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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 1, Week 10
Library News
A note from our Counsellor
Sport News
Heart Mind Life Awards
Parenting Tips
Sydney Symphony Orchestra Excursion
ICAS 2019 – dates for the diary
Mufti Day
Parent Prayer Meeting
Gawura Scholarships
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Upcoming Events
Code Camp
Camp Australia – registration

Message Stick – Term 1, Week 10


What a busy fortnight it has been in Gawura. On Friday 22nd March we hosted the Gawura Cocktail Evening at L’Aqua in Darling Harbour. Over 150 people bought tickets for the evening where all money raised went to Gawura. We must thank the many generous donations of items that went to auction and of course the many people who bought the variety of items that were available. Peta Lacey sang a beautiful version of A Million Dreams which touched everyone who was present.

On Monday 25th March all ATSI students from K-12 attended the Gawura Cultural Excursion on board Tribal Warrior sailing around Sydney Harbour. Our students learnt many traditional customs which Gadigal people carried out over thousands of years. We were able to walk around Clark Island and were given a performance in traditional dance and digeridoo. We would like to thank the elders from Tribal Warrior who shared their knowledge with us and we look forward to our next cultural excursion in term 2.

Finally I would like to invite you all to the next Parent Teacher & Personal Lesson Plan Interview which will take place for all Gawura students on Thursday 4th April between 1-5pm. We will also hold our GPAC Meeting between 2-3pm on the same day.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


More photos on our facebook page


Dates for your calendar


Term 1:

Tuesday 2 April : Antibullying Sessions

Thursday 4 April: Kindergarten to Tumbalong Park

Thursday 4 April: GPAC Metting 2.00-3.00pm in the Community Hub

Thursday 4 April: Gawura Parent Teacher and Personal Learning Plan interveiws

Friday 5 April: Excursion Year 2 - The Calyx

Friday 5 April: Drama group to Fiddler on the Roof

Monday 8 April: End of Term awards assembly

Wednesday 10 April: Coffee and Easter Buns for Parents 2.00pm.  

Wednesday 10 April: Easter Service at 2.30 pm in Cathedral

Wednesday 10 April: Choir Camp

Thursday 11 April: Easter Hat Parade, 9am in the Cathedral

Friday 12 April: Term 1 concludes (Mufti Day K-6) $1, $2  or $5 Donation for TEAR

Term 2:

Monday 29 April: Staff Development Day

Tuesday 30 April: First day of Term 2

Wednesday 1 May: Anzac Chapel Service 2.30pm Chapter House

Tuesday 2 May: Cross Country Carnival  (Year 3- 6 and any students turning 8 2019)

Tuesday 2 May: James Madsen Incursion K - 2

Friday 3 May: Year 1 Long Day Camp

Friday 3 May: Kindergarten 100 days celebration

Friday 10 May: OAA Generations Lunch*

Tuesday 14 May: P&F General Meeting*

Saturday 18 May: Foundation Trivia Night – Theme: Movie Madness*

*New events are marked with an asterisk


Library News


Premier's Reading Challenge 2019

Congratulations to the following students who have completed their challenge:

Cydney Sadler, Charlotte Dries, Idelia Cao, Violet Bloxsom, Oliver Patrick, Benjamin Su, Isabella Greenhow, Sofia Greenhow, Jasper Crosweller, Amelia Pensabene, Amelie Firth, Emily Lin, Alison Ahn and Oscar Liu.

For more information and the booklists visit the PRC website

*If you attended a different school and completed the PRC there, please come and see me so I can request that your records be merged.  Otherwise this will be your first PRC year.  This is especially important if you are eligible for your gold or platinum certificates this year and if you are looking at earning your Premier’s medal.


K.O.A.L.A 2019

K.O.A.L.A. stands for Kids Own Australian Literature Awards and gives the students of NSW the opportunity to nominate and vote for their favourite Australian books.

SACS is a member school of K.O.A.L.A. which means our students can have their say.  Over the next week we will be collecting student votes in the Juniot School and Gawura library to determine what our favourite Australian titles are across the 4 categories.  We’ll then send in our nominations and late next term we’ll find out what the rest of NSW says. Will ours be the same as the rest of NSW?

So, remember to add your votes at lunchtime or during your browse and borrow session.

