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In this issue

Gawura news
Gala Day
Key dates
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Library news
Sports news
Art news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting Tips
Year 5 Bathurst Excursion
What's on : upcoming events and activities
TheirCare School Holiday Activities
Code Camp in School Holidays

Gawura news


NAIDOC Week is held every year in early July commencing on the first Sunday. This year’s theme is Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up and runs nationally from Sunday 3 July to Sunday 10 July. It has become tradition in Gawura School and SACS that we celebrate NAIDOC Week in the last week of Term 2 as the official week is on in the July school holidays. We have a wonderful week of events including a Smoking Ceremony celebrating NAIDOC Week, a NAIDOC Week Mufti Day where the entire school are encouraged to wear the colours of the Aboriginal Flag and or the Torres Strait Islander Flag which all culminates in our major NAIDOC Week Assembly on Thursday 23 June in the Cathedral commencing at 9.30am. The students in K-4 have been practising a wonderful play which you will see them perform, an address given relating to the theme and we strongly encourage everyone to visit the Aboriginal Heroes/Deadly Warriors Peoplescape display which is open in the shopfront in the St Andrews Square Arcade just opposite the newsagency under our school. This display will remain open until the last day of school on Friday 24 June. Please see further information about this display in other sections of this Message Stick.

Our long awaited On Country Tour to the Indigenous Homelands of Cape York will finally go ahead (after 2 years of cancellations due to COVID). Students from Years 5-12 will depart Sydney on Sunday 17 July and fly to Cairns and then board a specifically designed 4WD bus for 5 hours heading into Cape York. Students will learn traditional Kuku Yalanji language, participate in cultural lessons and activities all of which will be presented by local Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Owners. The final day will be spent snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef cruising with the Quicksilver Company to their specially designed pontoon. Students will return to Sydney on Saturday 23 July. A very special thank you to all the donors and sponsors who have donated money for this trip to occur. Several of our students have never been on a plane before so this will add to the wonderful opportunity ahead.

A very big thank you to all the wonderful Gawura Grandparents and Carers who attended the JSGS Grandparents Day last Friday week 10 June. We had a marvellous showing of grandparents, aunts and uncles who showed up on the day. Your grandchild truly loved you being here and showing you around our beautiful Gawura and St Andrew’s Cathedral Junior Schools.

Our next GPAC meeting will be in Term 3 on Tuesday 26 July at 2:00pm in the Level 6 Council Room. This meeting will be both in person and available online through Microsoft Teams.

Finally just a reminder that our Gawura scholarship families can access free Vacation Care through our school provider Their Care to be held here on site at our school throughout the June/July school holiday period. All you need to do is just register through their website:

The first day back for Gawura students K-4 will be Monday 18 July. We trust you all have a wonderful and safe winter school holiday and look forward to seeing you again in Term 3.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Gala Day


Friday 24 June

On the last day of Term 2 we traditionally hold Gala Day. This day is one of fun and activity in which all students, Kindergarten to Year 6, compete against one another in their various Houses, with points awarded which ultimately contributes to the Gala Day Shield (Champion House for the first half of the year).

Start time: 8.30am all students board buses
Finish time: 3.10pm in the Upper Chapter House

Lunch is provided
The P&F provides lunch for each student which is covered by the school service charge. Monies will go back to the P&F to provide this. It will include a sausage sandwich, small packet of chips, a juice popper or water and a slice of celebration cake (as Gala Day is also SACS’ Birthday party!). BBQs will be operating at the venue.  Please also be aware that the canteen will be closed on this day and will not be taking online orders. Our P&F Association are helping to organise this occasion. Gluten free/vegetarian/lactose free options are provided. If you would like to assist with any of the P&F BBQs, please email P&F President Helen Carson at p&

Activities will be offsite at Lane Cove, Blackman Park.
The presentation of the Gala Day Shield will occur at 2.45pm in the Upper Chapter House.

Students must wear full School Sports Uniform. Students are advised to bring water, sunscreen and morning tea.


Mrs​ Rhonda Robson
Deputy Head of School (Primary) / Director of Primary Education


Key dates

Monday 20 June
End of Term Awards Assembly

Monday 20 June 
NAIDOC week commences

Thursday 23 June
NAIDOC celebrations and mufti day

7-24 June
NAIDOC Week Peoplescape Exhibition
Mon-Fri, 8am-8.30am and 3pm-3.30pm

Friday 24 June
Giving Day

Friday 24 June
Gala Day – Term 2 concludes

Monday 18 July
Term 3 commences K-12

Monday 18 July
Winter Welcome in the Square

Thursday 21 July, 6pm-7.30pm
Year 12 Major Project Exhibition,
TAS Design Centre


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Keeping our kids safe online

Protecting children in their digital worlds is an ever-evolving task for Australian families.

