A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

“Parenting means teaching children to get their own Weet-Bix”

I read the above quote in the Weekend Australian on Saturday as part of a story on John Marsden’s just released book The Art of Growing Up. For those who do not know of John Marsden, he is a best-selling author of young adult fiction, with perhaps his best-known work being Tomorrow, When the War Began. He is also a teacher and founding Principal of two schools in the Macedon Ranges.

I am yet to get a copy of The Art of Growing Up, but from reading the article on the weekend, Marsden’s main points on parenting centre on over protecting and over regulating children today. More specifically, amongst other insights, he advocates parents in saying no to their children at least once a day (!), parents encouraging children to become good conversationalists and parents allowing their children to experience fear. Marsden also encourages parents to allow their teenagers to get a paid part-time job and reinforces literacy as the key academic skill.

As an avid reader and being open to challenging thoughts, I will be sure to add The Art of Growing Up to my reading list and take on board the challenge of teaching my own children to get their own Weet-Bix (much to my wife’s joy).

Have a good week.


From the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Secondary School  – Dr Rachel Horton

Semester 2 started very significantly last week with a flag raising ceremony, welcome to country and smoking ceremony followed by chapel in celebration of NAIDOC week. In addition to recognising and celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, events like these also give our boys the opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions of the First Nations Australians.

This term is already well and truly in full swing with Year 12s starting to see the end is in sight, albeit after some considerable hard work. Our Year 9 and 10 students are making their decisions on what subjects to study in their senior years and our Year 10 students will also embark on their World Class Journeys in a few weeks’ time, followed by the Year 8 students who will travel to the Grampians.

We look forward to the Middle Years Production of Mary Poppins, the last few weekends of Winter sport and the launch of Athletics and Snowsports. There are also a variety of joint activities with Firbank coming up including a model United Nations for Year 8 and, for our parent community, a combined information session on Teenagers, alcohol and other drugs presented by Paul Dillon from Drug and Alcohol Research Training Australia (DARTA) (please see below for more information).

At this mid-point of the year I would also like to take the opportunity to remind parents that communication is key, particularly in such a busy school. Please do reach out to the relevant staff if you have questions or queries and please keep us updated with anything that may help us to support your boy(s). I look forward to seeing many of you next week over the course of the two evenings of PST discussions.


A letter to the Year 12s

By Meg Adem, Head of Hancock House

Being a Head of House is a real privilege. A highlight for me is working with the current Year 12s whom I have known for the past four years. Over this time, not only have I seen them succeed and celebrate their wins, but I have also witnessed their struggle through the peaks and troughs of school life. School is not easy. It’s work. It’s effort. On the flip side, school is a very special period, and its value is not really known until much later in life. Part of me is excited for the year 12s as their final year begins drawing to a close. Another part of me is just very sad. I will miss them all. I know I also speak for our house tutors, who care very much for our 12s (and all our boys). So to our year 12s, keep striving. Continue on as you are. You are all growing up to be fine young men.


MGS vs BGS Pride Game

Martin Kulesza (School Vice-Captain) joined Louis Butler & Josh le Grice (Co-Captains of Football) at Melbourne Grammar School’s Pride Week Assembly prior to the annual BGS vs MGS Pride Game on Saturday 3 August. Representatives from the MGS Gay-Straight Alliance Committee gave a brief history of the game before keynote speaker Rochelle Pattison provided a personal insight into her struggles and successes as a prominent Melbourne transgender businesswoman.

Captains from both teams proudly displayed the jumpers that will be worn on the day. The 4th annual BGS vs MGS Pride Game will be held at 2.00pm at Sheehan Oval, Flack Park on Saturday 3 August.

(L-R): Josh Le Grice, Jeremy Goddard (MGS Captain of Football), Louis Butler, Martin Kulesza


Student Leadership – Unlock the Dance 

Over the past few years, I’ve set myself a goal to receive a placement at an Ivy League school in the United States. Alongside my passion for rowing and the drive to push myself beyond my limits, academically and athletically, I see this as a true opportunity to not only ‘unlock my dance’ but grasp an opportunity that will provide me the keys to success in my future years. My dance moment(s) in this instance, are those whereby I take each step closer to achieving this goal, such as improved academic grades or improved boat speed on the water. With the back of my fellow tonners supporting me, I know that any dance moment I strive for, I can achieve.

Martin Kulesza
Vice-Captain of School


Year 12 update

Term 3 is traditionally the ‘premiership quarter’ when it comes to the success of the Year 12s’ journey through the year. With the recent holiday break behind us, the boys should be feeling refreshed and prepared for this important term ahead. By now the boys are well into learning Unit 4 content, they’re familiar with the constant flow of SACs, they are using the feedback from completed SACs to improve and refine, Saturday sport commitments are soon finishing up, and with that, the focus can really begin to shift toward the finish line: end of year examinations.

Saturday Syndicate sessions are soon beginning (Sat 10 August and running each Saturday until the end of the year) which is an opportunity for Year 12s to come in and work at school in their syndicate groups, collaborating and positively impacting the learning of each other. These sessions are held in the Hancock wing and for many of our top performers from previous years, these Saturdays spent studying with their peers have been credited as having a significantly positive impact on their final outcomes. As parents, please speak with your Year 12 son about how he plans to use these opportunities.

Amy Atchison
Head of VCE Programs


The Year to date, a Year 12 perspective

Year 12 student, Casper Tremlett, has described here how he is feeling at this point in the year and his plans for the next couple of weeks. This is an excellent example of where each Year 12 boy should be at right now:

The Term 2 holiday break allowed me to both recharge my batteries but more importantly to prepare for the upcoming school term. It was a good holiday because it allowed me to catch up on sleep, as well as spending more time with family and friends. Although I had time to enjoy myself I couldn’t turn a blind eye on school. Gradually completing my holiday homework and organising folders for each subject for semester 1 and 2. For my final full term at school, I am looking to be efficient with my time. This will be achieved by following a specific schedule in which there is a balance between sleep, study and sports. If successful, this will help me to be motivated throughout the whole term,  allowing the greatest chance of me being able to put in maximum effort and achieve the best grades possible come exam time.

Casper Tremlett


Parent Information Session

Teenagers, alcohol and other drugs: What’s happening, what’s out there and how much influence do parents really have?

We are delighted to offer a joint opportunity for BGS and Firbank parents to hear from Paul Dillon, Director and founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA). The Parent Information Session will be held on Tuesday 13 August at 7.00pm in the CCA, Firbank Senior School Campus. 

This session will explore in-depth what is potentially influencing your children and include parenting tips that prevent or delay early drinking and illicit drug use.

The session is free for BGS parents but bookings are essential


Youth in Philanthropy 

This week the Youth in Philanthropy team visited three environmentally focused charities. Having been tasked with the role of allocating $10,000 to our chosen charities, we soon discovered this was going to be a challenging process.

In making our decisions, our team must take into account the priorities that we committed to earlier in the year, being the need to make zero-emissions achievable by providing education and opportunities to the community.

Friends of the Earth is a not-for-profit organisation working for a socially equitable and environmentally sustainable future. We were shown around their volunteer run co-op that provides affordable low packaged foods, health, and cleaning products. Their focus is on making healthy living accessible. We were also treated to morning tea in their café, another feature of their amazing volunteer-run service.

Beyond Zero Emissions is based in the city, amongst many other community-based services. They impressed us with the impact they have had on creating change through their independent and innovative research solutions demonstrating that a zero-emissions Australia is both achievable and affordable.

Climateworks, another city-based provider, was established by the Myer Foundation and Monash University in 2009. Their presentation allowed us to understand their work in the field. As an expert, independent adviser, they are committed to helping the transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

Our team must now decide how to allocate these funds between the three services. This will not be easy but we look forward to sharing our decision.

Youth in Philanthropy Team


Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)

Each year, all schools in Australia participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). Criteria is used to identify students that receive reasonable educational adjustments or assistance because of a disability as determined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and the Disability Standards for Education 2005. The NCCD has been progressively implemented since 2015 and has recently been linked to funding for schools.

The NCCD provides state and federal governments with the information they need to plan more broadly for the support of students with disability. The School will provide data to the Australian Government in such a way that no individual student will be able to be identified – to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of all students.

Further information about the NCCD can be found on the NCCD Portal.

If you have any questions about the NCCD, please contact David Eggleston (Junior School) or Bik Swann (Secondary School)


Get Run Fit!  

Run faster, Run safer, Recover quicker! Supporting Connor’s Run 2019

The BGS Annandale gym is running a 7-week training program designed by our Strength and Conditioning Coaches to help you improve your running. 

What you get is a custom program, designed to smash your running goals, however modest or extraordinary!

The $440 program cost includes three face-to-face training sessions per week with our Strength and Conditioning coach, and face-to-face program sessions, working out to less than $20 per session. You’d pay much more for a personal trainer, let alone a S&C coach! 

Click below for more information and to sign up. 

Dates for the diary

  • 26 July Winter Sports Photos
  • 30-31 July Year 7-12 Parent Teacher Student Discussions
  • 13 August Parent Information Session; Teenagers, Alcohol and Other Drugs