The Auracle – Vol. 26, July 2018

From the principal’s desk

As Semester 1 draws to a close, I reflect again with pride and admiration on the outstanding work of the students and staff of Aurora College. I see evidence of this work in many forms, including in this and every edition of The Auracle, and also in the Semester 1 student reports distributed to parents in the last weeks of this term.

Parents of Aurora College students receive three reports each year, issued via email and the Sentral parent portal ( The Term 1 interim report indicates how your child has begun the new academic year and identifies the areas in which he or she might require further attention or support. The Semester 1 and Semester 2 reports are full ‘academic’ reports. These reports show the progress your child is making towards achieving specific course outcomes and they help you understand how we can work together to support your child’s future learning.

Masterclasses in June included one delivered from CERN in Switzerland by Professor Markus Nordberg (pictured) and the other from CSIRO in Hobart by Dr Chris Wilcox.

I am sure you will agree that effective teacher-parent relationships can help foster student engagement in their learning. Kate Perkins, a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), wrote in an online article about how research identifies clear, measurable benefits for children when their parents are actively engaged in their learning:

“These studies demonstrate that the children are more likely to develop positive self-esteem, be motivated to learn, be positive about school and achieve good grades. Adolescents are less likely to have discipline issues, get involved in substance abuse or drop out of school. Young people are more likely to maintain high aspirations and plan to go on to further education and build a career.”

Perkins says that parents need to know they can make a big difference when they:

  • hold high expectations for their children;
  • show interest in the things their children are interested in;
  • value learning and model the behaviours of successful learners;
  • give specific, rather than general, praise; and
  • establish routines that promote health, well-being and regular study.

I thank all parents who took the time to meet with our classroom teachers on the Parent-Teacher evenings held this week. Feedback from staff emphasised the high level of interest and support our parents show in the progress of our students.

Of course, Parent-Teacher evenings are just one avenue to check on the progress of your child and to build effective teacher-parent relationships. I encourage parents who may have concerns about the progress of their child at any time to contact the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email I remind parents that we are able to arrange one-on-one tutorial support for any student who is in need of extra assistance with their studies.

For course-specific concerns, students and parents may also choose to contact the relevant Head Teacher directly via email:

  • Carolyn McMurtrie (Head Teacher, English, LOTE and HSIE)
  • Kathy Howard (Head Teacher, Mathematics and Software Design and Development)
  • Silvia Rudmann (R/Head Teacher, Science and Agriculture)

Meeting the commitment we made to our State Reference Group, the 2019 Partner School Information page of our website went ‘live’ on Wednesday 20 June 2018. Available on the Partner School Information page is the common timetable template for 2019 and a range of related support documents. Throughout Semester 2, Aurora staff will work with colleagues in our partner schools to plan for and support the curriculum of our shared enrolments.

Once again, a range of initiatives will assist our partners in this endeavour, including targeted timetabling support via our own staff and at our cost with external timetabling consultants. The Partner School Information page is at I invite all community members to review the documents on this page.

The enrolment process for entry into Aurora College in 2019 is now well underway. Students who applied for entry into Year 7 can expect a letter of outcome from the High Performing Students Unit from 6 July 2018. Applications for enrolment in:

  • Years 8, 9 and 10 opened 22 June 2018 and close on 27 July 2018
  • Year 11 open 18 July 2018 and close 26 October 2018
  • Year 12 open 18 July 2018 and close 24 August 2018.

For further information, please visit

To support students in their Stage 6 subject choices, Aurora College will host a Stage 6 Subject Information Evening via Adobe Connect at 7:00 pm on Wednesday 1 August 2018. I encourage all current Years 10 students and their parents to join us for this meeting. Any current Year 11 students that may be considering taking additional courses with Aurora for their HSC year should also attend. For instructions on how to connect and to register your attendance, please go to

Enjoy the school holidays!

Chris Robertson  | Principal

Deputy’s report

We have had a very busy few weeks as staff completed reports and conducted parent interviews. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents who made appointments to speak with teachers about their child’s progress this semester. If you missed out on this opportunity, please feel free to arrange an interview by contacting the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email

School discipline code

It is an expectation that Aurora College students will behave in a manner that reflects well on Aurora College at all times. Below are the core rules that all students in NSW are expected to follow. Aurora College’s School Discipline Code incorporates these core rules.