Last week our school hosted an education seminar for parents and staff, delivered by ySafe. Our speaker, Yasmin London, provided information and advice to parents on how to best protect their children from the damaging aspects of the digital world, including screen time, social media and gaming. It was great that some of our Junior School families could attend the presentation, and for those who would like to view the recording of the session you can access it here for a limited time. I would also encourage you to explore our SACS Cybersafety Hub

This hub contains information for parents on apps that you may hear your children talking about, tips for online safety, preparing your child for their first phone, establishing screen routines and many other topics relevant to being parents of children in the 21st century. I found the blog about Roblox vs Minecraft particularly interesting as it discussed the differences in safety, parental controls and engagement for each. These are both games which I frequently hear students talking about, however, I am not overly familiar with them myself, so it was helpful to learn more so that I can feel more confident in my conversations with students - perhaps you might like to feel better informed in some digital areas also?

If you missed the ySafe seminar but would like to learn more about helping your child with safe online gaming, the details for an online webinar run by the eSafety commission are also available. In addition, our SACS online parenting resource SchoolTV also has some great cybersafety resources for parents which you may like to read through.

Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Junior School & Gawura Well‑Being Coordinator


Music news


Annie – Annabelle and Lucinda shine!

The production of Annie put on by St Andrew’s was a wonderful success. K-3 students marvelled at the razzle dazzle on our excursion to visit the show, and it was a pleasure to see so many former Junior School students take to the stage for this magnificent event.

Annabelle Douglas and Lucinda Chan successfully auditioned for roles in the show and they did a spectacular job. The talent at SACS has always been so inspiring and this was no exception.

Congratulations to both of these Junior School students, to Mr Milis, Dr Watson, Dr Macaulay, Mr Desaulnier and all the staff involved in making this show so wonderful.


Strings Breakfast Concert

Thank you to our wonderful string players from Junior Strings, Junior Chamber Ensemble, Middle School Strings and Chamber Orchestra who arrived at school bright and early during a very busy time at school to perform for their parents and friends during our Strings Breakfast Concert on Thursday 16 June!

It was lovely to have parents back at St Andrew's to enjoy a delicious breakfast and some wonderful string playing together.


AUSTA Strings Festival

On Sunday 5 June the Australian Strings Association (AUSTA) held their annual Strings Festival at Sydney Grammar School, St Ives.

St Andrew's had seven students from the Junior School and Middle School performing on the day. Students were required to prepare a solo performance to a high level, and perform their piece to a panel of expert adjudicators and audience.

Each of our students was awarded a trophy, and given feedback on their performance.

Lucas Wu – Year 1
Brandon Cheung – Year 3
Hugo Gilmovich – Year 3
Vanessa Tsui – Year 3
James Grennan – Year 7
Justin Jhung – Year 7
Darcy Redican – Year 9

Congratulations to all students involved for your fantastic performances!

Thank you to parents for supporting this event, and to our wonderful accompanist Ms Chen.



Congratulations to Vanessa Tsui who was recently awarded a distinction in her AMEB Violin Grade 2 examination

Congratulations also to Violet Pendelbury-Simmons who was awarded a High Distinction in her Preliminary AMEB Speech and Performance examination.

Well done!

If your child has recently completed a music examination, we would love to share their success with the community. Please email so that we can include this in our school newsletter.

Mrs​ Kate Robertson             Miss​ Sandi Oh
Head of Music (K‑6)              Coordinator of Strings


Library news


A big THANK YOU to our St Andrew's Grandparents!

Last Friday we had wonderful support from our grandparents for our Book Fair. It was very special watching grandparents and their grandchildren looking through the beautiful selection of books on display. Many lovely conversations were had about the joy of reading, favourite books and childhood memories, with many hugs and "thank yous" exchanged.

Due to your generosity of both donations and purchases a significant amount was raised from the fair which will enable the library to receive more books to add to our collection. We appreciate that very much.

Next week in the library we are looking forward to our NAIDOC celebration. Lunchtime activities will focus on First Nations culture. There will be puzzles, colouring, artwork and craft relating to First Nations peoples. During browse and borrow times, the librarians will he highlighting our beautiful range of picture books and chapter books by Indigenous authors. Students will be encouraged to learn about the Heroes of Change, First Nations peoples who have lived the NAIDOC theme: Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

Nurturing families and reading together,

Mrs Deborah Bennett
JS&G Teacher Librarian


Sports news


Paul Kelly Cup

On 8 June, we sent 2 teams off to the Paul Kelly Cup. The sun was shining but it was a crisp morning, taking a little while to warm up. The boys team played well throughout the day, narrowly losing a couple of close games. They played with great SACS spirit and teamwork throughout the morning.

