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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 4 Week 3 2020
Dates for your Calendar
After School Care provider – TheirCare
Library News
Music News
Sports News
Parenting Tips
Just Knits
Anglicare Toys 'n' Tucker Hampers
Gawura guessing competition
Virtual Christmas Choir
"The Outlet" at the Anglican Church Rozelle
NSW Health Message
P&F Presents
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick, Term 4 Week 3 2020


Last Tuesday 20 October Gawura had the pleasure of a visit from Uncle Shane Phillips who is a Redfern Elder and founder of Tribal Warrior. Uncle Shane attended with Peter Berkley who is the chairperson of the National Indigenous Education Partnership (NIEP). Gawura School is being recognised by many educational and other authorities as a unique school of best practice for Indigenous students. The NIEP would like to replicate the Gawura model in other schools and we have hosted several such schools from Sydney and regional NSW to come and tour and see what happens here. Uncle Shane was most impressed with what he saw and in every classroom that he entered nearly every student yelled ‘Yaama, (Hello) Uncle Shane!’. In particular Uncle Shane loved how Wiradjuri language is taught not just to 30 Indigenous students K-6 but to over 300 non Indigenous students in the Junior School.

Our students are very busy planning and rehearsing segments for this year’s NAIDOC Week that will be put into a program to go online on Tuesday 10 November at 9:30am. This will be similar to how Showcase and other major school events have been presented this year due to restrictions that are in place due to COVID. The presentation will go for approximately 30-40 mins online and will have a variety of segments presented by our students across the entire school K-12. We do look forward to the day where we can hold this event in our cathedral again followed by a beautiful morning tea afterwards – hopefully in 2021! Details on how to view this year’s presentation will be made available shortly.

Please see further information below about the new After School Care service called Their Care who are now involved in our Junior and Gawura Schools. Their Care are offering their services for free to Gawura Scholarship students including Vacation Care even during the school holidays. Please see insert below for details on how to register and enrol your child if you wish to use this service.

If your child is presenting with any cough or cold, flu like symptoms please keep them at home and see a doctor. All the students at school are highly aware of the safe hygiene practices that will help keep coronavirus out of our school. With continued safe hygiene practices we hope to continue to keep all of our students, staff and school community safe as well.

We are ‘in this together’ and together we can get through this.
Have a safe and pleasant fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


COVID-19 Restrictions and Term 4

Our current restrictions continue this term. Please click here for school procedures.

It is worthwhile for parents/carers to be aware of the following changes for Term 4:

  • Term 4 resumes Monday 12 October between 8am and 8.35am
  • School concludes at 3.10pm, students to be picked up by 3.30pm
  • Students who have returned from Victoria or overseas must self-isolate at home for 14 days and notify the school
  • Parents/carers and visitors are not permitted on school grounds or events unless by appointment. This includes not attending assemblies, presentations, events, training, carnivals whether on school grounds or off site venues
  • Term 4 Sport resumes this week; however, no spectators are permitted at this time - this includes parents/carers
  • The School encourages students and staff to wear masks when travelling by public transport
  • Assemblies and Chapels will remain online at the moment and resume later this term
  • Any student who is ill must not come to school

Dates for your Calendar


Tuesday 27 October: P&F Presents: The branches of the SACS family tree

Wednesday 28 October: Indigenous cultural excursion to Sydney Botanic Gardens

Friday 30 October: Year 5 Field Trip - Chowder Bay

Friday 6 November: JSGS Ensemble recording day

Sunday 8 November - NAIDOC Week commences 'Always Was, Always Will be'

