‘...decisions and indecisions, trial and error, conceptualisation and action...’

2019 HSC Visual Arts and Design & Technology Exhibition 

Last Friday evening an appreciative audience of parents, extended family and students was on campus to view the rich and diverse collection of works produced by 39 girls studying Visual Arts and 20 girls studying Design and Technology. The Exhibition extended across two venues: Visual Arts Bodies of Work in Cooper Hall and Design & Technology Major Design Projects in the Design and Fabrication Studios at Sturt. 

HSC VA and DAT Exhibition Opening

In his Opening Address, Head of Visual Arts Phil Alldis reminded us that the work we were viewing ‘is a culmination of nearly 12 months of decisions and indecisions, trial and error, conceptualisation and action...’

Excerpts from the Opening Address – in which Mr Alldis painted his own picture of the development of the girls’ work - as observed by an imaginary ‘fly on the wall’ (she) - watching the seeds of ideas develop, watching the physical, material execution of projects in all their guises. What did she see, what did she hear – and sense, in these various contexts at different points in time?

  • ‘...quiet moments, wondering from where an idea for a major project would come, she noticed some girls, like sprinters in the blocks, who could not wait to get started – an idea sitting there for some time, like a dormant seed - and, for others, the first tentative steps from a concept to an action.
  • She was privy to their inner thoughts – ‘Will this work? Can I do this?’ She watched those early actions of marks made in paint; scaffolds for portfolios built in the virtual world - the first steps.
  • She overheard conversations...‘What are you doing for your work?’ and responses of support, or suggestions of how to extend an idea. She observed that while the girls were to hand in an individual project, their art and design practices were not ones conducted in isolation – in many respects they were not individual projects, they were practices which were collaborative and founded in the spirit of sharing and supporting.
  • She watched creative ideas and actions flourish, and then sometimes wither; it is a strange game this creative process – just when you think you have it sorted it can unravel just as quickly. In the afternoon light, she noticed a girl staring at her work. Normally stoic, there was a tear in her eye; she had a crucial decision to make – push forward with a project she just could not get right, or start over again, from square one, with a new idea?
  • She noticed that girls whose projects had started to take tangible shape in early Term 1 were like the pace setters in a long-distance event; they took the group out, and with their DAT and VA works now physically present, others were inspired to join them on this path. As works of high quality began to emerge, this also acted as a catalyst for others – ‘hmm, so this is the standard – this is to what I must aspire’.
  • She also observed joy and laughter – priceless brief moments with no design, no art in mind.
  • She also saw Year 7 (whilst quietly developing and producing their own works of art and design) watching Year 12 at work – whether it be directed to a complex technically constructed model in DAT, or on a series of paintings, drawing or prints in VA. They were watching you. They were observing what you produced and I am certain that there were more than a few who quietly thought, ‘That’s pretty amazing - I would love to be able to do that one day’. There is your legacy.

In Cooper Hall and the Design Studios over this past weekend we also witnessed a strong expression of gratitude to teachers: Mr Alldis, Mrs Spencer, Miss Piper, Mr McMillan, Ms Farmer and Mr Bull and to families, confirming the understanding that ‘we are all in this together, we have shared something... we are a community.’ 


Gib Gate Tournament of Minds Teams have achieved 1st place in their sections and have progressed to the State Finals. Competing in the divisions of Social Sciences and the Arts, the teams presented performances in response to long-term challenges that involved complex problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. The teams comprised Piper Berkelouw, Mollie Fitzpatrick, Jade Neilson, Lexi Wimalaratne, Elizabeth Griffin-Peters, Amelia Hazlett, Olivia Quilty, Scarlett Shadbolt (Year 5) and Isabella Atra, Georgina Lewis, Elizabeth Shadbolt, Sophie Alexander, Hannah Day, Sophie Goodisson (Year 6).

Tournament of Minds Teams

Social Sciences Team and The Arts Team

Acknowledgement to:

  • Current and past parents who have generously supported us as hosts for the recent Cocktail Parties and Information Evenings for parents interested in a Frensham education for their daughters;
  • Recent Iris award recipient, Georgia Kelleher (Academic Excellence);
  • Year 12 HSC Drama students who will complete their Practical Examination this Friday (three Group performances and nine individual performances);
  • Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) High Distinction (A+) and Distinction (A) results from the August Examinations undertaken in four areas (Flute, Singing for Leisure, Horn, Saxophone): High Distinction (A+) - Harriette Beedle (Year 11); Lily Hunt, Madeleine Mulligan, Isabelle Promnitz (Year 10); Maya Basson, Sienna McGregor (Year 9); Lara McConnochie, Eliza Mulligan (Year 8). Distinction (A) - Tamara Unsworth (Year 11); Grace Amos, Grace Lewis (Year 10); Eliza Hewson, Emily Lenehan (Year 9); Monique Andersson, Matilda Chadwick, Elizabeth Nesci, Isabelle Roach (Year 8); Adelaide Ayling (Year 7);
  • Year 10 and Year 11 students and staff hosting new families for the recent Frensham Head’s Tour;
  • Years 8 and 9 students, 44 student actors and nine crew, involved in the Junior Production, Wilde Tales (Mrs Hannah and Ms Shannon directing);
  • The 15 Year Reunion (2004) group who joined the School for the School Service and Year 9 Concert;
  • Gib Gate and Frensham Snowsports teams for their success at the recent Interschools Snowsports State Championships and qualifying to National Championships: Gib Gate - Sophia Atra (Year 2), Sebastian Atra (Year 4), Isabella Atra, Isabella Barber, Tempe Arnott, Isabella Carpenter (Year 6); Frensham – Luca de Maninor (Year 7), Hannah Bendror, Jessica Savage (Year 8), Matilda Arnott (Year 9), Elke Arnott, Georgia Hill, Sophia Pernice (Year 10), Dimity Crowe, Daisy Latimer (Year 11), Teya Blunck, Emily Gubbins, Chelsea Pernice (Year 12);
  • Gib Gate students who competed at the recent IPSHA Athletics Carnival and have qualified to compete at the NSW CIS Championships: Sophie Baldwin, Isabella Barber, Oliver Linde, Arabella Whitehead (Year 6), Piper Berkelouw (Year 5), Amelia Blackshaw, Eloise O’Shanassy (Year 4);
  • Gib Gate (Years 5 and 6) and Frensham (Years 7 and 8) students for their enthusiastic involvement in the inspiring Special Delivery: Writer programme, led by children’s author Sue Whiting.


SHORE School Information Evening for parents of Gib Gate boys interested in a Boarding pathway for high school, for their sons: Tuesday 10 September, 6.30pm-8.00pm. This is an opportunity for parents to meet Headmaster, Dr Timothy Wright and Senior Boarding House Master, Mr Brendan Morris in the Highlands - at Frensham (Registration details per flier emailed to parents).

Sample Boarding and Parent Information evening

Thursday 19 September – for Year 5 students considering enrolment as full or weekly boarders. The evening includes an Information Session for parents of Sample Boarders.

Frensham School Leadership Service - last day of Term 3: Year 12, 2019 to Year 12, 2020. Parents are very welcome to attend the Service in Clubbe Hall, commencing at 1.45pm.

Julie Gillick
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools