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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 4 Week 5, 2020
Always Was, Always Will Be.
Dates for your Calendar
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
After School Care provider – TheirCare
Library News
Music News
Sports News
Co-curricular Photos
Living Eggs
Parenting Tips
Celebrate NAIDOC Week
"The Outlet" at the Anglican Church Rozelle
NSW Health Message
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick, Term 4 Week 5, 2020


A very big welcome to NAIDOC Week for 2020. This year’s event was postponed from June to now and runs all this week from Sunday 8 November through to Sunday 15 November.

The theme for 2020 is Always Was, Always Will Be. Please see attached link below to view this years NAIDOC Week video which we had to move to be online due to Covid restrictions.

Our students have been practising for several weeks now and the finished product is wonderful. It celebrates all the amazing things that NAIDOC represents and what our Indigenous students have achieved. You will love the Gumbayngirr creation story. Click on the link in the section below which will take you straight to the video. This can be viewed again later so please let your family and friends know as well. It will also be across our social media platforms too.

I would like to thank Mrs Lavinia Williams and Mr Matt Hammond for the splendid work they did organising these activities and the tireless work of Mrs Karen Swibel who did all the editing in putting it together. There are NAIDOC Week activities happening all throughout the week across the various divisions of the school including Junior and Gawura Schools, Middle School and Senior College.

On Wednesday 28 October we managed to take all of our Indigenous students from Kindy to Yr 11 on our first Indigenous cultural excursion for the year. We visited the Sydney Botanic Gardens to participate in the Life of the Gadigal excursion. This was lead by Indigenous rangers who shared their knowledge on what life would have been like pre and post European arrival. The students learnt many valuable customs and traditions.

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


Always Was, Always Will Be.


We hope you can share in a little of our NAIDOC Celebrations this week by watching a very special video presentation we’ve prepared for you.

It will premiere at 9.30am on Tuesday 10 November. We will be watching it in class because we are unable to have our NAIDOC Assembly this year. We will very much miss having all of our family, friends and Gawura Community celebrate NAIDOC Week in person with us, so we hope you can watch with us on Tuesday.

You can watch the video from 9.30am on Tuesday 10 November on YouTube or Facebook with the following links.




Dates for your Calendar


Monday 9 - Friday 15 November; NAIDOC Week Celebrations

Monday 9 - Wednesday 11 November; Year 6 Crusaders Camp

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


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

Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Raising Boys

In this edition of SchoolTV, parents and carers will gain a better understanding of some of the more complex issues relating to raising boys. The male brain is distinctly differently in its development. A boy’s physical maturity is often at odds with his mental and brain development. Societal beliefs about how to raise boys can sometimes influence their adult carers. Although we are not determined by our biology, it is a factor. It is important to support boys in their natural tendencies and nurture their strengths and abilities. Teach them the skills they need for their future and to develop a healthy identity. It is important for boys to have a role model they can connect with and acknowledge who they are. One of the most important determinants for a boy’s development is how secure they feel growing up.

We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always 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 this month's edition:

SchoolTV is a SACS P&F funded initiative to support the parents and caregivers of our students.

Bronwyn Wake
Junior School Wellbeing Co-ordinator


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



We are very excited to be celebrating NAIDOC week in the library in all sorts of ways. Our library windows are now adorned with a beautiful mural that was painted over a number of weeks by a team of Gawura teachers and students. Thank you. We decided to use NAIDOC week to spotlight some of our favourite Indigenous authors (and illustrators). We will be hosting special games and activities during each lunchtime of the week and we are gearing up for an extra week of Storytelling when we participate in the First Nations Bedtime Stories Challenge during week 6. It is a joy to be able to honour, celebrate, listen to and learn from our First Nations Peoples.

NAIDOC week also coincides with Australian Reading Hour, so on Thursday of this week, we will add picnic blankets and teddy bears to the library over lunch. Students can kick their shoes off, lay out on a rug, grab a book and spend their lunchtime reading with the rest of Australia.

Celebrating culture, stories and reading together with you,

Nicole Cotter
JS & GS Coordinator of Information and Digital Literacy


Music News



Congratulations to the following students who have recently completed online AMEB Music Exams:

Aidan Watson – Honours – Grade 2 Oboe Repertoire
Zoe Lane – Honours – Grade 3 Oboe Repertoire
Taali Paku – High Distinction – Grade 2 Violin Repertoire
Chelsea Chow – Honours – Grade 3 Violin Repertoire

Thank you and congratulations to the members of all our ensembles who recorded items for our Ensemble Recording Day on Friday 6 November. We will share the link to the video to the parents of all participants once it is put together in the coming weeks.

Kate Roberston
Head of Music (K 6)


Sports News


In line with all things sport in 2020 we’ve had plenty of cancellations over the past couple of weeks, however, this time around it’s been due to weather. It’s disappointing for the students not to get out there and represent the school in various sports, but hopefully the forecast improves and we get some much needed game time before the end of the year!

