Frensham Schools Term 1 Highlights

First Term

Thank you to all members of the Frensham Schools community for such a warm welcome to the role. The first term of the year is always a busy one, and I have been so appreciative of the support and advice provided to help me settle into the role of Head and into life in the Highlands.

It has been wonderful to see the enjoyment and enthusiasm of students across all three campuses of Frensham Schools, engaged in their learning, greeting old friends warmly and making new ones, and getting to know their teachers. I have been so impressed by our creative and vibrant learning community of students and staff, and the commitment and dedication shown to the mission and values of the organisation. Part of our founder Winifred West’s vision was that, above all, a school should be a place where individuals, staff and students, willingly gave of their best to foster a sense of love, community and service – and that spirit is very much alive within the community today.

Whilst school life has been, fortunately, less disrupted by COVID than it was throughout 2020, as we have seen this week, vigilance is still required. We anticipate being able to welcome more families on campus for school events next term, and will communicate further towards the end of vacation period to confirm school-specific arrangements.

We wish all families safe travel, a restful and restorative vacation and I look forward to another positive and productive term ahead.

Ms Sarah McGarry, Head of Frensham, Head of Frensham Schools with Frensham and Gib Gate Student Leaders and Kindergarten Buddies

Head of Sturt

Our new Head of Sturt, Kristie Phelan, commenced in March, and has made a strong start in the role. As I mentioned in the announcement of her appointment earlier in March, Kristie brings to the role a valuable combination of skills and experiences, along with energetic drive and enthusiasm, to inform her leadership of the oldest and most dynamic design centre in Australia. I encourage all families to consider making a visit to Sturt across the holiday period or early next term if you haven’t visited for a while.

Boarding Leadership

At the end of this term, Ms Jeannette Gibson is stepping down from her role as Head of Hartfield House, a position she has held since 2011. We recognise her contribution to the Boarding programme at Frensham, and look forward to her continuing to work at Frensham following a short period of well-deserved Long Service Leave at the commencement of Term 2.

We also welcome Ms Sally Arnold to the role of Deputy Head of Boarding (Acting 2021) to join Ms Sally Fennell (Deputy Head of Boarding, Acting 2021), providing valuable leadership support across our Boarding Programme. Ms Arnold will remain Head of Linden Turner House and Year 11 Coordinator whilst taking on this additional responsibility and we look forward to her contribution to the team across 2021.

Term 2 Dates

At the end of Term 2 this year, our calendar has just three school days between the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend and the end of term. In order to provide flexibility for our families, particularly for those with boarders who live a significant distance from Frensham, we will be giving all families at Gib Gate and Frensham the option for children to undertake remote learning at home, or to attend school on campus as scheduled. We will still expect students to complete set learning activities whether at home or on campus. Further logistical details, particularly relating to arrangements for boarders, will be forthcoming early next term

Beginning of Term 2 Dropoff – Boarding

We look forward to welcoming all boarders back on Monday 19 April, before classes commence on Tuesday 20 April. Boarding Houses open from 5.00pm on Monday 19 April, however arrangements are able to be made on an individual family basis if earlier drop off is required. Please email to make these arrangements.

Return to school Term 2 - Information regarding luggage restrictions for booked transport.

  1. Stored Luggage - no more than two items for stowage in luggage bins on coach services. Not to exceed 60cm (height) x 70cm (length) and 50 cm wide (ie: length, depth and width not exceeding total of 180cm) and 20kg in weight.
  2. Hand Luggage - the total weight of hand luggage is not to exceed 5kg and must be able to be stored under the seat. Hand luggage that does not fit under the seat must be stored in the luggage compartment beneath the coach.
  3. If transport arrangements change and booked transport is no longer required, please call the number on your daughter’s ticket, NSW TrainLink Call Centre on 132 232 and email  
  4. Thank you for understanding that last minute bookings are unable to be accommodated.


We are pleased to confirm that, following this edition of our newsletter, we will return to fortnightly editions next term, with an updated format. Each edition will feature a particular area of Frensham Schools as a focus. We will be continuing to refine our communication channels across the coming terms, and look forward to your feedback as these changes are made.

