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Senior School

Campus News

Hard work ahead in Term 3

Term 3 is always a time for hard work and consolidation of pre-existing knowledge, as students move towards the completion of the curriculum in each of their subjects.

The VCE trial examinations will be in Weeks 8 and 9. All School Assessed Coursework (SACs) for Units 3 and 4 studies will be completed by Week 8. This allows teachers and students to focus on revision and examination practice throughout the September break and the early weeks of Term 4.

Limos at Leonda by the Yarra

The highly anticipated Year 11 Semi-Formal unfolded on Thursday, 10 August at Leonda by the Yarra — a brilliant venue and the focus of celebrations by over 400 students. Many arrived in stunning fashion via limos and were warmly welcomed by the familiar faces of their teachers.

Students were eager to unwind, and it was not long before the atmosphere was taken over by action on the electrifying dance floor — the DJ kept the crowd on their feet all night long. All students were dressed to the nines but were not afraid to showcase a spectacular array of dance moves.

Time seemed to fly by as the students relaxed, enjoyed each other’s company and appreciated the venue’s delicious canapés. Photographers captured the moments in time with friends.

The night came to a close in celebratory style with fun awards organised by the Year 11 student representatives who engaged the whole cohort to vote for the icons of the night. Awards ranged from best dressed to most likely to win Olympic gold and all award recipients received a certificate from their peers.

A massive thank you to everyone who made the evening enjoyable, especially the great support of the teaching staff on the night. Semi-Formal was definitely a night to remember and a taste of what awaits us next year.

Tilly Thomas (Year 11) and Locklyn Luu (Year 11)

A Journey of Reconciliation at Haileybury Rendall School

On a blustery Sunday evening, five Haileybury students and two staff departed the Melbourne winter for the sunny climes of the Northern Territory. The purpose of this expedition? A reconciliation and cultural tour to learn from, and develop, a greater connection to Haileybury Rendall School in Darwin and its students. As we stepped onto the plane, we had no idea just how much this expedition would reshape our perception of indigenous culture and foster a greater understanding of the reconciliation.

Our initiation began with a tour of Darwin followed by an afternoon at Berry Springs, a local aquatic gem that transcended mere natural beauty. Imbued with cultural significance, this water hole transported us into the rich tapestry of indigenous history and tradition. The prospect of swimming in warm 33-degree water, while our friends and family froze back in Melbourne, also warmed us in other ways!

Our first day culminated with a pivotal moment as we were greeted at Casuarina Beach by Trent, a venerable Larrakia local, who graced us with a saltwater ceremony. The setting sun and the rhythmic waves became a conduit for unity and respect, fostering a profound bond between our group and the land itself. It was humbling to be welcomed in such a solemn way and we deeply thank Trent for this!

Over the next few days, we were very lucky to take part in a host of NAIDOC Week festivities at Haileybury Rendall School. These included staff vs student events, NAIDOC trivia competitions and cultural engagements put on by staff and students at HRS. Notable amongst these was an awe-inspiring red flag dance performed by some of the Indigenous boarders that was intricately woven with ancestral narratives. The dance conveyed their profound connection to their heritage and left an indelible imprint on our collective consciousness.

During the school day we donned our summer uniforms, a wonderful change from the winter ones we were used to back in Melbourne, and joined in classes with our Haileybury Rendall counterparts. Engaging in shared classes with HRS students and the amalgamation of our distinct backgrounds enriched the learning process and underscored the potential of education to foster cross-cultural understanding.

It was wonderful to witness a school so far from ours, with students wearing the same uniform, taking the same classes and behaving as we would. Sitting in the Year 12 common room at HRS felt as if we were back at Keysborough on a Tuesday afternoon, making jokes and writing chemistry formulas on the board while we all tried to solve the daily riddle Mr Cavnoudias left for us.

After school we explored the many wonders that Darwin had to offer including Crocosaurus Cove, the Esplanade with its solemn war memorial, a tour of the city centre, and Darwin’s Museum and Art Gallery where we were lucky to explore the newly opened NATSIAA (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards) exhibition.

After such whirlwind days we were more than happy to retire to the boarding houses to relax. This space acted as a wonderful cultural convergence point. By interacting with students from the most remote regions of Australia’s outback and various other nations, our camaraderie echoed the essence of reconciliation and bridged our dissimilarities through shared experiences.

Our immersion in indigenous culture was epitomised during our final evening at HRS by a bush tucker dinner. This tantalised our palates and unveiled the profound ties between sustenance and cultural heritage. As we sat before Dewarra Boarding House on blankets and bean bags, we stuffed our faces with platefuls of crocodile, buffalo, kangaroo and barramundi.

This wonderful evening was capped off by heading to Cullen Bay to witness one of the most majestic gifts Darwin has to offer — the sunset. The sky transformed into a spectrum of colours and we were all transfixed by this moment of natural beauty.

Throughout this cultural and reconciliation tour, we emerged with an enriched perspective on indigenous culture. From our saltwater welcome to witnessing the red flag dance and exploring Darwin’s wonderful natural tapestry, each experience galvanized our collective commitment to unity in diversity. This trip fortified our resolve to embrace reconciliation and to foster a future of mutual respect and understanding.

Many thanks must go to Mr Cavnoudias and Ms Hawxwell for leading us in such an amazing experience. What we have learned on this tour will stay with us for life. We cannot wait to take what we have learned from this experience and use it to build our reconciliation efforts back in Melbourne. We highly recommend a visit to Darwin and Haileybury Rendall School — it is a fantastic place to visit and one we are sure to return to soon.

Rebecca Allen (Year 12), Gemma Hughes (Year 12), Mia Leys (Year 12), Loic Lombardo (Year 12) and Sam Shinsky (Year 12)

International Biology Olympiad

Talented young biologist and Year 12 Haileybury student, James Johnson, has received a gold medal at the International Biology Olympiad – the only Australian in the national team of four to win the award! It is the first gold medal in 14 years to be won by an Australian attending the event. The last time Australia won gold was during the pandemic in a virtual version of the IBO.

The International Biology Olympiad brings together the most gifted high school biology students from around the world, each of them passionate about biology and with the potential to become part of the next generation of leading scientists. Well done, James!

Congratulations Tommy Lane

Congratulations to Tommy Lane (Year 12) who was a Bronze Medalist in the 1500m men’s freestyle event at the recent Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad Tobago.

Dr Nicholas Grigsby

Deputy Principal
Head of Senior Schools