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Flowerdale Winter 2022

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Zedekai Di Florio-PulisZedekai Di Florio-PulisYear 10, Color Run 2022Year 10, Color Run 2022

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communityCONTENTSCOVER PHOTOStephanie Filiopoulos (Year 10) as Gabriella Montez in the Secondary Production of High School Musical: On Stage.INSIDE FRONT COVERZedekai Di Florio-Pulis (Year 10) at the annual AGS Colour Run.BACK COVER PHOTOJack McLean, Year 9, Krishan Gurdon, Year 11, and Steven Varvarigos, Year 9, in the music studio. EDITOR/FEATURESMs Adellea Greenbury, Head of MarketingPUBLISHERAlphington Grammar School18 Old Heidelberg Road,PO Box 5008,Alphington Victoria 3078Tel. 03 9597 4777Email GrammariansWINTER 2022 3438414244STUDENTS IN THE COM-MUNITY: RUDRA SEKHRIRudra Sekhri talks about his love for astronomy and his community projects.STUDENTS IN THE COM-MUNITY: STEPHANIE FILIOPOULOSWe interview Stephani Fil-iopoulos on her work in the Performing Arts space. ELC GREEK LANGUAGE IMMERSIONA look into our ELC Greek immersion Program.CLASS OF 2021 TRIBUTEA short tribute to our gradu-ating class of 2021.COMMUNITY NEWSHonouring the births, wed-dings, and other notices within our community.SCAN HERE TO UPDATE YOUR DETAILS02040611152022242832FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESKDr Vivianne NikouEVENT SNAPSHOTSEvents and activities from across 2022.2022 SCHOOL CAPTAINSA look at our 2022 student leadership team: School Captain Ethan Maratheftis and School Vice Captains Isabella Cohn and Sam Koranias. ALUMNI STORIES: NICKY SERAFIMAn interview with future VCE Awards Night Speak-er, Nicky Seram (Class of 2012).ALUMNI STORIES: ALEX-ANDER HURCOMBEAlexander Hurcombe, Class of 2007, chats about his life and time at AGS.MOTHER’S DAY LUN-CHEON 2022A spotlight on our Mother’s Day speakers, Betty Alex-opoulos, Helen Kalimniou, Layla Pirshaei, and Stella Shiamaris.STAFF FEATURE: NICHO-LAS KAPRALOSArticle by Anastasia Fokia-nos, Year 10.CREATIVE ARTS FESTI-VAL 2021A retrospective on our stu-dents’ creative talent.HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: ON STAGEReections and photos from our Senior Production.STUDENTS IN THE COM-MUNITY: GEORGE TSI-ANAKASGeorge Tsianakas on being a Young Ambassador to the Shrine of Remembrance.4444COMMUNITY NEWSCOMMUNITY NEWS2020MOTHER’S DAY LUNCHMOTHER’S DAY LUNCH2424CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVALCREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL

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Page 2From the Principal’s DeskDr Vivianne Nikou discusses the importance of helping students become the best versions of themselves both inside and outside of school.As professionals in the education eld we regularly navigate our way through incredibly com-plex and challenging issues; it is the nature of the environments in which we work. It is through these challenges that we, as educators, gain the most valu-able lessons which in turn help us become better practitioners, leaders and ultimately better educators for the students we nurture, guide and help develop into all they were meant to be. Whilst many of the articles we have read over the last two years have framed COVID as the cata-lyst for actions taken and lessons learned, many note that the pandemic is merely the latest challenge to be thrown our way. Those of us who have lived and breathed education our entire careers know all too well what a resilient bunch we educators are! However, throw in a global pandemic, multiple lockdowns and a plethora of social, emo-tional, and mental wellbeing issues, and both our profession and one’s parenting style has truly been tested. Signicantly though, we have worked closely with our parent community and together, risen to the challenge. Following another year riddled with lockdowns and restrictions in every regard in 2021, it has been wonderful to come through the rst six months of this aca-demic year with a semblance of normality. It is amazing to see how our students are bouncing back from such hardship, return-ing to campus and lapping up the opportunities and benets that our school oers. Witnessing the resilience that these young people are have and are con-tinuing to show is a delight. They are experiencing being part of a rich and vibrant community once more.Our challenge now is to help shape young men and women of character, who know themselves and understand the power they hold, into the best versions of themselves. To empower them to make a positive dierence not only in their own lives, but in the lives of others beyond them as they make their way through their school years to what lies beyond the school gates. This edition of Flowerdale brings forward the diversity of our com-munity and their contributions across all walks of life. In these pages, we proudly acknowledge our 2022 student leaders; School Captain Ethan Maratheftis and School Vice Captains Isabella Cohn and Sam Koranias. We also take a moment to cele-brate the ways our students are getting involved in the broader community through proles with George Tsianakas, Year 9, Rudra Sekhri, Year 10, and Stephanie Filiopoulos, Year 10.

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Page 3In addition to students, we are pleased to be able to feature mem-bers of our alumni community; Al-exander Hurcombe, Class of 2007, and Nicky Seram, Class of 2012, in the lead up to her speech at our VCE Awards Night. Current sta member Nicholas Kapralos also makes an appearance in an article written by student Anastasia Fokianos, Year 10, for the Greek Herald. A plethora of activities have taken place over the semester both in and out of school. We are excited to be able to commemorate our Mother’s Day Luncheon and honoured speak-ers Betty Alexopoulos, Helen Kalim-niou, Layla Pirshaei, and Stella Shia-maris, our fantastic Senior Production of High School Musical On Stage, and to recognise the creative talent of our students through a retrospective on our 2021 Creative Arts Festival.Congratulations to our vast communi-ty for bouncing back with a wide array of remarkable achievements and broad contributions to be proud of. Dr Vivianne Nikou Principal

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Page 4Event SnapshotsSecondary Swim CarnivalSecondary Swim CarnivalPrimary Swim CarnivalPrimary Swim CarnivalHouse NightHouse Night Year 7 Parent Welcome EveningYear 7 Parent Welcome EveningOpen DayOpen DayGreek Independence DayGreek Independence Day Harmony DayHarmony DaySecondary House AthlecsSecondary House Athlecs

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Page 5Junior ProduconsJunior ProduconsANZAC DayANZAC DayColour RunColour RunSenior ProduconSenior Producon Mother’s Day LuncheonMother’s Day Luncheon EISM AthlecsEISM AthlecsYear 11 FormalYear 11 Formal Primary Cross CountryPrimary Cross Country