Our Learning Management System, Schoolbox, will increasingly be used as the location for permission slips, information and notices for parents to access, and you will see the format of Schoolbox refreshed over the coming term. If you are having any difficulty accessing Schoolbox please do contact your child’s teacher (Gib Gate) or form tutor (Frensham) so this can be resolved. It is exciting to be very close to the launch of the Frensham Schools App which we anticipate being able to release during Term 2.

All parents will be invited to participate in a community survey about our communication systems at the beginning of next term and your feedback is welcomed.

Acknowledgement to:

  • Award Recipients: Girdles – Willa Mitchell (Equestrian), Jessica Billet (Academic Excellence), Harriet Mackie (Science), Ella Clark (Public Speaking) and Madeleine Mulligan (Academic Excellence).
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award recipients – Gold: Tamara Unsworth (2020); Silver: Year 11: Isobel Burge, Stella Hanan, Zé McGrath, Mia Shakeshaft (Year 11); Alexandra Bolger, Jessica Greig; Sophia Pernice (Year 12); Bronze: Ava Berkelouw, Sarah-Joy Day, Savannah Linde, Emilie McMurtrie, Darcy Maple-Brown, Elizabeth Nesci, Phoebe Rouse, Mia Greig (Year 10); Zé McGrath, Lucy Pernice, Phoebe Rowntree, Polly Whitwell (Year 11); Harriet Mackie (Year 12).
  • Phoebe Rowntree (Year 11) for her selection to the IGSA 17U Softball Team.
  • Tildesley Tennis Team members,Coach Justin Taylor, assistance from Ms Macqueen, and with leadership from Annabelle Ranken (C) and Ella Clark (VC) for their success at this year’s event; progressing to Round 4 were Annabelle Ranken and doubles team, Willa Mitchell and India Hicks (Year 12)
  • Willa Mitchell (Year 12) for her achievement in being ranked as the Top Junior Eventing, FEI (International Equestrian Federation).
  • Frensham Swimming team members for their achievements at recent Carnivals: IGSA Swimming Carnival: Claudia Maple-Brown (Year 7), Millie Moar (Year 10), Phoebe Clifton (Year 11) for progressing to the 50m B Freestyle finals in their age group; the Southern Highlands Schools Swimming Carnival: U15 Age Champion - Lydia Martin (Year 9); Runner Up Age Champions - U13 Tia Thomas (Year 8), U16 Millie Moar (Year 10), U17 Phoebe Clifton (Year 11).
  • Frensham Show Cattle and Sheep Teams for recent successes: Nowra Show – Frensham as a team won Most Successful Exhibitor; Judith Hopkins (Year 11) Champion Young Judge, Champion Steer and Champion Parader with her steer Quincey; Goulburn Show: Cattle Team – Judith Hopkins 1st Place Heavyweight Steer Competition and Champion Steer (‘Quincey’), Phoebe Gilder (Year 9) Reserve Champion Steer (‘Guzman’). Sheep Teams – placed second and third in the Young Farmers Competition. Moss Vale Show – Judith Hopkins 1st place Junior Steer and Heavyweight Steer Competitions (‘Quincey’); Tia Thomas (Year 8) 1st place 13-years Paraders Competition (‘Wesley’).
  • Gib Gate Water Polo and Basketball Teams for their successes in the local competitions. Competing in Finals competitions are the U12 Water Polo Team and the U12 Girls Purple Basketball Team.
  • Gib Gate Swimming team for its preparation and success at the IPSHA Swimming Carnival.
  • Gib Gate IPSHA Cross Country Team for their preparation for the IPSHA Cross Country Carnival, postponed due to flooding, now taking place on Wednesday 21 April.
  • Gib Gate Year 6 for their leadership and support of students P-5 in Term 1 and for their dedicated preparation for the commencement of the Term 2 Year 6 lead K-5 Peer Support Programme.
  • da Vinci Decathlon Teams in Years 5-11 for their preparation and highly successful results for this year’s competition. Year 5 placed 3rd in Art & Poetry, Engineering and Creative Producers; Year 6, 2nd in Creative Producers and Legacy and 3rd in Art & Poetry; Years 7-10 represented Frensham in the Regional Finals and achieved 1st Art & Poetry; 2nd Cartography, 3rd English (Year 7); 2nd Place in Mathematics (Year 8); 2nd Place Overall, 1st Legacy, 3rd English and Mathematics (Year 9) and 3rd Place (Science). Year 11 compete in the State competition, held in the ‘virtual environment’ on Wednesday 5 May.
  • Frensham Head Girl, Annabelle Ranken, and Vice Head Girl, Taylah Stoney, who represented Frensham at the 2021 International Women’s Day Breakfast held in Mittagong, featuring guest speakers including Frensham Old Girl Zoe Young (1995) on the topic of Women in Leadership.
  • Year 9, 2020 for their excellent results in the Cambridge International Global Perspectives course: 22% of students gained the highest result (A*) and another 39% gained an A result. 

