Week 9 Term 1
Friday 26 March 2021
In this issue:
- Inclusivity Week in the Middle School
- Classroom changes during STEAM construction
- P&F Auxiliary seeks volunteers
- Sportsman's Lunch with Greg Martin and Andrew Mehrtens — tickets available
- Save the dates for upcoming BGS community events
In January last year, I was fortunate to be travelling with my family, immersed in Japanese culture. It was our first time in Japan, and each day was filled with exciting new discoveries. The contrast we experienced returning from the snow to the South East Queensland sun was a jolt to the senses, but nothing compared to what lay ahead that year.
A few weeks later, we began the 2020 school year by presenting our teams ahead of their fixtures, and on we went. Had we known what was ahead of us, we would have thought it impossible to comprehend, let alone endure. The list of what we encountered, witnessed, and experienced is striking, even now.
BGS and most other schools, universities, and workplaces sent everyone but essential workers home. We were not sure how long this would last, and all we could do was assure people that every decision would be based on the best advice at the time, and we would develop a plan for teaching and learning to continue through home-based learning.
Training and rehearsals were cancelled or transitioned online. As the planes stopped flying overhead and the city traffic and toilet paper disappeared, we entered a strange and sad new paradigm.
With our personal spaces now carefully measured in square metres, the absence of face-to-face community presented new challenges. Some neighbours, friends and family became inaccessible. Businesses closed, jobs were lost, and we could not visit loved ones when they fell ill. Fixed state borders went up around Australia, manned by police; another shocking addition to this global event.
At home, our devices become our window to the world. We all learned new skills, turning backgrounds and filters on and off. During this time, hundreds more COVID-related definitions and terms were added to our lexicon while we connected throughout ‘iso’.
In Queensland, our experience was relatively different to those interstate and overseas. Globally, on a deeply personal and human level, we continue to feel the loss of too many to this pandemic. This will continue to shape us and our outlook for years to come.
Why is it important to look over the shoulder, to look back at this period?
Because as a learning community based on values, there are lessons from this time spent in the dark which help us appreciate the light.
My challenge to boys at assembly this week was to reflect on these events; to look at the many events and outcomes that were thrust upon us by the pandemic which we once thought impossible, but through determination and heroic efforts, we forged a ‘new normal’.
We made the impossible, possible.
I asked students to remember our heroes during this time. Those people who stood up and stood out in a bleak landscape. When we were all wondering ‘what next?’, they were a beacon of light finding a way forward. My final challenge to our students was to remember that they are now, or will be, that beacon of light for someone else.
As leaders, they have a role at BGS and in their lives beyond school to carry themselves in such a way that our future is brighter because of them and their positive outlook.
Leaders help others believe in themselves. They help us reframe what may very well be possible.
- Acting Head of Senior School | Nick Holland
- Captain's Corner | School Vice Captain Harry Anstey-Walsh
- STEAM Construction | Term 2 classroom changes
- Academic Updates | Year 12 Studies and Tertiary Information Evening and Medicine Entry
- Outdoor Education
As we near the end of Term 1, I encourage you to look ahead to ensure that boys make a positive return from the Easter break.
Boys will wear the winter uniform (including blazer) from Tuesday 4 May, the day after the Labour Day long weekend. If you have not yet organised your son’s blazer, please contact the Grammar Shop as soon as possible.
You will receive ongoing communication from the School regarding construction of the STEAM Precinct, so I will not provide expansive detail here. Some Senior School boys will be asked to empty their lockers next week so lockers can be relocated over the break. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
When boys return after the break, it is important that they are presentable and meet our standards. Please ensure your son has a suitable haircut. Our expectations can be found on MyGrammar here.
A reminder that boys are required to leave their phones in their lockers throughout the school day. They can check their phone at their locker during break times. Should you wish to contact your son directly during the day, please use his BGS email address.
Next week we celebrate Harmony Week, a time dedicated to acknowledging and appreciating diversity and embracing our differences. At this school, accepting others for their differences is woven into our culture. Respect and community, two of our core BGS values, underpin everything we do here. However, it is not enough for these principles to be present in our minds. They must also be present in our interactions with others.