"Somebody once said: reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. The KOALA Awards encourage reading, and young minds to be exercised (let off the lead and raced around the park, even). Please support these awards – they deserve it." – Bob Graham

Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


A note from our Counsellor


Supporting our children in times of tragedy

Based on Michael Grose “Parenting Ideas"

The shooting of innocent people in two Christchurch mosques is an event that has shaken many people throughout the world. It is times like these that we would like to protect our children from such events, in reality, it’s difficult, as the news coverage is so widespread and the event itself has impacted so many people. So how do you approach this with your children? There are no easy answers, but be assured that your child will benefit from talking to you. These ideas may help:

Be available
Let your child know that it is okay to talk about the events in Christchurch. Listen to what they think and feel. By listening, you can find out if they have misunderstandings, and you can learn more about the support that they need. You do not need to explain more than they are ready to hear, but be willing to answer their questions.

Filter the news
It is also helpful to take particular care about your child’s exposure to news events. The consistency and frequency of news cycle images can be frightening for young children who don’t understand the notion of distance and have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fiction.

Engage in the news with older children
Many issues are now arising from this event that may be of significant interest to older primary-aged children and teenagers. Be prepared to engage in discussions about political leadership, gun laws, the coverage of the event itself by the media and other issues that will emerge. Increasingly, young people are demonstrating that they want to have a voice in shaping the world they live in. Give them a chance to air their concerns and formulate their ideas in the safe confines of home.

Manage emotions raised
The Christchurch tragedy may raise many emotions for children and young people including sadness over the loss of life, confusion over how such an event could happen, and outrage over injustice. Take your cues from your children and follow the threads that emerge. Demonstrate that you understand how they maybe upset and clarify their emotions if possible.

Keep to a normal routine
Your child may feel powerless. You may feel the same way as that’s what events like the Christchurch shooting does to us. Maintaining the same sleeping, eating and daily routines can help to restore a sense of control over our daily lives.

Show them how to change the world
Events like this highlight the reality of social divisiveness. ‘Kindness’, ‘helping others’, ‘encouraging’, ‘sharing’ and similar concepts don’t make great political slogans but they form the basis of every strong community- which is precisely what kids need. Encourage children to be the change that they want to see, to understand that they can make an impact in their classroom, their community and their school by the way they relate to others.

Bronwyn Wake
Junior School & Gawura Wellbeing Co-ordinator & Counsellor


Sport News


CIS Swimming and ASISSA Football

The Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Swimming Carnival is an elite event, with swimmers from all over NSW competing at Sydney Olympic Park. We had six of our best swimmers in attendance last week, in what was an extremely competitive meet. Congratulations to Junseong Nam, Nikolai Ivakhov, Hayla Wilkinson, Reina Shi, Antonia Sarcasmo and Alison Ahn. They did the school immensely proud qualifying for such a prestigious event.

The ASISSA Football Trials is one of the most competitive team sporting trials of the year. Our association is traditionally quite strong, with soccer being a very popular sport amongst our fellow schools. The trial last week saw us send along Freddie Cobb, Dean O’Mahony and Harrison Bond to represent the school amongst the 70 strong soccer players. Congratulations to the boys for their efforts!

Tony Dunseath
Coordinator of Sport and Cocurricular K-6


Heart Mind Life Awards

Eleanor-Rose Hammond Kindy For working well with others
Nyarla Gordon Year 1 For her care and commitment to learning
Leann Bray Year 3 For always looking out for her classmates
Joylara Ingram Year 5 For trying her best

Parenting Tips


The Washington Post April 1, 2016

Ask most teaching staff and we would agree that there has been a noticeable increase in childhood anxiety from an increasingly young age. Karen Banes is a parent and some years ago she wrote this article. It is well worth a read because sometimes our best intentions are not helpful as Karen states “Your child’s anxiety is not your fault, but it’s possible that some of the parenting practices you’re most proud of are actually making things worse.”

Karen writes about six things we, as parents, can consider on this topic. Here are some of her thoughts.

When your child comes home from school with tales of mean girls, aggressive boys and insensitive teachers, you feel for her, and often you let it show, but maybe you shouldn’t. Our kids feed off our emotions and get more distressed when we’re distressed. Difficult though it is, we need to keep our own anxiety in check while sympathizing with theirs.

1. Caring too much.
When your child comes home from school with tales of mean girls, aggressive boys and insensitive teachers, you feel for her, and often you let it show, but maybe you shouldn’t. Our kids feed off our emotions and get more distressed when we’re distressed. Difficult though it is, we need to keep our own anxiety in check while sympathizing with theirs.

