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Alpha News 2022, Term 1, Week 8

Term 1, Week 8 2022

From the Principal

Our first whole school assembly for the year was indeed a very special occasion. Given our Hellenic ancestry how appropriate that we could all be together for our Founders’ Day Service to commemorate Greek National Day and celebrate more than 200 years of Greek Independence. 

We gathered to pay respect to our founding forefathers in their struggles to gain their freedom from what was close on 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire.

Our assembly was to remember those sacrifices.

Greek Independence Day national holiday is celebrated annually in Greece on March 25, commemorating the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821.

In celebration of Greek Independence Day, towns and villages throughout Greece hold a school flag parade, during which school children march in traditional Greek costumes and carry Greek flags. There is also an armed forces parade in Athens. As a school we usually participate in the parade at The Shrine however, due to COVID restrictions, a service took place recently with only a small delegation of students and staff representatives from Schools allowed. Our Vice Captains:  Isabella Cohn and Sam Koranias along with Georgios Tsianakas (Year 9, Aristotle) who is a Youth Ambassador for the Shrine, attended along with Ms Diakodimitriou, Ms Bindevis, Mrs Kolaitis and myself. The Chair of School Council, Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris joined us to represent our school in what was a dignified and sacred service.

The Commemorative Service was also attended by many dignitaries including His Eminence Archbishop of Australia Makarios, The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, The Hon Richard Marles MP, Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition, The Hon Matthew Guy MP, Leader of the Liberal Party, State Opposition along with many Victorian Parliamentary members. The President of the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria Mr Bill Papastergiadis OAM, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios and the Premier all gave generously of their time to talk to our students and have their photo taken with them.  The School was also invited to participate in the official flag raising ceremony at Federation Square.

For our whole school assembly, the Greek Department and Music and Performing Arts Faculty prepared a number of items to share with us aspects of the historical journey and cultural events that help commemorate the struggle for Independence and celebrate the outcome. I thank all the members of the Greek Department: Mrs Jenny Illiou, Mr Nicholas Kapralos and the students who have contributed to our assembly with musical items, poetry and dance.

While we remember the sacrifices of those who went before us so we can enjoy a life of greater freedom and choice, I reach out to the youth of today to not lose sight of what our assembly and the occasion means and symbolises; not only for the Greek people but for all those who live in the free world as the world faces some of the biggest challenges to world peace since the end of World War II. May they be the generation that pursues peace through diplomacy and resolves conflict without violence.

Ζήτω η 25η (εικοστή πέμπτη) Μαρτίου. Long live 25 March.

Ζήτω η Ελλάς. Long live Greece.

Ζήτω η Αυστραλíα Long live Australia.

World’s Greatest Shave

Our Community Service Captains Chloe Portoglou and Emmanuela Lettas supported by Ms Todaro, Head of EHASS and Community Service, coordinated and launched the School’s first Shave for Cure fundraising event in support of the Leukemia Foundation.

While a full report exists elsewhere in this week’s newsletter, I congratulate our Community Service Captains on this initiative and thank all the students, staff and families who willingly supported this event. The School nearly quadrupled its initial goal of $1,500.

Mother’s Day Luncheon – Saturday 7 May

The School has over the last decade organised a special function to celebrate Mother’s Day. This year the event will be held in the River Room, The Crown Southbank, on Saturday 7 May from 12 to 3pm. This is a most special occasion and a wonderful opportunity to bring your mum, mother in law, aunties, sisters, cousins and friends to a really lovely luncheon.

You can purchase your tickets via this link.

Dr Vivianne Nikou
Principal
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From the Assistant Principal, Head of Primary

If we ever needed a ‘Harmony Week’ in our lives, perhaps now is a very fitting time. As much as we might try to distance ourselves from some unpleasant realities, it can seem as though there is always someone or something that has a negative vibe, grudge or gripe that has a stressful impact upon us.

