An event on Thursday 4 August marked a significant milestone in the more than 129-year history of Melbourne Girls Grammar School, with the official launch of the Melbourne Girls Grammar Institute (MGGI).
Held in The University of Melbourne’s Matthaei Room and attended by academics, senior executives and members of the business community affiliated with the School, MGGI, officially unveiled its vision, mission, values and focus.
The night featured speeches from inaugural MGGI patron Emeritus Professor Sally Walker AM, founding Co-Directors Ashley Pratt and Lauren Sayer and MGGS Principal Dr Toni Meath.
Dr Meath opened the event with an Acknowledgement of Country and articulated her excitement for the launch of the Institute after months of planning.
“I proudly stand here as the Principal of an amazing school which is about to begin a journey with our Institute which is focused on contribution, giving and learning,” she said in her speech.
“Together we will foster thoughtful, clever, intelligent, educators and ask the big questions to tackle the big problems such as how we can educate for the betterment of our planet.”
MGGI is Melbourne Girls Grammar's global educational community hub, dedicated to innovation and leadership in education practices.
Co-Director Ashley Pratt said the launch of the Institute marked “an important and exciting time for the Melbourne Girls Grammar community”.
“The Institute seeks to bridge the divide between research and the classroom,” he said during his speech on Thursday night.
“It will create an evidence-informed culture within our community, which will draw upon the work of classroom practitioners, students and academic researchers.”
“Within our community, we seek to address some of the challenges faced by our classroom practitioners by empowering them. The Institute will assist in forging powerful connections with tertiary partners to develop shared insights that inform our pedagogical practice.”
In the past, opportunities to seek and share new educational strategies and innovations have been rare at best – something Co-Director Lauren Sayer says MGGI aims to change.
“It will encourage participation in educational research, curriculum innovation, international outreach, and fostering educational excellence programs with a specific focus on girls’ education,” she said.
“The Institute will enable our students, our teachers and our community to be the vanguard of education nationally and internationally.”
With its online presence, the Institute facilitates global educational opportunities like never before. Its mission is to foster partnerships with leading academics and aspires to develop an educational network that advances the vision of Melbourne Girls Grammar as a leading school in girls’ education. Through research and innovation, it will promote and support exemplary pedagogy.
Supporting the MGGS Mission, MGGI will foster a community of learners and partners who focus on observation, action, reflection and research. “This is valuable not only for students, but it is also critical to the advancement of staff,” Emeritus Professor Sally Walker AM said.
“Anyone who has been in a leadership role in an educational institution will know that staff perform best when they feel happy and fulfilled and when their professional development needs are recognised and addressed.”
“The Institute will take this to a new level by promoting and supporting exemplary pedagogy through research and innovation.”
“It will connect with other leading schools and researchers globally with the aim of developing meaningful partnerships and sharing pedagogy.”
The Melbourne Girls Grammar Institute will provoke and lead conversations with globally minded educators, develop global research and educational partnerships, advance exceptional education practices, and advocate for and develop impactful and research-informed wellbeing and academic strategies.
The Institute's Co-Directors — Ashley Pratt and Lauren Sayer — will be supported by an expert Advisory Board of leading academic, industry, and community leaders who will help guide the strategic direction.
MGGI is fortunate to have inaugural patron Emeritus Professor Sally Walker AM, Dr Toni
Meath, Dr Julie Faulkner, Dr Sally Godinho, Dr Jared Cooney Horvath, Helen Baker, Adjunct
Professor Erica McWilliam AO, Jamie Lowe, Bruce Armstrong PSM as members of its Advisory Board.