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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 1
Library News
Parenting Tips
ICAS 2019 – dates for the diary
Gawura Scholarships 2020 - Kindergarten, Yr 5 and Yr 9
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Foundation Trivia Night
Camp Australia – registration

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 1


Welcome back to what is already going to be a very busy term. Although we have only been away for two weeks our students have grown that little bit more and stand out to us. Although the boys winter school uniform doesn’t really change at all the girls now are in their tunics and stockings in preparations for the colder months ahead. If your child requires any new winter stock please let me know and we will arrange this for you.

On Tuesday 2 April we were delighted and very privileged to have the captain of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Qld State of Origin team, Greg Inglis come and visit our school. His team from Souths Cares came and presented to over 400 students in the Junior School and Gawura School and ATSI students in Yrs 7-12. Greg spoke about such matters as school attendance, motivation and resilience. He is certainly a wonderful role model for our indigenous students and will be a true asset now for Souths Cares as he moves into retirement from the NRL.

Our students looked absolutely wonderful in the Easter hats for the annual Easter Hat Parade held in our own Cathedral. The bright colours and amazing creativity which our Gawura students displayed was just wonderful.

In two weeks’ time our students in Years 3 and 5 will be sitting the annual NAPLAN Assessments. Our results in previous years have shown Gawura to be above all of our similar or like schools and working towards or at national average. Last year 75% of Year 5 students achieved above national average which was a stunning result. There is always room for improvement but I would also like to add that this is just one snapshot on one day and is just one tool out of many which we use. It is difficult to correctly capture an entire 12 months of work in just one 40 minute paper. We wish all of our students well but we do not want them to be worried or anxious about these at the same time. Thank you to all of the parents and carers we spoke to about your child’s Personal Learning Plans late last term. These interviews give you a much more thorough indication how your child is progressing throughout the curriculum.

Next Tuesday 7 May our next ATSI cultural excursion will be to the Barangaroo Foreshore and Bangarra Dance Theatre at the new International Towers in Barangaroo. Once again through connections with our amazing indigenous school community we have been granted access to a rehearsal of the new performance of Unaipon which depicts the life of aboriginal artist, inventor and storyteller David Unaipon who is featured on the Australian $50 note. If you would like to attend this excursion please just email or text me and I’ll add you to our parent list.

Finally I would like to invite you all to our next GPAC Meeting which will be held next Thursday 9 May in the Community Hub on Level 4 between 2.00 and 3.00 pm.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


For more photos, please go to our  facebook  page


Dates for your calendar


Tuesday 7 May: Cultural Excursion to Barrangaroo and Bangarra Dance Theatre

Thursday 9 May: GPAC Meeting, Level 4, 2-3pm

Friday 10 May: Year 1 Long Day Camp, 7.45am

Saturday 18 May: Foundation Trivia Night – Theme: Movie Madness

Friday 7 June: Grandparents Day


Term 2 Redgum catalogues, to view catalogue:
Order by 20 May


Library News


Premier's Reading Challenge 2019

Congratulations to the following students who have completed their challenge:

Patrick Bloxsom, Lexi Anne Griffin, Allan Perkins, Matthew Ting, Matthieu Bonpain, Annabelle Douglas, Sophie Inaty, Anneke Ho, Adele Wong, Freddie Cobb, Chantilly Ho, Samuel Boleslawski and Joann Fetner.

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 JS & Gawura library has a new challenge for you.  Pick up an entry form, read any ten books, complete the entry form and return it to Mrs Paul for your chance to win a book of your choice.  There’s 1 draw this term in week 10 and you can enter as many times as you’d like.

So, the more you read the more chances you have of winning!
What are you waiting for?

Congratulations to our first 2019 Book Draw winner:

Ilia Campbell

The next draw will happen in Week 4, 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.

“There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read—unless it be reading while you eat.” – E. Nesbit

Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Parenting Tips


Electronic Devices

I have recently read an article by Dr Victoria Dunckley about the effects of screen time on the developing nervous system, titled Time is Making Kids Mood, Crazy and Lazy. She is an expert in this area and Dr Dunckley is also a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. The article was posted in August 2015.Dr Dunckley suggests that some diagnoses of mental health issues like depression, bipolar disorder or ADHD may look like textbooks cases but could, in fact, be a result of more common everyday use of electronic technology. She suggests an “electronic fast” allowing systems to “reset”, so the lack of sleep, stress and meltdowns are able to decrease. Dr Dunckley continues that children’s brains are sensitive to electronic stimulation and this can throw brains “off track”. Many parents believe that interactive screen time isn’t harmful like television, but, in fact, it is more likely to cause sleep, mood and cognitive issues, according to Dr Dunckley.

The WHO  - World Health Organisation has also recently commented on guidelines for children and screen time. “The United Nations agency, issuing its first such guidelines, also recommended that children ages two to four have no more than one hour of "sedentary screen time" - including playing computer games or watching TV - per day. It emphasised that young kids need be physically active and get enough sleep, habits that go a long way in preventing obesity and other diseases later in life. The action comes amid growing research into the developmental effects of the widespread use of computers and mobile devices by children. One concern is that the mesmerising effects of videos keep young children from connecting with their parents and others, a key facet in building the sophisticated social skills that are central to human development.”

