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In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Performing Arts news
Library news
Sports news
Library For All
What's happening in the Art Space?
Gifted and Talented Education
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


Thank you to all the parents, donors and community members who attended last Friday’s Gawura Mural Unveiling on the roof. It was a joyous occasion where the meaning behind the mural was shared with the children and all those present. Thanks to our marvellous catering and events team who prepared everything and put the afternoon together.

Preparations are already under way for this year’s NAIDOC Event to be held on Thursday 27 June this year with the theme Keep the Fire Burning – Blak, Loud and Proud. Please put this significant date into your calendars now. The NAIDOC Assembly will commence at 9.30am in the Cathedral followed by Morning Tea immediately afterwards.

Just a reminder that our Yarning Session With Parents will be held on Tuesday 27 February with Aunty Barbara Simms hosting us at La Perouse from 10.30am. The Gawura Bus will be leaving Bathurst St at 10.00am. If you would prefer to meet us there then please go to the old snake pit, just opposite the bus terminus on Anzac Pde, where Aunty Barb will meet the whole group at 10.30am. Morning tea will be held at 11.30am with the Gawura bus departing La Perouse at 12.30pm, to return to school by 1.00pm. I have heard many wonderful things about previous tours that Aunty Barb has run, so I am looking forward to this one.

Please reach out to myself or your class teacher if you have any queries around the term ahead. We are delighted to have all the children back at school and look forward to having a wonderful term of learning in front of us.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 27 February, 10.30am
Yarning Session With Parents at La Perouse

Thursday 29 February, 8am
Coffee in the Hub – Parents of aspiring musicians

Tuesday 5 March
ASISSA football trials

Wednesday 6  Friday 8 March
- Year 4 Kirrikee
- Years 5 & 6 Canberra

Friday 8 March, 6pm
Gawura Cocktail Evening Fundraiser

Monday 11 March
ASISSA Swimming Carnival

Wednesday 13 March
NAPLAN commences Years 3 and 5

Thursday 14 March, 8am
Coffee in the Hub – Years 1-2

Saturday 16 March, 9am-4pm
Junior School and Gawura Kirrikee Picnic Day

18-22 March
Junior School and Gawura Harmony Week

Friday 22 March
Junior School and Gawura Multicultural Dress Day (or wear orange)

Wednesday 20 March
Junior School Information Evening and Twilight Tour

Thursday 21 March
ASISSA Netball Gala Day

Monday 25 March, 2.15pm
Community Easter Chapel

Wednesday 27 March, 9am 
Easter Hat Parade

Thursday 28 March
School closed – Maundy Thursday

Save the date!
4-6 April

School Musical: Disney's The Little Mermaid


Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards



For a full list of the latest Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform awards, click here


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Teach students how to adopt a better balance

Dr McGonigle often reminds our students that they are “infinitely precious”, yet some of our students find this hard to believe. I wonder where your child might find their value or worth?

Many students find it in their successes and what they achieve. Yet sometimes, this phenomenon can go beyond the healthy quest for success and embed a belief in students that their merit is exclusively tied to their achievements, often propelled by intense external pressures from families, schools and society. The consequences of this can be detrimental to students' mental and physical health resulting in burnout and heightened levels of stress.

Of course, healthy ambition can be excellent, but it's crucial to ensure that this desire doesn't push our children into an unhelpful cycle of achievement and make them feel that they must achieve to have value. As adult carers, we can encourage a balanced and holistic approach to achievement, emphasising the importance of resilience, wellbeing, and the pursuit of diverse interests.

This SchoolTV Special Report will help you understand the signs of unhealthy achievement, and how to teach students how to adopt a better balance. Here is the link to your SchoolTV Special Report.

Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Head of Character & Wellbeing (K‑12)


Performing Arts news



Congratulations to Hugo Gilmovich (pictured left), who had a wonderful time participating in the Melbourne Youth Orchestra Summer School and performed in the Melbourne Town Hall during the holidays. Well done!