The girls team demonstrated their skills to make it through to the semi-finals after some great results. The semi-final was an extremely close game and after leading for the first part, they unfortunately lost by a couple of points to Neutral Bay Public School. A fantastic result for a team with little AFL experience.


Mr​ James Leedow
JS Teacher, Coordinator of Primary Sport


Art news


NAIDOC Week – Collaboration and Creativity

K-6 students in Junior School and Gawura have had a focused few weeks in the JS Art Space – drawing, painting, moulding, gluing, designing, collaborating and sculpting for our Peoplescape (an art piece made of 24 lifesize people) in preparation for the NAIDOC Week Installation and Exhibition. Every student has been involved in some way and it’s been messy and fun (and just a little crazy!). It has been a joy to watch students work together, creating a buzz of creativity and productivity.

The exhibition is being held in the Town Hall Arcade (the previously empty corner shop just adjacent to our Arcade lifts) and will be open for viewing from Tuesday 7 June to Friday 24 June.


What’s On ?

  • Looking for a family exhibition to visit?

    The Young Archie portrait competition, at the Art Gallery of NSW is always a good idea! Showing from 14 May - 24 August 2022, with other Honourable mentions displayed at the SH Ervin Gallery from 14 May - 24 July 2022 alongside the Salon des Refusés. (Our students enter this exhibition every other year – watch out 2023!)


Mrs​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator JS&G


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



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


Parenting Tips


Mean on purpose or bullying – What’s the difference?

During our SEW lessons we have been talking about this topic and we are explaining the difference between the often, misused word of 'bullying' and 'mean on purpose'. We are also talking about helpful strategies and words to navigate the sometimes, difficult emotions and actions involved in this area of growing up. Last week staff, students and parents were able to hear the excellent presentation on Cyberbullying and Cyber safety presented by Yasmin London. This gave wonderful insight into the ways in which we can enable our children to work through this increasing dimension of life in the world today.

In Junior School SEW lessons, we are teaching the students words or actions such as:

  • “That’s not ok and I don’t like that.”
  • “I’m not cool with that.”
  • “Stop please, that’s not a nice thing to say.”
  • “Stop, that’s hurtful.”

The actions suggested are to have a quick response and then walk away, rather than react in a physical way. If the 'mean on purpose' behaviour continues, then students are encouraged to speak with a teacher or adult. We are endeavouring to have a common language across the school.

This article (below) from Parenting Ideas blog on bullying and strategies for parents to use with their child/ren and it is well worth a read.

“Bullying is a word that’s wrapped in emotion. For many people bullying is associated with bad childhood memories. It’s been estimated that around 40% of people have experienced some type of bullying in the past.

The ghosts from the past are never far away for parents and can sometimes influence the way we react to current circumstances, including when our own children experience difficulties in their relationships inside or outside school.

Bullying is an insidious behaviour that transgresses children’s natural right to feel safe and secure. It can adversely affect their learning, emotional well-being, further peer relations and their sense of self. Bullying takes many forms and guises, including physical and emotional abuse, intimidation, harassment and exclusion.

It now has a well-publicised cyber-dimension, which has moved the goalposts for many kids. In the past children could escape bullying behaviours they may have experienced by being at home. Cyber-bullying now means that kids can’t escape the bully like they once could.

Bullying should not be confused with teasing, rejection, random acts of violence or physicality and conflict. While children will often tease or fight, this bickering should not be confused with bullying. (This is where our Mean on Purpose phrase comes in.)
Girls bully just as much as boys, but they do it in less physical ways. While boys use physical intimidation or verbal abuse to wield power, girls are more likely to use exclusion or verbal sarcasm to assert themselves.

What’s bullying about?

Bullying is about lack of power as one person is powerless to stop the teasing or physical abuse. Bullying is the selective, uninvited, repetitive oppression of one person by another person or group.

If you think your child is being bullied, then handle them with care as many children don’t want to admit that they are on the receiving end of bullying. Some children keep it to their chest so it helps to be on the lookout for warning signs such as: items being stolen, changing the route to school and withdrawal from usual activities.

