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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 3, Week 10
Heart Mind Life Awards
Important Tram Update!
Uniform - Winter to Summer Changeover
Head Lice Alert
Sport News
Library News
Music News
Parenting Tips
Andrean Writer and Artist of the Year
Hall of Honour nominations close on 30 September
Activities in the school holidays!
Family Fun Day at the NSW Parliament October School Holidays
Camp Australia Holiday Camp
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao

Message Stick – Term 3, Week 10


What a busy fortnight we have just had. Thank you to all the parents who came in for Parent Teacher Interviews on Thursday 13 September. We will be in touch with those who could not make it that day due to other work commitments etc.

Our Gawura NAPLAN Results have returned for 2019 and although we are generally pleased with how our students performed we are very excited to see the growth of our Year 5 students in particular. Year 5 achieved above state average in Reading, Writing, Numeracy, Punctuation and Grammar. We achieved results well above all levels when compared to ‘Similar or Like Schools’.

Year 5 attended the Marine Environment overnight Excursion to Lands Edge located in Chowder Bay on the harbour near Mosman. Students returned full of information about the learnings made including presentation from local Indigenous elder around bush foods located right on the harbour. Kindergarden had a wonderful day re-enacting the book Alexanders Outing at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens.

Last Monday 16 September we had the JSGS farewell to Year 12 students who attended the JSGS. We celebrated Yr 12 Indigenous students Milla Hayes Webb who attended the Junior School and also Izak Rigney Sebastian who attended our Gawura School. Although Gawura has graduated 14 students with their HSC, Izak is our very first Gawura student who has attended every year since Kindergarden. We wish both students all the very best for their upcoming HSC.

Our Indigenous students from Years 5-12 attended the second On Country Tour our school has run this year to the Wandi Wandian (Yuin) Nation on the South Coast of NSW. It was lovely to have our Year 9 student Wol Wellington’s family host us at the Jerringa Aboriginal Mission at Orient Point (near Nowra for the afternoon) where we heard from Wol’s nan and elder Naboo and then we travelled to Callala Bay where we were taken on a personal tour of the Indigenous scarred trees and poles by creator Uncle Noel Wellington who described how he made each piece and what their significance meant to his people.

The next day we travelled to Huskisson in Jervis Bay to hear from Indigenous presenter Raymond Timberey who took us on the most fascinating bush walk outlining all the different bush foods and medicines that were available to Indigenous people for thousands of years. Once again we had another family connection here where our own Gawura Bus Driver Uncle Bill Russel stated that Raymond is his nephew. Uncle Bill stated at dinner that night, “I was proud of my nephew today. Raymond did a great job teaching culture and protocols to our mob”.

As is the case each term after term our Gawura students are actively engaged in both academic and cultural learning. This is what makes our Gawura school unique. I sent a text to one of our Gawura parents that evening to let her know that her child was enjoying the On Country Tour and how all of our students were being wonderful leaders and very respectful to the elders who were presenting to us each day. Her reply was this, “That’s great news that they are all being respectful and enjoying themselves. That’s the one thing I love about the Gawura School is how you implement culture into their education. A job well done!”.

We wish the GWS Giants all the very best in their first ever AFL Grand Final next Saturday at the MCG. GWS Indigenous player Zac Williams (No 29) visited Gawura just four weeks ago and spoke to us about growing up on Wiradjuri Country in Narrandera and how to always try and follow your dreams. He was instrumental in helping his side beat Collingwood on the weekend and we hope his dream comes true this coming Saturday. We also wish the Rabbitohs all the very best for their NRL premiership qualifier against Canberra this Friday night.

Thank you for your ongoing support again this term. The last day of school for our K-6 students is this coming Thursday 26 September and we return for Term 4 on Monday 14 October.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar


Term 3

Monday 23 September: JSGS Public Speaking Finals (5-6)

Tuesday 24 September: JSGS Public Speaking Finals (K-2)

Tuesday 24 September: Cricket Blast (5-6)

Wednesday 25 September: JS Parent Teacher Interviews, Level 5 Heath Centre (K-6)

Wednesday 25 September: Cyberbusters (K-6)

Thursday 26 September: JSGS Mini Athletics Carnival (K-2)

Thursday 26 September: Last Day Term 3 for all students (K-6)

Friday 27 September: Staff Professional Development Day (no students)

Term 4

Monday 14 October: Term 4 commences for staff and students


Heart Mind Life Awards

Nyarla Gordon Year 1 Heart Term Award for dedication to tasks and caring about her progress
Leann Bray Year 3 For persistent in learning maths
Kailan Keegan Year 4 For having an inquiring mind in number patterns
BJ Carr Kindy For his dedication to home reading
Samara Lyons Kindy For her beautiful handwriting
Bryden Walker Kindy Mind Term award for effort in reading and writing
Djani Haynes Year 1 For engaging delivery in his public speech
La Quaelah Roberts-Carr Year 2 For excellent delivery in her public speech
Jakayla Reid Year 2 For her perseverance during challenging tasks.
Jenarose Jackson Year 3 Life Term award for constantly striving to do her best and helping her peers
Toni King Year 6 For showing courage and perseverance

Important Tram Update!


