The Auracle – Vol. 27, August 2018

From the principal’s desk

As is the case at this time each year, this edition of The Auracle comes with a big ‘well done and welcome’ to the new students who will be joining our school in 2019. The NSW selective high school placement process for this year has concluded and I am pleased to report that our Year 7 cohort will comprise more than 80 students from 48 schools across the state.

Raph, after receiving news of his successful application to study at Aurora in 2019.

A further 21 students from 13 schools were successful in gaining vacant places in Years 8 to 10. I would again like to thank our parent representatives in this process, Samantha Cosgrove (mother of Jack Meredith in Year 8, Gulgong High School) and Maryanne Bourke (mother of Shannon in Year 8, Nyngan High School).

Commencing with us in Term 4 this year, will be 48 Year 5 students from 20 public schools who were successful in gaining a place in the Aurora Opportunity Class Pilot (AOCP). As I have reported previously, the pilot program will investigate whether the approaches used by Aurora College can be used to establish a virtual opportunity class provision in areas of rural and remote NSW where a ‘terrestrial’ opportunity class does not currently exist. Lessons for our Stage 3 students will have a focus on STEM, drawing on the Mathematics and the Science and Technology syllabuses.

The image at right was kindly provided by Nerida, mother of Iris (Year 7, Canowindra High School) and Raphael. Nerida tells me that her family was on a camping trip heading towards Esperance in Western Australia when they stopped at a lookout with good mobile phone reception. Nerida took the opportunity to check her inbox and she read the email from the department’s High Performing Students Unit containing the ‘outcome advice’ of Raphael’s application to enrol in Year 7 with Aurora in 2019. Nerida snapped this amazing photo of ‘Raph’ at the moment she gave him the news that his application was successful.

I am sure the joy that Raph felt at this moment was shared by successful applicants from all over the state. The map below and to the left shows the locations of our new 2019 Stage 3, 4 and 5 students. News of the great work being done by our students and staff continues to reach further into areas of the state not previously touched by Aurora College. In 2019, our school will share students with 32 schools (including the 20 primary schools of the AOCP) that have not previously partnered with Aurora. Welcome to all new partner schools. I look forward to working with you.

If any of our incoming students or their parents feel the need for reassurance that they have made the right decision to enrol at Aurora, look no further than the Connect locally, learn globally and Where are they now? sections of this or past editions of The Auracle. In this edition, we hear from Jaslyn (Year 7, Ulladulla High School) and Bud Lambeth (Aurora College, 2015-2017). Heartfelt endorsements from current and past students should leave you in no doubt that you have ‘found your tribe’.

Locations of new Stage 3, 4 and 5 students at Aurora in 2019: orange markers (Stage 3); green markers (Year 7); blue markers (Years 8 to 10); and purple markers (Year 7 and Years 8 to 10)

All principals in rural and remote government secondary schools have received information regarding the Stage 6 application process at Aurora College. Applications for entry into Year 12 (2019) closed on Friday 24 August 2018. Applications for entry into Year 11 (2019) will close on Friday 26 October 2018. For further information, including a complete list of courses offered, please visit our website Secondary principals in rural and remote areas of the state who wish to learn more about partnering with Aurora College to provide a broader Stage 6 curriculum at their school should contact Aurora College on 1300 287 629.

In the July edition of The Auracle, I wrote about the importance of effective teacher-parent relationships in fostering student engagement in their learning. On Monday of this week, I was reminded of this reality on a visit to Ulladulla High School where Aurora currently shares eight students. It was a pleasure to meet with Sienna, Jaslyn, Gabriel, Poppy, Neve, Duncan and Jaimee (sorry I missed you on this occasion, Abbey) and many of their parents. Engaged students and parents in a supportive partner school very clearly produces great outcomes. I would like to thank Denise Lofts (Principal, Ulladulla High School) and her staff for the invitation to spend the day in great company.

Some of the “great work” that I mentioned earlier in this article was recognised in Sydney on Monday 13 August, with Aurora College among eight public schools that were celebrated at the Department of Education’s inaugural CIO’s Technology in Schools Conference. On this occasion, Aurora was awarded the Technology 4 Learning (T4L) Award for Productivity and Collaboration.

In winning this award, Aurora was recognised as a leader in the school-wide adoption and use of productivity and collaboration tools to empower great learning and teaching. Judges also acknowledged Aurora as an extensive contributor to online networks and support groups that support teachers in NSW schools with the application of productivity and collaboration tools.

Award winners ran workshops for conference participants to hear their story and be inspired by their success. Relieving Deputy Principal, Virginia Cluff, did a magnificent job of presenting the ‘Aurora story’ in several sessions throughout the day. Congratulations to all staff and students!

Enjoy reading another great edition of The Auracle.

Chris Robertson  | Principal

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Deputy’s report

Trial HSC examinations and the HSC

We are now in Term 3 and many Year 12 students are completing their Trial HSC exams. Students are under considerable examination stress during this period.  For further information on coping with stress, click on the following link to access some helpful strategies from REACH OUT.

