Click to view this email online


In this issue

Message Stick – Term 3, Week 8
Heart Mind Life Awards
Library News
Music News
Sport News
Parenting Tips
Uniform - Winter to Summer Changeeover
Student Safety
Exam Support Volunteers
Sustainable School Shop
Parents Prayer Meeting
StartUp Finale
Family Fun Day at the NSW Parliament October School Holidays
Code Camp Spring School Holidays
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao

Message Stick – Term 3, Week 8


On Monday 9 September Gawura had the pleasure of hosting The Hon NSW Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell. Minister Mitchell (who asked the students to call her Sarah) came to view our unique Gawura model and engage in conversation around the sustainability of Indigenous language teachers, school funding and how our K-6 students progress through to the high school here at St Andrew’s Cathedral School. Sarah shared that she came from Gunnedah and had a wonderful rapport with our students who were thrilled to hear that she also supports the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL. We look forward to having ongoing conversations with our NSW Minister of Education into the future.

Last Wednesday 4 September JSGS held the annual Book Swap Day where our students raised just below $400 for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Gawura students in Years 3-6 were also very fortunate to visit the Indigenous Literacy Day at the Sydney Opera House where they saw performances from both Justine Clark and Josh Pike and also students from Nhulunbuy Primary School who flew down from the Northern Territory to launch their own book. This was a wonderful day and one that our students thoroughly enjoy attending. Special thank you to Peter’s mum Tina who works for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and for ensuring we are always able to attend this lovely event.

On Tuesday 27 August Gawura had a special visitor from the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants. Zac Williams a proud Wiradjuri man from Narrandera in western NSW spoke about his AFL journey and how important it is to have a goal and to keep on reaching for it despite several setbacks. Zac presented Gawura with an Indigenous GWS Giants jersey signed by the players which is on display in our Gawura Open Area.

In the attached newsletter you will see an advertisement for Code Camp in the upcoming school holidays. We were pleased to announce recently that Code Camp have donated 5 spaces for Gawura students to attend free of charge. Congratulations to the three parents who have already contacted me to get their redeeming code. There are only two left and if you think your child would like to attend the Code Camp these holidays then please just text me and I will forward the free code to you to book online.

Finally I would like to remind everyone that this Thursday 12 September is our next scheduled GPAC Meeting in the Community Hub on Level 4 from 2-3pm. We will also hold our Semester Two Gawura Parent Teacher Interviews from 1-2pm and again from 3:00-4:30pm after GPAC has finished.

Thank you for your ongoing support and we look forward to seeing you at the many events that will occur again throughout this term.

Have a safe and enjoyable fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar

Thursday 12 September: Year 5 Chowder Bay Excursion

Thursday 12 September: ICAS Spelling

Friday 13 September: Year 5 Chowder Bay Excursion

Friday 13 September: Kindergarten - Alexandra's Outing - Botanical Gardens Excursion

Monday 16 September: JSGS Year 12 Farewell commencing 2:15pm in the Cathedral

Tuesday 17 September: Gawura On Country Tour

Tuesday 17 September: ICAS English

Tuesday 17 September: Start Up Finale

Wednesday 18 September: Roald Dahl - Seymour Centre (Year 2)

Wednesday 18 September : Emperors New Clothes (Stage 3 Drama)

Friday 20 September: Emperors New Clothes (Year 6 Viewing)

Monday 23 September: JSGS Special End of Term Awards Assembly commencing 9:15am in the Cathedral

Thursday 26 September: JSGS Mini Athletics Carnival (K-2)

Thursday 26 September: Last Day Term 3

Friday 27 September: Staff Professional Developmment Day (no students)


Heart Mind Life Awards

Bryden Walker Kindy For his determination to finish all tasks
Latrell McGrath Kindy For being friendly to others
Toni King Year 6 For showing persistence

Library News


Premier’s Reading Challenge 2019

The 2019 PRC has closed.
We had an impressive 180 students from K-9 complete this year’s challenge.Together they entered 4250 books!