Top: Frensham Show Sheep Team; left: Sheep Team, Goulburn Show; right: Judith Hopkins with champion steer 'Quincy', Goulburn Show

Frensham Student Leadership

Prefects for Year Groups

  • Year 7: Sarah Brown, Jessica Greig, Ivy McGufficke
  • Year 8: Harriet Collins, Ella Hopperton
  • Year 9: Adelaide Alker, Emily Hassall, Madeleine Mulligan                 
  • Year 10: Erin Alcorn, Georgia Hill, Willa Mitchell
  • Year 11: Ella Clark, Eliza Friend
  • Year 12 & Vice Head Girl: Taylah Stoney
  • Year 12 & Head Girl: Annabelle Ranken       
Frensham Prefects 2020

Year 12 Leaders of Hartfield and Kennedy Houses

  • Hartfield: Tess, Armstrong, Alexandra Bolger, Sarah Brown, Sachi Darling, Ruby Halloran, Skye Vander Straaten.
  • Kennedy: Emilie Hassall, Ella Hopperton, Madeleine Scott, Jemima Storch, Lara Tait, Amy Thompson.

Heads of House appointed for Term 1

  • Hartfield (Year 10): Sissy Fairrie, Lara McConnochie, Poppy Paradice
  • Kennedy (Year 10): Bella Cay, Pia D'Rozario, Sarah Partland
  • Linden Turner (Year 10): Ava Berkelouw, Olivia Huggins, Eliza Mulligan
  • Linden Turner (Year 11): Sophie Domazet, Stella Hanan, Charlotte Hindmarsh
  • Bryant McCarthy (Year 11): Sarah Hunter, Ava Kingsley, Emily Lenehan
  • Bryant McCarthy (Year 12): appointed for the year

Gib Gate Monitors

It was a delight to be able to attend the Gib Gate Monitors Assembly earlier in the term, and to present our Year 6 students with their monitor badges. All students carry responsibility for particular areas of interest or passion in the school, and it has been heartening to see the enthusiasm with which Year 6 have approached their responsibilities this term.

Adeline Ahern, Library; Chloe Barrowman, Equestrian, Jamieson Sport; Annika Basson, Equestrian; Amelia Blackshaw, Library, Wilson Sport; Iman Byrne, Japanese, Visual Arts; Olivia Cowley, Music, Wilson Sport; Zali de Manincor, Jamieson, Visual Arts; Imogen Diver, Preschool, Visual Arts; Sienna Donat, Dance, McCutcheon Sport; Sophie McAndrew, McCutcheon Sport, Preschool; Ana McInnes, Wilson Sport; Frankie McKeon, McCutcheon Sport, Preschool; Isla McVinish, Preschool, Library; Anthony Neilson, Jamieson Sport; Sofia Nesci, Jamieson Sport; Ruby Rodgers, Jamieson Sport; Georgia Suttie, Environmental; Victoria Trotter, Jamieson Sport; Adele Trudeau, Library, Wilson Sport; Zali Walters, McCutcheon, Environmental.

Gib Gate Year 6 Monitors

Parent Advisory Committees 2021

We warmly welcome new Members and offer our thanks and appreciation to those retiring.


