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In this issue

Heart Mind Life Awards
Music News
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Sports News
Library News
Parenting Tips
Camp Australia Information
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao

Message Stick – Term 1, Week 8

What a wonderful evening the Gawura Cocktail Event was last Friday night 13/3. Over 150 people attended and a very special thank you to our amazing string instrument group who performed on the night to the excited audience. Congratulations to Talaara, Tilly, Ellie and Kallarah for entertaining the audience with their fine musicianship. This was a wonderful example of what our Gawura School can provide for our budding music minded students. A big thank you to the parents who brought them to the event as well.

Last week saw Year 6 attend their Kirrikee Camp for 2020. The first two days were quite wet with rain so the planned outdoor activities were amended to cater for these conditions. When I visited the group on Thursday all were highly engaged in one activity or another including Initiative Games, Low Ropes Course and a visit to an inside venue which was the Bradman Museum in Bowral. Here all of Year 6, both Junior School and Gawura School students learnt that the very first Australian cricket team to visit England was in fact an Aboriginal team. Their team photos were on display for all to see. There have been other excursions in the past fortnight as well including the Year 3 Indigenous History excursion to the Rocks.

Can I please ask that you follow all school emails closely in the coming days as the current state of COVID-19 is changing at a rapid pace. The school has set remote learning capabilities in place which students in Year 9 last Friday trialled from their own homes quite successfully. K-2 students will be using the See Saw platform while students in Years 3-6 will be using the Schoology platform. Another email outlining this in more detail has been sent today.

Have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar

Wedneday 18 - Friday 20 March: Year 5 Bathurst Camp CANCELLED

Friday 20 March: Traditional Indigenous Games - Gawura Yrs 1-6 CANCELLED

Wednesday 25 March: Maths Olympiad

Thursday 2 April: Gawura Parent Teacher Interviews (will proceed via phone - email to follow)

Thursday 2 April: ASISSA Netball Gala Day – CANCELLED

Monday 6 April: EOT Awards Assembly 9am Cathedral – CANCELLED

Wednesday 8 April: Easter Hat Parade 9am Cathedral – CANCELLED

Wednesday 8 April: Easter Service 2.30pm Cathedral – CANCELLED

Wednesday 8 April: Term 1 concludes

Tuesday 28 April: Term 2 commences


Heart Mind Life Awards

Peta-Lacey Smith Year 5 For a great use of descriptive language in her writing.

Music News


Music ensemble rehearsals cancelled

From today, Tuesday March 18, it is with much disappointment that we will be cancelling all music ensemble rehearsals for the remainder of Term 1.

Most of our ensembles across the school are near to or over the 50 person limit on gatherings, which is now part of school policy for the rest of Term 1. We have determined that even for the ensembles that are smaller in number, the necessary close proximity of rehearsals and the nature of music making makes it wise for rehearsals to be cancelled in any case.

We look forward to resuming our wonderful music program as soon as possible.

Dr Christian Watson
Director of Performing Arts


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


How to talk to children about Coronavirus

Everywhere we go the topic of Coronavirus seems to appear, whether in conversations with friends or the news media or observations of face masks and changed behaviours, it is virtually impossible to avoid. Our children notice this too and hear the conversations which adults are having around them and in the media, and some of them can feel confused and worried about what they are hearing. As adults there are some things which we can do to support our children and young people, these include:

  • Be aware of what children might be overhearing and watching. Children are aware that this is a significant issue and will naturally tune into conversations about it.
  • Check that the information children are receiving is age appropriate, accurate and not based on rumours.
  • Ask them what they know of the virus and check for inaccuracies or misunderstandings.
  • Limit exposure of children to media and news broadcasts and explain what is said in a way that your child can understand and doesn’t increase their worry.
  • When you talk with them, ensure that you are calm and reassuring in your manner. Validate their concerns whilst answering questions honestly, providing facts and assurance that treatments are being worked on.
  • Reassure them that currently the risk of getting the virus is low and most people only get cold-like symptoms.
  • Teach them how to wash their hands properly and to cover their coughs and sneezes.
  • Teach them about how amazing their bodies are in fighting infections and developing immunity.
  • Help them to develop compassion and concern for those infected and discourage any sort of ostracizing or unkind words or behaviours.
  • Keep the conversation ongoing.

