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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 1
Heart Mind Life Awards
Term Service
Sport News
Library News
Music News
Parenting Tips
SACS Food & Wine with Christmas Market
Parent Prayer Meetings
Upcoming Concert In the Cathedral
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 1


Welcome back to all our students and families for the final term of the year. Term 4 is always the quickest but usually the busiest as well with so many functions and events on – the time will go quickly. Please make a point of the Dates to Remember for this term as there are a number of events that we celebrate being another successful year.

Year 5 have just returned from Kirrikee camp where the students had a wonderful time. Well done to all students who conquered the abseiling challenge. Year 4 will be attending Kirrikee camp this Wed/Thurs and Year 3 will be attending this Thurs/Fri.

Our Gawura School is lucky to be associated with a number of corporate sponsors and donors. One of these is the Bank of America who kindly organised our Stage 2 and 3 students to attend the art studios of Jasper Knight last week. Jasper lead our students in creating an artwork and the opportunity to participate in an art experience inside a professional studio was excellent.

Many thanks to our own Year 5 mum Tina Rae who spoke on an Indigenous Education panel alongside myself, Georgia Durmush and  Pastor Ray Minniecon on Monday this week at the Macquarie Bank’s Lunch and Learn event. This was also a fundraiser with money going to support the students at Gawura.

The Indigenous Australian Aviation Foundation are holding an event alongside the Australian Defence Force this coming Friday and Saturday at the NCIE in Redfern. Any senior students wishing to obtain their commercial flying licence are invited to attend and see the speakers and simulators they will have on display. Please see attached advert in this newsletter.

Our K-2 students are busy doing swimming lessons each Thursday this term. The students have been well organised and we thank for the instructors at Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre for all they have done.

Finally this week we will have our second last GPAC Meeting for the year. There will be a presentation on Diabetes Awareness. We look forward to seeing you again this coming Thursday 24 October at 2pm in the Community Hub.

Have a safe and enjoyable fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar

Wednesday 23 - Thursday 24 October: Year 4 Kirrikee Camp

Wednesday 23 October: Term Service - Cathedral.

Thursday 24 October - Friday 25 October: Year 3 Kirrikee Camp

Thursday 24 October: Cricket Blast

Friday 25 October: Kindy Science Incursion 1.40pm - 2.40pm

Monday 28 October: IPSHA Debating Gala Day

Monday 28 October: Year 3 Observatory

Tuesday 29 October: P&F GM

Thursday 31 October: Lands End Camp Year 6

Wednesday 6 November - Wednesday 13 November: Junior School Art Show; daily from 8-8.45am & 3.10-3.45pm

Saturday 9 November: SACS Food & Wine with Christmas Market

Thursday 14 November: Friends of SACS and Gawura Thank you evening

Friday 15 November: JSGS School Ensemble Concert

Monday 18 November: Kindergarten Orientation Day

Tuesday 19 November: Year 6 Transition Day

Tuesday 19 November: Years 1-6 Orientation Day

Friday 22 November: Year 6 Celebration Dinner

Wednesday 27 November: JSGS End Of Term Awards Assembly, 9.30am Cathedral

Tuesday 3 December: Year 5 & 6 Science Excursion

Tuesday 3 December: Evening of Celebration and Prizegiving

Wednesday 4 December: JSGS Picnic Day

Thursday 5 December: K-6 Carol Service

Thursday 5 December: Term 4 Concludes K-12

Friday 6 December: Staff Development Day


Heart Mind Life Awards

Leann Bray Year 3 For persistence in her duties as a Library Monitor

Term Service


All are welcome to join!

Date: Wednesday 23 October

Place: Cathedral

Time: 2:30 to 3:05pm

All members of the Junior and Gawura School communities are welcome to join us. This term in Chapel we are thinking about how we can be ‘Friends of the King’ and Rev Tubman will be our speaker.

Emma Newling
JS Teacher - CD, JS Cru



Sport News



The Junior School and Gawura sent two strong boys and girls teams to the annual ASISSA Oztag Gala Day. Both teams were outstanding throughout the day in very hot conditions. There were plenty of tries and teamwork on show, which contributed to both teams coming second overall in their respective competitions.

