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In this issue

Gawura news
Key dates
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Sports news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting tips
What's happening in the Art Space?
Sydney Academy of Chess
Community news
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Gawura news


A big welcome back to Term 4 for all of our families. I hope you all had a restful break.

During the holidays representatives from our school including school founders Pastor Ray Minniecon and Aunty Sharon Minniecon attended the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education at the Adelaide Convention Centre. There were over 2300 delegates including 900 from overseas who attended this marvellous First Nations event. Presentations were given by various Indigenous Nations from all over the globe including such countries like Norway, Canada, US and New Zealand to just name a few. Our Gawura School was well received and many people commented after on the structures and initiatives that we have in place.

Term 4 is quite a busy term which is full of various events.

Please see the section Dates To Remember so that you know what is coming up and when. We would love to see as many of our Gawura families attend as possible.

Our next GPAC Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 18 October from 2.30pm - 3.10pm in the School Council Room. I shall send a text out on Monday with an online link for anyone who wishes to join us.

Finally, congratulations to Newcastle All Blacks who won the Koori Knockout in Nowra in the school holidays, Walgett came so very close!! The talent that exists within our mob is magnificent.

I wish you all a very happy and safe fortnight ahead.


John Ralph 
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 18 October, 2.30pm
GPAC Meeting

Wednesday 19 – Thursday 20 October
Year 4 to Kirrikee

Thursday 20 – Friday 21 October
Year 3 to Kirrikee

Friday 21 October
Infants Swimming

Monday 24 – Tuesday 25 October
6O and 6M Kirrikee Programme

Wednesday 26 – Thursday 27 October
6B and 6W Kirrikee Programme

Friday 28 October
Infants Swimming

Friday 28 October, 1pm-3pm
Year 5 Music Concert, Chapter House

Tuesday 1 November, 6pm
P&F Presents: Co-curricular

Friday 4 November
Year 3 Excursion to Chinese Gardens
Infants Swimming

Monday 7 November
Kindergarten 2023 Playdate

Friday 11 November
Infants Swimming

Saturday 19 November, 5pm
P&F Rooftop Christmas Markets


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator



Over the past few years our children have been faced with many challenges and have been required to exercise resilience. Resilience is important for a child’s mental health. It is their ability to bounce back from failure, challenges, adversity and stress. It’s not something that children have or don’t have but a skill that they develop over time as they grow. Building resilience not only helps a child deal with current difficulties, but it also helps develop a resilient mindset that will help them deal with challenges later in life. All children are capable of working through challenges and coping with stress, but they require guidance and support from a charismatic adult role model.

Earlier in the year I highlighted the 7 C’s of Resilience and over this term I will focus on exploring these in more depth. This issue I will be exploring competence, confidence and connection. For more information on these, please visit our SACS SchoolTV site at:

1. Competence

Competence is the ability or know how to handle situations effectively. It’s not a vague feeling or hunch that “I can do this.” Competence is acquired through actual experience. Young people can’t become competent without first developing a set of skills that allows them to trust their judgement, make responsible choices and face difficult situations.

Adult carers can help to build this by:

  • Encouraging children to focus and build on their strengths.
  • Avoid trying to protect them from every stumble.
  • Give them the opportunity to make safe mistakes.

2. Confidence

Confidence is having a solid belief in your own abilities. It helps children try new things and cope with challenges to make sound choices. It is not warm and fuzzy self-esteem that comes from telling children they’re special or precious. Young people develop competence if they know they are safe and protected enabling them to face and cope with challenges.

Adult carers can help to build this by:

  • Encouraging the development of personal character strengths.
  • Not focusing only on past achievements, instead help them strive for new goals.
  • Praising young people with honesty and being specific so that your feedback has impact.

3. Connection

Connection provides young people with an emotional safety net, where they feel safe, valued and listened to, in other words, unconditionally loved. Empathising with children’s positive and negative emotions helps them feel known, understood and adored. Connection to civic, educational, religious, and athletic groups can also increase a young person’s sense of belonging to a wider world.

Adult carers can help to build this by:

  • Allowing children to express all their emotions in an appropriate way - positive and hard emotions.
  • Encouraging them to develop relationships with other people.
  • Persuading them to resolve problems rather than letting them fester.

Term 4 – Service Learning


We need your help!

During Term 4 our students will be involved in a range of service-learning activities which we would love you to talk with your children about and to support.

We are focusing on developing the St Andrew's Character Strengths of Grateful, Caring and Servant-hearted through a series of lessons and activities. In particular:

Toys & Tucker – we will be collecting new toys and dry food goods to be collated into Christmas hampers.

Anglican Aid – students will be making and selling Christmas gift tags to raise money for an African refugee school.

Later in the term look out for the stall at afternoon pick up time!

Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Junior School and Gawura Wellbeing Coordinator


Music news


AMEB Examination success

Congratulations to Violet Pendlebury-Simmons who recently completed her Speech & Performance Grade 1 examination and received a mark of A+! An outstanding achievement.



Please note that all Music ensembles have recommenced and that students should attend all rehearsals. If your child will be absent from rehearsal, please email

Our Ensembles Concert will be held on 18 November and we are looking forward to this event! Please save the date.

Students in ensembles and students receiving tuition on instruments do not need to re-enrol for the term as the enrolment is ongoing.

Please feel free to email with any enquiries relating to your child’s music education.

Mrs​ Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K‑6)


Sports news


Mini Athletics

"Wednesday 21 September, K-2 had their mini athletics carnival. The School Captains, Vice Captains, Sport Captain and House Captains went to help the kids with their activities and races.

The first thing the kids did was a running race. The kids ran so fast, us captains struggled to catch up with them 😅 .Then we moved onto our activities. The captains helped set up activities like bean bag shot put, cricket, soccer penalty shoot-out, parachute, egg and spoon race, relay, and a very hard obstacle course! 

Salisbury won the carnival, but how did they win?

Kids had to do well in their challenges to get awarded stickers that would say, courageous, persistent, caring, hopeful… demonstrating all the character strengths of St Andrew’s Cathedral School. 

It was a great day for everyone, and it went very successfully."

– Written by Manning Gavagna
(Sport captain)


CIS Carnival

"On 20 September 2022, six students competed in the NSW CIS Carnival. All of the six students did their best at the Carnival that day.

Orsen Gavagna placed 2nd in the U13 boys 100m sprint,
Ziyra Wilcoxen placed 2nd in the U13 girls 100m sprint,
Katia Delic placed 10th in the U10 100 sprint,
Manning Gavagna placed 17th in the 800m race,
Anthony Lees placed 19th in the U10s Shotput and
Annie Bray placed 10th in her U11s 800m heat.  

We were all very nervous, but in the end, we were very proud of ourselves and how we went.

Congratulations to Ziyra and Orsen for being selected to represent CIS (Combined Independent Schools at the PSSA NSW Championships, both for 100m sprint)."

– Written by Ziyra Wilcoxen and Orsen Gavagna
(Year 6)


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



Click here for the latest Heart, Mind, Life & Uniform awards.


Parenting tips


The Einstein Factor

In past newsletters I have written about a character trait in students...grit or was about not giving up when completing tasks. I think it is well worth revisiting and I would like to encourage you, this week, to keep going even when things look unattainable, especially in the recent times of uncertainty and our sometimes, chaotic world.

I love using the Learning Pit strategy with my classes because it utilises this idea of pushing through so well. I love the visual aspect, how the students can see exactly how learning works and its different stages. I also love the language that is used to explain the stages.

We use the Learning Pit in Year 5 because not all children are successful straight away, some take time to understand concepts and then to confidently work through them. The Learning Pit strategy helps teach students who struggle and sometimes fail....`it is actually healthy and how, when we push through these moments, it helps consolidate our character."

Michael Grose wrote an interesting blog along similar lines. He wrote that it is often hard as parents....and teachers.... to keep going when our children are struggling too. Sometimes we just want to give up!

Michael Grose has called it The Einstein Factor.

"I think all parents need to channel the Einstein Factor. Inventor Albert Einstein maintained that he was no smarter than anyone else, he just stayed on problems longer than most people.

With some children you have to stay on the job longer than with others. In the meantime, support, coach, explain, teach and be firm or encourage, scaffold and model learning!

We all want instant results in whatever we do. Parenting (and teaching) are no different!

It’s hard when the results don’t come. But you’ve got to keep on doing the right things and making the best choices for your children. In other words, bring the Einstein Factor into your parenting.

To help do this:

  • Get support and feedback from your partner, or a colleague. Feedback fires you up.
  • Keep building your skills and knowledge that will help your children be successful or overcome individual challenges. Children get lifelong learning from parents, more than school.
  • Be around people who fire you up, support you and energise you. It’s no coincidence that great parents hang out together. Support keeps you grounded."

I love this quote ..."Small hinges swing big doors". It means that it’s the little things done on a regular basis by parents (and teachers) that make the biggest difference to children.
"You’ve just got to choose the right actions and keep doing them….day after day. And have faith that the results will come………..eventually!"

Great advice! Hope you think about the Learning Pit or in other words the Einstein Factor next time things get a little hard or difficult!


Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


What's happening in the Art Space?


Year 5 lino cut printing

Working with carving tools on lino is not for the fainthearted, but Year 5 have persevered and are now seeing the fruit of their careful work in the form of moody lino prints, reflecting the beauty of the natural world as shown in this work by Jasmine P and Isabell D.