Testing of trams have started and will occur between 10am and 7pm. The trams are now around while our students travel home.

For more information, visit


Uniform - Winter to Summer Changeover


From Monday 14 October, all students are required to wear full summer uniform only.


The changes are:

Boys – Short Striped summer Socks

Girls –  Striped Summer Dress and White Ankle Socks


Summer uniform is available through the Uniform Store, which is open: 

  • Monday: 8am to 3.30pm
  • Wednesday: 8am to 3.30pm
  • Thursday: 8am to 3.30pm

Head Lice Alert


We have been advised of a case of head-lice in the school.
Please check your child and treat if necessary.

NSW Public Health:

The facts
Head lice infestations are a common occurrence, particularly in primary schools.

  • about 23% of primary students have head lice at any one time
  • anyone can catch head lice regardless of their age, sex, or how clean their hair is
  • head lice move from one person's head to another via hair
  • head lice do not survive long when they are off a human head
  • head lice do not live on furniture, hats, bedding or carpet
  • head lice have built up some resistance to head lice treatments

Daily combing with hair conditioner using a fine tooth comb is effective in getting rid of head lice and eggs (nits). Tips for parents in reducing the spread of head lice:

  • regularly check your children's hair
  • teach older children to check their own hair
  • tie back and braid long hair
  • keep a fine-tooth head lice comb in the bathroom and encourage all family members to use it when they wash their hair.

As infestations are particularly common in primary schools, it is best to choose a treatment that can be used over time. There is no single solution to eradication, only persistence.


Sport News


CIS Athletics

The NSW CIS Athletics Carnival was held at Sydney Olympic Park on Thursday 12th September, which we sent 7 of our best athletes to. Congratulations to:

Jayden Hannaford, Georgia Wansey, Felicity Sheh, Benjamin Hayward, Kailan Keegan, Liam Sullivan and Cadel Holmes for representing us at this prestigious carnival.

Georgia did particularly well coming 2nd in 10yrs Girls Discus! As well as that, Cadel managed to come 1st in 11yrs boys High Jump with a jump of 1.60m!

To Libby Collins in year 5 who placed 7th overall in the state for her age and level at the recent State Championships for Rythmic Gymnastics. What a wonderful achievement!

Congratulations to Cadel Holmes who has acheived Gold at the Nationals in the Northern Territory this week.  He won the 11 years High Jump, clearing 1.61m. This is the second year he has won a Gold medal in this event. What a tremendous achievment.

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


Library News


Book Draw
Our final draw happened this week.
Congratulations to:

  • Prince Tashi

He’s thinking hard about which book he’d like the library to buy for him as his prize.


Australian Reading Hour
Australian Reading Hour is an initiative that aims to help people “rediscover or introduce themselves to the benefits of reading. Take the time to learn, escape and relax.” – to read more go to their website


How did SACS JS and GS library host the event?
We asked students to come prepared with torches. We blackened the library and turned out the lights. When they arrived, the library was dark. They turned on their torches and (mostly) curled up wherever they could find a space and read by torchlight for their lunchtime.

Thank you to all our parents who encourage their children to read, even if it is just a little past their bedtime! Thank you to all our teachers who share their love of reading in their classrooms every day. Together we’ll build readers who’ll find a way to get just one more chapter in…

Interested in what the research says about possible connections between light and eyesight? Check out this BBC future article


Holiday borrowing
If you have no overdue books, then you are invited to double your borrowing limit for the holidays.  The only catch is that you must remember to bring them back next term!

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.

“In children, reading has been shown to help with identity formation, [and] setting them up for success in the future. In adults, reading has been shown to reduce stress by 68% more than listening to music, going for a walk, or having a cup of tea.” – Australian Reading Hour


Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Music News


AMEB Success

Congratulations to the following students on their exam success:

  • Martin Ma – Pass with honours in Preliminary Grade Violin
  • Lucy Lin – Pass with honours in 1st Grade Violin
  • Chelsea Chow – Pass with Credit in 2nd Grade Violin
  • Oscar Fung – Pass with Credit in 1st Grade Violin Repertoire
  • Phillip Jorden – Pass with Credit in 2nd Grade Violin Repertoire

Music Administrator
It is with sadness that we farewell Mrs Martel Green, who has been our Music Administrator for the last 13 years. Mrs Green has ensured the day to day administration of the Music department has been efficient and smooth and will be deeply missed. Mrs Green will be moving interstate at the end of this term with her husband and we wish them the very best on their new adventure. We extend our welcome to Mrs Alison Matthews who will be replacing Mrs Green. Mrs Matthews has recently worked in administration in our Specialised Learning department and comes to the Music Department with a wealth of administrative and business experience. We are very much looking forward to working with Mrs Matthews. We also welcome Miss Ashley Son in a part-time capacity as an Assistant Music Administrator. Miss Son is currently studying Music Therapy and has a Music Education degree from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As well as being an Old Andrean, Miss Son has also taught Music casually in the Junior School and is very well known to the school.