Year 3 Instrumental programme

Thank you to everyone in Year 3 who has sent back their hire forms so that your child can take their instruments home. Please remember that all students in Year 3 need their instruments every Monday.



Congratulations to the following students on their recent AMEB Examination results:

  • Shuichi Matsumoto – Piano Comprehensive Grade 2 – High Distinction
  • Nathan Meng – Piano Comprehensive Grade 1 – Honours
  • Cameron Harvey – Piano Comprehensive Grade 2 – Honours
  • Shaheli Peiris – Piano Comprehensive Grade 2 – Honours
  • Aadya Dua – Violin Grade 1 – Honours
  • Leon Kenny – Piano Comprehensive Preliminary – Credit
  • Patrick Bloxsom – Piano Comprehensive – High Distinction
  • Mairah Kharwa – Violin Grade 1 – Honours
  • Annabelle Douglas – Violin Repertoire Grade 4 – Credit
  • Samuel Cobb – Violin Repertoire Grade 1 – Honours.
  • Vanessa Tsui – Violin Grade 4 – Pass
  • Eliana Wong – Violin Grade 2 – High Distinction
  • Antares Qi – Violin Grade 3 – Honours.

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


Library news


Library Lovers' Week

Library Lovers' Day is a world-wide celebration of loving libraries and the love and joy that they bring to people through books and all the other programmes that school and public libraries use to create community. It is no coincidence that it coincides with Valentine’s Day on 14 February each year.

The Junior School Library did not contain Library Lovers' to just one day – we had a whole week of Library love. This started with our ‘Shelf Love’ window display of all of the books that our Junior School staff love to read. These were fun for our students to read and explore for borrowing in the weeks that follow. If you’re visiting Level 7, please come and have a look. You might find a new read!

We also had over 30 students enter our Library Lovers' Bookmark Creation competition. It was a very difficult task choosing between the amazing designs, but eventually one stood out – a design that incorporated the ‘Reading is Magic’ theme of this year’s Book Week. Congratulations Gabriella Lam (Year 4) for a colourful design, including magic motifs from a number of fantasy books. Each of our students has now received a copy of Gabby’s design to help them keep their place – we're always looking after our books.

All through the week our Library@Lunch activities also celebrated LOVE. We made origami hearts and our construction challenge to create a heart shape was a big hit, especially with Stage 3 students. Finally, all of our students loved our heart sewing activity, making unique hearts for their loved ones.


Premier’s Reading Challenge

The Premier’s Reading Challenge 2024 (PRC) opens today and we are READY for it!

The PRC is not a competition, it is a challenge for NSW students in Kindergarten through to Year 9 to read 30 books (K-2) or 20 books (3-6) during the six month challenge period. The PRC prioritises high quality literature, particularly by Australian authors and illustrators, and encourages students to read widely, across genres.

Book lists for each challenge category (K-2; 3-4; and 5-6) are on the PRC website.

Student usernames and passwords will be sent home in a letter next week. These usernames and passwords are the same each year that your child participates in the PRC.

Students new to the School who participated in the PRC at their previous school (starting at St Andrew's Cathedral School from Term 3, 2023 to present) will have their record merged to ensure that they do not miss out on any awards that they are eligible for.

During Library lessons in Weeks 5 and 6, students in Years 3-6 will be shown how to access the site to log their own books. They will also be provided with a hard copy Reading Log to assist them. Students in K-2 will also be provided with a Reading Log for parents to assist them with recording PRC books. A ‘How to log books on the PRC site’ video will also be sent to parents following the opening of the PRC.

Important PRC dates for 2024:

  • Opens Monday 26 February
  • Closes Friday 23 August

If you have any questions regarding the PRC, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Cosentino at


Read More Challenge and Parent / Teacher Reading Challenge

In an effort to continue reading momentum and provide reading models, our annual ‘Read More’ Challenge and ‘Parent / Teacher Reading Challenge’ continues this year.

