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A Boy, a Book and a Fulbright Scholarship
Paul with the biography of Roden Cutler, V.C. book today When Girton students make the short trip across the stage on Speech Night, sometimes it is the beginning of a much bigger journey. For Dr Paul Hubbard, who graduated in 1999 (Riley), it was a book prize that he received on Speech Night at the end of year 11 that set him on a career path that has led him to great success. Paul received the biography of Roden Cutler, V.C. by Colleen McCullough. The book tells the story of Sir Roden Cutler, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous and sustained gallantry during a period of 18 days in the Middle East campaign of 1941. “I was intrigued by Sir Roden’s appointment at a young age to Australia’s High Commission in Colombo. This opened up the idea for me of public service – and particularly advancing Australia’s interests in the world. “I didn’t end up becoming a diplomat, but I’ve had the opportunity to work to advance our national interests at successive G20 summits at Hamburg, Buenos Aires and Osaka,” Paul explains. As a strong academic student, Paul was probably always destined to undertake further studies after school but perhaps the sense of community he experienced at Girton also influenced his future. When asked about his favourite teacher, Paul says it is hard to pin down any one teacher. “John McMillan was undoubtedly up there. He took his maths students as he found them and encouraged us to apply effort regardless of how far along we were in the curriculum. “He impressed upon his students that it’s always worth applying effort and that ‘coasting’ is not an option. “I remember a real sense of community at Girton. For example, I was never taught in a classroom by Mrs Jenkin or Mrs MacCulloch – I wasn’t even in their House – but they still paid attention to what I was doing and provided encouragement, advice and mentorship along the way” he said. Paul studied Specialist Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, English, and French in the VCE and has rarely stopped studying since graduation. After completing an Arts/Law degree at the University of Tasmania in 2005, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the United States. He completed a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University in 2008 (forty years after President Biden graduated from there). After joining the Treasury department, Paul turned to economics and completed a graduate Diploma of Economics, followed by an Economics PhD from the Australian National University. “I am currently living in Canberra and working as an Assistant Secretary on the Deregulation Taskforce at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. “I make sure that regulations achieve their purpose in ways that remain up to date and fit for purpose, without imposing unnecessary costs on business. “This builds on an earlier work on Dr Ken Henry’s tax review when I worked at Treasury. In addition to my G20 work, I’ve also worked for the government as an economic analyst on China,” Paul explains. After Year 12, Paul took a year off to travel in Europe. He obtained a working holiday visa in the UK and worked for a while as a temp in the administration of Cambridge University, where his ties to Girton came full circle. “I worked in a beautiful building called Senate House, which is right next to King’s College. It is in the heart of Cambridge – and an hour’s stroll to Girton College – the first residential tertiary institution for women in the United Kingdom” Paul reflects. Mrs Aherne and Mrs Millward named the Bendigo school after the progressive Cambridge college for women. Study and work are not the only things to have kept Paul busy since leaving Girton. “I’ve kept up many of my musical interests and sang for five years in the Tasmania University Musical Society. “I have played violin in the Maruki Community Orchestra here in Canberra for the last 14 years, and I am now married with five children (and a chihuahua). “Although we are Canberra-based, we have lived in the United States and China (twice). “Travel becomes a harder logistical challenge as you get older – and it’s currently an impossibility due to covid – but it’s such a privilege and opportunity to be able to learn about the world and the diversity of people in it first-hand.” Dr Paul Hubbard was the keynote speaker at the 2021 VCE Conference. He has a number of published scholarly articles, and his PhD thesis is titled “The Nature and Performance of China’s State-Owned Enterprises” ANU (July 2019). Paul visiting the White House, Washington DC, USA in 2007 Paul at an economics conference in Xiamen, China, in 2015 Paul at the 2021 Girton VCE Conference
Bringing Out The Inner Unicorn
As Year 12 students prepare to leave school, they are entering the most crucial decision time of their lives. The future is exciting and, at the same time, a little bit ‘scary’. Making the right choice about a future career is likely on the priority list, and many students might not yet know which path to take. However, it is very normal, and talking to a career expert can assist with lots of questions, preparation, misconceptions, and tips! We have a very timely visit from one of our past students, Roxanne Calder, a recruitment and career expert and author of the book, “Employable”, which talks about the ‘7 Attributes’ needed to be employable. Although the book and Roxanne’s experience applies to any age and stage in life, the most significant advantage will be to those who adopt these skills and advice early, and time is on their side of our Year 12 graduates. Roxanne spent over 20 years in human resources and the recruitment industry, where she has held various senior positions in Australia, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. After completing her MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Roxanne launched her boutique recruitment agency, EST10, in July 2010. Roxanne Calder graduated from Girton College, a proud Frewian, in 1986. She was a humanities, languages and business student whose favourite teachers were English teachers, Mrs. West and Mr. Jackson. In a recent conversation with Roxanne, she told us a bit more of her life, career and journey after