26 Nov 2019

From the Principal

This week we have a special guest introduction from Elizabeth Cutter, Head of Girls’ Middle School.

The power of one

For most of my life, my main philosophical belief has been to hold onto hope. Hope for change, hope for a brighter future and hope for past wrongs to be made right. Too often I have seen young people who are weighed down by the challenges of life and the prospect of a gloomy future. I believe that we have a collective responsibility to help each young person see the opportunities for change that lay ahead for them,  with a future that is light with possibilities and to help them to never lose their hold on hope.

One of the most profound achievements for our students this year has been the establishment and development of our Green Team. This student driven group, established by Mrs Anne Bortolussi, has organically grown throughout the year with a palpable impact on our school culture. Rather than focus on the overwhelming negative predictions for our environment,  they seek out solutions and practical changes that are achievable and measurable. The Green Team ethos of “it is far better to have a whole lot of people doing things imperfectly, than to have just a few people doing it perfectly” permeates all that they do. This year alone they have improved our waste management across the schools, increased recycling and reusing, fundraised over $10,000 for FareShare who focus on feeding the homeless with food waste from supermarkets. They have empowered student voice through the ‘2040’ movie screening and increased awareness throughout the school community. What a testament to the character of our students and what a great example of hope.

 A few weekends ago, I joined our Green Team on their inaugural FareShare fundraising walk. Throughout the day when several walkers asked who our students were, I was saddened to hear the cynicism displayed when they asked me what I had done to force them to be here. This was of course the complete opposite.  I was the one who had needed some convincing to get up early on a Saturday morning and pound the pavement for a good cause. It was the selfless attitude of our students, and a belief in a better tomorrow that was inspiring me, one step at a time.

I find this sense of optimism from our young people a refreshing change from the doom and gloom of global predictions. They are realistic in their approach and empowered with knowledge in order to drive change. Across our Girls’ Middle School we are increasingly seeing advocates for global environmental change, equity and justice for those who do not have a voice.

In our Year 9  pastoral program we study a film called ‘Girl Rising’ which shows case studies of the injustices being faced by many women around the world. This builds on our Days for Girls social justice program in Year 8, where the students create sustainable hygiene products for disadvantaged women. Our girls are supported in developing a global perspective of the challenges that face women today and then practical strategies to help. I recently investigated Australia’s ‘Gender Gap’ as part of our Year 9 financial literacy program. With my optimistic bias showing, I had confidently predicted that we would be in the top 20. We are in fact currently ranked 39th (out of 149 countries) from The Global Gender Gap Report 2018. This report looked at economic participation, political empowerment, educational attainment, and health and survival.

Being 39th doesn’t sound too bad, until you realise that we were 20th in 2008. A very rapid decline over the past 11 years. This could be attributed to the upward progress of other countries; however, when comparing ourselves to other like countries such as the UK, NZ, Canada, France or Germany, we are significantly dragging our heels. Some of the most interesting points were that whilst we are leading the way (#1) with regard to our educational attainment for women, our weakest areas were that of economic growth and political empowerment.

Image source: World Economic Forum 2018, The Global Gender Gap Report 2018, http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2018.pdf

Here again was an opportunity to be informed and to act. We need to continue to find ways to equip our girls with the capacity for leadership and advocacy. To build a culture our students feel safe and empowered to speak up and out to our community. To stand for government, and political change. To be able to look the future in the eye and know that they have an equal and powerful place in our world.

In the words of the Green Team, “it is far better to try, than to do nothing”. As educators and parents what simple steps can we take today to help these goals become reality for our young women?

  • We know that girls thrive in a learning and home environment where they feel connected and valued.
  • We can be vocal about the potential we see in our young women and help them to see it for themselves.
  • We can encourage our students to work in a collaborative manner to build greater self-confidence and expression of ideas.
  • We can offer genuine and meaningful praise for valuable character traits.
  • We can continue to teach and encourage financial literacy at school, and informally around the dinner table.
  • We can talk about  politics, management, or governing a board as being an opportunity for advocacy and change.  
  • We can provide a safe learning environment where our girls can feel able to step out and take calculated risks.

