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In this issue

Message Stick Term 4, Week 6, 2021
Dates for your calendar
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Library news
Music news
Parenting tips
Semester Two SRC (Student Representative Council)
Gawura face masks for sale
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick Term 4, Week 6, 2021


This is our 3rd week back now with all students and the school is certainly abuzz. There will be several end of year events happening in the next 3-4 weeks so please keep your eye out on when they will be held. With the recent covid restrictions easing again further for schools we hope to see you in person at some of these events before the end of the school year. Check out the Key Dates below.

It is with much sadness that I announce our wonderful Gawura Fundraising and Development Manager Catherine Gunning will be leaving us. Cath has accepted a new position at the Australian Museum which is just down the road. Catherine has done a wonderful job in developing new relationships and partnerships with corporates securing funding and sponsors for our Indigenous students over the past 4 years and we wish her all the very best in her new role. We will still see Cath from time to time as she visits our schools as a parent plus we engage with the Australian Museum for many cultural activities and excursions so we will certainly be seeing Cath again in the future.

Please see information below re covid testing centres. There is a new vaccination centre on the site of the old Redfern Post Office (119 Redfern St, cnr George St, Redfern) who are offering walk ins and booked vaccinations for anyone who is 12 years and over as well as local GP’s and there is also a hub at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital located just a few streets back from the main entrance in Mallet St, Camperdown. Please press this link for current information.

There is also a new Covid Testing Centre located at the Redfern Neighbourhood Centre in Hugo St. Please see attached inserts for full information details.

Have a safe and wonderful fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar


Tuesday 9 November: 2022 Kindergarten Orientation (ONLINE)

Tuesday 16 November, 6pm: P&F AGM (ONLINE)

Friday 19 November, 7pm: Gala Dinner: Hats off to Dr Collier - Sold out (IN PERSON)

Thursday 25 November: Showcase 2021 Viewing Party - details to come (ONLINE)

Monday 29 November: Evening of Celebration and Prize-Giving (IN PERSON)

Thursday 2 December: End of Term 4 (all students)


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Managing uncertainty & overwhelm

Due to the pandemic, the world we now live in is a very different place. It is highlighted that as parents we can’t always provide certainty for our children in all circumstances. However, despite this challenge we are able to provide them with the skills to cope with uncertainty.

The combination of constant access to information and having little control over the situations presented, can be stressful and overwhelming. It is therefore important for adult carers to check in with their children and be aware of what information they may be exposed to. It may not necessarily be the information itself that is harmful, but more their inability to process and make sense of it. Providing children with the skills and strategies to cope will enable them to flourish and thrive, socially, emotionally, and academically. This Special Report suggests a number of strategies to help manage any feelings of overwhelm that you or your child may be experiencing. It particularly focusses on calm breathing, role modelling emotional regulation & critical thinking, limiting media consumption & practising gratitude and journaling.

We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, if this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please feel free to contact us. Here is the link to your special report

Bronwyn​ Wake
JS and GS School Counsellor and Well Being Coordinator


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



Please click here for this weeks awardees


Library news


Ice Cream party!

As promised, to celebrate the wonderful achievement of 100% of our school completing the Premier’s Reading Challenge 2021, the Junior School Library hosted an ice cream party on the roof. It was fitting to wrap up our first week back with a school-wide celebration. A festive atmosphere had permeated the whole week. On that day, we happened to be celebrating our reading achievement, but every day we are at school we celebrate our learning and growing and our friendships. A little bit of sweetness seemed a perfect bookend to a fantastic week back.

Nicole Cotter 
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – JS & GS


Music news


Ensemble Rehearsals for Strings are back on!

We are thrilled to announce that from next Monday 8 November (Week 6), students who are learning a string instrument will have the opportunity to play their instruments together again, in stage based string ensemble rehearsals after school.

Students in Year 3 and 4 who play a string instrument will be met in the Year 3 and 4 open area at the conclusion of their school day (2:45pm), and be escorted to the music centre on Level 8. At the conclusion of the rehearsal, they will be escorted to either after school care, or the foyer for prompt pickup at 3:45pm.

