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In this issue

Message Stick Term 3, Week 6, 2021
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Dates for your calendar
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Library news
Sports News
Parenting tips
G.A.T.E.WAYS Eureka – Tales of the Unexpected
Andrean Artist 2021
Performing Arts update
Entries close this Friday!
Dad Hacks
P&F General Meeting (Online)
StartUp Finale
The SACS P&F Trivia Night
Gala Dinner Hats Off to Dr Collier
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick Term 3, Week 6, 2021


We are now over half way through the term and the students have been engaged with remote learning. I do thank all of the parents who are assisting their children with their learning at home during this time. It looks likely that the current phase of remote learning will continue beyond next Friday week 27 August. Gawura teaching staff have shared with me that the overwhelming majority of students have been thoroughly engaged over the past 5 weeks. If you have any concerns re the work required for remote learning please get in touch with your class teacher and or myself so that we can discuss some alternatives. Also a reminder that school is in fact, open with a skeleton staff of support teachers who can assist your child do the required work for remote learning here on site. Please just complete the link that I have been sending out each Friday which advises which days in the following week you would like to send your child into school. Students attending on site just need to bring their device, charger, morning tea, lunch and a drink bottle. Drop off times to the foyer are between
8am-8.45am and pick up times are from 3pm-3.5pm.

I am delighted to say that we have seen some preliminary NAPLAN results for our Gawura School for 2021 and they are quite pleasing indeed. Shortly our JSGS will receive further reports which can be sent out to parents which will occur later this term. This is a wonderful testament to our students and staff who continue to make excellent progress in achieving educational outcomes for our Aboriginal students.

One of our JS Gawura School highlights every year is our annual Book Week Parade. This years theme is Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds and although we will not be able to meet in person  and have a parade as such, our school librarian Mrs Cotter has arranged for students to get dressed up for their online conferences during the week and upload a photo to the class gallery which will be shared with everyone the following week. Please see Mrs Cotter’s section in the Message Stick below.

We continue to think of and pray for our First Nations families during this time of Covid and in particular our most vulnerable communities in remote regions of NSW and the rest of Australia. 

Please see information below re covid testing centres and just a reminder that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 12 years and over are eligible to receive their covid vaccinations. Those 12-59 can receive either vaccination inc Pfizer and over 60’s can receive Astra Zeneca. The Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in Redfern are offering vaccinations as well as local GP’s and there is also a hub at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital located just a few streets back from the main entrance in Mallet St, Camperdown. Please press this link for current information.

Please take care, stay safe and we look forward to having all the students return to our school when we are able to.

Have a safe and wonderful fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


COVID fatigue

The physical impact of the pandemic has mostly spared our young people, however as the nation remains to be on alert and in various stages of lockdown, restrictions continue to be mandated. The pandemic has had a great affect on our young people with many paying a heavy emotional and developmental price. Psychological disorders are on the rise and emergency interventions have skyrocketed.

As hard as it is being a young person today, it's also draining being the parent of one. It has been reported that many parents are struggling to keep their child's mental health afloat, often proving it is difficult to juggle parenting responsibilities whilst at the same time providing much needed emotional support for their children.

Unlike the coronavirus itself, the emotional blowback of the pandemic cannot be vaccinated away. Psychologists are seeing more depression and anxiety across all age groups, but in adolescents it seems to be on steroids, with some choosing to self-medicate using alcohol or other drugs. When they look into the future now, they're looking at one that wasn't what they envisioned before.

This report explains the current state of youth mental health in a post-COVID era and offers guidance on how best to support young people today. Whilst this report focusses on the teenage years, we know that these things are also impacting on our younger children. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If this Special Report raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report:

SchoolTV is a P&F funded parenting resource for our SACS parents.

Bronwyn Wake
JS and GS School Counsellor and Wellbeing Coordinator


Dates for your calendar


Tuesday 31 August, 6pm: P&F General Meeting (ONLINE)

Tuesday 7 September, 6pm: Start Up Finale (new date)

Saturday 11 September: Trivia Night (ONLINE)

Friday 19 November: Dr Collier Hats Off Gala Dinner


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



Please click here for this weeks awardees


Library news


Book Week

We are pleased to announce that preparations are well underway for our Junior School community to enjoy a variety of remote celebrations for Children's Book Council of Australia  (CBCA) Book Week 2021 (Monday 23 – Friday 27 August).

Your children would have already received instructions about how to enter our creative Book Week Competitions, celebrating Old Worlds, New Worlds and Other Worlds. Entries for those competitions will close Friday 20 August. Make sure your child has uploaded their creation to the appropriate online gallery.

During Book Week, we will be hosting two wonderful authors via Teams. On Tuesday 24 August, our students in Years 3-6 will be enjoying a virtual visit from high-energy children’s author, Nat Amoore. Nat is passionate about encouraging kids to read and write and explore their imagination without boundaries. She is all about big ideas, big laughs and big fun. She is the author of Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire, The Power of Positive Pranking and The Right Way to Rock.