Congratulations to the following students who have completed their challenge:
Shogo Aoki, Benjamin Giannaras, Yao Qi Zhang, Abigail Sharpin, Lachlan Shi, Edgar Eidel, Evren Gel, Rory MacMahon, Leann Bray, Olivia Desillas, Daniel Lin, Jonathan Liu, Kailan Keegan, Miah Graves, Madeleine Teng, Lilie Bennett, Christian Desillas, Rich Hu, Joylara Ingram, Joseph Scott,, William Sims, Michelle Singh, Eva Dewar, Thomas Trott, Oliver Seeho, Cybele Knight, Thomas Koutis and Hayla Wilkinson.

Everything you read from September the 1st 2019 counts towards the 2020 PRC! So, keep a record of your titles and be ready to enter them as soon as it opens in March next year.

Prize winners in our library competitions:
Science Week:


  • Harrison Sheh

Stage 2:

  • Adele Wong

Stage 3:

  • Maya Steemers

Book Week:
Guessing Competition:

Asher Crosweller’s name was drawn from the two correct entries and he graciously shared his prize with the other student Alexandre Martinez.

Library’s secret power:
Archibald Miles

Classroom competitions:
BJ Carr, Fain Jiang, Tom Xue, Hayden Hughes, Damian Briffa, Harrison Sheh, Jocelyn Tee, Graham Jackson, Tilly Bray, Raeleigh Magee, Chelsea Chow, Joe Scott, Ilia Campbell, Jessica Wyhoon, Hugo Carrig and Roland Dorabialski.

Our runners up:
Annie Bray, Jenarose Jackson, Ella McHugh, Reina Shi, Chantilly Ho, Charlie McCabe, Amelia Pensabene, Jasper Crosweller and Eva Dewar.

Congratulations to everyone who joined in the fun over the last couple of weeks in the library.

Book Draw

Finished the PRC for 2019? Well don’t stop reading!

Our final draw will happen in week 10, so get your entries in.
1 more draw will happen this term, so keep reading and go into the draw to win a book of your choice.

Parent / Teacher Challenge 2019

The Parent / Teacher Challenge has now closed for 2019. A very big thank you to our reading role models this year and to everyone else who picked up a book and read to or alongside their child this year.

Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Book Swap

A special thank you to everyone who generously donated books for the book swap. We had so many amazing titles to choose from. The library was an absolute hive of swapping fun across the three libraries. Thank you all.

Australian Reading Hour is coming to SACS on Thursday 19 September! We have something special planned this year so keep an eye out for the announcements 😊

Library bags for sale
The Junior School and Gawura library is an active member of K.O.A.L.A. (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards) and they have just released new cotton tote library bags for sale. They are $5 each and all proceeds go directly to K.O.A.L.A. to help ensure kids have a voice in the world of Australian literature.  If you’d like to order one bring $5 to Mrs Paul in the library.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald


Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Music News


IPSHA and St Marks Church School performance
Thank you to our Junior Choir who performed as part of a concert with St Mark’s Church School on Monday 12 August. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Our choir also performed at the IPSHA Performing Arts Festival on 15 August. This was a wonderful inter-school music sharing opportunity and our students represented SACS brilliantly. Mr Milis received a standing ovation for the piece he conducted as the concert finale – Congratulations to everyone involved and thank you for the hard work you put in to make this event happen.

Lunchtime Concert:
Congratulations to Idelia Cao, Thea Sholl, Alison Ahn, Jess Langley, Alex White, Jeddy Sam, Issa Matsuoka and Ryan Sim on their performance at the Lunchtime Concert in the Cathedral on 26 August. All performers delighted their audience and it was wonderful to spend time watching them perform. The skill and musicality demonstrated by these students was stunning. Well done!

Eisteddfod success
Congratulations to Jeddy Sam who was awarded first prize on piano in the 11 years old and under section in the Penrith Eisteddfod, as well as 2nd place in the Jazz section and 3rd Place in the 10 Years Woodwind/Brass in the Hawkesbury Eisteddfod on his trumpet.

Congratulations also to Alison Ahn who was awarded 1st place at the recent Ryde Eisteddfod in the Woodwind solo 14 years and under section and 1st place in the Woodwind solo 10 and under on Clarinet.

More Eisteddfod success for Jeddy!
Congratulations to Jedidiah Sam who won first prize on piano for 20th and 21st century sections and second place in the 11 year old section at the Hawkesbury Eisteddfod.

HICES Music Camp
A number of our students have been on HICES Music Camp. Students had to audition in order to be accepted and they worked hard on their pieces before performing in the Town Hall on Wednesday night, 21/8. Mr Milis conducted the Male Vocal Ensemble during the camp and at the performance – Bravo to all!