If we are not careful, it can be those things that take over our lives, rather than the positive things that can uplift us.

Harmony Week in the Primary School has provided an opportunity for us all to focus on the good and positive aspects of our lives and on what we can achieve together. Every class from ELC to Year 6 has participated in their own activities as well as the finale of the week…the STOMP dance incursion and performance. You will see lots of posts on SCHOOLBOX about your child’s activities in class.

Throughout the week students wore casual clothes (with orange for Harmony Week), traditional dress or PE uniforms to help create a special feeling for the week. Our fabulous Year 6 students organised and ran a whole series of events each day including World Map family origins, chalk drawings, games and competitions. It was wonderful to see so many cross-age activities happening throughout the week.

On Friday, each class had a dance lesson with the STOMP Dance company, culminating in a shared performance in the afternoon. It was a lovely way to end a very busy week and made us realise how grateful we are for some normality and consistency at school this year. Despite COVID still having some impact with absences and isolation, school feels like it should again, and it has been amazing to be able to celebrate Harmony Week together.

Some student Harmony Week reflections:

‘Every bit of the week has felt like harmony to me.’ – Niki

‘It’s a time for accepting people who are different in many ways.’ – Hamish

‘It’s about celebrating different cultures.’ – Jean

‘Harmony week means to be calm, reflect, and think about others.’ – Jiayi

‘It means kindness to everyone and a reminder of how the world was created.’ – Anthony 

‘It’s a beautiful week for everyone and personally I think we should treat people equally even when it’s not Harmony Week.’ – Zoe

‘It teaches us to be kind and to learn that being rude won’t achieve anything.’ – Aleksandros

‘It’s about celebrating and having fun and spending time with your family.’ – Sophie

‘Everybody belongs.’ – Zach 

And finally..

‘It’s about accepting people from every country and every religion and making friends and being nice to each other.’ – Atticus

Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that ALL the time?

Mrs Tracey Nicholson
Assistant Principal, Head of Primary
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From the Secondary School

High School Musical Production

We are delighted to announce that tickets are now on sale for the upcoming Secondary Production of High School Musical. Alongside our core cast, our full Year 7 cohort will be performing across two nights at the Darebin Arts Centre on Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 May at 7.00pm.

HSMSM

This is a wonderful community event and we look forward to welcoming you all to our fabulous production.

The Cast and Production Team of High School Musical

 

Purchase tickets here.

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Community Service Update

It’s been a busy term for the Community Service Team!

As announced at House Night, one focus for us this term was fundraising for the World’s Greatest Shave as one of our charity events to start the school year.

The shave was held on Friday, March 18, during lunchtime, where brave volunteers chose to shave their hair off to support those suffering from Leukemia (a dangerous type of cancer that attacks the body’s blood forming cells). The event was a huge success and there was a great turnout from students and teachers who supported those who were shaving their heads.

We would like to say a massive thank you to the volunteers who all shaved their heads for the cause: George Andriotis, Luca Linardi, Ryan Paraskevas, Joel Simmons, Adam Patane, Luke Nervosa, James Fokianos, Atticus Di Florio-Pulis, Joshua Halarakis, Keppel Gordon, Mr Savopoulos, Mr Panara and Renae Adronakos (who sacrificed her pony-tail). We would also like to thank Mr Silver, Dr Nikou, Ms Grealish, Ms Rahme and Ms Todaro for rolling-up their sleeves as ‘celebrity’ hairdressers for the day.

Another massive thank-you also needs to be said to our school community who have enabled us to smash our fundraising goal of $1,500, having now raised over $5,700! We would like to thank everyone who has contributed so generously by donating as it is for an amazing cause. All donations are going directly to the Leukemia Foundation, which will provide critical support to individuals and families affected by blood cancer through education, care, treatment and furthering vital research.

If you would like to contribute to our fund-raising, donations can still be made by clicking the link here.

