A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Ready to go again!

Welcome to a new term. I trust all in the BGS community managed some sort of mid-year break. It is great to see the boys back with smiles on their faces, ready to go again.

Term 3 is always a busy one, full of exciting activities – and this year especially so. For the Year 12s, it is in effect their final term; indeed, a key factor in our academic success over the past two years has been the work rate of the Year 12 boys during Term 3. I hope to see the Hancock Wing full on our Extended Study Days and, once APS sport finishes, on Saturday mornings. These days provide an invaluable opportunity to study with peers in an encouraging environment and with teachers on hand.

For the rest of the School, there is much to look forward to: the Year 6 and Middle Years productions with FGS, music concerts at St Andrew’s, 2019 information nights, Outdoor Education experiences for the Years 8 and 10 boys, the end of Winter Sport and the beginning of Spring Sport, the new Annandale Pavilion coming online, the launch of the refreshed academic uniform, continuing to become Effective Learners and the Crowther Centre parent workshops – plus much, much more!

I wish you all the very best for the term ahead and look forward to seeing you soon, on the gate or around BGS. Have a great week.


The Future of Sport is Here at BGS!

We are extremely excited that Annandale, our new sports pavilion, is now complete. Over the next few days, staff and boys will start using this truly outstanding facility to enhance not only their physical development but also their general wellbeing.  

We have been astounded by the support the Annandale project has received from our generous community. Sincere thanks again to our major donors, who have secured naming opportunities in the facility, and to the 168 families whose names will appear on the Supporters’ Wall, to be erected in a prominent position.

It’s not too late to have your family’s name added to the Supporters’ Wall. If you are interested in making a $1000 tax-deductible gift to the Annandale project, please contact John Phillips, Director of Advancement, by email (jphillips@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au) or phone (8591 2280).

Brighton Grammar Annandale sports pavilion


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

Welcome to Semester 2. Indeed, I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to both our new and returning families and students, and to our new staff members in the Secondary School.

I hope that all boys managed to spend time over the mid-year break doing whatever allows them to relax and recharge. For some, that might have meant not doing much at all, but many of our boys spent at least a portion of the holidays in pursuit of their sporting passions, some of which are detailed below.

Twelve of our VCE boys travelled to New Caledonia to improve their French-speaking skills and immerse themselves in the culture while a further 26 boys from Years 9  to 12 went to England, France and Belgium for a cricket tour.

These were wonderful experiences for the young men involved and they all set a great example, acting as outstanding ambassadors for BGS overseas.

Term 3 is all about getting back into routine as quickly as possible, building on feedback received and coaching sessions at the end of last term, and showing sustained commitment and determination in order to achieve personal goals. This is a particularly critical time for the Year 12 students who, no doubt, can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but must maintain focus for a little while yet. For those students requiring extra help, there are a number of after-hours study options continuing this term, and our staff are always happy to help those students reaching out for guidance and advice.


‘Knowing Is Not Doing’ 

This was a key theme of Tuesday’s meeting between Leading Teams and a group of Year 11 and 12 students. Leading Teams, a company renowned for their work with sporting teams and big businesses, specialises in identifying and ‘fixing’ problems within team cultures.

The Tuesday before school returned, students were able to listen to one of the Leading Teams co-founders, Kraig Grime. A former member of the Royal Australian Air Force, Kraig spoke on the key difference between addressing a problem and fixing a problem. His acronym, K.I.N.D, highlights the challenge of actually trying to rectify problems within a culture.

Kraig challenged this year’s leadership group to not only identify aspects of school life that could be improved, but to develop ideas that would assist in making the Brighton Grammar student culture the best it can be. For everyone involved, the session was an incredible learning experience that will certainly influence the way we build our culture as a school.

Brad Marais
2018 School Captain


Be Your Best! 

During the final two days of Semester 1, the Year 7 and 8 boys participated in a ‘Be Your Best’ program.

A range of presentations and activities introduced the boys to theory and tools to help them in their quest to be their best selves. Topics included Growth Mindset, Mindfulness, Wellbeing and Feedback.

A group of Year 11s presented to the younger boys on the importance of feedback, and a group of Year 8 students became coaches for their peers. Practising with physical activities made it clear that feedback sped up improvement. It was terrific to hear the boys comment on their successes when learning to juggle or kicking an Aussie Rules footy (especially an overseas-born student who had never kicked one before).

The program was linked to the School’s Effective Learner model, in which the concepts of learning dispositions, architecture, processes and feedback are used to improve students’ learning.

Now that we’ve resumed after the mid-year break, it’s a wonderful time for the boys to put the lessons they learnt during this program into action. As I asked them at the end of the program, ‘Why wait to be great?’