Every one of us here is moving through their unique BGS journey. We have come from different places, and we are heading to different places. But one of the things that makes our time at this school so enriching is the opportunity we have to learn new things about others, their values and their beliefs.
Harmony Week is a time for us to look within ourselves and confront our own unconscious biases. Not only must we identify these things in ourselves, but we must also challenge inappropriate behaviours in others. Unfortunately, conscious and unconscious discrimination is still a reality faced by many in our society. Too often, casual racism, religious vilification and homophobia are brushed off as jokes, yet they can be so very harmful for a lifetime.
I encourage you to have conversations about the significance of acceptance (which is different from tolerance) and the language that we use with and towards others. I hope each and every one of you continues to embrace the uniqueness of others. These differences are what makes us the same and our time at this school so special.
School Vice Captain
Director of School Operations
Initial construction for the STEAM Precinct has started with major work to begin during the upcoming school holidays.
There will be changes for students and staff for the start of Term 2. Students will have timetabled room changes for some of their classes as certain buildings close. These room changes will either be to an existing classroom in the School or to one of the new demountable classrooms that will be used during the construction.
Students with lockers that currently exist in the construction zone will have their lockers relocated and will be notified of the new location.
New social spaces will be created from Term 2, as some existing social spaces will be affected by the construction site.
The changes will be explained to students at assembly on the first day back in Term 2. Students will then spend time with their Form Tutors to familiarise themselves with the changes.
Year 12 Studies and Tertiary Information Evening, Monday 29 March 2021 | The Lilley Centre Forum
The Year 12 Studies and Tertiary Information Evening for Year 12 parents only is on Monday 29 March 2021.
Due to a high level of interest, we will offer two sessions to meet COVID safety requirements. The first session will commence at 5.00pm and the second at 7.00pm. Both sessions will present identical information with the same speakers.
Please nominate your preferred session (either 5.00pm or 7.00pm) and number of attendees (one or two) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us to hear:
- Overview of the ATAR and scaling processes | Deputy Headmaster Teaching and Learning Steve Uscinski
- Information on assessment and reporting in Year 12 | Acting Director of Assessment and Reporting Kate Stevenson
- Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments in Year 12 | Director of Counselling and Academic Services Dale Nicholas
- Year 12 tertiary planning | Student Counsellor Dr Nathan Simmons
Sessions will be limited to 150 people, in line with the School’s COVID safety plan. The information sessions are for parents and guardians only as all Year 12 students will be provided with the essential information across Terms 2 and 3. The sessions will be recorded and made available to parents via MyGrammar if you are unable to attend in person.
Medicine Entry 2021
Year 12 students and parents are invited to join us for a morning information session on Medicine entry on Tuesday 20 April. The session will commence at 7.00am in The Lilley Centre Forum. Our guest speaker on the morning will be Associate Professor Deanne Skelly, Program Director Medical Science at Griffith University. Please RSVP for this event at email@example.com.
The University of Queensland is hosting a Medicine Entry Information night about studying Medicine at UQ. Hear from leading medical experts, UQ alumni and current students on the changing medical climate, how to apply for Medicine at UQ, and tips for success. This event will be held on Wednesday 21 April and is open to Year 12s and their parents/guardians. Places are limited. Register your interest here.
Director of Boarding
With one week of term left, we have stepped up our preparations for the boarders’ move to 89 Gregory Terrace.
Let me reassure parents that we know the move may be unsettling for our boarders, especially as work on the STEAM project will start at the same time.
We have kept boys informed with weekly briefings at our Boarding Assembly and have sought their input. Their feedback has been insightful and has helped us prepare.
If possible, boys should take all possessions home at the end of Term 1 for safekeeping. For those boarders who will not be collected by family or friends, we are able to store books or desk items, but they must be in a suitable box or crate.
While we are looking forward to the space and facilities at 89 Gregory Terrace, it is not specifically designed for boarding students. Students are asked to bring coat hangers from home, as well as a lockable chest or trunk for valuable items.
These recent renders of the new facility show how transformative this redevelopment will be for the residential community.
Director of Outdoor Education
8B were a strong class at Moogerah that took on the program's focus of community and teamwork to get through a challenging week. The class was exposed to the weather system that has drenched eastern Australia. The boys hiked to the campsite in the rain, set up camp and cooked in the rain, then thankfully had a drier day walking on Mt Alford on Thursday.