Monday 9 - Wednesday 11 November: Year 6 Field Trip - Lake Macquarie

Monday 9 November: Kindergarten 2021 Play Date

Tuesday 10 November: NAIDOC Celebrations in Style

Friday 13 November: NAIDOC Week Challenge Activities

Monday 16 November: Kindergarten Orientation Day

Tuesday 17 November: Year 1-6 Orientation Day

Friday 20 November: ICAS Assembly

Monday 23 November: Year 5 Field Trip - Botanical Gardens

Wednesday 25 November: JSGS End of Term Awards Assembly

Friday 27 November: Year 6 Celebration Dinner

Wednesday 2 December: JSGS Picnic Day

Thursday 3 December: Carol Service

Thursday 3 December: Term 4 Concludes K-12

Friday 4 December: Staff Development Day


After School Care provider – TheirCare


After School Care for Gawura Students

TheirCare is the new After School Care provider for St Andrew’s Cathedral School and Gawura School. They have offered free after school care for Indigenous students on the Gawura scholarship which also includes Vacation Care during the school holidays. All you need to do is register your child online. The prices stated below do not apply to Gawura students. Gawura students can attend for free as long as you enrol and let them know that your child will be attending.

If you have any questions about TheirCare or would like to enrol your child, please contact Lianna or Rebecca.

Liana Wotton – St Andrew’s Area Manager 
M. 0455 552 231

Rebecca  - St Andrew’s Coordinator (day to day contact)
M. 0407 895 967 (Operating hours only)


Library News


International Games Week

We’ve had a fantastic week in the library for International Games Week. It is always a highlight of the school year as we join over a thousand libraries around the world and transform our libraries with play. This year we enjoyed a host of old-school games. Using the Wii to play Mario Kart was like gaming in the ‘olden days’ for most of our kids. We also enjoyed dusting off some other old favourites like Dominos, Twister, Chinese checkers and Monopoly. We normally spend a big chunk of every day playing in our library, so that for us, International Games Week becomes the culmination of a whole year of fun!

Learning, playing and reading with your kids,

Nicole Cotter
JS & GS Coordinator of Information and Digital Literacy


Music News



Congratulations to the following students on their recent examination results:

  • Lucy Lin - Pass with High Distinction in Music Craft Preliminary Grade
  • Anthony Wu – Pass with High Distinction in Saxophone Grade 3 Repertoire
  • Alexandra Lazaridis – P Plate Piano 1

Congratulations also to the piano players who performed at a masterclass with Simon Tedeschi last week. This performance was of an excellent standard and we were fortunate to host Simon at SACS.

  • Anthony Wu
  • Jeddy Sam
  •  David Kim
  • Hiroki Takahashi-Zhong

Well done to those students who participated in the Art/Music Christmas Card Competition.

The winners were:

  • Oscar Xu – Music Card
  • Lillian Smallwood – Junior School Card


Kate Roberston
Head of Music (K 6)


Sports News


We're back!

It’s been a very exciting start to Term 4 with interschool sport getting underway again! We’re back at Queens Park on Thursday afternoons doing cricket and T-ball as part of our regular sporting program. The students certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves and we had plenty of highlights.

Our Saturday sport program has also begun, with girls basketball, boys basketball and cricket have their first round of fixtures. We had mixed results across the 5 teams competing, but it was good to see them all back in action and making the most of what’s been missing over the past couple of months. I look forward to seeing how much they develop over the rest of term!

Tony Dunseath
Assistant Year 8 Coordinator, Curriculum Coordinator, JS Teacher


Parenting Tips


7 Secrets to Raising a Happy Child.

By Marguerite Lamb from Explore Parents.

Marguerite Lamb has written this excellent article some years ago but it still has helpful ideas for us, as parents, today.

“We all want the same things for our kids. We want them to grow up to love and be loved, to follow their dreams, to find success. Mostly, though, we want them to be happy. But just how much control do we have over our children's happiness?  Some children have a happy nature whereas other can be quite grumpy. But that doesn't mean their ultimate happiness is predetermined, assures Bob Murray, Ph.D., author of Raising an Optimistic Child: A Proven Plan for Depression-Proofing Young Children—for Life (McGraw-Hill). "There may be a genetic propensity for depression, but our genes are malleable and can be switched on or off depending on the environment," he says. "The research clearly shows that happy, optimistic children are the product of happy, optimistic homes, regardless of genetic makeup."

What can you do to create a home where your child's happiness will flourish?

1. Foster connections
The surest way to promote your child's lifelong emotional well-being is to help them feel connected—to you, other family members, friends, neighbours, daycare providers, even to pets. "A connected childhood is the key to happiness," says Edward Hallowell, M.D., child psychiatrist and author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness.

