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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 1, Week 2
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Heart Mind Life Awards
GPAC Meeting
Gawura Meet the Teacher Evening
Library News
Music News
Parenting Tips
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao

Message Stick – Term 1, Week 2


Welcome to our very first Message Stick for 2020. I hope you all had a very well deserved break. A very big welcome back to all of our returning families and a few brand new ones as well. We would like to especially acknowledge our new Kindergarten students for 2020 who are Shane, Yuin-River, George and Bokhara. We welcome you all to our Gawura family in what could be 13 years of schooling for you all. Graduating class of 2032 just to make the rest of us feel a bit old.

All three Indigenous Yr 12 students last year gained ATAR’s and were offered placements at various universities. A big congratulations to Izak who gained a place at UNSW in the Bachelor of Medicine Program. We wish Izak all the very best on this wonderful achievement.

The Gawura students have settled in beautifully over the past week and are currently working really well. The whole JSGS are doing initial assessments to begin with along with curriculum course work also starting as well.

I would like to invite everyone to our combined GPAC Meeting and Meet the Teacher afternoon this coming Thursday 6th February. It will start at 2pm in the Community Hub on Level 4 followed by coffee and mingling at 3:00pm and then Meet The Teacher Afternoon will be held in each of the classrooms from 3:30-4:00pm. We look forward to seeing you this coming Thursday.

School photographs will be occurring on Friday 14th February. Please send back your order forms to your child’s class teacher before this day. Once again we are pleased to offer this service free of charge or for just a small fee you can increase the size of your photo pack. Sibling photos will be taken on the same day. A note outlining all of this will be sent home in your child’s bag in the coming days.

Can I encourage you to look at the Music News in the following section of this Message Stick and ask you to speak to your child about learning a musical instrument. It is a wonderful skill to have and the hire of instruments and the cost of tuition is covered by the Gawura Scholarship. We just ask that if your child does take this offer up that they stay committed to learning that instrument for at least two terms. Some students have maintained their music tuition for over two years and are quite accomplished.

Once again thank you for entrusting us with your child this year. Whether this is your 7th year at Gawura or your first we welcome you and look forward to working with you and your children throughout 2020.

Have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar

Wednesday 5 February: Term Service 2.30pm Cathedral

Thursday 6 February: GPAC Meeting 2:00pm - 3:00pm 

Thursday 6 February: Meet the Teacher Afternoon 3:30pm - 4:00pm 

Friday 7 February: Prefect induction assembly 2.30pm Cathedral

Monday 10 February: CoCurricular Activities commence

Tuesday 11 February: JSGS Swimming Carnival

Friday 14 February: School photographs

Tuesday 18 February: Year 6 Parliament House excursion

Tuesday 18 February: Kindergarten Steps Vision Screening

Monday 17 February: Year 5 Sydney Museum excursion


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Talking about Bushfires

The recent bushfire season in Australia has been catastrophic. It left in its wake a tragic loss of human life, native animals, livestock as well as many homes. Families have been either exposed or affected directly or indirectly, leaving many feeling overwhelmed and devastated. During such a traumatic event, children and teenagers are vulnerable. It is important to understand that they may not fully comprehend what they have seen either first-hand or in the media coverage. It can make them feel sad, anxious and even stressed.

Whilst most will recover and resume normal functioning, there will be some young people that will be affected and require additional support. In order to support our young people during this time, it is also important for adults to manage their own shock, grief, anxiety and anger before talking to kids about this tragedy.

In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be given some key strategies that can be implemented to support children and young people who feel scared or worried as a result of this traumatic event. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this report, and as always, you are welcome to contact us for further information or support.

Here is the link to your special report. SchoolTV is a SACS P&F funded initiative to support the parents and caregivers of our students.

Bronwyn Wake
Junior School Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Heart Mind Life Awards

George Rose Kindy Heart Award for being a very good listener in class

GPAC Meeting


Gawura Meet the Teacher Evening


Library News


What a happy start to the year it has been. Thank you to everyone who has remembered to bring back the books that were borrowed over the holidays. We love to hear about your favourite reads.

Each class in our Junior School will be visiting the library for browsing and borrowing every week.

  • Kindergarten can borrow 1 book (in term 1 as they settle in)
  • Years 1 and 2 can borrow up to 3 books
  • Years 3 and 4 can borrow up to 4 books
  • Years 5 and 6 can borrow up to 5 books

Books may also be returned before school and at lunchtimes.