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Page 62022 School Captains

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Page 72022 School Captains

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Page 8Ethan MaratheftisHello all! My name is Ethan Mara, and I’m the 2022 School Captain. When it comes to who I am and what I want to achieve, I guess it’s quite simple. ‘Be The Best You’ is my philosophy, and it is something I wish to instill in all of the students at Alphington Grammar School. To achieve this, there are a few things you can consciously try to do: First, take advantage of every op-portunity. Second, be grateful for what we have. And lastly, believe in yourself. If everyone is able to do these things, they will undoubtedly be able to be the best version of themselves. When I leave Alphington, I want to be remembered as the School Captain who helped students discover their purpose and chase their dreams. I hope that during my time as School Captain, I can achieve that.Sam KoraniasI am Sam Koranias, one of the 2022 School Vice-Captain and also a proud Aristotle member. I was born and raised in Mel-bourne, and rst joined Alph-ington Grammar School as a new Year 7. I am so honoured and privileged to have the opportuni-ty to serve the school as School Vice-Captain this year, and hope to tackle the year alongside other leaders with a positive and resilient mindset. When I’m not completing schoolwork, I nd myself watching sports games, including games of Soccer, AFL and Formula 1. I am often playing soccer, which I’ve been playing for around 7 years at a local club called Heidelberg United. I also love watching TV shows, includ-ing the Oce and Friends. I hope to work well with all students and make a real dierence this year!Isabella CohnHello everyone, I am Isabella Cohn and I am proud to be one of Alphington Grammar’s 2022 School Vice Captains. I am very thankful to have been appoint-ed to this role and to represent the student body at Alphington. Starting school in Year 10 was quite nerve wracking, however meeting new friends and amaz-ing teachers helped me get through my rst few weeks. Go-ing into year 11, I wanted to show what leadership skills I had to oer, which included resilience, respect and teamwork. After speaking to many former Cap-tains, they inspired me to apply for dierent leadership roles. As Vice Captain, I want students to have a larger voice than ever by suggesting ideas and feedback, to make everyone feel like one big family and aspire to make a dierence.

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Page 9Ethan, Sam, and Isabella Ethan, Sam, and Isabella School Captain and Vice CaptainsSchool Captain and Vice Captains

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Page 10Nicky SeramNicky SeramLaTrobe University GraduaonLaTrobe University Graduaon

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Page 11Nicky SerafimWe speak with Nicky Serafim, Class of 2012, about her life journey ahead of her upcoming role as alumni speaker at our 2022 Valedictory.alumni storiesLet’s start with a short introduction. How would you sum yourself up?I would describe myself as a passionate, profes-sional and driven individual with a very strong work ethic; one who has, and values integrity. My con-dence in myself and those traits are the reason people tend to naturally come to me for answers. I’m always looking for an opportunity to do better and achieve greatness.What was your experience like at AGS? My journey at AGS began as a 5 year old with a small and anxious step through the gates in the year 2000, and after many years, it was that very step which has proved to be my greatest and most cherished one. After thirteen years, I farewelled AGS with the graduating class of 2012.During my time at Alphington, I learned about myself and the world around me. I learned about self-respect, self-discovery and most importantly, personal resilience. The pride, gratitude and ap-preciation that I feel towards AGS and the teachers who helped me become the person I am today is immeasurable. The teaching sta at AGS were tire-less in their quest to provide the very best learning environment. There is also a distinctive connection and relationship that exists between its teachers and students. That special bond is what I miss the most, as it had been a source of support in both good and bad times.Whilst I did feel uneasy at times when being thrust out of my comfort zone, upon reection, I realise that it was those opportunities that allowed me to better myself and attempt to enrich the lives of others. In particular, I will be forever grateful for the chance to represent AGS as School Captain in 2012. An honour that allowed me to embody the values of our Principal at the time, Mr Mike Smith; an inspirational individual whose dedication and commitment was both self-less and passionate.What were you like as a student?As a student, I was perceived to be detail-oriented, diligent and highly organised. However, on a more personal level, I believe I expressed caring quali-ties that managed to capture the engagement and determination of my peers.What do you miss the most?Just when you begin to feel comfortable, life has a funny way of sending you o in dierent directions. I certainly miss Alphington Grammar and the se-curity it provided; for many years, it was very much home away from home. The memories shared and enjoyed, the lifelong friendships forged, and the sense of community whereby there was no fear of failure, is what I often reect upon with great fondness.What is your favourite memory at AGS?There are so many treasured memories, but one of my favourites would be from 2009 when the famous ‘time capsule’, or should I say autographed printer, was strategically placed within the school grounds. I have wondered till this day if it was ever found. The famous time capsule typied many of the fun and, at times, mischievous moments enjoyed over the course of my 13 years at AGS; something that can never be taken away despite having embarked on quite a dierent journey as part of my next chapter and professional career.What is one thing you would do differently if you were to go back in time?When I think of the pain and challenges that de-ned my past—heartache, loss, failure, mistakes, regrets, doubts, and fears, my rst impulse is: I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything unfolded the way it was meant to. The person I am today and the profession I have pursued can certainly be at-tributed to those many past events. With hindsight, I would love to have altered my reality in a way that was more benecial for me. For example, I regret giving up on many extracurricular activities so that I could focus wholeheartedly on my studies. I now realise the benet of enforcing a work-life balance in fostering ongoing hobbies and interests.