Our other event of focus this term was a school celebration of Harmony Day on March 21 to raise money for Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. Through money collected from a staff and student casual clothes day we have managed to raise over $500 to contribute to the important work that ASRC do to support vulnerable members of our community to give them access to food, housing, education and legal advice.

We are so grateful for our school’s support, and everyone’s generosity, in helping us raise so much money for these worthy organisations.

Chloe Portoglou and Emmanuela Lettas
Community Service Captains  
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Public Speaking

The Public Speaking Presentation Evening 2022 was a great success! The audience were taken on a journey to outer space to learn about black holes (no, they do not just suck everything in…), to the classroom to see what it really takes to deliver a quality speech, to karate lessons to learn of the benefits to learning such a sport, to the 1850s to learn about Holden, and even into the world of ‘Lord of the Flies’ to debate the innate evil of man.  

Mr Panara and I were incredibly proud of our speakers: their speeches were well researched; they spoke confidently and eloquently; and each and every one of them was able to demonstrate an improvement in their public speaking skills.

It was fantastic to see how the students have grown over the last six weeks and while the Public Speaking Program may have come to an end for 2022, we hope to see some familiar faces back next year to continue developing this crucial skill.

Thank you to the parents, friends, and staff who attended; we hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did. For those who were unable to come, a video link to the recording of the evening will be shared in the coming days. 

Ms Anna Milburn
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator
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BM Donut Day

Unit 1 Business Management students have been investigating how business ideas emerge and  how entrepreneurs create the conditions needed for a new business to develop. Our case study on Morgan Hipworth, founder and owner of Bistro Morgan, allowed students to learn more about his personal story and how he developed a successful donut business at just 17 years of age. 

Our AGS future entrepreneurs enjoyed trying out Morgan’s donuts and learning more about his point of difference in this competitive market. Morgan’s attention to detail with individual, sustainable packaging and an eye-catching logo, allowed students to see the process and capital required to successfully transition an idea to the retail market.  
Student comments:

‘Very inspiring to see someone at this age can balance schoolwork and a very successful business.’ – Simran Sood-Saleem 

‘Donuts were very good, very different but very expensive. You can tell they were good quality donuts and Morgan was passionate about his product, making it worthwhile.’ – Louiza Franceschini 

‘Donuts were very well designed and appealing to look at. I was impressed by his level of commitment to his business.’ – Josh Harrison  

‘The bright packaging reflected his personality as a young and motivated entrepreneur.’ – Will Farmer 

‘It was very motivating to see a success story of someone our age; something for us to aspire to.’ – Jonah Thiedman

Mary Kontosis
VCE Business Management Teacher 
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Secondary Debate Program

The 2022 Secondary Debating season has officially started! 

This year, Alphington Grammar School are entering five teams: Two B Teams, one C Team, and Two D Teams. It is the largest number of teams we have entered so far, and it is fantastic to see how the program is growing each year.

The first round saw our C Team take a win, and while the others narrowly missed out (their results came down to a frustrating one or two point difference!), there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. 

A special mention must go to Sachit Awale, Year 7, and Chris Donis, Year 10, both of whom stepped up to compete in a higher age group. They both performed outstandingly and were integral parts of their respective teams.

Mr Robert Panara and I would also like to extend a huge thank you to Mr Lukas Silver, Ms Deirdre Grealish, Ms Corredina Todaro, Ms Olivia Rahme, Mr James Smith, and Ms Shelby Morwood, all of whom offered a helping hand when Covid tried to interfere with the first competition. Thanks to their help we were able to not only have all of our teams compete, but we were even able to host an opening night pizza party to send them on their way in style!

A big well done to all of our teams; you were superb.

Ms Anna Milburn   
Debating Coordinator
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Brainstorm Productions

On Friday 11th March, all Alphington Grammar Year 7, 8 and 9 students participated in an incursion run by Brainstorm Productions entitled: The Hurting Game – Wellbeing and Antibullying Program.