After being exposed to these challenging conditions for a few days, the class was thankful to return to the luxury of the centre with hot showers and dry beds! 8B are to be congratulated for the way they persisted and stayed positive during the week.
Ashton Bottomley showed great resilience and integrity during the expedition. He was willing to push through the challenges and put effort into supporting his peers. Fraser Salisbury was also commended for his attitude during the day while hiking on Mt Alford and the Teviot Range. Fraser was recognised for supporting and motivating other students and looking for opportunities to assist.
Elijah Breen was a mature and capable student. He demonstrated great outdoor skills and enthusiasm, and showed a willingness to lead during the expedition navigation and group initiative activities. Nicholas Howarth was an excellent community member, always willing to support others and engage in the challenges of the program. Nicholas was widely recognised by his peers for demonstrating the program objectives of community, teamwork, and effort during the week.
Brandon Roberts maintained a positive attitude when dealing with the challenging conditions on the expedition. Brandon was celebrated for his persistence and the effort he put into the program. Year 11 Outdoor Education Leaders Ben Balthes, Brian Wang and Lachlan Yu demonstrated excellent leadership of others. They were able to provide support to the class and use the appropriate leadership style for the situation.
Ms Sara Bell attended the program with the boys and was wet and muddy alongside them. It was a great opportunity to see the boys demonstrate their commitment, and support each other.
A short movie of the boys' experiences can be viewed via the 8B Video link.
Outdoor Education photos are available via the School’s photo management system, Pixevety. The platform helps the School safely manage and share our photos. This user guide provides instructions on how to access, navigate, search and download photos. The system uses single sign on and must be accessed via MyGrammar > Useful Links > Pixevety. Once activated, you will be prompted to enter a login email and password, but please do not attempt to login this way. Instead, go back to MyGrammar and click on Pixevety again. You can then view the photos by clicking on the Outdoor Education Year 7 folder in Pixevety.
- Head of Middle School | Rebecca Campbell
- Public Purpose | RSPCA Donation Drive
- Middle School Library
Middle School Inclusivity Week and Track and Field carnival
This week, our Year 8 Public Purpose Committee hosted Inclusivity Week in the Middle School. Following in the footsteps of the Senior School Student Representative Body (SRB), the boys communicated a series of messages through the Daily Bulletin and hosted lunchtime activities to promote inclusivity.
At today’s assembly, boys heard key messages from members of the SRB and watched a video created by the SRB and Public Purpose students. As President of the BGS Student Representative Body, Sam Bizzell wrote last week, "inclusivity is about getting along with others who may have different views, opinions or attitudes to you; and giving people you don’t expect to be part of your ‘crowd’ a chance." This is an important message for our youngest students as they learn to navigate new and often changing social dynamics.
Next Thursday, all Middle School boys will participate in the Track and Field carnival at The University of Queensland Athletics Centre, St Lucia. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, parents are unable to attend this year and are not able to collect their sons from the venue. Boys will arrive back at BGS for a 3.00pm dismissal. Further information can be found here. The Track and Field carnival is a highlight of the school year for our Middle School boys, and I look forward to seeing great sportsmanship and teamwork on display throughout the day.
The Years 5 to 7 Public Purpose committee is again running a donation drive to support RSPCA Queensland in their efforts to help the thousands of animals that enter their shelters each year.
We are asking for donations of clean towels and blankets, dog and cat food (tinned and packaged), as well as dog and cat toys.
Donations can be dropped into the collection bin outside the Middle School Reception between 8.00am and 8.15am every morning this term.
Help us to help the animals!
Justin Shears and Stella Gardner
Years 5 to 7 Public Purpose Coordinators
Last week, a group of keen Year 6 readers travelled to Somerset College for a day of literary fun. The annual Somerset Storyfest provides students with a smorgasbord of authors and illustrators to see and hear.
This year, the boys attended sessions with poet Steven Herrick and author/magician Nicholas J Johnson. They also participated in an ethical debate presented by the podcast Short and Curly and watched a very entertaining ‘Illustrator Battle’ with authors and illustrators Remy Lai, Bruce Whatley, Stephen Michael King and Andrew Daddo.