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Page 12How have you changed since graduating?As a result of the great foundations laid during my graduating year, I was able to grab that pen and start writing the framework for the next stage of my exciting journey through life; the attainment of lifelong dreams and desires. It is thanks to the very solid foundations established at AGS that I continue to learn with an open and positive mind-set: never straying from a challenge, and always reecting upon the opportunities given to speak publicly in fuelling my power of self advocacy today.What career path did you consider pursuing as a student at AGS?The teaching sta at AGS were always ready to listen patiently to the problems of the students; never refusing any child help, and often going out of their way to help students. It is no surprise, then, that I initially wanted to pursue a career in teaching. I too wanted to shape and inspire the lives of the next generation, as well as ed-ucate and motivate them to achieve their fullest potential. What do you cur-rently do profession-ally? If your career goals have changed since graduating, why?Upon graduating from AGS, I pursued a career in Speech Pathology. Many aspects of my career embody the disciplines of teaching. However, my profession allows for me to experience the pleasure of 1:1 instruction. I additionally have the privilege of working with many individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Speech Pathology has ultimate-ly permitted me to explore teaching strategies that may not be found in many traditional classrooms; allowing me to become that valuable puzzle piece that can be the catalyst for a child’s success.What has your professional journey been like so far?In 2017, I achieved a great personal milestone of graduating with rst class honours, completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Master of Speech Pathology. In my quest to secure full-time employment, I volunteered my time at a private practice, creating opportunity for myself to embark on my journey as a speech pathologist. Fast forward two months, and I was granted the chance to work permanently at that same private practice. From the outset, I have never been afraid to back my own learning. It was through hard work, grit and determination that I nd myself working with an amazing tightly knit team, thriving in our mission to serve children and adolescents in need of additional support.What, according to you, is the best part of your profession?There’s no such thing as a job completely free of stressors. But there are some jobs that seem to have that magic blend of professional growth op-portunities, exibility, and personal satisfaction. Of-ten in life, the very people you help grow will help you grow too. Speech pathology is no exception. Integrating real life and therapy is the most import-ant aspect of what I do. If the clients cannot gener-alise the skills in everyday routines, I have done a disservice to these children. I work very closely with the parents to understand what is going on at home, and I tailor programs to meet specic challenges. This is important to note because the outside world often forgets that children with Autism are just that: children. They need to experience the world like all children do.What is your greatest achievement and how did you achieve it?My greatest achievement thus far is earning the role of Senior Speech Pathologist and Practice Manager in such a short period of time in my career. Over the course of the last ve years, I have managed to establish a respected presence within my profession. Clientele and other allied health professionals regularly advocate and refer me personally for my direct services. My ability to advance in this period is due to, in part, my loy-alty to the practice, my natural ability to lead and inspire, and my unrelenting work ethic.What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you navigate it?In 2013, I was diagnosed with the onset of an au-toimmune disease. It’s an ‘’invisible’’ illness marked by inammation; causing a multitude of ailments ranging from joint pain and swelling, to photosen-sitivity and chronic fatigue.Why has this been my biggest challenge to date? “My prognosis does not define me, and it is not holding me back from being my best self.”

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Page 13You see, this illness is often unpredictable. It hides away or recedes enough so that I can function on some days, however on others I’m rendered mostly inactive. Simple tasks that many take for granted become seemingly insurmountable when in the throes of a are, and subsequent ‘’brain fog’’ de-pletes any semblance of social acuity.‘’But you don’t look sick’’, I’ve heard more times that I’d like to admit. Feeling ill and functioning on a daily basis can coexist. And that is why during my initial stages of receiving a diagnosis I wished people would understand. In my pursuit to seek acceptance, I became rather perplexed and angry; often feeling as though I always had to explain myself and my actions. With time, and a great support system, I learned that my journey was not about seeking the under-standing and acceptance of others, it was merely allowing myself to ‘’grieve’’ and accept my circum-stances for what they are. I am nally at the stage in life where I believe anything is possible. My autoimmune prognosis does not dene me, and it is not holding me back from being my best self.What is your biggest goal in your life and career?In the long term, I would like to establish my own speech pathology clinic, nesse my knowledge in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and subse-quently advocate for this particular population by educating a broader professional base as well as the general public.What is your personal mantra for life?‘’Be yourself; everyone else is already taken’’ – Os-car Wilde.What advice do you have for current AGS students?Think beyond the exams and assessments; estab-lish an interest, ignite a passion, and work out what excites you. Strive for progress and purpose, not simply perfection.Nicky Seram and her friend since Prep, Nicky Seram and her friend since Prep, Amy PapamarkouAmy PapamarkouNicky in her role as a speech pathologistNicky in her role as a speech pathologistSchool Captains at an assembly, 2012School Captains at an assembly, 2012

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Page 14Alexander HurcombeAlexander Hurcombe20222022

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Page 15Alexander HurcombeAlexander Hurcombe, Class of 2007, chats to us about his life, career, and experiences at Alphington Grammar.alumni storiesTry to introduce yourself in as few words as possible. How would you sum yourself up?I work in policy and love travel, history, living overseas, sports, dogs and not taking myself too seriously. When did you start and finish at AGS, and how old were you?I started at AGS in 2004 mid-way through Year 9 after coming back from living overseas in Dubai. I stayed at AGS until I graduated at 18 as part of the Class of 2007. What was your experience like at AGS?I had a fantastic time at AGS and loved the smaller class sizes and great bond with our teachers than I had at my previous international school. What were you like as a student? Describe yourself as you were when you were at AGS.I was an engaged but cheeky student who often forgot to do his homework. What do you think back fondly on about Alphington Grammar?I think back fondly about the time I had with my friends and teachers and the investment AGS had in my learning and personal growth. Describe your favourite memory of your time at AGS.Denitely Ski Camp in Year 11. While I was a pret-ty average snowboarder, it was an incredibly fun week away with a great bunch of AGS students and teachers.Year 12 House Athlecs, 2007Year 12 House Athlecs, 2007

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Page 16What is one thing you would do differently if you were to go back in time?If I had my time again, I’d put more eort when I was younger to learn an instrument and another language. How have you changed since graduating?It’s quite a while ago now so it’s hard to say. I still have many of the same interests, but I think I’m more relaxed and open-minded about how I can pursue these, especially in the many dierent jobs and professions I can do. I also recognise that you always have time to change what you’re doing or start something new. What career path did you consider pursuing as a student at AGS?When I left AGS I wanted to be a researcher, diplo-mat or NGO / UN worker. What do you currently do professionally?I currently work in Defence, Aviation and Aero-space policy for the Victorian Government. I have previously worked in other policy areas such as health, youth justice, service delivery reform and Aboriginal aairs. Describe your professional journey been like so far.My professional journey since leaving uni wasn’t linear, but all my experiences help me perform the role I do now. Before starting at the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, I’d previously travelled, lived overseas in Jordan to study another language (Arabic), and done a lot of voluntary activities – all while working in retail. What, according to you, is the best part of your profession?The best part of my profession is the broad range of opportunities and roles you can work on in government, and the amount of exibility you have to explore dierent types of roles. There are clear pathways for career progression and a variety of departments and work areas you can join. Also, the policies and programs you work on and contribute to can benet hundreds, thousands or even millions of people. What is your greatest achievement and how did you achieve it?Saving for, organising and completing an Arabic overseas language program in Jordan and gaining prociency to a lower intermediate level on my own without any university support. Alexander Hurcombe, Year 11Alexander Hurcombe, Year 1120062006In the classroom, 2007In the classroom, 2007Secondary Swim Carnival, 2007Secondary Swim Carnival, 2007