In Term 4 we begin our largest term of Saturday sport, with over 50 students competing each weekend across three different competitions. We have two girls basketball teams, two boys basketball teams and a cricket team representing the school every week. Good luck to all students involved, I look forward to seeing everyone in action!

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


Library News


Holiday Borrowing

Welcome back to the new term. Keep coming in and sharing all your favourite holiday reads, I always love to hear about what you’ve enjoyed. It is time though to start bringing them back into the library.  Thank you to everyone who’s already begun to do so. We have returned to normal borrowing limits for all years.

International Games Week
Week 4 is games week and we have some great things planned, so keep watch in the library for what we have in store!



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 have a full-time occupation. It’s called play! Let them be occupied by it from their early years until their twilight years.” – Vince Gowmon

Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Music News


Congratulations to the following students on their recent exam results:

Ryan Sim - Clarinet Grade 6 – High Distinction
Adele Wong – Violin Grade 3 – Honours
Finn Worsley – Saxophone Grade 1 – Honours
Arthur Eidel – Recorder Repertoire Grade 1 - Credit


Congratulations to Jonathan Liu who achieved Highly Commended in the Inner West Eisteddfod Piano Section 103! Well Done!

Ensemble Night:

All students in a music ensemble will be performing in the Ensemble Concert on November 15. Please save the dates


Some of our students were fortunate enough to attend Jess Mauboy’s concert on Sunrise on Friday 18 October. They had a wonderful time and enjoyed listening to her sing! Thank you to Mrs Rohrlach and Miss Sze for accompanying us on the excursion.

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


Parenting Tips


Simple Solutions to Stop Screens Sabotaging Sleep

Dr Kristy Goodwin has written an excellent blog in July and I think it is well worth a read. Dr Goodwin is an Australian digital wellbeing & productivity researcher, speaker and author. She has spoken at SACS in on Digital Well-being.

There is so much debate on this issue and so much research telling us about what is right and what is harmful. It is hard sometimes to determine the right solution. However, Dr Goodwin’s advice is excellent.

“Sleep is vital for kids’ and teens’ optimal health, wellbeing, learning and development. They need both good quality sleep and an adequate amount of sleep. Yet research tells us that many kids and teens aren’t getting a sufficient amount of sleep and/or good quality of sleep. And of the chief reasons why (but certainly not the only reason) is because of their technology habits.

Why kids and teens need sleep?

Sleep promotes kids’ and teens’:

  • physical health– poor sleep is associated with lower immunity, increased weight and obesity rates, poorer reaction times and increased clumsiness;
  • mental and emotional wellbeing– poor sleep is associated with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and overall mood;
  • learning– poor sleep impacts kids’ capacity to learn, concentration and memory formation. Memory consolidation occurs in the latter two stages of sleep. Yet many kids aren’t getting to these final stages of sleep because of digital interruptions. Sleep is vital before and after learning. Studies have shown that even 30 minutes of missed sleep can result in an IQ difference of ten points.

How digital devices can compromise sleep

Digital devices can have a negative impact on kids’ and teens’ circadian rhythms, thereby directly impacting the volume and quality of sleep they accumulate each night. However, it’s important to note that screens aren’t the sole causal factor of poor sleep in kids and teens. The demands of homework and assignments, study pressure, extra-curricular activities, work demands and mental health issues such as anxiety are some other factors that are also contributing to waning sleep habits in kids and adolescents.