In this School TV Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some guidelines on how best to approach this topic whilst still ensuring the wellbeing of their child. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

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.

For references and further information on the discussion of this topic, visit:

Bronwyn Wake
Junior school Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Sports News


Goodbye to summer sport!

Saturday sport is coming to an end for the summer, with our Stage 3 basketball and cricket teams showing great development over the first half of the season. Well done to everyone who represented the school, they did a fantastic job and we look forward to seeing them back in action again in Term 4! For now we’re excited to move into our Term 2 Saturday sports of rugby 7s and netball.

On Thursday 12 March we had the ASISSA boys football trials at Queens Park. This is one of the most competitive trials of the entire year, with over 60 of the best soccer players in our association battling it out for the afternoon. We sent along Oliver Duggan, Christian Desillas, Anthony Martinetti and Oscar Fung to trial and they did everything they could to be one of the 14 players selected in the team. Congratulations to Oscar, who managed to get selected into the ASISSA team and is heading along to the CIS tournament – this is an outstanding achievement!

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


Library News


Premier's Reading Challange

Hopefully each of our students has now successfully logged on to the Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) website and has started to upload their completed books. Remember that all of the titles that have been read since September 2019 may be included in this year’s tally. The large collection of PRC books we have available in the library are clearly labelled with stickers indicating the year grouping. It should be easy for every student to find something to read!

Our Junior School library is arranged in collections by year group. Each year group has differing borrowing rites as they advance through the Junior School. These collections have been carefully chosen by a team of expert librarians over many years. We want our students to be accessing high quality material that promotes intellectual and socio-emotional growth and is age-appropriate. Our goal is to ensure that our students are reading books that are engaging and stimulating. We use information about individual student reading ability and our knowledge of our collections to tailor-make reading lists for our most avid readers. We are confident that we can find a book to entice every child in our school.

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

With you in the joy of reading,

Nicole Cotter
JSGS Teacher Librarian


Parenting Tips


A bit of lighthearted lunacy

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love a good conspiracy! One of my favourites is the effect of a full moon.

“Since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd or insane behavior, including sleepwalking, suicide, illegal activity, fits of violence and, of course, transforming into werewolves. Indeed, the words “lunacy” and “lunatic” are in our vocabulary and are used to explain odd behavior!

For thousands of years, doctors and mental health professionals believed in a strong connection between mania and the moon. Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, wrote in the fifth century BC that “one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon”. Despite studies discrediting the hypothesis, some people think full moons make everyone a little loony.

Some theorists believe that because the Moon affects the tides, the effect is real on humans because we are made up mainly of water. However, it seems that the Moon only affects open bodies of water such as oceans and rivers. Closed bodies of water such as dams and lakes are unaffected. The water in our bodies is closed, so therefore it does not affect us.

Studies have been done across the globe within law enforcement agencies and there is some evidence for and against the theory. Below are some recent news reports of crime increasing during a full moon.

“Senior police officers in Brighton, UK, were planning to deploy more officers over the summer to counter trouble they believe is linked to the lunar cycle. This followed research by the Sussex Police force that concluded there was a rise in violent crime when the Moon was full.”

“Police in Ohio and Kentucky have blamed temporary rises in crime on the full Moon. In January 2008, New Zealand's Justice Minister Annette King suggested that a spate of stabbings in the country could have been caused by the lunar cycle.”

"However, a reported correlation between Moon phase and the number of homicides in Dade County was found, through later analysis, not to be supported by the data and to have been the result of inappropriate and misleading statistical procedures.”  –  Readers Digest

In the medical world, a study reported in the Full Moon and Hospitals article by Jess White, “The American Journal of Emergency Medicine found, when analyzing admissions over a four-year period, there were no significant increases on nights where there was a full moon. And a paper published in the Nursing Research journal also showed that there was no real relationship between moon phases, hospital admissions and birth rates.”

So I guess the jury is out but to me there are two groups of people who haven’t really been surveyed or asked what their experiences are – teachers and parents! I’m sure we would have a huge folder of examples!

So be prepared … a full moon is due!

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Camp Australia Information


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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