SAVE THE DATE! Junior Ensembles Night
All members of Junior School Ensembles will be involved in our Junior Ensembles Evening on 15 November. If your child participates in cocurricular Music, please save the date! More information to follow closer to the event.

Kate Robertson
Leader of Learning - Music (K-6)


Sport News


ASSISA Athletics Carnival

On Thursday 29 August we had the annual ASISSA Athletics Carnival at ES Marks. The carnival was held in the worst conditions in recent memory, with rain and cold winds hammering the competitors all day. All students did an outstanding job representing the school the best that they could in very difficult weather. Congratulations to all students who qualified for this prestigious carnival, but in particular those that will move on to the NSWCIS championships on 12 September – Cadel Holmes, Jayden Hannaford, Kailan Keegan, Ben Hayward, Liam Sullivan, Felicity Sheh and Georgia Wansey. Another congratulations to Georgia who also won the Age Champion award for her age group on the day after coming first in an impressive five events!

Tony Dunseath
Coordinator of Sport and Cocurricular K-6, PDHPE Teacher


Parenting Tips


Children learn what they live

In last month’s blog from Parenting Ideas, Michael Gross wrote this article that I think is worth sharing.

We have all had the experience of speaking to our children, especially when they were perhaps not doing the right thing and heard our parents voice ring through! Michael Gross adds that this happens “because the ghosts from the past are very strong impacting not just our communication but our parenting as well.” He continues, “When children live with gratitude, encouragement and affection on a daily basis they are more likely to adopt those behaviours themselves. In fact, those types of behaviours become part of their values system.

They may shy away from these behaviours in adolescence, yet most kids will return to their core values in their twenties and beyond. Most children find their identity only after they’ve rejected it.

Similarly, when children live with criticism, mean-spiritedness and intolerance they are more likely to display those attitudes. Teachers and schools can impact children’s attitudes and behaviours but it can be hard to override the values that children develop at home. Children are more likely to reflect their parents’ attitudes and behaviours than those of their teachers.”

Do you like what you see?

Take a good look at your childrens’ attitudes, behaviours and values, particularly how they treat others. If you like what you see, then give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve done a good job through both overt teaching and modelling of raising a person in your likeness.

If you’re not happy with what you see – I’m not referring to the out-of-character, poor behaviour that children at times display due to fatigue, a stage or some other unknown reason (children will be children) – but if you cringe when you see some of the attitudes and behaviours that your children routinely show then some self-reflection may be the order of the day.

That’s nothing necessarily to be ashamed of. Children get front row seats to the very best and very worst of their parents’ behaviours. We just need to make sure that our best is amplified and our worst is minimised or, at least, not witnessed by our children.

It helps to sit down with your partner or a trusted friend and review the type of person that’s on display for your children every now and then. It will be a worthwhile exercise both personally and as a parent. As your children are a reflection of you, start the reflection process by looking at the behaviours, attitudes and states of mind they have in common. If you’re happy with what you see then you’re okay. If not, then maybe it’s time for some changes.

Something for us all to think about.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader.


Uniform - Winter to Summer Changeeover


From Monday, 14 October, all students are required to wear full summer uniform only.

The Changes are:

Boys – Short Striped summer Socks
Girls –  Striped Summer Dress & White Ankle Socks

Summer uniform is available through the Uniform Store, which is open

  • Monday: 8am to 3.30pm
  • Wednesday: 8am to 3.30pm
  • Thursday: 8am to 3.30pm

Student Safety


"Kiss and Drop" Zone

A reminder that parents can park for 30 minutes (not 31 minutes!) in Wilsons Kent St for free if they want to. Just put the ticket in the boom gate as they leave. Do not go to the payment booth.

Blocking 1 lane in Kent St does cause big problems for traffic. And frustrated drivers do make the area less safe for our students.

And any parent that pulls in to the Kiss and Drop zone who’s child is not there should pull out immediately. Two minutes is the maximum legal time.

There is a $114 fine for overstaying the time limit. Parents have been booked in the past.

Clinton Gribble
Maintenance & Facilities Manager


Exam Support Volunteers


Thank You!

