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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 6
Andrean Artist of the Year - Finalist
Five for a Farmer
IPSHA NSW Speaker's Challenge
Connection and Country Excursion
Library News
Performing Arts News
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Parenting Tips
Evening of Celebration and Prize-giving
Heart Mind Life Awards
Uniform Requirements
School Opal Cards
Colin Buchanan - Christmas Concerts
Vacation Care

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 6


Although we only have two weeks of school left for 2018 it is an extremely busy time in the coming fortnight. Kindergarten are having a science incursion on Force and Movement. The students will be finishing all the curriculum requirements and programs for the year and there are the usual end of year activities such as assemblies, Speech Night and Carols in the Cathedral.

Our final GPAC Meeting for the year will be held next Thursday 29 November at the usual time of 2pm. All Gawura staff will be present at this meeting and it will also be a time where the parents can farewell the wonderful services that Mrs Pip Naden has delivered over the past three years. We made this announcement last term but for those who are not aware - Pip’s husband Jum has taken up a ministry position in Tamworth in 2019. We thank Mrs Naden for her fine work with our Gawura students during this time. More will be said about Pip on Thursday week at the GPAC Meeting.

You may have noticed that Neal, our Gawura bus driver, has been absent for most of last week and all of this week. Sadly Neal’s father passed away last Monday and the funeral is on Tuesday 20 November on the Gold Coast. We thank Rhys Haynes and Uncle Bill for stepping in to drive the Gawura bus for us during this time. We are thinking of and praying for Neal, his mum Beverly and the entire Flatley family during this time.

We would like to remind everyone of our special End of Term 4 Awards Assembly commencing at 9.30am on Wednesday 28 November in our St Andrew’s Cathedral. This is always such a wonderful event to celebrate the students who have achieved so well throughout Term 4.

Students have been fitted with appropriate school uniform this week (for Term 1 2019) and this will be sent home in the coming days before the beginning of the school holidays. Please see the Dates to Remember section below for the important events that are coming up during the rest of this term.

May you all have a safe and wonderful fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura



Want more photos?

For more pictures, please visit the Gawura Facebook page at


Dates for your calendar

Friday 23 November: Year 6 Celebration Dinner

Wednesday 28 November: Junior School and Gawura Awards Assembly

Thursday 29 November: GPAC Meeting (final for 2018) 2pm, Community Hub Level 4

Friday 30 November:  "Fiver for a Farmer." Student Representative Council - Fundraiser - $5 donation

Sunday 2 December: Advent Carol Service at the Cathedral

Tuesday 4 December: Evening of Celebration and Prize Giving

Wednesday 5 December: Junior School and Gawura Picnic Day

Thursday 6 December: Christmas Carol Service (Last Day Term 4)


Andrean Artist of the Year - Finalist


'This Familiar Wilderness' by Eva Morey Yr 10

The stunning artwork featured in Message Stick this week is by Year 10 Student Eva Morey. 

Her digital work is titled This Familiar Wilderness and Eva describes her inspiration as follows; 

My artwork is titled "this familiar wilderness", in which I explore the psychedelic dreamscape that is the Australian bush, revelling in its universal ambiguity (reimagining reflections of nature in the stars and the oceans) and its intrinsic  familiarity. I have taken inspiration from Australian artists such as Del Kathryn Barton and Judy Watson Napangardi (as well, of course, from native Australian flora) to create my piece.

Congratulations to Eva.


Five for a Farmer


Student Representative Council Activities

The School Representative Council have nominated assisting drought affected farmers for our Term Four Junior School fundraising. NSW farmers are entering their sixth summer of drought and on Friday 30 November the Junior School will be hosting a "Fiver for a Farmer" event in support of them.

Students who donate $5 may come to school wearing a farming associated costume. Some suggested ideas include:

  • Cowboy/Cowgirl
  • Scarecrows
  • Straw hats
  • Farm animals
  • Checked shirts and jeans
  • Fruit/vegetable

Junior School students who participate must bring their $5 on the day of the event. All clothing must be modest, appropriate and contain no offensive slogans. No thongs or singlets. Students must wear closed in shoes.

