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In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Wellbeing Initiatives
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Library news
Music news
What's happening in the Art Space?
Parenting tips
Gifted and Talented education
Year 2 Sleepover
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


On Wednesday 19 August the Origin Foundation attended our school to present the Solar Buddy’s Program to our Year 5 and 6 students. There was a total of 6 Origin staff along with an Indigenous Education specialist who spoke to our students about remote communities in Papua New Guinea and South East Asia and Pacific Nations who do not have electricity to generate lights at night. The students built portable solar lights and then wrote a letter to the children of these nations who were going to receive these lights as a resource that they could do homework or read books at night-time. It was a wonderful morning which our students thoroughly enjoyed. A big thank you to the Origin Foundation who have also been a wonderful supporter of Gawura over several years now.

A big congratulations to all of our Year 2 students who participated in a 2 day/1 night Kirrikee sleepover camp at our school on Thursday 27 July. In preparation for their Year 3 Camp to Kirrikee next year, the Year 2 cohort this year spent the night sleeping in tents on our rooftop playground. Students had a wonderful time and all were asleep by 10:30pm. Thank you to our SACS Outdoor Education team, Mrs Price and the JS staff who assisted in making this happen.

Our cultural excursion to Muru Mittigar at Rosehill will occur on Monday 14 August. Students will be learning about Aboriginal art, culture, food and technology and throwing boomerangs. Our Gawura students have also been invited to bring a friend from their Junior School buddy class.

A calendar invite has been sent to all Gawura families about our next Yarning Session With Parents which is confirmed for Tuesday 15  August at the Long Room at Redfern Oval commencing at 10:30am. We have booked an Indigenous artist (Peter Joy Williams) who will lead the group through bracelet making and basket weaving activities. Morning tea will also be provided and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Tuesday 15 August.

NAPLAN results for all students in Years 3 and 5 were sent home last week. Please read the letter from NESA that outlines the changes to this years NAPLAN Results and how they are being reported to you.

We wish you a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.
May grace and peace be yours in abundance.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Monday 31 July
Junior School and Gawura Athletics Carnival

Tuesday 1 August
100 Days of Kindergarten

Friday 4 August, 7.15am-8.15am
St Andrew's Cathedral School Community Prayer Breakfast

Friday 4 August
IPSHA Debating, Round 5

Monday 7 – Friday 11 August
Public Speaking Competition, Round 1

Tuesday 8 August, 6pm
P&F Presents: Learning to learn

Wednesday 9 August
ICAS Writing

Thursday 10 August
– ICAS Digital Technology
Junior School and Gawura Coffee in Chapter House (Wellbeing)

Friday 11 August
Junior School and Gawura Co-curricular Photo Day

Monday 14 August
Gawura Cultural Excursion

Tuesday 15 August
ICAS English

Friday 18 August, 6.30pm
Gawura Cocktail Evening Fundraiser

Thursday 7 – Friday 8 September
Junior School and Gawura production of My Son Pinocchio Jr


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



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


Wellbeing Initiatives


In the lead up to the Voice Referendum later this year we have been advised by parents at our recent GPAC Meeting of a wonderful resource about Wellbeing Initiatives for First Nations Peoples to use if they wish to as we approach the date, click here


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Celebrating neurodiversity

A few weeks back I had a knock on my office door and it was a Year 4 student. She said “Mrs Wake, I think we should celebrate a Neurodiversity Week.” As we talked more about her idea, she explained that she wanted to celebrate the strengths of neurodiversity in herself and other students.

Neurodiversity in children and adolescents is a concept celebrating the natural variation in how young minds perceive and interact with the world, leading to diverse ways of learning and communicating. It acknowledges that neurological differences, such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and giftedness, are not disabilities but unique aspects of human cognition. Embracing neurodiversity involves accepting, celebrating, and supporting neurodivergent children which in turn fosters acceptance, empathy, and inclusivity in society.

We have many neurodiverse students at St Andrew’s and parents play a pivotal role in supporting their neurodiverse child by understanding their specific needs, advocating for them, and seeking professional guidance when necessary. Learning more about neurodiversity, equips caregivers with insights into effective communication techniques, educational strategies and parenting approaches tailored to the specific needs of their neurodivergent child. By appreciating and nurturing their child's strengths, parents can help them thrive and explore their potential, leading to a more compassionate and understanding future.

To learn more about neurodiversity, view SchoolTV’s special report. If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the School for further information.