Students and their parents should also note that an enormous amount of growth can happen following the Trial HSC examinations and how important this growth will be for HSC examination results. I wish all Year 12 students the best of luck with their examinations.

Please note: Preliminary Yearly Examinations begin in Week 7.  These examinations will be an opportunity for Year 11 students to further develop the necessary skills in preparation for their HSC year.

Study Skills Handbook

Our school recently purchased a license for Study Skills Handbook, a website that will help your children develop essential skills for academic success.

There are units of work on topics such as improving time management skills, how to study, research skills, summarising, technology use, brain and memory. Interesting insights include: how the colour of a room affects your ability to study; what the best study techniques are for your type of brain; how to improve your handwriting; and useful software and apps to block yourself from technology distractions.

Please encourage your child to make use of this amazing resource as we approach the end of year examination period.

Canberra residential

The next Residential School program will be held in Canberra from Monday 29 October to Friday 2 November, with some exciting activities being planned for all students. Residential information was sent to all parents last week and included: permission notes; lists of activities and payment details. Please complete and return all necessary forms by Week 8 of this term. We have created a new online permission form that we hope will make this process a little easier for parents.

Student Assistance Scheme

Aurora College’s Student Assistance Scheme (SAS) is a limited annual allocation of funds to support eligible students attending the college. The scheme provides financial assistance to families for school curriculum related expenses. Financial assistance may also be sought to participate in the Residential School program. If you require more information please contact our office on 1300 287 629 or email at Please note that all information provided in making an application will be treated confidentially.

Subject selection process

The process of selecting subjects and developing timetables for 2019 is now in full swing in most schools. Students in Year 10 will be making subject selection choices for Years 11 and 12. If your child is unable to study a subject or subjects in Year 11 or 12 at their home school, they may be able to study this through Aurora College. For further information, please visit

Communicating with Aurora

If any of our students are in need of support, their first point of contact is usually his/her Aurora College Coordinator. If students are absent for an assessment, not understanding assessment guidelines or not understanding class work, they are encouraged to communicate directly with their teachers. Parents who would like to contact your child’s teacher to discuss any concerns can do so by contacting the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email at

Finally, a reminder that parents are able to access their child’s attendance records via the Sentral portal. Please contact the office if there is a discrepancy that needs to be corrected.

For further information, please visit

Virginia Cluff  | R/Deputy Principal

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Professional Learning

Aurora College continues to deliver high quality professional learning sessions to public school staff across NSW. The most recent session was on Wednesday 22 August with Dennis Alonzo, Lecturer in Assessment and Education at UNSW.

Head Teachers Curriculum with Dr. Ruth Philips.

Approximately 220 teachers from both primary and secondary schools enrolled in this 1.5 hr, registered professional learning session on ‘Differentiating Assessment.’ Every class has students who learn differently and who are at different stages of learning, so we are looking at putting into place some of the principles and practices we learned.

The Aurora College executive and faculty representatives were recently engaged in our 2 day Leadership Conference. On the first day of the program, participants were guided by Jessica Meyers (Teacher Quality Advisor, NSW Department of Education) in their learning about assessing for impact and using learning intentions and success criteria.

Day 2 focused on the research and various strategies for effective academic acceleration with Dr. Ruth Philips. As Ruth worked with each faculty to help unlock the potential of our students, other executive staff focused on data informed practice with Melanie Senior from the department’s Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation.

This conference and similar quality professional learning supports our teachers in achieving targets in our current school plan, which ultimately supports our students in achieving their best.

Kate Thompson | Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Residential School, Term 4

The Term 4 2018 Residential School will take place at the Ibis Styles Canberra Eaglehawk from Monday 29 October to Friday 2 November 2018.

Parliament House Canberra, 2016. Aurora College returns to our nation’s capital for Residential School 2 from Monday 29 October to Friday 2 November 2018.

This residential is for all students in Years 7-10 only.

Further information is available in Residential 2 2018 Information.

For this Residential School, we are using an online form to collect all of the essential information for our students.

Please complete the online student details form then download, complete, sign and return the student permission form by Thursday 13 September 2018 via the school email  .

This information is also available on the school website under the latest news tab.

If you have any further questions or concerns please contact the coordinating office.

Sharleen Mulawin | R/ Head Teacher, Teaching and Learning

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Mathematics news

This year, 15 Aurora students submitted solutions to three or more problems for the Mathematical Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA) Challenge Stage.  The MCYA is a very demanding competition where students have to work on a series of problems over four weeks.

Intermediate level

Congratulations to Zoe Jenkins (Year 9, Tenterfield High School) who once again gained a Distinction, placing her in the top 20% of entrants. Click here to see the quality of Zoe’s work which was part of her entry.  Amber Ahsan (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) also received a Distinction and was ranked in the top 25% of Year 10 entrants.  Laura Mannes (Year 9, Coleambally Central School), Jackson Winter (Year 9, Nowra High School), Jonah Menzies (Year 9, Maclean High School) and Callum Weppler (Year 9, Griffith High School) will all receive participation certificates.

