Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at Melbourne High

Our annual cancer fundraiser, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, is always a fun, whole staff, event – today being no exception.  A huge thanks to Lynette and Paulette for organising everything and bringing in so many home-cooked foods. On a cold, dreary day it was lovely to have the warm baked aromas fill our library. Thanks to all who continue to bake/cook for this (Flanno cookies are always a hit), to the FIG boys who drove a full Woollies trolley full of food they’d sourced as donations (and who helped with the food preparation), and to everyone who came and donated to this very worthy cause.












There comes a time when it’s all the same.




When I added the above photo to our library Pinterest board, it suggested similar photos so I thought I’d share one of them.








Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the library

The MHS Library Assistants and the members of the MHS Writing Interest Group (WIG) – formerly known as Competition Writing – came together for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to celebrate the end of a great year. A huge thank you to Denise Beanland for making the gorgeous biscuits (see photos), themed table setting and lolly cups and, of course, TEA.

Being left-handed, Denise made a mixture of left- and right-handed cups and tea pots.

Eat me!

What’s a party without fairy bread?

The ancient craft of making fairy bread. Pictured: an apprentice (Jeremy Shen). Great job.

The spread

Oh, and the hats…

A shower cap is technically a hat.

Thank you all for coming! We hope you had a good time. See you next year.






Winding up for the end of the year

So it’s a curious time of year when the regular pace and routine are disrupted by wonderful messy projects such as the year 9 city scavenger hunt, the year 9 city project (research/documentary), for the first time the year 10 Innovation Project which gives students the opportunity to make significant changes in the school, presenting to a panel of professionals to be shortlisted for the successful three teams – and lots of singing in between (LOTS of singing!)

I wanted to share some photos of this busy, happy time.

Year 9s waiting to watch the winning Melbourne documentaries.

The winners receiving their accolades.

In between all of this the library is a hub of old fashioned activity.


Games for people with tiny fingers.


Board games


Next Monday the library assistants and Writing Interest Group (WIG – formerly Competition Writing) are joining for a big party, The Madhatter’s Tea Party, to be precise.

And of course, there are always BOOKS!


Do you have what it takes? – 2nd Annual Tea Duelling Competition

Tea Duelling? I hear you ask. Yes – it’s a sport for the modern age:

Tea Duelling is an elegant sport for a more civilized age. Instead of hacking away at each other with long, sharp wedges of metal or, heaven forbid, shooting guns at one another, Major Thadeus Tinker and Dr. Geof Fetishman devised a way to test the mettle of an opponent through the use of a simple cup of brown joy and a biscuit.

Tea Duelling is now an annual institution at Melbourne High School. Enjoy photos and videos.

The final play-off (going backwards)

The secret to tea duelling by an experienced dueller

Inspecting the integrity of the biscuit.

A big thank you to all of you who came and those who participated. Judging by all the cheering and noise, Tea Duelling is a serious sport.

The presiding officer, known as a “Tiffin Master” or “Tiffin Mistress” then tells both duellists when to dunk their biscuit into their tea. The biscuits are to be held submerged in tea for an audible count of five seconds, and then are removed and attempted to be eaten.

The goal of tea duelling is to get a clean “nom”, which is when you put the biscuit in your mouth and bite it without having lost any pieces along the way. This sounds easy, but as the biscuit has been submerged in hot tea, it will want to immediately fall apart, presenting difficulty in achieving a clean “nom”.

A huge thanks to Denise who organised the whole thing, dressed up as Tiffin Mistress to take the contestants through their paces, researched the biscuits, made the tea and organised and wrapped the prizes.

See you all again next year.

Tea duelling/Michael Pryor visit/ Steampunk dress ups

What a day we had – Michael Pryor’s visit and workshop, the Reading Awards assembly, and our inaugural Tea Duelling event (see previous post for information). Thanks, Denise, for making this happen down to the smallest detail. We even had Mr Brown’s original Steampunk composition playing. Well done to all the boys who participated in the duelling heats. There wasn’t much jousting but there was plenty of nomming and splodging. (Tablecloths definitely need a wash now). And, of course, much biscuit dunking and tea drinking.