Christian Machar
Head of Student Leadership (Years 7–12)


Firbank Grammar combined event 

The Urwin Centre was a hive of activity on Monday as we welcomed our Year 7 Firbank counterparts for the annual Term 3 Combined Activities morning. Options included choreographing a dance routine, Respectful Relationships conversations, a 4-on-4 basketball challenge and time in the Wellbeing Centre. We even turned back the clock with a Mr Squiggle competition in the Art Room! The morning was very much enjoyed by both schools and we now look forward to the inaugural Year 7 Big Breakfast on Friday 31 August.

Thanks must be extended to the wonderful staff at Firbank for their supervision, and in particular, Mr Laurent and Ms Jungbahadur for their organisation. Mr Davies and Ms Clark went above and beyond in their coordination of the morning and a range of BGS staff who oversaw rotational activities must be recognised for making the morning the success that it was.

Tim Marshall
Year 7 Head of House


Will Receives Pierre de Coubertin Award

The prestigious Pierre de Coubertin Awards recognise secondary school students who demonstrate values that are consistent with the Olympic Movement through participation in sporting activities. The awards are named after the founder of the Modern Olympic Games. 

Will Middlemiss was nominated by Brighton Grammar School and received his award on Friday 22 June at the MCG. Over the past 6 years, Will has been an outstanding contributor to many aspects of BGS sport. In particular, he has excelled in cross-country skiing, competing internationally and winning gold medals at the National Snowsports Championships. Will has also been an active member of our APS athletics team, is Vice Captain of Hockey and has participated in the BGS Rowing program. In all activities, Will has demonstrated the values of the Olympic Movement as well as those of our School. He is a great competitor and a worthy recipient of the award. Congratulations, Will!


Melbourne Street Culture 

At the end of Term 2, the Year 7 boys caught the train into Melbourne’s Chinatown. As they wandered through, they saw various aspects of street culture, heritage-listed buildings, Chinese architecture and traditional medicine from herbalists. Our focus was local Chinese culture and migrant identity.

Inside the Chinese Museum, the boys were greeted by amazing masks, rings and other souvenirs. Museum guides took the boys to the basement for a discussion about the place of Chinese migrants during the Gold Rush and Chinese medicine. Then it was time to meet the Chinese dragon – 92 metres in length and covered in 6160 scales, all handcrafted!

Brighton Grammar students in China Town store Melbourne

For the boys, the highlight of the trip was lunch at the Chinese Dragon Restaurant. This was a great opportunity for them to taste different types of Chinese cuisine and to engage with Chinese culture.

I am glad that my students were able to notice and discuss differences and similarities between cultures. I believe it is through this kind of intercultural experience that students eventually grasp their own culture. As teachers, we are responsible for assisting our students to increase their intercultural awareness and to become more interculturally sensitive.

Linda Chen
Mandarin Teacher (Years 5–8)
Head of Year 7 and 8 LOTE


It’s Games Time: Book Week Special

On Tuesday, we had a special round of ‘It’s Game Time’ to celebrate Book Week at BGS. Two Year 12 teams battled against two staff teams in rounds of charades, articulate and anagrams, guessing clues related to books, musicals, movies, authors and treasure-related key terms, as this year’s theme is ‘Find Your Treasure’.

We enjoyed enthusiastic and lively gestures and acting from Dr Swann, Mr Kessler, Anton Derevianko, Ms Atchison and Kosta Arvanitakis. Ms Carroll, Max Twycross, Ms Molloy and Nate Hunter all showcased their powers of description and word association. Each round was played against the buzzer but the teams handled the pressure well. Congratulations to our winners on the day – Ms Atchison, Ms Molloy and Mr Liddle.


The Great Debate – Book Week 2018

The much-anticipated Great Debate between teachers and students on the topic ‘That teachers should be replaced by computers’ took place in the Senior Library on Wednesday. A large crowd of spectators gathered to be entertained by arguments that were of a very high calibre. On the Affirmative side, Mr Sanders made us laugh by referring to his students’ preoccupation with his ‘nice suits’, Mr Jansen reminded us how much chemistry we can learn from a TV series such as ‘Breaking Bad’ and Ms Rose knocked us out by quoting the enormous amount of money teachers earn!

On the Negative team, Ethan O’Brien, Liam McInerney and Callum Drake expressed their disappointment in the opposition’s lack of knowledge about debating procedures, and argued emphatically that teachers’ dedication, hard work, commitment, engagement and personal investment in their students’ learning could never be replaced by a machine! It was heart-warming to hear of their appreciation, and gratifying that they took out a victory (even if narrow). Many thanks to all our participants, including adjudicators Kevin Wang and Ms Fletcher.