Here are some of the ways digital devices compromise sleep:

  • Blue light impact– The blue light emitted from screens (especially small hand-held devices such as smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles) impact children’s and teen’s circadian rhythms. The blue light prevents the pineal gland from producing melatonin the sleep hormone the brain needs to secrete to make kids/teens sleepy. Inadequate production of melatonin prevents kids/teens from feeling tired and can delay the onset of sleep.
  • Arousal effect– rapid-fire, fast-paced screen action can hyper-arouse the brain making delaying the onset of sleep. Playing video games, watching fast-paced TV programs, or engaging in group messages, or viewing social media can all arouse the brain and delay the onset of sleep. These sleep delays can accumulate into a sleep deficit over time.
  • Scary or upsetting content– can psychologically distress our kids and teens, especially if they’re consuming it just before they fall asleep. Viewing distressing content can cause nightmares, particularly amongst younger children under 10 years of age.
  • Premature waking – many parents are reporting that their children are waking at earlier and earlier times to get their daily ‘dose of digital’ (often before their parents wake up).
  • Interrupted sleep cycles– the presence of digital devices in bedrooms can interfere with completed sleep cycles. Each night kids/teens should go through five stages of sleep and repeat that cycle 4-6 times each night. If they have a device in their bedroom the alerts and notifications can interrupt the sleep cycles.

Simple & realistic solutions

  • Keep devices OUT of bedrooms– the presence of digital devices in bedrooms can increase the likelihood of sleep delays and children and teens using devices (unsupervised) throughout the night.
  • Establish a digital bedtime– ideally screens should be switched off 60-90 minutes before kids/teens fall asleep. This helps to calm the brain and prevent the adverse impact of blue light.
  • Do a tech-swap before bed– for some families screens are part of the evening routine. So instead of using a smartphone or tablet (which are interactive and emit blue light) before bed allow children to watch TV (they don’t typically emit as much blue light and hopefully your kids don’t sit as close to TVs as they do handheld devices), listen to an audiobook or podcast
  • Use tech tools– use Night Shift mode on iOS devices, or Blue Light Filter or Twilight on Android devices and f.lux on laptops and desktop computers.
  • Establish a landing zone– nominate a specific place in your home where all digital devices go at night. It may be the kitchen counter, the sideboard, a laundry bench.
  • Preserve green time– kids need time in natural sunlight each day to help regulate their circadian rhythms (and ward off myopia, near-sightedness). Ideally, kids should be exposed to natural sunlight between 8am-12pm each day.”

Hope you found this helpful and informative advice.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader.


SACS Food & Wine with Christmas Market


Please join our school community of parents, friends, family, alumni and staff on Saturday 9 November on the St Andrew’s House Rooftop for a beautiful evening browsing our market, enjoying a dinner with dessert at our Long Table, listening to our wonderful SACS student ensembles and more.

Included in the full ticket price is :

  • A welcome drink (glass of bubbles) 🥂
  • A hessian shopping bag (you will need one for the market!) 🛍
  • Dinner & dessert at our Christmas Long Tables 🎄

On the rooftop there is our curated Christmas Market - a wonderful selection of stalls where we hope there’s something for everyone young, old or in-between - to get your Christmas shopping done early.

We will highlight all our wonderful market stalls, entertainment program and silent auction items on Facebook and Instagram - so please follow us for updates - online shopping is fun - but so is seeing the beautiful wares in person and speaking to our delightful stallholders on the festive rooftop.

Event details:

  • Date: Saturday 9 November
  • Time: 6pm - 11pm
  • Venue: Rooftop, St Andrew's Cathedral School, Sydney Square, Sydney.

Association of Parents and Friends


Book Now


Parent Prayer Meetings


Term 4 Meetings:

  • Thursday 31 October: 8.00-8.45am / 1.00-2.00pm
  • Thursday 21 November:  8.00-8.45am / 1.00-2.00pm

Join us as we meet, get to know each other and pray for our school community at our Breakfast Meeting OR Lunchtime Meeting in the Community Hub, Level 4 SAH.

Muffins will be provided in the morning and BYO lunch for the afternoon meeting.

Contact: Felicity Brazel 0425 329 432


Upcoming Concert In the Cathedral


!n the beautiful and serene setting of Australia's oldest Cathedral, St Andrew's Cathedral will be joined by soloists and orchestra to perform a concert of this most stunning and moving work by Mozart.

Event details:

  • Date: Saturday 2 November
  • Time: 7.30pm
  • Venue: St Andrew's Cathedral, Cnr George & Bathurst Sts, Sydney Square

Book Now


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.


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