Zoe and Amber have accepted the invitation to attempt the MCYA Enrichment program. Next month, Amber will also be the first student in the history of Aurora College to attempt the Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO) which is a four hour paper.

Junior level

At the Junior level, three students: Genevieve Bland (Year 7, Parkes High School); Charlie Winter (Year 8, Nowra High School); and Amelie Robinson (Year 8, Melville High School) reached the standard for a Credit result. Danielle Goodrick (Year 7, Parkes High School), Alyssa Townsend (Year 8, Deniliquin  High School), Laura Weppler (Year 7, Griffith High School), Shay Middleton (Year 7, Nowra High School), Alice Harris (Year 7, Baradine Central School), Morrow Taplin (Year 7, Wauchope High School) and Heath Bethe (Year 7, Wade High School) all earned participation certificates.

Genevieve, Charlie and Amelie have also accepted the invitation to attempt the MCYA Enrichment program.

Well done, to all of the students who took up the Challenge!

Enrichment work is due at the end of this term. We look forward to some more very good results!

Ian Whiteway  | Mathematics Teacher

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Science news

We are half way through the term and the work load in science is starting to build up. So, a tip to all our students is to keep up to date with the submission of your practicals from your home schools, all the work in Stile and relevant work in OneNote. This is the best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed at the end of the term with work that is not done on time.

Thank you to all our students who participated in the ANCQ Australian National Chemistry Quiz. Results will be sent next term. A great effort everyone, including the teachers of those students who were very well organised to allow them time to answer the tricky quiz.

Congratulations to our Year 9 who recently completed a VALID trial. The results are outstanding, performing an average at 45% above state level. Well done! Year 9 teachers also deserve congratulations for all their dedication and excellent teaching practice which is clearly reflected in the achievement of the Year 9 students.

Next month, science will be really busy with the following activities:

  • In Weeks 7 and 8, Year 10 will sit the VALID test. Year 10 science teachers will give the students their login credentials and the test will be done during class time.
  • The BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge will be held in Weeks 7 and 8. All junior years were enrolled in the competition. So, we still need some authorisations from parents. The authorisation forms can be downloaded from this link. Once completed, please send it to Dr Rudmann via email ( The BEBRAS is an international problem solving online competition. Students have to solve timed problems working in teams. Follow this link to see how the test is run and to access some sample questions.
  • Year 11 exams will take place during Weeks 8 and 9. Year 11 teachers will revise the topics in class. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and clarify understanding.

Science in the news

On August 12, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe on a 7 year mission to the sun.

In the first section of its trip, the probe will deploy its high–gain antenna and magnetometer boom. Around October, the probe will use the gravity from Venus to propel itself towards the sun. The probe will be positioned around 24 million kilometres from the sun, closer to the corona atmosphere. The probe will collect data about solar flares and will help us to understand solar behaviour and how best to protect our planet in the future.

The mission is named in honour of Eugene Parker, the physicist who in 1958 first theorised the existence of the solar wind. It is the first NASA mission to be named after a living researcher. Here is the video with more explanations about the Parker Solar Probe

Triple ASTRA challenge

Congratulations to Amber Ahsan (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) who won the challenge from the previous edition of The Auracle. The correct answer was 1 dot. Congratulations Amber! Three ASTRAs were sent to you.

Here is the new challenge:

A piece of paper is folded as indicated by the arrows in the diagram below. Three holes are punched in the paper. When the paper is unfolded, how many holes can you see? 

Send your answer to Dr Rudmann. ASTRAs are on the table for you to grab (if you get it right, of course!)

Finally, I want to extend my thanks to all the science practical teachers working in our partner home schools. Your work with our students is invaluable and I greatly appreciate the effort that every single one of you make to complete the practicals with our shared students.

Have a great rest of the term everyone and keep up the good work!

Silvia Rudmann  | R/Head Teacher Science


Kate Rossmanith delivering a masterclass from her desk at Macquarie University.

On 14 August, author and Macquarie University lecturer, Kate Rossmanith, delivered a masterclass to Years 9 and 10 on how to write creative non-fiction.

This masterclass complemented a unit studied in English. She provided tips, samples and conducted a couple of exercises focusing on how to approach creative writing, but also how to honour authenticity of information and sources.

When asked what students liked the most about the session, they said:

  • “The challenge of writing our own work using her steps and guidance”
  • “The opportunity to talk to a published author who was very willing to answer questions”
  • “I enjoyed the interaction between Kate and ourselves (how we were able to write a bit ourselves)”
  • “Her personality and the way she actually included us in the work and got us to do stuff”

The next masterclass is with student ambassadors from Macquarie University, who are able to share information about uni life and uni courses among other things.

We value greatly our unique relationship with the Widening Participation Unit at Macquarie University and hope to continue providing engaging masterclasses that spark student interest and complement learning outcomes.

