Click to view this email online


In this issue

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 5
Heart Mind Life Awards
Library News
Parenting Tips
Sport News
ICAS 2019 – dates for the diary
Gawura Scholarships 2020 - Kindergarten, Yr 5 and Yr 9
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Coffee in the Hub – for Year 3 & 4 parents
Junior School and Gawura Grandparents' Day
Code Camp - Winter School Holidays
Parent Prayer Meeting
Showcase Concert 2019 - Beyond

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 5


We had the pleasure of an old Gawura Alumni join us during the week. Kas Mann is the first Gawura graduate to be accepted into Oxford University. She is a proud Mbarbarum, Kuku Yalanji, Yidinji and Gugu Yimidthirr descent. Kas left SACS in 2012. She commenced at Gawura in 2007 when she was in Year 7. Quote from Inspired in 2013: “I am indebted to Gawura. I don’t see it as a personal benefit; I see it as more than that. It has influenced my family so much… Also, having the younger Gawura kids here motivates you to stay on the right path; you hope they want to succeed like you as well. It’s the little drives and the little things that help.” Just like her mother 35 years ago, Kas was the only Aboriginal girl to graduate from her cohort last year. “I can’t wait until that’s changed.” Kas aspires to pursue further studies in health, science or medicine overseas, and then to bring her knowledge and skills home to support rural communities in Cape York. We wish Kas all the best as she embarks on her further studies and career ahead.

On Wednesday 15th May our four Year 6 students Aliyah, Stanley, Toni and Mariah attended the Year 6 Camp to Bathurst which went for 3 days. The students were engaged in a variety of activities in and around Bathurst learning about life on the goldfields and the history of the surrounding areas. Along the way the whole group stopped at Katoomba for an Indigenous cultural learning session taught by local Indigenous members of the community. Students were shown traditional bush foods and medicines that belonged to the Blue Mountains Area along with traditional tools and weapons that were used for constructing shelters and also hunting methods. Over 90 Junior School and Gawura School students came away with a wealth of knowledge and thoroughly enjoyed the entire camp experience.

Our Year 2 students had their first sleepover at school in preparation for the upcoming Kirrikee camps which commence in full swing from Year 3 onwards. The students were excited throughout their camp and a special thank you to Derek (Mizpah and Bryden’s dad) who lead the cultural talk for the entire year out at Bicentennial Park on the Friday. As I mentioned last fortnight I am very proud of our Indigenous community of parents and carers who are happy to share their knowledge, expertise, contacts and time with the rest of our school community. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful opportunities.

On Thursday 23rd May we attended the AIS Indigenous Student’s Leadership forum at the NCIE in Redfern. This day is for all Indigenous students across Sydney from AIS schools in Years 11 and 12. Izak and Sarah were engaged with wonderful cultural learning and made connections with students from a variety of schools some who travelled all the way from Canberra and Kempsey. Uncle Des from Tribal Warrior shared his story which the students were immensely engaged in.

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

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


For more photos, please go to our  facebook  page


Dates for your calendar

Tuesday 28 May - Explore Year 7

Thursday 30 May - ASSISA Cross Country Carnival     

Friday 31 May - Stage 3 Music Concert Heath Centre L5 - 2pm

Tuesday 4 June - Transform Us Survey (Year 4 & 5)

Tuesday 4 June - P&F General Meeting

Thursday 6 June - Coffee in the Hub, Year 3 & 4 Parents - 8am

Thursday 6 June - Kindergarten to Tumbalong Park

Thursday 6 June - Junior Choir IPSHA Music Festival Rehearsal at Bayview

Friday 7 June - Grandparents Day 9.30am - 12 noon

Friday 7 June - IPSHA Debating

Monday 10 June - PUBLIC HOLIDAY

Thursday 13 June - Year 2 Excursion - Australian Museum

Thursday 13 June - 1788 Before & After Excursion Year 4

Friday 14 June - Infants Music Concert Heath Centre L5

Wednesday 19 June - End of Term Awards Assembly 9am.