she graduated from Girton, for which she has very fond memories. “At University, I took a great interest in human resources, and I have always enjoyed discovering people’s potential. “I completed an MBA, which was a challenging and wonderful experience. The timing was then perfect for me to start my own business and the education, which I am a big believer in, contributed to my confidence to do so”, she said. Roxanne’s recently released book, “Employable; 7 Attributes To Assure Your Working Future,” draws a direct line between the attributes that make people employable and successful. “The job market is more competitive and unpredictable than ever before, no matter the age of the job seeker”. Roxanne believes knowing yourself well and developing crucial attributes needed for your career and life will ensure success, meaningful employment, fulfillment, and joy, which ultimately is everyone’s goal/dream. “I am so looking forward to speaking with the Year 12 Girton students and helping them to prepare for the incredible and exciting journey that lies ahead. “No matter what field young people are thinking about delving into, starting it right and focusing on what matters the most will take them a long way towards their dream job/career. “Skilling up for interviews and writing compelling cover letters are essential first steps. Then it is a matter of being confident in what you can bring to any job. “Technology is escalating the rate of change in the workplace, and while young people have an advantage here, understanding the importance of quality communication, including manners, non -entitlement, patience, etc. will still be needed. “It is job-seekers responsibility to demonstrate to future employers their abilities, skills and potential. “The younger you are, the better your opportunity at establishing the right attributes and attitudes and then mastering them. “Believing in yourself is the first step in having others believe in you. Whether you are a rhino or a unicorn, or a rhino who believes they are a unicorn, what is most important is the belief in yourself,” Roxanne said. Roxanne will visit Girton Grammar School and speak to Year 12 students in August as part of the Year 12 VCE Gen programme. To purchase Roxanne’s book, “Employable, 7 Attributes To Assure Your Working Future”, go to: https://www.booktopia.com.au/employable-roxanne-calder/book/9780648980421.html
Standing Ovation for Co-curriculum Pioneer
In December 2020, the Old Girtonians’ Association was delighted to bestow on Mr Dan Slater, an Honorary Associate Life Membership for achieving twenty years of service to Girton Grammar School. It is in many ways thanks to the work of Dan Slater that the Girton Co-curriculum sits comfortably alongside the Curriculum as one of the School’s pillars of strategic intent. As the Head of Co-curriculum for twenty years, Dan has been instrumental in the evolution and growth of the Co-curriculum programme, helping to ensure that participation in Co-curriculum is at the core of every Girton student’s education. Under Dan’s leadership, the Co-curriculum programme is comprehensive and extensive. It has influenced the School culture in many ways. The provision of such a broad range of activities means that every student finds their place within the School, supporting a culture of diversity and inclusion. Dan has always been an advocate of the House system and the Co-curricular programme combining to make Girton a great place to teach. He believes that under this system students and teachers work more as a team when they have the opportunity to interact outside of the regular classroom environment. Dan is known for empowering those around him. He is a sounding board for many colleagues, always willing to listen and a frequent source of safe advice. Dan encourages people to take opportunities as they arise and supports individual growth in his students and colleagues. Aside from overseeing the Co-curriculum, Dan is a highly valued member of the Physical Education Department and was the Head of Physical Education from 2001 to 2007 as well as the Head of Outdoor Recreation (V.E.T.) from 2001 to 2007. With an obvious passion for Physical Education, Dan has a love of teaching that has spanned his entire career. It is well known to Dan’s colleagues that his favourite part of any week is when he is teaching, demonstrated by his enthusiastic and energetic approach. Dan is interested in students’ hobbies and passions and encourages students of all abilities to have a go. He is known for inquiring about students’ upcoming weekend of sport and following up on results, showing a genuine interest and level of care for students that has provided generations of Girtonians’ with confidence and positive reinforcement for participation. Dan’s love for Year 9 Dance classes in the Physical Education curriculum is somewhat legendary. For many years, Dan has organised the Girton Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country Carnivals, which have become cultural beacons on the annual School calendar of events. These events have become a fine example of the standard of event that sets the School apart, forming a memorable part of every student’s Girton journey that is fondly remembered well after graduation. Under Dan’s stewardship, Girton has developed a successful representative Senior School sports program in the Sandhurst Division and ICCES sports events, allowing students to compete proudly for their School. The Sandhurst and ICCES Sports Co-ordinators regularly seek Dan’s advice, and he is a highly regarded member and unofficial leader within these sporting associations. In recent years, Girton has joined the School Sports Victoria programme of sporting events providing yet more opportunities for Girton athletes to compete at the highest level. At various times, Dan has been the MiC of numerous activities, some of which are Athletics, Cross Country, Cricket and Equestrian, rounding out an incredible sporting and leadership contribution to Girton Grammar School. Those close to Dan enjoy his dry humour and benefit enormously from his generous spirit, his knowledge, and his caring approach. Mr Dan Slater, for twenty years of outstanding service to Girton Grammar School, we thank you and wish you luck in your retirement.