What is impressive is the adaptability of the students and enthusiasm they have at even the smallest of opportunities.

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


Co-curricular Photos


Co-curricular photos are now available.  Order now!

An email has been sent out to all parents advising that photos are now available to order for our co-curricular teams.

You can complete the Order Form attached to the email or order online:

Enter the online order code:  20S1212PSB42S


Living Eggs


Kindergarten have been excited all year for the arrival of the Living Eggs. On Monday 26 October, 10 eggs arrived, many eager eyes watched over the next few days waiting for the moment when they hatched out of the eggs. We were lucky enough to have all 10 eggs hatch, Kindergarten are fantastic mother hens. We have loved watching them grow over the two weeks and are lucky to have found them a lovely new home in Wahroonga.

Claire Linnett
Kindergarten Grade Leader, JS Teacher


Parenting Tips


Problem solvers


Michael Grose, who I often quote when writing Parenting Tips, has asked this great question.
How can we raise kids to be courageous problem-solvers rather than self-critical, low risk-takers? He answered it with these six practical ideas:

1. Turn requests for help into problems for kids to solve
Kids get used to bringing their problems to parents to solve. If you keep solving them, they’ll keep bringing them. It’s tempting if you are in a time-poor family to simply jump in and help kids out. Alternatively, you can take a problem-solving approach, cuing them to resolve their own problems and take responsibility for their concerns.

2. Ask good questions to prompt problem-solving
A problem-solving approach relies on asking good questions, which can be challenging if you are used to solving your child’s problems. The first question when a child brings you a problem should be: “Can you handle this on your own?” Next should be, “What do you want me to do to help you solve the problem?” These questions are not meant to deter children from coming to you. Rather to encourage and teach them to start working through their own concerns themselves.

3. Coach them through problems and concerns
Imagine your child feels they were unfairly left out of a school sports team by a teacher and asks you get involved. The easiest solution may be to meet with the teacher and find out what’s going on. You may or not resolve the problem but in doing so you are teaching a child to become dependent on you.  Alternatively, you could coach your child to speak to the teacher themselves and find out why they were left out. Obviously, there are times when children need their parents to be advocates for them such as when they are being bullied, but we need to make the most of the opportunities for children to speak for themselves. Better to help your children find the right words to use and discuss the best way to approach another person when they have problems. These are great skills to take into adulthood.

4. Prepare kids for problems and contingencies
You may coach your child to be independent – walk to school, spend some time alone at home (when old enough), catch a train with friends – but do they know what to do in an emergency? What happens if they come home after school and the house is locked? Who do they go to? Discuss different scenarios with children whenever they enter new or potentially risky situations so that they won’t fall apart when things don’t go their way.

5. Show a little faith
Sometimes you’ve got to show faith in children. We can easily trip them up with our negative expectations such as saying “Don’t spill it!” to a child who is carrying a glass filled with water. Of course, your child doesn’t want to spill it, but you’ve just conveyed your expectations with that statement. We need to be careful that we don’t sabotage children’s efforts to be independent problem-solvers with comments such as, “Now don’t stuff it up!”, “You’ll be okay, won’t you?”

6. Applaud mistakes and stuff ups
Would a child who accidentally breaks a plate while emptying the dishwasher be met with a ‘that’s really annoying, you can be clumsy sometimes’ response or a ‘it doesn’t matter, thanks for your help’ type of response? Hopefully it won’t be the first response, because nothing shuts down a child’s natural tendencies to extend themselves quicker than an adult who can’t abide mistakes. If you have a low risk-taking, perfectionist child, consider throwing a little party rather than making a fuss when they make errors so they can learn that mistakes don’t reflect on them personally, and that the sun will still shine even if they break a plate, tell a joke that falls flat or doesn’t get a perfect exam score.

“As I’ve often said your job as a parent is to make yourself redundant (which is different to being irrelevant) at the earliest possible age. The ability to sort and solve your own problems, rather than step back and expect others to resolve them, is usually developed in childhood. With repetition and practice problem-solving becomes a valuable life-pattern, to be used in the workplace, in the community and in family relationships.”
Such wonderful and positive advice that I hope you think about some of these suggestions and that you may feel inclined to have a go at using some of them.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 5 Leader


Celebrate NAIDOC Week


NAIDOC Guessing Competition

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 Was, 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.


Emerging Leaders Panel Discussion - Always Was, Always Will Be


Join us for a panel discussion

Join a panel of emerging leaders as they discuss this year's NAIDOC theme: Always Was, Always Will Be.

Hosted by Gawura and Macquarie Group, our wonderful panel of speakers inlcude:

  • Amy Thunig
  • Thomas Mayor
  • Michael Kirk

Event Details:

Date:    Friday 13 November
Time:   12.00pm-1.00pm

RSVP:  Click here and a link will be sent to you

This event will be live streamed for more information please visit:

Gawura thanks Macquarie Group and the Macquarie Group Foundation for their generosity in hosting this event and fundraising for our school.


"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.

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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