Illumine: a BGGS Podcast

Illumine is a podcast that shares enlightening conversation and friendly debate about Australia’s current educational landscape and the values and philosophy of the School.

Listen to Illumine via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts.

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Illumine for Parents: Dr Lisa Damour, Part 2

In Part 2 of Ms Euler’s discussion with psychologist and best-selling author, Dr Lisa Damour, they explore how to navigate through negative online behaviours, discuss why adolescents can have such powerful emotions, and reminisce and reflect on how parenting teens, although hard at times, can be such a joyous and connected time for families.

Illumine for Parents: Dr Lisa Damour, Part 1

Raising adolescents can be a challenging time, and the difficult conversations that parents need to have today are markedly different from those of even ten years ago. Mobile phones, social media and a global pandemic may well have changed these conversations with our daughters, but they remain vitally important no matter how uncomfortable they might make us as parents.

Host, Ms Jacinda Euler, discusses how to navigate and approach a variety of complex topics with your daughter, with psychologist and best-selling author, Dr Lisa Damour. In Part 1 of their conversation they discuss conflict in friendships and ‘cancel-culture’, and why most adolescents tell some untruths to their parents and why this is perfectly normal.

Grammar Women: Sophie Matterson

Season 1, Episode 3

How many people have trekked the whole way across Australia—from Shark Bay in Western Australia to the most eastern tip of Byron Bay in New South Wales? And not only that, but to also bring along five camels as company for the five-thousand-kilometre-long journey that spanned two years?

In this episode of Illumine—Grammar Women host, Ms Jacinda Euler, interviews former Head Girl, Sophie Matterson (2006) about her amazing journey across Australia with her five camel friends, Jude, Delilah, Mac, Clayton, and Charlie.

How can schools foster a culture of thinking?

Season 3, Episode 5

Test scores and measures of achievement tell you where a student is at, but they don’t tell you where that student could end up.
– Dr Dr Carol Dweck, Psychologist and Stanford Professor

In a society that tends to measure success on results and scores, rather than on the development of characteristics that are often far more important to our students’ lives beyond school, what makes a ‘good teacher’? And perhaps equally as important, what characteristics do we think a ‘good student’ has?

In this special episode of Illumine, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler and internationally renowned educator and researcher, Dr Ron Ritchhart, discuss how when schools prioritise thinking as a discipline rather than achieving, academic excellence is a natural by-product.

Illumine for Parents: The Art of Self-Care and Wellbeing

We hear the terms ‘self-care’ and ‘wellbeing’ often—even more so since the pandemic turned our lives upside down—yet what do these concepts mean, and how are they related to each other? Why has it never been more important for us to prioritise acts of ‘self-care’ in our daily lives, and in the lives of our children?

In this episode of Illumine for Parents, host Jacinda Euler, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, discusses the importance of self-care and looking after your own wellbeing, with School Psychologist, Mrs Tara McLachlan.

The secret to getting ahead? ‘Mucking it up’ first

Season 3, Episode 4

We all must write at times—whether for a school assessment as a student, a presentation for work, or a speech at a wedding. Yet, many claim that they don’t know how to write—they weren’t ‘blessed with this gift’, or they ‘aren’t creative enough’. But what if we treated the skill of writing like we do, learning to drive a car, for example? Understanding that it takes practice, getting out of our comfort zone, and risking failure in order to succeed?

In this episode of Illumine, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, and Head of Literature, Miss Meghan Parry, discuss the idea of ‘failing forward’, and how often, the secret to great writing is ‘mucking it up’ the first time, in order to pave the way for a great piece.

Grammar Women: Susannah George

How many of us have seen an opening in the market, had an idea for a new product, or identified a sector that was struggling, and thought, I know what might help to solve this issue? Now think about how many of us have followed through on this idea—taken the plunge and pursued a dream, or passion—only for it to fail, or flourish?

Welcome to the second episode of Illumine—Grammar Women, a podcast that highlights the fascinating stories and achievements of Brisbane Girls Grammar School alumnae. Hosted by Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, this episode features alumnae, Susannah George, who went on to found one of the largest independent media companies in Australia and New Zealand—The Urban List.

Illumine from the Students Episode 5: World Environment Day

There is no escaping the increasing concern about the impacts of climate change on our planet and of course on our lives, and the many lives around us. Are we doing enough to address its impacts? Or do we feel paralysed by a sense of hopelessness and overwhelm at the sheer magnitude of the problem?

In this episode of Illumine from the Students, host Ms Jacinda Euler, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, discusses World Environment Day and with Science Teacher, Mrs Chris Woodford and three students from the School’s GECO conservation group, Anna (Year 8), Evie (Year 10) and Madison (Year 12).

Illumine from the Students Episode 4: Sports at BGGS

It’s undisputed that sports and physical activity are essential to our health and wellbeing, and research also tells us that the personal benefits go beyond the physical—helping us to sleep better, focus, and develop important skills such as teamwork and collaboration.

