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From the Acting Principal - July News

In Term 2 Pembroke’s second Indigenous round was held, coinciding with National Reconciliation Week. Our students were the initial driving force in bringing this round into being. While the inaugural round involved Netball and Football, we now include all the Firsts’ sports teams playing during the week: Soccer, Rugby, Table Tennis, Squash, Hockey, Basketball and Badminton along with Netball and Football.

The ceremony for the round included a Welcome to Country and a Smoking Ceremony by Allan Sumner, music from Phil Allen and a speech from student leader Cassie. Cassie explained the significance of the uniforms as follows:

The Indigenous sports uniforms that we proudly wear today were initiated and designed by Pembroke Indigenous students. They show our respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their culture, as well as our fellow students and the Pembroke community, and recognise the importance of reconciliation.

The boomerang signifies our strength and determination to fight on in any situation, giving it our all and trying our best. The blue and white inner circles represent the strong connection and belief we share for one another—we are a team. The wavy green lines connecting each circle represent reaching out to the wider community and understanding the cultural attachment.
Overall, this design is about identity, strength and accomplishment. We as a School understand the cultural attachment of Aboriginal people to their land.

Our School’s student leaders have been working closely with staff and community members in developing our Reconciliation Action Plan. Ms Davis, Indigenous Student Coordinator, has been a key driver of this project. I encourage you to access the plan on our website.

Mr Lawry
Acting Principal

Pembroke School Board Chair’s Report

Pembroke is a school that not only has an excellent record of academic success but also develops fine young people who are confident, capable and considerate in character. The values of this education are grounded in the Objects of the Constitution and the School Aims. It is the responsibility of School governance to preserve and improve the quality and opportunity of that education in a secure financial setting.

Governance at Pembroke: a snapshot
We are an independent school, an incorporated Association, with responsibility for our own governance and leadership and the freedom to establish our own identity and culture. The Constitution is our ultimate source of authority.

The School Board is the body to whom the Constitution grants the governance and control of the School, including the appointment of the Principal, to whom is delegated responsibility for implementing policy and managing the School. The Board is assisted by Board Committees and the Foundation Board.

The Board and the Principal: governance and management
The pivotal role of the Board lies in its crucial responsibility for the appointment of the Principal.
The stability and strength of the relationship between the Board and the Principal, that is between governance and management, is critical to the health and forward momentum of the School. At Pembroke this relationship functions as an open and candid partnership, with the Principal seeking advice from the Board and the Board supporting the Principal. The Principal reports to the Board and Board Committees and responds to questions at their meetings. The separation of governance and operational matters is well understood, with the Principal being responsible for operational matters. The current Board is fortunate to work with a Principal of the educational calibre and integrity of Mr Thomson.

Four plans that steer governance
The broad-ranging Pembroke Improvement Plan (PIP) seeks to develop the School while preserving its strengths and values. The Principal reports against it and this year is conducting a comprehensive review, extending its reach into the future.

The Facilities Master Plan (FMP) takes a bold conceptual overview of the three campuses and proposes how future needs can be accommodated on the existing footprint. The successful acquisition of the large Shipsters Road site in 2015 and the consequent planned Middle School Development represent an exciting spatial liberation.

The Foundation Investment Strategy is a culmination of strengthening our fundraising structures to build greater financial independence for the School and enable better resourcing of facilities and scholarships.

A new Strategic Plan that overarches these three complementary plans and anticipates future change and challenge is being developed.

The role of the Board: what does it do?
The Board is responsible for sustaining a high-quality multifaceted Pembroke education that meets the needs of contemporary students, parents and teachers.

The educational landscape is dynamic. The Board has an ongoing role in re-evaluating strategic direction. Programs must be enriched and facilities enhanced in each student generation.
The Board must ensure the enduring financial viability of the School—that risk is managed and compliance requirements are met. It must build financial independence and respond to economic and demographic challenges to enrolment.

The Board meets monthly and the agenda is partly structured and predictable: academic results are reported in February, the financial statements and Annual Report are adopted in May, the budget is presented in November and WHS data are reported quarterly. The Principal’s monthly reports address strategic and operational matters and typically cover capital projects, enrolments, staff movements, curriculum, government funding, regulation and events.

The Board’s schedule must also be responsive and mindful of strategic matters, addressing challenges in a timely manner, and getting more information from management and, where appropriate, high-level professional advice from external advisors. Areas of focus in recent years have included reviewing the Constitution; developing a risk management framework; taking institutional responsibility for student care; whole-School assessment; restructure of the Foundation and its fundraising entities; and recruitment, induction and education of Board members.
Periodically, senior staff present on topical issues. Most recently Mr Kym Lawry presented statistical profiling of our teaching staff. He highlighted the high level of opportunity for, and involvement of, staff in professional development, as well as the evolution of the Pembroke Academy, which is targeted at providing an optimal learning environment for students.

Specific-purpose planning workshops are convened in February and September. They have encompassed the future of education, changing the Constitution, developing philanthropy and managing a major capital project.

Membership of the Board: getting it right
Education is our core concern, but there is no doubt that contemporary school governance must have access to a considerable suite of skills and expertise, and be educated in governance, to ensure that it meets its responsibilities.

The current Board is diverse in capability and cohesive in purpose. Our aim is to have a membership that, while not a representative model, involves parents and old scholars who understand and are engaged with the School and who between them possess the required experience.

The 12-member Board comprises 3 members elected by the Association, 4 appointed by the Board, and 2 each by the Parents and Friends Association and the Pembroke Old Scholars Association. The Principal is a non-voting member.

The fields of experience considered valuable include: corporate and not-for-profit governance, policy development, legal, finance and audit, business and commercial, building construction, project management and planning, information and communication technology, education and early childhood services, community relations, philanthropy and fundraising, funds management, marketing and public relations, risk management, WHS and research.

Given this somewhat daunting list, we are fortunate that our community is a splendidly varied and willing resource.

Board committees: who are they?
Each committee is chaired by a board member, and committee membership comprises other board members, the Principal, community members with appropriate expertise and senior staff with relevant involvement. The work of the Board Committees is strengthened by their close collaboration with School management.

The Governance Committee was at the forefront in developing the 2016 amendments to the Constitution that better aligned the governance structure with contemporary needs and practice. It has ongoing responsibility for review of the Board’s policies, and has devised a skills matrix and a new board membership induction policy. Its current challenge is facilitating development of a new Strategic Plan. Mr Garry Le Duff is the Chair.

The Finance and Audit Committee’s regular business relates to the budget and financial statements, monitoring of major expenses, and complex financial judgments aimed at protecting enrolments and educational outcomes. Mr Chris Meulengraf is the Chair.

The Foundation Board has delegated responsibility for raising money to assist the educational, pastoral and physical development of the School, as well as the administration of established funds. Mr David Minns is the Chair.

The Planning & Properties Committee is the key player in the oversight of development of facilities. It provides excellent professional advice to the Board across the business of enhancing our built environment. Ms Melissa Mellen is the Chair.

The value of the embedded expertise on the Board Committees has been especially evident in the complex and many faceted process of planning for the major venture that is the Middle School Development on the Shipsters Road site. The Development Assessment Commission (DAC) consent granted in April was the culmination of many months of concentrated work by the Planning and Properties Committee, working with the Board, School management and external consultants. The Governance Committee ensures the appropriate policy framework, and the Finance Committee is securing responsible financing. The Foundation Board has a clear and active focus on imminent capital needs and is developing philanthropy and fundraising supported by the Capital Campaign Committee.

The Board exists to serve the Pembroke community, and in turn relies on the service of individual members to sustain its operation.

Enquiries regarding Board or Committee membership may be made to Board Secretary Ms Wendy Wills via

Mrs Game
Chair, Pembroke School Board


Generations in Jazz
The Generations in Jazz Festival was a major focus of preparation leading to Term 2 this year. Pembroke departed on Friday morning 5 May with two Big Bands and an enthusiastic Jazz Choir. Fifty-six students and 5 staff attended the exciting, inspiring and very tiring weekend. After a smooth trip we arrived at our motel in Mt Gambier, before travelling to The Barn—‘Jazz Central’ for the weekend—where 5,000 students from 200 different schools created an amazing ‘vibe’ during the festival. Guest artists as diverse as US Emmy Award winning pianist/saxophonist/composer/band leader Gordon Goodwin, Finnish pianist extraordinaire Marian Petrescu, trombone royalty Wycliffe Gordon alongside James Morrison, Ross Irwin, Matt Jodrell, Darren Percival, Jazzmeia Horn and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra meant that we were in for some outstanding entertainment and education over the weekend. All three Pembroke Ensembles performed very strongly and were placed in the top half of their competitive divisions without securing any prizes. All students came away with a satisfied feeling regarding their performances, but none more so than Drummer Simon Possingham (Yr 11) who was named the Superband Drummer in Division 3—a massive honour! An inspirational weekend that should not be missed!

Jazz Cabaret
Hot on the heels of Generations and during ‘jazz season’ we were privileged to have ARIA Award winning a capella vocal group The Idea of North as our guest artists for the Jazz Cabaret. Superb singing and musicianship was on display and wowed the audience with joyous musical expression. Really strong performances from the Years 11/12 Jazz Band certainly attracted attention, and the String Orchestra’s rendition of Michael Buble’s Sayin Somethin’ Stupid as they accompanied Luke Thompson and Jo Lawry from TION was a highlight for me. The Junior School Concert Band, Senior Concert Band, Big Bands 1 and 2, Jazz Choir and String Orchestra all gave strong and entertaining performances throughout a relaxing and enjoyable evening. The next one will sell out, so don’t hesitate!

Student Recitals
On Wednesday 31 May 23 students performed a variety of instrumental and vocal solo pieces at the first Student Recitals evening for the year. An appreciative audience of approximately 70 people enjoyed the performances from students aged 8–18 as they performed their pieces with musical skill and flair.

Kaleidoscope Concert
On Wednesday 7 June the Middle and Senior School Ensembles, Concert Band, Middle School Orchestra, Pembroke Choir, String Orchestra, and Guitar, Percussion and Saxophone Ensembles presented their performances to an appreciative audience of approximately 220 people in DY Hall. A stunning performance by the Guitar Ensemble set the tone early in the evening, and the other ensembles responded appropriately. Beautiful and energised singing from the Pembroke Choir had everyone smiling as we moved through the program. The Friends of Music provided a welcoming atmosphere for both students and families on the Balcony, and arranged both food and beverages to keep everyone happy! The Middle School Orchestra played particularly well and presented their conductor, Mr Joyner, with a very large ‘pencil’ as a gift and some very kind words to mark his last concert with them.

It has been a very busy but rewarding semester in Music at Pembroke.

Mr Pope
Director of Music

Year 12 IB Theatre - Aleppo

In April our Year 12 IB Theatre students presented a powerful collaborative self-devised production entitled Aleppo in the Black Box of the Girton Arts Precinct. This production used political theatre techniques to highlight the horrific experiences of women caught up in the devastating Syrian civil war, particularly focusing on the 2016 offensive on Aleppo.

Inspired by the devising techniques of British Theatre Company DV8, the class researched testimonials from Syrian women living through the horror of this war, and used a combination of direct monologues and physical theatre techniques to tell their stories. The three characters included a young woman who was married off by her parents at only 13 years old to protect her from the violence of Assad’s forces, a mother whose 8 year old daughter Reynad was caught up and killed during the bombing of Aleppo, and a young woman who refused to accept the path of oppression and joined the Women’s Resistance to fight for freedom.

The class of three performed the roles of the women and also worked in back-stage roles to bring the production to life. Tiasha synthesised class research to write the moving script. Catherine used her technical skills to create a powerful sound and audiovisual design that evoked the horrific sounds and images of the war, and cleverly incorporated a powerful political speech by Angelina Jolie protesting against rape and violence as tools of modern warfare. Hayley choreographed imaginative movement sequences to bring the women’s stories to life, and designed an imaginative set of chalk dust to convey the destruction of war and the bleak, monochromatic landscape that it evoked.

For young women growing up in Australia the Syrian war seems far away. Yet, as of February this year 207,000 civilians had lost their lives in Syria and over 45,000 of them were women and children. In developing this moving production the IB Theatre students demonstrated the importance of engaging with the real injustices and suffering experienced by women across the world in order to better appreciate those freedoms that must be protected. 

Money raised from ticket sales was donated directly to Amnesty International.

Julianne English
Head of Arts

Year 12 SACE Drama - Eyes to the Floor

In Term 2 the Year 12 SACE Drama class presented a powerful performance of the Australian play Eyes to the Floor, written by Alana Valentine. Directed by Mrs Reynolds and performed over four nights in Wright Hall during 24–27 May, it told the story of the Hay Institution for Girls, which operated in NSW’s Riverina region from 1961 until 1974. A maximum security prison, it was an inhumane, isolated place known for its extreme discipline. The adolescent prisoners there experienced physical and emotional abuse and were expected to conform to ‘silent treatment’, keeping their eyes to the floor at all times. A theatre piece that raises awareness about a disturbing aspect of Australia’s past, Eyes to the Floor reminded us of how many times human beings have demonstrated an alarming capacity for brutality towards one another, and raised important universal questions about crime and punishment and the doubtful effectiveness of institutions as places of rehabilitation.

Subtle, mature direction by Mrs Reynolds successfully highlighted the bleak struggle of the characters, employing ranging Brechtian techniques of alienation to present this political theatre piece. This was most effective in the powerful ensemble work, which drew heavily on physical theatre to present a moving array of visual metaphors—notably in the staging of the moments of extreme violence. While the production began with strong images of collective oppression, Reynolds directed the play subtly and slowly to reveal the individual tragedies of the girls and the remarkable triumph of the human spirit as they struggled to maintain their identities despite every effort to dehumanise them. Particularly memorable was Hannah’s evocative portrayal of Jane who struggles secretly to maintain her identity despite being renamed Joanne, and Caitlin’s disturbing characterisation of Daniella who found solace in her secret childlike friendship with a dead moth.

The image of the moth is taken up in the powerful publicity images of Henry, and clever costume design by Alex who watermarked the bleak prison uniforms with subtle moth-like imagery to reflect the suppressed inner beauty of the characters. Another clever symbol recurred in the use of the light globes that each girl swung as a strong symbol of their own life force. Referencing both isolation and torture, these globes were often abruptly switched off as each girl, like the moths, struggled to find their light amid the darkness of the prison. This image was cleverly developed by Georgina in her evocative front-of-house design in which hung light globes suffocated in cement, reflecting the oppression of the girls. In contrast with the prisoners, the guards appeared as heartless, brutal oppressors. Andrew and James exposed the capacity for violence in ordinary Australians given power, reminding us of the Milgram and Stanford Prison experiments that showed how power really does corrupt.

Commendation is due to all who worked on the production but especially to the students. Their creativity and effort was evident in every aspect of the production, from the effective costume, hair and makeup design to the evocative live music, brilliant lighting, seamless stage management, informative dramaturgy and stunning front-of-house design, which together created a truly memorable show shedding light on a hidden horror in Australia’s past.

Mrs English
Head of Arts

Year 5 Musical

‘By night one way, by day another. This shall be the norm. Until you find true love’s first kiss, and then take love’s true form’. Producing Broadway Junior’s Shrek proved to be an experience full of singing, dancing, laughing and a lot of gas! The Year 5 students put on three spectacular performances for their friends and family at Scott Theatre, University of Adelaide, on 22 and 23 June. They thoroughly enjoyed wearing their individualised costumes, using the microphones and performing on a professional stage. I would like to thank the Year 5 teachers, the Junior School staff, Mrs Riley, Ms Corbett, Ms Lynelle and also Miss Van-den-Ende for all their support and assistance during the rehearsals and preparation for the musical. I would also like to thank all the Year 5 students for bringing such passion, dedication and energy to both our rehearsals and the final performances. Congratulations, Year 5—let your Freak Flags continue to fly!

Ms McCarl
Junior School Performing Arts Teacher

From the Principal - May News

Neuromyths and brain-based learning by Martin Westwell*

Last year, the makers of the brain-training product Luminosity were fined two million dollars for false advertising claiming, among other things, that users would perform better at school.

There’s a long history of people using the seed of a scientific idea and mutating it so that it grows into a meme that spreads and reproduces. The mutant meme bears little resemblance to the original healthy seed but thrives because someone’s nurturing it to make money and the original science makes it sound plausible. The mutant idea promises a quick fix or at least a simple way to deal with a complex problem.

So called educational “neuromyths” have some of these mutant characteristics. Take the notion that a child can be identified as a left or right-brain thinker. This takes solid science about how parts of the brain are specialized and necessary for specific thinking processes, some of which are on the left side of the brain and some on the right. It then incorrectly assumes that because these parts of the brain are necessary then they are sufficient. It forgets the enormous interconnectivity between brain cells and that for someone to understand something simple, e.g. a picture of a face, requires many brain regions, from left and right, working together. The final twist subverts teachers’ and parents’ understanding that children do have preference, at any given time, as to how they express themselves whether that be, for example, artistically, technically or analytically. Identifying children as left or right brain thinkers makes a complex situation seem simple and this never works. Giving in to temptation to teach the left-brain thinkers in their so-called preferred learning style and the right-brain thinkers in theirs, is likely to do more harm than good.

This caricature has all the real ingredients of a neuromyth: some good science, an accidental or wilful misinterpretation of the evidence, plausibility to educators and some apparent value. Then educational consultants take the idea and start selling it.

… and so it goes. I recall a presentation I made to colleagues 6 years ago about the marketing of educational ideas, warning that schools and educational institutions are low-hanging fruit for an emerging and voracious education industry. We were ripe for the picking if we did not net our fruit against fatuous claims masked as significant research. The allure of simple solutions to complex and, dare I say, in some cases near-impossible levels of understanding about learning, except for the most single-mindedly immersed expert, was too much to withstand. The research craze just took hold across the world and bagged the fruit to excess. When ‘mutant’ ideas, in this case ‘neuromyths’, take hold a great deal of damage can be done, particularly in schools.

I tend towards an unsubstantiated theory that most of contemporary educational reform is in the grip of a market in educational solutions, selling their wares to overly eager and undiscriminating schools and systems of education who are very anxious that they may be missing something, and to unsuspecting parents and teachers experiencing the same anxiety and who want desperately to do the right thing by the children in their care. I have written about this before. There is truth in it but there is also truth in the idea that we need to remain fully alive to the changes around us and how they impact education. How do we know what is good education?

The problem plaguing much contemporary research and public policy stems from a misconception that school education is the only key able to unlock an uncertain future. The growth and urgency of the market in educational ideas follows, and fuels, this misconception. It is a self-serving market strategy that has in turn become a societal anxiety.

School is fundamental to the formation of young people. Schools do deliver an education based on the knowledge and skills, and characteristics and values, that our community believes should be known and encouraged. Schools underpin and support the formation of the habits, skills and attitudes essential to encourage a knowledge of and curiosity about the world and a passion for learning over a lifetime. It would be foolish to underestimate their role. But they are only and have only ever been part of the picture, and the consistent inability for policy makers to acknowledge school education as part of a broader community context heightens the anxiety.

What advice is there, really, on how we can avoid the pitfalls explored in the abovementioned article? What are some fundamental principles of the educational experience that we apply at Pembroke for 3–18 year olds that help remind us all to avoid deliberately overstated claims and ideas? I have a few I’ve thought about that may help to provide a filter and ‘myth’ detector, and I have distilled them into seven ideas:

1. Love children abundantly and knowledgeably: know that there is no greater impact on the positive development of human potential than experiencing love—we all have a responsibility to do this and it’s about support, security and belonging.