Students in Year 5 and 6 who play a string instrument are to come directly to the music centre on level 8 at the conclusion of their school day at 3pm. At the conclusion of the rehearsal, they will be escorted to either after school care, or the foyer for prompt pickup at 3:45pm.


Watch the Year 5 and 6 virtual concerts online

We weren’t able to hold concerts for our Stage 3 students this year, so we asked a few of them to film themselves performing a piece they had been working on instead! We are really proud of all of the performers who submitted a video for these virtual concerts. You can watch them below.

Year 6 Concert:
Year 5 Concert:

Ben​ Milis
JS Music Teacher and Chapel Music Coordinator


Parenting tips


How to deal with disturbing content

How to deal with disturbing content

This is quite a difficult topic to talk about but this excellent article from Reach Out has some good ideas for us to consider.

The Netflix series "Squid Game" has been really popular with young people recently. It deals with some heavy themes, including suicide, violence, exploitation of vulnerable people and substance abuse. Let’s face it, disturbing or controversial content can be hard to avoid. Children may choose to still watch these shows or hear about them at school. At times, young children will claim they watch such material and it seems like everyone is watching it too, when in reality it is only a few.

Many learn about such shows on their social feed, or from what others at school are talking about. But remember, that this sort of media can be stressful and inappropriate, even if your child doesn’t think so. The long-term effects can be harmful.

Sometimes children can be upset by images or content from age appropriate material as well. Do not assume that if it is age appropriate, that they will not react negatively to some of the content.

Here are some tips for supporting your child through the minefield that is online content:

1. Work out whether the content is right for your child.

2. Read up on the issues the content explores.You will soon see whether you are comfortable and knowledgeable with it.

3. Stay up to date with the children’s culture – it will help you stay ahead of the game.

4. Make sure your children know that not everything they see or hear is how it really appears. Have a conversation that not everything on the internet is true.

5. Tell your children that they don’t have to watch something they don’t want to. Help your children brain-storm ideas of saying no to their peers and help them feel comfortable with their own decisions.

6. Encourage self-care. Talk through with your children if they have watched something that is perhaps disturbing, suggesting some strategies to pick themselves up afterwards.

7. Offer to watch it with them. This enables you to talk through anything that comes up straight away and you can discuss it then and there.

8. Let your children know where to go if they need help. Ask them who they feel comfortable to talk through what has upset them.

Services like Kids Helpline or Reachout are beneficial.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader




G.A.T.E.WAYS online

Over the last two months a number of students from the Junior School have had the opportunity to participate in G.A.T.E.WAYS Compact Online Programs. G.A.T.E.WAYS is in its 27th year specialising in providing challenging and inspiring programs for highly-able, gifted and talented learners. Students were nominated to engage in a vast array of curriculum areas including mathematics, writing, science, thinking skills, social sciences, technology, creative arts and leadership. These exciting workshops provided an opportunity for many of our high ability learners to connect with other gifted students across Australia. Below are some reflections from two of our students who participated in the G.A.T.E.WAYS Compact Online Programs.

Tristan Lau - Year 3
What program did you participate in?
I participated in ‘Bringing Balance to the Forces’.

What did you do in the program?
We learnt about forces, what forces are there or what do forces do.

What make the program an enjoyable learning experience?
It was an enjoyable experience because we conducted science experiments. One of the experiments was where we got two books, put them together and because of friction we could not pull them apart.

Was there a concept or idea that challenged you?
Yes, there was a concept that challenged me. It was where we thought about the names of all the forces, for example gravitational, air resistance and magnetic forces.

Did you create a piece of work or experiment? If so what did you make/create?
Yes, we made a balancing butterfly. This was done by cutting up a butterfly, inserting paperclips on both wings and taping a toothpick in the middle of the butterfly. The butterfly would fly if you held one end of it by using balancing force.

Lily Isenegger - Year 6
What program did you participate in?
I participated in three programs, ‘Talkin’ Tolkien’, ‘Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein’ and ‘What Lies Beneath’.

