2021 Mentoring Circles

The Arts

2021 Mentoring Circles

Our mentoring event for young alumni and senior school students was held online on Wednesday 28 April. We are very grateful to Leah Lambert (Director of Relaunch Me – Career Consulting) for leading the event and to our mentors, who joined us from as far away as Spain, Hong Kong and China. After a brief welcome from CGA Executive Director Linda Sprott, Leah interviewed Lexie Van Maanen (Class of 2017), a singer who was cast in her first ever professional role as the Mistress in Opera Australia’s 40th Anniversary production of Evita, and Raj Jayaweera (1997), a jazz musician (drummer) who has toured extensively throughout the world. Their answers to Leah’s questions provided a wonderful insight into their careers to date and their aspirations for the future. Participants were then placed in ...

Humanitarian Engineer – Jessica Coldrey

Graduating from Wheelers Hill Campus in 2016, Jessica Coldrey has gone on to fully embrace her differing passions, leading to an already fulfilling and impressive career. Currently completing her Bachelor of Arts (Human Geography) and Bachelor of Visual Arts, with the title of 2021 John Monash Scholar also under her belt, Jess is wholeheartedly dedicated to envisioning and creating a more sustainable future, but not without the incredible insight creativity provides. Jess grew up with CGS, spending 14 years of her early life at Wheelers Hill. Her fondest memories from primary school are of inventing stories and imagining new games to play every lunchtime. In high school, she enjoyed exploring the grounds, working in the art studio, and studying novels with friends. Upon entering Year 12, s...

Follow your Passions – Georgie Cowell

High school days During her time at Caulfield Grammar School, Georgie Cowell (Class of 2017) fully immersed herself in her learning and the co-curricular opportunities that came her way; spreading her time between the Theatre, Music and Sport departments. Georgie’s best memories of her time at Caulfield included performing in the whole school musical in Year 12 and being creativeand collaborative with her friends. Georgie loved how the students hold so much power to create incredible change for their peers and future students. Georgie would tell her 17-year-old self to take things one day at a time and try to put all the “what ifs” out of her mind. She’d also reiterate how important it is to take joy in all the things you do – even studying can be fun when you focus on all the cool things ...

Radio Personality – Dylan Lewis

Drama and music at school Dylan Lewis attended Caulfield Grammar School from 1985 to 1990. He was a member of Langley House at the Wheelers Hill Campus. He was heavily involved in both the drama and music programs at school. Dylan was a member of the Madrigal and Special Music Group from Wheelers Hill Campus that undertook a tour to Sydney in 1989. In 1990 he was awarded School Colours for Drama Performance. After graduation, he studied for a Bachelor of Education degree in drama and music at the University of Melbourne. Entertainment industry Dylan has subsequently become well-known in the entertainment industry, including roles in television, radio, film and music. He has undertaken several roles hosting and presenting for Australian music programs, the first being when he became host of...

Ballet Dancer and Choreographer – Christopher Hill

COVID-19 has unleashed a wrecking ball on the world’s Arts sector, but for lauded ballet dancer turned choreographer Christopher Hill, it has been a time of career growth and renewal. A career in dance “I started working full-time when I was 19 and danced professionally for 18 years. Now I’m going to university and doing things in reverse,” Christopher said, explaining that after years of maintaining a demanding dance schedule, he had only just found time to complete a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University and was now working towards a Master of Business, Arts and Cultural Management through Deakin University. The Class of 1989 Wheeler’s Hill Campus alumnus said that while he had been fortunate enough to dance for some of the world’s best ballet companies for close to two d...

Body Architect – Lucy McRae

Beginnings Lucy McRae was born in London in 1979 but later moved to Melbourne. There she attended Caulfield Grammar School, where both of her parents, Tony and Wendy McRae, were long-serving teachers. From a young age Lucy studied classical ballet and later competed in netball and athletics (running 100 metre hurdles). At the 1996 Speech Night Lucy was awarded the Benjamin Robert Maresh Prize for Three-Dimensional Art and the ‘Dougie’ Rankin Prize for Progress in Studies and Success in Sport. These pursuits, which pushed her physically and mentally, formed some of her earliest experiences of the body and what it means to be human. This fascination with the body has permeated her working career as a science fiction artist, filmmaker, and inventor. Wearable technology Lucy’s background in fa...