Core rules

All students in NSW Government schools are expected to:

  • attend every school day, unless they are legally excused, and be in class on time and prepared to learn
  • maintain a neat appearance, including adhering to the requirements of the school’s uniform or dress code policy
  • behave safely, considerately and responsibly, including when travelling to and from school
  • show respect at all times for teachers, other school staff and helpers, including following class rules, speaking courteously and cooperating with instructions and learning activities
  • treat one another with dignity and respect
  • care for property belonging to themselves, the school and others.

Behaviour that infringes on the safety of others, such as harassment, bullying and illegal or anti-social behaviour of any kind, will not be tolerated. Source: Core Rules – Student discipline in NSW Government Schools

School rules

When a student enrols with Aurora College, they become a shared enrolment of two schools. It is an expectation that our students will behave in a manner that reflects well on Aurora College and their home school at all times.

Amelie Robinson (driving one of the new telepresence robots) visiting Mr Robertson and Ms Cluff at the coordinating office. See the Tip from a techie section for information about this new innovation.

Students should:

  • Be prepared to engage in learning, by:
    • showing a positive attitude
    • having the correct equipment for every lesson
    • doing their best at all times
    • arriving to class on time
  • Respect themselves and others, by:
    • accepting responsibility for the choices they make
    • treating all people with respect
    • using appropriate language and actions
    • following teachers’ instructions at all times
    • being responsible for looking after their own property and school property
    • respecting the property of others
  • Behave safely, by:
    • following class rules
    • caring for themselves and others
    • behaving in a way that does not put themselves or others at risk
    • negotiating and resolving conflicts

Appropriate and acceptable use of internet and online communication services

As heavy users of the internet and online communication services provided by the NSW Department of Education, all Aurora College students must abide by the Department’s conditions of acceptable usage.

Online Communication Services: Acceptable Usage for School Students lists three key areas of responsibility for students when working in the college’s virtual learning environment. These relate to:

  • Access and security
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Intellectual property and copyright

What’s coming up next term?

  • Term 3 Aurora classes commence on Tuesday 24 July 2018.
  • Stage 6 Subject Information Evening on Wednesday 1 August 2018 from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm. Click here for further details and to register for the event.
  • Outcome advice for Year 7 (2019) applicants will be sent early Term 3 by the High Performing Students Unit.
  • Applications for enrolment in Years 8 to 10 (2019) opened 22 June 2017 and close 27 July 2017.
  • Applications for enrolment in Year 11 (2019) open 18 July 2017 and close 26 October 2017.
  • Applications for enrolment in Year 12 (commencing Term 4, 2018) open 18 July 2017 and close 24 August 2017.

For further information, please visit

Virginia Cluff  | R/Deputy Principal

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HSC study days

The 2018 HSC Study Days series was launched successfully with the Software Design and Development study day held on Tuesday 19 June. There was an 80% increase in student participation numbers for this subject, compared to last year and we look forward to further growth.

Sincere thanks to the presenters who shared their expertise, insight and tips on how best to tackle content, approach exams and move up a mark range in the HSC exams.

Programs, payment instructions and links to register for each of the events is available on the ‘Learn With Us’ tab on the Aurora website at These events are free for year 12 Aurora students.

Hope to see you there!

Kate Thompson | Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Stage 6 subject information evening

Students enrolled in rural and remote NSW government schools who wish to study a Stage 6 course with Aurora College in 2019 can submit an application from Wednesday 18 July 2018.

Students may apply to study one or more Stage 6 subjects with Aurora College. View the list of subjects offered in 2019.

This year, Aurora College will host a Stage 6 Subject Information Evening on Wednesday 1 August 2018 from 7:00 pm in Adobe Connect.

During this meeting, students and parents will be able to speak to Head Teachers and classroom teachers about the Stage 6 subjects on offer in 2019. For information on how to connect and to register your attendance, please visit

The Aurora College Enrolment Principles outlines the principles and processes that will be applied when students seek to enrol in one or more Stage 6 courses with Aurora College.

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Science Extension Stage 6

A new HSC course in 2019 is Science Extension. This course was created by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) with the aim of engaging students with complex scientific concepts and theories.

Students studying this course will critically evaluate new ideas, discoveries and contemporary scientific research. Students are challenged to examine a scientific research question influenced by their study of one or more of the scientific disciplines. Students extend their knowledge of the discipline(s), conduct authentic scientific investigations, and uniquely for this course, produce a detailed scientific research report that reflects the standards generally required for publication in a scientific journal (NESA – Science Extension Syllabus 2017).

