I am the master of my fate: I am the...

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
William Henley
This week I have commenced the enjoyable task of interviewing our Year 12 students. This
has provided an opportunity to meet each of them and to learn more about their experience
at Firbank, their hopes and plans for the future and gain feedback on their suggestions for the
future of our School.
I have been warmly heartened by their genuine, candid and thoughtful comments. Without
exception, they expressed their gratitude for the opportunities afforded to them throughout their
Firbank journey. They have learned the value of hard work, the importance of friendships and
have been sustained by the trust between staff and students as they face the final year of their
formal schooling.
Many of them shared the importance of experiences such as the camps in Junior School, the
Year 9 Thailand trip, the Community Service initiatives in every year and the nurturing by expert
Students who were closely involved in the Performing Arts reflected on their roles in the many
musical productions, and this week we have seen a feast of talent as we enjoyed Beauty and the
Beast, and Seussical the Musical. Thank you to our talented students who willingly committed
time to provide two distinctively unique experiences. In particular, I thank Ross Vernon from
Brighton Grammar School for his work with our students in Beauty and the Beast, and Michelle
McNamara for her skillful direction of Seussical the Musical.
From the Principal
30 May 2014
We are also grateful to the following students and staff for their contribution:
CAST: Hattie Hook, Meggyann Davie-Smythe, Claudia Tomas, Saskia Mulder, Emma Dicker,
Madeline Jordan, Riley Annear, Sarah Bowers, Sophie Lever, Lillian Cook, Imogen Smillie,
Hanna Tsiakos, Ally Lynch, Olivia Hosie, Kat Taplin, Phoebe Hennig, Eri Yoshida, Sabrina
Agnew, Elspeth Lawson, Cleo Taliadoros, Piper Workman, Summer Workman, Tahlia McDonald,
Brooke Bailey, Maddy Cain, Olivia Arrigo, Georgia Thomson, Tori Ferres, Sophie Bolton, Maddie
Whitehead, Amy Hopwood, Ruby Gardner, Charlotte Richards, Kate Damyon, Katja Hesse,
Caitlin Gilligan, Amelia Stewart, Isabella Sangster, Bryony Stringer, Milly Jasper
PRODUCTION TEAM: Michele McNamara, Simon Marsden, Greg Di Natale
MUSICIANS: Philippa Jones, Christine Smillie, Michael Ooi
BACKSTAGE: Taylor Lyons, Emmie Frederico, Sophie Dilena, Mackenzie Miller, Zabrina Leung,
Isabella Scollo, Alani Sharp
MAKE-UP: Debbie Waite, Julie Trethowan, Anna Parry, Annette Davie-Smythe
Eliza Fricke, Meg Pithie, Christina Qian, Isabel Armstrong, Jessie Chen, Sophie Adam, Yasmeen
O’Brien, Georgia Summerhill, Cassy Robertson, Kate Walker
FRONT OF HOUSE: Sarah Saunders, Monica Delaney, Annette Wagner-Hesse, Jamie
Mawkes, Lara Maratos, Jade Siang, Rachel Zhou, Aisha Dalal
CAST: Susannah Huse, Stephanie Gotze, Gabrielle Morelli, Emily Yates, Laura Cuerden,
Johanna Joyce, Rachael Joyce, Shajeda Kalitzki-Abedin, Millie Anderson, Jenny Cai, Kate
Duggan, Sophie Gibb, Fleur Goodman, Alexa Harrington, Annabel Johnston, Jess Lee, Shirley
Liu, Charlene Ong, Caitlin Pullen, Samantha Stuart
PRODUCTION CREW: Lauren Carroll, Kelsey Mahoney, Lauren McElroy, Chelsea Start,
Isabelle Nightingale, Zoe Gousmett, Samantha Stuart, Chloe Moisidis, Sophie Daddo-Langlois
In another facet of learning at Firbank, students in the Turner House String Orchestra and the
Sandringham House Sinfonia combined to perform at the Victorian Schools Music Festival at
The Atrium at Federation Square on Thursday 29 May. Students competed against other, much
older orchestras who were secondary school based. We were so proud of our students who won
the Gold Shield. Thanks to Mr Kim Morley and his team for their dedication.