Mrs​​​​ Bronwyn Wake
Junior School and Gawura Wellbeing Coordinator and Psychologist/Counsellor


Library news


Pre-orders for Book Week

Hopefully by now you will have received an email with a link to pre-order books which can then be signed by our visiting author and illustrator during Book Week. Please note that these orders will close a full two weeks before Book Week, so families are encouraged to place their orders as soon as possible. Go to Gleebooks to place your child(ren)’s order.

Premier’s Reading Challenge closes 18 August
Time is running out fast for students to complete the Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC)! Please make sure your child’s books have been uploaded to their reading log on the PRC website. We like to encourage every student in our Junior School and Gawura to complete the challenge each year so that they can receive their certificate from the Premier and work towards their Gold and Platinum awards. If you require login details to be resent, or if your child is new to our school and you would like their record from their previous school merged, please feel free to contact me on

Book Week Competition
Students are invited to submit creative entries which represent or embellish this year’s theme “Read Grow Inspire” or are themselves inspired by one (or more) of the shortlisted books in any category. Please view and download the flyer for more details and ideas or contact me for more information
Entries close Friday 18 August (the same day as the PRC).

Mrs Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – Junior School and Gawura


Music news


Music exam congratulations!

Congratulations to Lexi Anne Griffin (Year 4) who recently achieved a Merit in her Rockschool examination delivered by AMEB.

Congratulations also to Idelia Cao (Year 4) who recently won 1st place and 3rd place in her age group for the 18th century and 19th century sections respectively in this year's Sydney Eisteddfod piano competition. This is a huge achievement and a testament to the hours of hard work and practice Idelia dedicates to her piano playing. Well done!

In the holidays, Freddy Beck (Year 6) was part of the St Mary’s Parish Youth Choir, who came 3rd in the John Lamble Foundation Australasian Championship for Youth Choirs (19 and Under). Congratulations Freddy!

St Andrew's also had a number of our Junior School musicians attend the Sydney Youth Orchestra Winter School. Well done to the following students, as well as Miss Oh and Ms Chen who were also part of this wonderful event: Annabelle Iloski, Laura Wu, Tynan McDonald, Lucas Wu, Tyson Happer, Nathaniel Iloski, Hugo Gilmovich, Claire Lou, Matthew Ting, Kate Diaz, and Charlotte Sims.

Over the school holidays Hugo Gilmovich (Year 4) recorded the double bass part for the world premiere of a work entitled The Sky is Always Yours which was written by Australian composer, Sally Greenaway. This was a professional recording that will be released on multiple platforms.

Hugo also recently performed in a double bass masterclasses and ensembles as part of the “Big Brisbane Bass Day”.

Congratulations Hugo on these achievements. A true honour.

It is not just our students who make us proud at St Andrew’s – we are blessed to have outstanding staff. Ms Szu Yu Chen recently performed a recital with flutist Jonathan Henderson, with rave reviews on her outstanding accompaniment. Some of the comments from the review by The Flute Tree include:

  • “Szu Yu Chen's piano accompaniment was equally impressive, providing a sensitive and dynamic foundation for the flute's brilliance.”
  • “Szu Yu Chen's collaborative prowess was evident, supporting Jonathan's playing with precision and artistry. The recital's grand finale, Erwin Schulhoff's Sonata for flute and piano, was a tour de force of emotion and technical prowess. Henderson and Chen's musical connection was strikingly apparent, as they navigated the complex rhythms and tonal colors with remarkable synergy.”

We are incredibly fortunate to have such a brilliant musician as our accompanist at St Andrew's to support our students in such an integral way.


Mrs Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K‑6)


What's happening in the Art Space?



No WhatsApp images or photo/text messages allowed!

Instead, K-6 Art students have wound back the technological digital clock in the Art Space –  in order to create a real and lived snapshot image of a moment of beauty experienced recently. These images, created as postcards to be sent through the postal system, reflect the students’ ability in ‘seeing,’ and in careful observation of significant details.  

Rewinding the technological clock, allows the students to focus on not just the ‘seeing’ but on the ‘remembering’ of the details of their chosen image so that the designing and drawing reflects some accuracy.

Who needs laptops for prompts? Who knew that postcards could be so beautiful?

Postcard artists: Thomas L (HMS Belfast), Henry Pinkerton (Sky Rail), Charlotte Sims (Great Ocean Road), Karine (Kaminarimon Gate), Olive H (Mermaid Pools), Idelia Cao (Sydney Harbour Bridge) Serena Liu (Sunset).

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


Parenting tips


Good news: There is no one right way to raise a child.

Isn’t this good news! – A great article from Your Parenting style.