In this fourth episode of Illumine—From the Students, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler, is joined by students and accomplished athletes, Emily and Zoe to discuss how they balance their sporting commitments with their studies, and hear first-hand the personal benefits of participating in sport at BGGS.

Part 2—Why do we need educational institutions now, more than ever?

Season 3, Episode 3

The second-half of our two-part series featuring the Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland, delves into Professor Terry’s career in research and tertiary education, and looks at memorable moments that helped to set her on this path.

Also discussed, are the many challenges facing young people today, and how educational institutions might be some of the best-placed organisations to help address these concerns.

Part 1—Why do we need educational institutions now, more than ever?

Season 3, Episode 2

In a world where Google gives us boundless information and answers instantaneously, a world where remote learning has become a norm and corporate sponsored think tanks just keep popping up, do we still need educational institutions?

Welcome to a special episode of Illumine featuring Professor Deborah Terry AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland. Hosted by Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler, this two-part conversation explores the role that educational institutions play in our lives, and the purpose that they serve in today’s society.

Illumine for Parents: Navigating co-curricular activities for your daughter

When it comes to selecting which co-curricular activities your child will participate in, do they want to over-commit themselves to the point that you fear that their grades could be compromised? Or do you have the opposite issue, with your child uninterested in participating in activities outside of the academic curriculum?

In this latest episode of Illumine for Parents, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler, discusses how to navigate your child’s participation in co-curricular activities with Deputy Principal (Co-curriculum), Ms Sophie Mynott.

Illumine for Parents: Stress can be a good thing, if you know how to use it

In this latest Illumine for Parents, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, discusses the topic of ‘stress’ with Deputy Principal, Mrs Anne Ingram, and School Mindfulness Coordinator and Head of Visual Art, Mr Donald Pincott.

In this episode they consider stress—one of those unavoidable aspects of life as a secondary school student, and indeed, life in general, and how parents can help by modeling how they deal with their own stressors.

Grammar Women: Gabriella Palm and Abby Andrews

Welcome to Illumine—Grammar Women, a podcast series that highlights the interesting stories and achievements of Brisbane Girls Grammar School alumnae.

In this first episode, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, interviews former students turned Olympic Water Polo athletes, Gabriella Palm (2015) and Abby Andrews (2017). In this candid conversation, they discuss what it was like to compete at an Olympic Games amidst a global pandemic, the challenges and great rewards they each found by forging a sporting career overseas as young women, and how they balance full-time elite sporting commitments with their tertiary studies.

Illumine for Parents: Bravery and anxiety are contagious

In this episode, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, talks to Ms Ruth Jans, Head of Mackay House, and Mrs Hazel Boltman, Head of Gibson House, about how parents can work with their child to rechannel their anxiety into opportunities for bravery and growth.

This episode explores the difference between anxiety and a feeling of being unsure or nervous, common ‘side-effects’ students can experience as a result of feeling anxious, and useful insights and strategies for how you can help your child to cope, and use these experiences as an opportunity for personal development.

Lessons for Thriving in a Feedback Culture

Season 3, Episode 1

We all benefit from a learning community where students are open and responsive to feedback on their work, and where teachers expect to receive student feedback too.

In this episode, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler and Head of Department—English Curriculum Development, David Rawson, discuss how we can use feedback as a non-threatening tool to begin the process of dismantling students’ fears around imperfection and work towards subject mastery.

Illumine from the Students Episode 3: Returning Remotely

In this third episode of Illumine—From the Students, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler, is joined by 2022 Head Girls, Isabel Stephens (12M) and Gigi Souyave Murphy (12W), to discuss remote learning. The 2022 academic year will begin remotely for the first time. In this discussion, our Head Girls share the joys and challenges of remote learning, and offer advice for Year 7 students starting secondary school for the first time.

Illumine from the Students Episode 2: Social Media

In this second episode of Illumine—From the Students, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler, sits down with Year 11 students, Juliette, Maya and Bronte, to discuss the wild and wonderful world of social media. In this candid conversation they discuss which social media platforms they are using the most, how they are using the different channels, and comment on strategies they use to regulate their device usage. The episode also explores what it’s like for Maya, who does not have a mobile phone or use social media, and how this affects her communication with friends.

How Traditions Shape a School

Season 2, Episode 6

Brisbane Girls Grammar School is steeped in tradition. Traditions are central to our success as they are expressions—things, events, activities, beliefs—passed on from generation to generation. They form our culture and demonstrate who we are.

In this episode, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, speaks with School History and Culture Manager, Mrs Pauline Harvey-Short OAM, about why traditions are important to understand and retain, and how engaging with traditions both old and new can help define and unite a community.



Illumine from the Students Episode 1: Study Tips and Tricks

In this first episode of Illumine—From the Students, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler, sits down with Year 11 students, Elise, Leia and Gigi, to find out how they prepare for exams, manage stress, and approach their studies with confidence.