On Thursday 26 August, our students in Years K-2, will be enjoying music and stories with Valanga Khoza. Valanga is a consummate storyteller, shaping tales of his childhood in rural South Africa into captivating presentations. He magically weaves traditional South African instruments into his performances. Valanga is the author of Dumazi and the Yellow Lion, which is gaining international acclaim.

Our annual Book Week Parade will also be happening in a revised format. Students may attend their daily conferences in costume any or all days of Book Week. It does not matter which day children get dressed up, it can be one or more days, as long as a photograph is taken and uploaded to the class gallery by 3pm on Friday 27 August. Winners, Runners Up and a Packing Room Prize will be announced on Friday of the following week – Friday 3 September. In recognition of the special circumstances around this year’s book week, extra points will be awarded for costumes created with everyday items found around the house. Book Week is about celebrating imagination, creativity and community. We know how to do that at SACS!

Please remember to use the digital resources that have been shared to keep your children (and even yourself) reading. Students have up until Friday 3 September to complete their Premier’s Reading Challenge. That’s THREE more weeks!

So glad to be able to share in the joy of reading and of life with you all,

Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – JS & GS


Sports News


The Olympics have now finished and along with it our Junior School and Gawura Olympic Challenge. It was amazing to see students engaging with the Olympics in each of the tasks and showing off their creative abilities wherever possible. Congratulations to all students who gained points for their house! It was a tough competition with the house podium listed below!

Gold: Durham

Silver: Hereford

Bronze: St Pauls

All house points collected over this time will count towards the end of year Rod McQueen shield. We also had some particularly outstanding individual performances with a special mention for each of the following students and their outstanding efforts – Maya Usmar (KS), Bill Pan (1R), Zachary Beck (2B), William Spring (4S), Isaac Taylor (5R) and Madison Dockery (5O). They will be suitably rewarded when we are able!

Tony​ Dunseath
PDHPE Teacher, Head of Cocurricular K‑6


Parenting tips


Nine steps to more effective parenting

by Kidshealth.

Being a parent is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs an adult can do, especially during these times we are living in at the moment. I take my hat off to you all. You are indeed wonderful. Kidshealth has written this article recently, and there may be some ideas to help you… and me as a teacher and a parent …😊 manage.

1. Boosting Your Child's Self-Esteem
Children start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents' eyes. Your tone of voice, your body language, and your every expression are absorbed by your children. Your words and actions as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else.

Praising accomplishments, however small, will make them feel proud; letting children do things independently will make them feel capable and strong. By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavorably with another will make kids feel worthless.

Choose your words carefully and be compassionate. Let your children know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love them, even when you don't love their behavior.

2. Catch Children Being Good
Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you react negatively to your children in a given day? You may find yourself criticizing far more often than complimenting.

The more effective approach is to catch children doing something right: "You made your bed without being asked — that's terrific!" or "I was watching you play with your sister and you were very patient." These statements will do more to encourage good behavior over the long run.

Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards — your love, hugs, and compliments can work wonders and are often reward enough. Soon you will find you are "growing" more of the behavior you would like to see.

3. Set Limits and Be Consistent with your Discipline
Discipline is necessary in every household. The goal of discipline is to help children choose acceptable behaviours and learn self-control. They may test the limits you establish for them, but they need those limits to grow into responsible adults.

Establishing house rules helps children understand your expectations and develop self-control. Some rules might include: no TV until homework is done, and no hitting, name-calling, or hurtful teasing allowed.

You might want to have a system in place: one warning, followed by consequences such as a "time out" or loss of privileges. Being consistent teaches what you expect.

4. Make Time for Your Children
It's often difficult for parents and children to get together for a family meal, let alone spend quality time together. But there is probably nothing children would like more. Children who aren't getting the attention they want from their parents often act out or misbehave because they're sure to be noticed that way.

Adolescents seem to need less undivided attention from their parents than younger kids. Because there are fewer windows of opportunity for parents and teens to get together, parents should do their best to be available when their teen does express a desire to talk or participate in family activities.

Don't feel guilty if you're a working parent. It is the many little things you do — making popcorn, playing cards, window shopping — that kids will remember.

5. Be a Good Role Model
Young children learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about this: Is that how you want your child to behave when angry? Be aware that you're constantly being watched by your kids.

Model the traits you wish to see in your children: respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Exhibit unselfish behaviour. Above all, treat your children the way you expect other people to treat you.

6. Make Communication a Priority
You can't expect children to do everything simply because you, as a parent, "say so." They want and deserve explanations as much as adults do. If we don't take time to explain, children will begin to wonder about our values and motives and whether they have any basis. Parents who reason with their children allow them to understand and learn in a nonjudgmental way.