Kate Thompson  | Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Spotlight on … Susan Laris

Where was your previous teaching appointment?

Last year I did some casual Science teaching for Aurora but most of the year was spent teaching Maths at Ashfield Boys High School.

What is your local community like?

I live in Ashfield (Sydney) which is a very multicultural community, affectionately known as little Shanghai. It is quite amusing when my brother-in-law’s family visits us as they are very blonde but speak fluent Mandarin to the owners of the Chinese shops and restaurants in the main street. I wish my favourite food was dumplings because they are very cheap and good quality – Shanghai Night, New Shanghai, New Shanghai Night and Shanghai Dumpling (just to be different) all vying for customers within 50 m of each other!

Susan with her family

I, however, have been a devoted patron of Thai Number 1 since my husband and I discovered it 22 years ago. In the last 5-10 years, cafes have finally made their way into Ashfield. Along with good coffee, Ashfield is only a 15 min train ride to the city, but I rarely go there as my life is centered around Ashfield.

What’s your favourite subject to teach?

I like to teach Science because it makes me think and wonder, and it inspires awe at the complexity and beauty of nature. I hope that the study of Science inspires the same in my students, and that they learn to always inquire rather than assume. I also hope that it engenders respect for the earth’s resources, and the motivation and ability to act and problem solve for the benefit of this world, for those around them, and for their own health and wellbeing.

What do you like about teaching at Aurora?

For me, the best thing about Aurora is the students. I love their desire and ability to learn; the interesting questions they come up with; the comradery they share with classmates; their humour; their persistence in the face of challenges; and their endless potential. It is a great privilege to work with Aurora students.

What are your other interests?

I love summer. I love to watch the waves and to swim in ocean baths. I love the beauty of nature, mountains, oceans, animals, and trees. A majestic gumtree can make me cry! I really wasn’t born a city girl. I was born and grew up in the mountains and on the coast in Papua New Guinea. So I love holidays because it means I can get out of the city. I dream of one day owning a motorhome.

I also love people, old friends and new faces. I love spending time with my family – my husband (the comedian), my 13 year old son (the darling who makes me a cuppa in the morning) and my 16 year old daughter (the quirky creative cosplay nerd who doesn’t like to study) and the dog (who desperately wants to be everyone’s best friend).

Susan Laris | Science Teacher

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Bright lights

National Youth Science Forum

One of our Aurora alumni, Chanse McLean, who completed Year 10 with us last year, has been accepted into the 2019 National Youth Science Forum to be held in Brisbane in January 2019. Congratulations, Chanse! This is a great achievement.

Jackson’s GWS Giants journey

Jackson at the Blacktown Sports Stadium

Within weeks he was selected for the South Coast NSW state AFL team. Jackson spent a week in Sydney (with a broken toe) playing teams from around the state. Jackson was invited to be in the area representative team a few weeks later and was spotted by a GWS academy selector and fast-tracked into the GWS Giants academy development program.  He was then sent to Sydney to play in front of a selection panel and Giants coaches during the holidays where he managed to score 2 of the teams 3 goals, giving them a win against the academy’s best.

It has been an amazing journey for Jackson, given he is still learning how to play the game. He has now been invited to try out for the U16 GWS ACT team in early November. Jackson tells us that “it has been an amazing ride” and a huge lesson for him in stepping out of his comfort zone and being open to trying something new. Jackson also said that he appreciates his Aurora teachers efforts in helping him manage his workload while he has been away and travelling.

His proud mum says “It’s situations like these that you understand the value and flexibility of a virtual education”.

Congratulations, Jackson!

Football NSW State Team Talented Athlete Camp

Daniel Castle (Year 8, Tumut High School) was selected to trial for the 2018 Football NSW State Representative Team Program. This program identifies talented players across the state and provides them with a series of training camps and games. Last week, Daniel was able to work with players from regional areas in NSW in a four day Talented Athlete Camp at Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood. Congratulations, Daniel.

State Hockey

Congratulations to Joseph Tanswell (Year 7, Parkes High School) on his selection into the Lions team for the  State Under 13 Hockey Squad. Well done, Joseph!

The Tom Kemp Shield

Congratulations to Shannon Bourke (Year 8, Nyngan High School) and his teammates in the Under 16 Tom Kemp team. Nyngan High School defeated West Wyalong High School in the grand final in Molong last month by a whopping 36 points to 4, taking home the Tom Kemp Shield.

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Secretary for a Day #S4AD

As part of  Education Week celebrations, students from around the state had the opportunity to be Secretary for a Day with the Department of Education. Two Aurora Students, Zoe Jenkins (Year 9, Tenterfield High School) and Harvey Shead (Year 10, Denison College Bathurst Campus) were able to participate in this opportunity while representing their home schools.

The students share their experience below.