Students Read More is open to all students who complete the PRC. These students continue to log books read and once they reach each additional 10 books, their name goes into a prize draw for a choice of book up to $25 in value, to be purchased by our school library for them to keep. Names are drawn each fortnight from March-August. Entry forms are available from the Library from Monday 26 February.

Additionally, children who see adults read are more likely to be lifelong readers. Research from Edith Cowan University found that “A continual demonstration of habitual reading by [the] parents can form a long-lasting impression for the children to imitate as they progress in their lives.” (Merga & Mat Roni, 2018). In support of this, our Parent / Teacher Reading Challenge encourages the reading of any 10 books in any language, during the challenge period.

To participate in this Challenge, parents and teachers can complete the entry form here and read any ten books between 26 February and 23 August. Upon completion, parents and teachers will be celebrated in the same way as our students - with a congratulations in our newsletter.

A Parent / Teacher ‘Books read’ display will also be found in our Library for students to keep track of parent and teacher reading habits. We can’t wait to see what you’re reading!

Mrs​​​​ Rachael Cosentino
Library Coordinator ‑ Junior School and Gawura

Reference: Merga, M. K., & Mat Roni, S. (2018). Empowering Parents to Encourage Children to Read Beyond the Early Years. The Reading Teacher, 72(2), 213–221.


Sports news


Touch football spotlight

Over the last week Oliver Chu (Year 6) competed at the NSW Junior State Cup Touch Football Championships in Wagga Wagga.

Oliver, despite being 10 years of age, was playing for the Balmain Under 12 Boys team, who made it through the pool stages, reaching Round 16 in dramatic fashion. This is a fantastic achievement within the largest junior sporting tournament in Australia.

We can’t wait to see Oliver in the Blue and White when he takes to the rugby field during the winter. Congratulations to Oliver!


Saturday sport – boys

Our boys basketball teams were in fine form last week coming away with a stellar three wins out of four, with a standout performance from our 6B team keeping their opponents scoreless for the game. Amongst all of our games our teams displayed a very high standard and it was great to see our winning teams display humility in victory. As the boys enter the final weeks of competition, we are excited for the way in which they will end the term through the guidance of our wonderful coaches. 

Our boys cricket team put on another competitive display, with both the bat and ball, coming just short of their first win, with a shoutout to Gabriel Magee for a brilliant all-round performance. As they move into the last week of competition, we are excited to see the way in which our boys finish the term. Well done to the boys for their improvements throughout the season – their team spirit and positive energy has been a joy to watch. Thank you to Oli Millar, our committed cricket coach, who has fostered the development of our junior cricketers during the summer.


Kindergarten to Year 3 Thursday sports Term 1 overview

As the sun continues to shine bright, we are looking forward to another exciting term of Thursday afternoon sport ahead. We have once again been able to provide the students in Years 3-6 with various options for sport, while our Kindergarten-Year 2 students will all be participating in some introduction to sport games and visits to Tumbalong Park. Our Year 3-4 students are involved in some exciting external programmes with our Year 3 students undertaking an AFL Auskick programme with AFL NSW / ACT, and our Year 4 students enjoying learning gymnastics at Bunnerong Gymnastics.


IPSHA Saturday sport – girls

Our girls football teams came up against some well-knitted opposing teams this week, with all of our teams unfortunately going down to tough competition. We encourage our girls to keep their heads up as the season progresses learning from the quality of the teams around them. We know our girls will be back on the winning list in no time.

Flippaball (water polo)
Our brand-new Junior School flippaball team consisting of many of our talented Year 5-6 girls continued to make a statement, coming away with a competitive 4-1 victory over Abbotsleigh. With this only being the girls second game ths year, it has been a very exciting start to the year, and we look forward to seeing this team develop throughout the term.


Year 5-6 non-competitive sports

Students in Year 5-6 have been given the following non-competitive sporting options and will be participating in these sports on Thursday afternoon during Term 1:

  • Soccer
  • Netball
  • Cricket
  • T-Ball.