Education has a unique role in our community as we explore each student’s talents and provide
possibilities for success. Together, with parents, we are our children’s greatest audience as we
gently encourage them to extend into unchartered waters. Only then will they learn that they can
be captains of their own journey and that the goal of independence into adulthood is achievable,
providing courage to persevere through life’s elation and sadness.
In the poem Invictus William Henley speaks of an unconquerable soul, reiterating the refrain;
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
It was this poem that inspired Nelson Mandela while he was incarcerated on Robben Island and
continues to be cherished through generations of many leaders across the world.
At Firbank, we plan for our students to enjoy a range of adventures and experiences to give
them the strength to find their passion. Our students have learned to seek opportunities to be
challenged and to serve others. In my interviews with Year 12, I am learning that we have many
captains of destiny who will always remember their school days with gratitude and joy.
Heather Norton
Congratulations to:
The Year 11 & 12 Australian Football Team. With one match to play, the team is undefeated.
Hannah Dawes, Georgie Garner, Sienna Parrott, Isabella Blanche and Stephanie Wallace
(Year 10) who have been chosen for the South Metro Junior Football League Under 16 Team to
represent the SMJFL in the Victorian Metro Junior Championships.
On Wednesday this week, every girl studying French in Years 7 to 10 recited a poem in front
of an assessor coming from L’Alliance Française de Melbourne. This took place after much
practice and memorisation both in class and at home. The girls are to be commended for their
commitment in their preparation. This year marked the 125th anniversary of this competition!
A letter about the 2015 Study Tour to France will be sent out in the next few weeks. This is open
to all girls studying French in Years 10 and 11 next year. More details to follow soon.
There has been much activity in the German Department lately. Firbank students will be hosting
Senior School
30 May 2014
a number of visitors from Germany next term. We have been corresponding and communicating
in a variety of ways with students and teachers from our partner school in Germany. Three
Year 10 students Ellecia Baker, Karly Mittermayr and Ashleigh Baker will be hosting Verena
Berndt, Merit Krakat and Svenja Steinborn from Würzburg. Those girls will be arriving in early
August and will be with us till the end of Term 3. In addition Milly Ward is hosting Tabea Schmitt
through the SAGSE organisation. Tabea is arriving in June and will be here from the last week
of Term 2 till the end of August. Darcie Clarke will be hosting Felicia Dohm in Term 3.We have all
enjoyed getting to know Luisa Wiegand, our current young assistant, and have appreciated her
contributions to our lessons since the beginning of Term 2. Luisa comes from Saarbrücken near
the French border in central Germany. She is being hosted by the Derera and Bennett families.
We are so grateful for the generosity of so many host families whose kindness is providing
enrichment for all German students.
I would like to congratulate all the German language students who have made use of their
enrolment in the Language Perfect Worldwide Olympiade. It concludes this week and we will
award certificates for significant achievements at an Assembly in Term 4.
Finally, we congratulate Frau Frances Mittermayr who has been awarded a Goethe Institut
scholarship and will be spending two weeks in Göttingen during the coming semester break.
Her daughter Karly’s exchange student, as well as our colleague at the Dag-HammarskjöldGymnasium in Würzburg, will be hosting her for a week prior to the scholarship. It will be great
to foster our relationship with the school and for Frances to spend some time observing lessons
there. Congratulations on this enterprising undertaking!
Our highly anticipated Japanese Study Trip is less than one month away and all of the
participants are becoming very excited. By attending weekly meetings, the students are very
enthusiastic but also anxious about the school visit to Komazawa Gakuen High School and
homestay experience in Tokyo. The Parent Information Evening is organised to provide students
and parents with more detailed information of the tour and to give opportunities to ask questions.
It will be held on Tuesday 3 June from 7pm. Please note that the venue has changed from Room
47 to Room 48.
Firbank Career’s night was a huge success with over 45 industries and Universities, private
providers and TAFE’s represented and very positive feedback from parents and students.
The students and staff are most thankful for the time and effort each representative gave so
generously. In particular I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Firbank parents and
Firbank Old Grammarians who provide a wealth of experience and knowledge which made the
event so worthwhile.