There was time for the boys to purchase books and have them signed. It was a great day, and the boys impressed with their excellent behaviour.
Ms Vicki Palmer and Mrs Sarah Lusink
Musketeers Welcome Function | 7.00pm Saturday 27 March at Figs on Sylvan, Toowong
We look forward to seeing all parents at the Welcome Function tomorrow.
Fencing Easter Holiday Camp
Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 April in the Indoor Sports Centre.
The sign on form and registration payment link is now available on MyGrammar here. Sign on closes Wednesday 31 March.
Brisbane School Teams Competition
QFA have confirmed the following competition fixtures dates:
- Round 1: Saturday 8 May
- Round 2: Saturday 15 May
- Round 3: Saturday 22 May
- Round 4: Saturday 29 May
- Round 5: Saturday 5 June
- Round 6/Finals: Saturday 12 June
Saturday 12 June is BGS Open Day. Fencers are required to honour their commitment to Fencing and fence their bouts at Yeronga as a priority on this day.
Last Saturday, BGS Volleyball used the bye round to host an incredible community event, adding new matches for current students and Old Boys to compete for the Kerridge Cup.
Strengthening the link between the past and the present, the 10A and 11A teams took on an Old Boys team of recent graduates. The 10A team quickly capitalised on the early start time and perhaps a sense of complacency from the Old Boys. In what can only be described as the upset of the year, the 10A team defeated the Old Boys 2 – 0!
Next, the 11A team had their opportunity against the same ego-bruised Old Boy team. With more than just a match result on the line, the Old Boys kicked into gear, defeating the 11A team 2 – 0.
The day’s showcase matches were next. With COVID ending the 2020 season early, the 2020 First VI were yet to have their shot against the Old Boys. For this match, the Old Boys brought in some heavy hitters: Seamus Dines ’15, Quinton Ullrich ’15 and Steven MacDonald ’15, not to mention John Cavaye ’14 and Jonathan Traves ’14. These BGS Volleyball legends were joined by veterans Michael Danielli ’04, Shane Wacker ’09 and Cory Landsborough ’11 and young guns Tom Thompson ’16, Jason Lin ’18, Will Wilson ’16 and Tom Morgan ’17. Although the odds were stacked against them, the 2020 First VI put in a mammoth effort before succumbing to arguably the strongest Old Boy VI team ever, going down 3 – 0.
The 2021 First VI were just as eager to test themselves against the Old Boy juggernaut, but unfortunately met a similar fate. They had a small window in the second set, but the Old Boys were quick to respond and ran out eventual winners 3-0. The Old Boy VI continue their unbeaten streak of four from four wins.
This new format will continue as we find more creative ways to ensure our connection between past, present and future remains strong. The day was full of entertaining (and highly competitive) volleyball, and it’s a good time to acknowledge the role our Old Boys play in supporting the program through mentoring, coaching and officiating services. I attribute our success as a community to the continued support from our Old Boys, and of course, our amazing parents and caregivers. I am so grateful and proud to be a part of it.
Volleyball Director and Head Coach
Last Friday, the first of our Shield meets was held at the Brisbane State High playing fields. These meets do not officially count towards the GPS Cross Country Championships, but they are a vital part of our preparation. We strongly encourage all boys to attend these meets and to see them as the most important training session of the week. Details of meets and all other events can be found on the Cross Country calendar on MyGrammar.
This Sunday is our third community run. The first two were at the Enoggera Reservoir, and a large number of boys ran with their parents and friends on the beautiful trails surrounding the reservoir. This Sunday’s run will be held at Mt Coot-tha. Sign up for this event has closed, but we encourage all boys to consider joining us on future runs in Term 2.
Training in the holidays is essential if boys are to run their best at the GPS Championships on Thursday 20 May. Our regular sessions will continue on campus during the Easter holidays, but boys who are going away should continue to run a minimum of four sessions each week. Details of holiday training are available on MyGrammar.
This year we have been undertaking regular training sessions with girls from next door. These sessions in Victoria Park are an excellent way for the boys and girls to challenge each other and to socialise in a healthy, supportive environment. The boys have been excellent ambassadors for the School at these sessions.
Sign-on / Registration
Boys wishing to be involved in any of these Cross Country events need to sign-on via the link on MyGrammar. Importantly, this registration provides parental permission for the boys to engage in training across various venues.