Over the 5-7 of August, I participated in the Secretary for a Day program run by the Department of Education. Travelling up on the Sunday, I was one of 34 students selected from around the state, most of whom were from Sydney, so the fact that myself and another student were selected from Tenterfield High School was an amazing opportunity. On the Monday morning, I shadowed Liana Downey, Executive Director of Delivery, who is involved in policy making, and ensuring that the policies implemented in schools are true to their original purpose. That was an amazing experience, allowing me a firsthand view into office life and to see the various levels in the education system.

That afternoon we had a roundtable discussion with the Secretary for the Department of Education, allowing student views to be expressed on different topics. Then we went to workshop activities looking at the topic “all students are known, valued and cared for in our schools”. That was in preparation for Tuesday, when students worked in groups of 5 or 6 to design a product which ensured that the topic was met.

I strongly recommend that other students interested in leadership opportunities apply for this annual program. It’s an invaluable experience which allows student voice to be heard. I had an excellent time, and would love to participate in it again.

Zoe Jenkins (Year 9, Tenterfield High School)

On August 5, alongside 33 other students from across the state, I travelled to Sydney to participate in the Secretary for a Day program, which involved many exciting opportunities. I met with many Executive Directors of the Department of Education, including Mark Scott, the NSW Secretary for Education. I even shadowed an Executive Director for a day, Erik Manarik, the head of Infrastructure Planning and the Executive Engineering within the DoE Infrastructure Planning Division.

On the Sunday when we arrived we met all the other students, who were all amazingly talented, and incredibly excited to begin our first proper day in the Secretary for a Day program. That night, we went out to dinner to begin the two day excitement.

In the morning, we all awoke buzzing, nervous but extremely excited to meet our executive directors who we would later be shadowing. Most people woke up at 7 am to have breakfast and left at 8 am to go down to the DoE Parramatta offices. Me and a lucky 5 other students, however, had to wake up at 6 am, and leave by 7 am, as we were the ones who were travelling by train into the CBD to the Infrastructure Division Offices.

Once there, we met with our Senior Officers. Mine, Erik Manarik, was temporarily filling in for his boss, which meant a lot more meetings and management. At first, I was annoyed at the prospect but soon I came to realise it came with many amazing opportunities, as I was in meetings with many important and talented people. This was incredibly valuable as it showed me professional level decision making in a high-level professional environment and making decisions that had very real ramifications. This taught me more about the importance of thinking things through, and how to manage your options to achieve a goal that best suits you and anyone else around you. It also taught me about leadership and teamwork. Erik had a large team working with him and more than three stories worth of offices for them. This experience showed me the challenges of such a thing, the advantages and most importantly, how to manage it.

After this, we travelled back to Parramatta to have a meeting with Mark Scott. This proved to be one of the most valuable parts of the trip and is something I doubt I will soon forget. The point of the meeting was to represent our perspective of schooling to Mark. This perspective included where we’re from, our backgrounds and our school culture. A critical thing was hearing the perspectives of the other 33 student’. It was incredibly interesting; one student was from a selective high school on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and another from an extremely poor school in Coffs Harbour. The differences and similarities in the schools was really interesting. Personally, however, I wanted to bring a regional and rural perspective to the forefront, as many of the other students were from Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. I thought that it would be very important to represent regional schools in NSW.

Secretary for a Day has been one of the most incredible experiences of my schooling. I learned so much about leadership and teamwork and I saw schooling from the perspective of so many students from across the state. It was an honour to be selected.

Harvey (Year 10, Denison College Bathurst)


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Short Film Festival

Cano Mocs and Docs 2804

Cano Mocs and Docs 2804 (CMD) is a short film festival for documentaries and mockumentaries involving STEM based themes i.e. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) supported by the Age of Fishes Museum, the Cabonne Council and Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations.

This year is the inaugural year of the festival, which will be held annually in Canowindra NSW 2804. The idea behind Cano Mocs and Docs 2804 is to showcase and encourage people of all ages to wonder at the marvels of STEM subject matters. This year’s signature item is “Fossil”, which must be included creatively in your film.

The festival’s aim is to help rural and regional youth gain access to education, training and jobs, through grants, scholarships, support services and resources through our local Country Education Foundation (CEF) Canowindra CEF helps rural and regional communities support their local school-leavers, and in doing so, to invest in the future of rural and regional Australia.

Entries are through  and close on 20 September 2018. 

Awards & Prizes

The documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. Mockumentaries generally consist of a comical fictitious story-line told through a documentary style of film-making.

  • Best Documentary (Over 18 years of Age) – 8 minutes in length – $1,000 AUD
  • Best Mockumentary (Over 18 Years of Age) – 8 minutes in length – $1,000 AUD
  • Best Documentary Junior (12 – 17 years and under) – 4 minutes in length – $500 AUD
  • Best Mockumentary Junior (12 – 17 years and under) – 4 minutes in length – $500 AUD
  • Best Documentary (0-11 years of Age) – 2 minutes in length – $250 AUD
  • Best Mockumentary (0-11 years of Age) – 2 minutes in length – $250 AUD

Everyone is welcome to attend the Cano Mocs and Docs 2804 film festival at The Age of Fishes Museum, Corner of Gaskill St and Ferguson Street Canowindra on Saturday October 13, 2018 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

For more information about how to enter, go to or the  CEF Canowindra’s Facebook page or to the Cano Mocs and Docs webpage.

