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14 February 2019
What an incredible start to the year. Of course, we had the Commencement of Year Ceremony on Haslam Oval which was a fine affair. All students attended from Years 5-12, staff, parents and VIPs who heard from our Head Boy and Head Girl, Chair of the Board and Principal. We also inducted our School leaders across Junior, Middle and Senior School and celebrated the fine achievements of our Dux, Proxime and Ross Family Leadership award recipients from 2018.
The ability to set the tone of the year, look forward to all manner of excellent projects being undertaken over the next year, and celebrate a moment as a large community gathering is a sound idea. We will make refinements to really bed down the structure and flow of the event and I thank you and welcome the feedback relating I have received already in this regard.
I would like to make special mention of Dr Miller for his drive to bring the idea to fruition.
There were also many information evenings on offer across all sub-schools in the first three weeks and I would like to thank parents for attending those. They are helpful. These evenings offer a chance to put faces to names and logic to some of the systems we have in place at Pembroke.
I was very pleased with the numbers who attended the P&F Start of Year Drinks Evening. There were still plenty of you there when I left at 9:00pm! The P&F provide a number of opportunities for parents to meet, chat and share. I had excellent and enlightening conversations on the night and really enjoyed the atmosphere – so thank you for coming and joining in.
We are down to it now as I am sure you are at home. Pembroke is very much on the move with an exciting strategic direction that will enhance the School's offerings markedly. You will hear from me regularly about the progress of a number of initiatives this year. I look forward to providing them to you.
I must also mention that I did my annual swim with the Mellor Year 7 students on camp this week. I reckon my reputation for accidently running into students when Boogie Boarding has preceded me this year. Students were mindful of their Principal and gave me a wide berth when waves were caught. It was fun.
I wish you well and look forward to the next few weeks.
19 December 2018
The SACE results 2018 were released yesterday and our Year 12 cohort achieved outstanding results. Pembroke School is renowned for its history of consistent academic achievement, and yet this year our Year 12s managed to raise the bar even higher. I am delighted and proud to share their results with you.
Final SACE results are being crafted from ever more diverse programs with increased numbers of students engaging in accelerated programs within SACE, at tertiary level and within the TAFE sector via VET subjects. This diversity means that some students received incomplete results yesterday, so the summary that follows will change in January when IB Diploma results are released.
These are the highlights from SACE results received thus far:
I congratulate all our students who achieved their SACE yesterday on their hard work and these remarkable results. I also congratulate our teachers whose dedication has helped our students explore their individual potential and help bring these results to bear. Thank you and congratulations to our students’ families and friends who have supported them throughout their years at Pembroke and most especially in this last year. There is much to celebrate for many of you.
We look forward to the release of the IB results in early January and to communicating those publicly, also.
Wishing you a very happy festive season and a joyful new year.
Pembroke School’s complete Year 12 results from previous years can be viewed at https://www.pembroke.sa.edu.au/news/year-12-results/.
I am delighted to share with your the School's new Strategic Plan. The plan uses the language of our Pembroke School Aims to reinforce our commitment to many future developments and initiatives—some of these come from the Principal’s Sabbatical Report, some from the old Pembroke Improvement Plan, some from meetings and ideas formed from Board planning sessions, and some as sensible responses or feedback from internal and external influences on Pembroke.
Strategic plans can be too distant. They can tend to general statements that really allow all or nothing to occur and don’t get to the important role of driving ideas to fruition. This plan is not like that. While carefully crafted, with language that simplifies and supports the Pembroke School Aims, it also gets specific.
The specificity of the plan revolves around key goals to be achieved and tasks to be done. They are all worthwhile, well conceived and exciting to consider. All aspects of the life of the School get a chance to develop and respond to the world around them. Pembroke School in its 50th year will remain committed to the fundamental principles that drove its foundations, but it will also be vibrantly responding to new realities and circumstances that were simply not conceivable 50 years earlier.
There have been several community gatherings to consider the plan and, in all cases, it has been well received. It is exciting to see the Pembroke Board actively responding to the challenges ahead and considering all the ways that the School can respond to those challenges. There is a clear desire to engage with and build the community; challenge ourselves to secure our future financially; further enhance our commitment to best possible teaching, learning and co-curricular programs; and ensure that our infrastructure continues to meet the needs of current and future student generations. This all takes vision, effort and time. Our Board has a remarkable capacity to offer that vision, effort and time, as does our community, and I am very excited about where this plan will lead us.
The plan is designed to be monitored and reviewed. The Board will maintain a close eye on its effectiveness and the Principal will report regularly on its progress. It is not an end in itself. If circumstances demand different directions, and challenges ahead offer new insights, we will adjust. Pembroke is principled and pragmatic but it is great to have a coherent direction outward from the Board. I am thrilled to be part of it and feel excited to be able to try and get some of these fine ideas off the ground.
We will be calling on all members of the community to throw our considerable collective weight around the plan. All in the community can be involved in a variety of ways, as so many of you are now. I know that our staff, students and parents are all looking forward to experiencing the outcomes of this involvement, which will be all the more exciting if achieved through mutual effort. The plan builds on what has been, and is, a formidable educational experience.