Announcing the 2021 OGA Departing Girtonian Scholarship Winners
Each year, awarding the OGA Departing Girtonian Scholarship is a difficult task. More often than not, judges spend days deliberating on the final two candidates who can barely be split. In 2021, the decision about who should win became impossible, and so, two students have been awarded a $2,000 Scholarship; Erin Collins (12 Jones) and Sanjana Jijo (12 Frew) are the proud winners of a 2021 OGA Departing Girtonian Scholarship. One of the traits that a promising departing Girtonian demonstrates is a commitment to personal development. Erin Collins has impressive levels of self-awareness, facilitating an open mindset and a desire to seek feedback for personal improvement. Erin is more than a participant in life. She immerses in it and tries to get as much out of every opportunity that she can. In her scholarship interview, Erin said that she is motivated by the simple fact that she loves everything that she does. This passion is evident by those around her who benefit from her enthusiasm and describe her curiosity and eagerness to try new things as contagious. Hand in hand with being self-aware, Erin is a caring and compassionate person, often described by others as full of grace, positivity and empathy. With her eye on a future in the healthcare industry, Erins natural inclination to look after others will be an asset. Erin is driven by a desire to be a part of the solution in delivering healthcare in regional areas where it is needed most. Her volunteer work at the St John of God hospital, where she visits patients to brighten their day is a good example of Erin’s effortless care and respect for others. When it comes to leadership, Erin’s approach is one of servitude and example. She is described as a natural leader who never overtly seeks the limelight, instead choosing to be an integral team player who is happy to fill any role required. Her teachers repeatedly refer to her as reliable and say that she is the first to volunteer to run informal activities and tasks, leading by example. In her scholarship application, Erin described the ability to listen as a core skill in a leader. She believes that a leader should facilitate the goals of the team, not demand obedience. Erin’s experience has been that when leaders value individuals, this contributes to motivation and cohesion, amplifying positivity and understanding between group members. Erin describes her involvement in the Performing Arts as a significant piece of herself. She describes fellow theatrical cast members at Girton, The Bendigo Theatre Company and Tribe as family. In her time at Girton, Erin has been Co-curricular captain of Vocal Stagecraft and a Peer Support Leader. She has achieved Full Colours for Jones House in Drama, Music, Performing Arts and Academic Excellence. Academically, Erin is described by her teachers as disciplined and focused. She is a known contributor in class and strikes a healthy balance between her studies and other activities which she knows are beneficial to living a healthy life. As a recipient in Year 10 of the Rotary Club of Bendigo Tom Glazebrook Scholarship for general excellence, citizenship, commitment and involvement in the school community, Erin has a strong history of being a good all-rounder, making her an exemplary role model for other students and thoroughly deserving of the 2021 OGA Departing Girtonian Scholarship. Sometimes described, in the best possible way, as a people pleaser, Sanjana Jijo is known to be someone who can be relied upon to get the job done. Her reputation for being reliable is eclipsed only by her desire to be kind, which was recognised when she received the Kindness Award in Year 9. Being kind and seeing other people smile motivates Sanjana, who likes nothing more than to strip away race, culture and personal interests to connect with someone’s inner feelings. Her career aspirations have two recurring themes. Firstly to help others, whether they are human or animal, and secondly, to bring smiles to people’s faces. As a Peer Support Leader, Co-curricular captain of Vocal Stagecraft and Girton Singers, House Captain and School Prefect, Sanjana is an experienced and caring leader, giving wholeheartedly to anything in which she is involved. This year, Sanjana was a Year 7 Transition Prefect, supporting the newest students at Girton. She was also part of a small group of Prefects who developed an Acknowledgement to Country for each House and for various Girton events, leaving a tangible legacy at the school. In her scholarship application, Sanjana eloquently described the characteristics of a good leader as being someone unafraid to share and contribute ideas while being inclusive and accommodating of the views of others. This sentiment was also reflected in an excellent Prefect speech about the strengths of introverts, hinging on the theme of self-acceptance, which provided ideal messages for younger students in a