A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Selwyn Noall: ANZAC and Old Brighton Grammarian

Each year as part of our ANZAC Day Chapel Service, I read out the names of the 118 Old Brighton Grammarians who paid the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives serving in our defence forces. It is a humbling experience.

One name of the 118 has special reverence: that of Selwyn Noall. According to the Grammarian of 1917, Selwyn was “one of a band of brothers whose names will always live in the annals of Brighton Grammar School … brainy fellows all of them, and excellent sports, especially in the cricket field.”

Selwyn Richard Noall was born in December 1894 and grew up in Sussex Street, Brighton. He attended BGS (along with his three brothers) from 1903 until the end of 1909. A bank clerk upon leaving BGS, Selwyn played sub-district cricket for Brighton and maintained an interest in the activities of the St Andrew’s Parish. He enlisted with the AIF on November 1914 and served initially at the First Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt. In late 1916, he was transferred to the 21st Battalion AIF, where he was given his corporal stripes and sent into action on the Western Front of France.

Corporal Selwyn Noall was killed in action during a dawn raid on 20 March 1917, near Ecoust-St Mein, France. He was 23 years old.

Selwyn Noall’s name is inscribed at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France and his memory lives on at BGS as his family provided for the establishment of the Selywn Noall Memorial Rhodes Prize, awarded as our premier prize to a valedictorian Year 12 student at the end of each year.

Have a great week and please remember them.


From the Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton

This week, the BGS Secondary School students and staff attended the ANZAC commemoration in St Andrew’s Chapel, to remember and express our respect for those whose acts of self-sacrifice and courage were performed on our behalf.

This year marks 70 years since the BGS Cadet Corps Guard of Honour was chosen from all Melbourne school cadet units to be the Guard of Honour for His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, Sir Winston Dugan, at the Shrine of Remembrance for the official ANZAC Day Service. This was the first time a school had been invited to participate in this role at the Shrine. After many hours of practice, the BGS Guard of Honour marched the length of St Kilda Road and proudly took up its position.

To quote a letter sent by Lieutenant-General Cyril Clowes to the Headmaster:

“… no praise is too high for the admirable manner in which the guard came through such a severe test.”

We were honoured to have five members of the 1958 Guard of Honour present at this week’s service. Geoffrey Bowell (OB 1948), Peter Dale (OB 1951), Andy McGuigan (OB 1948), Lynton McLeod (OB 1948) and Graham Symon (OB 1949) were each presented with a signed certificate from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston, to acknowledge and commemorate their achievement from 70 years ago.

Dr Rachel Horton
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Secondary School



The Benefits of Commitment

Daniel Abbott achieved his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award last year (when he was in Year 11), along with 66 other young Victorians. On 6 April, he was presented with his Award by Prince Edward at Government House by Prince Edward. Daniel embarked on the Award when he was in Year 9, working on the Bronze Award for 3 months, the Silver for 6 months and the Gold for 12 months. The Award has four sections: Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey. For each section, Daniel undertook one or more activities, including community work with the Scouts, participation in the Frankston Camp, weekly tennis training, and organising a hike in the Alpine National Park. For the Gold Award, he also had to undertake a Residential Project, for which he spent five days training with Team Buller Riders in freestyle skiing.

We asked Daniel a few questions…

eNews: How do you think you’ve benefitted from your Duke of Ed experiences?

DA: I have seen the benefits of commitment and achieving a goal, experienced leadership from others and having to be one myself, and become more responsible.

eNews: Is there someone you met while doing the Award who has particularly influenced you?

DA: The Scout leaders are amazing people who volunteer their time to provide experiences for young people. My tennis coach has taught me many life lessons (as well as tennis!)

eNews: Which part of the Award did you find the most difficult?

DA: Adventurous Journey – I had to plan the route, map it out, record it with the rangers, prepare the meal plan, make sure all the participants knew what equipment was required etc. I also had to persuade others to give up their January holidays for a few days!

eNews: And which part did you enjoy the most?

DA: Tennis – I just love playing sport.

eNews: Would you recommend that other BGS students participate in the Award?

DA: Absolutely. It is a great experience and challenges you. Doesn’t look bad on a resumé, either.

Congratulations on this sustained effort and achievement, Daniel!

At BGS, Natalka Kostraby is the Teacher in Charge of Duke of Ed. If you are interested, contact her at nkostraby@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au.