If your child is being bullied:

  • Remain calm: This is so hard as your emotions can easily escalate into anger. But your child needs you to remain unemotional so they can talk with you and feel safe.
  • Listen to their story: Children who are bullied need someone to believe their story. Take them seriously and avoid dismissing complaints as tell-tale. Use common sense to differentiate between bullying and more random, non-selective anti-social acts.
  • Deal with their feelings: A child who is bullied probably feels scared, angry and sad. While boys are more likely to act out and display anger, girls are more likely to act in feeling sad and depressed. Recognise and validate their emotions. It’s normal to feel sad, scared or just plain confused.
  • Get the facts: Get a clear picture of what happens, including who is involved, the frequency and what happens prior to any bullying. Get your child to be as specific as possible by asking good questions. An accurate picture will help you determine your next course of action.
  • Give them coping skills: With a clear picture you can start giving your child some help about how they may deal with bullying including using avoidance strategies, being more assertive and changing body language.
  • Get the school involved: Bullying is best handled when parents and teachers are involved. Some parents tell me that schools can be reluctant to become involved. From my experience, schools take bullying very seriously and go to great lengths to support and empower those on the receiving end and look for ways to change the behaviour of bullies. Approach your school through the appropriate channels, make yourself aware of your schools’ anti-bullying procedures and programmes, and be willing to work within these guidelines.
    (I can definitely say that SACS is a school that does not tolerate bullying or mean on purpose behaviour at all and that it will be addressed as soon as it is made known.)
  • Help build your child’s support networks: Your child will need a group of friends to support them and insulate them against further social exclusion so look for practical ways to broaden friendship groups.
  • Build their self-confidence: Nothing saps a child’s confidence like bullying so provide your child with plenty of encouragement and loving support. Let them know through your words and treatment of them, that they will get through this difficult period in their life."

This is an interesting article and I hope it provides some ideas and strategies for you. It is also helpful for you as parents to know and use the language we are using at school.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Year 5 Bathurst Excursion


“It was so great at Bathurst that I didn’t want to come home.”

What a wonderful 3-day experience Year 5 had at Bathurst! Despite being very cold the students really enjoyed the activities and learning through primary resources and hands-on activities what life was like on the goldfields.

The food was awesome!

The Scenic Railway was probably the highlight, as well as seeing lots of snow on the roadside.

Here are some student's thoughts:

“It was so great at Bathurst that I didn’t want to come home.”

“Bathurst was a great place to go with lots of historical and educational things to see.”

“It was really educational and we learnt so much.”

“It was very cold! “

“I really had a great time.”

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


What's on : upcoming events and activities


Not just a playground – Giving Day 2022

We are inviting all members of our community to support our 2022 Giving Day which will be raising funds to provide a comprehensive upgrade of our rooftop facilities. Our Junior School students love playing on our rooftop. They race there at 8am in the morning, spend their recess and lunch and daily assemblies there. They enjoy the slides, play endless ballgames, chat with their friends, and create lifelong memories.

From 3pm on Thursday 23 June through to 3pm on Friday 24 June we are holding a 24 hour Giving Day to raise funds so we can make the rooftop the most fabulous and productive place we can. Our final renovation will depend on the amount of money that we raise.

The P&F and Friends of the School have generously agreed to be matching donors. This means that we can triple the impact of your donation until we reach our target. You can register now to be reminded when Giving Day commences, or if those dates clash with other commitments, you are welcome to donate now. Find out how at

The students are all getting involved by nominating names for our rooftop chickens and this week they will vote on the house name for each chicken. As you donate, nominate your family’s house – the house that reaches the highest NUMBER of donations will have the joy of naming our rooftop chickens.

If you have any questions, please email


Not just a playground – Giving Day 2022
3pm 23 June to 3pm 24 June

Every donation tripled until we reach our target




Volunteers needed for our Giving Day 2022 and for the Gala Day BBQ

Can you be part of our Operations Room for our Rooftop Renovation campaign? We are looking for volunteers from 3pm-8.30pm on Thursday 23 June to help launch our campaign, and again from 10am-3pm on Friday 24 June. It’s a fun exciting day, with regular updates on the target, seeing the students enjoy gala day, and coming together as a community. Can you help? The more volunteers we have the more likely we are to reach our target. 

The last day of term is not only Giving Day, but also Gala Day. The students have a fun-filled day of inter-house competitions and the P&F feed sausages and cake to all the students and staff. With so many to feed, the P&F needs an army of volunteers, so if you can help out – please sign up to the roster below. Maybe combine a few hours in the operations room with a few hours on the BBQ?


To sign up to volunteer for the Giving Day, go to:

To sign up to volunteer for the Gala Day Student BBQ, go to


It's a competition – Can you name our rooftop chickens?

As part of this year’s Giving Day where we are raising fund to renovate our Rooftop, all students are invited to nominate a name on Schoology for our two rooftop chickens.

