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The Anchor | Term 4 | Week 9 | 7 December 2017
From the Principal

Mark Sawle Anchor T3 2017

The last week of the school year saw three Award Ceremonies, at which prizes were presented and 2018 leaders were announced.

Keep an eye on MyGSG for access to a gallery of images.

Thank you to all families who attended. I look forward to seeing full attendance at next year's ceremonies from all years in each subschool.

At the ceremonies, we reflected upon and celebrated the 2017 school year. At the Senior School Awards Ceremony, I commented upon the busy lives we all lead. Whatever the question, ‘busy’ is the answer. How are you? ‘Busy.’ How is work? ‘Busy.’ How is the family?

‘Busy.’ We hear it again and again.

‘Busy’ is more than a buzzword. It’s shorthand for, ‘my schedule or timetable is a nightmare, my phone won’t stop ringing, and my email box is overflowing. I have a long list of obligations to my partner, parents, boss, kids, friends, family, pets, and houseplants. I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t afford to give you more than a one-word answer.’

What’s wrong with being busy? Plenty. We have become anxious and time-poor, thanks in part to all the high-tech devices at our fingertips that are meant to make life easier. The white noise of trivia and the thrill of consumption fills our head and guides our behaviour.

Are we happy about it? Probably not. We’re much too busy to be happy. We are working more and connected more and living less. Work time bleeds into our leisure time.

Walk into any airport these days and you’re surrounded by people at work: on the phone, at the keyboard, in their briefcase. Hotels are in cut-throat competition to see who can offer travellers the greatest number of work-related amenities, such as high-speed Internet access, office-style desks, and overnight courier services.

Sit down at a restaurant, ride a train, ride in a car, take a walk; half the folk around you are lost to a mobile phone or a laptop.

What’s missing? The things many of us long for: silence, stillness and solitude, which result in time for personal reflection. Lost from our daily routine is time alone to simply abide peacefully with ourselves. This is where we touch the fullness of our possibilities, waking up to the cause and effect of our lives. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert fasting and praying, self-reflecting. I am not suggesting we leave for 40 days to travel into central WA, but, rather, that we find moments of solitude which allow us to consider the meaning of life itself. The sanctuary of personal stillness and silence provides a serene escape that helps protect our health and restore our equilibrium. Clinical research and the Christian faith confirm that self-reflection is a valuable tool for reducing stress, expanding insight, and increasing happiness, which results in behaviour change.

For youth, self-reflection is vital for decision-making. Let us take self-reflection further into the classroom; students sitting and reviewing their learning by themselves, taking in feedback, considering success and failure, making them a more complete learner. Socially, self-reflection enhances decision-making and deepens awareness, humility and friendship.

As a school, we reflect on where we are going. Being a busy school is not a direction. So, as we enter our 20th year in 2018, it is timely to contemplate our future school direction. The School Council is ultimately responsible for this and next year it will be one of their primary tasks.

This year, my first full year as Principal, has been full of challenges and achievements. I have enjoyed the experience, the welcoming nature of the staff and parents, and the support of students. I extend a sincere thank you to Mrs Audrey Jackson AM and School Council for their support during the year. Thank you to Justice John Gilmour for Christian guidance and Mr Richard Baird for his leadership. I have been delighted with the transition of Mrs Emma Franklin into her new role as Deputy Principal. The collaboration of the School Executive has been a further highlight, along with the passionate and dedicated GSG staff.

Thank you to the Parents’ and Friends’ association and Management Committee. Thanks to P&F President, Mr Dean Fasolo, in his first year, for his leadership and energy, and to Vice President, Mrs Anita Moir, Treasurer Mrs Noreen Les, Secretary Mrs Rebecca Stephens and all parents for your financial contribution to our new Multi-Purpose Sport Courts.

Thank you, parent volunteers in sport coaching, sport management and other student-related activities.

This week we farewell the following long-serving staff as they leave GSG for new adventures: Mr Nick Bew; Mr Geoff Waldeck; and Mrs Louise Ireland.  These valued staff have contributed over 30 years of service to GSG. Thank you.

To the Year Twelve students, congratulations on your graduation. You have been a special group to me. We forged a bond during the short time we spent together, and a deeper bond with the school. I experienced first-hand your energy, creativity, care, compassion, drive and resilience and great sense of humour and fun. May you take the opportunity of self-reflection on your future journey away from GSG.

