Humanities Department | Gippsland Grammar


Humanities Department


On 20 February, Ms Michaela O’Connor, Ms Sam Gladman and I accompanied our Year 10 History students to Melbourne to visit the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Elsternwick. The purpose of the trip was for students to hear from a Holocaust survivor and to deepen their knowledge of the events we have come to know as the Holocaust. We heard from a survivor called Joe, who told of his harrowing experiences as a young man during WWII. He told his story with some humour; however, the horror of his experience was always apparent. His lack of hatred for those who persecuted him and his family was uplifting.


Students were surveyed on what they thought was the highlight of their visit.

Here are some of their unedited responses:

Hearing the experience of a Holocaust Survivor. I thought that this was very moving.

Having the guided tour with Malka, and hearing stories that she has grown up hearing. It was very informative and shed a new light for me on the true cruelty of the holocaust.

Listening to Joh and his story about how he lived through the Holocaust and how he found his family again.

The real stories from the staff and Joe. It gave you a real perspective to what really happened instead of a boring video telling you the stories.

Learning about different people’s views, opinions and stories on the holocaust.

The talk with the holocaust survivor.

Hearing from Joe.

There were many more comments like these.


These reflections are particularly poignant, as these students are the last generation who will be able to hear directly from survivors of the Holocaust. While it seems a significant sacrifice of time, given that the bus trip alone occupies close to six hours, the power of hearing from a survivor makes the trip worthwhile. The students used the knowledge gained on this trip, and in class, to enhance their creative stories in which they wrote in the voice of people enduring the Holocaust.



There has been a flurry of Geography field trips in the last three weeks of Term 1. Mr Dihood and I had the pleasure of taking Year 7A and 7B to Lake Glenmaggie and the Heart Morass to investigate the human impact on both places; the advantages and disadvantages of building Lake Glenmaggie and the benefits to the wetlands of recreational use.


I would like to thank Julie Logan from Southern Rural Water for guiding us around Lake Glenmaggie and giving our students lots of useful information for their reports. Also, Gary Howard of the Sale Field and Game organisation who showed us the great work his group have done in rehabilitating the Heart Morass and other wetland habitats. Both people targeted their discussion at our students' needs and the students all responded positively. The furious note-making while Julie spoke was pleasing to see and the students got lots of evidence for their report. It was harder to take notes while walking through the Heart Morass, but the students were attentive and managed to get the required data. Thanks again to Julie and Gary for giving us the benefit of their knowledge and experience.


Mr Dolbel and Ms O’Reilly went to the Ninety Mile Beach on 23 March with Year 8B and 8D students to conduct a field research task to answer two hypotheses:  

  1. Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland is a totally uniform coastal system, with very little variation in natural processes or landforms and human activity evident along its length;
  2. Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland is dominated more by natural processes than human.


Students conducted primary data collection and research to test these hypotheses, which involved collecting, processing and analysing data from three locations along the Ninety Mile Beach. At each stop, students drew a field sketch to observe and record the dune profile. They also conducted observational surveys. Next, students evaluated longshore drifting by throwing an orange into the surf and watching as the orange moved along the shore. They recorded its movement over a three minute time period. During their next few classes, the students will compile their reports and respond to the hypotheses with the evidence they have collected. Mark Dobel and Peter Ries


Peter Ries
Head of Humanities