Wednesday 26 June - Showcase Cocnert - 6.30pm

Friday 28 June - Term 2 concludes for all students


Heart Mind Life Awards

Graham Jackson Year 1 For setting his mind to reaching a cluster 5 writing piece
BJ Carr Kindy For always doing his best in class

Library News


Premier's Reading Challenge 2019

Congratulations to the following students who have completed their challenge:

Annie Wang, Sean Lee, Vanessa Tsui, Prince Tashi, John Pongbumrungnate, Phillip Jorden, Tennille Edbrooke, Alexandra Lazaridis, Lovelyn Nakashima, Ella Mchugh and Jeremy Reaidi.

For more information and the booklists visit the PRC website

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


Book Draw

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

The next draw will happen in Week 9, so get your entries in.


Parent / Teacher Challenge 2019

Come on teachers and parents, grab a book and read alongside your child/ren and complete the Parent / Teacher Challenge this year.

Requirements for completion:
Read any six titles (in any language). Email me the titles and I’ll add you to our wall of wonderful reading role models.


Celebrations in the library

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.

It promotes the value of reading and literacy, the value and fun of books and an Australian writer and publisher.  This year the chosen book was Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove.  We had great fun tickling and hugging our very own alpaca while we shared the story during each of the three lunchtimes.  We decorated our own maraca shakers and took home lots of fun activities inspired by the book series.  Kindergarten went off to the State Library of NSW to hear Matt himself read the story, they met a real alpaca and were each given a signed copy of the book.

More than one million children across the country heard the same story on Wednesday and the Junior School & Gawura library was proud to be a part of the fun.

“Thank you for getting your kids excited about reading and showing them how much we value books and literacy.”Matt Cosgrove about National Simultaneous Storytime 2019.


Svetlana Paul

Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Parenting Tips


Helping Children Make and Keep Friends

Michael Grose has written an excellent blog this month in Parenting Ideas, on Helping Children Make and Keep Friends.
Children who develop healthy friendships generally have a definite set of social skills that help make them easy to like, easy to relate to and easy to play with. One such skill is the ability to adjust their behaviours to suit the social requirements of a particular situation. Many boys struggle in this area and can be loud, overbearing and bossy when their peers want them to be quiet, cooperative and to follow others.

  • Remind: Be preemptive with your teaching. Before your child visits their friends provide some relevant pointers about their behavior.
  • Rehearse: It’s useful to practise with children how they should act in social situations.
  • Revisit: Give your child feedback after the event but keep it positive and upbeat. Boys, in particular, benefit from being told what works well in terms of their friendships behaviours.

Encourage healthy friendships
The wellbeing of many primary school girls is heavily impacted by her relationships with her peers. When relationships are going well, she’ll tend to be happy, however when friendships become tricky then she can feel unhappy, even distraught. Help your daughter identify what a healthy friendship looks and feels like – she should feel safe, valued and able to speak up. Unhealthy relationships, such as cliques, are restrictive, one-sided, full of gossip and criticism.

Encourage friendships with both genders
The primary school age is an ideal time for children to form friendships with both girls and boys. This is particularly valid if your child has siblings of their own gender, or don’t have siblings. It’s through these early relationships that we gain the confidence to mix with different genders in the later years.

Understand the impact of gender on friendships
Research shows that boys’ friendships groups are more inclusive and less changeable than friendships enjoyed by girls, particularly those in the eight to twelve age group. If you have a girl, be ready to support your daughter through the hurt of friendship breakdowns and remind them that new friendships are just around the corner. Many girls take a disagreement with a friend personally as they don’t have the emotional development to deal with conflict constructively. Help her reflect on her own place in a friendship breakdown, and encourage her to be open to restoring a relationship once emotions are in check.