I extend my best wishes to all families for a safe and holy Christmas and thank you for your support and partnership throughout 2017.

Junior School


Middle School

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Senior School

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Mr Mark Sawle| Principal
From the Deputy Principal

End of Year Events

As the year draws to a close and we consider the excitement of a new year, it is vitally important that we, as members of this great GSG community, work together to maintain the positive culture we have cultivated.

This comes about through living our lives in accordance with the school values of integrity, respect, tolerance and compassion. In living out these values, it doesn’t mean we need, always, to have extraordinary days, doing extraordinary things, every day.

Of course, there are a few of these days, however, in life and leadership. It is wise to remember that the extraordinary days in our lives are always outnumbered by the ‘every days.’ It is in those ‘every days’ that our true character is demonstrated, and I believe it is in the every days that long-term success is fostered or stifled.

The most successful individuals and organisations that I know put a tremendous amount of focus on practising, recognising and rewarding ‘everyday leadership.’ They don’t just hope that it happens, they make a conscious effort to empower themselves and each other to add value to their lives and to the lives of others each day.

As we arrive at the end of another year of learning, let’s take time to remind ourselves of the importance of everyday leadership. Students, remember that a successful life and being a leader is not only about awards and public recognition, but about being kind and steadfast, being a person of integrity, especially when no-one is watching.

Parents, I had a great reminder recently, in a book I was reading, that the best thing we could do for our children is to show them (that is, behave as) the adults we want them to become.

We should remember the everyday leaders in our school community. Thanks to the Trustees and to Mrs Jackson, School Council and other supporters of the school for their tireless and selfless contributions. Thanks to Mr Sawle for his remarkable first year at the helm, supported by Mrs Sawle. Thanks to Mr Baird and his family for the leadership he provided in his time with us. But, mostly, thank you to each and every one of you for the everyday leadership you provide in our community, from P&F functions to our Facilities Team, to playing with someone who is lonely, or leading fundraising. Thank you to parents who get children to music lessons on time, to families who host exchange students, to finders of lost shoes and jumpers, to bakers of cakes, supporters and coaches of sport teams and everyone in between. Our everyday leaders, that’s all of you, are the ones who build and maintain the fabric of this very special school community.

Thank you to each and every member of our school community for your support this year. Have a happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Mrs Emma Franklin | Deputy Principal
Boarding News

The GSG Boarding Community has come together to contribute to the fundraising for the Leavers’ Service Learning Cambodia Trip 2018 with a silent auction.

We raised $500.00 for the tour and are very grateful to the Frost Family for their successful bid. Six boarders are planning to attend the tour next year and we wish them all the best with the rest of their fundraising. 

Mrs Rosie Deveson | Boarding Supervisor/ Recreation Officer 
Senior School News

From the Head of Senior School

Last week, the Year Eleven students were at Camp Quaranup on their Year Twelve Orientation Camp.

They held planning sessions with their Heads of House and several other key staff members, and spent the Tuesday in a workshop with Mr Greg Mitchell, a renowned motivational speaker and mentor for young people and adults alike. The students found Greg’s presentation extremely encouraging and enriching, and he gave them invaluable advice and life skills to take with them into Year Twelve and, indeed, into the world beyond school.

My favourite part of the whole camp is the final activity we do. I call it the Circle of Affirmation. Essentially, the students form two rings, an inner and an outer, facing each other. They then make eye contact, shake hands and say something about the other person that they enjoy, appreciate, admire or value about them. After a short time, I blow the whistle, the inner ring moves one place to the left and they greet someone else.

Watching this is extraordinary. The students are exhilarated and the sense of comradeship soars. Why is this such a powerful experience for the students? I think it is because in so many other aspects of their lives they have to feel defensive, on their guard. Social media, as we all know, can, unfortunately, be a most effective vehicle for cruel and destructive behaviour. Not often enough do the students actually seek and acknowledge the good in each other and look to affirm. When they do, they realise the joy that being kind brings, both to the receiver, and, significantly, to the giver.

I thank all parents in Senior School for your support throughout the year. None of us act in isolation in the critical business of educating your children. I wish every happiness and success in the future for those families leaving GSG this year, and look forward to continuing to work with those returning in 2018.

Have a wonderful, restful and rejuvenating holiday!

Mr Mark Bonnin | Head of Senior School
Middle School News

From the Head of Middle School

Middle School experienced some great highlights this year.