I apologise for the bad quality videos but I think they were not uploaded in high definition. Lots of photos too so be prepared to scroll down a lot. Thanks also to Ms Buckland for the Reading Awards and workshop. Thanks for coming and for being such a good sport, Michael.

The videos are not in heat order.

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music poster shaking hands

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Practice for Tea Duelling

As posted earlier, we are going to host Tea Duelling in the library this Friday. If you missed the post then have a quick read, otherwise none of this will make any sense.

We had to practise to make sure it worked and that we understood the rules. I filmed some of the process and threw these videos into Youtube very quickly, without filling out categories etc., and curiously, they landed in the category of Comedy. How appropriate.

They are short but if you don’t want to watch all of them, skip to number 4 when we actually dunk. Please come and watch the whole event in the library at lunchtime this Friday. It promises to be hilarious.

Don’t fancy being killed in a traditional duel? Then Tea Duelling is for you! Coming soon to MHS

(Jump into the future and see how our Tea Duelling Steampunk day went!)

Photo source

Michael Pryor (Master of Steampunk) will be visiting us on October 17. We have decided to host the Inaugural MHS Tea Duel to celebrate this event and enter into the culture of Steampunk. Tea Duelling has become an integral part of Steampunkery; there are very strict rules & codes of conduct to be adhered to when duelling. Students, if you think you are up to the challenge, first watch the following videos, then come into the library to read the rules and sign up.

Respect to Denise Beanland for having the strength of character to read through the guidance on the organisation of official tea duelling competitions – not for the faint hearted. The rules of the duel are to be found in the articles of the honourable association of tea duellists (third edition 1899) – as compiled by the signatories of The Hague Convention, December 1899.

I’ve included some of the specifications:

  • The only permissible beverage is tea. Coffee and chocolate are strictly prohibited.
  • This beverage should be no less than 65 degrees at the time of competition
  • The drinking vessel, known as “The Keg” shall be no less than three and one quarter in depth
  • The Tiffin Master shall supply the bisquits. Ordinarily these are “Malted Milk”
    otherwise known as “Cows”
  • On the command “choose your weapons” the dunkers will each select a single
  • if the Tiffin Master is happy that there has been a clean dunk he shall count to five.
  • Once five has been counted and the bisquit removed the dunkers shall attempt to eat
    the bisquit. 94% as adjudged by the Tiffin Master must end up in the dunker’s mouth for a clean

If this sounds like an activity you would enjoy, and you are a student at Melbourne High School, please come to the library and sign up.

These videos give you an idea of how it all works:

Visit The Honourable Association of Tea Duellists for more information.

Supporting cancer research through Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea in the library

It has become an annual tradition for the library to support hardworking teachers, Lyn and Paulette, in hosting Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome the entire staff into the library than for a chat over morning tea delicacies. It’s always good to have the staff visit, and difficult for everyone to find the time, so this opportunity is much appreciated.


Image (4)


The biggest Biggest Morning Tea at Melbourne High School

I’ve only been at Melbourne High School for almost 2 years, so I can’t judge, but others have said that our Biggest Morning Tea held, as usual, in the library, was the biggest turnout they’d seen. It was so much fun hosting this event, and it’s actually the only day when most of the staff gather in the library, so it’s an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company. Of course, it’s all for a very good cause, and money donated goes to the Cancer Council. There isn’t anyone, I don’t think, who hasn’t in some way been touched by cancer, so it was good to see our staff dig deep for the cause, and although we don’t have the final amount raised, Lynette mentioned we might have broken last year’s record. Thanks to Denise for the gorgeous, quirky displays, and for your streamers entrance, and thanks to Pinterest for being such a gold mine of wonderful imagery and quotes. I have a feeling our strategic (and slightly narrower) entrance leading straight to the contributions table might have been responsible for the increase in money collected. All for a good cause!