‘Putting Youth in the Picture’ – please join us

Adair Donaldson knows about law and he cares about youth. He is the founder of Donaldson Law 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.

Adair has consulted widely on legal issues affecting young people, and appeared before Federal and State Parliamentary Committees to provide evidence in regard to addressing youth violence and alcohol-related issues.

He has presented workshops to thousands of students, parents and athletes over the past 9 years. He will be speaking to boys in Years 10, 11 and 12 during the school day on 10 May. All parents are invited to hear Adair speak in the evening. This will be a valuable and informative session – please book (free) below.

Date: Thursday 10 May, 5.30–6.30pm

Venue: Robert Sanderson Centenary Hall

Bookhttps://www.trybooking.com/VLVB (free but numbers required)


BGS Bods

As you know, we have amazing teachers at BGS. In ‘BGS Bods’, we’ll share some of their motivations and aims with you. If there is any teacher in particular from whom you’d like to hear, please let us know at hello@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au. This week, we hear from ELC3 Teacher, Megan Gibbs.

  1. Why do you teach? Because I grew up feeling misunderstood by teachers and felt that the education system only catered to one learning style (I was a hands-on learner). I wanted to change this and what better way than to start young.
  2. Why do you teach at BGS? I love working with boys as they are hands-on, visual learners and challenge me every day (in a good way). I also love the environment and the people I work with are very passionate.
  3. What do you want a student to get from having known you? I would love for them to walk away feeling positive about learning, comfortable in their skin both socially and emotionally, and to have had fun in the process.
  4. What is the most important life lesson you want a student to take away from your class/subject? That learning is not just a stage in life. Everybody is learning no matter how old you are and that learning can be fun.  I also want them to know that relationships are important. I would love them to be able to think more creatively and outside the box, and not always go along with what is known as the ‘norm’. I want them to be confident to challenge the ‘norm’, problem-solve and reach different conclusions. Basically, that there is not always a right and wrong way to do things and sometimes you need to make mistakes to learn.
  5. How do you ensure that each student will learn how to learn? I get to know them individually, take the time to get to know their families, understand what makes them tick and how I can extend the skills they already have. But I also teach them to be able to understand that they are learning through giving them the ‘language of learning’.
  6. Anything else you’d like to say? Three-year-olds may be young but they are sponges and they love to learn! It’s amazing seeing the magic of discovery at such a young age and being able to help them navigate the world.


Year 8 – iDesign, Mindfulness, Effective Learning and Leadership

The Year 8 boys had had a busy start to the year. iDesign is currently an obvious focus. The boys have begun the planning phase, and many have started work on their individual projects. Early indications are that there are plenty of creative, innovative and socially conscious ideas being explored. We look forward to viewing the results of this process at the beginning of Term 4.

Mindfulness has a significant presence in Year 8. Several Tutor groups have extended their practice with a four-week program run by Kaye Rogers in the Wellbeing Centre. All of the Tutor groups will complete this course during the year.

Academic progress continues to be a central theme at this level and we thank Ross Featherston and Dr Ray Swann for a motivating presentation last week on the Effective Learner model. The boys are very clear on the expectations in the classroom and we continually encourage them to take onboard helpful study habits and dispositions, and always to deliver their very best efforts.

There is increased opportunity for leadership in Year 8. The current leaders have done a particularly good job presenting assemblies this year, with a dramatisation of the behaviour management system particularly memorable! The House Captains also did a fabulous job getting their teams organised for House Athletics, and managed the event on the day with great enthusiasm. It was pleasing to observe all of the Year 8 boys encouraging their Year 7 House members in their first BGS Athletics carnival. The support given to the fundraising endeavours was appreciated, too.

It will be an exciting year ahead for the Year 8 boys. We look forward to them continuing to be actively involved in the wide range of opportunities on offer.

Peter Furey & Nicole Clark
Heads of House (Year 8)


Year 7 – Museum for a Day

In Term 1 in Year 7 History, students participated in many hands-on and authentic learning experiences.

In the Ancient Civilisations unit, the boys were introduced to the mysteries of Ancient Australia and Lake Mungo, as part of their Mungo Man and Mungo Lady Assignment. They also learnt about Indigenous history, and worked in groups to teach each other about daily life in Ancient Aboriginal Australia.

A highlight of the term was the Melbourne Museum exhibit, in which the learning commons of the Urwin Centre became a museum for the day. Students conducted historical analysis and observations of artefacts of Indigenous history, including clap sticks, boomerangs and diprotodon fossils. They also learnt about the Indigenous origins of Australian Rules football and the Marngrook.