Peter Stacey  | Aurora parent

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Library report

Borrowing Stars

Our students continue to borrow with enthusiasm from our digital library. Our  borrowing stars for term two were: Ella Carson (Nowra High School); Iris Cuddy (Canowindra High School); Duncan McDonald (Ulladulla High School); Isha Corkey (Young High School); Ayla Eden (Kadina High School); Naioka Welsh (Goodooga Central School); Emily Neems (Parkes High School); Heidi Parkin (Parkes High School); Rory Stein (Dubbo College South Campus); Sarah Hagan (Mulwaree High School); Heidi Osgood (Bega High School); Jacqueline Long (Cowra High School); Sienna Condie (Ulladulla High School); Eva Pendlebury (Eden Marine High School); Jordan Gmur (Moruya High School); Danielle Goodrick (Parkes High School); Jaimee Pask (Jindabyne Central School); Tara Tiffen (Kyogle High School); Momo Hayashi-Kinny (Murwillumbah High School); Will Kojetin (Ballina Coast High School); and Heath Bethe (Wade High School)

CBCA Book of the year 

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has announced the CBCA Book of the Year Award 2018 winners. In the Older Reader category (Ages 13-18, for mature readers), the winner was Take three girls (Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood), with honourable mentions for Mallee Boys (Charlie Archbold) and In the dark spaces (Cally Black). All three titles are available as ebooks in our digital library.

Premier’s Reading Challenge

We are almost at the end of the Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) period for 2018. Entries for the 2018 PRC close this term. Student Logs must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday 31 August. To complete the challenge, students in year 7-9 must read 15 books from the list and 5 personal choice books. Books we have in our library from the list have the following symbol in OLIVER to make them easily identifiable:

Please contact me if you need any support to complete the challenge!

50 word story competition

We are eagerly awaiting the results of the 50 word story competition run by The Children’s Bookshop. Close to 80 entries were submitted by Aurora College students and staff. Future competitions, suitable for our students, will be promoted via English classes in Microsoft Teams.

Kaylene Taylor | Teacher Librarian

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Student work samples


This term, Year 7 English students have been looking at the way composers create images through narrative, poetry and visual texts. Students have learned about various poetic techniques and experimented with their own simile poems. Have a look at these poems by 7ENG1.

Visual Representations

At the start of this term Year 9 English students completed their Aboriginal Perspectives unit by submitting a visual representation of the perspectives conveyed in poems studied during class. The visual representations clearly displayed the students artistic and creative flair utilising colour and composition effectively and are thought provoking depictions of their chosen poems.


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Connect locally, learn globally

Hey! My name is Jaslyn, but so you don’t get it mixed up with ‘Jasmine’ (like absolutely everyone else), you can just call me Jas. I live in a small beachside town called Mollymook, which is about one hour South of Nowra, and forty minutes North of Batemans Bay. We are a small community who basically rely on tourism for work and profit. Being right next to the beach is one of the best things about living here. During the hot months of Summer, there’s nothing I love better than to meet up with my friends down on the sand and hang out for a few hours.

Jaslyn on the left with her Aurora friends at Taronga Zoo

Being the small community that it is, Mollymook doesn’t have its own high school, so I go to school in a (slightly) larger fishing-based town called Ulladulla. Ulladulla is located a few minutes South of Mollymook, but it has a lot more of a town-ish feel to it. It’s where the supermarkets, shops, and the local cinema are. The area is a tightly knitted community group where everyone knows everyone. You can’t go out for a stroll along the beach without bumping into someone you know and striking up a conversation. The town is one of the friendliest places I have ever been, probably because everyone is used to tourists stopping them in the street and asking where the nearest public toilets are.

Reading is one of my favourite things in the universe, because I love to use my imagination. The joy I have had reading over the last 12 and a ½ years of my life is incredible. I love ALL stories (unless they’re autobiographies) and I have read a range of AMAZING books in my (reasonably short) life. From Harry Potter to A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Hunger Games to Jasper Jones, and Percy Jackson to Ruby Redfort, there is nothing I’m not willing to read. I can’t wait until I discover my next favourite series of books!

My area (basically Milton through to Ulladulla) is a big supporter of the arts. Music, drama, and art; all things creative are well promoted here. We have several organisations that put together shows, exhibitions, and competitions for anyone who is interested in the creative and performing arts. A great example of this is ‘Escape ARTfest’. ARTFest is held every year around springtime, and has great opportunities for the whole community to get involved. We hold everything from wine competitions to our own local version of ‘The Voice’, to encourage everyone to get involved.

Jaslyn’s fancy footwork on the field.