We can continue to celebrate their conviction to create a better world, as I saw demonstrated during our FareShare walk by our team of cheering parents.

Most of all we can give them the gift of a future filled with hope, one step at a time.

NB This report is well worth a read (in particular pages 20, 74-75) if you have a moment http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2018.pdf  


Music Matters

Munch with the Musos a mammoth musical feast!

The CM Wood Centre was filled to capacity on Sunday morning as the Friends of Music ran their most successful “Munch with the Musos” yet! This is the 12th year that the committee has mounted this wonderful event which brings together our Junior School and Middle School performers (and a smattering of senior students), with a Christmas theme being the order of the day. Somewhere in the vicinity of 380 people, including students and their family members and staff enjoyed the musical items performed by choirs, orchestras and bands.

As well as festive music, the event provided time for socialising, munching on tasty morsels, reflecting on the past year, and a familial atmosphere that wouldn’t be possible without the incredible organisational efforts of our Friends of Music committee. Thank you to the hard-working parents, who set up the hall on Friday afternoon (in the dull afternoon light, as we pondered the possibility of no power on Sunday!) and then arrived at 7.30am on Sunday to make sandwiches, cut fruit and get the sprinkles onto the fairy bread! Their efforts are greatly appreciated by the Music Department and the wider school community.

Music lessons for 2020

 A reminder to all families with students who currently learn Instrumental Music to return your enrolment forms for lessons in 2020 if you wish to continue lessons in the new year. Emails were sent today to parents of all existing instrumental/voice students at Tintern.

New Music Lesson enrolments for 2020 also are welcome at this stage. Please call Elizabeth Feenane in the Music Office on 9845 7837 if you have any questions regarding these matters or if you would like to receive an enrolment form for Music lessons in 2020.


Sport Matters

Congratulations to alumnus Scotty James (YG 2013) who has been awarded the prestigious Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) Award of Excellence for a second consecutive year.

A very worthy winner, this caps off a stellar year on the international halfpipe circuit for Scotty, following his third consecutive FIS World Championship title, as well as victories at the X Games, Dew Tour, US Grand Prix, LAAX Open and US Open.

Well done, Scotty!

Read the media release and learn more about alumnus Tintern Grammar Avenue of Excellence inductee Scotty James here.


Community Matters

Principal’s Thank You Night this Thursday 28 November 2019

We greatly appreciate the support of our volunteers, who have given their time and expertise to help make the many Community events held throughout the year so amazing!

We invite everyone to attend the Principal’s  Volunteer Thank You night, where we celebrate and acknowledge our incredible volunteers over drinks and canapés.

Please book your ticket by selecting here.

Munch with the Musos a mammoth musical feast!

Thank you to the incredible volunteers in the Friends of Music (FOM) Group who donated their time and expertise to make the 2019 Munch with the Musos so amazing.

To read about the event please select here.

Save the Date – Trivia Night 2020

Please save the date now for the 2020 TPG Trivia Night – Saturday 29 February 2020.

Working With Children Check

Tintern Grammar requires all volunteers to have a current Working With Children Check (WWCC). If you are intending to volunteer at Tintern, now or in the future, could you please send a copy of your WWCC to either the Junior School assistants or by email to communityrelations@tintern.vic.edu.au, alternatively pop in to the Main Administration where they will be happy to take a copy for you.