Opera Singer – Helena Dix

Inspired by her mother and her opera singing colleagues, Helena dix has gone from strength to strength and has become a recognised name around the world. Critics have described her as ‘the most exciting voice since Joan Sutherland’, and rated her performances ‘8 out of 5 stars’. Singing at Caulfield Melbourne-born opera singer Helena Dix always knew she wanted to be a singer when she grew up. She can’t remember a time when she wanted to be anything else. Helena remembers her 13 years at Caulfield fondly; they were spent onstage starring in school musicals and tinkering around in the music department. She also dabbled in debating and suspects that her enjoyment for the subject was largely due to her strong opinions. Tertiary study Helena credits her determination and fighting spirit for her...

Don’t Stop Dancing – Dimitri Raptis

Dimitri Raptis graduated from Caulfield Grammar School in 2016 with a dream to turn his love of dance into a career. As a four-year-old Dimitri discovered this passion and hasn’t stopped dancing since. He participated in many Caulfield Campus productions such as Hairspray, Legally Blonde and Westside Story, and was a key participant in raising the profile of the arts at Caulfield. One of his favourite memories of high school is “performing sold out shows for entire seasons, something that not many high schools in general had experienced.” Dimitri values how “every student has the opportunity to follow their passion, as Caulfield provides such a vast variety of areas in which one can excel. When asked if Caulfield is a sporty school, an artsy school or an academically successful school, I’m...

Rising Star – Milly Hines

Amelia ‘Milly’ Hines graduated from Caulfield Grammar School in 2017 and has since had several exciting opportunities come her way. Playing for the Caulfield Grammarians’ Football Club -Women’s (CGFCW) and being named the Round 3 Anytime Fitness VAFA Rising Star in 2019, she is a testament to remaining open to all paths and following what you are truly passionate about. During her time at school Milly was involved in a wide variety of activities – captaining the 1st Softball team, helping with productions backstage at the Cripps Centre or working in the art and music departments. In 2018, she returned to the Yarra Junction campus for the year as a Trainee, which she counts as one of her favourite times at Caulfield. Other fond memories include winning the APS Softball premiersh...

Cultural Excursions with the CGA

Come on a cultural excursion with the CGA! With many of us still stuck at home due to the effects of COVID-19 we thought it would be fun to check out some of the amazing virtual tours that are being offered around the world. The below list includes a number of significant cultural and natural sites that normally wouldn’t be accessible. We hope you enjoy exploring this resource. Alaska, USA Explore the stunning views of Alaska. Angkor Wat, Cambodia Explore the Buddhist temple complex of Angkor Wat, located in Cambodia. It is the largest religious monument in the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares. Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada Catch nature’s most beautiful light show through a live steam from the Churchill Northern Studies Centre in Manito...

Writing for Televsion – Ellen Shanley

Writing is something all of us learn at a young age but how often do you think about it as an artform? Ellen Shanley’s dream as a child was to pursue writing creatively. She attended Caulfield Grammar School Malvern Campus from Prep to Grade 5 and her passion for writing steadily grew. One of the major influences during Ellen’s time at Caulfield was the many hours she spent in the library. It was one of her favourite parts of the school and enabled her to live in a world where anything was possible: exploring different genres, universes and characters. Reading a huge variety of books allowed Ellen to discover a range of writing techniques that she could pursue. Ellen’s favourite memory of Caulfield was when Andy Griffiths visited Malvern to talk to her class about his books and writing. He...

A Love of the Stage – Lexie Van Maanen

Just days before Alexis (Lexie) Van Maanen (2017) walked through the gates of Caulfield Grammar School for the last time she received a call that would change her life. Lexie had been cast in her first ever professional role as the Mistress in Opera Australia’s 40th Anniversary production of Evita, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical. She was stunned to learn that not only had she landed a role of her dreams but that she would be performing at the Sydney Opera House alongside her idol, Tina Arena. From a young age, Lexie had watched Tina on TV and followed her career so it was quite overwhelming to walk into the first day of rehersals. Despite her trepidation, Lexie found the cast very welcoming and willing to take her under their wing. The production became a great environment to build o...

  • 1
  • 2