2. Consider knowledge and learning as essential but their acquisition as gradual and not, in fact, inevitable—we learn and gain knowledge to our dying day and there are some things we will never learn.

3. Appreciate and enjoy school as offering much more than assessment results alone—we all know that worthwhile learning occurs everywhere, all the time, so validate it as no less important because it may either not be assessed, or assessed in a different way.

4. Relish the opportunities that children are given to be so challenged that they fail, and then help them try again—the experience of falling short is crucial to healthy development and, as an adult,
articulating your responses to those experiences is of infinite value to school- age children.

5. Don’t think of the future as the generation to come but think of it as now and, in so doing, be responsible for shaping the future; we can too often make the future either an excuse for inaction (it’s not in my power) or a justification for overreaction (urgency to change in case we don’t keep up)— neither is sufficient.

6. Our job is to encourage students to independence and a mature, knowledgeable understanding of their interdependence. While also focusing on the healthy development of the self, it is too much to expect student maturation to be uniform in place and time, but it is important to provide the opportunity for it. Having said that I am constantly surprised how uniform growing up is across cultures and time.

7. Hard work, concentrated effort and time make considerable differences to the quantity, rate and quality of student learning—each comes more easily to some than to others.

These seven ideas may be helpful when trying to consider education in the broader context of Pembroke sharing in and being part of the development of young people.

Back to the original story that prompted this piece—where do brain games fit into such a concept? They don’t, really. So, we need to change the perception that they are somehow special, different and separate, or a product to be purchased. This is damaging to the market but good for school education. Every day at Pembroke is a brain-game day, as it is at home. The brain develops at an extraordinary rate and, frankly, in a miraculous manner, exciting and baffling to even the cleverest in the neuroscientific community. The brain is brilliantly complex and will defy any attempt to corner it neatly in an educational market for self-improvement—frankly speaking, it’s far too powerful and valuable for that.

Mr Thomson

*Martin Westwell is the Strategic Professor in the Science of Learning at Flinders University. He recently undertook research in South Australian schools demonstrating that brain-training does not transfer into increased performance at school


The Shipsters Road Project
The Principal, Luke Thomson, has described the first part of 2017 as a time of quiet excitement and enormous gratitude. This was echoed by Foundation Director Amanda Bourchier in an opening welcome to donors at the Shipsters Road Supporters event in March. There is a growing sense of progress which can only be realised by working together. Donors surrounded the model of the Shipsters Road Project (made by a University of South Australia student) while Luke Thomson provided an update on the project’s progress, noting that planning approval is currently being sought via the State Development Commission.

From the many staff involved in creating possible scenarios of ‘what can be possible’ in the Shipsters Road building, to parents who have for the first time contributed to the Building Fund, there is a powerful sense of the bigger picture which continues to strengthen the future of education at Pembroke.

With similar vigour the Capital Campaign Team has continued to function at a high level. We are privileged to have a busy, committed and very hardworking group of current and past parents communicating up-to-date details and important information about the Shipsters Road Project across the School community. The Capital Campaign Team are happily answering an infinite range of queries; for example, why we need a Capital Campaign and how the students will benefit, along with all the different ways in which the community can support the School, both now and in the future.
Resting on the School’s Aims, the Shipsters Road Project projects Pembroke further into connecting with the world of learning, enterprise and innovation. Just as ‘ideas matter’, the community matters, and with an interested and proactive community assisting in whatever way they can, the hard yards associated with bringing big ideas to fruition shift in an energised, collaborative quest.

Pembroke Producers
It seems that not a week has gone by in 2017 without reference being made to the Pembroke Producers. Requests continue to pop up for recipes for the homemade produce that graced the stall at the 2016 Parents and Friends Spring Festival, and discussions on weather conditions and harvest yields are now had with a new recognition and appreciation of where different Pembroke families live and how they spend their days. 

The muster of Pembroke Producers at the very successful festival was outstanding; crates of fresh fruit and vegetables, lamb, beef, pasta, sauces, jams, chutneys, cheese, nuts, wine and coffee were among the abundant and impressive displays.

Thank you again to all producers in the Pembroke community for your generosity in donating truly fine produce and for joining the Pembroke Producers network. We are close to announcing the next phase of Pembroke Producers and preparing for another event later in 2017.

Old Watulunga
Pembroke School’s own patch of productive potential, Old Watulunga, continues to grow, with construction of the Environmental Learning Centre, our first building entirely funded through Pembroke community support, nearing completion. The new commercial kitchen and indoor and outdoor dining areas create a multipurpose centre for the busy Outdoor Education programs enjoyed year-round by our students. It is also expected to be in demand for community events.

The Garden of Earthly Delights situated adjacent to the new Environmental Learning Centre continues to flourish, providing an excellent educational platform for students. Manager David Nelson’s broad and expert knowledge and superb craftsmanship are reflected in every aspect of the garden. We look forward to inviting Pembroke Producers and supporters to tour Old Watulunga later this year.

Endowment Fund
The Pembroke Endowment Fund attracts donations that allow us to support many student activities and initiatives across the School through the Foundation Grants program. We are most grateful to our regular donors for your non-tax-deductible donations to this fund in support of Pembroke students.

Approved grants for 2017 include:
Endowed Speech Night Prizes and Awards
The Generations In Jazz Music Tour
The Indigenous Education Program
The Marree Aboriginal School / Pembroke School Exchange
The Parents and Friends Association Ball – Early Bird Prize
The Pembroke School Indigenous Round Sports Week
The Unreel Film-making Program
The Visual Arts Exhibition Program
The Year 12 Margaret Bennett SACE and IB Art Awards

We sincerely thank and acknowledge all members of the Pembroke community who continue to donate in support of Pembroke School students via in-kind support, one-off donations or by pledging to spread your donation over several years. 

Many opportunities exist to support the School via funds offering both tax deductions for donations and non-deductible gifts:
The Pembroke Building Fund (tax deductible)
Pembroke Endowment Fund
Pembroke Cultural Trust
Pembroke Scholarship Fund (tax deductible
Pembroke Exceptional Circumstances Fund (tax deductible)
Pembroke Library Fund (tax deductible)

Ms Bourchier
Foundation Director

2016 Leavers – Alumni Donation
We sincerely thank the following parents and guardians of 2016 Leavers who have generously donated their enrolment deposit in their child’s name. All 2016 alumni donations (tax deductible) will be applied directly to the Shipsters Road Project Capital Campaign. We look forward to acknowledging your support and to welcoming you and your children back as donors to tour this amazing facility upon completion.

2016 Year 12 Leavers Donations
Mr D.W. Beger and Ms E. Marinucci
Mr A.P. and Mrs M.C. Bond
Mrs C.S. and Mr D.C. Boorman
Mrs M.S. and Mr A.J. Braggs
Mrs V.L. Burns and Mr M.P. Burns
Mrs O.M. Caon and Mr D. Caon
Mrs K.A. and Dr S.A. Carruthers
Ms S.K. Cretan
Ms J.L. Crowhurst
Dr N. Douvartzidis and Ms P.M. Ross
Mr M.J. and Mrs L.A. Fienemann
Mr Z. Han and Mrs K. Cheng
Mr S.J. and Mrs S.E. Hatcher
Mr G.A. and Mrs A. Heynen
Mr J.P. and Mrs K.M. Holland
Mr P.J. and Mrs C.R. Holmes
Dr P. Horton and Dr A. Pring
Dr C.O. Jackson and Ms A. King
Mr M.A. and Mrs K. Kuchel
Dr J.L. and Dr J.S. Linn
Ms X. Liu and Mr D. Li
Mr G. Marini
Mrs M.A. and Mr A.D. McInnes
Mr W.G. and Mrs S.L. Natt
Mr S.J. and Mrs K.M. Pengelly
Mr D. and Ms T. Pham
Ms M.L. Pippos
Mrs R. and Mr F. Rasheed
Mr P.M. and Mrs G.L. Read
Dr W.W. and Dr J.E. Richards
Mr G.T. and Mrs T.C. Sampson
Ms R. Soon and Mr Y. Chin
Mrs A. Turner and Mr I.A. Turner
Mrs K.A. and Dr R. Van Dissel
Mrs N. Wang and Mr X. Sun
Dr S. Wang and Dr X. Song
Mr M.J. and Mrs M.M. Wundenberg

Our hardworking and enthusiastic Capital Campaign and Development teams are ready to answer any questions you may have in relation to The Shipsters Road Project.

Capital Campaign Team
Mr Nick Ross
Mrs A Naylor
Mrs K Carruthers
Mr P Shute
Mrs K Carrocci
Mrs F Tam
Mr S Elvish
Dr J Teo
Mrs P Mills
Mrs J Zhu
Development Team
Ms A Bourchier
Mrs S Williams
Mrs C Holmes

If you are interested in joining the Capital Campaign Team, Pembroke Producers or Pembroke Foundation, or would like to know more about the ways in which you can be involved in Pembroke community development, please email or phone the Development Office on +61 8 8366 6830.

VALE - Margaret H Bennett (nee Sellars) 1924–2017

On 5 April 2017 the School community lost our beloved friend and benefactress, Girton old scholar (1934–39) and Foundation Patron Mrs Margaret Bennett.

Margaret started school at Girton in February 1934 along with 146 girls under the leadership of the then new Headmistress Miss Bishop. Margaret very much respected and admired Miss Bishop, describing her as ‘intelligent, dignified, empathetic, practical, feisty and fun-loving’. Perhaps it is not coincidental that all these traits were also evident in Margaret Bennett.

Margaret especially loved her years at Girton, enjoying the Arts, particularly English and writing. She had several short stories and poems published in the annual Girton magazine over her 6 years at the School and was immensely proud of these achievements. Margaret also excelled on the sports field, earning a place in A and B Grade Tennis and Basketball teams. She later became a skilled and formidable golfer.

Of great importance to Margaret were the lifelong friendships forged at the School; many friendships were rekindled years later in the early 1990s when she returned to Girton old scholar events, and many new ones were formed from 1996 when her involvement with Pembroke School began.

Margaret had enjoyed close relationships with her younger brothers Philip and John Sellars who entered King’s College as scholars in 1936 and 1939, respectively, and would often comment that it was only natural that she had formed strong bonds with Pembroke as their families had such strong relationships with both founding schools.

In 1996 Margaret was invited to join the Pembroke School Foundation. At the time the Foundation was preparing for the launch of a capital campaign to fund the Senior School Resource Centre on the Girton Campus. In 1997 she joined the Foundation as a major donor to this campaign and so began a magnificent association of support for and engagement with Pembroke School and its students over 20+ years.

In 2000 Margaret created the Margaret Bennett Art Awards to be awarded annually to Year 12 Visual Art students in SACE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma. In establishing the awards Margaret wished to recognise ‘the quality and diversity of works produced by our students studying Visual Art at the highest level and acknowledging the culmination of years of instruction from exceptional Junior, Middle and Senior School Visual Art teachers’.

The Middle School Resource Centre Capital Campaign was launched in 2001. Margaret was particularly interested in this significant addition to the fabric of the King’s Campus and strongly supported the campaign. The Philip and John Sellars Gallery in the Middle School Resource Centre was named in acknowledgment of Margaret’s benefaction and she was honoured as Foundation Patron.

In 2006 the School Council completed their new Strategic Plan, which formalised the fundraising objectives of the School: to raise funds to assist the educational, pastoral and physical development of the School. Margaret’s keen interest in and ongoing commitment to the Arts at Pembroke motivated her to support the next capital project, the Girton Arts Precinct / Dorothy Yates Hall development.

In recognition of Margaret’s tremendous benefaction over 10 years, School Council bestowed the honour of Life Membership of the School on Margaret in May 2007.

In mid 2008, aged 84, Margaret enthusiastically joined students and staff on the annual Marree Aboriginal / Pembroke Schools Exchange. She held a lifelong love of rural and outback Australia, and travelling with the students to Marree and camping on Lake Eyre and sleeping under the stars was a highlight. Margaret particularly enjoyed evenings around the campfire, surrounded by students discussing their lives and aspirations. She commented at the time that it reminded her of days as a young girl on travels with her father associated with his work in the meat industry.

Student activities on the 2008 exchange included a collaborative film and soundtrack reflecting the students’ perspectives and ambitions for reconciliation in their lifetime. Written, directed and filmed entirely by Marree and Pembroke students, the film was submitted for the Australia-wide Generation One competition. The film was the overall winner and earned the exchange program a cash prize, and Margaret was delighted.

Following this experience Margaret became further immersed in supporting programs at Pembroke. The Unreel Film program for Year 9 students was established and later expanded to Junior, Middle and Senior Drama curricula. She ensured that the Marree Exchange program was funded in perpetuity. Margaret also supported the Equestrian program and the Pedal Prix Team from 2008.

Also in 2008, in recognition of the Sellars family’s long connection with the School, Margaret established the Margaret Sellars Perpetual Trust Fund. The Margaret Sellars Scholarship, first awarded in 2012, provides full tuition for two successful boarding students from rural Australia each year.

Margaret generously provided the seed capital to establish Indigenous Education at Pembroke and the program was launched in 2009 with five students. As student numbers and the program’s success grew, Margaret continued to provide support and felt enormous pride as students graduated and moved into post-school pathways. Of all, this program was perhaps closest to her heart. A respectful and genuine relationship existed between Margaret and the IE@P students and their families; she was viewed as an Elder and warmly embraced as a family member.

In 2014 the Pembroke Improvement Plan initiatives were solidifying. A key initiative under development was a plan to engage students in an experience that brings to their consciousness the importance of sustainable practices in all aspects of life. The philosophy underpinning the planned experience was ‘building community’. Margaret was very interested in the concept and agreed that students should understand the key issues related to the great moral questions of their age, including food security, water management, active citizenship and community responsibility. This understanding could be promoted by engaging them in an experience that brings these issues to life. The long-term vision of having students growing and eventually selling crops and produce while managing and sustaining the land resonated deeply with Margaret and she immediately pledged her support. This vision will be brought closer to reality later this year when The Environmental Learning Centre and Garden of Earthly Delights will be officially opened at the School’s property Old Watulunga at Finniss.

Margaret’s long-held view that education provides all the opportunity a child needs to change their world is validated and reflected in current and past Pembroke students each day, all over the globe. Her legacy will continue to assist the equipping and providing of opportunities for future generations of Pembroke students.

Margaret, your astonishing generosity has provided opportunities, resources, and life experiences to literally hundreds of young men and women. Your legacy is lasting and tremendously significant. We salute you, we miss you and we will never forget you.

Ms Bourchier
Foundation Director

GRIP Leadership Conference

The GRIP Leadership Conference is run across Australia each year for student leaders. Our eight Year 6 House Captains joined nearly 800 primary school leaders from all corners of South Australia at the Entertainment Centre on Tuesday 7 February. They were taken through a series of sessions, many of which were interactive.

This year there were four main focus areas:

Leadership strengths
Leadership is not about using a position, but rather about using strengths (your own and others’; and recognising your own weaknesses). Drawing on the strengths of individuals builds a stronger team.

Taking responsibility by
• role-modelling values
• upholding the trust of others
• responding to needs
• developing your own strengths.

Thinking outside the box—ideas for service
House Captains came up with a list of ideas for service to peers, teachers and community.

Putting ideas into action
House Captains are working through this process on some of their ideas for service.
A = Agree on an idea
C = Create a proposal
T = Talk widely (spread the word—promotional)
I = Identify tasks (what to be done)
O = Organise roles (by whom)
N = Navigate challenges

Students reflected on why they enjoy being a leader and how they hope to grow in their leadership skills. As a follow-up activity the House Captains presented a brief report at our Junior School Assembly, and have also undertaken activities from the conference with their peers to share the learning.

Ms Shadiac
Assistant Head of Junior School

Year 3 Excursion to the Central Market and Migration Museum

The Year 3s went to the Adelaide Central Market and Migration Museum in February to kick start our unit of inquiry on Cultural Diversity. The excursion was a great success! The highlight for many students was seeing and tasting some interesting foods such as ‘green ants’. The children enjoyed an informative walking tour of the markets, learning about the diverse cultures in Australia and the wide variety of foods that are present in our community because of this diversity. We were fortunate to have the shop owners answer many of the questions that the students had

We continued our learning at the Migration Museum where visual aids helped the students understand how people migrated to Australia and why they chose to migrate.

Miss Stevens
Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 Excursion to Tandanya Theatre

On Friday 3 March the Year 4 students were fortunate enough to see Inside the Walls as part of the Fringe Festival. This hour-long performance took them on a journey with Chief Izzy of the Adventure Squad as she moved house from the city to the country. On arriving at her new home, spooky things started to happen. Izzy discovers that a ghost is haunting her new home and is transported inside the walls as she tries to solve the mystery!

Performer Theresa O’Connor used her incredible skills in paper engineering, puppet making, projection, electronics and shadow puppetry to enthral the students, and when it came to our 10-minute Q&A time at the end every hand was in the air!

On the following Friday the students were treated to a personalised workshop with Theresa. She taught them about shadow puppets and then guided them in making their own. The students used these puppets to create a short performance with their friends.

Mrs McCarl
Performing Arts Teacher

Year 7 Camp at Old Watulunga

The Year 7 Camp was definitely an event to remember. I was already full of energy and excitement from the beginning of the bus trip. Everyone seemed to be feeling the same way, even though some of us had got little sleep from packing at the last minute. It was a racket on the way to the campsite. When we got there after one and a half hours, we were all welcomed to Old Watulunga.

There were a few rules we had to follow. It was going to be continuously hot and sunny throughout the week, so everyone was to be sure they were wearing a hat at all times, had applied sunscreen and always carried a drink bottle around. We were told this while we sat and shifted uncomfortably in the heat with the dry grass itching at our skin, looking up at the gumtrees and hoping that no autumn beetles or caterpillars were going to fall on our heads. Some students made sure that they also kept some insect repellent on them; the mosquitoes in particular showed no mercy. I learnt this lesson the hard way. In the first half an hour I was bitten by—something—that made my knee swell up and sting for a good 30 minutes.

We then got to set up our own tents and heave our bags into them. The temperature inside the tents was stifling during the day but would drop to freezing cold at night. I was relieved that my first activity for the day was kayaking—maybe it would cool me off a bit when I went into the lagoon? The lagoon water appeared to be a bluish grey from a distance, but when one was sitting in the boat the water that surrounded you was so brown and murky that it was impossible to tell how deep it was. It was infested with plants, weeds and slimy gunk so I was very careful and tried my best not to
capsize. Some of us weren’t so lucky and fell over in the first few moments they were in the water.

Then there were the beach activities. We had a lot of fun taking part in these creative and competitive challenges. One started with everyone lying down on their stomachs, to see who could get up the quickest and run across the sand to grab one of the limited number of orange bars that were sticking up from the ground. The other games were competitions between the different Houses, an example being when we had to try and fill up a bin full of holes with water—only one person could fetch water in the bucket at a time, while the others had to try and block up the holes with sand. When the time was up we would see who had managed to fill it up the most. In the second game each team had a single oar lying across the sand. The task was to try and dig a hole underneath it without anyone touching it, and to get every team member to the other side.