Aurora College will offer Science Extension in 2019. We hope to attract applications from suitable rural and remote students who wish to engage in higher levels of scientific research with the aim of pursuing a STEM-based career.

Dr Goldrick and Dr Rudmann will lead the teaching of Science Extension at Aurora College. They each have extensive experience in conducting scientific research and between them they have more than 10 years of experience in supervising honours and postgraduate students. Both teachers have lectured at universities and were consultants in private research industries in Australia and overseas.

Science Extension classes will be held on Wednesday mornings in period ‘0’ (8:00 am start) from the beginning of Term 4, 2018. This timeslot is allocated to avoid clashes with current senior studies in partner schools. Lessons will be delivered via Adobe Connect and will utilise Microsoft TEAMS, OneNote and Stile platforms.

If you are interested in this subject for Year 12 (commencing in Term 4, 2018), visit the Aurora College enrolment website. If you have any questions, please contact our office on 1300 287 629.

Silvia Rudmann  | R/ Head Teacher Science

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Science news

Congratulations to all our science students for their Semester 1 reports. Comments from teachers reflected the effort that students are making to achieve their best. Keep up the good work next semester!

ASTRA Challenge 

The answer to the last challenge was ‘2 pairs, in circular testing’. Heidi Parkin (Year 7, Parkes High School) was the first correct answer. Congratulations, Heidi. Triple ASTRAs for you!

Here is the new challenge: Should the central circle in the diagram to the right contain one dot or two dots inside? (You have 6 minutes to answer it!)

(From Brain training – right-brain puzzles 2018)

Interesting facts

Every year (even every hour!) new scientific facts arise from data collected by the amazing technologies that we are able to create and manipulate. Review these latest facts.

And for those physicists out there, here is an interesting article about the physics behind knitting, published in the Cosmos magazine .

Silvia Rudmann  | R/ Head Teacher Science


On Tuesday 5 June, we were very fortunate to connect with physicist, Markus Nordberg, from CERN in Switzerland who talked about the large hadron collider and other current projects. 80% of students said it was a valuable experience to be able to hear directly from an expert and ask questions, 75% said it deepened their knowledge in science and 54% said it inspired them in science.  When students were asked what they most enjoyed, they responded with:

Dr Chris Wilcox delivered a masterclass on marine debris from his workplace in Hobart

  • “All of it, because Aurora is AWESOME!” – Heath
  • “Markus Nordberg’s personal journey to where he is today and how it was not originally in his life plan”
  • “The explanation of matter and anti-matter” – Nicholas

Another masterclass took place on the same day that Woolworths banned single-use plastic bags in NSW (Wednesday 20 June). Biologist, Chris Wilcox, from the CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere talked to Aurora students from his office in Hobart about marine debris and science.

We learned that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste, on average, enters the oceans each year. There is an accelerating trend though. Every 11 years, we double the amount of plastic that has been produced. Between now and 2029 we will make as much plastic as we have ever made before. The use of real data, real problems and real modelling used by CSIRO was particularly interesting – now we are called to action to drastically reduce our use of plastics.

86% of students who participated in this session said they thought it was a valuable experience hearing from Chris and a further 35% said they were inspired in this area as a result. Comments from students about what they liked the most included:

  • “It’s really cool to have someone so far away to teach us” – Angela
  • “I liked that we got the person who collected the data to speak to us, so it was easier to understand because he was better at explaining it.” – Alyssa
  • “Everything in this masterclass was great. I couldn’t possibly choose which part was the best!” – Aiden.

Upcoming masterclasses for students:

  • Tuesday 14 August at 9:30 am and 11:30 am (repeated session) – Dr Kate Rossmanith, author, essayist, and academic will share creative non-fiction features and techniques,
  • Wednesday 29 August at 9:30 am and 11:30 am (repeated session) – Macquarie University Future Student Ambassadors will talk to Aurora students about university entrance, study pathways and new degree offerings, portraying the student experience throughout.
  • Tuesday 18 September at 11:30 am – Lead Scientist of the Restore and Renew project, Dr Maurizio Rosetto, will talk about applying the latest genetic technology to conservation in a way that could revolutionise bush regeneration practices.
  • Thursday 20 September at 11:30 am – an expert curator from the State Library of NSW will share items from the priceless Shakespeare collection and the fascinating stories behind them.

Parent webinars

Details and further information will be emailed to parents next term about the following sessions.