Director of Admissions, Mrs Leah Blyth
Pembroke School is delighted to welcome Leah Blyth as its new Director of Admissions. Here our Director of Development and Communications Hannah Bone puts a few questions to Leah to introduce her to our School community …
What interested you about joining Pembroke School?
Pembroke has a reputation for educational excellence—Pembroke old scholars that I met during my time in the tertiary sector always seemed to be well-rounded exceptional young people. I saw an opportunity to be part of something incredible, something that aligns with my values.
What are some of the most memorable experiences of your previous jobs?
A standout for me was when I went to the USA with the Adelaide Law School and hosted 25 of our best Law students, two practitioners and two wonderful professors. We visited the Pentagon, met the President’s (Obama) General Council, were the only non-American citizens ever allowed to enter the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) Control Room, attended a lecture at Harvard Law School and were guests at the Naval War College—it was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The transformation of the students over our 2-week study tour was a privilege to watch.
What is your main goal for your first year as Director of Admissions?
Not to break anything! The School has an outstanding reputation in the community locally and internationally. In my first year I want to be respectful of the work my predecessors have done—I need to understand every aspect of the School. From there I will evolve, change, plan and strategise the best way forward to ensure I do my part to secure Pembroke’s longstanding reputation of excellence in the community well into the future.
What’s your favourite Pembroke experience so far?
I would have to say an incredible family I had the privilege to meet and then tour around the School campuses. The excitement and awe of the possibilities that Pembroke could offer was truly humbling. It really reinforced to me why I wanted to join a community like Pembroke and why I love my new job.
What are three words that describe you?
Approachable, fair and trustworthy.
What are some small things that make your day better?
Coffee. Thoughtful gestures and smiles.
What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
I’d love to access the historical archives of the Vatican and the British royal family—to just immerse myself in historical artefacts. I could spend my life wandering through Europe exploring the old castles, cathedrals and ancient ruins.
Which three famous people would you invite to a dinner party—and why?
Daniel Craig—I am a huge James Bond fan.
Alienor of Aquitaine—I’m in awe of her; an incredible woman, years ahead of her time, the wife of two kings and the mother of three.
Queen Elizabeth ll—another formidable woman I am in awe of; I’d love to see what she’s really like.
Who do you admire most in your life?
My grandfather was a wonderful man. He brought his family to Australia so that his children and grandchildren would have access to better education and lifestyle. I admire his courage, wisdom and foresight and the values he instilled in us.
The Shipsters Road building continues to emerge from the ground and rapidly take shape as we excitedly await its completion in readiness for student occupation in Term 3, 2019.
The new building housing Technology, Science and Visual Art is connected to the Middle School King's campus via a covered footbridge across Shipsters Road. The landing of the bridge on the main campus will also include a large covered space and access at the first-floor level to The John Moody Technology Centre and Wright Hall.
The School Board has recently approved a set of philanthropic and sponsorship naming values associated with physical spaces and features on the Shipsters Road Project. Specific naming opportunities are offered in recognition of significant gifts received in support of the project, including the naming of Art, Science and Technology workshops and laboratories, enterprise hubs, gallery spaces, gardens and outdoor learning areas. They are conferred by the School Board in recognition of gifts or pledges over $50,000 made to the Shipsters Road Project Campaign.
We acknowledge and sincerely thank all members of the School community who have already pledged their support to this landmark development, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our School.
There was a buzz in the air in Term 3 as we explored the concept of natural cycles with our ELC children. Our inquiries into the wonders of our world and what lies beyond our skies included a magical event that has become an ELC tradition. The children returned to School in their snuggest bedclothes to join us for a torch-light dinner and four space-themed activities.
Like all good traditions, anticipation for the evening built as we prepared for the event. The children made glass lanterns to light the pathway, practised songs to sing for our families and assisted Ms Tonkin’s father as he carefully drilled over 1,000 holes to create some star-spangled reading cubbies. Adding to the growing excitement is the folklore too … ‘My sister told me all about it!’, ‘You come to School in the middle of the night!’, ‘There’s marshmallows and you wear pyjamas and slippers’. Mention Moonlight ELC to children in the Junior School and they will delight in recalling their experiences.
Thank you to the staff, families and children who helped to make this year’s ELC by Moonlight as indelible as ever—let the tales be told.
Head of ELC
Last term the children completed lots of artwork based on the books that were shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. We held the annual vote and once again the winner at Pembroke, Mopoke, was not voted the winner by the Council.
We had a wonderful Book Week Parade held in DY Hall. This always challenges even the most creative students and parents, and once again I think the bar rose even higher. The parade was a mirage of colour and characters. There were a few regulars like Harry Potter and Elsa that seem to resurface each year, but I must say a couple of my favourites were Paddington Bear and the array of pirates. These certainly matched the theme of ‘Find your Treasure’.
We also held a book swap on the Thursday. This linked into the theme of ‘one’s trash is another one’s treasure’. I love to see the excitement on the children’s faces as they come into the Library to choose their new treasure!
