During 2022 the CGA took momentous strides to reconnect in person with our alumni community. With COVID restrictions eased, we worked hard to re-engage with our alumni community face-to-face, often hosting multiple reunions on the same night. In total we hosted 45 events and are proud to report the total attendance at events this year was more than 1500.
One of the highlights was our Summer Masterpieces event at the NGV which included entry to the Gabrielle Chanel – Fashion Manifesto exhibition. Young, mid-career and golden alumni were able to come together to experience a magical evening of networking, culture and fashion.
This year our Golden Alumni luncheons were held at a new venue, Quat Quatta, a location well recognised and much loved by the community. Alumni at the October luncheon included 98-year-old Ken Lyons OAM (CGS 1932-35), who shared his incredible schooling experience with immense charm. We were saddened to hear of Ken’s recent passing. The CGA was also proud to be involved in the 140th annual community ball, which was attended by a broad cross-section of our wonderful community.
The Young Alumni Ambassador Program (YAAP) continues to go from strength to strength embracing the diversity and passion of our youngest Grammarians. Similarly, our Reverse Mentoring Program provides our young alumni with a platform for change, bringing them together with other alumni and staff to discuss issues impacting young people today. Both YAAP and the Reverse Mentoring Program are continuing in 2023 and will become permanent fixtures as CGA events.
A new initiative commenced in 2022 was our Grammarian Wall Project. In order to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Wheelers Hill Campus, a community wall and interactive installation was created in the Memorial Hall. The wall reflects our rich heritage and community and is a celebration of our alumni, telling their stories to inspire future generations to pursue their dreams. The content on the wall will be regularly updated to enable it to be a living testament to the amazing past students who continue to graduate from our great School. The CGA looks forward to working with the School to expand this project across our other campuses in 2023.
Another significant 2022 achievement was being recognised in the Educate Plus Excellence Awards as the winner of the Alumni Campaign category. This award recognises excellence in a series of activities or programs designed to engage with Alumni and Community. The CGA nominated our targeted digital initiatives in response to the global pandemic including: peer-to-peer Facebook Groups, messages for the Class of 2020, and the Business Directory and #GrammariansSupportingGrammarians. We produced a significant body of work including 50 videos, 34 alumni profiles, 122 ambassadors/volunteers recruited and 2,284 social media posts. We were honoured to be recognised by Educate Plus, an Australia-wide non-profit organisation including professionals working in secondary and tertiary education sectors in alumni & community relations, fundraising, admissions, and marketing & communications.
In 2022 we also brought the final year of our three-year strategic plan to fruition by implementing major projects to refresh our brand and communication materials. Our newly designed, user-friendly, E-newsletter was launched, along with our redesigned website and a renewed brand marketing video. These projects have been forward-thinking and inspiring, and we hope to continue our growth in 2023 by expanding our social media channels.
Recently the CGA also held strategic planning workshops to develop and discuss plans for the next three years. While our strategic priorities remain the same, we are excited to continue building on existing initiatives and developing new innovative ways to better engage our alumni. We have also revised and updated our constitution, aligning it with our long-term goals. The revised constitution was approved at Special General Meeting held in June.
Our Affiliate clubs have had a busy year and have expanded their numbers. Our newest affiliate, The CGA Theatre Project, has been a wonderful addition to our thriving community, allowing more of our alumni to interact and engage with each other. It was great to see the Football Club finally celebrate its centenary at a function on 30 July at which Matthew Scholten, Scott Williams, Greg Tootell and the late John Wilson were inducted as the first four legends of the club. The CGA is committed and determined to grow our Affiliate Clubs in the years to come and we sincerely thank those who gave up their time during 2022 to help run our football, cricket, rowing, athletics and lawn bowls clubs, the Grammarian Singers, The Fields Big Band and The CGA Theatre Project.
On behalf of the committee, I extend our sincere congratulations to Grammarians Ian Davis OAM, John Griffiths OAM and Rosemary Popa OAM on their Australian honours, announced in either the 2022 Australia Day or Queen’s Birthday lists.
I would like to extend a warm welcome the Class of 2022 who join our strong and proud community of 27,000 past students. We encourage all Grammarians to become active members of our association by providing your contact details at www.caulfieldgrammarians.com.au. We wish the Class of 2022 every success as they enter a new stage of life and look forward to being there to support them in the future.
Finally, thank you to all committee members, for their wonderful contribution in 2022. I want to take this opportunity to share my sincere appreciation to Andrew Aitken, John Sanderson, Ella Stonier-Watson and Fleur Katsmartin who are retiring from the CGA committee. They have a combined service of 36 years to the CGA community and they will be greatly missed as contributors to our committee.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the CGA office staff, led by Executive Director Linda Sprott, who worked tirelessly during another very busy year. During most of 2022 our Associate Director Rachel Muir was on maternity leave and we are pleased that she has now returned to a part-time role with us. The CGA office had many fantastic contributors over the year including Ayesha Tiwana, Holly Robertson, Kate Hanly, Nick Maclaren, Nadia Shaikh, Gabby Coffey and Bridget Gallop. Projects Officer Ian Wilkinson took long service leave in December 2021 and the early part of 2022 but was back in the Office from March 2022.
As always, the CGA values the support we receive from the School. We thank, in particular, President of School Council Jim Hayman, Principal Ashleigh Martin, Vice-Principal Andrew Strooper and the Director of Community Engagement Sue Sonego.
Emily Davis President