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Please note: This post is from our website archive. Some of the information within this post may now be out-of-date.

From the (Acting) Principal, Ms Gabby Smith

Deputy Principal - Students, Gabrielle Smith

Deputy Principal - Students, Ms Gabrielle Smith

Recognising Edmund Rice Day

On Thursday, 4 May we celebrated the life of our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice. You can read more in the Nurrunga article here by (Acting) Deputy Principal – Students, Mr Steve O’Donnell.

It was also wonderful to hear from Axel Stapleton (Year 8) and Ms Silvia Baylie, Ecology Coordinator of the Students of the World Ecology Group, and some of the initiatives they are working on. It is important we all work together to support the below initiatives:

College Recycling Bins

  • Recycling – we have clearly labelled the bins around the College and we ask that all students ensure they use the correct bins for their waste.
  • Eliminating Littering – there are a sufficient number of bins around the College, and we ask that students use these rather than dropping their rubbish on the ground. This rubbish is ending up in stormwater drains and ultimately, our oceans.
  • Eliminating the use of single use plastics in our canteen – unfortunately, plastic waste continues to increase year on year in Australia. We’re working with our canteen to eliminate single use plastic. The wrapping we currently use for some items will be changing.
  • Reducing our water consumption Sydney Water are planning to audit the College’s water usage. Through their findings, we will work together to find ways to reduce the amount of water we are using. 
  • Increasing native gardens – the Ecology Group made a wonderful start on this last year, with native plants added to the Centenary Quad. It’s really important to introduce native plants into our local area to attract bees and wildlife. We are looking to expand our playground areas with native gardens.
  • Edmund Rice Global Classroom this is an exciting initiative, where we connect to schools in other countries to learn from each other and work towards the UN sustainability goals. 

The Ecology Group will continue to keep us updated throughout the year on these projects, but they welcome any students to come along to their meetings and get involved. Congratulations to all Students of the World Ecology Group who received their badges today.

John “Gurri-Mudra” Kelly (Uncle John) Shares Aboriginal Culture and Knowledge

On Monday, Elder and visual storyteller Uncle John, passionately shared his culture with students of all ages in the Conlon art rooms. Uncle John is from the Dunghutti Nation in Kempsey on the mid north coast, where he says around 17,000 Aboriginal people live.

When he was young, he was taught to be his own mentor. His father was the first National Parks and Wildlife ranger and he followed in the footsteps of his mother, who is also a talented artist. Uncle John explained that as he grew up, he was nurtured by four generations of learning and listening; from his father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Uncle John Gurri Kelly visit in May 2023

Uncle John has achieved a great deal in his life and is father to 11 children and 26 grandchildren! His artistic achievements are wide-reaching and he told us that in 2004 he was asked to create charcoal drawings to send back to Nelson Mandela (anti-apartheid activist and politician who served as the first president of South Africa 1994-99) in South Africa.

Uncle John has also worked as an artist for the annual Deadly Awards (2004-07) and was the first Aboriginal artist to have his work permanently hung in NSW Parliament House in the Bunyip Waratah Room. His work tells of the traditions and stories of the people of Dunghutti country. Uncle John told us that his work sells for pretty high prices!

Uncle John Gurri Kelly visit in May 2023

Uncle John said that his uncle had taught him about painting by going into caves. He explained the process of ochre painting, its many different colours, and how it is crushed, mixed with water, and put in the mouth to then spray over rock. He said that some handprints in Australia are 65,000 years old. He teaches his grandchildren to share all their knowledge with others and said that he is always painting because he is always sharing.

He also shared a sad story about how when he was young, he and other Aboriginal kids were only allowed to be taken in to the picture/movie theatre once it was dark, so he never saw the start or the end of a movie.

Uncle John Gurri Kelly visit in May 2023

Uncle John spoke about the specialness of his praying mantis totem and then helped students to each create a school totem. Uncle Kevin (our Indigenous Liaison Officer) handed out canvas, stencils and sponges and Uncle John asked students to make sure they remembered the name of their totem. Uncle Kevin and Ms Turnbull then mixed up the different colours of paint. Uncle John showed students how to carefully create dots using the end of the paintbrush. Students commented that their hands started shaking when they tried to paint the dots. The painting required a lot of concentration.

Uncle John Gurri Kelly visit in May 2023

Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition 

Congratulations to Harrison Rimell (Year 12), who represented the College at the annual Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition, held this year at The King’s School. The competition sees one representative from each of the CAS and GPS schools deliver an address. The students do not know what the topic is, and they are given 15 minutes to prepare for an eight-minute address. 

The topic that Harrison had to respond and speak to was: ‘Everything spoken should be true but not everything true should be spoken.’ Congratulations to the top three representatives who came from The King’s School (1st), Sydney Boys’ High (2nd), Newington (3rd).

Senior Ethics Olympiad – Congratulations 

The Ethics Olympiad was held on Thursday, 4 May. This competition promotes respectful, supportive, and rigorous discussion of ethics among thousands of high school students throughout Australasia. The Ethics Olympiad format is rooted in ongoing dialogue and deliberation: a series of two-way exchanges between equals. It is designed to get students thinking, talking, and ultimately working together on some of the toughest moral issues of our time.

Out of the 19 Sydney Metro senior school teams that participated, our Year 10 team placed 4th, and our Year 11 team placed 6th. 

Well done to our following participants: James Medland (Year 11), Lachlan Miranda (Year 11), Anton Svensson (Year 11), James Birbas (Year 11), Campbell Porteous (Year 11), Kayden Baker (Year 10), James Peate (Year 10), Zoltahn Szabo (Year 10), Archie Godby (Year 10), Yannick Hott (Year 10).

S.M.A.R.T Goals

S.M.A.R.T goals ensure that students set themselves up for success by making goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The SMART method helps push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you organise and reach your goals. I encourage you to talk to your sons about the goals they’re setting for themselves with their mentor, and take a look at the Term 2 S.M.A.R.T goals template on page 85 of the school diary.

SMART Goals Term 2

Early Finish for Senior School Students on Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Years 7-12 students will finish school at 2:30pm on Tuesday, 9 May. This is due to a Staff Professional Development meeting.

There will be no Co-curricular training on Tuesday afternoon. Morning training will still go ahead.