Two weeks before Book Week, the very talented author Mark Greenwood came to talk to our students in Years 3–6. He was an amazing presenter and had all the students eating out of his hand. I have had so many children come and tell me he was the best author we have ever had! Mark writes a fantastic series of short novels called History Mysteries based on mysteries in Australia, and also a range of picture books for older students. It was rather surprising to hear from one parent who, when I asked what her daughter thought of Mark, replied that she didn’t know because Mark had said not to tell their parents, so it was certainly taken literally!
On Friday 22 June students welcomed Datiwuy Dreaming through a traditional smoking ceremony by Alan Sumner on the grass at the Senior School. Pembroke Indigenous students and local Kaurna members became the extended family and as such played a significant role in establishing a sense of cultural importance at the occasion.
As part of the Music curriculum students in Years 3 and 6 explored traditional Aboriginal dance, song and story performed by the traditional owners of the material from the Yolngu community of Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island). Dance was an integral component of the study and dancers from NAISDA (National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association) developed within the students an appreciation of the belief systems of the Yolngu community. The students gained an awareness of the traditional roles and responsibilities of ceremony, and the respect, upholding and passing on of these traditions, as well as developing their own music and composition skills.
The students embraced learning Yolngu words through song and dance. They also discovered, through focused listening and viewing of the Musica Viva resources, an appreciation of the richness of the Yolngu modes of communication and ways of living, as well as an understanding of the Yolngu connection to and responsibility for country/place and the belief systems connected to land, sea, sky and waterways.
The performing ensemble Datiwuy Dreaming has been in partnership with Musica Viva and NAISDA for several years. Datiwuy Dreaming consisted of performers from Elcho Island, graduates and developing artists from NAISDA, and traditional tutors Heather Mitjangba Burarrwanga and Tony Mudalyun Ganambarr. We were fortunate indeed that the performers decided to visit Adelaide on their tour.
I would like to thank Ms Bourchier and Ms Davis for their support in this event.
The performance was energetic, fun, engaging and at times moving.
Junior School Arts Coordinator
Indigenous photographer Professor Wayne Quilliam visited Pembroke for a 3-day residency in June. Professor Quilliam is regarded as one of Australia’s pre-eminent Indigenous photographic artists, curators and cultural advisers. His career highlights and awards include the NAIDOC Indigenous Artist of the Year, Human Rights Media Award, the Walkley Award for photojournalism, and being nominated as a Master of Photography by National Geographic.
Pembroke students benefited enormously from the Professor Quilliam residency. He spent time with Year 5 students speaking about his Tasmanian heritage, sharing stories and answering students’ questions on a wide range of topics. Middle School Visual Art and Drama students admired his drones and learnt how he uses them when illustrating and expressing his culture through the lens. Senior School Visual Art and Film students benefited from his experience and received mentoring in groups and individually in relation to all aspects of photography and film-making.
Professor Quilliam's visit was supported by the Pembroke Foundation. He will be returning to Pembroke in 2019 during the Unreel Film Festival.
Taikoz is an Australian, Sydney-based performance group that specialises in the art of taiko—the Japanese drums. Through the study of taiko using Musica Viva resources, the students learnt about the instruments, music, and historical and cultural background to the works. The repertoire learnt as part of this study included contemporary Japanese pieces by Japanese composers as well as original compositions written by the Taikoz members. A particular favourite among the students was a piece called ‘Demon Drums’ written by Anton, a member of Taikoz.
The students loved the infectious rhythms and learnt to play works in several sections. They discovered that musicians use patterns and form to assist them in performance, but can also use pictorial representations to convey ideas in works such as ‘Monochrome’. They learnt pentatonic melodies on xylophones, used the Japanese flute shinobue and discovered the power of dynamics. The names of each of the taiko drums was fun to learn and the students embraced the physicality of playing while mimicking the experienced Taikoz performers with gusto.
Here are some Year 5 comments about the Taikoz study:
I loved the performance because we could listen to how good they were.
It was very different so I could play something very new and it was interesting.
People can communicate to each other through drums.
It was fun and inspiring.
I liked learning the meaning of the drums and why we use them.
I liked learning new Japanese words and learning about the culture and background of the drums.
Junior School Arts Coordinator
National Science Week was celebrated in many ways in the Junior School this year. The theme was Game Changers and Change Makers, and throughout the week all classes were involved in various Science explorations linked with challenging STEAM activities. They explored designing and making prototypes as well as improving on them to solve specific problems with explicit criteria. They used their strong teamwork skills and showed cooperation and persistence throughout these investigations. They all found these sessions exciting, engaging and challenging.
On Wednesday 15 August the Pembroke Junior School Science Fair was held to celebrate National Science Week. The fair was designed to celebrate the learning demonstrated by the Years 4–6 students and to showcase Science in the Junior School.
The Year 4 students focused on how to undertake a scientific investigation. They chose effective questions, looked at hypothesising and justifying their hypothesis, chose variables, recorded results using tables and graphs, analysed their results and made conclusions.
The Year 5 students took part in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) project exploring and problem solving with regards to Building a Lunar Colony. Students explored what it might take to set up a lunar colony, what materials they would need to bring, how the very different lunar environment might impact the way they live, and what challenges they would face to survive on the Moon.