We all see other parents who seem to have the perfect child, or we are in a shop and our child has a meltdown in front of everyone, especially when you have your hands full and can’t escape straight away. We all want to be the best parents we can be for our children, but there is often conflicting advice on how to raise a child who is confident, kind and successful. And every aspect of being a parent has been more complicated and more fraught during the pandemic, with parents managing complex new assignments and anxious new decisions, all while handling the regular questions that come up in daily life with the children we love.

Research tells us that to raise a self-reliant child with high self-esteem, it is more effective to be authoritative than authoritarian. You want your child to listen, respect and trust you rather than fear you. You want to be supportive, but not a hovering, helicopter parent. All of these things are easy to set as goals, but hard to achieve. How do you find the right balance?

As your child develops, the challenges will change, and your thinking may evolve, but your approach should be consistent, firm and loving. Help your child learn through experience that making an effort builds confidence and helps you learn to tackle challenges. Calibrate your expectations about what your child is capable of doing independently, whether you have an infant learning to sleep through the night, a toddler helping to put toys away, or an older child resolving conflicts.

Remember, there is no one right way to raise a child. Do your best, trust yourself and enjoy the company of the small person in your life.

Mrs Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Gifted and Talented education


G.A.T.E.WAYS Ignite – Language and Literature

On Tuesday 25 July 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 language and literature. 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 young people 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.

The workshop ‘Mystery of the Missing Words’ was run by award winning writer, illustrator and producer Dr Martin Chatterton. The workshop explored the premise that if imagination is the compass, writing can take you to the strangest of lands. Whether you visit a wonderland from the mind of Lewis Carroll, or if you dive into a dystopia of Lois Lowry, language has the ability to transport, transfix and transform the ‘common’ into the ‘unfamiliar’ and ‘unexpected’. During the workshop students learnt about literary techniques and devices that they could adopt as their own, helping to scaffold their own writing creations.

The other two workshops were run by gifted education specialist, Andrea Blake. In ‘Curious Creature Compendium’ students investigated weird and wonderful features of extinct creatures such as the Terror-Bird and Moa. They then used their imagination to experiment with words and drawings to invent their own captivating creature. The challenge involved using descriptive details to bring the original design to life.

The workshop ‘Beyond Belief’ looked at headlines from history and images of mystery. Students were challenged with unravelling the truth. They discovered some stranger than fiction stories and had to decide if they thought they were real. Students analysed what elements convince them and what elements tip them into disbelief. Students then developed the skill of crafting a story that has the reader perching on the very edge of belief.

Student reflections:

  • Our workshop was about creatures who looked mythical but in fact were real. We got to create our own mythical creature that was based on some real characteristics. We also created their name. We labelled our creature to describe what they looked like, where they lived and what they ate. We used describing words like adverbs and adjectives. I enjoy G.A.T.E.WAYS because it is really fun and we get to make and create in our learning. - Bunty O’Donnell (2S)
  • In our workshop we watched the author drawing different fictional characters based on some of the students in the group. He was cryptically describing the illustration and then he revealed it to everyone. We then illustrated a dream using the same techniques. We also explored poetry. We learnt about how to fill in gaps of an empty poem using descriptive language. I enjoyed the workshop because the learning was fun and interesting. – Henry Duke (5/6O)

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Junior School and Gawura


Year 2 Sleepover


The highlight of camp was sleeping in tents on the School roof top!

We had a wonderful day out at Bicentennial Parklands, exploring the mangrove walk, playing in the bush creating mini worlds and enjoying the sunshine, fresh air and blue skies.

The highlight of camp was sleeping in tents on the School roof top! Students showed immense courage and open-mindedness as they braved a night away from home. After a bacon and egg breaky, we were up and away on Friday morning for an adventure around Sydney Botanic Gardens.

It was encouraging to see everyone head home with a smile on their face and one student even exclaimed that camp was “better than Disneyland!”

A big thank you to all the Outdoor Education staff, Mr Collier, Mrs Price, Miss Hawkins, Miss Fergie, Miss McCormic and Miss Robson.

Miss​​​​ Melanie Sharp
Acting Grade Leader Junior School and Gawura/Teacher


What's on: upcoming events and activities


Join us this Friday for our Community Prayer Breakfast

We seek to bring the second half of the year before God in humble prayer. To recognise that his completed work for us in Christ and his ongoing work through the Spirit are central to our life as a school. Minister and author J.I. Packer wrote: “Jesus' pattern prayer, which is both crutch, road, and walking lesson for the spiritually lame like ourselves, tells us to start with God: for God matters infinitely more than we do.”

The Prayer Breakfast provides a great opportunity for our broader community to connect – staff, School Council, parents and students.