Remember, friends of a feather flock together
If you think that your child doesn’t have as many friends as a sibling or other children their own age, don’t be too alarmed. On average, children usually have only two or three significant friendships at any one time. It’s the quality rather than the quantity of friendships that counts. Above all else, encourage your child to be friendly by talking to others, showing an interest in what other children do, offering help when needed, and being willing to enter a game or social situation. Consider teaching your child, if necessary, alternatives to fighting and arguing when there is disagreement and conflict within groups.

I think this is one of the best blogs Michael has written and I encourage you to read and reread this. It contains valuable advice for those of us who have children or who are working with them.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader


Sport News


IPSHA Saturday Sport

Since the beginning of Term 2 the Junior School and Gawura have been competing in IPSHA Saturday sport competitions across Sydney. We have 18 boys and girls doing us proud on the rugby field every week, with a combination of tries and tackles highlighting their efforts. We also have outstanding performances happening on the netball court at Moore Park on a weekly basis. The team has begun to gel so well under the expert guidance of Ms Jones that we had another impressive win over the weekend. Good luck to all the teams over the coming weeks and for the rest of Term 2!

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


ICAS 2019 – dates for the diary


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

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

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

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

Lucy Birts
Gifted and Talented Coordinator, JS & GS


Gawura Scholarships 2020 - Kindergarten, Yr 5 and Yr 9


Dear Parents.

We are starting our 2020 Gawura Kindy Enrolment process by marketing for new applicants. We are also offering scholarships to Year 5 and Year 9 students.

We would like to ensure that all siblings of our current Gawura students have the opportunity to apply, so that they can be considered for enrolment. Hence, if you do have children who are Kindy, Yr 9 or Yr 5 age in 2020, please ensure you have sent an application form to me by the end of June.

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


Bruce Perry                                                                                                          Registrar/Mathematics Teacher


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


Wednesday and Friday Appointments Available.

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

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


Coffee in the Hub – for Year 3 & 4 parents


Coffee in the Hub for Year 3 and 4 parents

Year 3 and 4 parents are invited to come along to "Coffee in the Hub" to meet other parents and hear from our Junior School psychologists.

Our Psychologists will be discussing tips and tricks for schedules and busyness between 8.20am - 8.40am.

This event will be held on Thursday 6 June in the Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew's House

No bookings are necessary.


Junior School and Gawura Grandparents' Day


Grandparents of our Junior School and Gawura School families are invited to join us for one of our favourite days of the year – Grandparent’s Day. Each student is welcomed to have their grandparents (or a special relative, godparent, auntie, or significant person in their lives) to join us for this wonderful morning. Parents may escort grandparents to the Cathedral, but unfortunately cannot be catered for at the rest of the event.

The special service in the Cathedral will be followed by morning tea, time in the classroom and a book fair.

  • Date: Friday 7 June 2019
  • Time: 9.15am (Cathedral doors will open at 8.45am)
  • Location: St Andrew’s Cathedral for the service followed by St Andrew’s Cathedral School. There will be students and staff to assist our guests to find their way around our beautiful school.

At the conclusion of the morning, grandparents are invited either to take their grandchildren out to lunch and return them to school, or to take them home for the day.

Any questions, please email


Book now


Code Camp - Winter School Holidays


Early Bird Discount


Parent Prayer Meeting


Thursday 20 June // 7.30am-8.15am OR 1pm-2pm

Meet other parents, be encouraged and come together to pray for our school community at our Breakfast Meeting OR Lunchtime Meeting.

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

Felicity Brazel
0425 329 432

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let them sing songs of praise.”  – James 5:13


Showcase Concert 2019 - Beyond


All Junior School and Gawura students, all Year 7 students, and most music ensemble students will be involved in our annual Showcase Concert in Sydney Town Hall. The concert will begin at 6.30pm, and all performers need to be in their starting positions for the concert by 6pm.

Date: Wednesday 26 June
Time: 6.30pm
Location: Sydney Town Hall

Tickets on sale now.


Book Now


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