At the end of the day everyone got to have some free time to play in the water. Some of us got bodyboards for the giant waves. I could say it was a fun experience except that I got pushed under by the waves several times. Water managed to get into my head in every way possible— mouth, ears, eyes and nose. But now I know what it’s like to be inside a washing machine full of salt water.

Everyone quickly gathered their things once they got back to camp and dashed to the showers before the line got too long. Then we had dinner outside at some wooden tables. Everyone was hungry and ate quickly as they chatted to their tablemates. The sun sank below the horizon and all the mosquitoes began to come out, but the day wasn’t over just yet. For a night activity we each made sure to apply insect repellent and went over to the meeting areas. We were each given a small journal to write down our experiences of the day, and all that could be heard for a while was the flipping of paper and the scratching of pencils. Everyone began to settle down a bit and relax. The next thing we did was tied in with a survey we had all done before camp—our character strengths. This survey determined what our top strengths were and now we all finally knew why we had taken it to camp. We discussed our top three strengths and chose an animal that would represent those strengths. After a long day we all returned to our tents. Although we were supposed to be sleeping, most of us stayed up and talked to each other between tents for a long time.

The second day we all got up at the crack of dawn. It was freezing cold and it took a lot of effort for us to get out of our sleeping bags. Our backs were sore and stiff from sleeping on nothing but thin mats. This was the morning when we were introduced to the Father Abraham dance, a tradition of the Year 7 Camp. Every morning all the students were to take part in this exercise to help warm up in the cold.

After breakfast we quickly moved on to the next activity—for me this was gardening. We had a tour around the gardens, chicken coop and compost station, and then helped plant different vegetable seeds—from broccoli, peas and so on. After we had finished doing this we were shown to a small lake nearby. Nets had been set up overnight and we found a great number of yabbies caught inside them. Some were enormous and frightening but some were small enough to just wriggle out of the cage.

Then it was raft building—what fun that was. Before we started we were taught how to tie different types of knots. While this information was helpful, it didn’t benefit either team. Our raft didn’t even make it into the water. White shoes turned grey and my clothes dragged me down in the muddy water. Surprisingly, both teams failed and nobody won.

The last activity of the day was surfing. This was one of the highlights of the camp for most students. It was easy to pick up and lots of fun. Sadly, I wasn’t that good at it, only managing to stand up two or three times, but most students could catch great waves with ease by the end of the lesson. By now it was nearing sunset and we got on the bus back to the campsite.

This time the night activity was for all the Houses to create their own House chant. Some had difficulty coming up with ideas together with their teammates, but for others it ran rather smoothly. Each House had to perform their chant in front of everyone while their score was being determined by the judges. Medlin won! And our wonderful prize was to perform it all once again. Then we had a quick supper as everyone began to bicker about which House should have won. Students returned to their tents and everyone fell asleep quickly from exhaustion.

Once again we all woke up early, only this time we were greeted by the noise of a blaring car horn while Langers yelled, ‘GET OUT OF BED!’ This made the students emerge from their tents a little quicker. And again we all took part in the Father Abraham dance, but with everyone a little more tired than before. All the students changed into their House shirts and then we were off to the high ropes obstacle course at Woodhouse. After we had packed all our things and cleaned out the tents, we got on the bus for the hour-long trip to Woodhouse.

The high ropes were inside a small forest next to a rockclimbing building and giant swing. From the ground looking up, for me at least, it didn’t look too scary. Before we could start we had to learn a few things. First, we put on our harnesses and helmets. After these were adjusted correctly for each individual, we also had to learn how to correctly handle all the equipment, such as the carabiners and ropes. In each group there were four people: one person was the climber, whose position is quite self-explanatory; one was the belayer, who was in charge of either tightening the rope or making it more slack; the third was known as the anchor, who held down the belayer from getting lifted off the ground; and the last person was back-up, who also pulled the extra rope through from the belayer.

One rope course I did was easily the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my life. Imagine walking on an extremely slack tightrope, with nothing to hold onto except your own harness and the only support being ropes that are roughly 3 metres apart. I was terrified. There were many different courses ranging in height and length. Some were made up of wooden planks and others were of simple ropes. It was a windy day with the trees swaying as we climbed up them and leaves blowing in our faces. The experience overall was thrilling, exciting and just fun. I may have been terrified in the moment, but I’m glad that I got to do it and that I didn’t quit.

Some students were disappointed that the trip was already over and some were looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep. It can be agreed that everyone was worn out and exhausted but the things we got to do and the experiences were unforgettable.

L. Thomson
(Yr 7)

Close the Gap 2017

On Thursday 16 March in Week 7 Pembroke Middle School held an event to create awareness for National Close the Gap Day. This campaign is all about raising awareness and trying to reduce the life expectancy gap and overall average health difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. In the Middle School the event is run by a team of willing Year 9s who are supported by some staff to come up with ideas to run an awareness-raising event that can happen in a lunchtime. The event needs to be designed to allow maximum participation across a short time span and should be accessible by everyone in the Middle School.

This year we decided to create a huge banner where people could add their names to the campaign. The committee did a lot of brainstorming and refined our idea to creating a banner with the words ‘Close The Gap’ on it in bold green, with a black space in the middle that represented the average ‘gap’. All our participants could write their names in white marker within the black space, representing us committing to ‘closing the gap’. On the other, white parts of the banner everyone placed a black-paint fingerprint, representing the Indigenous community through a kind of dot painting. Before the actual event we presented in the Middle School assemblies to help everyone understand why this campaign was so important. Throughout the day we raised awareness by telling people about the event and its meaning, giving people stickers and, for the Year 9 team plus a few lucky others, temporary Close the Gap tattoos.

Overall, the day was a huge success and almost the whole Middle School turned up to contribute to the banner and help raise awareness for this important cause. Everyone who was involved in the creative process of the banner and event had heaps of fun. We really enjoyed the chance to be part of the committee and we encourage any current Year 8s to consider getting involved next year.

A. Williams and A. Grantham both (Yr 9) on behalf of the 2017 Close the Gap Committee

Outdoor Education

During Term 1 the Year 10 students have been undertaking their Outdoor Education Journey. This is the pinnacle of the Middle School Outdoor Education program and sees the students exploring the Finniss River, Murray River, Lake Alexandrina and Coorong National Park by kayak and ketch. This experience is always an adventure that promotes resilience and empathy and fosters the community spirit that we all know as ‘the Pembroke way’.

This year, with the wet summer, we have observed high freshwater levels within Lake Alexandrina, and this water has had the ability to flow throughout the Coorong National Park and out through the Murray Mouth. This has presented our students with a unique environmental opportunity, as for many years the waters within the Coorong have been hypersaline. This year the river has truly flowed, prompting a short-term return to balance within the ecosystem.

Our sailors and kayakers have shown persistence and perseverance in overcoming the added challenge of this extra water, which presents as a 4-knot river current often going the wrong way. This strong-willed approach has enabled them to adapt and overcome the challenge, allowing them to explore the wilderness of the Coorong National Park. We are in a privileged position in having a flotilla of expedition sailboats that have been custom built for their application. These state-of-the-art yachts enable the students to sail safely to their remote campsites, allowing them to have unique experiences.

During the course of this journey the students examine the footprint that they leave behind. They have been conscientiously sorting and examining their recycling, compost and rubbish. We have introduced soft plastic recyclable and sustainable products to reduce our immediate impact. At the end of the experience the students undertake a measurement of the waste that ends up in landfill and we use this as a gauge of sustainability; our average so far has been about 100 g of rubbish per person for a 6-day adventure.

This year’s cohort are to be commended on their positive attitude, community spirit and ability to support and encourage each other. At the end of the experience the students are often tired and slightly emotional but leave the wilderness having discovered a place that is close to their heart. ‘Camp’ is not a holiday, but rather a time that students work harder than they may have done the week before. It’s a time that provides honesty and opportunity. It allows our students the space and place to discover who they are. We all need to be supportive, encouraging and mostly proud of student achievements in the outdoors.

Mr Williamson
Outdoor Edcuation Teacher

Pembroke Connect Program

The Pembroke Connect Program commenced in Term 1, 2017, catering for international and indigenous students for whom English is their second language and who are in need of an immersive English program prior to transitioning to mainstream classes. The program is focused on students entering Years 7 – 10 and is based in the Middle School.

The School welcomes David Freesmith as the specialist teacher of this program, with Mim Barnard (Coordinator of International Students) coordinating and teaching, and Emily Davis (Coordinator of Indigenous Students) also teaching in the program.

Ten students began the program at the commencement of the school year. They attend specialist English classes as well as one mainstream subject and PE lessons. In addition to preparing students for the English demands of mainstream classes the benefits of offering this course include a sense of belonging to the Pembroke community as well as feeling integrated and supported into existing programs at the School. The students also attend House activities and are involved in Pembroke’s sporting and other co-curricular programs.

Already we can see that the students have transitioned well into their new learning environment and are enjoying all aspects of a Pembroke education. In a small group they are engaging in a range of carefully structured language and learning activities to optimise their English language competencies, as well as building their confidence to assist in ultimately transitioning into mainstream Pembroke classes.

Mrs Barnard
Coordinator of International Students

IB Diploma Awards Ceremony 2017

The IB Diploma Awards Ceremony takes place to recognise the graduates from Adelaide’s nine IB Diploma schools who have distinguished themselves in their IB Diploma studies; this year the ceremony was held at the Adelaide Town Hall on 6 February.

Diana Medlin, the first Principal of Pembroke School (1974–90), was a distinguished educator who introduced the IB Diploma in 1989, making Pembroke the first IB Diploma Programme (DP) school in South Australia. The Diana Medlin Lecture is delivered at the awards ceremony by a speaker chosen by the host school, and it honours her vision and commitment to a high-quality, globally recognised pre-university education that ‘aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’ (IB mission statement).

Our entire group of graduates from 2016 did Pembroke, their families and their teachers very proud. It was extremely gratifying to see 31 students (of 47) invited to the awards ceremony, with 13 students being awarded a certificate of distinction for achieving an overall score of at least 40/45 and another 18 achieving at least one certificate of merit for a subject score of 7. Altogether, Pembroke students achieved 75 merits, which was outstanding.

Graduates are congratulated in order of their achievements. In fact, 5 Pembroke students featured among the first 10 called onto the stage, with Shien Wenn Sam and Nicholas Bradman achieving 45, Ray Ren and Yingtong Li achieving 44, and Julia Cretan achieving 43. Nicholas and Julia were also honoured for achieving two As in both Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay.

Families and teachers also attended the ceremony and enjoyed drinks in the foyer following the ceremony, which marked a very proud final get-together for our wonderful IB DP students of 2016.

Mrs Walldorf-Davis
Head of IB

Geography Field Trip to Kangaroo Island

Early in Term 1 a group of intrepid Year 12 IB Geography students set off on the inaugural Kangaroo Island fieldwork trip. The purpose of this camp was to explore the characteristics of tourism on the island and the ways in which tourism has impacted key visitor sites as well as the major settlements of Penneshaw and Kingscote.

Upon arrival on the island the group experienced one of the highlights of the trip, an ocean safari tour. The party were transported on a rapid inflatable craft that took them close to a range of wildlife including seals, sea eagles and dolphins. Then, after carrying out mapping of tourism infrastructure in Penneshaw we headed west to Flinders Chase National Park, our home for the next 2 days. The rangers from the Department of Environment provided a fascinating talk upon arrival in the national park, highlighting numerous threats to biodiversity in the area, including the new threat of drones being used by tourists.

The second day started at Kelly Hill Caves, a spectacular cave formation. After a guided tour the students completed a range of fieldwork activities including mapping of tourism management infrastructure, collection of visitor movement data and surveys of levels of biodiversity. These activities were repeated in the afternoon at the iconic site of Seal Bay, together with a talk from guides at the park.

The final day involved collecting more data at Remarkable Rocks along with a visit to a bird show at the excellent Raptor Domain attraction. A quick visit to Kingscote completed the trip before interviews with tourist managers at Penneshaw. The trip was highly successful and the students represented the School with distinction. I would like to thank Barbara Hunt and Andrew Quinn for their assistance in running the camp.

Mr Miller
Head of Geography

Outdoor Education Camp

Throughout the duration of Week 5 in Term 1 both Year 12 Outdoor Education classes were lucky enough to visit Kangaroo Island to commence one of our three expeditions for the year. The main purpose of this expedition was to use the snorkelling skills learnt at Port Noarlunga beach during our weekly practicals and apply them to the dives conducted at several locations on Kangaroo Island. Our other focus was to identify several South Australian marine species during our dives at a number of beaches, such as King George and Stokes Bay. An amazing aspect of the trip for students was swimming with the glorious bottlenose dolphins at Western River Cove, as well as the eagle ray at Stokes Bay. To have the opportunity to dive at these secluded locations felt special, and it was also comforting to know that these environments are being thoroughly taken care of as there was no lack of marine life.

The classes camped at sites including Flinders Chase National Park and Stokes Bay, both within 30 minutes’ drive from dive locations. Each day consisted of an average of two dives, which entailed individual class members leading the dive and instructing fellow students. Dives were not pre-planned; instead we chose the dive locations each morning depending on weather patterns and conditions. All dives had a goal, whether it was to identify a new species or to work on our diving technique. We were fortunate enough to observe and swim with species such as the zebra fish, horseshoe leatherjacket, bullseye, old wife, blue devil, boarfish, southern rock lobster and many more.

For all the students this was an unforgettable experience, diving at some of the most beautiful locations in South Australia. This expedition was an excellent chance to show initiative and organisational skills in order to prepare ourselves for the self-reliant expedition in the latter part of the year.

K. Forster
(Yr 12)

Gold Coast Boarders Trip

Term 1 can be a term of mixed emotions for boarders, especially if you are one of the 40 new boarders—anticipation of new beginnings, trepidation about the unknown and excitement at the prospect of making new friends. To conquer homesickness and to facilitate friendships and have fun, the Boarding House offers numerous activities catering for a wide range of interests. This term so far we have had overnight camps, a pool party where Pembroke was the host, the annual boarding picnic, excursions to the Fringe, surfing days, a diving course, trips to ALF football matches and movie nights, to name a few. A highlight for some students was the Gold Coast Trip. Year 11 boarder Rebecca Wurst wrote the following:

On Friday 10 March 14 boarders (7 girls and 7 boys), 4 staff and 2 of their children embarked on a Gold Coast adventure! We flew to Brisbane before driving to Surfers Paradise, keeping up the hype with loud music and excited snapchats. We got to enjoy dinner down by the beach before heading to our accommodation to prepare for a jam-packed Gold Coast long weekend.

On Saturday morning the excitement was obvious as everyone piled onto the bus and made the trek to Wet’n’Wild. Despite some nerves everyone made the most of the rides and reconvened for our BBQ lunch. After lunch our energy and enthusiasm had again intensified and we spent the rest of the afternoon trying new rides and going back to our favourites.

Following Wet’n’Wild we had the opportunity to go to the Outback Spectacular. The performance was a definite highlight, with amazingly trained horses, dogs, donkeys and cattle, and complete with captivating storytellers and acrobats. We were served a three-course meal throughout the show, including a perfectly cooked steak enjoyed by all. The cowboy hats that we all received were a treasured souvenir.

Sunday was an incredible day at Movie World, with some of us experiencing rollercoasters for the very first time! The group decided to try the terrifying Superman ride after being told by Mrs Tarca that ‘we'd enjoy it’. Many of us watched the parade and lapped up the chance to take photos with our favourite Disney characters. After yet another argument over whether we were going to listen to the girls’ or the boys’ music on the bus, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, followed by a walk through the gorgeous night markets set up along the famous beach.

Not letting a little bit of rain dampen our spirits for the last day, we arrived at Sea World where we marvelled at the great dolphin, seal and jet-ski shows and had a blast on the adrenaline-pumping rides, which many of us went on multiple times in a row

We flew out of Brisbane, wearing our prized cowboy hats, with so many amazing memories from a truly incredible trip!

A big thank you to Mrs Crowhurst for organising and accompanying us on the trip, and to Ms Tarca, Ms Dunstall and Mr Bruce for their supervision and the fun they added over the long weekend!

R. Wurst
Year 11 Boarder

Mrs Crowhurst
Head of Turner House

Indigenous Students Leadership Camp

The Indigenous Students Leadership Camp is always a highlight at the start of each school year. Having spent most of our time on or in the water on our last camp, this time we went underground. Naracoorte in the South East was our destination, where we embarked on our adventure caving experience.

Old scholar Brenz Saunders again joined the IE@P group as a valued mentor, and we enjoyed Evan Shillabeer’s company as well this year.

The camp is designed to welcome and get to know new IE@P students, build and strengthen relationships and our connection as a group, develop leadership and communication skills, reflect upon our individual and group directions for this year and beyond, and have fun too.

Paintballing was a good starting point! We stopped at Monarto and donned the regulation outfit for the weekend’s activities—khaki overalls and hard hat—for a couple of quick rounds of paintballing. Some warriors had prior experience and impressive accuracy, while others quickly resembled a Jackson Pollock canvas.

The bus journey to Naracoorte allowed everyone to recharge before part one of our caving experience. On arrival at the Naracoorte Caves National Park, listed as a World Heritage site in 1994, we again donned our hard hats, this time fitted with head torches, for our introduction to adventure caving. This was our test to see if we would manage the 3-hour session the next day. It certainly challenged us as we immediately found ourselves deep underground crawling through seemingly impossible spaces. Through impressive teamwork and a lot of laughter we discovered that it was, in fact, possible to manoeuvre our bodies through these highly unlikely places.

With a taste of what lay ahead, the next morning we travelled a fair distance along dirt tracks to reach a hole in the ground that was the entrance to Fox Cave. Slightly overgrown and almost hidden by the scrub, the entrance was revealed by our expert guides and we began our descent. This was by far the most challenging part of the experience as we had to crawl sideways and downwards for a fair way, sandwiched in a narrow gap between the rocks. With the constant encouragement and support of their peers the group crawled 20 metres underground. Our efforts were rewarded when the area opened up into spectacular, cavernous underground rooms.

Kanisha Wills (Yr 10) shares her thoughts about caving … Adventure caving was a really fantastic experience. It was a great work-out and it was fun to learn about the history of the caves. The caves were made out of limestone, with fresh water in the walls from an ancient sea. When we directed our torches onto the limestone, we could see it turn red with little drops of water running down. I tasted some of the fresh water and it was delicious! The first cave we went into, Stick Tomato, was the introductory cave, and then we went adventure caving in Fox Cave. Unlike the wet cave, it was really hot. We ventured into two main parts of the cave, The Madonna Chamber, which was fun to climb down into and opened up into a large area, and another that had long tree roots flowing from the ceiling. This chamber was very pretty and had a small mountain of pitch black sand from the ceiling. Overall, adventure caving was a really amazing experience and we all had a fantastic time!
After our introductory caving session on Saturday we spent some time with Indigenous elder Doug Nicholls on Bindjali land. Doug spoke to us about his family background, the local area and its seasons, bush food and animals. He demonstrated how to generate fire, played the yidaki (as also did Markell Stapleton (Yr 11)), and showed us how to throw a boomerang. The challenge was set to catch a boomerang and this occupied us for quite some time, with Jamie Fullston (Yr 10) winning the contest despite fierce competition. A cleansing ceremony was a powerful conclusion to this important and entertaining lesson in a beautiful setting.

After a lovely dinner in Naracoorte we gathered at our farmhouse accommodation for a discussion about our individual and group directions for the short term and into the future. The students discussed ideas for Indigenous Education at Pembroke and reflected upon our Reconciliation Action Plan, which is currently in draft form. We concluded the evening with the now customary birthday cake and UNO tournament.