Make your expectations clear. If there is a problem, describe it, express your feelings, and invite your child to work on a solution with you. Be sure to include consequences. Make suggestions and offer choices. Be open to your child's suggestions as well.

7. Be Flexible and Willing to Adjust Your Parenting Style
If you often feel "let down" by your child's behavior, perhaps you have unrealistic expectations. Parents who think in "shoulds" might find it helpful to read up on the matter or to talk to other parents or child development specialists.

Childrens' environments have an effect on their behaviour, so you might be able to change that behaviour by changing the environment.. This will cause less frustration for both of you.
As your child changes, you'll gradually have to change your parenting style. Chances are, what works with your child now won't work as well in a year or two.

Teens tend to look less to their parents and more to their peers for role models. But continue to provide guidance, encouragement, and appropriate discipline while allowing your teen to earn more independence.

8. Show That Your Love Is Unconditional
As a parent, you're responsible for correcting and guiding your children. But how you express your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a child receives it.

When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or fault-finding, which undermine self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when disciplining your children.

9. Know Your Own Needs and Limitations as a Parent
Face it — you are an imperfect parent. You have strengths and weaknesses as a family leader. Try to have realistic expectations for yourself, your spouse, and your children. You don't have to have all the answers — be forgiving of yourself.
Try to make parenting a manageable job. Focus on the areas that need the most attention rather than trying to address everything all at once.

Focusing on your needs does not make you selfish. It simply means you care about your own well-being, which is another important value to model for your children.

Hope you found this article encouraging in your journey, I know I did both as a teacher, parent and grandparent.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


G.A.T.E.WAYS Eureka – Tales of the Unexpected


Recently, a selection of St Andrew’s Cathedral Junior School students participated in G.A.T.E.WAYS Eureka. G.A.T.E.WAYS facilitates workshops for high ability and gifted students. These programs challenge students intellectually, develop individual talents and provide opportunities for like-minded collaboration.

Eureka is a day long program based around a theme. Students participate in three 90-minute workshops with students from surrounding schools. The Term Two Eureka program was called ‘Tales of the Unexpected’. The focus was narrative writing. Below is the feedback received for three of our St Andrew’s students Samuel Cobb, Patrick Bloxsom and Siddhan Krishna.

"Our supervisors and presenters enjoyed welcoming the St Andrew’s School students to this program and we were impressed by their level of curiosity, engagement and their ability to think creatively about the use of language. The students worked well together, often stepping outside of their comfort zone to experiment with language in diverse and expressive ways."

"The St Andrew’s Cathedral School students demonstrated the ability to grasp new concepts with ease and had outstanding use of language and writing skills. They displayed creative flair for written and oral language. Overall, they were creative participants, regularly contributing ideas and commitment to the program."

Below are some reflections from our Year 5 participant Siddhan Krishna.

"Eureka has three fun workshops run by writers, scientists and mathematicians. You get to learn about a certain subject in the workshops. I enjoyed learning about different ways to improve and enhance my writing skills. A challenge that I found in the workshop was writing half a narrative in fifteen minutes!"

Emma​ Clemens
Gifted and Talented Learning Coordinator JS and GS


Andrean Artist 2021



How to submit your art for the Young Andrean Artist 2021 competition.

There are 4 important steps for you to follow:

1) On the back of the original work (or on a separate piece of paper if the back of the work isn’t suitable) write the title and a short paragraph explaining what the work is about.  Remember to refer to the theme of the competition.

2) Take a photo of your work – ensure it’s a really clear photo (jpeg).  Take a second photo - of the title and short paragraph.

3) Upload these 2 photos as 1 email only – with the heading YOUNG ANDREAN ARTIST 2021 to:

4) Store your original piece of work safely.  When we return to school on site, we’d like you to bring in the original piece of work for display.

Well done and thank you for following these directions carefully.

Miriam​ Daly
Visual Arts Integrator JS and GS, Christian Educator Coordinator

     The not so sleepy Year 2 sleepover!    

Performing Arts update


Remote music ensemble practice

Sheet music, practice instructions, recordings and other resources have been uploaded to several music ensemble Schoology pages, and more will be added in the coming weeks. Students can access all resources in the Resources section of their ensemble’s Schoology page. A message on the updates page will indicate if there are resources uploaded to practise. We encourage all students to make use of these carefully selected materials, but also understand if some students already have enough to do while they are remote learning.


SACS Scale Championship

The inaugural SACS Scale Championship began on Tuesday 27 July, with entries due by Tuesday 31 August. Entry instructions can be accessed by clicking here and through JS information from Mr Milis. This is the first in a series of championships that we will be running this year, regardless of whether we are remote learning or at school. We look forward to seeing some excellent scales from our students. The next competitions to be launched will be the SACS Technical Study Championship and SACS Solo Championship – details will be released in coming newsletters.

