Announcement – New Principal

A message from Board Chair – Cathy Jeffkins

It is with pleasure that I advise you that the School Board of Bacchus Marsh Grammar has appointed Mrs Debra Ogston as the fourth Principal of the School.  Mrs Ogston will commence her Principalship on the 1 January 2025.

As the School Community are aware, the Board began the process of seeking a new Principal earlier this year.  The advertising of the position saw interested applicants from current school leaders locally, interstate and internationally.

In parallel, a series of focus groups with representation from School Staff, Parents, Students, Alumni and the broader community, had been established to ascertain the values, experience and direction the School Community sought from a new leader.  The desired characteristics, experience and approach expressed by these groups was consistent, and may be summarised as:

  1. A person who is self-effacing and has a strong sense of decency and goodwill.
  2. A candidate who understands and seeks to maintain academic achievement for all.
  3. An understanding of the true meaning of an “Education for Life” and the processes that need to occur within a school to enable that to be achieved.
  4. A proud commitment to the students and families of Western Melbourne.

It became clear during the recruitment process that Mrs Ogston exceeded these four criteria with an excellent understanding of the workings of the School, being an active representative of the School’s culture, embodying the School’s values through current and past School leadership roles and having a strong vision for BMG’s future.  Mrs Ogston outlined a clear strategy in the application process of respect and continuity for the School’s achievements, along with a clear focus on the continuation of the academic focus of the School. Further, Mrs Ogston placed a strong emphasis on pastoral care, character education and the further development of co-curricular programs. Mrs Ogston’s appointment was unanimously endorsed by the School Board.

Mrs Ogston, educated in South Australia as a senior mathematics and physical education teacher, began her teaching career at the then Kyneton High School.  This was followed by a period at Pembroke Grammar in South Australia.  Mrs Ogston joined the School in April 2002 and has had a variety of positions over the past 23 years.  These positions include Year 9 Coordinator, Assistant Principal – Pastoral Care, Head of Senior School – Maddingley and most recently, Deputy Principal – Head of Maddingley Campus.

Current Principal, Mr Andrew Neal said “I cannot be more delighted with this appointment.  Mrs Debra Ogston has the capacity and desire to continue the growth and development of the School in a way that is true to our values and is respectful to all members of our Community.”

On behalf of the School Board, I wish to thank the entire School Community for its respectful engagement and interest in the new Principal selection process. The Board is delighted to have made the appointment of Mrs Ogston to position of Principal with effect from 1 January 2025.

The Board also reiterates its grateful and heartfelt thanks to current Principal, Mr Andrew Neal, for his enormous contribution to our School, and looks forward to Mr Neal undertaking the new role of the School’s Chief Executive Officer from 1 January 2025.

Cathy Jeffkins – Board Chair – Bacchus Marsh Grammar

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