In the International Competitions and Assessments programme (ICAS), Jana Kriek won a medal for the top Year Seven student in Western Australia. Congratulations Jana. Several teams entered the WA Debating League, with the Year Eight team winning their division. Several students represented the state in sport, including Tallulah Gouldthorp and Amy Sandilands in Hockey, Tom Gawned and Bronte Fethers in Swimming, Oliver Camins in Cross Country, Jacob Featherstone in Shooting and Jade Dimer in Athletics. Congratulations to all for their dedication to their craft.

I thank the Year Nine student leaders who developed into a close-knit group this year. They brought sincerity and a passion to help others to their roles. From camp in January, they really took on board the notion of leadership and being role models for the rest of Middle School.

To our Year Nine Graduates, I thank you for your contribution to Middle School. It is amazing to see how much you have grown in character over your time in Middle School. You enjoy each other’s company, you have fun together and you should all be proud of your efforts this year.

There are some things we will miss next year: Nicky’s eternal bright outlook on everything; trying to work out if it’s Zara or Nina when we are handing out the lunches; Jacob’s cheeky grin when he tells one of his many stories; Lachy’s skateboard antics; Annabelle’s beaming smile when she finally gets one of Mr McLean’s jokes and Isabella’s beautiful voice.

I thank the GSG teaching staff for their commitment to the educational development and pastoral care of our students. Your willingness to contribute over and above your classroom contribution makes our school special. You take the time to listen and help students, often sacrificing a lunchtime. I especially thank the Heads of Year; Mrs Alexis Stone, Ms Atsuko Kagi and Mr Bryce McLean and, of course, Miss St Jack in the Middle School office who keeps us all on track.

I also acknowledge staff who are departing GSG this year; Mrs Louise Ireland, Ms Laura Wilson, Mr Nick Bew and Mr Geoff Waldeck. I wish them all the best in their future endeavours and thank them for leaving their thumbprint on our school. Also to Mrs Alexis Stone, Mr Gavin Riches, Head of Wilson, and Mrs Meredith Wright, Head of Mokare, who are stepping down from their positions. Thank you for your undying passion and commitment to or students.

To all of our GSG families, I hope you all have a safe and restful holiday and that you enjoy time together. We look forward to welcoming you back next year.

Mr Adam Scott | Head of Middle School
Junior School News

From the Head of Junior School

The 2017 year was a busy and rewarding one in Junior School.

The traditional school camps were enjoyed by the children in Years Three to Six, while wildspace learning took place for children in the ECC.

Sporting successes include, most recently, our triumph at the interschool Athletics Carnival.

The launch of the Great Southern Grammar Playgroup would not have been possible without our wonderful, dedicated parent volunteers. And, of course, who could forget the spectacular Junior School Production of Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies. The school is a hive of activity with such a wide variety of events, excursions and engaging learning taking place.

At this week’s Junior School Awards and Year Six Graduation Assembly, we celebrated the learning and achievements of the children in Junior School. We recognised students who strived throughout the year in the pursuit of personal excellence.

Congratulations to all award recipients. Your hard work, persistence and dedication is a privilege to witness.

I wish all members of the GSG community a safe, restful and holy Christmas and I look forward to welcoming you back in 2018.

Ms Suzanne Youens | Head of Junior School

fileSMLYear Five Agricultural Programme

This year, Year Five students learnt about the process of planting wheat. In Term Two, we planted our wheat. We had to make sure it was covered so it did not attract the attention of birds. We then waited a few weeks before monitoring the growth. Every few weeks we went out to take out the weeds, which was a lot of fun. In Week Seven this term, we were finally able to harvest the wheat. We used secateurs to cut off the seed heads and load them into a bag for Mrs Poulish to dry and thresh, before we headed to Due South to mill the wheat. The excursion was a lot of fun and it was very interesting to watch the two stones crush the wheat seeds. Upon returning to school, the FiveO class headed straight for the Hospitality room to begin baking their bread. FiveH had their turn a couple of days later. We all thoroughly enjoyed baking our bread and loved the opportunity to learn a little bit of what it is like to be a farmer.

We thank the Hospitality staff and Mrs Poulish for helping us to make this possible, and we really appreciate the efforts Mr Gugenheim went to, to make this such a fun activity.