Dr Christian Watson
Director of Performing Arts


Entries close this Friday!


The SACS family Lockdown Lego® Challenge

We all know that SACS is full of creative talent so show us what you can do with a pile of LEGO® in lockdown. There’s a LEGO® voucher worth $200 to win in each of the following categories:

SACS – anything that reminds us of school
LOCKDOWN – toilet rolls?  Sourdough?
FREESTYLE – no rules, let your creative spirit run free

Students, parents, families – start building! 

Send a photo of your completed project, include your name, contact details and which category you are entering, to by Friday, 20 August. Don’t forget to include your name, contact details and which category you are entering.


Dad Hacks


We sincerely hope that all our SACS families are doing well and keeping safe, wherever you are.Sadly, there will be no Father’s Day event at SACS this year, but following the success of last year’s Dad’s Jokes, the Community Engagement Team is pleased to present our 2021 theme  - ‘Dad Hacks’!

What’s a ‘Dad Hack’ I hear you ask? We’ve defined it as a ‘unique or ingenious solution to a common household or parenting problem’.

So, we’d like to invite the entire SACS Community to submit their Dad Hacks as a video or photo.

The rules are:
o Video  - all videos should be less than 1 minute long and filmed in landscape mode i.e horizontally. If you don’t have the editing skills to stay under 1 minute then you can send your unedited video to us and we will edit for you.
o Or Photo – please include an explanation of the hack
o Your video or photo may include other family members
o No animals or children (or Dads) may be harmed in the process
o Upload your video or photos here (the password to upload is dadhacks21) or email to with your name and student’s name by Sunday 29 August.

Stuck for ideas? Here’s a little sample of some of our favourite SACS staff doing their own ‘Dad Hack’

We can’t wait to share your Dad Hacks for Father’s Day.

Community Engagement Team


P&F General Meeting (Online)

    P&F Presents Technology    

Parents are welcome to join the P&F Executive at the P&F General Meeting on Tuesday 31 August. at 6pm.

General meetings are your opportunity to discuss current school activities, school focuses, upcoming school events and future plans with Dr John Collier and the P&F Executive. Each meeting has a Head of School report and an opportunity for Q&A. You will also hear about P&F fundraising initiatives and ways that parents and friends can support the school.

If you would like to suggest an item for the agenda please email p&

Attending P&F meetings is also a fabulous way of getting to know other parents from the school and to get involved in various events and endeavours.

Event details:
Date: Tuesday 31 August
Time: 6pm
Venue: (Online)


StartUp Finale


To view video click here.


The SACS P&F Trivia Night


Saturday 11 September

Can you name the Harry Potter books?  Do you know the original name of Twitter?  What is the symbol for potassium?

Bring your trivia skills to a night of fun and laughter with the P&F and other SACS families at The SACS “Family” Trivia Night.  All team names relate to famous families.

This online event will be held on Saturday 11 September.

Join online at 6pm (this is important!) so you can be sorted into the correct team breakout rooms and be ready to pit your wits against other teams starting at 6.30pm.  The quiz will go for 2 hours after which you are free to stay online and socialise with your team.

You can book a virtual table of up to 10 (households) for $190 or book as an individual (household) for $20 and we will allocate you a team.

Are you great at dressing up?  Well, this is your time to shine. There will be prizes!

Ready to book?
If you are booking a whole table of up to 10 households, then nominate a team captain who makes the booking.   Follow the link, pay $190 and pick a team name from the list provided. Get in quick before the best ones are taken! Will you be the Royal Family?  The Addams Family?  The Simpsons?

If you are booking as an individual household then follow the link and pay $20.  Tell us your year group and any other information you’d like us to know that will help us place you in a team.  You are NOT able to choose a team name when you book as an individual.  We will assign you a team and send you an email with your team’s name.

Event details:
Date: Saturday 11 September
Time: 6pm, for 6.30pm kick off
Book Here: (Online)

More trivia instructions and the Zoom link will be sent to you in a separate email closer to the date.

This is a P&F event. Any surplus funds will be collected by the P&F and used to support the school.


Gala Dinner Hats Off to Dr Collier


Save the Date – Friday 19 November

Get ready to step out in style at the SACS event of the year. Enjoy an evening of elegance and opulence as we join together to honour and farewell Dr Collier at the Hats off Gala Dinner.

The Term 4 extravaganza provides a rare opportunity to dress up and socialise, eat, drink and be merry with other SACS parents and friends as we raise a glass – or two – to cheer Dr Collier on to his next adventure. So dust off your best dress, find your finest tux and prepare to be delighted in an evening of entertainment and festivities.

More information on this much anticipated event will be available soon.


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 8.00am – 12.00pm. The number of the practice is Ph: 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.


Resources for COVID-19


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