Paula Fletcher and Lisa Tabone

Round 5 and Debating Roundup                 

Last night was the final round of regional debates in the DAV Interschool Debating Competition. We had a total of six victories, with convincing wins from our B and C Grade teams in particular. Congratulations to the boys who were awarded best speaker: Maxim Cristodoulou(Year 10), Andrew Wang (Year 10), Sky Wu (Year 10), Harry Barden (Year 11) and Josh Clyne (Year 11).

This year we had 86 students competing in 13 teams across Years 8–12 in the competition. During terms 1–3 and the 5 regional DAV debates, the BGS boys performed impressively, with outstanding individual performances in the A–D leagues. Some of the competing schools included Firbank, St Bede’s, St Leonard’s, Star of the Sea and Albert Park College.

We managed to achieve over 20 wins and to maintain fierce competition even in those debates that we lost. Perhaps most indicative of the dedication of our boys were our round 3 results, in which we topped eight wins for the night, despite our Year 11 and 12 competitors encountering the unique challenge of secret topics. Similarly, impressive results were delivered by our 1st C and D grade teams, who won their respective debates by 4 and 5 points in our first night of the season. 

This year we also had a Year 8 team debating at D grade level for the first time. The boys prepared thoroughly and debated enthusiastically and should be proud of their efforts. Congratulations to the following Year 8 boys for their efforts and achievements this year: Seb Watters, Jorge Houridis, J Sum, Zach Bowen and Eli Akinci.

Special mentions also go to those boys who achieved one or more best speaker awards this season:

Year 12: Noa Simon, Callum Drake, Felix Gong
Year 11: Connor McConville, Harry Barden, Tom Banfield, Josh Clyne
Year 10: Charlie Durkin, Liam Konidaris, Billy Pearson, Jaikob Akinci, Maxim Christodoulou, Sky Wu, Andrew Wang
Year 9: Harry Harte, Max Kortge, Sam Flockart, Eric Stone

Thank you to all of the boys who have participated in debating this season. We look forward to your future involvement and success in debating and public speaking events.


BGS Best Vic Result Ever

 In the Australian Secondary Schools Team Sailing Championships held a couple of weeks ago in Blairgowrie, the BGS team placed 4th. No Victorian team has ever finished higher than 6th in the history of these Nationals and we are extremely proud of the boys.

The BGS team finished the 21-round qualification series in 8th place, just scraping into the finals after a difficult third day on which two team members were struck down with illness. Racing was delayed by strong winds on the final day but after waiting patiently, the BGS team was buoyed by the strong conditions and the fact that all team members were well again.

For those in places 5–8, the finals series was a sudden death elimination. The boys beat the 5th placed team, Christ Church Grammar of Perth, then backed up straight away to knock out the much-fancied Hutchins to get through to the final four.

In the semi-final, Westminster (Adelaide) proved too strong, putting the BGS team into the Petite Final. BGS was up against Friends School from Tasmania, who had dominated the qualification rounds.   

The final against Friends was a great battle and went down to the wire. Losing the first race, BGS fought back to even the score in the second and take the final series to a do-or-die third race. In the end, Friends ran away with the win, leaving the BGS boys in 4th.

Teams Racing is a very exciting sailing format, requiring teamwork, strategy and resilience. The BGS team comprised of boys from Years 7 to 12 who worked magnificently together to gain this outstanding result.

And in breaking news, the BGS Sailing Team has been invited to represent Australia at the 2018 Interdominion Schools Team Sailing Championships in New Zealand at the end of September! The team comprises Ethan O’Brien, Dev Nicholls, Mitch Dow, Oscar Cowling, Matt Goss, James Provis and Lachie Caldwell. Watch this space.


State and National Representative Hockey for BGS Boys

Over the Term 2 holidays, Brad Marais (Captain of Hockey and School Captain) and Craig Marais (BGS 1st XI Hockey) represented Victoria and Australia in Hockey at major national and international tournaments.

Brad played for Victoria in a ten-day U21 Championship in Sydney. The team played really well, losing in the Grand Final to Tasmania in a penalty shootout.

Craig represented School Sport Australia at U17 level in South Africa. They won all their practice games and managed to beat the South African U18 side 6–3 in the final Test match in Durban.

Craig has now been selected to represent School Sport Victoria in the U16 Championship to be held in Queensland in August, while both boys have subsequently been selected to represent Australia in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in October in Buenos Aires. The School is immensely proud of the achievements of Brad and Craig and we look forward to following their progress over the coming months as they represent Australia.


BGS Bods 

This week, our teacher in profile is Natalka Kostraby (Head of Accounting, Legal Studies and Commerce).

  1. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My puppy! I have a cheeky 12-month-old Pugalier (Pug x King Charles Cavalier) puppy named Gloria. She is completely driven by food and gives me the wakeup call every morning – or should I say breakfast call!

