Developing female characters – workshop with Kirsty Murray – and reading awards

Exciting day today with the annual Year 9 and 10 Reading Assembly celebrating reading. Prizes are awarded to students whose reading is prolific, demonstrating depth and breadth.

Some of our winners

A less serious pose

A highlight of the day was Kirsty Murray’s much anticipated writing workshop in which she focused on the development of female characters.By the end of the workshop students had created 20 unique female characters which they now have the opportunity to develop and integrate into a story.

Kirsty shared with us her criteria for good writing:

  • originality, a fresh perspective, using your own voice
  • good use of language – how words work; poetry sharpens use of language
  • good characters – driving force in all fiction; characters define the shape of the story
  • structure – the shape of the story

We meet Isobelle Carmody and Alison Goodman!

Thanks to Paul Collins and Ford Street Publishing we hosted the launch of Isobelle Carmody’s Scatterlings. Scatterlings was first published in 1991 and, as you tell from this review, is a much loved book, and now it’s being (re-)launched with a new cover featuring Isobelle’s own daughter. It was awesome to meet Isobelle Carmody and also author Alison Goodman of Eon fame. Alison introduced Isobelle as our ‘national treasure’, reminding us that she has been writing from the age of 14. We could have listened to Isobelle for the rest of the day! It was obvious that MHS students were enthralled by her passionate talk about writing which she did without notes and from the heart. Students had the opportunity to win a prize by imagining a snow dome – since one features in Scatterlings – with the winner choosing a book prize. We were happy to see two old boys (grad. 2011), Ruben and Paolo, come and visit for the event, as well as Acting Assistant Principal, Nick Fairlie, and English teachers Helen Bekos and Lynne Hamilton, Stonnington Library staff and other visitors. Thanks to Monty and Gregor (leaders of our Book Club interest group) for the excellent introduction.

Laureate Launch 2015 – guest author Chris Womersley

170505-111203-rev-womersley This year’s Laureate, our literary magazine, was launched in the library this afternoon, with award winning Australian author, Chris Womersley, as guest speaker. There is no doubt that Melbourne High School has an abundance of writing and artistic talent, and we celebrated this in style today. After his speech Chris presented our talented students with a copy of the Laureate. We were happy to see so many people at the event – parents (and possibly grandparents), teachers and students all enjoying a lovely afternoon tea and good company. Thank you, Chris, for coming and presenting your speech to encourage our students. Thanks to Mr Sam Bryant for organising the event. Thanks also to the talented students, including those who finished last year. Thanks to our principal, Mr Jeremy Ludowyke, and our assistant principals, Dr Janet Prideaux and David Smyth, for supporting the event. Thanks also to the teachers who came to support their students. Note: This was a photographer’s nightmare with everyone moving and shaking during the Laureate magazine presentations for contributing writers. Please excuse the blurry photos resulting from multiple filters attempting to block out reflection from all the ceiling lights and from windows. unnamed (8) unnamed (26) unnamed (11) unnamed (3) unnamed (1) Isaac Reichman presents Chris with a token of our appreciation. (… a couple of tokens…)unnamed (29) It was great to see our past students again. Many had contributed last year to this year’s Laureate. unnamed unnamed (25) unnamed (24) unnamed (23) unnamed (22) unnamed (21) unnamed (7) unnamed (20) unnamed (19) unnamed (18) unnamed (17) unnamed (16) unnamed (15) unnamed (14) unnamed (13) unnamed (11) unnamed (9) unnamed (6) unnamed (4) Interesting – I wonder what what they are pondering. unnamed (2) trio Richard Nicholas   The cover of the Laureate 2014 features art work by Hieu Nguyen, the student whose art was awarded the Melbourne High School Art and Cultural Trust & Melbourne High School Foundation Art Acquisition Prize 2013. unnamed (31) A big thanks again to Mr Sam Bryant for organising this very important event. Library staff always enjoy hosting school events, especially if they promote the talents of our wonderful students. Thanks also to parents/grandparents who joined us.

Melbourne University librarians visit Melbourne High School Library

Last week we enjoyed a visit from the librarians at the University of Melbourne.


Our connection with the Melbourne Uni librarians is very much appreciated, particularly since we are a 9-12 school with most of our boys going on to tertiary study. It makes sense to have conversations about how we can best support our students in terms of resources and skills in preparation for life beyond school. We have started to link some of our online resources, and we hope to continue the dialogue and sharing to strengthen our relationship. It’s a positive partnership we greatly appreciate.


Librarians have left the building (again) – Visit to Melbourne University libraries

Yesterday we visited several Melbourne University libraries as well as the University College library. We are fortunate to have CJ temporarily on our team; CJ is College Librarian at the University College Library.

As a library servicing a highly academic cohort of students at Melbourne High School, we are interested in liaising with university librarians so that we can assist students with their transition to university. This includes so many things, such as the way we could use spaces to facilitate the variety of student needs when they come to the library; embedding literacy and research skills into assignments and essays; teaching students about bibliographies and in-text citation; teaching them how to navigate online resources and manage information – in short, everything they need to be independent learners at the tertiary level.

We had already developed a partnership with the Melbourne University librarians in terms of shared online content – the Melbourne Uni librarians have kindly allowed us to use and modify their excellent Libguide about research. In turn, we have shared our Libguide for mobile apps in education.

We all agreed that yesterday’s visit and our visit to The Library at the Docks last week are an invaluable form of PD for us all – rich, relevant, ongoing and inspiring.
Here are a few photos:
The newly redesigned library and IT help desk at Giblin Eunson Library, University of Melbourne
Interesting, transparent way of separating the quiet zones
Reception and residential rooms at University College, Melbourne University.
I thought I’d throw in a couple of sights around the area
Can you guess the location of these?


Visit to The Library at the Dock

We took the opportunity to visit The Library at the Dock on a report writing day when our library was being used for the GAT in the morning. What a beautifully designed community building on a site with impressive views from all angles.

From the City of Melbourne website:

Library at The Dock is a three-storey building, 55.3 metres long by 18.1 metres wide, and is made from engineered timber and reclaimed hardwood.

Read about the building’s sustainability features (PDF, 600kb).

As well as a traditional library collection, the library and community centre offers an interactive learning environment and a state-of-the-art digital collection, multi-purpose community spaces and a performance venue that holds 120 people. Connections to Docklands’ rich maritime and Aboriginal heritage is embraced and celebrated with facilities to support local historical research and educational experiences.

Apparently the building was pre-fabricated in Austria and put together in 60 days on site by 6 carpenters. I hope I remembered that information correctly.

I took photos from all angles. As you can see, the library has plenty of space and light, glass everywhere, beautiful wooden surfaces and tasteful furnishings.

Image Image (1) Image (2) Image (3) Image (4) Image (5) Image (6) Image (7) Image (8) Image (9) Image (10) Image (11) Image (12) Image (13) Image (14) Image (15) Image (17) Image (18) Image (19) Image (20) Image (21) Image (22) Image (23) Image (24) Image (25) The returns sorter –


Image (26) Image (27) Image (28) Image (29) Image (30) Image (31) Image (32) Image (33) Image (34) Image (35) Image (36)There is a Makerspace! and of course a 3D printer –
Image (38) Image (39) Image (40) Image (41) Image (42) Image (43) Image (44) Image (45) Image (46) Image (47) Image (48) Image (49) Image (50) Image (51) The children’s section was so much fun! Image (52) Image (53) Image (54) Image (55) Image (56) Image (57) Image (58) Image (59)


Obviously this library is completely out of our financial range, but it’s always good to take some ideas from well designed spaces.