YOUR LARGEST GLOBAL NETWORK
Class of 1973: 50 Year Reunion
The Girton Grammar class of 1973 and those who would have graduated in these years are warmly invited to attend a reunion event on Friday 20th October. The day will include a morning tea at Girton, a preview of the archives in Girton House and a school tour followed by lunch at The National. Join the morning tea at 10.45am at 105 MacKenzie Street, followed by a school tour at 11.30am, or simply attend the lunch at 1.00pm at The National (45 View Street). The tour will involve about 45 minutes of walking. Morning tea is provided by the OGA. Lunch will be pay on the day. Date: Friday 20th October, 2023 Time: 10.45am-late afternoon Venue: Girton Grammar School and The National Registrations open soon!
Class of 1963: 60 Year Reunion
The Girton Grammar class of 1963 and those who would have graduated in these years are warmly invited to attend a reunion event on Friday 3rd November. The day will include a morning tea at Girton, a preview of the archives in Girton House and a school tour followed by lunch at The National. Join the morning tea at 10.45am at 105 MacKenzie Street, followed by a school tour at 11.30am, or simply attend the lunch at 1.00pm at The National (45 View Street). The tour will involve about 45 minutes of walking. Morning tea is provided by the OGA. Lunch will be pay on the day. Date: Friday 3rd November, 2023 Time: 10.45am-late afternoon Venue: Girton Grammar School and The National Tickets can be purchased HERE
Class of 2022: 1 Year Reunion
The Girton Grammar Class of 2022 and those who would have graduated in 2022 are warmly invited to the GPO Bar and Restaurant in Bendigo for a night of friendship and fun. The event will officially start at 6pm with finger food provided until 8.30pm, after which time you are welcome to remain at the venue and enjoy each other’s company. OGA members are free and non-members are $20. Drinks at bar prices. Date: Friday 1st December, 2023 Time: 6:00pm til late Venue: GPO Bar and Restaurant Tickets available soon!
From Music Tutor to Legal Professional: The Journey of a Girtonian Lawyer
In a world where career paths often take unexpected twists and turns, there are individuals who defy the conventional trajectory and embrace the opportunities that come their way. Meet Will Griffin, a lawyer hailing from Frew House and Girton’s graduating class of 2015. While his journey began with a passion for music and science, fate had a different plan. Today, he stands as a prominent figure in the legal landscape, with a passion for justice and advocating for those in need. With a solid educational foundation from Girton, Will embarked on his academic journey at La Trobe University. After studying Biology, Chemistry, Further Maths, Business Management, English Language, Music Styles and Composition, his career path seemed destined for the scientific or musical realm. However, life had surprises in store, leading him to pursue tertiary studies in law and business. Little did he know that these seemingly “odd choices” would shape his future in ways he never anticipated. Since leaving Girton, Will has woven a tapestry of experiences, ranging from being a music tutor and volunteering at community legal centres to taking on leadership roles within the legal and university community. “I was Chair of the Bendigo Student Association (BSA) during a changing era in the university sector with some very difficult, political and financial circumstances that placed significant pressure on the organisation, its staff and therefore the students it served,” said Will. “The BSA was responsible for the student life and essential student services at the Bendigo campus at La Trobe….couple those issues with the beginning of a pandemic and you had the perfect storm.” Will was inspired by the challenges faced by Girton itself in 1992 and 1993, which strengthened his determination to find a better way and support the needs of students. Will along with a project team sought to find a better way and together embarked on a road trip across La Trobe’s campuses, engaging with students and crafting a vision for a unified and robust association that was sustainable and could support students across the State – the La Trobe Student Association was born from these challenges and the small project team was tasked with the writing of the company constitution, company policies and procedures and hiring of some twenty staff to ensure that students at La Trobe had a strong and viable organisation that could deliver student services across the state. “I am proud to say that organisation still runs to this day and continues fulfilling the mission of making student life better for students in Albury, Mildura, Shepparton, Bendigo and Melbourne,” said