Brad Scholes and Nick Holland
Joint Cross Country Directors
- P&F Auxiliary | Connect - Care - Contribute
- Volunteer Roster
- Art Support Group | BGS Art Show
- Normanby Blues | Rugby Support Group
- Sportsman's Lunch | Friday 23 July
- Upcoming Events | Save the Dates
- 2021 Calendar
- BGS150 History Book
- Parent Cocktail Evening | Year 6
The P&F Auxiliary is a subcommittee of the P&F Association that facilitates fundraising and fosters parent fellowship and the sense of strong community at Brisbane Grammar School. All profits are returned to the School to enhance the experience for students and families.
The Tuckshop and Grammar Shop are currently operating cash-free, so please plan accordingly. Safety guidelines regarding social distancing and hand sanitising will continue in both locations.
Thank you to all our wonderful Tuckshop and Grammar Shop volunteers for a very successful start to 2021. Many new volunteers have joined the team so far this year and we only have a few spaces left to fill.
The Tuckshop has room for more volunteers during the school day on Monday and during the breakfast service on several weekdays. The Grammar Shop would love a couple of extra Thursday morning volunteers. It’s a great opportunity to make new connections and provide a vital and much appreciated service to the boys – we would love to hear from you. Click here for more information.
Open school days before school, during breaks and at lunchtime.
The Tuckshop provides a selection of hot food, fresh salads, wraps, rolls and drinks. Please recharge your Student ID cards here.
The Tuckshop has a new 'Breakfast of Champions' menu here.
Open school days from 7.30am to 11.00am.
Senior Winter Uniforms
From Tuesday 4 May, all Senior School students must wear winter uniforms (blazer, long-sleeved white shirt, trousers, black belt and optional navy jumper). These items are available for purchase from the Grammar Shop. Year 9 students are encouraged to purchase their blazer this term rather than waiting until the beginning of Term 2.
Unless you have a spare blazer, it is now too late to submit blazers for award embroidery as we can no longer guarantee they will be completed before the winter uniform season begins.
Pre-loved Uniforms and Textbooks
The BGS P&F Auxiliary has an exciting new initiative – the Grammar Shop is trialling the sale of preloved uniforms.
If you have any BGS uniform items that you no longer use, please consider donating them to the Grammar Shop. We will accept preloved items in very good to excellent condition. Complying items will be gratefully accepted at the Grammar Shop during opening hours. Bags of preloved items must not be left outside the door.
Families who are waiting for returned embroidery should check here (MyGrammar > P&F Auxiliary > Embroidered Item Pick Up List) to confirm whether their items are awaiting collection in the Grammar Shop.
Grammar Shop staff appreciate parents arranging payment for their sons prior to their arrival. Students can pay using credit or debit card, using funds on their account with the Grammar Shop or using their students ID cards (log into Student ID Account from MyGrammar to top up the balance).
Please call the Grammar Shop on 07 3834 5347 to discuss your needs.
Brooke Van Nispen
Art Show Updates
Whether you are a dedicated art lover or have never attended an art show, the Brisbane Grammar School 2021 Art Show, Embrace – The Art of Togetherness, has something for everyone. The show features a wide variety of artists with diverse and captivating artwork, and we hope you find the perfect artwork to complement your home, office or workspace.
This year’s show will exhibit over 200 items, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and jewellery from local, emerging and international artists.
Our curators are carefully selecting entries and will announce the artists and their artworks soon. In the lead up to the show, we will be upload sample artwork and pricing to our new Art Show website (soon to be launched) and regularly update social media.
If you haven’t already pencilled in the date, set aside Friday 11 June for our VIP Gala Night. Ticket details will be provided in Term 2.
2021 BGS Art Show – Sponsorship Opportunities
Each year the Art Support Group seeks sponsorship to offset the cost of producing an event of this scale. The success and future of this great event is possible with the support of our sponsorship partners.
For many years, the Art Show has continued to thrive with the help of, and to the benefit of, our great sponsorship partners. Click here to view the BGS Art Show Sponsorship Proposal.
If you are interested in sponsoring the Art Show or donating a prize, please contact Rebecca Webber on 0425 208 807 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy of the Art Show Sponsorship Proposal can be found here.