Provide chances for them to form loving connections with others, advises sociologist Christine Carter, Ph.D., executive director of the University of California at Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, an organisation devoted to the scientific understanding of happiness. "We know from 50 years of research that social connections are an incredibly important, if not the most important, contributor to happiness," Carter says. "And it's not just the quality, but also the quantity of the bonds: the more connections your child makes, the better."

2. Don't try to make your child aappy
It sounds counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do for your child's long-term happiness may be to stop trying to keep them happy in the short-term. "If we put our kids in a bubble and grant them their every wish and desire, that is what they grow to expect, but the real world doesn't work that way," says Bonnie Harris, founder of Core Parenting.

Parents who feel responsible for their kids' emotions have great difficulty allowing them to experience anger, sadness, or frustration. We swoop in immediately to give them whatever we think will bring a smile or to solve whatever is causing them distress. Unfortunately, Harris warns, children will never learn to deal with negative emotions.

3. Nurture your happiness
While we can't control our children's happiness, we are responsible for our own. And because children absorb everything from us, our moods matter. Happy parents are likely to have happy kids, while children of depressed parents suffer twice the average rate of depression, Murray observes. Consequently, one of the best things you can do for your child's emotional well-being is to attend to yours: carve out time for rest and relaxation.

4. Praise the right stuff
Not surprisingly, studies consistently link self-esteem and happiness. Our children can't have one without the other. It's something we know intuitively, and it turns many of us into overzealous cheerleaders. Our child scribbles and we declare him a Picasso, scores a goal and he's the next Beckham, adds 1 and 2 and he's ready for Mensa. But this sort of "achievement praise" can backfire. They will become afraid that if they don't succeed, they’ll fall off the pedestal and their parents won't love them anymore." "Praise the effort rather than the result,"

5. Allow for success and failure
Of course, if you really want to bolster your child's self-esteem, focus less on compliments and more on providing them with ample opportunities to learn new skills. Mastery, not praise, is the real self-esteem builder, Dr. Hallowell says. While it can be difficult to watch our kids struggle, they'll never know the thrill of mastery unless we allow them to risk failure. Few skills are perfected on a first try.

6. Give real responsibilities
The more you can convey to your child that they are making a unique contribution to the family, from an early age, the greater their sense of self-worth and their ultimate happiness.

7. Practice habitual gratitude
Finally, happiness studies consistently link feelings of gratitude to emotional well-being. Talking regularly about things we are grateful for fosters positive emotions and it really can lead to lasting happiness."

Some great advice here…love number 4…my grandkids are awesome but perhaps not as gifted as I think!  😊

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 5 Leader


Just Knits


Thank you

A big thank you to everyone from the SACS community who has been contributing to the Just Knits projects this year. We’ve had numerous blankets put together by generous students, parents and grandparents (a particular thanks to Julia Smith of Year 7 and her mum, Ms Petra Kleegraefe, Sarah Baines of Year 6 and her mum Ms Jo Baines, Mrs Louise Bersten, and Ms Katie Kershaw for your recent efforts and donations!) If you are knitting along at home, our squares are 8ply on 5mm or needles, cast on 25 stitches and knit until it forms a square. Our blankets will be donated to people in need to bring some Christmas cheer.

Donations and finished blankets can be dropped at reception care of Lizzie Skipsey.

Lizzie Skipsey
7-12 Service Learning Coordinator, English Teacher


Anglicare Toys 'n' Tucker Hampers


 As an annual event, SACS has worked alongside Toys ‘n’ Tucker Anglicare Sydney to sort and pack Christmas food and toy hampers for families in need. In previous years, Year 10 students' would volunteer at the Anglicare Warehouse in Villawood to help pack these hampers, although, due to the COVID crisis this cannot happen. However, Covid doesn’t stop SACS from showing generosity and kindness and demonstrating God’s love by providing food and toys to those who would otherwise go without. Therefore, St Andrew’s Year 10 students' will organise food and pack Christmas Hampers at School, so they can continue to help these families in need.

Canterbury and St Paul’s Houses have combined their skills to organise fundraising for Hamper packing and they are seeking the assistance and generous donations from parents and students help to execute this very important cause to those who are less fortunate.