Year 6 students have been working with industry partner Sarah Constructions on a STEAM project to explore real-world problems and design possible solutions around the concept of sustainable buildings. Sarah Constructions is the company building the new Science, Technology and Arts building on Shipsters Road. The students presented their ideas back to the project manager of Sarah Constructions about various products they believe should be incorporated into this new building as sustainable solutions.
The Junior Primary buddy classes visited on the afternoon before the Science Fair so that the Upper Primary students were able to practise explaining their investigations to their buddies. The Science Fair was a fantastic success and culminated in parents and friends visiting on the Wednesday morning. Students were able to share their findings with their parents, teachers and students from other classes.
The Year 2 Musical this year, Tuishi Pamoja (Swahili for ‘we want to live together’), transported the audience to Africa when it was performed by 2M and 2B for friends and family in September in Wright Hall.
There were herds of giraffes and zebras, three cheeky meerkats and some fierce lions. Through the process of the play the children learnt about being brave, having integrity, speaking up, not putting others down, and valuing friendship and inclusion.
All the Year 2 children developed in their confidence and demonstrated commitment during rehearsals. They met the challenge of memorising lines, songs and choreography on stage with energy. Highlights of the musical process were being fitted for costumes, having their faces painted, using microphones and utilising the wonderful facilities in Wright Hall.
I would like to thank Year 2 teachers Ms Oxenberry, Ms Corbett and Mrs Howard for all their help and support. I would also like to thank Ms Van Den Ende for making all the wonderful animal costumes and for the fabulous animal face paint. Special thanks to Harry Gum for ensuring that all the Year 2 rehearsals and performances went ahead without too much drama!
Congratulations to all the Year 2 students for coming to rehearsals with a smile and for having fun along the way. You showed that teamwork, friendship and laughter all make for a great musical. You should all be very proud of yourselves.
Junior School Arts Coordinator
In September the Year 7 cohort spent a terrific morning with their grandparents and/or grandfriends. Grandparents Day has been running for 4 years now and continues to be a wonderful experience for all involved.
After a morning tea in the Pavilion the Year 7 cohort escorted their grandparents/grand-friends across to the King’s campus and the Chapel for a special Grandparents/Grandfriends Day assembly. Two significant music items were conducted and talks were given by Deputy Principal Mr Lawry and Head of Middle School Mr MacPherson about the role and importance of their own grandparents.
In preparation for this day all Year 7 students wrote a letter of gratitude to their grandparents and/or grandfriends. Parts of the best letters from each tutorial group were also read out at the assembly, drawing a few laughs and tears from the audience.
Following the assembly the grandparents/grandfriends went on a student-led tour of the Middle School campus, visiting eight key areas. The stops included the Library, KCLC, Music Rehearsal Area, Tech Studies and Art precinct, and a visit to the Shipsters Road Project led by Pembroke Principal Mr Thomson.
I’d like to thank all the grandparents and/or grandfriends for attending the morning, and the Year 7 cohort for embracing this opportunity. Our students were delighted to share their School with the grandparents/grandfriends and many great conversations were had. I’d also like to thank the Friends of Pembroke for providing the delicious morning tea, and the staff who presented at each of the stops on the tour.
Overall, the morning was a great success.
Assistant Head Middle School
In August Sydney-based performer Brett Hunt delivered two historical stage shows to the Years 9 and 10 cohorts.
For Year 9 students he performed ‘World War I: Fighting the Kaiser’, which highlights the physical and psychological impact that this war had on the soldiers who survived it. Over several years Brett has created an 8,000-word script entirely based on primary source documents, and he brings this to life using his wonderful flair as a theatrical performer.
For Year 10 students he delivered ‘Vietnam: Dusted Off’, which tells his own very personal story of the Vietnam War. Brett is the son of the Australian soldier on whom John Schumann based his well-known song I was only 19. In the style of a radio play combining storytelling, music and audio effects, Brett examined the nature of soldiers’ experiences in Vietnam and the great challenges faced by his family following the return of his father, who was badly wounded.
Both shows had a strong impact on our pupils and illuminated their classroom learning in a powerful way.
Head of History
In the second year of their IB Diploma studies, all students complete a CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) project, culminating in a CAS Showcase event. The project is a collaborative, well-considered and carefully planned experience that engages each student in one or more CAS strands over a duration of at least 1 month.
The showcase evening commenced with beautiful music played by an ensemble of three Year 11 students, followed by a duet by two Year 12 students who had arranged a girls choir as their CAS project. A graduate from the IB class of 2017, Alice Morgan, then addressed the audience about how the experiences she was exposed to during CAS have facilitated her personal growth and added interest and value to her life outside of her medical studies.
Colourful exhibits and displays of students’ projects allowed the audience to appreciate the breadth of possibilities, and gave the students the opportunity to discuss which projects they had undertaken, the challenges they had faced and ultimately overcome, and what they learned through their involvement in CAS—collaboration; the importance of planning and reflection; commitment and perseverance; the ethics of their choices and actions; engagement with issues of global significance, albeit often at a local level; and the development of new and old skills.
Light refreshments were provided. Year 11 IB students had baked goods to support a Year 11 CAS project ‘Nellie’s Ellies’, which raised funds for rescued elephants whose parents had died from poaching.