  1. Where did you go to school?

Our Lady of Mercy College in Heidelberg – the same school as my mother. After completing my VCE, I went to the University of Melbourne, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. My major was Economics and my minor was Japanese.

  1. Given a day to yourself, what would you do?

When I get a day to myself I like to spend it in the gym. For the past two years, I trained to compete in powerlifting at the Victorian state level. In my two most recent competitions, I placed 3rd and 2nd in my weight division. Recently, I have made the switch to Olympic Weightlifting. Eventually, I would like to participate in competitions, but at the moment, my technique and flexibility have a long way to go!

I also enjoy cooking classes. Over the mid-year break, I did a cooking class at the Sydney Fish Markets where I learnt how to cook two dishes: Singapore chili crab and black pepper crab. One word: delicious!

  1. What is on your wish list for your time at BGS?

While at BGS I hope to become the best version of me, professionally and personally. By striving for excellence as an educator, my students will get the best out of their academic schooling. By striving for supportive and professional relationships, my colleagues will also feel empowered to continually strive for excellence. I guess the saying is true: ‘Be the change you want to be in the world.’

  1. What’s the most recent app you downloaded and have you used it?

I’m not sure I should admit to this, but I tragically downloaded the 9Now app so that I can keep up-to-date with Love Island UK!


Winter Appeal

The Secondary School Winter Appeal is currently in full swing. Crowther and Rofe students and staff have led the way in managing the appeal and showing their peers that many hands make light work. Students from Years 7-12 have been collecting and donating clothing, blankets, bedding, toiletries and non-perishable food.

Both Houses have also come up with some interesting ways of raising additional funds to support their chosen services. Crowther is looking forward to a Students vs Staff Dodgeball match this Friday and Rofe have a football signed by Andy McGrath being raffled to the lucky winner – or you can guess how many lollies are in the jar and take home your own personal sugar rush! We have also had pizza and soft drink on sale this week to raise much-needed funds for our chosen services.

Crowther is focused on supporting Mum’s Supporting Families in Need. They collect clothing, bedding, sporting goods, toiletries, non-perishable food a range of other things that many go without. They are desperate for warm winter clothing that is in very good condition or new. If you would like to know more about this service, click here: https://www.msfin.org.au/

Rofe is supporting Victorian Dog Rescue. They are a small but vital service that provides animals with foster carers and medical assistance, and work tirelessly to ensure each animal finds a forever home. Being a small service, they do not receive the funding or awareness that other larger services often do. Blankets, bedding, pet food, worming tablets, collars or monetary donations would assist them. If you would like to know more about this service, click here: http://www.victoriandogrescue.org.au/

Donations can be left at Reception or given to Crowther or Rofe representatives.

We are also looking for parents that may be willing to assist with donation drops to these services in the coming weeks. If you are interested in assisting, please contact Simone Lewis: smills@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au.


Career News

The Career News is now available on the BGS Student Careers website – click here.

You can view the latest edition of the Career News at any time by going to the Student Careers website (http://studentcareers.brightongrammar.vic.edu.au/), clicking on ‘Important Info’ and choosing ‘BGS Career News’. If you have any queries, see Sophie Keele in the Careers Centre.


What parents need to know about mental health

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists, a broadcaster and a specialist in parenting, children, adolescents and the use of technology for mental health, and the author of 11 books. This Saturday, he’ll be at BGS.

Hear Michael speak on what parents need to know about depression, suicide, eating disorders, deliberate self-harm and other mental health problems in young people.

Saturday 28 July, Robert Sanderson Centenary Hall (registration from 2.45, seminar 3.30–5pm)

Free for BGS parents and staff (but please book here)


Breakfast with the Hunter Family

Along with his sons James (OB1999), Luke (OB2002) and Tim (OB2003), and daughters Natalie and Madeline, entrepreneur Jeff Hunter has developed Hunter Products into one of Australia’s leading importers of toys and sporting goods. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing!

Join us for the next BGS Business Breakfast to discover Jeff’s keys to success and to hear more about the Hunters’ fascinating journey combining family and business.

Thursday 16 August, 7–9am, The International, Brighton

Book now


Dalziel Club Friends of Football Cocktail Party

Saturday 11 August from 7pm

RIVA St Kilda

$45 includes drink on arrival, band, DJ and finger food.

Situated in the upstairs private dining rooms, this is a night not to be missed!

Book here: www.trybooking.com/VGJY


Dates for the Diary

Fri 27 July
– Book Week Guest Speaker (Years 9-10) 

Tue 31 July 

– Year 7 – 12 3CP Discussions 

Wed 1 Aug
– Year 7 – 12 3CP Discussions 

Tue 7 Aug
– Choral Soiree for all choirs, St Andrew’s Church, 4pm