Community Committee Dates 

  • Tintern Parent Group (TPG) –Next meeting: Thursday 6 February 2019 at 7.00pm Kennedy Cottage President: Haidee Wallace
  • Friends of Music (FOM) – Next Meeting: Date TBC CM Wood Common Room President: Debra Fryer
  • Friends of Young Farmers (FOYF) – Next Meeting: Monday 10 February 2020 at 7.30pm President: Meaghan Cross
  • Friends of Equestrian (FOE) – Next Meeting: TBC Kennedy Cottage President: Vacant Vice President: Karen Trevorrow

Upcoming Community Dates:

  • Volunteer Thank You Night – Thursday 28 November 2019 at 7pm – Book Here
  • Foundation Service and Community Morning Tea – Friday 7 February 2020 – Booking link coming soon
  • Friends of Equestrian Demonstration Day – Friday 27 March 2020
  • 20th Annual Interschool Horse Trial Championships – Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April 2020
  • Alumni Career Event – Thursday 21 May 2020

Upcoming Reunions:

  • Class of 2010, 10 Year Reunion – Saturday 22 February 2020 – Booking link coming soon

Community Fundraising

Tea Towels 2019 – An excellent Christmas gift!

Creating Lasting Memories!
Our limited edition tea towel design will be made up of self-portraits drawn by all our children and staff. There are 3 separate designs by our junior girls, boys and ELC.
The pictures and names are arranged as a commemorative design and screen printed onto premium 100% white cotton tea towels.

Don’t forget to order a few extras for family members and your keepsake box. Now only $10 each!

To order this treasured keepsake please visit:

There is a  tea towel on display in the Girls and Boys Junior School and the ELC.

Please note: limited quantities available.

Thank you for your continued support!

2017 Tea Towels Designs

Entertainment books are back for their 25th Year!

Entertainment Books are back for their 25th year! To celebrate they are offering a great range of pre-order bonus offers:

Filled with up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers for the most popular restaurants, attractions, shopping, travel and more. The book is current from purchase until the end of May 2020.

With many new offers and all the old favourites the value of this book is incredible!

Please click here to order your 2019/2020 Entertainment book from Tintern Grammar. Books can be collected from Main Reception, or instantly purchase and access a digital membership which can then be used on two separate devices.

Please contact Community Relations on 9845 7877 for further information.

All proceeds raised go towards the fundraising for the TPG for 2019.

Tintern Grammar Photo Albums – Protect your School Photos!

Protect your child’s school photos with a stunning Tintern Photo Album. The TPG is offering beautiful quality made customised ‘buckram’ binders for only $72. The albums are Navy, featuring the school crest and name printed in silver on the front cover and come complete with 10 transparent sheet inserts.

The albums are great for storing:
– The official school photos
– Certificates
– NAPLAN and ICAS results
– Sports and performer ribbons
– Artwork
– Programs from concerts, sports days and special assemblies
– Photos
– Newsletter clippings
– Your own scrapbook creations (as the pages are 30cm x 30cm standard scrapbook size)

In fact, if you think of it like a filing cabinet of memories, over the years it builds up into quite a treasure! Samples can be viewed in the uniform shop and all orders are now taken at this link through trybooking

Once you have placed your order, please take your confirmation to the Uniform Shop to collect your Album and/or extra pages.


Principal’s Thank You Night – Thursday 28 November 2019

Principal’s Thank You Night – Thursday 28 November 2019

We greatly appreciate the support of our volunteers, who have given their time and expertise to help make the many Community events held throughout the year so amazing!

We invite everyone to attend the Principal’s  Volunteer Thank You night, where we celebrate and acknowledge our incredible volunteers over drinks and canapés. Please book your ticket by selecting here.


Save the Date – 2020 Trivia Night – Saturday 29 February 2020

Please save the date now for the 2020 TPG Trivia Night – Saturday 29 February 2020.


ICAS 2019 Medal Award Winners

ICAS testing is a testing regime administered by the University of New South Wales. UNSW have run ICAS Assessments for 35 years and each year over a million students globally sit these tests. ICAS testing used to be designed for benchmarking and measuring full-cohort progress. In 2019, the UNSW reimagined this testing to recognise academic excellence for high potential students (top 10%), with the emphasis on challenge and extension.

