Edition 182 - Friday 18th November 2022

From the Principal

Thank you to our Prefect Body and Ms Verity Ackling, Prefect Coordinator, who ran a highly successful and engaging Prefect Afternoon Tea. With over 120 students from over 50 schools it was wonderful to receive positive feedback from all concerned.

Thank you to everyone that attended our P&C meeting last week and thank you to our wonderful CAPA teachers for such a spectacular presentation. We are endeavouring to add sound to the presentation so that it can be shared again and stored on our website. Special thanks to Ms Kate Tapp, Head Teacher of Creative and Performing Arts and Mr Aleksander Stojanovic, Music Teacher for attending and sharing the presentation with us.

At the P&C meeting, parents were asking us to make it easier for families to donate to the “Science Laboratory Refurbishment” fund raising project and we did send a direct link to families with the option of donating a small amount or changing the amount. Please do not feel under any pressure to make this payment but we really do appreciate donations at this crucial time of our refurbishment. To donate at any time for our science labs, families can go on to the parent payment portal and make a donation to the NSGHS Foundation. Over the past week we have had over $5000 donated – we are so appreciative of this commitment to our STEM facilities. Please note all donations to the foundation are tax deductible and a receipt will be issued.

This week we held our Year 12 Parent Interviews and I would like to thank our teachers, parents and students for attending the meetings and working together to help achieve each individual student’s goals. We are again seeing record numbers of parents being able to access interviews.

Thank you to our SRC who ran a combined event with NSB on Thursday afternoon to allow our junior students to socialise while playing games and trivia. Thank you to Ms O’Brien who is our coordinator.

On Tuesday we celebrated our Student Representative Council and Charities and Social Justice Council induction. It was wonderful to celebrate with a large audience of students (Year 10 and 11) and junior students joining us on zoom. It was also lovely to see a return of a small number of parents. I would like to share my speech with you below:

Good Afternoon Students, Teachers and Parents,

This week is National Reconciliation Week and the theme “Be Brave. Make Change.” is very appropriate for our Leadership Induction today.

“Be Brave. Make Change” is a challenge to all Australians (every individual, family, community, school, organisation and government) to be brave and tackle the “unfinished business of reconciliation” so that we can make change for the benefit of all Australians.

I ask both incoming councils and every individual here today to also commit to this bravery and to making change. As a school we have begun the process of creating a Reconciliation Action Plan and I encourage any student passionate about the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to join our team and help create this plan.

We have seen in the recent Federal Election the power of the local community. One person standing as an independent would find it very difficult to get elected to Federal Parliament but this one person supported by thousands of local voices - all with the same message - has proven that collective action really can achieve results.

As an individual with so many gifts and privileges it is your responsibility to use your voice – here at school, at home, in your community, across the globe. It is important that we advocate for those that find it harder to do so. It is always hard to stand up to a bully or tackle and injustice, but it is the right thing to do.

Recently a young person (NSG) witnessed a horrible example of bullying on a train station and was not able to do anything at the time as it would have been unsafe to do so. However she was able to come to me with the evidence of the bullying and we were able to share with the other school. We will never know the outcome of our report but I know, as does this young person, that she stood up for what was right and we hope that the aggressors were shown that their behaviour to a fellow peer was not acceptable.

The themes of our SRC and Charities Councils are not only motivating but inspirational. As Jenevieve has said the SRC of 2020-2021 did focus on ‘all the little things’ and made us feel that we belonged to a community even when we were apart. Charities and Social Justice strived to ‘surge’ and did so against incredible obstacles. However, never was it a more appropriate time to advocate against injustice and provide charity to those that needed it. I would like to acknowledge our outgoing councils led by Hiba and Jenevieve and congratulate them on their many successes and for being such positive role models that continue to unite our community and make us stronger.

Congratulations to our incoming councils who have already made a huge impact on our school. “We will be stronger together” is a theme that aims to unite and solidify the bond of friendship that exists across the school. Please take this theme into your heart as it is a motto that will serve you well as you move through life. Felicia, congratulations to you and your SRC team and we look forward to many more great events to come.

Congratulations also to Alyssa and the incoming Charities and Social Justice Council. The theme “dare to spark change” is a challenge to all of us. The Charities and Social Justice council is only as effective as the school community that joins with them in advocating for change, raising awareness of injustice and raising funds to address inequality.

We ask each individual to commit to making Charities Day this term the most successful day to date. The council are determined to involve every student and we ask that you lead your group to ensure the success of your part of the day. It is very hard to bring back a tradition that our Year 7 and 8 students have not seen – but let’s do it to the very best of our ability. If we work together and combine our strength we will dare to spark change.

As individuals we need big goals, we need to be passionate about achieving them and we need to make plans (small, step by step plans) to make things happen. Nothing happens without hard work and without team work. In life if we work together, if we put in the effort, we will see the rewards but there are no short cuts, no cheat keys, no easy fixes.

Let us aim high - but let’s aim high together.

Ad Altiora

Wishing everyone a wonderful fortnight ahead.

Megan Connors