Tuition is full
Due to unprecedented demand, Music tuition at SACS is now at capacity. We apologise that any new music tuition application forms are unable to be processed until further notice, as we are at tutor and rooming capacity. We will advise when the situation changes, but for the remainder of 2019, we will not be able to start any students on private instrumental or voice lessons.

Cocurricular Music
A reminder that there will be no ensembles in the last week of school. All Music ensembles commence in Week 2, Term 4.

Ensemble Night – Save the Date
Please save 15 November if your child is in a Music ensemble. All groups will be performing in our annual Junior Ensembles Concert.

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


Parenting Tips


Children learn what they live

This month Parenting Ideas had a wonderful article on children’s self-sufficiency. It is really worth a read.

Why is self-sufficiency important?

Self-sufficiency, of the ‘I can do it myself’ kind, is the basis of self-esteem and resilience. One of the main developmental tasks is for children and teenagers to gain a sense of control and mastery over their environment. This mastery begins by gaining basic competencies such as being able to feed and dress yourself as a toddler and then gradually adding new competencies as physical and mental capacities allow. The development of children’s independence can be frustrating and time-consuming, particularly if you are time-poor or have a strong perfectionist streak. But that is the price of independence-building.

Step back to allow kids to step up

Respected US parenting and child development expert, Dr. Debora Gilboa, believes parents need to step back to allow children to step up. It’s a smart phrase that infers that parents need to take on the role of their child’s teacher rather than be the person who is always solving their problems and doing routine tasks for them. Gilboa says, “It’s crucial that you take a step back and let your kids make mistakes and learn from their experiences. You aren’t going to be there in adulthood to clear the obstacles they face or solve their struggles.” It is through dealing with their own frustrations and learning from their mistakes that kids develop the resilience needed to stand on their own two feet.

Self-sufficiency tips

Gilboa gives the following three tips to develop self-sufficiency in children at any age:

  1. Problem-solving. When your child or adolescent comes to you with a problem, resist the urge to fix it. Invite them to resolve the problem themselves.
  2. Welcome failure. This is hard in our perfectionistic world but expect them to struggle and talk about what they can do to get back on their feet.
  3. Expect them to help. Give them tasks that help the whole family, not just themselves and make sure they do them well. Be patient, but firm.

Self-sufficiency has many forms and many faces, including the ability to problem-solve, emotional self-regulation and taking responsibility for your actions. It’s easiest to develop in children when they are young. This is also because not every child in a family will take to independence as willingly as others.

If developing independence is something that you haven’t focused on before, don’t despair. It’s not too late to start. Begin where you feel comfortable, rather than make huge changes straightaway. Persist rather than give in when you have resisters; the notion of independence is too important for children’s future success.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader.


Andrean Writer and Artist of the Year


To celebrate the 50th Year of the Moon Landing, our theme is Outer Space.

For more details, please click


Hall of Honour nominations close on 30 September


To be considered for inclusion in the Hall of Honour, students or alumni should be nominated by a member of the school community. The nomination is to be in the form of a letter addressed to the Head of School (, which includes a resume outlining a student’s specific achievements. Those nominating should ensure that the student or alumni concerned meets the criteria outlined above. Nominations must be received by 30 September each year, as inductees are announced to the general school community at the annual Prizegiving Evening.

Inclusion into the Hall of Honour is not automatic and is at the discretion of the Head of School. A maximum of four nominations will be approved each year.

Successful applicants will receive a letter of confirmation and a certificate and will be presented with a framed picture recognising their achievements which will be hung in a prominent location in the School.

Details can be found on SACS Connect under "Hall of Honour".


Activities in the school holidays!


Code Camp Spring School Holidays: Early Bird Discount

These Spring holidays Code Camp are returning to St Andrew's Cathedral School to teach your child to code, or to help them continue on their coding adventure!

Code Camp has already taught more than 50,000 students in Australia and is a great way to spend time over the holidays as kids have lots of fun with friends while learning important new skills including logic, creativity, problem-solving, app development and game building. It’s fun and engaging, and gets them prepared to take on the digital world of the future.

This season from Wednesday the 2nd- Friday the 4th of October, St Andrew's Cathedral School will be hosting Little Heroes, Spark, 2D Game Makers and 3D World Builders. And from Tuesday 8 - Thursday 10 October, they will be hosting Little Heroes, Spark, 2D Game Makers and Web Hackers.

Bookings can be made via this link:

Code Camp has also been working with Service NSW and we are proud to announce that we are one of the first approved providers eligible for the $100 Creative Kids rebate! Just enter booking to receive $100 back on you enrolment.

Please click on the following link for more information:


Family Fun Day at the NSW Parliament October School Holidays


Camp Australia Holiday Camp


View the program here
For more information, visit


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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