The Hurting Game was an engaging live theatrical performance that followed the trajectory of two students through primary and secondary school. The performance explored issues such as peer pressure and online bullying. The show was followed by a dialogue between the performers and our students, exploring the themes and issues raised in the performance, as well as strategies for resilience, help seeking, online safety, and positive relationships.

I was very impressed with Alphington Grammar’s Year 7, 8 and 9 students. They were a respectful audience and engaged in an enthusiastic and insightful manner with the post-performance dialogue. 

Mr Maximilian White 
School Psychologist 
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From the LOTE Faculty

Greek Independence Day Commemorations

It has been wonderful to mark Greek Independence Day with events involving our students. Greek Independence Day is commemorated every year on 25 March and marks the day the Greek people declared their war of independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, after 400 years of rule. 

Greek flags

Our Vice Captains represented us proudly at Sunday’s commemorative event at the Shrine, with dignitaries such as Premier Daniel Andrews, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, Archbishop of Australia Makarios and many local politicians and community leaders in attendance. It was a respectful and dignified service to mark this important historical event.

Our whole school assembly on Monday was also a fitting tribute to the events of 1821, with speeches, poetry recital, a video dedicated to peace, music from our Greek Band led by Mr Nicholas Kapralos and a traditional dance by our Year 5 students, choreographed by Mrs Jenny Iliou. Thank you to all students and staff who contributed to this special event.

Greek Radio Theatre Festival

As you may remember, our school took part in a lockdown initiative, Radio Theatre on Air, with students in Culture Club (Mariana Galanopoulos, Christina Arnokouros, Rudra Sekhri, Blake Taylor, Wilbur Gordon and Kai Dicker) working on producing a Greek language version of an Indigenous myth, ‘The Emu and the Jabiru’ with the help of our theatre teacher in residence, Mrs Katerina Poutachidou, which was then aired on SBS radio.

This year, all the radio plays produced, from various countries, including, Greece, Cyprus, Poland, as well as Australia, are being entered into a festival.

The members of the jury (who are from the field of Art and Education) will select a total of 6 audio plays. There will also be an opportunity for listeners to vote, through which a 7th radio play will be declared. You can find and listen to all the audio plays, which are hosted here.

At the end of the list you will find the option to vote. Please vote for our play! Invite your friends and family to also get involved. Voting will continue until 30 March 2022. 

Ms Denise Diakodimitriou and Ms Effie Bindevis
Head of LOTE  and Primary Greek Coordinator
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From the ELC

Celebrating Harmony Week

Each morning the ELC join together in our circle of friends to welcome each other. We sing our “Hello, how are you?” song.

Children are encouraged to reflect on their own cultural background and that of their friends by learning to say hello in different languages.

ELCC

Alphington Grammar School celebrated Harmony Week from Monday 21st March.

ELC have been discussing what the word ‘Harmony’ means to them…

Liam – It means calm.

Hope – It looks like love. 

Kiaan – It means welcome. 

Michael I. – Being nice to everyone.

Michael K. – Peace means when you’re not fighting. 

Mary – Harmony means that music is really beautiful and sometimes it can mean nature and people loving our earth.

Alexander M. – It means being kind.

Neiv – Being a friend and playing together.

Arlo – Harmony means welcome. You can say hello. 

Maxwell – It means feeling calm and showing peace.

Alexander C. – It means peaceful and having a good relax.

Louis – The opposite of fighting.

Frederick – Being calm and good and peaceful is harmony. 

Jasmine – Harmony can look like sharing. 

Poppy – It means flowers and looking after our land.  

ELC Educators
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Updates and Reminders

From the Finance Office

The finance team would like to thank all families who have paid their school fees for the semester. If you have not yet paid your school fees, please be reminded that they need to be paid as soon as possible.

Upcoming Events

2022 Mother's Day Luncheon

High School Musical Secondary Production

Easter Egg Hunt

Primary Production

Sporting Minds

Term Dates 2022