As the CAS Showcase preceded the IB Information Evening, interested Year 10 students could ask questions and gather ideas through the exhibited exemplars of Creativity, Activity and Service experiences that our Year 12 students had undertaken during the 18-month CAS Programme. The showcase also emphasised the holistic nature of the IB Diploma, where learning does not only occur in classrooms—CAS provides the balance that all students need in their busy academic lives.
Head of IB
The Australia Day Council of South Australia hosted a new event at the National Wine Centre this year, at which eight women who had risen to the top of their field were invited to share their journey. Ms Kate Berry (Head of Chemistry) and I invited eight Year 11 female students to accompany us. It had been sold out quickly, so we felt very fortunate to have tickets.
All eight presenters were amazing but we agreed that there were a few standouts for all of us. Dr Gill Hicks who was injured in the London bombings explained the directions she has taken since this life-changing event. Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO of Fleet Space Technologies, told us about how she ended up in South Australia and basically made her own job as there was no space industry here—she was most entertaining. Finally, Gabrielle Kelly, Director at SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, shared her mental health journey with us and emphasised the importance of wellbeing as a new goal for everyone.
Talking to the students afterwards, they all found it really engaging and appreciated the opportunity. I am hoping to be able to find a similar event to take some of our Year 11 young men to, so they also can be inspired and challenged.
Head of Senior School
With a theme of ‘Night at the Circus’, everyone on the campus was excited to see just what the Senior School Formal would present. No one was disappointed and the Student Staff Executive (SSE) of 2018 are to be congratulated on their tireless work to make the evening a memorable event for everyone.
Just entering the venue was a feast for the eyes, with a giant ‘Pembroke’ sign greeting you, and great lighting and ceiling decorations. The room had been carefully planned and thought had gone into making sure that there were plenty of places to sit, eat and have fun.
There were lots of different themed activities to keep everyone entertained and many students commented that they didn’t have time to do everything, such was the variety. I saw sideshows, balloon artists, stilt walkers and acrobats alongside giant games, a caricature artist and a high striker sideshow.
One of the highlights of the evening was the student band, who kicked things off with a selection of dance-floor fillers. Apparently they had only been able to rehearse a couple of times, but they presented as a very tight ensemble and soon the dance floor was packed.
There were plenty of chances for students to get multiple photos with groups and individuals as well as a range of photo booths for more casual moments. A wide selection of delicious finger food was eagerly consumed to fuel yet more dancing.
The SSE presented some amusing awards for the evening during a break in activities and the event concluded with a DJ set. It was universally acclaimed as the best formal for some time. The SSE had endeavoured to make it as inclusive and entertaining as possible and I am sure many great memories were created.
Head of Senior School
In August more than 130 student musicians descended upon the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre to present the Pembroke Music Showcase.
The Concert Band premiered a new work written by Melbourne composer Edward Fairlie. Being Stardust sought to describe the Big Bang Theory and the creation of the universe. Using some interesting and engaging composition elements, it certainly was challenging to the students but it all came together on the night for an impressive performance.
The choirs continue to go from strength to strength under the direction of Charmaine Jones, and the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Jazz Choir and ‘li’l’ Boiz Choir were all received warmly by the audience. One of the highlights was the medley of songs by Karen and Richard Carpenter sung by the Concert Choir.
The Middle School String Orchestra performed the demanding In the Hall of The Mountain King by Edvard Grieg, ably directed by Ms Felicity Davies. The Senior Strings, after a stirring performance of Tchaikovsky, were augmented by French horn and oboe as well as the rhythm section to present part of Charlie Parker’s luminary recordings of Bird with Strings, recorded originally in 1950. Brandon Bartholomeusz gave a dazzling performance of the solo alto saxophone part in this demanding arrangement.
The second half of the concert started with jazz! Big Bands 1 and 2 both gave strong stylistic interpretations of classic jazz and funk tunes before the Jazz Choir amazed the audience with the classic One Note Samba. To close the concert the Symphony Orchestra gave a stirring performance of Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien before launching into the famous ‘Mars’ from Gustav Holst’s stirring The Planets. Wow! A great performance by the members of the orchestra left everyone in absolutely no doubt as to why this movement was called ’Mars, the Bringer of War’.
Outstanding performances from all the musicians left everyone involved satisfied and proud of their achievements on this wonderful evening.
Director of Music
Year 12 Creative Arts (Film) students, Mr Izzo and Miss Brooks travelled to Melbourne on Wednesday 8 August for the annual Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). Established in 1952, MIFF is the leading film festival in Australia and one of the world’s oldest festivals, alongside Cannes and Berlin. Presenting an innovative, global program, MIFF is an iconic event for film enthusiasts and global film-makers alike.
Once checked into our accommodation at Melbourne YHA, a short stroll from Southbank, we walked down to Hawkers Lane to immerse ourselves in the bustling Melbourne street art scene. Our first screening at the Forum Theatre was an Indigenous documentary, Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley. The film shed light on the impact of the oil and gas industry on Indigenous communities in the Kimberley Ranges. The drone shots of the Australian outback were spectacular, and the emotional interviews encouraged us to think carefully about the importance of sharing the stories of vulnerable communities.