Year 5-6 inter-school sport

Students in Year 5-6 have the option of participating in inter-school sports, competing against other schools. This term students have the choice between touch football for our girls and AFL for our boys. These games are all played at Queens Park on Thursday afternoons between 1.40-2.40pm. We encourage parents who are keen to come to these games and support their child and support the various St Andrew's Cathedral School teams playing in the ASISSA inter-school competition.

Mr Oliver Denny
Head of Sport Junior School


Library For All


Dear Gawura Community,

We have received an email from Jessica Wimbus who is a Gubbi Gubbi woman from Queensland and works for a not-for-profit organisation called, Library For All.

They are working with the Redfern Community Centre on the 19th of March to facilitate a writers workshop for Indigenous people to have the opportunity to write a book for the collection. If you would be interested in joining this workshop please use this Link.


What's happening in the Art Space?



Kindergarten have had their first lessons in the Art Space – and what a joy it has been to see them create beautiful watercolour self-portraits! Congratulations to our youngest St Andrew's Cathedral School artists for their work.


AGNSW Young Archie Competition

In Term 1 during Visual Art lessons, Year 6 students will be creating a portrait in preparation for the AGNSW Young Archie Competition, which will also form part of our own in-house Young Archie Competition (more details to come). 

All students, however, are encouraged to enter this excellent competition by creating a portrait and submitting individually from home.

The 2024 Young Archie Competition’s theme is a portrait of a person who is special to the entrant, who is known to the entrant and who plays a significant role in their life.

In 2024 the following criteria will apply; the relevance of the submitted artwork to the theme, as decided by the judges; artistic interpretation of the theme, as decided by the judges; originality of the submission.

  • Entries must be received: before 17 March 2024, 5pm.
  • Young Archie exhibition is at the Art Gallery of NSW: 8 June – 8 September 2024.
  • Entry forms MUST be submitted online. You don’t upload an image. After the online form has been completed, original artwork needs to be sent to the Gallery, along with the completed form, by 17 March 2024.
  • ​Entry forms will be available during February (date to be advised).
  • Please find more information here.

Mrs​​​​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator Junior School and Gawura


Gifted and Talented Education


GATEWAYS Ignite – Science and Investigations

On Wednesday 21 February selected students from Years 1-6 had the opportunity to participate in G.A.T.E.WAYS Ignite. Students engaged in two workshops focused on science and investigations. G.A.T.E.WAYS workshops seek to engage highly able students with complex concepts and ideas that go beyond the scope of the school curriculum. The workshops ignite curiosity and inspire students with a passion for learning. These exciting workshops also offer a pathway for many of our high-ability learners to connect with like-minded peers in thought-provoking and hands-on challenges.

In the workshop Chemistry Confectionary Catastrophe students were given the challenge to unravel the confectionary chaos of Sweetville Incorporated. The confectionary apprentice had confused all the ingredient labels, resulting in confounding chemical concoctions. Students used a chemistry kit to conduct a range of experiments and uncover the chemical ingredients.

In the workshop Electrifying Wonderland students discovered a secret passageway to a science wonderland. Here they conducted a number of experiments to explore the properties of electricity. These ranged from electrons flowing through conductors in an eclectic circuit to the reactions of protons and electrons in static electricity.

In the workshop Mission to Mars students went on a mysterious voyage, crossing the perilous gauntlet of cosmic forces of the Van Allen Radiation Belt. They completed a quest to harness the power of chemical experiments to unlock a secret message relating to special cargo.

In the workshop Old Supernova’students experimented by replicating science explosions in the silence of space. They investigated what happened to an old supernova and uncovered why it created explosions and lost energy at its core.