Vulnerability and Technology in Remote Learning

Season 2, Episode 5

If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that young people in this world are a lot more adaptable than we give them credit for. Our students want to learn. However when forced to learn from home for weeks or months at a time,  vulnerability can surface in many ways—the most common of which is disengagement.

Rather than responding with frustration, this is where teachers need to be understanding and  incorporate a wider range of learning techniques.

In this episode, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, speaks to passionate Technologies Teacher, Ms Nisha Swanston, about the challenges of remote teaching, and resisting the ‘chalk and talk’ which can often take over Zoom lessons.

Illumine for Parents Episode 1: Parenting During COVID-19

Following the success of the School’s original podcast series Illumine, Brisbane Girls Grammar School presents our new podcast series, designed especially for parents.

Illumine: For Parents shares practical advice, insights and wisdom from our expert staff. These short episodes will provide insights into the world of adolescents: including dealing with stress, friendship and belonging, how to approach academic tasks, and balancing commitments.

In this first episode, Director of Student Counselling, Mrs Jody Forbes, speaks about her experience in working with students and their families, through workshops, seminars, and collaboration. Mrs Forbes discusses how to best support young people to find certainty in uncertain times, building confidence and resilience, the BGGS Mindfulness program and more.


Financial Literacy for Young Women

Season 2, Episode 4


Women have been, and are continuing to be, left behind in financial wellbeing.

More than 40 per cent of women find money decisions overwhelming and stressful,  and a recent survey experiment undertaken by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Centre found that about one third of the financial literacy gender gap can be attributed to women’s lower confidence levels.

In this episode, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, sits down with Chief Financial Officer and BGGS alumna, Ms Rachel Fraser, to discuss a topic close to her heart: how we can empower girls and young women to find a sense of confidence, and even excitement, in managing their finances.


Sexual Consent Education

Season 2, Episode 3


The past months have revealed that more work needs to be done in homes, schools and communities to educate and empower young people regarding sexual consent. Chanel Contos’ sexual assault petition highlighted that abuse happens within school years, and many young people are confused about consent and their rights and responsibilities.

Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, believes this issue requires ongoing, transparent discussion and that students should contribute to school-based solutions, and broader conversations.

In this episode, Ms Euler sat down with six Year 12 students to discuss sexual consent, and respectful behaviour more generally.


Nature for Nurture

Season 2, Episode 2


We live in a world that has become increasingly complex and fast paced. Our modern-day society has embraced an unrelenting momentum that energises us and drives us. It can also challenge us, and if this challenge becomes too great it can interfere with our wellbeing.

In this episode, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, speaks to Deputy Principal, Mrs Anne Ingram, about the restorative power of nature and its pivotal place in secondary school education.

International Women’s Day 2021: Women in Leadership

Season 2, Episode 1


The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day in 2021 is Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.

In the latest episode, Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Ms Jacinda Euler, speaks with Ms Julie McKay (BGGS 2000), Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Officer at pwc, about the pivotal role schools play in encouraging and developing women leaders.

Season 1

Michael Banney, Director, m3architecture

Brisbane Girls Grammar School opened its new seven-storey Science Learning Centre in October 2020. In this episode, Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, speaks to the building’s architect, Michael Banney, about designing spaces that surprise, delight, and facilitate deep learning.

Ms Alison Dare, Director of Humanities

Many teachers grew up believing that world history followed an upward trajectory—toward a more free, liberal and democratic future. However,  democracy—once a beacon of hope—has failed in 25 countries since the turn of the century. How can the study of humanities empower students to navigate an increasingly complex world?

Mr Andrew Pennay, Director of Creative Arts

No one is sure who first supposed ‘talking about music is like dancing about architecture’. How can Creative Arts teachers effectively teach students to respond to arts stimuli?

Read the article: Analysing Creative Works Through a Series of Layers

Ms Gerri Bernard, Head of Curriculum Development—Science

‘Why?’ Although it may not be the first question that a young child asks, any parent can attest to the fact that it soon becomes one of the most frequent. How can educators harness students’ innate curiosity to develop their scientific literacy skills?

Read the article: From Curiosity to Scientific Literacy


Dr Alix Vann, School Psychologist

Experiences like the COVID-19 pandemic force us, on a global scale, to realise that no matter what, none of us is immune to feeling, and none of us can truly control what goes on around us. How can we learn to truly care for ourselves amidst uncertainty?

Read the article: Self-Care in Uncertain Times

Ms Jo Genders, Director of English

Being able to discern meaning and truth from agenda and biases is believed by many to be an essential skill for our young people today. But how can educators teach critical thinking?

Read the article: Critical Thinking in the English Classroom


Dr Bruce Addison, Deputy Principal (Academic)

How can we ensure our students are appropriately educated about important topics—and yet not overcome by them? How should we support each other and our communities during times of crisis?

Read the article: Schools as Homes for the Mind—Educating Young People with the Skills and Confidence to Meet Tomorrow