Mr Daniel Murray
Stage 3 Classroom Teacher
SRC Coordinator


IPSHA NSW Speaker's Challenge


On Thursday 15 November three of our outstanding Stage 3 public speakers represented St Andrew’s at the IPSHA NSW Speaker’s Challenge hosted by Abbotsleigh. Thea Sholl, Hayden Lewis and Wiliiam Carvosso did a fantastic job preparing and presenting a three-minute speech on the topic of ‘Missing’. 140 students competed in the competition overall. Congratulations to all students for being great role models and demonstrating perseverance and courage.

Miss Alex Vanny
Year 3 Classroom Teacher


Connection and Country Excursion


On Monday 5 November, Kindergarten went on an adventure to the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney to learn about the importance of the local area for the Gadigal people. They learnt about how the Gadigal people used different native plants and how drawings in sand were used to tell stories. They also walked the route of Alexander’s outing (Pamela Allen) and were excited to see so many of the places mentioned in the book. It was a fun day out and about in Sydney learning together!


Library News


International Games Week

Last week we saw students participating in the International Games Week. This meant we had brand new games to play and of course the Wii out so students could book a turn and race Mario and his friends around a track. The library was full of excited noise and the favourite new game has been Hungry dinos. Students also brought in their favourite games to share with their friends during their lunch break. It was a busy week but full of laughter and cheering and friendly competition.

K.O.A.L.A. (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards)

Last Thursday Stage 2 and 3 co-curricular book clubs had the opportunity to attend the awards day at Cranbrook Junior School. We travelled by train and ferry in the glorious sunshine, had crunch and sip on real grass before having first go at the bookshop and merchandise stall.

The Winners this year were:

  • Picture book: “Do not open this book again” by Andy Lee
  • Younger readers: “Weirdo 8” by Anh Do
  • Older readers: “The 91-storey treehouse” by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
  • Years 7-9: “The fall” by Tristan Bancks
  • This year’s legend (someone who is nominated year after year but hasn’t necessarily won) was Belinda Murrell.

Students had this to say about the day:

“… the autographs were very exciting as well.  I got my sheet signed by every author and illustrator and I got my book signed by Morris Gleitzman even though there were at least 40 people in the line.” – Daniel (Year 5)

“I liked KOALA 2018 because we got to get our books signed.” – Jun (Year 5)

“… the awards started and every writer and illustrator spoke and they said who won the awards.  My favourite was when we got to go to the bookstore.” – Selina (Year 6)

“The Kids Own Australian Literature Awards was the best!  It was great to see so many authors and illustrators get recognised for their amazing work!” – Andrew (Year 6)

“My favourite thing about the KOALA awards was getting an autograph from Tim Harris.” – Sean (Year 3)

“The KOALA awards were very exciting. Hearing the stories of the authors and the mini play was quite funny. Meeting the authors and getting their signatures was an absolute thrill for everyone.” – Flynn (Year 5)

“My favourite part of the day was getting signatures and having my book signed. I loved this part because I got to talk and laugh with the authors.” – Erin (Year 5)

“Being my first time at KOALA I thought it was just a book signing but it was so much more, with a whole book shop and a huge talk from all the book creators and a book signing!” – Alexander (Year 4)

“Kids Own Australian Literature Awards was awesome!  Can’t wait until next year. At the end I got a photo with R.A. Spratt (she’s lovely).” – Cydney (Year 5)

“K.O.A.L.A. was great this year with lots of different authors going. My favourite was there, R.A. Spratt!” – Danielle yr5

“My favourite part about KOALA was the debate that Tim Harris did, it was so fun.  It was about which side of the room was the best and we were on the left which won.” – Eric (Year 4)

“The KOALA awards event was amazing and so well run. I loved being in an environment where everyone loved books as much as I do.” – Jamie (Year 5)

“KOALA was amazing! We got to meet authors and illustrators and have books signed. In the hall we listened to all the authors and illustrators. The authors were George Ivanoff, R.A. Spratt, Tim Harris, Morris Gleitzman, Belinda Murrell and the illustrators were Aura Parker, Jules Faber, James Hart and Danielle McDonald. I loved KOALA. I’m definitely doing book club next year.” – Ilia (Year 5)

“My favourite part of KOALA was the signing.  I liked it because we got to meet the authors and I got to get my books signed.” – Hayla (Year 4)