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Page 17What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you navigate it?One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced was nding the right role to begin my career. I had a number of study, volunteering and overseas achievements and had to be resilient to make sure I wasn’t disheartened when I didn’t initially get the roles I applied for. What is your biggest goal in your life and career?My career goal is to always seek out interesting roles that help me to learn, improve, and make a dierence. My life goal is simpler – to enjoy time with my partner, family and friends.What is your personal mantra for life?To have a sense of humour, do your best and real-ise what you can and can’t control. What advice do you have for current AGS students?Explore what you’re interested in and keep an open mind, as you might not realise what you’re passion-ate about or suited to yet. If you have an oppor-tunity to travel or go on exchange, take it. And don’t stress if you worry about a decision or choice you’ve made as you’ll always have time to change your uni course, job or career direction.alumni storiesDo you want to get involved in the alumni community, be spotlighted in the magazine, or recommend an alum for us to interview for a feature article? Email us at with your questions, comments, or suggestions.We also accept submissions of engagement, wedding, birth or vale notices for publication. “My career goal is to always seek out interesting roles that help me to learn, im-prove, and make a difference.”

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Page 18Dr Vivianne Nikou at CrownDr Vivianne Nikou at CrownMother’s Day Lunch 2022Mother’s Day Lunch 2022

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Page 20Mother’s Day Luncheon 2022Spotlighting our Mother’s Day Luncheon speakers, Betty Alexopoulos, Helen Kalimniou, Layla Pirshafiei, and Stella Shiamaris. This article includes text ex-tracted from the Mother’s Day Luncheon Address by Dr Vivianne Nikou.The annual AGS Mother’s Day Luncheon was held this year on Saturday the 7th of May at Crown Melbourne. Our Mother’s Day Luncheon brings us together to celebrate Mother’s Day and all that it entails. It was wonderful to see so many members of our community celebrating with the women who have helped guide future generations through their life journey, challenges, highlights and cele-brations.The River Room at Crown went through a beau-tiful transformation for the event, with oral ar-rangements on each table and a stunning lolly bar attributed toone of our teachers, Mrs Anna Vay-enas. The lolly bar was a hit during the event, with crowds congregating around the table throughout the afternoon. The excitement of being together to celebrate a wonderful occasion was palpable, and the laughter served as a lovely backdrop to the view of the Yarra.After a delicious rst course, we welcomed our guest speakers of the night, Betty Alexopoulos, Helen Kalilmniou, Leyla Prishaei and Stella Shi-amaris to speak to us about their life experiences as women, career professionals, mothers, and grandmothers. Anyone who has faced adversity in their lives knows the value of inspiration, and lucki-ly for us, we didn’t have to look to far for it. Betty Alexopoulos is an Australian-born woman to migrant parents who arrived in Australia in the 1950s. Having undergone her youth as a child of immigrants at a time when people were less than welcoming, Betty is no stranger to facing diculty. During her time on the panel, Betty emphazed the importance of women helping women and nding community. Today, Betty is a Lawyer at Slater and Gordon, and mother to Ellen and Lee who were in the audience on the day. Helen Kalilmniou migrated from Northern Greece at the age of 12. Despite struggling with learning English when she rst enrolled in a school in Aus-tralia, Helen overcame her struggles and became an educator who pioneered many language pro-grams and initiatives for underprivileged children. Helen was appointed the rst Principal of Kensing-ton Primary School at just 34 years of age. She is a mother of two as well as a grandmother.Layla Prishaei was born and educated in Iran, where she fought for an education under a regime that discouraged women from doing so. She ob-tained a degree in microbiology. After her daughter was born, Layla migrated to Australia to give her more opportunities. When Layla arrived in Australia in 2009 she retrained in Financial Accounting and Management, and has since worked at corporate entities here and overseas. Layla is mother to Nika who is currently in Year 12 at Alphington Grammar. Stella Shiamaris immigrated to Australia with her family in 1966, after completing her Primary Years education in Cryprus. Stella started in the teach-ing profession and has held many corporate and change management leadership positions. As a single mother, Stella had to navigate challenges with her daughter as well as learn to rely on family, community, and her personal support ‘village’. She is mother to her daughter, Melina, and recently became grandmother to her grandson Luca.The Luncheon made for a lovely afternoon and provided us all with a well-deserved chance to catch up, enjoy, and appreciate the women in our lives. The stories of our speakers resonated deeply with all of us, and we thank them all for sharing their journeys with us. We would also like to thank Mrs Tracey Nicholson, Assistant Principal and Head of Primary; Ms Voula Allimonos, President of the Parents and Friends Association; our then-Mar-keting and Communications Manager, Mrs Sanja Kalapoutis; our Marketing Assistant, Miss Adelle Greenbury; and the Principal’s Executive Assistant, Mrs Maria Rozanitis for all their work towards the planning, organising, and running of the event.We look forward to seeing you for our next Moth-er’s Day event in 2023.