With this is mind, we are thrilled that three of our Secondary School students achieved the top score in testing for Victoria. They are:

  • Oscar De Jong – medal winner in Year 12 Writing Test
  • Ashleigh Dowling – medal winner in Year 11 English Test
  • Anika Mulemane – medal winner in Year 7 English Test

Congratulations Oscar, Ashleigh and Anika!

These students and their parents attended a medal winners’ presentation ceremony on Saturday 23 November.

Further congratulations to Oscar!

This is the fourth medal Oscar De Jong has won in ICAS testing: In Year 6 and Year 11, Oscar won ICAS medals for English and in Year 7 he was awarded a medal for a top score in Science.

Oscar with his 2018 ICAS English medal.

In 2019, our Junior School students participated in the following ICAS tests: Digital Technologies, English, Mathematics, Science, Spelling, Writing

In 2019, our Senior School students participated in the following ICAS tests: English, Writing, Science


Congratulations Skye!

Congratulations to Skye Sriratana in Year 7 and her sister Christabelle who recently represented Australia at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO). Skye and Christabelle qualified to compete at the WRO by winning the Australian RoboCup Junior National Championship last year. Worldwide there are almost 29,000 teams working on WRO challenges, which makes it about 80,000 young people!

The WRO international final was held in Hungary last week and involved 2,700 participants from 73 countries. Skye and Christabelle competed in the WRO football division where teams of two on two autonomous robots chase an infrared transmitting ball with the aim of kicking more goals than their opponents. Skye and Christabelle’s group consisted of teams from Greece, Malaysia, Russia, Iran, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. They won two matches and drew one, which placed them in the Top 25 in the World!! This is an incredible achievement, well done, Skye and Christabelle!

Skye thoroughly enjoyed the experience and made lots of new friends from all over the world. Skye’s dad reports that during the Friendship Night it was amazing to see children from all around the world interacting and having fun together.


Cross-age Creative Narratives Activity

After working on their creative narratives for three weeks, the Year 7s girls read their original picture story books to the Year 2 girls this week. With topics ranging from The Perfect Pet to The Anxious Fly, both the Year 7 and Year 2 girls thoroughly enjoyed the shared experience. Next, the Year 2 girls surprised the Year 7s by reading their own narratives from Term 2, based on The Land at Top of the Faraway Tree. Once the Year 7 girls departed, the Year 2 girls reflected on the inspiration they had gained for their future writing. What a fabulous cross campus activity for our Year 2 and Year 7 girls!


Boys’ Middle School News

This week sees the end of our 2019 academic year and the beginning of our transition program where our boys move up into their 2020 classes and begin the academic program for next year. It has been great to see the growth in our boys this year, both physically and emotionally, especially as they are going through the challenging time of adolescence.

The last two weeks of school has seen our boys completing a large number of final assessments as well as studying for end of year tests and in the case of Year 9s, exams. This process is a great way for our boys to develop strategies early that are going to be of assistance to them in the coming years, especially our Year 9s as they head into the Senior College.

During last week, which included Remembrance Day, the school respected the minute silence at 11am, whilst our Year 9s who recently visited the Shrine of Remembrance in the city gained a new-found understanding of this important day in Australia’s culture.

Our Outdoor Education class spent their final lesson this year sledding on the Yarra River. They travelled to Warrandyte where they entered the water carrying inflatable rafts and proceeded to make their way downstream enjoying the gentle rapids and playing many fun games along the way. Despite the cold weather, the boys had a fantastic time in the water.

In sport, our Year 8 & 9 indoor cricket team had a very impressive year, making the finals in a very tough competition, only to be knocked out in the first round of the finals. Our Year 7 indoor cricket team went through the season undefeated to take out the pennant. We have a large number of very good cricketers who all contributed to the success of the team, however, special mention needs to go to Callum Power, who in one match had the amazing figures of 5 for -19 – must be close to an EISM record. Another near record would be the number of stumpings that Barathan Mahadeva managed whilst keeping wickets throughout the season. A great effort by all the boys.