Nominations will be collected, divided into houses and shortlisted then students from each house will be able to select their top choices.

We’re confident some EGGcellent choices will be put forward.

See Schoology for more information.


NAIDOC Week celebrations

As NAIDOC Week falls during the July school holidays, we hold a special NAIDOC Week event at our school in the final week of Term 2. This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is Get up! Stand Up! Show up! Everyone is invited to our NAIDOC week celebrations which will include a special NAIDOC Week assembly, morning tea and peoplescape exhibition, celebrating culture, community and the many who have driven and led change in our First Nations communities over generations.


Please join us in celebrating NAIDOC Week

Our Gawura students will proudly perform at the assembly in St Andrew’s Cathedral, followed by morning tea in The Heath Centre.

If you can’t attend in person, please watch our livestream
on the Gawura Facebook page


NAIDOC Week Assembly and morning tea
Thursday 23 June, 9.30am
St Andrew's Cathedral


'Our Deadly Warrior Heroes' K-6 Peoplescape Exhibition

Our School’s celebrations of NAIDOC Week include a large public Peoplescape Installation of key Indigenous leaders, created by our Kindergarten to Year 6 Gawura and Junior School students.

The students have researched and written about key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who have impacted all Australians and helped bring about important cultural and historical changes over the past 200 years.

All parents and students are encouraged to walk through this Installation to enjoy the art and experience the stories presented as part of our School’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, which officially take place from 20-24 June.

The Installation is located in the corner shopfront in Town Hall Arcade, directly beneath St Andrew’s House, opposite the newsagency.

Come and take a look!


7 – 24 June
Open weekdays, 8am-8.30am and 3pm-3.30pm
Town Hall Arcade


Winter Welcome in the Square

Please come and join us for a warming cup of barista-made coffee or tea as we welcome our students and families back to school after the mid-year holidays. Delicious snacks will also be offered. It’s a great opportunity for parents to chat with other parents and even a few staff members. 

All parents and friends of the school are welcome, so please come and say hello.

This event is provided for our school community by the P&F. No booking required.


Winter Welcome in the Square
Monday 18 July, 8am-10am
Sydney Square


Think, Create, Innovate!

Year 12 Major Project Exhibition

The SACS Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) Department invites you to an exhibition of major works of our 2022 Year 12 HSC students in Industrial Technology Timber, Design and Technology, Textiles and Design, Software Design and Development, and IB students in Computer Science.


Thursday 21 July, 6pm-7.30pm
Design Centre – BBC
51 Druitt Street Sydney


More information


Trivia Night – Save the date!

Save the night for this year’s parent trivia night.

Always a highlight, trivia night this year will again be an action packed, side splitting evening of fun, entertainment, games, dressing up – and of course trivia.

Bookings will open in Week 1 next term. Book early so you have your choice of the Musical Mayhem theme.


Musical Mayhem Trivia Night
Saturday 20 August, 6pm
Heath Centre, SAH

Bookings open early Term 3.


Andrean Writer, Artist, Composer and Designer (new) of the Year Competition

We are proud to announce this year’s K-12 creative competition theme is – EGYPT. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb, this year’s Andrean of the Year theme is Egypt. 

Consider the ideas of ‘exploration’, ‘discovery’, ‘mystery’, ‘curses’, or ‘adventure’ in either ancient or modern Egypt, or anything else you can imagine in the wonderful land of Egypt! 

This year we have a NEW category – Designer of the Year – can you design something about Egypt? Design entries must be no larger than one cubic metre made from either timber, metal, plastic, textiles and/or computer programme with your name and year level clearly marked. All entries to be submitted to Mr Bacewicz in the Design Centre (Year 7-12) or Mr Ryman (Year 5-6) – computer programme entries need to be provided on a USB and need to be able to be run on school laptops without additional/specialist software. All Designer of the Year entries must include a 3-minute video explanation of how your Design represents the theme, addresses a market opportunity and demonstrates your product in use.

Judging and prizes

Entries will be judged on creativity, skill, audience engagement and originality in exploring the theme. Entries must be created in 2022 and no group entries are permitted.

First prize: $200 Secondary; $100 Primary
Runners up: $50 Secondary; $20 Primary

Click here for 2022 entry details and winners from past competitions. Entries close Monday 17 October (Term 4 Week 2).

Mr Brad Swibel
Deputy Head of School (Secondary)

     School Readiness talk for Kindergarten    

TheirCare School Holiday Activities


Winter Holiday Program

TheirCare at St Andrews have organised a wide range of exciting activities for the upcoming school holidays. To find out more or to book, click here:

St Andrews Junior School


Code Camp in School Holidays


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