  • Welcome to Mrs Karen Shadbolt, Mrs Jane Vickery, Mr Michael Wheeler
  • Mr John Hopkins is appointed as Chair for 2021 and Mrs Charlotte Warner is the newly appointed Secretary.
  • Retiring: Mr David Cullen, Mr Simon Logan.

Gib Gate

  • Welcome to Mrs Crista Beckhaus, Mrs Georgina Spong.
  • Dr Jerry Basson is appointed as Chair for 2021 and Mrs Crista Beckhaus is the newly appointed Secretary.
  • Retiring: Mrs Denise Telford and Mrs Lucinda Wilson.

Staffing Updates

This term, we have been pleased to welcome the following new staff members to Frensham Schools.


  • Mrs Kristie Phelan – Head of Sturt

Gib Gate

  • Ms Nikki Coumbiadis, B Ed (Primary) (UNE) – Year 5 classroom teacher
  • Ms Nicola Fenaughty, B Health Science (USYD) – PDHPE and Sport classroom teacher
  • Mrs Marnie Rea, B Ed (Primary) (USYD) – Year 2 classroom teacher, Terms 1-3 (Maternity Leave cover)


  • Mrs Julia Abbey, PG Cert Ed, (Bath College of Higher Education, UK); B Sc (Psychology/Sociology), (Portsmouth University, UK) – Boarding House Staff
  • Mrs Anne Barnes, MA Teaching (Secondary) (UNE); BA (French and Spanish) (UQLD) –Languages and Library
  • Miss Jemma Barrett, B Health and Physical Education (UOW), in process – Boarding House Staff
  • Ms Jacqui Bolt, B Visual Arts, USYD, Dip High School Education (VA) (CSU); Dip Fine Art (NAS) – VA (Term 1) and Boarding House Staff (casual)
  • Mrs Lucy Dalleywater, MA Educational Leadership (current) (Macquarie); BA English; BEd English/Humanities and Social Science (USYD) – Head of Special Projects
  • Miss Holly Jefford, currently studying B Exercise Science, UOW – Boarding House Staff
  • Miss Melissa Lourenco, B Ed (General Education) (Stellenbosch Uni South Africa) – Boarding House Staff
  • Mrs Susie McGlinn, BA (English Literature/Communication) (UNE), B Teaching (Secondary) (CSU), Grad Certificate Information Services (current) (CSU) – Library Teacher
  • Ms Jane McLellan, B Sc, John Brown University, USA; PG TESOL, Macquarie – Boarding House Staff
  • Mrs Renae Pinazza, PhD (UOW), 2021 completion; B Music (Music Education) (USYD) (Sydney Conservatorium of Music), Music
  • Miss Abby Regan, MA Teaching (Secondary French and Spanish), B Sc (Chemistry), BA (Spanish and Latin American Studies) (USYD)– Boarding Staff and Teaching (Languages and Science)
  • Mr Matthew Selby, BA, B Teaching (Secondary – Mathematics), (Australian Catholic University) –Senior Teacher in Mathematics
  • Mrs Donna Wedesweiler, BA (USYD); M Ed (USYD) – Boarding House Staff (returning staff member)

Departing staff

We thank Mrs Sally Hannah for her contribution as Year 8 Coordinator during this term, and look forward to welcoming back Mrs Trudi Spencer from Long Service Leave in Term Two.

We bid farewell to Ms Emily Sinden who will be taking up a position at Nowra Anglican College next term, after joining the Frensham Staff in 2018 and contributing significantly in her roles, including Music teacher, Year Coordinator and, this term, Acting Head of the Music Faculty. We wish Ms Sinden continued success at her new school, and look forward to welcoming Mr Michael Spencer back from Long Service Leave in Term Two.

Year Coordinators for 2021:
Mrs Amanda Metua – Year 7
Mrs Sally Hannah – Year 8, Term 1
Mrs Trudi Spencer – Year 8, from Term 2
Ms Olivia Scottin – Year 9
Mrs Kate Gallagher – Year 10
Ms Sally Arnold – Year 11; Ms Lucy Thorne, Assistant Coordinator
Ms Sally Fennell – Year 12; Ms Molly Macqueen, Assistant Coordinator

Ms Sarah McGarry
Head of Frensham

Head of Frensham Schools