Our Year 8 boys who are applying for school leadership positions gave their speeches during the week to our Year 7 & 8 boys who are now tasked with voting for those they believe will best fulfil the roles of 2020 Middle School Captain and Vice-Captain. Selecting the leadership team of 2020 will be a challenging task but I am very excited by the potential of young leaders we have in the current group of Year 8s; and that they can continue on the fine work that our leaders of 2019 have done.

Last Thursday, a lightning strike caused a power outage in Ringwood East effecting the school significantly. Despite coming back on during the night in most of the suburb, our school remained without power until late Saturday evening. This meant our entire IT systems were down, no emails, no Portal, etc. which made for some challenging lessons on Friday but also no school canteen. For this we organised a sausage sizzle for the students, which seemed to go down really well considering the challenges we were facing.

Shortly our boys will begin their 2020 academic program, which will include a number of assessments and tests that will go toward their 2020 results. Teaching will continue right up to the last day of school, Tuesday 10 December, which will also include our annual Tintern Tough Mudder for the Middle School students, as well as a final assembly in the afternoon.

On Friday 29 November (9:45am – 10:30am), we have our final Middle School assembly where we will present our graduating Year 9 students and wish them well for their Senior College journey. We will also introduce our Middle School leadership team for 2020. Parents and friends are welcome to attend either or both assemblies.


Year 10 Textiles and Technology Elective ‘Farm to Felting’

This semester in Year 10 Textiles and Technology Elective, students had the opportunity to work with fleece from the Tintern Farm.

After carefully washing, dyeing and carding the wool, students were asked to create a felted piece based of the theme ‘Outer Space’. Briefed by Gavin Wall about how wool fibres are naturally built to clasp together once heated, cooled or agitated, the felting process began to make sense in the minds of the students. We chose to work with rich colours against a black background exploring abstract layers of colour to mimic photographic images from the universe. Machine embroidery was used by some to enhance the surface of the felt.

It was fascinating to see the students transform the dirty shorn fleece through the design process into striking pieces of Art.

by Jo Amiet, Visual Arts Teacher


Natasha Paige (YG 2010)

Congratulations to alumna Natasha Paige (YG 2010) who was recently admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria as an Australian Lawyer.

Natasha is currently enjoying her time at TurksLegal in the Graduate rotation program and is learning new and valuable skills every day.

Well done, Natasha! This is an outstanding achievement.

Photo credit: Natasha Paige LinkedIn



Scotty James (YG 2013)

Congratulations to alumnus Scotty James (YG 2013) who has been awarded the prestigious Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) Award of Excellence for a second consecutive year.

A very worthy winner, this caps off a stellar year on the international halfpipe circuit for Scotty, following his third consecutive FIS World Championship title, as well as victories at the X Games, Dew Tour, US Grand Prix, LAAX Open and US Open.

Well done, Scotty!

Photo credit: Kathy Watt

Read the media release here and learn more about alumnus Tintern Grammar Avenue of Excellence inductee Scotty James.


Term 1, 2020 – Principal’s Events – Dates for your diary

Welcome Coffee Morning

All parents are welcome to join us for coffee and morning tea after drop off on Friday 31 January 2020, 8.30am in the Community Hub.

Please book for catering purposes: https://www.trybooking.com/BGZER

ELC and Junior School Families BBQ and Afternoon Tea

ELC and Junior School children and parents/guardians are invited to join the Principal Bradley Fry for a Welcome Back BBQ and Afternoon Tea on Wednesday 5 February, 3.30 – 5.00pm in the Community Hub.

Please book for catering purposes: https://www.trybooking.com/BGZEZ

Years 7 – 12 Parent Drinks hosted by the Principal

Parents and guardians of Years 7 – 12 students are invited to join the Principal Bradley Fry for drinks and canapés on Thursday 20 February, 6.00 – 7.30pm in the Year 9 Courtyard.

Please book for catering purposes: https://www.trybooking.com/BGZFE