In Term 2, the students will turn their attention to three other major ancient civilisations (Greek, Chinese and Egyptian), before undertaking an in-depth study of Ancient Rome.


For more on Teaching & Learning at BGS, visit Crowther Thinking.

The Making of Shrek

Last Friday saw the first of our ‘Shrek Jr.’ prop-making workshops. With the Firbank Year 9 girls enjoying the first three weeks of term in Vietnam, the rest of the cast were put to work. The workshop was a fantastic bonding experience and the students seemed to thoroughly enjoy learning some new skills while creating props for the show. The looks on their faces say it all. We are all excited to begin rehearsals!

Michael Kent
Head of Drama Curriculum and School Productions

House Athletics (7-12)

Last Wednesday the House Athletics for the Secondary School was held on the Crowther Oval. It was a fantastic community day with boys competing for their houses as well as fundraising at their stalls. This year’s designated charity was the Martyrs School in PNG. Over $6000 was raised on the day which is a wonderful achievement.

The cup for House Athletics this year went to Hancock House with 1972 points, followed by Dixon 1928, Rofe 1874, equal fourth Armstrong & Crowther 1862 and School 1816.


Long Day Program Popular

Throughout Term 1, the Long Day Program proved popular with Year 12 students. Each session averaged around 30 students for various lengths of time, with most students attending for at least 2 hours. Since the Term 1 break, numbers have been down a little as boys get back into routine. We expect to see these numbers increase as SACs for Term 2 begin.

The Long Day Program provides Year 12 students with additional after-school study sessions in the Hancock Wing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night between 5 and 8pm. Students are more than welcome to attend from 3.35pm onwards.

At each of these sessions, a member of staff (5–8pm) and a past scholar (6–8 pm) are available to assist boys with study, answer questions and provide another option for boys to syndicate together after sports training or to simply come in for a few hours to complete work. There is no compulsion to stay for the whole session, with the only stipulation being that boys must sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave. Click here for the roster.

David Liddle
Deputy Head of Secondary School (Years 11 & 12)


Let’s Join ‘As One’ for Connor’s Run

Registrations for Connor’s Run are open. Everyone is encouraged to join the team ‘Brighton Grammar’, either on the run or as support. The theme developed by our Secondary School student leaders this year is ‘As One’ as this is a perfect opportunity for our community to come together.

For more information about the event, and to register, click here. (But be quick – 500 places are already gone.) To join the BGS team – led by inimitable captain Ross Featherston – simply click ‘Join a Team’ and select ‘Brighton Grammar’. This way, we will be able to see how we do as a community of fundraisers. Boys will also be able to track their individual fundraising efforts and will be eligible for fundraising incentives.

All Year 9 boys will be participating in Connor’s Run this year as part of the Year 9/10 B2M program. We will be setting up training programs and fundraising ideas in the next few weeks. Please support the boys – many of them will be stepping outside their comfort zone for this vital cause.


Career News

Items in the Career News include: 

  • Dates to diarise in Term 2
  • VCE and Careers Expo 2018 (All Year 11 students attend this on May 3 – Synportal for permission)
  • JMC Academy Open Day 2018
  • National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)
  • Collarts 
  • Associate Degree in Engineering Technology at RMIT University
  • Youth Central website
  • Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)
  • Schoolies Unearthed
  • Snapshot of Deakin – Waurn Ponds Campus in 2018
  • Biomedicine/Biomedical Degrees in Victoria

If you would like any further information on any of these items, click here or see 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.

Chickpea Chips

– 400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

– 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

– 1 teaspoons ground cumin

– 1 tablespoon oil

– 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C fan-forced and line an oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Add chickpeas to a large bowl and pat with paper towel to remove any remaining moisture.
  3. Mix in paprika, cumin, oil and salt until well combined.
  4. Pour chickpeas onto the baking tray and roast in the oven for 50 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
  5. Allow chickpeas to cool completely before eating. Leftover chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container.


Secondary School Dates for the Diary

1 May
Wind, Brass and Percussion Concert

8 May
Year 7 Mother & Son Breakfast – book now

10 May
‘Putting Youth in the Picture’ parent seminar with Adair Donalson – book now (free)
Orchestral, Guitar and Choral Concert

24, 25, 26 May
Chicago (Senior Years production) – book now

16 September
Connor’s Run – register now