To help raise money for these hampers, there will be an email sent out in the coming days with the try booking link if you would like to donate. There will also be a day where students can contribute and bring in a gold coin on a designated day. Further information regarding this day will be posted soon.

For more information on Toys ‘n’ Tucker Anglicare visit a video link here:

Alex Banning-Taylor & Lily Granger
Canterbury and St Paul’s Year 10 Community Service team


Gawura guessing competition


Celebrate NAIDOC week

Support our Indigenous School. Guess the NAIDOC Week theme and you could win.

Win a beautiful work by Wiradjuri woman, Peta-Joy Williams (Former Gawura and Junior School Wiradjuri teacher).

Tickets: only $10

Proceeds will go towards cultural resources for Gawura students.

Prizes drawn on Friday 13 November, 2020.

Competition Details:

Guess the NAIDOC Week 2020 theme, "Always ___ Always Will Be."

Click here to Purchase tickets. It’s quick and convenient.

Prizes drawn on Friday 13 November, 2020 and  all proceeds will go towards cultural resources for Gawura students.

Please share this with your family, friends and community.

Thank you for your support to Gawura.


Virtual Christmas Choir


Come and join the SACS & Gawura Virtual Community Christmas Choir

Students, parents, Old Andreans, Hessians and staff are invited to register your interest in joining the choir by Wednesday 28 October and you will receive all the information you need to sing your heart out.

You can fill out an expression of interest form by visiting the SACS OAA Facebook page and following the link to the expression of interest form. You can find the SACS FB page by typing in the link:

Join us for some Christmas cheer!


"The Outlet" at the Anglican Church Rozelle


Sunday's at 9.30am - students welcome

If you have a high school student and they are looking to work through some of those more curly questions about Jesus, God, or how the bible fits together, they can join The Outlet on Sunday at 9.30am which will run until end of term 4. The Outlet is held at the Anglican Church, 668 Darling Street, Rozelle and runs at the same time as church service from 9.30am -10.45am.  There are also activities for Junior School and Pre-school children. Come along, meet new friends, get involved, contribute, and have some fun in the process.

A youth band practices directly afterwards for anybody interested in getting involved in music. Parents are welcome to join the main church service.

Please contact Byron Patching via email or phone 0411 511 914 for more information.


NSW Health Message


NSW Health Clarification provided to schools - identifying and responding to unwell students

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste, and loss of smell), even mild symptoms, should not be at school.
  • Where a student is unwell, arrangements should be made to send them home.
  • Schools should encourage parents to arrange for the student who is unwell to be tested so they can return to school as soon possible once their symptoms have resolved to minimise the absence from school. For people who are unwell with respiratory symptoms, a negative COVID-19 test result must be received and sighted by the school.
  • If, after testing negative, the student has ongoing symptoms which persist beyond 10 days, the student should see their doctor. The medical assessment should consider whether the symptoms are typical for that person (for example seasonal, allergic rhinitis), and provide documentation for the school if this is the case. If there are new symptoms at any time, the person should be tested again.
  • Some parents have reported concerns with obtaining COVID test results. Where a parent/carer is unwilling to allow their child to undertake a COVID test or provide the school with a negative COVID-19 test result, the student is to be excluded from school for a 10 day period. Additionally, the student must have been symptom free for at least 3 days before returning to school.

P&F Presents


The branches of the SACS family tree

Have you ever wondered how all the different parts of SACS fit together, and what they all do? What are the School Council and Foundation responsible for? What is the relationship between the school, the Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese? How do the P&F, OAA and Hessians fit in? How does the School Executive work with all these groups?

P&F Presents the branches of the SACS family tree will answer these questions, provide an insight into the various different groups that together contribute to making SACS the school it is.

The P&F Executive and Dr Collier will be joined by guest panellists including:

• Rev Kanishka Raffel – Chair of School Council and Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral
• Ms Nicola Warwick-Mayo – Executive Director of School Services
• Ms Lyn Jarvis – Director of Community Engagement

Details of how to log on to the event, will be provided closer to the event date.


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.


Resources for COVID-19


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