Through this influence and others, (like the fact that my parents are musicians) I have developed a love for performing and being on stage. I’ve been in a few local/school musicals and I have developed a love for performing and being on stage. I’ve been in a few local/school musicals and I have performed solo, group and duo musical acts at community and school events. Another passion of mine is soccer, and this, too, is kind of in my blood. My whole family loves soccer, and are willing to get up at midnight to watch important world cup matches. I play for my local club, Milton Ulladulla Panthers, where I am a striker for my team, the Under 13 Girls White. (‘White’ refers to our team colours – black and white.)

This year, I was offered the opportunity to be a part of the Aurora SRC. I am one of the representatives for Year 7, and I hope to make this school even more amazing than it already is!

I love doing Aurora, because it allows me to have the best of both worlds. Being able to scramble down the path to the beach or walk to my friend’s houses whenever I like, as well as getting a selective education. I really enjoy the online environment, and the flexibility it has. Every lesson is a new adventure as my classmates and I figure out how to handle Adobe Connect, and type only slightly irrelevant things in the Chat Pod. The teachers I have this year are so amazing and encouraging. They all either understand what it feels like to be adjusting to all the new technology, or they are learning as we are. I love the way Aurora has introduced me to so many awesome people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I have made so many amazing friends through this experience, and it’s only half way through my first year!

I can’t wait to continue learning in this awesome online environment!

Jaslyn (Year 7, Ulladulla High School)

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Where are they now?

Hi Aurorans! I’m Bud Lambeth. I grew up in Bathurst, a town in the central tablelands of New South Wales, and studied Science, Maths and English through Xsel and Aurora College in Years 7 to 10, and HSC Physics through Aurora in Years 11 and 12.

I survived the HSC last year, and was accepted into my first choice of university – Macquarie – and the degree I wanted – Environmental Earth Science – which was a big relief! I also received a scholarship to stay at Dunmore Lang College, one of the on-campus accommodation locations at the uni, which has been a huge blessing, I don’t have to worry about the cost of living in Sydney or transport to and from the uni, and can just focus on getting the work done!

Although my main focus has been my degree, I’ve made plenty of awesome friends at uni so far, and joined many of the student groups on campus, including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Macquarie Animal Rights Society and the Indigenous Students Association. I also ran an arts and craft day and a stall in the dining hall at Dunmore Lang College to raise money for the International Otter Survival Fund, which was a big success, raising over $1,500!

My eventual goal is to become an environmental research scientist, find out how climate change is affecting rivers, and work with an environmental engineer to build portable, affordable technologies that farmers and conservationists can use to reverse those effects. This is still a long way away, and I’ve got a lot of study to do first, but I’m well on the way to achieving my goals.

My experience at Aurora College made a big contribution to everything I’ve achieved in these last 12 months. I know this has been said a lot, but it’s true, the independent learning skills you gain from Aurora College gave me a huge edge during the HSC year. I struggled a lot less with time management and the volume of homework than my peers, because I’d already been doing that at Aurora. Because of this, I was able to achieve a good ATAR, which allowed me to qualify for the scholarship and allowed me to afford to live in Sydney. Even more importantly, it gave me lifelong independent working skills, which have proven essential at university, and will likely prove essential in my future career as well.

I’m also grateful that I had the chance to study the subjects I wanted to study, regardless of where I lived, and I’m glad that, thanks to Aurora, you all have that opportunity too.

I guess the overall message from all this is “you’ve got this”! It might not seem like it while you’re drowning in assignments – it certainly didn’t to me – but believe it or not, you’re actually doing really well. Just by being in Aurora, getting your homework done and learning those self-management skills, you are already a big part of the way there.

Thanks for reading my ramblings, and best of luck with the rest of your studies! Oh, and also, otters are the best animals ever, seriously, look up “otter memes”, you won’t regret it!

Bud Lambeth | Past Denison College Kelso Campus and Aurora College student

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Where in the world is Maria?

Maria (Year 9, Leeton High School) is travelling around Europe with her family. She sent the following letter telling us about her experiences.

Hello Everyone,

Maria (middle) with her Dad and sister out the front of their hotel (with Godzilla)

If you don’t already know me I’m Maria and I’m in year 9. Currently, I’m not actually at school, but travelling around Europe with my family. It’s pretty cool, and I’ve included some pictures, so you guys can see exactly what I’ve been up to.

In the second week of the last holidays, we drove to Melbourne, and flew out at about 10 am. We didn’t want to go directly to Italy, so we stopped over in Tokyo for a few days. I know this sounds cliché, but it’s really not what it looks like in pictures. It feels so big, and from our hotel window it literally looked like a concrete jungle. Anyway, after our brief stop in Tokyo, we flew to Rome via London. The flight was alright, it was just that it took so long; it was nearly 14 hours!

Whilst in Rome, we did all the touristy stuff, ie. visiting the Colosseum, the Roman ruins, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Vatican, and eating authentic Italian meals. Much to my surprise, it was also incredibly humid in Rome, as it has been for our whole trip so far. After Rome, we travelled to a city called Bologna, where some of my cousins live. I think this is pretty cool, but I actually have a cousin called Galileo, and he’s currently studying at the oldest university in the world, Universita de Bologna. We did some stuff around there, and then went to another city called Padova, which was really nice.

