Weekly eNews

School wide

A word from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston

Optimism thrives in the great outdoors

As you know, I am a strong believer in the power of the outdoors as an environment for learning. This was again reinforced when I spent Monday night at the campsite of the Year 8 Rofe boys.

Twenty young men and 4 staff bunkered down for a cold night near Lake Fyans at the foot of the Grampians. To see the boys working together to set up camp, cook meals with their mates and reflect on the day’s adventures around the campfire was a genuine pleasure.

In their campfire reflections, one word kept cropping up: optimism. These 14-year-old young men were determined to stay optimistic in the face of adversity and challenge: “I tried to stay optimistic when it started raining”; “I tried to stay optimistic when the bike trail became really muddy”; “I stayed optimistic when my legs started hurting”; “I stayed optimistic to keep the group going”.

I realised that the optimism and resilience the boys had cultivated on camp was as important as the physical outdoor education experience – and hearing about the boys’ experiences was also an important reminder for me about the power of a positive attitude.

A child safe school

Brighton Grammar School is committed to the safety of your son. Please click here to read a letter from me about the new Child Safe Standards introduced by the Victorian Government, and how these Child Safe Standards apply to BGS.


BGS School Stream app now live

Are you missing out on important information regarding your son’s education and activities?

Don’t forget to download our new communication tool, School Stream, if you haven’t already done so. BGS is now using School Stream to communicate with you about day-to-day operations. 

Click here to find out more about School Stream at BGS.


“If you can’t respect women, then get out”

2016 Australian of the Year on gender equality, diversity and inclusion


On Tuesday 23 August from 7.30pm to 8.45pm, Lieutenant General David Morrison, 2016 Australian of the Year, will discuss the important issues of gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Lt. Gen. Morrison soared to international prominence when his recorded speech ordering misbehaving troops to ‘get out’ if they couldn’t accept women as equals, went viral.

Don’t miss this hard-hitting, straight talking presentation. This presentation is free and open to all parents so please pass on to your friends and family. On this occasion, BGS Senior School boys are also invited to attend. 

As always, this presentation is free but places are sure to fill up fast, so click below for further information and to book your seats. 


Visit of mayor of Bayside James Long and Bayside Governance Manager, Terry Callant.

The Mayor particularly wanted to see the Men’s Shed in action which provides up to 20 retirees with such a practical and beneficial activity.  

On visiting the Wellbeing Centre, the Mayor was amazed at the physical space and ambiance of the Centre and was pleased to hear of the School’s plans to share the Centre with the Bayside Council to host mental health seminars for our Bayside community.



Calling the heroes of Connor’s Run

Connor's run image 2016 BGS eNews

The 4th Connor’s Run will be on Sunday 11 September. All running spots are now sold out but it’s not too late to get involved. Everything that Connor’s Run has accomplished (from funds raised and people helped) is very much due to our awesome volunteers and we would love you to be a part of the fun on the run.

This year we have a system that lets you allocate yourself the role that suits you best. You can even see who you will be hanging out with. If you’d like to volunteer this year, sign-up for your favourite spot.


Did you know?

A Headmaster’s lot is not always a happy one.

The third Headmaster of BGS was Herbert E Dixon from 1924 to 1938.  He took the reins at BGS when the BGS Association bought the School from the Crowther family in 1924.

Prior to becoming Headmaster, he had joined BGS in 1903 and in 1918 when Dr Crowther died suddenly, he was acting headmaster until Col Crowther returned from World War 1.

Dixon was appointed at a time when the economy was sliding into depression and unemployment was growing.  The School had embarked on a massive building program, which is the basis of the Senior School today. In addition, the Crowther Oval and Rosstrevor were both improved – the total cost of which was of the order of £37,000 ($74,000), or more than $12m in today’s terms.

Enrolments were dropping due to parents’ inability to pay fees as unemployment rose and in particular, boarding house enrolments had dropped to half the capacity (50) of the boarding house.

Mr Dixon was faced with the difficult decisions associated with reducing costs and in 1932, to keep the School solvent, he was required to reduce the annual salary bill by £746, which meant the dismissal (retrenchment in today’s terms) of several teachers.

One of the most popular and highly regarded teachers was Mr George Hird who also owned a farm and as such, in Mr Dixon’s eyes, had another source of employment to fall back on therefore, Mr Hird was dismissed and Mr Dixon was forced to ride out a hue and cry from the BGS community over his decision.

The stress of the depression years, coupled with a history of poor health resulted in him tendering his resignation to the School council in 1935.  The School Council convinced him to withdraw his resignation and he continued in his role until 1938.  He died in 1944 aged 69.

Mr Dixon is often regarded as having established BGS as a school with an excellent reputation for preparing young men for the commercial world.

Andrew Biggin
Alumni Relations Manager and Executive Officer
Old Brighton Grammarians’ Society


Social Media 101 at Firbank

All BGS families are welcome at Firbank’s Social Media 101 session at 7pm in the Centre for Creative Arts (the main hall) on Tuesday 9 August. Experts in adolescent psychology, cyber safety and online law will be among the panelists.