Student reflections

"In the workshop, we explored how electrons spin inside the nucleus and can flow through different elements. For example, we made a circuit with a battery, foil and light globe. The electrons flowed through copper wire but not through tissue paper. We also experimented with static electricity. We rubbed a balloon on our hair, building a static charge. The static charge meant that some tissue paper then moved. The electrons and protons were spinning around from the friction caused by rubbing the balloon."  Shuichi Matsumoto (Year 2)

"In the workshop, we had to solve the mystery to work out what the different chemicals were. We had to see if the chemical could conduct electricity. We used some batteries, connectors and graphite sticks and then tested to see if the current flowed through the water. We also tested if the chemical would react to the heat in a flame. We used a wire mesh as a stand over the candle, the chemical was placed over the flame. We then watched for a reaction." Winnie Hong (Year 5)

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Learning Coordinator – Junior School and Gawura


What's on: upcoming events and activities


This Thursday! Ideas to encourage your aspiring musician!

This is an opportunity to learn how your child can be involved in music, what is on offer and how to be a part of the programme.

It is also a chance to receive some practice tips, tricks and encouragement, whether your child is new to learning an instrument or has been learning for some time. Download the flyer here.

Thursday 29 February, 8am-9am
Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew's House (SAH)

Please RSVP by Monday 26 February.


RSVP here


Join us to celebrate Gawura at the annual Gawura Cocktail Evening!

Come along and introduce your friends, family and colleagues to Gawura. Hear about the impact that our unique 'school within a school' is achieving and hear stories on the totemistic system within our First Nations culture. This year’s theme is “Totem Dreaming”.

Meet new friends and old, yarn with our Gawura teachers and Gawura alumni, all while enjoying fine food and wine on the newly refurbished St Andrew's Cathedral School rooftop playground.

Friday 8 March, 6pm-9.30pm
SAH Rooftop, Sydney Square


Book now!


Guess the number of gumnuts in the jar – all proceeds go to Gawura!

How many are there? 50? 500? 5000?
Guess the number of gumnuts in the jar and win prizes!


Click on the image to enlarge

  • First prize –  a gorgeous Gawura silk scarf, a stylish Gawura umbrella and a Haigh’s giant chocolate frog (prize valued at $171.80).
  • Second prize – three wild bush flavoured teas from Indigiearth PLUS a fabulous Gawura tea towel (prize valued at $78.95).
  • Third prize – Haigh’s chocolate frog gift tin with three flavours of frogs PLUS an awesome Gawura tote bag (prize valued at $59.90).

Tickets cost $15 for one guess or $50 for four guesses. All proceeds go to Gawura.

You can look at the gumnut jar in SAH Reception or guess from the picture above. Click on the gumnut image to enlarge. Have a go!


Guess here!


Winners will be announced at the Gawura Cocktail Evening on Friday 8 March on the rooftop or notified by email. Book your ticket to the Gawura Cocktail Evening to come along and join in the fun!


A chance to hear about Stage 1 literacy and library programmes

All Stage 1 (Years 1-2) parents are warmly invited to join us for Coffee in the Hub to meet other parents and key Junior School staff. There will also be an opportunity to hear about our literacy and library programmes that support your child’s early literacy development through their Stage 1 years. Download the flyer here.

Thursday 14 March 8am-9am
Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew’s House

Please RSVP by Monday 11 March.


RSVP here


P&F Kirrikee Picnic Days – This year it's double the fun!

Come and visit beautiful Kirrikee and enjoy a fun day out in the country. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit our Outdoor Education Centre – just one and a half hours from Sydney near Penrose, in the beautiful Southern Highlands.  

There will be lots to do – high ropes, mountain biking (bring your own bike), abseiling, fun in the water, billy karting and lots more. With its combination of rolling, cleared grazing country, bushland and wetlands, Kirrikee is a fantastic place to visit, rain or shine. 

Morning tea and lunch is included in the day ticket price and there will be a barista onsite providing coffee all day for a gold coin donation.  

Don’t forget to bring your swimmers, sun screen and camping chairs. Dogs are welcome on a lead.

For more than 20 years this event has run as a fundraiser for the amazing Penrose Rural Fire Brigade who help protect Kirrikee and the local Penrose community. In recent years especially, their tireless efforts have saved many lives and properties from fire. 

