A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

The term that was

It is often said that time flies when you’re having fun – and there’s no doubt this term has flown by. Much has been achieved across the whole School and it is most pleasing to see all of our boys striving to get the most out of themselves in the classroom, on the stage, in the outdoors, in the playground and on the sporting field.

The upcoming holiday break presents us all with an opportunity to slow down, draw breath and spend some time together. Here are two things I’d ask you to consider.

First, spend some time with your son/s reflecting on his academic progress, whether he is in ELC, Prep, Year 12 or somewhere in between. The focus of this reflection should largely be on the processes and effort that he is putting into his school work, and how he is developing into an Effective Learner. Results, outcomes and progress are obviously important; however, we must attend to the processes and effort that is required to become an Effective Learner, and that will in turn lead him to achieve those results, outcomes and progress.

Second, please do make the space to spend some quality time with your son/s – and daughter/s, of course! We know that our children would like us to spend more time with them. Holidays present an opportunity to do just that.

Finally, I thank you for your ongoing support and commitment. I wish all in the BGS community a great break and I look forward to seeing the boys back in fine fettle on Tuesday 17 April.


From the Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton

BGS in and on the water

Term 1 has finished on a high note for several reasons, including some outstanding sporting results from our touch footballers, sailors and rowers in particular. Tuesday morning also saw the inter-House Choral competition revived and added to our annual calendar. The quality of singing, commitment to performance and House-based camaraderie shown by the boys was exceptional.  This event will no doubt go from strength to strength in the coming years. Thanks to Jared Furtado, whose enthusiasm and dedication was key to getting the event off the ground and making it such a success. More details on all of these events follow in this edition of the eNews.

Regardless of the outcome of any competition, sporting or non-sporting, we should always encourage and value the behaviours associated with being a good sportsman above all else. This is something that we try to instil through co-curricular activities at BGS. First, it is important to play by the rules and value integrity, not to reach for the false victory – something that is very topical given recent events in the media. Second, it is natural, expected and perfectly acceptable to be proud of our victories and to own our achievements. We should always, however, remain mindful of the fine line between pride and arrogance. On the flip side, perhaps one of the hardest skills to master is to be gracious in defeat. It is undeniably hard to enjoy the competition and strive for excellence but to remain dignified when we fall short of our expectations. Last Saturday, I saw an excellent example of this from our supporters at Head of the River. They cheered loudly for our crews, not against others, applauded the victors of the main race of the day, and also applauded the undeniably disappointed BGS crew as they rowed back to the bank.

All that remains is for me to wish all members of the BGS community a peaceful and enjoyable Easter time. 



For the first time in over twenty years, on Tuesday 27 March, Secondary School Houses competed in a House Choral Competition in St Andrew’s Church. The aims of the Competition were to:

  • promote a culture of singing in the Secondary School
  • actively engage students in the House system through music
  • encourage and foster student leadership.

Each House choir, consisting of at least 30 boys, sang a set piece – ‘Fight the Good Fight’ – as well as a piece of choice. These ranged from songs by Bastille to INXS to The Beatles. The acts were adjudicated by stars of stage and screen, Lisa McCune and Rob Mills, who were very impressed with the vocal talents of our boys. Whilst there were amazing performances by all House choirs, Rofe House won the Rodney Ford House Choral Shield with their arrangement of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’. The House Spirit Award went to Cameron Berry, Dixon House Captain, and the Most Promising Conductor award went to Felix Gong, also from Dixon House. Prizes for these awards were kindly donated by BGS Friends of Music.

Jared Furtado
Acting Director of Music
Head of Choral


Wind in Their Sails

Congratulations to the 1sts Sailing Team, who have won the 2018 School Team Sailing State Championships!

Not only did our 1sts Sailors win the State Champs with a 100% winning streak (13 out of 13 races won), but they also brought home the John Middleton Regatta Series Cup and the trophy for 1st APS School. Well done, boys! Congratulations also to our Division 3 Sailing Team, who headed home with bronze medallions shining, and our Division 2 Team, who raced competitively over their two-day event. This was a fantastic State Champs for BGS all round! Thank you to our brilliant coaches, Sam MacKay and Old Boy Tom Trotman.

Hayley Bunting
Sailing Coordinator


Top Arts

On 23 March, our VCE Art students went to Federation Square to see the Top Arts 2018 exhibition. This exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria displays some of the best artworks created last year by VCE students. Our students were treated to a lecture on the exhibition prior to viewing the artworks. We were then lucky enough to have a private viewing of the students’ folios that are not on display to the public. The Year 11s gained an insight into the level of work required to get an A+ for their folios, and the Year 12s were able to see the variety of creative methods used by other students in order to realise their ideas. The exhibition runs until 15 July and entry is free. I highly recommend that you have a look!