Will. Today, as a lawyer, Will finds great fulfilment in his work, particularly within the realm of family law. “I enjoy my work as it affects people’s lives deeply,” he said. “I am passionate about taking a connected partnership with clients, instilling them with the assurance and confidence to advance their lives beyond their legal issues.” It is through his passion for justice and his dedication to making a positive impact that he continues to shape the lives of those he represents. Life after Girton has been filled with transformative experiences and personal growth. Alongside his professional achievements, Will has travelled the world, exploring new cultures and forging lasting connections. In August, he plans to embark on a solo journey to the UK, where he will reunite with fellow Girtonians and create memories that further strengthen the bonds formed during their time at School. Will’s journey from Girton to becoming a lawyer today exemplifies the essence of embracing unexpected opportunities. His diverse experiences, determination, and passion for justice have shaped his career and left a lasting impact on the lives of those he serves. Will’s story serves as a reminder that the most remarkable journeys often begin with embracing unexpected opportunities. Will with parents Stephen and Kerrie at the “Admission to Legal Practice” lunch in Melbourne On holiday in Nusa Lembongan Island Indonesia with fellow Old Girtonians Brandon, Zac, Jarrod, Liam, Lewis, Hugh, Emma and Maeve Will with Melissa Buchanan, Director of Reign Legal, at the Community Cancer Wellness Ball in Bendigo
How to Make a Baby
Audrey Scott (Jenkin, 2011) always wanted to work in maternal and foetal health. Still, she did not imagine her job would involve creating human life, which is how she now spends her days as a clinical embryologist at Monash IVF. Audrey describes her career as highly rewarding and says the circuitous route that led her to work in a laboratory to create embryos has been a valuable part of her career journey. “I thought I would end up working as an obstetrician or paediatric doctor, but I am much happier working in my highly specialised field because my role helps give hope and provide patients with a family when they might otherwise have been without hope or options. “The world of Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) also helps the LGBTIQA+ community with sperm and egg freezing for transitioning/preserving fertility, and helping create families with donated sperm and/or eggs, and surrogacy. “We can help oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy preserve fertility through egg and sperm freezing. We can also perform genetic testing on embryos, which helps prevent devastating genetic disorders from being passed on to children,” Audrey said. Audrey has undertaken four formal courses of study since leaving Girton. Initially, she completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Deakin University, followed by two years of a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Wollongong. “For several reasons, medicine was not the path I was meant to tread, but I am very proud of myself for getting into it (an achievement in itself), and I have no regrets about the journey that led me there. “I made lots of wonderful friends, and I don’t ever ask myself “what if”, which is satisfying,” she said. When Audrey returned to Melbourne, she completed a Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University), her first taste of the embryology world. It included learning about Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) for animal conservation of endangered species and for commercial sales, such as in the bovine industry, where sperm from prized stud bulls is collected and frozen using ART techniques for commercial sale worldwide. Audrey’s focus on embryonics then turned to humans when she undertook a Masters in Clinical Embryology (Monash University), where her studies focussed on human reproductive technology, including medicine, hormones, and the many skills required in the lab to create embryos, including insemination, handling, freezing, thawing, and embryo transfer. “Embryologists require excellent hand-eye coordination, as most of our work is performed in humidicribs (so we can mimic the uterine environment as much as possible) with microscopes and micro-manipulators, so it is incredibly detailed and delicate work,” Audrey said. Audrey commenced at Girton in Year 6 in 2005 and graduated in 2011. She completed a 3-month exchange to Bordeaux, France, at the end of Year 10 and was a Senior Prefect in Year 12. Audrey had two favourite teachers. “It’s a tie between Dr Harvey (now O’Rielly) for Biology and Ms Ryan for Chemistry. I love science, and their passion and