“Aura Parker was the illustrator who was doing the drawings on the day, she drew an adorable meerkat and a beautiful caterpillar turning into a butterfly.  All the authors gave speeches about ‘what books make us…’ and they were all good.” – Rishita (Year 5)

“The Kids Own Australian Literature Awards was fabulous, we had a great time meeting authors and illustrators like Megan Jacobson, James Hart and Belinda Murrell (this year’s legend).  She has a great story based on her uncle from WWII.” – Oscar (Year 5)

“My favourite thing about K.O.A.L.A. was page wars in real life by my favourite author Tim Harris.” – Lawson (Year 4)

All the students represented SACS so well and had a brilliant day. Think about joining us in book club for 2019!

“You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax all you need is a book!” – Dr. Seuss

Svetlana Paul
Junior School and Gawura Teacher Librarian


Performing Arts News


JSGS Music Ensemble Changes in 2019

Please visit the Parent Portal > Forms > Performing Arts > Music folder to find all information relating to involvement in music at SACS in JSGS. This folder includes:

  • a full Rehearsal Schedule (with details such as which instruments are in each ensemble; rehearsal days, rooms and times; minimum expected standards; audition requirements; and ensemble size limitations)
  • an enrolment form for individual Music tuition on an instrument/voice
  • The letter that was emailed to all K-5 parents last week concerning Music Ensemble changes in 2019, and information concerning how to be involved in Music ensembles in the JSGS

Year 6 students moving up to Year 7 at SACS in 2019
Ensemble Enrolment for Year 7 2019

To enrol in high school Music ensembles for 2019, all students (new or continuing) must be enrolled online at the following links. This is only for high school ensembles.

Please visit the Parent Portal > Forms > Performing Arts > Music folder to find all information relating to involvement in music at SACS 7-12.


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


Wednesday and Friday morning appointments offered to Gawura families

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.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Parenting Tips


Teaching Kids to ask for what they want

Sometimes parenting (and teaching) can be a bit of a minefield. Things happen that we don’t see coming… aligns with my full moon conspiracy… which I may share at another time!

Michael Grose has written an article In Parenting Ideas on the 5 November suggesting some ideas to help us with this.
“Much behaviour that annoys parents stems from children’s inability to ask for what they want.

Most parents have experienced a young child yelling, “Mum, he took my toy. It’s not fair.” Perhaps you’ve experienced a child who whines like a dripping tap because they want something from you.

Start young

Recently I saw a mother tell her three year-old to ask his 12 month-old brother if he could play with a new car his little brother had been given for his first birthday.

Clearly, the twelve month old couldn’t answer, but his mother did so for him. Mr Three said, “Ben, can I play with your car.” His mother answered, “I’m sure Ben would be happy to let you play with it.” And so Mr Three played with the car, without taking it away. This mother had established that asking, rather than taking is the way to do things in her family.

Use your words

When kids whine, whinge, mumble or point at what they want remind them to use their words. Rather than respond to their mumbled, garbled, ill-formed requests teach them to stand still, make eye contact, stand tall and ask for what they want. If it’s not asked for, then it’s not given.

Give them words and phrases that work

When kids don’t have the words the best thing we can do is give them the social scripts they need to get what they want.

Coach them about time and place

Effective communication is as much about time and place as it is about the choice of words.

Help them not to take no personally

Kids, like adults, with low confidence levels take rejection personally, while those with high confidence levels don’t take rejection to heart. Discuss with kids that others, including siblings have a right to say no to a request and that a no may occur for many reasons, none of which need reflect poorly on them.

No means No

Children have a right to ask others for what they want but that doesn’t mean they keep asking if they meet a refusal. If a child keeps asking or asks another person, then it’s appropriate to let your child know strongly of your disapproval. Your parenting mantra could be: No means No.”

I think Michael Grose’s excellent summary of the article is this “an important task for parents (and teachers) is to give kids the skills they need for independence, so they are not reliant on you to resolve their problems. An important independence skill for kids to learn is the ability to articulate their needs and wishes clearly, respectfully and appropriately.”