  • Wednesday 22 August at 7:00 pm (TBC) – ThinkUKnow will provide an udpate on the latest cyber safety information.
  • Thursday 20 September at 7:00 pm – Managing Adolescent Anxiety, presented by the Centre for Emotional Health.

Kate Thompson  | Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Spotlight on … Tegan Morgan

Tegan at the Leaning Tower of Pisa- Italy

Where was your previous teaching appointment?

During my teaching degree at the University of New England in Armidale, I taught at a number of schools in the North West and on the North Coast, where my Mum and Dad live. After graduating, I was permanently appointed as an English teacher at Glen Innes High School – only an hour up the road from Armidale and I have been there ever since!

What is your local community like?

Glen Innes is COLD. It is situated in the mountains of the New England, and is one of the highest towns above sea level in Australia. As such, our winters can be very, very cold, with thick frosts, heavy fog and occasional snow. In saying that, once it hits 10 degrees, you will often see the locals crack out their t-shirts, shorts and thongs! Double digit temperatures are celebrated in the depths of winter!

Besides that, Glen Innes is famed as the Celtic capital of Australia. We have our very own Standing Stones (think Stonehenge or Outlander, only smaller) and celebrate the Australian Celtic Festival every May. It attracts visitors from all over the world who come to see jousting, highland dancing and listen to the pipe bands.

What’s your favourite subject to teach?

I have three teaching areas – English, Geography and Ancient History – and asking me to pick my favourite is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child. To me, they are all wonderful in their own way.

I enjoy teaching the humanities because their primary concern is the world around us – past, present and future. I only realised my passion for Ancient History in my senior years at high school, and geography at university, but English has always been a passion. I have always enjoyed reading and writing, and enjoy the creativity that the English syllabus allows. I love being able to share my passion with students in engaging and innovative ways that even the most reluctant student can’t help but enjoy.

What do you like about teaching at Aurora?

Tegan and her furbaby, Shilo

I teach a delightful Year 7 English class with students from Bathurst, Ulladulla and Moruya. It may sound cliché, but my students bring so much joy and laughter to my day, with their witty comments, thoughtful questions and outstanding writing. I have particularly enjoyed getting to know students – and staff – from areas of the state so different from my own. I also like the challenge of teaching in a unique online environment, and trying new things with my students that I may not be able to do in a conventional classroom setting. Aurora makes me excited about the future of rural and remote education, and I am very proud to be a part of it.

What are your other interests?

When I’m not at school, you will find me at live music gigs with friends, playing sport, reading a book in my hammock, watching Netflix, exploring the back roads of Glen Innes with my furbaby, Shilo, or dressing her up in ridiculous outfits! I also love to write, whether it’s a journal entry, a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, or a freelance article for Mamamia, I find writing incredibly cathartic and empowering.

In my holidays, I enjoy visiting my Mum and Dad on their beef cattle farm in Grafton, or travelling the world. So far, I have been to eight countries, and love coming home to share my travel snaps – and stories – with my family, friends and students!

Tegan Morgan | English Teacher

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Bright lights

Work experience in Melbourne

Georgina on work experience in Melbourne

Georgina Mildren (Year 10, Deniliquin High School) spent a week with Celia Fox for work experience during week 5. Cecilia Fox is a bespoke floral studio based in Melbourne (Brunswick). Deniliquin High School was very excited for Georgina to have exposure to this design studio that has a deep appreciation for nature. Georgina gained some fantastic insights as this florist/designer actually grows an abundance of her own flower/foliage in an urban setting.

Georgina said:

“It was a great experience to see what they get up to during the week with deliveries and events. I got to put together a few arrangements for clients and help around the city dropping them off. The opportunity to go to the city and experience the different atmosphere was so great, as it isn’t something I would be able to do at home.

Thank-you to Cecilia Fox for allowing me to join the team for a week.”

Rugby success

Shannon Bourke (Year 8, Nyngan High School) took to the rugby field recently, representing Nyngan High School in the Tom Kemp challenge against Gulgong High School. He and the team acquitted themselves very well, winning 56 to 4.

Shannon (Back row, 5 from left) with his Nyngan High School teammates

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Library report

Book Week

Book Week 2018 is fast approaching. We have the following shortlisted titles available in our digital school library for students to access.

