CANBERRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL: The Year in Review 2013 - the book

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This is a hardcover coffee table book with 312 pages and over 1000 images. You can view each page in the 4 slideshows above. Each slideshow is a term of the year.

Dr Garrick's Introduction


As you look through William Hall’s magnificent photographic record of another year at Canberra Grammar School, you’d be forgiven for wondering if our students are ever in class, as they run, swim, act, sing, camp, cook, kick, sculpt, paddle, paint, play, perform, pray, and sometimes pose their way through life. 

Who’d have thought that there was so much going on around the margins of all those hours spent in lessons, listening to teachers and pouring over books, iPads and practice examination papers?  Yet, as our School Chaplain, Father Chris, so often reminds me, ‘if you know everything that’s going on in the School, there’s not enough going on.’


There seems little danger of that! 

These glorious photographs provide witness to a School that is bursting with vibrant life, rich in spirit and large in soul.  They say more of our culture than any MySchool website or annual report of key performance indicators can.  Just try counting the smiles or the arms round shoulders, the jokes and triumphs shared, the joint endeavours and proud moments captured in these pages.  It’s an easy School to love.


Look also at the thoughtful faces: the intent focus of young minds striving to understand why a tree is being planted, how a note should be played, what’s on the screen, what Father Chris is saying in Chapel, how to convey the essence of a role on stage, join one piece of metal to the next, or explain to the Head the making of a boat; and never doubt the learning that takes place in our School.

This volume is the embodiment of the School’s foundation principle: that its education be holistic; nourishing every individual – all 1654 of them – intellectually, spiritually, socially, culturally and physically. 

It may not be that classroom lessons are as photogenic or as accessible to the photographer as athletics carnivals or Christmas concerts, dragon boat regattas, house barbeques and mega-musicals, but what William Hall proves in striking black and white relief is the excitement, the enjoyment, the aspiration and fascination that permeates our campus in the rich vitality that is education in all its forms at Canberra Grammar School.

We are tremendously fortunate in having so skilful a visual chronicler as William in our community.   An Old Boy and a current parent of the School, he has for the past two years been our photographer in residence, attending virtually every event to record the life of our School in a wonderful artistic experiment, the results of which we see here: a tribute to the boys and young girls, the staff, the parents, the Old Boys, the community and the energy that is Canberra Grammar School.  For that he has my great admiration and gratitude.



Justin Garrick

Head of School 

Statement from photographer William Hall


Each week I spend a few hours at the School supplying CGS Community Relations with images they can use for their publications.  As a photographer this gives me the rare opportunity to document the scale and range of activities the School is involved in and to compile a photographic impression of a school going through a period of change.  

By the end of the year I probably saw more of the School and witnessed more events than anybody else!  The 1000 or so images in this book are my selection from around 25,000 I have shot.


I have produced this book to give everyone the opportunity to view the whole school at work and to see it as the large, diverse, complicated and yet unified organisation that it is. However, not only do I want to ensure the memories and events of year are preserved forever, I hope that viewing the book tells the ‘qualitative’ story of the School, capturing the essence of what it aspires to and what the staff, students and parents truly experience every day. My choice of black-and-white is intended to keep the focus on the faces and that qualitative experience.

My goal is to capture the processes and interactions that reveal the experience of learning, belonging and respect I witness around the school and the School’s broader community. But I have also tried to capture the change our School is experiencing, partly in response to Dr. Garrick’s directorship but also as any school must respond to update itself for an unpredictable future.


At their best I see some distinct and recognisable characteristics to many of the young men attending and graduating from Grammar today. Most appear respectful, balanced and prepared to engage intelligently with the world around them - no doubt a reflection of academic and pastoral input and, of course, parenting. How well prepared they really are for the future only time will tell. 

From what I have seen of the School, however, most of these men will be able to look back on their school years with positive memories and regard these times as having contributed something useful and maybe even regard these years as ‘happy’. As we look to the future the impact and influence of these men on the greater community will also be interesting as they interact with others and maybe have families of their own. 


Initially as an Old Boy and now as a parent, I have been involved with the School in many capacities for nearly 40 years – student and parent as well as frequent filmmaker and photographer. I suspect the enormous changes I have witnessed over that time may be eclipsed by the changes we are likely to see over the next 40 years, so I have created this book as a resource for today and tomorrow, hoping it proves useful to anyone wanting to gain some understanding about what Grammar was like in 2013.

Thank you,


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