After a very active, rewarding and unifying leadership camp we returned to Adelaide feeling very positive about the year ahead and the future for Indigenous Education at Pembroke.

Ms Davis
Indigenous Student Coordinator

House Swimming Carnival

The Middle School House Swimming Carnival was held on Wednesday 15 March for the third time at the recently built SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

The atmosphere at the carnival was excellent, with all Houses supporting their swimmers admirably. The novelty events, which were held in a separate pool, provided an opportunity for all students to be actively involved in the carnival, as did the ‘standards’, which were held in the weeks preceding the carnival.

The carnival was marked with outstanding swimming by a number of our students; the winners from each year level are listed below. This year saw the introduction of the ‘champions race’ as the showcase event to conclude the carnival—the best swimmers from all year levels in the Middle School would race head to head against the other strong swimmers in the 50m freestyle. This year the two races were won by the White siblings, Emily in Year 8 Hill and Charlie in Year 10 Hill.

Hill won the Middle School Cup, with Mellor just pipping Medlin for second spot. It was great to see a range of Houses succeed at various year levels, with Reeves, Wright and Hill winning the year-level competitions and Oats showing strength in the younger years.

There were two records broken, both by Emily White— the Year 8 50m butterfly in 30.30 seconds (old 2007 record 30.38) and Year 8 50m freestyle in 28.21 seconds (old 1986 record 28.25).
Congratulations to everyone who participated and thanks to all the staff and students involved in making this a successful day. 


House Total Rank
Hill 888 1
Mellor  787 2
Medlin 784 3
Reeves 743 4
Wright 734 5
Smith/Yates 696 6
Oats 667 7



Year 1st 2nd 3rd
7 Reeves Oats Wright
8 Reeves Mellor  Medlin
9 Hill Yates  Smith
10 Wright Hill  Medlin

Mr Reid
Director of Sport

Success at Schools Triathlon

On 22 February Pembroke took 36 students down to West Lakes to compete in the Schools Team and Individual Triathlon competition. Other than a little wind, conditions were perfect and our individual athletes were underway shortly after 9 am. In the State Championships Lana finished second by a mere 6 seconds in the Primary Division, and Nick also finished second in the Intermediate ‘Come and Try’ event.

The team events commenced at 12.30 pm with a huge number of very strong teams embarking on the challenge. Pembroke was proudly represented and it was soon clear that we were going to be competitive in various categories.

When the competition was over we had finished with the following results:

 1st in Intermediate Mixed  
T Nguyen
N Blackman
W Sam
1st in Intermediate Boys  
C White
M Natt 
J Cross
 2nd in Intermediate Boys   
J Paris
J Holland
T Evans
1st in Senior Girls  
S Munchenberg
S Edwards
S Morphett

 3rd in Senior Boys  
A VanDeLoo
R Allison
A Haines

Mr Lentakis

VALE - Liz Williams 1942-2017

I want to make beautiful work. I want to make work that’s inspiring. There is enough ugliness in the world. I don’t really want to reflect on that in my work. I want to reflect on something that takes you beyond that. Liz Williams 2016

Anyone who knew Liz Williams will remember her charming, charismatic and gentle nature. She was an astute observer of life and possessed a fine intellect, but lived life with the vitality and curiosity of a child—a true enthusiast who seized every opportunity for new experiences.

Liz died in March after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just after Christmas. When I last spoke with her she was philosophical and resolute, and commented that she was neither angry nor bitter because she had lived a great and fulfilling life and had done all she wanted to do.

Liz was a remarkable teacher. She came to Pembroke from UniSA’s Art School in 1994. Initially terrified by the prospect of teaching young children, she soon discovered a depth in her relationship with them that took her by surprise. Her interest in children and knowledge of the way they learn was clear, and she provided her students with that important balance of gentle encouragement and rigour. Liz delighted in their achievements and they adored her. She was passionate about imparting her love of beautiful things to them so that they could begin to have real insight and understanding about creative work.

After taking students on the 2001 Marree Exchange, she became intricately involved in the Pembroke–Marree focus group and saw this as a tangible way towards reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

She was the most inspirational colleague and also a gifted and well-respected artist. Many would be aware of her exquisite ceramic sculptural works. Her 1998 exhibition Cinderella Dressed in Yella captured the movement and poses of children at play with deft accuracy, and her 2006 exhibition Let’s Dance paralleled this theme. Her 2001 exhibition Reconstructed Rituals took inspiration from the lives of martyred saints and further explored the notion of what it means to be female.

Liz’s work is held in high esteem throughout Australia and the rest of the world. The Australia Council funded overseas studios for her three times: in Mexico (1991), Barcelona (1996) and Rome (2004). These residencies fed her arts practice and her teaching. An expert in her chosen field, Liz worked with many of the heavyweights of the Australian art world, including Milton Moon AM and Gwyn Hanssen-Pigott.

She left Pembroke in 2006 to focus full-time on her own work, and continued to do this right up until the week before she died, when, with the aid of a close friend, she completed work undertaken in 2016 during her final residency in Shigaraki, Japan.

Liz’s swansong was at her own funeral—a stunning display of her work from the Saints series, which she curated to divine perfection. And with a touch of humour and irreverence, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance played while we all watched a photographic montage of her wonderful life.

Mr Ferrier
Director of Visual Art

From the Principal - October News

There is a buzz at Pembroke.
Pembroke has launched the first stage of the Facilities Master Plan. It is called the Shipsters Road Project and Middle School Redevelopment. When completed the proposed development will include a new and wonderful facility on the site of 3 Shipsters Road: a refurbishment of the existing Science, Technology and Art rooms at King’s; a pedestrian bridge across Shipsters Road linking the two sites; and new landscaped recreation spaces for students at King’s. In addition, Middle School Music will be consolidated into the Kensington Oval Grandstand, and Drama and Film in the Middle School will be moved into classrooms adjacent to and directly below Wright Hall. It all makes great sense. The project allows a very positive ‘flow on’ impact to our existing facilities.

Science, Technology, Design and Art in the Middle School will be reconceived in one three-storey building at 3 Shipsters Road. The architecture is bold and heralds a future full of exciting and promising teaching and learning programs. There are two distinct educational imperatives driving the scale and scope of this new building. The first is ‘bringing the world in’, and the second is that ‘ideas matter’.

At Pembroke we accept the challenges presented by a rapidly changing world and we wish to view the future in a confident setting where those challenges are discernible and relevant to students. We have learned that predictions, especially as they relate to education, are increasingly vulnerable to both overstatement and generalisations. While the future presents uncertainties, we believe that it is also accessible. To address how we meet those challenges, a sensible and realistic possibility is to bring the world in to Pembroke. We wish to allow our students and staff to experience firsthand those people in our community who are responding to the changing nature of the world, and to bring their research and business know-how to a new residency program.

For over 30 years Pembroke has demonstrated such an approach through our Artist in Residence program, which exposes students and staff to professional artists each year. They are role models of advanced and sophisticated skills that are at once inspiring and revealing, and at all times responsive to a changing world. When our students experience this program, seeing becomes believing, engaging becomes knowing and inspiration becomes aspiration. The model works and works well, and keeps us in touch with the world of art beyond our school walls.

We wish to extend that proven idea further. A Research, Business and Entrepreneur in Residence program will be created and accommodated in the new building at 3 Shipsters Road. The design of each storey will include locating practising research, business and entrepreneurial interests within enterprise spaces. Each enterprise space will mirror the academic field studied by students on each floor—where every idea mirrors the matter of learning.

Resident enterprise personnel will mentor, role-model and challenge students and teachers about the reality of making ideas matter within and beyond the school setting. For ideas to matter and to be well understood, we wish to blend the theoretical understanding that students gain in Science, Technology, Design and Art with the practical expression of their ideas in the world beyond them. How do ideas matter beyond school as research, products and services, and what role does entrepreneurship play in their initial and sustained development? This is an important question for our current and future generations of students.

Students will be challenged to understand that responses to the ideas they study also require an appreciation of the relationship between subject disciplines. It is the relationship between research in technology and science, for example, that makes laser surgery possible; likewise, architecture is born from the connection between art, design and technology; and renewable energy is produced when ideas from technology and science are subjected to creative impulses to meet the demands of a new future.

The atmosphere and qualities of the centre will act as catalysts for discussion, debate, enquiry and collaboration. It is our hope that the building will inspire students to be artists, engineers, scientists and artisans of all descriptions. The centre will extend its functionality to include flexible and static exhibition, enterprise and collaboration spaces. There will be community workshops for the manufacture of significant machinery including pedal prix, solar and electric vehicles. The building will be a living educational space with exposed services, solar and water capture, and examples of environmentally sustainable products and services. The fabric of the centre will breathe with educational opportunities. It will be a beacon for students and staff, encouraging them into cross-curricular engagement in the Middle School. It will stimulate us to meet the practical and theoretical challenges of transforming ideas into research, business and entrepreneurial skills.

The building on the site of 3 Shipsters Road will include Technology, Digital Technology and Design.

On the ground floor:
• four design laboratories
• technology workshops
• machine workshops for metalwork, woodwork and multidisciplinary studies
• a mechanical workshop for the design and construction of alternative energy vehicles
• an enterprise space for an associated business

Science on level one:
• six dedicated laboratories
• teaching and learning spaces
• an outdoor deck with roof garden and green-wall integration to educate students in ecological systems and their relationship to building spaces
• flexible floor space for student and staff an enterprise space for an associated science research interest

Art on level two:
• five art studios
• an area for pottery and clay works
• a digital suite
• an outdoor courtyard with views of Adelaide and surrounding country
• exhibition spaces for revolving and static presentation of diverse pieces of artwork
• an enterprise space for practising artists.

More than 100 years of combined Girton, King’s and Pembroke history affirms that the soul of our School centres on people. Our principal belief is that when we seek to deepen and broaden individuals’ educational opportunities, they in turn embrace their future confident that ideas matter, and matter in the most marvellous and unexpected ways. Our new project intentionally deepens and broadens students’ educational experiences.

Mr Thomson

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Foundation Development

The concept and images of the Middle School Development – Shipsters Road Project have been circulating throughout the Pembroke community for several weeks, and the philosophy that ‘ideas matter’ has encouraged important conversations. The possibilities of having a living, breathing building to facilitate such exciting opportunities for our students and staff, in fact the whole community, is creating great interest and energy. After 5 years of serious thinking, investigating and planning, it is now time to make this vision for both the current and future generations of Pembroke students a reality. So, how do we as a School move this development from an amazing and unique educational opportunity to a reality?

Understanding the vision and expecting hard work are good starting points. The guest speaker at the recent Foundation Ambassadors Luncheon was Ms Julia Steele Scott, a current Year 6 parent and Manager of Philanthropy Australia, SA, WA and NT. She explored philanthropy in her address—what it means to give, regardless of the amount, and, importantly, what it enables both immediately and in the future.

Master of Ceremonies for the Ambassadors Luncheon Mr Neil Balnaves AO, a King’s old scholar and Pembroke benefactor, challenged guests to give and give generously, in whatever form, to make this initiative a reality. Giving means buying in to the philosophy and the opportunities that this building will provide. Neil went on to reveal the size of his pledge to the Shipsters Road Project. As he said, not out of arrogance, but to inspire others to give with the understanding that community buy in will transform this opportunity into reality. (Neil has pledged $500,000 to the Shipsters Road Project over the next 5 years).

Who to ask first? The Pembroke School community is large and it is often challenging to identify the best starting point. The Foundation members’ biennial Ambassadors Luncheon held in late August provided the first opportunity for the Principal to present the Shipsters Road and Middle School Redevelopment Plan to current and past donors to the School. Guests were inspired by the concept and we are encouraged by those who have since translated that inspiration into donations and pledges. We are both appreciative of and thankful for your support.

Year-level parent representatives have been invited to hear more about the project in recent weeks. Information surrounding the project is accessible to everyone via the website and the portal. ( Keep an eye on your emails, the School calendar, and School communications and publications.

The Capital Campaign Committee formed in 2015 to communicate this vision to our community comprises a group of hardworking old scholars, and current and past parents and staff. If you would like to join or learn more about this group please contact the Development office at

Large-scale developments such as the Shipsters Road Project are complex. Combining philosophical foundations, educational theory and practice plus financial equations. The project offers our entire community unique and wonderful opportunities—it is designed to bring the world in.

Hard work is evident throughout the entire project, in both mindset and muscle! The mindset is where we review our own beliefs and actions. For the staff it is thinking about what it means to work at Pembroke, the directions our practices can take via technology and facilities, and what we can offer our students today and into the future. For parents and families it is back to the basics of what we want our children to experience, what is going to prepare them for the challenges of their world and what we can do in our lives that will extend into the lives of grandchildren and beyond. For old scholars, past parents and the entire community it is about the essence of giving back.

And now for the muscle. No, it is not about laying bricks and levelling concrete, but about the commitment to keeping going—the legwork required in stopping to have that chat, or the energy in a positive response that ripples beyond the person or group you are talking to. It is about putting that understanding and belief into practice—starting or extending that building fund donation via your school fees, making a pledge to give an amount annually, feeling good that every time you drive or walk past Pembroke you are a very real part of our School’s present and future.

Philanthropy, whether we realise it or not, plays an important part in this School, and it is not a new concept at Pembroke. Across all three sub-schools Pembroke students are engaged in philanthropic initiatives large and small and both nationally and internationally. The Senior School Resource Centre, Middle School Resource Centre and Girton Arts Precinct have all benefited from funds contributed by old scholars and the parents of the day. A shining example of philanthropy at Pembroke is The Environmental Learning Centre currently under construction at Old Watulunga; it will be our first building funded entirely through donations from the Pembroke community. The Parents and Friends Association has contributed over $225,000, with the balance coming largely from old scholar donations.

For many, philanthropy is understood, appreciated and something that most of us try to embrace in between all the other responsibilities of life. What we must now do is switch our thinking to the present, about a moment in our School’s history, one that we all have a duty to be a part of. As Mr Neil Balnaves AO said, ‘understanding that community buy in will transform this opportunity into reality’ is paramount in bringing The Shipsters Road Project to fruition.

Along with the many who have already contributed to the Middle School Development, I encourage you to visit to learn more about how you can be involved in this exciting initiative. We can do this!

I would like to make a pledge to the campaign. How long can pledges go for?
We welcome pledges from those who would like to spread their donation over a maximum of 5 years. For example if you were to contribute $100,000 to the campaign, this could be done in instalments of $20,000 per year for 5 years.

Are my donations tax deductible?
Yes, every donation to the Pembroke Building Fund is tax deductible for Australian residents and you will be provided with a receipt for tax purposes.

Where do the funds from the Building Fund go?
Donations to the Building Fund are allocated to specific projects that must adhere to the specific ATO requirements for school building funds and not general maintenance. Recent projects that have benefited from the Building Fund include the installation of 3 x 30 kW photovoltaic solar systems installed on the roofs of the Middle School Resource Centre, the new Dorothy Yates Hall and the old Dorothy Yates Hall (now Senior Visual Art studios).

Why are you fundraising, and where do my fees go?
Pembroke School fees are used primarily for the express purpose of providing quality teaching staff and resources to all students. The School does not take a compulsory contribution for major future building projects and these must be funded separately.

What is the timeline of the Middle School Development build?
As you know the School was successful in its tender to purchase the Shipsters Road site. It is anticipated that the work will commence onsite in the second half of 2017 and, all being well, will be completed ready for the start of the 2019 school year. Upgrades to the Moody Centre, Wright Hall and Milne Science Laboratories will be carried out in such a way as to not impact on students and will most likely occur over the school holidays.


cut down prspective of new building OW

A drawing of the new Environmental Learning Centre at Old Watulunga


Old Watulunga Environmental Learning Centre
Old Watulunga is a property sited on the Finniss River between Strathalbyn and Goolwa. The School purchased the 43-acre site in 1988. Since this time several existing buildings have been upgraded and some new ones have been added. The property originally contained a substantial stone homestead that was converted to include a generous kitchen, dining/classroom area and basic dormitory accommodation. Although the homestead had been renovated and well maintained, the building was constructed without footings and on highly reactive soils, and its structural condition deteriorated to an extent that remedial works were unrealistic and hence the building was demolished 11 years ago.

The site is currently used for Outdoor Educational programs for Years 7 and 8, and as a starting base for Year 10 students. Historically, Old Watulunga has also been used for day trips for Science students, environmental studies, scouts, student leadership groups and Rowing camps.

In November 2015 the School commenced planning with architects Grieve Gillett Andersen a development that would incorporate a new commercial kitchen, indoor dining for up to 50 people that can also double as a learning space, and a covered outdoor dining area appropriate for an additional 50 persons. The outcome has been a design that maximises the views to the Finniss River and lagoon to the south and the open campsite recreational lawns to the north.

Some of the design features of the new development are:
• maximising the passive solar design with generous building overhangs to allow for penetration of the winter sun into the building while shading the interior from the harsh summer sun;
• maximising the use of cooling summer afternoon sea breezes to cool the building in the warmer months;
• utilising local limestone in an 800-mm thick external wall that also wraps internally as a feature;
• rainwater tanks and connections to the existing tank system to maximise rainwater catchment;
• a 10-kW solar system;
• an informative monitoring system of energy and water use;
• a built-in BBQ adjacent to the covered dining area; and
• a recycling area and supporting program that will assist in minimising reliance on landfill.

Additional to the main development are works to the sustainable garden area undertaken by Old Watulunga Manager David Nelson. David has created a series of limestone walls supporting raised planter beds that include interpretive and informative displays regarding ecological and sustainable systems. An arbour recycled from a felled eucalypt in the Junior School supports fruiting vines. A new interactive chook house will provide a home for hens that will in turn fertilise the orchard and provide farm fresh free-range eggs. Adjacent to the existing orchard is a series of raised beds where students will plant and maintain vegetable crops. These crops will then be harvested and the food prepared by students in an outdoor kitchen.

Construction works for the new building and outdoor area commenced on site in mid September, with a view to be complete and ready for School use in mid Term 2 2017.

The new facility at Old Watulunga offers increased educational benefits for our students and will provide for an array of community events such as Farmers Market Days, the 2018 Watulunga DownUnder Bike race, Parents and Friends Association functions and more.

The site offers endless possibilities in opening the farm gate to produce sustainable crops and food from native plants, olive oil and meat products.

Ms Bourchier
Foundation Director

Celebrating 40 Years of the Hearing Unit

On Friday 26 August Pembroke School celebrated 40 years since the Hearing Unit was founded. Hearing Unit old scholar Alastair McEwin addressed the Senior School assembly. All current Hearing Unit students from each sub-school attended as well as several old scholars and past teaching staff of the unit. Alastair talked about how he felt when he was in Years 11 and 12, unsure about where he fitted in the world and what his purpose was. As the immediate Past Executive Director of Community Legal Centres NSW and the current Disability Discrimination Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission, I think it is safe to say that he has definitely found his purpose. I am sure he inspired many of our students.

After the assembly there was an opportunity for the old scholars and past teachers to catch up over morning tea, followed by tours of each campus. The old scholars thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane and and were delighted to bump into teachers they had known in their school days. A delightful display of old Hearing Unit photographs and memorabilia sourced by Alison Bell in Archives and curated by Grace Ferrier was also enthusiastically received.