BGS Art Support Group
Welcome and updates
We trust that you are all enjoying the Term 1 Cocurricular program. It’s fair to say that none of us are taking it for granted after last year’s disruptions.
The Normanby Blues have started to work through the Rugby Director Phil Mooney, who is also coaching the 2021 First XV. We thank Paul Warwick for his past, and importantly his ongoing, contribution to the BGS Rugby program. We are very excited to see Phil Mooney and Cameron Lillicrap bring their wealth of experience to the 2021 season.
We are proud to announce the integration of wearable technology for rugby players. Thanks to the generous support of the BGS Rugby community, 15 Catalyst’s Vector X7 devices have already been supplied to the School. The opportunity to raise funds for additional units is still open, and we hope to allow more teams to benefit from the technology. Some of these benefits include:
- Player safety: data can be analysed to assess player fitness and improve return to play decisions.
- Inclusion and participation: data analytics is an emerging career choice, and this equipment provides more opportunities for students to participate in BGS Rugby, whether their interest is in data analytics, sports science or the traditional on-field contribution.
- Performance: player work rates and other performance metrics can be measured and analysed to improve selection decisions.
The Normanby Blues welcomes your suggestions as to how the committee can better serve Brisbane Grammar School Rugby. Please contact us at email@example.com.
Save the dates
Please save the following important dates in your calendar.
Annual BGS Rugby Launch event | Saturday 5 June, 6.30pm, venue TBC.
Inaugural BGS Rugby Family and Friends Queensland Reds Match (v Crusaders) | Saturday 22 May, 7.45pm at Suncorp Stadium. Tickets will be available at a discounted rate, and all family members are welcome. We ask each rugby player to bring along a schoolmate who is thinking about playing rugby at BGS. Our theme is Believe in Blue, so wear something light dark blue, even if you proudly display your Reds colours.
We hope to see you at both events.
Jonte Lowe (0411 476 472)
Normanby Blues President
BGS is excited to confirm the speakers for the 2021 Sportsman’s Lunch – former Wallaby and Old Boy Greg Martin '80 and All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens.
Join the pair at the Brisbane Hilton Hotel for an afternoon of stories, banter and World Cup analysis on Friday 23 July (12.00pm). There will also be some fantastic auction items and raffle prizes available on the day.
All funds raised will go towards a bursary to give a boy access to a BGS education. All community members are invited. Tables of 10 and individual tickets available here.
Click here for more information on upcoming events.
Open Day 2021
Saturday 12 June
BGS/BGGS Young Alumni Event (BGS Old Boys 2015 – 2020)
Saturday 19 June
Sportsman's Lunch | Friday 23 July
Friday 23 July — purchase tickets here.
BGS Old Boys Business Breakfasts
Wednesday 19 May
Thursday 9 September
Thursday 11 November
BGS Golf Day
Friday 20 August
BGSOBA Band Battle ’21
Saturday 21 August
Class of 1970 (50 year reunion) | Friday 8 October — purchase tickets here.
Class of 1980 (40 year reunion) — purchase tickets here.
Classes of 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, and 2011 | Saturday 9 October (invitations to be sent in early August)
Class of 1961 | Sunday 10 October (invitations to be sent in early August)
BGS Regional Events — Boarding and Community Tour
Bundaberg | Friday 30 April
Goondiwindi | Friday 30 April
Rockhampton | Wednesday 5 May
Toowoomba | Wednesday 9 June
Emerald | Thursday 24 June
Gold Coast | Thursday 12 August
Sunshine Coast | Thursday 19 August
Darwin |Tuesday 31 August
Cairns | Wednesday 1 September
Townsville | Thursday 2 September
Mackay | Friday 3 September
Click here to RSVP.
For information about the BGS events, please contact Alumni and Community Relations, Carla Hardy on 3834 5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Light Dark Blue: 150 Years of Learning and Leadership at Brisbane Grammar School is available for purchase. The beautiful 500-page hardcover book updates the BGS story with previously untold anecdotes, rare photographs and illustrations. With a limited print run, it is sure to become a sought after collector’s item. Standard edition and limited editions are available.
Click here to view all BGS150 merchandise – limited stocks remain.