2. Advocating too hard.
We all want to stand up for our kids, but our eagerness to advocate can sometimes actually raise anxiety levels. Your first priority should be to help them find a solution they can implement without your help, every time.

3. Compensating for weaknesses.
We all want to help our children with the things they struggle with. Children can’t always avoid their weak areas, but by focusing on strengths we build self-efficacy and confidence.

4. Overplaying strengths.
When you constantly tell people your son is on track for a top college, or your daughter is going to be an Olympic gymnast, you feel like you’re building them up, but eventually the positive affirmation turns to pressure. Compliment your kids when they excel, but don’t make their excellence a reason to expect even more from them.

5. Having great values.
You’ve probably worked hard to encourage good values in your children, but values get challenged and being too attached to yours could mean your child obsesses over them. Don’t create a culture where your children are too anxious to come to you and admit they messed up.

6. Hiding your troubles.
We all like to protect our children from anxiety by not worrying them with our own issues. By sharing what makes us anxious and how we deal with it, we’re modelling practical ways to resolve anxiety.

It makes for an interesting and yes, challenging read. I think Karen has raised some good points for us to consider, discuss with friends and then maybe implement some of them.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader


Sydney Symphony Orchestra Excursion


Student Reflections

On Friday 15 March, Years 3-6 went on an exciting excursion out to Riverside Theatre in Parramatta, where we watched the Sydney Symphony Orchestra perform live.

We entered the modern theatre and saw the professional musicians set up their instruments, ready and excited to perform. The lush, velvet seats gave a sense of comfort as well as excitement on what we would see this year. Suddenly, all the musicians gathered their instruments in a hurry and a serene, peaceful sound filled the theatre. I found the promenade (a walk through the exhibition) the best and was thrilled when the musicians played it. Shortly after the well played promenade, all the students met a mime, Andy Dexterity, who taught us basic sign language. We learnt about the different instrument families, though the majority of the students had learnt this beforehand. We patiently listened to the pieces The Old Castle, Promenade, Great Gate Kiev, Tuilleries and Baba Yaga.

Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity and I gladly enjoyed it.

– Rishita Garg (6C)


ICAS 2019 – dates for the diary


The ICAS series is a competition designed to assess students' ability to apply classroom learning in new contexts, using higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. It is highly challenging, it is set 1 - 2 years above grade level, as such it is not recommended for all students.

This year all ICAS assessments have moved to Term 3, and the price has increased to $14.50 per test. An email will go out to parents/carers early Term Two with details on how to register your child for one or more tests. In the meantime, please save the below dates.

Digital Technologies: Tuesday 3 September  Years 3-6
Science: Thursday 5 September  Years 2-6
Writing: Tuesday 10 September Years 3-6
Spelling: Thursday 12 September Years 2-6
English: Tuesday 17 September Years 2-6
Mathematics: Thursday 19 September  Years 2-6

Students who perform exceptionally well on the ICAS assessments will be recognised in a school assembly in Term 4.

Lucy Birts
Gifted and Talented Coordinator, JS & GS


Mufti Day


Artwork by Reina Shi – SRC Representative.

The SRC would like to invite students to wear mufti to school on Friday April 12 2019 the last day of term, and make a donation of $1.00, $2.00 or $5.00. The funds raised will be used to support TEAR.

TEAR provides Cambodian Communities with chickens, equipping them with a source of food and income along with education on how to raise chickens, build coops and keep livestock healthy. Our new core Christian charity focuses on responding to the needs of poor communities in Australia and around the world through sustainable development.

The SRC look forward to making a difference together with their student body.

Harriet O'Donnell
JS Teacher


Parent Prayer Meeting


Thursday 4 April 7.30-8.15am / 1-2pm

Meet other parents, be encouraged and come together to pray for our school community at our Breakfast Meeting OR Lunchtime Meeting in the Community Hub, Level 4 SAH.

Muffins will be provided in the morning and BYO lunch for the afternoon meeting. Tea and Coffee will also be available.

Contact: Felicity Brazel (0425 329 432)


Gawura Scholarships


Dear Parents.

We are starting our 2020 Gawura Kindy Enrolment process by marketing for new applicants.

We would like to ensure that all siblings of our current Gawura students have the opportunity to apply, so that they can be considered for enrolment. Hence, if you do have children who are Kindy age 2020, please ensure you have sent an application form to me by the end of May.

Application forms can be found at or email me at Please do not hesitate to let me know if you need any advice or help.


