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News > General News > NEGS News - Welcome from the Prinicpal

NEGS News - Welcome from the Prinicpal

Term 1 Welcome Back



Ms van Genderen's transcript:

Welcome 2023

I hope that during the break you enjoyed quality time with family and friends, cherishing the opportunity to reflect, relax and recharge. 
 I enjoyed being able to reflect on the successful year that 2022 was for our students, on so many levels:

  • in the academic arena, I witnessed students achieving excellent results.
  • numerous students availed themselves of the broad range of opportunities available at NEGS in co-curricular, sporting and EC arenas. It is quite apparent that a NEGS student can achieve anything that they put their mind to.
  • we are very fortunate to have our coeducational Junior School; an environment that provides all children with a strong foundation for building respectful social and professional relationships
  • we know our senior girls perform more strongly in single sex female schools particularly in terms of:
    • seeing our senior girls thriving in a girls-only learning environment. The main benefits I observed were a greater sense of wellbeing and safety, more opportunities to have a voice, participate and achieve academic success. I believe that the single-sex environment also encouraged students to have higher aspirations in regard to careers and leadership.

Student leaders are currently taking part in a student leadership conference delivered by the Alliance of Girls’ School Australasia. They are being encouraged to know what they stand for, to build their mental toughness and leave a legacy.

Last year the school focussed on building respectful relationships and improving the well-being of students and staff. I look forward to further developing these areas in 2023. I also eagerly anticipate the 2023 iterations of some events that were highlights of my first year at NEGS, especially the Autumn Fair on April 1 and the North West Equestrian Expo in June. I have already booked my accommodation in Coonabarabran and look forward the opportunity to see our agricultural students and equestrian teams representing NEGS at a range of events, as well as extending my experience of sleeping in a swag. All of these opportunities are unique to a school such as NEGS.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new families. Your child will be encouraged to embrace all the opportunities available at NEGS, and we invite all our families to get involved in the life of the school in are many ways as possible.

In 2023 we are determined to continue to build on the momentum and enhance the achievements of 2022 to ensure NEGS continues to thrive for the benefit of your child.

With the support of the Board, I will be working closely with staff, students and parents to ensure that we have a reinvigorated and strengthened focus on our key pillars:

  • well-being
  • academic excellence
  • creating a contemporary boarding community
  • offering a breadth of opportunities in the co-curricular program
  • building community engagement 

It gives me great pleasure to announce our Stage Advisors:
Year 7/8: Ms Penny Lehman
Year 9/10: Ms Kristen Willis
Year 11/12: Ms Emma Maughan
We will be adopting vertical Tutor Groups in Term 1 as a central component of our well-being program. This follows careful examination of this approach in a number of leading schools and much discussion with staff.

Experience and research show the benefit of this approach as it:

  • allows older students that do not have official leadership roles to practice leadership, develop their confidence around offering leadership and developing/practicing leadership skills 
  • allows younger students to get to know some students at each year level, to develop friendships with them and allows younger students to see how more mature students interact and approach life at NEGS
  • challenges every senior student to become role models for younger peers
  • builds links across year levels that contribute to the students feeling they belong to one school community
  • increases all student’s awareness about what is happening in other year levels and how students of different ages see things 
  • gives younger students an additional range of people (other than staff) they can ask questions of or seek advice from, which can be especially useful in understanding school policies & practices, concerns around being bullied and challenges related to their growing maturity/ stage of adolescence
  • encourages teachers to place responsibility for daily routine tasks on a wider range of select students and, in so doing, build those students’ capacities 
  • adds a little variety to student’s daily experience of school life

Our Wellbeing Program – will continue to be year-level based and delivered weekly.

Late last year, we welcomed Mrs Meagan Laverty as Head of Boarding. Boarding has always been central to life at NEGS, and I look forward to our boarding community flourishing under her leadership in 2023. As part of our commitment to boarding, we will begin renovations, as announced late last year. Our priority is a refurbishment of the boarding facilities to provide a contemporary and modern environment and ensure our facilities meet the ongoing and changing needs of our current boarding community.
It will be a staged project and will begin with White House. The plan is to complete a refit of the bedrooms, bathrooms, and common areas. To enable this project to start, our Year 5 to 10 Boarders will be housed together in Kirkwood House. Though we are joining the two houses, Mrs Kassidy remains House Mother for Years 5 to 8, and Ms Everingham House Mother for Years 9 and 10. Much planning has taken place to ensure this will be a smooth transition for all our boarders.

Year 10 students will be in single rooms; Year 7-9 shared rooms.