Steve Emmett
Head of Art


Touch Football Does a Double

It was a very special night for Brighton Grammar’s Touch Football community, with the First and Second team winning the Victorian Schools Touch Football League Division 1 and 2 titles. This is the first time the School has won both divisions and it the first time in four years that they have won the Division 1 title. Interestingly, the two current coaches (Billy Gray (OB 2014) and Nicholas Pavlou (OB 2015) were members of the team who won the title in 2014.

The Second team played Melbourne High in their semi-final. In an up-and-down game, BGS eventually dominated. In the final against St Kevin’s, BGS played with speed and structure to win well. This group should be very pleased with the progression they have made this season. Many of these players will no doubt be regular First team players in 2019.

The First team played Xavier in the semi-final of the Division 1 competition. Xavier had beaten Brighton in the pool games and this was the perfect opportunity to exact revenge. The game was an enthralling affair with very little between the sides. With scores even at the end of time, the result had to be decided by drop-off (akin to a penalty shoot-out in soccer). BGS maintained their composure and Captain Harry Reynolds stepped up to score the winning try. In the final against Trinity, BGS played with confidence and determination, and ran out seven three winners. The final hooter was greeted with celebrations from the Brighton players and coaches. The long wait was over and the Premierships were secured for 2018!

Anthony Keane
Head of School House


Dramatic Events

Term 1 has raced by and the drama classes have had a whirlwind experience full of laughter and learning. The Year 7s and 8s have been taken on a crash course through drama basic skills and comedy, culminating in the hilarious Year 8 comedy performances over the past week. It seems Brighton Grammar is brimming with comedic talent.

The VCE classes have begun to create their ensemble performances, which they will rehearse next term and perform on Tuesday 29 May. The VCE classes have also attended a couple of fantastic excursions this term, including the Malthouse Theatre performance of Good Muslim Boy and the Top Class Drama performances from last year.

The 2018 Drama Captains have been announced, as follows:

  • Luke Burgess – Drama Captain
  • James Provis – Drama Vice Captain
  • Jack Wyss – Drama Vice Captain          

 You’ll be hearing from these boys throughout the year.

Everyone is looking forward to what Term 2 will bring!


Over 150 students across BGS and FGS have auditioned over the past couple of weeks for the 2018 Middle Years Production of Shrek Jr., with countless more offering their support backstage. The auditions represent a monumental effort and the students are to be commended on their confidence and enthusiasm throughout the process.

The cast for the show was published via The Hub on 28 March.

It was great to see so much talent across the two schools. The show is looking to be a standout event for the year and another fantastic opportunity to bring the two schools and their students closer together.

The show will run 8–10 August. Stay tuned for the TryBooking link, which will be released next term.

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


Tonners’ Spirit in Nagambie

Word quickly spread last week that the 1st VIII may win the Head of the River after a win at Scotch–Mercantile regatta the week before. The School community embraced this spirit, with parents, students and many Old Boys and past parents who (if it was to come true) wanted to see a BGS win first-hand. Thanks to all who attended and particularly the Chantology boys – they were loud and proud, passionate and enthusiastic as they carried the Tonners’ spirit.

The critical values of the Tonners’ Rowing program are teamwork, sportsmanship and work ethic – not winning. We rowed and stood on the bank united on Saturday going for the win (in all divisions) because of these values.

Whilst we may not have had the result we all hoped for in the 1st VIII, the Club achieved its best results in the 18 years that the regatta has been held at Nagambie, with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd VIII all in second place and all three of our Year 10 crews in A finals. We have never had so many Skelton and Cooper boats in the top six.

Congratulations to all boys who competed for the School, from the Wilson Club quads to the 1st VIII. Special thoughts also go to the boys who rowed in the red and blue for the last time. The Boat Club thanks them for their great contribution to the Tonners’ Rowing legacy.

Richard Bartlett
Director of Rowing


F1 Networking

On 23 March, a group of 24 Year 8 boys currently taking on the F1 in Schools challenge descended on Albert Park for the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix. F1 in schools is the world’s most competitive STEM competition, involving over 17,000 schools in 44 countries. Students design–make–race a miniature F1 car capable of 0–80 km/h in under 1 second. In addition, they write a business plan with marketing, collaboration, sponsorship and innovation components, and create branding and marketing material along with an online social media campaign. The purpose of the excursion was to seek sponsorship and collaboration opportunities along with design ideas and inspiration.