Book of the Year: Older Readers (ages 13-18, for mature readers)

Mallee Boys Charlie Archbold
In the dark spaces Cally Black
Take three girls Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood
Because of you Pip Harry
The Secret science of magic Melissa Keil
Ballad for a mad girl Vikki Wakefield

Book of the Year: Younger Readers (ages 8-12)

How to bee Bren MacDibble
Henrietta and the perfect night Martine Murray
The shop at Hoopers Bend Emily Rodda

Students are encouraged to predict which title they think will be the ultimate winner! Email your vote to Mrs Taylor (

Bibliophiles Anonymous

As part of our move to Microsoft Teams, I have been sharing random “booknerd” fun facts and information with our students, via their English class team. Information regarding the Premier’s Reading Challenge and how to use and access our digital resources, are also being shared in this way.

Moving forward, the new resources newsletter (Ex Libris Aurora) will undertake a transformation, and new resources added to our digital library will be reviewed and promoted via English class teams. This will allow students to comment directly on the new resources in their English class team and for me to share the resources in a quicker time frame.

Cosmos Magazine Online

The latest in scientific research is available to our students via Cosmos Magazine Online. Access is via the OLIVER Library homepage in student’s DoE portal. Of particular interest this month, is the guide to checking if sources are reliable and how to unpack a scientific paper .

Kaylene Taylor | Teacher Librarian

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Student work samples

Year 7 Creative Writing

This term in Year 7, students have been studying Fantasy, exploring texts that fall into the genre. These students have been very lucky to be the first at Aurora College to use the program, ‘Minecraft Education Edition’, to visually represent a created fantasy world or world from a text they have studied in class.

This has been met with much enthusiasm as students have been able to show off their computing and creative prowess, running wild designing outlandish scenes and crazy contraptions. Whilst it has taken a little getting used to for some students (and teachers), the knowledge of the experienced Minecraft players in the classrooms has been invaluable and has allowed the students with an aptitude for technology and gaming to show off their skills.

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Students in Year 7 were also asked to write an imaginative and engaging  narrative incorporating all the important elements of storytelling (setting, plot, character,

narrative voice) which takes place in a particular culture or sub culture (such as contemporary Australian, rural, sporting or Indigenous cultures). Enjoy the following samples:

Lily Wilson-Starr (Year 7, Bega High School) – Gyru Girls

Morrow Taplin (Year 7,  Wauchope High School) – The Bush

Ruby Callaghan (Year 7, Dubbo College South Campus) – Milgay & Milgay

Year 8 Creative Writing

In Term 1, Year 8 students were asked to write an imaginative and suspenseful narrative which uses the conventions of the horror genre, such as character, plot, and settings. Here is a sample:

Aiden Alexander stacking books on his paper stem

Charlie Allen (Year 8, The Henry Lawson High School) – Assessment Task 1A

Genevieve White (Year 8, Billabong High School) – Missing

Jackson Stacey (Year 8, Canowindra High School) – Lost Connections 

Year 9 Creative Writing

Students in Year 9 had the opportunity to read a significant novel for their studies in English in Semester 1. There was a range of texts studied across the different classes, including: A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Night by Elie Wiesel.

These texts were closely analysed by students, in order to better understand the distinct context that influenced each author. Students demonstrated a mature approach to their study of context, maintaining an awareness of the changing needs of our world and demonstrating empathy towards those who have faced hardships. Their creative writing responses for Assessment Task 1 show us how deeply they engaged with a series of social justice issues, whilst also using sophisticated language in order to develop their own voice and reflection on events.

Enjoy the following samples:

David Ibbott (Year 9, Coonamble High School) – Madame Schachter

Leah Wiatkowski (Year 9, Coonamble High School) – Assessment Task 1A

Year 7 Science

Students in Year 7 have been learning about the structures contained in plant cells. Morrow Taplin (Year 7, Wauchope H.S) made a model cell and labled it in Photoshop.

Grace collecting minerals at Staurolite Ridge Mine

Lilly Wilson-Starr (Year 7, Bega H.S) was scientifically inspired to prepare ‘cell plant toast’ for breakfast. Who said that plants are not delicious to eat?

Excellent work Morrow and Lilly!

Year 8 Science

Year 8 classes recently completed simple STEM practicals during their Adobe Connect lessons to investigate the structure and strength of plant stems. Aidan Alexander (Year 8, Dubbo College South Campus) demonstrated that a stem made of 5 pieces of paper can support 35 books. Impressive!

