From The Principal - 24 March

One of the events that has given me great joy during this last fortnight has been spending time with the PLC girls and Old Collegians who were competing in our annual tennis competition, the Kellett Cup. The Kellett Cup Tennis competition between Old Collegians and current PLC students started in 1932 and this is now the 86th year of this competition. This is a wonderful milestone and tribute not only to those whose vision led to the establishment of this competition but also to the many different organisers, coordinators and players who have kept the tradition going across the intervening years.

One such person is Old Collegian Jan Dimmick (1945), herself a very accomplished sportswoman and tennis player and umpire. For over 20 years Jan umpired for the Australian Open Tennis, and for many years now she has taken on the role of coordinating the Old Collegian tennis team, which today comprises many of our most recent Old Collegians as well as a number who have been playing in this competition for many years. It was very special to catch up with Jan again this year as she has just been honoured and named as the 2017 Boroondara Citizen of the Year, in recognition of her many contributions to the community as a volunteer in numerous capacities. I would also like to thank and acknowledge our inspiring and committed PE staff member and tennis coach Ms Elissa Payne who trains our Senior A and B tennis teams and coordinates the Kellett Cup competition at PLC each year. 

I have greatly enjoyed following this competition for the last 11 years and I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to see some of our Old Collegians each year and to hear their stories and what they have been pursuing in their post PLC lives. This year we also had two mother–daughter teams competing for the Old Collegians team. Many of the more recent graduates are still engaged in their tertiary studies with others just starting their careers, and it is so delightful to catch up with them after the tennis and to hear what has been happening in their lives since they competed in the Kellett cup 12 months ago. The young women I had the joy of talking with last week all spoke so warmly about their time at PLC and the friendships they formed and also about the influence of PLC on their lives and on forming who they are today.

In just the handful of girls I spoke to, I was struck by the diversity and richness of their current endeavours: one is studying aviation and has almost completed the number of hours to become a commercial pilot, another is studying arts/law and has just returned from 8 months study at Oxford, yet another has completed her music degree and is pursuing a career as a musician focusing on writing and composing whilst also performing in voice and guitar, another has just finished working in communications for a publishing company and is moving to a new position in an engineering firm where she will also be working in communications, one has just started a combined engineering/law degree, another is studying languages and yet another is completing her Master of Teaching and will be pursuing a career as an English and History teacher. I was so impressed by the warmth, confidence and passion of these young women and the different pathways they were pursuing. All the girls were also actively involved in sport, including playing in the newly formed women’s AFL teams. It was so delightful to catch up with these young women all of whom are very inspiring role models for the current girls of PLC. 

Another group of inspiring PLC girls is the group of Year 10 girls who applied and were selected to go on the Year 7 camp as student leaders. These young women were some of the best student leaders we have had and they too were wonderful role models for the girls in Year 7. I would like to thank and acknowledge the following girls for their commitment and for their willingness to serve and lead on the Year 7 camp and especially for the care and friendship they provided to our Year 7 girls – Bianca Phillips, Jemma Huang, Eliza Clarke, Hannah Harvey, Stephanie Hookey, Amber Guest, Phebe Xu, Imogene Jones, Caitie Seal, Sarah Moody, Imashi Iddawela and Emma Whitla.

Last Friday evening a very appreciative audience gathered in Wyselaskie Hall for our first music concert of the year, the Autumn Melodies Concert featuring many of our ensembles including Chamber Strings, Voiceworks and the Concert Band, and two superb soloists Luna Wan on flute and Lily McCann on violin. This delightful and uplifting concert showcased many of our talented musicians and was also significant as it was the last music concert to be held in Wyselaskie Hall as we look forward to the completion of our new Performing Arts Centre, which will now become the stunning venue for our music concerts and performances. We are very much looking forward to the completion of this much-anticipated centre and to some very special events to celebrate the official opening of this extraordinary building next term. 

Last weekend was also a very busy weekend for our rowers and their coaches and families as they all headed down to Geelong for the weekend for the Head of Schoolgirls’ Regatta, which is the culmination of the rowing season and is held every year on the Barwon River at Geelong. PLC girls performed very well with many personal bests and excellent results against some very strong competition. I would like to thank our Head Coach Mr Phil Ainsworth and Assistant Head Coach former PLC School Captain Amanda Zou for their commitment to the girls and for their excellent coaching, support and guidance of the girls throughout the season. I would also like to thank all our coaches and Mr Matt Moon, who coordinates PLC’s rowing program. It was a delight to be able to share some of this weekend with the girls and their parents and to cheer them on as they reached the finish line.

During the final week of term the Norman Oval will be the venue for both our Senior School and Junior School Athletics Carnivals, and our swimming and diving teams will be representing PLC as they compete in the GSV Swim/Dive Finals at MSAC. And as we approach Easter, as a school we will also be celebrating and recognising this special time of year and the profound message of Easter with a number of Easter Assemblies and Easter music in the Senior School, an Easter Service for families and girls in the Junior School and the ELC Easter Hat Parade. 

I would like to wish all our families a very relaxing and refreshing holiday break and as we celebrate Easter I would also like to encourage you to take time with your family to remember the great importance and significance of the Easter message, which is the very foundation of our Christian faith. The central message of the Christian gospel is one of hope, and the wonderful message of Easter, through Christ’s death, is that we are deeply loved by God. The joy and hope of Easter is found in Christ’s resurrection, offering us forgiveness and a personal relationship with the living God, now and for eternity. We do indeed have much to celebrate and so much to be thankful for.
I wish you and your family God’s richest blessings this Easter.

After our holiday and Easter break we look forward to welcoming the girls back to school for the start of Term 2 on Wednesday 19 April 2017.

Elaine Collin