Our evening screening, The Guilty, a Danish thriller set in one room with one main character, Police Officer Asger Holm, provided students with great insights into building suspense through narratives driven by sound and dialogue.
On day two we visited the ACMI Screening Worlds Exhibition, a must-see for all film enthusiasts. This immersive installation explores the evolution of the moving image and documents the birth of cinema to modern day. The permanent exhibition includes early film-making equipment, interactive installations, gaming consoles and virtual reality films. We then attended the National Gallery of Victoria, before our Melbourne International Shorts screening where the Sundance award-winning French short Fauve presented a haunting depiction of the dangers of ‘the boy who cried wolf’.
The excursion affirmed the importance of film as a creative and inspiring art form. Every screening accommodated 300+ audience members and all screenings were sold out. Students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and came back to School enthusiastic and inspired to complete their final Film projects for the year.
Following an active start to the year, the Indigenous Education program has maintained a strong profile in the School, with the Indigenous students continuing to participate in a range of cultural activities and embrace various leadership opportunities. The IE@P students addressed their peers at various School events and assemblies; they spoke about the importance of Reconciliation Week and other significant dates, accompanied by guests Ms Kira Bain, a teacher of the Kaurna language, and Uncle Eddie Peters, who shared Torres Strait Islander stories and dances.
In celebration of Reconciliation Week, the Indigenous students worked together to create over 400 bracelets featuring the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, to share with the Pembroke community. Our Indigenous Round continues to be a highlight of the year, with involvement by a number of the IE@P students. They also represented Pembroke admirably at public events, including the annual Reconciliation Week breakfast, which they attended with a large group of Pembroke students and staff.
The students had conversations with prominent South Australian leaders, including the Premier Steven Marshall and the Governor His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le, AC. We took a trip to Palace Nova to view the powerful documentary about acclaimed Yolngu singer Gurrumul Yunupingu, and attended a special screening of Ranger to Ranger, a film that follows the journey of nine Indigenous rangers as they travel to Kenya to share knowledge, culture and music with a group of Maasai Community Rangers. The film included a Q&A session with one of the Maasai Rangers and the Director of the global ranger organisation The Thin Green Line Foundation.
It is exciting to be part of various cultural activities that are occurring throughout the School. We appreciated the invitation to watch the Year 1 plays based on Kaurna stories and using Kaurna language. We shared the Datiwuy Dreaming experience with the Year 3s and 6s, and enjoyed learning about photographer Wayne Quilliam’s work firsthand. The Indigenous meal in the Boarding House was a tasty success, held in celebration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (an initiative of the United Nations), with food provided by guest Daniel Motlop, co-owner of Something Wild.
In closing, I am excited to report that the Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi organisation has provided us with the Kaurna translation of Pembroke’s school motto: ‘Kumangka nangku taingiwilta tapalayinthi’ – ‘Out of unity comes strength’. This motto conveys the spirit of Indigenous Education at Pembroke.
Indigenous Student Coordinator
The winter season has recently concluded and once again Pembroke School has been proudly represented in a range of sports. I was fortunate enough this season to be able to take a sabbatical during Term 2 to evaluate our Sport program in greater detail. It was a great opportunity to reflect on what we already do well at Pembroke but also investigate ways of improving our program for current and future students.
My research has reaffirmed that we as a School offer a comprehensive, inclusive and competitive program. Our students embrace it, with more than 90% of them proudly representing our School on the sporting field. We have entered over 250 teams in summer and winter sport across a range of 24 different sports, the most of any Adelaide school. Many of the academic staff are involved in the Sports program, enhancing their relationship with students, parents and the broader community.
However, there is still room for improvement, specifically in the support and formation of pathways for our elite sportspeople, development of some of our less experienced coaches and improvement to our facilities, among other things. The School is keen to investigate strategies to facilitate these developments in the near future. There are exciting times ahead for Sports at Pembroke.
The Indigenous round and Beyond Blue round were both again highlights of the season, raising awareness and acknowledging important aspects of our broader community. Other highlights from this winter season for Boys Sport included premierships for the U16 and Open Rugby teams, and for our Middle A Basketball team. Our Open Boys Hockey team claimed the Sam Roberts Shield and then combined with the Senior girl players to claim the state title for the Open Knockout Mixed Hockey team. Finally, four of our Year 7 Table Tennis players combined to win the State Table Tennis Championships, a tremendous achievement.
There have also been many highlights within Girls Sport this season, including the Middle A Football team finishing the season undefeated and winning the IGSSA Shield in a knockout grand final against Seymour College 33-0. Four other teams also competed in the IGSSA finals, with the Open A Soccer team taking out the IGSSA Shield for the fifth consecutive year in a row. The untouchable Year 7A Netball team finished undefeated and won the IGSSA grand final by 2 goals against Scotch College. The Year 9A Netball team fought hard in the IGSSA grand final but Scotch proved to be too strong on the day. The Open B Navy Hockey team took out the title after a competitive round-robin finals day. Also, there was a noteworthy performance from the Senior D Netball team who finished the season undefeated.