The evening function was another opportunity for those involved with the Hearing Unit over the years to catch up with each other. The formalities of the evening involved a passionate speech by old scholar Natasha Stott Despoja on the strong female leadership that ensured the creation and success of the Hearing Unit and the value of the Hearing Unit to the entire School community. Kevin Borick QC (past parent) gave a thought-provoking speech on why it was important for him to lobby for the creation of the Hearing Unit, and Alistair rounded out the formal part of the evening with an entertaining speech about his time at Pembroke.

All those who attended the day’s events are enthusiastically looking forward to the 50th anniversary celebrations.

Ondine Caon
Coordinator of MS Learning Support

Peta Harries
Pembroke Old Scholars' Association

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).


Spanish Week

This year we had several activities in Term 2 as a lead-up for Spanish Week in Term 3. We began with ‘word of the week’, focusing on one simple word or phrase in Spanish that is used frequently in everyday school life. Everyone in the School was encouraged to get involved and try their best to learn and use each week’s new word. It’s been great to hear more Spanish speaking throughout the halls.

Each class in the Junior School was allocated a Spanish-speaking country to research, building up to Spanish Week. Classes found many inventive ways of gathering and displaying information about their country such as booklets, Google slide presentations and display walls.

Over the course of the week many activities took place. Students in Years 4–6 participated in a Copa Del Mundo or World Cup soccer tournament, with each country versing their opposing country in their year levels; while those in the ELC, Reception, and Years 1 and 2 participated in an interactive flamenco session directed by Emma and Luke from Studio Flamenco. They learnt about the history and different styles of flamenco dancing, the instruments and props used, and the outfits worn. They even got to learn a few dance moves themselves!

On Wednesday of Spanish Week the Year 6s had a ‘meet and greet’ session with Years 5–7 students from Darlington Primary School. They had the chance to participate in five one-and-a-half-minute conversations (in Spanish) with a student from Darlington who is also learning the language. After the session Pembroke and Darlington students had a private screening of Toy Story 3 and a special delivery of churros!

The Year 5s, with the help of some Year 6s, worked hard to prepare a lesson for the younger year levels involving everything from Spanish craft and stories to traditional foods and drinks. On Friday the Year 3s celebrated their flamenco residency, showcasing all that they had learnt and participating in a fiesta with Spanish music and food. The Liddle family kindly provided a churros delivery again this year for the entire School—this is always a big highlight of Spanish Week.

The Year 4s and 5s had a session with Juan from Juan’s Paella, where they watched traditional paella being made as well as sampling some themselves. Friday was also dress-up day for the whole School. Students brought in a gold coin donation and we managed to raise $500 for a wonderful non-profit organisation called La Esperanza Granada, which aims to bring education to all children in and around the city of Granada, Nicaragua.

As you can see, Spanish Week is a jam-packed week embracing all things Hispanic!

Ms Gardiner
Spanish Teacher

spanish week

Ewan, Genevieve, Ella and Matilda (all Yr 3) learning how to Flamenco dance with Emma from Studio Flamenco








Science Week

National Science Week was celebrated in many ways in the Junior School this year. The theme was Robotics and throughout the week all classes were involved in various robotics activities. They explored programming through coding, and used numerous problem-solving skills using Beebots, Bluebots and NXT robots. The students found each of these sessions exciting and challenging.

On Wednesday 17 August the Pembroke Junior School Science Fair was held to celebrate National Science Week. The Science Fair was designed to serve two purposes—to celebrate and showcase Science in the Junior School, and to develop the teaching of scientific investigation skills among Junior School staff.

The Years 4–6 classes were buddied up with a Senior School Science teacher and taught how to undertake a scientific investigation. Students also looked at hypothesising and justifying their hypothesis, choosing variables, recording results using tables and graphs, analysing their results and making conclusions.

The students’ work was then displayed throughout each of the classrooms. The standard was very high overall and some fascinating investigations took place. Students investigated topics such as which type of milk makes the most froth, does the temperature of a tennis ball affect the height of its bounce, does the type of shoe affect how far the soccer ball travels, which type of frozen liquid melts the quickest, does the placement of weight affect how far a toy car travels, and which type of cup is the best at preventing ice from melting.

The Junior Primary buddy classes visited the afternoon before the Science Fair, so the Upper Primary students were able to practise explaining to their buddies their choice of questions, the research they undertook and the results they found. The Science Fair was a fantastic success and culminated in parents and friends visiting on the Wednesday morning, when students were able to share their findings with their parents, teachers and students from other classes.

A special thanks to Mr List (Head of Science), Mr Hatzi, Ms Kelly and Mr Duffy for all their work in mentoring the Junior School students and teachers.

Mr May
Year 4 Teacher

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Book Week

What an amazing and busy time we had in the Library over the first half of Term 3, culminating in Book Week in Week 5. All classes were lucky enough to participate in workshops with the award-winning author Janeen Brian. Author visits are an exciting part of our learning experiences at Pembroke and it is always exciting to see the sparks ignite in the children’s imaginations. Students have been busy participating in a range of activities in the Library, celebrating the wonderful books that were shortlisted for awards by the Book Council of Australia. The Reception and Year 1 classes joined together to participate in a range of activities, while the Years 3 and 4 classes had a fantastic time on Thursday afternoon making kites. Luckily, some students could run fast enough for them to be able to launch!

The Book Fair proved yet again to be a huge success and we sincerely thank everyone for supporting it. We ran a colouring-in competition to coincide with it, with a prize being awarded for each year level. We always use the proceeds from sales at the fair to purchase presents for a charity at Christmas, prizes for students who reach particular levels in the Premier’s Reading Challenge, and games and equipment for classrooms. This year we are also going to purchase some things for the sandpit.

The weather gods were certainly smiling on us again for the highly anticipated Book Week parade. The entire Junior School gathered in the gorgeous sunlight first thing on Thursday morning. It always amazes me how much time and effort goes into the preparation for this event. There were Smurfs, crayons, Harry Potters, gumnut babies, Oompa Loompas—the list is endless. Thanks must go to the highly entertaining host, Ms J. She did such a fantastic job and I think she may have it for life! And, of course, to Mr Music, Mr Manning, who had the hard task of choosing appropriate music for all ages!

Mrs Schumacher
Junior School Librarian

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Year 2 Musical

‘Now this is the law of the Jungle, as old and as true as the sky.’ Rudyard Kipling

The Year 2 Musical encouraged audiences to forget about their worries and their strife, during a magical adventure into Disney’s The Jungle Book. Baloo and Bagheera tried their hardest to escort Mowgli to the Man Village, but he proved determined to stay in the jungle. He met lots of animals along his way, including Colonel Hathi and his elephant herd, Kaa the snake and her coils, King Louie and the monkeys, and the friendly Vultures. The jungle animals befriended Mowgli and they all came together to protect him from the evil tiger Shere Khan. In the end Mowgli was encouraged to return to the Man Village with Shanti, a girl who had been disguised as a coconut tree watching out for him in the jungle.

After many weeks of rehearsal and excitement, the children performed The Jungle Book for the School, and their families and friends in Wright Hall on 20 and 21 September 2016. Highlights for the children included being given special responsibilities, using the microphone, being fitted for their bright costumes and having their faces painted. They developed a wide variety of skills during the process of preparing for the musical, such as cooperation, voice projection, dancing and singing. It gave me great pleasure to watch each student develop their own confidence and see how much they enjoyed being a part of the show.

I would like to thank the Year 2 teachers, the Junior School staff, Ms Corbett, Mrs Riley and also Ms Van den Ende for their support and assistance during the rehearsals and preparation for the musical. I would like to also thank all the Year 2 students for being so enthusiastic, diligent and imaginative. They worked hard as a team to produce two amazing performances, proving once and for all that ‘the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack’. Well done, Year 2!

Miss Thomas
Junior School Performing Arts

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Europe Music Tour

During the July break 17 keen Music students accompanied Darryl Pope and Pauline Baker on a Music and Cultural Tour to Switzerland and Italy.

We spent the first weekend at the Montreux Jazz Festival, during which we stayed in the charming historic Swiss Hotel Masson. We also visited the mediaeval Chillon Castle where we were astounded by the building and facilities and dungeons etc! It was a really cool place to visit, and right on the very edge of Lake Geneva. We also visited the Charlie Chaplin Museum and display just out of Lausanne (where he lived in his later life after being exiled from the USA), and then travelled through Italy taking in the sights of Milan, Venice, Cremona, Lucca, Florence, Assisi, San Gimignano, Montecatini and Rome.

We performed numerous concerts along the way and were very ably assisted by our friends from Musica Italia and their local contacts, particularly Ilio in Tuscany, who had organised performances for us in a range of different piazzas and churches. Wherever we went we were made to feel very welcome and were received warmly by both local people and tourists. We met several Australians who were on holiday and recognised our accent, so came along and listened to us. They spoke warmly of their experiences, and were very appreciative of our music and how well the students were performing.

We saw an amazing amount of Italy and were really well led by Rafaella (Raffi), our tour leader from Musica Italia. She became such a good friend and led us to some amazing sights, shopping experiences (and gelato shops). The weather in Italy was warm to hot (36 degrees on some days) and we were well looked after in some very good hotels and restaurants. The outdoor concert in Venice was particularly memorable and really well received by a very healthy crowd of local people. In typical Italian style this concert was at twilight and we then walked to a lovely pizza restaurant for a late dinner. In Rome we took time to see the fantastic ruins of the Colosseum. It was amazing to think of how big and impressive this building was—and how long ago it was built! We also went to the Vatican and saw the amazing St Peter’s Cathedral, which is huge! It will hold 80,000 people—just in the church—while the Square outside will hold up to 150,000 people! The architecture of these buildings is just amazing and an experience that will stay with us all for many years.

We then travelled down to Santa Marinella, about 50 km south of Rome. It is a beachside suburb/village and we performed a short concert at the local café by the boat harbour, before setting up for an evening concert in a local square where we played from 10–11 pm for a group of warm and friendly locals, and finally a late trip back to our hotel in Rome. This was a great place to do our last concert before heading towards the airport the next day.

Many friendships were made among the students travelling, but also with Raffi and Alberto from Musica Italia, who looked after us so well. Everything went exactly to plan—we played better and better as the concerts went on, and enjoyed the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy immensely! Thanks to Angas Travel for all their work in setting up the tour for us, and to the staff and students who travelled for their friendship, fun and positive attitude at all times.


Mr Pope
Director of Music

Middle School Musical

It’s a spectacle to marvel at how far one person’s vision can stretch in order to create a masterpiece, and I find myself struck by the thought every time I’m thrown into a production. As the house lights went down on the opening night of the Middle School Musical, I remember thinking that Peter Pan was absolutely no different.

A multitude of students from Years 9 and 10 had somehow slipped, almost unconsciously, into perfect renditions of each role, and it made me think back to those weeks when the thought of a fully fledged production was just a flight of fancy. The thrum of anticipation during auditions had been completely transcended by an immaculately selected cast, and by the time everyone had taken up their positions on stage it was impossible to imagine anyone else in those respective roles. It’s just something that instils in you an enthralling belief in the magic of theatre.

The aforementioned enchantment also consisted of incredibly special moments, some of which were specific to the individual, while others were shared by the production cast and crew alike. Things like hearty war cries rising to crescendos in the back of people’s throats as we screamed our lungs out before and after each show; excited, whispered waves of ‘chookas’ that passed for good luck among everyone as we waited backstage; the inevitable lack of restraint that took hold of both cast and crew as we cheered on the stars from the wings. We jumped on—and screamed at—fellow cast members during choreographed fight scenes, decorated black brick walls with glow-in-the-dark tape and favourite quotes from the script, and had impromptu dance parties in the not-so-segregated changing rooms. All those gruelling weeks of rehearsals, late Sunday nights and constant occupational health-and-safety reminders all came to a head for three nights of fantastic performances.

It was a production born and bred of visionary sketches, the hum of sewing machines and the double-checking of each costume; sweltering waits in the rehearsal area practising makeup until the cast came back for changes, the endless hunt for bobby-pins and everyone vying for Mrs Ramsey’s approval; set changes and lighting checks, whispering to fellow crew members backstage and having a million different things to do at once; tuning instruments in the green-room-turned-music-pit, frantically skipping sections under Kim Spargo’s enviable direction and waving madly at the camera connected to the stage during pack-up despite not being able to hear the answering laughs of the actors; and stretching upstage while the actors were warming up, bringing Madison Lochert’s incredible visions to life and dancing through the smoke spilling out from foiled pipes.

So many thanks are owed to so many distinguished groups and individuals—the extremely talented cast; the astonishing costume group, makeup team and backstage crew; the unbelievable musicians and dancers; and the wonderful band of drama assistants. An especially big thanks to Mr Bruce who headed up the backstage team with his endless expertise; Mrs Hodgkison who looked after everyone and was with us every step of the way; Ms Dalton who fed many hungry mouths and managed to mother the entire cast and crew; Kim Spargo who led the musicians and singers while bringing absolutely invaluable passion, diligence and professionalism to the show; and last, but not least, Sharon Reynolds who made the most incredible debut of a production, worked so incredibly hard and made every single member of the cast feel at home. The entire production was magic, and nothing short of fairy dust swept through us all during the time we worked on it. And I can say, wholeheartedly, that the only regret any of us had, as actors, was being unable to watch the show ourselves. The wisdom, experience and relationships imparted to every one of us throughout the journey will stay with us all for a very, very long time. And, as a whole, we were definitely lucky enough to see this production for what it was—one big adventure.

(Yr 10)

Visual Arts

When students in the Junior School arrived in Week 2 of this term they were greeted by Kondoli, a 12-metre-long, brightly coloured inflatable whale that had appeared in the atrium area inside their School! This heralded the beginning of something exciting and wonderful as it marked the start of the 31st Artist in Residence program at Pembroke.

Kondoli is the creation of Community Artist Bob Daly from SpinFX AustrAliA, and his partner Kalyna Mikenco. Throughout the course of the residency, Bob took students inside the whale to tell them the Aboriginal Dreamtime story about Kondoli. Students worked with Bob and Kalyna to make drawings, which were then cut out of wood and painted to become part of a series of 21 panels that will be hung in the upper storey of the Junior School campus.

Students learned valuable lessons in colour mixing and how to get the best results when painting, as well as the importance of taking care with their work to achieve the best possible result. At the same time they gained insight into just what is achievable when an entire community bands together towards a desired outcome.

The Middle School Art Exhibition was again a resounding success and was opened on Thursday 1 September by our Middle School Artist in Residence Mary-Jean Richardson. Mary-Jean is Head of Painting at the Adelaide Central School of Art, and she worked with our Year 10 students during Term 2 to create individual still-life paintings in oil. Students were introduced to the traditional ‘atelier’ style of painting, which focuses on developing skills in drafting, colour theory and observation. The Middle School Visual Arts students were privileged to watch Mary-Jean paint a traditional still-life painting during her time with us. This highly successful work was acquired by the School and now forms part of our permanent collection.

Mr Ferrier
Director of Visual Art

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Magwi Development Agency Australia

Pembroke Middle School’s Term 2 Good Cause was the Magwi Development Agency Australia (MADAA). The agency raises funds for the Leopoldo Anywar College in Magwi in South Sudan. Since gaining its independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has been trying to rebuild itself. It has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, 40% for males and a shocking 16% for females. The money raised at Pembroke will help girls’ education at the school, in particular the funding of a new building to contain computers.

We enjoyed South Sudanese food and music on our Casual Day. My Co-Chairperson was Sarah. Nick brought the Senior School on board, and Mrs Shadiac and Miss Gardiner did the same with the Junior School. The highlight of our Good Causes campaign was the visit on 10 June by Josca’s ‘supergroup’, which performed brilliantly for all three campuses.

Mr McCann


Magwi Development Agency Australia dancers perform in the Middle School during their visit

Middle School

An Innovative Collaboration—Causes Project and PMI Project Outreach
At this time last year a piece about the Middle School Causes Project (CP) appeared in this journal. The CP was initiated in the Middle School in 2014. Essentially it is a means by which our efforts for good causes (whole of campus and House-based) have been organised and developed into a coherent and quite sophisticated form. The pillars of the CP (the 4 A’s) are:

Awareness - raising consciousness and providing knowledge

Advocacy - taking a message of active support to the School and wider community

Altruism - practising unselfish concern for the welfare of others

Action - doing something pragmatic for the benefit of others.

The CP provides our students with many opportunities to enact these four pillars. There have been numerous campaigns run in support of causes such as MAADA Magwi (to help build a school in South Sudan), the Home of Hope (Cambodia), Cycle 4 Sam, Tanzeed, the Leukaemia Foundation, The Salvation Army, Canteen, the Childhood Cancer Association and the Jodie Lee Foundation and others.

A new collaboration with the PMI (Adelaide, South Australia Chapter) Project Outreach
I invite the reader to follow either of the links printed at the end of this article. It will take you to a 5-minute video of the workshops that our students participated in, working with volunteer staff from the Project Management Institute (PMI) (Adelaide, SA Chapter). 

Earlier this year Mr Yudhi Mohan-Ram (current parent and PMI Mentor) and I began a conversation about a possible collaboration between the PMI (Adelaide, SA Chapter) and Pembroke School. We talked about the benefits of the teaching and application of project management skills as a life skill to our students. Our common aim was to provide some dedicated training that would enable our students to learn the necessary skills to take greater responsibility for the charitable works they frequently undertake in their journey through the Middle School—via the CP. We decided to run a pilot scheme utilising the Term 3 cause Cycle 4 Sam. This is the first time that the PMI (Adelaide, SA), through Project Outreach and in association with SA Water, has collaborated with a school. 

The PMI (Education Foundation) is the world’s leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project profession. Its members are committed to supporting project management as a life skill. The PMI method divides every project into phases and attention to all of them keeps people from missing an important component. The five-phase method delivers the language and tools of project management—the initiation or creation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and closing phases. This is what was taught to our Year 10 Student Voice Executive and their Year 9 counterparts in two workshops run in May and June. 

Working in the MS Conference Room with PMI staff who had volunteered their time and expertise, they were guided through a simulation of making a cake and shown how readily the five phases are applied. In the subsequent workshop the students had to project manage a hypothetical trip to France in great detail by applying the same method. They did so in small groups with increasing levels of confidence and some friendly input from the PMI staff. The feedback from all the participants was positive (as you can see by viewing the video link below). The final stage in this process was executed in August when one half of the trained group of Years 9 and 10 students met again and formed a Student Action Team to plan and implement the Cycle 4 Sam campaign on the King’s campus.

What happened next
At this planning meeting the Student Action Team was reminded of the 4 A’s or pillars of the CP and given the task of developing SMART objectives for each pillar and a timeline for project management of the Cycle 4 Sam campaign.

A second meeting clarified what the awareness and fundraising events would be, and a deadline was set to gather information, including costs and risk management factors. The Student Action Team were pro-active in developing an action plan and confirming the timeline based on the information presented at the previous meeting.

All students in the Cycle 4 Sam Action Team divided into smaller groups that took responsibility for aspects of the campaign. The groups arranged promotions, guest speakers, posters, and activities such as the casual day, smoothie bike riding, cupcake sales and virtual bike races. The Team were generous with their time and resources to manage the various activities, and also agreed to donate all the baked goods for the cupcake sale and the bananas for the smoothie bikes. 