A special thank you to Grace Cranby (Year 8, Willyama High School) who brought her collection of minerals along to her science class to show her classmates. Your presentation was excellent, Grace. We all enjoyed learning about the minerals that can be found around Broken Hill and the fun that you have at your mineral club.

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Connect locally, learn globally

Maya at the beach, as a mermaid.

Hi! My name is Maya Wicks. I am 13 years old and I live in a (sort of) small town called Kempsey. I live with my mum, dad, and my (extremely annoying) sister called Layla, who is 10 years old.

I also live with my cat, Gizmo. He is 6 years old and he means the world to me! He loves eating and sleeping, and he is always up for cuddles!

I am currently in Year 7 at both Aurora College and Kempsey High School. Kempsey High School is quite large, but I am the only one in the ENTIRE school that goes to Aurora College! Nonetheless, I still very much enjoy it, and I love how I am considered a “dual citizen” of both schools.

In my free time, I love to play video games like Fortnite and Roblox!

I am also a pretty big bookworm. I enjoy reading as much as I love gaming! I read all types of books, from Dracula, to Harry Potter to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! I also read many manga titles (Japanese anime-style books, typically read backwards compared to English books!)

The beach is also a favourite place for me to visit if I am traveling somewhere. I try to bury myself in the sand as much as possible, or even turn myself into a mermaid!

Maya Wicks (Year 7, Kempsey High School)

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Supporting student wellbeing

Aurora College Anti-bullying Plan

The Wellbeing Action Team (WAT) have been working with students and staff on finalising the Aurora College Anti-bullying Plan, which will be published on the school website next term. While students do not currently experience bullying problems in the Aurora context, data has shown that many students have experienced or witnessed bullying in other contexts, such as online or in their home school.

We endeavour to support all of our students and members of the school community with strategies for responding to and reporting bullying. As part of our anti-bullying plan, students and parents can report incidents of bullying directly to the school Deputy Principal and WAT leader via

Coming soon will also be an option for students to anonymously report bullying via the school website.

Parents will be invited to review the final draft plan and provide feedback early next term.

ReachOut Parents Coaching

Parents who are struggling to know how to support their teenager with tricky issues such as bullying, relationships and anxiety may wish to access a qualified coach from ReachOut.

The service is free and accessible online for any parent of a teenager aged 12-18.

Further information is available in the ReachOut Parents Coaching flyer. 

Parents can get started by visiting

Sharleen Mulawin  | R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Where are they now?

Jacky Zhou attended Junee High School and studied physics and chemistry in Years 11 and 12 with Aurora College, completing his HSC in 2017.

Currently, I am living in a tropical part of Australia, Cairns. I am studying for a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree at James Cook University.

Initially, moving to Cairns, the weather and the size of the population was a shock to me. The weather is hot and humid; wet clothes stay wet when hung out on the balcony!

Coming from a small country town, city life is different and a little bit scary, especially the pace city people operate at, but meeting new and diverse people is one of the perks of going to university and moving to a city.

Before I knew it, I had completed semester one and I am now back home for the winter break.

I am glad I studied chemistry and physics in high school with Aurora as it has provided me with a stepping stone into university chemistry. Surprisingly, studying dentistry involves a lot of chemistry. Three hours of chemistry each week…our worst nightmare!

Although university requires a full-on commitment, I always manage to find time to play social sports and meet up with friends … a great way to overcome stress.

After I graduate with my Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree, I would love to take the skills I have learnt and work in rural communities, such as back home or in towns towards the centre of Australia. My end goal is for everyone to have access to high quality oral care.

Jacky Zhao  | Past Junee High School and Aurora College student

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Year 10 ‘hoodies’

Yr 10 Hoodie- front view

Students in Year 10 have the option to purchase a special Year 10 hoodie with the name of their Aurora peers printed on the back for $72.

To purchase a hoodie click on the following instructions for how to order online and make payment to the school.

Orders are made directly with Reform Clothing 

Orders close on 17 August 2018.

Sharleen Mulawin | R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning



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Welcome Sean Will

Sean Will with his Beagle cross Pug, Poe

We would like to welcome Sean Will to the coordinating office. Sean has commenced working with us part time to support the integration of technology in the classroom. A bit about Sean follows:

Before Aurora

Last year I graduated from Macquarie University with a degree in Primary School teaching (I actually had the graduation ceremony in April of this year – so pretty recent!) During my studies, I worked as a Customer Service Operator for MailCall (a same day courier service). If any of your deliveries were late, I was partly responsible. Sorry!!!