dedication to the field encouraged me to push myself and strive for perfection, which serves me well in my career. “Also, having such talented female mentors for ‘women in STEM’ is powerful, and it was incredibly exciting to see them succeed in the industry. “At Girton, I never felt that such a path was unachievable or unattainable for me because I was a woman, and my Girton teachers helped set me up with all the tools, encouragement, and mentors needed to forge my own path in the industry,” she said. Audrey has lived and studied in Geelong, Wollongong, and Melbourne over the past 11 years. Her main part-time job during undergrad studies was as a fromagère for delicatessens in Barwon Heads and Bendigo. A Francophile at heart, Audrey enjoyed the break from heavy science/ medicine studies. “Working in a role where I could sell cheese to customers and discuss and learn about wine and charcuterie pairings was a relief. Working in the food industry when you are a poor uni student is always a smart idea because the free meals help a lot with budgeting.” Audrey says that her career highlight to date is the first pregnancy achieved from an embryo transfer she completed. “It was incredibly exciting. The patient is currently still pregnant, and I look forward to seeing the notes in her file when she (hopefully) delivers her baby in a few months. “Before COVID, patients would sometimes bring their babies into the clinic so we could meet the little humans that we made from the sperm and eggs in the lab. I hope these visits will start up again one day. “Patients still send in photos which are shared between the nurses, doctors, and embryologists, because everyone has a role to play in helping that new human be created; it’s a moment of shared joy for everyone involved,” she said. Audrey currently lives with her partner in Melbourne in an apartment they are renovating. She recently gave her time to share her personal and professional life with Year 12 students at an OGA Careers Event. Audrey and her partner Alexander Audrey with her parents Robert and Marina at her Master’s Graduation, 2021 Audrey with her parents and two sisters
Valedictorian to Velodrome
When Alessia McCaig (Jenkin 2021 and School Vice Captain) was in her Adelaide homestay hoping for a phone call to confirm her selection for the 2022 Commonwealth Games cycling team, she was so nervous she decided to douse herself in a refreshing shower. No sooner had the water begun to wash away her nerves, did her phone ring. She sprung out of the shower like a cat to receive the good news that she was going to Birmingham. “I was basically in shock when I took that phone call,” Alessia said. “Going to the Commonwealth Games is the stuff of dreams, so it was a very surreal moment, and I don’t remember saying much on the phone other than thank you. Alessia at the Commonwealth Games with her Dad Cameron, Mum Ree and brother Connor (Jenkin 2018) “I rang mum and dad straight away with the news, however, we had to keep my selection quiet for three weeks while a whole lot of administration took place. “My brother was the next person to know I was going to the Commonwealth Games and then when it was publicly announced, my phone exploded,” she said. Alessia is part of the Australian Cycling Team, training at the Australian Institute of Sport. Along with her Australian teammates, she is based in Adelaide because Canberra (where the AIS is based) does not have an indoor velodrome. In Birmingham at this year’s Commonwealth Games, there were five athlete villages. Four of these were in and around Birmingham and one was in London where the velodrome was located and where cyclists from all over the world congregated to compete in the various Commonwealth Games cycling events. Alessia describes the cycling community; “All cycling competitors were in the London village in a really nice hotel, which was part of an enormous Westfield complex. “Because of COVID we had individual rooms with an enormous king size bed, so that was pretty nice. “Each country basically occupied a different floor of the hotel and there were not enough rooms for our coaches who had to stay in another hotel. It probably wasn’t ideal, but the reduced scrutiny was appreciated by the athletes! “There was a degree of comfort knowing that everyone you bumped into at the hotel was a cyclist and on a similar journey to your own. One of the most memorable nights was playing an international game of Uno with cyclists from all over the world,” Alessia said. The COVID situation in Birmingham during the Games was not a defining feature of the athlete’s experience, but there were testing requirements. “We had to register a negative COVID result seven to ten days before departure, 72 hours before arriving in the village and then