Joy Rohrlach
Stage Three Leader


Evening of Celebration and Prize-giving


Heart Mind Life Awards

Zavier Reid - K For being a kind friend
Sonny Rossiter - Yr 4 For representing the school with pride on the K.O.A.L.A excursion
Kallarah Silva - K For careful neat writing
Elizabeth-Ray Ingram - K For effort and improvement in writing
Kailan Keegan - Yr 3 For writing persuasive texts for an intended audience with great skill
Peter Brogan - Yr 4 For a fantastic effort in writing narratives
Toni King - Yr 5 For understanding her strengths and being a reflective student
Mariah Keegan - Yr 5 For always being curious and asking good questions
Anthony Lees - K For excellent leadership
Djani Haynes - K For being a respectful hard-working student
Nyarla Gordon - K For encouraging others
Stanley Hickey - Yr 5 For having a positive outlook on life with meaning and purpose

Uniform Requirements


Summer Uniform Term 4

St Andrew’s Cathedral School is one of the most visible schools in NSW with students moving between buildings throughout the day, seniors visiting the Town Hall Arcade during lunch and over a thousand of our students catching public transport all over Sydney and beyond as they travel to and from school. Parents send their children to St Andrew’s because of its high standards in academic, pastoral care, co-curricular and Christian education. In turn, St Andrew’s has high expectations of students. Literature also shows that good uniform standards lead to reduced discipline problems, an increased sense of belonging and higher academic engagement and standards. It also shows pride in the school.

Summer uniform is to be worn from the beginning of Term 4, students have been reminded of our uniform standards.

Below is an outline of the topics that have been discussed:

Hair – to be neat and tidy. Hair cuts must be conventional and unlikely to cause comment. No shaved sections, no facial hair. Girls’ hair to be completely tied back; boys’ hair to be cut above the collar and eyebrows.

Shirts & Ties –shirts must be tucked in, top buttons done up and boys’ ties worn correctly at the neck. Shirt sleeves not to be rolled up.

Blazers – to be worn to and from School and between buildings. (If it is very hot, I will communicate to students a variation to this rule on the day)

Jewellery – no rings, bracelets, necklaces. Only one pair of earrings for girls - small sleepers or simple studs only. No other piercings allowed. No earrings for boys.

Makeup – no makeup or nail polish allowed.

Sport Uniform – students to wear SACS tracksuit/sports uniform to and from venues.

Shoes – black leather traditional school shoes. No casual style allowed. Please see student diary for allowable styles.

Socks – Boys must wear grey or black socks. Girls must wear white plain socks that sit above the ankle. Socklets are not allowed.

Skirts – skirt hems should be at the knee. Skirts must not be rolled.

Please be aware that these expectations and standards remain applicable to the very last day of the school year. For those who have summer uniform requirements, please contact Mr Ralph or the Uniform Store, on 9286 9547 for a fitting time.

Please label all new (and old) items of uniform.
The Uniform store normal Hours of Operation are:
Monday – Wednesday – Thursday  |  8am to 3.30pm


Home reading

To improve reading and fluency, we ask students to do the following every night:

K-2          10-15 minutes home reading a night

Year 3      at least 15 minutes home reading a night

Year 4      at least 20 minutes home reading a night

Year 5      at least 25 minutes home reading a night

Year 6      at least 30 minutes home reading a night


School Opal Cards


Colin Buchanan - Christmas Concerts


Vacation Care


For details of end of year vacation care click here or go to




Uniform Store

For those who still have 2018 uniform requirements please contact the Uniform Store, on 92869547 for a fitting time. Remember that students in Kindergarten to Year 6 wear the same uniform so please label all items of uniform.


Mobile phone use

Older students, who travel to and from school on public transport and have a mobile phone, need to ensure that they are switched off during the school day and kept in school bags or handed to your child’s/children’s teacher each morning.


Health Centre

Please send in a note detailing any daily medication needs. Daily medication is to be dispensed by the School Nurse at the Sick Bay. Any medication to be dispensed by the School Nurse must be given to the nurse in its original box (containing the prescription label and your child’s name).



If your child/children are absent from school, I ask that you text or call Neal on 0439 653 334 or the Reception on 9286 9500 before 9am to notify us. The school requires a note from a parent or guardian explaining any absence from school.


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