Published on April 26, 2023


As the first light of dawn broke on April 25th over the Hunter Valley, a solemn silence was observed as students gathered for the Dawn Services in their respective locations.

For the East Maitland ceremony, the talented HVGS Music team had come together under the guidance of Mr Parkinson and other passionate staff members, ready to lend a beautiful ambience to the atmosphere with their hymns and anthems. As the students positioned themselves, their instruments resting gently on their laps, the first notes floated out into
the cool morning air, promising a spectacular performance. Meanwhile, in Branxton, HVGS Senior and Junior School students gathered to pay their respects.

Later, the parade in East Maitland was a sight to behold. Junior School students marched in formation, joined by staff, teachers, and parents; the School community united on this special day, taking a moment to honour the sacrifices made by brave men and women.

The representation of HVGS at such events not only fosters a sense of respect, service and unity among the students, staff, and parents but is a reminder that we are all part of a larger community.

As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, HVGS aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who contribute to a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Living the IB mission means also embracing our School values – responsibility, integrity, respect, citizenship, courage, compassion, optimism, and gratitude. Through the embodiment of these values, our community demonstrates through action, what it truly means to remember and honour those who fought for peace.

The early morning silence offers moments of deep contemplation. The IB Mission, with its focus on creating a better world, resonates strongly in these moments and encourages us to accept and respect differences and embrace the values that are crucial in fostering peace and justice while encouraging young people to recognise their own potential for positive change in the world.

“What then becomes important for us as adults, and for our students, are our behaviours and whether they show us to be caring, inquiring, knowledgeable, compassionate and active lifelong learners. By demonstrating these behaviours in our daily lives, we stay curious and open to opportunities for peace and justice.” – Rebecca Butterworth

It is no easy feat to organise such a special event, and the staff and parents of HVGS deserve hearty congratulations for the effort put into ensuring its success.