Annette Davie Smythe
Firbank Careers News for the week ending 23 May
Annual Cultural Care ‘Au Pair Week’
Lattitude Global Volunteering Information Night
Defence Force Upcoming Information Sessions
Career as a Paramedic
News from RMIT University
Studying Industrial Design at RMIT
Studying Engineering at RMIT
Career as a Civil Engineer
News from the University of Melbourne
Oral Health Course
MyMelbourne Newsletter
News from Deakin University
Introducing the New Communications Degree
Study Abroad Opportunities
University of New South Wales Co-Op Program
Real Estate as a Career
Week ending 30 May
Women & Career Firefighting – Career Information Session
News from Box Hill Institute
Bachelor of International Business at the University of Canberra
Discover Deakin School Holiday Program
Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance) at Flinders University
Career as a Forensic Scientist
Career in Journalism
See the link in eNews for information
Annette Davie Smythe
Careers Counsellor
[email protected]
The next Firbank Association meeting for 2014 will be held on Tuesday, 12 August at 7.00pm in
the Turner House SMAART Meeting Room.
The remaining dates in 2014 for the Firbank Association meetings are:
18 November AGM followed by Ordinary Meeting
All meetings will commence at 7.00pm and will be held in the Turner House Meeting Room
Year 7 & 8 students present Seussical
A strange and fantastic red-and-white striped top hat appears on an empty stage, full of
possibilities. A girl enters and is drawn toward the magical hat. The Cat in the Hat suddenly
materializes! “You’ve got quite a mind for your age,” quips the Cat as he begins singing about
the power of imagination. The girl and the Cat use their imaginations to transport everyone to the
Jungle of Nool as the adventures begin. We meet Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz--the
bird with the one feather tail, the Whos of Whoville--including the Mayor and his Wife, Mayzie
La Bird, the Sour Kangaroo and the bird girls and the Citizens of the Jungle of Nool, Yertle the
Turtle, Vlad Vladikoff and the Elephant Bird. The rascally Wickershams, a cool group of bad-boy
monkeys, also join in the fun. There are wonderful songs and our dancers help bring the Circus
McGurkus and McElligot’s pool alive with their wonderful moves.
The Year 7 & 8 students from Firbank Grammar and Brighton Grammar Schools have been
rehearsing since February and are very excited to bring you Seussical on Thursday May 29 and
Friday May 30. It will be performed in the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) at Firbank commencing
at 7.30pm.
Ticket prices $20.00/adults and $10.00/child and concession
Tickets available at the door for tonight’s performance. Come along and support the
Year 11 Social Events 2014
Wednesday 11 June
Morning Tea – 8.30am onwards at Florentines, Church Street, Brighton
Saturday 14 June
SSPA Function
Monday 11 August Afternoon Tea – 2pm, School House, Church Street, Brighton
Friday 29 August
Year 11 Party – BYO plate and Alcohol , Venue TBA
Friday 10 October
Afternoon Tea - Olie and Ari’s, Were Street, Brighton
TERM 2 – Wednesday 23 April – Friday 20 June
TERM 3 – Wednesday 16 July – Friday 19 September
TERM 4 – Tuesday 7 October – Wednesday 10 December
A reminder about our absentee line 9591 5198 which is available 24 hrs, or if you prefer
you can email [email protected]
WEP Student Exchange – Memores and Skills for Life!
Choose from over 20 countries around the world to attend school, live with a welcoming host
family and have the time of your life. Whether you wish to learn another language or choose
English-speaking destinations like the USA, Canada or Ireland, students return with memories
and skills for life.
“Up until now it really hasn’t been real to any of us but now it’s all official. Victoria is so excited
and can’t wait to leave. She has already begun emailing with her host mother and sister in Italy
and will call on Skype on the weekend as the time difference makes it very hard during the week.
She is being hosted by a family who have a daughter her age, so she is now saying that she
will have another sister. To make it even better still, they live in northern Italy so she will get to
experience her first “white” Christmas.
Thank you so much for your assistance in making Victoria’s Italy exchange a reality.”