To help with overwhelming demand we are offering two P&F Kirrikee Picnic Days this year.

  • Saturday 16 March is aimed at Junior School and Gawura.
  • Saturday 23 March is aimed at Secondary School.

If you have students in both schools please pick the date that is most convenient for you and take both your children on that day.


Day tickets

Saturday Day Picnic only tickets are available which include Saturday 9am-4pm.


Overnight stay tickets

Love it so much you’d like to stay the night? If you would like to extend your stay you can bring a tent or rent one of ours and stay overnight. Numbers will be capped at 60 guests and places sell out fast so don’t delay! Basic dinner and breakfast are included in the overnight price (or you can bring your own) and the campfire is thrown in for free! 


Be quick! Limited tickets are still available!


Junior School and Gawura: Saturday 16 March

Day Ticket, 9am-4pm:
$30 per adult / $15 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities. The High Ropes queue will close at 3pm. All activities stop between midday and 1pm for a BBQ lunch.

* Please note Saturday 16 March overnight stay tickets have SOLD OUT!


Day Ticket only: Saturday 16 March


Secondary School: Saturday 23 March

Day Ticket, 9am-4pm:
$30 per adult / $15 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities. The High Ropes queue will close at 3pm.  All activities stop between midday and 1pm for a BBQ lunch.

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay: 
$60 per adult / $40 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities as well as overnight camp site, dinner and cooked breakfast.  

Tent rental:
$40 for a 2 person tent with camp beds 
If you don’t have your own tent or campervan then you can hire a tent from us. There are 20 tents available to hire. Each tent sleeps two people and campbeds are provided. Please bring your own bedding.


Day Ticket only: Saturday 23 March

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay: Saturday 23 March


Celebrate during Harmony Week

2024 Harmony Week
18-22 March

Throughout Harmony Week we will celebrate the rich diversity of cultures within the School community. Activities will occur in the library, rooftop and classrooms as we explore the unique aspects of a range of cultures, strengthening students’ understanding of cultural identity and growing their sense of connection, understanding and belonging within the School community. 

Friday 22 March – Multicultural Dress Day
Come dressed in the traditional dress of a culture. If not, then wear orange, the colour of harmony week!


School musical coming soon!

St Andrew's Cathedral School production of Disney's The Little Mermaid is coming in April!

More information to come.

Save the date!

4-6 April 2024


Your chance to sponsor our talented performers

The talented performing arts students of St Andrew’s Cathedral School are excited to present the fabulous musical, Disney’s The Little Mermaid at The Concourse, Chatswood.  Rehearsals are in full swing and we are looking forward to three spectacular days of performances.

Can you help?
Giving students the opportunity to be involved in a musical theatre production of this standard comes with a price tag. To help support our school performing arts community we have a number of sponsorship opportunities.  Sponsorship allows your business to gain valuable exposure within our school community, as well as the extended community who will attend performances.

We have named our sponsorship packages after some of the best known characters and songs in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Each package offers an appropriate level of exposure through digital, print and venue advertising, complimentary tickets and drinks vouchers at performances.

Please see the Expression of Interest (EOI) form at the link below for full details of each sponsorship package. Complete the EOI and we will send you a contract and invoice which must be returned by Friday 1 March.

(Please note that the Head of School has the right to refuse sponsorship to any individual or company)


The Little Mermaid sponsorship Expression of Interest


Sponsorship not for you? You can still help!

If you do not have a business to advertise but would like to support this production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, you are able to make a tax deductible donation to the Choristers, Creative and Performing Arts Fund.

We strive to offer students the opportunity to be involved in high quality productions.  Students experience the discipline of learning lines, music and dance, the camaraderie of rehearsals, the magic of costume, lighting and design, and the thrill of seeing an audience carried along with them as they tell their story in a professional theatre. The standing ovations they richly deserve often come with a price tag which is where you can help.

If you would like to support this wonderful performing arts production please consider making a tax deductible donation.


Choristers, Creative and Performing Arts Fund