Pembroke hosted the winter Interschol against Westminster School and retained the trophies in Table Tennis, Girls Soccer and Boys Soccer. Pembroke claimed the Girls Football trophy in its inaugural year but Westminster were too strong in the Open A Netball and Basketball, and narrowly defeated Pembroke in the Girls Badminton and Boys Football. Westminster were not able to field teams in Hockey, Chess, Squash or Rugby this season, which are all activities that we compete strongly in.
This season saw the rejuvenation of the Intercollegiate Cup against Scotch, with all Middle A and Senior A teams playing for points towards the overall cup. The score was tied at 6-all heading into the deciding match of First XVIII Football. Pembroke broke the game open early and claimed the vital intercollegiate point, as well as regaining the Jim Rosevear trophy.
Our coaching staff continued to improve this season with the appointment of Jordan Glover as Head of Hockey, Raymond Billings as First XVIII Coach, Krissie Steen as Head Girls Football Coach and Panuga Riou in Girls Badminton. All have experience at State league level and fitted seamlessly into the Pembroke culture.
Thank you to our teaching staff, external coaches, students and parents for their support throughout the winter season. Well done to the many students who made State - or National-level teams in their respective sports. I hope all involved have some pleasing memories and gained much from their season of sport.
Head of Sport
In recent years Pembroke School has come to be known as one of the most competitive schools in the human-powered vehicle (HPV) racing circuit Australia-wide. 2018, which saw some changes to our events calendar with the introduction of the Busselton, WA, race in August, was no different.
Our season began way back in August last year when we took two teams on the long drive down to Mt Gambier for the 8-hour MacNamara Park HPV. This was followed by two 6-hour events at Victoria Park in June and July where Pembroke entered five teams, and then by the Busselton event as mentioned already in August. The season came to a conclusion just recently when we ventured up to Murray Bridge for the 33rd Australian International Pedal Prix event.
Of the 206 teams who took part in the grand finale of the year, Pembroke School was strongly represented with a Junior Secondary Boys team, a Junior Secondary All-Female team and a Senior Secondary Mixed team. September has become a very busy time in the School year and the weekend of Pedal Prix was no different—many key riders were missing due to participation in the School German Trip, the School Musical and even a couple that were taking part in the Australian Junior Cycling Championships in Bunbury, WA. As a group we had to make some decisions on who would fill the gaps left by the students that were unavailable for team selection. Little did we need to worry because, as usual at Pembroke, our students stepped up and did an outstanding job.
The Murray Bridge event started on Friday 21 September with last-minute packing and a 1-hour drive up the freeway, followed by a full day of unloading, setting up our pits, running our vehicles through scrutineering and, finally, taking part in the practice and qualifying session that was held late on Friday afternoon. We were successful in gaining excellent grid positions and even had Sarah W (Yr 10) in the Junior Secondary All-Female Division achieve the fastest lap for that category.
Saturday morning arrived and we had to undertake last-minute checks and preparation for the punishing 24 hours of riding that the vehicles and riders would endure. By 11.30 am we were lined up on the grid and at 12 noon the vehicles were waved away for the commencement of the event.
Pembroke certainly had its fair share of racing incidents and the vehicles were looking a little sad and sorry as the sun set at Sturt Reserve, signalling the necessity to turn on the vehicle lights and settle in for what would be a long night. We had minimal dramas through the night and it quickly became evident that our fitness and vehicle handling ability were coming into their own, with two of the Pembroke vehicles slowly but surely increasing their lead over the opposition.
Racing continued through to 12 noon on Saturday, at which time we had achieved the remarkable. Even with our Junior Secondary team being slightly down on power and our relatively new All-Female team, we still achieved incredible results. We walked away from the event with strengthened friendships, a sense of serious achievement and, on an individual level, many personal bests. We also managed to achieve many accolades including two 24-hour endurance wins (Junior Boys and Junior Girls), a fastest-ever All-Female lap, and two AIPP Super Series wins for the year of racing, as well as breaking the distance records for the Junior Secondary Division (918 km) and the Junior All-Female Division (834 km).
Preparation is already underway for our 2019 campaign, where we hope to be even stronger and faster. I would like to thank all the staff and parents for their wonderful support before and during the Murray Bridge event—without this support the teams would really struggle.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge our sponsors for the season. These include EBS Restorations, Consolidated Landscaping, Brand Partners, Foodland Norwood and Cucina Foods. These in-kind and monetary sponsorships certainly allowed us to run a smoother and more competitive campaign.
Pedal Prix Coordinator
The Marree Exchange once again headed off to the outback in Term 3. After a long day in the bus through a very dry outback, the team arrived at the Marree Hotel where swags were set up and students got to explore the township. On Tuesday morning we set out to the Marree School, which was a highlight for many. We did a variety of activities including Art, Sports and English, and the final product of the ‘Big Paint’ was a beautiful replica of the Ghan railway.
Wednesday and Thursday saw us out on the land with Arabunna Elder Reg Dodd. He enjoyed telling tales about the railway and the history of the township. We saw cameleers who had ridden for over 100 days and we visited remote sculpture parks. Lake Eyre was dry and the students enjoyed walking on the crusty salt flats and taking some amazing photography.
