This week, the Lauriston Wellbeing Domains of Looking Outward and Emotional Awareness are in the spotlight.

Looking Outward

Our Community Service Program, ably led by Sarah Jessup, has been incredibly busy over the last few weeks. Students from Years 5, 6, 7 and 8, along with their parents, volunteered their time to participate in the first GIVE Back Day for 2019. Thirty families packaged pantry items and freshly cooked meals and then hand delivered them to people in need in housing commissions across Melbourne. The Amnesty and Greenies Groups have also been active in raising funds and awareness for these important causes, and our casual clothes day raised funds to support ‘Our Farmers’.

For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Happiness is found in helping others. As Winston Churchill once stated: ‘We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.’ We find great satisfaction in giving back to the world around us. Many of us are far more privileged than others and have an innate desire to help the less fortunate. It is through giving that we enrich and perpetuate both our own lives and the lives of others. Research has shown that giving makes us far happier than receiving. True wealth is not acquired through earthly possessions, but by leading a fulfilling life. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing you have made a difference in the lives of other people. Thank you to all our community who have given back, whether that be through money or service.

Emotional Awareness

There is no doubt that we have seen a significant increase in rates of anxiety-related disorders, particularly in girls. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, including social media and external pressures such as friendships, as well as simply a greater awareness of mental health concerns. This article ‘How to Help Teenage Girls Reframe Anxiety and Strengthen Resilience’ provides a number of helpful tips for both parents and teachers to address the increasing concerns we have for our girls. Damour, a psychologist and author of the book Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls, believes that there is a misunderstanding around the areas of stress and anxiety. She claims we have adults and young people who are stressed about being stressed and anxious about being anxious.

Anxiety is a normal and healthy function and adults can make a difference by ‘reassuring them that stress is just operating as a friend and ally to them’, it is about reframing how they are thinking about their experiences. Change and stress go hand in hand and teenagers are constantly transforming. Damour says that teenage girls are particularly sensitive to the cues they receive from their parents and teachers – from words to facial expressions. How adults respond to a teenager’s emotional reactions matters a lot. If teens accept that some level of stress is inevitable, they can spend less time worrying about stress and more time focusing on building their capacity to endure challenging situations. This is empowering for them.

Sleep deprivation is one of the simplest explanations for the rise in anxiety-related concerns. When we are sleep-deprived, we are less emotionally resilient. Our girls need around nine hours of sleep each night. We need to encourage them to turn off social media notifications or hand their phones to a parent before going to sleep.

Of course, we know that the most powerful force in a teenager’s life is a caring, working relationship with at least one adult. This is where they will gain empathy, confidence and the courage to face challenges rather than avoidance. I hope you enjoy Damour’s article.

Head of the Schoolgirls’ Rowing Regatta

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish our rowers and coaches all the very best as they embark on the Head of the Schoolgirls regatta this coming weekend. We celebrated their hard work and success during a school assembly last week. Regardless of the result, we are incredibly proud of the way they have conducted themselves both on and off the water.

Lara Elliot to Beijing

Finally, good luck to Lara Elliot (Year 8), who will be travelling to Beijing from March 15–19 to compete in the GoodTalk (Global Village), Children and Youth Bilingual Speech Conference. Lara was the winner of the Year 7 student group GoodTalk (Global Village) Competition of Victoria in July 2018. She will be representing Lauriston and Australia against other students from all over the world. This is a remarkable achievement and we wish Lara all the best.

Kate Gilchrist
Acting Head of Senior School


Year 10 Borneo trip in 2020

Borneo 2020 option B resized

Last week World Challenge presented their Year 10 to the girls at Howqua who are very excited about the prospect of a 2020 Borneo experience. A parent information night will be held on Monday 25 March at 7.00pm here at the Armadale campus.


Key Dates 

Date Time Event Location
15-17 March  All Day Head of School girls regatta Barwon River
Tuesday 19 March 3.45pm-6.45pm 7,10 & 12 Parent Teacher Interviews  7/8 Centre
Tuesday 19 March 6.00pm-6.45pm Year 10 Parent Information Session:
Assessment & Grading
Mountain Room
Wednesday 20 March 8.30am-12.00pm Year 7 Immunisation  Dance Studios
Wednesday 20 March 7.15am-12.30pm GSV Division 1 Swimming & Diving Championships MSAC
Thursday 21 March   DAV Debating Scotch College
Thursday 21 March 6.00pm-7.30pm Welcome to 2019 Social Function Irvine Courtyard
Sunday 24 March 7.45am-5.30pm Active 8 Surfing  Anglesea
Monday 25 March 6.00pm-7.30pm 2020 Trips & Tours  Information Evening  Irving Hall
Wednesday 27 March 3.45pm-6.45pm 7, 10 & 12 Parent Teacher Interviews  7/8 Centre
Wednesday 27 March 4.30pm-5.15pm Year 10 Parent Information Session:
Assessment & Grading
Mountain Room
Friday 29 March 8.20am-12.10pm House Cross Country Kooyong Park
Thursday 4 April 2.00pm Howqua Students Return  
Friday 5 April 1.00pm End of Term 1