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3

autumn 2015

Building to Inspire our Girls

As we commence another year at Ruyton

we have had the opportunity to reflect on

the extraordinary successes of the year gone

by, and to wonder what the future holds for

our 2014 Year 12 girls as they move on to

new adventures.

We live in an era where educators are rethinking the

science of teaching. We are educating students for a

rapidly changing world, with employment opportunities

focused on a new set of skills and capabilities, as well

as subject-specific knowledge. Employers are searching

for people who demonstrate the ability to learn, unlearn

and relearn, think creatively and work collaboratively,

to problem pose and problem solve. Accordingly,

Ruyton teachers are exploring the science of teaching,

designing appropriate curriculum, approaching learning

and teaching in many ways to personalise learning, and

developing new ways to assess, measure, report and

inform. An important factor in this rethink is an upgrade

of learning environments. Our current building project,

the new Margaret McRae Centre, will provide state-of-

the-art science and drama facilities, as well as flexible

learning spaces for Years 7 and 8. It is a major part of

the School’s master plan and we anticipate it will be

completed during Term 4 2015.

I feel strongly that we must inspire girls to engage in

science and mathematics, especially as we witness

fierce competition from other countries in our region.

The provision of new science learning and teaching

spaces will ensure we are in a great position to support

our students.

As a Board of Directors we asked the Ruyton Foundation

to assist with the raising of one million dollars in the

McRae Centre Capital Campaign. This is the largest

capital campaign in the history of Ruyton and I am

excited to report that, because of the generosity of our

Ruyton community, both current and past, already over

$675,000 has been pledged. Warm and sincere thanks

to each of you who has contributed to this vision for our

future. I would particularly like to thank Mr Peter Kanat,

President of our Foundation, and Ms Tonya Peters,

Director of Development, for their continued leadership

of our campaign. We look forward to achieving our

target in 2015.

Planning has already commenced on the next project

in our master plan, a renovation of the old Junior School.

It is anticipated this this project will better connect the

two Junior School buildings; provide a lift to access

the three levels of the Junior School; create flexible and

welcoming learning spaces; and provide a clear

entrance, foyer, office area and gathering space for the

Junior School community. We look forward to sharing

our vision for this project and an expected timeline for

completion during the year as we finalise our plans.

Ms Kathryn Watt,

President of the Board

Community Matters

A Caring Member of our Community

Mrs Melinda Matheson leaves Ruyton after 22 years

of remarkable service, ostensibly as a catering

assistant, but her role has evolved over the years to be

so much more – confidante, counsellor, joke-teller…

Throughout her time here she has always maintained

the staff as her primary focus.

Her original appointment came through a contact of

former teacher and careers’ counsellor, Mrs Kathy

Galt, when Melinda was employed as a Home

Economics Assistant. Melinda worked closely with

Kathy in the catering kitchen, on the site of the

current Courtyard Café, before it was moved to the

old science labs and, eventually, to Trinity Grammar

School’s Centre for the Arts.

In addition to this role Melinda began cooking

morning tea for all staff members five days a week.

(This might include mini-pizzas, biscuits and slices

and provision of fruit, cheese and biscuits.)

She provided silver service to former Principal,

Mrs Prue Gillies, supplying her with homemade

biscuits, cakes and chocolate for her frequent visitors

– be they prospective parents, current Principals or

past students.

When the food-handling laws changed it was no

longer possible for Melinda to use her own kitchen for

School catering purposes and, as a consequence,

the School revamped the catering areas and brought

in outside caterers. Melinda continued to assist in

the setting up of functions and also helped serve in

the Courtyard Café at peak times, as well as liaising

with the caterers over procedures.

The service and consumption of food has increased

steadily as more in-house functions are held to meet

the needs of parent gatherings, Old Ruytonian

Reunions and staff personal development meetings.

With the expansion of facilities and the creation of

new buildings there are more areas to look after and

more stairs to climb.

Melinda has many fond memories of her time at

Ruyton. She enjoyed working closely with Kathy Galt

and the students in ‘Home Ec’; she embraced with

humour the minor hazards she has experienced when

setting up functions – for instance walking into a set

of cymbals backstage in the Royce Theatre with an

orchestra practising diligently on stage; and she has

witnessed a string of chefs come and go, some more

volatile than others!

As Melinda says,

‘I may

have had what would

appear to some to be

a trivial job in the

School, but I have been

supremely happy. I have

got to know the majority

of staff and have

exchanged much good-

humoured banter and

laughter with them. At all

times I have been treated

well and with respect.

The staff are such a valuable asset to Ruyton. Most

lunch times or at recess I see staff chatting to a student

or trying to resolve a problem for them. The pastoral

care displayed by the staff is exceptional.’

As Melinda leaves I think we would all say that it is

Melinda who has been an exceptional member of

staff. We wish her well and happy in the next stage

of her life.

Mrs Elizabeth Beattie,

Development Co-ordinator,

Communications