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Page 22staff featureNicholas KapralosArticle by Anastasia Fokianos, Year 10, as published in the Greek Herald - mentoring the next generation of bouzouki playersIt’s a busy Saturday night in Melbourne’s iconic Oakleigh. The taverna is full of vibrant smells and sounds. The unique and brassy sound of the bou-zouki swells through the space, which then comes to a sudden pause. The bouzouki player, Nicholas Kapralos, speaks on the microphone with a Greek accent. “I would like to invite James Fokianos to the stage”. The diners go quiet and applaud whilst the young boy makes his way up to the stage. Kapralos hands the boy his personal instrument and pats him on the back to reassure him and help deal with the nerves. After the discrete countdown, the music commences, and the pair play harmoniously whilst the crowd watches in awe. A migrant from Greece who became a role model, a teacher and a friend, Nicholas Kapralos inspires children and adults alike by doing what he loves. This is his story.Nicholas Kapralos and his journey in Austra-liaKapralos migrated to Australia 22 years ago from Aigio, a small Greek coastal town of the Pelopon-nese, without a word of English in the hope of attending University and studying music. He was only 16.Asked about his childhood back in Greece, he says it was a “holiday everyday,” playing in the streets with friends and moving freely through the town. But life in Australia wasn’t the same.“It was very dicult not knowing any English, and the lifestyle was dierent,” he tells The Greek Her-ald. “But it was totally worth it and it has made me the person I am today.”Despite his Greek heritage, Kapralos says he rst devel-oped an interest in heavy metal at a young age which prompted him to learn electric guitar and to study Classical Guitar upon his arrival to Australia.He now specialises in a wide range of genres and musical instruments, including the Cuban Tres, the Guitar and the Electric Guitar.“Greek music is in my blood.”Asked when he started playing the bouzouki, Kapralos says he only started at age 18, explaining that “Greek music is in my blood.” His interest in learning and performing Greek music stemmed from him missing the homeland. After two decades of practising and studying mu-sic, he is now part of several Greek and Latin bands “It is rewarding to see somebody progress and enjoy what they do.”

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Page 23around Melbourne and also performs as a solo musician.“Being a musician is sort of hard to get by and you need to be versatile,” he explains.Discussing the highlights in his career, he says that passing on his skills to future generations is some-thing he really enjoys. “It is rewarding seeing somebody progress and en-joy what they do, while being able to inspire them and make a dierence in their life,” he says.Helping students connect with musicFor the last year he has been teaching bouzouki and guitar to Alphington Grammar students while running two ensembles in his own time, including Senior Greek and Latin Band.“At a young age I was a little bit naughty and music made me calm,” he says, explaining that he now strives to help students nd their personal connec-tion with music.“Music is a universal language and there are no boundaries”.Aside from his career as a musician, Kapralos enjoys spending time in nature, as it has been a vital part of his life being born in the coastal town of Aigio. Where does he see himself in the future?He says that alongside being healthy, enjoying mu-sic and inspiring other people with what he does, he hopes to release his own original music pieces in a year’s time. Asked about his advice to his students and aspir-ing musicians, he emphasises the importance of being “genuine to yourself and respectful to other people.”“Always follow what your heart tells you,” he con-cludes. Anastasia Fokiaos, Year 10, author of the article. Nicholas Kapralos performing at an assembly.

Nicholas Kapralos

Anastasia Fokianos, Year 10, at her work experience.

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Page 24Artwork by Pamela ThodisArtwork by Pamela ThodisCreated in Year 11; Currently Year 12Created in Year 11; Currently Year 12Creative Arts Festival 2021

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Page 25From the 29th of November to the 3rd of December 2021 Alphington Grammar School host-ed our annual Creative Arts Festival, a week-long whole school celebration of the Visual and Performing arts.The festival showcased the hard work and talent of our gifted students across four online events; the Art Show, the Film Festival, and the Primary and Secondary Soloist Evenings. This online celebration was open to our whole community, and we are proud to share a retrospective of the event with you below.Primary and Secondary Soloist EveningsA showcase of marvelous musical performances by our Primary and Secondary Students, displaying their many and diverse talents and determination to continue developing their skills during Remote Learning.Years 5 and 6:Years 1 to 4:Years 9 to 12:Years 7 and 8:Film FestivalThe AGS Film Festival showcases a range of high quality and highly creative lms created by our talented lm students. Please enjoy a selection produced by the VCE and Year 9 Media classes.Access Film Festival here:Art ShowcaseThe 2021 Alphington Grammar Art Show is an on-line exhibition displaying hundreds of pieces creat-ed by students from Prep to Year 12 in subjects like Visual Art and Visual Communication Design.Access Art Show here:Riley Bowden, Year 8Riley Bowden, Year 8“Fly me to the Moon”“Fly me to the Moon”

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Page 26Adam Garrity, Year 9Adam Garrity, Year 9Keran Li, Year 8Keran Li, Year 8Cleopatra Fakos, Year 10Cleopatra Fakos, Year 10Mia Georgiou, Year 11Mia Georgiou, Year 11Olivia Polis, PrepOlivia Polis, PrepAnastasia Stojanovic, Year 3Anastasia Stojanovic, Year 3Pamela Thodis, Year 11Pamela Thodis, Year 11Alyssa Ha, Year 7Alyssa Ha, Year 7Alisha Prasad, Year 3Alisha Prasad, Year 3Charlie Adams, Year 7Charlie Adams, Year 7Yashar Assaran Darban, Yashar Assaran Darban, Year 2Year 2

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Page 27Jia Luo Lai, Year 9Jia Luo Lai, Year 9Alyssa Ha, Year 7Alyssa Ha, Year 7Alisha Prasad, Year 3Alisha Prasad, Year 3Charlie Adams, Year 7Charlie Adams, Year 7Ethan Maratheis, Year 11Ethan Maratheis, Year 11Anastasia Ntons, Year 8Anastasia Ntons, Year 8Ari Patel, Year 6Ari Patel, Year 6Alexander Basset, Year 5Alexander Basset, Year 5Costa Magiris, Year 10Costa Magiris, Year 10Charlie Ziogas, Year 1Charlie Ziogas, Year 1Tiany Chrisdis, Year 4Tiany Chrisdis, Year 4

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Page 28High School Musical On StageA look into our recent Senior Production of High School Musical On Stage with photos of the cast.After two years without large stage plays due to pandemic-related limitations, High School Musical On Stage was the return of the much anticipat-ed Senior School Production. The excitement of the cast and their peers was palpable, and the students involved in the production pulled o an amazing show at the Darebin Arts Centre. While they cannot capture the full aect of the acting, singing and dancing on the night, we nev-ertheless hope you enjoy the photographs and consider attending one of our upcoming produc-tions!“High School Musical was more than a school pro-duction. It was an experience: I met many new peo-ple, gained new skills and got closer to the people I already knew. As someone who has never been in a musical, it was uncharted territory, especially to play the lead. The team collectively put so much eort and time into the show, which was hard work but, in the end, it paid o.”Pantelli SarisYear 10“As a Year 12, I could not have been more grateful for this opportunity to be a lead in our production of High School Musical, which took place over May. Meeting people from a variety of year levels was denitely a highlight, especially getting to know the Year 7 cohort who all took part in the production. The hard work, team eort and dedication from everyone shone brightly on stage, particularly in our long-awaited second performance which took place three weeks after our opening night due to impacts of COVID.This production would not have been possible without Mrs Priya Wilson and Ms Stephanie Atwa, as well as the entire main cast, backstage crew and band. I will continue to cherish the countless memo-ries I have made over these past two terms from this production after my time at Alphington.”Mia MazzarellaYear 12