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Year Five Students
Arts News

IMG_0141SMLEnd of Year events

A huge thank you to all students who performed in the end of year Christmas celebrations and Awards Ceremonies, with a special mention of the Pipe Band who perform at every Awards Ceremony.

It is a big effort to summon the discipline required to perform at the end of year when everybody is tired and excited for holidays. You have all done an excellent job.

I wish everybody a wonderful break over Christmas and I look forward to your return full of energy for another fantastic and creative year in 2018.

Thank you and farewell, Geoff Waldeck

From everybody in the Music department, we wish Mr Geoff Waldeck all the best in the next chapter of his life. Geoff has made a huge contribution to the Music department during his 12 years and he will be missed by students and staff.

Ms Emma Luxton | Head of the Arts, Director of Music
Sport News

Neil Ferreira 14900What a wonderful term it has been. I started out feeling nervous about having to organise the Interhouse Athletics Carnival and ended the term feeling content as we watched the students compete at the Interschool Carnival on Tuesday 5 December. Both events saw threatening weather, however, the Albany summer didn’t let us down with only the odd sprinkle of rain.

At the Interschool Carnival, GSG came third, with Albany Senior High School awarded champion school and North Albany Senior High School taking out Runner-Up position. With further training and practice, we hope to improve our results in the future.

Two students received medals, Lola Sims (Year Nine Runner-up Champion Girl) and Jade Dimer (Year Seven Champion Girl). Congratulations go to both girls for their fantastic effort. Big congratulations to all the students as they behaved impeccably and gave their all.

As I look out of the Sport office and see machinery moving large amounts of earth, it is exciting to know that we are going to have six new tennis courts, two new basketball courts and two new netball courts next year. We are hoping that this facility will be ready for use towards the end of February 2018. A significant amount of planning has gone into this and a big thank you must go to the GSG P&F for their support of the development of this new facility.

As I sign off as Acting Director of Sport, I give thanks to the following:

  • Sophie Daw, 2017 AFL Trainee. Sophie has been a great administrator, helping me to organise the Interhouse Athletics Carnival and all the swim trials.
  • The Sport office team, who really helped me. I thank them for their professionalism and support.
  • Last but not least, Mrs Wendy Wheeler, for all the help she has provided to me. She is always on the ball, helping administer, liaising with all the cocurricular teams. A big thank you, Wendy.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mr Neil Ferreira | Acting Director of Sport
From the Chaplain

Rod Marsh Resized

Welcoming Christmas

Thank you to the students and staff who contributed to the School Christmas Service. It featured four semi-fictional accounts from Albany’s history, and three themes.

  1. Welcoming the stranger in the way that the Menang welcomed strangers to his land: God arranged not only that Mary and Joseph should welcome Jesus’ birth, but also arranged for shepherds and wise men to welcome Jesus as the long-awaited King.
  2. Bringing freedom in the way that Stan Roberts (convict) found a whole new life of freedom in his new county: The prophet Isaiah predicted that Jesus would bring freedom to all those in captivity. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he said that is what he had come to do, “release the captives.”
  3. Bringing peace in the way that Bluey Sampson (Gallipoli veteran) and his mates sought to bring peace to the world: At his birth, Jesus was called ‘the Prince of Peace.’ Jesus’ birth was hailed by the angel saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace.” …a peace we are still looking forward to.

I wrote this reflection as part of the service with the prayer that the Christ of Christmas, who lives now, will break into all our lives this Christmas.


Into the daily grind of our lives
where sameness rules
– we think we can control our tomorrow
suddenly, unexpectedly
knocking at our door

you break into our lives
to scatter our complacency
and challenge us to change

Into the circle of our community
where we know and are known
comfortable, settled
suddenly, unexpectedly
disabled people
knocking at our door
Change brings choices
will we shut the door to the stranger?
will we reach out our hands to welcome the stranger?
you break into our lives
to offer welcome
and challenge us to accept difference

Into the circle of our community
when we know and are known
comfortable, settled
suddenly, unexpectedly
prisoners of hunger,
prisoners of addiction,
prisoners of loneliness
knocking at our door
Change brings choices
are we free?
can we offer freedom?
you break into our lives
to offer freedom
and challenge us to set the captives free

Into the circle of our community
where we know and are known
comfortable, settled
suddenly, unexpectedly
anger turns to insults
insults turn to hatred
friends turn to foes
brothers turn to enemies
beliefs turn to bombs
knocking at our door
Change brings choices
will we repay evil with good?
can we turn enemies into friends?

you break into our lives
to offer peace
and challenge us to be peace makers

you break in
when complacency rules
with an angel's shout
or the quietest sound
you break in
in the form of the stranger
you break in
in the form of the prisoner
you break in
in the form of an enemy
you break in
and we change
all things change
when you break in
or we don’t let you in
and you can’t break in
and nothing changes
So you keep knocking… and knocking… and knocking…

May the Christ of Christmas bless you and your family this Christmastide.