Year 4 weaving

Working on handmade looms from recycled materials, students have learned to weave with discarded wools and threads using techniques practised almost universally by peoples throughout history. Each piece tells a story – from experiences in bushfires, memories of a golden sunset or planting seeds or an impression of a night sky in the style of Van Gogh. Oscar C and Emma T pictured above.


Year 5 Shorebirds Competition ANSTO 2022

We recently received the good news that five of our Year 5 artists, who submitted in this competition, have received special Commendations for their work in creating a poster to encourage community awareness and action for some of Australia’s endangered Shorebirds. Congratulations to these artists!

  • Thomas Hart
  • Lilian Smallwood
  • Clementine Collier
  • Meera Joshi
  • Marcus Chau

Young Andrean Artist of the Year Competition 2022

It was wonderful to catch a glimpse of the fabulous entries brought in by students for this competition! What a delight for the judges to see such individual and detailed work in response to the centenary of the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb in the Luxor Valley in 1922. We await the results of this competition!

Mrs​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator JS&G


Looking for a family exhibition to visit?

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Australian National Maritime Museum,
Darling Harbour Until 5 Mar 2023




Congratulations Violet Bloxsom

Congratulations to Violet Bloxsom in Year 5 for phenomenal results in two prestigious writing competitions. Violet was awarded first prize in the Primary Prose category at the Mosman Youth Awards in Literature. She was also nominated as a winning entry for the Whitlam Institute What Matters? writing competition.

What Matters? Competition

What Matters? is a national writing competition run by the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University. The competition seeks to develop young writers as they explore a different perspective about the trajectory of society. The competition is inspired by Gough Whitlam’s commitment to involve young children in the shaping of Australia’s future.

This year there were over 4000 entries in the What Matters? competition. Violet was selected from 30 shortlisted entries in the Year 5/6 category. She was the youngest award recipient on the day and her piece was specifically mentioned by Craig Ruecassel in his address. Violet’s entry was also considered for the overall competition winner which includes students up to Year 12. An excerpt is below:

Education matters. Our environment matters. Homelessness matters. World conflict matters. What matters most? I think that regardless of the issue, the voices of young people matter. In October 2012, a Taliban terrorist boarded a school bus, asked for a female student by name and then fired three shots at her. One of the bullets entered and exited her head and lodged in her shoulder. She was seriously wounded. Luckily, she survived. Why was she shot? For wanting an education. For speaking up on behalf of girls and their right to learn. When the Taliban took control of her hometown in Pakistan in 2008, they said that girls could no longer attend school. She spoke about this to anyone who would listen; she spoke on TV and radio and to newspapers. Her campaign for the education of girls made her a target.


Mosman Youth Awards in Literature

The Mosman Youth Awards in Literature was inaugurated in 1993 as part of the Mosman Council’s Centenary Celebrations. The participants write a piece of prose that is no more than 1000 words or poetry that is at least 20 lines. Students write on a theme of their own choice. The Mosman Library displays the winning entries as well as publishing them in a compilation of short stories. Violet wrote an striking entry called ‘Ollie’s Ruby Tuesday’. Below is a short excerpt from her entry:

First, insert a long hook in the nose to pull out the brains. Squelch. Next, make a cut in the left side of the body near the tummy and remove all internal organs. Ooze. Then, place the lungs, intestines, stomach and liver inside canopic jars. Plop. Now, place the heart back inside the body. Squish. Next, rinse the body with wine and spices and cover the lifeless corpse with salt. When the body starts to flop, stuff it with linen, straw and sand to give it a more human shape. When the body is dry, wrap it in linen bandages from head to toe. Be sure to wrap the fingers and toes individually. Finally, attach sacred amulets and charms and gently place the body in a sarcophagus. Welcome to Ancient Egypt, one of the greatest civilisations in the history of the world!”, announced the eccentric tour guide.

Below are some reflections from Violet about these competitions.

Why were you inspired to enter these two writing competitions?

I entered the Mosman Youth Awards in Literature last year and came second in the Primary Prose category so I was looking forward to the competition coming around again this year. You can write a story about anything you want which is great because you can let your imagination run wild.

My teacher from Year 3, Mrs Birts, continues to encourage me (all the way from Perth) to share my writing and suggested I enter the What Matters? competition this year.

What were your two pieces of writing about? How did you choose these topics?

My story for the Mosman Youth Awards was about a boy named Ollie who found a long-lost treasure which turned out to be cursed.

For the What Matters? competition, I adapted my speech from last year’s public speaking competition because it was on a topic I’m passionate about - kids speaking up about the things that matter to them. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, what’s important is that we use our voices to share our concerns and help come up with solutions.

What advice would you give to other students who are passionate writers?

Always have a notebook close by and write down interesting ideas when they pop into your head. I have lots of half written stories, descriptions of characters for future stories and even just lists of interesting words that I write down when I think of them.