What did you do in the program?
In ‘Talkin’ Tolkien’, we talked about how he had become the father of modern fantasy, growing from children’s fairy tales to how we now view fantasy – for all ages. In ‘Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein’, we looked at and talked about the ring-style and structure of the book, also writing our own story in the ring structure. In ‘What Lies Beneath’, we did problem solving and connecting the files to the prophecy.

What make the program an enjoyable learning experience?
I think the ability to input our opinion was the best part of G.A.T.E.WAYS.

Was there a concept or idea that challenged you?
The most challenging thing out of all of them was probably making the ring story structure fit together.

Did you create a piece of work or experiment? If so what did you make/create?
In ‘Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein’ we made and wrote our own ring-structure story, which I found very fun.

Emma​ Clemens
Gifted and Talented Learning Coordinator ‑ JS & GS


Semester Two SRC (Student Representative Council)


In semester two we appointed thirteen new SRC members from Stage Three. These students were selected as they embody our school values of heart, mind and life, and are excited to serve our Junior School Community.

Each member of the SRC have shown personal attributes encompassing responsibility, trust, respect, teamwork, organisational skills, and communication. These attributes in turn, will help drive SRC initiatives enriching our school community and environment.

This semester, the SRC have been involved in organising and judging the remote ‘Food Challenge’. They are eager to facilitate upcoming Junior School initiatives to acknowledge Recycling Week and Christmas.

Last week they were presented with their badges upon our return to school.

Congratulations semester two SRC:

- Max Boustani (5M)

- Chelsea Chow (6W)

- Theo Chow (6W)

- Lucy Freedman (6B)

- Eli Gajewski (5R)

- Jaidyn Gonsalves (5R)

- Byron Hayward (6B)

- David Kim (5O)

- Siddhan Krishna (5O)

- Luca Murray (5M)

- Adele Wong (5O)

- Anthony Wu (6W)

- Isaac Yeow (5O)

Miss Michaela Munden, on behalf of the Semester two SRC.


Gawura face masks for sale


On sale now at the Uniform Shop

All funds raised from the sale of these beautiful masks will support Gawura School. Designed by Gawura staff, each ‘meeting place’ is a Gawura class group.

The face mask are available with a black or white background and can be purchased through the Uniform Shop online.

Adults - $10.95 each
Two for $20 (promotional code: 2 for 18)

Chidrens (aged 9 and under) - $9.95 each
Two for $18 (promotional code: 2 for 20)

For bulk orders please email




P&F AGM - Tuesday 16th November (ONLINE)

This is your opportunity to join the friendly P&F Executive Committee for 2022. The Constitution states that all roles have to be made ‘vacant’, although some of our current members are happy to continue in their roles unless opposed.

There will be a number of vacancies as some existing members of the Exec stand down due to their children either leaving or heading into their final year of SACS. We are specifically looking for a treasurer.

The AGM will be followed by the last General Meeting for the year.

The roles in the P&F are:


  • Act as a representative of the P&F
  • Establish good relationships with the school, parents and community
  • Plan and chair meetings in consultation with the Secretary and Committee
  • Follow up on actions from previous meetings and communicate decisions to all school community
  • Respond to correspondence and comments
  • Write P&F newsletter


  • Provide support to the President and Committee
  • Share duties and responsibilities as agreed
  • Attend all meetings


  • Provide Admin support to the President and P&F Executive Committee as needed
  • Create all meeting agendas
  • Take & distribute minutes at P&F meetings
  • Assist with the management of P&F Events


  • Maintain records of P&F finances, including receipts and expenditure
  • Present a financial report at each P&F meeting and a yearly report at the AGM
  • Arrange for an audited financial report for the AGM


  • Participate in all decision making at P&F meetings
  • Attend meetings and vote on issues at hand
  • Provide ongoing support to the committee
  • Help organise and run P&F events

You can also join the Exec without a specific role and will be able to add value through sharing new ideas and contributing to discussions. The nomination form can be found here and emailed through to the P&F (p& before Monday 15th November at 12pm. The agenda for the meetings can be found here.

Please feel free to contact me at p& should you require any further info or have any questions re the roles and what is involved.

Helen Carson
P&F President


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 8.00am – 12.00pm. The number of the practice is Ph: 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.


Resources for COVID-19


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