The case for conversation

Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s podcast series, Illumine, is a space for considered thought and friendly debate about all things related to secondary education. In each episode, Girls Grammar Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler, interviews School staff, students and guests about important, current topics and trends—from financial literacy and women in leadership, to sexual consent education and the development of critical thinking skills.

Schools have long been the homes of the mind, spaces within which teachers and students are free to discuss, debate and question—discerning fact from fiction, considering alternative viewpoints, and creating an environment where the value of deep thinking is clearly understood.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School knows that education is transformative. Schools offer a valuable space for students to practise raising their voices, critically assessing issues that are important to them, and engaging in meaningful conversation about constructive change. 

 The BGGS podcast, Illumine, launched in 2020, offers the opportunity for students and staff to discuss and debate important issues with me. So far, Illumine has covered topics such as The Importance of Self-Care During Uncertain Times, Critical Thinking in the English Classroom and, more recently, Women in Leadership, in which the School’s Chair of the Board of Trustees, Ms Julie McKay, joined me to discuss the many achievements, and challenges that remain, for women in leadership roles.

Illumine offers a medium for rigorous examination and discussion of contemporary issues, providing our girls and young women a safe space to develop their views and, ultimately, a platform to have their voices heard. We also encourage our students to have these robust and meaningful discussions in classrooms and homes—and support expression and respectful debate of the full range of views. Rather than shielding young people from the conversations they will encounter now and in their lives beyond school, we should prioritise developing their critical thinking skills and equip them to thrive in a world in which they will face issues that confront and challenge them.  

At BGGS, immersive learning experiences such as this—within the classroom and beyond—inspire students to dare to dream, without fear of failure, and to test the unfamiliar. Students embrace independence within a supportive environment, and develop enduring life and leadership skills that prepare them for full and rewarding lives after school. With the support of a strong and purposefully engaged community that shares a belief in the importance of educating girls, and values the finest traditions and aspirations in education, Brisbane Girls Grammar School and its students aim to face the future with confidence and optimism.

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