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Page 32students in the communityGeorge TsianakasGeorge Tsianakas, Year 9, on his passions and role as Young Ambassador to the Shrine of Remembrance. By Adelle GreenburyThe rst time George Tsianakas came face to face with the Shrine of Remembrance, he was a small child marching in the commemoration of the revolutionary heroes of the Greek War of Indepen-dence. All done up in uniform and surrounded by his Prep classmates, George stared up at the lines of steps and towering pillars, and found his atten-tion stolen by the evzones, elite Greek soldiers in ceremonial garb. As they marched their white-clad limbs pushed through the air deliberately, as if against some great resistance. George found himself mesmerised by the display of physical and mental strength.This fascination only grew once an older George was taken on a guided tour of the Shrine memorial and galleries. As he walked through the sacred space, past the countless treasures and stories of valour and sacrice, George felt a sense of respon-sibility to the Shrine and the people it represents.“I feel it is my responsibility to not allow these people to be taken for granted or forgotten [and] to express my gratitude to these heroes.” he writes. “Now more than ever, we must acknowledge the sacrices made by generations before.”George was in Year 3 when he started at Alph-ington Grammar, and while he t in with his class-mates socially very quickly, his academics were another thing entirely. George was fairly self-aware, even as a young child, and he quickly realised with a shock that he was not keeping up with his new peers in class. This realisation was not an easy one for George; as a natural high-achiever, the knowl-edge that he was undeniably behind was di-cult to swallow. At the beginning, this fact all but crushed his self-esteem and made him become anxious about his academic performance. Howev-er, despite this anxiety, George made it a point to consistently work hard to catch up with his peers. According to George, by the time he entered Year 7, he was proud of his accomplishments.“Now more than ever, we must acknowledge the sacrifices made by gener-ations before.”

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Page 33Today, in a stunning example of what hard work and dedication can do, George is a Year 9 student, a Future Leader, and a Young Ambassador to the Shrine of Remembrance. As a Young Ambassa-dor, George is able to be of service to the Shrine while broadening his historical knowledge and honing his leadership skills. Young Ambassadors are the bridge between the Shrine and the people of Victoria, he tells me. By being one of the young people selected for this role – out of over 40,000 applicants – George intends to teach his peers and the broader community about the Shrine’s mission and history. In fact, he has already begun mov-ing towards this goal. His latest mission has been to research commonalities between how young people today are surviving the pandemic and how older generations handled their childhoods in the shadow of the Second World War. By nding the parallels and dierenc-es between how these seperate generations have handled strife and struggle, George hopes to revitalise the connection young people today have with their elders.“I am having conversations with Victorians who have memories of liv-ing through the Second World War [and] with young people about how the pandemic has aected them,” he shares. “My ndings are apoc-alyptic, and I plan to share them with our school community in the future.”In addition, his role allows him to be part of the 150 commemorative services this year alone, where he will have varying levels of involvement. George has already attended a few services and commemo-rations, including the one for Greek Independence Day. He was also tasked with the laying of the wreath at the Young Ambassador ceremony. As he placed the wreath at the feet of the sculpture at the centre of the Crypt, George couldn’t help but feel emotional. The sculpture depicts a father and his son, separated by decades, but united in their love for their nation and the ideals they fought for. Looking up at the sculpture, George felt like he was thanking these men for their bravery and sacrice. While George has already made great memories, there are denitely more experiences to come. In particular, he is excited for the trip to Syd-ney where the Young Ambassadors will visit the recently refurbished ANZAC memorial and learn how dierent locations commemorate the same events. In addition, George will be very busy around ANZAC Day and Legacy Day, where he will experi-ence his rst dawn service and assist with visitor engagement. George is also looking forward to being a part of a podcast series where military veterans and older generations are inter-viewed and these valuable conversations are recorded for all to access.“I can’t wait to meet these older people who will oer a lens of experience in the face of adversity and of the unknown,” George tells me.George is undoubtedly a committed student with a plethora of interests and talents. In addition to his dedication to the Shrine and his studies, he also has a passion for the stock market and cryptocurrency, listening to and playing music on his bouzouki, and tennis. Though he doesn’t yet know what he wants to focus on in the future, he is certainly not short of options. At the end of the interview, he leaves me with these wise words:“All I know is that I want to love what I do, as that will surely mean I will succeed at it.”“All I know is that I want to love what I do, as that will surely mean I will succeed at it.”

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Page 34students in the communityRudra SekhriRudra Sekhri, Year 10, chats with us about his research in astronomy and community projects. By Adelle GreenburyWhen asked to write up a short introduction, Rudra Sekhri, Year 10, described himself as a guy who “had the opportunity to do a lot of cool things with a lot of cool people”. Well, he is certainly not wrong. At 15, Rudra has a long list of interests and accomplishments that speak to his passion, drive, and curiosity. This list includes working with university astronomers to study neutron stars and astronomical phenomena, being published in Oxford University’s Monthly Notices in the Royal Astronomical Society journal, working with his local council on environmental issues, and proposing environmental solutions that have won state-wide competitions.“Astronomy and the environment [show] us our place in the world and the universe and why we should be preserving the only place in the uni-verse where life exists,” Rudra writes. Rudra’s current passions can be traced back to learning to code when he was 10 years old. As a Primary School student with a love for learning, Rudra picked up the basics quickly, and soon re-alised that he wanted to apply his newfound skills to the real world, particularly to help solve prob-lems in our community. To achieve this goal, Rudra participated in a program run by his local council where he could learn to “apply coding and tech to monitor the environment around us through sensors”, which lead him to many of the various projects he worked on over the years. Rudra then began to focus on science as a way to further his knowledge and, through online resourc-es and videos, fell in love with astronomy. In Years 5 and 6, Rudra took this interest a step further by attending public lectures held at local universities such as the July Lectures in Physics at the Univer-sity of Melbourne. Attending these lectures gave him the opportunity to meet lecturers, professors, and astronomers who helped guide and support his goals. Rudra was 12 when he began his schooling at AGS, transitioning smoothly into Year 7, where everything “quickly fell into place”. He continued to nurture the relationships he formed with academ-ics and representatives through his involvement with lectures, council projects, and the broader community. A few of the projects Rudra has since contributed to include the Water Quality Monitor-

