The Ekka, the Jacarandas and Spring

The Exhibition holiday always marks a significant time in Term 3 with the gift of a mid-week day for pause, the excitement of the Ekka, for those for whom it is a tradition, and the promise of Spring, just around the corner. The jacarandas will soon bloom, heralding exams, but this week, our students enjoyed the fierce competition and colourful House spirit of Athletics, fine-tuning their skills for the Gillies Music Competitions and warming up with pancake breakfasts, and for our senior students, the shared coffee cart with BGS on Thursday mornings.

It is indeed the heaviest Term for assessment for our senior students and recruitment for our staff, as timetables for the coming year take shape following those important subject selection decisions. We have heard much about the challenges of a national, in fact global, teacher shortage. We are graduating fewer teachers in Australia and the demographics are against us with an increasing national student population and ageing teacher workforce. Many professions and industries are experiencing these shortages simultaneously of course, with COVID and ‘flu’ also contributing. This week our caterer Chartwell’s, for example, has had to close Tucker Down, one of our two canteens, due to a shortage of staff due to illness.

BGGS is in the enviable position of being not just a ‘preferred employer’, but a very respected and desirable School for prospective teachers. And yet, we too are experiencing some difficulty. We are developing—rigorously and formally—our employee value proposition to strategically guide our recruitment now and into the future, for the quality of our School and our students’ education is defined, most profoundly, by the people who provide it or enable it.

Beyond the classroom, our students’ experiences are often defined by BGGS traditions that perhaps their mothers, even grandmothers, recall from their time at the School. This weekend’s Gala Concert will be the culmination of months of hard work for our music students and Instrumental Music staff—countless hours spent practicing, rehearsing, to perform on stage for their community. Next week, a new tradition emerges, as we host our first Parent and Daughter Dinner for families commencing at the School next year. It will undoubtedly become the moment lifelong bonds—for many parents and daughters alike—are established, an event they reflect on for years to come. We end the term, of course, with our Father and Daughter Dinner, a long-standing and much-loved evening for all. As always, there is much happening at BGGS and excitement across the School as we draw closer to the cold mornings giving way to the vibrancy and colours of Spring.

Ms Jacinda Euler Welsh