again upon arrival at the village. “After that, we were only required to COVID test if we developed symptoms, similar to the current situation in Australia,” she said. Food in the athlete village is sometimes legendary at Commonwealth and Olympic Games and Alessia said the daily spreads were impressive. “We had buffet-style meals to suit all nations. Cyclists came from the African and Indian continents, and from all over Europe so there was food to suit all cultures. “All meals were buffet style but if we were at the velodrome at lunchtime, we packed food from the buffet and took it with us so it wasn’t entirely glamorous!” Alessia is not on a particular diet to suit her training and competing, but she is well educated in what works for her and conscious of eating well. “I make sure that I eat a lot of carbohydrates, veggies and plenty of protein. I basically try to make sure I have a balanced diet. “We have a nutritionist who oversees the athletes’ diet and gives advice. She is very good. She spoke to me a few weeks before the games and diagnosed that I was not eating enough which was evident from my recovery and sleep patterns. She got me back on track in time for the Commonwealth Games,” Alessia said. At the Birmingham Games, Alessia competed in four cycling events, all in the velodrome. The Team Sprint (three riders on the track at the same time); the Individual Sprint (a three lap ‘cat and mouse’ race with two riders on the track); the 500 m time trial (one rider on the track completing two laps from a standing start as fast as possible) and the Keirin (a six lap race with riders following a pace car for the first three laps, then sprinting the next three). The 500m time trial is Alessia’s favourite event and the occasion in Birmingham in which she achieved her best result, placing 8th. Her Commonwealth Games debut moment was in the Team Sprint, where she was the first rider for her team. “My heart rate was really high and I was just trying to breathe normally. I was super nervous. “It’s not actually the most nervous I have been in my cycling career. That moment was at my first international event a few months ago, the Nations Cup in Glasgow. I saw myself on the big screen as I lined up for the start and went to water. I think it’s the reality of the moment reflected so dramatically back at you that got me. It’s a big enough moment as it is, without being visually reminded. “When I lined up again as the first rider in the Team Sprint at the Commonwealth Games, I again saw myself on the big screen. This time, I took a big breath and I was OK. “The crowd was massive and very loud in Birmingham. After competing, on video I saw the crowd get silenced for the count down at the start of our race. But as soon as you take off, there is a crazy uproar,” Alessia said. When asked if she is happy with all her Commonwealth Games event results, Alessia says “mostly”. “We came 4th in the Team Sprint in a bronze medal ride-off. That was unexpected and a great result. “I was disappointed with how I rode in the Individual Sprint. My 200m qualifying time was disappointing. I just had to deal with it. I had a bit of a moment and let the emotions out, talked about it and moved on. “We have good support in these circumstances and trainers to help us move through the process of getting through tough moments. “One of our trainers saw I was upset. She suggested I go outside and take twenty minutes to process the result. She also made it clear she expected me back at a certain time. I guess she wanted me to reflect, but not wallow in the result. “I managed to bounce back and got very close to my personal best in the 500m time trial. I was really happy to be 8th in an international field of such high-quality athletes and also pleased to make it through to the finals in the Keiren,” she said. Alessia with fellow athletes at the Commonwealth Games Alessia believes she has learned a lot from being a Commonwealth Games competitor. About track racing, about life and about herself. At just 19 years of age, she believes there is much more to learn. “I think the biggest lesson from the Games was learning about dealing with emotions. I am totally reliant on my body to perform at my best, but it means nothing if I can’t also rely on my mindset. “My race tactics have been honed and I’ve learned more about how to go about setting and achieving goals now that I’ve done it once at this elite level. “The thing I am most proud of is my ability to bounce back. You don’t really know you can do it until it happens, so it’s not an entirely bad thing to have a disappointing result this early in my international career. Now I know I can bounce back if I have future moments of disappointment and that’s really good to know about yourself.” Alessia’s