Bruce Perry                                                                                                          Registrar/Mathematics Teacher


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


Wednesday and Friday Appointments Available.

I would like to advise you that we have secured the services of a very generous doctor in the city who is willing to see our Gawura students and their families free of charge (he will bulk bill through Medicare) if the need arises. Dr Shuo (Shore) Zhao is located at Level 1, 70 Pitt St, Sydney. You can book an appointment with him on any Wednesday and Friday morning between 8am – 12pm.The number of the practice is 02 9233 3399.

We understand that many parents already have their own doctor that they use, possibly even through the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in Redfern but this is just another option for you to use if you choose to do so and one that is located in the city, near our school.


Upcoming Events


Fiddler on the Roof - Thursday 4 April - Saturday 6 April


The 2019 Musical of Fiddler on the Roof will be performed at NIDA on April 4, 5 and 6. The cast members have been rehearsing for months and are ready to put on an amazing show.

Come along and see our talented Secondary School students sing, dance, act and perform for you.

Based on Sholem Aleichem stories by special permission of Arnold Perl
Produced on the New York Stage by Harold Prince Original New York Stage Production Directed and Choreographed by JEROME ROBBINS
Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia). All performance materials supplied by Hal Leonard Australia.


Bookings open Wednesday 6 March


Foundation Trivia Night – Saturday 18 May (Save the Date)


Theme: Movie Madness

Join us for a night of action packed, side splitting, edge of your seat, Fun, Entertainment, Games... and TRIVIA!

This year our dress up theme comes from the big screen but our questions will test every area of useful and useless knowledge your team can bring to the table.

There are 25 crazy movie table themes to choose from. Book early and get the table of your choice. You can preview the table themes on the school website.

Silent Auction Items needed for Trivia Night

Our fundraising on the night for the Heath Bursary Fund will rely on our Silent Auction. If you have a business that could provide an item or a voucher that we could auction we would be very grateful for your help.

The silent auction will be run online for two weeks prior to the fundraising night and will come to an exciting finish at the event itself. Two weeks before the night we will send the catalogue to our 1000 plus school families, 250 staff as well as our alumni and former parents. We anticipate the catalogue will reach an audience of approximately 3000.

We can upload company logos, relevant marketing information, description(s) of your item(s) in our catalogue, and links directly to your website. Your generosity would be acknowledged at the trivia night, both in the catalogue and on screen, in our School and Alumni newsletters and on our Event webpage.

If you are able to donate please email We do rely on the school community to successfully raise money for the Fund.


Bookings will open Monday 8 April at 9.00am


Junior School and Gawura Grandparents' Day - Friday 7 June


We welcome the grandparents of our students and seek to embrace them and give thanks for them as key members of our student’s families. Please save the date.

We hope you can come!

More details about this event are coming soon.


Code Camp


Autumn Code Camp on Sale

It’s that time again! Camps are officially on sale and if parents book before Sunday 10 March they will recieve our $20 ‘Early Bird’ discount.

Upcoming dates at St Andrew's:

April 16-18 (Week 1) and April 23,24,26 (Week 2, not 25th due to ANZAC).


Camp Australia – registration


Join Camp Australia. It’s FREE to Register!

Did you know that it is free to register an account with us at Camp Australia? That’s right, FREE! What are you waiting for? Head to and click ‘Register here’ to get started!

Why it is important to Register:
It is important to supply us with all the below information when registering as the safety of your child is by far the most important pillar in what we do every day. That way, if you ever need us, you are set up and ready to go and we can care for your child and ensure their safety.

1. Your details and emergency contact details – In the unlikely chance of an emergency we need to have the correct contact on file.
2. Details about your child, including allergies or medical conditions - To ensure we are prepared in case your child has any allergies or medical conditions.
3. Your CRN (Customer Reference Number) from the Family Assistance Office* - If eligible, you may be entitled to receive the Australian Government Child Care Subsidy.
4. Payment method - To complete your registration, we require your preferred payment option. Don’t be alarmed you will not be charged when registering.

We are currently running our First Session Free promotion, this means that after you finish your FREE Registration your child will be able to attend their first session free of charge. You will only be charged from your second booking onwards.

Program Details
Find out more about our program, fees and to register, visit and search for your school. Or you can contact our friendly Customer Care Team on 1300 105 343. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - except for National Public Holidays.

We look forward to seeing you and your family soon!
From the Team at Camp Australia


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