On the Cycle 4 Sam Casual Day students and staff were encouraged to wear bright colours. All students were issued with a balloon and, despite the drizzle, a Cycle 4 Sam balloon photo involving over 700 students and teachers was taken. It was a colourful sight.

Ms Bel Ryan, the Art Therapist employed in paediatric palliative care at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, also visited Pembroke as part of the Team’s awareness raising. Cycle 4 Sam has been funding this position and its programs for a number of years now. Bel worked with a number of students on a giant paper mandala, providing our students with a creative opportunity to symbolise the work of Cycle 4 Sam. The final product is stunning and is on display in the MSRC foyer. 

The combined efforts of the Cycle 4 Sam Action Team’s awareness and fundraising campaign have raised new levels of advocacy and $4,000.

The pilot will continue in Term 4 when the second group of trained students will work to plan and implement the campaign for the Tanzeed Cause.

To view the video (5:46) of the workshops follow either link below: or

Mr MacPherson 
Head of Middle School 

Mr Roberts
Assistant Head of Middle School

ms oct

Cycle 4 Sam campaign in the Middle School



Grandparents Day

On the Friday of Week 8 in Term 3 the Year 7s of Pembroke School invited their grandparents and grandfriends along to Grandparents Day. Many grandparents had not seen beyond the border of the Middle School, so it was a great experience for them to finally see inside. This day also gave us another chance to connect with our grandparents. Some of the visitors were old scholars who were pleasantly surprised about how the School had changed since they had attended.

We greeted our grandparents at the Pavilion across the road. Here they helped themselves to a morning tea that consisted of sandwiches, fruit, pastries and muffins, with tea to go with it. Here we also gave our grandparents a brief on what was ahead of us.

Our grandparents were led to an assembly prepared especially for them, but not without passing the Medlin cupcake stall, where they (and their grandchildren) had a cupcake or two. In the end Medlin raised $924 for their charity the Childhood Cancer Association from purchases.

The assembly soon started with a welcoming musical number played by the Year 7 String Quartet comprising Timothy, Kevin and Adden. They played Pachelbel’s Canon in D, arranged by Timothy himself. Later on we also had another item performed by Marissa on the flute, playing Al’s Café. Both were amazing pieces that lightened up the assembly. Afterwards were speeches from Mr Lawry (in place of an absent Mr Thomson) and Mr Macpherson, sharing some wonderful memories of their grandparents. The students in the Year 7 English classes had been asked to write a letter to their grandparents. Cameron, Alice and Navah (reading for someone else) were chosen to read their letters out at the assembly. All the stories shared were very heartwarming.

To round out the assembly, a small presentation was given about the Cycle 4 Sam fundraiser the week before, with prizes given to Jem and Sophia for winning the virtual bike race in their age group.

Next, the grandparents were treated to a tour of the Middle School. They were shown around different areas of the campus including the Library, Technology Centre, Art rooms and Science labs. They were also allowed a sneak peak into Maths, English and Geography classes. They were all amazed at the vast facilities we had and were always comparing them to their schooldays.

At the end of lesson 3, it was time to say goodbye to our visitors. They all had a great time and loved seeing the environment that surrounds us every schooling day. I think that the students and grandfriends could both agree on what a wonderful School we are privileged to attend.

Thank you.

(Yr 7)

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Indigenous Education @ Pembroke. (IE@P)

Naa marni? This is a traditional greeting in Kaurna language, meaning ‘Hello, how are you?’

I would like to acknowledge that our School is located on the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. As a school we recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land, and acknowledge their ongoing significance today and into the future.

Pembroke’s Indigenous students come from a diverse array of cultural groups and regions, including the Torres Strait Islands, Kakadu, Arnhem Land, Darwin, Alice Springs, Halls Creek and Oodnadatta. They have strong connections with their communities, including that at Pembroke and within the IE@P group.

Our first outing together this year was to attend the Smith Family Class of 2015 Graduation Ceremony at the University of Adelaide. Keenan represented Pembroke admirably as he delivered the acknowledgment of country. Through the various presentations and a Q&A session with graduates, we were reminded of the important work of The Smith Family in providing educational support to young people. Russell Ebert, Port Adelaide Football Club icon, also offered some inspirational advice to the audience.

On the March long weekend, with old scholar Brenz Saunders as a mentor, the group headed to Port Elliot for the annual Indigenous Student Leadership Camp. The students enjoyed the opportunity to relax together, play guitar, and compete in UNO and table tennis tournaments. We participated in a range of activities that included bike riding, raft building, surfing and kayaking to strengthen our ties as a group. We also took the opportunity to reflect on our directions as individuals and as a team. With time for quiet reflection, the students identified and discussed what is important to them, as well as their strengths, challenges and goals. It proved to be a very productive leadership camp.

Reconciliation Week is an important occasion in Australia’s calendar; its purpose is to celebrate and build on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. With an inspiring theme, ‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’, the week raised awareness of reconciliation and was a proud celebration of culture.

Reconciliation Week events began with the annual breakfast at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Pembroke was well represented by staff and students, and we took the opportunity to invite a group from Le Fevre High School as well. We listened to original music by singer/songwriter Nathan May and enjoyed Allan Sumner’s artwork. The passionate and thought-provoking speakers included three Aboriginal young achievers, as well as RECOGNISE campaign’s Youth Reps and Campaign Director Tanya Hosch.

Jenice, a keen art student, created a design to represent Indigenous Education at Pembroke, its symbolism delivering a strong message. Brenz explains that the design celebrates identity, strength and unity, while also recognising cultural attachment to the land. Jenice’s artwork, converted into Pembroke colours, was featured on the unique Indigenous Round sports uniforms. The design was also printed on the National Reconciliation Week T-shirts, which are now being worn across Australia.

Inspired by the spontaneous decoration of Michael's football jumper last year, the idea of hosting our own Indigenous Round was embraced by the Sport Department and led to its inauguration at Pembroke. It proved to be a significant and special event in the School’s history. With a backdrop of gums and the rhythmic sounds of the didg, the smoking ceremony was a moving salute to Indigenous culture. Markell played the yidaki (the traditional name for a didgeridoo) with his grandfather Mr Phillip Allen, and Jenice and Keenan addressed the crowd. Special guests included our inaugural Indigenous Student Coordinator Ms Grandison, and Miss Binmila Yunupingu who travelled from the Northern Territory to present the Yunupingu Cups, with her nephews Michael and Richard by her side.

Reconciliation Week also offered an opportunity for our Indigenous students to speak to their peers in Middle School Assembly and Senior School Chapel. Below are extracts from the Middle School speech:

Trevina: Werte arritne archina anema Trevina, arritne ampure mparntwe. This means, ‘Hello, my name is Trevina. My home is Alice Springs’ in my language. My people are the Arrente clan, the traditional custodians of central Australia. My dreaming is the Yiperenye, which is a caterpillar. On my mum’s side I am from the Dieri people near Marree.

Kanisha: I’m a Torres Strait Islander. My family is from the Wagadagum clan from Badu Island. Our culture is based upon family and the environment. My totem is the koedal, which is a crocodile, and it is my clan’s duty to protect and never harm the animal.

Delise: My home is in the central part of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. My father is from the Bunitj clan in the Northern part of Kakadu. My mother is from the Murumburr clan in the central part of Kakadu near Yellow Water along the Jim Jim River. My grandmother Violet teaches us to speak Gundjeihmi, the language of the Murumburr people. It is important culturally for my family to continue art and craft such as weaving baskets, bracelets and mats out of natural fibres and dyes. Hunting and gathering are also important to continue as the ecological knowledge gained from this activity guides us in our fire and land management obligations. Keeping cultures alive is important, as it defines who we are.

Markell: I am from Oodnadatta and my people are the Pitjantjatjara. When I was younger my nanna taught me how to hunt and skin an animal, but most of my hunting skills just came naturally. My nanna also taught me a dreamtime story about the goanna and the perentie. I was taught to play the yidaki by my grandfather, Phillip Allen. I began when I was about 9 years old. A yidaki is made from a piece of timber that is hollow due to termites. The bark is removed and it is often decorated. It is played by men in traditional ceremonies.

Richard: I’m from Arnhem Land in the north east of the Northern Territory. I am a Yolngu man. My totem is the burru, the crocodile.

Richard presented a music mix inspired by a song called Baru by his great uncle Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, about his totem the crocodile. It included Markell playing the yidaki.

Mr Lush also embraced the theme of reconciliation in his Chapel services. During the Senior School service Kanisha and Cassie shared their thoughts on reconciliation. This topic was also the subject of the Reconciliation SA Schools’ Congress that was attended by a group of Years 10 and 11 students. Stirred by the words of a Kaurna elder, singer Ellie Lovegrove and Amnesty International volunteers, and having participated in interactive activities run by Act Now, the group devised many creative ideas for promoting the reconciliation message at Pembroke.

At the end of Term 2, the newly created Pembroke Indigenous Education Reference Group met to discuss a range of issues. With representatives from the Smith Family, AISSA and the Pembroke community (including staff, old scholars and family members), the conversation was thought-provoking and exciting. Our most immediate focus is Pembroke’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and we are currently organising a series of events, to build upon the ones mentioned above, to ignite the reconciliation conversation at Pembroke. I look forward to working with this group and our students to create a purposeful RAP designed to celebrate and continue Pembroke’s reconciliation journey.

The Years 9 and 10 Indigenous students thoroughly enjoyed visiting Miss Battye’s and Mr Manning’s Year 3 classes recently, to talk about their culture. Topics covered included the medicinal qualities of the Kakadu plum, turtle tagging, playing the yidaki, and hunting and eating turtles, crocodiles, snakes and kangaroos. We were impressed with the students’ enthusiasm, questions and vocabulary and had a great time.

This term I accompanied four students to Sydney for the Indigenous Youth Leadership Project’s National Gathering run by The Smith Family. Students from across Australia gathered to celebrate their culture, learn from members of the Indigenous and wider community, and develop their skills as the next generation of Indigenous leaders. Most memorable was a performance of traditional dances and songs on a peaceful island in the middle of bustling Sydney Harbour.

It has been delightful to catch up with our Marree friends again this year. The relationship between the Pembroke and Marree communities has a long history and is one that we value highly.
With a fine group of students and a supportive community, the Indigenous Education Program at Pembroke continues to flourish.

Ms Davis
Indigenous Student Coordinator

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Winter Sport

The winter season has recently concluded and once again a large proportion of our student cohort have represented Pembroke School in a range of sports. Our students do a tremendous job representing the School, always striving to achieve their best but with sportsmanship at the forefront of their efforts. Our First VIII Table Tennis; First XI Boys, First XI Girls and Middle A Soccer; and First XV and U14 Rugby teams all came first in their divisions, with a number of other teams also performing exceptionally well in their competitions. 

This season the Sports Department, in consultation with some key stakeholders, implemented the inaugural Indigenous Round, which saw the First XVIII Football and Open A Netball teams compete for the Yunupingu Cups. Pembroke won both games by 1 point, but more importantly the day was a tremendous success in bringing our community closer together and acknowledging our Indigenous heritage. Next year we look to develop this further by incorporating more sports.

The winter Interschol was a tremendous week of competition. Pembroke retained the trophies in Table Tennis, Squash, Girls and Boys Soccer, and Chess, and suffered losses in Football, Netball, Girls Badminton and Boys Basketball. The Table Tennis team completed an undefeated season with a comprehensive display at the Interschol. This team has not lost a match in the last three seasons, and with a huge amount of potential in the junior ranks it appears we will continue to dominate this sport in years to come.

Leading Teams, a program designed to align members of a team to common goals and standards, continued to be used with great success across the Football program. With its successful implementation in the Senior Football teams in 2014, it was decided to include the younger teams in the program last season and to continue this in 2016. Members of the Pembroke Parents Football Committee have supported the program and it has been most pleasing to see the players and coaches embrace the program. Leading Teams helps the team to establish ‘trademarks’ and constantly reminds team members about the desired behaviour in order to obtain the team’s objectives. It is a program driven by the members of the team and works best when all players are ‘on board’.
Mr Holland and Mr Roberts are strong believers in the Leading Team philosophy and have also included it in the Senior Boys Hockey program. After winning their Division 1 competition last season, the First XI were again competitive this season, finishing an honourable third. The two Middle School teams also experienced success throughout the season and I am sure there are a number of students looking to step up to the First XI team next season. Congratulations to Jack (9S) who was selected to play in the State Under 15 Hockey team and the Secondary Schools Sport of South Australia team. Jack was so highly regarded that he was elected Captain of the State U15 team—a tremendous achievement.

The First XI Soccer team continued its good form in the regular SAAS competition and ended up top of the Division 2 table. There were 10 Boys Soccer teams representing the School each Saturday morning, the most ever entered by Pembroke. Mr Moore took on the role as Soccer Head Coach this season, and together with his team of coaches ensured that the players experienced engaging and enjoyable training sessions.

Australian Rules Football numbers also grew this season, with Pembroke nominating three senior teams, and for the first time entered a standalone Year 7 side, when previously this Primary A team had consisted of Years 6 and 7 players. The First XVIII squad had a successful season, winning some exciting encounters with the last kick of the day on three occasions. The Second XVIII had one of their most successful seasons on record, and both the Years 8 and 9 teams won most of their games, suggesting that Senior Football will continue to strengthen in the upcoming years.

Pembroke entered three teams in the Rugby competition this season. Mr List did a tremendous job in overseeing our Rugby program. Together with his dedicated team of staff and coaches, all three Pembroke teams qualified for the finals, with the U14 and First XV teams winning their grand final matches.

Pembroke continues to be successful in the relatively new school sport of Fencing. We had two Senior Girls teams and one Boys team this season, with two of these teams making the grand finals. Thank you to Mr Hayes and Mr Pring for their tremendous work with these students.

Thank you to all who have helped to create a great winter sports season.

Mr Reid
Director of Sport

boys sport

First XV Rugby team after winning their grand final

Girls Sport

Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mrs Martin and her husband Chris on the birth of their daughter Evie Adelaide. Sally is an outstanding role model for students at Pembroke, particularly in her role as Director of Girls Sport, and I know she has been appreciative of the many good wishes from the Pembroke community. I would like to thank her for her work in meticulously organising the Girls Sport program, making it easier for me to transition into the role in her absence in Term 3. It has been highly rewarding observing our girls approach their sport in such an enthusiastic, collegial and committed fashion.

Pembroke continued its strong form from recent seasons in Soccer. With Tom Ballantyne once again at the helm as Coach, our Open A team again won the final, a 3–0 victory over Pulteney Grammar School. With the departure of many senior girls from last season’s team, 2016 was a rebuilding year, with many of the Open A team coming from Years 9 and 10. So it was particularly satisfying to see the girls achieve so highly. Congratulations to Amber for being selected to represent the state in the Secondary School Sports Championships in Maroochydore in July.

Participation in Middle School Soccer was once again strong, with four Pembroke teams entered in the IGSSA competition. For the first time IGSSA conducted a final for the Middle A competition, in which Pembroke tied for the pennant with a 1–1 draw against Wilderness School.

The Netball season began with a Senior Netball tour to New Zealand late in Term 1. Ms Clark and Mr Reid accompanied a group of senior players to Auckland for the Trans-Tasman Netball Tournament; in 2017 Pembroke will host this tournament for the first time. Another first for the School this year was the inaugural Indigenous Round, with our Senior A/B teams playing matches against College. The Open A team won this match by 3 goals. The girls from both teams conducted themselves with great dignity on such a significant occasion. Westminster School retained the Interschol trophy, defeating Pembroke by 1 solitary goal in a terrific final match of the season. Participation and enthusiasm were high among Middle School netballers, with a total of 15 teams from Years 7–10 entered in the IGSSA competition.

The Netball Parents Committee has continued to support the Netball program with enthusiasm and success. This season the funds raised went towards two Erin Bell Clinics that were conducted in Week 3 of Term 3. Approximately 50 students from Years 7 and 8 participated on the Tuesday night and the same again from Years 9–12 on the Thursday. The clinics received rave reviews from the students, who participated with enthusiasm despite the cool and windy conditions.

Pembroke fielded three Hockey teams this season, Open A and B sides and a Middle C side. We also entered the Open Mixed Knockout Hockey competition at the State Hockey Centre in August. The team performed well, winning two matches against Adelaide High School and Victor Harbor High School, but were unfortunately defeated by Concordia College in the final match, which meant we did not progress. Three girls, Riley (Yr 7), Alice (Yr 7) and Tabitha (Yr 5), were selected to represent the state at the national SAPSASA championships in Cairns in August.

We entered eight teams in the IGSSA Badminton competition this season. All the girls have shown a keenness to improve and perform well for the School. Our A players have led the squad well and improved their Badminton game play and fitness. The A team finished in fifth position after reversing the Interschol result against Westminster and defeating them in the final. The B team finished in fourth place after losing by 1 point to Immanuel College in their final.

In association with the East Torrens Payneham Lacrosse Club (ETP), we had Pembroke girls playing in U13 and U18 Lacrosse teams this season. As well as Saturday morning matches, we fielded a team in the Judy Thurgood Cup, a round robin tournament played on Thursday afternoons for 3 weeks. It was pleasing to see the girls develop their skills and understanding of the game as the season progressed. The U18 team made the grand final. Thanks to Rachel Hill and Tayla Matten from ETP and Luke Oswald from Lacrosse SA for the work they put into coaching and assisting our Lacrosse players.

Our Girls Rugby Sevens squad have proved to be a committed bunch, continuing to train every Friday afternoon throughout the winter season despite limited opportunities for competition. Pleasingly, the U16 team were involved in the SA High Schools competition recently, which for many was their first taste of match play. Some of the girls have also been involved in come-and-try events.
Our senior girls played two Australian Football matches and won them both, against Seymour and Scotch College. There has been much recent interest around AFL from girls at the School, with interest blossoming among Middle School students as well. This is something we will look to pursue further next season.

For the first time IGSSA entered Netball, Soccer and Tennis teams in the Interstate Challenge, held this year in Melbourne. Brooke, Erin, Amber, Bethany, Eliza and Chloe all represented the state in Soccer, and Derani and Emma were representatives in Netball.

I would like to sincerely thank the many coaches for their passionate and professional approach to our Girls sporting teams, and also the staff for their hard work and organisation on a weekly basis throughout the winter.

Mr Fuller
Acting Director of Girls Sport

girls sport

Girls Soccer Final winners 

2016 Pedal Prix—Murray Bridge Event and Super Series Finale

The 31st running of the Australian International Pedal Prix, a competition where teams race human powered vehicles (HPVs) on closed controlled circuits, was held this year.

Pembroke School entered teams in races at Mount Gambier, Loxton, Victoria Park (two events), and the recent season finale competition at Murray Bridge on 24 and 25 September. 2016 marks the 20th running of the 24-hour event, regarded as Australia’s premier HPV endurance race, at this site. This year the track was shortened to a 1.7-km circuit on the banks of the River Murray, where 206 teams, 3,200 competitors and thousands of spectators swelled the population of Murray Bridge for a few days.

The Murray Bridge weekend is quite unlike any other in the HPV Super Series. With racing from noon on Saturday for 24 hours, the logistics of building pits, feeding 40 students plus teachers and parents, and racing right through the night means that every aspect of racing at Pedal Prix is raised to a higher level. Pembroke entered four teams, which assembled at the School on Friday morning before the convoy of trailers, generators, HPVs, cars, a school bus and a truckload of gear headed for Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge.