As we head into a busy term with HSC TRIALS, ASSESSMENTS and YEAR 11 exams, there is an amazing small army of parents who contribute behind the scenes as volunteer readers and writers at SACS for our Senior College exams and assessments, and for the past two weeks they were out in force supporting our Year 12 Students through their HSC Trials. Many of them volunteering over many days, each one of them volunteering their precious time and stepping in at a time of emergency. We are extremely fortunate to have this very special group of ladies who have now become firm friends. On behalf of the SACs community we would like to acknowledge the wonderful work you do throughout the year supporting our students with their exams and assessments.

Thank you to the following ladies for their great support in the recent HSC TRIALS, we couldn't have done it without you!

Kirsty Archer, Judy Adamson, Louise Bersten, Nicola Burridge, Sarah Cairns, Lily Chek, Julie Ann Culton, Katie Firth, Tania Hayes, Elizabeth Hegedus, Helen Jones, Dimi Koutis, Kayla Koutis, Kate Lidbetter, Ellie Luff, Juliana Lung, Amy, Marsden, Christine Patton, Kate Richardson,Efi Richter, Rhondda Shaw, Ann Charlotte Stent, Johanna Ward, Cindy Williams, Lisa Williams and Jean York.

If you would like to become part of this amazing team please contact Annie Grennell at we would love to hear from you.

Annie Grennell
Specialised Learning Administration Aide


Sustainable School Shop



The P&F has purchased a membership for all SACS parents and families to allow them access to the very popular Sustainable School Shop. allows you to buy and sell school equipment such as textbooks, musical instruments, sports equipment, outdoor education items and lots more.  SACS textbook and equipment requirement lists will be loaded onto the website to allow accurate ad matching for parents when using the website.  To utilise this service go to and get started by filling in your details and entering St Andrews Cathedral School as your school choice.

The buying and selling of second hand uniforms will still be managed by our school uniform store and can be accessed through 

The sustainable school shop membership is an exciting, much anticipated and long researched initiative by the P&F and one we hope that many parents will take advantage of.
It’s very easy and should mean an end to that pile of discarded school textbooks and other items that drives us all mad.


Parents Prayer Meeting


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.

  • Thursday 12 September 7.30-8.15am / 1-2pm

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


StartUp Finale


StartUp presents our future innovators, problem solvers and entrepreneurial thinkers who this year have addressed the issues of Social Justice and Sustainability.

Fifteen teams that combine students from Year 6 to Year 12 have been preparing for five weeks, developing their ideas in order to present them to the ‘shark tank’ on Tuesday 17 Sept at 6pm in the MCNA, BBC.

Students will pitch their business ideas dealing with fast fashion, microgreens, the future of bees, our aging population, the car industry and much more.

Each year Start Up is an amazing opportunity for SACS students to be mentored in the real life skills of pitching ideas and developing and running a business.

You will also have the opportunity to have your say and vote for the People’s Choice award as the night nears its nail-biting finale.
If your child did not get involved this year, come along and see what it’s all about. Each year it’s fun, future focused and easy for students to get involved. 

Who will be the SACS Entrepreneurs of 2019?


Book Now


Family Fun Day at the NSW Parliament October School Holidays


Code Camp Spring School Holidays


These Spring holidays Code Camp are returning to St Andrew's Cathedral School to teach your child to code, or to help them continue on their coding adventure!

Code Camp has already taught more than 50,000 students in Australia and is a great way to spend time over the holidays as kids have lots of fun with friends while learning important new skills including logic, creativity, problem-solving, app development and game building. It’s fun and engaging, and gets them prepared to take on the digital world of the future.

This season from Wednesday the 2nd - Friday the 4th of October, St Andrew's Cathedral School will be hosting Little Heroes, Spark, 2D Game Makers and 3D World Builders.And from Tuesday the 8th- Thursday the 10th of October, they will be hosting Little Heroes, Spark, 2D Game Makers and Web Hackers.

Bookings can be made via this link:

Code Camp has also been working with Service NSW and we are proud to announce that we are one of the first approved providers eligible for the $100 Creative Kids rebate! Just enter booking to receive $100 back on you enrolment.

Please click on the following link for more information:


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.


Get connected on our social media

Like us on Facebook:

Follow our Twitter: @gawura_sacs

Follow our Instagram: @gawura_school

Visit the Gawura Website:


     .Back to top