Rev Rodney Marsh | Chaplain
P&F News

P&F Pres Dean Fasolo ResizedEnd of Year Celebration

A large group of parents and staff gathered at Centennial Stadium last Friday night to celebrate the end of the school year, enjoying delicious food in a relaxed setting overlooking the new sporting precinct. Thanks to all who joined us for a great evening.

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2018 Class Representatives

We still require parents to help fill some of the P&F Class Representative positions for next year. The role of Class Representative is invaluable to the P&F by acting as a conduit for information between parents and the committee, and in providing a focal point for parents in each class and homeroom. If you are interested in taking up a position, please contact me at deanfasolo@gmail.com.

Award and Graduation Ceremonies

A big thank you to all parents in Years Five, Eight and Senior School for your assistance in providing food and service after the Award Ceremonies this week. Your help is greatly appreciated, and contributes in a meaningful way to these special occasions.

On behalf of the P&F Committee, thank you to everyone who has contributed to the school community throughout the year by volunteering your time and energy to P&F and school events. Special thanks must go to our Parent Representatives for your hard work throughout the year in coordinating class social events, welcoming new parents, and assisting with various functions and events (the biggest of all being Kingfisher Fair!).

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Mr Dean Fasolo | P&F President
For Your Diary

diary Coming Soon in 2018

Saturday 27 January to Monday 29 January

  • Year Twelve Leaders’ Camp 


Sunday 28 January to Monday 29 January

  • Middle School Leaders’ Camp


Monday 29 January to Tuesday 30 January

  • MS/SS Production Camp


Monday 29 January

  • New boarders arrive, 4.00pm


Tuesday 30 January

  • Junior School class parties, 1.30pm to 3.00pm
  • P&F Welcome Afternoon Tea, 1.30pm to 3.00pm
  • Current boarders return, 12.00pm
  • Boarders’ Welcome Lunch, 1.00pm to 3.00pm
  • Year Seven boarding parents’ information session. IT rollout, 3.00pm


Wednesday 31 January

  • Term One commences
Canteen News

Canteen Christmas

Lunch and recess ordering at Great Southern Grammar is done online through Flexischools

If you do not have a Flexischools account, it is easy to set one up. Follow the prompts at www.flexischools.com.au and if you have any queries, phone Flexischools on 1300361769. Their friendly team will help you get up and running and ensure quick, efficient lunch ordering for you on those busy mornings. If you already have a Flexischools account, remember to change the year of your child/ren the first time you order in 2018.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2018.

Mrs Christina Tebbutt | Canteen Manager
Community News

This week’s community news



Southern Edge Arts Summer School  

For information about the Southern Edge Arts Summer School from 8-25 January 2018, please visit here

Sketchbook Project

Tell your own story using a sketchbook. For information about the Propel Youth Arts Sketchbook Project, from 2018, please visit here

Tennis Camp

For information about an Albany Tennis Academy Tennis Camp held on 18-20 December 2017 at Merrifield Park Tennis Club, call 0414608523, email justacetennis@hotmail.com or visit here

Girls' Country Cricket Carnival  

For information about the Perth Scorchers Girls’ Country Cricket Carnival held in Perth in January 2018, please visit here

Dental Therapy Centre Holiday Opening Hours

Spencer Park Dental Therapy Centre closes from Thursday 21 December to Monday, 22 January 2018. If your child requires emergency dental treatment, please contact Albany General Dental Clinic on 9842 2211 from 8.15am to 4.30pm. For emergencies outside of these hours, please contact your private dentist or Albany Regional Hospital on 9892 2222.

Please contact us to update your details either by phone on 9841 3967 or via email: spencerparkdtc@dental.health.wa.gov.au

2018 ATAR Express Workshops

For information about The University of Notre Dame ATAR Express Workshops for 2018 Year Twelve students, please visit here

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