The library will be open before school for quiet reading Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 8 - 8:30am. On Thursday and Friday mornings, we will be hosting Book Clubs for Stage 2 and Stage 3 students. Keep your eye out for the Co-curricular booklet when that is released and make sure you sign up quick. Spaces are limited.

New Books

Our collection continues to grow and over the holidays we were able to add some exciting new books. Make sure you pop into the library over the coming weeks to have a look at our new books display to enjoy what’s new on offer. Also remember to let us know if there’s a book you would like to see in the library. We love to receive recommendations!

Researching @SACSLibrary

Once again this year, our teacher librarians will be visiting classrooms once a week to teach our students how to become skilled researchers. Our focus this year will be around a deeper exploration of the history syllabus.

Library monitors in 2020

It is wonderful to have responsible and helpful Stage 2 and Stage 3 student leaders in the library as Library Monitors. If your child would like to be considered for the role, they should write an application (one paragraph which includes your child’s name and class) explaining why they would like to be a monitor and hand it in to Mrs Cotter by the end of Week 2.

The Year Ahead

2020 looks to be a year packed with fun and informative events. We are looking forward to once again hosting the Premier’s Reading Challenge, National Simulataneous Storytime, Australian Reading Hour, Book Week and the KOALA (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards) as well as some special ‘themed’ weeks dotted throughout the year, starting with Love Your Library in Week 3.

Looking forward to sharing in your child’s love of reading, books and learning with great anticipation.

Nicole Cotter
JS and GS Teacher Librarian


Music News


Welcome Back

The Music Department is looking forward to another year of wonderful music making at SACS in 2020. Please be aware that we are processing tuition request forms at the moment, and all new tuition requests should be responded to before the end of Week 3. If you have not heard from the school or a tutor by this time, please contact so that we can follow up.

Towards the end of 2019, we published in the newsletter that private Music lessons were full. We received a large number of tuition requests over the break, and whilst there is now some availability in some instruments, this is limited. Please be mindful that some students might be placed on waiting lists for some Music lessons but that we will do our best to accommodate as many as we can.


All Music ensembles start in Week 3, as per the cocurricular booklet, with the exception of Extension Wind and Brass, which commences in Week 4.

Please see this link for further details of all music groups.
Note that the Chapel Band Auditions have been delayed, however, parents should email Mr Milis by the end of Week 2 in order to audition.

Rock Band auditions (Y5 and 6) will take place on Feb 7th. Please email to sign up

School Musical - Joseph

All students in Years 3-6 will be participating in our Junior School Production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in August. Lead roles will be cast from Years 5 and 6 and the sign up information was sent by Ms Banks on Wed 29/1 to all Stage 3 parents. Please email if you did not receive this and have a child in Stage 3 who is interested in auditioning for a lead role.

Exam Success

Alison Ahn has recently completed her C Mus AMEB clarinet performance exam and received a High Distinction (A+).

Other students who have recently completed exams include:

  • Isabelle King – Honours in Preliminary Violin
  • Annabelle Douglas - Honours in Preliminary Violin
  • Madison Dockery - Honours in Preliminary Violin
  • Abigail Chan – Credit in 3rd Grade Violin
  • Taali Paku – High Distinction in Preliminary Violin

Congratulations to all these students!

Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K-6)


Parenting Tips



Welcome to the first edition for 2020 of Parenting Tips.

I am Joy Rohrlach and I teach Year 5 at SACS. I am a parent of two children, Michael and Jackie and a grandmother of three gorgeous children, Jonathan, Lucia and Zara. Every two weeks I write an article in the newsletter about situations, articles I’ve read or seen or fascinating ideas that have captured my interest and maybe even share some of my conspiracy theories for you to think about - The full moon’s effects being my favourite!! I offer ideas to try when bringing up your children, interesting strategies to use in your home or thoughtful scenarios that may get you thinking. Not for one minute am I suggesting I am an expert nor that I know all the answers. I certainly don’t and I have made many mistakes in my journey as a parent and grandparent…that I may occasionally share!! What I am hoping though, is to present ideas for you to think about, discuss with me or others and hopefully we may help each other along this road called parenting.

I look forward to meeting you and sharing ideas and helpful hints.

Joy Rohrlach


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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