next big sporting goal is to represent Australia at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024. She says it will take her current amount of commitment, and some. With at least three gym sessions each week of two-hour duration and three track sessions of three-hour duration, Alessia and her AIS teammates spend approximately 15 – 17 hours training each week in the sport they love. “It’s fair to say I am often tired! We do have a lot of time on the weekends to chill out and that usually includes a low-key road ride that takes in a coffee shop or two. “I really like Adelaide. I am living in my own little rental place now, in the northeast in a suburb called Campbelltown. “Cycling is basically my full-time priority right now, and the AIS provides a basic income to cover living expenses. They also provide all of the cycling equipment that the team uses, and the AIS has some sponsors, so we get various sports food, clothing and other benefits from the sponsorship. “I am also studying on the side. I am doing Health Science online at Charles Darwin University, which is a pathway into chiropractic studies. I hope to get into the Australian Chiropractic College. “I am still in contact with Girton friends – Ingrid, Tom and Erin are all in Adelaide so that’s fantastic. “It was quite an adjustment moving out of home and I found it quite difficult at first because I am very family oriented. It’s better now that I have my own space and routine,” Alessia said. The Sports Excellence Programme (SEP) at Girton can accommodate elite athletes by allowing their training and recovery to be time-tabled into their week and Alessia said it was a huge benefit to her to have completed the programme while at Girton. “I did the SEP right through to Year 12. Mr Smalley was fantastic, and Mr Furphy was a big support. “The programme allowed me to do my training at school rather than having to do it at home, therefore, I could spend more time studying. Recovery sessions at school were useful after competing. “There was flexibility too, so if I did not have training during a particular day or I needed to catch up on a SAC I could study during my SEP time. “I would highly recommend doing SEP in Year 12 to any Girton athletes competing at a high level. “I am a Girton ‘lifer’, having attended the school from Prep to Year 12. The school has always supported my sporting pursuits. I feel like the school was loyal to me. “Girton taught me life lessons that I can take into sport, and life outside of school. I am very grateful to the school and the teachers for being there for me,” Alessia said.
CLASS OF 2018 – FIVE YEAR REUNION
The Class of 2018 had a great night on Saturday at their 5 year reunion. Some alumni are still studying, while others are taking a year off to pursue other interests. Many have landed their first job – graphic design, occupational therapy and business among them. We look forward to seeing you all at your 10 year reunion!
Class of 1993: Thirty Year Reunion
What an incredible time at the Class of 1993’s 30 Year Reunion on Saturday 19th August! Touring the School and digging through old photo albums was a step back in time, especially for the borders who have clearly formed lifelong friendships. The fun continued at the Brougham Arms Hotel, where alumni reconnected with old friends and made new ones. A highlight was seeing beloved former teachers, Rachelle Fisher, Rick and Louise McWaters, and Tony Davies!
Class of 2003 Twenty Year Reunion
This incredible group of former students had a fantastic time coming together again during their Twenty Year Reunion on Saturday, July 29th. The graduates from the class of 2003 relished the opportunity to take a nostalgic tour of the school and revisit their favourite hangouts such as the Year 12 Common Room, Canteen and Peppercorn Tree. It was evident that this group shares a strong bond, as they joyfully celebrated and reconnected with old friends at the Brougham Arms in the evening. A heartfelt appreciation goes out to those who made the effort to travel both near and far to be part of this special reunion. Looking forward to seeing everyone again at the 30 Year Reunion!
Class of 1983 Forty Year Reunion
On Saturday, 29th July 2023, the members of the Class of 1983 came together once again. This delightful gathering of Old Girtonians reunited with their former classmates for a nostalgic tour of the School. Tales of yesteryears were exchanged, and cherished photo albums were pored over, evoking fond memories. Following this heartfelt reunion, the group indulged in a delightful meal at the Brougham Arms Hotel, where long-lost friendships were reignited, and four decades worth of experiences were joyously shared. We eagerly look forward to reconnecting at the 50 Year Reunion!