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Page 35ing System, which works to “monitor the water in which various native species live, including platy-puses” and store this information on the cloud; and the Robot Walking School Bus, which is designed to transport waste from homes to local community centres to be recycled and encourage walking as a primary form of transport. The Water Quality Moni-toring System won the Victorian Young ICT Explor-ers Competition in 2018 and the Robot Walking School But won the Victorian Design Waste Chal-lenge in 2019. Apart from winning some competitions, Rudra’s projects were also presented in front of inuential people and even state government Members of Parliament. “Some of the people I met over the years include the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, the State Minister for Environment, and the Hon. Bronwyn Halfpenny, the State MP for Thomastown,” he divulges. Meet-ing the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio is also Rudra’s fondest memory, as he was given the chance to “discuss potential options for people in [his] community to share their ideas with their local government and the state government through forums and work-shops”.In addition, Rudra has been working with uni-versity astronomers to study neutron stars, Fast Radio Bursts, and gravitational waves. During this process Rudra had the opportunity to meet many impressive individuals, including Prof. Sean Carroll, Dr. Alan Duy, Dr. Rebecca Allen. The work that he has contributed to has also culminated in a few discoveries, including a new Fast Radio Burst and neutron star glitch in 2021. Through the academ-ic community, Rudra has also had the honour of researching with Prof. Matthew Bailes and Dr. Chris Flynn from the Swinburne University of Technolo-gy. This led to another one of his favourite mem-ories: going on a trip across rural Australia to all of the country’s major telescopes with Prof. Matthew Bailes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, and UK reporter Katia Moskvitch. “Fun fact, Katia was actually writing a book at the time and wrote about her experiences with us in her book Neutron Stars: The Quest to Understand the Zombies of the Cosmos!”Despite all that he has done, when asked about his biggest achievement Rudra’s answer is clear. “My biggest achievement so far was probably when I had the honour to share my passion for astronomy and science with the rest of the world through the Special Broadcasting Service Hindi (SBS Hindi) and the Australian Broadcasting Corpo-ration (ABC),” he writes. “These were two special moments, and I can’t thank enough everyone who was a part of this journey with me.”Going into the future, Rudra is passionate about sharing his knowledge, connecting with new peo-ple, and exploring new places. He would love to be able to host workshops, events, and forums, as well as create videos about the things he loves. “I want to share what I know with everyone else through every platform available to us,” he writes. Rudra’s achievements are commendable, and ac-cording to him, only possible because he discov-ered his passion. His zeal and enthusiasm for what he does is what pushes him to constantly want to do more and be better. The also attributes some of his accomplishments to chasing his passions early in his life. “The earlier your passion is discovered, the more you will learn about [it], and the more you’ll get involved in that community and the more you’ll connect; it keeps compounding,” he writes. His main motto, he shares, is easily summarised by a quote from the movie Kung Fu Panda:“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are now.”

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Page 36High School Musical Senior ProduconHigh School Musical Senior ProduconWhole Cast, First ShowingWhole Cast, First Showing

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Page 38students in the communityStephanieFiliopoulosStephanie Filiopoulos, Year 10, about her passion for the Performing Arts and her contributions to the community. By Adelle GreenburyStephanie Filiopoulos knew from a very young age that she loved the Performing Arts. From her earliest memories of dressing up in fancy cloth-ing and acting out her own mini plays to singing and dancing like her bedroom was a grand stage, performing has always been an important part of her life. “I would dream of being on stage and in front of a camera,” Stephanie shares. This passion for the Arts allowed Stephanie to dip her toe into the arena very early on, starting at Cen-tre Stage Performing Arts School at the age of two. She also joined up with the Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC), the Austra-lian Girls’ Choir (AGC), the Victorian Youth Theatre (VYT), Soundworks, and Small Fry Talent Agency for lm and drama over the years. Participating in these various groups and clubs in her community gave Steph-anie the chance to take part in many productions and performances, including Winter Showcase concerts at Robert Blackwood Hall, annual Mati-nee Choir Concerts at Hammer Hall, and various Musical Theatre productions including Madagas-car Jr., Shrek, and the Wizard of Oz.These productions were performed during the school holidays to entertain hundreds of chil-dren during their break; Stephanie remembers the sheer excitement on the children’s faces with fondness. Stephanie loves the way performing allows her to switch o, immerse herself in the character, and take full control. “You can be who you want to be,” she writes. Even more so, though, Stephanie loves how her performances can make other people feel happy and forget their worries.“It allows me to give back to the community,” Stephanie admits. “I love what I do, and I want ev-eryone to feel as though they are a part of it.”In fact, her fondest memory involves approaching an anxious boy at one of her performances and encouraging him to get involved.“[I was touring with] the Adelaide Fringe Festival. I distinctly remember, there was a young boy in the crowd who was clearly anxious and afraid. I no-ticed his behaviour, walked up to him during the per-formance, grabbed his arm and got him involved,” she recounts fondly.“He waited outside the foyer with his mother to take photos after the perfor-mance. His mother contacted YABC and sent an email to thank me personally. Her son refused to engage or take part in any ac-tivities. She said I made a world of dierence, and he could not stop talking about it.”Stephanie clearly cares about and enjoys engag-ing with her audience and the community.“I think [that] is a good quality to have,” she admits.Stephanie has also had other amazing opportu-nities that she is very grateful to have been a part of. In 2017, Stephanie earned the chance to take part in Carols by Candlelight with the AGC and was chosen to perform “The Way is Over” alongside Colin Hay. She was also able to work with industry “She said I made a world of difference, and he could not stop talking about it.”