With the pits and tents set up, there was time for vehicle scrutineering, walking the track and practice on Friday afternoon and evening. Saturday morning kicked off with the breakfast of champions—eggs and bacon combined with various Paris Creek yoghurts and milks, followed by a Top 16 shootout.

Weeks of vehicle and rider preparation paid dividends, with the Pembroke trikes on grid positions 4, 5, 16 and 37 out of the 206 vehicles. With racing underway, the various systems gradually settled into a rhythm of rider changes; tyre, windscreen and battery changes; meal preparation; warming up and cooling down; sleeping and waking; marshalling; socialising and team building.
After rain on Saturday and a cold night, Sunday dawned fine without the fog that often descends on the event. As the vehicles continued to lap the circuit every 2–3 minutes, the riders slowly but surely emerged from their slumbers to tell stories of their rides and rollovers at various times throughout the night.

The final placings at Murray Bridge were:
‘Eric’ 15th outright and 2nd in Category 3 (senior secondary)
‘Boris’ 16th outright and 1st in Category 2 (junior secondary)
‘The Devil Wears Cleats’ 30th outright, 7th in Category 3 and highest placed all-girls team in Category 3
‘Frank’ 50th outright and 13th in Category 3.

Many thanks to our sponsors—BD Farm Paris Creek, Cucina Foods, Trump Trikes; staff members Jason Lentakis, Julia Switala, Martyn Chambers and Jared Wallis; and the many parents and old scholars who assisted with catering, marshalling, transport, and pit assembly / packing up. Also a big thank you to Simon Arum and Jason Nottle from Trump Trikes, who supported us between and at all events during the 2016 season.

Awards were also presented post-race at Murray Bridge for the Series, with the races at Loxton, Victoria Park and Murray Bridge counting for points.

The final placings for the Series were:
‘Eric’ 1st in Category 3
‘Boris’ 1st in Category 2
‘The Devil Wears Cleats’ highest placed all-girls team in Category 3.

Again, in 2016, Pembroke School was a dominant force at Pedal Prix!

Mr Pfeiffer

pedal prix

2016 Pedal Prix teams

Mission to Cambodia

After a comprehensive selection process and a year of preparation, a group of 16 Pembroke students from Years 10 to 12, together with four staff, spent 2 weeks in Phnom Penh in July volunteering at Home of Hope for the second time through Projects Abroad. In the lead-up to the trip students worked in our community, raising funds to donate to the home through casual days, food stalls, personal fundraising pages and a cabaret.

During our stay in Cambodia the majority of the time was spent caring for the disabled boys in the home, with tasks such as taking them for walks, feeding them and playing with them. This work was confronting and challenging but the students handled themselves with dignity and compassion. We also worked on a gardening project and put the finishing touches on the physiotherapy building, which was funded by the Pembroke community. This centre will assist these severely disabled boys by giving them access to treatment on a daily basis from the physiotherapist that Pembroke has employed there over the past 2 years.

Since our last visit in 2014 we have noticed a marked difference in the health and wellbeing of the boys and we hope that this will improve further with the new building. The trip was a challenging but rewarding experience for the staff and students involved and created lifetime memories.

Thanks to Ms Davis, Mr Hopkins and Mr Lush for their wonderful support of the students on the trip, and to the parents for giving their children the opportunity to have this experience. Information and applications for the trip in 2018 will be published next term. We look forward to continuing this important relationship with Home of Hope in the future.

Mrs Reynolds
Trip Coordinator

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Spanish Trip

On the Wednesday of the last week of Term 2, 18 Spanish students from Years 9–11, along with Ms McEwen, Mrs Garcia and Mr Izzo, departed from Adelaide Airport for the Pembroke Spanish study tour to Salamanca, a city in the north-west of Spain known for its ancient university founded in 1218.

After the 23-hour journey our weary group landed in Madrid, got on a bus and drove for another 2 hours to Salamanca. When we arrived we were quickly exposed to the heat of the Spanish summer. After getting used to seeing sunlight again, host families were introduced and everyone went to what were to be our new homes for the next 3 weeks. After this we were shown around Salamanca and the language school don Quijote where we would be studying Spanish during our trip.

Over the course of 3 weeks many excursions and activities were organised for the students by both our Pembroke teachers and the teachers from don Quijote. Among these were tours around Salamanca and its monuments, such as the two cathedrals, churches scattered around the city, the university buildings (old and new), and other unique buildings and attractions within the city.

We also travelled to different cities all around Spain. When we first arrived we were taken to some nearby historical towns such as Ávila, which we were told was affectionately named the ‘Great Wall of Spain’ due to the centuries-old defensive wall that surrounds the city. This was one of our first insights into the ancient buildings and culture of Spain that we would see in towns and cities across the country. Churches from the Gothic and Renaissance periods were a regular and astounding sight in all the cities that we visited, highlighting the rich, extensive history of Spain that we were to learn much about. Among our other visits were to Toledo, a city most notable for its majestic fortifications and metalworking; Granada, the home of the Alhambra, an ancient Arabian palace and one of the most well-known landmarks in the world; Madrid; Seville; and also Cáceres, a UNESCO World Heritage town said to have been founded by the Romans in 25 BC, almost 2000 years ago.

Some of the activities in Salamanca included cycling along the Río Tormes, walking around the city and, on the final day, a trip to the top of the cathedral, where the stunning views across the countryside managed to outweigh the dizzying height of the tower. Some spectacular pictures were taken in an opportunity to capture the beautiful Spanish landscape one last time.

When in Salamanca we attended classes most days and learnt the language in an environment where almost everyone spoke Spanish. This was of great help to our Spanish-speaking abilities, along with learning a lot about Spanish culture from people who lived there and participating in many cultural events. We were given the opportunity to explore the city after classes, and many groups of students took these opportunities to go shopping, spend time with new people, and look around the areas they might not have been to on tours.

Our trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all the students, taking away a wealth of new knowledge and great experiences. The trip gave us a valuable new perspective on how Spanish as a school subject can really be useful, and we all gained a greater enjoyment and understanding of the language due to this outstanding trip that our teachers and the School offered us.

Junee, Charlotte, Luca and Frank 
(all Yr 10)

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Junior School Ski Trip

An eager group of 51 Year 6 students set off excitedly for Mt Buller on the morning of 17 July. After a pleasant flight and a 3-hour bus trip, we arrived at Mt Buller. The first night was spent picking up our ski gear, going through the rules of the trip and listening to a ski safety talk by the Ski Patrol.

The first skiing day began at 8.30 am with a 90-minute ski lesson. The remainder of the day for the beginners was spent honing the skills taught in the lesson, while the more experienced skiers set off to explore more of the mountain with their staff leader. The day itself developed into a rainy affair and by 4 pm we were all completely soaked but still excited by the day’s activities. Monday night was the first gym night, with a girls-only night while the boys relaxed back at the lodge with a movie.

Tuesday was a great day on the slopes because all the very beginners had successfully negotiated the skills of a ski lift and were all up and running. The improvement on that day by all the skiers was remarkable. Later, the Alpine Institute Gym hosted a boys-only night while the girls remained at the lodge.

Wednesday was another quite warm day and included the SA Snowsports Championships. The whole day was spent skiing until 4.45 pm when we ventured to Uncle Pat’s café in the village for a hearty meal. This was followed by 2 hours of night skiing with a highlight being the lantern run in complete darkness to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. Wednesday produced nearly 8 hours of skiing!!

The rain returned on Thursday but it did not dampen the spirits of the whole group as they now were confident and competent skiers and enjoyed being out there with staff and peers alike. However, this turned out to be our final day on the slopes as heavy rain and strong winds affected skiing on Friday morning.

Our final day included a movie at the Alpine Institute Cinema followed by a bus trip to the airport and our flight home.

The Year 6 students had a fantastic time. Staff too enjoyed every minute of the trip and we were well fed by our caterer Mr Salt and helpful staff.

The group brought home the Primary Schools’ Girls and Boys trophies for the Snowsports, and they are now proudly displayed in the School’s trophy cabinet. Many of the students also received individual and team medals for their efforts. Overall, it was a huge team effort by all.

Mr Howard
Ski Trip Coordinator

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Year 10 Ski Trip

In the last week of the July holidays a group of 80 Year 10 students and nine teachers departed from Adelaide at 5.00 am Sunday morning for Mt Hotham, to commence the ritual Year 10 Ski Trip. The atmosphere was flamboyant and energetic as many anticipated seeing snow for the first time, while those who were annual skiers couldn’t wait to get back on the slopes. After the short plane trip to Melbourne and the longer 5-hour bus trip up the mountain, sunny blue skies and crisp white snow awaited us. Dragging heavy suitcases through thick snow proved to be the first challenge of many for the week; however, once all were settled into one of the three lodges, Valhalla, Arrabri and Eiger, the music was blasted and the almighty card games began.

After muddling through the chaos of trying on hire gear, identifying the correct boots for skiers and snowboarders, and managing the morning rush to get to the bus on time, all students successfully made it to the top of the mountain for our first ski lesson. For the beginners the lessons were a fantastic way to learn the basics and build confidence in a new but safe environment. The intermediate and advanced ski groups quickly retained their ski legs and, with help from their instructors, were all hitting the black slopes in no time.

During the first afternoon we were hit with a bit of a blizzard and whiteout, so the majority of the students returned to their lodges. Michelin-star-quality 2-minute noodles and easy mac were a favourite for lunches, but as sunny weather returned on Wednesday and Thursday many chose to dine at Hotham Central to make the most of their time. Highlights from the trip included skiing with friends in the afternoon to show off newly gained tricks and improvement, night skiing on Wednesday and the much anticipated rounds of mafia in the lodges at night.

Torrential rain and 80-km winds deterred most people on the Friday morning, although a few brave, slightly delusional students went out armed with DIY waterproof garbage bags and rubber gloves. Although we missed a final chance to kiss the snow goodbye, everyone left in high spirits after one of the best weeks, where they were challenged and rewarded for hard work and effort on the slopes. It was such a fun week where new friendships were formed and new skills were developed, and everyone was very sad to leave. We encourage everyone to apply for the trip despite skiing ability or any doubts you may have. A huge thanks to Ms Reynolds and all the teachers for giving us the opportunity of a lifetime.

(Yr 10)

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Senior School Ski Trip

29 June 2016; Adelaide Airport; 46 Senior School students were heading off to the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island; the feeling of excitement was brewing. With everyone looking smart in their freshly ordered ski trip jumpers, the students were eager to get on to the slopes and show off their skills, professional or not so professional ... After disembarking the plane in Queenstown, we were greeted with fantastic weather and beautiful scenery. The sleepy bus drive to Wanaka showed us some of the scenic highlights that New Zealand has to offer.

The first day of skiing was at Cardrona. The mornings started with lessons provided by ski instructors from all around the world. We all had to get our ‘ski legs’ back, and the beginners had to learn the ins and outs of snow etiquette. After each extremely fun but exhausting day, we were treated to dinner out in the town. We were even lucky enough to go to the movies most nights at the Paradiso Cinema. The world-famous cookies that were freshly baked at intermission were a serious highlight! With the thought of those warm chocolate chip cookies as a reward, we worked all the harder at trying to improve our skills on the slopes.

The first half of the 9-day adventure was spent at Wanaka, before we moved on to Queenstown. Despite the snow quality on the slopes being less than ideal, this did not impact on the fantastic skiing and snowboarding experiences had by all at The Remarkables. Watching the sun rise over the mountain tops on the bus trip to the ski lifts was truly ‘remarkable’. With only a couple of injuries, the trip was an amazing success—all trip members arrived home exhausted but smiling!

A big thank you must go to the teachers who ran the trip—Ms Jones, Mr Lodge, Ms Hodgkison, Mr Mirtschin, Mr Shillabeer and of course Mrs Crowhurst, without whom this awesome trip wouldn’t go ahead as smoothly as it does each year.

(Yr 11)

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GRIP Student Leadership Conference

This conference is held around Australia each year for student leaders. Our eight Pembroke Junior School House Captains joined nearly 1,000 primary school leaders from all corners of South Australia at the Entertainment Centre on 8 March. The team of five young GRIP leaders took the students through a series of sessions, many of which were interactive.

This year there were four main focus themes:
• Growing as a leader
• Bye Bye Bullying
• Influencing the people around us
• Developing a leadership plan using traffic lights.

The analogy of a tree was used to explain how they can grow as leaders. The roots represent their core values. The presenters shared the values behind GRIP: G for Generosity, R for Responsibility, I for Integrity and P for People. The trunk symbolises working together, which reminded us of the Pembroke motto: ‘Out of Unity Strength’. Synergise (teamwork) is also one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits, which these students studied in Year 5 in preparation for leadership roles in Year 6. The leaves and branches symbolise (e.g. shade, wood, fruit) how we can contribute to what is around us and help others. The last element is water for the tree, which needs constant input to grow—as leaders we never stop learning and looking for ways to improve.

Unfriendly behaviours that may develop into bullying of an individual is something that is brought up in frequent discussions at School. Student leaders were encouraged to consider how they, as role models, can make a difference using three steps:
1. Spot it out—sometimes bullying is not obvious but leaders can watch out for those in need of help.
2. Speak out—start a campaign to raise awareness and build strategies.
3. Stamp it out—hopefully an outcome from steps 1 and 2.

The students looked at four groups of people that they can influence in a positive way:
• younger students
• students in their own year level at School
• their teachers
• the wider community.

Individually students considered how they might do this themselves and then they mingled with students from other schools and chatted about how they thought they might do it in their situation. Random acts of kindness was one example, along with the quote ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.
Finally, traffic lights were used to help guide students through an approach to creating a plan for leadership. The green light (moving forward) encourages them to think of new ideas they’d like to trial or implement. The amber light (slowing down) refers to things happening at school that are going well and perhaps need less attention now. The red light (stop) signifies things they see that need to be stopped or changed.

Students reflected on why they enjoy being a leader and how they hope to grow in their leadership skills. As follow-up activities, the House Captains will present a brief report at our Junior School Assembly and they will also do some activities from the conference with their peers to share the learning.

Ms Shadiac
Assistant Head of Junior School

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Junior School Police Visit

This term the Receptions have been learning about being responsible. To help us explore this concept we visited the SAPOL Road Safety Centre in Thebarton in Week 4. It was here that Senior Constable Matt guided us through various rules for when we are pedestrians on the footpath and taught us the road rules and signals for when we are riding a bike.

The children were all so excited to choose their own bike and helmet and it wasn’t long before we were let loose on the roads. For some children it was their very first bike ride! Luckily there were plenty of three-wheeled bikes and bikes with training wheels.

Those of us who were brave enough were pedestrians while the children negotiated roundabouts and traffic-light signals. A good day was had by all and will definitely be a highlight of our year.

Mrs de Wet-Cowland

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Year 6 Camp

On Tuesday 1 March 2016 all the Year 6s travelled to Canberra by plane for three eventful days. This camp was linked to our inquiry unit on Democracy, ‘How we Organise Ourselves’.

We were involved in many activities over the three days, including visiting Parliament House, the Australian National Gallery, the National War Memorial, the Australian Institute of Sport, Questacon and the Tent Embassy, as well as bowling and much more. At Parliament House we saw the House of Representatives and the Senate.

We were actually really lucky to be there during Question Time, when Members of Parliament ask the Government or the Opposition questions. It happens at 2 pm every day. We also saw the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, ask the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, a question and heard the Prime Minister answer.

One thing that was very fascinating about Parliament House was the way in which the architects designed it, with a large decorative fountain in the middle so that no one can enter that space. This is a symbolic representation of our democratic society. We also went to the Senate and watched a bill (which is an idea for a law) being passed through. Then we went to a role-playing room and re-enacted a bill being passed through. The bill was ‘should WiFi be on public transport?’.

After the three days we were sad to be leaving but felt grateful for all the fantastic experiences we had had!

Elijah and Mirella 
(both Yr 6)

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Junior School Drama

Earlier this term the students in Reception, Year 3 and Year 6 were fortunate to be visited by Owen Love during their Drama lessons. Owen is a storyteller of the Ngarrindjeri people and he taught us a little about his culture and beliefs. He used different techniques to tell stories, including using some funny characterisation as well as his didgeridoo (or yidaki). The children were very respectful and asked some really insightful questions. The Reception students have continued to learn about Aboriginal stories in their Drama lessons, the Year 3 students are performing short plays based on Dreaming stories, and the Year 6 students performed individual storytelling sessions to their buddies at the end of term. We thank Owen for coming in and inspiring us to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Miss Thomas
Performing Arts Teacher

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Year 7 Camps

It was a pleasure to attend the Year 7 Camps during Term 1 and I’d like to commend all the Year 7 students for their participation. They were an enthusiastic, positive and cooperative cohort of students and I look forward to working with them throughout this year.

The 3-day Year 7 camps were held at the School’s Outdoor Education property Old Watulunga, near Finniss.

The three main goals for the camps were for the students to:
• get know each other and their House tutors better;
• become familiar with the School’s Old Watulunga property; and
• participate in a range of challenging activities that encourage and help to develop the qualities of teamwork, cooperation and perseverance.

The activities included on the camps were:
• kayaking, raft-building, initiative tasks, and garden to plate (held at the Old Watulunga property);
• surfing and beach games (held at either Goolwa, Middleton or Port Elliot);
• night activities such as reflection and journaling, and a skit night (held at Old Watulunga); and
• high-ropes (held at Woodhouse, Piccadilly, in the Adelaide Hills).

The students were thoroughly engaged in a busy, active program and many tried new activities for the first time. They also set up and slept in tents, which added to the overall experience.
The garden to plate experience was new to the 2016 program and proved to be very successful. In this activity, under the instruction of Mr Langusch, students were actively involved in planting vegetables in the Old Watulunga vegetable garden, harvesting existing vegetables, and then chopping the vegetables to fill the Vietnamese cold rolls they had also produced. I can testify that the food was absolutely delicious!

The other new initiative for 2016 was the relocation of the high-ropes activity to Woodhouse. In this activity students worked in groups of six through an array of high-ropes elements at various heights through the magnificent pine forest within the Woodhouse facilities. This was an impressive conclusion to the camps; the qualities that the students had developed throughout the camp experience were clearly on show here.

In summary the camps were a huge success and I am very grateful for the support of many staff for their contributions and involvement. In particular I’d like to thank Mr Holland who assisted in the coordination and smooth running of the camps; Ms Thomas for organising and preparing such delicious food; Mr Lush for his invaluable support across all the camps; and the Year 7 tutors, Outdoor Education instructors and assistants for their excellent facilitation of each of the activities and their support of the students.

Mr Roberts
Assistant Head Middle School

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Year 12 IB Drama

The Year 12 IB Theatre class performed their self-devised piece ‘Atar’ (Spanish for ‘tether’) in the Black Box. Will, Zac, Sarah and Mika used the stimulus of a rope and the light to develop a story over a period of 8 weeks. The play, focusing on the idea that we as humans, unlike animals, have the choice to break away from convention in life, began with an interesting story about the training of young elephants and finished with a simple choice between work and love. The students had clearly drawn upon their experiences from the IB Theatre coursework of Physical Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd and plays such as Pina Bausch’s Nelken, Krapp’s Last Tape and Waiting for Godot.

Feedback from our audience expressed the following opinions:

‘Lovely contrast between the beauty of human spirit and the primal instinct of animals’.

‘Loved the use of AUSLAN, very powerful’.

‘The message for me was that in the end success is counted in the relationships we form’.