The boys were able to study wing designs up close and speak with university and industry experts such as RMIT and CAMS. They pitched to companies such as Mercedes and Porsche in cold-calling situations. They presented their business cards along with sponsorship portfolios with tiered support options for these major organisations to consider, along with details of team structure. Two teams were successful in securing sponsorship on the day, with several others gaining valuable contact details.

The number of BGS students involved this year is the highest ever, with our recent top 5 placing at the F1 in Schools National Finals providing a real boost for this program. It is fantastic to see our boys out in the real world networking confidently and respectfully with industry.

Jamie Watson and Chris Tze
F1 in Schools Coordinators


Filling the Shelves

Our first Ute Full of Food drive for 2018 was a great success. The Urwin Centre entrance was a hive of activity on Friday morning as the boys sorted the very generous donations from their peers. One boy exclaimed, ‘Imagine how happy St Mark’s are going to be when they see all of this food!’ Another spoke of the pride he felt in helping people in need. 

Those volunteers that were able to attend got to see first-hand what these donations mean to St Mark’s. They carefully filled the shelves and spoke with the staff, gaining a better understanding of why Brighton Grammar’s donations are so valued.

Thank you to Mr Weymouth for coordinating the volunteers and to Ms Beguin and Mr Harris for accompanying our students on the day. Our biggest thanks goes to the students, parents and staff that contributed to this drive. Please know that your donations make a huge difference. I encourage you to put aside some non-perishable goods in preparation for our Term 2 collection.

Dixon House have been working hard this week to raise funds and awareness for the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Good Friday Appeal. They have done an outstanding job of coordinating a range of fundraising opportunities for a cause that is close to their hearts.

You can donate to their My cause page by clicking here.


Good Friday Chapel

What’s in a name?  Chapel this week was for Good Friday or the Passion of Jesus.  How can Good Friday be separated from Easter?

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection – new life given us through the events that happened to Jesus of Nazareth.  Yet Easter, however the name came to be, cannot occur without the sadness and reality of Good Friday.  How can something concerned with the death be called ‘good’? We will celebrate Easter on the first day back in Term 2.

The Passion service, involving all students from Years 7 to 12, was an occasion to visit the events in the last week of Jesus’ life and the process by which he was given over to be executed. What a difference five days can make!  It is not an easy subject to present to such a broad cross-section of ages. In this day and age, it can also be a controversial subject.  Many struggle with the idea of God, and even more so the idea that God in Jesus died on a cross.

We were privileged to have Bishop Lindsay Urwin with us for the service. Bishop Lindsay is Vicar of Christ Church Brunswick and the Bishop responsible for Anglican Schools. In his address, he spoke of Jesus as someone who brought about the greatest change in the human condition in history. He asked the boys: “How did Jesus bring about change?” By riding a donkey – not a war horse, as one might expect.

The Senior Chapel Servers, together with some servers from Year 8, did a marvellous job with the readings and the dramatic elements. Significant leadership was in evidence. Thank you to all who played such an important part in making the service something to remember.

Fr Tony Poole
Senior Chaplain
Head Religious Education


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


Not going away these holidays?

Keeping the kids entertained during school holidays can be stressful and expensive.  Sibling rivalry comes to a head, there is often too much alone time and children can be resistant to spending time with grandparents or an available person. So, to help with this, these holidays we return with a number of our regular holiday programs, and some new ones.  Our new programs include an entrepreneur program for 9-14 year olds (Lemonade Stand for Entrepreneurs), and a coding camp where you can build an app for 7 to 13 year olds (Code Camp). For more information about our upcoming holiday program, view the flyer for links or see the Share website www.share.vic.edu.au

We are always happy to take new suggestions for programs too. If you have an idea for a program to run at our school, please contact Sonia Wagner, swagner@brightongramar.vic.edu.au


Career News

Items in the Career News include:

  • Dates to Diarise in Term 2
  • News from ACU
    • ACU at the ACN Nursing & Health Expo
    • Community Achiever Program (CAP)
  • News from Bond University
    • Update from the Bond Business School
    • Build your own Brochure
    • Scholarships at Bond for 2019
  • What can I do with an Arts Degree?
  • Arts Degrees on offer in Victoria 
  • Snapshot of RMIT University 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.

Sweet Potato Brownies


-1 medium sweet potato, grated finely
-1/2 cup cacao powder
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1/4 cup honey/rice malt syrup
-3 tbsp almond meal
-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Place all ingredients into a bowl and combine well.
  3. Spread mixture into a baking tin lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.


The Melbourne Welsh Male Choir

Returning by popular demand to St Andrew’s (flyer here)

Sunday 22 April 2018 at 2.30pm.

Click here for tickets.


Secondary School Dates for the Diary 

17 April
– Easter Chapel Service (7–12)
– Term 2 Commences

18 April        
House Athletics