Kirkwood Common areas will be offered as follows:

  • Zone 1 Downstairs common area Years 5 to 10: TV, games, cooking facilities and lounges.
  • Zone 2 Common area Years 9 to 10: more relaxed lounges and table & chairs, kettle tea, coffee etc.
  • Zone 3 Common area Year 6 to 10: library area with bookshelves, board games, study desks and chairs. 

Years 11 and 12 will remain in Saumarez with Mrs Sarah Bruce as House Mother.

I look forward to sharing more as this project progresses.

Last week, all families were sent a general email detailing the start of term dates, uniform shop hours, stationery lists, the welcome-back BBQ and a notice about the hockey clinic.

The first Newsletter of 2023 will be sent next week, containing a calendar of 2023 key dates.
The year begins on Monday, January 30:

  • new boarding families are asked to arrive at 2.00pm
  • returning boarders join them from 3.00pm
  • a welcome BBQ will follow from 4.30pm to 6.30pm (open to all)

I hope that many of our day families (both Junior and Senior) will join us at the BBQ to ‘kick off the term’ in a relaxed fashion.

I look forward to working in true partnership with you this year for the benefit of your children and our school community. Let’s make 2023 count!

‘Whatsoever you do, do it heartily’.

Ms Liz van Genderen

NEGS Principal

Welcome Back BBQ

On Monday, 30 January, we will hold a Welcome Back BBQ for all students and parents. This will start at 4.30 pm, through to 6 pm, and will also be the Boarders dinner. 

All students and parents are invited; however, we ask you to RSVP for catering purposes. 

Mark Knowles Hockey Development Clinic 

On Friday, 10 Saturday 11 February, Mark Knowles will return to NEGS to run Hockey Development Clinics. 

On Friday, from 3.30pm, he will run a NEGS students-only clinic. (no charge for this)

Students and parents are invited to a relaxed dinner on Friday evening to enjoy a 'Conversation and opportunity to ask a question to our Sporting Legend'. More information will follow next week.

Saturday is open for any local hockey enthusiasts. However, we encourage our NEGS students to register for these sessions.

Jill McIntosh and Samantha May Netball Development Clinic

On Saturday, 11 February, Jill McIntosh and Samantha May, both former Australian netball greats, will be running Netball Development Clinics. Join Jill McIntosh, former Australian Diamond, and Samantha May, former Sydney Swift, for some fantastic netball skills and drills.

Jill McIntosh, a member of Netball Australia’s Hall of Fame, Jill McIntosh has an esteemed career as a player and coach. Jill made 29 senior appearances for Australia after making her debut in 1981. Named Australian captain in 1982, Jill played a significant role in Australia’s triumph at the 1983 Netball World Cup in Singapore.

In 1995 and right through to 2003, Jill was appointed Australia’s Head Coach. During her 94 tests, Jill guided Australia to 88 victories, achieving a 94% win rate which earned her 2 gold medals at the 1995 and 1999 World Netball Championships and 2 gold medals at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Since stepping down as Australia’s Head Coach, Jill has worked in various coaching roles for many other teams and countries like Singapore, Jamacia, Northern Ireland and the Central.

Jill is currently based in Canberra and works closely with Netball ACT and Netball NSW to help develop up and coming athletes and coaches working within Netball.

Samantha May, Sam works with Netball NSW as the State Performance and Pathways Manager. In her role, she overlooks numerous programs that are delivered all around the state, with the Foundation Waratah Program aimed at our 13 and 14 year old’s, the Regional Academy Programs for our 15-16 year old’s and the Emerging Talent Programs for athletes between the age bracket of 16-23.

A former player herself, Sam has represented NSW at the state and national levels and is a former Sydney and NSW Swift player. Sam took the opportunity to head overseas to the UK, where she gained valuable experience playing in their national competition for eight seasons. While Sam was in the UK, she ventured into coaching and had the opportunity to work with an array of athletes ranging from club level to up-and-coming national athletes.

Now back in Sydney, Sam has taken on the role at Netball NSW and has continued with her coaching, working with Sydney Netball Academy and will coach in the Metro 1 state league competition in 2023.  

The clinics are open to all local netball players, and NEGS students are encouraged to participate. 


  • Welcome Back BBQ - 30 January
  • SS Meet the Stage Advisor (via Zoom)
  • P and F Meeting - 8 February
  • Sports Legends Panel and Dinner - 10 February
  • Hockey and Netball Clinics - 11 February
  • JS Meet and Greet - 13 February
  • School Swim Carnival - 14 February
  • Academic Scholarship Testing Day - 25 February (applications close 6 February)
  • Open Day - 10 March
  • NEGS Fair - 1 April

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