After Padova, we travelled to a small village called Castelcucco, in the region of Treviso. There, we had a family reunion. You’ve heard of good catholic families, but you haven’t heard of the Quarisa family. There were over 80 Australians, and over 30 Italians, but most of the cousins from Italy weren’t even attending! Anyway, we explored where our family had originated from 700 years ago on a mountain-side called Quarisa-Alto, and then drove up a mountain and explored WW1 sites. It was amazing being able to meet all my cousins, aunts and uncles, but I can’t even remember half of their names… 

After the family reunion we drove to Milan, passing through fair Verona on the way, where I stood on Juliet’s Balcony and explored the mansion. It was incredible, especially since we are doing Romeo and Juliet this term. The only thing that would have made it better would be if young Leonardo DiCaprio was there…

In Milan, we were staying with one of my mum’s friends, Sandra. She was like a private tour guide and showed us the best gelato in Milan. They even put chocolate in the bottom of the cones! From Milan, which was only a few days ago, we drove here, to Geneva, Switzerland. It’s incredibly expensive here, so we are only here for 2 nights but we did manage to get a tour of CERN, home to the world’s largest particle collider; the Large Hadron Collider. It was absolutely awesome to be there, our tour-guide was so cool and it all tied into what we have learnt.

After this, we will be heading to Paris. Anyway, I hope everyone is having fun at school, (cue mocking smile) and that you are enjoying everything there in OZ.


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National Child Protection Week

Aurora College is pleased to continue our partnership with the eSafety Commissioner, to promote National Child Protection Week.

Students in Years 5 and 6 from NSW Public Schools are invited to attend an online session, Cyberbullying and blackmail – how to speak up and stay safe.

These classes are scheduled for Monday 10 September at 10:00 am and Tuesday 11 September at 2:00 pm (repeated).

Schools are able to register for one of these sessions through our school website.

Sharleen Mulawin | R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Tip from a techie

Password security

A reminder to all students that password security is important! Every time you log into a computer at school, or log into the DoE Student Portal, you agree to be bound by the Online Communication Services: Acceptable Usage for School Students policy. Part of this policy states:

Students will (…) keep passwords confidential, and change them when prompted, or when known by another user.
Students will (…) use passwords that are not obvious or easily guessed.
Students will (…) never allow others to use their personal e-learning account.
Students will (…) log off at the end of each session to ensure that nobody else can use their e-learning account.

It is very important that no one else has your password, not only for the access it provides them to your DoE Portal site, but for all the systems that are linked to the same username and password, including:

  • Student email
  • Aurora College Moodle
  • Aurora College Sentral Portal
  • Adobe Connect

Statistically, people are likely to “reuse” passwords for multiple sites. The password you use for the DoE Portal might be the same as your Facebook, personal email, etc. You may be sharing more than you think if you give away your password!

So what can we do, and what should we do? Advice has changed a lot in the last 5 years about password security. Previously, we were advised to make the password complex, by having it comprise of about 8 characters between lower case, UPPER CASE, and special symbols (@#$%^, etc).

The main problem is that these passwords are hard to remember and you’re more likely to forget them. After some research, however, it’s been found that a longer password is just as effective, if done properly. Instead of a password like Tr0ub4dor&3, you could use correct-horse-battery-staple and it will be even more secure!

Copyright Randall Munroe, xkcd comic (

Of course, you should still have a separate password for every site or system because no password is perfect. Even if someone can’t guess or “crack” your password, there’s other ways to get it. A malicious user can steal information from the site itself and get your password without trying to guess it specifically. If you use the same password for your bank and your Facebook, then the next time Facebook is targeted by a group intent on causing damage, they can potentially get into your bank account too! There’s been many such incidents in recent years and usually we don’t hear about it until much later. For example, in 2014, hackers stole 500 million usernames and passwords from Yahoo!, who didn’t fully report the incident until September this year.

Please take the time to think about your passwords, how safe they are, when they were last changed, and what you can do to be more secure! The requirements for students in Years 7 – 12 when creating a password for their DoE Student Portal account are that the password be at least 6 characters, must include a letter and a number, and have no more than 2 repeating characters next to each other.

Ben Hillsley | Learning Technologies Support Officer

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From the engine room

We recently reported in our newsletter that changes to the Make a Payment page on our website would include the ability to pay via EFT.  This was reported to us incorrectly by our Finance Division. Westpac implemented a number of enhancements to the Make a Payment portal which will allow payments via credit card only.

We encourage our parents to make payments online as you will receive a receipt immediately, use a secure site and payments will be processed by us on the next business day. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

We are very busy in the office currently, processing applications for enrolment in years 8 to 12 2019 and sending out paperwork to our new enrolments in year 7 2019.

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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