~ Michelle - Mother of Victoria, semester program to Italy
Early Bird Special – Save $500
WEP is offering students in years 9 to 12* a $500 discount off the 2014/15 program fee towards
a semester or year program to any of the following countries departing in January - March 2015:
Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Norway,
Thailand or the USA. Early Bird applications close 30 May ’14.
*Offer not available to year 12 students in Victoria or in conjunction with any other offer or
Find Out More
Request a FREE information pack online: www.wep.org.au
Attend one of WEP’s information sessions or open days
Visit WEP: Mon – Fri between 9am – 5pm
Call 1300 884 733 / 03 9598 4733
Southern Cross Cultural Exchange is pleased to invite students from Years 9 – 12, and their
parents, to our public information session in Melbourne on Tuesday 3 June at 7 pm at Conochie
Hall, 2 Rochester Road, Canterbury.
The international exchange program is an immensely worthwhile opportunity for students
to experience the world while learning more about themselves and how to adapt to new
environments and to different cultures, all the while in the care of a volunteer host family. For
three decades, S.C.C.E. programs have provided a timely window of opportunity for students to
gain a deeper understanding of a different culture, exposure to a foreign language and making
global connections.
Our staff will be on hand to answer all questions regarding application procedures and advice on
program selection, duration, the best time to go, and living with a volunteer host family abroad.
Exchange students who have recently returned from S.C.C.E. programs will also be on hand to
share their experiences.
Information: Free call 1800 500 501 or our website iswww.scce.com.au
Too often we see or read in the media what the devastating consequences of bullying are.
Bullying in the school playground no longer stops just there. With technology today, bullying
continues on into the home, the consequences of which can be devastating. So how do parents
identify who the bullies are? Why do bullies target particular children? How can you equip your
children to be assertive and overcome the bullies?
Find out more at our next FREE parent seminar, on Wednesday 4 June in the BGS Rosstrevor
School Hall at 7.30pm (corner Allee and New St).
Presented by the ever popular and widely regarded Melissa Anderson of Shine Academy for
Girls and Longford and Fraser Academy for boys.
Register NOW with Melissa Anderson on 9592 4948 or [email protected]
With over 3 weeks of school holidays coming up in June/July, why not consider one of the many
opportunities we have for children to pick up a new skill, develop new or firmer friendships
or to simply enjoy some focussed time on something that interests them. School holiday
programs have the advantage of being a less stressful environment for learning and friendship
development. So why not continue to build on your child’s learning in the holidays!
Some of the programs we are highlighting for these holidays include:
Football (1 – 3 July, 6-12 & 13-17 years) Something for the football enthusiast! In this 1, 2
or 3 day program, your child will learn all about Aussie Rules, using the outstanding Brighton
Grammar School ovals for game practice. Cement new learnings with state of the art video
analysis and feedback from professional coaches, including the likes of Dustin Fletcher, Scott
Pendlebury, Lance Franklin or other superstars. For 3 day programs book online. To attend for
only 1 or 2 days of the program call 1300 914 368 www.australiansportscamps.com.au
G.A.T.E.Ways Gifted Program (25 & 26 June, 5-12 years) Gifted and talented children from
Years 1 to 6 have the opportunity to attend a wide range of exciting and challenging workshops
at Firbank Grammar School in June. With programs in fencing, science, astronomy, design,
chemistry, language, thinking, computer design, maths, drama and problem solving, there is
sure to be a class to extend and develop your children’s special abilities. See Firbank Festival of
Workshop details at www.gateways.edu.au
Performance/Acting/Musical Theatre Camp (30 June – 3 July, 7-13years) Jimmy the
Gentleman If you love gangsters, flappers and showgirls you will love this fast-paced 1920’s
adventure . After the demise of gangster, Fast Eddy, life settles down for Jimmy the Gentleman
and Rosie in their respective nightclubs. However, rumour has it that the Chicago gang intend to
move into town. What devious plan has Rosella, Queenie, Grisela and Bumpy Johnson hatched
to take over New York city? Has the Police Chief finally taken a bribe? Can Jimmy weave his
magic again and restore peace to the big Apple? Come along and find out!
For further information about these or other programs, please see the flyer or the [email protected] website
www.share.vic.edu.au or contact Sonia Wagner, Community Education Manager,
[email protected]