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator JS and GS


Sydney Academy of Chess


Chess Term 4

Learn to be a chess champion!
Coaching for students at St Andrew's Cathedral School (Junior) is held on:

Years 3-4: Tuesdays from 11:00am to 11:30am, starting on 18 October 2022

Years K-2: Tuesdays from 11:30am to 12:00pm, starting on 18 October 2022

Years 5-6: Tuesdays from 12:00pm to 12:30pm, starting on 18 October 2022

Learning and playing chess helps children develop their logical thinking and problem solving skills, improves their concentration and focus, while also being a great source of enjoyment.

Activities include group lessons on a demonstration chess board or interactive whiteboard, puzzle solving and fun practice games. Students earn merit awards by making checkmates, or by displaying skills and positive qualities, which all good chess players strive to develop. If your child is interested in taking part, you can email

For all enquiries, please contact ;
Sydney Academy of Chess on (02) 9745 1170.


Community news


Musical Mayhem Trivia

Saturday night, 15 October, saw the creativity of St Andrew’s Cathedral School parents at their best as they dressed up for the biennial fundraising Trivia Night – Musical Mayhem. Over 240 parents, most unrecognisable in their fancy dress, contested trivia, played games, sang, danced and laughed the evening away. It was wonderful to have the School community back together again! The hotly contested best costume was won by the Addams Family Twins, the best team costume went to the Wizard of Oz (the flying monkeys stole the show) and Camelot won not only the best decorated table, but also the trivia. A special mention must go to the Year 12 parents as Hair – really letting their hair down!

So much fun – and also fundraising for our rooftop renovation project. We were able to share a few concept ideas with everyone and raise @$25,000 (we haven’t quite finalised the figures yet). Thank you to our amazing parents for their good spirits and generosity on the night, to all the families who donated to the hampers, and to Linda Diaz and Nicole Overton for their skilful gift wrapping.

Most of the fundraising at trivia comes from our wonderful contributors to the silent auction including: Memory Box Audio, Kate Mac Interiors, The Gunning Family, the School TAS Department, Jude Karikios, Richard Hansen, Brad Swibel, Dr McGonigle, Emerald Private Wealth, KELA Charms, Elysha and Paul Folino-Gallo, the School Facilities team, Opal Minded, Dulceria Lollies, Trippas White Group, Seventh Street Ventures, Ken and Madi Morrison, Hamilton Island Enterprises, Canvas Home Interiors, Barber Industries QVB, Vivaldi Smile Artisans, The Independent Collective, Jarrett Fine Jewellery, My Curated Life, Sydney Luggage Centre, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Bill Sullivan, Ben Tolstoshev, Sonia von der Heidt, Ryan Langley (Year 12), Positive Health Group, Primary Dental, Sarah Gardner Jewellery and Love Duck.

Finally a big thank you to the Community Engagement team: Jules Davies, Richard Hanson, Zac Simpson, Sandra du Toit, Will Zhang, Kelton Jarvis, Marita Cranwell. Also Bindi Jarvis: Humanities and Irene Burnie: IT.

Ms Lyn Jarvis
Director of Community Engagement


What's on: upcoming events and activities


P&F Presents: Co-curricular

Please join the P&F on Tuesday at 6pm in The Community Hub, St Andrew’s House, or online. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from our panellists and have all your questions answered.

The expert panel is comprised of: 

  • Ms Tamsyn Kelson, Head of Sport
  • Mr Dan Murray, Head of Co-curricular K-7
  • Ms Amanda Hogan, Deputy Head of Technological & Applied Studies

The panellists will give a short presentation which will be followed by a Q&A session. 

On the evening, sign in at reception and come directly to the Community Hub.

Refreshments will be served.

You can also join online via the link.

For enquiries, please contact the St Andrew's Community Engagement team: | 02 9286 9661

Tuesday 1 November, 6pm
The Community Hub, St Andrew’s House


An exciting night of original student theatre!

Year 10 Drama students will be presenting their student-written and produced original theatrical performances in the Black Box Theatre.

Students have been busily preparing these works since the beginning of Term 3 in the Scriptwriting unit, where all students wrote original short plays. They were then split into groups where they have taken on all production and performance to bring selected scripts to life. The work is 100% original and 100% student work. It will be a very exciting night of theatre!

Wednesday 26 October, 6pm - 8.30pm
Black Box Theatre, BBC
Free event


Book here


Coffee in Chapter House – Year 6 Parents

Parents and carers of Year 6 students are warmly invited to Coffee in the Chapter House for a farewell event. Come along and share a coffee with staff and other Year 6 parents celebrating and reflecting on your Junior School years and looking forward to the next adventure!

Monday 14 November, 8am-9am
Chapter House

Please RSVP by Wednesday 9 November for catering purposes.  


RSVP here


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