time of hyper-critical media and other influences. Sanjana is comfortable putting the needs of others before her own, including during remote learning when as House Captain, she instigated and participated in activities designed to motivate and engage her fellow House members. She is described as having immense strength of character that shone through, even via a screen during the long days of remote learning, when she continued to her Junior School student mentoring via Zoom. Sanjana also volunteers at her local Christian church and is a familiar face at her previous primary school, where she volunteers during Girton’s holidays. Sanjana has achieved a high level of musicianship in flute, vocals and piano and applies the same level of commitment to her music as to her academic studies, achieving equally impressive results. Sanjana is known to be punctual, respectful with others at all times, and continually meets all Girton expectations. Sanjana is kind and caring and wise beyond her years. As someone who sets a fine example to her peers, it is fitting that she should be awarded the 2021 OGA Departing Girtonian Scholarship.
Vale Mrs Mair Merriman
Our deepest sympathies are extended to the Merriman family on the loss of their beloved Mair Merriman, who sadly passed away on the morning of Sunday 17th October. Mrs Merriman was a much loved teacher of Girton in the mid 70’s to early 80’s. She was an English Teacher, House Mentor, Welsh enthusiast and she was filled with fond memories and stories of her time at Girton College. Mair is remembered by fellow colleagues Mrs Erica Smith and Mrs Coral Killeen as being a very talented and adored teacher who was warm and caring with a terrific personality and infectious sense of humour. They recall with affection, teaching her children Sian and Craig. Mrs Dorothy Crothers, former Deputy Head of Girton College reflects; When I think of Mair, the word “fizz” comes to mind. She fizzed with enthusiasm for life. She was fully engaged in Girton, as a highly successful teacher who related well to students, as a valuable colleague to other members of staff and as a friend to us all. In the time she was with us she made an unforgettable place for herself in the Girton Family. Mair’s husband David was also involved in education, as a minister and school chaplain. Mair and her family left Bendigo in the early 80’s to return to South Australia where David had been given a new position. Mair was a very special lady who had a deep love for her family, she was a passionate and talented teacher, she was fun to be around and will be very sadly missed.
Vale Wendy Meehan (nee Pilcher)
The Old Girtonians’ Association was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Old Girtonian and dedicated OGA and school supporter, Mrs Wendy Meehan (nee Pilcher). Wendy graduated from Girton College in 1980 and her daughters Toni (Riley, 2011) and Lydia (Riley, 2015) attended Girton from Preparatory to Year 12. Wendy and her husband Wayne co-founded the Friends of Music in 2008 and have been hugely supportive of the music programme and the school in general. Over many committed years, Wendy was an Old Girtonians’ Association committee member (2006 – 2014) and a volunteer supporting the Forever Young Choir and the Girton Parents’ & Friends Association. In her time devoted to Girton, there was rarely a music event, Fair, OGA movie night, OGA reunion event, trivia night, school event or Forever Young concert in which Wendy was not involved. Through her generosity, her reliability, her loyalty, and her warmth many strong friendships were formed within the Girton community. Wendy was quick to recognise the benefits for the school and the Forever Young choir members in forming a unique choir group for retirees to come together bonded by music and singing. Each week Wendy volunteered alongside fellow Girton parents to support the choir by organising and serving morning tea, collecting funds and keeping records, recruiting new members, helping backstage, organising choir t-shirts and providing support for both students and choir members in myriad ways not even anticipated. The OGA also acknowledges the tireless work of Wendy’s husband, Wayne, who shared Wendy’s devotion to Girton, together, contributing countless hours willingly and selflessly as parents of two Old Girtonians. Wendy was immeasurably kind and generous of her time and her spirit. Those fortunate enough to know her enjoyed her smile and her friendship and countless people in the Girton community have benefited from her hard work, tenacity, and reliability. Wendy was a loving mother, devoted to her family and those she knew well, along with those she strived to serve simply because they were members of the Girton community. The OGA is forever indebted for all Wendy has done for the school and the Association. Our thoughts are with Wayne, Toni and Lydia for their loss of a wonderfully warm, kind, generous and inspiring mother and wife.