Mr Woon
Director of Drama

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Visual Arts

We started this year with all Middle School Visual Arts students undertaking a few weeks of observational drawing, where they took inspiration from a series of vibrant still-life arrangements in the room. Besides the obvious benefit of learning to draw, there are many other benefits of observational drawing for children. They learn to slow down, take their time, problem solve, notice things in greater detail, embrace mistakes and develop their spatial awareness. For example, when drawing an object such as a leaf, observational skills are sharpened as the students begin to notice different shapes, shades of colour and texture. This provides an entry point into sorting, classifying and grouping, which supports the development of mathematic and scientific vocabulary. Drawing is therefore the ultimate transferable skill as it encourages the ability to adapt and provides the progression from research, through analysis and speculation, to solution.

Our Year 11 SACE students have been working with hand-built ceramics and have been influenced by ancient Japanese Jomon pottery as well as local contemporary ceramist Helen Fuller. Their work is now on display in the Parents and Friends Gallery, Girton campus.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge the achievements of Rachel, who completed Year 12 last year. At the opening of the SACE Art Show at Light Square Gallery on 19 March, Rachel had her painting ‘Cutis and Skinscape’ selected for the Poster Award and received the award from the Minister for Education, Susan Close MP. Rachel’s painting will feature on all publicity for the 2017 SACE Art Show.

Mr Ferrier
Director of Visual Arts

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Each year we reflect on the diversity of the boarders’ backgrounds and this year is no exception, with boarders coming from Adelaide, Alice Springs (NT), Avenue Range, Balhannah, Bordertown, Broken Hill (NSW), Byron Bay (NSW), Casuarina (NT), Ceduna, China, Coonawarra, Copley, Crafers, Glenroy, Hawker, Hong Kong, Jabiru (NT), Jamestown, Karama (NT), Keith, Kingston, Lucindale, Loxton, Malaysia, Meadows, Millicent, Moonta, Mount Gambier, Mount Osmond, Mundulla, Naracoorte, Nightcliff (NT), Oodnadatta, Padthaway, Palmerston (NT), Paringa, Penola, Port Augusta, Port Kelly, Port Lincoln, Renmark, Ringwood (Vic), Roxby Downs, Saudi Arabia, Sevenhill, Singapore, Smithfield (Qld), Streaky Bay, North Sydney (NSW), Tailem Bend, Tanunda, Victor Harbor, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Woomera.

For boarders there are many opportunities that provide them with unrivalled memories that they will never forget; one such example was the recent trip to the Gold Coast on the March long weekend. Twenty-six boarders (ranging in ages from Years 7 to 12) and four staff members (Mr Shillabeer, Mr Lee, Ms Hunt and Mrs Crowhurst) had the opportunity to head north-east to the so-called sunshine state (it rained more there than in Adelaide during the visit, on two of the three days) to indulge their thrill-seeking tendencies. On the Friday evening, in excited anticipation of beckoning theme parks, the group boarded a plane for Brisbane. On landing, Mr Shillabeer was waiting with our coach and we headed off to the Surfers Paradise YHA ready for an early start the next day. Over the next 3 days the boarders were treated or subjected to (depending on your stance) being thrown through the air; lurching; spiralling; and getting splashed, soaked and dunked, all with a smile on their face. We visited the combined theme park of Dream World and White Water World, Movie World and Wet’n’Wild. The highlights included the exhilarating Superman Escape, the family-friendly Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster and the teeth-clenching Kamikaze water slide.

On Saturday night we returned to the theme park precinct to attend The Outback Spectacular. This entailed not only a remarkable show but a delicious Aussie-inspired three-course meal consisting of home-style pumpkin soup, tender eye fillet seasoned with Kakadu plum sauce, and finished off with a baked apple pie and cream, which was graciously hand delivered to us. The current performance showcased talented actors, both human and animals, with the theme of Australia’s High Country Legends including the stories of faithful ‘Red dog’, 'the world's greatest bareback rider’ May Wirth, and the outback mailman Tom Kruse to name a few. What a brilliant way for a boarder to spend a Saturday night—with good food, entertainment and, to top it off, sharing it with your mates. On Sunday evening we were treated to a BBQ cooked by the YHA backpackers and then we ventured into Surfers to browse the diverse wares on offer at the beachfront markets. We also managed to sneak in some shopping time at the adjacent Marina Pier shopping mall and Brisbane DFO on our way home. By the time we reached the respective boarding houses late at night there were some very tired but contented boarders ready for bed. The weekend was a terrific opportunity for the boarders and staff to not only see another part of Australia but enhance relationships in a different setting.

Closer to home, a few boarders with the help of some day students have been volunteering at Westcare Church, Whitmore Square, helping to serve lunch to some of the church’s clients. According to the coordinator of the program, ‘I was very impressed with the work ethic and attitude of the students and I really appreciated the way they went about their work, as they demonstrated good people skills, seemed really happy to help and interacted well with the clients’. This epitomises the ‘can do’ qualities that boarders demonstrate not only in the community but on a daily basis.

Mr Shillabeer
Head of Campbell House

Mrs Crowhurst
Head of Turner House

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Girls Sport

The 2016 summer Sports season started with energy and enthusiasm from Pembroke girls. We entered teams in all IGSSA sports and also competed in the Catholic Schools Touch and Water Polo competitions. Overall it has been a successful term of Girls Sport and I would like to thank the students and their families for their commitment.

This term Pembroke entered eight Tennis teams in the IGSSA competition. This is the second year of the Monday afternoon Premier League A Grade competition and, due to a successful first season, IGSSA introduced a Premier League Reserves competition, also played on Monday afternoons. The standard of Tennis played is extremely high and our A team have come up against some very strong opponents over the term. Our other teams also enjoyed success throughout the term. Special thanks to Mr Gould and his coaching team for their first-rate coaching, support and encouragement of the Pembroke Tennis teams. Thanks also to staff members Ms Abbott, Mrs Ballard, Mrs Lobban, Mr Baack and Ms McNamara for coordinating the teams and encouraging and supporting our players.

Our Volleyball teams have been progressing nicely with specific game skills and tactics. Although wins have been hard to come by this term, the players are really starting to put these new skills into their game play. We entered a record four Senior teams this season, which has been fantastic. Thanks to Ms Krieg, who stepped into the role of Senior A/B Coach while Ms Jang had a knee operation. Mrs Heath and Miss Lizzio, along with the coaches, have ensured that all teams are managed and coached well.

Our Senior A Touch team are developing new leaders and have come up against some tough opponents this term, recording one win and two losses. Although the team may not win as many games as in previous years, it has many young players who will play together for a number of seasons to come. The Senior B and Junior teams also have many young and new players who are developing their skills and Touch fitness. Staff member Ms Steph Martin and her team of coaches are doing a great job getting the teams up for competition each week.

The Basketball players have been improving and have played some exciting games this term. Our Senior A team have been very competitive, recording two wins, two draws and three losses. Our Senior C side have seen a growth in numbers, with some players coming out to play Basketball for the first time. The games and the spirit in which they are played are pleasing to watch. Our Middle School Basketball numbers have increased and we entered A, B and two C teams into the competition. All teams competed with enthusiasm and represented Pembroke to the best of their ability. Mr Cielens and old scholar Sarah continued coaching the Middle A/B teams, and Holly and Sam are coaching the Middle C team. Thanks to staff members Mrs Gransbury, Ms Schultz and Ms Rice for organising these teams.

Water Polo is a popular mid-week sport during the warm weather of Term 1. Games have been competitive and exciting to watch, and we hope to have some Pembroke teams finish on top of their division. Coaching staff have done a fantastic job preparing their teams this term. Thanks to staff members Mrs Wedding, Ms Martin, Mrs Braun and Ms Winterfield.

All students have now completed their online nominations for winter sport. Week 11 will see the girls being called out for trainings and trials. Some Senior players have already begun their training, working hard to try and secure a position in a nominated team. I look forward to seeing many girls enjoying the winter sports on offer.

Mrs Martin
Director of Girls Sport

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Boys Sport

As the summer Sports season draws to an end, I am pleased to once again compliment the manner in which our students have represented our School in an array of sports. Pembroke was represented with teams competing in Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, Tennis, Touch, Triathlon, Volleyball and Water Polo. The strong numbers in many of these sports help lift training intensity as players battle for positions in teams, consequently helping all the students strive for their best.

Cricket continues to be a popular choice at Pembroke, with two teams being nominated in all year levels from Year 7 upwards. The First XI competed in the one-day Knock-out Cup but unfortunately were on the wrong side of some close finishes. Congratulations must go to Sam for being chosen as First XI Captain. Congratulations also to First XI player Oliver for his five-wicket haul against Prince Alfred College, and to Matt for his hat-trick against Westminster School in a recent Second XI match.

Volleyball has exploded in the Junior ranks, with Pembroke filling four teams in the Years 7–9 competition. Dr Miller has done a tremendous job managing these teams, with excellent support from new staff member Ms Ireland and a team of four coaches. Mr Clark has continued in his role as Open A coach, this season being joined by Mr Hilditch. Together they have moulded the Senior players into cohesive and organised outfits.

Tennis has continued to be popular, with Pembroke nominating 11 teams from Year 7 and above. Mr Hopkins has continued in his role as Drive Coach/Manager and has been pleased with the development of the young players in the Drive team. Head Tennis Coach Mr Gould (old scholar) has done an outstanding job leading our coaching team and ensuring that the players make the most of their training time.

Badminton players have been working hard to maintain Pembroke’s strong reputation in this sport. The Open A team continue to be strong, winning most of their games and suffering only two very narrow losses. Open A Coach Mr Reed and Middle teams Coach Mr Bawden, together with staff managers Mr Derrington and Mr McCann, have done an excellent job developing the players’ skills and knowledge of the game.

Our Water Polo teams continue to do well, with our Open A team dropping only the first game of the season. The Middle A team have also recorded mostly wins, suggesting that we should remain a strong force in the sport in the years to come. Water Polo has benefited over the years from the experience of old scholars and this year has been no different. Adele has done well to maintain the high standard that her father and former staff member Mr Langusch developed in his long and illustrious coaching career at Pembroke.

Pembroke swimmers have made some pleasing improvements this season. After missing out last year it was great to see Pembroke represented in the SAAS final.

We also maintained our position in the SSSSA Div 1 competition. The Open Boys team came third in the teams relay and the Open Girls team finished a creditable fifth. Emily from Year 7 Hill broke a longstanding IGSSA record for the 50m butterfly event in a time of 30.13 seconds; Pembroke old scholar Whitney was the previous record holder for this event.

Athletes have been training hard on Haslam Oval in all extremes of weather. Mr Woon and Mr Duffy have been training over 30 students in track and field events. Our athletes recorded some pleasing results at the State Championships held in February, with Joe winning the 3000m walk and Caleb the 2000m steeple, and Oscar winning gold in the 90m hurdles, triple jump, discus and javelin events. A group of athletes are competing on 16 May in the state knockout competition and I wish them all the best for this event.

Mr Shillabeer has been taking a group of students to the beach every Wednesday afternoon to undertake sailing training. Specialist instructors have been developing the new students’ skills in reading weather conditions and the basics of sailing. These students are displaying great improvement and may compete in various events throughout the year.

This season we entered a record number of students (63) in the SASSSA Triathlon Championships event held at West Lakes. The majority of these students entered the come ‘n try event and were exposed to the challenges of triathlon for the first time. There were some pleasing performances in the individual event, with Hamish (Yr 10) winning the Intermediate Boys division. Pembroke School came second in the Sam White Trophy for the most successful school in the State Championships, come ‘n try and team events. The team was coordinated and managed by Mr Lentakis.

As I write, a number of students are well into their pre-season preparations for various Senior winter sports. The Football teams, under the guidance of Mr Casserly, began training in Week 2 of this term. The large number of players (in excess of 80) has resulted in Pembroke entering three teams for the first time since 2011. Soccer has a new Head Coach, Mr Moore, and he has been overseeing the teams’ training since Week 5 of this term. Basketball teams have held their trials already and Hockey players will embark on their pre-season shortly.

Mr Reid
Director of Sport

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

House Swimming Carnival

The Middle School House Swimming Carnival was held on Wednesday 16 March for the second time at the recently built SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre. The big screen, clear PA system and electronic scoring system enabled the event to run smoothly and provided the crowd with some great entertainment.

The atmosphere at the carnival was excellent, with the highlight of the day being the relay events at the conclusion. The novelty events were held in a separate pool and provided an opportunity for all students to be actively involved in the carnival, as did the ‘standards’, which were held in the preceding weeks.

The carnival was marked with outstanding swimming by a number of our students; the winners from each year level are listed right.

Hill narrowly won the Middle School Cup, closely followed by previous winner Mellor, with Smith claiming the last podium spot. It was great to see a range of Houses succeed at various year levels, with Smith, Wright and Hill winning the year-level competitions.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the staff and students involved in making this a successful day.

Winners/Place Getters
Year 1st 2nd   3rd
7 Hill Mellor   Reeves
8 Hill Yates   Smith
9 Wright Hill   Medlin
House Total Rank
Hill 1,177 1
Mellor 1,063 2
Smith 1,046 3
Medlin 983 4
Yates 851 5
Wright 800 6
Oats 720 7
Reeves 714 8

Mr Reid 
Director of Sport

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).

Head of the River

On 12 March 112 Pembroke rowers competed at West Lakes in the season’s most prestigious regatta, the Head of the River. For many it was a journey that had begun 6 years before as budding young rowers and was now being completed as members of the First VIII; for some that journey was just beginning and the excitement of being a part of South Australia’s biggest rowing regatta gave a new and lasting impression. The 2016 Head of the River encompassed 1,000 rowers and nearly 10,000 spectators who took the opportunity to cheer on their schools. 

Starting early in the morning the Pembroke tents were soon filled with rowers, families and friends. Fellow students also came down to celebrate the big day. Old scholars dusted off their school blazers, perhaps remembering a time when they fitted a little less snugly. The Rowing Parents Association provided food and drink for the day, one of many fundraising and social events held to support the rowers. Dotted among this sea of green, yellow and blue were many members of staff who came to lend their support to the Rowing students. Lining up with the rowers were the 20 or so coaches, who had likewise given up countless hours of their spare time.

The early morning heats were used to whittle down the numbers for later finals. The Girls 9A boat, who had rowed well in the regattas leading into the Head of the River, knocked off 40 seconds from their early season results. But the crew were unable to capitalise on their good form; perhaps due to the weight of expectation or a misplaced oar, they could not find the rhythm that had previously served them well. Despite coming from the back of the field, they had a fast finish and gained on the earlier leading boats to take out fifth place. Ultimately they were left wondering what could have been and perhaps setting their sights on the next season.

Sometimes Rowing becomes a race within a race; the Boys 9A boat had such an experience in their final. The early leaders surged ahead to an assured victory and left the real race to the next three boats. The Pembroke crew competed stroke for stroke with its nearest rivals as the three boats crossed the line only a second apart. The photo finish camera was used to separate the crews and the 9A Boys team ultimately took out a hard-fought third place.

In what became one of the signature races of the day, the Boys 10A crew took an early lead with clean blade work and a smooth rhythm. Working through their race plan with what seemed like relative ease, they exerted every ounce of energy to move away from their highly fancied rivals. As the splash of oars came into view of the jostling spectators, it became apparent that first place was going to be decided in the last 500 m of the race. The strain of the preceding 1,000 m was writ large on the faces of the Pembroke boys. Never giving up, the Pembroke crew took the race right to the line and held on for a magnificent second place. Slumped over their oars it was evident that the tank had been well and truly emptied in this do or die race.

The Girls Intermediate (10A) squad experienced a day of highs and lows. A sick rower was replaced by an enthusiastic but inexperienced newcomer and the remaining rowers were shuffled to fill the void. Although the squad contained many talented rowers and had done well in previous seasons, the rowers were unable to recapture their earlier form. Some tough racing against quality opponents saw some creditable results and the 10A crew finished fourth.

The 2015–16 Senior campaign involved countless strokes and sore muscles as many kilometres were rowed on the River Murray and at West Lakes. During the season these rowers achieved personal best ergo scores and greatly improved their technique. Rowing became a lifestyle of eat, sleep, row and homework. Regular team dinners were held to discuss tactics and load up on carbs. Sore hands were replaced by callouses and physiques changed. Weeks and months went by, and what started out as a group of individuals became a finely honed team. The Head of the River was a day of blood, sweat and tears. It was also a day of pride—in being part of the Pembroke Senior squad and in rowing with people who were now friends for life.

Ultimately the 2016 Head of the River showed that Pembroke can compete with the best, and that with self-belief and dedication a place on the winners’ podium is not too far away.

Girls 8A  3rd
Boys 9A  1st
Girls 9B  3rd
Girls 9A  5th
Boys 10A  1st
Girls 10A  4th
Girls 8D  3rd
Girls 8C  5th
Girls 8B  4th
Girls 8A 4th
Boys 9C 5th
Boys 9B  3rd
Boys 9A 3rd
Girls 9D 2nd
Girls 9C 3rd
Girls 9B 6th
Boys 10B 5th
Boys 10A  2nd
Girls 10C  3rd
Girls 10B  4th
Girls 10A  4th
Girls First IV  4th
Boys 2nd VIII  4th
Boys First VIII  5th
Girls First VIII  5th

Thank you to all the coaches, parents and friends who made the Head of the River regatta and dinner a great success. Well done to all the rowers who dedicated themselves to the pursuit of Rowing excellence.

Mr Potts
Head of Rowing

From the Principal - February News

February Newsbreak provides an opportunity for Pembroke to chronicle our Year 12 results. Some in the community have asked me why we don’t communicate this information earlier, particularly as many other schools seem to make their results available on websites almost minutes after they are published. There are many sensible reasons why we do not.

Results are very important. To Pembroke they are not important as a marketing tool but as a reflection on the very real and personal challenges that students, staff and parents contend with in Year 12. Members of staff at the School consider all the students in detail, regardless of their final score, and determine how they have progressed in relation to the goals and aspirations they have set themselves. This takes some time.

This in my view is respectful and appropriate. It means that we celebrate a student achievement that may appear as a low ATAR but is in fact a high achievement because it represents a personal best result or a remarkable effort, just as we celebrate a very high ATAR.

Any public communication of results without a complete picture of post-School destinations is premature. We like to report the complete picture, as much as we are able and after the first and second rounds of university offers if possible. It seems a very good place to start. It is important for the community to know that students are fulfilling their ambitions in regard to university or other post-School preferences.

You will see in this publication that our results were terrific. Two of our students are the proud recipients of a Governor of South Australia Commendation, eight of our students received the highest ATAR possible and one a perfect score in the IB, and our average performance compared favorably with our historic achievements. There was a pleasing increase in A Grade results, particularly in the number of students scoring over ATAR 95, and a fine array of diverse courses were completed including a record number of students undertaking vocational courses (VET) to complement their interests and ambitions beyond school.

We are an outstanding academic institution by our own and comparative measures, and our ability to maintain a healthy attitude to Year 12 by not narrowing our thinking to results alone helps us to be so. We try to focus on all individual efforts and achievements and my heartiest congratulations go to all the Year 12 students for their incredible efforts last year. Equally, I acknowledge the wonderful, experienced and hardworking teaching staff and very supportive parents who also have a significant impact on all student success.

You should enjoy reading about the individual and collective achievements of our Year 12s in 2015. It was a fabulous year.

Mr Thomson

(To preview photo gallery, please click on a photo below).