Guest Speaker: Mr Gary Hill, CRU Executive Director

Mr Gary Hill is the Executive Director of CRU. CRU works alongside 220 Independent schools in NSW, the ACT and WA providing support for voluntary Christian ministry as well as running holiday camps and student leadership retreats. St Andrew's Cathedral School has had a long association with CRU.

“Since 1930, CRU has been blessed to see lives transformed by the gospel on a regular basis. On average, CRU staff and volunteer leaders reach over 2,500 children and teenagers each week across NSW, the ACT and WA with the good news of Jesus each year. I hope that you will join us in the vision of CRU’s ministry, to share Jesus with a new generation.”  – Mr Gary Hill articulating the Vision of CRU.

Numbers are limited for the Community Prayer Breakfast. Please register now!

Friday 4 August, 7.15am- 8.15am
Upper Chapter House


Register for the Community Prayer Breakfast


For Junior School and Gawura parents – all ages

All Junior School and Gawura parents and carers are warmly invited to Coffee in Chapter House to meet other parents and briefly hear about the Wellbeing programmes that support your children in their growth from Kindergarten to Year 6.

Thursday 10 August, 8am-9am
Upper Chapter House

Please RSVP by Monday 7 August


RSVP Coffee in Chapter House


You are invited!

Please join us to celebrate and support Gawura – our First Nations school

This year’s theme is “First Inventors, Tomorrow’s Creators”.  Hear about the first Master Ancient Builders of the Ngemba People’s and their Ancestors who invented fish traps in Western NSW Brewarrina. These fish traps are the oldest human-made construction in the world and date back to over 40,000 years. In the local language their traditional name is Baiame’s Ngunnhu. 

Linking history, place, lore and storytelling to syllabus for a deeper connection and sense of self is what Gawura does best. Join us for an evening of fine food and wine and see this cultural storytelling in action.

Friday 18 August, 6.30pm-9.30pm
Chapter House, St Andrew's Cathedral School
Gawura Families: please RSVP via your emailed invitation
Gawura Supporters: please Book here


Tickets go on sale today!

Sometimes, discovering what you have…  is better than getting what you want.

In Week 8, Junior School and Gawura will bring Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr to the stage at the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. All students in Years 3 to 6 are involved in this musical adventure.

In this twist on the traditional Pinocchio story, Geppetto’s wish for a son is granted by the Blue Fairy, but parenting is not quite as he imagined it to be. Pinocchio has a mind of his own, which Geppetto doesn’t like. Because even when Pinocchio tries to follow Geppetto’s instructions, he somehow lands in trouble. Knowing Geppetto’s disappointment, Pinocchio sets out to make his own way in the world, but this too is not as easy as it seems. With the greedy puppeteer Stromboli keen to hold on to Pinocchio, the promise of a perfect child for Geppetto, and the lure of Pleasure Island for Pinocchio desperately seeking freedom, will Pinocchio and Geppetto ever be reunited?

Download the flyer and share it with family and friends.

Join us for the St Andrew’s Cathedral School’s Junior School and Gawura production of Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr! Tickets go on sale through The Concourse Theatre today.


  • Evening Performances
    Thursday 7 September, 6.30pm
    Friday 8 September, 6.30pm
  • Matinee Performance
    Friday 8 September, 12.30pm: Students in K-2 and Year 7 will be taken to see this performance. Parents and carers of children in K-2 are welcome to join us for our 'Afternoon at the Theatre'.

Gawura Families - ticket information

Gawura families of students in Years 3-6 have 2 tickets per family reserved for you. Please click on the link below and select which date you would like for your reserved tickets, and then submit the form: LINK TO RESERVE TWO FREE TICKETS PER FAMILY

To guarantee your tickets we ask that you submit your response no later than Monday 14 August 2023 at 12noon.

If you would like to purchase additional tickets, please click here


My Son Pinocchio Jr Sponsorship opportunities

Would you like to advertise your business at this year’s Junior School and Gawura production of My Son Pinocchio Jr?

Sponsorship opportunities allow your business valuable exposure to the School community, and the extended community who attend these wonderful performances. Different packages offer an appropriate level of exposure through digital, print and venue advertising, plus complimentary tickets to your choice of performance. Our students learn so much from being part of these high quality performance opportunities and we are very grateful to all sponsors and donors who offer such crucial support.

Expression of interest
Please complete the online expression of interest form and submit by Friday 11 August. Details of the packages and an Expression of Interest form can be found here.

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


Sponsorship not for you? You can still help!

If you do not have a business to advertise but would like to support this performance of My Son Pinocchio Jr, we are now able to accept tax deductible donations to the Choristers, Creative and Performing Arts Fund. Your donation will go toward this production.

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.

So if you would like to support this wonderful Performing Arts production please consider making a tax deductible donation here.