Vale Amelia ‘Millie’ Beaton
The Old Girtonians’ Association was deeply saddened by recent news of the passing of 2018 graduate Amelia ‘Millie’ Beaton. Millie started at Girton in 2012 in Year 7 in Millward House. She was in a vertical House Tutor group, affectionately known as the ‘Cronies’ from Year 7 to Year 12. Despite interrupted study owing to an ongoing illness, Millie completed her final year of VCE studies over two years and graduated in 2018, switching to Jones House in her Year 13. The school received many reflections of the contribution that Millie made to Girton and the lives of her Girton peers, teachers, friends and Old Girtonians. These stories have been passed onto Millie’s Mum, Emma, and her brother Hugh. Below are two special reflections from her friends; Emily Shoebridge (Jones 2018), Laura Valentine (Frew, 2017) and Archie Bate (Millward, 2016). Emily and Laura: Emily and Millie at the 2018 Swimming Carnival We have been blessed to know Millie’s beautiful, loving soul. She never failed to light up every room she walked into, capturing her audience with her witty humour and bright and courageous personality. Millie always strived to put others above herself, her strong-willed character never faltering even at her sickest. We could always turn to Millie to gain a real appreciation of art and culture, wise beyond her years. One of my first and fondest memories of Millie was when we used to walk to school together most mornings, right back in year 8 or 9. She would finish training, make her way to my house and I would always wait to see what item of her uniform she had forgotten to pack. The countless pairs of socks, tops, and jumpers we shared over the years, even when my clothes were much too big for her, she would borrow my sisters. Millie was intelligent and wise beyond her years, we used to say she was born in the wrong era because of her love for classical music, ancient history, and amazing appreciation for art. We could sit and listen and not understand a thing, but it brought her so much joy. Her passion for arts and culture surpassed just classes at school, Millie had more recently been part of some wonderful theatre productions, which served as a brilliant outlet for her. Millie had a knack for storytelling, she had such a charismatic nature that every word that came from her mouth you were inclined to believe. The funny thing was with Millie is, half the time she would be telling a story, claiming something as fact, she’d even convinced herself of it, and even though you knew the story was so farfetched and completely made up you couldn’t help but go along and believe it. And if you were to call her out on it, you would get to witness her beautiful bright smile as she tried to convince you otherwise. So here’s to you, our darling beloved friend, we will never forget all our memories and your amazing heart of gold. We will miss you immensely. We know that you’ll always be there, laughing alongside our failures and cherishing our achievements. Archie: Millward Cronies 2013 Millie was a truly phenomenal person. It can be a cliché to say that someone lights up the room when they walk into it, but in Millie’s case, she truly did. The vertical house tutor system Millward had in my early senior school years meant I was fortunate to form friendships and interact with students from all different year levels, including Millie. Every morning, regardless of whether she was arriving just on time with hair still dripping from her early morning swimming training, Millie was always ready, fuelled with positivity, which largely contributed to the great culture of ‘The Cronies’ house tutor group. Millie brought this same positivity to the School’s hockey program. The U15 mixed team had a couple of very successful premiership seasons whilst Millie was in the team. Millie had a very competitive personality but in the most relaxed way possible. Whilst we were all playing hockey, I am certain that she was more focused on the homemade chocolate cake, or hot chips that would be waiting on the sidelines. Millie was super passionate about her swimming. It was exciting to see how her abilities took her to Melbourne, to seek better coaching and facilities. It was hard to have a conversation with her without her mentioning swimming; it was the one thing that really made her happy. In every aspect of her life, she always aimed to be the best she could be and this was clearly visible when she was in the pool. From the age of 16 to 22, with the diagnosis of Ewing’s Sarcoma, Millie put up the biggest fight of her life. Always maintaining her dignity, protecting all those she loved, and never letting that twinkle in her eye dim. It is devastating to hear the passing of such a close friend at such a young age, only a short time after she turned 22. Rest In Peace my dear friend, Millie Millie has taught us that life can send us challenges, that our pathways are not guaranteed and that sharing the sometimes-rocky road can help. These qualities and lessons from Millie have left an indelible imprint on her many friends, students, and staff at Girton, and we are blessed for having had her in our lives. Per Aspera Ad Astra.