This information might leave you asking why have I taken a job as a Technology Support Officer and not a teaching job? Ultimately, I am pursuing a career where I feel that can contribute towards Education in some way. The opportunity for me to work at Aurora has provided me with an avenue to combine my technology kills with my passion for education as a double-whammy combo.

That being said, I still work (Monday and Tuesdays) as a Primary School Teacher for schools in NSW along the North Shore line (from Turramurra up to Chatswood).

My Local Community/Heritage

My parents are from Scotland and England and moved to Australia about 28 years ago. Since then, we’ve moved house over 20 times and I’ve lived in pretty much every suburb from Hornsby to Artarmon (along the North Shore line). Since January 2018, I have been living in Chatswood (in a share house of 5)… so it’s quite difficult for me to pinpoint my local community.

What do I like about Aurora?

I like how everyone involved with Aurora College is working to benefit the lives of other people. Education is a powerful tool which everyone deserves the right to have access to. Aurora College is providing opportunities for students that are otherwise not possible, so I look forward to contributing however and wherever I can.

Various bits ‘n’ bobs

Outside of Aurora College, my interests mainly lie in Football (Arsenal/English Premier League), gaming and hiding all house-hold food from being consumed by my dog. I’ve played Football for 20 years, 14 years for Lane Cove and 6 years for Lindfield (current), so if you need any World Cup 2018 updates just send me an email! Finally, I’ve always been an avid gamer (both PC and console) – I even have a Certificate IV in Game Design from TAFE! At one stage I even ran my own YouTube channel, which had 2500 subscribers, with some videos having over 10k views. That got too busy and became a second full-time job so I had to drop it!

Thank you for reading. I look forward to working with Aurora College and meeting everyone as time goes on.

Sean Will | Technology Support Officer

Tip from a techie

We have purchased two telepresence robots for use in the Coordinating Office and Residential Schools. These robots will allow staff, students, and parents to connect and have face-to-(virtual)-face meetings with executive staff and teachers in our office.

To celebrate the arrival of our new robots, we asked students to help us find suitable names for them. After many suggestions, we narrowed it down to eight pairs of names. Students then had the opportunity to vote on which of the names would best suit our new arrivals. We are pleased to announce that the chosen names were Castor and Pollux.

Mr Smith and Maya Wicks (driving one of the new telepresence robots) at the coordinating office. Maya’s Year 7 Maths class is onscreen.

Castor and Pollux are the two brightest stars in the Gemini constellation. Gemini is the Twin constellation, which is fitting for these near identical robots. Maya Wicks (Year 7, Kempsey High School) suggested these names. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process.

We also allowed students to connect and have a test drive of the robots. Maya connected to meet Mr Smith, her Maths teacher, and demonstrate the new technology to their class. Amelie Robinson (Year 8, Melville High School) dropped in for a chat with Mr Robertson and Ms Cluff and took a tour of the coordinating office.

Help desk
These holidays we are migrating from our current helpdesk to a new, more powerful one. The only difference you should notice is that the knowledgebase website is no more. Instead, we gain the ability to pull out custom reports on what issues are most common, or take the most time to resolve. This will allow us to better prepare and deliver technology assistance to everyone.

The way to contact support has not changed. Please email us at to automatically log a ticket with our new system, or call us on 1300 610 733. Remember to put as much detail as possible into your email, and include any screenshots you can take that help to explain your issue.

School holidays
We want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday period. Please remember that the technology support team is not available during the school holidays, but if you do need help please send us an email at

When we return from holidays, this will be the fastest way to get help. From next term, we will be directing all students, staff, parents, and schools to request help via this email address.

Ben Hillsley | Learning Technologies Support Officer

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From the engine room

From 25 June 2018, Parent Payments Online will have the following improvements:

  • It will allow payment via credit card or direct debit (EFT)
  • The form fields have been updated and grouped in a more logical order
  • Browser auto-fill means you can make payments without having to re-enter details
  • Extension of time to enter details
  • Ease of use via mobile phone

By using our online payment system, you receive a receipt instantly, cheques do not get lost in the post, your payment is via a secure Westpac Bank website and your payment details are available to the school on the next business day.

We encourage parents/carers to make payments via our website.

Denise Deaves

School Administration Manager

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Aurora College: C/- Mowbray Public School635 Mowbray Road LANE COVE NORTH NSW 2066Phone: 1300 287 629; Email:; Facebook:


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