Coward Springs offered an amazing sunset before the winds came in and made the conditions somewhat tricky on the way back home. Students saw and met so many people and felt a part of the community; at the farewell BBQ it was time to say a heartfelt goodbye for now until we see our friends again in Term 4.
The July school holidays marked the third Pembroke Mission to Cambodia. Leading up to the trip a number of fundraising events including casual days, food stalls, movie nights and ‘Cabaret for Cambodia’ were generously supported by the Pembroke community.
The primary focus of our trip was to renovate one of the Khemara schools, Tuol Piseth Primary School, which is about 3 hours out of the capital city Phnom Penh. Many of the 250 students who attend the school are the children of poor rubber farmers. The school had been so dirty and run down that many of the children had been working alongside their parents rather than attending lessons.
To create an inviting learning environment we spent our time cleaning and painting three of the classrooms, the exterior of the building and the toilets, as well as painting murals. It was incredibly challenging work in the intense heat. Our main project was renovating the library, including making reading corners for the kids. Pembroke’s donations were also used for tradesmen to complete works such as laying new floors, replacing doors, tiling, putting in new sinks and toilets, and replacing the electrical wiring. We installed new whiteboards and have also ordered new desks for the classrooms. Prior to our visit we purchased supplies including books, teaching materials and sporting equipment. Our students also did some teaching with the local students.
Donations were also used to purchase backpacks for every student in the school. Inside each bag were a toothbrush and toothpaste, books, a pencil case with equipment inside and a stuffed koala. The students were incredibly grateful and excited to receive these bags. It was very humbling to see them so excited about items that we take for granted.
While we were at the school Ms Cowland from the Junior School did a placement with our Education Program at Home of Hope. Ms Davis and Ms Reynolds also had the opportunity to visit Home of Hope and check on the progress of our programs there as well as visit the boys who are so special to our community. They were happy to see the Physio Room being put to good use, and the garden that the students planted on the last trip still thriving.
It was a rewarding and successful trip for the staff and students involved. We are very appreciative of the wonderful support given to Tuol Piseth Primary School by the Pembroke community.
A new introduction to the Pembroke IB Diploma Programme for 2018 is the Environmental Systems and Societies course. This subject is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on the strengths of both Group 3 (Individuals and Societies) and Group 4 (Experimental Sciences) subjects.
In Week 4 the 18 students enrolled in the course headed north to the living cultural landscape of Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage Site and Australia’s largest national park.
This trip gave students an important opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique relationships between the Bininj/Mungguy people and the land, thus enriching their understanding of complex interactions between humans and landscapes, and to collect data for their Internal Assessments.
With Pembroke parents and Aboriginal owners of the land around the Yellow Water Billabong, Mr and Mrs Christopherson, as our guides and educators, students gained an insight into the way Aboriginal communities have developed a deep kinship with and understanding of the ecosystems of this unique and dynamic environment.
Sandra, her daughter Tara and mother Violet taught the group how to pick and shred leaves from the sand palm to create fibre used in basket weaving, and also showed them how to create dye from the roots of a kopak tree. The time spent collecting materials and the intricacies of the process gave the students both an understanding and an appreciation of the knowledge and skills passed through generations and the ways native plants can be harvested and utilised.
The group also carried out extensive fieldwork analysing the ecological impacts of varying burn regimes used to manage the discrete ecosystems of the Kakadu floodplains and savannah. It was fascinating to learn about the subtleties of this process carried out by Mr Christopherson and his family, with seasonally sensitive burning techniques used to provide habitats for fauna, ensure adequate regrowth and prevent catastrophic fires. Many students were keen to contrast this with techniques found in our local woodland ecosystems.
Both of these activities, along with a visit to the rock art site at Noarlangie Rocks, access to the Warradjan Cultural Centre, and boundless question and answer sessions with Mr Christopherson provided students with opportunities to consider Indigenous knowledge systems, a key Theory of Knowledge concept.
A cruise of Yellow Waters, the spectacular wetland on the South Alligator River, was an undoubted highlight of the trip, allowing students to see a huge diversity of flora and fauna. Watching a 4-metre estuarine crocodile devour a buffalo shot by a poacher was a sight few of us will forget. The cruise allowed students to learn more about the behaviours of fauna in the park, while also seeing the ways that introduced species were controlled and even used by Aboriginal groups to benefit the landscape.
The trip finished with an unforgettable afternoon on a billabong, with our generous hosts inviting their extended family, the Rawlinson family and Pembroke parents to help fish, weave, dance and feast on locally caught duck, magpie goose and barramundi.
Pembroke’s Reconciliation Action Plan aims to ‘Build our knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and work together to achieve a future where all Australians have equal opportunities to flourish’. This immersive experience has enabled our students to learn and engage with the Bininj/Mungguy people and I am sure that they will reflect on and share this new-found knowledge, appreciation and deep affection in their remaining time at Pembroke and into the future.
I would like to thank the Christopherson and Rawlinson families, Ms Northcott and Ms Waldorf-Davis for their support on the trip, and also Mr Andrew Quinn who organised this incredible experience with all the logistical challenges of taking a large group into a remote part of Australia.
Head of Humanities