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Page 39professionals such as Marina Pryor, Anthony Callea, Tim Campbell, David Campbell, and Sonya Kruger. It is a memory she holds close to her heart and an experience she will never forget.“The crowd was alive and fully engaged,” she re-members. “The atmosphere was amazing.”However, one of her biggest achievements in acting was actually a recent one. In the past year, Stephanie acted as an extra in the short lm, Bird, as well as taking part in a 10-part miniseries called Crazy Fun Park which will be aired on ABC ME and ABC iview in 2023. The series is a dark come-dy incorporating some horror themes about two inseparable friends who are pulled apart when one of them tragically dies, only for the other to discov-er that his friend’s ghost is haunting a local fun park on the edge of town. It was hard work, according to Stephanie, with the lming involving 10-hour days and a denite learning curve, but she enjoyed being on set and is excited about the chance for more exposure. Going into the future, Stephanie is looking forward to continuing with acting and being involved in the Performing Arts. In the past few months Stephanie has starred in our Secondary Production of High School Musical: On Stage and hopes to continue to contribute to the culture of Performing Arts both inside our School and in the community beyond. “It is a massive part of my life that incorporates everything that I love from choreography, drama, presentation, performance, and musical skill, all combined in one,” Stephanie writes about her love of performing.Outside of her artistic talents, Stephanie is also a committed and hardworking student, and a Future Leader at Alphington Grammar. She believes wholeheartedly in hard work, determination, and self-belief as the keys to her success, and insists that a strong mindset and positive attitude will take you far. Her values on the stage translate well into her social and academic life, and her biggest goal is to be a good leader and make a dierence in people’s lives. In this regard, being selected as a Future Leader was a true honour, as it gave her the opportunity to be a role model for other students. “Having the honour of representing Alphington Grammar as a future leader allows me to act in a mature, respectful manner by demonstrating a positive attitude in a caring and courteous way,” she tells me. “My teachers are my role models, that have helped shape me into the person I am today.”At the end of the day, what stands out with Steph-anie is her exuberance, positivity, and love for what she does. It is obvious that everything she does, she does with joy. These sentiments are echoed in one of her nal lines for me:“I value and love what I do. I always take my work seriously [and] these qualities will take me down the path of my dreams.”

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Page 40Jasmine EvmorasJasmine EvmorasEarly Learning CentreEarly Learning Centre

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Page 41ELC Greek Language ImmersionA look into our ELC Greek Immersion Program and the benefits of immersive language learning in the early years.How many of us learn a language while at school that we still aren’t able to speak uently by gradua-tion? One that we did not maintain, practice, or use in our daily lives, so had little chance of becoming uent in to begin with? The Greek Language Immersion program in our Early Learning Centre aims to reimagine what language learning looks like in the early years to tackle this exact issue. Our program has recently been highlighted as a stand-out language learning initiative by the Department of Education, as an example of “best practice” from a service provider in language learning. A video was created to show-case the program and will be used as an example in classrooms around the state.The program sees students undertake their daily activities whilst being encouraged to communicate in a language other than English. This method of naturalistic language acquisition in the Early Years is the most eective type of language learning, and it is also an essential component of the tran-sition into our language programs in the Primary School.A video was produced in collaboration with FKA Children’s services and the Department of Educa-tion and Training that features our amazing ELC educators and Greek Language teachers. The Department will be using it to support and guide other language programs in the Early Years. Below we have a small compilation of key quotes from the video. To watch the video in full, scan the QR code. “The Greek language program happens three times a week and we integrate it through children’s interests using a play-based program. We use the Reggio Emilia inspired approach, and we look at where the children are at with their interests, and they really take the lead for us.”Ms Danielle MunroEarly Learning Centre Leader“I always think that learning a language is like having a key to a door that opens up a whole other world ... I think that they’re really able to under-stand themselves a lot better than they would if they didn’t learn that extra language.”Ms Anita KolaitisPrimary Greek Language TeacherWhen we come into the childrens’ play space or learning space we actually observe the children and then decide with Anita and with the ELC sta themselves which language is actually import-ant to the children and used frequently. We then decide as a team ... that these are the phrases that we’re hearing from the children and that are useful for them to use in dierent scenarios and dierent learning activities.Ms Ee BindevisPrimary Teacher and Modern Greek Coordinatorwatch the full video

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Page 42Class of 2021We would like to congratulate the Class of 2021 for their commendable achievements. After facing two back-to-back years of unprecedented hardship and challenge during the most signicant years of their schooling, the Class of 2021 achieved admirable results and proved themselves to be resilient, hardworking, and persistent individuals.In particular, we congratulate the DUX of the Class of 2021, Lena Papadimitriou. Her dedication to her studies has denitely come to fruition.

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Page 43Krishan Gurdon, Music CaptainKrishan Gurdon, Music CaptainHouse Night House Night

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Page 44community newsBirthsBlair Runnalls (Primary Sports and Outdoor Education Coordinator) and his wife Zoe welcomed their rst son, Jack Oliver Runnalls, in the early morning of Friday 6 May 2022. He is a beloved new addition to their family.Xanthi Sukkarie (nee Tsioukis, Class of 2006) and her husband Sam wel-comed daughter Gabriella Sukkarie on Tuesday 25 January 2022. “She is absolutely perfect, the sweetest little princess. Our family is now complete.”community newsEngagement, wedding, birth and vale notices are welcome for publication in future editions. We would love to honour these milestones within our community. Please send any notices and photographs to: To make sure you receive invitations, information about future events, and Flower-dale, scan the QR code. Alternatively, visit the form manually at: Koloskopis (Primary Teacher, Year 4) and her partner Jacob were overjoyed to welcome their ‘little man’ Matteo Colosimo to the world on Monday 27 June 2022. In Anthea’s own words, “he is just perfect.”WeddingsMaria Metaxotos (nee Tsibidis, Class of 2011) married Kostas Metaxotos on Sunday the 10th of July in Greece. The beautiful wedding was celebrated alongside friends and family, including fellow alumni and sister Soa Tsibidis (Class of 2016).Mikeyla Ma (Secondary STEM Teacher) married Jason Fan on 1st May 2022 at the Elizabethan Lodge Blackburn, followed by a reception. They were happily surrounded by their friends and family and thank all for the kind and loving thoughts sent their way.

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Page 45Reach out,Reconnect,Remember.Reconnect with the Alphington Grammarians alumni community today.@AlphaGrammariansalphington_grammar_schoolAlphington Grammarians

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Page 46Alphington Grammar School18 Old Heidelberg Road,PO Box 5008, Alphington Victoria 3078Tel. 03 9597 4777Email @AlphaGrammarians alphington_grammar_school Alphington Grammarians