So, do we worry? It is important not to overreact with knee jerk actions like total banning of devices, rather importantly to follow simple guidelines of no screen time after dinner, no more than 2 hours per day, keep electronic devices out of children’s bedrooms, especially at night when charging the device, and encourage a range of activities – running, playing outside, bike riding, walking, board and card games and so on, on a regular basis, as suggested above.

Stephen Balkam, founder and chief executive of the Family Online Safety Institute, who members including major technology industry players such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, says "What we don't want is to set up a situation where parents feel shamed by the fact that they do use tablets and so on when they're cooking, or something like that," "It's about trying to find a balance."

I’m sure there will continue to be debate on this issue for years to come and the pros and cons will continue to be argued. It is interesting at SACS with our iPad programme in the classroom for Stage Three, that SACS staff are educated in best practice and so adhere to strict guidelines of usage, and we are endeavouring to teach those best practices and guidelines to the students. However, we still aim to enable safe, effective and responsible use of technology as an investigative and educational tool.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader


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.


Foundation Trivia Night


Theme: Movie Madness

Bookings for Trivia Night (new tickets released)

We have released 20 more tickets for sale. Get in quick! Book individual tickets or small groups and we will seat you with great SACS parents. Special requests can be made in the comments section.

Join us for a night of action packed, side splitting, edge of your seat, Fun, Entertainment, Games... and TRIVIA!

This year our dress up theme comes from the big screen but our questions will test every area of useful and useless knowledge your team can bring to the table.

There are 25 crazy movie table themes to choose from. Book early and get the table of your choice. You can preview the table themes on the school website.

Fundraising for Trivia Night

The Movie Madness Trivia Night is just around the corner.

Apart from being the most fun you’ll have all year this is an important fundraiser for the Heath Bursary Fund.

There are a host of fabulous Silent Auction prizes which have been donated by generous members of our community. We also need help from our year and class groups to put together wonderful gift baskets for silent auction items.

We would appreciate it if you could donate any new/unused items that you think might make a lovely addition to a basket. To make things easier we have allocated a gift basket theme to each year group but we would appreciate whatever you can donate.

  • Kindy -  Breakfast in Bed - jams, teas, napkins, beautiful tea cups
  • Year 1 - Ice-cream lovers – toppings, ice cream spoons, bowls
  • Year 2  -  Manicure Magic - tools, creams, towels.
  • Year 3  -  Hot Chocolate Enthusiast - mugs, hot chocolate, choccie biscuits
  • Year 4 - School survival kit - more snacks, pens, paper
  • Year 5  -  Gardening items – gloves, seeds, tools
  • Year 6 - Car Care Pack – products to clean and polish your car, black your tyres
  • Year 7  -  Bath Pamper Pack – bath & shower gels, bubble bath, lotions
  • Year 8  -  Travel pack - diary, luggage label, snacks, eye patch etc, pack-away shopping bags
  • Year 9  -  Rainy day Survival Kit - book/magazine, snacks, poncho, fold up umbrella, socks etc
  • Year 10  -  Baking pack - cupcake holders, decorating items, measuring spoons, baking tray, cookbooks
  • Year 11  -  For Coffee and Tea lovers  - mugs, coffee beans, beautiful tea blends, tea strainers  etc
  • Year 12  -  Family Fun and Games – jigsaw puzzles, card games, board games for all ages
  • Please bring donations by Friday 10 May and leave them with reception in SAH or BBC.

Our Silent Auction will launch next week and we are still accepting Silent Auction donations. Please email

The Heath Bursary Fund is the quiet helping hand that steps in with short term fee relief to ensure that a child’s education is not interrupted and a familiar school community which offers them security continues to be a constant in their life especially when times are extremely difficult.


Bookings will open Monday 8 April at 9.00am


Junior School and Gawura Grandparents' Day - Friday 7 June


We welcome the grandparents of our students and seek to embrace them and give thanks for them as key members of our student’s families. Please save the date.

We hope you can come!

More details about this event are coming soon.


Camp Australia – registration


Join Camp Australia. It’s FREE to Register!

Did you know that it is free to register an account with us at Camp Australia? That’s right, FREE! What are you waiting for? Head to and click ‘Register here’ to get started!

Why it is important to Register:
It is important to supply us with all the below information when registering as the safety of your child is by far the most important pillar in what we do every day. That way, if you ever need us, you are set up and ready to go and we can care for your child and ensure their safety.

1. Your details and emergency contact details – In the unlikely chance of an emergency we need to have the correct contact on file.
2. Details about your child, including allergies or medical conditions - To ensure we are prepared in case your child has any allergies or medical conditions.
3. Your CRN (Customer Reference Number) from the Family Assistance Office* - If eligible, you may be entitled to receive the Australian Government Child Care Subsidy.
4. Payment method - To complete your registration, we require your preferred payment option. Don’t be alarmed you will not be charged when registering.

We are currently running our First Session Free promotion, this means that after you finish your FREE Registration your child will be able to attend their first session free of charge. You will only be charged from your second booking onwards.

Program Details
Find out more about our program, fees and to register, visit and search for your school. Or you can contact our friendly Customer Care Team on 1300 105 343. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - except for National Public Holidays.

We look forward to seeing you and your family soon!
From the Team at Camp Australia


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