over the course of five days to determine this year’s winners. Combining both weeks’ results, Rofe has been declared the House Chess champions for 2018, with Crowther coming second and Armstrong third.

Thank you to all boys who participated. I look forward to another fine year of House Chess next year!

Kylie Rose
Head of Armstrong


French Toast Friday

Last week, the Year 7 and 8 Student Wellbeing Committee organised French Toast Friday –  a staff and student fundraiser breakfast for Beyond Blue. The French toast was a huge hit and the perfect way for everyone to come together after a busy week. A big thank you to the staff and students who got involved and helped make the breakfast a huge success.

Career News

Items in the Career News include: 

  • UPDATED: ‘My Melbourne Future’ Series
  • La Trobe University Aspire Program 2018
  • Engineers Australia
  • Career as a Civil Engineer
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering Degrees in Victoria   
  • Snapshot of William Angliss Institute (WAI) 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.

Pita Pizzas


– Wholemeal mini pita bread rounds
– Tomato paste
– Toppings of your choice (capsicum, mushrooms, zucchini, olives etc.)
– Grated cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC fan-forced and line an oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Place pita bread rounds on the baking tray and cover each round with tomato paste.
  3. Place your toppings on the bases and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Place the tray in the oven and cook pizzas for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and bases have browned.
  5. Pizzas can be enjoyed hot or cold.